Jeremiah 18:1-6 (NKJV)
1 The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying:
2 “Arise and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause you to hear My words.”
3 Then I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something at the wheel.
4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make.
5 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying:
6 “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter?” says the Lord. “Look, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel!

I’ve written before about the potter’s wheel from the perspective of our heavenly Father molding and shaping us into the vessel He has ordained that we should become.I think all of us understand that this molding and shaping is all part of the overall process called LIFE and that we will never be a completed vessel this side of heaven.

Now I’d like to take another look at this potter’s wheel, a completely different approach to this shaping process.For example; how do we start out on this potters wheel?

The truth is that we all start out exactly the same.In fact, it doesn’t matter what your social status is,what your family’s last name is, or what church(if any)that you come from.No,the potters wheel is the great equalizer of us all.To put it bluntly, we all begin as the same lump of humanity in desperate need of a divine makeover.

For all of the matchless benefits of grace,for all of the times we have been forgiven,for every time we stood in need of an eternal advocate to plead our case before a Holy God,the truth is that Almighty God is a perfectionist and even a slight imperfection is one too many.

Almost is never good enough with Him.

Close may be acceptable in horseshoes and hand grenades but it just won’t cut it with God.

And let us praise His mighty name for this because you see if close was good enough,we might all be walking around as marred vessels with no hope of ever being all that the Lord had planned for us. Yet because of His perfectionist ways we are placed back on that wheel time and time again,ever being shaped into more than we ever thought we could be.

And lets be honest here shall we? This wheel can be painful and it can be lonely.It is often a wheel of rejection and hurt,of desperation and endless tears.Yet without this wheel we will never be a completed vessel.

Does this mean that God demands that we be perfect? No it does not,even though there are many examples in the New Testament that speak to our becoming perfect(this speaks to the condition of the heart,but that is for another post!).

Our perfection can only come from above,we cannot attain it in and of ourselves.If that were possible then has Christ died in vain and we are eternally lost in our sins.

A Lump of Clay? Maybe so, but that is just the beginning of the process.There is much more to come and the end result will be a vessel that will bring glory to God and not ourselves.

My prayer is that we will allow the Master Potter to perfect His work upon the wheel and that we will endure the process with love,humility,and patience.After all,if a diamond starts out as an ugly lump of coal before it is transformed into a beautiful jewel,how much more shall this lump of clay be miraculously transformed into something that the God of heaven can use for His glory!

Ron

I’ve been thinking about a gospel song from many years ago entitled “Jesus built this church on love”. In case you’ve never heard the song here is a sample of the lyrics:

“Do you ever just get to wonderin’/ ‘bout the way things are today?/ So many on board this gospel ship/ Trying to row in a different way/ If we’d all pull together/ Like a family me and you/ We’d come a lot closer to doin’/ what the Lord called us to do.

Chorus: “Jesus built this church on love/ and that’s what it’s all about/ Trying to get everybody saved/ not to keep anybody out…”

What got me to thinking about this old song was the simple message of the song title itself. “Jesus built this church on love”…

The more I keep thinking about those simple words the more obvious it becomes that Jesus actually did build His church on love. Or at least that was His intention until we got in the way and decided we knew a better way to build a church. Notice the difference there?

Jesus said He would build His church. We the church of today want only to build “A” church. I wonder how well we’ve done in building “A” church?

Jesus did NOT build His church on the things that we all too often stumble over.For example Jesus did not build His church on a particular denomination. Shocking isn’t it? Especially to those of you who love to espouse your denomination’s doctrinal positions above the word of God!

Neither did Jesus build His church on a foundation of rules and regulations. Sorry legalistic Christians, if it isn’t in the Bible you’ve went too far!

Oh, and lest I forget, Jesus did not build His church upon the traditions of men that dare attempt to usurp the authority of Christ on earth.

Nope. In it’s most basic,simplistic fashion the church of the Living God was built on love. The love of Christ for a sinful world. A love so deep that One would dare give His own sinless life in order to become the very foundation of this church.

If Jesus built this church on love….then where is it?

Where in the world is the love that the church was built upon?

Where is the love for one another within the body of Christ? From where I sit on the front row of the church I see a famine in the church.I hear all the right words. I listen to songs about the love of God. I hear sermon after sermon filled with words about love.

But I don’t SEE much of it. What I do see is this:

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. James 1:22-24

I hear hearty “Amen’s”. I see heads nod in affirmation at the call to love one another. Hearers of the word abound! After all, if all we ever do is hear the word and never act upon it…it costs us nothing!!

So what does the Bible have to say to us about loving one another?

John 15:12 (NKJV)
This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

John 15:17 (NKJV)
These things I command you, that you love one another.

Romans 12:10 (NKJV)
Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;

1 Peter 3:8-9 (NKJV)
Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous;
not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.

1 John 4:11-12 (NKJV)
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.

Seems to me we ought to be all about the doing when it comes to loving one another and not just be content witn hearing about it.

Yes, Jesus built His church on love.

But if we’re not careful we will dismantle it with our lack of true love for one another.

Ron

OK, let’s get one thing out of the way up right front,can we? I know that I am considered a throwback to an era that has long since faded away from the church.Many probably consider me to be some sort of relic,or dinosaur because I utterly reject the path the church has taken in it’s never ending quest to entertain the goats while starving the sheep.

I make no apologies for the stand I have taken because I know full well that there is coming a day when I will give an account before God for the deeds I have done.

From where I sit on the front pew I am witnessing the first hand dismantling of that which so many who have come before us labored tirelessly to ensure we would have.

I’m talking about our Christian heritage.

The heritage of personal holiness.

The heritage of a hope and a future.

The heritage of a better way.

The spirit of the age has overtaken the church to the point that wrong is now right and right is considered to be outdated and of no use any longer.

This spirit declares it has no need of God for and by most accounts that is a true statement.

We have become so proficient at doing church that if the Lord were to withdraw His Spirit from our midst we would not even notice the difference!

So called “worship leaders” continue on with their “set” just as if they were performing in a club.Performers who have spent no time alone with the Lord the entire week yet somehow feel qualified to lead hungry,searching people into the Presence of a Holy God on Sunday!

This is an abomination!

Crude jokes designed to elicit laughter from unfeeling,uncaring,and unholy people have made their way into our pulpits,and the people can’t get enough of it!

Where does all of this stop? When will this madness end?

When Jesus comes,my friends. When Jesus comes.

There is a great falling away taking place right before our eyes and most in the church are blind to it.

So much so that they march arm in arm not even aware of what is taking place.

The sifting has begun beloved.

The sifting has begun in earnest.

Ron

HUH? What does that mean?

So I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the incredible lack of love for one another among God’s children.About how people who have declared themselves to be a servant yet exhibit no love,no mercy,no compassion.

Takers instead of Givers.

People who are only concerned about self yet in some twisted way believe they have found favor with a Holy God.

Deceived people.

People who clamor for the attention of the masses yet fail to see the broken in their own midst.

People who bristle at correction rather than repent so that God may open their eyes and hearts.

Now,this isn’t some random rant over a one time event.

I really wish it were.

No, this is about the fulfillment of Jesus’ words in Matthew 24:12 when He stated: “And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.”

Many people in the church today believe Jesus was referring to the lost when He made this declaration.To those who had refused to heed the call to repent and be born again.

Unfortunately, He was not referring to the lost and unsaved among us.

He was speaking to you. And me.

The church.The born again.The believer.

There is no need for the lost to grow cold. The lost are already cold and indifferent

But we,the church of the living God,are becoming more and more like them.

Soon the world will not be able to tell the two camps apart,and that is just as Satan wishes it to be.

How tragic. How utterly sad.

How prophetically true.

The beloved Apostle John spoke one day about loving the brethren,or his fellow laborers in Christ.In his message he drew a very clear distinction between those who knew Christ and those who did not.

This particular passage of God’s word will reveal the nature of our own hearts in an instant.

14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death.
15 Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
16 By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
17 But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?
18 My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.

1 John 3:14-18 (NKJV)

Because we love one another John says, we know that we have passed from death unto life.The old man is dead and a New Man is risen within us.

When we see a need and do not extend the arm of love and mercy to a brother or sister,how can we say that the love of God abides within us?

Our own deeds will betray us as our hearts are laid open before the Lord.

When we love in deed and in truth,we know that we have been reborn of the Spirit of God.

Love is a verb my friends.

Think upon these things.

Ron

Who is the Lord?

Do we know His limitless attributes?

2 From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
3 For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.
4 I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah.
Psalm 61:2-4

1 To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, A Song upon Alamoth. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Ps 46:1

He and He alone is my comfort. He is from everlasting to everlasting and there is no end to His might.

In Christ alone will I place my trust. Those who claim His name but have not His love I will not trust.

Love does.

Love seeks out the hurting

Love offers mercy and compassion

Love embraces when words will not come

Thank you Lord, for your Faithfulness is without end.

Ron

Any Other Gospel is a FALSE Gospel

Posted: September 13, 2014 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

The church is filled with doctrine today.

Denominational doctrine

Seminary doctrine

Church doctrine

Made up doctrine

Man centered doctrine

What is so amazing is that all of the above believe they have the true, or correct doctrine

Fact is…..none of them are right. There is only ONE true gospel, and it is contained within the pages of God’s word.

Denominations…Churches…Seminaries…Men themselves…

Have perverted the simplicity of the Gospel of God in order to create their own “belief system”.

So the great question that must be asked is this: is this acceptable to God?

For the answer to the question let’s look into the Word of God;

Galatians 1:6-9 (NKJV)
6 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel,
7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.
8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.
9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.

The answer is clear. So clear in fact that Paul stated that even an angel from heaven should be accursed if found to be preaching any other gospel than the gospel of Christ.

Serious? You bet it is.

Beloved, it pays to know what you’re listening to. Is it in agreement with the Word of God? Is it different then what is written?

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
The New King James Version. 2 Ti 2:15

Ron

I read a great article today on Linkedin that talks about what we’ve learned after finishing school.The article is about the Harvard class of 1989 and the results of a survey that 435 of those graduates completed.

The most compelling insights came from this open-ended question:

“If you could travel back to 1989 and explain your last 25 years to your younger self, what would that graduating senior have found most surprising?”

The answers from the respondents were very interesting and thought provoking,as well as entertaining.You really should click on the Linkedin link and read it for yourself!

So this article got me to thinking about my life as a Christian and the things I have done over the past 36 years.If I could go back in time 25 years what would I say to my younger self? And here is what I came up with:

I would have spent a lot more time developing lasting,loving relationships instead of spending so much time “doing church”. As much as I love the Lord,and He knows my heart,I realize now that I forsook those closest to me while I pursued what I thought was His will for my life.Had I known then what I know now I would have understood that “CHURCH” is not a building.It is not a denomination or an organization.It should never ever come first in anyone’s life.I would have understood that long ago I stopped being the church and started doing church.

If there is any redemption to my story it is that I can begin right now to nurture new relationships,as well as work on rebuilding those that have been categorized as hopeless.

Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation,
2 Co 5:18

Ron