In the sermon from last Sabbath by Dave Harris, “God-Who-Forgives”, something was stated at the end that was of fundamental importance. I have thought about this before, but it really stood out in light of the upcoming Passover, the Night to be Much Observed and the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
The thought that stood out was this: “ We (that would include all of us who heard the sermon and who read this Editorial, including myself) can affect the whole world by HOW we repent.” That is truly mind-blowing. We, the poor, the weak, whatever we consider ourselves to be, have the power to help the world NOW.
2 Peter 3:10-14 states in the New International Version: “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.”
How often do we take into account that we have the ability to hasten the return of Christ? We pray, or at least we are TOLD to pray, “Your Kingdom come,” but how often does that trickle down into our lives? As we are preparing for the beginning of the Spring Holy Days, what is it that we are focusing on? Hopefully, it is upon what we can do to turn further towards our God! We are told that we have to become without spot; meaning, we have to come to hold the line against sin. We also have to be looking and searching for it.
Once we find sin and we start to root it out, we have to replace it with righteousness. If we are not filling up constantly with God’s Holy Spirit and making gains, then we are in danger of having the same sin, which we worked hard to replace, start to seep back in. We have to be constantly building correctly in our lives. In order to make sure that we are doing this properly, I want to use Paul’s words from 1 Corinthians 3:11-16 where he states in the New International Version:
“For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames. Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.”
The things that we build now will have an impact here and now, but more importantly, in the future. Each of us is the temple of God. Each of us is a vessel for God’s Holy Spirit. The power to overcome and to change is given to each of us because of the great Sacrifice of Jesus Christ and His immense love for us.
The opportunity lies in each of us, though, to carry out something that is larger than ourselves. But we CANNOT lose focus on the fact that each of us is an integral part—contributing to an overall accomplishment.
Ephesians 2:19-22 says in the New International Version: “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.”
We are God’s people. We are those whom He has called at this end of the age. Living as a true Christian is not going to get easier. The challenges we face are getting more wearisome and challenging. This cannot dissuade us. This cannot stop us from overcoming and moving forward. Rather, as we are making progress, we must constantly harken back to WHY we are doing this! What is it that anchors us and helps us to get back up and keep moving forward?
As we prepare and move through the next few weeks, we should be very mindful of how much we can grow, change and mature in the coming year. It comes down to dedication and resolution. How willing are we to truly allow the mind of Christ to lead and guide us in ALL things?
1 Corinthians 2:6-16 states in the New International Version:
“We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. However, as it is written:
“‘What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived’— the things God has prepared for those who love him— these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, for, ‘Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?’ But we have the mind of Christ.”
Do all the quoted Scriptures resonate? Do they find a place in our minds and hearts? Again, we are God’s people and we MUST consider ourselves as such! We have the calling and the opportunities! Let us NOT neglect to find out what is right and proper in God’s eyes and to do those things with all perseverance, courage and speed.