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 Issue #116 Fri, 9 Mar 2007

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Female Number of posts : 2309
Age : 26
Real Name : Alyssa
Location : Eastern USA
Registration date : 2006-12-17

PostSubject: Issue #116 Fri, 9 Mar 2007   March 12th 2007, 01:09

Rethinking our Vision

Dear Youth,

Today I would like to begin by sharing a quote I came across recently that really struck me. It's only 6 words in length, but has such a powerful significance for our lives; it says: "Self is nothing; Jesus is everything." (Our Father Cares, p. 26) Young people, though so short in length, and though stating something we've heard from when we were young children, this quote demands a look at, and perhaps a re-ordering of, our priorities, and even our vision and goal in life.

So many times we live our lives, and plan our futures, as though we think we, and what we can make of ourselves, are the most important aspects of our lives! While I certainly believe in making plans for our future lives, and while I firmly believe in excellency and achievement, it should all revolve around a central core: Christ! Our goals should be His goals for us, any of our scholastic or temporal achievements should be His working in us, but even more important than all these things, should be our preparation for eternity!

We all have goals, ideals, and hopes for our future, whether it be for the next moment, or for years to come. These will all differ depending on our upbringing, circumstances, personalities, and natural desires. And young people, it's good to have some direction for our lives. However, if we are truly desirous of living a Christian life, and I believe we all are, we will remember that it is Christ only who can give us true direction, and who can lead us to the path we ought to tread. "For he knoweth the way that I take."1, Job pens, and God says, through the prophet Jeremiah: "I already know the plans I have for you. . .I will give you a future and a hope."2 The Bible is also full of promises about God leading and guiding our lives. Isiaiah says that the Lord will continually guide us,3 Solomon says that when we give God permission, He will direct lives,4 and David dedicates a whole Psalm to the leading and guidance of the Shepherd: "He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake."5

Looking back at our opening quote, "Self is nothing; Jesus is everything", we need to realize that in and of ourselves we are nothing! We may receive much praise and honour from the world, we may become famous, or prove our intelligence and brilliancy of mind, but all this is nothing! All the praise and flattery in the world means absolutely nothing, compared to Jesus and what He is and can bring to our lives! Far too many times, we show by our actions and goals that we think we're everything, and as a result, Jesus is placed outside of our lives.

In our mundane lives, we show this by the way we act when our self is crossed. Just this afternoon, while I was concentrating on my school, my dad called from downstairs and asked me to turn the generator on. Naturally I was annoyed and frustrated; I wanted him to go and do it himself and leave me alone! You see, in my thoughts and feelings I was uplifting myself and what I wanted, and crucifying Jesus and His purpose for my life, in the process.

The answer to our daily problems with selfishness, is not to ignore it or excuse it, but to look to Jesus! "The more we look to Jesus, the more we think of Him and love Him, the more we shall grow into oneness with Him; and the more our former lusts in our ignorance will be purged from us. The Lord Jesus has received power to impart His wisdom and blessings, that every soul may make improvement. There is no possibility of being in Christ as the branch is in the vine, and yet bearing no rich clusters of fruit. (Signs of the Times, December 14, 1891) The more we consider the matchless love of Christ, the more hateful sin will become in our eyes. Indulgence in any kind of selfishness or worldly pleasure will become distasteful and unsatisfactory when we contemplate the boundless and infinite love, glory, and purposes of God!

Young people, it is God and God alone who can satisfy our desires, who can fulfil our every need, who can give us peace, contentment, joy and fulfilment in the greatest sense of the word! The closer we come to the Lord, the more we will see how shallow and how destructive our selfishness is, we will realize that, indeed, self is nothing, and Jesus is everything! Are you making Jesus your everything, your all in all? Am I? These are some sobering questions we need to ask ourselves. "The Lord is waiting to do great things for His children who trust in Him. Do we expect to dwell with Christ in the eternal world? Then we must dwell with Him here, that He may help us in every time of trial and temptation and make us ready for His coming in the clouds of heaven. . . . The beauty and grace of Christ must be woven into our characters. We cannot keep Christ so apart from our lives as we do, and yet be fitted for His companionship in heaven. He is to be the all in all of heaven, and must be our all in all upon earth." (That I May Know Him, p. 119)

Young people, we will find our greatest freedom in understanding, by experience, the trueness of the fact that we are nothing compared to Jesus! I want self to die, and in it's stead, I want Jesus to walk beside me as my moment-by-moment companion! I want Him to come and live in me, so that I can live His life and let my self be hidden in Him!

"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me." (Galatians 2:20) Is that to be your experience also?

--Stephanie Fox

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PLEASE NOTE: All Bible verses are taken from the King James Version, unless stated otherwise.
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1Job 23:10
2Jeremiah 29:11 The Clear Word
3Isaiah 58:11
4Proverbs 3:6
5Psalm 23:3
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Issue #116 Fri, 9 Mar 2007
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