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

Monday, March 25, 2024

He Walks With Me and He Talks With Me - 40 Day Journey with Martin Luther – Day 35 - Purity 1308


He Walks With Me and He Talks With Me - 40 Day Journey with Martin Luther – Day 35 - Purity 1308

Purity 1308 03/25/2024 Purity 1308 Podcast

Purity 1308 on YouTube: 



Good morning,

Today’s photo of a freshly installed mailbox on the edge of my property and a view of a late afternoon sun over Schodack Creek comes to us from yours truly as I took a moment to appreciate my hastily finished work and place where the Lord has brought me yesterday afternoon. 

Well, It’s Monday and March Madness is roaring like a lion and I am not talking about some basketball tournament, although that can be exciting too I suppose. No. I’m talking about the battle for the mind that happens when we receive and decide to answer that call from God on our lives to repent and to follow Him with the way we live, and I am talking about a schedule that is filled with work and freedom ministry. Every night this week I have something to do regarding the fight for our freedom in Christ and all although some may say my schedule is “madness” during freedom in Christ season, I honestly can’t think of a more worthy use of my time than encouraging others to repent and to find the abundant life that God makes available to us when we make the decision to surrender to his will sincerely and authentically. 

One of the criticisms that Christians face regularly is the accusation of hypocrisy, and I concur. Both before and after my decision to walk the path of Christian discipleship, I have had a problem with those “hypocrites in the church” – those “fake–blank” Christians whose lifestyles don’t seem to follow the Lord other than in superficial ways.  While I understand that we will never be perfect in our holiness, I always had a problem with our faith being “practiced” so inconsistently.  A cursory examination of our faith communities exposes vast Biblical ignorance, quasi-heretical superstitious beliefs, and moral compromise if not outright rebellion among the pews.  And while I can’t fix this very real image problem by pointing out the logs in my neighbors' eyes, I can do my best to take care of the log pile in my own eyes by choosing to examine my life for blind spots, seek the Lord’s help, wisdom, and insights, and to stay diligent in aligning myself with His holiness and in attempting to learn, grow, and progress in becoming more like Jesus.  God saved me through faith Jesus and the least I can do is try to honor his gift and return His love by choosing to follow Him and His ways for my life to best represent His kingdom.  ,

So immediately after getting saved, I sought to know God and His wisdom by reading His word which convicted me of my need to change my life to better represent the new creation I am in Christ. It’s been 14 years since I was “saved”, and it may have taken a while to get past the misunderstandings and misconceptions of what being a Christian was about, but the Lord was patient and led me into the peace, freedom, and joy that comes from surrendering to His will.  I’m not playing a “church game” or putting on a “good face” or my “Sunday best”, I’m trying to show my love for God, who is as real and as present as any person you know and talk with.  The indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit is inside everyone who has put their faith in Jesus – so God is with us – all the time and when you surrender your life to following Him, you understand just how present He is.  

And “He walks with me, and He talks with me” is an everyday reality and to finish that chorus – “And He tells me that I am His own; And the joy we share as we tarry there, None other has ever known! (In The Garden chorus – Charles A. Miles - https://library.timelesstruths.org/music/In_the_Garden/)  

But the thing is, you can know that joy. We all can when we decide to believe in and follow Jesus. It’s Holy Week, so let’s press into our faith and decide to make this season of Lent the game-changer in our faith and in our lives.   And speaking of Lent…

It’s the thirty-fifth day of Lent and so we continue my personal walkthrough of Gracia Grindal’s 40 Day Journey with Martin Luther to observe and celebrate the Lenten season.   In this walkthrough of Grindal’s devotional,  it is our hope that we will get to know Martin Luther a little better as we seek to draw closer to the Lord on our journey to Resurrection Sunday – Easter.  

And so we continue.

Journey Day 35

And lead us not into temptation.

What is this?

Answer: it is true that God tempts no one, but we ask in this prayer that God would preserve and keep us, so that the devil, the world, and our flesh may not deceive us or mislead us into false belief, despair, and other great shame and vice, and that, although we may be attacked by them, we may finally prevail and gain the victory.

This, then, is what “leading us not into temptation” means: when God gives us power and strength to resist, even though the attack is not removed or ended. For no one can escape temptations and allurements as long as we live in the flesh and have the devil prowling around us. We cannot help but suffer attacks, and even be mired in them, but we pray here that we may not fall into them and be drowned by them.

Biblical Wisdom

He came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples followed him. When he reached the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not come into the time of trial.” Luke 22: 39-40.

Silence for Meditation.

Pause the podcast, or stop reading, and sit quietly for 60 seconds, a few minutes, or 10-15 minutes, or however long you feel comfortable with and have time for. Focus on your breath and the calm stillness in the present moment that is always available to us in God’s creation. Meditate on Martin Luther’s comments for the day, and the content of today’s Biblical wisdom.

Questions to Ponder

·       If “no one can escape temptations and allurements,” how can a community of faith encourage and support people who are facing temptations and allurements?

A faith community can encourage and support its people to grow in sanctification by establishing a culture of freedom, recovery, and discipleship ministry in their churches. We should take the indictment of hypocrisy against the church seriously and establish a faith community where people can feel safe to take off their masks but where they are also encouraged not to stay in their sin, guilt, and shame and to do establish it based the love of God and the love for one another that He calls us to practice. Love not legalism, saintliness not sinfulness, and authenticity not insincerity should define us…  This is extremely difficult of course because the whole world system in which we were raised and in which we operate daily is built on lies and self-interest…   

·       Is God ever the one who causes us to suffer? Explain.

Yes, If we understand that God is sovereign we have to understand that the conditions of the universe – those cause-and-effect relationships of reality have been created by Him. Now, I am not saying that God is some malicious or evil entity – that’s Satan – but I am saying that God created the universe to encourage us to do what is right and so when we violate God’s “common knowledge” or break God’s moral law, we will suffer.  Adam violated the “sin rule” in the garden that brought death into the universe (a consequence of God for giving into temptation from Satan) and mankind has been suffering ever since. While we could blame Adam and Eve for giving in to sin, or Satan for tempting them,  we can also understand that the suffering that resulted was brought to us by God to cause us to see the error of our ways and to repent and surrender to His good and perfect ways.  And so we know that “all things” , even suffering, will be worked together for the good of those that love God, put their faith in Jesus, and who are called for His purposes. Otherwise, we will all suffer for eternity in Hell – the ultimate suffering brought to Satan and all who reject the Lord. So yes, God causes suffering for a purpose, to bring us to Him.

·       How can trials or temptations “prove” us? (See James 1:12-16).

Trials and temptations can prove us when we endure through them and remain faithful to follow the Lord despite them.  Not losing hope because of trials or not giving into sin shows the authenticity of our faith. We really do believe what the Lord says and show it when we obey His word no matter what the circumstances are.

Psalm Fragment

Save me, O Lord, from my enemies; I have fled to you for refuge. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. Let your good spirit lead me on a level path. Psalm 143:9-10.

Journal Reflections

·       Have you ever felt God was against you, or at least absent? Write about the experience. How did you feel? How did you respond? What spiritual resources (or practices) did you have to help you through the experience?

Before being born again and in the early days of my faith walk where I was still in bondage to the sins of the flesh, I did feel that God was punishing me or that he had left me when I suffered. Thinking those things made me angry or depressed and I would respond by sinning. I would comfort myself in the ways I had learned from the world and that would make me feel that God had left me or hated me all the more. Thankfully, I was blessed with faithful men and women of God, Bible-believing Christians, who taught me the truth of my relationship with God and how I could have peace with Him and the assurance of His presence in my life by putting my faith in Jesus and by choosing to repent and to learn from God’s word and to follow His ways for living.

·       Describe a time when you fell into temptation. Reflect briefly on why you think that happened. Do you pray this petition each time you face “temptations and allurements”? If so, how does it work? If not, why not try it?

As I have struggled recently with my food addiction, I have given into the temptation to “go mindless” in my eating –giving into the flesh despite knowing that it goes against what’s good for me.  I have also sinned with foul language and in other ways that I should change. I unfortunately have not prayed that prayer when faced with the things that would tempt me to sin.  I think I will try it!

·       Have you ever, by prayer and supplication, been able to defeat temptation? If so, write about the experience and what you learned from it. If not, how do you imagine prayer and supplication might be helpful in resisting temptation?

Yes, I have been able to – by prayer and supplication – and surrender to the Lord’s will – and by leaning on His strength – been able to overcome temptation. As for writing about it, check out the blog – but my simple testimony is this – ask God for help each time you are tempted, and He will give you strength to overcome- be diligent in talking to Him and following Him progressively into freedom and victory – one day at a time.

Prayers for the Life of Faith

Pray that you will continue to be kept from falling into sin and that you will be able to prevail against such temptations.

Lord, I pray for you to continue to help me to keep me from falling into the sins I have victory over and that you will lead me further into the victory, freedom, peace and joy that you have for me and that I will prevail against the temptations that cause me to stumble.  Amen.

Prayer For Today

Dear heavenly Father, do not lead me into temptation. Save me in the time of trial and “let your good spirit lead me on a level path.”

Amen.

(Gracia M. Grindal. 40-day Journey With Martin Luther. Kindle Edition.

(We encourage you to purchase Grindal’s book and take the 40 Day Journey with Martin Luther for yourself by purchasing Grindal’s book wherever books are sold. You can find it online at many different sites and purchase it new, used – paper or electronic for less than $15.00).

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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 Contentment, Coveting & and Priorities.

1 Kings 21:1-14 (NKJV)
1  And it came to pass after these things that Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard which was in Jezreel, next to the palace of Ahab king of Samaria.
2  So Ahab spoke to Naboth, saying, "Give me your vineyard, that I may have it for a vegetable garden, because it is near, next to my house; and for it I will give you a vineyard better than it. Or, if it seems good to you, I will give you its worth in money."
3  But Naboth said to Ahab, "The LORD forbid that I should give the inheritance of my fathers to you!"
4  So Ahab went into his house sullen and displeased because of the word which Naboth the Jezreelite had spoken to him; for he had said, "I will not give you the inheritance of my fathers." And he lay down on his bed, and turned away his face, and would eat no food.
5  But Jezebel his wife came to him, and said to him, "Why is your spirit so sullen that you eat no food?"
6  He said to her, "Because I spoke to Naboth the Jezreelite, and said to him, 'Give me your vineyard for money; or else, if it pleases you, I will give you another vineyard for it.' And he answered, 'I will not give you my vineyard.' "
7  Then Jezebel his wife said to him, "You now exercise authority over Israel! Arise, eat food, and let your heart be cheerful; I will give you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite."
8  And she wrote letters in Ahab's name, sealed them with his seal, and sent the letters to the elders and the nobles who were dwelling in the city with Naboth.
9  She wrote in the letters, saying, Proclaim a fast, and seat Naboth with high honor among the people;
10  and seat two men, scoundrels, before him to bear witness against him, saying, "You have blasphemed God and the king." Then take him out, and stone him, that he may die.
11  So the men of his city, the elders and nobles who were inhabitants of his city, did as Jezebel had sent to them, as it was written in the letters which she had sent to them.
12  They proclaimed a fast, and seated Naboth with high honor among the people.
13  And two men, scoundrels, came in and sat before him; and the scoundrels witnessed against him, against Naboth, in the presence of the people, saying, "Naboth has blasphemed God and the king!" Then they took him outside the city and stoned him with stones, so that he died.
14  Then they sent to Jezebel, saying, "Naboth has been stoned and is dead."

Today’s verses fall under the nineteenth point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Contentment, Coveting, and Priorities.

19. King Ahab’s unchecked covetousness finally drove him to murder.

Today’s verses tell the story of how an innocent man met his demise because of someone else’s greed and covetousness.   Both Ahab and Jezebel eventually met violent deaths for their wickedness of which Naboth’s murder was just one crime of many.  

When we covet we can be tempted to steal, kill, or commit adultery.  So be careful what you set your eyes on and what you put your heart’s desire on because that covetousness can cause you to sin and face similar ruin to that of Ahab and Jezebel. 

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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: LUKE 24

“Their eyes were restrained, so that
they did not know Him.” – Luke 24:16

Spiritual Restriction. “Their eyes were restrained” (v. 16). They were not able to see. Their vision was limited or restricted by unbelief. The fruits of such spiritual restriction are sorrow (v. 17) and perplexity (v. 22).

Spiritual Revelation. “He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself ” (v. 27). After rebuking unbelief, this One opened the Scriptures to the two disciples. The weapon for unbelief is the Word of God. When unbelief is dealt with through opening of the Scriptures (see Heb. 4:12), there is a real heart experience – the love of God shed abroad in the heart by the Holy Spirit.

Spiritual Recognition. “Their eyes were opened and they knew Him” (v. 31). “They knew Him.” This is the greatest height of spiritual existence. Paul aspired to it – “That I might know Him and the power of His resurrection” (Phil. 3:10).

I am grateful, Lord, for Your living Word that restores my
vision and faith, and allows me to know You.[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

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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)

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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship