20th March 17:16
DN Giving Godly Counsel 10/9/2006 (wise psychology able church sword)
Giving Godly Counsel
"Concerning you, my brethren, I myself also am convinced that
you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge,
and able also to admonish one another" (Rom. 15:14).
Scripture is the source of godly counsel.
In recent years the question of who is competent to counsel has
become an important issue in the church. Many pastors and other
church leaders have curtailed their counseling ministries or stopped
them altogether. They've been made to feel inadequate for not having
formal training in psychological counseling techniques.
Behind this movement away from pastoral counseling is the subtle
implication that the Holy Spirit and Scripture are incapable of
addressing the deepest needs of the human heart. It is claimed that
only secular psychology dispensed by trained ****ysts can do that.
But the truth is, the heart of man is "more deceitful than all else
and is desperately sick; who can understand it?" (Jer. 17:9). No one.
That includes humanistic counselors. Verse 10 says, "I, the Lord,
search the heart, I test the mind." Only God can understand the human
David prayed, "O Lord, Thou hast searched me and known me. Thou dost
know when I sit down and when I rise up; Thou dost understand my
thought from afar. Thou dost scrutinize my path and my lying down,
and art intimately acquainted with all my ways. . . . Where can I go
from Thy Spirit? Or where can I flee from Thy presence?" (Ps. 139:1
Only God knows what's in a person's heart. Only His Spirit working
through His Word can penetrate one's deepest thoughts and motives to
transform the heart and renew the mind (Heb. 4:12; Rom. 12:2).
Professional psychologists are no substitute for spiritually gifted
people who know the Word, possess godly wisdom, are full of goodness,
and available to help others apply divine truth to their lives (Rom.
When people come to you for counsel, the best thing you can do is
show them what God's Word says about their problem and how it applies
to their situation. But you can't do that unless you know the Word
and are allowing it to do its work in you first. Then you'll be in a
position to counsel others more effectively.
Suggestions for Prayer:
Thank God for the wise and all-sufficient counsel of His Word.
Reaffirm your commitment to share it at every opportunity.
For Further Study:
According to Psalm 119:24, on what did the psalmist rely for his
Drawing Near, Copyright 1993 John F. MacArthur, Jr.
All rights reserved. Used by permission.
12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any
two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit,
and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and
intents of the heart.
2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the
renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and
acceptable and perfect will of God.
14 Now I myself am confident concerning you, my brethren, that you
also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to
admonish one another.
24 Your testimonies also are my delight And my counselors.
These devotions are posted with permission from John MacArthur's
first (1993) devotional work, _Drawing Near_, and they are also sent
out daily for free to several folks via e-mail.
In addition, John's second (1997) devotional, _Strength for Today_,
is also available free via e-mail only. _Strength for Today_ follows
the same format as what you have seen here from _Drawing Near_, but
with different monthly themes.
If you would like to receive daily devotions via e-mail from either
of these series, just let me know (via e-mail), and I will gladly add
you to the list(s) of your choice.
You can hear John MacArthur daily via the Internet by visiting:
You may email John MacArthur in care of Grace to You at:
NOTE for those of you reading via newsgroups: If you wish to reach
me, please contact me via e-mail for quickest results.
Peter G. Chase :: Columbus, Ohio, USA
STOP! Who do you think Jesus is?
To f****ve is to set a prisoner free, and to discover that the prisoner was you. -Alistair Begg