leaders Following THE LEADER, Christ.
Purity 500 08/18/2021 Purity 500 Podcast
Today’s photo of this spectacular view somewhere along the trail up the Ha’iku Stairs/Ladder in Oahu Hawaii comes to us from a friend’s epic pilgrimage back in June. The Ha’iku Stairs are also known as the stairway to Heaven and with this lush view of the Oahu countryside, the blue sky, and the Pacific in the distance it’s no surprise why it is called that!
I share this pic because it’s awesome and because its Wednesday and I thought it was a nice symbolic representation of ascending the “hump” of mid-week. Our friend’s God given adventurous spirit led them to follow a couple of friends up this trail to new heights and we are happy they shared their experience!
As we walk out our Christian faith each day, it is a comfort to find out that we are not alone in our journey. The Lord is our ever-present Comforter of course but it is also an encouragement to find other men and women who have been touched by the Lord and who have also been inspired to live a discipled life and who want to bring their faith in Christ with them into all the areas of their lives. There are others that are following where the Lord calls them.
Yesterday, I was happy to have a short conversation with Mike Henry Sr., the CEO of followerofone.org, a Christian online community that encourages Christ followers to integrate their faith at work by supporting one another in “Marketplace Missions Trips”. Mike explains what a “Marketplace Mission Trip is in a video I am sharing on the blog today, at :
But it all comes down to being intentional about being plugged into our faith in God each day and acting it out through our prayers, words, and actions at work. The Follower of One community is a place where we can connect with other Christians and can support one another in our “Marketplace Missions.”
I am a new member of Follower of One and I am encouraging all my friends to join this growing community of Christians who believe that every one of us can be used by God for His purposes and that a community of faith doesn’t have to be enclosed by the four walls of a church building on Sunday morning. To join this exciting online Christian community go to the link that I am sharing on the blog: Join Follower of One by clicking here!
I apologize if all that sounds “pluggy”, but I know that living out our Christian faith provides us with meaning, purpose, and power and I believe that the mission of Follower of One is to help and encourage Christians to draw closer to the Lord, to realize their part in His kingdom, and to experience the new life of freedom and victory that comes though living out their faith in all aspects of their lives.
I have been a part of so many different Christian communities that have helped me to mature in my faith and while I know that it isn’t always easy to find people with a hopeful vision and hearts of encouragement, I also know that when you do find others whose purpose is to know Christ and to make Him known, the potential for personal growth and service to God is as limitless as the love that the Lord has for us.
So keep walking and talking with God. Listen to His voice and follow where He leads. The mission God has for you may not be in another country. Your mission may just begin with a prayer for someone at work, by taking time to listen to a co-worker’s problems, or may lie in being intentional about doing our best job with care and concern for those we encounter. The love of Christ has been given to us. Let’s make it grow by sharing it in with others in all the walks of our lives.
This morning’s meditation verses are:
Thessalonians 5:4-5 (NKJV)
4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief.
5 You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness.
Today’s verses speak of the safety and the transformative change that Christians have received when they place their faith in Jesus.
One of the most damaging and hobbling beliefs that is commonly and stubbornly held on to by most Christians is that they are “ JUST sinners saved by grace.”
While all Christians were sinners before coming to Christ and will have some sin in their lives until they are glorified, these verses in the letter to the church at Thessalonica does not identify members of the church by their darkness. Throughout scripture those who place their faith in Christ are instead identified as “sons of light”, highlighting their righteous position and security as members of God’s royal family.
This letter speaks about the “Day of the Lord”, the time when Christ will return to judge the earth, and Paul assures the church of their safety from God’s wrath telling the church that “this Day” is to be feared by those in darkness, but not those who are called the “light of the world”, Christians, in Matthew 5:14. Because we have placed our faith in Christ, we are safe.
But scripture also calls us to “walk in the light as He is in the light” (1 John: 1:7), and although it acknowledges the fact that we have not obtained a state of sinless perfection (1 John 1:8), it continually encourages us not identify with sin (1 Cor 6:11, 2 Peter 1:9) and to “not sin” (1 John 2:1, 2 Peter 1:10), or as Jesus said, to “go and sin no more” (John 8:11).
The Christian walk is all about moving forward into our new lives of faith and leaving our darkness behind. The keys to this walk are believing that we have been made new through our faith in Christ and that we are not “JUST” what we used to be but that we are alive, secure, and righteous new creations in Christ. Our Christian walk can and should progressively demonstrate our new lives in “the light”.
Our belief in our new life in Christ is fundamental to our experiencing the fruit of the Spirit and the more we intentionally live out our faith on a continual basis the more we will know that what the word of God says about us is true.
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 in Chapter 12.
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:
When You Are Criticized or Rejected
The thoughts and feelings of rejection that often plague us can be major deterrents to our maturity in Christ. Apart from Christ, we all learned early in life to respond to rejection by taking one of three defensive postures (see Figure 12-A). Even as Christians we can be influenced to react defensively to rejection.
Beat the System
A small percentage of people defend against rejection by buying into the dog-eat-dog world system and learning to compete and scheme to get ahead of the pack. These are the movers and shakers, people who seek to earn their acceptance and strive for significance through their performance. They feel driven to get on top of every situation because winning is their passport to acceptance and significance. They are characterized by perfectionism and emotional insulation and are plagued by anxiety and stress.
Spiritually, the beat-the-system people struggle with the idea of coming under God's authority and have little fellowship with Him. They are prone to controlling and manipulating others and circumstances for their own end, so it is difficult for them to yield control in their lives to God. In our churches, these people jockey to be chairman of the board or the most influential member on a committee. Their motivation may not always be to serve God in this position, however, but to control their world because their sense of worth is dependent upon it. Beat-the-system controllers are often very insecure.
Controlling people's defensive strategy only delays inevitable rejection. Eventually, their ability to control their families, their employees and their churches diminishes, and they are replaced by younger, stronger or more capable controllers. Some survive this midlife crisis, but many who make it to retirement don't enjoy much of it. Studies show that high-powered executives live an average of nine months after they retire. They no longer have any purpose for living.
Give In to the System
"Pastor, I'm a loser," a high-school boy told me dejectedly. He explained that he wanted to be a star football player but had been cut from the team. Instead of being in the spotlight as an athlete, he had to settle for being a member of the pep band. Compared to star quarterbacks, clarinet players were losers. What a sad commentary on American culture!
The largest group of people respond to rejection as this boy did: by simply giving in to the system. They continue their efforts to try to satisfy others, but their failures prompt them to believe they really are unlovable and unacceptable. The system says the best, the strongest, the most beautiful and the most talented are "in." Those who don't fit those categories—which includes most of us—are "out," and we succumb to society's false judgment of our worth. As a result, a large segment of the population is plagued by feelings of worthlessness, inferiority and self-condemnation.
These people also have trouble relating to God. They often blame God for their sad state and find it difficult to trust Him. "You made me a lowly clarinet player instead of a star quarterback," they complain. "If I allow you access to other areas of my life, how do I know you won't make me a loser there, too?"
By giving in to the system's false judgment, these people can only look forward to more and more rejection. The system has rejected them and therefore they find it easy to reject themselves. Any success or acceptance that comes their way will be questioned or doubted on the basis of what they already believe about themselves.
Victory Over the Darkness: Realizing the Power of Your Identity in Christ.
God bless you all!
Join our “Victory over the Darkness” or “The Bondage Breaker” series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!
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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship