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Showing posts from 2013

"This is That Bread Which Came Down From Heaven," John 6:25-71

John 6:25-71

This powerful reproduction of a rather decisive set of scriptures has for me a curiously strong spirit about it. And the Savior himself said as much after he delivered this passage to the multitude: "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." (vs. 63, emphasis added)

There is a phrase and a relationship that is concerning to me from this passage. Christ said: "No man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father." (vs. 65) He makes similar statements twice prior to this in verses 37 & 44.

The first passage states that "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me." (vs. 37) This idea is reinforced in the other two passages of scripture, suggesting that unless God the Father chooses you through some random lottery of fate, that you cannot come unto Christ (at least, that is how some faiths would interpret this). Now on verses 44 and 6…

The Prodigal Son, Luke 15:11-32

Luke 15:11-32

I have reviewed this video and the associated scriptures, and there are two points that stand out very deeply to me this morning:
When the prodigal son returned, his father saw him coming home a great way off and ran to meet him in his return home. There are those who will (more or less) always be faithful to the cause of the Father.  Theirs is the promise of inheritance. That may not be as readily apparent in this life, as is an immediate celebration for one who has returned.  The outward manifestation of temporal blessings are not an indicator of our progress that we've made or of promises that are still pending.

"I Am the Good Shephard, and Know My Sheep, and Am Known of Mine," John 10:1-18

John 10:1-18

This reminder of Christ's Church and how Christ interacts with his faithful disciples has captivated my attentions these past several morning.

There are several characters in the Savior's teachings about the sheep and the shepherd:
the good shepherd - the Savior.the sheep - the disciples of Christ. the theif - opposite to the sheep, those that would not use the gate, but would try to come in some other way.the stranger - he who is not familiar to the disciples of Christ.the wolf - possibly the adversary, or others with destructive and malicious intentions. the hireling - paid supervisors or administrators. the porter - a gate keeper.  The thief/robber is the first character introduced in this parable. The Savior introduces him as one who is trying to find admittance among the sheep by some other means other than using the door, and then calls him a thief and a robber. 

The shepherd is then introduced by stating he uses the door. (There is only one way back to God, …

"[Hidden] These Things from the Wise," Matthew 11:25

Matthew 11:25

To understand the workings of God, there is a paramount and universal truth found in this expression of gratitude from the Son to His Father.
At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. For this troubled mind, there is a lot of clarification as to how God works among men, and always is it in ways that are imperceptible to the natural man.

"Thou Art the Christ," Matthew 16:13-19

Matthew 16:13-19

There are some foundational truths contained within this exchange:
That the rock of revelation that we are to build upon is Jesus ChristThe Church will be built upon this foundation, and Satan will have no power to overthrow it. The keys of the kingdom of heaven, were given to Peter, which is the power to create bonds between heaven and earth.  On this last point, it impresses me that those keys are most specifically focused on the family.

"Lord, How Oft Shall My Brother Sin against Me, and I Forgive Him?"

Matthew 18:21-35

There is an underlying truth with this particular passage's core message that resonates with me. The Savior expresses it here in as many words as well:
...I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? I find myself at that "Mercy Seat" perhaps more often than I should be. Without exception, when ever I have approached the Lord for forgiveness, freely He has extended his love and peace and compassion to me, a sinner. With this knowledge of how willingly and freely my Lord has exercised his grace and goodness towards me, who am entirely unworthy of such compassionate patience, I find it hard to respond otherwise to those around me with anything less.

Though,  ironically, it is with family members closest to me that this personal attribute is most frequently tried and tested, and sometime that is difficult to remember.

"Take Up His Cross and Follow Me," JST-Matthew 16:25-29

Joseph Smith Translation - Matthew 16:25-29

This translation of a common theme of the Savior's draws a much stronger connection between obedience and discipleship.

Verse 25 - "If any man will come after me," If there is a desire to follow Jesus Christ, he must do the following: "Let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me."

Verse 26 - The Savior goes on to clarify the point of taking up the cross:
Deny himself all ungodlinessDeny himself every worldly lustKeep the commandments of Christ Knowing how important the point of obedience is to the salvation of our souls,  the Savior emphasizes the point in the next verse:

"Break not my commandments for to save your lives."

I also appreciate the perspective that is given here about the realities of this world and the eternal realms. If we could see it and know what a transitory place this reality is in comparison to what is to come, our whole existence would be altered.

"But He that Doeth Truth," John 3:19-21

John 3:19-21

In verse 21, the Savior observes "But he that doeth truth, cometh to the light, that he deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God."

I am focused on the phrase "He that doeth truth" and there are footnotes on the last two words.

Doeth - TG, Good Works 2 Chronicles 15:7 - Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded.
Alma 9:27-28 - if they have been righteous they shall reap the salvation of their souls, according to the power and deliverance of Jesus Christ;
Titus 3:8 - ...that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works.

Truth - TG, Truth Continue this study, on the point of truth. Truth is not what we think it is, reality through human perception, but rather the reality of things as they really are in the presence by God, whose knowledge, understanding, perception, and love are perfect. There is a difference between eternal truth and perceived fact.

"For behold, …