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. Some from Bishop Jerry, many from Rev
Bryan Dabney, a few from other places, some from Rev Geordie Menzies-Grierson,
but overall mostly from Bryan. He
always has some great ones to share.
On to the On Point quotes –
We begin to notice, besides our particular
sinful acts, our sinfulness; begin to be alarmed not only about what we do, but
about what we are. This may sound rather difficult, so I will try to make it
clear from my own case. When I come to my evening prayers and try to reckon up
the sins of the day, nine times out of ten the most obvious one is some sin
against charity; I have sulked or snapped or sneered or snubbed or stormed. And
the excuse that immediately springs to my mind is that the provocation was so
sudden and unexpected; I was caught off my guard, I had not time to collect
myself. Now that may be an extenuating circumstance as regards those particular
acts: they would obviously be worse if they had been deliberate and
premeditated. On the other hand, surely what a man does when he is taken off his
guard is the best evidence for what sort of a man he is? Surely what pops out
before the man has time to put on a disguise is the truth? If there are rats in
a cellar you are most likely to see them if you go in very suddenly. But the
suddenness does not create the rats: it only prevents them from hiding. In the
same way the suddenness of the provocation does not make me an ill-tempered
man; it only shows me what an ill-tempered man I am. The rats are always there
in the cellar, but if you go in shouting and noisily they will have taken cover
before you switch on the light.
Watch ye therefore: for ye know
not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the
cockcrowing, or in the morning: lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.
Peace I leave with you, my peace
I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart
be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
For he that will love life, and
see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they
speak no guile: let him eschew evil, and to do good; let him seek peace, and
ensue it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are
open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.
Satan knows biblical terminology.
He is also a master in masquerading under the guise of divine power. Alleged
miraculous cures or manifestations often are accomplished by doctrinal errors.
Every believer should realize that Satan can use doctrinal errors to his
advantage, but he cannot overcome the Christian’s defenses in God’s Holy Word!
This is our bulwark against demon incursions.
American theologian and scholar
(Demons in the World
Today, pp. 17-18)
When the fish swallowed Jonah, he
found him a morsel which he could not digest; and when the world devours the
church, it is glad to be rid of it again. In all times of fiery trial, in
patience let us possess our souls.
English Baptist pastor and author
(Morning and Evening,
There is no surer way to make the
church worldly than to put its material prosperity in the forefront. This is
the surest way to put Satan in charge. It is easy for material assessments to
become priority by emphasizing them until the opinion is created that these
things are most important. When collecting money, building churches, and
counting attendance become the evidence of church prosperity, then the world
has a strong foothold, and Satan has achieved his purpose.
19th and 20th
century American theologian and author
(Guide to Spiritual
Warfare, pp. 46-47).
Peace either exists as a given
condition or it is maintained by strong armies and ready deterrence. Peace
cannot be found on the moral high ground, only [on] the mountains of the graves
of the dead.
(Winning the Moral
High Ground is a Loser’s Game, 7-16-14)
Justice without force is
powerless; force without justice is tyrannical.
French mathematician, philosopher and author
James Madison warned that the
loss of liberty rarely happens in one great event but rather happens gradually,
over time, resulting from the actions of government officials who claim to be
fortifying security. He practically predicted today’s events. The violations of
our rights are obvious, undenied and undeniable. Yet what Madison probably
feared most, he did not articulate: Once lost, liberty is lost forever.
20th and 21st
century American jurist and author
(Spying on Innocents,
The Fifth Sunday after Trinity.
RANT, O Lord, we beseech thee, that
the course of this world may be so peaceably ordered by thy governance, that
thy Church may joyfully serve thee in all godly quietness; through Jesus Christ
our Lord. Amen.
The Epistle came from
the Third Chapter of the First Epistle of Saint Peter beginning at the Eighth
Verse. Peter tells to be of one mind, have compassion and pity for each other,
to be courteous, to give good to all our brethren, to return good for evil, to
seek peace, to do good, not just talk good. Peter tells us to not only talk the talk, but walk the
walk. To put ourselves in others’
places, understand when they fall short and make good things happen.
E ye all of one mind, having compassion
one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: not rendering evil
for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye
are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. For he that will love
life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips
that they speak no guile: let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace,
and ensue it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are
open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.
And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? But
and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of
their terror, neither be troubled; but sanctify the Lord God in your hearts.
Holy Gospel started in the Fifth Chapter of the Gospel according to Saint Luke beginning
at the First Verse. This is one of the classic stories of Jesus in the
Bible. Jesus had gone down to Lake
Gennesaret to pray and then speak to the people. As they pressed in on him, he asked Simon Peter to use his
boat as a speaking platform.
Speaking from a small boat near the beach is almost like speaking in an
amphitheatre. When he finished
talking to the people, he told Simon Peter to go out and set his nets. Simon pointed out they had fished all
night with no result, but at His word, he would set his net. The net gathered an incredible catch
that Simon Peter and his friends could not board. At that point, it was clear to Simon Peter he was in the
presence of one far greater than himself.
He fell to his knees, saying, “Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O
Lord.” Then Jesus said, “Fear not;
from henceforth thou shalt catch men.”
From then on Simon Peter followed Jesus.
not misunderstand, every day Jesus speaks to you telling you what to do. It is your choice, you can listen like
Simon Peter, or you can ignore Jesus.
He has the pony for the lottery.
He wants to give it to you, all you have to do is accept. While He is a bit more subtle than a
Drill Instructor, the question is the same, “Can you hear me?”
are none so deaf as those who will not hear.
came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he
stood by the lake of Gennesaret, and saw two ships standing by the lake: but
the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets. And he
entered into one of the ships, which was Simon’s, and prayed him that he would
thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out
of the ship. Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into
the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. And Simon answering said unto
him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless
at thy word I will let down the net. And when they had this done, they inclosed
a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. And they beckoned unto their
partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them.
And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink. When
Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I
am a sinful man, O Lord. For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at
the draught of the fishes which they had taken: and so was also James, and
John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto
Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men. And when they had
brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.
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.
Fifth Sunday after Trinity
Fishing for God, or Self?
20 July 2014, Anno Domini
Fifth Sunday after Trinity.
RANT, O Lord, we beseech thee, that
the course of this world may be so peaceably ordered by thy governance, that
thy Church may joyfully serve thee in all godly quietness; through Jesus Christ
our Lord. Amen.
T came to pass, that, as the
people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of
Gennesaret, and saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone
out of them, and were washing their nets. And he entered into one of the ships,
which was Simon’s, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the
land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship. Now when he had
left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your
nets for a draught. And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled
all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down
the net. And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of
fishes: and their net brake. And they beckoned unto their partners, which were
in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and
filled both the ships, so that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw it, he
fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O
Lord. For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the
fishes which they had taken: and so was also James, and John, the sons of
Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not;
from henceforth thou shalt catch men. And when they had brought their ships to
land, they forsook all, and followed him. (Luke 5:1-11)
I have often wished that I were a fly on the wall of history – to stand by the
Galilean Sea when Christ preached so often, the same at which He had his final
breakfast with His closest disciples, and the Sea Upon which He took His
midnight stroll in the midst of devastating storm. This Sea teems with life, so
a fitting place for our Lord and Savior to discourse. This body of blue and
placid water has several names: Galilee, Gennesaret, Tiberius, or Chinnereth –
yet all terms refer to the same Sea. As I have said, it is most often a smooth
and placid body of water, but storms can build upon it with swift and
unpredictable resolve. In a manner of speaking, the Sea is, in many ways, like
the nature of our Lord who was most often gentle in speech to inveterate
sinners, but quick to castigate the hypocritical clergy of His day. Like
Christ, the Sea teems with life, but it yields its bounty most fully and
handsomely to those who follow His counsel. It yields a profitable return to
those who listen to His Word, and it may swamp the boat of those who are
rebellious or lacking in faith.
The Sea of Galilee, in its unpredictable nature, too, is much like the character
of the Apostle Peter. He was obedient to his Lord, but, at times unexpectant,
his temper and self-will could flare-up to surprising measure. He drew a sword
in the Garden of Gethsemane against a host and only a couple of hours later
denied his Lord thrice on the porch of the Sanhedrin. A focus of today’s text
dwells, among other important features, on the person of Simon Peter and his
questioning obedience to our Lord.
Simon Peter is a man of the sea. He was robust and manly and beset with a
stubborn and assertive nature. As is true with many such man, Peter had a
tender heart that belied his manly nature. I like Peter very much. Even his
name is intended to reveal that his quarrelsome will was finally surrendered to
Christ completely. Petros (Peter) is the Greek term for stone, not Rock.
Our Lord Jesus Christ was the Rock from which Peter was hewn. He gradually, as
a stone chipped away through sanctification, took on the nature of the Rock
from which he was cast. We all should be such stones of Christ – having the
nature of that same Rock from which we must be cleft. Peter was the kind of
hardened and masculine figure that I have known often in the military service –
hard on the appearance, but soft and gentle as a lamb inside that hardened
Our text opens with beauty and meaning. “And it came to pass, that, as the
people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of
Gennesaret.” Imagine! “Jesus standing by the Sea!” What remarkable beauty
in that single thought! His feet are forever on solid foundation, and the Sea
represents the world filled with every kind of diverse fish. You and I are in
that Sea of Life. We all hear the Words of Christ, but we do not all respond to
it by faith. Unlike the multitudes of perishing souls of our day, there was a
hunger on the shores of Blue Galilee for the Word of God. In fact, the people “pressed
upon Him” to hear that Word. Today they flock to miracle promising
evangelists whose heart are empty of compassion and full of greed; but Christ
is missing from that forum.
Our lives should be a pulpit for Christ, just as Peter’s boat became that pulpit.
“ (Jesus) saw two ships standing by the lake: but the
fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets. And he
entered into one of the ships, which was Simon's.” What a
resounding privilege to have our very souls serve as a pulpit for Christ. There
were TWO boats there, but Christ chose the specific boat of Peter. He has
chosen you and me in the same way. He knows the seaworthiness of our hull, and
the strength of our sail before we, ourselves, know it. Both boats, like
many professing Christians today, were in precisely the right place at the
right time but Simon’s boat was chosen by Christ. Many sit in the pews Sunday
after Sunday, but are not chosen by Christ because of a failure of faith and
steadfastness. Others, like Peter, are known to God and a Chosen Vessel. Simon,
as well, consented to his Lord’s use of his vessel. All that was Peter’s belonged
to Christ. Is this true in your case, my friends?
When we prepare to study the Word, or to even preach it, we must make a
separation of our spirits between ourselves and the world. This, Jesus does
next. “. . . and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the
land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the
ship.” Next, our Lord “sat down” and taught the people. The people
were standing on the shore while the Gospel itself was being pronounced. Notice
that we always stand when the Gospel is read in the Church? The Teacher sits as
one having authority, the students stand and listen reverently. Peter could
have protested his vessel being used by Christ, but he did not. Christ has
often called each of us to serve some need in our Church, or in our
neighborhoods, but we often protest and fail to supply the need. We must all
strive to be like Peter.
After hearing the Word preached, what comes next? ACTION! We act on the Word! “Now
when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch
out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.”
It is very much like Jesus is saying, “Now, Peter, that you have heard the
faith-strengthening Word, I need you to DO something!” Perhaps Jesus is
whispering this in the ear of the listener of this sermon, and even its
deliverer? Peter was cleaning and drying his nets when Jesus came to the shore
of Galilee (Genneserat).
Jesus loves Simon Peter just as He loves all who respond to His Beacon Light of
Love. But Jesus knows that something needs to grow inside the heart of Peter:
his faith needs bolstering. And this is what Christ is about to do. Poor Peter
and his fellows have fished all night without Christ and caught NOTHING.
Casting off the heavy nets and retrieving them is no easy task, but Peter has
labored all night long at this tiring exercise without profit. We, too, labor
under the force of our own sails in a dead sea, and achieve nothing, but when
the Wind of the Holy Spirit fills our sails to capacity, we then navigate
waters never before imagined. Peter seems to think the counsel of Jesus is a
bit on the ridiculous side. He even argues, just a bit, that point, but
relents: “And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all
the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the
net.” Now Peter will go a’fishing with Christ as his Sea
Captain. I wonder what will be the result. When we surrender our on self-wills
(free wills that are in bondage to sin), and accept His perfect will and
counsel, what a difference a day makes!
Have you ever followed Christ until your net has broken? What about now as you
contemplate this story of the Sea, the Land, and the Savior? Has He not filled
our nets to the breaking point? Does your cup runneth over with the gentle
mercies and comfort of the Lord? “And when they had this done, they
inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.” Not
before, or after, they had obeyed God, but IMMEDIATELY, their nets broke for
the large draft of fish. God may be calling you away to some remote South
Pacific Island, or to the hot and humid climate of central Africa to drop down
your nets. Or He may be asking you to become a father, or mother, to some
orphaned child who needs you. Have you let down your net at His command?
The Lord always rewards our obedience and often in ways we could never have
imagined. Can you imagine Peter’s shock at the large draft of fishes after no
success at the best hours of fishing – the night?
Our Lord is the Captain of Battles and the Victor of each one. He is not a
proponent of defense, but of offense. He orders His streamers forward beyond
the Forward Edge of the Battle Field. He needs no defense, He insist that we take
that ground misappropriated by the Adversary of our Souls – the Devil! God is
never satisfied with maintaining the status quo. We must either be growing in
faith or, else, we are dying as that faith atrophies.
Take some lessons from Peter:
the right place at the right time;
your vessel as a pulpit for the Lord;
prepared to be amazed at the mercy of the Lord; and
upon yourself His nature and become a “chip off the old Rock” – a stone in the
Temple of our God!
Sermon – Reverend Jack Arnold - Time and
Church of the Faithful Centurion - Descanso, California
Today’s sermon brought the Collect, Epistle and
Gospel together and is partly contained
in the forewords above.
Consider these words from the
… the course of
this world may be so peaceably ordered by thy governance, that thy Church may
joyfully serve thee in all godly quietness …
In the Collect, we ask that the events of this world
might follow God’s governance or will.
Why? Because in those
places where it does, we find happiness and joy. It is that simple, it means more, reflect on that. After all, Amazing, is it not? Since the Garden, it has always been
one of the two same choices:
follow God’s Will for us, we do what is good for us, individually and as a
people or a country. It is hard
work, but easier than we imagined; we prosper when all goes well. It was all our doing, we are happy because
we were so smart.
ignore God’s instructions, doing what we want to do, not what we are supposed
to do. It turns out to be way
harder than we thought possible, in the end everything turns to weasel
spit. It was not our fault, it was
God’s fault, He is punishing us.
As long as we are human, imperfect creatures with
free will, it will never change for humanity. But, we individually can change, and with enough individuals
changing, humanity will change. We
can learn from the past and live for the future in Him who gave His Life that
we might be free eternally. This is a very similar theme to last Sunday’s
sermon, with very good reason. It applies to almost every single lesson in the
Bible, which is to do God’s will, above what you want to do. Even though we
want to do what we do, rather than what God wants us to do, it is better for us
in the end to do what God wants us to do.
Doing what God Asks = Happiness, Not doing what God Asks = unhappiness,
to put it into mathematical terms!
So, how do we make our little
part of this world follow God’s will? Peter tells to be of one mind, have
compassion and pity for each other, to be courteous, to give good to all our
brethren, to return good for evil, to seek peace, to do good, not just talk
good. Peter tells us to not only
talk the talk, but walk the walk.
To put ourselves in others’ places, understand when they fall short and
make good things happen. The key word is “walk”, to act upon the teachings of
Christ, and not just utter them and not do them. All of us, including myself
struggle with this, but as long as we are DOING our best, and not just saying
it, then that is all He asks of us.
We cannot do more than our best. We must be doing our best and not just
faking doing our best. There is a sincere difference between the two. If you
are sincere, people will know it. If you are not sincere, people will also know
So, just how do we make good
things happen? Fairly simple, do
what God asks! This is an extremely common theme again! Doing what God asks is
the answer to all of our problems if you think about it! Don’t figure out ways to
seem to do what He asks, while doing what you want. Don’t be a Pharisee! Consider when Jesus told Simon Peter to
go out and set his nets. Simon was
tired, he was hungry, he had fished all night with no result. After making excuses, he decided to do
what he was told! There is a lesson there, instead of making excuses why things
are the way they are, why not be quiet and do God’s will instead? It will have
a lot better results that is for sure, like Simon Peter and his nets! The net gathered an incredible catch
that Simon Peter and his friends could not board.
That is what happened to Simon
Peter; that is what will happen to you, if you will but listen. Listening and
then acting are the key principles of this Gospel, we must listen to what He
says, and then ACT upon it.
Do not misunderstand, every day
Jesus speaks to you telling you what to do. It is your choice, you can listen like Simon Peter or you
can ignore Jesus. He has the pony
for the lottery. He wants to give
it to you, all you have to do is accept.
While He is a bit more subtle than a Drill Instructor, the question is
the same, “Can you hear me?” The problem with us is that we just do not want to
hear. That is why we need the Holy Ghost to open up our ears, that we might
hear and obey.
There are none so deaf as those
who will not hear.
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
Dennis Campbell’s Sermon
Bishop Dennis is a brilliant
speaker. He is able to take
biblical precepts and make them perfectly understandable, even to me. Oft he provides the text of his sermons
and I take the utmost pleasure in passing them on:
Fifth Sunday after Trinity
July 20, 2014
Psalm 23, verse 3 says, “He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness.”
This is the second time Psalm 23 tells us of God’s leading. Verse 2 says, “He leadeth me beside the
still waters.” We have been
talking about healing in our souls, and how God accomplishes it. I have tried to convey the fact that
healing usually comes through the very ordinary means of grace, which we all
have at our finger tips. It
especially is wrought in us by the diligent reading of the Bible. By diligent, I mean not only continuing
effort, and devotion, but also thoughtful and reverent, and even prayerful
effort. This is a pondering, meditative reading. It is reading with the intent to allow the Bible to fill our
minds, and to shape our minds. We
read to allow the Bible to shape what we think about, and we read to allow the
Bible to shape the way we think about it.
We read to allow the Bible’s interpretation of the entire scope of
existence to become our interpretation.
This kind of reading transforms and renews our minds, which then
transforms and renews our lives.
Transformation and renewal are a large part of what I mean by spiritual
“healing,” or, healing of the soul.
We know, of course, that the Shepherd of Psalm 23 is none other than our
Lord Jesus Christ. It is He who
leads us. He used similar wording
in John 10, verses 3 and 4, saying He:
his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep he goeth before
them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.”
How does the Good Shepherd lead His sheep? Let me suggest a few ways.
He leadeth us by being “with” us. One of the great passages of Scripture is Matthew
28:19-20. It is often called the
“Great Commission” because there our Lord commissions the Apostles, and through
them, His Church, to “Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in
the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to
observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” Most Christians know these words by heart, and we should. But I have noticed many Christians do
not know the ending of verse 20, which is also the ending of the Gospel of
Matthew. It ends with these words,
“lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Psalm 23 echoes this same promise of
the presence of Christ. “Yea,
though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil:
for thou art with me.” This world
is the valley of the shadow of death.
In the midst of life we are in death” and we are surrounded by those who
are dead in trespasses and sins.
But fear not, for God is with us.
He is present with and He leadeth us even through the valley.
He leadeth us by means of
His Church. Here I am talking
about the organised body of believers with duly ordained clergy and duly
baptized and confirmed members. I
realize there are false professors within the visible Church. I realize there are false
teachers. I realize many
congregations, and even whole denominations have become synagogues of Satan,
but they are not really part of the Church anymore, regardless of what they
call themselves. But, a person who
believes he can be a Christian without also being part of a faithful, organised
Church is fooling himself at best.
Christ is with us and Christ leadeth us to, in, through, and by means of
the Church. The Church belongs to
Him. It is His spiritual body on
earth. He dwells in it. The Bible is given to the Church. The Spirit is given to the Church. Bishops, pastor/teachers and deacons
are given for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, and
for the edification of the body of Christ to minister the word and sacraments
to, in, by, and in the context of the organised Church, (see Eph. 4:11-12, and
1 Tim. 3:1-13). He leadeth His
people by the Church.
He leadeth us by means of His word, which is the Bible. Some theologians try to make a
separation between Christ and the Bible.
They say the Bible is the words of men thinking about God, while Christ
is God revealed to us. Therefore, these
theologian say, we must always follow the spirit of Christ rather than the
letter of the Bible. But this is a
false dichotomy. In reality, God
inspired the Bible in such a way that it is as though it came from the very
mouth of God. In reality, Christ
inhabits the Bible. He speaks to
us by its words. We know Christ,
the Living Word only as He is revealed in the Bible, the written word.
Fourth, He leadeth us by His Holy Spirit. I think it is important to note that the Spirit never leads
us in contradiction to the Bible.
“Holy men spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost,” says 2 Peter
1:21, describing the way these people wrote the Bible. The same Holy Spirit who inspired the
Bible leads us to understand and practice the Bible. He will not move men to write one thing in the Bible, then
lead us into doctrines and practices that contradict what He moved them to
As you can see, I am stating again that God leads us by the still, small
voice of the ordinary means of grace.
Miracles and mountain top experiences are exceedingly rare, and those
who constantly seek them are constantly disappointed. It is through everyday prayers, Bible readings, worship, and
fellowship that God leadeth us.
Lastly, for today, He leadeth us by example. I think this is critically important to
a correct understanding of God, and to a faith that finds healing in the
soul. Leadership by example is the
only way to really lead people.
You can push and force people to do things, but that is coercion, not
leading. It is only by example
that real leadership happens. And
Christ is our Great Example. Hebrews 4:15 says He “was in
all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. That means He had to face life the way we face it. He had no special privileges, no
exemptions. In John 4:6 we see Him
weary. In Matthew 4:2 we see Him hungry.
In John 19:28 He is thirsty.
In Matthew 4 He is tempted.
In Matthew 26:39 He says, “My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto
death. The shortest verse in the
Bible is John 11:35, which simply says, “Jesus wept.” And in John 19:30, Jesus died.
It is important that we understand that Jesus had to live, and die, by
faith, just like us. By faith He
lived without yielding to temptation.
By faith He lived a pure and sinless life. By faith He endured the cross and the grave, being faithful
even unto death. So when He asks
you to resist temptation, He has already resisted. When He asks you to trust God, He has already trusted. If He asks you to forgo pleasures and
indulgences, or to endure hardship in the service of God, He has already
foregone and endured. He leadeth His flock by example. He is our example in a way the ancient
Hebrew Shepherds could never be to their sheep. David, being a man, could never become a sheep. But God, being God, could become a
man. And He did. He leads by becoming one of us. He became a man, lived as a man, and
died as a man. So He is our Great
Example. “He leadeth me.”
Roy Morales-Kuhn, Bishop and Pastor - St. Paul's Anglican
Church - Anglican Orthodox Church
Bishop Roy is pastor of the biggest AOC
parish West of the Mississippi and is in charge of the Diocese of the
Fifth Sunday after Trinity
Proverbs 3: 1 – 7 , 11, 12
y son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my
2 For length of days, and long
life, and peace, shall they add to thee.
3 Let not mercy and truth
forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine
4 So shalt thou find favour and
good understanding in the sight of God and man.
5 Trust in the Lord with all
thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge
him, and he shall direct thy paths.
7 Be not wise in thine own eyes:
fear the Lord, and depart from evil.
11 My son, despise not the
chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of his correction:
12 For whom the Lord loveth he
correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.
In this passage of scripture we can understand why Solomon was
considered the wisest man on
earth. He outlined some
very simple things that we can do, each of us, with or without education, with
or without riches, every single person listening today. Essentially we are to care, to love, to
commit, and to be humble.
Histories are written by the victors; yet we can still learn from written
histories. Biographies, also,
especially a good primary source biography can be invaluable. It can teach us
to avoid mistakes, to use what tools and experiences the subject of the
biography used to get on in life.
If you will notice, there are quite a few biographies in the Bible. They are written with all the warts and
flaws that humans possess, and yet not presented as an ET or Hollywood tabloid,
but for our edification. We can
read the life of a prophet, priest, or king and learn so many lessons from
1. “My son, do not forget my teaching, but
keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and
bring you prosperity.” Was
Solomon giving a false promise here?
No, the prolonging of life, in the sense of good years as opposed to bad
years and the prosperity are both in feeling more than the literal sense. Your quality of life will be better.
love and faithfulness never leave you...he then describes how to not let it
leave you. Bind it on your neck, write it on the tablet of your heart.... DO
NOT forget...ie. Love and faithfulness.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your
own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your
paths straight.” This is one
piece of wisdom is so easy to remember and yet so hard to apply. I think you can look out over the
wrecks of history and see the many man-made religions that have failed to
understand this very simple idea. Lean not on your own understanding..... Why? Because as humans we tend to want to do it our way, we want
to replace God’s wisdom with ours, we
want to be God. Yikes
!! What do I mean by that
? Look at all the failed
attempts to reach God. When man
has been left up to his own devices, he has found all types of ways of reaching
God, all in one form or another based on the WORKS of man, not the gift of God, Jesus Christ. And in all cases, man has failed. But this passage does not leave
us without some promise or hope. “...in all ways acknowledge him, and he will
make your paths straight.”
You think so what ?
Remember when this was written, humans had only a few ways of getting
about. Horse, donkey and cart, or
oxen and wagon, or most commonly...by foot. So any rise in elevation was felt by the walker. “Make your paths straight” would be
such a nice promise. Your way
through life will not have many hills.
Verse 7 is directly attached to verse six. “Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord and shun evil. This
will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.” Again, do not rely on your
wisdom, but on the fear [respect or worshipful attitude towards] God. And the most practical part of the
Wow, that is just too simple.
What does this mean, avoid evil. It really isn’t rocket science. Very simply do not go to places that
promote evil, don’t participate in evil, do anything to avoid it. St. James wrote in chapter 1
verse 13 - 15, that temptation must be avoided, because “...Let no man say when
he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil,
neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of
his own lust, and enticed. Then
when lust hasth conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished,
bringeth for death.” The
rest of his letter is full of practical information on how to avoid evil and
how to overcome the same. Take
some time to read the epistle of St. James.
Let us turn to the last two verses of our Old Testament reading; Here we find in reality a most
comforting concept. Because
we are His, he will discipline us.
Do not despise correction, do not resent his rebuke, because it means we
are loved by the Lord. Just
as a father disciplines his own children so does our Heavenly Father discipline
us. Let us take comfort in his
Let us pray.
LMIGHTY and everlasting
God, in whom we live and move and have our being; we implore thy grace and
protection for the ensuing day. Keep us temperate in all things, and diligent
in our several callings. Grant us patience under our afflictions. Give us grace
to be just and upright in all our dealings; quiet and peaceable; full of
compassion; and ready to do good to all men, according to our abilities and
opportunities. Direct us in all our ways. Defend us from all dangers and
adversities; and be graciously pleased to take us, and all who are dear to us,
under thy fatherly care and protection. These things, and whatever else thou
shalt see to be necessary and convenient to us, we humbly beg, through the
merits and mediation of thy Son Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour.
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.
Fifth Sunday after Trinity
In Proverbs 15 we find the following passages: The sacrifice of the
wicked is an abomination to the LORD... (v.8) The way of the wicked is an
abomination unto the LORD... (v.9) The thoughts of the wicked are an
abomination to the LORD... (v.26). Within these passages, God has made plain
how he views the wicked of this world. The language is crystal clear for in
every verse cited he describes each of their works and ways as an abomination.
The word abomination in Hebrew is transliterated as towebah and refers to
anything that is impure or disgusting.
So what then qualified those people as abominable? In the intervening verses
of Proverbs 15 we are given insights into the character of the wicked. First of
all, they are purveyors of grievous words (v.1) which incite others to anger.
Doubtless you have known people who spend their waking moments seeking to “stir
the pot” as it were. They love to create disharmony. They sow the seeds of
confusion and uncertainty. Some times, they do so as interested spectators—
desiring to witness what will happen. At other times they might seek some
advantage which may arise out of their evil plans and positions. Regardless of
their particular reasons for creating trouble, grievous words are often used by
the wicked to degrade those around them. In an earlier chapter of Proverbs we
are told that there are six things that the LORD hates: yea, seven are an
abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed
innocent blood, an heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift
in running to mischief, a false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth
discord among brethren (6:16-19). Thus three of the six may with surety involve
And God regards the wicked as fools whose mouths poureth out
foolishness (v.2) and the perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit (v.4).
As Matthew Henry once noted, “An evil tongue... wounds the conscience of the
evil speaker, and occasions either guilt or grief to the hearers, and both are
to be reckoned breaches in the spirit. Hard words indeed break no bones, but
many a heart has been broken by them.” We know that foolish and perverse speech
can cause even a faithful believer hardship not only in the hearing of such,
but in its vexation of the soul. St. Peter wrote in his second epistle that
righteous Lot’s soul was vexed daily with the filthy conversation of the wicked
(2:7). That word conversation was translated from the Greek word anastrophe
which may be defined as conduct, manner of life or deportment. So it has to do
with more than simple speech. The conscience of the wicked was described by the
apostle Paul as having been seared with a hot iron (I St. Timothy 4:2). Taken together, these passages describe
the wicked as being souls who are wreaking with filth and devoid of any
consciousness of their true condition.
Proverbs 15 also described these benighted souls as one who despiseth
his father’s instruction (v.5). The scriptures tell us to honor our parents
(Exodus 20:12) and that fathers are to train up their children in the ways of
God (Deuteronomy 6:4-7;20-25). Those who will not heed the warnings of their
parents against sinful behaviors are destined for trouble in this life and
separation from God in the afterlife. In Ezekiel 18:4 the LORD said, Behold,
all souls are mine, as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is
mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die. The prophet was given, in that
entire chapter, to proclaim God’s desire for men to live righteously in him and
reject wickedness. In verses 20-23, the LORD said, The soul that sinneth, it
shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the
father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall
be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him. But if the
wicked will turn from all his sins... and keep all my statutes, and do that
which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. All his
transgressions... shall not be mentioned unto him... Have I any pleasure at all
that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from
his ways and live? God desires that all men come to him and live. But for men
to come, they must first see themselves as sinners and then reject their old
life. They must be renewed by the power of God through the atoning work of his
only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. They must receive the Holy Ghost and be
subject to his influence.
And such is problematic for the wicked as their father the devil (St. John 8:44) will work to prevent them from ever turning
from his camp. Only the cries of those who come to recognize their true state,
and in such call out to God for salvation will God heed and answer. Through the
power of the Holy Ghost, they will be led to Christ. For in their embrace of
him as their Saviour and Lord, they will be saved.
Now, that can be quite a task for the wicked as most see themselves as
having no need for salvation. For them, this life is good enough— for the
moment—and so it is all that they will focus on as their master will present
them with new attractions to keep their hearts and minds away from the good
that God would have them experience not only in this time, but throughout
E. M. Bounds once observed that, “The world is the Devil’s heaven. Its
rest, crown, and reward are here. When the world comes in, God’s heaven goes
out. It fades from the eye and heart. The struggle for it ends, and God’s
heaven, with its fadeless and eternal glories, is lost... The world is Satan’s
place. His power is here. To fix our hearts on the world is to be loyal to him.
To fix our hearts on heaven is to be loyal to Christ. Here we have the reason
for the world’s cruel hatred of Jesus, and why it has so bitterly persecuted
His followers (Guide To Spiritual Warfare, p. 75).”
God also tells us that while the righteous will have much treasure, the
wicked will have, the revenues... of ... trouble (v.6). The wicked are inviting
trouble to come to them through their bad behavior. The Devil’s only interest
in them is purely utilitarian. He will put up with selected ones for a time
provided they conform to his wishes. But in the end, he will use them up and
cast them away. He has only hatred for mankind. As our Lord said, The thief
cometh not but for to steal, to kill, and to destroy (St. John 10:10). The greatest stealer of men’s souls is the
And because, the heart of the foolish does not spread abroad the true
knowledge of God (v.7), the wicked and foolish person will not have his
sacrifice accepted by the LORD. In that regard, consider the words of Matthew
Henry who said, “A foolish head and a filthy heart make persons easy prey to
seducers.” The same father of seducers is the father of lies and of every evil
thing. The Devil will pollute the worship of God through his willing minions
within the body of Christ. He will direct their efforts to make every offering
an affront to God; every prayer an occasion for false piety; every profession
of faith, a finger in the eye of the Creator. He will foster arrogance in place
of humility before God. He will encourage excesses of every sort: from overzealousness
in public worship to extravagance in church expenditures which elevate those in
charge of worship and feed their lusts for power and wealth. He will inspire
those who have not been called of God into his ministry, to seek positions
within the church in contradistinction to those doctrines which have been set
forth in Scripture. Is it any wonder why the LORD then inspired Solomon to pen:
The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD (v.8)?
All ministers of the gospel have a God-given duty to proclaim and
defend the truths of Scripture. If we are not teaching sound doctrine, we will
not be that salt and light which our Lord spoke of in the gospels. We are
called to set forth God's word written and not restate it in terms which take
away its true meaning, or pad its impact upon our congregations. On numerous
occasions prior to my being called into the ministry I witnessed ministers take
the very texts of the Scripture and turn them on their heads in order to
support their jaded and godless views. It seemed as if I was watching a segment
of the Twilight Zone as the narrator presents the prologue: “Consider for your
approval pastor A. Now pastor A does not believe in the sanctity of human life.
He does not believe in the Bible as God's true and inspired word without error.
He does not believe in the risen Christ. But here he is every Sunday, bearing
all the vestiges of a minister, taking his salary as a minister but not truly
serving as a minister because he is not truly in Christ. He is, therefore, a
hireling and a fraud. In short, he is of the wicked and an apostate of Satan.”
And so it follows that if the offerings and sacrifices of the wicked
are an abomination to the LORD then so are the ways and thoughts of the wicked
(v.26). It is from such persons that we are admonished to beware and to turn
away from them (Ephesians
5:11; II St. Timothy 3:1-5; II St. Peter 3:17). We are not to have fellowship with them ( I Corinthians 5:13; II
Corinthians 6:14-18; St. Jude 3-19).
As members of the body of Christ, we have been called out of darkness
into the light of our Lord. We are to proclaim the truth of Jesus Christ to
all. If they will listen and respond by accepting him as their Saviour and
Lord, then they are to be baptized and receive the Holy Ghost. They are then,
to paraphrase our prayer book, members incorporate in the mystical body of
God’s only begotten Son. If they will not accept and believe on him, they are
castaways— lost to the evil one and to the fires of perdition. Scripture was given
of God to teach us about the things of this life that we might better avoid
those who are subject to Satan and ministers of his will. Our daily walk and
work in the Lord may bring us from time to time in contact with the wicked so
we ought to properly discern what God would have us do so that we are not led
astray by their errors. Purpose in your hearts today to follow God’s truth as
expressed within the pages of Scripture and reject the unfruitful works of
ather, protect and guide us into all truth, that
we might better serve thee in these days of darkness and confusion; for this we
ask in the name of him who came to seek and save the lost, even our Saviour,
Jesus Christ. Amen.
Have a blessed week, Bryan+
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