God, I Want to Ask You
Seven Questions When Facing Death
Seven Meditations on God
1. "God's Certainty"
For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God. - Hebrews 3:4
Creation is marvelously complex. The moon orbits the earth that orbits the sun that orbits the Milky Way that orbits the universe - all with atomic precision. Our planet is a finely tuned ecosystem where thousands of species co-exist. The simplest organism is more complicated than the most complex machine.
How did it come about? Did the universe somehow evolve from a Big Bang? Sir Fred Hoyle, Professor of Astronomy at Cambridge, observes, "The chance that higher life forms might have emerged in this way is comparable with the chance that a tornado sweeping through a junk-yard might assemble a Boeing 747 from the materials therein."
Experience teaches that a jetliner requires a builder. Even a relatively simple house does! So, when it comes to the universe surely there is a Builder, God. Believe that He is, and that He can save you.
Almighty God, I believe in You. Sustain me during these difficult days. Amen.
(For reading: Hebrews 11:1-6)
2. "God's Only Way"
Jesus saith unto him, lam the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. - John 14:6
When a deadly fire swept through a hotel, a woman was trapped in her room several stories up. A ladder truck arrived, and soon a fireman was at her window. He instructed her on how he would carry her to safety, but she hesitated. "Isn't there some other way?" she pleaded. "Lady," replied the fireman, "I'm the way - the only way."
How many ways are there to heaven? The Lord Jesus tells us that there is only one, and that He is that way. It was not bigotry or conceit that made the Master speak like this. Of necessity, Christ died for our sins, so of necessity it is only by faith in His provision that we are able to enter the Kingdom of God.
The hands of Christ seem very frail,
For they were broken by a nail.
But only they reach Heaven at last
Whom these frail, broken hands hold fast.
- John Richard Moreland
Have you placed yourself in His hands?
Lord Jesus, thank You for being my way to heaven.
(For reading: John 14:1-6)
3. "God's Love"
And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. - Luke 15:20
Perhaps the best known of Christ's parables is the story of the Prodigal Son: A younger son shamefully demands his inheritance while his father is very much alive, goes off to squander the money, and winds up feeding pigs and eating their swill. Compelled to return home, he hopes only to work for food, knowing he deserves nothing. But to his surprise, his father joyfully receives him! Without so much as a word of reproof, the father absorbs the loss and freely restores his foolish child.
Jesus told this story in response to those who criticized Him for receiving sinners and eating with them (verse 2). They thought, as many do, that the love of God must be earned. On the contrary, as the story shows, the love of God is not earned, but received. It is not a reward, but a gift.
God longs to confer His love upon us. In Jesus, He absorbs our debts and welcomes us home! Are you ready to come home?
Lord Jesus, thank You for your great love. I do not deserve it, but I gratefully receive it
(For reading: Luke 15)
4. "God's Grace!"
Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. - Romans 3:24
From the American past comes one of the most popular and enduring hymns, "Amazing Grace."
Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.
What is this grace? The original Greek word used in the New Testament is charis. It refers to the kindness and favor God shows us.
Paul makes three points about grace. One is that it is free - doreán - a gift without payment, gratis. Moreover, it justifies. Here Paul uses a legal term that means "acquitted, declared righteous or not guilty." Finally, this grace comes to us through the redemption of Christ Jesus. Redemption was the payment to free a slave. Even so, God in Christ has paid the price to set us free from sin.
So, here is a wonderful thing! Purely as a gift, God will pardon our sin, setting us free. It's all of grace. Amazing, isn't it?
Heavenly Father, thank you for righteousness through the redemption of Christ. I joyfully receive your gift.
(For reading: Romans 3)
5. "God's Mercy"
Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. Micah 7:18
The Shenandoah River will always have a special place in my heart. When living in Virginia, I would fish its South Fork. It was such fun to float downstream in an inner tube, jump out at some rapids, and catch Smallmouth Bass and Blue Gills until the stars came out. Fishing was my delight!
Have you ever found something that gave you similar pleasure? If so, then you delight in that activity.
The prophet Micah, seven hundred years before Christ, tells us that God delights in showing mercy. Mercy is withholding judgment and pardoning sin. To the question of what other god is like the Lord, the answer is "none." The gods of the nations around Israel were vengeful and lustful. They never delighted in mercy.
Because God is still merciful, we can escape the bondage of past moral and spiritual failures, and rest assured that He will welcome us to heaven. Turn to Him for mercy today.
Heavenly Father, there is no god like You, merciful and kind! Thank You for being merciful to me.
(For reading: Micah 7:18-20)
6. "God's Faithfulness"
Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; for he is faithful that promised. - Hebrews 10:23
"Nuts!" replied General Anthony McAuliffe to a German demand for surrender on December 23, 1944. The 101st Airborne Division that he commanded had been pinned down at Bastogne for seven days during the Battle of the Bulge. McAuliffe's stubborn insistence on holding his ground was rewarded three days later when troops commanded by General George Patton broke through.
Like a besieging army, suffering assaults us. It demands the surrender of our faith. If like McAuliffe we refuse to cave-in to that demand, we will soon enjoy the reward because our God is faithful in all He has promised. None of His promises to Bible saints ever failed. Neither will those promises to us. Has He promised an end to suffering and a resurrection to life eternal? The promise is guaranteed by the resurrection of Christ! With the hymn writer we can sing,
Great is Thy faithfulness, 0 God my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not;
As Thou has been Thou forever wilt be.
Father, I affirm my faith in Your faithfulness.
(For reading: Hebrews 10:19-25)
7. "God's New Beginning"
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give... a new name... which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it. - Revelation 2:17
Today a person's name is hardly more than a label, but in Biblical times names were much more important. Names were chosen with attention to what they meant. In cases where God gave someone a new name, it marked a new beginning consistent with the meaning of the name. Abraham, as his name means, became the "Father of a Multitude." Peter became a "Rock" among the early Christians. And Jesus has become "Jehovah's Salvation."
A day is coming in which all who overcome death by faith in Christ will be given a new name, a special name between the Savior and the believer. That name stands for a new beginning, a new destiny, and a new identity. No one else will have quite the same destiny or identity, and in that sense it will be known only to the one receiving it.
Have you ever longed for a fresh start in life? The loving Lord will make that longing a reality for those who trust in Him. For them, death will not be the end, but the new beginning!
Thank You, Lord, for the promise of a new name with a new beginning.
(For reading: Isaiah 43:1-7)