Showing posts with label The Case for Christ. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Case for Christ. Show all posts

Saturday, March 6, 2021

Purity 359: Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

Purity 359  03/06/2021 Purity 359 Podcast

Good morning!

Today’s photo comes from our friends who are travelling in Florida and just seems to be the perfect follow up to yesterday’s palm lined pathway to the beach.  Although I am almost sure that this beach is not what lies at the end of the path we saw yesterday, I can easily imagine it is and that my friend was rewarded with this heavenly view over the ocean for being bold enough to go down it. 

So Friday’s pathway has brought us here to Saturday and now we can rest and bask in what God has brought us to.  

So what will your Saturday be like? The beauty of our free will is that we can make of it whatever we like. We can use it to perform some tasks that need our attention, we can go out an seek new things, or we can simply use it to rest.    Whatever you choose, I hope you accomplish what you intend but also hope that you are met with a pleasant surprise or two along the way.   

As always, I encourage you to invite God into your experience by thanking Him for what He brings you to or for asking Him for His strength to get you through it.   He is there for us in good times and bad and some how when He is with us its always better no matter what we face.

This morning’s meditation verses are:

Isaiah 9:6 (NKJV)
6 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Todays verse from the Old Testament prophesies the coming of the Messiah and is often presented at churches during the Christmas season to declare the coming of Jesus Christ our newborn King.   This prophecy was made about 700 years before the birth of Christ.  The sheer magnitude of the Old Testament prophecies that are fulfilled in Jesus Christ should be compelling enough for any skeptic to believe that Jesus is the Messiah.   

If anyone has doubts, I invite them to watch Lee Strobel’s documentary “The Case for Christ” on You Tube: .  Strobel’s story and the evidence he presents further convinced me of the fact the Jesus was the Messiah, and that the Bible was indeed the inerrant Word of God when I was a new Christian. 

Our faith in Christ is not to be accepted blindly. Our faith is supposed to be based on the truth of who Christ is.   

Our faith can be simple, but I assure you there is nothing simple about the Word of God.  The definition of a paradox is a seemingly absurd or self-contradictory statement or proposition that when investigated or explained may prove to be well founded or true. There are many paradoxes in the word that can confound us.

Some point to these confounding differences in the Bible as contradictions but honestly there are no contradictions in the word that can’t be understood with a proper study and understanding of Christian theology. 

Today’s verse could be considered a contradicting verse in that it posits that this Child that is to be born is not only a Son but also a “Mighty God” and “Everlasting Father”.  How can this be?    The doctrine of the Trinity explains it. God is three in one – The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit.  

The Nicene Creed proclaims this truth and says of Jesus that He is “the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father by whom all things were made.”  So Jesus is “God of God” and in case you missed it the creed repeats it by saying He is “Very God of Very God”. Jesus in not only the Son of God but also God the Son.   

That’s all I’ll say about that. The Trinity is a mystery and better theological scholars than me have wandered into heresy trying to explain it.  But I do accept the doctrine of the Trinity, not from blind faith, but because The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit appear throughout the Bible. They even show up all together at once at the Baptism of Jesus.  

Today’s verse also refers to the child to be born as being known as “Counselor”.   Honestly, I haven’t heard too many pastors expound on this point when this verse is brought out at Christmas time but as a Christian counselor, I feel compelled to.  

The term “Counselor” indicates that there is a living relationship to have with this Child to be born.  It indicates that He cares about us, is present and available to us, and is wise and trustworthy.   

So ask the Counselor, about your life and what you should do. Tell the Counselor all about your problems and don’t feel hesitant to express your emotions.  The Counselor is “in” and unlike Peanut’s Lucy Van Pelt’s psychiatric help it won’t cost you 5 cents.   The Counselor’s advice is freely given when it is sought, and it comes from the original source of love.  

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 share from Dr. June Hunt’s Biblical Counseling Keys on “Anger: Facing the Fire Within”

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:

E. How to Resolve Your Anger toward God

When a raging, fiery inferno engulfs a home with a tragic loss of life... the gut-wrenching pain can be punctuated by a finger pointing... upward. However, harboring anger toward God for our heartaches is like blaming our losses on the fire chief—the one who has devoted his entire life to helping, not hurting, us.

No one escapes hurt and pain in life—no one. During catastrophic times, the promise you are to cling to is that your loving God is unfolding His perfect plan for your life, and He uses all circumstances to accomplish His purposes... even the painful ones.

Have you ever blamed God for the pain and heartache in your life? Have you pointed a condemning finger and pronounced judgment on Him because He has not stopped evil or suffering?

In the Bible, a man named Job seriously questioned God... so much so that we can hear anger in his bitter complaint: "Even today my complaint is bitter; his [God's] hand is heavy in spite of my groaning. If only I knew where to find him; if only I could go to his dwelling! I would state my case before him and fill my mouth with arguments" (Job 23:2-4).

But... is anger toward God justifiable? While He understands our anger, notice how He sets the record straight by answering Job with these words: "Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge?... Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him?... Would you discredit my justice? Would you condemn me to justify yourself?" (Job 38:2; 40:2, 8).

What is the answer to intense anger against God? Can it be resolved? And if so, how? The sure way to resolve your anger toward God is to gain a full understanding of the character, purpose, and plan of God.

Resolving Anger toward God

  • Know God's Character.
    • —He is just.... "He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he" (Deuteronomy 32:4).
    • His ways are just.... "Just and true are your ways, King of the ages" (Revelation 15:3).
    • He is love.... "God is love" (1 John 4:8).
    • He loves.... "We love because he first loved us" (1 John 4:19).
  • Know God's Purposes.
    • He brings good out of evil.... "We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him" (Romans 8:28).
    • He turns your sorrow into joy.... "You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy" (Psalm 30:11).
    • He uses your suffering to produce perseverance, character, and hope.... "We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts" (Romans 5:3-5).
    • He uses your troubles to teach you compassion.... "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 have received from God" (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).
  • Know God's Plan.
    • —He will grant eternal life to you and all who entrust their lives to Christ.... "My Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day" (John 6:40).
    • —He will bless you if you persevere under trial.... "Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial" (James 1:12).
    • He will bring His righteous judgment on those who are evil.... "The Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment" (2 Peter 2:9).
    • He will, one day, make everything new for His true believers.... "The dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away" (Revelation 21:3-4).

Job, who at one time had anger toward God, ultimately realized that he had misplaced anger. With deepest remorse, he admitted his wrong....

"I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted.... My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes." (Job 42:2, 5-6)

Anger That God Allows Evil

Question: "I'm angry at God for allowing bad people to cause so much pain. Since God had the power to create the world, why doesn't He stop evil in the world?"

Answer: God allows evil because He allows people to exercise "free will."

  • God did not create us to be robots with no choice to do anything except what the Creator has programmed.
  • He created us to be "free agent" human beings who have choice over what we think, say, and do. We can't have it both ways, in that God allows us freedom but we can't do anything wrong.... That's not freedom!

If you have read the last chapter of the book of Revelation, you know that God has appointed a time in the future when He will put an end to evil and suffering.

  • The bad news is that until then, evil will always be in opposition to good and will seek to harm and destroy those who do good.
  • But the good news is that God always uses harmful experiences to accomplish His purposes. He did so in the life of Joseph, whose evil brothers sold him into slavery. Years later when the frightened brothers came face-to-face with him—by then prime minister of Egypt, who had saved both the Egyptians and the Hebrews from famine—Joseph said...

"Don't be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." (Genesis 50:19-20)

Biblical Counseling Keys - Biblical Counseling Keys – Biblical Counseling Keys: Anger: Facing the Fire Within.

----------------------------more on Monday -------------------------

 God bless you all!

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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship