A Place Of Quiet Rest

From about the age of twelve to His early thirties, little, if anything, is known about Jesus' daily life and activities. Paul spent roughly two years out of the public eye, on or near the Arabian Desert. Moses lived in relative obscurity in the desert, tending flocks. Elijah had "Room  Service" provided by God at the Brook Cherith. Jesus constantly got alone with His Father and He admonishes us, "But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet [room; place], and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father, Who is in secret…" (From Matthew 6:6). One way or another, a true disciple will cultivate a time alone, near to the heart of God. This is when our relationship with God is being nurtured and deepened. We must get alone with God in different ways, regularly! No depth of Spirituality is possible without this place of quiet rest. It is here that we converse (talk) with our God. It is here we listen to Him and learn. It is here that intimacy flourishes. It is here where we draw from the source, the power to minister to others and the strength to resist temptation to sin. This demands an unflagging determination to make the time and take the time each day, no matter what we have to leave undone, to enjoy communion with the One Who loved us so much that He died for us. Failure to make this a priority may indicate that we are not really saved or, at the very least, will guarantee that our experience of Him is very distant. That would be tragic!  Selah! Isn't it only reasonable that if we love someone then we long to spend time with that Person?    Ron

A Prepared Heart

"…There was a man" – so begins a fascinating episode relating to the very early days of Jesus' life on earth. This man had a name. His name was Simeon. A very significant name meaning: "hearing with acceptance." He is described by the inspired writer as just and devout. He was doing something.  What? Waiting.  For what? For God to do something. To do what? To bring consolation to Israel! It is also noted that "the Holy Ghost was upon him." What happened? He was given a revelation, a revelation that he would see the Lord's Christ before he died. Many people had waited for that privilege for hundreds of years! Jesus' parents brought Him to the Temple "to do for Him after the custom of the Law." Simeon saw Him, held Him, and said, "Mine eyes have seen Thy Salvation." This account provides tremendous lessons for a disciple. Our name is important. It has meaning that relates to our life's work. Simeon accepted as Truth what he heard God say. So must we. He was a man who had pursued a Holy Life. So must we. God, through Luke, testified that Simeon was just and devout. Can God say that of us?  Simeon waited with patience, for God to "come through." He waited a long time for this. He maintained his faith. Are we prepared to wait a long time, if need be, in patient trust, for God to answer? God's answers are wonderful and right! Simeon saw God in human flesh, in His Son. Who can tell what God's answer to us might be? The Holy Ghost was upon Simeon! What would he have thought, if he saw us "filled with the Holy Spirit?" Are we seeing the inworking and outworking of God's Salvation in our lives? Are we enjoying what God reveals to us out of His Word? Selah! Heart preparation is developed in our experience of a quality "Quiet Time."  Don't settle for less!    Ron

Let Them Know That You Mean Business!

Most of us have heard this commercial for a lawyer. The tone of the speaker implies that people are to know how serious we are and they had better take us seriously. I wonder to what extent many of us are that serious in relation to being engaged in God's business. Mary and Joseph, returning from Passover, were astonished to discover that twelve year old Jesus had been left behind in Jerusalem. Going back to the City of Jerusalem, they found Him in the Temple discussing with the teachers. Expressing their upset, they asked Him why He was there instead of leaving with them. His answer, "Wist (Knew) ye not that I must be about My Father's business?" (From Luke 2:49). Even that young, He realized that He was on mission for God, the Father. Perhaps He was consciously aware of that even earlier. He was committed! Can we take a lesson from Him and take our responsibility to our Heavenly Father very seriously? Are we about our Father's business? He never lost sight of His mission! Are we focused on our mission. This is one of the characteristics of a disciple. Paul expressed it well when he dictated these words to the Philippian Church, "Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended; but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:13-14). Let's move on!  Selah! Think carefully: can we say, "Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life or by death?" (From Philippians 1:20)      Ron

Destiny Child

God, confined in a tiny body, in a Virgin's womb! Astonishing! A Baby soon to be born! To live? Yes, for awhile, but born to die a horrible death! We are born to live and we later die. He was born, specifically, to die a physical death, in order that we can receive everlasting life. Jesus was on a mission to this earth. He came "…to seek and to save that which was lost." (From Luke 19:10). We are born spiritually dead (lost). He was born to purchase Spiritual Life for those who will receive the "Greatest Gift" ever offered, the Gift of Himself! John, under inspiration, explains a most vital truth: "He that hath The Son hath Life, and he that hath not The Son of God hath not life."  (I John 5:12). He was "…holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners,…" (From Hebrews 7:26). "For He hath made Him ,Who knew no sin, to be sin (and/or a sin offering) for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him." (Il Corinthians 5:21).  This Baby, this unique, sinless, Baby, came to grow to mature, sinless, manhood. To die!  To pay the penalty, take the punishment, and purchase the sinner, redeem the sinner, from Satan's possession. To quote Charles Wesley again: " Mild He lays His Glory by, born that man (those who receive His Gift) no more may die. Born to raise the sons of earth, Born to give them second birth." Selah! Christmas is not our gifts for each other. That giving is a very dim representation of The Gift! How can anyone turn down a gift that costly!? Have you received the "Gift"?    Ron

CHRISTmas Camouflage?

Could the reality of Christ and Christmas be obscured or camouflaged behind the tinsel curtain? In the excitement, color, and flurry of activities during the Christmas season, have we somehow missed the real significance of Jesus' coming? Are trees, ornaments, presents, diverting our attention away from the stark reality of that momentous event and the days to follow? Could even the wonderful carols be sung in a "rote" way so that we fail to consider whatever truth they convey? I plan, Lord willing, to spend a few days trying to do a careful look at some facets of Christmas and Jesus' coming that may have been missed in the "Seasonal Shuffle." Let's start with the very fact that He came! About four hundred years had gone by with no additional revelation given. God may have dealt with some individual true believers, but since the close of the Old Testament, it was as if God stopped having anything to do with human beings. Into this Spiritual barrenness, a Baby was born! Many babies were born but none like this One! This was God, in Christ, clothed in the tender flesh of a new-born! Deity had clothed Himself in humanity! God was preparing to speak to us through His Son. He was about to give us an opportunity to see Himself in the Person of Jesus. Well did Charles Wesley render the startling truth: "Veiled in flesh the Godhead see; Hail th' incarnate Deity" God had arrived bodily, on our planet Selah! Jesus is fully God and fully man and always will be!   Ron

"For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulder; and His Name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."  Isaiah 9:6

For Whom Are You Looking?

The question is not: What are you looking for but for Whom are you looking? The truly converted soul is longing to gaze on Jesus. The (human) writer of Hebrews reminds us, under inspiration, "Looking unto Jesus" (From Chapter 12, Verse 1) and (from Verse 3), "Consider Him." John wrote: "(and we beheld His Glory, the Glory as of the only begotten of the father)" (From John 1:14). Others said, "Sir, we would see Jesus." (From John 12:21). The Spiritually redeemed believer longs for a look at Him! Reflect on just two hymns (there are many) that show a burning desire to see Him:

"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." (Fanny J. Crosby)

"It will be worth it all when we see Jesus, Life's trials will seem so small when we see Christ; One glimpse of His dear face all sorrow will erase, So bravely run the race 'till we see Christ." (Esther K. Rusthoi)

Selah! Open your Bible! Look for Him in its' pages! Then, wait with anticipation for that moment "when He shall appear," and "we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him, as He is."    Ron

A Thorough Search

Suppose a child is lost in the woods, maybe even in the winter. An intensive search is organized. Why? To find the child. The search party is seeking to rescue that child. That is their goal! We have many commands in Scripture to "seek." God sought us. He came "to seek and to save that which was lost." (From Luke 19:10). Now it is our turn ( those of us who are saved) to seek Him. That is our life's goal! "And ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with all your heart." (Jeremiah 29:13) The thrill of finding a lost child is great. The thrill of finding an ever deepening relationship with God is infinitely greater! Look at Paul's heart cry in Philippians 3:10: "That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death." Do you have an unquenchable thirst for God? Where is He? He has chosen to reveal Himself in His Word (i.e; the Bible). A genuine Christian will seek Him in the Word and faithful and regular searching will find Him!  Selah! Think about this. Every time in the Word, when we crave Him, we will find more of His Presence!  Spend a lot of quality time basking in His Presence!   Ron