“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6: all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
COLLECT – THIRD SUNDAY AFTER EASTER.
ALMIGHTY God, who shewest to them that be in error the light of thy truth, to the intent that they may return into the way of righteousness; (Grant unto all them that are admitted into the fellowship of Christ’s religion, that they may eschew those things that are contrary to their profession, and follow all such things as are agreeable to the same; through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Christ is the light of the world, and all who believe in Him, shall’ not abide in darkness, but shall have the light of life. The light of truth is given to the faithful, and enjoyed only by those who are born of the incorruptible word of truth, which abideth for ever, and as “the path of the just is like the shining light, which shineth more and more unto the perfect day,” we daily sup¬plicate the grace and guidance of the Spirit of truth, that we may be delivered from every de¬scription of error, and follow those things which are consistent with our high and heavenly calling. Reflections on the COLLECTS of the Church of England (1854)
My favorite of all hymns (forgive me Army comrades) is the Navy Hymn, Eternal Father Strong to Save. It is the most powerful to me spiritually of all hymns both in lyrics and in the sense of the accompanying tune. It reinforces the supreme doctrinal truth that God is our Father in Eternity, and His arm is not shortened to save us in becoming His sons and daughters. “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:17-18)
You will note that the Fatherhood of God is not universally granted. There is that stipulation that we must “come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing.” From whom should we come out? We depart from the eternally dark night of the children of perdition whose father is the devil and “. . . . lead a new life following the Commandments of God and walking from thenceforth in His Holy Ways.” Invitation to the Lord’s Table, 1928 Book of Common Prayer.
Like every family since Eden, all children have a Father – even the children of perdition have a father. Remember that there are only two families on earth, and every person born of woman belongs to one or the other.
In His harsh, and not politically correct, admonition of the Jews, Christ said: “. . . If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” (John 8:42-45) And at another time, He again condemned the Jewish rulers: “Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?” (Matthew 23:33) Can you imagine the outrage at CNN if that were a Trump Tweet!
My father was an amateur musician who used to sing to me with his guitar at night when I was experiencing, what our physician labeled, ‘growing pains’ in my shins. It reminds me now of the Eternal Father who also gives us songs to endure the dark hours of our lives: “ . . .Where is God my maker, who giveth songs in the night; Who teacheth us more than the beasts of the earth, and maketh us wiser than the fowls of heaven?” (Job 35:10-11) Our God is a Father who will never leave or forsake us. He is forever a strong defense for us against the world. And He is with us through the darkness hours of the night.
We are children of Light and we are to walk in the Light of our Father’s countenance: “Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of thy countenance.” (Psalm 89:15) But the children of darkness hate the light as the snail hates the sun. “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” (John 3:19) That LIGHT is Christ! “In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” John 1:4-5 (KJV) “That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” (John 1:9)
It should not seem strange that we are the reflected Light of Christ in this world,. (see Matthew 5:14) because Jesus is the Source-Light of the World. (see John 8:12) If our God is the Father of Lights, and we are His Children, surely we must be light-bearers of Christ while in the world.“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the FATHER OF LIGHTS, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” (James 1:17)
Before the first beam of light, or the first atomic particle, there was God. He brooded over the expanse of darkness that covered what would become, at His Word, the earth. His first Creation in the world that was then standing in darkness was not rocks or sand or mud which are all tangible; but He created Light as His first Creative work of art. “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.” (Genesis 1:1-5)
From that first creative act until today, God has been creating light where darkness has pervasively haunted the hearts of men since Adam’s shameful Fall.
You are aware, I am sure, that the Triune God was present at the beginning (and end) of Creation! God the Father spoke, and the Word responded with action. The Holy Spirit moved upon the face of the waters, and The Word brought the Light of the World to rule over Creation (our Lord). There is much more, such as the meaning of the word for God (Elohim) used in verse one which is a Hebrew peculiarity that means “more than one, in One”.
Christ did not come into existence at Bethlehem, or earlier in Nazareth at conception. This was the outward expression of His incarnation; however, the Lord Jesus Christ has existed with the Father throughout the aeons of eternity past. He is the Alpha and Omega – the first and the last of the Greek alphabet (and every word in between). But He is also Alpha to Zulu (A to Z) in the English alphabet, and every other of the tongues of men. “Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.” (Matthew 23:34-35)
Our Lord is the Ancient of Days, and created Day itself. He created all things by the power of His Word – and He is the WORD! (see John 1:4) He is the Ancient Landmark which must not be moved at all else every property line becomes corrupt. Being the WORD Incarnate, every feeble and wicked attempt to translate the Lord as the only Begotten Son of God out of the specious and salacious new versions is a direct attack upon the Person and Divinity of Christ. Amazingly, these new versions are based on the same errant manuscript evidence as the Christ-denying New World Translation of the Jehovah Witnesses. “Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.” (Proverbs 22:28)
The Fatherhood of God existed in eternity past before the worlds were made. If our faith and religion is not primitive, it is not of God, for God is eternal in past, present, and future. Our ways must be the ‘Old Ways.’ Our paths must be the ‘Old Paths”.
Our Beloved Father has a message for our nation today, and to every nation upon the face of the earth: “Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.” And how do we respond? I am afraid we have responded in the same vane as Israel of old: “But they said, We will not walk therein.” Jer 6:16 (KJV)
Most days of the week, I endeavor to write devotions based on God’s Word. I do not write to advance my own intents and purposes, but believe that I am led by the Holy Spirit in writing. Yet many could care less for God’s Word. The pot is too busy to hold the nourishing water of the Potter who has so gloriously molded the pot. We are hurtling through space at light speed, and our time on earth is comparable to our speed. Soon, there will be no more time for those who chance to read this devotion. Remember, friends, this solemn counsel of God: “ . . .All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.” (Isaiah 40:6-8)