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Showing posts with label 1 Corinthians. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 1 Corinthians. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Is it getting hot in here? – Everyone's Dystopian Present for Christmas – Purity 583


 Is it getting hot in here? – Everyone's Dystopian Present for Christmas –  Purity 583

Purity 583 11/23/2021  Purity 583 Podcast

Good morning

Today’s photo of dried up forest with two evergreen trees was taken by yours truly near the Martin Dunham Reservoir in Grafton NY is shared today to display the undeniable fact that fall has indeed fallen. Yesterday’s photo displaying the bright colors of Autumn in the Adirondacks was taken about a month ago. This was yesterday and you can see that the forest here resembles the proverbial dry bones that we hope will spring to life again, God willing.   The grass has faded, and the leaves have fallen and if it weren’t for those two evergreen trees there wouldn’t be any signs of life at all.  But those evergreens are there, and they will stay that way through the cold and forbidding months that lie ahead, come what may.   

It's Tuesday, and as we draw ever closer to Thanksgiving, I am increasingly thankful for my Christian faith because although the circumstances in this world may change, God stays the same and His word promises:

·       eternal life to those who place faith in Jesus Christ in John 3:16

·       that He will actively work all things for good to those called according to His purpose, in Romans 8:28

·       and that He will never leave us nor forsake us, Hebrews 13:5. 

These promises strengthen our walk and encourage us to be content and be thankful for what we have.  They also comfort us in times of loss. 

The Bible also warns us of perilous times for the Christian in

2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NKJV)
1  But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2  For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3  unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4  traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5  having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!

 

And in

 

Revelation 13:16-18 (NKJV)
16  He causes all, both small and great, rich, and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, 17  and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. 18  Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.

 

Now while I am far from a prophet of doom, I would say that we are in the midst of the perilous times, and probably have been for decades, that is mentioned in 2 Timothy 3, and that we are increasing moving  towards Revelations 13. 

 

Some have said that the Covid-19 is the mark of the beast and if that is the case I am in big trouble.

 

I believe in body autonomy, and I believe in free will.

 

When faced with the choice to get the shot or not, I was concerned about the possibilities of this indeed being a delivery system of what scripture warns us about.  

 

My relationship with God is the most important thing to me and I didn’t want to do anything that would separate me from Him or to disrupt the harmony of our relationship.  

 

In my walk and in my testimony, look it up, there have been instances that I have “led by the Spirit” to do all kinds of things: including praying for people, doing ministry work, going into the mission field, and making decisions that didn’t always make sense to me but resulted in “blessings” and good consequences.   So when I say that I “prayed about” my decision to get the vaccine, you should understand that it wasn’t anything I did lightly.  

 

Admittedly, I did not do an overabundance of research regarding the shot. If I had I imagine I would have had even more misgivings about being vaccinated but regardless of how much information I would have gleaned from the world, the final result would have been the same: I would have gone to my heavenly Father in prayer and would have acted out of my conscience.  

 

The issue at the forefront of my mind when I considered getting the shot, besides possibly receiving a measure of protection from a potentially deadly disease, was my freedom to move and bring the gospel wherever I go.   

 

I prayed extensively about being vaccinated with the end result being that, for me, vaccination was permissible, apparently.  Whatever actions we take in life are our decision and we will live with the consequences.  Unless the Lord has some sinister plans for me, which I don’t believe at all, the vaccine was “okay” for me to take.

 

As I believe that God has individual callings for each of us, I also believe that it is quite possible for it is “not okay” for someone else to get the shot.  

 

God puts varying levels of conviction on our hearts regarding sin based on our experience, wisdom, and His purposes.  The discourses on having freedom but having to deal with the “weaker brother” indicate this.  In terms of the Covid-19 vaccine, I might be the “weaker brother” that gave in to receive it or be the “stronger brother” to exercise his freedom in an area that wasn’t prohibited, or let’s face it – worst case scenario - I could be one of those who at the judgement seat of Christ are told that He never knew me and be cast into hell because I received the mark of the beast.      

 

Now I included that last possibility for arguments sake, but I have as much certainty about my living relationship with God because of my faith in Christ that I can possibly have. I have been increasingly led by the Lord to follow Him continuously since being saved in 2010 and it has resulted in personal sanctification, good works for His kingdom, and experiences of the manifest presence of the Holy Spirit. 

 

I can only trust the Lord and when I asked in prayer about the Covid-19 vaccine, I perceive that I got a green light.  I trust my relationship with Him that He would have convicted me in my spirit, as He has on other occasions, if it wasn’t permitted.  

 

So if things in our society continue to become more dystopian, as they are becoming more and more each day, I won’t be restricted from access if the only criteria is the shot. 

 

With all that said, I also believe in everyone’s right to say no to the shot and to control what they have done to their bodies.  

 

Forced medical treatments is something that should be associated with the nightmare of Nazi death camps and not something that should determine if someone can work in their chosen profession.  

 

I know several people who are convicted not to receive the Covid-19 vaccine and are making a stand on their principles and are choosing to find work elsewhere or changing their careers rather than to doing something against their conscience.   I don’t need to know their personal reasons for why they don’t want to put something into their bodies to support their decision not to.   

 

I am very proud of those who have convictions and who are willing to suffer the consequences for them and choose an alternative path when faced with a moral dilemma where they remain true to their choice of character.    

 

Now while I believe the Covid-19 vaccine is not the mark of the beast, I have to admit that these mask and vaccine mandates and the fearful insistence of trying to establish safety and security at the cost of personal freedoms could be the preliminary measures that the enemy will take advantage of to institute the one world order that is prophesied to come to past under the rule of the coming Antichrist.    

 

Like the proverbial frog in a pot who is boiled to death as the temperature is slowly risen, these government and corporate mandates that are forcibly telling people where they can and can not work are the first measures of what will eventually be the fulfillment of Revelation 13, where people will not be able to buy or sell without the mark of the beast.    

 

The fact that time is increasingly bringing us closer to the end times described in Revelation makes it easy to see that things are getting worse, and that these measures that are supposed to “make us safe” will be the measure used by the demonic forces of darkness to force people to choose between the Anti-Christ and eternal life.

 

I don’t think we are there yet but the dystopian society we live in today, yes today, will become more dystopian in the future. 

 

Yesterday, I was banned for life from r/Christianity for the messages that I post. I encourage people to have an authentic walk with God that preaches the exclusive need for Jesus as Lord and Savior. I also warn people about the spiritual reality of demonic forces. 

 

Yesterday’s, message that resulted in my being banned for life warned of the enemy’s use of offense to cause negative mind states and to cause division. I recommended a course of Bible study, prayer, and continuous gratitude to combat the enemy.  That was all. 

 

Meanwhile r/Christianity allows posts that celebrate sin and encourage doubt and disbelief.  I can’t see how my encouraging messages were a threat to their community, but I can understand that biblical Christianity is a big offense to the enemy and to the hearts of men that are compromised by him.  

 

Not long ago I started saving all of my messages because I realized that there will come a day that my encouraging Christian messages will be banned everywhere.  And with the latest moves of our governments and corporations to deny people their livelihood over receiving a medical treatment that has objectionable ingredients and questionable usefulness, I understand that those dark days are getting closer and closer. 

 

But even though the landscape is dark doesn’t mean that we should stop shining the light of truth that is the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Just like in today’s photo where all the rest of the landscape is dried and dead, those two ever green trees refuse to follow suit.  So be “green” and share the life that only comes through faith in Jesus Christ. 

 

Stand on your convictions as the Lord leads you, because I believe He has different purposes for all of us, that will all contribute to the fulfillment of His plans and be for the ultimate good for those who love Him. 

 

Keep walking and talking with God. Because you were called for such a time as this to be a light in the darkness, and an example vibrant spiritual life among the dry bones of humanity.

 

 

(There is more content to help you walk out your journey of faith at MT4Christ dot org. You can also subscribe to the mt4christ247 podcast to hear this message, our discipleship classes, and our weekly Bible Study, on Apple, Google, Spotify, and Amazon Podcasts, as well as Audible and Podbean).

#Christian #christianity #encouragement #freedominchrist #christiancounseling #jesuschrist #mt4christ #discipleship #victoryoverthedarkness #Evil #Suffering #mt4christ247podcast 

Today’s Bible verse is drawn from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.  

This morning’s meditation verse is:

1 Corinthians 12:7 (NLT2)
7  A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.

Today’s verse speaks of the purpose of God’s gifts to men.  

 

It is clear that God gives gifts to be used to help others.  A list of spiritual gifts drawn from scripture and from an article on BibleStudytools.com, (https://www.biblestudytools.com/bible-study/topical-studies/a-comprehensive-spiritual-gifts-list-to-discover-your-gifts-and-calling.html) includes:

·       Leadership: encouraging and helping others to build the kingdom of God (Romans 12:8 NIV)

·       Administration: helping with long term goals and remaining on task ( 1 Cor. 12:28 NIV)

·       Teaching: instructing in truths and doctrines of God’s Word

·       Knowledge: teaching and discipleship. The ability to learn, know and explain God’s Word

·       Wisdom: the ability to discern works of the Holy Spirit and apply teaching and actions

·       Prophecy: proclaiming the Word of God with boldness (Romans 12:6 NIV)

·       Discernment: being able to recognize the truth about a situation

·       Exhortation: people with this gift are enthusiastic about the Lord and they can motivate others

·       Shepherding: looking out for the spiritual welfare of others

·       Faith: trusting God to fulfill His plan. People with this gift are encouragers

·       Evangelism: the building up of the church so others will be led to Christ

·       Apostleship: motivators, church planters, missionaries: people who look beyond the walls

·       Service/Helps: helping those in need of practical assistance (Romans 12:7 NIV)

·       Mercy: The person with this gift shows acts of compassion

·       Giving: People with this gift will give freely and with joy to further His kingdom

·       Hospitality: Making people feel welcome, appreciated, and wanted (1 Peter 4:9 NIV)

While I could go on a long discourse on the various spiritual gifts and possibly cause a controversy with what my view is regarding what gifts are currently being distributed by God, I think today that we will just focus on the purpose of God’s gifts to men.  

As today’s verse says: “A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.” 

Spiritual gifts are not given to impress one another. 

Spiritual gifts are not to be used for financial gain. 

Spiritual gifts are not to be used to create division of the have’s and have nots. 

Spiritual gifts are not to create confusion. 

Spiritual gifts are not to lead to sin.  

Spiritual gifts are given by God for His glory, His purposes, and to help His people.  

So seek out and pray to discover your  spiritual gift. Ask the Lord to assist you to understand and use the special gift He has given you to help those around you.   

 

As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk. 

 

Today we continue sharing from June Hunt’s “Evil and Suffering… Why? Is God Fair?

 

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase June Hunt’s books for your own private study and to support her work.

 

IV. Steps to Solution

After Job passed through his severe trial, he came to the realization that God was still there, still loved him, and was still providing for all of his needs. He saw beyond his circumstances and grasped a new vision and insight into the fairness of God. In Job 42:5-6 he states, "My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes." Sometime later, Job comes to the point of fully accepting God's sovereignty. (Read Job 42:7-17.) Instead of questioning the goodness of God by asking, "Why do good people suffer?" Job spent the rest of his life humbly trusting God ...

"Then Job repled to the Lord, 'I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted ... Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.'" (Job 42:1-3)

A. Key Verse to Memorize

"Those who suffer according to God's will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good." (1 Peter 4:19)

B. Key Passage to Read and Reread

Romans 8:18-25

We can never attain a thorough understanding of the reasons for all the evil and suffering in this world. Yet as Christians, we do have God's own Word (the Bible), which speaks of some of the reasons for His purposes in allowing human pain and suffering. Our first clue is revealed in Genesis, where Adam and Eve live in a state of bliss, yet by their own choice defy God's only command. Does their disobedience not demonstrate that when left to its own devices, the human spirit will not surrender self-will to its Creator as long as "all is well"? This being the case, does suffering not then become a "gift" from God that allows us to experience the depth of His love that a life of ease could never conceive? Pain and suffering may take a hardened heart and point it to the inevitable truth that "all is not well," thus opening the door to the profound reality that nothing that happens in this life will ever compare to the happiness and joy awaiting those who become children of God.

In spite of your present suffering...

  • Realize: Nothing will compare to the glorious future God has planned for you.... v. 18
  • Realize: All that God has created eagerly awaits the glory that will be revealed in you as a child of God.... v. 19
  • Realize: You see a world contaminated by sin, but God's plan is for you to be liberated from your present bondage and brought into a marvelous freedom that is yours as a child of God.... vv. 20-21
  • Realize: It is plain even now, when you have eyes to see, that all living things are waiting for that day of deliverance.... v. 22
  • Realize: Even when you have just begun to know Christ, you can now eagerly await the day when you will be free of all suffering and living in the fullness of Him.... v. 23
  • Realize: You are saved by your hope in Christ, yet the meaning of hope is to wait and count on that which you cannot yet see.... v. 24
  • Realize: If you hope for that which you cannot see, you
    must then wait eagerly, but with patience and endurance.... v. 25


Biblical Counseling Keys: Evil and Suffering... Why?: Why God? Why?.

---------------------------more tomorrow------------------------

 

Join our “Victory over the Darkness” or “The Bondage Breaker” 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. 

Email me at mt4christ247@gmail.com to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.

 

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship


Monday, October 4, 2021

Blue, Are they a Christian Here or There? – Checking the Clues 5 - Purity 540


 

Blue, Are they a Christian Here or There?  – Checking the Clues 5   - Purity 540

Purity 540 10/02/2021  Purity 540 Podcast

Good morning

Today’s photo looking out at Maria Island from the vantage point of Raspins, Beach comes to us from our friends at Dave Baun Photography who captured this stunning view on the first day of their recent vacation in Tasmania. In his comments Dave questioned whether or not he was able to truly capture how amazing the view was, but he encouraged his friends to go and visit Tasmania to check it out for themselves.

Dave’s encouragement to his friends to go see the sights in Tasmania points to the fact that “seeing is believing”, that to truly understand or “know” something, we have to experience it firsthand.  

In the Bible, when Jesus noticed two of John the Baptist’s disciples following Him, He asked them, “What do you seek?”. When they replied them wanted to know where He was staying, Jesus invited them to “Come and See.” Knowing that these curious disciples wanted to know more than just what His accommodations were like, Christ’s response challenged them to commit themselves to follow Him.  The disciples accepted Christ’s invitation and thus started the journey that would result in their selection as Apostles and the worldwide spread of Christianity. In order to know the Truth of God’s Word and the transformative power of the gospel of Jesus Christ, we all must choose to follow after Christ and “come and see” it for ourselves.  We can’t live vicariously through someone else’s faith in Christ, we must make Him our Lord and Savior and choose to follow Him by ourselves.  

Well it’s Monday and as I chose to contemplate what “clue” of the Christian faith we should investigate this morning, Blue, the precocious star of children’s television now living in my imagination, introduced me to a friend that was going to lead us into a whole new line of inquiry. The friend is a funny little man with a red hat that who introduced himself as “Sam.” Maybe because Blue clued him in that my hearing isn’t the greatest, he repeated his introduction by saying: “Sam I am”.  

Sam’s first question was simple but when I considered it in terms of the authenticity of someone’s Christian faith, it proved to be quite profound and probing.  In considering someone’s Christian faith, Sam invited us to consider the person and ask ourselves:

Are they a Christian, here or there?    

While the full scope of this question will be considered in the days ahead, Blue indicated that we should examine it in just the context of where we found ourselves this Monday morning.  

Yesterday being Sunday as the “Lord’s Day” was the day where Christians all over the world traditionally gather for corporate worship. Today being Monday, most people generally go back to their “normal routines” or home life.

So with the question of “here or there”, Blue and I decided just to look at it from the perspective of the transition of these two days., Sunday and Monday, and two places, “church” as a generic term for the place of worship or corporate gathering, and “home” as a general term for life outside of that corporate gathering place.  

As a reminder, our investigation into the authenticity of someone’s Christian faith is motivated by selecting a Christian life partner and choosing someone to spend our lives with who isn’t a “wolf in sheep’s clothing”.  

So the question today is: Is the person we are interested in a “Christian” just on Sunday and just at church?  Or are they a Christian both “here or there”?

Now while everybody tends to display more attributes of their Christianity on Sunday and at “church”, consider how dramatic a difference there is in your potential mate’s “Christianity” on the days of worship versus the other days of the week as well as between their attitudes and behaviors “in the church building” and in the comforts in their home. 

Would you know that your potential mate is a Christian if it wasn’t Sunday?

Would you know that they were a Christian if they didn’t “go to church?”   

The more dramatic a shift from the sacred to the secular the more likely the possibility that the person you are interested in has “little faith”, or quite possibly “no faith” as they could just be “going through the motions” of “religion” and have not established a relationship with God by making Jesus their Lord and Savior.   

Now while we could go on and on with our speculations about a person who seems to shift from the sacred to the secular with a jarring rapidity that could give us whiplash, instead of looking at “our neighbor” and potential mate’s questionable faith, it might be a good idea to ask ourselves what we are looking for in a “Christian” mate or what we are willing to settle for.  

As someone who knows the benefits of a Christian disciple’s lifestyle and encourages people to live by faith and follow the Lord by “living in the Spirit”, I know that there is a wide range of faith levels within the body of Christ, from those with little or immature faith to those with “great” or mature faith.  

So what do you want?

Do you want someone who just goes through the motions or will just “go with you to church”  or do you want something more?

Our Lord and our imaginary friends, Blue and “Sam I am”, really have a way of making us think!   Our investigation of someone’s Christian authenticity makes us not only question what we are seeing in their faith lives, it also requires us to know who we are in Christ and to know what we are looking for.  

If we are truly following the Lord Jesus to “come and see” what He has for our lives, we have to make sure our own shifts from the “sacred to the secular” aren’t so dramatic. We can’t rightly judge and expect others to have a faith level that we haven’t experienced ourselves. Otherwise, they would have the right to question why they should be with us!  

The “clue” of what someone’s faith is like “here or there” is a good one. If we want a “real Christian” as a life partner, we will want to find someone who wasn’t as different as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde from Sunday to Monday, or from “in church” and “out of church”,  because if someone really is a disciple of Christ they will seek to follow Him all the days of their lives and in all sorts of environments.  Authentic Christians would seek to represent the kingdom of God every day and every where they go.  

But we must also examine ourselves and decide if we are for “real” and make decisions on how much faith is “too little faith” for the person that we will spend the rest of our lives with.   

So keep walking and talking with God. Know who you are in Christ and what you want in a Christian life partner.  Relationships can be a lot of work in and of themselves and having “enough faith for two” was never a burden the Lord wants to put on us.   So use the eyes, ears, and mind that the Lord gave you to examine the attitudes and behaviors of those you are interested in to discern what their faith level seems to be and make an informed decision when choosing the one who will walk with you from here to eternity.  

 

 

This morning’s meditation verse is:

1 Corinthians 6:19 (NKJV)
19  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?

Today’s verse indicates that Christians have the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit in their bodies and that their bodies are to be used for His glory.  

If we are to consider today’s verse seriously, we will be convinced that the Holy Spirit is in us and that we are to care for our bodies and surrender our bodies to the Lord’s purposes.  

So should we get tattoos or piercings? Should we have abortions? Should we overeat? 

Are any of these things going to give God glory?  Or are these things examples of ways that we decide that we don’t agree with today’s verse and will choose things that may not be according to God’s perfect will for our lives. 

The first step of Christian Discipleship is to choose to believe that God’s Word is true. The second step is to live by it.  

I am pressed for time today so I will let the listener to consider those questions and ask themselves: Is my body the temple of the Holy Spirit? How should I treat it? What would God want me to do with it in these areas.  

In this word we have free will and liberty in Christ, but as Christians we should consider what we do according to the fact that our bodies are not our own and that God has written His word to guide us in our decisions regarding them.

So use your body for the Lord’s glory and choose the best course for your decisions with the Lord’s wisdom in mind. 

 

 

As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk. 

 

Today we continue to share from June Hunt’s The Blended Family’s God’s Recipe for Success.

 

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase June Hunt’s books for your own private study and to support her work. If you need this title you can find it online at several sites for less than $5.00:

IV. Steps to Solution

Let's face it, some of us will never make the perfect chocolate souffle... no matter how hard we try. But that doesn't mean we can't produce something wonderfully good! Does it really matter if the coconut cake slopes ever so slightly or the peach ice cream never sets up very hard? The important thing is to keep on trying when you feel like giving up. Stick close to God's recipe for loving others, and He will bless your efforts.

"Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed." (Proverbs 16:3)

A. Key Verse to Memorize

"Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification." (Romans 14:19)

B. Key Passage to Read and Reread

Colossians 3:12-15

  • Know that you are chosen by God.... v. 12
  • Realize that you are loved by God.... v. 12
  • Reflect the character of Christ (compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience).... v. 12
  • Lift up and support each other.... v. 13
  • Forgive those who offend you.... v. 13
  • Act in love.... v. 14
  • Know that love builds unity.... v. 14
  • Live in peace with one another.... v. 15
  • Have a thankful heart.... v. 15

"As God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful." (Colossians 3:12-15)

C. Remarriage Readiness Test

  • Do you understand why you married your first partner?
  • Have you recognized and confessed your part in the broken marriage?
  • Was there an honest attempt to work through the relational problems in your first marriage?
  • Have you learned to be content as a single?
  • Have you developed a healthy identity as a single or a single parent?
  • Are you capable of being responsible with your finances?
  • Have you determined why you desire to remarry?
  • Do your children have a healthy, well-working plan of visitation with their other parent?
  • Have you considered and consulted your children regarding their feelings about your remarriage?
  • Have you given up the unrealistic dream of an "ideal family"?
  • Have you committed to remarriage only with someone who has a personal commitment to Jesus Christ?
  • Have you made the issue of remarriage a matter of prayer, and are you seeking God's will for your life?

"Understanding is a fountain of life to those who have it, but folly brings punishment to fools." (Proverbs 16:22)

Biblical Counseling Keys: The Blended Family: God's Recipe for Success.

---------------------------more tomorrow------------------------

 

 

 

Join our “Victory over the Darkness” or “The Bondage Breaker” 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. 

Email me at mt4christ247@gmail.com to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.

 

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

Friday, August 6, 2021

I Ain’t Got No Where Else to Go! - Yes and Amen to All You Say, Lord - Purity 490


 I Ain’t Got No Where Else to Go! -  Yes and Amen to All You Say, Lord         

Purity 490 08/06/2021  Purity 490 Podcast

Good morning

 

Thank God it is Friday! And while you are at it you can thank Jesus and the Holy Spirit too.   I’m especially chipper this morning because after last night’s discipleship class, I am sure of my purpose and have determined to be true to my calling and will go forward with my plans to teach the 11 week “Freedom in Christ” Course at Rock Solid Church from September 9th to November 18th, taking us into the future from Labor Day to Turkey Day.  

With dwindling numbers in my current series, I had contemplated only podcasting the Autumn class but as I have been praying about it I have been more and more convicted to continue with the plans of teaching at the church and to leave the results up to God.  When you seek God’s direction, you discover that sometimes it was actually very simple, be faithful, and very clear, do what you are called to do, but your own fears and insecurities are the only thing clouding the way. 

Speaking of setting out into the clarity of a new day, today’s photo comes to us from a friend’s recent early morning paddling journey towards the sunrise on the shores of Pawtuxet River at the Aspray Boat House in Warwick, Rhode Island. I just love the image of my friend’s companion facing the sun and the glory of the early morning sky and sunrise that just invites all of us to “come and see” what the new day has for us!

Our lives are a journey into the mystery of what God has intended for us to be our purpose. When we align ourselves with His will for our lives we discover the peace and harmony that He wants us to experience.  But the going is not always easy, because we are not always keen on the way we should go and sometimes choose the wrong things to follow.

In last night’s Bondage Breaker lesson, I shared quite a bit on some of the missteps I have taken in my walk with the Lord where I thought I was more than I was and how the experience of trying to discern the truth of God’s word and apply it to my life has been a humbling experience at times over the years.  But the thing is from the moment I heard the gospel message that saved me, I have been determined to follow the truth of God’s word no matter where it would take me, causing me to progressively turn from my worldly ways of darkness to God’s ways of wisdom and love.

This morning in contemplating my journey, I was reminded of the scene in An Officer and a Gentleman where the drill Sargent, played by Louis Gossett Jr, threatens to expel Richard Gere’s character, Zack Mayo, from the service, saying “You’re out!”  causing Mayo to erupt in an emotional catharsis to keep his spot: saying: 

“Don’t you do it! Don’t! You! I ain’t got no where else to go!  I got no where else to go! I ain’t got nothing else….”    (To see that Gere and Gossett’s Oscar winning performance in that scene go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6g2JN2PrHJg).  Its that attitude of desperation and desire that causes me to continue to seek the Lord and follow where He leads.  

That sentiment has been placed in the hearts of believers who decide to walk the path of Christian Discipleship since the days of Christ’s earthly ministry, most vividly shown in scripture by the Apostle Peter’s response when others began to walk away from Jesus.  

John 6:67-69 (NKJV)
67 Then Jesus said to the twelve, "Do you also want to go away?"
68 But Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.
69 Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

As much as the original Apostles failed to fully understand all that Jesus was trying to teach them, they all knew that they had no where else to go. They weren’t following an ideology or a philosophy. They were following the Word made flesh. They weren’t trying to show how good they were by keeping a bunch of rules.  They were following the Son of God.   Even though they didn’t understand all that He said, their reason for all they did, serving and declaring the gospel until there was no earthly life in them, was because they understood who Jesus is: God the Son.    

So trust that Jesus is who He said He was.  There are generations of believers that have gone before us whose lives were transformed by their relationship with Him and proclaimed Him as the truth, the way, and the life.  

Jesus doesn’t force anyone to go with Him though, He only invites us to “Come and see.” But when we accept Christ’s invitation to a new eternal abundant life, by making Him our Lord and Savior, we “see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.” with the Holy Spirit confirming in our spirits that not only is Christ the King of King and Lord of Lords but confirming that we are welcomed in as beloved children of God and co-heirs with Him in His royal family.   

So remember who you are in Christ, or take the first step to discover it, by saying “Yes and Amen” to all that the Lord has for you.    

 

(There is more content to help you walk out your journey of faith at MT4Christ dot org. You can also subscribe to the mt4christ247 podcast to hear this message, our discipleship classes, and our weekly Bible Study, on Apple, Google, and Amazon Podcasts, as well as Audible and Podbean).

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This morning’s meditation verse is:

1 Corinthians 6:18 (NKJV)
18 Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.

Today’s verse speaks of the reality of spiritual consequences to the sins of the flesh.  

I think this is like the third verse that we have encountered on fleeing sexual immorality in the last couple of weeks and it highlights God’s will for our lives to be pure in the sexual realm.  Sex is a wonderful gift from God that is intended to be for pleasure and for the expression of love between husband and wife.  Any sex outside of a marriage covenant is “missing the mark” of what God intends for sex to be.  

When we indulge in sex outside of marriage the resultant feelings of shame or guilt when we first lose our virginity tells us that we have done something wrong.  Of course in the throws of ecstasy of sexual pleasure we can easily get over our guilt and shame and rationalize away any feelings of immorality and sink into all kinds of sexual bondage.  

Today’s verse tells us that when we give in to sexual immorality that we sin against our own body pointing to the fact that there are some spiritual, emotional, and physical connections that exist that are difficult to understand.

Other portions of scripture, like the preceding verses in Corinthians 6, tell us that when we have sex with someone we become one flesh and that we can be “joined to a harlot”.  These verses document the existence of sexual soul ties that we create through our sexual encounters. The experiential evidence for these ties is the emotional, physical, and spiritual draw that our old partners have over us, sometimes causing us to obsessively remember old “what’s his/her name” and to desire a reuniting of the flesh.  

The good news is that those soul ties can be broken through renunciation and prayer. Going through Dr, Neil Anderson’s The Step to Freedom in Christ specifically breaks those ties. So if you want to be free of the baggage of your sexual history, you can go to this link (https://static1.squarespace.com/static/56747bae0ab377c98158e42d/t/57ed5d006a49634e0b9b7d0a/1475173632920/Seven+Steps.pdf ) and download a free copy of the Steps and pray through them.    

And that’s how we get freedom over any besetting sin.  We confess our sins to God, agree with what He says about how we are to live, renounce what we have done in the past, and walk on in His ways, by faith in the power of the Holy Spirit, to increasing freedom and sustained victory.  

So don’t take you sins lightly, renew your mind to adopt God’s view of what’s right and wrong, and ask the Lord to give you spiritual discernment to see the darkness of the world system we live in. 

When you see the goodness of God and realize the bondages that we suffer through in a world that calls us to independently of Him, you will draw close to the Lord for His protection, cleansing, and love.    

 

As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk. 

 

Today we continue with Dr. Neil Anderson’s Victory Over the Darkness, continuing Chapter 10.

 As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Dr. Anderson’s books for your own private study and to support his work. If you need this title you can find it online at several sites for less than $15.00:

Don't Ignore the Warning Signs of Your Emotions

The Hammer of Indiscriminate Expression

Another unhealthy way to respond to emotions is to thoughtlessly express everything you feel. Indiscriminately telling anybody and everybody exactly how you feel is usually unhealthy for the other person. The apostle Peter is a great example. Peter was the John Wayne of the New Testament—a real door slammer. He had no problem telling anyone what was on his mind or how he felt. I like to refer to him as the one-legged apostle because he always had one foot in his mouth.

Peter's indiscriminate expression of his emotions got him into trouble more than once. One minute he makes the greatest confession of all time: "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God" (Matthew 16:16). A few minutes later Peter tells Jesus He doesn't know what He is doing, and Jesus has to rebuke him: "Get behind Me, Satan!" (Matthew 16:22, 23).

It was Peter who missed the point on the Mount of Transfiguration by suggesting they build three tabernacles to honor Moses, Elijah and the Master. It was Peter who impulsively whacked off the ear of Caiaphas's servant during Jesus' arrest in Gethsemane. It was also Peter who promised to follow Jesus anywhere, even to death. Then only hours later Peter swore that he never knew Him. The fact that Peter later became the spokesperson for the Early Church is evidence of the powerful transformation effected by the Holy Spirit.

Indiscriminate expression of emotions may be somewhat healthy for you, but it is usually unhealthy for others around you. "There, I'm glad I got that off my chest," you may say after an outburst. In the process though, you just destroyed your wife, husband or children.

James warned: "But let everyone be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God" (James 1:19, 20). Paul admonished: "Be angry, and yet do not sin" (Ephes. 4:26). If you wish to be angry and not sin, then be angry the way Christ was: be angry at sin. Turn over the tables; don't attack the money changers.

The Openness of Acknowledgment

Nancy was a college student in another city who drove to Los Angeles to talk to me about her difficult relationship with her mother. We ended up talking about Nancy's inability to express the anger and resentment she felt in the relationship. "My roommate gets to the point sometimes where she just explodes emotionally to let off steam. I have deep feelings, too, but I'm not sure that a Christian is supposed to let off steam."

I opened my Bible to Psalm 109 and read the following verses to her:

O God of my praise, do not be silent! For they have opened the wicked and deceitful mouth against me; they have spoken against me with a lying tongue. They have also surrounded me with words of hatred, and fought against me without cause. In return for my love they act as my accusers; but I am in prayer. Thus they have repaid me evil for good, and hatred for my love.

Appoint a wicked man over him; and let an accuser stand at his right hand. When he is judged, let him come forth guilty; and let his prayer become sin. Let his days be few; let another take his office. Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow. Let his children wander about and beg; and let them seek sustenance far from their ruined homes. Let the creditor seize all that he has; and let strangers plunder the product of his labor. Let there be none to extend lovingkindness to him, nor any to be gracious to his fatherless children. Let his posterity be cut off; in a following generation let their name be blotted out (Psalm 109:1-13).

"What's that doing in the Bible?" Nancy gasped. "How could David pray all those evil things about his enemy? How could he talk to God that way? That's pure hatred."

"David's words didn't surprise God," I answered. "God already knew what he was thinking and feeling. David was simply expressing his pain and anger honestly to his God who understood how he felt and accepted him where he was."

After a couple of thoughtful moments Nancy asked, "Does that mean it's okay to do what I do?"

"What do you do?"

"Well," she said, looking slightly embarrassed, "when the pressure builds up inside me, I get in my car and just drive. I scream and holler and shout and kick. When I get back to the dorm, I usually feel much better."

I encouraged Nancy that when she is able to dump her hurt and hatred before God, she probably won't dump it on her roommate or her mother in a destructive way. I also reminded her that David was as honest about his need for God as he was about expressing his feelings. He closed the psalm by praying, "Help me, O Lord my God. . . . With my mouth I will give thanks abundantly to the Lord" (Psalm 109:26, 30).

I think the way David and Nancy acknowledged their feelings is healthy. Perhaps your prayers at times of emotional stress are not very noble, but they are real and honest before God. If you come to your prayer time feeling angry, depressed or frustrated and then mouth a bunch of pious platitudes as if God doesn't know how you feel, do you think He is pleased? Not unless He has changed His opinion about hypocrisy since the time of the Pharisees. The Pharisees tried to look right on the outside while they were far from right on the inside. They weren't real; they were phonies.

Jesus told His disciples, "Unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:20). In God's eyes, if you are not real, you are not right. If necessary, God may have to make you real to make you right with Him.

Acknowledging your emotions as a real person is essential for intimate relationships. You shouldn't let off steam just anywhere in front of just anybody. That is indiscriminate expression, and you run the risk of hurting others more than you help yourself—and that is wrong. The biblical pattern seems to suggest you have three friends you can share with deeply. During his travels, Paul had Barnabas, Silas or Timothy to share with. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus expressed His grief to His inner circle of Peter, James and John.

Psychologists tell us it is difficult for people to maintain mental health unless they have at least one person with whom they can be emotionally honest. If you have two or three people like this in your life, you are truly blessed.


Victory Over the Darkness: Realizing the Power of Your Identity in Christ.

---------------------------more tomorrow------------------------

 

God bless you all!

 

Join our “Victory over the Darkness” or “The Bondage Breaker” 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. 

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                   Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship