Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Highest Authority

 (Art by Juliette Aristides)

Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Romans 13:1 [NKJV]

Just wanted to share a couple of thoughts from our pastor's sermon this morning on the subject of government. The sermon was a needed one at the time we're in right now with the current election coming up in nine days. It wasn't a political message, because at our church the pastors do try to stay away from any involvement in politics, refraining from telling us who or what we should vote for on any given level. But they do rightfully try to impress the Word of God on our hearts, so that when we do whatever we do, including exercising this important privilege as citizens, that will be foremost in our minds.

I've been thinking a lot about this election so it was good to be reminded of some things. I've been listening to the "much talking" coming from both sides, everybody accusing everybody else of being liars, among a host of other things. Actually, it's getting exhausting to tell the truth. So the reminders from today's sermon were so welcome. I won't outline the entire sermon, which I appreciated so much as it was so sober, sensible, and practical. But I don't want to ever forget what was he said about the highest authority that exists:

Every human government has its credentials. It has a name, an ideology, a capital, a cabinet, a sphere of rule, intelligence, and the rest. But the highest authority has a Name, which is "the Most High God;" an Age, which is Eternal; a Capital, which is Heaven; Ministers, who are the Angels; a Realm, which is the Universe; Intelligence, which is Omniscient; Experience, which is Infinite; a Record, which is Impeccable; Character, which is Unimpeachable; and a Purpose, which is Benevolent. ~ Pastor J.R.

Now that's quite enough to help me to press on and not be afraid, no matter who wins on November 6th.

Friday, October 26, 2012

What to Put On

 (Art by Elaine Vollherbst - Lane)

Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 

Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.

And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

Colossians 3:12-14

Monday, October 8, 2012

Seven Thousand

 Art by Khodchenko Valeriy

Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him. 1 Kings 19:18

The comfortable information God gives him [Elijah] of the number of Israelites who retained their integrity, though he thought he was left alone. . .In times of the greatest degeneracy and apostasy God has always had, and will have, a remnant faithful to him, some that keep their integrity and do not go down the stream. It is God's work to preserve that remnant, and distinguish them from the rest, for without his grace they could not have distinguished themselves. God's faithful ones are often his hidden ones (ps.83:3) and the visible church is scarcely visible, the wheat lost in the chaff and the gold in the dross, till the sifting, refining, separating day comes. The Lord knows those that are his, though we do not; he sees in secret. There are more good people in the world than some wise and holy men think there are. . .

~ Matthew Henry

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The River called Death

The pilgrims then began to inquire if there was no other way to the gate; to which they answered, Yes; but there hath not any, save two, to wit, Enoch and Elijah, been permitted to tread that path, since the foundation of the world, nor shall, until the last trumpet shall sound. The pilgrims then, especially Christian, began to despond in their minds, and looked this way and that, but no way could be found by them by which they might escape the river. Then they asked the men if the waters were all of a depth. They said, No; yet they could not help them in that case; for said they, You shall find it deeper or shallower, as you believe in the King of the place. 

~ From The Pilgrim's Progress