Misappropriated Glory

Ego is a thief! It is one of the true Christian’s leftovers from the “old nature.” Like many other “graveclothes” that bind us, it clings tenaciously to us after we are saved. It is the work of God’s Spirit using God’s Word to implement Christ’s command found in John 11:44 regarding Lazarus: “…. Loose him, and let him go.” Need I mention that this is an ongoing work? Unlike Lazarus, our leftovers from our spiritual graves resist removal. Ego knowingly and unknowingly seeks self-glory of one sort or another. When our new nature gets the upper hand ego and other entrapments give way to the sanctifying power of the Word. We learn to let go of self-glory. In Isaiah 42:8 we are told: “I (am) the LORD: that (is) My name: and My glory will I not give to another.” One vital part of Spiritual maturity is when we want His Glory and not ours. He only is worthy! Charles Wesley addresses this in one of his lesser known hymns, “Christ, Whose Glory Fills the Skies,” He wrote: “Christ, whose glory fills the skies, Christ, the true and only Light, Sun of righteousness, arise, triumph o’er the shade of night; Day-spring from on high, be near; Day-star, in my heart appear. Dark and cheerless is the morn unaccompanied by Thee; joyless is the day’s return, till Thy mercy’s beams I see, till they inward light impart, glad my eyes, and warm my heart. Visit then this soul of mine, pierce the gloom of sin and grief; fill me, radiancy divine, scatter all my unbelief; more and more Thyself display, shining to the perfect day.” Selah! God is increasingly glorified as more and more of our “graveclothes” are shed!   Ron

 

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

 

Advertisements

We Are Owned!

 

All who have had a genuine encounter with Jesus and have responded in faith (trust) and turned their lives over to Him as their Lord and Savior have been bought and paid for! “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (I Corinthians 6:20). God owns us! It cost Him the death of His Son! How do we glorify God in our bodies? In our own strength and ability, we can’t! The key to “how” is found in Romans 12:1-2 and it tells us how we can glorify God in our bodies and spirits: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, (which is) your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what (is) that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” This positioning of ourselves on His altar gives “the green light” to God’s working in our beings. God is in us, in the Person of the Holy Spirit, the moment we are born again. He teaches, guides, commands, convicts, corrects, chastens, trains, disciplines, purifies, perfects, prepares and loves us. He does a lifetime of “cleaning up,” restoring and beautifying His property. He lives in His property all the while He is preparing it. The finished product will result in His glory, as will the progress along the way. In the hymn, “Search Me, O God,” By J. Edwin Orr, the first three stanzas tell us how we can be exhibits of His glory: “Search me, O God, and know my heart today, try me, O Savior, know my thoughts, I pray; see if there be some wicked way in me; cleanse me from every sin, and set me free. I praise Thee, Lord, for cleansing me from sin; fulfill Thy Word and make me pure within; fill me with fire, where once I burned with shame; grant my desire to magnify Thy name. Lord, take my life, and make it wholly Thine; fill my poor heart with Thy great love divine; take all my will, my passion, self and pride; I now surrender, Lord, in me abide.” Selah! When He comes to live in His property, He will gradually fix everything that is wrong. Let’s not obstruct progress!   Ron

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

 

Invisible!

One of the most amazing things known to man is when what actually exists is invisible to us. The closest we can come to understanding this is when we are looking for something and somebody points to it and says, “It’s right there; right in front of your eyes!” We look and sure enough, there it is. Then we wonder how we missed seeing it. It is somewhat like that for far too many true Christians. They know that the Holy Spirit is there but they don’t really grasp His Presence in themselves. We need to take a closer look. Yesterday, we considered the “Presence” of God. That “Presence” is the Holy Spirit living in us. The Word of God points to Him, telling us that He is right there. We need to take a closer look with “the eyes of faith” and see Him. We must not stop with the doctrine; we must grasp the reality! One way to realize that He is actually in us is to look at what He has done and what He is doing: “….the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.” (From Galatians 5:22-23). That’s evidence of His Presence. However, when we spend much time in God’s Word and grasp that God is talking to us, we need to listen carefully to what He is saying and respond accordingly. It’s like this article is saying to us, “God is speaking to you! Pay attention!” The lyrics in George Croly’s hymn, “Spirit of God, Descend upon My Heart,” supplies very helpful insights as to what it means to have God’s Holy Spirit dwelling in us: “Spirit of God, Who dwells within my heart, wean it from sin, through all its pulses move. Stoop to my weakness, mighty as You are, and make me love You as I ought to love. I ask no dream, no prophet ecstasies, no sudden rending of the veil of clay, no angel visitant, no opening skies; but take the dimness of my soul away. Did you not bid us love You, God and King, love You with all our heart and strength and mind? I see the cross. There teach my heart to cling.  O let me seek You and O let me find! Teach me to feel that You are always nigh; teach me the struggles of the soul to bear, to check the rising doubt, the rebel sigh; teach me the patience of waiting in prayer. Teach me to love You as Your angels love, one holy passion filling all my frame: the fullness of the heaven-descended Dove; my heart an altar, and Your love the flame.” Selah! If Jesus is your Lord and Savior, go to a secluded place, quiet your heart, focus on God and what it means to have Him, in His “invisible” Presence, living in you.    Ron

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

The “Presence” of God

We make a strong emphasis on faith and correct doctrine and that is as it should be. However, has God Himself  become real to us who have truly undergone the new birth? Do we confine Him to the truth found in print on paper? Correct belief and authentic faith are intended to take us from the page to the Person. In Acts 17:28, Paul gave us this inspired Truth: “….For in Him we live, and move, and have our being.” He is with us 24/7! In fact, if Jesus is truly our Lord and Savior, we are enveloped in God! “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body...” (From I Corinthians 12:13a). He is “there” in our churches; He is “there” in our sleep; He is “there” in our thoughts; He is “there” in our occupations; He is “there” in our relationships; He is “there” in our service, etc. He knows our thoughts, motives, hearts; He hears our speech; He is aware of our conduct, etc. Are you, am I, consciously aware of His “Presence?” Or, have we confined Him to facts only? It’s high time to move beyond knowing Truth with our minds to the reality of His Presence! Consider these thoughts expressed musically in John E. Bodes hymn, “O Jesus, I Have Promised.” He wrote: “ O Jesus, I have promised to serve Thee to the end; be Thou forever near me, my Master and my Friend; I shall not fear the battle if Thou art by my side, nor wander from the pathway if Thou wilt be my guide. O let me feel Thee near me, the world is ever near; I see the sights that dazzle, the tempting sounds I hear; my foes are ever near me, around me and within; but, Jesus, draw Thou nearer, and shield my soul from sin. O let me hear Thee speaking in accents clear and still, above the storms of passion, the murmurs of self-will; O speak to reassure me, to hasten or control; O speak, and make me listen,  Thou Guardian of my soul. O Jesus, Thou hast promised to all who follow Thee, that where Thou art in glory, there shall Thy servant be; and, Jesus, I have promised to serve Thee to the end; O give me grace to follow, my Master and my Friend. O Jesus, Thou hast promised to all who follow Thee, that where Thou art in glory, there shall Thy servant be; and, Jesus, I have promised to serve Thee to the end; O give me grace to follow, my Master and my Friend.” Selah! Are you increasingly, and more and more intensely, aware that you are really “In His Presence?” Don’t settle for less!   Ron

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

Knowledge Plus Wisdom

Knowledge alone can fail us. It can be wrong or incomplete. It can be from unreliable or misguided people. True wisdom is the gift that God gives us to discern the difference between true and false knowledge. This kind of wisdom comes only from constant exposure to the Truth of the Bible. How do we know if it’s true wisdom? First and foremost, it’s when we learn how we can know that all Scripture is inspired by God Knowledge Plus WisdomHimself. There is plentiful evidence that the Word of God is a supernatural revelation given by God to mankind. It’s internal testimony is found in II Timothy 3:16-17 which declares: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” It can be validated in our minds, hearts and lives by entering into a personal, saving relationship with Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Proverbs 2:6-7a explains the source of genuine wisdom: “For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of His mouth (cometh) knowledge and understanding. He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous….” Giving ourselves to Him, taking His gift of eternal life (His own life), and feeding on and applying His Word will conclusively prove the wonder of His wisdom and knowledge. James M. Gray gave us a hymn, “There is Wisdom That Gold Cannot Buy.” Weigh its truth: “There is wisdom that gold cannot buy, nor may silver be weighed for its price; nor will onyx and ruby, or crystal and pearl, precious jewels or coral suffice. Thro’ the land of the living we search, and we sound in the depths of the sea; but the breadth and the depth ne’er respond to our quest, where the secret of wisdom may be. And we ask of the birds of the air, of the wind, and the lightning on high; but the rumor and fame and the mention thereof, only flash from the clouds of the sky. In the fear of the Lord it is found, in departing from evil and sin; in receiving the Saviour, the Wisdom of God, doth the way into wisdom begin. Where shall wisdom be found? And the place of understanding, who can know?  Behold! the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to depart from evil is understanding.” Selah! “Knowledge is seeing life from God’s point of view; wisdom is responding to life from God’s point of view; grace is the ability God gives us to respond to life from His point of view.” (Approximate quote from Institute in Basic Life Principles Basic Seminar).     Ron

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

 

What An Inheritance!

Those who have become children of God by turning themselves over to Jesus as their Lord and Savior have an inheritance that far exceeds anything anyone on earth has ever inherited. Let me begin by sharing Hebrews 1:1-2. It tells us: “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by (His) Son, Whom He hath appointed heir of all things.” Jesus inherited all things! Now, consider Romans 8;16-17 which says, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with (Him), that we may be also glorified together.” This is why Paul, in I Corinthians 3:21-23 could tell us: Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; and ye are Christ’s; and Christ (is) God’s.” Add to that, I Peter 1:3-4. Peter exclaims: “Blessed (be) the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you.” Eden Reeder Latta’s hymn, “I’m a Child of the King, Who is Mightier Far,” gives musical voice to our glorious inheritance: “I’m a child of the King, Who is mightier far than the kings of this world, in their palaces are. I’m a child of the King; what a wonderful thing!  I’m a child of the King. I’m a child of the King, Who has conquered the grave, I’m a child of the King, Who is mighty to save! I’m a child of the King,what a wonderful thing! I’m a child of the King. I’m a child of the King; and His majesty own! I’m a child of the King, and an heir to the throne! I’m a child of the King,what a wonderful thing! I’m a child of the King. I’m a child of the King! What a wonderful thing!  I’m a child of the heavenly King!  Oh, His love I’ll ever sing, and I’ll make His praises ring! I’m a child of the King.” Selah! A magnificently wonderful future for His children; a horrible fate for those who never receive Jesus! Whether we are heirs or outcasts hinges on our reception or rejection of Jesus and His graciously offered salvation!   Ron

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

What a Place!-Part Three

It staggers the imagination! Not only is this “place” free of all sin and evil; not only is it a “place” where love is real, present, pure and shared, it is a place where no suffering of any kind exists! Revelation 21:4 explains: “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” This is a “place” without disease, hospitals, suffering, death, undertakers, funerals, cemeteries, fears, worry, stress, aches or pain, etc. This is the “forever” dwelling prepared for all who have received Jesus as Savior and Lord. There, we’ll come to know and interact with Jesus in a way that transcends anything we have been blessed to experience here. Fanny J. Crosby, in her hymn, “My Savior First of All,” expresses anticipation shared by all genuine Christians: “I shall know Him, I shall know Him, and redeemed by His side I shall stand; I shall know Him, I shall know Him by the print of the nails in His hand. Oh, the soul-thrilling rapture when I view His blessed face, and the luster of His kindly beaming eye; how my full heart will praise Him for the mercy, love and grace, that prepared for me a mansion in the sky. Oh, the dear ones in glory how they beckon me to come, and our parting at the river I recall; to the sweet vales of Eden they will sing my welcome home, but I long to meet my Savior first of all. 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. I shall know Him, I shall know Him, and redeemed by His side I shall stand; I shall know Him, I shall know Him by the print of the nails in His hand.” Selah! There are many places to live on earth but only two in eternity: Heaven for all who have truly received Jesus and trusted His atoning sacrifice, Hell for all who have rejected Him! If you haven’t received Him, you could lose the opportunity in a single moment. Make a wise choice while you can! Receive or reject, your eternal destiny hangs on which one you do!   Ron

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