Welcome to the ACTS Podcast!

Introduction: Your ability needs responsibility to expose its possibilities. Do what you can with what you have where you are. (President Theodore Roosevelt)

Background: The prayer of Ephesians 1:15-23 and the doxology of Ephesians 3:20-21 clearly establish the power of God as a key theme of the epistle.  The power provides salvation which the author understands as a release from the bondage of death and the dominion of the devil and his "powers". (Dr. Clinton E. Arnold, 1989)

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Don't just reflect on what God has done in the past circumstances, but let your request be made known to God. "Not that God needs to be told either our wants or desires; for he knows them better that we can tell him: but he will know them from us, and have us show our regards and concern, express our value of the mercy and sense of our dependence on him." Henry, M. (1994)

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For a Christian to experience depression is one thing, but the fact remains depression is not the final act in the life story of a Christian. There is a proper use of memory in times when we are depressed, remembering  God's past acts as an encouragement to believe that He will act for us again.  So, a key tool for the depressed is to reflect on what God has done in past circumstances.

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When your heart is right, your sense of well-being, or happiness, will grow.  So, to increase your happiness, take a look at the ways you are not guarding your heart.  Are you allowing someone to "steal our happiness"?  Is there a person or persons who are able to manipulate you or "make you feel bad"?  Is there someone who is actively hurting you in some way?  If so, get back in control by not allowing that person or persons to affect you in hurtful ways. (Dr. H. Cloud, 2011)

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True forgiveness-- begins with oneself.  The Bible is silent on the subject of forgiving oneself, but there were implications of forgiveness behavior toward oneself, in the scriptures.

In order to forgive others, we need to first come to terms with how and why we reacted the way we did and what we can to to ensure that we do not repeat the same behavior in the future.  Self-forgiveness is both a beneficial part of the forgiveness process and a necessary skill in learning to overcome being upset with ourselves. (Luskin, 2002)

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One day this present age will have run its course.  When it has, our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will come again and introduce a whole new order of things. But how are we to live in the meantime, as we wait for this great event? The grace of God is salvation and the self-giving of Christ on Calvary together point us to the answer.  Campbell, D. (2007). Opening up Titus (p. 76). Leominster Day On Publications.

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We are commanded to rejoice at all times and in all things... We should never forfeit our joy to sullenness, bitterness, or negativism simply because things aren't the way we would like them to be. Nevertheless, it is typical for believers to let changing circumstances of difficulties, confusions, trials, economic troubles, attacks, disagreements, unfulfilled expectations or ambitions, strained relationships, and so forth throw them off balance and steal their joy (MacArthur, 1999)

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Know what is coming and remain in what you have learned! (R.C.H. Lenski, 1937)

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Paul knew the problems that arise in any Christian society. The best people can slip up.  The word Paul uses (paraptoma) does not mean a deliberate sin; but a slip that might come to someone on an icy road or a dangerous path. Now, the danger of those who are really trying to live the Christian life is that they are apt to judge the sins of others harshly  There is an element of hardness in any good people.  There are any good people to whom you could not go and sob out a story of failure and defeat; they would be bleakly unsympathetic. (Barclay, W. 2002).

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What blows do athletes receive in their face, what blows all over their body. Yet they bear all the torture from thirst to glory. Let us also overcome all things, for your reward is not a crown or a palm branch or the trumpeter proclaiming silence for the announcement of our name, but virtue and strength of mind and peace acquired ever after.

(Lightfoot (St Paul and Seneca) quotes from Seneca (Ep. Mor. IXXVIII.16). [The International Critical Commentary, Robertson and Plummer, p. 195)

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