Are we willing to pay the cost of coming unto Christ and following him? Willing to pay the cost of walking in the process of repentance in order to be reconciled? Ready and committed in putting to death our former self? How does the rich young ruler represent you? What are some of the great possessions that you have whereby it may interfere with you committing to immerse yourself in following Christ?
As President Russell M. Nelson provided his opening remarks to the October 2021 General Conference - we learn that the focus of our attention is to understand three things: Pure Teaching, Pure Doctrine of Christ, and Pure Revelation. Reflecting on this message, how have you come to understand these three principle truths? What are you struggling with when it comes to your faith in Christ? Faith in the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ? and where do you feel lacking when it comes to revelation and the ministering of the Holy Spirit? Knowing that personal revelation comes through our daily commitment to scripture study, prayerfully reflecting and meditating on teachings from Church Leaders and those within our own community, and through personal fellowship and service toward others: how does this help build up your faith and testimony? Please share your comments, thoughts, and feel free to ask any questions in the comment section below. Share this with others through your social media platforms as well.
The scriptures are filled with gripping stories and challenging exhortations. People read and study from them because they are central to their lives and faith. Scriptures provide answers to the big issues in life - Who God is, Christ's infinite atonement and the plan of salvation, Life, death, love, sin, moral guidance, resilient and bold faith, overcoming and enduring persecution and times of despondence.
Each one of us ought to devote our time and energy in studying the standard works every day. This is accomplished by establishing a study schedule that best serves our personal needs. And is something we are motivated and committed to following consistently. Developing an understanding and love for the scriptures will greatly help in the challenges and responsibilities we have in our lives. Helps us be of service toward others. Improve our ability to relate and communicate with others.
All these teachings helps us understand the central truth of the Gospel - Jesus is the Christ by whom we are saved. Salvation comes when we place our initial faith and trust in Him. It comes when we humble ourselves and enter into the waters of baptism for the remission of our sins. This is accomplished when we come to the awareness of our natural state and disposition. Through repentance, we receive the first principle ordinances of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The world offers us all the desires and appetites that leave our bellies full and our flesh satisfied. Unfortunately, it is only temporary and we continue to remain hungry and thirsty for more of those things of the world. When we are tempted, it may come in guise of satisfying some desire. We develop an appetite for it. Eventually, it leads us to experience death of our sense of self through Jesus Christ.
My profession of faith was more of an outwardly expression of how I wanted to be seen and thought of. It was not until realizing that the inside of me was still full of filth and grime. What needs to happen is that the cup needs to go through the process of cleansing before it is able to be filled and used. This takes faith and patience because of Christ's infinite atonement. We may be redeemed and justified before God. However, our work begins by cleansing ourselves of ungodliness. We endure. As our faith increases, so does our ability to become resilient. Spiritual maturation does not happen overnight. It takes work. It takes obedience.
Today, we do well to focus on the teachings of our Heavenly Father. Work to walk in faithful obedience to His divine and righteous council. Stand firm on the truth of His personal revelation and will for our lives. Sit with those who are working out their faith with fear and trembling and fighting the good fight (See, Philippians 2:12 and 1 Timothy 6:12, KJV).
James spends a few verses teaching us how Genuine faith produces authentic religious piety. He begins by sharing with us how we are to listen and be slow to wrath. He instructs that we are to set aside the disposition of the natural man and replace it with the righteousness of Christ through the message of the Gospel. Third, he teaches that we are to become workers of righteousness and love. James also reflects the importance of bridling our tongue so that we do not defile ourselves. And finally he instructs that our purpose is to visit those who are marginalized and care for their needs.
Over the years I have attended a variety of men’s fellowship groups within the Christian Faith. Some were quite small while others boast a good following. Some of these groups appeared to have died down and were no longer meeting. It was not until I stepped into a fellowship of those engaged in their own … Continue reading A Vibrant Fellowship Is Needed – Damascus Way Recovery
Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. ~ Romans 6:4, KJV ~ ~ January 6, 2020 Devotional ~ When we come unto Christ. When we come … Continue reading Christ Empowers Us
Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.~ 1 Thessalonians 5:11, KJV ~ When we encourage one another - we build each other's character and integrity ~ January 11, 2020 Devotional ~ We are called of God to spread the good news of Jesus Christ. We are called to reach out and say unto … Continue reading Encourage One Another
There are those oft days of light and happiness that dispel the sadness. Yet, they are fleeting. As fleeting as the summer days we've so far experienced here for June. Inevitably, the rain comes, the darkness swells, and the days grow gloomy and despondent. We either allow ourselves to sink deeper and withdraw further into our suffocating sadness; or, we do the courageous and difficult task of pulling ourselves out of despair by focusing on the hope and light of God's love, mercy, and grace.
As I grow spiritually, true and mindful prayer becomes my confession of absolute dependence on my Heavenly Father. It is a vital contact with Him on a day-to-day basis in order to experience His presence from moment-to-moment. It is when I fully commit to mindful and meditative prayer where I truly find peace, receive personal revelation, wisdom and counsel to apply to those problems and difficulties I face.
I am only responsible for learning to judge my own motives, to evaluate my own actions, in order to bring them in line with what God's standards and ideals are. This is accomplished little by little as I continue to seek His will and guidance.
Photo by Seven 7 on Pexels.com Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.~ Ephesians 4:29, KJV ~ I am not able to hurt others without first hurting myself. This is a compelling reason for taking … Continue reading Walk in a Spirit of Edifying Others
I find such relaxed - and relaxing counsel - through my Heavenly Father's wisdom for just today. My reminder is to focus on just today and live through this day only. Not attempt to tackle all my problems at once. I am only able to do smaller things and focus on those smaller steps and not attempt to resolve all problems in one day.
Photo by Mateusz Sau0142aciak on Pexels.com Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the Lord. ~Lamentations 3:40, KJV ~ Both busyness and mind-numbing activities are ways to avoid self-reflection. Self-reflection runs against the grain of a busy culture. It requires us to set specific time aside to be quiet, still, and … Continue reading Self-Examination is a Courageous and Faithful Spiritual Discipline
Photo by Roberto Shumski on Pexels.com In the final days of His mortal life, Jesus Christ told His Apostles of the persecutions and hardships they would suffer. He concluded with this great assurance: “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). That is the … Continue reading Being of Good Cheer Takes Courage and Resilient Bold Faith
When I pray throughout the day I may find myself falling into the habit of parroting words without being aware of their meaning. This blunts one of the most fundamental spiritual disciplines. As I pray, my focus is to meditate mindfully on the meaning of every word and phrase. My understanding will grow. My capability to realize the difference between shallow prayers by rote and memory and powerful and meaningful effectual prayer.
I deal with my own shortcomings and weaknesses through Jesus Christ and the amazing grace offered toward me. If I do this honestly and humbly - following the truth's of our Savior - the change in me will reflect outwards in love and compassion
It is a true Christian mindful and spiritual experience to lead a desperate individual into a new point of view. We learn the subtle difference between pity and empathetic understanding. We do not flaunt our own Christian blessings and victories. We allow God's love and blessings speak for themselves.
The Gospel is not a mandate to seek out those who are healthy and well. We are called to go out into the Highways and Bi-ways. To seek out those who are less fortunate. To minister to those who are broken. To sit with those who are living in sin. We are to reach those who are sick and lost.
Through quiet meditation I defer my decisions until my contact with Heavenly Father has brought about certainty the path for me is right. And I pray to keep myself from taking any action, even a little one, that may be intended toward disappointment and potential suffering.
Photo by Callum Hilton on Pexels.com ...for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.~ Luke 15:32, KJV ~ There once was a man with two sons. The younger made a request to his father to attain his inheritance. Once he received his allotment he took up his … Continue reading What is Your Prodigal Story?
For us, we feel that our zealousness slowly fades away with each inevitable struggle. If that is the case - maybe it is time to slow down, to take a sabbath, find ways to be grateful for what you have, and above all else, pray to our Heavenly Father. And, if worry and fear has weighted you down some - pray with great intensity and passion to seek God's divine grace that will renew your soul.
God is a God of possibilities and is a God of miracles. He has intervened in ways we are still not able to fully fathom. He does not just preform miracles like a magic show. Miracles occur around us daily. the miracle of a new life being born into this world. Miracle of a person suffering opioid use, or alcoholism, coming to Christ and being healed and forgiven. Strengthened to live a healthy and sober life. The miracle of a prodigal son or daughter coming back home. The miracle of science to help us provide needed medical services to those who are suffering ongoing medical issues.
We are to be an example of Christ's grace and truth. An example of His compassion and love toward others. He did not appear to bother Himself with the concerns and social upheaval of his day. He spoke truth. He was gentle. He showed mercy and grace. His light exposed the darkness without a single word. He responded from that light and truth in speaking to those hearts who were darkened with self-righteous indignation.
We are called to persevere as Christ has persevered. As Christians, we face our hardships with faithfulness that God will empower us to overcome. We are strengthened by God's grace and mercy. And, if our prayers seemed to go answered. If it seems God is silent in those times we are facing hardships. We are asked to continue to live according to His will and teachings.
Today, there are many that talk about God. This is the easy part. It is easy to declare yourself to be a Christian. It is easy to live according to your will and way of thinking. However, when we truly live by God's divine laws - that becomes quite troublesome. No wonder many Christians have watered down the Gospel message. No wonder many Christians evangelize cheap grace. No wonder has the message of the Cross been more foolishly stripped of its power and authority. For Godly men and women of integrity to live righteously and obediently to God is offensive to those who live according to the cares and dictates of their mindset.