Verse of the Day

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Fifth Sunday after Easter, commonly called Rogation Sunday, and Mothers Day

The entire AOC Sunday Report is RIGHT HERE!

On Mothers
On this Mother’s Day, it is very easy for us to look back at our mother’s life and think of all the   We like, it is all about our mother and what she did for us.  The pivotal thought seems to be us.  It is not about us, our / us is merely an adjective to describe a particular mother.  For motherhood is about self-sacrifice.  Putting the child’s welfare above that of the mother.
things we like about our mother.

The love of the mother for her children comes with a price; yet the price paid is not without return.   The last words of almost all soldiers who die in battle are either “Mom” or “Jesus.”  There is a lesson all in of itself.

What did your mom chose?  An extra child or an extra home or trailer?  Your schooling, or her vacation without you?  Dental work for you or a new car for her?  Shoes for you or a fancy dress for her?

Jesus commanded us to follow Him, He who put our lives before His.  Who on this earth does this more consistently than mothers?

Saint James tells us in his Epistle, “Be ye doers of the word and not hearers only.” Who on this earth does this more consistently than mothers?

As Christians we need to uphold and recognize the example of sacrifice in motherhood so that we might understand the sacrifice made by God on our behalf in Jesus’ death for our sin.

Bishop Ogles’ Sermon
Bishop Jerry is on travel today visiting a very very sick dear friend Herb McCormick; pray for safe travel for him and God to work through him in Herb.

Sermon – Reverend Jack Arnold - Time and Action
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.  

We are in the Easter Season which consists of Easter and the following four Sundays, until we get to Rogation Sunday.  This is a time we should work on centering our lives on the central figure in our religion, Jesus Christ. 

Consider these words from the Collect:

… by thy holy inspiration we may think those things that are good, and by thy merciful guiding may perform the same …

As we near the Ascension and thus Pentecost and the arrival of the Holy Ghost, we ask for God’s “holy inspiration we may think those things that are good”, that is to say help from the Holy Ghost so we might direct our souls to the things we cannot see as good without His Help.   Once we see them, we need His “merciful guiding may perform the same…”.  After all, what good is it to know what we should do, if we won’t, can’t or don’t do it?

That brings us right to Saint James’ point, we gain our salvation through the freely given gift of Grace by our Lord Jesus Christ.   Once given, it must be accepted.  If we truly accept the gift, it will be evident in our actions.  Our actions should reflect that we are a hearer and a doer of the Word, and not just a hearer only. If you are going to be a Christian, the key is right there – BE.  Being requires action, not just diction.  Many can talk the talk, but will they walk the walk too? Being a Christian requires doing both, which may be very difficult sometimes, but it must be done. It is the only way that we will have salvation, through Christ, but yet we must be with Him, by acting for Him. If you are going to be a Christian, what you say is of little import to what you DO.  Do your actions reflect God’s image or that of the other guy?  Who do you put first?  Pretty basic questions that often we don’t like the answer to. But they must be answered nevertheless, all the same. 

We must align our lives to be able to show people that we do follow Christ. There are too many people that claim to be Christians, that are not, because their lives do not reflect their stated belief. We must not let this happen. We must show the truth of John 14:6  “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

Without Christs’ guiding light, we are not on the path to holiness and righteousness. We must show this in our lives, by living and breathing His Word, and using His Word to guide us throughout our lives. This is important to our souls for our spiritual health, and as well as our physical health too. We need all the Help of the Holy Ghost to keep us on this path. How do we keep on this path?

We find a lot of help in John’s words, he give us insight into things that none of the other disciples do.  We need help.  We pray for help. Pray for help that we might act, and that is how we keep on the straight, narrow and uphill path.  So, what about prayer?  Let’s start with who do we pray to? 

Jesus is pretty clear.  Don’t pray to Him, pray to God.  Feel free to use His Name.  Pray to God in His Name.  In effect, we are CC’ing (Carbon copying, to use an electronic mail (email) term.) Jesus in our prayers. We are not to put Him in the To: line, but the CC line. Not addressing Him directly, but to address God directly with Jesus copied, as it were. He tells us God loves us because we love Jesus.   But, pray to God. I think that not many people have ever understood this part of scripture, as I have heard people pray to Jesus when he is not the correct person to address your prayers to. He specifically tells us to direct the prayers to His Father, who can better help us.

If that is the case, seems like it pretty much rules out praying to Saint Bob, does it not? If we can’t pray to Jesus, why would we be praying to a Saint,, we be praying to a  human, who we may or may not put any trust in. But if we pray to God, we can be certain that he will answer us, and even if we don’t like the answer, we know that is the course we will have to take. It doesn’t matter if we like God’s answer or not, we still have to listen to it, and do it anyway, knowing it will be the right path in the end. We will always have some sort of a struggle with this in our lives, but if we turn to God, He will help us win our struggle. 

We have to realize what we truly need and ask that He will open our hearts, minds and souls to His answer, that we might act upon His answer. The critical portion is that we act upon the answer that we are given, to do our best for Him and that our friends, family and coworkers and neighbors might see the light we shine for Him. We must show others not just through our words, but through our actions that we truly belong to Christs’ flock. We must show great love for our fellow man, even to the point of death, through our actions, to reflect Christs’ love for us, that He too loved us even to the point of death.

So, pray to God, ask for what you want in Jesus Name.  He always listens and He always delivers.  The problem for us is that what He delivers is what we need, not necessarily what we want. Our wants and our needs are different, they are almost always never the same. But we should want what we need, and God will help us understand that, if we be a doer and a hearer of His Word. He will always give us what we need, but will we listen to what He wants us to do?

Need and want, they are both four letter words, oft used interchangeably, which do not mean the same thing.

God’s Will is always done, we just don’t understand.  Accept what happens as acceptable, so long as you have done all you can.  In the end, all that counts is where you go when you leave here.  That depends on your actions in following Jesus’ instructions.  If you believe, you are safe.  Now and forever.

Ø  Talk the Talk;
Ø  Walk the Walk.

It is 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

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