Companions in Consecration

The blessings of having Christian companions who are consecrated to God can hardly be overstated. We value them highly. They are with us in good times and bad times. In prison, in danger, facing death, we can pray, encourage and strengthen each other. Sharing victories, bearing each others’ burdens, meeting needs, getting each other “back on track,” when one gets off track. I couldn’t begin to be grateful enough to so many of God’s people for all they have meant to me. I thank God that there have been times when God has used me to bless others. Paul was a friend indeed and valued all his committed companions. In the first 15 verses of Romans 16, Paul gives a list of many such companions and enjoins the Church to be there for them. In fact, according to I Corinthians 3:9,  we; “….are labourers together with God.” We are in this walk and ministry together! I Corinthians 15:58 reminds us: “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” “Blest be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love; the fellowship of kindred minds is like to that above. Before our Father’s throne we pour our ardent prayers; our fears, our hopes, our aims are one, our comforts and our cares. We share our mutual woes, our mutual burdens bear,  and often for each other flows the sympathizing tear. When we are called to part, it gives us inward pain; but we shall still be joined in heart, and hope to meet again. This glorious hope revives our courage by the way; while each in expectation lives and waits to see the day. From sorrow, toil, and pain, and sin, we shall be free; and perfect love and friendship reign through all eternity.” ( “Blest Be the Tie That Binds“-by John Fawcett). Selah! Thank God for true consecrated Christian friends!    Ron

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

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Don’t Belittle!

All too often we think or speak ill of someone. It is bad enough when we are that way toward those who do not know Jesus. Of course we should loathe sin, but have love and concern for the sinning one. It is worse still, when we treat a brother or sister “in Christ” that way. We have enough wrong in our own lives. Does that mean that we shouldn’t say anything, just ignore wrong? No! It’s “how” we do it. Certainly, we can talk about what we see as sin and point out from God’s Word why we believe it is sin. However, we should not condemn! That is God’s responsibility. Our motive should be love and concern for others. After all, there is much in our own lives that is wrong. Instead of “thinking down” on others or underestimating our own need of being lovingly challenged, let’s seek to “build up” each other. Let us be examples to and encouragers of others. Let us not look down “our spiritual noses” on others, while assuming we are Spiritually above that sort of thing. Romans 14:12 exhorts us to keep in mind: “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” Ponder this except from Fanny Crosby’s hymn, “The Two Commandments,” and profit: “First among the Christian graces, love the crowning virtue stands; love is taught our highest duty, in the Savior’s two commands; love with all thy powers united, love the Lord thy God above, and remember yet another, as thyself, thy neighbor love. Love that changes not, love that changes not, love that warms the heart to all, everywhere we go; love with all thy powers united, love the Lord thy God above, and remember yet another, as thyself, thy neighbor love.” Selah! Let us long for ourselves and others to hear Him say: “Well done!”   Ron

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

A Small Window of Time

Life is short! The problem is that we don’t know how short. It might be a few years or a few minutes. Our responsibility is to be: “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:16). If we know Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, we may not have a long time to reflect on what He can do in our lives. When we come to grips with being a “living” sacrifice for Him to use, we want the maximum time that we have available to count for eternity. Romans 13:11-14 is a wakeup call to be “salt” and “light” in our world: “And that, knowing the time, that now (it is) high time to awake out of sleep: for now (is) our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to (fulfill) the lusts (thereof).” Our lives should cause a craving for what we have in Him, a thirst for righteousness. When questioned, we should shine the light of understanding God’s truth. Mrs. Harry Coghill offers a musical reminder in her hymn, “Work for the Night Is Coming.” Let’s give it serious thought: “Work, for the night is coming, work thro’ the morning hours; work while the dew is sparkling, work ‘mid springing flow’rs.  Work when the day grows brighter, under the glowing sun; work, for the night is coming, when man’s work is done. Work for the night is coming, work thro’ the sunny noon; fill brightest hours with labor– rest comes sure and soon.  Give every flying minute something to keep in store; work, for the night is coming, when man works no more. Work for the night is coming, under the sunset skies: while their bright tints are glowing, work, for daylight flies. Work till the last beam fadeth, fadeth to shine no more; work, while the night is dark’ning, when man’s work is o’er.” Selah! What counts most is not how much time we have; what counts is how we use what we do have.   Ron

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

Surprising Consequences of Consecration

I could probably do at least several more articles on this subject. However, I hope to offer a sweep of additional consequences, some of which may surprise you in their practicality. I’ll start at Romans 12:12 and end at 13:10. Trials notwithstanding, rejoice in hope. Patiently “bear up” in trials. Be quick to pray (Verse 12). Insofar as possible, offer help and hospitality to needy saints (Verse 13). Do good to those who misuse you (Verse 14) Share others’ joys and sorrows (Verse 15). Treat all with respect; don’t allow yourself to be conceited (Verse 16). Don’t get even; be honest (Verse 17). Make a real effort to be at peace with others (Verse 18). Leave vengeance to God, do good to those who have treated you badly (Verse 20). Overcome evil with good (Verse 21). In Chapter 13, Verses 1-5, Obey the law (except when it violates God’s Word). Note: This includes speed limits! Pay taxes and be respectful of leaders and law enforcement people (Verses 6-7). Don’t go into financial debt, but we have a debt to love others (Verse 8). Let God’s commands dictate your lifestyle, values and attitudes. (Not to earn salvation or favor, but out of love and gratitude). (Verses 9-10). I know these all could be developed much more fully, but here’s the point: Presenting ourselves to become a “living” sacrifice includes exhibiting God’s power, by His enabling, to transform lives to reflect His goodness! “I would be true, for there are those who trust me; I would be pure, for there are those who care; I would be strong, for there is much to suffer; I would be brave, for there is much to dare; I would be brave, for there is much to dare. I would be friend of all–the foe, the friendless; I would be giving, and forget the gift; I would be humble, for I know my weakness; I would look up, and laugh, and love, and lift; I would look up, and laugh, and love, and lift. I would be learning day by day the lessons my heav’nly Father gives me in His Word; I would be quick to hear His slightest whisper, and prompt and glad to do the things I’ve heard; and prompt and glad to do the things I’ve heard. I would be prayerful through 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.” (“I Would Be True“-by H. A. Walter). Selah! For those who are His, He uses the fleshhooks of conviction, chastisement and correction to prod us back on the altar, when we start to slip off.       Ron

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

Consecration Consequences-Part 4

When we get serious with God; when we get “down to business,” (a “living” sacrifice) for Him to use, there is a passion that we experience. We get excited! There is an intensity of emotions such as love, joy, peace, patience, gratitude, praise, etc. to mention a few examples. Paul is inspired to add more of the outworking of being in the center of God’s will. Romans 12:9-11 mentions more areas of change for those who have given themselves over to God wholeheartedly. “(Let) love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. (Be) kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord.” Let’s briefly consider: Genuine love for others. We value them, appreciate them, want God’s best for them. We come to loathe sin. We put others ahead of ourselves. (That doesn’t mean that we have to be taken advantage of). Not lazy in our work, certainly not lazy in God’s Work! We have enthusiastic spirits, filled with excitement about God and His working. While we are seeing these things develop in our consecrated walk, we are enabled to serve the Lord. That is, He is using us to serve Him. God, the Holy Spirit, can make these real in the lives of His consecrated ones.  May this be our heart cry: “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.” (“Search Me, O God“-by J. Edwin Orr). Selah! If we really place ourselves on the altar, the fire may yet fall!   Ron

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

Consecration Consequences-Part 3

One of the marvelous consequences of having placed ourselves on the altar as a “living” sacrifice is that God gives us a specific role within the church, the Spiritual body of Christ. If Jesus is our Lord and Savior, we have a ministry. It is not ours; it is His! However, He wants to do a particular ministry through us. Each of us, as we exercise our gift, God uses it for the welfare of the body. (Remember: the  church is an “organism,” not an organization). Paul gives us a list of gifts in Romans 12:4-8; we each have at least one gift, maybe more. “For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: so we (being many) are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, (let us prophesy) according to the proportion of faith; or ministry, (let us wait) on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, (let him do it) with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.” Whatever your gift, when you see and/or sense God using it, there is a deep-seated joy to know that God is working through you, as He works in and on you. Major Ian Thomas put it this way: “God wants to be what He is-“everything,” in what we are-“nothing,” and that will really be-“something!” God builds the church using us as channels and instruments. May our prayer be that of Fanny Crosby, in her hymn, “Draw Me Nearer.” “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.” Selah! What would happen if all of God’s family got really serious about being right in the center of God’s will?     Ron

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

Consecration Consequences-Part 2

Why was Paul inspired to strongly urge us to offer ourselves a “living” sacrifice to God? Before we try to answer that, remember: “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). This verse is God’s way of telling all who know Jesus as Lord and Savior: “I own you. I purchased you at infinite cost!” Now, to answer the question: God knows that surrendering ourselves to His will brings huge blessings to us. In Romans 12:2, we discover that proving (or testing) His will shows that it is: “the good, acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” There is nothing more fulfilling and satisfying than being in the center of God’s perfect will! Let’s think of some of the outworking of this kind of consecration. First, we see ourselves in a balanced way. In Romans 12:3, Paul writes this admonition: “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think (of himself) more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” J. B. Phillips paraphrases the verse this way: “As your Spiritual teacher, I give this piece of advice to each one of you. Don’t cherish exaggerated ideas of yourself or your importance, but try to have a sane estimate of your capabilities by the light of the faith that God has given to you all.” God has equipped us to carry out His will. Any talents He has given, He will use; any weaknesses we have, He can still enable us to be used. God working in us and through us brings great joy.  Fanny Crosby expresses well the joy of God’s will, in her hymn, “Yielded to God, My Body, Soul and Spirit.” In her words: “Yielded to God, my body, soul, and spirit, O what rejoicing fills my peaceful breast! All, all is well, no doubt nor fear disturbs me, while on His promise now alone I rest. Yielded to God, reposing ‘neath His shadow, sunshine and gladness round my pathway fall; yielded to God, whose love dispels all sorrow,  He is my Refuge, and my All in All. Yielded to God, my life and its devotion, yielded the service of each day and year; O what a peace pervades my ev’ry feeling!  O what sweet visions on my sight appear! Yielded to God, and in His holy keeping, my heart His temple evermore shall be; yielded to God, in willing consecration, blessed Redeemer, I am lost in Thee.” Selah! With this kind of mindset and loving devotion, expect to be used!    Ron

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