Monday, January 15, 2018

The Gospel According to Mark
Chapter 10:46-52

46 Then they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples, and a great multitude, Bartimaeus the son of Timaeus, a blind man, sat by the wayside, begging.
47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry, and to say, Jesus the Son of David, have mercy on me.
48 And many rebuked him, because he should hold his peace: but he cried much more, O Son of David, have mercy on me.
49 Then Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called: and they called the blind, saying unto him, Be of good comfort: arise, he calleth thee.
50 So he threw away his cloak, and rose, and came to Jesus.
51 And Jesus answered, and said unto him, What wilt thou that I do unto thee? And the blind said unto him, Lord, that I may receive sight.
52 Then Jesus said unto him, Go thy way: thy faith hath saved thee. And by and by he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.

Brethren:
Just a short thought; asking for mercy, when accompanied by faith is the key. He that believes will be freed of all blindness. Mercy, is just one of the many providences that are given unto us by God.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

A Discourse On Meekness and Quietness of Spirit
  Abridged from the Rev. Matthew Henry
Edited by R.P. Woitowitz Sr.
A meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. 1 Peter 3:4
Published by the American Tract Society

In Reference to our Own Anger (Part 2)

To indite a soft answerThis Solomon commends as a proper expedient to turn away wrath, while grievous words do but stir up anger,[Read Proverbs 15:1-2].When any speak angrily to us, we must pause a while and study an answer, which, both for the matter and manner of it, may be mild and gentle. This brings water, while peevishness and provocation would but bring oil to the flame. Thus is death and life in the power of the tongue; it is either healing or killing, an antidote or a poison, according as it is used, [Read James 3:8-12]. When the waves of the sea beat on a rock, they batter and make a noise, but a soft sand receives them silently, and returns them without damage. A soft tongue is a wonderful specific, and has a very strange virtue in it. Solomon says, "It breaks the bone," that is, it qualifies those that were provoked, and makes them pliable; it "heaps coals of fire upon the head" of an enemy, not to burn him, but tomelt him. "Hard words," we say, "break no bones;" but it seems soft ones do, and yet do no harm, as they calm an angry spirit and prevent its progress. A stone that falls on a wool-pack rests there, and rebounds not to do any further mischief; such is a meek answer to an angry question.

The good effects of a soft answer, and the ill consequences of a peevish one, are observable in the stories of Gideon and Jephthah: both of them, in the day of their triumphs over the enemies of Israel, were quarrelled with by the Ephraimites, when the danger was past and the victory won, because they had not been called upon to engage in the battle. Gideon pacified them with a soft answer: "What have I done now in comparison of you?" magnifying their achievements and lessening his own, speaking honorably of them and meanly of himself: "Is not the gleaning of the grapes of Ephraim better than the vintage of Abiezer?" In which reply it is hard to say whether there was more of wit or wisdom; and the effect was very good: the Ephraimites were pleased, their anger turned away, a civil war prevented, and nobody could think the worse of Gideon for his mildness and self-denial. On the contrary, he won more true honor by his victory over his own passion, than he did by his victory over all the host of Midian; for he that hath rule over his own spirit is better than the mighty, [Read Proverbs 25:28]. The angel of the Lord has pronounced him a "mighty man of valor;" and this his tame submission did not at all derogate from that part of his character. But Jephthah, who by many instances appears to be a man of a rough and hasty spirit, though enrolled among the eminent believers, (See Hebrews 11:32)—for all good people are not alike happy in their temper—when the Ephraimites in like manner quarrel with him, rallies them, upbraids them with their cowardice, boasts of his own courage, and challenges them to make good their cause. (See Judges. 12:2). They retort a scurrilous reflection upon Jephthah's country, as it is usual with passion to taunt and jeer: "Ye Gileadites are fugitives." From words they go to blows, and so great a matter does this little fire kindle, that there goes no less to quench the flame than the blood of two and forty thousand Ephraimites. All which had been happily prevented, if Jephthah had had but half as much meekness in his heart as he had reason on his side.

A soft answer is the dictate and dialect of that wisdom which is from above (Read James 3:17), which is peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated; and to recommend it to us, we have the pattern of good men, as that of Jacob's conduct to Esau. Though none is so hard to be won as a brother offended, yet, as he had prevailed with God by faith and prayer, so he prevailed with his brother by meekness and humility. We have also the pattern of angels, who, even when a rebuke was needful, durst not turn it into a railing accusation, durst not give any reviling language, not to the devil himself, but referred the matter to God: "The Lord rebuke thee;" as that passage in Jude 9 is commonly understood. Nay, we have the pattern of a good God, who, though he could plead against us with his great power, yet gives soft answers: witness his dealing with Cain when he was wroth and his countenance fallen, reasoning the case with him: "Why art thou wroth? If thou doest well, shalt not thou be accepted?" With Jonah likewise when he was so discontented: "Doest thou well to be angry?" [Read Genesis 4:6; Jonah 4:4].This is represented, in the parable of the prodigal son, by the conduct of the father towards the elder brother, who was so angry that he would not come in. The father did not say, "Let him stay out then;" but he came himself and entreated him, when he might have interposed his authority and commanded him, saying, "Son, thou art ever with me." [Read Luke 15:31] When a passionate contest is begun, there is a plague broke out: the meek man, like Aaron, takes his censer with the incense of a soft answer, steps in seasonably, and stays it.

This soft answer, in case we have committed a fault, though perhaps not culpable to the degree that we are charged with, must be penitent, humble, and submissive; and we must be ready to acknowledge our error, and not stand in it, or insist upon our own vindication; but rather aggravate than excuse it, rather condemn than justify ourselves. It will be a good evidence of our repentance towards God, to humble ourselves to our brethren whom we have offended, as it will be also a good evidence of our being forgiven of God, if we be ready to forgive those that have offended us; and such yielding pacifies great offences. Meekness teaches us, as often as we trespass against our brother, to "turn again and say, I repent." An acknowledgment, in case of a wilful affront, is perhaps as necessary to pardon, as, we commonly say, restitution is in case of wrong.

Post script

Brethren: We are instructed to forgive seventy times seven, (note that this was just an illustration and not an actual number). Likewise, we must therefore endeavor to seek forgiveness as well. If' we knowingly, or perhaps unknowingly cause offense, seek out that person, and apologize. We do well, to be quiet and thoughtful. To not speak rashly, or in particular anger.

The former behavior is most acceptable and pleasing to our Creator, while the latter only reflects badly, not only on ourselves, but on our Creator. Such quick outbursts of anger, (many times which are accompanied by expletives), prove only to the hearer of those words, that their assessments of us are as they first surmised; that being fools, whose only recourse in life is to berate others.

We end here, with the oft quoted words by Abraham Lincoln

“Better to remain silent and thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt”

Friday, January 12, 2018

The Gospel According to Mark
Chapter 10:13-16

13 Then they brought little children to him, that he should touch them, and his disciples rebuked those that brought them.
14 But when Jesus saw it, he was displeased, and said to them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.
15 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.
16 And he took them up in his arms, and put his hands upon them, and blessed them.



"As to adult persons, I assuredly tell you, who, by your behaviour on this occasion, plainly need the admonition, whoever he be, that does not embrace the Gospel of the kingdom with humility and meekness, free from hypocrisy, wrath and malice, pride and ambition, in resemblance of the temper of a little child, shall never be a partaker of its great and glorious blessings.”
Thomas Coke – Theologian



As in thousands of those whose lives have been modelled after His pattern, the love of children was not weaker, but stronger, precisely because it depended on no human relationship, but sprang from His seeing in them the children of His Father.” J.C. Ellicott – Theologian





Thursday, January 11, 2018

The Gospel According to Mark
Chapter 10:35-45

35 Then James and John the sons of Zebedee came unto him, saying, Master, we would that thou shouldest do for us that we desire.
36 And he said unto them, What would ye I should do for you?
37 And they said to him, Grant unto us, that we may sit, one at thy right hand, and the other at thy left hand in thy glory.
38 But Jesus said unto them, Ye know not what ye ask. Can ye drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and be baptized with the baptism that I shall be baptized with?
39 And they said unto him, We can. But Jesus said unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of the cup that I shall drink of, and be baptized with the baptism wherewith I shall be baptized:
40 But to sit at my right hand and at my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared.
41 And when the ten heard that, they began to disdain at James and John.
42 But Jesus called them unto him, and said to them, Ye know that they which are princes among the Gentiles, have domination over them, and they that be great among them, exercise authority over them.
43 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your servant.
44 And whosoever will be chief of you, shall be the servant of all.
45 For even the Son of man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life for the ransom of many.



Verse 42 – Those in authority, that is to say those that do so in the world, rule over their subjects. It is through them, that good or evil flows towards those under themselves. However, this is not so in body of Christ. Those that wish to be of greatest good, can only serve the needs of the greatest good. This is the role of the pastor; to shepherd the flock that is given unto his care.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

The Gospel According to Mark
Chapter 9:49-50

49 For every man shall be salted with fire: and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.
50 Salt is good: but if the salt be unsavory, wherewith shall it be seasoned? have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.

Related Scripture:

Verse 49 – Leviticus 2:13 -

Notations from GNV Translation

We must be seasoned and powdered by God, both that we may be acceptable sacrifices unto him: and also that we being knit together, may season one another. That is, shall be consecrated to God, being seasoned with the incorruptible .


Monday, January 8, 2018

The Gospel According to Mark
Chapter 9:3, 39-41

37 Whosoever shall receive one of such little children in my Name, receiveth me: and whosoever receiveth me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me.
39 But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man that can do a miracle by my Name, that can lightly speak evil of me.
40 For whosoever is not against us, is on our part.
41 And whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink for my Name’s sake, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.



Brethren:


We have been commissioned to be disciples of Christ. Therefore it is our duty to bring to the world the news of the Gospel. We are, as stated above and likewise written by Paul the Apostle; one body in Christ. We are not, to use the analogy by Paul, the foot, the head, the hand etc. We are to work together as one functioning body. Without the foot, the body cannot walk, without the head, the body cannot think, without the hand, we cannot work. All of these and more are needed to be one body, one mind in and of Christ.


Now, without Christ, we cannot be of the Father. For Christ, Himself has stated that he knocks on the door (See Revelation 3:20), and He and the Father likewise dwell with us for His Holy Spirit is within us. (See 1 John 4:13)


No house can stand divided against itself

Friday, January 5, 2018

The Gospel According to Mark
Chapter 9:19, 23-24

19 Then he answered him, and said, O faithless generation, how long now shall I be with you! how long now shall I suffer you! Bring him unto me.
23 And Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe it, all things are possible to him that believeth.
24 And straightway the father of the child crying with tears, said, Lord, I believe: help my unbelief.

Brethren:

We are herein reminded of Matthew 19:26, in that Christ states without doubt that with God ALL things are possible. (See also Matthew 8:13, 9:22; Luke 8:50, 18:22)

Verse 24

Not [in a]forward [manner], but out of the way: he found in himself some small degree of faith in the power of Christ, but it was mixed with much unbelief, through the greatness of the child's disorder; and therefore desires it might be removed from him, and he might be helped against it: he saw it was not in his own power to believe; nor had he strength of himself to oppose his unbelief; but that both faith must be given him, and power against unbelief. The Syriac version renders it, "help the defect of my faith": till up that which is lacking in it, it is very deficient, Lord, increase it; and the Arabic and Ethiopic translate thus, "help the weakness of my faith". He found his faith very weak, he desires it might be strengthened, that he might be strong in faith, and give glory to God; and in this way belief is helped, or men helped against it: every believer, more or less, at one time or another, finds himself in this man's case; and also that it is necessary to make use of the same petition; for faith is but imperfect in this life, and often very weak and defective in its exercise.” - John Gill – Theologian

Although my faith be so small, that it might rather be termed unbelief, yet help me”
John Wesley



Wednesday, January 3, 2018

The Gospel According to Mark
Chapter 9:1-13

1 And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, that there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power.
2 And six days after, Jesus taketh unto him Peter, and James, and John, and carrieth them up into an high mountain out of the way alone, and his shape was changed before them.
3 And his raiment did shine, and was very white as snow, so white as no fuller can make upon the earth.
4 And there appeared unto them Elijah with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus.
5 Then Peter answered, and said to Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: let us make also three tabernacles, one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.
6 Yet he knew not what he said: for they were afraid.
7 And there was a cloud that shadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.
8 And suddenly they looked round about, and saw no more any man save Jesus only with them.
9 And as they came down from the mountain, he charged them, that they should tell no man what they had seen, save when the Son of man were risen from the dead again.
10 So they kept that matter to themselves, and demanded one of another, what the rising from the dead again should mean.
11 Also they asked him, saying, Why say the Scribes, that Elijah must first come?
12 And he answered, and said unto them, Elijah verily shall first come, and restore all things: and as it is written of the Son of man, he must suffer many things, and be set at nought.
13 But I say unto you, that Elijah is come, (and they have done unto him whatsoever they would) as it is written of him.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018


The Gospel According to Mark
Chapter 8:34-39

34  And he called the people unto him with his disciples, and said unto them, Whosoever will follow me, let him forsake himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
35 For whosoever will save his life, shall lose it: but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the Gospel’s, he shall save it.
36 For what shall it profit a man, though he should win the whole world, if he lose his soul?
37 Or what exchange shall a man give for his soul?
38 For whosoever shall be ashamed of me, and of my words among this adulterous and sinful generation, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed also, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy Angels.



Related Scripture
Verse 38 – Romans 1:16



Verse 34 - The disciples of Christ must bear stoutly what burden soever the Lord layeth upon them, and subdue the affections of the flesh
Verse 36 - They are the most foolish of all men which purchase the enjoying of this life with the loss of everlasting bliss. - Notations from the GNV translation



As suffering, crucified, and put to death; things he had been speaking of before: whoever through scandal of the cross, and fear of men, will be ashamed of Christ, and dare not profess faith in him, but shall conceal and keep it to themselves. The doctrines of the Gospel, of remission of sins by his blood, of justification by his righteousness, and of salvation alone by him, with every other truth relating to him, or connected with these; in this adulterous and sinful generation; which was so both in a moral and spiritual sense; for both corporeal and spiritual adultery prevailed among them, And particularly the Scribes and Pharisees adulterated the word of God by their false glosses, in which they acted a very sinful part; and such was their authority, that few durst contradict them, or profess doctrines which were the reverse of them. Wherefore our Lord assures his disciples and followers, that should they be deterred by these men from a free and open profession of him, and his Gospel, by which it would appear that they were ashamed of both. [Of those He], will not own such an one for his; he will take no notice of him; he will not confess his name; but, as one that he is ashamed of, he will turn away from him; not so much as look at him, or say one favorable word to him, or for him; but bid him be gone from him, as a worker of iniquity: this he will do. [That] the same that the Father has; being his Son, of the same nature with him, and equal to him; and as mediator, endued with power and authority from him, to judge the world.” - John Gill

Monday, January 1, 2018

Special Post for the New Year
The Gospel According to Luke
Chapter 2:30-32

30 For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,
31 Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people,
32 A light to be revealed to the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.

Brethren:
This morning's post was inspired by my Pastor. Make note of the words “all people”. God's plan was for salvation of all mankind, not just Israel. And although the Gospel of Christ was first preached to the Children of Israel, it was now prophesied that it would go forth and been heard in all corners of the world. (See Matthew 24:14)

Henceforth, it behooves us to bring the light of salvation to all peoples everywhere. Let us resolve then, to do our best in doing this command, for so we have been commanded to go forth and make disciples of all men. (See Matthew 28:18-20)
R.P. Woitowitz Sr. - Humble disciple in the service of the King, Christ Jesus

Or for the revelation of the Gentiles; to reveal the love, grace, and mercy of God, an everlasting righteousness, and the way of life and salvation to them. Reference seems to be had [made to the word] "Light", [as being], one of the names of the Messiah in the Old Testament, which passages are interpreted of Christ; and is a name often used of him in the New Testament: it is true of him as God, he is light itself, and in him is no darkness at all; and as the Creator of mankind, he is that light which lightens every man with the light of nature and reason; and as the Messiah, he is come a light into the world: the light of the Gospel, in the clear shine of it, is from him; the light of grace in his people, who were in darkness itself, he is the author and donor of; as he is also of the light of glory and happiness, in the world to come: and particularly, the Gentiles enjoy this benefit of light by him; who were, and as this supposes they were, in darkness, as they had been some hundreds of years before the Messiah's coming: they were in the dark about the being and perfections of God, about the unity of God, and the Trinity of persons in the Godhead, and about God in Christ; about his worship, the rule and nature of it; and the manner of atonement, and reconciliation for sin; the person, righteousness, and sacrifice of Christ; the Spirit of God, and his operations on the souls of men; the Scriptures of truth, and both law and Gospel; the resurrection of the dead, and a future state: now, though Christ in his personal ministry, was sent only to the Jews, yet after his resurrection, he gave his disciples a commission to go into all the world, to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles, in order to turn them from darkness to light; and hereby multitudes were called out of darkness into marvelous light: and this Simeon1 had knowledge of, and a few more besides him.” - John Gill – Theologian



1 - Editor's thought – This knowledge comes only by the revelation of the Holy Spirit. There is absolutely no way that this is man's wisdom.


A Discourse On Meekness and Quietness of Spirit
  Abridged from the Rev. Matthew Henry
Edited by R.P. Woitowitz Sr.
A meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. 1 Peter 3:4



In Reference to our Own Anger (Part 1)

To consider the circumstances of that which we apprehend to be a provocation, so as at no time to express our displeasure but upon due mature deliberation. The office of meekness is to keep reason upon the throne in the soul as it ought to be; to preserve the understanding clear and unclouded, the judgment untainted and unbiased in the midst of the greatest provocations, so as to be able to set every thing in its true light, and to see it in its own color, and to determine accordingly; as also to keep silence in the court, that the "still small voice" in which the Lord is, as he was with Elijah at mount Horeb, may not be drowned by the noise of the tumult of the passions. A meek man will never be angry at a child, at a servant, at a friend, till he has first seriously weighed the cause in just and even balances, while a steady and impartial hand holds the scales, and a free and unprejudiced thought adjudges it necessary. It is said of our Lord Jesus, (Read John 11:33), he troubled himself; which denotes it to be a considerate act, and what he saw reason for. Things go right in the soul, when no resentments are admitted into the affections but what have first undergone the scrutiny of the understanding, and thence received their pass. That passion which comes not in by this door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber, against which we should guard. In a time of war—and such a time it is in every sanctified soul, in a constant war between grace and corruption—due care must be taken to examine all travelers, especially those that come armed: whence they came, whither they go, whom they are for, and what they would have. Thus should it be in the well-governed, well-disciplined soul. Let meekness stand sentinel; and upon the advance of a provocation, let us examine who it is that we are about to be angry with, and for what. What are the merits of the cause; wherein lay the offense; what was the nature and tendency of it? What are likely to be the consequences of our resentments; and what harm will it be if we stifle them, and let them go no further? Such as these are the interrogatories which meekness would put to the soul; and in answer to them it would abstract all which passion is apt to suggest, and hear reason only as it becomes rational creatures to do.

Three great dictates of meekness we find put together in one scripture: "Be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath;" which some observe to be couched in three proper names of Ishmael's sons, (Read Genesis 25:14; 1 Chronicles 1:30), which Bishop Prideaux, in the beginning of the wars, recommended to a gentleman that had been his pupil, as the summary of his advice—Mishma, Dumah, Massa; the signification of which is, hear, keep silence, bear. Hear reason, keep passion silent, and then you will not find it difficult to bear the provocation.

It is said of the Holy One of Israel, when the Egyptians provoked him, he weighed a path to his anger; so the margin reads it from the Hebrew, (Read Psalm 78:50). Justice first poised the cause, and then anger poured out the vials. Thus the Lord came down to see the pride of the Babel-builders before he scattered them, and to see the wickedness of Sodom before he overthrew it—though both were obvious and barefaced—to teach us to consider before we are angry, and to judge before we pass sentence, that herein we may be followers of God as dear children, and be merciful, as our Father which is in heaven is merciful.

We read of the "meekness of wisdom;" for where there is not wisdom, that wisdom which is profitable to direct, that wisdom of the prudent which is to understand his way, meekness will not long be preserved. It is our rashness and inconsideration that betray us to all the mischiefs of an ungoverned passion, on the neck of which the reins are laid which should be kept in the hand of reason, and so we are hurried upon a thousand precipices. Nehemiah is a remarkable instance of prudence presiding in just resentments: he owns, "I was very angry when I heard their cry;" but that anger did not at all transgress the laws of meekness, for it follows, "then I consulted with myself," or as the Hebrew has it, my heart consulted in me. Before he expressed his displeasure he retired into his own bosom, took time for sober thought upon the case, and then he rebuked the nobles in a very solid, rational discourse, and the success was good. In every cause when passion demands immediate judgment, meekness moves for further time, and will have the matter fairly argued, and counsel heard on both sides.

When Job had any quarrel with his servants, he was willing to admit a rational debate of the matter, and to hear what they had to say for themselves; for says he, "What shall I do when God riseth up?" And withal, "Did not He that made me in the womb, make him?" When our hearts are at any time hot within us, we should do well to put that question to ourselves which God put to Cain, Gen. 4:6. Why am I wroth? Why am I angry at all? Why so soon angry? Why so very angry? Why so far transported and dispossessed of myself by my anger? What reason is there for all this? Do I well to be angry for a gourd, that came up in a night and perished in a night? (Read Jonah 4:9). Should I be touched to the quick by such a sudden and transient provocation? Will not my cooler thoughts correct these hasty resentments, and therefore were it not better to check them now? Such are the reasonings of the meekness of wisdom.