Archive for July 11, 2013

The World’s Reception of Jesus   3 comments

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Above:  The Infant Christ Rewarding the Martyred Innocents of Bethlehem

From the Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem

Photograph Taken Between 1898 and 1914

Image Source = Library of Congress

(http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/mpc2004007340/PP/)

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-matpc-07279

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EDITOR’S COMMENT:

First Century C.E. Palestinian Judaism was diverse–so much so that perhaps one ought to refer to “First Century C.E. Palestinian Judaisms” instead.  My great-grandfather oversimplified this matter greatly, as did many others of his generation.  Unfortunately, many of my generation persist in the error.

Furthermore, blanket condemnations of “the Jews” risk sounding anti-Semitic even when that is not the speaker’s or writer’s intention.

And the Magi/Wise Men belong properly to Epiphany (January 6), not Christmas.  The text says that they arrived at “the house” at Bethlehem (Matthew 2:11).  The shepherds come from Luke 2:8-20.  Nativity scenes have conflated two stories set at different times and many people have followed suit.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 11, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT BENEDICT OF NURSIA, FATHER OF WESTERN MONASTICISM

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CHRISTMAS SERMON

Jno. 1, 11-12

On coming to earth, his creation, and to men, his creatures, Jesus was accorded a different reception by different people, and is to to this day.

I.

1.  The Jewish nation at first treated him with indifference.  The rulers were at first troubled with Herod.  But when they saw that he came of humble, poor parentage, they simply ignored him.  They were not accustomed to bow to earth’s poor.  Later they were hostile.

2.  Herod was troubled at his coming, as uncommon things were spoken of him.  He tried to secure his death lest he become King.

3.  The Shepherds and wise men were glad to greet him and worship at this feet.

II.

The destinies of men and nations depend upon the reception they accord him.

1.  In rejecting him the Jews rejected their only religious & political Saviour.  No wonder he wept over the unrepentant city.

2.  Herod soon died under the curse of Almighty God.

3.  The Shepherds and wise men found peace, joy & heaven at last.  He desires to save all and does save all who receive him by faith–“that believe on his name.”

III.

What, then, is your attitude toward him?  Do you half believe you can do without him?  Receive him; he is your all.

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT

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The Barren Fig Tree   1 comment

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Above:  Fig Tree after Devastation by Locusts, Palestine, Ottoman Empire, 1915

Copyright Holder = The Matson Photo Service, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

Image Source = Library of Congress

(http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/93503144/)

Reproduction Number = LC-USZ62-107399

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Luke 13, 6-9

1.  The tree was fostered for a specific purpose–figs.  God has a purpose touching each one of us–a place for us to fill, a sphere of usefulness.

2.  Our highest interest can be realized only in connection with Him, doing His will.  He is not a tyrant to be shunned, but a Friend without whom our highest development is impossible.

3.  Hence He seeks our development, tries to lead us to repentance and conformity to His righteous will.  He has invested much in us and of right expects much–at least something of us.  Life is an opportunity under grace.

4.  Finding no fruit, no developments in things holy, he orders it cut down as a cumberer of the ground.  [It] bears no fruit and is in the way.  [It] does not justify its own existence.

5.  The dresser pleads for another year, suitable opportunity, that he may make special effort to secure the desired results.  It is granted with the understanding that in case of failure destruction shall follow.  This special effort may be sickness, business losses, exhortation of friends–all is to lead us to His will.

We may find the place he gives, small or great, fill it however cramped we may be, and please, if not ourselves, at least Him whose approval is sufficient.

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT

Posted July 11, 2013 by neatnik2009 in George Washington Barrett 1905-1913 A-F, Luke-Acts

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Brotherly Love Proof of Our Discipleship   4 comments

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EDITOR’S COMMENT:

The Revised Version of 1881, which many have long since forgotten, was part of my great-grandfather’s preaching library.

I, being both a history nerd and one fascinated by the sequence of English Bible translations, know about such things readily.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 11, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT BENEDICT OF NURSIA, FATHER OF WESTERN ROMANTICISM

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Jno. 13, 35

1.  Jesus, “having loved his own,…loved them unto the end,” or uttermost (Ch. 13, 1).  So great was his love that he gave himself for them.  Love bound his heart to them and them to him.

2.  “His own” are like him, love him and each other as he loved him.  Discipleship is a question not of external relation but of similarity of character.  No matter what else we have or do, if we have not love we are nothing.  “When he shall be made manifest we shall be like him.”

(a)  “If a man say, I love God and hateth his brother, he is a liar” (1 Jno. 4, 20).  Love to God and man is one and the same thing and same act.

(b)  “We know we have passed out of death unto life because we love the brethren.”  His children love each other and what He loves.  See also Phils. 2, 3 & 2 Thes. 1, 3 (Revised Version).

3.  By this shall men know we are His disciples, seeing we have His Spirit and live a life above the power of this world.  How beautiful is this tie that binds our hearts in Christian love.  This is the “old commandment” he gives us which is ever new.  “Let us not love in word, neither with the tongue; but in deed and truth.”  Then to wash one another’s feet will be easy for us and a joy.

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT

Turned Away From the Beautiful Gate   1 comment

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Above:  Last Judgment

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EDITOR’S COMMENT:

My great-grandfather presumed to know more than he did.  What, for example, happens between a person and God after that person dies?  I, unlike, my great-grandfather, do not deny the possibility of extra grace between one’s earthly demise and one’s judgment in the afterlife.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 11, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT BENEDICT OF NURSIA, FATHER OF WESTERN MONASTICISM

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Luke 13, 24

1.  Man is hastening to the day that shall seal his eternal doom.  He will be judged according to his works.  The record is forever unalterable then.

2.  Two classes will compose that mighty company–those who will be approved & those who will will be rejected.  “One shall be taken, the other left.”  It is an individual affair.  All may obtain mercy, but some will not seek it till too late.  “The saddest is,/It might have been.”

3.  Someone will be turned away from the beautiful gate because too late.  Will it be you?  To be sure about it you must seek Him now, while He offers mercy.  Who will be turned away?

4.  Therefore strive to enter in now.  Put off salvation no longer, lest you go one step too far.  Some offer of mercy will be the last one.  Are you sure this is not it?  Make sure work for heaven; your all for time and eternity is involved.

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT

Posted July 11, 2013 by neatnik2009 in George Washington Barrett 1905-1913 S-Z, Luke-Acts

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The Attractive Power of a Redeemed Life   1 comment

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EDITOR’S COMMENT:

My great-grandfather used the word “professor” to mean “one who professes the faith,” not one who teaches at a college or university.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 11, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT BENEDICT OF NURSIA, FATHER OF WESTERN MONASTICISM

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Jno. 12, 9

1.  Christ had raised Lazarus from the dead, whose presence among men was a testimonial no one could deny of His power over death and hence of His divinity.  No one tried to gainsay his [that of Lazarus, I presume–Editor] resurrection.

2.  By such power Jesus would reveal himself & suggest his power over sin.  Would not he who gave natural life also give life eternal to the soul?  For this He died.  “Even so hath the Father given life unto the Son to quicken whom he will.”

3.  Such a life is invaluable to God.  It illustrates his power to save from sin.  Men cannot gainsay a redeemed life and holy.  “Have you considered my servant Job?”  A man to whom God can appeal in vindication of truth.

4.  Such a life attracts, draws men to Him.  What a power such men are.  How the world holds men down.  They need every possible help to lift them above the sinfulness of this world.

5.  But if we are to possess this magnetism men must see in us something better than this world can give.  Have we this power?  O for holy living by every professor!  The Christ in us is our power to attract!

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT

Laying Up Treasure in Heaven   1 comment

Matt. 6, 21

1.  Earth’s treasures are temporal, pass away with the using.  No matter how much one has nor how fondly he loves it, he must part with it.

2.  But by devoting it to righteous ends–charity and religious deeds–it becomes in a sense eternal, is laid up in heaven.  If some were ushered into heaven today they would be heaven’s poor, [for] they have laid up so little treasure there.  Wealth of the soul is the only property we can take to heaven.

3.  Those who lay up their treasure here, either in property or worldly pleasures, are sure to find their hearts set on things here.  It is inevitable that they shall be earthly in their affections.  These as magnets bind the heart to earth.

4.  By investing money, time, and prayers in heavenly or righteous things,–laying up treasure there–the heart will surely be set on things above.  Your heart will surely be where your treasure is.

5.  What then do you value most?  What is the heart of your life?  In what are you investing?  Upon your answer depends your religious welfare forever.

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT

Posted July 11, 2013 by neatnik2009 in George Washington Barrett 1905-1913 G-L, Matthew

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Herein Is My Father Glorified   1 comment

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Above:  Grapes on a Vine

Drawing Created Between 1800 and 1870

Image Source = Library of Congress

(http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2009630321/)

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-jpd-00964 

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John 15, 8

1.  To glorify God our Father is our one business here.

(a)  This is the true end of our existence.

(b)  Of all earth’s great questions this is the most important.  Other matters can be left undone, but we can’t afford to do so with this one.

2.  We must glorify Him by our bearing fruit, much fruit in our lives.  Thus we magnify His name and illustrate the beauty of His grace.

(a)  Fruit of the Spirit in the heart.  These adorn & beautify the life.

(b)  Bearing fruit as a church.  Saving souls.  This her best credentials, her real glory.  O that Zion may bring many sons and daughters unto God!

3.  The condition for doing these is to abide in him–the Vine.  That his life-giving power may be our strength.  Else he will cast us forth to be burned.  It is a life-and-death question.

4.  Those who do bear fruit will purgeth that they may bring forth more.  Seek the highest results in our own lives–much fruit.

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT