Week 20

The Work of Grace Calling the Lost and Broken to Christ

We call the lost to trust/receive God’s provision of Christ’s Blood/death as their only hope for going to Heaven. When they reject him, we do not attack the lost person for their rejection. Rather, we grieve, also pray and fast (Scriptural fasting), and then trust that God will use us more effectually to call them to him.

Also, we call the saved to trust/receive God’s provision of Christ’s Life as their only hope for sanctification/healing from contamination and brokenness. When they reject him, we do not attack, but pray and fast (Scriptural fasting), and trust that God will use us more effectually to call them to him.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12E18

Hurting People Helping Hurting People: Why the Church Continues in Pain

This week, millions heard the national tv minister and his wife say that our healing comes when we look beyond our pain to the pain of others - to provide ministry to them.

They said: “There is a joy in serving others that helps us forget our suffering. When we care for the needs of others, God blesses us, maybe not financially, but spiritually.”

I added their statement to my list of “Famous Last Words!”

Their belief about healing seems to be the pervading message in evangelical churches. It is also the reason for the prevailing brokenness in the church. When I have asked why there is no evidence their belief is working, the typical answer is because we are not consistent and need to try harder.

I have been in church ministry long enough to know that the solution to our brokenness is not attending to someone else’s pain while ignoring our own with the hope that God will reward us with a miraculous healing (that disregards his law of sowing and reaping which he ordained to govern his creation), but that healing is the sowing and reaping outcome of taking time each day to include God’s provisions for healing which flow into our lives through his resources in creation (the soil and atmosphere), community (leadership support in the home and church), and especially Christ (intimacy with him through Scripture reading [in order to hear God], confession of need, prayer, and quiet time worship [in order to experience God]).

God’s plan for redemption is not for the blind and hurting to lead/help the blind and hurting, but for those he has healed and made competent to provide support for those who hurt, beginning with their own families.

“I thank God who has enabled me to be faithful, putting me into the ministry.” – 2 Timothy 1:12

“He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant - not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” – 2 Corinthians 3:6

“For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” – Ephesians 2:10

“It was he who gave some to be … pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service.” – Ephesians 4:11

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12E17

Leaders Connecting to God for Conviction of Truth: God’s Plan for Guiding People

Recently, the President said the opinions of his wife and children were influential in his coming to a personal and political position on gay marriages. Of course, he has it backward. God’s plan is for leaders (including parents, husbands, and pastors) to come to conclusions about Truth out of their relationship with him, not from the opinions of those they are called to serve.

Wives and children are wonderfully helpful to husbands and parents in many ways. But understanding Truth is not one of them. When it is – that is, when policies and directions are made by women, youth, and broken people – the home, church, and nation will die.

“God gave pastors and teachers to prepare God’s people.” – Ephesians 4:11

“Where there is no vision (revelation from God), the people perish (run wild).” – Proverbs 29:18

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12E16

Coming and Receiving: What Obedience Mostly Means

We make much of the words of Christ in his Sermon on the Mount that “everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock” (Matthew 7:24).

The understanding that is usually (almost always) missed, however, is that this “putting into practice” (obedience) is not foremost with regard to places not to go, words not to say, behaviors not to do, or even religious going and giving, but to coming and receiving from God (his resources in creation, community, and Christ) the flow of his provisions into our lives which renew/establish us in health.

In other words, our house is not built or made strong by our performances, but by our preparations – in the same way an army does not succeed in battle by merit of its performance on the battlefield as truly as by its preparation before the battle.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12E15

Hearing God Communicate His Love:  A Hurting Counselee’s Greatest Need

It is meaningful and helpful when someone reports to us of someone’s love and care for us. We welcome to hear that report about our family members, friends, and ministers. But no report about someone’s love and care for us is as powerful for our healing as to hear those sentiments from that person directly.

For that reason, while we welcome to hear at any time from anyone the report that God loves and cares for us, it is not the same as to hear God communicate that Truth to us personally by the Holy Spirit through the Scripture.    

It is also for that reason that, while we are passionate to tell counselees and others about God’s love for them, we mostly call them to their quiet time - to take extended time daily for reading the Scripture in order to hear God and in order to experience Christ.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12E14

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