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

Saturday, November 5, 2022

I Don’t Have Enough Faith - I Ain’t no Un-Fortunate Son - Purity 881


  I Don’t Have Enough Faith - I Ain’t no Un-Fortunate Son - Purity 881

Purity 881 11/04/2022 Purity 881 Podcast

Good morning,

Today’s photo of a South Adelaide sunset comes to us from Dave Baun Photography (https://www.facebook.com/DaveBaunPhotography) as Dave shared this back on August 16th asking: “Who doesn’t love a good sunset? I mean really, do you know anyone that doesn’t?”    

As much as I agree with Dave’s sentiments that we could assume that everyone loves a good sunset, I was reminded yesterday sometimes the things that we are so clear to us can be obscured or completely unseen by others.  “Everyone” is a whole lot of people and I bet there are some of us that know people that struggle to see the good in anything, even spectacular sunsets from South Australia. 

But that’s not me, that’s not me… I ain’t no Un-fortunate One

No, It ai’nt me, It ain’t me…. I ain’t no Un-fortunate son.   .   

Pardon the CCR song parody distortion but man, I lived in the shadow of the darkness of depression, pessimism, and skepticism for way too long  and the Lord opened my eyes to the truth of who He is, who Jesus Christ is, who I am in Christ, and I just can’t help but see the beauty that the Lord has made every where I look and when I hear supposed Christians lament about the darkness of the hour or the perceived lack in their lives I have to trumpet the truth  and be a voice of encouragement that tells anyone who will listen that God is good and He takes care of those who put their faith in Christ and choose to follow Him with the way they live their lives.   

Well it is Saturday, and while I have to work today, I know boo hoo, I pray that all my friends, whether working or not, have a blessed day and a wonderful weekend because regardless of our current circumstances the Lord has made a WAY for all of us to have peace with Him and an abundant life of freedom, love, peace, and joy.     

And that “WAY” is Jesus Christ. But you have to believe in Him, trust in Him, put your faith in Him, and receive what the Lord has given to us as  FORTUNATE adopted sons and daughters to the King.     

Yesterday, I was reminded of one of the biggest lies of the enemy, that runs rampant in churches and keeps Christians bound in bondage to sin, the victim mentality, and spiritual infancy.  

What is this lie that is repeated and proclaimed as a rationalization for repeated failures or lack of peace?  

The lie is: “I don’t enough faith.”   

Amazingly, the people who proclaim this lie even have a life verse to stand on. They echo the prayer of the father of a demon oppressed child who pleaded to Jesus in tears:

Mark 9:24 (NKJV)
24 … "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!"

Instead of standing in faith, they proclaim their unbelief, or a lack of an adequate faith, and lament of their lack of peace or “good feelings” or good circumstance s in their lives.  Instead of building up their faith and renewing their minds by studying and agreeing with what the word of God says about who they are in Christ, they claim a lack of faith capacity or the ability to believe.  

Other derivatives of this lie include: 

“I wish I could believe but I can’t.” 

“That may be true for them, but it’s not true for me.” 

“I don’t have the faith like them.”    

These dejected Unfortunate children of God have more faith in their failures than they do in the Lord.  By proclaiming their lack its not surprising they are sad because  they are making a self fulfilling prophecy of doom and depression.  They have forgotten the face of their Heavenly Father and have lost themselves in the mirror of self-introspection and fallen victim to fleeting feelings by not Abiding in Christ.

If I choose to I could see bad in everything. I could see that others are more gifted or “blessed” than me.  I can have a real pity party about all the things others have that I don’t.   I could even look at today’s sunset photo and tell you how it’s not so great or even go to a wild extreme and speak on how the sun is actually hostile to us and is just looking to give us sunburns and skin cancer, that that sunset is actually trying to kill us.   

Or I could choose to see the good in God’s creation and in my situation. 

But what if my situation is lacking? And it isn’t so good or has been better before? What if I can’t see the good here on the earth?  

That’s why we need God.

If we look to ourselves or the world, we would only see that things are falling apart and that we are all going to die.  

But the Lord sent Jesus Christ and showed us through His resurrection that death is not the end.  There is more to our existence then this life. There is an unseen spiritual realm, God’s kingdom, and Lord has a plan for His creation that will culminate in Christ returning and the eventual will establish a new heaven and a new earth.  

And not only do we have a bright future with the Lord but our faith in Christ also gives us power to overcome and to experience the fruit of the Spirit in our lives.   Before taking pity on the man and his demon oppressed son, Christ said

Mark 9:23 (NKJV)
23  … "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes."

He also said in

John 10:10 (NKJV)
10  … I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

So the sky is the limit, but we have to believe the abundant life that Jesus promised us is possible, We have to believe that it is available to us and we have to have faith and follow His wisdom to receive it. 

And when I say receive it, don’t get me wrong I am not talking about some prosperity gospel here.  Christ has already given us everything. He has given us eternal life.  And no matter what situation is if we realize what we have in Christ, we can see that even our Unfortuante circumstances will have some fortunate circumstances and regardless of what we have or done have materially, we have everything spiritually.

But if we doubt, if we disbelieve, or if we take our eyes off of Christ, we can believe the lie that we have nothing, or we don’t have enough faith.  

While we may lack somethings in this life, we have everything we need in Christ. And time and time again, scripture tells us that through faith we can receive all kinds of things like: healing, peace, freedom, victory, love, and joy.  

But if you are proclaiming your lack of faith or your unbelief, you won’t see the Glorious Son or all the things He has given you.  

So keep walking and talking with God and agree with what He says about you and allow your faith in Him provide you with the abundant life that is filled with the fruit of the Spirit that he has for you.

 

 

Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.

This morning’s meditation verse is:

1 Peter 3:15-16 (NLT2)
15  Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it.
16  But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ.

Today’s verses encourage us to worship Christ as the Lord of our lives and explain to others that our hope comes from Him and to live a good life.  

Today’s verses set up the expectation that if Jesus is our Lord that we will live good lives that are beyond reproach and that will exemplify hope.  

Surrendering to the Lordship of Jesus is the key to Christian living. We don’t stand on our freedom to do whatever we want, we follow Him and when we do that we have clear consciences and we will have a life of peace and hope that others can see.   

Our Christian faith is a belief that has no discernable difference from our unsaved neighbors.  Our faith is a lifestyle of righteous living. Our faith changes the way we live and the people we used to be and will cause us tell others about it.  

So if you don’t have peace or the abundant life, repent and worship Christ as your Lord and follow His Way that leads to a clear conscience and an ongoing testimony of righteous living and hope.  

  

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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 Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s “Discipleship”, also known as “The Cost of Discipleship”

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Bonhoeffer’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available on many websites for less than $20.00.

The Sermon on the Mount

Matthew 6

On the Hidden Nature of the Christian Life

The Hiddenness of Prayer

“And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you in public. When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him” (Matt. 6:5–8).

Jesus teaches his disciples to pray. What does that mean? We should not take for granted that we are allowed to pray. Of course, prayer is a natural need of the human heart, but that does not mean that human beings have a right to pray before God. Even when it is done with firm discipline and practice, it can be fruitless and without promise. The disciples may pray because it is Jesus who tells them to do so, and he truly knows the Father. He promises them that God will listen to them. So the disciples may pray only because they are in the community of Jesus, because they follow him. Anyone who is bound to Jesus in discipleship has access to the Father through him. Thus, every true prayer is mediated prayer. There is no such thing as unmediated praying. Even in prayer there is no unmediated access to the Father. Only through Jesus Christ may we find the Father in prayer. Faith, adherence to Christ, is the presupposition of prayer. He is the only mediator of our prayer. We pray trusting in his word. So our prayer is always prayer bound to his word.

We pray to God, in whom we believe through Christ. Therefore our prayer can never be a pleading with God. We do not need to pose before God. We may trust that God knows what we need before we ask for it. This gives our prayer greatest confidence and joyous certainty. It is not the formulation, not the number of words, but faith which reaches God’s fatherly heart that has known us so long.

Genuine prayer is not a deed, an exercise, a pious attitude. Rather it is the request of the child to the heart of the Father. That is why prayer is never demonstrative, neither before God nor before ourselves, nor before others. If God did not know what I need, then I would have to think about how I should tell God, what I should tell God, whether I should tell God. But the faith out of which I am praying prevents such reflecting or demonstrating.

Prayer is necessarily hidden. It is the opposite of a public act in every way. When people pray, they no longer know themselves; they know only God, to whom they are calling. Because prayer does not reach out into the world, but is directed solely to God, it is the least demonstrative act there is.[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 You Tube 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 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)

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship



[1] Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Discipleship, ed. Martin Kuske et al., trans. Barbara Green and Reinhard Krauss, vol. 4, Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2003), 152–153.

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

On the Road Again - Purity 829

On the Road Again - Purity 829

Purity 829 09/06/2022  Purity 829 Podcast

Good morning,

Today’s photo of the blazing sun and a blue cumulus cloud filled sky over Waite Rd in Easton NY comes to us from yours truly as I captured this scene while out walking the dog back on August 13th.  

Well, it is the Tuesday after Labor Day and for many it is “back to school time” and I for one am super excited at the prospect of the new season because tonight I begin facilitating the Freedom in Christ Discipleship Course for a new group of participants on Zoom this evening!  So as I enter into a new season of encouraging others on the path of Christian Discipleship, I couldn’t help but share a photo that visually represents the fact that we are “on the road again” to help others to experience, maintain, or deepen their freedom in Christ!    

I am by far not a country fan but when I consider the fact that the Lord has brought me to a place where I can regularly encourage others to discover the abundant life of meaning and purpose that He has for them I almost want to sing that Willie Nelson Classic who’s lyrics say that we are:   

“On the road again

Like a band of gypsies, we go down the highway

We're the best of friends

Insisting that the world be turnin' our way

And our way

 

Is on the road again

Just can't wait to get on the road again

The life I love is makin' music with my friends

And I can't wait to get on the road again”

(https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/willienelson/ontheroadagain.html)

But seriously,  while the participants to tonight’s course and I are not the “best of friends”, in fact with a couple of exceptions we are complete strangers,  and while we won’t be literally heading out to “make music”,  I know that if they are faithful to follow the road that the Freedom in Christ course and the Lord would have them travel they have the potential to experience a sense of freedom and victory that may cause them to all want to sing a hearty round of “Free Bird” like they never have before except they will be forced to change the lyrics to:   “Lord knows I CAN change! Lord, help me, I CAN change!!”  

Because our way is not “on the road again to make music with our friends”, our way is THE WAY, THE TRUTH, and THE LIFE.  Our way is Jesus Christ and I know that if we are just faithful in our pursuit to follow Him there is absolutely nothing and no one that can stop us from being the people that God created us to be…. except us.    

If we believe and follow Him, our faith in Jesus Christ and His word will reveal to us the truth of who we are in Christ and will help these men to resolve their personal and spiritual conflicts to experience their freedom like they never imagined they could.  

Christ is the answer. Christ is the way. I know this personally simply because I followed Him and experienced the new life that He has given me. As far as I am concerned, I don’t have a choice but to give Him honor and glory by telling others about what I have come to know.

Regardless of my day job, this is my purpose in life: to encourage others to seek the Lord and to follow Jesus.  The life I love is to encourage people to know that God is alive and He will help them to know the truth that will set them free. 

So, if need encouragement and aren’t enrolled in tonight’s course, check out the teachings I have on the podcast and YouTube and start following the road that will lead you to your freedom in Christ where you will leave behind the troubles of your past and find the peace, joy, and love that comes from walking and talking with God.

 

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Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.

This morning’s meditation verse is:

1 Peter 3:12 (NLT2)
12  The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right, and his ears are open to their prayers. But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil.”

Today’s verse encourages us to do what is right with the assurance that the Lord is open to our prayers when we do, and His face is turned against those who do evil.  

Here the Apostle Peter explains a spiritual reality of prayer and our relationship with God.  While God’s unconditional love for us caused Him to send Christ to die for us so that we could have peace with Him and a new life,  it doesn’t mean that our relationship with God is unaffected by our thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors.  

Here scripture tells us that if we do evil, the Lord turns away from us.  If we do what is right the Lord’s ears are open to our prayers, indicating He is listening and may be receptive to answering our petitions of prayer.   

So this is a “prayer principle” for sure. If you want your prayers to be heard, you should do what’s right.  But this verse reveals much more than that. It points to our relationship with God and how the harmony of that relationship can be positively or negatively affected by our “doing what is right”.   

In my immaturity as a new believer, I thought that now that I was forgiven after I put my faith in Christ, I wrongly assumed that what ever I did, if I sinned, it didn’t matter!

And that’s partially true, when I put my faith in Christ, genuinely, God’s forgiveness is unconditional.  I am forgiven for my past, present, and future sins. Nothing I can do can separate me for the love of God, I am His warts and all.  

But when I am not acting like a child of God, I separate myself from who I am in Christ and from a harmonious relationship with God.  It’s been said that the most miserable person is a Christian who is locked in sin, because they are not only acting out of character but they are denying God’s power and truth by giving them to the sin that they have been set free from.   

So a Christian should avoid the misery and endeavor to “do what’s right”. When we start living a righteous life based on God’s word, we not only avoid the negative consequences of sinful choices, we also establish and maintain our harmony with God where He is listening to our prayers and possibly granting them.  

So do what is right and pray to know the peace of a harmonious relationship with God and the joy that comes from knowing that God Himself is listening to you.

______________________________________________________________________

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 Clinton E. Arnold’s “Powers of Darkness”

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Clinton Arnold’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available on many websites for less than $20.00.

Know Who You Are in Christ

Christians have truly been rescued from the kingdom of darkness and have been made members of Christ’s kingdom. The person who has come to know Christ has also been forgiven, acquitted by God of all guilt, reconciled to God, and will experience no condemnation either now or after death. All of these things—and so many more—are true of Christians, but they are so often disbelieved in practice.

Many Christians have a difficult time internalizing their forgiveness, and their new freedom and liberty in Christ. At my church I have found this difficulty to be true in my ministry to new Christians. Nevertheless, the simple meaning of Christ’s work on the cross and the nature of new life in Christ bring refreshing experiences of freedom and release. These experiences often result in times of joyous tears as the weight of guilt and Satan’s exploitation are broken. Satan surely wants to deceive Christians into believing lies about themselves—“God cannot really forgive you for that,” “you will never be able to overcome that habit,” “you couldn’t possibly ever love that person,” and on and on. Christ has broken the power of Satan and evil over his people. Not only are they capable of change, but also Christ calls them to change.

In his classes and seminars on spiritual conflicts and counseling, my colleague at Talbot School of Theology, Dr. Neil Anderson, regularly encounters Christians struggling with problems often related to some kind of demonic influence. Almost invariably, he finds that for Christians facing direct demonic opposition, they have a profoundly inadequate understanding of who they are in Christ. Based upon Paul’s teaching that Christians are called to appropriate God’s power and resist the devil, Anderson helps these troubled Christians discover who they really are in terms of their new nature and new life in Christ. As a caring facilitator, Anderson prepares them to deal with the hostile influence of the powers through their own volition and their own appropriation of the power and authority available to them in the Lord Jesus Christ.

It is hard to fathom, but Christ wants us to think of ourselves as so closely united to him that we can consider ourselves as having already died to sin and having been resurrected and exalted. We share in his authority over the principalities and powers. Not only that, we are his dearly loved adopted children whom he has made his heirs!

We cannot forget that our new identity as Christians is not only individual but also corporate. We have been joined to fellow Christians in the solidarity of a corporate body. Christ has created the church as the primary vehicle for his grace to resist and overcome the powers of darkness.[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 You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTxjSNstREpuGWuL0bF3U7w/featured

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 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)

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship



[1] Clinton E. Arnold, Powers of Darkness: Principalities & Powers in Paul’s Letters (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic: An Imprint of InterVarsity Press, 1992), 212–213.

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Not Just Any Spiritual Pathway - Purity 807


Not Just Any Spiritual Pathway  - Purity 807

Purity 807 08/11/2022 Purity 807 Podcast

Good morning,

Today’s photo aa gravel driveway lined by trees underneath overcast skies comes to us from yours truly as I stopped to capture this pathway while working in Delanson NY yesterday. 

Well, It’s Thursday again and as is my habit I share a picture of a pathway on Thursdays to encourage my friends to keep walking and talking to God on the pathway of Christian discipleship.  The key to this pathway is Christ and when I speak about walking on the pathway of Christian discipleship I want to make it clear that we are following Him. 

Just this morning, I saw a FB friend share a passage from the Bible  on their page and a “spiritual debate” had ensued in the comments.  The Bible passage was Hebrews 10:26-30 which basically encourages authentic Christian faith and not treating sin lightly, that to do so is a possible indicator that you are not a Christian and that you are subject to judgement.  There was no commentary, just the word of God. 

But the truth of God’s word, didn’t sit well with one of my friend’s “spiritual friends” who encouraged my friend to not share such harsh words about his “loving compassionate forgiving creator”.  The debater’s impassioned speech was riddled with profanity and real concern that sharing things like my friend’s post keep people from their “creator”.  They were big on compassion and empathy but ignorant of the truth of what Jesus taught and the word of God in general. I could see where they were coming from, but they were wrong.

As I have been sharing encouragements to pursue a relationship with God for a couple of years on the blog, I have increasingly been convicted to not compromise the truth of God’s word says, and unlike this debater, I can’t just hide or dismiss what the Bible teaches and push a general spirituality that says that all people are good at heart and that we shouldn’t speak about hell.  

Jesus taught about hell more than heaven. That’s the truth.  That’s why He came: to save us from God’s wrath.  God loves us but He demands we put our faith in Jesus to be forgiven, we aren’t approved by God by any other way as Christ Himself said: 

John 14:6 (NKJV)
6  … "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

As I shared yesterday, He also encouraged us to repent (https://www.mt4christ.org/2022/08/the-r-word-and-living-in-state-of-grace.html) and obey His commandments (Matthew 5:17, 16-30)  

We can’t pick in choose what spiritual truths we like from God’s word. We can’t trust our salvation in anyone other than Christ.  Although we are called to follow Christ in the way we live our lives, we aren’t saved because of our performance, we’re saved because of Him. 

And the reason we follow Him is primarily to give God glory, not us, but God is so good that when we decided to follow Jesus, to walk in the Spirit, we see the fruit of the Spirit grow in our lives. 

We try to live as Christians because we are called to, and it gives the One who saved us glory, the peace, love, joy, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, patience, and self-control we receive from walking in the Spirit is just a bonus, and a great source of motivation to continue and to love our God.

This debater had made his own “creator” small c, who was more like a genie in a bottle that the One True God of the Bible, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The One God in the three persons of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  

The path I encourage people to discover is the one that starts with faith in Jesus Christ, specifically, as Lord and Savior, and follows the God of the Bible. There is no other way, and I wouldn’t be “loving” if I allowed people I care about to believe otherwise.    

 So that’s the path! The Highway to Heaven!

 I teach Freedom in Christ after all, not freedom in the creator (small c? Really?!?) and as I share yesterday on the blog and podcast, registration is now open for Freedom in Christ Course via Zoom at the following link:  https://www.ficm.org/.../freedom-in-christ-course-fall-2022/.

Instead of having “common” but ignorant knowledge about God, sign up for a course that will not only teach you the truth about who God is but will also help you resolve your spiritual and personal conflicts through your faith in Christ.  

I know there are some hard truths in the Bible.  But I know God is loving and forgiving and when he calls us to obey and follow Him, He does it out of love for us and to lead us into an abundant life of meaning and purpose that just so happens to be “good”, as He works all things for the good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.  

I got sidetracked today, I had more to say about the goodness of God and what He is doing in my life but I just so happened to study Psalm 145 this morning and will share that because it says it better than I could.  I would consider this Psalm to be a “keeper’ for those of us who choose to walk out our lives as disciples of Christ with what’s left of our lives.  David had a heart after God, and it is the same heart that we are to have if we are to walk in Jesus’ ways.

PSALM 145

The Lord Extolled for His Goodness.

A Psalm of Praise, of David.

   1          I will extol You, my God, O King,

And I will bless Your name forever and ever.

   2          Every day I will bless You,

And I will praise Your name forever and ever.

   3          Great is the Lord, and highly to be praised,

And His greatness is unsearchable.

   4          One generation shall praise Your works to another,

And shall declare Your mighty acts.

   5          On the glorious splendor of Your majesty

And on Your wonderful works, I will meditate.

   6          Men shall speak of the power of Your awesome acts,

And I will tell of Your greatness.

   7          They shall eagerly utter the memory of Your abundant goodness

And will shout joyfully of Your righteousness.

   8          The Lord is gracious and merciful;

Slow to anger and great in lovingkindness.

   9          The Lord is good to all,

And His mercies are over all His works.

10          All Your works shall give thanks to You, O Lord,

And Your godly ones shall bless You.

11          They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom

And talk of Your power;

12          To make known to the sons of men Your mighty acts

And the glory of the majesty of Your kingdom.

13          Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,

And Your dominion endures throughout all generations.

14          The Lord sustains all who fall

And raises up all who are bowed down.

15          The eyes of all look to You,

And You give them their food in due time.

16          You open Your hand

And satisfy the desire of every living thing.

17          The Lord is righteous in all His ways

And kind in all His deeds.

18          The Lord is near to all who call upon Him,

To all who call upon Him in truth.

19          He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him;

He will also hear their cry and will save them.

20          The Lord keeps all who love Him,

But all the wicked He will destroy.

21          My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord,

And all flesh will bless His holy name forever and ever.[1]

So be like David, let your mouth speak the praise of the Lord and bless his Holy (yup Holy) name for ever and ever.  

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Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.

This morning’s meditation verse is:

1 Peter 1:4-5 (NLT2)
4  and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.
5  And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.  

Today’s verses speak of our priceless inheritance and how we receive it through faith and how we will be protected until our salvation is complete on the last day.  

I love today’s verses because they remind us that we have an inheritance in heaven and that our salvation isn’t over yet.  

I also love them because they clearly state that it is through our faith that we receive God’s protection and our inheritance.  We didn’t earn it.  So we don’t have to worry about losing, because we didn’t earn it in the first place.  Our faith came because of God’s grace not because of us.   

I also love today’s passage because it looks ahead.  As much as we can state that our salvation is a “done deal” in the sense that we have been forgiven and made new, it isn’t over yet.  We still need to be saved from this world that is broken by sin and death.  

On the last day, when Christ returns or when we see Him in heaven, we will receive our inheritance and our salvation will be complete.

So as good as our lives are now that we have life in Christ, we haven’t received everything yet.  We can live in peace and joy because we have it “all” and there is more to come!

______________________________________________________________________

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 Clinton E. Arnold’s “Powers of Darkness”

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Clinton Arnold’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available on many websites for less than $20.00.

Responding to the Powers of Darkness

Interpreting the Armor of God

□ You cannot succeed on your own. Draw on the strength that Christ promises to supply.

□ Realize that you cannot count on life to be a smooth, easy path. There are evil supernatural forces out to destroy you.

1.    Put On Your Trousers: Wear Truth

□ Know the truth of who you are in Christ (for the powers of darkness will try to deceive you).

□ Practice honesty and live with moral integrity.

2.    Put On the Breastplate of Righteousness

□ Realize your status before God as one who has been acquitted of all guilt.

□ Acquire personal holiness and develop good character.

3.    Put On Your Boots: Prepare the Gospel of Peace

□ Prepare yourself for sharing the gospel wherever God calls you.

4.    Take the Shield of Faith

□ Do not doubt! Believe that God will help you overcome.

5.    Put On the Helmet of Salvation

□ Be secure in your identity in Christ—as one who has been saved, united with Christ, made alive, coresurrected and coexalted.

6.    Take the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God

□ Devote your life to aggressively spreading the gospel.

□ Know the Scripture and apply it to every difficult situation.

THE BOTTOM LINE: PRAY!

□ Ask God to strengthen you to resist temptation and share the gospel effectively.

□ Ask God to strengthen your fellow believers to resist temptation and share the gospel effectively.[2]

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

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These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTxjSNstREpuGWuL0bF3U7w/featured

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 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)

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship


[1] New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995), Ps 145.

[2] Clinton E. Arnold, Powers of Darkness: Principalities & Powers in Paul’s Letters (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic: An Imprint of InterVarsity Press, 1992), 160.