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Showing posts with label 1 John. Show all posts

Monday, October 11, 2021

When It’s All Been Said and Done – Are they a Christian in the Dark? - Checking the Clues 10 - Purity 546


 
When It’s All Been Said and Done – Are they a Christian in the Dark?  - Checking the Clues 10 - Purity 546     

Purity 546 10/11/2021     Purity 546 Podcast

Good morning

Today’s photo of the view of from the top of Whiteface Mountains that apparently captures “aspects of positive and negative space” comes to us from a friend who quickly  became a fiancé when it became clear that we both viewed each other with love and could both “see” that we would like to spend the rest of our lives together as man and wife.  

But just as the view from the top of Whiteface Mountain was somewhat hazy when I joined my fiancé and several members of her family to take a gondola ride to the summit on Saturday, the view of the future, how we will work out the details of our wedding, and how we will live as husband and wife are still “up in the air” and unclear.  The prospects of the changes on the horizon are both exciting and somewhat alarming as the consequences of two becoming one in the bonds of marriage will have far reaching and unforeseen circumstances.  

Although I will keep it real in admitting that some friends and family have voiced their surprise, concern, and objections, over our “whirl wind” decision to marry,  I must admit that I have had a lot of peace in the process of making my friend a fiancé and meeting the people that will be a part of our new family as the vast majority of my prospective in-laws have been warm, friendly, and receptive.     

I was also surprised by how at peace you could be when you make other decisions that will change how you have lived for years in significant ways.   I have been on the worship team as an audio-visual technician at Rock Solid Church for nearly ten years and decided yesterday to inform the team of my decision to marry in the near future and of my intention to find a replacement for my position and to no longer serve on the team after the first of January to be available to worship the Lord at my wife’s side every Sunday no matter where we find ourselves in our new life.          

As I was driving to my fiancé’s place after attending her brother’s Christian “growth group”, Robin Mark’s “When it’s All Been Said and Done” popped up in the older playlist I had selected and I was shaken by how the lyrics, flutes, and strings seemed to convey the revelation of an all knowing and sovereign God that knew that this present course was to be a part of my life’s journey long before I could ever dream of these changes coming to pass.  The lyrics say:

“When it's all been said and done

All my treasures will mean nothing

Only what I have done

For love's rewards

Will stand the test of time”

I was quite moved in my spirit, hearing these lyrics, and realizing that finding a woman who is the answer to my prayers for a Christian life partner was in God’s plans and that one of the consequences for my decision to live by faith in the power of the holy Spirit was to come into one of “love’s rewards” that will stand the test of time.  

The sweeping changes that lie ahead in my life reveal that although we try to “see around the corners” of the future when we “walk in the Spirit” by predicting and speculating about where “this” is all leading, we actually are totally dependent on God’s plan for our lives and the way that He shapes our journey as I am realizing that all my presumptions and expectations for the my latter days of my life were based on incomplete information. Only God knows our futures perfectly.

With this latest revelation this morning, I have been greeted in my imagination by children’s televisions Blue and Dr. Suess’s Sam I am who have informed me that this 10th installment of our current series of “Checking the Clues” of a potential life partner’s authentic Christian faith will be the last. 

Blue informs me that after today we will have given enough “clues” for our friends to use to find a Christian spouse, and that today’s inquiry from Sam I am, will equally apply to us as advice and encouragement on the path of Christian Discipleship, as well as a possible category for evaluating someone else’s faith life.   

For his final question, Sam I am advises us to think deeply and to consider his inquiry from multiple points of view and then asks:

“Are they a Christian in the dark?”  

As I contemplate the idea of darkness and my walk of faith, there are a few things we should consider in terms of evaluating “Christian authenticity” in someone’s life.   The word says that we will know Christ’s disciples by their fruit so if we are evaluating a potential life partner’s faith life we should observe their attitudes and actions even in “darkness” to see if their faith is evident.  

The first consideration of darkness comes straight from

1 John 1:6 (NKJV)  which says:
6  If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.
  

So, if our potential life partner who claims to be a Christian is “walking in darkness”, they are lying and not practicing the truth.  

So what is darkness here? The NLT translates this verse to convey “spiritual darkness” which would be revealed by someone who has doubts about or fails to believe the doctrines of grace or who holds beliefs that are not Christian.  The degree of authentic Christian faith is directly proportional to the level of someone’s belief and trust in what the Bible teaches. The more doubt or holding of views outside of scripture the more “spiritual darkness” there is in someone’s life.  

I wanted to point out the spiritual aspects and the importance of belief in considering someone’s faith first because we are saved by, and called to live by, “faith”.   If people reveal that they don’t really believe the Bible or hold beliefs that contradict it, their “Christian” faith isn’t as authentic as they may think.  

The second aspect of darkness that can be drawn from the context of John’s epistle is the “darkness” of sin.  If someone claims to be a Christian but lives a lifestyle that includes behaviors that are “sinful”, their Christian faith is either not authentic or is immature. 

If we have our eyes open, we can see the darkness of unbelief or sin in their lives.  While it is everyone’s own decision who they marry, if the desire is live as Christians, we would want to avoid potential partners who live in darkness.  

The second aspect of “darkness” that I can see as a Christian counselor is the “darkness” of depression.   If your potential life partner who claims to be a Christian, has a negative view of life, and seems to dwell in a den of depression we must be discerning in determining if we want to walk out the rest of our days with someone who we may have to constantly encourage and whose Christian faith may not be as authentic as we may think. 

The word commands us to rejoice and speaks about the joy of the Lord as the Christian’s strength.  Someone with a negative view on life or that suffers from depression may be immature or disingenuous in their faith or has failed to apply their faith to their lives or may suffer from demonic oppression.

Am I saying that Christians can’t be depressed? Absolutely not! But I am saying you may want to really consider all the possibilities in choosing a life partner who suffers from depression, including the possibility that their faith may not be authentic.  

As someone who has experienced with suffering from depression individually and has had relationships with individuals who have suffered from depression, I try not to address hypothetical scenarios when evaluating depression in Christians. I don’t know any hypothetical people and neither do you. While I admit the real need for medications to treat depression in some cases, I profess the universal need of all real-life “Christians” to repent, renew their minds with the word of God, and to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.  

If your potential life partner suffers from depression and is unwilling or unable to use their “Christian faith” as part of their condition’s treatment you may be receiving a “clue” of the true condition of their faith and the difficulties that would lie in being in a committed relationship with them.  

So consider and choose according to where the Lord leads you in this area. As someone who was in relationship with depressed individuals, I can assure you that living with depression is difficult for both parties and is even worse when you are unequally yoked.  

The final take on “darkness” that we will consider is the “darkness” of times of uncertainty or suffering.    The authenticity of, and great value of, our Christian faith is often best proven in times of suffering and times of uncertainty.  How people deal with suffering and uncertain outcomes can help us get an indication of what they truly believe.  

Ideally, Christians would meet suffering and uncertainty with faith. So if your potential life partner is faced with suffering or uncertainty and their response fails to demonstrate aspects of Christians spiritual practices, we may see that their faith is immature or non-existent.  

Again, we are not measuring everyone by the levels of their faith to guess their final destination in eternity, our purposes in this series and in this blog in general is to encourage discernment in our relationships as well as our faith walk. 

We have come to know the incredible power of God that can help us to overcome the problems that we face on earth through walking in the Spirit on the path of Christian Discipleship. So we encourage Christians to believe that the word of God is true, apply it to their lives, and to live continually seeking the Lord and living by faith.   

The best way to find an authentic Christian to be a life partner is to be authentic Christian yourself. So keep walking and talking with God because if you truly live by faith you will rejoice and have joy in your life whether you walk out the rest of this life with a Christian spouse or with just the Holy Spirit by your side.  Either way, God will never leave us or forsake us.       

    

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

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Romans 12:6 (NLT2)
6  In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you.

Today’s verse encourages us to use the gifts that we have been given and to speak the truth in accordance with our faith.   

Paul’s epistle to the Romans informs us that we all have been given different gifts that are given to us by God and that they are to be used.   So while we might not consider ourselves as especially gifted or talented in the spiritual realm or in general, today’s verse tells us that we have some God given gifts that we should utilize for God’s glory.   

Every Christian can do something to give God glory with the gifts they have been given.  Our particular gifts are given to us to fulfill our purpose in Christ.

If you are not sure what your gifts are you can ask other people in your life what they think your gifts and strengths are or you could seek out a “spiritual gifts test” to tell you what your gifts are.   But the key to remember is that once you learn what your gifts are, is to be diligent to use them!   

The gift of prophecy, which in the New Testament context includes preaching, encouraging, and exhorting, is mentioned here and Paul encourages us to prophesy in proportion to our faith.  

Now while we may be hesitant to drop a “Thus sayeth the Lord” future prediction”, we can all preach, encourage, or exhort to some extent, according to the measure of our faith.  

Our preaching can simply include our personal testimony or insights we have gained from the word. So yes, everybody could preach.  

Likewise, if we have come into the Christian faith by making Jesus our Lord and Savior, we should be able to encourage or exhort others to do likewise or to trust the Lord for other areas of life.  

So determine what God has gifted you with and use them for His glory.  God saved us for a reason, and He gave us certain talents and abilities to help us to fulfill our purpose in Him. Listen for the call of God on your life to use your gifts because if you step out in faith and bless others and give glory to God, you just may find yourself prophesying to others to do the same.

 

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:

. What Is the Difference Between Infatuation and True Love?

Laura is in love! Laura is in love with love. And although she frequently dates, Laura rarely relates. The few boyfriends she's had in the past throw in the towel within a short period of time because dating Laura is almost exclusively about... Laura.

When meeting a new man, Laura enjoys laughing and flirting...wining and dining...dancing and romancing. But soon the fantasy fades and reality sets in with an oblivious lack of commitment to moral character. Suddenly Laura—or more often the man—loses interest. But Laura doesn't let her heart languish for long....Almost immediately she is looking again for something she labels as "love." What irony in this truth...

"The heart of fools is in the house of pleasure." (Ecclesiastes 7:4)

Everyone has felt infatuation to one degree or another. Everyone has experienced "puppy love" at one time or another. Did you ever take the long way around in order to walk by a certain someone or that someone's desk...or locker...or house? Did you take special care to look especially attractive on days when you thought your paths might cross? Did your heart skip a beat when you looked up and unexpectedly caught a glance from him...or her? Is that feeling actually love...or is it love's pseudopersona...infatuation'? Sometimes it's difficult to discern—especially if the one you have these feelings for doesn't seem to feel the same way.

  • Infatuation is a form of emotional obsession, an expression of excessive admiration or foolish love void of sound judgment.
    • —Infatuation is a powerful feeling, but it is based more on the idea of someone than it is on who the person actually is.
    • —Infatuation does not last because it's not based on reality.
  • Love seeks the highest good of another person, does what is in the best interest of another person. People throughout the ages have asked, "What is true love?" Our most authoritative source for understanding the true nature of love comes from God as revealed in His Word.
    • —Love is an action.
      "Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends" (John 15:13).
    • —Love is a decision.
      "We love because he first loved us" (1 John 4:19).
    • —Love is work.

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres" (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).

Love and relationships take effort. There is no fairy-tale formula for true love. God's Word, along with time and maturity, will give you the ability to discern fantasy from reality. Until then, waiting for sound reasoning will guard your heart from being hurt. ...

"Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." (Proverbs 4:23)

Infatuation vs. Love

In differentiating between love and infatuation, consider these differences...

Infatuation

Love

• Sudden

• Gradual

• Highly emotional

• Faithfully consistent

• Idealistic

• Realistic

• Based on feelings

• Based on commitment

• Weakened by separation

• Strengthened by separation

• Seeking to find happiness

• Seeking to give happiness

• Focusing on external looks

• Focusing on internal character

• Seeking to get

• Seeking to give

• Possessive

• Freeing

• In love with "emotion"

• In love with "devotion"

God, the Source of love, tells us through His written Word...

"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.... let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth." (1 John 3:16-18)

Live-In Boyfriend

Question: "My live-in boyfriend says he loves me, but just isn't ready to marry. We're already living as though we are married. What can I do to change his mind?"

Answer: If your boyfriend can sexually "have his cake and eat it too," what is his motivation for getting married? When you engage in the sexual acts of love outside of marriage, you are minimizing the essence of love. According to God's Word, neither of you is truly showing love to the other when you engage in premarital sex. Begin now by either moving out or having him move out.

If your boyfriend really loves you, he will want you (not just sex) and will be willing to wait until the wedding vows are said.

"It [Love] does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking." (1 Corinthians 13:5)


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. 

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

Saturday, September 18, 2021

M.M. & Jesus Forever – Clear Communication: Christian Love & Friendship- Purity 527


 

M.M. & Jesus Forever – Clear Communication: Christian Love & Friendship- Purity 527

Purity 527 09/18/2021 Purity 527 Podcast

Good morning

Today’s photo of a cumulus and cirrus cloud filled blue sky comes to us from a friend who was out tending to their property back in August and who took a moment to take a few shots of the heavens as they were taking care of business on the earth.  There are two other photos on the blog today that feature these skies and a few more red barns if you want to check them out go to the “restricted” blog mt4christ dot org.  

I had to look up the names of the different types of the clouds in this photo, as my meteorology 101 knowledge from a class back in my undergrad days in the 1990’s has faded over the years and was hazy to begin with as my collegiate days were a little “dazed and confused”.  



What I discovered or relearned was the cirrus clouds, featured at the tops of these photos, are the short, detached, hair-like clouds found at high altitudes. These delicate clouds are wispy, with a silky sheen, or look like tufts of hair. In the daytime, they are whiter than any other cloud in the sky. While the sun is setting or rising, they may take on the colors of the sunset.



And the cumulus clouds, featured on the bottom of the sky in these photos, are  detached, individual, cauliflower-shaped clouds that look like big balls of cotton in the sky and are usually spotted in fair weather conditions. The tops of these clouds are mostly brilliant white tufts when lit by the sun, although their base is usually relatively dark.

I was moved to know the names of the clouds by curiosity and my desire to be clear in my descriptions of them, so now you know what these two types of clouds are called, and you can impress your friends with your new limited cloud knowledge!  

Speaking of friends and the desire to be clear in our communications, it’s the weekend and today I will be getting together with my friend at the property featured in today’s photos to enjoy each other’s company and to discuss various aspects of Christian discipleship. 

Part of our dialog, as two single Christians, has been our common desire to follow the Lord’s will for our lives in terms of relationships.  The biblical principle for sexual ethics is clear and simple but is in stark contrast with the loose attitudes regarding sex that is common in society at large and even within the church.  The Bible’s guidelines for approved use for sexual conduct is within the confines of a marriage between a husband and wife, a man and a woman.  

So, that means if your desire is to be within the Lord’s guidelines for sex, there is to be no sexual activity outside of marriage.  Any sexual coupling or individual sex acts are “missing the mark” of  God’s design for the use of sex for pleasure and the healthy expression of love in a marriage.

So as two people who have had their fair share of sexual experiences that “missed the mark” in the past and have suffered guilt, shame, and broken relationships as a consequence of them, my friend and I support one another in our mutual intention to with hold ourselves until we are able to find a Christian spouse.  We have both confided to one another that our desires for love and affection and the temptation to compromise are a struggle that is real but is one we can endure because of our love for God, our desire to do His will, and the fact that we have a wealth of experience from our pasts that testify to negative consequences of giving in and “sinning against our own bodies”, as the new testament describes the negative effects of fornication in the unseen spiritual realities. 

While fornication can have negative physical and emotional effects, the Bible informs us there are also unseen spiritual consequences to consider.  The sexual union is said to make two become one flesh. This verbiage points to a “spiritual bonding” that takes place that is commonly called “soul ties”. 

Ever wonder why you can’t stop thinking about “old what’s her name” or “old what’s his name” from your past sexual history?  It’s because you formed “soul ties” with them!  The good news is that you can renounce and break those through repentance and prayer.  The Steps to Freedom in Christ, Dr. Neil Anderson’s discipleship counseling tool, includes a step that can resolve the issues of our sexual pasts.   

Because my friend and I understand these problems that sexual relationships can cause, we are walking in faith to keep ourselves free from the bondage of sexual sin and are resolved to remain free by remaining single or by waiting until a suitable Christian spouse is found.  Talk about crucifying the flesh!

But not only is this a spiritual war with our own desires, we also must be on guard about others who may cause us to go astray.   

I had one friend who met a man on Christian mingle and they decided to be friends.  So they got to know one another and spend time together. Although my friend tried to make it clear that she was only considered this man as a friend, he grew emotionally attached and ended up confessing his love for her. When she didn’t immediately reciprocate his feelings, he became angry, and their friendship has taken a break as he “figures himself out”.  Although it was a “Christian site” that brought the two together, his faith has seemed to also suffer, or has been exposed as immature or false , as he has appeared to walk away from the church he was attending.  

I had another friend who met another man on a “Christian dating site” who suddenly showed up at her church.  They have decided to be friends and she is being clear in communicating her intention to not compromise and is looking for a committed relationship that would be consummated in marriage.  The jury is still out on this situation, but I have advised my friend to be observant to see if this man’s “Christianity” is genuine, to see how long he will walk the walk as well as talk the talk.     

Last night, I had dinner with a friend of the opposite sex who attends my discipleship class. We have been clear in our intentions to be friends, but my accountability partner advised me of the potential for trouble and of the possibility of how our meetings could be perceived as an unwholesome relationship and or a conflict of interest.   

My accountability partner’s comments convicted me and afterwards I have restated my intentions for our friendship to be only that and that I will endeavor to be more conscious in my communications to not be “too familiar”.  The other person thought I was over analyzing and assured me that I had been clear about our relationship but as someone who has a history of relationship dysfunction, I want to make sure that I’m sure!  

Texting is an imperfect form of communication and can easily lead to misunderstandings and confusion. Although “heart emoji’s” are a simple way to relate that we “love” what someone is saying, or “love that”,  we must be aware that they can easily be misinterpreted by oneself, or by the other person, to mean “I love you”. 

As friends share, we can become attached, and lines can easily get blurred, so we must remain consistent and keep our communications and interactions within boundaries that are within the confines of Christian morality.  As a person who tries to encourage people to live a life of Christian discipleship, I don’t want my communications to be misconstrued or for any of my conduct to be considered untoward.  

As I contemplate all this and try to stay true to remain pure until marriage or until Jesus calls me home, I can only imagine what people must have said about Jesus and all the women disciples that He had.  

Dan Brown’s, the author of the Davinci Code, speculations fictionally hypothesized that Christ and Mary Magdalene had children and the blood line of Christ had continued into the future.  

Scripture in Luke 7: 36-50, gives the account of Christ having his feet washed with the tears and hair of a sinful woman and how it shocked the Pharisee that was hosting the dinner where the incident took place. 

Jesus was a friend of sinners and loved His disciples to the end.  For those on the outside looking in it may have looked like something funny was going on. 

But scripture documents that although Christ was tempted in all ways, He did not sin.  

As His disciples we have overcome the power of sin and death when we put our faith in Christ.  We have been given the power to say no to sexual sin and can develop the fruit of the Spirit of self-control to establish and maintain victory in that area. We don’t have to give in to temptation and we can keep our relationships pure. 

But we must recognize that we must be wise and clear in our communications and be above board in our conduct. We want to bear witness of the power of God in our life and we don’t want to hurt our testimony for Christ by falling into sin our by appearing to have questionable relationships.   

So stay grounded in the truth of who you are in Christ by walking the walk as well as talking the talk of a Christian.  Be careful of what you say, how you say it, and about the relationships you have. We don’t want the world to be concerned with “what’s going on with those two” unless they are talking about us and Jesus. So keep walking and talking with God and shine a light of pure righteousness with your words and actions to bring Him glory.

   


Today’s meditation verse is drawn from” from the Dr. Charles Stanley’s In Touch Ministries provided resource:  “Freedom: Our Life in Christ” Memory Verse Cards set: 

This morning’s meditation verse is:

1 John 1:7 (NASB)
7  but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.  

Today’s verse encourages Christians to live according to the ways of Christ that show we have been cleansed from all sin and to fellowship with one another.   

There is safety in numbers. Today’s verse gives us instruction to live our lives like Jesus would, “to walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light,  but it also tells us to be in fellowship with one another.   Why? 

We are never meant to do the Christian life on our own. Christ directed His disciples to go out in pairs and to later gather as a corporate body so we could support one another in our Christian walk and to help each other to be built up in our Christian faith.

As fallible humans, we are not perfect. We need to remind ourselves and one another about the right way to live our lives according to the word of God and we also need one another to recognize when we are being deceived and begin to go astray.

The blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin the moment we place our faith in Christ but as the example of Christ’s washing the feet of the Apostles in the Upper Room teaches us, sometimes we need to wash the dirt of the world off us: to be cleansed and set free from incidental sins.   

We are saints that sin, but scripture teaches us that our harmony with God can be restored even if we sin by confessing our sin to God, as

1 John 1:9 (NKJV) tells us:
9  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Scripture also teaches us, in James 5:16 that we can be “healed” of our sinful afflictions when we confess to one another.  That points to accountability and fellowship.  

So walk in the Light as He is in the Light, but if you sin confess it to God to have your harmony with Him reestablished and confess it to your brothers and sisters in Christ so you can be accountable and to begin the process of being healed of it. 

In recovery circles, they say we are only as sick as our secrets, so tell the truth, walk in the light, spill the beans and tell your secret, confess your sin to God and other Christians that you trust.

When you do that the darkness will flee as the light of God comes into your life, and your “sickness” will be healed, as your faith will make you well!  

 

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 to share from June Hunt’s Boundaries: How to Set Them, How to Keep Them.

 

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:

D. What Is the Root Cause of Bad Boundaries?

Inside the handle of Boris Onishchenko's epee is a layer of leather that conceals a complex wiring system.

When a pressure pad is pressed, it automatically triggers the scoreboard sensors that a "hit" has been made. The root cause of bad boundaries for Boris is the desire to win at all costs, to expand his Olympic medal collection even if it means meddling with his epee.

The British fencing team manager, Mike Proudfoot, says Boris' method for cheating is "a real engineering job. Not just a ham amateur's effort. They had to dismantle the weapon to discover it." Not only is Boris disqualified from further Olympic competition, the entire Soviet pentathlon team is forced to withdraw. Jim Fox respects boundaries by playing by the rules and helps lead his teammates to Olympic Gold!

Scripture strongly conveys...

"If the righteous receive their due on earth, how much more the ungodly and the sinner!"

(Proverbs 11:31)

God is love, and He made us for loving relationships. His love is the basis for our boundaries and the glue that holds our relationships together. His plan includes time for infants to receive this love as they bond with their parents to form attachments that lay the foundation for future boundaries.

When you love others, bond with them, express your own boundaries, and help them to achieve healthy boundaries, you exhibit God's love in action. Relationships are vitally important for people to survive and thrive.

The Bible abounds with Scriptures about love because God is love. . . .

"And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. . . . Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love."

(1 John 4:16, 7-8)

3 God-Given Inner Needs

In reality, we have all been created with three God-given inner needs: the needs for love, significance, and security.

  • Love—to know that someone is unconditionally committed to our best interest
    "My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you" (John 15:12).
  • Significance—to know that our lives have meaning and purpose
  • "I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me" (Psalm 57:2 ESV).
  • Security—to feel accepted and a sense of belonging
    "Whoever fears the Lord has a secure fortress, and for their children it will be a refuge" (Proverbs 14:26).

The Ultimate Need-Meeter

Why did God give us these deep inner needs, knowing that people and self-effort fail us?

God gave us these inner needs so that we would come to know Him as our Need-Meeter. Our needs are designed by God to draw us into a deeper dependence on Christ. God did not create any person or position or any amount of power or possessions to meet the deepest needs in our lives.

If a person or thing could meet all our needs, we wouldn't need God! The Lord will use circumstances and bring positive people into our lives as an extension of His care and compassion, but ultimately only God can satisfy all the needs of our hearts. The Bible says...

"The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail."

(Isaiah 58:11)

The apostle Paul revealed this truth by first asking, "What a wretched man I am. Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?" He then answers his own question by saying he is saved by " . . . Jesus Christ our Lord!" (Romans 7:24-25).

All along, the Lord planned to meet our deepest needs for...

• Love

"I [the Lord] have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness" (Jeremiah 31:3).

• Significance

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future'" (Jeremiah 29:11).

• Security

"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).

The truth is that our God-given needs for love, significance, and security . . . can be legitimately met . . . in Christ Jesus! Philippians 4:19 makes it plain. . . .

"My God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus."

Since actions are based on beliefs, boundaries reflect what we believe. If our beliefs are wrong, our subsequent thoughts and behaviors will be wrong, and our boundaries will also be wrong. In other words, bad boundaries result from bad thoughts that come from bad beliefs. It is always wise to give thought to the basis for your boundaries because what you think in your heart reveals what sort of person you are. . . .

"For as he thinks in his heart, so is he."

(Proverbs 23:7 NKJV)

Wrong Belief:

"If I set boundaries I will push people away and I will never get the approval and acceptance I need in order to feel good about myself, nor will I receive the love, significance, and security I need."

Right Belief:

"This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins" (1 John 4:10).


Biblical Counseling Keys: Boundaries: How to See Them - How to Keep Them.

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

 

 

 

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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship