You are My Density – Perfect Love Casts Out Fear - Purity 532
Purity 532 09/24/2021 Purity 532 Podcast
Today’s photo of an amazing display of beauty of God’s creation from an undisclosed location over an undisclosed body of water comes to us from a pastor friend of mine who captioned this magnificent shot as being a “sermon without words.”
Last night in part of the teaching in the Freedom in Christ discipleship class that I taught I briefly discussed some of the evidence of God and proposed the notion that it took more faith to not believe in God than it took to believe in God.
With a photo like this one that points to the “first evidence for God, His creation, we can see the beauty and magnificence and design in our created universe and say: “Enough said. Where did all of this come from? Obviously There is a God. He created it all.” A scene like this is supposed to take your breath away and draw you to connect with that mysterious unseen Creator who provides all the wonders of creation and everything we need to live. God’s marvelous creation is a “sermon without words”.
The video presentations in my class prevent me from teaching too much and what I do say has often been presented in other classes or other ministries as I can draw from my previous teaching to present some quick points regarding the reasons for believing in God, the truth of God’s word, and how to practice and grow our faith.
This morning I realized that in all my presentations for the reasons to believe in God I have never stated that love was one the reasons to believe in God. And quite honestly, I can’t recall any apologetics guys list love as evidence for God.
Scripture states that God is love and that God shows His love for us because while we were, yet sinners Christ died for us. So if you needed two points from scripture that love is a reason to believe in God, there you go!
Unfortunately, the reason why apologetic guys probably stay away from love as a reason for God is all the sinful things that are done in “love’s name”. Crimes of passion and people indulging in selfish desires and doing all manners of hurtful and destructive things because they “loved” someone so much can make us cautious to point to love as evidence for God. The reason why love can get a bad name is because God is left out of it.
God’s perfect design for human relationships of love and the foundation of families is the love of a man and a woman who love one another but who are both in love with God and who are both pursuing His will for their lives individually, as a couple, and as a family unit when children naturally come from their loving union.
Unfortunately, my testimony speaks of the pain and brokenness that can result from being in a relationship where God is not at the center for both parties. So in recovering for my divorce, I made a commitment to myself and God that I would only pursue a relationship with an authentic Christian woman that I could walk with, seeking to love and support one another while we both sought to live according to God’s will for our lives.
In searching for a mate, you have preconceived ideas of what is acceptable and what isn’t. Some situations that surround people can influence you to decide not to “go there” with them.
You end up saying things like: “I really like X and could see being with them if not for “this or that”. It’s just too bad. A relationship with them is just impossible.”
Now don’t get me wrong. It is a very good idea to be discerning and to have standards when you are choosing a life partner and we shouldn’t go into a relationship deciding that we will “fix them”.
I can testify that without God generally people will not change. And even with God, it takes the individual working cooperatively with the Lord to overcome habits and defects of character to change. As noble an idea it is to help someone to change, that falls in the realm of a godly desire but is ultimately beyond our control.
The thing we can do is to have a godly goal for our lives: to be the person that God wants us to be. Loving, compassionate, kind, patient, selfless, loyal, faithful, and diligent are qualities that we can develop and grow in ourselves with God’s help. With God, we can overcome our personal issues and be flexible with the circumstances we face in life.
So, if we find someone with those character traits, we have found a diamond in the rough. And even if they have circumstances that surround them that aren’t perfect we shouldn’t necessarily rule them out.
Until very recently, that’s what I did. I was ruling people out arbitrarily because I couldn’t conceive of a way that our two lives could come together. I saw union as just impossible because of the details of my and the other person’s life.
As much as my heart told me this particular person that I was interested in was a faithful Christian woman, I told myself that I just couldn’t see how things could fit together and was saddened by how it just wouldn’t work.
But as time has gone on and they have proven themselves to be who they appeared to be and we have drawn closer in our friendship, I finally realized that I had fallen into the trap that I often warn and teach people about. The enemy will tell us that some things are just impossible. He will use our weaknesses and preferences to convince us that there just no way. ‘
But with God, all things are possible. And as my friend, Tammy Lyn and I have gotten to know each other and grown closer, we realized that our feelings had grown beyond friendship and somewhere along the line, my fears and anxieties have faded away as we have come to realize that both of us love one another enough to walk through whatever struggles we may face in bringing our lives together.
I was reminded of the movie Back to the Future, where Marty McFly must bring his parents back together because of his accidentally messing us the space time continuum. Marty coaches his dad, George, to make a romantic gesture to win his mother’s heart and the hapless George suavely tells Lorraine: “You are my density….” Very smooth George.
But as the story evolves, we know that George and Lorraine simply must come together otherwise Marty is done for. Luckily a Sovereign God apparently is working behind the scenes in the film and even George McFly’s fumbling won’t prevent what God has designed to come together. In a critical moment, George’s courage is challenged and despite his fear, his love for Lorraine gives Him the courage to make a stand and win her love.
Much like George McFly, I have fumbled and stumbled my way through life, and even though I was overcome with fear and anxiety over how Tammy Lyn and I could be a couple, the perfect love of God has come in and drawn us together and cast out all fear. We have confessed our love for one another and have committed ourselves to work together to make a life together come what may.
We are just starting so we don’t know where this is going just yet, and people might think we have lost our minds, but I get a line from an old Hollies song that seems to describe my certainty of our future together:
“All the people stared as if we
were both quite insane
Someday my name and hers are going to be the same”
Not sure how or when but my mind, heart, soul, and spirit tell me this is the truth and I am rejoicing at the prospects of walking into that reality with my love, and my Lord.
Perfect love comes from Him and casts out all fear. Love bears witness of His existence for God is love. So keep walking and talking with God. He gives you the love that saves you and sustains you. His love causes you to hope for more and to carry on. And if you follow where He leads, He just might give you some company on your path from here to eternity.
This morning’s meditation verse is:
1 Thessalonians 4:11 (NKJV)
11 that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you,
Today’s verse speaks of some simple wisdom that will make us personally responsible and lead to peace.
It’s a jungle out there. Even before the Fall of Man into sin, God made us to be stewards of the earth. That means we are supposed to work. So the Apostle Paul’s advice to the Thessalonians to “work with your own hands” is reminding them of that basic command that God gave us from the beginning.
The reason why Paul had to remind the church in Thessalonica of this basic fact of life, to work, was because some false teachers were telling the church that it was “the end of days” and people had begun to walk away from their responsibilities because they thought existence itself was going to change at any moment with the return of the Lord. Others under the guise of pursuing the Lord were claiming to be on a spiritual quest which demanded others to support them, those of the “heavenly minded” crowd that were no earthly good and even worse wanted the church body to support them as a super saint.
Paul’s life example as tent maker who supported himself proved that just because we serve God doesn’t mean we are entitled to a living and that the original command to be stewards to support ourselves and our families doesn’t go away with changing times or a life of ministry.
Paul also advises the Thessalonians to “mind you own business”. Really? It’s in the Bible, so remember that “Mind your own business” First Thessalonians 4:11!
Now before you start getting snappy with that, realize that is directed at you. We are to mind our own business and aspire to lead a quiet life. It is solid biblical advice that if followed will mostly likely lead to peace.
So work to support yourself and try to live a quiet life where you mind your own business. This is simple biblical advice to show us that the basic aspects of our lives are addressed by God. So practice what the word says and find the peace that comes from being in harmony with God’s will for our lives.
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:
E. How to Practice the Do's of Parental Boundaries
What "do's" of parental boundaries may not have been practiced in the raising of Rosie Ruiz?
She goes on to break even more boundaries, only this time her offenses occur off the race course. In 1982 she is arrested on charges of forgery and larceny, and then 18 months later she turns herself in following an arrest warrant accusing her of conspiring to sell 4.4 pounds of cocaine to undercover agents. This time Rosie doesn't act alone—she has two female coconspirators also facing drug charges.
Infamy... makes the name Rosie Ruiz more memorable than rightful marathon champions.
The Bible, however, reveals the importance of a good reputation. . . .
"A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold."
While boundaries are good and necessary for instilling self-discipline and self-control, most children and teenagers do not necessarily look on them from a positive perspective. Rather, they view them as constraining their freedom and spoiling their fun. It is not until they experience some of the true benefits of boundaries that they begin to embrace them and eventually internalize them as their own rules or code for living.
In the meantime, it is important to take into account that most young people have a keen sense of fairness and are quick to demand justice when they perceive an unfair boundary has been set or an unjust repercussion has been imposed . . . especially against them. Parents and other authority figures who are known for their fair-mindedness and impartiality will quickly gain the respect of the youth in their charge and will likely find them loyal and receptive to reasonable boundaries. . . .
"If a king judges the poor with fairness, his throne will be established forever."
The Do's of Practicing Parental Boundaries
"My son, keep your father's command and do not forsake your mother's teaching."
Do... Mold the will without breaking the spirit of your child.
- A child's will is molded by applying appropriate boundaries when the child seeks to go in a direction contrary to what the parents perceive to be God's will.
- A child's spirit is uplifted by being valued as a unique creation of God and by being treated with courtesy, kindness, fairness, and respect.
- A child's spirit can be broken through overreacting or having too many rules, criticizing or teasing, false accusations or inflexibility, impatience or harsh punishment.
A wild stallion has some intrinsic value; however, the most valuable horse turns with the slightest nudge from the rider's reins. The goal of the master is to break the will of the horse, but not the spirit. The goal of a parent should be to mold the will of the child without breaking the spirit. . . .
"Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged."
Do . . . Communicate your expectations clearly.
- Make eye contact with your child when communicating.
- Prior to any problems, describe in detail what you expect of your child regarding structure and limits.
- Enter into an agreement with your older child or teen and ask for a statement verifying an accurate understanding of your expectations.
- When it is time for your child to honor the boundary you have established, give one gentle reminder.
"Don't you think it is time for you to do your homework now?"
"Remember, you agreed to start doing your homework at 7:00. It's 7:20, so what do you need to be doing now?"
" . . . we instructed you how to live in order to please God...." (1 Thessalonians 4:1)
Do . . . Establish negative repercussions for misbehavior.
- Clearly communicate the repercussion.
- Prior to a problem, ensure your child understands and accepts that the repercussion will be enforced.
- Allow your child to experience the repercussion for rejecting or violating a boundary.
Tom, age 13, rides his bicycle with his friends on weekends but has agreed to never ride after dark. If Tom disobeys, he will not go with his friends the next time they go riding together on the weekend.
If he breaks his agreement a second time, the repercussion will be doubled and he won't go riding with his friends for two weekends.
"Discipline your children, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to their death."
Do... Encourage and develop responsibility.
- Allow your child to make age-appropriate choices and decisions.
- Permit your child to experience the repercussions of wrong choices and the rewards of right choices.
- Give increased freedom when your child is responsible.
- Restrict freedom when your child is irresponsible.
Seventeen-year-old Karl is told, "You may take the car to the ball game and to the pizza parlor afterward, but do not go anywhere else and be home by 11:30." If Karl disobeys, ask, "Where did you agree to go in the car and when did you agree to come home?" . . . "Why did we make this agreement?". . .
"Yes, the agreement was made for your safety and my peace of mind. So, per our agreement, you have chosen to not use the car for the next two weeks."
"A foolish son brings grief to his father and bitterness to the mother who bore him."
Do . . . Assign beneficial chores with boundaries.
- Chores need to be assigned to everyone in the family.
- Chores need to be explained as benefitting the entire family.
- Chores need to be clearly defined and detailed.
- Chores need to be compatible with your child's age and capabilities.
- Chores need to be given an assigned time for completion.
- Chores need to be consistently enforced by making sure they are completed.
"Michael, you are to mow the lawn once a week."
"Michael, since your responsibility is to take care of the yard before you leave each Saturday, be sure to remember to use the edger around the curb and sidewalk. When you have finished, put the clippings in a yard bag and place it inside the trash can by the alley, then clean and put the equipment where it goes in the storage shed."
"All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty."
Do . . . Reward positive behavior.
- Give your child praise regarding character traits.
- "Your room looks great! I'm proud of your faithfulness to finish the job well."
- Give your child "thank you's."
- "I really appreciate your willingness to bring in the groceries. Thanks for your help!"
- Give your child recognition in front of others.
- "Jim, I wish you had heard the compliments about the way our lawn looked after Peter mowed it."
- Give your child attention.
- "Lisa, I heard you have learned to dive from the diving board. I would love to see you dive."
- Give your child respect.
- "Chris, I respect your need for privacy. I won't enter your room without knocking."
- Give your child smiles and physical affection. Children need to be lovingly touched by their parents—with plenty of hugs, kisses, pats on the back, or a hand on the shoulder.
"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing."
Do... Maintain consistency.
- Both parents need to come to an agreement on issues regarding the child, even if they disagree in private.
- Make only promises you know you can keep.
- Give careful thought to a request before denying it.
- Refrain from requiring too many major changes at one time.
- Evaluate your boundaries and their accompanying rewards and repercussions on a regular basis. Change them as your child grows more responsible.
If you and your spouse disagree on a reward or repercussion, discuss the situation in private. Listen to each other as you share feelings and reasons for or against the correction. Come to an agreement or compromise so that there can be the security of consistency in your child's life.
"By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures."
Biblical Counseling Keys: Boundaries: How to See Them - How to Keep Them.
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