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Monday, November 29, 2021

Centers for Death Control Latest Recommendations - Cyber Monday Special - Purity 588

Centers for Death Control Latest Recommendations - Cyber Monday Special - Purity 588

Purity 588 11/29/2021 Purity 588 Podcast

Good morning

Today’s photo of an early morning view of what we suspect to be Lake Keowee near Seneca, SC comes to us from a friend’s Thanksgiving Weekend visit to a sibling who calls the Palmetto state home.  Although siblings sometimes have rivalries and some may try to assume the role of a pseudo parent or role model, our friend’s photos gave no evidence of any relational difficulties or either party trying to assume control over the other. 

Today is Cyber Monday and the issue of control is at the forefront of my thoughts this morning as I saw that one of the deals that was featured yesterday for Cyber Monday was for the Amazon Smart Soap Dispenser that has a 20 second timer and works with Alexa. It is being sold for $37.99, and that’s down from $54.99!  For a soap dispenser. 

Now it wasn’t the cost that necessarily drew my attention or shocked me. The distribution of wealth is unbalanced and there will always be a call to price somewhat simple items at higher prices to make the rich feel they are getting a luxury item or the “top of the line” in soap dispensers.  

What shocked me was the tie-in to the current culture of fear and man’s desire to control their environment.   

If anyone has any doubt of our now being in a “dystopian” society, you should notice the measures of control that are subtly or not so subtly being instituted into our lives.  Vaccine and mask mandates are the soup du jour and the insistence of “making hand washing count” as this soap dispenser’s marketing materials advertises is the next level of control that will eventually be instituted by those who would choose to legislate away any possible cause of death.    

The soap dispenser’s 20 second time is based on the CDC’s recommendations of how long you should wash your hands and even though this soap dispenser is considered a “smart” soap dispenser it assumes that you are smart enough to follow the CDC’s guidelines but apparently not smart enough to count to 20.   

The soap dispenser’s “smart” features also indicate that your attention span is extremely limited because it assumes that you require that Alexa entertain you with music or jokes while you wash.     

And of course, Amazon, apparently assumes that you are either too dull or too terrified to consider that nearly $40 may be an exorbitant coast for a hand washing accessory.  

While I had a chuckle at first over the absurdity of this latest sign of the times, I realized that it really wasn’t funny.  We have entered into a new age where our society could choose a path to try to eliminate all disease at the costs of our personal freedom.  

I then realized that the CDC was an oxymoron.  Think about it? Disease control? That’s like Jumbo Shrimp.  If we could really control disease, would there be disease? I don’t think so. 

And what’s so bad about disease anyway? If it doesn’t kill you, it makes you stronger right?  

Oh that’s it? We don’t want to die. Right, because most of us have no assurance of what lies on the other side of death and thus we must prevent that at all costs! 

We are one missed hand washing session away from being thrown into an uncertain eternity!

Because of our precarious situation we should not only buy automated soap dispensers we should expand the CDC’s recommendations to include everything that could cause us to die!   We need to rename that fine organization the Centers for Death Control!    

Otherwise, we might have to take the recommendations from some other Higher Power!   

There is a Higher Power that claims to have made a way beyond death itself and some claim that this Higher Power is in control of the course of history, being the Creator and Sustainer of all things.   This Higher Power is even said to be the agent that calls His created beings into eternity.   The implications of the existence of this Higher Power are that our efforts at controlling our environments and when we get sick, and die may be ultimately meaningless as this Higher Power could call us into eternity at any moment.

This Higher Power, of course, is God.  And any measure of safety or peace that we can get from washing our hands or “doing everything right” pales in comparison to the peace that comes from being in a relationship with Him. 

We don’t know when we will die. I have an acquaintance whose wife took great strides in the last few years to get healthy by exercising and changing her eating habits. She lost a significant amount of weight and by all appearances was in the best health of her life.  I am not sure what her hand washing habits were, but it appeared that she agreed with the CDC’s recommendations regarding COVID-19. She was an advocate for her community and helped a great number of people in various ways.   She recently died quite suddenly and unexpectantly from an unseen and unpreventable medical issue. Her best efforts to prolong and protect her life, proved not to matter.

Don’t get me wrong, I completely condone taking strides to improve our physical and mental health.  But our spiritual health is ultimately the most important thing.  

I don’t know this women’s spiritual destiny but cringed that I saw a social media post from her that proclaimed, “Sundays are for coffee and watching movies.”   The Lord knows her heart and always does what’s right.   

However, the Lord sent Jesus Christ to save us.  Our good works for the community and being nice to our family and friends don’t reconcile us to the Lord.  The word indicates that it is through faith in Christ alone that we receive eternal life and the great commission states that we are to go into the world and make disciples of all nations.   

Is someone saved by Christ if they never mention His name?

One of the scariest verses in the Bible indicates that some will claim faith in Christ only to be told that He never knew them.   When we live a life that gives no evidence of a relationship with Jesus, can we have assurance that we are going where He is when we die?

A true understanding of a Sovereign God and the gospel of Jesus Christ will result in faith in Jesus and the assurance of life forever more. 

While life is precious and we should take steps to protect and prolong it, we should also be just as diligent to meet its purpose: to know God and to make Him known.  

So instead of purchasing the latest gadget that can help you live another day on earth, seek the Lord, find and name Jesus Christ as your Lord Savior and Savior, and have the assurance that you will live with Him forever.   

It is the season of Christmas. Jesus is the reason for the season.  So be bold in letting everyone know that when you say “I believe” it’s not in some jolly old elf that gives out presents once a year.  Let them know that you believe in the Son of God, and God the Son, who came to earth to die for your sins and to bring you into His eternal kingdom.  

Don’t be afraid of some disease and develop the habits of an obsessive compulsive when you can instead place your faith in Christ and live a life of peace where you can know that no matter when you are called into eternity you will be safe in His presence forever.


Today’s Bible verse is drawn from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.  

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Psalm 46:1 (NLT2)  God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.

 

Today’s verse reminds us that God is our protector and the source of our strength.  

Oh brother, I have walked through some times of trouble since coming to faith in Jesus Christ and have had episodes in my faith walk where I was faced with uncertain circumstances where I was brought to the pit of despair and honestly didn’t know how I was supposed to go on. 

But God, 

Yeah, things were bleak. I didn’t have any answers of how or when I would get out of those times of trouble but because of my relationship with God that was established when I put my faith in Jesus Christ I received the strength to carry on. 

In those times of trouble I was connected to God through my spiritual disciplines of prayer, Bible study, and worship.  So even though  things seemed utterly hopeless, I had hope.  Even when I was in a restless position circumstantially, I had peace.  

When you come before God and humble yourself, He will lift you up.  No matter how bad things got at times because of my faith I had a reason to keep going. 

And as I kept walking with God, I received His guidance and was amazed how things that were crafted by others to work against me were turned around and worked in my favor.   

The word is true. God is our refuge and strength and always ready to help us in times of trouble.    So trust the Lord. Seek His presence, His wisdom, and His ways continually because He will never leave you or forsake you and when those times of trouble come you will be amazed at the help you receive when you are walking with Him.  

As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk. 

 

Today we continue sharing from June Hunt’s “Evil and Suffering… Why? Is God Fair?

 

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase June Hunt’s books for your own private study and to support her work.

E. How to Answer the Skeptic Who Asks ... "Can God Do Anything?"

If a skeptic asks a Bible-believer, "Can God do anything?" the predictable answer is "Yes." And the biblical basis for this response is in numerous Scriptures, such as Jeremiah 32:27 ... "I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?" Someone could say, "If that's true, then God could eliminate all evil and suffering now!"

If you fail to qualify your own answer, you could fall prey to a number of trick questions. For this reason you need to know how to avoid becoming flustered by learning how to give accurate, wise answers based on biblical truth ...

"Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone." (Colossians 4:6)

  • Can God create a rock so heavy that He cannot lift it?
    However you answer this yes or no question, you know you are wrong.
    • —If you answer, "No, He cannot make a rock that He cannot lift," you have just denied His omnipotence.
    • —If you answer, "Yes, He can make a rock that He cannot lift," again, you have just denied His omnipotence. So, how do you answer this question? Simply state, "God has the power to do anything that is consistent with His divine character. Likewise, God cannot do anything that is counter to His divine character." The Bible actually lists certain actions that are impossible for God, such as...
      • God cannot lie.
            "It is impossible for God to lie." (Hebrews 6:18)
      • God cannot be tempted.
            "God cannot be tempted by evil." (James 1:13)
      • God cannot cease to exist.
            "In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. Like clothing you will change them and they will be discarded. But you remain the same, and your years will never end." (Psalm 102:25-27)
  • Can God make a one-sided triangle?
    • —If you answer "No," a skeptic could ask this follow-up question:
      • "Does that mean God is not all-powerful?"

Before you answer a question, first evaluate whether the question is logical or not. Simply state,

  • "This question is illogical because by definition a triangle must be three-sided."
  • "This simply means God can do anything consistent with His divine character—anything that is logically possible."

"Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will be like him yourself. Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes." (Proverbs 26:4-5)


Biblical Counseling Keys - Biblical Counseling Keys – Biblical Counseling Keys: Evil and Suffering... Why?: Why God? Why?.

---------------------------more tomorrow------------------------

 

Join our “Victory over the Darkness” or “The Bondage Breaker” series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

at https://mt4christ247.podbean.com, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

(https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mt4christ247s-podcast/id1551615154). The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and Audible.com. 

Email me at mt4christ247@gmail.com to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.

 

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

 

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Bible Study with the Cincotti's - Seed Time and Harvest Time! - 11/28/2021


 Today's Bible Study, Authored by Arthur Cincotti. 11/28/2021

Listen to our Bible Study Discussion at: Seed Time and Harvest Time Podcast

Seed Time and Harvest Time!

 

Read Mat. 13:24-30

         In Mat. ch. 13, Jesus is teaching and ministering in one of the  unspecified towns around the sea of Galilee. In this setting He tells a series of parables using agricultural metaphors.

         The parable of the, “Wheat and the Tares” gives a global perspective, covering a span from the beginning of time to the “end of the age”. This parable is easily interpreted because Jesus actually gives the interpretation in Mat. 13:37-42

Note: “tares” can also be translated “darnel” or “false grain”

A couple of bullet points are:

      It makes an interesting case for predestination.

      It makes an interesting case that not all are “children of God”

      It makes and interesting case for not confronting evil with violence.

We are not going to dwell on these!

 

I will note that some interpreters apply this parable to the church, but since church discipline is addressed in Mat. 18:15-17, and elsewhere in the Epistles, it’s widely rejected.

 

Read Is. 5:1-7

         In this prophecy there is a similar agricultural theme, yet here there is no mixed crop. The lens is narrowed to the children, or Nation of Israel. The consequences are harsh, yet not final as with the Mat. 13:24 parable.

 

Read Mat. 13:3-9 and the interpretation 18-23

         In this the lens is narrowed to the individual human heart. We see a variety of agricultural images as metaphors that we painfully recognize in people we love, and even, perhaps, in ourselves at times. The litmus test of “good ground” is, “a crop” and “fruit”.

What is the point of comparing and considering these three Scriptures in tandem?

 

         I’m glad you asked. I was wonder too!

 

         Our hearts, and lives are liken to a field; I Cor. 3:9, “you are God’s field”.

         We receive influence, or seed, from many sources, some good, and some bad. Our lives are a mixed field of wheat and tares. We express this by saying, “I am a work in progress”. Even the Apostle Paul declared this in Phil. 3:12, “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected, but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.”

 

         If then,  (or since) we have received grace/salvation, by placing our faith exclusively in Jesus Christ, and His atoning work on the cross, then, even at our worst, we have a covenant with God, as did Israel in Is. 5. For even Paul writes, six hundred years later, “has God cast away His people (Israel)? Certainly not!” Rom. 11:1

 

So, what of Mat. 13:3, “The Parable of the Sower”?

         The condition of our hearts is the issue at hand.

Has God given you a new heart? Eze. 36:26

         One that is pliable and receptive to the Word of God.

Is that new heart being feed on the Word of God. Ps. 119:105

         Or, garbage in, garbage in.

Are you able to discern good from evil. Heb. 5:14

         “discerning of spirits” is a gift of the Holy Spirit. I Cor. 12:10

 

         Unlike the parable of the wheat and tares, we, as individuals must tend to the condition of our field. Cultivate good soil. Give God permission to break up fallow ground. Displace the tares with good seed. We must pluck up tares by “taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” II Cor. 10:5. Ask God to, “Create in me a clean heart” Ps. 51:10 “Study to show ourselves approved” II Tim. 2:15. “Let your light so shine before men…” Mat. 5:16.  We are not home yet!

Saturday, November 27, 2021

It’s NOT all about ME? – Finding Center by Looking Up - Purity 587


 

It’s NOT all about ME? – Finding Center by Looking Up - Purity 587

Purity 587 11/27/2021  Purity 587 Podcast

Good morning

Today’s photo of another 2021Thanksgiving Day sunrise comes to us from the Inlet Community Church’s FB page with the warm reminder that it is important to be “thankful to the Lord for the simple things… like a new morning.”  They also shared a portion of scripture to back it up with the word of God indicating that the hope of a new day is God given as the Lord’s “mercies are… new every morning” from Lamentations 3:22-23. 

Today’s Saturday but as I have to work today, I am grounding myself in thankfulness for the small and big things as a remedy to ward of any feelings of discontentment or outrage that “I”, MT Clark has to suffer the injustice of being the victim of circumstance of somehow drawing the short straw of having “MY” Thanksgiving weekend disrupted by work!

Never mind the vast multitudes that had to work on Turkey Day, Black Friday, today and tomorrow, “I”, as in ME, MYSELF, AND I have to WORK, TODAY!

Sure I have I had off Wednesday to compensate for my “end day”, aka having to work Saturday, and I had a wonderful Thanksgiving with some of my future in-laws and a peaceful somewhat lazy Friday yesterday, but TODAY, I HAVE to WORK!!! WHY, OH WHY ME???  

Okay, although I used caps on the blog and may have raised my voice on the podcast for dramatic effect to convey that I was a little miffed at the idea of having to work today, I am happy to report that I rarely get offended and angry at the circumstances in life to this extreme extent any longer.   

Since coming to Christ and discovering the fact that in Christ all the problems of life are adequately put in their proper place, I have learned to manage my experience and filter my perspective with a higher view, most of the times… or eventually.     

I no longer look at life, for long anyway, as an opera singer where everything is about “Me, Me, Me, Me… Me!”  No, when I am flustered by the circumstances of life, by others’ attitudes or actions, or by my own personal failings or errors in judgment (Why do I do that!), I find my peace in the truth of who I am in Christ and the fact that I am accepted, significant, and secure because of Him.   

So when I face disappointments I remind myself that God’s mercies are new every morning, meaning that because I am in relationship with Him because of my faith in Christ, every day is a brand new start and it is built upon the fact that the Lord has blessed me in the past and chosen to give me a new day to rejoice, to share His love, and to work through any present difficulties by leaning on His guidance and strength.  

When we shift our focus off of our personal pain, sufferings, or perceived or real injustices and focus on who we are in Christ and our life giving relationship with the Lord, there is really nothing we can’t endure, walk through, and eventually overcome. 

The term “finding you center” is one used by yoga enthusiasts all over the world and is described as “connecting with your spirit by allow yourself to dwell on your innate goodness. Your center is that intangible place located within your core that is the best you possible.”    

While I would describe the process as “finding your center above” by someone who has not received spiritual life through faith in Christ to really be a “soulish endeavor”,  I will admit that employing simple relaxation techniques and meditating on positive affirmations can result in moments of profound peace and clarity.   

The problem is that “finding YOUR center” is a SELFISH practice that is centered in DECEPTION.  YOUR “innate goodness” doesn’t exist.  While God has written His law upon our hearts and it feels good to do good and “be good”, our sin reveals the true proclivity that we have for depravity and our innate “badness”.  

Meditative practices and exercise can make you feel good while you are doing them. You could be such a faithful practitioner that your life would be one exemplified as one being free of conflict and full of circumstantial peace.   

But if you find peace within and by YOURSELF, you have probably disconnected from others in your life in profound ways by manipulating your emotions or interactions and you have certainly separated yourself from reality and the very real and very personal God that created it.    

The practices of peace that men employ only last while you are practicing and without faith in Christ result in eternity in hell.  

While the Christian faith consists of many practices that the enemy will use and counterfeit such as prayer, meditation, service, and contemplating truths that the Lord put into His creation, it promises peace with God through one means and one mean only: faith in Jesus Christ.  

While other religions and philosophies stress working for peace with God or attaining a godlike status through spiritual attainments that will make you one with the universe (doesn’t that belong to God?), Jesus Christ reconciles men to God because of God’s love for us and through Christ’s perfect life and sacrifice on the cross to pay for our sins.  

While we could manufacture peace in the moment by focusing on the positive and thinking happy thoughts,  the only true happy thought comes from a relationship with God through faith in Christ where you are assured of life’s meaning because of your salvation and coming to find your purpose by being reconciled to the Creator of all things who will sustain you and guide you for all eternity.  

So find the peace that lasts forever by being reconciled to the “Center” and Creator of all things, the Lord God Almighty.  Jesus didn’t come so we could enjoy a day of exchanging presents.   Christ came to reconcile us to God and to give us an eternal life of meaning and purpose that starts the moment we accept Him as Lord and Savior when we receive the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit and receive spiritual life. From that point forward we can have peace as fruit of the Holy Spirit, a peace that will last forever.

So “center yourself” on the word of God, the truth of who you are in Christ, and on the purpose that God is calling you to.  When you do that it becomes less about “ME” and more about “We” – as you are eternally connect with God who never leaves you or forsakes you and who will continually guide and strengthen you to discover His mercies that are new every day, even on the Saturdays when you will have to work.  


Today’s Bible verse is drawn from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.  

This morning’s meditation verse is:

1 Peter 5:7 (NLT2)
7  Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.

 

Today’s verse speaks of the care that the Lord has for us and commands us to lay our burdens down at His feet.  

From the time that we are children, we are assured by loving caregivers that “everything is going to be all right.”   More often than not those assurances are true. We somehow avoided suffering from whatever caused us to worry and we somehow survived and may have even felt silly about our anxieties after we had emerged to the other side of whatever we were worried about.  

The care and love that our parents or caregivers provided was fundamental in how we viewed the world. If their assurances of safety worked out to be true we viewed the world as somewhat logical and secure provided you “did everything right.”   

Even Bob Marley assured us that the world could be a happy place when he sang about how “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright.”.  Marley died of cancer, melanoma, in 1977 at the age of 36.  So yikes. 

As well meaning as our loved one’s assurances of safety and security may be, the reality of sudden death and disease can make them liars and cause us to have a more grounded view of how “everything is falling apart” or “everything is dying”.  

While these harsh statements are true, God stands above those realities and has eternal kingdom that is unseen and will eventually manifest in our experience with the return of Jesus Christ.  

“Everything is Gonna Be Alright” for those in relationship with Christ.  Today’s verse is written to Christians specifically.  Christians should give all their worries and cares to God because due to our relationship to Him through faith in Jesus Christ, He cares for us.  

While God loves all of His creation, His care comes to and is completely fulfilled to those who put their faith in Christ.  Christians are assured of their eternal lives of acceptance, significance, and security because of Jesus.  

So as Christians we can give all our worries and cares to God because we know that no matter what we face there is nothing that can separate us from God’s love and His eternal plans of good for us.  

So keep walking and talking with God. Cast your cares and worries on the Lord and be sure to walk into your purpose of declaring the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ to all you encounter as you go. 

 

As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk. 

 

Today we continue sharing from June Hunt’s “Evil and Suffering… Why? Is God Fair?

 

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase June Hunt’s books for your own private study and to support her work.

D. How You Can Escape Eternal Suffering

Personal suffering throughout eternity can be avoided by understanding and accepting 4 vital truths in God's plan.

4 Points of God's Plan

#1. God's Purpose for You... is Salvation.

  • —What was God's motive in sending Christ to earth? To express His love for you by saving you! The Bible says ...
        "God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." (John 3:16-17)
  • —What was Jesus' purpose in coming to earth?
    To forgive your sins, to empower you to have victory over sin, and to enable you to live a fulfilled life! Jesus said ...
        "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." (John 10:10)

#2. Your Problem... is Sin.

  • —What exactly is sin? Sin is living independently of God's standard—knowing what is right, but choosing what is wrong. The Bible says ...
        "Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins." (James 4:17)
  • —What is the major consequence of sin? Spiritual "death"... eternal separation from God. Scripture states ...
        "Your iniquities [sins] have separated you from your God.... For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Isaiah 59:2; Romans 6:23)

#3. God's Provision for You... is the Savior.

  • —Can anything remove the penalty for sin? Yes! Jesus died on the cross to personally pay the penalty for your sins.
        "God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8)
  • —What can keep you from being separated from God? Belief in (entrusting your life to) Jesus Christ as the only way to God the Father. Jesus says ...
        "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6)

#4. Your Part... is Surrender.

  • —Give Christ control of your life—entrusting yourself to Him ...
        "Jesus said to his disciples, 'If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross [die to your own self-rule] and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?'" (Matthew 16:24-26)
  • —Place your faith in (rely on) Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior and reject your "good works" as a means of earning God's approval ...
        "It is by grace you have been saved, through faithand this not from yourselves, it is the gift of Godnot by works, so that no one can boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9)

The moment you choose to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior—entrusting your life to Him—He comes to live inside you. Then He gives you His power to live the fulfilled life God has planned for you. If you want to be fully forgiven by God and become the person God created you to be, you can tell Him in a simple, heartfelt prayer like this:

Prayer of Salvation

"God, I want a real relationship with You.
I admit that many times I've chosen to go my own way instead of Your way.
Please forgive me for my sins.
Jesus, thank You for dying on the cross to pay the penalty for my sins.
Come into my life to be my Lord and my Savior.
Change me from the inside out and make me the person
You created me to be.
In Your holy name I pray. Amen."

What Can You Expect Now?

If you sincerely prayed this prayer, look at what God says about you!

"If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Question: "Isn't salvation unfair?"

Answer: Yes and no.

  • On the one hand, salvation is unfair because no one deserves to be saved.
  • On the other hand, salvation is fair because it is offered to everyone without discrimination. Because everyone is guilty of sin, no one is condemned unjustly. Therefore, the only "injustice" is that sinners can be saved at all ...

"Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit." (1 Peter 3:18)

 

Question: "If God is really a forgiving God, why doesn't He just forgive everyone?"

Answer: God offers to forgive everyone—but not everyone is willing to receive His offer of forgiveness. Justice requires that a penalty must be paid for our sin, and the penalty for our sin is separation from Him (spiritual death)—"The wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23).

  • Since Jesus paid this penalty by dying on the cross for sins, all who place their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ receive full forgiveness of their sins.
  • God will not force anyone to receive His forgiveness. Therefore, the choice is up to each of us ...

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9)

 

Question: "If Jesus is God, why did Jesus have to suffer?"

Answer: Jesus is our Deliverer, our Encourager, and our example ...

  • Through His suffering, Jesus made possible your victory over sin and your spiritual healing.
        "He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed." (1 Peter 2:24)
  • Through His suffering, Jesus showed you how to keep from growing weary or losing heart.
        "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross.... Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." (Hebrews 12:2-3)
  • Through His suffering, Jesus showed you how to endure unjust treatment and to entrust yourself to God.
        "It is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God.... To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. 'He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.' When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly." (1 Peter 2:19, 21-23)

 Biblical Counseling Keys: Evil and Suffering... Why?: Why God? Why?.

---------------------------more tomorrow------------------------

 

Join our “Victory over the Darkness” or “The Bondage Breaker” series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

at https://mt4christ247.podbean.com, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

(https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mt4christ247s-podcast/id1551615154). The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and Audible.com. 

Email me at mt4christ247@gmail.com to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.

 

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

Friday, November 26, 2021

A Black Friday Door Buster Deal Like No Other – The Free Gift of Peace - Purity 586


A Black Friday Door Buster Deal Like No Other – The Free Gift of Peace - Purity 586

Purity 586 11/25/2021 Purity 586 Podcast

Good morning

Today’s photo of sunrise on Thanksgiving Day 2021 from the vantage of point of a “retired” friend’s backyard barn which is presumably somewhere in Otsego County in Upstate NY. I say presumably because our retired friend doesn’t advertise their current address on FB and their retired life is far from sedentary as they have been known to share the sights of their travels to various NY State parks, the Adirondacks, and “their cabin” up in Maine.  They also have been known to share photos of various work projects that lead me to believe that the term “semi-retired” is more appropriate because I can’t imagine anyone doing the work they do, repairing chimneys and doing roofs, to be a hobby.

It's Black Friday, that day after Thanksgiving when the Christmas shopping season begins in full force.   It’s a day that quite a few of us will have off to decide whether we want to spend it relaxing at home with Thanksgiving leftovers or to decorate for Christmas, or perhaps to take to the roads to see new sights on an extended weekend trek, or to brave the commercial wasteland of doorbuster deals.

For me, I’m not quite sure yet what the day holds specifically but I know that I won’t be chasing down the latest fad toy like Arnold Schwarzenegger in Jingle all the Way. My adult children are past the age where I may have deemed that to be necessary and I have matured to understand how limited material items are in their ability to satisfy. Running into the chaos of a holiday shopping melee just isn’t on the menu anymore as I take more joy in the reason for the season than the hoopla of the holiday.  

So as we enter into the Christmas season, I pray that all my friends remember the Prince of Peace for whom the holiday is intended to celebrate and to consider that He came to earth to give us rest and his entrance into the world came with angelic tidings of peace on earth and good will toward men.    

So whether you decide to use the weekend to decorate for the upcoming holiday, to fight the good fight of claiming your share of some holiday shopping deals, or just decide to rest after the stress of Thanksgiving, I encourage you to include some contemplation of the reason why we celebrate and why we are here.  

God sent Christ to earth to reconcile mankind to Him and to save us from ourselves.  Our selfish and sinful lives are in opposition to the peace, love, joy, and goodness that the Lord would have us experience through the fruit of the Spirit. 

While sinful man would encourage us to buy our way into happiness, the Lord calls us to accept the free gift of salvation that we can’t buy, work, or fight for.  

The Lord calls us to stop striving and to stop trying to earn the peace and joy that is only possible through a harmonious relationship with Him.  He calls us out of the darkness of the world system and our own efforts to humbly acknowledge our need for rest and peace with Him. 

So connect or reconnect with the Prince of Peace. Know that in Christ death has lost its sting because He gives everlasting life to all who place their faith in Him.  When we know our future is assured to be good, we can enjoy the present. So keep walking and talking with God. His gift of salvation is not for sale on Black Friday, it comes through faith in Christ alone and the burden of a life with Him is light and He will give you rest and peace forever more.


Today’s Bible verse is drawn from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.  

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Psalm 37:5 (NLT2)
5 Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust him, and he will help you.

 

Today’s verse speaks of the spiritual reality that God will indeed help us but it indicates there may be some conditions to meet to receive it.  

Our Heavenly Father isn’t a genie in a bottle.  Our Lord is a personal God.  He loves us and cares what happens to us and how we live our lives.  So while just about everyone would gladly take whatever blessings and help that the Lord could offer them, we should understand that typically the help we receive from the Lord is proportional to the relationship we have with Him. 

I often refer to Romans 8:28’s promise of God’s working all things together for good but am quick to emphasize that the promise is for those who love God and are called according to His purpose.   That verse, like today’s verse tells us that God will help us but like today’s verse it also indicates that a relationship with God is required.  Romans 8:28 tells us that the promise for all things being worked together for good is conditional on the recipient loving God and being called to His purposes.  

Today’s verse assures us that God will help you but that help comes to us when we commit everything we do to the Lord and that we trust Him.  

Committing everything we do to the Lord is the disciple’s path where we decide to live according to God’s way by trusting that the word of God can teach us how to live our lives and that we trust God enough to actually apply the Bible’s teachings to our lives on a continual basis.  

The help we receive can include miraculous instances of divine intervention or by being the recipient of God’s providence as His hand influences the “normal” circumstances of time and space to result in favorable outcomes for us.    

But the help we receive from the Lord can also be the result of the consequences of good choices that are made based on God’s word.  By following the Lord’s wisdom for living from the Bible, we can be said to “be those who help themselves” by aligning our hearts and our actions with God’s will for our lives.  

Rather than a disconnected religious recipe of meeting all the conditions of prayer to manipulate the Lord to bless us,  our faith should be seen and lived as a dynamic relationship with Him where we demonstrate our trust and love for our heavenly Father by living as He instructs, seeking His presence, and listening for His guidance. 

God will help us.  So trust in Him and commit everything you do to the Lord  by placing your faith in Jesus and living like one of His disciples.

 

 

As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk. 

 

Today we continue sharing from June Hunt’s “Evil and Suffering… Why? Is God Fair?

 

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase June Hunt’s books for your own private study and to support her work.

E. What Is the Problem of Evil?

The very presence of evil in our world presents a major problem to many people who acknowledge God and His involvement in the world ... people who know the claims about God—that He is morally perfect, all-powerful, and all-knowing. The premise is that evil cannot coexist alongside a good, all-powerful, and all-knowing God because they are mutually exclusive of one another. Therefore, skeptics conclude that the presence of evil in the world negates the presence of a good, all-powerful, and all-knowing God. The problem involves 3 components and 3 assumptions:

If God is all-good and all-powerful, why does He allow evil?

  • There are 3 components contained in answering this classic question.
    • #1 God is all-good.
    • #2 God is all-powerful.
    • #3 Evil is present in the world.
  • The 3 assumptions are...
    • #1 If God is all-good—He would want to prevent evil.
    • #2 If God is all-powerful—He could prevent evil.
    • #3 If God is all-knowing—He could anticipate evil and therefore stop it!
  • If any one component is missing, then you don't have a problem.
    • #1 If God is not all-good, the problem vanishes. God is a "cosmic demon" who causes evil.
    • #2 If God is not all-powerful, the problem disappears. God is too weak and powerless to stop evil.
    • #3 If no evil is present in the world, the problem evaporates. Evil (sin and suffering) is mere illusion.
  • However, all 3 components are true, based on the Bible...
    • #1 God is good... and He gave people free will, which is good.
          "The Lord is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him." (Psalm 92:15)
    • #2 God is all-powerful... and He can do anything that is logical, but it is illogical for Him to both grant free will and constrain it.
          "I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please. From the east I summon a bird of prey; from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose. What I have said, that will I bring about; what I have planned, that will I do." (Isaiah 46:10-11)
    • #3 Evil and its effects (sin and suffering) are present in the world... because people chose to exert their God-given free will and disobey God.
          "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23)

Biblical Counseling Keys: Evil and Suffering... Why?: Why God? Why?.

---------------------------more tomorrow------------------------

 

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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship