Your Emotions Always Tell the Truth.                               3rd in Emotions series

Your Emotions Always Tell the Truth.

(Just not always the truth you think.) Numb is the new normal. Escapism masks our Inner turmoil. Emotional immaturity undermines our spiritual growth.

We run from our emotions, repress and ignore them, try to smooth our inner turbulence with wise­ sounding spiritual phrases. Still, many of us find ourselves stuck. We deal with the same struggles repeatedly. Relationships fail. We do all the right Christian things, and yet don’t sense an increased intimacy with God or the people around us.

We were created in God’s image (Gen.1:27).   That means our emotions were, too.

So why do we consider our emotions untrustworthy?

Why is emotional maturity not a part of discipleship in the church?

There must be a better way.

What happens when your maps are wrong?

Imagine you’re a pioneer on your way to a new life. You’re crossing miles of unfamiliar terrain, so you’re glad to have a map along. With that map, you hope to steer clear of the worst dangers along the way.

What you don’t know is that your map is wrong. Will you get lost? Will you stumble into danger? You never know when you’re following a bad map.

In life, we get handed all kinds of maps. Some from parents. Some from teachers and pastors. These maps are ways of thinking about life. Often these maps are full of wisdom, but sometimes they contain myths. We follow them at our peril.

Many of us have received maps like this from the church about our emotional life. Here are 4 dangerous myths about emotions that you probably learned in church.

Myth 1. Emotions Always Lie.

If you grew up in the church, undoubtedly you heard a pastor say, “Whatever you do, don’t make an emotional decision.” Like all good myths, this one has a seed of truth in it. We can all name people who followed their emotions right off a cliff. (Maybe it was us!) Emotions spike with intensity. Sometimes in response we act in short-sighted, or self-destructive ways.

So, it’s not uncommon for Christians to think of emotions as temptations or distractions, to fear that emotions can only lead us astray. But that’s not true.

Response to Myth 1: Emotions always tell us something true.

Emotions don’t lie. They can’t. Emotions are like the check engine light on the dashboard of your car. That light is there to give you information vital for keeping your car in great working order.

 

In the same way, emotions exist to bring us information about our inner world and outer circumstances. Because of the way they are designed, emotions always tell us something true; it’s just not always the truth we think or expect.

This is why learning how to listen to our emotions is a vital part of maturing in Christ. We misunderstand or misinterpret our emotions for many reasons, including immaturity, inexperience, and even sin. But that doesn’t mean our emotions are what led us astray.

Myth 2. Emotions are Always Shallow and Transitory

Our experience with emotions is that they shift. They seem to come and go. How can something that seems so fickle be of use in making decisions?

If you experience a feeling that’s uncomfortable, what should you do? Worse, what if it’s a feeling that seems out of line with God’s will? The common pastoral advice is to double down on what you know to be true. Ignore the emotion, and trust that it will go away.

Again, this myth contains a kernel of truth. Emotions come and go. But when we ignore them, we set ourselves up in a dangerous position. Why?

Response to Myth 2: Emotions are messages from our deepest places, and they won’t just go away.

Here’s an example: You may wake up tomorrow not feeling as sad as you do today, but until you face your grief and deal with it, it will remain with you.

Trying to muscle up a happy attitude isn’t honest, and it’s not faithful. That sadness is telling you something important. What you lost mattered. You need to feel and process your grief.

God knows what you’re feeling, so pretending to feel something different doesn’t help you spiritually. It only distances you from an honest and intimate relationship with God.

When we deny our emotions or pretend to feel something else, there are always consequences. Suppressed anger will burst out at the wrong time with too much intensity. Denied hurt will bloom into bitterness. Ignored grief can bring depression.

It is not a mark of weak faith to admit and face our emotions. It’s the only path to an authentic relationship with ourselves and God.

Myth 3. God Isn’t Emotional

Most of the pictures and movies I saw as a kid about Jesus portrayed him as some kind of dour, serene, guru. But that’s not the Jesus of the New Testament.

The imagery many of us have in our minds about God—the stern old man with a long, white beard—is also nowhere to be found in scripture. It has more to do with classical stories about Zeus than it has to do with the God who is the father of Jesus.

These distant, reserved, and unmoved pictures of God shape our spiritual imagination, and impact our view of emotions. But they are not what we find in the Bible.

 

Response to Myth 3: God is emotional, and our emotions were created in God’s image.

Read the gospels, and you will see Jesus comfortably express the full range of human emotion. There’s joy, happiness, compassion, and love—like you’d expect. But there’s also some of the harder, emotions. There’s frustration, anger, grief, and maybe (depending on how you read the account of the Garden of Gethsemane) even fear.

Notice how God is portrayed in the Old Testament, and you’ll see a God who has chosen to be revealed in emotional terms, often embarrassingly so. Love, joy, jealousy, even wrath is all a part of God’s experience.

It may seem safer to think of God as unemotional, but it’s not Biblical. The heart of emotional discipleship is discovering how our emotions are rooted in God’s character and learning how to express each emotion in ways that are loving.

Myth 4. The more like God you become, the less emotional you’ll be.

Ephesians 4 tells us that God’s project in our lives is to mature us in the image of Christ. We are invited to grow in Godliness. But if our picture of God is one without emotions, what does that mean?

We’re left with the idea that the more scripture we learn, the more we pray, the more spiritually mature we are, the less emotional we’ll be.

Then, when we find ourselves overcome with sadness, or fear, some of us wonder if we’re failing as Christians. Would we feel sad, or afraid like this, if our faith was stronger?

Response to Myth 4: The more connected to God we become, and the more spiritually mature we grow, the more aware of our own emotions and the emotions of others we will be.

Growing in relationship with God always means coming closer to truth. Jesus told us that He is the truth and that the truth would set us free. One of the ways this happens is that we are set free from self-justification, denial, and all the ways we distance from what’s true.

In Romans 7, Paul gets brutally honest about his own sin and weakness. In 1st Timothy, he calls himself the “chief of sinners.” This isn’t false humility. This is the natural result of spiritual maturity, where we can acknowledge what is true about our hearts.

This is the most important reason why pursuing emotional growth as a part of discipleship matters. When we misunderstand or misinterpret our emotions, we hurt ourselves and the people around us. When we deny and repress our emotions, we limit our ability to be in intimate relationships, even with God.

We have emotions because they are a part of God’s design. They are purposeful. They are a vital and necessary part of a healthy life and a growing relationship with God.

If you are intrigued by this or suspect it would be helpful to you to go deeper, you can learn more about all of this, including the scriptural background, in my new book, The Wisdom of Your Heart: Discovering the God-given Purpose and Power of Your Emotions.

Don’t let flawed maps lead you into broken relationships, and spiritual stagnancy. Learn the truth about your emotions and find yourself equipped to grow in a new way.

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What the Word of God tells us about Emotions

What the Word of God tells us about emotions.            #2 in series on emotions

Psalm 139:2 – “You know when I sit down and when I stand up; You understand my thoughts from far away.”

One of the most emotional scenes in the Old Testament is the account of Joseph’s response when he sees his brother, Benjamin. Genesis 43:30-31 – “Joseph hurried out because he was overcome with emotion for his brother, and he was about to weep. He went into an inner room to weep. 31 Then he washed his face and came out. Regaining his composure, he said, ‘Serve the meal.’”

2 Peter 1:3 – “For His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.”

Throughout the pages of the Bible we have accounts of people and their emotions. Some of these emotions are good, as in the case of Joseph, and some are accounts of how people violated God’s law because they weren’t in control of their emotions.

The Significance of Emotions

Why spend our time on the Holy Spirit and emotions? First, emotions are closer to us than air. They are the ever present current within us: they define the inner world and give us continual commentary on the outer world. Awareness of life even starts with emotions. Life demands an understanding of emotions. Simple existence demands an understanding of the place of emotions. They are closer to us than our skin, than the air we breathe. Emotions are as constant and present as the weather surrounding us.

 

BIBLICAL EXAMPLES OF HARMFUL EMOTIONS

A careful study of the following Biblical accounts reveals the consequences of negative emotions which became sinful or harmful.

Anger –Genesis 4:1-8—Cain killed his brother because of uncontrolled anger in his heart.

Fear . . . Being afraid–In Genesis 20:2, 3, 11, Abraham lied to Abimelech about Sarah because he was afraid of losing his life. In Exodus 2:11-15, Moses fled Egypt because of fear.

Job 4:13-16. Eliphaz entered a period of fear and trembling because of a vision he had.

Jealousy and Envy—1 Kings 21:1-14  King Ahab caused the death of Naboth because he was jealous and envious of Naboth’s vineyard.

Terror – Daniel 5:6-9–King Belshazzar of Babylon couldn’t control his knees from shaking when he saw part of the hand that wrote. October, 539 B.C. Last night of the Babylonian Empire. Mene, mene,  tekel, upsharin. Belshazzar died that night.

Lust—-2 Samuel 11:1-5–David let the emotion of lust lead him into sin by committing adultery with Bathsheba.

He Stayed – 11:1–He Saw – He Sought – He Sent – He Summoned -He Sinned – 11:4, 5   James 1:13-17 – “No one undergoing a trial should say, “I am being tempted by God.” For God is not tempted by evil, and He Himself doesn’t tempt anyone. 14 But each person is tempted when he is drawn away and enticed by his own evil desires. 15 Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is fully grown, it gives birth to death. 16 Don’t be deceived, my dearly loved brothers. 17 Every generous act and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights; with Him there is no variation or shadow cast by turning.”

Hatred  —2 Samuel 13:2-20

Amnon had strong sexual desires (lust) for his half-sister, Tamar, which led him to rape her, and afterwards hate her.

Greed and Covetousness—Joshua 7:16-21–Achan brought defeat upon Israel because of his greed and deception.

Depression–1 Samuel 28:15-25 (Read)   King Saul became very depressed when he received God’s message from Samuel that God had rejected him as king.

Guilt–Matthew 27:3-10–Judas killed himself because of the guilt he felt after betraying Christ.

Resentment and hatred—Saul (known later as the apostle Paul) persecuted the Lord’s Church because he resented and hated it.–Acts 9:4-9—Acts 26:9-12–Galatians 1:13

Pride and arrogance—3 John 9–Diotrephes was a troublemaker in the early church because of pride and arrogance.

Selfishness—Acts 5:1-11—Ananias and Sapphira lied to God because of the selfishness in their hearts.

Sorrow—Mark 10:22–The rich young ruler, because of sorrow, turned and walked away from an opportunity to follow Jesus.

 

Good Emotions.

The Bible makes it very clear that Jesus took upon Himself the nature of a servant (man, in the flesh). Therefore, He understands our emotions.

Nonetheless, he guarded His emotions and never allowed them to carry Him into sin He is the perfect example of how good and controlled emotions benefit our lives. He was emotional on many occasions, but His emotions were appropriate and always under control. The point is this . . . It’s okay to be emotional if we handle it like the Lord did.

Compassion–Matthew 9:36–Jesus was a man of compassion. The Greek word here refers to being moved inwardly; feelings, emotions.

Properly-controlled anger–Mark 3:5–The word for anger is “orge.” It suggests a settled condition of mind, even though a strong emotion may be in one’s bosom.

The Greek word translated “wrath” is “Thumos.” It indicates a more agitated condition of the feelings, an outburst of wrath from inward imagination. This is not what Jesus had.

Jesus had “orge.” He was in control of His emotions and actions.

Weeping–Three accounts of Jesus having wept.–

Wept at the tomb of Lazarus. John 11:32-35 (sympathy and sorrows of others)

Wept over the city of Jerusalem. Luke 19:41 (Over lost opportunities)

Wept in the garden of Gethsemane.  Hebrews 5:7  (Weeping in battle)

The Greek word translated wept in John 11:35 is “dakruo,” and means to shed tears, and is only used in the New Testament with reference to Christ.

In Luke 19:41, the word here is “klaio” and refers not only to crying, but also every outward expression of grief, bewailing, mourning, etc.

Agony . . . anguish–Luke 22:44 – “Being in anguish [agony], He prayed more fervently, and His sweat became like drops of blood falling to the ground.”

This denotes an inward emotional contest which also touches the conduct of the body.” Jesus was truly weeping in battle.

Love–John 20:2-The love mentioned here is “Phileo,” and here refers to tender affection.

Groaned–John 11:38–Jesus groaned in His spirit.

The Greek word used here (embrimaomai) means to be greatly perturbed in mind, deeply moved. CSB translated  it as angry. “The Jesus, angry in Himself, came again to the tomb . . . “

Sighed–Mark 8:12; 7:34-The original word, “anastenazo,” suggests a very deeply drawn sigh or groan from within because of feelings.

Cried out–Matthew 27:46–It is said that Jesus experienced every form of pain in His death on the cross.

Crying out was one of the ways He found relief from His pain.

Sorrowful & Heavy in spirit–Matthew 27:46–Jesus experienced such deep emotions. So much was at stake.

Joy– John 15:11; 17:13– The Lord wanted to share His joy with His people.

Loneliness–Matthew 26:40-46; John 6:15; Luke 9:18–This was not because of an inner weakness, or feeling of insecurity, but because of the agony that was before Him.

Control of His emotions –1 Peter 2:23 – “When reviled, He did not revile in return; when suffering, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to the One who judges justly. ”

Note: Jesus was not a stoic who kept Himself above feelings.–Isaiah 53:4 – “Yet He Himself bore our sicknesses, and He carried our pains; but we in turn regard Him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted.”

The song says, “Jesus knows all about my troubles.”

We learn from Jesus that it is okay to be emotional . . . However, the challenge is to keep our emotions within healthy bounds.

 

IT’S OKAY TO BE EMOTIONAL–We are not stoics . . . we are not zombies . . . If anything, Christianity puts real life and care into our feelings.

It is not always possible for a person to always be “high” emotionally; likewise, it is not desirable for him to always be on an emotional “low.” God wants us to be in control of the emotions that can harm us physically and spiritually.

Whether we are emotionally high, low, or somewhere in between, we should not permit our emotions to lead us into sin.

Are you in the Word enough so that it is converting your soul?

The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple… Psalm 19:7 NKJV.

That the “law of the Lord is perfect” is direct reference to the absolute, complete, and entire trustworthiness of the Holy Scriptures, which constitute the Bible.psalm nineteenseven

The Word of God is perfect in its accuracy and sure in its dependability. There are two terms generally used to describe these features of God’s Word:

  1. Inerrant (perfect) means that, in the original copies of each manuscript written by each Bible book’s respective author, there was nothing mistaken or tinged with error. (Further, the excellence of the Holy Spirit’s protection of the Scriptures over centuries has insured that the copies delivered into our hands from generations past are essentially the same. Even literary critics who claim no faith in the truth of the Bible attest to its being the most completely reliable of any book transmitted from antiquity, in terms of its actually remaining unchanged and dependably accurate.)
  2. Infallible refers to the fact that the Bible is unfailing as an absolutely trustworthy guide for our faith (belief in God) and practice (Life and behavior). This is so because God is true (John 3:33; 17:3), because His Word reveals His truth (17:17), and because God cannot lie (Numb. 23:19; Titus 1:2; Heb.6:18).

 

What Love Looks Like

What Love Looks Like (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)

A little girl was invited for dinner at the home of her first-grade friend. The vegetable was buttered broccoli and the mother asked if she liked it. “Oh, yes,” the child replied politely, “I love it!”

But when the bowl of broccoli was passed, she declined to take any. The hostess said, “I thought you said you loved broccoli.” The girl replied sweetly, “Oh, yes ma’am, I do, but not enough to eat it!”

Do you love your family? “Of course, I do!” We all would say that! It’s the only right answer. But what do you mean by love? So often we love our family like that little girl loved broccoli: We love in the abstract, but when it comes right down to it, we don’t want to get too close. In the words of the Apostle John, we love in word, but not in deed and truth (1 John 3:18).

What does biblical love look like? We know that our relationships in the family need to be marked by love. Husbands, especially, are to love their wives. But, wives, too, must love their husbands. Parents and children, brothers and sisters, must love one another. But how do we know what such love looks like in everyday dress?

Paul’s famous chapter on love, 1 Corinthians 13, tells us. The Corinthian church was emphasizing a good thing, spiritual gifts, to the neglect of the best. They were using their gifts apart from love. Paul makes the point that the use of their God-given gifts would amount to nothing if the Corinthians did not make love their priority.

Selfless love is the priority for every Christian.

These verses are the most eloquent and profound words ever written on the subject of love. To comment on its parts is a bit like giving a botany lecture on a beautiful flower–if you’re not careful you lose the beauty and impact of it. But we can profit from understanding the parts and applying it to family relationships.

In verses 1-3 he shows the preeminence of love, that love is greater than all spiritual gifts because without love, gifts are empty. In verses 4-7 he shows the practice of love, how love is greater than all spiritual gifts because of its selfless characteristics. In verses 8-13 he shows the permanence of love, that love is greater than all spiritual gifts because it outlasts them. We’re going to focus mainly on verses 4-7, where Paul describes how love acts. While in English most of these words are predicate adjectives, in Greek they are verbs. Love is not talk; it is action.

We’re all prone to apply verses like these to others: “My mate and my kids could sure use a lesson in love. But me? I’m basically a loving person. I’m really easy to get along with.” But I ask each of you to forget about everybody else and ask God to apply these verses to you.

Paul enumerates 15 characteristics of love to show how love acts or what it looks like in everyday life. A New Testament definition of agape is “a caring, self-sacrificing commitment which shows itself in seeking the highest good of the one loved.” Jesus Christ, in His sacrificial death on the cross, is the epitome and embodiment of this kind of love. A whole series of sermons could easily be preached on these qualities of love. But let’s look briefly at each of them.

  1. Selfless love is patient.

Ouch! Why did he put that first? This often confronts me with my failure in relating to my family. Patience is an interesting quality in that when I don’t need it, I want it. It’s when things start to irritate or frustrate me that I need patience, but usually at that point I don’t want to be patient!

The Greek word comes from two words meaning, “long-tempered.” If you’re patient, you’re slow to anger, you endure personal wrongs without retaliating. You bear with others’ imperfections, faults, and differences. You give them time to change, room to make mistakes without coming down hard on them. Do you do that, men, with your wife and children?

I read a story of a man who had developed this quality to a far greater extent than I. During the late 1500’s, Dr. Thomas Cooper edited a dictionary with the addition of 33,000 words and many other improvements. He had already been collecting materials for eight years when his wife, a rather difficult woman, went into his study one day while he was gone and burned all of his notes under the pretense of fearing that he would kill himself with study. Eight years of work, a pile of ashes!

Dr. Cooper came home, saw the destruction, and asked who had done it. His wife told him boldly that she had done it. The patient man heaved a deep sigh and said, “Oh Dinah, Dinah, thou hast given a world of trouble!” Then he quietly sat down to another eight years of hard labor, to replace the notes which she had destroyed. (Paul Tan, Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations [Assurance Publishers, #2350.) Next time you think you’ve arrived at being patient, that will give you something to aim for!

  1. Selfless love is kind.

Kindness is patience in action. The Greek word comes from a word meaning “useful.” A kind person is disposed to be helpful. He seeks out needs and looks for opportunities to meet those needs without repayment. He is tender and forgiving when wronged. The word was used of mellow wine, and suggests a person who is gentle, who has an ability to soothe hurt feelings, to calm an upset person, to help quietly in practical ways.

The kind person shows kindness in response to harsh treatment. Jesus said, “And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same thing. . .. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men” (Luke 6:33, 35). The kindness of God leads us to repentance (Rom. 2:4). Kindness motivates others toward positive change.

As with patience, the real proving ground for kindness is the home. Are you kind to your wife and children? Do you do kind, useful things for them? Are you training your children to be kind to one another by the way you treat your wife and them? Love is not macho; love is kind.

  1. Selfless love is not jealous.

The word means to eagerly desire, and it is used both positively and negatively in the Bible. Jealousy in the negative sense is related to greed and selfishness. The jealous person wants what others have, he wants things for himself. He is too selfish to applaud others’ success; he has to have all the attention. In the family, a jealous husband refuses to trust his wife. He doesn’t want to recognize her abilities and contributions. He is jealous of the time she spends with the children or with her friends. He wants it all for himself. James says that jealousy is often the source of quarrels and conflicts (James 4:2).

  1. & 5. Selfless love does not brag and is not arrogant.

These ugly twins are related. They both stem from selfishness and are the flip side of jealousy. “Jealousy is wanting what someone else has. Bragging is trying to make others jealous of what we have. Jealousy puts others down; bragging builds us up” (John MacArthur, Jr., The MacArthur New Testament Commentary, 1 Corinthians [Moody Press], p. 341). Bragging is an outward manifestation of pride.

The braggart tries to impress others of his great accomplishments in order to make himself look good: “After all I’ve done for you, and you treat me this way!” But love isn’t trying to build up me; love is trying to build up the other person. Love is humble. The humble, loving person is aware that everything he has is an undeserved gift from God (1 Cor. 4:7). So, he doesn’t boast, but thankfully uses what God has given to serve others.

  1. Selfless love does not act unbecomingly.

The NIV translates, “It is not rude.” Love does not needlessly offend. Love has good manners. It is courteous, polite, sensitive to the feelings of others and always uses tact. The reason we are not courteous, of course, is that we are thinking only of ourselves and not of others.

I read of a man who was generally lacking in manners. He never opened the car door for his wife. “She doesn’t have two broken arms,” he would say. After many years of marriage, his wife died. At the funeral, as the pallbearers brought her casket out to the hearse, the husband was standing by the car door. The funeral director, who knew the husband by name, called out to him and said, “Open the door for her, will you?” He reached for the car door and then, for one second, froze. He realized that he had never opened the door for her in life; now, in her death, it would be the first, last, and only time. A lifetime of regret came crashing down around him. Love is not rude.

  1. Selfless love does not seek its own.

It is not selfish, does not demand its rights. Alan Redpath said, “The secret of every discord in Christian homes, communities and churches is that we seek our own way and our own glory.” R. C. H. Lenski put it, “Cure selfishness, and you plant a Garden of Eden” (The Interpretation of I and II Corinthians [Augsburg], p. 557). Selfishness is the root problem of the human race; it is the antithesis of love, which is self-sacrificing.

Elisabeth Elliot was once speaking on this subject to an audience that included some young children who were sitting right in front of her. As she spoke, she wondered how she could make this plain to them, so that they could apply it. Later, she got a letter from one of those children, a six-year-old boy, who wrote, “I am learning to lay down my life for my little sister. She has to take a nap in the afternoon. I don’t have to take a nap. But she can’t go to sleep unless I come and lay down beside her. So, I lay down with my little sister.” That boy is learning to love!

If husbands and wives, as well as children, would apply this verse as that little boy did, our homes would be free of conflict and an honor to Jesus Christ, who did not come to be served, but to serve and to give His life a ransom for many (Mark 10:45). Aren’t you glad Jesus didn’t insist on His rights? He would have stayed in heaven and we wouldn’t be saved!

  1. Selfless love is not provoked.

The Greek word means to sharpen, stimulate, rouse to anger. Phillips paraphrases, “It is not touchy.” Love does not have a hair-trigger temper. Some people make everyone around them walk on eggshells. They’re easily offended. One little thing that doesn’t go their way and “KABOOM!” They use their temper to intimidate and to punish. When you confront them, they say, “Sure, I have a bad temper. But I get it all out and it’s over in a few minutes.” So is a bomb. But look at the devastation it leaves behind! When you’re angry, usually you’re not loving.

  1. Selfless love does not take into account a wrong suffered.

This is an accounting word, used of numerical calculation. It is used of God not imputing our guilt to us, but instead imputing the righteousness of Christ to our account (Rom. 4:6-8). Love doesn’t keep a tally of wrongs and bear a grudge until everyone is paid for. It doesn’t try to gain the upper hand by reminding the other person of past wrongs. Love forgives.

One married man said to his friend, “You know, every time my wife and I get into a conflict, she gets historical.” His friend said, “Historical? Don’t you mean hysterical?” “No, I mean historical. She rehearses everything I’ve ever done wrong in the whole history of our marriage.” That’s keeping score! That’s not love.

  1. & 11. Selfless love does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth.

These qualities are the flip side of one another. Moffatt puts it, “Love is never glad when others go wrong.” To rejoice in the truth means to be glad about behavior in accordance with the truth of God’s Word. If someone you don’t like falls into sin, you don’t gloat; you grieve, because God is grieved over sin. If they repent, you rejoice.

There is a fine balance to love. Although love is kind and overlooks the faults of others, it does not compromise the truth or take a soft view of sin. To allow another person to go on in sin, whether it is known sin or a blind spot, is not to seek his best; it is not love. Love will sensitively confront and correct precisely because it cares deeply and knows that sin destroys. Love rejoices with the truth. Love gets excited when it hears of spiritual victories. Love encourages by expressing joy over little evidences of growth. John, the apostle of love, wrote, “I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth” (3 John 4).

  1. Selfless love bears all things.

The word can mean either to bear up under or to protect by covering. If it has the first meaning, then it would be the same as “endures all things” (end of v. 7). I prefer the second meaning, to protect by covering. Love doesn’t broadcast the problems of others. Love doesn’t run down others with jokes, sarcasm or put-downs. Love defends the character of the other person as much as possible within the limits of truth. Love won’t lie about weaknesses, but neither will it deliberately expose and emphasize them. Love protects.

  1. Selfless love believes all things.

The NIV translates, “Love always trusts.” This does not mean gullibility; it does mean that love is not suspicious and doubting of the other person’s character and motives without good reason, even if his actions offended you. If trust has been broken, then it needs to be earned again, step by step. But love believes the other person is innocent until proven guilty, not guilty until proven innocent. If there is a problem, love doesn’t jump immediately to blame the other person.

In the family, trust shows itself by not grilling the other person about every detail of his story, like an attorney cross-examining a defendant. It means believing in your kids, expressing confidence in them. I’m thankful that my parents trusted me as a teenager; it made me want to live up to that trust. One of my friends had parents who did not trust him, and he lived up to their distrust! Sometimes you will get ripped off when you trust, but love persists in trusting.

  1. Selfless love hopes all things.

It is not pessimistic. It does not expect the one loved to fail, but to succeed. Love refuses to take failure as final. It exudes a godly optimism which says, “I know you can do it, because God in you is able!” It does not ignore reality. It doesn’t close its eyes to problems. But it rests on the promises of God, that He is working all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. And so, love always hopes.

  1. Selfless love endures all things.

The word “endures” is a military word meaning to sustain the assault of an enemy. It has the idea of holding up under trial, of perseverance in spite of difficulties. It means that love hangs in there. It is not just a passive, stoic attitude. It is a positive, triumphant spirit that sticks it out.

There is an epidemic among Christians of bailing out of tough situations. People don’t like something that happens in a church. They go find another church more to their liking. They run into problems or disagreements in their marriage, grow tired of the effort and bail out. “But,” you say, “isn’t adultery a legitimate grounds for divorce?” Technically, yes. But all too often one partner uses it as an excuse to bail out of a marriage where both partners have wronged one another repeatedly in many ways. I’m not minimizing the seriousness of adultery. It destroys trust and creates all sorts of problems in a marriage. I’m not suggesting that it’s easy to work through. It takes a lot of hard work to rebuild, a brick at a time. But God’s best is to forgive and renew the marriage, not to bail out. Love endures all things.

That’s how love acts. It is selfless, wholly directed to build the other person. Of course, nobody can love like that. Only God is love (1 John 4:7). Put “Christ” in verses 4-7 instead of “love” and you have a description of Him. He is patient, kind, not jealous; does not brag, is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; does not seek His own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; He always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. If we want to love one another, we must focus on His love for us and walk in His Spirit who produces His love in us (Gal. 5:22).

Conclusion

Humorist Sam Levenson says, “Love at first sight is easy to understand. It’s when two people have been looking at each other for years that it becomes a miracle” (Reader’s Digest [3/83]). But it’s not really a miracle; it’s the result of yielding to God, repeatedly confronting our selfishness and daily practicing biblical love in our homes.

An old legend says that in his old age the apostle John was so weak that he had to be carried into the church meetings. At the end of the meeting he would be helped to his feet to give a word of exhortation. He would invariably repeat, “Little children, love one another.”

The disciples grew weary of the same words every time. Finally, they asked him why he said the same thing over and over. He replied, “Because it is the commandment of the Lord, and the observation of it alone is sufficient.”

Someone has said that if we discovered that we had only five minutes left to say all we wanted to say, every telephone booth would be occupied by people calling other people to stammer that they loved them. Selfless love is our priority. “Pursue love” (14:1).

 

 

 

Redeemed Man

Redeemed Man

Arlen L. Chitwood.
Redeemed man, through a past and finished work of the Spirit,
based on a past and finished work of Christ, has been brought from
a dead to a living state spiritually. He has passed “from death unto
life.” And in this living state, he is now in a position to realize the
purpose for his salvation — the salvation of his soul.
One aspect of salvation is past. The individual presently possesses
eternal life, and nothing can ever change or nullify this fact. But the
individual has been saved for a purpose, which will be brought to pass only
within the framework of his realizing present and future aspects of salvation.
And this complete panorama of the salvation message, with a
purpose in view, must be recognized. Redeemed man must recognize
Salvation

Past, Present, Future 
that there is not only a past aspect to salvation but present and future
aspects as well. And the present and future aspects of salvation are
inseparably connected with man one day being brought into a realization
of the purpose for which he was created in the beginning — “…
let them have dominion” (Gen. 1:26-28). Present and future aspects of
salvation have to do with man occupying regal positions following the
time when he, in that coming day, is brought into a realization of the
salvation of his soul.

1) The Complete Salvation Issue
In order to effect man’s eternal redemption,the Spirit of God deals
with unsaved man on one basis alone. The Spirit deals with unsaved
man solely on the basis of Christ’s finished work at Calvary.
But once an individual has believed on the Lord Jesus Christ and
has been dealt with on the basis of Christ’s finished work, realizing
the birth from above — the salvation of his spirit — the salvation issue
then shifts from the salvation of his spirit, to the salvation of his
soul. The salvation of the spirit becomes a past, completed work and
is never dealt with as an issue beyond this point. The Spirit of God,
from this point forward, deals with the individual solely on the basis of
present and future aspects of salvation. The individual, from this point
forward, is dealt with in relation to the salvation of his soul.
Thus, all Scriptures dealing with carnality or unfaithfulness of
Christians, resulting in forfeiture or loss, MUST pertain to issues
surrounding the salvation of the soul, NEVER to issues surrounding
the salvation of the spirit.
Once the salvation of the spirit has been effected ,making it possible
for the indwelling Spirit of God to impart spiritual truth in to and control
an individual’s life through his own spirit, then man’s unredeemed
soul occupies the center of attention. And salvation now (in relation
to the soul, not the spirit) becomes dependent on the actions of the
individual. Salvation now becomes dependent on the life one lives
after his spirit has been saved. Salvation now becomes dependent
on the individual allowing the Spirit of God to impart spiritual truth
into and control his life through his own spirit.
An individual allowing the Spirit of God to impart spiritual truth
into and control his life through his own spirit progressively grows
SALVATION OF THE SOUL
from immaturity to maturity. He progressively grows into a spiritually
mature Christian. Growing in this manner, he exerts control over
his emotions, feelings, and desires pertaining to his man-conscious
(soulical) existence. And,through this means, he will ultimately come
into a realization of the salvation of his soul (life).
On the other hand, an individual who refuses to allow the Spirit of
God to impart spiritual truth into and control his life in the preceding
manner can only remain a carnally immature Christian. Apart from
the assimilation of spiritual truth, resulting in spiritual growth, he
cannot help but be controlled by his emotions, feelings, and desires
pertaining to his man-conscious (soulical)existence. And,accordingly,
such a person will ultimately suffer the loss of his soul (life), which can
have no bearing whatsoever on his eternal salvation (for that is a past,
finished matter which has already been dealt with).

2) The Complete Salvation Message
The shift of the salvation issue from the spirit to the soul at the
time of the birth from above necessitates a corresponding shift from the
salvation message which is to be proclaimed to the unsaved (which
concerns the salvation of the spirit) to the salvation message which
is to be proclaimed to the saved (which concerns the salvation of the
soul). This must ever be the case, for that which is past ceases to be the
issue, and that which is present and future becomes the issue.
The only message to be carried to the unsaved is the gospel of grace.
This is the good news that “Christ died for our sins according to the
scriptures.” This message alone forms the basis upon which the Spirit
can breathe life into the one having no life (I Cor. 15:3; cf. I Cor. 2:1, 2).
But once the unsaved individual has believed on the Lord Jesus
Christ, experiencing the birth from above, the message must then
change, for the goal of the message will have been realized. The Spirit
must then deal with the individual on an entirely different plane, with
the issue at the forefront no longer being the salvation of the spirit,
but the salvation of the soul.
Thus, a minister with a congregation placed under his care has
been charged with a tremendous responsibility. His central ministry is
among the saved, among those capable of grasping spiritual truth;
and he is to disseminate spiritual truth to these individuals as it relates
Salvation — Past, Present, Future
to things surrounding present and future aspects of salvation, not to
things surrounding the past aspect of salvation. He, in this manner,
is to “feed the flock of God,” looking ahead to Christ’s appearance in
all His glory (I Peter 5:2-4).
This individual is responsible, under the leadership of the Spirit
of God, to provide proper spiritual nourishment for those Christians
placed under his care. And the only thing which God has provided
for him to use as he feeds the flock of God is the Word of God.
As a minister in charge of a flock, he is to expound this Word
under the leadership of the Holy Spirit. And Christians placed under
his care are to receive this proclaimed Word into their saved human
spirits. Then the Spirit of God can take this “engrafted [‘implanted’]
word” and effect spiritual growth unto maturity, with the end result
being the salvation of their souls (James 1:21).
The tragedy in Christian circles today is the light regard which
pastors of Churches have for fulfilling the very purpose for their
ministry. And, the end result of pastors failing to properly “feed the
flock”entrusted to their care will be the entrance of innumerable carnal,
immature Christians into the Lord’s presence at the end of the present
dispensation with redeemed spirits, changed bodies, but wasted
and thus unredeemed souls — forfeited lives. Their eternal salvation
will remain unaffected; but, with the forfeiture or loss of their souls,
they will be unable to realize the inheritance presently “reserved in
heaven” for the faithful. Consequently, they will occupy no position
among the “many sons” who will be brought unto glory.
(The subject surrounding pastor-teachers and each having been
entrusted with a flock, with a view to the salvation of not only the souls
of the pastor-teachers but the souls of those in their flocks as well, is
developed more fully in Chapter VIII of this book.)
Concluding Thoughts:
Failure to understand and distinguish between the salvation which
we presently possess and the salvation to be revealed when our Lord
returns has wrought untold confusion in Christian circles.
Many Christians take Scriptures dealing with the salvation to be
revealed and seek to apply them to the salvation which we presently
SALVATION OF THE SOUL
possess. And misapplying Scripture in this manner, these individuals
arrive at the erroneous conclusion that it is possible for a saved
person to be lost, which not only casts reproach upon the sufficiency
of the finished work of Christ at Calvary, but also does violence to
numerous portions of the Word of God.
Then, on the other hand,there are those Christians who recognize
that the loss of one’s eternal salvation is not possible, but still fail to
understand distinctions between the salvation of the spirit and the
salvation of the soul. Most from this group take many of these same
verses and seek to either apply them to the nation of Israel or to unregenerate
individuals, whether Jew or Gentile. And applications of
this nature not only remove the Spirit’s exhortations and warnings
to redeemed individuals, but erroneous interpretations in one area
of Scripture will often, for the sake of consistency, lead to erroneous
interpretations in other areas.
Thus, the importance of understanding distinctions between the
salvation of the spirit and the salvation of the soul becomes self-evident.
Let it be forever stated: Redeemed man has come into a position
from which he can never be removed. But this same redeemed man,
in this position, is directly responsible to his Creator; and, at a future
date, he will either inherit as a joint-heir with his Lord or suffer loss in the
presence of his Lord. The former will be realized through the salvation
of his soul, or the latter will, instead, be realized through the loss of
his soul.

Many Thanks to Arlen L. Chitwood. Author of Salvation of the Soul –saving of the Life.

Possession

Possession

This topic is without a doubt very misunderstood by scholars and as well as much of Christianity. Please allow me to use real life experiences that glorify our Lord Jesus Christ. As a Christian who has had and by the Grace of our Lord continues to work in the area of Inner Healing/Deliverance.

I speak for myself as being privileged to minister in and through the person of the Holy Spirit of God. There are many contrived examples of the misunderstanding in these two areas. These two areas Inner Healing/Deliverance must work together to bring lasting freedom to those who are bound.

Deliverance without praying for wounds in people of God is simply put, not effective. Binding a host of demons and commanding they depart will expel them but ten minutes after leaving the building they return, Why? The root cause has not been dealt with in prayer led by the person of the Holy Spirit of God.

Demons are practicing legalists of the highest order. They are malignant, injurious, and hate all who follow Christ. They are well versed in the language of the flesh (soul and body) and target these areas in believers.

Christians love to quote that a born-again Christian cannot be possessed by a demon because the person of the Holy Spirit lives in them. Absolutely true BUT what does possessed mean? It means owned and controlled 24/7. The only Spirit that can possess you 24/7 is the Holy Spirit of God. Who must be invited and cooperated with.

We are a tri-part being according the Apostle Paul as stated In 1 Thessalonians 5:23. In our soul (mind, will, emotions and desires) any area that holds unforgiveness our any character issues (personalities) is open to demons. Any area that has not been broken at the Cross of Christ. Demons work through areas of our soul and body and war against the Holy Spirit.

Please remember we are positionally sanctified in Jesus and experientially being sanctified on earth as we live. I use a quote often to emphasize the wide spread issue of fear. “Please do not scare the sheep.” This is the number one weapon against Christians.

2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, BUT of power and love and of a sound mind.”

Allow me to give a testimony of the Holy Spirit’s work on behalf of a born-again believer. Notice I am saying it is the Holy Spirits work doing the deliverance through me and bringing healing to a very badly damaged Christian’s soul and body.

Fred came needing healing and we began with basics. It was an immediate confrontation by spirits in Fred who threw him on the floor with harsh bodily actions. I commanded them to stop and for time to place him back in his chair.

Many issues were confronted during this deliverance. Step by step we did what I ask most clients “How do you eat an elephant?” “Answer: “One bite at a time.” As we went through areas of wounding’s and traumas, Fred repented and asked for forgiveness. I would command the specific demons up and out because their legal rights no longer existed. In the process the Holy Spirit brought healing in all areas He wanted to deal with at this time.

As I have stated it is a high privilege for me to be allowed to work and learn from the person of the Holy Spirit. We have no idea how much our Lord wants to heal us from issues in our lives that build and maintain walls to separate us from intimate times of refreshing with Him.

I do not teach behavior modification. I take wounded people to the Cross of Christ and reckon these issues dead in the name of Jesus and ask for His cleansing blood to cleanse one from all issues (sin) in there lives.

I submit this post in deep humility and as a testimony of the love of our savior and Lord Jesus Christ.

In His Service

Mannyr

The Seven fold Spirit of God

The Seven Fold Spirit of God.      Part four

The Seven Fold Spirit of God gives us the Mind of Christ Isaiah 11:2. The person of the Holy Spirit of God is the birthing agent of our salvation. At the time of our spiritual birth He manifests in the core of our being and creates the thoughts of our hearts, and, in turn produces the actions of our lives.

Scripture also tells us that the whole purpose of the Mind of Christ in us, is that we might know—intimately experience —the things freely given to us by God 1 Corinthians 2:12-16.

Now, there are seven stages or functions that form this conceptual process called the Mind of Christ and each stage depends upon the last.

We are continuing with the Spirit of Knowledge and the Spirit of the Fear of the Lord. Death to self is exactly what these next two functions of the Mind of Christ require.  Some Christians, go their entire  lives and never truly experience intimate Knowledge of God or walk in the Fear of Him because they’re just not willing to surrender and submit everything —their will and their lives –to God.

This to me, is what Philippians 2:12 is talking about when it says, “work out your salvation (not referring to spiritual salvation but soulish salvation) with fear (reverential awe) and trembling.” Having intimate knowledge of God and walking in the Fear of Him is our own responsibility to work out moment-by-moment.

The Spirit of Knowledge (Daath-Heb. –Oida-Greek)

This is not head knowledge or intellectual knowledge but knowing something through living experience of it working in your life.
This is intimate, firsthand knowledge of God’s Life as our own
It’s a mingling of two things(Gal. 2:20), and like a marriage relationship
Without intimacy with God, we will go into captivity (Hosea 4:1, 6; Isa. 5:13; Titus 1:16; Matt. 22:29).
There are two types of Knowledge:
Ginosko knowledge (Yada In Heb.) is knowledge we gain by lots of self-effort on our parts (works of the flesh). It’s beginning knowledge (John 17:3; Hosea 2:19-20; Hebrews 10:16.
This is knowing Christ is our Savior, But not as our Life. In our life means our soul.
Yada often refers to the marriage act–intimacy
Oida knowledge (daath in Heb) means to know something without effort on our part. This knowledge that is taught by the Spirit of God (2 Cor. 2:11-12; Job 33:30;
This is knowing Christ as our life itself (Phil. 3:8-10; 2 Cor. 4:10-12 Heb.11:27;2 Cor. 4:10-11).
Daath means intimacy, becoming one in every aspect.
It ‘s critical we go on from beginning knowledge to fulness of knowledge (Gal.5:24-25; Col. 2:6; 1 John 4:16;2 Peter 1:10-11.
Jesus had this intimacy with the Father (John 8:55; 7:29; 10:30.

To know is to see (John 12:21; 1 John 3:2; Acts 2:25. We know God because we “see” His handprint in everything 1 John 3:2.
Oida is knowing Christ’s Life in our souls, in place of our own(Hosea 6:6; 1 Joh2:20,27.
We have to put off the self-life (Rom.6:6; 1 Cor. 9:27.
We have put on Christ’s Life (Rom.6:18; John 15:9
“For me to live is Christ” (Phil.1:210 —He is my life! 1 Cor. 2:2.
Only intimate knowledge of Christ brings precious riches and freedom (Prov. 8:10; 23:3-4 John
8:31-32).

The Fear of the Lord (yirah—phobeo).

The purpose of the Mind of Christ is to walk in the fear of the Lord (Isaiah 11:3-4;
Prov. 2:1-5). Fear of the Lord is the completion of the Mind of Christ in us (Proverbs 14:27;

Eccl. 12:13.).

The Fear of the Lord means two things:
I stand in awe of who God is (Psalm 4:4a; 33:8)
Reverential awe mingle with Joy).

To hate sin (Proverbs 8:13a).
Fear of the Lord is walking in intimate knowledge of God, fleeing any outside influence
that would quench His Spirit (Isaiah 11:3; John 15:4-10; 1 Peter 2:11; 1 Tim. 6:11).

This is not fearfulness of the Lord (2 Tim. 1:7; 1 John 4:17-18), but
2. Choosing to walk by His Spirit 5:24-25; Ezek. 36:27).
This is the genuine Christian—walking in God’s Truth and Love (3 John 3;Eph. 4:15;
Isaiah 11:3).

Forgiving others (Luke 23:34).
Caring more about what God thinks, than what man thinks
Our confidence is in God alone (Prov. 14:26; Phil. 4:13).
We are not perfect (fully mature) or sinless
Can’t tame self-life, must kill it. (1 Cor. 2:2)
Then we will manifest His Life and not our own (2 Cor. 2:14; Malachi 3:16;
1 Cor. 2:9).

This is the transformed life that God desires for all of us—manifesting and glorifying
Him in our bodies (1 Cor. 6:19-20; Phil.1:20;2 Cor 4:11).

This is the beginning of more Wisdom, Understanding, etc. (Prov. 1:7; 9:10.
15:33).

After we have the Fear of God , we can begin to worship Him (Ps. 5:7).
Promises to those who Fear God
Names to be written in the book of remembrance (Malachi 3:16).
His Eye will be upon them (Ps. 33:18) and He will deliver them (Ps.34:7).
He will make them “His jewels” (Malachi 3:17).
They will know His covenants (Ps. 25:14).
Their prayers will be heard (Ps. 34:6-7, 17).
Health to their bodies (Prov. 3:7-8: Prov.22:4).
No want to them (Ps.34:9; Prov.22:4).
His Love will forever be upon them (Ps.103:17).

 

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