"There is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah"
2 Nephi 2:8 (The Book of Mormon)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Come Forth!

In the 11th chapter of John, we read the account of Lazarus who was a dear friend of the Savior.  One day while Christ was with his disciples, Mary and Martha, Lazarus' sisters, sent for Him saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick. 
17- When Jesus came, he found that he had lain in the grave four days already.  
The sisters were distraught and Martha cried, 
21-Lord if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.  But I know that whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee. 
25- Jesus said unto her,  I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. 
When Mary heard that Christ had arrived she arose quickly and came unto him.  When she saw him, she too fell down at His feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.  Jesus, hurting for his beloved friends wept.  
41- Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid.  And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me...
43- And when He thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, 
Come Forth.
44- And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with grave clothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin.  Jesus saith unto them, 
Loose him, and let him go.

This story has powerful application for each of us!  For His friends, Christ performed this life restoring miracle.  How do we become friends of the Savior... so that we too can receive His life giving power in our lives?  In John 15:14 Christ teaches

Ye are my friends if ye do whatsoever I command you.
 
Obedience demonstrates love for and devotion to Him.  Obedience indicates our desire to have His companionship and blessing in our lives.  As we become His friends we gain access to His power to free us from those things which bind us and ultimately bring death.  His invitation fills me with hope and assurance!  Christ invites us to leave the remnants of death behind and come to something far greater... Him!  In Him lies freedom and life... life here and now... and life everlasting!  

"The passage of time has not altered the capacity of the Redeemer to change men's lives.  As He said to the dead Lazarus, so he says to you and me: '...come forth.'  Come forth from the despair of doubt.  Come forth from the sorrow of sin.  Come forth from the death of disbelief.  
Come forth to a newness of life.  Come Forth!"

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