Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Daily Meditation

Amen Me!

Harden Not Your Hearts
Hebrews 3:16-19

16 For some when they heard, provoked him to
anger: howbeit, not all that came out of Egypt by
17 But with whom was he displeased forty years?
Was he not displeased with them that sinned, whose
carcasses fell in the wilderness?
18 And to whom swear he that they should not enter
into his rest, but unto them that obeyed not?
19 So we see that they could not enter in, because
of unbelief.

Related Scriptures

Numbers 14:1-39
Deuteronomy 1:35-38
Mark 16:14
1 Corinthians 10:11-12
Romans 11:20-23

Editor’s thought - As Paul the Evangelist had written we know that the Old Testament was a shadow image, as it were, of what was to come, the Gospel and New Testament. Now this image was a reflection similar to that of a mirror, wherein what we is real, yet only on a two dimensional plane. There is substance, but it is not something we can reach out and touch. However, the New Testament is, as they say “the real deal”. It is our spiritual food from our Creator. Hence when Paul speaks of being unable to enter into the promised land, so too, did he say, that if we chose to not believe, and harden our hearts, through non-belief, neither will one enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Daily Meditation

Amen Me!

Likewise Let Us Be Faithful
Hebrews 3:7-9, 12-15

7 Wherefore, as the holy Ghost saith, Today if
ye shall hear his voice,
8 Harden not your hearts, as in the 1provocation,
according to the day of the temptation in the
9 Where your fathers tempted me, proved me,
and saw my works forty years long.

12 Take heed brethren, lest at any time there be
in any of you an evil heart, and unfaithful, to depart
away from the living God.
13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called
today, lest any of you be hardened through the
deceitfulness of sin.
14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we
keep sure unto the end that beginning, wherewith
we are upholden,
15 So long as it is said, Today if ye hear his voice,
harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.

Related Scripture

Deuteronomy 7;9
1 Samuel 2:35
Psalm 95:7-11
Matthew 25:23
1 Corinthians 1:9
Titus 1:9
1 John 1:9
Revelation 17:14

Sunday, January 10, 2010

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

Christ Our Great High Priest
Hebrews 9:11-15

As many of you may have already noticed I will, over the next few weeks, posting the Daily Meditation that will consist of a study of the Book of Hebrews. In keeping with that study, I have temporarily put aside the sermon of John Calvin “Of Prayer” and will in its stead be posting a sermon by Martin Luther.

The reason for the switch is quite simply that Martin Luther touches on a portion of the Book of Hebrews and thusly connects with the current study.

Rest assured that as soon as his sermon is completed here, I will return to the one of John Calvin.

I will only add here that both are most inspiring.

R.P. W. Sr.

Herein then is presented to you for your growth in Christ is Martin Luther’s sermon

HEBREWS 9:11-15: But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

An understanding of practically all of the Epistle to the Hebrews is necessary before we can hope to make this text clear to ourselves. Briefly, the epistle treats of a twofold priesthood. The former priesthood was a material one, with material adornment, tabernacle, sacrifices and with pardon couched in ritual; material were all its appointments. The new order is a spiritual priesthood, with spiritual adornments, spiritual tabernacle and sacrifices--spiritual in all that pertains to it. Christ, in the exercise of his priestly office, in the sacrifice on the cross, was not adorned with silk and gold and precious stones, but with divine love, wisdom, patience, obedience and all virtues. His adornment was apparent to none but God and possessors, of the Spirit, for it was spiritual.

Christ sacrificed not goats nor calves nor birds; not bread; not blood nor flesh, as did Aaron and his posterity: he offered his own body and blood, and the manner of the sacrifice was spiritual; for it took place through the Holy Spirit, as here stated. Though the body and blood of Christ were visible the same as any other material object, the fact that he offered them as a sacrifice was not apparent. It was not a visible sacrifice, as in the case of offerings at the hands of Aaron. Then the goat or calf, the flesh and blood, were material sacrifices visibly offered, and recognized as sacrifices. But Christ offered himself in the heart before God. His sacrifice was perceptible to no mortal. Therefore, his bodily flesh and blood becomes a spiritual sacrifice. Similarly, we Christians, the posterity of Christ our Aaron, offer up our own bodies (Romans 12:1). And our offering is likewise a spiritual sacrifice, or, as Paul has it, a "reasonable service"; for we make it in spirit, and it is beheld of God alone.

Again, in the new order, the tabernacle or house is spiritual; for it is heaven, or the presence of God. Christ hung upon a cross; he was not offered in a temple. He was offered before the eyes of God, and there he still abides. The cross is an altar in a spiritual sense. The material cross was indeed visible, but none knew it as Christ's altar. Again, his prayer, his sprinkled blood, his burnt incense, were all spiritual, for it was all wrought through his spirit.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Daily Meditation


Amen Me!
The Son Was Faithful
Hebrews 3:1-6

1 Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the
heavenly vocation, consider the Apostle and high
Priest of our profession Christ Jesus:
2 Who was faithful to him that hath appointed
him, even as Moses was in all his house.
3 For this man is counted worthy of more glory
than Moses, inasmuch as he which hath builded the
house, hath more honor than the house.
4 For every house is builded of some man, and
he that hath built all things, is God.
5 Now Moses verily was faithful in all his house,
as a servant, for a witness of the things which should
be spoken after.
6 But Christ is as the Son, over his own house,
whose house we are, if we hold fast that confidence
and that rejoicing of that hope unto the end.

Editor’s Thought - I am reminded here of a worship/hymn written by Ron Kenoly

Oh the glory of Your presence
We Your temple
Give You reverence
Come and rise for Your rest
And be blessed by our praise
As we glory in Your embrace
As Your presence
Now fills this place

Related Scriptures

Exodus 40:16
Numbers 12:7
Psalm 110:4
Matthew 7:24-27
John 14:2-3
1 Corinthians 3:16-17, 6:19
Ephesians 2:21-22

1 Timothy 3:15

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Daily Meditation


Amen Me!

Christ Became Flesh
Hebrews 2:14 - 18

14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers
of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part
with them, that he might destroy through death, him
that had the power of death, that is, the devil,
15 And that he might deliver all them, which for fear
of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
16 For he in no sort took on him the Angels’
nature, but he took on him the seed of Abraham.
17 Wherefore in all things it behooved him
to be made like unto his brethren, that he might
be merciful, and a faithful high Priest in things
concerning God, that he might make reconciliation
for the sins of the people.
18 For in that he suffered, and was tempted, he
is able to succor them that are tempted.

Editor’s thought - How often have we, when in the process of prayer, do we say unto Him “Lord you don’t know what I’m going through.”? And yet our Savior’s trials and tribulations put Him well above most everything we can ever experience. So YES indeed He KNOWS, what it is like to be human. He understands because He once WAS as we are now. That is to say He was once flesh.

Related Scripture

Job 7:17
Psalm 8:4-5, 144:3
Isaiah 55:9
Hosea 13:14
1 Corinthians 6:3, 15:54-57
Philippians 2:7
Colossians 2:15
Hebrews 1:4, 1:13, 4:14, 7:26, 9:11
1 Peter 3:22
John 1:14

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Daily Meditation

Amen Me!

Bringing Mankind to Salvation
Hebrews 2:10 13

10 For it became him, for whom are all these
things, and by whom are all these things, seeing
that he brought many children unto glory, 4that
he should consecrate the Prince of their salvation
through afflictions.
11 For he that sanctifieth, and they which are
sanctified, are all of one: wherefore he is not ashamed
to call them brethren,
12 1Saying, I will declare thy Name unto my
brethren: in the midst of the Church will I sing
praises to thee.
13 And again, I will put my trust in him. And
again, Behold, here am I, and the children which
God hath given me.

Related Scriptures

2 Samuel 22:3
Psalm 22:25
Isaiah 1:18 - 19
Matthew 28:10
Colossians 1:16
Hebrews 5:8-9, 7:28, 10:10
Acts 17:26

Remarkable, Utterly Useless and Stupid

The NY Times today announced that the CIA, would be sharing “data” with climate junk scientists. This is beyond ridiculous! This is an organization that is tasked with the protection of this nation and the American People.

The fact that the CIA, FBI, DHS, and others seem to be lacking in “sharing” data with each other on potential and known terrorists, (remember flight 223?), but can find the time to pass along info to the MMGW hucksters goes beyond the pale.

It is not only the above fact that bothers me, but also the waste of precious time and money that will go into this “program”

I guess that dreaded enemy of mankind CO2, has become the number one priority in the eyes of the current administration and their boot-lickers.

Just as a side note, I do believe that the NYTs, is attempting to put a new term into the climate debate. I noticed that the term “ environmental change” was used early on in the article. It would not surprise me to see down the road, this term being picked up, used frequently, and eventually becoming the next version of “global warming” by the MSM, and talking heads. It has a both a more sinister, yet more encompassing sound to it than the current one, the past one and any other ones that the junk science crowd has come up with to date.

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Daily Meditation

Amen Me!
The Revelation of Christ As Savior and Accepting Salvation
Hebrews 2:1 - 4

1 Wherefore we ought diligently to give heed
to the things which we have heard, lest at any time
we run out.
2 For if the word spoken by Angels was steadfast,
and every transgression, and disobedience received
a just recompense of reward,
3 How shall we escape if we neglect so great
salvation, which at the first began to be preached
by the Lord, and afterward was confirmed unto us
by them that heard him.
4 God bearing witness thereto, both with 1signs
and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of
the holy Ghost, according to his own will?

Related Scripture

Matthew 4:17
Mark 16:20
Luke 1:2
John 3:32 - 34
Romans 16:26
Hebrews 10:28
1 John 1:1 - 4

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Daily Meditation - Sunday Sermon

Amen Me!

Of Prayer - Part 5
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

I want to wish everyone a happy and prosperous coming year. I did not post last week, for I felt that the birth of our Savior was enough of a sermon in and of itself to carry over the weekend.

R.P.W. Sr.

And first, indeed in enjoining us to pray, he by the very injunction convicts us of impious contumacy if we obey not. He could not give a more precise command than that which is contained in the psalms: "Call upon me in the day of trouble" (Psalm 50:15). But as there is no office of piety more frequently enjoined by Scripture, there is no occasion for here dwelling longer upon it. "Ask," says our Divine Master, "and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you" (Matthew 7:7). Here, indeed, a promise is added to the precept, and this is necessary. For though all confess that we must obey the precept, yet the greater part would shun the invitation of God, did he not promise that he would listen and be ready to answer. These two positions being laid down, it is certain that all who cavillingly allege that they are not to come to God directly, are not only rebellious and disobedient but are also convicted of unbelief, inasmuch as they distrust the promises. There is the more occasion to attend to this, because hypocrites, under a pretense of humility and modesty, proudly contemn the precept, as well as deny all credit to the gracious invitation of God; nay, rob him of a principal part of his worship. For when he rejected sacrifices, in which all holiness seemed then to consist, he declared that the chief thing, that which above all others is precious in his sight, is to be invoked in the day of necessity. Therefore, when he demands that which is his own, and urges us to alacrity in obeying, no pretexts for doubt, how specious soever they may be, can excuse us. Hence, all the passages throughout Scripture in which we are commanded to pray, are set up before our eyes as so many banners, to inspire us with confidence. It were presumption to go forward into the presence of God, did he not anticipate us by his invitation. Accordingly, he opens up the way for us by his own voice, "I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God" (Zechariah 13:9). We see how he anticipates his worshippers, and desires them to follow, and therefore we cannot fear that the melody which he himself dictates will prove unpleasing. Especially let us call to mind that noble description of the divine character, by trusting to which we shall easily overcome every obstacle: O thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come" (Psalm 65:2). What can be more lovely or soothing than to see God invested with a title which assures us that nothing is more proper to his nature than to listen to the prayers of suppliants? Hence the Psalmist infers, that free access is given not to a few individuals, but to all men, since God addresses all in these terms, "Call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me" (Psalm 50:15). David, accordingly, appeals to the promise thus given in order to obtain what he asks: "Thou, O Lord of hosts, God of Israel, hast revealed to thy servant, saying, I will build thee an house: therefore hath thy servant found in his heart to pray this prayer unto thee" (2 Samuel 7:27). Here we infer, that he would have been afraid but for the promise which emboldened him. So in another passage he fortifies himself with the general doctrine, "He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him" (Psalm 145:19). Nay, we may observe in The Psalms how the continuity of prayer is broken, and a transition is made at one time to the power of God, at another to his goodness, at another to the faithfulness of his promises. It might seem that David, by introducing these sentiments, unseasonably mutilates his prayers; but believers well know by experience, that their ardour grows languid unless new fuel be added, and, therefore, that meditation as well on the nature as on the word of God during prayer, is by no means superfluous. Let us not decline to imitate the example of David, and introduce thoughts which may reanimate our languid minds with new vigour.

It is strange that these delightful promises affect us coldly, or scarcely at all, so that the generality of men prefer to wander up and down, forsaking the fountain of living waters, and hewing out to themselves broken cisterns, rather than embrace the divine liberality voluntarily offered to them (Jeremiah 2:13). "The name of the Lord," says Solomon, "is a strong tower; the righteous runneth into it, and is safe." (Proverbs 18:10) Joel, after predicting the fearful disaster which was at hand, subjoins the following memorable sentence: " And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered." (Joel 2:32) This we know properly refers to the course of the Gospel. Scarcely one in a hundred is moved to come into the presence of God, though he himself exclaims by Isaiah, "And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear." (Isaiah 65:24) This honour he elsewhere bestows upon the whole Church in general, as belonging to all the members of Christ: "He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him." (Psalm 91:15) My intention, however, as I already observed, is not to enumerate all, but only select some admirable passages as a specimen how kindly God allures us to himself, and how extreme our ingratitude must be when with such powerful motives our sluggishness still retards us. Wherefore, let these words always resound in our ears: "The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth" (Psalm 145:18). Likewise those passages which we have quoted from Isaiah and Joel, in which God declares that his ear is open to our prayers, and that he is delighted as with a sacrifice of sweet savour when we cast our cares upon him. The special benefit of these promises we receive when we frame our prayer, not timorously or doubtingly, but when trusting to his word whose majesty might otherwise deter us, we are bold to call him Father, he himself deigning to suggest this most delightful name. Fortified by such invitations it remains for us to know that we have therein sufficient materials for prayer, since our prayers depend on no merit of our own, but all their worth and hope of success are founded and depend on the promises of God, so that they need no other support, and require not to look up and down on this hand and on that. It must therefore be fixed in our minds, that though we equal not the lauded sanctity of patriarchs, prophets, and apostles, yet as the command to pray is common to us as well as them, and faith is common, so if we lean on the word of God, we are in respect of this privilege their associates. For God declaring, as has already been seen, that he will listen and be favourable to all, encourages the most wretched to hope that they shall obtain what they ask; and, accordingly, we should attend to the general forms of expression, which, as it is commonly expressed, exclude none from first to last; only let there be sincerity of heart, self-dissatisfaction, humility, and faith, that we may not, by the hypocrisy of a deceitful prayer, profane the name of God. Our most merciful Father will not reject those whom he not only encourages to come, but urges in every possible way. Hence David's method of prayer to which I lately referred: "And now, O Lord God, thou art that God, and thy words be true, and thou hast promised this goodness unto thy servant, that it may continue for ever before thee" (2 Samuel 7:28). So also, in another passage, "Let, I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to thy word unto thy servant" (Psalm 119:76). And the whole body of the Israelites, whenever they fortify themselves with the remembrance of the covenant, plainly declare, that since God thus prescribes they are not to pray timorously (Genesis 32:13). In this they imitated the example of the patriarchs, particularly Jacob, who, after confessing that he was unworthy of the many mercies which he had received of the Lord's hand, says, that he is encouraged to make still larger requests, because God had promised that he would grant them. But whatever be the pretexts which unbelievers employ, when they do not flee to God as often as necessity urges, nor seek after him, nor implore his aid, they defraud him of his due honour just as much as if they were fabricating to themselves new gods and idols, since in this way they deny that God is the author of all their blessings. On the contrary, nothing more effectually frees pious minds from every doubt, than to be armed with the thought that no obstacle should impede them while they are obeying the command of God, who declares that nothing is more grateful to him than obedience. Hence, again, what I have previously said becomes still more clear, namely, that a bold spirit in prayer well accords with fear, reverence, and anxiety, and that there is no inconsistency when God raises up those who had fallen prostrate. In this way forms of expression apparently inconsistent admirably harmonize. Jeremiah and David speak of humbly laying their supplications 5 before God (Jeremiah 42:9; Daniel 9:18). In another passage Jeremiah says "Let, we beseech thee, our supplication be accepted before thee, and pray for us unto the Lord thy God, even for all this remnant" (Jeremiah 42:2). On the other hand, believers are often said to lift up prayer. Thus Hezekiah speaks, when asking the prophet to undertake the office of interceding (2 Kings 19:4). And David says, "Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice" (Ps. 141:2). The explanation is, that though believers, persuaded of the paternal love of God, cheerfully rely on his faithfulness, and have no hesitation in imploring the aid which he voluntarily offers, they are not elated with supine or presumptuous security; but climbing up by the ladder of the promises, still remain humble and abased suppliants.

5 Latin, "prosternere preces." French, "mettent bas leurs prieres;" —lay low their prayers

Here, by way of objection, several questions are raised. Scripture relates that God sometimes complied with certain prayers which had been dictated by minds not duly calmed or regulated. It is true, that the cause for which Jotham imprecated on the inhabitants of Shechem the disaster which afterwards befell them was well founded; but still he was inflamed with anger and revenge (Judges 9:20); and hence God, by complying with the execration, seems to approve of passionate impulses. Similar fervour also seized Samson, when he prayed, " Strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes" (Judges 16:28). For although there was some mixture of good zeal, yet his ruling feeling was a fervid, and therefore vicious longing for vengeance. God assents, and hence apparently it might be inferred that prayers are effectual, though not framed in conformity to the rule of the word. But I answer, first, that a perpetual law is not abrogated by singular examples; and, secondly, that special suggestions have sometimes been made to a few individuals, whose case thus becomes different from that of the generality of men. For we should attend to the answer which our Saviour gave to his disciples when they inconsiderately wished to imitate the example of Elias, "Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of" (Luke 9:55). We must, however, go farther and say, that the wishes to which God assents are not always pleasing to him; but he assents, because it is necessary, by way of example, to give clear evidence of the doctrine of Scripture, viz., that he assists the miserable, and hears the groans of those who unjustly afflicted implore his aid: and, accordingly, he executes his judgments when the complaints of the needy, though in themselves unworthy of attention, ascend to him. For how often, in inflicting punishment on the ungodly for cruelty, rapine, violence, lust, and other crimes, in curbing audacity and fury, and also in overthrowing tyrannical power, has he declared that he gives assistance to those who are unworthily oppressed though they by addressing an unknown deity only beat the air? There is one psalm which clearly teaches that prayers are not without effect, though they do not penetrate to heaven by faith (Ps. 107:6, 13, 19). For it enumerates the prayers which, by natural instinct, necessity extorts from unbelievers not less than from believers, and to which it shows by the event, that God is, notwithstanding, propitious. Is it to testify by such readiness to hear that their prayers are agreeable to him? Nay; it is, first, to magnify or display his mercy by the circumstance, that even the wishes of unbelievers are not denied; and, secondly, to stimulate his true worshippers to more urgent prayer, when they see that sometimes even the wailings of the ungodly are not without avail. This, however, is no reason why believers should deviate from the law divinely imposed upon them, or envy unbelievers, as if they gained much in obtaining what they wished. We have observed (chap. iii. sec. 25), that in this way God yielded to the feigned repentance of Ahab, that he might show how ready he is to listen to his elect when, with true contrition, they seek his favour. Accordingly, he upbraids the Jews, that shortly after experiencing his readiness to listen to their prayers, they returned to their own perverse inclinations. It is also plain from the Book of Judges that, whenever they wept, though their tears were deceitful, they were delivered from the hands of their enemies. Therefore, as God sends his sun indiscriminately on the evil and on the good, so he despises not the tears of those who have a good cause, and whose sorrows are deserving of relief. Meanwhile, though he hears them, it has no more to do with salvation than the supply of food which he gives to other despisers of his goodness.
There seems to be a more difficult question concerning Abraham and Samuel, the one of whom, without any instruction from the word of God, prayed in behalf of the people of Sodom, and the other, contrary to an express prohibition, prayed in behalf of Saul (Genesis 18:23; 1 Samuel 15:11). Similar is the case of Jeremiah, who prayed that the city might not be destroyed (Jer. 32:16). It is true their prayers were refused, but it seems harsh to affirm that they prayed without faith. Modest readers will, I hope, be satisfied with this solution, viz., that leaning to the general principle on which God enjoins us to be merciful even to the unworthy, they were not altogether devoid of faith, though in this particular instance their wish was disappointed. Augustine shrewdly remarks, "How do the saints pray in faith when they ask from God contrary to what he has decreed? Namely, because they pray according to his will, not his hidden and immutable will, but that which he suggests to them, that he may hear them in another manner; as he wisely distinguishes" (August. de Civit. Dei, Lib. xxii. c. 2). This is truly said: for, in his incomprehensible counsel, he so regulates events, that the prayers of the saints, though involving a mixture of faith and error, are not in vain. And yet this no more sanctions imitation than it excuses the saints themselves, who I deny not exceeded due bounds. Wherefore, whenever no certain promise exists, our request to God must have a condition annexed to it. Here we may refer to the prayer of David, "Awake for me to the judgment that thou hast commanded" (Psalm 7:6); for he reminds us that he had received special instruction to pray for a temporal blessing. 6

6 The French adds, "duquel id n’eust pas autrement esté asseuré;"—of which he would not otherwise have felt assured.