A Perspective on Life and Death-Part 1

To get a proper perspective on death, we need to have a proper perspective on life. In II Peter 3:8 we are told: “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” Time seems long to us, but He exists outside of time. We think in terms of hours, days, weeks, years, etc. Measured against “forever” time is but a blip! Why, then, do we find ourselves existing in “time?” God created “time” for a purpose. What God inspired Amos to tell Israel applies to our brief life’s journey through time. Amos said: “….prepare to meet thy God, O Israel.” (From Amos 4:12). We are placed here in “time” to be tested and to come to grips with our need of salvation. Will we, or will we not, receive Jesus, as our personal Savior and Lord? As the gospel song so eloquently explains: “You were born to find God’s love, life has no other quest. Until your soul has reached its goal, your heart will find no rest.” (Source unknown). What we decide determines our existence as we exit time and enter eternity. For those who are born again, Heaven awaits to give us an eternal “Welcome Home!” Selah! Death is something that most only view with “tunnel vision.” There is more to death than most think. Do come by tomorrow for an interesting perspective on death.   Ron

Questions? E-Mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com 

Facts and Fervency

I’ve a strong concern for God’s people to move from knowledge to experience. I am not saying that we should dispense with knowledge and strive for experience only. Facts (God’s facts, found in His Word) acted on, bring fervency. Acting on the facts includes understanding them, deciding to believe them, obeying them, and applying them in our lives. It is possible to agree with the facts and do nothing about them. However, when a child of God opens himself or herself to acting on the facts, something happens! It may, or may not, be obvious immediately but it will become obvious, as we continue with a teachable heart. Remember the disciples at Emmaus reflecting on their travel Companion, Who journeyed with them on the way there. Luke quotes them in Luke 24:32: “….Did not our heart burn within us, while He talked with us by the way, and while He opened to us the Scriptures.” In John 6:63, Jesus said: “….the Words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit, and they are Life.” When we, who are born again, go beyond reading a book and begin hearing God addressing us and telling us things, we will be conscious of the resurrection Life pulsating through the Bible. It is a supernatural Book that we can be enabled by the Holy Spirit to increasingly understand and by which we are changed. When we recognize the voice of God, there will be a fervency in our lives. Howard A. Walter gave us the hymn, “I Would Be True,” in the third stanza of which he offers insight on our subject today. “I would be prayerful thru each busy moment; I would be constantly in touch with God. I would be tuned to hear His slightest whisper. I would have faith to keep the path Christ trod — I would have faith to keep the path Christ trod.” Selah! Knowing that we are interacting with God Almighty, our Father, will bring fervency to our lives. This may be a visible excitement, or an internal joy and thrill, or both!   Ron

Questions? E-Mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com

Huge Returns

People make investments, hoping for good returns. Much of the time they are thinking about financial gain. Sometimes, they actually lose money. There are, however, investments that we can make that will provide gains far superior to financial gains. We can invest in lives. Especially, we can invest time, energy, talents, help, etc. We can do this and make an eternal impact. Praying for someone, encouraging someone, aiding someone, counseling someone, are investments that we can make. Most of all, we can offer the gift of eternal salvation that Jesus paid for on Calvary. In fact, investing in people’s lives may move them to be willing to have the way of salvation explained to them. Seeing what the gospel has done for us, moving us to help them, may prepare them to be “good soil” for the seed of the Word. I think that what Jesus taught in Luke 19:12-26 speaks to this. He spoke of a nobleman who called his ten servants and turned over ten pounds to them to be invested and instructed them to occupy until he comes for an accounting. Two of them invested and gained a 100% return. The third one didn’t invest. He hid the asset and gave it back. The two were commended, the one was rebuked. He had invested nothing! When we invest a lot, or even a little, in the lives of others there will often be a good return. To not invest is to fail in what has been entrusted to us. The two were rewarded, the one lost that which he had hidden. If he had tried, he would have likely had some return and been approved somewhat. The chorus to Ira B. Wilson’s, “Make Me a Blessing,” suggests how we can invest: “Make me a blessing, make me a blessing! Out of my life may Jesus shine; make me a blessing, O Savior, I pray, make me a blessing to someone todaySelah! Even if we see no visible return on our investment, God values our faithfulness and will use it in ways that only He knows.    Ron

Questions? E-mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com 

Is Our Filter Functional?

There are only a few ways of access to our inner being, our heart. The eyes are one way, the ears are another way. Sometimes these are combined ways of access. What comes through the eyes and ears is supposed to reach the mind and be analyzed. The mind, hopefully, will filter out that which is against God’s Word. However, emotions can be stimulated and can bypass the mind and move the heart to act contrary to Scripture. The only way to prevent that is to discipline ourselves to discern if that which is seeking access is Biblical or just emotional. If it is emotional, is it in harmony with, or does it conflict with, the Word of God? Anything that goes against God’s Holy Word must be filtered out. We must use the mind God has given to all of us who are born again. For this filter to be functional, it must be filled with a knowledge of the content of God’s Word. This is what Paul, doubtless, had in mind in Romans 12:2: “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove (discern) what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Kate B.Wilkinson, who gave us the hymn, “May the Mind of Christ My Savior,” put it well: “May the mind of Christ my Savior live in me from day to day, by His love and pow’r controlling all I do and say.” And, may I add, all we think? Selah! Biblical discernment is the only safeguard against Satan using emotions to lead us around wherever he wants to, much like a bull is led around with a ring in its nose.    Ron

Questions? E-Mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com 

Separation-Internal and External

Christians often disagree as to the rightness or wrongness of certain matters of conduct and amusements. We will probably never have complete unanimity. However, progress can be made, if we start with the internal rather than deciding for or against a particular thing being right or wrong. It would be easier if certain behavior was very black or very white. Since that is not likely to happen, let’s explore some guidelines: First and foremost, a person must be saved. This is a given. If one is saved, he or she will want to honor the Lord. Does a particular thing honor Him or reflect negatively on Him? Would an unsaved person consider that what we do or allow makes us appear to be hypocritical? Will our behavior cause another Christian to stumble? Will what I do, say or where I go hinder my growth, Spiritually, or will it help me grow, Spiritually? If Jesus were here today, as He was during His incarnation, would He approve or be grieved? Paul, in II Corinthians 6:17, admonished the Corinthian Church: “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing: and I will receive you.” Charles A. Tindley, in his hymn, “Nothing Between,” wrote: “Nothing between my soul and the Savior, naught of this world’s delusive dream: I have renounced all sinful pleasure — Jesus is mine, there’s nothing between. Nothing between, like worldly pleasure: habits of life , tho harmless they seem, must not my heart from Him ever sever  — He is my all, there’s nothing between.” Selah! The “bottom Line” is how close can I live to Him, not how close can I live to the world system and its values!   Ron

Questions? E-Mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com 

Are We in Alignment?

The way the Holy Spirit works is through, by, and with the Word. John 16:13 tells us: “Howbeit when He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He will guide you into all Truth.” John 17:17 explains the Truth into which we are to be guided: “Sanctify them through Thy Truth: Thy Word is Truth.” Using God’s Holy Word, the Holy Spirit will reveal God’s plan for the future, glorify Jesus, and share things with us that have to do with our Lord. (See John 16:13-14). The Bible is the Spirit’s sword (Ephesians 6:17). It’s sharper than any two-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12). It exposes, penetrates, convicts, draws, converts, transforms, instructs, guides, counsels, challenges, encourages, comforts, nourishes, strengthens, reveals error, protects from the enemy, explains, corrects, and blesses in still other ways. No other book can provide all of these. The Spirit of God, the Life of Jesus, permeates and empowers the Word, making the message of Scripture alive from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21. So, when the Spirit brings the Bible to bear in our lives and we respond as He intends, those rivers of living water, that we thought on yesterday, flow into us. As we use the Word in the power of His spirit, it flows through us into other lives and impacts them. Sometimes, it brings them to salvation and all that that implies. Others, it hardens in rebellion. One way or another, it affects all with whom it is shared, in the Spirit’s power. To be filled with the Spirit is to be filled with the Word, with Him using it. (Ephesians 5:18; Colossians 3:16). The normal outworking (or should I say inworking)  of the Spirit’s filling is God’s Word changing us and others through us. In the hymn, “Blessed Quietness,” Manie Payne Ferguson wrote: “See a fruitful field is growing, blessed fruit of righteousness; and the streams of life are flowing in the lonely wilderness.” Selah! Let God’s Word work in your life, then share it with others, relying on the Holy Spirit to use it. When this is done, we are in alignment with the flow!   Ron

Questions? E-Mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com 

Go with the Flow!

“Go with the flow” is advice often given to someone who is stressed, troubled, or feels helpless. I want to use this advice in a different way. John 7:37-39 tells us: “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink. He that believeth on Me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly (his inner being) shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake He of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified).” For the genuine Christian (one who is Spiritually reborn), he or she is a channel for these rivers of living water. In other words, the Holy Spirit flows into and out through those who are Christ’s. We are to “go with the flow!” What does that mean? We are to align with what the Holy Spirit is doing; let Him do it in and through us. But what is He doing? We often expect the Holy Spirit to do something dramatic; exciting, spectacular, supernatural, etc. Sometimes, He does. However, these times seem to be the exception, not the rule. I want to suggest that He works in powerful, effective, beautiful ways that are often not even recognized by those through whom He flows. What does He do? How does He do it? How can we recognize it? What are the results? How do we align with the flow? Questions like these will engage our attention, God willing, tomorrow and perhaps somewhat further beyond. “Channels Only,” By Mary E. Maxwell, speaks of this working: “Jesus, fill now with Thy Spirit hearts that full surrender know, that the streams of living water from our inner man may flow. Channels only, blessed Master — but with all Thy wondrous pow’r flowing thru us, Thou canst use us ev’ry day and ev’ry hour.” Selah! What He is doing can bring joy to your heart and may surprise youCome back tomorrow!   Ron

Questions? E-Mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com 

The Flow of Glory

In Romans 3:23, we are told: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Glory has to do with honor, praise, splendor, etc. Jesus is the One in Whom we see the glory of God. Jesus receives and deserves honor and praise. He radiates the splendor of God because He is God! We all (the human race) come up short of Jesus. The only way we can be fit for Heaven is to be as good and holy as Jesus. The only way that we can that good is to be credited with His righteousness; to be Spiritually reborn. This is conversion! We admit our sinfulness, we turn to Jesus as Savior and Lord and this is where His glory enters; His splendor, His honor, His praise. We behold His glory and turn from self and sin to Jesus and the glory begins to flow through the remainder of our lives. II Corinthians 4:6 speaks of this: “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.” As we bask in His Presence, in the Spiritually alive message on the pages of His Word, “….we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (From II Corinthians 3:18) This involvement with Jesus, our Savior, in Scripture is the flow all through our lives of His glory. We live in and for His glory! This flow goes right on, into eternity future. Paul spoke of this glory in Romans 8:18, as: “.the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Avis M. Burgeson writes of this in her hymn, “It Is Glory Just to Walk with Him.” This is how she put it: “It is glory just to walk with Him Whose blood has ransomed me; it is rapture for my soul each day. It is joy divine to feel Him near wher-e’er my path may be. Bless the Lord, it’s glory all the way! Selah! We see His glory, open ourselves to Him as Savior and Lord, live in the wonder of glorious fellowship with Him each day and move steadily toward the time when we shall see Him in all His glory. Let’s be sure to align ourselves with the flow!   Ron

Questions? E-Mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com 

Is the Glory Missing?

John wrote, in Chapter 1, Verse 14: “And the Word (Jesus) was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and Truth.” What a wonder to have beheld His glory when He walked the earth as one of us! However, what about today? Can we behold His glory today? Absolutely! How? Paul answers in II Corinthians 3:18: “But we all (who are His), with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” When we, with a regenerate, illumined mind, spend quality Spirit-led time in the Word, going from God given understanding to appropriation and application, we are able to behold His glory. He is revealed in the Word, speaking to us, teaching us, directing us, encouraging us, correcting us, commanding us, bringing His principles to bear in our lives and more. As we worship Him in Spirit and in Truth, we become conscious of His Presence. He becomes glorious to us! Why, then, is this glory too often missing? Here are some reasons: sin in the life, distractions, being too busy to have a good time being with Him, settling for Information about Him, without a rich experience with Him, etc. Only when He becomes our  greatest passion, our number one focus, will His glory fill our hearts. In the hymn, “Moment by Moment,” by Daniel W. Whittle, we find insight to experience His glory: “Dying with Jesus by death reckoned mine, living with Jesus a new life divine, looking to Jesus till glory doth shine — moment by moment, O Lord, I am Thine. Moment by moment I’m kept in His love, moment by moment I’ve life from above; looking to Jesus till glory doth shine, moment by moment, O Lord, I am Thine.” Selah! Reading (or  hearing) about Jesus is intended to lead you to a glorious experience of His Presence in your life.   Ron

Questions? E-Mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com 

Worship and Work

 A Guest Article By A.W. Tozer

Worship and Work 

And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men (1 Thessalonians 4:12).

I must take issue with those in the churches who insist that the worshiping saints do not get anything done but worship! Such an attitude reveals that they have not done their homework. The beautiful part of worship is that it prepares you and enables you to zero in on the important things that must be done for God. Listen to me! Practically every great deed done in the Church of Christ all the way back to the apostles was done by people blazing with the radiant worship of their God! The great hospitals and the mental institutions have grown out of the hearts of worshiping and compassionate disciples. It is true also that wherever the Church has come out of her lethargy and into the tides of revival and spiritual renewal, always the worshipers were back of it. A survey of Church history will prove that it was those who were the yearning worshipers who also became the great workers and the selfless servants. If we give ourselves to God’s call for worship, everyone will do more for the Savior than they are doing now!
Questions? E-Mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com