Incapability of the Mind

The human mind can only know some things ABOUT God. It cannot enable us to know God Himself! The human mind is incapable of knowing God.  I Corinthians 2:14 tells us that: “….the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God….” That is, the human mind cannot receive Spiritual Truth without the enabling of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit draws people to Christ. If they receive Jesus as Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit begins a revealing of Spiritual Truth that lasts a lifetime. He also reveals to heart and mind the Person and Presence of Jesus. We realize that we now know Him in a wonderful and personal relationship. The tragedy is that many have assumed that knowledge ABOUT Him is the same as knowing Him. It most definitely is not! If you do not know Him in wonderful Friendship and fellowship, if you are not conscious of His abiding Presence in you, you may only know ABOUT Him. Knowing ABOUT Him is only so that you may see that you need to surrender your heart and life to Him. When you do trust Him and His Word like that, your Spiritual rebirth takes place and you begin to discover Him and discern His Presence. In the hymn, “How Can I Be Lonely?“ – By Haldor Lillenas, we have a musical testimony of the wonder of enjoying Him personally each moment of our lives: “One is walking with me over life’s uneven way, constantly supporting me each moment of the day. How can I be lonely when such fellowship is mine, with my blessed Lord divine!? How can I be lonely when I’ve Jesus only to be my Companion and unfailing Guide? Why should I be weary, or the path seem dreary, when He’s walking by my side?” Selah! One of Satan’s most successful deceptions is to let us settle for knowledge ABOUT Him, without coming to truly KNOW Him!   Ron  

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At Home

Most of us have a home, a place where we can relax, renew and rest. It hopefully is comfortable, pleasant and secure. We look forward to “getting home.” Some advertisements tell us that “Home is where the heart is!” We can unwind, take care of responsibilities and try to get a good night’s sleep. Regrettably, not everyone has a home like this. However, those who have come to Jesus and yielded their lives to Him as their Lord and Savior, trusting Him for salvation, always have a place “at home” in Him. The Bible refers to this as “abiding.” When the new birth is experienced, the new “babe in Christ” is adopted and placed “in Christ.” And, wonder of wonders, Jesus makes His home in each of God’s children. He never leaves! Jesus charges His own in John 15:4 to: “Abide in me, and I in you.” And, in Hebrews 13:5 the inspired author reminds us of Jesus’ promise: “….I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Are we comfortable in Jesus; are we finding rest; are we being renewed and refreshed; are we “at home” in Him; are we enjoying the peace and love His Presence brings us? Anne S. Murphy gave us the hymn, “Constantly Abiding.” This wonderful hymn gives musical voice to the blessed truth of being in Him and He being in us: “There’s a peace in my heart that the world never gave, a peace it cannot take away; tho’ the trials of life may surround like a cloud, I’ve a peace that has come there to stay! All the world seemed to sing of a Savior and King, when peace sweetly came to my heart. Troubles all fled away and my night turned to day, Blessed Jesus, how glorious Thou art! This treasure I have in a temple of clay, while here on His’ footstool I roam: but He’s coming to take me some glorious day over there to my Heavenly home! Constantly abiding, Jesus is mine; Constantly abiding, rapture divine; He never leaves me lonely, whispers, O so kind: “I will never leave thee!” Jesus is mine!” Selah! Wherever you live, wherever you go, remember, if you are His, you are “at home!” Enjoy His peace!   Ron

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Idol, Obsession, Or Aid?

Could we be embracing an idol and not even realize that we have done just that? What does it mean to idolize something? To do such a thing can range from mild to intense. It might be just being very fascinated with something or someone. It might mean that we carry being a fan beyond fun into a passionate fixation. In its intense form, we are completely devoted to, and are deeply absorbed in, whatever we’ve allowed to become our idol. Could technology be this kind of idol? Perhaps! It depends on you and me and how we relate to it. Could we live without it? What if our electricity was lost for a month or two? Do we wait with baited breath for the next technological offering? Are we so thoroughly involved in exploring the possibilities of the latest offering that we lose sight of why we are blessed with these devices? In other words are they idols, obsessions or aids? These tools, aids, helps are given to help us, give us some enjoyment, and enable us to more effectively carry out the ministry that God has given us. (Of course, I am addressing those who know Jesus as Lord and Savior). Exodus 20:3 is a command for God’s people: “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.” William Cowper, in his hymn, “O for a Closer Walk with God,” Included a stanza with a solemn declaration. It is a declaration you and I need to make and to live out in our lives: “The dearest idol I have known, whate’er that idol be, help me to tear it from Thy throne and worship only Thee.” Selah! Are we passionate about our love for the Lord, His Word and prayer? Are we much more passionate than with technological wonders?   Ron 

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Darkness to Darkness

Imagine being born in only darkness, living your whole life in darkness, living eternally in darkness. That is the fate of all outside of Jesus! Physical darkness is awful; spiritual darkness is horrible beyond words. The children of God, those who trust in and receive Jesus as Lord and Savior, are rescued from spiritual darkness and experience increasing light (Spiritual light, understanding) and will live eternally free of darkness. This light is present even in the most intense physical darkness and in physical blindness. God “….hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated (us) into the kingdom of His dear Son.” (From Colossians 1:13). We experience more and more light (understanding, revealing) until we reach Heaven’s perfect light and the glorious radiance of our Savior. “….the path of the just (is) as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” (From Proverbs 4:18). “Trying to walk in the steps of the Savior, trying to follow our Savior and King; shaping our lives by His blessed example, happy, how happy, the songs that we bring. Pressing more closely to Him who is leading, when we are tempted to turn from the way; trusting the arm that is strong to defend us, happy, how happy, our praises each day. Walking in footsteps of gentle forbearance, footsteps of faithfulness, mercy and love, looking to Him for the grace freely promised, happy, how happy, our journey above. Trying to walk in the steps of the Savior, upward, still upward, we’ll follow our Guide; when we shall see Him, “the King in His beauty,” happy, how happy, our place at His side. How beautiful to walk in the steps of the Savior, stepping in the light, stepping in the light; how beautiful to walk in the steps of the Savior, led in paths of light.” (“Stepping in the Light”-By E. E. Hewitt). Selah! Receiving Jesus’ offer of salvation is the dividing line between eternal darkness and eternal light.   Ron

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Although they seem less frequent these days, power outages are a nuisance. In some cases, outages are  very serious, such as at a hospital. If you are in danger and can’t get a phone signal, it might result in death or injury. Nevertheless, there is an even far more serious “outage.” It is when there is no contact with God! We are born into a world without a connection to God. On His end, God provided a means for us to be connected to Him. It was infinitely costly; it was the death of His Son to make atonement for our sin(s)! Whenever someone trusts Him as Savior and Lord of his or her life, the connection is restored. In our walk (our daily lives) unconfessed sins can break the connection, until we confess and turn from them. There is another very serious “outage.” When we try to serve God in our own strength or using our own reasoning, His power is blocked. When we look to Him and His Word, relying on the Holy Spirit to use and guide us and are walking in the light of His Word, power comes flowing into us and out through us. In his hymn, “Teach Me to Pray,” Albert S. Reitz  gives us these important stanzas: “Power in prayer, Lord, power in prayer, here ‘mid earth’s sin and sorrow and care; men lost and dying, souls in despair, O give me power, power in prayer! 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.” “….ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me….” (From Acts 1:8). Selah! When there is no “outage” and the Word is working in us and out through us, the power and authority of God’s Word impacts people, sometimes negatively and sometimes positively.  Ron

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What Level of Devotion?

I’m sure that you have noticed in these blog posts my concern for reality and intensity in the lives of those who claim Jesus as their Lord and Savior. I am concerned for this in my own life as well. Can we pray for each other to truly involve ourselves in being fully committed to strong devotion to our Savior? Having mentioned the above, let me ask us a question. Take time to think it through and then answer the question to yourself: On a scale of 1-10, 1 being “very little” and 10 being “very much,” ask yourself: How devoted to Jesus am I? Answer honestly! If it is very little, what will I seriously determine to do to see my devotion to Him increase? If it is very much, what am I doing/and what can I do to keep the flame of devotion burning brightly? A mostly emotional resolve will not take us very far; a firm and fierce determination will intensify our devotion. Only time in His Presence, His Word, in prayer, in thoughtful reflection, and fellowship with serious Christians will set our hearts on fire! Are we ready for revival? “….Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind.” (From Luke 10:27). Wonderful devotion is expressed in the hymn, “Full Surrender.” Rebecca S. Pollard expresses the kind of devotion that should be ours: “Savior, ‘tis a full surrender, all I leave to follow Thee; Thou my Leader and Defender from this hour shalt ever be. As I come in deep contrition, at this consecrated hour, hear, O Christ, my heart’s petition, let me feel the Spirit’s power! No withholding—full confession; pleasures, riches, all must flee; Holy Spirit, take possession! I no more, but Thou in me. Oh, the joy of full salvation! Oh, the peace of love divine! Oh, the bliss of consecration! I am His, and He is mine. I surrender all! I surrender all! All I have I bring to Jesus, I surrender all.Selah! Are you and I ready for this kind of devotion?   Ron

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A Story or a Savior?

A car falls into a ditch. Do we get it out or do we sit there and just spin our wheels? The answer seems obvious. Get it out, fix it and move out. But what about Christians whose lives have slipped into a ditch of habit without any effort to get out and get their spiritual lives back down to business? We urgently need disciples who will get their Spiritual momentum going on all eight cylinders. Filled with the excitement and reality of Apostolic fellowship and fervor, their joy, their genuine experience, their determination and application starts to become contagious! Walking in step with a living Savior, they know abundant lives. These are the real “advertisements” for the thrill of personal involvement with Jesus! “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” Dear reader, being completely honest, can you say that knowing Him is the greatest thing that has ever happened to you? Too many only know Jesus as a story in the Bible. We need to and can know Him in person, in a dynamic experience of walking with Him daily! Let God’s Word tell you all about Him and then know Him yourself as the most important Person and Presence in your life 24/7. Let him set your heart on fire with love and joy. You can experience what Avis B. Christiansen wrote in her hymn, “It is Glory Just to Walk with Him.” Consider her musical testimony: “It is glory just to walk with Him Whose blood has ransomed me; it is rapture for my soul each day. It is joy divine to feel Him near where’er my path may be. Bless the Lord, it’s glory all the way! It is glory when the shadows fall, to know that He is near. Oh, what joy to simply trust and pray! It is glory to abide in Him when skies above are clear. Yes, with Him, it’s glory all the way! Twill be glory when I walk with Him on Heaven’s golden shore, never from His side again to stray. Twill be glory, wondrous glory with the Saviour evermore, everlasting glory all the way! It is glory just to walk with Him. It is glory just to walk with Him. He will guide my steps aright, thro’ the vale and o’er the height. It is glory just to walk with Him.” Selah! In case you haven’t noticed, Jesus is no longer in the tomb; He’s in the inner being of all who know and trust Him as Lord and Savior. Have you gotten really acquainted with Him?  Ron

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