Aloha Friday Message – November 1, 2019 – Little by little

1944AFC110119 – Little by little

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     Wisdom 11:23-12:2 23 But you are merciful to all, for you can do all things, and you overlook people’s sins, so that they may repent. 24 For you love all things that exist, and detest none of the things that you have made, for you would not have made anything if you had hated it.

1 For your immortal spirit is in all things. Therefore you correct little by little those who trespass, and you remind and warn them of the things through which they sin, so that they may be freed from wickedness and put their trust in you, O Lord.

Aloha nui loa, ʻŌmea! Grace and Peace to each of you from God our Father and our Lord, Jesus the Christ, in the Power of the Holy Spirit. We are nearing the end of the Liturgical Year. The Last Sunday in November will be The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. The following Sunday will be the First Sunday of Advent. Between now and then our Sunday readings remind us of God’s Mercy. That Mercy is manifested in the birth of Jesus, and revealed in his resurrection.

Our God – the Almighty Ever-Living God El Shaddai-Olam – made everything according to HIS will and the testament to that is everywhere. Consider this familiar passage from Psalm 8:1-5 O Lord, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. 2 Out of the mouths of babes and infants you have founded a bulwark because of your foes, to silence the enemy and the avenger. When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established; what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them? Yet you have made them a little lower than God, * and crowned them with glory and honor.

* מֵאֱלֹהִ֑ים (mê-’ĕ-lō-hîm) {meh-el-o-heem’}“less than divine” or less than supernatural beings such as angels, gods, mighty rulers, or judges. From אֱלהִים (elohim) {el-o-heem’}, plural of אֱלוֹהַּ (eloah) {el-o’-ah} God, gods. We are not gods, but we are created to be only a little less than the angels; little by little we advance toward that day when we shall be above even the angels because we will be restored to our status as children of the Lord God. The Apostle Paul tell us this in 1 Corinthians 6:2-3 Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? Do you not know that we are to judge angels—to say nothing of ordinary matters? God has given us so very much – dominion over the Earth; forgiveness, redemption, and Salvation; the privilege of adoption as sons and daughters of God; the very desires of our hearts; and even our very own guardian angels. These are among the uncountable treasures given to us. We who are faithful also obtain the blessing of persecutions. When we play that one in our heads we get that sound like dragging the needle over the LP phonograph record – ZZZHHRRRRIIIILKZX! Why is that part of our Grab Bag Gift?

Let’s scroll back up the page and take another look at one of those “I know that” verses (which we often do not know at all). Psalm 8:2 2 Out of the mouths of babes and infants you have founded a bulwark because of your foes, to silence the enemy and the avenger. The first part of this verse is often used as an adage to express the truth that sometimes the uncensored viewpoints of children point us to truths of staggering importance. In this case, the Wisdom of God is given to children – even nursing infants – who, in their innocence, speak about the Wonders of God. It was that challenge that will  defeat “the enemy” and “the avenger.” What’s that all about? It’s time for a Deep See Dive into the root Scriptures.

The enemy is (Tah-Dah) Satan. Now, I know you usually just skim past these little parts, but I put them in because I want us to see that the Bible is really real. The words there are to help us understand God better – little by little – so that we are more comfortable with him than with the Devil. With that in mind, here’s the skinny on “the enemy:” It is the word א֝וֹיֵ֗ב (’ō-w-yêḇ) {o-yabe’} → related to the word ayab, for hate → therefore a hater, an enemy. Next we have וּמִתְנַקֵּֽם׃ (ū-miṯ-naq-qêm) from נָקַם (naqam) {naw-kam’} → to avenge, take vengeance. Who will refuse to listen to the innocent words of children? Those among us who have not yet learned to recognize intellectually that God is in charge – and are therefore enemies of God, and mistakenly believe they have the power of revenging themselves upon him for condemning their choices of disobedience and sin. Who would do such a thing? Satan and his minions of course, and at times – little by little – we slip into that enemy camp … not as spies or insurgents, but as collaborators, as sinners, and as foolish agents of the evil we know we must avoid, but cannot, do not, and will not listen to what the innocent say. They speak so that we “grown-ups” may know shame because through such feeble and weak soldiers of God – innocent babes and sucklings – there is sufficient strength to defeat the enemy, the Foe, that Avenger against Righteousness; yet in us who know better, and should have the greater strength, the Liar’s deceits prevail so that little by little we, too, betray our God. What are we to do?!

REPENT AND BELIEVE THE GOSPEL:” (← Check it out!) We can definitely repent and believe the Good News: Mark 1:15 “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.” See Also 2 Peter 3:9. When I read that, sometimes that weird little guy in the back of my head hits me with the “newspaper questions:” Who, what, when, where, why, how? Who will repent and believe? WE WILL. What will we repent and believe? OUR SIN and his GOSPEL. When will we repent and believe. TODAY AND ANY DAY THAT WE SIN. Where will we repent and believe? IN OUR HEARTS, IN OUR LIVES, IN OUR MINDS. (See Metanoia) Why will we repent and believe? WE WILL REPENT AND BELIEVE TO RETURN TO THE ARMS OF GOD THROUGH JESUS THE CHRIST. How will we repent and believe? LITTLE BY LITTLE EVERY SINGLE DAY. And lastly, what is the final question in this series? What changes when we repent and believe the Gospel? EVERYTHING – IT’S LIKE HITTING THE RESET BUTTON. How do we get to that point? Take a clue from God’s Good Buddy, the Psalmist.

Psalm 51:2-6 Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin.3 For I recognize my rebellion;  it haunts me day and night.Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight. You will be proved right in what you say, and your judgment against me is just. For I was born a sinner — yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.But you desire honesty from the womb, teaching me wisdom even there. New Living Translation (NLT) Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

God is not distracted by anything in our lives. He is always aware of everything, and every moment of our existence. We continue to repent and believe the Gospel, continue to fight on so that little by little we defeat the enemy. I’m going to ask you to look at how God told Israel that Joshua should take over Canaan and all the Nations that lived there. Here is how God gave the Promised Land to Israel “little by little” as recorded in Exodus 23:20-33 (especially verse 30) and Deuteronomy 7:17-26 (especially verse 22). He told them that they must utterly destroy these enemies of God – not one soul should be alive, no silver or gold be taken, no son or daughter of Israel should marry among them (they’d all be dead anyway), no livestock should be taken home because everything owned by God’s enemies was “set apart for destruction.” God’s enemies will be destroyed by God’s chosen. I’m going to close with proof that – little by little – we have the Victory over the enemy (Satan), and the Avenger (Death):

Romans 8:35-39 35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered.” *

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (*See Psalm 44:22) Little by little we fight the enemy as God sends his angels and Mighty Arm ahead of us to mow down Evil – not all at once, but in God’s measured Wisdom – so that all who are patient, obedient, and persevering will attain Everlasting Light and Glory in Christ Jesus. That’s a pretty good outcome, I’d say. And what are the Evils we combat? Pride, Envy, Gluttony, Sloth, Lust, Avarice, Wrath as expressed in lying, shedding innocent blood (abortions included), making wicked plans, sowing discord, and everything found in Galatians 5:19-21 19 Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, 20 idolatry,* sorcery,* enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, 21 envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. *These include horoscopes, witchcraft, rebellion, “The Force,” polytheistic religions based on “elementals” (earth, fire, air, water, Mother Nature, Gaia, Pachamama, Kū, and anyone or anything we place higher than God). Little by little God will deliver us from these sins, but we must suit up (See Ephesians 6:11-18) and fight against God’s enemies (which are therefore also our enemies). There is still time to repent. Let’s get on it; little by little we can win the war!

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever — at your service, Belovéd!

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Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture passages are from the New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE) New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Biblical languages inserts from Bible Hub (Bible Hub: Search, Read, Study the Bible in Many Languages) Visit at http://biblehub.com

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Aloha Friday Messages by Charles O. Todd, III is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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