“Please keep following the Lord… and helping me on this path.” - Purity 946
Purity 946 01/20/2023 Purity 946 Podcast
Purity 946 on YouTube:
Today’s photo of some skeletal flash illuminated roadside trees in the foreground of a purple and pink sunrise on the horizon comes to us from Coach Vern Cross who seized the day and captured the morning by sharing “his views” near his home in Hudson NY on social media yesterday.
Vern shared a bunch of photos yesterday and I sharing a second one on the blog that came a little later in the morning that shows a lighter view of the sky. The old adage is “red sky in the morning, sailor take warning” and it proved to be true yesterday as this pink sky proved to be an omen of the snow/sleet/rain that would later come in the afternoon.
So if you knew that saying and kept your eyes on the sky you would “know” what was to come.
Coach Cross keeps his eyes on the skies and is quite active in pointing to what’s going on in his community. Cross’ gaze may scan the heaven because he appreciates the beauty of God’s creation, but he is well grounded with life on earth too. He knows “what’s up,” and how things are, but he is constant advocate for better things. He is positive influence in lives of many because his heart is for his community and family. His desire is to encourage others to believe that they can realize their potential and accomplish their dreams, a fact that is demonstrated by the way he lives his life every day. He walks the walk and for that we thank him and encourage him to keep on walking and leading others by his example. Thank You Coach Cross.
Well it’s Friday, thank God, and I’m sure Vern doesn’t think much about “doing the right thing” and “being a positive influence”. He just does it. He takes what the good Lord gave him, and he uses it for good, the best he can.
We don’t always realize that people are paying attention to what we do, and we don’t always know when our behavior, words, or actions can impact others.
How many of us parents cringe when we see our kids repeating the same mistakes we have made or when they take on our less than good habits? Yikes, sure THAT you decide to learn from me!
So how we live our lives is obviously important. Not only do our words and actions impact the consequences of our lives, because we don’t live in a vacuum, they also can impact others. And if we are living lives where we are trying “to do the right thing”, that can positively impact everyone around us.
I was humbly reminded of this fact in my own life this morning as I opened another envelope from the “Box of Love” – a box of messages my wife compiled throughout 2022 and delivered to me on our anniversary on the first of the year.
In the envelope for January 19th, 2022, TammyLyn had thanked me for helping her with a situation I don’t fully recall a year later but her comments went on to say:
“He (the Lord) amazes me in all He has done in me and you thus far. Please keep following the Lord… and helping me on this path.”
Please keep following the Lord. And helping me on this path.
After my divorce, I made the decision to follow the Lord in all things and when we decided to entertain the possibility of being engaged and eventually married. I made it clear to TammyLyn that the most important thing about her to me was her faith and that I tried to impress upon her that the way I live my life – this walk of faith – wasn’t an act or a phase that someday would pass. I had made the decision to follow the Lord even if that meant that I would walk alone through life. So if she was serious about me, she had to be serious about the Lord.
One of my biggest fears in contemplating becoming involved in a romantic relationship was that I would be deceived that I would find some woman who seem to be a Christian but who would later prove to be just going through the motions, leading to disappointment and unhappiness. Fortunately, TammyLyn’s heart to follow the Lord is true. She may be somewhat new to “walking in the Spirit” but her faith is genuine. Her faith looks better than mine sometimes!
But this is all somewhat new to her because so few of us actually live their lives by faith. Her faith life is thriving because through the Freedom in Christ discipleship courses she learned about who she was in Christ and through the Steps to Freedom in Christ she was set free from all the personal and spiritual baggage of her past. She learned these things through the classes I led but in getting to know me she has learned that our very lives are a continuous lesson in Christian Discipleship, we live according to who we are in Christ, we overcome, and we keep going.
A lot of this life of faith can seem not so glamorous. Prayer, Bible Study, Reading Christian books, and going to church regularly may not seem to amount to much. But the thing is when these disciplines form the framework of your life and the Lord’s will guides your direction, the day by day that seems pretty normal moment to moment proves to form a pathway to an incredible journey with God as we realize, usually after the fact, that the Lord was moving us through difficult times to the good things He had prepared for us.
Looking at the path behind is amazing but looking at the day to day stuff you can easily lose sight of the fact that God is moving you forward. It can seem like you are going nowhere, and the enemy is always there to offer his discouragements and to tempt us to turn to the worldly things to comfort us and give us peace. But it is only in following the Lord faithfully that we see His plan materialize, so if we step off the path, we eventually realize the error of our ways and get back on track.
This process of focusing on your faith walk can really occupy your time and you can easily be concerned with just staying on track. But because we don’t live in a vacuum, others can see us and what we are doing and be inspired to “walk like we walk”.
TammyLyn saw me. Honestly, I think she was the only one who really did. And she wanted what I wanted: a life of being true to our faith. So she followed and pursued me and now we walk together, hand in hand with the Lord. Her faith encourages me and obviously, because of her note, I know that my following the Lord encourages her. She wrote:
“Please keep following the Lord… and helping me on this path.”
That’s what we are to do as Christians. We are to keep on walking and talking with God and helping one another as we go.
So keep walking that walk and talking that talk. As long as it is the Lord we are following, we can know we are headed in the right direction, and we just may leave a path behind us that others can follow into God’s kingdom.
Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.
This morning’s meditation verse is:
Romans 8:28 (NLT2)
28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
Today’s verse is THE quintessential verse for Christian encouragement. It points to God’s sovereignty and the conditional promises of good that come to the faithful.
Did I say conditional? Yes I did.
While God positively love all of His creation and desires for all men to be saved. Not all men will choose to be underneath the Lordship of Jesus Christ and thus will face God’s wrath for their sins.
This verse is not the “everything is going to be all right for everybody.” I’m not sure about dogs but not all men go to heaven, not all people choose to live at peace with God in His kingdom.
As the verse states, God “causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” It states the good comes to those who “love God and are called to his purposes for them.” Those love God would put their faith in Jesus. Those who are called by God would meet His purposes for them by being reconciled to God through Jesus.
Jesus was sent to save us from God’s wrath. Our purpose in life is to find peace with God through Jesus Christ. When we put our faith in Christ, we have a new and eternal life with God. That’s the ultimate good that God is working towards for all of those who love Him and are called to His purpose.
But that’s not all, God is sovereign, remember? That means He shapes the history of life in His universe. That means He can choose who to bless and who to curse. His word directs us to faith in Christ and living according to His will, when we do that we are blessed by it, But beyond the positive consequences of obedience God’s sovereignty rules over circumstances and paradoxically He can and sometimes does choose to allow bad circumstance to be used for good!
SO if you are in Christ, be encouraged! We have ultimate good of life everlasting in God’s kingdom, and we can even hope for good things to happen here on earth because God loves us , we love Him and are answering the call He has put upon us.
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 A.W. Pink’s “The Sovereignty of God.”
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 SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD
By ARTHUR W. PINK
THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD IN SALVATION, continues.
2. The Sovereignty of God the Son in Salvation - continues
Having reviewed some of the general principles which require us to believe that the death of Christ was limited in its design, we turn now to consider some of the explicit statements of Scripture which expressly affirm it. In that wondrous and matchless fifty-third of Isaiah God tells us concerning His Son, “He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare His generation? for He was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of My people was He stricken” (v. 8). In perfect harmony with this was the word of the angel to Joseph, “Thou shalt call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21) i.e., not merely Israel, but all whom the Father had “given” Him. Our Lord Himself declared, “The Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:28), but why have said “for many” if all without exception were included? It was “His people” whom He “redeemed” (Luke 1:68). It was for “the sheep,” and not the “goats,” that the Good Shepherd gave His life (John 10:11). It was the “Church of God” which He purchased with His own blood” (Acts 20:28).
If there is one scripture more than any other upon which we should be willing to rest our case it is John 11:49–52. Here we are told, “And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; And not for that nation only, but that also He should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.” Here we are told that Caiaphas “prophesied not of himself,” that is, like those employed by God in Old Testament times (see 2 Pet. 1:21), his prophecy originated not with himself, but he spake as he was moved by the Holy Spirit; thus is the value of his utterance carefully guarded, and the Divine source of this revelation expressly vouched for. Here, too, we are definitely informed that Christ died for “that nation,” i.e., Israel, and also for the One Body, His Church, for it is into the Church that the children of God—“scattered” among the nations—are now being “gathered together in one.” And is it not remarkable that the members of the Church are here called “children of God” even before Christ died, and therefore before He commenced to build His Church! The vast majority of them had not then been born, yet they were regarded as “children of God;” children of God because they had been chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world, and therefore “predestinated unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself” (Eph. 1:4, 5). In like manner, Christ said, “Other sheep I have (not “shall have”) which are not of this fold” (John 10:16).
If ever the real design of the Cross was uppermost in the heart and speech of our blessed Saviour it was during the last week of His earthly ministry. What then do the Scriptures which treat of this portion of His ministry record in connection with our present inquiry? They say, “When Jesus knew that His hour was come that He should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them unto the end” (John 13:1). They tell us how He said, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down His life for His friends” (John 15:13). They record His word, “For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth” (John 17:19); which means, that for the sake of His own, those “given” to Him by the Father, He separated Himself unto the death of the Cross. One may well ask, Why such discrimination of terms if Christ died for all men indiscriminately?
Ere closing this section of the chapter we shall consider briefly a few of those passages which seem to teach most strongly an unlimited design in the death of Christ. In 2 Cor. 5:14 we read, “One died for all.” But that is not all this scripture affirms. If the entire verse and passage from which these words are quoted be carefully examined, it will be found that instead of teaching an unlimited atonement, it emphatically argues a limited design in the death of Christ. The whole verse reads, “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if One died for all, then were all dead.” It should be pointed out that in the Greek there is the definite article before the last “all,” and that the verb here is in the aorist tense, and therefore should read, “We thus judge: that if One died for all, then the all died.” The apostle is here drawing a conclusion as it clear from the words “we thus judge, that if … then were.” His meaning is, that those for whom the One died are regarded, judicially, as having died too. The next verse goes on to say, “And He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them, and rose again.” The One not only died but “rose again,” and so, too, did the “all” for whom He died, for it is here said they “live.” Those for whom a substitute acts are legally regarded as having acted themselves. In the sight of the law the substitute and those whom he represents are one. So it is in the sight of God. Christ was identified with His people and His people were identified with Him, hence when He died they died (judicially) and when He rose they rose also. But further we are told in this passage (v. 17), that if any man be in Christ he is a new creation; he has received a new life in fact as well as in the sight of the law, hence the “all” for whom Christ died are here bidden to live henceforth no more unto themselves, “but unto Him which died for them, and rose again.” In other words, those who belonged to this “all” for whom Christ died, are here exhorted to manifest practically in their daily lives what is true of them judicially: they are to “live unto Christ who died for them.” Thus the “One died for all” is defined for us. The “all” for which Christ died are they which “live,” and which are here bidden to live “unto Him.” This passage then teaches three important truths, and the better to show its scope we mention them in their inverse order: certain ones are here bidden to live no more unto themselves but unto Christ; the ones thus admonished are “they which live,” that is live spiritually, hence, the children of God, for they alone of mankind possess spiritual life, all others being dead in trespasses and sins; those who do thus live are the ones, the “all,” the “them,” for whom Christ died and rose again. This passage therefore teaches that Christ died for all His people, the elect, those given to Him by the Father; that as the result of His death (and rising again “for them”) they “live—and the elect are the only ones who do thus “live;” and this life which is theirs through Christ must be lived “unto Him,” Christ’s love must now “constrain” them.
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/@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 Ask Seek Knock blog (https://tammylynask.blogspot.com/ ), 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)
“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