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Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Repentance and the Lord Blessing Your Efforts - Purity 1262

Repentance and  the Lord Blessing Your Efforts  - Purity 1262

Purity 1262 01/31/2024 Purity 1262 Podcast

Purity 1262 on YouTube: 



Good morning,

Today’s photo of a buffalo in front of a large mound of rock reaching for a blue sky comes to us from Chris Oswald as he shared this scene on social media this past weekend from his trip to Devil's Tower.

Well, it's Wednesday and I figured Chris's photo of Devil's Tower was more than adequate to visually represent our arrival at another hump day. Today is the last day of January 2024 and my spirit is alive with the possibilities for the new year.

I don't know if it's the upcoming arrival of the lunar new year on February 9th or just the realization that we made it through the first month of the year and winter didn't kill us, but I feel good. Perhaps it's due to my recent experiences in the Immanuel prayer ministry or the fact that I was convicted to be true to my stronghold buster and now am four days free from zero-sugar sodas but, despite issues in other people's lives around me, I feel great.

And I have to testify that the people who are walking in the direction I'm going all have the same thing in common: hope, and beyond hope there seems to be progress in their increasing their senses of well-being, freedom, and peace.

Tonight I'll attend the Celebrate Freedom growth group at Starpoint church where I'll be reminded of what a difference faith in Jesus can make.

Admittedly there have been some ups and downs in the various participants’ lives since we began the group back in May of last year. Honestly, there have been some real, and I mean capital R E A L, real disasters as some of the people have come in and received a measure of freedom and victory for a time, but then were deceived, lured away, or just plain quit, as I say,  walking and talking with God.

While we have the freedom to make our own choices and craft our own recoveries, Christian discipleship or Christian recovery really isn't something you're supposed to take a break from. Our relationship with God is continuous and our decision to follow Him into repentance is supposed to be continuous as well. So participants who come to every other meeting, drop by once a month, or take several weeks off should not be surprised if they don't have the freedom and victory that they want.  To receive freedom and victory, you not only have to believe, but you also have to do your part as you walk into a new and abundant life.  

But don’t get me wrong our faith in God, our relationship with Him, and asking for His help and guidance and strength is a huge part of the freedom equation – long-lasting freedom and victory aren’t possible without a heart to surrender to and rely on the Lord.

Christ didn’t say abide in me on the weekends.

So yes you have to connect with God through prayer and Bible study and talking with Him but if you enter into “walking in the Spirit” – God isn’t just going to supernaturally bless you with everything you ask for immediately – He is not your genie in a bottle to grant your wishes – and if you are walking and talking to Him, He is going to “speak to you” – by raising your awareness, illuminating truth, and showing the things that you need to do by convicting your heart and mind.   

When Pastor Bob Costello started a Christian Recovery ministry at my old church, I was attending Bible College and serving actively in the church, but although I had the heart to know God more and to serve Him, I was still living in the shadows with drunkenness and lust. So when Pastor Bob announced the new recovery ministry, the Holy Spirit “spoke” to me – not in an audible voice but it was just as compelling- saying “This is for you.”  And considering how answering that call to recovery and repentance has led to my sobriety and subsequent service in recovery or freedom ministries ever since 2015, I would have to say the Holy Spirit it meant that – this is for you – in more ways than one!  

I shared last week, and all the time, about how in those early days of my recovery from alcohol how, like Paul with his thorn in the flesh, I pleaded to the Lord in prayer to the point of tears, begging Him to take my addiction away and to instantly heal me of the cravings of the flesh and the temptations in my mind – and how I wasn’t instantly cured – how I had to lean on the Lord for strength and to make the daily decision to not go back to my drinking and to follow the Lord into the land of sobriety one day at a time.  The Lord blessed my efforts, but I had to make that decision every day and as the days between me and my last relapse lengthened, I began to realize that God had already given me the power to overcome – heck He actually gave me a new life of purity – but I had to believe it and live in accordance with it to realize it. 

Your chains are gone when you put your faith in Jesus but the world, the flesh, your past experience, your acquaintances, family, friends, and the devil may cause you to believe the lie that you are the same lost and sorry person you always were.

“Once an addict, always an addict.”

“You will always struggle with this.”

“It runs in our family.”

“I was born this way.”  

and “It works for some people, but not for me.” 

Are all lies that don’t apply to the born-again follower of Jesus Christ, but you have to know those statements aren’t true and you have to live according to who you are in Christ to make your new life of freedom and victory a reality. 

So we pray. We read the Bible. We ask God for strength, wisdom, and healing (Are you not doing these things?)

But we also decide to believe what the word of God tells us about ourselves and life, and we make the commitment to follow the Lord with the way we live and we actually think about the things we think about, examine the things we say and do, pay attention to the things we put our time in, and we listen to the Holy Spirit when He tells us “This is for you” or “This is not for you, anymore”.  

When we seek the Lord we will find Him and when we follow the Lord, He will lead us to a life in the Spirit where there is righteousness, goodness, faithfulness, kindness, gentleness, love, patience, self-control, peace and joy.

Yesterday, I had workmen coming to the house to do repairs and I was convicted by the mess my adult children had made of my simple home.  Instead of getting mad at the fact that the place was sloppy looking, I was convicted over how the mess wasn’t “right” and instead of praying for the Lord to take it away, or rousing my kids out of bed in the early morning hours to give them what for and to command them to pick up the place – I got busy “making all things new”.  I threw out trash, put things in the recycling, swept the floor, washed and put away dishes, cleaned the kitchen sink and countertops and finished by cleaning the bathroom. It was a whirlwind of activity in the early morning hours yesterday but now my house is clean. I had to do the work to get it there and if I enjoy having the place clean, I will have to be proactive in cleaning up on a continuous basis. If you like the joy of a neat space, you need to keep it neat, right?   I had let things go when I never should have. I compromised my principles because I decided that it wasn’t my mess – but it is my house, and the Lord says we are to be good stewards of the things He gives us.  So I am rejoicing over the new beginning of another month tomorrow knowing that when we focus on the problems that face us we can overcome them and with the Lord’s help we can do it with peace.  

So it’s the last day of January, let’s make a new month's resolution to not let things go, to not just pray and hope the Lord takes things away, let’s ask for His help AND DO SOMETHING – to make a change to bring us closer to where we want to be. The Lord will bless your efforts, so let’s make them in spirit, in hope, and in truth.

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For those who want more evidence for Christianity than my simple encouragements provide, I offer apologist, Frank Turek’s website, https://crossexamined.org/ .

Today’s Bible verses come to us from “The Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling” By John G. Kruis.

( While Bible verses on various topics of Counseling can be found with a quick Google search, we encourage you to purchase this resource to support the late author’s work. (https://www.amazon.com/Quick-Scripture-Reference-Counseling-Kruis-ebook/dp/B00CIUJZT2?ref_=ast_author_dp )

This morning’s meditation verse come from the section on Communication, Gossip, and Lying.

Proverbs 18:13 (NKJV)
13  He who answers a matter before he hears it, It is folly and shame to him.

Today’s verse is the first of two passages of scripture that fall under the sixth point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Communication, Gossip, and Lying.

6.     Listen before you speak.

Today’s verse is encouraging us to not assume we know what people are going to say before they say it.  Let’s not think about what we are going to say next without first listening to what is being said.  Answering a matter before you hear it is a folly and a shame because it dishonors the other people involved – because they are not being heard- and it leaves us vulnerable to looking like a fool by answering questions that are not being asked.  

So be wise and listen before you speak, and Then answer the matters brought before you with patience, wisdom, and love.

-----------------------------------------------------------

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 “According to Your Word: Morning and Evening Through the New Testament” By Stephen F. Olford – A Collection of Devotional Journals: 1940-1941.

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage you all to purchase Olford’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available online for less than $10 at many sites.

EVENING READING: MATTHEW 22

“Jesus answered and spoke to them … by parables.”
– Matthew 22:1

Someone has said, “A parable is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning.”

In any case, the Lord Jesus in His preaching and teaching made great use of parables. Their purpose was to illuminate the truth to those who were ready to receive it, and to conceal the truth to those who were unbelieving.

The Lord Jesus used everyday life and common scenes to build His stories. He adapted Himself to His audiences and circumstances.

His three great study books were God's Book, the Book of Creation, and the Book of Human Life.

Teach me, Lord, how to use these three
books skillfully in my ministry for You. Amen.[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 YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/@MT4Christ247

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 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


 

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Relationship Recovery – Three Relationships that Need to End - Purity 1261

Relationship Recovery – Three Relationships that Need to End - Purity 1261

Purity 1261 01/30/2024 Purity 1261 Podcast

Purity 1261 on YouTube: 



Good morning,

Today’s photo of the Temple of Apollo in Ancient Corinth comes to us from my pastor, Roscoe Lily who shared this photo on social media back on January 19th commenting that he “found it fascinating the juxtaposition of the broken down Temple of Apollo facing a church that worships Jesus. The Jesus that Paul preached in Corinth is still worshiped 2000 years later…all around the world. Acts 18:4-11” And although Roscoe didn’t say this, I will, And Apollo? Do people worship him? Not so much.” 

Well, It’s Tuesday and I love that my pastor had a biblical focus even on his vacation, and shared it with his friends on social media,  showing us that there really is no time off from our faith.  Our lives as followers of Jesus Christ are to be an ongoing expression of our relationship to God where we appreciate where it all began – in history, with our salvation, and how it continues right up until today.  Our relationship with God doesn’t end and because He is our Creator and Redeemer it is the most important thing about us. 

Our church was blessed to have Pastor Roscoe back this week and he delivered a message for the ages because it stressed an important application of trying to live as a Christian as it faced the hard truth that while our relationship with God will never end the fact that we are trying to follow the Lord may cause us to need to put up boundaries or even end relationships with toxic people.  I am sharing a link on the blog that will take you to that message and I encourage anyone who has difficult or toxic people in their lives to watch it. (https://starpoint.church/archives/?sapurl=LytlMzE4L2xiL21pLytxcTRxN2hjP2JyYW5kaW5nPXRydWUmZW1iZWQ9dHJ1ZSZyZWNlbnRSb3V0ZT1hcHAud2ViLWFwcC5saWJyYXJ5Lmxpc3QmcmVjZW50Um91dGVTbHVnPSUyQnZycHZkeDg=)

As we follow the Lord on the path of Christian discipleship we will inevitably come to a crossroads in our journey where we will realize that people in our lives aren’t walking with us and will choose to leave us, or we will have to make the decision to leave their company. 

Pastor Roscoe’s message preached on the three types of relationships that need to end stating that we should end relationships where:

1.    People are influencing you negatively.

2.    God is moving people out of your life.

3.    People are Toxic – where they have a “murderous spirit” – where all they seem to do is want to “kill, steal, or destroy” everything good in your life to serve themselves.

Your friends in “low places” - that drag you down, remind you of your pre-Christ sinful life, and want to keep you there – meet all three criteria in my book.  When we come to Christ, we die and become new creations and sometimes we need to say goodbye to relationships that would distract us from the life that God has for us.    

And because we never want to think of our Christian lives as just involving the things we lose or the things we “can’t do anymore”, we look to fulfill our legitimate needs for relationships and fun by replacing our old toxic relationships and habits with new ones that will cause us to grow and thrive in the abundant life that God has for us.

The loss of family and friend relationships that are toxic can be painful but God provides us with the body of Christ to give us a new family and new friends that we can do life with where the people influence us positively, where we can see how God has moved them into our life, and how they are the opposite of toxic – where they have a life-giving spirit that fills your life with peace, joy, and thanksgiving at having them in your life.  

Do you have a lot of relationships like that?  I do and the reason I do, as different as all my friends are from one another, is because we all have Jesus in common. I would have never met any of the people that I consider as friends (or really family – my spiritual family) that I have in my life, with the exception of my biological family, if it wasn’t for Jesus.  Some of them are reading this message or hearing this message right now.  My ministry is one of encouragement because that is what the Lord has done in my life. He called me, saved me, and moved me into a new life and so I encourage my brothers and sisters in Christ, and anybody who will listen, to seek the Lord and His will for your life because of the joy and peace that comes from living with Him at the center of your life.  

It may a lonely road at times, but if you are walking with the Lord, He will bring people into your life – through the local church, social media, and wherever He calls you to go for work or ministry. When we carry the Lord's love and wisdom into our lives, we encourage and remind everyone we meet of the goodness of God and the hope we have in Jesus. 

So if your peace and joy in the Lord is being hindered by people who influence you negatively or are toxic, realize that God may not lead them out of your life but may be indicating that you will have to do your part to find your freedom by making the difficult decision to end the relationship yourself.  

Acts of faith and sacrifices are “a thing” in our walk with the Lord. When we act in faith and do the difficult things to be true to our relationship with God, rather than man, we grow closer to the Lord and we are invariably blessed by the absence of negative things and people, and addition or presence of the good people and things we choose to focus on as part of our new lives in Christ. 

So go into “relationship recovery” by having the difficult conversations to say “It’s finished” and putting up the appropriate boundaries to either limit or eliminate completely the presence of people in your life who impact you negatively, are being moved out of your life by God, or who are, let’s face it, toxic.  

God makes us new creations in Christ so say goodbye to the old and keep walking and talking with God to say hello to the abundant life of love, peace, and joy that He has for you.

 

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For those who want more evidence for Christianity than my simple encouragements provide, I offer apologist, Frank Turek’s website, https://crossexamined.org/ .

Today’s Bible verses come to us from “The Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling” By John G. Kruis.

( While Bible verses on various topics of Counseling can be found with a quick Google search, we encourage you to purchase this resource to support the late author’s work. (https://www.amazon.com/Quick-Scripture-Reference-Counseling-Kruis-ebook/dp/B00CIUJZT2?ref_=ast_author_dp )

This morning’s meditation verse come from the section on Communication, Gossip, and Lying.

Proverbs 17:28 (NASB)
28  Even a fool, when he keeps silent, is considered wise; When he closes his lips, he is considered prudent.

Today’s verse is the fifth of five passages of scripture that fall under the fifth point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Communication, Gossip, and Lying.

5.     Be quick to listen, slow to speak.

Today’s verse encourages us to at least appear wise, by choosing to remain silent. Oh the stupid things that I have said that I wish I hadn’t said!  Remember, you won’t regret the stupid things you don’t say!  Wiser people than I have indicated that we should stop and take a pause before everything we say. We pause to think about what we are going to say and whether or not we need to say it at all, or whether we need to say it now.  Asking those questions in our minds – do I need to say this, do I need to say this now – could save us a lot of grief and we may even see that we are wiser by choosing to remain silent.  

-----------------------------------------------------------

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 “According to Your Word: Morning and Evening Through the New Testament” By Stephen F. Olford – A Collection of Devotional Journals: 1940-1941.

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage you all to purchase Olford’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available online for less than $10 at many sites.

MORNING READING: MATTHEW 21

“He was hungry.” – Matthew 21:18

Truly, great is the mystery of godliness – God was manifested in the flesh! That He, the Jehovah Jireh, should hunger is a mystery that baffles the finite mind.

Yet it is a precious thought and fact. For having passed the way of all men, He can now be touched with every feeling of my infirmity. Having been tested, He can now succor.

Yes, my blessed Lord hungered, slept, wearied, wept, sorrowed, suffered, and died – Praise His wonderful Name!

Give me the power and grace, O Lord, to walk
even as You did walk in this scene despite the fact
that You were perfectly human. Amen.[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 YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/@MT4Christ247

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 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

Monday, January 29, 2024

Immanuel Prayer – Cleansing a Memory and Healing the Heart - Purity 1260

Immanuel Prayer – Cleansing a Memory and Healing the Heart - Purity 1260

Purity 1260 01/29/2024 Purity 1260 podcast

Purity 1260 on YouTube:



Good morning,

Today’s photo of large stones on the shore and in the waters of what I believe to be the Tomhannock Reservoir in Pittstown NY comes to us from yours truly as I reached back in my iPhone’s photo archives this morning to share this Monday, May Day scene from 2015. This photo was taken by my in the 18th of May in 2015 and even though I didn’t intentionally mean to reach back that far I am using it because I find it oddly appropriate as yesterday afternoon’s Immanuel Prayer session with a friend took me years back to remind me that the Lord has always been with me and to clean out my closet and cleanse my heart of some residual grief, sin, and pain.   

Well, it’s Monday and as I have already gotten to work this morning by clearing my drive way of an inch or two of heavy wet snow and prepare myself for a full work day a head, I am giving thanks this morning for the path that the Lord has placed me on and for the work He has been doing in continuing to increase my freedom and peace by removing shadows from my past that I didn’t even know needed to be dealt with.   

It should be no surprise that the Lord will surprise you but even I have to admit that I didn’t realize the depths to which God’s love can go to to unburden our hearts and to lead us into healing and freedom.  

As part of my development plan for certification as a Deeper Walk Prayer minster, the Lord directed my path to make the acquaintance of and become friends with Julaine Kammrath, a certified Immanuel Prayer minister, and over the last three weeks, Julaine has been assisting me in becoming familiar with Immanuel Prayer, which is a guided prayer session that calls on the Lord to bring to mind memories of joy from the participant’s past. Joyful memories are the foundation on which a relational connection to the Lord is established and from which He can do the work that He wants to do in the participant’s life.  Forming a deeper relational connection with God, emotional healing, and spiritual deliverance for demonic spirits are all possible directions for the Lord to take in IP so although the facilitator and the participant may have a sense in where an IP session may go when they meet, the Lord – The Father, Christ the Son – Jesus – or the Holy Spirit is the one driving the bus and although the human parties may have an idea where the journey will start, God is the one who decides on the different places you will stop and when He will bring you home.  

Yesterday’s divinely guided tour took me back to Victoria Falls in Botswana in 2016, to the darkened confines of a movie theater’s projectionist hallway in 2002, and back again as the Lord caused me to remember the joy of seeing one of the seven natural  wonders of the world at the completion of two-week mission trip and how it caused me to silently and joyfully worship the Lord and to come to the realization that God is everywhere and that He has always been with me even in the darkest hours of my life.  

As I recalled the memory of the joy over the rainbow-producing mists of Victoria Falls and invited the Lord to reveal himself to me in the memory I was joined by Jesus who opened us my mind to see that God wasn’t just at Victoria Falls but that He was with me all the days of my life as I recalled a time in my past, a traumatic time of grief where I paradoxically felt all alone but somehow sensed a presence that I couldn’t explain at the time.  Jesus showed me that yes – God was in the light and the glory of his creation at Victoria Falls as I rejoiced and congratulated myself over a job well done and answered the call to go into the mission field, but God was also with me 14 years prior when I had turned my back on my faith and was grieving the death of my infant son.  

My personal tragedy led to a fog of depression, a descent into psychedelic drugs and a false godless religion, and a search for meaning and truth.  From 2002 to 2010, I looked everywhere but in the direction of Jesus for meaning and purpose and actually thought I was wise because of my rejection of Christianity but the Lord proved His faithfulness to never leave or forsake me and woke me up to the truth of the gospel and pulled me out of the darkness to experience that moment of over a year sobriety and a Christian mission trip accomplished on the shores of Victoria falls in 2016, and yesterday afternoon God took me back to remind me of it and to cleanse it, and to use it to heal me even more.  

As holy and righteous and well-intentioned as that mission trip was and even though I was over a year clean and sober, I still had lust in my heart and even though I was faithful to my ex-wife back then in my body, my marriage was pretty miserable because I was following the Lord and she wasn’t.  In so in my loneliness and unhappiness over my marriage, I imagined having another wife – a Christian wife – and during that trip to Africa, I imagined and dwelt on the idea that one of my fellow missionaries – a younger woman – could fulfill that role. So while I was on fire for the Lord during that trip, doing construction projects, and preaching at a variety of churches and schools, part of my attention was divided as I lusted after a different life with a different woman in my heart.  

So as I was recalling the joy over that mission trip and that concluding visit to Victoria Falls, Jesus led me to confess that sin of the heart, to renounce it, to receive his forgiveness, and to be free of the burden of the emotional adultery that I had in the dark confines of my heart.  Its gone now. I have no guilt or shame over those imaginations and Victory Falls is a pure memory undefiled by my secret lust. Its gone.  

The Lord also touch my chest and healed my heart over some of grief over my son, Holden’s death.  Jesus impressed upon me that He was that one that fixes the broken and He is the one who makes all things new and while He was emphatic in claiming me has His, He touched me to bring more healing and more capacity for freedom, growth, and love to my heart and mind.  

To say my IP session yesterday was a trip would an understatement.  I didn’t know had anything to be healed of, those things were water under the bridge I thought but Jesus touched and healed me all the same.  No guilt, no shame, and no pain remain – just pure joy and the peace that comes from knowing that God is with me, has always been with me, and is calling me to more healing, more freedom, more growth to follow Him and to teach others what I have come to know about Him and about the life that comes to us when we keep walking and talking with God.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

For those who want more evidence for Christianity than my simple encouragements provide, I offer apologist, Frank Turek’s website, https://crossexamined.org/ .

Today’s Bible verses come to us from “The Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling” By John G. Kruis.

( While Bible verses on various topics of Counseling can be found with a quick Google search, we encourage you to purchase this resource to support the late author’s work. (https://www.amazon.com/Quick-Scripture-Reference-Counseling-Kruis-ebook/dp/B00CIUJZT2?ref_=ast_author_dp )

This morning’s meditation verse come from the section on Communication, Gossip, and Lying.

Proverbs 15:28 (NASB)
28  The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, But the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.

Today’s verse is the fourth of five passages of scripture that fall under the fifth point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Communication, Gossip, and Lying.

5.     Be quick to listen, slow to speak.

Today’s verse tells us to ponder how we answer and warns us to not let our mouths pour out evil things. 

As Christians, we represent Jesus – the righteous One – and so lets think before we speak and be careful not to represent the world or the devil by pouring our foul language or hateful or unkind things.  

-----------------------------------------------------------

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 “According to Your Word: Morning and Evening Through the New Testament” By Stephen F. Olford – A Collection of Devotional Journals: 1940-1941.

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage you all to purchase Olford’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available online for less than $10 at many sites.

EVENING READING: MATTHEW 20

“Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with
my own things?” – Matthew 20:15

This parable preeminently sets forth the spirit of humility and the sense of unworthiness that should characterize the servant of God. The servant should always remember that even after he has done all, he is unprofitable, for he has only then done his rightful duty.

Moreover, “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Gen. 18:25). Who is the servant to question His justice?

It is very obvious that the grumbling servants of this parable were more concerned about their pay than about their faithfulness to the landowner who had called them into service, for no other reason than the fact that he was full of grace and kindness. Who am I? Why should I be called – let alone chosen – to serve God, when thousands are not? This must be our spirit.

Lord, I am humbled that You would
call me to serve You.[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 YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/@MT4Christ247

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 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

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Bible Study with the Cincotti's - Zeal For Your House - 01/28/2024

Today's Bible Study, Authored by Arthur Cincotti. 01/28/2024

Listen to our Bible Study Discussion at: Zeal For Your House Podcast

Or watch the Video Zoom Session of our Study on YouTube: 




Zeal for Your house

“Then His disciples remembered that it was written, ‘Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up.’” Jn. 2:17

 

In this passage of Scripture, the gospel writer is remembering

Ps. 69:9. Turns out that Ps. 69 is quoted four times in the NT. This is a Psalm of David titled, “An Urgent Plea for Help in Trouble.” Matthew Henry writes that “in this, David was a type of Christ, and divers passages in this psalm are applied to Christ in the New Testament and are said to have their accomplishment in him.”

Today we are going to consider what Jesus is so zealous for so that our zeal would be guided by His.

Jn. 2:13-22 records the first of two occasions when Jesus aggressively cleansed the temple. This was early in His ministry and on this occasion He, “made a wipe of cords” and “drove out...those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers doing business.” He said, “Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!”

The temple in Jesus' time was the “Second Temple,” the first being the one built by King Solomon. This second temple was begun around 516 BC and was destroyed during a Roman siege in 70 AD.  Herod the Great undertook a massive expansion project in 20 BC, and the time of the events of Jn. 2 are estimated at around 26 AD.

This is also the temple of which Jesus prophesied, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be throne down.” Mt. 24:2

Was Jesus concerned about architecture, traditions, and tedious ceremonial religious rites? I’m going to say a big “no” on that. It’s not that the temple was without value or significance, but it was merely a type, or foreshadow or earthly expression of heavenly things.

A clue to the real matter at hand is found in Jn. 2:19&21, “Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up’...But He was speaking of the temple of His body.”

In Hebrew, the word “temple” and the word “house” are the same.

Strong’s H1004 “bayit” and it has a vast scope of definitions. Solomon’s temple and subsequently the second temple were built on the pattern of Moses Tabernacle. Tabernacle is the word “miskan” and means: dwelling (place), habitation, tent. In the verb form it can be used as, “to dwell with.”

I think we are starting to get a clearer sense of what Jesus zealous interest is for. Jn. 1:14 says, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory…” The word “dwelt” in Greek is, “skenoo,” and the expanded definition is: to occupy (as a mansion) or (specially), to reside (as God did in the Tabernacle of old, a symbol of protection and communion)

We see elsewhere that Christ’s zeal is for us, “his own sheep” Jn. 10:3; His bride, Rev. 21:9; His brethren, Rom. 8:29.

Heb. 12:2 says, “who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame…” Sounds pretty zealous to me.

Is the church the NT equivalent of the temple of Jesus time? In some sense yes, though not the building, as we have already seen.

“Church” is only mentioned twice by Jesus in the gospels. The word, “ekklesia” means: a derivative of G2564; a calling out; a popular meeting place, especially a religious congregation (Jewish synagogue), or Christian; assembly.

In Heb. 10:25 “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together.” the word for “assembling” is “episynagoge” a form of synagogue.

I Cor. 6:19 helps also by saying, “Or do you not know that your body is  the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own.”

         This leads us to the very contemporary Christian cultural notion that “we are the church” or more specifically, “I am the church.” It’s not surprising that in our self-absorbed, me-centered culture these notions would seep into doctrine. I would suggest, however, that this notion is a partial truth, and we all know who loves to traffic in partial truths (Satan).

         Indeed, the assembly is the assembling of God’s people; those “called out” of darkness, into His glorious light, and this assembly certainly doesn’t require a building. Designating the building as “holy” or “sacred” may be going too far and typically creeps out most Protestants.

Jesus said, “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” Mt. 18:20. This doesn’t mean that Jesus doesn’t meet with us individually; in our prayer closet, or at any given time of day, but it does point to two substantial and fundamental truths about the church: 1) it’s communal, and 2) Jesus presence is necessary.

         The design of the church is not about nave’s, narthex, clerestory, or bema, although all these are also types. The design of the church is about community; intimate community with fellow believers and with Christ.

I Jn. 4:20 sums it up well, “If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?”

         To the extent that we believe that we are “the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus” and “the temple of the Holy Spirit”, and “ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us” and created in the image of God; we out to love one another as Christ gave us an example.

“By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” Jn. 13:35

I Pet. 2:5, “you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”

 

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These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/@MT4Christ247

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 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