(Stated: that the new birth experience alone does not enable obedience, but only makes possible our sanctification, that it is sanctification which enables obedience, that we have no power to obey God’s Law, and that every instruction, command, and call he gives assumes our enablement (sanctification) to obey.)

Taking Sufficient Quiet Time to Support Life in a Broken World

My friend said her doctor told her that we do not need vitamins. Well, surely he meant to say that we don’t need vitamin supplements, because, of course, we need vitamins (also supplements) – else we would not need to eat food at all. But the good doctor is probably confused about other things also.

Not only do we need vitamins and minerals, but we need them in sufficient amounts. That means, if we take care to get the required amount of nutrition for the required amount of time, we will get the results they give.

I think of this often when I am encouraging our counselees to take extended time daily for Scripture reading, confession of need, and quiet-time worship in order to hear God and to experience the renewal he gives. Taking too little time won’t hurt, but neither will it provide support sufficient for living the Christian life in a dark world – maybe the same as a single candle would not provide sufficient light for life in a dark room.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 11F22 

Grace: More than Magic, the Cause and Effect Explanation for Our Healing

God indeed spoke the worlds into existence – that is, he effectually called forth something from nothing. But it was more than an “abracadabra” moment of sorts (magic trick). Instead, it was a sowing and reaping investment in which God, the Holy Spirit, sowed/infused the Logos/Seed/Word (Christ) into the vacuum/darkness, the same as a farmer sows seed into the ground, with the cause and effect result of a perfect universe. Then he breathed his Life into man’s body with the result that man became a living soul (mind, emotions, and will), full of and perfectly manifesting God (the state which was lost when Adam disobeyed).

In this same manner, God speaks Life today into fallen man. But it is not the casting of a magical charm or spell upon him; rather, it is the sowing of Christ's Life (in the person of the Holy Spirit) into man’s spirit so that he is regenerated (born again).

And not only is he born again by virtue of God’s Life infused into him, he also has opportunity to be renewed day by day for healing during his quiet-time worship – that is, through his response to receive the upward flow of God’s Life into him like a river from his inmost being, his spirit, into his inner being, his soul.

“Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him (his spirit)." – John 7:38

“Jesus said, ‘If you knew the gift of God…, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water… Indeed, the water I give (you) will become in (you) a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’” – John 4:14

“With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.” - Isaiah 12:3

“The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” – Isaiah 58:11

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 11E16

More Than Physical Health, Our Surpassing Need to Experience Spiritual Renewal

My pastor friend continues to insist that the focus of my ministry to call broken lives to extended quiet time worship each day (in order to be renewed by the presence of Christ flowing into their hearts) is extreme and motivated by my own past experience of failure and desperation. The suggestion is that not everyone is broken or has suffered as I have, so the radical choices which help recover spiritual (actually soul) health are not essential for maintaining health.

While it is true that patients in a hospital ICU need support which they will not need in the same way after the crisis has passed (the same as poorly conditioned persons need support for diet and exercise choices which can be modified as their fitness improves), still we do not want to say that any person would ever need renewal in Christ less at one time than another. This means, the renewal of our souls (minds, emotions, and will) is, by far, our most critical need. Paul supported this concept when he wrote:

“For bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come (outcomes of eternal value).” – 1 Timothy 4:8

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 11E12

Getting Started on Schedule, Sparing Spouse from Grumpy Sel

Old joke: A friend asked my wife if she got up grumpy. She said she didn’t, that she let him sleep in.

I rarely wake up in the morning full of joy. Instead, I usually get up ill-tempered, oppressed by my fallen human nature expressing itself through my melancholy temperament (or vice-versa). This does not mean I growl like a mean dog so that I am fit to be tied (old expression), but that I am spiritually dehydrated, cold and lethargic to the redemptive needs of others, full of religious condemnation and judgment, and very unhappy. It is in my quiet time that I am renewed by the flow of “who Christ is” (the Living Water) for my service to others. That’s why I rush in the morning to my quiet time – also why my daily schedule begins 90 minutes before my wife gets up.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 11E11

Grace: More Than Minimal Health, Our Experience of Heaven on Earth

We understand most about Plan B that it is a minimal-standard, stop-gap plan for managing pain and other symptoms and also to keep us alive. Absolutely, we thank God for it. Better minimal health, we think, than no health at all.

But God has also made provisions (beginning with our experience of Christ) so that, more than just enduring minimal health, we can enjoy optimal health and happiness – which even at its best is but a taste of the experience we will have increasingly in Heaven.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 11E09

Not Their Loveliness, but God’s Love in Us for Others: The Deepest Support for Our Service

1) Christ lived and died for us, not because of anything about us that was valuable to him, but because of a quality about him (he is God) that values us unconditionally.

2) It is by virtue of his Life birthed in us by the Holy Spirit that we are increasingly enabled to also unconditionally value those we serve.

This means, while there is much about those we serve (lovable, lovely, and loving) which is delightful to us and motivates our interest in them, deeper than all that, it is the heart of Christ renewed in us daily by the Holy Spirit which is the truest and most powerful explanation for our desire to love and care for them.

To illustrate: Carole was beautiful to me in every way when I first saw her. It was not hard for me to ask her to lunch or to be interested in a relationship with her. But a deeper interest showed up in my heart which became my purest motive to pursue her. It was God’s love in me for her.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 11E03

Experiencing Christ: Counseling Support for Making the Essential Choice

The lesbian couple in the next booth at the Italian restaurant was not happy. They complained about the food and service and about almost everything, it seemed. It was the worst I have witnessed. Neither the server nor her manager, trying hard as they did, was able to make it right. The explanation may have been that the couple was deeply suffering from the pain of their unmet needs, consumed by it maybe like a toothache, so much so that they could not enjoy or appreciate any experience. Worse, they may have also suffered from tolerance to their choices for superficial pain relief.

This is the reason our counseling begins with support for experiencing Christ. He alone, his Life birthed and renewed in us daily, has power to heal our deepest brokenness so that we can focus to make the wise follow-up choices that establish us in health leading to our happiness.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 11D13

The Surpassing Greatness of Reading the Scripture in Order to Hear God

No doubt I would know a lot more about the Bible including the various views of good teachers if I read their books and commentaries. But I am persuaded that it would be a trade off for the understanding I have which the Holy Spirit has communicated to me through the years during my quiet time concerning Christ and my need for him.

Also (almost on the same subject), learning new information is a powerful experience. During my seminary training, and even since, I recall the excitement and sense of accomplishment and even empowerment I felt when I learned or better understood the message of the Bible. It was not too unlike, really, the experience I have had learning about any worthwhile subject - for example, fitness and nutrition. Learning a new skill also provides the same experience.

But all of that is surpassed by our most critical need which is to increase in our knowledge of Christ – not the increase in information about him, but the increase of our experience of his person. The difference, as we often say to illustrate, is the same as studying to know about water (essential) and drinking the water to experience its power (most essential).

“What was to my gain (including information) I now consider rubbish for the surpassing greatness of knowing (experiencing) Christ.” See Philippians 3:7-11.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 11D05

FREEDOM (Sunday Sermon Outline)

“I will walk about in freedom (power), for I have sought out your precepts.” – Psalm 119:45

1. Freedom/Power in the sense of Right/Authority by virtue of us in Christ
  • to do whatever we want without consequence of eternal judgment (but not without consequences of the laws of health or government),
  • to experience God, and
  • to influence or serve others (in the sense that leadership has authority in our lives).
2. Freedom/Power in the sense of Enablement by virtue of Christ in us
  • that enables us to make choices which establish us in health. (Addiction/bondage is the loss of the freedom/power/enablement to choose.)
  • that breaks the bondage of our sinful nature (illustrated by the power of light and water to break the bondage of darkness and thirst).
This is Freedom From


The word PAIN is one of four that we use to guide our counseling. Pain is not the PROBLEM but the result of the problem. Also, the problem is not the presence of adversity in our lives, but the absence of the PROVISIONS which support us. Our counseling presents a PLAN for connecting to God’s resources in creation, community, and especially Christ through which his provisions flow into our lives.

1) Physical Pain which is the result of our unmet need for
  • a strong immune system to help protect our bodies against the elements we ingest in our food, water, and air which are adverse to good health, including viruses, bacteria, toxins, and parasites,
  • properly functioning biological systems (the cardio-vascular, nervous, and digestive systems), and
  • skeletal/muscular strength, flexibility, and endurance;
This need is met through God’s provisions in Creation.

2) Psychological Pain which is the result of our unmet need for
  • a working knowledge of how the world we live in works (the mind),
  • impulse control, the power (ability) for decision-making to say yes and no appropriately (the will), and
  • the experience of affection. i.e., the feeling of being accepted, approved, appreciated, admired, and wanted (the emotions);
This need is met through supportive relationships in the home and church, but especially through intimacy with Christ.

Pressure of Performance

This freedom is from the pressure of performance to

1) Please God

2) Please people (CODEPENDENCY/Pretense/Pettiness)


Our experience of Christ (the fruit of humility/meekness) sets us free from human arrogance so that we are willing to receive God’s provisions for our lives.


Our experience of Christ (the fruit of temperance) sets us free from our disinclination for making health choices.

Preoccupation (Self-Absorption)

Our experience of Christ (the fruit of love) meets our need to be what it is all about to Someone so that we can be what it is all about to those we serve.


Our experience of Christ (the fruit of joy and peace) sets us free from insecurity about outcomes.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 11D04

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