Friday, November 28, 2008

The Great Camp of the Lord

Joel 2:10 reads in part, "the Lord shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great". In reading that this morning, I was reminded once again how wonderful it is that not only can we have the Lord with us, He will go before us. This terminology is used fairly regularly in the scriptures. I think it is significant because God knows what is coming up ahead and can guide us through the rough spots as we allow him to do so.

Verses 12 and 13 give a good reminder as to how we can join/remain in His great camp. I was glad I read these scriptures today to remind me to watch and listen for the Lord's guidance as I go througout my day rather than stumbling around on my own and not finding the best way. Perhaps the Lord has some rock climbing equipment or an airplane to help me navigate through/over/around the obstacles that I can see.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Right In Front of Us

In the middle of 2 Ne. 9:41, it says, "the way for man is narrow. but it lieth in a straight course before him..."

What a simple phrase! There may only be a small number of things that lead us to Christ (comparatively), but it's all right there in front of us. We know the way. It's just a matter of doing what we know.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

New Understanding of the Atonement

Today I was reading from the Topical Guide again. This time it was Jesus Christ, Atonement, through. There are a lot of great scriptures there, but one in particular completely changed my understanding of the Atonement. I don't know if I'm right with this, but it helped me understand it a little more.

The end of Hebrews 2:9 says, "that he [Christ] by the grace of God should taste death for every man." I've always understood this to mean physical death. But perhaps it means spiritual death. Maybe Christ suffered so much because He felt what it was like to be separated from Heavenly Father forever. Being His only Begotten Son, that must have been so painful for Him! To literally feel what it was like to be separated from His Father forever. We can always try to imagine what that's like, but Christ, with His understanding of God's Plan, really felt the weight of that - the devastation of that.

The Atonement to me has always been more of a physical thing - He suffered our physical pains, such as sickness, anger, sorrow. But it was SO much more than that! He literally felt that separation from God. And He knew that if He didn't go through with everything, that we would all feel that same way forever. He loved us so much that He didn't want us to feel that despair. He died for us, so that we wouldn't have to suffer like that.

Yes, Christ suffered for our physical pains. But He also suffered for our spiritual ones. Most importantly, He took away the pain that we will never have to feel - separation from God (like that of Lucifer). He suffered it so that we will never have to.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

What Will Your Children Learn From You?

Reading about king Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel chapter 2 today, I found some interesting things. First, king Nebuchadnezzar was "into" sorcerors, magicians, and astrologers. Then when Daniel interpreted his dream, he worshipped Daniel instead of the Lord.

After this, Nebuchadnezzar makes an image of gold. In verse 19, we see that Nebuchadnezzar was "full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed" because he was so angry that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego wouldn't worship the image. When he saw that the fiery furnace had no effect on them, he changed his thinking again. He made "a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which speak any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort." (Wow! Try to top that description!)

Nebuchadnezzar sounds like a very flamboyant person, very volatile and dramatic. But, he is willing to make changes. In Daniel 4:37, he decides, "Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth..."

I wonder if this decision, to worship the true God, came rather late in his life. It seems that what his son Belshazzar learned was the very same thing that Nebuchadnezzar began with. In Daniel 5, we see how Belshazzar, "cried aloud to bring in the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers..." Looks like things came full circle in this family.

This makes me want to pay special attention to what my kids are learning from me. I have to ask myself if I am being teachable. Am I learning lessons quickly? Am I wading through some untruths that may seem completely obvious to others? Do I take the time to truly get it, or am I floundering around from one wrong thing to another when the truth is staring me in the face?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Lord is Over All

I read Ephesians 4 this morning while still feeling a little discouraged. Verses 4-6 reminded me of the fact that God is in charge. Verse 6 tells me God is above all, through all and in all. This is the perfect thing to remember until "we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God" (vs 13). That we are not tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine through cunning craftiness (vs 14). Other verses talk of love and of learning of Christ. Is that not what we all need? Verse 32 says that we are to be kind and forgiving as Christ is.

Perfect, perfect. All of it. Just what I needed. It doesn't matter what is going on in the world around me. I need to be an example and help others that have yet to learn of Christ. I need to promote righteousness where I can. The word of the Lord is more powerful than anything else and can bring more change to this world than anything else.

I love the scriptures. There is always help to be found in them. :)
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