Monday, June 5, 2017

their eyes were watching God

So today is Praise Monday. I feel like giving much thanks and praise for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
Yesterday's Sunday School lesson was 2 of maybe 3 lessons this year that will focus on the preparation for and the return of Jesus Christ. It is not the most popular lesson, most people have very strong reactions to it. They say it is negative, depressing, "makes me feel like their is no hope". I  even had a class member yesterday, scold me because she felt that I was only focusing on the "bad" and not talking about the good. I apologized if she was offended by that but promised to report some good. But you know I have since thought about what is good and bad in what the Lord has required that we know, how we need to prepare for the coming of the Lord. Here is a verse that most people cringe at:  D&C 29:7-8
7 And ye are called to bring to pass the gathering of mine elect: for mine elect hear my voice and harden not their hearts;
8 Wherefore the decree hath gone forth from the Father that they shall be gathered in unto one place upon the face of this land, to prepare their hearts and be prepared in all things against the day when tribulation and desolation are sent forth upon the wicked. 
The rest of this chapter continues in this really "in your face" language, and because we(as God's people) are afraid of this language, our hearts melt with anxiety and then are hardened and we don't appreciate it, neither do we truly believe it. In D&C 29, in verse 7 the Lord is addressing his "Elect", presumably us, if we stand in "holy places" and if you really dig deep, it feels like when one is in the military, and we are all standing in formation for inspection and we are getting our literal "marching orders" from our Commander. This is war language.  We are gearing up, receiving our last orders. But wait, most people are missing this because they are only reading what the Lord has prepared for the "wicked". Who are the wicked anyway? 
The wicked is "them".  Here is a definition of sorts:
The two uses for the word wickedness in both the Old and the New Testament are very similar and they both have the same effects: the person committing the wickedness stands guilty as a convicted criminal of harming others and themselves because it is done intentionally (with malice) and indicates the depravity of the individual.  As far as humanity is concerned, we know that “None is righteous, no, not one;  no one understands” and “All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one” (Rom 3:10-12).
But it could be us too...  We really are having an identity crisis. I suggested that in order to fully appreciate who we are in Christ we really should dig deep, and ask the Father for MORE. But most of the class did not feel comfortable with that. The Father says that "No good thing will be refused to those who love me". We love Father, because we are striving daily to be covenant people. We have been admonished to "cleave" unto them, just like marriage. I also suggested that maybe we could cast out some of our many distractions, such a specific movies and TV shows that although entertaining, they go against the truth, and set it up for nought. Just like Satan harassing the Savior, "If you are, are you sure you are the Son of God?" Really. Like, Jesus are you hungry, could you eat? You aren't really the Son of God, you don't look like him. I suggested that we simply are not satisfied with the life God has given us, and surprisingly most of the class agreed. I suggested that we "push back", against all of the darkness. Life is happening, and when you watch TV, whether real or reality, it is the same, dark, no hope and lies. But I push back on all of it. 

So in answer to the sister who complained that we only talked about the bad, I shared some thoughts that are "good", and gentle on the ears, hope promoting.

Their Eyes were Watching God….
Acts 1:10-11
10 They were looking intently into the sky as He was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 
11“Men of Galilee, they said, “Why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen Him go into heaven.

John 14:1-3
·         1Do not let your hearts be troubled. (Trouble (a Hebrew preposition) meaning to damage; to disrupt) To literally allow ones heart to be broken again by the world. “Let not your heart be broken again by the evils of the world.” Hang on,you believe in God; believe in Me as well. 
3And, if I go and prepare a place for you, (Do you believe that) I will come back and welcome you into my presence? So, that you also may be where I am.

I really love the translation of let not your heart be "troubled", which in Hebrew refers to not allowing the world to "break your heart again". 
The victory belongs to Jesus

Todd Dulaney - Victory Belongs To Jesus (LIVE)
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