Incorrect Label

When we consider a purchase, we expect the contents to be what the label says they are. If the contents don’t match the label, we are “turned off.” We don’t want labels that deceive us. How many folk project an image of being Godly but do not have the contents? Jesus rebuked this kind of deception. In Matthew 23:27, He exposed this kind of hypocrisy: “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead (men’s) bones, and of all uncleanness.” If we try to project an image of being Godly without actually being Godly, can we learn from their fatal refusal to change and let God change us inside into being genuinely Godly? God, the Holy Spirit, using God’s Word can create true Godliness, if we study His Word, apply it and obey it, depending on His enabling. May our honest prayer be that found in, “Let the Beauty of Jesus”-by Albert Orsborn: “Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me, all His wonderful passion and purity, O thou Spirit divine, all my nature refine, till the beauty of Jesus be seen in me.” Selah! If we have truly embraced Jesus as Lord and Savior, He will have credited us with His Holiness and then He has been at work in our hearts, minds and emotions to develop holiness in our words, thoughts and deeds.   Ron

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Ignoring Jesus?

No Christian would intentionally ignore Jesus. However, could we ignore Him without realizing that we are doing it? Let’s examine this some. Imagine that somehow Abraham Lincoln was restored to life and he was standing in your living room. You have studied his life and he has impressed you greatly. In fact, you’re reading about him while He’s right beside you. But you are so engrossed with what you are reading and thinking about him that you don’t look up and see him. Now, all that is pure fiction, but when it comes to Jesus, He is far closer to you than the imaginary presence of Lincoln. Everyone who truly knows Jesus as Lord and Savior has Jesus present within themselves (their inner being, their heart). And, don’t forget, He will never leave. He promised: “….He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” (From Hebrews 13:5). Did you know that promise reads the same way backwards? Thee forsake nor thee leave, never will I! So instead of seeing Jesus as an amazing historical Person only, use your eyes of faith and see Him up very close and present and relate to Him in a loving, worshipping and personal way. He’s right there! Mrs. C. H. Morris’ hymn, “Sweeter As the Years Go By,” gives us a musical expression of the wonder of His constant Presence: “Of Jesus’ love that sought me when I was lost in sin–of wondrous grace that brought me back to His fold again–of heights and depths of mercy far deeper than the sea, and higher than the heavens, my theme shall ever be. He trod in old Judea life’s pathway long ago–the people thronged about Him His saving grace to know; He healed the brokenhearted and caused the blind to see; and still His great heart yearneth in love for even me. ’Twas wondrous love which led Him for us to suffer loss–to bear without a murmur the anguish of the cross; with saints redeemed in glory, let us our voices raise, till heav’n and earth re-echo with our Redeemer’s praise. Sweeter as the years go by, sweeter as the years go by; richer, fuller, deeper, Jesus’ love is sweeter, sweeter as the years go by.” Selah! If you know him, enjoy him now, while you wait for when you’ll see Him face to face!     Ron

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From the Page to the Person

Imagine that you are told of someone amazing. You are told all about him. You learn about his character. You are told of his care for and love of others. Many incidents from his life are shared with you. Others, whom you trust, have watched this man and he has been a huge blessing to them. He has given of himself over and over to meet people’s needs. He has done it for decent people and wholly undeserving people. He’s the most unselfish, kind, and generous person you have ever heard of. From the volume of information you have been given and from fully reliable testimony, you believe firmly everything you’ve heard or read about him. But, you have never met him in person! Isn’t that just the way lots of folks relate to Jesus? We believe the Sacred Record; we would intensely defend all it says; we would share the content with others; we would keep learning more and more of Jesus and His’ followers. The serious question is: have we moved from the page to the Person? In John 5:39, Jesus challenged the Jews to: “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me.” He then went on to pinpoint the problem: “….and ye will not come to Me.” (From Verse 40). Is our exposure to Jesus like that? Certainly we need the page, but then we need to come to really know the Person. I see this in this excerpt from “More About Jesus,” by E. E. Hewitt: “More about Jesus in His Word, holding communion with my Lord; hearing His voice in ev’ry line, making each faithful saying mine.” Selah! We need the Book to know about Jesus and then to always go from the Book to the One the Book is all about!        Ron

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What a Friend!

A true friend is a priceless gift! Sad indeed it is, when we have no true friends. When we come to Jesus and receive His gift of salvation and own Him as Lord and Savior, He becomes the most wonderful friend any human being can have. This Friend will never fail us! He is the One who lives out all that the Bible says about a real friend and does it perfectly. Here are some examples: He loves at all times (Proverbs 17:17). He sticks by us even more than a brother (Proverbs 18:24). He will hurt us, if He knows that it will help us (Proverbs 27:6). He laid down His life for us (John 15:13). Earthly friends can and may fail us but Jesus never will! Arthur A. Luther gave us the hymn, “Jesus Never Fails.” The opening stanza speaks of Jesus’ unfailing friendship: “Earthly friends may prove untrue, doubts and fears assail; One still loves and cares for you, One Who will not fail.” Even when He denies us something, it is because He knows that doing so is for our good. He truly knows best! Selah! If you don’t have a single friend, you can have a perfect friend, forever if you know Him. His name is Jesus! What a Friend!! Ron

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The Heart of the Gospel

The Gospel, the GREATEST good news ever given to a fallen world, is not simply an historical announcement, it is the Person of Jesus, Himself! He, not just the astonishing historical event, is the heart of the Gospel! And….He still is! Paul’s inspired letter to the Corinthian Christians gives us the record in I Corinthians 15:3-4. Read it carefully: “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures.” First, note that Christ died! Next, it was to pay for all sin(s)! It is applied to all who receive Him as Savior and Lord! He died! Three days, His body lay in the tomb. Then, Jesus returned to life! If someone you knew was dead and buried and you went to visit his or her grave site and found them standing there and speaking to you, what would be your reaction? That’s what happened to some of His followers! We make a serious mistake if we think of this as only long ago and far away! That same Person Who made Himself known to a lot of people is still making Himself known to all who come to Him today and trust Him for salvation. They bow at the Cross in grateful surrender to Him as Lord of their lives. At that point, they have Him present in their lives and beings, forever! J. Wilbur Chapman’s hymn, “One Day,” sums it up in the chorus: “Living, He loved me; dying, He saved me; buried, He carried My sins far away; rising He justified freely forever: one day He’s coming– O glorious day!” However, one very important thing is not mentioned: He is with His own now 24/7! If you know Him, have you really grasped that wonderful truth of His Presence with you now? Selah! The historical record is to inform us; the Holy Spirit reveals His Presence with His own, NOW! That IS Good News!  Ron

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The Trip of a Lifetime!

Only physical life begins at birth. Then, there is a “soul life.” Physical life gives us self consciousness; “soul life” gives us world consciousness. There is no spiritual life! Spiritual life enters our being when we are born again from above. At that moment, the trip of a lifetime begins! We become God’s; we are adopted as His children and heirs. From that moment on, He is there for us 24/7. He is our Guide, our Companion, our Counselor, our Guardian, our Teacher, our Trainer, etc. and He is leading us home. On the way, He calls our attention to all His wonderful works and uses us in various and vital ways. As we follow His leading, we get closer and closer to home. In His perfect timing, “….so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (From II Peter 1:11). If we have applied and obeyed His Word in our lives and have learned to do this more and more, we can expect to hear Him say, “Well done!” Fanny Crosby enjoyed the trip of a lifetime, even though she was blind. (A person who is blind from birth and comes to Jesus may find, at the end of the trip, that Jesus will be the first Person he or she has ever seen). Fanny describes her trip (and ours, if we know Jesus) in her hymn, “All the Way My Savior Leads Me,” in these words: “All the way my Savior leads me, what have I to ask beside? Can I doubt His tender mercy, Who through life has been my Guide? Heav’nly peace, divinest comfort, here by faith in Him to dwell! For I know, whate’er befall me, Jesus doeth all things well; for I know, whate’er befall me, Jesus doeth all things well. All the way my Savior leads me, cheers each winding path I tread, gives me grace for every trial, feeds me with the living Bread. Though my weary steps may falter and my soul athirst may be, gushing from the Rock before me, Lo! A spring of joy I see; gushing from the Rock before me, Lo! A spring of joy I see. All the way my Savior leads me, Oh, the fullness of His love! perfect rest to me is promised in my Father’s house above. When my spirit, clothed immortal, wings its flight to realms of day this my song through endless ages: Jesus led me all the way; this my song through endless ages: Jesus led me all the way.” Selah! While the redeemed enjoy Heaven forever, all the lost face a fate so horrible that there are no adequate words to describe it.   Ron

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The Touch of God

Guest Article-By Dr. A. W. Tozer (From: “The Divine Conquest”)

Think this one through!  Ron

Some who desire to be teachers of the Word, but who understand neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm, insist upon “naked” faith as the only way to know spiritual things. By this they mean a conviction of the trustworthiness of the Word of God (a conviction, it may be noted, which the devils also share with them). But the man who has been taught even slightly by the Spirit of truth will rebel at this perversion. His language will be, “I have heard Him and observed Him. What have I to do anymore with idols?” For he cannot love a God Who is no more than a deduction from a text. He will crave to know God with a vital awareness that goes beyond words, and to live in the intimacy of personal communion. “To seek  our divinity merely in books and writings is to seek the living among the dead; we do but in vain many times seek God in these, where His truth too often is not so much enshrined as entombed. He is best discerned by an intellectual touch of Him. We must see with our eyes, and hear with our ears, and our hands must handle of the word of life.” Nothing can take the place of the touch of God in the soul and the sense of Someone there. Real faith, indeed, brings such realization, for real faith is never the operation of reason upon texts. Where the truth is, the knowledge of God will be given as a fact of consciousness altogether apart from the conclusions of logic.

   Were a man to awaken in the pitch dark at midnight and hear someone moving about in his room, and know the unseen presence was a loved member of his family who had every right to be there, his heart might be filled with a quiet pleasure; but should he have reason to believe that an intruder had entered, perhaps to rob or kill, he would lie in terror and stare at the darkness not knowing from which direction the expected blow might come. But the difference between experience and no experience would be that acute sense of someone there. Is it not that for most of us who call ourselves Christians there is no real experience? We have substituted theological ideas for an  arresting encounter; we are full of religious notions, but our great weakness is that for our hearts there is no one there.

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