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Developing Christ-Like Character

“That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire, might be found to praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ” 1 Peter 1:7

 

This week on Sharin’ Hearts Woman to Woman, Janie and Sharon discuss how adversity and trials compare to the purifying of gold. How we handle the fire could determine if we end up with a wounded heart or a broken heart. Developing Christ-like character comes through the fire of adversities and trials. It seems that it would be a sweeter life if we didn’t have to go through the fire of adversity and trials. However, without the fire, life would be filled with many little impurities. Some of them are so small that we don’t even know they exist until they rise to the top in the heat.

 

When You Tired of Treating the Symptoms

This week on Sharin’ Hearts: The Fireside Bookshelf, Ginger Green grabs a favorite; “When You’re Tired of Treating the Symptoms, and You’re Ready for a Cure, Give Me a Call” by Dr. Henry Brandt. We search for relief from our problems, instead of searching for a cure. Anything that will achieve temporary rest from anger, fear, frustration, unforgiveness, and bitterness.  It is a repetitive cycle of survival and we become addicted to the short-term escape.

 

There is a long-term cure and the first step of “cure” is to SEE  your need in the problem, call it what it truly is and ACCEPT the need as your wake-up call for change. The word for this process is repentance; to turn from the old thinking, emotions,  and actions.  Repentance consists of confession of sin and submission to the authority of Jesus Christ. Because of God’s cleansing grace, healing comes.  Learning to see the need and not excusing with some popular modality is a big part of the challenge.  Follow Dr. Brandt through the maze of not treating the symptoms, but finding the real cure.

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures: He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul: He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies: You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever” Psalm 23

 

This week on Sharin’ Hearts Woman to Woman, Janie and Sharon are talking through Psalm 23. In six short verses, we almost get a “how to” course for how the Lord wants us to live. We are sheep, sometimes we do act out of character, but the Lord calls us sheep and He is our shepherd. We find strength and comfort, guidance and understanding when we get alone with God. David was obedient to learning in isolation.  If you have been set aside then it can be a blessing to hear God more clearly.

The Shepherd is always present in the valley He has called you to walk. He is equipped to bring you through the valley in safety. He is carrying you so don’t give up. Personalize these verses to make them real for you every day. God is the Good Shepherd.

Blessings Out of Buffetings by Alan Redpath

This week on Sharin’ Hearts: The Fireside Bookshelf, Ginger Green pulls “Blessings Out of Buffetings” by Alan Redpath from the shelf to examine.

 

Paul’s 2nd letter to the church at Corinth is the account of a man who is being disciplined and matured. Nowhere does Paul open his heart to his readers so completely as he does in the second letter, as he relates some of God’s dealings with him in his inner life revealing something of what it has cost and some of the precious experiences which have brought him great joy.

Alan Redpath, in his study of 2nd Corinthians entitled, Blessings Out of Buffetings, clarifies Paul’s words and applies them to the life of the Christian. He discusses the joys and rewards of giving, the definition of a Christian, the purpose of discipleship, the meaning of separation from worldly entanglements in modern society, the significance and quality of true repentance, the reality of a final and absolutely true judgment – all in the radiant assurance of the inexhaustible grace and power of God.

His accurate, warm, paraphrased portions of Paul’s words reveal the author’s own understanding of and sympathetic response to Paul’s experience and make his words alive today for the believer in Christ.

Redpath counsels, “any of us who would be followers of the Lord Jesus Christ must expect the buffetings: from within and from without; from our foes and our friends; from Satan, who would seek to attack on every possible quarter the man who is set upon being the best of God. Life is full of it, and the question that arises when the buffeting comes is, ‘have I really got what it takes to stand, or will I become a spiritual casualty?’”

 

Encourage Without Wounding Part 3

“The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb” Psalm 19:7-10.

 

This week on Sharin’ Hearts Woman to Woman, Janie and Sharon continue their discussion on how to encourage each other without wounding each other. They focus on the encourager and talk about what it takes to be an encourager to others.

They talk about the life of St. Patrick and how he was kidnapped as a young man and enslaved as a shepherd. There is a great comparison to the life of King David as a shepherd; they both grew close to the Lord in the shepherd’s field.

It is a great lesson for us to find a place that we can call our “Shepherd’s Field” and get alone with God. We will find that we can be encouraged by the Lord and filled up with Him before we go try to share Him with others.

The Incredible Patience of God-Continued

This week on Sharin’ Hearts: The Fireside Bookshelf, Ginger Green continues through “The Incredible Patience of God” by Lane Adams.

 

Tragically, many Christians spend most of their life in a build-up process and never break out.  Don’t let this be you! It is appalling that so often the church has become the guardian of the status quo, all the while preaching a gospel of never-ending change. What an irony this is!

If you want to know how to guard against never breaking out… If you want to know how to navigate the long road to spiritual maturity and avoid some of the common pitfalls… If you want to take a detailed look at the apostle Paul’s life- a prime example of this crucial process…

If you want to find hope and reassurance that a closer relationship with God is possible … Then I hope you’ll join us as we seek out the answers found in The Incredible Patience of God.

 

Encourage Without Wounding Part 2

“To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He has made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” Ephesians 1:6-7.

 

This week on Sharin’ Hearts Woman to Woman, Janie and Sharon focus on the wounded saints. Wounded people sometimes have a hard time reconciling the way scripture instructs us. Spiritually, we can be admitted to the hospital where we can end up fighting the “treatment” or we can follow the orders that God gives us in order to get well and free.

Many times when we are wounded by other Christians, it causes us to not trust God; whether we are looking to that person as a reflection of God or we are looking for God to reflect in them. So, it is vital that we understand that learning to trust will increase the recovery time.

And, as always, forgiveness is key to overcoming wounds and moving forward in the victory of life. A great resource for forgiveness is www.forgivingforward.com.

The Incredible Patience of God

This week on Sharin’ Hearts: The Fireside Bookshelf, Ginger Green introduces us to “The Incredible Patience of God” by Lane Adams.

 

 

Many believers become discouraged with the long process of growth in their walk with Christ. In fact, today’s featured author believes it is “the rare spiritual prodigy” who moves rapidly to spiritual maturity.

In this book, Lane Adams urges Christians to seek a balance between asking for forgiveness and being accountable. The Incredible Patience of God will help Christians rethink their beliefs about sin and repentance, while reassuring believers who are sincerely seeking a closer relationship with God.

The purpose of this book is to bring comfort and understanding to all who named Jesus as Lord and Savior. May it’s message free many believers to patiently enjoy the maturing process as God is working in their lives. It is designed to bring a fresh biblical understanding of conversion and growth, and thereby to bring relief to the person who keeps wondering, “how come it’s taking me so long to get better?”

 

Encourage Without Wounding Part 1

“To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He has made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” Ephesians 1:6-7.

 

This week on Sharin’ Hearts Woman to Woman, Janie and Sharon discuss the ways we can encourage without wounding the person in which we are attempting to encourage. We can all relate to this topic either by being the wounded or being the one who has wounded.

Remembering where the encouragement comes from is the key. Our own words will not help encourage anyone. Our own love toward them is insufficient. Our own perception will be skewed. Sharing God’s words with God’s love as we see people through God’s eyes. He is our hope and our comfort so through Him we can share both.

It’s easy to get caught up in what we “think” should be done but only by prayer can we know that we are doing what’s best in everything.

The New Life

This week on Sharin’ Hearts: The Fireside Bookshelf, Ginger Green takes “The New Life” by Reginald Wallis from the shelf to examine.
“Should a Christian expect and experience constant triumph, every day and all day, over sin and self? Is the victorious life really practical, or is it just an attractive subject for conference gatherings and an interesting topic for discussion? Is it merely a pet theme for extremists and fanatics, or is there actually a sane, Biblical experience of practical triumph within the reach of every believer, irrespective of temperament, circumstances, environment, or changing times and conditions?
Many Christians are asking these questions today. Faced with the never-ending antagonism of a threefold enemy the allurements of the world, the insidious outworkings of the
flesh, and the subtle devices of the devil all combining in a terrible assault against the testimony of real Life, the whole matter constitutes an acute problem for Christian ethics.”
This book summarizes profound and timeless answers to these soul-searching questions.