Oh The Places You Will Go! -The Path of Discipleship – Purity 669
Purity 669 03/03/2022 Purity 669 Podcast
Today’s photo of a blazing sun over a pathway that leads to an unnamed building in an undisclosed city in the country of Romania comes to us from a friend who answered the call of the Lord to the mission field. My friend was blessed by the Lord’s provision to raise nearly 20 thousand dollars to pay for missionary efforts that have begun in Romania but will take them to various countries throughout the world over the next year.
The call from God on their life will have them distributing Bibles and sharing the love of God through ministering to others’ needs for the next year. On this journey even though they have a schedule of where they will go and a general idea of what they will do, the specific plan that God has for their individual journey and purpose is unknown, undisclosed, and to be determined but they went any way.
Well it’s Thursday, and as you may know today is the day that I love to share pictures of various kinds of pathways as a symbolic representation for the path of Christian Discipleship and as an encouragement to all who see or hear these messages to make a decision to answer the call of God to get on their own personal pathway of Christian Discipleship.
My pathways have led me to different countries and different “missions” over the years with the latest being called to lead a Freedom in Christ Discipleship Course once a week via zoom for Freedom in Christ Ministries.
My pathway of faith has also led me to Starpoint Church in Clifton Park where I spent the evening last night praising the Lord in song and hearing an empowering message from Pastor Roscoe Lily based on Hebrews 12:1-3 that encouraged us to “run the race God has set before us” and to enter into this season of Lent with an intention to “strip off every weight that slows us down” by confronting the sin in our lives that “so easily trips us up.”
The worship was exuberant and I loved the fact that the leadership at Starpoint Church has crafted their recent messages to remind us about how “God loves sinners like me” but has balanced it with the truth that even though God meets us where we are at, He also calls us to repentance and to experience the peace and joy that come from turning from our sins and living out the life that God has for us when we trust Him to help us.
God loved a sinner like me, but He didn’t want me to stay in my sins and when I decided to trust in Him to help me live according to His ways, my life was transformed, and it is still being transformed as I have learned that this pathway of Christian Discipleship simply doesn’t end. When you follow God, you don’t know where you are going to end up but if you are faithful to listen to and obey His guidance, the destination is always good.
There were no ashes at last night’s Ash Wednesday worship service. Instead of marking our heads, the church leadership invited everyone to open their hearts and to “rise from the ashes” by encouraging them to confront the sin in their lives and to commit themselves to using the next 40 days of the season of Lent to draw closer to God.
The church also distributed a daily devotional resource to all the people in attendance and encouraged the church body to be unified by choosing to use it for a their time of personal prayer over the next 40 days. This gesture was encouraging because it demonstrates that even though we all have our own lives and different challenges, we are not alone.
As Hebrews 12:1 told us, we are surrounded by a cloud of witnesses, those Christians that have gone into eternity before us and those that gathered together in worship last night, all of which can each personally testify of the reality of and goodness of God in their lives.
So let me encourage you that there are others who believe and there are others who have a heart to follow the Lord. . The body of Christ in heaven and on earth should be an encouragement to us that we are never alone in our faith. God has called us all individually, and corporately, to represent Him on the earth and to use our very lives to share His love with others.
So whether it’s to some distant country like Romania or if it is just to places in your local community, keep walking and talking with God and let others know that they are not alone.
Let others know that there is a God who cares about them and who has made a way for them, through Jesus Christ, to know His love and forgiveness.
Go on that personal “mission” to share the love of God with others and to let that love motivate you to let go of the things that slow you down on your personal pathway that will take you to the peace, love, and joy that God wants you to know, right here and right now.
Today’s Bible verse come to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.
This morning’s meditation verse is :
17 So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.
Today’s Bible verse tells us where faith comes from.
If you ever ask me where my faith came from, I can tell you that there was a definitive moment in my life where I “once believed”. On March 19th, 2010, I heard a message the told me the “Good News about Christ” in a way that I never quite understood before.
I always thought that even though Christ died for our sins, we still had to earn our way into the kingdom of heaven, that even though I had been “confirmed’ in the church of my youth, I had the impression that there was still a clear and present danger that my behavior could send me to hell.
But on that day in 2010, I heard a message using passages from the word of God that told me that it was “by grace” and “through faith” and by a “gift of God” that we are “saved” and that my salvation was not based on my “works” (Ephesians 2:8-9). To be saved, I just had to believe that what Christ did on the cross was enough to pay for my sins and that by placing my faith in Him, I was adopted into God’s family and given eternal life.
So faith definitively comes through hearing that “Good News about Christ”. When we hear that Good News it delivers us from death to life and plants the seed of faith in our lives that can grow and cause us to discover who we are in Christ and that can move us from our former darkness into the Lord’s glorious light where we can know the meaning of life and move into the purpose that God has for us.
And the awesome thing about “hearing” that “Good News”, the word of God, is that it continues to have an effect on us beyond when we “first believed”.
The word of God encourages us in our faith. It is through knowing, understanding, having faith in, and applying the word of God that we can grow in our faith.
Faith comes from hearing the word of God and hearing the word of God continues to mature our faith.
In terms of faith, we just can’t get enough of it, faith should grow, and we get it more of it through the word of God. So, if we think about it, that means we really can’t get of the word of God. It’s a good word and it’s good for us.
That’s why I encourage people to seek the Lord in His word. By praying according to the word of God, by studying the Bible and reading it out loud, and by hearing the word preached at church or through podcasts, we can water the seed of our faith and see abundant growth in our faith.
So keep listening to the “Good News” of Christ and all the words that God has for you in the Bible, because those words begin our faith and cause our faith to grow and manifest into all the fruit of the Spirit.
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. Recovery Step #2: Look at Your Past Love Addictions
One effective way to confront codependent love relationships is by using the "written word." Spelling out your thoughts, feelings, and actions will actually distance them from you so that you can look at them. Putting your relationships on paper helps paint a more complete picture, which in turn enables you to gain insights and devise a recovery plan. Putting your life on paper is not easy, but until you are ready to take a close look at your love addiction, you cannot expect to change it.
Write down the history of your codependent love relationships. First ask the Spirit of God to bring to mind what you need to know and then to teach you what you need to do. He will give you both understanding and wisdom to know how to free yourself of the fettered addictions and how to live in His glorious freedom.
"He who gets wisdom loves his own soul; he who cherishes understanding prospers." (Proverbs 19:8)
Make a list of every person with whom you have had a codependent relationship. Think through your family and friends. Put each name at the top of a separate page and then answer the following questions for each relationship:
#1 Write out...
- —How did you meet and how were you attracted to this person?
- —How did you pursue and draw this person to you?
- —How did you feel and what did you fantasize about this person?
Conclude by answering...
- —How do you think God felt about your choices?
- —Realize that the Lord is ready to meet your deepest emotional needs. Yet, when we live with misplaced priorities, the Bible says we commit spiritual adultery....
"I have been grieved by their adulterous hearts, which have turned away from me, and by their eyes, which have lusted after their idols. They will loathe themselves for the evil they have done and for all their detestable practices." (Ezekiel 6:9)
#2 Write out...
- —How did the relationship progress through various stages (Fascination, Fantasy, Fog, Fear, Forsaking, Fixation, Frenzy)?
- —How did you feel in each stage?
- —How did you act during each stage?
Conclude by answering...
- —How did you fail to involve God in your life during each stage?
- —Realize how ready the Lord has been to intervene....
"When I came, why was there no one? When I called, why was there no one to answer? Was my arm too short to ransom you? Do I lack the strength to rescue you? By a mere rebuke I dry up the sea, I turn rivers into a desert; their fish rot for lack of water and die of thirst. I clothe the sky with darkness and make sackcloth its covering." (Isaiah 50:2-3)
#3 Write out...
- —How did you become preoccupied with the relationship?
- —How did you start neglecting yourself and start focusing on taking care of the other person?
- —How did you come to expect that person to meet all of your needs?
Conclude by answering...
- —How did you start neglecting God and when did you stop relying on Him?
- —Realize how ready the Lord has been to make you fruitful....
"I had planted you like a choice vine of sound and reliable stock. How then did you turn against me into a corrupt, wild vine?" (Jeremiah 2:21)
#4 Write out...
- —How has this relationship replicated your painful childhood experiences?
- —How were you mistreated in the relationship and how did you react?
- —How does the relationship impact you today?
Conclude by answering...
- —How is God replacing (or wanting to replace) your self-destructive, love-addicted patterns with constructive, healthy, holy patterns?
- —Realize how ready the Lord is to "re-parent" you in order to meet your deepest needs and heal your deepest hurts....
"Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me." (Psalm 27:10)
#5 Write out...
- —How have you experienced fear, envy, jealousy, abandonment, and anger in the relationship?
- —How did you assign a higher priority to this person than to everything else?
- —How have you made the person the focus of your thought life?
Conclude by answering...
- —How can you appropriate "the mind of Christ" in order to overcome destructive feelings and to live out of your resources in Christ?
- —Realize how ready the Lord has been to give you His thinking....
"We have the mind of Christ." (1 Corinthians 2:16)
#6 Write out...
- —How do you feel about the person and the relationship now?
- —How has your perspective changed?
- —How did things, people, and circumstances become factors in changing your perspective?
Conclude by answering...
- —How do you think God has been involved in changing your perspective?
- —Realize how ready the Lord is to complete His perfect plan for your life....
"Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." (Philippians 1:6)
Biblical Counseling Keys: Codependency: Balancing an Unbalanced Relationship.
Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!
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Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org 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