Showing posts with label Deuteronomy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Deuteronomy. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Danger! That's not the Greatest Love of All! - Purity 446

Purity 446 06/16/2021 Purity 446 Podcast

Good morning.

Today’s photo of blue skies and an off-center peak in the background of the Grand Prismatic Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming comes to us from a friend who went west to visit what some have called one of God’s natural cathedrals.

I share it because it’s Wednesday and it meets the qualifications of having a peak to represent our transitioning over the midweek summit, but I also share it for the hot spring’s rich colors and alluring but deadly beauty.

My light research of the springs revealed that since 1890 at least 22 people have lost their lives due to venturing too close to those rich colors and hot waters, with the most recent death occurring in 2016. The victim of that accident, a 23-year-old man, apparently fell into the springs and was completely dissolved.       

The deaths and injuries suffered at Yellowstone’s hot springs warn us that just because something is beautiful and seems to offer to satisfy our needs for warmth doesn’t mean that we should abandon reason and jump into their depths.  

Last evening my divorce support group discussed the topic of new relationships for the recently single and many participants, including myself, shared their tales of when they were mesmerized by the potential of a new relationship to satisfy their needs for love and fulfillment.    

Some stories testified of the heat of passion or the warmth of companionship that drew people into new or recycled relationships only to have those fires eventually go out leaving one or both parties feeling burned or ice cold as their hopes at new romance or a new spouse went up in smoke.   In some cases, the hurt over the broken new relationship seemed to be more intense than the pains of their divorce.

Others testified of the very apparent signs of incompatibility or red flags of dysfunction that were present in these new candidates for romance only to have them ignored by hurting people who wanted to believe in the fairy tale that their love would cover a multitude of sins or miraculously overcome vast caverns of personal differences.   Ignoring the signs proved to be unwise in every case with some only suffering mild embarrassment and rejection and with others needing to involve law enforcement agencies to ensure their and their family’s personal safety after a tumultuous break up.     

Of all people, who shouldn’t believe the fairytale that marriage will some how complete us, the divorced should know better and learn from their mistakes. But we are human, we are hurt, and we want love. There is a saying that “hurt people hurt people” and I would say that with the fractured lives of the divorced the damage can be massive to oneself, perspective partners, and the children and families involved on both sides.    

So what do we do, just give up on love? 

I don’t think so. But what we can do is try to learn from our mistakes by working on the person that was directly involved in all the messes of our lives: us.  

Instead of trying to find someone to fix or complete us, we should seek wholeness from the only One who intimately knows us and has unlimited power to help us: God. 

That’s right, like Steve Winwood said, “Bring me a higher love”! 

God is the only one who will perfectly love us and when we follow His wisdom and ways we can see the truth that we were blinded from when we were “looking for love in all the wrong places”. 

We must allow God into our lives and allow Him to shine His light of truth on the darkness of the past so we can be strengthened and empowered to live the new life of wholeness that only He can give us. 

When we surrender to the Lord, our hurts can be healed.  He can take our broken hearts of stone and make them hearts of flesh.

He can guide us in His wisdom, so we don’t go running into the next hot springs relationship that catches our eye.

He can also make us see ourselves from his perspective and cause us to love ourselves.   

Whitney Houston sang that the greatest love of all was learning to love yourself. Unfortunately, the song didn’t tell you that the One we had to go to learn that lesson was the author of all truth and wisdom: God.  

So if you somehow are still walking alone in your journey of life, call on the Lord and ask Him to walk with you. He will heal your heart, sharpen your mind, and quicken your spirit to take you on a journey of discovery and love that will take you from here to eternity.       

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Deuteronomy 6:6 (NKJV)
6 "And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.

Today’s verse shows us what is to be the depths of our relationship with God.  

The context of this verse involves the nation of Israel receiving God’s written instruction through Moses. Here God is instructing the nation of Israel to make His word a priority in their lives.  

We could look at this verse and interpret the phrase “Shall be in your heart” to mean that we will know the commands of God “by heart”, meaning to memorize the scriptures.  

There are “Bible-bee’s” where people compete in Bible memorization and recitation. These events are a stark example that we can know God’s commands “by heart”.  

Unfortunately, people can know God’s command “by heart” but not have them “in their hearts”. I wish I could say that I haven’t met people who could recite Bible verses but who did not live according to its wisdom.   People who talk the talk but don’t walk the walk of faith do damage to the church and themselves through their hypocrisy.  

I feel that this verse means that it should be our heartfelt desire to live by God’s commands and that we would not only know them intellectually, but we would know them experientially. Having the Lord’s commands in our hearts indicates that we would continually meditate upon them and live by them.     

The word of God has the power to instruct us in righteousness and transform our lives but the depth of our understanding of God’s commands must go beyond mental assent. We must let the wisdom of His divine truth be in our hearts and shown through our lives.   

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 with Dr. Neil Anderson’s Victory Over the Darkness, continuing Chapter 3. 

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Dr. Anderson’s books for your own private study and to support His work. If you need this title you can find it online at several sites for less than $15.00:

Get Right with God First

A few years ago a pastor asked me to counsel a couple from his church—the music director and his wife. I have never seen a family so blown apart in my life. They came into the room screaming at each other. Their relationship was characterized by infidelity and abuse. They were ready to leave my office in two different directions. I prayed silently to the Lord, If there's any way of saving this marriage, You're the only one who knows about it.

After listening to their bitter complaints against each other for several minutes, I interrupted them. "I think you need to forget about your marriage. There's no way we can save it—not now, not in this condition. But may I implore you individually to get right with God by restoring your personal relationship with Him?" I had their attention.

I turned to the wife. "Is there a way you can get away for a while all by yourself?"

She thought for a moment, then nodded. "My sister has a cabin in the hills. I think she'll let me use it."

"Good. Here are some tapes I want you to listen to. Go away for a few days and saturate yourself with these messages. Find out who you are in Christ and commit yourself to aligning your torn-up internal world with Him."

Surprisingly, she agreed. I asked the husband to make the same commitment and handed him an identical set of tapes. He also agreed. As they left my office I had little hope that I would ever see them together again.

Two years later I was sitting in a restaurant after church when that same music director walked in with his three children. Oh, no, I thought, they've split up for good. I kept out of his sight because I felt sorry for him and didn't want to face him. In a few minutes his wife walked into the restaurant and sat down in the same booth. They looked as happy and contented as any Christian family I have ever seen. I was really puzzled.

Suddenly the couple looked my way, recognized me and got out of their booth to come see me. "Hi, Neil, it's good to see you," they greeted me cheerfully.

"Yes, it's good to see you two." I really wanted to say, "It's good to see you two together," but thought better of it. "How are you doing?" I wouldn't have been surprised if they had told me they were divorced and they had met in the restaurant for the children's sake.

"We're doing great, Neil," the wife answered. "I did what you told me to do. I went up into the hills alone for two weeks, listened to your tapes and got my life right with God."

"I did the same," the husband added. "And we were able to work out the problems in our marriage." We rejoiced together about what God had done for them first as individuals and then as a family.

This couple discovered that getting right with each other began with getting right with God. Getting right with God always begins with settling once and for all the fact that God is your loving Father and you are His accepted child. That is the foundational truth from which you live.

You are a child of God, you are created in His image, you have been justified and positionally declared righteous by Him because of Christ's finished work and your faith in Him. As long as you believe that and walk accordingly, your daily experience of practical Christianity will result in growth. You will struggle, though, if you question the finished work of Christ, and try to become somebody you already are.

We don't serve God to gain His acceptance; we are accepted, so we serve God. We don't follow Him to be loved; we are loved, so we follow Him. It is not what we do that determines who we are; it is who we are that determines what we do. "Beloved, now we are children of God" (1 John 3:2, emphasis added). That is why you are called to live by faith (see Romans 1:16, 17).

To live the victorious Christian life you have to believe what is already true about you. Will you have opposition to believing this truth? Of course! The father of lies (see John 8:44) has deceived the whole world (see Rev. 12:9), and he accuses the brethren day and night (see Rev. 12:10). If that isn't enough, others will put you down. We have to keep reminding ourselves of these positional truths.

Victory Over the Darkness: Realizing the Power of Your Identity in Christ.

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


God bless you all!


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, and 

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


Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Keep Your Cool: Purity 439

Purity 439 06/08/2021  Purity 439 Podcast

Good morning.

Today’s photo of blue skies, green vines, and desert landscapes in the background come to us from a friend who was visiting Alcantara Vineyards in Camp Verde Arizona.  I share it because of the beautiful contrast of colors and as a commentary on the weather in Upstate NY. We had temperatures in the 90’s and this desert scene and these vacant chairs reminded me of my encounters while on the road yesterday because everyone I ran into commented on the heat and were abandoning the outdoors for air-conditioned sanctuary.    

With days like yesterday, I notice the work that the Lord has done with me in terms of patience and endurance. The heat reminded me of digging the foundations for a church in the mountains of Guatemala in 2019 so I had that memory of service to the Lord to know I could handle burying service wires in the suburbs of Slingerlands and Watervliet. So physically, I knew I could do it. 

But the larger challenge of dealing with adverse weather conditions, whether hot or cold, is the mental and emotional effects the extreme circumstances can have on you.  If we don’t focus on the task at hand and instead focus on the weather and the fact that we aren’t pleased with it we can become angry or depressed, turning our efforts into fits of frustration and futility.  

However, we can’t become so focused on our tasks that we ignore the environmental conditions and put ourselves in danger by making ourselves vulnerable to heat stroke in the summer and frostbite in the winter. 

Balance is needed to keep ourselves safe and productive.  

I have found that my relationship with the Lord brings that balance into my life no matter what circumstances I face.   In yesterday’s heat, I kept my emotions in check by thanking the Lord for my job and for Him being with me.  Outside observers would see just some guy digging a ditch and having sweat pour out of him in the blazing sunshine but I wasn’t alone.  I was focusing on doing the job at hand as quickly as possible but also was checking in with the Lord whenever I felt the stirrings of frustration rise. 

He’s the one who reminded me of Guatemala because He was the One who sent me there.  The thoughts of that trip didn’t just remind me of digging in hot conditions. I had done that here in the states for the past few summers.   No, the thoughts of Guatemala were a reminder of my relationship with Him and the fact that I can go to the ends of the earth and God will always be with me.    

So as you go about your day today and want to keep your cool, remember that God is with you and that He is always available to give you balance and peace.  While we must keep cool physically by hydrating and taking breaks, the Lord can keep you cool emotionally and spiritually in the brightest sunshine or in the darkest night of the soul when you reach out and talk with Him.  

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Deuteronomy 6:7 (NKJV)
7 You shall teach them diligently to your children and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.

Today’s verse stresses the importance of knowing the word of God and sharing your knowledge with your children.  

As parents, we are to pass on our heritage to our children.  Our heritage is what we decide is important from what we have learned from those who have gone before us.   Heritage is most vividly seen in our passing down traditions and knowledge from our national origins and our religious beliefs.  We all grow up in an environment where we are taught what our family history and values are.   

Our national origins can be stressed or not by each successive generation.  So you can have a deep sense of your identity shaped by your family’s sense of national pride or religious beliefs.  

If your half Irish and Italian, your sense of national identity will be influenced on which half was more stressed in your upbringing. You may favor one half over the other. You may partake of the traditions and eat of the foods of each culture with varying degrees but no matter what you do you will always be half Irish and half Italian.   

If you are an American, you can have a deep sense of patriotism or not depending on your family’s views and your personal views but if you were born in the United States, you will always be an American or have American roots if you should choose to defect.

Some people feel the same why about our Christian faith. We were born into a Christian family and some figure that no matter how much we believe or practice the Christian faith; we will always be Christian. 

Unfortunately, that’s not necessarily so.  In Matthew 7:20-23, Christ tells us that it is by our fruits that you will know who a Christian is and that there will be some who claim to be Christian only to be condemned for being those who practice lawlessness.    

The remedy for lawlessness is to have the law, know it, and obey it.

 Verses like Deuteronomy 6:7, tell us that we are to teach the Word of God to our children and to continually speak about it and the implications that God’s instruction is to have on our lives.

While we can’t pass on our salvation to our children, we can teach them in the way they should go and hope they will see the truth and follow the Lord.  

This verse isn’t just about the kids though. This verse tells us that we should be talking about the things of God and thinking about them continuously, day and night.   God is encouraging us to live in the context of His truth. He was telling the nation of Israel to live a discipled life.   And unfortunately, their history shows us the double-edged danger of living outside of the wisdom of God’s word and God’s heart.   

Their failure to follow the word of God led to Israel and Judah falling into idolatry and sin until their kingdoms were destroyed and they were taken into captivity. 

The New Testament shows us how the Jews were zealous for the word with an outward expression, but their self-righteousness blinded them, so they refused to believe that Jesus was the Messiah.

The nation of Israel's mistakes teach us that we must know the word and obey it, but we must also know that we can only do that through our faith in Christ and by the power of the Holy Spirit.  

We can’t do everything right and we can’t save ourselves in our own strength but when we give ourselves to God through our faith in Jesus Christ, our burden becomes light.  What we could never do through self-discipline alone, we can do through the love, as we live to enjoy and express the love that God has shown us to Him and to those around 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 continue with Dr. Neil Anderson’s Victory Over the Darkness, continuing in Chapter 2, concluding the section on The Whole Gospel.    


As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Dr. Anderson’s books for your own private study and to support His work. If you need this title you can find it online at several sites for less than $15.00:

The Whole Gospel

Many Christians are living under half a gospel. They have heard that Jesus is the Messiah who came to die for their sins, and if they pray to receive Christ, they will go to heaven when they die and their sins will be forgiven. Two things are wrong with that statement. First, it is only half the gospel. If you came across a dead man and you had the power to save him, what would you do? Give him life? If that is all you did, then he would only die again. To save the dead person, you would have to do two things. First, you would have to cure the disease that caused him to die.

The Bible says, "The wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). So Jesus went to the cross and died for our sins. Is curing the disease that caused us to die the whole gospel? No! Finish the verse: "but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23). Thank God for Good Friday, but what Christians celebrate every spring is the Resurrection on Easter Sunday. For some unknown reason, we have left the Resurrection out of the gospel presentation. Consequently, we end up with forgiven sinners instead of redeemed saints.

A second problem with the previous gospel presentation is this: it gives people the impression that eternal life is something they get when they die. That is not true. "And the witness is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life" (1 John 5:11, 12). If we don't have spiritual (eternal) life before we die physically, we can anticipate only hell.

What a Difference Christ's Difference Makes in Us!

The difference between the first and last Adam spells the difference between life and death for us. Perhaps that life-giving difference is best presented in 1 Cor. 15:22: "For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive." Being spiritually alive is most often portrayed in the New Testament with the prepositional phrases "in Christ" and "in Him."

Everything we are going to talk about in the succeeding chapters is based on the fact that believers are alive in Christ. Being spiritually alive in Christ is the overwhelming theme of the New Testament. For example, in the six chapters of the book of Ephesians alone we find 40 references to being "in Christ" and having Christ in you. For every biblical passage that teaches that Christ is in you, 10 teach that you are "in Christ." It is also the primary basis for Paul's theology. "For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, and he will remind you of my ways which are in Christ, just as I teach everywhere in every church" (1 Cor. 4:17, emphasis added).

Victory Over the Darkness: Realizing the Power of Your Identity in Christ.

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


God bless you all!


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, and 

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


Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship