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of the Faithful Centurion - Descanso, California
Today’s sermon ties
together the propers, that is to say the prayer and readings for this week.
Consider these words from the Collect:
… God, who
dost govern all things in heaven and earth; Mercifully hear the supplications
of thy people, and grant us thy peace all the days of our life …
the Collect, first we acknowledge God’s place in the universe, that is He is
the ultimate ruler of all
the civil authorities of each country, state, county and locality govern with
His Authority, so long as they do His Will, whether they be Christian or not.
Our Constitution, which serves as the
skeleton or foundation of all our laws gets its authority from the Declaration
Where, pray tell, does
the Declaration of Independence get its authority?
Acknowledged right there in
It needs no explanation,
merely a grade school reading ability!
We go on to ask God to listen to us and give us His peace in our
God is perfect.
His hearing is perfect.
It is not His hearin
He hears us clearly when we pray,
God always hears us when we call Him.
This Collect is really to remind us that when we pray to Him, we need to
listen to Him. It is our hearing which is need of help, not His and the help we
need can only come from Him!
we ask Him what to do, when He tells us what He wants us to do, it is not what
we want, so we don’t hear.
there are none so deaf as those who will not hear.
So, the question is not, Does God hear our supplication?
Rather the question is, Do we hear
His answer and abide by it?
listen when His answer is not what we want, but what we need? We think He
doesn’t answer, but that is often because we are deaf to His answer through our
own condition of being poor, sinful creatures who need His Forgiveness and
Guidance desperately. What we really need to do is stop our wanting thoughts
and to listen to what we need, His Guidance. We need to be still and listen to
His answers and not just go off and do what we want. Instead we need to hear
what He wants us to do and act upon it. Too often we just do not bother to
listen to that voice that tells us Gods will and run off and follow our own
devices and desires and get into trouble.
g that is in need of
of doing that, we need to truly listen and take His Guidance to heart. We need
His Guidance to stop the evilness which lies within ourselves and to control
it, to mitigate it, so that we can do good things for Him. Without His
Guidance, we cannot ever hope to be good and righteous. To do that, we must
open our hearts and minds; and let Him in. He will not force His way in.
It takes action on our part to let Him
If we open our hearts and minds,
then we will hear Him. Will we let him in to our hearts for this to happen? It
has to start with us letting Him in, and then we will hear His answer loud and
That describes the purpose and
function of the Holy Ghost, that Third God Guy.
He is there, always there, we merely need to let Him in!
Without Him, Scripture is so much
foolishness, with His Insight, it is perfectly clear.
all have some talent; each has something they do better than others.
Paul reminds us for the church, or any
organization for that matter, to succeed, we must do what needs to be done,
working hard, honestly, cheerfully, looking for no public praise, being kind to
Everybody needs to utilize their
talents according to the needs of the church, not somebody else’s talents, but
their talents. Each and every one of us has a talent of some sort, be it
musically, talking (being good with communication), sweeping, taking out the
trash, there is no end to the need. Almost anything else can be used for His
Glory, to further His Work, His Goals, is a talent. Each and everyone has a
unique talent and or gift that can be used to further His Will on Earth.
Sometimes, we fail to remember for the team to be successful, each person needs
to do the job they do best to the best of their ability; not necessarily the
one they like best the way they want to do it at the pace they enjoy.
It is not good enough to just say you are
doing your best when you are actually doing your half, quarter or not at all
best, but full “best” ahead as it were! The reward of a job well done in and of
itself should be sufficient.
you did your best is what really counts, not just getting recognition from
others, but the satisfaction in your heart of knowing that with God’s Help you
accomplished a large task, is one of the best feelings in the world.
It does not matter to God who gets the credit,
what matters to Him is we get the job done and to do it right! We should not be
giving of ourselves to God, so that we can get praise and recognition.
That is not giving; it is selling. And that
would not be truly giving from the heart as is God’s desire.
That would be using the talents He loaned to
us for our own wants and ends, which would not be becoming of the Christians we
are called to be, the New Men we are called to be. If we get praise and
recognition as a result of our actions, then it is fine, as long as we keep in
mind why we performed our actions and who helped us.
the same time, though we should not look for praise for our own work (though we
may appreciate it, we should not dwell on it too long, lest we have to start
shopping for size fourteen hats for our swollen heads!), we should look for
reasons to praise and encourage others.
We need to recognize hard work, sacrifice, thoughtfulness and talent in
others, remark on it and praise the use thereof!
That which is rewarded most is that which
grows best. Reward the good, so that we may reap the goodness of our works!
at John the Baptist, out in the wilderness; not in the fancy building, the gold-plated
temple, but out where he could prepare straight the way for the Lord.
Smoothing the path so to speak, making ready
the hearts and souls of the people for the coming of the Lord.
He did not point at himself, rather he
pointed the way towards God incarnate
By the way,
how necessary is praise to miserable human beings?
God Himself, looking on His Son’s baptism
remarked for all to hear, “Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
How oft do
we praise the actions of others?
often we are quick to criticize the failings of others and over analyze their
failings. Sometimes when we think of people we know, all we can think of is
their failings and forget everyone has their good parts as well, for each of us
has been created by God. It is in our nature, part of our human nature, our
free will condition that we must fight against with His help. We must
understand while it is valuable to know when we fall short, people strive the
most for praise of those whose opinion they value.
hear those words, “Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased,”
remember to use them yourself.
others to God, don’t just point the way.
Be of God - Live of God - Act of God
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