The “Presence” of God

We make a strong emphasis on faith and correct doctrine and that is as it should be. However, has God Himself  become real to us who have truly undergone the new birth? Do we confine Him to the truth found in print on paper? Correct belief and authentic faith are intended to take us from the page to the Person. In Acts 17:28, Paul gave us this inspired Truth: “….For in Him we live, and move, and have our being.” He is with us 24/7! In fact, if Jesus is truly our Lord and Savior, we are enveloped in God! “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body...” (From I Corinthians 12:13a). He is “there” in our churches; He is “there” in our sleep; He is “there” in our thoughts; He is “there” in our occupations; He is “there” in our relationships; He is “there” in our service, etc. He knows our thoughts, motives, hearts; He hears our speech; He is aware of our conduct, etc. Are you, am I, consciously aware of His “Presence?” Or, have we confined Him to facts only? It’s high time to move beyond knowing Truth with our minds to the reality of His Presence! Consider these thoughts expressed musically in John E. Bodes hymn, “O Jesus, I Have Promised.” He wrote: “ O Jesus, I have promised to serve Thee to the end; be Thou forever near me, my Master and my Friend; I shall not fear the battle if Thou art by my side, nor wander from the pathway if Thou wilt be my guide. O let me feel Thee near me, the world is ever near; I see the sights that dazzle, the tempting sounds I hear; my foes are ever near me, around me and within; but, Jesus, draw Thou nearer, and shield my soul from sin. O let me hear Thee speaking in accents clear and still, above the storms of passion, the murmurs of self-will; O speak to reassure me, to hasten or control; O speak, and make me listen,  Thou Guardian of my soul. O Jesus, Thou hast promised to all who follow Thee, that where Thou art in glory, there shall Thy servant be; and, Jesus, I have promised to serve Thee to the end; O give me grace to follow, my Master and my Friend. O Jesus, Thou hast promised to all who follow Thee, that where Thou art in glory, there shall Thy servant be; and, Jesus, I have promised to serve Thee to the end; O give me grace to follow, my Master and my Friend.” Selah! Are you increasingly, and more and more intensely, aware that you are really “In His Presence?” Don’t settle for less!   Ron

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

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Knowledge Plus Wisdom

Knowledge alone can fail us. It can be wrong or incomplete. It can be from unreliable or misguided people. True wisdom is the gift that God gives us to discern the difference between true and false knowledge. This kind of wisdom comes only from constant exposure to the Truth of the Bible. How do we know if it’s true wisdom? First and foremost, it’s when we learn how we can know that all Scripture is inspired by God Knowledge Plus WisdomHimself. There is plentiful evidence that the Word of God is a supernatural revelation given by God to mankind. It’s internal testimony is found in II Timothy 3:16-17 which declares: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” It can be validated in our minds, hearts and lives by entering into a personal, saving relationship with Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Proverbs 2:6-7a explains the source of genuine wisdom: “For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of His mouth (cometh) knowledge and understanding. He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous….” Giving ourselves to Him, taking His gift of eternal life (His own life), and feeding on and applying His Word will conclusively prove the wonder of His wisdom and knowledge. James M. Gray gave us a hymn, “There is Wisdom That Gold Cannot Buy.” Weigh its truth: “There is wisdom that gold cannot buy, nor may silver be weighed for its price; nor will onyx and ruby, or crystal and pearl, precious jewels or coral suffice. Thro’ the land of the living we search, and we sound in the depths of the sea; but the breadth and the depth ne’er respond to our quest, where the secret of wisdom may be. And we ask of the birds of the air, of the wind, and the lightning on high; but the rumor and fame and the mention thereof, only flash from the clouds of the sky. In the fear of the Lord it is found, in departing from evil and sin; in receiving the Saviour, the Wisdom of God, doth the way into wisdom begin. Where shall wisdom be found? And the place of understanding, who can know?  Behold! the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to depart from evil is understanding.” Selah! “Knowledge is seeing life from God’s point of view; wisdom is responding to life from God’s point of view; grace is the ability God gives us to respond to life from His point of view.” (Approximate quote from Institute in Basic Life Principles Basic Seminar).     Ron

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

 

What An Inheritance!

Those who have become children of God by turning themselves over to Jesus as their Lord and Savior have an inheritance that far exceeds anything anyone on earth has ever inherited. Let me begin by sharing Hebrews 1:1-2. It tells us: “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by (His) Son, Whom He hath appointed heir of all things.” Jesus inherited all things! Now, consider Romans 8;16-17 which says, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with (Him), that we may be also glorified together.” This is why Paul, in I Corinthians 3:21-23 could tell us: Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; and ye are Christ’s; and Christ (is) God’s.” Add to that, I Peter 1:3-4. Peter exclaims: “Blessed (be) the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you.” Eden Reeder Latta’s hymn, “I’m a Child of the King, Who is Mightier Far,” gives musical voice to our glorious inheritance: “I’m a child of the King, Who is mightier far than the kings of this world, in their palaces are. I’m a child of the King; what a wonderful thing!  I’m a child of the King. I’m a child of the King, Who has conquered the grave, I’m a child of the King, Who is mighty to save! I’m a child of the King,what a wonderful thing! I’m a child of the King. I’m a child of the King; and His majesty own! I’m a child of the King, and an heir to the throne! I’m a child of the King,what a wonderful thing! I’m a child of the King. I’m a child of the King! What a wonderful thing!  I’m a child of the heavenly King!  Oh, His love I’ll ever sing, and I’ll make His praises ring! I’m a child of the King.” Selah! A magnificently wonderful future for His children; a horrible fate for those who never receive Jesus! Whether we are heirs or outcasts hinges on our reception or rejection of Jesus and His graciously offered salvation!   Ron

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

What a Place!-Part Three

It staggers the imagination! Not only is this “place” free of all sin and evil; not only is it a “place” where love is real, present, pure and shared, it is a place where no suffering of any kind exists! Revelation 21:4 explains: “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” This is a “place” without disease, hospitals, suffering, death, undertakers, funerals, cemeteries, fears, worry, stress, aches or pain, etc. This is the “forever” dwelling prepared for all who have received Jesus as Savior and Lord. There, we’ll come to know and interact with Jesus in a way that transcends anything we have been blessed to experience here. Fanny J. Crosby, in her hymn, “My Savior First of All,” expresses anticipation shared by all genuine Christians: “I shall know Him, I shall know Him, and redeemed by His side I shall stand; I shall know Him, I shall know Him by the print of the nails in His hand. Oh, the soul-thrilling rapture when I view His blessed face, and the luster of His kindly beaming eye; how my full heart will praise Him for the mercy, love and grace, that prepared for me a mansion in the sky. Oh, the dear ones in glory how they beckon me to come, and our parting at the river I recall; to the sweet vales of Eden they will sing my welcome home, but I long to meet my Savior first of all. Thro’ the gates to the city in a robe of spotless white, He will lead me where no tears will ever fall; in the glad song of ages I shall mingle with delight, but I long to meet my Savior first of all. I shall know Him, I shall know Him, and redeemed by His side I shall stand; I shall know Him, I shall know Him by the print of the nails in His hand.” Selah! There are many places to live on earth but only two in eternity: Heaven for all who have truly received Jesus and trusted His atoning sacrifice, Hell for all who have rejected Him! If you haven’t received Him, you could lose the opportunity in a single moment. Make a wise choice while you can! Receive or reject, your eternal destiny hangs on which one you do!   Ron

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

What a Place!-Part Two

Yesterday, we mentioned some things missing from this wonderful “place” like lies, deceit, death, danger, etc. I’d like to add some more things today. Starting with lies and deceit, consider the absence of swearing, profanity, “dirty” talk, gossiping, backbiting, hateful speech, sinful anger, guilt, loneliness, rejection, insults, etc. What a “place” to be in forever! That’s what awaits all who know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. These blessings are ours because of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. We don’t come to Him to gain this “place” – we enjoy this “place” as one of His love gifts to His own. Jesus prayed for His disciples In John 17:20, plus some others: “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word. In Verse 24, we have one thing He asked the Father for: “Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am; that they may behold My glory, which Thou hast given Me: for Thou lovedst Me before the foundation of the world.” All of the wonderful things about this “place” pale in comparison to Jesus and His glory! Carrie Ellis Breck, in her hymn, “Face to Face With Christ My Savior,” musically catches some of the wonder of seeing Jesus face to face: “Face to face with Christ my Savior, face to face–what will it be when with rapture I behold Him, Jesus Christ who died for me? Only faintly now I see Him with the darkened veil between, but a blessed day is coming  when His glory shall be seen. What rejoicing in His presence, when are banished grief and pain; when the crooked ways are straightened and the dark things shall be plain. Face to face–oh, blissful moment!  Face to face–to see and know; face to face with my Redeemer, Jesus Christ who loves me so. Face to face I shall behold Him, far beyond the starry sky; face to face in all His glory, I shall see Him by and by!” Selah! Jesus’ love and glory is what makes Heaven, “Heaven!”   Ron

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

What a Place!-Part One

As you read about this place, you might think of a real estate salesman extolling the wonders of the property, the scenery, the location, the home and the price.  However, this “place” exceeds the wildest flights of fancy on the part of the most accomplished sales agent. And… it’s real! Its builder is working on it right now and He is building a perfect “place.” Everything about it is perfect: the beauty, the location, the dwelling. The cost cannot be calculated but, praise God, it is paid for in full! Only those who have received Jesus as Savior and Lord will live there and they will live there forever! For today (more coming, God willing) think on this: no disease, death, hospitals, crime, juvenile delinquency, no prisons, jails, no police (not needed), no lawyers to defend or prosecute you, no drug addictions, no lies, deceit, dangers, etc. It is a perfect “place” with perfect people! And the Builder, the One Who purchased it for His own at infinite cost, will be loved, adored, praised and exalted. Are you on your way there? Rejoice! Are you headed in the opposite direction? Turn around while you can! Receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior and reverse direction. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:9-10). Here is the guarantee for all who have received Him: “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if (it were) not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, (there) ye may be also” (John 14:2-3). Sanford Fillmore Bennett gave us the hymn, “In the Sweet By and By.” In it, he reminds us: “There’s a land that is fairer than day, and by faith we can see it afar; for the Father waits over the way to prepare us a dwelling place there. We shall sing on that beautiful shore the melodious songs of the blest, and our spirits shall sorrow no more, not a sigh for the blessing of rest. To our bountiful Father above,  we will offer our tribute of praise for the glorious gift of His love, and the blessings that hallow our days. In the sweet by and by, we shall meet on that beautiful shore; in the sweet by and by, we shall meet on that beautiful shore.” Selah! He has gone to prepare our “place” for us. Meanwhile, the Holy Spirit, using God’s Word, prepares us for the “place.”   Ron

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

Brief Mission; Permanent Results

 

If we have received Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we have been given a mission. We are on assignment! And most, if not all of us, probably need to shift focus. That is to say, instead of looking at the cost, effort, struggle, suffering, stress and sacrifice, we need to focus on when the mission is accomplished. If we don’t grasp the fact that the mission is brief, we could lose heart and lose sight of what follows the completion of the mission. For perspective, imagine you were given a very difficult and trying job for two years that would severely tax you physically, mentally, financially and emotionally. However, after you finished, you would be taken care of and have all of your needs met for the rest of your life. Most would accept the job and carry it out. This is a poor comparison because when we serve the Lord for a few years, we are fully taken care of forever, with benefits and blessings that no human employer could ever provide. Paul carried out this kind of mission at extreme cost and what did he have to say about what it cost him? In II Corinthians 4:17, Paul’s “take” on this is recorded: “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding (and) eternal weight of glory.” Paul lived what Alfred B. Smith prayed in his gospel song, “With Eternity’s Values in View.” This is the prayer; let’s make it ours: “With eternity’s values in view, Lord, with eternity’s values in view–may I do each day’s work for Jesus with eternity’s values in view.” Selah! Think! God uses us for a short time, and we are blessed and perfected forever! In His Presence, forever! Sin, pain, disease and death, banished forever! Rejoice!!      Ron

 

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