December 13, 2019 Brethren Letter
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly (John 10:10).
Jesus Christ came to bring us the abundant life, a life that bears the positive fruit of God’s Holy Spirit. Tonight, I’m sending excerpts from a Tomorrow’s World Personal, written By Mr. Armstrong in December 1971, on this subject. It’s an excellent article!
Please have a wonderful Sabbath!
Your Brother in Christ,
The Good News of Tomorrow’s World
Personal from the Editor (Herbert W. Armstrong)
This is the Life — Real Abundant Living!
A world-famous philosopher, editor, and lecturer whom I knew … said that he did not desire to be repressed or to live a life of painful penance. “I desire,” he said, “to be radiant, cheerful, friendly, and to meet people with a smile.” Apparently HE ASSUMED that such a happy life could not be a religious life.
God Almighty has never given you a single “don’t” except those things that are going to harm you, tear you down, bring on unhappiness later. Oh, of course, some of these things give you a thrill, or a little kick out of life temporarily, but there is always a boomerang. They exact a great penalty later, and the price is too high. It isn’t good business.
God forbids those things that are bad for us, the things that are going to bring on unhappiness and bring on a life of emptiness and gloom. But never does God Almighty forbid one single thing that is for your happiness, your welfare, your real well-being.
Christ Brought ABUNDANT LIVING
Let’s get this matter straight. The founder of the Christian religion, Jesus Christ, said that He came to this earth for a purpose.
“I am come,” said Jesus, “that they might have LIFE, and THAT THEY MIGHT HAVE IT MORE ABUNDANTLY” (John 10:10). Jesus Christ came to bring us the “ABUNDANT LIFE.”
God Almighty intended the real Christian life to be one of joy.
Do you know that if you have the real Christian life, if you have the Spirit of God within you, it’s going to bring about this result? It’s going to, as we say, “produce fruits.”
“The fruit of the Spirit” — this is the Spirit of God. This is the Holy Spirit that God imparts ONLY TO THOSE WHO ARE TRULY CONVERTED. “That fruit of the Spirit is LOVE” — first of all is love — and the second is “JOY” Joy is happiness, brimful and running over.
That doesn’t sound like an unhappy, empty, morbid life, does it? Here’s love that will just flow, spontaneously, out from you!
Life Can Be RADIANT
The first “fruit of the Spirit of God” is LOVE. Love will mean that your face is beaming. It’s going to mean that you are really giving out. It’s going to mean that you are radiant and happy. Love results in JOY, the second product of the Spirit of God. The third is “PEACE.” Instead of going around quarreling, resentful, bitter, unhappy, and arguing — that’s not peace, that’s a kind of war — you’ll be at peace in your mind and with your neighbor, and with your God!
And the next is, in the King James Authorized Version of the Bible, “longsuffering,” which in more modern English is “PATIENCE.” Impatience makes more people unhappy than almost anything else! If you can really learn the lesson of patience, you’re learning one of the things that will make you happy, and make life worth living.
The next is “gentleness,” and then “goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” That is the fruit of the Spirit. It will spontaneously spring forth from you. It will be emitting from yourself, radiating from yourself, all the time, IF YOU ARE A REAL CHRISTIAN.
We All Have Trials
We are going to have troubles and problems, and trials just like everybody else. They come to test us. They come to strengthen, to build our character. And that’s the very purpose of our being — to make us like God. We, like Jesus Christ, can be born into the Kingdom of God. Notice I Peter 4:12-13:
“Beloved,” this is speaking to real Christians, “think it not strange concerning the fiery
trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you.”
Some people, when some of these trials and these problems come, think nobody else has ever had anything come upon them like that. It’s some strange thing that is peculiar to them. That is not true! Every other person on earth is having problems.
Everyone is having troubles. They have things to meet and to overcome, solutions to work out, the same as you do. It’s not strange. And so here is the teaching of God. He says:
“But REJOICE,” yes, rejoice inwardly in these things, “inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings.”
Christ suffered, but Christ also said to His apostles, “My JOY I leave with you.” “I am come,” He said, “THAT YOU MIGHT HAVE LIFE, AND THAT YOU MIGHT HAVE IT MORE ABUNDANTLY.” He came to give us THE, ABUNDANT LIFE. He had that kind of life. He was happy. He was filled with joy, even though at the same time He was a man of sorrows — and why?
Because He LOVED all human beings, and He saw the way they were going. He saw how they were destroying themselves, how they were bringing unhappiness and emptiness, fear and worry, poverty, sickness, disease and sufferings on themselves. He thereby shared their sufferings. He was a man of sorrows. He was sorrowful for them. But he was a man who was happy INSIDE. He was setting us an example of the kind of life that we should live. So we read here:
“REJOICE, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.”
Why We Can Always Be Happy INSIDE
When a trouble comes upon you, instead of griping, grumbling, moaning, and being unhappy and miserable about it, realize that something is come upon you to try you, to develop character, to develop something real and genuine in you that you will carry with you for all eternity.
But when troubles come, do you rejoice in them? Do you realize that something is come that is more valuable to you than a great sum of gold? Or do you grumble and complain and wish that such things had never come?
Jesus Christ came so that our lives should be CHANGED from what they are. They are to be changed from drifting, going the easy way, acting according to impulse — which builds no character, which is putting nothing into us that we can take with us, nothing that is real, that is
lasting and permanent — to the life that finds the true values. He gives us a life that does meet and overcome obstacles and temptations, a life that is just filled with happiness, brimful and running over with joy, the real abundant life. We realize what is being accomplished, where we’re going. YOU have a goal if you are Christ’s. You have an objective. You know where you’re going; you see the progress you’re making. It gives you a thrill of happiness.
GOD Above Is the Source
We can have abundant resources if we know where to go to obtain those resources. But MATERIAL WEALTH does not give anyone those resources. It can only add to them.
You don’t have them WITHIN. You can’t get them from the AROUND. But you can receive them — ONLY FROM THE ABOVE, from God Almighty. God Almighty is the great Giver, not only of life, but of life more abundantly. God is the Giver of the great resources.
He is the Almighty.
God Almighty has a great deal of power to give you, to impart into you. You can receive from Him abundant FAITH, the resource of POWER, faith to drive out fear and worry, faith to drive out discouragement before obstacles, to know that it’s going to work out every problem; POWER where you are now weak, to give you love to cover up and to drive out the bitterness and the resentment when other people do you wrong.
The LOVE of God will cover all of that and drive it out. God will give the resource of WISDOM that you now lack. God has all knowledge and all wisdom. God says if any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God that giveth to all men liberally. And if you really believe, it SHALL BE GIVEN, and UNDERSTANDING too! And then ZEAL and ENERGY — real living, driving energy that is needed to do the work that you must accomplish.
The Holy Spirit Provides the Power
What do YOU drink in? Jesus said that if you drink of Him, “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his innermost being shall flow rivers of LIVING WATER” — not stagnant water, but living water, sparkling water. “BUT THIS SPAKE HE OF THE SPIRIT, which they that believe on him should receive” — the Holy Spirit of God (John 7:38-39).
The Holy Spirit of God is pictured as living water. It comes into you. You go to Christ to receive it. You don’t bottle it up and put a cork on it. It flows out from you. The Holy Spirit flows out in love, peace and joy, radiating FROM you. There is no other way to find these resources. There is no other way to live a happy life.
The Attitude of a Christian
Here is the kind of attitude you will have. You will wish others to live their lives, too, up to their highest, their fullest, their best. You will be concerned for their welfare.
You’ll try to help others every way you can, never to hurt or to injure. You will never meddle. You will never dictate, interfere, or give unwanted advice, or speak ill of, nor gossip about others. Never will you go around griping, complaining, and murmuring that things make you and others unhappy.
You will always be willing to help others by giving them a chance, and mainly you can help others by helping them to help themselves, by encouragement, by setting a good example, by thus inspiring and uplifting others, GIVING ADVICE ONLY WHEN IT’S WELCOMED, and when they want it and are willing to open their minds and to receive it.
You will HEW TO THE LINE of the one supreme goal of life which should be to inherit the Kingdom of God, to be really born of God into the very family of God. You will be relentlessly pursuing this goal with zeal, with enthusiasm, with drive and with energy fired by Godly ambition, with hope, with faith, living by every Word of God. THE BIBLE WILL BE THE AUTHORITY that you OBEY, the authority that you look to for everything in your life.
You will be overcoming your own human nature and the world, resisting Satan, drawing nearer to God by constant daily Bible study and by prayer, and by occasional fasting and prayer.
THAT is the Christian life. It’s the HAPPY, the ABUNDANT LIFE.