Nineteenth Sunday after Trinity 07 October 2018 A.D.

Nineteenth Sunday after Trinity     07 October 2018 A.D. 

Psalm 72                 First  Lesson. Job 24:1-17          Second Lesson. Titus 2

                                                                     O GOD, forasmuch as without thee
                                     we are not able to please thee; Mercifully
                                     grant that thy Holy Spirit may in all things
                                     direct and rule our hearts; through Jesus Christ
                                     our Lord.                                                  Amen.

                                                        “God is Sovereign”

      There is a rather stark contrast between our Old Testament and New Testament lessons. In the book of Job, there is a listing of what appears to be a wanton abuse of good people by evil people.  They seem to be getting away with all of this abuse.  Job points out that they do all this under the supposed protection of darkness.  All of this activity is done in what appears to be secret.   And yet as Job points out, God does see them, He is aware of their activity, their proclivity to evil, the damage they do with animal like abandon, ‘...behold, as wild asses in the desert, go they forth to their work; rising betimes for a prey:...’    All seems to be happening without any intervention by God.  
      The warning against this behavior is found several times in this passage, starting with verse one: ‘why, seeing times are not hidden from the Almighty, do they that know him not see his days?’   And again the several references to doing evil in the dark or at twilight, all in an attempt to avoid the Almighty.  We know that God does not sleep or slumber, so the implication is He sees all.    So no matter what the wicked do to try and avoid God’s eyes, they are not able to do so, He sees all. 
Psalm 121:4
  Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. 

    When we compare and contrast the Old Testament lesson with the New Testament lesson we can see several valuable points to aid us in our daily walk with God. 
   In the second chapter of Titus, Paul is writing to new and ‘seasoned’ Christians at the same time.  He expresses the need to eat, sleep ,read, and profess sound doctrine.  It is of the utmost importance to do these things.  As Paul had written to Timothy and to the church at Corinth, he again emphasizes the need to be true to the Gospel message.  All of the characteristics that he writes about are an important aspect of behavior, a behavior that the world is watching at all times.  The idea, of course, is to see if Christians mess up in their daily lives.  We can and we do mess up, we are not perfect, we are forgiven.   That is an interesting point that can be made to nonbelievers. We as Christians are not perfect, but we are forgiven our sins when we ask forgiveness of the same.   We are to be sound in faith, in charity, in patience, be teachers of good things, teach younger ones these truths and also showing a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing uncorruptness. 
    As we study this chapter pay attention to verses 9-11.  Many false teachers try to use this and other similar passages to say the Bible promotes slavery.  Balderdash.   Define servant.
  In a very real way, anyone who works for someone else is their servant.  I know in our democratic ways we like to think of ourselves as independent beings, but in reality we have a boss or three when we work for others.   In theory even if you have your own business, you still have bosses...they are your customers.   But now back to the point.    As a servant/employee we are not to talk back, we are to follow the orders of the boss(as long as it is legal), don’t steal, this includes playing on the internet, taking long coffee breaks, being idle.  Be faithful, be a good worker/servant: why ? Because the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.
   Make sure you show that grace of God in all you do as a person, a worker, a boss, a neighbor, a friend to both believers and non-believers. 
9 Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again;
10 Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.
   In conclusion, if we know that God sees all, that He is Sovereign and has control of all then it is our duty to God and His Kingdom to live and serve Him all our days.   As we reread the last five verses of Titus chapter 2 let us reflect on what St. Paul is expressing as the right way to face the day to day grind we all find ourselves in; we are to look for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ.    Know that we cannot do this ourselves, we must deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously and godly, in this present world.   We need to speak, exhort and rebuke with all authority, because it is the right thing to do as we serve the Kingdom.
11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.
Let us pray: 
 Almighty God, who hast bidden us seek that we may find, and who pourest out on all who desire it, the spirit of grace and of supplication; Deliver us, when we draw nigh to Thee, from coldness of heart and wandering of mind, that with steadfast thoughts and kindled affections we may worship thee in spirit and in truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

O Lord Jesus Christ, who didst say unto Thy Disciples, Come ye apart into a desert place and rest a while; Grant we beseech Thee to Thy servants now gathered together, so to seek Thee whom our souls desire to love, that we may both find Thee and be found of Thee. Grant such love and such wisdom to accompany the words which shall be spoken in Thy name, that they may not fall to the ground, but may be helpful in leading us onward through the toils of our pilgrimage to that rest which remaineth, where, nevertheless, they rest not day nor night from Thy perfect service; who livest and reignest God for ever and ever. Amen.

Direct us, O Lord, in all our doings, with Thy most gracious favor, and further us with Thy continual help; that in all our works begun, continued, and ended in thee, we may glorify Thy holy Name, and finally, By Thy mercy, obtain everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord.O Almighty God, who hast built Thy Church upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the head cornerstone; Grant, us so to be joined together in unity of spirit by their doctrine, that we may be made an holy temple acceptable unto Thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace, now and for evermore. Amen.


 

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