Increased Understanding=Added Responsibility

Spiritual understanding isn’t something to simply “know!” People who build houses don’t study how to build them so they can sit around and enjoy what they know. They learn how from books, teachers, carpenters and helpers. Then, they build! Therefore, why do many Christians seem to enjoy what they learn but fail to use it? The Holy Spirit gives us understanding and responsibility to use what we learn. We are to become Spiritually strong. Our faith is to become strong; we are to be strong in obedience; we are to be strong to resist temptation; we are to be strong in defense of the Truth; we are to be strong in applying God’s Word, etc. Paul prayed for the Ephesian Christians: “….to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man….” (From Ephesians 3:16). That is still God’s intention for all who know Him! It is as Scripture is understood, believed, trusted, applied and obeyed that we become Spiritually strong. In his hymn, “Be Ye Strong in the Lord, D. W. Whittle exhorts us: “Be ye strong in the Lord and the power of His might!” Firmly standing for the truth of His Word; He shall lead you safely through the thickest of the fight, you shall conquer in the name of the Lord! “Be ye strong in the Lord and the power of His might!” Never turning from the face of the foe; He will surely by you stand, as you battle for the right: in the power of His might onward go! “Be ye strong in the Lord and the power of His might!” For His promises shall never, never fail; He will hold thy right hand, while battling for the right, trusting Him thou shalt for evermore prevail. Firmly stand for the right!  On to vict’ry at the King’s command! For the honour of the Lord, and the triumph of His Word, in the strength of the Lord firmly stand.” “Workout” in the Word! Selah! God expects warriors; not weaklings!      Ron

 

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

 

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Private Explanation

A few people tell you about a very good book that you should read. Because more than one has recommended it, you decide to read it. You find it somewhat interesting, but long. There is much that you don’t understand. Some of it is good advice on how to be a decent person. A lot of it seems to be tedious history. You wonder why you were encouraged to read it, Later on, you meet the author. You invite him to your home. He gives you a private explanation of his book. As he explains, the book that didn’t mean that much to you becomes interesting and exciting. Now you begin to see why those who told you about it wanted you to read it. It’s like that with the Bible, but on a much higher level! When someone invites Jesus to take charge of his life as Lord and Savior, the Author of the Book comes to take up residence in his innermost being (his actual self) for the rest of His life. “….when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, (that) shall He speak: and He will shew you things to come. He shall glorify Me: for He shall receive of Mine, and shall shew (it) unto you.” (From John 16:13-14). The Bible comes alive: understanding increases and increases; the life is transformed day by day; hope (anticipated certainty) is ignited; joy and blessings flow into and out through our lives, etc.  Eliza E. Hewitt’s hymn, “More About Jesus,” is the kind of prayer that brings this private explanation to His people: “More about Jesus would I know, more of His grace to others show; more of His saving fullness see, more of His love Who died for me. More about Jesus let me learn, more of His holy will discern;  Spirit of God, my teacher be, showing the things of Christ to me. More about Jesus in His Word, holding communion with my Lord; hearing His voice in ev’ry line, making each faithful saying mine. More about Jesus on His throne, riches in glory all His own; more of His kingdom’s sure increase; more of His coming, Prince of peace. More, more about Jesus, more, more about Jesus; more of His saving fullness see, more of His love Who died for me.” Selah! As more and more is explained, God’s own have heard His voice and are learning to really pay attention!       Ron

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

   

How A Philadelphian Letter Might Read Today

Here and there, there might be a “Philadelphian type” of church today. If they were to receive a letter from Jesus today, how might it read? The following is a very loose paraphrase of the original Philadelphian letter: To the Philadelphian pastor in 2018 from the Holy and True God Who challenges you with “missions.” You have ministry opportunities and obligations. I commend you for having some Spiritual strength, holding firm to my Word and you have not denied Me and have unashamedly identified with My name. I will expose the false ones and “bring them down” in front of you. They will see you loved by Me and honored because you have held to My Word. I will spare you the coming great outpouring of My wrath that will try men on earth. I’m coming for you soon! Hang in there! Great rewards and honor await your unceasing faithfulness. You will bear My new name! Listen carefully to what the Spirit is saying to you!…………… If a letter like this was written today, how many churches might expect such a letter? Perhaps only the “wheat” among the “tares!” Fanny Crosby’s hymn, “Will Jesus Find Us Watching,” asks some searching questions: “When Jesus comes to reward His servants, whether it be noon or night, faithful to Him will He find us watching, with our lamps all trimmed and bright? If, at the dawn of the early morning,  He shall call us one by one, when to the Lord we restore our talents, will He answer thee–“Well done”? Have we been true to the trust He left us? Do we seek to do our best? If in our hearts there is naught condemns us, we shall have a glorious rest. Blessed are those whom the Lord finds watching, in His glory they shall share; if He shall come at the dawn or midnight, will He find us watching there? Oh, can we say we are ready, brother?  Ready for the soul’s bright home?  Say, will He find you and me still watching, waiting, waiting when the Lord shall come?” Selah! Let us have “Philadelphian hearts” in whatever part of church history we find ourselves living!  “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” (II Timothy 3:16-17).                      Ron

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

A Slow But Effective Process

When a direct attack is expected, defense or counterattack fights back. If, however, an enemy infiltrates undetected, this enemy can undermine morale, supply false information or discover weaknesses in defenses. It’s pretty much the same way in spiritual warfare. Satan often avoids direct frontal assault but appears as an angel of light. He “blends in” among us (wheat and tares). He feeds us misinformation and targets our weaknesses. He discourages us and distracts us. This is going on much more than is realized in many local churches in this present day. Little by little, watering down what the Bible says, watering down the offer of the gospel, compromising Scriptural standards and excusing “worldliness,” many churches and ministries have become weak and wobbly. This process is so slow and “off the radar” that defense and counterattack is not activated. It is like a lobster in cold water that is being slowly heated; it fails to escape until it is too late! Just so, Satan is very successful in leading us down his “primrose path” until the trap is sprung and we become victims. Psalm 11:3 asks: “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” Paul explains the responsibility of Spiritual leaders to disciple and teach so that: “….we (henceforth) be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, (and) cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.” W. J. Rooper’s hymn, “Dare to be Brave, Dare to be True,” amonishes us in this opening stanza: “Dare to be brave, dare to be true, Strive for the right, for the Lord is with you; Fight with sin bravely, fight and be strong, Christ is your Captain, fear only what’s wrong.” Selah! So much has been watered down! God give us men and women who are dedicated Bible students. Give us men and women with a passion for Truth and holiness!    Ron

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

What Does This Really Mean?

….my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.” (From Ephesians 6:10). What does this mean? How does one become “strong in the Lord?” There are certain obvious answers: God’s Word, prayer, Godly counsel, study helps, etc. Yes, these are essential, but how do they work? Let’s think about it! We (and by “We,” I mean those who know Jesus as Lord and Savior) can allow our selfish and sinful desires to control our wills. I want to do what I think will be enjoyable, even though “deep down” I know or suspect it is wrong (or, at least, that it’s probably wrong). Nevertheless, I will to do it! My desires have driven my will! I have surrendered the control of my will to Satan’s manipulation. Conversely, I can go “deep in Jesus,” and loving and trusting Him, I can look to Him to gain strength to “take charge” of my will. If I’m serious with God, I will not give in to sinful desires. I will go by His Word in spite of strong desires to the contrary. As I come to love and trust Him more and more, I will, with cast-iron determination, exercise my will to say, “NO!” to the enticement of selfish desires. Think on this stanza from, “Teach Me to Pray,” by Albert S. Reitz: “My weakened will, Lord, Thou canst renew — my sinful nature Thou canst subdue; fill me just now with power anew — power to pray and power to do! Living in Thee, Lord, and Thou in me — constant abiding, this is my plea; grant me Thy power, boundless and free — power with men and power with Thee.” Selah! The disciplining of our wills will be in proportion to our trust in and love for Him!    Ron

 

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

 

Getting Our Focus Right

If you’ve ever used a scarred or dirty lens, you know what you are looking at can be badly distorted. As we start to “zero in” on the things of God, has our lens been scarred with misinformation or error? Has it been dirtied with the defilement of our fallen world? Our “lens,” if we are born again, is the Bible! If it is scarred by error or misinformation, we must remove the scar with reliable information and Truth. We may do this by very thorough study (and possibly someone whom God has really used may be able to help). If our “lens” is defiled with the sin(s) of this rebel world, we need to turn from sin(s) and be cleansed and forgiven (I John 1:9). We must constantly assimilate Truth, apply and obey that Truth, and bring our lens into sharp focus. This will require ongoing study and guidance. Our greatest help comes from the Holy Spirit “opening up” our understanding, motivating and enabling us to trust and obey. “.…when He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He will guide you into all Truth....”  (From John 16:13). Faithfully responding to Him, we will find our view of Jesus and His Truth will be sharp indeed! “All for Jesus! all for Jesus! All my being’s ransom’d pow’rs; all my thoughts and words and doings, all my days and all my hours. All for Jesus! all for Jesus! All my days and all my hours. Let my hands perform His bidding; let my feet run in His ways; Let my eyes see Jesus only; let my lips speak forth His praise. All for Jesus! all for Jesus! Let my lips speak forth His praise. Since my eyes were fixed on Jesus, I’ve lost sight of all beside,– so enchained my spirit’s vision, gazing on the crucified. All for Jesus! all for Jesus!  All for Jesus, crucified!” (From the hymn, “All for Jesus!” – by Mary D. James). Selah! Only as this becomes a disciplined part of our lives will we enjoy “the soul refreshing view of Jesus in His Word.”   Ron

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

Really Getting to Know Him!

 With Jesus, a casual acquaintance will not do! There must be, or must be developed, an intense desire to know Him in a deep personal way. Paul was consumed with desire to know Jesus, regardless of personal cost! In Philippians 3:10, this is how he expressed it: “That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death!” To know Jesus and to experience His resurrected life made Paul willing to suffer and even to die physically and to “self.” What are we willing to do to get to really know Him? The first step is to receive Him as Lord and Savior! Next, we must seek to learn all we can about Him. We must take time to reflect on His death in our place. What did He suffer, because of us, in His life and death? Sermons, books, CDs, DVDs, movies, testimonies and hymns can be helpful. However, nothing can compare with God’s revealing of Jesus in His Word! It is true that we are to study the Bible but we are also to study Jesus! We must spend time “following Him around.” We need to talk with Him and listen to Him! It’s called “prayer.” He is to become more important than life itself! Do we have the profound longing found in the words of, “Draw Me Nearer,” a hymn-prayer by Fanny Crosby? Let these words be our prayer: “I am Thine, O Lord, I have heard Thy voice, and it told Thy love to me; but I long to rise in the arms of faith and be closer drawn to Thee. Consecrate me now to Thy service, Lord, by the pow’r of grace divine; let my soul look up with a steadfast hope, and my will be lost in Thine. Oh, the pure delight of a single hour that before Thy throne I spend, when I kneel in prayer, and with Thee, my God  I commune as friend with friend! There are depths of love that I cannot know till I cross the narrow sea; there are heights of joy that I may not reach till I rest in peace with Thee. Draw me nearer, nearer blessed Lord, to the cross where Thou hast died; draw me nearer, nearer, nearer blessed Lord, to Thy precious, bleeding side.” Selah! All who have a genuine saving relationship with Jesus are disciples. The Bible knows nothing of relationship without discipleship! A disciple is one who is wholly committed to loving and pleasing his or her Master!   Ron

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