by Mike Ratliff
3 For You are my rock and my fortress;
For Your name’s sake You will lead me and guide me.
4 You will pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me,
For You are my strength.
5 Into Your hand I commit my spirit;
You have ransomed me, O LORD, God of truth. Psalms 31:3-5 (NASB)
I doubt that I am alone in experiencing the pressure coming primarily from our enemy about all the evil going on in the world that seems to indicate that “everything is falling apart.” Our President is clueless. Most of the visible church in the U.S. is apostate. Idiots are in positions of power and stupid sheep are following them. If we have our eyes on these things then things can really bring us down. However, is this supposed to be how those of us in Christ are supposed to function? Continue reading
by Mike Ratliff
8 But as for me, I am like a green olive tree in the house of God;
I trust in the lovingkindness of God forever and ever.
9 I will give You thanks forever, because You have done it,
And I will wait on Your name, for it is good, in the presence of Your godly ones. Psalms 52:8-9 (NASB)
I am no different than you. What I mean is that I have dreams of having something better in the future or someday becoming a professional photographer, et cetera. I have always wanted that. However, it seems, the more I try, the harder I work at it, the less and less likely it will ever happen. There was a small hope that I could retire soon and have some money coming in from my art/photography that would supplement my retirement. That appears to be nothing more than a pipe dream. Should I get angry? Should I blame myself for being such a lousy photographer? Should I ask God why He isn’t making this happen? If He really loved me shouldn’t He do this for me? Isn’t that sort of theology akin to the Prosperity Gospel which is no gospel at all? You see, that mindset is all wrong. I should be rejoicing that I am forgiven and have eternity with my Lord awaiting. His will for me is always right. Continue reading
by Mike Ratliff
1 Now Naomi had a kinsman of her husband, a man of great wealth, of the family of Elimelech, whose name was Boaz. 2 And Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, “Please let me go to the field and glean among the ears of grain after one in whose sight I may find favor.” And she said to her, “Go, my daughter.” Ruth 2:1-2 (NASB)
My wife and I just returned from a trip to the Colorado Springs, Colorado area for some vacation relaxation. She had never been in that area. I had, but it was when I was just a child back in the late 1950’s. I had driven through the area to get to ski areas and a couple of years ago to attempt to climb Mount Elbert which is further north up by Leadville. In any case, I was looking forward to some rest and relaxation and some photo opportunities. We had a good time. I got some great shots. That part of the trip was great. However, as many of you know, when I am home I spend as little time as possible watching TV and when I do it never includes the Mainstream News Media, which is nothing more than propaganda for the political left’s narrative of whatever their agenda is. Continue reading
by Mike Ratliff
6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. (Ephesians 1:6 ESV)
Our salvation, our redemption, is God’s handiwork end to end. In all my many years as a believer, I have run across multitudes of professing Christians in spiritual bondage because they have a “distrust” of God that they absolutely refuse to admit is there, but prove it by walking in unbelief. This “walking in unbelief consists of believing their salvation is entirely up to them and their performance in walking in repentance to remain in God’s good graces. It is as if they have the offer of salvation, which they have accepted, but they are in deadly fear that the offer will be revoked if they sin or or not work hard enough. This is a form of unbelief because God’s Word does not teach that. In fact, it teaches the opposite. I wonder if those in this bondage have every considered the fact that since none of us could do one thing to save ourselves, therefore, the teaching we will be held eternally accountable to a standard of perfection that is impossible for us to be conformed to in this life is a heresy.
by Mike Ratliff
But Joshua said to the people, “You are not able to serve the LORD, for he is a holy God. He is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions or your sins. If you forsake the LORD and serve foreign gods, then he will turn and do you harm and consume you, after having done you good.” (Joshua 24:19-20 ESV)
One of the products of the growing apostasy of the Church in our time that is especially tragic is the loss of the understanding of God’s Holiness. I wrote a post a year ago or so about our great need to walk in fear of God. Some of the comments I received on that post were heart breaking. Some insisted that Jesus was their buddy or their homeboy or their ‘bro’ and he loved them so much that it really did not matter how they lived. The promotion video for this year’s ‘Next Conference,’ which was held last month, is still available to view. I highly recommend it my brethren because the speaker in the voice-over says something profound. He said, “Jesus hasn’t changed!” That is right; God is immutable and perfect. He neither changes nor has any need to do so. Continue reading
by Mike Ratliff
To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. (Ephesians 1:6 KJV)
Our salvation, our redemption if you will, is God’s handiwork. In all my many years as a believer, I have run across multitudes of professing Christians in spiritual bondage because they believe that it is up to them and their performance in walking in repentance to remain in God’s good graces. It is as if they have the offer of salvation, which they have accepted, but they are in deadly fear that the offer will be revoked if they sin. This is a form of unbelief because God’s Word does not teach that. In fact, it teaches the opposite. I wonder if those in this bondage have every considered the fact that since none of us could do one thing to save ourselves, therefore, the teaching we will be held eternally accountable to a standard of perfection that is impossible for us to be conformed to in this life is not biblical. Continue reading
The studies we have done on spiritual warfare, the believer’s armor, the Resurrection, and the marks belonging to genuine Christians have, hopefully, quickened in many of you a deep desire to know our God deeply. Your heart’s desire is to honor and glorify Him because you love Him with your entire being. He has put His truth in you and this love for Him is a product of His good work of sanctification in your heart. You have been awakened to what a miracle your salvation really is and you now have a new perspective that is becoming more and more aligned with God’s. Those who are used by God are called by Him to serve. It is not on their own terms, but His.
Below is a piece by Oswald Chambers that give us insight into the proper perspective believers must have in order to have lives which glorify their Heavenly Father. Enjoy and be blessed. – Mike Ratliff
by Oswald Chambers
Thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ . . . —2 Corinthians 2:14
The proper perspective of a servant of God must not simply be as near to the highest as he can get, but it must be the highest. Be careful that you vigorously maintain God’s perspective, and remember that it must be done every day, little by little. Don’t think on a finite level. No outside power can touch the proper perspective.The proper perspective to maintain is that we are here for only one purpose— to be captives marching in the procession of Christ’s triumphs. We are not on display in God’s showcase— we are here to exhibit only one thing— the “captivity [of our lives] to the obedience of Christ” ( 2 Corinthians 10:5 ). How small all the other perspectives are! For example, the ones that say, “I am standing all alone, battling for Jesus,” or, “I have to maintain the cause of Christ and hold down this fort for Him.” But Paul said, in essence, “I am in the procession of a conqueror, and it doesn’t matter what the difficulties are, for I am always led in triumph.” Is this idea being worked out practically in us? Paul’s secret joy was that God took him as a blatant rebel against Jesus Christ, and made him a captive— and that became his purpose. It was Paul’s joy to be a captive of the Lord, and he had no other interest in heaven or on earth. It is a shameful thing for a Christian to talk about getting the victory. We should belong so completely to the Victor that it is always His victory, and “we are more than conquerors through Him . . .” ( Romans 8:37 ).
“We are to God the fragrance of Christ . . .” ( 2 Corinthians 2:15 ). We are encompassed with the sweet aroma of Jesus, and wherever we go we are a wonderful refreshment to God.
My nephew Travis had his brain surgery yesterday. He was awake during much of it. He even made a phone call to his wife Jennifer as part of his cognitive tests. The surgery took most of the day. He is in recovery in the ICU now. Below is an email my brother-in-law, Travis’ dad, sent me about how it went. Join me in praising God for His goodness and healing power. Please also remember him and his family in your prayers. To God be the Glory – Mike Ratliff
“The Lord’s mercy is a sea which cannot be filled, though mountains of sin be cast into its midst. It is like Noah’s flood, which covers all and drowns even the mountaintops of heaven-defying sins.”