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Thursday, February 25, 2021

Purity 351: Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

Purity 351 02/25/2021 Purity 351 Podcast

Good morning.

Today’s photo of the Beachport Jetty in Beachport South Australia comes from Dave Baun Photography as they recently took a road trip.  I just love the blue skies and water here that just invites you to get outside and take a path less travelled.

With temperatures in the mid and high 40’s here locally in upstate New York yesterday, people were taking to the streets and highways in shorts to take a February Run that didn’t require a hat and gloves.  I am ecstatic over the prospect of more snow melting and February drawing to an end.  I want to see February vanish so bad that I cashed in my last carry over vacation day for tomorrow so I can watch it slip away at my leisure with a 3-day weekend.   

I encourage all my local friends to enjoy the “heat wave”, and for all my friends to get out there and capture a moment in God’s creation that will remind you that God is good and that will start the mental transition towards spring.  

Of course, going outside is not the only way to forge a path to hope, as I invite all my friends to join my Victory over the Darkness Discipleship class at Rock Solid Church tonight or via the mt4christ247 podcast.   Dr Neil Anderson’s book on finding our freedom through our identity in Christ can be a game changer for anyone who is seeking to grow in their faith.  Our class is only entering its fourth week and I have already heard amazing testimonies from students, both from the live class and via the podcast.  So I hope you join us.

Remember: Life is meant to be lived but we discover purpose, meaning, hope, peace, and joy when we live it in God’s presence.   Keep walking and talking with God.

 

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Romans 13:8 (NLT2)
8 Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another. If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law.

We should all know that Christ’s second commandment was to love our neighbors as ourselves and this verse reminds us that we are obligated to do so.  

However, I would like to highlight the first part of today’s verse which gives us some sound advice: owe nothing to anyone.

I don’t like to focus too much on the material things of this world but if we want to enjoy our freedom in Christ fully, we must be wise and recognize all the forms of bondage that may keep us from experiencing the peace the God provides.   One of those bondages is financial debt.  

Believe me when I tell you, I know all about this one.  When you live for the moment with no consideration of consequences, you just buy what you want when you want it.  For some people, shopping is “therapy”.  When I didn’t have faith in Christ, I didn’t think there was any point to life other than to enjoy it.  I was caught in the cycle of pleasing my pleasure principle that said, “whatever makes you happy, do it”!  Well, not only did I indulge in drugs, alcohol, sex, and food, I also just liked buy stuff or bankroll trips and experiences that I wanted to do.  Not only did I try to buy my own happiness, I also tried to buy happiness for my family too!  It didn’t work.

 

Needless to say, I didn’t exactly keep a budget and for a couple of decades I was in continual cycles of running up debts and paying them off.  To be completely honest, although I have made big strides in being more responsible financially, I still find myself experiencing times when I will get in a funk and go out and buy food or other things to comfort myself. When I do that, its like a mindless searching to fill a need that is more reminiscent of my old ways than the balance I have found in my new life in Christ.  Hey, we are all a work in process, right?

So, I am here to encourage you to keep walking into your faith with Christ because He will wake you up to all the areas of your life that need correction.   

In terms of finances, try to be mindful of what you are spending your money on and determine what you can do without.  If your situation is bad enough, consider getting a second job or using savings to get out of debt.  We can only do the best we can and in terms of debt we can only do two things: increase our income or decrease our spending. 

So instead of investing your time and money into things that will pass away and ultimately not satisfy, invest your time and money into growing closer to God.   When you do, you will find the wealth of His love that you will be eager to share with others.    

Also remember that this is a faith walk. This is not about perfection. This is a bout progress.  If your anything like me, there may be a mountain of problems to deal with in your life, but I assure you that if you keep walking into your freedom in Christ, you will eventually be able to cast that mountain into the sea.  

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 share from Dr. June Hunt’s Biblical Counseling Keys on “Anger: Facing the Fire Within”

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. Do You Have Hidden Anger?

Most volcanic craters are about as deep as a football field is wide—100 yards. They are dark, mysterious places with deposits tracing eruptions from hundreds, even thousands, of years before. One of the most well-known volcanoes in recent history has been Mount St. Helens in Washington State. The rumbling and raging mountain sent a pyrotechnic blast of ash and molten rock over more than 230 square miles and, in May of 1980, killed 57 people.

Other eruptions of Mount St. Helens have since occurred, but not with such catastrophic results. Actually, they have served to clue scientists in to an interesting fact: The magma driving the most recent volcanic activity was likely left over from the 1980s eruption.

In similar ways, the hidden anger from childhood hurts can directly affect present-day outbursts. Many people live life unaware that they have hidden anger—suppressed anger that only occasionally surfaces. While this hidden anger is usually rooted in past childhood hurts, the underlying effects are always ready to surface and can sizzle up an already simmering scenario. For example, when someone says or does something "wrong," the one with suppressed anger often overreacts. When someone makes an innocent mistake, the magnitude of anger is out of proportion to the mistake.

If you have hidden anger, you can find yourself at one extreme or another—from feeling hopeless to feeling hostile—and yet be totally unaware of why you are experiencing these feelings. The Bible makes it clear that some of our motives and emotions are hidden from our own view....

"Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults." (Psalm 19:12)

Clues to Find Hidden Anger Checklist

Place a check mark () beside the questions that are true of you:

  • ___ Do you become irritable over trifles?
  • ___ Do you smile on the outside while you hurt or rage on the inside?
  • ___ Do you find your identity and worth in excessive work?
  • ___ Do you deny ever being impatient?
  • ___ Do you have to have the last word?
  • ___ Do those close to you say that you blame others?
  • ___ Do you feel emotionally flat?
  • ___ Do you find yourself quickly fatigued?
  • ___ Do you have a loss of interest in life?
  • ___ Do you become easily frustrated?

If you find you have hidden anger, follow this clear directive from the Word of God....

"You must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips." (Colossians 3:8)

Anger and Irrational Thinking

Question: "Why do some angry people become irrational in their thinking?"

Answer: When people are angry, their problem-solving ability plummets because...

  • Inside the body, epinephrine (adrenaline) is released by the adrenal glands, immediately preparing the body for "fight or flight." However, if "fight or flight" does not occur, the highly energized body has difficulty calming down. (This is why angry people experience racing heart, shaking hands, and fast breathing.)
  • The angry person's hormones then travel from the brain to the adrenal glands, signaling the need for tension reduction by the release of cortisol. However, cortisol raises blood pressure above the norm, which makes rational thinking more difficult. King Saul provides an example of irrational thinking in his anger toward his son Jonathan...."Saul's anger flared up at Jonathan and he said to him, 'You son of a perverse and rebellious woman! Don't I know that you have sided with the son of Jesse to your own shame and to the shame of the mother who bore you? As long as the son of Jesse lives on this earth, neither you nor your kingdom will be established. Now send and bring him to me, for he must die!'" (1 Samuel 20:30-31).


Biblical Counseling Keys - Biblical Counseling Keys – Biblical Counseling Keys: Anger: Facing the Fire Within.

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

 

God bless you all!

Join our Victory over the Darkness Discipleship Class via the mt4christ247 podcast!

https://mt4christ247.podbean.com/e/victory-over-the-darkness-lesson-1/

https://mt4christ247.podbean.com/e/victory-over-the-darkness-lesson-2/

https://mt4christ247.podbean.com/e/victory-over-the-darkness-lesson-3/ 

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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