Sunday, May 24, 2015

Inviting Revelation

Ephesians 1:17-19
The spirit of wisdom and revelation comes as a sacred feeling or impression.  If you want to experience this, but haven’t there are some things that you can do.  No one can force God to communicate with them, but when prepared, the flow of ideas from heaven is natural.  If you once had the spirit of wisdom and revelation but now no longer enjoy it, there may be some reason that God has hidden his face.  He is the greatest teacher and uses both sun and shadow in his individual tutorials.

Preparatory Steps to Invite Revelation:
  • Slow down. Find peaceful places, linger there, practice being aware. “Be still, and know that I am God.” Ps 46:10 
  • Set the Mood. Soft sacred music can create an atmosphere that invites revelation. Jesus sang a hymn before entering the Mount of Olives. Matt 26:30 
  • Recognize. Sacred moments happen to everyone but are often ignored. When a baby is born or a person dies, the place feels holy. Special events sometimes evoke a sense of sacredness. 
  • Be reverent. “Remember that that which cometh from above is sacred, and must be spoken with care, and by constraint of the Spirit.” D&C 63:64 

Friday, May 22, 2015

Comfort for Believers with Wayward Children

After my last post on Shepherds, I couldn’t help but take interest in an Isaiah chapter written to the scattered sheep.  This post is about the prophesies of Isaiah to them.  

Sheep are humble, followers of Jesus Christ.  Many of the “sheep” are “lost.”  Isaiah defines being lost:  “Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light?” (Isa 50:10)

Most people assume that unbelievers are lost.  In the Old Testament, “Gentiles,” were any of a whole host of people who didn’t believe in God.  These days, even believers are lost.  Isaiah starts out the chapter, “Hearken, O ye house of Israel, all ye that are broken off and are driven out because of the wickedness of the pastors of my people…” (Isa 49/1 Ne 21)

So the sheep are lost.  But, believing in Christ, they know that He will find them and lead them to safety.  But what about their children?  In this chapter, the sheep are not worried about themselves; they are worried about their children.  “Then shalt thou say in thine heart: Who has begotten me these…I have lost my children…who hath brought up these?”  Mothers of wayward children often wonder how it happened that they “lost” their children.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

One Fold, One Shepherd

Photo by Jim Jeffery - Used with Permission
Moses delegated the spiritual leadership of the Israelites when he said, “The Lord, the God of all flesh, set a man over the congregation, which may go out before them, and which may go in before them, and which may lead them out, and which may bring them in; that the congregation of the Lord be not as sheep which have no shepherd.” (Num 27:16-17)  The first to be given a charge was Joshua.  Many others have acted as shepherds.

These leaders answer to God who is described as the Chief Shepherd in 1 Pet 5:1-4.  This verse shows a shepherd’s responsibilities.  “The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.

And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.”

With these definitions, let’s consider the prophetic words of Isaiah about a lion and some shepherds.

“For thus hath the Lord spoken unto me, Like as the lion and the young lion roaring on his prey, when a multitude of shepherds is called forth against him, he will not be afraid of their voice, nor abase himself for the noise of them: so shall the Lord of hosts come down to fight for mount Zion, and for the hill thereof.” (Isa 31:4)

In this verse, the lion has identified at least one of the sheep that the shepherds have a responsibility to protect.  However, it it not afraid of the shepherds.  Why is the lion so bold?  Isaiah says that the shepherds have been sleeping.  (Isa 56:9-11)