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Thursday, November 4, 2021

Wait…. Unless It’s Time to GO! – Saved and Being Saved - Purity 567


Wait…. Unless It’s Time to GO! – Saved and Being Saved -  Purity 567

Purity 567 11/04/2021 Purity 567

Good morning

Today’s photo of a tree lined path on the campus of SUNY Oswego was shared on the university’s FB page on October 29th, to celebrate what they called “a fall foliage Friday”, stating that it took longer for the leaves to change by the lake this year but that the wait was worth it.  

Change takes time and just like the leaves on the trees near Lake Ontario took longer than expected to turn to the hues and shades of Autumn this year, sometimes it takes longer than we expect to progress down the path of Christian discipleship into the maturity that is marked by the presence of the fruit of the Spirit.  

One of the common laments of people outside of the faith or even one echoed by those in the body of Christ is that they want a deeper relationship with God, but they feel they need to clean up their act first or they have a plan to “be more spiritual” at some unforeseen time in the future, like retirement, maybe, or just before death! 

When we hear this as disciples of Jesus Christ, we should encourage the “seeker” or “carnal Christian” by telling them, or reminding them, that God accepts us as we are , warts and all, and that the power to “clean up their act” or to “be more spiritual” comes from establishing a relationship with God, by making Jesus their Lord and Savior, and by trusting Him to work the change in them by cooperating with the Lord through learning about His ways for living and by changing our minds to agree that His ways are not only right and good but are the best way we can live our lives.  

Today is Thursday, and although today’s photo was shared by SUNY Oswego to highlight the leaves on the trees, I share it because it also features a pathway. I share pictures of pathways on Thursdays to encourage my friends to step into a deeper relationship with God by choosing to renew their minds with the wisdom of God’s word and to take a series of “steps of faith” by choosing to live according to that wisdom day by day on what I metaphorically refer to as the path of Christian discipleship.

Making a change or taking a trip may take a time of planning and preparation, but if we don’t set a date or take that first step we will never change, we will never get to our desired destination.     Although we may understand our need or desire to “go there” we may be waiting for the right moment or for something to push us toward progress. If that describes you, let me encourage you with:

2 Corinthians 6:2 (NLT2)
2  For God says, “At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.” Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation.

So if you need to step into faith, say a simple prayer to make Jesus your Lord and Savior.  

And if you are “already a Christian”,  you can be encouraged by this verse too because our salvation is a continuous process of progress as the New Testament describes our spiritual state in terms of having been saved by faith (Eph 2:8-9) and being saved (1:Cor 1:18; 2 Cor 2:15) and that we “shall… be saved” (Rom 5:9).

Just because we have made a profession of faith in Christ doesn’t mean our journey has ended.  God’s relationship lasts for all of eternity, so God’s not done with us.  He wants us to enjoy our new life in Christ and live an abundant life. 

But to experience the peace, love, joy, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, patience, and self-control, that define the fruit of the Spirit, in our lives we have to come into harmony with the God who saved us by learning and living by His ways and coming into communion with His presence on a regular and continuous basis.  

The three tenses of salvation described in the New Testament point to a life of progress. As we “walk in the Spirit” down the path of Christian discipleship, we discover that, while our eternal salvation remains unchanged from the first day we put our faith in Jesus, we are “being saved” from all the things that caused us to suffer in our lives before, and after Christ’. 

We are being saved from drunkenness. We are being saved from bitterness. We are being saved from anger. We are being saved from envy. We are being saved from lust. We are being saved from unforgiveness. We are being saved from vulgarity. We are being saved from fear and anxiety.  We are being saved from depression. We are being saved from low self-esteem.

So as you can see, although Christians can have a deep abiding peace in the assurance of their eternal life as adopted members of God’s royal family, they could still have a lot of things that the Lord desires for them to be “saved” from.

Well, how do you get “saved” from all that junk, MT?   you may ask.  

The way you get “saved” from all those things is the same way you “got saved” and were given the forgiveness of sin and eternal life, by faith. 

You go to the Lord with your problem and you ask Him to “save” you from it and then you learn what His word says about your issue and about who you are as some one who is “in Christ” and then you believe, have faith in, what the word says rather than what your experience has told you, or is telling you, about you and your issue. 

When we have faith in what God’s word about us and our problems, we are given the power to walk into the person God has made us to be and away from the negative mind states and sins that have us locked in bondage.   

It’s a new day, It’s a new life. Today is the day of salvation. So keep walking and talking with God and ask Him to help you to renew your mind and give you the strength to walk into all you ever wanted to be. 

It turns out all we needed to change was the power of God Himself! That’s all! But when we place our faith in Jesus and continue to trust Lord by living according to His wisdom with our words, thoughts, and actions, we get to activate the power that the Lord has already poured into us. 

We need the power of God to be transformed but the good news is that He is ready to unleash it into the lives of those who are done waiting, or are sick and tired of being “sick and tired”, and who decided to “go there”. So take that first step, or take a new step with vigor, into the life of hope and abundance that the Lord wants you to have.              

 

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

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Proverbs 17:22 (NLT2)
22  A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.

Today’s verse highlights the importance of our attitudes in our walk of faith.  

If we truly understand our position in Christ, that we have been set free of the power of sin and death, we should rejoice.  And as I pointed out above, because our salvation is a continuous process of progress, we should rejoice continuously.  These spiritual realities should give us a cheerful heart and that according to today’s verse is good medicine.  

My education in Christian counseling has taught me that our emotions are fluid and can be greatly affected by the content of our thoughts. I have also learned that humans have the power to direct their thoughts.  We can choose what we think about.  

These facts should show us that God made us with the ability to choose our experience of life by making wise choices in terms of what we think about or by what we focus on.  

The old “glass is half full” or the “glass is half empty” perception is a matter of perspective, but it is also a matter of choice. 

If we have seen the glass as “half empty” all our lives, it may be hard to think of the glass as half full. But the truth is that it is both half empty and half full. So we have the right to live “in the truth” of “a glass half full existence” by simply choosing to renew our minds to that view.   

Unlike my example of the glass half full, the Bible is a book that is the revelation of God to His people to show them what is right and how to live. The Bible is proven as the true supernatural revelation that it is by its reliability, by its wisdom, by its historical accuracy, and by its fulfilled prophecies.   So the Bible is true and what it says about life and who we are in Christ is true.  

So we have the choice to think about the truth of the word of God and how it relates to us on a continuing basis.  When we focus on all the blessings and promises that God speaks of with relation to who we are in Christ, we can have a cheerful heart.  

Now the choice remains up to us. Yes there are very real things wrong with the world and possibly in our immediate experience and if we focus on those negative things our spirits will be broken and our strength will be sapped.   

But God has saved us, and He gives us the power to renew our minds to have a cheerful heart.

And I don’t know about you, but I have had enough of the poison that comes from the world and from my old ways of doing things.  Instead, let’s choose to take the good medicine that comes from God by choosing to think about what God says about us as His children and by letting that truth naturally cause us to rejoice and have a cheerful heart.

 

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:

G. How to End a Dating Relationship

Six years! Louis finds it hard to believe that after six years, he and Maria are still dating. A chance meeting at the dog park opens the door to idle chitchat—both are newcomers to town and both own beagles. Soon their visits to the dog park are no longer by happenstance—they're planned. After all, responsible dog owners provide opportunities for plenty of exercise, right?

Ironically, they share four classes together in the fall and chalk it up to fate. Maria, the pretty girl with the beagle, is now the perfect homework buddy. Not only do they go to every football game, they even attend the same church. He teaches her how to shoot a basketball. She teaches him how to bake an amazing chocolate cake. His parents love Maria, and Maria's parents love Louis. A match made in heaven, right?

As Maria absorbs each page of the latest bridal magazine, Louis cannot ignore his unrest. The more she talks about "someday," the more uneasy Louis becomes. Why did I wait so long? His heart rehearses the truth: It's not you....I just don't love you like that. Sure, she's been his awesome friend—they've gone through so much together—but she's not someone he loves enough to marry. Why did I lead her on? How can I end this relationship without destroying her? Louis knows he will break the heart that trusted him so completely. Every memory seems to include each other. Every framed photo and scrapbook traces their steps together.

The new reality will take time—from us and we...to just I and me. Doing the right thing isn't always easy, and hearing the truth can be hard. But when truth demands a different path, the courage to accept its course must follow. As necessary and painful as breakups sometimes are, they require time to heal, permission to cry, and faith enough to see a future hope....

"Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths." (Psalm 25:4)

An old, popular song repeats this all-too-true refrain: "Breaking up is hard to do." Often only one person realizes that the dating relationship isn't working—that the interaction has become more harmful than healthy. At this point, a breakup can be best for both people—even if only temporary. But in breaking up, we need to remember Paul's admonition in Ephesians 4:15 about "speaking the truth in love."

The Breakup

If You Are Initiating the Breakup...

If You Are the Recipient of the Breakup...

• Be honest and direct. Don't lie about the reasons. The other person might try to fix any phantom, made-up causes.

• Listen, but don't take everything that is said literally. Look at the big picture. Evaluate the validity of the reasons given.

• Don't prolong the agony. Don't dangle hopes of reconciliation if you honestly don't see it happening.

• Don't plead, beg, or grovel, but accept the breakup. Ask direct, honest questions. You may need to re-evaluate how to conduct yourself in future dating relationships.

• Pray and think through what you will say. Don't use cliches like, "It's not about you, it's about me." But don't blame the other person either.

• Don't threaten or raise your voice. Listen and think through what is being said before you respond.

• Keep it as short and unemotional as possible. Sincerely apologize for any pain that might result from the failed relationship.

• Take time to think and pray before saying or doing anything. If you have offended the other person, offer a sincere apology, and ask for forgiveness.

• Restrain your curiosity to check up on the other person if you have no intention of trying to reconcile.

• Restrain your desire to talk about the other person. This serves no purpose but to prolong any pain from the parting.

• Pray for your ex-dating partner and ask for wisdom, understanding, and discernment in choosing future dating partners

• If you've been wronged, forgive, and release the person to the Lord. Pray and ask the Lord to bless the person. Pray that the Lord will use the breakup to draw you closer to Him and teach you valuable insights.

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity... a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing." (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 5)

Possible Opening Lines When a Breakup Appears Necessary

  • "It's become apparent to me that our relationship is not heading toward marriage...."
  • "I'm not comfortable with the different directions in which we are heading...."
  • "We really are not challenging each other to grow spiritually...."
  • "Our relationship isn't encouraging either of us to be the best that we can be...."
  • "We don't seem to be bringing out the best in each other...."

"Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:13-14)

Saying "No" to a Dating Invitation

Question: "What do I do when I receive an invitation to date a person I'm not drawn to...someone who says, 'The Lord told me to date you'...or 'The Lord told me to marry you'? I don't want to hurt the person's feelings, but I also don't want to go against God."

Answer: If you aren't drawn to someone who wants to date you, you aren't going against God by saying no. If He wanted you to date a particular person, He would have told you as well as the other person. To the one who is claiming God's leading when you do not sense it, you could reply:

  • "Thank you for the honor of your invitation.
  • "I really do believe in listening to the Lord, and He hasn't told me the same thing. Therefore, I must say no.
  • "It may be that He is preparing you to approach someone else. But I know I am not that person.
  • "As long as you seek His will, He will guide you to the right person."

This may seem harsh, but it is not harsh when you can avoid misleading someone. Honesty is always the best policy.

"An honest witness tells the truth, but a false witness tells lies." (Proverbs 12:17)


Biblical Counseling Keys: Dating: Secrets to Great Relating When Dating.

---------------------------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. 

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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

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