A Light in the Darkness – Bringing Friends to Holy
Ground - Purity 563
Purity 563 10/30/2021 Purity 563 Podcast
Today’s photo of a peaceful scene on the shores of what I suspect to be
Lake George in up state New York comes to us from what was day 1 of an extended
“girlfriends’ getaway” weekend as a pair of ladies decided to set apart time to
enjoy one another’s company and to celebrate nearly 30 years of friendship. Over three decades, there can be a lot of
struggle and changes in our lives as we journey through life, but true friendships
transcend time and distance and because of the brevity of our lives should be
cherished and celebrated.
Well we made it to through another work week and as it is Halloween weekend
it is my wish that my friends enjoy the time they have over the next two days
to rest, relax, have some good old spooky fun, if you’re into that, and to
enjoy the company of family and friends as the moth of October expires on
Halloween has dark aspects to it but as a child, and an adult, I
celebrated by going trick or treating, dressing up in costumes, and going to
parties and despite my ignorance and the demonic undertones that surround the
31st day of October, I somehow by the grace of God survived.
So although I would warn against being a part of any seances or occultic
activities, like I would any other day of the year, I would also remind well-meaning Christians
that condemn any celebrations of Halloween that the day is also Reformation Day
and the revelation of the doctrines of grace that resulted from Martin Luther’s
nailing his 95 theses to a church door in Wittenberg should remind us of the
supremacy of Christ over the powers of darkness and should encourage us to be a
light for the gospel even on Halloween and that we should use the opportunity
to make new friends that desperately need Christians in their lives.
The testimonies of people coming to faith in Christ because of a
Christian friend are vast and instead of pushing people away with restrictions,
we should be purveyors of the peace and joy that the Holy Spirit brings to our
lives and attract people to the One that can set them free from sin and
death. Jesus came to give us life more
abundantly and to set the captives free.
So shine a light in the darkness and be friend whose liberty in Christ
gives you the power to bring the gospel of hope every where you go. Because of the Holy Spirit in us, every where we
go is holy ground.
As it turns out my new friend on the other side of the Atlantic just
happen to compose a new poem about the hope found because of Jesus and I
thought that it was a good reminder of the “treat” that we have to give out on
Halloween and every other day of the year. The poem is from Philip Hand, who
hails from Manchester in the United Kingdom and is entitled:
To be rich in your
heart feeds your soul
lifts your life
and should be your goal.
To be in love with
tender loving kindness
will bless your
heart and heal your blindness.
All it takes is
one that you won't
regret once the savior you have met.
A step of faith
into the light
out of this
I was blind but
now I see
lights the way for me.
Lord unify our
hearts, tear our borders down
when we are on our
knees, this place becomes holy ground.
- Philip Hand
Thank you, Philip. So whether you
spend time this weekend with friends you have known for nearly 30 years or that
you have only known for a short time through social media, rejoice in your
friendship and rejoice in the new life of hope, peace, and joy that you can
enjoy in all seasons with the friend that you can have in Jesus.
Today’s Bible verse is
drawn from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.
This morning’s meditation verse is:
Psalm 37:4 (NLT2)
4 Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart’s
Today’s verse is a conditional promise
that is fulfilled with a transformative relationship with the Lord.
This verse can very well be misapplied as
one of the “gimme” verses of the prosperity gospel. “Does not the word say, He will give you the
desires of your heart?” Well I desire a
whole lot of fortune and fame and a brand new car! Survey says? XXX
When this verse is misapplied to
material goods and prosperity as an expression of an immature believer’s wanton
avarice, I am tempted to share:
Jeremiah 17:9 (NKJV)
9 "The heart is
deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?
But to be honest, I hesitate to share Jerimiah 17:9 because that
verse doesn’t apply to Christians, although it is used ad nauseum in churches
today to chastise believers for their periodic or habitual sins. While Christians can and do sin, we have
been transformed and given new spiritual life, and a new heart, when we put our
faith in Jesus Christ.
The problem is that many Christians fall into Satan’s trap as identifying
with their sin instead of their Savior.
To “delight in the Lord” is to love Him and obey Him. Our delighting in the Lord should bring us to
repentance and the renewal of our minds and hearts to be more aligned with the
Lord’s ways and will for our lives. When
we “delight in the Lord” our hearts are changed from hearts of stone to hearts
of flesh and our desires are changed.
These “new desires” that come from delighting in the Lord are the “desires
of the heart” that God will gladly give us.
Our heart’s desire to be progressively conformed to the image of Christ
through faith and by walking in the Spirit is something that the Lord will give
So stop praying to get what’s behind door # 2 or curtain #3, for worldly
desires, and instead desire to know the Lord more and to be more like Him.
God’s will for our lives is our sanctification and when we that is
our desire, we can be assured we won’t get “zonked”!
Although we were once were desperately wicked, we have been made
righteous though our faith in Christ and adopted into God’s royal family and
God the Father has good gifts for His kids who seek His heart and ask for His
desires for us.
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
Today we continue sharing from June Hunt’s Dating:
Secrets to Great Relating When Dating
As always, I share this information for educational purposes
and encourage all to purchase June Hunt’s books for your own private study and
to support her work. If you need this title you can find it online at several
sites for less than $5.00:
C. How to Have a Transformed Life
Deborah doesn't date anymore. Deborah doesn't date any less, either.
The truth is, Deborah doesn't date at all anymore.
At one time, Deborah's dating card consistently stayed full. But after she
begins to take her walk with the Lord seriously, her social life drops off
dramatically. Staying busy with church activities, she barely misses dating.
But she does long to have someone special in her life...and she'd like to marry
A friend in her Sunday school class tells her that she should pray about it.
Her mom tells her to be patient and keep trusting the Lord. Her sister tells
her she should just keep following where the Lord leads and look to see whom He
brings alongside her and go from there. So Deborah waits—maybe not
patiently—but she waits.
Volunteering to help with the church carnival, Deborah notices the young man
in the booth next to her. As they each interact with the kids playing games,
she sees that he's kind and encouraging to the non-athletic participants and
sweet and helpful to the little ones. He's polite and gracious to the
parents...and when he smiles, she notices his eyes light up too. She likes his
laugh...and he really is cute!
Another pair of volunteers come to relieve them from their posts, and not a
moment too soon because Deborah's fingers are freezing! Her "next
door" neighbor/volunteer smiles and says, "Hi. I'm Sam. I couldn't
help but notice that you're cold. Could I interest you in joining me for a cup
of hot cocoa?" Deborah chuckles as she answers, "Thanks, Sam. I'm
Deborah and I'd like that very much."
"Wait for the Lord; be
strong and take heart and wait for the Lord."
Whether you've never dated or you are just starting to date after becoming
single again, dating can, and should, be a fun and enjoyable experience. If
you're emotionally and spiritually prepared to begin forming dating
relationships, you could come face-to-face with a jarring reality: No one on
your horizon is eligible to date. Rather than lowering your standards for the
sake of stirring up interest or considering those who once would have been out
of the question, use this opportunity to grow in your relationship with
"Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus
the Target: Transformation!
Target #1—A New
Purpose: God's purpose for me is to be conformed to the character of
"Those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of
his Son" (Romans
do whatever it takes to be conformed to the character of Christ."
Target #2—A New
Priority: God's priority for me is to change my thinking.
"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the
renewing of your mind" (Romans 12:2).
do whatever it takes to line up my thinking with God's thinking."
Target #3—A New
Plan: God's plan for me is to rely on Christ's strength, not my strength,
to be all He created me to be.
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13
do whatever it takes to fulfill His plan in His strength."
My identity is in Christ, not in another person. To overcome the need for a
significant person of the opposite sex to validate me and to give me a sense of
worth, I will live according to who I am in Christ. I will remember what God
says in His Word—every true Christian is a complete person of immeasurable
value and worth in Jesus Christ. God created me to have my identity in Him. I
can find meaning and purpose in Him, not in a dating relationship. Since the
truth sets me free, wrong thinking only keeps me in bondage. Therefore, I will
transform my thinking by renewing my mind.
I will remember what God says is true about me. I will stay focused on
deepening my intimacy with Him and realize the depth of His love for me.
I Am in Christ
"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my
"Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to
bring praise to God" (Romans 15:7).
"The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's
"The Lord himself goes
before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do
not be afraid; do not be discouraged" (Deuteronomy 31:8).
"Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will
carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus" (Philippians 1:6).
- I have
all the confidence I need.
"The Lord will be your
confidence and will keep your foot from being caught" (Proverbs 3:26
- I have
the mind of Christ.
"Who has known the mind of the Lord
so as to instruct him?' But we have the mind of Christ" (1 Corinthians 2:16).
have a purpose in life.
"The Lord will fulfill his
purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord,
endures forever" (Psalm 138:8 ESV).
- I am
made pure in Christ.
"All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure"
(1 John 3:3).
"The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks
be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians
As I open my mind and heart to the truth in God's Word, I will ask the Lord
to reveal to me the messages I received and believed that led me to think I am
somehow incomplete or lacking without having someone of the opposite sex in my
life. Once I identify these messages, I will renounce them as lies and realize
the truth that sets me free....
"Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." (John 8:32)
of My Heart
The Lord knows my situation. I will put Him in charge of the timing and pace
of my dating life. I will make this the prayer of my heart:
Father, I will...
to be desperate to find someone to date,
on Your timing and person(s) to date,
lower my criteria to evaluate a prospective date,
this time to listen intently for Your voice to lead me,
on what I have, not what I don't have,
grateful for Your unconditional love for me,
that I am not alone, unloved, or forgotten,
put my life on hold until I begin to date,
for ways to bless others."
"But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with
its mother; like a weaned child I am content." (Psalm 131:2)
Meeting the "Right" One
Question: "How do I know when I've
met the 'right' person?"
Answer: Instead of
asking, "Is this the right person for me?" why not ask, "Am I
becoming the right person?" Being the "right person" is about
coming to a relationship with love to share, not about finding love and
validation in another person.
If you come from a full place in your life, it becomes much easier to
discern whether someone is empty inside, and you will be less likely to be
attracted to that person. If you continually learn about yourself—are growing
emotionally, socially, and spiritually, and taking responsibility for your own
feelings of safety and security, worth and winsomeness—you will not be
attracted to someone who is closed and controlling or who just wants to be
loved but not give love in return.
It takes time to know whether someone is the "right" person for
you. To discover if the person you're dating is who they say they are, you need
to see them in a variety of situations and settings. How a person handles
conflict is one of the best ways to see the "real" person. A
"right" person is open to learning from conflict, not just wanting to
win and be right.
Other characteristics to watch for in "Mr. Right" or "Ms.
matched levels of emotional and spiritual maturity
to lifelong marriage
to care for and empathize with others
interests and values
health and fitness goals
money management practices for saving and spending
least a basic spark of attraction
"Teach me good discernment and knowledge, for I believe in Your
commandments." (Psalm 119:66
Is Marriage for Everyone?
Question: "Does God intend for everyone
Answer: Not necessarily.
While marriage is ordained of God and most people do get married, the apostle
Paul was obviously called by God to remain single. In 1 Corinthians 7:8,
he said... "Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for
them to stay unmarried, as I do." Both singleness and marriage are
good in God's sight. But the reason Paul encourages singleness is that there is
less distraction from the things of God for the single person.
"I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you
may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord." (1 Corinthians 7:35)
Question: "How should I respond to
people who keep telling me I need a boyfriend when I am content being
Answer: People may want
you to have a boyfriend for any number of reasons.
Generally, they mean well. Try to guard against taking offense at their
opinion. A safe response might be to tell them you appreciate their interest
and concern, but you are actually quite content in focusing on being the person
God created you to be. Explain that you have a full life and then ask if there
is something they see in you that causes them to think you need someone in your
"Godliness with contentment is great gain." (1 Timothy 6:6)
Biblical Counseling Keys: Dating: Secrets to Great Relating When Dating.
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