Saturday, April 30, 2016


Uncommon                                                 04-30-16

Acts 10:13-15 (ESV) 13  And there came a voice to him: “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.”
14  But Peter said, “By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean.”
15  And the voice came to him again a second time, “What God has made clean, do not call common.”

I was startled this week by comments from some powerful, public people aimed at other powerful, public people. It all too publicly revealed the degradation of the political process in this land of ours. The Lord however showed me something out of it. I'll try and share my thoughts with you today.

It's easy isn't it? What would that be Ronnie? Well, there's no antiseptic way to put it. You know how it goes. Much like what I suppose happened this week. We get around folk and we start talking. Before you know it we've said some stuff about an individual or individuals; or maybe about groups of people, nationalities or races that, how would we put it.......aren't too complimentary. Almost all of the time it is outside the earshot or presence of said individuals or groups. And almost always it is something we would not say to their face, therefore it smacks of cowardice. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, this seems to be a universal trait amongst us; not limited to any particular tribe or creed. That being said, I wanted to share that picture with you, so you, like me,  might better appreciate that word "common."

Get a good grasp of that word, because it is central to the point that the Lord shared with me today. 

According to Vines the meaning in the context of the above verses is "ordinary." "Belonging to the generality, as distinct from what is peculiar to the few."

That word was applied to the ordinary people in contrast to those of the Pharisees. It was used to mark a religious class distinction. In today's lingo those of us who, in our eyes, are "spiritual" and those of us who are not. In Peter's day it had descended into calling someone or something profane or unclean.

So, calling something common meant more than just ordinary. It started as ordinary, but at the gut level it was unholy or unhallowed. Not set apart or peculiar. If we read the entire  tenth chapter of Acts, we discover that God was making reference to people, when He told Peter not to call something common or unclean. Look at this.

Acts 10:28 (ESV) 28  And he said to them, “You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with or to visit anyone of another nation, but God has shown me that I should not call any person common or unclean.

And here is where the Lord spoke to my heart this morning. How so Ronnie? Well, just this. He didn't speak to my heart about something that I should not do,  (Although I am sure there is a lesson here on just that) but, He spoke to me about something I should not ALLOW. Huh..? How's that Ronnie? Just this. Ronnie,don't allow someone to MAKE you common....... 

You see brothers and sisters, we don't really have any control over the world or people in the world CALLING us common. We don't have any control over the world or the people in the world BEHAVING towards us as if we are common. Ordinary or even unclean. Like I said uptop that seems to be a universal trait common to humanity. I am sure I have behaved that way towards people in the past. BUT, we do have control over being made common in our eyes. You gettin my drift here?

Understand this, usually if you are like me, we react towards our assailants in one of two ways, both motivated by the flesh, and both destructive. Either we STRIKE BACK in a fit of rage, after which we are ashamed of ourselves; or we passively take it and allow it to take root in our hearts. We allow the behaviors of others to make us FEEL common and ordinary. We feel spiritually mugged even when God Almighty says differently don't we?  

Whether we react with violent indignation or false humility, neither one is the way The Lord Jesus sees us and  we have allowed the enemy the upper hand in our hearts. 

Brothers and sisters, if you name the name of Jesus you are not common. You are in no way ordinary and you are most definitely not unclean. On the contrary, you are a peculiar treasure. UNCOMMON, I believe is the word.

1 Peter 2:9 (ESV) 9  But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

This was spoken by Peter to the Jewish nation and people first, but is a promise to all who call on the name of the Lord Jesus. We, you and me as individuals, are a people for His own possession. LET THAT SINK IN. WE, YOU AND ME, NEED TO GET THAT TRUTH WAY DOWN DEEP IN OUR SOULS.

This world today will try and make you common. The enemy of your soul does nothing BUT call you unclean and common, before God and man. Even those around you sometimes will attempt to manipulate and make you feel common.


1 Peter 1:13-16 (ESV) 13  Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
14  As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance,
15  but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,
16  since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

Not holier than thou, not self righteous, but HOLY. Set apart. Called out. Special.


Psalm 111:6 (ESV) 6  He has shown his people the power of his works, in giving them the inheritance of the nations.

God Bless



Friday, April 22, 2016

You Used Me!                                         04-22-16

2 Corinthians 1:12 (ESV) 12  For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God, and supremely so toward you.

Have you ever felt like that? Like what Ronnie? You know, like someone had used you. They had taken unfair advantage of you. Probably the better word is misused, but we usually choose the other don't we? You know, if it were just once, that would be O.K. But, it seems that some folk owe their existence to the singular fact of using you. Ever feel like that? I bet you have. I know I have. Remember, in this life, we can be givers or we can be takers, our choice. Anyway, here's a perspective on being used that you might want to consider. 

You see brothers and sisters, in the church world today, the phrase "used by God" is many times characterized by huge ministries, run by charismatic personalities on television, radio and the internet. We see posts on Facebook showing all the miracles and accomplishments of these various ministries. Great sermons preached on power, faith, kingdom, healings, victory, abundance and the goodness of God explode in the pulpits and airwaves all over this land. That however, gives me pause from time to time as I consider this: the sticking point with that message is that it does not seem to be a universal message does it? That doesn't preach in Syria, Iraq, south Sudan or in most of the world does it? I was surprised to hear recently that the message is falling flat in western Europe these days. It seems to be a uniquely  "made in America" phenomenon. Do I sound too harsh? I don't mean to be. On the contrary, God is SOVEREIGN and He can get the Gospel message out anyway He so chooses. It is none of my or anyone else's business to cast a disparaging comment towards any of the ministers of the Gospel. That is entirely God's concern.  That being said, the question being raised today in my mind is this:   "How does God "use" the rest of us?"  

Did you ever consider that you are being mightily used of God in the simplest of ways? How so Ronnie? In your everyday life, that's how. Just in the way that you conduct your life. I try and stay away from cliches, but this is appropriate for today. We are the only Bible some people will read today aren't we?

You see the writer of the majority of the New Testament had this singular boast. Look again.

2 Corinthians 1:12 (ESV) 12  For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God, and supremely so toward you.

Maybe, just maybe, God IS MIGHTILY using you today! Uh...hmm... how so Ronnie? It sure doesn't look like it to me!! Just this. Remember that person that used and misused you last week? When you responded by God's Grace in love towards them. When you didn't let the offense become an OFFENSE in your heart. When you allowed the Holy Spirit full reign in your heart, and you went on about your's and God's business undeterred. Wait a minute Ronnie........I didn't respond like that. I let it get to me. Oh yeah I feel ya. Take heart. I can guarantee there will be another opportunity!!

Could it be that God IS MIGHTILY using you and your constant faith in circumstances of lack instead of abundance? Is He MIGHTILY using you and your constant faith in circumstances of endurance and persecution, instead of temporal victory?

You see, brothers and sisters, it wasn't about accomplishment or abundance. It wasn't about power this or victorious that,  that the Apostle Paul boasted in. It was about the TESTIMONY OF HIS AND BY ROTE OUR CONSCIENCE. It is knowing that God is indeed SOVEREIGN; and because of the Blood of The Lord Jesus we are ALREADY OVERCOMERS no matter our earthly circumstances. It is knowing that God is in complete control of our lives and we don't allow the world to dictate to us on it's terms.   It is how we behave in the face of circumstances both good and evil. It is allowing God to use us in whatever comes our way. You gettin my drift? Read carefully the following passage.

Hebrews 10:32-36 (ESV) 32  But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings,
33  sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated.
34  For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one.
35  Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.
36  For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.

Don't think that God has used or is now using you? Think again. 

Psalm 119:125 (ESV) 125  I am your servant; give me understanding, that I may know your testimonies!

God Bless



Friday, April 15, 2016

Investing 101                                              04-15-16  

1 Corinthians 9:19-22 (ESV) 19  For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them.
20  To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law.
21  To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law.
22  To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. 

Happy Tax Day!! Oops wait a minute, this year it is the 18th isn't it? Darn! Guess we will have to wait until Monday to celebrate this annual occasion.(smile) On a somewhat connected note, do you notice anything about the above Scripture? Anything stand out? Well, that word "win" seems to be a common thread doesn't it? Let's see here...hmmm.. 

from <G2771> (kerdos); to gain (literal or figurative) :- (get) gain, win.

Strong's Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary. 

It denotes gain or profit and is used in a variety of contexts in God's Word. Jesus used this word  in contrasting worldly existence to eternal life.

Matthew 16:26 (ESV) 26  For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?

In another of Jesus's teachings he compares giving a life of service to God to an investment of money.

Matthew 25:15-16 (ESV) 15  To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away.
16  He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more.

Understand this, to win, or gain, or profit requires an investment. Bank that for a minute, we will revisit it shortly. 

Listen, the only thing that is free in the Gospel is salvation. The eternal,never ending, can't be taken away or lost, life is FREE OF CHARGE. Fully paid for on Calvary's Cross. HOWEVER, everything else involving our walk with Christ is costly. That is where this idea of investing and gain,.... winning, enters in. Bear with me a little.

You see, we are confronted with two choices. We can follow man's wisdom or God's. Let's try and put this in a cultural setting here. I am of the opinion that "investing " in the stock market is no different than buying a lottery ticket. Only difference is the better odds one has with the market. It is not an investment, but rather a speculation, a transaction involving considerable risk, offering the CHANCE of large gains; much like Powerball, but giving better odds. But,Powerball is a lot more fun!!! lol .The world offers us speculation. Considerable risk, no guarantees. 

By comparison,look at that word "win." It literally means the activity of gaining or making a profit. A guaranteed return if you will. Once again let's take a cultural view. What the Bible is saying here is akin to taking your money down to the bank and depositing it into an account that pays interest.At the end of a certain amount of time, you, the depositor are GUARANTEED a return on your money. Put $50.00 in, get $100.00 at maturity. Well, I am dreaming here am I not? In today's world put $50.00 in, get $50.01 after a year.(BIG SMILE) I digress. The point is that it is not a speculation with a CHANCE of gain, but an investment with a GUARANTEE of return.

To wit, with the world's crap shoot, we get credit default swaps, sub prime mortgages and The Great Recession in every conceivable circumstance.

With God's Investing 101 we are guaranteed Gold, Silver, and Precious Stones. 


God's plan requires a deposit. An investment if you will. Do we want to be partakers in God's material blessings? Then we must make a material deposit, an investment in His work.

2 Corinthians 9:6 (ESV) 6  The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.

 By the same token, do we want to be partakers in the spiritual inheritance and blessings that God has to offer? Then we must make an investment in our spiritual account.

Want inner peace and security in this mad,mad,mad,mad world? Make an investment.

Isaiah 26:3 (ESV) 3  You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.

Want to know God's Wisdom and will for your life? Make an investment.

James 1:5 (ESV) 5  If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

Want to see circumstances change in your life and the lives of your children and loved ones? Make an investment.

Philippians 4:6 (ESV) 6  do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

You see brothers and sisters all that we do for God; the time spent alone with Him seeking His counsel, the money spent furthering His Kingdom, the sacrifices of service and ministry to Him and to His children WILL produce a return.GUARANTEED. A WIN-WIN FOR US! No lottery ticket here. Serving the Lord Jesus is money in the bank. A high tower to run into in our times of trouble in this life, and later on.......eternal life. Not a bad investment.

Psalm 128:1 (ESV) 1
 Blessed is everyone who fears the LORD, who walks in his ways!

God Bless


Friday, April 8, 2016

Winter's Coming

Winter's Coming                                            04-08-16

1 Corinthians 15:19 (ESV) 19  If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.

Now wait just a minute Ronnie. This is April and I am DONE with winter. Oh yeah, I hear you. You're preaching to the choir. The sooner 80 degrees and sunny, the better as far as I am concerned. Well what are you saying here? Let me try and put my thoughts into words. I read a couple weeks ago and was reminded this week past of the exhibition scheduled for NYC later this month. A replica of the arch of the temple of Palmyra will be constructed for all to see. It seems that some people see some benefit in resurrecting this pagan temple so as to preserve antiquity. If you look a little closer, you will be shocked at the parallels in the 2000 year old Palmyra community with their worship of Molech, and the trends in our society today. I will leave that to you. It strikes me as odd though. What's that Ronnie? Well, one wonders where the archaeological interest lie in the Christian and Jewish artifacts that have also been destroyed. To go further, where is the monument being raised to the  CHRISTIAN HUMANS that have been virtually exterminated by these enemies of humanity. Oh well, getting back on point. 

The Corinthian Church was by a long shot the WORST of the New Testament churches. The issues of division, immorality, self promotion, immaturity are just a few of what Paul addresses in his letters to this church. Not only that, he was dealing with some folk who were denying the resurrection. With all that playing in the background, Paul, arguing for the reality of the resurrection, makes the above statement. To paraphrase."Brothers and sisters, if Jesus is for this life only, we be in a whole world of trouble."

You see, Corinth was a wealthy city. It was located on an Isthmus that connected various trade routes and was also a  bustling sea port.Foreigners, passing through on business, had money to spend while held up in the city.That being said, Corinth was also a wicked city. Our word 'Corinth' in Hellenistic Greek ,meant "to practice fornication."  As a matter of fact it was THE wicked city. Sexual immorality was so rampant that foreigners had a phrase for prostitution. It was said that a prostitute was a "Corinthian Girl." They worshipped all kinds of different gods, infiltrated the city with all manner of religious philosophy, idolatry was rampant, Corinth was what we would say today "a party town." Corinth, in Paul's time, was in a spiritual winter. The Corinthian Church was being profoundly influenced and negatively so, by the surrounding community. The Church wrote Paul a letter seeking his council and advice.

1 Corinthians 7:1 (ESV) 1  Now concerning the matters about which you wrote:............."

The Book of Corinthians is his reply.

Paul's message to those Corinthian believers is as relevant to us today as front page news. He might as well have posted it on Facebook or Twitter. In a world gone mad, we, just like the Corinthian Church,are bombarded daily. The parallels are screaming at you from behind replicated temples of idolatry. The atrocities daily committed against each other in our communities. The insanity that drives us ever on to "live the dream" only to have that dream destroyed by a system that is rigged from the beginning. The division and partyism, both religious and political, that puts us at each other's throat;the heady, intoxicating lifestyles of the rich and famous. Can we be negatively influenced by all that our eyes see and our ears hear. Of course we can. With all the craziness surrounding us, it is all too easy to let our gaze and attention be redirected. The danger lies in conforming to what the world says. That's what Paul saw 2000 years ago and guess what.....that's what he would see today. With all that buzz, Paul made that proclamation to the Corinthian Church yesterday and he makes it to us the 21st Century today.

1 Corinthians 15:19 (ESV) 19  If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.

Brothers and sisters, excuse my poor English but " IT AIN'T ABOUT THIS LIFE ONLY."

There's coming a day dear Christian when the Lord Jesus is going to set things right.

There's coming a day when the system will function according to the Lord's righteous standards.

There's coming a day when the killing and torture and madness is going to be halted.

There's coming a day when there won't be anymore abused and hungry children.

There's coming a day when The King Jesus will rule this earth in righteousness and justice.

It ain't about this life.

Psalm 124:6 (ESV) 6  Blessed be the LORD, who has not given us as prey to their teeth!

God Bless



Friday, April 1, 2016

A Backstage Pass                                     04-01-16

Isaiah 52:7 (ESV) 7  How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”

Ever been to a concert or event in the possession of a backstage pass? You've seen them haven't you? Folks walking around like the big dogs backstage with that credential hanging around their neck. It affords them close and sometimes intimate access to the performers or speakers. I've personally never had one,except for the one I was given the other day...??... More on that in a minute. I was personally touched by a message delivered this week by my mentor and friend, Pastor Doug. He had a great word this Wednesday past entitled "Swing That Bat." Check it out on the church website:


I spoke to Pastor Doug by phone last evening as he was heading down to Jackson Prison to support a man who was scheduled to and for a fact was executed last evening by the state of Georgia. As I spoke with my friend,I learned that he had been materially and spiritually ministering to this man for years. God had sent Pastor Doug into this man's life, and he(Pastor Doug) had led this man to salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ. Although it was a sobering and somber occasion, this man's soul was intact. He is in the corridors of glory as we speak right now.It made me think of the above verse. That verse is quoted by Paul in Romans.
 Romans 10:15 (ESV) 15  And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” 

As I meditated on that message this week, and especially after talking with my friend last night as he headed down to that prison, I wished that I could have been a part of what happened last night. I would have liked to have been travelling down with Pastor Doug. I desired to be a part of what God had and was doing in the life of that man in that prison.

As I thought more about it today this came into my heart. "You were a part of it Ronnie." ...???? ... What?? "You were a part of it," I heard again. It was then that it dawned upon me that I had been given a "backstage pass" to what had occurred in that place. Give me a little space here and I will try and explain.

It has been preached to me many different times, that the real heroes of the Church and God's Kingdom are not always the ones in the limelight. The real heroes are the ones in the pews that no one ever hears from or knows about. It is the folk that go quietly about their business, never causing commotion, putting their check in the plate, praying for and encouraging one another, supporting those, both materially and spiritually that God has put on the front lines. Those that have been called to serve in the background of a Church or ministry. They have been given a "backstage pass," if you will.These are the REAL HEROES in the Kingdom. You see it's about quality isn't it? Whaddya mean Ronnie? Just this.

1 Corinthians 3:12-13 (ESV) 12  Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw—
13  each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done.

You see, for every Billy Graham, for every Jentzen Franklin, T.D.Jakes, John McCarthur,etc.,etc.,etc., there are untold hundreds, thousands, millions of folk in the background. They are the ones with the backstage passes who pray, give, encourage, support and make it possible for the "headliners" to do their thing. They are out of sight and out of mind in the world's view; BUT, BUT, they are forefront and 5th row center stage in God's drama. You see brothers and sisters, in God's eyes we are all on the same stage. Yes, some have been given the spotlight, while others cue the actors or operate the cameras. Ya feelin' me here? It's all about the quality and not the nature of our work. Have we built with gold,silver, and precious stones? Or wood and hay.

As I thought about my friend last night, riding down to comfort a man in his last minutes on earth, this came to mind. For all those years that he took those quarters down and gave them to those prisoners so they could enjoy a vending machine hamburger or soft drink. For all the times that prayer was offered up in that man's stead. For sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with him. Out of the sight of the cameras and the newspapers, just going quietly about the work that God has called him to do. It touched my heart and made me feel good. I was proud that by the grace of God I had been privileged to be a part of that ministry. I had access to a backstage pass. A work of gold.

In addition to that, a man at work told me this week that every time he thought about stepping down from ministering to some kids, said kids would do or say something that made him smile and encouraged him to keep on going. A reason to continue on.It's the folk like these that are the real heroes. A work of gold.

Proverbs 20:6 (ESV) 6  Many a man proclaims his own steadfast love, but a faithful man who can find?

It's not about the splash that we make. It's the test of time and faithfulness that God considers. The great majority of God's children spend their time, indeed their lives out of the limelight. When the cameras start rolling, you won't see them strolling down the red carpet.  They are backstage, toiling in obscurity. Out of the spotlight, BUT, not out of the PICTURE! It's not about quantity, but quality.  

Psalm 84:10 (ESV) 10  For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.

God Bless