“By the end of this book you will see grace in a new light; you will see your loving God in a new light. Read it and be encouraged.”–Max Lucado, author of GRACE and In the Grip of Grace
No sin is so great, no bitterness so deep that God’s grace cannot transform the heart and rewrite the story. But grace is so hard for us to understand.
It doesn’t make sense.
It’s not fair.
It can’t possibly cover over what I’ve done.
Perhaps nothing is as difficult to explain as God’s grace. The best way–perhaps the only real way–to understand it is to experience it.
In Grace Is Greater, bestselling author and pastor Kyle Idleman leads us past our hang-ups toward an understanding of grace that is bigger than our mistakes, our failures, our desire for revenge, and our seemingly impossible situations. Through powerful stories of grace experienced, this book will help you truly grasp God’s grace . . . even if the Christians around you have failed to live it.
“Grace is my favorite topic, and Kyle Idleman’s new book breathes fresh life into it through engaging stories and winsome insights. Nothing is greater than grace. Celebrate it, live it, share it!”–Lee Strobel, award-winning author of The Case for Grace
Kyle Idleman is teaching pastor at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky, the fifth largest church in America, where he speaks to more than twenty thousand people each weekend. He is the bestselling and award-winning author of Not a Fan, as well as Gods at War and The End of Me. He is a frequent speaker for national conventions and influential churches across the country. Kyle and his wife, DesiRae, have four children and live on a farm.
How many times have you, as a counselor, been asked?
“WHAT IS LOVE?”
Your first response would be to tell them “GOD ISLOVE”(I John 4:16) and direct them to read John 3:16:“For God so loved the world…” (See also I John 4:8-10).
Your second response would probably be to direct them to I CORINTHIANS 13: “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love.…”
How many times, as a counselor, have you been asked?
“HOW CAN I LOVE MY HUSBAND, MY CHILDREN, AND MY FAMILY?”
Your response could be to tell them that they need to love them with God’s love and direct them to read I John 4:12b: “…If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.”
How many times, as a counselor, have you been asked?
“HOW CAN I LOVE MY DEEP RELATIONSHIPS WITH GOD’S LOVE?”
Your response could be to explain to them that after giving their heart to Jesus, His perfect love will flow through them. Theonly way they can truly love their deep relationships is by stepping aside and allowing Him to love their deep relationships through them.
Now it is no longer their imperfect love that is loving their deep relationships; it is His perfect love flowing through them.
Dr. Douglas A. Wheeler points out in his book Betrothed: “We need to learn to accept God’s love.” He wrote: “The love of God has nothing to do with you and all to do with Him. You cannot earn the love of God, because it was there for you from the foundation of the world.”
Your counselees need to learn to rest in God’s love and not strive to meet their own needs for love and affection because God will supply their needs. In so doing, they will be able to meet the needs of their deep relationships. Nehemiah 8:10 tells us “…for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
Putting Jesus first, then Others, then Yourself = JOY!
Psalm 139:14 tells us that God is our Creator: “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.”
As you know, we are triune beings made up of BODY, SOUL and SPIRIT.
Our BODY is our physical makeup.
Our SOUL encompasses our mind, will and emotions. In temperament we call these areas of the SOUL: Inclusion, Control and Affection.
Mary said in Luke 1:46-47: “My SOUL doth magnify the Lord, andmy SPIRIT hath rejoiced in God my Savior.”
Our SPIRIT is our only connecting link with God.
John 4:24 tells us: “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”
Since our Spirit is our only connecting link with our Lord, how can we help our counselees make that connection?
By teaching them that they need to have their Body, Soul and Spirit in balance.
Each area of the Soul (Inclusion, Control, Affection) is trying to meet its needs—either in godly or ungodly ways.
Once we help our counselees learn how to bring balance to their Soul area, then the Spirit can take His rightful place. We are going to look at ways we can help our counselees line up their Affection area with the Word of God.
In review, Affectionis the need to establish and maintain a satisfactory connection with deep relationships for love and affection.
The needs within the temperament range from expressing love and affection to all deep relationships to expressing love and affection to only a select few.
They also vary from wanting love and affection from all deep relationships to wanting love and affection from only a select few.
Affection is the need:
To express and receive love and approval.
For deep personal relationships.
How many of our emotions we share.
How emotionally guarded or emotionally open we are.
Affection is unique because:
The temperament needs of Affection cannot be genuinely met without a deep, emotionally close relationship with our Lord.
It determines how intimate we are with the extremely close people in our lives, and it also determines the depth of our feelings.
Each person tends to see the Lord from their temperament perspective. Their individual temperament affects their interaction with the Lord.
They will tend to express love and affection to the Lord in the same manner as they express love and affection to their deep relationships.
If they resist opening up and establishing deep, intimate relationships with others, they may also resist a deep, intimate relationship with the Lord.
Jesus Christ is the Living Word, and when we accept Him as our Lord and Savior, He reveals the Written Word (The Holy Bible) to us.
All He wants in return is for us to ask Him into our heart and to love Him with all our heart.
In other words, the temperament need of Affection cannot be fully met without a deep, emotionally close relationship with our Lord.
In this issue we are going to look at some of the Supine in Affection tendencies and what they need to do in order to line up their Affection area with the Word of God.
SUPINES IN AFFECTION TEND TO:
Be responders rather than initiators for two reasons:
They have a high fear of rejection
They feel that if their deep relationships initiate, their love will then be genuine.
Feel worthless and unlovable at times. They see value in others but not themselves,sothey are unable to understand who could love them; therefore, they will be constantlylooking for reasons why their deep relationships should not love them.
Be tenderhearted and emotional. They have a capacity of serving their deep relationships, but they need recognition for what they do; otherwise, they will feel used and become bitter and angry.
Internalize their anger and mask it as “hurt” feelings. They prefer saying their “feelings are hurt” rather than saying “I am angry.” This is because they believe that their deep relationships should know that they “hurt their feelings.”
Cry when they become emotional because they do not know how to deal with therejection from their deep relationships.
Require and will respond to a great deal of love and affection. They will respond with touching, hugging and kissing, as well as responding by serving and performing tasksfor their deep relationships. They need intimacy as much as the actual act of sex becausethey need to be hugged and cuddled.
Perceive rejection and become easily offended and insulted, especially when their deep relationships do not initiate love and affection.
SUPINES IN AFFECTION NEED TO:
Learn that God created them and loves them so much. He wants them to open uptheir heart and let His love flow through them. When they do this, the love that flows through them will be God’s genuine, perfect love, and as we know, “perfect love casteth out all fear!”See I John 4:18: “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”
Learn that their feelings of worthlessness and of being unlovable are just that, feelings. The fact is that God loves them so much that He sacrificed his own son on the cross to atone for their sins.See John 3:16:“For God soloved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”See also II Thessalonians 2:16-17:“Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God,even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlastingconsolation and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts, and stablish you inevery goodwordand work.”
Learn to look to God for recognition and approval, not to their deep relationships so that they do not feel used and become bitter and angry.See Ephesians 4:31: (NIV)“Get rid of allbitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.”See also Philippians 4:19: “But my God shall supply all your need accordingto hisriches in glory by Christ Jesus.” See also Proverbs 15:13: “A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance….”
Learn to admit that when they say their “feelings are hurt,” they are actually saying “I am angry.” Once they admit that are actually angry, they need to learn to deal with this anger by forgiving the person who angered them.See Ephesians 4:26: “Be yeangry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath.”See also Colossians3:12-13: “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies,kindness,humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.”
Learn that it is okay to express their emotions by crying, just as Luke wrote in the bookof Acts.See Acts 20:19a:“Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with manytears….” Jesus wept when he was told Lazarus had died.See John 11:35-36:“Jesus wept. Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!”See Psalm 56:8:“Thou tellestmy wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?”
Learn to initiate love and affection. The Holy Scriptures tell us to love God with all our heart, mind and soul, so that His perfect love can flow throughus. See Matthew22:37-38:“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, Andwith all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.”See alsoI John 4:12b:“If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.”
Learn that when they perceive rejection from their deep relationships, and they become offended and insulted, they need to turn to God’s Word, the Bible. The Bible tells us that God is always with them and that His perfect love cast out all fears of rejection.SeeIsaiah 41:10:“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” See Ephesians 3:17-19:“That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.”
PLEASE NOTE: These are temperament tendencies, and, as always, while you are counseling the Supine in Affection, you must take into consideration their walk with the Lord, learned behavior, personality and birth order.
Sarasota Academy International Representative Spotlight
Dr. John Pelizzari of Belton, Texas, is a Certified Pastoral Member of Sarasota Academy and an International Representative. He has been an International Representative since March 6, 2002.
I believe that you are reading this because you have a heart for people, and as we all know, people come with problems…lots of them. Our passion in healing the brokenhearted, restoring those in need of deliverance from themselves and their past; to free those who are captives in their minds and in their hearts and to guide those that have been bruised in life, is the foundation, in my opinion, of what Creation Therapy is all about.
I have been involved with this dynamic method for over 15 years. When counseling couples, by utilizing the counselor’s suggestions on their profiles, many marriages have been radically changed for the better. Directing the couple to begin looking for ways to ‘out give’ or bless one another on a continual, daily basis helps in meeting their spouse’s temperament needs. As their outlook changes, their lives change. Intimacy returns and marriages grow stronger.
Using the principles of Creation Therapy and the APS reports is just as effective when counseling families as well. Addressing the differences in their temperament diffuses the strife and the conflicts within that family and healthy changes occur. Time and time again families received healing and restoration.
Whether we are teaching the Creation Therapy class or counseling individuals, we have found that a domino effect takes place; especially when using the APS reports. First, we see that our students/clients are coming to a place of self-acceptance when their temperament is explained. Second, as we encourage them to seek ways to meet their temperament needs, a healthier perspective on life develops and an inner freedom becomes more evident. They find themselves being able to live and work with those around them becoming easier.
We have used this on a larger scale in our prison ministry. We have identified that the majority of inmates are incarcerated due to unmet needs which led to criminal behaviors. In addition, we are in the process of teaching Creation Therapy at our prison missionary training facility in New Mexico as part of the curriculum.
Understanding the differences in temperaments, incorporating the APS profile along with prayer brings a standard of excellence to ones calling to help a hurting humanity. In our church and ministries, as an IR, we make Creation Therapy available and the responses are always positive. Some have even taken the course more than once. Our students report that it is both informational and therapeutic to themselves as well.
‘For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” Proverbs 23:7 KJV