Friday, August 25, 2017

Glorify God

 Glorify God                                                                 08-25-17  

Ecclesiastes 9:17 (ESV) 17  The words of the wise heard in quiet are better than the shouting of a ruler among fools. 

Short and sweet this week.

I found out yesterday that there is going to be a lot shouting going on this weekend in K-Town. Maybe you will hear about it,maybe not. Rest assured, should it come to pass, the back part of this verse will be played out on BOTH sides.That being said,I came across this verse yesterday and it stirred something that a coworker had said to me this week past. 

My friend made this comment about the most profound way that we as God's children can glorify Him. Now,the teacher-inquirer-anal side of me wanted to know just what that word glorify meant.I mean really......could I not just take at face value what he said and ponder on it?.................Apparently not! So,I got the ol' trusty Bible Dictionary out to find out it's(glorify) meaning.

Glorify- To praise and worship God. To ennoble,elevate,revere,reverence,venerate,pay homage to,adore,give thanks to.......hmmmm........gettin' the drift?

There have been LIBRARIES written on this subject. How do we worship God? What can we do to glorify Him? Seven steps to pleasing God with worship and praise. Feelin'me here? But,it seems to me that my friend said it best and touched on a profound truth.And herein lieth the lesson.

Let me see if I can do the simplicity some justice.

Get alone someplace. Find somewhere away from the distractions. Find a spot where we are unencumbered by watchful eyes and critical spirits.(Their eyes,our spirits) A place where no one can see our "spirituality"or lack thereof. No great music. No beautiful choirs.A place where God can loosen the grip that stronghold has on us.What stronghold? That stronghold of the desire to be noticed and seen by others. Preaching to me now.  Just us and God. When we find that place,which by the way may require a little bit of a search,just look heavenward with a humble and contrite heart and say "Thank You." That simple confession,spoken from an honest heart,outside of any influence,is the greatest act of worship a human being can offer God Almighty. That hit home with me.

Look at that verse once more please.

Ecclesiastes 9:17 (ESV) 17  The words of the wise heard in quiet are better than the shouting of a ruler among fools.

We are always on the search for wisdom. We all desire to be wise.Hopefully not in our own eyes,but in the eyes of God. Well, it seems to me,this is the jump off point.

You see,it is OUR wise words,"Thank You" heard in the quiet places by God that have weight. It is our honest and sincere confession of our need of Him,IN QUIET, that moves Him on our behalf. It is the quiet declaration from a pure heart that not only is He the God of all creation,BUT He is OUR God that He searches for.

Jeremiah 9:23-24 (ESV) 23  Thus says the LORD: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches,
24  but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD.”

"....................that he UNDERSTANDS AND KNOWS ME,THAT I AM THE LORD.............FOR IN THESE THINGS I DELIGHT................."

Brothers and sisters, there's a whole lotta shoutin' goin on these days. Some of it's good,some not so good,some pure evil. We have to drown it ALL out,get quiet before the Lord, and give Him and ONLY Him the glory.

Psalm 86:9-10 (ESV) 9  All the nations you have made shall come and worship before you, O Lord, and shall glorify your name.
10  For you are great and do wondrous things; you alone are God.

God Bless

Friday, August 18, 2017

Skin In The Game

Skin In The Game                                               08-18-17

2 Samuel 24:24 (ESV) 24  But the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will buy it from you for a price. I will not offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God that cost me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver.

1 Chronicles 21:24 (ESV) 
24  But King David said to Ornan, “No, but I will buy them for the full price. I will not take for the LORD what is yours, nor offer burnt offerings that cost me nothing.”
Got any skin in the game? We'll touch on that in a moment.

I read a news account this week past about a young man that had decided to take on the system. He was in some foreign land and appalled at the conditions of the people, he decided to fight. He is still fighting to this day and is an all out war with the powers that be. The outcome is uncertain. One thing is for sure,it has cost this man dearly. He has skin in this game.

Skin in the game. A term used frequently in the investment and business world. It denotes someone who has put his or her money where there mouth is. They BELIEVE in a certain investment or business and they are willing to put some of THEIR money and substance into the venture. They are willing to SACRIFICE some of their possessions for the possibility of a profit.

That is basically what David was doing in this passage. Read the story. David screwed up and an it cost a lot of people dearly. Seventy thousand paid with their lives. David went to offer a sacrifice before the Lord,and the owner,Arunah offered his threshing floor for free. David refused the offer and told Arunah that he would pay FULL price. Not only did he refuse the free offer,but he would not even ask for a discount! Pity poor David if he ever walked onto the new car showroom of most any car dealer in town.(smile) David had skin in the game.

I remember many,many years ago a friend of mine(actually he was my boss at work) went to his pastor and asked him if there was anything he could do at the church; thinking that he could do some work or ministry there. The pastor's reply was to tell him that to really bless the church,my friend could work some overtime,and give that overtime money to the church. Which he did without complaint. He had skin in the game. He was serious about his walk with the Lord.

You see brothers and sisters,there seems to be something spiritual about that mindset doesn't there? It doesn't have to center around money,although it often does. But,it's not about the money,it's about the sacrifice isn't it? It's about giving something precious of yours to someone else. Something that took time,effort and hard work on your part to acquire.Precious being the key word. Whether it be man,woman,or God, it causes the recipient to take notice doesn't it? If you want an audience with someone;or if you want to express your sentiments and passion towards someone then you offer them something of yourself don't you? It must be something more than lip service mustn't it. Lip service doesn't cost anything does it?

Everyday I see this lip service in our political maneuvering's.This is what YOU should do.This is what YOU should sacrifice.As the Temptations used to say,"Vote for me and I'll set you free!Rap on brother,rap on!" Daily, on social media, I read of people asking for sacrifice,usually in the form of cold,hard cash.They ask you to send to a go fund me account to pay for this or that.And for sure there are some worthy causes.But,the first thing that comes to mind when I read these pleas is this,"O.K. I have a listening ear,but where is your commitment? What and how much have you sacrificed for this cause." How much skin do YOU have in this game? Ya feelin' me here?

You see if we are not willing to sacrifice,to give something of value, PRECIOUS.... if you are hearing me;how should we then expect someone else to give serious thought to our opinion and input? Why should we expect someone to give of themselves unfeigned if we are unwilling to reciprocate? David knew this didn't he. He wanted to grab God's ear. Seventy thousand were dead because of him,he was DESPERATE for an audience with the Lord.

Read the story.Pay careful attention to the last part of that Scripture.

".............I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God that COST ME NOTHING."

(CAPS Mine)

God hasn't changed much these days has He? The content of the sacrifices have changed because of THE SACRIFICE, the Lord Jesus. But,the Father's nature and character,I believe have not. He still honors a sacrifice doesn't He? A sacrifice of praise. A sacrifice of thanksgiving.A sacrifice of obedience. A material sacrifice. I still believe that causes the Lord God to take notice. 

Do we want God to listen to our prayers and thoughts and opinions? Do we covet God's direction and wisdom for our lives? Well,let's take a lesson from King David.Let's offer Him something precious.Let's get alone with Him and offer Him our heart and mind. Let's give Him our undivided attention.Let's SPEND some time with Him.

Psalm 50:5 (ESV) 5  “Gather to me my faithful ones, who made a covenant with me by sacrifice!”

God Bless

Friday, August 11, 2017


666                                                           08-11-17

Now that I have your attention,I regret to inform you that this is not a message about the antichrist or the mark of the beast.Don't know who he is or where he is coming from. Nope. The Apostle John tells us that the spirit of antichrist is already here doesn't he?

1 John 4:3 (ESV) 3  and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.

However this message isn't about the antichrist,but it is about 666. Let me try and explain. Look at this. 

John 6:66 (ESV) 66  After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him.

There,however,is a corollary here don't you think? John 6:66 After this many of His disciples turned back and no longer walked with him.  What happened to these disciples. They had just seen the Lord Jesus feed thousands of people with a few loaves of bread and a couple of fish.He,(Jesus) had recently healed a man lame and invalid for 38 years. Why did these folks turn back on this miracle worker? And herein lieth the lesson.

Hard sayings. Huh Ronnie? What did you say? Hard sayings.

The sixth Chapter of John is chock full of controversial statements and actions. Whole theologies have been built around some of the statements made in this Chapter. You look at vss.37-40 and you can begin to build a case for eternal security.Skip around to vs.44 and vs.65 to start a defense of predestination. Turn the page back to vs.15 and one can debate the merits of revolution and civil disobedience. Vs.53-54 center around blood covenants and what not. But,by and large these are theological discussions,doctrine if you will. While they represent differing viewpoints,they are just that ...differing viewpoints.

However,in vs.60 we discover why the disciples turned and left. Look at that verse.

John 6:60 (ESV) 60  When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?”

A hard saying.

The disciples had a difficult time digesting Jesus' statements about His flesh and blood. He likened it to food for sustenance. His flesh and blood,Jesus said, was the very essence of their life. Unless they ate His flesh and drank His blood they would have no life in them. Now whether or not the disciples took that literally is up for grabs.No matter how they took Jesus' words,to them it was a "hard saying." But,it was not the difficulty of the statement that's important. It was their response to that difficulty.

"..............who can listen to it?" Basically what this is saying is,this is too much for anyone to accept.It was a matter of unbelief.They didn't believe what Jesus was saying to them so they passed the buck. "Jesus,this is too difficult to understand. It is too difficult to believe.NO ONE can accept this!" But,and this is the point,Jesus wasn't concerned whether or not the disciples thought it hard. Neither was He concerned whether or not they UNDERSTOOD IT. His ONLY care was whether or not they BELIEVED it. 

I can't believe how those disciples reacted. Can you?  Have they lost their mind? Did they not see the miracles! Do they not have any faith at all?! As Lee Corso says,"Not so fast Ronnie my friend." 

You see brothers and sisters,we are all faced with difficult decisions aren't we? If we name the name of Jesus,we are confronted daily with hard sayings. Whether we will believe God or try another way.

We don't have to understand His ways do we? We just have to BELIEVE what He says and TRUST Him,understanding or no understanding. Ya feelin' me here?

Many times we are confronted with hard sayings from Jesus aren't we? It's hard to love that person who just stabbed you in the back. It's hard to forgive that one that mistreated and abused you isn't it? My flesh or my natural mind doesn't understand any of that. All it wants to do is strike back. To defend myself or take vengeance.But,God says "No. Do it my way. "I don't know about you,but as for me,THAT IS A HARD SAYING! And they all said.....

It's a HARD SAYING to keep our heart and mind fixed on Jesus IN PERFECT PEACE when the world is accusing you unjustly. When that co worker is rude and obnoxious and scraping on our LAST NERVE!!

It's a HARD SAYING to give our tithe and offering when there are unpaid bills laying on the kitchen table. It's a HARD SAYING to consider others interests before our own.

It is a HARD SAYING to have patience and keep praying for and loving a wayward child.To believe God in the face of contrary and conflicting circumstances. It is a HARD SAYING to quit trying to fix everything. To remove our hand from a matter and give it all to God. You gettin' my drift here?

Unfortunately child of God we live in a fallen world. We are constantly faced with the HARD decisions to trust and believe God or to do it our way.As for me,sometimes I make the right call,sometimes not. BUT,God is faithful isn't He?

Occasionally we just have to take a deep breath, grab ourselves by the collar and RUN not walk, to the altar of God;and like Peter before us confess to Him.

John 6:67-68 (ESV) 67  So Jesus said to the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?”
68  Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life,

Do we know God in such a way that we trust Him even when we do not understand His words and deeds?

Keep believing child of God.

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

God Bless

Friday, August 4, 2017

Memory Lane

Memory Lane                                                 08-04-17

Isaiah 59:1 (ESV) 1  Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear;


This verse came across my mind as I spoke with a friend of mine from work. Now for sure,this verse in context,is speaking about the effects of sin; but, it also has an application in real life doesn't it? As my friend and myself compared notes about certain issues that we were both dealing with,it was like a stroll down memory lane.
There is nothing new under the sun is there?And herein lieth he lesson.

1 Peter 4:12 (ESV) 12  Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.

As we spoke,it occurred to me that many times the difficult  circumstances of life,if we are not careful, will overwhelm us.DOWN HERE, we wring our hands trying to figure it out......attempting to fix it don't we? However,UP THERE it's a little different isn't it? Huh? Up where Ronnie? Up there,you know up there in heaven.The sides of the north. UP THERE WHERE GOD RESIDES! God isn't wringing His hands about our circumstances is He? He's not worried about how He is going to fix our problem is He. He is not surprised by the changing tides of our lives.HE HAS IT ALL UNDER CONTROL.

Our fiery trials APPEAR to us as something insurmountable. A giant that will not relent or back away.But to God,as John Lennon said"It's just another day in the life." It's not new or unique to the Lord of Glory. In His realm there truly is"nothing new under the sun." 

The problem lay with us doesn't it? It's not whether God is,no.....Look again at's a question of whether or not we will put it entirely in His hands and let Him take care as He sees fit.You see we will throw stuff at the giants in our lives.We throw money at them.We throw anger and worry and fretfulness at them.We sometimes will hide from them. Other times we will ignore them and pretend they don't exist,hoping that they will go away. Then finally after months and oftentimes years of fighting in our own strength and wisdom,exhausted and defeated we turn to God. After all else fails,read the instructions.

You see brothers and sisters God will let us exhaust ourselves trying to "fix" the problem. He will sit in the halls of heaven until we call on Him for help.

Psalm 50:14-15 (ESV) 14  Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and perform your vows to the Most High,
15  and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.”

As my friend Pastor Doug is liken to say,"God's got a problem,He really thinks He is God." He is not going to share His glory with another.

It has taken me the better part of a lifetime to learn that I CAN'T FIX IT AND I AM STILL NOT FULL THERE YET!! Instead of throwing everything but the kitchen sink at our problems,we will be lightyears ahead of the game if we will trust God and throw them at Him!!

1 Peter 5:6-7 (ESV) 6  Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,
7  casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

Look at the first word. Humble. It is humbling to admit that it is beyond our ability.It is humbling to admit that we were WRONG when we thought we had all the answers. But, if and when we finally arrive at that truth, that is where we will find God patiently waiting for us to relinquish control of our problems and anxieties over to Him.To humbly admit our need of Him. And it is in that place that we will find answers to all our dilemmas and rest for our weary bodies and souls. Amen and Amen.

Psalm 31:1 (ESV) 1
 In you, O LORD, do I take refuge; let me never be put to shame; in your righteousness deliver me!

God Bless