#9 September 04, 2021
Fulfilling another’s needs is the very foundation of all we try to do as we labor within the purpose of God, but this is not an easy thing to do. We fear failure. We fear being perceived as a “goody two-shoes” sticking out nose where it doesn’t belong. We fear hurting another’s feelings. We fear that our less than stellar efforts will turn another against both God and us. We fear. We fear. We fear. Lean on God and He will end your ignorance. Listen to Him and He will show you the way. Trust in God and He will open the gate that you might walk the path with Him.
Note: The lesson God offered me was comprised of two passages from Proverbs 20. These passages have been offered in bold font, which I then expanded on with His understandings that caused me to grow. I hope it does the same for you. FRED
Proverbs 20:4 The sluggard will not plough by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing.
The world deals harshly with the lazy people. But, are they lazy or do they suffer from a lack of purpose. Have they chosen inactivity because they are convinced that their effort will yield no reward at all? Are they idle by choice or have they just lost hope? We want to assume that the believer is the only person capable of recognizing the corrupt state of the world, but this is just not true. Many have looked at the unfair challenges offered by the world and recognized that the remedies offered by the churches of the world are misdirected, trite, and at best, ineffective. Have we along with the rest of the world judged them unfairly? To defend their own self-worth in the face of the world, they have decided to just not care. In effect, they don’t care, because they don’t know. Would they care is they were told? This is a question worthy of the Kingdom heart, and an admirable reason for us to include them in our covenant labor.
11:13 And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the Lord your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul,
11:14 That I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil.
11:15 And I will send grass in thy fields for thy cattle, that thou mayest eat and be full.
As children of God, we must tell them. We must reach out to them with the love of God in a form they can recognize. Our faith in them might allow them to have faith in Him who sent us. It might be the hope they need. We must realize that the darkness surrounds them and they are defeated. Without our effort of charity to light their way, they will wander lost and alone, and won’t even know.
Have faith that God is using you to bring these people a good reason to seek the redemption they need. Our admonishments must take the form of righteous bread and holy water. Only the bread of life can nourish the diligence that lies dormant within them. Only the holy water of redemption can slake the thirst for purpose their life lacks.
Matthew 18:15 Moreover, if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone; if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
This should be our first and most important response to the reconciliation of another to the ways of God. Remember, in God the acts of another become offensive only when we allow them to be. It is our heart alone that allows the words or actions of another to offended us. We must allow our self to have the ability to love as God loves. Yes, it is charity that can protect us from the need to feel offended.
Psalms 119:165 Great peace have they which love thy law; and nothing shall offend them.
Luke 10:28 And he answering, said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.
Through the Spirit we are taught to recognize an opportunity to reach out to the offender with love. In this love we learn to replace our needs for the needs of another. In truth, the needs of another are the foundation of the Kingdom, which is oneness.
2:21 And humble yourselves even in the depths of humility, calling on the name of the Lord daily, and standing steadfastly in the faith of that which is to come, which was spoken by the mouth of the angel;
2:22 And behold, I say unto you, that if ye do this, ye shall always rejoice, and be filled with the love of God, and always retain a remission of your sins;
2:23 And ye shall grow in the knowledge of the glory of him that created you, or in the knowledge of that which is just and true.
2:24 And ye will not have a mind to injure one another, but to live peaceably, and to render to every man according to that which is his due.
The Spirit of truth that is our testimony of the Kingdom becomes a lie when we allow enmity to exist between another and us. Reconciliation is so very important to God that He gives us a process and a pattern that we should know and use, because it works. It achieves what we seek accomplish.
18:15 Moreover, if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone; if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
18:16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
18:17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church; but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as a heathen man and a publican.
This is the process of reconciliation. For this process to work we must fill our lives with the ways of God, which allows us to revere and use effectively the ways of the Kingdom.
17:3 Take heed to yourselves. If your brother trespass against you, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.
17:4 And if he trespass against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn to you again, saying, I repent; you shall forgive him.
Within these verses lay the truth of God and the ways by which the unity of oneness is allowed to grow. The way is simple but not easy. Our faith in the ways of God and our fellowship with Him through the Spirit are essential. If we reach out to others with the charity of God our efforts will become hope to the outcast, food for the starving, and drink for those whose thirst for purpose.
20:5 Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out.
20:6 Most men will proclaim everyone his own goodness; but a faithful man who can find?
Genesis 5:19 And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel, thy brother? And he said, I know not, am I my brother’s keeper?
Brothers and sisters look at the target verses 5 and 6 and understand why I have denoted the question asked by Cain. Earthly logic tells us that we can’t make another man think or feel the way we want him to. How can we be responsible for what he does? Even spiritual logic tells us that God gave man his own agency, and I have absolutely no authority to interfere with any decision they makes about theirselves. So we can logically conclude that we are not our brother’s keeper. Except for one little thing: our chosen covenant with the Almighty.
2 Nephi 13:26-29
13:26 And ye have received the Holy Ghost, which witnesses of the Father and the Son, unto the fulfilling of the promise which he hath made, that if ye enter in by the way, ye should receive.
13:27 And now, my beloved brethren, after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask, if all is done?
13:28 Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for ye have not come thus far, save it were by the word of Christ, with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save;
13:29 Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men.
Consider the people on this earth you already love. Whether it is your spouse, your friend, your sibling, or your child, you want each of them to possess and understand all the best things about God and the ways of God. Now think about them suffering with an incomplete knowledge of God and the love He offers. Think about your daughter unmarried, pregnant, and sure that God will turn His back on her because of her rebellious mistake.
69:1 Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto my soul.
69:2 I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing; I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me.
How hard would you minister to show her that she was wrong? What would you fail to try to convince her that God is a loving God and He doesn’t stop loving us just because of a mistake? How many levels of hell would you walk through to see her be ok? We seek to have this same love for all of mankind.
105:5a Be thou humble, and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand, and give thee answer to thy prayers. I know thy heart, and have heard thy prayers concerning thy brethren.
105:5b Be not partial towards them in love above many others, but let thy love be for them as for thyself; and let thy love abound unto all men, and unto all who love my name.
Millions of people in this world understand sin and judgment. They know of the gates of hell, but they don’t know that the true nature of God is to do everything possible to insure that they never have a reason to face those gates. Their ignorance of the true nature of God has filled them with such a fear of God that their only defense is to pretend that none of it exists. Our covenant with the Lord and God’s own Spirit has filled us with understanding. We can be the help they need. In fact, the love of God and the Spirit directs us to be that help. We find the love of God and all men creates within us the need to do everything we can to instruct and convince all of God’s children of the love of God and their rightful place within it.
As with any heartfelt labor, we will come to a point where words do not suffice what we need to do and how badly we want to do it. When the only way to convince them is temporal proof, we will find within us the need to be that faithful man whom everyone seeks. If for no other reason than for them to find him and know, that God and the ways of God are true. God has not made us responsible for this, but the love of God for all men has made us want to. Christ taught us of this driving force within our heart and the almost desperate need it creates.
23:36 Then Jesus began to weep over Jerusalem, saying,
23:37 O Jerusalem! Jerusalem! Ye who will kill the prophets, and will stone them who are sent unto you; how often would I have gathered your children together, even as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, and ye would not.
Recognize the love that drove Christ. He wept for the souls of the people who would demand that He be nailed to a cross and left to hang there until He died. Realize that our covenant with God and the love for all men that comes with it changes us in ways that no worldly logic can explain. It causes us to see the world in a way God might. It allows us to experience some of what God’s true nature might be and allows us to claim God’s purpose as our own. It makes our faith a tool that can be used to reach out with hope to the hopeless and causes within us a charitable nature that can exist no other way. A love for all mankind gives us a reason to go forward when no other motive reasonably exist. It is an inspiration that wells up deep within our heart, and will not be denied. It is truly God working within the heart of man.
33:29 Lo, all these things worketh God oftentimes with man.
33:30 To bring back his soul from the pit, to be enlightened with the light of the living.
Brethren understand fully the true difficulty we face in gaining the ability to love as God loves. I am convinced that each of us has tried repeatedly to gain this attribute. We look with our eyes into the soul of those in bondage to the ways of the world, and we have come away from this effort frustrated in the attempt. My testimony of my effort is no different than yours. I couldn’t do it. I found success the day I went to God in prayer and told Him I failed miserably.
James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
This was my first experience with the true strength of humility. The ways of love are limited in the heart of man, but when we allow God into our heart fully, those limitations are gone. Only in God are we allowed to see as He sees. Only through God are we allowed to love as God loves, and this is all for a very real reason. To love as God loves requires us to feel a sorrow we are not able to bear alone. Only in God are we able to look upon the desolation of man in this world and not be broken completely. Only with God’s strength can we retain the hope that is the reconciliation of man to God through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Understand that our labor for God and His purpose must be a labor with Him or we will fail. That which will allow us to succeed against the adversary entrenched in the hearts of the natural man is our ability to be humble to God. We possess the light of truth, but we must never try to be that light. We must allow that light of truth to shine through us by our fellowship with God through His Holy Spirit. We must face the fact that not only does God deserve all the glory; that glory never happens in our effort alone.
Moroni 10:29 Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in no wise deny the power of God.
Humility to God creates an understanding of truth. Understanding of truth yields acceptance. Acceptance of truth allows fruitful effort. Fruitful effort results in success. Success in God is victory in the hearts of the people. That victory is the Kingdom.
Let the light of God shine out on the world through you and and remember that even in baby steps we move forward.