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Showing posts with label 28 Day Joy Challenge. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 28 Day Joy Challenge. Show all posts

Monday, July 3, 2023

Curious Questions Answered with Joy - 28 Day Joy Challenge – Day 28– Purity 1084


Curious Questions Answered with Joy - 28 Day Joy Challenge – Day 28–  Purity 1084

Purity 1084 07/03/2023 Purity 1084 Podcast

Purity 1084 on YouTube: Coming Soon!

Good morning,

Today’s photo of a golden wheat field under cumulus cloud filled blue skies comes to us from yours truly as I captured this summer scene on the first day of my 51st year on the earth, back on June 25th.   Well, it’s Monday, and Friday in a sense, because tomorrow is America’s Independence Day, giving some of us, a one day work week and I don’t know if today’s photo says “America” or not, but I am sharing its simple beauty this morning because I realize that we can’t even take the somewhat common place phenomenon of “blue skies” for granted!  

The Summer of 2023 may be forever remembered as the “Summer of White Skies” because of the effects of the Canadian wildfires that had a significant impact on the last day of June and the first couple of days of July. 

For those who may have forgotten, this is the second time that the wildfires in Canada have cause a “white out” of our north eastern atmosphere, - the first instance was so bad that the skies over NY City on June 8th were so smoky that the sky looked like had been run through a “Sepia” filter” – and so I will be praying for the Lord to stop the fires and to give us – “normal” skies again.    

Saturday was sunny and pleasant enough to cause me to push for a “beach day” at Lake Lauderdale in Cambridge and after getting “my swim on” I was ready to “check off” Summer ’23 as a success but upon further review, although I will accept the cup I have to drink weather wise but will be praying for “normal” blue skies going forward.   Persistent white skies in summer, with or without rain, are just plain weird, even in upstate New York, and I will be adding “blue skies” to my gratitude list on a permanent basis because I enjoy them and appreciate them.  While I was able to experience joy this weekend, without blue skies, I joyously anticipate the day we see them again.  

And that brings us to the end of our current series, where we are walking through the 28 Day Joy Challenge, (https://4habits.org/) because we are encouraging ourselves and others, you, to “find peace” in our lives by increasing our capacity for joy and by building our emotional resilience through simple practices of quieting and appreciation.

The 28 Day Joy challenge is based on Dr. Marcus Warner & Chris Coursey’s latest book, The Four Habits of Joy-Filled People, and you can sign up to take it for free, and purchase a variety of books from Warner and Coursey on topic of Joy, by going to https://4habits.org/.  

So let’s jump into the last day, Day 28, which will direct us to allow our curiosity to lead us to joy.

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Day 28 - Are You Curious?

 

Welcome to Day 28 of the 28 Days to Joy Challenge - we made it!

Today’s Encouragement:

We hope you found these exercises life-giving! We encourage you to pick some of your favorites and do them again and again. The more we “stop and smell the roses,” slow down to rest and find things to enjoy, the more our quality of life increases. Share some of your joy with others in your life, then watch what grows!

Today’s Practice: Exercise 28

Today we practice cueing our curiosity to keep our joy switch on.

- How This Exercise Will Benefit You:

Curiosity is a good reflection that our brain’s joy switch is online and working.

- Exercise Steps:

What in life sparks curiosity in you? Who or what topics make you curious? If you could have answers to any questions in the world, what would you ask? Create a list and share your thoughts with a friend.

You did it! Congratulations on completing the 28 Days to Joy exercises with us.

Well, it may come as no surprise, considering I produce a Christian blog and podcast 6 days a week, but the thing in life that sparks my curiosity like nothing else are the things of God!  I am curious about God the Father, Christ the Son, the Holy Spirit and the Lord’s plan for all of us, and me specifically.   

If I could have the answer to any questions in the world, I would want to know:  

When will Jesus Christ come to rule and reign on the earth?  

Will I be physically alive on the earth when that happens?

What does the Lord want me to do with my life?

How can I give God glory? 

How Can I know Him more?

What is next?

I could go on and ask a bunch more questions regarding the end times, future events on earth, or God’s final answer on debatable points of Christian doctrine, but because I walk by faith – by the Spirit – I am somewhat content knowing that I don’t have to “know everything” or have to be “right” about everything.  

My big questions about Jesus’s return and my place in God’s plan for my life – or what’s next - will all be revealed in time and the other questions about how to give God glory and to know Him more – I think I already know the answers to.  

To know Him more and to give God glory, I need to seek the Lord – His presence, wisdom, and ways – and follow Him.  

As for the rest, I guess we will see.  

But don’t get me wrong, I have great joy in this curious process of life – where I discover more about God and about His plan for my life as I go.  Life in the Spirit is the adventure of adventures and if anyone is “seeking their best life now”  - you may not be blessed with material prosperity – but I can tell you that the way to find it is to decide to pick up your cross and to follow Jesus!   

So what about you? What are you curious about that gives you joy?  There are many aspects to our lives that give us joy and inquiring and discovering the truth about things can be a worthwhile endeavor when it brings you joy.  So what are your questions? What do you joyfully contemplate knowing about? 

Whatever those things are I hope you enjoy the journey of asking, seeking, and finding what you are looking for! Just because the 28 Day Joy Challenge is over, it doesn’t mean that you have to stop finding joy in life. So practice quieting, practice appreciation, and continue to be curious about life and how joy is available to find when we seek it.

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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 Adultery:

Proverbs 6:27-28 (ESV)
27  Can a man carry fire next to his chest and his clothes not be burned?
28  Or can one walk on hot coals and his feet not be scorched?

Today’s verses are used by our resource to point out that “Adultery can be avoided.”  

These are the last verses shared under this particular point in our resource and they indicate that the sin of adultery will cause you to “get burned”.   If we know something is wrong, do we really expect that we can make them a part of our life and not suffer negative consequences?  

Well, we shouldn’t expect that, and we shouldn’t dismiss the word of God and what tells us about what is right and wrong.  Our culture’s entertainment industry glorifies adultery as exciting and sexy but the broken hearts and families that result from going after “forbidden fruit” are not something anyone wants to see or experience. 

Today’s verses are in the midst of a whole discourse on avoiding adultery and so I invite you to read Proverbs 6 (in its entirety because it is wisdom literature – after all) but verses 20 through 35 to get the full counsel on the matter of adultery. Those verses highlight how we get “burned” by this sin and how someone who falls into to it can expect to  not “go unpunished” as it causes disgrace, dishonor personally and may cost you “all the goods of your house” after a divorce and or the cold servings of revenge from betrayed spouses on either side.      

So avoid adultery and choose to be sexually pure, the passions of lust burn everyone involved and sometimes the fires sparked by that sin consume and destroy everything. 

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

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

11 - The Spirit Quickening

Only the Beginning

Let it be pointed out in conclusion that the Spirit’s quickening is only the beginning of God’s work of grace in the soul. This does not wholly renew the heart at once: no indeed, the inner man needs to be “renewed day by day” (2 Cor. 4:16). But from that small beginning, the work continues—God watering it “every moment” (Isa. 27:3)—and goes on to perfection; that is, till the heart is made perfectly clean and holy, which is not accomplished till death. God continues to work in His elect, “both to will and to do of His good pleasure,” they being as completely dependent upon the Spirit’s influence for every right exercise of the will after, as for the first. “Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work within you will finish it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:6).[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)

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.).


 

Saturday, July 1, 2023

Joy Regardless of Circumstance with God - 28 Day Joy Challenge – Day 27– Purity 1083


Joy Regardless of Circumstance with God - 28 Day Joy Challenge – Day 27–  Purity 1083

Purity 1083 07/01/2023 Purity 1083 Podcast

Purity 1083 on YouTube: 


Good morning,

Today’s photo of a hazy sunset over Champlain Canal and the last stretch of real estate before reaching the Hudson River at northern tip of Hudson Crossing Park in Schuylerville NY comes to us from yours truly as I captured this scene last evening on my “joy field trip” with my wife, TammyLyn.  The weather and air quality may not have been optimal due to the far reaching effects of the Canadian wildfires, but I vowed to “do something” for the 28 Day Joy Challenge yesterday and sometimes you have to press ahead and pursue joy even when things are less than perfect.   

My wife and I hadn’t been to Hudson Crossing Park since late November of 2022 and even though the humidity, air quality, and mosquitoes put a damper on our outing, I was glad to go all the same because TammyLyn was with me.  We didn’t have any deep meaningful conversations last night but as we walked together through humidity, heavy air, and bugs, I thought that I was blessed all the same and that there was no one else I would rather walk through life with.  The heaviness of the atmospheric conditions, the bugs, and the physical exertion of early evening stroll through Hudson Crossing Park could all be seen as a metaphor for the things we have to “suffer through” in life but my focus on being with TammyLyn and the love I have for her showed me that we can enjoy our lives in even less than ideal conditions and that sometimes “getting out there and doing something” is worth going even when the conditions are less than perfect.  

Although there can be various opinions on whether joy is a “choice”, an experience, or gift supernaturally imparted by God as a fruit of the Spirit, I would say that whatever definition we try to use to describe joy, it should include some language that states that it is not contingent on positive circumstances. We can experience joy in spite of the struggles and turmoil of life.  

Our friends at 4habits.org highlight the relational aspects of joy, with one working definition of joy as “being the sparkle in someone’s eye”, and although I can see where they get that, I feel that definition can be misconstrued to be dependent on satisfactory human relationships.

 If no one is “happy to see me”, I can’t have joy.  I feel that true joy is an outflow of one’s relationship with God and the experience of life that is spent in the context of our relationship with Him.   Without God and His perspective of love and a redeemed relationship with Him , there is a circumstantial aspect and thus a limit to our “joy experience”.  I don’t care how many people are thrilled to see me, if I don’t have the knowledge of God and the assurance of an eternal relationship with Him – there is no peace from which joy can come from.   The abiding peace that God gives us allows us to operate in joy. Without His presence and the assurance of our security, acceptance, significance, and safety in Christ,  we are “pulling” joy from His creation in a disconnected fashion.   

Trying to operate in joy without a relationship to God through faith in Jesus Christ, is like trying to enjoy the amenities of and view from the Titanic as it begins to sink.  Sure we can enjoy the cruise from moment to moment but unless we know our final destination is a good one, our efforts at building joy will be as meaningless as building a sandcastle on the beach before the tide comes in to sweep it away.   

However, we do have to keep things balanced, obviously, because there are many people out there that would tell you that they have the “joy of the Lord” but seem to have little or no joy in their lives.  

So we have to be sure we have both – joy with the Lord and the joy of the life that He has given us.  And so we must “renew our minds” with the truth of God’s word and who we are in Christ and practice seeing the joy set before us. We have to look beyond the negative circumstances at times and understand that joy is still there.

And that brings us to our current series, where we are walking through the 28 Day Joy Challenge, (https://4habits.org/) because we are encouraging ourselves and others, you, to “find peace” in our lives by increasing our capacity for joy and by building our emotional resilience through simple practices of quieting and appreciation.

The 28 Day Joy challenge is based on Dr. Marcus Warner & Chris Coursey’s latest book, The Four Habits of Joy-Filled People, and you can sign up to take it for free, and purchase a variety of books from Warner and Coursey on topic of Joy, by going to https://4habits.org/.  

So let’s jump into Day 2, which will direct us to plan a field trip.

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Day 27 - CAKE Time!

 

Welcome to Day 27 of the 28 Days to Joy Challenge!

Today’s Encouragement:

Who doesn’t like cake? As you’ll see from our exercise today, these joy-filled life habits you have been building will help you to have more and more CAKE in your life!

Today’s Practice: Exercise 27

This exercise will help us notice when our joy and peace levels are high and we are acting like our best selves.

- How This Exercise Will Benefit You:

It’s time for CAKE! CAKE is an acrostic for what happens when our brain’s joy switch—the relational circuit—is on and working. We are Curious, we remember Appreciation (times of joy), we want to be Kind toward others, and we look into people’s Eyes when we interact. Becoming more aware of these things is incredibly helpful in learning to live in a more relational way.

- Exercise Steps:

Where in your day and week have you seen someone demonstrate these CAKE qualities? Share your thoughts with a friend.

Have fun with this exercise. We pick up tomorrow with more joy practice!

For today’s practice, it probably won’t surprise you, I thought of my beloved – TammyLyn and how even thought she encourages me to make “good choices” in regard to sweets, she gives me plenty of CAKE.  

TammyLyn is a wonderful listener because she is Curious. She asks questions and provides feedback when we talk with one another to show she really cares about what I have to say. She demonstrates she is curious about what I am thinking and feeling, and I feel loved and cared for because of it.  

TammyLyn and my conversations are also filled with Appreciation. We constantly praise and thank one another for the things we do for one another and the place we hold in one another’s lives. We show our appreciation for one another through all five love languages to varying degrees through:

·       Words of affirmation – telling each other how much we mean to one another, giving verbal praise and thanks.

·       Physical touch – hugs, holding hands,

·       Giving Gifts – giving things to one another

·       Spending Quality Time – Just being together.

·       Acts of Service – doing things for one another

TammyLyn utilizes all of these languages and her patience and understanding to convey Kindness to me. Kindness is defined as “the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate” and that is TammyLyn’s overall disposition, and I experience it continuously.  

And finally, TammyLyn and I delight in looking into one another’s eyes. Eye Contact is another way that TammyLyn conveys that I am “being seen” and thus loved, accepted, and understood.  

TammyLyn doesn’t have a monopoly of CAKE and I am happy to say that I have been blessed with a multitude of family and friends that give me CAKE too. 

So what about you, who in your life is giving you CAKE? Experiencing others relational closeness through their curiosity, appreciation, kindness, and eye contact is truly a blessing, so as part of today’s practice make sure you not only reflect on and experience the joy of getting CAKE, make sure you reach out and let those CAKE givers know that you appreciate what they are serving in your relationships.

\--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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 Adultery:

Proverbs 4:19-27 (ESV)
19  The way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know over what they stumble.
20  My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings.
21  Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart.
22  For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh.
23  Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.
24  Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you.
25  Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you.
26  Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure.
27  Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.

Today’s verses are used by our resource to point out that “Adultery can be avoided.”  

In fact our resource, gives us more than today’s offering towards that end, and we will share all of Bible verses they list on this point in the days ahead. 

Today we share the second portion of Proverbs 4 that our resource lists under the point of “Adultery can be avoided”.   

Full confession: I should have presented verse 19 yesterday but was in a rush and thought that verse 18 closed the “train of thought” nicely, but I didn’t realize that verse 19 was its contrasting couplet. 

Proverbs 4:18 (ESV) told us:
18  But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day.

And so 19’s way of the wicked is like deep darkness, present the opposite of the path of righteousness’ brightness, duh. Thus I am guilty of not following my own advice to pay attention to the context of scripture.  

But God has my back today as verse 19’s darkness bookends verse 27’s “turn your foot away from evil, quite nicely all the same.  

Anyway, section of scripture is another discourse on what we should do – pay attention to biblical wisdom’s instructions and to follow their righteous ways with the way we live our life, which contrasts with the warning to put away our “crooked speech and devious talk” and steer clear of the way of evil.  

Verse 23 deserves special mention, because our resource lists it separately. 

Proverbs 4:23 (ESV) proclaims:
23  Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.

I have to believe the author of our resource, John Kruis, provides this verse as a standalone verse for “Adultery can be avoided” because Adultery is a cloud of emotions, deception, and lust and if one would “keep their heart with all vigilance” – to love God and His instruction – adultery would be avoided. 

As for the “springs of life”, what we put our heart into is what defines our lives on the terra firma.  If you love money you will pursue it. If you love relationships or family, that will be your focus. If you love sin, you will be a slave to it. If you love God, you will repent and seek His wisdom and will for your life.  

So put you heart on and follow the Lord and forsake the way of wickedness and you will see that adultery and other sins can be avoided. Put you heart on God.

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

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

11 - The Spirit Quickening

Characteristics of Quickening

“For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth, even so the Son quickeneth whom He will” (John 5:21); “It is the Spirit that quickeneth: the flesh profiteth nothing” (John 6:63). All the Divine operations in the economy of salvation proceed from the Father, are through the Son, and are executed by the Spirit. Quickening is His initial work in the elect. It is that supernatural act by which He brings them out of the grave of spiritual death on to resurrection ground. By it He imparts a principle of grace and habit of holiness; it is the communication of the life of God to the soul. It is an act of creation (2 Cor. 5:17). It is a Divine “workmanship” (Eph. 2:10). All of these terms denote an act of Omnipotency. The origination of life is utterly impossible to the creature. He can receive life; he can nourish life; he can use and exert it; but he cannot create life.

In this work the Spirit acts as sovereign. “The wind bloweth where it listeth (or” pleaseth“) … so is everyone that is born of the Spirit” (John 3:8). This does not mean that He acts capriciously, or without reason and motive, but that He is above any obligation to the creature, and is quite uninfluenced by us in what He does. The Spirit might justly have left everyone of us in the hardness of our hearts to perish forever. In quickening one and not another, in bringing a few from death unto life and leaving the mass still dead in trespasses and sins, the Spirit has mercy “on whom He will have mercy.” He is absolutely free to work in whom He pleases, for none of the fallen sons of Adam have the slightest claim upon Him.

The quickening of the spiritually dead into newness of life is therefore an act of amazing grace: it is an unsought and unmerited favor. The sinner, who is the chosen subject of this Divine operation and object of this inestimable blessing, is infinitely ill-deserving in himself, being thoroughly disposed to go on in wickedness till this change is wrought in him. He is rebellious, and will not hearken to the Divine command; he is obstinate and refuses to repent and embrace the Gospel. However terrified he may be with the fears of threatened doom, however earnest may be his desire to escape misery and be happy forever, no matter how many prayers he may make and things he may do, he has not the least inclination to repent and submit to God. His heart is defiant, full of enmity against God, and daily does he add iniquity unto iniquity. For the Spirit to give a new heart unto such an one is indeed an act of amazing and sovereign grace.

This quickening by the Spirit is instantaneous: it is a Divine act, and not a process; it is wrought at once, and not gradually. In a moment of time the soul passes from death unto life. The soul which before was dead toward God, is now alive to Him. The soul which was completely under the domination of sin, is now set free; though the sinful nature itself is not removed nor rendered inoperative, yet the heart is no longer en rapport (in sympathy) with it. The Spirit of God finds the heart wholly corrupt and desperately wicked, but by a miracle of grace He changes its bent, and this by implanting within it the imperishable seed of holiness. There is no medium between a carnal and a spiritual state: the one is what we were by nature, the other is what we become by grace, by the instantaneous and invincible operation of the Almighty Spirit.

This initial work of quickening is entirely unperceived by us, for it lies outside the realm and the range of human consciousness. Those who are dead possess no perception, and though the work of bringing them on to resurrection ground is indeed a great and powerful one, in the very nature of the case its subjects can know nothing whatever about it until after it has been accomplished. When Adam was created, he was conscious of nothing but that he now existed and was free to act: the Divine operation which was the cause of his existence was over and finished before he began to be conscious of anything. This initial operation of the Spirit by which the elect become new creatures can only be known by its effects and consequences. “The wind bloweth where it listeth,” that is first; then “thou hearest the sound thereof” (John 3:8): it is now made known, in a variety of ways, to the conscience and understanding.

Under this work of quickening we are entirely passive, by which is meant that there is no co-operation whatever between the will of the sinner and the act of the Holy Spirit. As we have said, this initial work of the Spirit is effected by free and sovereign grace, consisting of the infusion of a principle of spiritual life into the soul, by which all its faculties are supernaturally renovated. This being the case, the sinner must be entirely passive, like clay in the hands of a potter, for until Divine grace is exerted upon him he is utterly incapable of any spiritual acts, being dead in trespasses and sins. Lazarus co-operated not in his resurrection: he knew not that the Savior had come to his sepulcher to deliver him from death. Such is the case with each of God’s elect when the Spirit commences to deal with them. They must first be quickened into newness of life before they can have the slightest desire or motion of the will toward spiritual things; hence, for them to contribute the smallest iota unto their quickening is utterly impossible.

The life which the Spirit imparts when He quickens is uniform in all its favored subjects. “As seed virtually contains in it all that afterwards proceeds from it, the blade, stalk, ear, and full corn in the ear, so the first principle of grace implanted in the heart seminally contains all the grace which afterwards appears in all the fruits, effects, acts, and exercises of it” (John Gill). Each quickened person experiences the same radical change, by which the image of God is stamped upon the soul: “that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:6), never anything less, and never anything more. Each quickened person is made a new creature in Christ, and possesses all the constituent parts of “the new man.” Later, some may be more lively and vigorous, as God gives stronger faith unto one than to another; yet there is no difference in their original: all partake of the same life.

While there is great variety in our perception and understanding of the work of the Spirit within us, there is no difference in the initial work itself. While there is much difference in the carrying on of this work unto perfection in the growth of the “new creature”—some making speedy progress, others thriving slowly and bringing forth little fruit—yet the new creation itself is the same in all. Each alike enters the kingdom of God, becomes a vital member of Christ’s mystical body, is given a place in the living family of God. Later, one may appear more beautiful than another, by having the image of his heavenly Father more evidently imprinted upon him, yet not more truly so. There are degrees in sanctification, but none in vivification. There has never been but one kind of spiritual quickening in this world, being in its essential nature specifically the same in all.[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)

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.).

Friday, June 30, 2023

Taking a Joy Field Trip, Now - 28 Day Joy Challenge – Day 26– Purity 1082

Taking a Joy Field Trip, Now - 28 Day Joy Challenge – Day 26–  Purity 1082

Purity 1082 06/30/2023 Purity 1082 Podcast

Purity 1082 on YouTube: 



Good morning,

Today’s photo of the waters of Lake Ontario crashing over the shoreline rocks at sunset comes to us from Celestial Blue Photography, as Rocco Saya captured this magic moment back on June 13th.   

Well, It’s Friday, Thank God, and after another week filled with work, ministry, and “taking care of business”, I for one am looking to crash on into the weekend and a new month as we say goodbye to June come midnight.  

Last weekend Arthur Cincotti presented us with the topic of “Time Passages” for our Bible Study discussion, you can check it out on YouTube to see what we had to say about that, but now that I think of “my birthday month” (really?) coming to an end I realize that June of 2023 had some real “Kairos” (significant, opportune, or “timely”) transitions as some major “life events” and changes have come to pass in the lives of many of my friends and family.  Just like the official shift from spring to summer, many of the lives of my friends and family have begun a new season, as things that were steady and unchanging coming into June are now a thing of the past.  Children graduating into adulthood, relationships torn asunder, changes in employment, medical issues, and the loss of loved ones into eternity have all transpired in the lives of family and friends and I realize that the beginning of July will mark the transition into a “new normal” as the way things were are no more.  

This is the way it always is, of course, life goes on and the idea that “nothing changes, everything stays the same” is nothing more than an illusion or a denial of reality.    

So thus it is important to practice appreciation, now – to be thankful for what we have now and to enjoy the moments of our lives as they happen.  Instead of pining away for the glory days of the past or looking to ahead to some hoped for future state of bliss, we owe it to ourselves to appreciate today and to mark the time we have right now as “good” – in spite of the shock and turmoil of the negative circumstances that going through life might bring at times.

If we are alive and know Christ as our Lord and Savior, we have two things to be thankful for and if we realize just how special those two facts are, we should be able to expand our view to see the vast number of blessings that surround us all the time.   

When we take time to stop and appreciate the good around us we experience joy, right now.  

And that brings us to our current series, where we are walking through the 28 Day Joy Challenge, (https://4habits.org/) because we are encouraging ourselves and others, you, to “find peace” in our lives by increasing our capacity for joy and by building our emotional resilience through simple practices of quieting and appreciation.

The 28 Day Joy challenge is based on Dr. Marcus Warner & Chris Coursey’s latest book, The Four Habits of Joy-Filled People, and you can sign up to take it for free, and purchase a variety of books from Warner and Coursey on topic of Joy, by going to https://4habits.org/.  

So let’s jump into Day 26, which will direct us to plan a field trip.

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Day 26 - Joy Field Trip

 

Welcome to Day 26 of the 28 Days to Joy Challenge!

Today’s Encouragement:

Today’s activity involves planning to get out and connect with someone you enjoy. If you can’t meet with someone in person, consider a phone call or a video chat. If you have scheduling conflicts, a backup plan would be to send a meaningful text. Get creative and make the exercise work for you!

Today’s Practice: Exercise 26

This exercise is about noticing what activities and interactions are joy-filled and life-giving for us.

- How This Exercise Will Benefit You:

Connecting with friends is a great way to build joy. When we anticipate a joyful connection we benefit from the hopeful moment.

- Exercise Steps:

Plan a special visit with a friend where you connect over coffee or tea, take a walk, visit, and interact in a simple but meaningful way. Once you have a plan in place, it’s time to anticipate being with your friend. What do you look forward to when you think about the upcoming visit? During your visit, share what you enjoy about this person. After the visit, notice what is meaningful from the anticipation and compare it with what was satisfying from your visit.

Have fun with this exercise. We pick up tomorrow with more joy practice!

Because it is Friday and I will be going up to my countryside home in Easton NY to be with my wife, TammyLyn, the “special visit” I am planning is to be with her!  So when I go up to see her this evening, I am going to suggest we take a “field trip” to be true to today’s challenge.  It has been a while since we have been to Hudson Crossing Park in Schuylerville, I may suggest going there for a walk after dinner so we can spend some quality time being together and appreciating each other’s company.  So I anticipate being with her, walking through the park, seeing the River, possibly seeing a good sunset, and talking with her about the week we have had and the plans we will make for tomorrow. 

I love TammyLyn because of her faith, her beauty, her humor, and her spirit and that is why I have her as my wife and I plan on spending the rest of my life making “special visits” and taking “field trips” with her.  

So what about you? Do you have a special friend or loved one that you can make a plan to visit today or soon?  Part of appreciating the “good” in life is by being intentional to enjoy your life with the people that you love. So step out and be bold and let your friend or loved one know that you appreciate them and that you want to spend some time together.  If the plan comes together, you can anticipate the joy before you experience and enjoy it together when it happens. And then afterward, your experience will become a memory that can give you joy too!

So start living in joy today, by making a plan to experience joy and by living in the moment of actually doing it and appreciating the fact that “we did that” after it is done.    

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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 Adultery:

Proverbs 4:13-18 (ESV)
13  Keep hold of instruction; do not let go; guard her, for she is your life.
14  Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of the evil.
15  Avoid it; do not go on it; turn away from it and pass on.
16  For they cannot sleep unless they have done wrong; they are robbed of sleep unless they have made someone stumble.
17  For they eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence.
18  But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day.

Today’s verses are used by our resource to point out that “Adultery can be avoided.”  

In fact our resource, gives us more than today’s offering towards that end, and we will share all of Bible verses they list on this point in the days ahead. 

But for today, I chose to share this passage, from verse 13 to 18 because it seemed to adequately be a complete train of thought. When we share the word or study the word, we have to be careful to not just cherry pick the verses we like without considering their context. A single verse or two may be able to convey God’s wisdom but if we should be sure of what the entire passage of scripture says before assuming we are being true to the overall meaning of that section of scripture.   

In this passage, we are told to hold onto instruction (biblical wisdom) and to avoid the path if the wicked, with the warning that way of evil corrupts your soul causing one to be restless – hungry and thirsty – to do wrong.   But the path of the righteous is brightness and life. So we should choose to “do what is right” according to God’s work and shun the temptations to do evil. 

Adultery, and all sin, can be avoided when we know who we are in Christ and are diligent in obeying the teachings of the word of God.  Christ has set us free, but we still must choose to go on the path of righteousness and rejecting the way of evil.  

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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

11 - The Spirit Quickening

First the Work of the Spirit, Then the Word

Under the guise of honoring the written word, many have (no doubt unwittingly) dishonored the Holy Spirit. The idea which seems to prevail in “orthodox” circles today is that all which is needed for the salvation of souls is to give out the Word in its purity, God being pledged to bless the same. How often we have heard it said, “The Word will do its own work.” Many suppose that the Scriptures are quite sufficient of themselves to communicate light to those in darkness and life to those who are dead in sins. But the record which we have of Christ’s life ought at once to correct such a view. Who preached the Word as faithfully as He, yet how very few were saved during His three and a half years’ ministry?!

The parable of the Sower exposes the fallacy of the theory now so widely prevailing. The “seed” sown is the Word. It was scattered upon various kinds of ground, yet notwithstanding the purity and vitality of the seed, where the soil was unfavorable, no increase issued therefrom. Until the ground was made good, the seed yielded no increase. That seed might be watered by copious showers and warmed by a genial sum, but while the soil was bad there could be no harvest. The ground must be changed before it could be fertile. Nor is it the seed which changes the soil: what farmer would ever think of saying, The seed will change the soil! Make no mistake upon this point: the Holy Spirit must first quicken the dead soul into newness of life before the Word obtains any entrance.

To say that life is communicated to the soul by the Spirit’s application of the Word, and then to affirm that it is the principle of life which gives efficacy to the Word, is but to reason in a circle. The Word cannot profit any soul spiritually until it be “mixed with faith” (Heb. 4:2), and faith cannot be put forth unless it proceeds from a principle of life and grace; and therefore that principle of life is not produced by it.

“We might as well suppose that the presenting of a picture to a man who is blind can enable him to see, as we can suppose that the presenting of the Word in an objective way is the instrument whereby God produces the internal principle by which we are enabled to embrace it” (Thomas Ridgley, Presbyterian, 1730—quoted by us to show we are not here inculcating some new doctrine.)

Yet notwithstanding what has been pointed out above, many are still likely to insist upon the quickening power which inheres in the Word itself, reminding us that its voice is that of the Almighty. This we freely and fully acknowledge, but do not all the unregenerate resist, and refuse to heed that Voice? How, then, is that opposition to be removed? Take an illustration. Suppose the window of my room is darkened by an iron wall before it. The sun’s beams beat upon it, but still the wall remains. Were it of ice, it would melt away, but the nature of iron is to harden and not soften under the influence of heat. How, then, is the sun to enter my room? Only by removing that wall: a direct power must be put forth for its destruction. In like manner, the deadly enmity of the sinner must be removed by the immediate operation of the Spirit, communicating life, before the Word enters and affects him.

“The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness” (Matthew 7:22, 23). By the “eye” is not here meant the mind only, but the disposition of the heart (cf. Mark 7:22). Here Christ tells us in what man’s blindness consists, namely, the evil disposition of his heart, and that the only way to remove the darkness, and let in the light, is to change the heart. An “evil eye” is not cured or its darkness removed merely by casting light upon it, any more than the rays of the sun communicate sight unto one whose visive faculty is dead. The eye must be cured, made “single,” and then it is capable of receiving the light.

“It is said the Lord opened the heart of Lydia, that she attended unto the things that were spoken by Paul (Acts 16:14). It would be a contradiction, and very absurd, to say that God’s Word spoken by Paul was that by which her heart was opened; for she knew not what he did speak, until her heart was opened to attend to his words and understand them. Her heart was first opened in order for his words to have any effect or give any light to her. And this must be done by an immediate operation of the Spirit of God on her heart. This was the regeneration now under consideration, by which her heart was renewed, and formed unto true discerning like the single eye” (Samuel Hopkins, 1792).

The soul, then, is quickened into newness of life by the direct and supernatural operation of the Spirit, without any medium or means whatever. It is not accomplished by the light of the Word, for it is His very imparting of life which fits the heart to receive the light. This initial work of the Spirit is absolutely indispensable in order to have spiritual illumination. It is depravity or corruption of heart which holds the mind in darkness, and it is in this that unregeneracy consists. It is just as absurd to speak of illumination being conveyed by the Word in order to have a change of heart, or the giving of a relish for spiritual things, as it would be to speak of giving the capacity to a man to taste the sweetness of honey while he was devoid of a palate.

No, men are not “quickened” by the Word, they must be quickened in order to receive and understand the Word. “And I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the LORD; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God” (Jer. 24:7): that statement would be quite meaningless if a saving knowledge of or experimental acquaintance with God were obtained through the Word previous to the “new heart” or spiritual life being given, and was the means of our being quickened. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” (Prov. 1:7); the “fear of the Lord” or Divine grace communicated to the heart (spiritual life imparted) alone lays the foundation for spiritual knowledge and activities.[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

(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)

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.).