Saturday, January 30, 2021

Purity 329: Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

 Purity 329 01/30/2021 

Good morning!

Today’s sunset photo comes from a friend in Virginia who, like many of us, is going through a stressful season in their lives but recognizes that even in the midst of what feels like a time where they are losing their minds, they can find a moment of peace when they look to the heavens. 

This phenomenon of looking above the things of this world to something higher is what God gave us the heavens for. He knows the simple truth of His presence is written on all of creation and when we let go of our worldly troubles and look on something only He could make, we can partake in a measure of the peace that He has for us. 

 God isn’t some mystical impersonal force, or the universe itself.  He is a personal God that knows your entire history and cares for you. The personal nature of God is demonstrated through Jesus Christ who came to teach, to heal, and to love.  

 Christ came to give us peace and a new life.   I pray you experience a measure of each this weekend as you were meant not to just know these things intellectually but were meant to understand them experientially.    

 (There is More at the restricted blog. Follow me on Twitter or MeWe for easy access.  Blog M T 4 Christ dot org – This is where the Facebook post ends.)

This morning’s meditation verse is:

James 5:16 (WesleyNT)
16 Confess your faults one to another, brethren, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed: the fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

 The way we live the Christian life is by recognizing the paradox that we are forgiven saints who can and will occasionally sin.   Until Christ returns and gives us glorified bodies, we will always fall short of God’s perfect will for our lives. Even if we avoid the things we typically think of as sins, we will undoubtedly fail to do all that we could do for the kingdom of God.  We will sin by commission or by omission.  

This fact when considered in light of our new life in Christ can make us feel condemned for failing and cause us to question if we really are a Christian. That is what the enemy loves to do: condemn and accuse the brethren. 

We have to remember that we need Christ all the time. There was no way we could “make it” without Him before placing our faith in Him and that remains true after we make Him our Lord and Savior.  

So we have to stand in our faith and believe that even our latest late breaking sin was paid for by Christ and has been forgiven.   

But in order to have peace, and to have victory over the sins that so easily beset us, God gave us one another to confess our faults to.   We can be healed of the pains of our offenses when we admit to God and someone else the nature of our wrongs.  With our confession, we are also to repent by not only thanking Him for His forgiveness but also by agreeing with Him and choosing to not repeat our transgressions in the future.  

While we can be healed of our guilt and shame by confessing and praying for one another, “the fervent prayer of a righteous man that availeth much” isn’t meant to be “the other guy”.  The righteous man is to be us, and we are to pray fervently to God for strength, wisdom, and guidance to abandon our sin.  Otherwise we are deluding ourselves and avoiding personal responsibility to live the life God has for us. 

We shouldn’t be running to “the other guy” to pray for us every time we mess up without also praying to God for ourselves.   Our relationship with God is personal and if we are looking to be prayed for constantly by someone else to “bless us”, we are missing the entire point of what our lives in Christ are supposed to be: an intimate continuous encounter with the Living God.   

So confess and pray for one another, but after you do make sure you keep the prayer conversation with God going because if you do, you may find that there will be a whole lot less that you will have to confess to your brothers, as you will be receiving continual guidance, strength, and wisdom to keep you in God’s ways. 


Today we will continue to share from Dr. June Hunt’s Biblical Counseling Keys on “Self-Worth: Discovering Your God-given Worth”.

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Dr. Hunt’s books for your own private study and to support her work:

II. Characteristics of Low Self-Worth

In the throes of threatening circumstances, people react in one of three ways: fight, flight, or freeze ... get even, get going, or get hurt. Those who fight can quickly become aggressive victimizers. Because she was beaten and abused, Dorie chose to become defiant ... to clench her fists and dominate her peers by intimidation.

She would bully them into compliance, threatening to "get them in the yard" if they didn't drink her buttermilk for her or let her go to the front of the bathing line. She forced her will on them and terrorized them by pinching or hitting them without provocation. According to her own words, "I was mean, mean, mean!"

Because Dorie knew that no one would ever love her, she took the offensive and gave them no reason to love her. She cried alone at night and made others cry during the day. No one would get the best of her ... no one!

She had no one ... so she would need no one. That was her philosophy ... at least until the day she met Jesus and opened her heart to His life-changing love. He gave her a new heart. The Lord makes this offer to everyone ...

"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh."
(Ezekiel 36:26)

A. What Does Low Self-Worth Look Like?

When Dorie went to grade school, she said, "Those of us from the orphanage could be easily identified by our shabby clothes and distinctive haircuts." The harsh matron, Miss Gabriel, would place a bowl on their heads and snip off their hair with other children and parents staring. Dorie thought, "We're all oddballs and besides, I'm ugly." It's as though she kept looking through distorted mirrors.

Think about going to a fair and walking through "The Fun House" with its warped mirrors. When you turn the corner, you suddenly see a distorted image of yourself that immediately makes you laugh. Your head looks like a huge oval egg with narrow, slanted eyes. Meanwhile, your neck has disappeared. Your arms have become wavy tentacles and your hips the size of a blimp.

Unfortunately, people like Dorie walk around with mental images of themselves that are as warped as these distorted mirrors. Over time, their inner mirror has become warped by criticism, disapproval, and pain. Thank God He does not look at us from a warped perspective, but through the eyes of purest love. The closer we are to Him, the more we will be able to see ourselves through God's eyes. The Bible says ...

"Now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known."
(1 Corinthians 13:12)

Checklist for Low Self-Worth

To determine whether you are suffering with low self-worth, note the statements below that are true about you.

  • Inner Insecurities
    • I am self-critical and have feelings of self-loathing.
    • I am fearful of failure and avoid risk taking.
    • I am overly impacted by the opinions of others and strive to meet their standards.
    • I am undeserving of and yet desperate for the approval of others.
    • I am unhappy with my personal appearance and personal achievements.
    • I am negligent of my appearance.
    • I am unable to set boundaries.
    • I am ashamed of my background, and I often struggle with depression.
    • I am controlled by a victim mentality.
    • I am inferior and have feelings of incompetence when compared to others.

If you struggle with insecurity, you need to take to heart these words of encouragement from the Word of God ...

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid ... for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."
(Deuteronomy 31:6)

  • Relational Roadblocks
    • I am overly critical and distrustful of others.
    • I am demanding and unforgiving of others.
    • I am defensive when confronted.
    • I am argumentative and resistant to authority.
    • I am undeserving of and unable to accept compliments.
    • I am afraid to get close to people and establish intimacy.
    • I am a peace-at-all-costs people pleaser.
    • I am reluctant to express my true feelings.
    • I am hesitant to accept responsibility for my wrongs.
    • I am often afraid to defend myself.

If you struggle with establishing healthy relationships, you need to know that ...

"Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe."
(Proverbs 29:25)

Biblical Counseling Keys - Biblical Counseling Keys – Biblical Counseling Keys: Self-Worth: Discover Your God-Given Worth.


-----------------------------more on Monday-------------------------


God bless you all!


Friday, January 29, 2021

Purity 328: Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

 Purity 328 01/29/2021 

Good morning!

Today’s sunrise photo comes to us from an early rising friend who captured this stunning testimony to God’s glory near their home in the Chatham area of Columbia County about a week ago.  

With the expected chilling temperatures today locally, it is my hopes that this photo will warm your hearts as we enter the weekend and that you use some of the time over the next couple of days to find rest and rejuvenation.           

I was recently assured by a friend that its okay to do that.  

 Sometimes we put burdens on ourselves by trying to accomplish everything now when wisdom would prescribe patience and steady diligence rather than a flurry of activity and intense efforts.  

 So do what needs to be done now, plan a regimented pace for the things that can wait, and don’t get so busy that you don’t enjoy the blessings of life that God has given you.  

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Psalm 119:45 (NLT2)
45 I will walk in freedom, for I have devoted myself to your commandments.

 I love the paradoxical wisdom of the psalmist’s declaration in this verse. 

Before coming to Christ, we have a very wrong idea about freedom: the presupposition that we have it.   It has been said by wiser men than me that we all serve someone or something that we devote our lives to.  

Before Christ, I served the flesh and my selfish desires. My “freedom” was to do anything I wanted that would “serve” my pleasure principle.  What I thought was freedom was actually bondage, and the ultimate price I would have paid for my “freedom” would have been my soul, as I recognized no higher authority or any meaning to this life.  

Failing to recognize authority is denial.  Failing to follow it is rebellion.  Both will lead to death and eternal torment.  But we are free to choose that path.  

The paradox in the above verse is telling. I will walk and freedom but be devoted to commandments?  How can I be free by following someone’s commands??  

“I love being free! I get to follow orders all the time!”  

It doesn’t seem to make sense, does it?  The enemy will certainly encourage you to deny its truth. The enemy wants you to be “your own boss” because it’s a lie and that’s his game: to get us to believe anything other than the truth.

The truth is that the only life that lasts forever is the life found in Christ.   The freedom that we obtain from coming under the authority of Jesus Christ is the freedom over death and freedom from our bondage to sin.   

Making Christ our Lord and Savior and obeying His commands is what gives us life and freedom. 

So agree with the word of God, experience what true freedom is, and live.     


Today we will continue to share from Dr. June Hunt’s Biblical Counseling Keys on “Self-Worth: Discovering Your God-given Worth”.

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Dr. Hunt’s books for your own private study and to support her work:

D. What Is the Self-Worth Controversy?

Clearly, Dorie struggled with having no sense of self-worth. Some people would say she should not have self-worth — that's prideful. Others say she should have more self-worth — that's healthy. Which is correct, especially from a Christian standpoint?

Is there a place in the life of a Christian for self-respect, self-worth, and self-love, or does the Bible exhort us to disrespect, devalue, and even hate ourselves? The Bible appears to support both self-love and self-hate, a seeming contradiction that has resulted in a very real controversy. Since the Bible cannot contradict itself, we need godly discernment to know how to think about ourselves accurately. We learn from Proverbs ...

"The wise in heart are called discerning, and gracious words promote instruction."
(Proverbs 16:21)

The 3 Views

  1. "I Should Not Love Myself."

"It's wrong for me to love my own life. ... Instead, I should hate myself."

Biblical support:

"Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life" (John 12:25).

  1. "I Should Love Myself."

"God tells me in His Word that it is appropriate to love myself."

Biblical support:

" your neighbor as yourself" (Leviticus 19:18).

This commandment is found twice in Leviticus, then repeated in six other books of the Bible.

o  Leviticus 19:18, 34

o  Matthew 19:19; 22:39

o  Mark 12:31, 33

o  Luke 10:27

o  Romans 13:9

o  Galatians 5:14

o  James 2:8

  1. "I Don't Know About Loving Myself, but I Know I Should Love Others."

"Scripture is confusing about self-love, but I know I should have sacrificial love for others."

Biblical support:

"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters" (1 John 3:16).

2 Major Questions

Question #1: "In Luke 14:26, does the Bible really mean for me to hate my family and myself?"

"If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters — yes, even their own life — such a person cannot be my disciple."

Answer: To interpret any literary work correctly, a major principle of interpretation must be applied: context! Therefore, look at how "hatred" is used in context of the whole counsel of God's Word.

  • Moses states ... "You shall not hate your brother in your heart ..." (Leviticus 19:17 ESV).
  • The Ten Commandments state ... "Honor your father and your mother" ... not hate your father and mother (Exodus 20:12)!
  • The apostle John states ... "Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness" (1 John 2:9).
  • Jesus states, astonishing those who heard Him ... "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you ..." (Matthew 5:43-44).


Based on the whole counsel of God, we are not to carry hatred in our hearts. When referring to hating our father, mother, sister, brother — and even our own lives — Jesus was not promoting a lifestyle of personal hatred. Such a message is completely inconsistent with the heart of the Bible and the heart of the Lord.

Jesus instead appealed to His followers to hate anything — including anything in their own lives — that stood in the way of giving their relationship with Him absolute priority. If we are to be true disciples, Jesus must be preeminent—Jesus must occupy the place of highest priority. We should not let anyone take the place that He alone should have.

The apostle Paul explains why Jesus is given this exalted position. ...

"For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy."
(Colossians 1:16-18)

Question #2: "Since the Bible says, 'Love your neighbor as yourself,' am I actually supposed to love myself, or is that being arrogant and prideful?"

Answer: When we hear the word love, we usually assume it means affectionate love or passionate love, but agape love is the type of love referred to in this passage. The Greek word agape in the text means a "commitment to do what is best on behalf of others." If you truly "love your neighbor as yourself" you must comprehend the context of this love as well as understand its roots.

  • Jesus presents the two most important commandments: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself' There is no commandment greater than these" (Mark 12:30-31).
  • The apostle Paul states that love is the fulfillment of the Law: "Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law" (Romans 13:10).
  • We are to love with agape love, which is based not on feeling, but on commitment. "If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. ... But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked" (Luke 6:32, 35).
  • We are to love what God loves ... that is, we are to value the truth that God loves us. "We love because he first loved us" (1 John 4:19).


The Bible says, "... God is love" (1 John 4:8). The essence of God is agape—a love that always seeks the highest and best on behalf of others. If we are truly godly — and we are told to be godly — then we will value what He values and love what He loves. We are to love the fact that He has a purpose for us. ... We are to love the fact that He values us. ... We are to love the fact that He has given us worth.

  • You have godly agape for yourself when you do what God says is best for you ... cooperating with His perfect plan for your life.
  • And you have agape for those around you by doing what is consistent with God's very best for them.

"'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"
(Matthew 22:37-39)

Biblical Counseling Keys - Biblical Counseling Keys – Biblical Counseling Keys: Self-Worth: Discover Your God-Given Worth.

-----------------------------more tomorrow--------------------------


God bless you all!


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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Purity 327: Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

 Purity 327 01/28/2021 

Good morning!

Today’s photo comes from friend’s hike earlier this month on the Rail Trail near Hilldale NY, I suspect.  It looks like our friend was the first person to encounter the trail after a snowfall as the path seems to be unmarked by footprints, still, and serene.      

I share it because I spent the morning yesterday clearing the snow off my driveway and at times, I wasn’t feeling the beauty of the moment as the snow was of a certain consistency that defied my expectations and equally gave me gratitude and frustration.

 The snow was light and fluffy, so it wasn’t heavy to shovel but there was just enough depth of snow that it was too much to just easily push out of the way in long broad strokes with a shovel, as the ethereal snow would pile up on the shovel and just fall over the edge of the shovel before I got to the edge of the driveway.   

 So I used my snowblower, which was efficient, but seemed to take too much time as my property demands that I clear snow one straight path at a time rather than doing a circular route.   

 If the snow had just been a little less deep, I could have easily pushed it aside with a shovel, but instead I was constrained to a slow and deliberate pace with the snowblower.

 And as it was, when I started working, the snow was still falling in a slow dwindling pace that seemed to promise the end of the storm but at the same time seemed to threaten that it would add another inch or two to clean up. Sure enough, after I finished snow blowing, I had to go over the driveway again with a shovel to clear another inch of snow that had accumulated while I worked. 

 So clearing the driveway was just like life, I knew what I had to do, I knew how to do it, but, man, the process of doing it was a mixture of gratitude and frustration.

 In days past, I probably would have been quite angry or lamentable as I did this routine maintenance but now my faith balances things out, as while I was dealing with the chore at hand, I reminded myself that I was fortunate for countless reasons:

  • I was physically able to do it,
  • I had been gifted the snowblower, that was operating and doing this work.
  • Because I have to work Saturday, I actually had the day off. 
  • I was at the home that the Lord brought me to.
  • I had a view of the River and the silent peace that is always available
  • I know the Lord and have the assurance of eternal life, meaning, and purpose. 

 In this stretch of winter, frustration will come but if we keep our eyes on the Lord and our hearts and minds full of His presence, we will make it through with a peace that rises above our circumstances.   

 (There is More at the restricted blog. Follow me on Twitter or MeWe for easy access.  Blog M T 4 Christ dot org – This is where the Facebook post ends.)

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Psalm 145:18 (NKJV)
18 The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth.

 I love the double truth of faithfulness that rings through in this verse. 


  1. God is faithful to be near to all who call upon Him. 
  2.  We must be faithful to call upon Him in truth.  

 You know, lip service to God just doesn’t do it.  We can say whatever we want, but God knows our hearts and He knows what we have been doing and He knows what we have been thinking. 

 So if we ignore God’s counsel and have no interactions with Him in our day to day lives, we can call upon Him in distress and He will be with us in our desperate moments, but He may not deliver us. He might deliver us, but He may only come to comfort us. He also may come to convict us.  

 I used to do life my way and left God out of my life.  When tragedy or calamity came, I would run to God and pray for divine miraculous intervention to change outcomes.  While I was assured that God heard me in those moments, sometimes I got the feeling that I had reaped what I had sown and that while He would be with me, God was not going to change the events that my actions had led to.  If this happened, I usually got angry with God and would dismiss faith as useless. 

 Sometimes God would actually deliver me from bad circumstances but unfortunately before I surrendered my life to Him, I never learned from His mercy.  I took His blessings as “good luck” and didn’t recognize His sovereign hand and I would carry on with life no wiser than I was before.     

 Fortunately, after years of suffering by doing things my way, I sought the truth about life and God revealed the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the kingdom of God.  By imparting me with this truth, God gave me a much larger view of life and showed me that our priority in life has to be Him. 

 We have to live life in His context and when we come to Him, we have to come to Him in truth.  Jesus paid the cost for us all but in order to be redeemed we have to come to Him sincerely and authentically. When we call on God, He hears us, but He also calls on us to follow Him in spirit and in truth.  


Today we will continue to share from Dr. June Hunt’s Biblical Counseling Keys on “Self-Worth: Discovering Your God-given Worth”.

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Dr. Hunt’s books for your own private study and to support her work:

C. What Is an Inferiority Complex?

How could Dorie not feel inferior when for years she was continuously treated as inferior? Emblazoned in her memory are scenes of her mother tucking her sister into bed saying, "Marie is a pretty girl — she's not like you." Then after tenderly kissing Marie, she would callously walk past Dorie. Repeated times of rejection are the building blocks of an inferiority complex. Someone with such low self-worth could easily think ...

"Because of all my enemies, I am the utter contempt of my neighbors and an object of dread to my closest friends — those who see me on the street flee from me. I am forgotten as though I were dead; I have become like broken pottery."
(Psalm 31:11-12)

  • An inferiority complex is a painful, debilitating feeling of being less valuable than others.

·    Inferior means less valued than others.

·    — A complex is a group of beliefs based on the past that has a powerful influence on present behavior.

  • An inferiority complex is an acute sense of low self-worth, which has two very different results:

·    Fearfully timid attitudes and actions as a result of giving in to others or feeling rejected by others "I'm nothing. ... I know I don't matter."

·    Overly aggressive attitudes and actions to compensate for feeling rejected "Since people hate me, I'll give them something to hate!"

In the orphanage, Dorie became the bitter bully who punched and pinched the other children just to make them cry. Openly hostile, Dorie used fear tactics to get her way ... and get her way she did! Although she was young, her life mirrored this Psalm ...

"When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you."
(Psalm 73:21-22)

A Self-Worth Struggler

Biblical Illustration

2 Samuel chapter 9

Mephibosheth felt like the weakest link in the royal chain. Crippled in both feet at a young age, he never felt able to live up to the accomplishments of his family. His grandfather King Saul was a fierce warrior. His father, Jonathan, was an accomplished soldier.

But Mephibosheth was unable to stand on his own two feet, let alone to do battle. Following the deaths of both Saul and Jonathan, when David claimed the throne, Mephibosheth sank into financial and emotional quicksand. He lived in the land of Lo-Debar, which means "the House of No Bread." While his family had ruled a nation and enjoyed substantial wealth, he ended up with nothing. From the palace to poverty ... since he could not even afford his own lodging, he lived in another man's home.

King David summons Mephibosheth to appear before his throne. Mephibosheth knows his life has no value. After a change in dynasty, the custom of the day was to execute the previous royal line. He knows King David can kill him on the spot to eliminate any competition for the throne.

Mephibosheth feels helpless and hopeless. He shuffles on his lame feet, crawling into the new king's house to answer David's summons. He throws himself on the ground before David declaring himself to be nothing more than a "dead dog." David's response shocked the young cripple who had known little kindness in his life. "'Don't be afraid,' David said to him, 'for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table'" (2 Samuel 9:7).

Imagine his astonishment! David — the feared warrior-king — had demonstrated compassion to a cripple. But why — why toward this weak invalid who was, in his own words "a dead dog" ... one who could offer no service to the king ... one who was a reminder of his grandfather's murderous vengeance directed toward David? Because long before, David had entered into a covenant relationship with Jonathan ... a covenant commitment, a covenant vow of loyalty that extends even to the family of Jonathan. And as David promised, "Mephibosheth ate at David's table like one of the king's sons" (2 Samuel 9:11).

Picture the household of David gathering for an evening meal. The aristocratic and selfish yet powerful Amnon, the proud and handsome Absalom with his beautiful sister Tamar, the scholarly, withdrawn, and poetic person of Solomon. Then shuffling along behind them and taking his place among the king's sons and daughters at the finest table in the land is this "dead dog" Mephibosheth. He may have once felt worthless and utterly without value, but because of the king's grace, he discovered his infinite worth.

If you suffer from feelings of inferiority — feeling like an emotional cripple — know that the King of Kings has graciously reached out to you with care and compassion to adopt you into His family and take you as His own. As a member of the family of Christ, you have a place reserved at the King's table ... forever. Make no mistake, you are no mistake ... not only are you wanted, but you also have immeasurable worth. The Bible even says ...

"In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will
(Ephesians 1:4-5)

Biblical Counseling Keys - Biblical Counseling Keys – Biblical Counseling Keys: Self-Worth: Discover Your God-Given Worth.


-----------------------------more tomorrow--------------------------


God bless you all!


Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Purity 326: Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

 Purity 326 01/27/2021

Good morning!

Today’s photo comes from SUNY Oswego as they recently updated their FB profile cover with this wintery yet bright view of the campus on the shores of Lake Ontario.   I love the contrast of cold and brightness as the scene glistens with snow that is illuminated by the sun as it makes its way through the heavens.  

My turbulent times on campus certainly had their short- and long-term consequences but I fondly remember those days, now 30 years ago, when I had my first experiences of raw independence and began my educational journey with a real desire to expand my horizons and seek that which was best in life.  

 Through all my ups and downs, my wild days, and my mad existence I never lost that curious nature that questioned the world around me and sought to know the truth and how I could live it.  

 I encourage my friends to never stop learning as our years on this earth are our opportunity to find the meaning and purpose of life and to engage the world around us with love. 

 Seek the truth and you will know Him, and your life can be filled with the fruit that come from living in His magnificent grace.

This morning’s meditation verses are:

Proverbs 13:12 (NKJV)
12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.

 I love the contrast that comes through the teachings in the Book of Proverbs. The verses often state a truth and then couple it with its opposite to more effectively teach the truth that God is attempting to convey. 

 In this case “Hope deferred makes the heart sick” sounds absolutely horrible and each one of us can attest how our experience can bear testimony of its truth.  Have you ever hoped for something, but it was delayed or, even worse, never came to pass? We had set our hearts on a certain outcome and when it was delayed our hearts sank and we were filled with anger or dread for being disappointed.  

 But oh, “when the desire comes, it is a tree of life”! When we actually receive what we hope for we are filled with joy!  

 That first part of this verse may tempt you to not hope at all because we don’t want our hearts to be “sick”.   But the next part tells us that we are to hope and are to rejoice when that which we hope for makes its way to us. 

 Our hopes are our purpose for life.  If our hopes are righteous and pure, and not tainted by selfish lusts, we pursue a good thing.

 When we come into harmony with God, we have a great thing: our relationship with Him, and if that is the case, He may just move all things for your good.   

 So don’t give up hope. Keep going. Pray for it. Work for it.  But always remember your best hope is only realized with a relationship to God through your faith in Jesus Christ. 

 Today we will begin to share from Dr. June Hunt’s Biblical Counseling Keys on “Self-Worth: Discovering Your God-given Worth”.

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Dr. Hunt’s books for your own private study and to support her work:

What happens when you long to receive a gift, but only your sister is given a gift? What happens when you long to be held on your mother's lap, but only your sister is allowed on her lap? What happens when you long for your mother's love, but only your sister is given her love?

Ask Dorie Van Stone. Dorie would tell you that repeated rejection is the breeding ground for low self-worth. Her own mother never even wanted her ... her own mother always called her "ugly."

Dorie never received the love and affection her heart so deeply craved.

However, what a comfort for Dorie (and for all the Dories in the world ... both male and female) to come to know this truth ...

"The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."
(1 Samuel 16:7)

I. Definitions

Why should Dorie feel any sense of worth? Even before she and her sister were discarded at an orphanage, life with their mother was filled with rejection. Her mother would leave Dorie in charge of her little sister, Marie, for hours — a 6-year-old responsible for the total care of a 5-year-old! Each time, she longed desperately for her mother to return, saying to herself, "I hope she'll be glad to see me." But each time her mother returned, she brushed right past Dorie to gather Marie into her arms and give her a great big hug — sometimes bringing a gift — always showering attention ... attention never shown to Dorie. No wonder Dorie was left reeling with low self-worth. As the psalmist said ...

"Scorn has broken my heart and has left me helpless; I looked for sympathy, but there was none, for comforters, but I found none."
(Psalm 69:20)

A. What Is Self-Worth?

As a child, Dorie didn't have any concept of "self-worth." How could she? As a continually rejected child, how could she feel any sense of significance ... of value ... of worth? Even more basic than that, how do you determine the worth of something or someone? How do you know your own worth? Do you look to yourself or others in order to grasp your value? If you look anywhere other than to God — the God who created you with a purpose and a plan — your view of your own value is in grave danger of being distorted. Before you were ever, God established your real worth by knowing you, by choosing you, and ultimately by dying for you! The Bible says ...

"He chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight."
(Ephesians 1:4)

  • Worth signifies the value, merit, or significance of a person or thing.
  • Self-worth is the belief that your life has value and significance.
  • Worth is a translation of the Greek word axios, which means "of weight and worth." In biblical times, gold and other precious metals were placed on a balancing scale where their worth was determined by their weight, leading to the expression ...

"...worth their weight in gold"
(Lamentations 4:2)

Determining Self-Worth

Question: "How can someone's worth be determined?"

Answer: At an auction, the worth of an item is determined clearly and simply by one thing ... the highest price paid. Each item goes to the highest bidder. You were bought from the auction block of sin over 2,000 years ago when the heavenly Father paid the highest price possible — the life of His Son, Jesus Christ. By that one act, your worth was forever established by God.

Jesus Christ paid the ultimate price for you — willingly dying on the cross — paying the penalty for your sins. He loves you that much!

Your true worth is not based on anything you have done or will do, but on what Jesus has already done. Without a doubt, He established your worth. ... You were worth His life. ... You were worth dying for.

"This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins" (1 John 4:9-10).


B. What Is Self-Esteem?

In Dorie's younger years, not one person valued her ... no one found pleasure in her. Since no one esteemed her, she had no sense of self esteem. She could easily see which of the other children were treated with value and, as a result, felt valuable. Her sister was one of these highly favored ones.

What makes you feel good about yourself? Do you consider your opinions worthy of consideration? Do you expect others to respect your boundaries, or do you hold yourself in such low esteem that you do not establish and maintain healthy boundaries — boundaries that line up with God's purpose for your life? The Bible says ...

"Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it."
(Proverbs 4:23)

  • To esteem means "to set a high value on."
  • To esteem in Hebrew is sometimes translated from hasab, which means "to consider, plan, reckon, or think over."
  • To have self-esteem is to respect or have high regard for yourself. ...

"He [Messiah] was despised and rejected. ... and we held him in low esteem."
(Isaiah 53:3)

Self-Esteem and Self-Worth

Question: "Why do some people prefer not to focus on self-esteem, but only on self-worth?"

Answer: The word self-esteem actually has two different meanings that are opposite to each other.

  • The first is an objective regard of your value ... which the Bible refers to as humility. This self-worth is rooted in the recognition of your sins and your need for the Savior, recognition of your need to live dependently on Him, and recognition of the fact that Christ established your worth by dying for you. ...

"These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word" (Isaiah 66:2).

  • The second kind of self-esteem is an exaggerated regard of your value ... which the Bible refers to as pride. This self-esteem is rooted in the idea that you are "good enough" within yourself to meet your own needs and, therefore, you do not need to live dependently on the Savior. Your worth is established by your "inherent goodness" and "personal accomplishments." But the Bible says ...

"Do not be arrogant. ... Do not be proud. ... Do not be conceited" (Romans 11:20; 12:16).

In the Bible, God presents these two types of "self-esteem" in sharp contrast to one another. ...

"God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble."
(1 Peter 5:5)

Biblical Counseling Keys - Biblical Counseling Keys – Biblical Counseling Keys: Self-Worth: Discover Your God-Given Worth.

-----------------------------more tomorrow--------------------------


God bless you all!