It’s Time for a Change…

August 1st, 2014 No comments

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

Mark Twain said, “The only one who likes change  is a wet baby.”

I read a piece of graffiti somewhere (I think it was in the men’s room of St. Thomas Episcopal Church) that read, “Expect change from everything but a vending machine.”

Change. It is a fact of life. and most times, it for the better. It’s time for a change for me.

"I'll Be Baaack!" (By the way, this really isn't a picture of me; just in case you couldn't tell)

“I’ll Be Baaack!”
(By the way, this really isn’t a picture of me; just in case you couldn’t tell)

Over the past five years I have posted daily devotionals that are short and pointed, and hopefully meaningful to many.

There have many several times where I have re-posted a few  because my reading audience has grown and I wanted to give others an opportunity to read what they had missed.

And on a few stretches I simply needed a break to reboot; so I thought if something was worth posting at all, it wouldn’t hurt to post it again.

But now its time for a change.

Over the next few weeks I will be rebuilding my website, adding new features and content — video, audio, etc. During this time I will not be uploading my daily devotions. As soon as the changes are made and the new site ready to publish, I will let you know. Or, as Conan the Theologian said, “I’ll be baaack!”

In the mean time I will leave the posts already published available for you to read. Just select from the drop down menu on the right side of the page to do so.

Stay tuned for a new and improved site, dedicated to helping you experience God’s Presence.

James Ryle

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Go Home to Your Friends

July 31st, 2014 No comments

“Go home to your friends and tell them the great things the Lord has done.” (Mark 5:19).

“Hallelujah! Jesus reigns!!” As the good news of the Great King’s triumph over the powers of darkness began to spread, delusional collaborators with the evil empire sought to intercept the heavenly couriers and prevent the message of Grace from reaching the ears of captives held throughout their conquered kingdom.

For many years now this phase of the conflict has been contested, and the tide is turning day by day. Yet, there are scores still in darkness who have not heard the liberating truth of God’s Grace. Will you tell them?

It is a question only you can answer.

You now are knighted by Grace with the mandate of God’s mercy, love, forgiveness and goodness. “It’s not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit,” says the Lord. “And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly, because the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ is with you. Amen.” (Romans 16:20)

passing the batonMy role as Tour Guide for this trip is finished; but yours has just begun. What the Lord has done for us, we now must do for others. Go home to your friends and tell them the great things the Lord has done.

And right here I must confess to you that, while I have been to this place called Grace many times, this was my first time ever serving as a tour guide bringing others to it! Oh, yes, I have spoken about Grace on many occasions and told others of the wonders of this place, but this was my first time actually bringing people along with me on the journey.

And if I can do it, so can you. I’m passing the baton into your hands!

First, you must become filled with the wonder of this place. You have got to see it, and believe it for yourself. You must let this revelation of Grace renew your mind, so that your witness of it to others will carry conviction that does not waver in the face of long-standing traditions.

Second, you must remember that the contemporary thinking about Grace has long been unchallenged, and it will not easily yield ground to traveling pilgrims – no matter how passionate we may be.

Third, you must be patient. Some will see it for themselves; others will not. This is a matter for the Lord of Grace to resolve; not you. As for you, “walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be always  with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man” (Colossians 4:5,6).

Here is a practical plan that just might work.

If you will tell two friends, and take them through the process just like I did for you; and they tell two friends, and take them through the process just like you did for them; and then they tell two friends…and so on, and so on, and do on – well, it’s only a matter of time before a Grace Awakening occurs, and a Grace Revolution transforms the contemporary Church into a spiritual dynamo that shakes our world with real power and truth.

If you will tell two friends, and take them through the process just like I did for you; and they tell two friends, and take them through the process just like you did for them; and then they tell two friends…and so on, and so on, and so on – well, it’s only a matter of time before a Grace Awakening occurs, and a Grace Revolution transforms the contemporary Church into a spiritual dynamo that shakes our world with real power and truth.

No more hype and bravado; no more banging of cymbals and prancing of ponies; no more pontificating and chest-beating – just GRACE: the empowering presence of God enabling us to be who He created us to be, and to do what He has called us to do – right where we are. For the light that shines the farthest, shines brightest at home!

Do this and watch what happens! Print out these posts and host a group of your friends once a week at your home. Become their tour guide and take them on this journey, just as I have done for you. Read the posts and engage in a hearty discussion together.

Imagine.

If enough of us do this, then its only a matter of time until we will experience a Grace Awakening across the nation…and dare I be so bold as to believe…around the World!

Tell them to come with you on a journey to a place called grace. Tell them not to pack a lot of bags. Tell them about the Tavern, where they can visit with the Apostle Paul; and the Ancient Library, where they can see the gold beneath the surface of the water, illumined by the Holy Ghost.

Tell them about Peter walking with us on the road. Show them your Tour Guide and tell them how they can get their own copy – and take their own journey. Tell them about the Conference on Grace in Great Hall of Truth, and the amazing sights and sounds of Monumental Park. And, yes, tell them about the Stones of the dark corner of the Disgraced.

Tell them about this place where you experience a power because you meet a Person. Tell them about a place called Grace. And then take them to it.

“Go home to your friends and tell them the great things the Lord has done.” (Mark 5:19).

And as you cross the finish line of your service to the Lord, you can say with Paul, “I am what I am by the grace of God. And His grace given unto me was not in vain, for I labored more abundantly than they all. Yet, it was not I; but was the grace of God in me.”

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The Gateway to the Kingdom

July 30th, 2014 1 comment

“Go ye therefore into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15).

long and winding roadAt the west end of Monumental Park stood a huge archway called The Gateway to the Kingdom. Inscribed in the Arch were these words: “Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear” (Hebrews 12:28)

We supposed that by passing through this Gateway we would be taken from glory to glory; you know, like Ezekiel caught up in the Spirit and transported to realms beyond our imagination. So we were quite shocked when we stepped through the Gateway and saw that it actually brought right back to where we had at first started our journey to a place called Grace!

It was as if we had not moved from there at all.

That’s when it struck us profoundly – all we had seen and experienced during this long journey to a place nearby, had actually happened inside us as we stood in that one location!  “Iti Swhe Reyo Uare,” I thought to myself. A whisper then came into my ear, “Be still and know that I am God – right where you are.”

Then we all heard the voice of the Lord say, “What I have done to you, I will now do through you.”

In that moment we looked and saw a series of roads that went out in all directions — over hill and dale, across rivers and oceans, to places far and wide.

And there was a River. Seeing it reminded me most vividly of the vision Ezekiel told of a river that flowed from the Temple. It measured ankle deep at the start, and then incrementally deepened – knee deep, waist deep, and then a mighty river which was over our heads.

Then Ezekiel saw that this great river flowed into the Dead Sea!  And as its living waters enter into the stagnant pool of this fallen world, a miraculous transformation occurred. “And it shall be,” said the Lord, “that every living thing that moves, wherever the rivers go, will live. There will be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters go there; for they will be healed, and everything will live wherever the river goes.” (Ezekiel 47:9)

Paul stood at the Gateway, together with Peter, James and John, Timothy, Apollos and several others, and called out to us, saying, “We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.” (2 Corinthians 6:1).

“You are that River,” Paul said. “It’s time for you to flow forth into all the world, bringing the redeeming power of God’s Grace to all you meet – as you go. It would be a sad thing indeed if you saw, and heard, and experienced all of this Grace for no purpose; if it all flowed into you only to be held in an empty place in your souls.

“I beseech you, therefore, my brethren; you must not hear this truth with no intention of doing anything about it. That would be directly opposed to God’s will. We all are with you in this as workers together! Please do NOT receive the grace of God in vain. Do not hear this message and dismiss it without thought. Do not see this truth and then close your eyes to its wonder and potential in and through your life. And do not keep it from others.”

Then Peter spoke up, “Remember how I told you to be stewards of the manifold grace of God? To take the many gifts he has blessed you with, and minister the same to others all around you? Well, if I may use one of my familiar quotes, ‘This is that!’ Freely you have received; freely give!”

Suddenly we realized that our journey to a place called Grace was in fact a recruiting trip to the mission field! And we were more than ready to go!!

And all those who had hosted us in a place called Grace called out once more in one voice, saying, “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.” (Rev 22:21)

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