The Lord’s Day-Dr. A. W. Tozer-Guest Article

The Lord’s Day

A Latin hymn dating back to the sixth century begins:

Welcome, happy morning!” age to age shall say; Hell today is vanquished; Heaven is won today. Lo! The Dead is living, God for evermore! Him, their true Creator, all His works adore.”

This sets forth the theological reason behind the joy of Easter. Christ was dead, but His death was not an accident; neither was it the result of sickness or age. He died to vanquish hell and win heaven for men. Christ was dead, but He is not dead now. Lo! the Dead is living! And how can believing men keep silent?

No Bible-taught Christian can allow himself to live in bondage to days and times and seasons (Colossians 2:16–17; Romans 14:4–10; 2 Corinthians 3:5–18). He knows he is free from the Law, and the Judaizing brethren who seek to rivet a yoke on his neck will not have much success. But he nevertheless appreciates the value of one day in seven to devote to prayer and praise. And since Christ arose from the dead on the first day, the Bible-loving man will see the spiritual appropriateness of the first day as the Christian’s voluntary sabbath day.

Verse

Upon the first (day) of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as (God) hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come” (First Corinthians 16:2).

 

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

Advertisements

Set Apart, Come Apart, or Fall Apart

Why does a child of God, who really gets down to business with God, seem to be very Spiritual? I suggest that this kind of person should be the norm. Since that is not the reality, this serious Christian, by contrast, reveals the low level of the “average Christian” today. How many want to get down to business with God today? How does one become that serious with God? The starting point is a personal relationship with Jesus as our Lord and Savior. All who do are set apart (dedicated, consecrated) to God. Paul, in Ephesians 1:4, tells us that God: “…. hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.” Although a Christian is set apart, they often don’t “stay put.” Unless we “come apart” faithfully to spend quality time with God, we will never be more than mediocre. In Mark 6:31, Jesus told His early disciples to: “Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while.” While this had to do with physical rest, there is a Spiritual application as well. We get alone with Him to be nourished and strengthened Spiritually! Jesus, in John 15:5, told His disciples: “….without Me ye can do nothing.” Without Him, we fall apart! Let’s be much with Him in the quiet place. Ralph Carmichael spoke about “The Quiet Place,” In his hymn by that name: “There is a quiet place, far from the rapid pace, where God can soothe my troubled mind; sheltered by tree and flow’r, there in my quiet hour with Him, my cares are left behind. Whether in a garden small, or on a mountain tall, new strength and courage there I find; then from this quiet place I go prepared to face a new day with love for all mankind.” Selah! If you are “set apart,” “come apart!” If you do this faithfully, you need not fear “falling apart.”    Ron

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

 

Putting Away Childish Things

Toys, Pretend, Act out, Childish games, etc. are fine when you are a child. However, if you are still doing these things when you are in your later teens, twenties, thirties, etc. something is very wrong! This is much worse in the Spiritual realm. In I Corinthians 13:11, Paul wrote the Corinthian church: “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” Instead of acting out the Christian life, we are to mature to the point of living the Christian life. Instead of thinking as a child, we are to mature in our thinking. We need to have our minds honed to take in God’s Truth and apply this Truth in our lives. Instead of life being fun and games, we are to be able to deal with life from a Biblical perspective. Becoming Godly involves study, discipline, commitment, determination and hard work. “Growing up” Spiritually means that we don’t run around nursing a bottle of milk. It means being able to take a good piece of steak and sink our teeth into it and chew and digest it. How many are running around in spiritual diapers, years after they are born again? Elisha A. Hoffman‘s hymn, “The Spirit Touched Soul,” provides us with some serious thoughts on Spiritual maturity: “God planned for me a wondrous life of constant victory and pow’r, I might have lived this life of faith and walked with Jesus hour by hour, I might have overcome the world and broken from its hard control, and had the sunshine of God’s love with joy and peace to flood my soul. Around me are the earnest souls whose faith on Jesus Christ is stayed, to whom the Lord of righteousness a fount of blessing has been made; they have a joy I do not know, they have a peace I do not feel; O that the Lord would in my heart this deeper, richer grace reveal! No more will I walk separate from Jesus Christ, my precious Lord; with strong desire to be His own today my inmost soul is stirred; I yield my life and love to Him, I consecrate myself anew to be the Lord’s forevermore and all His holy will to do. O Holy Spirit, flame of love, burn from my soul the earthly dross, let self and sin be mortified and nailed to Jesus’ cross, possess my heart, control my life, inspire my will, and make me pure, thus, Heaven-touched and cleansed with fire, in faith may I endure!” Selah! Let’s be Spiritually healthy, strong, and mature!   Ron

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

Why “Go to Church?”

When we speak about “going to church,” we have in mind a local church (or group who meets together). Why do we go? For many, the answers might include: good music, preaching, fellowship, learning, it’s the thing we should do, etc. How many go for the right reasons? What are some of the right reasons? Consider these: To worship, to honor God, to listen to Him and talk to Him, to sing God exalting hymns, and be a blessing to brothers and sisters in the family of God. In other words, we don’t go for just what we can get; we go to give and be a blessing. Psalm 100 gives us inspired counsel: ” Verse 1: Come with joy: “Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.” Verse 2: Serve gladly and sing God’s praises: “Serve the LORD with gladness: come before His Presence with singing.” Verse 3: Honor and reverence God: “Know ye that the LORD He (is) God: (it is) He (that) hath made us, and not we ourselves; we (are) His people, and the sheep of His pasture.” Verse 4: Give thanks and praise. Exalt His name: “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, (and) into His courts with praise: be thankful unto Him, (and) bless His name.” Verse 5 tells us why we should do these things: “For the LORD (is) good; His mercy (is) everlasting; and His truth endureth to all generations.” Joachim Neander seems to have had these things in mind when he wrote, “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty.” Ponder these timeless words: “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation! O my soul, praise Him, for He is your health and salvation! Come, all who hear; now to His temple draw near, join me in glad adoration. Praise to the Lord, above all things so wondrously reigning; sheltering you under His wings, and so gently sustaining! Have you not seen all that is needful has been sent by His gracious ordaining? Praise to the Lord, who will prosper your work and defend you; surely His goodness and mercy shall daily attend you. Ponder anew what the Almighty can do, if with His love He befriends you. Praise to the Lord! O let all that is in me adore Him! All that has life and breath, come now with praises before Him. Let the Amen sound from His people again; gladly forever adore Him.” Selah! Ask not what your church can do for you; ask what Jesus wants to do for His church through you.    Ron

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

What is Prayer, Anyway?

Satan has “pulled the wool over our eyes” about prayer. Too many who have received Jesus as Lord and Savior think of prayer as a Christian’s duty or responsibility. Some even consider it as a “religious” act. How clever our adversary is! No way does our enemy want us to think of prayer as having a good talk with our Father in Heaven Who loves us dearly and has suffered intensely to rescue us from our rebellion and restore us to Himself. We can tell Him how much we love Him! When we listen to Him in His Word, He answers us. He teaches us, corrects us, disciplines us, and explains things to us. When we have done, or are doing something wrong (sin). He says: “Take care of that and then we’ll talk.” When we admit that He is right and we were wrong, He forgives us immediately. He even washes away the defilement of what we did wrong (of our sin). We bask in His love; we are relieved because He forgave us. He tells us that He loves us very much and we tell Him that we love Him. His wisdom, knowledge and understanding prepares us to navigate life’s treacherous waters. What a privilege to take everything to our dear Father and let Him show us what to do. We respect Him, honor Him, admire Him and thank Him, with profound gratitude for all He means to us and for all He does for us. “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7). “There’s a garden where Jesus is waiting, there’s a place that is wondrously fair; for it glows with the light of His presence, ’tis that beautiful garden of prayer. There’s a garden where Jesus is waiting, and I go with my burden and care just to learn from His lips words of comfort, in the beautiful garden of prayer. There’s a garden where Jesus is waiting, and He bids you to come meet Him there; just to bow, and receive a new blessing, in the beautiful garden of prayer. Oh, the beautiful garden, the garden of prayer,  Oh, the beautiful garden of prayer; there my Savior awaits, and He opens the gates to the beautiful garden of prayer.” (“The Beautiful Garden of Prayer“-by Eleanor Allen Schroll). Selah! Your Father loves for you to come to talk things over with Him; He loves to have you understand. He loves you very much and always wants the best for you. He encourages you to trust Him, even when what He says seems wrong. Later, you will realize that He knew what He was talking about.     Ron

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

 

 

Is God at Home?

Is God at home? The question seems to be about Heaven, but it isn’t. God is certainly at home in Heaven. However, is He at home in those who have received His Son as their Lord and Savior? If all known sins in our lives are confessed, owned, admitted to, then God can be at home in these lives. If our relationship with Jesus is deepening, then God can be at home in us. If more and more holiness is characterizing our daily lives, God can be at home in us. In I Corinthians 6:19-20, Paul asked and answered a question and charged the Corinthian Christians, and us, with a certain responsibility: “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost (which is) in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” We would be wise to pray from the heart: “Spirit of the Living God, fall fresh on me. Spirit of the Living God, fall fresh on me. Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me. Spirit of the Living God, fall fresh on me!” (“Spirit of the Living God“-by Daniel Iverson). Selah! May God be at home in his children, a “Temple” that is clean and may He be seen through the untarnished windows of our souls!   Ron 

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

Interior Inhabitant

We cannot physically make contact with people’s hearts. It is a “spirit to spirit” matter. My spirit, by voice and/or by sight (print, etc.), puts thoughts in your mind. You decide if it will impact your heart. The Holy Spirit makes contact with our spirits in a similar way. He uses God’s Word, printed or spoken. The living Truth enters our minds and awaits our response. If we receive Jesus as Savior and Lord, the Holy Spirit Himself enters our spirit and abides forever, as He does with all who are twice-born. When He enters, Jesus enters! This is why Paul, in Colossians 1:27, spoke of: “….Christ in you, the hope of glory.” When the Spirit of God inhabits our interior beings, our hearts, His Presence is the seal of God’s ownership and our hope (anticipated certainty) of glory! From the moment of entry, He is working in us to purge out the remaining remnants of our fallen Adamic nature and enabling our new nature to occupy the territory once controlled by our adversary, the devil. May we share the determination that Charles H. Gabriel expressed in, “More Like the Master.” This is how he put it: “More like the Master I would ever be, more of His meekness, more humility; more zeal to labor, more courage to be true, more consecration for work He bids me do. More like the Master is my daily prayer; more strength to carry crosses I must bear; more earnest effort to bring His kingdom in, more of His Spirit, the wanderer to win. More like the Master I would live and grow; more of His love to others I would show; more self-denial, like His in Galilee, more like the Master I long to ever be. Take Thou my heart, I would be Thine alone;  Take Thou my heart and make it all Thine own. Purge me from sin, O Lord, I now implore, wash me and keep me Thine forevermore.”Selah! Let us have this kind of determination. Let us, like Paul, be able to truthfully say, “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14).   Ron

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