Thursday, December 24, 2015

Behold The Man

Behold The Man                                        12-24-15

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.

Early post this week. One of my favorite essays about the Lord Jesus Christ. May we all "Behold The Man," this Christmas.

One Solitary Life

He was born in an obscure village
The child of a peasant woman
He grew up in another obscure village
Where he worked in a carpenter shop
Until he was thirty when public opinion turned against him
He never wrote a book
He never held an office
He never went to college
He never visited a big city
He never travelled more than two hundred miles
From the place where he was born
He did none of the things
Usually associated with greatness
He had no credentials but himself

He was only thirty three

His friends ran away
One of them denied him
He was turned over to his enemies
And went through the mockery of a trial
He was nailed to a cross between two thieves
While dying, his executioners gambled for his clothing
The only property he had on earth

When he was dead
He was laid in a borrowed grave
Through the pity of a friend

Nineteen centuries have come and gone
And today Jesus is the central figure of the human race
And the leader of mankind's progress
All the armies that have ever marched
All the navies that have ever sailed
All the parliaments that have ever sat
All the kings that ever reigned put together
Have not affected the life of mankind on earth
As powerfully as that one solitary life 

Hebrews 13:8 (ESV) 8  Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Psalm 100:1 (ESV) 1
 Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth!

Here's wishing you and yours a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS.

God Bless.

Friday, December 18, 2015

The Next Generation

The Next Generation                                     12-18-15

Proverbs 22:6 (ESV) 6  Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

It was like watching the newsreel at the movie theater. For those of you unfamiliar with the newsreel, ask mama,daddy, or better grandma and grandpa to explain just what it is. Anyway, story after story with pictures rolled across my screen this week. Three, however stood alone and sparked this message.

I watched this week as a "prophet" spoke before a crowd of hundreds, maybe thousands of all ages and declared that speaking or saying the words "Merry Christmas" was on a par, no was WORSE than fornication and murder. No commentary here just reporting what I saw.

A little later in the week, I read of a political science professor at a prominent evangelical Christian college donning a religious headdress and proclaim that we all worship the same God. Again, no commentary, just the facts. Well,..... maybe a small commentary here......not my commentary, but the opinion of another......

 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. 


At any rate, these various and sundry reports played on this newsreel were against a backdrop of a star pointing to a manger with a babe in it.A babe appointed to save you and I from our sin.Why all the rage against this innocent child????  Just for the record, this "babe" is no longer in the manger, nor is He on the cross..nope, He is the soon returning King coming to take His brothers and sisters home. I digress.

Pondering the assorted chaos this week, I had  pause. I remembered my third story of the week and the point of my message. I remembered a church somewhere in northeast Georgia. I've never been there and know of it only through my wife Shelley, and my angel ,Chloe.

It seems that this church took Chloe and her brothers C.J. and Tyler under their wing. For some time now, the church has provided transportation for the kids to and from church whenever they wanted to go. They have ministered to those kids in many different ways. Sunday School, Church, outings and whatnot. Week after week, month after month, picking them up, taking them home, this and that.They have been "training them up" if you get my drift.

Whenever I would talk to Chloe on the phone, I would ask her how she liked her church. She would say that she really liked it and all that; you know how kids are.But, here's the payoff. Not too long ago I was talking to Shelley and she told me of a phone conversation she had had. Chloe had a question .Chloe had asked this. She didn't know whether she had to "ask Jesus to come into her heart every night or not." It seems that she had forgotten to ask Him into her heart the previous night and was wondering about it. She then informed Shelley that she had asked Jesus to come into her heart at church the previous Sunday or Wednesday, don't know which; and wanted to make sure that He was still in her heart since she hadn't asked Him the night before.

Then she told Shelley that she wanted to be baptized. Bap-i-tized as Chloe puts it. 
When I heard that story for the first time, I was almost brought to tears, as Chloe is very dear to my heart. Once again for effect.

 Proverbs 22:6 (ESV) 6  Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Brothers and sisters, make no mistake about it, our nation is being invaded. Our country is under assault. WE ,as Christians are under assault. Our children and grandchildren are in the spiritual cross hairs of the enemy. Do not be deceived by the RHETORIC. It's akin to waves rolling in on the seashore. One after another, six or seven, then a BIG ONE comes, knocks you down and the pattern starts all over again. You feelin' me here? But. BUT.

Make no mistake, BE ASSURED, this invasion is doomed to failure. That babe in the manger was, is, and will be a conqueror. That much is certain.Our job is to prevent as many casualties as we can, however we can,don't you think? And herein lieth the lesson. Because of the unseen and unheralded efforts of some folk in a church somewhere in Georgia, a small child, a member of the next generation, was transformed from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ. SHE GOT SAVED!!

I have thought about this much over the last few years. In my opinion, MY OPINION, we owe it to the next generation to do all we can to stem the tide aimed at their destruction. Someone did it for us when we were coming up, and we owe it to the Chloe's of the world. That's my personal take on it. At any rate, this verse came to mind while writing this blog.

Hebrews 6:10 (ESV) 10  For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do.

Maybe you are a parent of small or not so small children, working yourself to death trying to provide for those babies under your care. Maybe you are a grandparent or great grandparent praying continually after those children and grandchildren for their welfare.Maybe you are a church worker faithfully teaching that children's class or working in that nursery,OUT OF THE SIGHT  AND MIND OF ANY AND EVERYONE. Rest easy, you are not out of the sight of GOD ALMIGHTY. He has not and will not "overlook" you.

Let us all endeavor, in whatever capacity big or small, to "train up" that generation that follows us. Amen? AMEN!

And here's for whomever is reading.


Psalm 18:1-3 (ESV) 1
 I love you, O LORD, my strength.
2  The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
3  I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.

God Bless



Friday, December 11, 2015

Hitting The Rewind Button                                12-11-15

Romans 8:13 (ESV) 13  For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

A little background is needed here in order to trace my steps to my hopefully logical conclusion. (Hopefully being the key word here!) smile.

I read an article this week in a magazine that I don't normally read or even like. But, the title about markers on the road to offense caught my eye. As I read on, a phrase used by the author really hit home. It hit me "where I live," if you know what I mean. The condensed version goes like this. Among all that leads us into offense, one of the markers or warning signs is hitting the rewind button. No, not on the radio or television, but in your mind. How's that Ronnie? Just this. Someone says or does something to hurt your feelings. Someone says or does something that insults you. Or maybe what is said or done isn't even the truth. You hearin' me here. Yeah, I feel ya.

Anyway, when these unpleasant circumstances happen, if you are like your's truly, you tend to hit the rewind button in your head and replay the incident over and over. IF, you are like ME, you rehearse it and rehearse it until you have every word, nuance, facial expression, tone of voice, body language or anything else that helps you build the case for injustice DOWN TO A TEE. (Amen or Oh me!lol)

Against all reason and good sense, you continue to hit the rewind button until you have built a wall of resentment in your heart. If not very careful this can lead you or me into a hardened heart and offense; then, according to the Scriptures, that offense can defile not only us but those around us. 

Hebrews 12:15 (ESV) 15  See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled;

That being said, here is where I will share what I believe God spoke to my heart this week. About a fortnight past, I had once again fallen into this snare of the devil. Playing over and over again perceived injustices. Sure enough I had rehearsed enough to be able to store a goodly amount of resentment in my heart. So, when I saw this article I had to admit to God that I was indeed guilty as charged. At this point this thought entered my mind and heart.

"Ronnie, do you want victory over this?" As I considered that radical  (at least to me, smile)) alternative, the Holy Ghost expounded on that idea.

I spend a lot of time praying about "victory." Victory in my circumstances. Victory in my finances. Victory in the lives of my children, family and friends.You know what I am talking about don't you? Nothing wrong with that at all. God wants us to take our requests to Him above all. However, the Holy Spirit gently impressed me about  the time I spend in God's Word and before Him in prayer seeking "victory" over the sin in my life.Those things that are displeasing to Him and those things that grieve His Spirit. In other words, "where I live."

While trying to digest all this, He moved me a little further down the road. A victory by it's very meaning implies a battle or a contest with an opponent. In order to have a victor, you must also have one who is defeated. Now, in the natural world, depending upon their nature, these battles can be friendly,as witnessed by the Tennessee Vols defeat of the Georgia Bulldogs this year(couldn't resist) or they can be belligerent.

But, in the spiritual realm they are NEVER friendly. Our common enemy seeks to do nothing short of destroying us and all we hold dear. When you have the time, read the 6th through 8th chapters of Romans. It's hard reading. It describes us(our old selves) as being "crucified" with Christ. It spends time describing the battle we face in trying to do the right thing. Then it talks about the "how to" in achieving victory. It doesn't put a pretty face on it. It's a down and dirty, in the gutter, no holds barred fight. Look again.

Romans 8:13 (ESV) 13  For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

Brothers and sisters, in order to have victory in this realm, we must yield ("by the Spirit") ourselves to God's power in our lives and "put to death those deeds of the body." 

"Ronnie, I can't do that. I don't have the strength." I know you don't. Neither do I. But, if we keep fighting. If we press on in spite of our failures. If we continue to yield to the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives; if we PRACTICE letting God have control, THEN those victories that prove so elusive will begin to come. Eventually, if we keep at it and keep at it, God will change those attitudes and practices that displease Him and do harm to us. It ain't pretty, it may hurt, and we may get scuffed up a little; but God says it will work if we will trust Him and fight those fights in His power. In the end it will yield the peaceable fruit of righteousness.Amen.

Psalm 119:71 (ESV) 71  It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.

God Bless

Friday, December 4, 2015

When All Else Fails He Alone

When All Else Fails He Alone                           12-04-15

Psalm 62:1-2 (ESV) 1
 For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation.
2  He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.

It was chilling. I just this moment turned on my television looking for a reason that the price of gold had jumped this A.M. There, in front of me, was the ever present "Breaking News" headline caption. Sure enough, my and almost everyone else's fears were realized. It now seems that the shooting in California was indeed a terrorist attack. As I watched the camera pan inside the home of these terrorists, for some reason chill bumps ran up and down my arms. I looked at the military type hardware and all the other paraphernalia; nodding my head and speaking to myself that "yes indeed, they are here."

My attention was then directed to a verse,(see above) I came across this week past. I opened my Bible and reread that entire Psalm. In the wake of the revelation on the television, a sense of reverence flooded into my soul. It wasn't one of those jumping up and down "Praise The Lord" kind of moments. It was a sense that I was in the presence of the God of all creation.Nothing I could say or do was sufficient. I just needed to sit there in silence and RESPECT the fact that He and HE ALONE IS GOD.


The moment and the sense of awe passed, and I knew I had my message. Folks, take some time SOON and read the 62nd Psalm.

For some weeks, months actually God has been speaking to your's truly about two subjects. In no particular order of importance they are 1) Becoming a giver and 2) Developing a personal, intimate relationship with God Almighty outside of all the busyness of life. Just me and God one on one. Dining room table. Living room couch. Park. Just God and me. Now I understand that in truth, this is not a new spiritual revelation is it? That has been the plan since the beginning hasn't it? If only I would HEED that call. Know what I mean?

Read the Psalm today. It covers the whole gamut of what we are dealing with as Christians,no indeed as HUMAN BEINGS in today's world.In vs. 3 and 4 it speaks of  attacks upon men to "batter" them. Look no further than San Bernardino. People blessing with their mouth but inwardly cursing. Hello media moguls.

In vs. 9 and 10. it casts light on all of low and high estate.The absolute delusion that riches and power somehow will provide security in he dark days to come. Hmmmmm. Sound like the 1%'s and then all the rest of us?

Want to know who is the REAL power broker in this fallen world of ours? Read vs.11.

Brothers and sisters read the very first line of that Psalm.

"For God ALONE(caps mine) my soul waits in silence;"

Hear me. Like it or not, they are here. The enemy is at the gate.

Like it or not we are in a war on many fronts. We are being assaulted by an enemy from without AND an enemy from within.We must contend with an enemy hell bent on our physical destruction; and an enemy from hell, bent on our spiritual destruction. Ya feelin' me here?

There is NO other refuge. There is NO other hiding place.Outside of the dwelling place of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and His ONE AND ONLY SON,The Lord Jesus Christ, ALL ELSE WILL FAIL!!

Let us all endeavor to seek Him. Let us all hunger and thirst for His presence. For He and He alone is our hope and our salvation.

Psalm 62:5-7 (ESV) 5  For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.
6  He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
7  On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God.

God Bless