Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Purity 343: Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

Purity 343 02/16/2021  Purity 343 Podcast

Good morning!

Today’s peaceful forest stream is brought to us by Dave Baun Photography. This scene brings us to Buck Mountain Creek near Lehigh Pennsylvania.  I share it for two reasons. 

First, I love a play on words so because today is Mardi Gras, I felt compelled to warn my friends to not go “Buck wild” in their celebrations.  Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, is the last day before we enter the season of lent, which is supposed to be a time where Christians go deeper in their faith as preparation for the celebration of Easter, or Resurrection Sunday. During lent believers will “give up” things, but church leadership also encourages us to draw close to God in prayer and to do good works for others.   Lent starts tomorrow on Ash Wednesday and runs to April 1st, the Thursday before Easter.

Ironically, this season of repentance where we are supposed to get closer to God is recognized but Mardi Gras has sort become the antithesis of repentance with the celebrations being marked by drunkenness, drug abuse, gluttony, and lewd sexual promiscuity and deviance.   Wishing to express their freedom, Mardi Gras enthusiasts unwittingly display their bondage to the sins of the flesh and their lifestyle of corruption as the most enthusiastic revelers won’t be repenting on Wednesday.   

As someone who spent most of His life in bondage to the sins of the flesh, I wish to encourage my friends to see the viciousness of the cycles they may be locked in and to use this season of lent to turn to God and walk into the new life of freedom that is possible through faith in Jesus Christ.   So enjoy the celebration today, try not to do anything you will regret, and make a new start on Wednesday by choosing to seek the Lord.

The second reason I share this photo of a stream and the abundant green foliage is that I really needed to see it and felt compelled to share it!  When you are in summer, you take all those greens and browns for granted.  When winter comes you may feel you will never see them again.  

This points to endurance and patience.  When the world is cold, the tendency is to lose hope and despair.   Although some of us are locked in a season of white where things can seem desolate and cold, we can find hope right now in knowing that a season of green is on the horizon and that the Lord’s life-giving spirit lives in us to carry us through.

Just as we know spring is coming, we can begin a new spiritual season of abundant life by putting our faith in Christ and following His lead. 

This morning’s meditation verse is:

1 John 3:1 (NKJV)
1 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.

 If you are reading or hearing this message, I would say that the Lord has called you or is calling you to be His child.  The love of God is displayed in your life when you receive the good news of Jesus Christ and put your faith in Him.      

 The word tells us that the gospel is foolishness to those who are perishing but to those who hear it, realize its truth, and place their faith in Christ, we have been adopted by the Creator of the universe and have become members of the royal family of the kingdom of God.      

 So rejoice in the love that you have been given and share it with those around you.  We are ministers of reconciliation as we know the truth and can be used by God to extend eternal life and the fruit of the Spirit that comes with it to those we encounter while we walk the earth.   

 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:

H. Grasp Your God-Given Worth

Because Dorie didn't have any lunch or money to buy lunch when at school, she would often say, "I'm going for a walk" during lunchtime. Dorie confessed that if she had stayed in the lunchroom, "The sight of food would have been too much." The only clothes she owned were three tattered dresses and her scuffed shoes. To her, the thought that she was valuable was beyond comprehension. But oh, how wrong she was!

If you struggle with low self-worth ... fully realize how worthy you are, and embrace these words as your personal goals. ...

"As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received."
(Ephesians 4:1)

You Are Worthy

[Note: The following is an acrostic of the word Worthy.]

  • W — Work on eliminating negative attitudes and beliefs.
    • "I will not hide my feelings or refuse to face them."
    • "I will not wallow in feelings of self-pity."
    • "I will not project my feelings onto others and become critical."

"Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things."
(Philippians 4:8)

  • O — Obtain a scriptural understanding of having love for yourself.
    • "I am not to love myself with conceited love (pride)."
    • "I am to love the truth that God loves me and has a purpose for me."
      • Agape love for myself: seeking God's highest purpose for me
      • Agape love for others: seeking the highest good of another
    • "The entire law is summed up in a single command:

'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"
(Galatians 5:14)

  • R — Refuse to compare yourself with others.
    • "I will not measure myself by others."
    • "I will thank God for what He has given me and what He is making of me."

"We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves."
(2 Corinthians 10:12)

  • T — Thank God for His unconditional love for you.
    • "I will choose an attitude of thanksgiving even if I do not feel thankful."
    • "I will spend personal time with God, thanking Him for His unfailing love."

"... we meditate on your unfailing love."
(Psalm 48:9)

  • H — Hope in God's promise to mold you to be like Christ.
    • "I know that personal growth is a process."
    • "I know that God is committed to my growth."

"Those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son
(Romans 8:29)

  • Y — Yield your talents and abilities to helping others.
    • "I will be generous with my God-given gifts."
    • "I will realize my God-given worth as I focus on others."

"Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms."
(1 Peter 4:10)

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

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