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

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

After You, Lord – Going Forth in His Presence – Purity 691


 After You, Lord –  Going Forth in His Presence – Purity 691

Purity 691 03/29/2022  Purity 691 Podcast

Good morning,

Today’s photo of a pair of palm trees somewhere on the coast of the Caribbean Sea comes to us from a friend’s recent trip to sunny Puerto Rico earlier this month. This photo reminded me of the saying “Two for Tuesday” and thus I thought it was a nice pick for a symbolic representation for the second day of the work week. My morning Bible Study has me also thinking in two’s today, so it seemed all the more fitting to use it.    

Not long ago I decided to begin a slow but deliberate study of the Bible using the New American Standard Version and John MacArthur’s Commentary, beginning in Genesis and Psalms. It’s been a rewarding walk through the scriptures so far and I find it amazing that no matter how many times I read the Bible, I always discover something new.  

I am currently in Exodus and yesterday read the account of when the nation of Israel decided to create a golden calf and worship it when Moses had been away too long. They had obviously forgotten about agreeing to obey God’s instructions against idolatry and when Moses was away, the nation of Israel did “rise up and play”.

But those who rebelled against God’s law quickly learned the error of their ways when Moses returned. God’s wrath was poured out through the Levites and about 3,000 people were summarily put to death.   The consequences of their sin and rebellion was immediate and bloody death.  I am glad we don’t live in Old Testament times and have been covered by the blood of Jesus.  Thank You Lord.    

Anyway, today I read Exodus 33, the morning after. Well God had chosen Israel to be His people and they were yet to go to the promise land. After golden calf day, God rightly directed the people to “leave the scene of the crime” and to move forward and to move on. The ones who were left had been given mercy and God was going to be true to His promises that He made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and would have their descendants become a great nation.  

But God was not happy. In Exodus 33, He commands the people to move along but He sends His angel to guide them  and states that He will not go up in their midst as He did previously because they were an obstinate people and the Lord said that He might destroy them on the way.  It reminded me of a family vacation where the kids acted badly and got in trouble but the vacation must go on but the parents were more than a little miffed at their ungrateful children. 

Moses still had God’s favor and was directed to erect his on the outside of the camp and God would meet and speak with Moses “face to face” to direct their path but God kept the rest of the people “on the outs”.   

Moses interceded for the people though and confronted the Lord stating that he had been directed to lead God’s people to bring them into the promise land, but Moses knew that he wasn’t going anywhere without God, saying in

Exodus 33:15-16 ) “If Your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here.[1] “For how then can it be known that I have found favor in Your sight, I and Your people? Is it not by Your going with us, so that we, I and Your people, may be distinguished from all the other people who are upon the face of the earth?”[2]

Because Moses had found favor in God’s sight and been known by God “by name”.  God put His anger aside, agreed to go with Moses and His people, and even showed Moses the glory of His manifest presence as Moses stayed in a protective cleft in a rock as God walked by!

Like the nation of Israel, we can fall into sin and feel that God is no longer with us. We can feel that we have been separated from His presence and just go our own way.

I have unfortunately known several Christians who have attended church services regularly and served the Lord in various capacities only to seemingly disappear from God’s fellowship because of personal sin or interpersonal problems with other members of the church. 

And I can understand how someone could become disillusioned because of their perceived failure or decided to leave a church because of interpersonal problems or perceived slights with other church members but what I can’t understand is how Christians who enthusiastically worshipped the Lord and served Him, could just walk away completely from any body of believers.

The ones I have seen depart seem to be so hurt and angry that they not only break fellowship with the church they attended, they seem to leave the fellowship of the Lord all together because they fall deep into their sin or just end up “outside of God’s camp” by choosing to not go to any church at all.   

Unfortunately, the attempts I have made in the past to encourage these hurt and wandering sheep back into the fold have all failed.  They refused to come back into relationship with the body of Christ and based on my observation seem to abandon all but lip service to their God.

If indeed their confession of faith had been genuine, I know that I will see them again in eternity but the passages in the Bible that state that we are to endure in our faith make me shiver at the thought that these people may have been  “close to the kingdom of God” but have chosen to go their own way on a road that will lead to their destruction.  

The lesson I have learned from my up and down journey of faith is that like Moses, come what may, I am not going anywhere without the Lord’s presence!

These wandering sheep are a cautionary tale to me. I see them from time to time and there seems to be something missing. It seems as though they have lost a loved one, and I guess they have.  Their decision to separate from “the herd” and isolate has resulted in their “on fire” faith to cool off and for their countenance to fall.  They seem to have lost their hope.  

So as for me, as I invariably will make mistakes and will prove to myself that I still have quite a bit of work to do on maturing in my faith, I remind myself of the ones who have walked away and how they seem to have lost their joy and peace.  

Like Moses, I am not going anywhere without the Lord’s presence in my life.  He is the giver of life and when we abide in His presence we truly live. So keep walking and talking with God. If you see some lost sheep or prodigals along the way, let them know that they are missed and that they can always come back home. Let them know that God isn’t mad at them and that as they have been forgiven, they too should forgive those who have sinned against them.

In God’s presence we can find the patience to deal with difficult people, we can find the power to overcome our besetting sins, and we can find the rest we so desperately need. So let God know that you are not going anywhere without Him because you know that He will show you the way that leads to an abundant life here on earth and that He will also lead to experience His magnificent glory in eternity.  

_______________________________________________________________

Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.

This morning’s meditation verse is :

Hebrews 4:16 (NLT2)
16  So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.

Today’s Bible verse reminds us that we can come boldly before the Lord and will receive His mercy and grace to help us when we need it most.   

Unlike the nation of Israel, we don’t need Moses, Mary, or anyone else to interceded for us. God has called us into a personal relationship with Him through His Son.  When we receive Christ as Lord and Savior, we receive the Holy Spirit who makes us alive spiritually.  From the moment we first place our faith in Christ, we are given an intimate fellowship with God through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. We have a spirit to spirit connection with God that doesn’t require anyone to talk on our behalf.   

It's walking and talking with God. Not walking and talking with God through Moses, Mary or the saints.

So come boldly before the throne of grace, by directly talking with your heavenly Father.  God hears our prayers and will help us to overcome the difficulties of this life, one way or another.  

God cares about us and He will help us.   But to find God’s help, we have to seek Him. To receive His help, we have to ask for it.  To enjoy His presence, we have to boldly come before the throne of grace and then decide to abide in the Lord’s presence and to not make a move with out Him.  

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

Today we continue sharing from June Hunt’s Overeating: Freedom from Food Fixation.  

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 his work.  This resource is available on many websites for less than $5.00.

IV. STEPS TO SOLUTION

Although she has forgiven him, she will never forget the judge’s cruel comment as she prepared to perform on American Idol before millions of television viewers—“We’re going to have to get a bigger stage.”

Mandisa initially got Simon Cowell’s attention for her out-of-control curves instead of her polished “pipes,” but later all that changed. After losing more than 80 pounds, even the acerbic judge was singing her praises.

Mandisa, a finalist on the 5th season of American Idol, has been set free from what she describes as a food addiction, and she is forever grateful for the dramatic change that now has become apparent in her life. The most difficult part eventually became the most empowering part … learning to retrain her brain not to be preoccupied with food, but with God. And Scripture tells us the benefit of having a Spirit-controlled mind.…

“Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.”

(Romans 8:5–6)

A. Key Verse to Memorize

The inspiring lyrics from Mandisa’s hit single “My Deliverer” give glory to God for helping her find freedom from food addiction. Since her national debut on American Idol, Mandisa has gone on to become a Grammy-nominated Christian recording artist who will be the first to tell you that changes in her life extend far beyond a slimmer waistline and slender legs.

“It’s more than the physical and more than what I am eating. It’s a spiritual change. I’ve had to not turn to food for comfort and validation anymore, and that is a complete mind change. Because my entire life, that is what I have done.”

Tragically, Mandisa traces the roots of her food addiction to being molested as a child and raped at age 16. “I equated being beautiful with being in danger. When I was heavy, men were not looking at me and I felt safe.”

As Mandisa learned to conform to God’s pattern for her life rather than to the world’s values, she not only lost weight but also gained vitality.

“God is showing me that my value, my dependence, and my satisfaction, need to come from Him. Satisfaction doesn’t need to come from food. It doesn’t need to come from what other people think about me. Finding satisfaction in God is what true freedom is.”

Mandisa’s hopeful and joyful outlook on life is manifested in her single, “Dance, Dance, Dance,” which encourages people to praise God in the midst of pain. “The song … shows people that, even though they may not understand all of the things God has done in their lives, they can still praise Him with their dancing. It’s like David in the Psalms. I love that!

“This song resonates so much with me, because my great God has set me free. I’m going to praise Him with dancing because of all that He has done in my life.”

Mandisa’s mind-set has changed.… She has gone from fear to faith in God … and all she does is for the glory of God. The Bible says …

“Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

(1 Corinthians 10:31)[3]

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

Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" 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. 

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTxjSNstREpuGWuL0bF3U7w/featured

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

My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock (https://www.facebook.com/groups/529047851449098 ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (https://feed.podbean.com/tammalyn78/feed.xml)

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship


 



[1] New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995), Ex 33:15.

[2] New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995), Ex 33:16.

[3] June Hunt, Biblical Counseling Keys on Overeating: Freedom from Food Fixation (Dallas, TX: Hope For The Heart, 2008), 27.

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

It’s Follow the Leader, Not Let’s Make a Deal – Leaning into Lent – Purity 668


It’s Follow the Leader, Not Let’s Make a Deal – Leaning into Lent – Purity 668

Purity 668 03/01/2022   Puirty 668 Podcast

Good morning,

Today’s photo of the majestic mountains near the Lake Louise Ski Resort near Banff in Alberta Canada comes to us from a friend’s recent family skiing vacation showing us that there are indeed blue skies and beauty to behold even in season of winter and in the greater white north country of Canada.

It’s Wednesday and I figured this was a good photo to share for its beauty and to represent “hump day” as we will ascend and overcome the mountain of mid-week by days end.

When I saw that my friend, who lives in Long Island, was sharing photos from a skiing vacation, I assumed that Lake Louise and Banff were somewhere relatively local in the States but my google map search revealed that my friend’s love of skiing took them way out west, as well as north, to another country, proving just how far we will go for the things we love.  

It's not only Wednesday  today, but also Ash Wednesday which should remind us of our Christian faith and the lengths that Christ went to express God’s love for us, as He came to earth, lived a sinless life, and died to pay for our sins and to reconcile us to God.  

I continually encourage others to be reconciled to the Lord by placing their faith in Jesus Christ because I know that it is through our relationship with God that we can experience true peace and can discover the meaning and purpose for our lives.  

Unfortunately, many gospel messages stress salvation and life after death in heaven above the relational aspects of our faith which results in a fundamental lack of understanding of what this thing called Christianity is all about. 

Getting a “ticket to heaven, the guarantee of eternal life through faith in Christ, is not the end of our relationship with God, it’s the beginning.  

When preachers push the primacy of “salvation at all costs”, they do a disservice to the very people they wish to usher into God’s kingdom and their short sighted messages could lead to “false converts” or to disillusioned and confused Christians who have a shaky assurance of their salvation but no idea of what to do next.   

Putting our faith in Jesus can be seen as a box to check off as the minimum requirement for eternal life and our faith can be reduced to a transaction rather than a relationship.

 “Okay, I put my faith in Jesus, you forgive me of my sins, and you let me into heaven when I die. Deal? Deal. Awesome. Thanks, I’ll see you in church, occasionally. Now back to doing me, but with my trusty ticket to heaven, thank you Jesus.”     

Okay that is not exactly how I thought when I first came to Christ, but it was pretty close. I saw faith as a relationship but as a transactional relationship.   Christ gives us eternal life and forgiveness of sins and we “have to do” the X,Y’s and Zs of the Christian faith like: 

·       Go to church

·       Stand up, sit down, kneel and follow the instructions and say the “expected things in church”  

·       Pray, or at least kneel and look like you are praying, or say you will pray for someone

·       Read the Bible (Am I expected to read all this?) 

·       Be Nice – at least try to be nice, smile and shake hands where appropriate

·       Do good deeds - Serve in the church or do good works – whoa we are on our way to sainthood for sure

·       Give Cash – Donate to charity, give to the church, or Tithe, “Oh that’s when you know you are serious, oh boy”. 

From a cursory examination of “church culture”,  that may seem that is all there is to the Christian life, and we just have to “do this stuff” to be a Christian.   However, as my snarky commentary for that checklist of Christian duties should have indicated, there is something missing here.

The thing that is wrong with this view of our Christian faith is the love of God. You can do all of the above and have your heart as cold and as hard as it was before you “said the words” “or prayed the prayer” that “sealed the deal” of your putting your faith in Jesus.  

Unfortunately, our exposure to the way of the world has taught us that transactions are the things that make the word go round.  We do x and we get y. And that spirit of materialism can be seen in our relationships with one another. Quid pro quo – you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours – or “happy wife, happy life” – shots fired! -  can easily be viewed as the Status quo of our relationships with one another.  So when we begin our relationship with God it can “become let’s make a deal” rather than “follow the leader”.   

Now don’t get it twisted, we are to the follow the Lord, but we are not to do so as someone who is “just following orders” -  That dynamic is just another expression of quid pro quo but with a military bent, don’t get me started with “onward Christian soldiers” – Jesus isn’t a drill sergeant.  

Our relationship with God is not supposed to be based on the benefits, although we are greatly benefited from our relationship with Him.

Our relationship with God is supposed to be a love relationship.  John 3:16 which leads many to accept Christ says that it because of God’s love that He gave His only begotten Son so that we could live.  

He offers us eternal life a relationship with Him out of love.  We are to not look at our love relationships with a transactional view. We are to enjoy the love and let that motivate us to grow in our relationship with our loved One.  

If we are just going through the motions of our faith because “that’s the deal”, it’s no wonder that we are failing to experience the fruit of the Spirit in our lives.  

Our love relationship with the Lord should cause us to want to know Him more and seek to please Him out of our love for Him not out of some perceived obligation.  

So as we take a step into the season lent today, I encourage you to examine your faith and the “things you do for God” and the reasons why you do them.  

Why do you do them?  Do you have joy and peace in your relationship with God? Are you trying to “put forth a good image as a Christian” or are you acting out of a heart’s desire to be conformed to the image of Christ where your love for the Lord causes you to want to be like Him?

Our faith isn’t a list requirements and duties to perform.  Our faith is supposed to be a dynamic interaction with God that draws us to change the status quo of our lives as we seek to understand His ways and apply them to our lives.   

The heart has to lead us to follow the Lord otherwise we are just marching to a drummer we would rather not listen to.

Just like my friend was willing to go to “O Canada” because of his love for skiing, there is no lengths we wouldn’t go through to be with the one we love.  

So keep walking and talking with God, and remind yourself of the love that poured out for you to be reconciled to Him and respond in love to seek the Lord and experience the joy and peace that comes from being in a love relationship with Him that encompasses all the aspects of your life and would cause you to go the great lengths to become closer to Him.   


Today’s Bible verse come to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.

This morning’s meditation verse is :

Hebrews 13:5 (NLT2)
5  Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.”

Today’s Bible verse encourages us to be content with what we have and to understand that God is with us regardless of our circumstances.   

Okay, for whatever reason the NLT Bible Promise Book for Men, left off the “Don’t love money” portion of today’s verse but I included it to be thorough and to include that advice that is so counterintuitive to the world system.  

The love of money is understandable. Money provides comfort and a sense of security. The idea is that the more money we have the more easily it will be to “be satisfied” but the truth is that even the richest people can lack a sense of satisfaction as the love of money generally causes a preoccupation of it that results in the pursuit of more of it. 

So don’t love money. Follow the wisdom in today’s verse and be satisfied with what you have. 

The Freedom in Christ course that I facilitate for Freedom in Christ ministries boldly teaches that “happiness comes from wanting what we have” meaning that happiness isn’t about having what you want, it’s about wanting what you have because as long as we are focused on what we don’t have  or what we can’t do we will be unhappy.  But when we appreciate what we already have, we will be happy all of our lives.    

Of course the thing that will give us great peace and joy is knowing that the One who makes all things and controls all things approves of you.  When we put our faith in Jesus, God approves of us and will never abandon us.    

Our peace with the Lord tells us that “it is well with our souls” so rest in the peace of the Lord and appreciate what you have and be satisfied with where the Lord has you in life. When you know you are accepted, significant, and secure as a member of God’s royal family, you should be satisfied and be assured that God will never fail you.    

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

Today we continue sharing from June Hunt’s Codependency: Balancing an Unbalanced Relationship.

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 his work.  This resource is available on many websites for less than $5.00.

C. Recovery Step #1: Confront Your Own Codependency

Codependency does not flow from an unchangeable personality flaw or some genetic fluke. A codependent relationship is rooted in immaturity, a fact that should give great hope to those caught in its addictive cycle. While change is never easy, growing up is always within the grasp of anyone who desires to move from immaturity to maturity.

Any of us can move from codependency to a healthy, mutual give-and-take in our relationships. The key to change is motivation. What kind of motivation? When your pain in the relationship is greater than your fear of abandonment, the motivation for change is powerful. Moving away from the pain of codependency then becomes a matter of choice and commitment. If you feel that the relationship you are in is more a curse than a blessing—when it brings more death to your soul than life—this is motivation for change.

"I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you... may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him." (Deuteronomy 30:19-20)

  • Confront the Fact That You Are Codependent.
    • Admit the truth to yourself. Before you can be free from the grasp of codependency, you must be honest with yourself about your emotional addiction to another person.
    • Admit the truth to someone else. Identify the beliefs and behaviors that have perpetuated your emotional addiction and share them with an objective, trusted friend.
    • Admit the truth to God. Realize that your emotional addiction is a serious sin in the eyes of God. Choose now to confess it to Him.

"Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." (James 5:16)

  • Confront the Consequences of Your Codependency.
    • Accept responsibility for how your past experiences and reactions have hurt your adult relationships (such as your becoming manipulative, controlling, possessive, or angry).
    • Accept responsibility for the pain you have caused yourself because of your codependency (such as your becoming jealous, envious, selfish, or obsessive).
    • Accept responsibility for the ways in which your codependency has weakened your relationship with God (such as a loss of quantity time, quality time, and intimacy with the Lord).

"He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy." (Proverbs 28:13)

  • Confront Your Painful Emotions.
    • Understand that you will have pain no matter what you choose. If you leave the codependent relationship, you will hurt, but if you stay, you will hurt. However, the only hope for future healing is leaving the codependent lifestyle.
    • Understand that when the intensity of the relationship diminishes you will experience emotional "withdrawal" from the exhilarating highs.
    • Understand that you will need the support of others to get you through the initial pain of withdrawal and to help you avoid anesthetizing your pain with a "secondary addiction."

"Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of one's friend springs from his earnest counsel." (Proverbs 27:9)

  • Confront Your "Secondary Addictions."
    • Recognize that, in an effort to numb the emotional pain of the relationship, codependency often leads to other addictions, such as a chemical dependency, sexual addiction, compulsive eating, or excessive spending.
    • Recognize your "secondary addictions"; then seek counseling and spiritual support to overcome them.
    • Recognize that recovery from a "secondary addiction" is dependent on recovery from your primary addiction.

"The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge; the ears of the wise seek it out." (Proverbs 18:15)

  • Confront Your Current Codependent Relationship.
    • Acknowledge your codependent role in the relationship and cease relating through codependent patterns.
    • Acknowledge your destructive behaviors. (Write them down.) Then replace them with constructive behaviors. (Write them down.)
    • Acknowledge the natural pain of emotional withdrawal (common to the healing of addictions) and focus on God's supernatural purpose (conforming you to the character of Christ).

"Those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son." (Romans 8:29)

  • Confront Your Codependent Focus.
    • Stop focusing on what the other person is doing and start focusing on what you need to do in order to become emotionally healthy.
    • Stop focusing on the other person's problems and start focusing on solving your own problems (those resulting from your neglect of people and projects in your life).
    • Stop focusing on trying to change the other person and start focusing on changing yourself.

"The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception." (Proverbs 14:8)

  • Confront Your Codependent Conflicts.
    • Do not allow yourself to become trapped in heated arguments or to become emotionally hooked by the bad behavior of the other person. Instead, say to yourself several times, I will not argue—and then disengage from the conflict. Decide ahead of time that, when agitation begins, you will distance yourself.
    • Do not defend yourself when you are unjustly blamed.... Instead, say only once, "I'm sorry you feel that way.... That doesn't reflect my heart."
    • Do not be afraid to leave if the conflict continues. State, "I will be gone for a while." Then calmly walk away.

"Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels." (2 Timothy 2:23)

  • Confront Your Codependent Responses.
    • Remind yourself 'that "problem people" have the right to choose wrong. Don't react to their problem behavior—they are independent of you.
    • Remind yourself not to return insult for insult—refuse to raise your voice.
    • Remind yourself that your Christlike role is to respond with respect—even when others are disrespectful.

"Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.... But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander." (1 Peter 3:9, 15-16)

  • Confront What You Need to Leave in Order to Receive.
    • Leave your childhood and your dependent thinking. (I can't live without you.) Then enter into healthy adulthood. (I want you in my life, but if something were to happen, I could still live without you.) That is reality.
    • Leave your immature need to be dependent on someone else and embrace your mature need to be dependent on the Lord, who will make you whole within yourself.
    • Leave your fantasy relationships (thinking, You are my "all-in-all") and instead nurture several balanced relationships of healthy give-and-take.

"Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses." (Proverbs 27:6)

  • Confront Your Need to Build Mature Non-codependent Relationships.
    • Establish several interdependent relationships—not just one exclusive relationship. You need mature relationships in which your codependency issues can be resolved and your needs can be met in healthy ways.
    • Establish emotionally balanced relationships without being needy of the extreme highs and lows of codependent relationships.
    • Establish personal boundaries in all of your relationships, saying no when you need to say no and holding to your no.

"Let us... go on to maturity." (Hebrews 6:1)


Biblical Counseling Keys: Codependency: Balancing an Unbalanced Relationship.

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

Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" 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. 

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTxjSNstREpuGWuL0bF3U7w/featured

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

My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock (https://www.facebook.com/groups/529047851449098 ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (https://feed.podbean.com/tammalyn78/feed.xml)

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

Saturday, February 26, 2022

Victory Over Darkness – Witness to Freedom – Purity 665


 

Victory Over Darkness – Witness to Freedom  – Purity 665

Purity 665 02/26/2022   Purity 665 Podcast

Good morning,

Today’s photo of a post snow storm sunset shining through clouds above and clouds below was captured by yours truly yesterday as I stopped for a moment to recognize this visible sign of God’s goodness as I made my way down Waite Rd to my countryside home in Easton NY.   We went from having nothing on the ground early Saturday morning to having anywhere from 5 to 9 inches of the white stuff by 4pm yesterday but when I saw that the snow storm was over I headed north to be with my wife and was delighted to see that the Lord had been merciful and blessed us with a late day sunset that assured me of His continual care for His creation and His people.  

It's Saturday and it is my prayer that all my friends enjoy the day that the Lord has made by rejoicing and by being glad in it.  Even though I just returned from Tampa Florida to be welcomed by a snow storm the day after my return, I am in a celebratory mood today as the affects of the storm have been dealt with and I am rejoicing in the fact that the storm wasn’t the “snow-magedon” that the news report’s seemed to indicate it would be and I am rejoicing in the fact that I am alive in Christ and was used by the Lord yesterday as the snow fell to encourage a brother in Christ resolve their personal and spiritual conflicts by leading them through the Steps to Freedom in Christ.   

I don’t claim to have any special anointing for deliverance ministry but yesterday I was blessed to witness my friend come before the Lord in repentance and watched as The Holy Spirit worked in this man’s life:

·       to renounce his pride and the lies the enemy had caused him to believe,

·       to confess the sins that kept him in bondage and that gave the enemy ground in his life, 

·       to forgive those who had hurt or harmed him

·       to humble himself before the Lord and affirm his identity as an adopted child of the God through his faith in Jesus Christ as His personal Lord and Savior

·       to renounce any involvements with the forces of darkness or any past participation in occultic, cult, or false religious practices

·       and to break any and all spiritual soul ties and generational curses that were oppressing him.   

At the end of the day, my friend went from reporting being oppressed by fear, mental blocks and harassment that didn’t allow him to pray or read his Bible, and voices that condemned him as a failure and a hopeless case to reporting experiencing peace, mental clarity, and confidence that he was forgiven and accepted by God and that the darkness that had oppressed him for so long had been cast out.  

Through a series of prayer, renunciations, and proclamations, the Holy Spirit had led this man to experience his freedom in Christ in a very dramatic way where we glimpsed the reality of the forces of darkness in this man’s life and how they were powerless compared to the power of God the Father, the name and blood of Jesus Christ, and the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit to heal, rescue, and redeem.  

The freedom appointment took several hours but at the end of the day our friend had experienced the love and power of God in his life and he knew without a shadow of doubt that he knew the Truth and the Truth had set Him free just as the word of God promises to all who trust in Jesus and repent.  

To hear my friend’s painful story of abuse, sin, and spiritual oppression and to witness them experiencing the peace that comes from being set free convinces me that although I may have not always made the best decisions in life, I must have been guided by the Holy Spirit when I decided to be trained to become a Community Freedom Ministry Associate to be used by the Lord to encourage others to experience their freedom in Christ.  

Even though I personally knew the joy of experiencing my freedom in Christ years before and know the peace of still living in it today,  when you face doubt, skepticism, and rejection for your efforts to share the gospel and encourage others to walk in the Spirit and to experience the freedom that comes from living the Christian disciple’s lifestyle, you begin to wonder if anyone even wants to be set free and you wonder if you have the prophet’s curse of knowing the truth but having everyone around you being unable able or unwilling to receive it.   

But then I have days like yesterday, where I can share in the victory over the darkness, and I get to  see that the power of God work in someone’s life with my own eyes.  

I’m not sure how many people will hear and believe the message of freedom and victory that is possible through faith in Jesus Christ and who will make the choice to follow Him but, because I know it is true, I know that I will share it until the Lord calls me home.   

So believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ, and make the decision to follow Him with how you live your life. If you put your faith in Jesus and start, and keep on, walking and talking with God you will know the peace, love, joy, goodness, faithfulness, kindness, gentleness, patience and self-control that only the Lord can give.

The fruit of the Spirit grows when you walk in the Spirit and even though my friend has his freedom in Christ now, in order to maintain it he will have to make the daily decision to reject the lies of the enemy and the temptations of the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye,  and the lust of the pride of life to prevent the enemy from reestablishing a foot hold in his life.   To experience our freedom in Christ on a continual basis, we must choose to follow the Lord rather than the ways of the world.       

Some will say to live the life of a Christian disciple is impossible, but everything is possible with God and when you place your faith in Jesus, God is with you through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirt.  The Lord will never leave us or forsake His children but we must choose to not forsake Him by abiding in His presence and walking in His ways. So keep walking and talking with God, there is freedom down that road and the path that leads to continuous victory, peace, love, and joy.   

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Today’s Bible verse come to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Hebrews 12:2 (NLT2)
2  We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.

Today’s Bible verse reminds us who sets us free and guides us into victory.   

The “this” in today’s verse refers to running the race that God has set before us.  How can we do “this”? How can we run this race that God has set before us?    

We can “do this”, live a Christian disciple’s life, by keeping our eyes on Jesus, our champion who not only initiates our faith by calling us to salvation and giving us eternal life but who also perfects our faith.  Jesus helps us in our walk.  

The way to receive Christ’s help in “running the race” is that we must keep our eyes on Him.  While miraculous visions of Jesus in our experience are possible, we can keep our eyes on the unseen Jesus by reading the word of God and remembering what He has done and what He has said.  We can keep our eyes on Jesus by knowing who we are in Christ and by seeking to live according to the ways He demonstrated and taught his disciples to follow.  We can keep our eyes on Jesus by knowing that we have the mind of Christ and that the Spirit of Christ lives in us. 

Christ lived a perfect life on earth despite opposition and with the knowledge that His suffering was required in order to reconcile those who would one day believed in Him to God.   And as today’s verse tells us, it was because of the joy of doing the Father’s will and saving those who would believe, that’s me and you, that Christ endured the cross, disregarded its shame and is now seated in the heavenlies to be exalted and to rejoice over every sinner that becomes a saint through their faith in Him.   

So keep doing “this”, keep running the race that God has set before you, by keeping your eyes on Jesus.  His love, presence, and example is ours to motivate us to follow Him and to share in the joy that comes from doing our heavenly Father’s will on earth.     

So keep you eyes on Jesus and accept the help He gives to help you run the race that the Lord has set before you.


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

Today we continue sharing from June Hunt’s Codependency: Balancing an Unbalanced Relationship.


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 his work.  This resource is available on many websites for less than $5.00.

D. What Is the Root Cause of Codependency?

Everyone is created with three God-given inner needs—the needs for love, for significance, and for security. If we expect or demand that another person meet all of our needs or if we become dependent on another person to do so, we have a misplaced dependency. The Bible makes it plain that...

"God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:19)

 

Wrong Belief for the Dependent:

"I need to be connected to a stronger person who will provide me with a sense of love and emotional security."

Right Belief for the Dependent:

"While God often expresses His love through others, He doesn't want me to live my life depending on another person. I need to live dependently on Jesus, who will meet my needs, give me healthy relationships, and make my life fruitful." Jesus said,

"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." (John 15:5)

Wrong Belief for the Codependent:

"I am responsible for meeting all the needs of this person whom I love, and that gives me a real sense of significance."

Right Belief for the Codependent:

"If I try to meet all the needs of any other person, I'm taking the role that God alone should have. My need for significance cannot be met by pleasing another person, but it is met by pleasing God and finding my significance in Him."

"We make it our goal to please him [God]." (2 Corinthians 5:9)

Question: "As a counselor, how can I keep my clients from developing an unrealistic dependency on me?"

Answer:

  • —Don't have a session without first praying for God's wisdom. Then let your client know that you will be depending on the discernment God will give you.
  • —Don't allow yourself to be your client's "savior"—there is only one Savior, and you are not Him!
  • —Don't always be available—you have other responsibilities that will need to be given high priority levels.
  • —Don't pull your client to yourself, but rather present and model how to have an intimate relationship with the Lord.
  • —Don't rely on your own sufficiency based on your education or experiences. Instead, rely on the Lord's sufficiency and encourage your client to do the same.

"Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God." (Psalm 146:5)


Biblical Counseling Keys: Codependency: Balancing an Unbalanced Relationship.

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

Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" 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. 

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTxjSNstREpuGWuL0bF3U7w/featured

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

My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock (https://www.facebook.com/groups/529047851449098 ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (https://feed.podbean.com/tammalyn78/feed.xml)

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship