Verse of the Day

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Fifth Sunday after Trinity

If you enjoy this, the entire AOC Sunday Report is RIGHT HERE!

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.

Consider these words from the Collect:

… 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:

1.     We 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.

2.     We 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. Every time we do what we want to do instead of what God wants us to do, we fail. But when we do what God wants us to do, we succeed! 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. When Peter speaks of being of one mind, he is speaking of the one mind we will have when we follow the instructions of the Holy Ghost. He is saying we need to have the one mindedness of Christ, to act as Christ would act. That means putting away our old selfish minds and putting on the new one mind of Christ. The Holy Ghost will help us to have this one mind.

We have to start first with ourselves and allow the Holy Ghost into our hearts to transform us. After we are transformed by the Holy Ghost, only then can we truly be able to help others. Then we can truly act with the one mind that Peter speaks about. It will not happen right away, but it is a steady and continuous process, in fact taking most of our lifetime here on earth. But while we are being transformed, we can do our best to help others. But we must realize that it is only through God we can help others, and not to us only. 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 it too. As they say, actions speak louder than words. And to paraphrase Scripture, where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. To understand where a persons’ heart is, look at their actions and not just their words. Words do not mean much unless they are backed up by actions. We need to perform good actions, with the help of the Holy Ghost, to show that we truly believe.

So, just how do we make good things happen?  Fairly simple, do what God asks! Follow the Summary of the Law and all shall be well in one’s life. Every moral law hangs off of the Summary of the Law “Love your God with all your heart soul and your mind, and Love thy Neighbor as thyself.”. These two commandments are all where the Ten Commandments originate and thus what all the moral laws of the universe are governed by. They are the ultimate benchmark for us, which we should try and do our best to meet. They are truly what we should be judging our own actions against. 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

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Fourth Sunday after Trinity

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 Collect:

protector of all that trust in thee, without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy; Increase and multiply upon us thy mercy; that, thou being our ruler and guide, we may so pass through things temporal, that we finally lose not the things eternal

We desperately need God’s Help, yet paradoxically, God can only help us if we put our trust in Him, we can never be strong, nor set aside to Him, if we do not let Him be our leader.  No one can be their own leader, no one.  Each of us, no matter our position, must have a immutable directional reference or we become hopelessly lost.  For navigation, we have a magnetic compass or better yet the Pole Star, Polaris, which will tell us True North so we can keep headed in the right direction.  People have died of starvation in a closely wooded area less than a mile across because they became lost while following their own sense of direction.  By definition, they were always less than 3,000 feet from safety, yet they died after many days.  So it is with our spirits.

Like Peter, if we are separated from Christ, then we too shall become lost. But if we have the Holy Ghost, we are not separated from God and Chirst and will thus become stronger. So if we have the Holy Ghost in our heart, he will both strengthen us and help us to holy, that is set aside. He can also help us be merciful to other people. We just need to listen to what the Holy Ghost says and act upon it. 

We need a leader to follow. We cannot be our own leaders. If we try to become our own leaders, it will not work. But if we will follow His lead, we will pass through this world in good order and go on to the next in eternal happiness. This is a very common theme within Scripture, do what God asks, be happy. Don’t do what God asks, don’t be happy. It seems simple enough in theory, but a lot harder in practice. It is a lot easier said or thought about than done.   We want to do what we want to have fun, God wants us to do what we need to do to be happy.  Fun and Happy do not mean the same thing, sometimes, actually oft times, used interchangeably, their meaning is orders of magnitude different.

God is the only one who we should be concerned about, if we follow Him, then those who really matter will like us for who we are and how we conduct ourselves while following God and those who don’t are of no concern. Do what is right, avoid what is wrong and you will be happy is a basic principle of the Christian faith.

Paul builds on this, telling us that walking God’s path, though it may seem hard at the time, is nothing compared to the reward we receive in heaven for following God’s will. Let us think about that the next time we are struggling with an issue, whatever it may be.  In the end, our reward will outweigh all of our struggles, if we will but keep our eye on the true prize.  Our struggles here on Earth in the eternal view will not be as big as what our eternal reward will be, if we but stay the course that God has set for us. God gave us free will, which if we exercise it properly, that is the will to overcome temptation.  What at first seems like a constrained way of living, once actually lived is really perfect freedom. It only seems constrained, because we cannot conceive how following His Word will allow us true freedom.  If we overcome temptation to do what we want and do what God wants, we will receive the gift of eternal salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.  For until Christ, there was no delivery from the pain of worldly existence; through Christ there is redemption of our souls and our resulting bodily resurrection. This is the great gift that Christ has given us, the redemption of our souls and our entry into Heaven, by his sacrifice made once for all time, He secured our entrance into heaven. This is a gift that we should always be thankful for.

Luke presents a simple message, yet one that is often misunderstood, with majestic language which brings the message to a point of incredible sharpness.  We are to be a guide to others to Christ, yet we cannot help others until our own problems are on the way to “solvation”, that is being solved through the salvation offered by Christ.  We need to follow Him, before we ask others to follow us.  After all, if we are not going in the right direction, what positive value is there in others following us?  We do not want to be leading others towards The Pit, rather, we want to be sure we are on the right path before we guide others along the path. We should be pathfinders, finding the correct path to travel on the journey of life! We must be honest in our appraisal of ourselves so we can do what we are supposed to. We also must not judge unrighteously, but judge with righteous judgment through the Holy Ghost. This means not judging others for sins yourself are committing, but are ignoring for the sake of “judging” your neighbors”, or to put it simply without the Holy Ghost, all of our judgments are unrighteous. This is what Christ was talking about, and after it, condemn not, lest ye be condemned.  When he said use righteous judgement, he was talking about judging people’s behavior by the standards of Scripture, not condemnation. He was talking about using the Scriptures as the standard for judging individual’s behavior. He does not mean us to condemn others. This is connected with the parable of the mote. Often times when we are tempted to condemn somebody, we often ignore our own failures and focus on theirs. Let us get our act together first, before we help others. So, how can we, imperfect as we are, be honest with ourselves?  The answer is easy, hard to implement, but easy!  The Holy Ghost!  Let Him into your heart and do what you are told.  Simple, yet hard to do.  We want to do what we want to do. But yet, it is what must be done, no matter how hard it seems at the time. It will get easier as we do it, but it will never be truly easy. But it is way easier than the alternative, which is not following God’s Word.

Speaking of doing, what we do to others is a good measure of how we follow God’s Will and Direction.  We are expected to treat others as we would be treated.  Our real earthly fortune, as well as are eternal lives, are a reflection of our commitment to God.

We are so ready to condemn the performance of others when our own is even worse.  It is common within all of us, especially me particularly. As Paul tells us, “all fall short.”  The operative word here is ALL.  If we look to condemn and repair our own spiritual lives before condemning others, we will be better suited to help them.  Our beam before their mote.

For only when we have taken care of our own spiritual health by looking to God for help to evaluate and improve how we follow His Word, we will be able to effectively spread the Word of His love for us.

And that is our job, to improve ourselves to effectively spread His Word by example; our action, not our diction, is the measure.

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

Fathers Day

Fathers Day
Today is a day set aside to remember and pray for our fathers, those who are with us and those who have gone before us and brought us to this point in our lives.

Fathers Day is a day we celebrate the role of fathers in our lives.  It is normally a day of joy and congratulations, maybe a little sadness as we remember those of our fathers who have gone before us.  But, it is more than that, it is a reminder of what a father’s role should be.  Scripture puts the father at the head of the family, not as a dictator, but using Jesus for as an example, to give his all for his family; up to and including his earthly life if needed.  Done right, it is not easy; not done right it is not acceptable.  It is a special responsibility.  A father is to be the spiritual head of the family, a provider of both spiritual and earthly needs, the protector, commander, president, judge and most of all - the leader.  To lead, you must be ahead of those you lead.  Lead means, follow me; not, head that way.  A father must live his life for his family.  The role comes with privileges, but the privileges are granted only to those who fulfill the responsibilities.  Those responsibilities are awesome, but the rewards incredible.  Yet, as a father, I assure you, in the words of Paul, we all fall short.  But that does not mean we should give up, but rather we must redouble our efforts.

I share with you a poem in a Fathers Day card I received.  I can tell you I have fallen short, but it is clear from the card what I must do in the coming year:

Only A Dad
Edgar A. Guest[1]

Only a dad with a tired face,
Coming home from the daily race,
Bringing little of gold or fame
To show how well he has played the game;
But glad in his heart that his own rejoice
To see him come and to hear his voice.

Only a dad with a brood of four,
One of ten million men or more
Plodding along in the daily strife,
Bearing the whips and the scorns of life,
With never a whimper of pain or hate,
For the sake of those who at home await.

Only a dad, neither rich nor proud,
Merely one of the surging crowd,
Toiling, striving from day to day,
Facing whatever may come his way,
Silent whenever the harsh condemn,
And bearing it all for the love of them.

Only a dad but he gives his all,
To smooth the way for his children small,
Doing with courage stern and grim
The deeds that his father did for him.
This is the line that for him I pen:
Only a dad, but the best of men.

From the book "A Heap o' Livin'" ©1916

When we remember our fathers, we remember not only those who brought us into this world, but also those who have gone before.  We stand here in the present only on the shoulders of those whose actions and leadership got us here.  As fathers we know we are not perfect, nor were our fathers, nor theirs.  For the sins of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation. (Exodus 34.7) We need be mindful of that when we live our lives.  We serve as a model for our children and grandchildren, as well as others who see our lives.  Living as a father gives one greater tolerance for the errors of their fathers and an appreciation for the pressure they were under.  One can only marvel at the job they did.

ay God grant each father the strength to live their life in a manner consistent with our duty as a father, husband, brother; and to fulfill the promise we made to God and Family when we accepted the role as a father.  We, each of, us fall short, but ask God’s help to meet the challenge, all this we ask in the Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Amen

God • Honor • Country • Family

[1] Edgar A. Guest – 20 August 1881 – 5 August 1959
Born in Birmingham, England. He and his family moved to the United States in 1891. He worked at the Detroit Free Press in Detroit, Michigan. He started there as a copy boy then as a reporter. He had a radio show and a television series. Guest has written 11,000 poems. His sentimental and optimistic poetry are inspiring and enjoyable to read.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Third Sunday after Trinity

If you enjoy this, the entire AOC Sunday Report is RIGHT HERE!

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.

Consider these words from the Collect:

hear us; and grant that we, to whom thou hast given an hearty desire to pray, may, by thy mighty aid, be defended and comforted in all dangers and adversities

The Collect starts as they often do by asking God to hear us.  It seems to me that this is rather odd a thing to ask as He hears us all the time; the problem is that when we need His Help we so rarely ask, then when He answers, we will not hear Him.  That being said, when we do accept the Holy Ghost’s Help to pray, we can expect to receive spiritual, mental and physical comfort from God.  But, as the old radio talk show personality Bruce Williams was fond of saying, “If you don’t ask, you don’t get.”  So, ask. And don’t be afraid to ask, as God can help us with whatever difficulties we happen to be facing. No problem is too big for God to solve in our lives. We are talking about the same God who parted the waters of the Red Sea, who inflicited the 12 plagues on the Egyptians, who took Abraham and made him the patriarch of a great nation, whose Son rose up from the dead. With all of these deeds and many more that He has done, do you think your problems are too big for Him to handle? I do not think so! We just have to trust in Him that He can and will help us. We just have to let him into our hearts, souls and minds and gives us the guidance that we need to carry out actions for Him on this Earth.

When we ask for help and get it, we get great results.  But, when we get those results, who should really get the credit?  As Peter tells us in his epistle, we should not spend or time being proud of what we have been given, rather we should use those gifts to the benefit of those around us. God should be the one who gets the credit, it is all His doing in the end and not ours. We have been given His Grace and Inspiration, and all of our talents are sourced from Him, who is our creator. It is wasteful of our talent to be bragging about it, but to effectively use our talents, we should use it to further God’s work here on Earth instead of focusing on ourselves. This is what He wants for us, to paraphrase the Great Commission, to carry out the Word to all Nations and Baptize all of them who would believe on His Son Jesus, in Jesus’ Name. He will give us the needed guidance and talents to carry out this magnificent task. He gives us these talents so that this task will be accomplished. They are not for our own personal gain, but to be used to glorify Him who created us. This is a far more glorious task than using the talents for our own self serving purposes.

When we have troubles, we should bring them to God and ask Him to carry our concerns and worries so that we might tend to the tasks set before us.  We cannot do this mission alone, we desperately need His help at all times, which is something everybody struggles with. But fortunately for us we have the Church as our wonderful support system, the Body of Christ, to give us assistance here on Earth. And we also have the assistance of the Holy Spirit to guide us and inspire us in our actions.

However before we can get his help, we must first ask for his help and be willing to listen to Him. Often times He answers and we do not hear, due to our selfishness, we must clear our ears and be able and willing to listen to His response to us. That is critical if we are to follow the principles our Lord has set forth for us. The biggest message in the Bible, which repeats, is that actions have more meaning than mere words. We must try to have our actions fit our words of belief.

We must pay attention to the world around us and take care not to fall prey to the devil, for he is constantly looking for ways to help us drift off our path towards heaven.  We must keep situational awareness at all times, so we do not fall into any of his traps that he has laid out for us. You must understand that other Christians come from the same pool you do, humanity, they have the same frailties and problems you do. We all are the sinful creatures in the pattern of Adam. The word pictures painted of “your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” is both vivid and true!  It is not enough to just not follow the devil and look to him for help.  We must actively turn away his so called help and look to God for Guidance, Help and Comfort. We must fight our evil nature which would lead us towards the side of the devil and to follow the voice of our Creator, of His Son Jesus, by the guidance of the Holy Spirit and stand fast in His Word.

Hang in there and do your very best, God will take care of you in the end.  There are none so poor as cannot purchase a noble death.  Never ever forget that. 

Trust in God and dread naught. For there are sufficient evils to the day thereof, as Christ said (Matthew 6:34 KJV). There will always be a form of evil in the world, because of our nature, but we will also have the goodness of Christ within us, through the Holy Spirit, to withstand that temptation in the times of trial. That is a great comfort we always will have, and also it will be easier to bear these trials, knowing that Christ has prepared a place for us in His Father’s House.

When Saint Luke tells that Jesus not only talked to “sinners” but broke bread and ate with them, he related a story that was a particular concern to the Pharisees.  They were quite appalled that those who were particularly sinners in their very qualified eyes were attracted to Jesus.  They knew a sinner when they saw one (except in the mirror) and were quite certain sinners would never get in to heaven.  But, not only did Jesus appeal to the sinners, He even talked to them.  My goodness, He went so far as to break bread with them and engage them in conversation at meat!  We should not be like the Pharisees and make a proud and loud show of how we are better than anybody else (not true, some of us are less worse than others but none better), and act “superior” to the modern day Gentiles, the non-believers. If we act like that, we give Christianity a bad name. It does not need any more help getting a bad name, with the lies of Satan spreading around the world, so let us act in the manner that Christ would have us act and show the world the light of Christ.

This really bothered the the Pharisees who thought they knew everything there was to know about the Law. They counted upon the Law saving them. They were wrong, as it is Our Lord Jesus who saves, and the fact he talks and engages the sinners, meant that He cares for each person in this World deeply, and loves them enough to die for them. All they have to do is accept Him and follow Him. The Pharisees just could not grasp this.

With a clear view of the inner most thoughts of their hearts, Jesus the Pharisees the story of the shepherd who loses a sheep and searches for it.  When he finds it he carries it back to the flock on his shoulders.  He goes on to tell the story of the woman who loses a piece of silver and turns her house inside out to find it.  That story ends in a very interesting word play in English, “Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece (peace) which I had lost.”  Jesus ends the story with, “there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.”

The moral of the parable is that Jesus is all about saving the sinners, not those who are already “righteous.” But for us, there are none who are already “righteous.” I liken the church as a hospital for sinners. And all of the saints were sinners in the past too, to paraphrase my mother. Having said that, there is also joy when we do not sin, but choose God’s way.  And we enjoy it more also. So it is preferable if we do not sin in the first place, but if we can’t do that, then God finds joy when we truly repent and turn back to Him and ask for His help and be willing to listen.

Notice Jesus’ actions when He finds a lost sheep, He carries it back to the flock on His shoulders with a smile on His face. He rejoices in each lost soul saved. This is what the Church is about, bringing lost souls to Our Shepherd of Souls, Our Savior, Our Advocate, Jesus Christ, to His Kingdom of Heavenly Joys.

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

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Second Sunday after Trinity

If you enjoy this, the entire AOC Sunday Report is RIGHT HERE!
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. 

Consider these words from the Collect:

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 time.

The Epistle is a great illustration of why we need guidance from the Holy Ghost all the time.  The world is not a nice place and at times it gets depressing to be in. However, there is one person that is always there for us, regardless of how dreary and awful it gets. And that is God, and He has a way to comfort us in these times, through His Love and the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost is here to help us spread that love, and to help us figure out what we need to do, to make our corner of the world a better place. But how do we get His Love?  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. Loving our neighbor as ourselves is harder than it sounds.  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[1], 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 time are probably not valid excuses. There is no excuse for not doing as Christ did and loving our fellow beings even unto death. There is no excuse that is adequate to get us out of this job. So we must perform this task with great cheer. For you cannot have true love without cheerfulness and a giving heart. We may be serious at times, but we can still be cheerful in that we have the love of God within our hearts and we can spread that to others.  Don’t forget the little reminder from GK Chesterton:

The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies; probably because generally they are the same people.

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.  So always plan ahead and plan for success, that way you will never fail to show for the great supper.

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. And it will make us far happier people as a result, which is what God’s plan is for us all along. Whenever He tells us not to do something, it is to make us happy not sad. He never wants us to be sad, to the contrary, He wants us to be happy. But unlike us, He really does know what will make us happy, and that is to follow His Will. But until we get that thought into our hearts, souls and minds, we will never be truly happy.

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 more sage words from 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.  Or rather, to live it. Once we find out what God wants for us, we need to live that reality that He has planned for us, not the one that we want for ourselves. 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

[1] Book of Common Prayer, the Comfortable Words, Page 76