A Priceless Cure!

Imagine being diagnosed with terminal cancer. No known cure! But one is discovered. However, the cost is fifty million dollars. Your ability to come up with the money is non-existent. Someone is aware of your situation. He will pay the cost. It will involve a sacrifice so great that it would impossible to comprehend. He makes the sacrifice; you receive the money; you are cured! On an immeasurably higher scale, this is exactly what Jesus did! We inherited an incurable disease called “sin” from Adam and Eve. It’s terminal! We inherited eternal death! There is only one possible cure! It cost terrible emotional, spiritual, physical suffering and a horrible death! Jesus paid it all! Every human being has the deadly disease of sin. Because Jesus is infinite, His sacrifice had/has infinite value. It is sufficient to cure every human being ever born on this earth. It will cure anyone and everyone who is willing to accept it. How do we receive this cure? By being motivated to respond to such love, by trusting His cure, by giving our hearts and lives to Him as our Lord and Savior, we are “cured!” We are restored to life, Spiritually. In I Peter 1:18 we are reminded: “….ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold….” Verse 19 reminds us that it was: “….with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” “The blood that Jesus once shed for me, as my Redeemer, upon the tree; the blood that setteth the prisoner free, will never lose its power. It gives us access to God on high, from far off places it brings us nigh; to precious blessings that never die, it will never lose its power. It is a shelter for rich and poor,  It is to Heaven the open door; the sinner’s merit forevermore, it will never lose its power. And when with all the blood washed throng we sing in glory redemption’s song; we’ll pass the glorious truth along, it has never lost its power. It will never lose its pow’r, it will never lose its pow’r; the blood that cleanses from all sin will never lose Its power.” (“The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power“-By Civilla D. Martin). Selah! Can you picture someone turning down a gift of fifty million dollars that will provide a cure for terminal cancer? How could anyone turn down a cure for spiritual death bought at infinite cost by Jesus?     Ron

Questions? E-Mail meat knowingtheway1@gmail.com

Getting the Most out of It

Let me ask a question that requires some serious thought. When we receive Jesus as Lord and Savior, who gets the most out of it? Is it Jesus? Or, is it ourselves? Before you give a quick answer, let’s take a hard look. If you have been born again, what moved you to receive Jesus? Was it for forgiveness, cleansing, peace of heart, a guarantee of Heaven, many promised blessings, or any other cause for joy and satisfaction? Did we stop and think about what, if anything, Jesus got out of it? Probably not! We are “wired” to think: what does this do for me? Let’s carry this line of thought further. Even if we have majored on what we get out of it, we can “shift gears.”  Saul, who was confronted with his condition and need, gladly received what was in it for himself. However, he then said, “….Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do….?” (From Acts 9:6). As his gratitude “kicked in,” his motivation and drive became: “….my earnest expectation and (my) hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but (that) with all boldness, as always, (so) now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether (it be) by life, or by death. For to me to live (is) Christ, and to die (is) gain” (Philippians 1:20-21). Will we give Jesus that same whole-hearted mastery of our lives. If so, He will take pleasure in our love for, and devotion to, Him. May our determination be that found in, “I’ll Live for Him,” By R. E. Hudson: “My life, my love I give to Thee, Thou Lamb of God Who died for me; O may I ever faithful be, my Savior and my God! I now believe Thou dost receive, for Thou hast died that I might live; and now henceforth I’ll trust in Thee, my Savior and my God!  O Thou Who died on Calvary, to save my soul and make me free, I’ll consecrate my life to Thee, my Savior and my God! I’ll live for Him Who died for me, how happy then My life shall be! I’ll live for Him Who died for me, my Savior and my God!” Selah! Gradually, it will become, “…..not I, but Christ.” (From Galatians 2:20).     Ron

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

A Teacher Unlike Any Others

For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God” (I Corinthians 2:11-12).
Without the Holy Spirit as our Teacher, the Bible is only a book of facts, history, poetry, etc. This Teacher, unlike all others, can teach Spiritual Truth to all who know Jesus as Lord and Savior. Only as the Holy Spirit uses them can human teachers be channels for God’s Truth. Perhaps the greatest Truth the Holy Spirit teaches is that Jesus is the “key” to understanding the Bible’s teaching. It’s all about Him from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21. Understanding this opens our minds and hearts to a vast amount of wonderful discoveries. Spiritual Truth that has to do with the need of Spiritual rebirth is all that the unsaved person is enabled to grasp. Years of opening our Bibles, with our “Spiritual ears” attuned to the Spirit’s voice, will bring many great blessings. Some of these blessings include: Spiritual growth, peace, comfort, strength, courage, trust, joy, intimacy with God and much more.  May the longings of our hearts be those found in Eliza E. Hewitt’s   hymn, “More About Jesus.” She wrote: “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 if 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! May we be zealous students!   Ron
Questions? E-Mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com

“What” Do You Think?

What do you think? Let me extract a thought from Proverbs 23:7. It’s very interesting: “….he thinketh in his heart.” Evidently, our minds (our ability to think) are a part of our hearts. More of the verse reads like this: “For as he thinketh in his heart, so (is) he.” What we “think” becomes part of us. Our minds can be manipulated to think what someone wants us to think. Our emotions can be used against us; they can stimulate our minds to think what people want us to think. For example: How many businesses would fail, if we used reason to decide if we will, or will not, purchase something? Most purchases are prompted by our “feelings” (emotions). Only our wills can override our emotions. All too often, our wills align with our emotions instead of controlling them. How can we will to do what is right? Before we consider that, think on these two warnings: Paul’s inspired warning in Romans 8:6 was: “For to be carnally minded (is) death; but to be spiritually minded (is) life and peace.” James’ inspired warning was: “A double minded man (is) unstable in all his ways” (James 1:8). Our wills are  stubborn! We want what we want and we don’t want what we don’t want. This is where Spiritual mindedness comes into play. When our minds, influenced by God’s Word, begin to change our motives and desires, our wills will be strengthened to do what is right. May our determination be that of Philip Doddridge as he expressed it in his hymn, “Happy Day.” He wrote: “Now rest, my long divided heart; fixed on this blissful center, rest; nor ever from my Lord depart, with Him of every good possessed.” Selah! So, if Jesus is your Lord and Savior, are you thinking God’s thoughts (found in His Word) into your heart? If not, what do you think?   Ron

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

Evidence of Spirituality

We can’t be Spiritual, if we haven’t been reborn of the Spirit! However, we can be born again and still have little Spirituality. Let me note here that God won’t accept that in His children; He will work on, in and with us, to move us toward Spirituality. Is there some way to identify progress? Yes! It’s found in Galatians 5:22-23: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.” This kind of evidence can’t be manufactured! Self effort might bring “spotty” progress on some of these; only the Holy Spirit, bringing God’s Word to bear on our lives, can accomplish steady growth in the entire nine-fold fruit. If we see some of this progress, it isn’t so we can take pride in it. Yet, it can encourage us and, if it does, let it cause our praise and gratitude to ascend to the Source of the fruit. Actually, this fruit is an expression of the character of our Lord Jesus. When people realize that we are consistently being made fruitful this way, their attention can be directed to Him Who alone can do this in our lives. Led by the Spirit, guided by the Spirit, taught by the Spirit, corrected by the Spirit and enabled by the Spirit, we will reflect Jesus. What a testimony to His power! Timely thoughts are expressed in this hymn, ” Fruit-Bearing,” by Clara McAlister Brooks: If ye then with Christ be risen, seek those things which are above; putting off all wrath and malice, walk with Him in perfect love. Lay aside all strife and envy, hatred, foolishness, and pride; none who cling to aught that’s sinful in His kingdom shall abide. If we’re in the Spirit living, let us also walk therein, free from guilt and condemnation—from the servitude of sin bearing holy fruits of meekness, temperance and love and peace, faith and gentleness possessing, daily shall our joy increase.  Can there issue from one fountain both the bitter and the sweet? Do we gather figs of thistles, sow the tares, expecting wheat?  So a good tree yields by nature perfect fruit, and that alone; trees corrupt are bearing evil—by their fruits they shall be known. Once of sin we were the servants, held beneath its tyrant sway, free from righteousness— unholybut we’ve found a better way. By the word of God obeying, we are free from sinful strife; fruits of holiness we’re yielding, and the end eternal life. We are dwelling in the Spirit, by our Father’s blest design; through His grace we’re made partakers of His nature, pure, divine.  By His faith alone I’m living, for with Christ to sin I died;  I will bear abundant fruitage, that His name be glorified.” Selah! God intends for His own to be Spiritually fruitful!   Ron

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

Spirituality and Scripture

I hope I’m wrong but I suspect that many do not get beyond the Bible being just a good or great book for them to read. If we treat the Bible as incidental and/or as a “religious” duty or responsibility to be discharged, we have made a serious mistake! There is no “Spirituality” apart from a proper involvement with God’s Holy Word! In Colossians 3:16, there is an indispensable charge to all who know Jesus as Savior and Lord: “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly.” This could be justifiably rendered: Let the Holy Spirit dwell in you richly. Until we recognize the Bible for what it is, little, if any, Spiritual progress will be made. God speaks to us in the content on all the pages of His Word. Some Old Testament people heard God speak audibly. However, they didn’t have His full revelation like we do from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21. When we hear Him speaking to our hearts and minds and heed what He’s telling us, Spiritual development is underway. Jesus said, “….the words that I speak unto you, (they) are spirit, and (they) are life.” (From John 6:63). The more the Holy Spirit fills, the more we learn of God and the things of God. Tobias Clausnitzer in his hymn “Blessed Jesus, at Thy Word,” understood that God speaks through His Word: ‘Blessed Jesus, at your Word we are gathered all to hear You. Let our hearts and souls be stirred now to seek and love and fear You. By Your gospel pure and holy, teach us, Lord, to love you solely. All our knowledge, sense, and sight lie in deepest darkness shrouded, till your Spirit breaks our night with your beams of Truth unclouded. You alone to God can win us; you must work all good within us. Glorious Lord, yourself impart; Light of Light, from God proceeding, open lips and ears and heart; help us by Your Spirit’s leading.  Hear the cry your church now raises; Lord, accept our prayers and praises.” Are we listening? Selah! When you get alone with God in His Word, quiet yourself and remind yourself to listen carefully and then act on what He says!  Ron

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

Being “Spiritual”-What Does That Mean?

Let me draw your attention to a portion of two verses: First, I Corinthians 2:15. “….he that is spiritual….” Second, Galatians 6:1. “….ye which are spiritual….” What does it mean to be “Spiritual?” Only those who are actually born again can be “Spiritual.” When we receive Jesus as Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit enters our inner being (our hearts) and begins His work in us. At that moment, we have the Holy Spirit. In Romans 8:9, we are told: “…. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.” So, if we have the Holy Spirit, the next logical question is: how much does He have of us? Paul wrote the Ephesian church this charge: Be being filled with the Spirit! (From Ephesians 5:18). Far too many Christians believe that some kind of an emotional encounter with the Holy Spirit has to occur to give assurance that we are filled. While joyous and/or profound emotion may be experienced, that is not evidence! The evidence is an increasing knowledge of, and application of, God’s Word in and through our lives. Are we open to the Holy Spirit’s control? Is the Holy Spirit, using the Scriptures, motivating consecration and obedience in us? Once again, Eliza E. Hewitt gives us important understanding in this portion of her hymn, “Come, Holy Spirit.” Think on these words: “Come, Holy Spirit, Come, Spirit of pow’r!  Oh, come in Thy fulness this God-given hour; to Thee be surrendered each feeling and tho’t, and now in our souls be Thy will freely wrought. Come, Holy Spirit, Come, Spirit of love, baptize us with fire from the altars above; Oh, help us sink lower down, down at the cross, there cleanse Thou our hearts from defilement and dross.” Selah! Only as we are filled with, and are being disciplined by, the Word of God can we be “Spiritual!”    Ron

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

Spiritual Discernment-How is it gained?

You have probably read or heard how counterfeit money is recognized. It is by intensely studying the real thing. If Jesus is our Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit opens up God’s Truth to our hearts and minds. Hours, days, weeks, months and years spent intensely studying “the real thing” (God’s Word) makes error stand out by contrast. More and more of the Word of God becomes clear, understandable and life-changing. In Hebrews 5:14, the writer of Hebrews explained how this works: “But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, (even) those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” By using our “senses,” not our physical senses, but our God enabled Spiritual discernment, we are given strong Spiritual meat that we can “sink our teeth into.” A fascinating discovery is made when we deeply engage with Scripture. We interact with God and He reveals more and more of Himself, His love, His plans, etc. When we pray for discernment, depending on His help, He grants us more and more understanding of His Word and the response He expects from us. The more we grasp, the more exciting our walk with Him becomes (and the less we are victims of error and deception).  L. Tuttiett’s hymn, “O Grant Us Light, is filled with pleas for discernment. Let them be our pleas: “O grant us light, that we may know the wisdom Thou alone canst give; that Truth may guide where’er we go, and virtue bless where’er we live. O grant us light, that we may see where error lurks in human lore. and turn our doubting minds to Thee, and love Thy simple Word the more. O grant us light, that we may learn how dead is life from Thee apart, how sure is joy for all who turn to Thee an undivided heart. O grant us light, in grief and pain, to lift our burdened hearts above, and count the very cross a gain, and bless our Father’s hidden love.O grant us light, when, soon or late, all earthly scenes shall pass away, in Thee to find the open gate to deathless home and endless day.” Selah! Let’s be clean vessels that He can fill with knowledge of our Lord and Savior and with His Truth!    Ron

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

Spiritual Discernment-What is it?

Discernment (the word itself) is defined this way in Webster’s New World Dictionary: “to perceive or recognize clearly.” It carries the idea of separating, or dividing apart. For the purpose of this article, let us view it as distinguishing between Truth and error. One other aspect is to see the whole picture clearly. Discernment, when qualified by the word “Spiritual,” is something only those who know Jesus as Lord and Savior can experience. Paul, in I Corinthians 2:14, makes this clear: “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know (them), because they are spiritually discerned.” Those who do not know Jesus (the “natural” or unsaved man) can glean some surface Truth from the Bible (if he or she even cares to try). They cannot see the whole picture clearly. Only the Holy Spirit grants increasing discernment of Scripture. The closer we walk with God, spending quality time in His Word, listening as He speaks to our hearts, the more we can see “the big picture” clearly. One of the great discoveries (for a genuine Christian) is that you can never exhaust the Truth of God’s Holy Word. Read it 10,000 plus times with your heart attuned to His voice and more Truth will be clearly seen. Only sin and disobedience clouds the vision. We who know Him would do well to personally pray these pleas found in the hymn, “Open My Eyes, That I May See,” by Clara H. Scott: “Open my eyes, that I may see glimpses of Truth You have for me; place in my hands the wonderful key that shall unlock and set me free. Silently now, I wait for Thee, ready, my God, Your will to see; open my eyes, illumine me,  Spirit divine!” Selah! God waits to reveal many wonderful Truths as we respond properly to Truth He has already revealed to us.   Ron

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

He’s Really Bad; She’s No Good

How often do we view people like this? While our assessment may be accurate, does this mean that we should write them off and avoid them? We justify ourselves for doing just that, by identifying that person with his or her sinfulness. Aren’t we thankful that Jesus didn’t give up on us while we were very sinful? We need to distinguish between the person  and his or her lifestyle and thinking. Jesus didn’t fellowship with sinners, but he didn’t avoid them or write them off. They were His enemies! Nevertheless, He loved them and died for them! Romans 5:8 tells us: “But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” When we loathe someone’s sinfulness, let’s not loathe the person! Religion often rejects these people; redemption reclaims many of them. “Rescue the Perishing,” a hymn by Fanny Crosby reminds us: “Rescue the perishing, care for the dying, snatch them in pity from sin and the grave; weep o’er the erring one, lift up the fallen, tell them of Jesus, the mighty to save. Though they are slighting Him, still He is waiting, waiting the penitent child to receive; plead with them earnestly, plead with them gently. He will forgive if they only believe. Down in the human heart, crushed by the tempter, feelings lie buried that grace can restore; touched by a loving heart, wakened by kindness, chords that are broken will vibrate once more. Rescue the perishing, duty demands it. Strength for thy labor the Lord will provide; back to the narrow way patiently win them, tell the poor wanderer a Savior has died. Though they are slighting Him, still He is waiting, waiting the penitent child to receive; plead with them earnestly, plead with them gently. He will forgive if they only believe. Rescue the perishing, care for the dying; Jesus is merciful, Jesus will save.” Selah! Remember: “Jesus’ blood can make the vilest sinner clean!” (By Anna W. Waterman)           Ron

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