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Showing posts with label Colossians. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Colossians. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Stepping out of the Box - Purity 698


Stepping out of the Box -   Purity 698

Purity 698  04/06/2022   Purity 698 Podcast

Good morning,

Today’s photo of an “original” piece of art, which features a full moon over a mountain range with it’s light reflected on a lake below, and it’s artist comes to us from yours truly as I boldly crossed apparent gender norms and joined my wife and other female members of my wife’s family this past weekend in a family “paint n’ sip” gathering. 

Well it’s Wednesday, and I figured that the full moon smack dab in between the pair of mountains on my painting was as good a representation for making it to the midpoint of the work week as any, and I thought that this photo could also be used as an example of deciding to step out of the box and to try new things and to overcome things that hold us back from experiencing our freedom in Christ.  

They say a picture is worth a thousand words and in this one I could really say so much but am limited by time and want to try to hit as many points as possible without going too deep but at the same time I don’t want to miss anything.  

First things first:  “Isn’t a “paint n’ sip” just a reason for a bunch of women to get together and get drunk?  

I would have to admit that it certainly could be.   I know when I used to drink, any and every activity, or day of the week, was as good a reason as any for having a few drinks or getting totally snockered. 

So ladies, or guys, if you are looking forward to the next activity so you can “unwind” or enjoy some “wine time”, you may have a problem.  I really don’t care how much or how often you drink, if you use alcohol to reduce stress or enjoy getting drunk from time to time, I want you to know that you don’t need it. 

The Lord may not completely prohibit the use of alcohol but all the “drunken” verses in the Bible tells us that seeking peace in alcohol is not the plan God has for your life.   If we are seeking to find peace through anything rather than from the Lord, we may be “making idols” out of things we shouldn’t and we may be in bondage to “our little helpers” when we could receive life and life more abundantly by walking in the Spirit.

Number 2: Aren’t those “paint n’ sip” things just for girls?     

Apparently, in my in-laws family they are! Shots fired. Just kidding, there seems to be some gender confusion in my wife’s family or not… we are all free to choose to do what we want.

All the other men in attendance chose not to participate.  I guess they all decided they aren’t “artistic” or perhaps they thought of it as not a “manly” activity.  I don’t know their personal histories include and I don’t know the reasons why they didn’t choose to paint. 

I respect their decision not to paint but, for me, I like to try new things.  Also I know that the spectrum of art is really genderless, anyone can paint.  It is not an activity that is just for any one gender. 

Most hobbies do not have a gender identity. I can sew, cook, craft, paint, draw, or crochet just as any lady can decided to hunt, fish, or do any other traditionally “male” activities.   

While I don’t agree that we get to choose what gender we are, in terms of hobbies, unless perversion is a part of the activity, I believe that we have the freedom to do whatever we enjoy as long as that activity doesn’t take the place of a robust relationship with God. 

I have seen tombstones with deer and fish on them to highlight the departed’s interest in the great outdoors but when I see that I shudder because it indicates that person might have loved the Lord’s creation more than the Lord Himself.  That “great outdoors man” might be burning in hell because he found his peace in the wilderness and never found peace with His Heavenly Father.  

So anyway, most activities with rare exceptions are genderless and we should exercise our freedom from time to time to stretch ourselves and our limited concepts of life by doing somethings “outside of the box”.  

Third, Activities can bring us together.  We should try new things or  create things. God has given us free will. We should try new things. We also can give ourselves and possibly other people joy from the things we create. Creating works of art or building things can bring joy to ourselves and bring us closer to others as we share what we have done or as we join with others in the activity of building things or making works of art.   We should enjoy our lives and seek to show our love for others by including them in our activities or by sharing with them the things we do.   

And finally, don’t be afraid to show people who you are.  I started the audio podcast because I thought I had a “face for radio”.  Many of us have low self esteem and low opinion of our looks.  By sharing a photo that features my appearance today, I am stepping out of the box of my comfort zone a little by exposing my mug to the world.  

God has made us and in His eyes we are all beautiful.  He loves us. He sent Jesus to die for us.  We are very valuable and precious to Him.   There is no condemnation for those in Christ.   

So if you have a negative opinion of how you look, I want you to know that God doesn’t look on the outward appearance. 

1 Samuel 16:7 (NLT2)
7  But the LORD said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The LORD doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

This world will judge you by your looks, or by your performance, but God doesn’t do that. He cares about your character.  He looks at your heart. 

So don’t worry about the what the world thinks about the hobbies you do, the way you perform them, or by how you look.  Instead draw close the Lord by walking and talking with God every day.  He sent Christ to die for you and if you put your faith in Jesus, He welcomes you into His kingdom forever.

We don’t have to do everything right. We don’t have to do what the world expects us to do and we don’t have to measure up to the world’s standards.

 In Christ, we are accepted, secure, and significant and God loves us just as we are, but He does invites us to try something new. 

He invites us to learn from His word and walk in His ways to experience the peace, love, and joy that come from being in a harmonious relationship with Him, where we can escape the chains of convention, and condemnation, and the break the bonds of bitterness that the world system ensnares us in. 

The Lord wants us to step out of the box of the world system and to experience life and life more abundantly by finding our peace and purpose in Him.    

______________________________________________________________

Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.

This morning’s meditation verse is :

Colossians 3:13 (NLT2)
13  Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.

Today’s Bible verse reminds us of the implicit obligation Christians have to forgive.  

I have said that the term “unforgiving Christian” is an oxymoron and should never be spoken or experienced.  

In Christ we are forgiven of all our sins so we should rightfully “pay it forward” by forgiving others for the things they have done against us.   

Forgiving is not forgetting, and forgiving doesn’t mean we stay in relationship with abusers. Forgiving doesn’t mean we don’t establish boundaries in our lives to keep others from stealing our peace.  

Forgiveness is the way of peace. Bitterness is the result of unforgiveness. So not only is forgiving the right thing to do, but it is also the means by which we can experience our freedom in Christ and mature in our faith.  

Except for Jesus, no body is perfect. We are not perfect.  So we should make allowances for the fallibility of other non-perfect people by forgiving them. 

If our interactions with others are less than pleasant, we need to make efforts to communicate our stance to try to make peace and establish a relationship that will be beneficial to both parties.

If we are unable to do that, we should establish boundaries to limit our interactions  or we could decide to end the relationship.  

We forgive but we value ourselves the way God values us.  He wants us to live in peace and even Jesus instructed His disciples to walk away from those who rejected the gospel.  

So we should forgive everyone for everything, but we shouldn’t necessarily be continual suffering servants to those who would abuse us.  Their abuse is wrong, and they have no right to harm us.

We should seek to make peace with others as long as it depends on us, but when others don’t learn to repent of their abusive ways, we should forgive them, leave them, and pray that the Lord will come into their lives to change them.  

We cannot change people.  We must forgive them, but We are not God.  So let go and let God.  By following the Lord’s ways for our lives, we can know the peace that comes from forgiveness and letting the Lord deal with the things that we can not change.  

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 Overeating: Freedom from Food Fixation.  

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.

H. How to Tailor Multiple Treatment Strategies for Binge Eating

No one approach to overcoming well-established patterns of binge eating can effectively address all the issues involved in this complex disorder. The soul (mind, will, emotions), body, and spirit all work together to create and support eating patterns. Therefore all these elements need to be engaged and working together toward the same goal of healthy eating if treatment is to be successful. Seek wise counsel as you consider all of your options.…

“The word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.… Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

(Hebrews 4:12–13, 16)

4 Objectives for Restoring Health

     To progress toward emotional, physical, and spiritual healing and wholeness

     To adopt healthy attitudes toward body and self-image

     To initiate sound eating habits that limit the possibility for binge eating

     To reach and maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle

4 Aids on Your Path toward Health

As you take steps toward better health, different options are available to help you on your path to wholeness. Here are several options that you can consider.

     Professional Counseling—Working with a therapist to reveal hidden issues that may have contributed to binge eating or other destructive behavior patterns may help you to make important life changes.

     Medical Intervention—You may need to speak with a doctor and nutritionist about options for reaching and maintaining a healthy weight, including diet, exercise, lifestyle changes, and medication.

     Individualized Strategy—Evaluate the benefits and weaknesses of beginning a weight loss program, attending a support group, or visiting a health club to determine whether this would help you reach your goals.

     Spiritual Dependence—Whatever options you choose to help you reach your goal of a healthy body, you need to cultivate your relationship with Jesus Christ and depend on His strength to help you in your weakness.

“… ‘My [Jesus’] grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I [Paul] will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

(2 Corinthians 12:9)

Listen and Learn

Question: “What is involved in listening to your body?”

Answer: Listening to your body is somewhat like listening to a friend—you listen for what is meant and what is felt, what is needed and what is wanted. Your body is in constant communication with you regarding its needs and desires, its pains and its pleasures. Your body knows when it needs to be fed and when food needs to be withheld. It knows when it needs fuel and when it is full. Listening means knowing when the desire for food means you need nutrition and when it means you need nurturing.

Three helpful hints to listening to your body include …

     Eat because you are hungry, not because you are bored, stressed, or lonely.

   Eat if your stomach is growling.

   Eat if you have a headache.

   Eat if several hours have passed since you last ate.

     Eat what you want, not what you dislike.

   Eat in moderation.

   Eat colorful, enjoyable foods.

   Eat what your body both needs and desires.

     Eat until you are content, not until you are full or stuffed.

   Eat while sitting down.

   Eat slowly and methodically.

   Eat purposefully, focusing on the tastes, smells, and textures of your foods.

If you listen to your body and love it by responding to what it truly needs, you will find that overeating will become a pattern of the past and healthy eating will become your present pattern.

Remember the words the Lord spoke to the prophet Isaiah as you begin treating your body in a new way.…

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

(Isaiah 43:18–19)[1]

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

Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" 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. 

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTxjSNstREpuGWuL0bF3U7w/featured

Email me at mt4christ247@gmail.com to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.

My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock (https://www.facebook.com/groups/529047851449098 ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (https://feed.podbean.com/tammalyn78/feed.xml)

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship



[1] June Hunt, Biblical Counseling Keys on Overeating: Freedom from Food Fixation (Dallas, TX: Hope For The Heart, 2008), 36–38.

Monday, September 13, 2021

Falling Down and Walking Away – Prophecy of Pain and Loss – Purity 522

Falling Down and Walking Away – Prophecy of Pain and Loss  – Purity 522                                                     

Purity 522 09/13/2021 Purity 522 Podcast

Good morning

Today’s photo of an August sunset over Lake Ontario that features the moon comes to us from Celestial Blue Photography.  I am a huge admirer of the work of photographer, Rocco Saya, and periodically share some of his “views”.   The last time I shared a photo of his was of a beautiful sunset on September 4th.  The “title” of my blog that day was “Falling Down and Finding Comfort in His Presence”, referring to a misstep that I had made in my plan for optimal health due to stress.   I had no idea that the association of my title and Rocco’s photo could later be said to have prophetic underpinnings.  

Unfortunately, four days later, on September 8th, while photographing waterfowl on the on the shores of Breitbeck Park, Rocco fell off one of the large boulders there and broke his fibula and had to be rescued by firemen and EMT’s. His injury is quite painful and will require surgery.  So I am asking for prayers for comfort and healing for Rocco during this difficult time.  He injured himself while doing what he loved, and we pray that his recovery is complete, and he is fully restored to return to capturing the beauty of God’s creatures and creation.  

We never know what the next day in our lives will bring and I often try to encourage people to be intentional in the steps they make from day to day and to express the love they have for their friends and family now because we are not promised tomorrow.  

Part of the process of my sharing daily encouragements began when I agreed to be an accountability partner with someone and started sending them daily texts. I eventually started sharing that daily text with a group of men, and later several other individuals.  Even to this day, the message that I put out on the blog 6 days a week, is still texted to  that group of men.  As time has passed, on occasion I will get a notice that someone in the group would like to be taken off the list.  The texts are obviously voluntary so even though I am little disappointed to see people leave the group text, I immediately honor the request and hold no hard feelings towards those who “walk away”.    

On Wednesday, last week I sent out the group text and received an indication from one of the men on the group text that he would like to be taken off the list.  I just gave a “thumbs up” to his comment and the next day didn’t include him the text anymore. 

I just found out this morning that this person is no longer on this earth. They passed away two days ago. They were only 42 years old. I don’t know the details of their death and don’t wish to speculate but I really wish they had reached out to me and taken me up on my invitations to walk through life on the path of Christian Discipleship together.  Christ came to give us a new life and through following Him I know that we are given the power to change who we are. 

God gives us free will to choose to go His way or to choose to walk away.  Many people that I talk to about living out their faith indicate that they would really like to do that “someday”.  Unfortunately, if we keep going our own way and choose to walk away from the love that God wants to freely give, “someday” may never come.   

So, I don’t mean to bum anyone out on a Monday morning, but I want to encourage you today that your current situation could be worse, you could have a broken leg, and for those who are suffering a worse fate than that, you could be dead.   So going to work today might not seem so bad if we think about what has happened to two men who were just going about their business when something unexpected happened to change their course.   

So I encourage you to take care as you walk out into the world today and to appreciate the life and the health that you have.  Look for some beauty in your experience as you spend another day on earth. Appreciate the people and the things you have in your life and enjoy them. 

But most importantly, I would say to draw close to your heavenly Father by confirming or establishing your faith in Jesus Christ. Eternity can be a heartbeat away and if we are not careful the “someday” that we intend to make peace with God, may never come.    

So keep walking and talking with God. Tell the people in your life that you love them and share with them the hope that is found in Christ alone, the hope that will take you from here to eternity and beyond.

 

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:

Colossians 3:2 (NASB)
2  Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.

Today’s verse commands us to put our attention on the big picture.  

Considering that people lose their lives every day, we should be greatly concerned with what will happen to us at the hour of our death.  Luckily, Jesus Christ came to earth to warn us of the dangers of being separated from God when we die.  If you read the four  gospel accounts that detail Christ’s earthly ministry in the New Testament, you will quickly realize that “meek and mild” Jesus really taught a lot about hell and the great value of gaining entrance into the kingdom of God.

I don’t mean to put an emphasis on salvation with this verse but let’s be real! Setting your mind on the things above is great but if you don’t secure your salvation by putting your faith in Jesus Christ it won’t matter how much you pondered the mysteries of theology or doctrine.

So first things first, make Christ you Lord and Savior. Okay?  -

Then, with your new and eternal life in Christ, we should really set our minds on things above, meaning that we should ponder how God would want us to live our lives.

Again, it won’t matter how much we think about the things of God, unless we do something with our knowledge about God and our speculations about how to do His will. We need to actually apply them to our lives.  

We’ve all heard the phrase about being so heavenly minded that someone was no earthly good. We don’t want to be that guy. God gives us the revelation of His truth and wisdom so we can put our faith into action.  

So secure your salvation with faith in Jesus Christ and then experience the peace and power of walking in the Spirit by changing your ways of living to God’s ways.  Although we are saved for all of eternity in an instant when we place our faith in Christ, our sanctification – the process of becoming more like Christ- is a progressive process that requires the renewing of our minds and the practice of living according to God’s instructions and principles that are drawn from His word.  

The things of this earth may seem compelling but most of them will pass away or lead us astray from the purpose God has for us. So set your mind on things above and live out your faith everyday by living in the presence of God and according to His wisdom.


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 Characteristics Accompany Codependency?

Jeff Gillooly and Tonya Harding . . . their marriage is punctuated with violence, restraining orders, divorce filings, and enmeshment, which continues even after the marriage is over.

Who knows what motivates Jeff to conspire to injure his ex-wife's rival, but codependency seems to characterize his relationship with Tonya. The skater's former agent Michael Rosenberg says Jeff and Tonya are incompatible and others chime in that the couple fight frequently.

James Golden, Tonya's stepfather, observes: "If she looked at someone, he would get mad. He'd manipulate her real easy. He has such a possessive nature and is so jealous of her." In contrast, the Bible describes authentic love. . . .

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud."

(1 Corinthians 13:4)

Having a "codependent relationship" is being dependent on another person to the point of being addicted to, controlled, and manipulated by that person. It is the natural by-product of having little or no boundaries because it is driven by the lack of personal wholeness and sufficiency.

After all, if we can't depend on ourselves to meet our deep emotional needs, then it seems only logical to look to others to meet those needs—to depend on others to fill our emotional emptiness and to give us a sense of significance and purpose in life.

To be needed by someone is certainly ego-boosting and to meet that person's needs can be exhilarating . . . but to fail can be crushing, and to be rejected can be nothing less than catastrophic!

The problem for codependents is not their dependency but rather the object of their desire. The fact is, we are all dependent creations, but our desire should be for our Creator . . . our only true Need-Meeter . . . and not another dependent creature. As the psalmist wrote...

"I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."

(Psalm 73:23-26)

Codependency Is...

  • Marked by an insecure, dependent person spending an inordinate amount of time and energy meeting other people's needs and desires while neglecting personal needs and desires
  • Based on the belief that the subservient helper, the rescuer, the enabler has no inherent value or worth and can gain significance only by meeting the needs of other people
  • Rooted in the premise that one person not only determines the worth of another person but also has the ability to control that person's thoughts, feelings, actions, and the processes surrounding them
  • Identified as a relationship dominated by fear and control where power is exaggerated, misapplied, misdirected, and generally abused in an effort to get inner needs met
  • Established by boundary violators who seek to use a series of tactical maneuvers to get their own way without regard for anyone else's feelings or desires
  • Characterized by the skillful use of manipulation through deception and intimidation, goading guilt, heartrending stories, unsolicited and undesired advice, anger, and even threats

The Bible gives this description of those who are held captive to codependent relationships. . . .

" . . . they loved human praise more than praise from God."

(John 12:43)


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

---------------------------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

 

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Purity 428: Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship


Purity 428 05/26/2021 Purity 428 Podcast

Good morning.

Today’s photo of a blazing sun over, and reflected in, the waters of Queechy Lake in Canaan NY was captured by a friend on a paddling excursion last week.   I share it for its blazing beauty and because it was taken on a Wednesday and the sun seems to be right in the middle of this photo just like we are right in the middle of the week.

Unlike the regularity of the work week, when we are transitioning in life from one season to the next we are not always sure whether we are at the beginning, the middle, or the end.   When we are going through seasons of loss or change, some of us want to push to the ending, some want to go back to where they were, and others don’t want to go any further and would choose to not experience anymore changes and just stay where they are.   

We all have different situations in life and what might be good advice for one person isn’t necessarily going to be good advice for another.  I am a “push to the ending” or “go to the next thing’ type of person.  Perhaps because I grew up in a home where alcohol was abused, I tend to look beyond the trauma of what has happened and seek to clean up the mess and move on.  “Yeah stupid stuff happens, and things get broken around here… let’s just pick it up and make it nice again.” 

The problem with that response is that we have done nothing to change the “stuff that happens” or to prevent things from breaking in the future.  The person who made the mess is not held accountable and is not suffering the consequences for their actions.  

I used to clean up my own messes for most of my life and thought I was the only one to suffer from the consequences but that wasn’t true.  We don’t live in a vacuum. When we do stupid things or break stuff it impacts the other people in our lives.   My ex-wife and children had to live with the unpredictability of an alcoholic in their lives while I just thought “that’s they way we do things around here.”

Fortunately, the Lord called me out of the darkness of who I was and lead me to repentance and sobriety.  I am happy to say that my children report that they don’t think of me the way I used to be, and, unlike me, they have decided to not have drugs and alcohol in their lives.

Unfortunately, the transition to Christianity and sobriety proved to be too much of a change in me to allow my marriage to survive. While I was willing to “clean up the mess and make things nice”, the other party decided that they didn’t want to play nice anymore and as much as I tried to save it, I realized that the pain that my family was feeling would only be healed by letting go.   

As much as I wanted to make things nice, I realized I had to get out for peace to come. I faced a difficult road to a new home, one on which I didn’t know if I was at the beginning or the middle, but I sure knew I wasn’t at the end.  I didn’t know if there would be an end.  

But God…

God was with me every day as I sought His presence, wisdom, and strength in prayer and continually seeking Him.  Through His guidance, what seemed impossible was accomplished. My children and I live in a safe place where we know peace again.  

So I don’t know if you are at the beginning, in the middle, or near the end of this transitional season of your life and I don’t know if you need to stay or if you need to go.  Sometimes we can’t clean up the mess. Sometimes we can. 

I know one thing from most of my life watching things get swept under the rug and doing a fair amount of that myself.  It’s better to stop the person making messes rather than continually cleaning them up.  If they won’t work to change and save what they’ve broken, it tells you something about them and your relationship.

The mess maker needs to be held accountable for what they have done.  They need to realize the damage they have done.   When God showed me the extent of my depravity and the abundance of His love and grace, I followed where He led me. And while it has never been easy, I knew it was the right way to go.  

So keep walking and talking with God because He knows the right way for you to go.  No two people are the same so your path will be uniquely yours to follow but there will be few regrets if you listen to God and lean on Him.    

 

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Colossians 3:17 (NKJV)
17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

Today’s verse is the most basic instruction for those who are called to walk the Christian disciple’s path.  

I had originally written for those who “want” to walk the Christian disciple’s path, but I realized that in and of ourselves there is nothing that would want to choose a lifestyle where you are guaranteed persecution.   Before the Lord revealed the Truth to us, our desires were consumed by the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. 

No, we must be called.  The question is: how will you answer it?

While we believe in Jesus Christ and His redemptive plan for those who put their faith in Him, God didn’t just want “believers”. Jesus called people to follow Him and those who did He called His disciples.      

Being a disciple of Christ was demonstrated by learning from Him and living with Him.  Being a disciple is the same today.

I think the biggest distinctions in the disciple’s walk that differs from “believers” are compartmentalization and context.

We all compartmentalize our lives. We behave one way at home, and we behave another way at work.  Although many of the ways we behave at home and at work are consistent with who we consider ourselves to be, certain protocols at work demand we behave differently.  The way we act, the things we say, the clothes we wear are just different from one sphere to the next.  When quitting time comes on Friday afternoon, we can feel the weight of our work-selves being lifted as we are “free to be me”.   We have shifted gears from business to pleasure, or from professional to personal.     

Unfortunately, this compartmentalization of the way we live also happens in our spiritual lives as we act one way “in the building” than we do outside of God’s house.   Just like work, we may agree and behave according to the protocols of church while we are there but lose that demeanor the moment we are back in the world.  Have you seen yourself or others put on their Sunday best in terms of a righteous demeanor at church to watch it all but vanish when they passed through the threshold of the church’s exit?   

As this verse in Colossians indicates, the word of God directs us that in whatever we do we do it in the name of the Lord Jesus, that we live according to His way.     

As we walk the disciple’s path, we begin the process of tearing down the walls of compartmentalization, the divisions of the secular and the spiritual, and we start living in the context of God.

By abiding in the Lord’s presence and by reminding ourselves that we are Christians, we begin to see that there is no separation from the spiritual realities of life.  God is omnipresent. If we feel God is distant, we are the ones who have turned a blind eye to Him.   

The disciple’s path isn’t just living by a code of ethics or following rules, the disciple’s path is abiding in God’s presence and responding to life in the context of the truth of who we are in Christ and according to God’s wisdom.  

When we start walking with the Lord, we take our faith with us wherever we go. Our faith survives leaving the church building, goes home with us, and amazingly it goes with us to work on Monday morning too.  Our interactions with others become a part of an overall spiritual practice as we are grounded in God’s love and will seek to share it through acts of service and kindness.

When we realize our faith is in a God who never leaves us, we will naturally express His love to others and give thanks to God for all that He is and for all that He provides. 

The disciple’s walk does not need to be a stiff march our authoritarian obedience but is better understood as one that utilizes God’s wisdom and love to be a compassionate response to the world around us.  It is a walk that strengthens us as we make our way through the world and it empowers us to respond in a loving way that will show others that God is with us and that we are increasingly representing the Lord Jesus Christ in all that we do.     

I invite all to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk. 

  

 

Today, in continuing recognition of mental health awareness month, we continue to share from Dr. June Hunt’s “Suicide Prevention: Hope When Life Seems Hopeless “.

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Dr. 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 Turn from Feeling to Healing

When you’re in the darkest depths of despair, when you feel emotionally trapped with no way out, remember ... you’re not alone. Countless thousands all around the world are experiencing the same feelings of hopelessness.

Besides pursuing activities that will help dissuade suicidal thoughts, reach out to others who are hurting just as you are. Find comfort and solace in sharing feelings and encouraging one another. There’s no better way to bring hope and healing to yourself than by bringing hope and healing to someone else. Your own spirit will inevitably be lifted. ...

“Our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.” (2 Corinthians 1:7)

If you focus on feelings of despair, then hopelessness will inevitably lead to depression and possibly to suicidal thoughts. Replace those negative, self-defeating thoughts with constructive thoughts. ... Occupy your mind with uplifting activities. Above all, if you are thinking about suicide, call your pastor, a suicide prevention center, a counselor, or a trusted friend. They want to help you.

Activities to Alleviate Suicidal Obsession

• Walk, jog, bike, or swim ... for physical release

• Lie down or take a nap ... for physical renewal

• Take a long hot shower or bubble bath ... for physical soothing

• Curl up with a heating pad ... for emotional warmth

• Play with a pet or cuddle a stuffed animal ... for emotional comfort

• Journal or draw your feelings ... for emotional release

• Watch an inspiring movie ... for emotional enjoyment

• Play Christian praise music ... for spiritual inspiration

• Read a Christian book or biography ... for spiritual pleasure

• Memorize a verse of Scripture ... for spiritual focus

• Work a jigsaw or crossword puzzle ... for mental stimulation

• Do indoor or outdoor chores ... to remove clutter

• Clean a refrigerator, cabinet, closet, or a drawer ... to feel productive

• Prepare a grocery list, selecting healthy foods ... to meet physical needs

• Organize coupons and go shopping ... to meet practical needs

• Take prescription medicine as needed ... to meet medical needs

• Go to the park and watch the people ... to enjoy others

• Sort through clothes to give to the needy ... to benefit others

• Volunteer at a ministry, church, or charity ... to serve others

• Call a friend and offer help ... to reach out to others

“There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.” (Proverbs 23:18)


Biblical Counseling Keys - Biblical Counseling Keys – Biblical Counseling Keys: Suicide Prevention: Hope When Life Seems Hopeless.

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

 

God bless you all!

 

Join our Victory over the Darkness Discipleship Class 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) and Google podcasts (https://podcasts.google.com/?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9mZWVkLnBvZGJlYW4uY29tL210NGNocmlzdDI0Ny9mZWVkLnhtbA%3D%3D

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