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Thursday, February 18, 2021

Purity 345: Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship


Purity 345 02/18/2021 Purity 345 Podcast

Good morning!

Today’s photo of the jetty at Tumby Bay, South Australia comes from Dave Baun Photography.   I absolutely love the blues of the ocean and the sky and how the pier seems to go on forever. 

I love to share pictures of pathways or trails on Thursdays because I teach tonight and through the lessons I present I am inviting others to walk into their freedom by stepping out on to the pathway to discipleship that will lead us away from the world we know into the new life that God has given to us.

This photo reminds me the song “Oceans” by Hillsong United, that begins: “You call me out upon the waters…” which reminds me of Peter’s attempt to join Christ by walking on the water. 

As the season of lent began yesterday, I feel that God is calling us all out to new depths of the spiritual life that He has given us.  The Lenten season is generally characterized by giving things up for a time but as someone who has walked in the Spirit for a while, I understand that in order to grow in faith we have to “make room” in our hearts and in our minds for the Lord to come in.   We have to enter into His presence by seeking Him and by surrendering to Him.

My blog and podcast names are a play on words, and numbers, that are meant to represent this spirit of surrendering to God’s wisdom and ways.  M T 4 Christ is a play on words for Empty for Christ, as in I will empty myself of all my worldly ways to make room for you in my life Lord. 

So follow where the Lord calls you this year.  

And while you’re on that journey, if somebody tells you to take a long walk off a short pier, tell them that you are already on your way and that you know the One that who calms the seas and makes pathways where few will dare to tread.

(An Audio version of this message is available at https://mt4christ247.podbean.com, you can also find it on Apple podcasts (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mt4christ247s-podcast/id1551615154) and Google podcasts (https://podcasts.google.com/?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9mZWVkLnBvZGJlYW4uY29tL210NGNocmlzdDI0Ny9mZWVkLnhtbA%3D%3D).  and 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 4:3 (NKJV)
3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.

 Today’s verse deals with the complexity of our life in Christ.  Several passages in scripture indicate that we will be given the desires of our hearts and that our prayer requests will be answered.  

When we don’t receive the desires of our hearts and our prayers seem to be answered with a very definitive and resounding “No.”, what then?  Do we stop believing altogether? Do we stop trying? Do we stop praying? Do we despair?

One of the paradoxes of our faith is “the simplicity of our faith”.   Once we hear and understand the gospel and make Jesus our Lord and Savior, in many ways our faith is simple. We are called to just believe and obey.  When we embrace who we are in Christ, our obedience becomes a natural expression of our new identity.  As simple as that sounds there are several things that complicate our lives as Christians, the circumstances of this world, our desires, and the mystery of God’s specific will for our lives being just a few of the aspects that make our walk not so simple.   

Our relationship with God is a dynamic journey of growth and maturation.  Part of that journey of maturation is realizing that our thoughts and desires may not be aligned with God’s. 

Sometimes our fleshly, materialistic, selfish, or worldly desires get cloaked by our Christianity and we rationalize why God should bless our prayers because we see what we are asking for as “good”, but God knows what is best.   

If we don’t receive something that we are asking for, we have to examine if it agrees with God’s word. If our request is for selfish worldly desires, we ask amiss.     

 But even if our examination reveals that our request seems to be within the boundaries of God’s word, we have to realize that God decides what we will receive and that He has reasons for what he provides or chooses not to provide,

Sometimes we are just blessed, sometimes we have to wait, sometimes we have to work for things, and sometimes the answer is no.   If we understand that God is sovereign, we will understand that we are to accept the life that He has given us, and we are to examine our experience against the truth of God’s word to see whether we are of one heart with God. 

Our relationship with God isn’t about the blessings we receive, our relationship with God is about being in His presence and walking with Him for all eternity regardless of circumstances.   Our relationship with God is about accepting His wisdom as the absolute truth and His ways as the best way to live our lives.    

So if the answer to your prayer is no, see if you have asked amiss and try to renew your mind and shape your life so the desires of your heart will match the desires of God’s heart. 

Remember, we don’t pray for our will to be done. We pray for God’s will to be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  Trust that His will is better than our own and that today’s disappointments will ultimately lead to good for those who love Him.

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:

J. How to Capture a Vision for Your Ministry

At some point Dorie wrote, "I heard the voice of God — the voice that had whispered to me during those many years of loneliness, sorrow, and heartache; 'Dorie, your end is going to be so much better than your beginning."' And how true! Not only did Christ accept Dorie just as she was, but He also elevated her to be His representative, His voice, His ambassador. To her amazement, Dorie now has experienced firsthand these precious words from the Psalms ...

"He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes, with the princes of his people."
(Psalm 113:7-8)

Mistreatment is no stranger to any of us. Why then, in the face of misfortune, do some victims see themselves as having little value, while others live victoriously in light of their true value? What makes the difference? The victorious Christian learns priceless lessons through mistreatment.

  • Allow your mistreatment to be the making of your ministry.

"... the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort ... comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God" (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).

  • Don't be consumed with the negatives you have received from others.

"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland" (Isaiah 43:18-19).

  • Be consumed with the positives you have received from God ... positives He will lead you to pass on to others.

The blessing comes when you focus not on what you are getting, but on what you are giving. Jesus suffered immense mistreatment, yet He was not burdened with low self-worth. His ministry of compassion models for us the truth that truly ...

"It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35).

"God wanted to prove that He can take care of a dirty, unwanted child.

He could help me endure the beatings, the sexual abuse,

and the rejection from my father as well as from my mother.

God wanted to prove a point, and He did.

Now I have the privilege of telling thousands of people that

God can take 'nobodys' and make them into 'somebodys' for His name's sake."

—Dorie Van Stone

Conclusion:

At an auction, how is the worth of an item determined?

Only by the highest price paid.

Jesus paid the highest price possible — He gave His life to give you life.

This priceless sacrifice established your worth ... forever!

June Hunt


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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