Vast Info

There is a source for all kinds of information that would explain more and do it better than all other sources have or could. (Due to the nature of this article, instead of including passages from the Bible, let it suffice to say that this information is all through the Word of God). We are told how the world and all creation came to be. We learn where we came from, why we are here and where we will spend eternity. We are told where and how sin and wrong came into human experience. We learn about our strongest adversary and how not to be a victim. We discover how and why God brought Israel into existence. God reveals all kinds of information about Himself; He reveals Jesus to us. We find out how the church came into existence and her role in the world. We gaze with wonder on the greatest demonstration of love the world has ever seen or ever will see. We learn how to live right and how to prepare for eternity. We see how God has planned for us, for the Jews and for the Gentiles. We learn how to serve and worship. God gives us insight into His program for the ages. We learn about Hell and Heaven; how to avoid the former and reach the latter. We learn about God placing His own life in us. We discover the joy of a personal relationship with Him by receiving Jesus as Savior and Lord. We gain understanding and wisdom; we find comfort and strength for life’s trials. We are given purpose in life. We could go on and on and on…. No other source is as comprehensive, as accurate, as reasonable and all coheres together in one profound complete picture, as does Scripture. In the hymn, “Holy Bible, Book Divine,” John Burton wrote,  “Holy Bible, Book divine, precious treasure, thou art mine; mine to tell me whence I came; mine to teach me what I am; mine to chide me when I rove; mine to show a Savior’s love; mine thou art to guide and guard; mine to punish or reward; mine to comfort in distress, suffering in this wilderness; mine to show by living faith, man can triumph over death; mine to tell of joys to come, and the rebel sinner’s doom; O thou holy Book divine, precious treasure, thou art mine.” Selah  Naturalistic speculations can never provide truly satisfactory insight into the human experience! Only God can give real meaning and purpose to life. He has done so in the Bible!   Ron

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Nibbling or Nourishment

Our eating habits range from dangerous to very good. This is also true in the Spiritual realm. Sometimes we are fed so called spiritual food that really has little Spiritually nutritious content. In fairness, there may be little appetite for a really wholesome Spiritual feast. Just like some folks response to physical food, we may have become so accustomed to “comfort food” that a really good meal seems very undesirable. Nevertheless, those who develop healthy eating habits usually enjoy better health. If we have Spiritually healthy eating habits, we are likely to enjoy better Spiritual health. A lot of our nourishment should come directly from the Bible. However, Spiritual meals from solid Scriptural sermons are able to give us a well balanced diet that can be of great value. Our personally prepared meals coupled with those from God’s “restaurant” are a good combination. When we hear a message rich in Spiritual content, nibbling is not the way to go! Put your fork to work and take in the whole meal. How do we do that? Proverbs 3:1-5 tells us, “My son, if thou wilt receive My words, and hide My commandments with thee; so that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; if thou seekest her as silver and searchest for her as for hid treasures; then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.” This is the difference between nibbling at a sermon and being nourished by it. Alexander Groves, in the third stanza of “Break Thou the Bread of Life, touches on this, “Thou art the bread of life, O Lord, now unto me; Thy Holy Word the Truth that saveth me: give me to eat and live with Thee above; teach me to love thy Truth, for Thou art love.” Selah! Healthy meals (solid Scriptural understanding), rest (prayer), sunshine (Spiritual fellowship), exercise (applying and sharing Spiritual Truth), combine to produce strong, healthy disciples.   Ron

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The Impact of Your Influence

We little realize how much influence we have on others. It can be positive, negative or both. People observe us much more than we think. Our concern, our compassion, our character, our attitudes, our values all come across to others. This happens often, even with casual contacts. If we are born again, God can use us to influence unsaved people and other Christians. Sometimes we influence unsaved people for God even when their responses seem negative. There is very often a typical way that those outside of Christ respond to life’s trials. Among these responses are irritation, anger, discouragement, depression, etc. When a child of God is observed responding calmly in trust and at peace, there is seen an alternative to the usual response of coming “unglued.” If we have an unqualified trust in God and His Word, we can live above life’s disturbing circumstances. When Jesus reveals Himself through us, it may convict, challenge, contrast with, and/or  change those watching. Paul, in Philippians 2:14-16, was inspired to admonish Christians to, “Do all things without murmurings and disputings: that ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; holding forth the Word of life.”  In the Gospel song, “You Can Have a Song in Your Heart,” Ira F. Stanphill and Edward L. Slavens share, in the chorus, ways for our influence to be effective. “You can have a song in your heart in the night, after every trial, after every mile; anyone can sing when the sun’s shining bright, but you need a song in your heart at night.” Selah! Supernatural responses that God enables us to make can impact people now and even after we are gone. Filled with God, we are audio/visuals of His power in human lives!    Ron

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When Time Is No More

Time is a special provision within eternity. It is not, nor was it ever intended to be, permanent. It is like a ‘bubble” in the larger experience of existence. However, in this “bubble” is the most important opportunity any human being will ever have. It is in this soon to vanish “bubble” that our eternal existence is determined. Within time we can be born again or remain lost forever. Life in this “bubble” is brief. In fact, time for anyone of us can end in any given moment. Because time is so limited, we have a responsibility to wisely use whatever amount of time is available to us. If we were entrusted with a huge amount of money, many of us would waste it. Some would use it wisely; invest it perhaps, and/or share it. Time is of far more value than any wealth. Wealth ends with the end of time; time counts for “forever.” If we use time to come to know Jesus, as Savior and Lord, our “forever” is with Him. If not, “forever” is unending regret and cannot be changed. For those who are born again, it is in the “bubble” of time that we can invest whatever amount of time that we have, being used by Him for eternal ends. Saved or lost., James, under inspiration, reminds us in James 4:14, “….For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” Amos warning to Israel in Amos 4:12 is wise counsel for us. He counseled, “….prepare to meet thy God.” Alfred B. Smith in his chorus, “With Eternity’s Value in View,” challenges us in these words, “With eternity’s values in view, Lord, with eternity’s values in view – may I do each day’s work for Jesus with eternity’s values in view.” Selah! Time is running out; when it’s gone, it’s gone! Use it wisely while you still have it!   Ron

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Some Thoughts about Heaven

Are we sure that we would really like Heaven? There is nothing that is wrong there. There is no freedom to disobey. There is no way to exercise our will and, in so doing, resist His will. Down here, there are some sins that we want to do and we do them. That is not an option in Heaven. It is only His will in Heaven. If those limitations (which are, in fact, not limitations but true liberty) trouble you, it is time for some serious soul-searching. At the new birth, we are given a new nature that craves righteousness. The old nature received at our natural birth attempts to regain and/or maintain control. As this conflict goes on through life, those who are truly saved will find the new nature gaining the upper hand. There will be a growing desire for holiness and righteousness and a longing for a time when all wrong will be banished forever. If this is our longing and we look forward with joy to being and doing only what pleases Him, this is evidence that we have been born again. Heaven, a place with no sin at all, is wonderfully appealing to a child of God. Contrariwise, if an unsaved person has any interest at all in Heaven, it is only to see an end to all his problems. To be in a place like Heaven would actually be confining and frustrating. The tragic reality is that the unconverted person will experience far more misery in Hell. The children of God are, “Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the Day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat. Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness” (II Peter 3:12-13). In her hymn, “Face to Face,” Carrie E. Breck wrote, “What rejoicing in His Presence, when are banished grief and pain, when the crooked ways are straightened and the dark things shall be plain.” Selah! Receiving Jesus as Lord and Savior, while we can, eventually brings us to His Presence forever; refusing Him leads to banishment from His Presence forever. The choice is ours!  Ron

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Optional Obedience?

A strange assumption is permeating many believing communities in our day. Even a number of Bible schools and seminaries are making this assumption. Evangelistic appeals are watered down because of this assumption. It is that we can be saved without  yielding obedience to Jesus. It is very subtle because we are saved by faith alone apart from works. The assumption is that obedience is adding works as a condition for salvation. This is shallow reasoning. Works, obedience, no matter how good they might be, are not necessary to be saved. However, genuine conversion produces obedience. A conversion that doesn’t initiate and progressively increase obedience is not a genuine Spiritual conversion. Paul, after explaining in Ephesians 2:8-9 that grace alone, received as a gift, through faith alone, entirely apart from works, brings salvation to us. Then, in Verse 10, he adds, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” This verse is just one of many places in the Bible where obedience is taught, implied, commanded, expected and done. Obedience is not a perfect and instant accomplishment; it is the lifelong process that starts with our new birth. We grow in grace! James G. Small in “I’ve Found a Friend,” echoes the determination and desire of any true Christian’s heart. He wrote, “I’ve found a Friend, O such a Friend! He bled, He died to save me; and not alone the gift of life, but His own self He gave me. Naught that I have my own I call, I hold it for the Giver: my heart, my strength, my life, my all, are His, and His forever.” Selah! Willing and joyful obedience is the inevitable outworking of the love and gratitude of one who has been truly converted.    Ron

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Imagine your body doing its own thing without regard to your direction. On impulse, it jumps off a cliff. You want to run errands but your body takes off for the beach. Your finger decides to touch a hot stove and ignores your warning. Your body becomes infected but doesn’t alert you so that you can get help for it. Obviously, this kind of thing would never work. However, isn’t this exactly what much of His body (the church) does? No wonder that the church is too often weak, without direction and becomes impaired. We need to submit to our Head; be guided and directed by Him; heed His warnings and respond to His commands. God, speaking through Paul in Ephesians 4:15, gives us the proper pattern, “But speaking the Truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the Head, even Christ:.” Joseph H. Gilmore, in the chorus to his hymn, “He Leadeth Me,” spells out what our response must be, “He leadeth me, He leadeth me, by His own hand He leadeth me; His faithful foll’wer I would be, for by His hand He leadeth me.” Selah! A headless church is in serious Spiritual trouble!  Ron

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