Over the last 10 years or so I have met several people who had very irrational and abnormal fears of dying young. When I asked them what they felt was young, they said they did not expect to live past an age range of years of age. I guess they thought there was some kind of curse on them, and that what happened to one of their parents was going to happen to them. Personally, I feel this type of fear is completely irrational, abnormal, and very unhealthy. What does the Bible have to say about God wanting us to live long lives?
For those of you who are not aware of these verses from Scripture, I think you will be pleasantly surprised to find that God does want many of His people living long lives down here on this earth — and that this is a particular blessing that He can grant to us if we meet certain conditions under the New Covenant that we now have with Jesus. Before I get into the conditions that must be met before we can expect to receive this type of long life blessing from God the Father, and the actual Scripture verses showing that God can grant this type of blessing to us — I just want to make one common sense argument to those of you who may be battling this type of irrational fear.
If your fear of dying young is based upon the fact that one of your parents have died young, then this means that every one of the other children in your family should also die in about the same age range that you are expecting to die in! But we obviously know from actual factual evidence that this is not the case. Children within families all die in different kinds of age ranges — from early on to ripe old ages of years of age.
If you feel that you are going to die within an age range of , then this should also apply to the rest of your brothers and sisters as well. And since we know that this is not what actually happens within family structures, you should be able to logically reason from this that if your other brothers and sisters are not subject to dying within this early age range, then neither are you!
Just simple logic and reason dealing with the actual facts should convince you that you are not living under any type of curse that could take you home early. Just as no two people have the same set of fingerprints, no two people have the exact same walk and destiny with the Lord. We all have our own unique and individual walks and destinies with the Lord, and He will be the One who will set the date and time when you will be called home to be with Him for all of eternity — not you, not anyone else, and not any previous set of circumstances like what you may dealing with on one of your own parents dying early!
God is totally sovereign in all of His ways — and this includes how He will handle and direct your life and eventually when He will be calling you home to be with Him in heaven! Since God is totally sovereign in the way that He will be handling, directing and controlling your life, this means you cannot even begin to predict when you will depart from this life! This revelation right here should break this abnormal fear right off your back! When your mother or father died has absolutely no bearing on when you will die! If it did, then you would be stealing from the way that God wants to sovereignly work and handle your life.
This means that God will be the One to choose the day, the time, and the method of your departure from this life. This choice by God Himself, as to how and when you will die, has absolutely nothing to do with when or how your own parents had died. Before I get into the actual Scripture verses showing that this is a specific blessing that God can bestow upon us, I first want to show you what the specific conditions are that must be met before this kind of blessing can be released to you.
There are three of them. Study these three specific conditions very carefully if you want to have any chance of getting God to give you this long life blessing. Many Christians fail to live long and fruitful lives in the Lord due to violating some of the second and third conditions mentioned below. As you will see when I state the Scripture verses below, this kind of blessing is only available to the Jewish people who are still operating under the Abrahamic Covenant of the Old Testament with God the Father, and Christians who are now operating under the New Testament covenant that we now have with Jesus Christ.
Nowhere in Scripture does God state that this type of blessing is for nonbelievers. Granted, many nonbelievers live to ripe old ages — but that is just because of good cause and effect operating within their lives. Good genes, healthy bodies, and good luck have all combined to give many nonbelievers long and healthy lives. However, just the opposite is also true. Some get lucky, some do not.
But with Christians and the Jewish people, we are now looking at a whole different ballgame with a whole different set of rules that are now in play. We are both operating under a covenant direct with God Almighty Himself. The Jewish people direct with God the Father under the covenant that He had established with Abraham, and the Christians direct with the new covenant that God the Father has now established through His Son Jesus Christ. All of the Scripture verses mentioned below are from the Old Testament. These were statements being made by God the Father direct to the Jewish people.
They were not meant for anyone else. As Christians, we are also entitled to all of the same blessings that God the Father promised the Jewish people back in the Old Testament. This is why each Christian should spend some good quality time studying the Old Testament — to find out what these blessings are and the conditions that must be met in order to be able to receive these kinds of blessings.
And the blessing to be able to live a good long life in God is definitely one of those particular blessings! As I have stated over and over in all of my other articles — the 1 key in getting to God to move full force into your life is to come under a full and complete surrender with Him. He wants all four of these things fully surrendered to Him so He can have full and complete control of your entire life in order to properly work it and build it up in Him.
Each Christian, once they have become saved and born again, will now have to make one more big final decision with how they will live out the allotted amount of time they still have left down here on this earth.
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Who will direct and control your life and where it will now head — you or God? Will Jesus now become both Lord and Savior over your life, or just your Savior? In order to get this particular long life blessing bestowed upon you, you have to make Jesus the Lord over your life! Making Jesus the Lord over your life means you will now turn the reigns of your life over to Him, and He will now be the One to lead and direct your life in the direction that He will now want it to go in.
If you are willing to make this kind of sacrifice and commitment to God, then you can expect to receive some incredible blessings that are under the Abrahamic covenant of the Old Testament that the Jewish people had with God the Father. I believe this may be one of the main reasons why many Christians do not live long lives. They have never turned the reigns of their lives over to God the Father for Him to fully handle. They are running their own shows and calling all of their own shots.
As a result, they are operating under a whole different set of rules. If you make the personal decision to run your own life instead of turning it over to God the Father, then you will be taking yourself right out of some of the above blessings. If you are not, then you will place yourself operating under the same set of rules and laws that the nonbeliever is operating under, and that is under the law of cause and effect.
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If you are fortunate enough to be born with a good healthy body, and get lucky with some of the cause and effects that could occur throughout your lifetime, then you may get lucky enough to live to a ripe old age. However, if you are not lucky on a particular day, and find yourself at the wrong place at the wrong time, then you may go home early, possibly much earlier that God would have really liked had you been doing His perfect will for you life rather than your own will. Example — say your driving towards an intersection, and if you keep going at the same rate you are going you will be broadsided by a drunk driver that you will never see coming and you will die at the scene of this intersection.
If you are not living under a full surrender with God the Father, then God is not leading and directing your life. And if God is not leading and directing your life, then God may choose not to stop this accident from occurring and you will thus end up going home early. However, if you are operating under a full surrender with God the Father and He is now leading and directing your life, then He can now choose to protect you from this accident because you have not finished your work for Him down here yet.
This scenario right here is a perfect example of how some Christians manage to live a long life in the Lord and others do not. The Christian who is operating under a full surrender with God has maximum protection from Him because this person has a divine destiny that has to be fulfilled for Him while living down here. And until that mission and purpose has been fully fulfilled, God is not going to be bringing this person home early. But the Christian who is not living under this full surrender with God does not have His maximum protection on them — and if they do not have this full protection on them — then they could possibly die and go home early if by chance they happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time as described in the above scenario.
As you will see in the Scripture verses stated below, the third requirement that must be met in order to get this long life blessing bestowed upon you is that once you enter into this full surrender with the Lord where He is now fully directing your life in the direction that He will want it to go in — you will have seek to obey all of His commandments and seek to walk in all of His ways. The Bible specifically lays out exactly what God is looking for and expecting from each one of us.
Now here is where many Spirit-filled, fully surrendered Christians get into major trouble with the Lord. God has them perfectly traveling on the straight and narrow road. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Jan 12, Jerry Blackerby rated it really liked it. Excellent book of Bible verses about various aspects of Jesus. A person could use a complete Concordance and probably find most of these verses, but the author has assembled them for you.
Reading this book can help a person in their walk as a Christian. Jan 24, Shari Remington rated it it was ok. Walking with Jesus. It was not what I thought it was going to be. I don't think I would have gotten it if I had known. Mar 31, Alexander Fitzgerald rated it it was amazing. It's a very fine collection. The verses are excellently chosen, and it makes for a great Bible study. I hadn't had much experience with the King James Version of The Bible which the author draws from, but I grew to really love it by the end of the read.
He really chose the most glorious sections of the good book. Reading a topic or two was a great minute study to start the day. It's a free read too now on Kindle Unlimited. I felt very grateful I was able to pick this up through it. A handy tool for studying and meditation. Bible verses in King James Version organized by topic with a few short comments in between.
View 2 comments. Jul 21, Kay rated it it was amazing. Using the organized applications can help you in different times of need. Josephine LaBarge rated it it was amazing Mar 22, Duncan Bitting rated it really liked it Aug 12, Lori Sullivan rated it it was amazing Mar 18, Debbie Coleman rated it it was amazing May 15, This is a good place to start if we are seeking to consider what specific virtues followers of Jesus should aspire to. Repeatedly in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus links our actions directly to our character — to our core attitudes and motives.
Other comments by Jesus throughout the Gospels reinforce this connection. The early church was quick to pick up on the importance of imitating Jesus. Take the writings of Paul, where we find a significant emphasis on character development. Christ then is our example and model. It is his character that we are called to develop. The Romans during the early, formative years of their nation needed to survive in a world of invading conquerors.
So virtue to those early Romans was manliness and the willingness to defend their families and homes.
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All this talk about virtues has got Wayne a little confused. In fact, true character is probably more accurately measured by the observation of others than from our own analysis. Wayne genuinely wants to respond in a way that expresses care and concern. In fact, looking back over the slow but real development of Christian character through his lifetime, he especially recognizes and values a growth in compassion, kindness and generosity.
It seems that his default setting has already been defined by values that are shaping his character. We all know people whose lives exude character. The way they work in the marketplace seems to have integrity or consistency with the rest of their lives. But just exactly how have they become people of such character? However, while these elements are clearly important, and the Holy Spirit certainly does transform us in deeply personal ways, such change rarely occurs outside of a wider context.
Both MacIntyre and Hauerwas two recent advocates of virtue ethics emphasize the huge role that community plays in shaping and embodying the virtuous life. Stories engage our imaginations and get us involved in ways that are often self-revealing. They have power to help develop both character and community. For example, the dominant story in American culture for many years has been the self-directed individual who breaks free from the oppression of social conformity.
Clearly, for Christians the Bible provides our primary narrative. It is also a story of the triumph of an individual — Jesus — over the oppression of society. But Jesus repeatedly denies being self-directed. Instead he says his direction comes from outside, namely from God e.
And we are to become like Jesus 1 John For Hauerwas, Stassen and Gushee, the specific story most critical to Christians is the story of Jesus, whose character and virtues are what we are called to emulate. But the gospel narrative does not reach us in sharp focus. Despite ourselves, we absorb it through a filter — the filter of our culture and of our faith community. The way we retell this story — what virtues we emphasize, what failures we highlight, and how we encourage one another to nurture the habits and practices it describes — all of these have a significant impact on how we grow in virtue.
In fact, we need to be acutely aware of the tendency of all faith communities to reframe Jesus in ways that are less challenging to their own lifestyle and worldview. Making Jesus into our own image is a temptation we all face.
Western churches of today live in a society where wealth and affluence are widespread, and where the story of self-directed triumph is accepted to a degree unknown ever before in history. When that happens, as it sadly often does, all we are left with in our faith-community narratives is a Jesus who limits himself to addressing a small range of personal moral issues. This is not the Jesus of the Gospels. For Jesus models and teaches a consistent ethic of life, not one severely truncated and restricted to issues of sexual conduct and personal honesty — however important those might be. The ethics of Jesus encompass so much more.
So godly character does not just occur as a result of individual transformation. It is in the context of community that such character is primarily nurtured and developed. And that community must find ways to expose the inevitable blind spots of its take on Jesus. The New Testament, in concert with the Hebrew Bible, emphasizes the indispensable context of the believing community, which, in this instance, is the church, the ekklesia.
It is within this nurturing context of faith, hope and love that the Christian life, as a process, unfolds. Such communities must find ways of discovering a clearer picture of the character of Jesus, of asking the hard and uncomfortable questions that help us confront our limited view of the virtuous life.
The Subjects of the Kingdom and Their Influence in the World (Matthew 5:13-16)
When this happens, we are less likely to duplicate the many sad examples of Christians doing business in a thoroughly sub-Christian manner. Otherwise, keep reading below. Commands, Consequences and Character — three different approaches to making ethical decisions. And, as we have seen, there are plenty of variations within these streams. The truth is that in real everyday situations most people use a combination of approaches. So when it comes to making moral decisions, we find ourselves involved in an ethical dance that is an interplay between these different approaches.
Which of these approaches do you favor in your own decision-making? Frequently, it depends on the nature of the situation you find yourself in. For example, are you trying to solve a major moral dilemma … or is this an everyday moral choice? Sometimes major moral dilemmas require and allow for careful consideration over an extended period of time. In such cases, one way of going about this decision-making process is to: .
As you can see, setting a course when faced with a major moral decision calls for a lot of blood, sweat and tears! Especially for an organization. However, when it comes to dealing with everyday problems that we meet as individuals, the pace of life is likely to make us more streamlined. We have already suggested that most ethical decisions in our daily lives and work are made instantly, often under pressure and without much room for forethought.
They are instinctive, being the product of habits of a lifetime, as well as shaped by the culture of the places we work and by the peer groups and faith communities we belong to. Such decisions are influenced by the extent to which Christian virtues and character have been molded into the core of our being. Within the virtuous life there is still a place for understanding rules and calculating consequences — but here the rules and consequences are subordinated to the virtues.
For example, even a person with the virtue of honesty has to understand and obey the rules of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles International Financial Reporting Standards, outside the USA in order to produce accurate financial statements. But an honest person always uses the rules to increase the overall accuracy of the financial statement, never to find a way to obscure the truth without breaking any laws. This emphasis on virtues does not eliminate moral dilemmas.
In fact, competing virtues are also capable of pulling us in different directions. Examples of this are the tensions that sometimes exist between justice and peace, or loyalty and truth, or courage and prudence. Making good moral decisions in these cases is less about seeing one right answer because there probably is not just one and more about striving for a balanced Christian response that recognizes all the competing priorities.
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We are not just left striving earnestly all the time to discern and enact the perfect Christian response. In fact, recognizing that we live in a fallen world means realizing that often there is no perfect Christian response — that sometimes all courses of action include negative consequences.
unidentified.webd.pl/piercing/man/childs-play.php This book is all about making decisions — ones that are consistent with our Christian faith - especially in the Every resource on our site was made possible through the financial support of people like you. Revised Dec. Image by Used under license from Veer. Based on a work at www. The approaches are: Command — What do the rules say is the right way to act? Consequences — What actions are most likely to bring about the best outcome? Pastoral Ethics. Oxford: Lynx, Burkett, Larry.
Business by the Book. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, Cook, David. London: SPCK, Gardner, E. Biblical Faith and Social Ethics. New York: Harper and Rowe, Grenz, Stanley J. The Moral Quest. Vision and Virtue. Higginson, Richard. Called to Account. Guildford: Eagle, Questions of Business Life. UK: Spring Harvest, Just Decisions. McLemore, Clinton W. Street Smart Ethics. Maxwell, John C. USA: Warner Books, Murdock, Mike. Tulsa: Honor Books, Nash, Laura. Believers in Business , Nashville: Thomas Nelson, Stassen, Glen H.
Kingdom Ethics. Downers Grove: IVP, Zigarelli, Michael. Management by Proverbs. Chicago: Moody Press, Gordon Preece. Stanley J. The most moral course of action may be decided by: What will result in the greatest good? For example, the system known as Ethical Egoism  assumes that the most likely way to achieve what is in the best interests of all people is for each person to pursue their own best interest, within certain limits.
This approach can focus on subordinate goals, e. In the case of complicated circumstances, this approach tries to calculate which actions will maximize the balance of good over evil. But how do these three different approaches apply to Christian ethics? Back to Table of Contents Christians from most church traditions are agreed that the Bible plays an essential role in determining our understanding of such commands and principles.
In the first two chapters of the Bible, men and women are given work to do, both caring for and cultivating natural resources given by God Gen. There is also a daily pattern of work and rest Psalm The Book of Proverbs contains many exhortations to work hard and warnings against idleness e.
Manual work is not to be despised. Even a king works with his hands 1 Samuel Jesus did the work of an artisan Mark The prophets denounce the idle rich e. Like the prophets before him see Isa. The apostle Paul supported himself as a tentmaker to preserve his independence and self-respect, and to provide his converts with an example of diligence and self-reliance. Paul encouraged them to share with others in need Eph. He saw honest labor as a way of commending the gospel 1 Thess. He reprimanded those enthusiasts who wanted to give up daily work to get on with what they considered more urgent gospel work, only to end up living off other people 2 Thess.
Work is to be approached as an act of worship 1 Cor. The Bible also expresses concern about employment issues. We work for God Col. Work is to be approached wholeheartedly and done well Eccl. God intends that people should be adequately paid for the work they do and enjoy food, shelter and clothing as part of the fruit of that work Luke ; 2 Thess. Employers are told to treat their employees justly and fairly, knowing that they themselves also have a master that they will ultimately answer to Col. Employees are reminded of their responsibilities towards their employers 1 Tim. Looking for Guiding Principles Back to Table of Contents A variety of attempts have been made to reduce the multitude of biblical commands to just a few overarching commands or principles.
Be accountable. Provide a quality product at a fair price. Honor your creditors. Treat your employees fairly. Treat your customers fairly. Walk the second mile. Keep your promises even when it hurts. John C. The Bible and consequences Back to Table of Contents Because so many people think of ethics in terms of the Ten Commandments and of the Bible as a rule book, it is perhaps surprising to discover how often the Scriptures themselves encourage readers to consider the consequences of their actions and let this influence their decision making.
So, too, does much of the rest of the Sermon on the Mount, such as: Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven. After reading it, you will find a link to return here. Which Virtues? Back to Table of Contents Just as the command and consequence approaches have to determine which commands and consequences are truly good, the character approach has to determine which virtues are good. Stassen and Gushee note: The Bible is not flat; Christ is its peak and its center.
As Benjamin Farley writes: The New Testament, in concert with the Hebrew Bible, emphasizes the indispensable context of the believing community…. What will produce the best result? Am I becoming a good person? Solving Major Moral Dilemmas Back to Table of Contents A lot of teaching on business ethics is built around exploring significant case studies and is developed in response to profound moral dilemmas; in particular, the challenges that come when important principles clash and seem to point towards different solutions. Clarify the key ethical issues.
Identify rules and principles relevant for the case. Consult the important sources of guidance — especially the Bible, with sensitivity to the best way of reading the Bible to address this situation. But also consult other relevant sources. Ask for help from others in your community who know you and the situation. This will help you avoid self-deception and paying too much attention to your particular biases. List all the alternative courses of action. Compare the alternatives with the principles. Calculate the likely results of each course of action and consider the consequences. Consider your decision prayerfully before God.
Make your decision and act on it. Find ways to continuously practice the activities inherent in doing what is right, as you have determined. Everyday Moral Choices Back to Table of Contents A second model recognizes that most ethical decisions in our daily lives and work are made instantly, often under pressure and without much room for forethought. We may be tripped up by our own ungodly desires, attitudes, fears, relationships and other factors Sometimes we lack not only the ability, but even the knowledge needed to do right. Conclusions Back to Table of Contents The Bible is the basic source for the commands we are to obey, the consequences we are to seek, and the characters we are to become as followers of Jesus Christ.
What commands should a Christian obey? What consequences should a Christian seek? What does Christian character call for? We will stay with Wayne as he considers each of these approaches. The Command Approach Back to Table of Contents As Wayne contemplates his dilemma with the car, he wonders if there is any simple rule or command that can help him decide the right thing to do. The vehicle must be: Fit for the purpose that type of vehicle is normally used for. Acceptable in finish and appearance. Free from minor defects. The age and price of a vehicle must be taken into account when deciding whether it meets an acceptable quality.
Commands beyond the law Despite these difficulties, a Christian approach to ethics looks for some command from God that will name clearly what is right and wrong. So where does Wayne begin looking for this sort of answer to his dilemma? A Rule for Every Occasion?
Back to Table of Contents In desperation, Wayne goes searching for help on his bookshelf. Then your reward will be great. Larger Principles? Back to Table of Contents Disappointed, Wayne puts the book back on the shelf. Does this help Wayne? A Single Principle or Command? Back to Table of Contents Wayne is still struggling with his dilemma. However, he acknowledges that it requires a number of other principles to explain what it involves, including: Treat people better than they treat you.
How does this help Wayne solve his problem? Love Hill acknowledges that love is generally viewed as the pre-eminent virtue. How is Wayne Helped by This Approach? The Bible and Consequences Back to Table of Contents Because so many people think of the Bible as a rule book, and of ethics in terms of the Ten Commandments, it is perhaps surprising to discover how often the Scriptures themselves encourage readers to consider the consequences of their actions and let this influence their decision making.
Measuring the Good Back to Table of Contents Considering the consequences should play an important role in our decision-making. They are: What is good? How do we define good? For example, presumably it is more than simply making the customer — or Wayne — financially better off. Good for whom? Can the good be calculated? Can we fully foresee what will result and is good in any given situation? Good in what context? Can things that are good in one context be bad in another?
What is Good? Back to Table of Contents Our definition of what is good is critical. And elements of this state are described in many biblical passages, including these: People live in joyful relationships with God and with other people. Genesis People do work that is enjoyable and provides the necessities of life for everyone. Genesis People have equal standing in society without discrimination by race, economic disparity or sex.
Galatians There is no sickness or disease. Revelation ; Societies live in peace and prosperity. Good for Whom? Self Interest There are those who use self-interest as the measuring stick. What does this mean for Wayne? Can the Good be Calculated? Back to Table of Contents Consequences can be hard to measure and quantify; sometimes impossibly so. Good in What Context? Back to Table of Contents Context is ethically important.
How do contextual concerns affect Wayne's decision-making? This gets Wayne thinking about how his character is being shaped to make moral choices. Determining What is Virtuous Back to Table of Contents If developing character and virtue are so important, then there are several key questions we have to grapple with. They are: How do we define a virtue? How do virtues actually develop? We agree with Stassen and Gushee who note that: The Bible is not flat; Christ is its peak and its center.
Back to Table of Contents All this talk about virtues has got Wayne a little confused. Back to Table of Contents We all know people whose lives exude character. As Benjamin Farley writes: The New Testament, in concert with the Hebrew Bible, emphasizes the indispensable context of the believing community, which, in this instance, is the church, the ekklesia. Developing the Character of Jesus in the World of Work Back to Table of Contents Virtue ethics has important lessons to teach us: Making ethical decisions in the marketplace is much more than developing a good decision-making process.
We need others. When we are committed to a community seeking to retell, understand, embrace and live out the gospel story, we are much more likely to become people of virtue. And the world of business certainly needs people of character. What will produce the best outcome? Major Moral Dilemmas Back to Table of Contents Sometimes major moral dilemmas require and allow for careful consideration over an extended period of time.
In such cases, one way of going about this decision-making process is to:  Gather all the relevant facts. Identify rules and commands that are relevant for the case.
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Calculate the likely results of each course of action, and consider the consequences. Everyday Moral Choices Back to Table of Contents We have already suggested that most ethical decisions in our daily lives and work are made instantly, often under pressure and without much room for forethought. How to Make the Right Decision Devotional Devotional Biblical decision-making principles for tough situations at work.
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