Light Quality-1

Imagine that you are out in the harbor and your boat is sinking. You are in total darkness. You want to get your boat to shore, but where is shore? There are rocks all along the coast but you can’t see any of the coast. The odds of shipwreck are huge! You are tempted to row hard and hope for the best. Suddenly, you see a glimmer of light. You want to head toward it, but what if it is a place of danger or difficulty. Then, as you get closer, the light increases and you can see what looks like a place of safety. Unknown to you, it is from boats who are looking to rescue you. If you turn away from it, you will die by drowning. Hopefully, you will risk coming to the light. We who know Jesus as Savior and Lord, came to the Light and were rescued. With grateful hearts we long to extend that Light to others on the way to eternal shipwreck! When any of God’s people speak to you about your need of the Savior, if you’ve never bowed to Him, they are offering eternal Light that will guide you safe into His glorious Presence forever. Don’t go it alone and sink into the depths of eternal loss! Remember: “….The path of the just (is) as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” (From Proverbs 4:18). “The Light of the World is Jesus,“ a warning hymn-by P. P. Bliss, speaks to the need of sinking lives: “The whole world was lost in the darkness of sin, the Light of the world is Jesus! Like sunshine at noonday, His glory shone in; the Light of the world is Jesus! Ye dwellers in darkness with sin-blinded eyes, the Light of the world is Jesus! Go, wash at His bidding, and light will arise; the Light of the world is Jesus. Come to the light, ’tis shining for thee; sweetly the light has dawned upon me; once I was blind, but now I can see: the Light of the world is Jesus!” Selah! What about those who shine the Light? Let’s examine that tomorrow, God willing.  Ron

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A Heart-rending Glimpse

There was a time, not so very long ago, when Christians were strongly challenged to reach “the lost.” Have you heard recently (except in a general way) any serious challenge to  witness to others? Why not? Has God stopped caring about unsaved people? Absolutely not! Could it be that downplaying preaching about Hell has contributed to this dereliction of duty? General Booth, of the Salvation Army, has been quoted as saying that if he could put his officers in Hell for five minutes, they would need no more motivation to try to win the “lost!” They would reach out with deeply burdened hearts to rescue the perishing. Jude gives us this strong admonition in Verse 23: “….others save with fear, pulling (them) out of the fire….” Let me give just one line of thought as an example: imagine having someone hold a match to your finger that you couldn’t extinguish. Then realize that you couldn’t “pass out” or get free. You will have to suffer that pain, forever! Only a finger? What if it were your whole body? Far worse than that, what if it was your soul burning and never stopping? This is only one little part of all that has to do with Hell. God deliver us from cold hearts and tearless eyes! Herbert G. Tovey gave us the hymn, “A Passion for Souls.” May we pray for a passion for souls: “Give me a passion for souls, dear Lord, a passion to save the lost; O that Thy love were by all adored and welcomed at any cost! Tho there are dangers untold and stern confronting me in the way, willingly still would I go, nor turn, but trust Thee for grace each day. How shall this passion for souls be mine? Lord, make Thou the answer clear; help me to throw out the old Life-line to those who are struggling near. Jesus, I long, I long to be winning men who are lost, and constantly sinning; O may this hour be one of beginning, the story of pardon to tell.”  Selah! Please realize that this article and yesterday’s are not from one who has “arrived,” but from one who hopes you will join him in praying for a passion for souls.  Ron

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What About “Lost” People?

Think for a moment on this excerpt from “Master, The Tempest is Raging”-By Mary Ann Baker: “Master, the tempest is raging! The billows are tossing high! The sky is o’ershadowed with blackness, no shelter or help is nigh: “Carest Thou not that we perish?” How canst Thou lie asleep, when each moment so madly is threat’ning a grave in the angry deep?” Now, consider this excerpt from Psalm 142:4. The writer lamented: “….no man cared for my soul!” I Know that lost souls are not in mind here, but the concern expressed could easily be said about “lost” people. If they know it, or if they don’t, they are headed for eternal and severe danger. So the question that we need to ask ourselves is: “Do I care?” We who know Jesus would probably be able to honestly say: “I care.” The next question merits real heart searching? “Do I care enough?” A great many of us, thoroughly searching our hearts would have to admit: “No! I don’t.” Why? Because our distractions and activities keep us too occupied to do much of anything to reach out to others about their need. Add to this, Satan gladly provides (free of charge) a “warehouse of excuses” as to why we can’t do much about the need. Some of these excuses seem very valid. Nevertheless, we are still charged to witness! Selah! How can we come to care enough to overcome the excuses and actually witness? Let’s look at that tomorrow, God willing! Ron

 P. S. It will not be about methods; it will be about holy motivation.

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A Safe Deposit

We need to think clearly about what it means to give our hearts and lives to Jesus. This is not a conditional commitment. We are not just going to give it a try; if it works and gives me what I want, I’ll stick with it. If not, “I’m out of here.” If we are not surrendering to Him in total trust, we are probably not truly born again. Those who have and those who will make that kind of commitment, have made the safest possible deposit that a human being can make. They have deposited their lives into His hands. This is the safest of all deposits in this life and the one to come! All who do that can say what Paul said in II Timothy 1:12, with absolute confidence: “….I know Whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.” Those who make this kind of commitment become His sheep. they are wholly given over to the love, care and protection of the Shepherd. John 10:27-28 is God’s guarantee of eternal security: “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any (man) pluck them out of My hand.” In the hymn “Praise the Savior, Ye Who Know Him”-by Thomas Kelly, there is a wonderful testimony to our eternal safety: “Praise the Savior, ye who know Him! Who can tell how much we owe Him? Gladly let us render to Him all we are and have. Jesus is the name that charms us; He for conflict fits and arms us; nothing moves and nothing harms us while we trust in Him. Trust in Him, ye saints, forever; He is faithful, changing never; neither force nor guile can sever those He loves from Him. Keep us, Lord, O keep us cleaving to Thyself, and still believing, till the hour of our receiving promised joys with Thee. Then we shall be where we would be, then we shall be what we should be; things that are not now, nor could be, soon shall be our own.” Selah! When we stop and think about the ransom price Jesus paid on Calvary to rescue us, there is no way He is going to lose what cost Him so dearly!     Ron

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Then, What?

Thinking back to yesterday’s article, someone goes “forward,” understands what he or she is doing, and makes a firm, not to be changed, decision to surrender his or her “all” to Jesus. They become an instant saint, right? Wrong! For the sake of discussion, let’s assume that the decision was genuine. What has happened? They have entered into a life-long relationship with God through Jesus. They have turned away from their old lifestyle to a new Godly one. Their desires, interests and understanding have been greatly changed. Their life plans are now submitted to God’s will. Their reasonings and motives are changed. They want to learn all about God and the things of God. The Bible has come alive to them; it is now God speaking to them and teaching and instructing them. The church has changed from something “religious” to a vibrant, living, Spiritual entity. They want others to know the wonder they are experiencing. Instead of begrudging, they love to give to support His work. All of this is accomplished, little by little. With some the change is slow; with others faster. Nevertheless, from the moment of “surrender,” they are moving through life and are headed toward the “moment” when they are completely transformed into His likeness and will live forever in His Presence, in a place that is forever free from all sin and wrong. They may stumble and fall; they may get “side tracked;” they may waver for a time, but they will get “squared around” and move on toward home. (A few may have to be brought home suddenly because of sin’s possible damage to others-They have given in to some sin or sins and have tried to make excuses and resisted letting go of them). In II Corinthians 5:17, Paul is inspired to tell us: “Therefore if any man (be) in Christ, (he is) a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” This was part of being saved, but also it is ongoing from that moment all the way to our glorification. These changes evoke love and gratitude such as that found in William B. Featherstone’s hymn, “My Jesus, I Love Thee.” “My Jesus, I love Thee, I know Thou art mine; for Thee all the follies of sin I resign; my gracious Redeemer, my Savior art Thou; if ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.” Selah! From the moment of conversion, God works holiness into our lives, while purifying our hearts.    Ron

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Going “Forward”

A gospel appeal is made. People “go forward,” or to the “altar,” or to a decision room. This is good only to a very limited extent. It’s a first step in the most important matter of all. What matters, most of all, is what happens when you get there. Are you there because you have been emotionally stirred? That’s O. K. if it motivates you to do the right thing. Are you under conviction? That’s good unless you only want relief from guilt. Or, have you realized that you need a Savior? Have you realized that you need a Savior from sin itself and not just its penalty? Are you ready to give over the control of your life to Jesus? Are you turning to Him as your Lord? These are serious questions in today’s climate of “easy believism.”  Are you willing to have “self” pushed from the throne of your life and yield to Jesus’ reign? If you can answer these questions about His Lordship with an honest “Yes!” you have made a life-changing decision. Jesus, in Matthew 10:38, declared His terms: “And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after Me, is not worthy of Me.” Judson W. Van De Venter has musically described in his hymn, “I Surrender All” the commitment a serious seeker is called to make: “All to Jesus I surrender, all to Him I freely give; I will ever love and trust Him, in His Presence daily live. All to Jesus I surrender, make me, Savior, wholly Thine; let me feel Thy Holy Spirit, truly know that Thou art mine. All to Jesus I surrender, Lord, I give myself to Thee; fill me with Thy love and power, let Thy blessing fall on me. I surrender all, I surrender all; all to Thee, my blessed Savior, I surrender all.” Selah! Being completely “up front” with those who are seeking is for their eternal good and for that of Jesus’ church!    Ron

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Godly Jealousy

I’ve been reading a chapter in “Knowing God”-By J. I. Packer (A very worthwhile read)! God is jealous in a right way. He’s jealous in the sense of His name being respected, as His name involves His character and His holiness! He is jealous in the sense of not letting anything or anyone come between Him and His family. He wants us to be whole-heartedly committed to Him and He wants that because He knows that it is for our blessing. If you have yielded your heart and life to Him, received Jesus’ forgiveness and cleansing, this means you. This saving relationship calls for zeal! I’m speaking of an intensity of love and gratitude that ignites a holy desire and determination to honor Him with our words, thoughts and deeds, looking to Him for daily grace to make that the basic motivation of our lives, each and every day. In Philippians 1:27, Paul admonished the church at Philippi (and all who know Jesus) in these words: “Only let your conversation” (This is the way you live your life). “be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together  for the faith of the gospel….” Sometimes a father or mother will charge their children to do nothing to disgrace the family name. On a far higher level, let’s not do anything to dishonor His holy name. Frederick Whitfield gave us timely words in his hymn, “There is a Name I Love to Hear!” It is simple, but profound: “There is a name I love to hear, I love to sing its worth; it sounds like music in my ear, the sweetest name on earth.” Selah! We who know Jesus as Lord and Savior bear the name above every name, the name of Jesus! Let’s honor that Holy Name by our lives and lips!   Ron

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Gratitude for “Home”

Even with all the good things, would you like to live on this earth for 500 years, let alone “forever?” On the other hand, would you be wanting to leave this world and never see God (except in judgment) or never see anything good for all eternity? For all who know Jesus as Savior and Lord, we have an eternal “home” with Him forever. A place with Him (with only good forever) awaits those who are born again. Nothing bad will ever be experienced. We will bask in His infinite love, “all tears forever over.” We will see in all His glory and splendor the One Who loved us and suffered a horrible death to free us from the penalty due our sin(s). In John 14:1-2, we have His promise and guarantee: “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if (it were) not (so), I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” In the next verse, He added that we will be where He is; we will be in His Presence for all eternity. What a glorious day that will be! “Face to face with Christ my Savior, Face to face–what will it be, when with rapture I behold Him, Jesus Christ who died for me? Only faintly now I see Him with the darkened veil between, but a blessed day is coming when His glory shall be seen. What rejoicing in His presence, when are banished grief and pain; when the crooked ways are straightened and the dark things shall be plain. Face to face–oh, blissful moment! Face to face–to see and know; Face to face with my Redeemer, Jesus Christ Who loves me so. Face to face I shall behold Him, far beyond the starry sky; Face to face in all His glory, I shall see Him by and by!” (“Face to Face”-By Carrie Ellis Breck). Selah! Any second we could be in His Presence forever! Or, If we don’t know Him, it could take just a second to be “lost,” to be banished from His Presence forever. If you know Him; rejoice! If you don’t know Him, this moment might be your only time to trust Jesus for salvation. Seek Him, while He may be found!    Ron

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Gratitude for Relationship-2


If you needed a guide, you might have to hire one. If you needed a counselor, you might have to make an appointment and it could be expensive. If your life is messed up or simply hard to understand, you need to know what to do; you need to know how to “fix” it. If you have few or no friends, or if friends have failed you, you need someone you can count on to stand by you, no matter what. Someone reading this may not be experiencing being loved unconditionally. Maybe you feel isolated and lonely, sort of “lost in the crowd.” Trusting Jesus as your Savior and Lord, if you haven’t yet done that, will give you a relationship with Him and He will be there for you every step of life’s journey. When we come to Him as our Shepherd, we come to know the reality of Psalm 23 in our lives: “The Lord (is) my Shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou (art) with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” In his hymn, “I’ve Found a Friend,” James G. Small testified to what Jesus means to us: “I’ve found a Friend, O such a Friend! Christ loved me ere I knew Him. He drew me with the cords of love, and thus He bound me to Him; and round my heart still closely twine those ties which naught can sever, For I am His, and Christ is mine, forever and forever. I’ve found a friend, O such a friend! He bled, He died to save me; and not alone the gift of life, but His own self He gave me; naught that I have my own I call, I hold it for the Giver; my heart, my strength, my life, my all are His, and His forever. I’ve found a friend, O such a friend! All pow’r to Him is given, to guard me on my onward course, and bring me safe to Heaven. Th’eternal glories gleam afar to nerve my faint endeavor; so now to watch, to work, to war, and then to rest forever. I’ve found a friend, O such a friend! So kind and true and tender, so wise a counselor and guide, so mighty a defender! From Him who loves me now so well what pow’r my soul can sever? Shall life or death or earth or Hell? No, I am His forever.” Selah! This relationship never ends!  Ron. 

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Gratitude for Relationship-1

Some people have no family, no friends, no one to help them. For a child of God, one who knows Jesus as Lord and Savior, there is one Person Who is always there for him or her. In having Jesus, we have Someone Who loves us like no other ever could. Spiritual rebirth makes us part of the family of God. We belong to God and through Jesus, God belongs to us as our loving Father. This relationship is remarkable for what it does for us. By the way, we talk about a personal relationship, but do we stop to think what it really means? Take a few minutes and focus your thinking on Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 3:14-19. “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of Whom the whole family in Heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love may be able to comprehend with all saints what (is) the breadth, and length, and depth, and height: and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.” The love of family and friends is a wonderful blessing. However, it can fail us. Many people have experienced that kind of failure! Jesus’ love will never fail us! Bertha Mae Lillenas’ hymn, “Jesus is Always There” speaks of Jesus’ unfailing love for His own: “Sometimes our skies are cloudy and dreary, sometimes our heats are burdened with care; but we may know, whate’er may befall us, Jesus is always there. When in the midst of life with its problems, bent with our toil and burdens we bear; wonderful thought and deep consolation: Jesus is always there. When we are walking thru the green pastures, or over mountains rugged and bare; precious the thought and sweet the assurance, Jesus is always there. “Lo, I am with you alway” is written, God will not fail to answer our prayer; trusting His word we rest in His promise,—Jesus is always there. Never a burden that He doth not carry, never a sorrow that He doth not share; whether the days may be sunny or dreary, Jesus is always there.” Selah! Tomorrow, God willing, we hope to add more thoughts on this amazing relationship. Please make it a point to join us and have a blessed Thanksgiving.    Ron

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