Posts Tagged ‘salvation’

Cisterns or The Fountain?

Friday, April 1st, 2016

While thinking this afternoon of some friends who have been running eagerly from one place to another after a celebrated, and, I suppose, most interesting preacher–this idea forcibly struck me: Why manifest such undue concern after streams, when we have the Fountain always accessible? I can, in my humble cottage, approach the footstool of the Father of mercies, and enjoy the manifestation of His love!

“My people have committed a double evil: They have abandoned Me, the fountain of living water, and dug cisterns for themselves–cracked cisterns that cannot hold water!” Jeremiah 2:13

~Gleanings from the diary of Ruth Bryan – November 21st, 1830

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Experiencing Hell

Wednesday, March 30th, 2016

“I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know both how to have a little, and I know how to have a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content–whether well-fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need.” Philippians 4:11-12

Whatever affliction or trouble a child of God meets with–it is all the hell he shall ever have! Whatever eclipse may be upon his name or estate–it is but a little cloud which will soon be blown over–and then his hell is past!

Death begins a wicked man’s hell.
Death ends a godly man’s hell.

Think with yourself, “What is my affliction? It is but a temporary hell. Indeed, if all my hell is here on earth–it is but an easy hell. What is the cup of affliction–compared to the cup of damnation!”

Lazarus could not get a crumb; he was so diseased that the dogs took pity on him–and as if they had been his physicians, licked his sores. But this was an easy hell–the angels quickly fetched him out of it!

If all our hell is in this life–and in the midst of this hell, we have the love of God–then it is no more hell, but paradise! If all our hell is here on earth, we may see to the end of it; it is but skin-deep, it cannot touch the soul. It is a short-lived hell. After a dreary night of affliction, comes the bright morning of glory!

Since our lives are short–our trials cannot be long!

As our riches take wings and fly away–so do our sufferings!

Let us learn then, to be content, whatever our circumstances.

(Thomas Watson, “The Art of Divine Contentment”)

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Caution, Fear and Religious Inhibitions

Friday, January 8th, 2016

Each of us has a significant part to play in God’s plan of Redemption! And it is not a “bit” part or role! It is a call to “fight the good fight of faith.” Preparation is critical; even non-negotiable. More than Moses have sheepishly argued with “God-The Director” saying; “God you have the wrong man.” As we present our case before God, revelation begins to open our eyes as to why we might, in fact, be the best choice for the part!

“Look, God, your God, has placed this land as a gift before you. Go ahead and take it now. God, the God-of-Your-Fathers, promised it to you. Don’t be afraid. Don’t lose heart.” (Deuteronomy 1:21, Msg)

The land is now a relationship placed before us as a gift. This relationship with his/our Father provides the same security Jesus has enjoyed with Heavenly Father for all eternity. Within the embrace of this intimacy we can now be diligent and fearless in our faith journey!

7 Give it everything you have, heart and soul. Make sure you carry out The Revelation that Moses commanded you, every bit of it. Don’t get off track, either left or right, so as to make sure you get to where you’re going.8 and don’t for a minute let this Book of The Revelation be out of mind. Ponder and meditate on it day and night, making sure you practice everything written in it. Then you’ll get where you’re going; then you’ll succeed.9 Haven’t I commanded you? Strength! Courage! Don’t be timid; don’t get discouraged. God, your God, is with you every step you take.”  (Joshua 1:7-9, Msg)

As we take the land, Jesus reveals that we pre-existed in His Father; He defines us. He justified us and also glorified us. He redeemed our innocence and restored the glory we lost in Adam’s fall. What further ground can there possibly be to condemn us? 

In His death he faced our judgment; in His resurrection he declares our innocence; the implications cannot be undone! He now occupies the highest seat of authority as the executive of our redemption in the throne room of God. 
What would (could) it take to distance us from the love of Christ? You name any potential calamity; intense pressure of the worst possible kind, cluster-phobia, persecution, destitution, loneliness, extreme exposure, life-threatening danger or war? His love has placed us above the reach of any onslaught. (Adapted from verses in Romans 8)    

Throw caution, fear and religious inhibitions to the wind of Holy Spirit and embrace His passionate draw, pulling you closer to His heart than you ever imagined was possible! 

As the previous waves come crashing on the shore of your faith journey, be pulled by the overwhelming undertow of His great love and be ready to ride the next waves of Glory! 

Copyright by Ron Ross.
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Rev. Ron Ross is a pastor, author, teacher, and counselor.
As founder of NET Casting Ministries, he equips the church
around the world to care for the wounded and addicted.
Ron is a cofounder of the NET Training Institute.

FREE recovery magazine “The Gabriel”

Friday, December 18th, 2015

The latest issue of CIR’s FREE recovery magazine “The Gabriel” is now available for Download

You are encouraged to download this, print it out or put on a diskette and share it with your loved ones, church, pastor and/or recovery group. It is jam packed with inspiration, tips, resources and information for everyone in recovery

But I need something more!

Monday, November 23rd, 2015

But I need something more! I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I am at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Romans 7:17a and 24-The Message

Before we can get a hopeful answer to this predicament, we first have to arrive at the door of giving up! Just like Paul; who remember, had a religious pedigree as long and as impressive as the State of Texas is wide-we seem resolute to exhaust all of our personal resources first.

Does the power of sin and unhealed or unresolved life issues ever seem to sabotage your best intentions? More often than I like to admit, they do for me. Any real, transparent or honest follower of the Grace message of Jesus Christ will readily admit to Paul’s dilemma. The very things I truly think are behind me, often jump up, seemingly out of nowhere, and bite my religious butt.

The answer to this is in the giving up-truly coming to the end of our rope. “There is none perfect, no not one!'”

The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.

With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death.

God went for the jugular when He sent His own Son. He didn’t deal with the problem as something remote and unimportant. In His Son, Jesus, He personally took on the entire human condition, entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity in order to set it right once and for all. Romans 7:25-8:1-3b, The Message.

In our quest to please Him, we long for something more-something that will finally bring hope to our hearts. He is the something more! Total and constant surrender and trustful reliance upon Him, is always the answer. It is only because of Him, (even on the best or worse of days) that our hearts can be pregnant with hope. Besides this hope will never disappoint us because God proves his sustenance by his daily love gift of Holy Spirit in our hearts.

God went for the jugular when He sent His own Son.It will never be because we finally have a perfect religious score or day-we finally get it right…no, we must always let go of our rope and grab onto (by a sheer act of faith) the resurrection power and Grace of Jesus Christ. Something and someone more loves you and me, especially in our frailty and weakness. We cannot do much of anything in our best of intentions. We can do all things through Him. That brings our heart hope!

In the grip of His Grace,

Ron Ross

Copyright by Ron Ross.
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Rev. Ron Ross is a pastor, author, teacher, and counselor.
As founder of NET Casting Ministries, he equips the church
around the world to care for the wounded and addicted.
Ron is a cofounder of the NET Training Institute.

Do You Try to Appease God?

Friday, October 30th, 2015

A word I never use is today’s word-of-the-week…

APPEASE

I heard the word in a sermon, but I’m far too familiar with the concept of trying to appease God.

When you lay it out, it sounds silly. Appeasement means paying God off. If I give God something that pleases Him, He’ll give me something I want in return.

Of course I would first need to have something God wants, and the ability to keep it from Him. The more you pursue the idea the crazier it becomes, and yet…

Of course I know I can’t bargain with God and I’m not blessed for being good. Of course poverty isn’t a curse for bad behavior and wealth isn’t a reward for good behavior. Of course I know my health isn’t contingent on being a “good Christian.”

I know all that stuff, but when things get scary it’s awfully tempting to bargain, just this once. It’s hard to trust, especially when so much of the culture, even so-called Christian media, talks about a health-and-wealth gospel. When you’re scared, that message gets tempting.

It’s okay. Jesus was tempted, too. He saw the appeal of the shortcut, but He knew it wouldn’t work.

So He trusted, and He invites us to trust in a relationship based on grace.

We can stop trying to pay God off.

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Copyright by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.
Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:
Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance
. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com

You can’t be lost without first truly belonging!

Monday, October 26th, 2015

You can’t be lost without first truly belonging! Our belonging trumps any lost-ness we have ever experienced! As bearers of the image and likeness of God, we are always invited into the depths of His searching and finding. I desire to fully know and be fully known!

The story of Calvary’s Cross beckons us afresh into knowing Jesus as The Son of Man. As Son of Man he gave His life for the world; establishing for all ages (past, present and future) our life in Him. As Son of Man he finds us in our lost-ness and brings us into the knowing of Him as our Savior, Sacrificial Lamb, Head of the Church, Lord of Lords, King of Kings, Great High Priest and Coming Groom!

Our only contribution is to daily embrace the finished work of Jesus. We can only do this by grace through faith!

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions-it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages (this very day) he might show (in and through you and me) the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works so that no man can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Eph. 2:4-9, NIV)

Christ be with me, Christ within me, Christ behind me, Christ before me, Christ beside me, Christ to win me, Christ to comfort and restore me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ in quiet, Christ in danger, Christ in the hearts of all that love him, Christ in friends, enemies, strangers and all nations, tribes and tongues! (Adapted from St. Patrick)

“God, investigate my life; get all the facts firsthand.
2 I’m an open book to you;
even from a distance, you know what I’m thinking.
3 You know when I leave and when I get back;
I’m never out of your sight.
4 You know everything I’m going to say before I start the first sentence.
5 I look behind me and you’re there,
then up ahead and you’re there, too – your reassuring presence,
coming and going.
6 This is too much, too wonderful –
I can’t take it all in!

7 Is there any place I can go to avoid your Spirit?
(Is there any place) to be out of your sight?
8 If I climb to the sky, you’re there!
If I go underground, you’re there!
9 If I flew on morning’s wings to the far western horizon,
10 you’d find me in a minute – you’re already there waiting!
11 Then I said to myself, “Oh, he even sees me in the dark!
At night I’m immersed in the light!”
12 It’s a fact: darkness isn’t dark to you; night and day,
darkness and light, they’re all the same to you.

13 Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
you formed me in my mother’s womb.
14 I thank you, High God – you’re breathtaking! Body and soul,
I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration – what a creation!
15 You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body;
you know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
16 Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
the days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.
17 Your thoughts – how rare, how beautiful!
God, I’ll never comprehend them!
18 I couldn’t even begin to count them
– any more than I could count the sand of the sea.
Oh, let me rise in the morning and live always with you!” (Psalm 139: 1-18, Msg.)

All that was lost has found it’s place in Jesus in us!

May we know as we are known, perfectly in His D.N.A. (divine nature added)!

Copyright by Ron Ross.
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Rev. Ron Ross is a pastor, author, teacher, and counselor.
As founder of NET Casting Ministries, he equips the church
around the world to care for the wounded and addicted.
Ron is a cofounder of the NET Training Institute.

Regenerate or Not?

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015

One of the principle things which distinguishes a regenerate person from an unregenerate one, may be likened unto two filthy rooms.

In one room, the blinds are raised and the sunlight streams in, exposing the filth all around.

In the other room, the blinds are lowered, and one walking through the room would be unable to discern its real condition.

Thus it is in the case of one who has been renewed by the Spirit: his eyes have been opened to see the awful filth which lurks in every corner of his heart.

But in the case of the unregenerate, though they have occasional twinges of conscience when they act wrongfully, they are very largely ignorant of the awful fact that they are a complete mass of corruption in the pure eyes of the thrice holy God.

Abraham acknowledged, “I am dust and ashes!” Genesis 18:27
Job said of himself, “I am vile!” Job 40:4
David admitted, “I am a worm!” Psalm 22:6
Isaiah confessed, “Woe is me! I am ruined!” Isaiah 6:5<
Peter affirmed, “I am a sinful man, O Lord!” Luke 5:8
Paul considered himself,”The chief of sinners!” 1 Timothy 1:15

“And when the Spirit comes, He will convict the world of sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment.” John 16:8<

~Arthur Pink

God is Not Defeated!

Monday, September 21st, 2015

Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth! Yours is the dominion, O LORD, and You exalt Yourself as head over all. Both riches and honor come from You, and You rule over all, and in Your hand is power and might! 1 Chronicles 29:11-12


In these days of man-centered religion, verses like these have been ignored. The pulpits of our land preach…
a defeated God,
a disappointed Christ and
a defenseless Holy Spirit.”determinate counsel and foreknowledge”
Man has been deified–and God dethroned.
God has been relegated to the background.

The God most people believe in has benevolent intentions, yet He is unable to carry them out. He wants to bless men, but they will not let Him. The average church-goer thinks Satan has gained the upper hand, and that God is to be pitied rather than worshiped. The god of popular Christianity has a weak smile and a halo!

To suppose in the slightest that God has failed, or that He has been defeated, is the height of foolishness and the depth of impiety! The religious world needs to get God off the charity list!

The Bible knows nothing of a defeated, disappointed, and defenseless God. The God of the Bible is the “Almighty God” (Genesis 17:1) Who has all power in Heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18). With Him nothing is impossible (Luke 1:37) or too hard (Jeremiah 32:17). His eternal purpose is being worked out. Everything is going according to His plan, and all things are under His control.

The God of the Bible is the Supreme Being in the universe! He is the most High, higher than the highest. He has no superiors and no equals. 
God is God.
He does
as
He pleases,
only as He pleases,
always as He pleases.

He is in one mind, and who can turn Him? What His soul desires, even that He does” (Job 23:13).

Agreeing with this is Psalm 115:3: “But our God is in the heavens: He has done whatever He has pleased.” As the Master of the World He declares: “My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure!” (Isaiah 46:10)

God is the Supreme Being and the Sovereign of the universe. He exercises His power . . .
as He wills,
when He wills,
where He wills.

All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing. But He does according to His will in the host of Heaven, and among the inhabitants of earth. No one can ward off His hand or say to Him: What have You done? (Daniel 4:35)

God governs all His creatures and their actions. The events that take place on earth do not take place by chance, or fate, or luck. The so-called accidents are not even incidents with the Master of the World. He numbered the hairs of our head and noted the sparrow’s fall in eternity past by His “determinate counsel and foreknowledge” (Acts 2:23).

The Master of the World set the bounds of our habitation on earth. The number of our months is with Him, and our days are appointed!

God is holding the helm of the universe, and regulating all events. The Master of the World “works all things after the counsel of His own will” (Ephesians 1:11). It is God’s eternal right to do all His pleasure. He is not accountable to any of His creatures. Job 33:13 declares: “He gives no account of any of His matters.”

God controls all things–or nothing.
He must either rule–or be ruled.
He must either sway–or be swayed.
He must either accomplish His will–or be thwarted by His creatures.
He is not obligated to leave the affairs of this world to be governed by accident, chance, or the will of sinful men.

If we admit that God absolutely governs all things according to the counsel of His own will, then we admit that He has determined what shall and what shall not transpire in time and eternity. To deny His universal control of all things, is to deny His eternal power and Godhead. If He has the power and wisdom to determine all events–then He can cause all things to work together for good to those who love Him (Romans 8:28).
~Milburn Cockrell, “The Master of the World!

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Calvary is our Homecoming

Monday, September 7th, 2015

“Christ brought us together through His death on the Cross. The Cross got us to embrace, and that was the end of the hostility. Christ came and preached peace to you outsiders and peace to us insiders. He treated us as equals, and so made us equals. Through Him we both share the same Spirit and have equal access to the Father.” (Ephesians 2:16-18, Msg.)

In a sense Calvary is our homecoming. It is the one place we become real, vulnerable and transparent. We come home to God, ourselves and significant others. For us the Cross is safe and inviting. Jesus took our place there, so that we could become all that He says we are!

There aren’t enough words to adequately express all that was accomplished by Jesus Christ on Calvary’s Cross. Let’s consider a few of them: relational reality, peace, and equality.

Relational Reality: Authentic, UN-pretentious relationships are at best; difficult apart from Calvary. The Cross; symbolically and literally enables us to embrace our own relational brokenness. Painful and even life-long hostilities can be overcome by the blood of the Lamb! It is called forgiveness and reconciliation. The love displayed on Calvary provides the only power source for this relational reality.

Peace: What a pregnant and powerful word! Peace starts with God and is sustained by God. The peace of God invades our drama and the wars we have fought or will fight on every front. God’s peace provides the strategic edge for winning every battle we will ever face. The peace of God and with God is a direct result of Calvary. Jesus imparts His peace into our lives continuously. Through us, His peace kisses our unsettled and anxious world.

Equality: The Cross pronounces death to comparisons, differences, and division. It raises us up to the Royal Law of loving unity! You have heard it proclaimed, “The ground at the foot of the Cross is level.” It truly is. Living and walking in equality is a lifelong struggle with the prejudiced and judgmental voices of our own flesh. Scripture goes so far as to warn that ‘comparing ourselves to another is unwise.’ Boy that kicks the competition to the curb!

As we share the same Spirit and equal access to the Father, we blaze a path of equality for all others to follow. Embracing the Father’s heart and responding to the continuous promptings, nudges, and still, small, inner voice of Holy Spirit is our only hope of maintaining equal footing on which to travel.

The Cross of Christ will daily nurture our relational reality, peace and equal ground for life’s journey.

Copyright by Ron Ross.
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Rev. Ron Ross is a pastor, author, teacher, and counselor.
As founder of NET Casting Ministries, he equips the church
around the world to care for the wounded and addicted.
Ron is a cofounder of the NET Training Institute.