Author Archives: pastor

Being Powered by God

Category : General

Ephesians 6: 10 (KJV)
10Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

“It often requires a braver man to say “No,” than to take the Cashmere Gate at Delhi. Perfect courage consists in doing without a witness all that we could do if the whole world were looking on.”
Friends, if we are going to be victorious in the spiritual battles we face, we are going to need spiritual power. The problem is, none of us possess spiritual power within ourselves. We are weak, frail, fallible, foolish creatures, and we are often on the losing side of the battles of life. If we hope to achieve victory, we must have true spiritual power. This verse tells us where that power originates.
Here we find that Paul having laid before his reader, their great and high calling, and all the doctrines and precepts of the Gospel, it was necessary that he should show them the enemies that will oppose them, and the strength which is requisite to enable them to repel them. The admonition Paul was about to give here had been in mind throughout the epistle. He mentioned the strength of God (Ephesians 1:19; 3:16) and the putting on of “the new man” (Ephesians 4:24) earlier; but now he would give final instructions for arming the Christian for the warfare against the forces which opposed him. “The cosmic purpose of God involves the believer with the spiritual hierarchy of the unseen world organized under the power of Satan and his influences.
The believers of Ephesus were told that they must have strength, and strength of a spiritual kind, and such strength too as the Lord himself can furnish; and they must have this strength through an indwelling God, the power of His might working in them. He was not unaware that in the discharge of their duties they would need strength from above. He knew that they had great and mighty foes, and that to meet them, they needed to be clothed in the panoply of the Christian soldier. He closes, therefore, by exhorting them to put on all the strength which they could to meet the enemies with which they had to contend; and in the commencement of his exhortation he reminds them that it was only by the strength of the Lord that they could hope for victory.
There is good reason for our being so often advised in the Scriptures to “be strong.” Christian character has two sides. We cease to do evil. We also learn to do well. But doing well is impossible if we are not strong. The forces of evil are many and mighty. Life is short. The love of ease is deep rooted. Unless we are strong, we effect nothing. Our lives shall be mere bundles of resolves never effected, collections of impotent wishes that never come to anything.
Spiritual power can only be ours through a relationship with Jesus Christ. This means that just as we trust Jesus and His death and resurrection to save us, we must trust Him to give us the spiritual power we so desperately need. Just as we need His righteousness to enter into God’s Heaven, we need His power if we are going to stand against the attacks we face in life. Just as we need His blood to take away our sins, we need His power to defeat Satan. If the Lord aids us by His mighty power, we have no reason to shrink from the combat. But it will be asked, What purpose did it serve to enjoin the Ephesians to be strong in the Lord’s mighty power, which they could not of themselves accomplish? In a difficult, hostile and indifferent society, Christian strength is a subject which needs emphasizing. A strength that only comes from Jehovah God.

Have a Great and God filled Day!

Pastor C


God’s Comfort in Difficult Times

Category : General

Psalm 119: 76 (KJV)
76 Let, I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to thy word unto thy servant.

It has been observed that, “In the Word in which God offers his mercy, there is to be found no small comfort for healing all the grief to which men are liable.”
David was exposed to many and severe trials: and, if he had not been favored with peculiar supports, he would have sunk under them. This he often mentions in 1 Samuel 30:6 and Psalms 116:3-5. Also, confiding in the Divine promise, he already cherished in his heart a joy, proceeding from the hope of receiving the communications of Divine grace. But as all our hope would end in mere disappointment, did not God at length appear as our deliverer, he requests the performance of that which God had promised him. Similarly, we notice Paul also acknowledges his obligation to God for the same supports 2 Corinthians 1:3-5. Moreover, when such manifestations were withdrawn, even Jesus himself almost fainted (Matthew 27:46). And although he has acknowledged that he had been justly humbled, yet he desires that his sorrow may be alleviated by some consolation. He implores God’s mercy, as what was essentially necessary to relieve and cure his miseries. He thus shows that nothing can remove sorrow from the faithful, until they feel that God is reconciled to them.
The names and number of those that have been helped as revealed in Scriptures as well in history is innumerable. How many have the blessings of health and wealth, who taste nothing of God’s loving-kindness in them, but make them the occasions of more flagrant opposition to His will! How many have been restored to health, who by their subsequent misconduct have turned that mercy into a real curse! Above all, how many have made Christ Himself a stumbling-block instead of a Savior, and “the gospel a savor of death,” when it might have been to them “a savor of life!” Thus, would all men do, if they were left to themselves: even Hezekiah’s miraculous recovery, and Paul’s visit to the third heavens, would have issued only in their deeper condemnation, if God had not given grace to the one, and “a thorn in the flesh” to the other, to counteract the propensities of their fallen nature. Well then might David make this a matter of prayer to God, when none but God could impart to him this benefit.
Let me say that it is no light matter to abuse the merciful kindness of God. The day is coming, when every mercy we have received, must be accounted for; because when it does, as the Scriptures says, “it will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah than for those” who have slighted a preached gospel.
Friends every mercy therefore should be received with a holy fear and jealousy, lest it should prove only an occasion of more aggravated guilt, and heavier condemnation. And let us more frequently reflect on the loving-kindness and goodness of God Psalms 26:3, 63:3. Also let us meditate on it especially in seasons of trouble Ps. 143:7-8. And let us endeavor to requite it by devoting ourselves unreservedly to His service.

Have a Great and God filled Day

Pastor C


Dead to Self, Alive to Christ

Category : General

Colossians 3: 5 (KJV)
5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:

“Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth,” the expression is doubly unique. It is the only passage where “mortification”—the killing of anything in us—is enjoined; and it is also notable, as not explicitly distinguishing between the members themselves, and the evil of which they are made the instruments. Since you are dead to sin and the world, and are to appear with Christ in the glories of his kingdom, subdue every carnal and evil propensity of your nature. The word mortify means to put to death (Romans 8:13, Galatians 5:24), and the meaning here is that they were entirely to subdue their evil propensities, so that they would have no remains of life; that is, they were not at all to indulge them. We are to put them to death: the verb is used metaphorically to signify, to deprive a thing of its power, to destroy its strength. Use no member of your body to sin against God; keep all under dominion; and never permit the beast to run away with the man. To gratify any sensual appetite is to give it the very food and nourishment by which it lives, thrives, and is active. However, the body may suffer by excessive sensual indulgences, the appetite increases with the indulgence. Deny yourselves, and let reason rule; and the animal will not get the ascendancy over the rational man.
The word “members” here, refers to the different members of the body – as the seat of evil desires and passions. They were wholly to extirpate those evil passions which he specifies as having their seat in the various members of the earthly body.
Therefore, a Christian should set himself against, and endeavor to mortify and subdue, it having a sort of idolatry in it, drawing our love, our trust, our fear, our joy, from God, and placing the supremacy of our affections in and upon the creatures. True, the covetous man does not believe his money to be God; but by his inordinate loving of it; and fiduciary trusting in it he is as truly guilty of idolatry, as if he bowed his knee unto it: for God more regards the internal acts of the mind, than he doth the external acts of the body.

Have a Great and God filled Day

Pastor C


Jehovah is our Peace

Category : General

Mark 4: 39 (KJV)
39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm

Augustine (400 A.D.) says, “We are sailing in this life as through a sea, and the wind rises, and storms of temptation are not wanting. Whence is this, save because Jesus is sleeping in thee, thy faith in Jesus is slumbering in thy heart? Rouse him, and say, Master, we perish. He will awaken, that is, thy faith will return to thee, and the danger will be over.”
Christ commanded the winds and waves to Be silent! Be still! There is uncommon majesty and authority in these words. Who but God could act thus? Perhaps this salvation of his disciples in the boat might be designed to show forth that protection and deliverance which Christ will give to his followers, however violently they may be persecuted by earth or hell.
The picture is one of total control. Here was One Who could control Himself and could control the elements. He had no fear of the wind or the sea, batter as they would, for He knew that they would obey His will. This is not just a miracle, this is a portrayal of the One Who is Lord of all. Of One Who rules the power of the sea (Psalms 89:9). And we may surmise that Mark deliberately used ‘sea’ rather than ‘lake’ to make this connection. ‘He rebuked the wind and said to the sea.’ Psalms 106:9, ‘He rebuked the Red Sea also and it was dried up’; Isaiah 50:2, ‘Behold, at my rebuke I dry up the sea’; Nahum 1:4, ‘The Lord has His way in the whirlwind and the storm, and the clouds are the dust of His feet. He rebukes the sea and makes it dry —.’ Here in each case is the voice of the Creator speaking to His creation as in Genesis 1, rebuking it and bringing about His will. In none of these cases is there the suggestion of a demonic element. Even inanimate nature responded to His voice (Genesis 1:6-7). Now here in this boat is the Son of God, and the same thing occurs. The sea obeys His word.
No words can exaggerate the value and importance of a calm mind. It is the basis of almost everything which is good. It is noted that this pictures a well-ordered reflections, meditation, influence, wise speech, right action, a safe youth, a life to purpose, a peaceful end, a holy, happy death, all em-bosom themselves in a calm mind. Circumstances, and the fiends of the pit, and the woes that waste the lives of men, over these He has been seen to triumph. But behind all that we strive with here, there lurks the last enemy, and he also shall be subdued.
Let us have the confidence in remembering that the LORD we serve still has that same power today, Matt. 28:18; Gen. 18:14; Eph. 3:20. Your storm is no problem for Him! He can silence it with a word, if He so desires. He may, however, desire to allow the storm to rage. When He does this, He is well able to protect you in the midst of the storm. (Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego – Dan. 3; Daniel in the lion’s den – Dan. 6). Just as He said, they passed over, Mark 5:1. They learned that He was as good as His Word! He still is! Everything He has promised He will do, Rom. 4:21; Heb. 6:18. He will not back away from any promise He has made recorded in the Bible! Let us always remember that when the Lord is in our vessel, we always have an advantage.

Have a Great and God filled Day

Pastor C


Faith that Makes a Difference

Category : General

Genesis 15: 6 (KJV)
6And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

This is a key moment in the text—in the Bible—in human history. Abram decides to trust the promise rather than the evidence. God has been faithful to him in many ways, so he believes that God will be faithful to him in this way as well.
This I conceive to be one of the most important passages in the whole Old Testament. It properly contains and specifies that doctrine of justification by faith which engrosses so considerable a share of the epistles of Paul, and at the foundation of which is the atonement made by the Son of God.
None of us would be able to conceive the rich and hidden doctrine which this passage contains, unless Paul had borne his torch before us. (Romans 4:3.) But it is strange, and seems like a prodigy, that when the Spirit of God has kindled so great a light, yet the greater part of interpreters wander with closed eyes, as in the darkness of night. I omit the Jews, whose blindness is well known. But it is (as I have said) monstrous, that they who have had Paul as their luminous expositor; should so foolishly have depraved this place. However it hence appears, that in all ages, Satan has labored at nothing more assiduously than to extinguish, or to smother, the gratuitous justification of faith, which is here expressly asserted. God “credits” or “counts” Abraham’s faith as righteousness. We know already that Abraham is not perfectly righteous, and we will encounter more examples of this in the chapters ahead. But God credits Abraham with righteousness.
Therefore, we see that righteous is conformity to the will of God. Abram was not righteous, but he yielded himself to God and trusted Him, and God accepted that as the equivalent of righteousness. The acceptance was shown by the Covenant, and by the fulfilment of the promises. So here is the great truth that faith is accepted for righteous. It is rightly regarded and treated as righteous, by the estimate of God, who estimates things as they really are.
Do not ever believe that a person is a Christian just because they look like a Christian, and talk like a Christian, and act like a Christian. It doesn’t necessarily mean that a person is saved just because they quote Scripture, attend church, tithe, and raise their hands when singing praises to God, attend a Bible study, prays for an hour every day, teaches a Sunday school class and volunteers at the food bank. It is so easy to assume that such people are saved because they look saved. But Scripture is clear. We are not saved by works, no matter how wonderful and numerous they are. A person is saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

Have a Great and God filled Day


Pastor C


Boldness to Approach God

Category : General

1 John 5: 14 (KJV)
14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:

In C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters, the elder demon advises the younger demon to keep his man focused on himself and his present circumstances. And to not let him think about more eternal things. When we focus too much on our current situation, it’s hard to see beyond the trial. God gently lifts our heads and shows us the bigger picture of His kingdom. At times we are disappointed in ourselves or others who have let us down. Ideas fall flat, situations don’t play out the way we want them to, and goals are not achieved. Disappointment is inevitable from time to time. This brings us down, which can affect the quality of our decisions if we aren’t careful. While the old parable that “people who produce good results feel good about themselves,” the opposite is true as well.
Even great leaders like Thomas Jefferson and Winston Churchill struggled with depression and periods of despondency during difficult periods of their lives. While discouragement and even depression are normal human traits, it is important that we don’t let them get the best of us. So how can you avoid getting into a funk when everything seems to be going wrong? Is there anything we can do to prepare for life’s valleys?
It is said that Faith and prayer are not boldly to advance claims upon God; we must take heed that what we ask and believe for is agreeable to the revealed will of God. What we find promised, that we may plead.
Alford, “If we knew God’s will, and submitted to it heartily, it would be impossible for us to ask anything for the spirit or the body which He should not perform: it is this ideal state which the apostle has in view. It is the Spirit who teaches us inwardly, and Himself in us asks according to the will of God.”
According to his will – which is the believer’s will, and therefore no restraint to his prayers. In so far as God’s will is not ours, we are not abiding in faith, and our prayers are not accepted. Here we find the apostle commends the faith which he mentioned by its fruit, or he shews that in which our confidence especially is, that is, that the godly dare confidently to call on God. Paul also speaks in Ephesians 3:12, that we have by faith access to God with confidence; and also in Romans 8:15, that the Spirit gives us a mouth to cry Abba, Father. And doubtless, were we driven away from an access to God, nothing could make us more miserable; but, on the other hand, provided this asylum be opened to us, we should be happy even in extreme evils; nay, this one thing renders our troubles blessed, because we surely know that God will be our deliverer, and relying on his paternal love towards us, we flee to him.
This is the fourth mention of boldness in this epistle: as pertaining to the judgment in 1 John 2:28; 1 John 4:17, and as pertaining to prayer, here, and in 1 John 3:21,22. In a large degree, the Christian is himself responsible for maintaining a confident and winning attitude, an attitude to which he is fully entitled by the glorious endowments and promises of the faith. It is therefore incumbent upon him to speak enthusiastically of his faith and of the joyful service in the Lord, much in the same manner of a good athlete who “talks a good game” with his associates during a contest. The grounds of such confidence which John cited in connection with his admonition is that, after all, our God will answer our prayers! No greater promise could be imagined.
This is the proper and the necessary limitation in all prayer. God has not promised to grant anything that shall be contrary to his will, and it could not be right that he should do it. We ought not to wish to receive anything that should be contrary to what he judges to be best. No man could hope for good who should esteem his own wishes to be a better guide than the will of God; and it is one of the most desirable of all arrangements that the promise of any blessing to be obtained by prayer should be limited and bounded by the will of God.
God’s promise of answering prayer, however, is not a blank check, the qualification laid down here being only one of a number of Scriptural limitations on it. Others are: prayers must be offered in faith (Mark 11:24), in the name of Jesus (John 14:14), and by one abiding in Christ (John 15:7). Furthermore, only those who have forgiven (Mark 11:15); and only those whose prayers flow out of an obedient life (1 John 3:22), and who will not use their blessings for the gratification of their lusts and passions (James 4:3), may properly claim in confidence the answer of their prayers.

Have a Great and God filled Day

Pastor C


Knowing God

Category : General

Psalm 9: 9 (KJV)
9 The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble

“Once you become aware that the main business that you are here for is to know God, most of life’s problems fall into place of their own accord.” ― J.I. Packer
The poor and weak, such as have no might nor power, and are thrown down and trampled upon, as the word signifies; and such are the people of God. They are oppressed with the burden of sin; they are bowed down with Satan and his temptations; and are sometimes pressed out of measure, and above their strength, with the persecutions of men; they are trodden under foot by antichrist, or otherwise are borne down with a variety of sorrows and afflictions; but the Lord is a refuge for them. The Chaldee paraphrase renders it as before, “the Word of the Lord”, the eternal Logos, the Son of God: He is a refuge for poor sensible sinners, fleeing from wrath to come; being typified by the cities of refuge, whither the man slayer fled from the avenger of blood: He is the strong hold for the prisoners of hope to turn into; His name is a strong tower and place of defense for oppressed saints; He is a refuge when all others fail, and at all times, in the day of affliction, and in the hour of death, and at judgment.
David here furnishes a remedy for the temptation which greatly afflicts the weak, when they see themselves, and those who are like them, abandoned to the will of the ungodly, while God keeps silence. He puts us in mind that God delays His aid, and to outward appearance forsakes His faithful ones, in order at length to succor them at a more convenient season, according to the greatness of their necessity and affliction. From this it follows, as been pointed out, “that He by no means ceases from the exercise of His office, although He suffer the good and the innocent to be reduced to extreme poverty, and although He exercise them with weeping and lamentations; for by doing this he lights up a lamp to enable them to see his judgments the more clearly.”
Accordingly, David expressly declares, that God interposes his protection seasonably in the afflictions of His people. The Lord will be a protection to the poor in seasonable times in trouble From this we are taught the duty of giving his providence time to make itself at length manifest in the season of need. And if protection by the power of God, and the experience of his fatherly favor, is the greatest blessing which we can receive, let us not feel so uneasy at being accounted poor and miserable before the world, but let this consolatory consideration assuage our grief, that God is not far from us, seeing our afflictions call upon him to come to our aid. Let us also observe, that God is said to be at hand in seasonable times when he succors the faithful during their affliction.
It is important to understand that knowing God’s name, as mentioned here, implies something far beyond merely being able to pronounce it. For one truly to know God’s name when this psalm was written meant loving and serving Him. However, in our times, it has come mean to confess His Son Jesus Christ, obey the Gospel, and walk righteously before him. –Luke 6:46.
The blessed promise of these verses is that God never forsakes His children. They may indeed be sorely tried and tempted as was Job, hunted like a wild beast by vicious enemies as was David, or even, at times, feel forsaken, as did the Christ himself on Calvary; but nevertheless, they are never forsaken. As stated in Psalms 37:28, “Jehovah forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved forever.” How well do you know Him for He certainly knows those that are His.

Have a Great and God filled Day
Pastor C


The Cure for Envy

Category : General

Proverbs 23: 17 (KJV)
17 Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long.

What is the prosperous sinner the better for his prosperity when judgment overtakes him? As for the godly man, his end is peace and blessedness, and none can rob him of his joy; wherefore, let him forego envy, and be filled with sweet content. (C. H. Spurgeon.)

The text is a persuasive to contentment and satisfaction with Divine providence, which permits wicked men to flourish for a while, enforced with this reason, that there is a reward laid up for all such as trust in God and meekly submit to His will. The Lord is here addressing himself to a soul laboring under temptation, and passing through peculiar exercises; and this is the exhortation that he gives it—”Be in the fear of the Lord all the day long;” watching his hand, submitting to his will, committing everything into his care and keeping; not hardening your heart against him, but looking up to him, and worshiping him with godly fear; “there is surely a future hope for you.”

Their present prosperity and happiness, the pleasure, profit, and honor, they seem to enjoy; all which is but a shadow, fading had temporary; and yet good men are apt to envy it in their hearts, if they do not express it with their lips; and are ready to murmur and think it hard that they should be in straitened circumstances while the wicked are in flourishing ones; and inwardly fret and are uneasy at it, which they should not, Psalm 37:1; or do not “emulate” or “imitate” them, or do as they do, thinking thereby to enjoy the same prosperity and happiness; choose not their ways, nor desire to be with them, to have their company, or be ranked among them, Proverbs 3:31.

The cure for envy lies in living under a constant sense of the Divine presence, worshiping God and communing with Him all the day long, however long the day may seem. True religion lifts the soul into a higher region, where the judgment becomes more clearer, and the desires are more elevated. The more of heaven there is in our lives, the less of earth we shall covet. The fear of God casts out the envy of men. The death-blow of envy is a calm consideration of the future. The wealth and glory of the ungodly are a vain show. This pompous appearance flashes out for an hour, and then is extinguished.
We may be tempted, exercised, and surrounded with difficulties, and see no outlet; but “there is surely a future hope for you;” and, when the end comes, it will make all plain and clear. To sit still is the hardest thing a man can do. To lie passive at God’s footstool when all things seem to be against us; to have a rough path to walk in, to be surrounded with difficulties, and yet to be in the fear of the Lord all the day long, watching his hand, desiring to submit to his will, seeking only that wisdom which comes from above, and trusting that he will make the way straight; not putting our hand to the work, but leaving it all to the Lord—how strange, how mysterious a path!
And yet it is the only one that brings solid peace to a Christian; “there is surely a future hope for you.” Whatever sorrows and troubles a man may have to wade through, there will surely be an end of them. If we try to get ourselves out of perplexities, we are like a person trying to unravel a tangled skein of silk by pulling it forcibly; the more it is pulled, the more entangled it gets, and the faster the knots become. So if we are plunged into any trial, providential or spiritual, and we attempt to extricate ourselves by main force, by kicking and rebelling, we only get more entangled.
We need to let the fear of God be always before our eyes and in our heart; be continually in the exercise of fear, which is attended with faith and trust in the Lord; with love and affection to him, and joy and delight in him; be constantly employed in the duties of religion, private and public, which the fear of God includes; and this will be a preservative from envying, murmuring, and fretting at the outward happiness of wicked men; and from joining with them in their evil ways.

Have a Great and God filled Day

Pastor C


Harden not your Heart

Category : General

Proverbs 29: 1 (KJV)
1 He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.

It has been observed that the obstinacy of many wicked people in a wicked way is to be greatly lamented. They are often reproved by parents and friends, by magistrates and ministers, by the providence of God and by their own consciences, have had their sins set in order before them and fair warning given them of the consequences of them, but all in vain; they harden their necks.
Here we find, “He that being often reproved — Who having received frequent reproofs from wise and good men, and perhaps also chastisements from God; hardeneth his neck — Sets themselves against taking the reproof, as a stubborn ox against taking the yoke. Indifferent to it. Laughs at it. Becomes worse. Obstinate in doing evil and in resisting good. “Mind your own business.” “I am my own master.” They throws off all restraint; becomes skeptical, perhaps atheistic; scorns at religion and religious people; Remains incorrigible, and obstinately persists in those sins for which he is reproved and corrected; shall suddenly be destroyed — Is in danger of falling, and that on a sudden, into utter and irreparable ruin.
This proverb may be accommodated to all the affairs of life. In whatever course a individual blunders on, headstrong and regardless of advice and admonition, it will ruin him at last, as far as the matter is capable of working his ruin. But here principal reference is to religion. Often reproved–this is undoubtedly our character. Reproved by men from all quarters. The Word of God has reproved us. God has reproved us by His providence in private and public calamities. God has reproved us more immediately by His Spirit. We have also been our own monitors. Conscience has often pronounced our doom. Even the irrational creatures and infernal spirits may have been our monitors. Solomon assumes that a man may be often reproved, and yet harden his neck; that is, obstinately refuse submission and reformation. Nothing but a sullen and senseless beast can represent the stupid, unreasonable conduct of that man who hardens himself in sin, against the strongest dissuasion and reproofs from God and His creatures
Truly this disposition is of the Lord: “it is He that has given us either to will or do.” Let us be thankful and bless Him, then, that the destruction which has come suddenly and irremediably on so many millions of mankind, was not permitted to come on us in our un-awaken state. Therefore, because of His goodness and kindness to us, let our hearts be right with Him. Let us allow every word of His sink deep down into our ears, penetrates our hearts and be obeyed without reservation. Let us seek to totally conform to His mind and will. And as the apostle noted, “Forget all that is behind, and reach forward constantly to that which is before.” And seek to “grow up in all things into Christ, our living Head.”

Have a Great and God filled Day

Pastor C


Christians Special Law–Love One Another

Category : General

St. John 15: 12 (KJV)
12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

Augustin: “Where there is love, there must be faith and hope; and where there is brotherly love, there must be also the love of God.”
Jesus raises the mutual love of His own to its full height by giving as a model for it that which He has had for them. Our Savior once and again repeats that command, “Love one another”: He calls it ‘a new commandment,’ John 13:34: for their traditions had in a great measure put that command of loving one another out of date; and that particularly by very impious vows they would be making. We have a little hint of it, Matthew 15:5.
It is noted that when we consider the frequent repetition of this precept, “Love one another,” consider also that passage, Matthew 10:34, “I came not to send peace, but a sword”: and then having reflected on those horrid sedition and mutual slaughters, wherewith the Jewish nation, raging with itself in most bloody discords and intestine broils, was, even by itself, wasted and overwhelmed, we will more clearly see the necessity and reasonableness of this command of loving one another, as also the great truth of that expression, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
Christ had been before speaking of His commandments; and He mentions this as the principal one, and to which all the rest may be reduced; for as the precepts of the second table of the moral law may be briefly comprehended in this one duty, love to our neighbor, so all the duties of Christianity, relative to one another, are reducible to this, by love to serve each other. This was the commandment which lay uppermost on Christ’s heart, and which He knew, if attended to, the rest could not fail of being observed.
Since it is proper that we regulate our life according to the commandment of Christ, it is necessary, that we should understand what it is that He wills or commands He now therefore repeats what He had formerly said, that it is His will, above all things, that believers should cherish mutual love among themselves. True, the love and reverence for God comes first in order, but as the true proof of it is love toward our neighbors, He dwells chiefly on this point. In addition, as He formerly held Himself out for a pattern in maintaining the general doctrine, so He now holds Himself out for a pattern in a particular instance; for He loved ALL His people, that they may love each other.
Let us then learn that for the disciples of Christ to love one another upon such grounds, and in such a way as He loved them, is that which His heart greatly desires, and is very much set upon. Also that Christ’s love unto believers is both an obligation unto mutual love, and also a pattern and example for it.

Have a Great and God filled Day

Pastor C