Thursday, August 31, 2017



"Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast your pearls before the swine, lest haply they trample them under their feet, and turn and rend you."

We are not to be critically censorious, but we must exercise discrimination and discretion. There are characters we must discern and be careful of, for there are things committed to our care which we must safeguard at all costs for the church is the household of the truth. This may appear a rough description of the characters, but the King makes use of no vulgar descriptions except when He is describing vulgar things. Who are the "dogs," the "swine"? Let Scripture interpret Scripture. No doubt Peter heard Him say this, and after he had passed through very wonderful experiences he wrote, and used words his Master used. "It has happened to them according to the true proverb, the dog turning to his own vomit again, and the sow that had washed to wallowing in the mire” (2 Peter 2:22). "It has happened unto them." In the previous chapter we have a remarkable exposition of these words of Jesus. The chapter be­gins with false prophets. As we go on through the chapter we have the ter­rible teaching that, though we may be in the place of privilege and blessing, if we turn our back upon it we must be cast out therefrom. It is a terrible and dark description of certain men who resolutely set themselves against holy things, but who come into holy places to traffic with holy things with unholy purposes—dogs, who presently will go back to their vomit; swine, who presently will be back to their wallow­ing in the mire. Do not judge your fellow man hastily; but when a man has manifested his character do not give holy things to dogs, do not fling pearls before swine. Remember, if out of false love or pity you allow men of material ideals and worldly wisdom to touch holy things, to handle the pearls of the Kingdom, it won’t be long before they will turn and shred you. That is the whole history of Christendom's ruin, in the measure in which Christendom is ruined, turning the church over to successful business people. The Lord needs no leaders (Matt. 23:10), He seeks servants. There is only One in the church. He is in need of servants with hearts as such (Matt. 25:14). The church is not a business, it does not sell its wares for profit. There is a very clear distinction between the Church of God and Christendom. The Church of God is not a failure—the great holy entity in union with Him—but the outward manifestation is. We gave holy things to dogs. We imagined that when a Roman emperor espoused the cause of Christianity, it was a great thing. We cast the pearls of the Kingdom before swine; and the men who had to do only with the earthly things have turned again, and rent the outward manifestation of unity. If a brother stands out, makes choice against the will of God, and refuses the light, then we are to discriminate. There is a separation made within the borders of Christ's Kingdom, and, while we are to indulge in no censorious criticism and final judgment of our fellow man, if that man, judged by his own action and character, is unworthy, then we are not to give him holy things, we are not to cast our pearls before swine.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017


"Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it. For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it.” Matt. 7:13-14

The root sense of that word "destruction" is narrowness. "Strait is the gate and narrow is the way that leadeth to life," and life is breadth. The way of sin is easy, the gate is wide open, and the highway is broad. Yes, but watch it, watch it; it is narrowing, until life becomes crushed and cursed. That is always the way of sin. The whole universe is built on that pattern. The way of life is narrow; yes, strait is the gate. Shedding is needed to enter upon the way of life. Narrow the way in the beginning, but mark it, it broadens out into the spaciousness of life.

 If you would possess the Kingdom that includes all kingdoms; if you would live within the Kingdom in which all values are to be finally perfected and realized, you must get through the narrow gate and the straitened way. No man can be a Christian in all the full senses of the word who is not prepared to get to the wicket, and strip, and tramp the straitened way. These are the words of the King, and He knows! He gained His redemptive authority by submis­sion; He yielded Himself to the su­preme authority of His Father, and we read this very startling thing con­cerning Him in the Scriptures of in­spiration. "He . . . learned obedience by the things which He suffered." (Heb. 5:8) That does not mean that He learned to be obedient through suffering; but that He learned obedience experimen­tally through treading the pathway of suffering. To put this in the simplest way, He did not learn to be obedient through suffering, but He learned the full experience of obedience in suffering. Many of us have been taught to obey by the process of suffering. It was not so with Him. His perfect obedience led Him into the profoundest suffering, and thus He experienced the fullest meaning of obedience in that way.

Monday, August 28, 2017



"The Beginning of the Gospel."MARK 1:1.

The Gospel according to Mark is the briefest of the four gospels. In all likelihood it was the earliest written. It was written probably before the death of Paul, but not later than the destruction of Jerusalem. Irenaeus defi­nitely said that it was written after the deaths of Paul and Peter, but more recent investigation would place it earlier, that is before 63 A.D.
Patristic testimony agrees that it was influenced by Peter, that indeed it is the record of the facts concern­ing Jesus as they were told by Peter in his preaching, and recorded by his friend, Mark. This view is strength­ened by modern scholarship.
Mark gives us practically no material other than that which is recorded by Matthew. The difference between the Gospels is that of method, rather than that of matter. The method of Mark is characterized by directness and brevity (almost amounting to bluntness), accompanied by certain circumstantial touches which give us a most vivid sense of the Lord, in many details of look, gesture, and habits of speech.

The history of the writer of this Gospel as it may be traced in the New Testament, is a most interesting one. His Jewish name was John, Mark being his Latin sur­name. His mother, as Luke informs us in the book of Acts 12:12 was a woman of wealth, living in Jeru­salem, evidently a personal friend of Peter, and hostess of the Christian disciples in the early days after Pentecost. By a reference, in the first letter of Peter, we may surmise that Mark was spiritually a son of Peter (1 Peter 5:13), that he was brought to a knowledge of the Lord Christ saving him under the ministry of the great apostle. He was also a cousin of Barnabas. The first appearance of Mark in New Testament history is found in the story of the journey of Paul and Barnabas from Jerusalem to Antioch, upon which journey he accompanied them. He then went with them on the first missionary journey, sud­denly leaving them at Perga. Why he left them, we do not know. It is an interesting fact that almost all ex­positors assume that he was afraid of the campaign, and went home, but there is no shadow of evidence that fear was the reason for his return. Certainly later on, dis­cussion and separation occurred between Paul and Barnabas upon this very subject, for when starting upon an­other journey, Barnabas desired to take Mark with him, and Paul objected, because Mark had “gone back." That may be the reason why it is supposed that Mark turned back from fear. But, though Paul refused to take him, Barnabas desired to do so; and it is quite as possible that Barnabas was right, as Paul. So we may give Mark the benefit of the doubt. It is certain that he went with Barnabas to Cyprus, and subsequently was with Paul in Rome, a "fellow laborer," and a comfort. From a reference in Peter's first letter we gather that he accompanied that apostle to Babylon; and the last glimpse of him is that in Paul's last letter to Timothy, wherein he charged him to bring Mark with him again to Rome.
I named my eldest son after this gospel writer.

Sunday, August 27, 2017



"He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him." Matt. 27:42

Here let us observe the sinners double mistake; first their literal blunder; and secondly, their spiritual blunder.
As to their literal blunder, let us for the moment forget all that we know spiritually of the significance of these words of our text. It is a little difficult to get away from the ultimate spiritual interpretation, even at the beginning of our meditation. They said, "He saved others," a great admission—"Himself He cannot save," a strong declaration. They were wrong, and first they were entirely wrong, even in the sense in which they meant the thing they said. Jesus, during those twenty four hours could easily have saved Himself. His being upon the Cross was not the result of their victory over Him. They had not caught Him, trapped Him, shut Him up, imprisoned Him, crucified Him, and so beaten Him. His being on the Cross was not their victory. All that is not the deepest truth. Jesus could have escaped the Cross in three ways.
1. He could have escaped the Cross by diplomacy with Pilate. Pilate earnestly sought some loophole of escape, wrought with strange and weird persistence to discover some way by which he could deliver Him; and a word from Jesus would have been enough. Some word of diplomacy, of policy, of arrange­ment; and all the priests would have been powerless to persuade Pilate to the thing he ultimately did. It was the silence, the heroic silence of Jesus that compelled Pilate to do what he finally did. If for the moment that is not convincing, then hear the words of Jesus spoken to Pilate as recorded by another evangelist: "Thou wouldest have no power against Me, except it were given thee from above." He could have escaped.
2. But there was another way in which He might have escaped, and in proportion as we really get into me at­mosphere of this wonderful scene we shall realize it. He could have escaped by popular appeal. The cry of the crowd, presently hissed between shut teeth, "Crucify, crucify!"  was but a parrot cry. They were only repeat­ing what they had been told to say. The high priests persuaded them to it. If one catches a mob anywhere at the psychic moment, it will shout anything under God's heaven! Individually, that mob may go home to repent of what it shouted, but under the influence of excitement they will do it. The crowd was driven by the high priests because they appealed to it first. Supposing Jesus had reached them first with an appeal! The attempt of the rulers to avoid the feast time as the hour of His arrest, was based on their knowledge that this was so. They said: "Not during the feast, lest a tumult arise among the people." They knew perfectly well that He had but to stand erect for one moment, and say something to that crowd, and the whole mob would have swept the priests out of the way, and delivered Him. But He did not do it. He did not save Himself.
3. I cannot consider this matter without going further; for He is not wholly a man as I am. If not by diplomacy with Pilate, if not by popular appeal, then He could have escaped by Divine wrath and destruction of His enemies. Listen to Him as He said, but a little while before to one of His own disciples: "Thinkest thou that I cannot be­seech My Father, and He shall even now send Me more than twelve legions of angels?" Knowing full well the danger, or at least the inadequacy of imagination, yet as I look upon that scene, being no Sadducee, believing as I do in angels as well as spirits, it seems as though the very hosts of heaven could hardly be restrained from de­livering Him. One glance of His eye, one word of power, and Pilate and priests and mob would have been swept away. He could have delivered Himself. That was their literal blunder.
Involved within it, is that which is the deeper thing; their spiritual blunder. He could not save Himself! But His inability was born of His ability; His weakness was the outcome of His strength. He was strong enough not  to save Himself, strong enough to decline diplomacy with the Procurator, strong enough to be silent when one word would have turned the mob into an army of His friends, strong enough to restrain His own omnipotence, and to bow, bend, stoop, submit. He could not save Himself.
Whence came that strength which manifested itself in weakness? What were the secrets of that ability which had its most eloquent expression in disability? I shall attempt to answer the question, by putting the actual facts concerning the Lord Jesus, in contrast with the ways already suggested, that were open to Him for escape.
Instead of employing diplomacy, we see Him cooperat­ing with God; that is, acting in conformity with truth, moving along the line of the essential and the eternal; set­ting His face resolutely, in spite of all that such setting of His face involved, in the direction of holiness and light. Here we pass into the mists. Here we come into the presence of the mystery. Yet, through the mists, out of which the light breaks; and the mystery, through the darkness of which the revelation has proceeded, He was striving against sin, and He was resisting unto blood! Because that was the Divine pathway—why it was, is not now under discussion,—because in the Divine economy He could only slay death by dying, only end sin by being made sin in an appalling mystery, He would have no conference with any suggestion of escape from that pathway. In that cooperation with God, in conformity to the underlying and essential truth, however dark the way and mysterious the hour, He was strong enough to be weak enough to die.
Or again; the second method of escape that was certainly open to Him on the natural level was that He might have escaped by popular appeal. He did not, because He was acting in separation from man—that is by separa­tion from sinners, uninfluenced by their advice, by their votes, by their clamor—and with God for their sakes. Perhaps we can understand this better if we allow our minds to travel away from the scene for a moment, and remember that ever and anon in human history, as those have appeared who have trod this self-same pathway—not in the same degree, but obedient to the self-same principle—over and over again the men who have fashioned the ages, and have made the conditions which have been brighter and better and purer for the world, have had to stand alone, separating themselves from humanity in the interest of humanity,  travelling up new Calvaries, Calvaries for which they gathered inspiration here. So He withdrew from the crowd. He did not ask its aid. He made no appeal to them; and that for their sakes. In the interest of their condition, and in order that shortly He might win from them a truer judgment, a more righteous vote, a sanctified assent, He asked nothing of them. He trod the winepress alone, separate in His heroism from humanity, for the sake of humanity.
Or again, if we really seek for the secret of His strength, it is to be found finally, fundamentally, and in­clusively in that He, Who might that day have escaped the Cross by an act of Divine destruction inspired by Divine wrath, accepted the Cross in order to an act of salvation inspired by Divine love. He was still acting un­der the mastery of the will of His God; here also, as surely as when He declined diplomacy, and stood alone for truth, He was moving along the line of the essential and the eternal; here, He was not in conflict with God, but in cooperation with Him. He could not save Himself, because He was one with God in a double determination; the determination to smite and blast and destroy sin; and the determination to heal and lift and ennoble a sin­ning race. Not these things held Him; the court, and the brutality of His enemies; but His overmastering, and over-whelming love. He could not save Himself. Therefore He can save others.
So, finally, let us glance at the issue of what they did not understand. Yet the whole truth of that was ex­pressed in what they themselves did say. What is the issue of that attitude of Jesus? He saved others. Per­haps it would be better to change their statement a little, not to interfere with its essential thought, but to change merely the tenses of its verbs; so that from beneath the mistake, the essential truth which they knew not may emerge. They said, "He saved others," and the tense was past. They were looking back. "Himself He can­not save," and the tense was present. They were looking at Him on the Cross. We look back at this scene, and say: Himself He could not save. We look around today, and say: He saves others. Though they did not under­stand it—even the disciples themselves did not under­stand, but soon light came, and ever and anon these men who wrote caviar records reveal in some passing phrase their past ignorance and their new illumination - the truth is this, that all those whom He had already saved, He had saved in the power of the fact that He could not, un that final way, save Himself. He had opened blind eyes, He had healed palsied limbs, He had driven fever away, He had restored physical conditions; but He always did these things upon the basis of His passion and His atonement. The writers came to know it, I repeat, and one memorable passage comes to mind, in which Matthew tells the secret of a wonderful eventide by the side of the sea. They brought unto Him from all the country­side the sick folk, and He healed them all. If Matthew had written his record that night, he would have written with wonder and amazement; but later on the publican saw things as he had never seen them; and in the light of the resurrection, when he wrote his record afterwards, this is what he said: He healed them all, "that it might he fulfilled which was spoken through Isaiah the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our diseases." Behind all His physical healing, was the spiritual passion of the Lord. I reverently declare that the Man of Nazareth would never have healed a sick child, man or woman, but in the power of that hour, when they mocked Him and scorned Him.
Turning from that past, to which they looked, and con­sidering that future toward which He was looking when He could not save Himself because He would not save Himself, let us ask what the issue of that great fact is. We will confine ourselves to the atmosphere of this very story in considering this matter; measuring the strength by the weakness; going again to the threefold door of escape that was open to Him in the natural, and consider­ing the threefold issue in the supernatural. He might have escaped by diplomacy. He was bound by the simplicity of truth. He might have escaped by popular ap­peal. He was bound by a separation from popular ac­claim in order to the redemption of the populace. He might have escaped by the exercise of His Divine power in wrath. He was bound by the consideration of a Divine love and mercy.
Now what has the issue been? He established author­ity on the basis of truth, rather than on the shifting sand of diplomacy. Jesus Christ is not ruling over men by diplomacy, by compromise. Perhaps one of the most terrific things, one of the most frightening things, and one of the most blessed things concerning Him is that He will not make a compromise with men, that He will enter into no diplomatic relationship with them by which, if they grant Him so much, He will grant them so much, He will not meet men half-way. There is no diplomacy in the government of Jesus. The day will dawn, which is not yet, but which must be, when delegated authority;—and all authority is delegated to the Christian; in his under­standing of the universe, and his philosophy of the world, the final authority is God, and the powers that be are all ordained by God for beneficent purposes;—shall be based, not upon diplomacy but upon truth. I do not say that all diplomacy must be untrue, but it is in terrible danger of being untrue. I will go so far as to say that when in this country we have done with a good deal of our diplomacy, and the whole truth of foreign conditions is before the people, we shall do better than we have done; when we have simple, clear statements of the facts of the case, and not half-veiled lies that deceive. That day is coming. We are moving toward it slowly, through catastrophe and cataclysm and blood and fire and vapor of smoke; and all the way He leads, the Man Who can save others, be­cause He would not save Himself.
Consequently therefore, by His action He prepared for a popular vote which shall be inspired by wisdom and by love. He prepared for a people ransomed, and a peo­ple emancipated, who presently will bow to the authority of His truth, and acclaim Him Lord. Today we may hold almost in contempt the opinion of the crowd. How soon a man is forgotten. Let him drop out, and who thinks or cares for him? Let a prophet be gone, and within a decade there will be a letter in the newspaper, drawing attention to the fact that his grave is neglected! If a man is going to depend upon the opinion of a crowd, God pity that map. Nevertheless, the day is coming when all peoples and families and nations and tongues and temperaments will forget their differences, and merge in one great song, and it will be the song that proclaims Im­manuel, King of kings, and Lord of lords.  But that day would never have been reached but by His pathway of loneliness.
Finally, therefore, He made possible the saving of those very men who otherwise would have been destroyed. What men? Those very men locally, for the universal will best be seen here in the light of the local. The men who were round His Cross, the soldiers who crucified Him, the mob that clamored against Him; the priests, those very men could be saved because He did not save Himself. There is a little statement of history, in the Acts of the Apostles, full of interest: "And the word of God increased, and the number of the disciples multi­plied in Jerusalem exceedingly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith." These very men that mocked Him, that jeered at Him, He made possible their saving! In that is the greatness of His victory.
This, blessed be God, is the Gospel. He saves others; Himself He could not save. Or once again, to change the reading: To save others, He did not save Himself. He could not save Himself, because He was determined to save others.
If we name His name, if we wear His sign, if we profess that we are Christ's men and Christ's women, then we have to remember that this is not the Gospel only; it is the law. It is the abiding principle of the propagation of the Gospel, and must be to the end of stress and strain and conflict. Every Christian worker of whom it is true that he or she is saving others, cannot save himself or herself. Or again to change the method of the statement; the measure in which we are at the end of attempting to save ourselves, is the measure in which we are moving out upon the highway of being able to  save others. That is true in statesmanship. That is true in all the ministry of men to the needs created by the tragedy of life. It is true of the pulpit.
It is true of statesmanship. If statesmen are attempt­ing to save themselves and their country, they will fail. If statesmen are seeking the larger good, and are moving along the line of giving themselves out in sacrifice in order to reach the larger goal, they will save others.
In the case of those who minister to human need, doc­tors and nurses, I need not argue it. It is always true of such that they are not counting their own lives dear unto them, that they may make this sacred service of ministry and sacrifice.

It is true of the pulpit. We can make no contribution toward the victory of spiritual truth save at the point of sacrifice. A young minister fresh from college, said to W. L. Watkinson, that master of satire, upon one occasion, "You know, Dr. Watkinson, preaching does not take anything out of me." "No," said Dr. Watkinson, "and therefore, it puts nothing into anyone else!" That is true, Biblically true. If we are to save others, we cannot save ourselves. The only question that we have to face is this: Are we strong enough to be weak, mighty enough to submit, able for the gracious disability out of which the forces that renew, spring for the blessing of humanity?

Saturday, August 26, 2017



"He was a thief, and he had the bag."  John 12:6

Was he given the bag because he was a thief? No, but because of his capacity in business matters. Undoubtedly everything was orderly in that little company of apostles. It may seem a small thing to say about Jesus, but He is the Author of order. The weakness of Judas lay in the realm of his power. His capac­ity was the reason of his appointment to the treasurer ship of the little band; and right at the heart of his power, or capacity, lay his weakness. This is always so. When the apostle declared in one of his letters in 2 Cor. 12:10. "When I am weak then am I strong," he declared a great truth which may be expressed in another way, Where I am strong there I am weak. Temptation always lies within the realm of capacity. Financial ability is fraudulent possibility—not fraudulent necessity! It is not necessary for a man with financial ability to be fraudulent, but the capacity creates the possibility. Here, in spite of the brilliant essayists of the past, and the no less brilliant novelists of modern time, Judas stands confronting a man mastered emotionally by covetousness, the weakness of his own power and capacity. Thus Judas was dishonest and a false disciple all along. His act of betrayal, in return for money, was fully in character. He had evidently gone along with the disciples, thinking he would profit when Jesus established His kingdom and overthrew the Romans. When he finally saw this was not going to happen, he decided to get what he could for his trouble and betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. The love of money ruled his heart.
So may in our government are placed in powerful positions due mainly to their strengths. Is it any wonder why we hear of some who are released after finding weakness that is their downfall. And many are not discovered. The same is true in our churches.

Friday, August 25, 2017



"Is it lawful for us to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?” Luke 20:22

This was a distinctly political question. At that period there were two great Political parties in Jewry, and that was a divisive question. The Pharisaic party always paid tribute under protest, affirming that the people of God had no right to be paying tribute to a pagan authority. The Sadducean party were in favor of paying tribute. They came to Jesus with this question, which, in their judgment, must involve Him in difficulty with one party or the other. If He had said it was not lawful to pay tribute to Caesar, then at once the Pharisees would have agreed with Him, and the Sadducees would have been able to report Him to Rome as preaching sedition. If He had said, Yes, it is lawful, then the Pharisees could have said, Where, then, are Your Messianic claims? They were hoping thus to deflect public favor from Him. (Which is the attempts being made today all over the world – to them it is an attempt at entrapment.) If once He admitted that it was lawful to pay tribute to Rome, in such admission, in their opinion, He would have discredited His Messianic claim with the listening crowds. The extreme cleverness and the astuteness of these men is evident.
How did He repulse their attack?
"He perceived their craftiness," and the first thing He said to them was,
"Show Me a denarius."
He compelled them to produce the coin. I think in all probability He had no denarius about His Person. I do not think He ever carried money. In that little fellowship Judas had the bag; and He was supported by a little group of wealthy women. Their names are given to us by Luke, of whom he says,
"Who ministered unto Him of their substance."
That may be the reason why He asked them to show Him a denarius. But it is remarkable that He did not ask His disciples to produce the coin. Judas might have found one. But they produced it. Look at it. It may be that you have seen a denarius of that period, as I have done, one that was actually current then. On the front of it was the embossed face of Tiberius Caesar. From the standpoint of human opinion, it is a face char­acterized by strength and magnificence. Tiberius Caesar in his youth was a man of singular physical beauty, very much debauched as time went on. On the other side there were two words, or two letters, as a monogram. Pontifex Maximus. Tiberius Caesar on one side, and his title on the other, the greatest potentate. Jesus took the coin, and said,
"Whose image and superscription hath it?" At once they answered, "Caesar's." I think there was a great hush every­where. The people were all watching as they produced that coin. It lay there on the hand of Jesus for a mo­ment, and He looked at it. This is one of the pictures I would like to see some artist paint, that scene, when Jesus had that coin lying on His hand. Very soon that hand was to be pierced by a nail under the authority of the man whose portrait He looked at. Such a picture should be so poised that that coin may be seen, with the image of Caesar uppermost. The brutal animal strength of Tiberius Caesar; let that be seen. And then Jesus looking at it. He said, Whose image and superscription is this? Caesar, Pontifex Maximus?
Now mark the underlying reasoning of what He had done. Where did the coin come from? They had produced it. What were they doing with it? Using it, trading with it; and trading with a coinage means that you are in debt to the State whose coinage you are using. He implicated them, when He asked them to produce the coin. It was their coin. They had it. They were trading with it.
—Then, when in answer to His question,
"Whose image and superscription hath it?" they said, "Caesar's," observe the fu­tility of their coalition. Every merely political party is forgotten when He brings to bear upon questions of time the principles of eternity. Still hold­ing it in His hand, perhaps handing it back as He said It, He uttered the words:
"Then render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's."
He passed behind all policies and all parties and all differing human opin­ions on the question of administration, or the question of statecraft, and de­clared a principle that applied then, and all down human history, and today;
"Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's."
That means, first, that if men live under Caesar's rule, if they are pro­tected by the legions of Caesar, if they are trafficking with Caesar's money, they are in debt for the privileges created for them, to the government under which they live.
"Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's."
Yes, but He said more.
"Render to God the things that are God's."
When He held the coin on His hand, He said,
"Whose image and superscription hath it?"
and they told Him. In what He now said to them, another question is im­plicated, and He might have asked them, Whose image and superscription is upon you? If that coin has stamped upon it the image of Caesar, and the superscription that declares him to be pontifex maximus, the greatest poten­tate on every human face is the image of God, for man is made in the image and the likeness of God; and the su­perscription on every human life is that God alone is "Pontifex Max­imus." Thus He said in effect, As is the coin to Caesar, so are you to God. Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's; but do not forget that you are to render to God the things that are God's.
The inter-relationship of these state­ments is self-evident. Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's. That is first in statement; but it is forever qualified by that which fol­lows. Render to God the things that are God's. Which does not mean we are to have a secular side to life and a sacred; which does not mean that we may be one thing politically, and another thing religiously.  Paul, the apostle of Jesus Christ, in his Roman letter, said,
"For he "—the authority—"is a minister of God, an avenger for wrath to him that doeth evil. . . . For this cause ye pay tribute also. . . . Render to all their dues; tribute to whom trib­ute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor. Owe no man anything, save to love one another."
Paul was very emphatic that all au­thority is derived from God. As though Paul had said to the Romans, God is the Pontifex Maximus, and all other authority is delegated authority. Then he went on to show that it was given for the punishment of the evil­doer and the rewarding of the good. Now, supposing the authority, whether imperator, or procurator, or any other, is not functioning according to Divine authority, is not punishing evil, but condoning it. is not rewarding the  good, but penalizing it; then what am I to do? Disobey the authority, as I obey the authority of God. There are times when rendering to God the things that are God's, make necessary the breaking of human laws. There was a moment in the history of the American Colonists of Britain, when they broke with the authority of England; and they did it because they were true to God. Thus our Lord gave a complete philosophy of statecraft, and of the relation of His own people to the State.
It is interesting to notice that the word they used about paying tribute was not the word that Jesus used. They said, “Is it lawful to give tribute," didomi, to donate it. He said, apo-didomi. The said, Shall we give tribute. He said, Give back.  The apo recognizes debt to Caesar for privileges, and to God for everything.
Luke says,
"And they were not able to take hold of the saying before the people."

There was nothing for them to take hold of.
In a world formed by theological soundness and perfection, political strategies fail every time. All political movements are found to be ministers of the Creator God whether they recognize His authority or not.

Thursday, August 24, 2017



And He said, "A certain man had two sons.” Luke 15:11

In this passage we see the Fatherhood of God. First of all we see him supplying his son with his substance, everything he had, he had from his father. That is a philosophy of life. Whatever we spend in life of force, physical, mental, and spiritual, we obtain from God. All the forces of our life are His forces. The devil never made a human being. A human being! The devil never made a blade of grass. He has destroyed a good many.
Another fact about God is self-evident, although it is not specifically stated. The father is seen suffering the loss of his son.
"The Son of man is come to seek and save that which was lost."
A lost son. When a son is lost, who suffers most, the son who is lost, or the father who has lost him? Fathers and mothers can answer that question! We should be far more earnest in our missionary work if we could get into the suffering heart of God. We cannot over-emphasize the suffering of humanity. But humanity is suffering because it is away from God and He is suffering more than humanity, does, while humanity is away from Him.
Then, of course, the culminating and principal revelation of this story is that when the son gets back, the father is seen singing.  This is an amazing picture of God. While he was yet a long way off, his father saw him. That is very beautiful. But the next thing is the startling thing, "he ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him," and the Greek word there is "kissed him much;" if we would have it in good, colloquial English, he "smothered him with kisses." That is a picture of God, an old man running, and so far losing his dignity as to fall on the neck of a soiled son, and smother him with kisses. What an apparent sacrifice of dignity! And yet we know that an old man is never more dignified than when he runs to meet his boy coming back. That is God. I dare not have drawn that pic­ture, but Jesus did.
Look again. He smothered him with kisses. But he is not clean! That is what the Pharisees were saying about Jesus and the unwashed crowd. Would it not be better if he waited until he is washed? Would it not be better to wait until those rags are removed, and he is decently clothed? Would it not be better to wait, and see how he does, put him on probation, and if he does better, perhaps his father may receive him? That is the vulgarity of our supposed respectability and accuracy that lack God's love. To all our cau­tious criticisms the Father would say; Let me get my arms about him, and his head pillowed on my breast, and then he will tell all the truth. That is God.
It has been said that if this is the Gospel, there is no need of sacrifice and a Cross. Many years ago, Pro­fessor Ives Curtiss, of Chicago, wrote a book about Semitic religions. Among other things, he described the sacrifice of the threshold. If a son, whether through rebellion or legitimately, left home for a season, it was the habit to offer a sacrifice upon the threshold on his return. The purpose of the sacri­fice was twofold, first an atonement for possible sin, and secondly a feast to be spread when the threshold was crossed. A theologian asked Professor' Curtiss, "Have you ever applied the thing you have described there, to the story of the prodigal son?" He answered back, "I never thought of it, but ls surely it may apply."
Now, am not going to dogmatize about it, but I do say that the sacrifice was offered, and the feast was the outcome. This Eastern custom, which persists to this hour, is there also. I do not want to press that, but do not let us be in a hurry to say that there is no sacrifice there. But even if, in the phase of the parable that shows the attitude of the father, there is nothing said about the Cross, go back, and watch the Son on His journey across the mountains with blood tracks all the way. Love will welcome the boy, but not at the-cost of purity.
Thus in this parable we see God in the Son suffering in the Spirit searching (motherhood), and in the Father singing (fatherhood) when the boy comes home. Both the motherhood and fatherhood of God.

But Jesus had not quite done. He had something else to say, and He went on, and said it.
"Now his elder son was in the field." There is another son. What are we to do with this elder son? It is rather interesting, I nearly said amusing, and how men have struggled to explain this. I have heard said that this is the difference between the Jew and the Gentile. That is extremely absurd, because we can't say of the Jew what the father said of this son. The differ­ence is not between Jew and Gentile. The difference is between; two sons, one self-righteous, and the other a sin­ner. But that is not all. Look at this elder son, what do we find He was devoted to his father's law, and he was devoted to his father's service; but he was entirely out of sympathy with his father's heart; and therefore unable to set the true value upon his brother. The Pharisees and scribes were the men Jesus was looking at when He talked about the elder son. He was taking them at their own valuation devoted to the law and ser­vice of God. To them He said, in effect: You cannot understand God, you cannot understand the heart of God; if you did, and you could not look with contempt upon these men outside with whom I am mixing. The elder son was out of sympathy with the heart of his father. How many sons of God are like that, even in the Church today!
Some years ago: I heard my friend Samuel say something about this story, with which I am going to close this meditation. When he rose to preach, he Said, "I am going to preach on the third Son in the parable of the prodigal son." Then, he showed the two, the younger breaking his father's heart and the elder out of sympathy with his father's heart. Then he said "Isn't there another Sort? Yes, there is. He Is the Man
Who was uttering the parable. He was God's Son, His ideal Son on the human level. He never broke God's heart with His sin, but He was so in sympathy with God's heart that He died to save sinners." That is the third Son of the parable of the prodigal!

Where are we? Are we related to Him in very deed? Then the measure of our relationship is the measure in which we know what it is to suffer in order to serve and save; to seek dili­gently, and count no case hopeless; and. above all to sing with a Father when the boy comes home.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017



“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,.” Phil. 2:5

The entire word of God points us to a perfect example in Christ so as to see in Him what we ought to be now. 1 John 2:6. 1 Pet. 2:21-23 we need the whole Bible here, not merely the gospels Cf. Phil. 2:5-7. And also to see in Him what we shall be in the future 1 John 3:1-2; Rom. 8:29.
The teaching of Jesus, considered and followed to its final conclusions, brings the mind into contact with the infinite wisdom of the Eternal God. The deeds of Jesus, correctly appreciated, reveal the activities of God as to purpose and method.
The Incarnation is first a revelation to man of man as to first Divine intention. It is therefore also a revelation of God, for perfect man is the image of God. In Jesus there has been revealed to the race God's purpose for every human being, a mind of royal and loyal love, and the activity of self-emptying service, as expressive of that loyalty. The greatest injunction laid upon Christian men by the writers of the New Testament is that of the apostle, "Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus." (Phil 2:5) His mind was the mind wholly actuated by the principle of love. It was submissive and regnant, submissive to the dominion of love, reigning in the power of love.
As followers of Christ, we should try to think as He would think, walk as He walked (1 John 2:6) and love as He loved (John 13:34). With renewed minds (Romans 12:2), we can and should have “the mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:16).

Be thus minded, which means, Let your habit of mental activity be that of the Christ. The word there refers to an exercise of mind, an emotional exercise, and, consequently, an inspirational exercise, creating an activity: the mind of Christ, that emotional activity which was the inspiration of His self-emptying, His descent to the human level, and His final ascent to the throne of universal empire.

Monday, August 21, 2017



6 Opportunities in the golf arena

11.       Forge your true identity. What gives you value and worth?
1 Peter 2:9-10But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God's OWN POSSESSION, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY.” “If” Rudyard Kipling “If you can meet with triumph as well as disaster and treat those two imposters just the same.”
22.       Clarify what is really important. (Winning is important but not everything.)
1 Cor. 9:24-25 “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. And everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.”
Phil. 3:14 “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
33.       Understand the need for self-discipline. (Practice until it becomes a reflex.)
Heb. 12:1 “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”
1 Tim. 4:7-8 “But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women. On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.”
44.       Reveal your level of self-centeredness. (Learn that you are not the center of the universe)
Phil. 2:3-5 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,” Learn to become a team.
55.       Test your belief in a Sovereign God. (Not fate, golf gods, or forces.)
Prov. 16:33 “The lot is cast into the lap, But its every decision is from the LORD.”
Prov. 21:30-31 “There is no wisdom and no understanding And no counsel against the LORD. The horse is prepared for the day of battle, But victory belongs to the LORD.”
66.       Learn to submit to authority. (Coaches and referees.) (Both good and bad)

Rom. 13:1-2 “Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.”

Sunday, August 20, 2017



"And the rulers also scoffed at Him, saying, He saved others; let Him save Himself, if this is the Christ of God, His Chosen." "If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself!" Luke 23:35, 37

Hate makes people stupid. What I hear in the scoffing mockery of these rulers is their test of Messiahship. What was their test? What did they say? If He is really the Messiah, if He is really the Chosen of God let Him save Himself. It did not enter into their minds for a moment that the meaning of Messiahship was the not saving of Himself, but the saving of others. Their whole conception of Messiahship had become blunted, "materialized”, blasted; and when they saw Him on the Cross they said: That ends it, He is not the Messiah, or He would never be there; He would save Himself. But still He hung there and so right before their eyes was the supreme evidence of Messiahship. The thing they said was true. He saved others, Himself, He could not save. That is Messiahship. He could not save Himself. Why not? Because He would save others. He can save others. Why. Because He would not save Himself.
And in vs. 37 we hear their true test of a King, the ability to take care of Himself. They did not understand that the true function of a king is to take care of his kingdom, and all those who are members of it. These were the statements of the soldiers. They had never witnessed an emporer who had no power to take care of Himself. If a Roman Caesar failed to take care of himself they had no use for him. Their qualification of the king was his ability to break men, and rule over them, and subdue them. Hatred reasons poorly and true understanding is missing entirely.
But Jesus was saying, "Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing." That was His evaluation of the thoughts and reasons of sinners who hate and for the wrong reasons. Luke 23:34
This was the highest word of the perfect humanity of our Lord, and therefore it was a perfect revelation of the heart of God. And how wonderful it is. The plea was not that willful sin should be excused. Such a plea our Master never urged. The men who nailed Him to His Cross were ignorant. They had no understanding of what they were doing. Therefore He thus prayed for them. In that plea we see the operation of the Divine justice, which is eternally reasonable. The judgments of God are always based upon His perfect knowledge, not of actions alone, but of the motives that prompt them. Yet the very motives, while the result of ignorance, may be utterly unworthy and need the forgiveness of God. For this the crucified Lord has the right to ask, because in the deepest fact of His Cross He was there by that determinate counsel which was set upon the redemption of man at uttermost cost. Thus in the very prayer, as in the fact of the Cross, the elements of justice and mercy are seen acting in perfect harmony. That the prayer was answered there can be no question. Those men, in ignorance expressing the worst of sin, were forgiven by virtue of the mystery of the pain which He bore, that pain so much deeper than the physical suffering which they inflicted upon Him. All sins of ignorance are forgiven. It is only the sin against light, which has no forgiveness.
America and this world is full of people who think and reason from strong wrong motives with no understanding, following a Liar, who need the forgiveness of God and the answer to His prayer in vs. 34.

Only one said "save me" - Luke 23:42

Saturday, August 19, 2017



"Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy." Luke 12:1

What did He mean by that? The history of the Pharisees is a wonderful history. They arose in the Maccabean period; and were to the Jewish people at that time what the Puritans were to England in the period of their greatness. The Pharisees constituted an order, created to prevent the nation coming into contact with, other nations, and losing its purity and its identity and their influence was of the highest, and of the best. The Pharisaic movement arose out of the passion of men for the Divine ideal for the nation. In the days of Jesus, they had become utterly degenerate. They had lost their spiritual and moral influence; and in effect He said to His disciples, the leaven that has destroyed them is hypocrisy. In that warning our Lord was interpreting the failure of one of the most magnificent movements that had ever arisen in the history of God's ancient people. The leaven of hypocrisy had destroyed it.
What is hypocrisy? Hypocrisy quite literally means wearing a mask. A hypocrite is a man who wears a mask so that his features are not seen. Hypocrisy is dishonesty. These Pharisees were masquerading.
He said, Beware of this, for "there is nothing covered up, that shall not be revealed."

The mask will come off sooner or later.

Friday, August 18, 2017



Question: "Were the Founding Fathers of the United States Christians?"

With words like God, Lord, and Creator found in the Declaration of Independence, it is easy to assume that the founders of the United States were Christians. John Adams, the nation’s second President, said, “The Christian religion is, above all the religions that ever prevailed or existed in ancient or modern times, the religion of wisdom, virtue, equity and humanity” (The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States, Charles Francis Adams, ed., Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1856, Vol. III, p. 421, diary entry for July 26, 1796). Benjamin Franklin, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, wrote to Yale president Ezra Stiles, “I think the system of morals and [Jesus’] religion as He left them to us, the best the world ever saw or is likely to see” (Works of Benjamin Franklin, John Bigelow, ed., New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904, p. 185). Such statements imply that Christianity was influential in the founders’ lives.

The reality is that the Founding Fathers were a diverse group of individuals. There is varied evidence as to the religious affiliation of several of the founders. George Washington is often cited as an Episcopalian. His public addresses contain many statements that support the claim that Washington was, in fact, a committed Christian. There is also evidence that Washington was only nominal in his faith. Thomas Jefferson made statements implying he was a Christian, but his brand of Christianity was dubious, at best. Jefferson rejected the supernatural accounts of the Bible, the Trinity, and the incarnation of Christ. James Madison was Anglican, but he is also argued to be a deist. Thomas Paine never served in any elected capacity, but he had great influence in the early years of the country. Paine was not a Christian; in his work The Age of Reason, he attacked the fundamental beliefs of Christianity.

There is little doubt that the principles upon which the United States was founded are indeed found in the Bible. Equality, liberty, and justice are all biblical principles. The faith of the founders, on the other hand, will continue to be debated. Did the founders respect God and the Christian religion? Absolutely. Were they influenced by the Bible? Surely. Were they all born-again believers in Jesus Christ? No.

Even in reading what the founders themselves stated and wrote for the public, none of us will ever truly know their hearts. The apostle Paul wrote, “The Lord knows those who are his” (2 Timothy 2:19). While it is interesting to research the religious convictions of the founders, only God truly knows the ones who put faith in Jesus. More important than the heart condition of the Founding Fathers, is the spiritual condition of those presently in public office. It is our duty to pray for rulers and those in positions of authority (1 Timothy 2:2).

Thursday, August 17, 2017



The Bible does not promote freedom of Speech as awarded and interpreted in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (the Bill of Rights).
For instance:
The Third Commandment forbids cursing and the abuse of God’s name (Exodus 20:7).
The Ninth Commandment forbids speaking lies and other deceptive speech (Exodus 20:16).  *
The book of Colossians prohibits the use of “filthy language” (Colossians 3:8).
The founders knew Bible truth and their formation of statements contained there proves their knowledge of what God thought on certain rights.
God warns a man against speaking evil of others. God has something to say about this phenomenon, exhorting us to “speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men” (Titus 3:2, emphasis added). He knows very well that our tongues (and our typing fingers!) are capable of causing huge problems—the book of James uses the analogy of a forest fire to describe the results words can have (James 3:5-9).
The Bible says not to get involved in pointless disputes (2 Timothy 2:23).
The Bible characterizes the wicked as “not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries” (2 Peter 2:10). Moreover, Jesus’ example and instruction included respecting all (even evil) authority, provided doing so doesn’t break God’s law (John 18:22-24; Matthew 22:21; Acts 5:29).
God gives us freedom to use our tongues to speak “the truth in love” in order to edify those around us (Ephesians 4:15). **
Some speaking evil of others with the intent to do reputational or psychological damage on the one hand and discerning evil behavior on the other. Even Jesus Christ, while submitting to the crooked secular and religious authorities of His day, taught His disciples (and us!) to “beware” of their sinful behavior (Mark 8:15).
Through His Word, God Himself describes the sinful lifestyles of many people in the past, present and future, but always with the intent of teaching discernment. Discernment is the ability to distinguish between good and evil, a skill God wants all His people to have and diligently use (Hebrews 5:14).

* They used this against both Stephan and Jesus
**Truth in love, not love, but truth first and that spoken in love. I.E. doctrine is above in importance to love.

Despite the First Amendment, in the United States today, Christians do not have total freedom of speech. There are things we believe, ideas clearly taught in the Scriptures,  that are now considered “hate speech” in our world of political correctness. A society that proudly proclaims freedom of speech and then creates laws against hate speech is talking out of both sides of its mouth.

America has become the place where anyone but God can speak freely. You have a God-given right to disagree with the Word of God. But you may want to think twice before you campaign for a society in which the Bible is censored or not tolerated at all.

But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; and avoid such men as these.  2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NASB)

But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, that they were saying to you, "In the last time there shall be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts." These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit.  Jude 1:17-19 (NASB)

Wednesday, August 16, 2017



"His raiment became white and dazzling." Luke 9:29

We have a fine word there, "dazzling." The old word was "glistering." Now, the word that really helps us, because it baffles us; is lightning. His raiment became white and lightning, flashing with splendor. His raiment took the appearance of lightning.
Now whereas the word is not in Luke, we turn to Matthew and Mark. They say He was transfigured. If we take the Greek word there, and instead of translating it, transliterate it, that is put into English letters instead of the Greek letters, what do we get? Metamorphosed. That is the actual word. He was metamorphosed. A metamorphosis is a complete change of form and of appearance. When the chrysalis becomes a butterfly, that is a metamorphosis; the same essential life was in the chrysalis, but in the butterfly the form is changed.
Now mark the significance of it. He was metamorphosed. The thing that happened was not that a light fell on Him, out of heaven, irradiating Him. Neither is it correct to say that on that mount there shone forth His Deity.  Deity has no earthly spectacular form of manifestation: What then, did happen? He came to the completion of His, human life, on the level of the earthly, and the beginning of it on the level of the heavenly. The change took place in Him, which prepared Him to leave the world, and pass out into the infinite wonder of the life that lies beyond. He was God's second Man, that is, God's man, realizing God's ideal when He said, "Let Us make man." We do not really know what God meant when He said that, until we have seen Jesus. We go back into Genesis, and read the account of the creation of man, but before we have time to see what man is man has broken the relationship, the relationship is ruptured, he is a wreck and ruin. We come down all through the Old Testament, and look at the beacon lights of personality, great men, towering men, splendid men, but not one of them is what God meant when He said "Let Us make man." We never understand what God meant, until we see this Man. Now here on the mount, if His only mission in the world is that of realizing and reveal­ing the meaning of humanity, He has done His work. There is no more to do. On the mount He came to the climax the completion of His own final individual, human life. There was no need for Him to die. He was metamorphosed. He might have left the world without dying, so far as ''s Himself was personally concerned
Death is not the Divine idea for the consummation of the earthly life of a man. Death is the wage of sin. Death is the result of rupture. If the first man had not sinned, would he have stayed for ever on the earth? Cer­tainly not. Earth is the sphere of probation. If Adam had not sinned, when his earthly career was over, he would have been transfigured, metamorphosed, and by that metamorphosis would have left the world without dying. That is what happened on the holy mount. Jesus was metamor­phosed. Here was a Man, God's Man, coming to the true ending of proba­tionary life.

Supposing He had gone out from earth, into the vast amplitudes of those worlds beyond, to which He might have passed then, what then? If, I had had the record up to this point, and no more, I should have understood the meaning of human nature, and for evermore have been filled with despair, because I am not that, and I cannot be that. But I should have seen what God meant when. He said, "Let Us make man?”

Tuesday, August 15, 2017



“And it came about that while He was praying alone, the disciples were with Him.” Luke 9:18

The paradox is a revelation. He was not actually alone, for the disciples were with Him. But He was praying apart. A careful study of the Gospel narratives has led to the justifiable conclusion that our Lord never prayed with His disciples. Often He left them when He would pray. When in their company He prayed, it was not in association with them, but in separation. He commanded them to pray. He taught them to pray, He promised them the widest franchise in prayer. But His praying was on a different plane. When referring to His own communion with His Father, He never employed some words which He did employ in speaking of their praying. His approach to God was different from that of sinning humanity. He had claims which men have not; those of identity of Being, and equality of Sovereignty. Thus He forever prayed alone; and thus He forever intercedes alone. His intercession is of a different nature from all others. That is why the idea of the intercession of His Mother and of all the saints, as being of use or of value by comparison with Him, is utterly false. It is right that we should pray for each other. It is conceivable, and most probable, that the glorified saints are still praying for those that are yet in the midst of earth's trials and temptations. But at last there is One only Intercessor within the veil, and He has a right of access and intercession which can never be shared by any of His creation. There is our rest and confidence. We may forever be with Him as He prays, but He prays alone.

Monday, August 14, 2017



"The Son of man is Lord of the Sabbath." Luke 6:5

He did not revoke the Sabbath. He did not come to set the Sabbath aside; but He did come to interpret---its meaning, and to safeguard it from misinterpretation.
The doing of anything that is really necessary for the sustenance of life does not violate the command that there shall be no work done on the Sabbath. Of course, it must be really necessary. There is a quaint story told in England of a farmer who was given to making use of the Sabbath for getting hay in. A godly old man, a farm laborer, simple and uneducated, went to work for that particular farmer. Soon there came hay time, and one Saturday the farmer said to him: "We must get this hay up to­morrow." The old man said, "I cannot come tomorrow, it is Sunday." "But," the farmer said, "this is a work of necessity, and it must be done. Your Master said if an ass or an ox fell into a pit on the Sabbath day you were to get it out." "Yes, sir," he replied, “but not if you put it in on Saturday night!" No work is per­missible, if it can be done on another day.
The Sabbath principle is far older than Judaism. It is as old as human­ity. It is rooted in the inherent neces­sity of human nature. Go back to Genesis, and there you find it. There the Sabbath of man was the seventy day in the creative process; but it was the first in human existence, because the seventh day of creation was man's first day of life. Thus originally man's first day was' his Sabbath day, it was not the seventh day. It was God’s seventh day of work, and His seventh day of work was man's first day of life, and was his Sabbath. Out of the first day of rest, man went to his work. Under the Hebrew economy it was the seventh day; man worked his way into rest. The resurrection changed every­thing, and men of the new race went back to the original ideal of the first

We are no longer working into rest. We are resting and working as the result of our perpetual rest. But, the principle of the Sabbath abides; and our Lord has revealed here the fact that the principle of the Sabbath day is certainly a provision for rest, but principally for worship. That is the profound underlying meaning of the Sabbath. It is not indolence; it is not doing nothing; but it is ceasing all the work necessary for the here and, the now, for the temporal and the material, in order that we, may enter into His courts, that we may hold fellowship with Him. Christ has not violated that. He says He is Lord of that; but He broke through the super-added traditions that made the Sabbath a burden that could not be kept.

Sunday, August 13, 2017



“While He was still speaking, someone came from the house of the synagogue official, saying, "Your daughter has died; do not trouble the Teacher anymore." Luke 8:50

These words brought to Jairus the crash of doom, a messenger breaking through the crowd from his house, saying: Do not trouble the Teacher; she is gone, she is dead. Faith shaken, love wounded, hope destroyed. Jesus, says Luke, heard the message and straightaway turning to Jairus, said,
"Fear not, only believe, and she shall be made whole."
Made whole? Jairus had heard Jesus say that word a moment or two before to the woman, He had heard Him say,
"Thy faith hath made thee whole;" and now he heard Jesus say to him,
"Only believe, and she shall be made whole."
Then let imagination help us. They went the rest of the journey until the house of Jairus was reached. I do not know how far. Can you travel that distance with Jairus? He went in faith. Faith does not necessarily mean that he went, sure he would get his little child back. His was perhaps longing faith, possibly wavering faith, but cer­tainly hopeful faith. On the rest of the journey he was facing the future with Jesus. They arrived, and our Lord first excluded the curious. If we fill up the story there from the other evangelists, we find that they laughed Him to scorn, but He put them all out.
He said,
"She is not dead, but sleepeth."
Now, she certainly was dead in the sense in which we use the word. He said about Lazarus,
"This sickness is not unto death," but Lazarus died! From Christ's view­point that is not death which we call death. When the spirit has left the body that is not death. Death is a deeper thing than that.
Then, as Luke tells us, He took the hand of the child and, bending over, said to her, Mark gives us His actual words; one of those occasions when He dropped into His mother tongue “Ara-cumi;" which means, Little lamb, arise! Then her spirit returned. Her spirit had never been dead. The essential part of her still lived, when the body was lifeless.
Now, do not miss the last thing in the story.
"He commanded that something be given her to eat." Feed her body while I feed your spirit.
Oh, the beauty of it, the tender touch of it. He knew what she needed. She has resumed the earthly level; now give her something to eat. The phi­losophy of that simple thing is very profound, and far-reaching in its ap­plication. Those who have sanctified humor will grasp it.

Death is no stronger in His presence than disease. And I have faith in that truth. And this account in His journey to earth to save me from death proves that truth. And as my body ages a smile remains on my face.