Perfect in Holiness

We give mental assent to the statement that God is perfect in holiness. If we are truly born again, we believe that He is perfect in holiness. However, have we really “come to grips” with the reality of such a wonder? I don’t think we’ll ever fully grasp this attribute; certainly not this side of Heaven, maybe never. Nevertheless, consider these thoughts: He is perfect in holiness; there is not one sub-atom of imperfection in Him. The slightest impurity in our lives is a grievous offense to Him. He cannot tolerate any sin at all. He loves us but He cannot compromise with any imperfection. Hence: “….God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). For all who receive Him, Jesus’ death paid the penalty for all their sin(s)! All who receive Him as Lord and Savior, God credits them with Jesus’ perfect, infinite, righteousness. Our offenses were atoned for by Jesus’ death. By His shed blood, we are fully cleansed. I John 1:9 speaks of this: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us (our) sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.We are perfected judicially; we are being perfected daily: we will be fully perfected when we see Him! God takes care of our imperfections without compromising His perfection. We can sing from the heart: “What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. For my pardon this I see: nothing but the blood of Jesus. For my cleansing this my plea: nothing but the blood of Jesus. Nothing can for sin atone: nothing but the blood of Jesus. Naught of good that I have done: nothing but the blood of Jesus. This is all my hope and peace: nothing but the blood of Jesus. This is all my righteousness: nothing but the blood of Jesus. O precious is the flow that makes me white as snow; no other fount I know; nothing but the blood of Jesus.” (“Nothing But the Blood of Jesus“-By Robert Lowery). Selah! He will present us faultless in His Presence; Oh, the wonder of God’s love! Without Jesus’ perfection no one can enter His Presence. If you’ve never received Him, do it while you can!   Ron

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That’s Their Job!

When we are told to do something that we don’t want to do or don’t feel able to do, we too often make excuses. “That’s not my job, let George do it.” Or, “Get a professional onto it; I’m no good at that kind of thing.” This attitude is seriously wrong when God is calling on us to do what He asks of us. Whom He calls, He enables! Granted, there are some who “specialize” in certain areas of service: Pastors, Teachers, Missionaries, Evangelists, etc. However, all who know Jesus as Savior and Lord are part of the total mission. Jesus commanded His disciples to: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway,(even)unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matthew 28:19-20). Our part of the mission may be next door, across the street, at the office, on the job, or to a distant country or tribe, or even to family. The point is: we all have a part! Every piece in a jigsaw puzzle is needed to fully get the picture; every child of God is to have a place in God’s world-wide mission. Ready to suffer grief or pain, ready to stand the test; ready to stay at home and send others if He sees best. Ready to go, ready to bear, ready to watch and pray; ready to stand aside and give till He shall clear the way. Ready to speak, ready to think, ready with heart and mind; ready to stand where He sees fit, ready HIs will to find. Ready to speak, ready to warn, ready o’er souls to yearn; ready in life or ready in death, ready for His return. Ready to go, ready to stay, ready my place to fill; ready for service lowly or great, ready to do His will.” (“Ready to Suffer Grief or Pain,” By A. C. Palmer). Selah! In your part and my part of the mission, are we ready to do our part?   Ron

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Heart to Heart Conversation

Have you considered that Satan might like for you to think of prayer as a religious exercise and duty? If that is our view of prayer, we have failed to grasp the wonder of this holy privilege. In I Thessalonians 5:17, we have been told to: “Pray without ceasing.” What we need to really understand is that we are to constantly enjoy many heart-to-heart “talks” with our dearest Friend on earth. We know that He listens to what we are saying. He cares about what we have on our hearts. He assures us of His love. He offers comfort, encouragement and His wise counsel. He helps us with our burdens. He corrects us when we are wrong. He lovingly and firmly rebukes us when we sin. From our side, we appreciate Him. We love him. We are thankful for and to Him. We value Him above our dearest earthly friend. We can have long wonderful talks together; we can talk in passing; we can ask for immediate help and He’s there for us. We can tell Him how much He means to us. We can laugh and cry together. He never disappoints or fails. He always makes time for us. James G. Small has given us a wonderful hymn entitled, “I’ve Found a Friend,” that speaks of the Friend with Whom we enjoy so many wonderful talks together. “I’ve found a friend, O such a friend! He loved me ere I knew Him; He drew me with the cords of love, and thus He bound me to Him; and round my heart still closely twine those ties which naught can sever, for I am His, and He is mine, forever and forever. I’ve found a friend, O such a friend! He bled, He died to save me; and not alone the gift of life, but His own self He gave me; naught that I have my own I call,  I hold it for the Giver; my heart, my strength, my life, my all are His, and His forever. I’ve found a friend, O such a friend!  So kind and true and tender, so wise a counselor and guide, so mighty a defender!  From Him Who loves me now so well what pow’r my soul can sever?  Shall life or death or earth or hell?  No, I am His forever!” Selah! If Jesus is your Lord and Savior, have many wonderful talks together. Spend time talking heart-to-heart; talk in passing; when waking in the night, when you need help, and when you want Him to know how much He means to you. In the words of the gospel “spiritual;” “Just a little talk (and sometimes a long talk) with Jesus makes things right!”        Ron

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Slow Death! – Done!!

For those who have been Spiritually reborn, life in Christ is a growing (and many times: “groaning”) experience. The old nature is at war with our new nature. With some, the old gives way more quickly, with others it’s a much slower process. BUT, ultimately the process is completed and “death” dies! The old nature is routed; “slow death” is done. Perfection at last! No wonder Paul, in I Corinthians 15:49-54, joyously exclaimed: “And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal (must) put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.” In the hymn, “Some Golden Daybreak,” Carl A. Blackmore has given us a musical glimpse of things to come: “Some glorious morning sorrow will cease. some glorious morning all will be peace; heartaches all ended, schooldays all done, Heaven will open – Jesus will come. Sad hearts will gladden, all shall be bright, goodbye forever to earth’s dark night, changed in a moment, like Him to be, O glorious daybreak, Jesus I’ll see! Oh, what a meeting, there in the skies, no tears or crying will dim our eyes; loved ones united eternally, Oh, what a daybreak that morn will be. Some golden daybreak Jesus will come; some golden daybreak, battles all won, He’ll shout the vict’ry, break thro’ the blue, some golden daybreak, for me, for you.” Selah! Sin and all its consequences gone forever; no more death, evil, suffering, fear, worry, discouragement, etc. will be experienced, ever again! Only those who know Jesus have this future; if you don’t know Him, receive Him while you can.  Ron

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Slow Death!-3

I believe it was C. I. Scofield that pointed out that salvation has three tenses. Those who have received Jesus as Lord and Savior have been saved from the penalty of sin, are being saved from its power, and will be saved from its presence! The past has to do with justification and the future with glorification. Today, let’s take a closer look at the present tense (sanctification). We are being sanctified, purified, perfected (delivered from sin’s power and control in our daily lives). Many of us have wondered if there is any progress in this ongoing conflict between the old nature and the new nature. If we are spending time in His Word and letting the Holy Spirit give us understanding, we will begin to see that we can “gain ground” spiritually. However, “understanding” is just the starting point. If we are to know victory more and more over our old nature, we must act on our God-given understanding. Depending on the Holy Spirit, we must apply and obey what we understand. As we do, we learn discipline. We grow closer to the Lord. Our love for and desire to please Him intensifies. We come to resist sin and increase in holiness. This is the prayer of Jesus being answered. “Sanctify them through Thy Truth: Thy Word is Truth” (John 17:17).  May we pray what Fanny Crosby prayed in her hymn, “Draw Me Nearer.” In her words: “I am Thine, O Lord, I have heard Thy voice, and it told Thy love to me; but I long to rise in the arms of faith and be closer drawn to Thee. Consecrate me now to Thy service, Lord, by the pow’r of grace divine; let my soul look up with a steadfast hope, and my will be lost in Thine. Oh, the pure delight of a single hour that before Thy throne I spend, when I kneel in prayer, and with Thee, my God  I commune as friend with friend! There are depths of love that I cannot know till I cross the narrow sea; there are heights of joy that I may not reach till I rest in peace with Thee. Draw me nearer, nearer blessed Lord, to the cross where Thou hast died; draw me nearer, nearer, nearer blessed Lord,  To Thy precious, bleeding side.” Selah! The thoughts in this hymn are those of all who are coming to grips with God’s sanctifying Presence in His Word, in our hearts! Ron

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Slow Death!-2

We start life spiritually dead. We have our bodies, minds, emotions and wills. We are “disconnected” from God’s life. In our fallen condition, we are governed by our sinful nature. It has been called our self-life and our “old man.” We usually do what we want to do and say what we want to say. We live our lives the way we choose. It’s all about “self” and what “self” wants. That is, we do until we come to a point where we are brought to an awareness of God and His claims. We can resist God, reject God or be restored to Him through the death of Jesus on the cross. Refusal leaves us spiritually dead; reception brings God’s life back into our beings. If we receive Jesus as Savior and Lord, His life and the fallen life of our old nature are at war against each other in our inner being. Romans 6:4  needs careful consideration: “Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” This “newness of life” is the process of purging out our old Adamic, fallen nature and letting our new nature (the life of God) take over all captured “territory.” This process; this putting to death of all that inner self-life, is the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit as He brings God’s Word to bear on us. If we truly surrendered to and trusted in Jesus to run our lives, we are being conformed to His image. Having given us a perfect “standing.” he is now perfecting our “state” (or actual condition). Fanny Crosby has given us this lesser known hymn, “Nearer the Cross My heart Can Say.” Let this be our experience: “Nearer the cross!” my heart can say, I am coming nearer, nearer the cross from day to day, I am coming nearer; nearer the cross where Jesus died, nearer the fountain’s crimson tide, nearer my Savior’s wounded side, I am coming nearer, I am coming nearer. Nearer the Christian’s mercy-seat, I am coming nearer, feasting my soul on manna sweet, I am coming nearer; stronger in faith, more clear I see Jesus who gave Himself for me; nearer to Him I still would be, still I’m coming nearer, still I’m coming nearer. Nearer in prayer my hope aspires, I am coming nearer, deeper the love my soul desires, I am coming nearer; nearer the end of toil and care, nearer the joy I long to share, nearer the crown I soon shall wear; I am coming nearer, I am coming nearer.” Selah! Dying out to self; living in the newness of His life, becoming like Him, nearer and nearer to that moment of full perfection. What a destiny for His sons and daughters!       Ron

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Slow Death!-1

If we know Jesus in a personal way as our Lord and Savior, our lives are being lived in what seems to be a paradox. We are perfect; we are very imperfect! This is what Paul was inspired to write about in Romans 6-8. Since nothing imperfect can ever be in God’s Presence, something had to be done to solve the problem. And it was done: “For by one offering He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified” (Hebrews 10:14). Jesus’ death on the cross atoned for all the sin(s) in our lives. Receiving Jesus, we learn that we have been credited with His perfect righteousness. We are given a “legal” standing in God’s sight; we have been accounted “perfect!” Here’s the most important point: we have not been pronounced “perfect,” unless we are in the process of being perfected. You might be wondering if this is double-talk. No! In other words, we are given a record that is cleared of any imperfection. Nevertheless, our actual lives are being perfected hour by hour. For most of His children, it is a very slow and “bumpy” process. We excuse, rationalize, “give in” to wrong things and resist letting go of them. However, God convicts, chastens, corrects and gradually we progress. All the while, that new life that we receive when we are born again is longing for and seeking righteousness. Our heart cry will be like that of  Albert Orsborn. In his hymn, “Let the Beauty of Jesus,” he gives voice to the inner longing of those who have been redeemed: “Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me, all His wonderful passion and purity; O my Savior Divine, all my being refine, till the beauty of Jesus be seen in me.” Selah! Paul, in Philippians 1:6, tells the Philippian church (and us): “Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform (it)until the day of Jesus Christ.” He will perfect His own. This process is what God’s Word speaks of as being “cruciifed with Christ.” More on that tomorrow, God willing.    Ron

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