Saturday, September 7, 2019

Letter A - Inspirational Living





Letter A - Inspirational Living

Abundance

The righteous will see and fear; they will laugh at you, saying, “Here now is the man who did not make God his stronghold but trusted in his great wealth and grew strong by destroying others!”  (Ps 52:6-7).

People must make God their strength and not trust in an abundance of earthly riches.  When we love the Lord he will preserve and plentifully reward us.  He blesses us when we give bread to the poor.  If we lack wisdom and ask him, he will bless us liberally.  It is God who provides all grace, and makes us sufficient in every good work.  He prepares a table in the presence of our enemies, anoints our heads with oil, and our cup runs over: “Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Ps 23:6).

Adoption

And, “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty” (2 Cor 6:18).

Jesus tells us to love our enemies and pray for those who curse and persecute us, so that we may be sons and daughters of our Father in heaven.  As we pray we are taught to say, “Our Father in heaven” (Mt 6:9).

People are advised to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.  We must not think about what we shall eat, drink, or wear.  For our heavenly Father knows that we need these things.  But as many who receive him, to them he gives the power to become children of God for those who believe in his name.

Many who are led by the Spirit are children of God.  This Spirit that we have received is not one of bondage, but of adoption which enables us to cry out, “Abba, Father.”  He affirms that if children, then we are joint-heirs with Christ.  If we share his suffering we may also be glorified together with him.  The Lord disciplines those he loves and scourges every child who he receives.

Adultery

“You shall not commit adultery” (Ex 20:14).

God warns us that we shall not lie carnally with our neighbor’s wife to defile ourselves with her.  He said that whosoever divorces his wife, and marries another commit adultery against her.  If a woman divorces her husband, and marries another she commits adultery.  A man may also commit adultery in his heart if he looks at a woman to lust after her.  He will however commit adultery if he is bound by law as long as she lives.  If the husband is dead a woman is released from the law with him.  But if her husband is alive, and she marries another man she will be called an adulteress.  But if he dies she is free from that law to marry another man again.

Affliction

I know that the Lord secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy (Ps 140:12).

The Psalmist declared, “Trouble and distress have come upon me, but your commandments give me delight” (Ps 119:143).  People are reminded that although they walk through the valley of the shadow of death they will fear no evil, for God is with them.  His rod and staff are comforting.  We must not fear for he is with us, so be not dismayed because he is our God.  He will strengthen us with his right hand.

In The Beatitudes Jesus Christ taught:
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.  Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you (Mt 5:3-12).

Alms

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured in your lap.  For with the measure  you use, it will be measured to you (Lk 6:38).

The Lord said that we should honor us with possessions and the first fruits of all our increase.  So that our barns will be filled with plenty and our vats will overflow with new wine.  Believers are further told not to despite their neighbor’s sins, but when we show mercy on the poor they are happy.   People are to give alms of what they have and all will be well with them.  They are encouraged to sell whatever they have to build up a treasure in heaven that does not fail, where no thief approaches, or moth destroys.

Concerning the widow’s mite the Lord explained how this poor woman has cast in the collection plate more than all those with their riches.  We therefore mustn’t do our charitable deeds before men or women to be seen by them.  Otherwise, we have no reward from our Father in heaven.

Ambition 

What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? (Mt 16:26).

People consist of physical and non-physical characteristics.  Their souls are immaterial parts of their person-hood.  To lose one’s soul is tantamount to eternal death and damnation.  For, believers who have found grace, and forgiveness through Christ are assured of everlasting lives.  This is the most noble and dignified ambition of Christian believers.  It is the fulfillment of God’s plans for his creation.  It is therefore wise to resist temptations for worldly riches, honor, and glamour, by turning toward our savior  and loving God.

Angels 

No harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent.  For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways (Ps 91:10-11).

God’s mighty angels exist among us and are lights that we call guardian angles.  These are bright angelic spirits on missions to guide and protect us from harm.  Some appear in human form, while others are benevolent spirits.  These amiable companions defend us in the best possible ways.  Unlike the angels of darkness they perpetuate what is best for our lives.

Anger 
A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel (Prov 15:18).

Much of chapter 15 of Proverbs is about speech communication.  A gentle or conciliating answer prevents wrath.  If however our response is harsh and ill-timed it stirs up personal emotions, and soon this can turn into an argument.  Hot-tempered people can stir up strive where there is none.  A wise person is able to soothe contention and cool it down once it starts.  Often, it is not what we say, but how we say it that prompts an unpredictable answer.        

Anointing 
How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him (Acts 10:38).

The gospel message went out to the Jews first.  Jesus is however Lord of all – Jew and Gentile alike.  His audiences heard the story about his baptism by John, the Baptist that spread throughout Judea.  Jesus was anointed by the Holy Spirit and lived a life of selfish service.  God was with him.  He did good works healing those who were sick, and oppressed by the devil.

Apostasy
See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God  (Heb 3:12).

The original recipients of this letter were believers who were addressed as brethren.  These were in danger of turning away from the faith and had to be on guard against having pernicious hearts.  For, if they continued down this road, God would forsake them unless they repented.  They were therefore urged to remain committed to the assembly, to urge each other in faith, love, good works, and from falling away. 

Their unbelief would be the distrust in the truthfulness of God's word.  The brethren must therefore hold on to their faith to the end of their lives.  They ought not to forsake Christ, for other religions that do not have the answers to sin.  This was their duty, for to fall away was to be hardened by deceitfulness, that looks beautiful but is deadly sin.

Apostles 

Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles (Acts 2:43).

Those assembled in the temple felt a sense of reverence and awe at the wonders and signs of the apostles.  These were amazing miracles, for their hearts were quickened when they were struck with bewilderment.  The apostles were the conduits through whom these amazing things were happening.
Much of what occurred was beyond their expectations, but essential for their spiritual growth as a church.  Through these revelations the apostles were able to validate their divine, and ordained positions as instruments of God.  To the attendees these wonders, and signs attested to the truthfulness of being witnesses for Christ

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