Church Is!

Church is not a meeting that is scheduled for Sunday morning for an hour or two. That meeting, that assembling, is something that the church does. The church began about two thousand years ago and will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air at the Rapture. This marvelous and mysterious spiritual body is revealed in Ephesians 5:30 as being: “members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones.”  A wife becomes one with her husband. We, who know Jesus as Savior and Lord, are one with Him. It will take eternity to experience the wonder of this high and holy privilege. Jesus’ devotion to His church is described in Ephesians 5:25-27. Jesus:….loved the church, and gave Himself for it; that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word, that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” In the hymn, “What If It Were Today,” Mrs. C. H. Morris reminds us: “Jesus is coming to earth again–what if it were today? Coming in power and love to reign–what if it were today? Coming to claim His chosen Bride, all the redeemed and purified, over this whole earth scattered wide–what if it were today? Faithful and true would He find us here if He should come today? Watching in gladness and not in fear, if He should come today? Signs of His coming multiply, morning light breaks in eastern sky; watch, for the time is drawing nigh–what if it were today?” Selah! The church must not be understood as a religious event! It is His Body, a living, breathing, functioning part of Him! It is nothing less!   Ron

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

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Really Loving Jesus

The title suggests it’s possible to say and to assume that we love Him and, if we were to be completely honest, we might have to ask ourselves if we really do love Him. Having been born to love ourselves and those who are dear to us, experiencing deep and abiding love for Him might not come easily. If we are going to love Him with intensity, there are no shortcuts. We have to get to know Him, really get to know Him. The first and foremost place to spend quality time with Him is in God’s Word and real conversation (prayer) with Him. Hymns that give us insights into His love and sacrifice truly help, but cannot be a substitute for the Word and prayer! Sermons, books, articles, videos and the contagious love for Him that others have are helpful, but not substitutes. Let me offer some verses, which, if we think deeply on them, looking to the Holy Spirit to bring them alive in our thoughts, will inspire love for Him: “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). “….when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son.” (From Verse 10). Nothing: “…. shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (From Romans 8:39). Revelation 1:5 tells us that Jesus: “….loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood.” If the truths in these verses gets beyond our heads and into our hearts, we can honestly sing: “There is a name I love to hear, I love to sing its worth; it sounds like music in my ear, the sweetest name on earth. It tells me of a Savior’s love, who died to set me free; it tells me of His precious blood, the sinner’s perfect plea. O how I love Jesus, O how I love Jesus, O how I love Jesus, because He first loved me!” (From: “Oh, How I Love Jesus“-by Frederick Whitfield). Selah! Knowing Him as our Lord and Savior is the only way that we can love Him, really love Him!   Ron

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

   

That Amazing Third Person-Part 3

Of course, all of these things that the Holy Spirit does, and all that He means to us, is only possible because He is God, the Holy Spirit. We’ve considered His role in bringing us to salvation and learned that He works in our lives from the moment we are saved. We have thought on the security and assurance given to us who have been born again. Today, let’s look at a sampling of how He works: He teaches (I Corinthians 2:13). He guides (John 16:13). He comforts (John 16:7). He reveals (John 16:13-14) He enables (Acts 1:8). He purifies (Acts 15:8-9). He produces Spiritual fruit in our lives (Galatians 5:22-23). What can you add to this list? What would we do without Him? In her hymn, “Since the Comforter has Come,” Eliza E. Hewitt has musically touched on today’s subject: “Since the Comforter has come, ev’ry door is opened wide, and I welcome Him to reign within my soul;  He has brought the things of Christ and has shown them unto me, and my life is under His full control. Since the Comforter has come, I’ve been guided into truth,  He has taught me ev’rything I ought to know; and to my remembrance brought precious sayings of my Lord, and He leads me in the paths that I should go. Since the Comforter has come, there is peace within my heart,  I have rest from fretting, worriment and care;  I have pow’r to testify to the Lord who loves me so, and my faith is mounting on wings of pray’r. The Comforter has come to abide;  The Comforter has come to abide; of my fully yielded soul  He has taken full control, for the Comforter has come to abide.” Selah! When He comes to abide, He comes to stay. He is resident in us; let’s be sure He is president over us!    Ron

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

That Amazing Third Person-Part 2

Yesterday, we explored how the Holy Spirit is the One Who performs the miracle of the new birth in those who receive Jesus as Savior and Lord. We touched on how He daily does a purifying work all through the lifetime of each one who is born again. Before conversion, He convicts and convinces:  “And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of righteousness, because I go to My Father, and ye see Me no more; of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged” (John 16:8-11). He reproves (convicts, convinces). He makes us conscious of our sinfulness and that we are sinners. He speaks of righteousness. We become aware of God’s perfect righteousness and our own lack of righteousness. Then, we learn that Christ’s righteousness is credited to those who are born again. Once credited, the Holy Spirit does that lifetime work of making us righteous. We learn of judgment beginning with the prince of this world. By extension, all sin(s) will face judgment. Thank God that Jesus bore our judgment on the Cross! When we receive Jesus, we learn: “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (I Corinthians 6:20). He paid an infinite price to buy us! He has put the seal of ownership on us: “….  after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise.” (From Ephesians 1:13). What God seals, He will never lose!  All who have been sealed are given: “….the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.” (From II Corinthians 1:22). The “earnest” is God’s guarantee of our future and our inheritance. How could it get any better than that? “I would love to tell you what I think of Jesus since I found in Him a friend so strong and true; I would tell you how He changed my life completely – He did something that no other friend could do. All my life was full of sin when Jesus found me, all my heart was full of misery and woe; Jesus placed His strong and loving arms around me, and He led me in the way I ought to go.”  From: “No One Ever Cared for Me Like Jesus“-by Charles Weigle). Selah! No one can ever break the seal  on, or void the guarantee to, those who have truly experienced the miracle of rebirth!   Ron

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

That Amazing Third Person-Part 1

Do any of us who know Jesus as our Savior and Lord have any idea just how much the Holy Spirit means to us? First of all, He lifts up (exalts and honors) Jesus. Jesus said, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all (men) unto me.” The Holy Spirit lifts up Jesus by the preaching of God’s Word. It may be a sermon, the witness of a Christian, a book, a video, a tract or some other means. When that happens, we are drawn. Tragically, not all will come. Most will “dig in their heels” and resist and reject the drawing of Jesus. However, in John 6:37 Jesus said: “All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.” Who does the Father give? All those whom He knew would exercise their free wills to receive Jesus as Savior and Lord. When a person comes to Him, the Holy Spirit regenerates that person. Then, the Holy Spirit places that new life (the life of God) in that individual. He Himself comes to abide in us. Using God’s Word, He undertakes the purifying of our lives for the remainder of our time on earth. And all this is just a part of all He does for us! Don’t miss tomorrow, God willing, when we’ll hope to discover more. A hymn that comes to mind is: “He Abides” by Herbert Buffum. In it, he tesfies: “I’m rejoicing night and day as I walk the narrow way, for the hand of God in all my life I see; and the reason of my bliss, yes, the secret all is this: that the Comforter abides with me. Once my heart was full of sin, once I had no peace within, till I heard how Jesus died upon the tree; then I fell down at His feet, and there came a peace so sweet; now the Comforter abides with me. He is with me everywhere, and He knows my every care;  I’m as happy as a bird and just as free; for the Spirit has control;  Jesus satisfies my soul, since the Comforter abides with me. There’s no thirsting for the things of the world—they’ve taken wings; long ago I gave them up, and instantly all my night was turned to day, all my burdens rolled away; now the Comforter abides with me.” Selah! Every moment of a true Christian’s life is to be lived in the Presence of the Holy Spirit!  Ron

Questions?-Mail me at knowingtheway1@gmal.com

Our Daily “Workout”- Part 2

Any “works” that we might come up with by our own strength, power, or ability are “dead” works. It’s like taking good fruit and tying it on to a dead tree. With no life from the tree, it can’t be lasting fruit!  It is only when the Holy Spirit performs the miracle of spiritual rebirth that God’s life enters into our inner being. When His life is given to us, He will produce real spiritual fruit. Philippians 2:13 tells us: “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of (His) good pleasure.” However, Verse 12 charges us with this responsibility: “….work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” Our “workout” is to work out what He has worked in! How do we do that? We take the water, milk and meat of the Word of God and use it to nourish that new life. God uses these to increase the impact of His new life in us. We begin to grow in grace; Christ is controlling more and more of our lives. God begins to form His character qualities in us. Faithful and prayerful attendance on Scripture is the means to work out what He has worked in. Let us share the fervent desires expressed in Thomas O. Chisholm’s, “Oh, To Be Like TheeLet these desires be ours: “Oh! to be like Thee, Blessed Redeemer, this is my constant longing and prayer; gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures, Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear, Oh! to be like Thee, Lord, I am coming, now to receive th’ anointing divine; all that I am and have I am bringing, Lord, from this moment all shall be Thine. Oh! to be like Thee, while I am pleading, pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love, make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling, fit me for life and Heaven above. Oh! to be like Thee, Oh! to be like Thee, Blessed Redeemer, pure as Thou art; come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness; stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.” Selah! Seek His face, saturate your soul with His Word, draw strength, wisdom and direction from Him and look to Him for enabling to apply and obey Scripture. Then look at what He worked in and helped you to work out!   Ron

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

Our Daily Workout-Part 1

A physical workout can be skipped; a spiritual workout cannot be completely omitted. We may do a very minor spiritual workout but, if we are going to be in spiritual shape, we need to work out vigorously. How, you might reasonably ask. Before I try to answer that, there are a couple of matters that need to be considered. We can do no “good” works that give us favor with God. After we are saved, we can do none that will keep us in God’s favor; we can do nothing to earn that favor. In short, no “good” works of ours are of any value, whatsoever! Nevertheless, we are ordained to walk in good works: “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:10). It is His workmanship that brings about good works in our daily walk. This is ordained and He alone must receive the glory! However, when He does the work, there is value and, amazingly, rewards to us for what He has done. How these good works of His work out in our lives will, Lord willing, engage our attention tomorrow. For now, think carefully on these words from “Rock of Ages“- By Augustus Toplady: “Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to Thy cross I cling; naked, come to thee for dress; helpless, look to thee for grace; foul, I to the fountain fly; wash me, Savior, or I die. Not the labors of my hands can fulfill Thy law’s demands; could my zeal no respite know, could my tears forever flow, all for sin could not atone; Thou must save, and Thou alone. Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to Thy cross I cling; naked, come to thee for dress; helpless, look to thee for grace; foul, I to the fountain fly; wash me, Savior, or I die.” Selah! Can you imagine the joy when you see God working wonderful things into and out through your life? Ron

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