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God of the Living

 
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Prayer-Soldier
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 4:24 pm    Post subject: God of the Living Reply with quote

God of the Living

Scripture:


It came to pass also, that seven brethren, together with their mother, were apprehended, and compelled by the king to eat the flesh of swine, against the law, for which end they were tormented with whips and scourges. But one of them, who was the eldest, said thus: What would you ask, or learn of us? We are ready to die rather than to transgress the laws of God, received from our fathers.

And when he was at the last gasp, he said thus: You indeed, O most wicked man, destroy us out of this present life: but the King of the world will raise us up, who die for his laws, in the resurrection of eternal life. After him the third was made a mocking stock, and when he was required, he quickly put forth his tongue, and courageously stretched out his hands and said with confidence: These I have from heaven, but for the laws of God I now despise them: because I hope to receive them again from him. So that the king, and they that were with him, wondered at the courage of the young man, because he esteemed the torments as nothing. And after he was thus dead, they tormented the fourth in the like manner and when he was now ready to die, he spoke thus: It is better, being put to death by men, to look for hope from God, to be raised up again by him: for, as to you, you shall have no resurrection unto life.

(2 Maccabees 7:1-2, 9-14)

Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God and our Father, who has loved us and has given us everlasting consolation and good hope in grace. Exhort your hearts and confirm yourself in every good work and word.

For the rest, brethren, pray for us that the word of God may run and may be glorified, even as among you: And that we may be delivered from importunate and evil men: for all men have not faith. But God is faithful, who will strengthen and keep you from evil. And we have confidence concerning you in the Lord that the things which we command, you both do and will do. And the Lord direct your hearts, in the charity of God and the patience of Christ.

(2 Thessalonians 2:16-3:5)

And there came to him some of the Sadducees, who deny that there is any resurrection: and they asked him, saying: Master, Moses wrote unto us: If the brother of any man die, having a wife, and he leave no children, that his brother should take her to wife and raise up seed unto his brother. There were therefore seven brethren: and the first took a wife and died without children. And the next took her to wife: and he also died childless. And the third took her. And in like manner, all the seven: and they left no children and died. Last of all the woman died also. In the resurrection therefore, whose wife of them shall she be? For all the seven had her to wife. And Jesus said to them: The children of this world marry and are given in marriage: But they that shall be accounted worthy of that world and of the resurrection from the dead shall neither be married nor take wives. Neither can they die any more for they are equal to the angels and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection. Now that the dead rise again, Moses also showed at the bush, when he called the Lord: The God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. For he is not the God of the dead, but of the living: for all live to him.
(Luke 20:27-3Cool

Reflection:

For those who know and experience God, they know there is more to our existence than the moments we spend within this world. As He approaches us with a light, silent sound (cf. 1 Kings 19:12); a soft whisper within our hearts; many fail to recognize what He speaks to them or how He seeks to guide them, but those who listen and watch carefully for His fingerprints upon their lives, know there is something more for them. Through this recognition, they find strength to endure temporary trials so they might receive that which is eternal.

Some listen, but do not hear. Some watch, but do not see. They sense there is something more which surrounds them, but blinded by the noise and glare of the world, they seek to impose the ways of the world, assumed by people, rather than the ways of the Creator and His eternal wisdom. They observe the creation which surrounds them through senses which are designed to reveal the physical, but they fail to use the senses of the heart which are designed to reveal that which is spiritual. When they focus only upon the physical, then, what they stumble into and endeavor to impose upon others are paths which do not sustain eternal life.

The Word of the Lord and the experiences of the prophets and saints reveal to us that our Creator watches over us and desires to guide us. Through His Holy Word, He provides to us a grand blueprint by which we may make the world a more excellent place. As we accept His Word and live by His Word, we walk the path of His blessings. As we reject His Word and live by selfish motivations, we walk away from those blessings. The choice, He has left to us. It is this freewill which He grants us by which our choices are given meaning. We must recognize that with such a great gift comes great responsibilities.

We too often make our choices based upon the moment rather than the consequences to our future. Even when we should look to our future, how far ahead do we look; a few years, a decade or two, the remainder of our lives? Do we consider the consequences to our eternity? Do we consider what it might mean to gain the whole world by selfish, uncaring, or manipulative choices, yet, lose our way to the path which leads to eternal life? (cf. Matthew 16:26, Mark 8:36, Luke 9:25, 12:16-21, John 12:9)

If we allow His Word to be our guide; if we live according to His commandments of love; then, happiness is possible for us for eternity; for by living His ways, we demonstrate our belief in Him (cf. John 3:16-21) and the forgiveness He offers for the times we fail Him and approach Him with a contrite heart for those failings. (cf. Psalm 51:19, Daniel 3:39, Matthew 6:14-15, 26:2Cool Still, there are many who surround us who do not seek to live as our Lord encourages. The consequences of their choices ripple through those who surround them; and the innocent also suffer through the choices which reject the ways of God.

Still, we must remember, there will be an accounting. (cf. Genesis 9:5, Matthew, 18:21-35) What we experience within this world is for but a short time. No matter whether our sufferings are the consequences of our choices or those of others, in such moments, we must not forget the eternity which may be lost should we embrace ill choices and beliefs.

The great hope before us is that our God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. (cf. Luke 20:3Cool If we believe in Him and trust Him, then, we shall observe that living according to His Word offers a more excellent way (cf. 1 Corinthians 12:31) than if we wander the world with selfish desires. Let us, then, allow Him to prepare our hearts and fill them with His blessings; blessings we may share with compassion, charity, and love. If we should suffer trials and tribulations in this world, let us not despair, for all such pain shall pass as we follow our Lord and Savior to His kingdom; where love is shared by all and where there is no pain or affliction. (cf. Revelation 21:4)

Questions for further reflection:

In what ways to we live in commitment to the Word of God?

In what ways does living as God asks of us strengthen us and enable us to live happy lives?

What does it mean to us to know that God is the God of the living?

May the peace and blessings of the Lord be with you always,
Prayer Soldier

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