Expectations for the Harvest

Those who know the Lord would like to see everybody saved. However, the reality is that only a minority will be saved. From the parable of the sower, it would appear that only one of four types of earth would yield a good crop. But that would be well worth the combined sowing of all who spread God’s Word across the world. Starting with those who sow locally, adding those who sow when they travel and move about, and those who go as missionaries, how many multiplied millions of people have been rescued? What about someone whose ability to sow is very limited? If we introduce one or a few, if we win hundreds or thousands, these are all people who escape Hell and will enjoy the blessings of eternity with Jesus, in Heaven. If the combined sowing of all the sowers only yielded one person’s salvation, it would be worth it all! Our part, our assignment, is to sow the Word whenever and wherever we can. God will use that to produce a wonderful crop. Together, we can have a bountiful harvest. Sow the Word! “He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves (with him)” (Psalm 126:6). The hymn, “Bringing in the Sheaves”-By Knowles Shaw speaks of this wonderful time of bringing the harvest in: “SOWING in the morning, sowing seeds of kindness, sowing in the noontide and the dewy eves; waiting for the harvest and the time of reaping, we shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves. Sowing in the sunshine, sowing in the shadows, fearing neither clouds nor winter’s chilling breeze, by and by the harvest and the labour ended, we shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves. Go then, though with weeping, sowing for the Master, though the loss sustained our spirit often grieves; when our labour’s over, He will bid us welcome; we shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.” Selah! Some Christians think there is little or nothing they can  do. Don’t let the adversary trick you into believing that lie. You can spread the seed of God’s Word. Few seeds or many, God can and does use.   Ron

Questions? E-Mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com

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Seeding the Land

Sowing in Jesus’ day seems to have been just kind of a casting of it all around: “And when he sowed, some (seeds) fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: and when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: but other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold” (Matthew 13:4-8). The seed, as Jesus explained, is the Word of God. Today, just as then, we need to communicate the Word wherever we can. From this parable of Jesus, the reality is that most of that spreading of the Word is not going to produce the results we would like to see. However, by spreading the Word everywhere, there will be  a good harvest. We are not responsible for the results (God will work in His own way). We are responsible to spread the Word. P. P. Bliss, in his hymn, “Wonderful Words of Life” reminds us: “Sweetly echo the gospel call, wonderful words of life; offer pardon and peace to all, wonderful words of life; Jesus, only Savior, sanctify forever, Beautiful words, wonderful words, wonderful words of life; beautiful words, wonderful words, wonderful words of life.” Selah! The words we say may help but only as they help people understand what God is telling them in His Word.   Ron

Questions? E-Mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com

Getting the Ground Ready

In Jeremiah 4:3 and Hosea 10:12, we have the inspired admonition to “….break up your fallow ground.” Fallow ground is defined as soil that is unused or inactive. It hasn’t been prepared; it isn’t being prepared. We need to let God use us to get the ground ready. The ground that has to be prepared is in the hearts of people. It is true that some soil is found at times to be so good that it would nourish seeds that are just dropped into it. For example: God might have someone that he has been working in; you or I hand him or her a tract. They read it, the Holy Spirit waters it and it springs to life in this good ground. More often ground isn’t that good. So, how do we get it ready? Some ways might include a kind or helpful word, a thought provoking question, a helping hand, a genuine concern, some wise counsel, some tangible assistance, etc. God can use these things to open minds. The seeds (God’s Truths from His Word) reach the mind and may go all the way to the heart. When that heart (ground) opens, the seed takes root and life enters and begins to grow. This third stanza from, “Rescue the Perishing”- By Fanny Crosby suggests how caring might get the ground ready: “Down in the human heart, crushed by the tempter, feelings lie buried that grace can restore; touched by a loving heart, wakened by kindness, chords that are broken will vibrate once more.” Selah! Pray that God will show you some ground that He wants to use you to prepare. Have His “seed” ready to sow! Once the ground is ready, drop in the “seed.”   Ron

Questions? E-Mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com

“….with ALL your heart,” etc.

There is a verse that I have wrestled with; perhaps you have as well. It is this one: “….Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind.” (From Luke 10:27). This command is part of a “summing up” of God’s law. Since we can’t fully keep the law, Jesus had to fulfill it for us and what He did is credited to all who know Him as Lord and Savior. So, does this mean that we ignore this command and move on? Not at all! The problem is that there are so many things competing for the love of our hearts. There are no easy answers! One thing, however, is certain. Only by devoting a lot of our time to really learning more and more about Him, and spending much quality time with Him, will we make significant progress toward the high and holy goal of such fervent and grateful love. Perhaps a simple Gospel song has in it a key to loving Him like this: “I love Him better ev’ry day. I love Him better ev’ry day. CLOSE BY HIS SIDE I WILL ABIDE. I LOVE HIM BETTER EV’RY DAY!” (From “I Love Him Better Ev’ry Day”-By Thoro Harris). Selah! If we do not have within our hearts an increasingly strong desire to know Him more deeply and intimately, and we are not becoming more and more captivated by the wonder of His person and love, something is seriously wrong!   Ron

Questions? E-Mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com

Time for Wisdom

Suppose you knew that you only had one week to live; how would you use that small window of time? Our answer to that question says a lot about us. Would we “live it up” or would we try to use it wisely? We know, in our heads, that time is a gift that needs to  be carefully spent. However, our hearts often excuse unwise use of time. If Jesus is our Savior and Lord, we can be sure that we will have to give account of how we used our time. That could be uncomfortable or cause for rejoicing. Time can carry us in its flow or we can bring it under control in good measure. Scripture gives guidelines about  taking charge of our lives: “So teach (us) to number our days, that we may apply (our) hearts unto wisdom” (Psalm 90:12). “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness.” (From Matthew 6:33). “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:16). We need to plan our days and to schedule time, as well as prioritize its use. Someone might say: I can’t do this, it’s too hard.” A disciple will develop discipline. Yes, we make time to relax and rest, time for family and friends, time to labor and discharge our duties and responsibilities. First, though, we seek God’s wisdom from His Word each day. We seek to do our part to advance His Kingdom and we use time as a trust, a stewardship. We invest it to eternal ends. (See Scriptures above). Plan your day: God first! Then, build your schedule around your appointment with Him! (Don’t try to work Him into your schedule; that doesn’t work)! In order to deal with all demands, some things may have to be dispensed with. Don’t waste time, manage it. As I’ve mentioned in earlier blogs: “Beware of the barrenness of a busy life!” (Source unknown). As William D. Longstaff’s hymn, “Take Time to Be Holy” wisely counsels: “Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord; abide in Him always, and feed on His Word. Make friends of God’s children, help those who are weak, forgetting in nothing His blessing to seek. Take time to be holy, the world rushes on; spend much time in secret, with Jesus alone. By looking to Jesus, like Him thou shalt be; thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see. Take time to be holy, let Him be thy Guide; and run not before Him, whatever betide. In joy or in sorrow, still follow the Lord, and, looking to Jesus, still trust in His Word. Take time to be holy, be calm in thy soul, each thought and each motive beneath His control. Thus led by His Spirit to fountains of love, thou soon shalt be fitted for service above.” Selah! The only time that can count for eternity is “NOW!”  Ron

Questions? E-Mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com

Accompanied By Royalty

Suppose you were called into the presence of the king of a great country. You are free to just be yourself. You are allowed an unusually long period of time to visit with and to talk with each other. What a wonderful time, wouldn’t you think? You get ready to leave and the King asks where you are going when you leave. You tell him that you plan to take a walk. His response: “I’d like to take a walk; let me join you.” As you stroll together, he gives you a wonderful and informative guide to the country and shares his plans for his people. He tells you, as one of his people, of many ways in which you can be blessed while living in his kingdom. As a result, you are grateful to the king and enjoy the privileges of being under his reign. Let me take this one step further: did I mention that the king is your father? Consider these timely words from Romans 14:17. “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” Our Father is the Almighty King! He is always with us. We walk in His Presence; He even watches over our sleep! “Days are filled with gladness, nights are filled with song, walking the King’s highway; and the world grows brighter, as we pass along, walking the King’s highway. Music from the homeland fills me with delight, walking the King’s highway; visions of the glory break upon my sight, walking the King’s highway. Crown’d with tender mercies, guarded by His love, walking the King’s highway; Jesus gives a foretaste of the joys above, walking the King’s highway.  Walking, walking in the King’s highway, walking the King’s highway to the place of many mansions, I shall come at last, walking the King’s highway.” (“Days are Filled with Gladness, Nights are Filled with Song”-By A. H. Ackley). Selah! If Jesus is our Lord and Savior, we are always accompanied by the ultimate Royalty!   Ron

Questions? E-Mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com

Over Habituated?

I just read something interesting in a novel. Two boys were into mischief. They arranged for an alarm clock to go off, over a microphone, right after the Scripture reading about: “Awake, thou that sleepest.” It caused a commotion in the service. People’s attention was captured; some that were sleeping woke up. This highlights a very present lack in our experience of Jesus. Are we just going through the motions? Are we spiritual automatons? Are we simply over habituated, or are we intensely into the wonder of personal involvement with Jesus and thrilled with the implications of such a relationship? Is our experience of conversion authentic? If so, has it become sterile? Or, do these thoughts from Romans 12:11-12 define us? “….fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer.” Do we have the will, the determination, the strength of purpose to “break the mold, to enter into a robust daily joy and pleasure in our experience of Jesus as our Lord and Savior? Let’s break the “form” and get down to business! Avis B. Christiansen seems to have done this and in her hymn, “It is Glory Just to Walk with Him,” she musically relates her experience: “It is glory just to walk with Him Whose blood has ransomed me; it is rapture for my soul each day. It is joy divine to feel Him near where’er my path may be. Bless the Lord, it’s glory all the way. It is glory when the shadows fall, to know that He is near. Oh, what joy to simply trust and pray! It is glory to abide in Him when skies above are clear. Yes, with Him, it’s glory all the way! ‘Twill be glory when I walk with Him on Heaven’s golden shore, never from His side again to stray. Twill be glory, wondrous glory with the Saviour evermore, everlasting glory all the way! It is glory just to walk with Him. It is glory just to walk with Him. He will guide my steps aright, thro’ the vale and o’er the height. It is glory just to walk with Him.” Selah! The Christian life is not a boring habit that we must pursue; it is a glorious adventure through life with the living Jesus, all the way to the greatest experience any human being could ever know! Enjoy the abundance (John 10:10)!   Ron

Questions? E-Mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com