EMISSARY^7 (G²)

COMMISIONED by CHRIST 4 SHARING HIS LIFE/KEEPING IT REAL ADMIST THE LIES (II Cor. 5:17-21))

DEATH & DYING: WHY do many WOF churches FOCUS LESS on this n” MORE on HEALTH/WEALTH????

Posted by Gabriel (G²) on October 19, 2007

Before procedding with this thread, please allow me to post an analysis of a book I read in college for my “HUMAN SOCIALIZATION” class (since I’m a Human Services Major, as well as a YOUTH WORKER/DEACON and COUNSELOR)………for the contents of my analysis paper may ties into the post subject of the topic EVERYBODY under 30 yrs OR within many WOF churches SEEM to want to avoid (and the same goes for those OUTSIDE WOF churches, in case it comes of like I’m saying the issue ONLY applies to WOF). The analysis was on an EXCELLENT BOOK entitled “Tuesdays with MORRIE’S” (PLEASE READ!!!!)…..and here’s the rest of it:

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Tuesdays with Morrie’s is an inspirational book, based on a true story, that is essentially Mitch Albom’s chronicle of time spent together with his former college professor, Morrie Schwartz, a professor who was at the time dealing with his own impending death and yet chose to embrace the experience of death and desired to show what he was learning from it with the world. For the book, each chapter is a different Tuesday’s conversation, interspersed with brief vignettes about Morrie’s life journey as well as Mitch’s.Additionally, the rekindled relationship between student and teacher turns into, as Morrie states at one point, one final “class” with lessons aimed at teaching future audiences various wrong mentalities which hinder individuals from living life to the fullest. Additionally, the book was geared to show how to live as well as different viewpoints on the overall concept of death and dying and, for that matter, how one can face death gracefully and with honor. Regarding the author, Mitch Albom is a bestselling author, nationally-syndicated newspaper columnist for the Detroit Free Press, nationally-syndicated radio host for ABC and flagship station WJR-AM in Detroit, and television commentator who regularly appears on ESPN’s Sports Reporters.

Apart from having another book previous to this one that was not engaging for me to read, the reason behind why I chose this book was because it chose to deal with the issues of death and dying in a way that I’ve never seen before and the timeless principles displayed in the book give room to the fact that one does not have to be fearful or confused of the concept of death. Moreover, I wanted to read this book because it helped me to see what it is that I should be preparing myself now in the event that I should have to face my own death unexpectantly.

AnalysisTuesdays with Morries” is a book filled with an extreme amount of themes relevant to human socialization. One of the themes that really struck me was the theme of how one chooses to approach an issue will often determine the outcome of it, whether it be for good or bad. For example, there was one point in the story where the illnesses of Morrie were becoming increasingly horrific. He began to cough more than usual and his body shook tremendously. However, despite all of that, Morrie chose to detach himself from the scenario and learn from it.

His mentality was to not hold back on the emotions and sensations that he was experiencing while dying, for he believed that fully accepting these emotions (i.e. fear, love, anger, etc) and throwing oneself into them could be helpful. Experiencing the emotion fully would help one to recognize and efficiently handle, as opposed to being incapacitated, the sensation when it appeared again. In Morries case, should he have had another coughing spell, his detachment from the fear/horror of the experience and acceptance of it would help him to not leave the world in a state of fright and it would allow him to know what was happening, find peace in it, and let it go graciously.

Another example of this can be seen in the example of Morrie’s mentality toward death whenever he was feeling sorry for himself. Whereas others in his position would’ve been embittered at the prospect of having an unexpected disease sentence them to death, Morrie chose to look for the good in the situation that might be found. Though he had moments where he was angry or sorrowful, he chose only to allow those thoughts momentarily and then concentrate on all of the things that he was grateful for, such as the people coming to see him and the stories he’d hear. Even regarding the disease itself, he counteracted the potential discouragement and hopelessness the ailment could bring by believing that the disease was actually a blessing in disguise.

This can be seen when he claimed, though horrible to witness his body decay slowly into nothing, that it was wonderful for him because of the time it allowed him to continually say “good-bye” to others. Any other mentality would’ve probably made the experience much more difficult to contend with.
This relates to human socialization because it deals with the issue of coping styles and how whether or not one chooses to promote problem-focused coping or emotion-focused coping in facing death will determine their level of stress.

Many people go into situations and seek to change the situation by acting on the environment whenever we view situations as controllable by action, as is the case with problem-solving coping. Others will choose to change either the way the stressful situation is dealt with or the meaning to oneself of what is happening when they realize that stressful situations are uncontrollable. While the external situation never changes, the behaviors or attitudes change with respect to it, as is the case with emotion-focused coping.

When it comes to facing the issue of dying, many will choose the problem-focused mentality with coping, believing that death is an issue they can control. They may choose to do things such as increasing the amount of exercise they do, becoming involved in medical procedures that will expand their lifetimes, becoming involved in things that will make them feel purposeful or invigorated (i.e. dance classes, volunteer activities, mentoring, etc) and doing anything else they can to keep death away. However, death is not a force one can simply keep subdued.

It is bound to happen at some point, and those who desire to see it otherwise may end up breaking down when they realize the fact.Facing death from a emotion-focused coping mentality, as Morrie did, will help more effectively because acknowledging that the condition is unchangeable will help one to get his or her mindset in a place where the external force of death will not be able to destroy the internal peace and control that have that will need to remain stable in every circumstance, whether facing the inevitability of aging, sickness, or any other circumstance!

This ties into another theme throughout the book, which is that many will unconsciosly respond in unhealthy way whenever faced with their fears of something and dealing with stress. For example, Mitch had a favorite uncle who helped him to develop throughout life and his uncle was a man that Mitch always aspired to be. Later, however, his uncle developed pancreatic cancer at forty-four.Upon hearing the news, Mitch felt absolutely helpless. When his uncle confronted Mitch on it and asked if Mitch would look after the children when he’d soon die, Mitch chose not to acknowledge him by telling him not to talk that way. After his uncle quickly passed away, the trauma was too much to handle. For fear that he could receive the same thing that his uncle had and die young, he sought to accomplish as much as he could (i.e. earning a Masters, writing for famous athletes, living at a fast pace, etc). He believed that he could control things as long as he was successful and therefore buried himself in his accomplishments, even though he often believed otherwise.

As enjoyable as these things were, however, they ended up taking a negative effect on his life. His satisfaction with life slowly waned, and his spouses dream for starting a family came to nothing. Because of his drive to be successful where his uncle had failed, to be as happy as possible for fear of dying young and to avoid feeling as helpless as he did when his uncle died caused him to bury himself in his accomplishments— he turned to a response that in the end made his life destitute.

This is connected with human socialization because it deals with the issues of Defense Mechanisms, which are unconscious and automatic responses enabling us to minimize perceived threats or make them seem non-existent. For example, many are fearful of the thought of aging because they perceive it to be a threat. As a result, most people in society refuse to either acknowledge its existence or exalt it.

Many of the ads one will see when driving, such as with smoking or alcohol, will never involve people under the age of forty. To acknowledge that growing old will happen at some point is something that most people won’t gravitate to, so the improper defense mechanism given is to flee from that which they refuse to become and to immortalize images of a temporary state in life that was not meant to be constant (i.e. young and attractive)—and destine themselves to be totally unprepared for handling themselves in the future when their bodies began to wear down.

While the way we respond may seem beneficial at first and enable us to adapt to things with the potential to, it can inevitably hinders us in the end (such as it was with Mitch and his choosing to give into defense mechanisms such as denial and repression).

Another theme evident throughout the book is the issue of acknowledging spirituality and the effect it can have on one’s mentality toward living. There are numerous instances throughout this book where it was apparent that Mitch was heavily into materialistic things, whether it be pursuing job or making enormous amounts of money and various other endeavors. The reason why was because he consequently, even though he was quite healthy, he was dissatisfied with the life he had and was confused as to why.

In contrast, as old and infirm as Morrie, he had a greater passion and appreciation for life than Mitch could ever possess. According to Morrie, recognizing the inevitability of his own death and that it could happen at any time caused him to view life with more gratitude. For example, there was a scene where Morrie was confined to a wheelchair and had only a single window from which he could view the outside world.

He claimed before Mitch that, though Mitch was in perfect health and could go outside at anytime to either run up the block or go do something physical while Morrie was unable to, he appreciated the nature outside far more than Mitch because his recognition of how his time was almost done. Moreover, the fact that materialistic things did not have the chance to distract him since his physical body was incapacitated from doing so forced Morrie to develop a primarily spiritual mentality toward life, where he was forced to consider the true meanings of things, and this in turn lead to a genuine appreciation for the things that are so easy to pass by but are essential to one’s wellbeing.

The entire concept of Spirituality (i.e. a person’s search for a sense of meaning and morally fulfilling relationships between oneself, other people, the encompassing universe, and their understanding of existence) is something that ties into Human socialization because without a proper understanding of the how the physical world around us in not all there is to life, one will never know what it means to live life to the fullest and to make certain that we will have no regrets when we pass on. Recognizing how finite our existences are causes us to take account of what the status of our lives may be and to correct anything distracting from the things of paramount importance.

Probably one of the most interesting themes that were found throughout the book was the concept of dying being similar to the joy of childhood and that dying can be something one can relish. Because of Morrie’s disease, he eventually was no longer able to wipe his own behind.

This initially was discouraging to him because, according to Morrie, cleaning after oneself was the most basic thing one can do. It is a symbol of independence—the most personal and basic thing one had—and to have even that taken away from him was essentially a complete surrender of life itself. To Morrie, it was a sign that his body gave a complete surrender to the disease since with the exception of breathing and swallowing his food he was dependent on others for everything.

However, though feeling shameful and initially resistant to the idea of being independent all of his life, Morrie eventually came to realize the silliness of his actions. Moreover, he eventually came to realize that much of what he believed was more of a cultural mindset than one based in fact since the culture continually emphases that independence is what gives purpose and satisfaction. Furthermore, he actually began to enjoy his dependency and see it as something to be cherished because of how familiar it was to him as a child (i.e. having someone bathe you, lift you, etc) and because of how everyone instinctively knows how to be a child. Most people have never had enough of the unconditional love that many children received from their mothers when they were young, and many crave to go back to that state. Regarding dying, most feel afraid of it when they may need to realize that it is another form of the very thing they were receiving when they were children. The dying process is simply a matter of remembering how to enjoy the childhood dependency again.This ties into human socialization because it deals with the issue of Regression, which is the resuming of behaviors associated with earlier stages of development in order to deal with a current concern. Furthermore, it raises the issue of how people will always run to and be comforted by what they are familiar with once they’re able to distinguish it clearly. When it comes to human socialization, whether it is with people or ideas, many people are hostile because what they are facing is something they cannot comprehend.

Their lack of understanding leads them to believe that since they cannot understand something it automatically qualifies for dismissal or distrust (ex. Having a white individual act racist toward a minority because of the belief that they are too different to work together and that their aims are evil, even though blacks and whites have many similarities to each other such as desiring family, purpose, and a chance to grow, etc.). However, when they’re able to comprehend that what they are facing is similar to what they themselves have known and desire, it makes the issue that much easier to contend with and there is opportunity given for a willingness to revel in whatever issue is being raised.

EvaluationI felt that this book was extremely well balanced and well written. The book was written in such a transparent, sensitive, and engaging style. Also, I believe that the balance came from having both the perspectives of someone facing death and another trying to flee from it but coming to understand it gradually.

The compare and contrast vividly made the book come alive, as well as having the book written in a conversational prose and describing the intimate relationship between the student and the pupil portrayed in between. It served to make the book more personal to the audience.

Though the subject of death and dying is monumental in and of itself, the book was gracefully written in such a way that someone could read it easily and quickly but still have much to ponder on. Moreover, the book was highly insightful because it challenged many preconceived mindsets that individuals have concerning death and dying. It helps people to evaluate what their current beliefs are and whether or not they are truly in line with reality. Moreover, it forces people to take into account if they are living more so for temporal things (job, career, money, materialism, etc) or things of eternal worth (i.e. family, loving others, etc)—all of which are things I’m having to ponder on in my personal life as of now.

That being said, With all of that stated, what are anyone else’s thoughts on the matter?

To note, if anyone notices when it comes to what you’ll often hear on TBN or in WOF churches on the issue of HEALTH/WEALTH and PROSPERITY, many of the verses used in defense of it come from the OLD TESTAMENT and are used as a basIS FOR living in CONTINUAL PROSPERITY/GOOD HEALTH……..and yet, I’ve always wondered why many of them seem to never focus on many of the verses and books in the OT that actually teach AGAINST THE IDEA THAT CONTINUAL PROSPERITY/HEALTH IS A MUST….and that seem to support the idea that, though PROSPERITY BY ITSELF IS NOT SOMETHING BAD OR THAT WE SHOULD AVOID, LIVING IN LIGHT OF ONE’S DEATH AND PREPARING FOR IT AND THE JUDGEMENT AFTERWARD IS EVEN BETTER.

For example, ANYONE REMEMBER KING SOLOMON? Despite how many use him as a template for proving that CHRISTIANS CAN BE RICH AND HEALTHY ALL THE TIME AND SHOULD, CONSIDER SOME OF THE WORDS HE HAS TO SAY ON THE SUBJECT, which took place at the END OF HIS LIFE WHEN HE WAS PURSUING PLEASURE/HEALTH but came to realize the FUTILITY OF IT ALL:

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Ecclesiastes 2
Pleasures Are Meaningless

1 I thought in my heart, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good.” But that also proved to be meaningless. 2 “Laughter,” I said, “is foolish. And what does pleasure accomplish?” 3 I tried cheering myself with wine, and embracing folly—my mind still guiding me with wisdom. I wanted to see what was worthwhile for men to do under heaven during the few days of their lives.

4 I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards. 5 I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. 6 I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees. 7 I bought male and female slaves and had other slaves who were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me. 8 I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I acquired men and women singers, and a harem [a] as well—the delights of the heart of man. 9 I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me.

10 I denied myself nothing my eyes desired;
I refused my heart no pleasure.

My heart took delight in all my work,
and this was the reward for all my labor.

11 Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done
and what I had toiled to achieve,
everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind;
nothing was gained under the sun
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Ecclesiastes 7:1-6Wisdom

1 A good name is better than fine perfume,
and the day of death better than the day of birth.

2 It is better to go to a house of mourning
than to go to a house of feasting,
for death is the destiny of every man;
the living should take this to heart.

3 Sorrow is better than laughter,
because a sad face is good for the heart.
4 The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning,
but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure.

5 It is better to heed a wise man’s rebuke
than to listen to the song of fools.

6 Like the crackling of thorns under the pot,
so is the laughter of fools.
This too is meaningless.

Again , does anyone feel Does anyone think that the issue of DEATH/DYING Is SOMETHING OVERLOOKED BY TOO MANY CHRISTIANS within WOF (or outside of it for that matter) IN THE WAY WE TEACH PEOPLE?

I’ll mainly stay out of this conversation for the beginning part of it, but before responding, I’D LOVE TO HEAR FEEDBACK ON THE ISSUE SO I’LL BE AS SOUND AS POSSIBLE ON IT FOR THE FUTURE…….for the issue of DEATH/DYING CAN BE JUST AS BEAUTIFUL AS SEEING ONE PROSPEROUS/HEALTHY CAN BE ( THE CHURCH DESPERATELY NEEDS TO GROW IN THE AREA unless a WHOLE NEW GENERATION OF PEOPLE RISE UP WHO ARE NOT PREPARED FOR THE DAYS THEY MEET DEATH and WHAT KINDS OF LEGACIES THEY’LL LEAVE BEHIND…..AND BE ULTIMATELY UNPREPARED FOR ETERNITY

Something to CONSIDER……

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Ecclesiastes 3A Time for Everything

1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:

2 a time to be bornand a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,

3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,

4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,

5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,

6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,

7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,

8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

9 What does the worker gain from his toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on men. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. 13 That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere him.

15 Whatever is has already been,
and what will be has been before;

and God will call the past to account. [a]

16 And I saw something else under the sun:
In the place of judgment—wickedness was there,
in the place of justice—wickedness was there.

17 I thought in my heart,
“God will bring to judgment
both the righteous and the wicked,
for there will be a time for every activity,
a time for every deed.”

18 I also thought, “As for men, God tests them so that they may see that they are like the animals. 19 Man’s fate is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath [b] ; man has no advantage over the animal. Everything is meaningless. 20 All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return. 21 Who knows if the spirit of man rises upward and if the spirit of the animal [c] goes down into the earth?”

22 So I saw that there is nothing better for a man than to enjoy his work, because that is his lot. For who can bring him to see what will happen after him?

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Ecclesiastes 11-12
Remember Your Creator While Young

7 Light is sweet,
and it pleases the eyes to see the sun.

8 However many years a man may live,
let him enjoy them all.
But let him remember the days of darkness,
for they will be many.
Everything to come is meaningless.

9 Be happy, young man, while you are young,
and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth.
Follow the ways of your heart
and whatever your eyes see,
but know that for all these things
God will bring you to judgment.

10 So then, banish anxiety from your heart
and cast off the troubles of your body,
for youth and vigor are meaningless.
Ecclesiastes 12

1 Remember your Creator
in the days of your youth,
before the days of trouble come
and the years approach when you will say,
“I find no pleasure in them”-

2 before the sun and the light
and the moon and the stars grow dark,
and the clouds return after the rain;
3 when the keepers of the house tremble,
and the strong men stoop,
when the grinders cease because they are few,
and those looking through the windows grow dim;
4 when the doors to the street are closed
and the sound of grinding fades;
when men rise up at the sound of birds,
but all their songs grow faint;
5 when men are afraid of heights
and of dangers in the streets;
when the almond tree blossoms
and the grasshopper drags himself along
and desire no longer is stirred.
Then man goes to his eternal home
and mourners go about the streets.

6 Remember him—before the silver cord is severed,
or the golden bowl is broken;
before the pitcher is shattered at the spring,
or the wheel broken at the well,
7 and the dust returns to the ground it came from,
and the spirit returns to God who gave it.

8 “Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. [b]
Everything is meaningless!”
The Conclusion of the Matter

9 Not only was the Teacher wise, but also he imparted knowledge to the people. He pondered and searched out and set in order many proverbs. 10 The Teacher searched to find just the right words, and what he wrote was upright and true.

11 The words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails—given by one Shepherd. 12 Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them.

Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.

13 Now all has been heard;
here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments,
for this is the whole duty of man.

14 For God will bring every deed into judgment,
including every hidden thing,
whether it is good or evil.

whether a hard circumstance becomes a RUTHELESS TASKMASTER or A SENSITIVE TEACHER all depends on what you make of things…..and moreover, WHAT WE MAKE OF CHRIST/THE LORD’S WORKING IN OUR LIVES:

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Job 2:9-109 His wife said to him, “Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!”

10 He replied, “You are talking like a foolish [a] woman. Shall we accept THE good from God, and not THE trouble?”
In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.

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Ecclesiastes 7:2
It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart.

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Psalm 39:3-53 My heart grew hot within me,
and as I meditated, the fire burned;
then I spoke with my tongue:

4 “Show me, O LORD, my life’s end
and the number of my days;
let me know how fleeting is my life.

5 You have made my days a mere handbreadth;
the span of my years is as nothing before you.
Each man’s life is but a breath.
Selah

Psalm 90

A prayer of Moses the man of God.

1 Lord, you have been our dwelling place
throughout all generations. 2 Before the mountains were born
or you brought forth the earth and the world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
3 You turn men back to dust,
saying, “Return to dust, O sons of men.”
4 For a thousand years in your sight
are like a day that has just gone by,
or like a watch in the night.

5 You sweep men away in the sleep of death;
they are like the new grass of the morning-

6 though in the morning it springs up new,
by evening it is dry and withered.

7 We are consumed by your anger
and terrified by your indignation.
8 You have set our iniquities before you,
our secret sins in the light of your presence.
9 All our days pass away under your wrath;
we finish our years with a moan.

10 The length of our days is seventy years—
or eighty, if we have the strength;
yet their span [a] is but trouble and sorrow,
for they quickly pass, and we fly away.
11 Who knows the power of your anger?
For your wrath is as great as the fear that is due you.

12 Teach us to number our days aright,

that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

13 Relent, O LORD! How long will it be?
Have compassion on your servants.

14 Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,
that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.

15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
for as many years as we have seen trouble.
16 May your deeds be shown to your servants,
your splendor to their children.

17 May the favor [b] of the Lord our God rest upon us;
establish the work of our hands for us—
yes, establish the work of our hands.

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Isaiah 40
Comfort for God’s People

1 Comfort, comfort my people,
says your God. 2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and proclaim to her
that her hard service has been completed,
that her sin has been paid for,
that she has received from the LORD’s hand
double for all her sins.

3 A voice of one calling:
“In the desert prepare
the way for the LORD [a] ;
make straight in the wilderness
a highway for our God. [b]
4 Every valley shall be raised up,
every mountain and hill made low;
the rough ground shall become level,
the rugged places a plain.
5 And the glory of the LORD will be revealed,
and all mankind together will see it.
For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

6 A voice says, “Cry out.”
And I said, “What shall I cry?”
“All men are like grass,
and all their glory is like the flowers of the field.
7 The grass withers and the flowers fall,
because the breath of the LORD blows on them.
Surely the people are grass.
8 The grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of our God stands forever.”

9 You who bring good tidings to Zion,

go up on a high mountain.
You who bring good tidings to Jerusalem, [c]
lift up your voice with a shout,
lift it up, do not be afraid;
say to the towns of Judah,
“Here is your God!”

10 See, the Sovereign LORD comes with power,
and his arm rules for him.
See, his reward is with him,
and his recompense accompanies him.

11 He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young.

12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand,
or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens?
Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket,
or weighed the mountains on the scales
and the hills in a balance?

13 Who has understood the mind [d] of the LORD,
or instructed him as his counselor?

14 Whom did the LORD consult to enlighten him,
and who taught him the right way?
Who was it that taught him knowledge
or showed him the path of understanding?

15 Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket;
they are regarded as dust on the scales;
he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust.
16 Lebanon is not sufficient for altar fires,
nor its animals enough for burnt offerings.

17 Before him all the nations are as nothing;
they are regarded by him as worthless
and less than nothing.

18 To whom, then, will you compare God?
What image will you compare him to?

19 As for an idol, a craftsman casts it,
and a goldsmith overlays it with gold
and fashions silver chains for it.

20 A man too poor to present such an offering
selects wood that will not rot.
He looks for a skilled craftsman
to set up an idol that will not topple.

21 Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
Has it not been told you from the beginning?
Have you not understood since the earth was founded?

22 He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth,
and its people are like grasshoppers.
He stretches out the heavens like a canopy,
and spreads them out like a tent to live in.
23 He brings princes to naught
and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing.

24 No sooner are they planted,
no sooner are they sown,

no sooner do they take root in the ground,
than he blows on them and they wither,
and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff
.
25 “To whom will you compare me?
Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One.

26 Lift your eyes and look to the heavens:
Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one,
and calls them each by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,
not one of them is missing.

27 Why do you say, O Jacob,

and complain, O Israel,
“My way is hidden from the LORD;
my cause is disregarded by my God”?

28 Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.

29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.

30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;

31 but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

In case anyone’s interested, here’s are some interesting thoughts by oone of my favorite writers/hero’s: Joshua Harris (Author of the books, “I kissed DATING GOOD-BYE”, “Sex isn’t the problem (Lust Is), and others powerful books I HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!).

In the previous post, I BROUGHT UP Psalm 90, which deals with the powerful issue of teaching us to “NUMBER OUR DAYS (Psalm 90:12)., and he prepared a sermon on the subject at the beginning of NEW YEARS’ EVE that I FELT WAS HIGHLY INSIGHTFUL!!!!…and I think that what he has to say would GREATLY AID the Discussion. Pray anyone enjoys…

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Yesterday was my birthday. I turned 32. When I was a kid, I resented the timing of my birthday. December 30th is not the best day to be born if you’re hoping for a truckload of birthday presents. I often got presents that said, “Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday,” which I figured was pretty much a criminal act.But that’s just the way it works–5 days after Christmas, people are tired of shopping and/or broke. And the day before New Years Eve, no one really wants another party. So I used to think that I had the worst birthday possible.

But I don’t think that anymore. I no longer resent my birth date. In fact, I actually like it. The reason is that I’ve found spiritual benefit in the timing of my birthday. Having my birthday and New Year’s so close helps me to feel more acutely the passing of time. And that’s very good for my soul, because I need to be reminded that I’m getting older.

I need to be reminded that I have a limited amount of time on this earth.

For this reason, every year I have a little birthday tradition: I study Psalm 90–a Psalm that helps me meditate on the fleeting nature of life. And as I look ahead to a new year, I ask God to give me “a heart of wisdom.”

Fittingly, today I preached on Psalm 90. The passing of a year is a chance for us to humbly reflect on the brevity of life and, in doing so, to see more clearly what matters most.

Verse 4 says,

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“For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past,” and “The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty...So teach us to number our days, that we may get a heart of wisdom.” ( Psalm 90:10-12)

I remember my dad teaching me as a young boy to pray for wisdom. He said, “Son, God promises to give wisdom to those who ask–so don’t forget to ask.”

Coming to a start of a new year is a reminder that we need wisdom.

We’re given a fresh slate–a brand new span of time and the question we all face is “What will we do with it? How do we make the most of it?”

We need wisdom. Wisdom is the ownership of insight. It’s seeing what is most important, and then living accordingly. Eugene Peterson defines wisdom as “the art of living skillfully in whatever actual conditions we find ourselves.”

The Bible teaches us that true wisdom comes from seeing all of life in light of who God is. Proverbs 1:7 says,

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“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”

In other words, the only way to have insight and perspective and skill in living is to make God your primary concern–to see him and his word and his commands and his reward and his judgment as the issues of utmost importance.

And that’s what Psalm 90 calls us to do. Again, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”

This Psalm does more than just encourage us to count off how many years we have left in life. By showing us who God is and our relationship to him, it sharpens our vision of what is truly important in life.

I built my message today around this key truth: We can only live our days wisely when we see God clearly.

So then, the first point is this:

A person with a heart of wisdom stands in awe of the eternal God.Wisdom doesn’t start with self-evaluation. It starts with worship. It begins by considering the character and nature of God.

That’s where Moses begins in verse 1 of Psalm 90. He’s leading a million people through the desert. They are nomads wandering without a true home. But he says, “Lord, you are our dwelling place.” You are our refuge and you’ve been our refuge.

He goes on to consider God’s eternity. Verse 2 brings us before a God who is “from everlasting to everlasting.”

The proper perspective comes from focusing on God. Moses and the Israelites really wanted a place to live. They wanted a homeland. They wanted a few mountains and some earth to call their own. But Moses remembers that there’s something far more significant–they worship the one true God who existed before creation, before the mountains were brought forth.

In the brilliance of the glory of the eternal God, Moses turns his attention to man

The second quality of a “heart of wisdom” is this:

A heart of wisdom recognizes man’s insignificance.

Pastor James Montgomery Boice once wrote that Psalm 90 is “probably the greatest passage in the Bible contrasting the grandeur of God with man’s frailty.” And what a contrast it is!

God exists outside the confines of human measurements of time. Verse 4 says “For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past…” A millennium, a massive length of time in human history, is like a day to him.

But we measure our lives in decades. Verse 10 points out that we’re doing well if we live 70 or 80 years. Compared to God, we’re like a gnat that lives for a day. Our days, Moses says, are “soon gone and we fly away.”

It might not sound pleasant or uplifting to think about how quickly life is going to be over, but coming to grips with this fact is what it means to number your days. You’ll only have wisdom–you’ll only live skillfully–if you face the reality that human life is fleeting.

Have you ever noticed that one of the marks of maturity and wisdom is the ability to rightly perceive lengths of time? You know how some people have bad depth perception? Well, many people have really bad “time perception.”

When you’re a kid you have zero time perception. I’m sure you parents out there have noticed this–you call your kids and say, “We’re leaving the house in 2 minutes!” and they say, “Oh, great. 2 minutes. Let’s get Monopoly out,” or “Let’s build a tree fort.” They have no idea how quickly 2 minutes will go by. If you tell them Christmas is in 8 days, it’s an eternity to them. “8 days! That’s going to take forever.”

But the older and wiser a person becomes, the more he sees that life flies by. You see this when you look back on a season of your life that is past. Numbering our days involves seeing that human life is over in an instant. Do you see how this makes us wise? It points us to the fact that God is significant and man is not. It humbles us.

We like to live our lives in the delicious illusion of self-importance. We think of ourselves as strong, as powerful, as significant. We humans compare ourselves to images of greatness–mankind is like a mighty towering tree, or maybe a skyscraper stretching into the sky. Or man is like a huge rocket blasting into the sky leaving the earth behind as we conquer unknown corners of the universe…

But God picks other analogies to describe man. Verse 5 says that we’re like a dream. “You mean…like a really nice dream?” No, like a dream that you don’t really remember in the morning. It gets better. He says we’re grass. Not very flattering.

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“Like grass that is renewed in the morning; in the morning it flourishes and is renewed; in the evening it fades and withers.” Man at his most impressive is like grass that lasts for a day. It’s grows up in the morning but by the end of the day it has faded. Psalm 90:5-6

Last week we witnessed the death of a former President of our country and the death of the dictator Saddam Hussein. For two years Gerald Ford was the most powerful man in America. For decades Saddam Hussein held absolute power over millions of Iraqis. But now they’re gone. They’ve been “[swept] away as with a flood; they are like a dream.” For awhile they’ll be remembered and written about, but very quickly they’ll be a distant and forgotten memory. So will we all.


Do you have great thoughts of yourself? Are you caught up in the legacy you’re hoping to build? Are you ignoring God as you live for your own glory? DON’T BE A FOOL. Man is insignificant. Life is fleeting. Wisdom comes from numbering one’s days and seeing how small our time on earth really is in light of God’s eternal glory.

http://www.joshharris.com/sermons/.

For today, a third quality is this:

A heart of wisdom acknowledges God as Holy Judge.

It’s not enough to know that you’ll die. It’s not enough to know that your life will pass quickly. To gain a heart of wisdom requires that we rightly see ourselves in relationship to God. He is over us. He is our judge. He is the one who decides when we die.

Look at verse 3. It says of God,

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“YOU return man to dust and say, ‘Return, O children of man!'”(Psalm 90:3)

Genesis tells us that God created Adam from the dust of the earth. And when Adam and Eve sinned against God and ate the forbidden fruit the punishment, all they and the rest of mankind received was death. Death returns man to dust. This wasn’t God’s original design. We were made to live forever in fellowship with God, but our sin ruined this plan. Our sin brought death into the world.

Verse 7 says, “For we are brought to an end by your anger; by your wrath we are dismayed.”(Psalm 90:7)

Death is God’s judgment on human sin. It is God’s sentence on sinful mankind. It is God’s way of humbling us, of judging us for our attempts to usurp his authority. Death is divine limitation on human pride.

In verse 8,

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“You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence.”(Psalm 90:8)

Acknowledging God as our Holy Judge is essential to being able to rightly interpret and understand life. Death points us to the reality of God’s holiness. He is a righteous judge who is angered by our sin. Death points us to our guilt before God. A heart of wisdom understands that’s man’s greatest need is to find peace with God.

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“So teach us to number our days, that we may get a heart of wisdom.” –Psalm 90:12
Today I post my 4th and final quality of a “heart of wisdom:”

A heart of wisdom runs to God for mercy.

In the past several posts, we’ve been discussing how short and insignificant our lives are, especially in light of God’s eternity. We have acknowledged God as our Holy Judge, sovereign over our lives, and filled with righteous anger toward our sin. Seeing death as God’s judgment on human sin is meant to humble us–but it needn’t end in despair. A heart of wisdom sees that life is fleeting, that sin has earned God’s judgment and that only God himself can save us.

That’s what verses 13-17 of Psalm 90 model for us. Moses has been describing man’s frailty and God’s wrath, and then in verse 13 he turns to God and begins to plead for mercy. He says,

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“Have pity on your servants!”(Psalm 90:13-17)

He doesn’t turn to entertainment or sexual pleasure or money or power or fame. He turns to God and cries, “Only you can give my life meaning.” He says, “You satisfy us, God, you make us glad, you reveal yourself to us. Unless you bless us, we have nothing and our lives have no meaning.” (Psalm 90:13-17)

God doesn’t want us to “number our days” so that we’ll be morbid and despairing.

He wants us to number our days so that we’ll escape the illusion of human independence and pride. He wants us humble so that we can throw ourselves on him for mercy. He wants us to number our days so that we’ll forsake the fleeting and the meaningless, and live for his praise.
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, the key truth we need to take from this passage is this:

We can only live our days wisely when we see God clearly.

And when we see God clearly, we see how little time we have, and we see that pleasing and honoring him with our lives is what truly matters. We see that only in Him do we find satisfaction and joy, and only in the eternal God do we find eternal life.

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“The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty… So teach us to number our days, that we may get a heart of wisdom.” –Psalm 90:10, 12

Over the last week, I’ve been posting thoughts on Psalm 90, covering 4 characteristics of a heart of wisdom:

1. Stands in awe of the eternal God
2. Recognizes man’s insignificance
3. Acknowledges God as holy Judge
4. Runs to God for mercy

Every year, I make a list on a piece of paper, numbering 1-80. I use it to jot down milestones of God’s grace in the past, and look ahead and prayerfully consider what will be most important in the upcoming stretch of my life. I do know that I’ve got two driving priorities the next 15 years: to faithfully care for my family, and faithfully teach God’s word in this church.
I’d encourage you to do this, to sit down and consider where you are on your way to 70 or 80 years.

Consider where God has brought you from. Consider how quickly your life will be over. Consider the holiness of God. How does that reality adjust your plans for 2007?

I don’t know what resolutions you’ve made (and which ones you’ve already broken) by now, 9 days into the New Year, but here’s something for consideration–How will we live this year if we number our days and have a heart of wisdom?

Here are some thoughts:

1. We will pursue satisfaction in God alone.

(Verse 14) What have you sought satisfaction in apart from God in the past year? When we see the fleeting nature of life, we see that knowing and being satisfied in the steadfast love of God is our greatest purpose. Let’s commit ourselves to being people who love and study and memorize God’s word. Let’s be people who pursue private communion with God. Who attend each Sunday meeting expecting to hear and be changed by God’s word. Let us be a people who pursue God in prayer.

[For those looking for a good Bible-reading plan, Discipleship Journal has a good one I’ve used.]

2. We will pursue holiness and cast off the sin that so easily entangles.

If we really see how short our time is on earth, if we see God in his holiness, would we make such allowance for sin? Verse 8 reminds us that there is no sin hidden from God. Where are you trifling with sin? Where are you harboring it? Where are you toying with temptation? Number your days and hate your sin. Flee from it.

3. We will be passionate about God’s work around us.

(Verse 16) If we number our days, our hearts are going to beat for the work of God in our local church. For the work of God in other countries. For the spread of the gospel.

4. We will spend ourselves for God’s glory.

Numbering our days doesn’t lead to timidity and fearful conservation of our life. It leads to boldness. To faith-filled risk taking. It leads to mountain-moving prayer. The missionary Jim Elliot said “Wherever you are be all there. Live to the hilt every situation that you believe to be the will of God.” What season are you in? Live it to the hilt.

There’s certainly a place for caution…but not when it’s motivated by desire to preserve our comfort and advance our selfish desires. Let’s attempt great things for our great King this year! What if we worried more about the lost than our comfort? What if we spoke with humble boldness instead of remaining silent. What if we attempted what only God’s power could enable?
Consider v. 17–Only what we do for him will last.

5. We will be humble, grateful and joyful because of the gospel!In Psalm 90, we see Moses looking ahead with faith for God’s future salvation. Friends, we have seen it. And it’s more wonderful than words can express!

When we number our days, we will be humbled and will live in holy fear of our Holy God, but we will also run to and receive and rejoice in the glorious salvation that He has provided for us in Jesus Christ. This coming year will be marked by toil and trouble. For some of us, it will be our final year on earth, but because Jesus has come we can have joy and hope in it.

Because Jesus shed his blood as the perfect once for all sacrifice in our place, our iniquities have been removed from us and God’s wrath has turned to favor. He is for us!

Lord, teach us to number our days in this life. Teach us to long for the day when we see you. Teach us to live our life for you and your glory!

http://www.joshharris.com/sermons/

regarding WOF (or anthing else for that matter), do you feel that many are focusing on the PHYSICAL and trying to desperately keep ETERNAL a STATE of LIFE that was destined TO FADE AWAY?

To me, from a psychological point of view, it seems that far too many people (myself included alot of times) try to IMMORTALIZE the things of this life as if they are the things of ETERNAL VALUE and yet they’re bankrupt in their SPIRITS, which is what God said/made clear in the Word that’d LAST FOREVER.

Moreover, it seems as if MUCH OF THE FOCUS ON HEALTH/WEALTH and avoidance of the FUTILITY OF LIFE/INEVITABILTY OF DEATH is simply an attmept by man to try to go back to EDEN/PERFECTION (Genesis 1-2), and being unwilling to acknowledge that we’ve been BANNED FROM THAT (at least till Jesus comes back, Revelation 22) and DEATH/STRUGGLE IS SOMETHING we’ll have square with EVENTUALLY AS A RESULT (Genesis 3:17-19)…..basically, it seems like an attempt at escaping the reality we live in of a FALLEN WORLD and that not acknowledging that we were not created for TIME but for ETERNITY….and that we will PASS ON EVENTUALLY:Like a point I brought up in my paper earlier:

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le, Mitch had a favorite uncle who helped him to develop throughout life and his uncle was a man that Mitch always aspired to be. Later, however, his uncle developed pancreatic cancer at forty-four.Upon hearing the news, Mitch felt absolutely helpless. When his uncle confronted Mitch on it and asked if Mitch would look after the children when he’d soon die, Mitch chose not to acknowledge him by telling him not to talk that way. After his uncle quickly passed away, the trauma was too much to handle. For fear that he could receive the same thing that his uncle had and die young, he sought to accomplish as much as he could (i.e. earning a Masters, writing for famous athletes, living at a fast pace, etc). He believed that he could control things as long as he was successful and therefore buried himself in his accomplishments, even though he often believed otherwise.

As enjoyable as these things were, however, they ended up taking a negative effect on his life. His satisfaction with life slowly waned, and his spouses dream for starting a family came to nothing. Because of his drive to be successful where his uncle had failed, to be as happy as possible for fear of dying young and to avoid feeling as helpless as he did when his uncle died caused him to bury himself in his accomplishments— he turned to a response that in the end made his life destitute.

This is connected with human socialization because it deals with the issues ofDefense Mechanisms, which are unconscious and automatic responses enabling us to minimize perceived threats or make them seem non-existent.For example, many are fearful of the thought of aging because they perceive it to be a threat. As a result, most people in society refuse to either acknowledge its existence or exalt it.

Many of the ads one will see when driving, such as with smoking or alcohol, will never involve people under the age of forty. To acknowledge that growing old will happen at some point is something that most people won’t gravitate to, so the improper defense mechanism given is to flee from that which they refuse to become and to immortalize images of a temporary state in life that was not meant to be constant (i.e. young and attractive)—and destine themselves to be totally unprepared for handling themselves in the future when their bodies began to wear down.

While the way we respond may seem beneficial at first and enable us to adapt to things with the potential to, it can inevitably hinders us in the end (such as it was with Mitch and his choosing to give into defense mechanisms such as denial and repression).

And the same could be said for those endorsing “HEALTH and WEALTH” to the EXTREME, for many of their responses to the message and their desire to promote it may be simply their reacting to a tragic event/devestation in life they may’ve had, with the option of creating/having CONTINUAL HEALTH/WEALTH seeming like a way to CONTROL THINGS (i.e. to COPE) and not feel as helpless as they may often feel, though of course it ‘s often subconcisous and many may not realize that’s the thing driving them. And in their hearts, they may feel fine about it,…..but as the Word says:

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Proverbs 28:26
He who trusts in himself is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom is kept safe.

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Jeremiah 17:5-95 This is what the LORD says:
“Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
who depends on flesh for his strength
and whose heart turns away from the LORD.

6 He will be like a bush in the wastelands;
he will not see prosperity when it comes.
He will dwell in the parched places of the desert,
in a salt land where no one lives.

7 “But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
whose confidence is in him.

8 He will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”

9 The heart is deceitful above all things
and beyond cure.
Who can understand it?


All the more reason to “Trust in the LORD with all our hearts and lean not on our OWN UNDERSTANDING (Proverbs 3:5-6), acknowledging Him so that everything crooked in our lives can be made straight for His glory.
For only God/Seeing things from His perspective can straighten out what HUMAN WISDOM/METHODS cannot fix:

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Ecclesiastes 1:14-16
14 I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
15 What is twisted cannot be straightened;
what is lacking cannot be counted.

16 I thought to myself, “Look, I have grown and increased in wisdom more than anyone who has ruled over Jerusalem before me; I have experienced much of wisdom and knowledge.”

On a different note, Everyone wishes to live forever to some degree, whether it be leaving behind something memorable or doing something INFAMOUS……EVERYONE WISHES TO LEAVE BEHIND A MARK OF SOMETHING THAT’LL LAST FOREVER…..

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Ecclesiastes 3
9 What does the worker gain from his toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on men. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. 13 That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere him.

But sad that many will attempt to do so in the WRONG THINGS: Making your mark/bid for eternity in this life when it has been promised to be DESTRYOED AND NOT SEEKING TO MAKE A MARK IN HEAVEN and never realize it till FACING CHRIST!

the focus on health as goal and purpose is not just part of the doctrine of WOF. It is cultural.  it seems to me that much of American culture literally worships youth and it’s sister; glowing, good health. We will always worship something because we were made for it, and this obssession feels to me like true worship. And it is such a false god. Youth, health are so fleeting. It seems that in some parts of America and elsewhere in the West, that it is now almost immoral, disgusting, to age, to become fragile, unattractive, mortal.

Fading movie stars surgically lift and inject their face and bodies to maintain an illusion of youth. The strange thing is that some young women who begin the lip pumping, and botox treatments while still young, somehow look old before their time. And older women who do this then lose the richness of both character and beauty in an aging face.

Even men now succumb to this pressure. I was HORRIFIED , to see that Robert Redford, an older man with a beautiful, weathered face has had a face lift. The wisdom, and character, which his heart and mind still own, is now deleted from his appearance, and he resembles an aging baby. It’s like cutting down a huge oak to the size of a sapling – it maims it, and the beauty of it’s true season, the autumn of it’s life, is destroyed.

WOF, some of it, just goes a step further and spiritualises the need for health and wealth. Maybe they are just more honest about it, for to become poor or sick in such a society, is to make other people feel uncomfortable and pitying. In certain WOF churches to become and remain sick or poor, is to be disobeying God. So death, instead of serving it’s rightful purpose in a fallen world, to concentrate us on our true life’s path, instead becomes a spectre that no one speaks about. I too wait for death itself to die. It has already in Christ. But the paradox is that it enriches life to face death! One day however, death will be totally done with

‘I don’t mind dying, I just don’t want to be there when it happens’..

in the process of trying to prevent something, you inadvertantly become it in the process if/when it’s done outside of God’s will…..and moreover, that it’ll always be HORIFIC when taken into our own hands & done OUTSIDE OF THE TIME SOMETHING was DESTINED TO OCCUR (Ecclesiastes 3)

As said before,

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11 He has made everythingbeautiful IN ITS TIME. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

ConsIDER  the very nature of sin & righteousness.

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Romans 6:15-23
Slaves to Righteousness

15What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. 18You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

19I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness. 20When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 21What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death!

22But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in[a] Christ Jesus our Lord.

Like the Word says, a person is a slave to WHATEVER CONTROLS him or her (II Peter 2:19)….and regarding the passage, both SIN & RIGHTEOUSNESS are MASTERS which we lend ourselves to and WILL MIRRR AT SOME POINT, much like it is in certain skilled crafts where an apprentice works under a master who trains/shapes and molds his apprentice in the finer points of his craft and the apprentice IN TIME REFLECTS HIS MASTER COMPLETELY.

That being said, I think that the imagery Paul uses is astounding, for when one thinks on it, it wasn’t just COINCIDENCE that he used the Words “WAGES” in association with SIN and “FREE GIFT” with RIGHTEOUSNESS..…for anytime we choose to do things apart from the way He has set things up and for OURSELVES ALONE rather than for His Glory (which is the ESSENSE of SIN—–that is, removing the “S” and “N” and only being left with “I”or “IT’S ALL ABOUT ME!””)….it‘s like placing ENORMOUS AMOUNTS OF EFFORT INTO A JOB, hoping to get paid at some point/well-compensated for it, and at the END OF A GRUELING DAY UNDER A RUTHLESS TASKMASTER, ALL ONE RECIEVES IS NOTHING TO SHOW FOR IT BUT PAIN, MISERY AND SORROW—-

Basically, all one gets is the very thing they were trying to avoid in the first place: DEATH…..and sadly, for those who are decieved and hoping that PERHAPS the results will be different next time or as long as they keep on working hard, they continue to SLAVE AWAY for the SAME KIND OF DEATHLY WAGES, with the wages getting WORSE AND WORSE OVER TIME!! (with examples like your boy, Robert Redford, or in the case of MYSELF & many other Black Folks, MICHAEL JACKSON, who went from looking perfectly normal/fine back in the day during his “THRILLER” album and progressively began altering himself….and with the effects seeming subtle/gradual but consequential nonetheless….At one point, I was fine with the changes, even when they were drastic enough to transform him into looking practic …..LORD, HELP HIM AND PLEASE PRAY FOR HIM STILL)

However, for those who those choosing of life under the leadership of the Lord (i.e. His purpose/plans, and going with what He has ORDAINED rather than trying to OVERRIDE it), though at times it may seem liKE IT’LL LEAD TO DEATH, it leads to nothing but ENDLESS LIFE…….and better than anything than they were expecting!!!!

Again, as my study Bible Bible says,

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“You are free to choose between two masters, but you are NOT FREE TO ADJUST THE CONSEQUENCES OF YOUR CHOICE. Each of the two masters PAYS WITH HIS OWN CURRENCY. The currency of sin is ETERNAL DEATH. That is all you can expect or hope for in life without GOD….but CHRIST’S CURRENCY IS ETERNAL LIFE—NEW life with God that begins on Earth and Continues forever with God…..WHAT CHOICE HAVE YOU MADE?

Prayerfully, for those as you pointed out who “just goes a step further and spiritualises the need for health and wealth”, they’ll realize that death is not something to fear…..and that EVERY RESPONSE MOTIVATED BY FEAR of DEATH (not just PHYSICAL but SPIRITUAL, such as the death of a relationship or safety of some sort, or something else entirely) will not pprotect oneself and the FEAR/AVOIDANCE OF IT IS WHAT LEADS TO SLAVERY/BONDAGE & THAT JESUS HIMSELF CAN NOT ONLY RELATE TO IT—-FOR EVEN HE FEARED DEATH WHEN IT CAME TO THE CROSS, Matthew 26:38-46 ,

Mark 14:35-42 , &

Luke 22:41-46

—–BUT HE CAME TO DELIVER US FROM THAT BY EMBRACING IT!!!

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Hebrews 2:10-1810In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering. 11Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers. 12He says,

“I will declare your name to my brothers;
in the presence of the congregation I will sing your praises.”[a] 13And again,
“I will put my trust in him.”[b] And again he says,
“Here am I, and the children God has given me.”[c]

14Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— 15and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.

16For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. 17For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for[d]the sins of the people. 18Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

And in a spiritual sense, like Jesus said, DYING TO SELF is what TRULY BRINGS LIFE RATHER THAN TAKES AWAY FROM IT:

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Matthew 16:24-2624Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25For whoever wants to save his life[a] will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. 26What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?

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Mark 8:34-36
34Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 35For whoever wants to save his life[a] will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. 36What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?

Quote:

John 12:23-28
23Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.

27″Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. 28Father, glorify your name!”

Man, DEATH & DYING IS SUCH A PARADOX like ya said, sis, but then again, so are MANY THINGS ABOUT THE LORD!!!!!

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4 Responses to “DEATH & DYING: WHY do many WOF churches FOCUS LESS on this n” MORE on HEALTH/WEALTH????”

  1. […] I came across this post – DEATH & DYING: WHY do many WOF churches FOCUS LESS on this n" MORE on HEALTH/WEALTH???? – that I thought was worth sharing.Hope you enjoy […]

  2. Ann Brock said

    Great stuff! Keep it up.

  3. Kyle said

    I have two degrees. One in Management the other in Education and Human development. All I can say is that my death and dying class was run by a Liberal as was all my classes in the Human Service classes. The problem with this is that Christ is never the central theme when contemplating death. You can have all the support and company but without Christ your going to hell. The Humanistic approach in dealing with these matters may give you some comfort during you waning hours and minutes but once you pass on there is hell to pay, literally without Jesus.

    Kyle

  4. […] in light of one's death/preparing for it and the judgment afterward is even better…(as I've written on elsewhere) If any have any thoughts, would love to hear… __________________ "Our […]

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