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

Saturday, November 27, 2021

It’s NOT all about ME? – Finding Center by Looking Up - Purity 587


 

It’s NOT all about ME? – Finding Center by Looking Up - Purity 587

Purity 587 11/27/2021  Purity 587 Podcast

Good morning

Today’s photo of another 2021Thanksgiving Day sunrise comes to us from the Inlet Community Church’s FB page with the warm reminder that it is important to be “thankful to the Lord for the simple things… like a new morning.”  They also shared a portion of scripture to back it up with the word of God indicating that the hope of a new day is God given as the Lord’s “mercies are… new every morning” from Lamentations 3:22-23. 

Today’s Saturday but as I have to work today, I am grounding myself in thankfulness for the small and big things as a remedy to ward of any feelings of discontentment or outrage that “I”, MT Clark has to suffer the injustice of being the victim of circumstance of somehow drawing the short straw of having “MY” Thanksgiving weekend disrupted by work!

Never mind the vast multitudes that had to work on Turkey Day, Black Friday, today and tomorrow, “I”, as in ME, MYSELF, AND I have to WORK, TODAY!

Sure I have I had off Wednesday to compensate for my “end day”, aka having to work Saturday, and I had a wonderful Thanksgiving with some of my future in-laws and a peaceful somewhat lazy Friday yesterday, but TODAY, I HAVE to WORK!!! WHY, OH WHY ME???  

Okay, although I used caps on the blog and may have raised my voice on the podcast for dramatic effect to convey that I was a little miffed at the idea of having to work today, I am happy to report that I rarely get offended and angry at the circumstances in life to this extreme extent any longer.   

Since coming to Christ and discovering the fact that in Christ all the problems of life are adequately put in their proper place, I have learned to manage my experience and filter my perspective with a higher view, most of the times… or eventually.     

I no longer look at life, for long anyway, as an opera singer where everything is about “Me, Me, Me, Me… Me!”  No, when I am flustered by the circumstances of life, by others’ attitudes or actions, or by my own personal failings or errors in judgment (Why do I do that!), I find my peace in the truth of who I am in Christ and the fact that I am accepted, significant, and secure because of Him.   

So when I face disappointments I remind myself that God’s mercies are new every morning, meaning that because I am in relationship with Him because of my faith in Christ, every day is a brand new start and it is built upon the fact that the Lord has blessed me in the past and chosen to give me a new day to rejoice, to share His love, and to work through any present difficulties by leaning on His guidance and strength.  

When we shift our focus off of our personal pain, sufferings, or perceived or real injustices and focus on who we are in Christ and our life giving relationship with the Lord, there is really nothing we can’t endure, walk through, and eventually overcome. 

The term “finding you center” is one used by yoga enthusiasts all over the world and is described as “connecting with your spirit by allow yourself to dwell on your innate goodness. Your center is that intangible place located within your core that is the best you possible.”    

While I would describe the process as “finding your center above” by someone who has not received spiritual life through faith in Christ to really be a “soulish endeavor”,  I will admit that employing simple relaxation techniques and meditating on positive affirmations can result in moments of profound peace and clarity.   

The problem is that “finding YOUR center” is a SELFISH practice that is centered in DECEPTION.  YOUR “innate goodness” doesn’t exist.  While God has written His law upon our hearts and it feels good to do good and “be good”, our sin reveals the true proclivity that we have for depravity and our innate “badness”.  

Meditative practices and exercise can make you feel good while you are doing them. You could be such a faithful practitioner that your life would be one exemplified as one being free of conflict and full of circumstantial peace.   

But if you find peace within and by YOURSELF, you have probably disconnected from others in your life in profound ways by manipulating your emotions or interactions and you have certainly separated yourself from reality and the very real and very personal God that created it.    

The practices of peace that men employ only last while you are practicing and without faith in Christ result in eternity in hell.  

While the Christian faith consists of many practices that the enemy will use and counterfeit such as prayer, meditation, service, and contemplating truths that the Lord put into His creation, it promises peace with God through one means and one mean only: faith in Jesus Christ.  

While other religions and philosophies stress working for peace with God or attaining a godlike status through spiritual attainments that will make you one with the universe (doesn’t that belong to God?), Jesus Christ reconciles men to God because of God’s love for us and through Christ’s perfect life and sacrifice on the cross to pay for our sins.  

While we could manufacture peace in the moment by focusing on the positive and thinking happy thoughts,  the only true happy thought comes from a relationship with God through faith in Christ where you are assured of life’s meaning because of your salvation and coming to find your purpose by being reconciled to the Creator of all things who will sustain you and guide you for all eternity.  

So find the peace that lasts forever by being reconciled to the “Center” and Creator of all things, the Lord God Almighty.  Jesus didn’t come so we could enjoy a day of exchanging presents.   Christ came to reconcile us to God and to give us an eternal life of meaning and purpose that starts the moment we accept Him as Lord and Savior when we receive the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit and receive spiritual life. From that point forward we can have peace as fruit of the Holy Spirit, a peace that will last forever.

So “center yourself” on the word of God, the truth of who you are in Christ, and on the purpose that God is calling you to.  When you do that it becomes less about “ME” and more about “We” – as you are eternally connect with God who never leaves you or forsakes you and who will continually guide and strengthen you to discover His mercies that are new every day, even on the Saturdays when you will have to work.  


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

This morning’s meditation verse is:

1 Peter 5:7 (NLT2)
7  Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.

 

Today’s verse speaks of the care that the Lord has for us and commands us to lay our burdens down at His feet.  

From the time that we are children, we are assured by loving caregivers that “everything is going to be all right.”   More often than not those assurances are true. We somehow avoided suffering from whatever caused us to worry and we somehow survived and may have even felt silly about our anxieties after we had emerged to the other side of whatever we were worried about.  

The care and love that our parents or caregivers provided was fundamental in how we viewed the world. If their assurances of safety worked out to be true we viewed the world as somewhat logical and secure provided you “did everything right.”   

Even Bob Marley assured us that the world could be a happy place when he sang about how “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright.”.  Marley died of cancer, melanoma, in 1977 at the age of 36.  So yikes. 

As well meaning as our loved one’s assurances of safety and security may be, the reality of sudden death and disease can make them liars and cause us to have a more grounded view of how “everything is falling apart” or “everything is dying”.  

While these harsh statements are true, God stands above those realities and has eternal kingdom that is unseen and will eventually manifest in our experience with the return of Jesus Christ.  

“Everything is Gonna Be Alright” for those in relationship with Christ.  Today’s verse is written to Christians specifically.  Christians should give all their worries and cares to God because due to our relationship to Him through faith in Jesus Christ, He cares for us.  

While God loves all of His creation, His care comes to and is completely fulfilled to those who put their faith in Christ.  Christians are assured of their eternal lives of acceptance, significance, and security because of Jesus.  

So as Christians we can give all our worries and cares to God because we know that no matter what we face there is nothing that can separate us from God’s love and His eternal plans of good for us.  

So keep walking and talking with God. Cast your cares and worries on the Lord and be sure to walk into your purpose of declaring the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ to all you encounter as you go. 

 

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

 

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

 

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

D. How You Can Escape Eternal Suffering

Personal suffering throughout eternity can be avoided by understanding and accepting 4 vital truths in God's plan.

4 Points of God's Plan

#1. God's Purpose for You... is Salvation.

  • —What was God's motive in sending Christ to earth? To express His love for you by saving you! The Bible says ...
        "God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." (John 3:16-17)
  • —What was Jesus' purpose in coming to earth?
    To forgive your sins, to empower you to have victory over sin, and to enable you to live a fulfilled life! Jesus said ...
        "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." (John 10:10)

#2. Your Problem... is Sin.

  • —What exactly is sin? Sin is living independently of God's standard—knowing what is right, but choosing what is wrong. The Bible says ...
        "Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins." (James 4:17)
  • —What is the major consequence of sin? Spiritual "death"... eternal separation from God. Scripture states ...
        "Your iniquities [sins] have separated you from your God.... For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Isaiah 59:2; Romans 6:23)

#3. God's Provision for You... is the Savior.

  • —Can anything remove the penalty for sin? Yes! Jesus died on the cross to personally pay the penalty for your sins.
        "God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8)
  • —What can keep you from being separated from God? Belief in (entrusting your life to) Jesus Christ as the only way to God the Father. Jesus says ...
        "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6)

#4. Your Part... is Surrender.

  • —Give Christ control of your life—entrusting yourself to Him ...
        "Jesus said to his disciples, 'If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross [die to your own self-rule] and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?'" (Matthew 16:24-26)
  • —Place your faith in (rely on) Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior and reject your "good works" as a means of earning God's approval ...
        "It is by grace you have been saved, through faithand this not from yourselves, it is the gift of Godnot by works, so that no one can boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9)

The moment you choose to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior—entrusting your life to Him—He comes to live inside you. Then He gives you His power to live the fulfilled life God has planned for you. If you want to be fully forgiven by God and become the person God created you to be, you can tell Him in a simple, heartfelt prayer like this:

Prayer of Salvation

"God, I want a real relationship with You.
I admit that many times I've chosen to go my own way instead of Your way.
Please forgive me for my sins.
Jesus, thank You for dying on the cross to pay the penalty for my sins.
Come into my life to be my Lord and my Savior.
Change me from the inside out and make me the person
You created me to be.
In Your holy name I pray. Amen."

What Can You Expect Now?

If you sincerely prayed this prayer, look at what God says about you!

"If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Question: "Isn't salvation unfair?"

Answer: Yes and no.

  • On the one hand, salvation is unfair because no one deserves to be saved.
  • On the other hand, salvation is fair because it is offered to everyone without discrimination. Because everyone is guilty of sin, no one is condemned unjustly. Therefore, the only "injustice" is that sinners can be saved at all ...

"Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit." (1 Peter 3:18)

 

Question: "If God is really a forgiving God, why doesn't He just forgive everyone?"

Answer: God offers to forgive everyone—but not everyone is willing to receive His offer of forgiveness. Justice requires that a penalty must be paid for our sin, and the penalty for our sin is separation from Him (spiritual death)—"The wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23).

  • Since Jesus paid this penalty by dying on the cross for sins, all who place their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ receive full forgiveness of their sins.
  • God will not force anyone to receive His forgiveness. Therefore, the choice is up to each of us ...

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9)

 

Question: "If Jesus is God, why did Jesus have to suffer?"

Answer: Jesus is our Deliverer, our Encourager, and our example ...

  • Through His suffering, Jesus made possible your victory over sin and your spiritual healing.
        "He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed." (1 Peter 2:24)
  • Through His suffering, Jesus showed you how to keep from growing weary or losing heart.
        "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross.... Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." (Hebrews 12:2-3)
  • Through His suffering, Jesus showed you how to endure unjust treatment and to entrust yourself to God.
        "It is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God.... To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. 'He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.' When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly." (1 Peter 2:19, 21-23)

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

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

 

Join our “Victory over the Darkness” or “The Bondage Breaker” series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

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

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

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

 

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

Monday, October 25, 2021

Looks Like We Made It.. to Monday - Amazing Grace - Purity 558


Looks Like We Made It.. to Monday  - Amazing Grace -  Purity 558

Purity 558 10/25/2021 Purity 558 Podcast

Good morning

Today’s photo comes to us from a friend who put their feet up to sit back and relax and to take in this stunning view from their ascension of North Point this past Saturday. Although it is Monday and the work week has only just begun, let’s just take a moment this morning to remind ourselves of all the things we have accomplished and all the things the Lord has brought us through up to this moment in our lives.  

The fact that you are listening to this message or reading this post or blog means that you are a survivor and that the Lord has more for you to experience before He calls you home. So be proud of what you have done, thank the Lord for providing all that you have received along the way, and look to Him for strength, love, and guidance as you walk into the last week of October 2021.      

I received this poem from a brother in Christ half a world away, Philip Hand who lives in Manchester in the United Kingdom, and thought I would share it to remind us of all of what Christ did for us.  I also share the Bible verses, from the King James version, from which Philip was inspired to compose it.  

Amazing grace

Not in building’s made by hand

or artistic masterpieces bold and grand.

A bittersweet love song of sacrifice and love.

Leaving His throne in heaven above.

The Holy Lamb who came to save

the foolish from the mess that they made.

A crown of thorns placed on our sin

shining the power of His beauty deep within.

The hearts of the lost who cry in distress.

Lord save even me give this grieving soul rest.

Set our hearts on fire and fill this holy place

and let me truly know Your amazing grace.”

-Philip Hand

Acts 17:24 (KJV)
24  God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;

Also,                                                          

John 3:16 (KJV)
16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Psalm 34:6 (KJV)
6  This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.

Jeremiah 31:33 (KJV)
33  But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

2 Corinthians 5:20-21 (KJV)
20  Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.
21  For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

 

Today’s Bible verses are drawn from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.  

This morning’s meditation verses are:

1 Peter 2:21-23 (NLT2)
21  For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps.
22  He never sinned, nor ever deceived anyone.
23  He did not retaliate when he was insulted, nor threaten revenge when he suffered. He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly.

Today’s verses remind us to trust the Lord implicitly and to be conformed to the image of Christ in how we conduct ourselves and respond to the negative circumstances in the world.

 

Ever since I read Luke 5 where Peter told Christ  to “Depart from me for I am a sinful man, O Lord!”, I have had a special affinity for the Apostle who rose above all his mistakes, including denying Christ, to go on to lead the early church.   

Here Peter, as if speaking from experience, acknowledges that although we will suffer for our faith, we are to do good and follow in the example of Christ by:

·       Abstaining from sin,

·       Speaking the Truth, for Christ never deceived anyone,

·       Not retaliating to insults,

·       Not seeking revenge for ourselves when we are harmed

·       Trusting in the Lord

If there was any Apostle who could relate to the difficulties of the Christian life, it was Peter. Instead of giving “greasy grace” that would sympathize with our human frailties, Peter tells us to “walk the walk” of authentic Christians with moral living and by facing any suffering and persecution just as Christ did, with a complete trust and dependence on God the Father.   

Just like Peter, we won’t be perfect in our Christian walk, but we are to keep walking. We are to live our lives as Christ, and Peter’s, example taught us.  While Peter wasn’t perfect, his story gives us hope to be redeemed of our sins and to progress in our maturity in the Christian faith. 

Like Christ, Peter went to His own cross but when he did, tradition tells us, that he requested to be crucified upside down because even after he had turned from his mistakes of the past and faithfully led the church, he didn’t count himself worthy of dying in the same manner as His Lord and Savior.  Even in his martyr’s death, Peter teaches us he hadn’t attained a state of Christlike perfection. 

This teaches us that we will never be perfect like Christ in this life, but it also teaches us that we can use every moment of our lives to give Him glory as we seek to be like Him, and we should never stop living out our faith.  

So keep walking and talking with God, none of us are perfect but when we come to faith in Jesus Christ we come into relationship with the One who is, and we should be motivated to share His perfect wisdom and love with the world that desperately needs it.  

 

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

Today we continue sharing from June Hunt’s Dating: Secrets to Great Relating When Dating  

 

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

D. What Are the Myths and Truths About Dating?

Her profile says she's 25, stands 5 feet 6 inches tall, weighs 120 pounds, and is a natural blonde. After a few dates, she admits she's really 28 years old, 5 feet 4 inches tall, and highlights her hair. He already had guessed the 120 pounds was a fond memory or the result of a faulty scale.

He, too, stretches the truth. He plays up his job title, downplays why his last relationship ended, and tries to impress by flashing cash and dropping names.

Of course, both would be better served by being honest with each other...and themselves. For the biblical book of wisdom reveals the intimacy found in honesty....

"An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips." (Proverbs 24:26)

• Myth

"I need a 'lure' to catch a date."

  • The bait technique....................claiming the other person's interests as your own
    "I'm really interested in cameras."
  • The blunder technique.............claiming to have an "accident" to get help
    "I'm so sorry I dropped all these coins."
  • The buying technique...............claiming the "need" for assistance
    "Could you help me pick out a good coffee?"

Truth

Deceptive techniques are not honoring to God and will not be blessed by Him.

"Keep me from deceitful ways." (Psalm 119:29)

• Myth

"I feel guilty going to church or Bible study with the hope of meeting someone to date."

Truth

You are experiencing false guilt. Certainly, finding a date should not be the main reason you attend church. However, God desires that you meet and fellowship with other Christians, and what better place to find eligible people to date than at a church or Bible study?

"Let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another." (Hebrews 10:25 NLT)

• Myth

"As a Christian, if I date someone who is not a Christian, God will use me to change my date."

Truth

You have no such guarantee. The Bible never endorses "missionary dating" or "missionary marriages"—dating or marrying a man in order to make him your mission field. Let's assume you become yoked to an unbeliever in marriage. If he is headed toward darkness, where will you be pulled? Toward darkness! If he is headed away from God, where will you be pulled? Away from God! If this non-Christian is to be saved—wait until he is saved and changed by God. Then you may be led to date and possibly marry him.

"Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?... Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?" (2 Corinthians 6:14-15)

• Myth

"It doesn't matter if I date a non-Christian as long as I plan to marry a Christian."

Truth

The same factors that draw you into a dating relationship may very well later draw you into a marriage relationship. Dating a non-Christian places you in danger of becoming emotionally involved and, later, becoming unequally yoked in marriage. The more prudent course of action would be to not date anyone you could not or would not consider as a potential marriage partner.

"The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty." (Proverbs 22:3)

Biblical Counseling Keys: Dating: Secrets to Great Relating When Dating.

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

 

Join our “Victory over the Darkness” or “The Bondage Breaker” series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

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

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

 

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

Thursday, July 22, 2021

He Will Make Your Paths Straight: God’s Direction – Purity 477


 He Will Make Your Paths Straight: God’s Direction 

Purity 477 07/22/2021  Purity 477 Podcast

Good morning

Today’s photo of a palm tree lined roadway running through the Valley of Temples in Kaneohe Hawaii comes to us from a friend whose journey to the islands back in June included a memorial pilgrimage. I believe this road is on a stretch of road called Memory Slope and curiosity of the location uncovered the fact that burial plots are still available there with prices as little as five thousand dollars for an individual plot.  So if you wanted to be resurrected in the Pacific paradise of Hawaii when Christ returns, the cost of your spot in the Valley of Temples would be that of nice vacation, travel costs not included. 

But seriously, I chose today’s photo not to be morbid but because it’s Thursday and I love to highlight photos of pathways, or roads, to encourage people to follow their faith to the pathway of Christian discipleship. I will be teaching another class based on Neil Anderson’s the Bondage Breaker at Rock Solid Church in Hudson NY this evening at 6:30 pm, and I invite everyone to join me, either at the church or by listening in via the mt4Christ247 podcast. Tonight’s topic is temptation and I hope you’re tempted to check it out.  

As for today’s photo, I just love the way the palm trees, and memorials line the road as a contrast of life and death and how the clouds seem to have split right where the road     d runs as if God is welcoming us to come on up to heaven.  Although it looks like we may need to get a running start and make our ascent before we run into that speed bump!

You can’t speed through a cemetery! Somebody might get killed!

But seriously, again the good thing about making peace with God by putting our faith in Jesus Christ is that we don’t have to fear death and we don’t have to run to try to earn our place in His kingdom.  Our entrance to God’s kingdom is a free gift and our walk of faith is God’s invitation to experience a little bit of heaven on earth by choosing to follow His lead to experience the peace and joy that come from being in harmony with Him.  

No matter what speed bumps the world puts in our way, when we walk with the Lord by faith in the power of the Holy Spirit we can not only overcome the obstacles in our way, but our direction also becomes clear as if the heavens open up to show us the way we should go.  However, if we are looking at our feet and are consumed by the things of this earth we can miss the clear path that is provided for us by our heavenly Father.  

I have had a few things come up recently, possible invitations from the Lord to “come and see”. And to be honest, I immediately dismissed them as simply not possible and stopped thinking about them all together. But this morning in prayer, suddenly these “invitations” came up again in my spirit. I immediately pointed out that we couldn’t do it, although it was more like I didn’t want to do it because of selfish reasons and maybe a little fear because I questioned my capacity to meet the challenges being presented.   But today, I was presented with a simple solution to the “impossible” and I knew it didn’t come from me.   So, when you walk by faith, you stop and recognize that you are being called again to try something new, to stretch your limits and abilities and even though some arrangements will need to be made, you feel in your spirit that you want to see where God will bring you next.  

Hey sometimes you walk along doing the same old thing long enough and you think you’ve finally found a comfortable routine and then suddenly things start to change. We can choose the path of resistance and try to stay where we are, or we can be open to the mystery of where the Lord is leading us and trust Him to guide our path into another adventure.       

As for me, when I receive intuitions to try something new or to do something good, I’ve found that it’s better to answer the call and follow rather than running the risk that you will miss out or even worse, get dragged along kicking and screaming into what the Lord wants for you anyway.  

So follow the road you’re on but be prepared for those speed bumps and don’t be surprised if God invites you to take an unexpected detour into a new direction where you will have to trust Him and walk by faith.

 

This morning’s meditation verse is:

1 Peter 4:16 (NKJV)
16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.

Today’s verse reminds us that living as a Christian is not always a bed of roses but encourages us to glorify God when we are proven to be His.   

A faith that is not tested is not real faith.  Unfortunately, the masses will not applaud your decision to make Jesus your Lord and Savior and to live a Christian life. 

True story: before I got saved, one Christmas, yes one Christmas, I greeted my brother Matt, who we only see a few times a year, by joking that I had made Jesus my Lord and Savior.  Ha Ha!  Because obviously, I would never be one of those born-again Christians! Ha Ha! Hey man. let’s drink!

Obviously, things have dramatically changed, and the joke was on me!

But my mocking a devout Christian lifestyle is just one example how the world is opposed to anyone who would boldly proclaim the exclusivity of Christ to save and the intention to live by faith.  

Probably, not surprisingly, I have suffered the loss of many relationships because of my faith.  The losses reveal the depths of those relationships and the spiritual status of those who walked away.  But to my delight, the vast majority of my friends have remained and while they may not understand what happened to me and may not fully agree with me, our relationship as friends continues.  

My first world rejections and slights pale in comparison with the persecution that other Christians are currently suffering from, but it shows me two things:

1.    I’m definitely a child of God.   When you face negative consequences for your faith and you still remain committed to proclaim the gospel and live a Christian life, you have been proven to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. Christ said that we would suffer for our faith and when we run into opposition or hate, His promise is proven true, but it also proves you are His. 

2.    It’s worth it.  As scripture says, the sufferings that we will endure on earth do not compare to the riches that we receive from being His.   Not only are we saved from judgement and death, but we are blessed with God’s presence, guidance, and love as we walk through this life.  As hard and as trying as our lives of faith may be at times, as Peter said, when we know the Lord there is simply no where else to go.  

So, no matter what hardships or rejection you may face in walking out a life of Christian Discipleship, remember that those tests not only are worth it and prove you to be a King’s kid, they also give glory to God.  Your endurance and patience in suffering gives glory to the One who gave you everything.  Take comfort in His love, know that He cares, and keep walking and talking with God come what may.  

 

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

Today we continue with Dr. Neil Anderson’s Victory Over the Darkness, continuing Chapter 8.

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

Proper Guidelines Lead to a Proper Walk

5. Happiness. Key Concept: Wanting What You Have

The world's concept of happiness is having what we want. Madison Avenue tells us we need a flashier car, a sexier cologne or any number of items that are better, faster or easier to use than what we already have. We watch the commercials and read the ads, and we become antsy to acquire all the latest fashions, fads, and fancy doodads. We are not really happy until we get what we want.

God's concept of happiness is summed up in the simple proverb: "Happy is the man who wants what he has." As long as you are focusing on what you don't have, you will be unhappy. When you begin to appreciate what you already have, however, you will be happy all your life.

Paul wrote to Timothy, "But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that" (1 Tim. 6:6-8, NIV).

Actually, you already have everything you need to make you happy forever. You have Christ. You have eternal life. You are loved by a heavenly Father who has promised to supply all your needs. No wonder the Bible repeatedly commands us to be thankful (see 1 Thes. 5:18). If you really want to be happy, learn to be content with life and thankful for what you already have in Christ.


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

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

 

God bless you all!

 

Join our “Victory over the Darkness” or “The Bondage Breaker” series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

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

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

 

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship