Tag Archives: Christian

Saved to the Uttermost

Hebrews 7:25-28 

25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

26 For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;

27 Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.

28 For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore.

Here is the heart of the matter.  Saved to the uttermost.  Hat saying fascinates me, so I looked up various translations, and it makes this even more amazing.  Other translations say “save completely”, “forever save”, “once and forever save”, “give life for eternity”, “save to the very end”.  Do you get the picture here.  When Jesus saves us, there I no further need to be saved any more.  He priests in Jesus’ day, and in Paul’s day, needed to make intercession for the people daily.  Every day blood had to be shed to forgive the nation, and the people, forgiveness for their sins, according to the law. In fact, they had to give a sacrifice for their own sins before they could make offerings for the people.  His was a cycle that would go on eternally.  And, if not for Jesus, it would be the only way that even we, the Gentiles, could find any type of forgiveness of sin before God.

But Jesus came.  Jesus lived a sinless, holy life.  He lived to show the love of the Father, in fact top show us the Father Himself, in the signs, wonders and teachings that He brought to this earth.  During His time on earth, He was harmless, He never hurt anyone. He never took up a sword or a spear, but instead relied on the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  He was holy, never sinning while on this earth, and without the seed of sin in His body.  The seed that had been [passed on since the time of Adam.  Because He was not the child of Joseph, bit the child of the Holy Spirit, who came on Mary to bear a Son to a virgin, as spoken of by the prophets.  He had no tins within Him at birth, and He had no sin within Him when He hung on the cross.  He was holy throughout His life.  Undefiled by sin, or by this world, he walked in purity of thought and mind every day.  His separated Him from sinners, because He had no sin.  He was perfect.

His made Him, Jesus Christ, able to offer Himself up as a sacrifice for our sins once and forever.  A perfect lamb, without blemish, was the accepted offering for sin.  It could not have scar, or broken bone, or cleft hoof.  Nothing out of place, nothing of sickness or decay.  A perfect lamb was the only acceptable offering.  We recall the words of John the Baptists, who prophetically spoke “Behold the Lamb of God, who take away the sin of the world.”  Sin, singular, not sins, plural.  All sin was taken by Him.  Sin, all our sin, was wiped clean that day.  All our sin, past, present and future was redeemed by His sacrifice. Here was now not any need for a sacrifice for sin, because the ultimate sacrifice had been made, and it would last forever.

Why?  Because Jesus was not ordained by man.  He was not imperfect when he was called to be the high priest for our sins.  He was perfect at His calling, perfect all the way through His life, and perfect at His death.  His body was marred, scarred, tortured, beaten and bruised, but He committed no sin.  He sins of the world were upon Him, but He had no personal sin of His own.  He was the perfect High Priest of the most-high God.  And He would be set apart, consecrated for ever in the heavens, taking His seat on the right hand of God.

What a Savior we have in Jesus.  What a friend to the lost.  What a miracle it is that God would have such grace on a sinner like me, who could never have found his way to an every-loving God if not for the precious gift of His Son, His only Son.  It is beyond my comprehension that God would do such a thing, but He did.  He sent His only Son, to be a sacrifice for my sin, that I would be with Him forever.  Now I can walk on this earth knowing I am forgiven by God, and knowing that he will help me everyday to walk in His ways, above the ways of the world.  What a treasure!  What a gift!  He forgave me!

His makes me ask myself the question – “So who am I to not forgive others?”  Who am I to stand in judgment of others because of their sin?  Jesus died for all.  For the least a s well as the greatest.  He forgave all, even if all have not accepted that forgiveness.  What gives me any right at all to not forgive?  If I have no right to forgive, I also have no right to condemn or criticize.  Did Jesus criticize me?  No, He saved me.  He forgave me.  Did Jesus come to condemn me?  No, He came to save me (John 3:17).  We are to follow His example. We are here to lead others to the cross that He was led to.  Are purpose is to bring others to the same saving grace He brought us to.  We can’t do that by judging, or condemning, or by not forgiving someone else.  Did you deserve His forgiveness?  I know I did not.  Do your friends, and your enemies deserve His forgiveness?  No, they do not.  But He died and gave the ultimate sacrifice for them as much as He did for you.  So, if Christ can forgive them, why can’t you? He has saved us to the uttermost.  Let us take this eternal salvation to all of those we meet.  On the street, in the grocery store, in our workplace, and anywhere we come in contact with others.  Let us sow this seed of grace wherever we can, and let the world know that their sins have been forgiven.  This is the calling of every believer, especially me!


The Less is Blessed of the Better

Hebrews 7:4-10 

Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.

And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham:

But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises.

And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better.

And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth.

And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham.

10 For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him.

The history of the Levites is fascinating. Levi was the third of the 12 sons of Jacob.  He was one of those who conspired against Joseph and wanted to kill him because young Joseph was Jacob’s favorite.  Fortunately, Reuben, his older brother, stepped in and saved Joseph’s life.  When Jacob was dying, he pronounced a blessing on all of his sons.  I am sure Levi did not feel very blessed.  He was told that he was cruel and angry.  His inheritance was that his family would be divided among the people all their days.

Fast forward almost 400 years.  He children of Israel are on bondage in Israel, and are slaves to Pharaoh.  Hey are under harsh taskmasters and have multiplied their numbers greatly.  There are so many of them, in fact, that Pharaoh orders all their firstborn males to be killed.  But one is saved from this murderous Pharoah – a child named Moses, of the tribe of Levi.  He is put in a basket and sent down the river, only to be found by Pharaoh’s daughter.  She loves him and keeps him as her own, training him in the way of the Egyptians.  But His Israelite blood betrays him when he kills one of the servants of Pharaoh, and he runs away to hide.  But he returns a deliverer, and his older brother Aaron walks with him as they confront Pharaoh.  We all know the story of the ten plagues, the Passover, the Red Sea and the wilderness experience.  In the wilderness, Aaron is seen as a leader who walks with Moses.  He is their priest, of the tribe of Levi.  His priesthood passes down generation to generation.

When they enter into the promised land, it is the priests, the sons of Levi, who led the way.  Hey carry the ark into the river Jordan before the waters subside.  They stand there where the water was as the children of Israel pile stones as a memorial.  They are revered as the priests of the people.  What mercy from God is this?  From outcasts to spiritual leaders.  From would-be murderers to those who help the people make atonement for their sins. The nation of Israel moves through the land and defeats the enemies who own that land, taking possession of the land God had promised them over 400 years earlier.  Once they are settled down from war, Joshua divides the land among them.  Each tribe gets an inheritance except the Levites.  They are scattered among the people, just as Jacob said they would be.  Hey receive not land because, as priests, they needed to be among all the tribes, able to offer the sacrifice required of the people.  Their inheritance will be the tithe of the people.  They will receive the first-fruits of all their sacrifices and all their crops.  Hey become the spiritual leaders of the people.

But Melchizedek was alive over 400 years before the Levitical priesthood was established, and there is no way he was a Levite.  Levi had not even been born yet.  We do not know who Melchizedek’s family was when or where he was born, and if he ever died.  Nothing else is said of him throughout scripture until now and the one reference in Psalms.  Yet for some reason Abraham felt compelled to give him a tithe of all the spoils of his war with the five kings.  We may never know what compelled Abraham to do this. Other then the fact that Melchizedek was recognized as a priest of the most-high God (Gen 14:18). Since Abraham was the great-grandfather of Levi, Paul concludes that Levi paid tithes to Melchizedek in Abrahams loins.   There is no mention of the Levites paid tithe to anyone.  tithe was reserved for the servants of God.   Therefore, Paul concludes, Melchizedek was a servant of God.

More than that though.  Melchizedek gave a blessing to Abraham.  The Blessing was always passed down from father to son, and from one greater to one of lesser standing.  The fact the he blessed Abraham as brought out because that makes him greater than Abraham in the eyes of Israel.  We have to remember that this letter is written to the Jews in Jerusalem.  The task of delivering the Gospel to the Israelites was no easy one.  They had to be convinced that Jesus was Messiah in order to believe, and one of the prophesies that was given about the Messiah was that he would be a “priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.”  What order was Melchizedek from?  This I what Paul is addressing in this part of the letter.  He is showing them the foundation for why Melchizedek was a priest, and one of his statements is that the less is blessed of the better.  Abraham was the most revered person ion all of Jewish history.  If Melchizedek was greater then him, the people would have to pay attention to what Paul had to say next.

The less is blessed of the better. I have to ask myself how often I pronounce blessing on those around me.  And even if I do, I must not allow that to make me feel like I am better than them.  We can easily twist this statement to make us feel proud when we pronounce blessing on others.  But what kind of a blessing can it be if it comes from pride?  None at all, I would say.  Nothing done out of p7ride can endure.  Indeed, I would say that giving a blessing is a way to show honor to someone else.  We should bless other at every opportunity.  It seems in my life, the only time I say “God bless you” is when someone sneezes.  I should say it more often.  Not so it will make me better than them, but because people need God’s blessing in their lives.  We should not just pray for God to bless the, but we should personally bless them in a phone call, a text, an email, or in person.  This will most definitely lift them up, and exhortation is something we too seldom to.

Bless someone today., Give them a call.  Send a text message.  It may seem strange at first, but I think we should get into the habit of blessing people more often.  We are, after all, a royal priesthood of God.  We should act like it more often.  Who will you bless today?

The Anchor of the Soul

Hebrews 6:16-20

16 For men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife.

17 Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath:

18 That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:

19 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;

20 Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

When I was young, my grandfather lived ion a dairy farm in Freeport, Maine.  You may have heard of Freeport.  This is the home of L. L. Bean, one of the world’s largest outfitter companies.  Back in the later 50’ss and early 60’s it was the local hardware store, and we used to visit it quite often when visiting grandpa on the farm.  I would love to get back there and visit that store again, which is now an anchor to a large shopping mecca in Maine.

The other thing about visiting grandpa was that Freeport is located on Casco Bay, which boasts some of the best lobster in the world.  My grandfather had a lobster boat back in those days, and we would have the opportunity to go out on that boat with him every so often.  I’m not sure how much lobster fishing has changed over the years, but it sure was fun for a ten-year-old back then.  Lobster trapes were large wooden cages with a funnel like net that went into the cage.  The bait would be put inside and the lobster would go in easily through the net, but when he tried to come out, his claws would not allow him to do so.  All of my grandfathers’ traps were marked by his colored buoys, and we would go out and check the traps, replace the bait, and take out any lobster’s that were in the traps.  A hoard of seagulls swarmed the boat like the ones looking at Nemo’s dad on the pier.  “Mine, mine, mine” they shouted as the old bait was thrown into the sea.  We always got to eat one or two of the fresh lobster and the rest were sold to the local market.  Lobster is still my favorite food today.

Buoys are interesting things.  They sit on top of the water to mark the place where something is below, or to mark out a course for a race, or a dangerous place where the shoals are very shallow.  A long rope with a weight on the other end keeps them in place and acts as an anchor.  We usually think of an anchor as a big double-sided hook which keeps a boat in place, and that is typically the case.  When talking about a buoy, though, it is more like an anchor on the surface of the water which marks a certain place.

Chapter 6 of Hebrews ends with a sudden shift in direction to the priesthood of Jesus Christ. The next few chapters will concentrate on making the case for Christ’s priesthood over the Hebrew children.  But he starts out this section by pointing to two immutable things that God swore to Abraham by – His name and His word.  Immutable means unchanging over time and unable to change.  It speaks of the permanence of something and the truth of that something.  He says because of these two immutable things, we have hope.  Hope is defined as a feeling of expectation and desire that something will happen.  Our hope is that God will not change.  That His word will remain forever is a promise we can count on and hope for in our own lives. Why?  Because His word is filled with so many amazing promises.  I am certainly not going to take the time here to write out all those promises.  One estimate I just looked up said there are over 7,847 promises made to mane from God.  He is immutable, these promises do not change over time.  They remain the same for us today as they were for Adam and Eve in the beginning.  The same for us as Abraham, as Job, as David, as Daniel as Paul and so many others.  Promises of healing, deliverance, salvation, direction, wisdom, long life, health and so many other things.  We have hope that all this is true.

That hope is an anchor to our soul.  It keeps us in place, just like the anchor keeps the boat in place. Our lives do not drift around aimlessly, not knowing where we will end up.  David could have said, in Psalm 1, that we are like a ship anchored in the calm sea instead of a tree planted by the water.  When we are anchored in this hope, we have nothing to fear, and we don’t have to worry about tomorrow.  We know that God has us, no matter what may come our way. He sea may rage, and the storm my come, but the anchor of His word and His name will keep us through it all. But I want my anchor to be more like that buoy, because I want everyone to be able to see what I am anchored to.  I desire that my life will be a signaling device so that others can see God in me.  Remember, I said the buoy marks a spot or shows a direction.  I pray that God is so strong in you that you show others the way to Christ.  Like the light of the world Jesus talks about, you lead others to Christ, not through the spoken word, but through the actions of your life.  A buoy never goes under, no matter how bad the storm.  It is always above the water, above the waves and above the treasure below.  The hidden things of God within us are shown by the buoy, the anchor of our hope.  May this hope be so evident in your life that others see God in you!

Patient Endurance

Hebrews 6:13-15

13 For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself,

14 Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee.

15 And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.

Our salvation does not come overnight.  It does not magically appear in the instant we accept the sacrifice of Christ by saying a few words at an altar, or wherever we are.  There are some who say that once we are saved, we are always saved.  Nothing can change that, they say.  I disagree.  Let me share my thoughts on this today.

I came to Christ through the fervent prayers of a friend.  He prayed for me, sent me scripture verses in letters, and gently urged me closer and closer to the cross.  I was living a despicable lifestyle of drugs, sex and booze to go along with my foul mouth and corrupt speech.  I was happy in my sin, and really did not want Christ, or any type of religion in my life.  When I came to visit my friend in Iowa and he took me to his church, God grabbed my heart.  I confessed my sin later that week and accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord.  I was saved that night.  My sins were washed away and I was made a new creature in Christ.  There is no doubt, and no disputing that fact.  I never spoke another swear word, I started going to church and reading the Bible, I changed my lifestyle to some extent, and I started walking with God and seeking His counsel.  Two years later, I visited Iowa again and met the women who would be my wife.  God definitely had a plan, and I moved to Iowa a couple months later, married that girl and now we have been married for 44 years.  Tomorrow, I will share the story of how we met, so tune in.  It was surely by the grace of God.

So, now I am saved.  I am walking with the Lord and trying my best to put all my past failures behind me.  I am trusting in His Word that His love will never leave me (Romans 8:35-38) and I know he has forgiven me.  I am a completely different man than the one that first came to Iowa.  I have changed and there is no way anyone can deny that.  My life is full of God now, and I am learning more about Him every day.  There is a zeal that surpasses any zeal I have had for anything in the past.  But as time goes on, that zeal subsides a little, and I start to drift away from Him.  He never moves, but I do.  I stop reading so much in His word, and some of my worldly ways start to invade my life again.  I find myself like Paul in Romans 7:19-25 where he talks about doing the things he doesn’t want to do and not doing the things he does want to do.  His is a perplexing place to be, and one we can all associate with (I think).  It is in these moments I am in danger of losing that salvation that I once enjoyed.

In yesterday’s post, I talked about the prodigal son.  When he was feeding the pigs, and only hoped to have the husks of the ears of corn to eat because he was so broke, he was outside the love of his father.  Not because His father ever stopped loving him, but because he walked away from that love. He decided there were better things in life than his father’s love.  It is true that God will never stop loving us, and that He is always there, waiting for us, to take us back in if we return to Him.  But we can walk away from that love and move outside its protection.  We can come to the place where we are no longer doing the will of the Father, but doing our own thing.  We can reject the salvation we have received and walk back into the world of sin we came out of.  We can be saying Lord, Lord, and still not be known of God (Matthew 7:21-24).

This is where patient endurance comes in.  We are told to work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12-13).  When we are saved by accepting Christs atoning sacrifice, we are saved in our innermost being.  The Holy Spirit coms in and starts to clean up our heart and mind.  But that all takes a lifetime to work itself out to the rest of our flesh.  It takes a lifetime of following Him to truly bring our salvation to fruition.  We don’t just go to the altar, accept Christ, and then walk away and do whatever we want.  We are not saved so that grace may abound toward us (Romans 6:1-2).  We are saved so that we can then present ourselves to God a living sacrifice and be transformed by the renewing of our mind (Romans 12:1-2).  This is not a passive salvation; it is an active salvation.  God is continually drawing each of us closer and closer to Himself, and we must be willing to be drawn.  Despite all the trials we face, He is still working within us to bring about our salvation.

Seven times in the book of Revelation, God makes a promise to those that overcome.  Overcome what?  Jesus said that he overcame the world (John 16:33).  What is there left for us to overcome then?  We have to overcome ourselves, with His help.  We have to allow God to change us, renew us, transform us, sanctify us into the perfection He desires for us.  Not a perfection that never does anything wrong (although wouldn’t that be nice), but a perfection that knows all things work together for good and that He is always working within us to bring about our salvation.  I have not arrived until I walk through those pearly gates.  My salvation becomes complete when I cast off this corruptible body and put on incorruption (1 Cor 15:31-33). Until then, I am a work in progress. And to get there, I must have patient endurance.  Patient with God to bring me to that place, and patient with myself to allow God to give me the strength to work out my salvation within me.  Only He can provide that kind of strength.  Remember what James says?  I shared this yesterday, but it bears sharing again today.  James 1:4 says we must let patience have its perfect work, so that we may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.  2 Timothy 3:16-17 sums it up nicely also “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”  It is so essential that, once we are saved, we continue in His word, learning, growing and changing so that we too can be thoroughly furnished, which means fully equipped, to do the works that God has intended for each of us.  These works are the way our salvation is worked out – by doing for others as we discussed yesterday.  It is a process, not one isolated incident.  And, although that one incident is life-changing, it is nothing compared to the magnificent changes God desires for us (Psalm 37:4).  But it all hinges on us continually working out that salvation that began with our repentance.  Day after day after day, it never ceases, and we must always be diligent and practice that patient endurance that will lead us to the promise of God, just like it did Abraham.

Don’t Be A Sloth

Hebrews 6:10-12

10 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.

11 And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:

12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Christianity is not for the lazy. Once we accept the sacrifice that Jesus Gave to us, we have work to do.  It is not a time to just sit back and enjoy His salvation until He returns.  An easy chair is no way to heaven.  Rather, it is more like a treadmill that we are on, always working to bring others to Christ. Our work done unto the Lord, but it affects the lives of the saints and the unsaved as we are showing the hope that is within us every day.  I mean every minute of every day.  What are people seeing in you?

How do we do this work and labor of love that Paul talks about here? In many ways, it is very simple, but in other ways it is very difficult.  Here are so many scriptures that point us in the direction God wants us to travel that I cannot possibly cover them all here in this short space, and I won’t even try.  But I am led to highlight some of them, by no means in any order of importance, except maybe in my own mind as they are brought back by the Holy Spirit.  I ask you to examine your own lives as I examine mine to see if you are doing this work that Christ has asked us to do for Him.

To me, the very best place to start is the Sermon on the Mount.  His masterpiece of a speech lays out the attitude and actions it takes much better than I could ever hope to write.  First of all   there are what I like the “Be A Christian Attitudes”, which we commonly call the beatitudes.  He attributes listed here seem to have gotten lost on the church in general, and taken too far by others.  There is no middle ground it seems.  Yet to follow Christ is to follow all of them and have all of these attitudes daily: poor in spirit, mourners, meek, hungry and thirsty for righteousness, poor in heart, peacemakers, persecuted for Christ’ sake.  I wish I had time to discuss all of these attitudes we should have with you today, but I do not.  Hey are in order of preference to the Lord in my opinion – one need to be put on top of the other and cannot stand without the others in place. In other words, if we are trying to be peacemakers, but have not first become poor in spirit, we will fail.  Humility comes first in everything we do as Christians, We should never, absolutely never be high-minded, proud, boastful or full of ourselves.  The quest is to be full of Christ!  As John the Baptists so rightfully out it “I must decrease, He must increase.”  There is no way to live a truly Christian life without humility.

We next read we should be the salt of the earth and the light of the words, We should have a righteousness that exceeds the pharisees (religious leaders of the day), we should make things right with our brother before we offer our offerings to the Lord, agree with our adversary (don’t hold a grudge), don’t lust after women (or men), we should not divorce except for adultery, we should not promise anything we cannot keep, turn the other cheek, love your enemy.  All this in just the first 1/3 of the speech (Matthew Chapter 5).  Can any of us say that we accomplish all these things on a regular basis?  Because Jesus says if we do these things, we will be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect!  And notice particularly that all of these things have to do with our relationship [ with others, only a few deal with our relationship with God!  He puts our relationship with our fellow human beings in the forefront here, and He has only started.

Chapter 6 tells us to pray quietly and not boastful, and he teaches us a pattern of prayer, and a prayer, that we should utilize when praying.  He tells us we must forgive others or we will not be forgiven.  He tells us we should fast, that we should not lay up treasures on this earth, but treasures in heaven.  He tells us that God will take care of us if we will just put His kingdom first in our daily search through life, and He says we should not worry about tomorrow.  Chapter 7 goes on to say we should not judge one another, that we should Ask, Seek and Knock and that our heavenly Father will give us what we need.  He tells us to stay on the straight path and enter the narrow gate and that we should bring forth good fruit (Fruit of the Spirit).  He tells us that not all who say Lord, lord will enter heaven, but only those who do the will of the Father.  And finally, He tells us to build our house on the rock!

The Sermon on the mount is probably the most profound speech ever given and bears our study over and over again.  I did a study of this section of this speech between June 22, 2018 and January 19, 2019 right here in this blog.  I wish I could link you to it, but that would be way too many links.  If you feel so inclined, you might want to go back and read through some of it.  I know it opened my eyes to what God is asking here, and it can change your whole perspective if you will take the time to really study His words, not the words of someone else.  Not even mine!  It is moist important for our Christian walk that we understand the concepts in the Sermon on the mount above all else.

Here are some other verses that come to mind when talking about the way we should be witnesses to others.  Ephesians 4:29 – speak grace at all times.  Philippians 2:14 – don’t grumble or dispute.  1 Thess 5:18-22 – Rejoice evermore, pray without ceasing, give thanks in everything, don’t quench the spirit, don’t despise prophesy, prove all things, hold fast to good thing, abstain from all appearance of evil.  Philippians 4:6 – Be anxious for nothing.  Philippians 4:11 – Be content in every situation.  James 1:2 – Rejoice in your trials. Philippians 2:3 – esteem others better than yourself.  The list goes on and on! Are there any of us that can say we fulfill all these decrees?  I certainly don’t.  I have a lot to learn.  I strive to do these things at every opportunity, and that is my ministry, my work, my labor of love to the Lord. All of these character traits and attitudes speak much more volume than our words do, and are essential in our witness, especially if we are to carry out the Golden Rule.  After all, who would not want these things not displayed to them?