Well, last week was very disappointing for me. I had a very promising job offer that never came through. Needless to say, it left me fairly salty for a while. It’s times like this when I’m reminded of how blessed I am to know my husband-to-be. He always has a way of setting my head back on straight. As he pointed out to me, God steers us away from things that will keep us from becoming our best selves. Perhaps he simply has something else he wants me to focus on right now. It sure seems that way. Oh well. It was his idea for us to get married in April. Surely this’ll work out somehow.
I love reading from Matthew. Especially when Jesus deals with the Pharisees. It’s beyond satisfying to watch him continually beat them at their own game. XD Every time they try to stump him, he stumps them instead. This was another example of that. They demand where Jesus gets his authority, and he asks, in essence, “Well, where do you think John got it?” Busted! XD
Later on, tho, Jesus makes a profound remark (really one of many, heh). In verse 44, he states that those who fall on the rock will be broken, but if the rock falls on them, it will grind them to powder. Yikes. Sounds bad either way. But not really. XD the rock here is, well, Jesus. The rock of the gospel, our beloved cornerstone. Those who fall on Christ will have their hearts broken and their spirits made contrite. But those who have him dropped on them will be destroyed. As anything would when a giant boulder falls on it. XD
So, the point is, we want to be standing on the rock that is Christ. If he’s our foundation, we have nothing to fear. But if we refuse him, well… Better watch out under those old bridges. When you lose the cornerstone, the entire thing falls.
John 3 gave me a really cool revelation today. Jesus is talking to Nicodemus in this chapter. He states that those born of the Spirit are like the wind – while the world can see and feel its power, they don’t know where it comes from, or where it’s going. There’s many awesome meanings to this. One is that only those born in the Spirit know where they come from – their premortal origins – and their destination – the kingdom of Heaven. In other words, there’s biblical proof for those doctrines. But you’d only catch it if the Spirit was guiding you – showing another way the wind metaphor works. Without the Spirit, the world can’t understand these higher truths. As Jesus said in the same chapter, “if you cannot believe earthly (Terrestrial) things, how can I tell you heavenly (Celestial) things?” It also shows how the world can’t understand how God has led us, or see where he’s leading us temporally. There are many other ways to interpret this too, I’m sure. What do you think?
I’ve been reflecting on a lot lately. I could write about a lot of things, including the fact that I’ll finally get married in April 😮 but instead, I can’t stop thinking about the contrast between My life and so many other people I know. I’m peacefully preparing for my wedding, and joyful in the knowledge that I’ll soon be with my beloved for eternity. I have confidence that I’m following the path God wants me to, the path that will bring us both great happiness and lasting joy.
Meanwhile, anyone I know who isn’t a believer is freaking terrified of the future. Real people I cared about and believed in think the world is gonna end soon. They’re so scared. This year has like, traumatized them. It’s amazing, the contrast between the two. I’ve largely forgotten what it’s like to live in fear like that. There really is no peace outside the gospel.
If you’re not on God’s side, well, you’re probably not looking forward to the future either. But just wait. The light grows with the darkness, y’all. Prepare for the whirlwind and you’ll be perfectly fine. God cares about our physical needs too, you know.
I really love the phrase “dig your own grave.” As morbid as it is, it perfectly captures how evil works. God doesn’t instantly jump in and stop bad things from happening, because he’s letting the wicked marinate in they own evil. Or, as 1 Nephi 14 puts it, Satan and his children “dig a snare for the righteous.” It’s a chilling yet poetic metaphor. They think they’re digging a pit they can drop us into, to ruin our happiness and keep us from God. They think they’re soooo clever. But at the last day, those pits will only be filled by those who dug them. Satan told them they were digging a trap for the servants of God, but in reality, they were digging their own graves the whole time. And at judgment day, they’re gonna be pushed into the graves they dug. And if we follow God’s way, none of those “snares” will get us either. That’s the whole point of following Christ. Pretty poetic, isn’t it?
Phew! Has it been so long since I posted? No wonder I felt off-kelter this past week. Well, it’s the Christmas season, and I’ve been hard at work for the family business. I’ve got a moment to write today, though. So I’ll write about something I realized this morning.
I’m one of those people who has a tendency to beat myself up about stuff. My sweetheart got after me about it recently. But I’ve always thought that if you don’t feel sorry enough for something, you haven’t really repented yet. He hates me being so hard on myself, tho, so I prayed about it. The answer I received gave me a lot to think about, but to put it in a nutshell…I learned that “obedience is better than sacrifice,” and God doesn’t actually want us to be sad. He loves us too much for that. Turns out having a “broken heart and contrite spirit” has nothing to do with being guilty or depressed. It’s about being humble enough to admit you made a mistake, and having a sincere desire to make it right.
Makes a lot more sense when you think about it, doesn’t it.
As tends to happen on Sundays, I had an especially beautiful scripture study. Happy day. ^^ Revelations 20 is fascinating. Here we see the binding and destruction of Satan, and all those who died for Christ are brought back to life to reign with him. Blessed and holy are they who have part in the first resurrection!
What caught my eye today was the mention of the mark of the beast. None of those who reign with Christ have it, obviously. Not on their heads or their hands- what? There’s more than one? Well, of course there is. The mark is symbolic of our desires. Anyone who worships Satan isn’t gonna receive a literal tattoo from a literal dragon. It’s about wanting to sin. His mark can’t be in your head or your hands – meaning not just our heads hafta be clean of impure thoughts, but our hands must be clean of sinful conduct too. We have his mark if we want to sin, or if we actually do. He can get us twice that way! We must be clean in both.
Hmm. There’s that whole faith to works matter again, isn’t there?