In the Zone – Planning, Purpose, and Forgiveness - Purity 528
Purity 528 09/20/2021 Purity 528 Podcast
Today’s photo of a view of the heavens and some pines trees in an undisclosed northern pacific forest area comes to us from a friend who vacationed in Oregon near the end of August. It must have been an eventful trip to Oregon for a few weeks after this photo was taken the couple who hiked underneath this sky committed themselves to travel the trails of this earth together as husband and wife as they announced their engagement on September 11th. The beauty of God’s creation can not only draw us closer to Him, but it can also cause us to see what’s important in life and draw closer to one another.
It’s Monday again and whether you are missing the weekend already or for some reason are glad to be getting back to work, I share today’s photo as a reminder to not be so “earthly minded” as to be no “heavenly good”. I love turning that phrase around to remind us that the things of this earth are not as important as we can make them out to be sometimes and that we shouldn’t let the changing and possibly stressful circumstances of the beginnings of another work week fill us with anxiety or dread.
If we keep our eyes on the skies and our minds on the “big picture” by contemplating the things of God and our purposes on earth according to Him, we can skillfully navigate through the cares of another day with a peace and a joy that is based on the Truth that tells us that we are loved and provided for by the One who made all things.
Now that doesn’t mean we don’t take care of our responsibilities on earth. Over the weekend, I spent time talking with my son about the benefits of using the “in between” times, those spare minutes, or hours in between his classes, to be productive so that his “free time” after classes could be “more free”. I pointed out that while the “in between” times could be used to rest or commune with God in prayer, typically we squander that time looking at our phones or just doing nothing but waiting for our next appointment or activity.
I explained that as his responsibilities increase with age, his “free time” will become less and less and that it is a good idea to stay ahead of his responsibilities, so he doesn’t have to play “catch up” and get things done at the last minute. I explained that there was only so much time in the day and that we can really benefit by planning how we use it and utilizing the “in between” times with purposeful activity rather than just “sitting around waiting”. If we are busy anyway between 9 to 5, we might as well make the most of those hours to try to get ahead of the things that are demanded of us.
Of course, I counseled him to not become a slave to the grind by being balanced in his choices and to consider the consequences for what he decided to do or what he decided not to do in each moment.
God made us to be stewards of our lives and take care of the things we have been given. He also wants us to commune with Him. God gave us minds to think and to plan so we should utilize them to be able to benefit from our relationship with God and also meet the obligations set before us.
So to find the peace and joy of the Lord, we are to stay connected to Him by giving Him some of our time each day to rest in His presence and glean from His wisdom. When we have established a foundation of peace and joy in the Lord’s presence, we face the challenges of the day with hope and confidence, knowing that what ever we must face we are assured of our total acceptance, significance, and security with the Lord.
This basis of peace and joy in the Lord is supported, maintained, and enhanced when we plan for and overcome the challenges of the day by anticipating problems and preparing for them. When we successful meet the challenges of the day as they come up we can rejoice in our capabilities and thank the Lord for using the wisdom and skills He has given us.
Our best days are usually days where we were “in the zone” where we skillfully dealt with all that was before us and never lost our cool. I would suggest that we can have more of those days when we start with the assurance of God in our lives, and we use the gifts he has given us to meet our responsibilities with “grace” under fire.
So go out there and “get her done” but when you do be sure to connect with the Spirit, the Father, and the Son. We were never meant to walk through life alone and when God is with you can enjoy His peace and joy dealing with every day ”in the zone.”
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:
Colossians 3:13 (NKJV)
13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.
Today’s verse teaches a foundational lesson of the Christian faith: forgiveness.
Recently, I had someone comment on one of my blog posts asking for specifics on a particular topic in the Bible. The question indicated that the person had some pain in their life, and it also indicated that they might not have the deepest relationship with God.
The question they were asking, “What does God say about X”, could have been put into a search engine instead of into the comments section of my post and reaped a plethora of Bible verses and articles by Christians addressing their subject. But sometimes we are not looking for answers, sometimes when we are in pain and we are looking for a fight.
In addition to the question, the person shared a comment that was placing the blame on the other party in their broken relationship, indicating that as far as they were concerned the person asking the questions had “done everything right” and it was the other person, and God apparently, that had let them down. So they had an axe to grind. They were angry and hurt and in their pain, (or in their ignorance or spiritual immaturity) they had a “beef” with God and were challenging His wisdom or looking to use it to condemn the other party on their relationship as wrong.
I usually don’t entertain questions that are asked with the “spirit of rebellion” so prominently on display because I know that the person isn’t going to hear what I am going to say anyway. But for some reason, I tried.
The particular topic asked about was divorce and what God had to say about people who caused the divorce through their actions while the other spouse tried to honor their responsibilities.
Instead of writing a book to detail the Biblical wisdom that could address this situation, I decided to try some short somewhat pithy observations and a suggestion to be made right with God individually by recognizing one’s own part in the situation and resolving to repent and live a discipled life in Christ.
My exact comment was this: "Do you want the verses on how God hates divorce or the ones about how we are to forgive those who sin against us? Bottom line - God cares about our situations and advises us to follow Him as a response, to walk through all the pain and suffering this world has to offer. The question is will you follow Him or do things your way… that played a part in where we find ourselves. "
As for God on divorce.
Malachi 2:15-16 (NLT2)
15 Didn’t the LORD make you one with your wife? In body and spirit you are his. And what does he want? Godly children from your union. So guard your heart; remain loyal to the wife of your youth.
16 “For I hate divorce!” says the LORD, the God of Israel. “To divorce your wife is to overwhelm her with cruelty,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. “So guard your heart; do not be unfaithful to your wife.”
So God doesn’t want us to divorce. He hates it but Christ’s words and other statements by the Apostles in the New Testament indicate that there are certain situations that permit divorce. Regardless of if you divorce for Biblical reasons or not, the basic remedy to the broken relationship, whether it is to be restored or not, is forgiveness.
Basically, I was pointing to the Lord’s command to forgive. And as today’s verse indicates, as this person had a “complaint against another” I was suggesting that “even as Christ forgave” us, so we “also must do.” The verse doesn’t mince words. As Christians, we “must” forgive.
Also we must respect the Lord as God Almighty. His ways are higher than our ways, and frankly when we are challenging the Lord’s wisdom we are definitely in the wrong and should seek His forgiveness as well.
Either we are with God, or we are not. If we decided to live life our way, we should be prepared for the negative consequences in this world and eternal torment in the next.
If we really want to know what God has to say about something, we must seek His truth by reading His word and then we are obligated to obey it. Otherwise, we will have not peace in this life and quite possibly no peace beyond this life.
So if you need Bible verses, do a google search. You’ll get a bunch. But when you do your search, you might discover the simple fact that you need to be forgiven by God and if you are going to receive it you will obligating yourself to follow and obey Him, and part of that is going to require you to forgive those that sin against you.
If we put our suffering above what Christ suffered on the cross for us, we need to wake up, grow up, and repent.
No one said that the Christian way of life was easy. Christ said the world would hate us and that we would be persecuted for being His disciples. But Christ has overcome the world and although we will suffer in this life we can still manage to know the peace and joy that go beyond understanding by being assured of His love and our salvation by placing our faith in Him.
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:
E. What Is God's Ultimate Plan and Purpose for Boundaries?
God is all about relationships, and we are created in His image. Our hearts seek to be bonded, and the one eternal bond is with God, established through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. That is the ultimate yearning of our soul—to be with God. . . .
"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Plan of Salvation
4 Points of God's Plan
#1 God's Purpose for You . . . is Salvation.
- —What was
God's motivation in sending Jesus Christ to earth?
To express His love for you by saving you! The Bible says...
"God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him" (John 3:16-17).
- —What was
Jesus' purpose in coming to earth?
To forgive your sins, to empower you to have victory over sin, and to enable you to live a fulfilled life! Jesus said...
"I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly" (John 10:10 NKJV).
#2 Your Problem . . . is Sin.
exactly is sin?
Sin is living independently of God's standard—knowing what is right, but choosing what is wrong. The Bible says...
"If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn't do it, it is sin for them" (James 4:17).
—What is the major consequence of sin?
Spiritual death, eternal separation from God. Scripture states. . .
"Your iniquities [sins] have separated you from your God. . . . The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Isaiah 59:2; Romans 6:23).
#3 God's Provision for You . . . is the Savior.
anything remove the penalty for sin?
Yes! Jesus died on the cross to personally pay the penalty for your sins. The Bible says...
"God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).
—What is the solution to being separated from God?
Belief in (entrusting your life to) Jesus Christ as the only way to God the Father. Jesus says. . .
"I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. . . . Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved..." (John 14:6; Acts 16:31).
#4 Your Part . . . is Surrender.
Christ control of your life, entrusting yourself to Him. . . .
"Jesus said to his disciples, 'Whoever wants to be my disciple, must deny themselves and take up their cross [die to your own self-rule] and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?'" (Matthew 16:24-26).
your faith in (rely on) Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior and
reject your "good works" as a means of earning God's approval. .
"It is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9).
The moment you choose to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior—entrusting your life to Him—He comes to live inside you. Then He gives you His power to live the fulfilled life God has planned for you. If you want to be fully forgiven by God and become the person God created you to be, you can tell Him in a simple, heartfelt prayer like this:
Prayer of Salvation
"God, I want a real relationship with You.
I admit that many times I've chosen to go my own way instead of Your way.
Please forgive me for my sins.
Jesus, thank You for dying on the cross to pay the penalty for my sins.
Come into my life to be my Lord and my Savior.
Change me from the inside out and make me the person You created me to be.
In Your holy name I pray. Amen."
What Can You Now Expect?
If you sincerely prayed this prayer, look at what God says about you!
"If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed."
Biblical Counseling Keys: Boundaries: How to See Them - How to Keep Them.
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