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Meditations by John Dean

Monday, August 26, 2013

You Guys

(Matthew 15:4 KJV) For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. 

This scripture has always been interesting to me because it seemed as though the punishment was far worse than the crime. However, as I continued to read and meditate on it I realized that I had missed the main principle.

Our text is ultimately speaking of dishonoring God. The way that is done is by dishonoring one’s parents. When one dishonors their parents that means they are devaluing them…which also means they are devaluing God. God is the source of life through the parents and that is why our text says, “...let him die the death.”

This does not necessarily mean literal death…it could mean spiritual death. Dishonor or disrespect slowly chips away at one’s sensitivity and dulls it until it becomes as if it were dead. This is one of the subtle ways that Satan uses to destroy young people today from the inside out. To make things even worse many of the old folks justify the young people’s behavior by saying things like, “Well they are just going through a stage.”

Going through a stage is when young people yield to the carnal nature of their flesh. Dishonoring on the other hand has to do with what comes out of their mouth. This is why the Bible says in Proverbs 18:21 that, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.”

There is something about honor and respect that is so important to God for Him to warrant such a penalty if it is not shown.

I have noticed over the years how disrespect and dishonor seem to have gradually taken a place in everyday conversations. No longer does there seem to be a difference between male and female or between old and young.

I suppose there are few things that get to me quicker and deeper than for a young person to walk up to my wife and me in a nice restaurant or store and say, “Can I help you guys?” The fact is, my wife is not a guy…she is a woman of age and deserves honor and respect. When did sir and ma'am go out of style?

One of the reasons we have become a unisex society with a ‘you guys mentality’ is because it is Satan’s way to carry out his campaign of dishonoring God.

The prize of the future is our young people and that is why Satan wants to use their mouths to speak judgment to themselves as well as to dishonor God.

Father,
Help us to recapture the days of showing honor to You by showing honor to our parents as well as all older folks. Lord, help us to disarm the trap that Satan has set for our young people so they can take their place as our future leaders and examples for the next generation.

Amen

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Monday, August 19, 2013

Free at Last

(Exodus 8:1 KJV) And the LORD spake unto Moses, Go unto Pharaoh, 
and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Let my people go, that they 
may serve me. 

I have read the story of Moses and the children of Israel many times over the years and I am still saddened by it. What started out as a blessing for them years earlier (the provision of food), ended up as the trap that eventually enslaved them.

Could this be a warning to each of us that our blessing for today is only seasonal (like manna) and if taken past that season has the potential of enslaving us?

It was bad enough when their bodies became the property of another, but when their minds were eventually bent in the same direction…that is unthinkable. The reason it is unthinkable is because when one’s mind is enslaved, then their whole body is subject to the new master. The body only follows commands…it does not give them.

It is possible to enslave one’s body, but not their mind. However, in this case the minds of the children of Israel had been warped to the point that they were actually turned off.  Even after they were delivered out of slavery, their minds still belonged to their captors. Many of them even wanted to go back into Egypt. It is a terrible thing to be walking around in a body that belongs to another…which is what slavery is.

I was recently in Lewiston, New York where I had the privilege of actually seeing the end of the Underground Railroad. In the early to mid-eighteen hundreds untold numbers of escaped slaves traveled from the South to this wonderful spot of hope. It was here in Lewiston where they actually crossed the river into Canada…and into freedom.

The only thing that kept them going over the hundreds of miles of treacherous trails was their hope to eventually reach Lewiston. Even though their faith was mixed with fear, they kept moving forward while dodging the slave-bounty-hunters every step of the way. Each mile they traveled was a mile of victory and every day without having to perform mule-type labor was worth the risk.

Even though they had to hide every day and night like a small animal hiding from a hawk...their taste of momentary freedom was what built their long range hope for permanent freedom.

As I stood silently that day in front of the monument in Lewiston, I tried to imagine what an escaped slave’s last thoughts might be. I thought…if it was me, what would I be thinking before getting into that small boat that would take me to freedom…to Canada?

Is this really real? Am I really going to be free? Can I live without having to hide from slave-bounty-hunters? Will I ever be able to sleep without the fear of being beaten?  Or…what if I find out that I really am only a second class human being…what then?

In the short time I stood in front of the monument I had a litany of emotions that still linger to this day.

I wondered what were they thinking as they pushed away from shore in the dark of night in that small boat that would take them across the river to freedom.

The children of Israel’s bodies were freed long before their minds. The spirit of Pharaoh is a terrible thing and can come in many forms. It can come as a dictator of a nation, a boss, a husband, a wife, a mother, a father, and yes…even a so called Christian leader.

Father,
Deliver us from Pharaoh-type people who have the ability to weaken and enslave our minds. We want to walk uprightly with our brothers…but we only want to yield our minds and wills to You. We also want to be freedom fighters like Harriet Tubman, William Still and Levi Coffin who helped set the slaves from the South free…but more especially Lord we want to be like You, the One who sets minds free from modern day Pharaohs.
Amen

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Monday, August 12, 2013

The Love Of Money

(1 Timothy 6:10 KJV) For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 

Our text has probably been taken out of context as much as any other scripture in the Bible. Over the years, I have noticed that the folks who seem to take our text out of context, usually fall into one of two categories. They are either ultra-conservative, which is based on the lack of faith or they are jealousy-driven, which is based on fear. The result of their lack of success is usually because they are not willing to pay the required price for success.

Falling into either of these categories is a set up for misquoting our text. The obvious way of misquoting our text is by saying things like, “Money is the root of all evil.” However, the Bible did not say that “Money was the root of all evil”…it says “The love of money is the root of all evil”.

I have also noticed over the years that the ones who misquote our text are the ones who seem to rejoice the most over actually getting money. Perhaps what they really meant to say was that “Money is the root of all evil”…unless they have it.

I know a lot of people around the country who have made their millions over the years by just being good honest, God-fearing, hard-working people. These folks also seemed to be blessed with the ability to never over-value their money.

However, there is another group of folks that I want to point out that put a very high value on money. As a matter of fact, money seems to bring out the hidden beast in them because they use their money to bend the mind and will of others by appealing to their vulnerable side…their need for money.
Over the years I have known many cases where money and greed were mixed and the results were always nasty. I suppose if when one puts money, greed and nasty in the same sentence they should also add the phrase evil-spirit in there as well.

I know a family where all of these are functioning all of the time in full force. As a matter of fact greed, money and nasty have divided this entire family. When something is not done according to certain specifications then that family member is threatened by telling them they will lose their inheritance. This mind control has gotten so completely out of control that what seems to be the favorite child is now threatening other members of the family with…“I can see that you will get taken out of the will”.

Everything in life has a value and our text shows the results of miss-valuing things. In other words, our text shows us that money itself is not evil, but the love of money (or miss-valuing of it) causes one to err from the faith and thus begins the road to compromise.

Perhaps the point of this Meditation is to check and see if “you are for sale” and what is your price.

Father,
Help us to enjoy our financial blessings, but also help us not to over-value our blessings to the extent that we become greedy and nasty spirited. Father we want to be kind and generous like You, and above all help us not to use Your blessings to threaten others who have less.

Amen

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