The Evidence to Convict – Checking the Clues 9 - Purity 545
Purity 545 10/09/2021 Purity 545 Podcast
Today’s photo from inside the Buskirks Covered Bridge comes to us from yours truly as I decided to take a photo from the inside looking out to the light of day on Thursday. The function and form of the bridge does have its own beauty but pales in comparison to the brightness of the natural light of the sun that shines and invites us out of the darkness.
As I am away again this weekend, I am experiencing firsthand the darkness that can exist when your technology is compromised, and you have to scramble to use the resources you have before they run out. I am on battery power because the absent minded MT packed “everything he needed” except the power cable to his laptop and finds the local alternatives to be sorely lacking.
So today’s message will be brief.
Despite this technological limitation and the ire that arises at its consideration, we are still able to have a measure of peace because despite this minor frustration, God is still on the throne and has blessed us in so many ways that this inconvenience is put in its place next to all the good that God has done for us.
And that’s a key to “walking in the Spirit”: putting things in their proper perspective. Regardless of negative circumstances, Christians should be thankful for all they have received and have a baseline of joy and peace that they can tap into at all times. The way we tap into the peace and joy that never runs out is to remember that God Himself has saved us and assures us that He is working all things together for good. So we should count our blessings.
It’s Saturday, and I pray that my friends will use their faith and the power to change their circumstances to have a peaceful and joy filled weekend.
Even with my mild annoyance this morning, my imagination is once again visited by children’s television Blue who is reminding me of the current series we are doing on examining the “clues” of the authenticity of someone’s Christian faith. This morning Sam I am must have taken the day off because he is curiously absent, but Blue has put her “paw print” on several of the items in the home I am staying in making me wonder if these multiple clues are in retaliation for skipping the current series yesterday to share the testimony of my marriage proposal.
In my mind’s eye, I can see blue paw prints on a Bible, several Christian DVDs, various pictures, and wall hangings that proclaim Bible verses or other general encouragements related to the Christian faith, and several Christian books and daily devotionals.
As I contemplate these multiple “clues” all over this house, I realize that Blue is pointing to the fact of their presence in this place to “clue” us into the fact that they serve as evidence that the person who lives here has an awful lot of things in their home that indicate that they are indeed an authentic Christian.
So, as I will remind you, the purpose of our current series is to help us to try to determine if someone who is presenting themselves as a Christian is someone who indeed “practices what they preach” and lives out their faith in a real way for the purposes of selecting a Christian life partner. While these outward signs are no guarantee of the inward condition of the heart of the person that lives here, the preponderance of the “evidence” would certainly indicate that they are an enthusiastic follower of Jesus Christ.
While the diligent investigator should use more than one source of evidence to “prove their case”, the presence of Bibles, Christian media, and Christian images and decorations in someone’s home are a great thing to discover if we are trying to see if our subject’s faith is authentic.
So if you are interested in someone and want to make sure they are walking the walk as well as talking the talk, take a visit to where they live and see if the décor and media they display give some “evidence” that they dedicate time and monetary resources to items that can be used as part of a Christian lifestyle.
If someone is living out their faith, they will have some physical evidence in their lives of the spiritual reality of their Christian faith.
Even when you take it on the road, if you are a Christian, you will pack some things that will give you away as a Christian because no matter where we go we will endeavor to stay connected to our Lord with our spiritual practice and seek to share the knowledge of His mercy, grace, and love with those we encounter on the path of Christian Discipleship.
Today’s Bible verse is drawn from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.
This morning’s meditation verse is:
Matthew 25:21 (NKJV)
21 His lord said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.'
Today’s verse describes a good ending from one of Jesus’s parables about the kingdom of God.
In the parable Jesus describes a man who gives three of his servant’s some talents to invest. Today’s verse is the master’s response to the servant to whom he gave five talents and who was able to trade with them wisely and receive another five talents.
The wise and industrious servant is rewarded with high praise and increased responsibilities and the invitation to “enter into the joy” of his lord.
So through the parable, Christ is pointing to God as encouraging His followers to be faithful over the “few things” that He has provided and to try to be wise and increase them with the assurance that we will be pleasing to the Lord and invited to share in His joy.
So, no matter what “few things” the Lord has given us as His servants we should be faithful to use them to give glory to the Lord.
But remember, we are not saved by or performance. So yes we are to try to help to build the kingdom of God by using our “talents” for God’s glory but because we have made Christ our Lord and Savior we have already been invited into the “joy of the Lord” and we can live every day in it by walking and talking with God.
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 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. What Is Love?
Who doesn't love the word love? Book titles that include the word love typically guarantee increased sales. The same is true for song titles. Yet there is much confusion on this subject because we are limited to only one word in the English language for love, which has numerous meanings. If you say, "I love my fiance....I love my job....I love my coffee," obviously you are not referring to the same kind of love. On the other hand, the Greek language has multiple words for love—with multiple meanings.
The highest form of love is agape—unconditional love that seeks what is in the best interest of the other person. This is where all relationships should begin and end. A second love emotion is phileo—an affectionate emotion based on genuinely liking the other person—the type you have with a close friend. In today's culture, most dating begins with eros—passionate emotion that usually involves romance. (Some couples never get beyond eros.)
The Bible is absolutely clear about what we are to prioritize—in all our relationships, including dating....
"Follow God's example...walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But among you there must not he even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people." (Ephesians 5:1-3)
- Agape is unselfish love, unconditional love—a commitment to seek what is best...and the highest good...for another person, regardless of the response.
- —Agape originates with God.
"This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another" (1 John 4:10-11).
- —Agape is the source of our
ability to love others selflessly.
"Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God" (1 John 4:7).
- Phileo is affectionate love, brotherly love, mutual enjoyment. Phileo is true friendship. The love of "liking." Philadelphia is known as the "city of brotherly love."
- —Phileo can be love for
another that is as deep as love for yourself.
"After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself" (1 Samuel 18:1).
- —Phileo seeks to strengthen
the other person spiritually.
"Saul's son Jonathan went to David at Horesh and helped him find strength in God" (1 Samuel 23:16).
- Eros is passionate or physical/sensual love. It is the Greek word from which we get English words such as "erotic." Eros can be passionate, romantic love, but it can also be the feeling of strong emotion without a romantic focus. eros has a positive and negative connotation to it. Positively, eros can describe the romantic love shared between a husband and wife. Negatively, eros can describe sinful behavior like lust and sexual immorality when expressed outside the bounds of marriage. eros finds its proper expression within marriage, but within a dating relationship, we must be cautious about eros love.
- —eros within marriage is
designed by God for physical and emotional pleasure. Although the term is
not used in Scripture, the idea seems to be present in the book of
"May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. A loving doe, a graceful deer—may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love" (Proverbs 5:18-19).
- —eros within a dating
relationship is designed to be morally pure without passionate lust. You
can have passion for a person without having passionate lust. Physical
purity is necessary for spiritual purity. The idea of eros—in the negative sense
referring to sexuality immorality—is something we should avoid in order
to maintain sexual purity....
"It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God" (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5)
Biblical Counseling Keys: Dating: Secrets to Great Relating When Dating.
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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship