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Saturday, February 3, 2024

Propelling One Another in Our Faith - Purity 1265

 

Propelling One Another in Our Faith - Purity 1265

Purity 1265 02/03/2024 Purity 1265 Podcast

Purity 1265 on YouTube: 



Good morning,

Today’s photo of waves crashing on a rocky shoreline while the setting sun blazes on the horizon of Lake Ontario comes to us from Celestial Blue Photography, as Rocco Saya shared this scene on social media back on January 15th, commenting that the “sun actually made an appearance today!” Rocco’s comment reveals the overcast reality of upstate New York winters and how the “gray days” can make us appreciate it all the more when the sun comes shining in. 

Well, It’s Saturday and regardless of the weather the light of the weekend is shining joy into my heart because I am at my countryside home with my wife for the weekend, and because I walk in the Spirit there are seemingly endless sources for peace and joy when I focus on the Lord and all He is and all He has done for me which includes bringing more people than I can shake a stick into my life to encourage and to be encouraged by.  

Before coming to Christ, I spent a lot of time in a basement entertaining myself and seeking to satisfy my own selfish and fleshly desires but since answering the Lord’s call to faith in Jesus, I’m not alone anymore. I have not only found the love of my life, in my wife TammyLyn, but I have made all kinds of friends and acquaintances along the path of Christian Discipleship as I have sought to grow and to encourage others in their faith.  

Yesterday, I received a text message from a phone number I didn’t know asking the question “Is this Marc?” and because of the spammers and scammers out there in the world, my defenses immediately went up because for every genuine brother and sister in Christ that I encounter in the social media universe who are simply looking to encourage or be encouraged in their faith there are just as many – whether the requests are genuine or not is hard to discern – people looking for money, my money and sometimes these simple inquiries – “Is this Marc?” are even more sinister as they seek to lead me into sexual temptation with invitations to private chats or wish to share explicit photos of videos to fulfill the secret desires of the flesh.   Those requests are usually followed by “This is _________” – a woman’s name that you may or may not know but that has the unspoken promise for intimacy and lurid companionship. 

As someone who has overcome sexual immorality and is walking in purity – all my intimate times are reserved for my wife and her alone,  I have learned to not even respond when I suspect that these inquires might be a financial scheme or a trap of the flesh.  But yesterday, instead of exchanging texts to go through the process of trying to figure out this texter’s intentions, I decided to be bold and actually call the person who sent me the text to cut to the chase – fulling expecting the person to either not answer the call or to be someone I obviously didn’t know and whose intentions would be revealed to be malicious.  

But much to my surprise and delight, the person on the other end of the text was not only not trying to scam or seduce me, but it was also someone I knew, and they were a Christian too!   

It turned out to be Brian Dugan (forgive the spelling if incorrect Brian) who was someone I met back in 2020, I believe, in passing when I was working nights in the hardware department at Walmart where I occasionally provided customers with Christian encouragements as well as customer service.  I’m not sure how our conversation turned to the spiritual but in our exchange way back when I discovered that Brian, like me had been a man of the world, but who had found also found peace through His faith in Jesus Christ and was doing his best to live as a Christian despite the world’s attempts to call him back into the dark. Back in those days, I was sending out daily text messages of my “Purity series” to encourage my brothers in Christ, before I decided to put them on the blog, and was surprised when Brian gave me his number and invited me to add him to my list to receive the texts daily.  Eventually, I started sharing the “Purity” message on my blog and stopped sending out the text and Brian got lost in the transition, and for whatever reason he thought about that yesterday and decided to see “Whatever happened to those texts?” and reached out to ask.  

I excitedly told Brian how the texts moved to the blog in 2020 and how I started the mt4Christ247 podcast in 2021 to share my Freedom Ministry Classes, and how that led to my meeting TammyLyn, and getting married on New Year's Day of 2022, and starting the mt4Christ247 YouTube channel in 2022 and how I have continued to follow the Lord and to encourage people to keep “walking and talking with God ever since.  I thanked Brian for reaching out and invited him to check the blog and subscribe to the YouTube channel to receive daily encouragement as I intend to do so for the foreseeable future – sharing something to point people to Jesus every day.   

After our conversation, I texted Brian the links to the blog, podcast, and YouTube Channel and told him that our exchange would probably be the topic for today’s message – and it is!   I also wanted to thank him again for reaching out because it encourages me to know that there are others – brothers and sisters in Christ – out there trying to live by faith in the power of the Holy Spirit – one day at a time – by living a simple and righteous life.  

Brian texted “I honestly can say that meeting you propelled my faith and assisted me in staying the course. There have been a ton of miracles in my life since deciding to let go and let God. The path is so much easier now. I always believed but I look back now and see that I was forcing a lot of things that I wanted instead of just being patient and accepting better things that He had planned for me. His path has way less picker bushes. Lol.”  

Amen to that Brian, God’s path and plan for our lives is better than ours could ever be and when we learn to follow Him we suffer a lot less. 

Ironically, I have been exchanging texts with one of the guys from the Freedom in Christ course that I am leading currently and am encouraging him to change the way he thinks. Like Brian used to do, I think this man is trying to force things into the way he wants when he just needs to “let go and let God” and rest in His presence and be patient as God renews his mind and turns his heart of stone into a heart of flesh.  

But there is hope – after admitting to struggling and not knowing whether his distressing thoughts were coming from his fleshly lusts or from the enemy himself, this man I am discipling realized that he had peace when he sat down to study and prepare for a Bible Study class he is going to teach today at his church.  I pointed out that we find peace in the Lord’s presence and that when we seek to win the battle for the mind the way we overcome is not in just trying to “not think about bad things” but to fill our minds with the good things of God.  I shared:

Philippians 4:6-7 (NKJV)
6  Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;
7  and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

I pointed out that these verses indicate when we pray and give thanks, we won’t be anxious, and that the peace of God will guard our hearts and minds. We can’t think of two things at once and when we are busy thinking about God and giving Him thanks – we won’t be anxious or be afflicted by the things we don’t want to be thinking about. 

And encouraged, again, by trying to encourage others as this man seemed to “get it” and responded that he realized that his focus was on “what not to do” and he was going to be patient and focus on the truths from God’s word that give him peace. 

I know the Lord guides us and helps us, but we can “propel” one another in our faith by encouraging one another and teaching one another about how we can be set free and live a life that is defined by peace and joy through our faith in God.

So keep walking and talking with God, I’ll encourage you and when you tell me that you are seeking and following the Lord’s will for your life, believe me when I say, you will encourage me.

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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.

Ephesians 4:25 (NASB)
25  Therefore, laying aside falsehood, SPEAK TRUTH EACH ONE of you WITH HIS NEIGHBOR, for we are members of one another.

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

7.     God forbids us to lie; he wants us to speak the truth.

Today’s verse instructs us to lay aside our lying ways and to speak truth to our neighbors – for we in the body of Christ are members of one another.  As my testimony of speaking to Brian Dugan should convey, even though I don’t know Brian well, at all and have only had a few exchanges, and hadn’t heard from him in years – I immediately rejoiced when I realized who it was that was reaching out to me and that he had a simple and faithful testimony of his continuing to follow the Lord to share.  We in the body of Christ are members to one another and so we shouldn’t lie to one another or to put on a false front to appear more holy than we are.  We are not only supposed to speak the truth because God commands us to speak the truth, but it is also the basis for every good relationship that we can have. We have to be real with one another to really help one another and that means telling the truth. 

I shared yesterday that Telling the Truth is the first rule of Christian Discipleship because we not only want to be authentic with our relationship with God, and in our representation of the kingdom of God as disciples, but we also want to enjoy the peace of open and honest relationships in the body of Christ.  So put away all falsehood and tell the truth because we belong to one another.

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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.

MORNING READING: MATTHEW 25

“To each according to his own ability.”
– Matthew 25:15

What an encouraging fact this is! Yet, it is one which carries with it a real responsibility. For “according to his own ability,” the Lord requires His portion. There is no genuine servant of the Lord who has not been given his talent or talents. To suggest that there is would be to refute the Word of God and to cast a doubt on the grace of God.

The Word declares, concerning gifts, the “Spirit … [distributes] to each one individually as He wills” (1 Cor. 12:11). Moreover, as is emphasized in this parable, God never expects interest from what He has not given. It is true the slothful servant tried to cast a doubt on the love and justice of God by calling Him “hard” (Matt. 25:24), but his own injustice condemned him in the end. The Lord Jesus says, “My yoke is easy” (Matt. 11:30).

May I be abundantly faithful with the precious gifts God
has entrusted to me, for His Name's sake. Amen.[1]

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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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