The Lord’s Controversy

Posted: April 9, 2015 in Uncategorized

I have always been a voracious reader and have interest in many subjects in addition to the scriptures.For example;I love to read historical accounts of the people who settled this nation and learn how they overcame immense odds in a time without technology as we know it today.

The concept of a nation divided against itself as it was during the Civil War is another subject I love to read about.What was a subject barely touched upon in history class I now have the luxury of studying to my hearts content thanks to this marvelous thing we call the internet.

I am also a lover and seeker of truth who long ago came to the conclusion that while truth may be found in the pages of many great works,there is no truth that can compare to the truth found within the Bible.

Funny thing,this word truth.Funny in that according to some there are varying degrees of it.But if that were so,wouldn’t that make it less than true?

And if it’s less than true,doesn’t that make it a lie,and not the truth?Sorry…back to the point of all of this.

The Bible is a book of truth,often very hard to swallow truth.It’s pages are filled with joy,compassion,mercy,love,and much grace.Wonderful,awesome truths!

Yet it’s pages are also filled with things we don’t like to hear about.Things such as wrath,judgement,punishment,you get the picture.Truths that make us wonder,that make us question,that make us shudder.

Wouldn’t it be great if the Bible only spoke about the nice things,the pretty things,the easy things?

Yes,that would be nice,but then the Bible wouldn’t be a book of truth would it?

Like the world that we live in today,ancient Israel found itself having wandered far from the truth and because of it God declared to them that He had a controversy with them.

That’s what God does with His children when they step out of line and refuse His gentle nudging them back into the fold.He calls them out,just as He did here in the book of Hosea.

Hear the word of the Lord,
You children of Israel,
For the Lord brings a charge against the inhabitants of the land:
“There is no truth or mercy
Or knowledge of God in the land.
By swearing and lying,
Killing and stealing and committing adultery,
They break all restraint,
With bloodshed upon bloodshed.
Therefore the land will mourn;
And everyone who dwells there will waste away
With the beasts of the field
And the birds of the air;
Even the fish of the sea will be taken away.
“Now let no man contend, or rebuke another;
For your people are like those who contend with the priest.
Therefore you shall stumble in the day;
The prophet also shall stumble with you in the night;
And I will destroy your mother.
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
Because you have rejected knowledge,
I also will reject you from being priest for Me;
Because you have forgotten the law of your God,
I also will forget your children.
“The more they increased,
The more they sinned against Me;
I will change their glory into shame.   
Hosea 4:1-7  NJKV
The Lord told Israel that there was no truth or mercy or knowledge of God in the land.What a horrible statement…no knowledge of God in the land!
Not only that but He goes on to say that “my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”.
God told His people that because they had rejected knowledge they had also rejected the law of their God.
These are harsh words aren’t they? Stinging words of rebuke.Crushing words coming from the very God who loved them so.
Words of truth.
Which brings me to the point I wanted to make with this post:are we who claim His name today really any different than the children of Israel who had abandoned the Lord?
Does the Lord have a controversy with His church today?
Something to think about on this very rainy night.
Ron

Yet another Easter has come and gone and Christians all over the world gathered to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.A time for all of us to pause and reflect upon God’s love for mankind.A time to remember the love of the Father who so loved you and I,as impossible as it sounds, even before we were born.

That He would give us the best that He had….

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”  John 3:16   KJV

God gave us,you and I,his only Son.

I don’t know about you but when I read that verse it stops me in my tracks.How in the world could I be worth such a price? Doesn’t God remember how awful I was? Has he forgotten that I was unlovable?

Well,actually…..He doesn’t remember that “me”.

A week from now I won’t remember the tie that I wore this past Easter Sunday. I won’t remember the songs that were sung at church. I’ll probably remember only bits and pieces of the sermon I heard.For sure I won’t remember an Easter egg hunt.

But I WILL remember what Easter represents. I WILL remember how I who was once so lost discovered an unimaginable grace one night so long ago.I WILL remember that there is a name that is so different than any other name.A name that causes demons to tremble.A name that causes the angels of heaven to bow down and worship.

“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”    Acts 4:12   KJV

Only one name can lead us to eternal salvation.Jesus…what a lovely name.

Be blessed,

Ron

Change is Coming

Posted: April 6, 2015 in Uncategorized

Good morning everyone! Just wanted to inform the followers of this blog that I have moved the blog to:

http://www.whitedministries.com/

This is being done to allow me to greatly expand the blog and gain better control over it. Please be patient as I will be experimenting with many new things as I try to make the new site more professional, informative, and ultimately a greater source of inspiration and encouragement. At some point I will wipe the slate clean but I haven’t figured out yet how best to do this while maintaining the integrity of the site.

For the next few weeks I will continue to post at both locations but of course will eventually stop posting at ronwhited.wordpress.com, which is the current home of A Front Row View of The Church.

Please change your bookmarks to the new site address http://www.whitedministries.com/

Thank you and have a blessed day!

Ron

How Long Has it Been…

I was thinking of this old gospel song recently.It was written in 1956 by Mosie Lister at a time when he began to reflect upon his younger years,a time when prayer seemed to be more common.“How long has it been since some people have talked with the Lord?” he asked himself. Maybe you’ve never heard this old song and if that is the case,would you at least think upon the words for a few moments?

1)  How long has it been

Since you talked with the Lord,

And told Him your heart’s hidden secrets.

How long since you prayed?

How long since you stayed on your knees

Till the light shone through?

How long has it been

Since your mind felt at ease

How long since your heart knew no burden?

Can you call Him your friend?

How long has it been

Since you knew that He cared for you? 

(2)  How long has it been

Since you knelt by your bed

And prayed to the Lord up in heaven?

How long since you knew

That He’d answer you,

And would keep you the long night through?

How long has it been

Since you woke with the dawn,

And felt the day’s worth the living?

Can you call Him your friend?

How long has it been

Since you knew that He cared for you?

Written by Mosie Lister

I know that these types of songs are old and outdated in the opinion of many church leaders today. Yet from where I sit on the front row of the church,I see people desperate to know that God loves them and these songs offer encouragement unlike most of what is written today.

I see wounded souls hungry to know that God is real and that He cares for them.I see the masses carrying burdens they were never meant to carry,exhausted from their journey,struggling to find hope in a world gone mad.

I see so many,many people listless and lifeless with no joy and no peace.Not knowing that there is One who longs to be their friend.Their comforter,their advocate,their shelter from the storms of this life.

In times like these….we need a friend that cares for us.

As the story goes it took Mosie Lister about fifteen minutes to write what was destined to become a classic gospel song as the words literally flew from his pen.That’s just like our Lord.

Listen friends,it doesn’t take God long to do what you need Him to do.Call upon His name,ask Him to care for you,to love you,to show you a better way.

If you will do that you will find Him to be a Friend that is closer to you than any friend or family member can be.

Be blessed,

Ron

You’ve heard it all before,right?

Good enough…

Follow the rules…

More works…

More faith…

Fall in line…

All of us who know Christ have been told some variation of the above.

Maybe it was when you joined your church.

Maybe it was what you were taught as a child in Sunday School or some other bible class.

At some time in your life you reached a point where you just knew that you could never be…

Good enough………….you could never…

Follow all the rules……………you just couldn’t do…

More works………………..you grew weary of trying to somehow have…

More faith…………………and you simply couldn’t bear to…

Fall in line…………..and be like everyone else.

And then you found it. A verse in the Bible where Jesus was talking about a vineyard,and suddenly it all made sense!

1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.   John 15:1-4 KJV
Did you find it???
Now lets look at this again but this time through the Amplified Bible
1 I AM the True Vine, and My Father is the Vinedresser.
Any branch in Me that does not bear fruit [that stops bearing] He cuts away (trims off, takes away); and He cleanses and repeatedly prunes every branch that continues to bear fruit, to make it bear more and richer and more excellent fruit.
You are cleansed and pruned already, because of the word which I have given you [the teachings I have discussed with you].
4 Dwell in Me, and I will dwell in you. [Live in Me, and I will live in you.] Just as no branch can bear fruit of itself without abiding in (being vitally united to) the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you abide in Me.
Do you see it? It’s right there in verse 3. Jesus said that you are already cleaned because of the word that He had given you.
The Word that…
Makes you Good enough…
Teaches you that rules won’t save you…
Increases our faith every time we read it…
Separates us to fulfill His calling upon our lives…
What freedom! What perfect liberty we enjoy in Christ!
Free from religious rules and laws.Free to follow His footsteps wherever they may lead us.
Already clean!
And all I had to do was say “YES” when He knocked upon my heart’s door. Isn’t God good?
Be blessed,
Ron

Seasons

Posted: March 22, 2015 in Uncategorized
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Yesterday was the 1st day of spring and after the cold winter we experienced here in Ohio,it couldn’t be more welcome! We did a bit of shopping south of where I live and it was 68 wonderful degrees,and the bright sunshine was truly beautiful to behold.When we came back home it was “only” 54 degrees and it felt cold after enjoying the earlier warmth of the day.But as we say here in Ohio,if you don’t like the weather… just wait a day and it will change!512px-Four_Poplars_in_four_seasons (1)

Experiencing the changing seasons is not unlike the changing seasons of life when you really think about it.In fact,everything about this life is constantly changing.Even the scriptures remind us that this life is an ever evolving cycle of change.

King Solomon,considered to be extremely wise beyond his years spoke of this in the third chapter of the book of Ecclesiastes when he said this:

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
According to Jewish tradition Solomon wrote the Song of Solomon during his younger years, Proverbs in his middle years, and Ecclesiastes in his later years.If that is true it would make sense that in his later years he would begin to understand that there is indeed a season for everything in life.
Solomon had experienced the major highs of being a servant of the Most High as well as the major lows of this life brought on by his own idolatrous ways.If you read about his life it is apparent that at the end of his days he was disillusioned with materialism and earthly pleasures as the road to happiness,and in fact he never again recaptured the joy he once knew.
All of which has me wondering this Sunday morning if any of us are really that much different than this once wise king? We start out in life thirsting for knowledge and once we reach a certain level we seek even more.All the while ignoring the fact that there is but One TRUTH,Jesus Christ.
Or maybe we start out with a grand plan to acquire great sums of wealth,only to accomplish that goal and realize it did not yet satisfy us.Sort of like the man in this story from Luke chapter twelve…
16 And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:
17 And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?
18 And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.
19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.
20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?
Always looking for more….
The next great adventure over the horizon
The next opportunity
The next romance
The next promotion
That’s the thing about Seasons
They bring with them the winds of change
A shift in direction
A realignment of priorities
As I write this I have had a season of change handed to me and it is unclear to me what this new season will entail.My future plans had been set and I have been working towards accomplishing those plans for some time now and the end was in sight.What is that saying about “the best laid plans…?
Or as my pastor stated “it may be that God has been in the arrangements all along and is directing all of this as an answer to prayer?”
Maybe,just maybe…. God has another plan?
But such is this life,is it not?
To every thing there is a season…
How we respond to the seasons of change will show the world our true character.
It will reveal to ourselves if we are who we say we are…
Only one thing is certain and that is that God is God and that will never change.Seasons come and seasons go but He remains the same.
Is there a more sure foundation upon which to stand than that?
Be blessed,
Ron

If you’re like most people, life has handed you your share of lemons.

lemons

Funny thing about lemons.They look pretty and smell great but if you bite into one you’ll find they are very sour.They are kind of deceiving if you think about it.Kind of like they aren’t exactly what they appear to be.

Life is like too,that isn’t it?

Things are going along really good and suddenly,out of nowhere,life hands you a bunch of lemons.

  • Disappointments
  • Hurts
  • Illness

All of a sudden you find yourself wondering “what just happened”? Can you relate to that?

The Bible is filled with numerous encounters of God’s servant’s whose live’s were interrupted by being handed a big bowl of lemons. One such example was a king of Judah,King Hezekiah.

Like most kings of old,they fought many battles with the armies that surrounded them.As you read the accounts of Hezekiah’s victorious battles in the book of Isaiah,you begin to understand that this man truly did love his God and sought to live a life that was pleasing to the Lord.

Yet just like all of us the day came when Hezekiah would be dealt a huge bowl of lemons.In chapter 38 of the book of Isaiah we find that the king was very sick,and ready to die.Read along with me….

In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came unto him, and said unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Set thine house in order: for thou shalt die, and not live.  Isaiah 38:1

Now,it’s one thing to be sick,even very sick.Maybe you have been there,at death’s door?

I know what that feels like because I was at death’s door when I underwent heart by-pass surgery.And thankfully I did not have anyone come to me telling me to set my affairs in order because I’m not going to make it through this sickness.I can’t imagine how that would feel!

But notice how in the next verse king Hezekiah responded to this bowl of lemons.

2 Then Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall, and prayed unto the Lord,
And said, Remember now, O Lord, I beseech thee, how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore.   Isaiah 38: 2,3
The king’s response was to turn immediately to the Lord.  Wouldn’t we all be better off if instead of struggling on our own to understand the “Why’s” we would instead just turn to the Lord? And notice also how that Hezekiah reminded the Lord that he had walked before Him in a perfect heart?
Can we say that of our walk with Him? I only wish I could say that.Many well meaning people today like to tell us that we’re under grace(which we are)and that God understands our failures.Like that’s supposed to somehow take away the sting of failure!
Now look and see what happens next!
4 Then came the word of the Lord to Isaiah, saying,
Go, and say to Hezekiah, Thus saith the Lord, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will add unto thy days fifteen years.  Isaiah 38: 4,5
Isn’t that amazing? One minute Hezekiah is sick and ready to die. A visit from the prophet Isaiah confirmed to the king that he wasn’t long for this world and he should make sure he had his will made out.This word from the Lord was all it took to get Hezekiah out of his sick bed and to begin calling on the name of the Lord.
Can I share something with you? When life hands us a bowl of lemons our first reaction ought to be to turn to the Lord in prayer and the Word because that’s where our strength to fight will come from!
The prayer of king Hezekiah got God’s attention.And you know what?He hears your prayers too.But we have to PRAY to be heard!So many times the enemy gets us discouraged and we don’t even think to pray,we just want to give up.
Yet God has a more sure word for someone today,and that word is to begin calling upon the Lord for your situation.Do not give up,do not throw in the towel.Pray with an understanding that it ain’t over until He says it’s over!
When life hands you lemons the popular saying is to take them and make lemonade out of them.And that is often good advice because attitude is everything when you’re dealing with difficult circumstances.
Yet when you’re in the battle of your life,lemonade won’t put the enemy to flight.It takes prayer to do that!It takes someone seriously calling upon the name of the Lord to know that He will hear.
The next time life hands you a bowl of lemons and you find yourself out of answers and helpless to figure a way out,do this:
PRAY!!!
Be blessed,
Ron