Godliness Prt 3

#20 February 7, 2022

          Growing in Oneness with the Father

Proverbs 29:7 The righteous considereth the cause of the poor; but the wicked regardeth not to know it.

To know the true nature of God is to realize that one of the aspects of His righteousness is a deep concern for those in need. Brethren consider your own spiritual self and the need you possessed in a time before someone shared with you the grace that God had brought them, and understand that mankind as a whole, stand before God in great spiritual need.

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Understand that only the compassion and charity of God stands between us and death. Without His grace and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we would be without hope. As God's temporal hands in the world of man, we must learn how to share with others the compassion and charity He shows us. Each day, through Him, we live and grow in a way we need to teach others. 

Lamentations 3:22 It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.

Moroni 7:52 Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail; but charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth for ever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with them.

In the verses above we see that both compassion and charity are attributes of godliness. In essence they inspire God's ministry to us and our outreach to others. If we use them as God does, these two attributes become the very foundation for both our faith in God and the patience we need to share our godliness with others.  

Hebrews 6:10-12
6:10 For God is not unrighteous, therefore he will not forget your work and labor of love, which ye have showed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
6:11 And we desire that every one of you do show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end;
6:12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Appreciate fully what it is we seek. Compassion is the ability to see with the eyes of God humanity's struggle within the human condition, and to feel with them the hopelessness that abounds in their struggle without Him. 

Psalms 145:8-9 
145:8 The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.
145:9 The Lord is good to all; and his tender mercies are over all his works.

Charity describes the strength within us that is born of our God given compassion. Through God's Spirit, this new strength opens our hearts to the many ways we might give hope to the hopeless. All of them begin in God.

Moroni 7:51-52 

7:51 And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things; wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth.
7:52 Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail; but charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth for ever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with them.

The power of these two attributes of godliness is the very fullness of God. The Apostle Paul shows us that in even in their simplest form compassion and charity can overwhelm the lies and the traps laid by the world of man.

Romans 14:11-13 

14:11 For I live, saith the Lord, as it is written. And every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall swear to God.
14:12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

14:13 Let us not therefore judge one another anymore; but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother's way.

The Gospel in its simplicity is the truth of righteousness and the authority of God. If we are to labor with godliness, compassion and charity demands that we clear the path to God of any lie that might cause His children to stumble and fall. 

Proverbs 29:6-7

29:6 In the transgression of an evil man there is a snare; but the righteous doth sing and rejoice.

29:7 The righteous considereth the cause of the poor; but the wicked regardeth not to know it.

To see with compassion negates our ability to turn away from those who are lost. Within the poverty of spirit mankind suffers a darkness that blinds them to the snares that an insensitive and uncharitable world lays at their feet. The strength of charity within us lights their path by allowing them to see clearly the God of love and His mercy that causes our life to be filled with joy. When we reach out to them in compassion with a song of hope, the strength of charity within us lifts them up and away from the wrath of scornful man. Yes, sometimes our greatest labor is that of just being present with a living testimony of God and His place in our lives. Even in this humble act, the power of God can be known.

Compassion and charity are necessary aspects of godliness we seek to establish in the world. To lack either is to lack both and without them our labor is incomplete and useless.

Alma 16:225 Therefore if ye do not remember to be charitable, ye are as dross, which the refiners do cast out, (it being of no worth,) and is trodden under foot of men.

Without compassion charity could be forgotten. God in His wisdom causes us to be filled with compassion that charity will always be a tool of redemption available to us. This is the wisdom of God and the growth in godliness we seek.

Compassion and charity lead us to go forward boldly that the needs mankind might be met, but be prepared for that time when more is required of us than these attributes can supply. The ways of the world will cause some to doubt the truth of your compassion and will challenge your ability to be charitable. When that happens, lay aside the disappointment and fear you feel. God is there and you are about to grow. Rejoice and know that the truth of God is stronger than the wisdom of man.     

1 Corinthians 3:19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God; for it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.

Truth is the foundation on which the Kingdom is built, but to lay the fullness of God's truth at the feet those filled with worldly pride is to contend with a foolish man. If we allow it to create conflict, we risk both our compassion and our charity. The battle might be won, but the war itself could be lost. Remember, we are planting seeds that truth might grow. It must be an offering of truth that overcomes the pride we face. We must labor within the fullness of truth and gain within that labor another aspect of godliness, which is faith. 

By God's design the fullness of truth is the fruit of the harvest. It is the result of planting a seed within the heart of another and nurturing that seed until they stand willing to seek God in repentance and baptism. Even then they are not in possession of the knowledge of the truth to its fullness. They possess but a shadow of all that can be. In faith we must continue our labor by nurturing the young believer. We must feed them, protect them, and sustain them till such a time, as they are ready and able to accept the full light of God. To demand anything more from them is to face them with nothing more than unbelievable testimonies, and rules they don't understand. Jacob the brother of Nephi discusses the prophecy of Zenos concerning God in His vineyard. The vineyard is the world and the olive trees are His covenant people corrupted by the ways of the world. He labors to save them with the Gospel of the Kingdom, but He directs His laborers to proceed wisely because the tree is corrupted by age and worldly lust. The labor requires patience founded on faith.    

Jacob 3:131-132
3:131 And ye shall not clear away the bad thereof, all at once, lest the roots thereof should be too strong for the graft, and the graft thereof shall perish, and I lose the trees of my vineyard.
3:132 For it grieveth me that I should lose the trees of my vineyard; wherefore, ye shall clear away the bad, according as the good shall grow, that the root and the top may be equal in strength, until the good shall overcome the bad, and the bad be hewn down and cast into the fire, that they cumber not the ground of my vineyard; and thus will I sweep away the bad out of my vineyard.

Because of the strength of iniquity in the world the absolute authority of God sometimes appears to be more an article faith than a valid recognizable testimony. This is the very strength of faith. It sees the bright shinning light of God's truth through the darkest of nights. In faith we look with full assurance to God and His ways when the world tells us that all hope is lost. Our faith is hope and a vision of a life beyond this earthly existence. Faith tells us that the ways of God are stronger than the pride that lives in the heart of man, and we believe. Remember, our faith is foundational to the faith of those we seek. In faith is strength. In faith is the unity of oneness.

1 John 5:4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world; and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

Because of this faith we reach out boldly assured that God can and will redeem all those who seek His ways. We become bold because we find that the word of God within us is incomplete and unfulfilled until we share it. By sharing it we know the fullness of joy that the Gospel brings.

Mosiah 1:95 And he said unto me, Awake, and hear the words which I shall tell thee: for behold, I am come to declare unto thee glad tidings of great joy.

In this mindset faith becomes our greatest strength within godliness. It sustains us through all our test and trials. It has been so since forever.

Hebrews 11:4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

Hebrews 11:5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him; for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

Faith changes us and in that change we are saved. We are no longer alone. We stand with God in willing obedience to all He asks of us. 

Hebrews 11:7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

It can also change the world around us.

Hebrews 11:29 By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land; which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.

Hebrews 11:30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days.

Faith is a life saving addition to any who choose to grow in it.

Hebrews 11:31 By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.

Like all the grace given by God, faith does not just appear it is a seed to be planted and nurtured that it might grow. Our faith in the ways of God allows us to labor with Him, that in the unity of oneness all that labor together, grow together in a way that insures strength and continued growth. Once again the prophecy of Zenos brings light to our understanding of compassion, charity, patience and faith. We begin to understand the full measure of growth required for one to choose God and the ways of God.

Jacob 3:133-134
3:133 And the branches of the natural tree will I graft in again, into the natural tree; and the branches of the natural tree will I graft into the natural branches of the tree;
3:134 And thus will I bring them together again, that they shall bring forth the natural fruit; and they shall be one.

As we open our hearts to the fullness of God's plan, we discover that His methods are thorough and reliable. Even that which was old and corrupted can become new and vital. Those who accepted the judgmental God of old could come to know and accept the God of mercy and truth we worship. God's design deserves all the faith we can offer. In faith to God and His ways we discover that Zion alive in our hearts and present upon the earth is more than just a fairy tale. It is not only possible; it is doable. We are filled with a confidence that only serves to bolster our faith in our covenant labor. 

In our diligence we must be aware that even faith as powerful as it is, has a challenger. The spirit of contention can cause faith to wither. Faith seeks unity if is to ever become the oneness we seek. Cease to contend with the fool. Instead, be compassionate and full of charity. With patience born of our faith in God, teach them. Give them the words and show them the way. 

1 John 3:18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue only; but in deed and in truth.

Entreat them to grow, for in growth lays the answer to their questions and the source of their redemption. Be compassionate of their foolishness that they might allow themselves to accept our charitable offering of truth. Teach them of fellowship with a righteous people and they will understand the wisdom of fellowship with God through His Spirit. Live life with them in faith to all of Gods percepts and the result will be godliness, both theirs and ours.

Let our hearts be turned toward the Father we love.

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