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TGP Volume 14
(October/November/December 2014)

Week 52

Gift Receiving: How We Celebrate Christmas

We celebrate God’s Gift of his Son at Christmas (to rescue/redeem us from our brokenness) by giving gifts to others in Jesus’ Name which help recover them from their brokenness. We call these “Redemptive Gifts” or “Provisions of Grace.”

But even more than by giving, we celebrate Christmas by receiving the gifts (Provisions of Grace) which flow into our lives from God for our healing through his appointed resources in Creation (elements in the soil and atmosphere), Community (support relationships in the home and church), and especially Christ (his Birth, his Blood/death on the cross for us, and his Resurrected Life birthed and lived in us).

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 14L25

Santa Claus: Satan’s Joke, Heaven’s Grief

Parents, take caution. Brief fun time with fantasy characters like Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, and Tooth Fairy, the same as with tv and movie characters, may be okay occasionally for children in families who are deeply rooted and established in their understanding of Christ, the Scripture, and God’s plan for our redemption. Otherwise, the harm is incalculable.

The concept of Santa Claus is the worst. This made up character travels all over the world in one night delivering toys to children - if they believe he exists, are not naughty but nice (deserving), and do not pout or cry (never mind they are hurting in God only knows how many ways).

And then, they learn he is a lie, that they have been lied to (helping to inoculate them against considering the reality of Christ). What are parents thinking? Satan laughs, Heaven weeps.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 14L23

Week 51

About Christmas

1. At Christmas, the Church does not celebrate the coming of a King (born to the nation of Israel, but who rejected him) but of a Savior, who came into the world, not to reign over a government, but to die for us and live in our hearts.

2. We do not give to Jesus at Christmas (he does not need anything) but to others in his Name (on his behalf).

3. God’s Gift of Christ to us at Christmas was redemptive – that is, it was not only to provide for our deliverance from the judgment against us (because of Adam’s transgression) but also to support our recovery to wholistic health from our brokenness (because of heredity and also our own poor choices).

4. This means, if our gifts to others are to properly celebrate Christmas (to be in Jesus’ Name), they must also be redemptive (support their healing).

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 14L16


Today’s date gives us a sense of the passing and brevity of time. The next such date will be in about 20 years on 1/2/34 or 89 years on 1/2/2103.

This date is a fantasy day for weddings, births, and the beginning of new endeavors. But it will not have mystical power, just by merit of its numbers, to change our finances, health, or relationships. The air will be the same, sunshine will be the same, and people will mostly be the same.

However, this day will provide another opportunity for us to experience Christ who stands at the door of our hearts awaiting entrance during our quiet-time worship to bring healing to our minds, emotions, and decision-making, and subsequently to our lives and circumstances.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12/13/14   

Week 50

REVIEW: Ephesians 2:8

“For by grace (God’s provisions)

you are saved (delivered) from
  • the judgment against us (death - separation from God) because of Adam’s transgression,
    • by the blood/death of Christ on the cross for us
    • so that we can go to Heaven,
  • ourselves (our sinful nature),
    • by the Life of Christ in us
    • so that we can be
      • holy (like Christ),
      • healthy (physically, emotionally, and mentally),
      • helpful (competent in redemptive service to others), and
      • happy (our experience of the above).
  • Satan (who, as a roaring lion, roams about seeking whom he may deceive and devour)
    • by lifting us up above his reach (so that we are not tempted),
    • removing from our lives the handles (addictions, etc.) he pulls on (strongholds), and
    • barring/closing the doors of our hearts through which he enters,
  • the influence of the world
    • by changing our values so that our interests are different.
through faith (to believe/receive God’s provisions).

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 14L12

Christ’s Life Resurrected in You: Your Most Powerful Support for Health

During the winter months, we seem to be more subject to colds. That's why almost daily throughout the year I supplement with Vitamin C (2-3000 mgs) which helps build our immune system. Then, if I feel the slightest hint of a cold (sneeze or scratchy throat), I take a 50 mg. zinc supplement. My experience has been that the symptoms quickly disappear.

God was good to provide elements in the soil to support our health and healing. Healing is included in the meaning of Ephesians 2:8: “For by grace (God’s provisions) you are saved (healed) through faith (to receive his provisions into your bodies).” See also Romans 5:17 and James 1:12.

But the most powerful support for our health, BY FAR, is the Resurrected Life of Christ - which we can experience to a fuller measure in our hearts (minds and emotions) each day during our quiet time worship. His Life operative in us is more powerful to support our health (Colossians 1:27; Philippians 2:13; 2 Peter 1:3) than all the nutritional elements in creation (soil and atmosphere), as powerful and essential as they are, or even the best leadership supports in community (home and church).

“If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is LIVING in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give Life (health) to your mortal (human) bodies by his Spirit who LIVES in you (your heart/soul – the mind, emotions, and will).” – Romans 8:11

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 14L09

Week 49

Why the Hostility to Law Enforcement

Evil can absolutely hide in government – including law enforcement (the same as it can hide in the organizational leadership of a church or denomination). It is rare, but sometimes evil finds its way onto a police force - not in order to help people, but to hurt them. Anyone who is ever subject to this evil or to any misconduct by law enforcement has reason to be angry.

But at the deepest root of most anger against law enforcement is this: Man’s carnal nature, by default, is hostile to God’s law (Romans 8:7). It is inherently hostile to God, to his provisions, and to the resources through which they flow from him into our lives.

Our sinful nature does not want to be restricted from doing what it wants to do, especially if we are addicted to the misbehavior. When anyone attempts to oppose or control it, we feel

  • judged (not by God but by Satan who encourages the behavior and also, along with religious legalism, condemns it),
  • emotional pain (The sense of worthlessness we experience when we feel condemnation and judgment is excruciatingly painful.), and
  • anger. 
But the answer is not to do away with the law. Jesus said he did not come into the world to do away with the law (because it is needed in a broken world filled with broken people), but to enable our compliance to it (Matthew 5:17).

God not only

  • gave the law to support/guide us for making wise choices and
  • ordained governments (not individuals or vigilantes) to enforce it (Romans 13:1-7), 
but he also provided Christ (his Blood/death and Resurrected Life) to enable us to value, honor, and obey it - by birthing in us his Life (when we were born again) and renewing in us his heart/mind (during our quiet-time worship).

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 14L05

Unattractive to the World: The Clay Vessel

I recall many years ago listening to the preaching of a sermon by the most humble, unassuming, plain looking, and quiet spoken minister I had ever seen. God used the words he spoke to call me to him, but he also provided a visual to me that:

1. God calls us to him through human instruments he prepares and chooses, that these will not be vessels of gold and silver but of clay, sometimes (as someone has written) “cracked pots” who have been restored, that they will not look or sound impressive to our carnal nature or be attractive to the world, and that, as Isaiah (53:2) prophesied about Christ, “there will be nothing about (their) appearance that carnal men will desire (them).”

2. The hearts of man transformed by the heart of Christ will hear their message and give double honor (double weight and value) to their influence and support.

3. The sights and sounds that appeal to our fallen human nature are useful to Satan and the world to feed our addictions and egos, but are not useful to God for the redemptive work he does in and through us to heal us and make us effectual for ministry to others.

“For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame (invalidate) the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame (invalidate) the things which are strong...” – 1 Corinthians 1:26-27

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 14L02

Week 48

Giving Thanks: When Giving Means Receiving

The Psalmist wrote, “Giving thanks to God prepares the way for our salvation (healing and renewal).”  

But “thanksgiving” means more than to just express polite appreciation to God.

In the Bible sense, “giving thanks” means to acknowledge that God’s provisions are good and to demonstrate (live out) that sentiment by receiving them into our lives.

(O.T. Hebrew) verb, yadah: “offering/giving self in order to receive.”

(N. T. Greek) verb, euxaristéō (eú, "good" and xaris, "grace"): “acknowledging (demonstrated by receiving) that God's grace (provisions) works well for our gain.”

That’s why, in the Bible sense, it can only be said that we are thankful for

  • water when we drink it,
  • nutritious foods (lean meats, raw fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and nuts) when we include them in our meals,
  • the Scripture when we take time each day to read it, and
  • Christ when we take time each day to open our hearts (in quiet-time worship) to receive the flow of his Life into our minds and emotions. 
The meaning of Psalm 50:23 is, “God heals and renews all who acknowledge the goodness of his provisions, and receive them into their lives.”

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 14K26

Our Experience of God’s Love, Working In and Thru Us: The Leading Evidence of His Existence

1. God has not left us unsupported so that we need to guess about his existence. He has provided so that we can be fully persuaded he exists as surely as we can that we exist.

Every Christian has doubted for at least a moment the existence of God. This doubt is a “flaming missile” from the demonic world - and the frequency/intensity of the experience is based upon the state of our faith (little, much, or great), which the Bible says is a shield to protect us from these attacks (Ephesians 6:16).

Faith (pistis: conviction) is a provision (a grace) from God which enables us to believe (trust) the information communicated to us in the Scripture. The information is like a seed (Luke 8:11) a farmer sows into the ground that produces fruit. When the Seed of Truth is sown into the soil of our receiving hearts (the mind) by the Holy Spirit during our quiet-time worship, the fruit of faith (conviction) to enable our trust is produced in us (Romans 10:17; Galatians 5:22-23).

So, when we read Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God,” and when the Holy Spirit sows the seed of that Truth/Seed into the mind of the person who has opened his or her heart to receive it, the matter of God’s existence is settled. The adversity of doubt can not prevail against the presence of faith produced in us by the Holy Spirit.

2. Conviction (faith) concerning God’s existence is also supported by our experience of him. It would be hard for us to be persuaded that someone does not exist who we experience every day – especially if we have found that our experience of that person is indispensable to our health and sense of well-being and is someone who has impacted and transformed our lives and values so that we think, feel, desire, act, and choose differently.

3. The greatest experience which supports evidence for the existence of God is our ever-increasing experience of his Love (agape: to value unconditionally) in us and through us - for ourselves, his provisions, and the redemptive needs of others.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 14K25

Ferguson: Rioting Motivated by Anger Rooted in the Pain of Missed Needs

Anger is a secondary emotion, often rooted in the pain of unmet support needs (for information, affection, and decision-making). For example, employees may be angry because the expectations made of them have not been supported with training, equipment, or supplies. Children can be angry basically for the same reason (unmet needs).

Misbehavior, even acts of terrorism and rioting, can be motivated by anger rooted in the pain of unmet needs. (Unmet needs also open the door to demonic influence.)

Ministry/Resource leadership in the community has the option to pound on angry people (including parents on children) in an attempt to control their behavior or to identify their needs and find ways to invest in them. (“Praying” for them, in the sense prayer is typically understood, won’t help.)

But before resources can effectually invest in the needs of hurting people, their needs must matter. That’s not the same as to say their behavior must matter – because interest in the behavior of others that accommodates our needs is easy.

Interest, however, in the support needs of hurting people is not easy – because it is not inherent in our fallen human nature. Caring for the needs of others is a grace - which means it must be birthed and cultivated in us by God. He does this by imparting his Life (Christ) into the hearts of born-again believers during our quiet time worship so that our interest in the well-being of others is the normal expression of the heart of Christ manifesting in and through us for them.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 14K24

Week 47

Strait and Narrow: God’s Plan for Our Health

Christ is passionate for our health and happiness needs to be met. That's why he died on the cross (Romans 5:8; 8:32).

But his Plan/Protocol for how our needs are met is specific. Jesus said the gate through which he calls us into health is narrow (Matthew 7:13-14).

That means, the good outcomes we hope for in life are not automatic but must be invested for - in the same way a farmer must invest for a harvest, or a student for good grades, or an entrepreneur for success. The Bible says we reap what we sow (Galatians 6:7).

But sowing for health and happiness is not performing good works (“going and giving”), including helping the homeless, saving children out of the sex trade, giving money to the church, reading the Bible through in a year, being a good neighbor, or pleading with God - even with fasting and bitter tears, in hopes of winning his favor or earning a "blessing" from him; rather, it is taking time each day to include his provisions into our lives ("coming and receiving").

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 14K21

Understanding Grace Doctrine: The Essential Fact


We are not healed from our brokenness or made holy by merit alone of being born again (although the new birth makes it possible, like bringing water into the room makes hydration possible).


1. When we are born again (by trusting/receiving God’s provisions of Christ’s Blood as the only payment he will accept to satisfy his judgment against us because of Adam’s disobedience),

  • The Holy Spirit imparts Christ (God’s Life) into our spirits  (the inmost chamber of our trichotomous being) where he indwells us – so that we have eternal life and can be assured of going to Heaven.
  • But he is not at that time imparted into our hearts (the soul: mind, emotions, and will - the inner chamber of our trichotomous being) where he increases us in his Likeness so that our healing can begin. 
2. We are healed from our brokenness and made holy only by our experience of

  • Christ LIVING his Life in our hearts (the soul)
  • which he does when we open the door of our hearts each day during our quiet-time worship to receive him (from his residence within our spirits). 
This is the clear meaning of Romans 5:10; 8:10-11; 2 Peter 1:3-4 and the reason the New Testament Scripture calls

  • the lost to “Believe in Christ” in order to “have everlasting life” (John 3:16) and
  • the saved to "Open the door" (Revelation 3:20), “Be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 4:18), “Abide in me” (John 15:5), and “Be filled to a fuller measure of Christ” (Ephesians 3:19; 4:18) so that they can “reign in life” (Romans 5:17; James 1:12) and be “made competent” in ministry to others (2 Corinthians 3:6).
DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 14K18

Week 46

Understanding God's Purpose for Prayer

If you misplace your car keys, will God help you find them if you ask him?

Yes, if your need for your car is redemptive – that is, to make choices which increase your health or to support others to make choices which increase their health. This is included in the meaning of praying "in Jesus' Name."

If you are late for a meeting, will God turn all the traffic lights green so that you can arrive on time?

No, but he will support you for making good choices so that, next time, you won’t be running late or behind. 

1. Prayer is not getting from God what we want, but receiving from him what he gives. (We can not receive from God what he does not give.)

2. God gives only what will accomplish his redemptive purpose – which is our recovery to health from the curse against us because of Adam.

3. God does not give outcomes, but provisions that support us for making choices which produce outcomes.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 14K14

Caring and Competent: Qualifying Leadership Before Saying I DO

The New Testament Scripture does not instruct/call husbands to rule over their wives in the way parents do over their young children or as employers or other “bosses” do in institutions, corporate life, or organizations.

Nor does the Scripture instruct wives to be subservient to their husbands in the way young children, employees, or servants are called to do in relationship to those in power positions over them.

The word SUBMIT, when understood in the organic context of the New Covenant (Testament), does not mean (again) for a wife to be obedient to a rule maker in a power position over her but to “give opportunity for (open the door of her heart to) the influence of” a support resource who

  • is undergirding her and
  • has won her confidence that to him her health and happiness matter. 
This is exactly the meaning of Ephesians 5:22-23: “Wives, submit to your husbands as unto the Lord, for he is the head (fountainhead: resource support) of his wife as Christ is the head (fountainhead: resource support) of the church, his body/bride, of whom he is the Savior.”

So while wives are instructed to give weight to the influence of their husbands as to the Lord, it is only as the husband has proved himself over an extended period of time (the engagement period of at least one year) to be in relationship with her as her Savior.

This means that, if a man is dysfunctional/not competent for living out God’s calling for him to support the health of his wife as a husbandman (Greek, georgos: “gardener” or “sower” or “cultivator of the soil”),

  • he does not qualify as a fountainhead and
  • under no circumstances should a woman open the door of her heart and life (say “I DO”) to him - no more than she would give opportunity of influence to a physician or any other service provider who has not proved to be caring and competent. 
DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 14K11

Week 45

Old and New Testament Parenting

Young children (about age 1-5) are happiest and most secure who have parents that love (value) them enough to rule over them as a schoolmaster. But older children (beginning about age 4-6) will begin to suffer resentment, confusion, and stress if their parents do not transition to relate to them increasingly as a support resource to meet their information, affection, and decision-making needs (which are age and temperament specific).

God, as a Father in his parenting relationship to us, models this concept.

Under the Old Covenant (Testament), God related to his people as a king (lawgiver) over them. But under the New Covenant, he transitioned to increasingly provide organic support (“Christ living in our hearts”) to enable our compliance to the rules (in the way a Vine supports the branch for fruitfulness/health). See Matthew 5:17; John 15:1-8; Colossians 1:27.

That’s why Jesus said, “Come (Open the door of your hearts), all you who are worn out and broken attempting to live out God’s plan/calling for your life without his enablement, and I will recover you.” – Matthew 11:28-30 (GracePoint Interpretive Paraphrase)

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 14K07

GracePoint Counseling: Support for Experiencing Christ Daily

The marriage counseling GracePoint offers is mostly for learning how to experience Christ each day. That’s because, only Christ, living his Life in and through us, is able to heal the personal brokenness at the root of trouble in a relationship. He is the Rock upon which our lives are built, the foundation to support the choices we make which increase health and happiness (Matthew 7:26; John 15:5).

If the support you need is mostly for learning relationship/communication skills in order to reduce tension in the marriage, you would benefit from an occasional marriage enrichment seminar/retreat, good books, and maybe traditional marriage counseling.

But if God is calling you to grow in your experience of Christ, the support you need will be more than just occasional (like going to a clinic or seminar or taking your car to the mechanic for a tune up); rather, it will need to be regular, often, and ongoing – maybe for a lifetime.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 14K04

Week 44

Dressing to Attract the Best of Men

Women who dress seductively will not attract or be appealing to the best of men.

Women can dress in a way that is both classy and modest – like a Queen, Princess, or First Lady. The best of men will admire and respect her, and if they comment, it will be polite and mannerly. The worst of men will not appreciate her appearance.  

Or, women can dress seductively (some more daringly than others). The best of men will grieve. The worst of men will lust.

Lust is a normal thought or feeling for man’s fallen human nature, but it is not normal for the man whose heart has been made holy by his experience of Christ.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 14J31

God’s Enablement: How the Christian Life is Measured

Ned Yost, manager of the Kansas City Royals, has shared his Christian testimony in public and in churches. That makes me a Ned Yost fan.

Churches love to feature famous Christian athletes for special events and programs and even at Sunday morning worship services in order to have an opportunity to present the Gospel to those who may not otherwise be motivated to attend a church service.

I did exactly that in my early ministry. We featured the nation’s leading scorer in college basketball, a college Hall of Fame football player, and even the “World’s Tallest Living American” at the time (7’8”/400 pounds) who wrestled professionally as Paul Bunyan and was also an actor.

I did it to increase attendance but also because I identified the Christian life with heroic performances.

Today I am much more inspired by the testimony of fallen persons who have found recovery through their experience of Christ. That’s because I have learned that the measure of a person’s Christian life is not heroic efforts to be a “Champion for Christ,” but the power of God’s provisions to renew and empower our lives. 

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 14J29

Week 43

Your hope to be set free from tension, brokenness, and unhappiness in your home and personal life will begin with you understanding Truth. Error will keep you in bondage.

This week, popular theologian John Piper was quoted by a well-known radio minister to say, “God decides who gets cancer and who does not.”

I wept. This theology will not set you free but frustrate your Christian life and relationship with God.

I googled to find this quote from Piper: “God gives life and he takes life. Everybody who dies, dies because God wills that they die. God is taking life every day. He will take 50,000 lives today. Life is in God’s hand. God decides when your last heartbeat will be, and whether it ends through cancer or a bullet wound. God governs. So God is God! He rules and governs everything. And everything he does is just and right and good. God owes us nothing.”

But consider that:

1. God has

  • made provisions to support our health and happiness, (body, soul, and spirit),
  • identifies them for us by the Holy Spirit,
  • offers them fully, freely, and faithfully to us and every person without consideration of our worthiness, and
  • tenderly calls us by the Holy Spirit through the Scripture to receive them;
2. We have health and happiness as the guaranteed result of us opening the door of our hearts (mind, emotions, and will) to receive the flow of his provisions into our lives (Romans 5:17).

Piper is also well-known for his belief that "God's highest pursuit is his glory."

But consider that:

1. God’s highest pursuit is our redemption – that is, our reconciliation to him, sanctification (holiness to make us useful and competent in redemptive service to others), and glorification (in Heaven);

2. In his relationship to us, God is consumed with care for our needs (what he wants to do for us), not for his needs (what he wants us to do for him).

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 14J24

Christ Resident In Our Spirit and Christ Living in Our Hearts: The Difference

The popular tv minister called out to his audience, “Trust Christ for salvation and he will come to live in your heart to fill you with his joy and peace.”

But Christ does not come to live in our hearts when we are born again (become a Christian).

Review: When we trust the Blood/Death of Christ (as the only payment God will accept to satisfy his judgment against us because of Adam’s transgression), the Holy Spirit

  • immerses us into spiritual union with Christ so that we are IN Christ (“belong to him” – Romans 6:3-4; 8:10),
  • enters into our spirits (the innermost chamber of our trichotomous being) to impart God’s Life, and
  • indwells us (our spirits) as a downpayment of our full redemption (Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30).
But he only comes to LIVE in our hearts (the soul: mind, emotions, and will) per Matthew 6:10, Romans 8:11, Ephesians 3:19, Revelation 3:20, et al, to fill us with his joy and peace as we take time each day for quiet-time worship.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 14J21

Week 42

Support for Making Wise Choices: Where It Begins

When children “run wild” in places of business, we tend to think they must not get out in public enough. Actually, the problem is they do not stay home enough to receive in private the training they need.

Also, we tend to think that, if people are resistant to make wise choices for diet, exercise, and supplementation, they would also be resistant to take time each morning for reading the Scripture, confession of need, and quiet-time worship.

But, actually, the reverse is true: That's because, it is our experience of Christ during our quiet-time worship that transforms our values/priorities so that we are increasingly motivated to make wise choices which establish us in health – to:

  • consume at least 8 to 12 servings of fresh whole fruits and vegetables each day,
  • exercise to get our heart rates up for a sustained 20 minutes at least on most days, and
  • regularly take high quality, complete, and balanced nutritional supplements that support cellular nutrition. 
DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 14J17

Regeneration: The Beginning of the Healing Process

For review:

We are born into darkness. If the choices we make in life are made in darkness, the result will be disease and brokenness - both body and soul (Romans 5:12-14). Our children will also be subject to suffer the hereditary burden of our poor choices (the generational curse).

But our experience to be filled with God’s Light (Christ) through 

  • regeneration (the new birth) and 
  • daily quiet-time worship (for sanctification)  
supports us for making wise choices that start the redemption (healing) process. This is a promise and a divine principle.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 14J14

Week 41

We Can’t Have It Both Ways!

Some of us have lived long enough to remember when we did not even think about the need to lock the doors at home – at night or during the day or even when we were away. We also felt safe in public, both at work and on the streets.

Times have changed. Now, even in the best communities, not only do we double lock our doors and windows, we have monitored security systems – and firearms. We also look over our shoulders in public.

Is this change because of increased darkness (evil)?

Of course. But actually it is because of the decrease in the presence of Light in the world against which darkness could not prevail.

This means, religion, with all its demands, and church-ianity, with all its programming (for increasing attendance, fun and fellowship, and helping the homeless and hungry and hurting), have not held back the encroachment of evil.

This means also that we who oppose increased government intervention (regulations/controls) into our personal lives, communities, workplaces, and schools (taking away some of our freedoms) are being forced to rethink and accept some of it. That’s because, freedom (to bear arms, for example) is dangerous in a godless/valueless society, but only works in a godly society. Communist/Totalitarian governments know this.

We can’t have it both ways.

When the doors of our hearts are arrogantly and stubbornly shut to quiet-time worship for the flow of Christ’s Life into our minds, emotions, and wills to transform our values, the result is
  • too little Light is present within us to emanate through us into our homes and communities (per Matthew 5:14-16; Philippians 1:20) in order to diminish the darkness,
  • the world, by default, is filled with ever-increasing evil so that it is not safe, and
  • increased government intervention becomes a necessary Plan B to protect us from the anarchy. 
DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 14J10

Be Blessed/Bless You: Wasted Words

I hardly live a day without hearing someone say “bless you” to me. Actually, I don’t know what they mean to say. Is it, “I hope God blesses you today”? If so, that would be appreciated.

Or, do they mean to say, “I hope God will use me to support your increase in health”? That would be welcomed also.

But, most likely they are attempting to pronounce good fortune upon me, not understanding they do not have the power to do that.

Or, they may be attempting to direct God to bestow good upon me - again, not realizing that God does not take his directions from them.

Scripturally, our experience of God’s blessings (to be made healthy, holy, and happy) is the result of us including in our lives the flow of his Provisions, beginning with Christ, which dispel the darkness (disease) from our lives.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 14J08

Week 40

Goals of GracePoint Counseling: Help with Understanding God’s Purpose for Our Quiet Time

One of the most important goals of our counseling is to help teach that:

If our motivation for the choices we make for food is taste rather than nutrition, we will not make the best choices.

If our motivation for exercise is weight loss, to buff up, especially in order to look good, or to win a competition rather than to increase health, we will tend to make choices that are more harmful than good.

If our motivation for the work we do is to make money or to be prominent or famous rather than to live out God’s calling for our lives in redemptive service to others, we will be more stressed than contented in our work.

If our motivation for marriage is sexual or even companionship rather than the desire to live out God’s plan for couples to sow redemptive seed in the world (to produce godly children), the relationship will suffer tension and disappointment.

If the relationship of a husband to his wife is motivated by his addiction needs to be loved and served rather than by his calling to meet her health and happiness needs, they will both be unhappy and broken.

If parents want babies because they are cute and cuddly, or in order to be unconditionally loved (like a pet) or served rather than to support them for living out God's calling for their lives, the home will suffer brokenness and unhappiness.

If our relationship to leadership in the home (parents and husbands) or church (pastors) is to support them rather than to be supported, we will soon be wornout and resentful.

If our relationship to God is to make him happy, to stay out of trouble with him, or to win his favor in order to earn a “blessing,” we will soon be broken and disillusioned. (God does not call us to give to him in order to receive from him, but to receive from him in order to be supported by him for redemptive service to others. There’s a difference!)

If our motivation for listening to Christian music is to hear a sound more than to hear words, we are opening our minds to a message that may not be supported by the Scripture.

If our goal for experiencing God during quiet time worship is to have an emotional, euphoric, or sensual feeling, the experience we have will miss God's purpose.

God’s goal for our quiet time is

  • to hear him communicate Truth to our minds (by the Holy Spirit through the Scripture) concerning
    • who he is and
    • our need for him and
  • to call us to open the door of our hearts (minds, emotions, and wills) to him (worship) in order to receive his provisions, beginning with Christ. 
DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 14J03

Call, Covenant, and Love: Three Words to Guide Our Understanding of Marriage 

Three words guide our understanding of Marriage: Call, Covenant, and Love

1. Call – The Call of God 

God has a Plan or Calling for each of our lives:
  • He calls everyone to be his children through faith in Christ,
  • He calls us to make good choices which support our health,
  • He calls some of us to be Christian leaders in the Church,
  • He calls us to different vocations in life for service to others,
  • He calls some among men to be husbands and fathers, and
  • He calls some among women to be wives and mothers.
 God prepares us for living out that Calling: He
  • creates us (in our mother’s womb) with strengths and talents which equip us for success,
  • births in us spiritual gifts (when we are born again) to enable us for service to others,
  • identifies and reveals his Plan to us (through the Holy Spirit and the Scripture),
  • gives us confidence and assurance (faith) concerning his Call,
  • provides resources (in the home and church) to support us for responding to his Call, and
  • effectually calls/draws us to it like a magnet or like the sun calls water vapors upward to form clouds. 

2. Covenant
  • We respond (surrender) to God’s Call for our lives through Covenant (a formal promise, commitment).
  • The Marriage Covenant is not with God but between a man and a woman enabled by God.
  • The man’s promise and commitment in his proposal is to serve the health and happiness needs of his wife so that she is supported for living out God’s Calling for her life (her health and her home).
  •  The woman’s promise and commitment in her acceptance is to receive her husband’s support as he is enabled by God to be faithful to her. 
3. Love

God has created us with the capacity to enjoy four types of love. They are
  • neighborly love (philia),
  • family love (storge)
  •  romantic love (eros), and
  • God’s Love (agape). 
Each of these four loves must exist in a marriage. But the essential love that is the foundation of the Marriage Covenant is God’s Love – which is expressed as 
  • unconditional giving 
by God to the world, by Christ to his Bride, the Church, by pastors to their parishioners, by parents to their children, and by a husband to his wife
  • and is expressed as conditional receiving
by the world to God, by the Church to Christ, by parishioners to their pastor, by children to their parents, and by a wife to her husband. 

From Ephesians 5: 22-33 (PARAPHRASED):

Husbands, invest yourself in your wives, just as Christ invested himself in his Bride, the Church - for this reason: so that she can be holy, healthy, and happy. Wives, submit (give opportunity for influence) to your husbands who has proved himself to be God’s resource in the home for your support in the same way you submit (give opportunity for influence) to the Lord who has proved himself to be your Savior, God’s Resource for your salvation.”

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 14I30

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