Daily Death

When a person experiences genuine conversion a life-long work of God is begun in his or her heart. At the moment of Spiritual rebirth, one begins growing Spiritually. Then come baby steps! Next, the early stages of maturing. Finally, all who have received Jesus as Lord and Savior are conformed to the image of Christ. (See Romans 8:29). Let’s think on that time between conversion and conformity: God’s life was given to us! What did God receive? He received a new child, raised from death, but filled with the remains of his or her spiritual death. In God’s reckoning, this person is identified with Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection. (See Romans 6). In actual experience, these “remains” must be purged from our hearts. This purging is a major part of what Galatians 2:20 is addressing: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me, and gave Himself for me.” “I am crucified” in the original language describes something that happened in the past but goes on happening in the present. All who come to Jesus were crucified with Jesus. This is a legal (Spiritually speaking) “standing” credited to us. From then on, we are being crucified. The old nature that was ours before we were saved is being put to death. Our actual “state” (our self-life) is being crucified. It is becoming: “not I, but Christ” in our daily lives! In the hymn, “Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken” by Henry Francis Lyte,  we are given the heart’s desire of those who are born again: “Jesus, I my cross have taken, all to leave and follow Thee; destitute, despised, forsaken,  Thou, from hence, my all shall be. Perish ev’ry fond ambition, all I’ve sought or hoped or known; yet how rich is my condition; God and heav’n are still my own! Let the world despise and leave me, they have left my Savior, too; human hearts and looks deceive me, Thou art not, like man, untrue. and while Thou shalt smile upon me,  God of wisdom, love, and might, foes may hate, and friends may shun me: show Thy face, and all is bright. Haste thee on from grace to glory, armed by faith and winged by prayer; Heav’n’s eternal days before thee, God’s own hand shall guide thee there. Soon shall close thy earthly mission, swift shall pass thy pilgrim days; hope shall change to glad fruition, faith to sight, and prayer to praise.” Selah! The Holy Spirit brings the Word of God to bear on our hearts each day. As we hear and heed, sin is being purged from our hearts. It is becoming less and less “I” and more and more Jesus!     Ron

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

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Time to Drop Anchor

Perhaps you have recently received Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior. Maybe you have been born again for awhile now. In either case, have you become “grounded?” If not, you are adrift; you are floating along. You may be enjoying a surface calm or beginning to feel turbulence. Rest assured that you will meet contrary winds! Someone is out to sink your “ship” (your voyage of life). Your only hope of safety is to drop anchor. The sooner, the better! How do we “spiritually” drop anchor? Truth from two verses in God’s Word come to mind: “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth;” and “That we (henceforth) be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.” (II Timothy 2:15; Ephesians 4:14). Fail to drop anchor and you will be shipwrecked. Or, it might mean that you never have really received Jesus. What I’m “driving at” is that a true Christian must make the Bible an indispensable part of his or her life! Scripture must be trusted, studied, applied and obeyed. As we make this a life-long process, we will find ourselves anchored. The Holy Spirit will secure us to the Rock of Ages! Let me ask you in the words of the hymn, “Will Your Anchor Hold?” “Will your anchor hold in the storms of life, when the clouds unfold their wings of strife? When the strong tides lift, and the cables strain, will your anchor drift, or firm remain?Will your anchor hold in the straits of fear, when the breakers roar and the reef is near? While the surges rave, and the wild winds blow, shall the angry waves then your bark (ship) o’erflow? Will your anchor hold in the floods of death, when the waters cold chill your latest breath? On the rising tide you can never fail, while your anchor holds within the veil. Will your eyes behold through the morning light the city of gold and the harbour bright? Will you anchor safe by the heavenly shore, when life’s storms are past for evermore? We have an anchor that keeps the soul steadfast and sure while the billows roll; fastened to the Rock which cannot move, grounded firm and deep in the Saviour’s love!” (Author: Priscilla J. Owens). Selah! Our perfect Anchor is Jesus and the Word of God!   Ron

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

 

Wise, Knowledgeable and Ignorant

There are wise, knowledgeable, intelligent, brilliant, but ignorant people in this world of ours. There are also people who know only enough to get by. However, many of these people are far wiser than most who are well educated and successful. They have understanding of the purpose of life. To lack this basic understanding is to leave one’s mind bereft of what matters most. Where did we come from? Why are we here? Where are we going? Only God  can enable us to understand the answers to these questions! God offers knowledge, wisdom and understanding that most are not interested in. Paul was inspired to point this out in Romans 1:28. He wrote: “And even as they did not like to retain God in (their) knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.” “They did not like to retain God in (their) knowledge….” The majority of human beings know little or nothing of God’s Truth and, for the most part, are really not interested in knowing it. This is a consequence of being born with a sinful nature. Their lives may be great in their own eyes or in the eyes of those who observe them. Nevertheless, the wisdom and knowledge of this world is worthless when we die. The wisdom and knowledge that counts for eternity is spoken of in Proverbs 1:7. Consider carefully:The fear of the LORD (is) the beginning of knowledge….” When Jesus is received as Savior and Lord, God the Holy Spirit uses the Bible to impart eternal knowledge and wisdom and to prepare us for Heaven. This is the only wisdom and knowledge that can do that! Give serious thought to these wise truths in John Burton’s, “Holy Bible, Book Divine.” This is what he wrote: “Holy Bible, Book divine, precious treasure, thou art mine: mine to tell me whence I came; mine to teach me what I am. Mine to chide me when I rove, mine to show a Savior’s love; mine thou art to guide and guard; mine to punish or reward. Mine to comfort in distress, suffering in this wilderness; mine to show by living faith, we can triumph over death. Mine to tell of joys to come, and the rebel sinner’s doom:  O thou holy book divine, precious treasure thou art mine.” Selah! Lack of the wisdom and knowledge of God leaves a gaping hole that nothing on earth can fill.     Ron

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

 

   

The Problem of Church Music

Note: I’m having some computer issues. (It might be me, rather than the computer). At any rate, it is 8:30 P. M. So, I’m posting one of Dr. Tozer’s articles. I hope it is not a duplicate and that it will be profitable. His best to each of you!  R.

 

Guest Article by Dr. A. W. Tozer

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The Problem of Church Music

It is ironic that the modernistic churches which deny the theology of the great hymns nevertheless sing them, and regenerated Christians who believe them are yet not singing them; in their stead are songs without theological content set to music without beauty.

Not our religious literature only and our hymnody have suffered from the notion that love to be true to itself must be silent in the presence of any and every abomination, but almost every phase of our church life has suffered also. Once a Bible and a hymnbook were enough to allow gospel Christians to express their joy in the public assembly, but now it requires tons of gadgets to satisfy the pagan appetites of persons who call themselves Christians.

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

“Just”-Think on This!

Appeals are made to our emotions, our imaginations and our minds constantly. We are bombarded with immorality, gossip, back-biting, lies, slander, crimes, and other kinds of wickedness. These can take over our minds unless we “step up to the plate” and make a disciplined, God enabled, determination to “….resist the devil.” (From James 4:7). We can fill our minds with what is “just!” What do we mean by “just?” In this portion of Philippians 4:8, “just” has to do with what is right; what is righteous. The more our minds dwell on what is right and righteous, there is less and less room for “junk!” There is a problem, however. What is right and what is righteous? Ask three different people what is right or righteous and you will likely be given three different answers. Human opinions are very often unreliable. God, on the other hand, has given us “the gold standard” of what is right and righteous. It is found between Genesis 1:1 and Revelation 22:21. There are some things worth thinking about in this “fallen” world, but what is far and away the most important is what God reveals to be right and righteous. Paul’s inspired admonition in I Thessalonians 5:21 is to: “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” Scripture provides the “acid test.” In one of his lesser known hymns, “How Weak the Thoughts and Vain,” Charles Wesley reminds us: “How weak the thoughts, and vain, of self-deluding men!  Men who, fixed to earth alone, think their houses shall endure, fondly call their lands their own, to their distant heirs secure. How happy then are we, who build, O Lord, on Thee; what can our foundation shock? Though the shattered earth remove, stands our city on a rock, on the Rock of heavenly love.” Selah! Think long and hard on God’s Living Word and, if He is your Lord and Savior, His life will permeate your mind and life with what is “just,” right and righteous!  Ron

 

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

Basic Human Desires

There are some basic desires that most, if not all, people have. Let me list some: 1) the desire for recognition;  2) the desire for security; 3) the desire for love; 4) the desire for purpose; 5) the desire for acceptance. It is a rare human being, indeed, who has all desires met! When someone does have all those desires met, it’s only for this life. However, for those who have entered into a saving relationship with Jesus as Lord and Savior, the satisfying of those desires are available for time and eternity. The Psalmist gives us this inspired promise: “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart” (Psalm 37:4). For example: Recognition – God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love” (From Hebrews 6:10); – Security I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any (man) pluck them out of My hand” (From John 10:28); Love – For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life;” – Purpose present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, (which is) your reasonable service.” (From Romans 12:1);-  AcceptanceHe hath made us accepted in the beloved” (From Ephesians 1:6). Jesus grants these desires in proportion to the level of commitment we have to studying, applying and obeying His Word. Give careful thought to this stanza from “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty,” by Joachim Neander: “Praise to the LORD, Who o’er all things so wondrously reigneth, shelters thee under His wings, yea, so gently sustaineth! Hast thou not seen how thy desires e’er have been granted in what He ordaineth?” Selah! Our self-centered desires, even when met, never begin to compare with the joy and fulfillment that comes from the granting of Godly desires!   Ron

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

Tending the Orchard

Delicious fruit requires knowledge, effort and care. God’s orchard requires the same things. However, God’s fruit is unique and distinct from all other fruit. In fact, the first fruit is what brings about all the other fruit. What fruit is that? For many, it wouldn’t even be recognized as a fruit. Simply stated, it is “love!” Those who have Jesus as their Savior and Lord would believe love to be fruit. In Galatians 5:22, Paul explains: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love.” We believe this but……do we have the knowledge, will we make the effort, and take care of this fruit? To say that we are loved and that we love can be only a statement of something that we assume to be true, but without actually being experienced. The first step in loving and being loved is taking a long, hard, deep look at how much He loved and loves us. When was the last time we really thought deeply on what His love for us caused Him to suffer? When have we thought on what agony that He endured to save us from the penalty that we deserved? This requires time, deep thought, and really getting to comprehend what moved Him to pay such a price and coming to respond to such love with intense gratitude, love for Him and worship. “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross,”- by Isaac Watts can give us insight into Jesus’ love and how to respond: “When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of glory died, my richest gain I count but loss, and pour contempt on all my pride. Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast save in the death of Christ, my God! All the vain things that charm me most, I sacrifice them to His blood. See, from His head, His hands, His feet, sorrow and love flow mingled down. Did e’er such love and sorrow meet, or thorns compose so rich a crown? Were the whole realm of nature mine, that were a present far too small. Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all.” Selah! Quality time, consistently given to really knowing Him, will draw our hearts to Him, in worshipful adoration and the fruit of love will bless us and others.    Ron

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