It’s All Over!?

Hope was lost; anticipations were crushed, disappointment reigned! All that those early disciples were expecting “went up in smoke.” The One Who was to bring about Israel’s restoration and the downfall of Rome’s rule was dead. They left everything and followed Him for those few very short years. It was a tremendous experience! He was the deliverer they believed would lead them in His kingdom. Now, they were forsaken! Or, were they? They could no longer see Him, touch Him, listen to Him or watch Him in action. Many today feel that way. They have assumed that He was just a great teacher, leader, moralist, example, but just a historical person. No real help today! But He wasn’t through with His disciples and He’s not through with us today. He was the Son of God and God the Son then, now and forever! He has had a plan from eternity past, through time, all the way into eternity future. Even though they felt abandoned and even if His own feel that way today, He hasn’t left those who are His! II Corinthians 5:7 explains: “(For we walk by faith, not by sight).” While this was much more difficult for those discouraged disciples for a short period of time, we look back and have learned what happened. They would soon learn what we know by faith today. Jesus Never Fails! Arthur A. Luther understood. In his hymn, “Jesus Never Fails,” he gives us two stanzas to keep in mind when all appears hopeless: “Tho the sky be dark and drear, fierce and strong the gale, just remember He is near and He will not fail. In life’s dark and bitter hour love will still prevail; trust His everlasting pow’r—Jesus will not fail! Jesus never fails, Jesus never fails; Heav’n and earth may pass away, but Jesus Never Fails!” Selah! For the child of God, life’s trials are only operative in the context of His victory! They are temporary; His victory is forever!   Ron

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

The Time Came

From the moment He left Heaven and all through His few short years on earth, He knew what was to come. He was born to die! “….the Son of man came………to give His life a ransom for many.” (From Matthew 20:28). And He did! After horrible suffering, insults, taunts, pain, wounds, being despised and rejected, He was NAILED to that old rugged cross. The forces of evil undoubtedly assumed they had scored a major victory. How completely did they fail to realize that this was their moment of guaranteed defeat. This was the time in history that sealed their doom! As horrible as what Jesus suffered in those hours before His death, it pales in comparison to the worst horror of all! Jesus, the perfect Son of God bore, in His death, all the filth, corruption, pollution, etc. of human sin(s) and degradation. He bore the wrath of the Father against that wickedness! He paid for our crimes! He paid the full penalty due our evil! The glory of His accomplishments is freely bestowed on all who bow to and receive Him as Lord and Savior. This was and is the greatest time in human history. This death was a “line in the sand” dividing all humankind into two groups: those who have or will bow at the cross and those who will not. Which side of that “line” are you on? Heaven and Hell await your choice! Oh! What wonder those who choose Him experience! In his hymn, “Down at the Cross”-By E. A. Hoffmann, we are given a musical expression of this wonder: “Down at the cross where my Savior died, down where for cleansing from sin I cried, there to my heart was the blood applied; singin’, Glory to His name! I am so wondrously saved from sin, Jesus so sweetly abides within; there at the cross where He took me in; singin’, Glory to His name! Oh, precious fountain that saves from sin, I am so glad I have entered in; there Jesus saves me and keeps me clean; singin’, Glory to His name! Come to this fountain so rich and sweet, cast thy poor soul at the Savior’s feet; plunge in today, and be made complete; singin’, Glory to His name! Glory to His name! Glory to His name! There to my heart was the blood applied; singin’, Glory to His name!”  Selah! If you truly know Him, you have made the wisest of all choices; if you don’t know Him, come to Him while there is still time to choose. That time could disappear in seconds!   Ron

 

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

 

The Time Approaches

It was a solemn time for Jesus’ disciples. They must have sensed the seriousness of those few days. How much they grasped of the soon coming murder of Jesus is uncertain. It seemed like they didn’t “get it.” Perhaps they were so wrapped up in their expectations that it hadn’t really “sunk in.” Their time with Him as they had been following Him was almost over. BUT IT HAD TO BE DONE! He was preparing them for it. However, they were far from truly ready. The next few weeks were mind boggling. They ran the gamut from despair to delight. Whatever else that we can draw from this, one lesson should impact us today. No matter how dark and dire our days may be, even when it may look like we have lost Jesus’ Presence, He is there and He is working out His plans and His purpose for us. He can be ignored, insulted, rejected, opposed, etc. He can’t be defeated! Those who are His, who have trusted in Him as Lord and Savior, are on “the winning side,” forever! Remember these inspired words in II Corinthians 4:6 apply to us today: “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to (give) the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”  Sometimes our skies are cloudy and dreary, sometimes our hearts 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. 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.” (From: “Jesus Is Always There”-By Bertha Mae Lillenas). Selah! Even as those first disciples faced dark hours, Jesus was there; when all looked hopeless, Jesus was there; Even when we can’t see Him or touch Him, He’s there! Even now, after He returned to Heaven, His Presence is still here with His own! Hallelujah!      Ron

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

One Week to Live

How would you feel, if you only had one week to live? What would it be like to actually die? What about after you die? Where would you be? When fears enter your thoughts, when doubts trouble you, it can leave you shaken and feeling hopeless. Only one week to get ready before it’s too late. Death is a scary thing to contemplate, unless you know the One Who has conquered death. If He is your Lord and Savior, death is the gate to His Presence forever! What a future to be with Him forever! Jesus reached this point in His Life when He only had one week left here on earth. What He faced would dwarf our worst thoughts by comparison. He had to be mocked, rejected, denied, insulted, bear awful suffering, be nailed to a wooden cross to hang there in the heat, and finally die. But, as inexpressibly horrible as it was, all that is not the worst part. The worst part is that the Holy, perfect, spotless Son of God had to bear the entire sin debt of the whole world for all of time, in our place. This brings full cleansing and forgiveness to all who come to Him and receive Him, who trust Him as Savior and Lord and receive the benefits of His atoning blood. Why did He go through it? Why would He allow such horrendous atrocities? He loved us, and bore it all so we wouldn’t have to bear it. And, He did it for the glory of God. Romans 5:8 tells us that: “….God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Think on this question that is found in Robert Harkness’ hymn, “Why Should He Love Me So? This is how he put it: “Love sent my Savior to die in my stead. Why should He love me so? Meekly to Calvary’s cross He was led. Why should He love me so? Nails pierced His hands and His feet for my sin. Why should He love me so? He suffered sore my salvation to win. Why should He love me so? O how He agonized there in my place! Why should He love me so? Nothing withholding my sin to efface. Why should He love me so? Why should He love me so? Why should He love me so? Why should my Savior to Calvary go? Why should He love me so? Selah! There’s no explaining love like this. God loves! Our part is to love Him and trust Him with our hearts and lives and learn to love Him better every day!   Ron

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

Watching Closely

I never knew she was like that or that he was like that. I guess I never really knew him or her like I thought I did. When you say something like that or hear someone else say that, it often means that we are disappointed or pleasantly surprised. This realization underscores the importance of taking time to truly know what a person is like, how they live, think and respond. It is vastly more important to get to know God and His ways, thoughts and responses. We can learn a lot ABOUT God in the Bible. However, we can’t really know Him until we enter into a personal relationship with Him. When we come to Jesus, embracing Him as our Lord and Savior, we begin a lifetime process of finding out what He is actually like. At this point, a serious mistake can be made. We can learn about His works but never learn about His ways. Isaiah 55:8-9 reminds us of this: “For My thoughts (are) not your thoughts, neither (are) your ways My ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts .” How do His children come to know His thoughts and ways? There is no shortcut! Time spent watching Him, listening to Him, following His teaching, counsel and guidance, and observing Him carefully will enable us to know Him intimately. This is only possible to those who are His. Prayerful and thoughtful time that His own spend in the Word of God will reveal more and more of His thoughts and ways. As we do this, trust, love and obedience will follow, as will wonderful blessings! “I know on Whom my faith is fixed, I know in Whom I trust; I know that Christ abides in me, and all His ways are just. Let scoffers scoff, let scorners sneer, my heart is full of peace; they cannot take the joy I feel, nor make my hope to cease. They cannot quench the fire of love, that burns within my breast; nor break that tender fellowship that makes my life so blest. They cannot bring again the sins, the blood has washed away; nor make my heart like stone once more, nor turn to night my day. I know God is, I know His Word unfailing meets each test; I calmly face a hostile world with soul and mind at rest. I know on Whom my faith is fixed, His mercy has set me free; I know that He will safely keep, and His love is sweet to me.” (“I Know”-By Charles W. Naylor). Selah! Salvation makes us God’s children; the Scriptures reveal His character, love, thoughts and ways. Observe, trust, love and obey. You’ll be blessed!   Ron

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

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  

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

 

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

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