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Saturday, March 13, 2021

Purity 365: Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship


Purity 365 03/13/2021 Purity 365 Podcast

Good morning.

Today’s photo of a red, blue, and yellow sunset sky comes from a friend in Huntington Beach, California who captioned it: “Sun going down on the week.”  That’s right it’s Saturday and as we take another stride into March, we in the northeast are drawing ever closer to spring as we have experienced temperatures in the 50’s and 60’s over the last few days.  But this morning a winter chill of 29 degrees is reminding us that its not spring just yet.    

But today’s high is expected to be 40 degrees and anything above freezing is all right in my book.  Winter may not go away without a surprise appearance of snow before its gone, so I am rejoicing with each passing day knowing that spring is on the horizon and we just have to be patient until we get there.  

I pray that you enjoy today and tomorrow to the fullest, whether that means getting some needed rest, getting some work done, seeking out new sights, or connecting with friends or family. 

Whatever you choose to do this weekend, I encourage you to take a moment to thank the Lord for bringing you here and for the blessing of the good outcomes you experience or for the strength and patience to endure if you are walking through a dark season.      

God’s wisdom, strength, and presence are always available to us. As Psalm 16:11 says:

Psalm 16:11 (NKJV)
11 You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

So keep walking and talking with God. He will show you the way and allow you to know the joy and pleasures forevermore that come from a life lived in harmony with Him.

 

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Hebrews 10:25 (NKJV)
25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

Today’s verse is rather appropriate for the weekend.  This verse is encouraging us not to forsake “the assembling of ourselves together” which means not to forsake the corporate gatherings of believers. For us that mostly means “going to church”. 

While someone can be a “saved” Christian without going to church, pointed out in this verse with the phrase “as is the manner of some”, the benefits of membership and participation of a church should encourage us to be committed to go to church regularly. 

The benefits include:

·       Hearing the Word of God preached, along with the Pastor’s insights and recommendations for application

·       Enjoying a sense of community

·       Having the ability to establish and foster friendships with like minded Christians

·       Having opportunities to serve the church

·       Being able to support and encourage fellow Christians

·       Being able to worship the Lord with others in song

·       Being able to pray with others

·       Having opportunities to learn and grow

Obviously, there are many benefits for “going to church” but I would also like to point out that our faith isn’t just a weekly observance.  We should also take advantage of other opportunities for assembling together: such as small groups, bible studies, classes, conferences, and other church events,  

Often, we can feel disconnected from people even when we are at a church service. The way we can move past that is by participating in other gatherings where we can express ourselves individually and get to know the people in our church.

Our faith is supposed to be a lifestyle and part of that should be drawing closer to the people that hold the same beliefs and becoming friends with those that we will be spending eternity with.  

I understand that during Covid-19 we all have the right to keep ourselves and our families safe by limiting our exposure in public by avoiding large gatherings.  So for any choosing to do that, please don’t take this post as condemnation.  We look forward to your return to church when you feel confident in your safety. 

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:

K. How to Answer Common Questions about Anger

Ropes and ladders... axes and saws... are among the tools used by firefighters to rescue people, to free them from the bondage of burning buildings and the threat of being unable to escape. Firefighters are thoroughly trained in the area of rescue operations and through experience have come to know what tools are needed for what situation, all with the goal of helping others.

Likewise, turn your experiences with anger into a blessing, helping others understand they're not alone in their struggles... instilling hope that they, too, can be set free from raging anger. As you learn to face the fiery anger within and learn to act rather than react. God will not only use your anger to accomplish His purposes, but you will also be in a position to offer help and hope to others.

The questions below will help prepare you to give biblical answers to those who live in bondage to anger and who come to you for help and hope....

"Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect." (1 Peter 3:15)

Anger and Self-Control

Question: "What should I do when I feel my anger getting out of control?"

Answer: Whenever you feel reason and self-control are giving way to irrational and unbridled behavior, put on the brakes and call a truce in order to take time out. Unless you do something to intervene in the process, the direction of the conversation will not change but will only escalate.

Stop and take a deep breath....

  • Hold up your hands to indicate you are "surrendering" for the time being by calling a halt to what is taking place.
  • State slowly in a low tone of voice (remember, "slow and low") that either you are getting too upset to think clearly or that the conversation is not going in a positive direction and does not seem to be resolving anything.
  • Explain that you need to calm down and regain a cool head. Then take a walk around the block, retreat to a quiet place to listen to music, take a shower, or do whatever helps you regain your composure.
  • Agree on a time to resume the conversation once you have regained your composure and have processed what has been said.

If you reach an impasse where agreement between the two of you is not possible...

  • Agree to have different opinions on the subject, but refuse to let those differences become a problem in the relationship.
  • Remember, if two people agree on everything all the time, their relationship runs the high risk of becoming stagnant and void of growth.
  • Decide to engage in stimulating conversations where varied opinions are expressed in order to develop listening skills, to learn from others, to think through your own opinions, and to practice expressing those opinions to others in a clear and concise (non-offensive) manner.
  • Commit to valuing, accepting, and respecting each other as you grow in your understanding of one another...."A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions.... Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters" (Proverbs 18:2; Romans 14:1).

Anger and Workplace Threats of Violence

Question: "One of my coworkers has threatened to harm me. What should I do?"

Answer: Some angry people lose control of their anger and cause property damage and/or personal physical harm. In extreme cases, some even murder those with whom they work. This is why you must...

  • Always take all threats of violence seriously.
    • —Assume that if someone makes a threat, the person intends to carry it out.
    • —Most people who commit violent acts at work have given a clear indication of their intent prior to taking action.
    • —Develop a proactive plan to defuse the situation.
  • Always report any threat.
    • —Report the threat to your supervisor.
    • —Report the threat to a security officer.
    • —Report the threat to the police if it is serious enough.
  • Always proceed wisely and cautiously when threatened.
    • —Consult your company's policy manual regarding the Code of Conduct.
    • —Inform the angry person of the consequences of making threats.
    • —Request mediation with a trained company mediator. Remember..."A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it" (Proverbs 22:3).

Anger and Road Rage

Question: "How can I overcome road rage? I get so angry at other drivers!"

Answer: As drivers, we all have had someone cut in front of us, yell profanity at us, make obscene gestures toward us, or intentionally bump us. Whatever the situation, the moment you feel agitated, remove yourself from being in close proximity to the person and rehearse the truth in your mind....

  • "I don't have to become angry. I know God will work this for my good as I keep my focus on Him."
  • "I refuse to let someone else control my emotions. Lord, I surrender my emotions to Your control."
  • "I choose to sing praises to God because He is in control, and I can remain calm and cool-headed."
  • "Lord, I don't know what is wrong with this person, but I pray You will make Your presence known in this situation."
  • "Lord, this person has a problem. I'm not going to let that problem become my problem. I choose instead to thank You for the gift of Your peace and provision."
  • "I will stay calm in the strength of Christ. Thank You, Jesus, for Your Spirit within me, giving me everything I need....""I can do everything through him who gives me strength" (Philippians 4:13).

Anger and Forgiveness

Question: "I was severely wronged by someone I once trusted. People want me to forgive... but how can I ignore my anger and let this person off the hook?"

Answer: Picture a meat hook hanging around your neck and lying against your chest. Attached to the end of it is a burlap bag containing both your offender and all the pain this person has caused you. Do you really want to carry that person and all that pain with you for the rest of your life?

  • The Lord wants you to take the anger and pain from the past and release it into His hands.
  • Then He wants you to take the one who offended you off of your "emotional meat hook" and place him onto God's hook. You can forgive him without trusting him. Forgiveness is given; trust is earned. Extending forgiveness is based on your choice to be obedient to God and to release your anger to Him. Extending trust is based on another person's trustworthiness. Forgive everyone, but trust only the trustworthy. The Lord knows how to deal justly and effectively with all those who bring pain into your life. He says..."It is mine to avenge; I will repay" (Romans 12:19).

Forgiveness Prayer

"Lord Jesus, thank You for caring about how much my heart has been hurt.

You know the pain I have felt because of (list every offense).

Right now I release all that pain into Your hands.

Thank You, Jesus, for dying on the cross for me and extending Your forgiveness to me.

As an act of my will, I choose to forgive (name).

Right now, I move (name) off of my emotional hook onto Your hook.

I refuse all thoughts of revenge.

I trust that in Your time and in Your way You will deal with my offender as You see fit.

And Lord, thank You for giving me Your power to forgive so that I can be set free.

In Your holy name I pray. Amen."


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

----------------------------more Monday-------------------------

 

God bless you all!

 

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

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

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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