14 Sep 2014

Attaching priopities

John the Baptizer, who was in prison, heard about Christ and His deeds and sent two disciples to ask Jesus: «Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?» «Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me» - Jesus answered them (Matthew 11:2-6). Pastor Dmitri Vladykin preached about doubts concerning Christ on Sunday's sermon of «Philadelphia» church, Izhevsk, on September, 14th.

Christ's answer, which seems to be simple, gives a big rule of personal relationships with God. Blessed - means absolutely happy, blessed by the Lord - is anyone who does not doubt Christ. In the day of the Last Supper Jesus prophesied to His disciples that everyone was going to stumble in about Him (Matthew 26:31). Waiting for all prophecies to come true, for being free through Christ, they saw His death and loosed their hearts - it meant Christ was not a Messiah, not the One He has called Himself. Their doubts came from their forgetfulness and non-understanding of Christ's words. None of them remembered what Christ told about Himself: He would be denied, He would suffer, die and rise from the death on the third day.

In the same way if we refer to the Old Testament, we can remember the story of the same kind of Asaf's «forgetfulness» (Psalm 73), who said: «my feet had almost slipped, <...> For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked». We can also recall Job, who wanted to be at law with God, having thought he was the one right there. Asaf says about his problem in the following way: «it troubled me deeply till I entered the sanctuary of God». And Job feels sorry for his words and says: «My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you» (Job 42:5). Experience of these two people shows that they understood God's will when they got closer to Him. And Jesus says this: blessed is anyone who doesn't stumble in about Me and keeps hoping in spite of all misunderstanding and complicated troubles.

The senior pastor Pavel Zhelnovakov hold a reminder-word about God being premiere in our lives. Christ once said: «If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters-yes, even their own life-such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple» (Luke 14:26-27). People can explain this text in different ways, blaming God in violence and His followers in self-lie. But pastor offered being logical and attentive: Christ who stoke to love and mercy doesn't mean any hatred here, but the values' priority. No daughter will live in agreement with her husband if she doesn't love him more than mother - extra advisors will bring only quarrels in the new family. That's the hierarchy Christ speaks about: if you don't love Me more than anything that you love, you can't be My disciple, so He straightens its meaning with the word «to hate», meaning complete, 100% sinking into God's will - no matter what parents, children or person himself wants, because all this doesn't matter comparing with the Creator's will.

But is it bad to want something? Is it bad to listen to parents' advices? The answer is clear: there is nothing bad about it. Moreover, there are many texts in Bible concerning being respectful towards old people, loving your neighbor and spouses' loyalty. However, it happens when parent's advice or your wishes drown out God's will, and we are to understand: if we don't favor God's will for 100%, we can't be called Christ's followers. Earlier Christ said about this a following thing: «For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. 25 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?» (Luke 9:25-26).

It is difficult to understand God, when He says so strictly about His will, but try to understand: there is no greater care for the creature that care of the creator. Offering us His will, God also offers the perfect way.



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