Establish A Strong Focus

In order to overcome a vast amount of distractions, we must establish an intense focus. This focus must not be lost even while we deal with our responsibilities. As soon as we take care of our duties (and even while we take care of them) we must intensely keep one thing in focus. Even while resting or enjoying wholesome entertainment, one thing needs to engage our sub-conscious. Our focus is to be on Him and what He means to us and on how to honor Him and have a deepening fellowship with Him. This kind of focus is at the heart of discipleship simply because it will take a strong discipline to maintain that focus. Building that kind of discipline will require uncompromising determination. Whenever we fail to maintain that focus, we will determine to establish that focus again until it becomes a regular part of our lives. If we fail, we will not quit, but seek God’s help to renew our focus each time that we fail. Never give up. The motivation is love and gratitude, the means is constant immersion in God’s Word. Paul was centered on Jesus. Jesus was his focus. Consider how Paul was used. If we focus and hold our focus, God will use us. Paul explained his focus in Philippians 3:13-14.  He said, “….this one thing I do….I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Selah! The blessed results of this kind of focus will be ours to enjoy while on our journey home and forever when we arrive.   Ron

An Event of More Than Epic Proportions

An event is coming that dwarfs all others put together. Everything on this planet will disintegrate, as well as the planet itself. I can almost feel the cynicism with which most will regard this article. Nevertheless, the Bible foretells such an event. (Incidentally, if we are wise, we’ll take considerable time to find out just how trustworthy the Bible is. It has never been proven wrong!). In II Peter 3:10, Peter under inspiration writes, “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” Every thing that has been part and parcel of all human experience is suddenly gone in an unprecedented inferno. Nothing will be left! If we have been born again, we will be inhabitants of a new order. Peter addresses this in Verse 13, “Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” We who are His should not hold tightly to things that will be gone. Instead, we can prepare to be part of that which is to last forever. Peter, in Verse 11, advises, “Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and Godliness?” Selah! This Truth is seldom expounded. It needs to be taken seriously so that we’ll not be caught unprepared.  Ron

The Booby Trap of Duplicity‏

Duplicity is defined as a hypocritical cunning or deception. A booby trap is a scheme or device for tricking a person unawares. The usually unexpected aspect of this practice is that we ourselves can be the victim upon which the trick is played. I suggest that it happens more often than we might think, to those who are born again. How could this be possible? Let me give a scenario. We come to know Jesus as Savior and Lord. Out of this experience a new appreciation of the Bible enters our hearts and minds. We like to hear it preached and taught. We like to hear or watch messages based on His Word. We like to discuss it with others, perhaps sharing something we or they learned about from Scripture. Perhaps we like to hear or read a story in which the Bible plays a prominent role. We affirm how important God’s Word is and that all Christians should study it. This is right where the trap is sprung and we may be the ones that are caught (booby trapped) in duplicity. Do we study it as we believe all who are saved people should study it? “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth” (II Timothy 2:15). Three keywords: “study,”  “thyself and “workman” define our responsibility to practice what we believe. Selah! If people could watch us 24/7 would we be doing what we tell them that they should be doing? “Provide things honest in the sight of all men” (Romans 12:17b). Otherwise we have booby trapped ourselves by our duplicity.   Ron

Spiritual Agriculture

Growth is basic to Christianity. Deadness and/or stagnation indicates an absence of life and vitality. We who are born again must “….grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ….” (From II Peter 3:18). The seed for this is the Word of God. “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God which liveth and abideth forever” (I Peter 1:23). Spiritual life has won out over spiritual death. Once that Life enters, we have to be rooted, or the winds of false doctrine will inflict much damage. Ephesians 3:17 calls for us to be ….rooted and grounded in love.” Ephesians 4:14 warns of the dangerous winds of false doctrine. If the righteous are rooted, they ….shall not be moved.” (From Proverbs 3:3). The root produces the fruit. Proverbs 11:30 tells us that, “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life….” What kind of fruit should we expect to find on that tree? Nine different kinds, all on that one tree! “But the fruit (singular) of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance….” This is indeed a tree of life! What kind of an impact would it have on this world, if all God’s children comprised a forest of trees of life? Selah! A tree with this fruit would be brimming with Life. If we are drawing from the vine, that fruit will be produced (See John 15:1-8).   Ron

An Absent Characteristic?

One of the most awful things that characterize far too many of God’s children is the absence of wholehearted thankfulness for the blessings of God. Do we presume on God’s mercy and grace? The Psalmist in Psalm 68:19 exclaims, “Blessed be the Lord, Who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.” Can we see? Is there beauty all around us? Can we breathe? Do we live in a free country? Can we hear? Can we smell? Do we have indoor plumbing? Adequate clothing? Do we have a home, vehicle, conveniences, food to eat, friends, loved ones? Do we have a job and/or income? Are we able to be up and about? And the list goes on, and on, and still on! Honestly, now, when was the last time you actually and carefully counted (thought seriously on) your blessings? What if, as of this weekend, God removed all blessings from us? But all the blessings we have pale in comparison to the greatest of all blessings. Paul, under inspiration, speaks of this in Romans 5:8. He writes, “But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” If you have responded to that love and received Jesus, as your Lord and Savior, have you experienced the intense gratitude that caused Paul to cry out, in II Corinthians 9:15, “Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable Gift!”? Selah! If you appreciate gratitude from those you have blessed, how much more does God value our gratitude for all His goodness to us? Never forget that our greatest gratitude should be rendered for the Gift that infinitely exceeds all other gifts put together.   Ron

Far Better Than A G.P.S.

Having a G.P.S. can be a big help. However, it’s only an electronic “system” and can lead you in a round about direction. Being a device, it can’t be personal and, of course, it can’t help you with moral decisions or other life issues. It was never intended to do that. I know Someone who can. The Holy Spirit points us to the Living and written Word. John informs us that, “But when the Comforter is come,……………He shall testify of Me.” (From John 15:26). John also informs us, “….when He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He will guide you into all Truth….” (From John 16:13). In John 17:17, He tells us that God’s Word is Truth! First, He points us to the Word. Then, He gives us understanding.  Next, He honors Jesus in our hearts and minds. All the time, He intercedes for us (Romans 8:26). He takes our inadequate prayers and presents them acceptable to the Father through Jesus. Having entered our innermost being, He brought into us the very Life of God. He checks us when we are wrong and admonishes us through Scripture to make the right choices. He counsels, He speaks to others through us, He comforts us and gives blessed assurance. Finally, for this article, He never gives up on us and will never desert us. He even leads us in the way of holiness, The Psalmist prayed, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24). Selah! He will always guide us right, never lead us astray, and He will bring us to the right destination, if we are born again and responsive to His working.   Ron

Our Companion for the Journey‏

When we walk in the Spirit, in the Light of God’s Word, we soon discover that we are never alone on the journey. We have a guide, a counselor, a companion, a comforter and a friend for every step of the journey. As we listen for God’s voice, we find that it permeates every page of the Bible. Our Companion opens our hearts and minds to understand what God is communicating to us. As we appropriate and apply God’s Truth, the Spirit of God shapes our lives by these marvelous principles found in Scripture and we begin to resemble our Savior. The Holy Spirit convicts, chastises, corrects, challenges us and changes us. His Presence within us and alongside us is God’s seal of ownership and His means of protecting His investment. His Presence is also the down payment on our eternal inheritance. But His main ministry to us is to reveal, honor and exalt our Lord Jesus Christ in our lives and in the eyes of those with whom we come in contact. His ministry is effective to the extent that we are captivated by the Magnificent Obsession. God’s Spirit constantly seeks to intensify our focus on Jesus. Paul furnishes us with an example of that kind of focus. In Philippians 3:19, he expresses the results of the Holy Spirit’s inner working. He shares his heart’s greatest desire, “That I may know Him, and the power of His Resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death.” Selah! The true evidence of the fullness of the Holy Spirit is an increasingly passionate love for and gratitude to Jesus.  Ron