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God’s Blessing of Long Life

The Fruitful Tree

The Fruitful Tree

“With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.” – Psalm 91:16

Have you ever wondered what’s the secret to a long life?

It’s more than eating healthy foods and exercising your body. It’s the same factor that helped Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses and many of the Old Testament patriarch’s live long and fruitful lives. It’s the same factor that will help you too.

I recently did some research on the men that encouraged and mentored me in my career as an artist. I came across the online biography of one of these men. He was an older Jewish man who took the time to freely invite me over to his house once a month, to teach me how to develop my artistic skills. He and his wife were always very kind to me and I learned quite a lot from his professional advice.

Mr. Weiss was a busy and successful syndicated cartoonist who also had a mentally challenged autistic son to cope with. Yet despite his busy schedule and demanding family life, he always made time to help me when he could.

Many years have passed now and I feel such gratitude for this man for his generosity. I found out in his biography that he lived to the ripe old age of 98 years old! It was no coincidence that he lived a long life. I’m sure it was God’s blessing, among other reasons, for having such a compassionate and giving heart.

You see, when we love and honor God by our actions, that is, by reflecting His heart of love and compassion for others, our LORD takes into account our righteous deeds. He smiles down upon us from heaven and rewards us in many ways.

One such reward is the blessing of long life.

In Jewish tradition, length of days has always been considered to be the blessing for living a righteous life and honoring God. Living a long and fruitful life is what God desires for us all. Sadly, many people choose to ignore this fact and do not alter their self-destructive ways. They ignore God’s guidance and bring upon themselves trouble, unhappiness, sickness, pain, and premature death. It was never God’s intention that they experience such calamities, but it was their own wrong choices in life that brought about these consequences.

Be fruitful and multiply.

When God created our first parents, Adam and Eve, He created mankind to live forever in paradise. He planted them in the garden of Eden, where there was peace, happiness, bountiful food, health, and every need was taken care of. God Himself met with them in the cool of the afternoon* (Genesis 3:8).

Unfortunately, instead of trusting in God’s direction, they heeded the lies of Satan and ate of the forbidden fruit. As a result, sin and death entered into the world. They not only brought judgment upon themselves, but on the rest of mankind ever since.

Only Jesus can rescue us from this curse.

Despite their disobedience, God had mercy upon them and provided a way to redeem them and their descendents from the consequences of sin and death. Through faith in the vicarious sacrifice of Jesus the Messiah on the cross, we were freed from this curse. Jesus took the curse upon Himself for us and freed us to be happy and blessed once again.

But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, ‘Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.’ “ – Galatians 3:13

The day we invited Jesus to be our Savior and Lord, the curse of unhappiness, sickness, pain, and death was broken over our lives and now we can expect to live long and fruitful lives upon the earth.

Let us never forget.

But let us never forget where we came from. We must use this second chance of new life in Christ to avoid making the mistakes and poor choices of the past. By the grace of God we have been forgiven and set free of the old self and have put on the new self in Messiah Jesus. We have a new opportunity to fulfill the good plans God originally purposed for our lives.

As we endeavor to live according to God’s ways and pursue righteousness, God will satisfy us, among other things, with long and fruitful lives. We may not live to be 175 years old like Abraham, but we can expect to live to a ripe old age, full of peace, joy, and good health. We will enjoy the fruits of our labor to the fullest.

We are blessed with faithful Abraham.

Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham. Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: ‘All nations will be blessed through you.’ So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith. “ – Galatians 3:7-9

As with Abraham – the father of our faith, we can expect God to bless our lives in every way and to finally die one day of “a good old age, an old man (or woman), and full of years” (Genesis 25:8).

The Scriptures also tell us that Abraham was “gathered to his people.” This Old Testament expression signifies more than his burial. It refers to a life well lived and the expectation of being reunited with our loved ones after death. Jesus, along with our departed family and friends in Messiah will be there to meet us upon our resurrection. He will welcome us and say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant; enter into the joy of the Lord” (Matthew 25:21).

– Luis Josephus

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* The natural connotation of Genesis 3:8 is that God was in the habit of meeting with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden each afternoon. Before they sinned, this passage suggests closeness and intimacy and fellowship with God. Although this was not the first time Adam and Eve heard God’s voice in the garden, this was the first time they hid themselves for fear of the sin they had committed.

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How well are you treating God’s temple?

Body_Soul_SpiritIf you are a disciple of Jesus Christ the Messiah, your physical body is the temple and habitation of God.  If the living God is living inside your earthly body, how well are you taking care of His temple? Are you feeding your body the right foods and nutrients? Are you exercising regularly and keeping your heart, muscles, and other important parts in good working condition? Most importantly, are you keeping your mind spiritually clean and guarding your tongue and body from carnal sins?

“…for we are the house [temple] of the living God; even as God has said, ‘I will live within them, and walk with them; and I will be their God, and they will be my [special] people.” – 2 Corinthians 6:16 (JCV)

I realize that these are tough questions since most of us could be doing much better in a lot of these areas. But if we are not doing what we should be doing, why not pray and ask God’s forgiveness right now, and ask Him to help you be a better steward of His temple?

The apostle Paul wrote that some of us Christians are weak and sick, and even die earlier than we should because we treat God’s temple in an unworthy manner. When we don’t eat right or exercise, or we habitually sin against our bodies, we are abusing God’s temple.

“So the person who eats the bread or drinks the cup of the LORD in a ways that is unworthy of it will be guilty of sinning against the body and the blood of the Lord…that is why many of you are sick and weak, and have died.” – 1 Corinthians 11:27, 30.

When we partake of communion, the Lord’s body and blood while living in sin, or being abusive of His temple, we’re eating and drinking  judgment upon ourselves. Beloved, look into your hearts each day before you pray and have communion with God. Ask Him to show you how to take better care of His temple.

–         Pastor Luis Yosefus

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Sinners In Need of a Physician

 

Sinners In Need of a Physician

Sinners In Need of a Physician

“But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be healthy need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go and learn what that means, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

– Matthew 9:12-13.

Modern day Pharisees in the Christian Church look down on other Christians that are not afraid of being criticized for rubbing shoulders with the outcasts of society in order to win them to saving faith in Jesus. When they see us conversing with blasphemers, witches, drug addicts, alcoholics, and sexually immoral people, they also ask the same question of us that they asked Jesus, “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

Pharisaical* Christians are so arrogant in their own personal holiness that they forget they were once filthy sinners themselves. Only by God’s mercy were they forgiven, saved, and given a clean start in life. All Christians are what they are today because, some time ago, someone talked to us about Jesus. Even while we were spiritually dead in our trespasses and sins, God still loved us enough to draw us to repentance. He sent messengers into our lives to preach the Good News (Gospel) to us.

But Pharisees self-righteously criticize other brothers and sisters in the Messiah for being a friend to sinners. They forget that a sinner is not won to Jesus simply by the words you preach to them, but also by the love of God you show to them.

The love of God is best demonstrated by accepting a sinner just as they are, without becoming part of their sinful ways. They need to know you are their friend – despite the vast differences between you and them in moral standards and lifestyle.

By His example, Jesus taught us that having fellowship with sinners is not a sin; it is the will of God who desires that all men be saved. To paraphrase Matthew 9:12, “Those who have need of spiritual healing are not those who are healthy, but those who are sick with sin.”

Like Jesus pointed out, we are to liken ourselves to a physician who goes where there is genuine need. It would be absurd for a doctor to refuse to treat the sick.

– Pastor Luis Yosefus

* Marked by hypocritical censorious self-righteousness – Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

REAL JESUS MINISTRIES
http://www.RealJesus.net

Click Here to: Learn more about Jesus | Submit Prayer Request | Support Our Ministry | Ask Pastor Luis a Question | Visit Our Bookstore