The world is in chaos. That is not surprising to you. You hear about it every morning and evening in the news from multiple sources. I guess one solution is to turn off all news sources… But of course, that does no good.
By the way, in case you are wondering this is not new. It is throughout all the history of man. Look back at the time of the Flood [Genesis 6:5 The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.]. Look at how it was when Jesus was born [Matthew 2:16 Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men].
Look through any history book and you will quickly discover that the “new” news of today is just a repeat of what has gone on throughout history. We just have immediate access to what is happening everywhere at all times.
So, let me encourage you with something to meditate on. It will not stop the evil that is in this world. But it will do something in your soul. Notice, Psalm 19:7–11.
The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.
Now you are refreshed. There is something perfect—the law of the Lord. There is something that never fails—the law of the Lord. There is something that is righteous—the law of the Lord. There is something that is pure and will last and is absolutely true—the law of the Lord. And it is of greater value than gold—what a commodity! And what a contrast to the world around and the news that surrounds us.
As you meditate on this psalm, you will gain a different perspective. There is something that is far more important than what you read on social media. There is something that is bigger than your problems. There is something that is more powerful than the sin that is in this world. You will find it in the treasures of the Law of the Lord.
Perhaps you know this psalm as a song. I do (but will not sing it to you which is to your advantage). If you know it, let it be a way of reviewing this portion of Scripture throughout your day.
I think it is good for us to be reminded of what we know and what we need to know. There are times when we get busy and actually neglect things that are important. In one well known management system there is an explanation that defines the urgent versus the important. Too frequently we get busy with the urgent and neglect the important which will hurt us greatly in the end. I know that has happened to me far too frequently in my lifetime. We know we have to do the urgent but we cannot allow it to supersede the important.
This can happen in our daily walk as believers. We might do that which is urgent and make it from day to day but are we tending to that which is important?
So what is so important in our Christian lives?
I will draw from the words of a veteran missionary whose ministry spanned continents and decades and whose legacy is not only of reaching many for Christ but includes children and grandchildren and a host of others who are on the mission field today. His name is Dr. Darrell Champlin. He would come to Northland Baptist Bible College over the years and teach a block class about missions. I respected and appreciated his dedication to Christ, to missions, to the lost. He is now with the Lord but his ministry continues in many ways.
He was known for many things. I want to share with you his understanding of our purpose in life and doing what is important during our stewardship of life.He states it in the affirmative of the “eternal purpose of God” and reminds us that God’s priority is our priority. Every college freshman that had him as a teacher memorized the following:
“The eternal purpose of God is to call out from every kindred, tongue, people, and nation, a multitude redeemed by the blood of His Lamb, slain fromthe foundation of the world, over whom He will crown His Son, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, King of kings and Lord of lords forever. This is the passion of the heart of God that cannot be quenched, the obsession of His mind that cannot be denied, the vision of His eye that cannot grow dim, and the destination to which He has committed His omnipotent, immutable, eternal being: a destination He will not abandon.” -Darrell Champlin
So we see what is important. Yes, there is urgency but that is driven by what is important. In this we magnify and glorify our Savior Jesus Christ and fulfill the purpose for which God gives us one more breath in this life.
I hope you will read and meditate on this powerful quote. And I hope that we will all take it to heart.
On Sunday we have the opportunity to corporately worship our all powerful God and our Savior, Jesus Christ. We will worship the one Who has made His purpose for us known. At church, we encourage and strengthen one another. We bow before God and adore Him. We become more firm in our commitment to Him.
Recently I tried to cut some base molding to go around the flooring in a room as I was helping one of my sons. I am always glad to help but some people should not do some things—I am referring to myself.
There are skilled professionals in our church who could do that without a thought but not me. That is not a part of my skill set. So I tried looking it up online and looking at video clips. Then we finally started doing it. After finally figuring it out enough to do it, it still took what seemed like an eternity because we would measure, cut, remeasure, recut, etc. We finally finished the project…and yet, if I had to do it again I think I would still be confused.
It just isn’t something I know how to do! As they say, “next time, hire a professional.” [Note: having any perfectionistic tendencies does not speed up the process!!!]
For me, I did it but a lot of it does not make sense. In fact, most things in this world do not make sense to us. I have heard more than one person ask a question similar to , “What is going on in this world?” They are referring to the hurricanes, the fires, the shootings, the unrest in our nation and all throughout the world.
We do have a hard time making sense of those things. But it is just as true in the everyday things of our lives. Most of us have thoughts in which we are left scratching our heads and not really getting satisfactory answers.
As believers we do have answers. Often though they are not satisfactory to unbelievers we talk with, to other believers and even to ourselves. So much of life does not make sense.
I heard it asked, “Has it ever occurred to you that nothing ever occurred to God?”
You might have to read that again. I have thought through that question so many times. And it is part of the answer when things do not make sense.
As you think about that question you will necessarily reflect on the wisdom and knowledge of God. In fact, you have to consider almost every attribute of God to answer that question. However, let us consider a few ( a very few of the many) passages in Scripture that touch on this topic.
He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names. Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure.
Remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’
1 Kings 8:39
Then hear in heaven your dwelling place and forgive and act and render to each whose heart you know, according to all his ways (for you, you only, know the hearts of all the children of mankind) . . .
Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart fromyour Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered.
Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
1 John 3:20
For whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything.
While the world might not accept what I have written here and would ask hundreds of cynical questions, this truth should stabilize our lives. It will produce rest, security and increase your love for the Lord.
YES! Nothing is random and nothing ever ‘occurred’ to God!!
This week was another week in which we see some of the depths of the depravity of the human heart as the mass murder and wounding of so many happened this past weekend in Nevada. The killer has been called “a monster” which seems to be the best description the news media can come up with to try to summarize the horrific nature of this killer.
The Bible tells us that murder is in the heart of man—Mark 7:21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery,
We know that there was murder in the first family on Earth as Cain killed his brother Abel.
We know the source of murder—John 8:44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
I have said that this is an act of depravity so let me take a moment and give you a brief but important theological understanding of depravity. I will share one of the succinct but excellent explanations from the Moody Handbook of Theology to make this clear:
"Total depravity should first be defined negatively: it does not mean “(1) that depraved people cannot or do not perform actions that are good in either man’s or God’s sight.… (2) that fallen man has no conscience which judges between good and evil for him.… (3) that people indulge in every form of sin or in any sin to the greatest extent possible.”
The word depravity means that because of sin’s corruption “there is nothing man can do to merit saving favor with God,” while total means that depravity “has extended to all aspects of man’s nature, to his entire being.” Calvin defined man’s depraved estate as follows: “All men are conceived in sin, and born the children of wrath, indisposed to all saving good, propense to evil, dead in sin, and the slaves of sin; and without the regenerating grace of the Holy Spirit, they neither are willing nor able to return to God, to correct their depraved nature, or to dispose themselves to the correction of it.”
The Scriptures emphasize the depravity of man by man’s continual sinning (Gen. 6:5; Jer. 17:9; Rom. 3:10–18). The reason is that man is born a fallen creature with the pollution of sin (Ps. 51:5). Depravity also affirms the inability of man to do good (Matt. 7:17–18; John 15:4–5; 1 Cor. 12:3). Depravity further affirms man’s inability to understand the good (Matt. 13:14; John 1:11; 8:43; Acts 16:14; 1 Cor. 1:18; 2:14; 2 Cor. 3:12–18; Eph. 4:18). Depravity also indicates man cannot desire the good (Matt. 7:18; John 3:3; 6:44; 8:43; 15:4–5; Eph. 2:1).
Total depravity indicates man’s utter inability to do anything for his salvation. God must initiate the process if a person is to be saved.
Among other things this teaches us that there is absolutely no action of wickedness to which the human heart cannot go. We saw evidence of this in the actions of this man who took the lives and damaged the lives of so many. We also see that nothing apart from the work of God can reach the human heart. Thank God for His grace!
We should all grieve for and pray for those who have been impacted by this situation. We should grieve for and pray for our nation. We should pray for those in law enforcement and all our civil servants.
And we must remember that while there is so much darkness in this world and in the human heart, there is HOPE. It is found in Christ alone. And you and I have the opportunity to be a light in this darkness. Matthew 5:16 “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” As has been said, “the darker the night, the brighter the light.” There is much darkness around us so we should be shining very brightly. Show and shine the light of Christ in the darkness around you.
Dr. Wynne Kimbrough is the editor of this resource.
Some of the articles are written by him while others are found and shared with permission from the original authors. Some of of these authors wish to remain anonymous.