Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Backsliding Jonah


Ronnie W. Wolfe - September 8, 2020

Backsliders we mostly are
And Jonah knew the way.
He heard the truthful words of God,
But decided he would stay.

He would not go to do the work
The Lord had sent him for.
But stood his ground and fled away
And closed the blessings door.

But God in love came to his aid
To draw him back in Him.
The man repented in his heart
Told Nineveh of her sin.

Then God repented of his work
And gave that land new life.
It made Jonah really mad
And filled his heart with strife.

I hope we’re not like Jonah,
His heart had made him sad;
For he in all his anger
Ends the story mad.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

My Body

Ronnie W. Wolfe

    Oh, this old, decrepit body of mine! I was born to it, and God broke it for me. I carry it with me everywhere; I am responsible for it; I must care for it and amuse it. I have five windows through which I commune with the world around me. My window of eye sees the beauty of God’s creation. The window of ear receives the sounds of the rushing of the wind, the chirping of birds, the words of a friend, and the complaints of others. My window of nose can receive the aroma of a wonderful meal and the rancid stench of corrupt food. The window of tongue receives the taste of delicious as well as objectionable things. The window of touch receives the tender embrace of a friend, the kiss of a wife or another kind from a mother. These are the windows of this old body.

    Oh, wretched body, how can you brag of your passions and feel amused and comfortable with your wisdom and your knowledge? How arrogant is it that I call this my body? Did I create it? Was I its inventor or its sustainer? Did I not receive this body, made in the image of the eternal God, from him alone? Was it not his will that I be? Was it not his sovereign plan that formed me in the womb of my mother? Where was I when God laid the foundation of the earth? How much do I know about God’s creation and the awe of God’s sovereign words which spoke this world into existence and all that is therein? Nothing, I say.

    This is not my body! This is God’s body! I had no authority over my body when the Polio pandemic was around me and caught me and pulled me down into the pit of paralysis. I was in the clutches of disease and could have come to death; but God in his kindness and tender mercy saved me from the way of all the earth.

    This is not my body! This body was created by God and purchased by Christ’s blood when he shed his precious blood on Calvary. I have no claim to this body. At age 13 I was caught by the Spirit of God, who brought me under severe conviction of my sins, and I knew that I needed a Savior. I heard the Gospel story, and I trusted Jesus as my Savior. Now my body belongs wholly to him.

    But sometimes I take charge of my body and please it with the soothing and enjoyable pleasure of sin for a season; then the Spirit comes and rebukes and instructs me to a higher plane than that of sin. He lifts me up through his word to a higher ground, a grander existence, a more joyful place, and God’s love forgives me and dwells in my heart, and he let’s me know that I am not my own, that I am bought with a price and that I should use the members of this body for his service and for his glory; and it brings joy to my heart and a peace that passes understanding.

    Yes, this body is a cheap thing from my perspective. My teacher told me once that my body in its physical form is worth about $1.54. I know, however, that I am of much worth to my Lord; for he made me worthy by his grace, and this body is only a tool by which God can work in it to believe, preach, teach, and witness of God’s saving grace.

    But my tears come many times, because I do not use this decrepit body to serve him. I have never used by broken body as an excuse to serve Satan rather than the Lord, but I have endeavored to surrender my bodily instruments to his service to serve him only and not to serve another master. He is my only master.

    So, with weakened legs, learned mind, talented hands, and a broken but loving heart I surrender to God’s will and pray that one day, when I see him face to face, he will say to me, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”

    Lord, I have never questioned why you broke my body down. I have always simply thought that it was your will, and you have used my broken body to make many friends and to have many doors of ministry and opportunity opened to me, for which I thank you and love you.

    I cannot serve you enough. I cannot love you enough. I cannot trust you enough. But you have done enough for me. You gave your only Son, Jesus, to redeem me from my sins, and you sent the Holy Spirit to draw me to you so that you could express your love to me in an everlasting way. Now you keep me by your power to reveal me in eternity blameless in your love.

    Now, Lord, I want others to know you as I do; because, no matter what conditions may prevail in life, believers in Jesus Christ are secure, sealed by the Holy Spirit, and comforted by the God of all comfort. I desire to see others to know you as I do, and I pray that, if they know you by believing in Jesus, that they will experience the peace and joy that I have in my heart, for I am blessed both in life and in death.

    So, Lord, here is my body; it is your body. As much as in me is, I surrender all to you, though I fail. You are faithful and just to forgive me, I know.  My heart is settled on you. Take my life and consecrate it, Lord, to thee.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

God's Creation


 Dr. Ronnie Wolfe – March 25, 2020

It is true that God created the universe in six days. This is not only a basic theological maxim but also a scientific one.

But God is the only true witness of creation, so it is imperative that we believe God--that he is and that he is the rewarded of them that diligently seek him (Heb. 11:6). No scientist is able to produce an eye-witness of God's creation, so all of the surmising of scientists must by necessity come short of a truly scientific explanation for the beginning of matter and life.

Theology is called by some "The Queen of Philosophy," because it has the most reasonable, though mysterious, explanation of universal existence. Only theology (the Bible) explains the mystery of creation along with many mysteries that baffle scientists.

It is important, then, that all believers read and believe the Bible. The human trend is to think through everything logically (or scientifically), but human science is a question, not an answer.

Only God's theology (his science) is true knowledge based upon his divine omniscience and cannot be gainsaid.

Deuteronomy 6:4-6 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: 5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. 6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:


Friday, February 7, 2020

Dark Yet Bright Days In Jerusalem

By Dr. Ronnie Wolfe
February 7, 2020

Matthew 20:17-19


Mat 20:17-19  And Jesus going up to Jerusalem took the twelve disciples apart in the way, and said unto them,  18  Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death,  19  And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again.

The Beauty of Jerusalem

The Talmud teaches, “Ten measures of beauty descended on the world; nine were taken by Jerusalem, one by the rest of the world.” Years later, Mark Twain said, “There is no beauty like the beauty of Jerusalem.”

Jesus loved Jerusalem and even wept over it. The twelve apostles loved Jerusalem. All Jews loved and love Jerusalem. Jerusalem was known as the “city of God.” To the Jew it was where God dwelt. Their temple was there, their priests did their duties there, and the beauty of the garments of the high priest on the Day of Atonement must have been a striking beauty. If only every Jew by birth or by proselytism were to be able to wander inside the temple, what beauty he would be able to behold.

On this day in our text, however, Jesus was to cast a shadow over Jerusalem in the ears and hearts of his disciples due to this tragic announcement of his passion that was to come upon him in the near future.

Betrayal

The Greek word translated “betrayed” here is PARADIDOMAI and means “to surrender, or to give up.” That is exactly what Judas Iscariot did to Jesus; he gave Jesus up to the chief priests and scribes for his torture and death. Only a lost soul can give up the Lord Jesus Christ. Believers never do, because Jesus lives inside each believe. He did not live inside of Judas, for he was a devil (John 6:70).

This betrayal cast a dark shadow over the beauty in the minds of the disciples as they approached that wonderful and popular city, Jerusalem. Never would this city be what it was to the disciples who heard this great calumny pronounced against those in this great city who had dark hearts and evil intentions.

Condemnation

This, we know, was condemnation that was unjust and undeserved, but the leading Jews of that great city, Jerusalem, were angry due to their thinking that Jesus was a blasphemer, who professed to be the Son of God, who they thought could not be; because Jesus’ doctrine did not fit their own doctrine. Their doctrine was based primarily upon the doctrines and customs of men, not upon God’s word only. When Jesus proclaimed the truth, error raised its ugly head and screamed out in fear and terror and judgment against the truth. Truth lay in the street, and heresy was glorified.

Their condemnation was not a simple censure against Christ; it was a grandiose and arrogant proposal of superiority over Jesus, the Christ, and even God himself. The priests’ and scribes’ condemnation was “to death.” Nothing less would satisfy them. This man must die!

Deliverance To Death

Condemnation is one thing, but it is only one step toward complete fulfillment of that condemnation, carrying out the condemnation, handing over the Lord Jesus into the hands of the Gentiles (a disgusting people to the Jews) for the torture and death of our Savior. They delivered Jesus Christ from their hands and, hopefully, from their minds and hearts (19).

Their condemnation was that the Gentiles would mock, scourge, and crucify Jesus (19). This cruel treatment was no more than this wicked man (Jesus) should receive. He was a “glutton,” a “wine-bibber,” a “liar,” and a “blasphemer.” Their hearts would be happy upon the execution of these things.

Deliverance To Victory

Little did the priests and scribes realize that, upon their deliverance of Jesus to the Gentiles, Jesus was going to fulfill, not only the suffering that was required by God’s justice for our sins, but also that Jesus would have a great victory over his death, not at the hands of the Gentiles, but at the hands of God Himself; because on the third day he was to rise again.

If they had known that delivering Jesus to the Gentiles was a fulfillment of prophecy and was done by the determinate counsel of God (Acts 2:23), they would never have done it. When they had delivered their defendant into the hands of the Gentile jurisdiction, they could not reverse course, but God’s counsel was sure and was determined. No one could take Jesus back from that which he came to the earth to do. God was ruler over all of these attitudes and actions; and, when God determines to do a thing, he is faithful to do it.

The hatred of the Jews, the willingness of the Gentiles to torture and kill Jesus, and the hand of God were in operation. No one can reverse it. Jesus came to “seek and to save that which was lost,” and this is the only way he could do it. It was God’s will, Jesus’ will, and the Spirit’s will that this would take place.

It seems sad in a way that the disciples did not respond to this as recorded in Matthew, but it was because their minds were muddled against a mysterious truth that would be shown to them much later; and upon their knowledge and understanding of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection, their hearts were charged with faith and boldness so that this message of the Gospel became the most significant and powerful message in the entire world.  The disciples’ fortitude in preaching the Gospel is without equal in the world in comparison to any message the world has ever heard. Many gave their lives for preaching this Gospel. The Jews and the world will either hate this message or love this message. It is the desire of everyone who knows Jesus through the preaching of the Gospel that their friends, family, and people around them would be saved. This is a God-given desire, and it can be had only by the Spirit of God.

Paul said in Romans 10:1 “Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.”  Jesus told his disciples (a commission to every local church) – Matthew 28:18  “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  20  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”

Saturday, January 25, 2020

The Easy Road

By Dr. Ronnie Wolfe
1-25-2020
For the Funeral of Opal Bolton – January 25, 2020

The road is not easy living in the world,
As all the heartaches at each person are hurled.
But, when the Lord is near me in all of his love,
It is easy to trust him as he speaks from above.

The road is not easy with rocks all around
To stumble where the potholes abound;
But it is an easy road, traveling down
When the Spirit of God lives all around.

It’s not an easy road to raise your children well.
It’s not an easy road to tell them of Hell;
But it’s an easy road to see them turn
From sin and shame so they won’t burn.

It’s not an easy road to have disease,
It’s not an easy road to live life with ease;
But it is an easy road to know that Jesus cares
And trust him faithfully his mercy He shares.

It’s not an easy road to come to death
And wait for the angels to do as He saith;
But it is an easy road for me to travel on
To a new and wondrous place by God’s eternal Son.

And so through hardest of travels I go
To end with an entrance so far from below.
The shadow of death is a short, easy road
To shed all my burdens and lighten my load.

Lord, it’s been hard to travel through time;
But you were there, and you are mine.
It’s easy to trust you through all the way
And an easy road awaits at the end of the day.