Here is an interesting interview with Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin, by the always-capable Peter Robinson of Uncommon Knowledge. Gov. Walker discusses a wide range of issues facing his state, the nation, and the future of the GOP.
From the Rev. Charlie Camlin of Holy Trinity REC in Virginia, here is a sermon on a subject that is always edifying – and on which he is an excellent preacher: Bearing Good Fruit. This sermon is based on James 1:22 and was actually preached for Rogation Sunday, so it is certainly apt for the season. Fr. Camlin stresses the importance of bearing good fruit in this message:
St. James said, “Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” We must not be “hearers only!” It is a wonderful and blessed thing to hear the gospel, to come Sunday after Sunday to hear His Word read and preached. But this is the sowing of the seed—it is the implanting of the Word. The next thing that must happen is that we must bring forth the fruit which is consistent with this Word which we receive. God sows His seed in order that it might bear fruit—not so that our minds might be a storehouse of seed! And the conclusion of this is that if someone were to go through their lives thinking that hearing the Word was the culmination of God’s work in their lives then they would be self-deceived. And this is a bad thing.
This is not some hidden truth either. It is found all over the Scriptures. Let me note just a few places. In the Book of Deuteronomy, Moses reminds the children of Israel of how their forefathers had pleaded for him to be their mediator saying: “You go near and hear all that the LORD our God may say, and tell us all that the LORD our God says to you, and we will hear and do it.” And the LORD even said that this was a good thing—but the problem was that Israel most often heard but failed to do what the LORD had spoken. Jesus, at the end of His Sermon on the Mount gives this admonition: “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.” The one who hears what Jesus says and does not follow that up with doing it is a fool—plain and simple.
Fr. Camlin goes on to demonstrate that on this issue there is no disagreement between the Apostles Paul and James, and between them and the rest of Scripture – a very worthwhile message indeed.
Here is another Afterburner from commentator Bill Whittle; in this one he talks about politics in Coke vs. Pepsi terms, so to speak. As the YouTube notes say, “When Coca-Cola changed its recipe and rebranded itself as New Coke, the world recoiled in horror. What does New Coke have to do with conservative politics? Who is the classic conservative and who is the new conservative? Does the marketing plan of Pepsi resemble progressivism?”
From Dean Phillip Jensen of St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Sydney, here is a video meditation, titled “The Priestly King”, on another one of my favorite Psalms – Psalm 110. Matthew Henry writes about this Psalm that
Christ shall not only be a King, but a Priest. He is God’s Minister to us, and our Advocate with the Father, and so is the Mediator between God and man. He is a Priest of the order of Melchizedek, which was before that of Aaron, and on many accounts superior to it, and a more lively representation of Christ’s priesthood. Christ’s sitting at the right hand of God, speaks as much terror to his enemies as happiness to his people. The effect of this victory shall be the utter ruin of his enemies.
From the Rev. Alex Sharp, preaching at St. Mary’s Church, Basingstoke in the United Kingdom, we have the audio sermon Jesus said, ‘I am the Bread of Life’, based on John 6:22-40. This is the first in a series of sermons from St. Mary’s on the “Jesus said, I am…” theme and others in the series are “The Light of the World”, “The Good Shepherd”, and “The Life” – all of which were terms our Lord used about Himself. This promises to be a good series and I encourage you to try this sermon out.
This is a video of Bill Whittle delivering a speech at St. Michael’s College in Toronto on the structures underpinning Western Civilization and the assault upon them. I had a little trouble with the audio but he has some excellent thoughts, if the Republican Party will listen to them.
From the Rev. William Klock of Living Word REC in British Columbia, here is another in his ongoing series of sermons on Genesis, titled Jacob’s Ladder. Fr. Bill does an exemplary job of explaining the imagery and meaning of this famous account in Genesis 28:1-22, but I thought I would mention something he says about prayer and fellowship with God in this message:
Remember, God saved us so that we can be in fellowship with him, both now and for eternity. That’s where he has chosen to focus his grace in our lives: that we might live in communion with him. Now consider your prayers. How often are your prayers for our material gain? There are whole segments of Christianity that put the focus of the Gospel on wealth as a sign of God’s favour, but we don’t necessarily have to be that crassly materialistic to presume. Just think of your prayers. How much of your time is spent praying for material things—even things we “need”—in contrast to the time we spend asking God for spiritual things. Jesus does tell us to take our worldly needs and concerns to God, but is that all we take to him? Is it most of what we take to him? How much of our time is spent asking for things like greater faith, greater obedience, triumph over temptation, or a thankful heart. How much time do we spend praying for patience or for God to fill our hearts with love for the people we find unlovable? How often do we ask God to teach us to be satisfied with less or to be satisfied even in the midst of want and pain and sorrow? How often do we ask God to give us opportunities to share our faith; more time to study, memorise, and meditate on his Word; or a greater desire to serve others in his name? These are the sorts of things that never presume upon the grace of God. These are the things he offers us in the first place. These are the very things that show our growth in godliness and our continuing sanctification. These are the things that show our pagan desire to control God being replaced by a holy desire to allow God to control us. These are the things that show our wills growing less and God’s will growing more in our lives.
Our prayers do indicate our spiritual state – may we see evidence of continuing sanctification and holiness in our lives. If you would like to listen to this sermon you can do so here.