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Sermon – Reverend Jack Arnold - Time
Church of the Faithful Centurion
Today’s sermon brought
the Collect, Epistle and Gospel together and is partly contained in the
these words from the Collect:
… Give us
grace to use such abstinence, that, our flesh being subdued to the Spirit we
may ever obey thy godly motions in righteousness, and true holiness, to thy
honour and glory …
Collect, we ask God to help us to subdue our natural evil tendencies so that we
can live life here His way and honour His wishes so we can be truly happy.
Without His help, we end up with what we
want, not what we need. We are asking him to help us fight our human nature and
follow His divine nature, we are attempting to replace our nature with that of
God’s. It will be a long and difficult road that we must travel, doing this,
but we are going to be much happier in the long run if we at least try. Do or do not, there is no try
, Yoda is
quoted as saying, and I have found it applicable here and in my own life. We
have to act, not just say we are going to act, but we have to actually
physically perform ACTIONS!
; two words, used interchangeably in both our speech and
thought that do not mean the same thing.
Think about that!
the thought of the Collect, Paul asks us to be worthy of the grace God has
He tells the people when they
needed him, he was there.
They need to
be there for those around them.
must not frustrate God’s work by showing up late, or not at all. It goes back
to Jesus’ saying, No man can serve two
. We have to decide whom we are to serve, God or the Devil, and then
act on it. The only clear choice for us is to serve God of course. Paul is
advising people that they can’t simply hold a position between the two, for
there is no middle ground here. We have be on one side or the other.
We have to
put in our 110% for Him, as He sent His Son to die for us and redeem us, so we
should truly show our gratitude for His act, by serving others and performing
actions for Him, with His Help.
largely outnumbered in this world, by the enemies of God.
We are like many of our servicemen in many of
the battles that they have fought our our nation, fiercely outnumbered by the
enemy, they did not just sit on their hands and wait for the enemy to come.
about it, otherwise they would be overrun by the enemy. It goes along with the
saying, The best defense is a good
. So, too, is it in this hostile world. While spreading the Word we
need to be always going on the offense, spreading it to those who have not
heard it. We have to always keep moving, or else we will be overrun by the
Forces of Satan. We have to do this by doing actions that are consistent with
His Word and show that we truly believe in Him and not just say we do.
around us are watching our actions in the time of testing.
God is also watching us in the time of
testing to see how we perform with the talents He has given us. He is not
testing us per se, but is evaluating our performance under pressure. Make no
mistake it is a hard battle we are fighting, against the forces of wickedness, of
the Devil, all across the globe. Our actions will show whom we truly serve, the
forces of God, or the Forces of Satan. Which side will you serve? You in the
end have to choose one side or another. Pick the winning side now, which is the
Forces of God, and you will have a rich everlasting life. The key to winning
this battle for souls is to never ever ever give up and to trust in God and
been given eternal salvation by Jesus’ sacrifice, the understanding of the
Gospel by the Holy Ghost.
We are at this
time dying here on earth, yet progressing towards eternal life in the next
world, in Jesus’ World, with His help. While we may never be wealthy here on
earth, our actions can make our fellow Christians wealthy in spirit beyond
claim to be a Christian, you know what is right.
If you are a Christian, you do what is right,
you don’t take a vote to see what the right course of action may be. Doing what
is right does not depend on public opinion and we must do the right thing. In
fact the public opinion often times is rather in the wrong; see people’s
opinions on homosexual marriage and abortion to understand this. We will be
despised because of the opinions we hold from understanding the Gospel and His
Message, from being on the side of righteousness. This is because people who do
not want to hear our message will choose to hear something else, that was not
intended by the message. They will claim we are bigots and hateful people, when
we are nothing of the sort.
All we wish
is for these individuals to repent of their sinful ways and turn back to
There is nothing hateful about
that. However, it goes back to There are
none so blind as will not see and none so deaf as will not hear
We must go
especially against the grain to become Christians. The truth does not change,
as it is the constant that never changes. God is the Truth, The Word and the
Life of this universe. The Truth is God, and like God, the Truth never changes.
It is our actions that count, in good
times or bad.
We are Christ’s
ambassadors to this world; unfortunately, we do not have diplomatic immunity.
the Devil attempted to tempt Christ, he shows how little he knows of Him.
If we emulate our Lord, it shows how little
the Devil will be able to tempt us with his deceit. If we follow Him we will be
able to withstand any temptation that arises as our Lord showed for us in the
desert 2,000 years ago.
Consider how little the Devil
really offers you and how much Christ offers, the temptation is ever so much
less. The Devil is often referred to as
the dDeceiver or Dissimulator. His forte
is deception, he seems one thing, is another.
He offers what he has no intention or ability to deliver. He actually
has zero ability to deliver on his large promises, he has no right to give away
what is not his! He ignores the
inevitable result of accepting his proffered help or inside track. Jesus has more
for us than the Devil can ever hope to offer, the promise of eternal life with
Him and His Father. The Devil can never offer us anything close to that. We
have to remember this next time the Deciever comes and tempts us for earthly
riches and treasures. We also have to remember that mammon cannot make us
happy, only serving God can make us truly happy. Mammon might offer a fun
factor; only serving God can have the true happiness and bliss that comes from
The Devil clearly knows
Jesus is the Son of God. There is no
doubt in his mind. So, having understood
that, consider what he offers Jesus in temptation.
Remember, Jesus has fasted
40 days OF HIS OWN CHOICE; now comes the devil daring Him to show His Power by
turning the stone into bread. This to
the Son of He who delivered manna daily to the Jews in the wilderness for 40
Cast thyself down and let angels catch thee
this to He who walked on water.
to the mountain lookout – Here is it all
yours if you worship me
This to He
who as it says in Psalm 95:
his hand are all the corners of the earth; * and the strength of the hills is
sea is his, and he made it; * and his hands prepared the dry land.
come, let us worship and fall down, * and kneel before the Lord our Maker.
he is the Lord our God; * and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep
of his hand.
devil promised Jesus nothing that was his to give, nothing that would help
Jesus in the real world beyond the Shadowlands.
He never does.
The devil is all
Remember, if the
shortcut was the best way, it would not be a shortcut
temptation of Jesus is no different than the Devil’s attempt to tempt us!
The Devil never delivers what we need, only
what we, in our imperfect want.
understand what we really need, he only knows what we want. This is an
advantage we have over him. We understand what we truly want, if we remember
it, then holding off against the temptations is easier. Remember as little as the Devil
understands of Christ, the same way, as we are in God, so he understands little
of us. He will never offer you real
help. Remember that and the temptation
is ever so much less.
Or, as my grandfather said,
“Keep your eye on the donut, not on the hole”
but one way to heaven.
to find, easy to follow, easy to hike path does not lead to the summit where
eternal life in the real world awaits.
Open your heart to the Holy Ghost, use His Power to follow our Lord to
God who awaits in heaven.
The time is
now, not tomorrow.
The time has come,
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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