God and You

Have you ever stopped and really thought seriously about the amazing blessing of being able to interact with God? Getting alone with God and baring your heart as you talk (pray) freely with Him, listening to Him, learning from Him, gaining help and comfort from Him, are some of His greatest blessings that He has bestowed on those of us who have turned to Jesus, receiving Him as Lord and Savior. Does it grip you that you and God are closeted together in the quiet place? He condescends to listen to us! Why? Because He loves us! Wonder of wonders that He loves sin defiled, Hell deserving sinners! Those whom He has pardoned and cleansed by Christ’s shed blood, He wants to have fellowship with them. You and I who know Him, we actually are able to communicate with the Creator and sustainer of all, God Himself! What a glorious privilege has been granted to us! To cap it all off, He is available to us 24/7, anywhere for as long as we want, with all we have on our hearts and minds. James, in James 4:8, shares a glorious promise from God Himself. What a priceless promise: “Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you…..!”  Johnson Oatman’s hymn, “Alone with God” speaks volumes about these holy  moments with our God: “When storms of life are round me beating, when rough the path that I have trod, within my closet door retreating, I love to be alone with God. Alone with God, the world forbidden, alone with God, O blest retreat! Alone with God, and in Him hidden, to hold with Him communion sweet. What though the clouds have gathered o’er me? What though I’ve passed beneath the rod? God’s perfect will there lies before me, when I am thus alone with God. ‘Tis there I find new strength for duty, as o’er the sands of time I plod; I see the king in all His beauty, while resting there alone with God. And when I see the moment nearing when I shall sleep beneath the sod, when time with me is disappearing, I want to be alone with God. Alone with God, the world forbidden, alone with God, O blest retreat! Alone with God, and in Him hidden, to hold with Him communion sweet.” Selah! God is waiting for you to come to Him; will you keep your appointment?    Ron 

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

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Power Absolute!

Guest Article-By Dr. A. W. Tozer

Omnipotence is not a name given to the sum of all power, but an attribute of a personal God Whom we Christians believe to be the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ and of all who believe on Him to life eternal. The worshiping man finds this knowledge a source of wonderful strength for his inner life. His faith rises to take the great leap upward into the fellowship of Him who can do whatever He wills to do, for Whom nothing is hard or difficult because He possesses power absolute.

Since He has at His command all the power in the universe, the Lord God omnipotent can do anything as easily as anything else. All His acts are done without effort. He expends no energy that must be replenished. His self-sufficiency makes it unnecessary for Him to look outside of Himself for a renewal of strength. All the power required to do all that He wills to do lies in undiminished fullness in His own infinite being. 

The Presbyterian pastor, A. B. Simpson, approaching middle age, broken in health, deeply despondent and ready to quit the ministry, chanced to hear the simple Negro spiritual,

                   “Nothing is too hard for Jesus, 

                      No man can work like Him.”

It’s message sped like an arrow to his heart, carrying faith and hope and life for body and soul. He sought a place of retirement and after a season alone with God arose to his feet completely cured, and went forth in fullness of joy to found what has since become one of the largest foreign missionary societies in the world. For thirty-five years after this encounter with God, he labored prodigiously in the service of Christ. His faith in the God of limitless power gave him all the strength he needed to carry on.

              “Almighty One! I bend in dust before Thee;

                     Even so veiled cherubs bend;

              In calm and still devotion I adore Thee,

                  All-wise, all-present Friend.

              Thou to the earth its emerald robe hast given,

                  Or curtained it in snow;

              And the bright sun, and the soft moon in heaven,

                  Before Thy presence bow.”

                                  Sir John Bowring

What Makes the Light Shine?

A light must have electricity or fuel. In the time of the Bible, lamps burned oil to provide light. Oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit. Only those who have received Jesus as their Lord and Savior have the Holy Spirit indwelling them (Romans 8:9). He brings “the oil” that makes the Light shine. However, there is a problem. Sin clogs the flow of the oil. Our light might be tiny or just flickering. Someone watching might not even notice a “spark” that weak. On the other hand, when the oil flows freely, lamps shine brightly. As the Holy Spirit purifies us, His light shines more and more effectively. Some begin to “see” their sin and their need of the Savior. For those who come to the Light, Paul’s testimony in II Corinthians 4:6, will be their testimony as well. “….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.” Laurentius Laurenti has given us a unique hymn with this title: “Rejoice! Rejoice, Believers.” It speaks about His Light shining through us: “Rejoice, rejoice, believers and let your lights appear; the evening is advancing, and darker night is near. The Bridegroom is arising and soon is drawing nigh. Up, pray and watch and wrestle; at midnight comes the cry. The watchers on the mountain proclaim the Bridegroom near; go forth as He approaches, with alleluias clear. The marriage feast is waiting; the gates wide open stand. Arise, O heirs of glory, the Bridegroom is at hand! The saints, who here in patience their cross and sufferings bore shall  live and reign forever when sorrow is no more. Around the throne of glory the Lamb they shall behold; in triumph cast before Him their diadems of gold. Our hope and expectation, O Jesus, now appear; arise, O Sun so longed for, o’er this benighted sphere. With hearts and hands uplifted we plead, O Lord, to see the day of earth’s redemption that sets your people free!” Selah! Light exposes need and that need is Jesus! Bear your light brightly, with oil supplied by the Holy Spirit. Ron

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

Light Quality-2

Let’s look at the the other side of yesterday’s subject. Having been rescued from eternal ruin, you gratefully become concerned about others who might be lost out on “the sea of life.” You want to help others be rescued from what almost happened to you, and would have happened, except for someone who shined the light on you. So, you have been given light, His light. You shine a little, but it doesn’t seem to reach any who are struggling and resisting. Of course, many will refuse to head for the Light. However, what if the light is too weak or dirty? Out there in the darkness of “life’s sea,” it is just a tiny spark that reveals very little or nothing. Nevertheless, Paul’s inspired reminder, in Philippians 2:15, to the church at Philippi is also meant for us. We function daily in the sea of humanity among whom “….ye shine as lights in the world,” so the Apostle wrote. Where does that leave us? Our light must be clean and unspotted, free from any smudges on the lens. Responding in obedience to God’s Word cleans our lens (our lives) and we shine clearly and brightly. Therefore, remember: “Brightly beams our Father’s mercy from His lighthouse evermore, but to us He gives the keeping of the lights along the shore. Dark the night of sin has settled, loud the angry billows roar;  eager eyes are watching, longing, for the lights along the shore. Trim your feeble lamp, my brother; some poor sailor, tempest-tossed, trying now to make the harbor, in the darkness may be lost. Let the lower lights be burning! Send a gleam across the wave! Some poor fainting, struggling seaman you may rescue, you may save.” (The hymn: “Let the Lower Lights Be Burning”- By P. P. Bliss). Selah! When we reflect His Light, others come to Him Who is the Light!   Ron

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

Light Quality-1

Imagine that you are out in the harbor and your boat is sinking. You are in total darkness. You want to get your boat to shore, but where is shore? There are rocks all along the coast but you can’t see any of the coast. The odds of shipwreck are huge! You are tempted to row hard and hope for the best. Suddenly, you see a glimmer of light. You want to head toward it, but what if it is a place of danger or difficulty. Then, as you get closer, the light increases and you can see what looks like a place of safety. Unknown to you, it is from boats who are looking to rescue you. If you turn away from it, you will die by drowning. Hopefully, you will risk coming to the light. We who know Jesus as Savior and Lord, came to the Light and were rescued. With grateful hearts we long to extend that Light to others on the way to eternal shipwreck! When any of God’s people speak to you about your need of the Savior, if you’ve never bowed to Him, they are offering eternal Light that will guide you safe into His glorious Presence forever. Don’t go it alone and sink into the depths of eternal loss! Remember: “….The path of the just (is) as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” (From Proverbs 4:18). “The Light of the World is Jesus,“ a warning hymn-by P. P. Bliss, speaks to the need of sinking lives: “The whole world was lost in the darkness of sin, the Light of the world is Jesus! Like sunshine at noonday, His glory shone in; the Light of the world is Jesus! Ye dwellers in darkness with sin-blinded eyes, the Light of the world is Jesus! Go, wash at His bidding, and light will arise; the Light of the world is Jesus. Come to the light, ’tis shining for thee; sweetly the light has dawned upon me; once I was blind, but now I can see: the Light of the world is Jesus!” Selah! What about those who shine the Light? Let’s examine that tomorrow, God willing.  Ron

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

A Heart-rending Glimpse

There was a time, not so very long ago, when Christians were strongly challenged to reach “the lost.” Have you heard recently (except in a general way) any serious challenge to  witness to others? Why not? Has God stopped caring about unsaved people? Absolutely not! Could it be that downplaying preaching about Hell has contributed to this dereliction of duty? General Booth, of the Salvation Army, has been quoted as saying that if he could put his officers in Hell for five minutes, they would need no more motivation to try to win the “lost!” They would reach out with deeply burdened hearts to rescue the perishing. Jude gives us this strong admonition in Verse 23: “….others save with fear, pulling (them) out of the fire….” Let me give just one line of thought as an example: imagine having someone hold a match to your finger that you couldn’t extinguish. Then realize that you couldn’t “pass out” or get free. You will have to suffer that pain, forever! Only a finger? What if it were your whole body? Far worse than that, what if it was your soul burning and never stopping? This is only one little part of all that has to do with Hell. God deliver us from cold hearts and tearless eyes! Herbert G. Tovey gave us the hymn, “A Passion for Souls.” May we pray for a passion for souls: “Give me a passion for souls, dear Lord, a passion to save the lost; O that Thy love were by all adored and welcomed at any cost! Tho there are dangers untold and stern confronting me in the way, willingly still would I go, nor turn, but trust Thee for grace each day. How shall this passion for souls be mine? Lord, make Thou the answer clear; help me to throw out the old Life-line to those who are struggling near. Jesus, I long, I long to be winning men who are lost, and constantly sinning; O may this hour be one of beginning, the story of pardon to tell.”  Selah! Please realize that this article and yesterday’s are not from one who has “arrived,” but from one who hopes you will join him in praying for a passion for souls.  Ron

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

What About “Lost” People?

Think for a moment on this excerpt from “Master, The Tempest is Raging”-By Mary Ann Baker: “Master, the tempest is raging! The billows are tossing high! The sky is o’ershadowed with blackness, no shelter or help is nigh: “Carest Thou not that we perish?” How canst Thou lie asleep, when each moment so madly is threat’ning a grave in the angry deep?” Now, consider this excerpt from Psalm 142:4. The writer lamented: “….no man cared for my soul!” I Know that lost souls are not in mind here, but the concern expressed could easily be said about “lost” people. If they know it, or if they don’t, they are headed for eternal and severe danger. So the question that we need to ask ourselves is: “Do I care?” We who know Jesus would probably be able to honestly say: “I care.” The next question merits real heart searching? “Do I care enough?” A great many of us, thoroughly searching our hearts would have to admit: “No! I don’t.” Why? Because our distractions and activities keep us too occupied to do much of anything to reach out to others about their need. Add to this, Satan gladly provides (free of charge) a “warehouse of excuses” as to why we can’t do much about the need. Some of these excuses seem very valid. Nevertheless, we are still charged to witness! Selah! How can we come to care enough to overcome the excuses and actually witness? Let’s look at that tomorrow, God willing! Ron

 P. S. It will not be about methods; it will be about holy motivation.

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