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

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Practicing Presence – The Essence of Worship - Purity 1325


 Practicing Presence – The Essence of Worship - Purity 1325

Purity 1325 04/13/2024 Purity 1325 Podcast

Purity 1325 on YouTube: Coming Soon!

Good morning,

Today’s photo of a spectacular nighttime sky over the silhouette of a mountain horizon comes to us from an unknown FB friend with a really good camera, mad photography skills, or both, who shared this scene on social media on or around April 23rd, 2021.  If this beauty is yours and you would like the photo credit you deserve, let me know and I will update the blog after the fact.    

Well, It’s Saturday and I share today’s photo because of the awe it inspires and how it points to the Lord. Our created universe points to a Creator and when you take a moment to look beyond yourself it is natural to come to a conclusion that there is a God and He is good.  

Yesterday, I drove up to my countryside home because in spite of the rain I encountered on the way, I knew that the trip would be worthwhile because of the company I would find there, that of my beloved wife, TammyLyn. Regardless of the weather, I find peace and joy in the presence of the woman I love, and it is only natural to express my affection for her when we are together. When I am with her I express my appreciation for her with compliments, acts of service, and physical touch.  My love for her causes me to do these things naturally and doesn’t much matter what we have planned for our time together, I find peace and joy just being with her. 

Similarly, I can find peace and joy when I go out into nature and take a hike and start to appreciate that the beauty of what I found there was provided for us through God’s handiwork. 

After dinner last night, the rain stopped and in despite the flooding from the downpour that created rushing streams of water running over the countryside, my canine friend, Harley, and I took our walk down “Freedom Road” and as we made our return trek from the clearing at the end of that old wheel rutted dirt and gravel pathway, I stood in awe over the beauty of the overall scene of the surrounding farmlands and how the sky was filled with clouds in motion and how the last lights of day was breaking through them all as they dispersed themselves on the horizon.  As I slowly walked back I marveled over beauty of the scene before me but before I reached the roads end, I started thanking God for the wonder of the world He created, my life, and all that I have been blessed with as I have walked through my life’s journey up to that point. My sense of peace, joy, and gratitude over that present moment was deep and I just had to how I reached out to God to know I appreciated it and Him.

When we get out of our heads and just notice what’s going on around us – the wonder of God’s creation and the miracles of our everyday lives, it is only natural to worship the Lord. 

These experiences all happened yesterday but I encounter similar moments of peace and joy quite often because I “practice presence” with the Lord. I live in the context of my Christian faith by literally “walking and talking with God” – what I think of as the essence of a discipled or surrendered Christian life – but it also could be considered as the “essence of worship” which is only natural when we contemplate or spend time with God.  

Neil Anderson shares similar thoughts from his latest blog this week and I felt to share the good doctor’s thoughts here to emphasize just how natural it should be to worship God.   Neil Anderson writes:

“The Essence of Worship

When I taught at Talbot School of Theology there was a student on campus who was seven feet six inches tall. I felt sorry for him, because people would stare, i.e. until he looked back. They probably didn’t want to, but they could hardly keep themselves from doing so. I found myself sneaking glances at him. Most strangers said nothing to him other than an occasional, “How is the weather up there?” Everyone thought, “That man is really tall!” That is the natural response to attributes that are unusual or outstanding, which is the essence of worship.

Worship is ascribing to God His divine attributes. God doesn’t need us to tell Him who He is. He is completely secure within His own Godhead. Nor do we worship God to appease Him. Some believe that if they keep telling God how good He is, He won’t deal harshly with them, or will grant them favors. That is spiritism, and that is not why we worship. We worship God, because we need to keep fresh in our minds the divine attributes of God. You will never be alone if you know that God is omnipresent. You will never feel powerless if you know that God is omnipotent. You will never feel unloved if you know that God is love.

Suppose you saw the student mentioned above, but he was a mile away. He would appear to be similar to any other mortal, and seeing him from a distance would solicit very little response. If you were standing next to him, you would be in awe. Your natural inclination would be to say or think, “Man, you are really tall!” The dominant thought in your mind would be on that singular attribute.

Such is our relationship with God. If you are not practicing His presence, He would seem to be a distant figure, and not too large. He would be easy to ignore. But if you were ushered into His presence you would be overwhelmed by His attributes. If that happened you wouldn’t say, “Praise You.” You would say, “Holy, beautiful, wonderful, powerful, etc.” Nobody would have to tell you to do that. Angels are not forced to worship God. In God’s presence they naturally proclaim His divine attributes.

When I first saw a giant redwood tree in the Sequoia National Park, I stood at its base and was overwhelmed by how big it was. I wanted to tell everyone, “Look at the size of that tree. It would take more than twenty men to put their arms around it!” I don’t worship trees or people. I am naturally in awe of nature, but it is just showing forth the glory of God (Ps. 19:1). I worship God who created trees, sunsets, and rainbows.

The closer I draw to my Creator, Redeemer, Savior, and Lord, the more natural it is to worship Him, and share Him with others. Should I feel disconnected from Him, I recall to my mind His divine attributes and “therefore I have hope” (See Lam. 3:21-24).  (https://blog.ficm.org/blog/the-essence-of-worship)”

That was from Neil Anderson, and I hope it encourages all my friends to take some time this weekend to draw close to God and to worship Him. When we recall to mind His divine attributes and realize He is with us, we can connect with Him and enjoy His peace, His joy, and His hope.

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For those who want more evidence for Christianity than my simple encouragements provide, I offer apologist, Frank Turek’s website, https://crossexamined.org/ .

Today’s Bible verses come to us from “The Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling” By John G. Kruis.

( While Bible verses on various topics of Counseling can be found with a quick Google search, we encourage you to purchase this resource to support the late author’s work. (https://www.amazon.com/Quick-Scripture-Reference-Counseling-Kruis-ebook/dp/B00CIUJZT2?ref_=ast_author_dp )

This morning’s meditation verses come from the section on Death and Eternal Life

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (ESV)
13  But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.
14  For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.
15  For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.
16  For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
17  Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.
18  Therefore encourage one another with these words.

Today’s verses fall under the sixth point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Death and Eternal Life.  

7. Believers who have died are absent from the body, but at home with the Lord.

Today’s verses command us to encourage one another with the fact that Jesus will return one day, causing those who place their faith in Him to rise from the dead and to meet Him in the air before He reclaims the earth to rule and reign with us for 1,000 years.   Death is not the end. And for the Christians who have left this mortal coil, their “eternal rest” in heaven will be interrupted as they follow Jesus into resurrected life.   They may be absent from their bodies currently, but they are present with the Lord and will come with Him at His glorious return.   And whether we pass before Jesus comes back or not, that’s good news.

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

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

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

MORNING READING: JOHN 17

“These are in the world … They are not of the world …
I also have sent them into the world… . That the world
may believe that You sent me.” – John 17:11, 16, 18, 21

“These are in the world” (v. 11). This is the believer's presence in the world. It is the sphere into which every man is born. It is the place in which he has to live. If he is to be kept from evil, he must seek the necessary power through the name of God.

“They are not of the world” (v. 16). This is the believer's position in the world. He is not of it, so must live entirely independently of it.

“I also have sent them into the world” (v. 18). This is the believer's purpose in the world. As Christ was sent with and for a purpose, even so is the believer sent, “That the world may believe …” (v. 21).

I do pray for power and grace to live in relation to the
world as You have taught me here in Your Word. 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

Monday, November 20, 2023

Denying the Lie of a “Very Bad Year” and Declaring the Truth with Thanksgiving! - Purity 1202


Denying the Lie of a “Very Bad Year” and Declaring the Truth with Thanksgiving! - Purity 1202

Purity 1202 11/20/2023 Purity 1202 Podcast

Purity 1202 on YouTube: 



Good morning,

Today’s photo of a spectacular pink, purple, and yellow sunset sky over what appears to be “smoke on the water” comes to us from Dave Baun Photography (https://www.facebook.com/DaveBaunPhotography) who shared this scene from his visit to Marino Rocks in South Australia last week on social media because it had been awhile since Dave had generously shared his work, apologetically stating that the six-day hiatus hadn’t been planned and that “not all things are planned nor do they always go to plan”.  Tell me about it brother.

Anyway, Dave is giving us all an opportunity to support his work and to own a piece of it, as he has recently announced that the Dave Baun Photography 2024 Calendar is now available to purchase (https://www.paypal.com/instantcommerce/checkout/A32QXWP8SEU96?fbclid=IwAR34qsFfygTm4CG_Y13ksI4v3dhWDto0S3gErizTmnrKTD9MiM5l3wUqs2U). I am including a link to Dave’s merchant page on Pay Pal on the blog today so you can purchase a copy for yourself or to give away for Christmas.  Dave has graciously allowed me to share his work on the blog and buying a calendar for myself and sharing the link seemed the least I could do to express my thanks and appreciation for Dave and his work.  

Well, It’s Thanksgiving Monday, and as we drag ourselves into what for me is a shortened work week, I am preparing my heart to be as thankful and appreciative as I can be to be completely surrendered to the Thanksgiving Spirit when we observe the National Holiday in the U.S. come Thursday.

Thanksgiving, or gratitude – or appreciation - is actually a regular practice on the path of Christian Discipleship and if you haven’t made it a part of your normal daily routine, I highly recommend it, and God sort of commands it – thank you very much, Lord.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NKJV)
16  Rejoice always,
17  pray without ceasing,
18  in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Colossians 3:17 (NKJV)
17  And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

Philippians 4:6-7 (NKJV)
6  Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;
7  and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Those are all instructions to the church – us Christians – on how we are to act and so let’s be the most thankful bunch at the Thanksgiving dinner table come Thursday.  I am sharing a link to Open Bible . info’s 100 Bible Verses About Giving Thanks on the blog today in case you need some Biblical support or want an easy reference to pull up some Thanksgiving wisdom (https://www.openbible.info/topics/giving_thanks). 

Part of being a disciple of Jesus Christ – or is it the “whole thing” – is believing that what the Bible is the TRUTH and obeying what it says, regardless of the circumstances or situations that surround us. 

I say that because my encouragement to give thanks may be difficult for many of my friends to receive this year.  While I don’t like to echo negative reports and honestly don’t believe in “bad years”, because frankly I have noticed that come November or December the declaring of the current year to be a “bad year” has become a “yearly tradition” of sorts. 

I think I first noticed this tendency to lament over the current year being a “bad one” in 2019 because I remember the New Year’s Eve sentiments that year to leave behind the no good, very bad, terrible year that was 2019 with the hope to have a “clear vision” going into 2020.  Covid-19 sort of made things a little cloudy. But do you know what?  Regardless of the pandemic, the death, and the seismic changes of 2020, even that “very bad year” had its good points. For me 2020, was a stellar year as I rose above all of it, worked hard, and was able to purchase and establish my little home “down by The River” for me and my children – and it was after that year that I stopped listening to “the very bad year” laments that rear their depressed little heads in November and December.  

Quite frankly, looking at and declaring a “year” to be bad is a misperception and undoubtedly something that the spiritual forces of darkness, yes Satan and his demonic associates, support fully.  Think about it. In the season where we are to give Thanks and Celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the enemy wants us to focus on the negative and call what is good evil.   God warns us in

Isaiah 5:20-22 (NKJV)
20  Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
21  Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, And prudent in their own sight!
22  Woe to men mighty at drinking wine, Woe to men valiant for mixing intoxicating drink,

Yeah, I just had to include the “drunken verses” that follow the sentiment to not call good evil, or evil good – like it’s good to get drunk – no its actually evil – shots fired.  

Anyway, I do sympathize with those who have loved and lost and suffered losses this year, I am surrounded by people who have suffered the loss of loved ones to death, have struggled with finances, had health concerns, have had difficulties in their marriages, suffered broken relationships, and lost jobs.  I have even suffered a surprising disappointment and shocking failure this year.   

But the circumstances of this world and even my own performance, or lack thereof, do not define who I am, and they don’t need to be what controls my attitude or emotions as we go into the holiday season and into a new year.    

Yes, we have suffered losses. Yes, we will miss those who are gone. Yes, we may be in the midst of a trial that has us wondering about what we will do next or how we will survive in the future.

BUT we are alive, and we know God. Through our faith in Jesus Christ, we live today and will live forever. We have been forgiven and are accepted, secure, and significant because of who we are in Christ. I’m sharing a link to the “Who I am in Christ” Statement PDF on the blog today if you need to remind yourself (https://www.ficm.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/who-i-am-in-christ05.pdf ) of the truth.  

I use that list every day to ground myself in the truth of who I am in Christ as part or my daily spiritual practice.  Knowing who I am in Christ is an integral part of my daily practice of gratitude.  So even if I am going through trials or suffering heartache or loss, I can look at that list of what the Lord has done for me, and I can give thanks, knowing that I am cared for, and loved, and say it with me – accepted – secure – and significant in Christ.  

So deny the lie that “2023 has been a bad year” and declare the truth that because of your faith in Jesus, God is with you always and even though we may walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we are STILL WALKING, and the LORD is WITH US.   So give Thanks to the Lord OUR GOD and Praise His Name! Draw close to Him in prayer for strength and guidance, ask for and seek His wisdom in His word, and keep walking and talking with God with the way you live your life because a life spent in His continual presence and love is a “good” one and there is nothing that can befall us that would make that untrue.  

Psalm 30:5 (NKJV) tells us that
5  …Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.

And as that psalmist may have suffered but He found joy as He testifies to God that:

Psalm 30:11-12 (NKJV)
11  You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,
12  To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to You forever.

So give thanks to God today, Thursday, and every day.

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For those who want more evidence for Christianity than my simple encouragements provide, I offer apologist, Frank Turek’s website, https://crossexamined.org/ .

Today’s Bible 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 verses come from the section on Church, Communion of the Saints.

1 Corinthians 12:12-31 (NASB)
12  For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ.
13  For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
14  For the body is not one member, but many.
15  If the foot says, "Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body," it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body.
16  And if the ear says, "Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body," it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body.
17  If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be?
18  But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired.
19  If they were all one member, where would the body be?
20  But now there are many members, but one body.
21  And the eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you"; or again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you."
22  On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary;
23  and those members of the body which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our less presentable members become much more presentable,
24  whereas our more presentable members have no need of it. But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked,
25  so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.
26  And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.
27  Now you are Christ's body, and individually members of it.
28  And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues.
29  All are not apostles, are they? All are not prophets, are they? All are not teachers, are they? All are not workers of miracles, are they?
30  All do not have gifts of healings, do they? All do not speak with tongues, do they? All do not interpret, do they?
31  But earnestly desire the greater gifts. And I show you a still more excellent way.

Today’s verses fall under the sixth point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Church, Communion of the Saints.

 6. Each member of the body is necessary. We need one another. All must have a deep concern for each other.

Today’s verses testify, at length, of how each member in the body of Christ is necessary and that we are to care for one another as we utilize the gifts we have received to serve God’s kingdom.  

Our resource offers up this entire passage to make the point that each of us is necessary for the service to God’s kingdom, but it highlights verses 25 & 26 to emphasize the fact that we aren't just brought into God’s kingdom to “work” – we are to also love one another and to show our care for one another and share in the suffering and joys we experience.  

Last week, my “Right Hand” Man at the Celebrate Freedom Growth Group, Scott Salvadore – our Men’s Discussion Leader- and 2 time Mullet Champion (you can’t make this up) – suffered the loss of his mother and while you could think of our relationship to be “function focused” as ministers to a small group community for recovery and discipleship, while we have “worked” we have developed a friendship of mutual trust, respect, and affection that goes beyond our “roles” of the ministry. 

My fondness for Scott makes me want to see him succeed and prosper in life.  I voted and contributed towards the campaign that made him the first-ever two-time mullet champion.  I have leaned on him for accountability with my food addiction and have experienced unprecedented success in return. We have rejoiced over one another’s victories. 

Our care for the growth group we serve has carried over to one another.   And so when Scott’s Mom died, although it might not have shown to much, I felt the pain of the loss for Scott and prayed for his and his family's comfort and healing in the wake of the loss.

So with the length of today’s passage, don’t forget the love that we are to have for one another as we seek to accomplish our purposes for God’s kingdom. Without God we can do nothing, so we should always remember that and seek to obey His command to love one another as we try to give Him glory.

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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 are sharing from A. W. Pink’s – The Arthur Pink Anthology  - a collection of A.W. Pink’s tracts brought together in one book and dispersed here on the blog for your encouragement.

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage you all to purchase A.W. Pink’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available online for free as a PDF at many sites, but printed copies of collections of A.W. Pink’s books are available for purchase wherever Christian books are sold. 

The Arthur Pink Anthology – 6

Christian Fools – Part 6 of 8

Take the Universalists. I have met numbers of Universalists—several here in Sydney. I was going to say that I have less suspicion of the reality of their own salvation than I have of some of yours. At any rate they seem to give such evidence in their daily walk that they commune with Christ that it really makes one wonder where they are. Well now, the Universalists are staggered by the doctrine of eternal punishment. They say “God is love.” The mercy of God endureth forever.” God is good: how can a merciful, loving God send any to eternal suffering? The Universalist say they cannot both be true: if there is such a thing as eternal punishment, then God can’t be love: if God is love, there cannot be such a thing as eternal punishment. You see what they are doing? They are reasoning: they are walking by logic: they have drawn up their own scheme and system of theology and that which they cannot fit exactly into that scheme, somewhere, well, away with it!

But the Unitarians and the Universalists and the Arminians are not the only ones who are guilty of that. I am sorry to say that it is equally true, in some respects, of many Calvinists. They are unsound when it comes to the gospel. They are all at sea when it comes to the matter of believing. I am not going to keep you very much longer, but listen closely now. There are many Calvinists who say, Believing is an evidence of our salvation, but it is not a condition or the cause of salvation. But, my friends, I make so bold as to say that those who so teach take issue with this Book. Now I want you to turn with me to four passages in the New Testament. I am not asking you to take my word for anything. You turn with me now to four passages in God’s own word. First of all Romans 1:16–17—“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation.” The power of God unto salvation to whom?—“the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth.” Now I have no hesitation whatever in saying to every grown-up person in this room tonight, if you had read that verse just now for the first time in your life, and had never read a page of either Calvinistic or Arminian literature; if you read that verse without any bias one way or the other, it would only mean one thing to you.

Now turn to Romans 13:11—“And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep, for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.” The salvation that is spoken of there is the salvation of the body, the glorification of the believer, the final consummation of our redemption: but what I want you to notice is where the Holy Spirit Himself puts the starting point. “Now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.” THAT is when it begins, so far as our actual experience is concerned.

Now turn to Hebrews 10:39, and you have one there that is plainer still—that is outside the realm of debate—that has no ambiguity about it: “But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.” You cannot get around that if you live to be a thousand years old. “Them that believe to the saving of the soul.” The sinner’s believing does have something to do with his salvation: God says so! If you deny it you are taking issue with God. “Believe to the saving of the soul.”[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


[1] Arthur Walkington Pink, The Arthur Pink Anthology (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2005).

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Growing into Maturity through Faith - Purity 1139


 Growing into Maturity through Faith - Purity 1139

Purity 1139 09/05/2023  Purity 1139 Podcast  

Purity 1139 on YouTube: 



Good morning,

Today’s photo of a pair of cascading waterfalls comes to us from Fred Dimmick who captured this photo of the Upper Falls during his visit to Turtletown Creek near Farner TN on Sunday.  

Well, It’s Two for Tuesday I guess and I thought that the two streams of Turtletown Creek’s Upper Falls was a good way to visually represent not only our lives falling into the possibly choppy waters of post Labor Day life but could also be used to represent the differences in capacities we can have in our emotional resilience and how fostering a robust relationship with the Lord and actually practicing the disciplines and doctrines of the Christian faith can help us when trials come crashing down into what were quiet waters of the status quo.   

Yup, Labor Day has come and gone, and my prayers go out to all the teachers, faculty, staff, and students who will be going “back to school” today and tomorrow. We are entering into a new school year, and I pray that the Lord will protect and guide our nation’s schools to equip our youth with the lessons they need to advance and mature.  

As a Christian and a student of life, I know that we are never too old to learn something new and the one of the biggest mistakes we can make is to think that we have learned all there is to know.  According to some sources, online knowledge doubles every 12 months, so if you haven’t learned anything new in the last year some would say you have been left behind. However, I think that what you learn is more important than how much learn. That doubling knowledge undoubtedly includes lessons on the latest technology, and I can tell you that what may be compelling, and “state of the art” today can be obsolete in no time. 

So, rather than trying to keep up with the Jones’ knowledge on technology, or the latest trends in politics or entertainment,  I believe that the most important things we can learn about are the things that will endure forever – the things of the kingdom of God and who God has made us to be.  

While God has made us all in His image when we are born, there is an expectation that we are to grow and mature in our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual capabilities and capacities.  The Bible’s stages of development have been said to progress from infant, child, adult, parent, and elder but unfortunately not everyone is progressing to the stage they are chronologically or situationally as God would intend.  Disturbances to our emotions or the suffering of trials often reveal how some of us have failed to fully mature resilience.   

Why can some people handle amazing levels of stress and others seem to break down or blow up over the smallest bump in the road?   

The answer is multifaceted and can taken in the various factors of one’s physical make-up, experience, intelligence, and upbringing but ultimately the way we respond to stress has a lot with our maturity and how that is reflected by our emotional resilience.  

Experience and Education play a big part in how we respond. If we never learned to do something or have never experienced it, we may not respond too well when an unknown challenge or trial comes our way.  But even if two people “know” the same things about something doesn’t necessarily mean they will be equal in how they apply their knowledge.  

For example, as Christians, we should all know hat we are to “forgive our debtors” as we have been forgiven.  The Christian Disciple’s “flow chart” for when we experience offense or abuse from others naturally indicates that we are to “forgive”.  Christ is our example for living the Christian life and  If Christ could forgive the people who crucified Him from the cross, we, as His followers, are to likewise forgive those who offend or abuse us.  

Christians all “know” that intellectually but the only ones who experience the peace that comes from forgiveness are the ones who actually practice it.   Results may vary among Christians of course, so how much more unlikely will it be for someone who doesn’t have a relationship with God to utilize the “remedy of forgiveness” if they never learned it or seen it practiced?  

The world’s view of injustice is to seek revenge or justice: to punish those who offend us – not to forgive them.  However, even though justice could be served, and offenders even executed for their crimes, justice does not always bring peace because the bitterness of unforgiveness can wage war on our souls long after the courts of justice and public opinion have closed our case.   

So the world’s ways may not bring us peace, but Jesus is the Prince of Peace and His ways are perfect and not only resolve our issues here on earth but guarantee peace in His kingdom with Him forevermore – But we have to know Him, the lessons He taught us, and be willing to practice and apply them to our lives to experience the peace He has for us.    

As I indicated before, we are never too old to learn and the most compelling things we can learn for our benefit – is the LORD and His ways. God is alive and we can know His presence and His peace when we engage with Him in prayer, study His word, and practice what He teaches, and we can increase our maturity and capacity to handle stress when we do so.   

So what do we do to grow in maturity and grow our capacity?  We practice what the bible says and renew our ways of thinking to align with God’s wisdom rather than man’s and we develop our relationship with God. For this is not a recipe for righteousness and resilience. Our Christian lives are to be robust relationship with God where we reflect His love and wisdom.  

I share the following scriptures to encourage us all in the ways of the Lord as taught by the Apostle Paul’s epistles.

Ephesians 4:25-32 (NKJV)
25  Therefore, putting away lying, "Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor," for we are members of one another.
26  "Be angry, and do not sin": do not let the sun go down on your wrath,
27  nor give place to the devil.
28  Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.
29  Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.
30  And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
31  Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.
32  And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you.

Philippians 4:8 (NKJV)
8  Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy--meditate on these things.

Romans 12:1-2 (NKJV)
1  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
2  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

1 Thessalonians 5:15-19 (NKJV)
15  See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all.
16  Rejoice always,
17  pray without ceasing,
18  in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
19  Do not quench the Spirit.

Don’t quench the Spirit, walk in the Spirit and the fruit of the Spirit will grow in your life giving you peace, joy, and love as well as patience and self-control to deal with the trials that will surely come our way.

The world can be a rough place after all, but Jesus has overcome the world and when we follow Him we can endure and overcome it too.

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For those who want more evidence for Christianity than my simple encouragements provide, I offer apologist, Frank Turek’s website, https://crossexamined.org/ .

Today’s Bible 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 Alcohol & Drug Abuse

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (NIV2011)
9  Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men
10  nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

Today’s verses fall under the eleventh point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Alcohol & Drug Abuse.

 11. No Drunkard shall enter heaven.

Today’s verse is the quintessential “drunken verses” of the Bible that caused me to rethink how I lived as a Christian and eventually sent me into repentance and recovery.  

When I heard these verses and was living in a lifestyle of habitual drunkenness, it made me angry. I had heard the gospel of forgiveness through faith in Jesus Christ and had finally given my life to God but in my ignorance I thought I could just carry on in my ways of darkness.  But when I heard this verse the Holy Spirit convicted me that my drunken lifestyle reflected the kingdom of darkness more than the kingdom of light and these chilling words that told me that this sin of drunkenness may indicate that my relationship with the Lord was not real, I had to make a decision.  

Was I a drunk or was I a Christian? 

If I was more comfortable being a drunk than being a Christian, it meant that I was probably deluding myself and was a false convert of the faith. 

Which did I love more booze or Jesus?  I knew the truth of the gospel and I know how close I came to going to hell and for me when I got this conviction to give my life completely to God. There was no other decision but to live as I should – to go into recovery and never come out again – to live a sober life and so I trusted the Lord to help me, and He did.  

I know these verses are offensive to those caught in these particular sins, but they should offend you and cause you to repent and to fully enter into your faith because you choose your sin over the Lord, you run the very risk of being consigned to hell for all eternity.  No sin is worth that. So turn to the Lord and live. He gives you the strength to overcome and put you on a path that is good, pure, and holy.

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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  The Holy Spirit By A.W. Pink.

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage you all to purchase A.W. Pink’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available online for $0.99 (https://www.amazon.com/Holy-Spirit-Arthur-Pink-Collection-ebook/dp/B008CM5292/ref=sr_1_3?crid=AHKAQOM39CTN&keywords=a.w.+pink+the+holy+spirit&qid=1684376225&sprefix=a.w.+pink+the+holy+spirit+%2Caps%2C96&sr=8-3) 

A.W. Pink’s The Holy Spirit

23 - The Spirit Witnessing

Objective and Subjective Witness

Now the Spirit is a Witness unto God’s people both objectively and subjectively: that is to say, He bears witness to them, and He also bears witness in them—such is His wondrous grace toward them. His witness to them is in and through and by means of the Scriptures. “By one offering He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified. Whereof the Holy Spirit also is a Witness to us” (Heb. 10:14, 15), which is explained in what immediately follows. A quotation is made from the Prophet Jeremiah, who had spoken as he was moved by the Holy Spirit (2 Pet. 1:21). The Lord declares of His people “their sins and iniquities will I remember no more” (Heb. 10:17). Whereupon the Holy Spirit points out, “Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin” (v. 18). Thus does He witness to us, through the Word, of the sufficiency and finality of Christ’s one offering.

But something more is still required by God’s needy people, for they are the subjects of many fears, and Satan frequently attacks their faith. It is not that they have any doubt about the Divine inspiration of the Scriptures, or the unerring reliability of everything recorded therein. Nor is it that they are disposed for a moment to call into question the infinite sufficiency and abiding efficacy of the sacrifice of Christ. No—that which occasions them such deep concern is, whether they have a saving interest therein. They are aware that there is a faith (such as the demons have—James 2:19) which obtains no salvation. They perceive that the faith of which many empty professors boast so loudly is not evidenced by their works. And they discover so much in themselves that appears to be altogether incompatible with their being new creatures in Christ, until they often fear their own conversion was but a delusion after all.

When an honest soul contemplates the amazing greatness of the honor and the stupendousness of the relation of regarding itself as a joint-heir with Christ, it is startled and staggered. What, me a child of God! God my Father! Who am Ito be thus exalted into the Divine favor? Surely it cannot be so. When I consider my fearful sinfulness and unworthiness, the awful depravity of my heart, the carnality of my mind, such rebellion of will, so prone to evil every moment, and such glaring flaws in all I undertake—surely I cannot have been made a partaker of the Divine nature. It seems impossible; and Satan is ever ready to assure me that I am not God’s child. If the reader be a stranger to such tormenting fears, we sincerely pity him. But if his experience tallies with what we have just described, he will see how indispensable it is that the Holy Spirit should hear witness to him within.

But there are some who say that it is a sin for the Christian to question his acceptance with God because he is still so depraved, or to doubt his salvation because he can perceive little or no holiness within. They say that such doubting is to call God’s Truth and faithfulness into question, for He has assured us of His love and His readiness to save all who believe in His Son. They affirm it is not our duty to examine our hearts, that we shall never obtain any assurance by so doing; that we must look to Christ alone, and rest on His naked Word. But does not Scripture say, “For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world” (2 Cor. 1:12)? And again we are told, “Let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him” (1 John 3:18, 19).[1]

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

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

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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)

For those who require the assistance of a Deeper Walk International Prayer Minister to experience healing or your freedom in Christ, I highly recommend Christy Edge’s Life on the Edge Freedom Prayer Ministry. You can schedule a session by going to : https://cedge216.wixsite.com/life-on-the-edge     

“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


[1] Arthur Walkington Pink, The Holy Spirit (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, n.d.).