Archive for the ‘Ephesians’ Category

Mutual Sharing of Life   2 comments

Mutual Sharing of Life

Above:  The Original Document

Image Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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Rev. 3, 20b

…if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

Authorized Version

I.

Jesus seeks admission into every heart and life–makes every possible approach to induce us to invite him in.  Why does anyone refuse him?

II.

“I will sup with him.”  I will enter sympathetically, helpfully into his life, share it with him.  How wonderfully he does this.  His presence and grace enrich the life.  He is indeed the “Great Companion.”  Why live without him?

III.

“And he with me.”  Startling glorious!!  He wishes to share his life with us–to bestow the unsearchable riches of his grace upon us.  We may enter into:

(1)  His love–love for the Father, for all men, for all goodness.  Eph. 3, 14-17.  Wonderful!

(2)  His victory over evil–Rev. 3, 21.  He resisted the tempter and is able to succour us when we are tried.  By his grace we may overcome.  Sin is not to have dominion–bear rule–over us.

(3)  His victory over suffering.  Not that it will not come, for we are mortal, but he will enable us to triumph over it, not be crushed by it.

(4)  His victory over death–“shall never die.”  Because he lives we shall live also.  Thank God for such a Saviour!

Is he yours?  Let him in today.

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT

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Life From the Dead Or the Valley of Dry Bones   7 comments

Life from the Dead

Above:  The Original Document

Image Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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Ezek. 37, 1-10

Israel’s condition here seen in a vision; fittingly illustrates the sinner’s spiritual condition.

I.

“Dry bones,” devoid of spiritual life.  Figure is not too strong.  Men are powerless to move Godward if life to themselves–are “very dry,” devoid of life.

II.

“Can these bones live?”  Is there any hope for a poor lost sinner?  Yes.  “The dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God and they that hear shall live.”  (Jno. 5, 21 & 25-26)  “He [is] able to save to the uttermost.”  (Heb. 7, 25)  No case is hopeless.

III.

Means to be used:

(1)  “Prophesy.”  “O ye dry bones, hear ye the word of the Lord” (v. 4).  “Preach the word” (2 Tim. 4, 2).  It pleaseth God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe” (1 Cor. 1, 21).  “The word of God is quick and powerful,” etc. (Heb. 4, 12).

(2)  Prayer for the Spirit to impart life.  “Come, O breath, and breathe upon these slain” (v. 9).  “Grieve not the Spirit” (Eph. 4, 30).  “Quench not the Spirit” (1 Thes. 5, 19).  We need his power to awaken and save sinful souls.

IV.

God waits to be gracious.  How concerned he is about our salvation.

Let us look with much prayer for his saving power.

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT

“Cast Thy Burden Upon the Lord and He Shall Sustain Thee.”   4 comments

Cast Thy Burden

Above:  The Original Document

Image Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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EDITOR’S COMMENT:

My great-grandfather quoted “What a Friend We Have in Jesus,” which Joseph Scriven wrote circa 1855, at least according to Sing to the Lord, the 1993 hymnal of the Church of the Nazarene.  (I have over a hundred physical hymnals and many more digital ones, for I like to sample different hymnodies.  Thus I have a rather broad collection.)  The quote from that hymn brought to my memory a comment which a parishioner (now departed) of Christ Episcopal Church, Dublin, Georgia, told me ten years ago.  Betty explained why she disliked the song:

Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?

Anyone who would do that is not a friend, she said. Betty was correct about that point.  She pointed out a logical hole in the text, for if one has such “friends,” one might be like Job.

Jesus is, of course, the greatest friend anyone could want and have.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 16, 2014 COMMON ERA

THE SECOND SUNDAY IN LENT, YEAR A

THE FEAST OF SAINTS ADALBALD OF OSTEVANT, RICTRUDIS OF MARCHIENNES, AND THEIR RELATIONS

THE FEAST OF SAINT ABRAHAM KIDUNAIA, ROMAN CATHOLIC HERMIT, AND SAINT MARY OF EDESSA, ROMAN CATHOLIC ANCHORESS

THE FEAST OF SAINT GIOVANNI BATTISTA PERGOLESI, COMPOSER

THE FEAST OF MARTIN BOEHM, COFOUNDER OF THE CHURCH OF THE UNITED BRETHREN IN CHRIST

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1 Peter 5, 7

Ps. 55, 22

Gal. 6, 2

I.

All have cares, burdens, sorrows of [the] heart, afflictions.  He saw so many weak–the lame, the blind, the halt-afflicted [This makes no sense to me, but I have examined my great-grandfather’s handwriting closely, and that is what he seems to have written.], either self or loved ones, many bodily ills, the dead.

Could one look on and his heart not be stirred?

II.

What [to] do with them?  Bring them to Jesus.  No care was hopeless.

Jesus never turned a soul away who came in faith.  “He was moved with compassion”–suffered with them.  “Able to do exceedingly all we ask or think”–Eph. 3, 20-21.  John [the] Baptist’s disciples “buried his body and went and told Jesus.”

“I cannot bear these burdens alone.”  Some try, [but] break under the load and destroy their lives.

III.

Sometimes it is a real relief to tell some sympathetic friend one’s troubles.  Tell it to Jesus; he will help.

“What a friend we have in Jesus.

Carry everything to God in prayer.

He cares for you.  Your cares are his cares.

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT

Christian Nurture   2 comments

Christian Nurture

Above:  The Original Document

Image Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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Deut. 6, 6-7; Eph. 6, 4

I.

The child a bundle of possibilities for good or evil.  It responds to life about it and reproduces it.  Herein lives its destiny.

It is entitled to the very best.  It will respond thereto, as in music, art, religion.

II.

The greatest influence for good is a devoted Christian home where father and mother teach by precept and example to fear God and love righteousness.  Nothing else in the world can equal such training.

Yet how many parents neglect it.  The results often are grievous.

III.

The Sunday School is the effort of the church to supplement the efforts of the parents to teach and train the children to worship.  Most of those who join the church on profession [of faith] are from the Sunday School.

But why is there all over the nation a decrease in enrollment?  Parents compel their children to attend public school; why not also the Sunday School?

Let [us] do all we can to reach the children about us; give them every help and safeguard we can.  Do not leave them to the evils of the day.

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT

A Doxology to God Through Christ   1 comment

Doxology to God Through Christ

Above:  The Original Document

Image Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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Eph. 3, 20-21

I.

This great prayer properly ends in a great doxology–praise God for all his rich blessings.

He “is able to do exceeding abundantly.”  Being God, he is able to do all things “above all we ask or think.”  Impossible to express the full meaning of these words.  When we have asked all we can think or imagine he is able and willing to do for men, limited only by impossibility and eternity.

II.

“According to the power that worketh in us,” by the power of the Holy Spirit, working strongly in us, expelling evil, purifying and refining the affections and desires and implanting goodness.

III.

“Unto him be glory in the church.”  May unceasing praise rise to him in all assemblies of the people of God wherever these glad tidings are preached.  “Praise is comely for the upright.”

(a)  “By Christ Jesus, through whom and for whom all these mercies and powers are wrought.”

(b)  Throughout all ages, world without end”–throughout the eternity of the eternities–in the coming world as well as in this.

His boundless love and saving power and goodness shall be the theme of our praise throughout an endless eternity.

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT

To Know the Love of Christ   2 comments

To Know the Love of Christ

Above:  The Original Document

Image Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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Eph. 3, 17b-19

…that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

Authorized Version

I.

Paul concerned that they may have a rich experience of love.  It is the rich soil in which the soul thrives.  Dense vegetation in the torrid zone.  “Rooted and grounded” in love to God–taking deeper, broader hold of it–fundamental to Christian developments.

II.

“Able to comprehend this wonderful mystery of God, this common heritage of his people.

(1)  “Breadth”–to all ages, nations, and ranks of men.  “So loved the world.”  Less would be unworthy of God.

(2)  “Length”–from everlasting to everlasting.  “I have loved thee with an everlasting love.”  (Jer. 31, 3)  “Never fails.”

(3)  “Depth”–stooping to the lowest conditions of men to relieve and save.  “To the uttermost.

(4)  “Height”–its entitling us and raising us to heavenly happiness and eternal glory.

(5)  “And to know the love of Christ.”  That we may so experience his love in our hearts that we may appreciate its sweep and rich content, though we cannot fully comprehend it.

III.

“Filled with all the fulness of God”–meekness, gentleness, goodness, love, justice, holiness, mercy, and truth.”  “Let me love thee more and more…until my soul is lost in love.”

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT

The Indwelling Christ   3 comments

Indwelling Christ

Above:  The Original Document

Image Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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Eph. 3, 17

I.

The [missing word] we have of Him has its chief value in the expression to which it leads.  It is the foundation of a living faith in Christ that we may enjoy him.  “How can they believe in him of whom they have not heard?”  How important is the message!  Being divine he is the Saviour of all who believe.

II.

“By faith.”  This is to be our attitude toward him–so to believe in him as to welcome him into our hearts that he may establish us in grace.  “I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.”  “Ye shall know that…ye are in me and I in you.”  “I live yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.”  (Gal. 2, 20)  “Christ in you the hope of glory.”  (Col. 1, 27)  So we are to enjoy his blessed presence in our hearts.  What an enriching experience!

III.

The consciousness of his presence in our hearts will refrain us from sin–unkindness, wrath, evil speaking, etc.

It will fill our lives with love, pure, unselfish, joyous, hopeful, helpful always.

“Let me love thee more and more.”

We will make constant progress in Christian experience, until we shall be filled with all the fullness of God.

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT