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Friday, February 5, 2021

Purity 334: Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship


Purity 334 02/05//2021 Purity 334 Podcast

Good morning!

Today’s breathtaking sunset photo comes from a friend in Adelaide, South Australia.  While I have been to a few of the continents on earth, I have not yet made my way Down Under.

Me sharing this sight truly is a testimony of the goodness of God because my new friend just happened to listen to the podcast of the first lesson of our “Victory over the Darkness” discipleship class that I posted last night.  They reported that they were familiar with the book and enjoyed listening to a podcast on the material. They listened to it while they were driving, IN AUSTRALIA! 

If I had any doubts about doing this series of classes or starting a community freedom ministry at my local church, they have evaporated after the first class.  

Not only did the freedom message I delivered last night make it to the other side of the globe, but there were also other testimonies to report from our first night of class.

Days before the class began, a friend reached out to ask about the books for class via FB messenger.  I explained that students had to provide their own copies of the book for the class, but I could help out if there was difficulty getting a book and encouraged them to email me if they needed help.   They never responded, so me being a great man of faith, figured: “Oh great, they won’t be coming!”  

Well, imagine my surprise when this friend walked through the door last night, with another friend to boot!   I would have been happy with that! But there’s more.   There always is, right? 

So anyway, I notice that they both had copies of the book, and copies of the Steps to Freedom in Christ as well.   And I said: “Oh great you got the books!”   But then my friend explained to me why he sent that message to me.  He sent that message to me because the books just showed up at his house.  He thought that I had sent them, but I didn’t. Somebody else, who remains anonymous, sent the books to them and that free gift and encouragement resulted in these two men being motivated to attend the class and make a commitment to one another to come and finish the course!   That’s a God thing. 

Pretty great right?   But its not over yet.  

So I start teaching and the podcast is recording, and a late comer comes in and sits down.  I finish my lecture and am ecstatic because the late comer was my dear friend, brother and Christ, and former ministry partner, Tom Fisher.  

Some of you may recall that last late summer or early fall. Tom taught at our recovery ministry on a Thursday evening, and by the weekend He couldn’t walk. He went into the hospital and had back surgery and I have been praying for his healing and his return to us ever since.  Because of the madness of Covid-19, the holidays, and life, I have continued to pray for Tom and his wife, but I hadn’t seen him.  He couldn’t come to our ministry meetings because He couldn’t walk without a walker and He couldn’t drive.   

He was in that condition, walker – can’t drive, until yesterday.  The first day he was able to walk and drive, he came to our discipleship class.  Tom said He was blessed by the class but brother I was blessed to think how amazing God’s timing can be that He would bring our friend back to us to on the opening night of our new ministry!

Our Lord is alive and well and He is moving in our lives. Sometimes we just plod along doing the best we can to keep the faith and then He shows you that He is with you and He is working all things for good.        


This morning’s meditation verse is:

Romans 6:13 (NLT2)
13 Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God.

 This is the journey we are on when we put our faith in Jesus Christ. The thing I am trying to teach at the discipleship class is that we have been supernaturally given a new life when we put our faith in Christ and when we understand our identity in Christ our behavior will follow who we are in Christ rather than the broken lives that we used to a walk in. 

 The key to the new life in Christ is faith! Believing that this supernatural change has already happened to you is how we can experience our freedom rather than work toward it.  

 When we got saved and understood the gospel, there may have been a period of doubt but eventually through understanding the word and experiencing a change in our hearts, we agreed “Yeah I am saved! Good is Good!” 

 The same follows for our sanctification. We can say goodbye to our old ways just like we could say goodbye to those doubts about being saved. 

 “I really have been set free from sin! I said no once, and if I understand that those old ways are a contradiction to who I am in Christ. I can say no again. In fact, I don’t want to say yes to sin, because it just isn’t who I am anymore, and that stuff gets between me and my relationship with God and I don’t want it to anymore.” 

 Freedom and a life in the Spirit is merely a product of our believing what we received from God and agreeing with it by how we live our lives. 

 When we know, experientially, relationally, that we are a child of God in our hearts, our hearts will reject the old ways we used to live in.   Instead we give ourselves completely to God, body soul, and spirit, and begin to live the life of righteousness that will give Him the glory.  

 It is a choice.  Will we go on in the dark ways of this world, that we know from experience doesn’t work, or will we follow the life in the Spirit that calls us to declare publicly our faith through our words and actions that will demonstrate a transformed life?

 Choose life more abundantly. Choose to give your life to God and know the peace that goes beyond all understanding, even in the midst of the world’s turmoil.     

 

I invite all to mt4chritst.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk. 

 

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. Why Is Wrong Thinking so Wrong?

Dorie had every reason to develop wrong thinking and form faulty perceptions of herself. From her earliest memories, all she was told was that she didn't do anything right, that everything was her fault, that she wasn't good enough, that no one loved her or found value in her. Besides all that, she knew she was ugly. She thought, "I must be the ugliest child that ever walked. I felt so ugly on the inside that I believed I was ugly on the outside ... maybe it's my curly hair or my nose!"

Do you go through life fearing what others think? Some people look in the mirror and see only an ugly duckling — a sad little bird with no self-worth. In her early years, Dorie considered herself the "ugly duckling"—ugly, unadoptable Dorie. Not only was she called ugly, but she also felt ugly because of the repeated pain of rejection.

In Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale "The Ugly Duckling," the title character felt rejected and rebuffed by all the barnyard birds because they didn't like his looks or his awkward waddle. He didn't see the beautiful swan that was within although the beauty was there all along. In truth, many people suffer from self-rejection ... thinking they possess no personal value. Yet like this young little duckling, they look only to their outer image to determine their inner worth. If they could see what God sees, what a difference that would make! The Bible says ...

"From heaven the Lord looks down and sees all mankind; from his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth — he who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do."
(Psalm 33:13-15)

Low self-worth can result from how you see or perceive yourself and how you think others see and perceive you. Faulty perceptions lead to faulty conclusions.

Faulty Perception

Faulty Conclusion

Perfectionism

"I didn't do it right — I can't do anything right."

 

Overgeneralization

"I failed, so I must be a failure."

 

Overreacting

"I am horrible for having failed."

 

False guilt

"I am the reason my dad left."

 

Unforgiveness

"I can't forgive myself."

 

Projection

"My mother didn't love me; therefore, no one will ever love me."

 

Condemnation

"God could never forgive me."

 

Unrealistic expectations

"I'll never measure up to what people expect of me."

 

Fatalism

"No one believes I will ever amount to anything."

 

Hopelessness

"There isn't anyone who holds out any hope for my life."

 

Myth: "I will never be able to change the way I see myself and the way I think others see me."

Truth: Your faulty self-perception will automatically change as you fix your thoughts on the truth ... on Jesus.

"... fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest" (Hebrews 3:1).


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

 

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

 

God bless you all!

 

Join our “Victory over the Darkness” or “The Bondage Breaker” series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

at https://mt4christ247.podbean.com, You can also find it on Apple podcasts (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mt4christ247s-podcast/id1551615154). The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and Audible.com. 

Email me at mt4christ247@gmail.com to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.

 

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

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