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.
The message and hope is found in the Book of Lamentations written by the Prophet Jeremiah. There is not going to be a complete or understandable explanation for what we are most likely going to endure in the next few months. Maybe within the next few years. We already are seeing the silencing of certain voices, censorship on an unparalleled scale. We will be standing as witnesses to greater human suffering and sorrow that past generations may not have ever seen. Many Christians are appearing to be blindly led toward false hopes and securities with the claims that Christ's coming is on the threshold of human history.
Faith teaches us to act in a manner to which we believe God will help us, strengthen us, and give unto us what we need to withstand the storms in our lives. Scripture is firm on the nature of our faith as it relates to God. Christ constantly chastised the disciples - O ye of little faith. Christ commented on the simplest acts of faith - I have not seen such great faith. Faith even may bring healing into our own lives - Thy faith has made thee whole. Each time Christ ministered to those individuals it is because they had sought him out.
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).
I happened to have become acquainted with this individual as he began to participate in a Facebook Group called Apologia of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This group is designed to discuss LDS apologetics and how to answer criticisms against the Restored Gospel. He provided a link to a post I made. It got deleted. Then, I challenged him to a discussion and he followed through with one topic that he felt is false.
James Pack maintains his own website and wrote up quite a profound and honest piece. A very honest and straightforward perception on one's experience with feeling abandoned. And, the most gut-wretched profound insight was this: ...where is everyone else? What happened to all the people who said they cared about me? I claim part of … Continue reading What you may not know
When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the Lord thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice; (For the Lord thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them.~ Deuteronomy 4:30-31, KJV ~ ~ January 9, 2020 Devotional … Continue reading Facing Difficult Days
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.
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
Through our love for God, we deepen our love for others. We walk in mercy and grace and forgiveness. We sow kindness. We are gentle and mindful of others and their needs.
Who is our neighbor? Christ's response - those who stand in need. Those who are broken. The marginalized. The one's suffering and perishing. These are our neighbors. They are those individuals that Christ may send into our lives to bless.
The Savior not only taught us ways we are empowered to serve, he showed us in the manner in which we are to serve one another.
By setting pure intentions and living with purpose and meaning through Jesus Christ, other people's opinion and understanding of who we are becomes unimportant. We are not here to please others. And, when it comes to our opinion of ourselves - we adopt the eternal perception of who we are through Christ Jesus. Sons and Daughters of the Most High.
It is not merely enough to enter into the holy sanctuary of prayer and meditation. It is enriching when our prayer and meditation includes daily praise and worship. It is part of our spiritual growth and discipline in the Christian life. If we fail to engage in daily praise and worship, we fall prey to the cares and anxieties of this world. Fear and doubt becoming an all consuming fire.
There is no sin greater than the atonement of Jesus Christ. There is no greater suffering that Christ has never fully endured. There is no weakness the Savior was not intimate with. From Gethsemane to the Cross, he alone carried the burden of all humanities affliction, weakness, and suffering. We may complain where is God in my suffering? He is there with you, in your own garden of Gethsemane.
Dare we imagine Christ saying to those whom he ministered "Go, have faith God will heal you." and turn his back on them? How dare we stand and shame and turn our backs toward those faithfully coming to us and seeking relief? Do you not understand how much courage and humility it takes for an individual to rise out of their own shame and guilt - hand outstretched and asking for sustenance, kindness, mercy, and grace?
We show kindness toward others. After all, isn't this what Jesus taught us to do? Show kindness and mercy to others? Is not what his teachings centered on - showing mercy, grace, kindness, and love toward others? How many more souls are we to save and add to the way when we show the same level of compassion, kindness, grace, and mercy toward others who are downtrodden, hopeless, and crumbling faith?
Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.~ 1 Timothy 2:7, KJV ~ Our Christian Faith is a simple one to share with others ~ January 13, 2020 Devotional ~ A simple faith makes the greatest spiritual impact and influence in the lives of others. We … Continue reading A Simple and Genuine Faith to Share
The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but he loves him who pursues righteousness. ~ Proverbs 15:9, ESV ~ When we look at creation, we see intricate and complex designs. There is a certain rhythmic order as well. One may say there is a sense of purpose - a plan - when we admire … Continue reading Authentic Christian Living
Our Heavenly Father shows grace, mercy, and compassion toward us. Through the gift of the Holy Spirit, He guides us. Through prayer and meditation, we receive personal revelation to help convict us and draw us closer to our promised land of peace and bounty. Through meditation upon the scriptures, we find inspiring examples of how God intervenes and moves people through their darkest and most trying moments of human experience. We find how God restores people who have been brought down to nothing and left in ruins.
Today's reading: Genesis 39 - 40:23; Ps. 10:1-11; Prov. 4:1-6; Matthew 13:31-58 And the Lord is with us Want to know the secret to success in this life? It's a prized desire for all of us to achieve success. Healthy relationships, profitable endeavor through employment, healthy families, and being a productive member of society. The … Continue reading Through Faithful Stewardship we Are Blessed
And the Pharisees and their scribes grumbled at his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” ~ Luke 5:30, ESV ~ When other people do not measure up to our perceived expectations, we begin to grumble and murmur. Our nature is to be overcritical and causation for our irritability. A common … Continue reading When Other People are not Measuring up
..."Do whatever he tells you." ~ John 2:5, ESV ~ One of the most difficult acts of human experience is to surrender our very own will and lives over to God. This is a most revolutionary act. Yet, we are constantly told to learn how to control ourselves. Manage our attitudes and behaviors. Think things through. Never to … Continue reading A Very Revolutionary Act
One of the things we do not consider is the review mirror effect of looking back on our lives. Going through some of my previous writings, and musings, I found this. Originally written in January of 2014. I happened to attend a MARS Hill Church in Shoreline, Washington. The sermon finished up a series based off the book … Continue reading Seeking transformation toward a more enduring authentic Christian life
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. ~ John 15:4, ESV ~ There is a reason we are called to empty ourselves out. Prior to our new life in Christ, we lived in doubt, … Continue reading Abide in Christ always
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. ~ Colossians 4:6, ESV ~ What does it mean for our speech to be seasoned with grace and salt? How we speak toward self and others makes an impact. To season our speech with grace and salt, … Continue reading Let our speech be seasoned with Grace and Salt
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. ~ Isaiah 40:29 ~ Powerlessness comes when we are no longer capable of utilizing our volition to make sound choices. When we move beyond addictions and co-dependency issues, we also come to realize how limited our power is. However, we also come … Continue reading He strengthens us when we are weak and weary
Today's reading: Gen. 29 - 30:43; Ps. 8:1-5; Prov. 3:13-18; Matt. 10:21-42 He who does not take up his cross is not worthy of me God has a greater plan for all of us. Yet, we walk by faith each day. Throughout our lives, we will experience hardships and difficulties. We are called to live … Continue reading Blessed in times of difficulty