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Third Quarter
TGP Volume 15
(July/August/September 2015)

Week 39

Government, civic, and Church providers of free services (food, housing, clothing, financial assistance, healthcare, and even counseling) will, in time, tend to resent, disrespect, and even sometimes hate those who come to them for help. (So will businesses and retailers who provide products and services at discounted prices.)

But there is an exception: It is the services that provide support

  • without charge,
  • motivated and enabled by the heart of Christ,
  • for meeting redemptive needs (spiritual healing),
  • funded by healthy Resources (per 2 Corinthians 8) rather than by broken people hoping to give (instead of receive) their way to health. 
Churches and ministries that expect payment (disguised as donations) from those they serve may not understand grace (God’s provisions to support our healing and service to others).

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 15I24

1. We live out of our values (concerning, for example, human life and marriage). Values are the foundation of our choices (including, for example, which candidate/ policies/laws we vote for).

2. Our values may be

  • Sinful (destructive to self and others),
  • Superficial (to look and feel good/fun, recreation, and entertainment),
  • Secondary (happiness based on possessions, prominence, and performance), or
  • Sanctified (health including holiness), 
3. We are born with basic values - which may be elevated in the natural (unregenerate) person by positive/appropriate education, environment, and experiences.

4. Sanctified values are renewed daily in regenerate (born again) persons by the infilling of the Life/Mind of Christ (a work of the Holy Spirit) during our quiet-time worship (Ephesians 3:19; 4:13; 5:18).

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 15I22

Week 38

The young man said he was driven to achieve success by his need to make others, especially God, feel proud of him. But the motivation to achieve success in order to make others (even God) proud is superficial (about ourselves), rooted in unmet validation needs during childhood, and the effort will in time result in brokenness. Only what we do that is motivated and enabled by the heart of Christ in us for the redemptive needs of others (increased and renewed in us during our daily quiet-time worship) will establish us in enduring health and happiness.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 15I17

We may believe information reported about someone that is not true - which no facts support, but is only rumor passed on from person to person. (Someone may also believe something about us that is not true for the same reason. That's scary!) Worse, we may believe something said about God that is not true, which the Scripture does not support, but has been passed along by someone who heard it from someone who heard it from someone.

What we believe about God has consequences. Truth will set us free; but wrong information will leave us filled with tension and in bondage. 

For example, Romans 8:28 does not mean God will “turn out everything in our lives for his good and glory” (comment made recently on radio by a famous author); rather, it means that God's Provisions are always effectually working in the lives of those who receive them to accomplish the redemptive purpose for which he gave them (our healing).

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 15I15

Week 37

Wisdom is the mind of God (imparted to believers in regeneration and renewed in us by our experience of Christ during our daily quiet time worship) to enable us for making wise choices.

We will suffer a lot of tension and discouragement and, in time, be worn out when we attempt to think, say, and do the right things each day without the mind of Christ (Wisdom) living in and through us to enable us.

“God has made Christ to be Wisdom for us.” – 1 Corinthians 1:30

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 15I11

Safety Plan A:

  • Take time each day for reading the Scripture in order to hear God in order to experience Christ in order to be useful to God for his redemptive service to others (not the same as superficial pain relief programs). We have God’s protection (sometimes from but also sometimes through the adversity) to the same measure and for as long as we are vessels for God’s use ("The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me." - Psalm 57:2 NIV);
  • See Psalms 37,46,56-59,91) 
But the more we are too independent from God or too busy at work, church, or play for Plan A, the more we must depend on

Safety Plan B:

  • Purchase gun for home and carry;
  • Train to defend self;
  • Fortify home (monitored alarm system, watch dog, etc.) 
DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 15I08

Week 36

In terms of lifetime health and happiness, the greatest need of children is

  • to be born again,
  • to experience Christ through daily quiet-time worship, and
  • the guidance and support of parents who know how to experience Christ for themselves. 
Bible reading, regular church attendance, program participation, and the best formal education will not substitute or make up the difference.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 15I03

Grace parenting does not support children for doing anything they want to do (for example, any lifestyle or to be rich and famous, maybe as a rock star or movie actor or athlete).

Rather, the role of grace parenting is to provide support to children for meeting their

  • nutrition, exercise, safety, and protection needs (physical),
  • information, affection, and decision-making needs (psychological), and
  • need to experience Christ (spiritual), 
through providing support to them for learning

  • about God’s grace provisions for their growth and success and
  • how to identify and connect to his resources (in creation, community, and especially Christ) through which those provisions flow into their lives so that they are enabled for living our God’s redemptive plan for them. 
DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 15I01

Week 35

Sometimes we may think we need a

  • vacation,
  • new possession (home, furniture, car, clothes, etc.),
  • change of scenery,
  • new or better relationship with someone,
  • different job,
  • better diet or workout regimen,
  • etc. 
And we might. But our greatest need is not physical, sensual, occupational, or social; rather, it is to experience Christ each day to a fuller measure through extended quiet-time worship. He is the Water and Bread of Life to feed and heal our broken hearts (mind, emotions, and will). No other experience compares or can be an effectual substitute (Ephesians 3:19).

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 15H27

The young man was proud that he gave everything he had to others – either as a gift or as loan to be used up by them. A wife came home recently to find that her minister-husband had given their furniture to a needy family. Legalistic pastors often ask church members - many of them with rotted teeth, broken health, and a house in disrepair - to give sacrificially to help the homeless or to save the world. All in order to please God.

But God does not provide support to us so that we can give to others; rather, he provides support to us so that our essential health needs are met, and only then so that we may be enabled in time to help others.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 15H25

Week 34

We come to Christ as little children (Matthew 18:3). During our early Christian life, God fathers us as a good parent would little children, holding our hands (Psalm 63:8; 73:23; 139:10) and continually intervening to accommodate our immaturity. But good parenting does not continue to accommodate the poor choices of older children who continue in disobedience.

This means, at some point, asking God (in the sense of petitioning) to give us good outcomes regardless of our unwise choices will not help.

The message of the Apostles to the churches was to

  • “grow up” (Ephesians 4:12-16; 2 Peter 3:18),
  • “live out of the support I have provided you” (Philippians 2:12-13; 3:15-16). 
“The spiritually mature person makes good judgments about all things” - 1 Corinthians 2:16

“When I became mature, I no long did childish things.” – 1 Corinthians 13:10

"God overlooked people's ignorance about these things in earlier times, but now he commands everyone everywhere to repent of (change their minds about) their sins (disregard for his provisions) and turn to him.” – Acts 17:30

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 15H20

God is tender to those who make unwise choices - because of their ignorance (lack of information) and especially because of the absence or failure of the support persons (resources) in their lives (parents and husbands in the home and pastors in the church) and may, at times, intervene to rescue them from outcomes that would destroy them.

“You, O God, are the helper of the fatherless” (Psalm 10:14-18; 12:8).

But he “gives up to their wicked ways” those who reject his provisions of grace “because of the hardness of their hearts” (Romans 1:22-24; Ephesians 4:18; Hebrews 6:4-8; Psalm 81:12).

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 15H18

Week 33

How God Answers Prayer

God answered our prayer for health when he provided

  • fruits and vegetables, nuts and whole grains, and meats (fish, poultry, and lean beef),
  • sunshine and oxygen,
  • support leadership in the home and church, 
  • especially Christ (his Blood/death on the cross for us and Resurrected Life in us), and
  • a body, soul (mind, emotions, and will), and spirit with capacity to receive his Provisions. 
“Praying with thanksgiving” (Philippians 4:6) means to receive God's provisions.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 15H13

Receiving from God: How I Pray for Others

An elderly neighbor said to me recently that she was going to pray for God to bless me extra special. I smiled but know that God does not bless us because someone “prays” for us - not in the sense praying is usually understood (to request/ask/ petition).

God has already blessed us. He did that long ago when he made provision through his resources in creation, community, and especially Christ (his Blood/death and Resurrected Life) to recover us from the curse that came upon the human race when Adam and Eve disobeyed in the Garden of Eden. We experience those blessings when we connect to the resources through which those provisions flow into our lives (which is the Scriptural meaning of praying).

Scripturally, the only way we can pray for others is to take time each day to receive from God the support we need so that we can be enabled as a resource to provide the support others need.

For example, we can’t “pray” for God to meet the needs of our neighbors, but we can pray for ourselves in their behalf – that is, we can receive from God his provisions of grace which support/equip us so that we are made competent/useful as vessels and resources through which God meets their needs.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 15H10

Week 32

Experiencing Christ During Quiet Time: How We Are Helped Most 

The Holy Spirit communicates Truth to us in measure through preaching and teaching, and we are helped by it. The Holy Spirit also communicates Truth to us in measure through singing (“psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs” [Ephesians 5:19] – that is, lyrics and music given by the Holy Spirit, not the same as “Christian rock” music) and we are helped by it.

But most powerfully and fully the Holy Spirit communicates Truth to us through the Scripture during our quiet time, especially concerning God’s love (unconditional value) for us. The conviction of this Truth moves us to be in awe of God and calls/draws us to open the door of our hearts to experience (worship) Christ to a fuller measure each day. It is hearing God in this way that helps us most.

Without experiencing Christ daily in this way, Christians can go to church services on Sunday and still be filled with brokenness and tension in their lives during the week.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 15H06

1. The physical body of Jesus during his ministry on earth was perfect and uncorrupted, but it was not divine (until he was glorified at his resurrection) (otherwise, he could not have died). Also, he did not have a sinful nature (because he was born of a virgin).

2. However, the Life that indwelled Jesus was divine: It was the Living Word (Logos/Seed of Life) that was “with God and was God” and that also “was made flesh” (John 1:1-5, 14).

3. This means, Jesus did not endure, suffer, or fight against sinful temptations as sinful man does. (The popular teaching that he did is wrong.) He did not lust or envy or struggle with pride; he had no addictions. Although he was tempted by the world and by Satan (Matthew 4:1-11), there was nothing in Jesus that could respond to the temptation (“Satan has nothing in me” or “There is nothing in me that Satan can get hold of” – John 14:30).

4. The Divine Christ, the Living Word, not the WWJD example of the incarnate Jesus, is the Power available to born again Christians (through quiet time worship) that sanctifies our sinful nature. 

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 15H04

Week 31

Believing God is absolutely the Scriptural condition for us to have our needs met from him. Jesus said, “According to your faith (to believe God) be it unto you” (Matthew 9:29).

But believing God does not mean just to think or feel positive about him - that he
  •  can or will meet our needs, or
  • is right now meeting our needs, or
  • has already met our needs
(which is how the Word of Faith [name it- claim it] folks like to measure our faith).

Rather, believing God in order to have our needs met, including for  
  • health and healing (both of the heart and body),
  • relationships, or
  • finances,
means to receive the grace (supports) he has provided in
  • creation (the soil and atmosphere - for our physical needs) and
  • community (leadership in the home and church - for our psychological needs)
through which our needs are met according to the law of sowing and reaping.

Believing God means especially to receive Christ (his Resurrected Life in us) during our quiet time worship each day so that we will have the support of his mind/wisdom for making the choices which result in our needs being met – again, according to his law of sowing and reaping.

“For it is by God’s grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus, that we are saved (justified, sanctified, glorified)” – from Ephesians 2:5-8

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 15G30

“Who God is” never changes (Malachi 3:6; Psalm 33:11; Hebrews 6:18; James 1:17), but throughout human history, during different ages (dispensations), God has related to his people in different ways, entering into new and different covenants with them that guided the relationship (e.g. Hebrews 11:1). The final age will be the Kingdom Age (Millennial Reign) during which Christ will reign as King over the earth for a thousand years. We who have been born again will reign with him in our glorified bodies. During the Kingdom Age, our sin nature and the physical corruption of our bodies will be gone, but we will continue to increase in our likeness of Christ. (We may consider that the Kingdom Age is included in the meaning of 1 Corinthians 13:10, “when that which is perfect is come, then that which is imperfect will disappear.”)

The age just before the Kingdom Age is the Church Age or Age of Grace, the age in which we now live. It is during this Age (which formally began at Pentecost – Acts 2) that God relates to us in a way more powerfully/effectually than during any other past age in that, in no other previous age has the Holy Spirit taken up residence to live and dwell within us (our spirits and souls).  This new way God now relates to us is included in the message of the New Covenant (Testament) revealed to the Apostle Paul which is summarized in Colossians 1:27: “Christ in us, the hope of glory (the hope of us manifesting the likeness of God in the world).

Consider, based on the principle “to whom much is given, much shall be required” (Luke 12:48), that,

  • while God related to his people as children during earlier ages - that is, he held their hands to guide and protect them (as a good parent of small children would do),
  • he has in this Age of Grace, as we have grown in grace (increased in enablement for Christian life and service) because of his grace provisions, given us opportunity (as a good parent of older children would do) to “live up to that which we have received” (Philippians 3:16) – that is, to make wise choices as mature Christians which result in our health and happiness. 
Also, we may consider that God during this Age of Grace has phased out his Old Covenant relationship to his people over a period of time (so that the weak and ignorant [uninformed] are not suddenly cut off). This is the reason God in his mercy may occasionally intervene to care for his people as little children (perform intervention miracles) as he did in earlier ages and in the infancy of the Church.

However, his Redemptive Plan for us during this Age of Grace is for us to grow up to experience life on earth, not as little children, but more richly and meaningfully as mature saints.

"God overlooked people's ignorance about these things in earlier times, but now he commands everyone everywhere to repent of (change their minds about) their sins (disregard for his provisions) and turn to him.” – Acts 17:30

“But to each one of us grace (God’s provisions) has been given… He gave pastors and teachers to prepare God’s people… so that the body of Christ may be built up in their experience of Christ and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants… We will grow up.” – from Ephesians 4:7-15

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 15G28

Week 30

When we are faced with adverse people or adverse circumstances, we have the option to

  • take no course of action/do nothing (except in private to complain, criticize, condemn, and maybe as Job’s wife suggested, curse God/get depressed and die) or
  • attack/pound on/fight with the adverse problem or person. 
Or, for the grace option, God has provided a way for us to respond to adverse circumstances and adverse people: It is through our experience of Christ (the nine fruits of the Spirit – Galatians 5:22-23).

For adverse circumstances, it is through our experience of the longsuffering of Christ. For adverse people, it is through our experience of the gentleness of Christ.

Both of these qualities are birthed and renewed in us during our quiet-time worship.

This is the reason for Paul’s desire for the Church to, “Be filled to the whole measure of the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:19; 4:13) and to “Be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:13) – so that we have God’s enablement to respond appropriately to adversity.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 15G23

Marriages can be held together by the psychological addiction of a husband and wife to each other (codependency). It is not a happy relationship (albeit a sometimes feel-good experience), but a love-hate, on and off relationship based upon the expectation that each spouse successfully meets the superficial pain relief and addiction needs of the other - needs which can be gratified (attended to) but not satisfied (because of the tolerance/boredom factor – that is, they continually increase and intensify). Churches can also be held together by the same psychological addiction (codependency needs) of its members.

Healthy relationships are redemptive – that is,

1. each member is in relationship to other members either

  • to support them as a resource (the Vine) or
  • to be supported by them (the branch), and 
2. social needs are met only secondarily and incidental to the redemptive needs.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 15G21

Note: GracePoint began posting The Grace Perspective 15 years ago this week.

Week 29

God gave the Law (represented by the Ten Commandments) as a blessing to mankind to provide a standard that would teach us how to live, the outcome of which would be health and happiness. So why would anyone be hostile to it and even seek to remove any representation of it from public places?

It is because

  • the heart of sinful man desires to be in control and
  • resents and rejects rules that limit his freedom to do what he wants, but mostly,
  • the Ten Commandments is a painful reminder and rebuke to hurting man of his brokenness – his inability to do right (Romans 8:7). 
But while the Ten Commandments is the basis of the Judaeo-Christian principles which guide and support civility in the western world, it is not the basis of the message of grace.

Far more powerful than rules to support moral health, productivity, and happiness in the world is the opportunity the Church (the Body of Christ) has to experience the Life of Christ in our hearts.

“God made us alive with Christ.” – Ephesians 2:5

This means, governments and religions have only rules, conscience, and the strength of man’s commitment / determination to support law and order in the world.  

But the Body of Christ has Christ himself, the Seed of Truth and Wisdom, living within us to enable us for making wise choices which result in health and happiness.

“He is able to do immeasurably more for our good by his power that is at work within us than all the best efforts and schemes of man. May the Church manifest throughout all generations the Glory / Light / Life of Christ who manifests the Glory / Light / Life of the Father for ever and ever! Amen” – Ephesians 3:20-21 (GracePoint Interpretive Paraphrase)

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 15G16

Week 28

In a recent conversation, a young minister had a lot to say to me about world events. He said he was sure we were living in the “end time” when men’s hearts will fail them because of fear - a time of war, famine, diseases, financial collapse, and immorality. “The world is in a mess,” he moaned, “and God’s people had better get ready.”

To the other extreme, in another encounter on the same day, a new friend in a community where I run said she was a Christian but it seemed (to me) she lived for the moment and did not have a lot of interest about God or spiritual matters.

Both persons seemed to be in distress. I affirmed to each that God has provided to everyone resources (provisions of grace) that support us so that not only can we go to Heaven when we die but also have peace and joy and confidence concerning his love and care in this life.

This means, regardless of world events or life’s circumstances, we do not need to be consumed by worry and dread or cover our eyes and ears and just think positive. Instead, we can stay connected to God’s provisions of grace and live daily in health and happiness out of the support they provide.

Jesus said, “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me.”

He meant, “Receive God’s provisions, especially his provisions of
  • my Blood/Death on the cross for you so that you can go to Heaven and 
  • my Resurrected Life imparted to you so that you can be supported for health and happiness in this life.” – John 14:1 (GracePoint Interpretive Paraphrase)
DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 15G09

1. “God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ (with his Life/the Seed of God).” – Ephesians 2:4-5

“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 (life) of man” (John 1:3-4). See also John 1:1-2; James 1:18; 1 Peter 1:23.

2. The Life of Christ

  • was imparted (sown) into your spirit by the Holy Spirit (Romans 6:3-4) when you trusted the Blood/Death of Jesus Christ as God’s provision for your eternal salvation and regenerated you (your spirit) (the new birth) so that you can go to Heaven (John 3:3,7),
  • is appropriated into your soul/heart (mind, emotions, and will) during quiet-time worship (per Matthew 6:10 and John 15:4-5) in order to support your psychological (mental and emotional) health, and
  • supports you for making wise diet, exercise, and lifestyle choices that establish you in physical health according to God’s law of sowing and reaping (the scientific law of cause and effect). 
3. This means, without the Life of Christ imparted to your spirit and living in your soul/heart, you miss having a resource for

  • the spiritual support (Truth, Wisdom, Love, Joy, Peace, Faith, etc.) you need for mental health (Romans 12:2),
  • the mental support you need for emotional health, and
  • the mental and emotional (psychosomatic) support you need for physical health. 
DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 15G07 

Week 27

Grace: It’s Amazing!

It is amazing, the power of

  • a seed,
  • water,
  • light,
  • electric current,
  • macronutrients (protein, essential fats, and carbohydrates) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) in food, and
  • human relationships/leadership in the home and the Church. 
to produce and support life and health. Each of these is a provision from God (grace) by which we are saved (redeemed/healed) (Ephesians 2:8-9).

But each of these powers/provisions/graces pales to the power of

  • the Blood of Christ (appropriated through Conviction, Confession, Conversion, and Calling/Receiving/Trusting) to satisfy the judgment of a Holy God against mankind (because of Adam’s transgression) so that we can have eternal life/go to Heaven (justification), and
  • the Life of Christ (imparted into our spirits at regeneration [our new birth] and appropriated into our hearts [the soul: mind, emotions, and will] during our quiet-time worship) so that we can have psychological health and be made holy/useful in redemptive service to others (sanctification).  
DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 15G02

Identifying the Grace Church

During vacation travels recently I had opportunity to visit churches I was associated with during my earlier Christian life and ministry. They continue to seek and win the lost to Christ and to call believers to live godly. But they also continue to be performance based (legalistic).


A performance-based church

1. Calls the unsaved to repentance (their definition of it to “be sorry for and turn away from sinful behavior”) and faith (their definition of it to “give their lives to Christ”) in order to be saved so they can go to Heaven.

2. Identifies sin (behavior that displeases God).

3. Calls the saved to
  • renounce sin (stop doing it) and
  • live for/serve God (find out what he wants them to do for him/give to him and then do it) with the promise he will “bless” them if they do and punish them if they don’t. 
A grace-based church

1. Calls the unsaved to turn away from
  • trusting in self - the performance of their good works (going and giving) to
  • trusting, instead, in God’s Provision of Christ (his Death/Blood for them) as the only payment he will accept to satisfy his judgment against them because of Adam’s transgression in the Garden of Eden. 
2. Calls the saved to turn away from
  • trusting in self-enabled efforts motivated by fear, guilt, and pride to
  • trusting, instead, in God’s Provision of Christ (his Resurrected Life in them) as their only hope to be holy (Christ-like and useful/competent in redemptive service to others). 
(Note: This “turning away” and “turning to” is Conversion and is enabled by Conviction [faith] and a Change of mind [repentance] – both gifts of God [Ephesians 2:8; 2 Timothy 2:25.)

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 15F30

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