Nothing Between You and God – Purity 672
Purity 672 03/07/2022 Purity 672 Podcast
Today’s photo of my canine friend, Harley, looking into the distance underneath blue skies and a blazing sun comes to us from yours truly as man and beast both decided to take a moment to pause and look around while we were taking a late afternoon stroll down Waite Rd in Easton NY yesterday. I would say that I was talking Harley for a walk yesterday but in truth it could be said that he takes me for a walk as he knows the routine enough that he enthusiastically takes the lead and the only guidance I provide in our journey is when and where we will turn back and make the return trek back to our countryside home.
Well, it’s Monday again and even though most of us are technically free agents that have been blessed with free will most of us will decide to exercise our freedom to direct us to our jobs today that will provide us with the income to keep us free from homelessness and want. Yup, we might be free, but our needs and the word of God indicate that we should be responsible and be stewards of what God has provided us with.
Our immediate needs of food, water, and shelter can be met in a variety of ways, but human experience and our societies have taught us that the establishment of ordered communities with various options for homes and different means to gain the income to pay for our place in those homes give us a way to meet those needs.
There are all kinds of different homes we can live in, and all kinds of different occupations that we can have to provide us with the income to meet our physical needs. And we have the freedom to choose where we will live and what we will do. But after we decide those things, we are led by the consequences of our decisions and in order to remain in our homes we have to relinquish our freedom to do whatever we want to some degree and be responsible and consistent to maintain our homes and keep our needs met.
Beyond our physical needs, the choices of where we will live and how we will pay for our place there also form the basis for our lifestyle and they also give us a sense of purpose. The regular routines and the schedules of meeting our needs by working give us the direction and course of our lives both for today and possibly to guide us for years to come. Our basic purpose becomes to maintain and to possibly improve our lifestyle through the choices of our work.
When we make wise choices, the struggle to meet those basic needs can become less and less and we can see things improve to the point that we might think that we have it “all figured out”. We get home and the means to pay for it all and life is good.
But as good as life can be because we are able to meet our physical needs through work, and we can have our emotional needs fulfilled through our relationships with family and friends, as we move through time and space we realize that the regular routine we establish will not go on forever.
As we have seen those who have gone before us age and go into eternity, we should become concerned with the big questions of life that go beyond just preparing for our golden years. No matter how wise our shrewd we are in planning to meet our physical and emotional needs for now and years ahead, the reality that our physical lives will end should cause us to consider the mystery of life to seek us to meet our spiritual needs that will give us the assurance of a good place in eternity.
So in our desperation to find a good place in eternity we may seek the security of someone to lead us.
Just like the world is filled with different means to pay for the places we live physically, there are various religious systems and philosophies that suggest how it is you can be assured of a good place beyond this life.
Fortunately, God showed His love for us and sent Jesus Christ as the messenger of and the means to our eternal salvation. The Bible documents the life, death, and resurrection of Christ and clearly indicates that it is through faith in Christ alone that man can be reconciled to God. Eternal life comes through faith in Jesus Christ alone and it is our personal responsibility to make the decision to put our faith in Him. We come directly to God and His kingdom through Jesus Christ.
We don’t have to go to or through anyone else but Jesus to be made right with God. Christ is our advocate, and we can come boldly to the Father directly after we put our faith in Jesus because we receive peace with Him.
As the heading of mt4christ.org testifies, I am a former Catholic and unfortunately some of the things I was taught through the Catholic church indicated to me that I had to go through other people in order for God to hear me. I was taught to prayer to Mary to pray for me “now and at the hour of my death”. Why would I have to pray to Mary, or anyone, if I am saved by faith in Christ alone?
I was also told of various saints that I should pray for specific needs. For instance I should pray to St. Christopher if I l was traveling, or I should pray to St. Anthony if I lost something. Why, would I have to do that? Doesn’t God hear my prayers and protect me like the Bible indicates that He does?
I don’t know if you are familiar with these things, but it may cause you to ask, like I did: who makes this stuff up? The answer is fallible men that were deemed infallible by Roman Catholic church tradition. The abuse of power and corruption of the Roman Catholic system is detailed throughout history and caused the Protestant Reformation which was integral to bringing the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ that is taught in the Bible to light after it was obscured and hidden from the common man because of ignorance of the scriptures and the sinfulness of men.
The subject of the problem is the Roman Catholic system is vast but you can get a brief education about the depth of the problem by reviewing John MacArthur’s message “Usurping the Seat of Christ” (https://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/80-405/usurping-the-seat-of-christ).
MacArthur takes a hard line against the system of Roman Catholicism and presents a plethora of evidence of just why it is that Christians should not assume that their friends or relatives that are members of the Catholic Church have an understanding of gospel of Jesus Christ or covenant relationship with God the Father through faith in Christ alone. The work of the Protestant Reformation to expose the truth of fallacies of the Romans Catholic Church system and to educate the masses of the truth of the gospel of grace through faith in Christ alone is not finished.
As a former Catholic I can testify to the ignorance that I lived in under that Roman Catholic system and how I felt condemned and had no hope for salvation because I thought I had to earn it in some way.
The unbiblical doctrines of indulgences and purgatory which are still “on the books” in the Catholic system are small examples of the truth of a system of spiritual materialism where man has to earn his way to God. The veneration of the virgin Mary and of the other saints reinforce the impression of our unacceptable status and the need to have someone else, other than Jesus, reconcile us to God.
Christ didn’t come to earth to die for our sins so we would have to go through Mary, other saints, a priest, or a church system to be saved.
Unlike our homes on earth that have to be paid for and maintained through constant payments of mortgages, rent, or taxes, our place in God’s kingdom has been paid for and prepared for us by Jesus Christ alone. We don’t have to pay for our place in God’s kingdom nor do we need to continue to pay for our place there through our financial contributions or behavioral efforts.
No can lead us to God, but Jesus Christ and we should not put anything or anyone else between us and God after we have put our faith in Jesus. Our faith in Christ makes us new creations and brothers and sisters to Jesus as we become the adopted children of God the Father.
So no matter if you have been a part of the Catholic church or not, I would encourage you to know the peace, love, and joy that is possible when you are made right with God by placing your faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
Jesus paid the cost and welcomes us to be a part of His family. We don’t have to pay or earn our way into the family. We are adopted through faith in Jesus and can come directly to God the Father with all our requests.
So as I say keep walking and talking with God. We don’t have to walk and talk with anyone else to get our messages to Him. because when we are reconciled to Him through Jesus, He is with us and available to talk to us directly.
Today’s Bible verses come to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.
This morning’s meditation verse is :
21 Then Jesus told them, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and don’t doubt, you can do things like this and much more. You can even say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen.
22 You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it.”
Today’s verses are the testimony of Jesus Christ that encourages us to pray.
Jesus doesn’t instruct us to pray to his mother or anyone else. When the disciples ask Christ how they should pray in Matthew 6, Jesus directs them to pray to “our Father”.
So Christ made it clear who we should pray to our heavenly Father.
And today’s verses indicate that if we have faith and don’t doubt we can receive amazing things through our prayers.
Since church history has no evidence for mountains being thrown literally in the seas, as far as I know, we have to assume that Christ was speaking figuratively here but His hyperbolic words are intended to cause us to trust God to answer our prayers for situations that we may deem impossible.
The figurative mountains in our lives can be financial problems, disease, relationship problems, and the mountains of besetting sin that can drive us to despair and fear. But Jesus words encourage our relationship with God to Father to ask and receive His assistance.
There are testimonies upon testimonies of answered prayers throughout church history and happening in the world today. So even though the situations we face in life can seem unmovable, trust the words of Jesus and pray to the Father and be confident that He will help you. No matter how big the mountain, obey the words of Jesus and pray.
As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.
Today we continue sharing from June Hunt’s Codependency: Balancing an Unbalanced Relationship.
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 his work. This resource is available on many websites for less than $5.00.
G. Help for an Unhealthy Relationship
Releasing is not to stop loving you,
but is to love enough to stop leaning on you.
Releasing is not to stop caring for you,
but is to care enough to stop controlling you.
Releasing is not to turn away from you,
but is to turn to Christ, trusting His control over you.
Releasing is not to harm you,
but is to realize "my help" has been harmful.
Releasing is not to hurt you,
but is to be willing to be hurt for healing.
Releasing is not to judge you,
but is to let the divine Judge judge me.
Releasing is not to restrict you,
but is to restrict my demands of you.
Releasing is not to refuse you,
but is to refuse to keep reality from you.
Releasing is not to cut myself off from you,
but is to prune the unfruitful away from you.
Releasing is not to prove my power over you,
but is to admit I am powerless to change you.
Releasing is not to stop believing in you,
but is to believe the Lord alone will build character in you.
Releasing you is not to condemn the past,
but is to cherish the present and commit our future to God.
My Commitment because of Christ in Me
Because Jesus lives in me
... I will conquer codependency.
Because Christ was not a "people-pleaser"
... I will not be a "people-pleaser."
Because Christ refused to compromise
... I will not yield to compromise.
Because Christ kept healthy boundaries
... I will keep healthy boundaries.
Because Christ stood up to pressure
... I will not cave in to pressure.
Because Jesus lives in me
... I will conquer codependency!
"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." (Galatians 2:20)
Biblical Counseling Keys: Codependency: Balancing an Unbalanced Relationship.
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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship