How do we rightly discern the problems of the lambs we work with? Hebrews 4.12 states that it is the Scriptures that discern the heart of man, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” The question then is, are we using Scripture to discern or are we simply adapting to the interpretations of man and his problems that are common to our culture? This is an interesting article that highlights using Scripture as our gauge for determining personality traits in order to rightly help people. How do you think this author’s challenge to consult the Scriptures first relates to discerning problems Biblically?
Our house is for sale. If you’ve ever sold the home you live in you understand the gravity of that first sentence! For the past two weeks I have scrutinized every square inch of my home and then cleaned and/or painted it. In the meantime, nine potential buyers have paraded through as I sit in a parking lot waiting out their appointment. Friends remind me that, “at least I don’t have kids at home anymore,” which, yes, brings comfort. I’ve sold houses with kids at home and am sympathetic to those who must sell their house during that season of life. That doesn’t mean, however, that I don’t. Just. Want. It. Over.
I’m not very patient.
I read an article the other day called “Microwave Maturity” and was reminded (convicted) of my impatience not only in circumstances but also with people. How do you view the progress of the lambs you walk along side of? Are you satisfied only when there is an “AHA!” moment or do you see each step (or non step!) as one orchestrated by the Father, perfectly worked out in His providential timing?
On the Biblical Counseling Coalition blog this week, Pastor, Professor, Author AND Biblical Counselor, Paul Tautges interviews Dr. David Powlison of CCEF. Paul asks David to summarize Biblical Counseling in “50 words or less” (there’s more than 50 words though, pastors always have more…) Read the full article by clicking on the heading of this section.
“Counseling is one part of the overall ministry of Christ that meets us publicly, privately, and interpersonally.
The public means of grace—preaching, teaching, the Lord’s Supper, worship, and fellowship—meet people in crowds. You never have to attach anyone’s name to it, but the Holy Spirit is able to personalize the public ministry of the gospel and the truth of the Lord.
Then there is the private ministry of the Word of Truth. This is your own prayer life, meditation on and study of Scripture, application, journaling, and your own implementation and meditations of the heart.
Finally, biblical counseling is part of the interpersonal ministry of the Word. God means for us to bear each other’s burdens. It’s a good goal to become more competent at self-counsel, the private ministry, but we always need other people. We need their prayers, encouragement, and insight. There may be something you have said to yourself a hundred times, but then you hear it from the lips of someone else, and the Holy Spirit chooses to work. Hearing it from another person’s voice makes it come to life. Wise counseling brings that personalized relevance of interpersonal ministry of the eternal Word of Truth that turns our lives upside down and inside out.”
In 1 Samuel 23 we read how Saul commissioned the future King David to play beautiful music. Saul was deeply troubled and believed David’s music would provide him with relief for his spirit. The worship songs David performed to the Lord were not only beautiful; they also brought Saul’s soul comfort and refreshment.
Hymns are rich and vivid illustrations of profound Scriptural truth, often wrought through painful life circumstances. In Hym.no.logy we will gaze upon some stunning and powerful hymns, learn something about their authors, and ask the question, “how do these timeless truths bring comfort and refreshment to our lambs?”
This week’s hymn, “Tis so Sweet to Trust in Jesus,” was written by Louise Stead shortly after she and her small daughter witnessed her husbands death. On a family outing at Long Island Sound, Mr. Stead swam to the aid of a young boy who was drowning. Instead of saving the young child, however, Mr. Stead and the boy drowned. Note how the author highlights that it is a grace to be able to trust our Father more…
“Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
And to take him at his word;
Just to rest upon his promise,
And to know, “Thus saith the Lord.
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust him!
How I’ve proved him o’er and o’er!
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
O for grace to trust him more!
O how sweet to trust in Jesus
Just to trust his cleansing blood;
And in simple faith to plunge me
Neath the healing, cleansing flood!
Yes, ‘tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just from sin and self to cease;
Just from Jesus simply taking
Life and rest, and joy and peace.”
“Those who hurry forward too hastily, and are unable
to realize God’s power unless he appear speedily, working deliverance for them,
intercept the communication of his grace.”
John Calvin, Commentary on Psalm 34.21