Amazing? What's so amazing? - I hope you know – Purity 478
Purity 478 07/23/2021 Purity 478 Podcast
Today’s photo of a misty morning sunrise over wetlands comes to us from a friend’s sunrise hike at the Vischer Ferry Nature & Historic Preserve in Rexford NY. Getting up early to exercise our bodies, minds and spirits have several benefits one of which is seeing the glory of the beginning of a new day. But its not just the sights that complete the experience, for our friend reports that the stillness of the morning environment comes with sounds of nature coming alive that are “amazing”.
I share this photo because I love the view of the morning sun reflected on the water and because it’s finally Friday and I am looking forward to ending the first week back to work since my staycation ended on Monday.
My friend’s use of the word “amazing” makes me think how that word is sometimes used disparagingly or how it can be overused. I believe my friend’s use of the word “amazing” was not only sincere but wholly appropriate to their experience but there are many among us who would fail to see what was “so amazing” about some stupid hike at the crack of dawn.
Just for the record, amazing is defined as: “causing great surprise or wonder; astonishing.” My friends use of amazing expresses their sense of wonder at God’s creation and the peace they found in the moment. My friend’s experience could also have been surprising or astonishing to them, depending on their perspective.
I know this friend has a solid relationship with the Lord through their faith in Jesus Christ, so I know that they consider the things of God quite often and make a regular practice of gratitude:, which is the practice of continually thanking the Lord for all the blessings, and challenges, we experience in life. That faithful perspective and attitude of gratitude are foundational practices of the Christian lifestyle that cultivates the fruit of the Spirit of peace, joy, and love.
But in our society the word “amazing” can also be used to express that sense of astonishment that is more of a negative emotion. My young adult daughter often uses the word “amazing” to sarcastically describe things that annoy or frustrate her. While their may be astonishment, surprise, and some wonder in my daughter’s angsty use of the word amazing, it is a far cry from the use of “amazing” that describes the grace that saved a wretch like me.
To borrow my daughter’s sarcasm for a moment, wonder where she got that from?, I guess you could say I have been having an “amazing” week at work as my normal routine has been disrupted by the effects of all the rain we have hade in the past weeks causing me to have to adapt to new challenges, uncertainty, and stress. So I’m not sure where the day will take me, but I’ll be sure to lean on the Lord and will rejoice when its quitting time later this afternoon.
Using the word “amazing”, in this negative context is an indicator that you may not exactly be familiar with God’s amazing grace or that you may have forgotten it.
When we look at the world through a disgusted or negative lens we don’t do ourselves any favors emotional or mentally. Why would we want to dwell on the bad things in life? How we think effects how we feel. While I am not suggesting living in denial of the suffering that surrounds us, I am suggesting that directing our thoughts to recognizing the good that God has provided in our lives will brighten your experience emotionally.
So have an amazing day and an amazing weekend. Regardless of the circumstance that surround you, when you keep walking and talking with God your experience of life can be one where the word “amazing” describes positive senses of wonder, surprise, and astonishment instead misusing the word to describe feelings of discontentment, annoyance, or bitterness.
God invites all of us to know His Amazing Grace every day by putting our faith in Jesus Christ. Some have of us have done that but are not living amazing lives because we don’t live in harmony with God.
God has put a path before you. How you walk it is up to you. I encourage you to put your best foot forward and follow the Lord’s lead.
This morning’s meditation verse is:
John 8:32 (NKJV)
32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
Today’s verse is a promise from Christ for every believer to experience their freedom.
The previous verse that leads to this profound statement from Jesus states that Christ’s disciples are those who abide in His word. The results of abiding in God’s word is a knowledge of the truth and freedom.
This world is shrouded in the lies of the enemy and a world system that has developed philosophies that are independent of God. Our hostile environment seeks to define truth as worldly wisdom and how things work according to man. The problem is that there are a whole lot of men and women with their own ideas about what is true and with various opinions on how to live. While everyone is entitled to their own opinions about the nature of existence and what is right, we will all be subject to what the Creator of existence declares as true.
God’s word is a warning and a book of instruction. To ignore the Bible is to disregard truth. Scripture describes very negative consequences for those outside of God’s will and grace. Knowing that it is only through faith in Christ that we can be reconciled to God to avoid God’s wrath is the truth by which we will all be judged.
When we know that and put our faith in Christ, we are free from the rightful penalty of God’s wrath. We are free indeed.
But that’s only half the story of knowing the truth in God’s word. His instruction manual, the Bible, also teaches us to turn from our sin and live a righteous life. When we do that we experience the freedom from the bondage of sin. We no longer are compelled to sin because we experientially know that we are set free because we have applied God’s truth to our lives.
The amazing news, yes surprising, full of wonder, and astonishment in a good way, is that as we walk out our Christian lives, there is more of God’s truth to be revealed to us, in relation to our understanding and its application to our lives, and that means that there is more freedom for us to experience!
So act like a disciple of Christ by abiding in His word and learning His truth with an open hear and an open mind. Seek to know God’s truth and how it applies to you personally. Endeavor to apply God’s teachings to your life. When you do that you will not only experience new dynamic levels of freedom in Christ, but you will undoubtedly want to help set the captives free around you by sharing the truth and hope that is found in Christ alone.
As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.
Today we continue with Dr. Neil Anderson’s Victory Over the Darkness, continuing Chapter 8.
As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Dr. Anderson’s books for your own private study and to support his work. If you need this title you can find it online at several sites for less than $15.00:
Proper Guidelines Lead to a Proper Walk
6. Fun. Key Concept: Uninhibited Spontaneity
Fun is uninhibited spontaneity. Have you ever planned a major fun event? Chances are, the last time you really had fun was spontaneous, after you threw off your inhibitions. Worldly people know they need to get rid of their inhibitions to have fun. That is one reason they drink.
The secret to enjoying uninhibited spontaneity as a Christian is to remove unscriptural inhibitors. Chief among the inhibitors of Christian fun is our fleshly tendency to keep up appearances. We don't want to look out of place or be thought less of by others, so we stifle our spontaneity with a form of false decorum. That is people pleasing, and Paul suggested that anybody who lives to please people isn't serving Christ (see Galatians 1:10). The joyless cry, "What will people say?" The liberated in Christ respond, "Who cares what people say? I care what God says; I stopped playing for the grandstand a long time ago when I started playing for the coach."
I love the uninhibited joy of King David. He was so happy about returning the Ark to Jerusalem that he leaped and danced before the Lord in celebration. He knew there was joy in the presence of God. Michal, his party-pooping wife, however, thought his behavior was unbecoming to a king, and she told him so in no uncertain terms. David said, "Too bad for you, lady. I'm dancing before the Lord, not before you or anybody else. And I'm going to keep dancing whether you like it or not" (see 2 Samuel 6:21). As it turned out, Michal was the person God judged in the incident, not David (see 2 Samuel 6:23). It is a lot more fun pleasing the Lord than trying to please people.
Victory Over the Darkness: Realizing the Power of Your Identity in Christ.
God bless you all!
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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship