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Showing posts with label 2 Corinthians. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2 Corinthians. Show all posts

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Happy Veteran’s Day - Honoring All Who Served - Purity 573

 



Happy Veteran’s Day - Honoring All Who Served - Purity 573

Purity 573 11/11/2021   Purity 573 Podcast

Good morning

Today’s photo of the leave covered Old Champlain Canal Tow Path running next to a pond known as the Schuylerville Basin behind the post office in Schuylerville NY comes to us from yours truly as we had stopped there to mail a package to a young woman who is currently “becoming a Marine” at boot camp on Paris Island SC.   

If I had the time to walk the Tow Path, I would have discovered that the trail would have led me over “Fish Creek” to General Philip Schuyler House and eventually to State Route 4.

Philip Schuyler was an American General in the Revolutionary War and a United States Senator. Schuyler fought in the French and Indian War. He won election to the New York General Assembly in 1768 and to the Continental Congress in 1775. He planned the Continental Army's 1775 Invasion of Quebec, but poor health forced him to delegate command of the invasion to Richard Montgomery. He prepared the Continental Army's defense of the 1777 Saratoga campaign but was replaced by General Horatio Gates as the commander of Continental forces in the theater. Schuyler resigned from the Continental Army in 1779.

Schuyler served in the New York State Senate for most of the 1780s and supported the ratification of the United States Constitution. He represented New York . After a period in the state senate, he won election to the United States Senate again in 1797, affiliating with the Federalist Party. He resigned due to poor health the following year. He was the father of Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton and the father-in-law of Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton.  (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Schuyler)

Yes, in case you are wondering that Alexander Hamilton, Alexander Hamilton whose life was documented in the Lin-Manuel Miranda’s popular musical Hamilton. 

So even though Schuyler’s military service seems to have had issues (because the last I knew Quebec is not a state, and although the Saratoga Campaign was a “great turning point of the war, he was replaced), Schuyler is remembered and honored for his service to our country.

Today is Veteran’s Day and little did I know that when we were mailing a package to someone who has started down the path that will prayerfully lead to their successfully entering and serving in the military that I was in front of a path that led to the house of a United States Revolutionary War General. 

The paths we choose in life can take us in all kinds of directions and through all kinds of terrain and environments, but it is usually the paths of service to others that lead to a life that is remembered and has the best potential for realizing at least part of what the Lord plans for our lives.  

My pastor told me once that we will be remembered as one of two things in life:

·       Someone who was a problem

or

·       Someone who solved problems.  

The someone’s who solved problems undoubtedly will be remembered for their service to their fellow man.  

So today on Veteran’s Day, we remember those who served in the United States military.  Unlike how the world system typically only  honors those who perform the best, today’s holiday gets it right by honoring all veterans regardless of their function or level of performance.  

It doesn’t  matter what branch in the military you were in, what your rank was, what medals or commendations you may have received, or when and where you served, if you made it through the training and officially became a member of the armed forces and served, even for a single day, today we say “Thank You for Your Service”  or to paraphrase what we all want to hear when we see our Heavenly Father face to face “Well done good and faithful servant!”       

Just like the military, being a “Christian soldier” is also a path that is best defined and remembered as a path of service.  The Christians who best represent the kingdom of God are those who don’t just sit on the sidelines of life “believing”.

Christ said that you would know His disciples by their fruit and by their love for one another. One of the most visible fruits that would reveal our love of God is our decision to step on the path of Christian discipleship to be “trained” in righteousness and to serve God’s kingdom through acts of kindness and service.  

Just like a soldier is trained to behave a certain way while on duty, a Christian’s tour of duty never ends and should demonstrate a heartfelt desire to conduct themselves according to the Lord’s will and ways for their life as described in the Bible.   So the disciple would seek to study the word of God and to conform their thoughts and actions to align with what it says.  

And just like a soldier’s training is purposeful and “just may save someone’s life someday”,  a Christian’s learning the Lord’s way for living should be for the purpose of serving the kingdom of God by serving His fellow man and by sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ that “just may save someone’s soul someday!”

Today is Thursday and Veteran’s Day, so while I encourage all to thank and honor all those who served in the United States military, on this one particular Thursday in November of 2021, at the very least, I would always encourage my friends, every day, to get on the path of Christian Discipleship to honor God and to fulfill our purpose as Christians: to love and serve the Lord by “solving problems.” 

While we can use our gifts of strength, intellect, and ingenuity to solve a lot of problems that we encounter here on earth,  only Christians who know the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ and share it with those around them can be used to help his fellow man solve the biggest problem of their lives by ushering them into a reconciled relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ.

So keep walking and talking with God down that pathway that started with spiritual death but that has led us to a new and eternal life where we can enjoy every step of our journey by being in God’s presence continually but where we can also bring the love of God into other people’s experience through our acts of kindness and service and by sharing the good news that Christ came to serve and save all who call upon Him as Lord and Savior.  

 

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

This morning’s meditation verse is :

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT2)
17  This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

Today’s verse speaks of the truth of the new life that we have in Christ.  

Because of Adam’s lost his spiritual life when He disobeyed the Lord and was expelled from the Garden of Eden , all of humanity, as Adam’s descendants, have been born spiritually dead and at enmity with God.  

However, God’s love for us caused Him to develop a plan for redemption. Jesus Christ came to earth and demonstrated the legitimacy of His claim to be the Messiah, Lord, Savior, and God the Son through:

·       His words and miraculous works,

·       living a sinless life,

·       dying for our all mankind’s sins,

·       being resurrected from the dead

·       , and ascending into heaven.

When people not only believe “the story of Jesus” but actually put their faith in Him personally as Lord and Savior. God sends the Holy Spirit to indwell them and make them spiritually alive.  The change in our spiritual status from spiritually dead to spiritually alive makes us a new person.  

The moment we put our faith in Jesus we are reconciled to God, forgiven of all our sins, saved from God’s wrath, and adopted as His children into His royal family.  We are given a new and eternal life in God’s kingdom.

That reality will really come into focus when our lives on earth end or when Christ returns, but it is true right now and today’s verse seeks to remind and encourage us of the fact that the “The old life is gone” and “a new life has begun!” and invites us to experience it here and now. 

So every day remind yourself that not only are you physically alive, but God has made you spiritually alive! When you put your faith in Jesus your old, sinful, and worldly life ended and the new life you have began. 

So keep walking and talking with God, so you can know and experience that new life God has given 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.

D. What Does "Theodicy" Mean?

If it is true that "Life is full of suffering, and then you die," what is the purpose of living at all? This life, however, is but a fleeting training ground for the life to follow—eternal life that will go on forever. God will use the sufferings in this life for our eternal good if we choose to rely on Him.

While this is not the best of all worlds, it is the way to the best of all worlds! Only by giving control of our lives to our Lord and Savior in this life can we be given the next life God has prepared for us.

"Our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." (2 Corinthians 4:17-18)

  • The word theodicy is a theological term used in apologetics (a defense of the faith) to vindicate the goodness, justice, and existence of God in the face of all the evil and injustice in the world. Those who are convinced that God is absolutely just know that His reputation is not at stake and can state with absolute confidence...
        "Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you." (Psalm 89:14)
  • The Greek word theos means "God," and the Greek word dike carries the idea of "justice." As you increasingly come to know the Lord God, you increasingly have confidence in the character of God.
        "He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he." (Deuteronomy 32:4)
  • Theodicy is a logical defense of the goodness of God despite the existence of evil in the world. Because logical reasoning can be effective in presenting truth to those who have not heard the truth, we are told...

"Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander." (1 Peter 3:15-16)

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

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. 

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

Monday, October 25, 2021

Looks Like We Made It.. to Monday - Amazing Grace - Purity 558


Looks Like We Made It.. to Monday  - Amazing Grace -  Purity 558

Purity 558 10/25/2021 Purity 558 Podcast

Good morning

Today’s photo comes to us from a friend who put their feet up to sit back and relax and to take in this stunning view from their ascension of North Point this past Saturday. Although it is Monday and the work week has only just begun, let’s just take a moment this morning to remind ourselves of all the things we have accomplished and all the things the Lord has brought us through up to this moment in our lives.  

The fact that you are listening to this message or reading this post or blog means that you are a survivor and that the Lord has more for you to experience before He calls you home. So be proud of what you have done, thank the Lord for providing all that you have received along the way, and look to Him for strength, love, and guidance as you walk into the last week of October 2021.      

I received this poem from a brother in Christ half a world away, Philip Hand who lives in Manchester in the United Kingdom, and thought I would share it to remind us of all of what Christ did for us.  I also share the Bible verses, from the King James version, from which Philip was inspired to compose it.  

Amazing grace

Not in building’s made by hand

or artistic masterpieces bold and grand.

A bittersweet love song of sacrifice and love.

Leaving His throne in heaven above.

The Holy Lamb who came to save

the foolish from the mess that they made.

A crown of thorns placed on our sin

shining the power of His beauty deep within.

The hearts of the lost who cry in distress.

Lord save even me give this grieving soul rest.

Set our hearts on fire and fill this holy place

and let me truly know Your amazing grace.”

-Philip Hand

Acts 17:24 (KJV)
24  God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;

Also,                                                          

John 3:16 (KJV)
16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Psalm 34:6 (KJV)
6  This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.

Jeremiah 31:33 (KJV)
33  But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

2 Corinthians 5:20-21 (KJV)
20  Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.
21  For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

 

Today’s Bible verses are drawn from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.  

This morning’s meditation verses are:

1 Peter 2:21-23 (NLT2)
21  For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps.
22  He never sinned, nor ever deceived anyone.
23  He did not retaliate when he was insulted, nor threaten revenge when he suffered. He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly.

Today’s verses remind us to trust the Lord implicitly and to be conformed to the image of Christ in how we conduct ourselves and respond to the negative circumstances in the world.

 

Ever since I read Luke 5 where Peter told Christ  to “Depart from me for I am a sinful man, O Lord!”, I have had a special affinity for the Apostle who rose above all his mistakes, including denying Christ, to go on to lead the early church.   

Here Peter, as if speaking from experience, acknowledges that although we will suffer for our faith, we are to do good and follow in the example of Christ by:

·       Abstaining from sin,

·       Speaking the Truth, for Christ never deceived anyone,

·       Not retaliating to insults,

·       Not seeking revenge for ourselves when we are harmed

·       Trusting in the Lord

If there was any Apostle who could relate to the difficulties of the Christian life, it was Peter. Instead of giving “greasy grace” that would sympathize with our human frailties, Peter tells us to “walk the walk” of authentic Christians with moral living and by facing any suffering and persecution just as Christ did, with a complete trust and dependence on God the Father.   

Just like Peter, we won’t be perfect in our Christian walk, but we are to keep walking. We are to live our lives as Christ, and Peter’s, example taught us.  While Peter wasn’t perfect, his story gives us hope to be redeemed of our sins and to progress in our maturity in the Christian faith. 

Like Christ, Peter went to His own cross but when he did, tradition tells us, that he requested to be crucified upside down because even after he had turned from his mistakes of the past and faithfully led the church, he didn’t count himself worthy of dying in the same manner as His Lord and Savior.  Even in his martyr’s death, Peter teaches us he hadn’t attained a state of Christlike perfection. 

This teaches us that we will never be perfect like Christ in this life, but it also teaches us that we can use every moment of our lives to give Him glory as we seek to be like Him, and we should never stop living out our faith.  

So keep walking and talking with God, none of us are perfect but when we come to faith in Jesus Christ we come into relationship with the One who is, and we should be motivated to share His perfect wisdom and love with the world that desperately needs it.  

 

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:

D. What Are the Myths and Truths About Dating?

Her profile says she's 25, stands 5 feet 6 inches tall, weighs 120 pounds, and is a natural blonde. After a few dates, she admits she's really 28 years old, 5 feet 4 inches tall, and highlights her hair. He already had guessed the 120 pounds was a fond memory or the result of a faulty scale.

He, too, stretches the truth. He plays up his job title, downplays why his last relationship ended, and tries to impress by flashing cash and dropping names.

Of course, both would be better served by being honest with each other...and themselves. For the biblical book of wisdom reveals the intimacy found in honesty....

"An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips." (Proverbs 24:26)

• Myth

"I need a 'lure' to catch a date."

  • The bait technique....................claiming the other person's interests as your own
    "I'm really interested in cameras."
  • The blunder technique.............claiming to have an "accident" to get help
    "I'm so sorry I dropped all these coins."
  • The buying technique...............claiming the "need" for assistance
    "Could you help me pick out a good coffee?"

Truth

Deceptive techniques are not honoring to God and will not be blessed by Him.

"Keep me from deceitful ways." (Psalm 119:29)

• Myth

"I feel guilty going to church or Bible study with the hope of meeting someone to date."

Truth

You are experiencing false guilt. Certainly, finding a date should not be the main reason you attend church. However, God desires that you meet and fellowship with other Christians, and what better place to find eligible people to date than at a church or Bible study?

"Let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another." (Hebrews 10:25 NLT)

• Myth

"As a Christian, if I date someone who is not a Christian, God will use me to change my date."

Truth

You have no such guarantee. The Bible never endorses "missionary dating" or "missionary marriages"—dating or marrying a man in order to make him your mission field. Let's assume you become yoked to an unbeliever in marriage. If he is headed toward darkness, where will you be pulled? Toward darkness! If he is headed away from God, where will you be pulled? Away from God! If this non-Christian is to be saved—wait until he is saved and changed by God. Then you may be led to date and possibly marry him.

"Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?... Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?" (2 Corinthians 6:14-15)

• Myth

"It doesn't matter if I date a non-Christian as long as I plan to marry a Christian."

Truth

The same factors that draw you into a dating relationship may very well later draw you into a marriage relationship. Dating a non-Christian places you in danger of becoming emotionally involved and, later, becoming unequally yoked in marriage. The more prudent course of action would be to not date anyone you could not or would not consider as a potential marriage partner.

"The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty." (Proverbs 22:3)

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

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

 

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