Do you need a Counselor…

Do you need of a Counselor…

Where do I turn when I need help? When it seems like everyone and everything has failed me and I am lost for a solution. And yes, we all regardless of our mental state need counsel. So, where does the counsel we need come from?

Psalms 1:1, 2 “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful.”

Psalms 119:9-11 “How can a young man cleanse his way? BY TAKING HEED according to Your Word. With my whole heart have I sought You; Oh, let me not wonder from Your commandments. Your Word have I hid in my heart, that I may not sin against You|”

There is only one Counselor Who never changes His counsel down through the ages and He recorded His counsel for us!!!!!!!! So the question this morning is where will I turn for lasting and true counsel. Much counseling in our world treats the symptoms and not the root cause of the issue.

Our God and His word will search for the root cause rather than treating symptoms. If your counselor does not have Jesus as their Savoir they can only treat the symptoms because God’s truths seem foolish to them. Why is it that those who have not trusted Jesus as their Savior cannot give me counsel that will help me with my issues?

I Cor 2:14 “But the natural (unsaved) man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

Why would God direct us to not listen to the counselors of the world? As with all important questions we find the answer in God’s word. Real and lasting truth cannot only be found there.

John 8:32 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

The counselors of this world by not knowing Jesus as their Savior do not hold the word of God to be their source of knowledge and truth. So they counsel you with the best they have which can never get to the root cause of the problem and solve it. Their counsel is based on the wisdom of the world. Which is ever changing. God’s truths or absolutes never change.

Malachi 3:6a “”For I am the Lord, I do not change…”

While there are some government organizations that can offer assistance in trying times our ultimate and only pure source of help is found by seeking a loving God who wants to restore the relationship with Him that sin broke and ever recorded and protects His word of truth so that we have it.

Mat 5:18 “For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one title will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.”

Enjoy your reading today and listen for its truths and directions. God’s word is our Counsel! If you need help check with your church to identify counselors who will guide you with truth that never changes and to counselors who understand where lasting help comes from. And remember, no reading or studying equals no enlightenment from God!

2 Tim. 2:15 “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

Fires of Life that Build and Restore…

Hebrews 12:11 “Now no chastening for the present seems to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.”

Fires of Life that Build and Restore…

Each summer we read of fires out west and around the world. We frequently think of them as being disasters. Did you know there are fires in our lives that are intended to develop us spiritually? And yes, we frequently view those as disasters also. There are some misguided souls that teach that if you have fires in your life it is not a good thing or it is because of weak faith. The biblical reality is that some fires in our lives are noted in scripture as trials and tribulations and are required for our spiritual development of our faith.

When we view the reports of the wild fires or drive by where one has been we see that over time they actually renew life. If you’re going through a fire in your life right now, that will be something very important for you to mentally grab a hold of. If you don’t, all you’ll see is the damage and you’ll lose any sense of hope. And then instead of renewal or development the fires bring on discouragement.

It may be that those fires (trials and tribulations) have burned through your family recently, or your church, maybe your business or your relationships. Maybe they have affected your health. And there is no doubt that the fire has taken away a lot. There’s no denying the pain from the fire, but that’s never the whole story. You need to know the “rest of the story”. Maybe what we view as damage is actually development. What a paradigm shift!

1 Peter 1:6-7 “In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;”

God describes the fires of life as trials. If you are a believer the only fire in your life not from God are those that are a result of sin. God sees us as valuable like gold. The fires are not forever; they are “for a little while”. And notice what the purpose of the fires or trials is. The purpose is not to destroy but to “refine” the gold or to get the impurities out so that it increases its value. And if we are honest with ourselves we have many impurities that we need to be purged from our lives.

The challenge we have is to view those fires as trials and tribulations sent from God. To count them as joy as James 1:2, 3 says. That’s a tough one but if you believe that God is doing a work in your life that knowledge will give you the courage to say thank you to endure. God sees us as worthy of purifying, improving, and getting ready for greater things. But that requires denial of self and spiritual development on our part. The fire that appears to take away so much, actually brings new life if we stay close to God during the fire.

What kind of new life does God bring out of the flames? For one thing, He helps us focus the rest of our life on the things that really matter. Everything in our lives goes in one of two columns. One column for things that really matter and another for the things that don’t. A lot of times we get those columns confused. When we ask God for the wisdom to know the difference we then can set God focused priorities. When we look to God we then can emerge from the fire more committed to His glory instead of self comfort and glory.

The fire often forces you to sort out where your identity is really anchored. Is it in a person, your job, or your title, or your performance, or your appearance, or in your relationship with Jesus Christ? Or putting it another way the fires help us to see where our real priorities in life are. Are they in self or in serving our Savior? The flames often drive you to a new closeness to Jesus.

Yes, the fire destroys. But it only destroys the parts or things of our lives that have no eternal value. And thank God, that is not the end of the story. The fire also renews!

Portions from Ron Hutchcraft Ministries and “Renewing Fire.”

II Cor 12:9 “And he said unto me, my grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

Who can I Trust…

Exodus 20:3-4 “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.  Thou
shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that
is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the
earth.”

Who can I trust in?

God created us to live in a social environment, and to be “knit together
in love.”  I know that I need other people.  But I also know that I’m a
sinner (saved by grace through faith) living in a fallen world full of sinful people.
I know that we have an adversary who constantly seeks to steal, kill, and destroy.

In the final analysis, I must place my complete trust in the Living God and in
Him alone.  The danger in trusting other people is that they can become gods.

If we are careful, we can start living and planning our life based on “their”
leadership, “their” opinions, and “their” performance.  And when things don’t go as
planned or hoped, we are all capable of going into an emotional, mental,
physical, or spiritual tailspin.

Let’s face it.  Who among us has had a career or a business plan
that panned out “perfectly?”  Who among us has not experienced major business
curve balls?

Perhaps you were just overlooked for a promotion or raise.
Perhaps you are being mistreated by an unreasonable boss.
Perhaps a valued colleague just made a big blunder-and you’re caught in
the painful aftermath.
Perhaps you expected a customer to sign a big contract, but it fell
through at the eleventh hour.
Perhaps you expected to get paid on-time by a client, but you’re still waiting.
Perhaps your company was just sold, and you’re finding it difficult to
adapt to the new culture.
Perhaps your company just announced that your division is closing or
moving elsewhere…or going through another
infamous “reorganization.”

Be of good cheer: God sees everything and knows everything.  Your 100%
solid Shield of Faith in the Lord will quench all the fiery darts and equip
you to keep moving forward regardless of what other people do or don’t do!
God has a wonderful way of working things out for good-often in mysterious
and unexpected ways!

– William Beckett

“Trust and obey…there’s just no other way…to be happy in
Jesus…than to trust and obey!”

 Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on
your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”

Pride goes before Destruction….

Proverbs 16:18-19 “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.”

I Peter 5:5-7 “Likewise, you younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yes, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he cares for you.”

Pride goes before the Destruction…

Pride sounds like a good thing but is very dangerous. Wrongful pride has us depend on self over God. “There is a proud heart in every person. The pride that was in Adam and Eve’s hearts is the same as is in his sons and daughters. That is us. Pride is sin, and from there arises this overinflated and self-controlled opinion of our spiritual state and condition. It is ok to feel good about what God is doing through your life, but it is sin to credit that good to our own abilities and strengths.

Luke 18:11 “The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.”

This is the unsaved person’s motto. A proud man has an eye to see his beauty–but not his deformity. He sees his abilities–but not his spots. He sees his seeming righteousness-but not his real wretchedness.

Proverbs 14:12 “There is a way which seems right unto a man, but the ends thereof are the ways of death.”

It is only by God’s work of grace that we see our lack of humility. The haughty eye looks inward–but the humble eye looks upward for strength, and therefore this is the believer’s motto, ‘I am the least of saints–and the greatest of sinners!’

Luke 18:13-14 “But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner!’ I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God!”

A Baby’s Tiny Hands…

Hebrews 12:1,2 “Looking unto Jesus the author and the finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame and  is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” 

 A Baby’s Tiny Hands

While pregnant with her son
Beneath her heart within,
She’d often feel his hands
Moving inside her skin.

He’d stretch his arm and hand
and push out on her side
she’d lovingly push it back
with a smile so sweet and wide.

She could hardly wait
for his upcoming birth
to touch his tiny hands
and welcome him to earth.

Then it finally came,
the night that he was born.
With joy she couldn’t contain,
she held him until morn.

She explored his tiny fingers.
She counted all his toes.
She wanted to get to know him,
His ears, his cheeks, and his nose.

The wonder of it all,
at this new baby boy!
She could not hold back.
She wept with tears of joy.

She touched his tiny hand,
a miniature of her own.
He squeezed it tight on her finger.
Such joy she had never known!

The time passed and he grew.
As a toddler, it was grand
to walk along and hold
His fleshy little hand.

She taught him many things.
Together they spent hours.
She’d take his little hand
and touch it to a flower.

When she would hold him close,
He soon developed the knack
of hugging her ’round the neck,
His tiny hand patting her back.

As her son grew older,
His young hands also grew.
He learned many ways to use them.
Each day brought something new.

She helped him learn to read.
She helped him learn to write.
Then, as the day was ending,
she’d pray with him at night.

He learned to use a hammer
with which to drive a nail.
He’d sometimes strike his finger
and let out quite a wail!

Her son continued growing
and soon became a man.
She loved him just as much
As when his life began.

His hands were now full grown,
so strong, yet tender, when
He, with deep compassion,
comforted a friend.

She was extremely grateful
when his hands would fold;
and bowing his head in prayer,
to his Father in Heaven he’d hold.

As the years flew swiftly by,
she watched her son with pride,
His strong but gentle arms
and hands there at his side.

She then thought her life was over.
She suffered unspeakable loss
when her son’s beloved hands
were nailed to a wooden cross…

But that was just the beginning.
for he died and rose again.
Her sorrow then was ended,
and joy replaced her pain.

For, you see, her son was Jesus,
God coming to earth as man,
to save us from our sins
according to His plan.

We cannot save ourselves.
Our sins would lead to death.
God put our sins on Jesus,
the perfect and the best.

With this came our forgiveness
if we believe in Him
He will take away our sins,
and come into our lives,
As He was resurrected,

Eternal Life He’ll bring
to all who have faith and believe
and to His hand will cling.

John 14:6 “And He said unto them, I am the way, the truth and the life,
no one can come unto the Father, but by Me.”

The Lord is my Shepherd…

The Lord is my Shepherd…

23rd Psalm

The Lord is my Shepherd
That’s Relationship!

I shall not want
That’s Supply!

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures
That’s Rest!

He leadeth me beside the still waters
That’s Refreshment!

He restoreth my soul
That’s Healing!

He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness
That’s Guidance!

For His name sake
That’s Purpose!

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
That’s Testing!

I will fear no evil
That’s Protection!

For Thou art with me
That’s Living by Faith!

Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.
That’s Peace and Discipline!

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies
That’s Hope!

Thou anoints my head with oil
That’s Consecration!

My cup runneth over
That’s Abundance!

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life
That’s Blessing!

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
That’s Security!

Forever!

That’s Eternity!
THAT IS GOD’S LOVE………FOR US!

Psalm 23

A Psalm of David. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.

 John 3:16-17 “or God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

Will a good life get me to heaven…

Will a good life get me to Heaven …..?

The quick answer is NO. Before you stop reading listen to how I come to that conclusion. First comes the realization that there is an eternity past this life on earth. Our life may consist of 1 minute to 100+ years old whichever life extent I have. So what does God say will keep me from eternity with Him?

Romans 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”

 Rev 20:11-15 “Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.”

 We think many will be judged based on their works and church affiliation for their ticket into heaven. We hear many saying so on their judgement day in Revelations 20:11-15. Yes, those choosing to be judged for their eternal destiny based on their deeds or works will be. But listen to what God says about our deeds or works and their ability to wipe away the penalty for our sins.

Eph 2:8-9 “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”

Titus 3:5 “ not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,”

There is an option we have. We can leave our destiny up to manmade solutions or up to the sacrifice of Calvary. We like to think that we are able by ourselves or by the Religion or family spiritual heritage we are in that one or all of those things will determine our eternal destiny to heaven. You say to yourself and all around you, ‘I am a good person’. If there is such a thing as eternal loss or separation from God or eternity in Hell than I must not be bad enough to merit it. Really, listen to what God says that our human or fleshly natures are without His Spirit and allowing the Spirit to control our lives.

 Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”

 Mat 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’”

II Thes 1:8-9 “ in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,”

Rom 8:9 “But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.”

Our flesh or humanity when separated by sin from God looks like the following.

 Gen 6:5-6 Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.

 Isa 64:5a-7 you are indeed angry, for we have sinned– In these ways we continue; and we need to be saved. But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away. And there is no one who calls on Your name, Who stirs himself up to take hold of You; for You have hidden Your face from us, And have consumed us because of our iniquities.

Rom 3:9-12 “For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin. As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one; 11 There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. 12 They have all turned aside; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one.”

So, the question becomes, when do I obtain eternal life with God and the Holy Spirit in my life?

Acts 16:30-31 “And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

Rom 10:8-13 “But what does it say?”The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”  For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him.” For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

            So, now you see based on God’s word found in the Bible that our eternal destiny is based on our acceptance or rejection of Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins with no additions to His sacrifice.

Gal 2:21 “I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die.”