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Fourth Quarter
TGP Volume 15
(October/November/December 2015)

Week 53

Human love is
  • enjoyment of people, places, experiences, and things (food, pets, etc.)
  • driven by our personal needs,
  • experienced and expressed by using people, places, experiences, and things to meet those needs (“I love what you do for me!”),
  • present at birth (inborn), and
  • cultivated through performance and application. 
God’s Love (agape) is
  • the mind and compassion of God expressed in the world through his commitment and investment to meet the redemptive (health) needs of all his creation,
  • not present in us at birth, but sown into our spirits by the Holy Spirit when we are born again,
  • increasingly experienced and expressed through us to others as we are filled/renewed with Christ each day during our quiet-time worship,
  • enhances/purifies human love,
  • the foundation of a healthy/happy marriage and home, and
  • the love “the world needs now” and needs most. 
DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 15L31

Togetherness in families is sought and honored in world religions. Religionists point to their clannish interdependency as a model for Christians to follow. But it is not.

Family bonding in world religions is

  • largely driven by religious traditions and codependency (broken people with unmet spiritual needs using each other for superficial pain relief) – that is, it is
  • not supported by the family members’ mutual experience of God through spiritual union with Christ. 
God calls his people to unity, and “How good and pleasant it is when God's people live together in harmony!” (Psalm 133:1), but it is always organically rooted in spiritual union with Christ through

  • faith in his death on the cross for us and
  • fellowship (“koinonia”) or mutual experience of Christ’s Resurrected Life in us. 
Non Christians have their own bases for relationships / togetherness, but for Christians, there is no other foundation but Christ (1 Corinthians 3:11) for fellowship in the home and church.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 15L29

Christmas Day

Experiencing Christ, Especially His Coming into Our Hearts, Making Christmas the Most Merry, Meaningful, and Memorable Celebration of All

Birthdays are hallowed days, and in our culture, the birth of Christ, his coming into the world, to live and die and be raised again to life, so that he could live in our hearts, is the most hallowed celebration of all. Families, friends, and neighbors come together, churches have special services, and even businesses close their doors that are otherwise open all year, including holidays and Sundays. And especially on this day when we enjoy Christmas trees, Christmas music, family, and gift giving, it is our experience of Christ during our early morning quiet-time worship that makes Christmas truly merry and meaningful and memorable.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 15L25

Week 52

We can motivate the lost to trust Christ for salvation by using the Scripture to warn them of the absolute certainty that the unsaved go to Hell. It is a fear based message, but many have come to Christ motivated that way.

Or, we can win the lost to Christ by showing them from the Scripture that

  • God provided Christ (his death on the cross) to satisfy his judgment against the human race (because of Adam’s disobedience in the Garden of Eden), and
  • all who receive that Provision as a free gift are saved from the judgment.
This message (from Romans 5) is based in love and grace and, in my experience, has won many more people to Christ.

Also, the lost who come to Christ driven by fear tend to enter into the Christian life with a fear and performance based understanding of the Christian life – that they must strive to live the Christian life ("go and give") in order to earn God’s blessings.

But those who trust Christ for salvation motivated by the message of God’s provision of Christ’s death on the cross for them are supported by it for understanding that God has also provided Christ (his Resurrected Life) to enable their Christian lives and service – that Christ lives his Life in and through us (Romans 6,7,8) as we abide in (remain connected to) him (John 15:1-8) through daily quiet-time worship.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 15L24

1. Christ came into the world to meet our need for a Savior. It was not

  • because of any personal unmet need he had (for example, to feel useful) or
  • to superficially relieve the pain of hurting people.
2. Gifts to children that do not support their information, affection, and decision making (structure) needs

  • are dead seed (without redemptive/healing value) and wood, hay, and stubble (without eternal value), and
  • may be appreciated for only a few moments (if at all).
 3. The best gift that

  • a husband can give his wife is a healthy, supportive husband,
  • parents can give their children is healthy, supportive parents,
  • pastors can give their church is a servant leader who experiences Christ to a fuller measure each day, and 
  • wives, children, and members of the Body of Christ can give the grace leadership in their lives, beginning with Christ, is themselves (an open heart).
 4. The mind of Christ (birthed in us through regeneration and renewed in us during quiet-time worship) enables us to be purely motivated in our giving.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 15L22

Week 51

“Not by works of righteousness which we have done but because of God’s mercy (the attribute of God from which flows his grace) he saved us through regeneration (the new birth).” – Titus 3:5

We grieve very deeply when small children are taught to celebrate the birth of Christ with

You better watch out, You better not cry, You better not pout, I'm telling you why, Santa Claus is coming to town.

He's making a list, He's checking it twice, He's going to find out, Who's naughty or nice, Santa Claus is coming to town.

He sees you when you're sleeping, He knows when you're awake, He knows if you've been bad or good, So be good for goodness sake.

Meant to be harmless and fun (or maybe not), these lyrics feed the religious, performance-based message of striving to please God/make him happy in order to win his favor/earn his provisions of grace – which the Bible says he freely gives to everyone who opens the door of their hearts to receive them.

“Come! Whoever is thirsty and desires water, let him come and drink of the Water of Life freely.” – Revelation 22:17

“How certain and unfailing will those who receive God’s abundant provisions of grace and the gift of his righteousness reign in life (be healthy, useful, and happy) through the one man, Jesus Christ.” – Romans 5:17

“Santa Claus” may symbolize the historical Greek bishop and gift-giver, Saint Nicholas, but it is a wile of Satan (Satan’s Cause).

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 15L17

1. In the beginning, Adam and Eve were not clothed. But God clothed them when (because) they became broken.

2. Clothes represent God’s righteousness.

“You who were immersed by the Holy Spirit into spiritual union with Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ (Galatians 3:27), who is our righteousness (1 Corinthians 1:30).”

So that is the reasons Christians are modest (wear clothes): Our clothes give testimony to our faith (conviction concerning Truth).

3. Of course, wives and husbands want to look good physically for their spouses, but when physical appearance and sensual experiences, more than love and respect, is the value and energy that drives the relationship, the marriage is at risk.

4. Sexy/seductive dress is not appropriate for Christians. God’s plan is for us to wear clothing that is modest, but that also makes us look competent, healthy, and happy.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 15L15

Week 50

Gone in Heaven:

  • Unmet needs and Pain
  • Sickness/Disease and Death
  • Addictions, Bondage, and Codependency
  • Anger, Hate, and Violence
  • Fear
  • Vulgarity and Immorality
  • Corruption and Dishonesty
  • Pettiness and Misunderstanding
  • Urgency and Tension
  • Loneliness
  • Night
Present in Heaven:

  • Recreation and Entertainment
  • Laughter
  • Singing and Music (“psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs”)
  • Art
  • Travel
  • Learning
  • Desire and Growth to experience a fuller measure of Christ
  • Ministry Resources to support growth
  • Service opportunities/usefulness to support others
  • Deepened/Meaningful relationships
  • The 9 Fruits of the Spirit (Wisdom): Love, Joy, and Peace, Patients, Gentleness, and Goodness, and Faith, Meekness, and Temperance
  • Health and Happiness
DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 15L11

You may be in a performance-based (wear-yourself-out) church if you hear the following expressions:

  • “God expects you to...”
  • “Give up/lay down (sacrifice) your life for Christ.”
  • “You owe God, your parents, your pastor, your leaders (resources).”
  • “Christ died for you, you should live for him!”
  • “Be a Champion for Christ!”
  • “Never quit!”
  • “Serve God!”
  • “God/your church/your pastor needs you!”
  • “God loves for you to make him smile/happy”
  • “Give to God and he will give to you!”
  • “JOY: Jesus first, Others second, You last!”
  • “God has called you to greatness.”
  • “If adversity doesn’t kill you, it will make you stronger!”
DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 15L08

Week 49

1. It is painful for workers to be unsupported for the work assigned to them – when leadership throws them into the water to swim or die. It’s called the “Peter Principle” or “baptism by fire.” Only the best and strongest keep their jobs (if not their health).

But God has made provisions to support us for every attitude and action he calls us to have and do. He (his provisions) is faithful. We can trust that he will not leave us unsupported.

2. The unhappiest workers are motivated by their need to please their employers.

But God does not call us to please him in the sense of making him proud of us or meeting his health and happiness needs (He doesn’t have any!). His relationship to us is about our support needs, not his.

(The traditional 90-day new employee probation period should be for the purpose of
  • the employer giving new hires the opportunity to demonstrate their need and willingness to be supported and
  • new employees giving employers the opportunity to demonstrate their willingness to support.) 
3. The unhappiest wife is motivated in her relationship to her husband by her emotional or religious need to please him.

But God’s Plan for the marriage is for
  • the husband to be a faithful resource for his wife’s support and to win her confidence that he is married to her for that purpose, and for
  • the wife to give her husband the opportunity to support her (the Scriptural meaning of the word “submit”). 
(The purpose of the engagement period should be to give opportunity for a man and woman before they marry to come to a confidence about God’s Plan for their relationship and to evaluate their acceptance of it.)

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 15L03

The “spirit of giving” the world talks about is not the Holy Spirit or the giving he motivates.


Scriptural giving is
  1. always redemptive – that is, it promotes/supports health;
  2. not sacrificial (does not disregard our health needs), but is given out of our stored abundance and strength (2 Corinthians 9:8);
  3. not given for the purpose of satisfying the guilt, ego, or feel-good needs of the giver or to meet the addiction/carnal needs of the receiver;
  4. given without expectation of return – that is, it is not a purchase of affection to meet codependency needs;
  5. given forward to those we serve, not back to our resources – that is, we do not give to God; we receive from him! (Nor do we give to God in order to receive from him!); and
  6. not given first to the community; but
  7. invested first in our own personal health/healing needs (Matthew 22:39; Ephesians 5:28),
  8. followed by investing (out of our recovered health) into the health of our wives and children. 
DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 15L01

Week 48

To praise God means to commend him/his resources to others. It does not mean to applaud him. That would serve no purpose. God’s provisions are what they are (free and effectual) because of “who he is” (he is God), not because of “who we are” or what we do. Our applause does not make God or his provisions more available or more effectual.

For a simple example, we commend water to others with hope they will drink it in order to support their health, but we don’t praise water in the sense we give it a round of applause. That would be silly because our applause would not make it more or less what it is.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 15K27

We tend to expect those to whom we give to say “thank you,” and to be disinclined to give to them again if they do not.

We also tend to transfer that mind-set onto God – that he expects us to express our appreciation to him for our experience of his provisions (sunshine and rain, etc.).

So we religiously take care to always say “thank you” to him in order to not risk being cut off.

But the word THANKSGIVING means to

  • recognize that
    • God has been faithful to provide for every need we have and that
    • his Provisions work well / are good (redemptive/healing) (James 1:18), and to
  • give ourselves (open our hearts) to him (connect to his Resources through which his Provisions flow) in order to
  • receive them. 
In the organic context (grace perspective) for understanding Bible words, the “giving” in thanksgiving is of ourselves; the “thanks” is receiving (for example, we express thank you to God for our food by eating it.)

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 15K24

Week 47

1. The Scriptural role of a husband to his wife is modeled by Christ in his relationship to his Bride, the Church – that is, the husband is to give himself up (his carnal needs) for his wife (as the Vine supports the branch) to meet her redemptive (health and happiness) needs (per Ephesians 5:24-33; John 15:1-5).

2. A wife’s tolerance of her husband’s failure to meet her support needs will not help heal him; instead, it will enable him and increase his disrespect for her.

3. It is not the role or responsibility of a wife to sacrifice her health for her husband's happiness or to serve him as a support resource for his healing.

4. A wife may think she enjoys making her husband happy, but her marriage to a user will, in time, break her.

5. Wives (with the support/guidance of a grace counselor) should serve notice to her husband that

  • his abuse and unfaithfulness (including porn use) is a deal breaker in the marriage and that
  • he (with the support/guidance of a grace counselor) needs to remove himself from their home for a minimum of 6 months in order to find healing/recovery. 
6. This support is based upon the belief that God has provided for our healing, especially through our extended quiet time to read the Scripture in order to hear and experience Christ manifesting in and through us as the 9 Fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 15K19

“Why should God bless our ungrateful nation?” bemoans a popular minister.

But God does not bless our lives or our nation because we
  • ask him to,
  • want him to,
  • express our gratitude to him, or
  • perform to “go and give” in order to please him/win his favor. 
Rather, we experience God’s blessings (salvation) because we take time each day to connect to his Resources, beginning with Christ, through which his Provisions of Grace flow into our lives.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 15K17

Week 46

Preaching can

  • be lifeless (useless as seed for the work of the Holy Spirit), or
  • excite emotions (the same as entertainment) to motivate performance (but result in stress and burnout), or
  • be from God (effectual) to call hurting people to Christ.
Consider: If healing (transformed lives) is the evidence, a sermon is from God (redemptive) when the presentation of it is

  • quiet more than loud and
  • received quietly with groaning (conviction of personal brokenness and need) or rejoicing (renewed confidence of God’s love and care to provide) more than responded to loudly with laughter or applause.  
DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 15K12

As enjoyable as they may be, no earthly experiences we may have, all together and for a lifetime – including

  • relationships,
  • romance,
  • accomplishments, successes,
  • recognition,
  • promotions,
  • religious/church-going,
  • learning,
  • purchases,
  • entertainment,
  • vacations, and
  • holidays, 
will be as rich, powerful, meaningful, healing, satisfying, and enduring as our experience of Christ during our early morning quiet-time worship.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 15K10

Week 45

We did not become Christians when we were born again!

From the Scripture we understand that:
  • All were once lost sinners;
  • Some have been born again;
  •  Every born again person is
    • indwelled by (a temple of) the Holy Spirit,
    • a member of the Body of Christ (the Bride of Christ), and
    •  going to Heaven (has eternal life); and
  • Some are
    • filled with the (fruits of the) Spirit, and
    • increasingly becoming Christians (Christlike) - that is, healthy, happy, and holy by merit of Christ living his Life in and through them. 
DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 15K05

God does not bust about like a doting father trying to discover and provide every need we have. Neither is he an austere father reluctantly meeting our needs based upon how impressed he is with us sacrificially going and giving in order to make him proud or happy or to stay out of trouble with him (which is the religionist’s understanding of the word “obedience”).

Rather, he
  • delivers his Grace Provisions (beginning with Christ) to the door of our hearts,
  • communicates Truth to us (by the Holy Spirit during our quiet time to read the Scripture) concerning,
    • his love for us and
    • our need for him, and
  • waits for our response to
    • confess our confidence (confession of faith) regarding that Truth,
    • enter into covenant with him (surrender/connect to him per John 15:1-8 as our Resource for Health, Happiness, and Eternal Life), and
    • ask for his Provisions (in the sense of opening the door of our hearts to receive them).
DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 15K03

Week 44

“Don’t give up!” may be the most trusted worldly advice.

Of course, we should not give up. But the Scriptural “don’t give up” is with regard to making the scheduled choices each day that establish us in health, equip us, and make us competent and effectual as vessels for God’s use: It is with regard to

  • the preparation, not the performance,
  • the training/conditioning, not the running, and
  • the worship (taking extended time daily to experience Christ for spiritual renewal), not the work. 
God’s Plan and Calling for us is to

  • first come and receive from him (worship – John 4:23-24) for an extended season before we go and give, and then to
  • surrender to him the outcome - which he is responsible for and faithful to give according to his Will (sowing and reaping/cause and effect). 
“(Paul and Apollos) sowed and watered; God gave the increase.” – 1 Corinthians 3:6

“Let us not be weary in well doing (doing what makes us well/establishes us in health), for in due season (according to God’s law of sowing and reaping), we will be productive if we do not faint (give up).” – Galatians 6:9 (GracePoint Interpretive Paraphrase)

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 15J29

A performance-based church focuses first and foremost of
  • its programs and pastors,
  • the social needs of the community, and
  • raising money. 
A grace-based church focuses first and foremost on meeting the redemptive needs of its members (beginning with experiencing Christ to a fuller measure each day):
  • Its programs and pastors and the social needs of the community are secondary;
  • Its financial support flows from God through 1) church leadership and 2) members who a) are in health (established in their recovery) and b) give out of their abundance.
DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 15J27

Week 43

God is not in relationship to us for what we can do for him, but for what we will give him opportunity to do for us.

Christ did not come into the world to be served, but to serve (Matthew 20:28).

This means:
  • It is not the responsibility of children to make their parents happy; rather, it is the responsibility of parents to meet the health and happiness needs of their children. So asking a child, “Don’t you want to make mommy happy” misses understanding grace parenting. It also teaches children performance-based behavior to win acceptance rather than nurturing in them confidence of their parents’ unconditional love (value) for them (which is their most essential health need).
  •  It is not the responsibility of churches to support their pastors; rather, it is God’s calling to pastors to support the growth in grace needs of their churches. So a pastor who seeks and expects the support of church members for the work he does misses understanding the role of a pastor. 
  • Also, it is not the responsibility of wives to make their husbands happy; rather, it is the responsibility of husbands to support the health and happiness needs of their wives so that they are supported for taking care of the home, meeting the needs of their children for a mother, and living out whatever else God has called them to do. (The husband’s happiness is the result of the opportunity his wife gives him to be a support resource to her.) 
  • It is not the responsibility of staff to support organizational leaders (including employers), but for organizational leaders to support their staff for living out the mission of the organization. (We expect to find this, however, only in organizations which have a redemptive mission – to meet the redemptive needs of the community.)
The branches do not support the vine, but the vine supports the branches which produce the fruit (John 15:1-8).

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 15J22

We enjoy the smell of aromas, the feel of experiences, the sights of creation, and maybe especially the taste of food. But we take care that esthetic values are not the bases for the choices we make lest we miss being supported for health in the way we need.

Also, we enjoy the sound and rhythm of music! But we take care that the music does not overwhelm the words - that we choose the songs we listen to, not for an experience that moves us emotionally and sensually, but for the words of the lyrics that communicate Truth to our minds - which increases our faith and has power to transform our lives.

So the question is: Why am I eating this food? or why am I participating in this activity? or why do I like this song? 

 DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 15J20

Week 42

Wives will be increasingly happy with a husband who:
  • is not in a codependency (non-redemptive) relationship with his parents,
  • does not confuse muscles and tough talking with manliness and integrity,
  • was not (and is not) attracted to her by immodest dress or behavior (which does not appeal to the best in men),
  • is not a recreational and entertainment junkie, and
  • connects daily to God’s support resources, especially Christ (through quiet-time worship), but including also pastoral leadership in the Body of Christ, for living out God’s redemptive plan for his life – especially in service to his family as a husband and father.
DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 15J15

I have no love for geese, not even God’s love for them. I hate the nasty creatures with a passion. A large gaggle of them eat and poop and honk up and down our street this time of the year. (But not in my yard and driveway: I’ve learned how to keep them out so that I don’t step in their mess!) They are protected by wildlife preservation whackos or else I’d shoot them. (I'm glad I got that off my chest!)

But in observing them, they have given me opportunity to consider:

1. The meanness of geese to each other, reminding me of legalistic Christians in codependent relationships with each other;

2. The control of male geese over the movement of female geese, reminding me of the control that weak, insecure husbands attempt to have over their wives, contrasted with

  • God’s unconditional love (value) for his bride, the Church,
  • the investment he makes in our lives, especially through Christ, to meet our needs, and
  • the freedom he gives us to make our own choices to experience outcomes according to the law of sowing and reaping. 
DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 15J13

Week 41

The young man apologized for the vulgar word that slipped out of his mouth. “I need to get that word out of my vocabulary,” he said.

“That will begin first with the Life of Christ getting it out of your heart,” I responded. “He will do that, you know,” I said to him, “if you will take time each day for quiet-time worship in order to experience him. That’s because darkness in man’s heart can not prevail against the Light of who Christ is; it will incrementally be purged from him (sanctification) so that what comes out of his mouth will be wholesome.”

“You have been cleansed by the Word (Logos: Christ, the Living Seed) which I have sown into you.” – John 15:3

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 15J08

The well-known pastor thanked his tv/radio audience for their continued support. His ministry to them, he said, was made possible only by their prayers, encouragement, and sacrificial financial giving.

He missed understanding that:

  • God and his Resources (parents, husbands, pastors, and especially Christ) are in relationship to us, not for what we can do for them, but for what we will give them opportunity (through connection) to do for us; 
  • Grace ministries
o     are supported by God through healthy resources, not by the sacrificial giving of the broken, hurting people coming to them for help, whom they are called to serve,
o     never lack funds for doing the work God calls them to do (2 Corinthians 9:8),
o    do not need to sell products, raise funds, or plead for money;

  • Funding flowing up from God’s rich resources sufficient to support their calling and work is the evidence their calling and work are of God, that without this evidence, they may be frauds (wolves in sheep’s [actually, shepherd’s] clothing) and do not need to exist. 
DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 15J06

Week 40

I sometimes ask men, “If the house was on fire, who would you save first - your wife or your mother?” I remind the men who say they would save their mothers first that God placed children in the home, not to support their parents, but to be supported by them – which is the same reason he

  • places us into local churches (to be supported) and
  • created Adam before Eve (to be her support) and made him the stronger vessel. 
The men who insist they would save their wives first are almost always not so sure about a girlfriend. This should say something to women about a man’s heart for her in a “live together” relationship.

I really fuss when men say they would save the dog first.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 15J01

A popular daily radio talk show host likes to say, “Three hours a day is all we ask!” Also, while the world promotes fast food eating, it asks for two, three, and four hours for its entertainment and recreation. (Whoever heard of a fast-movie theater!)

Christ calls us to wait on him (take time for quiet-time worship) in order to be transformed by his values and perspectives. He likened our worship time to eating daily bread – a strong indication that the length of our quiet time should be at least the time we would take for eating meals (20 minutes per meal). Maybe Jesus had this in mind when he asked his disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane to watch and pray with him for one hour.

Fast food eating does not support good health; neither does quick-time reading the Scripture promote experiencing God for sanctification (Christlikeness).

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 15I29

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