Names of God: Artos

Names of God: Artos                                                part one

Artos is the Greek word for Bread. It means, food composed of flour mixed with water and baked. The Israelites made it in the form of an oblong or round cake, as thick as one’s thumb, and as large as a plate or platter hence it was not to be cut but broken. Loaves were consecrated to the Lord and it also speaks of the bread used at the love-feasts and at the Lord’s Table. It can also mean food of any kind.

We have this name of our Savior revealed to us in John 6:35 “and Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life, He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and He believes in Me shall never thirst.’” This chapter begins with the miracle of Jesus feeding a multitude with the five barley loaves and two fish of one young boy. Jesus gave them bread to fill their bellies and a miracle to fill their eyes… but what He desired was to fill their souls with eternal life.

Jesus saw that the people where not responding to the miracle of the bread in the spirit… they were all flesh. They wanted more bread and they wanted this Jesus to be King over them now… I mean really a man who could feed the nation with the breaking of a few loaves of bread. So, Jesus retreated to the mountains alone. He was not after an earthly political kingdom… His kingdom was not of this world.

The very next day the crowd returned to get more free food from Jesus. Where there is free food the people will come. That has never changed. The crowd discovers that He is not where He was… (God rarely lingers in the past, He is a moving forward kinda God)… and well they chase Him down in Capernaum.

When they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, “Rabbi, when did You get here?” Jesus answered them and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.” Therefore, they said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?” (John 6:26-28)

 Oh this, is so funny to me… can you see it…

Have you ever had a child (or even an adult) who was wanting something, a toy, a happy meal, to go somewhere… and they knew the people who could make it happen… like Grandmothers and Papaws… and they walk in the door and they see them and it’s like “Hey, when did you get here?” And you know that tone, you know that this child has just seen the ones who can get them exactly what they want…

Here is the crowd… Hey, Jesus, when did you get here? Ummm hello. They were searching Him out, but they speak to Him as though they had been there all along and Jesus just showed up. And you know what they are thinking is, Dude we’re hungry and we know you can like break bread like crazy! And well we want you to show us how to do cool stuff like that!

Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” So, they said to Him, “What then do You do for a sign, so that we may see, and believe You? What work do You perform? Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread out of heaven to eat.’” John 6:29-31

Really? The crowd had just searched Him out and followed Him across the river to another town because they knew about the miracle of the bread and the multitude and then they come and have the audacity to ask Jesus to show them a sign… to prove Himself to them… when my guess is that it really had nothing to do with Jesus proving Himself, they just wanted to try and manipulate Him into some more free bread. Our God just does not fall for the tricks of man…

Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven.

John 6:32

Jesus takes this opportunity to remind these people that Moses was not the one who gave the bread in the wilderness God was… and He is letting them know that He is not just a prophet… He is not just a man doing works for God. He is God. For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven,and gives life to the world.

John 6:33

The bread of God is that which comes down out heaven… which means its origin, its home, is not of this earth. That which is of this earth can never give life because this earth is dying, only that which is of God has life and can give life. Only that which is of God can truly satisfy.

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger,

John 6:35

Jesus looks at the crowd and he looks at us and He says I am the Bread of Life. I am the Artos.

You know we live in a day we are surrounded by fakeness. We have fake hair, fake faces, fake clothes, fake boobs, and we have fake food.

Not only do we have fake food… but we have fake gods.

 Jesus, however, is not a fake. He is the Living God. If we eat of Him, we will have life because He is life. He is the Bread of Life.

Now let’s look at the process of bread becoming bread…

Bread begins here. It grows up from seeds planted.

And I will put enmity

Between you and the woman,

And between your seed and her seed;

He shall bruise you on the head,

And you shall bruise him on the heel.

Genesis 3:15

Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed.

He does not say, “And to seeds,” as referring to many, but rather to one,“And to your seed,” that is, Christ.

Galatians 3:16

 Then that wheat is cut down.

Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing

Daniel 9:26

Then that wheat is beat…

and threshed and slung…

and beat and beat and beat.

The wheat goes through all this in order that from it we might receive life.

But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities;

The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him

Isaiah 53:5

After the wheat is cut down, threshed, and beat it is ground Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the Praetorium

and gathered the whole Roman cohort around Him.

What does this statement mean? The Roman cohort were the personal guards of the governor which meant 60 professional men beat Him. I use the phrase: “He Jesus was beaten from pillar to post.” (there were pillars in the Praetorium, and the Bible says He was beaten tied to a post and whipped).

They stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him. And after twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on His head,

and a reed in His right hand; and they knelt down before Him and mocked Him,

saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” They spat on Him, and took the reed and began to beat Him on the head.

After they had mocked Him, they took the scarlet robe off Him and put His own garments back on Him,

and led Him away to crucify Him.

Matthew 27:27-31

…and then the broken, beat, threshed, ground wheat is mixed with a liquid and its placed in an oven… shut up in a hot tomb to wait until it’s ready.

When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus.

This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.

Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him.

And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his own new tomb,

which he had hewn out in the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the entrance of the tomb and went away.

Matthew 27:57-60

 Then the bread comes out of the oven and it comes ready to give life to all who will eat of it.

I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died.

This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die.

I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.”

John 6:48-51

So, when Jesus says that He is the Bread of Life.

He is the Artos.

He gives life because He is Life.

 

 

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Strengthening The Inner Man

Scripture: Ephesians 3:14-21

Summary: . Strength from the Spirit of God in the inner man; strength in the soul; the strength of faith, to serve God, and to do our duty. If the law of Christ is written in our hearts, and the love of Christ is shed abroad there, then Christ dwells there.

Let us turn to Ephesians 3 in our Bibles and check out the prayer Paul prayed for our inner man to be

strengthened.

Spiritual “Geritol.”

Paul asks for spiritual blessings, which are the best blessings. Strength from the Spirit of

God in the inner man (a terminology which the Greek understood and used in their daily life); strength

in the soul; the strength of faith, to serve God, and to do our duty. If the law of Christ is written in our

hearts, and the love of Christ is shed abroad there, then Christ dwells there. Where his Spirit dwells,

there he dwells. We should desire that good affections may be fixed in us. And how desirable to have a

fixed sense of the love of God in Christ to our souls! How powerfully the apostle speaks of the love of

Christ! The breadth shows its extent to all nations and ranks; the length that it continues from

everlasting to everlasting; the depth, its saving those who are sunk into the depths of sin and misery;

the height, its raising them up to heavenly happiness and glory. Those who receive grace for grace from

Christ’s fullness may be said to be filled with the fullness of God. Should not this satisfy man? Must man

need fill himself with a thousand trifles, fancying thereby completing his happiness?

Particularly, Paul desires them not to faint on account of his afflictions in their behalf; declares that he

bows his knees in prayer before the great Father of the redeemed family, that God would be pleased to

strengthen them, and enlighten them, and give them clear views of the glorious plan.

How can ‘The Inner Man’ be strengthened?

Permanence of Christ Ephesians 3:16-17.

For many of us, this is basic Christianity. Children speak of Christ in their heart – though, we often find

this basic idea difficult as well … how is it that Christ dwells in our heart? This metaphor is strongly

related to all suggestions that our lives are connected with Christ. Whether conflict, or success, or

failings, our lives have been connected with Christ … whether Christ “dwells in our hearts” because he

is always in our thoughts, and we pray just as we breathe”, or if this is something deeper and more

mystical … Paul’s prayer is that we are tied more and more closely with Christ.

At Home

When we put our faith in Jesus Christ, it’s as if we invite Him to come and make our hearts His home.

But in a very real sense, He is not yet “at home” there until He takes full possession of every area. He

takes us on a tour of our hearts, as it were, takes a look at a room that is behind a locked door, and

says, “Child, I would like to go into this room. Would you please hand Me the key?” We might be very

unwilling to do so. We might be afraid to let Him in that room because of what we keep in it. “No, Lord.

I keep that room locked for a reason. There are things in there that it would not be appropriate for You

to see. I have some favorite sins and habits I keep in there. I’d rather You not go in there.” For Jesus to

dwell in our hearts by faith would require that we give Him the key to that room. It would be as if He

says, “Child, your heart is now My home; and I must make Myself at home everywhere – even in this

locked room. Give Me the key; and let’s clean out this room of the things that don’t belong in your life,

so that I can truly be at home in every area of your heart.”

What’s That Smell?

Later on, He takes us to a closet, sniffs, and says, “Child, there’s something smelly in this closet. Open

the door to Me and let Me have a look inside.” And we say, “No, Lord! Not that closet; because that’s

where I’ve been keeping the resentment and bitterness that I’ve been holding onto against someone.

It’s been in there for years. You can have access to everywhere else; but let’s just leave that closet

alone. Believe me; You don’t want to open that closet.” But He says, “Child; if I can’t go into this closet,

then I’m not really at home in your heart. Open the door; and let’s go in and clean those awful, putrid

things out so I can truly be at home in your heart.”

What’s Below?

Later on, still, He says, “Let’s go have a look in the basement.” You were afraid He might say that. “Oh,

Lord” you say; “Please, no! Let’s not go into the basement. I have some things in my past that I’m

deeply afraid of down there – horrible things that I try to forget. It’s dark down there; and those old

things are very frightening and very ugly. I’d rather keep them there, under lock and key, so they won’t

ever be free to bother me. Let’s just stay on the upper levels where it’s well-lit and happy.” But the Lord

says, “Child; if I can’t have full access to the basement – and you with Me when I go there – then I’m

not really at home in your heart. Take My hand. Let’s go down there, turn on the lights, and conquer

those things together.”

What’s Up Top?

And later on, still, He says, “I would like to have a look at the attic now.” And once again, you groan. “Oh

no, no, no, Lord! A thousand times no! Not up there! That’s where I keep my thought life; and I sure

don’t want you to see what goes on up there! That’s where I go to think about things, I don’t want You

to see!” And, once again, He says, “Child, if I don’t have the attic, then I’m not really at home in your

heart. Open the door to Me. Let’s go up the stairs together and clean out what’s in your mind. Let Me

be the Lord of your thought-life; and then I can be truly at home in every area of your heart.”

So then; Paul prays for us that Christ may dwell in our hearts by faith – truly dwell there! He prays that

the Lord may gain access to every room in the house; so that He can truly make Himself at home. And

you can see now why Paul says that he prays that we would be strengthened by the Holy Spirit in the

inner man! We would need all of the strength that the Spirit provides in order for Jesus to make Himself

at home in every area of our hearts!

But the more Christ is at home in our hearts, the more His love will permeate His home.

 

 

 

Balancing Truth and Love.

BALANCING TRUTH AND LOVE

Scripture: 2 John 1:1-1:6

Let’s go back in time to what was happening in and around the churches at Ephesus. Itinerant heretics  were traveling from town to town sowing discord among the brethren.  Then as now these vagabond Jews were imposing upon Christian hospitality. Second John is concerned with the relation of Christian truth to hospitality extended to false teachers.

Such hospitality was often abused. These men were the same group that were the subject of first John One.

Genuine Christianity could be recognized by the orthodoxy of their message and are worthy of aid; but heretical teachers, especially those who denied the Incarnation are to be rejected, John encourages “the elect lady” to continue showing hospitality, but he also warns and guards against the abuse of Christian fellowship. Throughout the epistle he stresses truth as the basis and test of fellowship. In particular, he insists on a correct belief regarding the Incarnation of Christ, and charges that those who reject this reality have gone beyond the doctrine of Christ. He urges readers of the letter to keep close to Christ by abiding in the truth.

Intro: The Apostle John personally wrote to the “elect lady” who seemed to have erred on the side of love and also needed to take heed on the side of truth. Note: the word “truth” is mentioned 4X in this epistle (vv. 1, 2, 3, 4). The word “love” is also mentioned 4X (vv. 1, 3, 5, 6). The number “four” is connected to “stability or balance” in the scriptures.”

I. GOD HAS THE PERFECT BALANCE
A. Notice that the Lord is a balanced Person. God is truth (Deut. 32:4); God is love (I John 4:16).
B. Observe that in the proper balance, God never compromises one attribute to manifest the other. God is always love and He is always truth! So, He never departs from one in order to be the other.

II. GOD EXPECTS US TO BE BALANCED
A. See Prov. 11:1. We as God’s children are to stand up for the truth – Jesus Christ (John 14:6); and the word of God is the truth (John 17:17).
B. We, as God’s children, are also to walk in the truth (II John 4); speak the truth (Eph. 4:15); and obey the truth (I Pet. 1:22)
C. We are to express the same love God has bestowed upon us. Observe that the Father’s love for the Son is the same as the Son’s love for the believer (John 15:9). The Son’s love for the believer is the same as the believer’s love for his fellow believer (John 15:12). The Lord Jesus declared that in this true biblical love for God and our fellowmen hang all the law and the prophets! (Matt. 22:40)
D. Loving one another was a new commandment issued by the Son (John 13:34). It is a –
1. A proof of our salvation (I John 3:14).
2. A token of our discipleship (John 13:35).
3. A sacrificial love (I John 3:16).
4. A mark of our love for God (I John 4:20).

III. GOD SEES THE PROBLEM OF IMBALANCE
A. Most tend to lean in one direction or the other. Note: Truth without Love becomes harsh, cruel and prideful. “Knowledge puffeth up” (I Cor. 8:1b).
B. Conversely, Love without Truth conforms to the world and believes and stands on nothing absolute.
C. An example of imbalance is “the elect lady.”

  1. 1. Truth – from the corrections in this epistle, we are compelled to believe that the elect lady had compromised truth. In verse two John gives her advice to caution her. The possession of a permanent truth is the chief reason to remain faithful and not be led astray.
  2. Love – It also seems this lady was erring to stand on the side of love.
    D. Biblical love never sacrifices truth; and biblical truth never sacrifices love. Love rejoices in truth and truth rejoices in love.

The two are inseparable! Like so many of us, the elect lady probably erred either on the side of truth or on the side of love.

In verse six John advises her to be obedient to the truth of the word because Love motivates obedience. Obedience implies a relationship.

Conclusion: Dan. 5:27 (“TEKEL”). Brethren, have you likewise been weighed in God’s balance and found wanting on the side of Truth? Or have you been weighed and found wanting on the side of Love? Biblically speaking, falling short in one is falling short in both! May we seek God’s grace and mercy today for His help in finding the balance between truth and love that He wants us to have. Let us pray!

Hope is the fuel of our Soul

HOPE IS THE FUEL OF OUR SOUL

The Scriptures very clearly tell us that our Hope (both eternal and temporal) should be solely in the Lord Jesus Christ, His promises and His character. He is the source of all believers’ expectations and the fountain head of our hope. So, our trust must always be directed to and centered upon the person of Christ.

The Word of God contrary to today’s progressive mentality admonishes us, “Do not put you trust in princes, Nor in a son of man (a human being)  in whom there is no salvation, his spirit departs, he returns to his earth; in that very day his plans perish. Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God…” Psalm 146: 3-5.

Now there is a difference  between “beginning” hope (which usually depends upon our own sight) and “mature” hope (which comes from “experientially knowing” God’s faithfulness and love). Romans 5:3-5 tells us, “patience worketh experience and experience, hope.” In other words, mature hope is gained only through experience. That’s the tough part. There’s a purifying process that we all must go through in order to reach that mature state of hope.

The Importance of the Word of God. The significance of Hebrews 4:12 is one of the most revelatory verse’s in the Bible. Yet, many of us do not let the Scripture really sink in. Take a moment to reflect on the words. “For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

The Word of God is not only what divides our soul from our spirit, it’s also what combats the lies of the enemy. God’s Word tells us that Satan is the “father of lies.” And it’s only His Word (God’s rod) that will help us defeat the enemy, and His Spirit (His Staff) that will help us traverse the Valley of the Shadow of death in order to reach intimacy with the Lord.

“Hope,” therefore, focuses on the character of God. Hope, then, is the connection or the vehicle by which the Word of God is implemented in our lives. So, whenever we choose to hope for God’s promises—and speak them forth—we have the confidence that God’s Spirit will perform them in His way and by His timing. Psalm 130:5 says it so simply: “I wait for the Lord… and in His Word do I hope.”

Hebrews 11:11 tells us: By faith Sarah herself receive strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised. Sarah gave birth to Isaac when she was 90 years of age because she looked away from her physical inability and judged God faithful to keep His word.

Faithfulness is the word emuwnah Strong’s # 530 in the Hebrew, and this word only occurs in the Old Testament. It always speaks of God’s faithfulness toward man. It speaks of His trustworthiness, His security, His truthfulness and His honesty towards us. Our text tells us that “Hope” is really based upon knowing and experiencing God’s faithfulness.

It’s our faith in His faithfulness and love that is going to give us hope for the future.  There is much confusion about faith and hope that comes from the fact that we haven’t been taught about God’s faithfulness, but the emphasis has always been on our faith. Hope is the only thing that allows us to apply both His love and His faithfulness to our lives.

God’s Spirit uses our human spirit not only to restore true spiritual communication in our lives but also to carry out the process of our soul’s sanctification. Sanctification simply means the process of restoring our human spirit to its rightful place, as director of our souls.

This restoration is crucially important because until our soul is completely submitted to our spirit, our communication with the Lord will be hindered. If we are “a child of God,” His Spirit will always bear witness to us, lead us and guide us through our human spirit.

A true spiritual man is one in whom the spirit, rules, not the soul. God’s will is that our regenerate spirit becomes stronger and stronger, so that it can work alongside God’s Spirit to control and govern our soul. Our new spirit will then be able to operate outwardly through our soul to communicate with the world and others, while operating inwardly toward God and communing with Him.

What is the purification of our spirit? We must choose moment by moment to crucify the flesh (soul and body) and choose to walk by the Spirit. As 2 Corinthians 7:1 tells us: “Having, therefore, these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”  Purification of our spirit simply means a spirit that is freed from all soulish influence. Our spirit gets polluted through our “flesh.”

God wants to purify our spirit so that it can be freed of soulish entanglements and begin to direct our lives. He wants us to know His will through our conscience, discern His leading and guiding through our intuition and begin to fellowship and commune with Him in our spirit.

All of our own self-justification, self-defense and self-orientation only betrays an unbroken and unpurified spirit. Until our spirit is purified, we will be full of ourselves. Many are not aware that the Scripture says our spirits also need to be purified. Without constant cleansing of our spirit, we will never experience a pure conscience, a lively intuition or sweet fellowship with God.

If our spirit does not grow stronger, and the soulish things in our lives become less and less we have not really grown at all. Real advancement is only measured by the growth of our spirit.

What is our soul?  Since we are defining what our spirit is, let’s define what our soul is. Then we won’t get these fuzzy parts of our makeup confused. It is important to understand these basic elements of our tri-part being 1 Thessalonians 5:23 so we can allow them to function properly.

Our spirit is the inward power source of our lives. Our soul is the outward expression of our lives—it’s made up of natural thoughts emotions, desires. In other words, our soul is the “life” we show from our bodies (often visible), where in our spirit is the “source” of that life (always invisible).

Dividing our soul from our spirit.  The process of Sanctification is simply becoming holy, purified or consecrated; it is a holistic cleansing of  body, soul and spirit.

It is the process of seeing Christ’s Life reproduced in us. Sanctification is simply the process of  separating, dividing and cutting away the soulish things in our lives from the spiritual.

Our greatest problem is impurity. Remember we have become a “dual” man. Our Outward man (our soul) continually affects our inward man (our spirit), and this cannot be. Our inward man needs to be released in order to direct our outward man. In other words, our spirit needs to be set free from  the tyranny of the soul. The only way this freedom is possible is to divide and separate the two.

So, to the degree that we allow God’s Word and His Spirit to show us our “selves,” is the degree to which our spirit can be purified. Hebrews 4:12 points out what this process is like ”… piercing even to the dividing asunder of the soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

This Scripture points out that our soul and spirit together are similar to bones, which consist of joints and marrow. In order to divide our bones, they must be broken, disunited or separated. God’s Word is like His sword, and He uses the power of His sword to cut, pierce and divide our soul and spirit, just as you would divide the joints and marrow of our bones.

A joint is a coming together of two parts. Just as our soul is the place where our body, soul and spirit meet. Marrow means the best part, the inner most part where strength, vitality and life come from the richest treasure within our bones. Only when our spirit (the marrow) is separated away from our soul (the Joint) can it be sanctified by the Life of God.

In the separating of joints means to “Cut across” the bones. To divide the marrow from the joint means “Crack the Bones” or “break the bones.”

Death at the Cross brings life. Dying to self is virtually unheard of in the life of most Christians. God is looked upon as a huge candy store not limited to only snacks, but full course meals eaten while sitting in our new expensive one of a kind Lamborghini.

God is desirous of making us holy by removing all the sin in our lives (our souls), Romans 8:29 informs us that the He wants us to be conformed to the image of Jesus by removing any character flaws belief systems, habits, thought patterns, or structures (in our spirit) that prevent His Life from flowing through us.

God accomplished both of these purposes by the Cross. Life comes only from the Cross. The Cross is the structure that breaks character flaws belief systems, habits, thought patterns, or structures that affect or personalities by bringing them to death at the Cross. We come to the Cross and place these flaws there and consider them as dead.

The Cross is the heart of all love and love is the heart of the Cross. The Cross is the only way to rise above all that imprisons our souls and spirit. The whole purpose of the Cross is to purge the soulish things in our lives (empty us out) so God can fill us with His abundant Life.

Throughout the Bible, the principle that “Life only comes through death” is very apparent. Remember John 12:24: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall unto the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth (hangs on to) his life shall lose it; and he that hateth (is willing to surrender it) his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.”

Hope is the only way we won’t be tossed about, the only way we won’t be turned around and the only way we won’t be driven by the winds of change as we patiently wait for God’s promises to come to pass (James 1:6).

You can see why God calls hope the “anchor of our soul” (Hebrews 6:18-19). It simply means we have “sure confidence” in God, His love and faithfulness no matter what He “allows.

In Closing: Our hope is going to be built on the purification of our spirit. If our spirit is purified, our hope will prevail. If our spirit is unclean, our hope will fail…

 

 

 

 

 

Our Emotional Response System —Anger part seven

Our Emotional Response System —Anger                                         part seven

Understand this, my beloved brethren. Let every man be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to take offense and to get angry. For man’s anger does not promote the righteousness God wishes and desires. James 1:19,20 Amplified.

Anger is a universal problem. It is not limited to one age group, culture, race, economic  level, social  status, educational  background, or any other  classification.

What is Anger?

Anger is a reaction of tension and hostility aroused by the frustration of a desire or of other goal directed behavior. Ordinarily situations that arouse anger may generally pass over quickly; but if they do not, anger becomes a set behavioral pattern and attitude.

If this persists for a long period of time, then anger affects the whole of the person’s life; emotionally, psychologically, physically and relationally. Unresolved anger will create secondary negative emotions. Guilt, fear and depression become the major secondary negative emotions.

Feeling fear and sadness is quite uncomfortable for most people; it makes you feel vulnerable and oftentimes not in control.  Because of this, people tend to avoid these feelings in any way they can.  One way to do this is by subconsciously shifting into anger mode.

In contrast to fear and sadness, anger can provide a surge of energy and make you feel more in charge, rather than feeling vulnerable or helpless.  Essentially, anger can be a means of creating a sense of control and power in the face of vulnerability and uncertainty.

Let’s look at a few examples.  When anger arises between couples sometimes there’s a fear of abandonment underneath.  In these instances, it’s a combination of fear and anticipatory loss that can fuel the anger.

Uncertainty – when you lack ample information and things feel indefinite   – can also trigger anger.  Why?  Because uncertainty touches upon the “unknown,” which tends to be scary for most people.  Even boredom can generate anger or irritation because there can be a subtle sense of loss or fear associated with the experience of not engaging in something stimulating or productive.

While having some “sense of control” is correlated with greater emotional wellbeing, excessive desire for control only leads to suffering, as it’s impossible to always be in control, especially of other people’s behavior.

Identify the  Root Cause of Anger

Anger is a serious problem. What causes it? The root cause of the emotion of anger is tension from past hurts and guilt. This mixture of pain and guilt is cumulative, and it erupts in anger when  new offenses  remind us of past  experiences.

Most people assume that hurtful events in the past will  be forgotten  and will  have no effect on the future. That is not true. Past hurts do not just go away, nor does guilt simply disappear after a wrong response to a situation. Unless these experiences are resolved through taking accountability, confessing one’s sin, repenting and receiving forgiveness , we will continue to experience  bouts of anger  when  our tension  points are triggered.

ANGER Vs. DEPRESSION: TWO SIDES OF THE SAME COIN

Depression is often anger turned inward, and anger is often depression turned outward. … Yet inside many depressed people is a very real anger that they don’t feel empowered enough to express. And inside many angry people is a sadness and depression that they’re afraid to experience.

Would you rather be around someone who’s depressed, or someone who’s angry?

Anyone who’s ever had to live or work with someone who’s anger v. depression chronically depressed or angry knows that it’s no fun. If you suffer from either malady yourself, you’re probably not too thrilled with it either.

We tend to think of depression and anger as two completely different conditions. Yet they’re often flip sides of the same coin.

Depression is often anger turned inward, and anger is often depression turned outward.  (I’m talking about the everyday kind, not the severe clinical kind.)

Depression often presents itself as sad, weary, lethargic behavior. Depressed people often feel like they’re just going through the motions of life without any energy or joy. Anger, on the other hand, seems full of seething, venomous, explosive energy that erupts at the slightest annoying act.

Proverbs 29:11– Fools give full vent to their anger, but the wise bring calm in the end.

Yet inside many depressed people is a very real anger that they don’t feel empowered enough to express. And inside many angry people is a sadness and depression that they’re afraid to experience.

I can tell you I’ve experienced both these phenomena myself. I’ve been fearful of expressing anger, yet the energy it took to stifle it sucked the life out of me. I’ve also been so afraid to sit with my own sadness that I lashed out at others.

And therein lies the problem. We’re too afraid to experience our real emotions, so we consciously or unconsciously stuff them, and the act of doing so brings out the equally, or frequently worse, flip side emotion. Anger turns into sadness and sadness turns into anger.

Expectations—and loss of expectation

When  people make promises and fail to keep them,  we tend to hold  that against them and become  resentful of their failure to fulfill  our expectations. When we expect certain behavior or benefits from others-especially those  who are closest to us-and they do not act as we expect, this resentment can also occur.

Proverbs 13:12 says: “Hope deferred makes a heart sick” A literal meaning of the phrase “Hope deferred” is the loss of expectations,” or a lack of fulfillment of expectations, which is similar to a death experience.” When this occurs , then our hearts are sick with grief, caused by this “death experience.” And if this grief, is not recognized or acknowledged or even denied, then depression will result.

The grief is the primary emotion, while the depression is the secondary emotion. We all have expectations. Expectations are what we call “Hope.”

We all have expectations at different stages and roles as we walk through various stages of our lives. We have expectations of our professions, work, friends, pastors and church life. “Expectations” are what we call “hope.” When these expectations are not fulfilled, then a “death of expectation” occurs. If we do not acknowledge that a death has taken place, then we embrace worldly grief.

This sets in motion a syndrome in which grief (sorrow) is characterized by guilt, anger, denial and depression. This grief, which is the primary emotional response to loss or death, is one of major causes of sickness and disease. If this grief remains unresolved, then it will lead to death, for “worldly grief leads to death” (2 Corinthians 7:10)

God heals damaged emotions—–Psalm 34:17–18; Psalm 146:7–9; Psalm 147:3

For you to flourish, you must be emotionally healthy. People get stuck in survival mode & never get free.

Emotional healing is painful. But better to endure a short period of intense honesty, pain, and healing (like a surgery) than a lifetime of emotional or physical sickness (an endless, gnawing pain).

Emotions can be harder to heal than the body. The body doesn’t talk back. Emotional problems do not mean someone is unspiritual.   He or she is wounded and needs healing.

Know who you are in Christ: a child of God who is loved (John 1:12; 1 John 3:1).

Forgive others (Matthew 6:12, 14–15). Unforgiveness is emotional cancer—like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.

Let go of vengeance and put everything in God’s hands (Romans 12:17–21). When you forgive someone, you set a prisoner free.

Then you discover that the prisoner was yourself. Three big points in forgiveness: God, Others, Self.

Repent of sin (Acts 8:22–23).

If a person is demonized and the demon is cast out, it will return if the inner problem (that originally allows the demon to enter) is not dealt with (Luke 11:24–26).

Get rid of the garbage and the flies are easy to get rid of.

Renounce lies and affirm the truth (Matthew 22:29).

Be particularly aware of distorted concepts of God and of ourselves.

Intergenerational problems. Determine that things stop here. Change your family legacy. Expect and follow the Holy Spirit’s leading (John 16:13).

This is not counseling. It is God bringing healing at a person’s deepest level. How do we know if we’re healed?

Initially when we recall a previously painful memory and it has no effect on us. The stinger is removed by our Lord, the pain is gone, only God can do this at the deepest level.

Healing is fully realized when we turn our pain into a ministry to others (2 Cor. 1:3–4).

Studies have shown that humans are almost always feeling at least one emotion. Everything in your life is deeply emotional, even if you aren’t aware of it. Therefore, putting some time and effort into understanding your emotions can be a worthy investment.

It can bring you closer to learning how to fill your life with positive emotions. And this is most definitely a path worth pursuing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Emotional Response System. Part six

Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. Proverbs 4:23

What happens when we feel an emotion? The latest theory explaining the inner workings of emotions goes like this: Emotions are composite experiences made up of many parts much like a puzzle.

”A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.” Ecclesiastes 3:4.

Each part or emotion, like fear or joy, comes together simultaneously in a group of many parts such as body postures, brain chemicals, neurological or electrical signals, sensations, and thought forming a pattern that is recognizable.

Being able to feel emotions is part of what makes us human. In John’s gospel he gives us an account of our Lord Jesus and His emotions. In chapter eleven verse 33, and 38 we are told He groaned. The word in Greek is embrimaoimai meaning to express anger, Mark 14:5; also, to indicate a speaking or acting with deep feeling. In between verse 33-38 inverse 35 -Jesus wept.

Many people struggle to understand their emotions and the things that cause us to feel so deeply. Emotionally, we often experience a huge range of different things in response to any situation. For example,  If you are depressed the result of this is anger turned inward, forming a depressed state. Anger is often depression turned outward. We will be digging into these statements later in this series. The reason many of us struggle to identify our emotions properly is that they are often gone as fast as they appear. We are constantly experiencing new things which means our emotions are rarely static, which complicates being able to identify what is going on with our emotions.

Let’s have a peek at where this term comes from. The term emotions comes from Latin emovere meaning moving, this term is a combination of energy and motion, an expression of how life is constantly in flowing motion.

We may feel emotions from a situation, an experience, or from memories. They assist us to understand the things we are experiencing and to express the way those things make us feel whether they are good or  bad.

Primary and Secondary.

Imagine something has happened, anything, and suddenly you are feeling an emotion. It is strong; it is the first reaction to what has happened. That is a primary emotion. Primary emotions are the body’s first response, and they are usually very easy to identify because they are so strong. The most common primary emotions are fear, happiness, sadness, and anger.

These may also be secondary emotions given different situations, but when we first react, it’s usually with one of the above. If the phone rang and someone started yelling at you for no reason you would probably feel angry or afraid or if the phone rang and someone told you that your dog had died you would feel sad. There does not have to be a huge stimulus to elicit a primary emotion. Primary emotions are adaptive because they make us react a certain way without being contaminated or examined. They are very much an instinctual, primal, survival response.

Primary Emotions

Primary emotions are more transient than secondary emotions which is why they are less complicated and easier to understand. The first thing we feel is directly connected to the event or stimulus but as time passes, we struggle to connect the same emotion with the event because our emotions have changed.

Secondary Emotions

Secondary emotions are much more complex because they often refer to the feelings you have about the primary emotion. These are learned emotions which we get from our parent(s) or primary care givers as we grow up. For example, when you feel angry you may feel ashamed afterward or when you feel joy, you may feel relief or pride. In Star Wars, Master Yoda explained secondary emotions perfectly – “fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.”

Secondary emotions can also be divided into instrumental emotions. These are unconscious and habitual. We learn instrumental emotions as children as a form of conditioning. When we cry a parent comes to soothe us; so, we learn to use the facial expressions and response associated with crying when we need that soothing or sense of security.

How To Tell The Difference?

Aside from secondary emotions being harder to name, there are several ways to determine whether you are feeling a primary emotion or a secondary one. Firstly, ask yourself if the emotion is directly a reaction or not. If it is a direct connection, then it is a primary emotion. If the emotion came on strongly, but that feeling has begun to fade then it is also likely a primary emotion; if the opposite is true it’s more likely to be a secondary emotional reaction.

If the emotion lingers long after the event has happened or even effects new but similar or connected events, then it is likely to be secondary. If the emotion is complex, it’s almost always secondary. There is such a thing as tertiary emotions, but as elusive as secondary emotions are tertiary emotions are even harder to pin down.

What Use Are Primary are Secondary Emotions?

Primary and secondary emotions tell a person a lot about their emotional stability and integrity. Rather than blindly accepting an emotion, being able to understand where it comes from and the actions that led up to that emotion can act as a path to trace back to prior abuse or traumatic events that have left emotional scars.

Finding the real cause behind a person’s reaction means examining the primary emotion, while the secondary emotion will help to understand how we processes information. Also, by slowing down the thought process and consciously working through the internal reasons why someone feels a certain way, they are likely to understand more about themselves through a process that would have been entirely unconscious until now.

Another reason why identifying emotions is important is to be able to react to them properly. For someone who struggles with handling emotions or reacting appropriately being unable to express themselves can be frustrating. This, in turn, leads to anger and even rage.

Conclusion: Everyone experiences primary and secondary emotions

Let’s examine our two charts beginning with Primary emotions.

 

 

THE HOLY SPIRIT AND EMOTIONS part five

THE HOLY SPIRIT AND EMOTIONS                                                              part five

Fruit

Spirituality is a life normally dominated by primary emotions—primary in the sense that these are what Christian existence is founded upon. Note how each term of the fruit of the Spirit carries an emotional connotation.

But the fruit of the Spirit is Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, good goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control Gal.5:22,23.

The work of the Spirit of God in the fruit that he produces is in stark contrast to the works of the flesh (Gal 5:19-21): “…hostilities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish rivalries, dissensions, factions, envying, … and similar things. The contrast to the fruit of the Spirit may be negative and sinful but it is also deeply emotional. The result is that the fruit of the Spirit replaces an emotionally powerful set of opposites. The work of the Spirit is obviously in the arena of the emotions.

This evidence of the emotional impact of the Spirit of God is also found in Eph 5:18 where Paul tells the believers in Ephesus to not get drunk with wine resulting in dissipation and instead to allow the deficits to be filled up by spiritual qualities. These result in singing and gratitude and mutual submission. Both of those experiences must be profoundly emotional.

Filling emphasizes applying the resources of the Spirit of God to our individual weaknesses. In Eph 5:18 the condition of drunkenness must be changed to joy and a disciplined life through the filling of the Spirit.

Dress up

Paul admonishes us to: “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.” Romans 13:14.

We now turn our attention to scripture to consider more specifically the outworking of this ministry of the Spirit looking generally at Pauline teaching and concluding with a more detailed examination of Col 3:1-12. This section is important because it underscores the reality of many factors within our lives and the entire Trinity is involved in the Spirit’s positive impact upon our emotions.

Management of our Emotions

  1. The management of our emotions involves our imagination (how we reckon; Rom 6:11)
  2. our mind (how we set our perspective; Rom 8:5-7)
  3. and our ego or self (how we relate to God and people). The terms fall naturally into that order because how we relate to people and to God is based on how we imagine the world to be and God to be, and how we analyze what life presents to us.

Management of our emotions is a by-product of several such factors. In New Testament terms the “by-product” nature of emotions is illuminated using fruit and tree imagery. Matthew 7:15-20 and Gal 5:22 underscore the fact that character, the proper use of emotions and our inner life, is a product of a healthy set of spiritual processes or a healthy tree. Seemingly the healthy tree is the identity, perspective, and relationships of the righteous person. This makes the entire process more holistic and fits the biblical and psychological realities well.

What we must do to gain and maintain spiritual health.

  1. We must recognize or differentiate what is going on within our emotional life and in the management of our appetites (Gal 5:16-24). This gives us information as to where we are starting from, either with spirituality or carnality.
  2. We reckon or decide after thinking about it for a while on how God the Father views us, we control our imagination. This reckoning becomes the basis of our relationship to God as a Father.
  3. We must set our minds on our relationships above; we control our thinking (Rom 8:1-6; Col 3:1-3). The terms used in both Rom 8 and Col 3 refer to perspective as the way that we look at something.
  4. By reckoning we relate to God personally instead of to our appetites (Rom 6:11-12). The focus of a person’s inner life can either be the God on the outside or the appetites on the inside. Sadly, our appetites many times have far more impact on many of us than God does. The focus of our inner person must be on God the Father, and our identity before him as found in Christ, and not in our appetites. So, no matter the level of pressure from our inward desires, we must freely approach and share ourselves with God.
  5. By reckoning we control our memories (Phil 4:8-9). Believers are to take the positive blessings God brings into our lives and use them as our personal definition and assumption as to what reality is. Oftentimes the fearful and anxious person selectively takes from experience only those things that can be linked to the past trauma and dread. One can just as legitimately take the positive, noble, and happy experiences and have them as the definition of the core of reality.
  6. As a result, we experience the primary emotions. Love, joy, and peace can appear and become the stabilizing force in our personality and relationships.

Probably the clearest example of the interplay between emotions and our ability to picture God’s view of our identity with Christ, manage a perspective, and relate to God and people is Col 3:1-12. What is of great importance is to notice the sequence of transitional words and phrases that show that the sections of the passage are interconnected and interdependent.

Each new section’s application is dependent upon the practice of the preceding portion’s principles, with the result that the commands of the third and fourth sections are based upon the practice of all the preceding parts. So, the combined effect of practicing verses 1-11 allows for the compassion of verse 12.

COLOSSIANS 3:1-12

The entire ethic starts with a picture of the believer’s identity with Christ. At the same time, we are to pursue a perspective that is built around heavenly realities and relationships.

Verses 1-4. The believer is encouraged to seek the things above;

  1. those things are peace (1:20),
  2. reconciliation (1:22),
  3. our completeness ( 2:10),
  4. our identification with Christ before God and holding fast to the Head –read vs. prep for vs. (2:19).

This is very similar to the statement that every variety of spiritual blessings exists for the believer before the Father in heaven. We are to set our perspective around these realities because we have been identified with Christ.

This is an identity hidden from the world, but the important reality is that the hiding is God’s choice. The all-important one, God, not only intimately knows this identity, he is also the one who has chosen to hide our identity in relationship to him. At the proper time when Christ is revealed to the world, so will our identification be revealed (v. Col. 3: 4). What should control our perspective is the picture that God has of us. In Greek the commands of this section emphasize that these should be a continual part of the believer’s life. We should not allow this exercise to slack, but instead pursue God as defined by these realities they should be continual with us. As we do this, a door will be opened to the management of our inner life.

Verses 5-7. As the relationship to the Father is pursued, we can deal with the moods and desires that are an ever-present problem on this earth. We can put them to death as they course through our members. This can only be done though as the previous relationships are sustained and used. We do this by taking the mood or appetite into the Father’s presence and relating the feelings within to him. In doing this we can transition from unbridled appetite to self-control as the person of the Holy Spirit makes this adjustment.

We can go from great anxiety to great peace. Our identity in Christ gives us permission to be richly personal concerning our internal struggle: seeking the things above deeply affects the way we perceive things and therefore changes the way we feel; setting our perspective properly also has a deeply emotional result.

Verses 8-11. As we deal with compulsions from within through a living relationship with God, we find the ability to deal with our relationships without. Many of our external relationships are simply lived in reaction to what is going on within. As the Proverb says, with all that we guard, we must guard the heart, for from it are the goings-fourth of life (Prov 4:23).

Jesus observed that from the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks (Matt 12:34) (Col. 3:12). All three passages—Proverbs, Matthew, and Colossiansare saying the same thing: address what is going on within and it will become the basis for changing how we are acting with people without.

Verse 12.  As the three previous practices are learned, the heart finds peace, joy, and love more and more present. With those emotions becoming the environment of the heart, the believer is free to look at people in a new way, sympathetically, and relate to them in a new way as a servant for their good. Without addressing the turmoil internally, the believer would never notice the needs and problems of the people we must live among. As we manage our inner lives, we are given the opportunity to become other-directed people.

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