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Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 4 Treasures’ and neighbour love

Matthew 6: 24-34: e) Anxiety and neighbor love

|| Luke 12:22-31

MT6:24 “No one can slave for two masters,[1] for either he will hate one and love the other[2] or embrace[3] one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and Riches![4] MT6:25 For this I tell you: Do not be overly concerned[5] about your soul[6] as to what you might eat or what you might drink,[7] nor about your body as to clothing.[8] MT6:26 Look well to the birds[9] in the sky, they do not sow or reap. Nor do they gather into storage barns.[10] Your heavenly Father feeds them.[11] Are you that much different?[12] MT6:27 But, who among you can add one minute to your life-span[13] by being overly concerned?   MT6:28 And, why are you overly concerned about clothing? Learn something from how the flowers of the field[14] grow. They do not labor or spin.[15] MT6:29 But, I tell you: Solomon in all his glory[16] was not clothed as one of these. MT6:30 But, if The God clothes the fields of grass,[17] here today and tomorrow tossed in the oven, how much more you,[18] ones of little faith? MT6:31 So, do not be overly concerned,[19] saying, ‘What will we eat?’ Or, ‘What will we drink?’ Or, ‘What will we put on?’[20] MT6:32 For all these the Non-Jews overly seek.[21] Your heavenly Father knows you need all these.[22] MT6:33 But, you, seek first His Kingdom and righteousness[23] and all these will be added to you. MT6:34 So, do not be overly concerned about tomorrow.[24] For tomorrow will have its own concerns. The hardships of each day are enough![25]

[1] Two masters: Or, masters. 2 Timothy 2:4 expresses a similar idea by Paul.

[2] He will hate one and love the other: Various renderings are: TCNT: attach himself; BECK: be loyal to the one. Hate here means to love less of two, much as a man with two maidens to please. Woe to him if the other finds out. The disciple who slaves for Mammon, or sticks to riches by his conversation and agenda, though unknown to himself, despises his true Lord.

[3] Embrace: Or, “stick”. On the word “stick” see Deuteronomy 30:20 where it equals love and obedience. Rather than try to balance the two, God and Riches, the Friend of the Nazarene is better off sinning on the side of God and poverty than on the side of Riches and self. Better to die penniless with God as your Business Partner than end life wealthy with a lost soul as your only investment (Luke 12:20).

[4] God and Riches: It is not, “God or Riches,” but, “God and Riches.” The Nazarene says it cannot be done, though untold numbers of Christians have attempted it miserably (1 Timothy 6:7-10, 17-19). Various renderings are: KNX: you must serve God or money; you cannot serve both. This is an impossibility illustrated by the mental image of a poor servant running back and forth between the two demands of two different lords. He is obediently with the one when the other requires his service. Riches can easily become a taskmaster greater than God. Riches can become God itself.

In the modern Western capitalist world there are millions of Christians trying to do the very thing the Nazarene said cannot be done: serve God and Riches. There are those Prosperity Preachers who speak in the voice of Revelation 3:17 and who insist riches are proof of God’s blessing. They particularly encourage tithing and giving one’s money to them in promise of God’s blessing. The Nazarene Saint has only to look at the life-style of the Master and those early disciples to see what Jesus meant.

[5] Overly concerned: Various renderings are: KJ: take no thought for your life; WMS: stop worrying about your life; NEB: put away anxious thoughts. Stop! This is a negative command of the Nazarene, and based on John 15:14 and John 14:15, a failure to obey this directive proves one does not love him, nor is a friend of the Lord. To persist in anxiety and worry is a desertion of Christ. For those hapless and bedarkened souls who suffer physical and chemical ailments are captive to frightening insecurities and paranoia. Note Paul’s “secret” at Philippians 4:6, 12.

The affects of worry, anxiety, and being overly concerned about material matters, can have a strong influence on neighbor love, for one may be so occupied with these secular things as to ignore one’s neighbor.

[6] Soul: The Greek is PSYCHE and many translate this “life.” It is interesting that it is the “soul” linked to the functions of eating and drinking and then the “body” (SOMA) with clothing. In Hebrew and Greek the “soul” is the living, breathing creature itself and at death becomes “a dead soul.” (Leviticus 21:11; Numbers 6:6, 11: dead soul) To Paul the “soul” is the animal, physical, earthly, dusty, corruptible, mortal (1 Corinthians 15:42-49). See lexicons and dictionaries on “soul.”

[7] Drink: Usually this does not mean water but wine or milk as both were staples.

[8] Clothing: In the world of the Nazarene the majority of people possessed a single set of clothes meant to last a life-time. Note Matthew 5:40; 9:16, 20, 21; 11:8; 24:18; Luke 22:36; John 19:25. The “naked” state mentioned in Matthew 25:36 can infer improperly clothed for the conditions.

[9] Birds: In Luke 12:23, 24 these “birds” are “ravens,” the bird which Noah released first (Genesis 8:7), and which fed Elijah (1 Kings 17:4, 6). The raven is considered the smartest of birds, mate for life, and is the most wide-ranging of all birds. It is found on Mount Everest, in the worst of deserts, and the Arctic. Job 38:41 is a foreview of the Nazarene’s words,

‘Who provides the ravens food when its young cry to God for help?’

[10] They do not sow or reap. Nor do they gather into storage barns: According to the Nazarene birds do not toil, but they survive. Jesus is encouraging the simple life in which toil is non-existent. For three and a half years Jesus did not toil, nor did his disciples until that day they lost faith and returned to their fishing businesses (John 21:1-19).

[11] Father feeds them: The Nazarene credits God for feeding the birds even as Job 38:41 states. If the Nazarene has this kind of conviction, how can one of his disciples not trust God to care.

[12] Different: Many translate DIAPHERETE as “worth” and this may be well, but one can see the English corruption “different” in the word. Regarding “worth” each person has a value or worth and in the Nazarene’s absurdum the disciples can see their true value in the eyes of the Creator of sparrows which sell for little in the market (Matthew 10:29).

[13] Add one minute to your life-span: Various renderings: GDSP: which of you with all his worry can add a single hour to his life span; TCNT: prolong his life a single moment; PHI: make himself an inch taller. Note Psalm 39:4, 5: life; Psalm 90:10: seventy or eighty years. Unknown then, but presumed by human reasoning, and now confirmed by medical studies, anxiety does not prolong life, but shortens it, in a painfully slow and a daily agonizing death.

[14] Flowers of the field: Some identify the flower with the lily. Compare Matthew 11:28 and Proverbs 23:4: toil. These beauties of the field neither toil nor sow and are an example for the Nazarene disciple (Matthew 6:26).

[15] They do not labor or spin: The bird does not gather or store, and the flower does not labor or spin, and the Nazarene infers this is an example for his disciples. The storage and labor here are of a material kind. No one could argue that the Nazarene or Paul did not labor and toil, but this they did in the Master’s harvest. Compare Paul’s arguments in 1 Corinthians 9:3-18.

[16] Solomon in all his glory: Note Solomon’s wealth at 1 Kings 10:5 and read of his endeavors in Ecclesiastes ch 2, where he admits the futility or vanity of what appears to be security in material things. Note his conclusions at Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14. The Queen of Sheba, so overcome at Solomon’s wealth, may have been unimpressed by the humble lifestyle of the Nazarene.

[17] The God clothes the fields of grass: The Nazarene credits God for the carpets of flowers.

[18] How much more you: See Luke 12:28. The standard clothing of the poor in the days of the Nazarene was three layers of covering, the outer of such a nature to serve also as a night blanket, or a tent in foul weather. This served a lifetime and was so well made and needful as to be a guarantee against a debt (Matthew 5:40). Such a pledge had to be returned before night. It is doubtful Jesus had a wardrobe that allowed a daily, weekly, or even monthly change of apparel. Note Matthew 11:8 where soft or fine garments are found in king’s castles and splendid, luxurious dress in royal houses (Luke 7:25). These fine clothes may be beautiful and carry a delicate feel to the skin, but useless for the night bivouac of a wandering troop of itinerant teachers spending the occasional evening under the stars with God as their blanket, their only entertainment the nocturnal crickets, frogs and owls. Who among those genuine disciples of the Nazarene would not give everything they possess to spend one such night under the open celestial darkness with Jesus. Then to listen to his restful breathing in that Innocent’s sleep, only to wonder of such divine dreams?

In the Western world much time is spent in shopping at luxurious malls, which would rival the pyramids in their architecture, and absorb untold hours of dressing and undressing, only to have clothes hang limp in the darkness of a closet.

[19] Not be overly concerned: See Luke 12:29: worry. Various renderings: PHI: do not worry. ‘Stop worrying!’ is a Nazarene command (John 14:15). To worry or be unduly anxious is a desertion of Christ. Better to die of starvation or thirst or nakedness than to give in to anxiety over transient things.

Note the austere sincerity of Peter’s haste to build a mountain bivouac from available boughs, for those august personages of Moses and Elijah, so they had some shelter from the lofty mountain’s night – a heart so sweet and swift in its goodness. Such an enthusiastic suggestion is unthinkable in the modern Western world where one would rather worry about the credit limit on a gold bankcard and where the nearest luxury hotel was, let alone have the knowledge to build such a temporary shelter (Matthew 17:1, 4).

[20] ‘What will we eat?’ Or, ‘What will we drink?’ Or, ‘What will we put on?’: These questions seem out of place to a Western reader where these are the least of one’s problems. In Third World Countries these are still timely questions of daily concern. In the West most are struggling with various weight programs, drink too much, and have closets filled with unused clothing. A woman dressing for the evening may go through a dozen changes before the mirror, try on several pairs of heels, select from drawers of jewelry and choose from dozens of perfumes.

However, the spirit of the Nazarene’s teachings ought to ring in the ears of the Saint living near the top of the social and economic pyramid: seek a life of simplicity with a generous eye toward the less fortunate. It is Paul who instructs the missionary Timothy to “give orders to the rich.” (1 Timothy 6:17-19) Who dare do that today? What Christian pastor has the courage to even read these words without rationalizing to his affluent congregation?

[21] Non-Jews overly seek: And the Nazarene would have to admit, and perhaps he avoids saying so, many Jews of his world sought the same. Various renderings: BECK: the people of the world run after all these things. These words were not lost on the Nazarene’s beloved when John writes

‘Do not love the world and its things… for all worldly things (fleshly desire, greedy eyes, and self-assuming materialism) are not of the Father.’ (1 John 2:15, 16)

Here “things” are merely food, drink and clothing and this is ludicrous in a modern Western society where payments for debts on autos, mobile phones, TV cable-hookups, electricity for refrigerators, and other modern conveniences make economic slaves of men, their wives and families. Jesus’ sermon would be meaningless to a modern audience in America or Europe accept for those unfortunate living on the street and who have fallen outside the sumptuous table of capitalist and social democratic orders.

[22] Father knows you need all these: The comforting thought that God knows our needs saturates the Psalms. If there is one group of peoples the Almighty pays close attention to, it is the poor (1 Timothy 6:8; Philippians 4:12). The word “poor” occurs 117, times with Psalms having the most occurrences (23 times). A comparison of a concordance on the words poor, poverty, affliction, or oppressed, will reveal God’s loving care for such multitudes.

[23] Seek first His Kingdom and righteousness: First the Kingdom, and then God’s righteousness, not some other standard (See Romans 14:17: kingdom). Various renderings are: PHI: set your heart on his kingdom; RIEU: pursue the kingdom; BECK: first be eager to have God as your King; GDSP: but you must make his kingdom and uprightness your greatest care. When the Nazarene here uses the word “kingdom” he first means that opportunity to gain entrance into the kingdom or realm of the Son which is the Church, the Nazarene Community of Christian Saints with its heavenly call (Matthew 13:41; Colossians 1:12; Hebrews 3:1). This “righteousness” is not that of the Law but those commandments of the Lord (John 14:15; 1John 3:23).

[24] Do not be overly concerned about tomorrow: Apparently he does not mean ‘give no thought of the morrow’ for the Nazarene himself prepares for the future day on occasion. The Greek MERIMNESETE may be rendered anxious or worry. It is often used in the context of “concern” and thus the use of “overly concerned.” Some reasonable concern is necessary as shown in Jesus’ instructions regarding the colt and the upper room. Compare Job 14:1 and Exodus 16:4, 19: depression. Various renderings are: MOF: so never be troubled; KNX: do not fret.

Note a practical commentary on this verse at Philippians 4:11-13. It takes a certain natural or developed bent of mind to trust in God to such an extent and the majority of Christians who ever lived were not of this caliber. Paul, after the Nazarene’s model, was such a person who took the Lord’s word at face value and lived his life accordingly. An unnamed scribe, overcome by the crowds, and the healing works of this wandering Rabbi, offered, ‘I will follow you anywhere.’ Jesus’ simple reply pointed the difficult way,

‘Foxes have dens, birds have roosts, but I have nowhere to sleep. Come, follow me!’ (Matthew 8:18-22)

Words and promises are big but deeds and examples are few. Today millions are spent on treatment for anxiety and depression. It is obvious the more things one has to care for or worry about, the more anxiety occupies and distracts, leading to those modern ills. In the end, even the most security conscious have no control over his finances, his life, his inheritance. For an example, a commentary on this verse, there is none better than Luke 12:13-34.

‘Tomorrow will have its own concerns.’ You can rely on this as much as death and taxes! One day at a time, as the AA phrase goes, is right out of the Nazarene’s teachings. Most anxieties are not worth the time and energy wasted on them, for those real fears do not materialize in most cases; and in those justified cases, the majority of time there is little that can be done about them. Each day’s badness, evil, or anxieties is sufficient, so why fret about those which have not yet appeared? Why add to it all by anxiety and those attitudes and actions which it creates?

[25] Hardships of each day are enough: There are those “hardships” which are beyond our control, like an earthquake, or the outbreak of war, or a wave of persecution, or sudden illness. There are those hardships which we bring upon ourselves by bad decisions, laziness, stupidity, or poor preparation.

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Preceding articles

Back from gone #2 Aim of godly people

Matthew 5:38-42 – 5. The Nazarene’s Commentary on Exodus 21:24

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 1 Charity and neighbour love

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 2 Prayer and neighbour love

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 3 Forgiveness and neighbour love

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 4 Treasures’ and neighbour love

Man enticed to long for more

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Additional reading

  1. 19° century Londoners, religion and heretical opinions
  2. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #4 Transitoriness #2 Purity
  3. Contribution – Contributie, bijdrage
  4. Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God
  5. When discouraged facing opposition
  6. Fearing the right person
  7. Dealing with worries in our lives
  8. Give your worries to God
  9. Look for today
  10. Rejoicing in the day
  11. God Feeds The Birds
  12. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #4 Transitoriness #1 Prosperity

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Further reading

  1. Today’s Scripture – September 26, 2016
  2. Sermon on Matthew 6.24-34 (Audio)
  3. Two Masters
  4. Bible Study: Insights on the Sermon on the Mount: God or Mammon
  5. Seek First The Kingdom Of GOD: Two Masters – What is Mammon?
  6. FAact Food #673 The English word ‘mammon’ is a direct rip-off from Latin’s ‘mammona’ meaning ‘wealth’. In the New Testament of the Bible, the term ‘mammon’ is associated with greedy pursuit of profit through …
  7. Seek First The Kingdom Of God: Two Masters – You Can Serve Only One
  8. The Idols of the Nations
  9. Mammon: Word of the day for September 13, 2016
  10. Do You Know The Word Mammon?
  11. “Mammon : The desire for wealth personified as an evil spirit or a malign influence. Often mammon:…”
  12. Mammon
  13. Mammon 2
  14. Mammon 3
  15. Mammon, Mountains and Donations
  16. God or mammon?
  17. God and Mammon (Revisited)
  18. God or Money
  19. 24 October: Mammon, money, need and greed
  20. Duchies of Hell: Mammon
  21. Mighty Mammon vs. Almighty God
  22. Christians Side With Mammon. Mammon Sided with Barabbas
  23. The Betrayal of Jesus: Then and Now
  24. Should Christians Buy Stocks?
  25. Immanuel Kant Interlude – Compulsory Idleness
  26. Daily Mass: Whom do you serve, God or mammon? Catholic Inspiration
  27. 12 April, Relics X: Blood Money
  28. James on Justice (An Appeal for Classless Christianity) James 4:1-17
  29. Help Us Dear Lord Not To Call You A Liar – Part 3
  30. Money and Happiness
  31. The greatest world religion? – materialism!
  32. The Almighty Dollar
  33. Do You Love Money?
  34. Need
  35. God Almighty, or the god of money?
  36. God wants us to be free from bondage to greed
  37. You Cannot Serve Both God & Riches
  38. Christianity held hostage
  39. Propensity for Prosperity
  40. Oh Lord Won’t You Buy Me A Mercedes Benz?
  41. Christianity Targeted by Corrupt Government
  42. Worship only God
  43. Prosperity Preachers
  44. The False Doctrine of Prosperity Preachers
  45. I Wrestled With A Preacher In My Dreams

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Back from gone #4 Your inner feelings and actions

People with a different mindset than Christ Jesus

The spirit of a sound mind does not mean just going by what we or others think or feel is reasonable or expedient. In our world were there is still some freedom of speech we can hear lots of different opinions and we can see that certain groups would love to have the majority of people thinking and  handling as they. They are often those who prefer to listen only to their own heart and to take care of their selfish “I” first. they are not so much concerned about others, but see them more as people standing in the way. Certainly now with those refugees, people with an other culture not known to them, which makes them afraid of such people.

They prefer to lean upon their own understanding and are not so much interested in what Jehovah wants. Many of them even do not really believe in Him. Even when there may be many who proclaim to be a Christian, we should see that first of all there faith is not so much in Christ nor in God, and secondly they often do not live according to the teachings of Christ Jesus nor to the Laws of God.

Our own mind and a sound mind

Jesus did not his own will. Likewise we also should try to do the will of the Same One as Jesus did. As the son of man and the son of God, Jesus very well knew the Scriptures, taught from them, and followed the guidance given in them. He told the people around him that he could not do anything without his heavenly Father, Who is greater than him. (John 14:27-31; John 5:17-27) For Jesus it was clear Who was the One with a truly sound mind. when he was in difficulties he (Jeshua/Jesus Christ)turned to his heavenly Father (Jehovah God) and trusted in Him (Jehovah). Jesus also told those around him not to worship him but to worship his heavenly Father and to pray to this God of Abraham, Who is also the God of the Jews and the God of the Muslims.  Normally we all should have the same God of gods to trust and to worship and when facing difficulties or having to make some decision, we should need to turn to Him (Jehovah God). Allah, the Elohim Hashem Jehovah God as the Most High Adonai gave the world His Word. All who love God should go and look into that Word, the Bible, to see what God’s view is. Then we should base our decision on it. That is using the spirit of a sound mind.

God knowing the heart

Let us always remember that

 The heart is more treacherous* than anything else and is desperate.*+ Who can know it? (Jeremiah 17:9.)

and that it is God Who knows the inside out of man.

10 I, Jehovah, am searching the heart,+ Examining the innermost thoughts,* To give to each one according to his ways, According to the fruitage of his works.+(Jeremiah 17:10 .)

The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold,But Jehovah is the examiner of hearts.+ (Proverbs 17:3

All of a man’s ways seem right to him,+ But Jehovah examines the hearts.*+ (Proverbs 21:2 )

Heart of Jesus

The God of Abraham, Who is also the God of Jesus knows the Heart of Jesus and our heart – Heart of Jesus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We can not hide anything from God. Therefore we should be very careful how we want to be seen by others and that we show them how we are really feeling and thinking. Too many people are afraid of what others would say. Not many are daring to say what they really think and how they really feel.

The way how we think about those coming to live in our regions is for God important. How we are willing to treat them is for God important. Our attitude towards this whole situation is important for God. In these circumstances it shall be that we show our true nature. Nothing shall stay hidden before God.

12 If you say, “But we did not know about this,” Does not the One who examines hearts* discern it?+ Yes, the One who watches you* will know And will repay each man according to his activity.+ (Proverbs 24:12)

Living and doing works according to your faith

Learning to make wise decisions and to carry them out does not come easily. When there is put pressure on you by others with a political agenda it can even become more difficult to stay on the right track.

Recall that the apostle Paul described mature people as

“those who through use have their perceptive powers trained to distinguish both right and wrong.”

The words “through use” and “trained” both imply making continuous and repeated effort, and that is what new ones need to do. (Read Hebrews 5:13, 14.)

We also should remember that we are bounded to living in this system of things were the way man sees it, mostly it shall not be the way God sees it, because mere man sees what appears to the eyes, but Jehovah sees into the heart.(1 Samuel 16:6, 71 Kings 8:39Proverbs 24:12Acts 1:24)

We should know the God of our ancestors and serve Him with a complete * heart + and with a delightful * soul,* for Jehovah searches through all hearts and He has foreseen a purpose for us, going to establish the righteous. there may be many Christians who think they have to do no works any more once baptised, but they shall be surprised. When they do not live according to God’s Law they shall miss the opportunity to enter the Kingdom of God. Yes we are able to miss the boat. (1 Chronicles 28:9; Psalm 7:9; Jeremiah 17:10)

If you prefer to live according to the flesh and keep doing works of the flesh you may be sure there can arise more problems when you have to appear in front of Jesus when he comes back than the problems you will have to face know.

More problems coming into this world

The last few decades we have seen an increase of difficulties on different levels. the bible speaks about that increase which we should consider signs for a coming time where more people shall get against each other and religions shall fight against other religions.

We also shall come to see that not so many Christians are as tolerant as they should be. Being a Christian in certain regions could perhaps not always so easy but also not so difficult to get you uncomfortable. But we are told that it will change. It might well be that Jews, Christians but also Muslims shall come to face very difficult times where they shall be demanded to choose for a certain faith or for a certain action. The false teachers shall try to bring people to other thoughts and having them walk in line with those in power. Believers in God might face the most difficulties, because they could be brought to doubting their faith. For non-believers there shall be no god to look at or to blame.

The media are eager to focus on the many problems and people are easily falling in their trap. Focusing on our worries will not extend our life by even a fraction of a second, let alone improve it. Besides, things often do not turn out as we feared. One scholar put it this way:

“Worry about the future is wasted effort, and the future of reality is seldom as bad as the future of our fears.”

The fact that some countries for decades have been fighting terrorism in its many forms with only limited success gives credence to many fears. Today, people are afraid and terrified for those refugees and for fundamentalist ideas which are preached everywhere and for some Muslim youngsters who tell the world with joy that they are willing to fight for the good cause of their faith. At the same time people wonder how we are going to cope with all those people coming to live in our regions, needing a roof above their head and needing to be fed.

What is troubling most people is the uncertainty of life itself! Sudden death by accident or disaster may seem to lurk around every corner, ready to put an end to everything we hold dear. Such fear and anxiety, plus numerous personal conflicts and disappointments, have made our times precisely what the apostle Paul described:

“Know this, that in the last days critical times hard to deal with will be here. For men will be lovers of themselves, . . . having no natural affection, not open to any agreement, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, without love of goodness.” (2 Timothy 3:1-3.)

Critical times to come

Getting into times were there shall not only be more natural disasters, man shall be creating other disasters which make it very difficult for many people. There shall be so many ideas sounding in the world, so many calling the other a false one, that people shall get muddled and shall have many doubts, giving them the impression that they nowhere to go.

The God Who demands a perfect righteousness and wants that His Word shall be respected and that His creatures shall live according to His Law has had lots of patience with mankind, but to everything comes an end. He also warned man to get to know and see the signs of the coming change and the coming end.

The God Who is sovereign over all the universe, exists simultaneously everywhere all of the time, has unlimited power, wisdom, and knowledge, is not One Who wants His people fighting against other creatures. He is a perfectly loving, just, and merciful God. He has given everybody the opportunity to find ways to have a good life and to find a better life in the time to come. But before the sublime marvellous time for man, he shall be tested a last time in a big battle which shall not be so far away when we look at the given signs.

It is getting time that people shall come to see that the fruits of terrorism have not been freedom and happiness but, instead, death, misery, and ruin. This bad fruitage has filled the 20th century and is starting to overwhelm the 21st. Many would say that rather than the solution, terrorism is one of the problems. The injustice and hatred that lead to terrorism are not God His fault. Wise King Solomon once declared:

“The true God made mankind upright, but they themselves have sought out many plans.” (Ecclesiastes 7:29)

Human badness and demonic influence, not incompetence on the part of God, lie at the root of terrorism. (Ephesians 6:11, 12.)

God has the power to halt violent bloodshed. In Noah’s time “the earth became filled with violence.” (Genesis 6:11) God’s judgement was sudden and complete:

“[God] did not hold back from punishing an ancient world . . . when he brought a deluge upon a world of ungodly people.” (2 Peter 2:5.)

The Bible states a lesson we should learn from the Flood of Noah’s day:

“Jehovah knows how to deliver people of godly devotion out of trial, but to reserve unrighteous people for the day of judgement to be cut off.” (2 Peter 2:9)

God can distinguish between those who sincerely want a better life and those who make life miserable for others. He has set the latter apart for the “destruction of the ungodly men.” But for those desiring peace, he is preparing a new earth in which righteousness is to dwell. (2 Peter 3:7, 13.) Therefore let us be attentional and not fall in the trap those around us are putting in front of us and would love to see the world reacting aggressively against the refugees and against the Muslims.

Badness

Wordslounge

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Preceding articles

Back from gone #1 Aim of ungodly people

Back from gone #2 Aim of godly people

Back from gone #3 Giving worries to God and believing in His promises

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Additional reading

  1. Profitable disasters
  2. Good and bad things in this world
  3. A risk taking society
  4. Securing risks
  5. Facing disaster fatigue
  6. Dealing with worries in our lives
  7. Reacting to Disasters
  8. Signs of the Last Days
  9. May we have doubts
  10. Give your worries to God
  11. Is God behind all suffering here on earth
  12. God has not destined us for wrath
  13. Is God behind all suffering here on earth
  14. I Can’t Believe That … (2) God would allow children to suffer
  15. Bad things no punishment from God
  16. Some one or something to fear #6 Faith in the Most High
  17. Seeing or not seeing and willingness to find God
  18. Looking at three “I am” s
  19. He who knows himself, is kind to others
  20. Your struggles develop your strengths
  21. National Natural Disaster and Bible Prophecy
  22. We are ourselves responsible
  23. If your difficulties are longstanding, try kneeling
  24. Even in tough times remembering the blessings
  25. In Defense of the truth
  26. A Living Faith #4 Effort
  27. Truth, doubt or blindness
  28. Remember there’s a light in the next day
  29. Creator and Blogger God 9 A Blog of a Book 3 Blog about Prophecy
  30. God’s Plan, Purpose and teachings
  31. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #15 Exposition before the Creator
  32. Signs of the Last Days
  33. Preaching to an unbelieving world
  34. I Only hope we find GOD again before it is too late !

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Further reading

  1. How the Migrant Crisis is Tearing Europe Apart
  2. Atheist Alliance International Struggle With Stats
  3. Terrorism is not an ethnic trait – it’s a malady wrought by social, religious extremism
  4. Rinos and Cinos
  5. IFB Churches and Women
  6. Fundamentalists and the “Stupid Sumbitch”
  7. A House Divided: How Hatred Aimed At Any Group, Is an Assault On Us All
  8. Stop Your Doing is Not the Gospel
  9. When you feel like you are in a tough situation
  10. I love the smell of rejection in the morning
  11. Love without reservation
  12. He is Faithful and Just
  13. Learn To Enjoy The Journey Of Life
  14. Napping my heart
  15. Badness
  16. Hidden scars
  17. More than meets the eye
  18. Repentance
  19. Growing a more useful mindset than fear.
  20. Why Don’t Moderate Muslims Denounce Terrorism?
  21. Why do Christians Insist on Fighting?
  22. “I” Speaks On To Me (3/4)
  23. The Silence (3/5)
  24. Bad Like Me
  25. broken words for sale
  26. What to say?
  27. God, Help Me Not to Hate Those Who Hate
  28. Trump: “‘Oh freedom of speech, freedom of speech.’ These are foolish people.”
  29. The Frozen-Chosen Church?
  30. The Price of Forgiveness?
  31. Das Spiel mit der Angst
  32. La Horca Moderna

Back from gone #2 Aim of godly people

Overcoming feelings of anxiety

Knowing that we have a heavenly Father who loves and cares for us is a vital step in overcoming feelings of anxiety. True, it may take time to build this trust, but many have found that doing so really helps.

“When Jehovah became my Father, I finally had someone to whom I could express my inner feelings,”

says Caroline.

“This brought me so much relief!”

“Jehovah is the one who helped me to feel secure when I was left all alone without my parents,”

recalls Rachel.

“I could talk to him and ask him to help me with my problems. And he did help me.”

Those who are taken by fear by what is going on in this world should listen to Jesus. Jesus urged us to get to know his Father,

“the only true God.” (John 17:3)

“He is not far off from each one of us,”

the apostle Paul assures us. (Acts 17:27)

“Draw close to God, and he will draw close to you,”

wrote James. (James 4:8.)

Not too much giving attention to differences and worrying about the future

Jesus warned his followers to stop being anxious about their lives. (Matthew 6:25.) And wanted them to go out into the world without hesitation to proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom of God. The disciples of Christ did not have to keep moaning about the bad situation there was under the Romans. They also did not have to go on about those who did not want to believe in God or preferred to believe other things than they. But they had to show others what was written in the Word of God.

Many hoped that rabbi Jeshua was the promised Messiah who was going to liberate them from the Roman oppression. Some even thought this would have to be done by fighting. To their surprise this Jew taught them about peace and about not taking up the weapons against those who were against them.

Jesus asked them also not to worry so much about their future on this earth. Though it can be called normal and proper to be concerned about our material needs and the welfare of our loved ones. (Philippians 2:20) But when Jesus said,

“never be anxious,”

he was advising his followers to avoid undue worry — an excessive fear of tomorrow that can take the joy out of living today.(Matthew 6:31, 34.) Jesus also gave a compelling reason for avoiding undue anxiety: It is pointless.

“Who of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his life span?”

asked Jesus. (Matthew 6:27) Focusing on our worries will not extend our life by even a fraction of a second, let alone improve it. Besides, things often do not turn out as we feared. One scholar put it this way:

“Worry about the future is wasted effort, and the future of reality is seldom as bad as the future of our fears.”

Avoiding anxiety

Jesus gave several life lessons in his parables. We should listen to them and take into account about what they are. They talk about a hidden future, which is not of this system of times. In this present times we shall come to see signs, which should warn us about a much more important future coming than the future that keeps people busy.

When we have to live in this world we should always remember who made all things around us and should trust in that Divine Maker God. We can not escape living in this world but that does not mean we do have to be off this world. We should recognise that it is the God of gods Who provides food for birds and clothes flowers with beauty and that it is Him Who also will provide the necessities of life for humans who make His worship a priority in their life. (Matthew 6:25, 26, 28-30)

Today lots of people are anxious about the amount of refugees coming into their country. Lots of Christians but also non-believers are afraid those refugees will bring an Islamisation into Europe or our Western nations. But why are they so afraid? In case enough people would really believe in the One True God, they should not have to worry. The opposite, in case they have such a strong feeling about their true religion and about their true God they should trust in that God Who will make them strong enough to use them for the calling of the others. In case the Christians would really follow the teachings of Christ then they would believe in the Only One True God, the God of Abraham, Who is Allah and the same God of Jews and Muslims. When they would follow the teachings of Christ Jesus, as real Christians should do, they would be preachers of the Word of God, bringing the Gospel all over the world. Then they could call those refugees why Jesus is so important in our lives and why we should get to know him more and better. Because Jesus is the Way. Jesus is the Way to God and the Way to life.

Jehovah God is the living God, the Fountain of life, Who has no beginning or end of existence (Jer 10:10; Da 6:20, 26; Joh 6:57; 2Co 3:3; 6:16; 1Th 1:9; 1Ti 1:17; Ps 36:9; Jer 17:13) who has sent His son to the world to show God’s creatures the Way to life. The apostle John quotes Jesus as saying:

“For God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son, in order that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

Those who believe in God and His sent one should not be full of fear for people coming to their nations or having Muslims teaching their faith.  They should know that God has given His promises to Abraham, David, Jesus and Jesus his followers that

“the creation itself also will be set free from enslavement to corruption and have the glorious freedom of the children of God.” (Romans 8:14-23)

The prophetic vision of Revelation 21:1-4 points to the time of “a new heaven” and “a new earth” and gives the promise that then

“death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore.”

Since this promise is given, not to spirit creatures, but specifically to “mankind,” it gives assurance that a new earthly society of humankind living under the “new heaven” will experience restoration of mind and body to fullness of health and everlasting life as earthly “children of God.”

Therefore we do have something positive to look for. But as long as we live in this system of things, we do have to take one day at a time.

“Never be anxious about the next day,”

said Jesus,

“for the next day will have its own anxieties.”

Would you not agree that

“each day has enough of its own troubles”? (Matthew 6:34.)

By heeding Jesus’ wise advice, we can spare ourselves physical harm. More than that, we will find an inner calm—what the Bible calls “the peace of God.” (Philippians 4:6, 7.)

Way of life

Many have become afraid that Muslims would take away their life chances. But man should not fear other men, but fear God and remember what God’s Words tells us.

Jehovah, the Fountain of life, has revealed the way of life through his Word of truth. The Lord Jesus Christ

“shed light upon life and incorruption through the good news.” (2 Timothy 1:10)

He told his disciples:

“It is the spirit that is life-giving; the flesh is of no use at all. The sayings that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.”

A little later Jesus asked his apostles whether they were going to leave him, as others had. Peter replied:

“Lord, whom shall we go away to? You have sayings of everlasting life.” (John 6:63, 66-68)

The apostle John called Jesus “the word of life,” and said:

“By means of him was life.” (1 John 1:1, 2; John 1:4.)

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Preceding: Back from gone #1 Aim of ungodly people

Continues with: Back from gone #3 Giving worries to God and believing in His promises

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Additional reading

  1. Fear knocked at the door
  2. Securing risks
  3. Dealing with worries in our lives
  4. Bad things no punishment from God
  5. Some one or something to fear #1 Many sorts of fear
  6. Some one or something to fear #3 Cases, folks and outing
  7. When discouraged facing opposition
  8. In Defense of the truth
  9. Why is it that Christians don’t understand Muslims and Muslims do not understand Christians?
  10. Patriarch Abraham, Muslims, Christians and the son of God
  11. The truth is very plain to see and God can be clearly seen
  12. Creator and Blogger God 9 A Blog of a Book 3 Blog about Prophecy
  13. A concrete picture of what is to come in the future
  14. Aligned
  15. A small trouble is like a pebble
  16. Fearing the right person
  17. Time for global change
  18. Come ye yourselves apart … and rest awhile (Mark 6:31)
  19. You God hold the future
  20. Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God
  21. Jesus begotten Son of God #7 A matter of the Future
  22. Faith, hope and love abide
  23. Bible a guide – Bijbel als gids
  24. The Bible is a today book
  25. Coming to the end of the year
  26. Finish each day and be done with it
  27. Look for today
  28. Rejoicing in the day
  29. God Feeds The Birds
  30. Give your worries to God
  31. Happy is the person who knows what to remember of the past
  32. A Living Faith #5 Perseverance
  33. So it will be on the day when …
  34. Miracles of revelation and of providence 1 Golden Thread and Revelation
  35. End Times
  36. Man’s plans prevailed by God’s purpose

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Further reading

  1. The “Mass Shootings Map” Propaganda Should Convince You to Carry At All Times
  2. San Bernardino latest in series of U.S. mass shootings since 2012
  3. Tragedy, politicians and the media
  4. Turkey pokes the Russian Bear The grand coalition against ISIS is growing to include Germany along with France, while Turkey pokes the Russian Bear
  5. Could God Be Against Us?
  6. Thoughts about saints and suffering in the Last Days (Letter to Lighthouse Trails)
  7. 7.5 magnitude earthquake strikes remote region of Peruvian jungle
  8. Cooking Was Not Fun Because It Was Survival | Ileana Johnson – Freedom Outpost
  9. It’s too late now
  10. Gasping For Air
  11. Anxiety and Drafts
  12. Anxiety Looms Above The Mind Making A Fuss Out Of Nothing, by Drem (blog post)
  13. When You Feel Like Giving Up
  14. Exit Strategy End Times: ” Awake to the twilight of God’s seeking.”
  15. Holy Hell…This Sh*& Is Real
  16. Gray Areas
  17. Mind Full v Mindful: some thoughts on mindfulness
  18. Day 115- Could Cognitive Dissonance play a part in my procrastination?
  19. What a joy it is
  20. Joy in the morning
  21. Which spiritual teachings/religions lead to enlightenment or God

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Let us not fret or worry about next season

Map of Belgium showing the provinces (black li...

Map of Belgium showing the provinces (black lines) and regions (colours). Yellow = Flanders Dutch speaking, Red = Wallonia French speaking, Blue = German-speaking part, Orange = Brussels Capital Region (37 languages). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last season we like the Belgian Christadelphians perhaps had set our hopes to much on human beings, hoping they would not be as partial to prohibit brothers and sisters in Christ to join hands and have meetings together.

In the midst of our many activities our minds should have been on the eternal and the magical ways of the universe, trusting God He would be the One Who brings the Chosen ones unto Him. Perhaps we thought of hastening. We thought maybe the business to accelerate by trying to bring the different Christadelphian groups together and by showing our openness to all those who believe in the Only One God.

Marcus Ampe and his ecclesia could not convince Carelinks to share the love of Christ. Also other Christadelphian groups did not want to unite with the man from the North or with Australian Bible Students. We too are somewhat left in the cold, not seeing an opportunity to have many brethren and sisters meeting each other and finding more places in Belgium to Break Bread together.

We stay convinced that we should not show partiality and try to get the impartiality of God in our midst as well. If we take time for books of a spiritual nature, deep conversation, singing songs together, sharing helpful exhortations, watching uplifting movies, our meditations will be much more effective. Our subconscious will also act on what it has been programmed by all day.

We often hear :

Focus on miracles and beauty you get miracles and beautiful situations. Focus on problems and competition and you get more problems, competition and worries.

We, for sure, want to concentrate on the positive, and want to forget soon what happened this year in the Belgian community.

When we heard of the trials of Mr. Ampe we where afraid it could turn wrong. Our fear turned grounded. Certain people are too stubborn and on their own and to much looking for personal gain, so that they would not be ready for such unselfish openness Mr. Ampe presented to them and the different groups.

There’s nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to fail trying to do good or to fear. Fear can be part of a survival instinct, and the Scriptures tell us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Still, there is a fear that can overwhelm us at times. There’s a fear that can rob us of faith and trust. Faith and fear are opposites in some Biblical texts. We should not let the fear of being alone or being a small group take us. We are not with many, but this should not frighten us. In the present world it shall become even worse for God fearing people. They will find themselves even more isolated from the rest of the world. Because the world is not interested in God and does not like so much people who love God. We just have to accept that and have to live with it.

Panic can take over when we have our eyes on the worldly things. We had our hopes on a growing community. We did have our hopes on the possibility to offer people living in Oostende, Brugge, Gent and Antwerp to find more people willing to join them. It would have been lovely if we could have send the Bible Students living around the Belgian coast to a Carelinks meeting or to have other brothers and sisters in Christ finding each other so that they could make arrangements to meet each other in their own region.

The apostle Paul knew very well what it meant to be in isolation. He also got to see how important it was not to focus too much on the human beings, but to remember that the peace of God can guard our hearts and minds (Philippians 4:7) whilst we put all our hope to the Most High.

We like Paul wanted all the household churches and all the Christians to be harmonious so that they could stand firm against the opposition as one body. We can listen to him who said:

“4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:4-7 NIV)

Though it did not work out, we should not be sad. Though we still are with few (less than before) , we should be glad in the Lord at all times. We shall not get us depressed and shall show to others that we keep our doors opened to all who want to join us. Like the Belgian Christadelphian ecclesia shall keep her doors open and all the time showed their gentle behaviour, we too shall show our friendliness and love to others, working with them and not against them who show their love for the Only One True God. We do want to be clear to all men, we shall not give in to the doctrines of people and keep to the Word of God, having Christ Jesus as our cornerstone and not one specific human organisation.

We are convinced that Jehovah God is near and that we should not be afraid to stand in the cold, left behind. to our brothers and sisters we also would say:

Have no cares; but in everything with prayer and praise put your requests before God.

We shall keep asking to God that He will guide us and will provide us with the right people to make us grow as a good Christian Community, according to His wishes. We are convinced that in our hopes we shall not have to be saddened but can trust on the peace of God, which is deeper than all knowledge, which will keep our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

For next season we do ask our members not to fret or worry.

Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns.

The coming season we shall continue to show people how human beings made up a church which sought to further define what is meant by the foundational creedal statements she has, at various important moments in history, drawn up creeds, confessions, and catechisms, but how throughout the times several people seriously took the Word of God as the Book of books to follow. We shall continue to give preference to God’s Word as our guide instead of adhering human groups and specific personalities.

When Jesus said

 “You are the light of the world,”

he meant that you and I are to let our lights shine for Jesus.  In the original Greek, Jesus uses the plural meaning

“you all together are the world’s light.”

(We don’t see this in English because we make no distinction between plural and singular.)  Jesus meant Christians corporately are the light, not any one individual. How could any single light brighten this dark world?

As such we still shall try to unit as much people as possible and to show them who Jesus was and is, what role he plays in our sanctification and our possibility to find a better life.

We shall continue to show people that it is not just by faith we shall be saved.
We shall hope we can bring many more to the faith in Christ Jesus. But we shall also show them we do need to live according to that faith we choose. We shall also show them that we need to help each other to reach the goal, so that we when we come in front of the returned Jesus shall be found worthy to enter the Kingdom of God. We shall show the people that  Jesus will judge everyone according to what they have done. (Romans 2:5-6; Matthew 5:22; 7;2;25: 31-45; Revelation 20: 12.13).

Keeping that in mind we shall continuously try to bring more people together under the name of Christ, following his example, doing good, seeking after the glory honor and immortality God offers.

Those who  wanted to live for themselves, have power for them selves, we shall try to bring to a better attitude, showing that we all need together to work for the same good cause, giving ourselves in the Hands of God, obeying the truth and giving full ear to Jehovah God and not preferring human organisations above God His Wishes.

Prayer has comforted us in sorrow and we did find hope in the willingness of the few to continue preaching and going forward trying to unite people in the love of Christ.

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Preceding articles:

An academic year ending, again a new year standing ready for us

Our openness to being approachable

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Read also:

  1. God is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him
  2. Hope does not disappoint us
  3. Focus on outward appearances
  4. Walking alone?
  5. God doesn’t call the qualified
  6. Christadelphian people
  7. Not many coming out with their community name
  8. Certain people trying to stem freedom of speech
  9. Censorship possible by a person and his organisation
  10. Attackers silenced freedom of speech
  11. A man from the North wanting to have control in Belgium
  12. Iranian refugees in Belgium baptised by Carelinks
  13. Antwerp Ecclesia
  14. Delay in publications because attack from outside
  15. Members of the ecclesia uniting and seeking God’s help in tribulation
  16. No reconciliation possible between CBM and Duncan Heaster from Carelinks
  17. Priority to form a loving brotherhood
  18. Cleanliness and worrying or not about purity
  19. Prayer, important aspect in our life
  20. People who know how to pray to move God to take hold of our affairs in a mighty way
  21. Give your worries to God
  22. Prayer has comforted us in sorrow
  23. Work with joy and pray with love

+++

 

  • Soul-searching questions, by Charles Box (fellowshiproom.org)
    Paul exhorted the Philippian Christians to diligence and seriousness in the Christian life. His teachings to these brethren provide us with some soul searching question.
    +
    We are required to work out our own salvation. We cannot be saved on the goodness of our parents or the faithfulness others. Salvation is a personal matter and each person must obey God himself.Our obedience begins with our belief in Christ as our Savior, repen­tance of our sinful ways and baptism for the forgiveness of our sins. Our obedience continues as we live according to His word as revealed to us in the New Testament.
  • Philippians 2 (King James Version.) The Bible in government. (moralupbringing.com)
    If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, 2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be like minded , having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind . 3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. 4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. 5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus
  • Fan or Follower? | Part 2 (comeawake.org)
    Don’t be too quick to choose one over the other. Don’t make the mistake of answering this question like all the other questions you’ve been asked by preachers, Sunday School teachers, and Small Group leaders. This isn’t a knowledge-based question. It’s a heart-based question. It’s a conviction-based question. It’s a commitment-based question.
  • Find the good, hold fast to it, and be not moved. (madisonamydunne.wordpress.com)
    This week a lot of us had emergency changes because a lot of new missionaries came to our mission from other missions in Peru
    +
    We must read the Bible, realize that He formed it built upon prophets, apostles, and that His church has the authority of God.
  • Faith Is Based On Knowledge By Andrew Wommack (zillasnetworks.wordpress.com)
    all things that pertain unto life and godliness are given unto us through the knowledge of God.
    Certainly, faith must be one of those things because without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6). So faith must come through the knowledge of God.
  • Needs (johnjohnsonsgranddaughter.wordpress.com)
    There are 21 verses from the bible on Needs
    +
    The only thing that I truly need, everyday, more than food and water, is Christ.  But you knew that, right?
  • Book of Philippians (brakeman1.com)
    The Greek word for brothers and sisters (adelphoi) refers here to believers, both men and women, as part of God’s family; also in verse 14; and in 3:1, 13, 17; 4:1, 8, 21.
  • earth moving principles (mobilisedbygod.wordpress.com)
    It is amazing that many of our opportunities to serve others comes through praying for those opportunities. Nehemiah understood the power of prayer, and so he prayed as soon as he received news of Jerusalem’s continued desolation.
  • ‘Not Just a Blonde’: Worrying Steals… (cultureofawareness.com)
    Worrying doesn’t take away tomorrow’s troubles, it steals today’s peace! Worrying is just not a helpful thing to do! Worry keeps us stuck in our fears. It forces us to focus on the negative possibilities and blinds us.
  • Fear: The Absence of Peace (inspirationalchristiansfortoday.com)
    When fear is present, peace is absent. Fear robs our peace of mind, weakens our resolve, disturbs our rest, and even causes us to question the presence of God. Fear is an emotion that will hinder our walks with Christ unless we learn to face it and overcome it with the grace of God.

Our openness to being approachable

In the 2013-2014 season we gave attention on the way we can give praise to the Most High Jehovah and ‘Sing for His Name’.

English: Christ Handing the Keys to St. Peter ...

According Catholic Faith: Christ Handing the Keys to St. Peter by Pietro Perugino (1481-82) Fresco, 335 x 550 cm Cappella Sistina, Vatican. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the academic year 2013-2014 much discussion went on about a revision of the educational program in the Belgian schools and about a renewal of the attitude of the Catholic Church which kept loosing more and more people. They decided to make one parish from 5 parishes so that the costs could be tempered and priests would be available to do a service every few weeks, for at least one per month in a village.

The Bible Students did not have it easy either to attract people to their services. Most people are also afraid of non-trinitarians and do not like to put away their traditions, like baby baptism, first and second communion, and other Catholic celebrations. More and more people Focus on outward appearances and are not any more interested in a Supreme Higher Being, which they can not see or do feel to have connection with.

More and more people also give a voice accusing God to be a cruel partial being, Whom let others suffer a lot and let so many things happen without interfering. Several people also became angry with those people who call themselves People of God and wanted to see a Jewish nation living in Israel the Land given by God to His Chosen People.

This last season, we looked at the apostle Peter who perceived that God is not partial, (Acts 10:34) being aware that the Greek word rendered “partial” literally means “taker of faces.” (The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures) Regarding this term, one scholar explains:

“It refers to a judge who looks at a man’s face and renders a verdict, not in accord with the merits of the case, but according as he likes or dislikes the man.”

As Christians we may be happy God gave His son to liberate us all and to give the goyim (people, nation) or heathen also a chance to become part of His people, not favouring one face over another because of race, nationality, social standing, or any other external factors.

Knowing that in every nation the man that fears Jehovah God and works righteousness is acceptable to Him, we tried to work at ourself and help others to find the right direction, growing in truthfulness and righteousness.

At the services we talked about what it means to fear God. We tried to see how we have and can respect, honour, and trust Him, avoiding anything that displeases him. To work righteousness involves willingly doing what is right in God’s eyes. Jehovah finds pleasure in the man whose heart is filled with reverential awe that moves him to do what is right.(Deuteronomy 10:12, 13.)

The Christadelphians in Belgium did not face an easy year. The Belgian Christadelphians from the ecclesia Brussel-Leuven tried to get all the different groups of Christadelphians together. Their intentions where very good, but did not take account of the human selfishness, pride, likes of power, and stubborn attitude. We do have to admit that also certain Bible Students did not like a liaison either, with certain other groups. A shame it did not work out positively and left division in the ranks.

We spend lots of time in arguing and discussing the matter of unity. Shamefully we encountered hesitation and opposition. We also experienced discrimination or prejudice which made good reason for us to take heart from Peter’s words about God. Jehovah is drawing people of all nations to true worship. (John 6:44; Acts 17:26, 27) He listens and responds to the prayers of his worshippers regardless of their race, nationality, or social standing. (1 Kings 8:41-43) We can be confident that when Jehovah looks down from heaven, he sees just one race—the human race.

Facing the problems of the Brothers and Sisters in Belgium we also reminded ourselves that Jesus foretold that the Christian congregation would come under attack. Remember, in his prophetic illustration of the wheat and the weeds, Jesus warned that a newly planted field of wheat (anointed Christians) would be oversown with weeds (imitation Christians). The groups, he said, would be allowed to grow side by side—undisturbed until the harvest, which would come at “a conclusion of a system of things.” (Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43) It was not long before Jesus’ words began to come true.

The apostasy made some inroads in the first century, but Jesus’ faithful apostles acted “as a restraint,” holding back the contamination and influence of false teachings. (2 Thessalonicans 2:3, 6, 7) However, once the last of the apostles died, the apostasy took root and flourished during a long growing season that lasted for many centuries. Additionally, during that time, the weeds became many and the blades of wheat were few. There was no consistent, organized channel for dispensing spiritual food.

As the end of the growing season neared, there were strong stirrings of interest in Bible truth. Recall that in the 1870’s, a small group of sincere truth-seekers got together and formed Bible classes apart from the weeds—imitation Christians within the churches and sects of Christendom. With humble hearts and open minds, those sincere Bible Students, as they called themselves, made a careful and prayerful search of the Scriptures.—Matthew 11:25.

Those Bible Students’ diligent study of the Scriptures yielded rich results and they also found their way to Europe where they originally came from. In the States as in Europe different Bible Students groups found new light and got several little independent groups spreading locally the Biblical Truth. Belgium, as a very strong Roman Catholic bastion was a difficult place to convince people of what was really written in the Bible.

Tetragrammaton (God's name, see Jehovah) at th...

Tetragrammaton (God’s name, see Jehovah) at the Roman Catholic Church Saint-Germain-des-Prés, at Paris, France (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When the Jehovah Witnesses found more interest by the believers the Roman Catholic Church started taking away the Name of God from their publications. They also had used the name Jehovah until the mid 1960ies, but then they wanted to avoid any  resemblance with the group of Bible Students which used God’s Name but did not want to accept Jesus as the god.

There where some trials to bring different Bible Students joining forces, but last season Marcus Ampe did a last effort to bring the non-Jehovah Witnesses Bible Students and Bible researchers together. He had hoped to bring the different Christadelphian Groups, Old Paths, Central Fellowship, Amended and Unamended Christadelphians, Dawn Students, Australian and Belgian Bible Students, together with Logos and Carelinks members. To no avail. He got a ‘big slap in his face’, finding his efforts not being appreciated, and being more shunned than before. He with the Ecclesia Brussel-Leuven and with the Belgian Bible Students became more isolated because they wanted to be impartial and open to any serious Bible Student, no matter which background or organisation.
They lost their support from the English organisation and made it now clear to the public they wanted to be an independent Christian organisation, free from human directorate, giving themselves to the ruling of Christ Jesus as their only cornerstone.

They like we, want to be united under Jesus Christ, facing total impartiality in the ranks, with the impartial God as our Most High example.

We, after our bad experience this season, therefore dare to ask every person coming to us or reading these pages:

Are you moved to learn more about this impartial God?

Are you willing to become part of the People of God?

Are you willing to understand what it means to be part of the Body of Christ, understanding that there are and may be different parts or groups, like you have the kidneys, reins, stomach, veins, lungs, etc, in a human body?

Tbilisi St. Peter-Paul Catholic Church

the Love of Christ, by his good heart – Tbilisi St. Peter-Paul Catholic Church (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Having noticed how difficult it even is in the own ranks or denomination to find the love of Christ fully, and getting to see how it is not always to get the right quality of approachability, we wondered how we could help it to bring people together.

How would you describe an individual who is approachable? You might say,

‘Someone who is kind, readily available, and easy to talk to.’

You can often discern whether a person is approachable or not by listening to what he says and by observing his body language—gestures, facial expressions, and other nonverbal signs.

Confronted with all those communication problems we looked at Jehovah how He demonstrates that He is approachable. Although He is the Almighty Creator of our vast universe, Jehovah assures us that He is willing and eager to listen to our prayers and to respond to them. (Read Psalm 145:18; Isaiah 30:18, 19.) The Belgian Christadelphians also presented a series about the way we can speak to God at length at any time or place. They looked at ‘prayer‘, how we can bring prayers which are worthy in the eyes of God.

Ελληνικά:

Ελληνικά: (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We where happy this year in the knowledge that we always can approach the Divine Creator Jehovah God freely, knowing that He will never reproach us for doing so. (Psalm 65:2; James. 1:5) God’s Word describes Jehovah in human terms to indicate that he wants to be approached. For instance, the psalmist David wrote that “the eyes of Jehovah are toward” us and that his “right hand keeps fast hold” on us. (Psalm 34:15; 63:8) The prophet Isaiah likened Jehovah to a shepherd, saying:

“With his arm he will collect together the lambs; and in his bosom he will carry them.” (Isaiah 40:11)

We, though we had to face a very difficult time in Belgium, the last few months, still could find happiness in the knowledge that we fully could trust God Who wants us to be as close to Him as a little lamb nestled in the bosom of a caring shepherd.

We where convinced, and still are, that a key to being approachable is showing genuine interest in others. If an elder cares about others and is willing to give of himself in their behalf, his brothers and sisters, including young ones, will likely sense this attitude. (Mark 10:13-16) Of course, it is not enough for an elder to say that he is approachable; he should manifest that quality. (1 John 3:18)

Customs may vary from land to land, but usually when we give our brothers and sisters a warm smile, a welcoming handshake, a relaxed greeting, we are signaling that we are genuinely interested in them. Who should take the initiative in this? Note the example Jesus set. Matthew reports that at a meeting with his disciples, “Jesus approached and spoke to them.” (Matthew 28:18) Likewise, elders today take the initiative to approach their fellow believers and speak to them. How can that affect the congregation? An 88-year-old pioneer sister observed:

“The warm smiles and encouraging comments I receive from the elders when I enter the Kingdom Hall endear them to me.”

Another faithful sister added:

“It may be viewed as a little thing, but when an elder welcomes me to the meeting with a smile, it means a lot to me.”

This coming year we would like to continue working at the openness we do have to have, making ourselves more approachable to others. Obviously, we cannot be approached if we are not available. Jehovah sets a fine example in that regard.

“He is not far off from each one of us.” (Acts 17:27)

One way in which elders make themselves available to others is by setting aside time before and after Christian meetings to converse with their brothers and sisters—young and old.
A pioneer brother noted:

“When an elder asks how I’m doing and then stops to listen to my answer, I feel appreciated.”

A sister who has been serving Jehovah for nearly 50 years commented:

“Elders who take some time to talk to me after the meeting make me feel valued.”

We would love to give more time to those who have questions and are willing to listen to them and to give answers to the many questions people may have.

This coming new season we do want to give extra attention to the sheep showing others we are open to any body, being fair, free from having or showing bias or favouritism.

One who is impartial will pay due regard, not to an individual’s outward appearance or circumstances, but to his or her character as a person. We would like to find people who have the right attitude to come closer to Jehovah, our God, the greatest example of impartiality. His Word states that he “is not partial” and that he “treats none with partiality.”

34 At this Peter began to speak, and he said: “Now I truly understand that God is not partial,+35 but in every nation the man who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.+ (Acts 10:34, 35)

17 For Jehovah your God is the God of gods+ and the Lord of lords, the God great, mighty, and awe-inspiring, who treats none with partiality+ and does not accept a bribe. (Deuteronomy 10:17.)

As always are full attention next season shall go to the God of gods, Who executes justice for the fatherless child  and the widow and loves the foreign resident, giving him food and clothing. (Leviticus 19:10, Deuteronomy 24:14, Psalm 146:9) Once more we shall also give full attention to hired worker who is in need and poor and protecting the foreign residents, looking carefully what shall happen to the country Belgium in those political difficult times, where the politicians do not take into account the votes of the people, and created a new sort of monarchy of the political parties, where each party delivers politicians from father to son and keeps ruling the country and creating different posts for the own political family.

We do hope to convince people how no human political system shall ever be able to bring total peace. We shall keep trying to bring them the knowledge of what the purpose is of the Kingdom of God and why it is so important we look forward to the return of Christ Jesus, the Messiah.

We do admit we with the Belgian Christadelphians hoped we could bring much more people together, clinging to each other. We shamefully failed and have to admit we should put all our hope to God, and got perhaps too much fear in man.

20 “Jehovah your God you should fear, him you should serve,+ to him you should cling, and by his name you should swear. 21 He is the One you are to praise.+ He is your God, who has done all these great and awe-inspiring things for you that your own eyes have seen.+ (Deuteronomy 10: 20-21)

We shall continue to to invite all sorts of fellow believers, including those whose background differs from ours as well as those who are poor, orphaned, or widowed. (Read Galatians 2:10; James 1:27.) Further, in the Kingdom-preaching work, we shall keep sharing the good news impartially with people of all backgrounds, including those from foreign countries.

Preaching without impartility

We shall continue to take time to reflect on how approachable and impartial Jehovah is. In the knowledge that Jehovah is near to all those calling upon Him, we shall keep trying to bring others to know Him and to imitate Jehovah’s qualities to the full, demonstrating them in our dealings with fellow believers and with those to whom we preach.

Preceding article: An academic year ending, again a new year standing ready for us

++

Additional reading:

  1. Words in the world
  2. Funeral service only belongs in church building according to Catholic Church
  3. Being Religious and Spiritual 2 Religiosity and spiritual life
  4. Being Religious and Spiritual 3 Philosophers, Avicennism and the spiritual
  5. Being Religious and Spiritual 7 Transcendence to become one
  6. Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious
  7. Focus on outward appearances
  8. People are turning their back on Christianity
  9. Christianity to be enshrined
  10. Anti-Semitism ‘on the rise’ in Europe
  11. Walking alone?
  12. Stand Up
  13. Quit griping about your church
  14. Accents in schools and tools of survival against aliens
  15. Two states of existence before God
  16. God, my father, my closest friend
  17. God doesn’t call the qualified
  18. Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian
  19. A Society pleading poverty
  20. Priority to form a loving brotherhood
  21. Christadelphian people
  22. Not many coming out with their community name
  23. Festival of Freedom and persecutions
  24. Certain people trying to stem freedom of speech
  25. Censorship possible by a person and his organisation
  26. Attackers silenced freedom of speech
  27. A man from the North wanting to have control in Belgium
  28. No reconciliation possible between CBM and Duncan Heaster from Carelinks
  29. Delay in publications because attack from outside
  30. Members of the ecclesia uniting and seeking God’s help in tribulation
  31. Cleanliness and worrying or not about purity
  32. Springtime!
  33. Christian values and voting not just a game
  34. Human relations 2013
  35. 2013 Lifestyle, religiously and spiritually
  36. Preparing for an important election
  37. Standing aside or looking at election days
  38. 2014 European elections
  39. Yellow wave over Belgium
  40. Walloon politicians have proven they will never be willing to be open to Flanders
  41. A Jewish Theocracy
  42. Call for prayer to help with unity crisis
  43. Do You Expect God’s Answer
  44. Prayer, important aspect in our life
  45. Looking for True Spirituality 6 Spirituality and Prayer
  46. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #1 Kings Faith
  47. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #2 Calling upon the Name of God
  48. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #1 Creator and His Prophets
  49. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #4 Words in Scripture
  50. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #6 Words to feed and communicate
  51. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #4 Transitoriness #1 Prosperity
  52. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #4 Transitoriness #2 Purity
  53. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #1 Listening Sovereign Maker
  54. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #2 Witnessing
  55. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #3 Callers upon God
  56. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #6 Prayer #4 Attitude
  57. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #7 Prayer #5 Listening Ear
  58. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #8 Prayer #6 Communication and manifestation
  59. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #9 Prayer #7 Reason to pray
  60. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #10 Prayer #8 Condition
  61. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #11 Prayer #9 Making the Name Holy
  62. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #12 Prayer #10 Talk to A Friend
  63. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #13 Prayer #11 Name to be set apart
  64. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #14 Prayer #12 The other name
  65. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #15 Exposition before the Creator
  66. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #16 Benefits of praying
  67. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #17 Sorts of prayers
  68. Praying and thinking positively
  69. “Prayer 2″ – Child Abuse
  70. Genuine prayer
  71. People who know how to pray to move God to take hold of our affairs in a mighty way
  72. 7000 to 20000 words spoken each day
  73. If you think you’re too small to be effective
  74. Does God answer prayer?
  75. Being sure of their deliverance
  76. Work with joy and pray with love
  77. Give your worries to God
  78. Prayer has comforted us in sorrow

+++

  • Nearly 6,000 attend Jehovah’s Witness convention (wwlp.com)
    The Daily Hampshire Gazette reports that members of Jehovah’s Witnesses congregations from across the Northeast came to Amherst this weekend. They participated in a three-day program that included sermons, songs and prayer.
  • My Family Was Catholic Until the Almighty Got a Hold of Us (sandradeden.com)
    Ever wonder how all the different religions came about? Well, wonder no more, because I have a highly sophisticated theory. I think entire families stand in a long line before they are born, and a deity hands out religion like an ice cream truck guy hands out SpongeBob SquarePants bars, strawberry shortcakes, and fudgsicles. How do I know this? It’s the only way to explain my family.
    +
    She liked the Jewish emphasis on family and being a good person (as opposed to say, burning in hell for transgressions). The final piece was the idea that children must be born to a Jewish mother be considered Jewish, so she converted. It was toughest on my mom. Julie’s religious departure was still based in Christianity, but for my mom, Sharon had left the fold entirely.
  • A Letter to Brother Bramwell Chandrakumar’s Questions (garylordsway.wordpress.com)
    Jesus has defined God for us in scripture: Jn.4:24God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship Him in spirit and in truth. If we then know God is a Spirit, because God cannot lie
  • Chapter 25-Christ in the Old Testament (reformedontheweb.wordpress.com)
    It is well to see that the true doctrine as to the Saviour of man is not that of the New Testament only, but of the whole Bible. The unity of divine revelation will thus appear. The testimony of prophecy will be added to that of the miracles which attended the life of Jesus and the ministry of his followers.
    +
    The prophecy of the second coming of Christ which Jude (vers. 14, 15) tells us was made by “Enoch, the seventh from Adam,” betokens a degree of knowledge to the very end of the world which, but for that record, would never have been imagined. We are therefore not to be hindered by any presumption that our first parents did not know what God was promising, from carefully scrutinizing the record left us, nor from giving to it all the fullness of meaning its literal interpretation may convey.
  • Psalm 9 (kittyjonesblog.wordpress.com)
    Since you provide my righteousness and appoint my cause, /I know that my enemies, /the world culture that surrounds me, /my own self-absorbed flesh / and the devil, /will stumble and perish before the righteous judgment / that comes from your throne.
  • What do you need…? (prayerconfessions.wordpress.com)
    The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe.Encounter Him as:
    Elohim: the God above all gods

    Jehovah Jireh: the God who provides

    El-Shaddai: the almighty God

    Jehovah Rapha: our healer God

    Jehovah Shalom: our God of peace

  • Names of God (girlfriendscoffeehour.com)
    El Roi, the God Who Sees
    You are My Banner, Jehovah-Nissi
    The All Sufficient One, El Shaddai
    Jehovah-Jireh, You Will Provide
    Rapha, the Lord Who Heals
    Shalom, You are my Peace
    The Lord of Hosts, Jehovah-Sabaoth
  • Week 15: Friday – The Great I am (bolmdevotional.wordpress.com)
  • Jehovah “Is Not Partial” (byronfliwalker.wordpress.com)
    Have you ever been a victim of discrimination? Have you ever been denied a request, refused a service, or otherwise treated with disdain because of your skin color, ethnic background, or social status? If so, you are far from alone. Here, though, is the good news: Such indignities, though commonplace on earth, are nonexistent in heaven. “God is not partial,” said the Christian apostle Peter with the utmost conviction.—Read Acts 10:34, 35.

Daily portion of heavenly food

In this world lots of events demand our attention. We are pushed from one site to the other, having to do this, responding to that, needing to meet his person, or having to write to that one.

We have to face the hectic life of getting into business, having to do the shopping, taking care of the household, bringing the kids to school and to their after school societies or arts classes. They have their activities which demands their, but also our, attention. They want to get somewhere in life and we are wondering where we can get to. Who does not want to come somewhere at the top in life? But what may it be, having reached the goal or having become some one important. What does it contribute to our personal life?

Saint Padre Pio stated: "Through the stud...

Saint Padre Pio stated: “Through the study of books one seeks God; by meditation one finds him”. The Rosary: A Path Into Prayer by Liz Kelly 2004 ISBN 082942024X pages 79 and 86 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Like most people Christians allow the rush and crush of selfish ambition to deprive them of their daily portion of heavenly food. Oh, so often they forget what is most important in life. By forgetting the more spiritual matters it often happens they come like most citizens, bewildered in the mass of people trying to get somewhere in life.

Forgetting to take in their daily portion of spiritual food they must not be surprised, if they grow spiritually leaner day by day, and if “the peace of God” gives place in their hearts to the discontent which is growing in the world, notwithstanding the multiplication of their comforts and privileges.

Still life with Bible, by Vincent Van Gogh

Still life with Bible, by Vincent Van Gogh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We should remember how important it is to have our daily Bible Readings. There are different ways to get around the Book of books in the whole year. Either you may go from chapter to chapter, until the end of the Bible and start all over again, taking perhaps another translation each time. Or you may follow the practical Bible roster or Bible Reading Plan provided by several Bible Students Groups, like the International Bible Students or the Christadelphians.

Next to those Bible readings we need some extra guidance and encouragement. This can be received by reading the daily notes or additional daily short meditations. Such literature can be like daily manna, the spiritual food which can take care that we grow and become more mature Bible Students.

We may not forget the Divine Creator Himself has given us His teaching. By His men He allowed the Words come unto many people all over the world in many languages. That way all over the world people can get to know and keep in their hearts those commandments God has given to the world. For length of days and years of life, and peace they will add to those who are willing to listen to those words of the All Mighty. Those people who believe there exist that Supreme Being Who is eternal Spirit, can find His handbook for life, which has every guidance we need in it. This Super Power is more mighty than any man, and it is Him we should fear and not our fellow man. To His words we should give more attention than to the words of man. By reading them the readers shall find their character and their personality changing by the years. They shall be able to find kindness and truth, but should also be aware that favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man, plus good success can leave them if they do not continue on the right path.

We should trust in the Most High Lord of heavens, the God of gods, Jehovah with all our heart. Too many people today are leaning on their own understanding, convinced they have enough own insight. How mistaken they can be. God asks us to trust the Adonai with all our heart and not to rely on our own understanding.

In all our ways we should have respect unto Him by listening to Him Who has all the answers. Him we can trust to give our hand to be guided through life. When we allow Him to order our goings, we can be sure we shall be able to find easier ways in life. We therefore may not neglect the God’s Word. It will not be sufficient just to read His Word once in our lifetime. It also will not be sufficient to go to Him only when we are in trouble or find no way out. We shall have to show to God we are with Him and do love Him, not for what we might get from Him but out of honest feelings of love for Him and His creation.

We should all be aware that we will not enjoy life — really live — as God intended, without feeding regularly on God’s Word.

As human beings we do need water daily, our drinks and our other beverages. We can not survive without having food regularly. Spiritually it is exactly the same, we can not survive without our spiritual food at regular time intervals.

In case we do not eat properly we shall not be able to stay healthy. We need the necessary nutrients to stay strong physically. But we do not only have our physical body. We do have our brains and our way of thinking. To keep that healthy we shall need to give our brains the right impulses. We do need spiritual food to stay strong spiritually.

God’s Word — the Bible — is the food that feeds our faith, and gives us spiritual strength.

” But he answered, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.'” (Matthew 4:4 NHEBJE)

By every thing that God prescribes we shall be able to live. Like we need to feed our body every day, we also need to feed our spirit every day.

British Library Add. MS 59874 Ethiopian Bible ...

British Library Add. MS 59874 Ethiopian Bible – Matthew’s Gospel (Ge’ez script) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Our daily Bible reading should be our standard activity whereby we virtually bind the Word of God around our neck, writing them on the tablet of our heart. Doing so, we will find favour and good repute in the sight of God but also of man. Acknowledging Him, He will make your paths straight.

To get regularly some of God’s Word into our mind we can build up some good habits, such as reading the Word every time we eat food, or every morning when when we awake, or right before we go to sleep. It does not matter so much when we take some time to read in the Bible or when we take some time to pray or have our little conversation with the One Who we love. We only should not postpone it and should remember every day.

We may not be wise in our own eyes. We should fear the Most High Divine Creator, Jehovah and turn away from evil. When we fulfil such daily routine of Bible Reading it will be healing to our body and be as a refreshment to our bones.

Let the Word of God with the daily readings exhort us so that God in all our ways shall direct our paths.

” My son, do not forget my teaching; but let your heart keep my commandments:  (2)  for length of days, and years of life, and peace, will they add to you.  (3)  Do not let kindness and truth forsake you. Bind them around your neck. Write them on the tablet of your heart.  (4)  So you will find favor, and good understanding in the sight of God and man.  (5)  Trust in Jehovah with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  (6)  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.  (7)  Do not be wise in your own eyes. Fear Jehovah, and depart from evil.  (8)  It will be health to your body, and nourishment to your bones.” (Proverbs 3:1-8 NHEBJE)

Taking every day the Bible into our hands to read in it we should also pounder and meditate on what we have read. We should let the Words of God go deeper in our mind. Not only letting the word coming into our minds, we should also allow the Word of God come out of our minds, speaking it to ourselves and others. Speaking the Word — especially when you personalize it, can really build your faith fast.

You can read the Word of God (the Bible) on your own or with others. Listening to others who read it aloud is also a nice way to share God’s Word.

Of course, nothing can replace your own reading of the Bible, or having it read to you. But additionally it may benefit you to include devotional reading, texts or meditations on biblical texts or Bible Fragments.

Charles Taze Russell

Charles Taze Russell

For this reason we would like to contribute to encourage you to think about certain Bible fragments and would like to present, or to do our part in providing, material to enrich you spiritually. Besides Bible Fragments we will on this site, in the future, places short devotions or thoughts and discussions of our confreres from the past. As such you shall be able to find some parts from Charles Taze Russell his “Daily Manna” which had far better success than the Bible Students had dared hope for at the turn of the 19th century.

At the beginning of the 21st century we too would like to present “Daily Manna” to provide our visitors and readers with  spiritual nourishment. We do hope we shall find enough people who are truly committed to seeking God and walking closely with Him, interested to meditate with us on the provided readings from the Bible as well as from previous writings by different Bible Students.

We shall regularly bring an extraction of God’s word, with or without commentary and present some thoughts to draw the sincere seeker closer to God on a regular basis.

Knowing that the hope for the world lies in the blessings of knowledge and opportunity to be brought to all by Christ’s Millennial Kingdom — but that before Jesus shall return everywhere in the world the Gospel shall have to be preached, we would like to bring our contribution to that preaching and hope that you would like to share the Good News with others.

We all should work at our self and help others to work at themselves to become more clean and ‘holy‘ so that we can set apart and be prepared for the return of Christ Jesus, when all the wilfully wicked will be destroyed.(Acts 3:19-23; Isaiah 35).

We wish we can stimulate you to look more into your Bible and to study further the Word of God.

Daily Heavenly Manna for the Household FaithFor the extra devotional texts we shall first present writings from the original edition of the “Daily Heavenly Manna” first published in book form on February 1, 1905 (R3498). The compiler, Sr. Gertrude W. Siebert was noted for making her
selections with “particularity and carefulness.”
The popularity of the first edition of 20,000 called for a subsequent printing of 40,000 in 1907 (R3967.) This second edition added the feature of interleaved lined pages for use as an “Autograph and Birthday record.” Its use as a follow-up for the colporteurs was suggested at that time, and some of their early experiences are recorded in R4561 and R5869.
By 1911, the popularity of the “Manna” was so great that a reader of the “Towers” suggested the use of the Wednesday text for the weekly Testimony meeting (R4770). A similar suggestion a few months later was amended by Pastor Russell to a suggestion for the Thursday text. (R4833)

In the past several people found comfort in the thoughts the Bible Students offered and some call it their “Heavenly Breakfast Food” and tell that they feast upon its lessons as regularly as the sun rises. Surely the little tithe of time daily
spent in partaking of its morsels of heavenly counsel cannot fail to profit all who partake.
The day opened with such meditations is sure to be the better spent and more profitable.
The heart thus turned to holy thoughts is much less likely to go aside from right paths than otherwise. “The wisdom that cometh from above” is thus gradually and easily assimilable, and cannot fail to bear some good fruit in the hearts of the saints, and to awaken reverence in the worldly.

+

Additional reading:

  1. Not the circumstances in which we are placed constitutes our comfort
  2. The big agenda item
  3. Walking in the Light of Life
  4. The giving and protecting God
  5. God’s Blog recorded in a Book
  6. Creator and Blogger God 2 Image and likeness
  7. Bible in the first place #2/3
  8. God’s Comfort
  9. Man’s plans prevailed by God’s purpose
  10. Words to inspire and to give wisdom
  11. People Seeking for God 1 Looking for answers
  12. People Seeking for God 2 Human interpretations
  13. People Seeking for God 3 Laws and directions
  14. People Seeking for God 6 Strategy
  15. My God
  16. The manager and Word of God
  17. Understanding what we read
  18. A time for everything
  19. Feed Your Faith Daily
  20. He who kneels before God can stand before anyone!
  21. The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands
  22. We have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace
  23. A Living Faith #10: Our manner of Life #2
  24. If you want to go far in life
  25. Grow strong in weakness
  26. Running away from the past
  27. Everything that is done in the world is done by hope
  28. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #4 Transitoriness #3 Rejoicing in the insistence
  29. Philosophy hand in hand with spirituality
  30. Being Religious and Spiritual 4 Philosophical, religious and spiritual people
  31. Being Religious and Spiritual 7 Transcendence to become one
  32. Discipleship way of life on the narrow way to everlasting life
  33. Youth has difficulty Bible Reading
  34. Hello America and atheists
  35. Charles Taze Russell never claimed to have found a new religion, or a new church.
  36. Russell himself never claimed to be a prophet.
  37. Around C.T.Russell
  38. Russell and his beliefs
  39. Biblestudents & T.C.Russell

+++

  • { Armor of God } (alongtimetraveller.wordpress.com)
    Some of the most anxiety-ridden times of my life have also been the sweetest times of God revealing Himself to me. I can assure you that I would not be the same today without those moments. My fear drives me into God’s Word, which guides me into His comfort in my toughest times.
  • American Foundations The Bible? (wemmons.wordpress.com)
    How far down into this mud-hole of godless self-destruction can we go before the blessing and guidance of God is lifted off our nation? History has numerous examples of societies who chose to forget God and reject His design for their existence. The end results have never been good. When a nation fails to fulfill it’s God-given purpose, then it has no purpose, no vision and no reason to exist. Without a vision, or reason to exist, a nation begins to devour itself and soon becomes another footnote in the history books of other nations. Is this what we want for America? How much you pray and how well you vote will determine the answer!
  • Striving In Pra… (granaatbloeisels.wordpress.com)
    I always feel that one of the great factors in our own spiritual enlargement is a real active concern for others; not in the sense that we look after another’s vineyard and neglect our own, become “busy-bodies” as the Apostle would term it, occupied with everybody’s business except our own, but that there is a right and proper and fruitful concern for others. What the Scriptures that we have read bring before us is that God’s great revelation of purpose in the Church is not going to be realized without some tremendous and terrific conflict. There have to be those who throw themselves into that conflict for that end.
  • Conversation with God (lifeandtimesinthehood.wordpress.com)
    He used my everyday trials in life that all people go through in life; divorces, surgeries, health issues, relationships, etc. by turning them into a lie and used them against me. He did it so subtle that I thought I was doing all of it on my own; so that I would feel guilty and take the blame for all the negative feelings and own it as unworthy, worthless and unwanted. He did it little by little so I wasn’t aware of his presence.
  • Eighty Happy Students (smoothersailing.wordpress.com)
    There were 78 Bibles given out to some very thrilled students. One student said he was so excited to get a Bible because he could now have his own and be even closer to one day being a pastor. Other students were so excited to receive their Bibles they cried, sang and danced for joy.”
  • The Dark Knight of the Soul (theatlantic.com)
    Michael, 25, was a certified yoga teacher when he made his way to Cheetah House. He explains that during the course of his meditation practice his “body stopped digesting food. I had no idea what was happening.” For three years he believed he was “permanently ruined” by meditation.
    “Recovery,” “permanently ruined”—these are not words one typically encounters when discussing a contemplative practice.
  • Daily Meditations – Wednesday, July 2, 2014 (keys2kingdom.wordpress.com)
    By far the greatest gift ever received by us is the Holy Spirit Himself. Those who discover the value of His presence enter realms of intimacy with God never previously considered possible. Out of this vital relationship arises a ministry of power that formerly was only a dream. The incomprehensible becomes possible because He is with us.
  • Reasons Why I Do not Share The Gospel (fanaimasala.wordpress.com)
    Would you agree with me if I say these are the reasons why I do not share the gospel with others ?1. I am too busy.
    2. I don’t know how to share it.
    3. I am not smart enough.
    4. People don’t want to hear it.

    Well, all of these may have some influence, but I believe the real reasons are deeper.

  • Spiritual but not religious – Good or bad? (havau22.wordpress.com)
    Some school governors in Birmingham England have been accused of attempting to impose and promote a narrow faith-based ideology in secular schools. Should we be encouraging spiritual rather than religious education?
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    I would suggest that here there isan attempt to relate in prayer one-to-one with an image of a personal yet transcendent God.Being religious means accepting the value of knowing about divinely revealed ideas in religious culture and also being spiritual means finding the divine spirit within inner experience.
  • Pressing on To Maturity (disciplesforlife.wordpress.com)
    1. God’s desire and purpose for His image bearers is that we know Him. This call is especially so for believers who have been united to Christ
    2. Our growth in maturity is blocked not merely by intellectual issues, but by sin and love of the world, indicating a serious heart issue
    3. God calls us to press on toward maturity in the strength He has given: in prayerful reading and studying of His Word, asking for and depending on God’s help for our increased spiritual growth

Nazarene Commentary to An Angel Appearing to a Priest

Luke 1:8-17 – An Angel Appears to a Priest

LK1:8 Now [something] happened while Zechariah was serving as priest before The God when it was the turn for his [priestly] division. LK1:9 Then according to the ritual of the priesthood it was his turn to burn incense[1] when he entered the temple of the LORD. LK1:10 Outside the throng of worshippers were praying at the time of the offering of incense. LK1:11 Suddenly YHWH’s angel[2] appeared on the right side of the altar of incense [in the Holy Place]. LK1:12 Now when Zechariah saw the angel he was startled and he began to tremble in fear. LK1:13 Then the angel said to him: “Do not to be frightened, Zechariah! For your prayer has been heard and your wife Elizabeth shall bear you a son and you will call his name ‘John’.[3] LK1:14 And you will become filled with joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. LK1:15 For he will be great in YHWH’s sight[4] and he will not drink wine or strong drink.[5] [Numbers 6:3] He will be filled with holy Pneuma even while in his mother’s womb. LK1:16 He will restore many of the children of Israel[6] to YHWH their God. LK1:17 He will be a forerunner before [the Messiah] in the inspiration and power of Elijah – to restore the hearts of fathers to their children [Malachi 4:5, 6] and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous – to get ready YHWH’s people[7] prepared for [Messiah].”


[1] His turn to burn incense: Something rotated in the priestly divisions. In the first compartment of the Temple called the Holy Place there was an incense altar before the curtain to the Most Holy. [Exodus 25:1, 2, 6; 35:4, 5, 8, 27-29; 30:34-38]

[2] YHWH’s angel: A Hebraism where the Greek could suggest YHWH originally occurred here.

[3] ‘John’: Meaning “Jehovah Has Favored” or “God’s Gift.” One of the most common names in the Western world, occurring as Juan, Yves, Ivan, Sean, etc.

[4] YHWH’s sight: It is possible the Tetragram originally occurred here.

[5] He will not drink wine or strong drink: That is, a Nazarite from birth by God’s choosing like Samson. [Numbers 6:3; Judges 13:7]

[6] He will ‘restore many of the children’ of Israel: The phrase is borrowed from Malachi 4:5-6. This foretold “restoration” by Elijah was that of Israel to their God and also between Hebrew fathers and sons.

[7] To get ready YHWH’s people: The allusion to Malachi 4:5-6 gives an inspired interpretation to the prophecy. Peter alludes to a similar “restoration” at Acts 3:21. John the Baptist would go ahead of Christ by six months to prepare Israel for Messiah’s appearance by a baptism of repentance. All of Jesus’ apostles and early disciples were most likely disciples of John first.

 

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Preceding:

The Advent of the saviour to Roman oppression

Nazarene Commentary to Zechariah and Elizabeth

Next:

Nazarene Commentary to Struck Dumb For Disbelief

Nazarene Commentary to Elizabeth Pregnant

Nazarene Commentary to Gabriel’s Appearance to Mary

Nazarene Commentary to Mary Visits Elizabeth

Nazarene Commentary to Mary Magnifies God

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Cappella tornabuoni frescoes in Florence. Annu...

Annunciation of the angel to Zecharia. – Cappella tornabuoni frescoes in Florence. Annuncio dell’angelo a San Zaccaria. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • With God Nothing is Impossible (thebeggardanced.com)
    As a priest of Israel, during the time that Jesus was born, you could only minister at the altar of Incense that stood before the great curtain that separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place once in your life. There were so many priests that they were divided into divisions and that division would serve for a two-week period at the great Temple in Jerusalem. Two priests were appointed by casting lots to serve each day, and as a result only 28 priests would have the privilege of representing their nation before God through supplication and prayer within the Holy Place.

    It was with great excitement that Zechariah of the division of Abijah (Luke 1:5) was called upon to, “enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense.” (v. 9) While he was serving as a priest before God Luke tells us, “The whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the hour of incense.” (v. 10)
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    Zechariah, when confronted by Gabriel himself, still couldn’t believe and wanted a sign. What a contrast with the young girl Mary who, when she came face to face with Gabriel said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” Luke 1:38 Sometimes in life, regardless of our learning and our status, we understand less about the workings of God than a theologically uneducated person who simply has an honest heart for truth. Mary had faith and needed no further proof that God was leading her, while Zechariah couldn’t accept by faith Gabriel’s announcement and asked instead for proof. It is fitting that Luke should remind us, “For with God nothing will be impossible.” Luke 1:37 Regardless of what difficulties and problems you encounter, that text is as true for you as it was for Mary and Zechariah.

  • Thursday, 19 December 2013 : 3rd Week of Advent (Gospel Reading) (petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com)
    Zechariah said to the angel, “How can I believe this? I am an old man and my wife is elderly, too.” The angel replied, “I am Gabriel, who stands before God, and I am the one sent to speak to you, and to bring you this good news! My words will come true in their time. But you would not believe, and now you will be silent and unable to speak until this has happened.”
  • Thursday (December 19): “Do not be afraid because your prayer has been heard.” (shechina.wordpress.com)
    Do you believe that God will fulfill all his promises just as he said? Advent is a time to renew our hope and confidence in God’s faithfulness to the covenant he made with his people. In preparing the way for a Savior, we see the wondrous miracle of two barren couples who conceive and bear sons – Samson in the Old Testament (Judges 13) and John the Baptist in the New Testament (Luke 1:5ff) – who are called by God to bring hope and deliverance at a time of spiritual darkness and difficulty for the people of God.
    +
    When God draws us into his presence, he wants us to be still and quiet before him so we can listen to his voice as he speaks to our hearts and reveals his mind to us.  Do you listen attentively to the Lord and do you ponder his word in your heart with trust and confidence?
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    In the annunciation of the birth of John the Baptist, the angel explains to Zechariah the role his son is to play in preparing the way for the Messiah. John will be great in the sight of God. He will live as a Nazarite (see Numbers 6) – a person set apart for the Lord. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit even within his mother’s womb. And he shall be sent to the people of God, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of fathers and children to God and one another, by turning the “disobedient to the wisdom of the just.” The name John means “the Lord is gracious”. When God acts to save us he graciously fills us with his Holy Spirit and makes our faith “alive” to his promises. Do you pray that “the hearts of parents and children may be turned to God and one another”?
  • The Daily Gospel and Readings 19 December 2013 (prayersandmeditations.com)
    There was a certain man from Zorah, of the clan of the Danites, whose name was Manoah. His wife was barren and had borne no children.
    An angel of the LORD appeared to the woman and said to her, “Though you are barren and have had no children, yet you will conceive and bear a son. Now, then, be careful to take no wine or strong drink and to eat nothing unclean.
    As for the son you will conceive and bear, no razor shall touch his head, for this boy is to be consecrated to God from the womb.
    It is he who will begin the deliverance of Israel from the power of the Philistines.”
  • Advent Series, part II – Zechariah (matthewjabate.wordpress.com)
    Gabriel informed Zechariah that his son would fulfill Biblical prophecy in Malachi 4:6, which stated that “he will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children.” This was an unbelievable revelation for Zechariah to digest in one sitting. His son would pave the way for the coming of the Messiah. The sheer magnitude of this more than likely allowed Zechariah’s unbelief to come out; therefore, Gabriel told him that he would be unable to speak until God’s word took place (Luke 1:18-20, ESV).
    +
    Zechariah lived to see the Lord respond to his longings. He knew that the God of his ancestors answered prayer and moved among his people. Little did Zechariah know that God Almighty had chosen him and Elizabeth to bring about his purposes and plans. We must beware of unbelief when the Lord answers our prayers.
  • Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 1:5-25. (diizebuno.wordpress.com)
    You must be silent. Then God will be born in you, utter his word in you and you shall hear it; but be very sure that if you speak, the word will have to be silent. The way to serve the word is to keep silent and listen. If you go out, he will most surely come in; as much as you go out for him, he will come in to you; no more, no less
  • The Nazarene. (mjseymour1959.wordpress.com)
    The Temple is the kingdom of the Messiah. It is clear that Gentiles have trusted in the LORD since the time of the Nazarene (Branch) through the building of the church done by Jesus the Nazarene who as we have shown is literally “the Branch.”
    These two references to the Branch must speak of the same person. It is obvious that Joshua who is being addressed cannot be the branch which he is told will come in the future. Joshua, who bears the same human name (Joshua is the Hebrew form of the Greek Jesus), is a symbol and type of the “Branch” because he had a leading part in building the second Temple which was under construction when this message was given to him. The Messiah is spoken of here as in other Branch prophecies, all of which follow:
    +
    the man, “the Branch,” to come shall be of the house of David, he will be a judge, he will be a king, he will be a priest, he will be the Lord Our Righteousness, he will save Israel and Judah, he will build the Temple of God, in him will the Gentiles trust. Attention given to the context of these Branch prophecies will show that the Branch is the same person who will fulfill the David prophecies. They clearly refer to the Messiah and Jesus of Nazareth has astonishingly paralleled these predictions, so wonderfully fulfilled, yet unwittingly completed by those who reject him. Attention given to the context of these Branch prophecies will show that the Branch clearly refers to the Messiah, and Jesus has astonishingly paralleled these predictions, especially the last, that is, ”in him will the Gentiles trust.”
  • God Has a Plan – 12 Days of Christmas Devotional Day 3 (gloriousfilms.com)
    For childless couples, praying to God for a child can become a desperate cry of the heart that is not always answered by God.  Though some people take it better than others, many react with understandable bitterness.  But no matter how one reacts, there is something deeply heartbreaking about not being able to have a child.  It has been described as experiencing the death of a child, except there are no memories of its life. Now that is difficult stuff.One can only image the pain of the childless couple Zechariah and Elizabeth, whose misfortune was compounded by the suspicions of family and friends around them who viewed barrenness as a sign of God’s disfavor. In ancient Israel, if you couldn’t have children, it was assumed you must be committing some sin against God for which He was punishing you (although barrenness did befall disobedient persons and entire nations in Scripture, this was certainly not the rule).
    +
    we can learn something very important from Zechariah’s ordeal. The lesson goes beyond “God answers prayer” or “God loves the humble.” It goes beyond even “God is with us in our pain,” or “Trust in God.” All of these things are very important, and very true. But the deeper thing Zechariah discovered is that God has a Master plan, and that his life – and all of our lives – are intertwined in it. His suffering and his joy were both the result of God working out His divine plans on the earth. Even his momentary lack of trust in God was used by God to work out God’s plans (Zechariah got some quiet time, and his muteness brought even more attention to the special nature of his coming son and the Messiah he preceded). Zechariah was lucky because he lived to see this intersection very clearly. But we must remember that this happened when Zach was very old.
  • Israel’s Kings as Messiahs or Christs (mindingthetruth.com)
    In a previous post, I pointed out that in the Hebrew Old Testament Scriptures Israel’s kings are spoken of as God’s anointed ones. In the Hebrew texts the word for “anointed one” is mashiach (משיח), which is anglicized as “messiah.” And in the Septuagint (LXX), the ancient Greek translations of the Hebrew Scriptures used by early Christians, mashiach was rendered christos (χριστος), which is anglicized as “christ.” Here are some examples of this usage of the term mashiach in the Hebrew texts and christos in the Greek translations. This usage, of course, is critical for rightly understanding Jesus as mashiach or christos. Against the background of Israel’s kings as mashiach or christos, it is evident that the claim Jesus is the Messiah or Christ is the claim that Jesus is the king appointed by God.

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