TGP Volume 3

(This page is still under construction. Posts are also being edited for better clarification.)

The Inappropriateness of Keeping Score: Giving Up Ownership for Outcomes

If God is indeed the explanation for our fruitfulness, then keeping score of the results is just not an appropriate concern for us to have. Redemption is God's Work and his Will - not ours. We who are in his service are earthen vessels he has chosen and prepared, so we trust him to use us accordingly, and also that the outcome of the work he does through us will be absolutely all it needs to be.

"So neither is he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who gives the increase (makes things grow)." - 1 Corinthians 3:7

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7A03

The Purview of Individuals to Forgive and of God and Governments to Punish

We do not celebrate the execution of a psychopathic dictator who dies without Christ. And while we are horrified and grieved because of his wickedness, still the compassion of Christ within us moves us as individual believers to forgive as he did on the cross and not to punish.

However, it is the Scriptural call and purview of governments to execute murderers, and we rejoice in God's sovereign provision of law and justice for our protection.

"Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold not terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer." - Romans 13:1-4

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7A04

Our Sovereign God: He Knows What You Need

You have right now (in your possession or it's at the door waiting for you) absolutely everything you need to live out God's purpose for your life at this time and in the place where you are. You need nothing that you must chase after, worry about, or go in debt for.

"So not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat, or drink, or wear?' For the pagans run after all these things. Seek me first, and all you need to enable my purpose for your life will be given to you. For your heavenly Father knows what you have need of. And do not worry about tomorrow. Each day has enough concerns of its own to trust God for." - Matthew 6:31-34 (paraphrased, GracePoint)

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7A05

The Gospel: The Gift Your Children Need Most

The greatest gift you can give your children is the gospel, for in the gospel God reveals to mankind his provisions of grace for meeting our redemptive needs. (Every essential need we have for health is a redemptive need, especially our spiritual need for a Savior from the penalty and power of sin.)
You cannot give your children the gift of salvation (the gift of salvation is from God), but only the good news (the gospel) concerning it. If you give your children the whole world but they lose their soul, you have not really given them anything of eternal value.

"I am passionate about the gospel (the good news of God's grace) because it is the power (divine dynamic) of God for the salvation of everyone who believes (trusts in it to be true)." - Romans 1:16

"For what shall it man profit a man though he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?" - Mark 8:36

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7A06

Religion: A World Without Christ

Man is not born with a god gene, but he is born with a religious gene. If Christ had not been born, world religions, fear of unknowable gods, religious sacrifices and fastings, miracles, mystical praise and worship, and cultic excesses would remain as they are today. Different would be the absence of Christ's abiding presence in our lives to enable godliness (the fruits of the Spirit - Galatians 5:22-23) and redemptive service to others.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7A09

Discouragement: Bearing the Burden of Religious Performance

You may be discouraged in the work you do, but not in the work God does through you. You may be discouraged with your Christian life, but not with the Life Christ lives in you. You may be discouraged trying to live out your strong New Year's resolve for increased religious performance, but not in the strong resolve God made before you were born to enable you.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7A10

The Power Behind Positive Behavior

Negative behavior is driven by the pain of our unmet needs (manifesting as anger). Positive behavior is enabled by faith (confidence) concerning God's undying love and care for us and his unfailing commitment to our health and happiness.

"He whose righteousness is by faith shall really live." - Romans 1:17b (paraphrased, GracePoint)

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7A11

Support for Health and Happiness: The Call to Counseling

The call of pastoral counseling is to help counselees identify the essential needs that support their health and happiness; to help identify God's provisions for meeting those needs; then to help connect to the resources God has appointed and ordained for the flow of those provisions into their lives - especially to God's Word in order to experience Christ.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7A12

The Powerlessness of the Rules to Make Possible Our Righteousness

God's Law is a constitution for identifying and guiding the behavior that results in our health and happiness. But because of our fallen human condition we will not be able to consistently choose those behaviors without God's enablement. No one ever has. That is the reason Christ came into the world - to make possible, first, our reconciliation to God by his death on the cross for us, and then also our righteous behavior, leading to health and happiness, by his resurrected life in us.

"For what the law was powerless to do because of the weakness of our sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he provided a way for us to be made strong in order that the righteous requirements of the law may be fully met in us who do not live according to our own strength but according to the strength he provides" (paraphrased from Romans 8:3-4).  

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7A16

Experiencing Christ: The Beginning of Service to Others

God is not slack. His love for every living soul is more than we can comprehend; his commitment to meet our redemptive needs is passionate and unfailing; and his power to accomplish his eternal purpose is infinite. As we increase in our deep confidence (faith) that this is true, we will be enabled to more and more turn away from our heroic self-efforts (strategizing, striving, and struggling) to do his work - also, to stop giving inappropriate attention to goal setting and reporting outcomes. Instead, we will be more attentive to having our quiet time, to hearing God speak through his Word, to experiencing Christ's presence, and to being made useful vessels and fruitful in service to others.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7A18

You Do Not Have to Make God Smile or Live in Fear of His Judgment

Religious legalism views God as stern, angry, and imposing, and his judgment looming as lightening strikes. Legalists are fearful and highly motivated to keep God happy and “to make him smile.” Liberal perspectives view God as inattentive, removed, and grandfatherly, so not to worry. (Your perception of God will likely be influenced by whatever your experience was with the authority figures in your childhood.)

Grace theology represents God as loving, attentive, wise, gentle, and kind. His relationship to you is not about judgment, but about redemption. The judgment of God that fell upon all creation in Genesis 3 was an historic event. It was manifested in darkness when God, who is the Source of light, separated himself from his creation because of Adam’s disobedience. All of creation fell into this darkness at that time and has stumbled around and suffered its effects since. You and I, however, have the opportunity through our relationship to Christ to live in the light. We are not subject to the storm (to use another metaphor) of this judgment event except as we remove ourselves from beneath the umbrella of God’s care (which is exactly the choice that Adam and Eve made in the Garden of Eden).

“Since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope (confident expectation) of the glory of God (all that he has planned for us in the light of his presence).” - Romans 5:1-2

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” - Romans 8:1

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7A20

Grace: The Mysterious Experience of God's Enablement

You cannot learn grace from man. Who can teach taste or warmth or smell? Or love or joy or peace?

Man can only teach religion. Religion is about man's behavior; grace is about God's enablement.

Neither can man understand the concepts of grace except as God reveals it to him. What he can learn in his research about religious behavior will make him proud; what the Holy Spirit teaches him in his quiet time about God's enablement will make him humble.

(The Apostle Paul to the Corinthians church): "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him, but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. No one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God that we may understand what God has freely given us (grace). The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. But the spiritual man has insight into everything, though his insights may bother and baffle the man of the world who can't understand him at all." - 1 Corinthians 2:9-15 (NIV, TLB, and Phillips)

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7A23

Our Gentle Savior: A Perspective Unique to Grace

Religion represents God as irritable and intolerant, imposing and intimidating, and impatient. The Bible represents Christ as a gentle Savior coming to earth to give himself for our redemption and to serve. He brings the offer from Heaven fully to the door of our hearts. He knocks, but does not impose or presume. In the face of rebuff, he is quiet but not offended. This representation of Christ is unique to grace theology.

"Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him." - Revelation 3:20a

"He gave freedom from the penalty and power of sin to as many as received him." - John 1:12b (paraphrased, GracePoint)

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7A24

Union with Christ: The End of Your Search to Know Who You Are

You can know what you look like physically and even your psychological profile, but until you come to Christ to experience him, you will not really know who you are - and will be forever searching. In Christ you will grow in becoming who God created you to be. He is the way to the truth about your life. Say yes to him today.

"Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes (to experience) the Father except through me.'" - John 14:6

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7A25

God's Provisions: The Impossibility That Grace Can Generate Anything Less than Life

Christ did not come into the world just so we could live tolerably, but to give us an opportunity to be sustained every day in health and happiness.

When we consider the abundance of God’s resources to meet our needs (sunshine and water, fertility to the soil to provide every nutrient essential to life, home and family and church relationships, law and justice and government, and most of all, God's Son - his death on the cross for us and his resurrected life in us, also his Word and the Holy Spirit), we can only conclude that it is absolutely God’s will for us to be established in health and happiness. It is impossible for God’s provisions to generate anything less than life.

This does not mean that it is God’s will for you to be wealthy as our fallen sinful nature desires it, or that your strength and sanity will not be challenged, but rather that God has provided faithful resources, the result of which, when you connect to them, becomes your best hope for peace and contentment and sustained energy for your life and service to others.

"The gift of God’s grace far outweighs man’s sinful condition. For if, by the trespass of the one man (Adam), death reigned, how much more certain and unfailing will those who receive God’s abundant provisions of grace reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ." - See Romans 5:15-17.

Jesus said, "I have come that they may have life, and have it more abundantly (in all its fullness)." - John 10:10

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7A29

Hearing in Your Heart the Message You Need Most

Your greatest need is a deep and abiding confidence of God’s great love for you. All human suffering can be traced back to the choices that are made out of the hurt of this unmet need.

God communicates his love in many ways (including through the resources he has provided in creation and community), but mainly by the Holy Spirit through his Word. This means if you do not have a quiet time to hear God speak, you will miss hearing the words you need to hear most.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7A30

Worship: Intimacy with Christ Purely Motivated, Private, and Passionate

Worship, as the Bible defines it, is not the same as it is understood by world religions or extremist ideologies who define it in terms that describe the obeisance and patronage of subordinates toward those in power. Neither is it the same as expressed in cultic worship or by the fatuous toward celebrities.

Instead, in its purest sense, worship defines the experience of intimacy that a believer has in relationship to Christ with whom the believer has been joined spiritually as his bride. It is motivated by deep-felt awe for the faithful and gentle care of a gentle, loving Savior and is expressed reciprocally in surrender to the intimate impartation of his life into our innermost being, which is the spirit. Worship, in the purest Bible sense, is illustrated by a bride’s intimate and passionate response to her husband’s expressions of love and integrity to care for her needs.

Also, it is not a public experience, but intimate and private. Whatever your experience is in the "praise and worship" services of your church, it is not a substitute for worship in the purest sense that the Bible defines it.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7A31

Truth: Reality as God Knows It, Reveals It

We are limited in this life as to what we can understand about Truth. Truth is the mind of God: It is reality as God knows it. Our efforts to comprehend (or teach) that reality would be like trying to drink the water in all the oceans. When we have been in Heaven for eternity, we will not have yet even begun to exhaust the mind of God.

You can study the Bible as you would a textbook with benefit. (This is the limited understanding of the Bible that teachers and books can help guide.) But God's purpose for giving the Scriptures was more than as a blueprint or manual; rather, it was as a Resource through which he communicates Truth, especially concerning his undying love and faithful care for us. This understanding of the mind of God is not gained through energetic research or high intellectual engagement, but only as the Holy Spirit reveals it to our understanding as we wait patiently, quietly, and trustingly before him each day with an open Bible.

"Now all that I know is hazy and blurred, but then I will see everything clearly." - 1 Corinthians 13:12b

"But when he, the Spirit of Truth, comes he will guide you into all truth." - John 16:13a (See also 1 John 2:27.)

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7B01

Taking Time for the Book that Matters Most: A Grace Musing

Since God has given us disclosure (about himself and the redemption he provides) in a book that could be represented by an infinite number (or how about any number with a billion zeros after it?), we are not best served when we neglect it in order to read what man attempts to write on the same subject in books that together could be represented in comparison to the Bible by (let's say) the number three.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7B02

God’s purpose for everything he provides is to enable your life for making right choices leading to your health and happiness - and also your holiness (usefulness in redemptive service to others).

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7B05

God’s love for you is unchanging, his power is unchanging, his commitment to you is unchanging, and his provisions of grace are abundant to sustain you today and again tomorrow for every need you have. Trust him.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7B06

Nurturing relationships with family and friends are essential to your health and happiness, but your expectation for others to meet the need in your life that only intimacy with Christ can meet will be more burdensome than your relationship with them can bear.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7B07

Beauty is on the inside, acceptance is from God, service is to others. Go in peace.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7B08

Run from any relationship to leadership that burdens you with the expectation of support. Jesus did not come to be served, but to serve.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7B09

Doing your best (as God enables) is enough. More will take care of itself.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7B12

When you have what God provides, you may not have all you want, but you will not have less than you need. Trust in his care for you.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7B13

Nothing more surely manifests the presence of God’s love in your heart (the mind of Christ birthed and nurtured in you by the Holy Spirit through his Word) than the absence of prejudice and condemnation based in racism.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7B14

Religion focuses on rules for behavior leading to good outcomes; Grace focuses on God’s provisions to enable good behavior.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7B15

The essential component of worship is surrender. Worship is not really about something you do for God, but about a work of grace that God does in you. It's the difference in bondage and freedom.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7B16

Without God's guidance in your life you can still absolutely sometimes make decisions that are not disastrous as the business world would determine it, but you will never be disappointed when you wait on God to bring into your life his provisions to meet your needs.

"Seek first God's provisions for your health and the redemptive needs of others, and he will add to your life everything you need." - Matthew 6:33 paraphrased (GracePoint)

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7B19

You will be best served by the opinion of the person who is not selling anything, is not intolerant to being wrong, and does not attack the character and motives of others who disagree.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7B20

There’s a third choice, you know. You don’t need to live decadently to satisfy your carnal appetites, nor suppress them to frustration. God’s provisions to meet your needs are powerful to purify your passions, first of the heart (soul), then body.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7B21

Health is not the absence of weakness but the presence in your life of God’s provisions (in creation, community, and Christ) to meet your energy needs - body, soul, and spirit.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7B22

The prayer God is certain to answer is not for the carnal things we want (actually, in America, we can get those things largely on our own); rather, it is for increased faith to trust in his love and care to provide us (bring into our lives), in answer to our prayers, everything we need for health (including holiness), happiness, and helping others.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7B23

Satan will focus you on religious rules and your failed behavior. The Holy Spirit will focus you on God's provisions to heal your fallen condition.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7B26

You are safer in Christ than you are in your home, or in your bed. No child in the arms of a loving parent is safer than you are in Christ.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7B27

We long to see Heaven one day with our eyes, but our citizenship and journey there began the day we trusted Christ’s death on the cross for our salvation. We long to see Christ face to face, but our experience of him in our hearts is now. Dear saved friend, Heaven for you has already begun. You are blessed!

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7B28

New age ideas and mind games including positive thinking may have benefit to support you for obtaining the superficial things you want. But prayer and faith (to trust God's love for you - also, his provisions) is God's way for you to have from him everything you need essential to your healing, health, and long-term happiness. Also, for going to Heaven.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7C01

God puts children into homes to have their needs met, not to meet adult needs. God’s relationship to you as your Heavenly Father is not about what you can do for him, but what you will allow him to do for you.

"The Spirit himself testifies to our spirit that we are God’s children." - Romans 8:16

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7C02

We trust completely that the provisions Christ is preparing for us in Heaven (John 14:2-3) will be fully perfect. We trust also that his provisions for us on earth can be no less perfect.

"Let not your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in Christ and in his provisions to meet your needs fully, completely, and forever." - John 14:1-3 (paraphrased and amplified, GracePoint)

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7C05

God is not calling you to surrender to his control but to give him opportunity for influence.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7C06

Whatever your age, it’s no biggie. One day you will be a billion. So, taken in relevance, our goal is not the number of years we live, but good health and usefulness in service to others.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7C08

God's purpose for the instructions he gives in Scripture is not to set a standard of behavior for testing your loyalty to him in order to win his favor, but to provide guidance for the choices you make that supports your health and happiness.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7C09

The judgment and condemnation you feel is not really the result of what you are hearing others say to you, including Satan, who is the accuser (Revelation 12:10), but more because of what you are not hearing God say to you through his Word concerning his love and acceptance.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7C12

This life is subject to the presence of war, tension, hatred, deceit, and adversity. But through it all, God through Christ has made provisions sufficient for his children so that you do not need to wait until you get to Heaven to be renewed daily in your experience of his love and care for you and his joy and peace within you.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7C13

Christ will follow you wherever you go, in your triumphs and in your troubles, knocking at your heart's door, calling you to receive him. But we do not receive him to take him where we have determined to go; rather, we surrender to go wherever he takes us, guides and enables us, even in a new and unknown direction, leading to our renewed health and ever-increasing happiness.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7C14

God is glorified (his character and ways made manifest to the world through us) by our experience of his intervention to calm the storm we are in. But he is also made manifest to the world (glorified), maybe even more so, by our experience of his presence (his love, joy, peace, etc.) to sustain us through the storm.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7C15

We no longer need to go to the well to drink (Old Testament); rather, we live in the well (New Testament) - immersed into it by the Holy Spirit.

"They (Old Testament Israel) drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ." - 1 Corinthians 10:4b

"For we (New Testament Church) were all baptized (immersed) by one Spirit into one body (Christ) and were all given the one Spirit to drink." - 1 Corinthians 12:13

"The water that I will give him will become in him a spring which will provide him with living water." - John 14:4 (TEV)

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7C19

God's love and care for us (his mercy) moved him to provide for us a clear, accurate, sensible step-by-step program of good choices that leads to our daily renewal in health and happiness. Not only so, but he also made provisions to enable us for taking every single step of that program, from our very first response to it, and including even the very desire to do it. This means we are not left with a book of rules to follow in our own strength - because we have no strength. We can walk in health, not only because we have the right plan, but because he made available to us his very life to empower our commitment to the plan, and that as certainly and accessibly as he made water and light and bread available to renew and empower us physically, he also made available to us who he is, the Water and Light and Bread of Life, to renew and empower us deep within our hearts, our innermost self.

“From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another (law and grace)” - John 1:16. See also verses 17-18.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7C20

Faith does not dictate to God but surrenders to his love and care for us. You will not receive from God or have his blessings upon what you strain to get, attempt to hold on to, or insist on having, but only what you surrender to him, including your health, your family, and your business.

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s might hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” - 1 Peter 5:6-7

“The Lord delights in those who look to him, whose hope is in his unfailing love.” - Psalm 147:11

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7C21

The call in the Scriptures to die to self or to lose your life in service to others does not mean to lay down your personal health or to give up your family in order to do God’s work; it identifies, rather, the necessity to make secondary your pursuit of worldly goals and superficial desires in order to give more faithful attention to the resources God has provided for your renewal and enablement, beginning with your relationship to Christ and his Word. The call to redemptive ministry is first to holiness (spiritual health), then to service. The death you die will not be to your family or personal health, but to the choices you make that break your health and limit your usefulness.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7C22

Laughing All the Way Not Having Anything to Take to the Bank

True wealth seems to be in the contentment of having limited funds, yet not coveting to have more or envying those who do, and in not really knowing what you might do differently for yourself if you did.

“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have.” - Hebrews 13:5a

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7C23

By our references to the mercy of God we do not mean to indicate that he kindly intervenes to circumvent the results of our unwise choices, but rather: It was the mercy of God that moved him to provide resources of grace (in creation, in community, and in relationship to himself through Christ) to which we can connect for our recovery and renewal.

Don Whisnant/Grace Perspective 7C26

Inward Groaning: The Reality of Growing in Grace

You can trust that the full realization of God’s plan for your redemption (renewal and recovery) will be accomplished in you by the Holy Spirit as you abide in (remain connected to) Christ. You can also expect that inward groaning, living under the weight of a sinful nature in a fallen world, will be the reality of your experience leading to your health and happiness.

"We know that the whole creation has been groaning, as in the pains of childbirth, right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruit of the Holy Spirit (are born again), groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for (the full realization of) our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies." - Romans 8:22,23

Don Whisnant/Grace Perspective 7C27

My ministry friend is only about 50 years old, but has spent much of the past several years in and out of a hospital bed suffering terribly from one health setback after another. I remember him always insisting, in defense of his pursuit to be number one, that “if you don’t play to win, why play?” He met some of his goals and gained some recognition for his labor, but has changed his mind about the definition of winning. What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his health?

Don Whisnant/Grace Perspective 7C28

The word “commitment” when used to mean “a sworn pledge, vow, or oath" with respect to behavior is an appropriate word for Old Testament concepts of law and its emphasis on performance. But there is another word we use in grace counseling that better represents the New Testament concepts of God’s grace and our relationship to it: It is the word “surrender.”

"Through Christ we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand." - Romans 5:2

Don Whisnant/Grace Perspective 7C29

Walk away from your good ideas. If they are God’s ideas they will follow you.
Disclaimer (The small print): This is purely a faith concept from a grace perspective! Do not try this on your own at home independent of God’s enablement in your life through your connection to (abiding in) Christ!

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7C30

Born to Use

You can trust that retailers, repair shops, bankers, and certainly your doctor and pastor value you and are motivated purely in their relationship with you by their undying commitment and interest in your well-being.
Not really! Happy belated April Fools/Day!

There seems to be two categories identifying the motivations people, businesses, and organizations have for their interaction with others. They are:
  • How they can serve the needs of others;
  • How others can serve their needs (including for power, prestige, and profit).
It is the disposition of fallen human nature to use. We are born that way. The only hope any one of us has to ever be motivated otherwise in our relationship to others, that is, by an interest in their well-being instead of our own, is to be transformed by the life of Christ birthed and renewed in us daily by the Holy Spirit through his Word.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7D02

If you can find a way to entertain people, soothe their emotional pain, make them feel good or look seductive, stroke their ego, relieve the symptoms of their broken health, or circumvent the consequences of their foolish choices, you can charge what you want for your services (if you accept credit/cards) and they will make you filthy rich.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7D03

Testing God does not mean acting ornery in God’s face so that he loses patience with you and you get slapped. Rather, it means that you make life choices foolishly thinking you are the exception to the laws of life and health (physics and renewal, for example) that God ordained to govern his creation (also affectionately called “acting a fool“).

Health is not automatic but the outcome of an investment you can make, including to drink water (per day in ounces equal to the number half you weight). Water is involved in every biological function of the body. If it is not present in sufficient amounts, those function are impaired, and some are impossible (digestion, for example, meaning you can eat all you want, but if your food is not being digested and absorbed efficiently into your blood stream, you are starving yourself to death on a full stomach).

Also, if you are willing to do for your health only what feels good or tastes good, you will opt out of doing most of what is essential to support your life. But if you make choices for your health because your regimen (schedule and diet) says to do it (enabled by "who Christ is" in you - Galatians 5:22-23), also because the warning signs say "no diving" or "slow down," you will be in compliance with God’s order and can expect to live long and healthy.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7D04

He called to ask if I had ever considered writing a book. I answered who hasn’t. He said I should do it. I asked why. He said because it would help people. I said there is already a Book for that. He said people would read my book. I said I doubt it but that, anyway, it would not be the book they needed to read. He said we could sell it to support the work I am doing. I said I am not doing any work. He said he meant the work God is doing. I said that work is already being supported. He said I could do more. I said I don’t want to do more. He said he meant God could do more. “More than who?“ I asked.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7D05

God made provisions for man to survive the night. He gave fire and electricity to generate heat and light for the dark hours. But God’s surpassing provision for us, without which life on earth would be impossible, is the rising of the sun. And the only real hope of renewal for a dying world is a risen and living Savior.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspecitve 7D06

Ministry will look and sound (also result) different when motivated and enabled by the heart of Christ in you for others than it will when driven by personal unmet needs, particularly for significance. Personal significance is not found in your experience of ministry to others, but in your experience of God’s ministry to you.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7D09

GracePoint began on Easter/Sunday five years ago (2002). There have been several milestones. The latest is a website we introduced yesterday,, offered as a resource to support informationally the grace counseling we provide.

Grace is God’s provision of himself to renew your health when you tire of the hype that drives your performance.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7D10

The health and prosperity you can trust God to give you will not be a divine intervention from above that will fall supernaturally upon you in a mystical way in response to your fasting and praying, or even to your obedience to perform (including to tithe); rather, it will come through your connection to his provisions, beginning with his Life (John 15:4-5), but including also his provisions in creation (for fitness and nutrition) and community (through relationships in home and church) that motivate and enable you for making wise choices which result in your renewal according to the laws of life that God has set in order to govern his creation.

“For it is God who works within you both to desire and to do according to his plan for your life (health and happiness).” - Philippians 2:13 (paraphrased, GracePoint)

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7D11

Stay Busy! Famous Last Words for a Lost Life

The same person who said the way to happiness was to stay busy also said sleep was highly overrated. He died too young of heart failure and left a legacy of ruined lives.

Divine healing is not a quick fix supernatural touch (intervention) from God in answer to prayer to reverse the outcome of your unwise choices; rather, it begins with taking time daily for a regimen that includes nine servings of raw fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, two to four quarts of water (depending on your weight), exercise to get your heart rate up for a sustained 20-30 minutes, regular 7-8 hours sleep, and, most importantly, spiritual renewal.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7D12

God’s provisions are abundant to support you fully, but your security is not really in what you have - your employer, your talents and skills, your education and degrees, not even your possessions and savings or insurance - but in Who you have and Who has you.

My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” - Psalm 121:2

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7D13

The bondage from which Christ sets us free is not from having to make wise choices for health but from our powerlessness to make those choices.

“It is for freedom (from the bondage of our powerlessness) that God has set us free (from his judgment against sin).” - Galatians 5:1

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7D16

Any expectation you have for support from resources other than through those God has provided, especially in relationship to Christ, will lead to disappointment, to anger, and, in some, to acts of violence, both measured and extreme, upon self and others.

The explanation for violence is not really the failure of government controls to limit movement, but the fallenness of man’s moral condition and the absence of support in his life for recovery and renewal.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7D17

Any expectation you have for support from resources other than through those God has provided, especially in relationship to Christ, will lead to disappointment, to anger, and, in some, to acts of violence, both measured and extreme, upon self and others.

The explanation for violence is not really the failure of government controls to limit movement, but the fallenness of man’s moral condition and the absence of support in his life for recovery and renewal.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7D18

It seems with no lack of churches in town, the resources are in place for the flow of God's love and care into a hurting world sufficient so that no person in our community, or in our pews, should ever be left behind or unsupported. Which means our work is more than to offer a Bible class to study facts or learn rules for nice behavior, or to create programs for busyness to increase attendance and offerings, or even to expand outreach around the world in the name of missions. Not while people all about (everyone really) are suffering from loneliness and rejection, wandering, lost, making foolish, failed decisions to deal with their unhappiness, and growing in anger and disappointment and desperation.

The answer to violence in a community is an engaged church living out its passion and commitment to invest in support ministry for the recovery and renewal of the boy next door and his family.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7D18

Understanding Broken Behavior

Discouragement, despair, resentment, and anger (sometimes exploding in rage and/or violence upon self and others - on the highway, in the home, and elsewhere) is the tragic outcome of unmet support and renewal needs, especially when the broken behavior it causes has been met with rejection and judgment.

The needs of some temperament dispositions can be so intense, and the pain of their unmet needs so deep, that they do not respond to casual outreach and may appear to be aloof or withdrawn, maybe even disconnected. It is their cry (and certainly an opportunity) for radical intervention - for someone to "please take time to convince me that I matter to you."

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7D19

Understanding Broken Behavior

Central to grace counseling is our understanding that while adverse influences have a role in broken behavior, the overlooked root cause is the absence of support needs that are essential to good health. These needs may be biological or medical in some instances. They are often psychological (information, emotional, and decision making needs that support socialization).

Ultimately, however, without connection to God through relationship to Christ, every person is subject to the adversity of living in a broken world filled with broken people, to the predispositions of our own fallen sinful nature, and also to the influences of evil (through demonic oppression and sometimes occupation).

Every human is born defective (because of the tragic choices made in the Garden of Eden), but we are not born into a world where God has not made adequate provisions in every way for our recovery. We call these provisions "essential needs" for health and happiness. When we are not connected to the resources for the flow of these provisions, or when the resources to which we are connected are dysfunctional, the outcome is brokenness. "Broken behavior" is behavior that is rooted in weakness or that is not supported.
The tragedy is compounded when broken people make unwise choices for relief that result in increased brokenness and pain. It is these failed choices that open widest the doors of our vulnerability to the psychological and biological diseases and disorders (including addictions and self-hatred) that produce rage and violence and other extreme behaviors.

Some worldviews offer no clue to explain broken behavior except maybe as an unfortunate blip in man's evolution toward utopia - where in another billion years or so they postulate we are to arrive - out of which notion they are forced to the shrugging conclusion that, in the meantime, some broken behavior at best can only be managed, and that some broken people are beyond recovery, so are disposable and can be discarded like a cracked windshield.

Grace theology holds to a view that appreciates the need for external provisions in society to institutionalize, manage, and control the behavior of the sickest among us.

But it is not our only hope.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7D20

Our experience of the heart of Christ toward those who are adverse to us will be this: We value you and will give sacrificially out of our resources to win your salvation. Also, we have no need to win over you, to control you, or to impose our values on you. But neither will we concede our lives to your aggression and violence, and will fight till bloody death to protect our faith, our flag, and the freedoms they guarantee us to pursue a way of life that supports our health and happiness.

“We are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.” - Hebrews 10:39 (NIV)

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7D23

Broken people in pain have the option in their desperate search for relief to seek it through recovery or without recovery.
There is a relief from pain that can be found in feel-good experiences, but it is without recovery from the brokenness that causes the pain. Christ calls us to intimacy with him and to relief from pain that comes through our healing.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7D24

In Matthew 11:28-30, Christ calls to relief those who are hurting. He says,

“Come to me, all you who have been striving to do good but have not had the strength you need to do it, and are now beaten down, and I will give you rest (Gr. anapausis: relief, refreshment).”

But then in verse 29, Jesus says,

“take (or receive) my yoke upon you.”

Is this an absurdity? How is it that we can take a yoke upon us that will result in our relief? Why not turn us loose to run wild in the woods - which is the very place our hurting souls want and are disposed to go anyhow, called there by the world, Satan, and our own carnal nature and addictions.

But the relief to which Christ calls us is not from the yoke of responsibility for making wise choices for health; instead, it is from the heavy burden of not knowing what wise choices to make and from not having the strength we need to make them.

It seems an absurdity, but it is in this very way, being yoked to Christ and seemingly limited in our ability to be spontaneous and impulsive, that we, in fact, have our best hope for enduring health and the relief that follows.

Also by our yoke to Christ, this required conformity to a regimen that leads to restored health is not burdensome, but is “easy and light.” Not light because the responsibility is reduced for making hard choices, but because we are supported in making those choices by the presence and guidance of the One to whom we are yoked.

Long-term relief from pain is found only in health. And making wise choices that lead to health is only burdensome when it is not enabled.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7D25

The Bible is not a book of entertainment and will disappoint your need to be entertained (somewhat in the way raw spinach is not candy, so will not satisfy your addiction to sugar). This is the reason man’s carnal nature does not crave the Scriptures and will turn away even from the sight of it. This may be the reason also why only 5% of Christians (if the reports are correct) read the Bible every day. It is also the reason why the feel-good church movement has seized the opportunity to reduce the Christian experience to entertainment.

One Hollywood group recently produced an audio Bible with all the effects of sensational sound and high drama to excite and stimulate. Their motivation, they said, was to add spice to make the Bible more appealing so that more people would read it. We respond, “appealing to what?” When any production, book or otherwise, is made appealing to man’s carnal nature, it becomes a vehicle for error, including new age feel-good heresy.

The battle ground is the soul of man, particularly the mind. There is a resource for the flow of information into our minds that is not from God but comes from Satan the angel of light, father of lies, and deceiver of men. It is a loud, booming, sensual, and emotional sound that comes from without and appeals to the fallen carnal nature of man, and is addictive, so leads to bondage. That is the reason we reject it, warn against it, and hold tenaciously only to the quiet flow of Truth that comes to our minds up out of our born again spirit (which has been immersed into spiritual union with the resurrected Christ) through the Divine Writ, The Scriptures that we can hold in our hands.

The power (dynamic) that communicates this message from God through The Scriptures is the Holy Spirit. When he does not communicate the message, the ink on paper is dead, and the text formed can be interpreted to mean almost anything. It is this dead material that the carnal church attempts to give life to. Hence, the many denominations and cults - also the silly notions broadcast on tv every day.

It is not the words we read or hear others read, no matter how sensational and dramatic, that has divine life and that “will not return void,” but the words only that we hear the Holy Spirit speak. Also, the words you think in your mind (positive thinking) or speak with your mouth (name it, claim it) have no power to produce life or anything of eternal value, but only mystical power to enhance your psychological energy for advantage to make a golf shot or ride a bull. Only the words that the Holy Spirit communicates to you have power to generate life to meet your redemptive needs for health and healing.

Attempting to add entertainment value to the Scriptures is like screaming into a live microphone. It is just not needed. It would also be like the disciples attempting to put makeup on our Lord, to or dress him in fine fashions. I can’t even imagine. The very notion is sacrilege that the incarnate Savior, gentle and lowly Servant, and loving Shepherd whom God gave to a lost world to communicate his message of love and redemption would have needed to prance and dance and glee and dramatize the message of the Gospel, entertainment style, in order for his words to have power to penetrate the darkness of man’s carnal self.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7D26

God is not in a power position over you, but in a service and support position beneath you.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7D27

If what you hear is condemning or makes you fearful, you are not hearing from God. When God speaks to you, you will be supported in your faith and hope concerning his love and care for you.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7D30

May 31, 2007

By God's favor we mean the abundant provisions of his grace (resources) to supply every essential need you have for health and happiness. "Winning or earning" God's favor is not a grace concept. You can only receive what he has already provided.

"For if the many died because of the disobedience of the one man, Adam, how much more certain and unfailing did God's provisions of grace that came by the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to each one of them... and how much more certain and unfailing will those who receive God's abundant provisions of grace and of the gift of his righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ." - Romans 5:15-17 (paraphrased GracePoint)

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7E31

May 30, 2007

The Scriptures do not teach that God will allow nothing into your life more than you can handle, but rather that he will allow into your life nothing more than he is willing and able to sustain you through. Your reality will be that God will, in fact, allow into your life circumstances that will absolutely crush you without his guidance and strength to support you - which we have in abundance as we open the doors of our lives daily to receive it.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7E30

May 29, 2007

The physical miracles we read about in the Old Testament (including the parting of the Red Sea, the manna from Heaven, and the rest) pale in excitement, interest, and significance to the miracle of "who Christ is" being resurrected and formed in us by the Holy Spirit through his Word.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7E29

May 28, 2007

Past mentors for failed legalism insisted that if we take care of God's business he will take care of our families. They were wrong. They also insisted that nutrition, exercise, and sleep are highly overrated and that we are indestructible until God is finished with us, but they died too young and we learned that God will be finished with us sooner if we do not care for our health.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7E28

May 25, 2007

You were born with the mental potential to comprehend information communicated to you from the fallen world you live in, including from the demonic world (which is the unseen world that surrounds you). You were not born, however, with the capacity to hear Truth (reality from the eternal perspective as God knows it). In fact, you were born with your mind barricaded and hostile against it (2 Corinthians 10:4; Romans 8:7; 2 Timothy 2:24-26). And you will not hear Truth unless 1) God communicates it to you (which he did through Christ during his Incarnation on earth, and also continues to do through the Scriptures). But not only so, neither will you hear Truth unless 2) God enables you to hear it (which he does by the Holy Spirit - 1 Corinthians chapters 1 and 2). Also to be considered, you will not hear the Holy Spirit unless you stop your busy-ness, take time to be quiet, read the Scriptures, and listen for his gentle, quiet voice.

Don Whisnan/The Grace Perspective 7E25

May 24, 2007

Those who are used by others are unhappy, but those who use others are unhappiest because they can never be satisfied.

"Where your treasures (investments) are, there will your heart (affections) be also." - Matthew 6:21 (amplified, Gracepoint)

Only Christ, living his life in and through you by the Holy Spirit, can transform you from being a user to becoming an investor.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7E24

May 23, 2007

Your spouse may not be able to make up the difference for your inborn temperament needs left unmet from childhood (including for attention, acceptance, affection, and support), but God can.

"Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will take me up.” - Psalm 27:10

Your experience of Christ through his Word in your quiet time will be far more powerful and satisfying than any other experience you can have, because it will meet your deepest, most intense need, which is spiritual.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7E23

May 22, 2007

God not only knows about your pain, he also cares. And not only does he care, he is also able to help. Friends and family may know your pain, and even care and want to help, but they may also have their own pain so that they cannot care in the way you need. And because they are only human, they are not able to help like God is able. Look to him today.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7E22

May 21, 2007

God's Resources for Recovery During Suffering: Finding Your Deepest Need for Support in Relationship to Christ

God has provided faithful resources to meet every need you have in order for you to be fully supported -for making the wise choices that establish you in health and happiness, but also to renew you when you are broken.
This means: In creation, God has provided every nutrient your body needs - for good health, but also for your healing and recovery. And in community, he has provided family and friends in the home and church as a resource for the support you need - leading to your success, but also for times when you are hurting and discouraged.

However, your deepest need for support, especially for encouragement and comfort when your heart is broken and troubled, will be missed except through your experience of God's unfailing love for you through intimate relationship to Christ by the Holy Spirit and his Word.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7E21

May 18, 2007

You will not usually get from God the immediate fix to your problems you want. The outcome he gives is called fruit, which means it will be slow. (Did you ever see or hear a fruit grow?) This means also: Without the faith God gives through his Word, you will not be willing to wait for the seed you have sown to germinate, or for the fruit to be produced. Instead, you may attempt to pound out a solution in your own impulsive energy and in a way that seems right to you - but you also may not like or be well served by the results you get.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7E18

May 17, 2007

(We mourn Jerry Falwell's passing, yet rejoice for his promotion. I found to be true all that you will hear about his gentleness and kindness and respect for others.)

We will not be rewarded in Heaven for anything on earth we do, even by our most energized and impressive self-enabled efforts, but only for what we allow Christ to do in us and through us (1 Corinthians 3:10-15).

So while it is fitting to note individuals and the accomplishments that follow their lives, it is infinitely more appropriate to celebrate Christ alone as the Source of all life and the Giver of all that is good.

Jesus said, "Without me, you can do nothing." - John 15:5

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7E17

May 16, 2007

What’s the color of a man’s soul? It has no color. Only the body has color - red, yellow, black, and white. But the body is not the soul. It is only a clay vessel God made from the earth for man’s soul to live in. Racism just doesn‘t make good sense.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7E16

May 15, 2007

I spoke to a new acquaintance about which church he attended. He responded with a big smile and identified the church not by its name, but by calling the name of its well-known pastor, then applauded his “world-wide impact.” But my experience of this pastor is that he would not hold himself up for applause, or identify himself as the explanation for the effectual work occurring through his ministry, but rather himself only as a vessel specially prepared and made useful by God in service to others. This will always be the mark of the work God is doing and of the worker he is using. Beware all others; they may be charlatans.

“There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning the Light, so that through him all men might believe. He himself was not the Light; he came only as a witness to the Light. The true Light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.” - John 1:6-9

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7E15

May 14, 2007

Yesterday, we celebrated our moms for their service to their children, but our Mother’s Day message is first to the husband/father, to remind him that it is his role to serve as a resource to his family for the flow of God’s provisions to sustain them in health and happiness, beginning with his wife, and that his wife’s service to the family unsupported by him will in time break her health. We observe this tragedy in cultures where women are not supported in essential ways by their husbands, but are instead used up as a sacrifice in their service to meet family needs.

Our message is also to the single mom, to remind her that her deepest unmet need is not for a husband's support, but rather her need for an intimate relationship to Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit through his Word. The qualities of all the world's best husbands manifested in one man could not substitute for that Support. Also, that it is the foremost role of parenting to facilitate each child’s relationship to God. God will become a Father to the fatherless in a merciful way that will support them miraculously throughout life. Many we note in history who became wonderfully successful in useful service to others were parented in this way by their mothers.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7E14

May 11, 2007

Broken health and unhappiness are not your fate. God has made available to you every resource you need to strengthen you for making wise choices leading to your renewed health and happiness. But his resources for you are not beneficial to you just by their existence, no more than water, sunshine, air, or food are beneficial unless you choose to include them in your life. This means your healing and renewal are not automatic, and that all the positive thinking, naming and claiming, stroking God, moaning and groaning, and fasting you can do will not help.

Sometimes, however, the resources God has provided are dysfunctional due to no fault of your own, but because you live in a broken world filled with broken people. But even then, the scope of God’s love and care for you has provided the Resource of his Presence, through your relationship to Christ, to make up the difference in miraculous ways for the human resources that have failed you - but only if you will take time daily to include him in your life. You can do this through extended quiet time for Scripture reading, confession of need, and prayer to receive him.

“Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will take me up.” - Psalm 27:10

“God’s divine nature has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our experience of Christ.” - 2 Peter 1:3

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any one hears my voice (by the Holy Spirit through his Word) and will open the door, I will come in to him.” - Revelation 3:20

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7E11

May 10, 2007

We cannot fully understand the depths of God’s grace except as the Holy Spirit reveals it to us through his Word, and especially as we experience it in relationship to Christ (no more than we can comprehend the fragrance of honeysuckle without the experience of it). Nothing you can read or hear from GracePoint or any other resource, including from the most appreciated authors and speakers, will give you any more than a superficial glimpse of grace. But when you have experienced it through intimacy with Christ and his Word, it will be your testimony that “the half was never told.”

“No one has ever experienced God, but the Only Begotten Son of God, who is now at the Father’s side in Heaven, has made him known (through relationship with him).“ - John 1:18

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him - but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.” - 1 Corinthians 2:9 (also, verses 1-16)

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7E10

May 9, 2007

God has made provisions for the relief of hurting people in ways that reveal the wide scope of his mercy. For example, he gives sunshine and rain and atmosphere for life to even those who reject him, who also have the opportunity to live out of the fruit and freedoms experienced in a nation established by Judeo-Christian principles. As another example, we believe that in some instances God has provided for traditional medicine, including pharmaceuticals, to facilitate temporary relief from symptoms of broken health, albeit sufferers may have rejected his provisions for natural healing.
In our natural selves, we can’t help but be happy for the relief from pain suffered by anyone, especially by those who have had no guidance and support in a better way - even though we know that too often it circumvents their search for the healing God has provided. Yet in our deepest understanding and conviction, we would rather one person find relief through the healing that begins in relationship to Jesus Christ, the Great Physician, than for a million others to find a measure of relief otherwise.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7E09

May 8, 2007

The word “worship” in the sense most used in the New Testament does not mean an outward behavior giving the appearance of fawning obeisance to God, or even to lift your hands to applaud his splendor, but identifies the adoring disposition of our hearts (the soul) toward God (illustrated by the opened door in Revelation 3:20) that allows him to impart his life deep within us to renew us in his likeness. It is facilitated and guided by the Holy Spirit as we take extended time each day for Scripture reading, confession of need, and prayer, and is the essential connection to Christ that establishes us in health and happiness. The healing and relief you want may not come immediately. But in due time, your life will be better established in health and happiness through this experience of worship as we have described it than if you seek quick relief now in ways that are superficial or that disregard God.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7E08

May 7, 2007

Understanding the Grace Dynamic for Dispelling Darkness
Men are not some evil, some not evil. Darkness is within every man by default. And the steps that lead to our righteousness and renewal is not our solemn commitment and determination to extract that evil from ourselves by heroic self effort through strict rule keeping; rather, it is to take time each day to include in our lives the Light of who Christ is through extended Scripture reading, confession of need, prayer, and worship. His Light in us penetrates into our darkness, and the darkness, no matter how dark, will not be able to prevail against it. Hallelujah for grace.

“The entering in of your Word gives light.“ - Psalm 119:130

“In him was Life and that Life was the light of men." - John 1:4

"He set free from darkness all who received him.” - John 1:12 (paraphrased)

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7E07

May 4, 2007

Dear (Husband), Your Wife Cannot Be God: Breaking Your Wife With a Burden Too Heavy to Bear

Dear (Husband), your needs for support are valid and must be met, but your expectation for your wife to support you in the way only God can will be a burden on her greater than her health can tolerate. She may remain in the marriage motivated by her fear of starting over, being alone, lost finances, or detriment to the children - also of disappointing friends, family, and religious people, and maybe even manipulated by her fear of you, but she will not be happy.

And neither will you. There is no surer formula for your own misery than to look to your wife to meet your happiness needs (because that makes you a user and it is impossible for a user to be happy), and no surer formula for finding your own happiness than to invest in her needs (because Jesus said where your investments are, there your heart will be also).
And finally, there is no greater certainty than the love of a wife whose husband is focused on and committed to her health and happiness needs.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7E04

May 3, 2007

Suffering is a part of living in a fallen, dangerous world, but God does not use pain to make you strong, or to conform you to be like him. That would be the same as to suggest thirst builds health. (We remember not too many years ago the reports of football coaches who denied water to their players during summer workouts with the foolish notion that real men don’t need water. Their aphorism was “no pain, no gain” until some young men died with heat strokes.) God has one purpose for thirst: It is to point you to your need for water. And God’s purpose for allowing pain is to slow you down, get your attention, and point you back to the place and choices and provisions of grace you ran past for establishing you in health and happiness beginning with relationship to Christ, the Living Water.

“I am passionate about the gospel because it reveals God’s provision of Christ’s righteousness for the salvation (healing and recovery) of all who will receive him by faith into their lives. Those whose righteousness is by faith shall really live.” - Romans 1:16-17 condensed and paraphrased

“…how much more certain and unfailing will those who receive God’s abundant provisions of grace and of the gift of his righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.” - Romans 5:17b

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7E03

May 2, 2007

Parents use children, husbands use wives, pastors use people. That is the way of unmet needs in a fallen world. And the choices hurting people make to medicate their pain put them in deeper bondage to their broken health and unhappiness. Only the Life that flows from relationship to Christ will break the cycle.

“I am passionate about the gospel because it reveals God’s provision of Christ’s righteousness for the salvation of all who will receive him by faith into their lives. Those whose righteousness is by faith shall really live.” - Romans 1:16-17 condensed and paraphrased

“…how much more certain and unfailing will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of his righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.” - Romans 5:17b

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7E02

May 1, 2007

The Church Experience Gone Wrong

It is disingenuous and subtle. The worldly church does not want you recovered from your fallenness, but only that you find relief from your pain in its feel-good programs in order to perpetuate your dependence - also participation and support. Its members are not being served, but used. The vulnerable are hurting people who look for relief in relationship to community but not for recovery in relationship to Christ - and are not taught the difference. It is the church experience coming up short.

God established the organized church (also, the home) as a resource for the flow of essential provisions to meet man’s community needs, that is, to meet his health needs for relationships to people with respect to information, association, acceptance, guidance, and support - with the end result that out of our met needs we are renewed from strength to strength and prepared as useful vessels in service to others, beginning with our own families, and including also for the work of communicating the gospel to a lost world.

But the organized church is not an end unto itself. It is not God, and it is not God’s substitute for relationship to him. We grieve church leadership that promotes dependence on church programs and personalities more than it promotes intimacy with Christ.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7E01

June 1, 2007

Dear (Husband): Your wife will suffer if you are insensitive to her health and happiness needs. More than she needs you to die for her, she needs you to live for her (invest in her), and to die instead to your own self interests.

"Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her." - Ephesians 5:25

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7F01

June 4, 2007

God has provided resources (beginning with Christ's death and resurrected life) to meet your deepest and most essential needs for health and happiness - also, enablement in service to others. His provisions are faithful and free to all who turn from the resources the world offers to receive them. The further away from God's resources you drift to find provisions to meet your needs, the more likely you will go into debt, the more junk you will accumulate, and worse, the less satisfied you will be.

"Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added unto you." - Matthew 6:33

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7F04

June 5, 2007

God has not given to us any counsel, guideline, or instruction, from the least to the most demanding, for which he has not also made provisions of himself (grace) to enable our compliance.

Elsewise, the Gospel would be a burden to bear; instead, it is "good news" in which to rejoice.

"For God is at work within you, helping you want to obey him, and then helping you do what he wants." - Philippians 2:13 (TLB)

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7F05

June 6, 2007

Like tanks to be filled, each of us has inborn needs that must be satisfied, else we suffer pain. (This is the central concern and theme of grace counseling.) We have a biological tank, of course, that must be attended to. Here we point to God's provisions in the soil and atmosphere that, when regularly and sufficiently included in our lives, support energized health. We also note man-made substitutes that have little or no nutritional value.

Also, we have a psychological tank (sometimes called the "heart" in Scriptures) representing the inner needs we have that, if not met, will result in mental and emotional suffering, including the debilitating pain of fear, loneliness, abandonment, rejection, and condemnation. God has faithfully made provisions to meet these needs through relationships to family and friends in the home and church.

But like the expanse of an ocean compared to a drop of water, the deepest, most powerful need we have is spiritual. This need (someone has said) is God-shaped because only relationship to Christ by the Holy Spirit through his Word will satisfy it.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7F06

June 7, 2007

All that is true about God in relationship to you is lovingly focused on your health and the well-being of your family. Not one thought, action, or instruction by God is a subtle attempt to control you, to serve his own self-centered agenda, or in behalf of his own needs (He has none!). He is not frail. He does not thrive on your support. He is not limited by time constraints or overwhelmed by the vastness of human needs. You may find that scenario in relationship to your employer, or even to your church leaders. It may also be true of husbands in relationship to their wives, or parents in relationship to their children. But God is sovereign and all-sufficient. All that is true about him is on your behalf.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7F07

June 8, 2007

Grieving for Performance-Driven Christianity

I grieved again today to hear of a ministry friend who is using Rick Warren's, "The Purpose Driven Life" (I call it, "The Performance Driven Life") to identify for his church the numerous ways Warren says we can "bring pleasure to God and make him smile." I have not read another book that so clearly and completely states the misinformation that put me in painful bondage to performance-based Christianity (failed legalism) for over 30 years and from which I have been in slow recovery for over 20 years. Because of its wide circulation, I have grieved more over this book than any other. Most of the issues we deal with in our counseling are rooted in this mis-view of God represented by Warren - that God is in a power position over us, and the purpose of our life on earth is to be predisposed to giving him pleasure, making him smile, and in other ways catering to his needs. When husbands, parents, and pastors embrace this view, their wives and children and parishioners suffer terribly from chronic unmet needs leading to their broken health and unhappiness.

The great tragedy is: When Christians are motivated by the notion that God's relationship to them is based in what they can do for him rather than in what they will allow him to do for them, they continually struggle in their Christian lives. We have noted that performance-driven Christians are stimulated by hype and emotional energy, have accelerated spikes of wild-fire enthusiasm, but too soon are over-stimulated and burned out (in an average of two and a half years, according to one report). But happily, we have also noted that Christian living rooted in the experience of God's abundant provisions of himself through relationship to Christ increases daily in enablement and endures.

"And from the fullness of his grace we increase in blessings (our experience of his likeness) from strength to strength." - John 1:16

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7F08

June 11, 2007

The Zero Significance of a Big House and Fancy Car

A young minister expressed his view to me recently that the make of a man's car and size of his house identify his significance. Never mind that Jesus apparently did not own a home, walked mostly every place he traveled, and only rarely rode a donkey - and that being borrowed.

From a grace perspective, success is realized in personal health, begins spiritually through relationship to Christ, and is manifest in usefulness to others - which means it is not identified by things superficial.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7F11

June 12, 2007

A long cruise might be nice, I wouldn't know. (Someday, maybe.) And while some may plan one and even two a year, others of us delight immensely in daily walks on the nature trails nearby, day trips to the mountains, or a day or two at the coast. The big cruise awaits in Heaven. We have been saving up.
Also, we have opportunity every day to experience Heaven (God's presence) during our quiet time for Scripture reading, confession of need, prayer, and worship.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7F12

June 13, 2007

My friend in addiction recovery wondered why his brother died in poor health, although he was much younger and lived a "cleaner" life than he. I explained that the outcome of making foolish choices sometimes are not as impactful in terms of established health and long life as the result of not making wise choices.

This means: Although you may slow your decline to lost health and life if you do not smoke, consume alcohol, eat junk food, or behave recklessly, you still may not enjoy established health and energy for living. That's because the energized life leading to longevity is not really the result of what you exclude from your life; rather, it is the result of what you take care to include, especially spiritually, but also nutritionally and relationally.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7F13

June 14, 2007

The human race came under the sentence of God's judgment because of Adam's disobedience. The world and our human nature scheme and strategize to prop us up in our carnal affairs, medicate our pain, and extend our endurance on the way to a slow death. But in Christ Jesus, God has provided every essential need we have for establishing us in abundant health and happiness leading to eternal life. We cannot lose!

"Therefore, there is now no condemnation (sentence of judgment and punishment) for those who are in Christ Jesus." - Romans 8:1

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7F14

June 15, 2007

Professionals charge for services to repair cars, houses, and bodies that are broken or in disrepair. Learning their trade was costly and their charges are appropriate. But we cannot charge for providing information to meet health and happiness needs that we did not pay for, but instead received freely. (Charlatans do that!) Peter said to the crippled beggar in Acts 3:6, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you." Peter's message was: "What I have I did not pay for with silver or gold, so I have not sold it for silver or gold, therefore I do not have any silver or gold to give you. But, what I do have, I give it to you freely just as I received it." Also implied in Peter's message to the beggar was, "What I offer you free of charge (redemptive services, i.e., healing leading to relief) has no value to provide the quick fix you want (social services, i.e., relief without healing)."

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7F15

June 18, 2007

We celebrated yesterday the opportunity of the father in the home to be a resource to his young children for meeting their essential needs, but also to be a lifelong influence for guidance and support. The Scriptural call to honor fathers does not mean to cater to their needs or to express appreciation, but to give consideration to the validity of their counsel.

The guiding model for earthly fathers is God's redemptive relationship to his children. He is not too busy or wrongly focused. He is not under pressure or overwhelmed by the demand or emergency of our needs. When our earthly fathers fail, our Heavenly Father will not.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7F18

June 19, 2007

Your human nature, the world system, and Satan (all components of religion) are hostile to God's grace (his provisions for the recovery of your health and happiness in this life and for eternity): Your human nature is hostile to grace because it does not provide you the opportunity to control outcomes or for boasting; the world system is hostile because grace does not provide you the opportunity to accumulate wealth; and Satan is hostile to grace because it frees you from his control.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7F19

June 20, 2007

Human nature focuses on outcomes (is result-oriented), but grace focuses on conditioning (is health-oriented). Superficial or stimulant energy may enable short-term "success" (a one-time fast lap around the track) - but usually not without injury to your health and integrity. God's provisions to enable you will lift you higher and take you further than your best, most heroic self-efforts.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7F20

June 21, 2007

Your carnal passions and human reasoning, the world system, and the powers of evil (demonic forces) have conspired to enslave you to broken health, drugs and entertainment, and buy-now-pay-later debt so that you will not have time in your busy-ness and preoccupations to include God's provisions in your life in order to experience his faithfulness to provide everything you need for health and happiness.

"There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death." - Proverbs 14:12

"The sinful mind is hostile to God." - Romans 8:7a

"Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." - 1 Peter 5:8

"If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you." John 15:18-19

"For everything in the world - the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does - comes not from the Father but from the world." - 1 John 4:15-16

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7F21

June 22, 2007

In the kindest, most loving possible way, I want to remind (actually warn) all who have discerning "ears to hear" that any message to believers that suggests you must work hard and press your way into the rest (enablement) that is ours in Christ Jesus is a message of legalism and, if you accept it, will be a burden laid on you too heavy to bear in your Christian walk. This is the subtle and not so subtle message of T.D. Jakes, Joyce Meyer, John Hagee, and others. (This is not to comment on good people, but on a grievous message.) It is this exact mixed message that deeply grieved the Apostle Paul in his doctrinal epistles to the churches - in which he clearly taught that we do not work for, but rather receive freely through faith and confession of need, as through an open door, God's love and care and provisions for our enablement.

"How certain and unfailing will those who receive God's abundant provisions of grace and of the gift of his righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ." - Romans 5:17

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7F22

June 25, 2007

God has freely provided resources (grace) to meet every essential need you have for health and happiness (the enabled life). The impulsive, unwise choices you make to meet your needs otherwise will disappoint you.

The message and warning in Romans Chapter 6 is: It is you who will pay the price when you offer your body to your sin nature as a vehicle for its sinful passions to take you where they want to go. The short thrill you get in the payoff will not cover the cost of your broken health, relationships, work, and finances.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7F25

June 26, 2007

Charlatans point to themselves as indispensable to your happiness, and hype the overpriced products they sell that don't work except to perpetuate your need to perform or for a quick-fix, feel-good, non-solution to your pain.

Appropriate ministry points to Christ alone and to the resources he provides to meet freely every essential need you have.

"Calculate this to be a fact: By your immersion and spiritual union with Christ, you are set free from bondage to your sin nature and are made alive (enabled) unto godly living." - Romans 6:11 (paraphrased, GracePoint)

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7F26

June 27, 2007

Our most wonderful experience of grace is this: Not only has God made abundant provisions to fully satisfy our deepest, most essential needs for health and happiness, but also now, out of our renewed strength, we are set free from our burdensome preoccupation with the pain of our own unmet needs, and are transformed to focus instead on the redemptive needs of others.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7F27

June 28, 2007

The fabricated gods of the world religions are represented as authoritarian, imposing, and intimidating to enforce their will. They are not like the God of the Bible. Indeed our God is sovereign, all-powerful, all-knowing, everywhere-present, and eternal. But he does not impose himself. His greatest work and power is not demonstrated over you, but in you. He brings the gift of himself to the very door of your heart and gently calls out to invite you to receive his provisions to enable your Christian living and effectual service to others, so that now, your fearfulness and dread of him, also your striving and strategizing how to please him, will no longer be necessary.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7F28

June 29, 2007

Every man in his relationship to his wife is by human nature a user and is in religious and cultural denial of it (a knucklehead) until he is transformed by Christ from strength to strength (renewed daily) to love and care for her and to give himself up for her. This means if a man attempts to be a husband to his wife without his own daily experience of renewal for enablement, his wife will be left in the marriage to struggle without the unique support that only he can provide.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7F29

This page is still under construction!

July 2, 2007

God's provisions to meet your needs will set you free. Codependency is two people, sometimes a family, using each other to survive the pain of their unmet needs.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7G02

July 3, 2007

The positive words you speak or think have no power to produce faith, but only the he Words spoken in you by the Holy Spirit through The Scripture. 

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7G03

July 4, 2007

Our need to control is based in the fear of what our circumstances might be like if we let go. Renewed confidence concerning God's love and care to guide and support sets us free.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7G04

July 5, 2007

The work of the Holy Spirit is to reveal Truth so that what we know is not limited to what others say to us and our attempts to understand it.
Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7G05

July 6, 2007

Legalistism identifies what the Christian life looks like and calls us to conformity. Grace points us to intimate relationship with Christ by the Holy Spirit through his Word and to the enablement he provides for health and happiness and service to others.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7G06

July 7, 2007

The Significance of Seven, Seven, O Seven

We know the number seven was prominent in the Old Testament and had some significance for teaching about God, but there is not really any mystical power to numbers.

That said, I love the number seven. For many years I have found it enjoyable to note how many times it has popped up in my life. It began many years ago when I heard a taped message by Uncle Buddy Robinson, a well-known Nazarene evangelist of his day (I loved to hear him preach!) in which he told of an unusual series of events in his life that was marked by the number seven. At that time I had two post office mailboxes: 1033 and 1132. Wow! So I started amusing myself by paying attention to the number seven, particularly the addresses or room numbers linked to me. (I know, I needed to get a life!) Interestingly, there have been a lot. For example, my and my wife's first home was 5002. We moved to 560. Currently, my address is 1449.

But nothing will be true about your life on this date that will be the explanation for anything of eternal value - not unless you are somehow inspired by it to be renewed in your relationship to Christ, that is, to make this the start-up day for the rest of your life to begin taking time daily to give him opportunity each morning to communicate his love to you by the Holy Spirit through his Word, in which case, 7/7/07 can be a special date with eternal significance for you.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7G07

July 9, 2007

Praying in Jesus' name means essentially to pray for yourself (to be filled with and transformed by "who Christ is" within you) in behalf of others. There is no magic in saying the name "Jesus" or in adding the phrase "in Jesus' name" to the end of your prayers.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7G09

July 10, 2007

During his incarnate ministry on earth, Jesus modeled pure leadership. He had no unmet needs (which means he made all the appropriate choices to include in his life the Father's provisions for his health and happiness), so was not self-absorbed in his relationship to others. He did not come to us expecting to be served (claiming it was his right or that he deserved it), but to serve.

This means our service to Christ is not in the sense that we support him in the way self-absorbed leadership craves it; instead, we (pastors, husbands, and parents) serve the purpose or cause for which he came to earth (that is, to serve the redemptive needs of others) enabled by "who he is" in us. Also, to "honor" those in "authority" does not mean to lift up leaders as little gods (they wish!); it means, rather, to "give opportunity for influence" to those who are faithfully embracing their role of support in relationship to those God has given them to serve, beginning with their own wife and children.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7G10

July 11, 2007

Yes, indeed, we can fall out of love. Human love is a human response of appreciation and affection for an object that serves us well, for example, that feels, tastes, or looks good to us. This means, human love can die when we are no longer served by the object of that love to our satisfaction. Human love is delightful, but not the love "the world needs now" or that your marriage needs most.

But God's love for us (Gr. agape, to value) is absolutely unconditional, not based upon anything good or bad that is true about us, but something wholly and alone that is wonderfully true about him - he is God!
Humans have no power to love unconditionally like God loves - that is, unless he enables it within us. He does this by birthing and nurturing in us (from strength to strength) his divine nature (the life of Christ) by the Holy Spirit through his Word as we wait patiently before him each day in our quiet time with an open Bible for Scripture reading (in order to hear God speak to us concerning our essential and unmet needs and his faithfulness to provide), confession (agreement with God concerning those needs), prayer (calling out to him for help), and worship (opening the door of our heart to receive the flow of his life into our inner being).

"God's divine nature has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge (experience) of Christ." - 2 Peter 1:3a

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7G11

July 12, 2007

We are all born with our minds barricaded in darkness against the light of God's Truth (reality as God knows it) by the stronghold of human wisdom, and we only come to understand and accept Truth through a spiritual process that begins with regeneration (the new birth), and then incrementally as our minds are being transformed from strength to strength (from glorious truth to glorious truth, concept upon concept) by the Light of "who Christ is" within us (sanctification).

"The world through its wisdom did not know God." - 1 Corinthians 1: 18-21

"There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end, it leads to death." - Proverbs 14:12

"The sinful mind is hostile to God." - Romans 8:7

"Be transformed by the renewing of your mind." - Romans 12:2

"In the beginning was the Word (Christ). In him was life, and that life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not prevailed against it." - John 1:1,4-5

"The entrance of your Word gives Light." - Psalm 119:130

"You were sanctified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ (by who Christ is)." - 1 Corinthians 6:11

"As we behold (experience) the Lord's glory (the Light of who Christ is) we are transformed into his likeness from strength to strength." - 2 Corinthians 3:18

Jesus prayed, "Sanctify them by the Truth; your Word is Truth." - John 17:17

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7G12

July 13, 2007

Can't Lose for Winning

Absolutely every choice you make will have an outcome. That's the way the world works as God created it. But more important than the choices you make that produce good outcomes are the connections you make that enable right choices.

God has made faithful provisions to enable you for making every appropriate choice essential to your sustained health and happiness. When you give your body and soul (mind, emotions, and will) the provisions they need, they will know exactly how to respond. Fruitfulness (good outcomes) is a law (principle) of life and promise of God.

This means your income will not be too little, but just right to meet your needs. Your business will not be too slow, but just right to support your income. When you are appropriately connected to the flow of God's provisions for your life, you can trust that the outcomes will be just what they ought to be to meet your needs exactly. You cannot lose when you are winning.

"Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you (Connect to God's provisions and make right choices; this is God's way for you to have from him everything you need)." - Matthew 6:33 (GracePoint paraphrase and commentary)

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7G13

July 16, 2007

When it's Time to Say: "Knock it off, knucklehead!"

Dear wife or bride-to-be: The time to put a stop to a man when he disrespects you is the very first time he dares to try it. In the first place, it reveals that he is a user and a loser (so you may need to gather up your self-respect and walk out of his life). Secondly, if you do nothing, you will be teaching him how to treat you for the rest of your life. Women who fail to firmly deal with this issue early on ("Ol' boy, you can just stop it right there. I don't know who you think you are, or who you think I am, but that kind of disrespectful talk/behavior to me won't work - not now, not ever!") end up suffering and in counseling complaining how men disrespect and mistreat them! The longer you wait past the first time to stop the insensitivity of a knucklehead, the less responsive he will be when you finally decide you have had enough; also, the more at risk you are to get an explosive reaction from him.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7G16

July 17, 2007

1) According to information reported recently by cable news, more than three women are murdered by their intimate partner every day.

2) Men are born users. Users are a troubled sort. They have a high expectation for satisfaction and a low tolerance for disappointment. Users will fight, kill, and die to stay in control of their using and to own their fix. Also, their pain is always the other person's fault. To them, the problem is never themselves but the failure of the women they use. The conclusion is this: Women who are used by men to meet their needs are at high risk for disrespect and abuse, and even violence.

3) Dear wife, God's purpose for the Scriptures and for marriage is not for you to tolerate abuse and disrespect but to be supported, protected, and blessed (healthy and happy).

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7G17

July 18, 2007

When Her Health and Happiness Needs Don't Matter: The History of a Broken Wife

And then there is the wife who comes into the marriage already broken, having suffered a lifetime of being used. It started early in her childhood. Her parents had an authoritarian view of God - that he is in a power position over us rather than in a service position to support us, and that to him in relationship to us, it is all about him. So to her parents, she was in the home to serve their needs, to make them happy and proud, or else get scolded, rejected, or pounded on. It may have been subtle, but she grew up understanding that to her parents in relationship to her, it was all about them. Never mind too much about her health and happiness needs.

At church, this gospel of manipulation and performance was perpetuated. She learned more of this authoritarian God, that he had written a rule book, had high expectations, and also pounded out compliance to his standards for behavior. The God-person in the church was the pastor who was a little god. He needed and deserved to be stroked and given loyalty and high esteem. She was under his authority and control. Her role in the church was again to give up herself in service to the needs and self serving vision of others in leadership over her. Never mind too much about her health and happiness needs.

Then she marries her husband. He's rooted in the same nonsense and doesn't know any better either. They both relate to each other out of their legalistic notions and ignorance. Again she is used. Never mind too much about her health and happiness needs. To her husband in relationship to her, it is all about him, his support needs, hobbies, and career. Of course.

Some among women will suffer abuse until they die, motivated by legalistic rules, the religious expectations of others, ego, fear, and guilt. Never mind too much about their own health and happiness needs - it's not spiritual. But many women in time will realize something is not right. They will decide they have had enough and will either leave the marriage or begin to fight back.

Sometimes a wife will come into her marriage already having had enough and is poised and ready to fight. Her husband will have an uphill climb to meet her needs and may not stand a chance. He must bear the weight of his own failures to her but also those of her childhood experiences transferred to him.

The challenges of a marriage will be a wonderful opportunity for a husband to confess his own brokenness and inadequacies, to learn, embrace, and, with God's enablement, live out his Scriptural role in the home as Christ models it to his bride, the Church (Ephesians 5:22-33), and to become a resource for the flow of God's grace to renew his wife in her health and happiness needs.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7G18

July 19, 2007

Initiator and Pathfinder: The Servant Leadership Role of the Husband in the Home

Dear (Husband): Service to your wife involves more than opening a door, assisting her with a seat, or bringing her breakfast. It involves more even than providing protection or an income for the home.

By definition, leadership finds the path, clears the way, and charts the course. This means you are the initiator and pathfinder in the home. But the path you chart is first with respect to your own health needs. (The best thing you can do for your wife and children is to give them a healthy you.) It begins with making wise decisions for your own life (food choices, exercise, and lifestyle). It includes getting sufficient sleep and starting your morning early in quiet time with God and with exercise and a healthy breakfast so that you can show up in your wife's life throughout the day strong and enabled to be what she needs you to be. (And you thought leadership meant to make the rules and be the boss, or to be first in line!)

Also, servant leadership means you give yourself up for your wife (that is, your carnal desires, preferences, and addictions) and that you research to learn in what ways she needs you in her life. This is your role in the marriage to the extent that if she is not healthy and happy, you should consider in what ways you have complicity and are failing her.

It is not the role of your wife to be responsible for your health and happiness needs, especially your moral, spiritual, and recovery needs. These needs are valid, but every need of yours that she helps to meet must flow back to you reciprocally out of her strength from the investments you have made in her life.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7G19

July 20, 2007

Grace Leadership: Investing for an Outcome

Adversarial leadership (I call it) intimidates and manipulates. It doesn't understand too much about taking time for relationships, review and clarification, or agreement and support. It operates according to the Peter Principle: You know, attempt the impossible until you sink or "just do it anyhow!" Of course, according to this leadership (non-leadership, actually), your failure means you are not up to the task. Also (it insists), its leadership is not the problem, you are.

But there is a level of leadership (grace enabled leadership) that is willing to invest for an outcome. It is based in the belief that God has made provisions to enable every good task and that it is the charge of leadership to help those it serves to identify and connect for support to God's resources for the flow of his provisions into their lives.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7G20

July 22, 2007

Suffering: The Legacy of Failed Leadership

I caught a glimpse of Tammy Faye Bakker's emaciated body on a news report of Larry King's interview with her very shortly before she died on Saturday. It was a horrific sight. Last year I saw a portion of her latest attempt at TV. Her program was called "You Can Make It" and her message was consistent with that theme. How I wished her message had been, "No, you cannot make it. Your only hope to make it is through connection to God's provisions for your health and happiness."

But my saddest thought looking at her 65-pound body was how she had been failed by the relationships in her life whose role it was to be a resource to her for the support she needed. I grieve deeply her suffering. I grieve also the ignorance of parents, husbands, and pastors who fail those God has given them to serve.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7G22

July 23, 2007

There is nothing about you that offends God or makes him angry at you. He loves you dearly and unconditionally. Human love is earned, so is conditional, and is the only love human wisdom understands. But God's love (agape) is unconditional. When Christ was beaten and crucified, his love remained the same.

God's love will follow man to the grave and beyond. Man is not lost to judgment because God stops loving him, but because he rejects God's provisions for his salvation.

"God so loved the WORLD that he gave his only begotten Son." - John 3:16a

"Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous (religious) man, though for a good (benevolent) man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still SINNERS, Christ died for us." - Romans 5:7-8

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7G23

July 24, 2007

The Growth of a Husband: A Long, Humbling Experience

We husbands, I can tell you, are eaten up with our carnal selves. I have been growing for twenty years or so in my understanding of the servant leadership role of the husband in the home. Each year, in both my understanding of this role and living it out as Christ models it in his relationship to us his bride the Church, I think I may have arrived. But always the following year, I look back, hang my head, and grieve how little I had really understood the year before. Some years, on the basis of having learned so much, I recall thinking that there surely cannot be much more to learn. But the next year, I look back again to realize I had grown more than ever. Last year looking back on the year before, I was somewhat proud that I was no longer the knucklehead I used to be. But here I am again this year, happy and relieved that my understanding today is not limited to the pitiful little I understood last year. This has been going on for a long time. It has been a humbling experience.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7G24

July 25, 2007

The Surpassing Love of a Husband, the Awe and Passion of His Wife

A husband's love for his wife is both about her and about God. He loves her because of who she is to him but also because of who Christ is in him. The first is his response to her because he delights in her beauty and all she busies herself to do for him. The second is about God's love in him for her that is without regard to anything true about her. In the first, she is energized because of his expressions of love for who she is. In the second, she is in awe because of his expressions of who God is in him. This is when she feels safest, her passion is purest, and the door of her life is opened widest to give him opportunity for influence in her life.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7G25

July 26, 2007

We will not feel so needful to work (in the sense of self-enabled performance with a view of outcomes) as it becomes more and more our confidence (faith), understanding, and experience that God is working for us, that he is indeed highly invested in our lives. We will be enabled to give up our impulsive attempts to manipulate people and control circumstances, and instead, to focus on investing in our own health needs and in the needs of those God has given us opportunity to serve, then to trust his faithfulness to give outcomes in the way he has promised, in his own timing, and according to our redemptive needs (the only needs we have that God is concerned with).

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." - Romans 8:28

(Note: Romans 8:28 is not a support text for the legalistic notion that IF (big if) we love God he will work in our behalf. Paul is writing to those who love God ("because he first loved us" - 1 John 4:19) to say that he is working for them. But it is not to be understood that God does not also work to accomplish his redemptive purposes in behalf of everyone. The Scriptures, in fact, teach otherwise. Not all respond, of course, and his work in their behalf does not include to impose himself on them.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7G26

July 27, 2007

Appropriate leadership is like a well. It exists to serve (invest), not to be served. By virtue of the investment it makes, those it serves are supported against unmet needs and brokenness (thirst) and are renewed in strength for making wise choices that establish them in health and happiness.

This concept of the well represents God's relationship to us. The outcome of his investment in us (the "Water of Life") does not break us but supports us, builds us up, and sets us free.

The relationship of parents to their children is not about themselves but about the health and well-being of their children. A husband's relationship to his wife is not about his needs, but hers.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7G27

July 28, 2007

1) The solution to every problem you have begins with your connection to the flow of God's life into your heart (mind and emotions) through relationship to Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit and his Word. If it does not, the help you get will only be superficial and will not meet your needs fully.

2) A want is an unmet carnal desire that your human nature is highly motivated to meet. A need is an unmet life support, essential to health and happiness, that your spirit is highly motivated to meet.

3) Being filled with God's Word does not mean you have Bible verses in your memory but that you are filled with Christ's life in your heart.

4) Dear (Bride-to-be): Wedding vows are a mission statement. Our counseling encourages you to study carefully your fiance's vows to invest in your health and happiness before the wedding.

5) Divorce intervention begins before the wedding. If not there, the counseling we offer for divorce intervention may be for your next wedding.

6) Leadership does not exists only to identify problems (what's wrong) but also to identify solutions, i.e., actions that solve problems (that make things right). Also, leadership invests both in itself and in others to enable the actions that solve problems.

7) The very word "redemption," which is the central theme throughout the Scriptures and the primary term that defines God's relationship to us, identifies God's investment of his very life in us and for us with the purpose to set us free.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7G28

July 30, 2007

Grace Living and Religious Legalism: Understanding the Difference for Getting It Right

God's mercy is his love out of which flows his grace (provisions) to enable.
Our prayer, "God be merciful to me a sinner," is not for God to overlook our foolish choices, but rather to provide resources of grace in which we can trust and to which we can connect for our health and healing.

Accountability to a person or group for performance or behavior is legalism and will put you in bondage to pride, denial, and judgment. The only appropriate accountability to others is for the choices you make to meet your health needs. There is a difference.

Religious behavior motivated by a commitment to obeying God in order to win his favor or to stay out of trouble with him is legalism. Grace living is motivated by God's enablement for redemptive service to others.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7G30

July 31, 2007

1) Human nature will insist on a program for success in which it can boast. But God has provided a plan for your success (health and happiness) for which he alone is the explanation.

2) You have the option to scheme, strive, and struggle toward an outcome or, instead, to take time each day to be renewed in the flow of God's life into your inner being, then to trust his power within you to lift you up, enable you to make wise choices, and take you where you need to go.

"He is like a tree planted by the rivers of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers." - Psalm 1:3

"For by grace (God's provisions) you have been saved, through faith - and this not of yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works (self-energized efforts), so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship (a project he is working on) which he is creating by Christ Jesus to do good works according to his plan (resulting in health and happiness)." - Ephesians 2:8-10 (NIV paraphrased)

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7G31

August 1, 2007

Your carnal self / human nature is not your best friend. Your body (including your five senses) and soul (mind, emotions, and will) are broken, born that way by virtue of heredity (because of the judgment on the human race that followed Adam's choice in the Garden of Eden to separate from God).

We experience redemption (deliverance from this brokenness), however, when we receive Christ (by trusting in the provision of his Blood as our only hope for going to Heaven). But we do not experience it fully in this life. While our innermost being, the spirit, is fully redeemed and made perfect and pure and becomes the dwelling place of the Spirit of Christ (the Holy Spirit) within us, still our bodies and souls will not be fully recovered until eternity.

Until then, this means: Our bodies and souls remain broken, and our desires, appetites, impulses, and understanding also remain broken. This means also: Apart from the life of Christ birthed in us (in our spirits) by the Holy Spirit through his Word, we have no trustworthy power or dynamic to guide and support us for making the wise choices in this life that help establish us in renewed health and happiness.

"But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of (his) righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal body by his Spirit who lives in you." - Romans 8:10-11

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7H01

August 2, 2007

Grace to Pray "Hallowed be Thy Name!" The End of Preoccupation with Personalities, Performance, Praise, and Punishment

Preoccupation with personalities, their performance, and the inevitable praise and punishment that follows is the bane of religious legalism and performance-based Christianity (self-energized effort for rule keeping). But our growing experience of "who Christ is" within us (grace) is powerful to renew us in our confidence and awe concerning the all-sufficiency and splendor of God's faithful provisions to enable our Christian living and service to others and to lift us up out of our bondage to infatuation and inappropriate concerns with human elements.

"This, then, is how you should pray: 'Our Father in Heaven, may your Name (who you are) be hallowed (esteemed holy).'" - Matthew 6:9

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7H02

August 3, 2007

The nature of God's relationship to us is the model for every healthy relationship. It is also the standard by which every unhealthy relationship is exposed. Unhealthy relationships isolate, interrogate, and intimidate in order to control. Health relationships invest to set you free.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7H03

August 4, 2007

Beware when you hear hype in the classroom or pulpit, or on tv. Something good is not about to happen. Hype is for when you do not have Truth flowing up out of your spirit, or for when you are not sure what you are talking about.
Truth does not need to be hyped. It has its own inherent power to effect conviction (faith) and a change of mind (repentance), also to enable confession, conversion, commitment (in the sense of trusting), and calling out to God to receive his grace for redemption.

World religions view God's Law (the do's and don't's summarized in the Ten Commandments) as arbitrary rules imposed on us to control our lives - mostly in order to accommodate God's mental and emotional state, i.e., to make him happy (although some are in denial to express it this way). But grace teaches that God gave the Law to identify for us the choices we can make that will establish us in health and happiness. The Law was given to serve man, not God.

Every command given in the New Testament is with a view toward our health and enablement in service to others. Witnessing, giving, etc. assume healthy, happy people, and are enabled behaviors lived out in response to God's plan for human needs to be served. The Great Commission for us to "Go and make disciples" is not a subtle strategy for building a big kingdom or to outscore the Devil, but to redeem the lost and hurting.

But man's human nature has no inherent power to fulfill or comply with God's laws, and the Law has no inherent power to effect compliance. World religions attempt to enforce compliance anyhow (including with degrees of terrorism) with the result of rebellion, destruction, broken health, and death.

A control freak (akin to a terrorist, actually) is a broken person without grace for life or leadership who uses base means for pounding on others to impose his will in order to meet his self-centered needs. (If you work for one or are married to one, your health is at risk.)

This is the reason the Apostle Paul was passionate about the New Covenant (the Gospel): It reveals a provision (God's divine nature birthed in us) to enable us for making right choices by faith through our intimate experience of Christ.

Also, the strength you will need to live out the guidelines God has given for health must be renewed every day. You will not be able today to sustain on the strength of yesterday's provisions for you health and happiness.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7H04

August 6, 2007

The Light of "who Christ is" within you will enable you to make wise choices so that you will not be left alone to conduct the affairs of your life in the darkness. The best books, the finest education, and all the needed skills will not be enough without daily renewal in your experience of him.

"In him was life, and that life was the light of men." - John 1:4

"I am the Light of the World. Whoever follows as part of me (Gr, akoloutheo, "to be in union with and going the same way") will never walk in darkness, but have the light of (his) life." - John 8:12

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7H06

August 7, 2007

The Confessions of a Recovering Control Freak

You will not be satisfied with the outcomes you get when you attempt to control circumstances and intimidate people in order to have your own way, but only with the results that come back to you reciprocally when you invest in the needs of others, and then set them free to go make their own investments leading to their own success. This means, parent, if you rear your children primarily for yourself, you will lose them (and be left only to buy their superficial attachment back to you). Also, groom-in-waiting, if you marry primarily to meet your own needs, you will become more and more dissatisfied, condemning, and controlling in relationship to your wife. (That's how it is with us users.) In time, you will also break her, body and soul.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7H07

August 8, 2007

Superficial Motivations and the Real Reason for the Lethargy: When Money is Not Enough

You think you would be more motivated and productive on your job if you were paid more - and you would, but only short term. In time you would again build tolerance to your income because money is only a superficial motivation. You will only do enthusiastically and long-term what you do for a cause, motivated by the passion of Christ within you to provide redemptive service to others.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7H08

August 9, 2007

Fear: The Base Factor in Bad Choices and Broken Health

Without the daily renewal of faith (confidence concerning God's way, who he is, and his love and care for you), you are just not going to be enabled to make the wise choices that establish you in health and happiness and in usefulness for redemptive service to others. This is the meaning of Hebrews 11:6, "Without faith it is impossible to please God (Gr., euaresteo, "to be acceptable to God for use")."

You will not be able to suppress your fears (the root of foolish choices), but only to be filled with faith (the dynamic of God to dispel your fears) by the Holy Spirit through his Word. Four times the Bible says, "The righteous shall live (are enabled) by faith" or "Those whose righteousness is enabled by faith shall really live."

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7H09

August 10, 2007

Grace: The Divine Dynamic

What else are we left to do but to struggle and strive and focus on performance and behavior until we learn and understand about God's work to equip and prepare us? It will only be then that we can begin to turn away from our over-stimulated, self-enabled efforts for Christian living and service to focus instead on connecting to God's provisions for his enablement, and also to trust that our actions and their outcomes will be according to the law/principle/power of the divine dynamic working within us as God has promised.

"And we know that in all things God works..." - Romans 8:28a

"Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God who is at work within you, giving you the will and the power to act according to his good purpose" or

"Continue to work in awe and proper responsiveness to (after the manner and measure of) the healing and recovery God is working within you to give you the will and the power to act according to his good purpose." - Philippians 2:13 (GracePoint paraphrased)

"I worked harder than anyone - yet not I, but the grace of God within me." - 1 Corinthians 15:10 (Paul)

"God gives ability to everyone for their service." - 1 Corinthians 12:6

"Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers..." - 2 Corinthians 3:5-6

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7H10

August 11, 2007

1) Religious legalism views obedience as fearful compliance to arbitrary rules in order to make God happy, to win his favor, or to stay out of trouble with him. But obedience is embracing the guidelines God has given to establish you in health and happiness. Drinking water is obedience.

2) The carnal nature does not really want freedom from tyranny but only from trouble.

3) Your carnal mind is not hard wired to conceive of grace but only rules and performance. The Holy Spirit communicates (sows the Seed of) Truth which has inherent power to quicken the mind to understand.

4) The only appropriate competition is with yourself to make the investments that help ensure the quality of your product and service. Others are your competition only when you are not willing to make that investment.

5) The more you long for Heaven, the more you will be torn to stay on earth to communicate the gospel.

6) God exists to care for us. Our commitment to personal health and service to others is motivated by our experience of his commitment and care to provide our needs.

7) The Psychology of Needing to Win

Your need to win out over others and to be number one does not really validate your strength but is based in the weakness of your unmet need for validation.

8) Grace does not support you in your struggling and striving but delivers you from it.

9) My wife is a beautiful and modest lady in every way. But the new skirt she was wearing to the office was too tight (I thought) in the you know where.

"Honey," I blurted out, "your skirt is too tight!" She didn't react (that I could tell) but also didn't chirp and yak as usual while putting together a salad to take for her lunch. Then before going out the door, she went back up the steps and almost as quickly returned wearing another skirt and also carrying a blood measure monitor which she promptly strapped to my arm. My readings were 112 over 67 with a 50 heart rate. "Just checking," she said. "Bye!" she added going out the door.

10) A son invested in by his dad will always rise higher than his dad in service to others. Greater (redemptive) works will he do.

11) Your fight to stay in control is to protect your need to remain in bondage and to be free of the choices that enable your service to others.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7H11

August 13, 2007

Our faith is not that God provides where he leads but that he is leading where he is providing. There is a difference. The one sounds pious but is not a grace concept and leads to financial brokenness and bondage. Your confidence and understanding of the other will support you for waiting on God's timing, also guide you for making prudent, wise choices in living out your calling and service to others.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7H13

August 14, 2007

Whatever grace we need for renewal, we need it daily - especially to be renewed in faith to trust God for outcomes. This includes those outcomes in which we can find ourselves most invested - status and appearance. We aren't able to just turn off our preoccupation with these outcomes, but must be transformed daily from within by renewed faith to trust God in ever increasing measure (from strength to strength) concerning his faithfulness to accomplish his sovereign purpose for our lives.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7H14

August 15, 2007

The head of the organic home (grace leadership) connects first to God's resources for his own life. Then out of his renewed strength, he guides and supports those he serves (and with whom he has been given opportunity for influence) for making better choices leading to their health and happiness.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7H15

August 16, 2007

There is no rejoicing in legalism, but only pride. There are no heroics in grace living, but only enablement through relationship to Christ. Only he is awesome.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7H16

August 17, 2007

A man will fight, kill, and die for what he uses, but will live for what he values.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7H17

August 20, 2007

Our carnal resistance is not really to good health but to the choices we must make that support it. Human nature wants everything to be okay anyhow with the least amount of impulse denial and long-term effort. But God has so ordained that useful outcomes are produced only through patient sowing of wise choices. This means you will not be able to manipulate God to give miracle outcomes that circumvent his predetermined way for providing our redemption, try as you may through groaning and moaning, fasting, positive thinking techniques, and even praise. This would not be good news except for the message of grace in all its truth as the gospel reveals it, which is this: God not only identifies for us the wise choices that lead to our health and happiness, he also enables them.

This enablement for making wise choices is multi-dimensional. Physically, you need nutrition provided in creation. Psychologically, you need support for information, decision-making, and affection provided in community through measured involvement with friends and family. But your deepest and most essential need for support is spiritual, that is, for God's righteousness, wisdom, and the nine-fold fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) which is provided and made possible only through intimate relationship to Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit through his Word.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7H20

August 21, 2007

The husband who loves his wife, as the love of Christ for his bride, the Church, enables him, will take care of her husband. The dad who loves his children, as the love of their Father in Heaven enables him, will take care of their mother.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7H21

August 22, 2007

Your only sure hope to hear Truth is by the Holy Spirit through his Word as you sit quietly each day with an open Bible for Scripture reading. Whatever else you hear is only opinion, even from your favorite author or speaker.

If an opportunity presents itself for Christian service and the provisions needed are not present to support it, we can conclude that, although the service itself may be right, the timing is not. Sometimes I say that I will do anything that God enables me to do. That means most of all, of course, the enablement of who Christ is, particularly his love, working in and through me, but it also includes physical, psychological, and financial provisions. The leadership God gives us toward a ministry is not first to the performance of it, but to the preparation for it. Since the nature of our carnal selves is in intense conflict with preparation and investing for outcomes, we rationalize our impulsiveness and need to be a hero with the pious statement, "Where God leads, he provides." It allows us to sneak ahead of God. It also sets us up for certain failure in terms of service that has eternal value. More than a few churches, ministries, and individuals have followed this concept to brokenness and ruin. A more pure grace concept is, "God is leading where he is providing" or "You can know where God is leading by where he is providing and enabling."
"God is able to make all grace abound to you so that in all things, at all times, having all you need, you will abound in every good work." - 2 Corinthians 9:8

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7H22

August 23, 2007

As surely as you can monitor certain vital signs to evaluate your physical and psychological health, you can also evaluate your success as a husband or parent by checking the health and happiness status of your wife and children. Grace leadership always takes ownership for the failure in the home. Children turn out like their parents turn them out. Also, if a wife is broken and unhappy, it is largely the husband's failure. Although he cannot make decisions for his wife or undo the past failures of others responsible for the pain she brought with her into their marriage, still he can connect daily to God for the strength he needs in order to be the support she needs for making her own wise choices leading to her recovered health and happiness. A husband's complicity may not be blowing cigarette smoke in his wife's face or other reckless behavior that puts her at risk; instead it may be the absence of his own spirituality, wise choices, saneness, and established life.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7H23

August 24, 2007

1) Your only sure hope to hear Truth is by the Holy Spirit through his Word as you sit quietly each day with an open Bible for Scripture reading. Whatever else you hear is only opinion, even from your favorite author or speaker.

2) Human nature does not seek to be free to make wise choices but to be free to make wrong choices or to make no choices at all. It seeks freedom from rules but prefers bondage and brokenness rather than the obligation to invest for health.

3) The freedom for which God sets us free is not to live independent of his guidelines, but to be lifted up out of the fallenness of our human condition.

4) You can hear what others report that God is saying to them or you can hear what God is communicating to you personally. You can testify to what you hear others say to you, or you can be a witness of your own personal experience.

"There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning the Light, so that all men through him might believe." - John 1:6

5) The ministry of encouragement is not telling broken people they will be okay, but to encourage their renewal in health through wise choices beginning with relationship to Christ.

6) Beware the leadership of parents, pastors, or husbands who relate to those they serve motivated by their own unmet needs.

7) Foolish Choices That Break a Nation's Health and Finances: The Door Where Socialism Came In

We eat and do what tastes and feels good, never mind about vitamins, minerals, enzymes, phytochemicals, protein, essential fats, complex carbohydrates, water, and exercise. We then take stimulants for energy, also painkillers, mind altering drugs, and others pharmaceuticals to circumvent the symptoms of broken health. When a nation of people makes choices that disregard God's provisions for health, it will be left with the need for expensive medical care. Governments that attempt to meet this need will break the financial back of the healthy through burdensome taxation and also bankrupt the nation's treasury.

8) The philosophical flipside of elevating pets to human status ("They are people, too!") is the neglect and abuse of children, including abortion.

9) You will not be well served by a company whose goal for business is to make money instead of to be a resource for providing products and services that help meet needs and solve problems.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7H24

August 27, 2007

The Rock we stand upon that supports our life and service is not the words of Christ; rather it is Christ himself. The difference is important. The Scriptures reveal God's plan (blueprint) leading to our redemptive health and happiness; but the Life of Christ birthed in us enables our response and compliance. We can memorize and quote every verse in the Bible and know every instruction, but without Christ's divine nature, we will be under a weight to perform greater than we can bear. This is bondage.

"The written law kills, but the Spirit gives life." - 2 Corinthians 3:6

"God's divine nature has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our experience of Christ." - 2 Peter 1:3

Jesus said, "Without me, you can do nothing." - John 15:5b

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7H27

August 28, 2007

You have absolutely zero inherent human ability to consistently and longterm live out God's will for your life or to comply to any of his instructions, even by your most determined, committed, and practiced self efforts. Your best hope for health and happiness and usefulness in redemptive service to others is to confess your inadequacy for eternal things and to give up trying, then to take extended time daily to hear and experience God by the Holy Spirit through his Word so that you can be renewed and increased in his strength and enabled in the way you should go.

"By the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than anyone - yet not I, but the grace of God that was within me." - 1 Corinthians 15:10

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7H28

August 29, 2007

The Power of Faith to Freely Confess "I May Be Wrong"

Deep conviction (Gr. pistis: "faith") concerning Truth is wonderfully and powerfully produced deep within us when the Holy Spirit communicates The Written Scriptures to our understanding. It is by this faith that we are enabled to trust and rest confidently in the reality of God and the particulars of his relationship to us.

Conviction also provides that we can confess and affirm confidently to others our understanding concerning Truth. We do not waver to say, "I may not be right." And even more, our faith can be so deep and powerful within us that we can be enabled to freely confess, "I am not intolerant to being wrong."

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7H29

August 30, 2007

The Rule of Renewal for Maintaining Routine

We do not really live out of our strength, but only out of our renewed and increased strength. Our present strength reserve is being regularly used up and depleted. It’s a law of physics: Energy is not perpetual! (Second Law of Thermodynamics, I think!) The misnotion is: If we do the same task every day, then we should surely be maintained and conditioned to continue it forever without discomfort, injury, or decline in pace. But not so! For example, you will not be able to walk a 15-minute mile every day for the rest of your life at the same level of energy support - unless you increase your pace at least once or twice a week to walk a 10-20 percent faster mile. Your body will respond with increased blood flow and supply to meet the increased demand (called training effect) and renew you in your enablement to continue your regular routine for extended years without injury.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7H30

August 31, 2007

The Source of Your Strength to Fully Forgive

You really have no ability to forgive others except Christ in you and living through you makes it possible. This is the truest meaning of "Forgive (in the same manner) as the Lord forgave you" (Colossians 3:13b).

Our best understanding of the word "forgiveness" is "removal." God removed his judgment against the human race (because of Adam's disobedience in the Garden of Eden) through the death of Christ. By our trust in the efficiency of Christ's death in our behalf to satisfy in full that judgment, we are united by the Holy Spirit through spiritual immersion into Christ and made beneficiaries of its efficacy.

"Or do you not know that all of us who were immersed by the Holy Spirit into spiritual union with Christ Jesus were immersed into (united with him in) the efficacy of his death." - Romans 6:3 (GracePoint paraphrased)

The call of God to us to forgive begins with the removal of our judgment against those who have failed our standards and expectations for them. This means we withhold our punishment on the basis that the punishment has already been exacted and the penalty has already been paid by the blood of Christ at Calvary.

But there is another aspect of forgiveness. God has also made provision for the removal (healing) of our defilement and brokenness because of our wrong choices: This through the efficacy of the resurrected Life of Christ imparted to us when we trusted in Christ as indicated above.

"We were therefore united with him in the efficacy of his death by the Holy Spirit through spiritual immersion into Christ in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory (Life) of the Father, we too may live a new life." - Romans 6:4 (GracePoint paraphrased)

"If we have been united with him like this in the efficacy of his death, we will certainly also be united with him in the efficacy of his resurrection." - Romans 6:5 (GracePoint paraphrased)

The call of God to us to forgive those who have offended us includes also that we serve them as a resource for the flow of Christ's resurrected life into their lives for the removal (healing) of their brokenness.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7H31

Labor Day, 2007

Companies of integrity provide products and services to solve problems and meet redemptive human needs. They hire people of integrity and support them as friends in the performance of their duties.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7I03

September 4, 2007

Absolutely we are passionate to report to you our experience and understanding of Christ and his Word, but not with expectation for you to magnify it to others. Instead, we point you to your own personal experience of Christ and his Word and subsequent report of it.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7I04

September 5, 2007

Legalism is the default religious setting of our fallen human nature. You do not need to be renewed in it daily; it is deeply germinated in you and grows like a weed. Legalism identifies for you the standard of behavior you expect from others. Grace enables your response to them when they fail.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7I05

September 6, 2007

You can have all the essential information about a flight on an airplane to a desired destination, but your knowledge of it in terms of just having information will not get you to where you want to go.

Neither will you go to Heaven on the basis of your textbook knowledge of Christ, not even of his death on the cross and resurrection. (Satan himself, the Bible says, knows well that information. He was there.) Instead, your assurance of going to Heaven is based upon you being in Christ (in the airplane, so to speak).

But we do not get into Christ as we would walk onto an airplane. Rather, we are immersed into Christ by the Holy Spirit. He does this, the Bible says, the moment we trust wholly and alone in the blood of Christ as the only payment God will accept to satisfy his judgment against the human race because of Adam’s disobedience.

This means you can be in a good family, live in a good community, or be a member of a good church or religious organization, and follow all the rules, but still not go to Heaven.

You can get this issue settled today with this prayer of confession:

“Heavenly Father, I believe Jesus Christ is your Son, that he died on the cross to satisfy in full your judgment against me because of Adam’s disobedience, and that you raised him from the dead to provide a way for me to go to Heaven. I turn away right now from trusting in myself or in my membership in any organization. Instead, I receive, and trust wholly and alone, your provision of Christ’s death on the cross and resurrection from the grave as my only hope for going to Heaven. Thank you that I am now immersed into spiritual union with Christ and that in him I have eternal life.”

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7I06

September 7, 2007

You cannot overcome thirst, not even by your most determined self-effort. Instead, you can only be hydrated to diminish it as you include God’s provision of water in your life.

This we know about godliness: You can’t do it. You cannot forgive, or love others unconditionally, or live out any other expression of Christian living or redemptive service to others. Unless Christ enables your godliness, it will be impossible.

We do not remove darkness from out lives, nor walk out of it; rather, we invite Christ into our lives and the Light of who Christ is diminishes the darkness.
If you are struggling to live the Christian life, you are probably not doing very well at it. If you are working hard to understand The Scriptures you are probably frustrated trying to connect the pieces. If you are working hard on having a good marriage, you probably do not have one.

We cannot live the Christian life; rather, it is a Life that is lived in and through us. It begins with taking quiet time each day (at least an hour in the morning, I think) to turn away from your busy-ness to connect to God for renewal by the Holy Spirit through his Word.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7I07

September 8, 2007

Dear (Husband): It is not your right or privilege to impose your snoring, bad breath, and body odor on your wife.

Dear (Wife): Every resource that is from God will support your health and happiness needs and is provided without the expectation of return.
Read related comments on Additional Reading Page

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7I08

September 10, 2007

You can read about the fragrance of orange blossoms, or you can experience it and discover the half could not be told. You can also read your favorite author’s best written report about God's grace and his relationship to us, but it will only generate imperfect knowledge. No college or seminary or church can explain grace. Your only real hope to understand the message of grace in all of its truth is to experience Christ, who “came from the Father full of Grace and Truth” (John 1:14).

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7I10

September 11, 2007

We do not scoff at death as some who do not value life, but neither do we fear it. Death has no power over us because we have been safely immersed into spiritual union with Christ. The sting of death, the Bible says, was suffered by Christ on the cross and there remains no sting left for us to worry about.

Nor do we dread leaving this world as those who are addicted to their carnality. Not only has God given us a taste of Heaven's reality by the Holy Spirit, but he has also given us understanding and confidence through his Word that death is only a doorway to Heaven where we will live forever.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7I11

September 12, 2007

When wife and I share a tea (usually traveling), we sometimes reach at the same time for our shared cup. Earlier in our marriage, she would pull her reaching hand back in a reflexive action. It was just her way. Also, it was the tradition she was taught - to give preference, especially to her husband. And I didn’t know any better either (What a knucklehead!).

Then I learned to say “No, please, after you.” Her confidence for change came slowly. I still remember the first time she did not pull back, but took the cup. After a showy moment of drinking slowly, she returned the cup and said, “Next.”

"Darling," I called to wife this morning while writing this article, "Would you hand me my tea?" "Of course," she answered. "And would you do it right now?" I teased. "Well, I don't know about that!" she answered.

How times have changed!

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7I12

September 13, 2007

Carole uses Leslie Sansone's Walk the Walk videos in the mornings (along with evening walks in the community and several visits a week to Curves) as part of her exercise regimen. But some mornings, it is not with a lot of enthusiasm. The other day she wondered if she could not just Talk the Walk. "I don't think so," I sympathized. This morning she really struggled to get out of bed. "Could I not just Sleep Walk the Walk this morning?" she groaned.

You are not going to always hunger to read or hear God's Word or to be in his presence, especially if you have made choices (usually the night before) that spoil your spiritual appetite. At such times, if you pass up your quiet time in the morning because you think you need to be all mushy about it, and wait instead until you are more motivated, you will sink further into your apathy until you are totally broken, and then come running back to God's Word with a different kind of motivation - pain and desperation.

It is nice to have a hunger for God's Word and a loving, longing desire to be in his presence so that you run with excitement to your quiet time. And that can be the norm! But sometimes your greatest motivation will be intellectual, i.e. the knowledge you have about your essential needs and of God's provisions for meeting them.

To illustrate, you know informationally that without water, you will be dehydrated. So whether or not you are otherwise motivated to drink water (because it is cold and refreshing and tastes good, or even because you are thirsty), you nonetheless drink it in sufficient amounts for health reasons as a calculated matter of common sense.

So sometimes in the morning when we are not motivated to be with God in the way we would like, we nonetheless take the time to open our Bibles to begin reading just because of our understanding that this is God's ordained way for us to hear his Word and to experience the renewal of his presence that we need.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7I13

September 14, 2007

Dear (Wife): You would think if you served your husband and allowed him to use you that he would be faithful to you, but the opposite is true. Users are never satisfied, so in time he will disrespect you, blame you for his unmet needs, then cheat on you in some way to meet the needs he says you no longer meet. Our counsel for divorce intervention begins with you serving notice on your husband that you no longer intend to be used and disrespected, that his only hope for you to remain in the marriage is for him to allow Christ to transform him from being a user to becoming an investor in your health and happiness needs.

Legalists insist that God will protect you in your suffering, but the grace message is that God will enable you to make healthy choices for yourself.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7I14

September 17, 2007

My most earnest prayer for my wife is that God will give her a loving and supportive husband. She thinks sometimes I rate a 10, but I know that usually I am only about a 5 - which is not bad, really, for a knucklehead. But I have found that a wife does not really expect her husband to be perfect. Actually, she is delighted just to know that he is increasing daily in his own personal health and renewal and, also, in his understanding of his Scriptural role in the marriage to care about her health and happiness needs.

Of course, the husband's needs are valid, including those only his wife can meet. But God's way for the husband's needs to be met is not for him to claim, expect, or demand them as his right; rather, it is for him to focus first on his own health needs, then out of his renewed strength, to invest in his wife's needs, and then to receive reciprocally from her the responses that meet his needs.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7I17

September 18, 2007

There is no reason to think that hurtful, adverse circumstances will not come into your life. But when they do, you do not need to be crushed.

There is a reason God allows the adversity to come. But it is not to punish, because that issue was settled by Christ's death on the cross for you over 2000 years ago. Neither is it to make you more durable or accepting of pain.

Rather, it is for three reasons, basically: First, to remind you of your fallenness and need for God. Second, to give you an opportunity to learn how to trust him. Third, to give you an opportunity to experience his faithfulness to sustain you under any weight or adversity.

Our testimony then is this: We had rather be in the storm with God than to be out of the storm without God.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7I18

September 19, 2007

A short definition of codependency is: You and me supporting each other in our independence from God. This is most troubling when a church or ministry is involved in our codependency.

The only valid mission or message of any ministry is to provide support to those they serve for learning how to hear from God so that they can experience the renewal of his presence, then out of the strength he gives, to live free from bondage and to serve the redemptive needs of others.

The Grace Perspective postings concerning God and his relationship to us are only the reporting of one person's (my own) personal conviction (faith) and understanding of Truth as God communicates it through his Word in my quiet time. Generally no other resources are represented.

But the personal convictions (faith) and understanding of one person cannot be the basis of another person's convictions (faith) and understanding. If what you believe is rooted in what you read here, or anyplace else, you have reason to doubt if what you believe is Truth.

Your only real hope to understand Truth is to dare put away all the commentaries and footnotes concerning God and his relationship to you and to allow the Holy Spirit opportunity to speak to you for himself. He alone is the Teacher (1 John 2:27; John 16:13; 1 Corinthians 2:12-14). Error is established in your mind (and perpetuated to others) when you read the Scriptures in the light and context of everything else you are reading and hearing, even from your favorite authors and speakers.

Especially those who are selling information. You have reason to wonder about the theology of anyone whose goal it is to sell a product, raise money, or increase numbers. Jesus did not sell his message. Neither did Paul sell his letters to the churches or to Timothy and others. Peter said, "I do not have silver and gold, but what I have, I give to you" (Acts 3:6). This does not mean those ministered to did not give back, but it wasn't expected, and there was absolutely no selling going on.

Another point: It will be hard for you to remember all the formulas and concepts for Christian living presented in the writings and sermons you read and hear; but the convictions birthed in your heart by the Holy Spirit through his Word will faithfully serve to guide and support you for making the wise choices daily that establish you in health and happiness.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7I19

September 20, 2007

There are two models of leadership in the home, church, and workplace. The one is demanding and condemning; the other is informational and supportive. The former (leadership by exception) is rooted in human nature and performance-based religion (legalism); the latter (leadership by objective) will be your experience of Christ.

"Therefore, there is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus." - Romans 8:1

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7I20

September 21, 2007

You will doubt your salvation, or any matter concerning God and his relationship to you, if the only basis for your assurance is what someone (including your favorite teacher) is telling you the Bible says about it. Your intellectual knowledge of the Scriptural text will not stand up against the lies of Satan and is not the same as faith (Gr. pistis: "conviction") which is produced and renewed in you supernaturally only by the testimony of the Holy Spirit communicated to you through God's Word.

"The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children." - Romans 8:16 (NIV)

"The message we hear that produces faith is the Words of Christ spoken to us by the Holy Spirit." - Romans 10:17 (GracePoint paraphrase)

"Take up the shield of faith so that you can stop the flaming missiles aimed at you by Satan." - Ephesians 6:16 (GracePoint paraphrase)

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7I21

September 24, 2007

Understanding Grace

We are not called to seek God's favor; instead, he seeks ours. The difference in these two views is: The one is based in religious performance and will lead to bondage; the other is Truth and will set you free.

"Behold, I stand at the door and knock..." - Revelation 3:20

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7I24

September 25, 2007

A master teacher assumes full responsibility for his/her students' learning. (Teaching does not exist without learning.) God has given to us the Holy Spirit to teach us about Christ and his relationship to us. When you come to your quiet time you can trust that the Holy Spirit will teach you all he wants you to know. It is not your responsibility to "figure it out," but only to show up for class with an open Bible and an open heart.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7I25

September 26, 2007

Why the Tension in the Marriage: The Truth Husbands Hate Most

Tension and unhappiness will disappear in the home when demands and expectations disappear - not those of the wife and children, but of the husband and the parents. Our relationship to God as his children and to Christ as his bride is not based upon our meeting his demands and expectations with promise of reward and threat of punishment (religious legalism); rather, it is based upon our loving Father and servant Husband investing in our health and happiness needs (grace) as we give him opportunity.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7I26

September 27, 2007

The only part of the Christian life that is too hard is the part you try to make happen in your own strength. God is not only the builder of the house, he also sustains it. Your part is to receive into your life daily his provisions for your enablement. Nothing is too hard for him.

You receive his provisions when you breathe, when you lie down to rest, when you eat and drink, when you exercise, when you assemble together with other believers for edification and fellowship, and when you read the Scriptures and pray.

The purpose for God's provision of the Scriptures is to provide a conduit to you for the communication of Truth (reality as God knows it). The purpose of prayer is to give you the means and opportunity 1) to confess to him your fallenness and need for his help, also your confidence (faith) in who he is and in his provisions for your salvation, 2) to invite/receive his provisions into your life, and 3) to thank him for his faithfulness to provide.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7I27

September 28, 2007

Your best strength could not survive exposure on the sun. Its surface temperature is 9,940 Fahrenheit and is white, but appears yellow from the Earth because of atmospheric scattering. (Favorite old joke: A friend told me he wanted to go to the sun. I told him he would burn up. He said he wouldn't because he planned to go at night.) Neither could your best personal righteousness survive in the presence of God's holiness. But we are safe in Christ.

"He is able to save completely (fully and forever) those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for us." - Hebrews 7:25
The Sun's energy output is 386 billion billion megawatts. Energy from the Sun—in the form of sunlight—supports almost all life on Earth via photosynthesis, and drives the Earth's climate and weather (Wiki). But it is only a small measure compared to the power of God within us to enable our holiness and redemptive service to others.

"His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness." - 2 Peter 1:3

Don Whisnant /The Grace Perspective 7I28

September 29, 2007

1) Once I put a dollar bill in a money changer but got back only three quarters. I took the three quarters to the attendant and made a fuss, also an accusation. He apologized and walked me back to the changer where he picked up my fourth quarter off the ground. He said that sometimes the changer spit the quarters out so hard they bounced out of the tray. I was apologetic and reminded again that sometimes things are not what they seem. An accusing spirit always finds something to condemn. The mind of Christ in us is benevolent to see the possibilities.

2) Little Hanna told her mom she was going to ask grandmommy to bake cookies for her. "Grandmommy may not want to bake cookies," her mother explained. "Oh yes she will," Hanna said, "I'm gonna say peas! peas!"

3) You are not free by the absence of boundaries, but only by the presence of God's enablement for making wise choices.

4) The Holy Spirit has deposited Christ, the Water of Life, into the deepest sanctuary of our being (the spirit), not just for one drink, but as a spring to serve us forever.

"The water I give the person who receives me will become in him a spring of water... streams of living water flowing from deep within him"- John 4:14; 7:38

5) You can know God's will in this way: You will feel adequate to do what you have an impulse to do, but inadequate to do anything God calls you to do.

6) Absolutely, God uses others to help guide our pursuit of Truth, but if what we believe is based in what others teach, we will not have Truth, but only opinion.

7) My saddest thought is that we would work hard to be set for life, but lost for eternity, wealthy in the things that will not last, but poor in the things that endure forever, and open to the words thatput us in bondage, but hostile to the Truth that will set us free.

8) The certainty of going to Heaven is in receiving God's provisions of Christ death on the cross as the only payment God will accept to satisfy his judgment against the human race because of Adam's disobedience. The certainty of going to Hell is in rejecting who the Bible says Christ is.

9) What a Relief It Is: Set Free From Focus on Self

It is hard to care about hungry people when you are starving. Your unmet needs will show up inyour countenance, in your conversations, and even in your attempts to minister to others. But our met needs will free us to focus on God's faithful provisions for our health and happiness and on the needs of others.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7I29

October 1, 2007

Experiencing Christ: Your Only Sure Hope for Recovery

Whatever importance and benefit they may have, no inspirational word or positive thought to stimulate your mind about water, no song or poem to touch your emotions about its refreshing coolness, will break the bondage of your physical thirst and dehydration. Instead, you must take time to drink the water - to experience it in sufficient amounts.

Likewise, you will hear nothing today on Christian radio or tv or read in a devotional - whatever feel-good blessing they may provide - that will set you free from the pain of your deepest unmet needs. Your only hope for recovery is to experience the flow of God's life from his presence deep within you (your spirit) to renew you in the likeness of who he is (Galatians 5:22-23) as you take extended time daily to sit quietly before him with an open Bible for Scripture reading, confession of need, prayer, and worship.

Don Whisnant/ The Grace Perspective 7J01

October 2, 2007

New purchases, experiences, or relationships are not a cure for unhappiness. They may relieve the pain of broken health momentarily, but if you are not established in happiness through your relationship to Christ and the wise choices for health he enables you to make, in time you will be no happier than before - but sadly, more broken and unhappy because of your unattended health needs.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7J02

October 3, 2007

"In Jesus' Name" means "by his enablement." It is not a magical phrase added to our prayers to advance our personal agenda.

Jesus' Name is who he is. The word "in" references our immersion into Christ by the Holy Spirit: We are in him. And it is by our experience of being in him that he is in us to enable our Christian lives and redemptive service to others. This is the meaning of the closing confession in the model prayer: "For you are the power and the glory of the kingdom."

In Jesus' Name means doing what Jesus would do, but more: It is living out the work he is doing in and through us - i.e., the life and work he enables.
"Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." - Acts 4:12

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7J03

October 4, 2007

Although they are intimately related, there is a difference between 1) reading the Scriptures in order to know the Truth about Christ and 2) prayer and worship in order to experience his Life.

We frequently use water to illustrate this point. You can read information about water sufficient to gain an admiration and appreciation for its qualities, and even rejoice in the information, but still not experience its life-supporting properties until you take time to drink it.

So too, it is through our reading the Scriptures that the Holy Spirit introduces (reveals) to us the Truth about Christ which is powerful (effectual) to generate in us awe of his person and works, and also, the desire that calls (draws) us to him. (This is the effectual call.)

But it is only in responding to that call, through prayer and worship, that you can experience Christ as the power (dynamic) of God (Romans 1:16-17) for your salvation (every aspect of it).

Jesus said, "I am the Way, (to) the Truth, (that leads to) the (experience of my) Life." - John 14:6 (GracePoint paraphrase)

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7J04

October 5, 2007

Thousands gathered at considerable expense in Atlanta this week for a ministry conference to promote an aggressive strategy for providing urgent relief care to disadvantaged hurting people. Whatever appreciation is due their vision and effort, the most critical need of the human heart remains to experience intimate relationship with Christ.

All community service and relief efforts are worthy causes of pure religion. But whatever may be said for the urgency of a man's biological need for water, his most critical need is of the heart for the Living Water. (A fable is told of a starving missionary traveling to a distant land to provide comfort to a starving tribe. They all died together.)

Jesus, the Water of Life, lamented, "You are religious to go here and there, and to do this and that (implied), yet you will not come to me that you may have life." - John 5:40 (Gracepoint paraphrased and expanded)

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7J05

October 6, 2007

1) Grace Perspectives are written as concepts without introduction, promotion, or personality, almost like a physics formula, and can be as boring as a blueprint. Their appeal will be mostly to hurting people, some who are also disillusioned and disappointed with the hype and hard work of secular (Plan B) counseling and desperate for a new start in a new direction (which begins with
intimate relationship to Christ by the Holy Spirit through his Word).

2) I grieve because of all that is true about me that weighs me down and works against my service to others, but rejoice in the confidence that I can stumble to him in full confession of my weaknesses and receive from him the offer of his Life to renew me in his likeness.

3) Dear (Young Lady:) Immodest dress does not attract men who are investors, but only users who disrespect those they use.

4) Prayer for the needs of others is for God's enablement in your life to be a part of the answer.

5) Religion will insist on being right, and condemn those who disagree. Truth never asserts and is not intolerant to being called wrong.

6) We do not call for God's blessings from above, but connect for the flow of his life from within. 

7) We do not pray for God to change the world, but to change us. The Light of who Christ is, shining in and through us into the world, will dispel the darkness.

8) The burden to go is not the call, and the call is not the enablement.

9) Do not trust information reported by one who is intolerant to being wrong.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7J06

October 8, 2007

We do not need to serve God in order to make him happy. This notion is driven by the belief that we need to win God's favor. But in Christ we already have his favor. Also, we do not serve God. The Bible says he is not served by human hands because he has no needs (Acts 17:25a). Instead, he himself gives all men life and breath - and everything else (v25b).

"In him alone we live and move and have our being." - Acts 17:28

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7J08

October 9, 2007

Pharmaceuticals and other traditional choices to treat illnesses are Plan B, quick-fix, relief-based, emergency solutions - which are sometimes appropriate, but are not God's planned way to establish you in health and happiness.

You can expect as you grow in your understanding of God's provisions to enable your Christian living and service to others (grace) that you will also grow in your understanding of his provisions for your physical health (also grace). They are intimately related, both illustrate the other, and are rooted in the same theological concept.

This offers some insight into the reason why legalists can't seem to make the connection between God's grace and exercise (also, wise food choices), while those who better understand the relevance are established in more enduring health.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7J09

October 10, 2007

The Church is the Bride of Christ, a living spiritual organism into which all who trust Christ for salvation are immersed by the Holy Spirit as members together in spiritual union with him. The Church is manifested on earth as local congregations (in the same way the human race is manifested on earth in family units of husband, wife, and children). God has given pastors to serve the local church, not as ruling authorities, but as servant leaders (undershepherds) to help guide and support its members toward increased intimacy in relationship with Christ and with each other. The honor due the pastor in the church by its members is not expressed in mandated obedience to him but by the opportunity given him for influence - and that only 1) as he is made effectual by God to teach and persuade them and 2) as they grow in  their confidence of his love for them. Christ alone is the Head (Fountainhead) of the Church, its Chief Shepherd, and the Source of its strength and supply. He administrates the local church through the work of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of its members, so that in all matters of the church, the convictions and will of its membership, indicated by vote, are final.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7J10

October 11, 2007

The Media News identifies every possible negative, it seems - some items more inappropriate than should be reported or discussed ("It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret" - Ephesians 5:12). Also, performance-based Christianity (religious legalism) is primed to condemn the attitudes and behavior of troubled, fallen people. Only our loving Christ by the Holy Spirit through his Word provides solutions and hope for recovery.

The purest ministry we can have to others is not to communicate to them how we think they should live or what we think God is saying, but to point them to their quiet time and to The Scriptures in order for them to hear from God personally the Truth he wants them to know. (Those to whom the Bible is a closed book have no assurance that what they are hearing or reading elsewhere is Truth, no matter how impressive or well-written.)

But reading the Scriptures is not the same as experiencing God. An opened Bible is only the starting point: It opens the door (Revelation 3:20) to give opportunity for the Holy Spirit to communicate Christ's message of love and care for us. It is then in response to this message of hope that we are effectually drawn to him, confess our need for him, receive him (worship), and
experience his presence to transform and renew us in his likeness.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7J11

October 12, 2007

Pure ministry will support you for making wise choices that establish you in freedom. Others promote feel-good programs that perpetuate your needs and addictions, dependence on their existence, also admiration and support. (This is the truest example of codependency. It also helps to identify the conservative versus liberal views of political science.)

Also, pure ministry does not own anything to excess. Christ had no place to lay his head, walked mostly where he traveled, or rode a borrowed donkey, was beaten, mocked, rejected, and crucified. John the Baptist lived in the wilderness and was beheaded. Stephen was stoned to death. Peter and the disciples were harassed, abused, beaten, and martyred. The apostle Paul was
flogged, stoned, chained, imprisoned for long periods of time, and suffered even to the despair of life, then beheaded. The first century church did not have silver and gold and luxury items or build elaborate sanctuaries. Yet God used them to change the world.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7J12

October 13, 2007

Good Health and Long Life: Last Hope to Outlive My Ignorance

I turned 59 this month. No biggie! One day I will be a billion. So, taken in relevance, our goal is not the number of years we live, but good health and usefulness in service to others. Pardon this personal: I am 6'4, weigh 220 (added muscle this year), have a resting heart rate most days of 42-48, average over 1,000 cardio fitness miles each year (8th year), and can still run a 1:30 400, 7:30 mile, or a 90-minute 10 miles. I told the doctor at my last annual exam that I tried to make healthy choices because I wanted to outlive my ignorance, also my mistakes. He looked up from my test results, glanced away to ponder for a moment, then said he didn't see any reason why I shouldn't live to be a hundred.

Personal Regimen for Physical Renewal

1. Begin each day (at least an hour) with quiet time (Scripture reading, confession of need, prayer, and quiet-time worship) for spiritual renewal to enable stress management.

2. Aerobic exercises to get heart rate up for a sustained 30-45 minutes, 5-6 days each week (endurance), anaerobic exercises 2-3 days to build muscle (strength), and stretching exercises daily (flexibility).

3. Drink daily at least: 4 ounces raw apple cider vinegar water, 24 ounces green tea, and in addition, 100 ounces filtered water (ounces equal to number of half your body weight).

4. Eat 5 servings of raw fruits and vegetables (including at least one apple a day.)

5. Supplement protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, probiotics, and herbs.

6. Proper elimination.

7. Scheduled lifestyle (including for work, sufficient sleep, and rest).

8. Drive on the right side of the street (zero high-risk behavior).

9. Community and civic involvement (investment for safety and quality of life).

10. Regular physical check-ups with physician and dentist.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7J13

October 15, 2007

You may tire of going to church, its feel-good music, and the performance preaching, but you will never tire of experiencing God's presence in your quiet time to renew you in your confidence of his love and care for you, also to set you free from your burden of trying to make him smile in order to win his favor.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7J15

October 16, 2007

Sin (unwise choices) will absolutely keep you from going to Heaven, but not in the way we sometimes lead people to think. By definition, sin is any behavior or choice you make which fails to meet the essential needs you have (for your body or life) to establish you in health and happiness. Some choices are hurtful, even deadly. Ingesting poison, of course, is deadly. Hitting yourself in the head with a hammer is also a deadly sin.

Some unwise choices aren't immediately deadly. For example, eating junk food (foodless food) or inactivity with regard to exercise are choices you can make that will just kill you slowly. Also, not every unwise choice will send you to Hell. (Although they may make your life of broken health a hell on earth.)

There are, however, unwise choices that will result in you not going to Heaven: They include choosing church membership, the "sacraments," or your religious performance and portfolio as your hope for eternal salvation.

But the essential Truth is this: Not making unwise choices is not really the requirement for going to Heaven - no more than not getting on the wrong train is the way to get to the destination where you want to go. The way to eternal salvation is misrepresented when we teach/report that we must first give up "sin" (misdefined as certain behaviors that, for whatever reason, are "bad" or that make God mad) as a requirement in order to go to Heaven. Indeed, wrong choices and non choices are abandoned in the process of making the right choices, but "giving up sin" is not in itself a required step in the sinner's response to the Gospel message, nor does it qualify the unsaved in
some way to make the appropriate choice.

Conclusion: Repentance (Gr. metanoia) means "a change of thinking." It does not at all mean a change of behavior, although it may lead to that. You can choose unwise behavior, or even choose to do nothing (to not get on any train, so to speak). Both can have the same failing outcome. But our assurance of going to Heaven is not because we do not make wrong choices or make nonchoices (perhaps with the false hope that we all go to Heaven anyhow), but is the result of the choice we do make. Eternal life is the promised result of choosing to trust/accept/rely upon the blood of Jesus Christ and his resurrected life as God's only provision for our salvation (John 3:16).

The message of Romans 5:15-19 is, "How certain and unfailing will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace live forever."

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7J16

October 17, 2007

By the term "performance preaching" we mean presenting from the pulpit the do's and don'ts of proper behavior as if those preached at somehow have the inborn natural ability to comply. You know: "How much do you do? You don't do it! Why not? What's the matter with you? Just do it!"

The most grievous unmet need in the church is for (may we call it) "preparation preaching" by which we mean preaching that points fallen, failing, hurting people to intimate relationship with Christ for their renewal and enablement in service to others. Given the state of affairs in the church, there really isn't much else worthwhile to talk about.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7J17

October 18, 2007

It is appropriate for a husband and wife to care for themselves in order to be respectful and attractive to each other. But for a wife to dress seductively in order to keep her husband "interested" will lead to her being used (maybe abused), and also break her heart. If your husband is an investor, he is already interested; if he is a user, he will never be satisfied.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7J18

October 19, 2007

Understanding the Normal Christian Life

God's blessings are not a reward for good behavior to make him smile, no more than hydration is a reward for drinking water; rather they are the normal outcomes of including in your life God's provisions for your health and happiness leading to your enablement for making wise decisions.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7J19

October 20, 2007

1) The purest meaning of leadership is "support."

2) Our most earnest prayer is not that we do not fail, but that those we serve are not failed.

3) We do not so much stand in the need of prayer, but in the need to experience God's presence.

4) The psychology of criticism and compliments: Criticism is sometimes perverted admiration and
compliments perverted criticism. Don't make too much of either.

5) Attention to personal health, feeling comfortable in your clothes, and appearing physically fit are
appropriate; over attention to being attractive is bondage.

6)The standard to measure the success of your marriage is not the number of years since your
wedding, but the number of years you and your spouse have lived together without tension.

7) We are aggressive to fight, not because we are strong, but weak, not because we are winners, but feel like losers, not because we have confidence, but instead are fearful. Strength and confidence never assert.

8) The evidence of hearing God is faith, rejoicing, and humility. The evidence of experiencing God is wisdom, righteousness, and the nine-fold fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).

9) You will continue to hurt as long as you trade intimacy with Christ for tv or a movie.

"In him (alone) was life, and that life was the light of men." - John 1:4

10) You do not feel judged or condemned or preached at because of what you hear people say to you, but because of what you are not hearing God communicate to you through his Word concerning his love and care for you.

11) You cannot kill sin in your life. Only the light of who Christ is in you can dispel the darkness.

12) Picking at wife, Carole: "Honey, be sure to return the markers in the pencil holder with the cap down so that the ink will not flow away from the tip," I said as I handed her the Sharpie marker from my desk drawer. "And I will share additional information with you from time to time that will help you," I added.

"Or not!" she answered.

13) My saddest thought: Christians who have resident power within them to live free in the light but stumble around to live without it in the darkness.

14) You will need less discipline to walk one mile after six weeks of walking most days than you will need to walk a tenth mile on your first day.

Don Whisnant/The GracePerspective 7J20

October 22, 2007

Grace Leadership: Investing for a Good Outcome

It is not likely anyone of us is prepared to step outside today and run a marathon. But we sometimes tend to expect from ourselves and others heroic behavior for Christian living and service that is not supported or enabled.

The concept of investment is at the core of grace counseling. Good outcomes do not just happen automatically. This means: In the same way it is essential for you to invest in your own health in order to produce and enjoy a good outcome, you must also invest in others.

Associated very closely with this concept is this: It is the role of the pastor to invest in your success, not yours to invest in his. It is the role of the husband to invest in his wife's health and happiness, not hers to invest in his. And it is the role of parents to invest in the health and happiness of their children, not the children to invest in their parents.

Also, wise employers invest in their staff to support the contribution they make toward accomplishing company or organizational goals. But if your employer's mission (in reality) is to make money more than it is to provide a quality service or product that meets essential needs, you will be used, not supported, and, in time, broken in your health by your relationship with him/her.

God is not in relationship to you for what you can do for him, but for what you will allow him to do for you. "The Purpose Driven Life" concept is deadly wrong: God did not plan you for his pleasure; rather, he exists in order to serve you, to invest in you, and to provide support for your health and happiness and hope for Heaven.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7J22

October 23, 2007

Whatever is true about you that supports your health and happiness and usefulness in redemptive service to others, 1) God is the explanation for it and 2) you will need to be renewed in it again today.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7J23

October 24, 2007

Possessions always make you happier in your imagination than in reality. You will be happiest having health and strength in redemptive service to others.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7J24

October 25, 2007

Disconnected from the Flow: The Issue with Worldly Entertainment

Take care about tv and movies. While we never mean to suggest that worldly entertainment is "sin" in the sense it makes you bad, or God mad, or puts you out of favor with him, it remains that some choices for entertainment can be like ingesting poison - and we warn against it. The Church has welcomed a lot of mess into our lives believing "there is nothing wrong with it."

But the most overlooked problem (by far) is that any activity can compete with taking the time necessary to include in your life God's provisions to establish and enable you in health and happiness and usefulness in redemptive service to others. This is the urgency of Christ's call to "abide in me" as a branch abides in the vine (John 15:4-7).

But worldly entertainment is not an issue of concern if connection to the Vine is not relevant to health and happiness. Also, pastors, husbands, and parents get a pass if the concept of the Vine is not central to providing leadership to those we serve.

This means, if I can persuade you that the Christian life is something you do (You know: "Just do it!" or "What's support got to do with it?"), I can just look on your failure with criticism ("What's the matter with you?"). But if the Christian life is indeed a work Christ does in and through you as you remain connected to him, then I must call you away from wasted time and point you to intimate relationship with him.

You absolutely can make choices that disconnect you from the flow of God_ s provisions into your life. But no darkness in you can prevail against the uninterrupted flow of his Life into your inner being to establish you in renewed health and enablement (John 1:1-5).

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7J25

October 26, 2007

Emotions can be stimulated from without (externally) by sounds, sights, smells, etc, and provide benefit. But your experience of Christ will be 1) initiated from deep within; 2) come only as you are stilled and waiting; 3) after you have heard God communicate his Word to you; and 4) as you invite his presence (prayer and worship). The result of experiencing Christ will establish you in faith, peace, and rejoicing.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7J26

October 27, 2007

1) The greatest evil of which "the love of money" is the root is broken health and unhappiness.

2) Your deepest needs for significance will be met only through relationship to Christ.

3) God has made provisions for us to have intimacy with him, not because he needs or desires it, but because he is our only hope for enduring health and happiness.

4) The purest ministry serves more significantly than just to help fallen people endure/survive the symptoms of their brokenness; rather, it serves to guide their connection to God's provisions for their healing.

5) Understanding John 15:2: God is not performing surgery on you to cut the "sin" out of your life; rather, he is investing in your needs to produce healing and fruitfulness.

6) We do not receive spiritual renewal from above, but from within. The lifting of holy hands in grace theology is not upward to God, but outward in redemptive service to others.

7) The Entertainment Church stimulates carnal senses and human emotions to motivate superficial behavior that to onlookers has an appearance of Churchlikeness. But it is "Christ in us" alone that enables holiness and service to others with eternal value.

8) Your only hope to forgive others as Christ forgave you is for him to enable it.

9) There is no class or seminar you can attend, no books you can read, that will jump start or enable you for godliness or success in Christian living and service to others. 

10) The Church is, first, a resource for relationships to provide guidance and support leading to intimate relationship with Christ (spiritual). Secondly, it is a resource for ministry that helps to support essential human needs in the Christian community, including for fellowship. Thirdly, out of its met needs and strength, it is to be a living witness of God's grace into a hurting world. Fourthly, it is to clearly communicate the message of God's grace and to invite seekers to him.

11) My favorite response from a wife when her husband says to her, "I love you" is not, "I love you, too!" but "I know it!"

12) To be "filled" (as in "to be filled with the Holy Spirit" or to have the "fullness of Christ") means more than "to be occupied, having no remaining capacity"; rather, in the Bible sense of the word, a vessel cannot be said to be filled until it is running over.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7J27

October 29, 2007

You can grab and go with superficial provisions that relieve the pain of your unmet needs, but you will need to stop and take time to receive God's provisions in order to meet your deepest and most essential needs for healing and enduring health.

"If we (have faith to) hope for what we do not have, we wait for it patiently." - Romans 8:25

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7J29

October 30, 2007

Living the Christian life is not really a choice you can make. Instead, it is more an enablement you can experience. Christ is the enablement and the explanation for every aspect of your Christian life, beginning with the attitudes that motivate your responses to him and others, also the wisdom and guidance that support your decision making, and including even the physical health that energizes you for each step you take. There is really not anything you can do effectually except to open the door of your heart to receive the flow of his Life in and through you by the Holy Spirit.

Also, the flow of Christ's Life you receive through this door is not from his residence in Heaven, but from his residence by the Holy Spirit deep within you: It is from the inmost chamber of your being (your spirit where he came to indwell when you trusted in his death for you on the cross for your salvation) into your inner chamber (the soul, i.e., your mind, emotions, and will), to be manifested in your physical health and life in redemptive service to others.

"He will be a spring of eternal water welling up from within you." - John 4:14 (GracePoint paraphrase)

"God himself gives all men life and breath and everything else." - Acts 17:25b
"In him we live and move and have our being... We are his offspring." - Acts 17:28

"For it is God who works IN you both to will and to do according to his redemptive purpose." - Philippians 2:13

"There is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live." 1 Corinthians 8:6b

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7J30

October 31, 2007

I am grieved by T.D. Jakes' recent statement, "The Word of God will work if you work it." (This is not to comment on a good man who points millions to the cross of Christ for eternal salvation, but on a horrible theology with respect to living the Christian life.) I would much rather he declare that there is absolutely nothing anyone can do to add to the merit and power of God's Word to work effectually in our lives, that we can only receive it.

However, sometimes in preaching, the terms "the Word of God" and "the Scripture" are used interchangeably without clarification. By his reference to the "Word of God," Jakes may be meaning "The Scripture" which would make his statement appropriate. The Scripture indeed does serve us as a map or formula or blueprint for making wise choices leading to health and happiness, and if not used, of course would have little value.

But the Word of God is who Christ is.

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. Through him all things were made and without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not prevailed against it" (John 1:1-4).

It may help to define Logos, the Incarnate Word, the Written Scriptures, the Bible, the Rhema, and Precious Seed (preaching in spoken word or song) - all of which are called the Word of God.

1. The Logos is Christ, the Word / Seed / Firstborn / Truth / Life. The Word of God is the Seed of all life. He has inherent power (John 1:1-4).

"In the beginning was the Word (logos), and the Word (logos) was with God, and the Word (logos) was God." - John 1:1

"The seed is the word (logos) of God." - Luke 8:11

"For the word (logos) of God is alive and powerful." - Hebrews 4:12

2. The Holy Spirit sowed this Logos / Word / Seed / Firstborn / Truth / Life into the womb of the chosen and prepared vessel, Mary, to produce the Incarnate Word, Jesus.

3. He sowed also this Logos / Word / Seed / Firstborn / Truth / Life in the minds of chosen and prepared vessels to produce/author the Written Scriptures, now canonized for us in the 66 books of the Bible.

4. The Rhema is the Truth communicated to us by the Holy Spirit through the Written Scriptures which calls us into relationship with Christ (this is more than an invitation, but the effectual call). It is the "sword of the Spirit" which penetrates our hearts (the soul) to produce in us conviction (faith) and repentance concerning God's provisions for our redemption, and is manifested as Light in a dark world and as Precious Seed sown in redemptive service to others and bearing fruit.

"So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word (rhema) of God." - Romans 10:17

"And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word (rhema) of God." - Ephesians 6:17

"Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word (rhema)." - Ephesians 5:25-26

"If ye abide in me, and my words (rhema) abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you." - John 15:7

"He who goes out weeping bearing precious seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying bundles of grain." - Psalm 126:6

5. The Holy Spirit sows this Logos / Word / Seed / Firstborn / Truth / Life into the human spirit of believers to birth in us the Life of Christ, the divine nature of God. This is the new birth.

"Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word [logos] of God, which lives and abides forever." - I Peter 1:23).

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7J31

November 1, 2007

Nothing much in your sinful nature or the world's system will accommodate your growth in enablement for Christian living and service to others. They will support performance and production (which can be a good thing), but be adverse to you making the wise choices that establish you in essential health and happiness and Christlikeness. This is the reason people are sickly, burned out, and die too young. It's also the reason relationships suffer. As we are more and more overstimulated by the sounds and sights and hype of the world, our tolerance to them increases, and our ability to respond to normal stimulation dies. So the world makes them louder and more intense and sensational then ever in order to turn us on to its deception. The worst of the outcomes is: Our ability to sit still or to hear the quiet voice of God also dies. (By the way, this is part of the reason why a copy of the Bible is tossed around, even on the floor, while the tv is placed like a shrine in a prominent place in the home and polished.)

The thunder you hear in your contemporary worship service is for your carnal senses and emotions, not for your spirit. Fruit, including spiritual fruit, does not grow to health in an occasional burst of thunder and lightning in a storm, but in the gentle long-term exposure to sunlight and rain. Also, the benefit of the sun to bleach or purify and decontaminate is not from a one-time
burst of its light, but from extended exposure.

You may have become addicted to quick fix stimulations and solutions and now be intolerant to stillness and quietness. The Bible bores you. Grace counseling helps guide the process for your relearning how to sit quietly to hear the communication going on within you. The process begins with detoxing, so you may need to shut down your running around, and also turn off the tv, radio, and internet browser.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7K01

November 2, 2007

Your inborn needs for health are multidimensional - body, soul, and spirit. When they are not met, you suffer; but when they are met, you are energized and happy and enabled for life and service to others.

For example, the right foods will energize you. That's what food is for. Also, oxygen is the body's most powerful biological fuel. When you increase your uptake of it during exercise, you are increased in your energy, including to your brain.

This is true also psychologically. Kind words and warm embraces and meaningful time spent together with loved ones energize the soul (mind, emotions, and will), and are essential to overall good health. Loneliness is epidemic in our society because of unmet relationship needs.

Interestingly, the deeper your needs are dimensionally, the more essential they are to your holistic health. This means, as essential as food and water are to your physical health, met relationship needs are even more essential longterm with consideration of overall well-being, because 90 percent or more (we are told) of physical illnesses is the result of unmet psychological
needs (called psychosomatic illnesses).

Also interestingly, the more inclusively your needs are being met, the more supported you are for energized living. This means, when your biological and psychological needs are both being met, you have wonderful increased potential each day to be and feel energized for your life and work, and especially for your interaction with others.

But this means, also, that as beneficial as these met needs are to your overall well-being, the most essential need for health and energy to support your life will be missed without your experience of Christ's life flowing up from your spirit (where he lives by the Holy Spirit) into your soul (your mind, emotions, and will), then onward and outward, psychosomatically, to manifest in health for your body.

Your experience of Christ each day is your most powerful provision for health and happiness. Without him, really, you may do okay in terms of meeting your minimal needs for not being unhealthy, but it is his power alone that makes the abundant life possible.

"I have come that they (you) may have life, and have it more abundantly (fully)." - John 10:10

"God's divine nature gives us everything we need for life and godliness through our experience of Christ." - 2 Peter 1:3

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7K02

November 3

1) Worship is the experience of receiving Christ. Rejoicing is the response to that experience. Praise is commending that experience to others. Thanksgiving is the ultimate expression of our confidence that God is the Source of our essential provisions and is faithful to always provide.

2) You did not fail because God knocked you down but because you fell.

3) You will likely have opportunities today to identify provisions that you may think are your most essential and urgent needs - and for good reasons. But God already knows what they are. And he will not fail to provide for you as you look to him.

But your greatest need is to experience Christ. And while it is not God's will for you to endure or "get over" unmet needs, until you experience the provision of your deepest need, your less essential needs may remain unmet.

This is the issue Paul prayed about regarding his unmet needs which he called "a thorn in the flesh." God reminded him of his most essential need and assured him that in meeting that need, his others needs would no longer be the same distraction or concern to him.

4) Having faith the size of a mustard seed means opening your Bible to begin reading. It is the initial step to health that enables you to remove mountains. It is getting off the couch to begin phase one of an exercise program.

5) Pure ministry invests in you to support your enablement for making wise choices leading to healing. Charlatans manipulate you to make superficial choices with promise of relief to gain your favor for their personal gain.

6) Your most prominent psychological need is to be "what it is all about" to someone. If that need is not met appropriately from the resources God provides beginning with relationship to Christ, you will tend to seek it inappropriately from without. Or, you may attempt to be what it is all about to yourself.

7) Healing can only come from within. The choices you make for quick relief come from without.

8) Emotions can be stimulated from without (externally) by sounds, sights, smells, etc.. But your experience of Christ will be 1) initiated by the Holy Spirit from deep within, 2) come only as you are stilled and waiting, 3) after you have heard God communicate his Word to you, and 4) as you invite his presence (Revelation 3:20). The result of experiencing Christ will establish you in faith, peace, rejoicing, and love.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 7K03

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November and December are still under construction.

TO Volume 2