Monday, January 11, 2021
SCROLL DOWN TO THE COMMENTS!
Thank you Jeff for such a pertinent post! Ephesians 4 is perfect to address how we come to be tossed “to and fro” in this unprecedented season of fears for our health, finances and our government. This last year has been a perfect “3 strikes” to all those things we trust in for security and happiness! I am especially aware of and sympathetic to the confusion among our Christian brothers and sisters right now. Many have invested great amounts time, money and prayer toward what they believed was the renewing of Judeo-Christian values in government only to see those efforts resisted in spectacular ways. I love counseling them but it does require a season of repentance from moralism and a renewing of their mind to follow Jesus, not movements!
I’m hopeful and excited. We hold the only true power of change: the gospel, the good news, of Jesus Christ.
always a sad day when people put more trust in man than in God! I think people had gotten lazy and were enjoying the goodness of the land rather than the goodness of God! It is not bad to desire that we as a nation turn from our wicked ways and have a government that was for the saving of baby lives rather than the destruction of them. It was good for people to desire freedom of speech and the honoring of our constitution but where we go wrong is when all of our hope is put in these men and woman. We need to as it says in Chapter 4 of Ephesians 15…”let us grow in every way in to Him who is the head- Christ.” Your last sentenced says it all “We hold the only true power of change: the gospel, the good news, of Jesus Christ.” Amen! We need to make sure that we are secure in that, continually growing and maturing lacking in nothing because we are found fully in Him.
Yes I agree Carolyn! No better time then to be in school learning and growing in the Word and discipleship! The perfect place to be having our minds not just renewed but in a community of others that have the same convictions of discipleship and biblical counseling! Right now there is more confusion then ever and not just confusion in the world but amongst Christians. Division also. The cure is the gospel, the good news and Jesus Christ!!!
It was a great post! I was taking so many notes and then at one point I just stopped and listened because I didn’t need to anymore! May the Lord bless you as your minister to these precious souls Carolyn. These are hard times, but my heart really goes out to those who are so disappointed or disillusioned right now. When we first came to the mission field, every believer I had ever met was a Republican. Without even questioning it, I believed that all believers were Republicans, because that was all I knew, and I’m from Seattle! Then I went to the mission field, and most believers were Democrats. I honestly couldn’t understand it, it took a long time and a lot of letting go of judgment on my part, and listening to people to understand their reasoning. I learned that for me, I need to stay out of politics in the ministry, because it never ends well. I need to keep my eyes on Jesus and never on any political party.
Becky, I believe that God is calling us as believers to get our trust disconnected from these temporary politicians who occupy so much of our time and energy, reconnected to our Lord and Savior. His is the only Word that can be truly trusted.
Great episode Pastor Jeff. The couple of takeaways from this episode for me are 1) A must for biblical counselors is that they must be in the Word of God daily, having their minds renewed/washed by the water of life. I’ve heard it said “you cannot give what you don’t have. How vital that we’re in the Word daily not only for biblical counselors, but for every believer. .” 2) If Jesus is the Head and we (believers) are the body then we must be obedient to His Word or there are going to be problems in our walk/life in the Lord. I can sure testify that in my own life when I haven’t been obedient to the Word, I’ve become a spastic or out of place Christian.
Some of the first comments from this podcast that stuck out to me was, “our culture is frazzled and broke,” and, “many are searching for answers in articles, blogs, news reports,” and that “1 in 6 are seeking a therapist – today more-so than any time in history.”
When I was a teen I was growing up in an environment that was emotionally unkind, where communication was severely deficient of love and direction, but was rather harsh and abusive. I looked for answers in teen magazines and agreed with and took in, anything that seemed most relevant to my situation pertaining to what seemed logical. The Bible says, “man cannot live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. (Matt 4:4)” The issue in society today is that, there is more people promoting worldly bread and is so widely accepted, that only partial truths of God’s Word is ingested and the world is consuming the world’s bread over God’s Word. I’m not speaking about everyone, because as Pastor Jeff said, there is a remnant who are truly living by the Word of God. I know from personal experience, that growing up in a family that did not place God’s Word on a platform, meant that without training, any kibble of knowledge had to come from the world; unfortunately, this has been happening to us since the civil rights movement, and increasing in carnality before that, and increasing even after.
Had it not been for God revealing Himself to me at a very young age (without the help of human hands), I would be a person “of the world,” one who is secular by every sense of the meaning. I believe that when God says, many are called but few are chosen, He truly means that He calls all, but few people respond to His call. I never forgot His call, but out of internal anger and torment, went in the way of the world, where I got first-hand experience of the evils that lie in wait for those who least expect it, and then accept it because those who accepted the call put the truth of God in a box inside of the church walls. I am not saying that everyone in a church does that, but that this has been my experience with denominations throughout my life. (Example: At the age of 5, I was told about Jesus and His love from a Baptist church, but then I went to this church asking and begging to meet Jesus, and they told me that Jesus was crucified on a cross and died, but they didn’t explain the resurrection. I left the church feeling defeated and never went back until 1998.)
I feel that it is so important that we truly heed to the prerequisite in becoming a competent counselor, and walk in the counsel of the Lord on a daily basis, and moving down a competent path of discipleship with articulation. I regret going on a worldly walk (crawl rather), but am able to use my experience to relate to the carnality of others when they begin to divulge information to me about their worldly walk. I was just praying to the Lord last night, asking Him to never let me get high enough to be a hindrance to someone else’s fear to come to me for direction; and, to never let me get so caught up in someone else’s drama that I lose sight of what my goal is. I have had to walk away from someone who placed me higher than God because I provided answers that they could have found in the Bible by studying, and they tried to make trouble between me and the other ministry team members.
We walk in the counsel of the Godly renewing our minds; daily helps us to be equipped; otherwise the only counsel that we give is worldly and humanistic.
My apologies if this seems a bit dark. I went on a tangent thinking about how people begin their secular walk and what seems to be happening to the world today, with more contrast. I have only been saved since 1998 and learned at a young age that the heart of a worldly man cannot be trusted, and learned quickly after salvation that without knowledge of the Word of God, my coming alongside of someone meant that I was only there to ease their fears and not leading them the way God intends for people to be led which is to discipleship. I didn’t go through discipleship training until 2007.
God Bless our training now <3
Thank you for sharing. I have much sin in my past as well. I’m so thankful for the numerous examples God’s Word gives us of lives that He turned around for His glory (Moses, Rahab, David, Paul, etc.). My past helps to keep me humble – just as Paul considered himself the chief of sinners. In counseling the Lord uses this to allow us to relate to others and for them to find hope that, if we can be transformed, so can they! We can share our confidence in God’s ability to change them based on our personal experience. Jeff’s words of our culture being “frazzled” stuck out to me as well. Many are anxious, depressed and worried. We need to be shored up in the God’s Word and ready to minister.
Your words are encouraging and kind JoAnn. Women, in particular, often carry the shame of their past well into their Christian walk. Just yesterday I was talking to my sis about this and she says it’s good to feel the regret because it keeps us from making the same mistakes again as well as keeping us humble. I wonder though if this is freedom? Is this living in the gracious gift of our new-nature?
From a Gospel perspective, it’s vital for our counselees to know that “none is righteous.” Romans 3:10. Those who make all the right (moral) decisions are just as dead without Christ and are at greater risk because they trust in themselves. In fact, Paul could be said to have done the Law perfectly–even his persecution of what he was taught by the Law was worthy of death. Since Christ is the end of the Law, what would the new nature we have through Christ say to the old, good or bad, but unredeemed nature? In other words, what should we teach our counselees–even if they have no regrets about their past? I’m stirring the pot a bit here but I’m the one who was good but dead.
Pastor, I love the progression you stated: “thoughts lead to beliefs, which lead to actions”; this illuminates how crucial it is for us to be studying the Word and be in prayer often; these require us to think; both of what His Word is saying to us, and what we should be saying back to Him. As we make a regular diet of these actions, our beliefs greatly alter course and begin aligning with God’s truths and God’s heart. Soon thereafter our actions will begin to resemble those of our Lord Jesus.
The need to continue in the Word and in prayer throughout ones life is critical to the Christian walk; it can be likened to rowing a canoe upstream against the current; the moment we ease up on paddling, we start to move backwards, in the wrong direction. It is the Word, and the understanding of it by the Holy Spirit, which refreshes us and gives us all we need to “keep moving forward and upward”. – Love in Christ Jesus
Thank you for the analogy of a canoe rowing upstream against the current. This is a powerful visual to help a counselee understand the gravity of not staying in the battle of renewing their minds through God’s Word! Jeff mentioned that many times he sees Christians walking “as the Gentiles do.” We can understand how easily this happens. As biblical counselors we will need to continually press against the current and hold the hands of our counselees as we teach them to do the same.
So true! You said “As we make a regular diet of these actions, our beliefs greatly alter course and begin aligning with God’s truths and God’s heart.” We so need to do this! So many now days have chosen to treat the Word of God like a “Drive-Thru” and there just hitting the dash and dine box and expecting results. This will never bring the results we are looking for. It will only set us back and we will see the old man creeping in and bad habits will be formed. We need to come and sit at HIS table which He has prepared for us and dine with Him, talk with Him and Grow in our knowledge!
Rick that strength can only come from the Holy Spirit. When we wait on Him, the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with with wings as eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint. Isa. 40:31.
What a great message for the anyone with an ear to hear! We all as we see in this chapter in verse 11 of chapter four have been given a calling, this calling has been giving for, as we see in verse 12 and 13 “for the training of the saints in the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ, until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of God’s Son, (growing) into a mature man with a stature measured by Christ’s fullness.” So we see as pointed out in this podcast growth is intended and needed in the life of the believer. Paul wanted the believer to understand this so that in their lives they were not being tossed by the waves and blown around by every wind of teaching, by human cunning with cleverness in the techniques of deceit. (v14 Ch 4) So many people say today that the Word of God is not useful for this day, well I don’t think they are reading with open eyes! Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is so perfectly fitting for our day and age. So many being tossed to and fro by the waves of life and the doctrines of man, immature. as it says in verse 18 “darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of GOD, because of the ignorance that is in them and because of the hardness of their hearts.” Wow, because of the ignorance that is in them… Paul encouraging the believer not to find themselves in ignorance or with hardened heart but in order for us not to find ourselves here we need to be constantly putting off the old man! As said in this podcast renewing the mind with the Word of God!
Yes! Thanks for this Josiah. You know what’s funny. I was having a text convo with my adult daughter yesterday about the hateful political rhetoric. She said she didn’t understand why they were so filled with hate. To her it seemed way out of proportion to the point of being irrational. She is young in her faith and I’m not sure how much she resorts to the Bible when looking to understanding man’s current state (which, in truth, is his forever state outside of Christ :)) but I thought I’d send her a verse which describes what she is seeing and the verse you chose from Ephesians 4 is the same one I sent.
Truly, there is nothing new under the sun. Ecc 1:9
The timelessness of how the Word describes our state and the only answer to that state is truly Divine. Matt 24:35
I loved hearing and reading this weekend from Isaiah 9
[Isa 9:6-7 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. 7 Of the increase of [His] government and peace [There will be] no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
There will be a time when we fully realize this I hope soon looking for the Blessed hope! I think alot if not most young people who we are seeing this kind of reaction are just looking for Christians to live up to their values may we be able to see more of him and less of us! God bless you and your daughter.
Thank you for this podcast! I am being built up through your ministry to pour into others. Your comment that 90% of the people we will counsel will be worldly was sobering. But it is true! It is so rewarding to see a counselee begin to grow as they truly dig into the Word of God and renew their thinking. Sadly, many times they do not want to put in this effort. It was comforting to hear you say that if they’ve not done their homework perhaps it would be necessary to reschedule for a time when they’ve been purposeful to spend time with the Lord through their homework time. As counselors we cannot make disciples apart from God’s Word, and they will not grow through discipleship if the only time they encounter God’s Word is when they are meeting with us or attending church. The word combat is highly appropriate when using it in the context of fighting against the saturation of worldly thinking that we live in. Our mind is a battlefield and God’s Word is the only effective weapon. It is imperative that our counselees understand this!
Commenting is so good because JoAnn you reminded me of another thing I really liked! “90% of the people we will counsel will be worldly,” this is sobering. I agree! We are fighting against the “saturation of worldly thinking”. In this time the only thing that can bring light to this chaotic situation is the Word! When it is hard to tell who is lying and who is telling the truth the abiding in the truth is our strength. When our minds and our thoughts have been inandated with worldly thinking abiding in the truth is our refuge. What a time to be in this class and growing in this area to be used by God to bring the bread of life and the living water to dry and desolate world!
Hi Kendal, 90% is amazing, yet I guess we should expect it considering the majority of people Jesus ministered to while on earth: “And hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick;” Mark 2:17a NASB (BibleGateway).
With regards to discerning who is lying or not, yes, the Word is our strength, and so is the Holy Spirit who will guide us if we are in the Word. My first Pastor told me that the way banks would train tellers to detect counterfeit money was to only let the tellers handle real money; this way, when they were handed counterfeit money, they would instantly know something wasn’t right.
Ok, that’s interesting; the story from my first Pastor that I just conveyed in my reply to you about the bank tellers, I just read in chapter 4 of CGW. I cannot remember anyone else telling that story, then I see it in our lesson. Even though the book uses it in a slightly different way, it’s still interesting.
JoAnn I agree it is so important that we keep those we counsel accountable. Not in a condemning way, but in a way that we give the tools, encouragement, and attainable goals for them to reach and grow in that accountability. Especially when it is an unbeliever. I have a young lady who I disciple who is a young mom and has been faithfully steady plodding for a 8 months now. She came to me a year ago when she was struggling with an unplanned pregnancy and all the fears, worries, and consequences that come with that. We have been meeting weekly, and we are going through a study called “Go In Peace” to deal with some heart and hurt issues. Her issues weren’t that she was pregnant, that was the consequence, the Lord went deeper and revealed (and still reveling) those secret crevices in her heart and mind that only He can reach. We go through the study slow and at a pace that she can understand and hear the Lord speak. Her walk is so new that just looking up a Bible verse is sometimes difficult. And sometimes we need to break down words and give clarity to the scripture. The Lord has taught me so much in the time I have spent with this young lady. And the importance of knowing the person we are counseling. Sometimes I have a hard time knowing when the counseling is supposed to end? Any words of wisdom on this? I tend to create long relationships with those the Lord brings me and the discipleship (which is core in biblical counseling right?) continues unless they wean off or walk away. I guess this just reminded me that those who grow in their walk seem to put the “work” into growing in their walk, whatever that pace is, as long as its a forward and upward pace. Not perfect, but seeking the One who is. <3
Excellent and timely podcast! Excited to sit under your teaching! Points I loved in the beginning of the podcast were ‘thoughts direct beliefs which direct actions’ is good to understand in discipleship! And the only way to combat wrong thinking is to be in the Word! I have been counseling for 20 years and believe that the suffieciency of the word is THE best counsel. Next point I loved was speaking the truth in love is imperative because it is not only hard to swallow but so resisted if the disciplee does not feel it was done in love! I was convicted in your podcast and know I need to grow in the area of having ready the bible verse that is needed for the flesh that gets exposed. Striking the balance of love and truth, I have been, told is my gifting yet I feel I lean more to love and struggle how to gently and lovingly transition to truth. It is the transitioning I would love to grow in! I bring in truth but don’t like how I transition to the truth. Your example of a couple who comes in for counsel who have experienced adultery is a good one! I love how you said that adultery didn’t just happen. To look back on their road that led to the adultery and you’ll find that they compromised and went off the road long before it came to adultery. An example like this is so complicated. I know have lived it and counseled it before. Love is imperative. There is so much hurt that needs tending to. I know that if you sow grace into this situation with edifying and encouraging words, honor, comfort, the value of each of them and the hope that the Word has to offer of forgiveness and healing the couple can be renewed and redeemed. I myself have been counseled and mentored with less love and more truth and even though I love the TRUTH it was very hard to swallow! I am excited to grow!
With all that is going on in our country right now with Christians throwing bible verses at fellow Christians on social media thinking that they are the deliverers of truth and feel they are obligated to keep believers accountable have totally lost the notion of love! They may even “love” the person or persons they are redirecting but the love I find that works best is the love of in person one on one gentle and kind words that is created in a discipleship relationship. Eph. 4:14 “So that we may no longer be children tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.” Is what I see in the church and is a huge danger. Eph 4:15 “Rather speaking the truth in love we are to grow up in every way into him who is the the head, into Christ….” is the weighty and priveleged honor to not just grow up disciples but also protect them and the body of Christ! With that I need all the learning and growing I can get!!!
Yes, that balance between and Truth and love is important. I guess it’s not even a balance, it should be all truth and all love. I remember the quote from Warren Weirsbe that said, ” Truth without love is brutality and love without Truth is hypocrisy.” I think we tend to lean more one way or the other if we are honest, when confronting or speaking to others. I know I have been a recipient of truth without love and I know I have given out love without truth. I pray in the power of His Spirit, the wisdom of His Word, and the heart of my Savior, that I would learn to do BOTH well. I have heard it say we can love someone to “death”. I now realize that LOVE is giving them Christ! I also want to remember what I have been graciously saved and redeemed from when I look to pour into others. Knowing that I am not above anything anyone else is struggling with or taken captive by. I think if we stay in a place of humility, prostrate before the Lord, we will be more a vessel use than of possible hindrance. Praise God for showing us what Truth in love looks like, both in word and in deed.< 3
Renewing the Mind- this may be something that little of us give attention to, but find ourselves most ruled by. So interesting to hear that 1 out of 6 people are seeking a therapist, and they are looking for answers. Looking for a quick remedy. People are either scared, they feel trapped, forgotten, alone, or just consumed by their sin. Even amongst those that I love and whom profess themselves as a believers, validate this statement. I have heard it before but it was worth hearing it again, that our thoughts lead to our beliefs, which lead to our actions, which result in the way we live our life. If our mind can be consumed, distorted, deceived and corrupted, what a foothold it gives for the enemy or even just our flesh, to a place that is no longer fruitful or being renewed. I was stirred when you said that “competent” counselors are needed. Yes they are!
I have always wanted to go back to school to earn a degree to be a school teacher. Preferably preschool or elementary school. Yet, about a year and a half ago, I started to get a stirring- or more like shoving, haha, in my heart to gain more knowledge and wisdom in biblical counseling. I kind of just prayed about it, and started asking others for books and resources to give me a running start. You see the Lord has always brought young people into my life unexpectedly, most in a crisis situation. Literally, the Lord brought us a special needs young adult who had been in foster care all of his life and was one of my son’s classmates, to stay with us for 8 months. He needed counsel. He got baptized and professed Christ as Lord, but left us and went back to his ways. I am praying for Him. Another, was a young adult single mom and her 2 month old baby who came to our door unexpectedly. She attended one of the ministries I lead at the church and had nowhere to go, nowhere to stay- lived with us for 4 month. She needed counsel. And I continue to meet with her and disciple her. This along with other young adults the Lord has given me the opportunity to serve practically, but more importantly to help grow spiritually, was what gave me the heart to want to be better equipped. They were all hurting, and like you said, there were more areas that were revealed and needed to be tended to than what they originally came to me seeking answers for. So when I got the chance and the unction to start CCU, I knew the Lord was showing me baby steps, one class at a time, one lesson at a time, to learn, soak up, and really chew and ingest all that I will be learning- so that I can be competent and pointing them towards the one who is the Great Physician, Healer, Savior rightly.
When I got saved, my eyes were open to the fact that God didn’t want to make me a moral woman, but a Holy one. I know that the Word was proclaimed, received, I repented, I was restored, and made new. Allowing the Lord to renew our minds is what we continually need and what the Lord will continually do. I can see why 90% of those coming to get counsel are either unbelievers, self reliant believers, or believers that have been sitting in stale water- because as long as we know Who to go to daily, gird ourselves up, stand prepared, and have purposed in our heart each day where we stand and on Whom we stand- we won’t be like that house built on sinking sand, but rather the home on solid ground. Praise God for His faithfulness<3
Hi Kristine, it’s awesome that God is using you this way, to counsel biblically. It’s true what you said “Renewing the Mind is something that little of us give attention to, but find ourselves ruled by!” With that we have even more reason to desire to be transformed because satan can definitely use that as a foothold in our lives. If he can distort our thinking and our hearts we can be unfruitful as Christians.
Yes! Renewing our mind through God’s Word by His Spirit is the only way to see true transformation. Thank you for sharing your life and how belief in God’s Word has made a difference both for you and in the lives of these precious young people. I can truly identify with your sense of being led to biblical counseling and wanting to see more people led to repentance and relying on the Lord as I follow Him in this calling.
Thank you Pastor Jeff for this post! It is very sad that we are still facing the pandemic in 2021 and that people are hurting and are looking for answers. However, this means there is a big harvest being readied. We who are counseling have an opportunity to disciple people through God’s Word. You rightly said that discipling others must be done daily with love, not judgment. We have to be a witness to hurting people who are receiving psychology-based counseling because humanistic philosophy can only provide temporary comfort, not the truth. Today, many Christians are living a carnal life and forgetting their purpose and God’s calling on their lives. We need a revival among believers which only comes by reading and following God’s Word and discipling others to do the same. Thank you for bringing out these points in this podcast.
Hi Anita, I agree with you; the current pandemic situation, and the heated conflicts in the land, can open a large harvest window. Peoples worlds and plans are being shaken to the core, and the sand they’re built on is shifting. I pray, as I hope others are, for the Lord to show us new ways we can minister to these people in the current landscape of isolation.
I also see there are far too many Christians walking in carnality. We all slip and fall at times, but to walk daily in the flesh brings defeat to not only the one walking it, but because they label themselves Christians, the name of Christianity itself risks being deemed hypocritical by those who see them.
In this week’s learning agenda, Pastor Bob gave an example of how we are to be of one accord. I have noticed that many church’s cater to service inside of the church walls; however, we are to be out in the battlefield, outside of the walls of the church, leading people to Christ and making disciples of all nations.
How do we do this? How do we begin? How do we help others who claim to be Christians, not to be carnal?
As the Pastors said, we are to remind them of their sins/offense against God in humility, with love. I found this to be easier when I tell a story of my offense and how Jesus saved me, in relation to the sin they are currently offending God with. Then I point out God’s plan of salvation. Sometimes I will get the “I don’t believe in God,” or, “all truths lead to God,” type of answer. I simply spill the beans and tell them that Jesus was a carpenter, and buildings and things do not build themselves and need a builder like Jesus. I tell them about all of God’s perfection from the alignment of the planets to the creation of all things. I reason with their intellect and then point all things to one God. I invite them to see the heart condition of mankind and the plans of the devil, and their need for a savior. Or, I invite them to help serve and over time they see something that changes the way they think.
Those who are saved and walking a carnal life need someone to come alongside of them to show them the ropes of how to be in service to God and to others in order to strengthen their walk. It takes a mindset of dedication to tie the cords that form the “one body” account that Pastor Bob was talking about in video 2.
True, I was really blessed by this podcast and the reminder to continually renew our minds in Christ. In order to be transformed we need to let his word transform us, by hearing the word and doing it, not just hearing it which is so easy!!
There was so much in this podcast, but what stood out to me the most was in how to minister to the worldly and legalistic. Oftentimes, I see them as polar opposites, but both (and we all) need the grace of God and the empowering work of the Holy Spirit! What a great word for today! Love, kindness and lovingkindness. A good friend of mine reminded me at a time when I was nervously stepping out in a venture of faith that “No matter who she is, every woman you teach needs Jesus, we all do”. I want to always remember love, kindness, lovingkindness as I know I have a tendency to be matter of fact and it can come off the wrong way sometimes.
How to minister to the worldly seems to be the thing of today since so many people seem to be worldly. As we are diligent to present ourselves approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly diving the word of truth (2 Tim 2:15); constantly being in the Word of God allows us to see those who are worldly as if we have a radar built in. Love, kindness and loving-kindness is something that I diligently work at since I also have a tendency to be “matter-of-factly,” and come off as being strong and can be off-putting if I do not do or say things with kindness. In our ministry I try, with each person that I speak to, to emanate a warmness through my behavior that emanates warmth, followed by my desire to hear what they are saying through my eye contact and posture. Sadly, people do not receive this kind of attention in this day and age since electronics and internet became the focus of attention.
Hi Kristine 🙂 I think you well expressed the absolute need to listen and physically show them that they are heard. It is true that the younger generation receives differently than their predecessors. I think it takes more time to find the way the person receives acknowledgement, especially during this past season of confinement, it has been quite a challenge.
I fully agree. In India, my ministry was with many different types of people but when you move in friendship and compassion they open up. What people need today is Christ’s love not just in words but through actions. As James 2:16 cautions us, without meeting “physical needs, what good is it?” People are won through patience, perseverance, and sincere love. In my ministry with my husband, for 10 years we did not see anyone come to the Lord but through committed friendship, we finally started to see some of them come to Jesus and now some of these are reaching out to their own friends and neighbors.
I was absolutely thrilled to read in your post that you and your husband have a ministry in India! Friendships are so important; Godly friendships help others to see Christ’s love and soften the hearts of non-believers.
My husband and I have a ministry to the homeless. We are called, “Loaves & Fishes; the Church Without Walls.” Our church literally has no walls, no boundaries except for the city forcing us to move to a location that is unseen by the public’s pathways. We have to go out into the streets to invite people to our little park. We do as Jesus did: Give the gospel and then afterward we meet their physical needs with food, clothing, hygiene kits, their pet’s food, Bibles (when we can afford to purchase them), winter coats/clothing, and other things if we have the money to purchase them.
God is so GOOD that for 13 years, this month, He has provided in so much abundance! We don’t have to ask for money because people see what we do and send donations, and church’s help financially each month as well. When I surrendered my own will to Christ, I told Him that I would spend the rest of my life serving Him. Of course I had to learn all about Him and share His love that changed my life, before I could serve Him. But I anxiously learned in waiting…so to say. I cannot imagine a life outside of service to Him anymore.
I would love to hear more about your ministry! <3 <3
I love that verse this week that we may not be tossed to and fro! Like many in the world today. I love that having our minds renewed is a daily habit and a part of our continual growth with God. 2020 really stripped away for my life all the false idols and false things we put our hope in. God has called us and gives us the ability to stand, and be steadfast, and trusting in only Him. Great reminder. To always be renewing our minds through Christ!
I agree that 2020 stripped so much away from each of us. When this pandemic started I began to look at it from God’s point of view. When he looks at us what does he see?
He sees everyone looking down at their phones; people consumed with their looks and fitness; sexual immorality; families not spending time together; people living to work and the “I got mine” attitude; the homeless not cared about; schools teaching secularism; the sabbath not being honored; and so much more.
The Lord allowed this to happen and the moment it happened people began to look up from their phones to see if others around them are wearing a mask; the gym’s closed pausing self-worship; quarantine probably prevented a lot of unwanted pregnancies; families were forced to spend time together; those living to work were given a break while those who didn’t want to work became more dependent; the homeless were sheltered (at least in Reno) in a convention center; children had to stay home from school and parents were forced to participate in their children’s education, and actually get to see what was being taught; church’s began to take a stand and many people returned to church and found the true value of church.
Many lives were tossed to and fro in 2020 even those who are in Christ; as away to strengthen, as a test, as a way to change the focus, to cause repentance. The Bible says that things will get worse, so it is imperative that we stay in the word. We have been forewarned so we shouldn’t be shaken by the increasing darkness; in addition, we are to go make disciples and so much work to do out there on the battlefield.
Are you involved in any kind of ministry, counseling, outreach, evangelism?
This is such an important point for us to be reminded of. Did you ever catch your mind wandering into thoughts like, “what if everybody else is right about this topic, how is it that nobody else sees this my way?” We are constantly bombarded with the world’s phiosolophy. We must not neglect the scripture because it is there that our minds will be renewed. Peter said where else would we go, only you have the words of eternal life. When dealing with a problem child that is agreeing with me and knows and quotes a lot of scripture, struggles with sin in their lives. I what to find out what their hidden “yes but” is. It is always there. It is always unspoken. It must always be brought to the surface. Yes but for me… ,or yes but in my case … or if you knew what happened to me. Only the word of God can bring out those things and move that person the the healing brought by the new life in Christ not is reliving the out life over and over. The renewing of the mind is the key of success for both councilor and counselee.
Harry I agree the temptation to see what the world is doing and the doubt that can creep in when confronted or intimidated by people of lofty caliber is a hard thing to deal with at times! Yet I go back to “What did God call ME to do?” He called me to bring people to him and to invite people to ” “come and see” Jesus for themselves.
I Believe all people need the word of God and so much more with the days we are living in!
I have witnessed many people transformed and blessed to be able to watch God work his faithfulness in these ways Pastor Jeff is talking about! When we believe in the sufficiency of scripture we have no problem handing the word of God to people like a prescription because we know that God through his word does the renewing and has the answers for all of life! I do believe there is lack of maturity and really a lack of knowledge of God in then culture and it is leading to further erosion of life all around us. I also love what was said about being trained to have a gentle voice when counseling. How often I myself have rejected what was being said because I turned off my ears to harshness! I wish there was a way I could see myself If I ever do that and say stop! Well I will have to rely on the Holy Spirit who is definitely faithful to do that for me and that’s fine with me. Also making that distinction between worldliness and soulish as opposed to spirit lead and humility in the counseling.
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