Monday, February 15, 2021

Purity 342: Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

Purity 342 02/15/2021  Purity 342 Podcast

Good morning!

Today’s photo comes from a friend’s recent trip to Bunker Hill Dog Park in Athens, New York which highlights their enthusiastic canine family member plunging over the frozen tundra.  I love the way they caught their dog in midstride, with their shadow cast upon the ground, whose silhouette makes it seem larger than life in this simple expression of canine joy.   

Sometimes our dreams can seem larger than life, so much so that it seems foolish or totally insane to pursue them knowing that failure is a real and present danger. Sometimes the uncertainty of success is so great that we never try, and we never know what may have been, having been paralyzed by fear.   

But if we are going to be true to our heart’s desire, we will take the plunge with the enthusiasm of reckless abandon because eventually we come to a point in our pondering where we can no longer bear contemplating the possibilities and we just simply have to know if our dreams have substance or if they really are just wishful thinking and the product of an overactive imagination.   Nothing ventured, nothing gained after all.

So as we have reached beyond the midway point of February, take it from a dog who has made his fair share of plunges with reckless abandon only to come up short of success, be true to your dreams anyway.

Our lives are meant be lived and not to be second guessed. If you pursue your dreams and speak the truth in love, there is very little you will ever regret because regardless of the outcomes you will at least know that you were honest with yourself and you tried, no matter of feeble or foolish your attempt may have been.

The decision we make when we take the plunge is that we will live with the consequences come what may. We won’t condemn ourselves for taking the plunge if we fail but will instead live with the relief of knowing that we tried and that now we know the truth of what is meant to be.  

With the dreams that won’t come true out our way, we can walk with confidence into the future.  We tried and failed but we have no regrets. We may have come crashing back down to earth but now our head is out of the clouds and our vision is clear. We can walk unencumbered into what God has planned for us knowing that He will never leave us or forsake us and that all things work together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.    

Our journey doesn’t end, it merely takes a new direction and no matter where it takes us, we know that if we are answering God’s call it will lead to where He wants us to be, rather than where our limited imaginations and our hearts thought we should go.  

Keep walking and talking with God because He will comfort you through the valleys and will rejoice with you on the mountain tops. In His presence, we find peace.

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This morning’s meditation verse is:

John 7:24 (NKJV)
24 Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment."

John 7:24 (NLT2)
24 Look beneath the surface so you can judge correctly.”

You know, sometimes these meditation verses hit a little too close to home. 

In light of my recent “plunge” and subsequent failure, I know that I failed to use righteous judgment or to judge correctly the situation I was hoping for success in.    

Unfortunately, I tend to need to be shown beyond a shadow of a doubt what is almost painfully obvious at times.   Even though my examination of the scenarios leads me to believe that it is probably best “not to go there”, my emotions, my hopes, or my desires lead me to confirm the rejection and failure I dreaded, rather than sheepishly walking away without knowing for sure.

My obtuse, stubborn, and hopeful nature seems to demand that my defeat be spelled out in large capital letters rather than to allow uncertainty and hope to remain and fester, driving my heart to yearn for the impossible all the more.  

It reminds me of a scene in one of the Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry films, where a criminal is cornered by Eastwood. Dirty Harry admits that in all the excitement of the preceding gun battle he isn’t sure if there are any live rounds left in his revolver, leaving the option open for the criminal to take his chances and giving him the decision to surrender or possibly die.  After seeing all his companions killed, the criminal decides to surrender but after he does, he simply can’t take the uncertainty of that decision and begs: “I gots to know…” only to discover that fate would have been on his side as Dirty Harry had used all his ammunition.    

So yes, righteous judgement would have saved me some embarrassment and some heartache, but brother... sometimes you just “gots to know.”   Better to try and die than to wonder why, I guess.

I know the truth now and it will set me free.  

The problem with using righteous judgement is that we are not fully righteous yet.  Our emotions and desires sometimes advocate for what we want more than for the pathway of peace and wisdom that God intends for us.

Instead of judging righteously, we covet what we want, making its fulfillment more important to us than our relationship with God to the point where we try to push our agenda and will even pray for God to bless us and to make our “wished for, unlikely” outcomes come to pass miraculously.  

Not surprisingly, those efforts at pushing God’s hand are ignoring the truth of the situation and are doomed to failure.  The best outcome is to realize the error of our ways and to not make idols out of the things we want in the future. 

So now that I have destroyed yet another idol of my own creation, I will endeavor to be more careful with what I let my mind, will, and emotions create in the future.    

All though the word says that God will give us the desires of our hearts, we have to realize that we may need to use righteous judgment in discerning whether our desires are what God wants for us or are simply what we want for ourselves.  God knows better than us and His will is perfect.  If we seek His will for our lives, we will find it and He will comfort us with His presence until we do.

I invite all to 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:

G. How to Answer 7 Self-Defeating Statements

Dorie's image of herself was shaped in part by her father, whom she met only after she became a young adult. Her time with him was limited, yet he was still a major influence on her sense of self-worth.

In Dorie's mind, she finally had the father she had longed for, and when she met with him to share her conviction that the Lord had called her to go as a missionary to New Guinea, she longed for his support and affirmation. Her sense of loss was profound when he answered, "If that's what you plan to do, then don't unpack your suitcase. From this moment on, you are not my daughter! I never want to see you again!

As she traveled back home, she cried out to the Lord, "He was the only person in the world who ever loved me. How could he do this to me?" Her father had not only rejected her one last, painful time, but he had rejected Christ during that visit as well. Soon, however, Dorie had the presence of mind to remember that God had not left her. She was not alone. She said, "When you have nothing left but God, you realize that God is enough. God has stood beside me when no one else wanted me; He was not going to abandon me now. God would have to heal the emotional pain that throbbed through my body."

At that moment, Dorie began to allow the Lord to change her image of herself that had been perpetuated by her parents. She could choose to believe what the Lord said about her, not what her parents had said. The Bible says ...

"The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to he his people, his treasured possession."
(Deuteronomy 7:6)

  1. If you say: "I just can't do anything right."

The Lord says: "I'll give you My strength to do what is right."

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13 NKJV).

  1. If you say: "I feel that I'm too weak."

The Lord says: "My power is perfect when you are weak."

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness" (2 Corinthians 12:9).

  1. If you say: "I feel that I'm not able to measure up."

The Lord says: "Rely on Me. I am able."

"God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work" (2 Corinthians 9:8).

  1. If you say: "I don't feel that anyone loves me."

The Lord says: "I love you."

"I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness" (Jeremiah 31:3).

  1. If you say: "I can't forgive myself."

The Lord says: "I can forgive you."

"I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more" (Isaiah 43:25).

  1. If you say: "I wish I'd never been born."

The Lord says: "Since before you were born, I've had plans for you."

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart ..." (Jeremiah 1:5).

  1. If you say: "I feel my future is hopeless."

The Lord says: "I know the future I have for you."

"'I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future'" (Jeremiah 29:11).

At times, do you feel inadequate, fearful, insecure — even when others say you shouldn't feel that way? If so, you are certainly not alone. When God first spoke to him, Moses was a man filled with insecurity and fear. In the burning bush the Lord supernaturally appeared to Moses, instructing him to confront Pharaoh.

However, Moses argued with God. He felt that he was a nobody with no authority, no credentials, no skills, and no confidence. Bottom line, he felt totally inadequate for the job and terrified of failing. And on top of all that, because he felt he couldn't speak well enough, he told God to send someone else! But God wouldn't accept his excuses. He told Moses ...

"Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say."
(Exodus 4:11-12)

Take comfort in this: God knows your limitations better than you do, and those limitations cannot impede the work the Lord has laid out for you. Just as God used Moses to lead an entire nation to freedom, God will work in and through you to accomplish His purposes for you. The Bible says you can be confident that ...

"... he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."
(Philippians 1:6)

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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