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Thursday, November 3, 2022

That All You Got? Freedom from Unforgiveness - The Lord Has More for You - Purity 879

 

That All You Got?  Freedom from Unforgiveness - The Lord Has More for You - Purity 879

Purity 879 11/03/2022 Purity 879 Podcast

Good morning,

Today’s photo of the of the clear still waters of Queechy lake comes to us from a friend or share this photo on social media from what they think may be their last paddle of the season on Saturday October 29th.  however in the comments of the photo’s post a friend playfully challenged our paddling enthusiast, asking the question “That all you got?”

Well is it?  knowing the weather in upstate New York, the challenger may have a point. While we are in November now and can reasonably expect anything from snow to near 70 degree temperatures, like today, we don't know always know what the future will hold and what we will be capable of unless we challenge ourselves to stretch and the see just what it is we can do. Rather than looking at the limitations on our lives we should ask the question can I do this?

well it's Thursday again and I share this photo of a kayak on a lake as another visual example of a pathway of sorts to encourage my friends to get on or keep walking on the path of Christian discipleship because while things may be impossible for man Christ said that all things are possible with God and while we think we might not be able to do something in our own strength, if it is in His will, God will help us to accomplish things we never dreamed of being possible.

Last night I led one of the men the from the Freedom in Christ course through the Steps to Freedom in Christ and while he admitted to having thoughts that denied that the process of going through the steps in repentance would be successful, a funny thing happened. After he forgave all the people in his life for all the offenses they have ever done to him, those condemning and doubting voices were silenced.

I have to admit that for a second there I thought I was going to have to square off against  manifestation of the enemy but together we prayed, stood in the authority that we had in Jesus Christ and after the step on forgiveness the rest of the process was relatively peaceful as this man confessed rebellion, pride, and all the known sins in his life, renounced and broke spiritual soul ties to people in his sexual past, and cancelled any generational sins of his ancestors.   The work of repentance of the Holy Spirit and this man's faith brought to the table was mighty to behold and at the end of the process when I asked him to listen in an extended moment of silence, he reported that things were quiet in his mind, and he had an abiding sense of peace.

Unforgiveness can be a real stronghold that can keep us in bondage to bitterness and to the literal spiritual forces of darkness.

So which was it? Was it demons, the hardness of this man's heart, or the baggage of a past filled with abuse that kept him from knowing peace?

The answer to that question might be only known by the Lord himself but the good news is that when we come before the Lord and forgive those who have offended us, the bondage of bitterness is broken. Something that many people would consider impossible: to forgive.

When we come to faith in Jesus Christ, we receive the Holy Spirit to convict us of sin and to guide us in the way we should go. But the Lord is gracious and allows us to have free will, to freely choose what path will take in life. We can choose to live life like we've always had before coming to Christ, according to the worlds and our own wisdom, or we can listen to the Holy Spirit and the wisdom of the word of God to know and experience the abundant life that Christ has for us.

This life of Christian discipleship is counterintuitive to how we've been conditioned to live without God, but it is possible. With God, we can turn from the world's ways, and we can be transformed. We can have peace, joy, love, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, patience, and self-control. The fruit of the spirit grows in our lives when we walk in the spirit and when we confess our sins and renounce the way we used to live we remove all the limits on what God can do for us.

So as we draw into the 4th day of the work week remember to ask yourself from time to time: that all you got?

The world, the flesh, and the devil will tell you that it's all over, that it's best to just pack it in and not try anything new, to just play it safe and stay safe in the shadows of what you're familiar with.

But Jesus Christ invites us to: “come and see”.

The Holy Spirit invites us to know what faith is and to experience his power to transform us and to give us a life of meaning and purpose that few in this world know of.

God the Father has made you for a purpose and He wants to have peace with you, through faith in Jesus Christ, and for you to be conformed in his image, to be the person that He created you to be.

So let go of the sins of the past, in Christ you're forgiven, and because you've received God's forgiveness, cast off the burden of bitterness that comes from holding on to offences against others by forgiving everyone for everything from the heart, as the Lord commands you.  

God doesn't want us to suffer anymore from the things that people have done against us. The solution to our problem of bitterness is forgiveness: to set the captive free and to realize it was you.

So keep walking and talking with God then follow the word of the Lord and the Holy Spirit, and you will discover that you have a lot more life to live, a lot more things to do, and a lot more hearts to touch then you thought you could.  with the Lord you'll discover they got a lot more of life left in store.

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

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Romans 12:9 (NLT2)
9  Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good.

Today's Bible verse encourages us to not be a pretender to really love others, to hate what is wrong, and to hold tightly to what is good.

One of the biggest drawbacks to pursuing a life of faith in Christendom is the perception that the people in the church are a bunch of phonies. Unfortunately, our experience may actually bear out that perception as our past relationships in the hallowed halls of the buildings called churches may have been plagued by hypocrisy and quite possibly abuse.

Some people say they don't want to be a part of a church because of the hypocrites in the church. Unfortunately, the truth is there's hypocrisy in everyone's lives. No one lives perfectly according to the standards that they would like to hold themselves to. No one. The only perfect person was Jesus Christ. And while we are called as Christians to follow Jesus the word of God clearly points out that we will not be able to perfectly live like Jesus did. That's why we need Jesus!

So what do we do with this hypocrisy? We won't be able to be perfect but today's verse I think is calling us to try to be genuine in our faith: to really love others, hate what is evil, and to hold on to what is good.

If you don't like the phonies in the church, don't be one by having the heartfelt intention to love our neighbors as ourselves and to love the Lord God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength.

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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 sharing from Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s “Discipleship”, also known as “The Cost of Discipleship”

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Bonhoeffer’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available on many websites for less than $20.00.

The Sermon on the Mount

Matthew 6

On the Hidden Nature of the Christian Life

Hidden Righteousness continues

What does Jesus say about all that? He says: “Beware of practicing your righteousness before others in order to be seen by them.” The call to be extraordinary is the great, inevitable danger of discipleship. Therefore, beware of this extraordinariness, of the way that discipleship becomes visible. Jesus calls a halt to our thoughtless, unbroken, simple joy in what is visible. He gives a sting to the extraordinary. Jesus calls us to reflection.

The disciples should have this extraordinariness only by way of reflection. They should heed it, watch out for it. The extraordinary is not supposed to happen in order to be seen. This means that the extraordinary deed should not be done for the sake of its being extraordinary. And it should not be seen just for the sake of being seen. The better righteousness of the disciples should not be an end in itself. Of course, what is extraordinary does have to become visible, it does have to happen, but—beware that you do not do it in order for it to become visible. Although the visibility of discipleship does have a necessary reason, which is the call of Jesus Christ, it is never a goal in itself. If it were, then the focus would no longer be on discipleship itself; then a moment of repose would occur, our following would be interrupted, and we would not be able to take it up again at the point where we had stopped to rest. We would immediately be sent back to begin all over again. We would have to take note that we are no longer disciples. So something has to become visible, but—paradoxically: beware that it does not happen for the sake of being seen by people. “Let your light shine before the people …” (5:16), but: pay attention to the hiddenness! Chapters 5 and 6 collide hard against each other. What is visible should be hidden at the same time; at the same time both visible and not to be seen. The reflection we have mentioned, thus, needs to be guided so that we do not stray into reflection about our extraordinariness. Our paying attention to our righteousness is supposed to support our not paying attention to our righteousness. Otherwise extraordinariness is no longer the extraordinariness of discipleship, but the extraordinariness of our own will and desire.

How are we to understand this contradiction? First, we ask: from whom should the visibility of discipleship be hidden? Not from the other people, for they are to see the light of Jesus’ disciples shining. Rather it should be hidden to those doing the visible deed of discipleship. They should keep on following Jesus, and should keep looking forward to him who is going before them, but not at themselves and what they are doing. The righteousness of the disciples is hidden from themselves. Of course, they, too, can see the extraordinariness, but not themselves in it; they remain hidden from themselves. They see the extraordinary only when they look at Jesus, and in him they do not see it as extraordinary, but as something obvious and normal. So what is visible really is hidden from them, in obedience to the word of Jesus. If the extraordinariness were important to them because it is extraordinary, then they would act like enthusiasts, out of their own power, out of the flesh. But because Jesus’ disciples act in simple obedience to their Lord, they view the extraordinary as only the normal act of obedience. According to Jesus’ word, the disciples can do nothing else but be the light that shines. They do not do anything to accomplish this; they are the light while following Christ, looking only to their Lord. Precisely because what is Christian is necessarily extraordinary, that is, in the indicative form [“you are”], it is at the same time normal and hidden. Otherwise it is not Christian, it is not obedience to the will of Jesus Christ.[1]

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

Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" 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. 

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTxjSNstREpuGWuL0bF3U7w/featured

Email me at mt4christ247@gmail.com 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 Podbean (https://feed.podbean.com/tammalyn78/feed.xml)

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship



[1] Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Discipleship, ed. Martin Kuske et al., trans. Barbara Green and Reinhard Krauss, vol. 4, Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2003), 148–150.


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