Where are You? – God Knows
Purity 481 07/27/2021 Purity 481 Podcast
Today’s photo comes to us from our friends at Dave Baun Photography as my cycling friends took to the roads of South Australia for a bike ride that turned into a 50-mile journey back on July 1st. Because Dave shared his Strava bicycling route and because Google Maps is a thing, my best guess is that this photo was taken on the McLaren Flat Rd, possibly on or near the grounds of the Yangarra Estate Vineyard.
I share it because I just love the grass, the trees, the lake, and the cloud filled skies, but I also share it today as a subtle heads up to alert you that July is fading fast as our friends’ bike ride was almost four weeks ago. I had to go back into the “archives” to find today’s photo.
Today is “Saturday” for me, in that I have the day off one this Tuesday, yay, because I have to work on Saturday the 31st. That’s right, believe it or not, we are almost done with the seventh month of 2021. So I encourage my friends to recognize the changing times and to get out and to make some summer memories, and considering the state of my photo archives, to share the photos of your adventures when you do! I love seeing where my friends go and sometimes having to research and guess the locations of where they were.
You have to love the technology that we have developed that can bring people together who are half a world away and that allows you to explore and research whatever comes to your mind. However, what man has developed that allows us to know things pales in comparison of the knowledge that God has of us.
While I could make my best guess of where our friends took today’s photo. God knows it perfectly and He knows each one of us perfectly. God knows everything about each and every one of us. He knows the entire history of life on earth and knows our individual life stories. He knows what we like, what we don’t like, what we have been through and where we are going. He cares about our lives and wants each one of us to be in a deep personal relationship with Him through faith in Jesus Christ. He wants us to know His love and to have a life that abides in His peace.
So as you go through just another Tuesday, look ahead to the remaining days of July, and decide if there is something you want to do before August comes. No pressure. Its your life.
I just wanted to remind you, and myself, that the days move forward very quickly at times, but the good news is that no matter what our relationship status is or what plans we make, God will be with us. He knows us intimately and he has given us the gift of our lives with the hopes that we will enjoy them and that we will appreciate them enough to accept His invitation to get to know Him more and follow Him into the good things He has prepared for us.
This morning’s meditation verses are:
1 Thessalonians 5:9-10 (NKJV)
9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,
10 who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.
Today’s verses speak of God’s hope for all men and is an encouragement for those who are His to not fear but to draw close and live with Him.
While Paul’s letter is to the church at Thessalonica, and is an encouragement to Christians, it also speaks of the hope of the gospel of Jesus Christ for all mankind.
Verse 9 clearly presents the plan to avoid the wrath of God and obtaining salvation as being through Jesus Christ. God offers us mercy and grace through Jesus Christ alone, as there are no other options listed to obtain salvation. The exclusivity of Christ to save is a principle of our faith that world abhors but is the clear teaching of the Bible.
As good as the promise of eternal salvation is, the context of these verses also gives believers the hope of not being subject to the suffering of the end time’s “Day of the Lord” when Christ will return to judge the world and the wrath of God will be poured out on the earth. In the previous verses, Paul speaks of the reality of the suddenness with which the Day of the Lord will arrive, but verses 9 & 10 are an extension of God’s assurance that Christians will not suffer with the unbelievers when that day comes.
There are varying opinions regarding whether Christians will suffer in the tribulation, which is a time that is described in the Bible as being subject to supernatural disasters and the rise and fall of the Antichrist. While I believe today’s verses indicate that the believers are not appointed to the wrath of the tribulation, I also believe the words of Christ that said that His believers would suffer persecution.
So while I believe in a pretribulation rapture, I know that I have been wrong about many things in my life and will trust the Lord to guide me to the future He has for me. I also will not be surprised if I will face persecution and be faithful to will pray for God’s wisdom, guidance, and strength all the days of my life.
As verse 10, tells us “whether we wake or sleep,” meaning whether we live or die before the Day of the Lord, “we should live together with Him”.
Living together with God points to a future fulfillment of living in God’s eternal kingdom, but it also gives us an instruction for the here and now. As Christians, we are not to live in fear, but we are to trust the Lord and stand in our identity in Christ that teaches us that we are accepted by God, we are significant because of God, and that we are forever secure with God as well.
So rejoice in your salvation, do not fear the coming of the Lord, but instead choose to live together with Him right now, and every day, by faith in the power of the Holy Spirit.
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 with Dr. Neil Anderson’s Victory Over the Darkness, continuing Chapter 9.
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:
Strongholds of the Mind
The nature of the battle is presented in 2 Cor. 10:3-5:
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.
The weapons in this passage are different from the defensive armor described in Ephes. 6. The image presented here is similar to an offensive, battering ram that is designed to tear down strongholds. What are these strongholds or fortresses of the mind, and how have they been raised against the knowledge of God?
Recall that we were all born physically alive but spiritually dead in a fallen world (see Ephes. 2:1-3). We had neither the presence of God in our lives nor the knowledge of His ways, so we learned to live our lives independently of God. Infants have no vocabulary and no attitudes or beliefs about anything. Everything we learned in the early formative years of our lives was assimilated from the environment in which we were raised, in two ways.
First, we learned primarily from prevailing experiences. Attitudes and beliefs were formed from long-term exposure to the homes in which we were raised, the neighborhoods where we played, the schools we attended, the friends we had and the churches we attended or didn't attend. All these childhood experiences shaped our worldviews.
It is important to realize that two children raised in the same environment will interpret their experiences differently. Two children can also have radically different childhood experiences. One could be raised in a friendly environment where the parents protected the children from harmful influences. Another child could be raised in a hostile environment and exposed to the filth of this world. However, both need Christ equally as much.
Second, beliefs and attitudes are also formed in our minds from traumatic experiences such as the death of a parent, a divorce in the home, or mental, physical, or sexual abuse. Unlike prevailing experiences that are assimilated into our minds over time, these traumatic experiences are burned into our minds because of their intensity; and they will leave lasting impressions.
Paul said, "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind" (Romans 12:2, NIV). The point is we all were conformed to this world, albeit differently, and we still can be. Even as Christians we can still listen to the wrong music, watch the wrong programs, have the wrong friends, and think the wrong thoughts. We will still be tempted to live our lives independently of God because we are living in a fallen world.
Victory Over the Darkness: Realizing the Power of Your Identity in Christ.
God bless you all!
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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship