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Showing posts with label Hebrews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hebrews. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

In Over Our Heads – The Lord is Our Helper! – Purity 518


 In Over Our Heads – The Lord is Our Helper! – Purity 518                                                                       

Purity 518 09/08/2021   Purity 518 Podcast

Good morning

Today’s photo of a small stream flowing from the Catskill Mountains near C D Lane Park in Maplecrest, NY comes to us from a friend who recently participated in the “Greene County Walks” contest, a 4.3 mile excursion, where they observed how high the waters rose from the remnants of Hurricane Ida, stating that water marks could be seen several feet above their heads on some of the trails, commenting that nature could be beautiful and destructive.   So this tiny stream pictured here undoubtedly swelled during the storm but has since receded to normal levels.   

Well it’s Wednesday and I share this photo today because it features the “humps” of what I  suspect to be the Windham High Peak or the Black Dome Peak of the Catskills Mountains, to remind us that we have reached the mid-way point of the shortened week and to assure my friends that all though circumstances may have come together to cause our heads to “swell” with stress and anxiety, as the Labor Day Weekend and It’s following “morning after” have come and gone, somehow we weren’t destroyed!

Yeah sometimes anticipating the new day can be more daunting than actually experiencing it.  While I mentioned my apprehension over a change at work and was pleased to have some friends reach out with care and concern, I was humorously ashamed later as the mundaneness of work made me realize that my various experiences through the years have prepared me for almost any contingency at work and in life and that I should know that by now!

If I needed any further reminder of how my life experiences, and my reliance on God, has prepared me to accept new challenges, I had a Freedom in Christ Ministries zoom prayer call meeting last night that gave me a platform to give a short testimony of how I became familiar with Dr. Neil Anderson’s work and how God had used it to help me mature in my faith. When we look back and tell people of how God has delivered us out of darkness and listen to others share their stories, we can realize that there is nothing that God can’t bring us through.  

In light of our past and current victories with the Lord, I am reminded of

Hebrews 13:6 (NKJV) which says:
6  So we may boldly say: "The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?"

 The Lord is our helper. So we should not fear, and declare boldly that we will not fear. What can mere man do to us? What indeed? 

So as we ascended and descend the midway point of the week, and no matter what waters of adversity that may be rising against us, remember where you were before and realize that you survived it. The Lord saw you through all the days of your past.  Place your trust in Him, use the gifts and abilities that He has given you and that your experience has developed, and have confidence that, with Him on your side, “you got this”.  

Hey, I’ll remind myself of this fact, you remind yourself of this fact, and while we are at it, we can remind each other of this fact.  The Lord is our helper. Let’s not forget that,

Let’s endeavor to remember that the Lord is our Helper by thanking Him for His help, and by seeking it and His presence every day.   


I recently took advantage of an offer to receive a “free resource” from Dr. Charles Stanley’s In Touch Ministries. The resource is a collection of Memory Verse Cards with the theme: “Freedom: Our Life in Christ”. 

As I will be leading an eleven week discipleship class called Freedom in Christ, I thought it would be appropriate to change things up by utilizing this free resource to draw the “verse of the day” from.

So we may have presented the verses that come up from this resource previously, but there is nothing wrong with hearing the same verse twice and if it encourages us regarding our freedom and life in Christ, we really can’t go wrong.  So I will draw from this “deck” until we are through them all.   With that said,

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Galatians 5:13 (NASB)
13  For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

Today’s verse provides us with a reminder, a warning, and points to what real freedom is.   

The reminder in this verse is that God has called us to freedom.  If we were “just fine” or “doing okay” as a race of people, God would have never felt the need to intervene in mankind’s history and eventually send Jesus Christ to teach us about Him and perform His atoning work on the cross.  We were not okay. We were not “free”. But through Christ we have been made free from the power of sin and death!

The warning is to not take our freedom and to corrupt it by indulging in the desires of the flesh that we have been set free from.  When we come to faith in Christ we receive the forgiveness of our sins of the flesh, but just because we are forgiven of our sin doesn’t mean we should take our freedom to indulge in that which required Christ’s sacrifice to cover. It’s like this:  

 “Hey Christ took the punishment for your sins by dying an excruciating death for you and through Him you now have the power to turn from those ways that cause guilt, shame, and pain to you and your loved ones.”

 “Thanks, I’ll keep doing those things, since I’m free!”

“No, you’re missing something. Those things you needed to be forgiven of were what you were in bondage to!  Don’t go back or stay in bondage to them! Claim your freedom by walking away from that junk!”

And finally today’s verse points to what freedom leads to: love!  A natural response to receiving love is giving love. When we realize that God loves us so much that Christ died for us to save us and set us free, we will love God for having first loved us. 

When we grasp the reality of our salvation and the freedom we have been given, we will seek to live out our freedom by living a righteous life and sharing the love of God by serving others.  The overflow of God’s love that is poured into our lives and that makes us free will flow to the lives of those around us.  

“Doing whatever I want” to fulfill our selfish desires eventually leads to shame, guilt, pain, and dissatisfaction. Living that way was never freedom.  

So claim, or reclaim, your freedom by following the Lord’s ways and by sharing with others the free gift of love that He has so graciously given to us. 

 

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:

D. What Is God's Heart On Boundaries?

They've got to go.

In the midst of the Lance Armstrong doping investigation, Greg LeMond calls for the president of the International Cycling Union (UCI) and the honorary president to step down. Pat McQuaid and his predecessor, Hein Verbruggen, do not manifest God's heart on boundaries.

"During this investigation, you can't have the fox guarding the henhouse, and that means they need to willingly step down—now. Will they? Most likely not because they are protecting their own position. It will take pressure." Greg offers to run UCI as interim president, but insists his replacement must be someone who is "beyond reproach." McQuaid and Verbruggen, by the way, are still leading the controversial UCI.

The truth found in Scripture epitomizes the ways of both Greg and Lance. . . .

"Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out."

(Proverbs 10:9)

God's heart is that we set boundaries for our relationships with one another. He even wrote some of those boundaries out for us in His Word.

Look at what His Word says regarding His will for us, and you will see them—the boundaries God has ordained for our lives . . . the boundaries we need to establish and live by if we are to follow His heart and live our lives according to His will. . . .

#1 God's will is that we treat one another with respect.

"Show proper respect to everyone..." (1 Peter 2:17).

#2 God's will is that we focus on listening to one another and carefully consider our words before we speak.

"Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak..." (James 1:19).

#3 God's will is that we express appropriate anger toward one another in a helpful rather than hurtful manner.

"'In your anger do not sin'..." (Ephesians 4:26).

#4 God's will is that we participate in and benefit from mutual submission.

"Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ" (Ephesians 5:21).

#5 God's will is that we not lie, but rather speak truthfully to one another from our hearts.

"Each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor..." (Ephesians 4:25).

#6 God's will is that we acknowledge and take responsibility for our wrongs and that we forgive others for their wrongs.

"Therefore confess your sins to each other. . . . Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you" (James 5:16; Colossians 3:13).

#7 God's will is that we say "Yes" or "No" without feeling guilty about it.

"All you need to say is simply 'Yes' or 'No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one" (Matthew 5:37).

#8 God's will is that we refuse to sin against Christ by violating one another's conscience.

"When you sin against them in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ" (1 Corinthians 8:12).

#9 God's will is that we give and receive justifiable rebukes and refrain from using flattery on one another.

"Whoever rebukes a person will in the end gain favor rather than one who has a flattering tongue" (Proverbs 28:23).

#10 God's will is that we appeal to a higher authority when necessary, just as the apostle Paul did when he was being slandered by Jewish leaders.

"If the charges brought against me by these Jews are not true, no one has the right to hand me over to them. I appeal to Caesar!" (Acts 25:11).

#11 God's will is that we remove ourselves from abusive situations.

"Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered"

(Proverbs 22:24).

#12 God's will is that we emotionally and spiritually support one another.

"And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another..." (Hebrews 10:24-25).


Biblical Counseling Keys: Boundaries: How to See Them - How to Keep Them.

 

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

 

 

 

Join our “Victory over the Darkness” or “The Bondage Breaker” series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

at https://mt4christ247.podbean.com, You can also find it on Apple podcasts (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mt4christ247s-podcast/id1551615154). The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and Audible.com. 

Email me at mt4christ247@gmail.com to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.

 

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

Friday, May 28, 2021

Purity 430: Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

Purity 430 05/28/2021 Purity 430 Podcast

Good morning.

Today’s photo of sunset on the shores of Lake Ontario in Oswego NY comes to us from Celestial Blue Photography.  I love the way this photo displays the contrasts of the elements of creation as it transitions from the “rock hard” reality of earth, to the glass like water casting the reflected light, to the wispy ethereal clouds, and to the blazing but fading sun.   While water didn’t make the band, maybe it should have because it goes along with earth, wind, and fire quite nicely.  

It’s Friday and as we transition through the last of the rock-hard reality of the work week, I hope this photo encourages you to look forward to the long memorial weekend with an eye on the sky as we are called to not only rest and relax this weekend but also to remember the one’s who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.   For the love of freedom, men and women served our country with their dying breaths. Their sacrifice was made to maintain our freedom here in the United States.  

Their sacrifice echo’s that of Christ who died not only to give us freedom in Him here on earth, but also for all eternity.  Christ suffered and died for us to the show God’s great love for us.  As Jesus said in:

John 15:12-13 (NKJV)
12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.

Jesus laid His life down for us so that we could be reconciled to God and have the joy of the assurance of our salvation so we could live the rest of our lives here on earth with an abiding peace and then be with Him forever in His kingdom.  

So rejoice that we have made it through another week and celebrate the freedom we have knowing that the highest authority above and beyond all existence made a sacrifice of love to make us His own beloved children.  

And remember, God is omnipresent. That means that He is ever present, and we can enjoy our relationship with Him now.  So keep walking and talking with God because He gave us the ultimate freedom from sin and death, and He did it so we could enjoy His company now and forever.  

 

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Hebrews 4:12 (NKJV)
12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Today’s randomly drawn verse shows us that things aren’t always so random as yesterday’s verse highlighted the word of God and so does todays!

This verse is a favorite of mine because it reveals the mysterious nature of the word of God and how it is used by God to interact with us.  

As John 1:1 showed us that Jesus Christ was called the Word, this verse also shows us that the concept of the word of God is not merely printed text on a page.   God has poured out His Spirit and Truth in the word of God and it carries spiritual properties and power that make it unique.  

It is living and powerful.  It’s not just a good book. It holds the power to save and empower us in our Christian walk. 

It pierces even to the division of the soul and spirit, meaning that it penetrates to the core of our being and allows us to discern between God’s true spiritual wisdom and our worldly “soulish” ways. It can convict us to see the way we are living is not the way God intended and can lead us to repentance.   

It also is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.  That means that while you are reading the word of God, the word of God is reading you! The insights we can draw from the word of God vary. We can read the words and text and have an intellectual understanding of what the words say and even repeat them to show that we “understand” it.   But we can also “know” the word in a spiritual and experiential way as the meaning of the words and the implications it holds for us and the way we understand the world can cause a paradigm shift that cause us the “see” the unseen truths of God’s kingdom.  

The Lord can use the word to give you a deeper understanding of what the words say  and how they affect you personally.

So when we come to the word of God we should pray for revelation because the Holy Spirit in us can show us more about God than we presently understand.  

I have been using the article “it” regarding the word of God, but I perhaps would better serve the Lord by using “He” because the word of God and its, or His, living, powerful, and discerning aspects show us that God and His word are indivisible. Just as God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are different persons of the Godhead.  God and His word are intimately tied together as it is God breathed and it is utilized by God to do a work in those who seek its wisdom.   

I have often said that the Holy Spirit will lead us with words of knowledge in our walk.  The language that He speaks is the word of God and He displays His presence in our lives by recalling meaningful scripture into our minds to guide and encourage us moment to moment.  

So pick up the word of God today and have some reverence for it because it is living, it is powerful, and it knows your heart.  

I invite all to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk. 

 

 

Today, in continuing recognition of mental health awareness month, we continue to share from Dr. June Hunt’s “Suicide Prevention: Hope When Life Seems Hopeless “.

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Dr. 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 Present “The Contract”

The most essential lifeline you can provide to a suicidal struggler is HOPE. Even if you feel inadequate to become involved with someone who is suicidal, God may draw you into that person’s life to be a reflection of His love. Consider such a divine encounter to be a candle of hope to someone living in darkness. Jesus said ...

“Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)

Where There’s Life, There’s Hope!

“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” (Hebrews 6:19)

H—Honestly Confront

  • Take all talk of death and suicide seriously. Repeat back what was said: “I’m hearing you say life’s not worth living. Is that right?”
  • Identify with their pain and express your concern.
    “That must feel painfully empty. I want you to know I care about your pain!”
  • Ask these direct questions: “Are you thinking about harming yourself? How...? Do you have a plan?”
  • Seek to find out what problem is causing the pain.
    Ask, “What has been so painful that you don’t want to live?”

The Bible explains this compassionate approach. ...

“The purposes of a man’s heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out.” (Proverbs 20:5)

O—Offer Options

  • Acknowledge the fact that life is hard.
  • Point out that choices in life often consist of unpleasant possibilities.
  • List possible options on a sheet of paper.
  • Rank the options in order of preference.
  • Communicate God’s purposes for suffering. One purpose, for example, is to develop compassion: “Many people are hurting just like you are. They feel desperately alone, assuming that no one understands their pain. You know what it is like to hurt. Your personal pain enables you to have a ministry of compassion. You are being prepared right now to be a lifeline of hope for someone else who feels hopeless.” When you speak with kindness and compassion, you reflect the wisdom of God’s Word. ...

“As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” (Colossians 3:12)

P—Present a Contract

  • Build a relationship by showing your care and willingness to help.
  • Ask if the person would be willing to make a contract with you.
    “Will you promise that if you are considering harming yourself, you will call me before doing anything?”
  • Be sure to obtain a signature.
  • Make a commitment to stay in contact.

“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2)

E—Enlist Help

  • Encourage the person to have a physical checkup.
  • Seek a trained counselor or therapist.
  • Call a minister.
  • Contact the Suicide Crisis Center.
  • Help make arrangements for hospitalization.

“Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” (Proverbs 15:22)

My Contract of Hope

The following is a solemn binding contract. This contract cannot be declared null and void without the written agreement of both parties.

I promise that if I should consider harming myself, I will talk with you before I do anything destructive.

I sign my name as a pledge of my integrity.

Signature           

Date           

Signature           

Date           

“Anyone who is among the living has hope.” (Ecclesiastes 9:4)

Sworn to Secrecy

Question: “I promised I would keep my friend’s secret about suicide. If I tell, am I breaking the right to privacy?”

Answer: Never keep any possibility of suicide a secret. Take your friend’s suicidal words seriously. You are not betraying your friend. In fact, you may be the only one in a position to help save the life of your friend.

  • Say, “I didn’t realize that what I was promising could actually hurt you. I care about you too much to keep that promise.”
  • Encourage your friend to tell a responsible adult and seek professional help.
  • Talk to an adult whom you trust IMMEDIATELY if you feel the risk is imminent!

Realize, saving a life is always more important than keeping a secret. You may risk losing your friendship by breaking your promise, but keeping your promise and then losing your friend would be a far greater tragedy.

The Bible says ...

“We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.” (Romans 15:1)


Biblical Counseling Keys - Biblical Counseling Keys – Biblical Counseling Keys: Suicide Prevention: Hope When Life Seems Hopeless.

----------------------------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 https://mt4christ247.podbean.com, You can also find it on Apple podcasts (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mt4christ247s-podcast/id1551615154) and Google podcasts (https://podcasts.google.com/?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9mZWVkLnBvZGJlYW4uY29tL210NGNocmlzdDI0Ny9mZWVkLnhtbA%3D%3D

Email me at mt4christ247@gmail.com to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.

 

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

 

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Purity 425: Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship


Purity 425 05/22/2021  Purity 425 Podcast

Good morning.

Today’s photo of morning on the beaches of Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Florida comes from a friend’s vacation at the beginning of May.  As I shared yesterday the thing that is featured in this photo that is unseen is the friendship of the two people who ran from their nearby hotel at the crack of dawn and overcame obstacles to capture yesterday’s and today’s morning views.  

But that was yesterday’s emphasis. Today we focus on progress. As Friday was the “dawn of the weekend” and we have progressed to Saturday, the “morning of the weekend”, yesterday’s and today’s photo show the progress of the day.   Although the scenery of these photos, and of our lives, may be the same, today things are just a little bit brighter as we have progressed from shadows to increasing light.    

For some reason it reminds me of a portion of cheerleader’s cheer I remember from my older brother’s pop warner days: “Be Aggressive, BE BE Aggressive!” Its funny what the mind can bring up! I don’t know how the rest of that cheer went but it came up in my mind when I was thinking about progress and being progressive.   

The inevitability of one day progressing to the next is a fact of our lives.   Like dawn changing to increasing morning light, changes come whether we are ready for them or not.  

The key to finding peace in our lives is not being caught in the darkness of trying to live in yesterday’s light but it is found in accepting the changes that the day has brought you welcomed or as unwelcomed as they may be, and living in the light of today.   

We can’t go back. We can’t change what happened yesterday.  But we can take what is important to us today and move forward.  Our pasts are heavy. We aren’t meant to carry it all with us. We are supposed to travel light. We have to leave some of that stuff behind and only take what is valuable and necessary for us to move into today and into the days ahead with confidence and peace.   

Unfortunately, relationships change over time too.  As much as we thought we would have some relationships in our lives forever, sometimes we come to the realization that the relationships that we hold most dear to us will change significantly and can not be carried with us into the future, at least not the way they used to be.  

When relationships end we may find ourselves in a dark place of sadness, regret, and depression, but I can assure you that with each passing day we can move into a brighter place. With each passing day we can be strengthened by the Lord and walk into the new future that He has prepared for us.  Each new day can become a little brighter. 

But we have to “BE Progressive, BE BE Progressive!” We must choose to leave behind what is lost, gather what is dear to us, and start walking toward the light of God’s plan for our lives.  

So take that next step, and the one after it. Keep walking and talking with God as you go, and you will discover that eventually you will leave the darkness behind and you will move from the dawn of your transition to the bright morning of a new life.  


This morning’s meditation verse is:

James 2:10 (NKJV)
10 For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.

Today’s verse is horrible news for those of us that like to think that they are self sufficient or for those who think they are “doing everything right”.   

People who believe they are a good person are just wrong. 

Romans 3:10 (NKJV)
10 As it is written: "There is none righteous, no, not one;

The fallacy of believing that we are judged on a scale of righteousness where our good deeds are weighed against the weight of or bad deeds is destroyed by Bible verses like James 2:10.  

The verse indicates that if you attempt to be righteous by keeping the law, doing all the commandments of God, but fail in even one instance you are guilty of it all.  God doesn’t grade on a curve.  Salvation by works is a pass-fail test in which the only passing grade is 100%.   And as

Romans 3:23 (NKJV) tells us
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

That is all but one, of course, as Jesus, our high priest,

Hebrews 4:15 (NKJV)
15 … was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.

The fact that we can’t keep the law perfectly shows us that we have to have another way to be declared righteous.   We can’t do it ourselves.  We can’t save ourselves.  

That’s why God sent Christ to live a sinless life and pay the penalty for our sins. There was no way we could do it on our own.  So God’s great love caused Him to devise a plan that would meet the demands of holy justice and enable mankind to be made righteous.  Christ, as the God the Son, paid for the sins of all mankind. Only His Deity gives Him the infinite nature to pay for everyone’s sin.   Likewise only His deity allows for His righteousness to be imputed to the multitudes who put their faith in Him.    

You see He’s paid for everyone, but only those who put their faith in Christ will be redeemed.  Only those who put their faith in Christ have their penalties paid and receive Christ’s righteousness; Only they will be justified before God.   

So rejoice at the fact that we don’t have to be perfect in terms of the law to be reconciled to God.  We never could have done it any way.  On our own we were hopeless. But because of God’s love for us, He made a way where there was no way.  

The good news of our personal salvation should never become old news.  Instead the fact of our salvation should fill us with a hope for the future with Him and cause us to align ourselves with His will for our lives and to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with everyone we can. 

I invite all to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk. 

  

 

Today, in continuing recognition of mental health awareness month, we continue to share from Dr. June Hunt’s “Suicide Prevention: Hope When Life Seems Hopeless “.

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Dr. 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:

D. How to Know the Scriptural Reasons to Say No

Dignitas is anything but dignified. The very existence of this clinic is a direct affront to God’s plan and purpose because it encourages suicide rather than discouraging it. Dignitas is an assisted suicide clinic in Zurich, Switzerland, founded by a man who believes suicide should be available not only for the terminally ill or the severely disabled (where most in his circle draw the line), but for all people. Ludwig Minelli goes as far as to say, “We should have a nicer attitude to suicide, saying suicide is a very good possibility to escape.”

But while Minelli says yes, God says No to each and every thought of suicide.

Have you come to the conclusion that life is not worth living? If you’ve lost all desire to hope, your heavenly Father knows what you are feeling. He desires that you call out to him. God will respond to the honest heart that offers even a flicker of willingness. ...

“I call on you, O God, for you will answer me; give ear to me and hear my prayer. Show the wonder of your great love, you who save by your right hand those who take refuge in you.” (Psalm 17:6–7)

7 Scriptural Reasons to Say No to Suicide

Reason #1: Suicide rejects God’s offer of inner peace.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6–7).

Reason #2: Suicide rejects God’s sovereignty over the length of your life.

“You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. ... Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (Psalm 139:13, 16).

Reason #3: Suicide rejects God’s right to be Lord over your life.

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own” (1 Corinthians 6:19).

Reason #4: Suicide rejects God’s commandment not to murder.

“You shall not murder” (Deuteronomy 5:17).

Reason #5: Suicide rejects God’s ability to heal your hurts.

“Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed” (Jeremiah 17:14).

Reason #6: Suicide rejects God’s plan to give you hope.

“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him” (Psalm 62:5).

Reason #7: Suicide rejects God’s power already within you to make you godly.

“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires” (2 Peter 1:3–4).


Biblical Counseling Keys - Biblical Counseling Keys – Biblical Counseling Keys: Suicide Prevention: Hope When Life Seems Hopeless.

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

 

God bless you all!

 

Join our Victory over the Darkness Discipleship Class via the mt4christ247 podcast!

at https://mt4christ247.podbean.com, You can also find it on Apple podcasts (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mt4christ247s-podcast/id1551615154) and Google podcasts (https://podcasts.google.com/?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9mZWVkLnBvZGJlYW4uY29tL210NGNocmlzdDI0Ny9mZWVkLnhtbA%3D%3D

Email me at mt4christ247@gmail.com to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.

 

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Purity 365: Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship


Purity 365 03/13/2021 Purity 365 Podcast

Good morning.

Today’s photo of a red, blue, and yellow sunset sky comes from a friend in Huntington Beach, California who captioned it: “Sun going down on the week.”  That’s right it’s Saturday and as we take another stride into March, we in the northeast are drawing ever closer to spring as we have experienced temperatures in the 50’s and 60’s over the last few days.  But this morning a winter chill of 29 degrees is reminding us that its not spring just yet.    

But today’s high is expected to be 40 degrees and anything above freezing is all right in my book.  Winter may not go away without a surprise appearance of snow before its gone, so I am rejoicing with each passing day knowing that spring is on the horizon and we just have to be patient until we get there.  

I pray that you enjoy today and tomorrow to the fullest, whether that means getting some needed rest, getting some work done, seeking out new sights, or connecting with friends or family. 

Whatever you choose to do this weekend, I encourage you to take a moment to thank the Lord for bringing you here and for the blessing of the good outcomes you experience or for the strength and patience to endure if you are walking through a dark season.      

God’s wisdom, strength, and presence are always available to us. As Psalm 16:11 says:

Psalm 16:11 (NKJV)
11 You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

So keep walking and talking with God. He will show you the way and allow you to know the joy and pleasures forevermore that come from a life lived in harmony with Him.

 

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Hebrews 10:25 (NKJV)
25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

Today’s verse is rather appropriate for the weekend.  This verse is encouraging us not to forsake “the assembling of ourselves together” which means not to forsake the corporate gatherings of believers. For us that mostly means “going to church”. 

While someone can be a “saved” Christian without going to church, pointed out in this verse with the phrase “as is the manner of some”, the benefits of membership and participation of a church should encourage us to be committed to go to church regularly. 

The benefits include:

·       Hearing the Word of God preached, along with the Pastor’s insights and recommendations for application

·       Enjoying a sense of community

·       Having the ability to establish and foster friendships with like minded Christians

·       Having opportunities to serve the church

·       Being able to support and encourage fellow Christians

·       Being able to worship the Lord with others in song

·       Being able to pray with others

·       Having opportunities to learn and grow

Obviously, there are many benefits for “going to church” but I would also like to point out that our faith isn’t just a weekly observance.  We should also take advantage of other opportunities for assembling together: such as small groups, bible studies, classes, conferences, and other church events,  

Often, we can feel disconnected from people even when we are at a church service. The way we can move past that is by participating in other gatherings where we can express ourselves individually and get to know the people in our church.

Our faith is supposed to be a lifestyle and part of that should be drawing closer to the people that hold the same beliefs and becoming friends with those that we will be spending eternity with.  

I understand that during Covid-19 we all have the right to keep ourselves and our families safe by limiting our exposure in public by avoiding large gatherings.  So for any choosing to do that, please don’t take this post as condemnation.  We look forward to your return to church when you feel confident in your safety. 

I invite all to mt4chritst.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk. 

 

Today we will share from Dr. June Hunt’s Biblical Counseling Keys on “Anger: Facing the Fire Within”

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Dr. Hunt’s books for your own private study and to support her work:

K. How to Answer Common Questions about Anger

Ropes and ladders... axes and saws... are among the tools used by firefighters to rescue people, to free them from the bondage of burning buildings and the threat of being unable to escape. Firefighters are thoroughly trained in the area of rescue operations and through experience have come to know what tools are needed for what situation, all with the goal of helping others.

Likewise, turn your experiences with anger into a blessing, helping others understand they're not alone in their struggles... instilling hope that they, too, can be set free from raging anger. As you learn to face the fiery anger within and learn to act rather than react. God will not only use your anger to accomplish His purposes, but you will also be in a position to offer help and hope to others.

The questions below will help prepare you to give biblical answers to those who live in bondage to anger and who come to you for help and hope....

"Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect." (1 Peter 3:15)

Anger and Self-Control

Question: "What should I do when I feel my anger getting out of control?"

Answer: Whenever you feel reason and self-control are giving way to irrational and unbridled behavior, put on the brakes and call a truce in order to take time out. Unless you do something to intervene in the process, the direction of the conversation will not change but will only escalate.

Stop and take a deep breath....

  • Hold up your hands to indicate you are "surrendering" for the time being by calling a halt to what is taking place.
  • State slowly in a low tone of voice (remember, "slow and low") that either you are getting too upset to think clearly or that the conversation is not going in a positive direction and does not seem to be resolving anything.
  • Explain that you need to calm down and regain a cool head. Then take a walk around the block, retreat to a quiet place to listen to music, take a shower, or do whatever helps you regain your composure.
  • Agree on a time to resume the conversation once you have regained your composure and have processed what has been said.

If you reach an impasse where agreement between the two of you is not possible...

  • Agree to have different opinions on the subject, but refuse to let those differences become a problem in the relationship.
  • Remember, if two people agree on everything all the time, their relationship runs the high risk of becoming stagnant and void of growth.
  • Decide to engage in stimulating conversations where varied opinions are expressed in order to develop listening skills, to learn from others, to think through your own opinions, and to practice expressing those opinions to others in a clear and concise (non-offensive) manner.
  • Commit to valuing, accepting, and respecting each other as you grow in your understanding of one another...."A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions.... Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters" (Proverbs 18:2; Romans 14:1).

Anger and Workplace Threats of Violence

Question: "One of my coworkers has threatened to harm me. What should I do?"

Answer: Some angry people lose control of their anger and cause property damage and/or personal physical harm. In extreme cases, some even murder those with whom they work. This is why you must...

  • Always take all threats of violence seriously.
    • —Assume that if someone makes a threat, the person intends to carry it out.
    • —Most people who commit violent acts at work have given a clear indication of their intent prior to taking action.
    • —Develop a proactive plan to defuse the situation.
  • Always report any threat.
    • —Report the threat to your supervisor.
    • —Report the threat to a security officer.
    • —Report the threat to the police if it is serious enough.
  • Always proceed wisely and cautiously when threatened.
    • —Consult your company's policy manual regarding the Code of Conduct.
    • —Inform the angry person of the consequences of making threats.
    • —Request mediation with a trained company mediator. Remember..."A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it" (Proverbs 22:3).

Anger and Road Rage

Question: "How can I overcome road rage? I get so angry at other drivers!"

Answer: As drivers, we all have had someone cut in front of us, yell profanity at us, make obscene gestures toward us, or intentionally bump us. Whatever the situation, the moment you feel agitated, remove yourself from being in close proximity to the person and rehearse the truth in your mind....

  • "I don't have to become angry. I know God will work this for my good as I keep my focus on Him."
  • "I refuse to let someone else control my emotions. Lord, I surrender my emotions to Your control."
  • "I choose to sing praises to God because He is in control, and I can remain calm and cool-headed."
  • "Lord, I don't know what is wrong with this person, but I pray You will make Your presence known in this situation."
  • "Lord, this person has a problem. I'm not going to let that problem become my problem. I choose instead to thank You for the gift of Your peace and provision."
  • "I will stay calm in the strength of Christ. Thank You, Jesus, for Your Spirit within me, giving me everything I need....""I can do everything through him who gives me strength" (Philippians 4:13).

Anger and Forgiveness

Question: "I was severely wronged by someone I once trusted. People want me to forgive... but how can I ignore my anger and let this person off the hook?"

Answer: Picture a meat hook hanging around your neck and lying against your chest. Attached to the end of it is a burlap bag containing both your offender and all the pain this person has caused you. Do you really want to carry that person and all that pain with you for the rest of your life?

  • The Lord wants you to take the anger and pain from the past and release it into His hands.
  • Then He wants you to take the one who offended you off of your "emotional meat hook" and place him onto God's hook. You can forgive him without trusting him. Forgiveness is given; trust is earned. Extending forgiveness is based on your choice to be obedient to God and to release your anger to Him. Extending trust is based on another person's trustworthiness. Forgive everyone, but trust only the trustworthy. The Lord knows how to deal justly and effectively with all those who bring pain into your life. He says..."It is mine to avenge; I will repay" (Romans 12:19).

Forgiveness Prayer

"Lord Jesus, thank You for caring about how much my heart has been hurt.

You know the pain I have felt because of (list every offense).

Right now I release all that pain into Your hands.

Thank You, Jesus, for dying on the cross for me and extending Your forgiveness to me.

As an act of my will, I choose to forgive (name).

Right now, I move (name) off of my emotional hook onto Your hook.

I refuse all thoughts of revenge.

I trust that in Your time and in Your way You will deal with my offender as You see fit.

And Lord, thank You for giving me Your power to forgive so that I can be set free.

In Your holy name I pray. Amen."


Biblical Counseling Keys - Biblical Counseling Keys – Biblical Counseling Keys: Anger: Facing the Fire Within.

----------------------------more Monday-------------------------

 

God bless you all!

 

Join our Victory over the Darkness Discipleship Class via the mt4christ247 podcast!

at https://mt4christ247.podbean.com, You can also find it on Apple podcasts (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mt4christ247s-podcast/id1551615154) and Google podcasts (https://podcasts.google.com/?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9mZWVkLnBvZGJlYW4uY29tL210NGNocmlzdDI0Ny9mZWVkLnhtbA%3D%3D

Email me at mt4christ247@gmail.com to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.

 Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship