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Showing posts with label Peace. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Peace. Show all posts

Friday, December 3, 2021

The Breath of Life – Finding the Rock to Hold on to in the Groundlessness of Existence - Purity 592


 The Breath of Life – Finding the Rock to Hold on to in the Groundlessness of Existence - Purity 592

Purity 592 12/03/2021  Purity 592 Podcast

Good morning

Today’s photo of the edge of a rock wall and a rainbow in the foreground of the natural wonder that is Victoria Falls from the vantage point of the Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park in Livingstone, Zambia comes to us today from my photo archives as I captured this view at the end of a vacation mission trip in February of 2016.  

Yeah I am diving into the archives of my photos lately for a few reasons.

I normally share photos that I “borrow” from my FB friends and acquaintances. I do this  because I think the photos my friends share are beautiful, give God glory, and I feel that it is nice to share them with a wider audience. “Others would enjoy these photos! My friend won’t mind if I share their awesome photo!”

I also feel that it connects me to my friends in a small way.  It’s sort of a “Hey, I see you! I think what you are doing is awesome! Thanks for sharing your experience with me!”  

When I share a photo, if I remember where I got it (ha-ha), I share information about the location and some general details of the context in which it was taken but I usually refer to the photographer anonymously as a nameless “friend” to protect their privacy. If the photographer is professional or a group, I give credit where credit is due and mention them by name to possibly market their services or FB group. 

I use the photos I share to tell a story – to maybe share some general details of what a friend is doing or where they have been, to point to the beauty in the world, and to point to the God that provided both the beautiful scene and the friend that captured it.   

I do this to encourage my friends and anyone who sees my blog or listens to my podcast to enjoy their lives by getting out there and seeing the world and to raise the level of their quality of life by coming into relationship with the Lord and by bringing Him along wherever they go, thus walking and talking with God on a continuous basis: which also known as living life in God’s presence or walking in the Spirit. 

I have been sharing my friends and acquaintance’s photos and offering encouragement 6 days a week for over a year, without the express permission from my photo taking friends.  I was following the above guidelines and was operating under the assumption that “the Lord had need of” the use of my friend’s photos as a part of my purpose to encourage people to enjoy their lives and to connect with the Lord.

This week I borrowed a friend’s photo without asking and they commented that I should ask permission to do that. They didn’t ask that I remove it, but I decided to do that anyway and offered an apology.   While they didn’t respond to my apology, I did notice that I was no longer their FB friend.  So my rag tag ways and assuming has cost me another FB friend.  

So right now I am diving into the archives because I am a little gun shy.  My daily posts and podcasts are not intended to offend anyone, and it honestly pained me to receive even the mildest criticism of how I do what I do, and it shook me to think that I could lose friends because of what I do.  

So to all the friends and acquaintances from whom I borrowed photos from in the past, I wish to thank you for your “views”, and I would like to formerly apologize for not getting your express permission to use them. If you would like me to never share your photos again, please contact me via FB messenger and give me a heads up and I will not share your photos in the future.   I would rather lose the permission to share your photos than to lose your friendship.  

However, although I am currently a little gun shy, I fully intend to continue to share my friends’ photos to connect me to them and to encourage people to enjoy their lives and to live in the presence of the Lord.   These posts are a small part of what I believe to be my purpose in life and unless I receive an indication to stop in my spirit from the Lord the messages will continue.  I believe I am answering God’s call on my life and will not stop.   

That’s one reason I have been using my photos over the last couple of days.  

Another reason is that I am on FB less and, quite frankly friends, there hasn’t been a whole lot to “borrow” from my friends lately.  So get out there and show us what you got!  The pickings have been slim lately and I hope that this message encourages my friends to get out in the world and capture some of God’s wonderful creation to share.

I understand that it is now the holiday season and things are constantly in flux.  I am continually amazed at how my individual days can seem to last forever but some how pass with such rapidity that weeks and months seem to pass in the blink of an eye.  

It’s quite the paradox that I am experiencing.  My days are FULL, all caps, but paradoxically they just seem to be slip sliding away as we move ever closer to Christmas and the new year beyond. 

The passage of time and the constant activity and changes in our lives can make us fee that there is nothing we can hold onto.  It can seem that there is no solid ground to stand on as circumstances just cause us to keep moving and we may not even have any certainty of where our lives are going.  

But the good news is that there is something we can stand on in the seemingly groundless state of existence that we live in where things seem to come into being and then are absorbed into eternity as we age and watch our children grow and our older friends, family, and acquaintances shuffle off this mortal coil.   Or more accurately, there is someone we can hold on to: God.  

Genesis tells us that God was “in the beginning” and Revelation tells us that He will call into existence a new heaven and a new earth.  This tells us that God is self-existent, eternal, all powerful, and is well aware of the changes that are happening as He is directing all things for His purposes.  

That is why it is so important to establish a relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ.  God is the one that we can always count on and the One who we can place our trust in.  We can stand on the Rock, through our faith in Jesus, and not be shaken. 

While these theological and spiritual realities could give our minds a sense of peace if we reflect on them and personalize them by reminding ourselves of who we are in Christ, we may want something more tangible that we can focus on or feel to tell us that God is with us.    

 While I use photos of nature to tell people that God’s creation is a great example of God’s handiwork and presence, I would like to remind all of my friends today that we are also a part of God’s created order and that we have been made in His image and have all been given something in ourselves from God that can ground us in our experience and connect us to the peace that God wants us to have. 

The gift that God gave mankind and that can be used to ground us in peace is our breath.

The word tells us in:

Genesis 2:7 (NKJV)
7  And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

 

God literally breathed His “breath of life” into the first man and that breath has continued on to all of Adam’s descendants.  

That is why so many practitioners  can find moments of peace and clarity simply by focusing on their breath.  When we focus on our breath we become grounded in our bodies that are made in God’s image and are focusing on God’s first gift to man.  

So if the holiday season has got you stressed, or if some dude borrowed your photo for use in some Christian message to give God glory and it offends you, remember the gift of the breath of life that God has given you, focus on that, and find the peace that God wants you to experience in life. 

Taking a few deep breaths relaxes us. If you ever wondered why that is, now you know. The reason we find peace from focusing on the rhythmic process of inhaling and exhaling is because it is in this process that we are grounding ourselves in the gift God has given us.  

This gift is available to all of mankind because God loves all of us and wants all of us to have peace.  However, the gift of the breath of life only can give us a measure of peace while we are on the earth.    

God also sent the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ, to reconcile us to Him and to atone for our transgressions.  So remember to be completely grounded on The Rock who is Jesus Christ and be assured that even if your breath is taken away as you are called into a spiritual state beyond this life, you can know that you will have everlasting life and the peace that comes from becoming a member of God’s royal family and eternal kingdom.   

So breath in and breath out and say I have peace now and I will have peace forever more because I have made Jesus my Savior and Lord!

 

Today’s Bible verse is drawn from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.  

This morning’s meditation verse is:


Malachi 3:6 (NLT2)
6  “I am the LORD, and I do not change. That is why you descendants of Jacob are not already destroyed.

 

Today’s verse reminds us that God is the only One that does not change.  

The late David Bowie sang about all the “CCHHCHAHAHA Changes” that come in life. As I have stated in the past. Our natural and scientific observations of existence would logically lead us into despair because the universe is continuing to expand, and everything is aging and slowly dying or falling apart.  

How can we find peace or meaning in this world that is passing away?  As I stated above, we can focus on our breath but honestly the higher levels of peace and joy that is available to all Christians is to renew our minds with the word of God and to become fully grounded in our identities of who we are in Christ.  

Why? 

Because our identities in Christ, require that we be in relationship with God though our faith in Jesus Christ.  In Christ, we align ourselves with the One who is constant, the One who doesn’t change :God. 

When we receive the Holy Spirit at salvation, we receive everlasting – eternal – life: a life that transcends our mortal bodies, a spiritual life that endures, a life doesn’t change.  The One Constant in our life is the Lord and when we come into relationship with Him the fruit of the Spirit grows and gives us peace.  

The second part of this verse points to the fact that those in relationship “the sons of Jacob” are not to be destroyed.  God used the nation of Israel to carry His Word and through their lineage was used to bring the Messiah to earth. The sons of Jacob were saved by God’s grace and for His purposes and likewise Christians are saved eternally and will be a part of God’s purposes in eternity.  

So rejoice! Through Christ we have eternal life, and we can trust that we will not be destroyed because God is faithful to keep His promises and He never changes.     

 

 

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 begin sharing from A.W. Tozer’s Advent Devotional – From Heaven,  starting on Day 7, as I started late and want our sharing to lead us up to Christmas Eve.

 

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase A.W. Tozer’s books for your own private study and to support his work.

DAY 7

TAKING UP HUMANITY

Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity …

HEBREWS 2:14

John Wesley pointed out that it is a dark mystery how God could swoop down and become man and bridge the yawning gulf and join Himself to flesh and limit the limitless. Wesley also said that we should distinguish the act from the method by which the act was performed, and not reject a fact because we do not know how it was done.

I think that is very wise, and it would be very becoming to us if we should enter the presence of God, reverently bowing our heads, and singing carols and saying, “That it is so God, but we don’t know how. We will not reject the fact because we do not know the operation by which it was brought to pass.”

Now, this much we can know: the incarnation required no compromise of Deity. The gods of the Roman pantheon, the gods of Greece, and the gods of the Scandinavian regions were gods that would compromise themselves. The old Valhalla was full of gods that were compromisers, and the Elysian Fields and the Pantheon and all that—wherever the gods were, they always were gods who had to compromise themselves one way or another.

But the holy God—who is God, and all else not God—that God, our Father who art in heaven, could never compromise Himself. So that the incarnation—this deep, dark, yawning mystery—was wrought and accomplished without any compromise of the Deity. God did not degrade Himself by this condescension. He did not in any sense make Himself to be less than God. He remained God, and everything else remained not God. The gulf still existed even after Jesus Christ had become man and had dwelt among us. So that instead of God degrading Himself when He became man, He by the act of incarnation elevated mankind to Himself. He did not degrade Himself to mankind. That’s pointed out very carefully in one of the old creeds, the Athanasian Creed. The old church fathers were very cautious here, and they would not allow us to believe that God, when He became flesh, became flesh by a coming down of the Deity into flesh, but by a taking up of mankind unto God. And thus we do not degrade God, but we elevate man, and that is the wonder of redemption.

Now we can know this again: that this unison or union with man and God is effected under perpetuity. God can never back out of His bargain. God can never cease to be, in that sense, man. The second Person of the Trinity can never un-incarnate or de-incarnate Himself. He became incarnated forever. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.

 

Tozer, A. W. (2016). From heaven: a 28-day advent devotional. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

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

 

Join our “Victory over the Darkness” or “The Bondage Breaker” 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. 

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

 

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

Friday, November 26, 2021

A Black Friday Door Buster Deal Like No Other – The Free Gift of Peace - Purity 586


A Black Friday Door Buster Deal Like No Other – The Free Gift of Peace - Purity 586

Purity 586 11/25/2021 Purity 586 Podcast

Good morning

Today’s photo of sunrise on Thanksgiving Day 2021 from the vantage of point of a “retired” friend’s backyard barn which is presumably somewhere in Otsego County in Upstate NY. I say presumably because our retired friend doesn’t advertise their current address on FB and their retired life is far from sedentary as they have been known to share the sights of their travels to various NY State parks, the Adirondacks, and “their cabin” up in Maine.  They also have been known to share photos of various work projects that lead me to believe that the term “semi-retired” is more appropriate because I can’t imagine anyone doing the work they do, repairing chimneys and doing roofs, to be a hobby.

It's Black Friday, that day after Thanksgiving when the Christmas shopping season begins in full force.   It’s a day that quite a few of us will have off to decide whether we want to spend it relaxing at home with Thanksgiving leftovers or to decorate for Christmas, or perhaps to take to the roads to see new sights on an extended weekend trek, or to brave the commercial wasteland of doorbuster deals.

For me, I’m not quite sure yet what the day holds specifically but I know that I won’t be chasing down the latest fad toy like Arnold Schwarzenegger in Jingle all the Way. My adult children are past the age where I may have deemed that to be necessary and I have matured to understand how limited material items are in their ability to satisfy. Running into the chaos of a holiday shopping melee just isn’t on the menu anymore as I take more joy in the reason for the season than the hoopla of the holiday.  

So as we enter into the Christmas season, I pray that all my friends remember the Prince of Peace for whom the holiday is intended to celebrate and to consider that He came to earth to give us rest and his entrance into the world came with angelic tidings of peace on earth and good will toward men.    

So whether you decide to use the weekend to decorate for the upcoming holiday, to fight the good fight of claiming your share of some holiday shopping deals, or just decide to rest after the stress of Thanksgiving, I encourage you to include some contemplation of the reason why we celebrate and why we are here.  

God sent Christ to earth to reconcile mankind to Him and to save us from ourselves.  Our selfish and sinful lives are in opposition to the peace, love, joy, and goodness that the Lord would have us experience through the fruit of the Spirit. 

While sinful man would encourage us to buy our way into happiness, the Lord calls us to accept the free gift of salvation that we can’t buy, work, or fight for.  

The Lord calls us to stop striving and to stop trying to earn the peace and joy that is only possible through a harmonious relationship with Him.  He calls us out of the darkness of the world system and our own efforts to humbly acknowledge our need for rest and peace with Him. 

So connect or reconnect with the Prince of Peace. Know that in Christ death has lost its sting because He gives everlasting life to all who place their faith in Him.  When we know our future is assured to be good, we can enjoy the present. So keep walking and talking with God. His gift of salvation is not for sale on Black Friday, it comes through faith in Christ alone and the burden of a life with Him is light and He will give you rest and peace forever more.


Today’s Bible verse is drawn from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.  

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Psalm 37:5 (NLT2)
5 Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust him, and he will help you.

 

Today’s verse speaks of the spiritual reality that God will indeed help us but it indicates there may be some conditions to meet to receive it.  

Our Heavenly Father isn’t a genie in a bottle.  Our Lord is a personal God.  He loves us and cares what happens to us and how we live our lives.  So while just about everyone would gladly take whatever blessings and help that the Lord could offer them, we should understand that typically the help we receive from the Lord is proportional to the relationship we have with Him. 

I often refer to Romans 8:28’s promise of God’s working all things together for good but am quick to emphasize that the promise is for those who love God and are called according to His purpose.   That verse, like today’s verse tells us that God will help us but like today’s verse it also indicates that a relationship with God is required.  Romans 8:28 tells us that the promise for all things being worked together for good is conditional on the recipient loving God and being called to His purposes.  

Today’s verse assures us that God will help you but that help comes to us when we commit everything we do to the Lord and that we trust Him.  

Committing everything we do to the Lord is the disciple’s path where we decide to live according to God’s way by trusting that the word of God can teach us how to live our lives and that we trust God enough to actually apply the Bible’s teachings to our lives on a continual basis.  

The help we receive can include miraculous instances of divine intervention or by being the recipient of God’s providence as His hand influences the “normal” circumstances of time and space to result in favorable outcomes for us.    

But the help we receive from the Lord can also be the result of the consequences of good choices that are made based on God’s word.  By following the Lord’s wisdom for living from the Bible, we can be said to “be those who help themselves” by aligning our hearts and our actions with God’s will for our lives.  

Rather than a disconnected religious recipe of meeting all the conditions of prayer to manipulate the Lord to bless us,  our faith should be seen and lived as a dynamic relationship with Him where we demonstrate our trust and love for our heavenly Father by living as He instructs, seeking His presence, and listening for His guidance. 

God will help us.  So trust in Him and commit everything you do to the Lord  by placing your faith in Jesus and living like one of His disciples.

 

 

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 sharing from June Hunt’s “Evil and Suffering… Why? Is God Fair?

 

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.

E. What Is the Problem of Evil?

The very presence of evil in our world presents a major problem to many people who acknowledge God and His involvement in the world ... people who know the claims about God—that He is morally perfect, all-powerful, and all-knowing. The premise is that evil cannot coexist alongside a good, all-powerful, and all-knowing God because they are mutually exclusive of one another. Therefore, skeptics conclude that the presence of evil in the world negates the presence of a good, all-powerful, and all-knowing God. The problem involves 3 components and 3 assumptions:

If God is all-good and all-powerful, why does He allow evil?

  • There are 3 components contained in answering this classic question.
    • #1 God is all-good.
    • #2 God is all-powerful.
    • #3 Evil is present in the world.
  • The 3 assumptions are...
    • #1 If God is all-good—He would want to prevent evil.
    • #2 If God is all-powerful—He could prevent evil.
    • #3 If God is all-knowing—He could anticipate evil and therefore stop it!
  • If any one component is missing, then you don't have a problem.
    • #1 If God is not all-good, the problem vanishes. God is a "cosmic demon" who causes evil.
    • #2 If God is not all-powerful, the problem disappears. God is too weak and powerless to stop evil.
    • #3 If no evil is present in the world, the problem evaporates. Evil (sin and suffering) is mere illusion.
  • However, all 3 components are true, based on the Bible...
    • #1 God is good... and He gave people free will, which is good.
          "The Lord is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him." (Psalm 92:15)
    • #2 God is all-powerful... and He can do anything that is logical, but it is illogical for Him to both grant free will and constrain it.
          "I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please. From the east I summon a bird of prey; from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose. What I have said, that will I bring about; what I have planned, that will I do." (Isaiah 46:10-11)
    • #3 Evil and its effects (sin and suffering) are present in the world... because people chose to exert their God-given free will and disobey God.
          "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23)

Biblical Counseling Keys: Evil and Suffering... Why?: Why God? Why?.

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

 

Join our “Victory over the Darkness” or “The Bondage Breaker” 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. 

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

 

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

Saturday, September 11, 2021

My Peace I Give You – Purity 521


My Peace I Give You  – Purity 520                  

Purity 521 09/11/2021  Purity 521 Podcast

Good morning

Today’s photo of a spectacular Hudson Valley sunset comes to us from a couple who generously decided to share the view from their favorite spot to watch sunsets on social media. However, I noticed that they wisely didn’t disclose the location of their favorite spot, teaching us that there are somethings that we should enjoy and keep to ourselves especially when inviting other people in may disrupt the peace that we have found.   

It's Saturday, and it’s the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that took place on 9/11/2001.  The events on that terrible day, and the continuing war on terror that followed, showed us that our sense of peace and safety could be taken from us in a moment.  It was a harsh reminder that there is evil in this world and that no matter what measures we put in place our security could be compromised.  

However, that day also taught us about the value and brevity of human life and the incredible acts of love and heroism that people can do to protect it and save it. For out of the stories of loss and death, we also heard of incredible stories that spoke of love and survival.  Even in the worst of times, the light of hope and love shines in the darkness. 

In the wake of that day many people sought to make sense of it all and their ideas about God were challenged as the perpetrators of these crimes against humanity claimed to do it for God. Others asked how God could allow things like this to happen.  Still others drew together and found comfort by drawing close to God in corporate gatherings or private prayer.  

As for the terrorists, they were deceived.  The word of God tells us:

1 John 4:20 (NKJV)
20  If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?
       

Christ’s ministry on earth shows us that God isn’t calling us to kill in His name.    

As for suffering, Christ himself acknowledged that suffering can and will happen to the just as well as the unjust, and recommends one course of action for all: He addressed this in:

Luke 13:4-5 (NKJV) where He said:
4  Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem?
5  I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish."
  

Translation?  Bad things happen to good people. Jesus was straight about that but He also clear that we should all repent because He didn’t want us to perish. As He said in

John 3:17 (NKJV)
17  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

So as we reflect on that terrible day 20 years ago, or just try to move on with our lives today.   It is my prayer that all my friends remember how people turned to the Lord and found peace in His presence.  The peace people found in the Lord 20 years ago is still available today and its isn’t just reserved for times of suffering.    Christ came to give us peace with God, for He said:

John 14:27 (NKJV)
27  Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Christ doesn’t want us to seek some form of peace that is based on creating the right circumstances in the world that can be taken away.  He wanted to give us a peace that couldn’t change, pass away, or be taken from us. He didn’t want our hearts to be troubled and He didn’t want us to be afraid.  

If you don’t have faith or are not sure about Jesus, ask God to reveal the truth to you for if you seek Him, you will find Him.  The Lord wants you to find peace with Him through faith in Jesus Christ.

If you have made Christ your Lord and Savior, rejoice, and share the love and peace of the Lord with those around you.  

In this world bad things will happen, but with the Lord we can have peace in the midst of the storm or even in the darkest night.  Our purpose in Christ is to know His peace and share it with the world, For He said:

John 16:33 (NKJV)
33  These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."

So keep walking and talking with God, enjoy His peace today and every day. Share the love of the Lord with those around you and defy the powers of darkness by living free in the peace and love of the Lord.

 


Today’s verse is drawn from” from the Dr. Charles Stanley’s In Touch Ministries provided resource:  “Freedom: Our Life in Christ” Memory Verse Cards set: 

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Psalm 56:4 (NASB)
4  In God, whose word I praise, In God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid. What can mere man do to me?

Today’s verse tells us of the value of God’s word and of the remedy to fear: trusting God.  

You know sometimes I feel that the message to read the word of God falls on deaf ears.  It is none of my business what someone’s Bible study habits are but sometimes I get the feeling that some of the people I counsel, disciple, encourage, teach, or spend time with don’t have a regular practice of reading God’s word and that they are just following faith concepts that they have heard from pastors or that they “already know”.   

To be honest, sometimes I think of my self that way! Sometimes in my walk, I look at my experience and question if I am just walking along with a general “Christian disciple’s philosophy” and am neglecting the study of the word that my Christian philosophy is based on.  

While I blog 6 days a week, insights, and encouragements about living a Christian disciple’s lifestyle, on occasion I will miss actually sitting down and reading some scripture.  When that happens I feel like I missed something and make a point of to get back on track the next day  because the word is something that we should praise, as today’s verse points out.   

The wisdom and comfort of God’s word educates and transforms us.  It is only through reading, studying, and meditating on God’s word that it is possible to develop a deep trust of God and a full understanding of we are in Christ.   It is the truths in scripture of who we are in Christ that give us the confidence to walk out our faith on a daily basis.  

When we “get it”, when we accept God’s word as true to us personally, we gain the assurance of our salvation and our freedom from sin and death.  

When we claim our freedom in Christ, we can trust the Lord and cast out fear! We can be bold and face any trial or tribulation with peace. When we really trust God, we know that there is nothing that mere men can do to us that will separate us from His love or change who we are in Christ.  

So Trust in the Lord and fear not. Mere men can not change your position in Christ or take away the peace that the Lord gives you.  

But if you are lax in your commitment to read His word, I encourage you to make a regular practice of reading it on a daily basis because His word is wonderful and worthy of praise. It can be an ever present comfort in our walk and will transform the minds and hearts of the faithful Christian who endeavors to search its depths of wisdom and receive its blessings for life and godliness.  

 

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:

C. What Are Signs of Crossed Boundary Lines?

For some, Tonya Harding's repercussions . . . don't go far enough.

Although she is charged with criminal activity following the assault, both her ex-husband and bodyguard claim she had prior knowledge of the attack and even helped plan it. And the final "go-ahead" to maim Nancy Kerrigan . . . is given by Tonya, according to her ex-husband.

District Attorney Norman Frink says there is " . . . substantial evidence to support Ms. Harding's involvement prior to the assault. She's not going to plead guilty to it, but I think the facts speak for themselves." Had a legal agreement not been reached concerning Tonya, Frink had planned to pursue indictments on other charges.

Tonya may be concealing prior involvement, but God sees it all. . . .

"For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open."

(Luke 8:17)

Thank goodness for instant replay! In sports, as in life, those too close to the action or too far from it are not always able to see when rules are broken, when boundary lines are knowingly or unknowingly crossed. And since winning is at stake, important sporting events are recorded by strategically positioned cameras so that every action can be replayed for all to see and for all to judge.

In the case of personal boundaries, no instant replay cameras keep a vigilant eye on us, but there is One whose eyes see it all, for He never slumbers or sleeps or looks away from us . . . not even for an instant. His eyes steadily record our every move; His mind is constantly aware of our thoughts. His ears are always tuned into our words. His heart is forever discerning our motives.

And with His Spirit empowering us and His written word guiding us, He can conform us to Christ by keeping our boundaries in check and accomplishing His purposes in and through us. . . .

"We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters."

(Romans 8:28-29)

Signs of Crossed Boundary Lines

People who grow up with little or no boundaries are accustomed to having their legitimate personal rights violated and common societal norms ignored. Mistreatment is commonplace, and in their frustration or attempt at self-preservation, people develop a pattern of mistreating others as well, often without knowing what they are doing or why.

Their experience becomes their reality, and they simply live what they learn—they do to others what is done to them. In so doing, overtime those with crossed boundary lines tend to exhibit the following signs:

Confrontation skills are virtually nonexistent or they are brutal and ineffective. Rather than dealing directly with each other, they triangulate, are emotionally, verbally, or physically abusive, or they cross other communication boundaries.

Responsibility regarding personal actions is assigned to others. Denial, justification, blame games, guilt trips, and other forms of manipulation replace assuming responsibility for their own inappropriate actions. Many grown children remain financially dependent on parents well into adulthood and many times even after they are married.

Openness, honesty, and transparency are nonexistent. At the very least these skills that are critical for developing true intimacy in relationships are considered foolish and unnecessary or, at worst, threatening and terrifying.

Secrecy is rampant, yet necessary for survival because trust is scarce and people are emotionally distant from one another as a means not only of self-defense but also self-preservation. This is especially true in cases where sexual boundaries have been violated or other forms of severe abuse have occurred.

Systems for enforcing logical repercussions are also nonexistent as are systems of administering rewards for positive behaviors. Inconsistency reigns in every area and confusion and distrust are the result.

Envy is commonplace because no one feels genuinely valued for who they are and what they do. Insecurity is felt by all. Therefore, everyone constantly vies for attention, affirmation, acceptance, and a sense of approval. When one person's performance outshines another's, envy is the natural by-product.

Defensive behaviors are well-established and reflect a need to deny feelings of being unloved, insignificant, and insecure. Adult daughters still want to be "daddy's little princess" and grown sons want to be "mommy's little prince" rather than becoming emotionally invested and committed to their spouses.

The process of facing the fact that personal boundaries have been repeatedly crossed and then working through the resulting pain of that awareness and making necessary changes takes courage, tenacity, and hope. This is especially true when other family members do not see the need for change or feel the need for healing.

Thankfully, we have a God who is able and willing to not only meet our needs but to give us far more than we could ever ask or imagine. . . .

"I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord's holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledgethat you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."

(Ephesians 3:17-21)


Biblical Counseling Keys: Boundaries: How to See Them - How to Keep Them.

 

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

 

 

 

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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship