Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Hid In The Heart

Hid In The Heart                                                  08-13-19


Psalm 119:11(ESV) 11  I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.


 

My, my, my, it has been a long,long time,since I sat down and penned anything for public

consumption. How is everyone? My schedule,that actually means Chloe and trying to fix the

 house up, keeps me pretty busy these days.So then, they tell me that the verse above is

 talking about Scripture memorization.Storing it up in your heart and whatnot.

That said,I was on the phone with Pastor Doug the other day and the

  subject of memory and memorization came up. I told Pastor Doug

 that a few months back I noticed that I seemed to be forgetting stuff more and more.

I was not panicked about it.Though I indeed could tell  that I was forgetting stuff.

But I did some due diligence and discovered that indeed memory does suffer with age.

So,I dug a little deeper and found that there were a few things that could slow the process

and even improve the forgetfulness. Amongst a basketful of options,one jumped out at me.

It was in fact something that Pasor Doug and this author had done many years ago. What?

Scripture memorization. Yes,years ago we had memorized oodles of Scripture.Whole

chapters at a time. The 12th chapter of Hebrews comes to mind. "Since we are

 surrounded....." Remember that one Pastor Doug? The Atlanta Post Office Federal Annex.

 So, armed with a resurrected enthusiasm,I began to memorize Scripture again.

I began with the 25th Psalm. Just a few verses at first and then added to them gradually

until I had the entire Psalm memorized. I will say more about the 25th Psalm in a minute.

I then went to Romans 2 and my journey was on. I am considering the whole book of

Ephesians. If not the whole book then certainly the first three chapters. As I was relaying

this to Pastor Doug,he told me of a friend who had lost his short term memory to a stroke

and had regained it by reading the 23rd Psalm. So, he asked me to share my experience

and this is it. I do believe my memory has improved a good deal over this time(a few

months maybe a year). Although Shelley might disagree as I had a senior moment the

other day.(smile)

I have since added Psalm 1,18(partial),19,23,25,35(partial),92.103,130,131,134,141. 1st

Cor.13,verses in Romans2,Galatians5,Phillipians 4,James 1. Ephesians 2.And so on.

I told Pastor Doug that in addition to the benefits of a stronger mind,that I truly believed

there must be a spiritual benefit to this discipline. Enter the 25th Psalm.


Let me bring you back for a moment to Psalm25. This passage of Scripture is the one

I started with. Here is the ESV rendering.

Psalm 25:4-5(ESV)  Make me to know your ways, O LORDteach me your paths.
 Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation;for you I wait all the day long.



These are the two verses that I started with. I was reading one night and these two

verses jumped out at me. I can't even remember the circumstances.However,I remember

saying to myself this is where I want to start my memory program. So I did. Now,there are

 lots of memorization tools for Scripture.Probably they are much better and less time

 consuming than what I do. What is that Ronnie? Repetition. Plain and simple. I go over and

 over until I have it. It's admittedly slow and ponderous. The internet has quicker and better

 methods. But, for me there is something about the discipline of repetition that works.

Anyway, as I moved on to a larger portion of the 25th Psalm, I noticed something. I do a lot

 of the memorization while I drive the bus. Repeating  quietly under my breath all of what I

have committed to memory. I run through the whole gamut at least every other day

 while driving. So,as I am quoting these Scriptures  on my bus  something began

to happen. My simple quoting of God's Word began to take on a new nature. It began to be

 more than just a mimicking. You feelin' me here?

 One of prayer. I was no longer just regurgitating verses to myself, but it seemed

 the Holy Ghost was beginning to speak back to me as I spoke His Word. It was a certain

 feeling that would come over me. I could feel His presence. Then,God began to

 give me halt at certain points as I quoted,prayed His Word. The first time it happened

 was while I was quoting,praying the above passage in the 25th Psalm.My attention was

 drawn to that word 'your'. The Lord began to speak to me about His ways and His

paths,especially as they applied to my way and my path. He began to help me on my job

as my attitude towards certain people was not pleasing in His sight ;and certainly missed

 the mark as being His Way, if you get my drift. As I add to my memory banks He continues

showing me things as I pray His Word. It's kinda like a new way of doing things. One thing

I am certain of and this is it. If I will enter into His presence with His word on my lips,and if I

will patiently wait for Him and don't jump ahead into MY program of prayer, He will indeed

hear me don't you think?Why? "... for He is the God of my salvation,for Him I wait all the day

 long."

Hear this, if His Word is in my mouth, I will be praying according to His will.Yes?  No?

 I believe it will be. Anyway,what started as a memory booster seems

to have morphed into a prayer time to boot. (smile) Try it. I think you might like it.

Well,I hope this spoke to someone. It was good to break out the computer and put some

 thoughts down. Maybe the Lord will give me leave to continue.

Psalm 25:1-22(ESV) 
 To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul.
 O my God, in you I trust; let me not be put to shame;let not my enemies exult over me.
 Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame; they shall be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.
 Make me to know your ways, O LORDteach me your paths.
 Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation;for you I wait all the day long.
 Remember your mercy, O LORD, and your steadfast love, for they have been from of old.
 Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me,for the sake of your goodness, O LORD!
 Good and upright is the LORDtherefore he instructs sinners in the way.
 He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.
10  All the paths of the LORDare steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.
11  For your name’s sake, O LORDpardon my guilt, for it is great.
12  Who is the man who fears the LORDHim will he instruct in the way that he should choose.
13  His soul shall abide in well-being, and his offspring shall inherit the land.
14  The friendship of the LORDis for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant.
15  My eyes are ever toward the LORDfor he will pluck my feet out of the net.
16  Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.
17  The troubles of my heart are enlarged; bring me out of my distresses.
18  Consider my affliction and my trouble, and forgive all my sins.
19  Consider how many are my foes, and with what violent hatred they hate me.
20  Oh, guard my soul, and deliver me! Let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.
21  May integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for you.
22  Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his troubles.



God Bless.



Saturday, December 30, 2017

Truth One On One

Truth One On One                                     12-30-17

Psalm 25:4-5 (ESV) 4  Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths.
5  Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.


Some thoughts for the New Year.This is my verse for 2018. 

Years ago,my friend and mentor Pastor Doug, told me something about ministry that has stayed with me. The most effective ministry,he said, was one on one. While we and of course, God, can minister to one another in the sacredness of the sanctuary,surrounded by others of like faith(church), or in great evangelistic services, or wherever people come together,the MOST EFFECTIVE ministry is conducted one on one. It is the privacy and intimacy of one on one that allows people to let their hair down. To wash away all the makeup,and get down to the heart of the matter.Now for sure,it takes time to develop the trust needed for a relationship that is forthright and honest.But,that is where truth is discovered. Not too long back,God spoke those same words to yours truly. And herein lieth the lesson.

Look at that verse again. Pay particular attention to that one word..........What one word Ronnie?..........That word YOUR.

"Make me to know YOUR..... teach me YOUR........Lead me in YOUR......."""

I watched the movie "The Shack" this week. Yeah I know. The book,in my opinion wasn't that good. Some even called it sacreligious. I personally did not like the book and did not agree with some of the characterizations. But, the movie was different. It still had some sketchy issues,but there was something about the movie that I didn't find in the book. The movie had a deeper,underlying meaning that I did not find in the book. Truths about the nature of God,(He really is good,a lot if not most of His children don't grasp or believe that truth deep down),His sovereignty,(He can appear as a black female if He so desires), He can speak to His children using unconventional and non traditional means(see Balaam's donkey) on and on and on. It touched my heart. But, there was one underlying truth in the movie that stood out above the rest.

When God needed to talk to one of His devastated children,which the lead character in the movie most certainly was........when God needed to minister and heal that hurting child,He chose one avenue to accomplish His purpose. What was it you say? Just this.

God got his child ALONE. He invited him out to a deserted shack. Just him. Not him and anybody or anything else. JUST HIM AND GOD. Period. Ya gettin' my drift here?

Brothers and sisters as we walk out of yet another year,(they are stacking up!)and walk into a brand new year,let us strive to make the above verse a reality in our lives.

Do we need others in our lives? Oh yes. Community is God's idea isn't it? In laws,out laws,pastors,church families,friends.....that is what makes God's world turn. It's all there for us to enjoy. But........BUT........in the midnight hour........when facing down the barrel of a  sickness that isn't going away,when the blows and wounds from friends and foe alike are open and festering,when the guilt and confusion from past sins and mistakes come calling, when the reality sets in that the lost loved one isn't coming back in this life.......ya feelin' me here? There's only one solution. Get alone with God. Allow Him to teach you the path that you should walk,let Him lead you in HIS truth for YOUR life.

I will leave you with the ONE TRUTH for us all as we enter this New Year.

There is only ONE truth in all life. That truth will not be found in the halls of politics. It will not be found in political correctness and coexistence. It will not be found in any of the gods of this world. Whether it be capitalism,patriotism,socialism,nationalism or any other ism.It is not to be found in Allah,Buddah or any other god of this world.

It is found in One Name,One Person. THE LORD JESUS CHRIST. JESUS OF NAZARETH.HE IS THE ONLY NAME UNDER HEAVEN BY WHICH WE MUST BE SAVED.

John 14:6 (ESV) 6  Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Happy New Year!

God Bless.












   

Friday, December 22, 2017

What Was,And Is,And Is To Come                           12-22-17

Isaiah 9:6 (ESV) 6  For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Luke 2:11 (ESV) 11  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

I love Christmas. It's my favorite holiday season. I love the commercialization of Christmas.Yes, I know there is a true meaning of Christmas. We'll get to that in a minute. But,I LOVE all the hustle and bustle.The seasonal movies,the scenes at the mall,the tacky house lights,the presents.I love the expectation and excitement in the kids as the BIG DAY approaches.Shelley and I have our own version of Ralphie walking around the house. You know Ralphie from "A Christmas Story," don't you? Well,Ralphie's female clone,known by the name Chloe, is alive and well at 5304 Foxwood Rd. complete with the pink bunny suit(except it is a pig suit here).I can see many Christmas's past, as my own kids tried every way imaginable to figure out what was under the tree and what the Man in Red, from the North Pole would be bringing them.

The glitter and excitement for me has faded somewhat in the present day. I could go without getting anything for Christmas and be perfectly content watching the younguns open their stuff. However, I will gladly accept ANY present that you,Shelley,might like to buy me!!smile. But seriously,I am going to soak this Christmas in. I am going to enjoy this coming weekend to the max. I look forward to seeing Maddie and Chloe run around the house all excited. I am looking forward to hearing about my grandkids' Christmas. I look forward to opening my gifts and watching others do the same. Looking at all the before and after pictures in the HUNDREDS That Shelley and her mom Sharon,will post on Facebook. lol I want to soak it in. Why? Because I may never get to experience another Christmas like this one. I want to hold this blessing from the Lord close to my heart.SOAK IT IN TODAY. None of us knows the future. What's that you say? The real reason for the season? Yes I do. It's a matter of what was and what is and what is to come isn't it? And herein lieth he lesson.

 About two thousand or so years ago the prophesied Messiah,the Savior of the human race was born in a land far,far away.All the innocence and hope of an entire fallen race lay in that manger.That's why we are celebrating this season. We want,we NEED in some way to FEEL that innocence and love and hope.The presents,the carols,the candlelight services and communions all contribute to our NEED to FEEL the love and goodwill,the PEACE towards ALL men.A Christmas past.Yet there's more to it isn't there? 

John 3:16 (ESV) 16  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

About thirty or so years later,that child born in that stable would set himself on a course. His primary,overriding purpose would be to show the world that He loved His Father,God Almighty. He would humble Himself and freely GIVE His life in the most gruesome way imaginable,to prove His love of God. As a result,He not only proved His love for His God,but He proved His God's love for us.Because of this love,God's creation,you and I can live forever.All we must do is believe. An age of grace and mercy. A Christmas present.
Ahhhhhhh........but there's more to come isn't there,dear saint? A Christmas  FUTURE! And this is the one I want to focus on.

Brother and sister,if you are beat down. If you are hanging on by a thread. If life has worn you out,maybe you have suffered unimaginable loss, or as the Apostle Paul said,you have fought the good fight,you have finished the course and the time of your departure is at hand........ then READ ON child of God. 

Revelation 1:12-16 (ESV) 12  Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands,
13  and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest.
14  The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire,
15  his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters.
16  In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength.


THIS is the REASON FOR THE SEASON. The Lord Jesus is no longer a babe in the manger. He is no longer a suffering servant hanging on an old rugged cross. No,NO! He is a King that is coming back for His own.He dwells in unapproachable light,and He's coming soon to take us,YOU AND ME, HOME. And so we shall FOREVER be with the Lord.

Revelation 22:12-13 (ESV) 12  “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done.
13  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”


Amen. Come Lord Jesus.

God Bless.








  

Friday, December 15, 2017

Confusion

Confusion                                               12-15-17

1 Corinthians 14:33 (ESV) 33  For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. As in all the churches of the saints,

I think I like the KJV a little better here.

1 Corinthians 14:33 (KJV) 33  For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

Some thoughts today. As Led Zeppelin said, Dazed and Confused.


My friend,Charles Saia had another less affectionate name for it,Psycho babble.What? Huh?What's that your friend said Ronnie? Psycho babble.lol  Another word for confusion.

Confusion. To make unclear in mind or purpose.A condition in which things are not in their normal or proper places or relationships.

I was listening to two men at work this week past discussing their views on religion.The discussion ended very amiably with an agreement to disagree.During the discussion,although I was not involved, I asked a question that I wanted and needed an answer to. Huh? Glad you asked. "Why"I asked, "If God is not the author of confusion,then why is there so much confusion?" Unbeknownst to them,the question was directed more at me and my confusion than to them.(smile) 

Let me see if I can explain. Have you ever been unclear in mind about what a preacher,teacher,commentator,or blog writer has written or said? Have you ever been unclear in purpose as to what God was supposedly saying to you through someone else? Oh yeah I feel ya. Me too!!(smile)

As I listened this week, I could see myself making those same arguments that I was hearing.As a matter of fact I have done that very thing recently. I listened intently as each one quoted a Scripture to support his position. As my friend Pastor Doug says, "Been there,done that,got the t-shirt,and bought the video!

Do I believe in having a CONSISTENT Scriptural foundation for what I believe? You better believe it!I went for far too long in my Christian walk without that firm foundation.Do I believe that my way is the right way? ABSOLUTELY. Do I believe that you may have a different perspective and that your way is the right way?ABSOLUTELY. Hear me out on this.

For every Scripture someone gives me about conditional salvation, I can give them two about eternal security. The same goes for tithing. The same goes for the role of the New Testament church.On and on and on. Isn't it odd that The Apostle Paul wrote that verse on confusion after explaining what is probably the most argumentative and confusing issue in Christian circles today.The role of the Holy Spirit in the lives of the individual believer and the local church. An interesting insertion indeed.

I mentioned that I have been studying the Book of Job recently.Fascinating and profound book.As far as I have gotten,(first round of speeches) there is one recurring theme(among others) that has captured my attention. 

Job's friends,his "comforters" are all theologically correct in what they say.Their positions about the demise of Job all sound good.Based on correct theology.

Why then does Job refuse and even spurn their advice? If you read it,you will find out that not only does Job disagree,he disagrees violently with them,for reasons too numerous for this blog.Jobs turmoil, his absolute agony does not lie in his physical loss or suffering. He,so far has never once asked to be healed or restored. I don't think that he ever does. I will find out.Job's agony is in his confusion of why God has done this. And herein lieth the lesson.

Job's confusion and agony is rooted in the fact that all he is hearing is what his friends say ABOUT GOD. They talk ABOUT God. They tell him what they THINK is wrong.They tell him what they THINK is Job's solution.They tell him what they THINK God is saying. It sounds good. It is theologically correct. But,it is WRONG in Job's particular circumstances. Their religious reasoning,based on sound theology does not fit Job's case.Their counsel and application is wrong,their theology is right.They don't have all the facts of Job's demise.They talk ABOUT God,but they have not talked TO God;and apparently have not allowed God to talk to them.

Job,all the while is over here contemplating and voicing this one complaint,this one TRUTH over and over.ONLY GOD HAS HIS ANSWER. God is the ONLY one that can give counsel and comfort to Job's confusion.And that brothers and sisters,is our ONLY answer when we are confused and dismayed. Whether it be a Bible doctrine,personal loss and suffering,or any other circumstance that causes doubt and confusion,our first source of refuge is in God and God alone.

Confused? Doubtful? Hurting?Get a Bible. Go find your alone place with God.Talk to Him.Let Him speak to your heart.Let Him give you the counsel about your PERSONAL circumstances.

Don't worry. If our heart is in the right place.If our desire is to sincerely hear His voice.He will guide us into all truth. He will direct us to that person,church,book or WHATEVER that can minister to our pain and confusion.  

 God is never going to lead us astray.His counsel will always,on every occasion line up and concur with His word. There will never be conflict there.But, BUT, His ways are not our ways.

Isaiah 55:8-9 (ESV) 8  For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.
9  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.


God's ways at first glance may not fit the traditional mode. They may, at first glance,conflict with man's theology and even man's sense of justice and fairness. If we get out in left field trying to follow Him(I have), if we misinterpret His voice(I have) don't worry.... He is strong enough and more than capable of righting our ship. Our responsibility is to have a heart that is perfect and sincere towards Him. Amen?

Psalm 81:13-14 (ESV) 13  Oh, that my people would listen to me, that Israel would walk in my ways!
14  I would soon subdue their enemies and turn my hand against their foes.



God Bless




   


Friday, November 24, 2017

You Cant Outgive God

You Can't Outgive God                                                    11-24-17

2 Samuel 12:13 (ESV) 13  David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” And Nathan said to David, “The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die.

No, this is not a message on the giving of our substance. Although,that statement is true in that respect. Today it is all about grace. It is not about any of the descriptions that we humans have assigned to it.It is not about that popular and in my opinion derogatory term,Hyper Grace. It is not about sustainable grace. It is not about falling from grace.It is simply about grace. It is also about the notion that we as God's creation cannot give anything back to Him to warrant His grace. Not in material benefits,not in spiritual benefits,and certainly not in any righteous acts concerning our conduct,behavior and whatnot.As concerns grace we can't give ANYTHING back to merit God's bestowal of it. 

I was thinking about what I had written last week as it concerned the condition of MY heart on certain issuesWhile contemplating on this,I came across this verse. Now,I have read this story many times,but the last part of that verse (13) had never hit me. And herein lieth he lesson.

".........and Nathan said to David,"The Lord also has put away your sin;you shall not die." At first,it was hazy,but then it became more clear to me. I said to myself,"Did God just go against the requirements of the Mosaic Law,and more importantly His own Word?" How so Ronnie?

Leviticus 20:10 (ESV) 10  “If a man commits adultery with the wife of his neighbor, both the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.

Not to mention David's murder of Uriah. According to the Law, David's sin(s) REQUIRED that he be put to death.There was to be no mercy. The sin had to be paid for. Hmmmmm..there seems to be a problem here. So, I went and studied it out as best I could. Now,it gets pretty technical here and for this blog unimportant. But,know this. God in His SOVEREIGNTY did indeed bestow an act of Grace towards His servant David. Without getting  mired in the theology,two facts are important here.

First, GOD IS SOVEREIGN.He does what He wants to do and is accountable to NO ONE for what He does. That's powerful medicine when all the implications are considered. What if tomorrow,God decided to destroy and send His creation to eternal damnation.Who or what could stop Him? That's right ....NO ONE! HE IS SOVEREIGN.All,again ALL of His dealings with us,His creation,rest SOLELY on one aspect of His character,.... His Grace. Unmerited favor.

Secondly, and more specific to this situation,verse 13 is spoken of in the past tense.
I have sinned. The Lord has put away. Past tense.

David was not forthcoming with the facts of his sins. His sin would be exposed to the prophet Nathan before he would confess his guilt. No act of contrition. No turning away from his sin.No resolve to do better. All this would come later and not in his own strength but in the strength of the Holy Spirit.(see Psalm 51 and 32)

All David did was AGREE with God. He had indeed sinned. Nothing else. And then Nathan speaks some of,if not the most gracious words in the Old Testament.

"The Lord HAS put away your sin;you shall not die." Past tense.No mention of David offering a sacrifice here. He may have but that is not the point. His sin has been put away. Passed over. In the corridors of glory,the restitution has already been paid. The Lamb that was slain before the foundation of the world is in view here. Jesus Christ, The Lord of Glory. Heady stuff indeed.

God,according to His Grace and His Grace ALONE. Apart from any righteous act before or after on David's part,put away,covered over, David's sin; which DEMANDED the death of the transgressor. David gave nothing on his part. No merit whatsoever. Just belief. Agreement. He agreed and indeed believed with God that he had sinned. All His righteous acts of contrition,turning away etc.,etc.,came AFTER God had dealt with his sin. AFTER God had put away or passed over his trangression. And ONLY with the power and help of the Holy Spirit. Yes the Holy Spirit was around in Old Testament times.Powerful,powerful medicine.

Psalm 51:11 (ESV) 11  Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.


So, Ronnie what is your point in all of this? Well, as I said last week it is easy to develop a wrong attitude towards people. Listen to this.

Our standing with God is based on His work. His grace,UNMERITED favor is all that stands before us and destruction. We are saved from eternal damnation by His Grace and His Grace alone.

Ephesians 2:8-9 (ESV) 8  For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,
9  not a result of works, so that no one may boast.


Not only that,but our salvation is MAINTAINED by God and God alone. It is a work of God. We can do nothing on our own accord to "stay saved." GOD ALONE DOES IT.

1 Peter 1:3-5 (ESV) 3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
4  to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,
5  who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.



If God does all of this for us,IN SPITEof our continued failings, then why do we DEMAND FROM OTHERS what God does not demand of us? My question to myself is "why do I demand someone else live up to my notions of righteousness? How can I develop an attitude towards someone else based only on what I can see?Do I make judgment solely on what I see in other's conduct and behavior?

Every last ounce of my standing and relationship with God Almighty is initiated and maintained by Him! I do nothing! Except what HE leads and EMPOWERS me to do. I can and indeed WILL not do anything of my own accord;and I am in error if I demand it of others.Brothers and sisters,we don't have a sin problem. SIN HAS BEEN DEALT WITH. We have a belief problem. Our belief problem lay in he fact that we have to BELIEVE in Jesus and His complete snd finished atonement on Calvary. Nothing else can be done on His part or ours. Nothing else NEED be done on His part or ours.Secondly,we must believe that Jesus will do for OTHERS what He has done for us. IN SPITE of what we SEE in the lives and conduct of others.Undestanding that we are no different than they. 
 
Psalm 119:146 (ESV) 146  I call to you; save me, that I may observe your testimonies.



God Bless



Friday, November 10, 2017

Spiritual Correctness                                                        11-10-17

2 Timothy 3:14-15 (ESV) 14  But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it
15  and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.


More computer problems today. Seems my version of this software(wordsearch 10) is not compatible with the new upgrade from Apple on the computer. So,$35.00 later for new upgrade and voila! here I am.

Let me tell you something. There is no more ardent a supporter of study as it concerns the Scripture than me. I am on a mission to understand why I believe what I believe,for reasons that are personal to me. I just recently started a study of the Book Of Job. A serious study that will, I believe, take considerable time. I have,if memory serves, read the  book through only once in my entire life. It is a deep and profound book and I am only through the introduction. I am relying on a"teaching" commentary simply because Job is a difficult book  for me to understand.All the poetry and word structure are  hard for me.Also, I have a hard time "connecting" with Job. The plain reason being I have not approached in my life the depth or magnitude of suffering that Job experienced. And I have NO DESIRE to experience Job's reality. That being said,the commentator,in his commentary made this statement about Job.Speaking of Job,he said,"His friends talk ABOUT God.Job talks TO(caps mine)God. And this makes him the only authentic theologian in the book."

When I got saved on October 8th 1975,the first thing I did was go out that very evening and buy a Christian book. I will never forget it. The Late Great Planet Earth by Hal Lindsay. Great book.........but not the place for a new babe in Christ to begin his journey. It blew my mind as I read the whole book in one setting. When I arrived at work that night I found my Christian friends, Pastor Doug,who had led me to the Lord that morning, and Bill Fallon.Pastor Doug do you remember Bill?  Excited and scared,I told them about the book I had read.Well....I got a look. Not disapproving or stern. A look of maybe I needed something a little different to begin with. It was then that I received my first Christian"teaching." I was told that to begin with I needed to do two things.I needed to learn how to do two things. I remember it like it was yesterday. What were they Ronnie? What deep wisdom was imparted to you?

1) Read the Bible.

2)Pray

That was the extent of my teaching.Oh yeah, start in the Gospel of John. That was it.

Some forty odd years,unknown hours spent reading the Bible,countless seasons of prayer,hundreds of Christian books,thousands of preached sermons,hard times,good times,ups and downs those two truths still remain firm and steadfast.And herein lieth the lesson.

If you have read the the books of First and Second Timothy,you understand this is a "teaching"letter from a wise,seasoned Man of God to a younger,up and coming Pastor. I believe,and this is my opinion only,I believe it was Paul passing the baton to his child in the faith. In the midst of all his advice and instruction about the storms and all the other of life,Paul writes those words to Timothy. Look again.

2 Timothy 3:14-15 (ESV) 14  But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it
15  and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.


"........continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed.....

I remember a few years back during a desperate and I mean desperate period in my life. I was driving a truck over the road and was literally on I40 at Cedar Bluff road. I was passing through Knoxville on my way to Chicago with tears rolling down my face. Something had happened and I was desperate to hear from God. As I rolled past the Lovell Rd.exit,theSpirit of the Lord spoke these words to my heart. "Go back to the place you left off,and do what you know to do." The Lord was speaking to me in areas of my life that I had become negligent.Truths that I had been taught in the past. Nothing new. No great revelation or teaching. The sun didn't start shining any brighter....no no.It was a simple restating of some truths that I had learned eons ago and had allowed to become stagnant. A buddy of mine stated it precisely the other day when he said these words to the author, "I am not interested in any new teaching, I can't live what I know!"

Amen and Amen. 

Brothers and sisters,I suppose that this is my point today. If it was truth yesterday. If it was truth last week. If it was truth 50 years ago....it is truth today.Oh yes there are different doctrines. There are different theologies. There are different viewpoints and applications.I understand all of that and heartily agree. But,there isn't a different truth. And that is what set Job apart from his friends as far as I can tell so far. In Job's search for the truth about his suffering he didn't put forth any new theologies or new teachings. no no. He couldn't understand what he already knew to be true about God. However,what set him apart. What,in the end, curried God's favor toward him and by the same token God's anger toward Job's friends was one truth. Job didn't talk ABOUT God,he talked TO God.

1)Read the Bible

2)Pray

 Psalm 57:1 (ESV) 1
 Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by.



God Bless