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Saturday, August 21, 2021

My Quiet Friend – Our Rom-Com with God - Purity 503

My Quiet Friend – Our Rom-Com with God    

Purity 503 08/21/2021   Purity 503 Podcast

Good morning

Today’s photo of a blue sky with a spectacular cloudscape over Route 9 in Stockport NY was captured by yours truly as I was mesmerized by what seemed to be the first appearance of the color blue in what was an otherwise overcast and miserably humid day on Wednesday.   As I was driving I was taken by how the clouds seemed to break open revealing that blue, causing me to pull over and roll down my window to take a couple of shots with traffic whizzing by at 55 miles an hour.  When you do that, you wonder what people must think of you but at the same time you really don’t care and, if anything, you hope they will “wake up” for a minute and see the beauty that you are trying to capture and maybe draw closer to their heavenly Father.     

Its Saturday and as we wake up to the possibilities of the next 48 hours of “free time”, it is my prayer that all my friends will accomplish what needs to be done, connect with family or friends, or find the peace and rest that they are looking for.  

Somehow I have no planned activities per say but know that the day will evaporate quite easily as I have many options to pass the time.  Among the various possible activities, I have hopes to podcast a final “unplanned” entry into the Bondage Breaker Discipleship class series that I “finished” last week that will highlight a walk through of the Steps to Freedom in Christ, which I know has the potential to draw people closer to God and possibly change their lives.  

I have also left the door open for a visit with a friend who has been out of town for almost a month because their wife had issues with the pregnancy of their fourth child and their new baby girl was born premature and needed some time in the NICU in a hospital in Boston to grow and develop before coming home.  I will be on the ready to go at a moments notice as I long to welcome my friend, his wife, their three boys, and the newest member to the family in person.  

I am also thrilled at the prospect of reviewing a ”podcast student’s” latest homework, as they are enthusiastically going through the “Victory Over the Darkness” Series that I did back in the spring.  They contacted me to get the class work for the series and I am providing them with encouragement and feedback as they engage with the material and walk further into their freedom in Christ.  There are few joys in life that are better than encouraging others to experience the new life that Christ gives us.

Beyond that I also have a deep longing to just to connect with the Lord personally by either reading a Christian book I have been progressing through or by preparing for my new series of classes that begin in September.  

With the Lord, I don’t need to run out into the world necessarily to see the wonders of His creation or to feel His presence. If I want to see the wonders of His love, I just have to look out my kitchen window or step out on the front deck of my home “Down by The River.” 

As I reflected on my relationship with the Lord during my morning work out, I was somewhat overcome with emotion as I contemplated the changing relationships over the course of my life, with various friends and loves coming into to my life for times and seasons and how the relationships grew and faded with the passage of time and the changing circumstances of life. 

 But the thing that struck me wasn’t the loves or the losses of those human relationships, it was the realization the through “all my wild days and my mad existence”, to borrow a phrase from Evita, there was One Person that was with me through it all.  God was with me every step of the way and He waited patiently for me to slowly discover that He loved me and that He would never leave me or forsake me.  

I thought of the theme from some romantic comedies of the “quiet friend” that stood in the shadows, secretly loving someone who couldn’t see them or think about them in “that way”.  Invariably in those dramas, the object of the quiet friend’s affections will do all kinds of stupid things and suffer through bad relationships in search of true love while the quiet friend remains there to support them and pick up the pieces time after time, all the while longing for them to see the love that is available for them to have if they would just open their eyes and see them.      

I thought of the course of my life of confusion and chaos as I sought to find meaning and purpose as I selfishly sought to please my desires and just imagined God watching the whole mess and ministering to me at various times as I would draw close and then pull away time and time again. 

But my faithful friend, God, was in it “for keeps” and through it all He waited and then one day, He opened my eyes to see the love He had for me. 

The angels took flight and the heavens opened in a parking lot on Aviation Road in Albany New York in March of 2010 as my “Quiet Friend” told me the truth of His love for me and the new life we could have together.   In one moment, my eyes were opened to the love that surrounded me throughout my whole life and when I was given the invitation to live the rest of my life with my Quiet Friend forever I said, through a veil of tears, that I would.  

As miraculous as that moment was, it was only the beginning of the romantic comedy between me and my “Quiet Friend” that never gets old and never ends.   

So keep walking and talking with God. As magnificent as His Story is, remember that it includes you and no matter how funny or serious it can be at times your story with God is a love story.  


This morning’s meditation verse is:

Matthew 28:18 (NKJV)
18  And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.

Today’s verse is Christ’s announcement that He has the power over all of creation.  

We don’t call Jesus the King of Kings and Lord of Lords for nothing! He is not some wise teacher. He is not a mad man.  Christ’s earthly ministry, death, resurrection, and ascension prove that He was the Son of God and God the Son.   He is the truth, the way, and the life.  What He says goes.  

 I often say that the biggest question in life is “Who is Jesus Christ to you?”. Ultimately, no other questions will matter but this one.  Why?  Because, He has been given “All authority… in heaven and on earth.”   

 The Holy Spirit used the Apostle Paul to put it best in:

 Philippians 2:9-11 (NKJV)

9  Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,
10  that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth,
11  and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

 I’m just reminded of Handel’s “Hallelujah!” that we often here in the Christmas season that is a triumphant celebration of what will be the coming of Christ’s kingdom that echoes the truth that “He shall reign for ever and ever!”

 So rejoice that you know the Lord and honor and respect Christ’s authority over heaven and earth, by following where he leads you and by proclaiming the hope of Christ to all you encounter to bring more of His kingdom to earth with every sinner that says “yes” to the king of kings and Lord of Lords.  Hallelujah!

 As always, I invite all to go 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 with Dr. Neil Anderson’s Victory Over the Darkness, continuing in Chapter 12.

 

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Dr. Anderson’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 $15.00:

When You Are Tempted to Criticize or Reject Others

Rejection is a two-way street: you can receive it, and you can give it. We have talked about how to respond to the rejection we receive within the world's system. Now let's see if we can find the "way of escape" (1 Cor. 10:13) for when we are tempted to level others with criticism or rejection.

When I was pastoring, I got the kind of distress call to which even policemen don't like to respond. "Pastor, you'd better get over here," said the husband over the phone, "or we're liable to kill each other." I could hear his wife screaming at him in the background.

When I arrived at the house, I persuaded Fred and Sue to sit down across the table from each other to talk through their problem. I sat at the end of the table. They wailed away at each other for several minutes, slamming each other with accusations and insults.

Finally, I interrupted. "Time out! Sue, why don't you put on the coffee? Fred, bring me a sheet of paper and a pencil. Each of you get your Bible." When we sat down together again at the table, I sketched a simple diagram (see Figure 12-B) and shared with them from God's Word.



I asked Fred to read Romans 14:4: "Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and stand he will, for the Lord is able to make him stand."

"That verse is talking about judging another person's character," I said. "Before God, each of you is responsible for your own character." Fred and Sue nodded their agreement.

Then I asked Sue to read Phil. 2:3: "Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself."

"That verse is talking about needs," I continued. "Before God, each of you is responsible for meeting each other's needs." Again the couple agreed with my statement.

"Do you realize what you have been doing the last two hours? Instead of assuming responsibility for your own character, you've been ripping apart your partner's character. Instead of looking out for your partner's needs, you've been selfishly absorbed with your own needs. No wonder your marriage isn't functioning. You've turned God's Plan A for relationships into a Plan B disaster!" Before I left that day, Fred and Sue had prayerfully committed to assume their responsibilities according to the Word of God.

What kind of families and churches would we have if we all assumed responsibility for our own character and sought to meet the needs of those with whom we live? They would be almost heavenly. Instead of devoting ourselves to develop our own character and to meet each other's needs, we often yield to Satan's prodding to criticize each other's character and selfishly focus on our own needs. That is a prescription for disaster.


Victory Over the Darkness: Realizing the Power of Your Identity in Christ.

 


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

 

God bless you all!

 

Join our “Victory over the Darkness” or “The Bondage Breaker” series of Discipleship Classes 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). The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and Audible.com. 

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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