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Showing posts with label Self-Worth. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Self-Worth. Show all posts

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Purity 345: Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship


Purity 345 02/18/2021 Purity 345 Podcast

Good morning!

Today’s photo of the jetty at Tumby Bay, South Australia comes from Dave Baun Photography.   I absolutely love the blues of the ocean and the sky and how the pier seems to go on forever. 

I love to share pictures of pathways or trails on Thursdays because I teach tonight and through the lessons I present I am inviting others to walk into their freedom by stepping out on to the pathway to discipleship that will lead us away from the world we know into the new life that God has given to us.

This photo reminds me the song “Oceans” by Hillsong United, that begins: “You call me out upon the waters…” which reminds me of Peter’s attempt to join Christ by walking on the water. 

As the season of lent began yesterday, I feel that God is calling us all out to new depths of the spiritual life that He has given us.  The Lenten season is generally characterized by giving things up for a time but as someone who has walked in the Spirit for a while, I understand that in order to grow in faith we have to “make room” in our hearts and in our minds for the Lord to come in.   We have to enter into His presence by seeking Him and by surrendering to Him.

My blog and podcast names are a play on words, and numbers, that are meant to represent this spirit of surrendering to God’s wisdom and ways.  M T 4 Christ is a play on words for Empty for Christ, as in I will empty myself of all my worldly ways to make room for you in my life Lord. 

So follow where the Lord calls you this year.  

And while you’re on that journey, if somebody tells you to take a long walk off a short pier, tell them that you are already on your way and that you know the One that who calms the seas and makes pathways where few will dare to tread.

(An Audio version of this message is available at https://mt4christ247.podbean.com, you can also find it on Apple podcasts (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mt4christ247s-podcast/id1551615154) and Google podcasts (https://podcasts.google.com/?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9mZWVkLnBvZGJlYW4uY29tL210NGNocmlzdDI0Ny9mZWVkLnhtbA%3D%3D).  and at the restricted blog. Follow me on Twitter or MeWe for easy access.  Blog M T 4 Christ dot org – This is where the Facebook post ends.)

This morning’s meditation verse is:

James 4:3 (NKJV)
3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.

 Today’s verse deals with the complexity of our life in Christ.  Several passages in scripture indicate that we will be given the desires of our hearts and that our prayer requests will be answered.  

When we don’t receive the desires of our hearts and our prayers seem to be answered with a very definitive and resounding “No.”, what then?  Do we stop believing altogether? Do we stop trying? Do we stop praying? Do we despair?

One of the paradoxes of our faith is “the simplicity of our faith”.   Once we hear and understand the gospel and make Jesus our Lord and Savior, in many ways our faith is simple. We are called to just believe and obey.  When we embrace who we are in Christ, our obedience becomes a natural expression of our new identity.  As simple as that sounds there are several things that complicate our lives as Christians, the circumstances of this world, our desires, and the mystery of God’s specific will for our lives being just a few of the aspects that make our walk not so simple.   

Our relationship with God is a dynamic journey of growth and maturation.  Part of that journey of maturation is realizing that our thoughts and desires may not be aligned with God’s. 

Sometimes our fleshly, materialistic, selfish, or worldly desires get cloaked by our Christianity and we rationalize why God should bless our prayers because we see what we are asking for as “good”, but God knows what is best.   

If we don’t receive something that we are asking for, we have to examine if it agrees with God’s word. If our request is for selfish worldly desires, we ask amiss.     

 But even if our examination reveals that our request seems to be within the boundaries of God’s word, we have to realize that God decides what we will receive and that He has reasons for what he provides or chooses not to provide,

Sometimes we are just blessed, sometimes we have to wait, sometimes we have to work for things, and sometimes the answer is no.   If we understand that God is sovereign, we will understand that we are to accept the life that He has given us, and we are to examine our experience against the truth of God’s word to see whether we are of one heart with God. 

Our relationship with God isn’t about the blessings we receive, our relationship with God is about being in His presence and walking with Him for all eternity regardless of circumstances.   Our relationship with God is about accepting His wisdom as the absolute truth and His ways as the best way to live our lives.    

So if the answer to your prayer is no, see if you have asked amiss and try to renew your mind and shape your life so the desires of your heart will match the desires of God’s heart. 

Remember, we don’t pray for our will to be done. We pray for God’s will to be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  Trust that His will is better than our own and that today’s disappointments will ultimately lead to good for those who love Him.

I invite all to mt4chritst.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk. 

 

Today we will continue to share from Dr. June Hunt’s Biblical Counseling Keys on “Self-Worth: Discovering Your God-given Worth”.

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Dr. Hunt’s books for your own private study and to support her work:

J. How to Capture a Vision for Your Ministry

At some point Dorie wrote, "I heard the voice of God — the voice that had whispered to me during those many years of loneliness, sorrow, and heartache; 'Dorie, your end is going to be so much better than your beginning."' And how true! Not only did Christ accept Dorie just as she was, but He also elevated her to be His representative, His voice, His ambassador. To her amazement, Dorie now has experienced firsthand these precious words from the Psalms ...

"He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes, with the princes of his people."
(Psalm 113:7-8)

Mistreatment is no stranger to any of us. Why then, in the face of misfortune, do some victims see themselves as having little value, while others live victoriously in light of their true value? What makes the difference? The victorious Christian learns priceless lessons through mistreatment.

  • Allow your mistreatment to be the making of your ministry.

"... the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort ... comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God" (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).

  • Don't be consumed with the negatives you have received from others.

"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland" (Isaiah 43:18-19).

  • Be consumed with the positives you have received from God ... positives He will lead you to pass on to others.

The blessing comes when you focus not on what you are getting, but on what you are giving. Jesus suffered immense mistreatment, yet He was not burdened with low self-worth. His ministry of compassion models for us the truth that truly ...

"It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35).

"God wanted to prove that He can take care of a dirty, unwanted child.

He could help me endure the beatings, the sexual abuse,

and the rejection from my father as well as from my mother.

God wanted to prove a point, and He did.

Now I have the privilege of telling thousands of people that

God can take 'nobodys' and make them into 'somebodys' for His name's sake."

—Dorie Van Stone

Conclusion:

At an auction, how is the worth of an item determined?

Only by the highest price paid.

Jesus paid the highest price possible — He gave His life to give you life.

This priceless sacrifice established your worth ... forever!

June Hunt


Biblical Counseling Keys - Biblical Counseling Keys – Biblical Counseling Keys: Self-Worth: Discover Your God-Given Worth

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

 

God bless you all!

 

 

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Purity 344: Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship


 

Purity 344 02/17/2021 Purity 344 Podcast

Good morning!

Today’s photo of the almost celestial beauty of a snow frosted landscape may seem to be in stark contrast to yesterday’s comments of yearning for springtime greens but the source of my photos makes the narrative sometimes. This photo was posted by a friend who is no longer with us here on earth. They posted it without comment two days after announcing that they were facing a health crisis that they hoped to overcome.   Less than two months later, 21 days after their birthday, the health crisis ended with their death. 

To be honest, my “friend” was more of an acquaintance, but we shared commonalities in our pasts and in our causes.  I am not sure about their history or their faith, but I know that they had a great sense of humor and a real heart for showing love to others through their work, their encouragements, and their positive outlook on life.  

This wintery photo they shared could indicate that they knew the seriousness of the situation they were facing and were contemplating what lies beyond this life.  It is my deepest hope that in the last days of their life that they placed their faith in Christ and the assurance of eternal life that comes through Him alone. 

Most of our American society has some relationship to Christianity. Our country is full of churches and most of us have friends, acquaintances, or family who are known for their faith in Christ. Whether or not my friend had a “saving relationship” with God is none of my business and something that I just can’t know.  But God knows and now that departed acquaintance knows too, one way or the other. 

I can assure you that God is real. I know that He loves us all and He wants us all to come to Him.  But each one of us is individually responsible for seeking the Lord and having a relationship with Him. Someone else’s faith can’t save you.

Today’s the first day of lent, a season to turn to God in repentance.  As I have seen another acquaintance go into eternity, it is my deepest hope that we will all contemplate the brevity of our lives and that we will seek the truth of the Christian faith with hope and sincerity and place our faith in Jesus Christ, whether it’s for the first time or just another confirmation that we are His and we will commit ourselves to walking in His ways and sharing the good news.     

 

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Psalm 121:2 (NKJV)
2 My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.

God help us, right?   When we consider our own mortality, the assurance and peace that we can receive regarding what lies beyond this life only comes from a relationship with the One who created all life.   

No matter what you believe, the contemplation of the origins of existence itself must be considered.  There is a creation which indicates a Creator.  But will He help you? And if He will help you, how will He do it? 

The Christian narrative that runs through the 66 books of the Bible tells the story of God the Creator, who’s redemptive plan for man runs throughout history and culminates in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Christ’s appearance, death, and resurrection were only the beginning as those who place their faith in Him receive spiritual life and the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. 

Our “help” comes from the Lord and the extent of that help comes from our relationship with Him and how that relationship continues and grows.    I encourage you all to build your relationship with the Lord by seeking His wisdom in His word and applying it to all the aspects of your life.

I invite all to mt4chritst.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk. 

 

Today we will continue to share from Dr. June Hunt’s Biblical Counseling Keys on “Self-Worth: Discovering Your God-given Worth”.

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Dr. Hunt’s books for your own private study and to support her work:

I. How to Improve Your "Sense of Self"

To most people who consider the events of Dorie's life, her childhood rejection was a seemingly impossible obstacle to overcome. Even though she had overcome much of her childhood pain, some of the painful feelings of rejection and worthlessness resurfaced when her father died.

Upon hearing of her father's death, Dorie and her husband drove to Tulsa for his funeral. She signed the registry as his daughter and was stunned when the funeral director informed her that he had no children! The director insisted that her presence would upset the family, and she was turned away from the funeral home. Later, her aunt called and said the obituary had read "no children" and there would be discomfort for other family members if she appeared. Her father, even in death, had stung Dorie with yet another rejection — but this one delivered an even greater blow. She said, "My father's death ended all earthly ties with my relatives."

However, Dorie did not lose her new sense of worth because of her father's rejection. She knew the Lord would always love her ... the Lord had compassion toward her ... the Lord would always be faithful to her. This was His promise of hope ...

"I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail."
(Lamentations 3:19-22)

Line Up Your Self-Image with God's Image of You

Your self-image has been greatly shaped predominantly by the messages you received and internalized from others, from your experiences, and from your own self-talk. When you were a child, you did not have control of those in authority over you, but now you are an adult and that is no longer the case. You are now able to choose those with whom you associate, and you can certainly control your self-talk. Therefore, you can take an active part in changing the distorted view you have of yourself.

  • Accept yourself.

·    — Stop striving for perfection or trying to be like someone else.

·    — Realize that the Lord made you for a purpose, and He designed your personality and gave you the gifts and abilities He wanted you to have in order to accomplish His purpose for you.

"The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me ..." (Psalm 138:8 ESV).

  • Thank God for encouraging you.

·    — Acknowledge and praise God for the abilities He has given you and the things He has accomplished through you.

·    — Engage in biblically-based, encouraging self-talk and mute the condemning critic inside your head.

"May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word" (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17).

  • Accept the compliments of others.

·    — To discount the positive comments of those who have heartfelt appreciation for you is to discount their opinions and their desire to express their gratitude to you.

·    — Practice graciously accepting compliments and turning them into praise to God for the affirmation that He is at work in you and producing good "fruit" through you.

"This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples" (John 15:8).

  • Release the negative past and focus on a positive future.

·    — Refuse to dwell on negative things said or done to you in the past and release them to God.

·    — Embrace the work God is doing in your life now and cooperate with him by focusing on Him and on His character. Trust in His promise to fulfill His purposes in you.

"... it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose" (Philippians 2:13).

  • Live in God's forgiveness.

·    — God has extended forgiveness to you for all of your sins (past, present, and future). Confess and repent of anything offensive to God. Do not set yourself up as a higher judge than God by refusing

    • to forgive yourself.

·    — Lay harsh judgment of yourself aside and accept that you will not be made "fully perfect" and totally without sin until you stand in the presence of Christ and are fully conformed to His image.

"Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure" (1 John 3:2-3).

  • Benefit from your mistakes.

·    — Realize that you can learn from your mistakes as well as from the mistakes of others. Decide to view your mistakes as opportunities to learn needed lessons.

·    — Ask God what He wants to teach you from your mistakes, listen to Him, and learn from Him. Then move forward with a positive attitude and practice actions based on the insights you have gained.

"We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose" (Romans 8:28).

  • Form supportive, positive relationships.

·    — Realize that critical people are hurt people who project their own feelings of inadequacy onto others in an attempt to ease their own emotional pain.

·    — Minimize the time you spend with negative, critical people, whether family, friends, or coworkers. Seek out those who encourage and support you both emotionally and spiritually.

"Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm" (Proverbs 13:20).

  • Formulate realistic goals and plans.

·    — Elicit the help of others to identify your strengths, weaknesses, and the gifts God has given you, as well as the things that you are persuaded God has called you to do.

·    — Prayerfully set some reasonable, achievable goals that capitalize on your strengths, and make a plan as to how you will accomplish those goals.

"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize" (1 Corinthians 9:24).

  • Identify your heart's desires.

·    — Make a list of the things you have dreamed of doing but have never attempted because of a fear of failure or a lack of self-assurance.

·    — Share each desire with the Lord, asking Him to confirm to you which ones are from Him. Then lay out the steps you need to take in order to move toward fulfilling them.

"Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart" (Psalm 37:4).

  • Plan for success.

·    — Anticipate any obstacles to accomplishing your goals and desires and plan strategies for overcoming them.

·    — Think of yourself as achieving each goal and doing the things God has put on your heart to do.

"May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed" (Psalm 20:4).

  • Celebrate each accomplishment.

·    — Your feelings of self-worth and self-confidence will grow with the acknowledgment of each accomplishment.

·    — Rejoice with the Lord and other significant people over the things God and you have done together. Affirm and celebrate your success.

"There, in the presence of the Lord your God, you and your families shall eat and shall rejoice in everything you have put your hand to, because the Lord your God has blessed you" (Deuteronomy 12:7).


Biblical Counseling Keys - Biblical Counseling Keys – Biblical Counseling Keys: Self-Worth: Discover Your God-Given Worth.

-----------------------------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, February 16, 2021

Purity 343: Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship


Purity 343 02/16/2021  Purity 343 Podcast

Good morning!

Today’s peaceful forest stream is brought to us by Dave Baun Photography. This scene brings us to Buck Mountain Creek near Lehigh Pennsylvania.  I share it for two reasons. 

First, I love a play on words so because today is Mardi Gras, I felt compelled to warn my friends to not go “Buck wild” in their celebrations.  Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, is the last day before we enter the season of lent, which is supposed to be a time where Christians go deeper in their faith as preparation for the celebration of Easter, or Resurrection Sunday. During lent believers will “give up” things, but church leadership also encourages us to draw close to God in prayer and to do good works for others.   Lent starts tomorrow on Ash Wednesday and runs to April 1st, the Thursday before Easter.

Ironically, this season of repentance where we are supposed to get closer to God is recognized but Mardi Gras has sort become the antithesis of repentance with the celebrations being marked by drunkenness, drug abuse, gluttony, and lewd sexual promiscuity and deviance.   Wishing to express their freedom, Mardi Gras enthusiasts unwittingly display their bondage to the sins of the flesh and their lifestyle of corruption as the most enthusiastic revelers won’t be repenting on Wednesday.   

As someone who spent most of His life in bondage to the sins of the flesh, I wish to encourage my friends to see the viciousness of the cycles they may be locked in and to use this season of lent to turn to God and walk into the new life of freedom that is possible through faith in Jesus Christ.   So enjoy the celebration today, try not to do anything you will regret, and make a new start on Wednesday by choosing to seek the Lord.

The second reason I share this photo of a stream and the abundant green foliage is that I really needed to see it and felt compelled to share it!  When you are in summer, you take all those greens and browns for granted.  When winter comes you may feel you will never see them again.  

This points to endurance and patience.  When the world is cold, the tendency is to lose hope and despair.   Although some of us are locked in a season of white where things can seem desolate and cold, we can find hope right now in knowing that a season of green is on the horizon and that the Lord’s life-giving spirit lives in us to carry us through.

Just as we know spring is coming, we can begin a new spiritual season of abundant life by putting our faith in Christ and following His lead. 


This morning’s meditation verse is:

1 John 3:1 (NKJV)
1 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.

 If you are reading or hearing this message, I would say that the Lord has called you or is calling you to be His child.  The love of God is displayed in your life when you receive the good news of Jesus Christ and put your faith in Him.      

 The word tells us that the gospel is foolishness to those who are perishing but to those who hear it, realize its truth, and place their faith in Christ, we have been adopted by the Creator of the universe and have become members of the royal family of the kingdom of God.      

 So rejoice in the love that you have been given and share it with those around you.  We are ministers of reconciliation as we know the truth and can be used by God to extend eternal life and the fruit of the Spirit that comes with it to those we encounter while we walk the earth.   

 I invite all to mt4chritst.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk. 

 Today we will continue to share from Dr. June Hunt’s Biblical Counseling Keys on “Self-Worth: Discovering Your God-given Worth”.

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Dr. Hunt’s books for your own private study and to support her work:

H. Grasp Your God-Given Worth

Because Dorie didn't have any lunch or money to buy lunch when at school, she would often say, "I'm going for a walk" during lunchtime. Dorie confessed that if she had stayed in the lunchroom, "The sight of food would have been too much." The only clothes she owned were three tattered dresses and her scuffed shoes. To her, the thought that she was valuable was beyond comprehension. But oh, how wrong she was!

If you struggle with low self-worth ... fully realize how worthy you are, and embrace these words as your personal goals. ...

"As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received."
(Ephesians 4:1)

You Are Worthy

[Note: The following is an acrostic of the word Worthy.]

  • W — Work on eliminating negative attitudes and beliefs.
    • "I will not hide my feelings or refuse to face them."
    • "I will not wallow in feelings of self-pity."
    • "I will not project my feelings onto others and become critical."

"Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things."
(Philippians 4:8)

  • O — Obtain a scriptural understanding of having love for yourself.
    • "I am not to love myself with conceited love (pride)."
    • "I am to love the truth that God loves me and has a purpose for me."
      • Agape love for myself: seeking God's highest purpose for me
      • Agape love for others: seeking the highest good of another
    • "The entire law is summed up in a single command:

'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"
(Galatians 5:14)

  • R — Refuse to compare yourself with others.
    • "I will not measure myself by others."
    • "I will thank God for what He has given me and what He is making of me."

"We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves."
(2 Corinthians 10:12)

  • T — Thank God for His unconditional love for you.
    • "I will choose an attitude of thanksgiving even if I do not feel thankful."
    • "I will spend personal time with God, thanking Him for His unfailing love."

"... we meditate on your unfailing love."
(Psalm 48:9)

  • H — Hope in God's promise to mold you to be like Christ.
    • "I know that personal growth is a process."
    • "I know that God is committed to my growth."

"Those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son
(Romans 8:29)

  • Y — Yield your talents and abilities to helping others.
    • "I will be generous with my God-given gifts."
    • "I will realize my God-given worth as I focus on others."

"Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms."
(1 Peter 4:10)


Biblical Counseling Keys - Biblical Counseling Keys – Biblical Counseling Keys: Self-Worth: Discover Your God-Given Worth.

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

Monday, February 15, 2021

Purity 342: Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

Purity 342 02/15/2021  Purity 342 Podcast

Good morning!

Today’s photo comes from a friend’s recent trip to Bunker Hill Dog Park in Athens, New York which highlights their enthusiastic canine family member plunging over the frozen tundra.  I love the way they caught their dog in midstride, with their shadow cast upon the ground, whose silhouette makes it seem larger than life in this simple expression of canine joy.   

Sometimes our dreams can seem larger than life, so much so that it seems foolish or totally insane to pursue them knowing that failure is a real and present danger. Sometimes the uncertainty of success is so great that we never try, and we never know what may have been, having been paralyzed by fear.   

But if we are going to be true to our heart’s desire, we will take the plunge with the enthusiasm of reckless abandon because eventually we come to a point in our pondering where we can no longer bear contemplating the possibilities and we just simply have to know if our dreams have substance or if they really are just wishful thinking and the product of an overactive imagination.   Nothing ventured, nothing gained after all.

So as we have reached beyond the midway point of February, take it from a dog who has made his fair share of plunges with reckless abandon only to come up short of success, be true to your dreams anyway.

Our lives are meant be lived and not to be second guessed. If you pursue your dreams and speak the truth in love, there is very little you will ever regret because regardless of the outcomes you will at least know that you were honest with yourself and you tried, no matter of feeble or foolish your attempt may have been.

The decision we make when we take the plunge is that we will live with the consequences come what may. We won’t condemn ourselves for taking the plunge if we fail but will instead live with the relief of knowing that we tried and that now we know the truth of what is meant to be.  

With the dreams that won’t come true out our way, we can walk with confidence into the future.  We tried and failed but we have no regrets. We may have come crashing back down to earth but now our head is out of the clouds and our vision is clear. We can walk unencumbered into what God has planned for us knowing that He will never leave us or forsake us and that all things work together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.    

Our journey doesn’t end, it merely takes a new direction and no matter where it takes us, we know that if we are answering God’s call it will lead to where He wants us to be, rather than where our limited imaginations and our hearts thought we should go.  

Keep walking and talking with God because He will comfort you through the valleys and will rejoice with you on the mountain tops. In His presence, we find peace.

(An Audio version of this message is available at https://mt4christ247.podbean.com, you can also find it on Apple podcasts (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mt4christ247s-podcast/id1551615154) and Google podcasts (https://podcasts.google.com/?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9mZWVkLnBvZGJlYW4uY29tL210NGNocmlzdDI0Ny9mZWVkLnhtbA%3D%3D).  and at the restricted blog. Follow me on Twitter or MeWe for easy access.  Blog M T 4 Christ dot org – This is where the Facebook post ends.)

This morning’s meditation verse is:

John 7:24 (NKJV)
24 Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment."

John 7:24 (NLT2)
24 Look beneath the surface so you can judge correctly.”

You know, sometimes these meditation verses hit a little too close to home. 

In light of my recent “plunge” and subsequent failure, I know that I failed to use righteous judgment or to judge correctly the situation I was hoping for success in.    

Unfortunately, I tend to need to be shown beyond a shadow of a doubt what is almost painfully obvious at times.   Even though my examination of the scenarios leads me to believe that it is probably best “not to go there”, my emotions, my hopes, or my desires lead me to confirm the rejection and failure I dreaded, rather than sheepishly walking away without knowing for sure.

My obtuse, stubborn, and hopeful nature seems to demand that my defeat be spelled out in large capital letters rather than to allow uncertainty and hope to remain and fester, driving my heart to yearn for the impossible all the more.  

It reminds me of a scene in one of the Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry films, where a criminal is cornered by Eastwood. Dirty Harry admits that in all the excitement of the preceding gun battle he isn’t sure if there are any live rounds left in his revolver, leaving the option open for the criminal to take his chances and giving him the decision to surrender or possibly die.  After seeing all his companions killed, the criminal decides to surrender but after he does, he simply can’t take the uncertainty of that decision and begs: “I gots to know…” only to discover that fate would have been on his side as Dirty Harry had used all his ammunition.    

So yes, righteous judgement would have saved me some embarrassment and some heartache, but brother... sometimes you just “gots to know.”   Better to try and die than to wonder why, I guess.

I know the truth now and it will set me free.  

The problem with using righteous judgement is that we are not fully righteous yet.  Our emotions and desires sometimes advocate for what we want more than for the pathway of peace and wisdom that God intends for us.

Instead of judging righteously, we covet what we want, making its fulfillment more important to us than our relationship with God to the point where we try to push our agenda and will even pray for God to bless us and to make our “wished for, unlikely” outcomes come to pass miraculously.  

Not surprisingly, those efforts at pushing God’s hand are ignoring the truth of the situation and are doomed to failure.  The best outcome is to realize the error of our ways and to not make idols out of the things we want in the future. 

So now that I have destroyed yet another idol of my own creation, I will endeavor to be more careful with what I let my mind, will, and emotions create in the future.    

All though the word says that God will give us the desires of our hearts, we have to realize that we may need to use righteous judgment in discerning whether our desires are what God wants for us or are simply what we want for ourselves.  God knows better than us and His will is perfect.  If we seek His will for our lives, we will find it and He will comfort us with His presence until we do.

I invite all to mt4chritst.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk. 

 

Today we will continue to share from Dr. June Hunt’s Biblical Counseling Keys on “Self-Worth: Discovering Your God-given Worth”.

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Dr. Hunt’s books for your own private study and to support her work:

G. How to Answer 7 Self-Defeating Statements

Dorie's image of herself was shaped in part by her father, whom she met only after she became a young adult. Her time with him was limited, yet he was still a major influence on her sense of self-worth.

In Dorie's mind, she finally had the father she had longed for, and when she met with him to share her conviction that the Lord had called her to go as a missionary to New Guinea, she longed for his support and affirmation. Her sense of loss was profound when he answered, "If that's what you plan to do, then don't unpack your suitcase. From this moment on, you are not my daughter! I never want to see you again!

As she traveled back home, she cried out to the Lord, "He was the only person in the world who ever loved me. How could he do this to me?" Her father had not only rejected her one last, painful time, but he had rejected Christ during that visit as well. Soon, however, Dorie had the presence of mind to remember that God had not left her. She was not alone. She said, "When you have nothing left but God, you realize that God is enough. God has stood beside me when no one else wanted me; He was not going to abandon me now. God would have to heal the emotional pain that throbbed through my body."

At that moment, Dorie began to allow the Lord to change her image of herself that had been perpetuated by her parents. She could choose to believe what the Lord said about her, not what her parents had said. The Bible says ...

"The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to he his people, his treasured possession."
(Deuteronomy 7:6)

  1. If you say: "I just can't do anything right."

The Lord says: "I'll give you My strength to do what is right."

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13 NKJV).

  1. If you say: "I feel that I'm too weak."

The Lord says: "My power is perfect when you are weak."

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness" (2 Corinthians 12:9).

  1. If you say: "I feel that I'm not able to measure up."

The Lord says: "Rely on Me. I am able."

"God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work" (2 Corinthians 9:8).

  1. If you say: "I don't feel that anyone loves me."

The Lord says: "I love you."

"I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness" (Jeremiah 31:3).

  1. If you say: "I can't forgive myself."

The Lord says: "I can forgive you."

"I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more" (Isaiah 43:25).

  1. If you say: "I wish I'd never been born."

The Lord says: "Since before you were born, I've had plans for you."

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart ..." (Jeremiah 1:5).

  1. If you say: "I feel my future is hopeless."

The Lord says: "I know the future I have for you."

"'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).

At times, do you feel inadequate, fearful, insecure — even when others say you shouldn't feel that way? If so, you are certainly not alone. When God first spoke to him, Moses was a man filled with insecurity and fear. In the burning bush the Lord supernaturally appeared to Moses, instructing him to confront Pharaoh.

However, Moses argued with God. He felt that he was a nobody with no authority, no credentials, no skills, and no confidence. Bottom line, he felt totally inadequate for the job and terrified of failing. And on top of all that, because he felt he couldn't speak well enough, he told God to send someone else! But God wouldn't accept his excuses. He told Moses ...

"Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say."
(Exodus 4:11-12)

Take comfort in this: God knows your limitations better than you do, and those limitations cannot impede the work the Lord has laid out for you. Just as God used Moses to lead an entire nation to freedom, God will work in and through you to accomplish His purposes for you. The Bible says you can be confident that ...

"... he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."
(Philippians 1:6)


Biblical Counseling Keys - Biblical Counseling Keys – Biblical Counseling Keys: Self-Worth: Discover Your God-Given Worth.

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

 

God bless you all!