Today we’re looking at Oswald Chambers’ devotion for January 7th, followed by a few of the comments from the First Presidency Message of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. When you have time, be sure to share this with the Mormon you know!
“Have I been so long with you, and yet hast thou not known Me? — John 14:9
“These words are not spoken as a rebuke, nor even with surprise; Jesus is leading Philip on. The last One with whom we get intimate is Jesus. Before Pentecost the disciples knew Jesus as the One Who gave them power to conquer demons and to bring about a revival (see Luke 10:18-20). It was a wonderful intimacy, but there was a much closer intimacy to come — “I have called you friends.” Friendship is rare on earth. It means identity in thought and heart and spirit. The whole discipline of life is to enable us to enter into this closest relationship with Jesus Christ. We receive His blessings and know His word, but do we know Him?
Jesus said — “It is expedient for you that I go away” — in that relationship, so that He might lead them on. It is a joy to Jesus when a disciple takes time to step more intimately with Him. Fruit bearing is always mentioned as the manifestation of an intimate union with Jesus Christ (John 15:1-4).
When once we get intimate with Jesus we are never lonely, we never need sympathy, we can pour out all the time without being pathetic. The saint who is intimate with Jesus will never leave impressions of himself, but only the impression that Jesus is having unhindered way, because the last abyss of his nature has been satisfied by Jesus. The only impression left by such a life is that of the strong calm sanity that Our Lord gives to those who are intimate with Him.”
“When the Savior instituted the sacrament, He invited His disciples to partake of the emblems “in remembrance” of His sacrifice (Luke 22:19). In every sacrament prayer you and I hear, the word always precedes the word remember (see D&C 20:77, 79).
“My message is an invitation, even a plea to remember. Here are three suggestions about what you could remember each week when you partake of the sacred emblems of the sacrament. I hope they are helpful to you, as they have been to me. …
Remember Jesus Christ
First, remember the Savior. Remember who He was while on earth, how He spoke to others, and how He showed kindness in His acts. Remember whom He spent time with and what He taught. The Savior “went about doing good” (Acts 10:38). He visited the sick. He was committed to doing His Father’s will.
Jesus also hung out with sinners.
Most of all, we can remember the great price He paid, out of His love for us, to remove the stain of our sins. As we remember Him, our desire to follow Him will grow. We will want to be a little kinder, more forgiving, and more willing to seek the will of God and do it.
Mormons don’t believe Jesus removed all stains of sin. Nor do they believe it is by grace we are saved (Eph 2:8-9).
Remember What You Need to Do Better
It’s hard to think of the Savior—His purity and perfection—without also thinking of how flawed and imperfect we are in comparison. We have made covenants to obey His commandments, yet we frequently fall short of this high standard. But the Savior knew this would happen, which is why He gave us the ordinance of the sacrament.
The sacrament has its roots in the Old Testament practice of offering sacrifices, which included a confession of sin (see Leviticus 5:5). We don’t sacrifice animals anymore, but we can still give up our sins. The scriptures call this a sacrifice of “a broken heart and a contrite spirit” (3 Nephi 9:20). Come to the sacrament with a repentant heart (see D&C 59:12; Moroni 6:2). As you do so, you will obtain forgiveness of sins and you will not stray from the path leading back to God.
1.Jesus knew we were imperfect and that’s why He offered Himself up to God as the perfect sacrifice, aka, the Lamb of God.
2.Taking the Mormon sacrament (or even the elements of a Christian communion) will never prevent us from straying. God’s Holy Spirit inside the believer is the reason we don’t behave the way we used to, but this doesn’t totally prevent us from disobedience.
Remember the Progress You Are Making
As you examine your life during the ordinance of the sacrament, I hope your thoughts center not only on things you have done wrong but also on things you have done right—moments when you have felt that Heavenly Father and the Savior were pleased with you. You may even take a moment during the sacrament to ask God to help you see these things. If you do, I promise you will feel something. You will feel hope.
When I have done this, the Spirit has reassured me that while I’m still far from perfect, I’m better today than I was yesterday. And this gives me confidence that, because of the Savior, I can be even better tomorrow.” – Henry Eyring
1.The Christian communion isn’t about your achievements. This is solely about Jesus’ death on the cross, not how awesome little Billy is because he shined his shoes without asking.
2.If you’re waiting on God to pat you on the back during this time of reflection, plan on being there awhile, because it’s not going to happen.
3.Mr. Eyring’s promises are half-truths. You’ll feel something, but that feeling is either self-produced, or given by Satan.
4.The ONLY reason a Christian has hope is because he/she knows God has provided the perfect sacrifice.
5.We’re no better today than we were yesterday. We’re still sinners. The only reason God accepts us is because He sees us through the blood of Jesus. There’s nothing, absolutely nothing, we could possibly do to eradicate the sin in our life, except through the blood of Jesus.
6.When you don’t accept the Jesus of the Bible, it means you’ve rejected Him. When you reject Jesus, you are not under the covenant of God, which ultimately means you’re still stained with your own sin.
Dear Mormon, please, please know, the only way to heaven is through Christ Jesus and Him crucified. Understand and accept you were born a sinner, and will always have a sin nature. There’s nothing divine inside us except for God’s Holy Spirit, and that’s only if you’ve asked Him to come take up residence inside of you!
With Love in Christ;