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Monthly Archives: June 2019

Tuesday’s Torch 542

Tuesday’s Torch 542

June 25, 2019

 

Last week I shared a message with you that I wrote four years ago as a guest author of the Torch. Tonight I have slightly altered a talk I shared at church on Sunday.  My comments will be broken up into three parts with undoubtedly some rambling moments mixed in. Lots of times people are given topics that they struggle with or that include a message they themselves need to learn about even more than the congregation.  That’s certainly not the case here though. My strongest skills are the topic I was given today, my spectacular humility, I am so humble and meek it’s really a rare gift, but wait there was something else, oh yeah, I’m sarcastic. So that kinda wipes out that other stuff I just said. Just a little joke. I’m actually working on those first parts and as for the sarcasm, a great man once told me I needed to tone that down so I guess you could say I still haven’t gotten around to that.
Part one comes From remarks given by Craig Cardon which include a story from the New Testament:

“A bedridden, paralyzed man desiring to be healed was brought to a large gathering, but unable to get him close to the Savior, his friends took him to the roof of the house where the Savior was and lowered him down.”

I’m going to cut in at this point in the story to say something. This verse hits home to me. While I’m not paralyzed as my disability is a bit different than that, I realize that had I lived at that time instead of in this day and age, I’d be in much the same shape as him. And I am blessed to know many wonderful people who I know would have been willing to carry me onto the roof and lower me down into that room. Now that everybody is ho knows the story has already jumped ahead lets get back to it:

Seeing this demonstration of faith, with a great purpose not yet known to His listeners, the Savior declared, “Man, thy sins are forgiven thee.””

Hearing the Savior’s words, the scribes and Pharisees had begun to reason among themselves, ignorantly speaking of blasphemy while concluding that only God can forgive sin. Perceiving their thoughts, the Savior addressed them, saying:

“What reason ye in your hearts?

“Whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Rise up and walk?”

“Not waiting for their response, the Savior continued, “But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, [He then turned to the paralyzed man] I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house.” And he did!”

By this miraculous physical healing, the Savior confirmed to all of us this infinitely more powerful spiritual truth: the Son of Man forgives sins!

While this truth is readily accepted by all believers, not so easily acknowledged is the essential companion truth: the Savior forgives sins “upon earth” and not just at the Final Judgment. He does not excuse us in our sins. He does not condone our return to past sins. But when we repent and obey His gospel, He forgives us.

I love this story. In fact I can still remember hearing this story in a sermon when I was a child.  Now I see this story so much differently though and having a knowledge of what is truly important is a blessing. Do I get frustrated sometimes at my limitations? Absolutely. But of these blessings that the Savior has the ability to bestow. Listen, I don’t need to be able to stand up, or to walk, or run or jump, although they are great things to be able to do.  But to hear those words from the savior, “Thy sins are forgiven thee.”  Oh that is the blessing. The scriptures don’t tell us what the mans reaction was when told that his sins were forgiven. But for me, I have need to hear that every day of my life. We all need to hear those words. “Thy sins are forgiven thee”.. And the Atonement doesn’t simply take away the sin but the Atonement is also capable of removing the pains and the regret and the sadness associated with those sins. That’s the healing I want. I’d imagine that is the healing we all want. And sure, if I was told to jump up and carry this 400 pound wheelchair home that would just be an added bonus.

God stands ready to forgive us. Here and now as we turn to him. As we humbly accept responsibility and own up to our mistakes he will lift the burdens we feel.  The Savior taught in the New Testament:

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

This verse speaks of forgiveness and of turning our lives over to the Savior and following Him.  Most of us know what a yoke is, that yellow part of an egg right? Just kidding, totally different word, spelling and a slightly different pronunciation that my accent completely hides.  A yoke is a sort of wooden crossbar type thing that would go over the shoulders of a beast of burden, let’s say oxen.

The use of this would be to allow those two animals to cooperate and work together to be able to either accomplish more than either could do alone or to make the task easier. Now imagine as we repent and strive to live righteously that we are invited to yoke ourselves with the Savior. (Which by the way we are invited.  Right there in the verse I just read a moment ago.) When teamed up with one so much stronger than us, He does the hard work. He makes our burden lighter by taking on the bulk of it himself. There’s another big thing to note, when you become yoked to the Savior, you will go where he wants you to go.  Or if you’d rather reject the Help the savior offers, He will allow that and allow us to isolate ourselves and struggle. But brothers and sisters, I can assure you that you don’t want to do that.  Because I have done that, for far too much of my life I did that. Accept the Saviors help. Please. I personally beg you.

So part three includes the actual topic I was given that the Savior is our example of forgiveness.  In the last days of his mortal ministry, the savior suffered so much pain, he was mocked, and beaten. He was betrayed and arrested just after having willingly taken upon himself our sins and our pains and our infirmities.  He was laughed at and spit upon, was cut by a crown of thorns. And yet as he hung on the cross, he said the following as recorded in : Luke 23:34

“Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.

Even in the midst of his greatest trials, while weighed down with the sins of all mankind, He completed his task so that we all would have the opportunity to repent and be forgiven, even those who betrayed him, even those who were mocking and hurting him and putting him to death.  We are told in the scriptures that we will be judged by how we judge. And that it is expected of us to forgive everyone. With my joking at the beginning of this talk aside: if I were to sit here and hit you with a full talk on forgiving others, I would feel like a hypocrite. As though I am not qualified to speak on something that I’m working on and struggling with. Because I have a lot to learn about that and I need to do a better job of it.  But I know it is eternally important and so my challenge to you and to myself is this, follow the example of the Savior. As we enjoy the blessings of repentance and forgiveness right now, seek out ways to also extend forgiveness to those who may have wronged you, whether intentional or by mistake. Our Father in Heaven will bless us as we do.

And also, be sure to forgive yourselves as well. When we accept responsibility for our actions, as we repent and allow the Saviors sacrifice to help us. We should also forgive ourselves.  Who are we to reject the gift that the Son of God himself paid the ultimate price to give us?

In closing I encourage everyone, if you need help, seek help. There is help available whether you have depression, anxiety, anger issues, whether your problems are one time sins or whether you are caught up in the midst of addiction. Get help. Both professional and spiritual.  Do not wait another day. Trust me. You do not want to wait.  If there are any sins in your life that need to be cleared up, repent and make the necessary changes. You will be happy that you did.

The Gospel is true.  God lives, and he loves us so very much that he sent his Son Jesus Christ to be our example and our salvation. The Savior Jesus Christ lived and died for us and rose again so that all might be saved. Of this I testify in his sacred name, even Jesus Christ, Amen.

-Bobby Stewart

Tuesdays Torch has been viewed in countries all across the globe through our website and social media. We pray the words of every Torch will sink into the hearts and minds of readers. Please share Tuesdays Torch and encourage others with it. To partner with Tuesdays Torch and help expand our reach please contact us. We pray the Lord will touch our readers. All of what Christ did was so we would believe. He told us not to believe because of what He said but in what He did (John 14:11). Every Tuesday we talk about what He did and is still doing. The best thing God’s done is send His Son so we could be saved (John 3:16). If anyone is not a believer we pray they will invite the Lord into their lives by asking Him to forgive their sins and believing that He is the Son of God. Please share testimonies, feedback or encouraging words by email at: tuesdaystorch@gmail.comwe enjoy hearing from you. Look out for next Tuesdays Torch on our website http://www.tuesdaystorch.com , by email, Facebook and Twitter @tuesdaystorch Thanks and God Bless!

No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. Luke 8:16

 

 
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Posted by on 06/25/2019 in Torches

 

Tuesday’s Torch 541

Tuesday’s Torch 541

June 18, 2019

 

Four years ago I was given the opportunity to guest author a torch for my great friend Tim to share. I don’t know if this is a special throwback edition of the torch or if I’m just being lazy this week. Let’s just see how this previous message that was text only matches up to the more recent ones, so here goes:

 

This week I would like to take the opportunity to briefly discuss Faith, Fruit and Perfection.  The last couple weeks (before this message was written) we had learned a bit regarding avoiding certain pitfalls. One is to avoid allowing anger into our hearts, as well as having learned not to misrepresent scriptures simply to excuse ourselves from bad behavior.  There is a common argument many have over what indeed saves us.  I have known many people who say they know they commit plenty of sins, don’t go to church, do whatever they want, yet believe in Jesus Christ, therefore they are saved.  As though faith is simply a belief that Jesus Christ is real.

 

James 2:17 states that “faith, if it hath not works, is dead” One who has true faith will show that faith through his works as the prophet James discusses. In this chapter, he mentions several examples of those who showed their faith through works.  Faith is not passive, simply sitting back and saying you know Christ paid for your sins so all is well, faith is active, faith is to be shown.  We are told in Matthew 7:17 that “every good tree bringth forth good fruit.” And then we are told that by our fruit may we be known.  Therefore to be known as good, we must bring forth good fruit.

 

In fact not only are we expected to have faith, show it in our actions and bring forth good fruit; but we have an even more overwhelming instruction issued by Christ during the Sermon on the Mount:  “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”.  I would be willing to bet most of us have heard, if not said, “Well, nobody is perfect” in response to having a flaw pointed out.  Yet here Christ just told us to be perfect.  Not to “try”, or to “give it our best shot”, but to be perfect.  How do we do that?  Through Repentance made possible by the Atonement.  When we know we are wrong and make mistakes, we have been given the amazing gift of forgiveness if we but repent.  Sure, we can’t be perfect on our own.  But as the scriptures tell us in Matthew 19:26, “with God all things are possible”.

 

Christ would not have told us to be perfect if there was no way to do it.  There is a way.  There is a way, Jesus Christ, He is also the truth and the life.  Let us allow him to work his perfecting power in us, through the power of the Atonement.  Christ paid that price for us, so that we could follow his counsel to be perfect.  Let our faith be shown always, let us not sit idle and think about how great it will be when we one day get to heaven and are “perfected.” Let us get to work and allow Christ to begin that process here today, right now.  In the sacred name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

 

-Bobby Stewart

Tuesdays Torch has been viewed in countries all across the globe through our website and social media. We pray the words of every Torch will sink into the hearts and minds of readers. Please share Tuesdays Torch and encourage others with it. To partner with Tuesdays Torch and help expand our reach please contact us. We pray the Lord will touch our readers. All of what Christ did was so we would believe. He told us not to believe because of what He said but in what He did (John 14:11). Every Tuesday we talk about what He did and is still doing. The best thing God’s done is send His Son so we could be saved (John 3:16). If anyone is not a believer we pray they will invite the Lord into their lives by asking Him to forgive their sins and believing that He is the Son of God. Please share testimonies, feedback or encouraging words by email at: tuesdaystorch@gmail.comwe enjoy hearing from you. Look out for next Tuesdays Torch on our website http://www.tuesdaystorch.com , by email, Facebook and Twitter @tuesdaystorch Thanks and God Bless!

No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. Luke 8:16

 

 
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Posted by on 06/18/2019 in Torches

 

Tuesday’s Torch 539

Tuesday’s Torch 539

June 4, 2019

 

Maya Angelou said that “When you know better you do better.” That’s a very true statement.  Years ago I was a competitive horseshoe pitcher. I would go outside and pitch for hours sometimes.  Striving to do better and develop the muscle memory it takes to compete at a high level.

It wasn’t easy and I was never the absolute best, but I won often enough and claimed some championships that I look back on fondly.  But what I realized is that the saying “practice makes perfect” had a flaw.  If you’re making the same mistake over and over during practice, what are you accomplishing? Do you really want that muscle memory?  So no, the saying I developed was “Perfect practice makes perfect.”  I strived to make my practice as much like a real game as possible.

When my focus was there and I was performing really well then I would push myself and practice for a long time.  If I was performing lousy and just couldn’t get it going, I would shorten that practice.  Eventually I built a lot more consistency doing it that way. I know this little story is a bit off topic and not quite the norm for my oft-times preachy Torch offerings but don’t worry, I’ll get to that shortly. Haha.

As it relates to the quote I started this message with. When I first started playing horseshoes I wasn’t very good at it because I didn’t know what I was doing yet. But the more I learned and the more I practiced, the better I did.  In other aspects of my life I had issues and problems that I saw no way past. Until I learned how to get past them.

Sometimes there are tools and skills that need to be acquired to accomplish a task.  You can’t go into an advanced science course and expect to do well if you haven’t completed the prerequisites. There are things you must learn before you can tackle that level of difficulty.

You cannot do something you don’t know how to do. Plenty of people are out there praying for blessings but unaware that maybe they need to act. They need to do something. They pray for a good job yet aren’t improving their skills? They pray for a raise but then give half-effort at their job.  They pray that they can overcome an addiction but don’t seek help for recovery?  That won’t cut it.

Even if your desire is righteous. Wanting it is not enough. Learn how. And then do it!  I’ll quote the following verse that I feel sums up another side to this feeling I’m trying to convey in my own unorthodox way.  1 Corinthians 13:11 states: When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”

Verses can mean different things to us at different points in our lives which is one of the amazing aspects of the scriptures. But right here I feel like the verse expresses someone who has now learned better and therefore does better.  Growth isn’t just about age or size. There comes a time where all of us have to grow up in the Gospel. A time when we need to put in the hard work to get where we want or need to be.  We have to learn more to do better.

If everything were easy we couldn’t grow. And we are to grow. We are expected to strive to become as much like the Savior as possible. To receive his image in our countenance will require more than just doing what we can currently do.  We need to grow, we need to learn and we need to seek to know How to do the righteous things that we may see as impossible.

Over the past year I’ve worked really hard to learn how to do some things I never thought would be possible to achieve. That’s not a brag or a boast. In fact it is the opposite, it’s extremely humbling to see exactly how much help I needed and need. Coming to terms with weakness and realizing we need the strength that comes from the Lord is difficult. Especially for someone that wants to be able to do everything themselves. From the time I was a little boy my parents called me mr independent because I refused to accept help.  That’s not me anymore. I needed it. I’m not too proud to say that.

As for why I mention that. I’m not trying to make myself into a role model but I’m also not trying to put myself down either, I’m trying to say that if I can do it, so can you. So that thing you’re having a hard time overcoming or that righteous desire that you feel is unreachable. Find the help required to accomplish it. You can’t do anything without knowing how. Unless you’re gonna rely on pure luck, in that case just cross your fingers and hope for the best. But that isn’t what we are expected to do.

So to all who hear this message. Please know that you can accomplish great things. You can learn better, know better, do better and be better.  Nothing is impossible with Christ on your side. Let the Atonement work in your life. Learn and grow. I pray that this message has been able to help you in some way. I pray that you can find answers and help and that when you do, you can put them to work in your life to become who you are capable of becoming. God bless each of you in the Sacred name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

-Bobby Stewart

Tuesdays Torch has been viewed in countries all across the globe through our website and social media. We pray the words of every Torch will sink into the hearts and minds of readers. Please share Tuesdays Torch and encourage others with it. To partner with Tuesdays Torch and help expand our reach please contact us. We pray the Lord will touch our readers. All of what Christ did was so we would believe. He told us not to believe because of what He said but in what He did (John 14:11). Every Tuesday we talk about what He did and is still doing. The best thing God’s done is send His Son so we could be saved (John 3:16). If anyone is not a believer we pray they will invite the Lord into their lives by asking Him to forgive their sins and believing that He is the Son of God. Please share testimonies, feedback or encouraging words by email at: tuesdaystorch@gmail.comwe enjoy hearing from you. Look out for next Tuesdays Torch on our website http://www.tuesdaystorch.com , by email, Facebook and Twitter @tuesdaystorch Thanks and God Bless!

No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. Luke 8:16

 

 
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Posted by on 06/04/2019 in Torches