Labels

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

Thursday, March 14, 2024

Pointing the Way to Freedom - 40 Day Journey with Martin Luther – Day 26 - Purity 1299

Pointing the Way to Freedom - 40 Day Journey with Martin Luther – Day 26 - Purity 1299

Purity 1299 03/14/2024 Purity 1299 Podcast

Purity 1299 on YouTube: 



Good morning,

Today’s photo of a front door view of the sun blazing over the Schodack Creek comes to us from yours truly as I ran to my front door to capture it on Monday. 

Well, it’s Thursday and I share this “pathway” out my front door photo as a visual encouragement to get on the path of Christian Discipleship because I know that it leads to peace, joy, and freedom!    

I am rejoicing this morning because I led another man through the Steps to Freedom yesterday morning and was encouraged to see that two of the men at the Celebrate Freedom are willing and will be possibly able to step out into leadership roles later this year.  To see one man free from all the baggage of his past and to watch two others speak of their commitment to continue learning and growing in their faith and to encourage others in the future does the heart good.  I’ve received my freedom in Christ and these men are now walking in theirs and seem serious about not only keeping it but are talking about sharing it with others.  That’s what we are supposed to do as disciples of Jesus Christ – to teach others what we have come to know through our faith in Jesus and to walk alongside the broken and the hurting to point the way to healing, hope, and freedom – and I am thrilled at having others walking with me in this.  

Jesus is the truth, the way, and the life and there is no better time to decide to follow Him than in this current season of Lent, and speaking of Lent…

It’s the twenty-sixth 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 26

May your name be hallowed.

What is this?

Answer: It is true that God's name is holy in itself, but we ask in this prayer that it may also become holy in and among us.

But what is it to pray that his name may become holy? Is it not already holy? Answer: Yes, in it's essence it is always holy, but our use of it is not holy. God's name was given to us when we became Christians and were baptized, and so we are called children of God and have the sacrament, through which he incorporates us into himself with the result that everything that is God's must serve for our use. Thus it is a matter of grave necessity, about which we should be most concerned that God's name receive due honor and be kept holy and sacred as the greatest treasure and most sacred thing that we have, and that, as good children, we pray that his name, which is in any case holy in heaven, may also be holy and be kept holy on earth in our midst and in all the world.

Biblical Wisdom

Like obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires that you formerly had in ignorance. Instead, as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct; for it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy”. 1 Peter 1: 14-16.

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

·       What does it mean for God's name to be “holy in and among us”?

I believe that keeping God’s name holy in and among us means that we honor it, revere it, and love it.  We keep it holy in us by loving and obeying the Lord. We keep it holy by not blaspheming it and by living a life that gives Him glory.

·       In what ways might our lives and communities change if God's name was truly holy “in our midst and in all the world”?

If God’s name was truly holy in our midst and in all the world – our lives and our communities would be transformed. We would repent of our sins and society would do away with its evil practices as we would seek to honor God by living holy and pure lives in the bonds of peace and love.

·       What does it mean to say that “everything that is God's must serve for our use”? If this is true, what does it have to say about how we should be in the world?

“Everything that is God’s serving for our use” assumes that our uses are pure and holy – that we will use the things of this world to give God glory – it indicates that we should be good stewards of all the things that have been given to us and that we should honor God with the way that we live.

Psalm Fragment

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things. Blessed be his glorious name forever; may his glory fill the whole earth. Amen and Amen. Psalm 72:18-19.

Journal Reflections

·       Today’s Biblical Wisdom tells us “as he who called you holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct.” Write about what you think God’s holiness is. Write about the implications of God’s holiness for the way you try to live.

God’s holiness is Jesus. He is our example to follow – tempted in every way but without sin.  God’s holiness implies that we are to be conformed to the image of Christ – to become more and more like Jesus – to live pure moral lives of service and sacrifice born out of our love for God and our neighbors.  

·       Reflect in writing on what you do in your day to day living that “hallows’ God's name”. Any behaviors that need to stop, change, or be added?

My daily spiritual practices hallow God’s name as I pray to Him and read His word. I also try to “do what’s right” according to God’s word while I go throughout my day to honor God and to show how hallowed His name is to me.

·       In a list of all the “treasures” you have, where would you rank “God's name”? Why?

God’s name is the number one treasure in my life. I can rejoice in the name of Jesus because it is the name by which I have been saved and been given a new and eternal life! God has set me free through Jesus and there is nothing more precious to me than my relationship with Him.

Prayers for the Life of Faith

Pray that you may be given help to hallow God's name and your speech and actions, and give thanks that because of your relationship with Christ, you have been made holy.

Lord, Help me to hallow Your name and my speech and actions to give You glory. Thank You for my relationship with you through my faith in Jesus Christ and how You have made me holy through Him and through the power of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Prayer For Today

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name! Thank you that your holiness also has made me holy. Although I do not understand, nor do I feel holy, keep me Lord always near to your holiness and love.

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).

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

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 verses comes from the section on Contentment, Coveting & and Priorities.

Luke 9:46-48 (NLT2)
46  Then his disciples began arguing about which of them was the greatest.
47  But Jesus knew their thoughts, so he brought a little child to his side.
48  Then he said to them, “Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me also welcomes my Father who sent me. Whoever is the least among you is the greatest.”

Today’s verse falls under the thirteenth point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Contentment, Coveting, and Priorities.

13. Don’t seek status, as the disciples did.

Today’s verse shows us Jesus’s response to the Apostle's jockeying for positions of greatness. He humbles them by indicating that through their humble service to the “least of these” that their greatness would be confirmed.  Rather than doing mighty works of bravado, Jesus encourages them to be gentle caregivers to their fellow man and those who otherwise would be helpless. We are not to seek status but to seek the ways we can serve others to reflect our faith and pledge our allegiance to Christ’s kingdom.

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

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

Today we continue sharing from “According to Your Word: Morning and Evening Through the New Testament” By Stephen F. Olford – A Collection of Devotional Journals: 1940-1941.

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage you all to purchase Olford’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available online for less than $10 at many sites.

MORNING READING: LUKE 15

“Then all the tax collectors and the sinners
drew near to Him to hear Him.” – Luke 15:1

What a grand fact!

It is interesting to note how the ministry of the Lord primarily attracted the publicans and sinners. It is recorded: “The common people heard Him gladly” (Mark 12:37). He said, “I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance” (Matt. 9:13). “The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). Paul testifies: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief ” (1 Tim. 1:15). In the light of these few verses, it is obvious that the Lord's ministry not only attracted sinners but also was primarily for them. How important to have His message and mission today!

O, that Your ministry, Lord, through me
would draw the publicans and sinners to Yourself.[1]

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

Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

at https://mt4christ247.podbean.com, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

(https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mt4christ247s-podcast/id1551615154). The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and Audible.com. 

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/@MT4Christ247

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

My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Ask Seek Knock blog (https://tammylynask.blogspot.com/ ),  her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock (https://www.facebook.com/groups/529047851449098 ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (https://feed.podbean.com/tammalyn78/feed.xml)

“The views, opinions, and commentary of this publication are those of the author, M.T. Clark, only, and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of any of the photographers, artists, ministries, or other authors of the other works that may be included in this publication, and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of any entities the author may represent.”

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

 

Friday, March 8, 2024

Cabrini – Sister of the Sacred Heart of Jesus - 40 Day Journey with Martin Luther – Day 21 - Purity 1294

Cabrini – Sister of the Sacred Heart of Jesus - 40 Day Journey with Martin Luther – Day 21 - Purity 1294

Purity 1294 03/08/2024 Purity 1294 Podcast

Purity 1294 on YouTube: 



Good morning,

Today’s photo of a sunset on the horizon that paints the soft red clouds comes to us from an unknown FB friend who shared this scene on social media on or around April 23, 2021. I continue to clean out my phone’s photo archive closet and if this photo is yours give me a heads up and I will update the blog to give you the photo credit you deserve. 

Anyway it is Friday, Thank God and I am looking forward to the end of the day today because I will be reunited with my beloved wifey, TammyLyn, and we have plans to go to Saratoga tonight to see Cabrini, a biopic of Frances Xavier Cabrini – the first U.S. citizen to be canonized by the Catholic Church, Cabrini was an Italian-American Catholic religious sister and saint. She founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a religious institute that was a major support to her fellow Italian immigrants to the United States. Cabrini originally had a heart to be a missionary to China, but the Lord through Pope Leo XIII sent her to America to care for the growing and impoverished Italian immigrant population there.  Despite many difficulties, Cabrini and the sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus went on to found 67 missionary institutions to serve the sick and the poor and nine years after her death in 1917 the sisters realized Cabrini’s goal of becoming missionaries in China. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frances_Xavier_Cabrini) I can’t wait to see this incredible women’s story on the big screen and to be inspired by it.  To be remembered for our faith in Jesus and service to God’s kingdom is what I consider to be the ultimate goal in life.  

So let’s be like Cabrini and draw close to the Lord in this season of Lent and see where He leads us.

It’s the twenty-first 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 21

I believe that Jesus Christ, true God, begotten of the Father in eternity, and also a true human being, born of the Virgin Mary, is my Lord. He has redeemed me, a lost and condemned human being. He has purchased and freed me from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil, not with gold or silver but with his holy, precious blood and with his innocent suffering and death. He has done all this in order that I may belong to him, live under him in his kingdom, and serve him in eternal righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, just as he is risen from the dead and lives and rules eternally. This is most certainly true.

Let this be the summary of this article, that the little word Lord simply means the same as Redeemer, that is, he who has brought us back from the devil to God, from death to life, from sin to righteousness, and keeps us there... Indeed, the entire gospel that we preach depends on the proper understanding of this article. Upon it all our salvation and blessedness are based, and it is so rich and broad that we can never learn it fully.

Biblical Wisdom

What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else? Who will bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is it to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us. Romans 8:31-33.

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

·       Why did God have to go to such lengths to save us? Was the death of Christ necessary? If yes, why? If not, why not?

It was because of His love for us that God went to such lengths to save us (John 3:16).  Yes, Jesus had to die for us.  Scripture explains this in:

2 Corinthians 5:14-15, 21 (NKJV) where the Apostle Paul wrote:
14  For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 15  and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. … 21  For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin
for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

And speaking of our suffering for our faith the Apostle Peter wrote in:

1 Peter 2:21-25 (NKJV)
21  For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:
22  "Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth";
23  who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously;
24  who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness--by whose stripes you were healed.
25  For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

 

God demanded a sacrifice to atone for our sins and Christ being fully God and fully Man died so we could live with and for God forever.

For more on this, I am also sharing a link to Got Questions.org’s answer to the question: “Why did Jesus have to die?” on the blog as well:  (https://www.gotquestions.org/why-Jesus-die.html)  

·       People prize their independence. Does that make it difficult to say “I belong to Christ”?

Yes it does! Our selfishness and demanding our independence are what will separate vast multitudes from God and send them to perdition. We can’t save ourselves and living independently of God is the pathway to perdition or will cause Christians to fail to live the abundant life that God intends for them to have.  

·       When do we start to “live under him in his kingdom, and serve him in eternal righteousness, innocence, and blessedness”? Now, in this life? In the next life? Both now and then? Explain.

Eternal life starts the moment you put your faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior and our purpose in life as Christians is to fulfill the Great Commission – to go and make disciples – to teach to others everything that Jesus taught so they can experience His wisdom and be saved by His love. We serve the kingdom now on earth and will continue to do that in heaven or when Jesus returns to rule and reign here before bringing a new heaven and new earth for eternity.  It’s an amazing mystery to consider, we will live forever and be with God!

Psalm Fragment

Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up; God is our salvation. Our God is a God of salvation, and to God, the Lord, belongs escape from death. Psalm 68:19-20

Journal Reflections

·       Write on what it means for you to have a Lord, or Redeemer, in your own life.

I write a blog 6 days a week to try to express the joy and gratitude that I have to have a Lord and a Redeemer in Jesus Christ! Having a Lord and Redeemer means everything to me. It means life. It means love. It means freedom. It means purpose.  God rescued me from myself, sin, death, and the grave. It means everything.

·       Do you remember a time when you felt as though Christ had snatched you from death and brought you back to God, or from sin to righteousness? If so, write about the experience. If not, can you imagine such an experience?

Oh, I do remember when I felt that Christ snatched me from death and brought me back to God.  It’s my entire journey from March 2010 – celebrating my rescue and new life in Christ and bringing me from a life of sin to increasing righteousness, freedom, and joy.  See my blog for more, lol.  

·       If someone asked you what is “the entire gospel”, how would you answer?

Put your faith in Jesus to be forgiven and to receive eternal life and then follow Him and serve His kingdom. Have peace with God through faith in Jesus and live.

Prayers for the Life of Faith

Thank God for the great gift of Jesus for you and pray that you and others you know will come to understand more deeply and fully the depths of this gift.

Lord, Thank You for the great gift of Jesus for ME, for ME!!,  Thank You Lord! I pray that I and others will come to understand more deeply and fully the depths of this gift! Thank You, God, Thank You, Jesus, Thank You Holy Spirit! Amen.

Prayer For Today

Lord Jesus, I thank you that you have, through great suffering and sacrifice, redeemed me from death, sin, and the power of the devil. Keep your grace ever before me today as I live and work in your world.

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).

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

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 verses come from the section on Contentment, Coveting & and Priorities.

Mark 4:1-20 (NIV2011)
1  Again Jesus began to teach by the lake. The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake, while all the people were along the shore at the water’s edge. 2  He taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said: 3  “Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4  As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5  Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6  But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root.
7  Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain.
8  Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.” 9  Then Jesus said, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.” 10  When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables. 11  He told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables
12  so that, “ ‘they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!’”
13  Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable? 14  The farmer sows the word. 15  Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. 16  Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. 17  But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.
18  Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word;
19  but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.
20  Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.”

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

8. Do not allow the deceitfulness of wealth to crowd out the Word.

Today’s verses tell the parable of the sowing of the seed and share the scary indication that the world and the deceitfulness of wealth can stop us from being the people God created us to be or could imply that it keeps us out of God’s kingdom all together.  So forsake the world and follow Jesus, false converts believed they are saved but are not, some of which are undoubtedly worshiping wealth instead of God and will one day discover a great disappointment when they see they failed to do what God had for them to do or are turned away as someone God never knew.  

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

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 10

“Many prophets and kings have desired to see what you
see, and have not seen it, and to hear what you hear, and
have not heard it.” – Luke 10:24

O Lord, I do bow in deep heart gratitude, when I consider Your grace which has made me a “seer” and a “hearer” of things, which prophets and kings have desired to look into but have failed.

I adore and worship You for the fact that You have in infinite love, revealed Your Father to me, and that now through the knowledge of God, I possess eternal life.

I do pray, Lord, that You would be pleased to continue to reveal the glories of the Father, as I read and meditate upon Your Word. For the sake of Your name and glory.

Amen.[1]

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

Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

at https://mt4christ247.podbean.com, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

(https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mt4christ247s-podcast/id1551615154). The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and Audible.com. 

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/@MT4Christ247

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

My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Ask Seek Knock blog (https://tammylynask.blogspot.com/ ),  her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock (https://www.facebook.com/groups/529047851449098 ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (https://feed.podbean.com/tammalyn78/feed.xml)

“The views, opinions, and commentary of this publication are those of the author, M.T. Clark, only, and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of any of the photographers, artists, ministries, or other authors of the other works that may be included in this publication, and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of any entities the author may represent.”

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

Friday, February 23, 2024

Red Eye Repentance - 40 Day Journey with Martin Luther – Day 9 - Purity 1282


 

Red Eye Repentance - 40 Day Journey with Martin Luther – Day 9 - Purity 1282

Purity 1282 02/23/2024 Purity 1282 Podcast

Purity 1282 on YouTube: 



Good morning,

Today’s photo of the sun nestled in the branches of a huge and gnarly popular tree comes to us from yours truly as I captured this scene yesterday during my short visit to Lake Eola Park in Orland. 

Well, I’m back home but that was a journey in itself as some renovations at the Philadelphia airport and “no heads up” from the folks at American Airlines caused me to miss my connecting flight to Albany last night, and when they shared the good news that while I couldn’t get a flight to Albany the next day because of the size of our party, they could put us on a flight to Hartford or Worchester.  That unbelievably obtuse suggestion caused me to scramble and arrange for a rental from the good folks at Avis  and a midnight run back to my countryside home.  We made it and it was so late that I decided to wish everyone a good day before I went to bed.  So this message might be a little shorter than normal, but I am happy to be back home and ready to forsake the sweet tweets I ate at Disney World and am ready to repent! You could finally say that I’m giving up sugar-laced snacks for Lent!  Better late than never I guess.  But that’s okay our walk on the path of Christian Discipleship is about progress not perfection and I hope that encourages you that it’s never too late to change – it’s never too late to repent. So this red eye repentance edition of the mt4christ247 podcast is brought to you by American Airlines who I will choose to avoid in the future and Avis rental cars who I am truly thankful for!

Anyway speaking of repentance, making progress, and dealing with things you need to give up, it’s the ninth 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 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 9

YOU ARE TO HONOR YOUR father and your mother.

What is this?

Answer: We are to fear and love God, so that we neither despise nor anger our parents and others in authority, but instead honor, serve, obey, love, and respect them.

First, then, learn what this commandment requires concerning honor to parents. You are to esteem them above all things and to value them as the most precious treasure on earth. Second, in your words you are also to behave respectfully toward them and are not to speak discourteously to them, to criticize them, or to take them to task, but rather to submit to them and hold your tongue, even if they go too far. Third, you are also to honor them by your actions, that is, with your body and possessions, serving them, helping them, and caring for them when they are old, sick, feeble, or poor; all this you should do not only cheerfully, but also with humility and reverence, doing it as if for God.

BIBLICAL WISDOM

Honor your father and mother"-this is the first commandment with a promise:: so that it may be well with you, and you may live long on the earth. "And, fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Ephesians 6:2-4

SILENCE FOR MEDITATION

Pause the podcast, or stop reading, and sit quietly for 60 seconds or 1, 5, 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

     To whom is this commandment addressed-very young children or older children with feeble parents who need their help?

Yes – this commandment is addressed to young and older children alike.  Your parents will always be your parents and the Lord commands us to honor them because He used them to give us life.   And just like with any form of repentance – it’s never too early or too late to honor your mother and father. 

     Luther extends the commandment to honor your father and mother to "others in authority." Who are those others? Does it make sense to bring them under this commandment?

Others in authority who are worthy of honor would be mentors, grandparents, or other friends or family who fulfilled the role of father or mother in some aspect of our lives. If we consider them as a kind of mother or father to us, I feel it is appropriate to bring them under this commandment.  Unfortunately, estranged relationships are a problem in our post-divorce culture and while I would never excuse someone from giving honor to their natural mother or father, I certainly wouldn’t prohibit someone from giving honor to someone they feel is a “mother” or father to them in some way.  Admittedly, this is my opinion and I can understand if someone, particularly estranged fathers or mothers would disagree. 

     In what ways does your faith community encourage and support people in keeping this commandment? What more might be done?

Bible-believing faith communities usually encourage obedience to God’s word and that would include the commandment to honor your father and mother.  However, more typically this sentiment is displayed in the church on Mother’s Day & Father’s Day, and not specifically mentioned all that much from recollections in various church congregations.

PSALM FRAGMENT

The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; I have a goodly heritage.          Psalm 16:5-6

JOURNAL REFLECTIONS

     Meditate on how the commandment to honor your parents might become a spiritual practice for you.

This commandment could come into practice in a variety of ways depending on the circumstances surrounding one’s relationships with their parents.  For myself, I could make honoring my parents a practice by scheduling more time for visits with them and thanking them for all they have done for me and my brothers throughout the years as our parents. 

 

     Reflect on what you have done or are doing for your parents to honor and help them. Were (or are) these duties burdensome to you or a pleasure for you? Explain.

I just recently went to my mother’s church on Ash Wednesday and ended up having breakfast with Mom and Dad and have made tentative plans to get together with them again when all my brothers can be in attendance.  These things are not burdensome, and I feel it is right to give honor to the ones who gave us so much.

     What "others in authority" in your life would you bring under the umbrella of this commandment? Why?

I guess I would bring this umbrella to my mentor, Pastor Bob Costello.  Bob is somewhat of a spiritual father to me and although I don’t really plan visits with Bob whenever I do see him I try to express my appreciation for the time He spent teaching and encouraging me to live as a Christian. 

 

PRAYERS FOR THE LIFE OF FAITH

If your parents are still living, pray for strength to continue to honor them. Whether living or dead, give thanks for whatever good they provided you, and pray for the power to forgive them for whatever wrongs they may have done you.

Lord God, I pray for the strength to continue to honor my parents.   I thank you for providing them to me as good examples of faith, hard work, and love. As you know Lord I forgave them for any bitterness I may have held against them due to the turmoil in my life before Christ and pray you bless them continually.  In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

PRAYER FOR TODAY

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for being faithful to me, even if I have not honored either you or my parents as I should. Help me to give honor to you and them and show me how to care for the young who need my help.

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).

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

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 verse comes 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 Conscience.

1 Timothy 3:9 (NLT2)
9  They must be committed to the mystery of the faith now revealed and must live with a clear conscience.

Today’s verse falls under the third point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Conscience.

3. Hold to the truths of the faith.

Today’s verse tells us that we as Christians must be committed to our faith and live with a clear conscience, presumably because we obey what the word says and try to live a shame-free existence as we become more and more like Jesus.   

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

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: MARK 14

“She has done a good work for Me.” – Mark 14:6

What a blessed commendation! Such was given in response to the outpouring of the sweet and precious spikenard – a token of true heart love.

The Lord called it a “good work.” Good because it was seen by the Lord from the spiritual side. Man, like those who murmured saying, “Why this waste?” (v. 4), looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart. And as He looked, He saw that it was the true expression of unadulterated love. God looked at creation and said it was “very good.” The Lord looked at this woman's heart and saw that His work in her heart was good.

When You look at my heart, Lord,
I pray You find this same quality of love.[1]

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

Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

at https://mt4christ247.podbean.com, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

(https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mt4christ247s-podcast/id1551615154). The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and Audible.com. 

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/@MT4Christ247

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

My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Ask Seek Knock blog (https://tammylynask.blogspot.com/ ),  her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock (https://www.facebook.com/groups/529047851449098 ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (https://feed.podbean.com/tammalyn78/feed.xml)

“The views, opinions, and commentary of this publication are those of the author, M.T. Clark, only, and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of any of the photographers, artists, ministries, or other authors of the other works that may be included in this publication, and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of any entities the author may represent.”

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship