Friday, November 25, 2016

Stumbling to Eternity

Psalms 73Truly God is good to Israel,To such as are pure in heart.But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled;My steps had nearly slipped.
So the question was asked, “How do you know that Jesus loves you?”
It’s a simple question, right? I am sure that if this question were posed to a group of kids, they would literally stumble over themselves to give their tiny testimonies of God’s love for them. What do they know anyway? I asked this question to a group of adults, including myself and I can say that for a moment I was temporarily stumped and judging by the deer in headlight stares from the members, they were too. But someone got the ball rolling with a story of a bad day that got better when various friends came to the rescue. I thought to myself, surely I should know that the Savior loves me, right? And I do know, but I thought about the best way to express it, and I came up with a “Gratitude List”. As I think of this, I wonder how sad it is that the Savior seemingly has to literally “glean” our hearts for love and thankfulness. But we are all He’s got, poor, imperfect souls, all stumbling to eternity. We mean well but sometimes we can’t do well.  

A few Sunday's past our Bishop taught a lesson that seemed hard for him to articulate, and hard for many to figure out where he was coming from. (And some of us are still buzzing over it.)  He talked about puzzles, human weakness and sin. His thesis was that all of us are like puzzles, and we all have a few pieces missing. God fills in that missing space, however, I could not correlate where weakness and sin came in. Weakness is a “dirty little secret” to some. What is it anyway? Are we weak in character, or  do we lie and make up stories? Are we spendthrifts, do we secretly drink coffee or tea? That’s one thing about being Mormon, we don’t worry about cigarettes, or wine or beer, it’s that devil Starbucks around the corner. What does God see as a weakness, which is inevitably a character flaw or trait?

Stumbling; when we come to Christ, it takes a lot to do that, and even when we are “invested” in our relationship with him, we are still in a state of coming forward, learning to trust, making our own mistakes, turning away, hiding, coming back, and  eventually leaning in to Christ. We stumble, and trip and flip flop. We all do, and there is no one that is good among us, so put down that stone.
Did you know that Jesus has purposely laid down a “stone of stumbling” for us? What is stumbling, it is “the weakness” of man.

Hence, what is the singular weakness of man? It is that condition of which you and I are most acquainted; it is our fallen nature (see Ether 3:2). We often view this weakness only under negative light. However, Jesus Christ, who “knows the weakness of man” (D&C 62:1) and is merciful unto our weakness (see D&C 38:14), does not -- for, if we will humble ourselves and have faith in Him, it is through our weakness that His strength is seen and made perfect (see 2 Corinthians 12:9). As to our strength we are weak, but in the strength of God we can do all things (see Alma 26:12). Therefore, God has chosen the “weak things of the world [to] come forth and break down the mighty and strong ones” (D&C 1:19), to thrash the nations by the power of His Spirit (see D&C 35:19), to confound the wise (see D&C 133:58), and to show forth His wisdom (see D&C 124:1). And “the Lord God show us our weakness that we may know that it is by his grace, and his great condescension’s [i] unto the children of men, that we have power to do these things” (Jacob 4:7). 
(I found this quote in blog in a random search)
(The stumbling of disobedience) Disobedience is a stumble

Our weakness is our “fallen nature”, the natural man, who struggles everyday to be worthy to “put on”, like new clothing, the name of Christ and all of its glory. Did you know that in theory, when we “Come unto Christ and take upon his name, we are in essence putting on “new garments that reflect the attributes of the Savior and also entering into a new relationship with Him? (The new and everlasting covenant). This is why the Lord says that he cannot view sin with the least bit of tolerance. We are sin in the eyes of God, when we have not entered into a covenant relationship with the Savior. The covenants we enter into are designed to make us clean, every whit.  
Ether 3:2 O Lord, thou hath said that we must be encompassed about by the floods. Now behold, O Lord, and do not be angry with thy servant because of his weakness before thee; for we know that thou are holy and dwell in the heavens, and that we are unworthy before thee; because of the fall our natures have become evil (the opposite of good) continually. Nevertheless, O Lord, thou has given us a commandment that we must call upon thee, that from thee we may receive according to our desires. 
And to this the Lord responds: Ether 12:27 And, if men come unto me; I will show unto them their weakness.(Ether3:2, our fallen nature) I give unto men weakness, that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient (the missing puzzle piece) for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make (restore their fallen nature) weak things become strong unto them.

So I am opening the “Mike” for open mike Friday. I have been listening to a “body” of music by Hill Song Church. You can do your own research on this group, but I will say that in listening to their music, they have a heart for God, and God seems to take notice. Their music is like a psalm, full of praise, shouts and introspection of the human condition

Image result for microphone 

Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) LIVE -- of Dirt and Grace -- Hillsong UNITED
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