Sunday, February 27, 2011

G-d's Days of Commemoration

The Passover season is coming up and it will soon be time to contemplate its significance. It is the only feast so far that Jesus Christ was physically present on earth when it was fulfilled. After that, he was gone back to heaven and was not physically present in the New Testament to keep the other festivals and to command their observance.

Many Christians feel that Jesus abolished all other laws except the 10 commandments, when many of them have not yet been fulfilled (Matthew 5:17). In fact, if we study the scriptures carefully, only three of the festivals/feasts were fulfilled.

At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came. That is another occasion that we have neglected to celebrate according to God's calendar. SDA Pentecost does not fall in God's time line either, as SDA church leaders have chosen a convenient day for "Pentecost and More". Generally, some other churches name themselves after the feast, for example Pentecostals, and totally ignore this celebration of the anniversary of the Holy Spirit entering the church. Instead, the church leaders chose to remember Azusa Street Revival.

The Day of Atonement - which is believed to be of special significance to SDA theology is also not commemorated corporately or even on the correct day. However, Feast of Trumpets is all but ignored in SDA theology, despite the fact that it comes before the Day of Atonement.

It is a pity that some feel that Jesus abolished all other laws except the 10 commandments, when many of them have not yet been fulfilled. While the sacrificial ceremonies have been abolished (or perhaps suspended since G-d promised Phineas the Levite an everlasting priesthood in Numbers 25:13), because of the fulfilment of Jesus as our sacrifice, it was not God's intention that we do not commemorate these special seasons, especially those with future meaning and significance. They are still his Feasts, even the Sabbath (Leviticus 23:2).

It is not about observing days and times, but about reflecting and commemorating on God's work and intervention in human affairs. As Christians we love celebrations and annual special times like Christmas and Easter. Why should we just choose our own anniversaries to celebrate G-d, when he has his own?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Think Positively: Practical Thought Control

I got a ride to work with a female lecturer colleague. She had in her car stereo a CD from Success Magazine. On a previous occasion I remembered talking to an entrepreneur who told me about his preference for e-books over local media, as he did not always want to hear what local radio had to offer. So instantly I remembered that conversation and asked my female colleague about what she was listening to.

She went on to tell me about her desire to control her thoughts, by choosing what she listened to. She spoke that the local media was too negative and if she continued listening to that stuff, it would make her start thinking negatively about life and people. I thought about what she said in light of previous revelations that G-d has given me regarding thought control.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Sermon on thoughts


I was given the responsibility this week to lead the class discussion for the Sabbath school class. In the mid week, after a trying time, I could not sleep and was up until midnight. I then found myself praying and giving thanks to G-d. Then G-d made use of this time as his office hours, giving me a sermon, through guided instruction and reading of Lesson 6 of the Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide.

The Sermon:

Think about the things that are true (Philippians 4:8). The Bible states that our minds must consider information that is true. Should we focus on non-fiction information only? What about fiction? What about soap operas? Movies? Books read such as novels, tales and fantasies?

Think about things that are of good report (Philippians 4:8 KJV). The Bible admonishes us to listen and reflect upon good news. G-d is not only concern about us spending time on fiction. He is also concerned about our news papers, Internet news, television news and radio news. So should we read our papers, listen to radio, or turn television on for news? Especially if the news is not good? When we get the headlines, we can determine from them whether the news may be good or bad and as a result make a decision to pay heed to the report.

Negative reports and news make our own thinking negative. To get positive thinking, we need positive news, positive reports and positive information sources. We need to take heed to the information that we digest and make a part of us. If what we have inside is good, then our actions and what we do or say will be good (Luke 6:54).

As such we need to store in us good music, positive music and positive information. Our consumption of information should be less on the entertainment side. We must watch documentaries and good news.

Wrong thoughts lead us to wrong actions. Wrong information leads us to wrong decisions. As such we have to be critical of the media and the information given. Is it truthful?

Dwelling on wrong ideas leads to sin. Dwelling on wrong thoughts or even the wrongs that others did /have done also leads to sin.How can we forgive others, if we keep dwelling on how they have wronged us?

Further, how can we be like Christ, if we compare ourselves to others worse than us? How can we better, if we keep focusing on those who do wrong rather than focus on those who are better than us.

“We need a constant sense of the ennobling power of pure thoughts and the damaging influence of evil thoughts. Let us place our thoughts upon holy things. Let them be pure and true; for the only security for any soul is right-thinking.”—Ellen G. White, The Signs of the Times, August 23, 1905.
Evil proceeds from within us (Mark 7: 21-23). If we focus on our humanity or other human beings, then we will sin. If our thinking dwells on the current world system and how we live today, then we will not be able to live right with our neighbours, friends or other persons. We have to occupy our mind with some one's lifestyle and value system that is better than ours. Someone that is divine and lives above human sensuality. Someone who lies beyond our humanity.

If we are looking in our flesh we can't please G-d (Romans 8:5-7). If we are content to just be citizens of this world, then we will not please G-d. For we will want to obey the laws of the world, rather than the laws of G-d (Mark 7:8).

I love computer and the Internet. With the technology and RSS feeds I can get customised media and news and information galore. I can even customise who I get information from and where. However, I hardly set up personalise news and media from the Web to include Bible based messages or even the words from the Bible. In fact, I might even ignore news that are in the form of scripture and quotes from G-d's word, even songs.

Songs are important once they are scriptural and true. They too can speak into us and cause us to meditate on G-d, his spiritual laws and on spiritual kingdom matters (Colossians 3:16-17 NIV).

I am Jamaican, but when I am in another country, I don't get my Jamaican news, but read the news of the country that I am in. However, if you are an immigrant and a temporary resident, you will want to keep updated with news from the country of your permanent residency.

There are so many negative information being disseminated today; many negative thoughts and ideas being thrown at us daily, but we need to have a spiritual filter, to sift only what is good and to be determine to disseminate good information only.

We need to power our minds with good thinking and good thoughts everyday, so whether it is positive music, speech (including motivational talks) or readings and meditations; we need to feed our minds with powerful, transformational and positive thinking to go through each day and overcome our obstacles and problems.



The Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide (Jan-Mar 2011) Seventh-Day Adventist Church.