Godliness Prt 6

#23 February 25, 2022

Taking On A Full Measure Of Godliness

As we grow in godliness we grow in our perception of the true nature of God. We grow in our ability to trust God's Spirit as we are led to the fullness of godliness we seek. While every aspect we gain is good, we must realize that some are hard to the point of being harsh. Our abiding fellowship with the Father gives us the strength to resist Satan's efforts to block our growth. Our humility to God's Spirit will allow His strength to be ours as we strive to be a true testimony of God at work in the world of man. 

Godliness within the Lord opens our eyes to the frustration that abounds in the world today as we witness first-hand the bondage of man within the human condition. Whether it is a failure of the Church or a failure of the people, it is hard watching the degradation of man as they turn away from their assurance in God. This is hard to the point of being harsh. Our hearts will be filled with sorrow because in our growing godliness we begin to realize that there are only two leaders present that can lead mankind in their spiritual growth. One is God the other is not. 

Mormon 2:46-47
2:46 They were once a delightsome people, and they had Christ for their Shepherd; yea, they were led even by God, the Father.
2:47 But now, behold they are led about by Satan, even as chaff is driven before the wind, or as a vessel is tossed about upon the waves, without sail or anchor, or without anything wherewith to steer her; and even as she is, so are they.

Fear is alive and growing within the hearts of people, today. Everyone is afraid of something. The threat becomes even more challenging when we realize that the all too necessary human reaction to fear is frustrated anger. Never, ever underestimate the strength of this foe, because anger can hide within our hearts disguised as courage. It challenges our humility to the ways of God. It threatens our willingness to depend on God as our source of strength. Fear seeks to destroy our assurance in the Father and replace it with both frustration and anger. Yes brethren the threat is real, but so is God. 

Mark 13:33-35 
13:33 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom;

13:34 There shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes in divers places.
13:35 And again, because iniquity shall abound, the love of men shall wax cold; but he who shall not be overcome, the same shall be saved.

We are part of a society rich in sources of information and unfortunately the controlling power of fear is the bread and butter of the modern media. It begins innocently enough with those that report the news. The trouble is that if it is bad news, and if it is scary; it is very, very profitable. The modern newscasters have left behind their standing as public servants and have become media stars. In the beginning their craft mandated that they offer all the facts available to inform the listener who would then form their own opinion of the situation. To capture an audience it has become fashionable for these so-called talking heads to create an opinion and pass it off as journalism. Truth becomes obscure and elusive. This fosters conflicting opinions that create a larger audience. Merchants see a chance to advertise their wares to this larger audience, and they take it. More advertisers yield more money and larger profits. Trouble is, this method of targeted misinformation also creates ignorance posing as knowledge, fear disguised as courage, and an unrealized frustrated anger that can destroy the very godliness we seek. 

Proverbs 29:22-23
29:22 An angry man stirreth up strife, and a furious man aboundeth in transgression.
29:23 A man's pride shall bring him low; but honor shall uphold the humble in spirit.

Christ warns us that our anger can and will stand between God and us. He wants us to know that anger is a darkness that hides from us the light of truth that is reconciliation.    

Matthew 5:23-26 
5:23 Ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time that, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill, shall be in danger of the judgment of God.
5:24 But I say unto you, that whosoever is angry with his brother, shall be in danger of his judgment; and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca (you are stupid or worthless), or Rabcha (your are worthless to me), shall be in danger of the council; and whosoever shall say to his brother, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
5:25 Therefore, if ye shall come unto me, or shall desire to come unto me, or if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee,
5:26 Leave thou thy gift before the altar, and go thy way unto thy brother, and first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

Godliness understands how important the intent within our heart is to God. Beware Brethren; least your frustration causes you to allow anger to replace your child-like trust in God. In godliness, the love of God must be our constant source and our guiding light. In godliness we aspire to be God's children. As God's child condemnation is not a part of our labor. Reconciliation is the fruit of the Spirit we seek. 

John 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Our heart needs to be cleansed of all impurities. Anger is a burden that taints the heart of a man and causes him to be impure. It taints the joy within that sustains us. It darkens our countenance and obscures the bright lite of truth that is the Spirit within. Our prayers will be angry. Any testimony we offer will profess less than it should because it will carry with it the anger we feel. Any instruction we offer will carry with it a threat of judgment that can destroy hope. Yes, anger is a burden we should seek to avoid.  

Moroni 7:7-9 
7:7 For behold, if a man being evil, giveth a gift, he doeth it grudgingly; wherefore it is counted unto him the same as if he had retained the gift; wherefore he is counted evil before God.
7:8 And likewise also is it counted evil unto a man, if he shall pray, and not with real intent of heart; yea, and it profiteth him nothing; for God receiveth none such; wherefore, a man being evil, can not do that which is good; neither will he give a good gift.
7:9 For behold, a bitter fountain can not bring forth good water; neither can a good fountain bring forth bitter water; wherefore a man being a servant of the devil, can not follow Christ; and if he follow Christ, he can not be a servant of the devil.

The purity of God within our hearts has to be allowed to overcome all. For us to be godly we must open ourselves completely to God's Spirit and allow it to drive out all that separates us from Him, and that includes anger. When we allow our anger to lead us, we give up our oneness with God. We become something else entirely that is less than God needs us to be.

Proverbs 29:24-25
29:24 Whoso is partner with a thief hateth his own soul; he heareth cursing, and bewrayeth it not.
29:25 The fear of man bringeth a snare; but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe.

In the world of man, by the ways of man, no two people stand equal and the same. 

In the ways of man the strong are served by the weak. It is wisdom to a people who claim lust as their strength. God presented this truth to the people of Judah using Assyria as the voice of the natural man in the world.

Isaiah 10:13-14
10:13 For he saith, By the strength of my hand, and by my wisdom I have done these things; for I am prudent, and I have moved the borders of the people, and have robbed their treasures, and I have put down the inhabitants like a valiant man.
10:14 And my hand hath found as a nest the riches of the people; and as one gathereth eggs that are left, have I gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved the wing, or opened the mouth, or peeped.

These are the ways of man and they sustain him in this world. This is the wisdom of man and it is a foundation for the reprobate mind. Neither God nor His Spirit dwells therein.

Romans 1:28-32 
1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God according to some knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
1:29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
1:30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
1:31 Without understanding, covenant-breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful;

1:32 And some who, knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, are inexcusable, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

In the doctrines of man, honor and virtue are mutable and change with the winds of time. A perception voiced by many in history is, "In a war the winner writes the history of the conflict and decides who is the hero and who is the villain". By this concept, yesterday's thief without changing who they are or our what they do can become todays champion for all that the world calls good and tomorrow's model citizen in the society of man. That which is not built on truth is of no use to the Kingdom of God or us. If we are to be of God, we must be of God through Jesus Christ. This is the same yesterday, today, and forever

2 Nephi 1:71-72
1:71 Wherefore, redemption cometh in and through the holy Messiah: for he is full of grace and truth.
1:72 Behold, he offereth himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, unto all those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit; and unto none else can the ends of the law be answered.

Godliness is the search for and acceptance of truth, which are those things that are the same yesterday, today, and forever. Godliness is allowing the unchanging doctrines of truth to guide our lives that we might grow in the ways of God. The ways of man are not the ways of God and if they are not the ways of God they can only be the ways of the adversary. 

John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do; he was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own; for he is a liar, and the father of it.

The lies of the world are a snare meant to capture us and make us helpless before the power of sin. Christ came that all mankind might see the power of God working within the life of man. The truth that lives within Christ is godliness that has the power to overcome the lies of the adversary and redeem the hearts of all mankind. Christ's ministry gave us not only the chance to be redeemed; it showed us how to reach out to others with love and hope instead of anger and condemnation. We reach out in the humble spirit of Jesus Christ that they might claim that redemption for themselves. It gives clarity to the fact that redemption is a choice each must make. It cannot be given nor taken away. It can only be accepted in its fullness of refused.   

1 Corinthians 15:54-55 
15:54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
15:55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

The godliness we seek and that which we seek to establish in this world overcomes both the wisdom of the world and their doctrines. It creates the true unity of oneness between God and the people of God. None are more and none are less. All find God through Christ. All receive the same cleansing baptism of water. All receive the same Spirit with the baptism of fire. Christ's seemingly unnecessary baptism became essential when He explained to John the fullness of God's purpose. 

Matthew 3:42-43
3:42 But John refused him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and why comest thou to me?
3:43 And Jesus, answering, said unto him, Suffer me to be baptized of thee, for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he suffered him.

Like Christ, we are sent that we might fulfill all righteousness. The virtue we gain will become a virtue we share. In that offering, the virtue of one becomes the integrity of many, and will create for God a righteous people who will serve God with one heart, one mind, one direction, and one purpose.

Ephesians 4:1-6 
4:1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
4:2 With all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love;
4:3 Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace,

4:4 In one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
4:5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
4:6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

Yes, our labor for godliness will bring to our lives those things that are hard to the point of being harsh. Isaiah relates to us the world's reaction to the godliness of Christ.

Isaiah 53:3-4

53:3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

53:4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

As we grow in godliness this will be a part the blessing we will bear. Labor willingly and have faith.

Romans 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be named with the glory which shall be revealed in us.



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