Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Meditate on These Things!

Philippians 4:8  Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
The Ugliness of September 11, 2011
Today as I am writing this meditation, we are being reminded of the terrible tragedy known as 911.  My wife had seen the first airplane fly into the world trade center that morning on TV and came to tell me that there had been a terrible accident.  As we together watched the second plane fly into that structure, we realized that this was no accident.  This was the result of man’s inhumanity to man.  This was the proof that there really is a Satan, an evil destroyer.  People may not believe in a good God, but logic requires us to believe in a diabolical adversary that wants to kill and destroy.  We as a nation played right into the hands of this deceiver by going to war and killing multitudes of innocent people in Iraq so that this wouldn’t happen again.  But did we win?  Events of the last few years indicate that all we did was upset the balance of power in the Mideast and cause millions of people to resent the United States.  This meditation is not a commentary on whether we should have gone to war.  I am just stating the facts that Satan managed to take multitudes into his infernal eternity.  As a result of 911 and the subsequent wars we have a very unstable world with some people fleeing evil regimes and with other people determined to stamp out both the US and Israel.
The Problem of Men Using Religion
Obviously the real tragedy that morning was to see men who didn’t care who they hurt in order to accomplish their political goals.  The real tragedy is that men use religions to control people rather than using religion as a means of serving others.  Today we are being asked to “remember” the events of 911.  But in remembering those evets we are focusing on hatred that goes back thousands of years in the Mideast.  We are focusing on ugliness.
Things We Cannot Forget
There are things in life that we will never be able to forget.  For example, I remember the death of my six week old sister because she had come down with whooping cough.  I remember the death of President Kennedy in November of 1963 and the explosion of the space ship Challenger in January of 1986.  These are things that I remember that I wish I could forget.  And I think that is why Paul tries to direct our attention to something better.  He wants us to think on things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, and of good report.  He wants us to think about virtue, that is about things are good. He wants us to think on things that are worthy of praise or things that we can approve or commend.  Is there anything or anyone in this life that we can think about that meets these qualifications?
Yes, we can think about the Lord Jesus.  I know that people criticize God as revealed in the Old Testament as being cruel, and some even criticize God as revealed in the New Testament for sending His Son to the cross.  Any criticism of God is a criticism of the Lord because in Him dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily (Colossians 2:9).  He is the Word that expresses God and as the Word, He is God (John 1:1, 14).  But He was full of grace and truth (John 1:14).  All the virtues of Philippians 4:8 are seen in Him.  He healed, He fed, He taught, and He stilled storms.  He always did those things that pleased the Father.  He didn’t ask his disciples to die for Him, He died for His disciples and for us.  When we think of the cross, again we see the inhumanity and cruelty of men energized by Satan.  But when we see the Lord, we see grace, mercy, compassion, and love.  If Christ wasn’t who He claimed to be, He shouldn’t have been crucified.  He should have been institutionalized.  If He was who He claimed to be (and He was), He should have been crowned with a Victor’s crown, not with a crown of thorns.
Thinking about 911 is depressing.  Thinking about the crucifixion is also depressing until we understand it’s God-given purpose.  But thinking about the Lord who suffered and died to save ME is praiseworthy.   No one else has “had my back” like the Lord has.   I am going to “meditate on these things.”
Bruce Collins
Meditation for the week of September 13, 2015

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