What Power?

Paul’s inspired testimony to the church at Rome is found in Romans 1:16. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” The key idea in this verse is that the gospel impact is powerful! I wonder how many lives have been impacted by the gospel message. Whenever and wherever this message has been shared it has led to the transformation of a huge number of lives. However, it has also brought powerful conviction to those who resist. Even today when the message goes forth, and when the whole Word of God is expounded and taught, it impresses its authority and truth on all, even when resisted. Matthew 7:29 tells us that people were impressed with Jesus’ teaching because: “….He taught them as (one) having authority.” When the Holy Spirit uses God’s Word, Jesus is speaking today! In Hebrews 1:2, we are told that God: “hath in these last days spoken unto us by (His) Son.” Whenever the Word of God enters our hearing, even when resisted or rejected, Jesus is speaking today! P. P. Bliss’ hymn, “Wonderful Words of Life” musically underscores this power of Jesus’ speaking: “Sing them over again to me, wonderful words of life; let me more of their beauty see, wonderful words of life. Words of life and beauty, teach me faith and duty. Christ, the blessed One, gives to all wonderful words of life; sinner, list to the loving call, wonderful words of life; all so freely given, wooing us to heaven. 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! As we share the Word of God, we are His channels through which He speaks to people today. Ron

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

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Quick Recognition

Too many Christians wouldn’t recognize error if it came up to them and introduced itself! Having seldom disciplined themselves to do a thorough and exhaustive study of God’s Word, they are easy prey for a person with charisma, wit and a good voice. They are accustomed to responding emotionally, without critical thought. Only as we study God’s Truth intensely and faithfully will we escape entrapment. This excerpt from I John 4:6 mentions two spirits (not attitudes or options) who are diametrically opposed to each other: “….the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.“ The spirit of error is none other than Satan, the father of lies. Paul speaks of him as, “….the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.”(From Ephesians 2:2). The opposing Spirit is none other than the Holy Spirit Who is spoken of in John 16:13. “….when He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He will guide you into all Truth.” So, one of the most effective ways to be sure that Jesus is truly our Savior and Lord is that we are constantly drawn into His “Word of Truth.” Careful, critical and constant devotional study of the Scriptures will give quick recognition of error. Psalm 119:130a informs us that: “The entrance of Thy Words giveth light.” That light exposes error! This stanza from, “Thy Word is to My Feet a Lamp, The Way of Truth to Show” (Author Unknown) speaks of steadfast study of and commitment to God’s Truth: “Thy Word is to my feet a lamp, the way of Truth to show; a watch-light to point out the path in which I ought to go.” Selah! Let God’s Word so permeate your mind and heart that you will spot error a mile away. Always walk in Truth!  Ron

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

Who’s in Charge?

There is something deeply rooted in the nature we received from our original ancestor, Adam. I will decide to do what I want to do. God told Eve not to eat of the fruit of the one tree. Listening to the “serpent,” she ate and Adam ate. She chose her authority over God’s, as did Adam. We can read the account and think she should have known better. But, how often do we decide what to do or not do without regard to what God says? The true Christian, one who knows Jesus as Lord and Savior, is learning to submit to His authority and to refuse to be his or her own authority. As we grow Spiritually, more and more it will become, “….not I, but Christ.” I think a strong case can be made for how this works when we come to receive Jesus. I believe that our initial desire and determination is going to be that of Paul’s when he came to Christ: “….Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? (From Acts 8:6). Little by little, we come to be able to honestly sing, “Have Thine Own Way, Lord! Have Thine own way! Thou art the potter, I am the clay. Mold me and make me after Thy will, while I am waiting, yielded and still. Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way! Search me and try me, Master today! Wash me just now, Lord, wash me just now, as in Thy presence humbly I bow. Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way! Wounded and weary, help me I pray! Power, all power, surely is Thine! Touch me and heal me, Savior divine! Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way! Hold o’er my being absolute sway. Fill with Thy Spirit till all shall see Christ only, always, living in me!” (“Have Thine Own Way, Lord”-By Adelaide A. Pollard).  Selah! Maturing Spiritually is when, more and more, our control gives way to trusting His control and we learn to increasingly yield to His.   Ron

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

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

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

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

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

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

Questions? E-mail at knowingtheway1@gmail.com

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

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