Sunday, October 23, 2016

A Candidate You Can Place Your Faith In


With the Presidential election coming up there is much debate going around as to which candidate is a better fit for office.  All candidates make great promises and ask that you place your trust and faith in them through your vote.  They use persuasion (or finger pointing) to explain why they would make a better leader than their opponent, and why you should be able to place your confidence in them. 

I want to present to you a candidate in whom you can a place your full trust and faith in. A leader who does not make false claims in order to win your confidence in him, but instead possesses the full capacity to accomplish what he says he will accomplish.  A savior who can deliver you from the coming tribulations.   I want to explain WHY you can trust fully in this Leader without any doubt.

This candidate's name is Jesus Christ.  He is God. He is not running for the highest position in politics, He is running for the highest position in your heart.  He seeks to be your Lord, King, Savior, and Redeemer.  He wants to be your best friend, your closest love, and your personal guide to your loving Heavenly Father.   He desires an intimate, loving, two-way relationship with you.  He asks that you believe and have faith in Him.  What he needs from you is a broken heart and a contrite spirit, which will ultimately require the sacrifice of ALL things.  The sacrifice of all things may sound scary at first, but it is not as bad as it seems.  Because in exchange you will gain the greatest gift of all:  an actual knowledge of Jesus Christ, whom to know is eternal life. (John 17:3)  All thing which you formally would have considered valuable you will then consider waste if it did not bring you closer to God.  You be able to proclaim like Paul:

“But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.”
(Philippians 3:7–8)

 So why is Jesus Christ the chosen Redeemer of mankind? Why should you be able to have the confidence to be able to place everything you hold dear on the altar of sacrifice to the Lord? Why can you fully give Him your heart, turning your will to Him, and trusting wholly upon His merits?

1.    Because He is the Almighty God over all, from everlasting to everlasting, the creator and upholder of all things. 
There is nothing that can overcome and defeat the power of the Lord Jesus Christ - No military force, foreign nation, or even the USA government.  When you have perfect faith in Him, you can:

“…break mountains, to divide the seas, to dry up waters, to turn them out of their course; To put at defiance the armies of nations, to divide the earth, to break every band, to stand in the presence of God; to do all things according to his will, according to his command, subdue principalities and powers; and this by the will of the Son of God which was from before the foundation of the world.”     (JST, Genesis 14:30–31)

It was the Lord who directed the stone that knocked unconscious the giant Goliath. (1st Sam 27)  It was the Lord who caused the walls of Jericho fall to the earth. (Joshua 6) It was that same Lord who carried the Jadeites in barges across the ocean to the promise land(Ether6), and that same Lord who delivered Laban into the hands Nephi. (1st Ne 4)

There is nothing in the world you need to fear when you are on the Lord’s side.  There is not a single trial, no task, relationship issue, insecurity, demon, or sin too great for Him to overcome if you will but have faith in Him. When He said: "I am more intelligent than them all" (Abr. 3:19); when He said He was "the greatest of all" (D&C 19:18); there wasn't one whit of arrogance in His statements. What He was saying is: "Please have confidence in me. Please trust what I say to be true. Please recognize that I paid a price in order to be able to minister."

2.    Because He is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, abundant in goodness. (Psalm 103:6-8,17-18,Alma 9:26) 
 He is quick to forgive sin.  One of the first things He does when man enters His presence is to forgive all sins. He cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance, but He has the capacity to forgive sin. Therefore although your sins may be as scarlet, He can, He will and He does, make you white as snow, no longer accountable for your limitations. Therefore, you need not fear, but you can approach boldly. 

This is important to know because such is the weakness of human nature, and so great the frailties and imperfection of men, that unless they believed that God was merciful, forgiving, patient, and abundant in goodness, they would be in constant doubt because of their weakness and liability to sin, and therefore could not exercise faith in Him.  It is important to understand that Lord does forgive iniquity, sin, and transgression because He yearns for us to be in His presence.  He is not the distant, overbearing, fear-based, and cruel God many religions make him out to be. 

3.    Because He is no respector of persons, but in every nation that fears God and works righteousness is accepted of Him.  (Acts 10:34-35) 
During the mortal ministry of Christ, He spent much of His time among the outcast and lows of society. He dined with sinners and publicans (Luke 5:30).  He sat and conversed with a woman who lived a life of fornication. (John 4:1-26) The first person the resurrected Lord appeared to was Mary, a woman.  (John 20:11-18)  The people He ministered to and who accepted Him were not the high-ranking religious authorities of the time, but quite the opposite.  If He were here today He would be spending time ministering to drug addicts, porn stars, and the social outcast- those who are awkward, broken, and who could never quite fit mold of society. 

You do not need to be the president the church to commune directly with God or to speak with him face to face.  God does not care about your rank in society, degree, what leadership position you hold in a church, what family heritage you come from, how much money you make, or the sexual orientation of your parents.  He gives no respect to those things.  What is important to Him is your broken heart and contrite spirit. (3rd Ne9:20, 2nd Ne 2:4)

 Just because you may be a male with a priesthood calling that does not give you any exclusive rights to the miracles, powers of heaven, and communion with God.   That is controlled only upon principals of righteousness and faith which women have equal access to.  We can see from the scriptures that women had access to heaven and that here were many prophetesses. (Luke 2:36, Exo 15:20, Jdg 4:4, 2Kings 22:14,)  All men and women in every nation have an equal privilege and equal authority to have a relationship with Christ. He invites ALL to come unto Him.

”...and he inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile.”    (2 Nephi 26:33)
“And now, he imparteth his word by angels unto men, yea, not only men but women also. Now this is not all; little children do have words given unto them many times, which confound the wise and the learned.”    (Alma 32:23)

4.    Because He is a God of truth and cannot lie. (Ether 3:12) 
We all know politicians will lie through their teeth, making empty promises, to gain your vote and trust.  Our Lord does not need to lie to gain our confidence in Him.  He 100 percent truthful to His word.  In fact, he says:

“I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.” (Doctrine and Covenants 82:10)

God is literally bound when He makes a promise to you if you keep His commandments, and when He gives you commandant He prepares a way for you to accomplish the thing which He has commanded you to accomplish. 

“And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.”(1 Nephi 3:6–7)

That is a God I can trust!

5.    Because He changes not, neither is there variableness with him; but that he is the same from everlasting to everlasting, being the same yesterday today and forever; and that his course is one eternal round, without variation.  (Malachi 3:6, D&C 3:2, 35:1)

"For do we not read that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and in him there is no variableness neither shadow of changing? And now, if ye have imagined up unto yourselves a god who doth vary, and in whom there is shadow of changing, then have ye imagined up unto yourselves a god who is not a God of miracles."(Mormon 9:9–10)

 The Lord doesn’t just change his mind whenever He feels like.  His character, attributes, and perfections are always the same.  In the experiment or test of whether we will be exalted, He is the unchanging constant while we are the changing variable that will dictate the outcome of our salvation.  It is comforting to know this, because if He could change we would be in constant doubt that the doctrine taught today could become the deadly heresies of tomorrow.   The character of the God in whom I place my trust in is forever unchanging.   He doesn’t contradict himself nor does He change His mind about doctrine to bend to what is popular in society or what might put a tax-exempt church in trouble with the law.  I can have faith in Him because He is constant, making Him a reliable God. 

6.     Because He is love. (1st John 4:16) 
It is difficult to convey in words just how vast and eternal the love of God is, it is something you have to experience to comprehend, but He truly is the God of love.  His love is pure, perfect, and eternal.  Christ was our first love from the beginning (Rev 2:4) We love Him, because He first loved us (1st John 4:19)  God so love the world that he gave He sent His only begotten Son to save it.  (John 3:16) It was charity, or the pure love of Christ, which sustained our suffering Lord in the Garden of Gethsemane while He took upon Himself the sins of all mankind.   He suffered for each of us so that we might not suffer if we would repent.  (D&C 19:15-16) The Lord likens His relationship with us to a marriage (Matt 22: 1-14, 25:1-13). He is the bridegroom and because we take upon ourselves His name, (Moroni 4:3) we are His bride.  Although we may fail in that relationship constantly, He is the good husbandman and remains faithful in His love for us.  All he wants in return is our heart; to love Him.

God is Love, you can trust that He has your best interest in mind.  He is all-knowing and therefore possess the foresight to know what is best for you.  Your eternal life, your happiness and joy, is His work and glory.  (Moses 1:39) He is preparing a place for you in His Father’s house. (John14:2) Any trials and tribulation He has placed in your path will be for your benefit and learning.  Those adversities and afflictions will be but for a small moment, and if you endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high.  (D&C 121:7-8)   Your sacrifice to Him will not be in vain.  Although you will struggle and fail Him at times, the Lord will never condemn you, but rather you will condemn yourself for not accepting His love. (Mormon 9:3-6) Jesus Christ fights for you.  He loves you eternally.  That is a God in whom I can place my faith in.

Once you have an idea of God’s character, that He is all-powerful, merciful and good, no respector of persons, truthful and honest, unchanging and constant, and Love, it becomes much easier to trust in Him.   Placing everything on the altar of sacrifice for Him, or in other words giving your entire life and all you hold dear into His hands, is not as daunting and complicated of a task as it seems.  It actually becomes quite plain and simple.  When you trust wholly upon the merits of Him who is mighty to save, the path to eternal life becomes a very narrow and strait one with Christ as your constant guide.  (2nd Ne 31:19-20) There is nothing more valuable in this world than having that personal intimate relationship with the Lord, no sacrifice too great for the knowledge and fullness of the glory of God.  Jesus Christ is worth it all! So what do you have against submitting your will to Him, is it really more valuable than the Love of God? Choose ye this day whom ye shall serve.  Elect to have Jesus Christ as your Lord, make him your King, and allow Him to be your Savior and Redeemer.    

“Wherefore, my beloved brethren, I know that if ye shall follow the Son, with full purpose of heart, acting no hypocrisy and no deception before God, but with real intent, repenting of your sins, witnessing unto the Father that ye are willing to take upon you the name of Christ, by baptism—yea, by following your Lord and your Savior down into the water, according to his word, behold, then shall ye receive the Holy Ghost; yea, then cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost; and then can ye speak with the tongue of angels, and shout praises unto the Holy One of Israel.”
(2 Nephi 31:13)

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