In Over Our Heads – The Lord is Our Helper! – Purity 518
Purity 518 09/08/2021 Purity 518 Podcast
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
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?"
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."
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"
#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.
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