Son Rise – Rising to the Call to Compassionate Service - Purity 566
Purity 566 11/03/2021 Purity 566 Podcast
Today’s photo of a “a gorgeous morning” at John Boyd Thacher State Park in Voorheesville NY comes to us from a pair of friends who decided to rise early last Thursday to experience some of “God’s infinite beauty” and to enjoy the fellowship of a friendship that has similar trials of life and an appreciation for God as a foundation. Although it is the sun rise they came to see, they captioned it “SON” rise because of the centrality of Jesus Christ in their lives. These two could testify to the beauty of this scenic location but remind their friends and families of the importance of God in their lives to overcome the challenges and adversity that life sometimes brings to our doorstep.
Well, Its Wednesday and as we ascend the hump of midweek once again I am excited by the prospects of being used by the Lord in the days ahead by being a voice of hope and care for my local community. Monday, I officially started training for my part time job as a Psychiatric Technician for a local mental health agency and was immediately pleased with my decision to follow this calling to practice and develop my counseling skills as I encountered a staff that was professional and compassionate in their efforts to help those who are reaching out for help in times of crisis. I have only just begun but am excited by the prospect of helping others in whatever capacity I can and believe that this part time job will be my next “ministry” as my current series of discipleship classes will be completed in a couple of weeks.
As Christians, I believe that we are called to be a voice of hope and a minister of compassion to our local community and that we should look for opportunities to help others. The Lord has put a desire in my heart to help others and although I diverted from my career in human services by going corporate nearly 25 years ago it looks like we are going back to that original purpose, albeit in a part time capacity.
Christ’s second commandment was to love our neighbors as ourselves and it is my hope that I can be used to help those in crisis. While I won’t necessarily be preaching the gospel like I would in my discipleship classes, I will be a minister of compassion that will try to assure those who are in crisis that there are reasons to hope for a better life and that help is available in times of need.
So keep walking and talking with God. Enjoy the fellowship of your friends and family and take a minute today to look for the beauty of the Lord in the midst of your day. If our focus is on the good things that the Lord has provided in our lives and will continue to provide, we can make it through any crisis and be able to take what we have learned in our journey through life to help others in times of need. And if those we help along the way ask us for the reason for our hope, we can point to the “Son” that shines a light in the darkness and promises a new and abundant life to all who call upon His name.
Today’s Bible verse is drawn from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.
This morning’s meditation verse is:
Matthew 5:8 (NLT2)
8 God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God.
Today’s verse speaks of the importance of turning away from our wicked worldly ways and to seeking a simple and pure life.
Recently, I was discussing the ability of the Christian faith and a discipled Christian lifestyle to make a significant difference in the quality of someone’s life, that through the application of our faith we can overcome all of life’s problems.
The person I was speaking to seemed to agree of the importance of faith in Jesus Christ for one’s salvation but then started to criticize what they called the tendency of “the church” to push a lifestyle of “purity” on its parishioners.
Little did this person know that they were preaching the gospel of “cheap grace” and that the problems that surround those in and outside of the body of Christ are largely not caused by one’s penchant to pursue purity. Our society’s problems can clearly be seen as a result of the vast majority of people to decide to abandon purity principles in areas of sex and substance abuse.
Name an issue and purity, or the lack of it, lies at the heart of it.
Abortion? If people were practicing purity, there would be far less unwanted pregnancies.
Addiction? If people were practicing purity, they wouldn’t abuse alcohol, drugs, or even food.
Our society of license tells the tall tale of the evils of repression and has decided that because people have these physical urges or cravings that the only way to address them is to abandon any ideas about abstinence and to develop safety measures that will clean up the mess after the dam breaks. So pervasive is this attitude of license disguised as liberty, that its attitudes of hopelessness and pragmatism is present in members of the body of Christ who should revere the words of Jesus as good advice.
The rationale of “cheap grace” is that since Christ paid for all sins, sin is not only forgiven but is completely understandable and permissible. Efforts at purity would cause too much mental anguish and only result in failure anyway, so we might as well just give in to our base natures but do so safely. Satan completely agrees with this rationale and encourages its acceptance.
What the world would call freedom, the word of God would rightly identify as bondage. The word says that Christians are given a new life and have been set free from the power sin and it advises that light is to have nothing to do with darkness.
The word of God tells us to be holy as He is holy. We are not to fear purity but are to pursue it. The solution to the problem of sin is not to compromise with it but to turn from it and turn to a pure life that simple and good.
The testimonies of Christians that believed the word of God and put their trust in the Lord and were able to overcome lifelong cycles of sin show the truth of today’s verse.
Those whose hearts are pure will see God. They will see God in their new lives. They will experience the power of God as they live a pure and righteous life free of the shame, guilt, and defilements that come with a lifestyle of sin.
So don’t try to be like the world that will tell you that “everybody’s doing it” when it comes to sin. The testimonies of overcomers, like myself, show that the world is lying to you and that the biggest lie the enemy tells us is that a life of purity is “impossible”.
When we trust in the Lord and walk in His ways, we can discover that nothing is impossible with God and that choosing to purse purity is the path that leads to seeing the manifest presence and power of God in your life.
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:
F. How to Relearn Dating the Second Time Around
Erin was married for 27 years, and now she's nervously curling her hair...laughing at herself because there's a pile of clothes on her bed as a result of changing her mind three times about what to wear. She resists the urge to call her best friend for a dose of courage, but then she gets an encouraging text message from her with a quick prayer of blessing and encouragement. She's as nervous as a teenager preparing for her first date. In a way, that's exactly how it feels because this is her first date in more than three decades!
She knows it's time for her to "get back out there." She's finally tucked the past away in a special place in her heart and memory, and she's looking at a bright future ahead. She's cried plenty of tears, she's been to counseling, she's filled all that extra time with Bible study and bridge, and the kids are grown and gone and on their own. Now it's time for her to live...to laugh, and maybe even to love again....
"Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God." (Ephesians 5:2 NLT)
Signs That Show You're Ready to Date Again
Whether you're reentering the dating scene because of death or divorce, many adults must relearn dating skills that have been dormant for decades. The amount of time between your last relationship and when you're ready to start dating will be different for every person. The prophet Isaiah declares the majesty of newness found in the Lord....
"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)
These signs show that you're ready for a new relationship....
- Your past is in the past.
- —If you're bereaved, you've done the grief work necessary to process your sorrow.
- —If you're divorced or have experienced a breakup from another serious relationship, you also need to deal with loss, but perhaps also feelings of anger, hurt, or betrayal.
- You're ready to date for the right reasons.
- —If you are seeking to date for any reason other than to meet someone and move toward the future, you're headed for heartache.
- —If you want to start dating for revenge, security, an ego boost, or out of desperation, ignoring the issues won't fix your problems.
- You know who you are.
- —When you've been in a relationship for a long period of time, you've been part of a couple. It's important that you separate your identity from being a part of that "union" and know your identity in Christ.
- —Know yourself again—your likes, dislikes...your interests. Those unique attributes that make you you can get lost over time.
- You know who you're looking to find.
- —Give some thought as to what you want from a relationship. What characteristics and qualities are important to you? What attributes do you want to avoid?
- —Don't expect a carbon copy of your last relationship, but do consider what was good and what didn't work.
- You can take your time.
- —Don't rush the process. You're not likely to fall in love at first sight with the first person you meet. (It could happen, but it's not likely.)
- —You might not be the right person immediately, either. If you experience setbacks or even rejection, chalk it up to experience and hang on to hope. You're never alone when you have the Lord.
"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)
Introducing Dates to Children
Question: "I've been a single parent for over a year now and I'm ready to start dating. When should I introduce a date to my kids?"
Answer: Much depends on the ages and stages of your children and your situation. Have your children had time to process grief over the end of your marriage or the death of your spouse? Although you might be ready to date, give careful consideration about the delicate balance involving when it will be appropriate to introduce a date to your children. Some questions to consider:
- How far has the dating relationship progressed? If you introduce your kids to a date too soon and it doesn't work out, they could be easily confused about another "loss" in their life. If you wait too long, you might become too emotionally invested only to discover your date doesn't like your kids or vice versa.
- Depending on your relationship with your children, you will know how and when to involve them in the dating process—when you're getting serious. If you're looking at a future with this person, that future will include your children.
"Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth" (1 John 3:18).
Biblical Counseling Keys: Dating: Secrets to Great Relating When Dating.
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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship