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First Quarter
TGP Volume 14
(January/February/March 2014)

Week 13

Our Experience of the Presence of Christ: The Power Against Which No Disease Can Prevail

This week I learned that Jim Kelly's cancer has returned. My appreciation for the Hall of Fame quarterback is enormous - mostly because of his Christian faith and service. With a broken heart, I expressed to God my deep sorrow for Jim and his family and desire for his recovery. And although I would be overjoyed if God intervened to heal his body, I know

  • it is not what God normatively does, that
  • every action and provision of God which results in renewed health has been flowing faithfully and fully from God to Jim (through Creation, Community, and Christ) since the day he was born, and,
  • especially, since God's Life indwells his SPIRIT (his inmost being) (as he does every born again person), Jim has available to his SOUL (his inner being), accessible through quiet-time worship, the most potent power in God's universe against which no disease can prevail. 
"And if the Spirit of him who raised Christ from the dead is LIVING in you

(spiritually and organically flowing into your HEART/SOUL [the mind, emotions, and will], through quiet-time worship),

he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal body by his Spirit who (if he) LIVES in you (your heart/soul)." - Romans 8:11 (Compare with 8:10. See also 8:38-39.)

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 14C28

Receiving God’s Provisions to Make Possible Our Recovery

If God’s provisions are powerful enough to heal a brain, they can also heal a mind. If his provisions are powerful enough to recover us from heart disease, they can also recover us from a broken heart.

But we are not healed and renewed just because God’s provisions are powerful, not even because he loves us and wants us to be healed.

Neither are we healed because we want to be healed. Or even because we ask God to heal us, even with fasting and bitter tears.


Then how are we healed and renewed?

We are healed and renewed only because we take time each day to RECEIVE into our lives God’s grace/provisions in creation (elements in the soil and atmosphere which support physical health), community (leadership in the home and church which supports psychological health), and especially Christ (his death for us and his Life in us – Romans 5:10) which make our healing possible.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 14C25

Week 12

Good Outcomes: Promised and Provided for by Grace Provisions

God enters into our being (takes residence within our spirit and soul), not for the purpose of just indwelling us (in the sense alone of occupation or possession - maybe like fuel in the tank of a stored vehicle), but in order to support us for movement (making choices) along a path that leads to a good outcome.

That’s the purpose for any of God’s provisions –

  • in creation to support choices for biological health,
  • in community to support choices for psychological health, and especially
  • in Christ to make possible our redemption (justification and sanctification – also, glorification). 
Specifically, by his provision of Christ, God

  • enters into
    • our world (John 14:1),
    • our spirits (when we are born again), and then into
    • our hearts/souls (mind, emotions, and will) (during quiet-time worship), 
  • informs and enlightens our understanding (by the Holy Spirit through the Scripture) concerning his redemptive
    • purpose for our lives (health, holiness, happiness, and Heaven) and
    • plan (sowing and reaping) for accomplishing that purpose, 
  • invites/effectually calls us (by the Holy Spirit through the Scripture) to open the door of our hearts to receive/trust his plan, 
  • enables, equips, energizes us with spiritual gifts to respond in obedience/living out his purpose and plan (will) for our lives, 
  • encourages us by his constant presence and communication, 
  • elevates/ennobles us (our influence with others – Psalm 112), and thusly 
  • ensures good outcomes (outcomes with redemptive/eternal value). 
DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 14C21

Happiness: How It Happens

Happiness is the assured outcome of living out (fulfilling) God’s purpose/calling/will for our lives in redemptive service to others, beginning with members of our families.

But our attempts to do so apart from God’s provisions to support us will result in brokenness, discouragement, and deep unhappiness.

That’s because, we can not serve (or give) our way to health. Rather, we can only receive our way to health - and then, enabled by our increased health, invest in the lives of others – with the result of happiness.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 14C18

Week 11

THE CROWN OF LIFE: Our Experience of Heaven on Earth

Heaven will be a delightful place. Diseases, including addictions, are gone; so are anger, condemnation, grief, loneliness, insecurity, fear, tension, and envy. In their places are love, joy, peace, and contentment, and also optimal health and energy.

But wait, these can also, in increasing measure, be our experience during this life. The Bible calls it “the crown of life.”

“God has promised the crown of life to those who love him (receive his provisions).” – James 1:12

God has not only promised it but has also made provisions for it.

“For if (since) by the transgression of the one man (Adam) death reigned through that one man, 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.” – Romans 5:17

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 14C14

Meeting Five Basic Needs to Guarantee Children Turn Out Good

Children turn out the way parents turn them out, just as certainly as the soil will produce the harvest we invest for. There may be variables that oppose the investment (because we live in a broken world opposed by demonic powers), but the principle is as true and certain as the law of sowing and reaping which God ordained to govern his creation.

Children have the following five basic needs. When they are met, there can be no other outcome but good, and with this added blessing: Children will gravitate towards and honor for a lifetime the values of parents who served as a resource for meeting those needs.

1. Nutrition

The human body requires specific, dedicated, and regular care - the same as a house, vehicle, or plant. When it receives daily the nutrition it needs, God has created our bodies to be supported for physical health and fitness.

2. Information

Parents who teach their children to read, write, speak, eat, dress, play a sport, or learn other skills, including appropriate behavior in private or public, meet an intense need in their children to know and understand how the world works (socialization).

3. Affection

The most intense need of a child’s heart is to experience unconditional love - that their health and happiness needs are valued unconditionally (which is even greater than their need to feel valuable because they do good).

4. Decision Making

Children also have (in different measure according to their temperament type) an age-specific need for support for making decisions. When this need is not met appropriately, children are left very insecure.

5. Experiencing God

A child’s deepest and most essential need is to experience God. No other experience can satisfy or be a substitute for this need which is met through personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Parents who lead their children to trust Christ for salvation fulfill their most critical role.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 14C11

Week 10

One Hour

One hour seems to be a significant period of time in the Scripture - for example, in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus asked his disciples, "Could you not watch with me one hour?"

Consider scheduling one hour each day for the following:

· Meals (including preparation/cleanup)
· Exercise
· Research/Study
· Recreation/Entertainment
· Relationships (beginning with family)
· Cleaning/Maintenance (yard/house/vehicles/equipment)
· Personal Hygiene
· Quiet time Worship

That would leave

  • eight hours for work/service (including travel) and
  • eight hours for sleep.
Of course, this would need some tweaking in order for it to be best useful, especially for parents, but it will help give some support for thinking about values.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 14C07

But God

Religion, the world (its culture), and especially Satan, in order to use, control, and enslave us for their gain,

  • entice our broken senses and
  • deceive our darkened minds to take up
their ways - with the sowing and reaping outcome of ever-increasing brokenness and pain.

But God, because of his tender love for us (his value for our well-being), gently calls us by the Holy Spirit (through the Scripture)

  • to open the door of our hearts (mind, emotions, and will),
  • to receive his provisions (grace)
    • in creation (nutrients in the soil and atmosphere) to meet our biological needs,
    • in community (leadership in the home and church) to meet our psychological need for information, affection, and decision-making support, and especially
    • in Christ (his death for us and his Life in us) - 
with the result that we are set free (delivered /saved)

  • from the judgment against us (eternal separation from him because of Adam’s disobedience), and also
  • from our brokenness (because of the wrong choices we make [in weakness, ignorance, and arrogance] while separated from him).
“The law (power) of Life that flows to us through Jesus Christ (his provisions) has set us free from the law (power) of sin and death.” – Romans 8:2

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 14C04

Week 9

Appropriate Values: God’s Purpose for Animals

Recently, a news report celebrated a story about children reading to pets. They called it “heart warming.” This just as I was still wondering about pet owners giving Christmas, Valentine’s, and birthday cards or gifts to their pets, featuring them in family portraits, and even including them in their wedding ceremonies. (Hospice care, traditional funerals, including viewings and burials, and pet care at church services may be next!)

Only the most broken people abuse animals. Good people care for them. But I am not sure what to make of animals as pets or especially pets being treated equal to humans or as children. Of course, this is a matter of needs and values. Each of us has his or her own.

God created animals to be useful to man in many needed ways (including for food, protection, as beasts of burden, and maybe to be enjoyed as a companion in appropriate ways). We take care, however, not to elevate the value of animals and our need for them beyond God’s purpose – especially that our affection for animals is not more intense than our interest in/care for

  • the needs of family, friends, and neighbors,
  • the evangelical and redemptive (healing) needs of hurting people, and especially
  • our own personal health.
DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 14B28

Filled to a Fuller Measure of Christ: The Surpassing / Sanctified Value

Our experience of Christ

  • transforms our values (goals and desires),
  • helps us to separate in our understanding the difference between sinful, superficial, secondary, and sanctified values.
Sinful values leave our health and well-being unsupported,
Superficial values relieve our pain, but do not heal, and
Secondary values include the desire for financial or business success, or even parenting or ministry success, and also fitness and happiness.

The Sanctified value (goal and desire) is to be filled to a fuller measure of Christ in order to manifest his likeness into the world (holiness), beginning at home. The Bible calls it the surpassing value.

“I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing (experiencing) Christ Jesus my Lord.” – Philippians 3:8

May your experience to be filled to the measure of the fullness of God surpass all other experiences.” - Ephesians 3:19 (GracePoint Interpretive Paraphrase).

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 14B25

Week 8

Grace Provisions: Multidimensional Support for Making Wise Choices

The following may help show how our choices are driven/influenced by both positive and negative factors:


  • hunger/appetite
  • addictions
  • hormones
  • micro and macro nutrients (vitamins, minerals, etc.) 

  • Mind (information, skills, pride, guilt, values, addictions)
  • Emotions (affection, encouragement, anger, fear, loneliness, addictions)
  • Will (schedule, budget)

The Life of Christ (birthed/sown in our spirits when we are born again and then nurtured in our hearts/souls [mind, emotions, and will] during our quiet time worship), most essentially,

  • his love/value in us for the Father's provisions and the redemptive needs of ourselves and others (Romans 5:5), but also
  • joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance (Galatians 5:22-23), and
  • wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:30). 
The absence of this experience of the Life of Christ leaves us vulnerable to the influences of demonic powers (1 Peter 5:8; Ephesians 2:1-3), the world's culture, and our own sinful human nature.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 14B21

Health and Happiness: How It Happens

However many life principles there are (One famous pastor has identified 30!), they begin with two:

1) The good outcomes we experience in life are normatively, in small or large measure, the result of our choices. That's because God ordained the law of sowing and reaping (cause and effect) to govern his creation. This means, health and happiness are not the result of God sending “blessings” into our lives on the bases of our success or failure to win his favor or efforts to make him smile, or because we plead with him ("Please! Please!"), even with fasting.

2) God enables us for making those specific choices which produce good outcomes. He does so by

  • identifying for us which choices produce good outcomes (according to the law of sowing and reaping). (The Hebrew word for "Law" is "Torah" which means "teachings." God gave the Law to teach us how to live - the guaranteed outcome of which is health and happiness.),
  • removing the judgment (separation from him) which came upon the world because of Adam - Romans 5:12-19). (He did this by sending his Son as a sin offering  - Romans 5:10; 8:3),
  • birthing (sowing) and nurturing in us the Seed of his Life (John 1:1-5; James 1:18) manifesting essentially as the nine-fold fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) which increasingly/incrementally 
    • heals our poisoned appetites,
    • transforms our values (desires/goals) so that we give weight/priority to matters the same as he does,
    • meets our indispensable/inborn need for validation, affection, and support for decision-making at the deepest dimension of our being. 
More on values next time.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 14B18

Week 7

On Valentine’s Day: Enjoying the Fuzzy Feelings of Romance, but More Our Experience of God’s Love/the Power of His Presence

Romantic love (eros) is our capacity to enjoy another person, a particular person, the same as we can enjoy fragrances, tastes (like a box of chocolates), and touch. God was good to give esthetic value to our lives. Otherwise, our existence might be boring.

But infinitely more enjoyable and meaningful than romantic love is our experience of God’s love (agape). 

On Valentine’s Day, we celebrate both – not only the warm, fuzzy feelings of romance but the healing power of experiencing God’s presence.

This is the meaning of

“I pray you will be able to understand how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and that your experience of this love (his Life/provisions) will surpass any other experience you have.” - Ephesians 3:18 GracePoint Interpretive Paraphrase in context with vv.14-21

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 14B14

Understanding Our Use of the Word LOVE

There are four Greek words (language of the New Testament) that help us understand the meaning of our English word LOVE.

  • Storge is the love of family members for each other.
  • Philia is the love of friends for each other.
  • Eros is the romantic love of a man and woman specifically for each other.
  • Agape is
    • the love of God for us and
    • the love he births/nurtures in our hearts for
      • him, his provisions, and his redemptive purpose and plan for accomplishing it,
      • ourselves, and
      • others. 
These four words identify the disposition/sentiment of our hearts for human relationships.

The English language gives us a lower family of words, such as enjoy, like, and appreciate, to identify our interest and affections for

  • possessions (house or car, for example),
  • experiences (for example, entertainment and recreation), and
  • created things (for example, trees, food, and animals, including pets). 
More next time.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 14B11

Week 6

The Grace Option

At the root of the brokenness hurting people suffer which leaves them undereducated, underemployed, broken in health, and dependent on assistance programs, and worse, unable to make the choices that recover them to health, is the absence of functional/effectual leadership in the home and church.

Whatever might be said about government policies promoting a welfare mentality or about liberal social values leading to the breakdown of society, the most troubling issue is the inability of leadership in the home and church to identify, understand, and care for the inborn sociological/psychological (information, affection, and decision-making)needs of those God has given them to serve.

The political opinion to one extreme insists hurting people need to just “get over it.” The other extreme wants to rescue them from the outcome of their foolish choices.

God’s plan is the third option. It is for leadership in the home and church to increase in their experience of God’s enablement for ministering to the unmet needs of the heart.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 14B07

I Don’t Need the Pain: What I Learned About Losing

Denver fans had a disappointing outcome for the investment of their time on Super Bowl Sunday. I didn't watch the game - although I love the sport and also like both Peyton Manning and Russell Wilson a lot - because entertainment sports is a poor investment of my time for health and happiness. I'm already broken, so don't need the pain when my team loses.

A better investment is to go to bed at 10, get up at 5:30, do stretching and strengthening exercises for 15-20 minutes while the green tea is brewing, and have quiet-time - followed by tea or latte with wife, Scripture reading with family, a green smoothie for breakfast, 3-5 mile cardio workout (run or exercycle), a big lunch, salad for supper, and frozen green smoothie pops and family time before going to bed at 10.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 14B04

Week 5

Pain, Problem, Provisions, and Plan:  A Review

Four words guide the counseling we offer: Pain, Problem, Provisions, and Plan.

The Pain is the hurt we feel. It is really not the problem, but the result of the problem.

The Problem is not the presence of people or circumstances in our lives which are adverse (perhaps at home or at work), but the absence of God's provisions in our lives which are supportive.

It is not what's present in our lives that hurts, but what's missing that helps.

Provisions is the support (God's grace) which flows into our lives from God through his resources in 

  • Creation (the soil and atmosphere) to meet our biological needs,
  • Community (leadership in the home and church) to meet our psychological needs (for information, affections, and decision-making), and especially
  • Christ (his Blood/Death for us and Resurrected Life in us) to meet our need to be
    • born again (regeneration) so that we can go to Heaven and to be
    • healed of our brokenness (sanctification) so that we can be holy (useful in redemptive service to others, beginning with our wives and children). 
The Plan is to connect daily to the resources through which God’s grace / provisions flow into our lives (John 15:4-5).

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 14A31

We Do, But Not Really

Athletes don't really condition themselves, but include in their bodies (through diet and exercise) nutrients from the soil and atmosphere which result in fitness.

Neither do students educate themselves, but include information into their minds which increases their knowledge. Nor do we satisfy our thirst or hunger; water and food do.

Of course this is semantics, but it is to illustrate the grace concept that we cannot make ourselves holy (useful for God's use as an instrument/vessel through which he accomplishes his redemptive work); Christ does.

It is by our experience of the Life of Christ, 

  • birthed/sown/imparted into our spirits by the Holy Spirit (regeneration), and then
  • received through quiet-time worship into our hearts (the soul: mind, emotions, and will) 
that we are made holy (sanctified). 

It is in this way also that we have love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance: Our experience and expression of these qualities are produced in us by the life of Christ. 

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 14A28 

Week 4 

What Happens to the Romance 

I take a lot of care to help couples understand that, if the driving force for their love making is mostly desire for pleasure, they are at risk at some point to become disappointed with the experience. That's because of the fallen disposition of human nature to use people for superficial pain relief and to also build a tolerance to the experience - with the result that the excitement/enjoyment diminishes. For this reason, our counseling calls especially the husband to learn how to experience Christ so that his interest in his wife is transformed to invest in her redemptive needs - with two amazing results: 

1. He never becomes bored with his romantic experience to meet the redemptive needs of his wife (but increases in his excitement/enjoyment of it); 

2. His wife, because of her ever-increasing experience with her husband that, to him, her needs matter, grows in her awe of him, opens the door of her heart to receive his investment, and in this way, his desire to be needed by her is met. 

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 14A24 

Heaven: What We Can Expect to Find 

Our fallen human nature will be gone in Heaven. This means there will be no 

  • Adversity/hostility to good
  • Addictions/desire for darkness/evil
  • Arrogance/spirit of superiority (racism)
  • Argument/conflict/disagreement
  • Authoritarianism/oppression/corruption/deception
But we can expect to find the following:  
  • Activity/Adventure 
    • Study
    • Travel
    • Gatherings
    • Recreation/Entertainment (redemptive)
    • Eating (redemptive)
    • Romance (redemptive)
  • Assistance/Support
  • Ascending Status/Increase/Growth in
    • Christlikeness
    • Knowledge/Experience
    • Happiness
    • Health/Strength
    • Opportunities of Service
    • Friendships
DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 14A21

Week 3

Identifying God’s Goal for Your Life

God’s GOAL/PURPOSE/PLAN/WILL for your life is

Holiness (to be made useful/competent in redemptive service to others),
Hope (the confident expectation that
  • God values you unconditionally,
  • his interest in every detail of your life is intense and passionate, and
  • his commitment to accomplish his goal/purpose/plan/will for your life is unfailing.),
Health (wholistic), and
Happiness in your Heart and in your Home.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 14A17

How We Understand Truth: Trusting Information Communicated by a Perfect God Through Imperfect Instruments

1) God breathed Truth into the minds of the writers of the Bible, and he oversaw/superintended over their writing so that every word they wrote represented perfectly without error the information God wanted us to know.

2) God continually communicates Truth, but the overseeing of the writing experienced by the writers of the Scripture (so that it was without error) was a one-time event. We can make that claim about no other book.

3) This means, the various translations are subject to error, although God has promised to protect and preserve for us a reliable instrument (the NIV, KJV, and other translations) through which the Holy Spirit communicates to us.

4) This in the same way that human instruments (ministers) are imperfect, but God equips and qualifies us (sanctification) so that we are useful to him for communicating Truth.

(Note: We do not know where the original manuscripts are. They were written on and with earthly materials, so were subject to decay – although the Truth they embodied was eternal, the same as the incarnate body in which Christ “tabernacled among us” (John 1:14) was human. Perhaps God glorified the manuscripts as he did the body of Christ so that they are preserved in Heaven.)

5) Still, our trust is not so much in the human instrument, but in the direct communication of the Holy Spirit to our hearts (minds) as we read the Scripture during our quiet time.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 14B14

Week 2

Guidance for Women When Considering Marriage
When we are considering joining a church, enrolling in a school, or entering into an employment relationship, we should do so only when

1. Our need is redemptive – that is, for support to  

  • make choices for our health (instead of for superficial pain relief/to meet codependent needs) which enable us to
  • live out God’s calling for our lives.
2. The goal of the resource is redemptive – that is to support us (invest in us) for  

  • making choices for health (instead of using us for their superficial pain relief/to meet their codependent needs) which enable us for
  • living out God’s calling for our lives, and in that way, also, accomplishes God’s plan for them
  • living out God’s calling for their lives.
Especially should a woman follow this guideline who is considering a husband.

The meaning of Ephesians 5:22-23 is:

“Wives, give opportunity for support to your husband as you do also to the Lord – which means it is on this condition: that your husband lives out his understanding that he is the head (fountainhead/a source of strength) of his wife in the very same way/manner as Christ is the head (fountainhead/source of strength) of his bride the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.” 

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 14A10

God’s Instrument for Communicating Truth: Taking Time to Read The Scripture

1) The Scripture is God’s instrument during this age of Grace (the Church Age) through which he communicates to us the Truth he wants us to know concerning who he his, who we are, and his redemptive plan for our lives (both for now and for eternity), and 

2) Sanctification (healing of the heart) is impossible apart from taking extended time each day for reading the Scripture, confession of need, and quiet time worship in order to experience Christ – the same as it is impossible to be hydrated for biological health without drinking water. 

3) The counseling GracePoint provides is only information, the same as providing information about water. But without taking time daily to drink the water (to experience the Living Water in your quiet time), just knowing the information will not make up the difference.   

4) Not even church attendance will be a substitute. 

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13A07 

Week 1 

Sanctification: It’s a Long Process, Not a One-Time Event 

10) Our investment of ministry into the lives of those we serve may take many months to produce the outcome we hope for.  

  • The seed (ministry) we sow must be made competent/effectual.
  • The soil (heart) of those into whom we sow the seed must be prepared to receive it.
  • The seed must germinate and produce according to the law of sowing and reaping.
This process is organic and takes time. 

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13A03

The Confidence We Are Valued: The Deepest Need of Our Hearts 

Human nature has an inborn need to feel that others consider us valuable. Being told we have done a good job encourages and energizes us. But our deepest, most critical need is to have confidence (faith/conviction) we are valued by our resources, especially by God. There’s a difference. 

  • Being considered valuable is based on our success to behave or perform in a way that meets the standards of others – which makes our experience of feeling valuable conditional (upon our performance and the opinions of those judging it – both which can change). 
  • The confidence (faith/conviction) God gives us that we are unconditionally valued is based, not on what we do, but on who God is.
DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13L31

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