True discipleship is one of great cost. It requires us to take up our cross and abide in Christ by keeping his commandments (Matthew 16:24-26 and John 15:10).
As we seek after the Kingdom of Heaven - seek after the righteousness of God, we do so through love of our Heavenly Father and love toward others. The Savior expresses that these two teachings are the main commandments: Love God and love others (Mark 12:28-31). It is the call to allow our Heavenly Father to rule in our hearts, in our homes, in our workplaces, and in our communities.
The Sabbath is a time where we connect intimately with our Heavenly Father and fellowship with others. A time of opportunity to serve others. It is a time to reflect on the covenants we have made as disciples of Jesus Christ. Where we fall short, it is a time of seeking forgiveness, walking the path of repentance, and seeking wise counsel from those whom our Heavenly Father has chosen.
Meaningful and mindful worship begins when we are authentic and accurate in our attitude toward Heavenly Father. He is pleased by our thoughtfulness toward Him. Reflecting on his nature, desiring to become more like Christ, sanctified and holy. We are called to be holy as he is holy, perfect as he is perfect, and through Christ, we are perfected unto God.
After all that our Heavenly Father, and Jesus Christ, have accomplished - they saw that it was good. This is something we are incapable of imagining. The sweet harmony, beauty, unity, and the way all things worked together in peace. Such beautiful perfection was very good. We also have a difficult time understanding the Holy Goodness of our Heavenly Father. The goodness in His creating each one of us after His own image and likeness. The goodness in His plan of happiness for each one of us through our Savior Jesus Christ. The goodness of revealing Himself through all
King David marveled at the power and testimony of God’s creation in Psalm 19. Here, he proclaims that the heavens declare God’s glory and that the firmament sheweth his handiwork (See, Psalm 19:1). The Apostle Paul also shared his insights by stating how we are without excuse because of how creation clearly reveals the eternal power and Godhead by what is manifested and clearly seen (see Romans 1:20). The Prophet Alma also commented on how all things denote that there is a God (See, Alma 30:44). When our Heavenly Father revealed unto Moses the workmanship of His own hands - Moses marveled and wondered at such a glorious work. The great patriarch Abraham also saw the endless and glorious workmanship of God’s hands (See, Abraham 3:12).
Today, our religious worship requires something more. It requires our sincere reverence and gratitude. It is a sacrifice of our own self and will. Such sacrifice comes when we call upon God, through Jesus Christ on a daily basis
Our purpose in this life is to repent and to come unto Christ. To humble ourselves and walk faithfully in seeking after the will of God. We are to be perfected in Christ. To deny ourselves and put off the natural man. And to make the most of our life meaningful and live with purpose toward our promised land of glory and hope.
Much like the Israelites, we are wandering in the wilderness and desert of life. Seeking freedom from those things that have us bound. Sin enslaves us, pressing upon us, and the more we resist, the weaker we seemed to become. Our Heavenly Father sent His Only Begotten Son to free us from the snares of sin and death. The Apostle Paul writes to the Romans wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin so also does life come from the infinite atonement of Jesus Christ (Romans 5:12-19).
Our purpose in this life is to grow, gain experience, knowledge, understanding, and to face those trials that help mold and shape us. Scripture teaches that when we come unto Christ and follow Him, we will become like Christ. It is through the plan of salvation that we experience a "fullness of Joy" and not the joy the world gives unto us (see, John 15:11). It is the joy of peace in our lives when we endure and overcome as Christ has endured and overcame (see Hebrews 12:2). And our purpose is to cultivate a rich, deep, and meaningful fellowship with our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. For Christ said that the purpose of eternal life is to know God and Jesus whom the Father had sent (see, John 17:3)
Trust begins with understanding who we are in relationship to others. In our relationship with our Heavenly Father, we come to know the absolute reality of our own divine nature and heritage. We are created in the image and likeness of our Heavenly Father (see Genesis 1:26-27). As we come to understand our divine heritage, the Holy Spirit works in and through us to become more like Christ. Our trust in God also includes understanding that we are in the similitude and likeness of His only Begotten Son - Jesus Christ (See Moses 1:6). And there is a real, deep, personal connection with God when we come to understand our divine heritage.
Seeking after personal and divine revelation is our way of searching the horizon for God's divine wisdom, counsel, and safe passage. It is our pillar of cloud by day and our pillar of fire by night (See, Exodus 13:21-22). It never departs from us and is a constant reminder that our Heavenly Father is always with us - never forsaking us.
Observe that the Lord instructed us to do two things. First is to deny ourselves. Second is to take up our cross. The call to take up our cross is the call to separate ourselves from anything that may distract or influence our hearts and minds away from the will and purpose of God.
When our Heavenly Father called Moses - we are to understand that this prophet was one of the many noble spirits Abraham saw (Abraham 3:21-23). Abraham himself was also one of those noble spirits chosen before he was born. There are some practical spiritual truths and applications that are for our learning and understanding today.
When it comes to reading the scriptures, we are able to come to know of their worth and truthfulness. By careful study and understanding of the scriptures, we are able to come to know them. How we liken the scriptures unto ourselves is through visualization of the people, the events, and situations. What is the situation? How does it relate to my own circumstance? By likening the scriptures, we grow, learn, and receive personal insight and inspiration. Nephi shares this with us when he said: I did liken all scriptures unto us, that it might be for our profit and learning” (1 Nephi 19:23). Through likening the scriptures - we also learn the principles and truths from our Heavenly Father. Finally, we want to ponder - or meditate - upon those things that are revealed through our scripture study. By meditating, we ask questions, look for the practical applications and solutions.
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?
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.
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).
In the last three articles, we explored the following: Human authenticity and conscious living; Premise One: Authenticity is essential to the human experience; And, Premise Two: Emotional intelligence and our human experience. In this third installment, the discussion focuses on having a vision in order to move forward. Vision gives us a sense of direction. … Continue reading Premise Three: Having a vision to move forward
Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. ~ Matthew 6:34 (cf Matthew 6:25-34), ESV Living in this very moment is all we have to concern ourselves with. There is the constant desire, and impulsive need, to live for the future. … Continue reading Live in the Present Moment
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. ~ 1 Peter 2:9, ESV ~ Spiritual growth and maturation includes living according to established values. We choose to align ourselves to those values and strive … Continue reading Spiritual Values
not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. ~ Hebrews 10:25, ESV ~ In recovery, we learn the importance of the fellowship we have with other people. Many lessons are learned from hearing the story of other's … Continue reading Do Not Forsake the Fellowship of Others
And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. ~ Mark 1:35, ESV ~ Spending time in solitude is beneficial for an intimate and deep enriching relationship with our Heavenly Father. Christ sets the example for us to follow. He … Continue reading In Solitude We Find Intimacy
...I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of Men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commanded them. ~ 1 Nephi Chapter 3 ~ People approach recovery with the false … Continue reading Confident and Assured in Our Faithfulness
Today's reading: Genesis 41-42; Ps. 10:12-18; Prov. 4:7-9; Matthew 14:1-21 God's provision during times of famine Spiritual maturity and growth is established with our trust and faith in God. His grace is sufficient for us in all seasons. As we walk in sincere obedience, faithfully devoted to God, we will experience peace of mind. Today, … Continue reading When God delays for the greater purpose
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
Sometimes we want to give up. Simply throw in the towel and walk away. We want to quit pursuing our dreams. Frustrated at the many challenges that appear to be barriers to us accomplishing our goals. Feeling inadequate and empty. Giving up is a personal issue we all face in our lives. Occasionally, a particular meme … Continue reading Don’t do this one thing in order to move forward in life