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TGP Volume 13
(October/November/December 2013)

Week 52

GracePoint: Counseling to Support Life Long Interest in Intimacy

Our counseling takes 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 default disposition of humans to use people and to also build a tolerance to the experience so that we become bored with them.

For this reason, our counseling supports couples, especially the husband, for learning 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 (but increases in his excitement/enjoyment of) his experience to invest in the intimacy needs of his wife;
  2. His wife, because of her ever-increasing experience with her husband that, to him, her needs matter, grows in 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 Perspective13L27

Life Goals: Living Out God’s Calling for Our Lives

1) The great promise in Romans 8:28 is that God is continually working to accomplish his good and perfect plan in the lives of every person who is responding to his call.

2) This call is an effectual drawing – somewhat like a magnet.

3) Surrendering to God’s call is the same as surrendering to his will or goal for our lives.

4) It means also that his goals for us are the same as our goals for ourselves.

5) God’s first goal for each of us is to be transformed into the likeness of his Son. This is exactly the meaning of,

“Those he called he also predestinated (determined before time) to be conformed to the likeness of his Son that he might be the firstborn (Seed of God’s Life) among many brothers” (Romans 8:29). See also Colossians 1:15-20.

6) This transformation (to be made like Christ) 

  • is the work of the Holy Spirit,
  • accomplishes the sanctification aspect of our salvation/redemption,
  • and makes us holy (enabled/useful as instruments for his use in redemptive service to others, beginning at home).
7) Providing support to you for learning how to be increased in fuller measure of Christ’s likeness (Ephesians 3:19, 4:13) is the first goal of our counseling.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13L27

GracePoint Counseling: Support for Understanding the Dynamics of Leadership and Relationship in the Organic Home

The leading goal for our meeting with counselees is to support them for taking extended time daily to
  • read the Scripture in order to
  • hear God in order to
  • experience Christ in order to
  • manifest him (his likeness) to others, especially to those they are called to provide leadership for.

But I also want to be helpful to provide timely and appropriate support to them for learning more about the dynamics of leadership and relationships in the organic home. For example -

  • The husband is the pastor of his home – that is, he is the servant leader, the gardener, the shepherd. He is also the provider and protector – much the same as a pastor is the overseer and shepherd of the sheep.
  • The role of the wife in some ways parallels (or at least illustrates) the officers in the church – perhaps the trustees and various board and council members who provide support for coming to decisions for church life and ministry.
  • For another example, her role in the home may also parallel the work of a treasurer/bookkeeper in the church to manage the finances, not independent of her husband, but supported by him. 
DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13L26

Redemptive Giving: How We Celebrate Christ at Christmas

Wouldn’t you like to have a nickel for every time you were asked, “What did you get for Christmas?” That’s because Christmas tends to be about getting.

The old funny is about the boy who wanted to know what he was getting for Christmas. The parent reminded him that Christmas is more about giving than getting. The boy then asked, “So what are you giving me for Christmas?”

Better than the question “What did you get for Christmas/” is “What did you give for Christmas?” Of course this means to ask, “What redemptive gift did you give for Christmas?”

Gift giving that is redemptive – that supports healing and health – is how we celebrate God’s gift of his Son. Giving for any other reason may be enjoyable and have its place, but misses the true meaning of gift-giving at Christmas time.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13L25

Support for Living the Christian Life: Celebrating the Gift of Christ

Usually, when chairs are not available, we stand, or when a vehicle is not available to transport us, we walk, or when any needed resource is not present, we find a way to compensate. I am stretching here for ways to illustrate that, in the absence of supports, we do not give up but set out to try harder.

Trying hard is, of course, what I would do to follow after Christ if no resources were available to support me. Again, without the availability of support resources, I would be left with no choice but to strive my very hardest every day, and recommit to it often, to live out the Christian life.

In fact, I did just that for the early years of my life. Not only did I fail, but also wore myself out.

Then I learned about God’s grace (his provisions to support me), especially of his Life to renew in me “who he is” (his likeness), so that I am not left to live the Christian life in the way I first thought, but he lives his Life through me.

This is why Jesus said,

“Come to me all you who are worn out trying to live the Christian life without my support and I will give you recovery’ (Matthew 11:28) and

“Without me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

And also why Paul wrote,

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

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13L24

Christ’s Life in Us to Transform Our Values: Our Surest Support for Making Wise Choices

We may do okay (or not) making choices for good health because

  • we want to,
  • we know how to,
  • we know we should, or that
  • others expect us to, 
but we will not do so faithfully, consistently, and with passion unless the Holy Spirit births and renews in us the Life of Christ so that our values are being transformed to care for ourselves the way he does.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13L23 

Week 51

Celebrating Carole’s Birthday Experiencing the Evidence of God’s Care

Faith, more than experience, is the exceeding evidence of God’s existence. But our experience of him leaves little room to doubt his care for us.

I think about this as I celebrate Carole’s birthday today. My experience of her presence in my life, of God bringing her into my life leaves little room for doubting God’s existence and also his care for me.

What a mess I was after failing horribly in my first marriage to understand the role of a husband. I deserved really to be put away in a hole somewhere for life. Instead, God had mercy. He did not give Carole to be a support for my recovery, because that is not the role of a wife, but the soil of her life (temperament and personality) has been perfect to tolerate the need I had 24 years ago for time to grow in living out the lessons I was learning about the role of a husband to be a resource support to his wife.

Thank you dear God. Thank you dear wife.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13K21

Duck Dynasty Phil Robertson’s Missed Opportunity to Teach a Grace Concept

We are asked often about lifestyles and certain behaviors, “Are they sin?”

Sin is both a behavior and a condition (in the same way love is both an action and a disposition). Separate words are used in the original language of the New Testament, both translated “sin,” to make that distinction.

It seems to be the pervading notion about sin (the behavior) that it means “the choices we make that make us bad, others sad, and God mad.” But, by definition, sin (the behavior) is the choices we make to meet inborn needs which disregard God’s provisions for meeting those needs.

It is the choices we make that make us sick.

The Instructions/Formula/Blueprint God gives in the Scripture to guide the choices we make represents a standard for us to live by, the outcome of which is increased health and happiness, body and soul, notwithstanding the sufferings of adversity. We use this concept to answer any questions about lifestyles: Does it support increased health and happiness – personally and also in the community.

I missed getting this counsel to Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson before he stepped in it with his truthful but inflammatory comments to GQ about the LGBT lifestyle.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13L19

Grace: More Certain Than Our Brokenness, the Power of Christ for Our Healing

Pope Francis recently said it has not been shown that capitalism works because it is based on the naïve assumption that the rich are benevolent. The statement got intense criticism from capitalists, of which I am one.

It is indeed naïve to assume any man, rich or poor, is benevolent. That’s because man is broken. We are born users and are consumed with self-interest to meet our personal needs, both essential and for pleasure, including addiction needs.

But as certain as man is broken, the power of Christ’s Life to transform him, to make him holy so that he cares about the redemptive needs of others, is more certain.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13L18

Grace Enabled: Why God Does Not Attempt to Control Us

Whatever may be understood about God being in control, it does not mean we are like a dog on a leash or puppet on a string, with our movements managed by a master.

Especially in this age of grace (during which Christ indwells us by the Holy Spirit), we have opportunity to experience his resurrected power so that we are enabled (also, so that God is free to allow us) to make our own choices (with some boundaries because of our ignorance), including to abide in (connect to) him daily - with the outcome that we are transformed, made holy, and empowered for life.

Control to guarantee or impose behavior is not necessary.

This is included in the meaning of,

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free” (Galatians 5:1).

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13L17

A Pained Heart: Rooted in Unmet Needs, Manifesting in Broken Behavior

Healing for our pained heart and broken behavior begins with taking time each day for

  • reading the Scripture in order to hear God communicate his love for us and our need for him,
  • confession of our need for him, and
  • quiet-time worship to be filled to a fuller measure of Christ. 
If we miss hearing God communicate his unconditional love for us so that we are fully persuaded of the matter,

  • the most essential health need of our hearts is unmet,
  • we are left vulnerable to Satan’s subtle attack and condemnation,
  • we suffer excruciating, debilitating pain, out of which
  • we tend to attack others. 
DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13L16

Week 50

Evidence of being filled with the Spirit: What Charismatic Theology Overlooks

Charismatic theology insists the evidence of being filled with the Holy Spirit is speaking in tongues. I find no support for that in Scripture. There was indeed a special work of the Holy Spirit during the early church age (first century) beginning at Pentecost that enabled believers to communicate the Gospel message in languages they had not learned.

But I do find support in Scripture (including Galatians 5:22-23) for the following evidences of being filled with the Spirit:

1.     Value for God’s provisions, ourselves, and others;
2.  Longsuffering and endurance for making wise choices leaving under the  weight of a fallen world and against the resistance of adverse people and  circumstances;
3.     Gentleness;
4.     Generosity to help support the redemptive needs of hurting people;
5.     Faith manifesting in obedience to receive God’s provisions;
6.     Humility;
7.     Sobriety;
8. Passion/appetite for purity – including for hygiene, diet, and  entertainment; and
9.     Honesty and Integrity.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13L13

How We Hear Truth: The Work of the Holy Spirit to Communicate and Interpret the Scripture

The words we read in the Scripture originated in the mind of God and were given by the Holy Spirit to selected and prepared writers - somewhat in the way (sufficient at least to provide an illustration) that a musician might select and prepare his instrument. 

This work of the Holy Spirit to give us The Scripture was without attempt to provide a skillful presentation of thought so that the reader could be carried along with interest and understanding – in the way books or media presentations are typically produced by men. Rather, the Holy Spirit used words that would address the mind/intellect of man, not his emotions, and in that way, depend on his present and immediate interpretation (teaching) for our understanding.

For this reason, we only have hope to understand Truth as we take time each day to sit quietly before God with an open Bible in full confession of our need for the Holy Spirit to reveal the meaning of the words in the same supernatural way he gave it.

This is included in the meaning of,

“No eye has seen , no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God hs prepared for those who love him – but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit” (1 Corinthians 2:9).

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13L12 

Grace Counseling’s Support for Wives: A Call to Personal Health

Religious (Plan B) counseling calls wives to

  • a renewed commitment to God/religious performance (motivated by guilt, fear, and ego/pride) and then to
  • identify/take action steps which please the “authority” persons in their lives, beginning with God and including also their husbands and even “bosses” 
with disregard to their personal health.    

Grace counseling calls/supports wives to

  • make choices daily for their lives (beginning with experiencing Christ in quiet-time worship) which renew and establish them in personal health and then to
  • identify/connect to resources (leadership) in the home and church which support them for making those daily choices – 
with the outcome that they are increased/equipped/enabled for redemptive service to others beginning with their children.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13K11

Taking Responsibility for Reducing Tension in Your Home (An Open Letter to Husbands)

1) I am sorry for the tension you are experiencing in your home. Tension in your marriage will destroy your health (immune system). It will especially destroy the health and happiness of your wife.

2) Tension is the result of unmet needs. Since you are the vine in your home and your wife is the branch, it is your responsibility to find ways for these needs to be met.  

3) The word “husband” means “gardener.” This means, a husband takes ownership of the status of his home in terms of its health and happiness, the same as a gardener does of the plants he attends to.

(Please review the information on our website at Home/Marriage. Basically, it identifies the husband as the gardener/vine/support person in the home.)

4) Circumstances may exist which challenge the good outcome a husband seeks, but those challenges only mean he must go deeper to connect to God’s provisions for his life which enable him.

5) This means, you will need to have extended quiet time each day to

·         read the Scripture in order to
·         hear God in order to
·         experience Christ in order
·         manifest him (his likeness) to others, beginning with your family.

6) You may understand all the concepts we teach, including your need to be enabled by the Holy Spirit for giving leadership at home, but just understanding concepts will not be the support you need – the same as you can know about the benefits of water, exercise, lifestyle choices, or nutritional supplements, but unless you take time to include them in your life daily, you won’t experience the support they provide.

7) The investment a husband makes in his home may take many months to produce even the first sign of the outcome he wants. If a husband has a high need for a quick return on his investment, he may become frustrated.

With much love and concern for you,

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13L10

More Than Investments We Make, Considering the Surpassing Importance of Those We Receive

We call it investing, but actually, when we give our money or time (to a business, entertainer, or school, for example) we are not investing in them; rather, we are giving them opportunity to invest in us.

Some investments made in us, of course, are better than others.

For example, the investment we give Satan, the world, and our sin nature opportunity to make in us may feel good momentarily, but long term, it produces disappointing outcomes. That’s the meaning of Romans 6:23: “For the wages (return) we receive for the opportunity we give our sinful nature to use us as a vessel for taking us where it’s passions want to go is death.”   

But the investment we give God opportunity to make in us when we open the door to receive the flow of his Life into our hearts is powerful and effectual and produces life.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13L09

Week 49

The Crown of Life: The Assured Outcome of Receiving God’s Provisions

Brokenness is the result of our disregard for God’s provisions which establish us in health. (By definition, sin is the choices we make which disregard God’s provisions for meeting our needs).

(Addiction is the worst of brokenness. That’s because, apart from strong intervention and isolation (from which addicts run and hide), addictions accelerate death but also barricade us while we live from making the choices that renew us in health.)

Plan B solutions provide superficial support to the walking dead for surviving the brokenness.

GracePoint supports choices to include God’s provisions in our lives according to his redemptive plan (Plan A), the outcome of which is Life and peace (the crown of life – James 1:12).

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13L06

Performing for God: Grieving the Memory of Past Mentoring

Occasionally while traveling I will hear preaching on the radio that comes right out of my past. No wonder I was in such deep bondage to performance theology (performance to win God’s favor with hopes of receiving a blessing.)

On this day, the well-spoken preacher intoned in his best ministerial voice that God had been so great to him that he wanted to be great for God, that God had given so much to him that he wanted to give to God, and that God had made him so happy that he wanted to make God happy.

“God deserves it,” he said.

I remember how that sentiment drove me during my early life to want to give my best to God. I had little or no understanding about God’s provisions for my health and happiness and or his deep desire for me to receive them. So out of my emptiness and brokenness, I pressed on to perform for God with the result of burnout and failure.

Out of the failure, however, I heard God calling me to receive from him the support I needed - with the result that today I live enabled for service to others by his faithfulness to perform for me.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13L05

The Desire of a Healthy Heart to Hear About God

The program director asked if I would give a fifteen-minute devotional . Of course, I am always ready to talk fifteen minutes or two hours about God’s redemptive plan for our health and happiness. Absolutely, I said.

The spiritual mind, however, has interest greater than 15-minutes to learn more about how to experience God through Scripture reading, prayer, and quiet-time worship. The Bible says so: “Those controlled by the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.”

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13L04

Because of my understanding of the Scripture regarding the end of this age (Dispensation of Grace/Church Age), I do not at all think

  • our world (its values) is improving (but is rather in decline) or that
  • the contemporary church (number-oriented, sometimes called mega church) will endure through the coming trials. 
I earnestly hope to be wrong. This is not a prediction but a dreaded concern. It is based in my understanding of the words of Christ that a structure built on the sand and not supported by a strong foundation can not survive the storm, but will fall (Matthew 7), and a growth that is not deeply rooted in the soil can not survive the heat (Matthew

This means, because of the current frenzied preoccupation of the contemporary hurried church to expand outward without taking sufficient time to be rooted deeper, I do not expect to see a future sweeping world-wide spiritual revival of Christian faith in the world, but rather an implosion. However, I do expect that during the coming inevitable collapse, when the superficial structures propping up the American way of life implode, there will be pockets or isolated places where believers will turn to God to experience his presence. At that time, the frenzy of the contemporary church to increase its numbers will give way to its desire to experience Christ.

At that time, the ministry of GracePoint will be most relevant.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13L03

Understanding the Order of God’s Calling

God is continually calling everyone to something.

1. He calls the lost to trust/receive his provision of Christ’s Blood for their regeneration/justification/reconciliation so that they can have eternal life. 

2. He calls the saved to receive his provision of Christ Resurrected Life for the healing of their body and soul (mind, emotions, and will) – which is an aspect of sanctification.

3. And then, he calls the sanctified to redemptive leadership service to others. 

This is the exact order of his calling. He does not/cannot call us to sanctification until we have been born again. And he does not call us to service until he has accomplished our sanctification.

This means, he does not call us to give (in service to others) until we have responded to his call to receive (his provisions for our healing/holiness).

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13L02

Week 48

The Knockout Assault Phenomenon, Rooted in Evil, Also Anger and Missed Support

The knockout assault phenomenon is

  • terrorism (the same as on 9/11 and at Columbine and Sandy Hook)
  • driven by hate, and
  • rooted in Satan. 
It is also driven by anger rooted in the brokenness of unmet needs.

The solution includes immediate community action to control and punish the behavior. Long-term, the solution is for leadership resources in the Church to be renewed by Christ so that we may be made increasingly competent for calling hurting people to the essential choices which establish them in health and happiness.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13K29

Receiving: Understanding the Meaning of Thanksgiving

The meaning of thanksgiving is to receive: It is to give ourselves to God – that is, to open the door of our hearts to him, in order to receive the flow of his provisions into our lives. For example, we give thanks to God for food and water by eating and drinking them.

Giving thanks to others means the same – that is, to open the door of our hearts to them in order to receive the flow of their support.

Giving thanks to God for others means to receive his provisions to enable our service to them.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13K28

Conviction and Calling: Support for Staying the Course

We do not need the promise of a meal, entertainment, or social experience (food, fun, and fellowship), as enjoyable, meaningful, helpful, and appropriate as they may be, to motivate us for making the redemptive choices that increase and establish us in health (especially to take time each day for quiet-time worship in order to experience Christ).

We don’t need reminders, promos, or promises of a chance to win a prize.

Rather, we are motivated for making those choices by

  • Conviction (of our need and of God’s love, care, and faithfulness to meet that need) and also by an
  • Effectual Call. 
These are the work of the Holy Spirit which he accomplishes through the Scripture.

Superficial motivations may appeal to our carnal nature and broken emotions to ignite a start, but do not have power to sustain us for making those choices long-term.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13K27

Innocent Words That Hurt: Taking Care for Wounded Hearts

The political correct folks are now weighing in on Disney cartoon characters calling each other uncomplimentary names – which they say cause children a lot of pain and even long-term psychological damage. The solution, they insist, is to edit out the offensive words.

But at the root of the pain children experience is not the words they hear that hurt, but the words they do not hear that help and heal – along with other unmet needs.

This means, their hearts hurt like an open wound that is sensitive to almost the slightest touch.

In our relationship to hurting people we should take a lot of care not to offend them – which would require that

  • the words we use in our conversation with them are very selective,
  • do not include even some innocent name calling,

with the understanding that bantering which is understood as just kidding or fun to healthy people is hurtful to people who are broken.

Mostly, we attend to the unmet needs of hurting people, so that their pain dissipates.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13K26

“Don, If asking in prayer means to receive, why doesn’t the Scripture use the term ‘receive’ instead of ‘ask’”?

The use of the word “ask” in Scripture with regard to prayer is the right word because there is a receiving that has nothing to do with asking – for example, to receive bad news or a blow to the head.

We can understand better Bible words when we consider them in their organic context. An organism is life that is supported by its connection to a functional resource. When Jesus instructs us to remain connected to him (John 15:5), it is for the purposes of receiving support from him.

We ask for that support by connecting to him in order to receive the flow of his Life into our hearts during our quiet-time worship.

We understand the meaning of others words in their organic context. For example, to believe a boat is seaworthy means more than an intellectual notion or verbal assertion; rather, it means to get on it. Otherwise, it cannot be said we believe.

The organic component means there is a sowing and reaping/cause and effect relationship between the action and its outcome.

This means, prayer is not opening a door and asking (inviting/requesting) someone to enter who is not present at the door waiting to enter; instead, it is an opening of the door to receive someone who is knocking (calling to us) because he wants to enter.

Again, prayer is not asking God for “wants” we have (usually for the purpose of superficial pain relief or to feed our addictions) which he does not provide, but for provisions that support our healing and recovery which he is bringing to the door of our hearts to receive. Asking in prayer, in the Scriptural sense, is opening the door to receive them.

But doesn’t Jesus make the distinction, “Ask and you shall receive”?  Yes, but “ask” in its organic context means to receive, so the promise Jesus is making is, “You shall receive if you will receive.”

So, again, why is the term “ask” used.

Part of the answer is understood when we consider the principle of grace leadership in the workplace.

Grace leadership/resources bring support (for our healing and to enable our service to others) to the door of our hearts/lives. It flow fully and faithfully waiting to be received, but is not imposed. It does not push through the door.

The genius of using the word “ask” calls attention to our need to

  • confess our brokenness and need for support,
  • identify God’s resources which provide that support, and then
  • ask for it in the sense of opening the door to receive it. 
DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13K25

Week 47

Faith, More Than Experience, Evidence for the Existence of God   

Our belief/confidence in the existence of God is rooted deepest in the conviction of Truth (faith) birthed in us by the Holy Spirit through the Scripture. It is not based in our personal/organic experiences of him, as powerful as that evidence is.

Again, the most supportive evidence of God’s existence is faith, not experience. (Our counseling will support you for understanding better what this means).

With that said, however, our experiences of God can leave little room for doubt. For example, our experience of his presence in our hearts, especially during our quiet-time worship, is powerful evidence of his existence – the same as our experience of warmth is evidence for the presence of heat, or wet and hydration the evidence of water.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13K22

Support for Learning How to Experience Christ: More Than Meeting Social Needs, God’s Purpose for the Church

Churches do well to provide programs that meet our inborn social need to experience bonding with people who care about us and about whom we care. Churches who successfully provide this need tend to grow in attendance – at least for a time, if not long-term (generationally).

However, the most critical need God ordained the church to meet is to provide support for learning how to experience him through the Scripture in quiet-time worship at home. As important as our social needs are, they are still superficial. Community with people supports health and happiness, but only limitedly – especially compared to the deeper healing we experience when we respond to God’s call to open our hearts to him to receive the flow of his Life into our minds, emotions, and will (the soul).

Churches who support this need tend to

  • grow, maybe not in numbers at first, but in personal health and happiness,
  • ever-increasing enablement for redemptive service to others, and
  • endure.
This means our response to the call of the church to connect to its support for learning how to experience Christ results in a deeper, more satisfying, meaningful, and enduring experience than attending church for the purpose of fellowship.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13K21

Missing Ministry Opportunities Pounding on Providers of Products and Services at the Point of the Problem  (Part Two) 

Without denying impiety exists in the world (Christ taught us to pray for deliverance from it), we have no reason to doubt (not to hope, at least) that

  • most businesses in our culture are honorable, do the best they know how, and provide products and services in good faith, or that,
  • sometimes, providers find themselves, to their grief, selling and trying to service an inferior product.
So, for the sake of not missing opportunity for ministry, we are forgiving and benevolent when offended and disappointed.

And, as Christ enables us, we also extend this grace to those providers who know their product is inferior, yet attempt to represent it otherwise.

However, this does not contradict or negate our duty to

  • identify them,
  • ask about their commitment to customers,
  • evaluate their successes and failures, and
  • expose/report them. 
But in no case is the answer to personally pound on those who fail, offend, or disappoint us.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13K20

Missing Ministry Opportunities Pounding on Providers of Products and Services at the Point of the Problem  (Part One) 

Dissatisfied customers have a duty to express disappointment to providers when products and services fail.

But a better strategy may be to ask the following questions before signing the contract:

“What is your commitment to provide quality products and services to your customers?” and “What can customers expect from you if they have a problem with the product and services you are selling them?”

Even if they have a mission statement to answer the question, it would give them an opportunity to assert it and also to know that

  • it matters to some of us,
  • we have expectations, and
  • we are paying attention. 
Although attacking providers and their products and services at the point of the problem is a normal human inclination, and although it may motivate some action to correct the problem, it conflicts with the desire God places in the heart of ministers to build goodwill.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13K19

Usefulness in Redemptive Service to Others: More Than Health, our Motivation for the Choices We Make

Our commitment to make wise choices each day is motivated by our interest to experience health and happiness, not only physically and psychologically, but also financially and relationally. The Bible calls this state of being the Crown of Life (James 1:12). Those of us who experience it in this life think it must be a little bit of what Heaven is like.

But our deepest motivation for making wise choices daily (because of Christ’s heart in us) is more than to experience a high level of health and happiness. Rather, it is to be made useful to God in redemptive service to others. This is the purest, truest meaning of “to glorify God.”

“This is how you glorify my Father, that you are fruitful (as a vine) in your redemptive service to others.” – John 15:8 (GracePoint Interpretive Paraphrase). See also John 17:4; Acts 20:24; Philippians 1:20-26.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13K18

Week 46

The Mind of Christ In Us: The Standard Barrier for Every Choice

The emailer wanted to know if I considered myself (life and theology) and the choices I make for health a standard for the choices I recommended to him (my phrasing of his question).

I responded: As a counselor, I support counselees almost daily for making diet, exercise, lifestyle, and supplementation choices that will help establish them in health and happiness and sometimes represent myself as an example for those choices - including to get sufficient sleep, water, and exercise, also to eat 5-7 servings of raw fruits and vegetables each day, and to drive on the right side of the road.

But I would not hold up every choice I make for health as a standard to anyone - with the one exception to take time each day  

for reading the Scripture in order
to hear God in order
to experience Christ in order
to manifest his likeness to others.

It is Christ (his Life, his Mind in us transforming our hearts to value ourselves, God’s provisions for our healing, and others) who is the guiding standard for every choice of every person.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13K15

Christianity, Not Performing the Rules of a Religion, but Receiving the Provisions of a Relationship

All religions (Christianity is not a religion but a relationship!) are based on performance to win God’s favor in hopes of earning a reward or blessing. The performance includes

  • service to others,
  • giving finances to the church or community,
  • prayer (appeals/requisitions to God) for help,
  • fasting (self-denial) to demonstrate sincerity,
  • sorrow for and turning from sinful behavior (based on a misinterpretation of the word “repentance,” and
  • penance (performance to earn forgiveness). 

Christianity, however, is based on receiving God’s provisions for our health and happiness.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13K14

Fasting: What It Does Not Mean

We can consider the instructions given us in the Scripture in the light of other instructions in the Scripture.

For example, get up and go are two instructions which may be considered together or separately.

This is an attempt to illustrate that the information given us in the Scripture concerning fasting (food, for example) needs to be considered against the instructions we receive in the Scripture concerning our need to include God’s provisions in our lives in order to be supported in health.

So we do not at all believe that, by fasting, God means for us to fast our daily bread (else Christ would not have taught us to pray, “Give us again today our DAILY bread”), but that it means to remove from our diets only the foods that are not absolutely indispensible to our well-being.

This means, we should not fast eating essential foods any more than we would fast breathing oxygen or exercising – because our bodies cannot tolerate their absence.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13K13

Qualifying Resources: What We Do Before We Connect

Everyone needs connection to resources

  • which are redemptive (provide support for making life decisions that increase us in health),
  • to which God is calling us, and
  • in which we can trust (based upon our experience of them).
Having this confidence about resources supports us for opening the door of our hearts to receive the help they provide.

GracePoint provides support to wives, church members, persons seeking a counselor, and even workers in the workplace for understanding this concept.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13K12

Divorce Intervention: Identifying the Dynamic of Relationship Before Marriage

Every relationship is one of the following (or a measure of both):

1. Redemptive (healing) - connection

  • to a resource to receive support or
  • as a resource to provide support; 
2. Codependent (harmful) – two broken, hurting parties using each other for superficial pain relief.

GracePoint provides support in our premarriage counseling for understanding the difference.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13K11

Week 45

The Grace Perspective: Understanding What It Means!

Perspectives, of course, abound to identify a wide range of viewpoints on almost every subject. The perspective (birthed and nurtured in our understanding by the Holy Spirit through The Scripture) concerning

  • God’s redemptive Purpose in the world (as it is in Heaven) and
  • his Plan (Provisions) for accomplishing it
is the grace perspective (The Grace Perspective) - which is not the same as that of the world, Satan, human nature, or religion.

1. Our persuasion of and confidence in this perspective (understanding) is conviction.

2. We take care not to confuse the meaning of God’s grace with his mercy.
  • God’s mercy (love)
    • extends to every person
      • faithfully,
      • fully, and
      • unconditionally (without consideration of worth)
    • providing with it
  • God grace which
    • flows out of his mercy to every person
      • faithfully,
      • fully, and
      • unconditionally (without consideration of worth) -
      • but only to the door of our hearts (soul: the mind, emotions, and will) so that it
    •  is experienced only by those who receive it.

(The mercy of God is the disposition of God from which his grace flows, so that, if God ceased to be merciful, his grace would cease to flow.)

Our counseling provides support for understanding this concept.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13K08

Considering a Case for a Hocus Pocus Miracle!

Recently, my wallet was missing. I double checked in likely places including my pockets to find it, but could not. After ten minutes or so, I earnestly called out to God (the short version) in desperation, “Dear Lord, I may be diminishing mentally with age, but you know I try hard to care for my possessions. And I know you care for me and that I can trust you to meet my needs. I have looked and relooked every place I know to look. Now I can only give up this problem to you.”

The moment (The very moment!) I rolled the burden on my heart over on the Lord, my wallet appeared in my jacket coat where I had checked repeatedly. That’s right! Just like that, God intervened to transport my wallet from wherever it was right into my pocket. It was a supernatural miracle!.

Or not! Actually, my wallet was in the last place I put it. God intervened to instruct me to put my hand inside my pocket where I had only patted several times before.

Lesson Supported:

1. God supernaturally intervenes in our lives every day (actually every moment) to meet our needs and protect us from adversity beyond how we know to do.

2. I may need (and will welcome) a direct intervention from God one day that will supernaturally circumvent the choices of my foolish, broken self, but it will be according to his mercy and not according to the “sowing and reaping” way he normatively relates to us.

3. This occasion to find my wallet was a natural, not a supernatural miracle (that cannot be explained by the laws of nature).

4. It also supports our understanding of grace leadership to provide accountability and to enforce compliance to the instructions God gives which establish us in health.

5. Sometimes our experience of God’s care is instant, but sometimes delayed. While looking for my wallet under the seat of my car, I found a favorite small tool which had been missing for over a year.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13K07  

GracePoint: Giving Such as We Have

GracePoint does not provide social services. We appreciate those who do, when it is redemptive – that is, with a goal to support healing and growth. (Social services are not redemptive that circumvent the suffering of people who want superficial pain relief from the lazy lifestyle and foolish choices they are addicted to.)

Also, GracePoint does not provide social services because God has not given us money to do so. Maybe that’s because we don’t ask for it. We also do not charge for our services nor accept donations from our counselees or from others we serve.

Neither do we have assets. Carole and I live very modestly so that we can give to GracePoint about a third of our incomes to cover GracePoint’s $12K annual budget (office space and utilities, internet, phone, and websites, vehicle expense, and materials for programs).

(If God provided GracePoint with money for social services, I know several deserving families we would help who were victims of religious legalism, but are now growing in grace as they are learning to respond to God’s call to make wise choices, beginning with learning how to experience Christ daily. They are in transition/healing and could use a hand up financially, more than the few dollars we have to give them.)

But GracePoint does have a definite and distinct calling. Peter best represented God’s calling for us when he said to the hurting man (Acts 3:6): “Silver and goal have I none, but such as God has given me, so give I to you.”

What we have to give which God has given to us is Christ. Our experience of him is man’s greatest need.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13K06

Grace: The Surpassing Support

God gave us the ability to enjoy the taste of food, but mostly he gave us capacity to be nourished by the elements in food that support health.

Whatever may be appreciated about taste that enhances the enjoyment of life, it is surpassed by the support for health we receive from the micro and macro nutrients contained in food.

It is loss when the will, sometimes lost to addictions, is weak to make wise choices. It is also loss when the emotions have been pained so deeply that they are blunted. But it is the worst loss when the mind has become so confused that it cannot discern information.

We rejoice in the freedom of the will to make good choices and also in the ability of the emotions to enjoy healthy experiences, but we are blessed most by the power of the mind to comprehend Truth.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13K05

When Wives Reject Support: Considering the Reasons

Our rejection of needed resources for our lives may reflect our addictions, anger, or apathy. But it may also reflect the competence level of our resources. So, the issue may not necessarily be what is true about us, but mostly what is true about our resources.

This means, when a wife is not responding to her husband’s support, we consider the reason may be she is (as stated above)

  • in addiction to destructive lifestyle choices,
  • apathetic about her support needs, or
  • angry because of her experience of failed expectations for support in relationship to previous resources. 
(We consider also, that her temperament score – her inborn resource need for information, affection, and decision making support may be low, meaning she is independent by nature.)

Or, her non-response may be the failure of her husband to

  • win her confidence that to him her needs matter or to
  • demonstrate competence in meeting them. 
Our counseling support for husbands of wives who do not respond to their support is to

  • confess their brokenness, and then
  • take time daily to be renewed by Christ who makes us competent as ministers (2 Corinthians 3:6). 
DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13K04

Week 44

God’s Faithful Support for the Foolish Sheep

In the darkness of the Old Testament, God intervened to provide support to relieve pain and suffering. In this Age of Grace, however, during which the Holy Spirit lives within us, and during which we also have the completed Scripture, we have provisions and support from God that surpass those available to past ages. For this reason, God’s provisions to meet our needs, including for our healing, is no longer limited to rescuing us as a parent would a small child; rather, he supports us as adult children, giving us the responsibility to make wise choices, and ordaining that the outcomes we experience are according to the law of sowing and reaping.

This is included in the meaning of Christ’s words, “To whom much is given, much is required.”

It helps us also to understand part of the reason why Christ leaves the ninety-nine who are mature in the faith in order to rescue the wayward lamb, dumb and not knowing or understanding wise choices.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13K01

The Expense of God’s Work on Earth Fully Funded

Thousands followed Christ to see or receive a miracle, for food, because of curiosity, and even because of their political hopes he would deliver them from Roman rule.

But when he offered them the opportunity to experience God, they crucified him. Also, when the early church, without gold and silver, offered such as they had (their experience of Christ), they were persecuted and martyred.

That scenario has continued through the centuries: Organizations that give assistance to relieve pain attract thousands of people and are generously funded by supporters, while the most worthwhile and meaningful work (in terms of eternal value) does not draw the same interest or support.

But that is only as it seems to the natural/carnal mind. Actually, God is faithful to fully fund his redemptive work on earth so that no essential need is missed or lacking.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13J31      

Hearing God Communicate Truth: Thought, Not Esthetic Effect, the Essential Experience

A psalm is the words of God accompanied by a musical instrument or even singing voices.

But our experience of hearing the Holy Spirit communicate Truth to us through the Psalms does not include the music. In other words, when we read the Psalms, we hear no sounds of music but only concepts communicated to our minds as words (actually, thoughts).

That’s because the Holy Spirit does not need music (sounds produced by instruments or voices to create an effect).  Music is an esthetic and has value to enhance the experience of hearing words, the same as taste is an esthetic and has value to enhance the experience of eating food. But the esthetic is not a substitute for the substance. The essential power of Truth is not in the music, the same as the essential power of food is not in the taste. When we make it so – that is, if we make choices for hearing Truth because of the sound of the music that accompanies it, the same as if we make choices for food because of the taste – we miss God’s redemptive plan for meeting our needs.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13J30   

Why I Have No Idea Who’s Winning the World Series: Breaking Away From a Bad Relationship

From the beginning, the relationship was often supportive and enjoyable – frequent enough for me to want to remain in it. But sometimes it was also disappointing, so much that I sometimes suffered deep sadness – even to the extent that, instead of being energized by the relationship, I was being distracted from my work and also from the choices I needed to make for my health. At times I broke off the relationship because of the pain, but because I was psychologically addicted to it, I eventually always came back.

Then I hit bottom. The relationship became so disappointing and adverse that I walked away permanently. Confessing my brokenness and need for renewal, I entered into a relationship with a more faithful support for my health and happiness. That happened 24 years ago and I have not returned to entertainment sports since. That’s why I have no idea what the won-lost record is of my favorite football teams this year, or who is winning the World Series.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13J29

God’s Plan for Our Support: Understanding Our Relationship to Resources

It is not God plan for children to serve parents, wives to serve husbands, or laity to serve pastors – that is, to give themselves up to serve their resources. When they do, they are left unsupported and broken.

This perceived need for us to serve our resources is rooted in the misunderstanding that we are in relationship to God for what we can do for him.

But God does not need us to do anything for him. The created does not say to the Creator, “What do you need?” Nor does the structure say to its foundation, “How can I help?”

Instead, God is in relationship to us for what we will give him opportunity to do for us.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13J28

Week 43

Separation from Christ for Eternity: Suffering Worse Than the Fire

The Bible teaches about Hell that it is a real place with real fire where people go who reject God’s provisions of Christ’s blood (as the only payment he will accept to satisfy his judgment against them because of Adam’s disobedience in the Garden of Eden).

But even if there were no suffering of fire and torments in Hell, an existence for eternity separated from Christ would remain, which is far worse.

He is Light,
he is Love,
he is Joy, and
he is Peace.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13J25

Wisdom: Grace for Making the Choices That Support Health

The wisdom God gives us guides and supports us for connecting to resources that provide a good return. For example, we choose

  • foods that best support our health,
  • drink that best supports our hydration,
  • atmosphere and environment that are freest from toxins,  
  • schools that best prepares us for our vocational calling,
  • ministries that best support our relationship to God,
  • relationships that best support the needs of our heart (for socialization),
  • employers that best provide opportunity for living out our vocational calling, and even
  • entertainment and recreation that best support our need sometimes for fun and relaxation. 
But some resources do not produce a good return for our health (although they may superficially relieve our pain). So we do not open the door of our lives to give them time and opportunity. Instead, we are vigilant and highly selective to connect only to resources that best support our finances, health, happiness, and especially productivity in service to others.

This is included in the meaning of:

“Do not offer the parts of your body as a vehicle to your sin nature for its sinful passions to take you where they want to go. Rather offer yourselves to God… and offer the parts of your body to him as a vehicle for his righteousness resulting in holiness (usefulness in redemptive service to others)” – from Romans 6:12-23 (GracePoint Interpretive Paraphrase)

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13J24  

A Church Growth Supported by Social Programming

For a brief period during the early 1990’s, I worked as a Church Growth Consultant for several churches. One of the principles that guided the support we provided was based on a popular Gallup poll that identified the need of young adults to feel socially connected (to belong) as in a family, so that one of the action steps for churches to grow attendance was to provide programming that met that need. It was the principle that supported growth in the ministries I pastored during my earliest ministry and is still a very valid and effectual principle that growing churches employ today.

However, God’s calling for my life in these later years through GracePoint is no longer focused on numerical growth, so the principle of providing opportunity for social bonding to young adults in order to increase growth is not one of our action steps. Instead, our calling and mission is to support believers for learning how to read the Scripture in order to hear, experience, and manifest Christ. Whatever social bonding (fellowship) that emerges from that, as welcomed as it is, and beneficial as it might be, is fully secondary and incidental.

This makes for a very small and slow growing church. It also may not be especially appealing to young adults who have strong social needs and interests, but it is cherished by those who are hearing and responding to God’s call to experience Christ.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13J23

Christ in Us: Surpassing Support for Life at Its Core

At the core of all life is Christ. The Bible says,

  • he was at the beginning of all life,
  • through him all things were made,
  • without him nothing was made that has been made,
  • in him was life and that life was the light of man (John 1:1-4),
  • without him we can do nothing (John 15:5), and
  • by him all things consist (Colossians 1:17). 
Whatever might be said about our need for all other supports for life, including

  • food,
  • oxygen,
  • water, and
  • relationships, 
they are secondary and have power to support life only superficially. The foundation that supports whole life is Christ (1 Corinthians 3:11).

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13J22

Cherishing the Counsel and Care of Christ

On a recent Friday date night, Carole and I watched Powder, a Disney movie depicting “society’s capacity for cruelty.” It was very interesting in some parts, objectionable in others, but overall, not the type of redemptive entertainment I enjoy or recommend. Overnight I dreamed about living in a country ruled by a tyrant who seemed to be present in every persons life to oppress them at all times, like a roaring lion stalking about seeking whom he could devour. I had no power to be free from his cruelty and intimidation except to wake up. The dream, no doubt, somehow came out of my experience of watching the movie.

Thinking about the dream again this morning, it illustrates our experience of Satan/the demonic world to oppress us - accusing, condemning, and threatening us. That is, until we are filled with Christ who sets us free from evil and against whom no power can prevail.

I thought, also, that in the same way Satan, if allowed, continually oppresses, so too Christ, if allowed continually supports. Throughout each day, he communicates his interest, love, and care, and also guidance (“I will counsel you” – Psalm ). It is welcomed and cherished by us who confess our brokenness and need for him, and depend upon him.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13J21

Week 42

Lamenting the Loss of Listening

My minister friend lamented that “it seems people don’t read any more.”  Not only so, I thought, but also fewer people are even able to read.

Also, it seems people no longer listen, and not only so, they have lost the ability to listen.

Worse, it seems people have lost the ability to think, so do not think.

This means, life supporting information is not read, heard, or considered, including

  • maps,
  • instructions,
  • signage,
  • warnings, etc., 
and especially the Scripture.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13J18

Being Filled With the Spirit: What It Means, and How We Can Be Filled With Him Who Has Already Filled Us

If you have trusted God’s provisions of Christ’s death on the cross as your only hope for going to Heaven – that is,

as the only payment God will accept to satisfy his judgment against you because of Adam’s disobedience in the Garden of Eden

by merit of that, you were filled with the Holy Spirit (the Life of Christ he imparts). He will never leave you and you will never have more or less of him.

So why does the Scripture call born again believers to “be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18).

It is because this introductory filling of Christ we received when we were born again was in our spirit. It was not in our hearts (soul – the mind, emotions, and will).

God enters to fill our hearts only through worship as we take time each day to read the Scripture in order to hear and experience him through quiet-time worship.

Our counseling will support you for understanding more about this concept.

“I pray that you may be filled to the measure of the fullness of Christ. …that you may attain “to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” – Ephesians 3:19; 4:13 

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13J17

Why I include “I get my exercise at work” on my list of famous last words.

I heard it again today: “Hard work never hurt anyone.”

But you can absolutely work yourself to death. That’s because

  • our regular work routine depletes energy and is not the same as exercising to maintain fitness and
  • whatever conditioning our work requires of our body in order to do it without injury, it is not perpetual, so must be sustained by an exercise routine that supports it.
For example, if we unload 20 pound bricks from a truck six days a week for eight hours, we will need on at least one or two days a week to unload 40 pound bricks for a sustained 20-30 minutes minimal.

The specs in this example may not be exact, but will help illustrate the principle that our bodies are leaky buckets. At some point, its reserves will be depleted - that is, unless we take time for regular renewal.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13J16

The Esthetic Experience: Not a Substitute for Substance

A comfortable seat at the dinner table, fine dinnerware, soft music, inviting aromas, and pleasing flavors enhance our experience of eating a meal, but it is the food we eat that provides the nutrition which heals and energizes.

Also, our experience of music during quiet time elevates and inspires the heart (mind, emotions, and will) and maybe also the senses, but without the hearing of Truth communicated to us by the Holy Spirit through the Scripture, the experience will be superficial for our healing or to support us for holiness (usefulness in redemptive service to others).

Esthetics are not a substitute for substance. That’s why we do not substitute eating food that tastes good for food that is nutritionally good for us and why we do not live to eat, but eat to live.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13J15

The Message of Grace: Obscured from the Mind Until Revealed by the Holy Spirit

During these almost 25 years of growing in grace, not all the time does everyone understand me when I teach. And there have been some to tell me so.

“I didn’t understand anything you said!” I remember a man announcing to me years ago after I spoke.

(I didn’t seem to have that problem during my early ministry when I taught a performance-based message fill with hooptalyptics and hype. In fact, more than a few came to hear me speak and responded to every word, it seemed.)

Of course, some may not understand because

  • their natural ability to comprehend any message at all may be impaired,
  • I am not gifted or even talented to teach,
  • the message of grace is so new to them that they have no place yet in their understanding to put it, maybe like having soup without a bowl (Stretching for an example here!), or
  • they identify the points I make with deeply rooted performance notions they have - for example, to understand  obedience to mean “going and giving” (performance) rather than my intended meaning of “coming and receiving” (grace).
The final consideration on the subject is this: The Holy Spirit is the author of the grace message and he must also unfold in us its meaning – otherwise, it is almost like hearing another language. This is the meaning of 1 Corinthians 2:14:

“The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.”

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13J14

Week 41

Set Free From Performance Theology! Why I Boxed Away My Books

I have very little interest in books that attempt to teach the grace message, including those by Charles Swindoll or Charles Stanley (as dearly as I appreciate those men). To date, I have not found any book that I would recommend to my counselees, except for one of Dr. Ray Strand’s books on nutrition and a book on organic leadership by Lawrence Richards). But that’s okay because of the intense support we give counselees for taking extended quiet time each day to read the Scripture.

That’s why I began boxing my library away years ago as I was coming to an understanding of grace that was different from my early years. That’s not to say my theology is right. I don’t insist on it. But I have been increasingly set free by it for the past almost 25 years, after being in bondage to performance theology for forty years.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13J11

The Work of the Church to Care for the Wounded

We are horrified and angered when we hear about or see behavior of hoodlums which hurts or destroys lives, especially of innocent people. A strong sense of condemnation and judgment stirs in me when, for example, a child is abused by a parent or sibling. But judgment is the reason God instituted government - to enforce the law and punish wrong doers (Romans 13).

The work of the church, however, is to

  • look beyond the actions of thieves and abusers to the pain in their hearts and the brokenness of their lives,
  • identify the unmet redemptive needs and the brokenness at the root of their behavior, and then
  • provide ministry that helps to support healing and recovery.
Religion shoots its wounded. That’s easy. The church goes to where the wounded are and provides ministry for their healing.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13J10

Condemnation Versus Investment: The Difference in Religion and Grace

A Muslim Brotherhood leader in America expresses his opinion in a video that America is filthy garbage. Our objection is not to his opinion and comment, but to his commitment to the actions he believes will bring solution to the problem – which is to eliminate America as we know it.

This gives another of the many examples to identify the difference between religion and God’s grace:

  • Religion judges and condemns behavior;
  • God’s grace identifies the evil, unmet redemptive needs, and brokenness at the root of the behavior, and then to help support choices that result in recovery to health.
DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13J09

Called to Truth by the Holy Spirit; How Sinful Hearts Hear the Message of Grace

Our fallen human nature can be entertained and hyped. So that is exactly the appeal the world, religion, and the entertainment church makes to increase their following and also income.

But our sinful hearts can not tolerate the message of grace which supports us for making the wise choices (to receive God’s provisions) that establish us in health and happiness. That is, until God intervenes to call us to it and to open our hearts to receive it.

“No man can come to me, except the Father who has sent me draw
him.” – John 6:44

This means, while Truth

  • is “declared/poured forth/proclaimed day after day, night after night into all the world” (Psalm 19:1-6), and
  • has power to give and renew life (John 1:1-5),

it is not imposed, but only offered, and can be rejected.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13K08

The Crown of Life: What It Is and How We Can Experience It

God promises an experience of life I call “a little bit of Heaven” and to which I often give testimony. The Bible calls it “the crown of life.” At its core, it is an experience of deep contentment, peace and joy, and an abiding sense of security and well-being. The experience is not shallow or temporal, but full and enduring.

Experiencing the crown of life is the assured, promised sowing and reaping outcome, not of performances (going and giving) to impress God in order to win his favor with hopes of receiving a “blessing” from him, but of daily receiving into our lives his provisions which flow fully and freely to the door of our hearts. 

“Blessed (healthy and happy) is the man who perseveres (to make wise choices) under trail (living in a world filled with adverse people and circumstances – in a fallen world filled with broken people), because when he has stood the test (stayed the course/persevered), he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him (receive his provisions).” – James 1:12 (NIV w/ GracePoint Interpretive Paraphrase).

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13J07

Week 40

Experiencing Christ: The Surpassing Choice

The list is long of choices (for diet, exercise, lifestyle, and supplementation) we can make daily which help establish us in physical and psychological health and happiness.

But infinitely more powerful to establish us in health and happiness (manifesting vocationally, financially, and relationally) is the choice we can make each day to experience Christ. His Life in us gives us everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3).

That’s why Paul wrote that

  • to attain to a fuller measure of Christ is the “surpassing” experience (Ephesians 3:19; 4:13) and
  • his hope for the churches was for them to experience Christ better (Ephesians 1:17).
DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13K04

GracePoint: Providing Counsel to Husbands Called Away From Wise Choices by Wayward Wives

Delilah was not the last woman to call her husband away from the choices he needed to make for his health.

We grieve deeply when husbands fail to support their wives for making the wise choices which establish them in health. Wives suffer much brokenness as the result.

But we grieve also when men compromise/resist the choices God is calling them to for their health, because they are dependent on (sometimes addicted to) their wives who are carnal and wayward.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13J03

GracePoint: Support for Identifying Motivations Which Increase Willingness for Making Wise Choices 

Our willingness to include God’s provisions into our lives (through

  • food choices for the body and also mind [education],
  • exercise,
  • lifestyle, and
  • supplementation)
 may be motivated by

  • natural/learned interests, tastes, and appetites,
  • fear of adverse consequences,
  • guilt,
  • ego,
  • peer pressure,
  • commitments to vows, promises, and even schedule, and even
  • the support of family, friends, coaches, mentors, and ministers.
But the most powerful and enduring motivation to support our willingness to include God’s provisions into our lives is the ongoing effectual call of God to us – that drawing of us to himself (somewhat like a magnet) - which we experience by the working of the Holy Spirit during our quiet-time worship each morning to impart his Word (the Logos/Seed of Life) into our hearts (the soul – mind, emotions, and will).

GracePoint provides support for understanding what this means.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13J02

GracePoint: Support for Responding to God and Providing Redemptive Service to Others

Whatever may be said about the support of

  • accountability groups,
  • recognition,
  • rewards, or
  • punishment
to motivate us for making redemptive choices, the most powerful and enduring support is the Life of Christ - his mind, heart, and disposition

  • birthed as a Seed in our spirit when we are born again and
  • manifested in and through our soul life (mind, emotions, and will) 
o        toward the Father (the response of receiving his provisions) and
o        into the world (the response of redemptive service to others)

as the nine-fold fruit of the Holy Spirit (love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance). 

GracePoint provides support for understanding what this means.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13J01

What We Can Give God

God does not need us to stroke him, make him smile, win his favor, give money to him, support him, or in any way help him build his kingdom on earth or in Heaven. Instead, the gift God desires from us is

1.     an open door to our heart,
2.     opportunity to help us,
3.     referrals/commendation to others,

so that he can accomplish his redemptive work in the world through us – using us as vessels.

“They first gave themselves to the Lord…” – 2 Corinthians 8:5

“You do not desire for me to sacrifice myself to you… But you delight in a heart that is open to you (to receive your provisions for my healing and recovery.” – Psalm 51:16-17 (GracePoint Interpretive Paraphrase)

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13I30

Week 39

The Superficial Support of An Exciting Church Experience

If we choose food mostly because of the taste, we risk our diets not supporting us for health in the way the food we choose mostly because it is good for us - spinach, for example.

Also, if the church experience we are having is enjoyable because of the music, flashing lights, and theatrics, and even social opportunities, we risk missing the support we need for healing in the way we are by experiencing Christ in quiet-time worship.

That’s because, sowing seed is not a loud process. Also, the fruit it produces grows quietly. That’s why we do not hear apples or oranges or grapes grow.

Also, the work of the Holy Spirit to sow the Seed of God’s Life into our hearts is a quiet process. So is his nurturing of that Life.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13I27

Grace Solutions: Safe and Sensible

The solutions offered/marketed to meet superficial needs (to look good or become wealthy) will typically be

  • extreme,
  • risky,
  • quick to produce results, and
  • short-lived (including satisfaction).
But the solutions God has provided to meet redemptive needs (health and usefulness in service to others) will always be

  • reasonable,
  • safe,
  • slow to develop - consistent with the laws of sowing and reaping, and
  • enduring.
DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13I26

Redemptive Resources: Making the Case for Staying Connected

Jesus calls us (John 15:1-8) to “remain connected” to him – as a resource to support our redemptive (recovery/health) needs, that is.

This means:

1.  The interest of appropriately motivated (pure) ministry is not its own    needs - how we can meet them - but our needs.

2. The time never comes when support for our recovery needs (growth in grace) is not needed. That’s why Jesus said, “remain connected.”

3.  We will “remain connected” to resources for only as long as the need we seek support for is relevant to our redemptive needs.

4. We will not “remain connected” long-term for any other reason – for example, to meet our social, quick-fix, superficial pain relief, or feel good (versus health) needs. (That’s because we build tolerance to them and become bored.)

5.     Each of us has specific needs. Support for meeting those needs is provided by different resources to which God leads us.

6.     The meaning of 1 John 2:19 includes, “They went out from among us because their need was not for the support we provided.”

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13I25

Pure Motivation for Ministry to Meet the Redemptive Needs of Hurting People

If you can identify what people want, and then provide a service or product that satisfies their want, they will make you rich. I got that from Kenneth Cooper, recognized as the “Father of Aerobic Exercise.” His exact quotes was, “If you provide a service that gives people the results they want, they will make it successful for you.”

It is a sound business principle.

However, I consider another concept: It is to identify what people need and then provide a service or product that meets that need - regardless who may or may not want it.

The one is motivated by the need to be successful in business (make money). The other is motivated by the heart of Christ in us for the redemptive needs of hurting people.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13I24

Our Experience of Prayer: What You Can Expect

In our time of prayer (communicating to God), as the Holy Spirit directs and enables it, we can expect to

1.     express/grieve/confess to God our brokenness (fears, anger, sinfulness), as the Holy Spirit gives conviction concerning them, not because God requires it in order for him to release his provisions, but for clarification in our own minds of our needs;

2.     confess/rejoice in

  • God’s goodness (grace provisions),
  • unconditional love for us,
  • power to heal and renew, and
  • faithfulness to do as he as promised; 
3.     express our grief for

  • a lost, dying world and
  • specific people who are hurting and broken; 
4. give thanks – that is, we give ourselves to God, in confidence and confession concerning who he is and our need for him, expressed by opening the door of our hearts to receive the flow of his Life into us (worship).

This is not necessarily a formula or pattern for praying, but will be the experience we have as the Holy Spirit guides it.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 13I23

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