So, ever since the student leaders arrived at NTBI for this semester, we have undergone some intense training. And between the fact that I was still on California time, I had some insane changes to get used to, and the fact that everything was being thrown at us in one day....I felt stupid and kind of guilty because I just didn't get it. Then we had Student Leader Chapel on tuesday and once again, I didn't get it. They kept talking about my position in Christ, and somehow that was supposed to affect my daily life and help me in dealing with other people and living my life....................................huh?
So today I sat down with my Dean, Shirley, and we started talking it over and I left there with the most enormous grin on my face...I finally got it. So in the few minutes that I have, I'm going to try to sum up some of the things that God blessed me with today.
First of all, I kept hearing our teachers talk about how we are seated in the heaveny places. I have never been so confused in my life. But looking in Ephesians chapter two we see that we were seperated from Christ in our sin. We were dead. But when He took our sin and made us righteous, we were made alive in Christ and were seated with Him! I can't remember what verse says this, but it says that we are in Christ and Christ is in the Father. If we are in Christ and Christ is seated with the Father...where are we seated? Oh wow! And because we are in Christ, God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing. Every one! And since we are in Christ, when God looks at us, what does He see? He sees Christ!
"If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on the earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory"
This verse was slightly painful. Okay, really painful. Why do we insist on setting our minds on earthly things? Earthly things are dead. Christ IS life! Why isn't my mind continually on things above, the things pertaining to life? Why isn't my mind continually on Christ and His sacrifice and His blessings? Why isn't my mind continually on the amazingness of God Almighty?
In Prophets class, we're studying the book of Isaiah and in Isaiah 2:22, the writer challenges Israel's faith. They were looking to idols and armies and placing their faith and trust in them....but Isaiah says "Stop regarding man in whose nostrils is breath, for of what account is he?" Why trust in those who require breath to live rather than placing your trust in the One who GIVES life? It's so easy to focus on the horizontal aspects of life rather than the vertical aspect. What a shame! Christ has opened the door to so much beauty....I need to make the choice to set my mind on Him. And yes, it is a choice.
There is so much more, but I'm going to end with two more thoughts:
First of all, we were talking in chapel about ceaseless toil verses ignorant rest. Ignorant rest is pretty much thinking that you've learned all that there is to learn and sitting back and being lazy instead of exploring the wonderfulness of God and what He has for us. Ceaseless toil points to the fact that our training is never over. It is endless. And it is a continual, neverending journey toward growth. I often find myself slipping into ignorant rest. It's easy to just adopt the attitude of saying that I've gone to church all my life, I've practically been a Christian forever, and I can answer any question that you throw my way. Looking back on the times when this has been my attitude and recognizing when I start to fall back into it, I am encouraged to press forward. My training doesn't end when I graduate from NTBI. My training doesn't end if I go through the MTC and graduate from there as well. My training doesn't end when I grow old. Training is a lifelong process.....and, my friends, that is not a bad thing. On the contrary, it is one of the most beautiful things to think about. No matter how much I soak in, God always has more.
Second of all, I have been adopted. Apparently, the dorm parents of dorm 330 no longer wanted us. SO we have been adopted by Joel and Bethany Potter. And by being adopted into this family, I have gained two adorable little brothers, Jack (4) and Owen (1). We had so much fun hanging out with the Potters last night! What a blessing it is to know that you are loved. :) So today, I was thinking about it and I was reminded of the fact that we are all adopted by the Father. I never really pondered what a wonderful concept that is. We are adopted. We are accepted in to the family of the Father! He calls us His own! Lovely. :)
Although I am extremely tired, I'm smiling. My heart is full of joy!!