Probing Deeper-“one on-One” with God-Part 3

"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (I John 1:9) Once we have sought and received forgiveness and cleansing for any sins in our lives that are aware of, we are ready for the next step. We need to pray in harmony with God's will! "And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to His will, He heareth us: and if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him" (I John 5:14-15). The more we study the Word, the more that we will become conscious of His will. The primary purpose of prayer is to make His concerns our own and to seek His enabling to honor Him and render to Him the worship, praise and gratitude due His Glorious Person. So we learn that the Word and prayer are interdependent. There is understanding of prayer given to us in the Word and the Word is opened to our understanding by means of praying in the Spirit. Selah! Prayer is not primarily to have all our needs and wants met. It is God's means of developing Godliness in our lives. A wonderful "fringe benefit" is that "….my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." (From Phillippians 4:19). Oh, yes! He does often grant desires as well when they are "right" for us. Ron

Probing Deeper-“one-on-One” with God-Part 2

Without the Holy Spirit, there is no Spiritual understanding of the Word. Without being given Spiritual understanding, there is no Spiritual nourishment coming from the Word. Without Spiritual nourishment, there is no Spiritual growth. Without prayer, there is no accessing of the Holy Spirit's revealing of God's Truth for the believer. There is, therefore, no nourishment and no growth. Consequently, prayer for those of us who are saved is absolutely essential. It is impossible to function Spiritually without it. We need to be in constant contact with God's directions, His guiding and His teaching. Prayer is the means we employ to receive The Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Savior and Lord. From Day 1 of our conversion, it is the supply line for everything that we need for faith and life. When we lift our hearts and minds to God, we are in His Presence. That is, of course, unless our channel of communication is clogged with unconfessed sin (remember I John 1:9). "Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in His holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully" (Psalm 24:3-4). "Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded" (James 4:8). Once we have confessed and been forgiven, we are clean inwardly and outwardly. The channel is unclogged. When it is, then God will be free to supply all that we need to experience victory over besetting sins and grow in holiness. Selah! Spending time with God, in Prayer and in His Word, will bring His richest blessings into our daily lives. Ron

Probing Deeper-“one-on-One” with God-Part 1

If you have been visiting this site day by day, you no doubt have noticed that we have stressed that a strong relationship exists between the Holy Spirit, the Word, prayer and worship. The Holy Spirit uses the Word. Prayer is our appeal for Him to do that in our lives. When He does, that motivates worship. Prayer is one of the greatest blessings ever granted to man. All God's children are free to come into His Presence. The only stipulation is that if we are not dealing with sin in our lives, then that must come first. Interestingly, God's Word tells us how in I John 1:9: "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Therefore, the first thing to do, if we have sinned, is to admit (confess) to God all our sins of which we are aware, as we start our talking with Him. Then we are free to converse with Him about all that is on our hearts. In order to have a meaningful conversation with Him, we need to know just what our praying is supposed to include. That will be the subject of the next few days' articles, God willing. Selah! Conversation with God can and should become as natural Spiritually as a flower naturally opens up to the sun. What a glorious privilege God gives in welcoming us to talk things over with our Creator and Redeemer! Ron
"Serve the LORD with gladness: come before His presence with singing. 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. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise: be thankful unto Him, and bless His name. For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting; and His truth endureth to all generations" (Psalm 100:2-5).

Probing Deeper-The Worship Experience-Part 5

Studying worship, listening to messages on worship, orders of services, even teaching on worship (even doing "Blog" articles on worship) and worship music are not worship. Hopefully, they may be helps, but they are not substitutes for worship. They can and too often do enter the mind but never move the heart to actually do worship. Worship is being fascinated with God. It is a hunger and thirst to know more about Him. It is a craving for a deeper understanding of Him. It is a consciousness of how great He is and leaves us humbled that this wonderful God loves and cares about us sinful rebels. Worship is a recognition of His holiness and perfection and an intensifying desire to be holy. It is responding to His love with surrender, love and devotion. As we learn more, we are filled with wonder, admiration, adoration and gratitude for and to Him. We are impelled to praise Him. We desire to honor our Lord and Savior and our Father, God, through Him. We want to obey and we move toward more and more obedience. We love to converse with Him. Prayer is an opportunity to develop intimacy with our Creator and to experience unconditional trust in His wisdom and goodness. Worship longingly anticipates the day when we can worship Him, free of all sin, in Heaven. We are full of relief and gratitude for so great salvation. We identify with the messages in the great hymns of worship. We are overwhelmed with His grace and mercy. He is the God of hope, of peace and of all comfort. He is much more but this is at least a little of what we mean by worship. Selah! He is our magnificent obsession! Ron

"Let them praise thy great and terrible name; for it is holy. Exalt the LORD our God, and worship at his holy hill; for the LORD our God is holy" (Psalm 99:3;9).

Probing Deeper-The Worship Experience-Part 4

We can't worship someone that we don't know anything about, and we can't worship something we don't know anything about. We have no knowledge of the True God without that information from the Bible. The source of our knowledge of Him comes from our study of the Scriptures, or secondhand from someone who learned it from the Bible and shared it with us. The assertion of many is that we can know God through "nature." Without the Word of God's explanation of God's purpose in the creation of "nature," we could only conclude that there must be some power or force that made "nature" and makes it functional. People might conjecture that there is some "being" responsible for all of creation. Any general awareness of God from "nature" is intended to lead us to the special knowledge of Him that can only be found in "the Book." As the comparatively dim light of "nature" is responded to, it should move us to the shining Light of His Word. His perfection, His holiness, His power, His grace, His love, His mercy, His justice, His character, His plan are known only from what He has revealed of Himself in Scripture. The "bottom line" is that an adequate knowledge of God can only be found in the Bible and nowhere else. Therefore, worship of the Almighty cannot take place without the faithful, in-depth study of God's Holy Word. Selah! Any hope of Heaven, any making thorough sense of our life here on earth, is possible only through searching, applying, and learning to obey the Truths of Holy Writ. Ron

"God…. Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son." (From Hebrews 1:1-2). This He does through the Word.
"For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ" (II Corinthians 4:6). This, too, He does through the Word.

Probing Deeper-The Worship Experience-Part 3

To worship acceptably requires certain preparation and consistent participation. We can't even begin to worship until we have received the Lord Jesus Christ, as our personal Savior and Lord. Jesus said, "….no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me." (From John 14:6). Once we have entered into that "saving" relationship, we must avail ourselves of the means available to establish a daily worship experience. First, and in a way, second, we must feed much on the Scriptures. These should be constantly be, becoming a part of "the warp and woof" of our inner being. No worship is possible without the "knowledge of the Holy" and that is ours only through the Word of God. However, the Word doesn't release its Spiritual Truths without the aid of the Holy Spirit to give us understanding. Hence, one of the greatest blessings of prayer is to seek His aid. Along with prayer and the careful, faithful study of the Bible, we have the preaching and teaching of the Word, books, tapes, CD's, DVD"s, seminars, conferences, Christian camps, Christian schools, Gospel music and friends who are serious about their walk with God, etc. None of these are substitutes for Prayer and personal study of the Bible but they can help much. Selah! Until the "Spiritual" becomes our top priority, we will know little of the joy and fruitfulness that our salvation brings. There is no better time to make this our firm commitment than now, while we can. Pray, study and worship. Ron

"Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ" (I Peter2:5).

Probing Deeper-The Worship Experience-Part 2

The Worship Leader?

Is this title a misnomer? Wouldn't a more accurate ministry description be "Worship Example" or "Worship Service" Leader? In fact, is there any Biblical basis for a ministry of this type? Shouldn't encouraging worship be the role of the pastor(s)? Let's advance the discussion a little further. Shouldn't every disciple be a role model of worship? Keep in mind that worship doesn't ordinarily begin on Sunday unless it is for the first time and happens on that day of the week. It might also happen when a time of revival and renewal occurs on a Sunday. Sunday is a time for all who have been worshipping 24/7 to join with brothers and sisters to enjoy the worship of God with each other. If we have all been living in daily worship, Sunday should be far more than a service that we attend an hour or two, and then return home to a week devoid of much, if any, worship. My point is this: worship should be a daily, personal, living, vibrant expression of hearts that are intense in their devotion to and preoccupation with our gracious and loving God. Selah! Worship is one of Heaven's greatest joys and privileges. True worship, here and now, will give us a certain amount of Heaven on earth! Let's worship! Ron
"O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto Him with psalms" "….O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker" (Psalm 95:1-2; 6).