|God or Mammon|
Someone asked, where do the quotes come
from? The answer is from the
people who uttered them. But, how
did you find them? Oh, that. This time the very first are gift from
Rev Geordie Menzies-Grierson, others are from Bishop Jerry, still others from
Rev Bryan Dabney, a few from other places, but overall mostly from Bryan. He always has a few great ones to
share. So, on to the On Point
For I say unto you, That none of those men
which were bidden shall taste of my supper.
They were invited, yet they would not come;
but others shall come, and fill the tables, and the great feast shall be
furnished with guests. No provisions of mercy will ever be wasted. If you who
are the sons and daughters of godly parents, or you who are the regular hearers
of the Word, will not have Christ, then others shall. If you hear, but hear in
vain, then the rank outsiders shall be brought in, and they shall feed upon the
blessed provisions of the infinite mercy of God, and God shall be glorified;
but terrible will be your doom when the great Giver of the gospel feast says
concerning you and those like you, "None of those men which were bidden
shall taste of my supper."
H. Spurgeon’s Expositions
By comparison with God's perfect
understanding, we are like a man inside a barrel looking through a bunghole.
The sceptic may truly said to be topsyturvy;
for his feet are dancing upwards in idle ecstasies, while his brain is in the
We have much to do and little time in which
to get it done!
Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I
will declare what he hath done for my soul.
Woe unto them that decree unrighteous
decrees, and that write grievousness which they have prescribed; to turn aside
the needy from judgment, and to take away the right from the poor of my people,
that widows may be their prey; and that they may rob the fatherless!
The good man is perished out of the earth:
and there is none upright among men: they all lie in wait for blood; they hunt
every man his brother with a net.
But he that receiveth seed into the good
ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth
fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
For false Christs and false prophets shall
rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even
the elect. But take heed: behold, I have foretold you all things.
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the
Lord shall be saved.
I fear much for many professing Christians. I
see no sign of fighting in them, much less of victory. They never strike on
stroke on the side of Christ. They are at peace with his enemies. They have no
quarrel with sin. I warn you, this is not Christianity. This is not the way to
century Anglican bishop and
To my mind it is wholly irresponsible to go
into the world incapable of preventing violence, injury, crime, and death. How
feeble is the mind-set to accept defenselessness. How unnatural. How cheap. How
cowardly. How pathetic.
century American guitarist and patriot
Carnality and corruption creep into the
spiritual and political realm of our life like cancer and deteriorate the whole
fabric of state and society. Even the church is becoming a cold storage of
Christians whose conscience, moral and spiritual values and witnesses are
highly frozen forming a degraded crowd.
Gummapu Anand Kummar
century Anglican Orthodox minister and mechanical engineer in
Every educational system has a moral goal
that it tries to attain and that informs its curriculum. It wants to produce a
certain kind of human being. This intention is more or less explicit... There
is one thing a professor can be absolutely certain of: almost every student
entering the university believes, or says he believes, that truth is relative.
The danger they have been taught to fear from absolutism is not error but
intolerance. Relativism is necessary to openness; and this is the virtue, the
only virtue, which all primary education for more than fifty years has
dedicated itself to inculcating.
century American scholar and
The Closing of the American Mind, pp. 25-26
Regardless of the particular problem facing
Americans today, too often the first question asked is, “When is the government
going to save us?” At the most fundamental level, this question is a socialist
response to private concerns. Free men in a free society do not look to
government for solutions to private matters. Why? Because government is not
God; it cannot “give” to one unless it first takes away from another. The
“taking” mechanism of big government is that characteristic which tramples upon
the liberty of its citizens. We do not live in a free society when the
government can take our property in the form of taxes and give it to others.
Benson, Jr. and Walter Donald Kennedy
American political commentators and authors
Lincoln’s Marxists, p. 48)
Did you empower the government to impair the
freedom of us all because of the mania and terror of a few?
jurist, author and Constitutionalist.
The Propers for today are found
on Page 191-192, with the Collect first:
Sunday after Trinity.
LORD, who never failest to help and govern those whom thou dost bring
up in thy stedfast fear and love; Keep us, we beseech thee, under the
protection of thy good providence, and make us to have a perpetual fear and
love of thy holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Arnold read today’s Epistle, which came from the Third Chapter of St.
John‘s First Epistle, beginning at the Thirteenth Verse.
ARVEL not, my brethren, if the world hate you. We know that we have
passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not
his brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and
ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. Hereby perceive we
the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down
our lives for the brethren. But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his
brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how
dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word,
neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of
the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. For if our heart condemn us,
God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart
condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we
receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are
pleasing in his sight. And this is his commandment, That we should believe on
the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us
commandment. And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in
him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath
John gave us God’s commandment:
That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one
another. We are exhorted to
love one another not in word only, but in deed and in truth. We are to carry out the word we have
been given, not just to repeat the words.
Actions speak louder than
words. If we are to lead people to
Christ, we must be in front of them showing the way.
Arnold read today’s Holy Gospel which started in the Fourteenth Chapter of the
Gospel according to St. Luke, beginning
at the Sixteenth Verse. This is
another of Jesus’ stories. This
one is of a rich man who made a great supper; a thing of great value in times
CERTAIN man made a
great supper, and bade many: and sent his servant at supper time to say to them
that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. And they all with one
consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of
ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. And
another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray
thee have me excused. And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I
cannot come. So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the
master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the
streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed,
and the halt, and the blind. And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou
hast commanded, and yet there is room. And the lord said unto the servant, Go
out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may
be filled. For I say unto you, that none of those men which were bidden shall
taste of my supper.
Are we like the busy people, are
our lives so filled with important activities that we have no time to come to
the Lord’s Supper? Think about
that when you set your bedtime on Saturday, think about that when you schedule
the outing for Sunday morning.
Reverend Deacon Jack Arnold - Time and Action
Today’s sermon brought the Collect, Epistle and
Gospel together and is partly contained in the forewords above.
Consider these words from the
… who never
failest to help and govern those whom thou dost bring up in thy stedfast fear
and love; Keep us, we beseech thee, under the protection of thy good
providence, and make us to have a perpetual fear and love of thy holy Name…
We must acknowledge God will help and lead us if we
will look to him for that help and leadership. We need His Help, in the form of the Holy Ghost, to direct
our hearts, minds and souls to look to Him for that Help in our time of need.
Speaking of time of need; when do we need God? Only when we are falling short of
perfection. That would be all the
The Epistle is a great illustration of why we need
guidance from the Holy Ghost all the time. If we want God’s love, we have to love those around us. That is pretty easy. It is easy to love people. The problem is that we actually have to
act on that claim of love, not just say we love them. We have to give of our time and effort to help those around
us who have problems. John tell us
“And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son
Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. And he that
keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know
that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.”
So how far do we have to go to fulfill our obligation
to love our fellow beings? We have
a leader, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is not only
the Propitiation for our sins
but who set the standard for our performance. As John reminds us, “He laid down his life for us.” So, too much work
or I don’t have
are probably not valid excuses.
Speaking of time, many times people put off church
for other “more important” things, do you? Like the certain man who made a great supper, the Lord sets
aside a time every week for us to worship with Him. Actually His time is pretty flexible. The Lord’s worship can be done at times
other than 1000 on Sunday morning if you really do have to work, you have
weekend duty, you are on alert or something you really cannot get out of. But, where are your priorities? Is a football game, a fishing trip or
just plain sleeping in the “reason” for your failing to show for the great
supper? When you fail to plan
ahead, you plan to fail.
The Gospel is about more than just going to church,
it is about priorities. We need to
put the things that are really important in the list of things to do above the
things that are not really important.
We need to think about what is important to us and to God. Sometimes they are different. Then, we need the Holy Ghost to get our
priorities in order.
People do what is important to them. When they feel guilty they come up with
excuses, but in reality, they please themselves.
So, what we need to do is ask the Holy Ghost for help
to make God’s agenda ours; thus when we please God, we please ourselves. A win – win situation.
If we do not make time for God, how do we expect Him
to make time for us? If we will
not diligently study the lessons He has left for us, how can we expect to know
what He wants us to do?
Do you recall the words
of GK Chesterton:
“Christianity has not been
tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.”
We need to come to church and
read the Bible so we can find out what God wants. But, the idea is not to find out what He wants so we can work
around it or live with it, but rather live in it. Think about the 613 Mosaic laws and the Pharisees who made a
good living telling people how to comply with them to the letter and still do
just what they wanted to do.
If we find out what God wants
and decide to actually do it instead of avoid it, we are still faced with an
often huge problem of where do we get the strength to accomplish this
task. The answer is circular, from
God, the Holy Ghost. He never asks
us to do anything we cannot do good enough for Him if we rely on Him. Never.
Heaven is at the end of an
uphill trail. The easy downhill
trail does not lead to the summit.
The time is now, not tomorrow. The time has come, indeed. How will you ACT?
It is by our actions we are known.
Be of God - Live of God - Act of God
We are oft fortunate to get
copies of Bishop Jerry’s sermon notes.
Today is one of those Sundays.
Today’s sermon starts off with the collect, and like always, it will
give you a lot to consider in your heart.
Anglican Orthodox Church
Sunday after Trinity.
LORD, who never failest to help and govern those whom thou dost bring
up in thy stedfast fear and love; Keep us, we beseech thee, under the
protection of thy good providence, and make us to have a perpetual fear and
love of thy holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The First Lesson (Third Set of Propers)
1 And the child Samuel ministered unto
the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; there
was no open vision. 2 And it came to pass at that time, when Eli was laid
down in his place, and his eyes began to wax dim, that he could not see;
3 And ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the LORD, where the
ark of God was, and Samuel was laid down to sleep; 4 That the LORD called
Samuel: and he answered, Here am I. 5 And he ran unto Eli, and said, Here
am I; for thou calledst me. And he said, I called not; lie down again. And he
went and lay down. 6 And the LORD called yet again, Samuel. And Samuel
arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And he
answered, I called not, my son; lie down again. 7 Now Samuel did not yet
know the LORD, neither was the word of the LORD yet revealed unto him.
8 And the LORD called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went
to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And Eli perceived that the
LORD had called the child. 9 Therefore Eli said unto Samuel, Go, lie down:
and it shall be, if he call thee, that thou shalt say, Speak, LORD; for thy
servant heareth. So Samuel went and lay down in his place. 10 And the LORD
came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel
answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.
11 And the LORD said to Samuel, Behold, I will do a thing in Israel, at
which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle. 12 In that
day I will perform against Eli all things which I have spoken concerning his
house: when I begin, I will also make an end. 13 For I have told him that
I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his
sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not. 14 And therefore I
have sworn unto the house of Eli, that the iniquity of Eli's house shall not be
purged with sacrifice nor offering for ever. 15 And Samuel lay until the
morning, and opened the doors of the house of the LORD. And Samuel feared to
shew Eli the vision. 16 Then Eli called Samuel, and said, Samuel, my son.
And he answered, Here am I. 17 And he said, What is the thing that the
LORD hath said unto thee? I pray thee hide it not from me: God do so to thee,
and more also, if thou hide any thing from me of all the things that he said
unto thee. 18 And Samuel told him every whit, and hid nothing from him.
And he said, It is the LORD: let him do what seemeth him good. (I Samuel 3:1-18)
Samuel was a child
that came by way of the direct miracle of God just as Adam had come to be….just
as Isaac was born to Sarah long past child-bearing years….and John the Baptist
by the same means…..and even like unto that greatest of all miracles of birth –
Jesus Christ by means of a young virgin. It is heart-breaking to read of the
sorrows of Hannah and the humiliation she experienced from Peninnah (1 Sam 1:2)
the fruitful wife of Hannah’s husband, Elkanah. Though to man, it was not
possible for Hannah to bear a child, yet she took her burden before the Lord in
grief and longing and He granted her conception (just as He grants to every
mother of children common to mankind).
Of course, the gift of conception was not without obligation – and
neither is the birth of any child given without obligation. Even at the instant
of conception, God is forming, not that which will BECOME a boy or girl baby,
but a boy or girl that He has already created though conception – it is purely
and wholly a human life – make no mistake about it. In the case of Hannah, her
obligation was a particular one based upon her promise to the Lord: And
she vowed a vow, and said, O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the
affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid,
but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the
LORD all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head.
(1 Sam 1:11) Not all mothers are bound by such a particular vow, but they are
definitely bound by the natural law of God to nurture the child physically,
emotionally, and spiritually. We, in the Anglican Church, even provide a backup
in fulfilling that role of the mother and father in the provision of Godparents
who vow to do all possible to see to the child’s spiritual nurturing.
begins with a curious introduction: “And the word of the LORD was precious in
those days; there was no open vision. May I point out from the start that the Word of the Lord is
always precious, but the value of a precious stone is always increased by its
rarity! The true and untarnished (by modern translation manipulations) is
enhanced in value for our day due to its growing rarity. 11 Behold, the days come,
saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of
bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:
12 And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the
east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not
find it. (Amos 8:11-12)
When we observe the
moral ruins of our modern landscape, particularly in America, we are forced to
admit that there is no open vision for the things of God, or even a high regard
for His Holy Word (even in most churches). The comparative states of modern
America and Israel of that day enjoy many parallels. Just as America, having
escaped the bondage of Europe, came into being through the Beneficence and
Providence of God through the labors of our Godly Founding Fathers, so did
Israel come out of Egypt into the Promised Land after experiencing the
challenges of the Wilderness Journey. Having crossed Jordan Waters into the
Land of Promise, they had only God to be their Ruler, and they were most
blessed among all nations of the earth.
The same was true of the Founding documents of America which appealed to
God for protection and guidance. But, as disobedience to God’s Law grew out of
a complacent regard for the Holiness of God, Israel was given judges to divide
and interpret the laws of society. Israel began to reject God as her King and
choose, rather, the fashions and customs of those ungodly nations over which
God had given them the preeminence. The descent into the dark abyss is never
partial, but is expedited by the powerful draw of the central maelstrom toward
which they have drawn nearer and nearer. Judges, though begun in earnest
intent, will always lead to the errors of man if unrestrained by the biblical
constitution. The rule of the Judges led to a chaotic society in which every
man did according to whatever he could get advantage in doing. There will forever
be a king over a people whether of God, or of faulty men: In those days there was no king in Israel:
every man did that which was
right in his own eyes. (Judges 21:25) If God is not our King, we will
presume to be our own king. When god is not our Ruler, lawlessness and a
failure of honor will always result. Wake up, America!
Now, God has a
means of providing an “open vision” for Israel just as He did for America at
our own founding. He will raise up a man through whom He may provide that
vision – the prophet Samuel! Long before Hannah ever made her first
journey with Elkanah up to Shiloh to worship, God had called Samuel from the
misty dawn of Eternity Past to be a Prophet in Israel for such a time as this.
God had, and used, a means whereby Hannah would be drawn to dedicate her
first-born, Samuel, to the service of the Lord. It was not Hannah’s real
decision, but one which God caused her to see and do. Are we, who call
ourselves by the Name ‘Christian’ following that will of God as He rules in our
lives, our do we judge for ourselves the things that seem “right in (our) own
Need I tell you
that all men do not equally hear the Voice and summons of the Lord – even
those to whom is given the authority of Holy Orders by the Church! Eli was a priest, however, he had not
raised up his own sons in the godly admonition of the Lord (a sin) and was not
worthy of the same level of revelation received by the fair young child,
Samuel. (see 1 Samuel 2:11-18).
Please observe the manner in which God calls Samuel – the keen ears of
Samuel in hearing god’s call, and the dull ears of Eli to hear the same Voice!
Read carefully the following passage: ; 3 And ere the lamp of God went out
in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was, and Samuel was laid down
to sleep; 4 That the LORD called Samuel: and he answered, Here am I.
5 And he ran unto Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou calledst me. And he
said, I called not; lie down again. And he went and lay down. 6 And the
LORD called yet again, Samuel. And Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, Here
am I; for thou didst call me. And he answered, I called not, my son; lie down
again. 7 Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, neither was the word of the
LORD yet revealed unto him. 8 And the LORD called Samuel again the third
time. And he arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call
me. And Eli perceived that the LORD had called the child. 9 Therefore Eli
said unto Samuel, Go, lie down: and it shall be, if he call thee, that thou
shalt say, Speak, LORD; for thy servant heareth. So Samuel went and lay down in
his place. 10 And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times,
Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.
Noteworthy is the
fact that Samuel, even before he knew the Lord, heard that Voice calling from
the dark shadows of the Temple; but the priest of the Lord who presumably knew
Him, could not hear. Aren’t the works and mysteries of the Lord in His ways
beyond our finding out? Another important observation in the calling of Samuel
is the fact that God does not relent in calling His chosen vessel. If the Call
is not comprehended at first, God will (as the Hound of Heaven) continue
calling until the message is received and acted upon. It may also be observed that the called of God continue to
need counsel from others. There are no Know-It-Alls in the Kingdom of Heaven
except the All-Knowing Triune God. Samuel sought confirmation continually from
his elder in the Temple. I hope and pray that we, as the servants of the Lord
(every Christian), will hear and respond to the Voice of the Lord in all our
There is a
sharp-edged warning to parents in America, and all places, in the words of the
Lord rendered against Eli for failing to: 1st) raise up his sons in
the nurture and truth of God’s Law, and, 2ndly) for not restraining his sons
for doing evil. The parents of our nation face a great judgment of God for our
failure to raise our children under the Godly model. Read what God says to
Samuel: 11 And the LORD said to Samuel, Behold, I will do a thing in
Israel, at which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle.
12 In that day I will perform against Eli all things which I have spoken
concerning his house: when I begin, I will also make an end. 13 For I have
told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he
knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not.
14 And therefore I have sworn unto the house of Eli, that the iniquity of
Eli's house shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering for ever. When God brings judgment, He often
brings the final condemnation with it. It is interesting to note that Eli died
of a broken neck following the loss of the Ark in battle to the Philistines.
Beware the judgment of God when it comes, for it brings with it the suffering
of the innocent along with the guilty. Israel was roundly defeated by the
avenger – the Philistines because of their own sins, and particularly the sins
of their priesthood. What of the sins of the modern clergy of churches who call
good, evil, and evil, good? They have been complicit with the enemies of God
and shall be the means by which a great and Godly nation has fallen.
Moral cowardice and
greed are the tow prongs of the modern ministry that has led America down the
primrose path to moral depravity and materialism. Such devices may lead us individually down the same path as
well. It is not enough to hear and know the Voice of the Lord, we must have the
courage to proclaim it – even to those who hold the sway of power over us: 15 And
Samuel lay until the morning, and opened the doors of the house of the LORD.
And Samuel feared to shew Eli the vision. 16 Then Eli called Samuel, and
said, Samuel, my son. And he answered, Here am I. 17 And he said, What is
the thing that the LORD hath said unto thee? I pray thee hide it not from me:
God do so to thee, and more also, if thou hide any thing from me of all the
things that he said unto thee. 18 And Samuel told him every whit, and hid
nothing from him. And he said, It is the LORD: let him do what seemeth him good. Even the weak and wavering Eli
recognize the authority and intent of god once spoken to him by Samuel, the
young prophet recently called of God. Are we, fellow Christians, fearful of
showing the vision of God to others, particularly those in government? Or do we
allow the deleterious will of Satan to go unchecked in the name of governmental
authority. There is no division or separation of church and state in the US
Constitution, but there is a protection of the Church FROM state. “Congress shall make NO law respecting the establishment of religion, or PROHIBITING the FREE EXERCISE thereof.” How much
plainer could this clause be? If the Congress has made NO law respecting the
establishment of religion, which law is it that the US Supreme Court is ruling
upon that forbids the free expression and exercise of religion at all times and
at all places?
I believe America
is entering into a judgment of god that has been preceded by innumerable warnings
and amazing acts of God. Like Eli, we have not heard God’s Voice in the
earthquake, the destroying winds, and the vulnerability of our tall towers to
the wicked intent of the enemy.
America has lost her vision (there was no open vision in Israel). We
have turned “as the dog to his vomit, and as the sow to wallowing in the mud.”
But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and
the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire. (2 Peter 2:22) We
have even been encouraged to do so by the modern church. Israel grew weary of
having God as their King and petitioned, later, to Samuel to give them a king
‘like all the other nations.” This broke Samuel’s heart, but God told Samuel to
give them a king according to their desires – such a king would rob and steal
all of their substance including their sons and daughters. Do we not see the
same in our own day? This warning of God applies to nations as well as
individuals: Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that
shall he also reap. (Gal 6:7) The window for repentance of the nation
draws narrow. Shall we hear the Voice and repent in time to forego that
horrible judgment that is surely coming to our fair shores? Shall we again have
God as our King, or shall we prefer Mammon?
Rev Bryan Dabney
of Saint John’s Sunday Sermon
We are fortunate to
have Bryan’s Sunday Sermon. If you
want people to come to The Truth, you have to speak the truth, expouse the
truth and live the truth. This is really a good piece and I
commend it to your careful reading.
Second Sunday after Trinity
In I Corinthians 13:1-13, we find the word charity being set before us
several times by the apostle. Being that he was a good teacher, St. Paul was
attempting to ingrain its meaning in our minds for a godly purpose. The English
word charity is derived from the Latin word for “dear” which is “carus “ and
refers to “a dear person”, or a “spiritual benevolence toward another”, or
“brotherly love”. It is used 27 times in the Authorized Version where it was
translated from the Greek word “agape”. Benevolent, caring, good intentioned
love is what we understand charity to mean from our reading of Scripture. For
it is this type of love, which God through Christ has extended to us, that we
also are to extend toward our brothers and sisters in Christ.
St. Paul warned that without charity, all our works are as nothing in
the eyes of God. We must love the brethren. We are commanded to do so by our
Lord and Master Jesus Christ. In St. John 15:12 our Lord said, This is my
commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you. And St. John wrote
in his first epistle (2:10) that He that loveth his brother abideth in the
light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. And in another place in
that epistle he wrote (3:16) Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he
laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
Finally in this same epistle, he wrote (4:7-8) beloved, let us love one
another, for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and
knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. To quote
Matthew Henry in part, “Christian love must possess our souls when we go to God
in prayer. To this end we must remember that God expects each of us 1) to
forgive those who have offended us, and 2) to seek reconciliation with those
whom we have offended. As good will toward men was proclaimed in heaven, so
good will towards men— particularly to the brethren— must be carried in the
hearts of those who go God.”
Some Christians fail to realize their true potential because they have
not “agape” or charity in their hearts. Their fruitlessness is problematic for
them because as the apostle warned without charity their works are as nothing.
Consider the account of our Lord’s healing of a blind man as found in St.
Luke’s gospel (18:31-43). Here we find this man calling out to our Lord for his
mercy. Isn’t interesting that even in his state of physical blindness that the
man recognized our Lord Jesus as the son of David, that is to say, the Messiah.
And what was our Lord’s response? He called the blind man to him and asked him
what he could do for him. The man then replied, Lord, that I may receive my
sight, to which our Lord responded, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved
thee. What a gracious act of loving kindness. This same benevolent love is
requisite of each and every person who bears the name of Christ. We are to love
the brethren and our neighbor; but more especially the brethren. We should be
willing to do for them as we can because we can. Seeking to do good should not
be a chore for us anymore than we would expect God to consider helping us a
In today’s Gospel, St. Luke 14:16-24, our Lord communicated his desire
for all who will come to enjoy his gifts and blessings just as he gave freely
to the blind man as noted above. God does not say to his elect, “Oh, you are
too much trouble”, or, “I don’t have time for you”, or “Your requests are too
burdensome”, or, “Ever thought about helping yourself for a change?” You will
not find such remarks coming from him. He loves his us and seeks our good. And,
as we have experienced his love, so are we expected to show the same to those
around us. In fact, we are required to do so, though we ought to do so
willingly. We all have different gifts and talents which God himself has given
to us as members of the body of Christ. To some have been given the
ministration of the word; to others the ministration of healing; still others
are given the ministration of various works, and so on.
The table of our Lord is set. The meal has been prepared. All one need
do is go to him and receive of him. He loves you. He died for you. Will you not
come when bidden to such a great supper? Only those who have a heart for God—
those who in their blindness are seeking to have their eyes opened upon hearing
the words of our Lord— will come to his supper and will rejoice over being
invited in the first place. Unworthy sinners know their condition and are
humbled by our Lord’s calling. His blood makes the unworthy sinner worthy. His
blood covers a multitude of sins. His grace is all sufficient. No other name
has been given to us for salvation. Believe and accept him and then turn and be
healed of the malady of sin. You possess no sin too big, too ugly, or too
burdensome that Jesus Christ cannot lift from you and count it voided in its
power over you. But the first thing you must do is see the need to come and
then to indeed come.
God has plans for you and he has work for you to do as well. There are
a multitude of ministries and offices to be exercised for which the Lord has
appointed those who are called of him to carry out. So, then, how does one know
their particular calling? Because faith comes by hearing and hearing by the
word of God (Romans 10:17), we receive our gifts after having come to God
through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. For once we are sealed by him as
regenerate believers, he then will give to us the gifts of the Spirit. For it
is only by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost that we are given to know our
particular talents and gifts which we are to then use in his name.
Nevertheless, we must be obedient to his word written and not take upon
ourselves to do those things which he has not called us to do and which are
specifically prohibited to us by his word and commandment. Being considerate of
his word is a fundamental part of our service to him. I have witnessed too many
souls who decided in and of themselves to become ministers of the word. This
they should not have done. Just as Jeroboam took it upon himself to appoint men
priests who had no business being in the service of God, so these modern-day
Jeroboams have determined to replace God’s standards with their own. There are
even churches that have substituted their commentary on the Scriptures in place
of the Scriptures. This is what the Bible calls the way of Cain, and it is
nothing more than “will worship”, or the offering to God something that he does
not desire in place of that which he seeks (St. Jude 11)— all of which is
unacceptable. If God did not call you, do you really expect the Lord to bless
your life and ministry?
Above all, we should love the LORD our God, who gave himself for us
that we might have eternal life in his coming kingdom. Loving God, means being
obedient to his will and walking in his ways. If he loved us, who knew him not
as LORD, should we not also tell of his love to others that they too might come
unto him as we were called? Indeed, we should. Our success as witnesses is not
measured solely in mere numbers, but in our obedience. If we are following the
truth of God’s word written, then we will not do or act without seeking his
guidance, and we will conform to the standards set forth in his word written.
Obedience is the first step in having fellowship with the Godhead. Therefore be
humbly accepting of his word, and lean not on your own understanding.
God, help us to daily keep thy commandments;
that those who hear our witness and see our works will give glory unto thee and
love thee as their Lord and God; for this we ask in the name of him who now
sits at thy right hand ever making intercession for thine elect, even Jesus
Christ our Lord. Amen.
Have a blessed week, Bryan+
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