Showing posts with label Sin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sin. Show all posts

Friday, November 12, 2021

A Real Pain in the Assumption – A Fall, Truth, and Consequences - Purity 574

A Real Pain in the Assumption – A Fall, Truth, and Consequences - Purity 574

Purity 574 11/12/2021 Purity 574 Podcast

Good morning

Today’s photo of sunrise, or is it sunset, at Sunny Isles Beach in Florida comes to us from a friend named Grace who enjoyed a “quick weekend” getaway there last weekend.

Unlike, my friend’s surname that describes God’s unmerited favor and his “quick weekend” vacation, I find myself on an extended weekend that has been “blessed” to me as part of a measure of discipline for failing to report an incident at work in a timely fashion. 

On October 1, 2021, I suffered a trip and fall at work because of my failure to stay aware of my surroundings. I had just gotten off the phone to report the damage on the scene of a pole break and was distracted when I tripped over a guy wire which was still attached to the downed telephone pole and drawn tight over a guardrail on the side of the road causing me to go “boom” on my bottom in a jarring fashion.  Although I fell hard, I sprang up immediately and hoped that I would “walk off the pain” which was significant. Because I was embarrassed by my clumsiness, had plans for the weekend, and didn’t want anything to keep me from them, I left work that day without telling anyone of the injury I had suffered in an official capacity, again, with the hopes that I would just “walk it off”. 

Weeks passed and the pain in my rear, hip, and knee, which occurs mostly while seated and particularly when driving,  hadn’t gone away and actually seemed to be getting worse. So fearing I may need surgery and wanting to be honest, I confessed to my employer about my on the job injury just in case my fall had unforeseen and far reaching effects on my health.  My report was received with compassion and understanding by my local manager but there was also concern over my failure to make the report in a timely fashion. 

Apparently, there was reason for the concern as our corporation has a safety compliance plan for its associates and there are negative consequences for failing to report an incident when it happens.  I found out Wednesday evening that I was being placed on the safety compliance plan for 6 months and was receiving a one day suspension from work without pay for not reporting the incident immediately.  

In the world we can assume that if we do the right thing eventually or tell someone we are sorry that all will be forgiven. But that is an assumption that assumes a measure of mercy and a suspension of justice on your behalf that might not be forthcoming.   

So while we may receive grace and mercy from God because of our faith in Jesus, the institutions to ensure justice on the earth may make you pay a cost for what you have done or failed to do.  

So the bottom line is that I am not going to work today and will miss a day’s pay for my sin of not telling the truth in a timely fashion.  

Although I have been forgiven of all my sins because I have placed my faith in Jesus Christ, I am still not free from the consequences of my sins and because I “withheld the truth of my fall from the local authorities” because of my pride and selfishness I will suffer financially and get a day off and 6 months on a safety compliance plan to think about what I have done and to endeavor to “be safe”.     

Although my local manager showed compassion and concern for my well-being, the corporate policies that govern this situation seems to put the emphasis on my irresponsibility, making me accountable for my failure to utilize my training that has taught me to perform a “pre-job survey” whenever I am in the field, to be diligent to be aware of the dangers of slips, trips, and falls”, and to report incidents immediately.  

As heartless as the consequence may seem to some, the corporate policies here actually point to the truth that “accidents don’t just happen”. Much of the pain and suffering that befall us here on earth is a direct result of our failure to utilize the gifts of perception and wisdom that God has given us. 

The basic tenants of “ always look where you are going” and “always tell the truth” were violated here and frankly I consider myself fortunate that I didn’t suffer a worse fate for my errors in judgement. 

However, as bad as I may feel in my rear and in my conscience for my failures, I also know that my failure doesn’t define who I am as a person and although I made some mistakes it doesn’t change who I am in Christ.  

I will suffer the consequences and will pay the cost for my mistakes here on earth, but I know that I am still loved and accepted by God and that there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus meaning that while I should learn from my mistakes in this latest life lesson, I need not feel condemned by it. 

My mistakes can have some real life consequences to my body, wallet, and relationships here on earth, but they cannot and will not affect my self-worth, my identity in Christ, and my relationship with God.  

God doesn’t expect us to walk perfectly throughout this life. He knows we will make mistakes. He knows that our failures to walk in wisdom will cause ourselves and others to suffer negative consequences and pain. 

But God offers us forgiveness for all our errors in judgement, mistakes, and even our blatant violations to His principles of living, our sins,  when we put our faith in Jesus Christ. Christ’s sacrifice on the cross covers a multitude of sins and when we put our faith in Him we are not only forgiven but made righteous and accepted unconditionally into God’s kingdom for all of eternity.  

So if you fall into sin or make some mistakes, do the right thing, and confess them immediately so you can possibly receive mercy, pay the costs, and most importantly represent the kingdom of God by being honest, responsible, and accountable for what you have done. 

You may suffer negative consequences for “missing the mark” here on earth but because of your relationship with God through your faith in Jesus Christ, you never have to feel condemned for them after you have confessed and repented.

Our standing as sons and daughters of God are never in question with God after we put our faith in Jesus, but the harmony of our relationship to our heavenly Father does need to be maintained by confessing and repenting of our mistakes when we mess up. 

After we confess and repent, our harmony with God reestablished and although we may face the condemnation of our fellow man and the authorities on the earth, we can have peace in our hearts because we are assured of our forgiveness and relationship with God.    

So even though I am out of a day’s pay, I will enjoy the consequence of a long weekend by not dwelling on my mistake or fall but focusing on the God who loves me and accepts me with open arms when I confess and turn from my errors and endeavor to walk with Him.

Thank God it is Friday and Thank God for His Love, Mercy and Grace that saved a wretch like me and who continues to encourages us to pick ourselves up and walk with Him even after we fall.

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

This morning’s meditation verse is :

Philippians 1:6 (NLT2)
6  And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.

Today’s verse assures us that we are a work in progress and that the Lord will see to it that we will be “finally finished” someday.  

If you are anything like me, you were far from perfect on the day that the Lord revealed the truth of the gospel to you, and you made Jesus your Lord and Savior. 

After 38 years of doing things my way, I had made a lot of decisions and lifestyle choices that disregarded many tenants of common sense and especially biblical morality. 

But God showed me His grace and accepted me for who I was, warts and all by welcoming me into His kingdom on a spring day back in March of 2010 when I placed my faith in Jesus Christ.  

However, just because God found me in a sinful lifestyle, didn’t mean He wanted me to stay there. The word of God tells us that His will for our lives is our sanctification. We are to be holy as God is holy, but God understands that although we are made spiritually alive and given the victory over sin and death the moment we are saved, it will take some time for us to show the fruits of our repentance with tangible signs of our sanctification. 

And ultimately the work of our glorification, in which we will receive glorified, perfect bodies and souls, that are sinless and Christlike, is a work that won’t be finished until Christ returns.  

So today’s verse encourages us to keep walking and talking with God because the good work the Lord has begun in us can continue and is guaranteed to be completed when Jesus comes back. 

When we understand this plan for our lives, we can have relief and hope. We can simultaneously take hope and relief in the fact that we don’t have to stay in the loathsome state that the Lord found us in at salvation and that we are not expected to become perfect by our own efforts.  

We can make progress in our sanctification by turning from our sinful ways and adopting the Lord’s wisdom to our lives, but we can also rest in the fact that we are never expected to be perfect, because that is a work that Christ must complete in us. 

So we can enjoy the fruits of the Spirit that come with our efforts at progressive sanctification but also rest assured that we can always rely on the Lord’s forgiveness and grace when we stumble and that He will never leave us or forsake us and will eventually transform us into glorified saints when He ushers in the new heaven and new earth at the end of this age.  

So enjoy the journey of washing off the muck and mire of your former life through your cooperative efforts of sanctification with God where every day becomes another day where we draw closer to Him but at the same time we can have peace in knowing He will do the final work of making us perfect as He is perfect, making us glorified to give Him glory.

When we keep walking and talking with God we become all the more certain that the good work He has begun in us will be completed by Him.   


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


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


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

E. What Is the Problem of Evil?

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

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

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

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

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


Join our “Victory over the Darkness” or “The Bondage Breaker” series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

at, You can also find it on Apple podcasts ( The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and 

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


Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Full Size Candy Bars?!?! – The Old Trick or Treat - Purity 554

Full Size Candy Bars?!?! – Trick or Treat - Purity 554

Purity 554 10/20/2021 Purity 554 Podcast

Good morning

Today’s photo of a Halloween Display on Maple Avenue in Troy NY on a sunny October day comes to us from yours truly as I was rolling through the neighborhood on the way back to the garage at the end of the workday on the 7th.

Well Halloween is only eleven days away and although I don’t have any plans to celebrate in any significant way this year, I have already fallen victim to the temptation to overindulge on candy treats! And for those who don’t know that is kind of a mini-personal disaster.    

Since December, I have decided to trust the Lord to help me overcome my food addiction and get healthy by transitioning from obese to overweight. Through my faith, a food plan, and accountability I have had some success and was on my way to optimal health.   

But lately, I have been a little less disciplined in monitoring what I have been eating and over the last couple of weeks watched the weight loss stop and actually gained a pound or two.  I was keeping an eye on it and even confessed my failings to my coach but hadn’t taken any drastic measures to right the ship because I was basically staying “on plan” in terms of the things that I was eating. It’s just that I compromised in the amounts and not staying “on schedule” with my regular “feelings” to keep the “tank full” so I wouldn’t binge eat.   So I started slipping a little bit, but I figured I would just stick to my regular routine, and I would be “back on track” in a week. 

Well, the thing is my regular schedule has been drastically changed this week because I am volunteering my time at FICM’s Fall Practicum at Grace Fellowship in Latham until today and man can I tell you that Grace Fellowship really knows how to put on a conference and provide for their guests.   

The staff and volunteers at Grace Fellowship have met all the needs of the attendees of the Practicum by catering for breakfast, lunch, and snacks throughout the afternoon.   On day one, I was pleased to see that they provided healthy options like salad, meats, and yogurt so I wouldn’t have to “go off plan”.  But I also noticed that they made available a nice variety of FULL SIZE candy bars!

On day one for breakfast I stayed on plan. For lunch, I stayed on plan.  But as the afternoon dragged on and the coffee didn’t seem to be doing its job to keep me alert, a funny thing happened: The Full Size Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups made me aware of their presence and they seemed to start communicating to me telepathically from the hallway in which the snacks were made available to freely partake of.  

Like Pookie in New Jack City, I was overcome by temptation as the Peanut Butter Cups “just be calling me man, be calling me man… and I just had to go to it”.  So like many addicts who give into temptation when I fell I fell hard.

If you went to the snack table late in the afternoon on Monday you may have wondered what happened to all the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.  I can tell you that there were some there but “they gone now”.  My cravings drove me to be “in for a penny, in for a pound.”   You may also wonder what happened to all the 100 Grand bars, and the Baby Ruth’s. Oh Yeah! There weren’t many granted, probably less than 10 a piece but what was there were consumed by me by the end of Monday afternoon!

So Tuesday came, and as those varieties of candy bars were all gone, I moved on to the Twix and Peanut M&M’s and I am somewhat please to say that while I had a couple of bags of M&M’s and several Twix bars yesterday, I didn’t eat them all!. 

Also yesterday, while I did overindulge in desert and had a can of Coke at the evening meal at one of the volunteer’s homes, I ended up confessing my relapse to several of the attendees assuring them that I had only succumbed to “missionary rules”, which refers to the understanding that you shouldn’t refuse the hospitality of you hosts,  for eating and would repent of my sugar relapse after the Practicum was over.

And so I confess to you here on the blog and the podcast.  We as humans are not strong and the enemy knows our weaknesses. Be it sex, alcohol, drugs, or Reese’s peanut butter cups the enemy will come after you and tempt you to fall into the sins of the flesh.  

The problem is that saying “the devil made me do it” isn’t well received as an excuse and if we are honest with ourselves we know that we are personally responsible for our choices.   So that’s why I “threw myself under the bus” last night, I had to confess my sins to my brothers and sisters in Christ so I could start the process of healing.  

While they can’t stop me from making those bad choices 24/7, confessing our falls to our brothers and sisters in Christ does two things:

1.    It takes the darkness and puts it into the light.  Once the “jig is up”, we can stop running and hiding.  We are only as sick as our secrets so instead of keeping my eating a secret  and continuing in my dark and delectable shame, I “told on myself” so I can turn from it and go back to the ways that made me feel healthy.    

2.    It makes me accountable.  I confessed my fall to others and to God so I could show that I repented and don’t intend to repeat my sins.  So while I made no promises to anyone in particular not to indulge in sweets today at the final day at the Practicum, I will probably comment to anyone I confessed to last night that I am “back on track today” and demonstrate it by abstaining from the sugary snacks and desserts that I indulged over the last two days.  

The enemy loves to pull the old “trick or treat” of temptation on us but if we confess our weakness to others and to the Lord we can successfully turn from the error of our ways and lean on and follow the Lord to start the walk down victory road once again.  

Until we are glorified, we will not win every battle with temptation but when we utilize the body of Christ to help us and go to God in repentance and ask for His strength and guidance we can overcome.  The struggles are real but the victory and freedom in Christ is real too. 

Even the most successful athletic teams sometimes get blown out by a seeming underdog but when they do true champions don’t quit. They admit their defeat and their mistakes. But then they go back to the drawing board, figure out where they went wrong, and reapply the disciplines of their craft that made them successful in the first place and go back into battle and conquer.   

Likewise, if we fall down, we just need to take the Lord’s hand and get back up by telling the truth and by repenting and leaning on the Lord to give us strength for the next victory parade.  

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

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Psalm 37:8 (NLT2)
8  Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper— it only leads to harm.


Today’s verse is a warning to those who misapply “be angry and do not sin” from Ephesians 4:26 and walk around frosty with what they think of as “righteous indignation.”  

Today’s verse tells us not to be angry, to turn from our rage and to not lose our temper because it only leads to harm.   While we can be angry at sin and work against the kingdom of darkness in many ways, we as Christians should realize that while our anger can motivate us to do many things for the kingdom of God, anger is not to be our default setting.  

After “Be angry and sin not”, Ephesians 4:26 advises not to let the “sun go down on your wrath” meaning that an angry disposition is not the attitude that Christians should be walking through life with, because as today’s verse indicates it “only leads to harm.” 

We are not to be trusted in our anger. When our emotions run hot we generally do or say regrettable things that cause harm. The negative consequences of anger are vast affecting others outwardly and affecting the angry person inwardly.  Anger is not one of the fruits of the Spirit.   

So as Christians we examine our anger for the root causes and seek to resolve them. Often anger comes from ignorance, imposing your will or expectations on others, or bitterness and unforgiveness.  

The wisdom of God teaches the truth about the world and our position in Christ. When we utilize the truth of God’s word we can see things as they are truly are, from God’s perspective which tells us to forgive even our enemies.  

When we are angry we usually forget who we are in Christ or who God is and how that truth answers all the situations we will face here on earth. 

So keep walking and talking with God. Tell Him what makes you angry. Get it off your chest with your Heavenly Father and then listen to His counsel and try to see things through the lens of truth.

 Walking with God and living according to His ways may not resolve all the problems of the world but when we remain in a close walk with Him we can navigate through this world with wisdom and have peace by seeing how things truly are and knowing that God has the course of the world in His hands.


As always, I invite all to go to 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:

F. What Are the "Red Flags" of Destructive Dating?

What is it about "red flags"...those gut feelings that warn us something isn't quite right? It's a feeling that protects—warning us to watch out. At times, these red flags are as bright as the morning sun. At other times, they are as obscure as the moon on a cloudy night... nearly impossible to see.

Consider Carrie and Greg. When Carrie is with Greg, all is right with her world. He is sensitive and caring—always knowing the right thing to say at just the right time. He owns his own business, and it's going great. Everyone loves Greg. Even if he's running late, it's because he's helping someone, and he's always genuinely apologetic.

If Greg even has a fault, it might be he loves Carrie so much that he worries about her all the time, which Carrie finds endearing. To calm his fears she makes sure to text him anytime she goes anywhere and to let him know when she returns.

Several hours after celebrating their one-year anniversary of dating, Carrie notices that Greg has left his phone at her apartment. She laughs and taps the screen to access his photo files and reminisce over snapshots taken earlier that night. Then her heart sinks as she sees other images. Graphic porn pictures and videos! She can't tear her eyes away from the shocking discovery. And there's more. Instant messages filled with lurid language and more photos.

Ambushed by disbelief, Carrie's head throbs as her heart shatters. Why would he do this? Just hours ago, she felt she feels trashed. How could he? As her burning tears flow, her breached heart attempts its rescue...she thought she knew Greg, but this? This is a deal breaker.

"The fruit of the Spirit is...self-control." (Galatians 5:22-23)

Could you be in a destructive dating relationship? Identifying an unhealthy relationship is often difficult without the aid of objective criteria. If you are presently involved in a dating relationship, read the following statements, then circle either yes or no for whichever best reflects your relationship.

Destructive Dating Check List

Y / N

• When I don't respond as my date wishes, I'm belittled and rejected.

Y / N

• When I don't please my date, it always seems to be my fault.

Y / N

• When we go out, I feel indebted to do whatever my date wants me to do.

Y / N

• When my date uses phrases like: "You should..." or "I expect you to..." I feel guilty if I don't comply.

Y / N

• I feel responsible for the happiness as well as the unhappiness of my date.

Y / N

• My date blames me without taking responsibility for personal failure.

Y / N

• My date tries to assume absolute authority.

Y / N

• My date has little regard for my personal feelings or desires.

Y / N

• My date has taken the place that God alone should have in my life.

Y / N

• My date allows little opportunity for an appeal or compromise.

Y / N

• My date privately degrades me, my beliefs, and my friends, but publicly appears polite.

Y / N

• My date acts excessively jealous and possessive of me.

Y / N

• My date keeps track of my time, wanting to control where I go and what I do.

Y / N

• My date has exerted physical control over me.

Y / N

• My date has threatened to harm me.

If you circled yes to any one of these statements, your dating relationship has a destructive impact on your life and needs to be changed....

"The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty." (Proverbs 27:12)

Love and Negative Qualities

Question: "For several years I've been dating someone I love. He has many good qualities but is also negative, possessive, and controlling. Should I overlook his negative qualities and stay focused on his attractive qualities?"

Answer: Let's assume that while shopping, you find a pair of shoes you really like. If the shoes were extremely uncomfortable, would you buy them? No matter what attractive features the shoes have, if you buy them, they won't wear well! Likewise, if you feel undue pressure now in your dating relationship, consider it a warning that "it's not the right fit."

While unselfish love covers a multitude of sins (offenses), the attributes mentioned are not merely offenses—they are character flaws that should not be overlooked. These qualities are not consistent with someone who is Spirit-led. The reality is, they are self-led. Love overlooks minor offenses but challenges major character flaws so that they can be corrected.

"It [Love] is not self-seeking" (1 Corinthians 13:5).

Dating An Angry Person

Question: "I'm dating a man who is angry all the time. Sometimes he explodes. I love him, but I wonder, if I should continue to date him?"

Answer: No. The Bible is not silent on this issue. Decide now that you will not continue to date him. Destructive anger—if not stopped—is progressive and leads to domestic violence in marriage.

"Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered." (Proverbs 22:24)

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, You can also find it on Apple podcasts ( The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and 

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


Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

Monday, October 11, 2021

When It’s All Been Said and Done – Are they a Christian in the Dark? - Checking the Clues 10 - Purity 546

When It’s All Been Said and Done – Are they a Christian in the Dark?  - Checking the Clues 10 - Purity 546     

Purity 546 10/11/2021     Purity 546 Podcast

Good morning

Today’s photo of the view of from the top of Whiteface Mountains that apparently captures “aspects of positive and negative space” comes to us from a friend who quickly  became a fiancé when it became clear that we both viewed each other with love and could both “see” that we would like to spend the rest of our lives together as man and wife.  

But just as the view from the top of Whiteface Mountain was somewhat hazy when I joined my fiancé and several members of her family to take a gondola ride to the summit on Saturday, the view of the future, how we will work out the details of our wedding, and how we will live as husband and wife are still “up in the air” and unclear.  The prospects of the changes on the horizon are both exciting and somewhat alarming as the consequences of two becoming one in the bonds of marriage will have far reaching and unforeseen circumstances.  

Although I will keep it real in admitting that some friends and family have voiced their surprise, concern, and objections, over our “whirl wind” decision to marry,  I must admit that I have had a lot of peace in the process of making my friend a fiancé and meeting the people that will be a part of our new family as the vast majority of my prospective in-laws have been warm, friendly, and receptive.     

I was also surprised by how at peace you could be when you make other decisions that will change how you have lived for years in significant ways.   I have been on the worship team as an audio-visual technician at Rock Solid Church for nearly ten years and decided yesterday to inform the team of my decision to marry in the near future and of my intention to find a replacement for my position and to no longer serve on the team after the first of January to be available to worship the Lord at my wife’s side every Sunday no matter where we find ourselves in our new life.          

As I was driving to my fiancé’s place after attending her brother’s Christian “growth group”, Robin Mark’s “When it’s All Been Said and Done” popped up in the older playlist I had selected and I was shaken by how the lyrics, flutes, and strings seemed to convey the revelation of an all knowing and sovereign God that knew that this present course was to be a part of my life’s journey long before I could ever dream of these changes coming to pass.  The lyrics say:

“When it's all been said and done

All my treasures will mean nothing

Only what I have done

For love's rewards

Will stand the test of time”

I was quite moved in my spirit, hearing these lyrics, and realizing that finding a woman who is the answer to my prayers for a Christian life partner was in God’s plans and that one of the consequences for my decision to live by faith in the power of the holy Spirit was to come into one of “love’s rewards” that will stand the test of time.  

The sweeping changes that lie ahead in my life reveal that although we try to “see around the corners” of the future when we “walk in the Spirit” by predicting and speculating about where “this” is all leading, we actually are totally dependent on God’s plan for our lives and the way that He shapes our journey as I am realizing that all my presumptions and expectations for the my latter days of my life were based on incomplete information. Only God knows our futures perfectly.

With this latest revelation this morning, I have been greeted in my imagination by children’s televisions Blue and Dr. Suess’s Sam I am who have informed me that this 10th installment of our current series of “Checking the Clues” of a potential life partner’s authentic Christian faith will be the last. 

Blue informs me that after today we will have given enough “clues” for our friends to use to find a Christian spouse, and that today’s inquiry from Sam I am, will equally apply to us as advice and encouragement on the path of Christian Discipleship, as well as a possible category for evaluating someone else’s faith life.   

For his final question, Sam I am advises us to think deeply and to consider his inquiry from multiple points of view and then asks:

“Are they a Christian in the dark?”  

As I contemplate the idea of darkness and my walk of faith, there are a few things we should consider in terms of evaluating “Christian authenticity” in someone’s life.   The word says that we will know Christ’s disciples by their fruit so if we are evaluating a potential life partner’s faith life we should observe their attitudes and actions even in “darkness” to see if their faith is evident.  

The first consideration of darkness comes straight from

1 John 1:6 (NKJV)  which says:
6  If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.

So, if our potential life partner who claims to be a Christian is “walking in darkness”, they are lying and not practicing the truth.  

So what is darkness here? The NLT translates this verse to convey “spiritual darkness” which would be revealed by someone who has doubts about or fails to believe the doctrines of grace or who holds beliefs that are not Christian.  The degree of authentic Christian faith is directly proportional to the level of someone’s belief and trust in what the Bible teaches. The more doubt or holding of views outside of scripture the more “spiritual darkness” there is in someone’s life.  

I wanted to point out the spiritual aspects and the importance of belief in considering someone’s faith first because we are saved by, and called to live by, “faith”.   If people reveal that they don’t really believe the Bible or hold beliefs that contradict it, their “Christian” faith isn’t as authentic as they may think.  

The second aspect of darkness that can be drawn from the context of John’s epistle is the “darkness” of sin.  If someone claims to be a Christian but lives a lifestyle that includes behaviors that are “sinful”, their Christian faith is either not authentic or is immature. 

If we have our eyes open, we can see the darkness of unbelief or sin in their lives.  While it is everyone’s own decision who they marry, if the desire is live as Christians, we would want to avoid potential partners who live in darkness.  

The second aspect of “darkness” that I can see as a Christian counselor is the “darkness” of depression.   If your potential life partner who claims to be a Christian, has a negative view of life, and seems to dwell in a den of depression we must be discerning in determining if we want to walk out the rest of our days with someone who we may have to constantly encourage and whose Christian faith may not be as authentic as we may think. 

The word commands us to rejoice and speaks about the joy of the Lord as the Christian’s strength.  Someone with a negative view on life or that suffers from depression may be immature or disingenuous in their faith or has failed to apply their faith to their lives or may suffer from demonic oppression.

Am I saying that Christians can’t be depressed? Absolutely not! But I am saying you may want to really consider all the possibilities in choosing a life partner who suffers from depression, including the possibility that their faith may not be authentic.  

As someone who has experienced with suffering from depression individually and has had relationships with individuals who have suffered from depression, I try not to address hypothetical scenarios when evaluating depression in Christians. I don’t know any hypothetical people and neither do you. While I admit the real need for medications to treat depression in some cases, I profess the universal need of all real-life “Christians” to repent, renew their minds with the word of God, and to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.  

If your potential life partner suffers from depression and is unwilling or unable to use their “Christian faith” as part of their condition’s treatment you may be receiving a “clue” of the true condition of their faith and the difficulties that would lie in being in a committed relationship with them.  

So consider and choose according to where the Lord leads you in this area. As someone who was in relationship with depressed individuals, I can assure you that living with depression is difficult for both parties and is even worse when you are unequally yoked.  

The final take on “darkness” that we will consider is the “darkness” of times of uncertainty or suffering.    The authenticity of, and great value of, our Christian faith is often best proven in times of suffering and times of uncertainty.  How people deal with suffering and uncertain outcomes can help us get an indication of what they truly believe.  

Ideally, Christians would meet suffering and uncertainty with faith. So if your potential life partner is faced with suffering or uncertainty and their response fails to demonstrate aspects of Christians spiritual practices, we may see that their faith is immature or non-existent.  

Again, we are not measuring everyone by the levels of their faith to guess their final destination in eternity, our purposes in this series and in this blog in general is to encourage discernment in our relationships as well as our faith walk. 

We have come to know the incredible power of God that can help us to overcome the problems that we face on earth through walking in the Spirit on the path of Christian Discipleship. So we encourage Christians to believe that the word of God is true, apply it to their lives, and to live continually seeking the Lord and living by faith.   

The best way to find an authentic Christian to be a life partner is to be authentic Christian yourself. So keep walking and talking with God because if you truly live by faith you will rejoice and have joy in your life whether you walk out the rest of this life with a Christian spouse or with just the Holy Spirit by your side.  Either way, God will never leave us or forsake us.       


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

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Romans 12:6 (NLT2)
6  In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you.

Today’s verse encourages us to use the gifts that we have been given and to speak the truth in accordance with our faith.   

Paul’s epistle to the Romans informs us that we all have been given different gifts that are given to us by God and that they are to be used.   So while we might not consider ourselves as especially gifted or talented in the spiritual realm or in general, today’s verse tells us that we have some God given gifts that we should utilize for God’s glory.   

Every Christian can do something to give God glory with the gifts they have been given.  Our particular gifts are given to us to fulfill our purpose in Christ.

If you are not sure what your gifts are you can ask other people in your life what they think your gifts and strengths are or you could seek out a “spiritual gifts test” to tell you what your gifts are.   But the key to remember is that once you learn what your gifts are, is to be diligent to use them!   

The gift of prophecy, which in the New Testament context includes preaching, encouraging, and exhorting, is mentioned here and Paul encourages us to prophesy in proportion to our faith.  

Now while we may be hesitant to drop a “Thus sayeth the Lord” future prediction”, we can all preach, encourage, or exhort to some extent, according to the measure of our faith.  

Our preaching can simply include our personal testimony or insights we have gained from the word. So yes, everybody could preach.  

Likewise, if we have come into the Christian faith by making Jesus our Lord and Savior, we should be able to encourage or exhort others to do likewise or to trust the Lord for other areas of life.  

So determine what God has gifted you with and use them for His glory.  God saved us for a reason, and He gave us certain talents and abilities to help us to fulfill our purpose in Him. Listen for the call of God on your life to use your gifts because if you step out in faith and bless others and give glory to God, you just may find yourself prophesying to others to do the same.


As always, I invite all to go to 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:

. What Is the Difference Between Infatuation and True Love?

Laura is in love! Laura is in love with love. And although she frequently dates, Laura rarely relates. The few boyfriends she's had in the past throw in the towel within a short period of time because dating Laura is almost exclusively about... Laura.

When meeting a new man, Laura enjoys laughing and flirting...wining and dining...dancing and romancing. But soon the fantasy fades and reality sets in with an oblivious lack of commitment to moral character. Suddenly Laura—or more often the man—loses interest. But Laura doesn't let her heart languish for long....Almost immediately she is looking again for something she labels as "love." What irony in this truth...

"The heart of fools is in the house of pleasure." (Ecclesiastes 7:4)

Everyone has felt infatuation to one degree or another. Everyone has experienced "puppy love" at one time or another. Did you ever take the long way around in order to walk by a certain someone or that someone's desk...or locker...or house? Did you take special care to look especially attractive on days when you thought your paths might cross? Did your heart skip a beat when you looked up and unexpectedly caught a glance from him...or her? Is that feeling actually love...or is it love's pseudopersona...infatuation'? Sometimes it's difficult to discern—especially if the one you have these feelings for doesn't seem to feel the same way.

  • Infatuation is a form of emotional obsession, an expression of excessive admiration or foolish love void of sound judgment.
    • —Infatuation is a powerful feeling, but it is based more on the idea of someone than it is on who the person actually is.
    • —Infatuation does not last because it's not based on reality.
  • Love seeks the highest good of another person, does what is in the best interest of another person. People throughout the ages have asked, "What is true love?" Our most authoritative source for understanding the true nature of love comes from God as revealed in His Word.
    • —Love is an action.
      "Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends" (John 15:13).
    • —Love is a decision.
      "We love because he first loved us" (1 John 4:19).
    • —Love is work.

"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).

Love and relationships take effort. There is no fairy-tale formula for true love. God's Word, along with time and maturity, will give you the ability to discern fantasy from reality. Until then, waiting for sound reasoning will guard your heart from being hurt. ...

"Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." (Proverbs 4:23)

Infatuation vs. Love

In differentiating between love and infatuation, consider these differences...



• Sudden

• Gradual

• Highly emotional

• Faithfully consistent

• Idealistic

• Realistic

• Based on feelings

• Based on commitment

• Weakened by separation

• Strengthened by separation

• Seeking to find happiness

• Seeking to give happiness

• Focusing on external looks

• Focusing on internal character

• Seeking to get

• Seeking to give

• Possessive

• Freeing

• In love with "emotion"

• In love with "devotion"

God, the Source of love, tells us through His written Word...

"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.... let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth." (1 John 3:16-18)

Live-In Boyfriend

Question: "My live-in boyfriend says he loves me, but just isn't ready to marry. We're already living as though we are married. What can I do to change his mind?"

Answer: If your boyfriend can sexually "have his cake and eat it too," what is his motivation for getting married? When you engage in the sexual acts of love outside of marriage, you are minimizing the essence of love. According to God's Word, neither of you is truly showing love to the other when you engage in premarital sex. Begin now by either moving out or having him move out.

If your boyfriend really loves you, he will want you (not just sex) and will be willing to wait until the wedding vows are said.

"It [Love] does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking." (1 Corinthians 13:5)

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

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




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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship