Two Ways to be Seen

If we know Jesus as Savior and Lord, we are being watched! When we talk about Jesus and Spiritual things, people watch to see if they can see any evidence that we know what we’re talking about and if it has made a positive impact in our lives. If people go to the Word of God with an open heart and mind, Jesus can be seen in the Bible. However, many might only take a hard look at Scripture, if they see something in our lives that provokes their curiosity and causes them to wonder if Jesus could make their lives better. How could they get a real look at Him in our lives? They would notice a change in our conduct, speech, interests, activities, attitudes, and our response to trials. It would be such a change from the way we were before we were saved that they might ask, “How come you are so different?” Then we could explain that Jesus has made the difference in our lives and He can change them just like He changed us. For some, this may motivate them to take their first step toward Jesus. Paul was inspired to admonish Timothy: “….be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” (From I Timothy 4:12). This applies to us today, as well! “Living for Jesus,” a hymn by Thomas O. Chisholm describes the kind of life that may cause others to look to Jesus: “Living for Jesus a life that is true, striving to please Him in all that I do, yielding allegiance glad hearted and free this is the pathway of blessing for me. Living for Jesus, who died in my place,  bearing on Calvary my sin and disgrace: such love constrains me to answer His call, follow His leading, and give Him my all. Living for Jesus wherever I am, doing each duty in His holy name, seeking the lost ones He died to redeem, bringing the weary to find rest in Him. O Jesus, Lord and Savior, I give myself to Thee, for Thou in Thy atonement didst give Thyself for me. I own no other master, my heart shall be Thy throne: my life I give, henceforth to live, O Christ, for Thee alone.” Selah! The first serious look at Jesus may come from looking at His children. May we reflect Him clearly!    Ron

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Blocking the View

We’ve thought about how we can live Godly; how we can overcome sin and maintain a Godly lifestyle. For those who know Jesus as Lord and Savior, studying, applying, and obeying the Word of God is the key. We follow Scriptural guidelines, learn Biblical principles, let the Holy Spirit use the Word to develop Godly character qualities in us. This demonstrates to those watching that Jesus is worth knowing in a saving relationship. When we neglect these things (and God has to chasten us), we cloud the vision of the wonder, grace and love of Jesus. And we block the view of His Person and Presence! That should be more than sufficient motivation to cooperate with The Holy Spirit’s promptings and with His purifying work in our hearts, minds and conduct. If we truly know Jesus, we do not want to dishonor Him in any way! No genuine child of God wants to keep anyone from seeing Him! Let us, along with Paul, determine that: “….Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether (it be) by life, or by death.” (From Philippians 1:20). Let our prayer be like the one in the hymn, Let the Beauty of Jesus,” by Albert Orsborn: “Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me, all His wonderful passion and purity; O my Savior divine, all my being refine, till the beauty of Jesus be seen in me.” Selah! As each area of our lives comes to reflect Him, there will be those who are drawn to know Him for themselves. Let’s not let the reflection be clouded! Let’s not block the view!  Ron

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Every Day Worship

Worship is comprehensive. We tend to compartmentalize. One part of our lives is sacred; the other part is secular. Such a distinction, when it comes to worship, is unacceptable and artificial. If we are truly born again; if Jesus is our Lord and Savior, all of our living is worship! We worship when we bring children up to know the Lord. We worship when we work by being an example of a true Christian. We worship when we earn income and can support God’s work. We worship when we rest and when we eat right. Our bodies are God’s temple. We worship when we serve God. We worship when we spend quality time with Him. A major factor in worship (perhaps the most important) is to bring glory to God. These are some of the ways to worship. “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God” (I Corinthians 10:31). Clarence  M. Seaman’s hymn, “Take Me Today,” musically expresses the heart of all who would worship to the glory of God: “What wilt Thou have me to do, dear Lord?  I’m waiting on bended knee; listening now for Thy precious Word, I long to be used of Thee. Where wilt Thou have me to go, dear Lord? Some errand of love make known, which will to sorrowing hearts afford sweet peace from Thy heavn’ly throne. What wilt Thou have me to say, dear Lord as onward thro’ life I go?  Deep in my heart precious truths record which Thou wouldst have others know. What wilt Thou have me to be, dear Lord? My life and my all are Thine.  Bind me to Thee with love’s golden cord, around me Thine arms entwine. Take me, dear Lord, teach me Thy Word.  Humbly I pray, take me to-day. Take me, dear Lord, to-day.” Selah! Worship is not only for prayer and study of God’s Word, for when our local church assembles, etc. It is to be a way of life 24/7!  Ron

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Getting “Adam” out of Us

When we begin our new life in Christ there is a residue of our fallen nature left in us. We inherited that nature by being among Adam’s descendants. All who receive Jesus as Savior and Lord are freed from the penalty for breaking God’s Law. Nevertheless, that doesn’t give us an excuse to give in to our fallen nature. When Jesus restored Lazarus to life, He called for the removal of the graveclothes. What’s leftover from death needs to go! Our old nature must give way to our new nature. The “old man” has to die out. Paul, in Romans 6:11-15 challenges us: “….reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.” How does this work out in actual experience? The Holy Spirit uses God’s Word in our hearts and minds to put to death that old nature. The more we trust and obey, applying Biblical Truth in our daily lives and feeding our new nature on Scriptural principles and guidelines, the more that old nature is starved to death. E. May Grimes has given us a prayer in the hymn, “Speak, Lord, in the Stillness,” that we would do well to adopt: “Speak, Lord, in the stillness while I wait on Thee; hushed my heart to listen in expectancy. Speak, O blessed Master, in this quiet hour; let me see your face, Lord, feel your touch of power. For the words You speak, Lord, they are life indeed; living bread from heaven, now on my spirit feed! All to You is yielded, I am not my own; blissful, glad surrender, I am yours alone. Fill me with the knowledge of your glorious will; all your own good pleasure in your child fulfill.” Selah! The answer to this prayer is the Holy Spirit bringing the Word to bear on our hearts and minds, strengthening our wills to refuse the draw of our old nature. “….Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.” (From Zechariah 4:6).    Ron

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In and Out of Adam

Paul’s inspired declaration  in I Corinthians 15:22 includes this “spot on” Truth: “….in Adam all die.” When Adam and Eve sinned, they died spiritually! Because of this, all their offspring from then on were and are still being born spiritually dead. This is a problem of monumental and staggering proportions! Unless there is some way to get out of Adam, our situation is eternally hopeless! However, the glorious Truth is that we can get out of Adam. I Corinthians 15:22 goes on to state: “….in Christ shall all be made alive.” When Jesus is received as Savior and Lord, we are by an operation of the Holy Spirit, taken out of Adam and placed “in Christ.” Being placed in Christ, we were baptized into His death. (See Romans 6:3). We died to Adam’s death! But here’s the rest of the miracle: “Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:4). Once the connection to Adam’s death is severed, we are intended and enabled to walk in the newness of God’s life within us. We are a new creation! We are spiritual corpses raised to new Spiritual Life! In Romans 8:1, Paul sums it up in these words: “(There is) therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.”  Margaret J. Harris” Hymn, “He Took My Sins Away,” helps us appreciate our deliverance from Adam and “into” Jesus: “I came to Jesus, weary, worn, and sad, He took my sins away, He took my sins away. And now His love has made my heart so glad, He took my sins away. The load of sin was more than I could bear. He took them all away, He took them all away. And now on Him I roll my every care, He took my sins away. No condemnation have I in my heart, He took my sins away, He took my sins away. His perfect peace He did to me impart, He took my sins away. If you will come to Jesus Christ today, He’ll take your sins away,  He’ll take your sins away, And keep you happy in His love each day, He’ll take your sins away.” Selah! It’s one thing to be taken out of Adam; it’s quite another for “Adam” to be taken out of us! Let’s think on that tomorrow, God willing!    Ron


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Trapped By the Law

We are born in a very bad situation. First, we are born physically alive, but spiritually dead. Second, we are “trapped” by the law. That is, we are obligated to obey it perfectly and that is impossible. James, in James 2:10 makes this very clear: “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one (point), he is guilty of all.” Break one law and we have broken all the law. We are law breakers daily! Full penalty is inevitable and must be paid. The penalty is eternal death in Hell. We have no way to pay that penalty! However, Jesus never broke the law even once. He kept it perfectly! If Jesus were only a man and not God, what He accomplished might be credited to one person. The fact that He is the infinite God means that His sacrifice provided payment in full for all human beings. This glorious provision is credited to all who receive Him as Savior and Lord. For all who reject Him, there is no way they can escape the penalty. Trying to obey the law perfectly is the supreme exercise in futility. Outside of a saving relationship with Jesus, we are guilty, trapped and will pay the full penalty for our sin(s). All who receive Him are freed from the trap. They are free indeed! They are free from the penalty for their sin(s); they are being freed from sinning; they will be freed from all sin forever! We who are His can identify with the hymn, “Free from the Law, O Happy Condition,” by P. P. Bliss: “Free from the law, O happy condition, Jesus hath bled, and there is remission; cursed by the law and bruised by the fall, grace hath redeemed us once for all. Now we are free, there’s no condemnation,  Jesus provides a perfect salvation; “Come unto Me,” O hear His sweet call, come, and He saves us once for all. “Children of God,” O glorious calling,  surely His grace will keep us from falling; passing from death to life at His call,  blessed salvation once for all. Once for all, O sinner, receive it,  once for all, O brother, believe it;  cling to the cross, the burden will fall,  Christ hath redeemed us once for all.” Selah! So, do we forget the law? No! God has a special provision for the Law. We hope to look at that tomorrow, Lord willing. Do drop by!   Ron

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Is It Worth the Effort-Part 2

Even with the “vision glorious” that can be ours now, we still can see Him only dimly. So great is even the dim view that we see of Him that we can somewhat experience that to which John gave testimony : “….(and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (From John 1:14). As we diligently apply ourselves to knowing Him more intimately in the Word and prayer, the Holy Spirit will open the eyes of our understanding and we will be thrilled with Jesus’ Person and Presence. It will take time, effort, determination, diligence and discipline but the reward is huge! There will be tiredness and resistance but: “….they that wait upon the LORD shall renew (their) strength.” (From Isaiah 40:31). This dim, but wonderful, view of Jesus that we can experience and enjoy here is but a sample of what we will experience when we see Him in Heaven. In her hymn, “Face to Face With Christ My Savior,” Carrie Ellis Breck ponders that moment: “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!” Selah! The title of a well loved hymn reminds us: “It Will Be Worth It All!” Ron

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