a few excerpts from the talk rolled up in Hansie’s hand (he was looking a bit nervous right before church):
For the last few weeks I’ve been asking people “how do you know Christ loves you?”
Most people answered they know Christ loves them because of their family, where they live, their membership in the church.
Great stuff, but what about people who live in poverty, who come from bad families and/or live in a bad environment?
There are some things God gives all of us. He gives us a body, a life, prayer, free will on this earth. He gives us every second of our lives. He owes us nothing and we owe him everything but He keeps giving us more.
When we have troubles, Christ doesn’t take away our hurt, but He stays with us through every minute.
Moses 1:26 “And lo, I am with thee, even unto the end of thy days;”
Thy days will end, you’ll get sick, loved ones will die, and you will mess up, a lot, but Christ will be with you.
“Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me,
For I am His and He is mine –
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.
No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me;”
“As a crown of thorns was placed to erase
Each tear that’s touched your face
And his palms and sides were pierced with spears
He hung in love just to draw you near”-Mat Kearney
We can feel comfort, receive answers to prayers, and get help in times of need.
Sometimes you know what you need to do, you know how to do it, and you know you can do it, but you know it will hurt. This is when Christ can comfort you. I you’re feeling sad and alone, or hurting and sick, he can take away the pain.
It is amazing that God gives us prayer,
C.S. Lewis said “Can we believe that God ever really modifies His action in response to the suggestions of men? For infinite wisdom does not need telling what is best, and infinite goodness needs no urging to do it.”
God knows what’s best for us, and he has a plan for us, but he still listens to our prayers, and answers.
This last year I had nights where I had put off homework and knew I’d be up till 4 am if I wanted to finish it. I knew I had to power through, I knew how to keep myself awake, and I’d done it before so I knew it was possible. But that didn’t stop me from feeling miserable. I dreaded the hours I would spend fighting sleep, I dreaded waking up the next morning and functioning on 2 hours of rest, and I distressed about having to do this awful homework. Of course it was awful, that’s why I put it off. But I didn’t break down every time I had a late night. And I didn’t fail school. I would say a prayer and get to work. And I still felt those stresses, but they were dulled by the fact that I knew everything was gonna be alright. And I was often surprised the next day at how well I did on such little sleep.
I did not change God’s mind. He did not decide to let me get an education or decide to give me the ability to stay up and finish C.S. Lewis again says “They have not advised or changed God’s mind—that is, His over-‐all purpose. But that purpose will be realized in different ways“
The plan of salvation is still the same plan, but I’m just a little less stressed and a little more grateful.
Three weeks ago I was at a friend’s farewell. In the row in front of me was the cutest family ever. It was a young couple with two toddlers. They were jumping on benches and throwing crayons at me, it was great. That’s what the gospel is about, that’s what missionary work is about. We are in the business of creating eternal families. We want children to have the blessing of growing up in the gospel and feeling the love of God their whole lives. We want people to know Christ so well that they try as hard as they can to get back to him and our father in heaven. And the great thing is, even though we can’t earn it, if we just try our Father will let us in, let us live with our family, and make us like him.
That’s how I know Christ loves me. He made it possible for me to live with my family forever. I don’t have to be separated from my Heavenly Father or my earthly parents. That’s also why I’m going on a mission. I heard a missionary say being a missionary is like sharing your food. It’s really good so you want others to try it. If they have this food they can live forever and have joy forever, that’s the power of Christ, and that’s what his love does. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.