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The center of the Traditional Anglican Communion; adhering to the Holy Bible (KJV) in all matters of Faith and Doctrine, a strict reliance on the Thirty Nine Articles of Religion, The two Sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion, the Two Creeds, and the Homilies and formularies of the Reformation Church of England.

Verse of the Day

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Hymns of the Church – My Anchor Holds – 15 September 2021, Anno Domini




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OR men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife. 17 Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: 18 That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: 19 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; 20 Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.  (Hebrews 6:16-20)

 

            I chose today’s hymn as a devotion to follow on my Anglican Morning Devotion – The ROCK of the DEEP. The author of the lyrics was a Baptist minister, Rev. W.C. Martin, around 1900. The tune, Though the Angry Surges Roll, is the composition by the same author. It is a hymn to quiet our doubts and to encourage our confidence in that Solid Rock that led Israel in the Wilderness wanderings, and that Rock was Christ!

 

My Anchor Holds

 

Tho’ the angry surges roll

On my tempest-driven soul,

I am peaceful, for I know,

Wildly though the winds may blow,

I’ve an anchor safe and sure,

That can evermore endure.

Refrain:

And it holds, my anchor holds:

Blow your wildest, then, O gale,

On my bark so small and frail;

By His grace I shall not fail,

For my anchor holds, my anchor holds.

 

Mighty tides about me sweep,

Perils lurk within the deep,

Angry clouds o’ershade the sky,

And the tempest rises high;

Still I stand the tempest’s shock,

For my anchor grips the rock.

 

I can feel the anchor fast

As I meet each sudden blast,

And the cable, though unseen,

Bears the heavy strain between;

Thro’ the storm I safely ride,

Till the turning of the tide.

 

Troubles almost ’whelm the soul;

Griefs like billows o’er me roll;

Tempters seek to lure astray;

Storms obscure the light of day:

But in Christ I can be bold,

I’ve an anchor that shall hold.

 

Tho’ the angry surges roll On my tempest-driven soul, I am peaceful, for I know, Wildly though the winds may blow, I’ve an anchor safe and sure, That can evermore endure. There is a great rock that guards the sea passage from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic Ocean called The Rock of Gibraltar. It is named for the invading Moor General Jabel al-Tariq, who invaded Spain from across the straits at Gibraltar in 711 AD. It is an immovable Rock of remarkable size and strength. It cannot be moved. Whoever controls this prominent land feature controls the Straits over which that Rock stands guard day and night, summer and winter. The most violent waves of the sea crashing against this Rock cannot move it. It is a great illustration of that Rock of God which is Christ our Lord. He stands guard over His own both day and night, winter and summer, and through the blissful breezes of the Spring winds to the tumultuous storms of the Autumn blasts. With that Rock as our Anchor and Foundation Stone, we cannot be moved, and shall not be. It is an eternal Anchor for the soul.

 

            Mighty tides about me sweep, Perils lurk within the deep, Angry clouds o’ershade the sky, And the tempest rises high; Still I stand the tempest’s shock, For my anchor grips the rock. It took a great measure of faith for Peter to request the Lord to invite him to walk on the restless waves of Galilee, yet, at the command of the Lord, Peter did muster the courage to walk on the stormy sea; yet, when he took his focus off the Lord and beheld the turbulent waters below, his faith failed him as it does all believers who take their focus off Christ. He began to sink in the turbid waters. His only prayer, the shortest of which I am aware, was: “Lord, Save Me!” Sometimes that is the only prayer we have time to utter, but it was sufficient for Peter, and it will be sufficient for us. It is not our courage that strengthens us to stand in the storm, but His! It is not the power of our feet that keeps us steady in the storm, but the Anchor that holds fast to the Rock – the Anchor of Hope in Christ.

 

             I can feel the anchor fast As I meet each sudden blast, And the cable, though unseen, Bears the heavy strain between; Thro’ the storm I safely ride, Till the turning of the tide. Every Anchor requires a tether to hold its object from drifting. That tether is the Cable of Faith in Christ to preserve us in every circumstance – and He does. That tether is invisible to the multitudes, but holds us as a magnetic force of immense power. If the tether lacks faith sufficient to hold, we, like Peter, may sink in the stormy waters, but even then, the Lord superintends our safety and lifts us when we fall.

 

            Troubles almost ’whelm the soul; Griefs like billows o’er me roll; Tempters seek to lure astray; Storms obscure the light of day: But in Christ I can be bold, I’ve an anchor that shall hold. The lyrics of this hymn reinforce our understanding of the security of the believer in Christ. God does not remove the storms in our lives, but gives us a secure Rock upon which to cast our Anchor to remain steadfast and sure. The storm itself is a blessing to us to build the strength of our faith in the Rock that remains immovable. With each mastering of our fears, our hope and courage is made stronger in the possession of that Rock and Anchor.

 

Refrain:

And it holds, my anchor holds: Blow your wildest, then, O gale, On my bark so small and frail By His grace I shall not fail, For my anchor holds, my anchor holds. It is by no means the craft (our souls) we use to navigate the seas of life that is sufficient to preserve us from the storm, but the Anchor and Rock to which it is secured. The intensity of the tempest and its accompanying gales are irrelevant to our security if we have aboard our vessel (soul) the Master of the Seas. Though He may seem asleep and oblivious to our predicaments in life, He knows and is ready to save after our faith is tested only a little. What is the source of our faith? Is it not a grant of grace through our Lord Jesus Christ and nothing of our own deserving? 

 

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ND the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side36 And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships. 37 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. 38 And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? 39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith41And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?  (Mark 4:35-41)

 

He is ever with you in your bark (soul) of life. Why so fearful of every blast and billow? If you will know by faith that He is always at your side, what other can you fear? He is the big brother whose hand you hold among many vicious enemies on the playground. He is bigger and stronger than them all. Stay by His side and be free. “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.  (Proverbs 18:24)

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

The Rock of the Deep - a Devotion for 15 September 2021, Anno Domini

 

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 MY God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar. Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over meYet the LORD will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life. I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?  (Psalm 42:6-9)

 

            Where is the deep of your soul? Is it not in the secret chambers of your heart which is the Temple of God to those who are the chosen Elect of God? The text above parallels the physical experience as well as the spiritual one of Jonah in the belly of the whale. He was lost to the world. He was in the very depths of the sea. His spirit fainted within him. Jesus has told us that just as Jonas was in the belly of the whale for three days and three nights, so shall the son of man be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights(Matthew 12:40)

 

            Deep calleth unto deep. What does those four words mean? The Deep love of God soundas as a clarion across the vast stretches of time to the heart of the believer whose heart echoes that love back to Him more surely than a sonar sounding device. It is the Christian who best manifest the image of God that detects the sounds of the Deep and responds. We love him, because he first loved us(1 John 4:19)  Like a mighty Magnet that only draws metals of like nature is the manner in which the Deep of god calls unto the deep of the soul of man. That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: 19 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil(Hebrews 6:18-19)

 

            What a blessed benefit to possess an Anchor of our Souls that holds in storm as well as safe haven. An anchor is designed to grab hold of the strong point at the depth of the sea and hold fast to keep the ship of our soul from drifting. The strongest point of grasp on the sea floor is a large rock which is immovable. Well, our souls have such a large Rock that does not move and cannot be moved – the Lord Jesus Christ. He is our Anchor of Hope on the Sea of Life, and He resides in the Deep of our Hearts to prevent our drifting with every wind of doctrine. Yet the LORD will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.  I will say unto God my rock, Do we have that blessed loving kindness of God to be our comfort in the day and soothing song in the night to demonstrate His overwatching love even as we sleep in the night watches?

 

            An anchor holds because it grabs hold of the immovable stone and will not permit our souls to drift in the turbulent waters of the storms of life. God does not remove the storm, but provides us a surety in the survival of every wave and billow. If the Rock of Christ is our anchors security, we will remain steady in the storm. But if our anchor is clawed into the shifting sands of the deep, we will drift with every blast of the storm and may suffer ship wreck. My Anchor is Christ, and my Surety is the Rock of the Deep that holds me. 

 

            Many years ago as a young man, I drifted aimlessly from one church to another. I found none that could satisfy my thirst for the knowledge and Spirit of God. I discussed this state of affairs with an old Army colonel one night at a social gathering. He counselled me thusly: ‘Young man, you need an Anchor to hold you in place and to keep you from drifting. You need to drive an Anchor into the Solid Rock of God’s Word and hold on for dear life!’ It was only in following that old friend’s advice that I found an abiding peace and security no matter what man said or did. Deep in the hidden chambers of the heart we commune with God and He with us. It is a very private place of solitude and safety. No man can enter there for it is the Lord our God who occupies the Throne thereof. We are protected from the wicked vacillations of society and the gross apostasy prevailing in many of our churches. We are emboldened to stand firm with the Armor of God as our defense, and the Sword of Truth as our battle instrument. God has led me to the green pastures of faithful fellowship with others who hold dear the same Savior whom I serve, worship and adore. He will do the same for all who respond to His call by faith through the unbounded Grace of God. He knows His own and His own hear His Voice. Do you?

The Falling Away - a Devotion for 14 September 2021, Anno Domini

 

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HEY are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.  (Psalm 14:3)

 

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OR the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? 18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?  (1 Peter 4:17-18)

 

            It is not in the nature of God Almighty to ingratiate Himself to His Creatures. He is not one to give false hope or to allow men to perish for lack of warning. Many consider my recent devotions to be negative, and so they are. But negative warnings are the fabric of hope in the very thing that they warn against. It is impossible for a minister of God to dwell on the very positive in a world that is more and more turning its back on its Maker. You will not find an overwhelming measure of ‘positive thinking’ in the Ten Commandments of God. Please remember that eight of the Ten Commandments are negative in nature – overwhelmingly more ‘NOT’S’ than positive statements. The reason is that man’s mind is bent toward evil by his very nature. Curbs of that evil inclination are incorporated – not only in the Moral law of God - but also in His prophetic warnings.

 

            What is positive in the warnings of God concerning ‘the falling away’ of His people from the Way, the Truth and the Life?’ Even the negative warnings of God present a great hope in the solution God provides – a return to Holy Living and Holy Obedience. The latter is the solution to the awful effects and impact of the former case of ‘falling away.’

 

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OW the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron.  (1 Timothy 4:1-2) 

 

In today’s church, positive thinking precludes God’s more serious warnings and judgments. 

 

Do we believe the purpose of the minister of God is to speak soft words and build up our self-esteem? If we feel that way, we have failed to grasp the dire counsels of God and His warnings against heeding the counsel of our fleshly desires and the voice of the dark angels of our world. There are innumerable cases of pastors who do just that. Need we assent to our own destruction by the delusions of self-righteousness presented by these false prophets? Suppose we removed the monetary reward from these seekers of filthy lucre – would they continue then in their preaching of easy-believism? The thought is almost humorous were it not so many souls being deceived thereby.

 

The prophet, Jeremiah (and I am not Jeremiah except in name only), began his ministry preaching repentance to the people, but when they would not hear him, his preaching turned to the judgment of God in sending His people into bondage and exile. Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein. (Jeremiah 6:16)   During a time of so great a ‘falling away’ among our members, should we do less than follow the lead of Jeremiah and his Godly counsel? At a time in which those things that God calls grievous sins such as homosexuality, promiscuity, drug abuse, murders ion the streets, abortion, etc. are now called good by the church, should we simply say, ‘Well, I do not dare be negative in my preaching – I will simply gloss over those grievous sins and the terrible judgment of God that they invoke and preach on positive matters of hope where there can be no hope?’

 

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O whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken: behold, the word of the LORD is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it. Therefore I am full of the fury of the LORD; I am weary with holding in: I will pour it out upon the children abroad, and upon the assembly of young men together: for even the husband with the wife shall be taken, the aged with him that is full of days. And their houses shall be turned unto others, with their fields and wives together: for I will stretch out my hand upon the inhabitants of the land, saith the LORD. For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely.  (Jeremiah 6:10-13)

 

It is my duty and sworn obligation to preach judgment where God counsels, and the hope of restoration that those warnings entail.

 

For those with itching ears to hear a false Gospel, the TV airwaves are filled with those; but the hope of the Gospel is love and obedience of God, and He will heal the land therewith. But no lives were ever changed by a false and carnal Gospel. It is not the world, the Lord condemns for it is already condemned, but the Church and His people in their grave apostasy.

 

Monday, September 13, 2021

The Great Famine - a Devotion for 13 September 2021, Anno Domini


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EHOLD, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: 12 And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it. 13 In that day shall the fair virgins and young men faint for thirst.      (Amos 8:11-13)

 

            In my Bible studies as a child, the Word of God spoke to my heart as the most magnificent writings I could ever imagine – it still does. The beauty and majesty of the very reverent language of the King James Bible spoke with unparalleled authority. As I grew older, I began to see a new kind of Bible that seemed flaccid and without authority. I had no understanding at my youthful age of the difference in the reliability of manuscript evidence underlying these new Bibles, but I knew they lacked the power of expression to move my heart. 

 

            My first line assignment after flight school was with the 101st Airborne Division at Ft. Campbell, Ky., in the late ‘60’s. I served as XO of the Headquarters Company of Campbell Army Airfield. There was a beautiful little chapel on the airbase called High Flight Chapel. I often went there during my leisure hours to read and to pray. The Protestant service was from the 1928 Book of Common Prayer much like that at the US Military Academy. At the entrance of High Flight Chapel were two racks of books – the first, complimentary copies of the KJV Bible, and the second, the 1928 Book of Common Prayer. I still have a small copy of the latter in my travel bag; but my travel Bible is a KJV issued to me on my first day at West Point.

 

            One day I entered the chapel to discover that all the KJV Bibles were missing along with the Books of Common Prayer. In their places were the Blue Jeans Bible (I believe, the Good News Bible). I looked through it and could find no inspiration whatsoever. The language was close to that I heard among the GI’s in the aircraft hangars. And there were verses missing. The chapel service also changed from a reverential service to a spiritual free-for-all. From that date, I never attended another military chapel during my military career except for funerals of my comrades. 

 

            What had happened? Almost two hundred years ago, A fellow named Tischendorf discovered a manuscript hidden away in the basement of the Vatican for the fifteen hundred years preceding. It was called the Vaticanus. It was not apparently held in high esteem even by the Roman Catholic Church as they never used it in their Bible translation programs. A bit later, another manuscript was found in the trash bin of a monastery in the Sinai (called the Sinaiticus). It was much like the Vaticanus except the two disagreed with each other in significant areas. These two did not hold the Lord Jesus Christ in high reverence, neither did they hold up the Holy Spirit in the same esteem as the KJV. But I was immediately the prize of liberal churchmen who regarded Christ as an obstacle to a one-world church. Additionally, since the KJV was not copyrighted, these new Bibles based on these spurious manuscripts could be copyrighted and sold at a greater profit than the old reliable Received Text Bibles such as the KJV and the Geneva Bibles.  So, there was not only an ideological purpose, but a profit motive, involved in the torrent of new versions that followed which excluded many verses from the Byzantine Text. The textual evidence underlying the KJV comprise 95% of all manuscript and they all agree with each other.

 

            A far more casual approach followed in worship of the churches. After all, if the Bible itself could be amended to satisfy the luke-warm faith of a compromising clergy, surely, the form of worship itself could become more worldly and suited for greater entertainment and less Biblical preaching. True, greater numbers might be drawn by entertainment than by preaching the true Gospel, but so what – the offering pots grew. 

 

            With the proliferation of these new bibles, the young people coming up today are not aware of the issues involved in these changed bibles they are sold in Christian book stores. If the church pushes these bibles, then the youth assume they are OK. But the street language of the new bibles do not lift the word of God, nor its readers, to heights above the streets whose language they profess. Since the advent of these bibles, do we witness a greater, of greatly reduced, adherence to God’s Word. Our youth have stopped even going to church. They find nothing offered in most modern churches that will satisfy their hunger for higher meaning.

 

            So, there is a famine in the land. The Word of God is being reduced to the vulgarity of the street, and that is where its readers remain. They youth are famished for lack of spiritual food; and, just as the prophet Amos has warned, they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it. Lord, have mercy!

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Sermon Notes - Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity - Two by Twos - Saint Andrew’s Anglican Orthodox Church - 12 September 2021, Anno Domini

 

The Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity.

 

The Collect.

 

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EEP, we beseech thee, O Lord, thy Church with thy perpetual mercy; and, because the frailty of man without thee cannot but fall, keep us ever by thy help from all things hurtful, and lead us to all things profitable to our salvation; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

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ND we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.   (Romans 8:28)

 

            What are those things that profit us and ground us firmly in the salvation of God offered in Jesus Christ? If you could name JUST ONE quality, what would it be? Do you possess those things which are profitable to your salvation? Would it be perfect obedience to the law of God, or courageousness in living, or possessing a thousand good gifts of the Spirit? What is the ONE blessing that bears fruit in all things and upon which all things depend for your salvation? Which ONE quality describes the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost most fully?


 

            KEEP, we beseech thee O Lord, thy church with thy perpetual mercy. If the LORD keeps us in mercy, then perhaps mercy might be that one quality, but it is NOT! It is God’s mercy that grants us salvation, but that mercy rests upon an even greater principle. For what cause would God keep us with His perpetual mercy. May I suggest that it is LOVE whereby God is governed in His keeping, mercy, and grace! As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends(John 15:9-13) Love appears no less than eight times in the four verses above. It is the essence of God’s nature to His people.

 

            Herein lies a sobering question: What one thing can you carry with you when you depart this life? Is it wealth, social status, popularity, political power, good works? No none of these will accompany you beyond Jordan Waters. Then what? It is simply LOVE! And this is not JUST love, but Love in Christ Jesus:  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither deathnor lifenor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35-39) Did you notice that LOVE will survive EVEN DEATH? 

 

……because the frailty of man without thee cannot but fall  This Collect emphasizes the need of the whole church for God’s guidance as well as the need of the individual man whose frailty and hopelessness without that guidance and help would render him doomed. The Collect was first uttered at a time when the Roman Empire was being invaded by barbarians from the north and which threatened even the Church itself. This Collect points to God as our Shepherd in guiding us in all times and circumstances.

             …..keep us ever by thy help from all things hurtful  The Good Shepherd stands watch over His flock to protect it from the wolves, lions, and thieves. His first concern is to protect His flock from hurt or injury just as the rule of the good physician is to ‘first do no harm.’ He has given us a powerful protection in His Word itself. If we commit those words to heart, we shall never be deceived by wolves in sheep’s clothing. If we hide these in our hearts, we shall not sin against God. Man without God is in a ruined state already; therefore, man must have God to keep him and lead him where he ought to go.

           

We have petitioned for help and protection, and that is the desire of our Lord to perform. But we next ask another important consideration: ….and lead us to all things profitable to our salvation.   Those ‘all things profitable’ are founded on that beautiful love chapter of the New Testament – 1 Corinthians 13.  Our Shepherd will not only protect us where we are presently, but lead into greater and better pasturelands and fountains of water.  As He keeps the lone sheep on the lonely mountain, so He keeps the whole flock – the Church – inviolate. He is the Good Shepherd that KEEPS and LEADS His people and Church. Just as a magnet knows only those metals of like nature to attract, so the Good Shepherd His Sheep. And just as the ore of a like metal is attracted to the magnet, so the people of God are pulled and led by the Good Shepherd whose nature they must share in Love.

 

The Gospel

Matthew 6:24-34

 

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O man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. 25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they27  Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof



The Sermon itself

We see throughout the Holy Bible that we are presented a choice between two realities:

 


There are but two families upon the earth: 

 

1.     The family God

 

2.     The family of the damned 

 

There were Two Trees in the Garden:

1.     The Tree of Life representing Jesus Christ

 

2.     The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil representing Law which cannot save us

 

There are but two paths, one of which we all shall travel:

 

1.     The straight and narrow ¶ “Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matt 7:14)

 

2.     The Broad Way filled with people and going down to destruction Matt 7:13 “Enter ye in at the strait1 gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:”

 

And now, the Lord has pointed out two Masters, only one of which we can claim as our own:

         

1.     God whose yoke is light and easy to be born (Matt 11:28 -30)  Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.Take my yoke upon you,1 and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

 

2.     And the way of Mammon (worldly riches): Matt 13:22 – He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.  

 

3.     We do not like either of these choices, we want a third way that does not exist.  We ask ourselves, in moments of greed and weakness: “Could I not claim this bit of unearned wealth and still be gracious unto God?” The answer of course is always no. Any thing ill-gotten cannot satisfy a Holy God. 

 

               But we must go into the matter still further than that: Anything gotten outside the will of God cannot please Him – honestly acquired or otherwise.  

 

              The determinate principle is our motive in the getting and using of our possessions, and the manner with which we view them.

 

               Let us examine verses 25-32 with a view of gleaning the deeper meaning our Lord conveys therein:

 

·      Christ is telling us that there are two ways with which to view the future. 

·      He certainly does not mean that we should not exercise due foresight in providing for our family, our professions, our education, our food, etc.

·      Foresight aids us in our daily walk with the Lord. 

·      We have our Bible study plans, our General Conventions, our Morning/Evening Worship, Our Holy Communion Service, our family budgets – all these things are results of careful planning and foresight. They free our minds of worry and undue concern so that we can concentrate our thoughts on Christ – morning, noonday, and evening.

·      But neither does He mean that we should view the future in fear and foreboding.

·      Foresight and foreboding are two very different things. Each opposed to the other:

·      The more a man looks forward in the exercise of foresight, the less he does so in the exercise of foreboding. 

·      And the more he is tortured by anxious thoughts about a possible future, the less clear vision has he of a likely future, and the less power to influence it. 

 

When Christ here, therefore, enjoins the abstinence from thought for our life and for the future, it is not for the sake of getting away from the pressure of a very unpleasant command that we say, He does not mean to prevent the exercise of wise and provident foresight and preparation for what is to come. 

 

The idea is, therefore, that here it is forbidden for a Christian, not the careful preparation for what is likely to come, not the foresight of the storm and taking in sail while yet there is time, but we are herein counseled against the constant occupation and distraction of the heart with gazing forward, and fearing and being weakened thereby; or to come back to words already used, foresight is commanded, and, therefore, foreboding is forbidden

 

            Why does Christ tell us these things regarding our love for Mammon?

Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?’ (vss 25)

 

           LIFE! The object of our faith in Christ is not the material riches He will bestow upon us, but LIFE itself – and that eternal. 

 

T

HE thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.  (John 10:10)

 

When we are born into this world, we must depend upon our mothers and fathers to provide our every need. In fact, they gave us life as ministers of the Creator God.

 

           As children of our parents, we inherit all that our parents have – a nice home, good and fresh meals, clothes to cover our nakedness, careful protection – all come- not through our labors, but as a result of to whom we belong as children. 

 

          Without our parents to love and care for us when we are young, what prospect would we have for the future? The worries of all our necessities do not belong to the child, but the parent.

 

          So likewise with the Christian. He allows God to do his worrying and accepts the life offered through the Redeeming Blood of Christ. That is our means to life, and our assurance of the future life in Eternity.

 

Seek first to be born into the Kingdom of God (just as you were all born into loving, caring families here on earth) and all your necessities will be provided – ALL!

 

          Just as your good parents know what things you have need of, so does the Heavenly Father know your needs and desires. 

 

          No one in this church has parents who will not provide food and clothing to them. Because of the bond of love a parent has for his/her children, just so much more love does the Father in Heaven have for you.

 

          Not only does the Father love you with an unending Love, but He is one who is able to enforce that Love through the gifts of His Heart to you who love Him.

 

          And why do we love Him? 

 

T

HERE is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us(1 John 4:18-19)

 

         Who is your God? Mammon or God the Father?

 

          Do you love the things of this world: parties, fashions, money, romance………anything… more than you Father in Heaven?

 

          Do you spend more time thinking on the vain and material than you do about the one who created you

 

Serious questions for a serious matter……..

 

B

E sober;  be vigilant;  because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast1 in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in  the world But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect,1stablish, strengthen, settle you.  (1 Peter 5:8-10)

 

          He will promise you the world, but in the end, destroy your soul. 

 

          Turn to God each waking moment, for it is who is able

 

W

HEREFORE he is able also to save them to the uttermost1 that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. (Hebrews 7:25)

 

Mammon or God? 

 

Which is it in your life?