Friday, May 26, 2017

INSIGHT #9 MAY 27, 2017

INSIGHT #9 MAY 27, 2017

Second Quarter 2017 Adult Sabbath School Lesson

"Be Who You Are"

May 27, 2017

This week's Sabbath School lesson might well be titled "Be who you are in Christ" because to "Be who we are" without being "In Christ" is not a pretty picture. To the outside world, we may appear to be in good shape---self-assured, self-confident, self-reliant with high self-esteem. However, those "self" signs are flashing a warning signal of the sinful human nature within. As Romans 3:12 tells us. "There is no one who does good, not even one." So, this week we want to explore the meaning and importance of being "In Christ" in our daily walk for Him as Christians.
Let's start with the memory text, 2 Peter 1:5-7. It is important to look at all scriptures in context, so we need to examine verses 1-4 closely first:
  1. Verse 1 – Tells us that it is through the Righteousness of Christ that we have received a "precious faith".
As the lesson points out, this faith cannot be earned, nor is it deserved, for "it is the gift of God." (Eph. 2:8). Also in Romans 12:3 we are told that God has given all of us a "measure of faith". This faith is part of the free gift of salvation for all and it is the same faith that Jesus had in his Father when He was on this earth - "the faith of Jesus". We are told that the "gospel of Christ" is the "righteousness of God" (Romans 1:16-17) and that it was planned and initiated before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4). God knew exactly what faith we would need and planned accordingly.
  1. Verse 2 – Speaks of the knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ. This knowledge was promised to mankind since the fall (Gen. 3:15) and fulfilled in the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. (John 3:16-17; Gal. 4:4-5.)
  2. Verse 3 - 4 – tells us that "His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness." "He hath called us to glory and virtue". "He has given unto us exceeding great and precious promises that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature."
What power (the power of God) and what promises (the promises of God)! It is important that the power and the promises all flow from the Righteousness of Christ. It is His power, His promises, His faith and His Righteousness, all entirely of God's doing without any human contribution whatsoever (Romans 3:23-24, Gal. 2:16).
We know that faith is being sure of things hoped for (God's gift of salvation in Christ) the substance of which we have not yet fully realized (Hebrews 11:1). It is through faith (the faith of Jesus), that we connect ourselves with Jesus Christ and His crucifixion. This means that at conversion, when we believe and accept Jesus as our Saviour we effectively became one with Him and His death (second) becomes our death. In Romans 6:3, Paul tells us: "or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death. We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life." (In Christ).
In Romans 6, Paul is very clear that just as we die (to sin) through Christ's death we also are "alive to God in Christ Jesus" (verse 11). The "In Christ" concept or idea is a central theme of Paul's theology. Why is it important to us today? "In Christ" is based on the biblical teaching of corporate "oneness" which is a familiar concept historically and in many parts of the world even today but in western society which is primarily individualistic in thinking, it is a foreign thought. Throughout the Bible we can plainly see that all of humanity is linked together in a shared life and existence which constitutes a common unit of shared identity. This is seen in Romans 5:12-18 where we read: " just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned"; "Consequently just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men." Thus, "in Adam" we stood condemned meaning that corporately, the entire human race was condemned by Adam's sin. However, by God's miraculous plan of salvation, initiated and carried out by Him, He united in one person - Jesus Christ - our corporate humanity that needed redeeming with His one perfect divine nature. Through this wonderful union, a just and merciful God qualified Christ to become the second or last Adam representing the entire human race. (1 Cor. 15:45). At His Incarnation, Christ assumed the corporate life of all of humanity in its fallen condition (1 Cor. 1:30). And so, Paul is able to say in Romans 5:18, "so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men".
So it is that, In Christ, we have a new life which includes the faith of Jesus which in turn gives us access to the same power of God that Christ had access to when He was on this earth fully surrendered to His Father's will (John 14:10). Jesus himself speaks of this in John 15:4. He says: "Abide (remain) in Me, and I will abide (remain) in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me."
In order for us to remain in Christ, we must already be in Christ which is where He puts us when we believe and accept His sacrifice on the cross, His gift to us and as already noted we become new creatures in Christ. It becomes our choice as to whether we continue to abide in Christ which in turn allows Christ through the Holy Spirit into our lives personally. A branch separated from the vine is a dead branch bearing no fruit.
And so it is, when we now look back at our memory verse that it is our response to God's unconditional agape love as reflected in Christ's death and infinite sacrifice on the cross that "In Christ" we have access to the faith of Jesus from which His virtues flow! Thus, the effort Peter is referring to is not a works program but a recognition of the power of Christ that is available to us when we are fully surrendered to His will and relying on His strength.
Ellen White recognizes the importance of abiding in Christ as we see in the following quote from Steps to Christ (p. 69 - 70):
"Our growth in grace, our joy, our usefulness, — all depend upon our union with Christ. It is by communion with Him, daily, hourly, — by abiding in Him, — that we are to grow in grace. He is not only the Author, but the Finisher of our faith. It is Christ first and last and always. He is to be with us, not only at the beginning and the end of our course, but at every step of the way. David says, "I have set the Lord always before me: because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved." Psalm 16:8. {SC 69.1}
Do you ask, "How am I to abide in Christ?" In the same way as you received Him at first. "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him." "The just shall live by faith." Colossians 2:6; Hebrews 10:38. You gave yourself to God, to be His wholly, to serve and obey Him, and you took Christ as your Saviour. You could not yourself atone for your sins or change your heart; but having given yourself to God, you believe that He for Christ's sake did all this for you. By faith you became Christ's, and by faith you are to grow up in Him — by giving and taking. You are to give all, — your heart, your will, your service, — give yourself to Him to obey all His requirements; and you must take all, — Christ, the fullness of all blessing, to abide in your heart, to be your strength, your righteousness, your everlasting helper, — to give you power to obey. {SC 69.2}
Consecrate yourself to God in the morning; make this your very first work. Let your prayer be, "Take me, O Lord, as wholly Thine. I lay all my plans at Thy feet. Use me today in Thy service. Abide with me, and let all my work be wrought in Thee." This is a daily matter. Each morning consecrate yourself to God for that day. Surrender all your plans to Him, to be carried out or given up as His providence shall indicate. Thus day by day you may be giving your life into the hands of God, and thus your life will be molded more and more after the life of Christ." {SC 70.1}
In addition, the "In Christ" concept was a central theme of the most precious 1888 message brought to us by Waggoner and Jones. Here is an example from Jones' thoughts (1895 GCB #18):
"Now it is written of the Christian: "Ye are kept by the power of God through faith." That is done in Christ. We yield to Christ; Christ abides in us, giving us His mind. That mind of Christ enables our wicked self to be in the background. The mind of Christ--"let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus"--puts our wicked selves beneath and keeps ourselves back and keeps us from asserting ourselves, for any manifestation of ourself is of itself sin. When the mind of Christ puts ourselves beneath, that gives the Father a chance to work with us and keep us from sinning. And thus God "worketh in you, both to will and to do of his good pleasure." Thus it is always the Father and Christ and ourselves. It is the Father manifested in us through Christ, and in Christ. The mind of Christ empties us of our sinful selves and keeps us from asserting ourselves in order that God, the Father, may join Himself to us and work against the power of sin and keep us from sinning. Thus Christ "is our peace, who hath made both [God and us] one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; having abolished in His flesh the enmity . . . for to make in Himself of twain one new man, so making peace."So it is always the Father and Christ and we; we, the sinners; God the sinless; Christ joining the sinless One to the sinful one and in Himself abolishing the enmity, emptying self in us, in order that God and we may be one, and thus make one new man, so making peace. And thus the peace of God which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through, or in, Jesus Christ.  {February 25, 1895 ATJ, GCB 349.5}"
In closing, may we be who we are in Christ, appreciating His love and sacrifice for us, believing in Him, trusting in Him and relying on Him always as we look forward to Him coming to take us home! 

John and Monica Campbell
Raul Diaz

Thursday, May 18, 2017

"Jesus in the Writings of Peter"

INSIGHT #8 MAY 20, 2017
Second Quarter 2017 Adult Sabbath School Lesson
"Jesus in the Writings of Peter"
May 20, 2017
Have you ever stopped to consider how much ground we have lost due to the delay in Christ's return?
During a recent prayer meeting service, we pulled out a stack of old Songs of Praise hymn books which I salvaged from the used book table at camp meeting. As we sang old familiar songs that we hadn't sung in years -- decades -- my heart grew wistful, and not just because I'm feeling my age and a bit of nostalgia. More than that, as we sang those early advent hymns, I sensed the fervor of the gospel message in those verses. There was a time when advent believers were selling houses and lands and farms and putting their all into the spreading of the gospel. Reforms were set in place. Jesus was soon to come. Their hearts beat in unison with the love of Jesus and the longing for His soon return. In the intervening years, we have settled back down again. Jesus didn't come in 1844 or 1888 or 1901, and as far as I can tell, much has been lost, including a deeper understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ and what it cost Him to save us.
This week's lesson focuses on Jesus. Praise the Lord! In the hope of recovering some more of the Good News, I've searched through the dusty pages of our history and found a gem on this topic by E. J. Waggoner.
Read and be blessed!
--Patti Guthrie
by E. J. Waggoner
Now we come to the representative character of the work of Christ for us, and our personal relation to His experiences.
We have already pointed out that it was as the second head of the human family, taking the place of him who had failed, that He lived and died. Now our acceptance of Him as a personal Saviour from sin involves the acceptance of all His experiences for us, and our union with Him in those experiences. Thus we read in the Scripture: "For the love of Christ constraineth us: because we thus judge, that One died for all, therefore all died." 2 Cor. 5:14, R.V. "I have been crucified with Christ." Gal. 2:20, R.V. "But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus." Eph. 2:4-7.
It thus appears that when Christ died, "all died," because in His representative capacity He was the whole human family, and that when God raised Him from the dead, He "raised us up together," for the same reason.
But all these benefits are only temporary, unless they are received through faith. It is by the cross, the death and resurrection of Christ, that all men live, whether saints or sinners, and so all are sharing in the benefits of His work now, and all will come forth from their graves because of the resurrection of Christ; but it is only those who receive these benefits by a personal faith in Jesus as the One through whom they come, who will be able to retain them to all eternity, God has "blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ," but we must acknowledge that these blessings are all in Christ and that they are received and retained only as we receive Him, else we shall not be able to keep that which God has given to us.
So it is with the resurrection. The curse, which is death, is upon all, and yet men live, because Christ bore the curse upon the cross, and "being raised from the dead, dieth no more." But this brief period of life is granted simply as a time of probation, a time in which to accept by personal faith in a risen Redeemer the blessings which have been provided "in Him," that so His work may avail for us to all eternity. "We were buried therefore with Him through baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with the likeness of His death, we shall be also with the likeness of His resurrection; knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that so we should no longer be in bondage to sin; for he that hath died is justified from sin. But if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him; knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died unto sin once: but the life that He liveth, He liveth unto God. Even so reckon ye also yourselves to be dead unto sin, but alive unto God in Christ Jesus." Rom. 6:4-11, R.V.
This is simply the experience of receiving Christ as a crucified and risen Saviour. It is a practical statement of what it means to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. This is to "know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death." Phil. 3:10. {March 31, 1898 EJW, PTUK 199} 
What then does the resurrection mean to us? It means, first of all, our acceptance of the death of Christ for us and our death in Him; and then it means His resurrection and our participation in His resurrection life, as a daily experience. It means that, our interests have been transferred to the heavenly kingdom, and that we have been made to "sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus." And so we are exhorted: "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Jesus sitteth on the right hand of God." Col. 3:1. It means a victory over the world through our faith in His resurrection life (1 John v. 4), and a final and complete victory over that last enemy which is death. "The dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. . . . Then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? But thanks be unto God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Cor. 15:52-57.
So let the word be on our tongues, and the experience of the life of it in our hearts, "He is risen!"
As in nature, as in art, so in grace; it is rough treatment that gives souls, as well as stones, their lustre. The more the diamond is cut, the brighter it sparkles; and in what seems hard dealing, there God has no end in view but to perfect His people. {March 31, 1898 EJW, PTUK 200} 
Time for a break.
~Patti Guthrie

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Servant Leadership

INSIGHT #7 MAY 13, 2017
Second Quarter 2017 Adult Sabbath School Lesson
"Servant Leadership"
May 13, 2017
"The princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many." Matthew 20:25-28. 
Do you know someone who is an elder? What is it about that person that makes you consider them your elder? Is it that they are older? Or have more wisdom than others? What is the crux of being an elder, or a leader?
In God's kingdom there is a hierarchy - there are different positions occupied by different beings.  But contrary to Lucifer's accusations, God does not play favorites. Honor is related to character.
Christ was one with the Father, of the same divine, eternal, loving character. His position as Michael the archangel was one of servant leadership, a humbling of Himself to serve the angels. His leadership is in contrast to that of Lucifer, who sought to glorify himself rather than serve willingly, resting in the Father's bestowment of his particular gifts.
The choice of style and approach to leadership remains the same for us today. In 1 Peter 5:1-4, Peter draws the contrast of these two principles. Shepherds of the flock should see the bigger picture (oversee), serving willingly and eagerly, living the "in Christ" life as He lives in them. This requires a death to self. The alternative approach is by compulsion, driven by self interest, and thus oppressive of others.
"In the kingdom of God, position is not gained through favoritism. It is not earned, nor is it received through an arbitrary bestowal. It is the result of character. The crown and the throne are the tokens of a condition attained--tokens of self-conquest through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ."  AA 543.
A humble spirit is essential whether we are leading, or following (1 Peter 5:5-7). Humility allows God to shower His grace upon us, and allows us to let Him care for us and our cares. It also saves us from trying to do too much.
"We shall forfeit the favor of God if we lose the meek and lowly spirit which in his sight is of great price. Love to Jesus must be the motive which impels us to action. He places the highest value upon even the most trivial acts done from love to him." (RH, November 18, 1884 par. 16)  
"All the work done, however excellent it may appear to be, is worthless if not done in the love of Jesus. One may go through the whole round of religious activity, and yet, unless Christ is woven into all that he says and does, he will work for his own glory." (Letter 48, 1903).
"The work done for Christ in the world is not made of great deeds and wonderful achievements. These will come in as needed. But the most successful work is that which keeps self as much as possible out of sight….
"The labor of love for Christ's sake, if treasured by the giver ends there, for he has all the reward he will ever have. But if he does this work for Christ's sake, thinking not of the matter afterward, angels of God gather up these incidents and cherish them as precious pearls. 
"The gentleness of Christ that is revealed in laboring for souls while self takes no credit, will be rewarded. With God the deeds of all are counted for just what heaven values them, not as they are estimated by the worker. It becomes us to do no more than we can do with order, with thoroughness and exactitude. 
"If our active temperament gathers in a large amount of work that we have not strength nor the grace of Christ to do understandingly and with order and exactitude, everything we undertake shows imperfection, and the work is constantly marred. God is not glorified, however good the motive….
"The worker complains of constantly having too heavy burdens to bear, when God is not pleased with his taking these burdens; and he makes his own life one of worriment and anxiety and weariness, because he will not learn the lessons Christ has given him, to wear His yoke and bear His burdens rather than the yoke and burdens of his own creating. Christ says, 'My yoke is easy, . . . My burden is light.' Then let every extra burden be left for Jesus, and all the necessary burdens He will also take, and bear them, and us too." (17MR 69-70)  
It is the humility Christ reveals in His steps down to the cross (Phil.2:5-8) that reveals the power of His love, and humbles us. We must be established by steadfast faith in this love, surrendering to Christ's leadership, in order to meet the temptations of the counterfeit leader, who is not the Lamb, but like a roaring lion. It is a sobering time in which to live, requiring constant vigilance against the temptation to let self rule. The contrast will be seen more and more clearly as we approach the end.
"Love is power. Intellectual and moral strength are involved in this principle, and cannot be separated from it. The power of wealth has a tendency to corrupt and destroy; the power of force is strong to do hurt; but the excellence and value of pure love consist in its efficiency to do good, and to do nothing else but good. Whatsoever is done out of pure love, be it ever so little or contemptible in the sight of men, is wholly fruitful; for God measures more with how much love one worketh, than the amount he doeth. Love is of God. The unconverted heart cannot originate nor produce this plant of heavenly growth, which lives alone, and flourishes only where Christ reigns. Love cannot live without action, and every act increases, strengthens, and extends it. Love will prevail and gain the victory when argument and authority are powerless. Love works not for profit nor reward; yet God has ordained that great gain shall be the certain result of every labor of love. It is diffusive in its nature, and quiet in its operation, yet strong and mighty in its purpose to overcome great evils. It is melting and transforming in its influence, and will take hold of the lives of the sinful, and affect their hearts when every other means has proved unsuccessful. Wherever the power of intellect, of authority, of force, is employed, and love is not manifestly present, the affections and will of those whom we seek to reach, assume a defensive, repelling position, and increase their strength of resistance as they are met by another power than love. Jesus was the Prince of Peace. He came into the world to bring resistance and authority into subjection to himself. Wisdom and strength he could command, but the means he employed to overcome evil were wisdom and strength of love. Suffer nothing to divide your interest from your present work until God shall see fit to give you another piece of work in the same field. Seek not for happiness, for that is never to be found by seeking for it. Go about your duty. Let faithfulness mark all your doings, and be clothed with humility." RH, May 11, 1886.      
"Lucifer sought supreme authority, eternal in the heavens. When the spirit of worldly ambition has entered a church it seeks temporal authority supreme on earth. This is but the natural course for human weakness to take, when it has forgotten to subject itself in child-like humility to Divine leading. When the fallen church and the fallen angel have purposes which complement each other and tend to the same end, they become natural allies. But when the church forsakes its Divine Master, it subjects itself to Satan's leadership, and becomes, with all its power and intelligence, the dupe and the tool of supernatural subtlety. The two will then work together for the same ends,- the supremacy of self, and the subjugation of all else, and will have a common purpose,- to destroy the product of the Gospel, liberty, civil and religious. When a church does this it becomes an ecclesiasticism and no longer the Church of God."  July 2, 1896 EJW, PTUK 420.
"We are prone to think only of the fact that Satan goes about, like a roaring lion, seeking to destroy us, forgetting that God sends His goodness and mercy also after us, and that they are able to deliver us. 'The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be with me.'" January 18, 1894 EJW, PTUK 33.
"There is power in the love of the Lord. He is great, and He is love, so that His greatness is the measure of His love and gentleness. When He comes to deliver His people from the roaring lion that walks about, seeking whom he may devour, it is with such power that the heavens and the earth are shaken, and moved from their place; yet that mighty exhibition of power is but the manifestation of His tender love. 'Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand, and His arm shall rule for Him; behold, His reward is with Him, and His work before Him. He shall feed His flock like a shepherd; He shall gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.' Isa. 40:10-11. But the oldest person on earth is in comparison with the Lord but an infant, and so the Lord says: 'Hearken unto Me, O house of Jacob, and all the remnant of the house of Israel, which are borne by Me from the belly, which are carried from the womb; and even to your old age I am He; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you; I have made, and I will bear, even I will carry, and I will deliver.' Isa. 46:3-4. There is hope and comfort for all in Him who has said, 'I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.' "August 16, 1900 EJW, PTUK 514.
Amen! Praise our great Servant Leader!!! May we learn to lead like Him, and to follow Him wherever He goes.
~Todd Guthrie

Thursday, May 04, 2017

"Suffering for Christ"

Second Quarter 2017 Adult Sabbath School Lesson
"Suffering for Christ"
May 6, 2017

In 1 Peter 4:12-14, Peter uses the metaphor of fire for the trials that Christ's followers will experience. As long as Christians exist in this world, fiery trials and persecution will be the norm. This is why Peter warned us not to be surprised. Fire was a good metaphor to use for at least two important reasons. Depending on the object experiencing the fire, the result can be devastatingly destructive such as in the loss of life as well as property, which sometimes happens in forest fires. Contrarily the effect can be constructive, such as in the removal of impurities from silver and gold.
Although there are varying methods for refining gold, typically either chemical or high-temperature flame is utilized, which is determined by both the quantity of gold and, the level of purity desired.
Refining by flame is one of the oldest methods in existence. It is even mentioned in the scripture, and is the preferable method for purifying larger quantities of gold. The tradition remains virtually unchanged today, except for a few advancements in safety and precision. In ancient times, this form of refining involved a craftsman sitting next to a fire with temperatures reaching more than 1000 degrees Celsius (1832° F). The intense heat made this job a dangerous occupation for the refiner, as he sat next to the heat with molten gold in a crucible being stirred and skimmed to remove the impurities or dross which rose to the top of the molten metal. Once the dross was removed, what remained in the crucible was the pure gold.
God, who is the master refiner, says, "I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir" (Isaiah 13:12). Clearly, there is a parallel between making gold pure and making man as pure as gold. Sin is the dross that makes us impure. God uses and allows trials and affliction as the fire to purify us.
The gold of faith and love shines brighter as a result of the purification. Thus will it be for the feeble human being who puts his trust in Christ. "He" will make the man's character precious as a consequence of abiding with Him, through the Holy Spirit (YRP 131). The furnace fire of temptation may burn, persecution and trial may come, but it will only consume the Sin. That fire produces death to selfishness, sensuality/carnality, love of the world, pride, and arrogance. It is death to lukewarmness as well. The fire consumes the impurities of the sinful character; only God's character, now indwelling in our souls, remains.
Our Lord Jesus suffered through the fire of affliction. As the Sin-bearer, Christ was subject to the lightning bolts of wrath for the universal law demands death to the sinner. Jesus experienced "the wages" of the second death for sin on the cross. He went all the way to hell for you and me. Ellen White elaborates further on this by saying,
"Greater is He that is in the heart of the faithful, than he that controls the hearts of unbelievers. Complain not bitterly of the trial which comes upon you, but let your eyes be directed to Christ, who has clothed His divinity with humanity, in order that we may understand how great His interest in us since He has identified Himself with suffering humanity. He tasted the cup of human sorrow, He was afflicted in all our afflictions, He was made perfect through suffering, tempted in all points like as humanity is tempted, in order that He might succor those who are in temptation" (YRP 131).
The words of Peter are then not only to warn, but to encourage us. Let us read 1 Peter 4:12–14,
"Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part, He is glorified."
Christ is not asking us to go through anything He has not experienced. Neither is He asking us to endure our trials alone, in our own strength. He has pledged Himself to us, and we can trust Him! He will never leave nor forsake us and His strength is made perfect in our weakness. We have in Christ, "a High Priest who [can] sympathize with our weaknesses, [as He] was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 13:5; 4:15 - 16; 2 Cor 12:9

~Raul Diaz