Showing posts with label Dating. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dating. Show all posts

Saturday, November 6, 2021

Appreciation and Contentment – Keys to Joy and Endurance - Purity 569

Appreciation and Contentment – Keys to Joy and Endurance -  Purity 569

Purity 569 11/06/2021   Purity 569 Podcast

Good morning

Today’s photo of the of the setting sun from the vantage point of Waite Rd in Easton NY comes to us from yours truly as I decided to take a stroll with a canine friend yesterday and grabbed several shots of the fading sun and the surrounding countryside as I realized that God had blessed us with a spectacular opportunity to enjoy the autumnal colors just before twilight.

It’s Saturday and as I am becoming more and more comfortable with weekends at my fiancĂ©’s place in Washington County, I have come to realize that there comes a point in the process of entering into new phases of life where the process of adaptation stops, and acceptance comes; where you go from feeling like “What is this?” or “I don’t know about this!” to “Oh  yeah, we’re doing this” or “Yup, this is what we are doing now!”  

It’s that wonderful part of a journey of life where you still haven’t arrived to where you’re going to yet, and you are still far from establishing a new status quo, but you have fully embraced the direction you are walking towards and are rejoicing with each new step into that “new normal”.  It’s that phase where things are still new and exciting but where things are becoming familiar and comfortable. 

But you know what, even though I am experiencing the joy of a deepening relationship, adapting to new environments, and transitioning to a whole new existence, I am pretty sure that I don’t have the exclusive rights to these feelings of joy and that all of my friends can have a wonderful weekend if they simply take a moment to rest and to appreciate all the good they have in their lives.   

We stop losing our joy when we start taking things for granted or we stop growing. So if you have made it to Saturday without rejoicing over the end of the work week yesterday or by gaining feelings of peace with where you are and contentment with the things you have, I’m here to remind you that all of us have the ability to enter into those feelings if we merely take some time to direct our thoughts to appreciate the blessings we have been given.  

So look around at where you are and appreciate all you have and the people who are in your life. If you do that you will realize that in many ways you can agree with what the “Easy to Read Version” of the Bible has to say in

Psalm 23:1 (ETRV)
1 The LORD is my shepherd. I will always have everything I need.

Also if we are feeling “bored” or “blah” because of the “same old, same old” of life, the responsibility falls on us to either be content with what we have or to do something new. God gave us two eyes, two legs, and a mind to go explore and “take dominion over the earth”  so we should utilize those gifts to see new places, to do new things, to gain new knowledge and insights about the world we live in, or to deepen our relationship with the Lord by learning more about Him.  

 My friend in the UK, Philip Hand recently shared this original art which I call “Love like a Dove” of the symbolic rendering of the love of God and the Holy Spirit. He also shared  these simple verses of poetry and I thought I would share them to remind us of all we have through our relationship with God and to encourage my friends to walk into the remainder of the weekend with joy, peace, and hope. 

“This love I know moves mountains,

 I'm told it can even save my soul.

The taste of death won't stop us,

till love reaches it wonderful goal.”

-       Philip Hand

God’s not done with us. Our continuing lives are evidence that He has more for us to experience here on earth. So appreciate what you have, keep a fresh perspective that looks for the beauty and good around us, and walk in the newness of your life in Christ every day.


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

This morning’s meditation verses are:

Philippians 4:11-13 (NLT2)
11  Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. 12  I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. 13  For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.

Today’s verses encourage contentment with the circumstances of life and gives us the proper perspective on our ability to “do everything through Christ.”   

If I didn’t know how the Holy Spirit can subtly work in our lives, I would think that it was rather “ironic” that these verses came up as I was moved to speak briefly about contentment and appreciating what we have in the first part of this message without knowing that these verses would just so happen be the next ones to come up in the NLT Promise Book for Men.  

When the same scriptures or similar themes reappear in your experience, I say that is a small piece of evidence that tells you that you are indeed on the path of Christian discipleship or as some would put it, you are “tracking with the Holy Spirit.”  

I particularly like that our resource presented Philippians 4:11 & 12 and didn’t just present verse 13.   The anthem of empowered Christian faith of verse 13 is often proclaimed to give us hope that “we can do this!”. We can do “all things through Christ who strengthens me .” as the NKJV puts it. 

However, the context that precedes verse 13 is important.  The context points out what some of the “all things” that we can do through Christ includes.  The possibility of living on “almost nothing” with an empty stomach and still being content is one of those “all things” that we can do through Christ who gives us strength.  

So yes while we can accomplish new and wonderful things in life with Christ as our guide, we are also reminded that there can be times when things won’t be so triumphant materially, but we can still be content in all circumstance because of our relationship with God and the reality of Christ in Us, the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.

So be content with where you find yourself today. Keep walking and talking with God and strive to become the person God wants you to be and to walk into the good works that He has prepared for you.

It turns out that God is with us in good times and bad and we can always have hope and be empowered to overcome, persevere, or endure because of the strength, love, and guidance that He gives us.   

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

Today we conclude 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:

I. How to Maintain Purity Over Passion

How easy to be deceived in dating—to be misled by looks, propelled by insecurity, or lured by lust—and end up with a used body, a guilty conscience, and a broken heart. To prevent hurtful relationships, plan your personal guidelines before you begin dating. Having your convictions in place ahead of time will help you uphold them, even in the face of shifting emotions.

In addition, each couple should be sensitive to the physical boundaries in their relationship. That is, they should know their limits and be cautious about approaching them—much less crossing them. In their cooler moments, couples should talk about how to avoid times of temptation and set boundaries in order to make purity in the dating relationship a top priority....

"The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception." (Proverbs 14:8)

The following acrostic on Purity can help you maintain a godly perspective in your dating relationship.


P—Prioritize God's standard for purity in your dating.

Make a commitment to God and each other to maintain sexual purity until marriage. Pray about this daily...and before each date. Should you ever violate this commitment, have an understanding that you will break off the relationship and seek individual counsel and healing.

  • —Have same-sex "his and her" accountability partners who ask explicit questions about sexual purity on a weekly basis—or more often if needed. Give them a copy of your written sexual purity commitment.
  • —Let your accountability partners know when you will be alone together in private for an extended period. Ask them to lift you up in prayer during these times.

"Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral" (Hebrews 13:4).

U—Undertake personal accountability for how you treat your date's body.

Avoid any touch that emulates or entices sexual activity.

  • —Don't touch your date in a sexual manner.
  • —Read a good book together on sexual purity.

"But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people" (Ephesians 5:3).

R—Refrain from activities that violate God's standard by arousing sexual desires. Then repent and recommit to sexual purity if these standards are violated.

  • —Avoid sexually oriented media—like magazines, books, movies, television programs, videos, websites.
  • —Be willing to walk out of a movie theater, change the television channel, or turn off a video player when you encounter material that creates sexual desire or tension—even if only one of you is feeling uneasy.
  • —Don't use language that could arouse sexual desire—even when "joking"—and avoid discussing sexually oriented subjects.
  • —If you travel together before marriage, arrange for separate bedrooms.
  • —Immediately involve your accountability partners if you find yourself slipping morally.

"It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable" (1 Thessalonians 4:3-4).

I—Implement goals that are pleasing to God.

  • —Study Scripture together...reading, for example, about other role models in the Bible, such as Joseph and Ruth.
  • —Undertake service projects that give you an opportunity to work together to help others.
  • —Commit to helping each other maintain balanced lives, with time for friends, hobbies, and other priorities.

"We make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad" (2 Corinthians 5:9-10).

T—Trust in God's timing.

  • —Remember that God's sense of timing differs vastly from ours.

"Do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day" (2 Peter 3:8).

  • —As you date, allow the Lord to handle any hurts and disappointments that may come your way.
  • —Don't think of dating as a waiting game. Use your single years to build relationships with the Lord and others. God has not created us to live in isolation, but to be in fellowship with others. Develop a heart of love and acceptance for those He has placed in your life.

"Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her" (Genesis 29:20).

Y—Yield your life to the Lord.

  • —Surrender your expectations. Don't let the pounding of your biological clock block out the voice of the Holy Spirit.
  • —Surrender your emotions. Since feelings follow thinking, learn to think the way God thinks by memorizing and meditating on Scripture that is related to waiting on the Lord.
  • —Surrender your will. Give up your demands and expectations for marriage. Instead, seek His will.

"Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well" (Matthew 6:33).

Resisting Sexual Temptation

Question: "I have committed my life to the Lord. What can help me resist sexual temptation?"

Answer: Carry visual reminders of your highest ideals, values, and commitments. For example, many young people choose to wear a "purity ring" to symbolize their covenant to the Lord—specifically, to abstain from engaging in sexual activity outside the marriage relationship.

"The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it." (Proverbs 27:12)

Too Late

Question: "I wanted to remain pure, but what do I do if I've already crossed that line and it's too late?"

Answer: You cannot take back sexually what has already been given away any more than you can take back words that have already been spoken. However, if you have lost your virginity, take heart in knowing it can be reclaimed. God is both your Redeemer and Restorer.

If you are single and not a virgin, God still desires that you live a life of sexual integrity. You can choose what is called "secondary virginity," and He can empower you to have victory over the past. Through His compassionate power to cleanse, God offers you sexual redemption and a purified heart.

He intends your sexuality to be a wonderful present to your marriage partner. So, from this point on, save yourself for the one God has saved for you....

"Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.... I will cleanse you from all your impurities...I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you...I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees." (Psalm 51:10; Ezekiel 36:25-27)

On your next date, think about your future mate and apply God's Golden Rule:

Do unto your date what you would have someone do to your mate!

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, You can also find it on Apple podcasts ( The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and 

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


Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

Friday, November 5, 2021

Ice Cold Resistance – Stronghold Busting - Purity 568

Ice Cold Resistance – Stronghold Busting -  Purity 568

Purity 568 11/05/2021   Purity 568 Podcast

Good morning

Today’s photo of a snowy view from the top of Whiteface Mountain in Wilmington NY comes to us from a friend who decided to hike to the summit yesterday despite the fact that the decreasing temperatures of early November and the conditions at 4800 feet resulted in a significant coating of snow on the fifth highest mountain in the state of New York.  

That’s right folks, even where I am in the northern reaches of the Hudson Valley the temperatures where officially below freezing yesterday for a time and when that happens the possibility of snow is real.   But we can’t live in fear of what might come. Instead we must simply keep on living, prepare for the changing seasons, and deal with the changing circumstances of life as we face them.   

As futile as it may be, we sometimes resist the change of the arrival of colder seasons and snow even though we are generally powerless to affect the weather.  So as irrational as it may be, we can resist change. 

As difficult it as it may to be to accept that we resist change, even changes for the better,  sometimes we can discover that “the change” resists us!

I teach discipleship and spiritual warfare. The two go hand in hand as each term could be a paraphrase for the other as each process involves adopting a Christian worldview and purposely standing on the truth of God’s word regarding what it says about us and the problems we face.     

Before coming to faith in Jesus Christ, we all lived in the world and developed defense mechanisms for dealing with life. Defense mechanisms are really just the way that we tend to behave when we are faced with certain situations that seemingly run automatically but may not always be the “best defense”.  Fighting or fleeing are common defense mechanisms but really anyway we behave repeatedly in situations can be identified as a defense mechanism. 

Filling in the blank to the statement:

“When I get stressed I ___________” 

could help us to see what our defense mechanisms are in regard to stress.  Some defense mechanisms are healthier than others as this fill in the blank statement could have a wide range of responses, including “eat, have a drink, do drugs, or cut myself”.  

One word that the Bible’s uses to describe “defense mechanisms” would be “strongholds” as Paul uses the term to describe the process of spiritual warfare as a way to renew the mind in

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (NLT2)
3  We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do.
4  We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments.
5  We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.

The NLT makes the idea that we use God’s mighty weapons, such as faith and the word of God, to knock down strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy the false arguments, or worldly ways that contradict God’s wisdom. And we would do this because those “false arguments” or worldly ways of doing things “keeps people from knowing God”, which would include experiencing the peace of His presence and the power and strength He can provide to help us endure and overcome the problems of this life.    

Thus we are to capture these “rebellious thoughts” and “teach them to obey Christ” which refers to recognizing the ways we have been trained to think and behave according to the world system and to challenge those “defense mechanisms”, or strongholds, and to change them to thoughts and behaviors that are consistent with Biblical wisdom for living.   

Our class presented the method of stronghold busting last evening, which is a method of:

·       identifying a lie we have believed, such as “I’m dirty”, “I’m worthless”, “I’m no good”,

·       renouncing it, SUCH AS “I renounce the lie that I am no good!”

·       speaking a truth based on God’s word, “such as: I choose to believe the truth that “I am complete in Christ.”

·       And then reciting a Bible verse or verses that proclaim that spiritual reality, such as

Colossians 2:10 (NLT2) says
10  So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.

·       And repeating this process daily for 40 days to thoroughly remove the belief that was based on a lie and to replace it with the truth about who we are in Christ.

Last night when this method was taught, one of the participants of the class reported that they were excited about the prospect of getting rid of some lies that were living with but as soon as they made the decision that “Yes, I’m going to do this and be free of this!” a wave of resistance came flooding in and made them feel sick to their stomach.

I pointed out that this was a spiritual process and while we personally might resist making changes for the better, a response like this one indicated the real possibility of dark spiritual forces acting out to prevent the person from experiencing their freedom from a long establish stronghold.     

I reminded the students of the fact that the demonic forces of darkness seek to steal, kill, and destroy us and that scripture indicates that these forces have the ability to put thoughts into our heads to try to influence us. The classic example is the enemy tempting us to sin where the end result is us saying “why did I do that? Why did I do it when I knew it was wrong?”   While we are personally responsible for the choices we make and the actions we take, we very well may have received demonic encouragements to give in to sin. 

One of the thoughts I tried to expose as a possible source of demonic influence in our thought streams was “I don’t want to”  or “I can’t do that” or “that’s impossible.”  When these thoughts come out in response to our desire to do something good, we have to suspect a sinister form of resistance may be present. 

Ask yourself logically,  “Why would I tell myself to not do something that would help myself or others? Why would I repeatedly choose to stay in a state of suffering that is brought on by my own decisions?”  

While I am not saying that all thoughts of resistance are demonically inspired, I would present the solution to both the demonic influences or the personal decision to stay in bondage to be the same: the renewing of the mind with the word of God and by having faith in God and His ability to deliver you when you cooperate with Him.  

The participant’s experience of getting physically ill at the thought of getting free of a negative belief is highly suspect of demonic influence but instead of screaming for an exorcist I assured them that whether their resistance was the enemy or was just their own fear of change, the stronghold busting method of renouncing the lie and proclaiming the truth of God’s word over themselves personally could be an effective remedy that would lead to increased freedom and peace.


The ice cold realities of dealing with change could include the spiritual forces of darkness. Or it could just be us stuck in our ways.   But the good news is that through our faith in Jesus Christ we have been given authority over the spiritual forces of darkness and we have been given the power to overcome and change whatever negative “defense mechanisms”, or strongholds, that we have been stuck in.  

So keep walking and talking with God.  He wants you to experience life and life more abundantly. When you walk with Him and believe and speak the truth of His word over your life, the spiritual power of the word of God and His presence in you becomes manifest as those lies you have believed about yourself are exposed by His light and are replaced with the truth of what God says about you.

Victory is gained and our freedom is maintained through agreeing with and living by God’s wisdom and ways.  Our harmonious relationship with Him is the means by which we overcome and every time we adopt and apply another truth from the word of God to our lives the more we know the peace and joy that comes from walking in the Spirit.

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

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Proverbs 18:12 (NLT2)
12  Haughtiness goes before destruction; humility precedes honor.

Today’s verse reminds us of the consequences of pride and the benefits of humility. 

Haughtiness is the “quality of being arrogantly superior and disdainful”. It means to be prideful, arrogant, conceited, or full of hubris or self-importance. 

Today’s verse tells us that this attitude will lead to destruction, and we can see that as playing out in two ways, on earth and as it is in heaven. 

On earth, nobody is perfect and even the most talented and intelligent of us will make mistakes or be subject to other people’s influences or the effects of time and space.  Even superstars fail occasionally and grow old and decrease in their abilities.   So if we are haughty or prideful, eventually we will suffer because our air of self-importance will be challenged by the world or by our own mortality.  Also our haughtiness could cause discord in the relationships we have in life as few people are drawn to stay in relationships with people who are self-centered.

So there are real life possible negative consequences for a haughty spirit.  But even if you somehow mange to avoid these things, or deny their effects on your self-important life, pride will have eternal consequences that can not be avoided.

Prideful people will not make Christ their Lord and Savior and the consequence to that action is ultimate separation from God and personal destruction in hell.  

So instead we are taught in today’s verse to live in simple humility which means  to have a modest view of our importance or to be humble. 

When we are humble we will recognize our own failings and tend to be compassionate towards our neighbors.  That humble spirit will be recognized and appreciated by others and tends to lead to acceptance into warm personal relationships. 

Beyond having the company of friends and loved ones, humility could also cause us to see our need for a Savior and lead us to accept Christ as our Lord and Savior.  So if we live in humility we could be given the great honor of being invited into the kingdom of God as adopted members of the Lord’s royal family. 

So don’t be haughty, live in humility. That’s the way Jesus walked when He was here on earth, and I can’t think of a better example to follow that will help us to avoid destruction and to experience the honor that comes from knowing God personally.       


As always, I invite all to go to 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:

H. How to Bolster Self -Worth After a Broken Relationship

What do you do after you say good-bye? When people fail us, we can temporarily lose the sense of self-worth we gained by having them in our lives. Losing a relationship with a significant person is hurtful to everyone, but it can be devastating for some. The remedy can be found in looking to our true Need-Meeter, to the One who gives us unfailing love...who makes us unquestionably significant... who provides us unshakable security. God Himself is responsible for meeting—and is able to meet—all of our needs for love, for significance, and for security.

"What a person desires is unfailing love." (Proverbs 19:22)

How God Meets Your Need for Love

  • Reject the lie that you are unacceptable or unlovable.
    Pray..."Lord, thank You that when I experience rejection, You offer me love and acceptance."

"He made us accepted in the Beloved" (Ephesians 1:6 NKJV).

  • Rejoice in the truth that you are deeply loved.
    Pray..."Lord, thank You for the deep, unconditional love and kindness that You have for me. You love me even when I feel unlovable."

"I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness" (Jeremiah 31:3).

  • Revel in the reality that God is conforming you to the likeness of His Son.
    Pray..."Lord, thank You that day by day I am becoming more and more like Jesus. Thank You for conforming me into His likeness."

"Those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son" (Romans 8:29).

  • Rely on other treasured relationships to reaffirm your value.
    Pray..."Lord, I thank You for giving me dear friends who value me as a person and reaffirm me as one of Your precious children."

"I thank God, whom I serve, as my ancestors did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you [Timothy] in my prayers. Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy" (2 Timothy 1:3-4).

  • Release all anger, hurt, resentment, and regret to the Lord.
    Pray..."Lord, thank You for taking my anger, hurt, resentment, and regret. I lay it all down at the foot of Your cross."

"But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips" (Colossians 3:8).

  • Resume your social life and regular daily activities. Establish a "new normal."
    Pray..."Lord, thank You for helping me reestablish my social life with those who are dear to me. Help me to receive their love, comfort, and support."

"Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms" (1 Peter 4:8-10).

How God Meets Your Need for Significance

  • Realize that your identity is in your relationship with the Lord and not in another person.
    Pray..."Lord, thank You that my identity is not based on what others think about me, but that my true identity can be found only in a relationship with You."

"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me" (Galatians 2:20).

  • Reflect on the positive things you learned or changes you made as a result of being in the relationship.
    Pray... "Lord, thank You for all the wonderful things I learned as a result of being in my past relationship. Thank You, Lord, for the growth that has taken place in my life."

"I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw" (Proverbs 24:32).

  • Reexamine the strengths and weaknesses of the broken relationship. Learn from any unwise decisions you may have made.
    Pray..."Lord, thank You for the gift of discernment. Help me discern any unwise decisions I made while in my past relationship. Help me to overcome my weaknesses and continue to grow in Your strength.

"The discerning heart seeks knowledge, but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly" (Proverbs 15:14).

  • Rehearse instances that reflected sound judgment and discernment on your part.
    Pray..."Lord, thank You for the gift of discernment and sound judgment that I know comes from Your Spirit within me."

"My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight, preserve sound judgment and discretion" (Proverbs 3:21).

  • Relegate the past to the past and embrace your God-ordained future.
    Pray..."Lord, thank You for helping me leave my past in the past and for preparing me to embrace my future with You and all that You have ordained for me."

"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).

How God Meets Your Need for Security

  • Rest in the sovereignty of God over all your plans and relationships.
    Pray..."Lord, thank You for being sovereign in all areas of my life, including my relationships. Your plans for me are firmly set."

"The plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations" (Psalm 33:11).

  • Relax in the fact that God's plans and purposes for you cannot be thwarted by the actions of another person.
    Pray..."Lord, thank You that no circumstance and no person, including myself, can derail Your plans and purposes for me."

"I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted" (Job 42:2).

  • Remember that God never allows anything in your life that He does not intend to use for your good.
    Pray..."Lord, thank You that everything I experience in life will be used for my good, even the painful experiences will be used as a testimony to encourage others."

"We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose" (Romans 8:28).

  • Resolve to face your heartache and to work through your grief with the Lord's help.
    Pray..."Lord, thank You for being my Comforter and Counselor when I am faced with heartache and grief."

"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds" (Psalm 147:3).

  • Resist the temptation to withdraw.
    Pray..."Lord, thank You that I was created to be in relationships with others. Help me to seek the fellowship of friends and family even when I am tempted to withdraw."

"An unfriendly person pursues selfish ends and against all sound judgment starts quarrels" (Proverbs 18:1).

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, You can also find it on Apple podcasts ( The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and 

Email me at 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 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 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------------------------


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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship