Friday, June 9, 2017

Divine Appointments

From: Francis Harper

Divine Appointments

As a disciple of the Lord, our utmost desire should be to bring souls to him. We need to “Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God; for behold, the Lord your Redeemer suffered death in the flesh; wherefore he suffered the pain of all men, that all men might repent and come unto him. . . . you are called to cry repentance unto this people. And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people and bring save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!” (D & C 16:3 c-f).

Disciples fishing 001The precious invitation of Jesus needs to be extended to every person on earth. From the beginning of his ministry on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, even until today, Jesus has called his disciples to become fishers of men. “And Jesus said unto them, come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men” (Mark 1).
The joyous task of inviting souls to come to the Lord to find rest, peace, joy and love, has never been reserved for the priesthood only. “All are called according to the gifts of God unto them” (D & C 119:8), to become involved in this glorious work. In the final chapter of John’s revelation, it is written: “And the Spirit and the bride [church members; men and women] say, Come . . . And let him that is athirst, come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely” (Revelation 22:17).
The Spirit, accompanied by the bride, [the disciples of Christ] is saying, Come. Notice the Spirit is listed first in this partnership. Unless the Spirit is directing and empowering us, our efforts to bring souls to the Lord will be in vain. On two occasions the disciples fished all night and caught nothing. But when Jesus directed their efforts, “they enclosed a great multitude of fishes” (Luke 5:6). See also John 21:6.
Surely the Lord is preparing the hearts of some in our communities to receive him. We need to pray for divine appointments with these blessed ones, who are hungering and thirsting for truth. But before we can expect the Lord to arrange appointments, we need to be prepared and fortified by the Holy Spirit to share the good news!
We need to prepare ourselves for divine appointments, even as Alma and the sons of Mosiah were prepared. “They had waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth; for they were men of a sound understanding, and they had searched the Scriptures diligently, that they might know the word of God. But this is not all; they had given themselves to much prayer and fasting, therefore they had the spirit of prophecy, and the spirit of revelation, and when they taught, they taught with power and authority, even as with the power and authority of God . . . yea, by the power of their words, many were brought before the altar of God, to call on his name, and confess their sins before him” (Alma 12:3-7).
There is nothing that brings greater satisfaction to our souls than being an instrument in the hands of the Lord. “Yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God, to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy” (Alma 15:61).

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