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

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

We Made IT and We are Halfway There! - Purity 1169

We Made IT and We are Halfway There! - Purity 1169

Purity 1169 10/11/2023 Purity 1169 Podcast

Purity 1169 on YouTube:



Good morning,

Today’s photo of the sun shining above a “mountain range of clouds” high above the green grass farmlands off of Waite Rd in Easton NY comes to us from yours truly as I was positively mesmerized by the beauty of the heavens above and captured this scene on Monday.  

While today’s photo doesn’t contain any actual mountains to visually represent our arrival to another midweek summit, I hope you will allow this “peak” experience from my day off encourage you that we are all “halfway there” in terms of being right where God wants us to be each morning and “making it all the way” is just a matter of making the decision to agree with God and to follow where He leads.  

As much as our “hump day” reminders point to the halfway point of our work week and encourage us to look ahead to the supposedly “better days” of the weekend, I hope to point out that one day is not necessarily better than another and that the time to find joy and fulfillment in life is RIGHT NOW.   

IN Matthew 6:34 (NLT2) , Jesus said:
34  “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

Basically, Jesus was encouraging us to trust the Lord, to live one day at a time, and to be focused on RIGHT NOW – today and its challenges – rather than focusing too much on the future.  When we don’t worry about the future too much,  and focus on the things we need to take care of today, we can find peace and contentment and maybe even joy, knowing we have dealt with today’s troubles to the best of our abilities.  We do all we can and leave the rest up to the Lord and even though we may not solve every problem in a single day, we can rest easy knowing we did what we could.  

With this orientation with life – of living in the Spirit - being responsible and living in God’s presence- we can experience a life a peace and joy everyday, regardless of circumstances.  When we draw close to God with our daily spiritual practices of Bible study, prayer, and gratitude to set the foundation for our day, we can face those “troubles for today” with confidence and appreciate our lives that have become brand new because of our relationship with God.   

I go back to my day job today and while I have no idea what “troubles” I will face, I go into them knowing that I will do the best I can, fix what I can fix, and pass along the troubles that I can’t fix to those who can – knowing that my job performance will not define who I am or determine my value- because I know God does that.  He defines me and through the revelation of the truth of Jesus as Lord and Savior He has determined that I am valuable, again regardless of my performance, and has welcome me into His family and kingdom, where I will live with Him forever.   In Christ, my past is forgiven, my new life is now, and my peace and my hope are forever.

The Lord has proven Himself to be loving, trustworthy, and good and rather than looking ahead too much, I can rest easy knowing that “I’m all the way there” in who I am supposed to be because I have eternal life in Christ Jesus and can be excited about today and tomorrow because there is more to know and to grow into when I continue to live with Him.

In Christ, paradoxically we have everything we need – we have accomplished all we need to accomplish – but at the same time there is more to know, more to experience, and more to see and become as we walk with Jesus and seek to follow in His ways.

We just have to remember what we have in Christ and live accordingly, and we can rest in the peace that comes from knowing we have “made it” in one sense and we are only “halfway there” to experiencing even more of what the Lord has in store for us.  So, let’s focus on right now and keep on walking and talking with God to move past the troubles of today with a sense of peace and joy knowing that we live in God’s love.

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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 Assurance of Salvation.

2 Timothy 1:12 (NASB)
12  For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.

Today’s verse fall under the fifth point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Assurance of Salvation.

 5.  Paul had assurance of eternal life.

 

Today’s verse speaks of the assurance we can have when we know “WHOM” we have believed and can rest knowing that He will protect what we have entrusted Him with – our very lives.   

 

Here Paul talks about the personal relationship with God.  Remember, Paul saw the Resurrected Christ – was blinded, healed, and was called into seclusion for some time to learn directly from the Lord before he was sent out to share the gospel, build churches, and suffer persecution for proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ and the kingdom of God.

 

While Pual may have wondered what would happen next during his tumultuous life of evangelizing the world, Paul didn’t have any doubts about WHOM he believed.  To echo my mentor, Past Bob Costello’s comments about his salvation experience, Paul “met God” and when you know Him – you know that His Word is true and that He has brought you from death to life.  

 

Yesterday, I offered counsel to a brother in Christ about his assurance of salvation. Like many Christians, my friend didn’t have confidence regarding whether or not he would go to heaven if he were to die tonight. So I led him through the first section of the Steps to Freedom in Christ to show him through scripture how he has been saved by grace and through his faith in Jesus.  My friend was relieved as I encouraged him to understand and to believe that God had brought Him into His kingdom the moment he put his faith in Jesus.  I explained that God has made Himself known to my friend by showing him the truth about Jesus and that he could “know God more” by reading His word and by going into His presence through prayer.   

 

Knowing God personally changes everything. When we understand WHOM we have believed, we can have confidence that the all-powerful, all-knowing, sovereign Lord of all creation will protect the lives that He gave us and that we have trusted Him to save.

 

 

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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

29 -The Spirit Confirming

The Holy Spirit as “Earnest”

That which we now desire to contemplate is the blessed Spirit viewed under the metaphor of anearnest.” This term is used of Him in the following passages: “Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts” (2 Cor. 1:22); “Now He that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit” (2 Cor. 5:5); “After that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of His glory” (Eph. 1:13, 14). The figure is taken from an ancient custom (which is by no means obsolete today) of the method used in the clinching of a commercial bargain or contract. The seller agrees to make delivery at some future date of what has been agreed upon, and as a guaranty of this the purchaser receives an “earnest,” that is, a sample or token, an insignificant installment, of what has been contracted for.

An “earnest,” then, supposes a contract wherein two parties are agreed, the one who is ultimately to come into possession of what has been agreed upon being given a token of the other’s good faith that he will abide by the terms of the bargain. It is a part of the price given beforehand, to assure the one to whom the “earnest” is given that at the appointed season he shall receive the whole of that which is promised. Now the right which the believer has to eternal life and glory comes in a way of contract or covenant. On the one side, the believer agrees to the terms specified (the forsaking of sin and the serving of the Lord), and yields himself to God by repentance and faith. On the other side, God binds Himself to give the believer forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith. This is clearly enough stated in, “Incline your ear, and come unto Me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will (then) make an Everlasting Covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David” (Isa. 55:3)—upon our hearty consent to the terms of the Gospel, God engages Himself to bestow upon us those inestimable blessings secured for His people by the spiritual or antitypical David.

An “earnest” intimates there is some delay before the thing bargained for is actually bestowed: in the case of goods, deliverance at once is not agreed upon, in the case of property possession is not immediately entered into. It is for this reason that the token of good faith or preliminary installment is given: because the promised deliverance is deferred, possession being delayed for a season, an “earnest” is bestowed as a pledge or confirmation of what is to follow. Now as soon as the believer really enters into covenant with God, he has a right to the everlasting inheritance, but his actual entrance into full blessedness is deferred. God does not remove us to Heaven the moment we believe, any more than He brought Israel into Canaan within a few days after delivering them from Egypt. Instead, we are left for a while in this world, and that for various reasons: one among them being that we may have opportunities for exercising faith and love; faith in “looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13), hope in longing: “ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption” (Rom. 8:23).

An “earnest” is a part, though only a very small one, of the whole that has been agreed upon. If a contract was made for the delivery of a sum of money on a certain date, then a trifling installment thereof was given; if it were the transfer of a piece of land, then a square of turf was cut and handed to its future possessor, that being a symbolic guarantee to assure him during the interval of waiting. So too, those comforts which the Spirit communicates to believers are the same in kind as the joys of Heaven though they are vastly inferior in their degree. The saving gifts and graces of the Spirit are but a small beginning and part of that glory which shall yet be revealed in and to us. Grace is glory begun, and they differ from each other only as an infant does from a fully matured adult. Holiness or purity of heart is a pledge of that sinless estate and full conformity to Christ which is promised the Christian in the future. That present loosing of our bonds is but a sample of our perfect and final freedom.

An “earnest” is given for the security of the party who receives it, and not for the benefit of him that bestows it. He who gives the earnest is legally bound to complete his bargain, but the recipient has this guarantee in hand for the confirming and comforting of his mind while he is waiting—it being to him a tangible pledge and sample of what as yet is only promised. Here again we may see the aptness and accuracy of the figure, for the spiritual earnest which Christians receive is given solely for their benefit, for there is no danger whatever of backing out on God’s part. “Wherein God, willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath: that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us” (Heb. 6:17, 18)—and this because believers commonly are assailed by many doubts and fears.[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 Holy Spirit (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, n.d.).

 

Saturday, August 26, 2023

Triggered? Exposing Patterned Responses to Find Freedom– Statements of Truth - 7 - Purity 1131

 

Triggered? Exposing Patterned Responses to Find Freedom– Statements of Truth - 7  - Purity 1131

Purity 11131 08/26/2023  Purity 1131 Podcast

Purity 1131 on YouTube: 



Good morning,

Today’s photo of a tranquil view of Unicoi Lake comes to us from Fred Dimmick who shared this serene scene from his recent visit to the Unicoi Lake State Park in the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest near Helen, Georgia on social media on August 22nd.   

Well, It’s Saturday and I share Fred’s photo in hopes that it will provide some “Serenity now!” to me and to wish all my friends reading or hearing this message a good weekend.   As for me, I was unpleasantly surprised to have my plans for a joyful reunion with my wife, TammyLyn, to be delayed yesterday and my employer informed me that it didn’t receive enough volunteers to meet the needs of business today, so I am “forced” to work overtime today, which admittedly sounds like an oxymoron when you consider the increased compensation I will be receiving for working, 

However, as we should all know, there is no price you can put on your time or freedom and this forced work assignment has taken both from me.  I know, I know – if I don’t like it I can quit.   I know, I know I have been forced before and if I didn’t like it then I should have gotten a new job. I knew what I signed up for and yada, yada, yada.   Suck it up butter cup… I know. 

Anyway, I surprisingly took the bad news quite well. While it pained my heart to be separated from my wife for another day, I told myself all of the above. A man’s got to do what a man’s got to do after all. The job pays for my needs and wants, and this is the deal we made.  The forced overtime isn’t personal it's business and ironically if I had voluntarily pursued overtime, gave up my time and chased that money previously – my self–enslavement may have prevented my forced servitude today.  They draw who is forced from the “bottom” of the list – or the top – I don’t know – of who has the least over time hours – as if to say “Hey, you haven’t been helping us out by surrendering your freedom before – so now we are going to make you work! Ha Ha!”. 

However, the other techs that are being forced in today are not afraid of overtime and it didn’t keep them safe.  So as much as some would advise to “be smart” and “keep yourself safe” by doing whatever, sometimes it doesn’t matter what you do. Sorry, Charlie, we see what you tried to do there, but it doesn’t matter.

Anyway, I find myself at River house this morning, because to do what I do on a “workday morning” at Countryside is just unimaginable. Its location isn’t the only thing rustic about my second home in Easton and I am afraid that I haven’t built up enough emotional resilience or “joy capacity” yet to contemplate trying to do all that I do in the mornings with Countryside’s limited facilities and deal with a longer commute to boot. I spent a week’s “staycation” at countryside and even in those relaxed conditions, didn’t know what to do with myself as I didn’t have that “at home feeling”.  

Ironically, this morning I am at my most comfortable location but because I am sort of “forced” here this morning. I got triggered by the cluttered state of the common areas of the living room and kitchen as my adult children regularly violate the standards of cleanliness that I outlined and maintained when I wasn't weekending in Easton.  So, I was triggered into sending a message this morning to both my “twenty-something” kids informing them that I wasn’t happy with the mess they have left, reminded them that the rent was increasing come January, and encouraged them to find other living situations and/or employment to support themselves somewhere else if they couldn’t abide by my standards.  I told them that come Monday any personal items or trash left in the living room or kitchen would be put in the garbage on a daily basis going forward.

I’m glad I said what I said (I’ve said it before) but also fear that it will cause a further relational divide between me and my kids. I love them dearly, but they are both adults now and as much as I would like for them to leave the nest.  I fear what that would mean to our relationships as we are merely roommates these days.   I just want them to keep the house neat when I’m not around but fear that my message may have been too much.  But at the same time, I don’t think it will send them packing, although I suppose it could and realize that one day, sometime, that will happen, and I don’t think I like it. So many changes have come with the new life in Christ and the disillusion of my previous family unit is one of them. 

As much as I was triggered into sending a “clean the house or get out message this morning, I actually wanted to talk about another “trigger” I experienced after receiving the bad news of being forced to work today.  

After hearing the news and having to contemplate what I would have for dinner yesterday, I got the thought to get a rotisserie chicken from Walmart to “treat myself”.  My initial figuring was that because I had a very light breakfast and lunch, I could have the chicken and still be within my “food plan” But when I got to the store and scanned the chicken’s nutritional information into the my Fitness Pal App, I was informed that I would be over my daily caloric limit.  So I was challenged to either decide to go over my limit or put the chicken back, or to contemplate the unthinkable – eat only half of the chicken? No way, So I decided that the chicken “cost too much” in terms of calories and decided that I could have more than just one thing, by eating what I had at home.  So I went against the grain of where I was headed, and amazingly walked out of Walmart purchasing nothing!   

Right after I got in my van, I realized that this whole episode was an addictive pattern that I had gone through so many times before.   I got bad news and then I went to comfort myself with substance, food in this case but in the past it would have been food and mass quantities of alcohol.  In my past, it was ridiculous with the way I would go to the store to buy things to make me “feel good”.  So vicious was the cycle, at times I wouldn’t know “what I want” as I had tried everything and didn’t know what would satisfy me.   It turns out nothing – food, alcohol, or other merchandise could satisfy me and when I was in that cycle I was on a wild goose chase in a fruitless search for happiness or fulfillment.

Only after coming to Christ did I realize that substance was never meant to satisfy us or make us happy. Those things were only intended to provide for our needs and in our excess we made them idols. 

So I was glad for the insight that I had almost walked right into the old pattern again. Because I had this experience, I got a better glimpse of the truth of how I operate and hopefully can discern when this happens in the future and respond accordingly with self-control.  

I have a better grasp of the truth of what happens when I get “triggered” and hopefully can use it to set me free!

And that brings us to our current series – Statements of Truth – that springs from the last portion of Step # 2, Deception Vs. Truth, of the Steps to Freedom in Christ by Dr. Neil Anderson            

That step deals with Deception, and because we have completed the process of examining, confessing, and renouncing all of the ways we have been deceived. the good doctor prescribes a healthy dose of truth for us:

Anderson introduces the Statements of Truth by stating: 

“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 them aloud every day for at least six weeks, which will help you renew your mind to the truth.”

So for our current series, we are presenting each of the remaining 5 Statements of Truth from Step 2 of the Steps to Freedom in Christ, one at a time, We are declaring them verbally and publicly, because we, like the Christians who have gone before us over the last two thousand years. know the importance of doing so. 

We are also sharing the statement’s associated Bible verses and sharing our thoughts about what each Statement of Truth is telling us, why they are important, and how they apply to our lives as Christians.  

So today’s Statement of Truth is:

7.    I believe that the truth will set me free and that Jesus is the truth. If He sets me free, I will be free indeed. I recognize that walking in the light is the only path of true fellowship with God and man. Therefore, I stand against all of Satan’s deception by taking every thought captive in obedience to Christ. I declare that the Bible is the only authoritative standard for truth and life.

And the Bible verses listed with this statement are: 

John 8:32 (NKJV)
32  And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."

John 8:36 (NKJV)
36  Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.

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

2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (NKJV)
4  For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,
5  casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,

2 Timothy 3:14-17 (NKJV)
14  But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them,
15  and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
16  All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,
17  that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

1 John 1:3-7 (NKJV)
3  that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.
4  And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.
5  This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.
6  If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.
7  But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

Whoa… talk about scriptural support! Today’s Statement of Truth focuses on our freedom in Christ, the reality of our spiritual warfare and the need to take thoughts captive, and the Bible as our standard of truth, that we are to apply to our lives.    

It highlights three steps to freedom:

1.    Faith in Jesus

2.    Recognizing that all thoughts are not our own – That we are under attack in our minds by temptations and lies crafted by the spiritual forces of darkness – and thus we are to resist the devil and make Him flee by taking all our thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ = which amounts to.

3.    Applying the Truth of God’s Word to how we think and to how we live our lives.

Jesus’ work on the cross has set us free from sin and death but we have to put our faith in Him AND live by faith in the power of the Holy Spirit to fully realize our freedom.  

This is why we stress discipleship – learning from and following Jesus as our teacher.  Our faith in Him will save us and give us eternal life, but we must be well versed in the truth of God’s word and the ways of our master, Jesus, to experience the peace, love, joy, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, patience, and self-control the Lord gives to us.   To experience the fruit of the Spirit, we must walk in the Spirit.

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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

Proverbs 20:1 (ESV)
1  Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.

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

 3. Wine is a mocker, beer a brawler.

Today’s verse encourages us to be wise by not being led astray by wine, and strong drink. While beer isn’t mentioned in scripture, our resource’s author rightfully counts it as a strong drink and calls it a brawler.  

Many a bar fight is fueled by beer, so I won’t listen to any objections over beer being categorized as a brawler. 

This is one of those “drunken verses” in the Bible that provided the conviction that led me to ask the Lord to help me walk away from booze for good.  God was faithful to help me, and I would encourage anyone who knows the pain of alcoholism to turn to God and a Christian recovery program to get set free.   Celebrate Recovery Ministries, or even AA, are available to help you to put your faith in God to help you walk away from drugs or alcohol for good.   So don’t be mocked and stop fighting with booze and seek the Lord to set you free.

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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

21 - The Spirit Leading

Knowing We Are Led by the Spirit

In conclusion we will seek to supply answer to the following question: How may Christians know whether they be among those who are “led by the Spirit of God?” In general, those who are directed by this Divine Guide are moved to examine their hearts and take frequent notice of their ways, to mourn over their carnality and perverseness, to confess their sins, to earnestly seek grace to enable them to be obedient. They are moved to search the Scriptures daily to ascertain the things which God has prohibited and the things which He enjoins. They are moved to an increasing conformity to God’s holy Law, and an increasing enablement to meet its requirements is wrought in them by the Spirit blessing to them the means of grace. But to be more specific.

First, just so far as we are governed by the Spirit of God are we led from ourselves: from confidence in our own wisdom, from dependence upon our own strength, and from trust in our own righteousness. We are led from self-aggrandizement, self-will, self-pleasing. The Spirit conducts away from self unto God. Yet let it be pointed out that this weaning us from ourselves is not accomplished in a moment, but is a perpetual and progressive thing. Alas, God has at best but a portion of our affections. It is true there are moments when we sincerely and ardently desire to be fully and unreservedly surrendered to Him, but the ensnaring power of some rival object soon confirms how partial and imperfect our surrender has been.

Second, just so far as we are governed by the Spirit of God are we brought to occupation with Christ. To whom else, in our deep need, can we go? Who so well-suited to our misery and poverty? Having severed us in some degree from ourselves, the Spirit brings us into a closer realization of our union with the Savior. Are we conscious of our filth and guilt?—the Spirit leads us to the blood of Christ. Are we sorely tried and oppressed?—the Spirit leads us to Him who is able to succour the tempted. Are we mourning our emptiness and barrenness?—the Spirit leads us to the One in whom dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. It is the special office of the Spirit to take of the things of Christ and show them unto us.

Third, just so far as we are governed by. the Spirit of God are we conducted along the highway of holiness. The Spirit leads the Christian away from the vanities of the world to the satisfying delight which is to be found in the Lord. He turns us from the husks which the swine feed upon unto spiritual realities, drawing our affections unto things above. He moves us to seek after more intimate and more constant communion with God, which can only be obtained by separation from that which He abhors. His aim is to conform us more and more to the image of Christ. Finally, He will conduct us to Heaven, for of it the Spirit is both the pledge and the earnest.[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)

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.).


Tuesday, April 18, 2023

The Devil isn’t Real– Lies of the Enemy #8– Purity 1020


The Devil isn’t Real– Lies of the Enemy #8– Purity 1020

Purity 1020 04/18/2023 Purity 1020 Podcast

Purity 1020 on YouTube: 



Good morning,

Today’s photo of the fading light of day over the St. Vincent Gulf comes to us from author Liisa Grace Baun (https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100086786471730) who shared this view from the lounge room window of her home in Adelaide, South Australia commenting that “Not a day goes by that I’m not grateful for where I live!” With a view like this it’s not surprising that why they “never close those curtains.”

Well, It’s Tuesday and I share Liisa’s photo and sentiments about always being grateful for where she lives and how she never closes the curtains on this spectacular view as a reminder to be intentional about being grateful for what God has given us and by never “the closing the curtains” on the truth that can give a continual source of peace and joy.   

I just happen to have been blessed with a view of the Hudson River which diverts into the Schodack Creek in front of my home and it never fails to remind me of how good God was in brining me through the aftermath of my divorce to give me a home, a hope, and a future.  But unlike Liisa, I do pull the blinds over my windows, (I have neighbors and I like my privacy) and because I do I can sometimes completely forget about that awesome view and just how blessed I am by where I am.   

We can take the good things we have for granted and when we aren’t practicing gratitude the enemy loves to come in to give us a negative perspective about the things we once were very happy to receive.  This can happen with our possessions and with our relationships.   The people and things in our life can become familiar and underappreciated or even viewed as problematic when the enemy sows the seeds of discontent in our minds.  

We can even see the dark train of our thoughts that paints the  world black and wonder what is wrong with us. Why do I hate everything? Why has my heart grown cold? What’s wrong with me?   

Familiarity may cause us to naturally take things for granted and if we aren’t careful with managing our thoughts we could become anxious, discontented, or depressed but when these negative mind states persist we should wonder if those thought cycles are products of ourselves or a demonic campaign to steal our peace and joy and lead us into the temptation of finding happiness through circumstantial means.  These negative thoughts could be the condemnation of the enemy as a precursor for setting us up for sin.  

However, if we don’t believe in the spiritual forces of darkness or their ability to affect our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, we would have probably come to the conclusion that we are slipping into mental illness which would further depress us and may cause us to seek a medical solution to a spiritual problem.   

However, the good news is that the word of God warns us of the reality of the demonic and when we ‘put on the whole armor of God” which is analogous to intentionally living according to our identiy in Christ, we can “stand against the devil’s schemes”.  But we have to know this and do this. We have to be on guard and take every thought captive.

But the enemy seeks to have us “close the curtains” on the spiritual realities of our lives and his existence in particular.  His schemes are far more effective when we aren’t on guard against his attacks.

And so that brings us to our current series, which is an examination of some of the common lies the enemy tells us to cause us to doubt our faith, steal our peace, or to choose not to follow the Lord with the way we live our lives. 

So today’s big lie is:

Lie # 8:  The Devil isn’t Real. 

It’s foolish to fight someone who doesn’t exist and as much as the enemy is prideful enough to want to be God, he is also wise enough to circumvent the authority that Christians have to resist him by convincing the world that he doesn’t exist.

Surprisingly, the enemy is not only successful in convincing the world he doesn’t exist, he has also convinced a significant portion of people who identify themselves as Christians that he isn’t real.   

In 2009, the Barna research group  conducted a survey and their results concerning Satan stated that:  “Four out of ten Christians (40%) strongly agreed that Satan “is not a living being but is a symbol of evil.” An additional two out of ten Christians (19%) said they “agree somewhat” with that perspective. A minority of Christians indicated that they believe Satan is real by disagreeing with the statement: one-quarter (26%) disagreed strongly and about one-tenth (9%) disagreed somewhat. The remaining 8% were not sure what they believe about the existence of Satan. (https://www.barna.com/research/most-american-christians-do-not-believe-that-satan-or-the-holy-spirit-exist/)

So even among “Christians”, according to this survey, done in 2009 mind you, only 35% would strongly agree or even “somewhat” agree that Satan is real.   And that was before “our present distress” of the post Covid-19 mass departure of the faith and social and moral slippage that indicates that Satan is alive and well in his efforts to lead humanity astray.  

People are abandoning the faith and increasingly identifying themselves as “non-religious” so it’s no wonder that they doubt the existence of Satan. However, paradoxically there are indications that Satanism – the worship of Satan – is on the increase in Great Britain (https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2022/11/29/satanism-devil-worship-rise-according-census-data/) – with a reported 167% increase in people identifying as Satanists between 2011 and 2021. 

So some people don’t need to be convinced!  

For Biblical support of the existence of Satan, I am providing a link to the Open Bible.ifo’s 100 bible verses about Satan (https://www.openbible.info/topics/satan) and for those interested in overcoming the enemy’s affects in your life,  I would direct you read to Dr. Neil Anderson’s the Bondage Breaker and the Steps the Freedom in Christ or Dr. Karl Payne’s “Spiritual Warfare: Christians, Demonization, and Deliverance” for information and methods for resolving personal and spiritual conflicts that may be influenced by demons.  

I don’t want to just point to the Bible and tell you that the devil is real. I want to direct you to the resources that intelligently guide you through the scriptures to validate the enemy’s existence and his effects on mankind as well as point you to resources that have methods that are proven to be effective in overcoming those demonic influences through repentance, renunciation, and prayer.     

Through my journey of faith on the path of Christian discipleship and through going through  the Steps to Freedom in Christ, I have overcome addictive behaviors and negative mind states that I now realize that were at least partially influenced by the spiritual forces of darkness.  I never knew what freedom was available to me until I was lead by the Lord to follow Him and to cast out and resist the spiritual forces that sought to keep me in bondage to sin and the lies about God, myself, and the world that kept me from knowing the peace, joy, and abundant life that God gives to all who place their faith in Christ.  

I myself have been delivered from the effects of the enemy and through my volunteer work with Freedom in Christ ministries, I have seen other people delivered as well.

So I encourage to not believe the lie that “The devil isn’t real.” But to also know that he is a defeated foe, who is powerless to afflict us when we put our faith in Jesus and act out of the power and authority that Christ has given to us.  

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

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

This morning’s meditation verse is:

2 Timothy 3:16 (NLT2)
16  All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.

Today’s verse reminds us that all scripture is inspired by God to teach and correct us to do what is right.  

Our resource shared this verse under the heading of “When you want to know the truth…” and it rightfully points us to the word of God – scripture!

IF we want to overcome the lies of the enemy, we have to know what the truth is and the source for truth is the word of God. Beyond facts and figures, the Bible teaches us the truth of the spiritual nature of our universe and through it the Lord teaches us what is right and wrong.   

When we heed the wisdom of the Bible and apply it to our lives, we correct our wrong thinking and change our poor choices to align with the truth according to God. And because God wouldn’t lead us astray, when we follow His word we increasing grow in the fruit of the Spirit and the assurance of God is good and word is true.

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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 A.W. Pink’s “The Sovereignty of God.”

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

THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD

By  ARTHUR W. PINK

CONCLUSION continues

 

It now remains for us to offer a few closing reflections and our happy task is finished.

God foreordains everything which comes to pass. His sovereign rule extends throughout the entire Universe and is over every creature. “For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things” (Rom. 11:36). God initiates all things, regulates all things, and all things are working unto His eternal glory. “There is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by Him” (1 Cor. 8:6). And again, “According to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will” (Eph. 1:11). Surely if anything could be ascribed to chance it is the drawing of lots, and yet the Word of God expressly declares “The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord” (Prov. 16:33)![1]

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

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

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

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

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

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

My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her 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 W. Pink, The Sovereignty of God (Swengel, PA: Bible Truth Depot, 1949), 250.