At Year’s End – A Time of Reflection and Rejoicing. - Purity 929
Purity 929 12/31/2022 Purity 929 Podcast
Purity 929 on YouTube:
Today’s photo of a boardwalk pathway that offers one
last turn before the promise of coming into the bright light at the end of the
road comes to us from yours truly as I captured this scene at what was the
first of several parks that my wife, TammyLyn, and I would visit in the Tampa
Bay area while on our honeymoon back of February 20th.
Well this is IT, the last day of 2022, and we are
less than 20 hours (at the time I write this) before we say good bye to the year
passed and say “Hello” to 2023!
Before I launch into a recap and reflection of what
has transpired in 2022’s 525,6000 minutes and testify to another year of walking
in the Spirit and enjoying another season of knowing God’s love, and so much
more, I would like to share a list of questions that I saw shared online that I
thought could be a good vehicle for anyone reading or hearing this message to
reflect on the past 365 days to “remember the times” because as the following
Bible verses indicate, we should remember and learn from our lives as we go (https://www.openbible.info/topics/remembering)
Deuteronomy 32:7 (NKJV)
7 "Remember the days of old, Consider the years of many generations. Ask your father, and he will show you; Your elders, and they will tell you:
Deuteronomy 6:12 (NKJV)
12 then beware, lest you forget the LORD who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.
Psalm 77:10-12 (NKJV)
10 And I said, "This is my anguish; But I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High." 11 I will remember the works of the LORD; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old.
12 I will also meditate on all Your work, And talk of Your deeds.
35 I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.' "
So I give you these questions to ask yourself and to consider as we mark another year of life and remember the times, mourn the losses, celebrate the victories, try to learn from our experiences, and thank the Lord our God for it all.
· What did God bring to you through in 2022?
· What did God teach you?
· How did you experience God’s love?
· What are your favorite memories?
· What are you most proud of?
· What energized you? What drained you?
· How did your relationship with God evolve?
· What are you hoping for in 2023?
· What is one thing you want to do differently or one area you want to grow in?
While I am not familiar with the Soul Shepherding ministry, their website invites you to “Thrive with Jesus in life and leadership” and I like the “loaded questions” they ask in this list because unlike the general niceties or nostalgia you could undoubtedly receive from secular or mainstream media outlets today, Soul Shepherding rightly recognizes the central importance that God should have as we reflect and consider our progress through this life.
What did GOD bring you through? What did HE teach you? How did you experience GOD’s
love? How did your relationship with GOD evolve?
If these questions
leave you grasping at straws, let me encourage and assure you that God does
indeed exist, He does care about our lives, and is actively involved in His
creation and in and through the lives of men and women on the earth. We can
walk with Him through life. We can learn from Him. We can experience His love.
And we can have a relationship with Him.
So I ask you to
consider those questions, and encourage you to continue or to begin that
relationship with God and to live your life “walking in the Spirit” – in the “context
of an in the presence of God” – according
to His will and ways as revealed in the Bible.
I believe we all
have a relationship with God from the moment we have life, but without Jesus
Christ as our Lord and Savior, it is a contentious relationship. Our sin and
decision to live independently of Him separates us from God and while our lives
are spent in His creation and in His Omnipresence, if we don’t make peace with
Him through Jesus, our lives will ultimately be dissatisfying as we will
eventually age, die, and face God’s judgment and wrath.
Our hearts tell us when
we do wrong and the word of God tells us that no amount of our good works makes
up for our sin. God’s word clearly tells us that it is through faith alone in
Christ alone that we are saved.
2:8-10 (NKJV) tells us
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
In these three
verses we learn the method of our salvation ( by grace through faith in Christ)
and our purpose: to do the good works that God has prepared beforehand for us
to walk in. Sounds like a plan to me!
After most of my life
living in sin and rebellion and suffering the negative consequences and tragic
losses, I sought the meaning and purpose of life, in all the wrong places, but
God was gracious and revealed to me the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ
back in 2010, and I have been trying to be authentic in my faith, with varying
degrees of success ever since. Through
the years the Lord has bring me through a lot, He has taught me a lot, I have experienced His love in countless ways,
and my relationship with Him has continued to evolve. And 2022 has been yet another amazing year “walking
in the Spirit”!
On January 1st,
2022 – I married the love of my life, TammyLyn.
She is the Christian wife that I prayed for and that God literally
delivered to me! In February we
honeymooned in Tampa Florida and have spent the year growing closer to God and one
another as we continually pray together and for one another and worship together
at Starpoint Church every week.
Throughout the year
we have enjoyed various travels and family events. We love to go on day trips
and hikes locally throughout the year visiting
various parks and nature trails nearby and in the summer we enjoyed a symphony concert
performance on the lawn at Hudson Crossing Park in Schuylerville NY and
travelled to Newry Maine for the 2 day, River Rock Music Festival where we enjoyed
a plethora of Christian Musical Artist including : Dante Bowe, Big Daddy Weave,
Micah Tyler, Blanca, and my favorite – Jon Reddick. We also spent time together
volunteering for Operation Adopt a Soldier, supporting the good work they do to
support our troops with our time, marching in parades and serving at various
functions throughout the year. Although work
and familial circumstances from our previous lives has us living with a two
household system, we have spent every moment we could in 2022 learning to live with
and love one another and I am amazed at how our love for one another continues
As for my work, my “day
job” as a telecommunications tech, in May I celebrated 25 years working for the
company and have become accumulated in my relatively new job function as a maintenance
tech for the Albany garage and I am content with where the Lord has put me. The
work can be frustrating and challenging at times but it proves to continue to
provide great opportunities to grow in knowledge and experience in terms of the
job and a great place to practice my faith as I “keep walking and talking with
God” throughout my work day, asking for His strength, guidance, patience, and
help as needed.
As for my passion –
“my ministry” in its various forms – I am happy to report that 2022 has been a
banner year for stepping out in faith in many ways.
This year I was
honored to assume the role as a “Online Course Leader” for Freedom in Christ Ministries,
leading 3 sessions of the Freedom in Christ Course in the winter, spring, and
fall – and independently lead graduates from the winter and springs sessions
through The Grace Course during the
Summer. 2023 will see me continue in
this role as I am scheduled to lead a Men’s Freedom in Christ Course on Tuesday
evenings, beginning on January 31st – any man interested in joining
the course can register at the link I am sharing on the blog (https://www.ficm.org/ficm-courses/freedom-in-christ-course-spring-2023/)
, beginning on January 5th, as registration has been temporarily
suspended for the holiday season.
I have been honored
to serve Freedom in Christ Ministries in this capacity and have been blessed to
have encouraged men from all over the United States to learn who they are in Christ
and to experience their freedom in Christ by leading them through the Steps to
Freedom in Christ. The experiences I
have had and witnessed in the lives of the men in these course has been simply
amazing and has confirmed my faith and the Lord’s presence in our lives time
and time again. I look forward to seeing what the Lord will do
through this ministry this year!
As for the
mt4christ.org blog, I am happy to report that today will be the 394th
blog entry for year, as I have been committed to answer the call to journal my
progress as I walk in the Spirit and encourage others to travel the path of Christian
Discipleship through the “Purity” series of semi daily encouragements and by providing
Arthur Cincotti’s semi-weekly Bible Study outlines, and various announcements
and excerpts of Christian resources to encourage others in their faith
walk. The mt4christ blog was born from
my desire to encourages others to live for Christ and was reborn and revitalized
when others encouraged me to keep encouraging them. The blog is part of my
daily spiritual practice 6 days a week and is a labor of love and just another
expression of how I “keep walking and talking with God.” So as long as the Lord
wills it, I will continue.
mt4christ247 podcast enjoyed it’s second, and first full year, of existence in
2022 and despite my hopes for the Lord to use it far and wide, I am happy to
report that people continue to download it and that the “curious” or the “faithful
few” who clicked on it resulted in a modest increase in the total number of
downloads from 2021 to 2022, with 4767 downloads this year up from last years
4048 downloads, for an all-time total of 8815.
I’m not sure what these numbers mean but I am humbled and encouraged
that there are numbers to report on! So whether you are a faithful listener or have
just downloaded a single episode somewhere along the lines, I want to say:
THANK YOU and MAY THE LORD RICHLY BLESS YOU!
I have always said
that if my messages, blog or podcast, even encourage a single person to seek
and follow the Lord, I am content. In
truth the blog and the podcast, encourages ME, so regardless of numbers, followers,
or subscribers, unless the Lord indicates I should stop, I will keep putting a
voice to my text for those who are curious or who would rather listen than
development began this year, as I began using Zoom for the work I did for
Freedom in Christ in 2022 and I further understood and realized that Podbean created a video version
of my audio podcasts, I made the decision to “really launch” the MT4Christ247 YouTube
Channel and began the project of taking all the Community Freedom Ministry Classes
that I podcasted in 2021 and all of the Bible Study with the Cincotti “programs”
we had done and uploaded them to YouTube.
The Cincotti’s and I also made the decision to use Zoom to record our
Bible Studies beginning in 2022 and actually were bold enough to release the
video of our sessions beginning in April, eventually releasing all of the previous
video sessions, later as “throwback episodes”.
So if you were not aware, go to https://www.youtube.com/@MT4Christ247
Well, I’m short on time this morning because I think I
wrote “too much” and I had to find a “new resource” to share so I’m
taking a vacation from sharing the “Bible Verse of the Day” but I do encourage you to read the Bible every day, for
I am including a link to Ligonier Ministries: “Bible
Reading Plans for 2023” ( https://www.ligonier.org/posts/bible-reading-plans?fbclid=IwAR0aVs0a31ebdwexS1-N9i-dwV5v45fVTH5zoKCHsnmCPJnDks9fY9AjWsQ) as
an encouragement to read the word this year - to have a plan, if you need one,
to draw close to God through His word to experience the power that He wants to
unleash into your life.
As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I
always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to
assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.
Today we begin sharing from A.W. Pink’s “The Sovereignty of
As always, I share this information for educational
purposes and encourage all to purchase books for your own private study
and to support his work. This resource is available on many websites
for less than $20.00.
THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD
By ARTHUR W. PINK
acknowledge that life is a profound problem, and that we are surrounded by
mystery on every side; but we are not like the beasts of the field—ignorant of
their origin, and unconscious of what is before them. No: “We have also a more sure Word of Prophecy,” of which it is said ye
do well that ye “take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until
the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts” (2 Pet. 1:19). And it is
to this Word of Prophecy we indeed do well to “take heed,” to that Word which
had not its origin in the mind of man but in the Mind of God, for, “the
prophecy came not at any time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake
moved by the Holy Spirit.” We say again, it is to this “Word” we do well to take heed. As we turn to this Word and
are instructed thereout, we discover a fundamental principle which must be
applied to every problem: Instead of beginning with man and his world and working
back to God, we must begin with God and work down to man—“In the begining God!” Apply this principle to the
present situation. Begin with the world as it is today and try and work back to
God, and everything will seem to show that God has no connection with the world
at all. But begin with God and work down to the world, and light, much light,
is cast on the problem. Because God is holy
His anger burns against sin; because God is righteous
His judgments fall upon those who rebel against Him; because God is faithful the solemn threatenings of His
Word are fulfilled; because God is omnipotent
none can successfully resist Him, still less overthrow His counsel; and because
God is omniscient no problem can
master Him and no difficulty baffle His wisdom. It is just because God is who
He is and what He is that we are now beholding on earth what we do—the
beginning of His outpoured judgments: in view of His inflexible justice and
immaculate holiness we could not expect anything other than what is now spread
before our eyes.
But let it be said
very emphatically that the heart can only rest upon and enjoy the blessed truth of the absolute sovereignty of God as faith is in exercise. Faith is ever
occupied with God. That is the
character of it; that is what differentiates it from intellectual theology.
Faith endures “as seeing Him who is
invisible” (Heb. 11:27): endures the disappointments, the hardships, and the
heartaches of life by recognizing that all
comes from the hand of Him who is too wise to err and too loving to be unkind.
But so long as we are occupied with any other object than God Himself there
will be neither rest for the heart nor peace for the mind. But when we receive
all that enters our lives as from His
hand, then, no matter what may be our circumstances or surroundings—whether in
a hovel, a prison-dungeon, or a martyr’s stake—we shall be enabled to say, “The
lines are fallen unto me in pleasant
places” (Psa. 16:6). But that is the
language of faith, not of sight or of
But if instead of
bowing to the testimony of Holy Writ, if instead of walking by faith, we follow
the evidence of our eyes, and reason
therefrom, we shall fall into a quagmire of virtual atheism. Or, if we are
regulated by the opinions and views of others, peace will be at an end. Granted
that there is much in this world of
sin and suffering which appalls and saddens us; granted that there is much in
the providential dealings of God which startle and stagger us; that is no
reason why we should unite with the unbelieving worldling who says, “If I were
God, I would not allow this or tolerate that,” etc. Better far, in the presence
of bewildering mystery, to say with one of old, “I was dumb, I opened not my
mouth; because Thou didst it” (Psa. 39:9). Scripture tells us that God’s
judgments are “unsearchable,” and His
ways “past finding out” (Rom 11:33). It must be so if faith is to be tested,
confidence in His wisdom and righteousness strengthened, and submission to His
holy will fostered.
Here is the
fundamental difference between the man of faith and the man of unbelief. The
unbeliever is “of the world,” judges everything by worldly standards, views
life from the standpoint of time and sense, and weighs everything in the balances
of his own carnal making. But the man of faith brings in God, looks at everything from His standpoint, estimates values by spiritual standards, and views
life in the light of eternity. Doing this, he receives whatever comes as from
the hand of God. Doing this, his heart is calm in the midst of the storm. Doing
this, he “rejoices in hope of the glory of God.”
In these opening
paragraphs we have indicated the lines of thought followed out in this book.
Our first postulate is, that because God is
God He does as He pleases, only as He pleases, always as He pleases; that
His great concern is the accomplishment of His own pleasure and the promotion
of His own glory; that He is the Supreme Being, and therefore Sovereign of the
universe. Starting with this postulate we have contemplated the exercise of God’s Sovereignty, first in
Creation, second in Governmental Administration over the works of His hands,
third in the Salvation of His own elect, fourth in the Reprobation of the
wicked, and fifth in Operation upon and within men. Next we have viewed the
Sovereignty of God as it relates to the human Will in particular and human
Responsibility in general, and have sought to show what is the only becoming
attitude for the creature to take in view of the majesty of the Creator. A
separate chapter has been set apart for a consideration of some of the
difficulties which are involved, and to answering the questions which are
likely to be raised in the minds of our readers; while one chapter has been
devoted to a more careful yet brief examination of God’s Sovereignty in
relation to prayer. Finally, we have sought to show that the Sovereignty of God
is a truth revealed to us in Scripture for the comfort of our hearts, the
strengthening of our souls, and the blessing of our lives. A due apprehension
of God’s Sovereignty promotes the spirit of worship, provides an incentive to
practical godliness, and inspires zeal in service. It is deeply humbling to the
human heart, but in proportion to the degree that it brings man into the dust
before his Maker, to that extent is God glorified.
We are well aware
that what we have written is in open opposition to much of the teaching that is
current both in religious literature and in the representative pulpits of the
land. We freely grant that the postulate of God’s Sovereignty with all its
corollaries is at direct variance with the opinions and thoughts of the natural
man, but the truth is, we are quite unable to think upon these matters: we
are incompetent for forming a proper
estimate of God’s character and ways, and it is because of this that God has
given us a revelation of His mind,
and in that revelation He plainly declares, “My thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher
than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your
thoughts” (Isa. 55:8, 9). In view of this scripture, it is only to be expected
that much of the contents of the Bible conflicts
with the sentiments of the carnal mind, which is enmity against God. Our appeal then is not to the popular beliefs
of the day, nor to the creeds of the churches, but to the Law and Testimony of
Jehovah. All that we ask for is an impartial and attentive examination of what
we have written, and that made prayerfully in the light of the Lamp of Truth.
May the reader heed the Divine admonition to “prove all things; hold fast that
which is good” (1 Thess. 5:21).
Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage
Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" series of Discipleship Classes via the
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
These teachings are also available on the
MT4Christ247 You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/@MT4Christ247
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the class materials, share your progress, and
to be encouraged.
My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian
encouragement via her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock (https://www.facebook.com/groups/529047851449098 ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on
“The views, opinions, and commentary of this publication are those of the author, M.T. Clark, only, and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of any of the photographers, artists, ministries, or other authors of the other works that may be included in this publication, and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of any entities the author may represent.”
Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship