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Showing posts with label Rainbow. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rainbow. 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

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Cleaning Out My Closet – Establishing Intimacy and Making Room - Purity 565


 Cleaning Out My Closet – Establishing Intimacy and Making Room - Purity 565

Purity 565 11/02/2021     Purity 565 Podcast

Good morning

Today’s photo a bird flying into a rainbow over Lake Ontario comes to us from SUNY Oswego’s FB page who testified that Monday morning brought a brilliant display to the sky as some areas near their campus reported seeing as many as a triple rainbow!  

The Bible states that the rainbow was a sign of God’s promise to never flood the earth again and its appearance should remind us of our ultimate dependence on the Lord for all that we have.    

As the next two months promises the changes that come with the progression of a holiday season that ushers in a new year, I would like to remind my friends of the benefits of being proactive to do what we can to change unpleasant circumstances and that the best way to navigate through a season, and a world, that is in a constant state of change is to draw close to God and to make room for Him in your experience by sharing all the aspects of your life with Him. 

As I have recently become engaged and my fiancĂ© and I have promised to be married and spend the rest of our lives as husband and wife, we have agreed to draw close and to make room for one another in our lives. 

Over the last several months my fiancĂ© and I have established intimacy as we, who started as friends, have “unpacked” ourselves to one another by sharing our stories, hopes, and dreams. We have grown closer and when we made room for the possibility of being more than friends, we realized that our love for one another would be best expressed in a marriage covenant.  Every day we seem to have a deeper bond of love growing between us as we get closer to our wedding day and make room for each other in our lives.  

I have already confessed to all who will listen that the love I have with TammyLyn is unprecedented as she makes me feel accepted, desired, and cherished like no other person ever has.  Her love humbles me and because of my dysfunctional past makes me wonder if I am worthy of it. Because it is unlike anything I have ever experienced I wonder if I am dreaming as TammyLyn continues to find new ways to express her deep affection for me. Her messages, notes, letters, and words are a continual reminder that I have been truly blessed by God with a woman who shares my faith and loves me without reserve.   The intimacy we enjoy is amazing as we are both perfectly content just being in silence in one another’s presence and look forward to our marriage.

The latest expression of TammyLyn’s love for me has been her literally making a place for me in her home as she recently made some Herculean efforts to clear out some space in the closet in her bedroom for a desk where I can pray, study the Bible, compose my blog, and record my podcast when I stay at her place in cow country.  

As much as her words of affirmation and her hugs and kisses tell me of her love, this latest labor of love shows me that TammyLyn’s love for me knows no bounds and is the real deal.   To clean and get rid of things to make a place for me speaks volumes to me as I know how sacred a woman’s closet can be and how much work was involved in reordering her life to make me feel accepted into her home and into her life.  In fact, we both stopped referring to our separate residences as our “homes” because our sense of home now comes only when we are in each other’s presence. Regardless of the locations where we find ourselves,  when we are together, we are at home.

I have shared that I believe that TammyLyn was sent to me by God and that the love she has for me is an expression of God’s love poured out into and through her. If I didn’t know the love of God for me already, the love TammyLyn is the latest reminder of how God cares for me and provides for all my needs.  

I knew God’s love and presence in my darkest hours of loneliness and now I know it in the midst of the love that He sovereignly directed to come in my life in the person of TammyLyn.

TammyLyn’s evidence as a Christian is all over her house and I recently saw this saying on an index card mounted to a cabinet in her kitchen that ties in with today’s photo, It says:

“Sometimes God sends the brilliant light of a rainbow to remind us of His presence, lest we forget in our personal darkness His great and gracious promises to never leave us alone.”   And it references,

Romans 15:13 (NKJV)
13  Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

In believing in God and seeking His presence, we can have peace and joy in our lives and because His Holy Spirit indwells us we can abound in hope even in the bleakest of circumstances.  

 

So if you think you are walking all alone in your walk of faith, I would remind you of the love God has brought into your life in the form of a life partner, family, or friends  that you had in the past or who are in your life presently.  All those love relationships are a reflection of God’s love for you and if you find yourself in a lonely season on this second day of November, I encourage you to keep walking and talking with God because His love for you knows no bounds and is an ever present reality for those who have put their faith in Jesus Christ.  

 

(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, Spotify, and Amazon Podcasts, as well as Audible and Podbean).

#Christian #christianity #encouragement #freedominchrist #christiancounseling #jesuschrist #mt4christ #discipleship #victoryoverthedarkness #Dating #mt4christ247podcast 

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

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Matthew 5:5 (NLT2)
5  God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth.

Today’s verse speaks of God’s counterintuitive plan for His eternal kingdom.

 

Today’s verse also reminds me about the man who was so humble that his church presented him with a humble award one Sunday. The man’s unassuming manner and selfless service to the church community caused the pastor, the elders, and all the members of the congregation to unanimously decide to honor him by presenting him with a “medal” for his humble nature and humble service.  Unfortunately, the church ended up taking the medal away the following week when he proudly wore his medal to the next worship service, demonstrating that he wasn’t so humbler after all!    

But seriously, the reason why that little joke is amusing is because not only would humble people not do such a prideful thing as boast about a commendation they received, in our world the truly humble would most likely fail to be recognized in the first place!  

If nice guys finish last it is only because the humble are too humble to draw attention to themselves by having a position that would stand out or are too humble to compete in the first place!

So the fact that Jesus proclaims that the meek, or the humble as the NLT puts it, will inherit the earth it was undoubtedly a proclamation that would have been received with skepticism by some and hope by others, because His statement promises something that would have been considered unlikely.

In our dog eat dog world, the meek generally don’t inherit anything. The meek would generally be forgotten as others, who are not been shy about receiving rewards, would work toward a position to gain favor or would use other cunning means to get what they want or would simply take what they desired by force if they should not receive what they want through legitimate means.   

But Christ who came to earth the preach the gospel of grace, let’s His audience know that the new earth in God’s kingdom will be distributed to the meek, pointing to an economy that is different from the current world system. 

Christ’s proclamation that the meek shall inherit the earth points to the doctrine of salvation by faith alone as it is only through the humble surrender of putting one’s faith and trust in Jesus as Lord and Savior will one inherit eternal life and a place in God’s kingdom.  

So humbly come before the throne of grace and rejoice that if you know Jesus as Lord and Savior, He has bestowed upon you a blessing that is so valuable that it cost the Son of God His very life and it comes with an assurance that comes from the Creator of existence itself.    

We don’t have to worry that we will somehow lose our reward or that someone will take it from us. God has graceful chosen us to receive it and it’s a promise we can stand on because the One who made it is faithful and 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 sharing from June Hunt’s Dating: Secrets to Great Relating When Dating  

 

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. Dos and Don'ts for Dating

Penny keeps trying...and keeps trying...and keeps trying. Just like the proverbial penny, she turns up time and time again. She asks her friends and family to "fix her up." She dates and goes on blind dates. She tries speed dating and group dating. She registers online with every matchmaking site, and she scours personal ads day after day. Penny won't give up. She knows her soul mate is out there...somewhere.

Penny wonders, Why would God pair up all the animals on the ark, but He won't send me my mate? She's tired of being alone and she's even more tired of being single. She's tired of living her life halfway and she wants to feel complete. Instead, Penny should know her worth and value in Christ. She should understand that one is a whole number. She should learn to trust in the Lord and to be content in whatever circumstances she finds herself....

"I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances." (Philippians 4:11)

A couple may believe that the two of them are truly in love, but instead they could simply be "in love with love." Even if their dating leads to marriage, they still could be in real trouble if they haven't waited long enough—for God.

What if they are deluded by the fantasy of love? What happens when they are challenged to allow the relationship to mature, but they are too impatient, too impulsive, too impetuous? They would be wise to consider the words of the psalmist. ...

"How long will you love delusions...?" (Psalm 4:2)

Don't date non-Christians.

"The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit" (1 Corinthians 2:14).

Do...Trust God's plan for your life.

'"I know the plans I have for you, ' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future'" (Jeremiah 29:11).

Don't focus on romance but rather on friendship.

"A friend loves at all times" (Proverbs 17:17).

Do...Be aware of both the benefits and dangers in dating.

"Folly brings joy to one who has no sense, but whoever has understanding keeps a straight course" (Proverbs 15:21).

Don't lie if you don't want to accept a date.

"Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment" (Proverbs 12:19).

Do...Be under the authority of your parents (if living at home).

"Listen, my son, to your father's instruction and do not forsake your mother's teaching" (Proverbs 1:8).

Don't dishonor God.

"Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies" (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

Do... Follow wise counsel of trusted advisors.

"Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise" (Proverbs 19:20).

Don't confuse lust for love.

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres" (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).

Do...Reflect Christian values on your dates.

"Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel" (Philippians 1:27).

Don't wait to determine your standards.

"Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways" (Proverbs 4:26).

Do...Become a good and honorable date.

"Honor one another above yourselves" (Romans 12:10).

Date Rape Drug

Question: "What can I do to prevent someone from slipping me a date rape drug?"

Answer: Someone may plan to immobilize you with a date rape drug by putting it in your beverage without your knowledge. However, if you are wise and discerning, you can avoid being caught in a covert sexual trap. You would be wise to take the following basic precautions:

  • Be observant, making sure that any beverage handed to you is poured from the original container.
  • Don't drink a beverage handed to you by a stranger.
  • Don't date a man unless you or someone you respect can attest to his character.

"Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you." (Proverbs 4:6)

WARNING: A victim of date rape may not be aware of being raped due to the nature and availability of date rape drugs, also referred to as club drugs. For example, a very small amount of GHB (Gamma hydroxybutyrate) slipped into a drink can quickly drug a woman to such an extent that she loses the ability to resist unwanted sexual advances. She not only loses complete control of her body, but she also loses consciousness of her surroundings. Once under the influence of what is called "liquid ecstasy," she becomes a prime target for date rape and, for some, this "ecstasy" literally leads to death.

"Enemies disguise themselves with their lips, but in their hearts they harbor deceit. Though their speech is charming, do not believe them." (Proverbs 26:24-25)


Biblical Counseling Keys: Dating: Secrets to Great Relating When Dating.

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

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands - Purity 475

                                               

He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands

Purity 475 07/20/2021   Purity 475 Podcast

Good morning

Today’s photo comes to us from our dear friends and the co-hosts of our weekly Bible Study, Arthur, and Suzanna Cincotti, who know how to appreciate the wonder of God’s creation and to not take themselves too seriously.  Here Suzanna has positioned Arthur to be the recipient of God’s blessings as they enjoyed a recent rainbow in the front yard of their home in Stottville, NY. But the quizzical look on Arthur’s face makes me pretty certain that he fully intends to share all that he receives with his dearly beloved wife and anyone else who is in need.  Our weekly Bible study highlights our common desire to grasp the truth of God’s word, receive the blessings of knowing Him more, and sharing our thoughts and insights to help other Christians with walk.  To listen in to our Bible Study discussions, check out the mt4Christ247 podcast available on most podcast services.

Today’s photo reminded me of the African American spiritual, “He’s got the Whole World in His Hands” that was first published in 1927 and became an international pop hit in 1957 when English singer Laurie London covered it.  But I have to say I prefer Mahalia Jackson’s version that captures the soulful origins of the song that reminds us all that God’s got this!  

I listened to Mahalia Jackson version just now and Amazon music started sharing more of her gospel music after it finished and my spirit soared. I had to stop it to concentrate on finishing today’s blog.  But I highly recommend you check out her gospel music, oh brother, talk about Worshiping with your soul and spirit!

Anyway, God does have us. He’s got the whole world in His Hands!  So as we have made it through Monday and head into day two of the work week, let me encourage you that God is over and above all things. He loves you dearly and wants you to come into harmony with His plan for your life through placing your faith in Jesus Christ and by living your life with and for Him. 

The peace that goes beyond all understanding only comes through seeking and following the Lord.  Don’t harden your heart, open it up to Him.

Give your pain and heartache to the One who can heal it.

Give your fears and anxieties to the One who will give you strength and protection. 

Give your confusion and chaos to the One who defines Truth and puts all things in order. 

If you’ve felt that you’ve “quenched” the Spirit, turn from the selfish life you’re living and surrender to His wisdom, power, and love.

Don’t just pray for it. Pursue it. Change your mind. Change your heart. Change the direction of your life by following the One who brings you out of the darkness and bathes you in His magnificent light.  

So keep walking and talking with God.  He’s got you and me, brother in His Hands. He’s got you and me sister in His Hands. He’s got the whole world in His Hands!  


This morning’s meditation verse is:

Mark 12:25 (NKJV)
25 For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.

Today’s verse contains a mystery straight from Jesus that can confound us but can also bring some of us a great deal of comfort and hope.    

The Lord recently shared Mark 12:26-27 a few days ago via our random verse selection. Those following verses encouraged us of the truth of a resurrection of the dead and our lives’ continuity into the kingdom of God.  

The context of this verse is Christ answering the Sadducees’ hypothetical question about woman who had the dubious distinction of marrying and outliving seven brothers.  Like wow, I suspect she might have been a “black widow”. She mates and she kills. 

But seriously no foul play is mentioned, each husband dies, and she marries next brother, until all the brother’s die and then she also dies.  The Sadducees ask Jesus which brother will be her husband in the resurrection, which they don’t believe in.    

Christ gives us a spiritual insight that puts our earthly concepts of life and fulfillment on its ear.  Jesus responds that we” neither marry nor are given in marriage but are like angels in heaven” when we rise from the dead.      

This is one verse that isn’t given much explanation and is certainly not highlighted at the weekly church service that seems to almost exclusively minister to married couples.  

Our earthly conception of family and fulfillment is the highlighted in the American dream of a married father and mother with a few children.  While that maybe the model that we are to seek to follow here on earth, from Christ’s words, it seems that there may be a whole different program after the resurrection. 

While well meaning pastors assure congregants that we will all see our lost loved ones and things will be much like they are here on earth when we get to heaven, Christ’s words may be describing a whole different society where the spiritual aspects of our relationships will supersede the needs that marriage meets here on the terra firma.    

With this one verse there is lots of room to speculate. For instance, the happily married among us could say “Well Jesus is just saying that there are no “new” marriages. They don’t marry, meaning no weddings, and they are not “given in marriage.” meaning no engagements.  Looks like you missed your chance at wedded bliss, sorry!”  

Anyway, as distressing as Jesus words could be for the happily married among us, His words could actually be a comfort to those who are single, divorced, or who are suffering in a bad marriage.  Christ words tell us that His kingdom will be different. 

While a happy marriage may be the be all to end all, here on earth because of the concept or myth that we each have a soul mate somewhere out there that will complete us, Christ words put marriage in its place as secondary to kingdom of God.   

As nice as your wife or husband may be, there is only One Person who completes us: Jesus Christ.  

So Jesus’ words here are a mystery, and whether you are happily married or not, whether you’ve never been married, or are divorced, we don’t have to fear them.

Christ’s words indicate that we have much to learn about our lives beyond the testing grounds of this fallen world, but the good news is that as long as we have Christ as our Lord and Savior we know that the next place will be good and that we will be with the One who completes us forever.   

 

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 8.

 

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:

Proper Guidelines Lead to a Proper Walk

3. Fulfillment. Key Concept: Role Preference

Fulfillment in life can be summarized by the simple slogan, "Bloom where you're planted." Peter said it this way: "As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another" (1 Peter 4:10). Fulfillment is discovering our own uniqueness in Christ and using our gifts and talents to edify others and to glorify the Lord.

God allowed me to understand this simple principle before I entered the ministry while still employed as an aerospace engineer. I knew God wanted me to be an ambassador for Him on the job, so I started a breakfast Bible study in the bowling alley next door to the office. My announcement about the Bible study had been posted in our office for only about an hour when a Jewish fellow pulled it off the wall and brought it to me. "You can't bring Jesus in here," he objected.

"I can't do otherwise," I said. "Every day I walk in here Jesus comes in with me." He was not impressed with my response!

One of the men who found Christ through the Bible study became a flaming evangelist. He passed out tracts everywhere he went. When I left that aerospace firm to enter seminary, he took over the Bible study.

A few months later I went back to visit my friends in the Bible study. "Do you remember the Jewish fellow?" the leader asked.

"Sure, I remember him," I said, recalling his brash opposition to our Bible study.

"Well, he got sick and almost died. I went to the hospital and visited him every night. Finally I led him to Christ."

I was ecstatic at the realization that I had become a spiritual grandparent. The sense of fulfillment was exhilarating. It all happened because I started a simple little Bible study where I worked so I could do what Paul said: "Do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry" (2 Tim. 4:5).

God has a unique place of ministry for each of us. It is important to your sense of fulfillment that you realize your calling in life. The key is to discover the roles you occupy in which you cannot be replaced, and then decide to be what God wants you to be in those roles. For example, of the six billion people in the world, you are the only one who occupies your unique role as husband, father, wife, mother, parent, or child in your home. God has specially planted you to serve Him by serving your family in that environment.

Furthermore, you are the only one who knows your neighbors as you do. You occupy a unique role as an ambassador for Christ where you work. These are your mission fields, and you are the worker God has appointed for the harvest there. Your greatest fulfillment will come from accepting and occupying God's unique place for you to the best of your ability. Sadly, many miss their calling in life by looking for fulfillment in the world. Find your fulfillment in the kingdom of God by deciding to be an ambassador for Christ in the world (see 2 Cor. 5:20).


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