Been There, Done That, & Doing it Again? – The Counsel of Many – Purity 524
Purity 524 09/15/2021 Purity 524 Podcast
Today’s photo of a multicolored sunset in East Kentucky comes to us from a friend who has their eyes on the sky and who enjoys sharing the beauty of God’s creation with their friends. Sometimes the scenes inspire them to compose some original poetry to express the truths of what our eyes can see, and our hearts can feel in a simple but artistic way. While the photos can delight us and the poems can impress us, there is something about pairing them that gives the two a greater meaning and profundity then either element could express in and of themselves.
It’s Wednesday, and while this photo doesn’t have the normal “hump” of a hill or a mountain peak, the sunset is somewhat centered in a valley, and I think it meets the criteria for representing a midpoint for our week. Sometimes in life it’s not all “ups and downs”, sometimes it’s “downs and ups” as we ascend out of the pit of a difficult situation to a better place.
Last night I met with a group of friends whose commonality is the “downs and ups” of going through the process of divorce. We hadn’t seen one another in weeks so we spent the evening updating one another with what was happening in our lives and giving one another support. Some of us are still in the midst of the process of coming to an end of divorce proceedings, some are “done” but not finished with processing the emotional and situational fallout of their marriage’s end, and the rest are more on the side of forging a new beginning but still face the challenges of going solo and/or finding a new love. The whole process of the group coming together to hear one another and to offer insights, care, and advice reminded me of:
(NKJV) which says,
14 Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety.
I wish I say could that all of us, present company included, were moving forward in our lives by making wise choices and not being influenced by reactive emotions and patterns of the past but this is real life.
As people shared their updates, more than one testified that they may be making mistakes that they have made before and that they could recognize them but somehow seemed to be repeating familiar missteps of the past because of their emotional vulnerability or lack of focus, commitment, or wisdom. Some are hoping for situations to change that are beyond their control and are holding on to the hope that things will somehow resolve themselves. Other are holding on to bitterness, anger, or unforgiveness over things that are lost, ranging from the profound to the material.
While we couldn’t resolve everyone’s problems or institute some quick fixes, we all felt positive about getting together because we were able to confess how we were really feeling and were able to receive counsel from people who had been through similar experiences and who could see our blind spots for what they were.
I think the thing that makes are group special is not only the transparency and the mutual support but is the fact that we are Christians, and we use the counsel and wisdom that is drawn from the word of God to encourage one another.
We have all found comfort and strength from God because of our faith and from knowing that we have a living relationship with the Lord and have resolved, in varying degrees, to follow His ways for our lives.
When we let go of trying to control our situations or stop holding onto things and decide to give them to God, we discover that we can have a measure of peace even in the darkest hours of our suffering. When we start to live our lives by His ways we are assured that we are doing the right things for the right reasons and can start to heal and see things improve,
Sometimes we need a little help from our friends. Sometimes God will use them to show us the way we should go. Sometimes the Lord can use them to give us comfort and to just hear us in our pain. Sometimes he will use them to show us that we are not alone.
Our Christian friends know the Lord. They know His wisdom and they know His love. We can be the picture of suffering and they can be the poetry of God’s word. By ourselves, we each have a measure of beauty, but when we come together we can reflect the glory of God and the wonders of His love.
We may have “been there and done that” and our experience can help others who are doing it too. So keep walking and talking with God. Speak the truth of His hope, wisdom, and love to your friends and to everyone you meet along the way for the pain of our past can be used to help to see someone through their darkest hour or to prevent someone from making the mistakes we have overcome.
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:
2 Corinthians 4:7 (NASB)
7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves;
Today’s verse tells speaks of the treasure of the gospel and the source of our victory.
The context of this passage speaks of the power of the gospel, but it begins in chapter 3 of where it speaks of the fact that the Lord is Spirit and where the Spirit is, there is liberty. The power of the gospel is the power to save. The treasure of the gospel is the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.
So whenever you read scripture, be sure to read more that just a verse or two. Look and see what comes before and after all those “there fore’s” and get an idea of all that is being said. The Bible is the rich wisdom of the Lord and may require more than a quick glance.
In this passage if you didn’t look back you may think that the “treasure” in our “earthen vessel” is just the message that Jesus Christ came to die for our sins and to reconcile us to God. We all know that is a supernatural truth that is invaluable to recognize and hold, like a treasure, but the context of the passage includes more than just preaching Jesus Christ crucified.
The surrounding passages speak about freedom from past sins and the fact that the reception of the good news is God dependent. He gave us this treasure and only He will pass it along to others through us. Thus the “surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves”.
God saves us. God gives us the power to endure and to overcome our former sins. And God will use us to speak as the verses that follow today’s verse (4:13) make clear.
When we receive the Holy Spirit by placing our faith in Jesus Christ, He compels us to change and the more we align ourselves with God’s will for our lives the more we will experience the fruit of the Spirit. And when we feel the peace, joy, love, and goodness that comes from the Lord we will be compelled to share the treasure of the gospel with others.
So hold on to your treasure but use it to be conformed to the image of Christ. When you start drawing from the treasure you possess, you discover that it transforms you and somehow no matter how much of it you use, the treasure is never spent! The power of God in us is infinite and when we can use it on ourselves liberally, but we can also speak the gospel and share our treasure with others.
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:
In the world of fencing, Boris develops a bad reputation.
It's 1976 and the Olympic games are underway in Montreal, Canada. The pentathletes for the Soviet Union are gripping their swords, or epees, in anticipation of another competitive event. Following the equestrian events they're in fourth place and have some catching up to do, but they remain confident because of their then star athlete—Boris Onishchenko—a multiple medal winner from previous Olympics.
He is 38 years old and is determined to earn at least one more medal, but Boris crosses boundaries that sideline him . . . for good.
Scripture imparts the truth about sin. . . .
" . . . you may be sure that your sin will find you out."
A. What Experiences Help Us Learn Boundaries?
Fencing, swimming, running, shooting, riding horses . . . Boris Onishchenko has learned all about boundaries from his experiences as an accomplished pentathlete.
At the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, he helps win a silver medal for his team and then four years later in Munich, he helps them land a gold, while he himself gains an individual silver. In 1971 Boris is dubbed world champion pentathlete before being overshadowed by a rival who secures the title the following three years.
Boris has played by the rules and respected boundaries, but a fencing tournament reveals foolishness.
The Bible wisely communicates...
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction."
Boundaries are an indispensable aspect of life, such an intrinsic part of living that they often exist unnoticed. Physical boundaries say: "My property is mine" or "My body is mine and your body is yours," while internal boundaries say: "I am me and you are you." "This is my responsibility, and there is yours." Since we learn boundaries through experience, their number increases over time as we pass through various developmental stages and encounter more and more learning situations. Since our lives are normally initially governed by our parents, they are the major molders and shapers of the boundaries we develop in childhood and then practice into adulthood . . . and throughout our entire lives. These boundaries can be strong and beneficial, or they can be poor, ineffective, and even harmful boundaries.
Regardless of boundaries learned from parents, we have a perfect Parent in our heavenly Father. He can "reframe" our past experiences and "retrain" us through our present and future experiences. As we surrender to our Lord and allow His Spirit to guide us, we can learn to construct positive boundaries. . . . We have only to yield to His rightful place of authority in our lives and give ourselves wholly to Him as those who have been born into His family and possess His Spirit. . . .
"Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long."
- We learn boundaries from parents who model boundaries by the way they interact with us, with each other, and with those around them.
- We learn boundaries as we learn more about God—His character, His attributes, and His expectations of us . . . and especially His ways of dealing with those who choose to sin.
- We learn boundaries in the relationships we have with family, friends, and others in our life; however, the most significant relationship is the personal relationship we develop with Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.
- We learn boundaries as we are corrected, taught, and disciplined in love by the authority figures around us.
- We learn boundaries as we begin to understand the connection between receiving rewards for doing right and experiencing repercussions for doing wrong.
- We learn boundaries from making mistakes, from trying and failing, and from suffering natural consequences.
- We learn boundaries from listening and gaining wisdom from others, from observing the lives of others, and imitating what seems to work for them.
The apostle Paul said...
"Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do."
Biblical Counseling Keys: Boundaries: How to See Them - How to Keep Them.
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