Archive for December, 2013



Who can be trusted?

JESUS SPEAKING

                “But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me.  Which of you convicts me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe me?” (John 8: 46-46.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

                No human being can live a completely sinless life.  Jesus however, being the Son of God, never once indulged in iniquity.  He was so confident of his own moral perfection, that he publicly challenged any willing soul to accuse him of sin.  In turn, his numerous enemies watched and waited, hoping he would make some grave error.  Despite continuous inspection and constant observation, he spoke plainly and publicly.  No one, not a single person, could find him guilty of sin.  In fact, at his trial, Pontius Pilate actually said of Jesus, “I find no fault in this man.”  Still he was crucified.  Trusting a sinless man makes more sense than trusting a sinful one.

                Throughout history there have been many self-proclaimed prophets; men who asked for trust, but were themselves untrustworthy; none of these liars ever dared place their own personal lives under examination.  Joseph Smith for example (false prophet and founder of the Mormon faith) claimed to be God’s chosen messenger.  He lived a life of sexual debauchery.  He married many women without telling his first wife Emma.  He also married other men’s wives in secret, and engaged in wife-swapping; he even went so far as to marry both a mother and her daughter (an offense punishable by death, according to God’s law.)  Unlike Jesus who invited others to scrutinize his life, Joseph Smith viciously sought to keep his sins a secret.  After being kicked out Missouri, Joseph and his followers went to the town of Nauvoo Illinois; the local newspaper began printing articles about his many wives and his sexual indiscretions; in June of 1844, fearing he might be exposed, Joseph ordered his followers to destroy the printing press; they broke in to the paper office, dragged the machine in to the street, and smashed it with sludge hammers.  Smith was arrested for this crime and later killed in jail.  

                Unlike Joseph Smith, Jesus Christ had nothing to hide; his life was without sin; he never lied, never exploited anyone, and never abused his position of authority to indulge in selfish pleasures.  Instead he served others, loved others, and brought the word of God to all those who were willing to listen.  Only Jesus Christ can be trusted; only our messiah is worthy of praise and honor.  Won’t you put your faith and trust in him today?  Obey him and follow him, and he will lead you in to eternal life; you will know true freedom, and you will take hold of the ‘peace that surpasses all understanding.’

                “Lord Heavenly Father we praise You and we thank You for Your Son.  He is sinless and completely trustworthy.  Help us to submit to his leadership; may he be at the center of our lives.  May we be more like him, and may we trust him with our whole hearts.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you.

Fasting

JESUS SPEAKING

            “Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance.  For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting.  Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.  But I say to you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly” (Mathew 6: 16 – 18.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

            Fasting is an ancient practice that elevates the spirit above the desires of the flesh.  Denying the body sustenance (food) for a time is a sacrifice that God honors; those who practice it draw near to Him and are given greater control over their fleshly impulses.  Many individuals were fasting for the wrong reasons; therefore Jesus warned His followers to fast in secret, and to avoid disclosing their endeavors to others.  In so doing, they would reap the spiritual rewards they so richly deserved.

            Jonathan Edwards was an evangelical pastor who lived in New England in the 1700’s.  He wasn’t a very articulate man; nor was he astoundingly charismatic; yet on July 8th 1741, he gave one of the most stirring sermons ever preached to a congregation; the sermon was entitled, “Sinners in the hands of an Angry God.”  The response from those in attendance was astonishing; many came to rededicate or fully commit their lives to Jesus Christ.  How did a man with very little natural ability accomplish such a feat?  He fasted for three days and three nights before giving his speech.  His repeated prayer to God was, “Give me New England.  Give me New England.  Give me New England.”

            Like Jonathan Edwards, we too can use fasting and prayer to accomplish wonderful things for God.  Some may fast for days, others for shorter amounts of time; no matter the length, every period of fasting is accompanied by a blessing.  Each time we deny ourselves food and dedicate ourselves fully to spiritual principals we become more like Jesus Christ.  Commit a portion of your life to fasting and you will grow stronger in the faith.  As you draw nearer to God you will receive the many blessings He has reserved for those who love Him.

            “Lord Heavenly Father, help us to commit to the practice of fasting, that we might grow strong in the faith.  May we fast in secret and receive your rewards openly.  Guide us and lead us; speak to our hearts and transform our minds, that we would be Your children, and you would be our Father.  We love You Lord, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of things according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you.


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