Timeless Values

Today’s title is a play on words. What we give our time to is an index of the quality or lack of quality of our lives. If, for example, all we take time for is "fun",  people will  think we are not very responsible. If we waste time, people will assume that we are not very mature. On the other hand, what we don’t take time for reflects what is not very important to us. We give time to what we want the most or to what interests us the most. The less time we take for God, the more we demonstrate that He is not really too important to us. If we have received Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord, we will soon discover that the devil is actively aiding and abetting us in neglecting Him. Failing to resist the devil will ruin any chance we might have to experience the joy of Jesus’ Presence with us on the road of life. What is most important to you? Doing your own thing or intimacy with and enjoyment of God? If we are serious about our eternal relationship with Him then we will have to establish a mindset that nothing, but nothing, is going to keep us from regular time in Bible reading and prayer. The devil will fight your determination to do this every step of the way! Selah! Think through this hymn: "Take time to be holy, The world rushes on; Much time spend in secret With Jesus alone; By looking to Jesus, Like Him thou shalt be; Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see."  William D. Longstaff

"And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God." Ephesians 3:19

From Head To Heart

It is only about 12-18 inches from head to heart but what a difference those inches make! We are "information" oriented. This starts from the time we were born. We are always learning. This is essential but don’t put the period after information assimilation. We can read a description of a breath-taking sunset but until we have gazed upon a breath-taking sunset we will never know the wonder of it.  We can store up all kinds of information about God, about Jesus, about The Holy Spirit, and all the truths of the Bible but it is only information until it becomes personal to us. We must start with information but then see the reality of it all with "the eyes of faith". The early disciples saw Jesus physically. One said, "We beheld His Glory". The Hymnwriters have employed "the eyes of faith":  "Face to face with Christ my Savior",  "Just one glimpse of His dear face",  "Just one glimpse of Him in Glory", etc. But how does Jesus and how do Bible Truths become more than knowledge to us who have been redeemed? The answer is simple! Spend lots of time listening to Him and talking with Him. We must, if we want to know Him in any kind of meaningful way. If we don’t long for Him and His Truth this way, it strongly suggests that we may not have been born again. Selah!  Think!  If we really love Him, if we are truly grateful to Him, we will make time to be with Him and take the time!   Ron

Paul considered all personal gain as waste, compared to knowing Jesus intimately. His heart-cry was "That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection,…" Philippians 3:10

Walking Corpses?

Some folk who profess to be saved offer about the same amount of excitement as weak coffee in almost warm water. Instead of the thrill generated by a dynamic encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ, they exhibit a level of boredom characteristic of someone who has lost all interest in life. What a tragedy! How can this be? One very obvious reason is that they really have never had that kind of encounter. However, I am persuaded that there are some other possible reasons why they are like corpses. If we have never gone beyond the "duty" stage of our experience of God then we are missing out on the abundant life Jesus offers. We need to recognize and make personal the fact that when we read our Bibles that Almighty God is talking to us! Also, when we pray, we are talking to God! We, if we are not harboring sin in our hearts and lives, have the ear of God! Has it dawned on us that God is living in us who are born again? Has the reality of our appointment as His ambassadors gripped us? Have we grasped the awesome reality that God is seeking to make our lives rich and rewarding and is directing our walk through life, as we yield to Him?  Selah! Let your mind, if you know Him, wrestle with these astonishing truths until they capture your heart and make your relationship with Him the thrilling spiritual romance that God intends for you to enjoy!        Ron

"Whom, having not seen, ye love; in Whom, though now you see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory,…" I Peter 1:8

Dangerous Assumption!

Have you ever driven down a long dirt road only to find that it came to a "dead-end "?  You can at least back out of this kind of road. However, we can’t back out of the road of our life if it comes to a "dead-end". What I am getting at is this: There is a dangerous assumption that we are saved and secure if we have made some kind of superficial commitment to the Lord and agreed with some Bible facts presented in some contrived formula by some well-meaning person whom we trust and respect.  Anything short of a true surrender of our lives to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and trusting in what He accomplished for us on Calvary’s Cross is going to find us at a "dead-end" when we enter His Presence, with no way to back out! Let’s take a hard look at ourselves. Do we assume a salvation that is not actually ours? If we love Him, seek Him, yield to him, trust Him, honor Him, and enjoy Him, those are indicators of a valid experience of salvation. On the other hand, if our lives are centered around who we are and what we want, that means that we have risked our eternal destiny on a dangerous assumption. If you have done this, turn around now before you arrive at your "dead-end".  Selah!  Some do not think, until it is too late to avoid danger. Think ahead! Make the necessary correction. You will be forever glad that you did!    Ron

"Examine yourselves, whether you are in the faith;…" II Corinthians 13:5a.

Unclaimed Wealth

Russell Conwell gave a lecture many years ago about a man who searched diligently, a long way from home, for treasure. Diamonds were later discovered on his own poor land. He had been walking right over them for a long time. Could we be doing the same thing in a much more serious way? Our lives are one long search for meaning, purpose, understanding, and pleasure. We are looking for these things in education, possessions, entertainment, personal achievements, peer respect, relationships, etc. All the time, in the words of an old gospel song, "Standing somewhere in the shadows, you’ll find Jesus!"  Jesus gave a profound illustration of this in Luke 6:46-49. He tells of two houses representing two kinds of lives. One was built on sinking sand, the other on solid rock. One life collapsed, the other stood firm. He is the Rock! He is the true treasure! We can squander our lives on that which will leave us spiritually bankrupt or we can build lives on Jesus that will survive eternally. In the words of Clara T. Williams’ wonderful hymn: "Poor was I, and sought for riches, Something that would satisfy; but the dust I gathered round me Only mocked my soul’s sad cry. Well of water, ever springing, Bread of life, so rich and free, Untold wealth that never faileth, My Redeemer is to me. Hallelujah! I have found Him–Whom my soul so long has craved! Jesus satisfies my longings; Thro’ His blood I now am saved."  Selah! Examine your heart. Is He your wealth?   Ron

"Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near;…." Isaiah 55:6

Hymnbook Investigation

When was the last time we sat down with a hymnbook and thought about the meaning of  what was written? Have we thought about the writers and what prompted them to write? What were they experiencing? What were they themselves like? Super saints?  A special class of people raised up to give us hymns? I submit that they were ordinary human beings just like us except…….except that they had a hunger and thirst for God which generally is conspicuous by its absence today. True, some of them lived in the shadow of a great revival. On the other hand, many did not. Why did they enjoy a special intimacy with God?  I suppose that a number of reasons (excuses?) could be mentioned. However, there is one very valid reason. We have far too many distractions today. The source of these distractions is an interesting consideration. Although there are legitimate distractions, how clever a strategy it would be for Satan to distract us with a lot of entertainment and fun, including many nice things for us to enjoy. The issue, however, is this: What will you and I do about it? Go on being distracted or look to God for the strength to develop a disciplined determination to eliminate most of these distractions? If we will really do this and intensely focus on our fellowship and intimacy with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, then we will come to know Him in a deeper and richer way and have some wonderful things to share (and maybe even write about).   Selah!  Has it gripped your mind that Jesus is the One Who matters, above all possible distractions?    Ron

"Draw near to God and He will draw near to you." James 2:8a.

Celestial Genie or Sovereign God?

What a ridiculous question! Of course He is the Sovereign God!  "Celestial Genie!"  That is unthinkable! Nevertheless, this may well be how many people (including too many of His children) relate to Him. If in trouble or overwhelmed by life, call for God to help. Otherwise, God, please stay close by as I may need You. Spend time with You right now? Well, I would but my schedule, you know, is just too demanding. Maybe tonite or tomorrow unless…… Whom are we kidding? Not God! Lost time, time not spent with God, can never be restored. If we, in our daily lives, do not make Him our number one priority, we will never know the joy and pleasure of an intimate experience of our God and Savior. "But how can I?" you might say. I am so busy! This is a decision of our will. It is also an indicator of what or Whom is dearest to our heart. God, or something else? For the child of God, God is dearest. We believe this as a fact but fail to make it our precious experience. Until we determine that we will place Him first, above everything, we simply treat Him as a "Celestial Genie". How terrible to treat Him in this insulting and offensive way! Selah! Take time to think about how greatly He loves us and then think about how hurt He is when we don’t love Him enough to want a lot of quality time with Him. Ask Him to forgive and then spend that kind of time with Him, no matter what you have to leave undone.   Ron

"But seek ye  first  the Kingdom of God and His righteousness." Matthew 6:33a. (Will we?!!)