A Mind-set for the New Year

The kind of mind-set that I have in mind is only possible in its fullest measure for those who know Jesus in a personal saving relationship. Having stated this truth, let’s proceed. My first point is that we all have failures; we all give in to some sins. Then what happens far too often is that these sins cause discouragement and a sense that we are not all that a Christian should be. Here’s where some reason that they just can’t do it. Would it surprise you to learn that God knew every lapse you and I will ever make? He has made provision for when this happens: read I John 1:9! God waits to forgive, cleanse and restore. Now that doesn’t mean that we should “shrug” sin(s) off. Instead we learn from these “falls” and move on, gaining more and more victory over these failures. This is done by growing intimacy with God in His Word, and much time talking with and listening to Him. Paul’s perspective is found in Philippians 3:13-14 in these words: “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but (this) one thing (I do), forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,” I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” So, admit our failures, accept forgiveness and cleansing, get more and more intensely involved in drawing nearer and nearer to God and “move out!” In the words of Johnson Oatman, Jr. seek “Higher Ground:” “I’m pressing on the upward way, new heights I’m gaining every day; still praying as I’m onward bound, “Lord, plant my feet on higher ground. My heart has no desire to stay where doubts arise and fears dismay; though some may dwell where those abound, my prayer, my aim, is higher ground. I want to live above the world, though Satan’s darts at me are hurled; for faith has caught the joyful sound, the song of saints on higher ground. I want to scale the utmost height and catch a gleam of glory bright, but still I’ll pray till Heav’n I’ve found, “Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.” Lord, lift me up and let me stand, by faith, on Heaven’s tableland, a higher plane than I have found; Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.” Selah! Strive to gain ground every day by faithful involvement with God and quality time spent in the things of God.    Ron

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

Complementary Truth

Something wonderful happens. You see a “sight” that takes your breath away. You are given a gift of something you’ve wanted so much, something you could never afford. You get to go somewhere you fervently wished you could go and never thought you would be able to do it. You meet someone that you always wished you could meet, but never dreamed that you would meet face to face. You are so excited and thankful that you just can’t find words to express your appreciation. Words fail; you are “speechless!” When we bow at the cross and receive the gift of eternal life, taking Jesus as our personal Savior and Lord, when we behold His glory, it takes our breath away, so to speak. How can we express the joy of pardon and forgiveness? We could never meet the cost of the gift of life. And, we are going somewhere that infinitely transcends the most beautiful sights on earth. Words fail us when we grasp a little bit of the wonders of His love! Now, ponder deeply this portion of Romans 8:26 that tells of how the Holy Spirit takes from our hearts and minds our gratitude, love, and excitement and hears what we can’t put into words: “….the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” He prays intensely the thankfulness in our hearts which we are at a loss to put into words. “To God be the glory, great things He hath done; so loved He the world that He gave us His Son, Who yielded His life an atonement for sin, and opened the life-gate that all may go in. O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood, to every believer the promise of God; the vilest offender who truly believes, that moment from Jesus a pardon receives. Great things He hath taught us, great things He hath done, and great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son; but purer, and higher and greater will be our wonder, our transport, when Jesus we see!” (“To God be the Glory”-By Fanny Crosby).  Selah! God reads the thoughts of our hearts; let them be filled with wonder, praise, thanks and love!  Ron

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

When Words Fail

Something wonderful happens. You see a “sight” that takes your breath away. You are given a gift of something you’ve wanted so much, something you could never afford. You get to go somewhere you fervently wished you could go and never thought you would be able to do it. You meet someone that you always wished you could meet, but never dreamed that you would meet face to face. You are so excited and thankful that you just can’t find words to express your appreciation. Words fail; you are “speechless!” When we bow at the cross and receive the gift of eternal life, taking Jesus as our personal Savior and Lord, when we behold His glory, it takes our breath away, so to speak. How can we express the joy of pardon and forgiveness? We could never meet the cost of the gift of life. And, we are going somewhere that infinitely transcends the most beautiful sights on earth. Words fail us when we grasp a little bit of the wonders of His love! Now, ponder deeply this portion of Romans 8:26 that tells of how the Holy Spirit takes from our hearts and minds our gratitude, love, and excitement and hears what we can’t put into words: “….the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” He prays intensely the thankfulness in our hearts which we are at a loss to put into words. “To God be the glory, great things He hath done; so loved He the world that He gave us His Son, Who yielded His life an atonement for sin, and opened the life-gate that all may go in. O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood, to every believer thepromise of God; the vilest offender who truly believes, that moment from Jesus a pardon receives. Great things He hath taught us, great things He hath done, and great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son; but purer, and higher and greater will be our wonder, our transport, when Jesus we see!” (“To God be the Glory”-By Fanny Crosby).  Selah! God reads the thoughts of our hearts; let them be filled with wonder, praise, thanks and love!  Ron

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

Just Think About It

Our minds are constantly influenced. By what? They are influenced by many things,    unless……we decide to take charge of our minds ourselves. We far too often think the thoughts others have introduced to our minds. We need to have a guard at the “door” of our minds and we do have such a guard unless we ignore His warnings. The “we” is all who have had a genuine conversion; the guard is the Holy Spirit Who uses Scripture to protect us from “illegal entry.” Far too often, we ignore the warnings and allow much wrong thinking to take over in our hearts and minds. Do you ever wonder why we let others have so much impact on us, but ignore, refuse, or forget to let God’s Word impact us? We are “wired” to respond to emotional stimulation. It requires a disciplined determination to reign in our emotionally stimulated thoughts. It requires the same discipline to search out: “what saith the Lord!” (See Joshua 5:14). Unless we, using the Word of God, filter all incoming thoughts, we will be victims of the enemy’s tactics. God’s Truth taking over our thinking saves us from being unstable in our Spiritual walk: “A double minded man (is) unstable in all his ways” (James 1:8). This is why, in II Corinthians 10:5, we are to be “….casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” William H. Foulkes has given us a hymn, “Take Thou Our Minds, Dear Lord.” It expresses the heart of a true disciple: “Take Thou our minds, dear Lord, we humbly pray, give us the mind of Christ each passing day; teach us to know the Truth that sets us free; grant us in all our thoughts to honor Thee. Take Thou our hearts, O Christ, they are Thine own; come Thou within our souls and claim Thy throne; help us to shed abroad Thy deathless love; use us to make the earth like heaven above. Take Thou our wills, Most High! Hold Thou full sway; have in our inmost souls Thy perfect way; guard Thou each sacred hour from selfish ease; guide Thou our ordered lives as Thou dost please. Take Thou ourselves, O Lord, heart, mind, and will; through our surrendered souls Thy plans fulfill. We yield ourselves to Thee—time, talents, all; we hear, and henceforth heed, Thy sovereign call.Selah! Fill your mind with God’s Word; make disciplined application as you seek the Holy Spirit’s enabling.   Ron

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

What about 2019?

The first thing to keep in mind is that Jesus can and might come for His own before 2019. Having said that, time is a special gift given to us to use or squander. We are responsible to make wise use of our time! This was Paul’s inspired admonition to us and to the Ephesian Church: “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16). Time is a trust, as well as a gift! Once “spent,” it cannot be reclaimed; it is gone forever. There are normal responsibilities, justifiable and necessary rest times, family times, etc. Here’s the danger: in all our daily living, Jesus can be relegated all the way to the background. This will happen (to our shame), if He is just “tucked in” to our lives each day. He is to be central!! We need to ask ourselves this question: How does Jesus want us to use this new day? Are we available to Him and will we strive to let Him guide and use us? Maggie Metcalf’s hymn, “How Should We Spend Our Time?” offers us some serious challenges: “How should we spend our time? In folly and in sin? Nay, rather let us seek while here some souls for Christ to win. How should we spend our time?  In heaping worldly gains? Oh, no, we’ll lay our treasure up in Heav’n where Jesus reigns. How should we spend our time? To gain th’applause of man? No, no, we’ll work, and always seek to praise the great I AM. Then let us treasure time, and live in doing good, remembering that to God we owe our lasting gratitude. Then, up and be doing, Go, work while you may; life swiftly is fleeting, why longer delay? Press onward to battle, be strong in the Lord; He’ll bear you up bravely, go, trusting His Word.” Selah! Time past is gone; what will we do with time NOW?  Ron

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

Three Days Later

Jesus, when He had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost” (Matthew 27:50). When Satan beheld that moment, I can imagine that he and his demon cohorts smirked and concluded that they had triumphed. Their foolish and wicked pride blinded them to what really happened in that moment. They only had three days to celebrate! When Jesus died on that horrible cross, the sin-debt of all humanity was erased and it was and is credited to all who receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Instead of a huge victory, Satan, in astonishment, I’m sure, discovered that the death of Jesus was not the end of the narrative. Three days after His death, Jesus was raised to life; the dead Man defeated death! What His death on that cross had accomplished was forever guaranteed to all who are raised from eternal death to eternal life. But it goes even further: that resurrection life is put into all true believers, in the Person of the Holy Spirit. In other words, all who are born again are indwelt with the life of God! “For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, (Who is) our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory” (Colossians 3:3-4). We are dead to our old way of death, but alive unto God! “Man of sorrows what a name for the Son of God, Who came, ruined sinners to reclaim: Hallelujah, what a Savior!  Bearing shame and scoffing rude, in my place condemned He stood, sealed my pardon with His blood: Hallelujah, what a Savior! Guilty, helpless, vile were we; spotless Lamb of God was He; full Atonement! Can it be? Hallelujah, what a Savior! Lifted up was He to die; “It is finished” was His cry; now in heaven exalted high: Hallelujah, what a Savior! When He comes, our glorious King, all His ransomed home to bring, then anew this song we’ll sing: Hallelujah, what a Savior! (“Hallelujah! What a Savior!”-By P. P. Bliss). Selah! Three all surpassing events: the cradle, the cross and the Christ-Life in us, sealing all who know Him as His own Personal possessions.     Ron

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

Born for the Moment

If we were asked to state the three greatest moments in history, they would be: the cradle, the cross, and the resurrection. Nothing comes close to the significance of these events. Jesus was born as one of us, yet sinless! God was in Christ in a human body! This is how Wesley put it: “Veiled in flesh, the God-head see; Hail th’ incarnate Deity!”  God, in Jesus,  came to our world. And for a few short years the cross was coming closer and closer for Jesus. I have no doubt that Jesus was fully aware of what He would have to endure. In His love for fallen mankind, He moved straight to that moment. He suffered horribly, died an awful death, paid the penalty due all human sin and He made pardon, cleansing, forgiveness and Spiritual life available to any and all who would come to Him in faith and receive Him as their Lord and Savior. When anyone receives Him; when they begin to grasp what it cost Him to be able to offer such a glorious relationship with Himself, they are filled with gratitude for such love and can identify with T. P. Hamilton’s hymn, “How Much I Owe.” It’s a debt too huge for any of us to pay! Here is how the hymn reads: “When Jesus died on Calvary, when Jesus died it was for me; I oft-times wonder shall I know how much I owe, how much I owe? My Jesus in Gethsemane passed thro’ the direst agony; ‘twas all for me He suffered so; How can I tell how much I owe? When on the cross those cruel nails gave me a Christ Who never fails, and from His wounds there came a flow that saves from sin – how much I owe! When I shall reach that golden shore, to dwell with Him forevermore, ten million years may come and go, I cannot tell how much I owe! How much I owe for love divine! How much I owe that Christ is mine! But what He did for me, I know, I cannot tell how MUCH I owe!” Think on the wonder of these words from Galatians 2:20: “ ….the Son of God Who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Selah! His love was limitless, intense beyond degree, and is lavished freely and fully on all who bow at the Cross!   Ron

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