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17 March 2013

Believing Christ

Baby Girl is doing great, but it's still winter, and in addition to the flu going around, there's bronchiolitis in our area. That stuff's nasty business; it put my brother in the hospital when he was only slightly older than Baby Girl. We've been there and done that already. She's not allowed to go places much yet. Especially not to church, where all our friends are anxious to meet her, to look at her, touch her, hold her and breathe on her. They're wonderful people, and I'm anxious to introduce her! But not yet.

So I had to figure out something to do to get the lift that I need on Sunday. Since I am, temporarily, worshiping at home, I needed to put some kind of structure in place. I've been listening to BYU Speeches. There's some good stuff in that database. I've been focusing on talks about Christ and His Atonement.

Last week, I listened to this one: "His Grace is Sufficient."

You can read it here, if you prefer. Or download the mp3. I need to do that so I can listen to it whenever. This talk really impacted me. I listened to it several times. Some highlights include:


They ask me, “Have you been saved by grace?”
I answer, “Yes. Absolutely, totally, completely, thankfully—yes!”
Then I ask them a question that perhaps they have not fully considered: “Have you been changed by grace?”
 And this:
But the older I get, and the more I understand this wonderful plan of redemption, the more I realize that in the final judgment it will not be the unrepentant sinner begging Jesus, “Let me stay.” No, he will probably be saying, “Get me out of here!” Knowing Christ’s character, I believe that if anyone is going to be begging on that occasion, it would probably be Jesus begging the unrepentant sinner, “Please, choose to stay. Please, use my Atonement—not just to be cleansed but to be changed so that you want to stay.”


Today the talks I've been listening to are old enough that they don't have video, though the audio is good. First I listened to a Brother Stephen E. Robinson in a talk from 1990: Believing Christ: A Practical Approach to the Atonement. 

One of the things that Brother Robinson talks about is the familiar "Parable of the Bicycle." His daughter gives him her hard-earned $.61, a hug and a kiss, and he buys her the bike she wants. Now, I'd always understood that that $.61 gets added to the parents' money to help purchase the bike, but after listening to Brother Wilcox's speech, I realized something: it doesn't work like that. I've struck very similar deals with my kids from time to time, and I don't think that I've ever put the coins they earned into the actual purchase of the item. They give me a fist full of coins, and I usually stick them in my pocket, where they eventually migrate into our coin jar and sit there until I need meter money. I pay for the item with my debit card. Their money does not contribute to the purchase. It's important because of the effort they put in, and the things they learn from it. But they're not buying anything; I am. I now realize that His Grace is like that. The parable works. It just doesn't work the way I always thought it did.

Here's something else Brother Robinson says:


In the New Testament the Savior says, "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled" (Matthew 5:6). We misinterpret that frequently. We think that means blessed are the righteous. It does not. When are you hungry? When are you thirsty? When you don't have the object of your desire. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after the righteousness that God has, after the righteousness of the celestial kingdom, because as that is the desire of their heart, they can achieve it—they will be filled. We may receive "according to our desires."


This is such comforting doctrine! I want to be so much better than I am. I can really identify with Sister Robinson:  "I've tried and I've tried, but I cannot keep all the commandments all the time." The more I realize that the more "hungry" I get. The more I realize how amazing the Living Water is that He offers us, the more "thirsty" I am. But I still feel like a screw-up more days than not.

I finally started to understand what the Savior means when he talks about "living water" as he's teaching the woman at the well when I listened to this talk a couple weeks ago. It made so much more sense when Brother Bednar explained the value of water before he started to relate it to this story. I don't know why I'd never put that together, but I hadn't.



The living water referred to in this episode is a representation of the Lord Jesus Christ and His gospel. And as water is necessary to sustain physical life, so the Savior and His doctrines, principles, and ordinances are essential for eternal life. You and I need His living water daily and in ample supply to sustain our ongoing spiritual growth and development

.
I finally get it: we die without water. We die without Living Water. Christ is life itself, everlasting.




I am finally learning to believe Christ. To believe that all that He offers, He offers to me, as flawed as I am.

2 comments:

Tricia said...

well i see you are getting on with church and doing well. talk to hubby quite a bit and we really need to get together when baby gets older. come on out here for a day and enjoy the sunshine and fresh air. take care and look forward to meeting the newest!

Ritsumei said...

Sounds great! I was thinking just the other day that I need to see if I can arrange a way to have you guys over as well.

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