So I’ve been reading bits and pieces of the first chapter in the Great Controversy.. Enough to keep going, but not enough to be inspired, impressed and changed. So I decided to take this Sabbath to read more in depth, this book and a few chapters in the Ministry of Healing..l still have yet to get to the latter, but I wanted to share some of what I learned from GC..
“A homeless wanderer, reproach and penury His [christ’s] daily lot, He lived to minister to the needs and lighten the woes of men, to plead with them to accept the gift of life. ” GC p.20
When this life is all you know who’d want to make it eternal. So we’ve got to know of another life, a better life, that’s real and reachable, but that life is only attainable with the recognition of Christ. When you’re willing to give up this life for that life, at any cost and help as many people as you can get there too, you’ve found Christ and understood the gospel.
“He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” (John 12:25 NKJV)
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”
(I John 2:15-17 NKJV)
Don’t find yourself so attached to the things of the world, that when offered life eternal, apart from the attractions this world has to offer, you turn down Christ’s offer.
Just some thoughts I had after church this afternoon.. Pretty passionate..
It hurt my heart this afternoon as I sat in church next to a good friend friend of mine, as she was constantly texting her roommate about an apparent relationship issue, and scrolling through her twitter fees, saying “amen” intermittently here and there throughout the sermon. A sermon that was actually quite and engaging and interesting. It’s sad though because many a time, I’ve asked her how a particular sermon was, and she has no idea.. But many a time, we leave church mad because we didn’t get a “word from the Lord” but what did we do to even receive the word from the Lord..! I also thought, yes, the Word of God is to give comfort, direction and assurance, but the bible itself even says its also given for doctrine, reproof, correction and instruction in living righteously! (2 timothy 3:16) A few of those things can be fairly uncomfortable to us. But a pastor who is bringing the Word of God to the church wont always have a congregation that is comfortable with what’s being presented! And if you are, you’re either perfect, or are in no way in touch with your conscience or the Holy Spirit. If sermons to sinners were always accepted without some form of rebuke, I question the content of the message, and the heart and intention of the hearer. Why are you even in church? To have your current lifestyle and choices affirmed and supported…!?
Is God not important enough that we can’t put away our distractions, apparently not for the whole 24 hours, but maybe just for about 3 hours, and legitimately focus on Him, and allow Him through the different parts of the worship experience to speak to us, lead us, direct us, correct us to be the epitome of what he created us to be!?
so this sabbath, i decided to stay home from church and do some introspection. realizing there are a loooot of things going on in my life, and i’ve not yet been able to grasp one very well.. as a christian, i realize that true success with anything comes as a result of being in tuned with God. understanding who He is, who He’s made you to be and what path he wants you to take with the gifts He’s given you.. on top of that, you’ve got to accept it all, and make every effort to succeed with it all, in spite of the fact that we are born in bodies, with minds and tendencies that are bent exactly in the opposite direction of who God is, and what He wants us to do. success, and in the christian realm, perfection, can be attained, God said it in his Word, and showed it THROUGH his Word. i’ve recently heard a number of songs and quotes speaking to the topic of faith, leaving it in God’s hands, understanding when we can’t do it ourselves, but along with all that, God has required us to DO a number of things, LIVE OUT a number of qualities and PUT ON a lot of traits, character traits that are a reflection of who He is… and that isn’t as easy as waking up and breathing (with the help of God) you’ve actually got to put work into the cultivation of your christian life.
i’ve recently heard a concept stated in a number of different ways, nothing great is attained without first putting in work, effort, and having to deny yourself of something. and that rings true, clearly in the spiritual realm, but particularly for me in my photography business. i’ve not put as much work as i need to into my business. just within the last 7-10 day’s i’ve been following a few posts, video and text, of a few of my FAVORITE photographers, Jasmine Star and Chase Jarvis, and something that has really stuck out to me with what they’re doing is, they put there ALL into their work. it’s not something that they happened to be good at, and are relying on that gift/talent to springboard them into awesome success… they’re puttin in hours to make this passion of theirs a reality, doing all they can to get better, and then help others get there as well. they also are doing it all as the real authentic jasmine and chase, and who they are is bursting through in all their work! their lives are what make their business so successful. they are authentically themselves in every way and that is a HUGE key in what makes them such a success!
i’ve realized over the past few weeks also, as i read a book i bought on my iPhone, Living on the Edge, by Chip Ingram, which is a study of how to live a Romans 12 life, that each and every, if not more of the things pointed out by chase and jasmine can and should be applied to our Christian lives! Authenticity! Dedication! Self Denying! Passion! Reliance on more than self!
i just really thank God for giving me these gifts, desires, and dreams.. i just hope and pray i can become man enough, to do what I do, in His name, heartily to Him, and let His glory be known to the world.