Fully Exposed!

Ever since Adam and Eve “fell” in the Garden of Eden, mankind has tried to avoid being exposed as wrong, sinful, shameful and evil, etc. In fact, Jesus, in John 3:19, gave a scathing indictment of mankind’s attempt to cover up their sinfulness: “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” Make no mistake; every wrong thing will be exposed: sin(s) false values, motives, attitudes, corrupt speech, impure thoughts and all else! Jesus, in another parable, speaks of the purpose of light: “And He said unto them, Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a candlestick? For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad. If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.” (Mark 4:21-23). Imagine a movie camera taking a picture of all your thoughts, words, deeds and failures and you will have some idea of being fully exposed. Nothing will escape God’s penetrating exposure. However, for a child of God, Psalm 103:12 tells us that: “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us.” All who know Jesus as Savior and Lord, will be evaluated for rewards or loss of rewards, but their sin(s) will never meet them as far as their eternal destiny is concerned, because: “Calvary covers it all, my past with its sin and stain; my guilt and despair Jesus took on Him there, and Calvary covers it all” (“Calvary Covers It All,” By Mrs. Walter G. Taylor). Selah! Jesus brings conviction for our sins so that we will turn from them. When we turn to Him and receive His salvation, He enables us to turn more and more away from our sinning until one day we will be completely free of sin.    Ron

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

 

What About Results?

One of the saddest facts that we, who know the Lord, must face is that many will never be saved! Jesus used the parable of the sower to bring His disciples an awareness of this tragic reality. We find His explanation in Mark 4:10-20: “And when He was alone, they that were about Him with the twelve asked of Him the parable, and He said unto them, ‘Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: that seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.’ And He said unto them, ‘Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?’ The sower soweth the Word. And these are they by the way side, where the Word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the Word that was sown in their hearts. And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the Word, immediately receive it with gladness; and have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the Word’s sake, immediately they are offended. And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the Word, and the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful. And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the Word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.” First, the Word is used in all four groups. The first group heard. Before they thought on it, Satan distracted their minds away from the Word. The second group have hard hearts. They get emotionally stirred but have no roots. At the first instance of persecution, they “jump ship.” The third group hear but cares, riches and wrong desires choke the Word and they bear no fruit, showing that salvation didn’t “take.” The fourth group is “good ground” and they bring forth fruit in various amounts. These are the truly born again ones. Which kind are we? “Almost Persuaded,” By P. P. Bliss speaks to the difference between those who are genuine and those who are not: “Almost persuaded,” now to believe; “almost persuaded,” Christ to receive; seems now some soul to say, “go, Spirit, go Thy way, some more convenient day on Thee I’ll call.” “Almost persuaded,” harvest is past! “Almost persuaded,” doom comes at last! “Almost” cannot avail; “almost” is but to fail! sad, sad, that bitter wail, “almost,” but lost!” Selah!” Only “the minority” experience true conversion. For all, nothing is as important as being sure that we are part of “that minority!”  Ron

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

Challenging His Listeners

Jesus told stories about familiar things. However, it wasn’t just to be a storyteller. He was teaching and motivating them to do some thinking. These parables He gave had a purpose. Sometimes that purpose was an admonition, a principle, even a warning. One of these parables is found in Mark 4:1-9: “And He began again to teach by the sea side: and there was gathered unto Him a great multitude, so that He entered into a ship, and sat in the sea; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land. And He taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in His doctrine, ‘hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow: and it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up. And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth: but when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit. And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred. And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” This parable explained the experience of sowing the seed and the possible results of sowing. Buried in this lesson is a personal application. Later, Jesus explains this lesson to His disciples. We’ll look at that tomorrow, God willing. Knowles Shaw’s hymn, “Bringing in the Sheaves,” offers some good thoughts on this parable: “Sowing in the morning, sowing seeds of kindness, sowing in the noontide and the dewy eve, 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 labor ended, we shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves. Going forth with weeping, sowing for the Master, tho’ the loss sustained our spirit often grieves; when our weeping’s over, He will bid us welcome, we shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.” Selah! No Christian is exempt from sowing!  Ron

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

A Very Special Family

One of God’s greatest gifts is a good family. Many are blessed with a family like this; too many are not. If you are one of the latter, why not purpose that in the future you will work toward creating a good family? There is, however, a family that is even better than these many good families. It is the family of God and this family is an eternal family!. Jesus calls attention to this family in Mark 3:31-35: “There came then His brethren and His mother, and, standing without, sent unto Him, calling Him. And the multitude sat about Him, and they said unto Him, Behold, Thy mother and Thy brethren without seek for Thee.” Mary’s concern for Jesus welfare was most likely why they were trying to get Him to slow down some. Jesus’ response, when told, revealed the ultimate family: “And He answered them, saying, ‘Who is My mother, or My brethren?’ And He looked round about on them which sat about Him, and said, Behold My mother and My brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is My brother, and My sister, and mother!” All who know Him as Savior and Lord will always be a part of this family! Imagine being related to God, the Father, forever! “Wondrous Grace” (Author unknown) gives us some thoughts on being in God’s family: “The Lord of earth and glory, the King of kings is He, into His royal family,  He has adopted me. He makes me heir with Christ His Son, to a kingdom rich and fair, and all the riches of His grace His children freely share. He feeds me with the bread of Heav’n, He makes my spirit glad; and now I have companionship, with the children of a King, His boundless love, His wondrous grace, forever will I sing. O wondrous love! O boundless grace! That makes me the child of a King, O wondrous love! O boundless grace! that makes me the child of a King.” Selah! God’s family is a forever loving family!   Ron

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

 

Physical Concerns Vs. Spiritual Opportunities

Three areas of concern call for our consideration in Mark 3:19b-30: “….and they went into an house and the multitude cometh together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread. And when His friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on Him: for they said, ‘He is beside himself.’And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth He out devils. And He called them unto Him, and said unto them in parables, ‘How can Satan cast out Satan?’ and if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand, and if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand. And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end. No man can enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house. Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme: But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation: because they said, He hath an unclean spirit” Jesus appointed twelve for special ministry. After this they went into a house and were surrounded by a multitude outside. Many were seeking Jesus’ help, others were looking for a way to criticize and condemn. Friends were there, as well, concerned about Jesus’ well-being. If God, the Father, planned for these crowds to be there (and He did), there is no need to be concerned about Jesus’ well-being. The scribes accused Jesus of working in harmony with Beelzebub. In other words, they attributed the working of the Holy Spirit to the prince of the devils. This earned them a strong rebuke and a warning of eternal damnation. There never lacks people who would undermine God’s working, if they thought they could. To oppose God is to fight a losing battle and is done at great risk! This excerpt from Paul Gerhardt’s hymn, “If God Be on My Side,” applies to those who are God’s, and Jesus knew that the Father was there for Him: “If God be on my side, then let who will oppose, for oft ere now to Him I cried, and He hath quelled my foes. If Jesus be my Friend, if God doth love me well, what matters all my foes intend, tho’ strong they be and fell.” Selah! There is nothing that can touch the lives of the redeemed that He won’t remove, or enable us to handle it, as long as we trust Him.   Ron

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

Ordination on the Mountain

Ordination Services are held in churches. Right? Not always! Jesus conducted one on a mountain. It had more impact than any other ordination. Mark 3:13-19a recounts this event: “And He goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto Him whom He would: and they came unto Him, and He ordained twelve, that they should be with Him, and that He might send them forth to preach, and to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils. And Simon He surnamed Peter; and James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and He surnamed them Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder: and Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, which also betrayed Him.” Jesus ordained twelve men; twelve very unlikely men, including one traitor. Surely, this was a mistake! Not on your life! Jesus empowered them! Eleven of them were in ministry to bear fruit. (See John 15:16). They spread the Gospel, reached Gentiles, were involved in the beginning, establishing and growing of the church. Fruit was borne from that time on. It has continued through the centuries, right down to any of us who have come to know Jesus as Lord and Savior! It will continue through years to come. “O Lord, You called disciples, proclaiming, “Come and see!” And so an invitation began your ministry. Then Andrew called his brother, and Peter came to You; more men and women followed, and little children, too. You met a busy woman out in the noon-day sun. You shared God’s love, You listened; You told all she had done. She called her friends and neighbors and brought them face to face with you, the living water, the bearer of God’s grace. O Christ, Your invitation has reached from year to year! Through some who heard You calling, a church was founded here. As faithful people served You so many years ago, they soon invited others; Your church began to grow. God, by Your Holy Spirit, now send us in Your name to serve the lost and outcast, the poor for whom You came. Through gifts of hope and healing, through loving ministry, may we reach out, inviting the world to “Come and see!” (“O Lord, You Called Disciples” By Carolyn Winfrey Gillette). Selah! Are you an unlikely Person for God to use? What Jesus did for and through those twelve, He can, in a measure, do for and through those of us who know Him.   Ron

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

 

 

   

It’s Not Time Yet!

The religionists wanted to destroy Jesus. He was a threat to their religious monopoly. What an exercise in futility! Trying to kill God is guaranteed to fail! Jesus said in John 10: 17-18, “….I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself….” Mark tells us of Jesus leaving, unscathed. Instead of Jesus being killed, He went on to serve and continue His mission. It wasn’t time yet! “But Jesus withdrew Himself with His disciples to the sea: and a great multitude from Galilee followed Him, and from Judaea, and from Jerusalem, and from Idumaea, and from beyond Jordan; and they about Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, when they had heard what great things He did, came unto Him. And He spake to His disciples, that a small ship should wait on Him because of the multitude, lest they should throng Him, for He had healed many; insomuch that they pressed upon Him for to touch Him, as many as had plagues. And unclean spirits, when they saw Him, fell down before Him, and cried, saying, ‘Thou art the Son of God.’ And He straitly charged them that they should not make Him known” (Mark 3:7-12). There are many times when we, who are His, could be injured or killed. If we aren’t, it’s because God has a mission for us to carry out. In that wonderful hymn, “The Stranger of Galilee,” Mrs. C. H. Morris speaks of those who have met Jesus and what we are to tell others: “His look of compassion, His words of love, they shall never forgotten be; when sin-sick and helpless He saw me there, this Stranger of Galilee;  He showed me His hand and His riven side, and He whispered, “It was for thee!” My burden fell off at the pierced feet of the Stranger from Galilee. Come, ye who are driven and tempest-tossed, and His gracious salvation see;  He’ll quiet life’s storms with His “Peace, be still!” this Stranger of Galilee;  He bids me to go and the story tell—what He ever to you will be, if only you let Him with you abide, this Stranger of Galilee. Oh, my friend, won’t you love Him forever? So gracious and tender is He!  Accept Him today as your Savior, this Stranger of Galilee!” Selah! He offers Himself and His salvation; that’s something religion cannot do!   Ron

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