Meditations by John Dean

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Pill in the Peanut Butter

(Proverbs 24:13-14) My son, eat honey, because it is good; and the honeycomb is sweet to your palate; so shall the knowledge of wisdom be to your soul; when you have found it, then there shall be a reward, and your hope shall not be cut off. 

There are two important lessons to this verse that I want to focus on. The first lesson has to do with us getting knowledge and wisdom. The second lesson has to do with our health.  Apparently, the psalmist thought that honey was important enough in both cases to talk about.
At first it seemed that the subject of knowledge and health were poles apart … but are they? Perhaps what the psalmist is trying to say is that true knowledge is a medicine that feeds our health, and true health can be the result of true knowledge. In other words, both should work together as one.
According to some theologians, (such as John Gill), there is a medicinal value in honey that nourishes and strengthens us like no other food. This was certainly the case with Samson, Jonathan and John the Baptist as they ate honey.
It is also my understanding that honey helps prolong our life by protecting us from diseases. If that is true, then we would have to conclude that there really is something hidden in honey that is good for our health.
My family and I had two little dogs, (Baxter and Bonnie), who grew old and were not in the best of health. The veterinarian gave us some pills to give them in order to keep them as healthy and comfortable as possible. The problem was, they hated the pills and would spit them out. We finely decided to hide their pills in peanut butter and they would swallow them and never know the difference. From then on, we did the old hide the pill in the peanut butter trick, and everyone was happy.
I wonder if sometimes God has to do the same thing with us. He puts what we need into what we are able to swallow, kind-of-like the medicine in the honey. The reason my family and I put the pill in the peanut butter for Baxter and Bonnie was because we loved them. God would do any less for us.
Thank You for loving us enough to hide what we need in what we are able to swallow. Growing and stretching in You is not always easy but our desire is to get spiritual knowledge and wisdom. Make our life lessons (medicine), sweet to the taste, like honeycomb is sweet to our palate.


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Tuesday, June 23, 2020

The Third Heaven

2 Corinthian’s 12:2-5  I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows. And I know that this man was caught up into paradise—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows—and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter. On behalf of this man I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses

The thought of someone actually going to the third heaven and then telling about it sort of leaves one’s head spinning. This is not just a casual story that one hears and then soon forgets. No, our response is usually, “tell me more, I need more details, surely there is more to this story than what you have shared”.

When Paul tells this story, it leaves one with more questions than answers. We may even wonder if he was using this story to help highlight his weakness. But then we say wait a minute, I want to go back to the third heaven story … we can talk about your weakness later.

It wasn’t until I had heart surgery and lay on the operating table for nine and a half hours that I began to understand why Paul said so little about his third heaven experience. During those nine and a half hours I went somewhere in the heavenlies and saw and heard things that I cannot explain any more than Paul could. I can only say that there was no difference between sight and sound, it was all one movement. The effect of what I saw and heard didn’t come into my eyes and ears, my entire being was absorbing all of my surroundings, light, sound, power and authority. Everything about me had gone to another level and that is the reason people later responded to me the way they did.

As a result of that experience, my life was changed forever.

When I was finally taken to my room and still feeling this unusual power and authority, I began to make requests that I probably would not have made otherwise.  When a nurse and an aide came into my room to check on me, I asked the aide what his name was. The aide was a very big strong black man with an extremely low voice. In his low base voice, as he stood at the foot of my bed, he said “Rodney”.

Our conversation went like this. I said, “ Rodney, do you know the Lord? Yes sir. Where do you go to church? I was the music director at my mom and dad’s church in New Orleans before the storm came and destroyed everything. Rodney, I need for you to sing me a song, What do you want me to sing? Amazing Grace”. He didn’t say another word, he just pulled out his cell phone and began scrolling until he came to the back-up music for Amazing Grace.  He then began to sing Amazing Grace in his very deep New Orleans’ Cajun voice. “Amazing Grace how sweet da sound that saved a wretch like me, I once was lost but now I am found was blind but now I see” …. I said “wait a minute Rodney, wait a minute, that’s it, I can see, I can see, I can see what I have never seen before, and I can hear what I have never heard before. Sing it again Rodney” and he did, but this time he was at the head of the bed with his big arms around my head hugging me and crying as he sang.

What neither of us realized until then, (because we were so caught up in the spirit), was the room had filled up with several Doctors and Nurses … and everyone was crying as Rodney song Amazing Grace again.

I never saw Rodney again … but that day God used this young black Cajun bass singer from New Orleans to minister to me and touch the heart of all the Doctors and Nurses in the room.

Perhaps Paul was changed in his very being like me, and that’s why he could not utter the things he had seen and heard anymore than I could.

Thank you for the Rodneys of this world who quietly minister and who the world will never know except through someone like me. I will forever trumpet his name in telling this story. Most of all Father, thank You for taking me to a place and allowing me to experience a taste of Your glory that is beyond words.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2020


I am not sure that any of us really understand the full depth of this scripture. The three words that draw us to a deeper study are, foreordained, adoption and His will. Even though each of these words can, and should be, studied independently … when all three are put together, it produces quite a powerful message.
The word foreordained means that I was actually a thought in God’s mind a long time ago and He decided to love me in spite of myself and make me a part of His family. Wow!!! That may be a simple explanation of the word foreordained but it’s one that I can understand, and it makes sense to me.
When you add the word adoption to this whole mix, it almost takes one’s breath away. To me, Adoption means you start off with no rights but end up with all rights. If that’s even close to what adoption means …. I really like it.
But wait a minute, there’s even more … the kicker to this entire scripture is when you add the last phrase, “His will”. Do you mean to tell me, that a long time ago the Lord decided to adopt me … and that was actually His will?
That is what I meant in the first sentence when I said, “I am not sure that any of us really understand the full depth of this scripture”. What was it about me that made me adoptable in the first place? Could it be that adoption is not as much about the adoptee and it is about the adopter? Now that’s a very interesting thought.
I suppose at one time or another, most kids had the thought of running away from home, joining a circus, or maybe being adopted by a family who would appreciate them more. As I look back on my own life, I realize that I was no different than any other kid, except for putting actions to my thoughts.
Leaving home as a twelve-year-old boy back in the 1940s, (which I did), was an exciting prospect for me.  After all, what was ahead of me had to be much brighter than what was behind me. Even though I did not have any money for food or a place to sleep … that was only a minor technicality in my mind. All I knew was that I was ready for a change and there was no time like the present.
After being on the road a day or so I began to meet folks who said they always wanted a boy like me, so they would invite me to come and live with them. Each of the families that I lived with loved and cared for me as any great mom and dad would. However, there was one family that I settled in with and that became my permanent home.  
Even though there was never a question in my mind of these families’ love and devotion to me, there was still one thing lacking. I was loved by them … but I did not belong to them.  The thought of someone saying, “you are mine”, sounded very appealing to me.
When I came to know the Lord and read our text, I knew immediately that I had discovered the missing link. I suddenly realized that God had been there all the time and I didn’t know it. When I did not have food to eat … He was my food, when I did not have a bed to sleep in … He was my comfort, when I needed to belong … He had already taken care of that a long time ago. It was “His will” to “adopt me” into His family and to say those three beautiful words, “you are mine”.
I am truly blessed of all men to have had so many moms and dads and brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles as part of my natural family. However, the icing on the cake is to be adopted into the family of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
I think I might understand a little more of the three words in our text. However, what I don’t understand is the depth of the love that is behind these three words. My desire is to yield to You to the extent that You can actually show more of that kind of love to others through me.

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Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Sounds in Silence

Job 4:15-17  Then a spirit passed before my face; The hair of my flesh stood up. It stood still, but I could not discern the appearance thereof; A form was before mine eyes: There was silence, and I heard a voice …….

I am not sure how it’s possible to have read this scripture as many times as I have over the years and never heard what it was saying? That within itself is a mystery because I tend to dissect every word when I read. Because I am a picture person, I try to get into the picture of the subject rather than just the knowledge of it. At least I thought I did … but apparently that’s not always the case.
I have said for years that we know when we are in the presence of the Lord even though we do not see Him. We can also hear God’s voice even though there is no sound. I would even go so far as to say that the subject of the sounds in silence is a frontier that is yet to be discovered.
Our text says, “There was silence and I heard a voice ...” That is a paradox … if there was silence then how could you hear a voice? The reason one can hear a voice is because it is not natural, it is supernatural. That means there is a mystery in silence … and that mystery is sounds.
Before my wife and I got married we went to a Coney Island Hot dog Restaurant for lunch, (I agree, it wasn’t the most romantic place in the world, but we liked it). We were enjoying our day and conversation but after we ordered our hot dogs and sat down something strange happened. We felt like a cloud came over both of us and we were frozen in time. We totally lost our appetites for food and drink and as strange as it may seem, we no longer felt a part of this world.  The only thing we could do for the next hour was sit there and look at each other. The waiters and the other folks probably thought we were mannequins.

I am still not sure what all happened that day at the Coney Island Restaurant but one thing I am sure of, it was all supernatural. It was as though God had taken us to the third heaven and spiritually made us into one person with one thought. When there is one thought, then there is one spirit and that does not require a mouth to ear communication but a spirit to spirit.

Perhaps the cloud I felt that day was what Job was talking about when he said, … a spirit passed before my face I could not discern the appearance thereof there was silence, and I heard a voice …”

Thank you so much for giving us the ability to communicate with words, looks and actions. We love all the natural communication, but we want to communicate more in the spiritual realm through prayer and kind deeds. We want spiritual ears that are keen enough to listen to the sounds in silence.

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Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Fleas in the Barn

(Luke 10:19 KJV) Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

    The reason this scripture is so important to me is because it tells me of the power I have to face any difficult situation. This power and authority were given to all of us when Jesus was resurrected from the dead. Thanks to Jesus, we are no longer natural beings with a spirit, we have become spiritual beings with a body. That means we can operate in the same power and authority that Jesus operated in. Wow!!

According to our text, our natural enemies are nothing more than something
under our feet when we walk in the Jesus kind of anointing. Perhaps the
following story will encourage us that the power of truth in our text is as real for us 
today as it was for Jesus’ disciples.  However, I do believe that it takes some measure
of faith on our part to activate such promises.

Many years ago, it was a common practice for men who lived in rural areas, (particularly in southern states), to go out into the woods and pray for God’s blessings on their revival meetings. Sometimes the woods would be full of men walking around praying out loud for the fire of God to fall on their church meetings so that sinners would be saved.

In my early days as an evangelist while living on my East Texas farm, I had a neighbor on the adjacent farm that used to travel with me as I would go preach. I remember on one occasion I drove down to his farm and told him, “Let’s go to your barn, (rather than the words), and have a prayer meeting”. He informed me that his barn was full of fleas, for which I replied, “we don’t have time to go to the woods so we will have to take authority over those fleas” … and I quoted our text.

We went to his barn and took authority over the fleas and started our prayer meeting. We were having a powerful time of prayer when the neighbor on the next farm heard about our prayer meeting and wanted to drive down and join us.

He had no more than stepped through the barn door when the fleas jumped on him and liked to have eaten him alive. He ran out the door swatting fleas and calling them dirty names. We could still hear him communicating with those fleas as he drove away.

My friend and I continued to pray in the power of God until we felt we had the victory over what we were praying about.

As we left the barn that day my friend asked me, why the fleas did not bother us like it did our neighbor? I said because we came into this barn claiming the power and authority in our text and he didn’t.

The fact is, life is full of fleas, or things that will attack our flesh, mind, will and emotions, and that’s why the Lord gave us the power and authority over such things. In my eighty-five years of life I have never seen a time when more people are being attacked by the fleas of life. Fleas such as sickness, disease, confusion and need.

The purpose of our text is to encourage us that God has already made a way for us by giving us the power and authority over all the fleas of life.

Please allow me to share a quote from Bill Johnson book, God is Good, which I think can apply to this writing, Faith doesn’t deny there’s a problem … it just denies it a place of influence”.

We know there are many fleas in life, but we thank You for giving us the power and authority over these fleas.  Help us to activate our faith by claiming that, “Your word is true and sharper than a two-edged sword”. Help us to purposely walk in that level of authority and victory.

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