Verse of the Day

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Fifth Sunday after Easter commonly called Rogation Sunday


Rogation Sunday

 

The fifth Sunday after Easter is commonly called Rogation Sunday from the words in the Gospel appointed for the day: "Whatever you ask the Father in my name, he will give to you". (The Latin is 'Rogare' - to ask.)  In the strictly biblical context, the chief thing to ask for is the spirit of God to enable us to be true children of God.  

 

In the Western Catholic Churches, including the older Anglican traditions particularly before the Reformation and in some higher churches afterwards, processions to bless the crops and to include "beating the bounds", developed from the old Roman rites of "Robigalia" ("robigo": Latin for "rust" or "mould"), when prayers would be offered to the deity for crops to be spared from mildew. 

 

Today the emphasis has shifted.  Asking for Gods blessing on growing crops in fields and gardens, and on young lambs and calves remain.  In the agricultural cycle, the main themes are seed sowing and the tending of the young plants and animals. This does not pre-suppose that all sowing takes place around Rogation.  Sowing is done all the year round, as does the birth and rearing of the young.  It is convenient to fix on one particular festival the time to remember these before God in a public way.

 

In the Northern Hemisphere, Rogation Sunday takes place in the springtime, when there is a renewing of the earth. In this country, it follows Easter, the season of resurrection. Renewal and resurrection therefore are also underlying themes of this occasion.

 

But, there is far more to the day than that.  The real meaning is in rogare.  If you dont ask, you wont get.  You have to ask God in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for what you want so that you can get what you need.  You have to ask.  Then, once you get what you need, act of the gift and thank God for that gift.

 

The main thing to remember is Ask and ye shall receive.  For, if you do not ask, you cannot receive.

Rev Jack's sermon can be view on video RIGHT HERE!


Sermon  Reverend Jack Arnold - Time and Action
Church of the Faithful Centurion
Descanso, California

Todays sermon brought the Collect, Epistle and Gospel together and is partly contained in the forewords above. 

 

We are on the last Sunday in the Easter Season, which consists of Easter and the following five Sundays, the last of which is 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 Godholy inspiration we may think those things that are good.  We need help from the Holy Ghost to direct our souls to the things we cannot see as good without His Help.   Once we see them, we need His merciful guidingso we may perform the same…”.  After all, what good is it to know what we should do, if we wont, cant or dont do it? In short we need Gods help to think good thoughts and then to act upon those good thoughts which when translated into action are good deeds. The point of the Collect is without Gods help, we cannot think or do anything that is truly righteous. Only by having God help us are we capable of any righteous actions.

 

In his Epistle, James makes the 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. James makes the point that if you are going to be a Christian you have to ACT like a Christian. Our faith will be made manifest in our actions. A person who calls themselves a Christian can and will talk the talk or portions thereof, but will they walk the walk? That is the real test if they are a Christian or not.  We have to back up our faith with actions in order to show that we do indeed have faith. As the tag line to my sermons goes, action and not diction is what counts in the very end. 

 

Being a Christian requires both, which will be very difficult sometimes, but it must be done. It is the only way we will have salvation through Christ.  We cannot have salvation if we say we are for Him, but our actions profess otherwise. Fortunately we will have the help of the Holy Ghost to help us walk the walk and talk the talk. It will still be difficult but it will be easier than if we did not have the Holy Ghost within us.

 

We must align our lives to be able to show people we do follow Christ. There are too many people who claim to be Christians, who are clearly 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. To show this truth we have to live that truth through our actions. It is not just enough to say we know the Word of God, if we truly know the Word of God, we will act upon that Word of God and serve Him in this life. 

 

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. These are all actions we naturally take which demonstrate we have belief and are acting upon that belief.  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 Johns words, he gives us insight into things which 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?  Lets start with to whom do we pray? 

 

Jesus is pretty clear.  Dont pray to Him, pray to God.  Feel free to use His Name.  Pray to God in His Name.  In effect, we are CCing (Carbon Copying, to use an archaic term which as transitioned to 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 not many people understand 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 will help us.

 

If we will pray to God, we can be certain He will answer us, and even if we dont like the answer, we know that is the course we will have to take. It doesnt matter if we like Gods 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 listen to His Answer and think on it and then act upon His Answer and not just dismiss it. Dismissing it is all too easy for us to do, since we are naturally inclined to follow our own desires, not His. But we have to think that dismissing His Answers will not gain us anything in the long or short term.  We need to listen to His Answers and then act upon them, the key to true happiness within our lives. We need to realize that without Gods guidance in our lives, we are doomed, but with His Guidance in our lives there is no limit to what we can accomplish for Him.

 

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 we act upon the answer that we are given, to do our best for Him so our friends, family and coworkers and neighbors might see the light we shine for Him and see who we follow in word and in deed. 

 

So, pray to God, ask for what you want in Jesus Name.  He always listens and He always delivers.  The problem for us is He delivers what we need, not necessarily what we want. Our wants and our needs are oft different, in fact they are seldom the same. But we should want what we need, and God will help us understand 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.

 

Gods Will is always done, we just dont 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;

       AND

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 

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Fourth Sunday after Easter


Rev Jack's Sermon is available on video 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. 

 

We are in the Easter Season which consists of Easter and the following four Sundays, through 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:

 

… who alone canst order the unruly wills and affections of sinful men; Grant unto thy people, that they may love the thing which thou commandest, and desire that which thou dost promise; that so, among the sundry and manifold changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed, where true joys are to be found

 

The very first phrase is critical to understanding the world and our place in it.  We want to follow our own hearts, that is the unruly wills and affections of sinful men, which will lead us not to heaven but to hell if left unchecked. This explains why the world is in such a horrible mess, as people by and large are naturally inclined to sin rather than follow God. Just think, all of problems of this world could be easily prevented if people would just open their hearts to God and the Holy Ghost. Alas since people are naturally resistant to God, there will always be some sort of evil in this world. The only goodness in this world comes from those who have the Holy Ghost in their hearts and reject the wicked ways of our natural inclinations and Satan. We are called to not be a part of the world, and be set aside that is to say holy. The Holy Ghost will help us be holy, if we will but let Him into our hearts.

 

We have to internalize His commands into our hearts through listening and then through repetition, action.  This is the only way we can follow His Commandments and show the World we follow Him. For all of the above to happen we have to let God into our hearts, souls, minds and bodies and let His Directions carry us through life. In order to be true believers, we have to actualize our stated beliefs. Actions show that we don’t just talk the ntalk, but that we walk the walk as well. This means we have to live out our Christian Faith and not just talk about it. God can and will help us do this, but only if we let him into our hearts. 

 

Our life will be better when we follow His directions and if we will allow God to rule us and desire His help, we will be able to attain the state of happiness we will then deserve. He knows what is right and what is wrong for us. He does not want us to lead so called puritanical lives with no fun allowed whatsoever, but we must have fun the right way and not the wrong way. The right way can lead to a lifetime of happiness, whereas the wrong way leads to a life time of misery. It is as St. Paul says moderation in all things. Too much of a good thing can end up becoming a very bad thing. This is why God puts limits on us, not to punish us, but to help us live our lives in a spiritual and a physically healthier manner.

 

Many people think that God forbids things for us, because He does not want us to have fun. Nothing can be further from the truth. He forbids things harmful for our spiritual well being, and allows us to have clean spiritual, joyous things in our life to develop our spiritual well being. Those people confuse the things that are harmful for our spiritual well being with fun and think that the things that are actually helpful for our spiritual well being are not fun. When it is completely not the case. The Holy Spirit will help us to truly see what is harmful for us and what is not harmful for us.

 

We need God’s help (this is one of the places the Holy Ghost comes in) to be able to want for ourselves that which He Wants for us.  The Collect asks us to allow God into our hearts to bend our will towards His Will and His Wants.  If we can desire what He Wants, our ability to follow His Instructions will be much enhanced. And not only will they be much enhanced, but the more we follow His Instructions, the easier it will be for us to continue on that straight and narrow path towards heaven. It is like practicing any sort of learned skill, the more you practice at it the better you will get. Of course, we will never be fully perfect at it, but as long as we keep doing our best to get as close as we can to perfection, that is all that matters.

 

We are God’s creatures, first among all His Creation with all the privileges (which we like) and all the responsibility (which we are not so keen on) which come with that status.  All good comes from God, who is always with us; always the same; a true bearing in world in a constant state of flux. While the world may change, the Word will never change, no matter what happens in the world today. His Word is a refreshing constant, in this world where  nothing ever seems certain. The Ways of the World go to and fro and are in a constant state of flux. However God’s Word always stays the same and its meaning never changes, as God never changes. As God is truth, which by its nature cannot change, so should we never change in our beliefs towards Him. 

 

So, how can we hear?

 

When Jesus got ready to leave this world for His, He told the disciples that He would send them the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, to keep them in Him and to help them understand what they had so far been unable to truly grasp.  Unless we allow the Holy Ghost to enter into our hearts, we will never understand that which is from God.  This is an important concept with messages that are not from God being bombarded across the world through principalities and powers of this world. Only the Holy Ghost can help us remain grounded within the truth. We need the Holy Ghost to enter into us that we might be able to hear the Word of God, and more important than just hearing the Word, we need the Holy Ghost to be able to act upon the Word. We must allow the Holy Ghost to enter in to our hearts and souls so we can understand what God has for us.  It is that simple.  Open your heart, pray for God to send Him into that open heart. 

 

For with the Holy Ghost’s help, you can hear, understand and act on The Word.

 

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, May 8, 2022

Third Sunday after Easter

  

 

Sermon – Reverend Jack Arnold - Time and Action

Church of the Faithful Centurion

Descanso, California

Rev Jack's sermon can be viewed on video RIGHT HERE.


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, through 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:

 

… who showest to them that are in error the light of thy truth, to the intent that they may return into the way of righteousness; Grant unto all those who are admitted into the fellowship of Christ’s Religion, that they may avoid those things that are contrary to their profession, and follow all such things as are agreeable to the same

 

God is a Triune God; Father, Son, Holy Ghost.  The Holy Ghost’s job is to open our souls, hearts and minds to God’s Will.  It is to help us see where we are in error and how to fix those errors.  Thus, open our “ears” to His Voice so we can listen and make our improvements based on His Words.  He is there to guide us when we have gone astray from the path. What the Collect asks is we let the Holy Ghost in so He can change us.  Without the Holy Ghost, change is impossible.   Consider this quote from Jack Lewis out of Mere Christianity:

 

“When He said, ‘Be perfect,’ He meant it. He meant that we must go in for the full treatment. It is hard; but the sort of compromise we are all hankering after is harder—in fact, it is impossible. It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.”

 

It does not matter if it is hard for us to listen to the Holy Ghost, we must do it.  He is our perfect instructor and if we will listen to Him, God will always provide the light to show us where “We have erred, and strayed from His ways like lost sheep. Where we have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts. Where we have offended against His holy laws. Where we have left undone those things which we ought to have done; And we have done those things which we ought not to have done[1]…”   He will shine His Light onto the dark areas in our heart and souls so we can focus on removing those evil attributes and replacing them with more Godly attributes. We just have to focus on letting Him into our hearts, souls, minds and bodies that he might be able to help us change our course guidance. In order to do that, we can’t resist Him, we have to let Him in. He will not force his way in, He has to be invited in.

 

The Holy Ghost does this this so that we can remain on the course which brings us to His World.  For without that guiding light, we will be forever lost on the path to darkness. He is our infallible navigator/GPS. If we will always rely on Him, He shall never fail us. We more have to worry about failing Him than Him failing us. 

 

Then we can shine that Light for others to see, to lead them to that Light, that they might pick up their torches and bring His Light into the darkness of the world, be it the Western Civilized Word or the Eastern World. First, we have to let His Light into our hearts before we can shine it to others that they may see the works of His Light. We cannot lead others to a Light we do not have within us. So, we must first make sure we have the Light of the Holy Ghost within us before we can think of leadings others to that Light.

 

We must start in our own little corner of the world and work our way outward.  That is the best place to start. We cannot change the whole world at once, but it must be changed by us, individually, one little corner of the world at a time. We are always striving to work towards total transformation of our area to the light. However, we will always find opposition from evil. If evil is thwarting our efforts then we all must put in 110% to stop evil and combat it across the world wherever it is. We must never, never, never, ever give up on this fight.  

 

We must fight evil wherever and whenever we run across it. Evil anywhere is Evil everywhere[2].  We must not let the little and big evils in this life get us down or defeat us. We must rely on the guiding power of the Holy Ghost and God’s unlimited grace to save the day. His Grace can help you out of any horrific situation; only if you ask for and accept His help, which is a universal theme in our sermons here, because it is a truth and one that Jesus preached, that is that we have to accept Him into our hearts, if we are to become truly Christians. 

 

Peter tells us our actions need to be consistent with the principles of Scripture and of Jesus’ message. In short, we need to be good citizens, be good neighbors, take particular care of our Christian family.  In short, do what Christ would do, as far as it is in us. We need to cling to the good and reject the evil thoughts and actions of our old sinful selves.  Let us do our best to think, in hard and trying times, what would Jesus do in our situation, and then act in a manner most like Him. In order to make the world a better place, we first have to start with our selves then work out word, applying the principles of Christ to our lives. God does not ask us to be perfect; He does ask us individually to do our best to try to be perfect, to follow Jesus’ lead to the extent we have it in us.  Each of us is different, some are in truth less bad than others.  God holds us each to the same standard, that is to do our best. 

 

We are not competing against each other. All of us in the Church are on the same team. We are just called to do the best individually for our Team and to stay on that narrow uphill path towards heaven. We are also called to encourage and support each other on that trek on the uphill path towards heaven.

 

In the Gospel according to Saint John, Jesus tells of His impending bodily death and resurrection.    He reminds us if we have eternal life, sorrow, even the sorrow of death is transient, for He has conquered death. It is a very minor thing in the long term view the sorrow of a temporary parting of a loved one. For that is all that is, if we put our trust and hope in God and do our very best to follow Him.  We have to keep this in mind throughout our travel along the straight and narrow upward path. His One Sacrifice, made One Time, for All Mankind, for All Time is that joy that no man can take from us.  But, if we want to share in that eternal life, we need to see the error of our ways in the Light of His Light and take actions to follow Him.

 

Often it seems much easier to take the path of least resistance, to quit our work at the first sign of effort, to goof off when “no one” is looking.  But in the end, the right thing to do is always the easiest, the most profitable.  The one that will result in happiness.  It might seem hard, but it will not be as hard as doing the “easy” thing.

 

The time is now, not tomorrow.  The time has come, indeed.  How will you ACT?

 

It is by our actions we are known.

 

As we go off on our business, please recall this quote from GK Chesterton:

 

Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.

 

Be of God - Live of God - Act of God



[1] General Confession – BCP Page 6

[2] Lord of the Rings

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Saint Philip and Saint James superseding the Second Sunday after Easter


Rev Jack's sermon is available on video 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. 


We are in the Easter Season which consists of Easter and the following four Sundays, through Rogation Sunday.  This is a time we should work on centering our lives on the central figure in our religion, Jesus Christ.   Today, we recall the memories of two of the great apostles, Philip and James and supersede the normal propers with those dedicated to the two.

 

Consider these words from the Collect:

 

… Grant us perfectly to know thy Son Jesus Christ to be the way, the truth, and the life; that, following the steps of thy holy Apostles, Saint Philip and Saint James, we may stedfastly walk in the way that leadeth to eternal life…

 

We ask God to give us perfect knowledge that his Son, our Savior, Jesus the Christ of God, is the truth, and the life we seek, we need and in fact require to be truly happy or at one with Him.  We ask that, so like Philip and James we might stedfastly walk in the way that leadeth to eternal life.   What is The Way, The Truth, and The Life?

 

The Way

These terms are really intertwined.  Jesus way of living, His approach to life in general, His priorities, His way of thinking, His sense of duty, His sense of honor.  All these things are represented by The Way.

 

The Truth

Jesus, like His Father whom we call our God, is perfect, thus always truthful, thus His story never changes, His standards never change, He does not evolve.  When He says something it is right and it stays right.

 

The Life

Jesus created the earth and all that is therein.  The Holy Ghost breathed life into the world and it was.  He came into this world in human form knowing how He would leave.  He did this that we might have life everlasting starting the very instant we accepted Him into our souls.  Think about the scripture, Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13) Many have participated in actions that meant almost certain death to save or rescue comrades, friends or family.  But, to come into this world, to assume the form of a human being, which for the Son of God must have been like us assuming the identity of a monkey or maybe a cockroach, to live in a time of hardship amongst people who for the most part barely got along, to try to lead them to God and then die a terrible death on the Cross at the hands of the very people he came to save.   To do all that knowingly, with full knowledge aforethought.  That is the action of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

 

In the Epistle James mentions that in times of trials and difficulty, our patience will be tested and we will need all the patience we can get. Therefore, he urges us to ask God for that patience, that we might withstand those trails and temptations. He says if we have any trouble with wisdom in our situations, to ask God and the Holy Ghost for that wisdom and they will provide. We just have to allow the Holy Ghost into our hearts so he might spread that wisdom into our hearts and souls. James goes on to say we must have conviction in our faith and not waver. He says the one who wavers is not sure or steady within their faith and can call to the slightest temptations.

 

Then I think we should ask for God to strengthen our faith, that we can resist all temptations and endure all the trials and difficulties of this world. Our eternal life with God will be worth all of the pain and suffering we have to endure here on Earth.

Speaking of eternal life with God, the Gospel mentions that Jesus is going to prepare places for us with God. He assures us that if he is going to prepare a place for us, that means he will come back for us to escort us to those places. Thomas then asks Him saying they did not know where he was going and how would we know the way?

 

Jesus responds to Him saying He is the One Way, and no man can come unto the father but by Him. What does that mean for people of other faiths? We do not know and cannot know for sure. All we know for sure, is that Jesus is our way and there is no other way to get to heaven but by Him. Phillip then asks Him to show them God the Father and that would suffice.


Jesus responds with if you have seen Me, you have seen the Father which goes into the Triune God concept. He mentions the words that he speaks, he speaks not from himself, but from the Father who dwelleth within Him. We do not know exactly how this works, but we must trust and believe what Jesus says.

 

He goes onto to point out whoever truly does believe in Him, will do actions like Jesus would act, because they would have the faith of Jesus. He mentions that this would be possible when He goes to the Father. This would seem be be a prelude of sorts to the Holy Ghost coming down at Pentecost, when He makes His First Appearance. The message of Jesus is clear, whosever believes on Him, would do actions that reflect that of Christ and His Faith. Jesus is calling us to action here, not just talk the talk, but we must walk the walk as well. 

 

Do ye likewise:

 

ACT

 

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, April 24, 2022

First Sunday after Easter

  


Rev Jack's sermon is available on video 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:

 


… given thine only Son to die for our sins, and to rise again for our justification; Grant us so to put away the leaven of malice and wickedness, that we may always serve thee in pureness of living and truth

 

In the Collect, we acknowledge by the sacrifice made on Good Friday by the One and Only Perfect Man, a single sacrifice, made one time, for all mankind, for all time by our Lord and Savior Jesus, the Christ of God, we have eternal life.  Malice and wickedness are pervasive; like leavening, that is yeast, mixed into bread dough, they permeate our being, worming their way into the most remote corners of our souls, hearts and minds. Tiny, wanting only to be fed so they can grow and distort our being.  We need God’s Help, in the form of the Holy Ghost, to root out all malice and wickedness so we might serve Him with pure souls, hearts and minds.  Without that help, we are destined to fail.  On the other hand, with God’s help all things are possible.

 

In his general Epistle, Saint John continues that thought that without God’s help, that is being re-born in Him, as Saint Paul says becoming or putting on the New Man, we are destined to failure.   He points out that if we believe that Jesus is the Son of God, we will have overcome the world. He also says that those who do not believe on Him are lying to themselves. And lying to ourselves is never a good idea. Paul says that if we are to choose to believe either the witness of men or the witness of God, to believe that of God. God is infallible, versus men who are very much fallible. 

 

Saint John makes it clear the entity we refer to as God is a Triune Being, that is Three in One; Father, Son and Holy Ghost.  What he does not make clear is the relationship between the Three.  He does not make this clear as we do not really need to know the relationship between the three. All we need to know is that God is comprised of three separate entities who are of one substance and form a single entity. Besides God and Jesus, the Holy Ghost is an important member of this entity. He is here to help give us God’s guidance and direction and understanding God’s will for us. 

 

The Holy Ghost is not often talked about in the church, yet He is the key to understanding.  God sent us the Holy Ghost that we might have:

 

  • ·      Comfort
  • ·      Understanding
  • ·      Patience
  • ·      Insight
  • ·      Perseverance
  • ·      Courage
  • ·      Sympathy

 

He is our key to finding Jesus in our souls, hearts and minds.  Without His Guidance, Scripture seems a poorly written fairy tale, with His Guidance we find Truth, the Truth that is our Lord and Savior.  

 

When John relates the story of Jesus coming in to the Upper Room, note three things:

 

·      He came into a closed room in bodily form;

·      Then gave them His Peace;

·      He breathed the Holy Ghost upon them.

 

The entry into the closed room is of interest.  When we leave the Shadowlands, we will gain an optimized body with shape and form, but as Jesus demonstrated things are different in the Real World.  Different can be better or worse.  In this case, He demonstrates the better.  We will no longer be halt, blind and maimed, we will live as God has meant for us.  Quite a nice feeling.

 

Jesus gave them His Peace.  Not peace like world understands it, but God’s Peace.  This is a totally different concept.  A perfect and stabilizing peace, not what the World considers as Peace. The world and God have different idea of what is Peace. There will never be peace on Earth until the whole planet comes to understand the only true peace is God’s Peace. It is the only thing that can help the world, yet because they are blinded by the cares and riches of this world, they do not see it. Perhaps a few might escape the grasp of mammon to see it, but not a lot of people will sadly, as this requires them to willingly open their hearts to God and let the Holy Spirit in to bring that understanding of true peace to them.

 

His Peace is what will really help us. Jesus brings us, like those disciples, the peace of mind and soul which comes with giving all our worry, sadness and terror to Him.  It is the knowledge that the enemy can only hurt our physical body, they cannot hurt or destroy our souls. We are safe in God’s grasp. We would do well to remember that whenever things get difficult.

 

He leaves in His wake not confusion, but order and wellbeing.  With Him in our hearts we cannot fail at anything that needs be done.  His Peace.  This Peace is what we are looking for and have been looking for since we came into this world, for it is our passport out.

 

The Holy Ghost is the breath of life, not just physical, whereas to die is to give up the Ghost, which really means to have our soul leave our body for heaven.   He is our spiritual life, for without Him in our souls, hearts and minds we cannot see the narrow road to the summit.  Without Him we see only the broad even way which gently curves downward and gets smoother and smoother as it nears the Pit.   The Holy Ghost is the key to knowing our Lord! He is our perfect vision in place of our defective natural vision, that will help us see the way.

 

Without the Holy Ghost, we are lost.  With Him we find and join Jesus and are found.  Then we can act accordingly and enjoy our time here on earth to the extent it is to be enjoyed.  

 

Note the parting line of this Scripture: … He breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: whosesoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whosesoever sins ye retain, they are retained.  Jesus gave this power to those present, He did not establish an intermediary priesthood.  The Triune God is the only one who has the power to remit us of our sins.  And, He does when we ask and act in accordance with the request.

 

There is much joy and satisfaction to be found in proper action.

 

When the time comes, how will you ACT?

 

It is by our actions we are known.

 

Be of God - Live of God - Act of God

 

 

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Easter Sunday


Rev Jack's sermon can be viewed on video RIGHT HERE!

 

Easter Sunday.

The Collect.

 

A

LMIGHTY God, who through thine only-begotten Son Jesus Christ hast overcome death, and opened unto us the gate of everlasting life; We humbly beseech thee that, as by thy special grace preventing us thou dost put into our minds good desires, so by thy continual help we may bring the same to good effect; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost ever, one God, world without end.  Amen.


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 through thine only-begotten Son Jesus Christ hast overcome death, and opened unto us the gate of everlasting life; We humbly beseech thee that, as by thy special grace preventing us thou dost put into our minds good desires, so by thy continual help we may bring the same to good effect…

 

In the Collect, we acknowledge God sent His Son to be our Savior.  Think about that, the Creator, Lord and Master of the Universe sent His only Son to not only live amongst us and minister and guide us, but to give His earthly life as a one time sacrifice for our sin that we might be accounted as perfect in our final accounting, the resurrection.  Today is the day of His Resurrection, where we celebrate His triumphant return from his descent into Hell after he died on the Cross and battled Satan for our souls. Not a lot of people think about the suffering Christ endured on our behalf after His painful death upon the cross. When HE died His sufferings had only just begun as He descended into darkness itself, Satan’s dominion, to do battle with Satan for our souls. We do not know much about the particular details of that battle, but it is good enough for us to know He triumphed and won our eternal freedom. He freed us from the shackles of Death.  God valued His Son exceedingly, but consider then how much He loves us in turn to allow His Precious Only Begotten Son to die a painful death and to do battle with the Devil for our eternity.

 

The Collect also points out that we need God’s special grace to prevent, that is to go before us, and to set good desires in our mind and overcome our natural evil desires. This is a point that not a lot of churches make these days as they have been overcome by the whims of the World. We need His presence within our hearts and minds if we are to follow Him. We do need His Special Grace and the help of the Holy Ghost if we are to follow Him. We are not naturally inclined to follow Him, so we have to have help in order to do so. That is where God’s Special Grace and the Holy Ghost come in and transform our minds from self centered to focusing on how we can serve Him and Help others an to make us more humble and patient human beings. 

 

Jesus set an example of humility and patience, both exceedingly rare qualities in us. That example is extremely difficult for us to follow without God’s help. This is the reason God sent the Holy Ghost to be here with us. With Jesus’ sacrifice and the help of the Holy Ghost to follow Him, turning our backs on this world, we can renew our minds and transform ourselves into the New Man 2.0.  The resurrection itself sets a pattern that we should follow. We must first die, that is to stop our sinning, then rise again, that is to live, with humility and patience like the example Jesus set for us. Jesus set the ultimate standard for action and we must do our very best to follow that standard. His whole ministry consisted of actions. He didn’t just speak very kind words, He lived and breathed those words through His Actions. It is clear that we must do likewise if we truly profess to be Christians.

 

There was a reason God set Easter in the springtime. Not only was the time of His death and rising again, but it came at a time where the flowers bloomed anew, having been dead in winter, as Christ had been dead, and rose again, just as those flowers bloom again. This is truly symbolic of His Death and Resurrection and it is no coincidence Easter happened during this time.  

 

Jesus’s standard is an extremely difficult act for us to follow We will never be able to follow it perfectly, for we are imperfect creatures, but we can sure do our best to. It is hard, we are imperfect creatures doing our best to follow the standards set by Jesus a perfect being! However it is our duty as Christians to do our best and not just say it to follow Jesus’s example.

 

However, if you think this might be too hard to accomplish, stop and think about what Jesus went through, is it as hard as His Trials and Death and Battling Satan? No matter who you are, the answer is never going to be yes. In the end, the path we must follow will still be easier than if we refuse to follow Him and try and forge our own path. We have to remind ourselves that we will be far happier if we follow His example and lead a righteous and steadfast life, full of grace and humility, as well as patience. 

 

In our lives, it is important to think about Jesus’ example before we do what we want to do.  Is what you are wanting in line with Jesus’ message? Think about the answer.  Think about what He would do in a given situation. Don’t let your natural inclinations dictate your decisions but stop and let the Holy Ghost into your heart to help decide. If you let the Holy Ghost in to your heart you will know the answer; you will know what you are supposed to do.  You may not like it, but you will know it. Which is more comforting than the World’s way, which seems to go off in every which direction, and they are never certain about anything. However, we can be certain about what we know, what believe and we can translate that certainty into our actions. This is because we follow the ultimate unwavering source of truth, God Himself.

 

Jesus knew what was coming, how much it would hurt both His Body and Soul as He went through with the crucifixion and subsequent descent in to Hell.   Yet, He also knew this was God’s Will that we might live.  If He did this for you, how can you not follow Him wherever His Will takes you? If He was willing to do that for all of us, then how can we not repay Him? His Sacrifice demands that we repay Him to the best of our ability, by the sheer nature of it; his perfection being offered in place of our imperfection.

 

These days people have forgotten how special Jesus’s Death and Resurrection is to us. It is a sign of the times, perhaps maybe even close to the end times that Churches have fallen into apostasy and are even actively denying His Ministry, His Death and His Resurrection. Jesus commanded us to always remember His Death and Passion, that we might be partakers of His Heavenly Kingdom. We do not yet know if this is the End Times but we would be wise to treat it as if it is and live as if eery day could be our last day here on Earth.

 

If we do not remember His Death and Passion, can we truly be partakers of His Heavenly Kingdom?

 

How can we?  

 

He is asking us to act and if we do not choose to act for Him then we cannot be truly on His Side. It is not enough just to ‘have’ faith, we need to back our faith up with actions and choose to act For Him, to remember His Ministry, Death and Resurrection and do our best with the help of the Holy Ghost to follow the standard He set.

 

Jesus set an example difficult to follow even with the help of the Holy Ghost, but impossible to follow without the help of the Holy GhoOur eternal life does not come to us for free. It was paid with the blood of God’s only begotten Son. We have a debt to Him we cannot even close to repaying, but we can start by choosing to follow Him each and every day. Where we fall short, we get back up the next day and do better than the previous day.

 

We must remember His Example when times get harder and more difficult as it becomes closer to the end of this world and the beginning of our eternity with God. Let us act for Him and make it known that we reject mammon and embrace the example of Jesus Christ. We may lose friends and even family as a result of standing with God; the consequences for not standing with God are far worse than losing shallow people in your life.

 

When the time comes, how will you ACT?

 

It is by our actions we are known.

 

Be of God - Live of God - Act of God