#1 - Joe's testimony on dealing with depression.
I went through a long period of depression in the late 1970"s. Only now,years later as I have learned to see more of the "big log" in my eyes rather than the "little splinter" in others eyes, have I gained some understanding of the hows and whys of my depression.
I was under a lot of financial pressures, did not have a regular job and was being greatly criticized by my family and friends. I lost energy to work. My thinking processes slowed down. I neglected my faith commitments and began to blame others for my failures. I became preoccupied with my own needs that I thought were not being met as they should be. I became very discontented with life and complained to all who would listen. My problems increased along with my discouraged mood. I avoided confronting my problems and became bitter, as I blamed others for my circumstances. I seemed unable to complete simple jobs.
I excused my anger and indulged in self-pity and had "pity parties" for 'me', 'myself' and 'I'. I envied and resented others success. I was too prideful to humble myself and ask for help from others. I tried to deal with my problems in my own strength but found I want not strong enough to overcome them by myself. Instead of dealing with my problems, I turned my back on them and tried to avoid them by escaping into fantasy.
I am older and wiser now after having learned the hard way what I should have done then but did not, because I was too childish and immature to do at the time. I lacked the character of self control, patience, persistence and forgiveness. Instead I was impulsive, impatient, angry, unforgiving and quit easily or took the easy way out when the going got rough. I quit trying and gave up and turned to easy non-productive solutions to my problems that only made matters worse and not better.
Depression, disgrace, pain, suffering, and disaster followed my foolishness and began to drive me back to my faith and need of outside help. I was a slow learner, due to my being stubborn, prideful, unforgiving, and resentful. I had to learn the hard slow painful was to start taking responsibility for my actions and quit blaming others and circumstances for my problems. I had to learn to seek help from above to help me change my foolish ways. I learned wisdom by reading the "Good Book" and slowly and increasingly applying its truths to my life. Bad habits were hard to break and took time and hard work to overcome. I had to forgive and forget what others had done and said to me. I worked to clear my conscience by making it right with those I had wronged. I sought the fellowship and counsel of older and wiser people as I admitted my helplessness and need to change.
The years have passed and I am no longer depressed and have slowly learned and changed, even though I still have a lot of changing to do. My faith is much stronger and I am learning more and more to be patient, forgiving, persistent and control myself.
Sharing what the Lord has taught me through: His Word, my mistakes, failures and successes and 47+ years as a Biblical counselor.
Look for my short daily morning Bible counseling messages on my Facebook Group and timeline.
The Good News of the Gospel is: Jesus suffered and died on the cross to pay the penalty for sin (and remove the guilt of anticipating sin's punishment & secure forgiveness) & was buried & raised on the third day and so gained a place in heaven for His people (I Corinthians 15:1-4; Romans 4:25; 5:1). Repent and trust in Him today! (I John 1:9).
#2 - A member of an Evangelical Presbyterian Church sharing what the Lord has taught me through:
His Word, my mistakes, failures & successes and 47+ years as a Biblical counselor now retired.
Look for my daily morning Bible messages on Facebook and Timeline. (Keeping it short, simple and Biblical).
My Dad, Paul Sturz, often reminded me "Joe, always get the Gospel in."
So the Good News of the Gospel is: Jesus suffered and died on the cross to pay the penalty for sin and was buried and raised on the third day and so gained a place in heaven for His people (I Corinthians 15:1-4; Rom 4:25; 5:1).
I am praying in the name of Jesus Christ (John 16:24) that those of you that read this will receive the
Holy Spirit's power to find freedom from your bondage to sin through the crucified and risen Christ (I Corinthians 15:3-4; Titus 3:5-7),
repent of your sin, receive His forgiveness (I John 1:9).
Then trust in Christ (Romans 10:9-10, and live for Him (Acts 1:8; Romans 8:11)
faithfully attending a Bible believing church. If you have already received Christ but are not living for Him like you should then now is the time to repent of your sin of backsliding and rededicate your life to Him.
#3 - WHAT IS YOUR WORLDVIEW?
Ideas have consequences. Our faith assumptions determine how we interpret all that we encounter in life which in turn affect how we decide and act and react. All of us develop views of the world based on what we believe about the nature of: God, man, truth, authority, and the after life.
our churches and political parties there are two basic sets of faith assumptions that are in conflict and are polarizing our nation more and more.
These two viewpoints are here described as the Christian liberal socialist and the Christian conservative worldviews. A person may hold to one or the other or an inconsistent combination of the two.
The Christian liberal socialist faith assumptions are basically:
l. People are born good and /or neutral and are a victim of their circumstances and/or shaped by their environment.
2. A utopia is possible through bigger government owning much or all property and distributing it equally.
3. Truth is relative depending on each person’s personal standards--there are no absolute standards of truth for all. Standards and their laws must change with the times and cultures and findings of science.
4. People are accountable only to themselves and/or the state not to a Holy God with absolute standards,.
5. All people are going to oblivion or perhaps a heaven no matter how sinful they are in this life as there is no eternal punishment.
The Christian conservative basic faith assumptions are based on the traditional understanding of the Bible:
1. Man is born a sinner (proud, selfish, rebellious, lazy, lustful etc.., and reaps what he sows unless God intervenes with Salvation and a changed heart).
2. Utopia, however, (men living in peace and prosperity) is not possible until Jesus establishes His millennial rule, but the most practical economic system that has proven to provide more wealth for more people including the poor is the free market capitalistic system. This system is based on the invisible hand of providence working in millions of transactions daily between buyer and seller that constantly reward the honest and hard working and penalize the lazy, greedy and inefficient. This takes place under a limited government that protects the freedom and private property of individuals instead of oppressing them and taking what they have.
3. Truth is absolute and unchanging. It is rooted in God's holy character and summed up in the Ten Commandments. The countries that have incorporated these into their common law system and obeyed them have prospered more than the other countries that have followed false religions and the law systems based on their false religions. To the extent that men become self-governed under God's law they have been under the rule of law and not under the rule of dictators and man's changing laws.
4. All men are important not only because they are created in God’s image (not evolved from the slime by random chance) but all life is important and meaningful and has purpose because all men will have to give an account of their thoughts, words and deeds, as well as of the stewardship of their private property to God on Judgment Day according to His commandments.
5. Jesus spoke more about eternal punishment than He did about heaven. He made clear that those that break His Commandments and reject Him and His Word cannot and will not go to heaven but will have to reap what they sowed.
Those that repent and accept Christ’s death on the cross for their sin and live according to His Law Word will be accepted into heaven to live eternally with Him.
Where do you stand? Have you ever though about which viewpoint you hold? Ideas have consequences.
Joe Sturz www.sturzchristiancounseling.com
#4 Abraham & the Covenant for the Faithful.
God made a covenant with Abraham that included a land, descendants & universal blessing (Genesis 22:17-18). These are all connected to the Lord Jesus Christ (John 8:56). These three elements had & have spiritual as well as physical implications. These included the promise of:
--many physical descendants that would develop into nations (Genesis 17:5) & include Jesus Christ Who was in the line of Abraham (Matthew 1:1-17; Rom 9:4-5), spiritual offspring as Abraham would be the father of the faithful to the Lord. There would be many who were physical descendants of Abraham but not spiritual descendants (John 8:39; Romans 9:6-8;). The true children of Abraham are those who have faith (Galatians 3:6-9) in Christ (Galatians 3:26-29),
--a physical land where his descendants would find physical rest from their enemies (Joshua 24:13-14) & a spiritual promised land of rest that the followers of Christ would be led to in the presence & fellowship of God (Matthew 11:28-30; Hebrews 4) that would be ultimately found in heaven (Revelation 21),
--his descendants would be a blessing to the whole world (Genesis 12:1-3) which would be realized in Abraham's ultimate descendant of promise Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:13-14).
So will you join me in becoming a spiritual son of Abraham, finding rest & fellowship with Jesus Christ in the promised land of blessing & passing on the blessing to those around you? (Matthew 11:28; Hebrews 4:7-12). Listen for His call.
Brother Joe "a spiritual son of Abraham" Sturz
ww.sturzchristiancounseling.com Facebook Twitter YouTube
Sharing what the Lord has taught me through: His Word, 45+ years as a Biblical counselor, my mistakes, failures & successes. Remember the Gospel: Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for sin & rose again from the dead to secure a place in heaven for His people (I Corinthians 15:1- 4).