March 29, 2013

O God of Eternal Truth

O God of Eternal Truth
(A Trinitarian Easter Prayer)

O God of eternal truth
Three-in-One: Father, Son, Holy Spirit
Essence of Love, Holy, Righteous

You created all that is
You redeem the sinful
You bring all things to their end

You created us to be good
Adam & Eve chose to be evil
We have all sinned like our parents

You chose Israel to be your people
But Israel chose to turn away
You promised You would fulfill what we could not

In the seed of Eve, you promised victory
In the seed of Abraham, you promised justification
In the seed, Jesus Christ, your promise is fulfilled

Father, on your Son, You placed the sin of all
Son, on the cross, You paid the complete price
Spirit, in the resurrection, You vindicated the Son

You sent the prophets to proclaim the Promise will come
You sent the apostles to proclaim the Promise has come
You send us who believe to proclaim He will come again

O God of eternal truth, Holy Father
Enable us to be faithful witnesses through your Word
Enable them to be true believers by your Spirit

O God of eternal truth, we worship You
O Son, God in human flesh, we exalt You
O Spirit, eternal love, we glorify You

Fort Worth, Texas
Easter Sunday 2013

March 10, 2013

The hungry Sheep look up, and are not fed

In "Lycidas," lines 108-31, John Milton included a scathing condemnation of false ministers of the gospel through a speaker, "The Pilot of the Galilean lake," a cipher for Peter, the leading apostle. I encourage my brethren in the gospel ministry to read carefully the accounts regarding false prophets in Deuteronomy 18:20-22; 1 Kings 22:13-35; Jeremiah 23:9-40 and 28:1-17; and Ezekiel 13:1-23 and 34:1-22. Consider also the Lord's warning about false teachers and messiahs in Matthew 24:4-5, 11, as well as Paul's anathemas against perverting the gospel in Galatians 1:6-9, and Peter's searing description of the false prophets in 2 Peter 2:1-22, or John's withering denunciation of deceptive teachers who deny Jesus is God come in the flesh in 1 John 2:18-22. We teachers of the gospel are held to a higher standard, and that is a cause for intense inspection of one's message and demeanor.
Last came, and last did go,
The Pilot of the Galilean lake,
Two massy Keyes he bore of metals twain,
(The Golden opes, the Iron shuts amain)
He shook his Miter'd locks, and stern bespake,
How well could I have spar'd for thee young swain,
Anow of such as for their bellies sake,
Creep and intrude, and climb into the fold?
Of other care they little reck'ning make,
Then how to scramble at the shearers feast,
And shove away the worthy bidden guest.
Blind mouthes! that scarce themselves know how to hold
A Sheep-hook, or have learn'd ought els the least
That to the faithfull Herdmans art belongs!
What recks it them? What need they? They are sped;
And when they list, their lean and flashy songs
Grate on their scrannel Pipes of wretched straw,
The hungry Sheep look up, and are not fed,
But swoln with wind, and the rank mist they draw,
Rot inwardly, and foul contagion spread:
Besides what the grim Woolf with privy paw
Daily devours apace, and nothing sed,
But that two-handed engine at the door,
Stands ready to smite once, and smite no more. 
May the Lord preserve us from false teachers and grant us true preachers of the gospel of life.