A Close Look at Failure

Failure can hurt us or help us! The devil can use it against us or God can use it for good. How we react to failure determines which way it impacts us. Christians will have failures. That is a given! Read Romans 7 carefully. Paul had failures. Did they discourage him? Short term. yes! Long term, no! He went on to write “…. we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. (From Romans 8:37). How can that be? First, he didn’t excuse his failures. He didn’t succumb to the “I can’t do it” or “I can’t help it” attitudes. Secondly, he looked to God and what He has done for us and for help to overcome. What happened? He remembered: “(There is) therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1a). And, he recalled the means of overcoming failure: We are to “walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Romans 8:1b). How does that work? We let the Holy Spirit guide us into the Word (John 16:13), ground us in the Word and govern us by the Word. Perhaps you reason: “but, I keep failing.” We start out in the Christian life as spiritual infants. We have to learn to walk. We will stumble, take some bad falls, take some faltering steps, but we keep trying until we can walk steadily! Even then, we trip; we may injure ourselves. However, we don’t stay on the ground! We work our way up or someone helps us. We move forward. If we, who truly know Jesus as Savior and Lord, get turned around, the Holy Spirit alerts us and points us in the right direction. “Trying to walk in the steps of the Savior, trying to follow our Savior and King; shaping our lives by His blessed example, happy, how happy, the songs that we bring. Pressing more closely to Him who is leading, when we are tempted to turn from the way; trusting the arm that is strong to defend us, happy, how happy, our praises each day. Trying to walk in the steps of the Savior, upward, still upward, we’ll follow our Guide; when we shall see Him, “the King in His beauty,” happy, how happy, our place at His side. How beautiful to walk in the steps of the Savior, stepping in the light, stepping in the light; how beautiful to walk in the steps of the Savior, led in paths of light.” (From, “Stepping in the Light,”-by Eliza E. Hewitt). Selah! Even with failures, get up or let someone help you, move on and up and let Him plant your feet on higher ground!   Ron

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


It’s Not All Smooth Sailing!

When a person experiences genuine conversion, an actual Spiritual new birth, he and she will soon realize that Satan hasn’t given up on them. He has lost possession of them, but he still hangs on to what little territory that he can. They have been taken out of Adam, but not all of “Adam” has been taken out of them. It is in God’s plan for us to draw on Himself for the strength and means to wrest the last bit of territory from the devil’s control. Satan is a master manipulator of our emotions. He stimulates curiosity and sinful desires to lure us into sin, thereby protecting his turf. We can and must resist! We are disciples! We are to exercise discipline over our emotions, and with God’s help, not allow them to influence wrong choices. When we “feel” the pull to give in, we need to discipline our wills to choose to go by God’s Word, just as Jesus did! We don’t have to let our emotions drag us into sin, like a bull being led around by a ring in its nose. Paul’s inspired charge to us, found in Romans 6:11-12, is to: “….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.” Horatio R. Palmer offers sound counsel in his hymn, “Yield Not to Temptation.” “Yield not to temptation, for yielding is sin; each vict’ry will help you, some other to win; fight valiantly onward, evil passions subdue; look ever to Jesus, He will carry you through. Shun evil companions, bad language disdain; God’s name hold in rev’rence, nor take it in vain; be thoughtful and earnest, kindhearted and true; look ever to Jesus, He will carry you through. To him that o’ercometh,  God giveth a crown; through faith we will conquer, though often cast down; He who is our Savior, our strength will renew; look ever to Jesus, He will carry you through. Ask the Savior to help you, comfort, strengthen and keep you; He is willing to aid you, He will carry you through.” Selah! Disciplining our wills to follow God’s principles and drawing on His strength, we can halt sinful desires right in their tracks!  Ron

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

The Outcome!

One moment pronounced guilty and sentenced to eternal punishment; the next moment, we find that “Another” paid our penalty in full. All charges are dropped and we go scot-free! Such is the grace of God toward all who place their trust in Jesus as their Savior and Lord! Paul, in Romans 5:1-2, gives us the inspired summary of what our trust in Jesus made possible: “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by Whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” Further on in Verse 8, we are reminded of the wonder of God’s love: “But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” When we couldn’t care less, God couldn’t care more! Margaret J. Harris’ hymn, “He Took My Sins Away,” captures some of the wonder of the outcome of genuine trust in Christ: “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. He took my sins away, He took my sins away, and keeps me singing every day! I’m so glad He took my sins away. He took my sins away.” Selah! He took our sins away and gave us His Son! This is the most amazing transaction that we could ever experience! If you haven’t done this, do it now, while the offer is on the table.   Ron

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

The Change of Status

Think this through with me. If you have received Jesus as your Savior and Lord, consider the astonishing change: You were condemned and sentenced. The penalty: banished forever from God’s Presence, and any righteousness, in the prison of an eternal Hell. Your sin had caught up with you; you felt the blow of the sentence and cringed at your fixed destiny. Lost in your hopeless state of mind and heart, the voice of the Judge suddenly caught your attention. In a moment of wonder, you heard Him say, “Pardoned!” You are free!  You ask: “How could such a thing be, I’m guilty?” Yes, but the Judge explains that Someone bore your penalty and Divine Justice has been satisfied. Your status has been changed from sinner to saint. Something has changed inside you. You were dead spiritually but because you became identified with Christ in His death, you were raised with Him to new Life. You received a new nature that desires holiness and righteousness. You know now what prompted David’s inspired exclamation: “Blessed (are) they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.” (From Romans 4:7). You share the testimony of William J. Gaither in the song, “He Touched Me,” “Shackled by a heavy burden, ‘neath a load of guilt and shame  —  then the hand of Jesus touched me, and now I am no longer the same. He touched me, and O the joy that floods my soul! Something  happened and now I know He touched me and made me whole.”  Selah! For this opportunity we are born! If you haven’t received His pardon, today might be your only opportunity to do so. Don’t miss this opportunity.   Ron

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

The Verdict!

There is sin in the hearts and sins in the lives of all human beings. There are no exceptions! That familiar verse (Romans 3:23) delivers the verdict: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” We are guilty! No human effort, no religion, no good deeds, nothing (on our part) can change the verdict. Romans 6:23a makes that completely clear: “For the wages of sin (is) death.” However, God foresaw our fall into sin and our utter hopelessness and helplessness to do anything to offset the damage. He already knew what had to be done to exonerate all who are willing. Sin’s penalty has to be paid and we don’t have any way to pay it. Only one Person could pay that penalty—Jesus! Why only Him? Being God, He was and is infinite; therefore the value of His sacrifice, His death on the cross, is infinite. It paid the penalty in full for all of humanity, for all of time. He died our death, in our place! Very Strong Warning: it is only applied to those who receive Jesus as Savior and Lord! When we trust Him, His perfection is credited to us and the Judge says: “Pardoned!” With the value of His death applied to all who truly trust, spiritual death gives way to Spiritual Life. We are “raised” to walk in newness of Life. Our eternal destination is radically changed from Hell to Heaven. This is the Gospel; the very good news! What glorious news we have to offer to all who are “dead in trespasses and sins!” (From Ephesians 2:1). Those who have experienced this transformation can identify with these thoughts in the hymn, “He Abides“-By Herbert Buffum: “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. 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! Let’s spread the news!     Ron

The List of Charges

Here is a partial list of God’s charges against humanity: “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified (Him) not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, Who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. 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; being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” (Romans 1:21-32). Obviously, some may be guilty of a small portion of this list; others guilty of more. That, however, is not the point. The point is that all are guilty of sin(s). The point is that if one stole only a penny, that is the breaking of God’s command to not steal. A Holy God cannot let one speck of sin into His Presence. That is why Christ died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin(s) and provide for a perfect righteousness to be credited to us, who receive Jesus as Savior and Lord. For those who do, they can say: “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name. On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand.” (“My Hope is Built.”-Edward Mote, Author) Selah! Our one hope of pardon is receiving Jesus and His salvation!  Ron

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

The Ultimate Problem

There is no other problem that comes close to this problem. The seriousness of it is that the vast majority of human beings are not aware of it. All who are born into this world are born spiritually dead. They are cut off from God. They will be banished from His Presence and confined in Hell forever, with no possibility of escape! Why? Paul, after telling the Roman believers his commission and commitment, explains why: “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed (it) unto them. For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, (even) His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse….” (Romans 1:18-20). Mankind is in rebellion against God. Mankind is accountable and without excuse. The human race has gone and is going its own way; not God’s way! Few, if any, take the initiative of seeking God. But God offers Spiritual life, pardon, cleansing, understanding and much more. “But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). It’s at this point that a choice must be made: continue in rebellion, or surrender and receive God’s salvation, grace and mercy and in true faith embrace Jesus as Savior and Lord. This was Paul’s commitment and commission: explain and extend the offer of this great salvation. If we have received this gift of life, we are to offer it to others. In the Gospel song, ‘Lord, Lay Some soul upon My Heart, author Leon Tucker offers a prayer that we would do well to make our own: “Lord, lay some soul upon my heart and love that soul thro’ me; and may I nobly do my part to win that soul for Thee.” Selah! We are told the good news (the Gospel). If we have received salvation, let’s share that glorious news with others!    Ron

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