Family is Everything – Lies of the Enemy #39 – Purity 1051
Purity 1051 05/24/2023 Purity 1051 Podcast
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Today’s photo of the blue mountains of Cherokee County NC comes to us from Fred Dimmick who shared this scene on social media on Monday, with the following short poem.
“Blue are the mountains
The water and sky above.
Some of the many blessings
From the man above.”
Just four short lines, but within them Fred rightly calls the beauty of this earth a blessing and rightly gives the glory to God – or as Fred puts it the “man above” and considering that Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father in the heavenlies, I don’t see anything wrong with the phrasing.
Well It’s Wednesday and I thought Fred’s photo was a good one to visually represent our arrival at hump day and as I will be going to the Celebrate Freedom Growth Group tonight I thought it was also a good visual representation of the hope I have to see “mountains move” in the lives of those who come to lay down their “hurts, habits, and hang ups” and to receive the freedom and victory that the Lord has for them. That’s right where there are people seeking the Lord’s help, there is hope and so I am thrilled to be leading tonight’s group where we will cover the material in Celebrate Recovery’s Hope lesson. It’s a good one and I invite any and all who see or hear this message to join us at Starpoint Church in Clifton Park at 6:30 pm to hear all about the hope for a life of peace, joy, and freedom that we have in Christ.
Of course, the hope we have in Christ is only truly realized when we put our faith in Jesus and make the daily decision to follow Him. So the message will encourage us to believe but it will also encourage us to believe what Christ said and try to apply its wisdom to our lives. And that’s not always as easy as we might think it could be. Some of the things Jesus taught went against the common understandings of life in His day and in ours. But Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life and if He said it we know its true and should do our best to agree with it and to live it.
The world, the flesh, and the devil will tell you to go against what Jesus taught but as Christians we are to reject the philosophies and theories of this world when they deny God’s truth. And so we must reject the lies of the enemy.
And that brings us to our current series the “Lies of the Enemy”, which is an examination of some of the common lies, sometimes sneakily whispered into our minds as “first person” statements, that the enemy tells us to cause us to doubt our faith, lose our peace, cause division, or influence us to not follow the Lord with the way we live our lives.
We’ve decided to end this series as a 40 day devotional so with only 2 days left, we are going to try to expose two of the biggest lies of the enemy, that have a great deal of truth in them, but that seek to divide our hearts and to choose some other “good things” over the Lord.
So today’s big lie is:
Lie #39: Family is Everything.
Whether you love your family to “the moon and back” or whether you are estranged from them, or don’t have a family, this lie of the devil would seek for you to declare that “blood is thicker than water” and that the loyalty to the family ties you have trump everything else: friends, business, and maybe even God…..
Like I said today’s lie can easily be made into a truth with a little editing, I would suggest that “Family is important” but God’s word indicates that although we should give honor to mother, father, husband, and wife and raise our children in the way they should go, there is one thing – one relationship – that surpasses even the love that we have for those we who have loved and cared for us when we were but mere helpless little babies and that relationship is the one we have with God.
Of course there is great security, acceptance, significance, love, and identity to be drawn from our families and when “family is done right” – without selfish sin and dysfunction – and with giving proper thanks, worship, and honor to God, it’s a beautiful thing to be a part of.
While my immediate family of my childhood wasn’t perfect, it is the place where I learned about love, sharing, caring, and was first introduced to the ideas about God and Jesus. No matter what our “family” believes, I know that in order to “be saved” we all must individually decide to make Jesus the Lord and Savior of our individual lives but even though I struggled mightily with my liturgical church tradition, I am thankful for the Truth it tried to point to.
While I was confused about the church at times and didn’t really know the love of God, I knew that I was loved by my family even though it could be a little heavy handed or overbearing at times. And that’s where the enemy loves to spread the lie that “family is everything”. The church is a little weird and can be cold at times, but most of our families are always there for us and it is in the love of our family that the enemy tries to shift our focus off of God and onto the idol of family worship.
Some people extend their love of family to their distant ancestors, claiming it is important to know where you come from and who your people are – where immediate family pride extends into national or cultural heritage pride. Even the Bible is filled with genealogies and could lead us to believe that our blood lines are of the utmost importance.
Beyond blood, there is also the communal or social aspect of families and family tradition that establishes the days of our lives. Some families meet weekly for family dinners. Some families are neighbors to one another. Family is the place where we do life together and family can be so pervasive that “Family is Everything” is a credo of pride and deep affection.
However, these individual and families that speak these words are speaking a sentiment that could be twisted to compromise one’s relationship with God.
Generational sins are a thing and as much as good things can be passed on through family lines – sin, corruption, and compromise of the truth of God’s word can also run in families.
“My family doesn’t believe in that. We are ______ (Insert false religion name or atheistic proclamation here.
“All my family ________________” (Insert sinful lifestyle choice here) “It’s almost a family tradition!”
Not only can the things we believe and do be influenced by our families. Our very identities can be defined by what group we are born into.
“I’m a ____________, (Insert earthly family name – natural or adopted here) That’s my family.
But Jesus had some things to say about family that are quite surprising and shows that the idea of “family first” is another lie of the enemy, as God wants us to choose Him and His royal family over all others, including our families!
One time Christ was teaching His disciples, when His blessed mother, that’s right Mary, and his brothers came and were waiting, expecting an audience with Jesus. Much to the shock of those who would put “family first” and who would declare “family is everything”. Jesus indicated that faith in Him was more important than familial ties. That faith in His blood and loyalty to Him should be thicker than the very blood of your family. Jesus indicated that the Spirit was more important than any familial ties. As He said:
48 …"Who is My mother and who are My brothers?"
49 And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, "Here are My mother and My brothers!
50 For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother."
Knowing God and doing His will surpasses the people we have known all our lives on earth and their ideas and plans that they have for us.
Jesus knew this shift from family loyalty to answer His call to discipleship would be hated and He describes perilous times for Christians where families will turn against those who choose Him over them.
21 Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death.
22 And you will be hated by all for My name's sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.
And that’s it: to the end. That’s what matters. While we think our family have known us from the beginning, God knew us and chose us before then.
1:4-5 (NLT2) tells us
4 Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.
5 God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.
God knew us and chose before the foundation of the world and we are to love and serve Him above all others, including family.
Now don’t get me wrong, family is a wonderful thing, or it can be, but if those you have biological ties to are not following the Lord Jesus Christ, they will be separated from you forever as they chose themselves or things of this earth over the One who created them.
So although our earthly family is or can be a “good thing” it certainly is not the only thing, or everything, and never was supposed to be as God is our Heavenly Father and calls us to believe in His Son, Jesus to be a part of a family that lasts for all time.
So don’t believe the lie that “family is everything” and instead love and protect those nearest and dearest to you by encouraging them to put their faith in Jesus and to become members of God’s royal family who would always give God the glory and seek to do His will and share His traditions of love and holiness and identify with Him.
For those who want more evidence for Christianity than my simple apologetic will provide, I offer apologist, Frank Turek’s website, https://crossexamined.org/ .
Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.
This morning’s meditation verse is:
Philippians 1:6 (NLT2)
6 And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.
Today’s verse contains so much hope it’s not even funny. It assures us that God is working within us to make us the people that He created us to be and that He will complete His work in us.
So we should get with the program by renewing our minds with God’s word, by repenting of our worldly ways, and by making the continuous decision to live for God’s kingdom purposes.
Secondly, this verse tells us that Jesus is coming back. Our universe’s history will seismically shift when God comes back to reclaim what is His and to establish His government on the earth for a thousand years, before making a whole new earth and heaven. The Lord has a plan for the future. And today’s verse assures us He will work it in us and will one day come back to finish it.
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 The Holy Spirit By A.W. Pink.
As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage you all to purchase A.W. Pink’s books for your own private study and to support his work. This resource is available online for $0.99 (https://www.amazon.com/Holy-Spirit-Arthur-Pink-Collection-ebook/dp/B008CM5292/ref=sr_1_3?crid=AHKAQOM39CTN&keywords=a.w.+pink+the+holy+spirit&qid=1684376225&sprefix=a.w.+pink+the+holy+spirit+%2Caps%2C96&sr=8-3)
A.W. Pink’s The Holy Spirit
3 - The Deity of the Holy Spirit
Proofs of the Spirit’s Deity
1. The Holy Spirit is expressly called God. To Ananias Peter said, “Why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Spirit?” and then in the very next verse, he affirms “thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God” (Acts 5:3, 4): if, then, lying to the Holy Spirit is lying to God, it necessarily follows that the Spirit must be God. Again, the saints are called “the temple of God,” and the reason proving this is that, “the Spirit of God dwelleth in you” (1 Cor. 3:16). In like manner, the body of the individual saint is designated, “the temple of the Holy Spirit,” and then the exhortation is made, “therefore glorify God in your body” (1 Cor. 6:19, 20). In 1 Corinthians 12, where the diversity of His gifts, administrations, and operations are mentioned, He is spoken of severally as “the same Spirit” (v. 4), “the same Lord” (v. 5), “the same God” (v. 6). In 2 Corinthians 6:16 the Holy Spirit is called “the living God.”
2. The Holy Spirit is expressly called Jehovah, a name that is utterly incommunicable to all creatures, and which can be applied to none except the Great Supreme. It was Jehovah who spoke by the mouth of all the holy Prophets from the beginning of the world (Luke 1:68, 70), yet in 2 Peter 1:20 it is implicitly declared that those Prophets all spoke by “the Holy Spirit” (see also 2 Sam. 23:2, 3, and compare Acts 1:16)! It was Jehovah whom Israel tempted in the wilderness, “sinning against God and provoking the Most High” (Ps. 78:17, 18), yet in Isaiah 63:10 this is specifically termed, “rebelling against and vexing the Holy Spirit!” In Deuteronomy 32:12 we read, “The Lord alone did lead them,” yet speaking of the same people, at the same time, Isaiah 63:14 declares, “the Spirit of the Lord did lead them.” It was Jehovah who bade Isaiah, “Go and tell this people, hear ye indeed” (6:8, 9), while the Apostle declared, “well spake the Holy Spirit by Isaiah the Prophet, saying, Go unto the people and say, Hear ye indeed …” (Acts 28:25, 26)! What could more plainly establish the identity of Jehovah and the Holy Spirit? Note that the Holy Spirit is called “the Lord” in 2 Thessalonians 3:5.
3. The perfections of God are all found in the Spirit. By what is the nature of any being determined but by its properties? He who possesses the properties peculiar to an angel or man is rightly esteemed one. So He who possesses the attributes or properties which belong alone to God, must be considered and worshipped as God. The Scriptures very clearly and abundantly affirm that the Holy Spirit is possessed of the attributes peculiar to God. They ascribe to Him absolute holiness. As God is called “Holy,” “the Holy One,” being therein described by that superlatively excellent property of His nature wherein He is “glorious in holiness” (Ex. 15:11); so is the Third Person of the Trinity designated “the Spirit of Holiness” (Rom. 1:4) to denote the holiness of His nature and the Deity of His Person. The Spirit is eternal (Heb. 9:14). He is omnipresent: “Whither shall I flee from thy Spirit?” (Ps. 139:7). He is omniscient (see 1 Cor. 2:10, 11). He is omnipotent: being termed “the Power of the Highest” (Luke 1:35; see also Micah 2:8, and compare Isa. 40:28).
4. The absolute sovereignty and supremacy of the Spirit manifest His Godhead. In Matthew 4:1 we are told, “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness:” who but a Divine Person had the right to direct the Mediator? and to whom but God would the Redeemer have submitted! In John 3:8 the Lord Jesus drew an analogy between the wind which “bloweth where it listeth” (not being at the disposal or direction of any creature), and the imperial operations of the Spirit. In 1 Corinthians 12:11 it is expressly affirmed that the Holy Spirit has the distribution of all spiritual gifts, having nothing but His own pleasure for His rule. He must, then, be “God over all, blessed forever.” In Acts 13:2–4 we find the Holy Spirit calling men unto the work of the ministry, which is solely a Divine prerogative, though wicked men have abrogated it unto themselves. In these verses it will be found that the Spirit appointed their work, commanded them to be set apart by the church, and sent them forth. In Acts 20:28 it is plainly declared that the Holy Spirit set officers over the church.
5. The works ascribed to the Spirit clearly demonstrate His Godhead. Creation itself is attributed to Him, no less than to the Father and the Son: “By the Spirit lie hath garnished the heavens” (Job 26:13): “the Spirit of God hath made me” (Job 33:4). He is concerned in the work of providence (Isa. 40:13–15; Acts 16:6, 7). All Scripture is given by inspiration of God (2 Tim. 3:16), the source of which is the Spirit Himself (2 Peter 1:21). The humanity of Christ was miraculously formed by the Spirit (Matthew 1:20). Christ was anointed for His work by the Spirit (Isa. 61:1; John 3:34). His miracles were performed by the Spirit’s power (Matthew 12:38). He was raised from the dead by the Spirit (Rom. 8:11). Who but a Divine person could have wrought such works as these!?
Reader, do you have a personal and inward proof that the Holy Spirit is none other than God? Has He wrought in you that which no finite power could? Has He brought you from death unto life, made you a new creature in Christ, imparted to you a living faith, filled you with holy longings after God? Does He breathe into you the spirit of prayer, take of the things of Christ and show them unto you, apply to your heart both the precepts and promises of God? If so, then, these are so many witnesses in your own bosom of the deity of the Blessed Spirit.
Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!
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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)
For those who require the assistance of a Deeper Walk International Prayer Minister to experience healing or your freedom in Christ, I highly recommend Christy Edge’s Life on the Edge Freedom Prayer Ministry. You can schedule a session by going to : https://cedge216.wixsite.com/life-on-the-edge
“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
 Arthur Walkington Pink, The Holy Spirit (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, n.d.).
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