1 Thessalonians 2:1-8
Being Godís children means that we willingly live in His heavenly will here on earth as it is in heaven as a witness before others, and as His ambassadors to help as many people as we can to understand the way He wants all of us to live.
Being Godís children also means that we no longer live like most of the people of the world, whose indifference to the plight of millions of humans and billions of animals causes them to suffer and die every year, so that the people of this world see the difference between their lifestyle and ours, and hopefully come to repentance, and help bring true peace to earth.
Last week we talked about becoming like Jesus, and what we are talking about today is really the same thing, for this is the way that Jesus taught us to live.
With these things in mind, letís take a look at Deuteronomy 34:1-12, which describes the death and burial of Moses, which Moses obviously could not have written about.
1. Now Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, which is opposite Jericho. And the LORD showed him all the land, Gilead as far as Dan,
Moses was definitely being one of Godís children, but because he was also a leader and teacher, his display of anger when he struck the rock in the wilderness to get water disqualified him from crossing into the promised land, which is an important lesson for all of us, and particularly for those who teach or lead others.
We believe that this is the reason that we are told in James 3:1Ö
1. Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.
But because Moses was a child of God He showed him the promised land, but as a witness to the people, He would not let him cross over into the promised land.
2. and all Naphtali and the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, and all the land of Judah as far as the western sea,
3. and the Negev and the plain in the valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees, as far as Zoar.
So Moses saw all of the land that the Lord had promised to give the Israelites.
4. Then the LORD said to him, "This is the land which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, 'I will give it to your descendants'; I have let you see it with your eyes, but you shall not go over there."
We believe that because Moses was a child of God, he well understood why the Lord wouldnít let him enter the promised land, just as we all should understand.
God forgave Moses, but the people had to see and hopefully understand that leadership carries with it a greater responsibility; nevertheless, we all have the responsibility of being Godís children.
5. So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD.
6. And He buried him in the valley in the land of Moab, opposite Beth-peor; but no man knows his burial place to this day.
We believe that the Lord did this because He didnít want the people to focus on the body of Moses, and make an idol of it, but to focus on all the things that Moses did as a child of God.
7. Although Moses was one hundred and twenty years old when he died, his eye was not dim, nor his vigor abated.
This seems to have been a gift of God because of Mosesí leadership position.
8. So the sons of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days; then the days of weeping and mourning for Moses came to an end.
If we truly felt the calling from God to take a leadership position, would we still do it even though we would face the same stricter judgment that Moses faced?
9. Now Joshua the son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him; and the sons of Israel listened to him and did as the LORD had commanded Moses.
It is obvious that Joshua was willing to take that leadership position as a child of God, for if we are not being Godís children and seek to become leaders for the sake of our pride, we may lose a lot more than Moses and may not even get into heaven.
10. Since then no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face,
11. for all the signs and wonders which the LORD sent him to perform in the land of Egypt against Pharaoh, all his servants, and all his land,
12. and for all the mighty power and for all the great terror which Moses performed in the sight of all Israel.
Being Godís children also means that we are willing to accept the calling of the Lord to do whatever He desires us to do.
It may just be some little thing like encouraging someone else to not put a limit on their love, compassion, and empathy so that they can also feel the pain of the whole of creation and do something to alleviate it, even in a single person or animal, or perhaps to cease polluting the earth; for it all counts.
The calling could also be something bigger, but being Godís children means that we are willing to do that too, even if the Lord has to help us along the way, just as He did with Moses.
Letís now take a look at Psalm 90:1-17Ö
1. A Prayer of Moses the man of God.
Lord, Thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations.
Notice that Moses begins his prayer with an acknowledgement of who God is and what He has done.
2. Before the mountains were born,
Or Thou didst give birth to the earth and the world,
Even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God.
3. Thou dost turn man back into dust,
And dost say, "Return, O children of men."
4. For a thousand years in Thy sight
Are like yesterday when it passes by,
Or as a watch in the night.
God does not see time as we see it, for we get impatient for the Lord to do something, even though He may already have it in the pipeline of His plan for the best time to bring it forth.
5. Thou hast swept them away like a flood, they fall asleep;
In the morning they are like grass which sprouts anew.
6. In the morning it flourishes, and sprouts anew;
Toward evening it fades, and withers away.
7. For we have been consumed by Thine anger,
And by Thy wrath we have been dismayed.
Even when God punishes us directly or by allowing us to suffer in calamities of our own making such as global warming, it shows His mighty deeds, for even the physical earth was created to react to human indifference to our charge of protecting the whole of His creation.
And, these things happen because we, as a society, are not being Godís children.
8. Thou hast placed our iniquities before Thee,
Our secret sins in the light of Thy presence.
9. For all our days have declined in Thy fury;
We have finished our years like a sigh.
10. As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years,
Or if due to strength, eighty years,
Yet their pride is but labor and sorrow;
For soon it is gone and we fly away.
We are born and die in what seems like a small portion of a day to God, especially if we are only doing things for ourselves and not for the Lord.
11. Who understands the power of Thine anger,
And Thy fury, according to the fear that is due Thee?
God created us to be in His image, which means that we have many of His emotions, and this also means that He feels the same things that we do, and that He also understands us, whether good and bad, which includes seeing the intent of our heart.
12. So teach us to number our days,
That we may present to Thee a heart of wisdom.
When people do things against the heavenly will of God it shows their lack of wisdom.
This also shows that we deserve the punishment of the Lord.
13. Do return, O LORD; how long will it be?
And be sorry for Thy servants.
But for those who are being Godís children, even if small in number compared to the population of the world, Moses shows some impatience, for he wants the Lord to do something to encourage them.
14. O satisfy us in the morning with Thy lovingkindness,
That we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
15. Make us glad according to the days Thou hast afflicted us,
And the years we have seen evil.
Since the children of God also suffer in this world for the sins of what most people are doing, Moses is asking for something to be done to bring joy to the hearts of the children of God.
16. Let Thy work appear to Thy servants,
And Thy majesty to their children.
Godís servants are the children of God.
17. And let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us;
And do confirm for us the work of our hands;
Yes, confirm the work of our hands.
We believe that this is only referring to the children of God and what they have done for the Lord.
To us, such confirmation can come from a child who thanks us for telling them and showing them the truth about the horrible suffering and plight of so-called food animals,
Letís close out this discussion about being Godís children by looking at 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8Ö
1. For you yourselves know, brethren, that our coming to you was not in vain,
2. but after we had already suffered and been mistreated in Philippi, as you know, we had the boldness in our God to speak to you the gospel of God amid much opposition.
This is part of the encouragement that Moses prayed to God, which saved Paul and his companions from the evil ones in Philippi, which was an encouragement for them and even for the children of God in Thessalonica.
3. For our exhortation does not come from error or impurity or by way of deceit;
4. but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not as pleasing men but God, who examines our hearts.
This is being Godís children, and this is what Paul and the Lord are encouraging us all to be.
5. For we never came with flattering speech, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed ó God is witness ó
6. nor did we seek glory from men, either from you or from others, even though as apostles of Christ we might have asserted our authority.
7. But we proved to be gentle among you, as a nursing mother tenderly cares for her own children.
8. Having thus a fond affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us.
This is loving your neighbors as yourself, which is all part of loving God with every aspect of our being, which includes loving the whole of His creation, and being filled with His unconditional love, compassion, and empathy.
This is being Godís children.
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