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

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------------------------

 

 

 

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

Monday, August 30, 2021

Things to Keep in Mind – God's Pathway to Peace - Purity 510


 Things to Keep in Mind  – God’s Pathway to Peace                                                                                          

Purity 510 08/30/2021   Purity 510 Podcast

Good morning

Today’s photo of blue skies over Lake Lanier comes to us from a friend who enjoyed a boating excursion over the weekend with friends near Cumming, Georgia. As someone who had the opportunity to go boating with friends earlier this summer I know what great fun and peace can be experienced when you get out upon the waters.   

Reflecting on this photo last night, I thought of Ray Charles’ version of “Georgia on my Mind” that “old sweet song” that tells of a man who can find “No peace” but keeps his beloved Georgia on His mind.  The song has been interpreted as either a man reflecting on His home state of Georgia or of a woman named Georgia.  I like to cover all the bases and think of the song being about a woman named Georgia, who also lives in Georgia, the singer’s home state. 

But seriously, the key to the song is that while the singer has “No peace”, he is comforted by his thoughts of, and his musical homage to, Georgia.  He has no peace but finds some through his remembrance of Georgia.

I think we all hope the singer of the song will see His beloved Georgia again. But those of us familiar with heartache, the consequences of the choices we make, or the circumstances we are forced to accept in life sometimes, know that returning to Georgia may not be in the cards. The overall tone of the song isn’t particularly hopeful, and the singer’s lyrics admit that its “just an old sweet song” that keeps Georgia on his mind.  

But the thing I wanted to point out is not how we can be separated from the things we love and left in a state of depression and nostalgia, I wanted to point out the power that God has given us to find a measure of peace by directing our thoughts to determine our emotions.   

While we can find some peace in remembering old loves, familiar haunts of yester year, or things we once had, scripture repeatedly directs us to look forward, not back, and to look at the Lord and not things of this earth. Why? 

We are to look forward because we can’t change the past.  One of the things I stress to people that I disciple is that “It’s not where you start that matters, it’s how you finish that counts.” Yeah, things may have gone wrong but how can we find peace in the days ahead? What can we do now to make a better tomorrow?  I advise to look forward, make plans, and take actions today that will bring you closer to where you want to go. 

Also we must be realists, we only have so much time to live our lives so our greatest concern should be the contemplation of eternity and finding peace with God.  The good news is that I have done a lot of spiritual legwork in my life, and I can assure you that what scripture says about Jesus being “the way, the truth, and the life” is true. John 14:6 is the verse if you want to look it up and see its implications.

Placing your faith in Christ is the key to eternity but it also is the answer to life here and now.  While thinking back to dear old Georgia may give us some peace, reflecting on and actively following and communing with God gives an infinite amount of peace because there are no limits to His wisdom and love for you to receive.  

So look ahead and look to the Lord, you will find that when you do that the depression you have over the tragedies of the past lifts.  As you begin to trust the Lord, you discover He has a purpose for your life and that no matter where your road takes you He will guide you along on your journey, will bring you to a good place, and will show you amazing things along the way.  

Well it’s Monday again, and its August 30th, I don’t mean to bum you out, but I hope you accomplished what you were hoping to accomplish this summer because September is a couple days away and the season is going fast. 

But guess what, you still have time. You can make plans and take action to create milestone moments for the summer of ’21.  Just turn your thoughts from the days gone by and look forward to the days ahead. Draw close to the Lord and find the peace and joy of life that He has for you.  He wants you find some happiness in this world and believe me when I tell you that your happiness is elevated to joy when you continually walk and talk with Him.


This morning’s meditation verse is:

2 Timothy 1:10 (NKJV)
10  but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,

Today’s verse points to what has been revealed by Jesus Christ coming to earth, dying for our sins, being raised to life, and ascending to heaven.   

The context of the preceding verses in this passage refers to the gospel – the good news.  What’s the good news? What has been revealed by Christ’s appearing? 

Well, Jesus’ atoning work on the cross, and the confirmation of His deity through His resurrection has abolished death and revealed that immortality comes through the “gospel”, the amazing news about Jesus that tells us that “whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” as Jesus said in John 3:16.     

As I often have stated, the most important question of life is “Who is Jesus to you?” 

While we are free to hold what ever opinions we want and can choose to believe or not,  the historicity of Christ can not be denied. He lived on earth and died on the cross. People testified that He was resurrected and ascended to heaven.  You can believe that or not. 

But whether we “believe” those reports to be true or not, it doesn’t matter unless you take the next step and personally put your faith in Christ as your Lord and Savior.  We must not only “swallow” the hard to believe reports that come to us from the pages of scripture, we also must come into a relationship with God by confessing the truth of those events and by asking for God’s mercy and grace and proclaiming that we belong to God by placing our faith in Jesus.

Immortality certainly is worth seriously investigating and contemplating putting your faith in Christ. For anyone unsure and who hasn’t made Christ their Lord, I would you to encourage you to honestly seek the truth concerning Christ.  Lee Strobel’s documentary “The Case for Christ” is good place to start (https://youtu.be/rbTSyqbUz1A) .   

But our faith in Christ isn’t about getting a “ticket to heaven” it is about coming into a relationship with the living God of all creation and discovering the new life and purpose that He has for you.  

So for those on the path of Christian discipleship already, rejoice over your salvation, share the good news, and keep walking to where the Lord leads you.    

For those not there yet,  open your eyes, minds, and hearts to the possibility that God is real, alive, and is calling you to Him. If you seek Him, you will find Him, and I pray that you find Him today. 

 

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 13.

 

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:

Designs for Discipleship

Level II: Built Up in Christ (Colossians 2:7)

Building up people in Christ begins in the spiritual dimension by helping them distinguish between walking according to the flesh and walking according to the Spirit. The more they choose to walk according to the flesh, the longer they will remain immature. The more they choose to walk according to the Spirit, the faster they will grow. Fundamental to this truth is the believers' understanding that outside circumstances do not determine who they are, how they walk or what they will someday become. Only God and our response to Him determine that.

Rationally, when Christians buy into Satan's lies or worldly philosophies, they will not be able to grow (see Col. 2:8, 18, 19). The battle is for the mind, and we must learn to take "every thought captive to the obedience of Christ" (2 Cor. 10:5). Discipleship requires mental discipline. People who will not assume responsibility for their thoughts cannot be discipled.

Emotions are a product of our thoughts. If our thoughts and beliefs are wrong, we will struggle with negative emotions. Persistent anger, anxiety and depression reveal a faulty belief system. The greatest determinants of mental and emotional health are a true knowledge of God, an acceptance of His ways and the assurance of His forgiveness.

Volitionally, Christians need to exercise the spiritual fruit of self-control instead of succumbing to the fleshly impulses.

Relationally, forgiveness is the key to freedom in Christ. It is the glue that holds families and churches together. Satan uses unforgiveness more than any other human deficiency to stop the growth of individuals and ministries. The unforgiving person is yoked to the past and is not free to move on in Christ.

The second goal of discipleship is to accept God's goal of sanctification and grow in the likeness of Christ. This entails the following:

  • Helping people learn to walk by faith in the power of the Holy Spirit
  • Guiding them to discipline their minds to believe the truth
  • Helping them get off the emotional roller coaster by focusing their thoughts on God instead of on their circumstances
  • Encouraging them to develop self-control
  • Challenging them to resolve personal problems by forgiving others and seeking forgiveness


Victory Over the Darkness: Realizing the Power of Your Identity in Christ.

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

 

God bless you all!

 

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

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Finding Peace – God’s Power in us - Purity 487


Finding Peace – God’s Power in us            

Purity 487 08/03/2021   Purity 487 Podcast

Good morning

Today’s photo comes to us from a friend’s morning glide across Prospect Lake where they spent a few days camping at Prospect Lake Park in North Egremont, Massachusetts last week.   Today’s photo isn’t very flashy, but I love the reflected stillness of the waters and the sense of symmetry that comes as the early morning light shows us a mirror image of our world upside down.  

It's summer and many of my friends regularly take to the nature areas of our world to get away from it all when they want to decompress from the stress of their normal routines or want to seek a few moments of refuge as unexpected changes or losses have made them feel like their worlds have been turned upside down.   

If we are observant the one thing we can never honestly say is that “nothing ever changes”. While some patterns seem to be a constant part of our lives, every day is new and each one brings us closer to the ultimate reality where we will know the truth about God when we see Him face to face. 

But in the meantime we have to make it through today while trying to prepare for a future that we can never be certain of.  

Now that I no longer garage at home, every discordant sound from my Honda CRV has me concerned as it is my sole means of transportation, and I don’t want to suffer any breakdowns that will derail my travels or disrupt the flow of my otherwise peaceful days.  So I made an appointment to have my brakes and exhaust checked suspecting that one if not both of those systems are in need of some regular maintenance.  

My concern over my car is indicative of the fact that we must be self-aware and attempt to establish and maintain good health or balance in all the aspects of our lives if we want to maintain peace.  

Life will change on its own, sometimes with little warning, so I try and encourage my children to try to avoid problems by being diligent to perform regular maintenance with the things in their lives and to fix problems as soon as they come up because the impermanent nature of our world almost guarantees that another problem is just around the bend.  

In the transition of having to commute again, I have less time in the morning at home, so I was a little anxiety ridden over getting to work on time and maintaining my morning practices of prayer, Bible study, and journaling/blogging.  

I was happy to see that, as long as I maintained a degree of focus, I could indeed do it all in a timely manner.  

I was also thrilled to rediscover my practice of worshipping the Lord in song on my morning commute.  When I garaged at home, it was all business from the moment I left my driveway as I would immediately dispatch on my first job. 

While I would have worship music playing on route to my first job, my preoccupation with work and the fact that I was in a company vehicle inhibited my joyful expression of praise significantly.  

Yesterday, in my own vehicle, I was free again to enjoy a half hour of praising the Lord in song without reservations as I raced my way to the garage.   

So what could have been a continuation of my anxiety of getting to work on time was magically transformed to a rich part of my daily spiritual practice as my mind, will, and emotions were directed toward God and all who He is and all He has done in my life.  

So, when I got out of my car and walked onto the grounds at work, I was positively beaming with joy and took delight in greeting some of my fellow workers that I hadn’t seen in quite some time. 

Again, this is how we walk in the Spirit, while I could have been angry or annoyed at this unwanted change, because I focused on the Lord and my relationship with Him my morning and day was defined by peace and joy.   

God has given us the power to find peace regardless of our circumstances.  He gives us the ability to adapt to all the situations that life brings to our doorstep. So much so that some of us enjoy “roughing it” by retreating from our homes with all their modern conveniences and going to His creation to find peace and tranquility in a place where the world system is diminished, and His presence is more apparent.  

But please realize that we don’t have to pack up our tents and sleeping bags to find that peace.  God is omnipresent so if we simply turn our attention to Him, He will be there to give us strength, wisdom, joy, peace, and love.  So keep walking and talking with God, for me it’s the only way to go.  

                                                                  

(There is more content to help you walk out your journey of faith at MT4Christ dot org. You can also subscribe to the mt4christ247 podcast to hear this message, our discipleship classes, and our weekly Bible Study, on Apple, Google, and Amazon Podcasts, as well as Audible and Podbean).

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This morning’s meditation verse is:

Luke 9:26 (NKJV)
26 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father's, and of the holy angels.

 

Today’s verse directs us to be open and to identify ourselves as Christians for all the world to see.   

Being a Christian in this world isn’t easy.  In our modern society, Christians are viewed with skepticism and contempt which is reflected by the fact that tolerance for other religious systems of belief is preached but the attitude toward evangelical Christianity seems to not be so tolerant as accommodations are being made for other systems of faith but the ability to openly practice evangelical Christianity is being increasingly regulated and legislated against.  

This hostile environment that would call Christianity hateful and the religion of bigots may cause those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ to not be so vocal about the exclusivity of Jesus Christ to save or about their identity in Christ.  These loud voices from an immoral world may cause some Christians to be silent about their faith as they don’t wish to judge their fellow man or be perceived to be unloving.   

But today’s verse tells us that we are not to be ashamed our Savior, Jesus Christ, or the Word of God, the Holy Bible.  Some Christians fearing the opinions of man try to put an emphasis on Jesus but choose to distance themselves from the Bible which reveals their ignorance and immaturity because it is from the Bible that we learn everything we know about Jesus.

So inseparable is Jesus from the Word of God that the Apostle John referred to Jesus as the “Word became flesh” (John 1:14), “the Word was God” (John 1:1), and “his name is the Word of God” (Rev 19:13). These verses indicate that Jesus is the personification of the written and spoken word of God.   You don’t get one without the other.  

So we are to not be ashamed of our faith in Christ, for on the contrary, Christ commanded his disciples to “go and make disciples of all nations”, teaching them to “obey all the commands” that Christ has given us (Matt 28:18-20).   

Today’s verse is pointing to an authentic Christian faith that involves living our lives as disciples. But it also warns of the consequences of the possibility that one could deceive themselves by having a “form of godliness but denying its power”, meaning that some will believe they are Christians but will not truly put their faith in Christ with their lives and will be horribly surprised when at the hour of their death they are told “I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness.” (Matthew 7:23).     

So seek out your salvation with fear and trembling, God calls you to repentance and a new abundant life. So don’t be ashamed of the One who gives you all things. Speak the truth in love and give yourself as a living sacrifice to His kingdom.

The fruit of the Spirit grows when we practice our faith. Its not about perfection but it is about continually following the ways of the Lord and identifying ourselves publicly as His children.    

 

 

 

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, beginning Chapter 10.

 

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:

Chapter 10

You Must Be Real to Be Right

I met Judy when I was fresh out of seminary and ministering in the college department of a very large church. She was a 26-year-old university graduate who had a teaching credential, but she looked like a flower child from the '60s. She wore tattered jeans and no shoes, and she carried a well-used Bible.

Judy was a church hopper and attended a women's Bible study class that met in our church. She had sought counseling from the leader of the class several times about her many problems. When the leader learned that Judy had been institutionalized three times in the previous five years as a paranoid schizophrenic, she felt totally inadequate to counsel her. So she asked if I would see Judy. Although I had no formal training in this area of counseling, I agreed to talk to her.

When Judy told me her story, she had difficulty remembering the details of the last several years. I tried to give her a few simple psychological tests, but she couldn't handle them. As we neared the end of our appointment, I felt frustrated because I was clueless about how to help her.

I said, "I want to meet with you again, but in the meantime I would like you to submit to the authority of this church."

As soon as I said that, Judy jumped up and headed for the door. "I've got to get out of here," she said.

I believe the Lord prompted me to ask, "Judy, is Jesus your Lord?"

She wheeled around abruptly at the door and snarled through clenched teeth, "You ask Jesus who my lord is." Then she stormed out.

I followed her down the hall and continued to ask her if Jesus was her Lord. Each time she responded by telling me to ask Jesus who her lord was. Finally I caught up with her and asked her again, "Judy, is Jesus your Lord?"

This time when she faced me her countenance had completely changed. "Yes," she said.

"Can we go back to my office and talk about it?" I asked, not really sure what I was going to say.

"Sure," she responded.

When we were back in my office I said, "Judy, do you know that there is a battle going on for your mind?" She nodded. "Has anybody ever talked with you about this before?"

"No one I've talked to has brought it up. Either they didn't know what's going on inside me or they were afraid to deal with it," she confessed.

"Well, we're going to talk about it and we're going to deal with it," I assured her. "Are you willing to do that with me?" Judy agreed.

We began to meet weekly. I assumed that her problems were either the result of a moral failure in her life or a history of exposure to or participation in the occult. So I quizzed her about the moral area and found no basis for her problems. I asked her if she had ever been involved in the occult. She had never even read a book on the subject. By this time I was really scratching my head because I couldn't figure out the source of her severe and obvious spiritual conflict.

Then one day we began talking about her family. She described how her father, a noted pediatrician, had divorced her mother and run off with a nurse. Judy's mother and other family members had vented their hatred and frustration openly. Judy, the only Christian in the family, thought she had to be a good witness. She was determined to be the loving, conciliatory daughter. So she kept silent while her emotions tore her insides to shreds.

"Let's talk about your dad," I suggested.

"I'm not going to talk about my dad," she snapped. "If you talk about my dad, I'm out of here."

"Wait a minute, Judy. If you can't talk about your father here, where can you talk about him? If you don't deal with those emotional issues here, where will you deal with them?"

I discovered two passages of Scripture that added significant insight to Judy's problem-plagued life. The first one is Ephes. 4:26, 27: "Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity." Judy's unresolved anger toward her father was never confessed, and because she had been repressing her anger instead of confronting it, she had given the devil an opportunity, a "foothold" (NIV)—literally, a place in her life.

The second passage is 1 Peter 5:7, 8 (NIV): "Cast all your anxiety on him [God] because he cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." Instead of casting her anxieties about her father upon the Lord, Judy tried to be spiritual by covering them up. By not being emotionally honest, Judy became spiritually vulnerable.

Judy began to face her unresolved feelings toward her father and work through the problem of forgiveness, which was the crux of her problem. Within a few months, this young woman, whom psychiatrists had given up as hopeless, made significant progress and became involved in the children's ministry at our church.


Victory Over the Darkness: Realizing the Power of Your Identity in Christ.

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

 

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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship