“I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth,” by Louis A. Dole

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“I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth.” – Matthew 25:25

Readings

1 Samuel 17:1-11; 26-37 · Matthew 25:14-30 · Psalm 139

Sermon

Faith is an important factor in religion, and in everything of life. We do not look for victory where there is no courage. We would not trust an army to the command of one who did not believe that he could succeed. What we accomplish with what is committed to us, natural or spiritual, external or internal, depends primarily upon our faith.

Faith gives us the impulse to try. In trying we discover power and realize possibilities that before were concealed. Fear keeps us from knowing what we can do and what the Lord can give. The Word has much to say about fear and faith. They are so elementary, they lie so fundamentally at the beginning of success or failure that we need to know them from the first.

Fear and faith are opposites like darkness and light, for in ratio to the presence of one, the other vanishes.

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“He said unto the man, Stretch forth thy hand. And he did so: and his hand was restored whole as the other,” by Louis A. Dole

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“He said unto the man, Stretch forth thy hand. And he did so: and his hand was restored whole as the other.” – Luke 6:10

Readings

Joshua 1:1-18 · Luke 6:1-16 · Psalm 37:1-11

Sermon

At best the living God is a dim reality to us in comparison to what He might be. In its childhood humanity was near to God. They of most ancient times felt His presence operating in them. They were conscious that His love in their hearts was from Him. Their intelligence was the light from the love that was within. The two worlds that are within us were then in harmony. The natural world reflected the spiritual world within. It awakened the higher life of the soul, and opened the spiritual paradise where they communed with God.

They saw, when the clouds yielded their moisture, how their God revived and nourished them from His Spirit by the doctrine that dropped as the rain and the speech that distilled as the dew, like the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass. The wind that bloweth where it listeth was to them the spirit of God enriching the heart. The first rays of the rising sun as they came streaming in over the horizon were to them a vivid symbol of how they received within them the light of intelligence from heaven’s sun. As the sun rose full and clear, driving back the darkness of night to usher in a new day, they thought of the glories of another and higher world than this which the sun of righteousness ushered in, and for which they were preparing, and they felt new vigor. Nature, the unwritten Word of God, was to them a living language through which heaven spoke. In that spiritual Garden of Eden God walked and talked with them, and they were near to Him.

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“The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever,” by Louis A. Dole

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“The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.” – Deuteronomy 29:29

Readings

Deuteronomy 29:10-29 · Luke 14:1-14 · Psalm 14

Sermon

The course of history is determined by the ideas which men hold and carry out into life. There are various systems of thought seeking control in the world. Socialism, Communism, Pacifism, and so on, together with the various religions, are such systems of thought. Each claims to seek the common welfare. With the exception of the religions, however, none look to a power outside of man himself.

We cannot get along without knowledge. We need to know the nature of the world and the meaning of life. And if we are to be inwardly at peace, our thoughts must be harmonious. There are conflicts in ourselves, as well as in the world in which we live. The forces which have divided men are at work in us, and unless we can subordinate them to some unifying principle, they will work havoc in our lives.

This need has existed from the beginning and the Lord has provided for it. He has progressively revealed His Word as men were able to receive it. While this revelation was yet in progress, many things were but partially made known which afterwards were more plainly revealed. Revelation has been sufficient to meet the needs of every age.

While the great event of the Lord’s incarnation and the light which it shed into the world were yet in the future, Moses could not be seen without the veil upon his face, nor could the later prophets be perceived more clearly, since upon the glory of revealed truth the Lord had placed a covering, This obscurity is not confined to the Old Testament, but extends also to the New. What is revealed in the Gospels and in the Apocalypse respecting the future states of the first Christian Church and the Second Coming of the Lord has been as little understood by Christians as the predictions of Moses and the prophets were by the Jews, and it can now be clearly discerned only because the events predicted have taken place and the meaning of the prophecies has been disclosed. These things, with the spiritual sense of the Word whose opening accompanied and reveals the Second Coming of the Lord, are secrets of revelation itself, which time discloses. There are, however, secrets which have no place in revelation.

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“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life,” by Louis A. Dole

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“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.” – John 6:47

Readings

Isaiah 43:1-13 · John 6:35-47 · Psalm 27

Sermon

This passage is one among many in the Scriptures which teach the importance of believing in the Lord Jesus Christ. In some of the others the doctrine is stated with far greater emphasis than it is here, for they affirm that faith in the Lord is not only a means, but that it is an absolutely essential means of attaining eternal happiness. For example: “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him.” We cannot pass by such sayings as being of no consequence to us or as not applying to us. Perhaps at this very moment we are refusing to believe in the Lord, when we might do so if we would.

The key to the whole matter is to be found in a true definition of faith. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.” What are we to understand by believing on Him who spoke these words? A simple and obvious answer is that to believe on the Lord is to trust Him, to have confidence in Him and in His teachings, to put oneself under His guidance, to walk – or at least to endeavor to walk – in the ways which He points out. All these things are essential to genuine belief. If any one of them is wanting, the faith which we profess is mere pretence and mockery.

In other words, belief in the Lord is something more than the intellectual acceptance of a certain form of doctrine concerning Him. Even though the doctrine is true, to believe in it in this way is a very different thing from believing in the Lord as a living, ever-present Savior. This difference is as great as that between knowing a person himself and knowing certain facts about him while the person himself is unknown. Though all knowledge concerning the Lord has a value which should not be underestimated, the mere assenting to it is not the faith described in our text and in other similar passages of Scripture. There is a significance in the expression “He that believeth on me” as distinguished from “He that believeth what is said concerning me.”

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