Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Shall all our devotional exercises consist in asking and receiving? Shall we be always thinking of our want and never of the benefits we receive? Shall we be recipients of His mercies and never express our gratitude to God, never praise Him for what He has done for us? We do not pray, anyone, too much, but we are too sparing of giving thanks. If the loving-kindness of God called forth more thanksgiving and praise, we would have far more power in prayer. We would abound more and more in the love of God and have more bestowed to praise Him for. You who complain that God does not hear your prayers, change your present order and mingle praise with your petitions. When you consider His goodness and mercies you will find that He will consider your wants. Pray, pray earnestly and without ceasing, but do not forget to praise. -TC vol. 5, 317
Monday, August 27, 2012
God has been teaching me a lot about waiting, and about the patience that comes with it. This weekend, me and my family were at Rosario beach, and Pastor Alex Brian gave the Saturday evening worship. That morning in Sabbath School we had been talking about Christ's second coming, and how much we were looking forward to it. I can't wait for that day, when I can look into Jesus' eyes! But here I am sitting here waiting....waiting for this sinful world to come to an end so I can be with Jesus in a perfect world. In Matthew 24:3 Jesus' disciples asked Him when He would come again. And Jesus gave them an answer, but not the answer they were looking for. Yet Jesus, in His wisdom, gave them the answer that they needed. First he gives them several signs to look for, but He doesn't give them a date. Then He tell's 3 parables that would make them think. The first parable (Matthew 25:1) is of the ten virgins. In this parable, the virgins didn't know when the bridegroom would be coming, yet they prepared themselves, and waited. The key here, is that yes, they were waiting, but they were ready to meet the bridegroom whenever He came. In the same way, we as Christians, must be ready and prepared to see Jesus whenever He comes. We will be waiting, but not sleeping. So, what are we going to do while we wait? Jesus tells the next parable, about the talents. (verse 14) Jesus was saying, while your waiting, invest your talents. Become all that you can be. We aren't to sit idle, but we are to work and invest and use the talents that God has given us. But how are we supposed to use our talents? What are we supposed to invest in? Jesus tells the third parable. This is when Jesus comes again, and separates the sheep and the goats. What makes the difference between these two groups? It's who they invested in, and how they spent their time on earth. Notice, the sheep spent their time and effort helping others. This is what Christ has called us to do while we patiently wait for His return. Be ready at all times, use the talents God has given us to reach out to those around us and help them get ready. As I imagine Christ ascending into the sky in-front of the disciples, I can just hear Jesus saying, "My children, I will return! This isn't a goodbye, only a see you later! And while your waiting for me to return and take you with me, spread my word! Tell the world of my love for them. Be ready at all times, for you know not when I shall return. But help all those around you, and you will be ready when I come to take you to be with me forever!"
Friday, August 24, 2012
Satan presents many temptations to the youth. He is playing the game of life for their souls, and he leaves no means untried to allure and ruin them. But God does not leave them to fight unaided against the tempter. They have an all-powerful Helper. Stronger far then their foe is He who in this world and in human nature met and conquered Satan, resisting every temptation that comes to the youth today...In His strength the youth can endure hardness as good soldiers of the cross. Strengthened with His might, they are enabled to reach the high ideals before them. The sacrifice made on Calvary is the pledge of their victory. -Messages to Young People
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Prayer brings the heart into IMMEDIATE contact with the Wellspring of life, and strengthens the sinew and muscle of the religious experience. Neglect the exercise of prayer, or engage in prayer spasmodically, now and then, as seems convenient, and you lose your hold on God. The spiritual faculties lose their vitality, the religious experience lacks health and vigor. -Messages to Young People p. 250
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Christ's righteousness. Do you ever get kinda discouraged when you think about it? It just seems that we can never make it apart of our lives. Why does it seem so hard to be righteous like Christ? At the cross was when the power of sin in our lives was broken. But then, where do we take it from there? I was reading about Christ's righteousness this morning in my devotions, and an illustration that I thought of on Monday, came to mind again. And it made things so much clearer in my mind about how Christ's righteousness works in my life. Here is the illustration: your washing dishes, and you have the dish covered in dirty soap. Now what? You want to get it clean right? So you rinse it under the running water. But if you have ever done dishes before, you will know that sometimes it just seems impossible to get the soap out of the cup? You put a little water in the cup and swirl it around, and then tip the cup and dump out the water, but low and behold, there is still soap in the cup! And you do this process over and over again. Then you realize, that if you just hold the cup under the running water, and let the water fill the cup to the brim, the soap will just overflow and the cup becomes clean. In the same way, Christ has promised us His righteousness, His cleanliness, but we can't gain that same cleanliness on our own. We have to allow Christ to just start filling us, and then very soon, the cup will be full of only Christ, and none of self. We can't focus on getting the soap out, only on getting Christ in, and by getting Christ in, the soap will have no choice but to overflow.
Monday, August 13, 2012
Well, this last weekend, I had the privilege of going backpacking with my family! Those of you who know me well, know how much I just LOVE to hike! :) It is definitely not a favorite activity of mine! Anyways, so we were hiking up this 4 mile hike, with our backpacks on, and as we were hiking I was thinking about some spiritual lessons. ( I even started thinking about some spiritual lessons before we started off!) It was interesting, because the hike really wasn't all that hard to start out with. Me and my little sister plowed ahead, and we got the first 3 miles done in no time. And we were tired, but we weren't completely burned. Then my dad told us that the 4th mile was the hardest and steepest mile of all. As we were sitting and taking a short break while we waited for the rest of the family to catch up, one of my other sisters and I were talking about this up coming hard mile. We were questioning whether it was better to have the hard mile first? or last? My sister said, "I think it is better to have it last, because if you had it first, many people would start this trail and give up cause it was too hard. But when you have it last, the people are already so close to their goal that they are much less likely to give up." And It struck me that this trail is very much like our Christian walk/hike. We should call it a Christian hike, because it is more like a hike then a walk! That last mile that my family and I hiked, me and my youngest sister gave it all the strength we could! We hiked until it felt as though our hearts were going to fall out and run away cause they were pounding so fast. Then we would break for a few mins, and start at it again. That last mile reminded me of how things will be in the last day. God was gracious, and didn't put the hardest part of our Christianity first. That last stretch before He comes will be the hardest yet. But there will be so many more Christians traveling that trail then if God had put that hardest mile first. And the promise that we are almost there is what will get us through those last days. When Kari and I could see the last hill to climb, it gave us a new strength and energy to push just a little harder and soon we were there! Once we got to the lake, we both waded out to this Island, and put some food in our stomachs, and everything was beautiful! And the victory that we both felt was awesome! We made it! But it wasn't without struggles. One promise that I need to remind myself of more often, is that it is by the struggles that we can have complete assurance that we are traveling upwards. When there are no struggles, we are resting. And we need that rest every so often, but we aren't moving forward unless we are struggling. And it isn't just the struggle either, it is the victory through the struggles. Every victory is another step closer to our goal! Keep pushing forward my friend! The last mile will be the hardest of all, but we are even closer to our goal then before. NEVER give up!
Thursday, August 9, 2012
But we must meet all obstacles placed in our way, and overcome them one at a time. If we overcome the first difficulty, we shall be stronger to meet the next, and at every effort will become better able to make advancement. By looking to Jesus, we may be over-comers. It is by fastening our eyes on the difficulties and shrinking from earnest battle for the right, that we become weak and faithless. By taking one step after another, the highest ascent may be climbed, and the summit of the mount may be reached at last. Do not become overwhelmed with the great amount of work you must do in your lifetime, for you are not required to do it all at once. Let every power of your being go to each day's work, improve each precious opportunity, appreciate the helps that God gives you, and make advancement up the ladder of progress step by step. Remember that you are to live but one day at a time, that God had given you one day, and heavenly records will show how you have valued its privileges and opportunities. May you so improve every day given you of God, that at last you may hear the Master say, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant." -Messages to Young People p, 46
Sunday, August 5, 2012
Two days ago when I was having my devotions outside on my Grandpas porch, I was reading in Isaiah. And I came across verse 4 of chapter 25, "Fo Thou has been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible one is as a storm..." And as I was thinking about it, and thinking about how God has been such a strength for me every time I needed him most. Then as I was looking at the nature around me, I saw a little squirrel that ran up the tree beside me. The first thing I noticed was that he was climbing the tree with all four of his claws holding tight to the tree. Then as he was going up and down the tree, and around it, he was often upside down. I was thinking, wow...that would be so cool to be able to climb a tree upside down! Then as I was thinking more, God began to show me, that often in life we are climbing the tree upside down. Our lives get turned upside down, but do we go back down the tree? or do we continue to push upwards? And the only way the squirrel was able to climb up the tree backwards was because he was holding onto the tree tightly with all four of his feet. In the same way, when our lives are turned upside down, we can still climb upwards if we are holding on to Christ with all we have.