Sermon-The Sower Sows-October 15

Sermon-The Sower Sows-October 15

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one God! Amen.

Glory to Jesus Christ!

Today let us look with new eyes, with renewed hearts, at the parable of the Sower.

In the past when I have preached on this parable I have tended to focus on the seed and the soil, not mentioning the sower all that much.

Today, it will be different.

Today we glorify the Sower.

Now we all know, or should be aware, that the Sower is Jesus Christ. The One who came sowing from the Father, sowing the word of God, by the Word of God.

  1. The Sower “went out to sow his seed” the text says. Went out from His pre-existence as God the Son, went out to become Incarnate and sow the word, the Words of the Father.

This is the reason for the Incarnation, the reason the Sower came to us.

Notice that the Sower does not discriminate as to where He scatters the seed of the Word.

He scatters, not worrying about wasted seed that falls on rocks and hard surfaces, so great is His love and generosity.

Love does not count the cost.

  1. He gives three reasons why the seed does not produce the intended, hoped for result.
  2. hard soil, birds devour
  3. rock, withered, no moisture
  4. thorns, choked out

So, Jesus, the Sower, indiscriminately sows the seed, but not all respond. In fact, according to the parable, only ¼ become a good crop.

Many are called, few are chosen. Narrow is he way and few are those that find it.

  1. Many hear the word, but it does not penetrate. They think perhaps, it is meaningless, or it is balderdash or I don’t need this.

The seed comes, there is a rejection of the seed.

We all have known some people like this. Hard of soul. Resistant. Stiffened.

With some people there is no ability to understand, or even to hear; thus Jesus says: “He who has ears, let him hear.”

In His explanation of the parable, Jesus attributes this hardness to the devil who snatches the word away with rationalization, self-love, pride or rank bitterness.

These are not without hope, it requires prayer and fasting.

 

  1. some seeds fall on rock, they begin to grow but later withers due to lack of water. Jesus says they believe for a while, but due to temptation later fall away. This too is the work of the devil. He seeks to steal, kill and destroy.

We all know people like this, avid Christians, never missed a service, worked for the good of the Church, devoted to Christ. But, the temptations of the world gradually wear them down.

The moisture Jesus speaks of is interesting. What would that refer to? In this analogy perhaps moisture is due to the lack of continuing to feed on the vine. Not developing the habits of prayer, thanksgiving and alms giving. If we think a little about this, if we are like plants, we need moisture, nutrients and sun. Most plants won’t survive too long without these, or if there is too much of one of them.

Balance. The clear reference here for the reason for the failure is a time of temptation. Some due to lack of moisture cannot endure the temptations of the world.

  1. others are the ones who fall among thorns. They are choked with “cares, riches, and pleasures of life and bring no fruit to maturity.”

The Sower intends all His seed to come to fullness, perfection, maturity. He is not willing that any should perish.

But most do. The Sower does not force the seed to do anything.

Let’s be clear that cares, riches and pleasures are not evil in themselves. They are all part of life, a life God intended for good. But many of the good things in life are mis-used and become sinful. They become the focus rather than a blessing.

 

  1. The good soil.

Two traits of the ones who bear much fruit

They hear the word with a good and noble heart and keep it

They bear fruit with patience.

Maybe the reason some don’t bear much fruit is it takes too long. We live in an impatient culture.

 

The Sower sows, The Spirit causes the growth, the Father is glorified. We all weep over those who bring forth not fruit. Remembering that The Father is not willing that any should perish, but that all should have eternal life.

 

Today is the remembrance of the Fathers of the Seventh Ec. Council. I love this council. It is so key for myself in my growth.

Icons changed my life. I am so thankful for icons. They are so full of power and fertilizer for the seed. They teach so much without speaking a word.

 

Many groups say that are the church of Christ. Many claim to be biblical.

How do we sort it all out? How do we know that the Orthodox Church has it correct.?

Councils. The spirit bears witness to Truth through councils. How do we understand the Bible? Not by individuals, but by councils.

 

The Lord said: I will send the Spirit and He will lead you into all Truth. He also said, the gates of hell will not prevail over the Church.

Through councils of the Church, the Lord of the Church, through His Spirit, has protected Truth, preserved it and passed it down to us.

So when the iconoclast heresy spread through the Church, a council was called to sort out the heresy and proclaim the Truth teaching from the Apostles.

This how the Sower keeps His seed and protects it, growing it to maturity, the Holy Scriptures, The Creeds, The Councils, The Hymns, The Services of the Church, The Sacraments which give us young plants the moisture we need to grow.

Today we give Glory, Honor and Worship to The Father, The Sower (the Son), and the Holy Spirit, for they are growing their Church! They are preserving the seed. Causing the growth.

To them be all the glory forever, Amen.

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October 8, 2017- Mourning of Sin

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke 7:11-16

At that time, Jesus went to a city called Nain, and many of His disciples and a great crowd went with Him.  As He drew near to the gate of the city, behold, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow; and a large crowd from the city was with her.

And when the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.”  And He came and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And Jesus said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.”  And the dead man sat up, and began to speak.  And Jesus gave him to his mother.

Fear seized them all; and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and “God has visited His people!”


Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Glory to Jesus Christ!

Today this amazing event is brought again before our eyes for learning and encouragement, so that we would be revived by the amazing sweetness of our Life-giving Lord Jesus.

Jesus is the Rescuer from Death, the healer of our infirmities.

He raises the dead, restores the broken, affirms life over death.

God has visited His people.!

They were ready to take her to the cemetery, Jesus raised her up. The mourners were comforted.

This leads us to the second beatitude, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

So let us take a few minutes to look at this pronouncement of our Lord.

 

When we think of mourning, we normally think of the process that surrounds death, the falling asleep of someone. The process of grief.

And we all know that Jesus can give us comfort in the mourning and grieving process, because of our belief in the resurrection.

But as usual, Jesus wants to take us a little deeper today.

There is a different more lasting kind of mourning that I think Jesus is pointing us to today.

It is the mourning related to sin.

In the text, the word signifying to mourn is — grief manifested; too deep for concealment. Hence it is often joined with κλαίειν, to weep audibly. This verb “is most frequent in the lxx for mourning for the dead, and for the sorrows and sins of others” (McNeile). “There can be no comfort where there is no grief” (Bruce).

 

Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted — This “mourning” must not be taken loosely for that feeling which is wrung from men under pressure of the ills of life, nor yet strictly for sorrow on account of committed sins.

Evidently it is that entire feeling which the sense of our spiritual poverty begets; and so the second beatitude is but the complement of the first.

The one is the intellectual, the other the emotional aspect of the same thing. It is poverty of spirit that says, “Woe is me, I am undone”; and it is the mourning which this causes that makes it break forth in the form of a lamentation – “Woe is me! for I am undone.”

Faith, according to the Bible, is neither a set of intellectual convictions nor a bundle of emotional feelings, but a compound of both, the former giving birth to the latter. Thus closely do the first two beatitudes cohere. The mourners shall be “comforted.”

Sowing in tears, they reap even here in joy.

Still, all present comfort, even the best, is partial, interrupted, short-lived.

But the days of our mourning shall soon be ended, and then God shall wipe away all tears from our eyes.

Then, in the fullest sense, shall the mourners be “comforted.”

St. Paul- 2Co 7:10 For godly sorrow works repentance unto salvation, a repentance which brings no regret: but the sorrow of the world works death.

 

As the deepest poverty lies in the sphere of the spirit, so the deepest mourning lies there also. All other mourning is but partial and slight compared with this

Pro 18:14 -The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a broken spirit who can bear?

 

Where does this mourning arise?

  1. There is a mourning arising from a sense of having offended God.
  2. Those who mourn under the afflicting dispensations of God’s providence.
  3. Mourning from the realization that we are in exile due to our own sin, that the whole cosmos is wailing due to sin and cries out for redemption.
  4. Sorrow because of the sins that we see around us (Jer. 9:18; Psalm 119:36). Sins of the world, and sins of the Church-inconsistency, etc.
  5. Sorrow because of the little progress of Christianity.
  6. That we are able to do so little.
  7. Sorrow that makes one sometimes long to be “absent from the body,” etc.

 

Recall the godly sorrow of David (Ps. 51:4).

The same kind was that of the woman who “was a sinner,” and whose conversion is briefly related by St. Luke (chap. 7.).

Peter mourned when his Lord looked on him after his cruel denial. He went out and “wept bitterly.”

 

Our tears must, make us more holy. The waters of holy mourning are like the river Jordan, wherein Naaman washed, and was cleansed of his leprosy.

Our tears must be joined with hatred of sin. We must not only abstain from sin, but abhor it. The dove hates the least feather of the hawk; a true mourner hates the least motion to sin.

Our tears must be joined with restitution. If we have eclipsed the good name of others, we are bound to ask them forgiveness; if we have wronged them by unjust, fraudulent dealing, we must make them compensation.

Our tears should lead us to a good confession.

Bring your mourning to Christ, He is the comforter and healer. He raises up.

Confession needs to become more popular in this parish.

Confession for a Christian is not optional.

The number one error people make is keeping it all inside. Dealing with the mourning by distraction. By focusing on other things.

It is a gift. Repentance is a gift from God. Do not spurn it.

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How Poor Are You? October 1, 2017

The Reading of the Second Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians

Brethren, we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will live in them and move among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

Therefore, come out from them, and be separate from them,” says the Lord, “and touch nothing unclean; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke.

The Lord said: “As you wish that men would do to you, do so to them.  If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you?  For even sinners love those who love them.  And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you?  For even sinners do the same.

And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you?  Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again.  But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He is kind to the ungrateful and the selfish.  Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.”

 

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one God, Amen!

Both our readings this day remind us of what a Christian looks like. Both readings give us Christianity 101, boot camp teaching. How should we then live….

The Epistle calls us to holiness, come out from them and be separate from them, this is the meaning of holiness. Set apart. God promises to live with and among His people. Not distant and far away. He promises to be as close as a loving father, calling us His children. Because this is true, cleanse yourselves!

The Gospel sets a high standard, not to be like sinners, those who don’t claim to follow God.

Today, in light of these instructions, I want to look at the Lord’s teaching to all of us in the Sermon on the Mount. These are the teachings of Jesus to His people and they fill this out for us, giving it a different light.

So let’s look at Matthew 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

We sing this every Sunday.

So here is the question—how poor are you?

Taking a closer look at this, the Lord Jesus is saying, those who inherit the Kingdom of Heaven will be poor in spirit. They will have poverty of spirit.

What might this mean? If you want to have something you have to know what that thing is.

Lets start with this. Poverty of spirit means I have poverty in the eyes of God.

Let me read to you from Isaiah 6

Isa 6:1 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.

This is Isaiah in the presence of God, having a vision of God. He describes it the best he can.

How does Isaiah respond?

Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.

This is the response of a man with poverty of spirit.

What you see is that he realizes he has nothing to offer God. Poverty is not having anything. Empty hands when we approach God. We have nothing to offer Him.

Why does Jesus say that those who are poor in spirit have the Kingdom of God?

Those who have empty hands are ready to receive.

In comparison to God, Isaiah knew he had nothing, that he was nothing but dust and ashes.

You see, if we come to God offering him anything of ourselves, we cannot receive because our hands are already full.

Jesus said, Mark 2:17 “They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

If you don’t realize that you are sick, then you don’t have need of healing. Isaiah knew he needed God.

We can only approach God by first realizing that He made us, that we are sick with sin, that we need His healing, that we have nothing to give Him to pay for the healing.

There is an old poem that says Nothing in my hands I bring, simply to your cross I cling.

This is what is happening with the Pubican and Pharisee, one is full of himself, the Publican has empty hands, receives forgiveness.

This is what is happening with the Good Samaritan, we are lying in the ditch, beat up, helpless, nearly dead. What can that man offer to the Samaritan? Nothing. That is us. We have nothing to offer to pay for our healing.

There is a blessing here for you today if you feel inadequate.

There is a blessing here for you today if you feel unworthy.

There is a blessing here for you today if you realize your spiritual poverty.

You are ready to receive a great blessing from God, by pure Grace.

Grace is often hard for people to trust. We are a wary people.

We have been taught that there is no free lunch, you can’t get something for nothing. If it sounds too good to be true, it’s not true.

People resist the Grace of God because we want to pay for something of value.

But what can we pay for salvation?

If I could buy it, I wouldn’t need God.

And that is where many people end up, I don’t need God.

Their hands are full, they don’t have the Kingdom of heaven because they are trying to pay for it.

SOOO, how poor are you?

We bring only our brokenness, our weariness, our heartache. We come to the Giver of Life and like the tax collector in the temple we say, Lord, be merciful to me a sinner.

When we get this, when we embrace our spiritual poverty; we become grateful, generous, blessed.

We become like Him. Then we can fulfill the readings today and become Holy, filled with His holiness.

Amen.

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The Good Shepherd

Psalm 23- 4 Traits of God

 In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one God.  Amen.

Today we hear about the calling of the disciples. Fishermen becoming saints by faithfully (most of the time) following their Savior.

Fishermen were hard working men, it was a tough job, long hours of back-breaking work, tough on the hands and the back, pulling heavy nets up into the boat.

It is interesting to me that the text says Jesus taught them in their boat, putting Himself at the level of the people, and He taught them from the boat, pushed out a little way on the water.

You can imagine the crowd sitting on the bank of the lake, looking out on the lake to hear Jesus.

The text says that after teaching them is when He told them to push the boat out to catch some fish. What had He been teaching them? We are not told.

It seems like putting out to get the fish was a teaching moment based on what He had taught them, as if to make it clear what He had said.

I would like to know what He was teaching! Something having to do with the Heavenly Father taking care of them when times look desperate? What a sermon illustration that must have been!!

I am thinking that because Jesus quotes from the Psalms more than any other book, maybe we could look at Psalm 23(24) to learn more about our Savior. There is a common theme of God as Shepherd in the N.T. It is a motif which would have resonated with this audience.

  1. My Shepherd

[1] The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want; [2] he makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters; [3] he restores my soul.

Jesus is the shepherd, we are the sheep. It works.

When Jesus is our shepherd we can be ok with being sheep.

Sheep need a shepherd, as sheep, we aren’t able to make it without a shepherd.

We tend to wander around looking for the next nice pasture, not noticing the cliff, or the wolf nearby. We aren’t always much smarter than real sheep.

Jesus, the Good Shepherd of John 10 is aware when we are distracted, when we are in danger, when we need a directing nudge, or a little discipline.

I shall not want-I have all I need; I can lack nothing

He makes me lie down in green pastures-makes me-brings me to the place where there are green pastures, He knows where they are, so that we can lie down

Still waters and green pastures are an image of peace, calm, plenty, rest, refreshment

Restores my soul- why do I need this?

I put all my energy into other things, I need to get away to refocus, to relax, to refresh

N.B.–Many times Jesus went off alone to pray, solitude is important for developing a healthy soul, for refining the conscience. If Jesus, our Creator and the Sovereign God needed to be alone, we do as well, even more so.

How are you doing with getting alone? Do you ever have solitude?

How do you restore your soul? Just as your physical body needs recreation, refreshment, so does your soul.

Your conscience needs regular contact with the Shepherd to recognize His voice and follow Him. (cf. John 10:16)

Again, the shepherd takes care of my needs, physical and spiritual

  1. My Protector

He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. [4] Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.

He leads, the shepherd takes where He has already been, He knows the way, it is safe, He is not guessing, He is never surprised. He isn’t just hoping it will be ok. How wonderful that this shepherd makes no mistakes. We aren’t worried about following Him! He, because He knows the way, saves us completely. He has taken all of humanity upon Himself, in order to redeem it, restore it, sanctify it. Amazing!

We never have to worry about where He is leading us.

It may not be comfortable, but it will be safe.

When it is not comfortable, He is still with us; leading us. He is with us with His strength.

Thy Rod and staff, He protects us from predators, wolves, false teachers, we won’t recognize their voice, if we follow the voice of the Shepherd, we are safe. If we stay in the Church we are safe.

 My provider

[5] Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies; thou anointest my head with oil, my cup overflows.

Even when life seems overwhelming, when surrounded by enemies (demons) He takes care of us and anoints us with power, we have all we need.  The anointing denotes healing, the table, communion and the wedding supper of the Lamb.

The shepherd protects the sheep from wolves, shelters them in storms, they hear His voice and are comforted. He defends them from all predators. The shepherd is strong to save. He sets before us a table of plenty, bread and wine, Body and Blood. Our enemies are helpless before Him. If our hunger is rightly directed, we will be satisfied by the Shepherd.

  1. My Savior

[6] Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

By following the Lord, our Shepherd, we know that His mercy and goodness (righteousness) are with us. And we have eternal life. We aren’t aimlessly wandering in the wilderness, we are going home. The Shepherd has a fold for His sheep that is beyond our belief or comprehension.

This is a picture of Paradise, heaven, the Kingdom of God, this is our hope, our hearts longing.

Are you following this shepherd? Do you need to change who you are listening to? Whom you are following? Rearrange some priorities?

Don’t lose hope, He called fishermen to be Apostles, He takes sheep and makes them saints. Work on letting Him restore Your Soul. Lie down in His green pastures, prepare yourself for the table He has spread for you.

The Shepherd is our Lord, The Shepherd is our hope, the Shepherd is our Savior. Follow Him and be saved!

Glory to Him forever!

Fr. Stephen Lourie

 

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Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Glory to Jesus Christ!

 Today we are still in the season of the Cross, the Holy Gospel calls us again to take up our cross and follow Christ. This we joyfully do, a want to do, or think we do.

Our faith can seem so weak sometimes.

Today I want to encourage you, remind you, that our Savior is faithful, that He can be trusted. That if and when we do take up our cross, we will not be left to carry it on our own.

I want to talk about two little words and look into the Holy Scriptures to do this.

Let us first look into the book of Genesis. I hope you are familiar with the book of Genesis, indeed, the entire Old Testament.

I think, apart from the Psalms, it is my favorite Old Covenant book.

I encourage you, if you have not read Genesis, if it has been a while since you read Genesis, get it out and dig in.

What are the two little words? But God.

First we will look at the Patriarch Joseph.

I know you remember the story of Joseph

You remember how he was the youngest, how his brothers developed envy of Joseph and over time this grew into hatred. Until finally, they had planned to kill him. The oldest brother, Rueben, suggested that rather than kill him, it would be better to put him down a well and pretend they had killed him, and they ended up selling him to slave traders who carried him into Egypt. Joseph had many trials in Egypt, many temptations.

He trusted God, did not carry a root of bitterness about what his brothers had done, was falsely accused, thrown into prison, while innocent, and because he continued to be faithful to the God of his fathers, who was faithful to him, was exalted, through humility, to be the second in command in all of Egypt.

Eventually, (I am greatly abbreviating the story for the sake of time, please read it all yourself) all his brothers came to Egypt because there was a famine in Palestine where they lived, but Egypt, thanks to Joseph, had lots of grain.

In the course of coming to ask for grain they meet Joseph, but don’t recognize him. They discuss how their starvation may be because of what they had done to their brother.

Joseph, decides to reveal himself to his brothers. Then this…

In forgiveness, Joseph says to them, Genesis 50-So they sent a message to Joseph, saying, “Your father gave this command before he died, `Say to Joseph, Forgive, I pray you, the transgression of your brothers and their sin, because they did evil to you.’

And now, we pray you, forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father.”

Joseph wept when they spoke to him. His brothers also came and fell down before him, and said, “Behold, we are your servants.”

But Joseph said to them, “Fear not, for am I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.

So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.” Thus he reassured them and comforted them. So Joseph dwelt in Egypt, he and his father’s house; and Joseph lived a hundred and ten years.

 

Secondly, lets look at King David.

David also feared for his life. King Saul, also jealous of David was trying to kill him. Why? David had killed Goliath. David was the people’s favorite. Saul was so frustrated that is says in 1 Samuel 23- And David remained in the strongholds in the wilderness, in the hill country of the Wilderness of Ziph.

And Saul sought him every day, but God did not give him into his hand. And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s. But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me.

David trusted God, no matter the circumstances. He had ample opportunity to take the life of Saul and establish himself as king. He did not. David trusted God to work it out. Psalm 73:26  My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever.

St. Peter in the New Testament came to a crisis point in the development of the Church. He was committed to the Mosaic law as the avenue for the Gentiles to take, before they could become Christians.

He had a conflict with Paul about this. Then, Act 10:28 -And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.

The Apostles and disciples thought the Messiah had failed in dying, Acts 13:30 – Though they could charge him with nothing deserving death, yet they asked Pilate to have him killed. And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a tomb. But God raised him from the dead;

God takes care of us in temptation, just as He did with them. 1Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

Remember when Daniel the prophet got in trouble with the King for not worshipping the idol? He was thrown in the lion’s den.

Daniel 6:18 -And the king departed to his house, and lay down fasting, and they brought him no food; and his sleep departed from him. But God shut the mouths of the lions, and they not molest Daniel.

But God

But God

We could not save ourselves, but God acted.

We could not stop sinning, but God made a way for us through His Church.

We could not love our enemies, but God loved us when we were His enemies and showed us the way.

The National Hurricane Center said we were all going to be wiped by Hurricane Irma, But God, moved Irma at the last minute.

 

Where is God in your life? Can you tell a story of a time when it was-but God– when the Lord did something amazing for you? You should have a But God story about your own life.

Can you think of one to pass on to your children and grandchildren? Maybe more than one?

When we first got married, we thought we would wait a while to have children, but God had a better idea. We got pregnant in three months.

When we had three children, it had been eight years, we thought we were done. But God had a better idea, Now we have four.

What is your But God story?

 

Or are you instead asking Why didn’t God? Perhaps you are angry about what you think God should have done? Maybe you are stuck on asking Why?

Wrong question. Questions that begin with why many times have no answer. And if God did tell you why, you wouldn’t be satisfied. You wouldn’t like the answer. Stop asking why and start asking How?

How can God use this situation for His glory? How can I be obedient to Him now? How can I walk in the Spirit in this time?

In the future—when you are faced with a great difficulty in your life, will it be- “I know that in the past, I had some But God moments. So now I can face the future and it becomes, But God can…..”? Or will you become bitter about what didn’t happen?

We are called by the Gospel today to deny ourselves, take up our Cross and follow Him. Looking back you know He can be trusted, it might be hard, but God, is faithful.

Trust Him to do what is His will for you.

To Him be glory, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Fr. Stephen Lourie

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