Sunday, January 12, 2020

Gasping for Air 

 Much of who I am comes from my spiritual mentors (Which have been to numerous to count). The same is true for you. The men or women who you have looked to as "Christ’s Ambassadors" are used by God to shape you into the person who you are today. Those who are not Christians also have "mentors" weather they know it or not. You see them following pop culture, hero worship, sports stars, movie stars, and many others who influence t
hem in the way that they make choices and live their lives. But as for the Christian we do need Ambassadors that help us along our daily struggles.(2 Corinthians 5:20). Nurturing those relationships and memories is vital.

 I especially remember Mel Huyard. He was a mentor who not only helped me see things clearly spiritually but walked the life in all he did. Its not what he said that impressed me so much. It was how he lived. He looking me in the eyes as we were talking over lunch one day: “Ron, be like Jesus. Be all and only for Jesus! Be on fire and let your life flame out for his kingdom!”

Be All and Only for Jesus 

 “Be all and only for Jesus.” That’s how Mel lived and it’s how he will die. “Spiritually, Mel is strong,” I remember one day that my wife and I had a very serious issue to deal with. As we shared with him it was like gasping desperately for air. Mel was in control of his spirit and helped us through it. My heavy breathing eventually subsided. He directed us on a path that would enable us to withstand the wild winds of the storm. ‘This is God’s gift to Mel!’—He so totally trusted the Lord.”

 The situation might not have worked out the way we all wanted it to work outr but indeed I made it through knowing the it would not destroy me. Mel guided us through the storm with wisdom and a sence of direction that was built on Gods compass.

 I keep thinking about Mel and how he subdued my gasping for air. Even in those frightening, painful moments in which My wife and I couldn’t breathe he relied on Jesus and rejoiced in him. It’s easy to forget that spiritually we’re all gasping for air continually, desperate for the spiritual oxygen that only comes as we trust in the Lord Jesus who breathes his Spirit into us (John 20:22). 

 Take a moment now to thank God for someone who has encouraged you to “Be all and only for Jesus.” It’s the breath of life for your soul! More Bytes Of Truth “The One Benediction You (and Others) Need” is a short post inspired by the Psalm 20.

Ron Bender From

Saturday, October 8, 2011

How To Stop The Pain

Fault Finders

Most of my life I have been a Fault Finder. I was good at what I did and proud of the work that I accomplished. Yet I know that when things did go wrong I would resort to the old finger pointing, people hurting, stab in the back techniques. Today I would rather take note to failures as I find better ways to accomplish each endeavor. Finding "who" is to blame destroys every one in the process. James Richards says it best......

"Finding fault is not the work of the Holy Spirit. It is not a spiritual gift. It is neither inspired by God nor led by God. Finding fault is the product of fear, low self-worth, and anger. It is a vain attempt to end pain by controlling and forcing others to change. It is the source of more conflict and lost love than almost any other factor. Our attempts to fix each other are killing us! The proof is obvious. Our attempts never work, but we refuse to consider the board in our own eye and continue to search for the sawdust in the eyes of others. Even when change is needed, transformation doesn’t happen by focusing on what is wrong.”-"How to Stop the Pain" by Dr. James Richards

The Book "How to Stop the Pain" is indeed a worth while purchase. (two thumbs up) What is known is that many of us live in pain daily just because it is part of life. What we may not understand is that we continue to suffer out of our own selfish behavior. We want to control our situation and our surroundings.

True Love will never come from CONTROL!! It will never be born out of constant nagging and manipulation. Our one basic need in life is being loved and loving others. When we understand that Christ loved us when we were YET sinners we start to understand that he never once condemned us or pointed at our mistakes all he did was freely gave his life for us so that our mistakes will forever be hidden in Him.

Truthfully we condemn ourselves by being a fault finder. We make our self look better and others worse when we point our fingers at others. Just remember that when you are pointing your finger at someone there are three fingers pointing back at you. Instead of trying to put others down be the best you can be in what ever you do as you work for God and that will bring others up!

Dr.James Richards understands and teaches that most of our pain is self inflicted. We may get a wound from someone else but we keep the suffering going by our own actions and misguided control of others. We have to admit our position in life, WE HAVE NO CONTROL!!! God Has ALL control and we need to align our self with his ongoing work. When we do that we will find that the suffering ceases and the pain is bearable.

Just another Byte Of Truth.......

Ron Bender

Sunday, May 22, 2011

"Intimacy" We all Need It!

We need to be intimate

Our most basic need in life is relationship with God and others.

Intimacy between two or more transparent people who really care about each other is a basic need in life. Within these relationships, we can safely discover our blind spots and receive new input and teaching. Sadly, however, it’s in our human nature to hide when we sense disapproval from others. We scurry quickly into our safe "pretend world of comfortable truth" driven there by guilt and shame. We shield and separate our self from the very thing we need. We build a prison with in the confinement of our heart.

Walking Wounded

Hurting people need others in their life. Yet to make matters worse it is usually when they don’t particularly want them. Unfortunately, when people are wounded and broken they isolate themselves from good and healthy relationships. For they assume, with good cause, that people will not approve of their so called bad behavior.

Which brings us to another basic problem grounded in our human nature. Well meaning people who focus on performance and good behavior, as the only thermostat of a changed life, shoot the wounded and kick those who are down. They judge and condemn the very people they say they are trying to help. Who are the well meaning people? I'm talking about the church. The very people who claim to have the truth use it to judge and condemn rather than love and encourage. Using the sword of truth to slay the wounded and to protect them selves is the very thing that keeps the intimacy from thriving with in our church family. It also keeps us from being intimate with God.
A Two Fold Problem For Intimacy

A two fold problem needs a two fold solution. Lucky for humanity God has provided such a solution. He calls it Grace and Mercy. Grace is not mercy and mercy is not grace. He has given us Mercy and extended His Grace to all who will receive it. Many tend to think that because they have received Gods grace and mercy when they came to God that they now have some sort of unfounded right to judge and condemn those who struggle to receive it. Now just reading this you can see how stupid that sounds. All of Us need to live daily in his Grace as we extend it to others. All of Us deserve to be condemned if it was not for Gods mercy.

Just in case you do not understand what Mercy and Grace is let me refresh every ones memory. Mercy is not getting something that we ALL deserve. For example if a judge would tell a guilty and convected murderer that instead of receiving his death penalty that he deserves, he can go free, that is mercy coming from the judge. God, out of his great love for us, gives us this sort of mercy. We may not agree with God in every situation but that does not change God. Remember it is us that need to change not God.

Grace is a bit different. Grace is getting something that we do not deserve. We like to say "unmerited favor" this is true but is is so much more than that. Grace and faith (belief) are both necessary for salvation as God grants repentance to the sinner who humbles himself before Him.

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God" (Eph. 2:8).

My understanding of Grace, Faith, and Mercy than, is that they all have one thing in common ,they are all from God, they are a gift, and we do not deserve them. The important aspect of a Christian life than is what we do with this gift. For what we do with Gods love is proof weather we have received him or not. There are many who have not truly received God's gift.

3And how can we be sure that we belong to him? By obeying his commandments. 4If someone says, “I belong to God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and does not live in the truth. 5But those who obey God’s word really do love him. That is the way to know whether or not we live in him. 6Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Christ did. (1st John 2)

I will not go into that last statement today "live as Christ lived" for that would take the rest of my writing days to ponder. I do want you to explore weather we are grateful for this gift. I am talking to those who shoot and kick the wounded. I am reminding those who have been given a gift from God and refuse to extend it to others. I am addressing one fold of the problem. People on this side of the problem have a greater responsibility. WE KNOW THE TRUTH and have received a gift from God. A gift we did not deserve.

Who Are The Walking Wounded?

The walking wounded are those people who although they profess to be in Christ struggle with sin. The biggest outward sign of the walking wounded is the fact that the inhale and exhale on a regular basis. That is my way of saying that all of us struggle with sin and we will till be are free from our earthly body. Yet some of us manifests this struggle with outward behavior that is visible. Most struggle secretly as they limp through life.

How does this information help in intimacy? Well, I'm glad you asked. God has bestowed to us the pathway to intimacy. He has given us the two key components to establish intimacy. He has established it because of his great love for us. He has called us to be ambassadors of this love. To bring people into the kingdom and to keep and nurture those who struggle. Are we up to the task?

In Conclusion

Every human being needs intimate friends and healthy relationships. But to establish these relationships we have to extend to others the Gift we have received ourselves. Many people, in our opinion may not deserve our love. Just remember, no one deserves God's love, that does not stop God. And that My friends is the truth!

By Ron Bender

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Is Lust Good Or Bad

Lust Is it Good or Evil
The Truth About Lust

When I think of lust I think of something bad. I think of evilness controlling my thoughts and actions. The lust for money, is greed. Lust turns our attraction for the opposite sex into something evil and destroys Love. Lust in the negative form corrupts. The word Lust in Webster is a passionate or overmastering desire, a sexual desire or appetite. We are created in God's image. I believe that we have similar emotions and feelings as God does. We have heard about the passion of Christ. Why did Jesus come to earth and die a horrid death. He did it with such great Passion, desire. He had and overmastering desire to accomplish what he set out to do. Jesus had this driving force within him. We also have this force with in us. When we use it for negative means we call it lust! When we use it for positive things we call it desire. We lust/desire after the wrong things. This lust is a force that overpowers even us and eventually becomes more and more evil.

The word “lust” in Scripture is the Greek word (ep-ee-thoo-mee’-ah). As we said before the word, in and of itself, is a neutral word; neither positive or negative. In the Bible its the context of the passage that determines whether it’s translated in a negative way (“lust”) or a positive or neutral way (“desire”). When we translate words many times it loses its meaning. For Examples, in I John 2:15-17 " 15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever." In this reference lust is used for that which “…is not from the Father…”. In this context the word “lust” is used for a desire for earthly things.

On the other hand, using the very same Greek word, Jesus said, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer…” (also see Phil. 1:23 & I Thes. 2:17). Jesus had an overmastering desire, a longing to be with his disciples. He knew what was about to happen to him. Understanding this word lust should bring a new form of desire to follow God. When was the last time you lusted for God?

The important thing to understand here is that Satan is once again using our very being against us. What God has intended for good Satan tries to use for evil. In other words, the very appetites, passions and desires of the “flesh” have a proper and improper fulfillment. When our appetite for food, sexual fulfillment, pleasure, and desire are used in the parameters that God has set up, they are healthy and righteous. When Satan deceives us into thinking that our lust is good when it is inappropriate or improper, are lust destroys us from with in.

God has given us every good thing. He created us and said that it was good. Yet when we use anything he created for our own selfish lust than it is evil. God is not against reputation, success, achievement, status, etc. In fact, God told Abraham, “I will…make your name great…”. The issue is how we go about fulfilling this area of life; do they become idols that govern us and lead us to operate outside God’s logical and loving limits?

Sexuality is good. God created it to be beautiful. He created it for the good of his creatures. He is the creator of it so he alone has the wisdom and the right to show us how to use it for his glory and our good. Lust or sexual desire becomes evil when we have disregard for God and His purpose in our life

Lust Dishonors Its Object
Take honor, for instance. God established a relationship called marriage. In it a man and a woman make a life-long covenant to honor each other with faithfulness and love. Sexual desire becomes the servant and the spice of that covenant bond of mutual honor.

Therefore, to say to another person, I want you to satisfy my sexual desire, but I do not want you as a covenant partner in marriage basically means: I want to use your body for my pleasure, but as a whole person I don't want you. And that is dishonoring and therefore lustful. Lust is sexual desire minus a commitment to honor the other person.

Lust than, is the negative form of a righteous desire that dishonors its object and disregards God. It's the corruption of a good thing by the absence of honorable commitment and by the absence of a supreme regard for God. If your sexual desire is not guided by respect for the honor of others and regard for the holiness of God, it is lust.

Lust Disregards God :

But that's not all. The text says, take a wife (or control your body/vessel) "in holiness . . . not in the passion of lust." Holiness has to do with God—being set apart for God. So verse 5 goes on like this: "Not in the passion of lust like heathen who do not know God."

Knowing God and acting like it keeps sexual desire from becoming lust. Look at verse 8: "Therefore whoever disregards this [the call for holiness], disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you." The root issue in lust is “regard for God”. Holiness is living in supreme regard for a holy God.

Just another Byte of Truth.

by Ron Bender

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Traffic Lights are Trials

I believe that you were speaking to me tonight and I want to put down my thoughts before this revelation passes. We were talking about going through red lights; you gave me a picture how red lights are only designed to help control the flow of traffic along any given roadway. Yet in our self centered life style we think of them as our enemy, something to avoid at all cost. We look for ways around them; take “short cuts” trying to save time, for we think that the light is there to waste our time, to make us late, to frustrate us. Then when we can’t avoid them we approach them with gritted teeth, wondering will it change before I have a chance to go through, will it make me late? When the light turns yellow we get this horrible feeling in the pit of our stomach and do the unthinkable, we go through the red light.

Traffic lights are part of our travels. We should realize how important they are, how they can save time, and even bring us in harmony to the roadway. Sounds a bit far fetch? Maybe, but if you can relate to the feelings that a red light can stir with in you, than perhaps, you can take it one more step and see them in a spiritual way. Traffic lights are like trials in our life.

Like a traffic light, we avoid trials in just the same way. We find ways around them sit and grumble when we our caught by one, or we go through them as fast as we can hoping that it won’t get critical (red) while we are in the midst of them. James tells us how we need to embrace them; James 1:2-4 (NLT)

        “Dear brothers and sisters, whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything.”

 James does not say if trouble comes your way but whenever it does. He assumes that we will have troubles. Trials will be part of our lives. We can try to dodge them all we want. But if we want to find a benefit from them we need to treat each trial as an opportunity, an opportunity for Joy.

Preparing for the Journey

Finding peace in the midst of our trials may not seem possible sometimes. Yet I can tell you that when I prepare my trip in advance I find that traffic as well as traffic lights does not deter me from having a pleasant journey. Still no one enjoys waiting behind a long line of cars only to be stopped in front of a three eyed menace. How can we prepare our selves in such a way to find peace during the most troublesome times? Even when we do prepare, things happen that can cause the greatest plans to fall apart.

Prepare in the full knowledge that trials will come. We do not look for them. We do not plan for them. But we do know that they will come. Sometimes trials come because of our own choices that we have made. Than there are times that we have trials that are just a part of our life. Living in an evil world brings us along side of evil trials. Trails are as plentiful as red lights. Our character is made on how we get through them.

I understand that there will be trials in my life. You know that I don’t care for them. Sometimes I just don’t understand how you allow them to happen. You already know what I am going to say yet I have to get it out. Sometimes I am mad and angry at you for allowing some of the trials to come into my life. There I said it. I do understand that loving me does not exclude me form trials. For I know that many of them have been the result of my own choices.

I know that you forgive me for being angry at you. I somehow know that it grieves you when I am. But if I want to be totally honest I do get upset with you at times. Lately it has not lasted for to long. I know that in the middle of my trials you are with me. You are there to show me the way and to comfort me. Now with that said can we hurry a little so that I can pass this present one?

Ok, I will be patient. I know that you are my father and you love me. I also know that there is nothing you desire more than to wrap you arms around me and tell me it will be OK. But I have to let you do that. I have to trust you enough even when in the middle of my trails to find your shoulder, seek your face, and rest on your lap.  I trust you! I will rest in your arms. I will find your joy. I want to grow in your love.