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Saturday, January 8, 2022

Who Me? - The Godly Man, Endangered Species - Purity 623


 Who Me?  - The Godly Man, Endangered Species   -  Purity 623

Purity 623 01/08/2022  Purity 623 Podcast

Good morning,

Today’s photo of the sun resting on a bed of clouds over a fabulous beach scene comes to us from a friend who shared a veritable gold mine of photos from their 12 day holiday get away in Florida where they visited Dunedin, Clearwater, St. Pete Beach, Treasure Island, St. Petersburg, and Tampa all for the first time.   As I have said or indicated in the past, God has given us two feet and the world’s diverse environments and He invites us to “come and see” what beauty and wonder we can find when we step out to discover it.  I shared this photo because it just says “relax” to me and I feel it is perfect for the weekend.  

Well, it’s Saturday and although I will most definitely be relaxing by spending the weekend with my wife at our “Countryside” home, we will be continuing to seek the Lord’s will for our lives as we intend to spend some time in prayer, Bible study, and I will be preparing resources to that will be shared on the blog, mt4christ.org, in the days or weeks ahead.     

I have been on the path of Christian Discipleship ever since the day I was saved by a radio message during a lunch break at work at a parking lot on Aviation Road in Albany NY in 2010 and I have increasing discovered that the journey of our lives in Christ never ends and that there is always something new that we can learn about God or ourselves as we endeavor to surrender ourselves to His will and live out our purpose for His kingdom.   

And now I am not alone on the path.  Don’t get me wrong. I had lots of brothers and sisters in Christ that taught and encouraged me on how to have a Christian worldview and how to live as a disciple of Christ but if I am honest I have to admit that a lot of my faith walk has been just me being led by the Holy Spirit.  Another person can not save you or keep you committed to your faith, your faith and your maturity are your responsibility. You have to decide to follow the Lord and continue in pursuing Him. 

But now that I am married, I now have more than someone who will just encourage me in my faith walk when I see them once a week at church or at a Christian small group, I have a companion who is walking with me in seeking the Lord 24/7 and who showers me with the love that God has poured into her. 

And it all started because after I received a measure of Christian maturity, I answered the call to share the message of the freedom that is found in Christ and to encourage others.  

In TammyLyn’s wedding vows to me she shared that: 

“On April 8th you ended your email with the following statement, “although the Holy Spirit is your discipler, I also want you to know that I am praying for you and am available if you need to "talk." This gave me a sense of peace and comfort with everything I had been through in my past that someone I barely knew was praying for me and was available to talk to.

Having a “podcast student” to my first discipleship class, I felt positively blessed that I was reaching people beyond the four walls of my church, and I only did what I felt I should do as a Christian and a counselor, which was to pray for, encourage, and offer a safe place for someone to talk. Obviously, this meant a lot to TammyLyn and began our relationship as fellow travelers on the Lord’s path and now we are “one flesh” in that pursuit. 

TammyLyn also shared in her vows to me she knew I had my own struggles that I had to go through to make me the man I am today she offered her thanks by saying:

“I thank you for being part of an endangered species called “the Godly man.” God always breaks a man into pieces before He is able to make him great.”

Recalling our wedding day and these words from my beautiful bride humbles and “breaks me to pieces” and fills me with wonder.

“Godly man”? Who me? Great?

My wife sees me like God sees me. She sees me as who I am in Christ and loves me for it. And while a part of me wants to share Peter’s words from

Luke 5:8 (NKJV) where he said
8  … "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man…”, 

I know that while I am still not perfect, I know that “sinner statement” isn’t true about me anymore. I am not a sinner. I am a saint. I am a Godly man, and I am only that through my faith in Jesus Christ and have some attributes and qualities of a Godly man only because of my decision and continual commitment to follow the Lord’s will for my life and to progressively live out my purpose in His kingdom.  

I humbly accept the title of “Godly man” only because that is what Christ made me when I put my faith in Him, and I thank the Lord for never leaving me or forsaking me as I chose to surrender to Him and be transformed into the person I am today.  

So are you a part of this endangered species? Are you a “Godly person”?

If you have put your faith in Christ, you are.  Now while your life may not reflect that fact yet, I would like to encourage you to repent by turning from those worldly ways that would make you doubt that you are the person that God says you are. Instead turn to God to make a commitment to live according to His ways. 

Those of us in Christ are saints, we just have to conform ourselves to Christ’s image by forsaking our sins and choosing to live our lives as Christians.  And we do that by faith, by believing what God says about us is true and by relying on His strength to progressively change us to reflect the Godly person he has already made us.   

So while you are relaxing this weekend, continue to seek the Lord and if you don’t feel like a Godly person, change that by praying to the Lord to either make Jesus your Lord and Savior or to recommit yourself to being a disciple of Christ.  

If you decide to surrender to God and pick up your cross and follow Jesus, you will leave the dark identity of “sinner” behind as you are progressively matured in your faith and reflect the characteristics of the “Godly person” that will add another thriving life to what is, unfortunately, an endangered species in the world today. 

But let me encourage you, this journey of faith isn’t about perfection, it’s about progress and the farther you go the more you will see the Godly person in you.  Heck, if my broken trail of addiction, heartache, rebellion, and confusion can lead to a place where I am sincerely referred to as a “Godly man”, believe me, you can find that place for yourself as well. 

So keep walking and talking with God. Every step you take on the path of Christian Discipleship is one step closer to you seeing that you have been the “Godly person” ever since the day you said “Yes” to Jesus and if you keep going towards Him the rest of the world will see it too.


Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.

This morning’s meditation verse is:

 

Romans 8:31 (NLT2)
31  What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us?

Today’s verse reflects the simple truth about what ultimately matters: our relationship with God.  

The wonderful things that the Apostle Paul is referring to in this passage of Scripture are from the preceding verses in Romans that tell us:

  • ·       that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)

  • ·       that God knew his people in advance, and he chose us to become like his Son (Romans 8:29)

  • ·       that God called us to come to Him and He gave us right standing with Himself, and He gave us His glory. (Romans 8:29)

Those are all awesome statements that tell us that God is for us! He works all things together for our God. He knows us! He called us! He chose us to be like Jesus! He gives us right standing with Him! And He gives us His glory!

All of this should be at the forefront of our minds as we live out our Christian faith. These truths can give us hope on a daily basis.

The problems that we face in this world pale in comparison to the truth that God is for us.  If God is for us, who can be against us? 

Well, as Christ promised his disciples persecution, the world, the flesh, and the devil can be against us, and will be. 

But when we know we are secure in the love of God, we can stand on the assurance that God is with us and lean on His strength to help us to preserve through the darkest night and all the problems that this world has to offer.  

So be encouraged, God is for us and no matter who is against us, He will never leave us or forsake us and will make sure that all things work together for our ultimate good.

 

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 continue to share from Dr. Neil Anderson’s . “Restored: Experience Life with Jesus”. Today, we begin sharing from Chapter 4.   

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Dr. Neil Anderson’s books for your own private study and to support his work.

CHAPTER FOUR  - OVERCOMING THE BONDAGE OF BITTERNESS

Those who have truly helped others experience their freedom in Christ will testify that forgiveness of others is the primary issue that needs to be resolved. Unforgiveness by Christians affords Satan his greatest access to the Church, and many believers are bound to the past because they have failed to forgive others as Christ has forgiven them.

WHY SOME PEOPLE RESIST FORGIVENESS

Some people react negatively to the idea of forgiving others, because they see it as another form of victimization. It goes against their sense of justice. “Oh, sure, just forgive and keep getting slapped around!” They believe it is a sign of weakness, a continuation of the sickening saga of codependency.

On the contrary, forgiveness is a courageous act that reflects the grace of God. Forgiveness is not tolerating sin. God forgives, but He doesn’t tolerate sin. Therefore, scriptural boundaries must be set up to stop further abuse. Forgiving others is something you do for your sake, and resistance breaks down when you understand what it is and how to do it.

Some don’t want to forgive because they want revenge. Seeking revenge is letting the devil set the agenda. It puts you on the same level as the abuser and usurps God’s role of exacting justice. Paul writes, “Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord.”65 Some people just want the soul satisfaction of hating the wretch. But hanging on to bitterness only sickens the soul. Trying to cover it up doesn’t fool anyone, least of all ourselves, because “the heart knows its own bitterness.”66

Nobody is denying that you have been hurt, and some of you have been hurt badly. After helping hundreds work through their painful memories of unspeakable atrocities, my heart goes out to victims in ways I can hardly explain. Working with abused people has left me close to tears all the time. After hearing hundreds of stories, I still can hardly believe what people are capable of doing to one another.

I went through a soul-searching time in the early days of this ministry. I didn’t want to hear any more horrible stories. In fact, I don’t think I could hear them today if I didn’t see resolution. What keeps me going is the freedom that comes when people work through The Steps and forgive from their hearts. I thank God that there is an answer for wounded people.

I have said to hundreds of people in counseling sessions and I am saying it to you, “I’m so sorry that happened to you.” Instead of having a father who would protect and provide for you, you had a father who abused you physically, verbally, and sexually. Instead of having a mother who would comfort and encourage you, you had a mother who verbally abused you. Instead of having a pastor who would shepherd you, you had a legalistic man who tried to control you under a cloud of condemnation. What you thought would be a safe date, turned out to be date rape.

The vast majority of the victimizers will never come back and ask for forgiveness. They won’t even acknowledge they did anything wrong. That makes forgiveness harder, because the victim believes the perpetrators got away with something. You may be suffering the consequences of some abuser’s sin, and that person won’t even acknowledge that they have sinned. To all female readers I want to acknowledge and apologize for the way we men have looked at you as sex objects, and for the way we have touched you and violated you. As a father, husband, and a man, I’m asking for your forgiveness. Would you forgive us men? It is not your fault. You did not deserve it. It is our sickness. As a father and grandfather, I want to ask all those who are reading this book to forgive us fathers who never hugged you, protected you, and believed in you. Would you forgive us—for your sake?

 ---------------------------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

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