“My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord,” by Louis A. Dole

Read the original sermon in PDF format

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:8-9

Readings

Isaiah 55 · Mark 12:13-17, 28-34 · Psalm 25

Sermon

God created the heavens and the earth. In doing this He had eternal ends in view. This and other earths were formed and men created upon them. Generation after generation of men are there formed and gathered into the spiritual world. There, if they have lived rightly, the Lord forms them into heavens, where they are being continually perfected and formed more and more into His image and likeness.

We are born knowing nothing either of this world or of the spiritual world. But we are endowed with the capacity to develop and to learn. We are born without knowledge. We see very little, hear very little, and our sense of touch is dull. The only sense that is developed is that of taste. The babe feeds without instruction from the first hours of its life. At first we have no desires other than to receive pleasant sensations of warmth, to have small discomforts removed, and to satisfy the hunger. When external comfort is attained, we are content.

As we learn a little more, our desires enlarge. We are interested in various amusements. Toys become attractive, and a desire for knowing about things develops. We like to learn of all that is going on about us, and to try our hand at imitating what other people are doing.

In maturity the things at which we played in childhood we like to make real. We want a home of our own, we want to share in the work of the world. Such naturally are our goals, and such are our thoughts. We plan for them and work for them, always expecting to be satisfied, but never really content even when we obtain what we wanted: always seeing something beyond, which seems important to our full content. And even if we have all that we have learned to desire and enjoy, there is never complete satisfaction.

This is because the natural world is not all that there is. We are inmostly spiritual beings, and as the heavens are higher than the earth, so the Lord’s ways are higher than our ways. And the Lord’s providence is constantly operating to substitute His purposes for our purposes and His thoughts for our thoughts.

Please click here to read on.

Advertisements

“What think ye of Christ?” by Louis A. Dole

Read the original sermon in PDF format

“What think ye of Christ?” – Matthew 22:42

Readings

Isaiah 25 · Matthew 22:34-46 · Psalm 33

Sermon

This text follows the Lord’s answer to the Pharisees who, seeking to tempt Him, asked, “Which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus answered,

“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
“This is the first and great commandment,
“And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
“On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

Love to God and love to man are the sum of all revelation and the essence of all religion. As are the heart and lungs to the body, these two commandments are the vital principles on which the life of all the other parts depends. All other precepts spring from them and return to them again.

But why did the Lord follow this statement with the question, “What think ye of Christ?” and then point out that David called Him Lord? Who is this God who should be the primary object of our love? This is not an academic question, something to be debated by theologians in their ivory towers. If we do not know our God and His nature and purposes, how are we to know what we should love? On the church’s concept of God depends its very existence.

Please click here to read on.

The Mightiness of Love, by Louis A. Dole

Read the original sermon in PDF format

“Lovest thou me?” – John 21:16

Readings

Deuteronomy 32:1-14 · John 21:15-25 · Psalm 91

Sermon

These words, addressed in the first place to Simon Peter, are equally addressed to us all. Thrice uttered by the Lord in the presence of His disciples on the occasion of His last recorded conversation with them prior to His ascension, they would have a special claim to our consideration. The query, under the circumstances in which it was given, becomes the question of questions.

For love, we know, is the very life of man. Whatever the ruling love is such is the man himself. There is no human act or utterance which has not its origin in love. The desire for a thing is what leads to doing and planning it. Purpose is implied in every intentional or voluntary operation. And what are desire and purpose but phases or manifestations of love?

Moreover love is the life of our thoughts and the cause of them. Thus the inmost principle of our being is love, which, seeking to express itself or to come forth into visible and tangible existence, appears in various forms. It is embodied in the kind actions which make it felt by others, and also in the skill and wisdom whereby those actions are designed and executed. End, cause, and effect constitute a triad which repeats itself everywhere throughout the universe. From the end or purpose, by the cause or means, to the effect or result the creative work always advances, both in least things and in greatest. The same general order is observed, and the same general laws are operative in making, for example, a simple sound or gesture as in constructing the most complicated mechanism. Back of the thing produced is the thought that produced it, and back of the thought is the desire or affection which gave the original impulse.

So, reason and analyze as we may, when we retrace the stream of causation from outward phenomena to the center and source of their being, we at last invariably come to love. The case is the same whether we speak of substantial forms or of momentary actions: love is the prime cause of their existence.

Please click here to read on.

“Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself,” by Louis A. Dole

Read the original sermon in PDF format

“Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” Matthew 22:39

Readings

Deuteronomy 6:1-15 · Matthew 22:15-22, 34-44 · Psalms 123, 124, 125

Sermon

This text is part of the Lord’s answer to the question, “Which is the great commandment of the law?” It is recorded that the question was asked not for information but to tempt the Lord. Today people are prone to tempt the truth by trying to extort from the Word an answer to their questions that will enable them to evade the force of its injunctions.

The answer which the Lord gave settled once and for all the question as to the fundamental principles of religion. Love to God and to man are the sum of all revelation and the essence of all religion. They are the vital principles on which all else depends, and from which they draw their life. “On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Love to God is to be manifested in love to man. To love God is to love the attributes which constitute His nature. We love God when we love His goodness; and to speak truth from Him is to love His truth. To have respect to God in all that we love, think, and do is to love the Lord with all the heart, and with all the mind, and with all the strength.

Please click here to read on.