Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Thank You to Follwers

I would just like to thank the three of you for following this site. It is my hope that I have in even the smallest of ways have given comfort to you when it was needed via God's Word.

God Bless you
R.P.W. Sr.

Merry Christmas To All

Luke 2:1 - 14
1 And it came to pass in those days, that there came a decree from Augustus Caesar, that all the world should be taxed.
2 (This first taxing was made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
3 Therefore went all to be taxed, every man to his own city.
4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee out of a city called Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem (because he was of the house and linage of David,)
5 To be taxed with Mary that was given him to wife, which was with child.
6 And so it was, that while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered,
7 And she brought forth her first begotten son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a crèche, because there was no room for them in the Inn.
8 And there were in the same country shepherds, abiding in the field, and keeping watch by night over their flock.
9 And lo, the Angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone about them, and they were sore afraid.
10 Then the Angel said unto them, Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you glad tidings of great joy, that shall be to all the people,
11 That is, that unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you, Ye shall find the babe swaddled, and laid in a crèche.
13 And straightway there was with the Angel a multitude of heavenly soldiers, praising God, and saying,
14 Glory be to God in the high heavens, and peace in earth, and towards men good will.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Daily Meditation - Sunday Sermon
Amen Me!
Of Prayer - Part Four
By John Calvin

Furthermore, brethren, whatsoever things
are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever
things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever
things are worthy love, whatsoever things are
of good report, if there be any virtue, or if there be
any praise, think on these things.
Philippians 4:8

Sometimes, however, the saints in supplicating God, seem to appeal to their own righteousness, as when David says, "Preserve my soul; for I am holy" (Psalm 86:2). Also Hezekiah, "Remember now, O Lord, I beseech thee how I have walked before thee in truth, and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight" (Isaiah 38:2). All they mean by such expressions is, that regeneration declares them to be among the servants and children to whom God engages that he will show favour. We have already seen how he declares by the Psalmist that his eyes "are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry" (Psalm 34:16Ps. 34:16) and again by the apostle, that "whatsoever we ask of him we obtain, because we keep his commandments" (John 3:22). In these passages he does not fix a value on prayer as a meritorious work, but designs to establish the confidence of those who are conscious of an unfeigned integrity and innocence, such as all believers should possess. For the saying of the blind man who had received his sight is in perfect accordance with divine truth, And God heareth not sinners (John 9:31); provided we take the term sinners in the sense commonly used by Scripture to mean those who, without any desire for righteousness, are sleeping secure in their sins; since no heart will ever rise to genuine prayer that does not at the same time long for holiness. Those supplications in which the saints allude to their purity and integrity correspond to such promises, that they may thus have, in their own experience, a manifestation of that which all the servants of God are made to expect. Thus they almost always use this mode of prayer when before God they compare themselves with their enemies, from whose injustice they long to be delivered by his hand. When making such comparisons, there is no wonder that they bring forward their integrity and simplicity of heart, that thus, by the justice of their cause, the Lord may be the more disposed to give them succour. We rob not the pious breast of the privilege of enjoying a consciousness of purity before the Lord, and thus feeling assured of the promises with which he comforts and supports his true worshippers, but we would have them to lay aside all thought of their own merits and found their confidence of success in prayer solely on the divine mercy.

The fourth rule of prayer is, that notwithstanding of our being thus abased and truly humbled, we should be animated to pray with the sure hope of succeeding. There is, indeed, an appearance of contradiction between the two things, between a sense of the just vengeance of God and firm confidence in his favour, and yet they are perfectly accordant, if it is the mere goodness of God that raises up those who are overwhelmed by their own sins. For, as we have formerly shown (chap. iii. sec. 1, 2) that repentance and faith go hand in hand, being united by an indissoluble tie, the one causing terror, the other joy, so in prayer they must both be present. This concurrence David expresses in a few words: "But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy, and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple" (Psalm 5:7). Under the goodness of God he comprehends faith, at the same time not excluding fear; for not only does his majesty compel our reverence, but our own unworthiness also divests us of all pride and confidence, and keeps us in fear. The confidence of which I speak is not one which frees the mind from all anxiety, and soothes it with sweet and perfect rest; such rest is peculiar to those who, while all their affairs are flowing to a wish are annoyed by no care, stung with no regret, agitated by no fear. But the best stimulus which the saints have to prayer is when, in consequence of their own necessities, they feel the greatest disquietude, and are all but driven to despair, until faith seasonably comes to their aid; because in such straits the goodness of God so shines upon them, that while they groan, burdened by the weight of present calamities, and tormented with the fear of greater, they yet trust to this goodness, and in this way both lighten the difficulty of endurance, and take comfort in the hope of final deliverance. It is necessary therefore, that the prayer of the believer should be the result of both feelings, and exhibit the influence of both; namely, that while he groans under present and anxiously dreads new evils, he should, at the same times have recourse to God, not at all doubting that God is ready to stretch out a helping hand to him. For it is not easy to say how much God is irritated by our distrust, when we ask what we expect not of his goodness. Hence, nothing is more accordant to the nature of prayer than to lay it down as a fixed rule, that it is not to come forth at random, but is to follow in the footsteps of faith. To this principle Christ directs all of us in these words, " Therefore, I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them" (Mark 11:24). The same thing he declares in another passage, "All things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive" (Matthew 21:22). In accordance with this are the words of James, "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering" (James 1:5). He most aptly expresses the power of faith by opposing it to wavering. No less worthy of notice is his additional statement, that those who approach God with a doubting, hesitating mind, without feeling assured whether they are to be heard or not, gain nothing by their prayers. Such persons he compares to a wave of the sea, driven with the wind and tossed. Hence, in another passage he terms genuine prayer "the prayer of faith" (James 5:15). Again, since God so often declares that he will give to every man according to his faith he intimates that we cannot obtain anything without faith. In short, it is faith which obtains everything that is granted to prayer. This is the meaning of Paul in the well known passage to which dull men give too little heed, "How then shall they call upon him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?" "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Rom. 10:14, 17). Gradually deducing the origin of prayer from faith, he distinctly maintains that God cannot be invoked sincerely except by those to whom, by the preaching of the Gospel, his mercy and willingness have been made known, nay, familiarly explained.

This necessity our opponents do not at all consider. Therefore, when we say that believers ought to feel firmly assured, they think we are saying the absurdest thing in the world. But if they had any experience in true prayer, they would assuredly understand that God cannot be duly invoked without this firm sense of the Divine benevolence. But as no man can well perceive the power of faith, without at the same time feeling it in his heart, what profit is there in disputing with men of this character, who plainly show that they have never had more than a vain imagination? The value and necessity of that assurance for which we contend is learned chiefly from prayer. Every one who does not see this gives proof of a very stupid conscience. Therefore, leaving those who are thus blinded, let us fix our thoughts on the words of Paul, that God can only be invoked by such as have obtained a knowledge of his mercy from the Gospel, and feel firmly assured that that mercy is ready to be bestowed upon them. What kind of prayer would this be? "O Lord, I am indeed doubtful whether or not thou art inclined to hear me; but being oppressed with anxiety I fly to thee that if I am worthy, thou mayest assist me." None of the saints whose prayers are given in Scripture thus supplicated. Nor are we thus taught by the Holy Spirit, who tells us to "come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 4:16); and elsewhere teaches us to "have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of Christ" (Ephesians 3:12). This confidence of obtaining what we ask, a confidence which the Lord commands, and all the saints teach by their example, we must therefore hold fast with both hands, if we would pray to any advantage. The only prayer acceptable to God is that which springs (if I may so express it) from this presumption of faith, and is founded on the full assurance of hope. He might have been contented to use the simple name of faith, but he adds not only confidence, but liberty or boldness, that by this mark he might distinguish us from unbelievers, who indeed like us pray to God, but pray at random. Hence, the whole Church thus prays "Let thy mercy O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in thee" (Psalm 33:22). The same condition is set down by the Psalmist in another passage, "When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know, for God is for me" (Psalm 56:9). Again, "In the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up" (Psalm 5:3). From these words we gather, that prayers are vainly poured out into the air unless accompanied with faith, in which, as from a watchtower, we may quietly wait for God. With this agrees the order of Paul's exhortation. For before urging believers to pray in the Spirit always, with vigilance and assiduity, he enjoins them to take "the shield of faith," " the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Ephesians 6:16-18).
Let the reader here call to mind what I formerly observed, that faith by no means fails though accompanied with a recognition of our wretchedness, poverty, and pollution. How much soever believers may feel that they are oppressed by a heavy load of iniquity, and are not only devoid of everything which can procure the favour of God for them, but justly burdened with many sins which make him an object of dread, yet they cease not to present themselves, this feeling not deterring them from appearing in his presence, because there is no other access to him. Genuine prayer is not that by which we arrogantly extol ourselves before God, or set a great value on anything of our own, but that by which, while confessing our guilt, we utter our sorrows before God, just as children familiarly lay their complaints before their parents. Nay, the immense accumulation of our sins should rather spur us on and incite us to prayer. Of this the Psalmist gives us an example, "Heal my soul: for I have sinned against thee" (Psalm 41:4). I confess, indeed, that these stings would prove mortal darts, did not God give succour; but our heavenly Father has, in ineffable kindness, added a remedy, by which, calming all perturbation, soothing our cares, and dispelling our fears he condescendingly allures us to himself; nay, removing all doubts, not to say obstacles, makes the way smooth before us

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Daily Meditation - Sunday Sermon
Amen Me!

Furthermore, brethren, whatsoever things
are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever
things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever
things are worthy love, whatsoever things are
of good report, if there be any virtue, or if there be
any praise, think on these things.
Philippians 4:8

Of Prayer - Part 3
By John Calvin

Editor's Note;
The Lord hath heard my petition: the Lord will receive my prayer. - Psalm 6:9

Be nothing careful, but in all things let your requests be shewed unto God in prayer and supplication, with giving thanks. - Ephesians 4:6

If it is objected, that the necessity which urges us to pray is not always equal, I admit it, and this distinction is profitably taught us by James: " Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms" (James 5:13). Therefore, common sense itself dictates, that as we are too sluggish, we must be stimulated by God to pray earnestly whenever the occasion requires. This David calls a time when God "may be found" (a seasonable time); because, as he declares in several other passages, that the more hardly grievances, annoyances, fears, and other kinds of trial press us, the freer is our access to God, as if he were inviting us to himself. Still not less true is the injunction of Paul to pray "always" (Ephesians 6:18); because, however prosperously according to our view, things proceed, and however we may be surrounded on all sides with grounds of joy, there is not an instant of time during which our want does not exhort us to prayer. A man abounds in wheat and wine; but as he cannot enjoy a morsel of bread, unless by the continual bounty of God, his granaries or cellars will not prevent him from asking for daily bread. Then, if we consider how many dangers impend every moment, fear itself will teach us that no time ought to be without prayer. This, however, may be better known in spiritual matters. For when will the many sins of which we are conscious allow us to sit secure without suppliantly entreating freedom from guilt and punishment? When will temptation give us a truce, making it unnecessary to hasten for help? Moreover, zeal for the kingdom and glory of God ought not to seize us by starts, but urge us without intermission, so that every time should appear seasonable. It is not without cause, therefore, that assiduity in prayer is so often enjoined. I am not now speaking of perseverance, which shall afterwards be considered; but Scripture, by reminding us of the necessity of constant prayer, charges us with sloth, because we feel not how much we stand in need of this care and assiduity. By this rule hypocrisy and the device of lying to God are restrained, nay, altogether banished from prayer. God promises that he will be near to those who call upon him in truth, and declares that those who seek him with their whole heart will find him: those, therefore, who delight in their own pollution cannot surely aspire to him.
One of the requisites of legitimate prayer is repentance. Hence the common declaration of Scripture, that God does not listen to the wicked; that their prayers, as well as their sacrifices, are an abomination to him. For it is right that those who seal up their hearts should find the ears of God closed against them, that those who, by their hardheartedness, provoke his severity should find him inflexible. In Isaiah he thus threatens: "When ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood" (Isaiah 1:15). In like manner, in Jeremiah, "Though they shall cry unto me, I will not hearken unto them" (Jer. 11:7, 8, 11Jer. 11:7, 8, 11); because he regards it as the highest insult for the wicked to boast of his covenant while profaning his sacred name by their whole lives. Hence he complains in Isaiah: "This people draw near to me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me; but have removed their heart far from men" (Isaiah 29:13). Indeed, he does not confine this to prayers alone, but declares that he abominates pretense in every part of his service. Hence the words of James, "Ye ask and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts" (James 4:3). It is true, indeed (as we shall again see in a little), that the pious, in the prayers which they utter, trust not to their own worth; still the admonition of John is not superfluous: "Whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments" (1 John 3:22); an evil conscience shuts the door against us. Hence it follows, that none but the sincere worshippers of God pray aright, or are listened to. Let every one, therefore, who prepares to pray feel dissatisfied with what is wrong in his condition, and assume, which he cannot do without repentance, the character and feelings of a poor suppliant.

The third rule to be added is: that he who comes into the presence of God to pray must divest himself of all vainglorious thoughts, lay aside all idea of worth; in short, discard all self-confidence, humbly giving God the whole glory, lest by arrogating anything, however little, to himself, vain pride cause him to turn away his face. Of this submission, which casts down all haughtiness, we have numerous examples in the servants of God. The holier they are, the more humbly they prostrate themselves when they come into the presence of the Lord. Thus Daniel, on whom the Lord himself bestowed such high commendation, says, "We do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousness but for thy great mercies. O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name." This he does not indirectly in the usual manner, as if he were one of the individuals in a crowd: he rather confesses his guilt apart, and as a suppliant betaking himself to the asylum of pardon, he distinctly declares that he was confessing his own sin, and the sin of his people Israel (Daniel 9:18-20). David also sets us an example of this humility: " Enter not into judgment with thy servant: for in thy sight shall no man living be justified" (Psalm 143:2). In like manner, Isaiah prays, "Behold, thou art wroth; for we have sinned: in those is continuance, and we shall be saved. But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities. But now, O Lord, thou art our Father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand. Be not wroth very sore, O Lord, neither remember iniquity for ever: Behold, see, we beseech thee, we are all thy people." (Isaiah 64:5-9). You see how they put no confidence in anything but this: considering that they are the Lord's, they despair not of being the objects of his care. In the same way, Jeremiah says, "O Lord, though our iniquities testify against us, do thou it for thy name's sake" (Jeremiah 14:7). For it was most truly and piously written by the uncertain author (whoever he may have been) that wrote the book which is attributed to the prophet Baruch, 2 "But the soul that is greatly vexed, which goeth stooping and feeble, and the eyes that fail, and the hungry soul, will give thee praise and righteousness, O Lord. Therefore, we do not make our humble supplication before thee, O Lord our God, for the righteousness of our fathers, and of our kings." "Hear, O Lord, and have mercy; for thou art merciful: and have pity upon us, because we have sinned before thee" (Bar. 2:18, 19; Baruch 3:2).

2 French, "Pourtant ce qui est escrit en la prophetie qu’on attribue à Baruch, combien que l’autheur soit incertain, est tres sainctement dit;"—However, what is written in the prophecy which is attributed to Baruch, though the author is uncertain, is very holily said.

In fine, supplication for pardon, with humble and ingenuous confession of guilt, forms both the preparation and commencement of right prayer. For the holiest of men cannot hope to obtain anything from God until he has been freely reconciled to him. God cannot be propitious to any but those whom he pardons. Hence it is not strange that this is the key by which believers open the door of prayer, as we learn from several passages in The Psalms. David, when presenting a request on a different subject, says, "Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions; according to thy mercy remember me, for thy goodness sake, O Lord" (Psalm 25:7). Again, "Look upon my affliction and my pain, and forgive my sins" (Psalm 25:18). Here also we see that it is not sufficient to call ourselves to account for the sins of each passing day; we must also call to mind those which might seem to have been long before buried in oblivion. For in another passage the same prophet, confessing one grievous crime, takes occasion to go back to his very birth, "I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me" (Psalm 51:5); not to extenuate the fault by the corruption of his nature, but as it were to accumulate the sins of his whole life, that the stricter he was in condemning himself, the more placable God might be. But although the saints do not always in express terms ask forgiveness of sins, yet if we carefully ponder those prayers as given in Scripture, the truth of what I say will readily appear; namely, that their courage to pray was derived solely from the mercy of God, and that they always began with appeasing him. For when a man interrogates his conscience, so far is he from presuming to lay his cares familiarly before God, that if he did not trust to mercy and pardon, he would tremble at the very thought of approaching him. There is, indeed, another special confession. When believers long for deliverance from punishment, they at the same time pray that their sins may be pardoned; 3 for it were absurd to wish that the effect should be taken away while the cause remains. For we must beware of imitating foolish patients who, anxious only about curing accidental symptoms, neglect the root of the disease. 4 Nay, our endeavour must be to have God propitious even before he attests his favour by external signs, both because this is the order which he himself chooses, and it were of little avail to experience his kindness, did not conscience feel that he is appeased, and thus enable us to regard him as altogether lovely. Of this we are even reminded by our Saviour's reply. Having determined to cure the paralytic, he says, "Thy sins are forgiven thee;" in other words, he raises our thoughts to the object which is especially to be desired, viz. admission into the favour of God, and then gives the fruit of reconciliation by bringing assistance to us. But besides that special confession of present guilt which believers employ, in supplicating for pardon of every fault and punishment, that general introduction which procures favour for our prayers must never be omitted, because prayers will never reach God unless they are founded on free mercy. To this we may refer the words of John, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9). Hence, under the law it was necessary to consecrate prayers by the expiation of blood, both that they might be accepted, and that the people might be warned that they were unworthy of the high privilege until, being purged from their defilements, they founded their confidence in prayer entirely on the mercy of God.

3 French, "il reconoissent le chastisement qu’ils ont merité;"—they acknowledge the punishment which they have deserved.
4 The French adds, "Ils voudront qu’on leur oste le mal de tests et des reins, et seront contens qu’on ne touche point a la fievre;"—They would wish to get quit of the pain in the head and the loins, and would be contented to leave the fever untouched.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Daily Meditation
Amen Me!
Love and Joy Perfected
John 15:9 - 12

9 As the father hath loved me, so have I loved
you: continue in that my love.
10 If ye shall keep my commandments, ye shall
abide in my love, as I have kept my Father’s commandments,
and abide in his love.
11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my
joy might remain in you, and that your joy might
be full.
12 This is my commandment, that ye love one
another, as I have loved you.

Related Scriptures

John 5:20, 13:34, 14:15
1 Thessalonians 4:9
1 John 1:4, 3:11, 4:21
Romans 12:9
1 Corinthians 13:4 - 8, 13
2 Corinthians 13:11

Editor’s note - Paul uses the word “charity” as translated in the KJV, (however in the Geneva translation the word “love” is used) Strong’s concordance translates the words Charity and Love as follows

Charity - 26. agape ag-ah'-pay - love, i.e. affection or benevolence; specially (plural) a love-feast:--(feast of) charity(-ably), dear, love

Love - 25. agapao ag-ap-ah'-o perhaps from agan (much) (or compare 5689); to love (in a social or moral sense):--(be-)love(-ed). Compare 5368.
5368. phileo fil-eh'-o from 5384; to be a friend to (fond of (an individual or an object)), i.e. have affection for (denoting personal attachment, as a matter of sentiment or feeling; while 25 is wider, embracing especially the judgment and the deliberate assent of the will as a matter of principle, duty and propriety: the two thus stand related very much as 2309 and 1014, or as 2372 and 3563 respectively; the former being chiefly of the heart and the latter of the head); specially, to kiss (as a mark of tenderness):--kiss, love.

Editor’s thought - It is apparent that both words are for the most part synonymous and as such are interchangeable.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Daily Meditation

Amen Me!

The True Vine
John 15:1 - 8

1 I am that true vine, and my Father is that
2 Every branch that beareth not fruit in me, he
taketh away: and everyone that beareth fruit, he
purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
3 Now are ye clean through the word, which I
have spoken unto you.
4 Abide in me, and I in you: as the branch cannot
bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, no
more can ye, except ye abide in me.
5 I am that vine: ye are the branches: he that
abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth
much fruit: for without me can ye do nothing.
6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a
branch, and withereth: and men gather them, and
cast them into the fire, and they burn.
7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you,
ask what ye will, and it shall be done to you.
8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear
much fruit, and be made my disciples.

Related Scripture

Hosea 14;8
Matthew 5:16, 15:13, 21:33 - 41
John 13:10
2 Corinthians 3:5
Colossians 1:23, 2:23
1 John 2:14, 3:22

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Daily Meditation
Amen Me!

The Peace That Passes Beyond Understanding

John 14:26 - 27

26 But the Comforter, which is the holy Ghost,
whom the Father will send in my Name, he shall
teach you all things, and bring all things to your
remembrance, which I have told you.
27 Peace I leave with you: my peace I give unto
you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not
your heart be troubled, nor fear.

Related Scriptures

Joel 2:28 - 29, 32
Luke 24:49
John 2:22, 12:16
1 Corinthians 2:13

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Daily Meditation
Amen Me!

The Indwelling of the Father and the Son
John 14:19 - 24

19 Yet a little while, and the world shall see me
no more, but ye shall see me: because I live, ye shall
live also.
20 At that day shall ye know that I am in my
Father, and you in me, and I in you.
21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth
them: is he that loveth me: and he that loveth me,
shall be loved of my Father: and I will love him, and
will show mine own self to him.
22 Judas said unto him, (not Iscariot) Lord, what
is the cause that thou wilt show thyself unto us, and
not unto the world?
23 Jesus answered, and said unto him, If any man
love me, he will keep my word, and my Father will
love him, and we will come unto him, and will dwell
with him.
24 He that loveth me not, keepeth not my words,
and the word which ye hear, is not mine, but the
Father’s which sent me.

Related Scripture

Leviticus 26:11 - 12
Deuteronomy 23:14
1 John 2:3 - 6
2 Corinthians 6:16
Revelation 3:12, 20, 21:3

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Daily Meditation - Sunday Sermon

Amen Me!

Of Prayer - Parts 4 - 6

By John Calvin

Let the first rule of right prayer then be, to have our heart and mind framed as becomes those who are entering into converse with God. This we shall accomplish in regard to the mind, if, laying aside carnal thoughts and cares which might interfere with the direct and pure contemplation of God, it not only be wholly intent on prayer, but also, as far as possible, be borne and raised above itself. I do not here insist on a mind so disengaged as to feel none of the gnawings of anxiety; on the contrary, it is by much anxiety that the fervour of prayer is inflamed. Thus we see that the holy servants of God betray great anguish, not to say solicitude, when they cause the voice of complaint to ascend to the Lord from the deep abyss and the jaws of death. What I say is, that all foreign and extraneous cares must be dispelled by which the mind might be driven to and fro in vague suspense, be drawn down from heaven, and kept grovelling on the earth. When I say it must be raised above itself, I mean that it must not bring into the presence of God any of those things which our blind and stupid reason is wont to devise, nor keep itself confined within the little measure of its own vanity, but rise to a purity worthy of God.

Both things are specially worthy of notice. First, let every one in professing to pray turn thither all his thoughts and feelings, and be not (as is usual) distracted by wandering thoughts; because nothing is more contrary to the reverence due to God than that levity which bespeaks a mind too much given to license and devoid of fear. In this matter we ought to labour the more earnestly the more difficult we experience it to be; for no man is so intent on prayer as not to feel many thoughts creeping in, and either breaking off the tenor of his prayer, or retarding it by some turning or digression. Here let us consider how unbecoming it is when God admits us to familiar intercourse to abuse his great condescension by mingling things sacred and profane, reverence for him not keeping our minds under restraint; but just as if in prayer we were conversing with one like ourselves forgetting him, and allowing our thoughts to run to and fro. Let us know, then, that none duly prepare themselves for prayer but those who are so impressed with the majesty of God that they engage in it free from all earthly cares and affections. The ceremony of lifting up our hands in prayer is designed to remind us that we are far removed from God, unless our thoughts rise upward: as it is said in the psalm, "Unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul" (Psalm 25:1Psalm 25:1). And Scripture repeatedly uses the expression to raise our prayers meaning that those who would be heard by God must not grovel in the mire. The sum is, that the more liberally God deals with us, condescendingly inviting us to disburden our cares into his bosom, the less excusable we are if this admirable and incomparable blessing does not in our estimation outweigh all other things, and win our affection, that prayer may seriously engage our every thought and feeling. This cannot be unless our mind, strenuously exerting itself against all impediments, rise upward

Another rule of prayer is, that in asking we must always truly feel our wants, and seriously considering that we need all the things which we ask, accompany the prayer with a sincere, nay, ardent desire of obtaining them. Many repeat prayers in a perfunctory manner from a set form, as if they were performing a task to God, and though they confess that this is a necessary remedy for the evils of their condition, because it were fatal to be left without the divine aid which they implore, it still appears that they perform the duty from custom, because their minds are meanwhile cold, and they ponder not what they ask. A general and confused feeling of their necessity leads them to pray, but it does not make them solicitous as in a matter of present consequence, that they may obtain the supply of their need. Moreover, can we suppose anything more hateful or even more execrable to God than this fiction of asking the pardon of sins, while he who asks at the very time either thinks that he is not a sinner, or, at least, is not thinking that he is a sinner; in other words, a fiction by which God is plainly held in derision? But mankind, as I have lately said, are full of depravity, so that in the way of perfunctory service they often ask many things of God which they think come to them without his beneficence, or from some other quarter, or are already certainly in their possession. There is another fault which seems less heinous, but is not to be tolerated. Some murmur out prayers without meditation, their only principle being that God is to be propitiated by prayer. Believers ought to be specially on their guard never to appear in the presence of God with the intention of presenting a request unless they are under some serious impression, and are, at the same time, desirous to obtain it. Nay, although in these things which we ask only for the glory of God, we seem not at first sight to consult for our necessity, yet we ought not to ask with less fervour and vehemency of desire. For instance, when we pray that his name be hallowed — that hallowing must, so to speak, be earnestly hungered and thirsted after.

(To be continued next Sunday)

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Daily Meditation
Amen Me!

The Promise of the Holy Spirit

John 14:16 - 18

16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give
you another Comforter, that he may abide with you
forever, (a)
17 Even the Spirit of truth, whom the world
cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither
knoweth him: but ye know him: for he dwelleth
with you, and shall be in you.
18 I will not leave you fatherless: but I will come
to you.

(a) Verse 16 (click here to see all related study scriptures)

Acts 2:4
1 Timothy 4:8
Romans 8:15
1 John 2:27, 4:6, 5:7

Editor’s Thought - I was thinking as I was preparing today’s meditation, and I thought to myself, that the Spirit within us, is what helps us, as promised. But it also convicts us in so far as it shows and allows us to know what is acceptable and right in God and that which is contrary to His word. In other words it tells us what is right and wrong instinctively, and not through laws of men, of which come from the basis of God’s Holy Spirit. 

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Daily Meditation - Sunday Sermon
Amen Me!

Furthermore, brethren, whatsoever things
are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever
things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever
things are worthy love, whatsoever things are
of good report, if there be any virtue, or if there be
any praise, think on these things.

Philippians 4:8

Of Prayer
By John Calvin

Editor’s Note - I will preface this sermon by John Calvin with some scriptures I had read just yesterday and was going to use on Monday. However, they dovetail nicely into his sermon and serves, at least to my mind, how God constantly reaffirms His Word. I have only included parts 2 and 3 today. It is my hope to continue with the various other parts each Sunday until concluded.

John 14:12 - 14
12 Verily, verily I say unto you, he that believeth in
me, the works that I do, he shall do also, and 2greater
than these shall he do: for I go unto my Father.
13 And whatsoever ye ask in my Name, that will
I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
14 If ye shall ask anything in my Name, I will do it.

John 16:23 - 24
23 And in that day shall ye ask me nothing. Verily,
verily I say unto you, whatsoever ye shall ask the
Father in my Name, he will give it you.
24 Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my Name:
ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.

James 1:5 - 6
5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God,
which giveth to all men liberally, and reproacheth
no man, and it shall be given him.
6 But let him ask in faith, and 1waver not: for
he that wavereth, is like a wave of the sea, tossed of
the wind, and carried away.

And now on to the Sermon

To prayer, then, are we indebted for penetrating to those riches which are treasured up for us with our heavenly Father. For there is a kind of intercourse between God and men, by which, having entered the upper sanctuary, they appear before Him and appeal to his promises, that when necessity requires they may learn by experiences that what they believed merely on the authority of his word was not in vain. Accordingly, we see that nothing is set before us as an object of expectation from the Lord which we are not enjoined to ask of Him in prayer, so true it is that prayer digs up those treasures which the Gospel of our Lord discovers to the eye of faith. The necessity and utility of this exercise of prayer no words can sufficiently express. Assuredly it is not without cause our heavenly Father declares that our only safety is in calling upon his name, since by it we invoke the presence of his providence to watch over our interests, of his power to sustain us when weak and almost fainting, of his goodness to receive us into favour, though miserably loaded with sin; in fine, call upon him to manifest himself to us in all his perfections. Hence, admirable peace and tranquillity are given to our consciences; for the straits by which we were pressed being laid before the Lord, we rest fully satisfied with the assurance that none of our evils are unknown to him, and that he is both able and willing to make the best provision for us.

But some one will say, Does he not know without a monitor both what our difficulties are, and what is meet for our interest, so that it seems in some measure superfluous to solicit him by our prayers, as if he were winking, or even sleeping, until aroused by the sound of our voice? Those who argue thus attend not to the end for which the Lord taught us to pray. It was not so much for his sake as for ours. He wills indeed, as is just, that due honour be paid him by acknowledging that all which men desire or feel to be useful, and pray to obtain, is derived from him. But even the benefit of the homage which we thus pay him redounds to ourselves. Hence the holy patriarchs, the more confidently they proclaimed the mercies of God to themselves and others felt the stronger incitement to prayer. It will be sufficient to refer to the example of Elijah, who being assured of the purpose of God had good ground for the promise of rain which he gives to Ahab, and yet prays anxiously upon his knees, and sends his servant seven times to inquire (1 Kings 18:42); not that he discredits the oracle, but because he knows it to be his duty to lay his desires before God, lest his faith should become drowsy or torpid. Wherefore, although it is true that while we are listless or insensible to our wretchedness, he wakes and watches for use and sometimes even assists us unasked; it is very much for our interest to be constantly supplicating him; first, that our heart may always be inflamed with a serious and ardent desire of seeking, loving and serving him, while we accustom ourselves to have recourse to him as a sacred anchor in every necessity; secondly, that no desires, no longing whatever, of which we are ashamed to make him the witness, may enter our minds, while we learn to place all our wishes in his sight, and thus pour out our heart before him; and, lastly, that we may be prepared to receive all his benefits with true gratitude and thanksgiving, while our prayers remind us that they proceed from his hand. Moreover, having obtained what we asked, being persuaded that he has answered our prayers, we are led to long more earnestly for his favour, and at the same time have greater pleasure in welcoming the blessings which we perceive to have been obtained by our prayers. Lastly, use and experience confirm the thought of his providence in our minds in a manner adapted to our weakness, when we understand that he not only promises that he will never fail us, and spontaneously gives us access to approach him in every time of need, but has his hand always stretched out to assist his people, not amusing them with words, but proving himself to be a present aid. For these reasons, though our most merciful Father never slumbers nor sleeps, he very often seems to do so, that thus he may exercise us, when we might otherwise be listless and slothful, in asking, entreating, and earnestly beseeching him to our great good. It is very absurd, therefore, to dissuade men from prayer, by pretending that Divine Providence, which is always watching over the government of the universes is in vain importuned by our supplications, when, on the contrary, the Lord himself declares, that he is "nigh unto all that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth (Psalm 145:18). No better is the frivolous allegation of others, that it is superfluous to pray for things which the Lord is ready of his own accord to bestow; since it is his pleasure that those very things which flow from his spontaneous liberality should be acknowledged as conceded to our prayers. This is testified by that memorable sentence in the psalms to which many others corresponds: "The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry" (Psalm 34:15). This passage, while extolling the care which Divine Providence spontaneously exercises over the safety of believers, omits not the exercise of faith by which the mind is aroused from sloth. The eyes of God are awake to assist the blind in their necessity, but he is likewise pleased to listen to our groans, that he may give us the better proof of his love. And thus both things are true, "He that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep" (Psalm 121:4); and yet whenever he sees us dumb and torpid, he withdraws as if he had forgotten us.

(To be Continued Next Sunday - RPW)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

One Mind, One Spirit; Rejoice for God Likewise Dwells With Us and Within Us
Amen Me!
John 14:7 - 11

7 If ye had known me, ye should have known
my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him,
and have seen him.
8 Philip said unto him, Lord, show us thy Father,
and it sufficeth us.
9 Jesus said unto him, I have been so long time
with you, and hast thou not known me, Philip? he
that hath seen me, hath seen my Father: how then
sayest thou, Show us thy Father?
10 Believest thou not, that I am in the Father,
and the Father is in me? The words that I speak
unto you, I speak not of myself: but the Father that
dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. (a)
11 Believe me, that I am in the Father, and the
Father is in me: at the least, believe me for the very
works’ sake.

Editor’s note - I am just going to briefly preface this entry by saying have you ever heard the expression “kindred Spirits”? I will not claim to know who first said it or in what context it was used originally. However, the above verses would make a good source for the inspiration of the term.

So, I believe that our Savior was saying to His disciples that soon they and those that follow later on, will also dwell with Him, in mind, and spirit, and in heaven.

I am also reminded of Isaiah 7:14 in particular, the name Immanuel

6004 Immanuw'el im-maw-noo-ale' from 5973 and 410 with a pronominal suffix inserted; with us (is) God; Immanuel
5973 `im eem from 6004; adverb or preposition, with (i.e. in conjunction with), in varied applications; specifically, equally with; often with prepositional prefix (and then usually unrepresented in English):--accompanying, against, and, as (X long as), before, beside, by (reason of), for all, from (among, between), in, like, more than, of, (un-)to, with(-al).
410 'el ale shortened from 352; strength; as adjective, mighty; especially the Almighty (but used also of any deity):--God (god), X goodly, X great, idol, might(-y one), power,strong.

(a) Verse 10 - 11
Psalm 101:6
Zechariah 2:11
John 10:38
Romans 8:9 - 11
2 Corinthians 6:16
Ephesians 3:17
Colossians 1:19
1 John 4:13
Revelation 21:3

Friday, November 27, 2009

Bring It On, It's Show Time!

I was laying in bed this morning rather wide awake as I couldn't sleep after getting my stepson up to go to work and a thought or two came across my mind about the up and coming circus trials that are going to occur in NYC.

1) Attorneys for both the prosecution and defense are of the same political ideology.

Think about this for a minute.

The prosecuting attorneys will be representing the AG of the United States Eric Holder, who already has demonstrated an extreme statist view of HOW the USA should be administered. That view is very hostile to "we the people" and as been said and shown over and over again to be one of contempt for our opinions, and very dismissive of our thoughts and wishes, wherein they fail to realize that it is they that work for the electorate and not the other way around.

Just as an aside here, it would be of interest to speculate if the prosecution would allow or call upon family members of the 3000+ victims to come forth and make statements, and/or give testimony in relation to the deaths of their loved ones.

Now, as for the defense attorneys. It is almost a sure bet that ACLU lawyers are chomping on the bit, and frothing at the mouth to do Pro Bono work on behalf of the defendants. As we already know, they are even more left of center than AG and his people, (although I do not expect by all that much), and will do their damndest to get their “cliental” freed and exonerated. It will of course be all smoke and mirrors, or as they say, “it’s show time!”

All the lawyers involved on both sides are reasonably certain that there will be convictions. The American people are not so foolish, as to set free known terrorists and release these animals back into the wild. So in that I suppose there is a very small consolation. However, that is not the point. The point is that these trials should not even be allowed to go forth.

All of the above brings me to the next thought, and is based on the preceding comments.

2) Since EVERYONE knows this is a circus trial, then all of this going to create a platform for these terrorists to spew their vile hatred of this country, make them martyrs, and continue to fan the flames of Islamofascism. What it likewise does is it gives them a legitimate voice by treating them as American citizens, to air imagined grievances, and give a voice to a violent religious and racist doctrine.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Daily Meditation
Amen Me!

“ I Am the Way, the Truth and the Life”
John 14:1 - 6

1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in
God, believe also in me.
2 In my Father’s house are many dwelling places:
if it were not so, I would have told you: I go to
prepare a place for you.
3 And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will
come again, and receive you unto myself, that where
I am, there may ye be also. (a)
4 And whither I go, ye know, and the way ye
5 Thomas said unto him, Lord, we know not
whither thou goest: how can we then know the way?
6 Jesus said unto him, I am that Way, and that
Truth, and that Life. No man cometh unto the Father,
but by me. (b)

(a) Verse 3
John 14:18, 15:26
Acts 1:11, 2:1-4

(b) Verse 6
Editor’s thought - The way being the acceptance as Jesus as sole Savior and Redeemer of our sins, without which, nobody can, as He said, come to the Father.

John 1:14, 10:7-9
Hebrews 9:14-17, 24, 28
1 Timothy 2:5

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Daily Meditation
Amen Me!

We Must Also Serve and Walk as He Walked
John 13:3 - 5, 13 - 16, 20

3 Jesus knowing that the Father had given all
things into his hands, and that he was come forth
from God, and went to God,
4 He riseth from Supper, and layeth aside his
upper garments, and took a towel, and girded himself.
5 After that, he poured water into a basin, and
began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them
with the towel, wherewith he was girded. (a)
13 Ye call me Master, and Lord, and ye say well:
for so am I.
14 If I then your Lord, and Master, have washed
your feet, ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.
15 For I have given you an example, that ye should
do, even as I have done to you. (b)
16 Verily, verily I say unto you, The servant is not
greater than his master, neither the ambassador
greater than he that sent him.
20 Verily, verily I say unto you, If I send any, he
that receiveth him, receiveth me, and he that receiveth
me, receiveth him that sent me. (c)

(a) Verse 5
Editor’s thought - I believe that there is a connection here between this verse and Luke 7:37 - 38, for just as Jesus the Master, does this for his followers and as we later read, He sets the example, so did this woman who already recognized our Lord as Master and worthy of honor.

(b) Verses 14 - 15
Editor’s thought - I have long maintained that a leader, should be the servant of his people. Yes, they should follow him, and respect him, giving him all due honor of which he is worthy, but not out of fear, but out of love.

Romans 12:10
1 Peter 2:21 - 24

(c) Verse 20
Matthew 10:40 - 42

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Daily Meditation
Amen Me!
Receiving The Father Through Christ
John 12:44 - 50

44 And Jesus cried, and said, He that believeth in
me, believeth not in me, but in him that sent me. (a)
45 And he that seeth me, seeth him that sent
46 I am come a light into the world, that whosoever
believeth in me, should not abide in darkness.
47 And if any man hear my words, and believe
not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the
world, but to save the world.
48 He that refuseth me, and receiveth not my
words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I
have spoken, it shall judge him in the last day. (b)
49 For I have not spoken of myself: but the father
which sent me, he gave me a commandment what I
should say, and what I should speak.
50 And I know that his commandment is life
everlasting: the things therefore that I speak, I speak
them so as the Father said unto me. (c)

(a) Verse 44
Mark 9:37

(b) Verse 48
1 Samuel 8:7, 10:19
Psalm 118:22

Isaiah 28:16, 53:3
Jeremiah 8:9
Mark 12:10

(c) Verse 50
Exodus 4:11 - 12
Isaiah 50:4 - 5
Ezekiel 3:17
Matthew 13:35

Ephesians 6:19
Revelation 2:16

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Daily Meditation - Sunday Sermon
Amen Me!

In continuance with an idea in so far as presenting thoughts upon which to meditate I am presenting another sermon by the early Christian theologian Martin Luther.

One must remember, that he was very much a reformist, and as such was highly critical of the Papacy in Rome. Some of those sermons reflect that enmity. But overall, his words and analysis of the Bible reflect deep thought and insight, which in the opinion of this writer was inspired by God.

To read the entire sermon click here

17 Brethren, be followers of me, and look on them,
which walk so, as ye have us for an example.
18 For many walk, of whom I have told you
often, and now tell you weeping, that they are the
enemies of the cross of Christ:
19 Whose end is damnation, whose God is their
belly, and whose glory is to their shame, which mind
earthly things.
20 But our conversation is in heaven, from whence also
we look for the Savior, even the Lord Jesus Christ,
21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be
fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to
the working, whereby he is able even to subdue all
things unto himself.

1. Paul immeasurably extols the Philippians for having made a good beginning in the holy Gospel and for having acquitted themselves commendably, like men in earnest, as manifest by their fruits of faith. The reason he shows this sincere and strong concern for them is his desire that they remain steadfast, not being led astray by false teachers among the roaming Jews. For at that time many Jews went about with the intent of perverting Paul's converts, pretending they taught something far better; while they drew the people away from Christ and back to the Law, for the purpose of establishing and extending their Jewish doctrines.

Paul, contemplating with special interest and pleasure his Church of the Philippians, is moved by parental care to admonish them--lest they sometime be misled by such teachers--to hold steadily to what they have received, not seeking anything else and not imagining, like self-secure, besotted souls who allow themselves to be deceived by the devil--not imagining themselves perfect and with complete understanding in all things. In the verses just preceding our text he speaks of himself as having not yet attained to full knowledge.


2. He particularly admonishes them to follow him and to mark those ministers who walk as he does; also to shape their belief and conduct by the pattern they have received from him. Not only of himself does he make an example, but introduces them who similarly walk, several of whom he mentions in this letter to the Philippians. The individuals whom be bids them observe and follow must have been persons of special eminence. But it is particularly the doctrine the apostle would have the Philippians pattern after. Therefore we should be chiefly concerned about preserving the purity of the office of the ministry and the genuineness of faith. When these are kept unsullied, doctrine will be right, and good works spontaneous. Later on, in chapter 4, verse 8, (Philippians 4:8) Paul admonishes, with reference to the same subject: "If there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."

3. Apparently Paul is a rash man to dare boast himself a pattern for all. Other ministers might well accuse him of desiring to exalt his individual self above others. "Think you," our wise ones would say to him, "that you alone have the Holy Spirit, or that no one else is as eager for honor as yourself?" Just so did Miriam and Aaron murmur against Moses, their own brother, saying: "Hath Jehovah indeed spoken only with Moses, hath he not spoken also with us?" (Numbers 12:2). And it would seem as if Paul had too high an appreciation of his own character did he hold up his individual self as a pattern, intimating that no one was to be noted as worthy unless he walked as he did; though there might be some who apparently gave greater evidence of the Spirit, of holiness, humility and other graces, than himself, and yet walked not in his way.

4. But he does not say "I, Paul, alone." He says, "as ye have us for an example," that does not exclude other true apostles and teachers. He is admonishing his Church, as he everywhere does, to hold fast to the one true doctrine received from him in the beginning. They are not to be too confident of their own wisdom in the matter, or to presume they have independent authority; but rather to guard against pretenders to a superior doctrine, for so had some been misled.


5. In what respect he was a pattern or example to them, he has made plain; for instance, in the beginning of this chapter, in the third verse and following, he says: "For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God, and glory in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh: though I myself might have confidence even in the flesh: if any other man thinketh to have confidence in the flesh, I yet more: circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews." That is, he commands the highest honor a Jew can boast. "As touching the law," he goes on, "a Pharisee; as touching zeal, persecuting the Church, as touching the righteousness which is in the law, found blameless. Howbeit what things were gain to me, these have I counted loss for Christ. Yea verily, and I count all things to be loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for who I suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but refuse, that I may gain Christ, and be found in him, not having a righteousness of mine own, even that which is of the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith."

6. "Behold, this is the picture or pattern," he would say, "which we hold up for you to follow, that remembering how you obtained righteousness you may hold to it--a righteousness not of the Law." So far as the righteousness of the Law is concerned, Paul dares to say he regards it as filth and refuse (that proceeds from the human body); notwithstanding in its beautiful and blameless form it may be unsurpassed by anything in the world--such righteousness as was manifest in sincere Jews, and in Paul himself before his conversion; for these in their great holiness, regarded Christians as knaves and meriting damnation, and consequently took delight in being party to the persecution and murder of Christians.

7. "Yet," Paul would say, "I who am a Jew by birth have counted all this merit as simply loss that I might be found in 'the righteousness which is from God by faith.'" Only the righteousness of faith teaches us how to apprehend God--how to confidently console ourselves with his grace and await a future life, expecting to approach Christ in the resurrection. By "approaching" him we mean to meet him in death and at the judgment day without terror, not fleeing but gladly drawing near and hailing him with joy as one waited for with intense longing.

Now, the righteousness of the Law cannot effect such confidence of mind. Hence, for me it avails nothing before God; rather it is a detriment. What does avail is God's imputation of righteousness for Christ's sake, through faith. God declares to us in his Word that the believer in his Son shall, for Christ's own sake, have God's grace and eternal life. He who knows this is able to wait in hope for the last day, having no fear, no disposition to flee.

8. But is it not treating the righteousness of the Law with irreverence and contempt to regard it--and so teach as something not only useless and even obstructive, but injurious, loathsome and abominable? Who would have been able to make such a bold statement, and to censure a life so faultless and conforming so closely to the Law as Paul's, without being pronounced by all men a minion of the devil, had not the apostle made that estimation of it himself? And who is to have any more respect for the righteousness of the Law if we are to preach in that strain?

9. Had Paul confined his denunciations to the righteousness of the world or of the heathen--the righteousness dependent upon reason and controlled by secular government, by laws and regulations--his teaching would not have seemed so irreverent. But he distinctly specifies the righteousness of God's Law, or the Ten Commandments, to which we owe an obligation far above what is due temporal powers, for they teach how to live before God--something no heathenish court of justice, no temporal authority, knows anything about. Should we not condemn as a heretic this preacher who goes beyond his prerogative and dares find fault with the Law of God? who also warns us to shun such as observe it, such as trust in its righteousness, and exalts to sainthood "enemies of the cross of Christ whose God is the belly"--who serve the appetites instead of God?

10. Paul would say of himself: "I, too, was such a one. In my most perfect righteousness of the Law I was an enemy to and persecutor of the congregation, or Church, of Christ. It was the legitimate fruit of my righteousness that I though I must be party to the most horrible persecution of Christ and his Christians. Thus my holiness made me an actual enemy of Christ and a murderer of his followers. The disposition to injure is a natural result of the righteousness of the Law, as all Scripture history from Cain down testifies, and as we see even in the best of the world who have not come to the knowledge of Christ. Princes, civil authorities in proportion to their wisdom, their godliness and honor are the bitter and intolerant enemies of the Gospel.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Searching My History


I am very frustrated. I checked at the Ellis Island website, and even allowing for misspellings of names, I could not find anyone that fit the period of my father's father arrival in the US. Either the timeline was good but he was much too old, or the timeline was off by several years and he was too young. Then I entered the exact name of my mom's father, (again allowing for misspellings), and it turned up no record!

THIS is very frustrating. I KNOW that all those on both sides of the family had to have arrived prior to the Russian Revolution of 1917. Moreover, I cannot find anything. Ancestry. Com was no help either. Years ago, when I was a child my dad USED to get letters from his cousins that were still living in Russia. I wish I had just ONE of those letters.

At least I would have a good spelling of a name with which to work. I had a copy of my dad's HS diploma and his name was then Eli Voytovitch, somehow it changed to Alex Woitowitz. I do not know when the change happened, or even why it happened. It could be that that was his original name, and was later, for whatever reason was changed to Eli, and then back again.

I just want to know my history. I only know as far back as my grandmother on my mother's side. She had to arrive as I said prior to 1917, as my aunt was born in NY in 1917 and my mom was born in NY in 1919. I know my grandmother was born in Russia, around 1896. They had a large farm, or so I had been told. I had a grandaunt that was either two years older or younger than my grandmother. Never was sure about that either way. From what I had been told my grandmother, aunts, and uncles were rather wealthy landowners, and saw the handwriting on the wall just before the communist takeover, sold everything and left.

I also had two granduncles on my mother’s mother side in the Russian military. Both were officers, which would speak and attest the idea of them being wealthy, as peasants were never commissioned officers. They were not royalty, but they were not dirt poor either. This is all I know. It might be that much of this is fanciful thinking on my grandmother’s part, an embellishment of the truth, or it could all be as she told it to me.

Somewhere I believe I have my grandmother's INS papers, and possibly a birth or marriage certificate. I might then be able to get some idea or a starting point.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Blind Following the Blind

After reading this piece at Michelle Malkin’s website, I immediately had a number of thoughts about these organizations.

Number one - It seems that these groups are being organized and are trying to use the power of the Federal Government to silence all opposition. In particular talk radio and conservative websites. It seems that the concept, if not the actual, Fairness Doctrine is very much alive.

Number two - As a conservative I have constantly heard from the left shouts of “separation of church and state”, yet here we have church groups, (supported by others) that are actively seeking the FCC to impose regulations, sanctions and fines. Where is that outcry now I ask?

Number 3 - I have stated elsewhere that I have known Liberal leaning Christians. Many, I have observed have a sincere desire to do good for their fellow man, and are probably not much interested in the politics of the people that are running these organizations. That being said, I do find however that the major tenet of the Bible, especially in the New Testament that appears lost on them. Those tenets being;
a) Christ is Savior
b) Salvation is obtained through grace
c) Grace is given to us freely through God the FatherThey seem to confuse the message of Christ with one of brotherly love, (which is a good thing), with salvation, (which is even better). Perhaps I am wrong, but it would seem to be the message Liberal Christians send.

While I understand their desire to do good works, which as the apostle James has said in his Epistle is linked to being a good follower of Christ, I just get the feeling that they focus too much on that, and not on Grace. Understand that I do NOT question their sincerity, but I do wonder about how they prioritize the message they receive. While both are essential as you cannot separate one from the other, the emphasis seems to be more on former than the latter.

Number 4 - I am reminded here of three scriptures

.Job 9:31
Psalms 7:15
Matthew 15:14

All three mention falling into a ditch, the latter of the three referencing the concept that those that lead and those that follow are both blind. One might be inclined to call them kindred spirits. Each supporting the other, yet headed for disaster.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Daily Meditation
The Sunday Sermon
Several days ago, or more, I had mentioned that one may find inspiration from various sources. I cited the words of the Apostle Paul as written in Philippians 4:8
“Furthermore, brethren, whatsoever thingsare true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoeverthings are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoeverthings are worthy love, whatsoever things areof good report, if there be any virtue, or if there beany praise, think on these things.”
As such, I have been moved, (by the Spirit of God), to begin a new series which will be for Sunday’s only. Some of the early Church Fathers, and clergy, wrote extensively on God’s word. Today’s sermon, an excerpt, comes from Martin Luther, titled;
“The Twofold Use of the Law & Gospel: "Letter" & "Spirit"
(For those that wish to read the entire sermon, which I highly recommend click here)
and is based upon the Second Book of Corinthians Chapter 3 Verses 4 - 11 which is quoted below;
4 And such trust have we through Christ toGod:
5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves, to thinkanything, as of ourselves: but our sufficiency is ofGod,
6 Who also hath made us able ministers of theNew Testament, not of the letter, but of the Spirit:for the letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life.
7 If then the ministration of death written withletters and engraven in stones, was glorious, so thatthe children of Israel could not behold the face ofMoses, for the glory of his countenance (which gloryis gone away.)
8 How shall not the ministration of the Spiritbe more glorious?
9 For if the ministry of condemnation wasglorious, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.
10 For even that which was glorified, was not glorifiedin this point, that is, as touching the exceedingglory.
11 For if that they should be abolished, wasglorious, much more shall that which remaineth beglorious.
Just as an aside, and before you read the sermon, I would like to add here that the previous entry I had made was in reference to an epistle from Saint Clement (who was a disciple of Peter, and a fellow minister of the Gospel with Paul) Lest there should ever be any doubt as to how God’s Word always works in harmony with Itself, I remind the reader that that particular epistle was to the very church at Corinth of which Paul had written to previously. For whatever reason, the good saints there at the church of Corinth, seemed to continually in need of being reminded as to how to live in the Light of God’s Word, as do we all. Also please note that all that is written below, and all that I have just written is not of my own doctrine nor of Martin Luther, but are thoughts that are inspired by the Word of God. It is HE, as HE said to Moses, that will put His Word into our mouths (Exodus 4:10 - 12)
And now on to the sermon.
5. Inasmuch as his activity among them is his testimonial, and they themselves are aware that through his ministerial office he has constituted them a church, he calls them an epistle written by himself; not with ink and in paragraphs, not on paper or wood, nor engraved upon hard rock as the Ten Commandments written upon tables of stone, which Moses placed before the people, but written by the Holy Spirit upon fleshly tables--hearts of tender flesh. The Spirit is the ink or the inscription, yes, even the writer himself; but the pencil or pen and the hand of the writer is the ministry of Paul.
6. This figure of a written epistle is, however, in accord with Scripture usage. Moses commands (Deuteronomy 6:6-9; 11, 18) that the Israelites write the Ten Commandments in all places where they walked or stood upon the posts of their houses, and upon their gates, and ever have them before their eyes and in their hearts. Again (Proverbs 7:2-3), Solomonsays: "Keep my commandments law as the apple of thine eye. Bind them upon thy fingers; write them upon the tablet of thy heart." He speaks as a father to his child when giving the child an earnest charge to remember a certain thing--"Dear child, remember this; forget it not; keep it in thy heart." Likewise, God says in the book of Jeremiah the prophet (Jeremiah 31:33), "I will put my law in their inward parts, and in their heart will I write it." Here man's heart is represented as a sheet, or slate, or page, whereon is written the preached Word; for the heart is to receive and securely keep the Word. In this sense Paul says: "We have, by our ministry, written a booklet or letter upon your heart, which witnesses that you believe in God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost and have the assurance that through Christ you are redeemed and saved. This testimony is what is written on your heart. The letters are not characters traced with ink or crayon, but the living thoughts, the fire and force of the heart.
7. Note further, that it is his ministry to which Paul ascribes the preparation of their heart thereon and the inscription which constitutes them "living epistles of Christ." He contrasts his ministry with the blind fancies of those fanatics who seek to receive, and dream of having, the Holy Spirit without the oral word; who, perchance, creep into a corner and grasp the Spirit through dreams, directing the people away from the preached Word and visible ministry. But Paul says that the Spirit, through his preaching, has wrought in the hearts of his Corinthians, to the end that Christ lives and is mighty in them. After such statement he bursts into praise of the ministerial office, comparing the message, or preaching, of Moses with that of himself and the apostles. He says:"Such confidence have we through Christ to Godward: not that we are sufficient of ourselves, to account anything as from ourselves; but our sufficiency is from God
8. These words are blows and thrusts for the false apostlesand preachers. Paul is mortal enemy to the blockheads who make great boast, pretending to what they do not possess and to what they cannot do; who boast of having the Spirit in great measure; who are ready to counsel and aid the whole world; who pride themselves on the ability to invent something new. It is to be a surpassingly precious and heavenly thing they are to spin out of their heads, as the dreams of pope and monks have been in time past."We do not so," says Paul. "We rely not upon ourselves or our wisdom and ability. We preach not what we have ourselves invented. But this is our boast and trust in Christ before God, that we have made of you a divine epistle; have written upon your hearts, not our thoughts, but the Word of God. We are not, however, glorifying our own power, but the works and the power of him who has called and equipped us for such an office; from whom proceeds all you have heard and believed.
9. It is a glory which every preacher may claim, to be able to say with full confidence of heart: "This trust have I toward God in Christ, that what I teach and preach is truly the Word of God." Likewise, when he performs other official duties in the Church--baptizes a child, absolves and comforts a sinner--it must be done in the same firm conviction that such is the command of Christ.10. He who would teach and exercise authority in the Church without this glory, "it is profitable for him," as Christ says (Matthew. 18:6), "that a great millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be sunk in the depths of the sea." For the devil's lies he preaches, and death is what he effects. Our Papists, in time past, after much and long-continued teaching, after many inventions and works whereby they hoped to be saved, nevertheless always doubted in heart and mind whether or no they had pleased God. The teaching and works of all heretics and seditious spirits certainly do not bespeak for them trust in Christ; their own glory is the object of their teaching, and the homage and praise of the people is the goal of their desire."Not that we are sufficient of ourselves, to account anything as from ourselves."
11. As said before, this is spoken in denunciation of the false spirits who believe that by reason of eminent equipment of special creation and election, they are called to come to the rescue of the people, expecting wonders from whatever they say and do.
12. Now, we know ourselves to be of the same clay whereof they are made; indeed, we perhaps have the greater call from God: yet we cannot boast of being capable of ourselves to advise or aid men. We cannot even originate an idea calculated to give help. And when it comes to the knowledge of how one may stand before God and attain to eternal life, that is truly not to be achieved by our work or power, nor to originate in our brain. In other things, those pertaining to this temporal life, you may glory in what You know, you may advance the teachings of reason, you may invent ideas of your own; for example: how to make shoes or clothes, how to govern a household, how to manage a herd. In such things exercise your mind to the best of your ability. Cloth or leather of this sort will permit itself to be stretched and cut according to the good pleasure of the tailor or shoemaker. But in spiritual matters, human reasoning certainly is not in order; other intelligence, other skill and power, are requisite here--something to be granted by God himself and revealed through his Word.
13. What mortal has ever discovered or fathomed the truth that the three persons in the eternal divine essence are one God; that the second person, the Son of God, was obliged to become man, born of a virgin; and that no way of life could be opened for us, save through his crucifixion? Such truth never would have been heard nor preached, would never in all eternity have been published, learned and believed, had not God himself revealed it.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Daily Meditation
Amen Me!

Serving the Master
John 12:25 - 26

25 He that loveth his life, shall lose it, and he thathateth his life in this world, shall keep it unto lifeeternal. (a)
26 If any man serve me, let him follow me: forwhere I am, there shall my servant be: and if anyman serve me, him will my father honor. (b)

(a) Verse 25
Mark 8:35, 10:17 - 22, 44
Luke 16:13

(b) Verse 26
Isaiah 42:1
Matthew 16:24 - 26
1 Corinthians 7:22
Philippians 2:7 - 8

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Conservatisim; The New Party for the Littleman

Conservatism: The New Party for the Littleman

A long time ago, and up until recently, the two party system represented the people. They were supportive of various demographics, that included such thing as income, locations, employment etc.

The Democrat Party represented the small farmers, (as opposed to the large corporate ones), the mom and pop stores across the nation. Garment workers, factory workers. The local main street stores, that employed hourly wage earners and the wage earners themselves too.

The Republican Party on the other hand represented the movers and shakers. The larger businesses and businessmen and women. This was a time during which the corporations actually produced something, such as automobiles, TV sets, radios, clothing, and much more items that could be brought to the free market.

While there existed differences, the one thing that both parties agreed upon was that capitalism that is to say the free market economy, supplied not only just the needs of the people, but their desires. Neither party could ever envision the destruction of such a system or the implementation of a communal, or command economy such as Communism or Socialism, (which is the former’s, lightweight brother) Hard work by the wage earner, and a willingness by the investor’s seemed to always produce the desired result. That result was the raising of the standard of living for all, by all.

Was there poverty? Indeed so! Did social injustice exist? Without a doubt, and yet, as busy as Americans were they still found the time and means to help ease and solve these problems.

Church groups, civic organizations, (to an extent in the early part of the 20th century, unions), and other fine, and likeminded citizens banded together to make America not only stronger, but a much more freer society than has ever been in existence.

The two parties each drew on their collective strengths to work together towards a better America.

And yet, here we are in the 21th century, and we as a nation are heading towards disarray, destruction and a way of life that our ancestors; those that have proceeded us along the American trail would find beyond belief.

Both parties, Democrat and Republican have become entrenched in the halls of power. They have become a ruling elite, whose view of the common man, is one of contempt and distain. They are both opposite sides of the same elite coin.

Corporations have become mega-giants, of whom many are just paper shufflers. We, as a nation, no longer really produce anything. Farms are being bought up, and then subsidized and have likewise become big business.

Those parties that once actually represented their constituencies no longer even listen to them. In fact they wish to impose their will upon the people, instead of working for the people.

So what is left? The answer is one word; Conservatism.

Over the past several months we have seen “we the people” demonstrating across the nation. Many are members of both parties, or perhaps were members, but can no long identify with them as they are both out of touch with the public.

The Democrat party has been taken over by radical leftists, who see America not as a land of opportunity, wherein ALL can make a go of it for their life’s dreams. Instead they see a nation, (that does not exist), a racist nation, one of social injustice, economic injustice. They feel that they and ONLY they can make things better by making everybody equally miserable, instead of allowing the individual to prosper, to seek and to achieve and to reach for the heights.

The Republicans, what can I say, other than they represent huge corporate interests, whose only goals are to control larger slices of the pie. (I know I’ll take some heat on this, for yes I believe there are companies that seek only to be profitable). Additionally I see the Republicans as Democrat light. Another elite power block, willfully ignoring the wishes of the electorate.

As the Bible says;

“They have all aside; they are all together become filthy. There is none that doeth good, no not one” Psalm 14:3

“Everyone of them is gone back; they are all together become filthy. There is none that doeth good, no not one” Psalm 53:3

For these reasons and I am certain many more exist are why I call upon all Americans to seek out the tenets of Conservatism. Most of us are traditional hard workers. Small business people who desire to be profitable and provide opportunity for others to work, and possibly achieve their own prosperity. We are farmers, delivery truck drivers, field workers, etc. We share a common belief that hard work pays for itself, and there is no free ride to success.

Moreover we share basic religious beliefs as well. Most of us are Christians, yes, but it does not exclude other faiths from participating in the American dream. We, as people, have more in common with each other that we have differences.

The above mentioned differences, however are exploited by both parties. They use them to divide us and to put us at each other’s throats. They use fear, envy, class warfare, and much more to keep the electorate in a state of confusion and enmity towards one another.

Please folks, I know that I am probably preaching to the choir, but I urge all of you, who have not done so, read your constitution. See what powers are allotted to the feds and those that are ours. Become active in local situations, such as school boards, chambers of commerce groups. Seek out other likeminded people that are tired, make that sick and tired of the elites in DC, running roughshod over us.

Remember as I have said we have more in common than not.

Signing Away Our Sovereignty

Signing Away our Sovereignty

What bothers me most is that nations like China will get a pass. They will be allowed to grow in all ways, and we will be diminished. Our buffoon will no doubt sign this thing. Moreover, even if China does sign it, it is this writer’s opinion they will not live up to it anyway. They will find ways to get around most of the provisions.

This is going to be worse than the Kyoto treaty, which even President Clinton couldn’t get done.

(Btw, as an added little tidbit, a report about Kyoto, in the WSJ, from June 2001 has probably not seen the light of day, which is consistent with MSM)

Now, IF PREZBO does sign it, can we talk impeachment for failing to honor his oath to DEFEND AND PROTECT the US Constitution?

Does not the Senate have to ratify this thing? I hope that the dimwits will realize what this will do to their OWN power and vote it down overwhelmingly

Hat tip on the video to Christina Peterson

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Daily Meditation
Christ the Resurrection and the Life
John 11:22:26
22 But now I know also, that whatsoever thouaskest of God, God will give it thee.
23 Jesus said unto her, Thy brother shall rise again.
24 Martha said unto him, I know that he shallrise again in the resurrection at the last day.
25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection andthe life: he that believeth in me, though he weredead yet shall he live. (a)
26 And whosoever liveth, and believeth in me,shall never die: Believest thou this?
(a) Verse 25

What's a Fella Gotta Do?

During the 1980’s there was a commercial for a company known as Polaner All Fruit wherein a young man is seated at a fine dinning table, surrounded by what at first appears to very wealthy, and obviously elite group of peers.

As he watches the action, each of the diners is asking someone to pass the Polaner. However, when he opens his mouth we here this extremely drawled accent, (actually it reminded me of Jethro Bodine of the “Beverley Hillbillies”) asking for someone to “please pass the jelly” whereupon mouths and jaws drop, forks fall from hands, and a woman swoons. To make the entire commercial a bit funnier, he speaks yet again saying;

“What’s a fella gotta do to get some of thet jelly?

Somehow, this makes me think of the current government Oaf-fish- als and to a somewhat lesser extent major corporation, that currently reside in the halls of power.

It is as if we’re all sitting around this government table watching the elitist politicians just helping themselves to taxpayer monies, passing this and that along to one another, and when the poor country bumpkin asks for a piece of the pie, they look at him with confusion, distain and outright contempt.

I admit that I get rather discouraged. We have big Corporations, siding with the left; just keep themselves in business.

I oft times find myself wishing that a movement to just take our business elsewhere would flourish on a national level, as I believe the conservative party is now the party of the little man.

Republicans, Democrats, huge corporations, they all seemed to be stacked against “we the people”.

It seems to me that the folks that have become all powerful thanks in no part from the average Joe view that same average Joe with distain and contempt.

As the guy in the commercial said, “what’s a fella gotta do?”