August 27, 2021

The End That Is The Beginning
I talked to a friend of mine this week who has 7 weeks to live. She is a young 62, vibrant and full of life but she has a death sentence. She is terminal. But she is also eternal for she has eternal life.

As I talked to her it all seemed so terrible, so tragic to see such a truncated life coming to an end. But that was not how she saw it. She was filled with hope and anticipation of seeing her Lord, of being with Jesus the King.

My friend reminded me that the old song - “Soon and very soon we are going to see the King” had taken on a new sense of relevance and significance. But that is what impending death does to you - It allows you to focus on things of importance and clarifies your priorities.

A good death is being able to look backward and have no regrets, knowing that you did your best to be at peace with all men. But a good death also involves looking forward and having no fear, knowing that you will enter into a new phase, a new dimension of eternal life, and enjoy a new capacity of relationship with Jesus. Forever!

The old Christian maxim is true: If you are born twice you die once. If you are born once you die twice.

I plan on walking with my friend to the end, which is actually her new beginning. My message for her and to myself and maybe to you is contained in two theological truths concerning the character of God that will transform your life:

  • Nothing can negate God‘s promises or nullify His plans.

  • God is too kind ever to be cruel and too wise ever to make a mistake.

Serving Him with you
until He comes for us,

August 20, 2021

The Present is Theirs - -
The Future for Which We Really Work is Ours.

It’s very easy today living as we are in the midst of a crumbling and confused culture that wants to castrate the church, to conclude that we are losing the battle. However, it is imperative that we keep in mind how to evaluate what we are losing and how to determine what we are winning.

If all we are able to see is all there is to be seen, then I might be worried. But there is more than meets the eye. There is more to be seen.

What is there to see? I am looking to see what Daniel saw in Daniel 7:13-14 and 7:27.
"I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, and He came up to the Ancient of Days and was presented before Him. And to Him was given dominion, Glory and a kingdom, that all the peoples, nations, and men of every language might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion Which will not pass away; And His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed."

"Then the sovereignty, the dominion, and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the Highest One; His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all the dominions will serve and obey Him."

The Lord has allowed us to read the back of the book and see the end of the story. And the end of the story is… We Win!

That day is coming. That king is coming. And He comes for me, and He comes for you. Until that day I want to make every day count.  So, I count the days and make the days count, because right now counts forever!

I am not looking toward a Third-Great Awakening for America. It is possible that Lord in His mercy and kindness will allow us to regain our spiritual senses. It is possible that the church can become the pillar of truth for the culture again. That is after all how America was founded on the foundation of the Bible. But I don’t hold out hope that we shall see America return to its place of dominance and prominence. The reason is simple. As Alexis de Tocqueville reminded us; the strength of our country was found in the church and when the church is no longer strong the country will fall. It does not take much mental acuity to realize the church is staggering and stumbling and is starving for the word of God. There is truly a famine in the land.

But here is the good news. If you are reading Friday with Fred, I imagine that you also are the kind of person who is reading your Bible. And if that is true then you too know how the story ends. And if we can trust Him for the last hour then we can trust Him for the next minute.
Serving Him with you
until He comes for us,

August 13, 2021

The Flesh is Like an Oversized,
Under-Inflated Beachball--
 You can’t miss it. It’s easy to Throw Around, but it’s Very Difficult to Control.

I am not talking about body type or weight. I am talking about the traitor at the gate. I am talking about what Jeremiah described as, "The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. - Who can understand it?" (17:9)

Most Christians are inadequate and under construction in terms of their spiritual life. That is because there is too much flesh and not enough Spirit. This has to do with who governs their life. I’m sure we are all familiar with the Apostle Paul’s encouragement and exhortation to walk by the Spirit… be led by the Spirit… and be filled with the Spirit. But how do we do that?

Many people automatically leap to the letter of the law as they spring into legalism. They recite a ritual or reinstate rules or regulations to keep. It may be the 'nasty nine' or the 'dirty dozen' and for some, it is the 'terrible twenty.' But Legalism is Lethal! Our flesh likes rules because we mistakenly think we are made good and are good by keeping rules and regulations. But all too frequently we find ourselves saying what Paul said in Romans 7: The good that I wish, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not wish. (WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?) The law can never control the flesh.

Rules have a place in the Christian life. But fundamentally it is all about a relationship; a relationship with the Father, through the Son, empowered by the Spirit. (Eph 1:2-14) It is a Spirit-filled life, a Spirit-directed life, and a Spirit-controlled life that counteracts the flesh. As the Lord reminded Zechariah, It is not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit says the Lord. (Zech 4:6)

Serving Him with you
until He comes for us,

August 6, 2021

There Are Known Knowns
There are Known Unknowns and
 There are Unknown Unknowns
- The Late Donald Rumsfeld-

The longer I live the more I know what I do not know. I left the ranks of a sophomore (a wise - sophia fool - moron) a long time ago. One of the reasons for this awareness is that I work with some very knowledgeable people. I have come to the realization that not all minds are made alike. Some people just have a different gear they can shift into and leave me in the dust. And so, I do not try to compete with but to compliment my colleagues.

The fact that there are known unknowns and unknown unknowns might make us feel like we are living in a sea of uncertainty and a society of limitations. This could make us nervous. It should at least keep us humble and devoid of hubris. But for the Christian, we have a foundation of truth from the Father, a source of knowledge found in our Savior, and a spokesperson, the Holy Spirit, whom we experience as He indwells us moment by moment. Together, the triune God supplies divine wisdom. (Prov.1-2) . The world thinks we are the fools and they are wise, but in fact, it is just the opposite. (1 Cor. 1:18-20)

The Bible helps us to know many truths that seem to escape the world’s perception. In fact, the Bible also gives us insight into many known unknowns. But although we may not know all of the unknown unknowns, there is nothing unknown to the triune mind of God. (Psalm 139:1-12)   Although there are many secrets to the mind of man, the secret things belong to the Lord. (Deut. 29:29). He is fully aware, with full knowledge.

As Helmut Thielicke reminds us, “We may not know when He comes, but we know Who will come and He will come for us. And if we can trust Him for the last hour, then we can trust Him for the next minute.”  And that, we know!    

Serving Him with you
until He comes for us,