Blank Checks

Blank Checks

Most people know what is meant by the term “blank check.”  It implies an invitation to use however many funds or resources we may need.  And these resources are supplied by the person or persons who own the checking account against which the blank check is written.

Our God has given us His Word which is full of testimonies and also promises of blessings.  Quite some years ago, while teaching a class, I realized that many Scriptural promises were exactly like a blank check!  I began referring to them as the “Blank Check Bible Verses.”  To encourage you to search out some of these precious promises on your own, I’m going to share a handful of them here with you!

But those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.  (Ps 34:10b)  There’s no boundary on what good thing, but rather the opposite with this verse!

Blessed be the Lord, Who daily loads us with benefits, the God our salvation.  (Ps 68:19)  The word “benefits” can mean blessings, payments, grants, allowances, profits, etc., etc.  Notice that we’re “loaded” [filled; packed; heaped; stuffed; and even overwhelmed] with these benefits DAILY!  This is quite a blank check!

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  (Mt 7:7)  Do you understand the blank check nature of this verse?

But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”  (Mt 19:26)  There is no limit to the word ‘ALL’ is there?

Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will [His Word], He hears us.  And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.  (1 John 5:14-15)  The words “anything” and “whatever” are two more words that do not imply limits of any kind.

To date, I have discovered 25 such verses in the Bible, and I urge you to continue hunting for more of these wonderful promises from the heart of our loving God.  Happy hunting!

Food for Meditation

Food for Meditation

Our last article was on the topic of meditation, which included a biblical promise with it.  Today, I’m going to give you suggested food or topics for meditation.  I hope that they will bless you.

The Lord is my:

  • Exceedingly great reward (Gen 15:1)
  • Rock (Ps 18:2; 31:3; 71:3)
  • Rock that is Higher than I (Ps 61:2)
  • High Tower (Ps 144:2)
  • Hiding Place (Ps 32:7;119:114)
  • Very present help in the time of trouble (Ps 46:1)
  • Intercessor (Job 16:19-21 NIV1984; Isa 59:16-17)
  • Mediator (1 Tim 2:5; Heb 8:6; 9:15; 12:24)
  • Advocate (1 Joh 2:1)
  • Teacher (Lk 12:12; Joh 14:26; 1 Cor 2:13)
  • Healer (Ex 15:26; Ps 103:3; Mt 4:23)
  • Open Heaven (Joh 1:51)
  • Comfort, Comforter (Ps 86:17; 2 Cor 1:3-4)
  • Strength (Ps 18:1; 32)
  • Fortress (Ps 18:2; 31:3; 71:3; 144:2)
  • Deliverer (Ps 18:2; 40:17; 70:5)
  • Shield (Ps 3:3; 18:2; 28:7; 144:2)
  • Horn of my salvation (Ps 18:2)
  • Stronghold (Ps 18:2)
  • Redeemer (Ps 19:14; 78:35; Pro 23:11)
  • Prince of Peace (Isa 9:6)
  • Sun of Righteousness (Mal 4:2)
  • Bright, Morning Star (Rev 22:16)

May God bless your meditations.

Meditation

Meditation

The Bible has a fair amount to say about meditation and the types of things that we, as followers of Christ, should set our thoughts upon.

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.  (Josh 1:8)

But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.  (Ps 1:2)

I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways.  (Ps 119:15)

May my meditation be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the Lord.  (Ps 104:34)

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.  (Phil 4:8)

Suggested topics for our meditations:

  • The Scriptures (Book of the Law; law of the Lord; precepts);
  • God’s ways;
  • The Lord; and
  • All things that are truthful, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and praiseworthy.

The Bible tells us that as we meditate upon and talk about these themes that we will have a successful and prosperous life.  What a blessed promise!

Long Life

Long Life

Our God has promised to give His people long life as the verses shown below demonstrate.

  1. You shall walk in all the way that the Lord your God has commanded you, that you may live, and that it may go well with you, and that you may live long in the land that you shall possess. (Deut 5:33 ESV)
  2. With long life will I satisfy him, and show him My salvation. (Ps 91:16)
  3. My son, do not forget my law, but let your heart keep my commands; for length of days and long life and peace they will add to you. (Pro 3:1-2)
  4. The fear of the Lord prolongs life, but the years of the wicked will be short. (Pro 10:27)
  5. Who have been upheld by Me from birth, Who have been carried from the womb: even to your old age, I am He, and even to gray hairs I will carry you!  I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.  (Isa 46:3b, 4)

God enjoys blessing and protecting us for we are His people.  He has given us a calling and a mission to spread the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and to make disciples.  (See Mat 28:18-20 & Mk 16:15)  This is HOW we are to use the long lives that He has given to us!

We’re called to be witnesses to the ends of the earth, telling others about Jesus’ atoning work on behalf of all mankind.  (See Acts 1:8)  Not only that, but the Lord wants us to share our own testimonies of what He has done for each one of us.  We all have testimonies to share of answered prayers and miracles that God has done on our behalf.

Making disciples is all about continuing the chain of redemption by passing on the faith that was passed to you.  (See Rom 10:14-15)  We are all called to use our long lives wisely on behalf of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Lips of Grace

Lips of Grace

Thou art fairer than the children of men:  grace is poured into thy lips: therefore God hath blessed thee for ever.  (Ps 45:2 KJV)  This psalm is speaking of the coming Savior of the world, and pointing out that He had grace literally POURED out upon His lips.  Did Jesus prove the truth of this verse?  Yes, He did!

Jesus’ lips were anointed with such grace that it poured from His lips like streams of living water.  His words blessed all those who heard and received them.

He who loves purity of heart and has grace on his lips, the king will be his friend.  (Pro 22:11)  Jesus was loved by all who came to Him and were touched by Him.  We may also have this same blessing if we allow the Lord to use our lips to bless others.

So all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth.  (Lk 4:22a)  People who heard Jesus’ words were astonished, awed, and impressed by them—they had such an impact.

Charles Spurgeon, in his commentary on Psalm 45:2, had this to say:

“Imagination’s utmost stretch cannot conceive of anything more gracious; and the contemplation of the most devoted Christian cannot think of any words more majestic in goodness, more tender in sympathy, more full of honey, and more luscious in their sweetness, than the gracious words that proceeded out of the lips of Jesus Christ.”

Jesus, as our Savior and example, is our model for life and faith.  As His words blessed the people who heard them, so also, should ours.  As we spend time meditating upon the Bible, and time in worshiping the Lord, our words will become more and more like His.  For Jesus’ words bestowed grace upon grace to all those who heard them. 

Listen to and learn from Jesus’ words; meditate upon the Scriptures; obey the Holy Spirit; and then follow Jesus’ example of speaking grace-filled words.

Overcome Evil with Good, Part 2

Overcome Evil with Good, Part 2

Our last article dealt with overcoming evil with good in some detail. 

Luke 6:29-30 goes on to say even moreTo him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. 30 Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back.  How can we possibly conform to such a difficult teaching?

But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”  (Mt 19:26)  Whatever is impossible for man becomes possible for us who gave our lives to Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within us.  Praise God!

Not only do we overcome the evil that people have done to us by forgiving them and praying for them, but according to Luke 6, we should even help to bless them in a material way.  Jesus overcame evil with good.  He is our role model.

When we pray for good to come upon our enemies; when we feed our enemy or give them a drink; or when we give him a blanket, a coat or any other helpful item, we allow the glory of God to be manifested in the earth through us. 

Jesus has asked us to live according to a new law—the law of love.  (Mt 5:44a)

Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.  (Rom 13:10) 

For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”   (Gal 5:14) 

James 2:8 refers to loving your neighbor as yourself as the ROYAL law! 

Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” 37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.  38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”  (Mt 22:35-40)

Jesus is our Savior and our King.  (1 Tim 6:15; Rev 19:16)  Loving our neighbor as we love ourselves is a royal law because it was instituted by our benevolent and loving King. 

Overcoming evil with good will turn people toward the Lord in praise and thanksgiving.  It fulfills the law of love.  The law of love blesses us all, because we serve the God who is love.  (1 Joh 4:8)  Overcome evil the way that God did–with love!

Overcome Evil with Good, Part 1

Overcome Evil with Good, Part 1

17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. 18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”  21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.  (Rom 12:17-21, emphasis added)

The Lord doesn’t want us to use our emotions to get even, to get revenge, or to punish other people!  The Bible says that we must not repay evil for evil. When we allow anger (or any other negative emotion) to rule us, it means we’re not allowing the Holy Spirit to direct us so then we inadvertently become a puppet/servant for some being other than our Savior.

Yes, life is full of hurts.  Someone may have hurt your feelings; another person perhaps lied to you; you’re skipped over for a promotion or a raise on your job; or maybe you’ve even been abused or disrespected.

The Message version of the Bible says it this way:

Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.”  (Rom 12:17-19 MSG, emphases added)  God is the judge over humanity.  Judgment belongs to God—not us. 

Even though a response to these unpleasant things that I mentioned isn’t wrong, did you ever notice that anger doesn’t improve your situation or how you feel?  When we’re so angry over something, we may allow ourselves to say things that we can never take back.  Another evil that anger can create is that instead of lashing out in anger at the person who actually hurt us, we lash out at other people unfairly.  Anger can beget more and more pain.

Do not fret because of evildoers, nor be envious of the workers of iniquity.  For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.  (Ps 37:1-2)  Psalms remind us that God will deal with those who act wickedly or cruelly.  God will vindicate us when we obey His word by forgiving and praying for those who hurt us.

“But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute that you may be sons of your Father in heaven . . . “ (Mt 5:44-45a)  Jesus wants us to love our enemies, to do good to those who hate us, and to even pray for those who malevolently use us!  He says, then we are children of our heavenly Father.  God pours out His grace and blessings upon us as we live obediently to Him by overcoming evil with good.

God’s ways are the only way to overcome evil.  (Isa 55:9)