Entering the Narrow Gate

Any who have not received Jesus as Lord and Savior are walking away from God; they are walking in darkness! Many do not even know or believe they are doing this; others wonder (if they think about it at all) but ignore the problem. Jesus came to provide the one way of escape from this darkness. In John 12:46, He said, “I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on Me should not abide in darkness.” If any who are walking in darkness will come to Jesus and receive Him as their Lord and Savior, they will be freed from the wrong path they were following to eternal destruction. Jesus Himself is the narrow gate that leads to life. (John 14:6). However, the decision to reverse direction (repent) is a twofold one. We leave the old path and we must go through the gate (Jesus) to now move in the new direction. This is a very serious choice! If we go through that “gate,” there is no turning back! A genuine coming to Him means you and I have surrendered our lives to Him. We are going to “…. walk in newness of life.” (From Romans 6:4). We may get turned around and start to move back, we may get sidetracked, stumble or even stop in our tracks, but God will work on us; He will work in us to get us back on track. Once we truly come to Jesus, the narrow gate is locked and He will not unlock it. We have a wonderful assurance, beautifully expressed in Avis B. Christiansen’s hymn, “It Is Glory Just to Walk with Him,” in these words: “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! Once we start our walk as we come through the gate, we have started on the most amazing journey that anyone could ever take. We hope to point out some of what we will experience over the next few days, God willing.    Ron

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

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Two Gates

The Bible gives much space to the word: “Walk.” When Scripture does that, it means for us to give a lot of thought to it. When it speaks about our walk, it usually has to do with our journey through life. What about “gates?” Jesus, in Matthew 7:13-14, urged His listeners to, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide (is) the gate, and broad (is) the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait (is) the gate, and narrow (is) the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” We are born spiritually dead and our walk (our life) is headed in the wrong direction. The “wide gate” is behind us and locked and only One Person has the key! Add to that, the fact that we don’t even know we are headed wrong, until that Someone gets our attention. “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof (are) the ways of death” (Proverbs 14:12). God’s people, using God’s Word, warn those “walking” in the wrong direction to turn around (repent!) and go the other way. The few who do, find the gate behind them has been unlocked and the gate to the narrow way is open and the “welcome mat” is right in front of it. If they enter that gate, it is locked behind them and only will be opened at the entrance of Heaven. What it means to truly enter that gate will occupy our thoughts tomorrow, God willing. If any reader is still on the wrong path, this article is one of the warnings to turn around. What is your answer to the question that Fanny Crosby asks in the first stanza of her hymn, “Jesus Is Tenderly Calling?” This is what she asks (and through her, God asks): “Jesus is tenderly calling thee home, calling today, calling today; why from the sunshine of love wilt thou roam farther and farther away?” Selah! If you have already left the wrong way and are walking in the opposite direction, Praise God! If you haven’t, why risk another moment; this opportunity to change could be the last one you’ll ever have?    Ron

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

 

Learning Through Lesson Practice

Learning Through Lesson Practice – Guest Article – By Dr. A. W. Tozer – 8/13/1

The school into which we Christians are introduced furnishes many lessons, all taught by the wisest of all teachers; but everything depends upon how we respond to them. Unfortunately many of us learn little and soon forget what little we may have learned. We can hear great preaching, as Demas heard Paul, without profit; we can meet saintly Christians without becoming stimulated to seek to live holier lives; we can see miraculous answers to prayer and be none the better for it. The providential circumstances set up the lessons; the Teacher is wise and patient; only the disciple fails to profit.

A child who through negligence learns nothing in school is guilty of practicing serious waste. He is wasting the money furnished by his parents or the taxpayers, and the gifts and energies of everyone associated with the effort to teach him are wasted as well. And much the same thing may be said of the dullard Christian. He is wasting the painstaking efforts of every pastor or teacher who tries to help him.

There have been a few noble souls who have managed to break through into a place of great spiritual power and purity with scarcely anyone to help them and with but the scantiest educational equipment to assist them in their search for God and holy things. Ought we not to be ashamed who are surrounded with such a wealth of aids and still learn so little?

And how much suffering is wasted on us. Chastisement is a stern teacher, but there are great riches to be gained in her school. It is critically important that we enter that school with humble hearts and open minds.

Yes, it is possible to go through school without learning anything. For all of us the final bell will ring soon. We had better do some hard studying before that time comes.

Verse

And Moses called all Israel, and said unto them, Hear, O Israel, the statutes and judgments which I speak in your ears this day, that ye may learn them, and keep, and do them.” (Deuteronomy 5:1).

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Success While Failing

Imagine a church being successful but failing. How can it fail, if it’s successful? Let me ask a question. What constitutes success for a church? Lots of members? Great programs and music? Being financially sound? Respected in the area? Interesting activities? Wholesome entertainment? Or, none of the above? While things like these may be all right to a point, they do not constitute “success” for a church. In Revelation 3:17, Jesus spoke to a church that many would consider successful. Jesus revealed their thoughts about their church: “….thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing...”  Then Jesus exposed their failure. He said they didn’t know that: “….thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” Then He counseled them about true success in verses 18-19: “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and (that) the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.” What would that “gold” look like today? What would real success look like? Reaching out and urging people to receive Jesus as Savior and Lord; a burden for World Missions; really discipling those who come to Jesus, grounding them in Scripture and in a personal relationship with the Lord; worship and praise; thanksgiving and true prayer; these are “Spiritual gold.” Let the church that desires true success pray and purpose: “Lord, as of old at Pentecost, Thou didst Thy power display, with cleansing purifying flame, descend on us today. For mighty works for Thee, prepare and strengthen every heart; come, take possession of Thine own and nevermore depart. All self consume, all sin destroy! With earnest zeal endue each waiting heart to work for Thee; O Lord, our faith renew! Speak, Lord! before Thy throne we wait, Thy promise we believe, and will not let Thee go until the blessing we receive. Lord, send the old-time power, the Pentecostal power! Thy floodgates of blessing on us throw open wide! Lord send the old-time power. the Pentecostal power. That sinners be converted and Thy name glorified!” (“Pentecostal Power“- By Chas. H. Gabriel). Selah! Worldly methods may bring worldly success; God’s ways brings Spiritual success.   Ron

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

Education: Not An End in Itself!

There seems to be a huge increase in information and knowledge today. Is this a fulfillment of what was revealed to Daniel so long ago? In Daniel 12:4, he was told: “But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, (even) to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” Have you heard the term “professional student?” It is used to describe someone who keeps on taking courses and doing research long after earning a college degree. It’s not necessarily wrong but if it’s “learning for learning’s sake,” it can be very wrong! Paul, in II Timothy 3:7, cautioned Timothy about those who are: “ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” There are those today, some even in Christian circles, who have enormous amounts of knowledge stored in their minds and hearts. However, too many of them know little about the experiential use of that knowledge. What is very sad is when someone knows all about Jesus but does not actually know Him! The knowledge of the Truth mentioned above might very well mean knowing Him, Who is the Truth, in a deep, rich, personal, relationship. May our fervent desires be those expressed in, “Deeper, Deeper in the Love of Jesus,” By Charles P. Jones. See if these verses reflect your desires: “Deeper, deeper in the love of Jesus daily let me go; higher, higher in the school of wisdom, more of grace to know. Deeper, deeper! blessed Holy Spirit, take me deeper still, till my life is wholly lost in Jesus, and His perfect will. O deeper yet, I pray, and higher ev’ry day, and wiser, blessed Lord, in Thy precious, holy Word.” Selah! Imagine knowing all about Jesus and not really know Him! What an eternal loss!  Ron

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

Perfect in Holiness

We give mental assent to the statement that God is perfect in holiness. If we are truly born again, we believe that He is perfect in holiness. However, have we really “come to grips” with the reality of such a wonder? I don’t think we’ll ever fully grasp this attribute; certainly not this side of Heaven, maybe never. Nevertheless, consider these thoughts: He is perfect in holiness; there is not one sub-atom of imperfection in Him. The slightest impurity in our lives is a grievous offense to Him. He cannot tolerate any sin at all. He loves us but He cannot compromise with any imperfection. Hence: “….God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). For all who receive Him, Jesus’ death paid the penalty for all their sin(s)! All who receive Him as Lord and Savior, God credits them with Jesus’ perfect, infinite, righteousness. Our offenses were atoned for by Jesus’ death. By His shed blood, we are fully cleansed. I John 1:9 speaks of this: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us (our) sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.We are perfected judicially; we are being perfected daily: we will be fully perfected when we see Him! God takes care of our imperfections without compromising His perfection. We can sing from the heart: “What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. For my pardon this I see: nothing but the blood of Jesus. For my cleansing this my plea: nothing but the blood of Jesus. Nothing can for sin atone: nothing but the blood of Jesus. Naught of good that I have done: nothing but the blood of Jesus. This is all my hope and peace: nothing but the blood of Jesus. This is all my righteousness: nothing but the blood of Jesus. O precious is the flow that makes me white as snow; no other fount I know; nothing but the blood of Jesus.” (“Nothing But the Blood of Jesus“-By Robert Lowery). Selah! He will present us faultless in His Presence; Oh, the wonder of God’s love! Without Jesus’ perfection no one can enter His Presence. If you’ve never received Him, do it while you can!   Ron

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

That’s Their Job!

When we are told to do something that we don’t want to do or don’t feel able to do, we too often make excuses. “That’s not my job, let George do it.” Or, “Get a professional onto it; I’m no good at that kind of thing.” This attitude is seriously wrong when God is calling on us to do what He asks of us. Whom He calls, He enables! Granted, there are some who “specialize” in certain areas of service: Pastors, Teachers, Missionaries, Evangelists, etc. However, all who know Jesus as Savior and Lord are part of the total mission. Jesus commanded His disciples to: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway,(even)unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matthew 28:19-20). Our part of the mission may be next door, across the street, at the office, on the job, or to a distant country or tribe, or even to family. The point is: we all have a part! Every piece in a jigsaw puzzle is needed to fully get the picture; every child of God is to have a place in God’s world-wide mission. Ready to suffer grief or pain, ready to stand the test; ready to stay at home and send others if He sees best. Ready to go, ready to bear, ready to watch and pray; ready to stand aside and give till He shall clear the way. Ready to speak, ready to think, ready with heart and mind; ready to stand where He sees fit, ready HIs will to find. Ready to speak, ready to warn, ready o’er souls to yearn; ready in life or ready in death, ready for His return. Ready to go, ready to stay, ready my place to fill; ready for service lowly or great, ready to do His will.” (“Ready to Suffer Grief or Pain,” By A. C. Palmer). Selah! In your part and my part of the mission, are we ready to do our part?   Ron

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