Sometimes we may be tempted to think that God is very far from us, and is disinterested in our concerns. That is what satan wants us to believe, so that we can get discouraged and do something reckless.
Jesus frequently taught that God cares about us, by comparing us with other things. Hear Jesus.
“Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” (Matthew 6:26)
Jesus also compared God to responsible fathers.
“Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” (Matthew 7:9-11)
He also compared God to persons in authority.
“There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’ And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’ ”
“Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said. And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them?” (Luke 18:2b-7)
We are to develop our trust in God’s love for us, so that we can boldly follow Jesus’ instructions. Hear Jesus once more.
“Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
“Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” (Matthew 10:27-31)
It is encouraging to know that we are not responsible for the results. We are responsible for proclaiming the words of Jesus, regardless of the consequences. We are responsible for trying.
Those who accept Jesus’ advice can only benefit. Those who reject His advice will only have themselves to blame.
Grenville Phillips II is a Chartered Structural Engineer. He can be reached at NextParty246@gmail.com
RE “We are to develop our trust in God’s love for us, so that we can boldly follow Jesus’ instructions. Hear Jesus once more.
“Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
COME, FOLLOW ME …TEACHING IN THE SAVIOR’S WAY
The Savior’s Way of Teaching
Jesus Christ declared, “I am the way” (John 14:6). As you ponder His life and your own opportunities to teach, you will find that the way to become an effective teacher is to become more like the Savior. THE SAVIOR’S WAY OF TEACHING CAME FROM WHO HE WAS AND THE “POWER OF THE SPIRIT” that He carried with Him (Luke 4:14). THE KEY TO TEACHING AS THE SAVIOR TAUGHT IS TO LIVE AS THE SAVIOR LIVED.
AND HOW DID HE LIVE?
The Savior was full of love. Whether He was encouraging a penitent sinner, tutoring His disciples, or rebuking the Pharisees, everything the Savior did was an expression of love. This love and compassion for people and their needs led Him to teach in ways that were meaningful to them. When the Savior taught, familiar, real-life experiences like fishing, childbirth, and herding sheep became spiritual lessons.
THE SAVIOR SOUGHT AND OBEYED HIS FATHER’S WILL AND TAUGHT HIS FATHER’S DOCTRINE. From His childhood Jesus was “about [His] Father’s business,” seeking to do “always those things that please him.” “My doctrine is not mine,” He said, “but his that sent me” (Luke 2:49; John 8:29; 7:16).
The Savior was completely committed to His sacred mission—to bring God’s children back to Him. SO JESUS DID MORE THAN JUST IMPART INFORMATION; HE GAVE HIS FOLLOWERS IMPORTANT RESPONSIBILITIES THAT STRENGTHENED THEIR FAITH AND HELPED THEM GROW. He trusted them, prepared them, and sent them into all the world to teach, bless, and serve others (see Matthew 10:1, 5–8).
The Savior loved the scriptures and used them to teach and testify of His mission. HE TAUGHT PEOPLE TO SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES TO FIND THEIR OWN ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS. As He taught the word of God with power, people came to know for themselves that the scriptures were true (see Luke 24:32).
THE SAVIOR LIVED WHAT HE TAUGHT. IN EVERY SETTING, HE WAS THE PERFECT EXAMPLE. He taught his followers to pray by praying with them (see Luke 11:1–4). He taught them to love and serve by the way he loved and served them. He taught them how to live his gospel by the way he lived. He was always teaching—often in formal settings but just as often in homes and in personal, informal conversations (see Matthew 4:23; Mark 14:3–9).
There is so much more for us to discover about the Savior’s way of teaching. But this much is certain: power to truly teach in His way will come as you LEARN OF HIM AND FOLLOW HIM. THE INVITATION TO TEACH IN THE SAVIOR’S WAY TRULY IS A KEY PART OF HIS INVITATION TO “COME, FOLLOW ME” (Luke 18:22).
WE CAN TEACH IN THE SAVIOR’S WAY
WE are a disciple of Jesus Christ. This means that you are a teacher, because discipleship includes teaching, blessing, and lifting others. Our Heavenly Father, who knows us perfectly, called us to teach because of what we can offer as a committed follower of Jesus Christ. He will not forsake us.
Here are just some of the many sources of power and support that He has made available to help you teach in His way.
TEACHING BY THE POWER OF THE HOLY GHOST. As we strive to live the gospel worthily, THE SPIRIT WILL GIVE US THOUGHTS, IMPRESSIONS, AND CREATIVE IDEAS ABOUT HOW TO HELP OTHERS LEARN. It will touch the hearts of those we teach and inspire them to change. The Holy Ghost will make it possible for us to be “a teacher come from God,” because the Spirit is the real teacher, and the Spirit will teach all things and bring them to your remembrance.
LOVE, TALENTS, AND EXPERIENCES, we can bless God’s children by drawing on the love we have for others, the gifts God has given us, and our life experiences. He will magnify you, and you will grow in your capacity to teach the gospel in the Savior’s way.
THE POWER OF THE WORD OF GOD, the words found in the scriptures have the power to change hearts and increase faith. As you and those you teach, try the virtue of the word of God, you will find that it has a GREAT TENDENCY TO LEAD THE PEOPLE TO DO THAT WHICH RIGHT, TRUE AND JUST.
TEACHING THE GOSPEL IS AN ESSENTIAL PART OF HIS GREAT WORK OF SALVATION, AND “WHEN WE ARE ON THE LORD’S ERRAND, WE ARE ENTITLED TO THE LORD’S HELP.”
WE MUST PRESS FORWARD
Press forward implies something more than simply going forward. Press implies something is preventing your advancement, and you must push through it. To go forward in this life, you must press temptations aside, press through obstacles, press the doubt and the fear under your feet, and embrace the divine qualities of faith, hope, and love.
How do you press forward? You must press forward with steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Pressing forward with steadfastness in Christ means having faith in Him, it means making Him the central focus of your thoughts and actions. When it is He you are following, pressing forward is the ultimate adventure.
Pressing forward means pushing away the “temptations and cares” of the world and keeping the commandments. “If ye love me,” Jesus said, “keep my commandments” (John 14:15).
With our steadfastness in Christ comes a perfect brightness of hope and a love of God and all men. Hope smiles brightly before us. We find peace even in difficulties. Discipleship allows us to see our true purposes on the earth. Those purposes center in helping our family, those we love, and those around us. They include building the kingdom of God, and as we do, we become who we should become.
As we must press forward, feasting upon the words of Christ. As you righteously press forward, Jesus Christ “will lead you along” and you will know with even greater certainty of His reality and His love for you. As you press forward in faith, the Holy Ghost will tell you and show you those things that you should do.