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

Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Rejection and Emotional Insulation - Self-Deception Series 26 – Purity 1115

 Rejection and Emotional Insulation - Self-Deception Series 26 – Purity 1115

Purity 1115 08/08/2023 Purity 1115 Podcast

Purity 1115 on YouTube:

Good morning,

Today’s photo of a picnic table and three chairs positioned around a roaring campfire comes to us from Paulette Hodges who shared this tranquil scene at Waubeeka Family Campground, in Copake NY on social media back on July 22nd.    

Paulette’s photo reminds me of many a campfire spent with family in my youth at the Lake George RV park and as an adult with my children “camping” in my own back yard.  There is just something primal about sitting around a campfire that causes one to loosen up and to be at peace.  In the intimacy around a fire, we can let go of pretensions and share stories to assume one another or to reveal the deep thoughts and feelings of the heart.   Something about being around the fire can make you feel safe and accepted and allow you to be vulnerable in a way that you aren’t in the light of day. 

I get a similar feeling when I share my testimony or hear how another brother or sister in Christ share how the Lord has come to their rescue and showed them the way to freedom or peace.   Yesterday, I spoke to a brother in Christ and even though we only knew each other in passing before our meeting, after we shared a little bit of our stories,  I felt that we “knew” each other because of our mutual acquaintance of the Lord who called each of us to do things in our lives that were unexpected and risky, only to discover that the Lord was faithful to meet us where He called us to and provided for us when we got there.  We weren’t given guarantees of success but when we took our steps of faith we each discovered that God was faithful to help us and give us what we needed it when we needed it.   Our stories were a confession that we had “heard from the Lord” and “followed a still small voice” and even though others may think that sounded insane, we both chose to be vulnerable with one another as we bore witness of how God moved in our lives.  I’m not sure what will develop out our new friendship but at the very least we were both encouraged to “keep walking and talking with God” and we wouldn’t have received it if we had decided to keep our feelings to ourselves.   

Part of our life walking in the Spirit is about being vulnerable with our hearts. When we choose to ask for help or choose to help others with their problems, we take a risk that we will be embarrassed, disappointed, or rejected and when those things happen enough in life, we can grow bitter and choose to stop letting people into our hearts. We can believe the lie that if we shut off our hearts, we won’t feel any more pain.

And that brings us to our current series on Self- Deception, where we have decided to investigate some of the ways we deceive ourselves by walking through Step 2, Deception Vs. Truth, of the Steps to Freedom in Christ to see what ways we may have been deceived by “the world” and ourselves and in what ways we have wrongly defended ourselves. 

So we present the third of the  “Ways to Wrongly Defend Yourself”:

3. Emotional Insulation

The Steps to Freedom in Christ describe emotional insulation as “withdrawing from people or keeping people at a distance to avoid rejection.”

Hurt feeling hurt! The pain of rejection is sharp and devastating. The opposite of being acceptance, rejection is an affront to us individually as we are judged to be “not good enough” in some aspect of our lives and are shut out of the company of others.    Rejection says: “You’re not smart enough, pretty enough, rich enough, or like “the others” in some way” that makes you to feel “less than” and unwelcome. Rejection informs you, in subtle or not so subtle ways, that your presence is not required or desired by the people you made yourself vulnerable to.  Whether you want to admit it or not rejection “breaks your heart” and can cause you to be depressed or angry at being deemed “unacceptable”.  

One defense mechanism that we can go to in response to our pain of rejection is to decide to emotionally insulate ourselves from others, to purposely keep people at a distance lest they get too close and break our hearts again.  

I know I have used emotional insulation as a defense in the past.  I’ve had my heartbroken pretty early in my youth causing me to have distorted views of relationships and quite a fair amount of bitterness and angst toward society in general.  Rejection caused me to think I had to earn people’s love – that unrequited love was the best love because it proved your love was genuine and that you were willing to pursue it at all costs and possibly endure years of rejection until you were finally seen as worthy of acceptance. That was one view I had early on but after my suffering wasn’t alleviated and my rejection was made crystal clear and painfully obvious, I hardened my heart and pursued a hedonistic lifestyle of cold detachment, pantomiming emotions and sincerity to get the temporary pleasures I wanted and using people as a means to an end and never letting anyone into my heart. But playing “Iceman” wears on your soul and it tends to leave you lonely, and guilt ridden as you shut yourself off from the love you could have for some grand idea of “the unobtainable” that you will never achieve.  The resultant loneliness caused me to eventually compromise all discernment and to make some bad relationships decisions that no amount of “people pleasing” could fix and were doomed to failure.     

Just like a campfire that needs constant fuel to stay alive, seeking circumstantial happiness is a never ending struggle that requires constant attention and will consume everything to keep things “shiny and bright”.     

So emotional insulation isn’t the answer. It either will leave you lonely – and its not good for man to be alone according to God’s word- or it will cause you to create idols out of people who aren’t God – like yourself – or someone else that you think will give you a “happy life” if you could just “make them happy”.   

God’s word would direct us to be honest with our feelings, to know our value in God’s eyes (regardless of the acceptance of others) and to love others selflessly and sacrificially but without sacrificing to them like an idol.  God commands us to love Him first because His love is perfect and when we are grounded in His love and know who we are in Christ, we know that we will never be alone and don’t have to base our worth or happiness on someone else’s opinion.  

So seek the healing that God’s love provides and allow it to make your heart of stone into a heart of flesh. God’s love and wisdom will empower you to be vulnerable but also secure in the knowledge that His love is forever and never fades away.


For those who want more evidence for Christianity than my simple encouragements provide, I offer apologist, Frank Turek’s website, .

Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling” By John G. Kruis.

( While Bible verses on various topics of Counseling can be found with a quick google search, we encourage you to purchase this resource to support the late author’s work. ( )

This morning’s meditation verse come from the section on Affliction, Discipline, Chastisement, & Trials.

Romans 8:28 (NASB)
28  And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

Today’s verse fall under the twelfth point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Affliction, Discipline, Chastisement, & Trials

 12. “In everything God works for the good of those who love Him.” 

Today’s verse is one the most hope sustaining verses that one can find the Bible, but I am quick to point out that this great promise of our faith is a conditional promise.  The verse doesn’t say that “God causes all things to work together for good for everybody”.   It says God moves all thing together for good to those who love God AND to those who are called according to His purpose.

Do you love God?  Do you really?  Loving God can be a foreign concept if you haven’t attached to Him relationally.  Have you ever told God you loved Him? Do you talk to Him?

Our relationship to the Lord is just that: a LOVE relationship – not a “deal” or “legal agreement”. It’s not quid pro quo –It’s not “I believe in You and You forgive me and give me blessings and eternal life”.  Where’s the love in that?

One of the instructions I give for the path of Christian Discipleship is to “Seek the Lord” and that instruction is given in the hopes that you will seek to know Him more because I believe that to know God is to love Him.  When you know about how much He loves us and how awesome He is, the natural and appropriate response is to love and worship Him: to adore Him.    

And when we love the Lord, we in turn are filled with the desire to Obey Him – to seek out His purpose for our lives as an expression for our love.  

The promise of and inheritance of eternal life that we receive when we put our faith in Jesus Christ is the “ultimate good” that God is moving all things together to accomplish for us.  As for the ebb and flow of our existence on this mortal coil, I can’t offer any guarantees – the word indicates it will be a mixed bag of joy and suffering – but when we love God and are called to His purposes, we will see the beauty of our lives that transcends positive circumstances and know our eternal hope and joy is always before us.  

So if you are afflicted, continue to seek the Lord’s purposes and love the Lord because all things are moving together for your good and eventually you will see them manifest together, one way or another, for your good, peace, and joy.  


As always, I invite all to go to where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.

Today we continue sharing from  The Holy Spirit By A.W. Pink.

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage you all to purchase A.W. Pink’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available online for $0.99 (

A.W. Pink’s The Holy Spirit

18 - The Spirit Indwelling

What the Indwelling Spirit Is

The indwelling Spirit is the bond by which believers are united to Christ. If, therefore, we find the Holy Spirit abiding in us, we may warrant-ably conclude we have been “joined to the Lord.” This is plainly set forth in those words of the Savior’s, “And the glory which Thou gayest Me I have given them; that they may be one, even as We are one: I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one” (John 17:22, 23). The “glory” of Christ’s humanity was its union with the Godhead. How was it united? By the Holy Spirit. This very “glory” Christ has given His people: “I in them,” which He is by the sanctifying Spirit—the bond of our union with Him.

The indwelling Spirit is the sure mark of the believer’s freedom from the Covenant of Works, under which all Christless persons stand. And our title to the special privileges of the new covenant, in which none but Christ’s are interested is but another way of saying. they are “not under the law, but under grace” (Rom. 6:14). This is plain from the Apostle’s reasoning in Galatians 4:6, 7, “Because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son.” The spirit of the old covenant was a servile one, a spirit of fear and bondage, and those under the same were not “sons,” but servants. The spirit of the new covenant is a free one, that of children, inheriting the blessed promises and royal immunities contained in the charter of grace.

The indwelling Spirit is the certain pledge and earnest of eternal salvation. The execution of the eternal decree of God’s electing love—“drawn” (Jer. 31:3), and the application of the virtues and benefits of the death of Christ by the Spirit (Gal. 3:13, 14), is sure evidence of our personal interest in the Redeemer. This is plain from 1 Peter 1:2: “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ.” God’s eternal decree is executed and the blood of Christ is sprinkled upon us when we receive the Spirit of sanctification. The Spirit’s residing in the Christian is the guarantee and earnest of the eternal inheritance: “Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts” (2 Cor. 1:22).[1]

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

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at, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

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My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Ask Seek Knock blog ( ),  her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock ( ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (

For those who require the assistance of a Deeper Walk International Prayer Minister to experience healing or your freedom in Christ, I highly recommend Christy Edge’s Life on the Edge Freedom Prayer Ministry. You can schedule a session by going to :     

“The views, opinions, and commentary of this publication are those of the author, M.T. Clark, only, and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of any of the photographers, artists, ministries, or other authors of the other works that may be included in this publication, and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of any entities the author may represent.”

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

[1] Arthur Walkington Pink, The Holy Spirit (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, n.d.).

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Being Your “Self” and Raising the Dead - Purity 943

Being Your “Self” and Raising the Dead   - Purity 943

Purity 943 01/17/2023  Purity 943 Podcast

Purity 943 on YouTube:

Good morning,

Today’s photo of poolside palm trees overlooking the rooftops of buildings in the valley below at sunset comes to us from a friend who captured this scene at the Pura Vida Resort and Spa in Carrizal, Costa Rica while at a  corporate retreat. Our friend seems to be making the most of the trip as he has enjoyed hot tub dips during the breaks, has captured shots of parrots in the wild, and went zip lining through the jungle along the coast of the Gulf of Nicoya this past weekend! While zip lining someone caught a photo of him literally upside down which he changed to his FB profile with the caption:  “Be your self, no matter what position life puts you in…”  

Corporate retreats in Costa Rica… yeah some guys have it rough! Well, it’s Tuesday and for many of us it will be the end of an extended weekend while the rest of us had our case of the Mondays yesterday.  Although it is back to work it doesn’t have to be to be met with depression or disdain. In fact as much as I joke about envying my friend’s trip Costa Rica, I want to point out what I believe is the most important thing about what our friend’s comment and experience can teach us. 

While there is definitely some wisdom in our friend’s sentiment  that “No matter what position life puts you in, be yourself…”, let’s qualify that by saying let’s be our “best self” or what I would say is “the person God created us to be”.   

While we shouldn’t deny our feelings, when I think of people advising others to be their “selves”  I some how get the impression that we are not encouraging one another to be depressed, petty, angry, or selfish people.   Our “best self” – the person God created us to be is the “self” that displays the fruit of the Spirit: peace, love, joy, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, patience, and self-control – although I am sure there are many a “wild child” who would dispute that and claim their rights to “be who they are" which would include their tendencies to be angry and selfish, those responses that come when my “self” isn’t getting everything that “I want.”   

The impression I get from my friend’s sharing from his trip was that he was not only indulging in his selfish desires but was experiencing and sharing joy with others by appreciating the beauty of God’s creation where he was and by taking advantage of the opportunities to relax and explore where the Lord brought him.  He was also tagged in a video where co-workers were dancing which indicates to me that others appreciated his zeal for life and enjoying the retreat.   Our positive attitudes are the perhaps the best thing we can take with us through life. Whether we are travelling to distant places through out the world or if we are just going back to our regular 9 to 5, our ability to experience joy and our ability to return to joy demonstrates our spiritual maturity.  

No matter what position life puts us in, those of us in Christ have infinite reasons to be joyful and to face each day with gratitude and a sense of contentment and wonder.  When we stay in those places:  joy, gratitude, contentment and wonder – we like who we are because we best represent who we are in Christ. 

Paul’s final advice to the Thessalonians demonstrates that these attributes are supposed to define who we are as Christians:  

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NLT2)
16  Always be joyful.
17  Never stop praying.
18  Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

So remember who you are in Christ, and let the truth of your new identity as God’s beloved son or daughter fuel your day and fill you with the abundant joy and peace that is defines your “self” – no matter what position life puts you in.    


Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.

This morning’s meditation verses are:

Ephesians 1:19-20 (NLT2)
19  I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power
20  that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms.

Today’s verses encourage us understand the power that God provides to those who believe in Him, and it encourages us to not put a limit on what God can do in our lives.  

While many an enthusiastic spirit filled Christian can make bold claims about raising the dead through our faith, resurrecting miracles are not common.  Miracles by definition are rare, although raising the dead is possible with God.  So if you are in a situation where you feel the Lord is inviting you to pray to raise the dead, go for it. But be willing to accept bitter disappointment.  

Hey that’s our faith. We hope for the best and pray for good things, but we accept God’s will and the fact that we don’t perfectly know it. 

In 2019, a woman in California lost a toddler and despite her pastor and church’s belief in raising the dead, the child did not rise, despite their undoubting faith and prayers that lasted for a week.  So we have to realize that the vast majority of the time dead is dead.

Having lost an infant child myself I can understand praying for resurrection. I wasn’t the Christian I am today and when my son Holden died, I prayed and called out to God to not let him go right up until the emergency room doctor had to tell me what was quite obvious, my son was cold and had stopped breathing long before we got him to the hospital. My son was dead.  But I did pray, man did I pray.  But then you accept it.    I can’t imagine persisting in prayer for over a week, and I don’t recommend it.  

What? Where’s my faith? Don’t I believe that we have the same power that raised Christ from the dead? 

I do but because I believe I also accept that His will be done, not mine.  

Also, hello, we are Christian – dead isn’t dead. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.  Should we really be praying to bring people back from God’s kingdom?   For his purposes? Yes. To give Him glory? Sure.  But otherwise we have to realize that the dead person if in Christ, is in a better place than we are!  

That was something I didn’t understand fully when my son died.  Nobody wants anyone to die, okay, but despite our pain we should accept God’s will (He calls everyone into eternity) and remember the “good state” that departing Christians go to.   

We should grieve but stand in faith by thanking God for the love we had and for bringing our loved ones into His presence.  

This is one of those “hard truths” of Christianity that we struggle with and that can be misapplied, so tread lightly and meditate upon these things.  

Yesterday I saw a FB friend share a picture of David Bowie with the caption – rest in peace dear one.   I get it you loved his music and his artistry.  But he has been dead for a while and regardless of his final destination, Mr. Bowie is not resting.   Anyone who dies is either experiencing joy and new life in heaven in God’s presence, or experiencing torment in hell until the final judgement, the second death.    But in either case – nobody is resting. So can we give “rest in peace” a rest?  

Anyway, enough about the dead who live elsewhere currently.  

This passage does the speak of God’s power and Paul’s words encourage us that it is a mighty power without limits, except God’s will of course.  So what does it mean for us? 

It means we can overcome.  It means we can have victory over the personal struggles of our lives because we are free from sin.  It means we can have peace even in the face of death because we know the truth concerning the afterlife. 

God’s power is mighty but besides the rare miracle it can be applied to our lives, by faith – by believing – to transform us.  

So pray at all times and don’t surrender against the “impossible situations” in your life, God is with you and if you keep walking and talking with Him you may discover that His path will take you over and above what you think is impossible.          


As always, I invite all to go to where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.

Today we continue sharing from A.W. Pink’s “The Sovereignty of God.”

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Bonhoeffer’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available on many websites for less than $20.00.





1. The Sovereignty of God the Father in Salvation – continues

“A remnant according to the election of grace.” Here the cause of election is traced back to its source. The basis upon which God elected this “remnant” was not faith foreseen in them, because a choice founded upon the foresight of good works is just as truly made on the ground of works as any choice can be, and in such a case it would not be “of grace;” for, says the apostle, “if by grace, then it is no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace;” which means that grace and works are opposites, they have nothing in common, and will no more mingle than oil and water. Thus the idea of inherent good foreseen in those chosen, or of anything meritorious performed by them, is rigidly excluded. “A remnant according to the election of grace” signifies an unconditional choice resulting from the sovereign favor of God; in a word, it is absolutely a gratuitous election.

“For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty: and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in His presence” (1 Cor. 1:26–29). Three times over in this passage reference is made to God’s choice, and choice necessarily supposes a selection, the taking of some and the leaving of others. The Choser here is God Himself, as said the Lord Jesus to the apostles, “Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you” (John 15:16). The number chosen is strictly defined—“not many wise men after the flesh, not many noble,” etc., which agree with Matt. 20:16, “So the last shall be first, and the first last; for many be called, but few chosen.” So much then for the fact of God’s choice; now mark the objects of His choice.

The ones spoken of above as chosen of God are “the weak things of the world, base things of the world, and things which are despised.” But why? To demonstrate and magnify His grace. God’s ways as well as His thoughts are utterly at variance with man’s. The carnal mind would have supposed that a selection had been made from the ranks of the opulent and influential, the amiable and cultured, so that Christianity might have won the approval and applause of the world by its pageantry and fleshly glory. Ah, but “that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God” (Luke 16:15). God chooses the “base things.” He did so in Old Testament times. The nation which He singled out to be the depository of His holy oracles and the channel through which the promised Seed should come was not the ancient Egyptians, the imposing Babylonians, nor the highly civilized and cultured Greeks. No; that people upon whom Jehovah set His love and regarded as ‘the apple of His eye’ were the despised, nomadic Hebrews. So it was when our Lord tabernacled among men. The ones whom He took into favored intimacy with Himself and commissioned to go forth as His ambassadors were, for the most part, unlettered fishermen. And so it has been ever since. So it is today: at the present rates of increase, it will not be long before it is manifested that the Lord has more in despised China who are really His, than He has in the highly favored U. S. A.; more among the uncivilized blacks of Africa, than He has in cultured (?) Germany! And the purpose of God’s choice, the raison d’etre of the selection He has made is, “that no flesh should glory in His presence”—there being nothing whatever in the objects of His choice which should entitle them to His special favors, then, all the praise will be freely ascribed to the exceeding riches of His manifold grace.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in the heavenlies in Christ: According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him; in love having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.… In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will” (Eph. 1:3–5, 11). Here again we are told at what point in time—if time it could be called—when God made choice of those who were to be His children by Jesus Christ. It was not after Adam had fallen and plunged his race into sin and wretchedness, but long ere Adam saw the light, even before the world itself was founded, that God chose us in Christ. Here also we learn the purpose which God had before Him in connection with His own elect: it was that they “should be holy and without blame before Him;” it was “unto the adoption of children;” it was that they should “obtain an inheritance.” Here also we discover the motive which prompted Him. It was “in love that He predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself”—a statement which refutes the oft made and wicked charge that, for God to decide the eternal destiny of His creatures before they are born, is tyrannical and unjust. Finally, we are informed here, that in this matter He took counsel with none, but that we are “predestinated according to the good pleasure of His will.”

“But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth” (2 Thess. 2:13). There are three things here which deserve special attention. First, the fact that we are expressly told that God’s elect are “chosen to salvation.” Language could not be more explicit. How summarily do these words dispose of the sophistries and equivocations of all who would make election refer to nothing but external privileges or rank in service! It is to “salvation” itself that God hath chosen us. Second, we are warned here that election unto salvation does not disregard the use of appropriate means: salvation is reached through “sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.” It is not true that because God has chosen a certain one to salvation that he will be saved willy-nilly, whether he believes or not: nowhere do the scriptures so represent it. The same God who predestined the end also appointed the means; the same God who “chose unto salvation” decreed that His purpose should be realized through the work of the Spirit and belief of the truth. Third, that God has chosen us unto salvation is a profound cause for fervent praise. Note how strongly the apostle expresses this—“we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation,” etc. Instead of shrinking back in horror from the doctrine of predestination, the believer, when he sees this blessed truth as it is unfolded in the Word, discovers a ground for gratitude and thanksgiving such as nothing else affords, save the unspeakable gift of the Redeemer Himself.

“Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began” (2 Tim. 1:9). How plain and pointed is the language of Holy Writ! It is man who, by his words, darkeneth counsel. It is impossible to state the case more clearly, or strongly, than it is stated here. Our salvation is not “according to our works;” that is to say, it is not due to anything in us, nor the rewarding of anything from us; instead, it is the result of God’s own “purpose and grace;” and this grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began. It is by grace we are saved, and in the purpose of God this grace was bestowed upon us not only before we saw the light, not only before Adam’s fall, but even before that far distant “beginning” of Genesis 1:1. And herein lies the unassailable comfort of God’s people. If His choice has been from eternity it will last to eternity! “Nothing can survive to eternity but what came from eternity, and what has so come, will” (George S. Bishop).

“Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:2). Here again election by the Father precedes the work of the Holy Spirit in, and the obedience of faith by, those who are saved; thus taking it entirely off creature ground, and resting it in the sovereign pleasure of the Almighty. The “foreknowledge of God the Father” does not here refer to His prescience of all things, but signifies that the saints were all eternally present in Christ before the mind of God. God did not “foreknow” that certain ones who heard the Gospel would believe it apart from the fact that He had “ordained” these certain ones to eternal life. What God’s prescience saw in all men was, love of sin and hatred of Himself. The “foreknowledge” of God is based upon His own decrees as is clear from Acts 2:23—“Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain”—note the order here: first God’s “determinate counsel” (His decree), and second His “foreknowledge.” So it is again in Romans 8:28, 29, “For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son,” but the first word here, “for,” looks back to the preceding verse and the last clause of its reads, “to them who are the called according to His purpose”—these are the ones whom He did “foreknow and predestinate.” Finally, it needs to be pointed out that when we read in Scripture of God “knowing” certain people the word is used in the sense of knowing with approbation and love: “But if any man love God, the same is known of Him” (1 Cor. 8:3). To the hypocrites Christ will yet say “I never knew you”—He never loved them. “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father” signifies, then, chosen by Him as the special objects of His approbation and love.

Summarizing the teaching of these seven passages we learn that, God has “ordained to eternal life” certain ones, and that in consequence of His ordination they, in due time “believe;” that God’s ordination to salvation of His own elect is not due to any good thing in them nor to anything meritorious from them, but solely of His grace;” that God has designedly selected the most unlikely objects to be the recipients of His special favors in order that “no flesh should glory in His presence;” that God chose His people in Christ before the foundation of the world, not because they were so, but in order that they “should be holy and without blame before him;” that having selected certain ones to salvation. He also decreed the means by which His eternal counsel should be made good; that the very “grace” by which we are saved was, in God’s purpose, “given us in Christ Jesus before the world began;” that long before they were actually created God’s elect stood present before His mind, were “foreknown” by Him, i.e., were the definite objects of His eternal love.

Before turning to the next division of this chapter, a further word concerning the subjects of God’s predestinating grace. We go over this ground again because it is at this point that the doctrine of God’s sovereignty in predestining certain ones to salvation is most frequently assaulted. Perverters of this truth invariably seek to find some cause outside God’s own will which moves Him to bestow salvation on sinners; something or other is attributed to the creature which entitles him to receive mercy at the hands of the Creator. We return then to the question, Why did God choose the ones He did?

What was there in the elect themselves which attracted God’s heart to them? Was it because of certain virtues they possessed? because they were generous-hearted, sweet-tempered, truth-speaking? in a word, because they were “good,” that God chose them? No; for our Lord said, “There is none good but one, that is God” (Matt. 19:17). Was it because of any good works they had performed? No; for it is written, “There is none that doeth good, no, not one” (Rom. 3:12). Was it because they evidenced an earnestness and zeal in inquiring after God? No; for it is written again, “There is none that seeketh after God” (Rom. 3:11). Was it because God foresaw they would believe? No; for how can those who are “dead in trespasses and sins” believe in Christ? How could God foreknow some men as believers when belief was impossible to them? Scripture declares that we “believe through grace” (Acts 18:27). Faith is God’s gift, and apart from this gift none would believe. The cause of His choice then lies within Himself and not in the objects of His choice. He chose the ones He did simply because He chose to choose them.

“Sons we are by God’s election

Who on Jesus Christ believe,

By eternal destination,

Sovereign grace we now receive,

Lord Thy mercy,

Doth both grace and glory give!”[1]

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

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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

[1] Arthur W. Pink, The Sovereignty of God (Swengel, PA: Bible Truth Depot, 1949), 59–65.

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, you can also find it on Apple podcasts ( and Google podcasts (  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 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


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!