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Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Forget Sides! – What We Need is Some Solidarity! - Purity 577


 Forget Sides! – What We Need is Some Solidarity! - Purity 577

Purity 577 11/16/2021   Purity 577 Podcast

Good morning

Today’s photo of a tranquil beach at the Majestic Elegance Costa Mujeres Resort comes to us from a friend’s late October vacation that made them feel “thankful and blessed to have had the opportunity to unwind and relax…”. 

While it is only the second day of the work week and most of us will not have the opportunity to unwind and relax, all of us can still feel thankful and blessed when we remember who we are in Christ and how God has provided for us all the days of our lives.  

Okay, I have a confession to make. As peaceful as this tropical scene may be I am using it with a somewhat confrontational attitude this morning.  

I have a friend on FB who enjoys winter sports and took delight in announcing that somehow it was “official” that the first snow of the season was falling in Albany NY last night. 

Personally, I was filled with doubt and annoyance at seeing their post and actually checked the forecast this morning to see what they were talking about.  Granted, I didn’t look hard or exhaustively but I didn’t see anything about snow, and I am happy to report that the black top of my driveway is untouched by any snow. Not only that but the weekly weather indicates that Thursday is forecasted to have an unseasonably warm 61 degree high in two days.  

I myself do not enjoy winter sports and am quite content with winters that deliver a minimum of snow.  Beyond my lack of love for snow, I might be particularly sensitive to announcement of its arrival because I just purchased a new snow blower, and it is yet to be delivered.  

My friend’s report beyond Pollyanna-ish in its unmerited hopes of the changing seasons should teach us a few things:

1.    Don’t believe everything you read via social media, or the media in general.

2.    Don’t let other people’s reports, attitudes, or actions affect your peace.

In this era of misinformation and skepticism, as Christians we should, as always, focus on the Truth.  Our friend’s, and the media’s, reports are influenced by the story they want to tell but may not accurately portray a full picture of reality and may indicate far reaching affects that may not necessarily have the impact they state on one’s personal experience. 

My friend likes snow. So the first report of flurries that they hear of is broadcasted on their social media as if we will be in a winter wonderland in no time. And based upon your perspective, we will be, eventually. But we will not be experiencing that today, and especially not on Thursday apparently.  

So what does my friend’s report of the “official” snow fall last night have to do with my experience today in terms of travel or in any other aspect of my life?  Nothing. Although, it could actually prove helpful if I was so opposed to snow that I was living in some deep state of denial and convinced myself that snow would not becoming to my area at all this winter.  My friend’s report could cause me to prepare for the reality of the eventuality of snow.    So thanks, friend.  Just so you know, I got 3 new snow shovels, enough rock salt to last me for 5 winters, and a brand new snowblower with EFI technology, whatever that is, is being delivered Thursday.  

So, okay while I have no evidence of my friend’s report being true, let’s assume it did “officially” snow in Albany last night. They were “only reporting the facts”  and while I could assume they are taking delight by announcing it to those of us who don’t like snow, that is not necessarily the truth.  That’s a projection.  

Instead of rubbing it in the faces of those who hate snow, they could have been just intending to share the “good news” of flurries to their snow loving buddies.  

We should not take offense at their report. They didn’t say, at least this time, “HA, HA, snow is falling in Albany, deal with its losers!” That message, although could be behind the motivation of their “announcement”, it  actually in the content of what they said.  

So, it is my responsibility, to not take offense at their report, just like it is now their responsibility to not take offense at my displaying a tropical scene this morning where their beloved winter sports don’t have a snowball’s chance in Hell of coming to pass. 

Which brings us to our second item learned: not to let other’s words, attitudes, or actions take your peace.   

Other people will think, say, and do things, intentionally or quite unintentionally, that will challenge and annoy us.   But God tells us to love them anyway.   

In our weekly Bible study, we recently came across the section in Joshua where Joshua and the Israelites are preparing for battle when the Commander of the Lord’s armies shows up! Joshua knowing this Commander is from the Lord (and actually is said by scholars to be an Old Testament appearance of Christ) asks Him “Are You for us or for our adversaries?” 

To which the Commander, aka Jesus, says: “No!”

Christ explains that  it is “as Commander of the army of the LORD”  that He has come. Jesus isn’t there to choose sides. He has come to do the will of the Lord.  

Thus in the war between those who like snow and those who hate it. the Lord isn’t choosing sides. He loves my snow loving friend, and He loves me too. 

He loves those who have made Him the Lord and Savior of their lives and He loves  those who haven’t yet, and who never will.   

He commands us to love one another regardless of our differences.  So we should not let those who oppose us or annoy us change the way we live and stop us from representing God’s kingdom and sharing God’s love and righteousness.    

And let’s be clear here too. Although God loves all of us, He sent Christ to earth so that we would be saved through faith in Him.  

So just like in the events in Joshua, although God loves all people, Christ is here to do the will of the Lord and those who align themselves with God by placing their faith in Jesus will stand for all eternity and those who don’t will suffer the Lord’s wrath. 

So forget about sides!! What we need here is solidarity.  And the only thing we can stand on that is solid in this world is The Rock: The living Word of God: Jesus Christ.  

So align yourself with the Lord by following the Commander of the Lord’s armies, Jesus Christ, by making Him the Lord and Savior of your life every day. 

The power to overcome our sin, to maintain our peace, and to love the unlovable are only possible when we place our faith in Christ, receive the Holy Spirit,  and choose to live according to God’s will and ways for our lives.    So keep walking and talking with God, and do it in all seasons, whether it snows or not.  

 

Today’s Bible verse is drawn from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.  

This morning’s meditation verse is :

Jeremiah 15:16 (NLT2)
16  When I discovered your words, I devoured them. They are my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, O LORD God of Heaven’s Armies.

 

Today’s verse reminds us of the importance of the word of God and how our faith draws us to take delight in the truth that comes from Him.  

The Lord God of Heaven’s Armies, aka Jesus, is the living Word of God so when we place our faith in Christ, we receive the Holy Spirit and the ability to understand and take delight in the word of God like never before because we have the indwelling presence of the Lord in us that will lead us into all truth.  

When we sincerely approach the word of God to know God more and to apply His wisdom to our lives, The Holy Spirit will reveal to us things in scripture that we never understood or He will make certain passages of scripture suddenly meaningful to us.  

Reading the word of God and seeking to know God and to do His will through it, is a foundational aspect of our relationship with God. Reading the Bible shows God we are seeking Him and when we seek Him , by golly, we will find Him.   

When you discover this dynamic aspect of our relationship with God, your appetite for the word of God will increase and you will “devour” scripture and find joy in it as you realize that your study is a spiritual practice and direct communication with God. 

So be like Jerimiah, devour scripture and find the joy that the Lord has waiting for you in the pages of the Bible and in your heart as you take delight in the fact that you are God’s beloved child and that you are talking with Him, and He is talking to you.  

 

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 “Evil and Suffering… Why? Is God Fair?

 

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.

 

II. Characteristics

No book of the Bible is more closely identified with suffering than the book of Job. This righteous man, Job, for whom the book is named, experienced one heartbreaking loss after another that left him with heartrending despair. Such pain and suffering—even in just one area of our lives—can leave us struggling with unanswered questions... even to the point of questioning God. Behind a profound loss usually lies a series of questions all beginning with, "Why?" Job bitterly cried out ...

"Why is light given to those in misery, and life to the bitter of soul?" (Job 3:20)

A. Do You Feel That God Is Unjust?

Although Job had been an exemplary man—God called him "blameless"—in a short amount of time his entire life has collapsed. Feeling flabbergasted over his losses... feeling fiercely racked with pain... feeling falsely accused by friends... feeling completely forsaken by God... Job considered death far more desirable than life ...

"Why did I not perish at birth, and die as I came from the womb?" (Job 3:11)

Like Job, Have You Experienced...?

Disappearance of your possessions.... Job's belongings were stolen. (Job 1:14, 15, 17)

Dissolution of your partnership.... Job's workers were suddenly killed. (Job 1:14-17)

Destruction of your property.... Job's property was totally destroyed. (Job 1:16)

Death of your loved one(s).... Job's children tragically died. (Job 1:18-19)

Dissipation of your finances.... Job's wealth was instantly lost. (Job 1:21)

Deterioration of your body.... Job's body was severely afflicted. (Job 2:7)

Distancing by your mate.... Job's wife deserted him emotionally. (Job 2:9)

Despairing of your life.... Job's hope no longer existed. (Job 3:1-26)

Disappointment of your dreams.... Job's future seemed doomed. (Job 7:7)

Damage to your reputation.... Job's friends maligned him. (Job 12:4)

 

Question: "What did I do to deserve this suffering?"

Answer: Your suffering may be a result of consequences for which you are not directly responsible. Recognize that in a sinful world, both good and evil people will suffer.

  • The Bible says, "He [God]... sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous" (Matthew 5:45).
    —But as a Christian, you have a promise from God that your suffering here on earth will one day come to an end.
  • After experiencing the good and evil in this world, you will find yourself in either heaven (eternally in the presence of a holy God and with no suffering) or in hell (eternally apart from God and with eternal suffering).
    —Do not become bitter from the pain. Instead, put your faith in God, know that He cares, and wait patiently for His help.

God is present. Nothing will happen that He won't equip you to handle ...

"I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry." (Psalm 40:1)

Biblical Counseling Keys: Evil and Suffering... Why?: Why God? Why?.

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

 

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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