Purity 406 04/30/2021 Purity 406 Podcast
Today’s photo is not of a frozen landscape near the north pole but is a celestial cloudscape that I captured yesterday on the flight back home from Chicago.
If there is any evidence that the courts would like to use against me for my mental competence, I would suggest that they use the photos on my phone from yesterday. If the multiple aerial photos taken during yesterday’s flights don’t prove I have my head in the clouds, nothing will.
Unfortunately, the hazy photos of what I thought of as a celestial wonderland of awe don’t do the moment justice and would only help the prosecution’s case to prove that my feet aren’t firmly planted in reality. I mean really, who takes 28 photos of blurry aerial landscapes and clouds?
The answer I would submit is that a person like that must have a real appreciation for God’s creation and probably a dynamic relationship with God Himself as well. But whether he is too heavenly minded to be of any earthly good, I will leave for others to decide.
The truth is I was in the heights of ecstasy at the time, although no one on my flight would corroborate my experience, as I was just silently sitting with my headphones and mask on like many others on the flight.
But in my experience, I was communing with God in the spirit through prayer and worship as I was listening to an eclectic mix of secular and Christian music, that celebrated our human experience of life and the One who gave it to us.
So what looked like just another passenger silently enduring another flight was actually someone who was worshiping and thanking God, making petitions to be used by Him to bring people closer to Him and to give Him glory.
You see I figured since I was going to be above the clouds there would be a minimum of worldly interference between me, and the Lord and I should take the opportunity to reach out to Him with my spirit.
Well, I made it home, late but in one piece, and we have all made it to the end of the work week and the end of April. Can you believe another month of 2021 has flown by?
Anyway, as today is Friday and the worldly interference of work life decreases for many of us as the week progresses to the weekend, it is my prayer that you find some time to reach out in your spirit to commune with the One who gave you the gift of life, but to also reach out to those you know and love and to let them know that they are valued, appreciated, and loved.
This morning’s meditation is:
Romans 12:2 (NKJV)
2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Although I did learn that the many e-book devotionals I own can be a source of inspiration and can be used to get a “verse of the day”, we are back home this morning, so today’s meditation verse was drawn from my handwritten stack of verses as is our custom.
Today’s verse is a personal favorite as it lays down the Christian’s instruction to separate themselves from the world’s way of thinking and to renew our minds to think in terms of what God’s will is. If we follow this instruction, we will be living proof of how good, acceptable, and perfect God’s plan is for us.
When we surrender to God’s will and ways for our lives, we become an evidence for God through our transformed lives. That guy just ain’t what he used to be; it’s got to be Jesus!
The impartation of our new life in Christ becomes clear to others as we renounce and walk away from our old worldly and fleshly ways and begin to think and walk in the Spirit.
As I was laid over in Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport yesterday for an extended time I marveled at the diversity of all the people in their comings and goings. As different as they were from one another, they all had the same needs: to eat, to drink, to rest, to comfort one another, to communicate, and to move.
Although the needs we have are somewhat universal, the manner in which we choose to satisfy our needs will demonstrate whether we are in bondage to the world’s system or have been set free into the kingdom of God.
While it can be hard to tell just by looking where people are spiritually in their lives, it can be easy to see a life that is in bondage. Some of the people clearly demonstrated their bondage to alcohol, food, or technology. However, just because someone is in bondage doesn’t mean they are not a Christian.
The unfortunate reality is that many Christians are carnal and are difficult to distinguish from their worldly unsaved neighbors.
The tragedy of the carnal Christian is not only the fact that they fail to be an effective witness for Christ and become a stark example of hypocrisy, but the real tragedy is that they don’t know what it is to be free in Christ.
God wants us to be in the world but not of the world. So our Christian walk of discipleship, in the Spirit, should be a progressive and continuous journey away from the bondages of this world toward the freedom that is found in the new life of righteous living that is possible by faith alone.
But don’t get it twisted, we need to give ourselves grace because we are not perfect, and we can only deal with what the Lord brings to our attention and that we can believe for a victory over.
Notice I said, “believe for” not “work for”. While we will have to do lots of work along the way to our liberated lives, the lion’s share of the transformative process takes place in our minds. We need to believe that:
· We have received new life.
· We have been set free
· We have the power to overcome, by faith.
· Our old ways, no matter how enjoyable they may have seemed, were wrong
· God’s ways will prove to be good, acceptable, and perfect for us.
So change your mind to renounce the ways of the world and to embrace the ways of God. Keep walking and talking with God. He will show you the truth that you never saw and will lead you into the life you always wanted but never thought you could have.
I invite all to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.
Today we continue to share from Dr. H. Norman Wright’s “Experiencing Grief
As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Dr. Wright’s books for your own private study and to support his work. If you need this title you can find it online at several sites for less than $5.00:
In this book issues are mentioned about grief that exist but seem to be avoided. Perhaps it's their sensitive nature, or we're ashamed that these situations or feelings exist. Not addressing them hinders the grieving process. Nothing in our life is hidden from God, for God knows our thoughts as well as what we are going to say before we say it. Nothing surprises him, and he wants us to grieve.
You may be struggling with the issue of unfinished business between you and the one who died. Many have said they felt left dangling with statements unsaid, issues unresolved, and no closure. The person may be gone, but the issues remain, and you're the only one left to try to resolve them. Whatever is unfinished can be a barrier to moving along the path to recovery. Was it a situation unresolved, unfinished discussions, arguments, the failure to give or ask forgiveness, or problems never confronted? Many have stated, "If only I could have said, 'I love you' or 'good-bye' one more time." Or perhaps there were harsh words prior to the death, and you wish more than anything else in the world they could be taken back or erased. You replay the scene again and again, and each time your pain throbs. And so our unfinished business may be regrets as well as other concerns.
What can you do to finish what is unfinished? If this is a concern in your life, instead of carrying this around in your mind and struggling with it, make a list of everything you think was unfinished as well as what you think your loved one would have said was unfinished. As you look at each incident, is there anything you could do to settle the issue? One way is saying, "I'm sorry" out loud or writing a letter. Some draw pictures of what they wish was different. Some place a letter in the casket, at the graveside, at a memorial. It's also important to give yourself permission to have unfinished business like everyone else. It's a matter of saying, "I wish I would have..., but I didn't. It's not the end of the world. I can handle the way it turned out. I can go on with my life." If you feel that you need the person's forgiveness, you could still ask for it, but more important is asking God for his forgiveness for any offense. He is the one who gives complete forgiveness and can lift any burden in your life.
Perhaps your unfinished business is clinging to hurts and offenses from the one who died. Some carry videotapes full of pain in their memory. We carry the offenses of the other person in our mind as a burden. We inflict inner torment upon ourselves. There's a solution. Forgive the person. When you release them, you're released. If we don't forgive, we sentence ourselves to the prison of resentment. Lewis Smedes said it well:
When you forgive someone for hurting you, you perform spiritual surgery inside your soul; you cut away the wrong that was done to you so that you can see your "enemy" through the magic eyes that can heal your soul. Detach that person from the hurt and let it go, the way children open their hands and let a trapped butterfly go free.
Then invite that person back into your mind, fresh, as if a piece of history between you had been erased, its grip on your memory broken. Reverse the seemingly irreversible flow of pain within you.
We are able to forgive because God has forgiven us. He has given us a beautiful model of forgiveness. Allowing God's forgiveness to permeate our lives and renew us is the first step toward wholeness.
God bless you all!
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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship