Purity 344 02/17/2021 Purity 344 Podcast
Today’s photo of the almost celestial beauty of a snow frosted landscape may seem to be in stark contrast to yesterday’s comments of yearning for springtime greens but the source of my photos makes the narrative sometimes. This photo was posted by a friend who is no longer with us here on earth. They posted it without comment two days after announcing that they were facing a health crisis that they hoped to overcome. Less than two months later, 21 days after their birthday, the health crisis ended with their death.
To be honest, my “friend” was more of an acquaintance, but we shared commonalities in our pasts and in our causes. I am not sure about their history or their faith, but I know that they had a great sense of humor and a real heart for showing love to others through their work, their encouragements, and their positive outlook on life.
This wintery photo they shared could indicate that they knew the seriousness of the situation they were facing and were contemplating what lies beyond this life. It is my deepest hope that in the last days of their life that they placed their faith in Christ and the assurance of eternal life that comes through Him alone.
Most of our American society has some relationship to Christianity. Our country is full of churches and most of us have friends, acquaintances, or family who are known for their faith in Christ. Whether or not my friend had a “saving relationship” with God is none of my business and something that I just can’t know. But God knows and now that departed acquaintance knows too, one way or the other.
I can assure you that God is real. I know that He loves us all and He wants us all to come to Him. But each one of us is individually responsible for seeking the Lord and having a relationship with Him. Someone else’s faith can’t save you.
Today’s the first day of lent, a season to turn to God in repentance. As I have seen another acquaintance go into eternity, it is my deepest hope that we will all contemplate the brevity of our lives and that we will seek the truth of the Christian faith with hope and sincerity and place our faith in Jesus Christ, whether it’s for the first time or just another confirmation that we are His and we will commit ourselves to walking in His ways and sharing the good news.
This morning’s meditation verse is:
Psalm 121:2 (NKJV)
2 My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.
God help us, right? When we consider our own mortality, the assurance and peace that we can receive regarding what lies beyond this life only comes from a relationship with the One who created all life.
No matter what you believe, the contemplation of the origins of existence itself must be considered. There is a creation which indicates a Creator. But will He help you? And if He will help you, how will He do it?
The Christian narrative that runs through the 66 books of the Bible tells the story of God the Creator, who’s redemptive plan for man runs throughout history and culminates in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Christ’s appearance, death, and resurrection were only the beginning as those who place their faith in Him receive spiritual life and the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.
Our “help” comes from the Lord and the extent of that help comes from our relationship with Him and how that relationship continues and grows. I encourage you all to build your relationship with the Lord by seeking His wisdom in His word and applying it to all the aspects of your life.
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:
I. How to Improve Your "Sense of Self"
To most people who consider the events of Dorie's life, her childhood rejection was a seemingly impossible obstacle to overcome. Even though she had overcome much of her childhood pain, some of the painful feelings of rejection and worthlessness resurfaced when her father died.
Upon hearing of her father's death, Dorie and her husband drove to Tulsa for his funeral. She signed the registry as his daughter and was stunned when the funeral director informed her that he had no children! The director insisted that her presence would upset the family, and she was turned away from the funeral home. Later, her aunt called and said the obituary had read "no children" and there would be discomfort for other family members if she appeared. Her father, even in death, had stung Dorie with yet another rejection — but this one delivered an even greater blow. She said, "My father's death ended all earthly ties with my relatives."
However, Dorie did not lose her new sense of worth because of her father's rejection. She knew the Lord would always love her ... the Lord had compassion toward her ... the Lord would always be faithful to her. This was His promise of hope ...
"I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the
gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call
to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions
Line Up Your Self-Image with God's Image of You
Your self-image has been greatly shaped predominantly by the messages you received and internalized from others, from your experiences, and from your own self-talk. When you were a child, you did not have control of those in authority over you, but now you are an adult and that is no longer the case. You are now able to choose those with whom you associate, and you can certainly control your self-talk. Therefore, you can take an active part in changing the distorted view you have of yourself.
- Accept yourself.
· — Stop striving for perfection or trying to be like someone else.
· — Realize that the Lord made you for a purpose, and He designed your personality and gave you the gifts and abilities He wanted you to have in order to accomplish His purpose for you.
"The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me ..." (Psalm 138:8 ESV).
- Thank God for encouraging you.
· — Acknowledge and praise God for the abilities He has given you and the things He has accomplished through you.
· — Engage in biblically-based, encouraging self-talk and mute the condemning critic inside your head.
"May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word" (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17).
- Accept the compliments of others.
· — To discount the positive comments of those who have heartfelt appreciation for you is to discount their opinions and their desire to express their gratitude to you.
· — Practice graciously accepting compliments and turning them into praise to God for the affirmation that He is at work in you and producing good "fruit" through you.
"This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples" (John 15:8).
- Release the negative past and focus on a positive future.
· — Refuse to dwell on negative things said or done to you in the past and release them to God.
· — Embrace the work God is doing in your life now and cooperate with him by focusing on Him and on His character. Trust in His promise to fulfill His purposes in you.
"... it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose" (Philippians 2:13).
- Live in God's forgiveness.
· — God has extended forgiveness to you for all of your sins (past, present, and future). Confess and repent of anything offensive to God. Do not set yourself up as a higher judge than God by refusing
- to forgive yourself.
· — Lay harsh judgment of yourself aside and accept that you will not be made "fully perfect" and totally without sin until you stand in the presence of Christ and are fully conformed to His image.
"Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure" (1 John 3:2-3).
- Benefit from your mistakes.
· — Realize that you can learn from your mistakes as well as from the mistakes of others. Decide to view your mistakes as opportunities to learn needed lessons.
· — Ask God what He wants to teach you from your mistakes, listen to Him, and learn from Him. Then move forward with a positive attitude and practice actions based on the insights you have gained.
"We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose" (Romans 8:28).
- Form supportive, positive relationships.
· — Realize that critical people are hurt people who project their own feelings of inadequacy onto others in an attempt to ease their own emotional pain.
· — Minimize the time you spend with negative, critical people, whether family, friends, or coworkers. Seek out those who encourage and support you both emotionally and spiritually.
"Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm" (Proverbs 13:20).
- Formulate realistic goals and plans.
· — Elicit the help of others to identify your strengths, weaknesses, and the gifts God has given you, as well as the things that you are persuaded God has called you to do.
· — Prayerfully set some reasonable, achievable goals that capitalize on your strengths, and make a plan as to how you will accomplish those goals.
"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize" (1 Corinthians 9:24).
- Identify your heart's desires.
· — Make a list of the things you have dreamed of doing but have never attempted because of a fear of failure or a lack of self-assurance.
· — Share each desire with the Lord, asking Him to confirm to you which ones are from Him. Then lay out the steps you need to take in order to move toward fulfilling them.
"Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart" (Psalm 37:4).
- Plan for success.
· — Anticipate any obstacles to accomplishing your goals and desires and plan strategies for overcoming them.
· — Think of yourself as achieving each goal and doing the things God has put on your heart to do.
"May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed" (Psalm 20:4).
- Celebrate each accomplishment.
· — Your feelings of self-worth and self-confidence will grow with the acknowledgment of each accomplishment.
· — Rejoice with the Lord and other significant people over the things God and you have done together. Affirm and celebrate your success.
"There, in the presence of the Lord your God, you and your families shall eat and shall rejoice in everything you have put your hand to, because the Lord your God has blessed you" (Deuteronomy 12:7).
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