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Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Action Plan For Freedom – Wisdom from Dr. Charles Stanley - Purity 1268


Action Plan For Freedom – Wisdom from Dr. Charles Stanley - Purity 1268

Purity 1268 02/07/2024 Purity 1268 Podcast

Purity 1268 on YouTube: 



Good morning,

Today’s photo of a view of a blue skies over green mountain majesty that seems to stretch on forever comes to us from Fred Dimmick who spent the last day of January hiking up the Appalachian Trail via Wayah Gap to summit on Wayah Bald in the Nantahala National Forest near Franklin North Carolina.

Well, it’s Wednesday and I share Fred’s photo to visually represent our arrival at another “hump day” and to encourage my friends to “look higher” to pursue the upward call of God on their lives and to take the path of Christian Discipleship into new heights of freedom and victory in their lives.  

I was surprised yesterday to discover that I forgot I had the day off from work. My shifted tour at my day job has me working this Saturday and as I started to head into work at the normal time, my phone buzzed me a reminder that I had the day off! So I turned the car around and went back to River house where I proceeded to use the time off to clean up my PC, send out a bunch of overdue or timely emails, and rest.  I also was blessed with the opportunity to disciple and encourage one of the participants from my Freedom in Christ Course and spent the evening hours giving my testimony and encouraging men in a friend’s online Conqueror Series Support group!  

So it was a day off from the day job, but it was filled with “kingdom work” and it impressed upon me all the more to continue to walk towards formally becoming a Christian life coach, albeit in a part-time capacity for the time being. I’m already doing the work so I might as well begin to proactively offer it to those who need it and are looking for it.

People in the body of Christ need to know who they are in Christ, and they need to learn how to “walk in the Spirit”. While I am far from perfect I have made significant progress along the path, and I feel I owe it to God to help others to know Him more and to show them the way to seek and follow Him into the abundant life of freedom that He has for them.   Not only is freedom possible, but I can also instruct people to follow the way I found it and support them while they find it for themselves.  

As if a sign from God, one of the guys from the Freedom in Christ course reached out and asked for a meeting to ask for “accountability” without fully knowing what he wanted to be accountable to or for.  So in our discussions, I laid out an action plan to transform his life by introducing a holistic plan that would simultaneously minister to his body, mind, and spirit.  This man has been diagnosed manic depressive, so this is an experiment of sorts. He will remain on his medications as he is now, but we are going to introduce him to the “path of Christian Discipleship” and be his guide along the way for 21 days.  His action plan will include prayer, bible study, a healthy diet, exercise, meditation, quieting, appreciation, resting, and checking in daily to report his progress.  His plan will challenge Him to reach out to the Lord for help and to follow Him with the way he lives his life.  And I know that if this man is true to seek the Lord, he will find Him, and if he is true to follow Him, God will lead him into a peace that goes beyond the limitations of a diagnosis and into a peace that goes beyond understanding. 

It's never too late to follow the Lord or to make a resolution and commitment to God to change. When we lean on Him, God will help us.  I am going to share some words of wisdom from the late Dr. Charles Stanley that I received last month in the mail from in touch ministries about making a new start that I found to be encouraging and may cause you to renew your broken New Year’s resolution or to follow the Lord into a new life. 

Stanley’s message states:

What's your outlook on beginning a new year? Some people think making New Year's resolutions is foolish. And it's true that many are quickly forgotten or abandoned, but that doesn't mean the whole practice is a waste of time. It's a way of setting your course in the right direction for the coming months. If you don't make plans for improvement, the only alternative is to drift along doing the same things you've done before, whether or not they're fruitful.

As the old year transitions to the new, take some time to evaluate your life… Try asking yourself the following questions: what did I achieve last year? Have they done anything that will outlive me or have eternal significance? Did I spend my time, energy, and resources accomplishing what I wanted or what God desired? Have I grown in my relationship with Christ? These questions relate to the most important aspect of your life and the key to anything you hope to experience in the future. Let's consider Paul's example in Philippians 3: 7-16.

First, Paul had one desire that superseded all others.

In Philippians 3:7-8 (NASB) Paul wrote:
7  …whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8  More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord…

That's a challenging standard, isn't it? Are our career, family, financial, material, or social goals more important to you than gaining deeper knowledge of, and intimacy with, your Savior? There's nothing wrong with pursuing other things, but they need to take second place to your relationship with the Lord. That means you have to make time to spend with Him, in His word and prayer.

Second, Paul had a primary goal in life.

In Philippians 3:10 (NASB) Paul writes:
10  that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;

This wasn't just a superficial familiarity. Paul wanted to know Christ personally and experientially by:

1.   Joyful, daily surrender to his resurrection power,

2.   Suffering for righteousness as he did, and

3.   Being continually conformed to Christ by putting sin to death in his life.

Is knowing God better honestly your primary goal? Most Christians would like to say yes, but the way they invest their time and effort indicates otherwise. The desire may be there, but the action is not, there is no “follow through” . No one ever drifts into fulfilling a goal. Without expending effort, you have a wish, not a goal, and no progress is made without a plan to fulfill it.

Third, Paul wholeheartedly pursued his goal.

In Philippians 3:13-14 (NASB) Paul says
13  …. forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14  I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Paul uses the imagery of a race. To make forward progress, you can't carry baggage from the past. Former accomplishments trip you up with pride, while failures and regret drag you down. Instead, run unencumbered, stretching forward with all your might to reach the finish line.

Did Paul succeed in achieving his goal? Listen to his last recorded words in

2 Timothy 4:7-8 (NASB) where he wrote:
7  I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; 8  in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness…

Wouldn't you like to finish life like this, setting a goal for eternal value that you pursued with all your heart from year to year? It's possible. And it's never too late to begin. Ask God for a fresh start. Relinquish any old baggage. And let this new year spur you on to know the Lord above all else.”

You have to love Charles Stanley. He had a heart for God and sought to encourage the body of Christ to let go of the past and to press into the future with a determination to follow the Lord with the way we live.  I read this message an hour after crafting an action plan for a man who wants to know freedom and peace and I believe it was given to me to encourage myself to step onto new ground and to encourage you to do the same.  

So it might by seven days into February and in the middle of another work week, but if the Lord is calling you to resolve to follow Him, it’s a wonderful place to start.

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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 comes from the section on Communication, Gossip, and Lying.

John 8:44 (NIV2011)
44  You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

Today’s verse falls under the ninth point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Communication, Gossip, and Lying.

9.     All lying is of the devil, the father of all lies.

Today’s verse reminds us of who we are like when we lie – the devil. So if you pride yourself on being a grifter or someone who can pull the wool over the eyes of the unsuspecting or trusting people of this world, take a good look into the mirror of God’s word and see that your lying ways don’t represent the kingdom of God. They are demonically inspired and come from the father of lies, Satan.  

Once again, I consider the first rule of Christian Discipleship to be always to tell the truth, or more simply: stop lying.  Our lies kill our integrity and murder people’s trust when our deception is discovered. So stop working for evil, stop lying, and start telling the truth in all your dealings to represent God’s kingdom.

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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 “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 28

“All authority has been given to Me in heaven
and on earth.” – Matthew 28:18

These are the words of the risen Christ. They are the words of the One who could say, “I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death” (Rev. 1:18).

       “All authority.” This comprehends every power and principality.

       “Given to Me.” The exalted and ever-living Savior.

       “In heaven and on earth.” The angels and millions of heavenly hosts are not only to see the demonstration of that power, but also the thousands of people upon earth.

Therefore, says the risen Lord, “All authority has been given to Me … Go” (Matt. 28:18-19). In other words, “I have the power, I will impart the power. You, Go.”

Teach me daily how to appropriate this power.
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

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