I have always found the Lord’s prayer to be so filled with hope. From beginning to end, it is for me that unique balance that gives me hope for my difficult situation and encourages me to live out the life that Jesus has called us as disciples to live out. It seems to encompass faith, hope, and love, which is at the foundation of our relationship with Jesus. The portion that has captured my heart lately is “Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.” Just saying the words creates a longing in my heart for a world living out God’s will. What peace and joy could we experience if each of us were living out God’s will here on Earth. Ravi Zacharias’s experience recently has reminded me of the importance of experiencing that transformation process in our own personal lives. Seventh-day Adventists have a history of emphasizing the transformation that Jesus makes in our lives. Often we hear the word “sanctification” to speak of that process. It seems that at times we have over-emphasized that word or left the impression that it was something that we might do. In his prayer in Philippians, Paul shares the source of this transformation, “being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Phil 1.6 If you have heard me speak, you know that I love the Gospel message more than any other message. That gospel message for men ends with the promise of God writing His laws in our hearts. In other words, the purpose of justification is so the promise of transformation can be experienced by each of us.
I believe that our world, our churches, our boards, and our families are looking for people that are experiencing transformation (experiencing the gospel). So I would ask, how is your personal life going? The things that no one else sees? Our great need is expressed by David in Psalms 51, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.” I believe this is a great time to let the Lord search each of us. Search our inner hearts and reveal to us the transformation He still wants to do in our own lives.
Growing up as an Adventist, I often heard the call to “Prepare a People to meet Jesus”. I still believe that we are a “John the Baptist” church preparing the way for the coming of Jesus. But maybe it is time to speak to Jesus about the inner change that each of us needs. Perhaps the first people we need to talk to about preparing to meet Jesus is ourselves. The cry of Psalm 134:23-24, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” At the end of the day the lesson I learned from Ravi Zacharias is that it is not our bold claims, excellent knowledge, or ability to convince that makes the difference. It is what is quietly happening in our hearts that reveals where the Gospel message has taken root in our lives.
The Bass Memorial Academy Endowment has reached $3.5M! In the 24 months since we relaunched it has earned over $500,000 in dividends and appreciation.
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