Showing posts with label 2 Thessalonians. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2 Thessalonians. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Pursuing the “Better Things” God Has for You - Purity 1226

Pursuing the “Better Things” God Has for You - Purity 1226

Purity 1226 12/20/2023 Purity 1226 Podcast

Purity 1226 on YouTube:

Good morning,

Today’s photo of a rusty tin roof, a truckload of missionaries, and a spectacular view of the mountains near Jocotan Guatemala comes to us from July of 2019 and an unknown Rock Solid Missions Team Member who took a moment to capture the scenery while waiting for their fellow team members to join them before they took on the mission of rebuilding a church from the ground up.  

Well, It’s Wednesday, and I went back in time and into the depths of my photo archive to liberate this photo because of its simple scenic beauty, to remind us of the better things we could be doing, and to visually represent our arrival at another midweek summit – so happy hump day!

“Wednesdays are a long day for me.” is something someone told me when they were considering joining the Celebrate Freedom Growth Group and believe me, I get it – and after leading the group since May – I know how true that statement is, but deciding to lead the recovery/discipleship group at Starpoint Church is one of the “better things” I could choose to do in 2023 and now that we are nearing the end of the year it is without a doubt one of the best decisions that I made for the year. 

Leading Celebrate Freedom caused me to take on my food addiction in a way that probably wouldn’t have happened under any other circumstances.  When you struggle with something continually, for all of your life, it is difficult imagining being free from it. Although I had seasons of progress of weight loss and physical health, my tendency to do the “wrong thing” was still there and I didn’t change the way I felt and thought about food in my mind or in my “heart” of hearts.  Like the “dry drunk” who is sober but who still proclaims his love for all things boozy, I could abstain from eating foods that kept me obese for a time but because I still believed those sugar or carb or calorie laden foods were “good food” or “yummy” it was only a matter of time before their siren call would lead me back to indulge in their “goodness” and my addictive tendencies would take over and I would go “mindless” and lose all semblance of self-control and the awareness of what my over eating was doing.  

But this year, because I had a goal of getting healthy, and losing enough weight to get off my CPAP sleep apnea machine, I slowly became more aware of how my “weekend” cheat days were sabotaging my progress. And after I was leading the Celebrate Freedom Growth Group for a few months, I was highly convicted over my “cheat weekends” – binge eating – and decided to “stop struggling” with my food addiction and to actually treat it like an addiction.  I made Scott Salvadore my “food addiction sponsor” and started monitoring everything I ate with the My Fitness Pal App, to keep me within my “macro limits” that the Vshred program recommends, and I would continue to do the Vshred workouts – that my cheat days were sabotaging. 

And the rest is physical fitness history, the weight has come off, I am in the best physical shape of my life, and last night I did the “sleep study” to try to get off the CPAP machine for good.  I am praying for good results, which brings up another key to this victory – my faith – prayer = and the power of the Holy Spirit to change hearts and minds.

Nearly every morning I pray a “stronghold buster” geared toward stopping the insanity of my food addiction and somewhere along the line this year I changed the concluding “announcement” or “proclamation” part of the prayer to say:

“I choose to believe the truth that these foods (candy, popcorn, chips, cake, ice cream, cookies, and soda) and overeating is a trap of the enemy and sabotage my health goals, just like alcohol, I must cease indulging in these foods and overeating all together”.    

Do you hear that? “must cease indulging in these foods and overeating altogether”.   

That prayerful proclamation has been said continually and since I started praying it – with the exceptions of a couple of slip-ups and holiday allowances, I have ceased in indulging in those foods and overeating altogether.  For the most part that prayer has been answered and continues to be answered and as I have prayed it I have seen the way I think and feel about those foods and overeating change too.  I don’t see those foods as “good foods” anymore – I see them as costly in terms of calories and carbs. I see them as “not worth it” and I see them as enemies to my health and I see them as something dangerous as they have caused me to suffer from obesity for most of my life.   I now value my physical health and the person I have become more than the pleasure that these foods and overeating can provide.  I see the lie behind “comfort food” and “couch potato- snacking” – it’s a lie the enemy loves to tell because it makes us docile, inactive, depressed, angry, and shamed, and it literally weighs us down and kills us.  

Perhaps the biggest key in the battle of the bulge is seeing the truth of what these foods and overeating do to us – physically, emotionally, and spiritually and choosing to be ruthless in living by the truth of putting limits on what and how much we eat and doing the hard but life-giving work of exercise. 

So even though my “Wednesdays are long for me”, I am SO GLAD that I chose to serve the body of Christ with the Celebrate Freedom Growth Group because it just happened to not only fulfill my purpose in God’s kingdom as an advocate for Christian living, good mental health, and freedom from addictions, it also was the means to a major breakthrough and experiencing new levels of freedom, victory, and joy! 

So I get it hump days can be busy, heck every day can be busy, but the Lord has things out there – better things – for you to do with your life. What those things may be are for you and the Lord to talk about.

It could be getting free of your hurt, habits, or hang-ups – if so you are invited to come to the Celebrate Freedom Growth Group at Starpoint Church or you can check out tonight’s lesson on YouTube ( )

Or it could be signing up for a mission trip, taking a class, reading a book, getting physically fit, or volunteering to serve your local church or in your local community. Whatever it is, I recommend you consider pursuing and doing the “better things” that God has for you because even if they might be a challenge, if the Lord is calling you to “go there”, you can be sure that it will be for good.  

So as we draw ever closer to Christmas – let’s rejoice over the times of the season and all the “better things” that the Lord has done for you and will do for you when you keep walking and talking with God!


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

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. ( )

This morning’s meditation verse comes from the section on Church Discipline.

2 Thessalonians 3:14 (NASB)
14  If anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of that person and do not associate with him, so that he will be put to shame.

Today’s verse falls under the ninth point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Church Discipline

9. Excommunication is sometimes necessary.

Today’s verse recommends the use of “healthy shame” to bring the disobedient back into the fold of the body of Christ.  

“Toxic shame” is telling someone they are “no good” and beyond hope, that they are evil, unable to change, or just “bad”.    Healthy shame on the other hand brings conviction and sends the message that “Our people don’t do that. You know better, so don’t do that, and be the person God made you to be. Do what is right.”  

I continually go back to Genesis on this point because it’s right there in the beginning.

Genesis 4:6-7 (NLT2) says
6  “Why are you so angry?” the LORD asked Cain. “Why do you look so dejected?
7  You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.”

Before the first murder, before the law, before Jesus, God tells Cain to simply do “what is right” and warns him that sin will rule over him if he gives in.  

So today’s verse tells us to take those who are living in sin, disobedient to God, to leave the fellowship of the church, to think about what they have done, and to repent in order to be welcomed back into the fellowship of the church.

So when doesn’t do what is right, there should be consequences to encourage them to be the person God created them to be – to do what’s right. 

Too often we either say nothing or use toxic shame when we encounter people who have fallen into sin.  We have the hard task of walking in between – to point out the sin as wrong and to ask people to be the people God made them to be with love but to invite them to leave the fellowship of the saints until they do.  That’s the Bible and we should follow it.


As always, I invite all to go to 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 “God is in the Manger- Reflections on Advent and Christmas” – By Dietrich Bonhoeffer.   

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

God is in the Manger – Dietrich Bonhoeffer



God Becomes Human

God becomes human, really human. While we endeavor to grow out of our humanity, to leave our human nature behind us, God becomes human, and we must recognize that God wants us also to become human—really human. Whereas we distinguish between the godly and the godless, the good and the evil, the noble and the common, God loves real human beings without distinction.… God takes the side of real human beings and the real world against all their accusers.… But it’s not enough to say that God takes care of human beings. This sentence rests on something infinitely deeper and more impenetrable, namely, that in the conception and birth of Jesus Christ, God took on humanity in bodily fashion. God raised his love for human beings above every reproach of falsehood and doubt and uncertainty by himself entering into the life of human beings as a human being, by bodily taking upon himself and bearing the nature, essence, guilt, and suffering of human beings. Out of love for human beings, God becomes a human being. He does not seek out the most perfect human being in order to unite with that person. Rather, he takes on human nature as it is.

This is about the birth of a child, not of the astonishing work of a strong man, not of the bold discovery of a wise man, not of the pious work of a saint. It really is beyond all our understanding: the birth of a child shall bring about the great change, shall bring to all mankind salvation and deliverance.

“The Government upon the Shoulders of a Child,” Christmas 1940

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

John 1:1–5[1]

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

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

at, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

( The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and 

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 YouTube Channel:

Email me at 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 ( ),  her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock ( ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (

“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] Dietrich Bonhoeffer, God Is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas, ed. Jana Riess, trans. O. C. Dean Jr., First edition. (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2010), 49–51.

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

What Remains Matters – A Simple Mission of Love – Purity 746


What Remains Matters – A Simple Mission of Love – Purity 746

Purity 746 06/01/2022  Purity 746 Podcast

Good morning,

Today’s photo of the geological wonder known as The Sugar Loaf at sunset comes to us from Dave Baun Photography ( as Dave visited the Hallett Cove Conservation Park in Adelaide South Australia on May 27th.  The Sugarloaf, named for its resemblance to a mass of hard refined sugar is said to have been shaped due to wind and erosion. The red layer is made of boulders and sediment deposited on the bottom of an ancient glacial meltwater lake. When the lake was drained, white sand blew over it and settled

Well, it’s Wednesday again and I couldn’t think of a better photo to represent “hump day” and the process of gradual change than this picture of the Sugar Loaf. Even though some sources say it took Sugar Loaf 280 million years to form from the gradual shaping of wind and water, the beauty of Sugar Loaf lies not in what was lost but in what endured the test of time and remained.  As I often say regarding our journey of life, it is not where you start that matters but where you finish that will define who you are and what you stand for. 

And like the Sugar Loaf, it won’t matter what was lost over the years and through the winds of change, but what will matter is what remains.  

Yesterday, one of my jobs sent me to a senior couple who had been married for 70 years! The husband, a WWII veteran who had enlisted in the Marine Corp at 17 years old, still had a strong hand shake at 97, and his wife of 90 years was still proud of and in love with her hero.  Why these two were still in such good health at such an advanced age is anyone’s guess, but I would hypothesize that it could have something to do with their faith, as I happen to notice several pieces of tangible evidence of their devotion to Jesus Christ in their home.

Proverbs 16:31 (NLT2) says
31  Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained by living a godly life.  


And this couple’s kindness and love for one another would reflect Christ’s statement about his disciples:


John 13:35 (NKJV)
35  By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."


This simple example of love and a prolonged commitment to God and one another inspires me for the years ahead for my beloved wife and I.  


In my journey of faith over the last twelve years , I have continuously sought the Lord and His will for my life and have always imagined that my journey would lead me to some epic mission or some great work of ministry, and I realize now that I have found it as my marriage to TammyLyn is something that Lord has provided me with that gives me love, meaning, and purpose. 


Ephesians 5:25-33 (NKJV) says
25  Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,
26  that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,
27  that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.
28  So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself.
29  For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.
30  For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones.
31  "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh."
32  This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
33  Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.  


As I was saved and delivered from my personal darkness and chose to be faithful to the calling of following the Lord’s will for my life and decided to live according to God’s word, I found the peace, love, and joy of the Lord.  

But let’s keep it real when you decided to live a lifestyle of a Christian disciple, the rest of the world and even other “Christians”, can think you have gone off the deep end. Living according to Biblical Christianity with discernment and balance is not common at all and the convictions and moral discipline it requires separates you from the rest of society as there are many things that are acceptable in our society today that Christians really shouldn’t do, at all. 


My conviction to remain sexually pure, unless I was married, after my divorce was challenging, especially considering I wasn’t sure I would ever get married again! So when I decided to remain celibate unless married, I was fully prepared to go through the rest of my life without sex, of any kind, as the Bible convicted me that all sex outside of marriage was sin and bondage to the flesh.  


But amazingly, sexual purity was possible and a great relief once I had a degree of freedom in it.   So, I was okay.  In fact, despite the occasional temptations to consider going back to my old ways, I was great.


Anyway, the point is not that wow, I get to have sex again.  The point is that I never thought that I would enjoy the love and intimacy of a Christian marriage.  It seemed to be something that just was not going to be in the offering for me because frankly, there are some rather worldly women calling themselves Christians, and my level of commitment to follow the Lord was not exactly lining the ladies up at my doorstep.  


But the Lord used my podcast, to introduce me to TammyLyn and in less than a years time we became friends, fell in love, and were married with our faith and the Lord at the center of our marriage.  


So I take those verses in Ephesians 5 about loving my wife like Jesus loved the church as my continual mission and purpose for the rest of my life.  I don’t know if TammyLyn and I will live to be 97 and 90 like the couple I saw yesterday, but if we do, I plan on honoring my wedding vows and endeavoring to love my wife like Jesus loved the church.  


I think one of the great problems of the Christian faith in America is the lack of understanding and commitment people have when it comes to knowing what the Bible says and applying its wisdom to our lives. Christ’s great commandments would have us love God with all our hearts, souls, and minds and to love our neighbors as ourselves.  


So God comes first. Love Him by getting to know who He is, by seeking His presence, and by knowing and living by what His word says. 


Then, if you are married, you first neighbor is your spouse! So love them sacrificially and make sure that you are both in tune with that first commandment, to keep God at the center of your relationship to maintain the proper balance. If you are both accountable to follow the Lord, neither one of you will seek to dominate or abuse the other and your love will be bult on mutual love, trust, and service to one another.   


I know I am only at the 5 month mark of my marriage with TammyLyn, but my marriage to her represents part of God’s plan for my life and I plan on being faithful to follow The Lord’s direction and to let Him live in the center of our marriage to guide us in loving one another and to show His love to everyone we encounter.  





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

This morning’s meditation verse is:

2 Thessalonians 1:6 (NLT2)
6  In his justice he will pay back those who persecute you.

Today’s Bible verse reminds us that God is sovereign, and no one is free of the consequences of His judgement and that those who persecute Christians will be paid back.     

As Creator, God sets the standards for what is right and wrong behaviorally but in truth our behaviors really are a reflection of whether or not we understand and respect God’s authority, as Creator and Righteous Judge of the universe.

If we believe the word of God is true and Jesus is who He said He is we will put our faith in Him as Lord and Savior and then seek to follow what the Lord instructs in His word.  

But as much as this world like to profess tolerance, those who deny the truth of God’s word are often not content to just “live and let live” and will actively mock, deride, condemn, and persecute Christians for what they believe.   

Darkness has no place in the Light and the darkness of men’s hearts will cause them to persecute Christians.  But today’s verse assures us that those who persecute Christians will be repaid.  

Even if they deny God’s existence, they are still subject to His law and His judgement.  The only good God has to be a just God and the Bible speaks of the how the wicked will be punished for their sins.   

We are to endure persecution and love our enemies in hopes that they will put their faith in Jesus because we know that we were worthy of God’s wrath too but we found mercy and grace. As much as we can be relieved that justice will be done, we should seek to save that which is lost while there is still hope that they can see the light and leave their darkness behind.




As always, I invite all to go to 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 John Piper’s “Don’t Waste Your Life”.  

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase John Pipers’ books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available on many websites for less than $5.00.

If You Come With No Interest or Knowledge

Not everybody comes to this chapter with a clear and driving passion for the glory of Christ among the unreached peoples of the world. Most of us are pretty parochial and ethnocentric and narrow, and even sometimes self-centered and racist, in our way of life. We hardly ever even think about the global, multinational, multiethnic, multi-linguistic cause of God, and what God’s passion and purposes are for Guinea and Indonesia and Tanzania and Thailand and Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan and Turkey and Czechoslovakia and China and Siberia and Japan and Cameroon and Myanmar and the Somali or the Hmong or the Dakota or the Ojibwa of Minnesota.

So I don’t assume that you come to this chapter with a clear and resounding interest in the really great news of the world—which the media never report—namely, the spread of Christian truth and faith among the peoples of the world on the way to a God-wrought consummation that will make all of world history look like what it really is—a brief prelude to the everlasting, all-glorious kingdom of Christ. I don’t assume you come with your heart enthralled with God’s great global purpose. So I simply want to let God tell you, in his own words, about his priorities.

All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations shall worship before you. For kingship belongs to the Lord, and he rules over the nations. (Psalm 22:27–28)

Then there are Old Testament prayers:

Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! Let the nations be glad and sing for joy. (Psalm 67:3–4)

Then there are Old Testament commands:

Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples! … Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns.” (Psalm 96:3, 10)

Then there is the great New Testament Commission from the risen Christ:

Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18–20)

Then there is the apostle Paul’s great life of utter dedication to this mission:

I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else’s foundation, but as it is written, “Those who have never been told of him will see, and those who have never heard will understand.” (Romans 15:20–21)

Then there is the magnificent picture of the final outcome of God’s purposes in history:

And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you [O Christ] to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.” (Revelation 5:9–10)

A Summary Statement of Faith on Missions

From these and many other Scriptures, I have been impelled over the years to think and preach and write about Christ’s great global purpose called missions. Several years ago the elders of our church drafted a statement of faith to guide us in the education of our apprentices and in the selection of new elders. Paragraph 13 of that document summarizes our sense of what missions is:

We believe that the commission given by the Lord Jesus to make disciples of all nations is binding on His Church to the end of the age. This task is to proclaim the Gospel to every tribe and tongue and people and nation, baptizing them, teaching them the words and ways of the Lord, and gathering them into churches able to fulfill their Christian calling among their own people. The ultimate aim of world missions is that God would create, by His Word, worshippers who glorify His name through glad-hearted faith and obedience. Missions exists because worship doesn’t. When this age is over, and the countless millions of the redeemed fall on their faces before the throne of God, missions will be no more. It is a temporary necessity. But worship abides forever. Worship, therefore, is the fuel and the goal of missions.

Even Civilians Love to Follow the Triumphs on the Front Lines

This is the big picture. Christ came and died and rose again in order to gather a joyful, countless company for his name from all the peoples of the world. This is what every Christian should dream about. I say this carefully, in view of what I wrote in Chapter 8 about secular vocations. It is crucial that millions of Christians fulfill their life calling in secular jobs, just as it is crucial that during wartime the entire fabric of life and culture not unravel. But during wartime, even the millions of civilians love to get news from the front lines. They love to hear of the triumphs of the troops. They dream about the day when war will be no more. So it is with Christians. All of us should dream about this. We should love to hear how the advance of King Jesus is faring. We should love to hear of gospel triumphs as Christ plants his church among peoples held for centuries by alien powers of darkness.

This is God’s design in world history—that people from all nations and tribes and languages come to worship and treasure Christ above all things. Or as Paul put it in Romans 15:9, “that the Gentiles [all the peoples] might glorify God for his mercy.” There can be no weary resignation, no cowardly retreat, and no merciless contentment among Christ’s people while he is disowned among thousands of unreached peoples. Every Christian (who loves people and honors Christ) must care about this.[1]

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

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

at, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

( The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and 

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 You Tube Channel:

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

My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock ( ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

[1] John Piper, Don’t Waste Your Life (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2003), 159–163.

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Immediately Answer the Call and “Get ‘er Done” - Purity 620

 Immediately Answer the Call and “Get ‘er Done” -  Purity 620

Purity 620 01/05/2022  Purity 620 Podcast

Good morning, 

Today’s photo of a sliver of a crescent moon and the fading blues and pinks of sunset over the Hudson River comes to us from yours truly as I was blessed by this sight upon arriving home last evening.   The sunsets in our area of upstate NY have been amazing the last two evenings and the fact that we get to enjoy these sights periodically should fill us with wonder and the urge to praise and thank the Lord for all that He provides.  

It’s Wednesday and as we make it to the midweek point and seek to get over the hump, I would encourage you to face the problems that surround you and if you can deal with them, immediately.  

It’s not always easy but I like to practice what I preach and sometimes you are put to the test when your day just begins.  This morning, I was greeted with a problem upon waking.  As I slept my children messaged me with the news that they are concerned that there is a wasp’s nest somewhere in our home as they have both been stung by wasp and seen a total of 5 wasps in our home in the past month. 

While part of me felt tempted to text back a pithy reply like “Deal with it” or with an exasperated question like “What do want me to do about it?”, I instead took their concerns seriously and used part of my morning to examine the woodwork in the basement to see if I could see any signs of wasp infestation.  So armed with sealing compound, bee spray, and a flashlight, I went about the task of trying to address this problem.  

If nothing else I sealed up a few holes where cold air was coming in but in truth I did discover one hole that seemed new which received a healthy dose of bee spray in addition to a sealing compound plug.  So I advised my kids via messenger of my efforts and asked them to remain diligent in reporting any future instances of wasp activity.  

This morning’s task brings to mind my philosophy on dealing with problems that I have arrived at after years of suffering the consequences of procrastinating (which is just word that means doing nothing), denying a problem exists, or just hoping a problem will go away on its own.  My philosophy is to address and try to solve problems as soon as possible as they arise, as in immediately.

While waiting on the Lord will be absolutely necessary as part of our faith walk, God created man to “tend to the Garden” and be stewards of the things that He has entrusted us with.  So if something goes wrong and the problem needs to be addressed or a task needs to be performed, I have learned that it is best if we do so immediately.  

Putting things off for another time may be wise in some instances, as we can discern what the situations at hand require, but I know that I have a penchant for forgetting things so if I can, I deal with problems as they come because I have learned that in this world broken by sin, another problem or task to be done is right around the corner. 

So “get ‘er done and get ‘er done now” is sort of my problem solving philosophy of life and actually is the disposition that we are to take when walking in the Spirit.  When a problem arises or a call from the Lord comes, we should take action immediately.  

I did a quick word search of immediately at and found that many of the uses of immediately either describe people taking action or people being miraculously healed.  

Matthew 4:19-20 (NKJV)
19  Then He said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men."
20  They immediately left their nets and followed Him.

Acts 16:10 (NKJV) says
10  Now after he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them.


Immediately, they left their nets! Immediately, they sought to go!  Move it. Move it.  


Our lives of walking in the Spirit are directed by the Holy Spirit, so if we get an intuition to do something that is out of the ordinary and seems to be good, I have learned to obey “the call” immediately.   I have been “directed by the Spirit” to pray for people, to do good deeds, perform work, and to make decisions that I later wondered where I got the wisdom from and in every instance it has resulted in good and left me with no regrets.   

As for the appearance of immediately in the Bible regarding the healing, scripture indicates that God heals miraculously in an instant.  If a healing miracle is to be claimed today, it should only be applied only to instances where the person received immediate, complete healing. 

Before you say I don’t believe in miracles because of that strict classification drawn from scripture, I would say that I believe that all healing comes from God, miraculous or otherwise as God also heals through His providence.

As Creator and Sustainer of all things and Sovereign King over His creation, the Lord sets the conditions and grants healing providentially through non-miraculous means.  Why does one treatment work for one person and not the other? Why do so people get sick and die and others get sick and recover?  God’s will, grace, mercy, and providence all play a hand in our experience in ways we can’t understand or direct.  His will, rather than our will, will be done.    

But God does set those conditions in our world that we can learn from and adhere to be healed.  We can take steps to live a healthy lifestyle and deal with problems immediately that will cause stress or suffering if they are not addressed. The “healing” that we can receive is the peace we can have knowing that we have fulfilled our roles as stewards over what we have been given and then trust the Lord to help us knowing that He is faithful to do what is right.   

We can’t control everything, and we can’t demand that the Lord will bless us as we wish, but we can be faithful to answer His call on our lives and to be responsible stewards over what we have received.  

Walking in the Spirit is supposed to be a dynamic interaction with the Lord in which we are actively seeking His presence, wisdom, guidance, and strength as we try to discern His will for our lives and skillfully deal with the situations that arise in our lives in a way that solves problems and represents Him on the earth.   

So rather than putting off to tomorrow what you could do today, consider doing it immediately.  Sometimes we can cultivate the fruit of the Spirit of peace and joy by being responsible and taking action to maintain, to fix, or to perform the things that God has given us in our lives.  So keep walking and talking with God, and when you do keep your eyes open to be aware of what situations need to be dealt with and when you should take care of them. And don’t be surprised, if the Lord encourages you to do them immediately. 

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

This morning’s meditation verse is:

2 Thessalonians 3:3 (NLT2)
3  But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one.

Today’s verse speaks of the reality of the Lord’s care and the clear and present danger of the enemy.  

One of the popular worship songs being played currently is “Promises” by Maverick City Music. The chorus of that song resounds with the declaration of “Great is Your faithfulness to me” speaking of God’s care, guidance, and presence in our lives echoing today’s verse’s simple truth that the Lord is faithful and He will strengthen us and protect us from the evil one.  

The evil one is Satan, the enemy who lives to steal, kill, and destroy.  His tactics include deception, accusation, condemnation, and temptation to lead us astray. He can also influence others to do his will and harm us.  

So we not only have to be steadfast to monitor what is going in our thoughts and what we are putting before our eyes that may lead us into temptation, but we must also be wise and discerning when it comes to the company we keep.   

The implication of today’s verse is that when we follow the Lord and His ways for our lives we will receive His strength and His protection.  That protection and strength doesn’t only have to come in some miraculous or providential way.  By following the Lord and living according to what the Word of God says, we are shielded and armed for battle to resist and defeat the enemy.   

The Lord provides to those who ask, seek, and knock.  So seek the Lord by faithfully applying His word to your life and you will be strengthened and be guarded from the attacks of the evil one.  


As always, I invite all to go to 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 to share from Dr. Neil Anderson’s . “Restored: Experience Life with Jesus”. Today, we continue sharing from Chapter 3.   


As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Dr. Neil Anderson’s books for your own private study and to support his work.


In Step One you dealt with counterfeit guidance. In Step Two you will determine if you have been deceived. Scripture teaches that Christians can fall away from the faith by paying attention to deceiving spirits.64 We can also be deceived by the world, deceive ourselves, and wrongly defend ourselves. We need God’s help to determine whether deception has occurred, so ask for God’s guidance as follows:

Dear Heavenly Father,

You are the truth, and I desire to live by faith according to Your truth. The truth will set me free, but in many ways I have been deceived by the father of lies, the philosophies of this fallen world, and I have deceived myself. I choose to walk in the light, knowing that You love and accept me just as I am. As I consider areas of possible deception, I invite the Spirit of truth to guide me into all truth. Please protect me from all deception as You “search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way” (Psalm 139:23, 24).

In the name of Jesus I pray.


Prayerfully consider the lists in the three exercises below, using the prayers at the end of each exercise in order to confess any ways you have given in to deception or wrongly defended yourself. You cannot instantly renew your mind, but the process will never get started without acknowledging mental strongholds or defense mechanisms, which are sometimes called mental flesh patterns.

Ways you can be deceived by the world:

·       Believing that acquiring money and things will bring lasting happiness. (Matthew 13:22; 1 Timothy 6:10)

·       Believing that excessive food and alcohol can relieve my stress and make me happy. (Proverbs 23:19-21)

·       Believing that an attractive body and personality will get me what I need. (Proverbs 31:10; 1 Peter 3:3, 4)

·       Believing that gratifying sexual lust will bring lasting satisfaction. (Ephesians 4:22; 1 Peter 2:11)

·       Believing that I can sin and get away without any negative consequences. (Hebrews 3:12, 13)

·       Believing that I need more than what God has given me in Christ. (2 Corinthians 11:2-4, 13-15)

·       Believing that I can do whatever I want and no one can touch me. (Proverbs 16:18; Obadiah 3; 1 Peter 5:5)

·       Believing that unrighteous people who refuse to accept Christ go to heaven anyway. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

·       Believing that I can associate with bad company and not become corrupted. (1 Corinthians 15:33, 34)

·       Believing that I can read, see, or listen to anything and not be corrupted. (Proverbs 4:23-27; Matthew 5:28)

·       Believing that there are no consequences on earth for my sin. (Galatians 6:7, 8)

·       Believing that I must gain the approval of certain people in order to be happy. (Galatians 1:10)

·       Believing that I must measure up to certain standards in order to feel good about myself. (Galatians 3:2, 3; 5:1)

Lord Jesus, I confess that I have been deceived by (confess the items you checked above). I thank You for Your forgiveness, and I commit myself to believe only Your truth. In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

Ways to deceive yourself:

·       Hearing God’s Word but not doing what it says. (James 1:22)

·       Saying I have no sin. (1 John 1:8)

·       Thinking I am something I’m really not. (Galatians 6:3)

·       Thinking I am wise in this worldly age. (1 Corinthians 3:18, 19)

·       Thinking I can be truly religious but not bridle my tongue. (James 1:26)

·       Thinking that God is the source of my problems. (Lamentations 3)

·       Thinking I can live my life without the help of anyone else. (1 Corinthians 12:14-20)

Lord Jesus, I confess that I have deceived myself by (confess the items checked above). Thank You for Your forgiveness. I commit myself to believe only Your truth. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

·       Ways to wrongly defend yourself:

·       Denial of reality conscious or unconscious

·       Fantasy (escaping reality by daydreaming, TV, movies, music, computer, or video games, drugs, alcohol)

·       Emotional insulation (withdrawing from people or keeping people at a distance to avoid rejection)

·       Regression (reverting back to less threatening times)

·       Displaced anger (taking out frustrations on innocent people)

·       Projection (attributing to another what you find unacceptable in yourself)

·       Rationalization (making excuses for my own poor behavior)

·       Lying (protecting self through falsehoods)

·       Blaming myself (when not responsible) and others

·       Hypocrisy (presenting a false image)

Lord Jesus, I confess that I have wrongly defended myself by (confess the items checked above). Thank You for Your forgiveness. I trust You to defend and protect me. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

The wrong ways we have employed to shield ourselves from pain and rejection are often deeply engrained in our lives. You may need additional discipling or counseling to learn how to allow Christ to be your rock, fortress, deliverer, and refuge. The more you learn how loving, powerful, and protective God is, the more you will trust Him. The more you realize His complete acceptance of you in Christ, the more you’ll be released to be open, honest, and vulnerable (in a healthy way) before God and others.

The New Age movement has twisted the concept of faith by teaching that we make something true by believing it. That is false. We cannot create reality with our minds; only God can bring something out of nothing into existence. Our responsibility is to face reality and choose to believe what God says is true. True biblical faith, therefore, is choosing to believe and act upon what is true, because God has said it is true, and He is the Truth. Faith is something you decide to do, not something you feel like doing. Believing something doesn’t make it true; it’s already true, therefore we choose to believe it! Truth is not conditioned by whether we choose to believe it or not.

Everybody lives by faith. The only difference between Christian faith and non-Christian faith is the object of our faith. If the object of our faith is not trustworthy, then no amount of believing will change that. That’s why our faith must be grounded on the solid rock of God’s perfect, unchanging character and the truth of His word. For two thousand years Christians have known the importance of verbally and publicly declaring truth. Read aloud the following Statements of Truth, and carefully consider what you are professing. You may find it helpful to read the words aloud daily for several weeks, which will help renew your mind to the truth.

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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship