Labels

Showing posts with label Abortion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Abortion. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

With Friends Like These - The Right to be Wrong - Purity 770


With Friends Like These -  The Right to be Wrong - Purity 770

Purity 770 06/29/2022 Purity 770 Podcast

Good morning,

Today’s photo of blue skies filled with cumulus clouds over a field of green comes to us from yours truly as I was taken by the simple magnificent beauty that was on display yesterday afternoon while I was travelling for work in the Speigletown area of Upstate New York.  

Well it’s Wednesday and I actually had a photo of a mountain peak that I was going to share to visually represent our arrival at “hump day” but I couldn’t easily recall what the location or the source of the photo was so rather than running the risk of offending the unknown photographer, I decided to go with one of my own because I really believe that yesterday was a beautiful day and I knew for certain I wouldn’t offend myself.  

If you didn’t notice lately the overturning of Roe v. Wade, has caused many to voice their opinions on the decision with some rejoicing over the potential to protect the lives of the unborn and with others voicing their outrage, anger, and fears over this potential loss of a woman’s access to abortion on demand.   As we draw near to the celebration of our nation’s independence, many are exercising their right to free speech and are not shy in voicing their opinion in a manner that seems to make it clear that they don’t care who they offend. 

Now before you unfriend me, goodbye old friends, frankly I’m surprised I lasted this long, my intention is not to offend but to seek bring peace and to encourage my friends to recognize the world system and how it deceives us.        

If I was a conspiracy theorist, I would wonder about how or why in the last few years there has seems to be a real “wagging of the dog” in our society as the media continually reports on issues that seem to further divide our society.  Right? Man, we are just so divided, lately? Right? 

Lately? I don’t think so. As far as I can recall, we have always been divided. 

Is our division now worse than it has ever been?   No, not really.  

I was born in 1972 and grew up in the 80’s and as I far as I can recall, the issue of abortion has always been divisive and no matter which way the winds of change blow to change the laws of our land, it will always be divisive.  No matter which side you are on of this issue, your posts, on both sides, especially the snarky or insulting ones, will most likely not change people’s minds. 

For those applauding the decision, congratulations, but before you get too excited just know that many states, corporations, and systems within our federal government will be operating in the same ways they were prior to the overruling of Roe V. Wade, with some agencies even making the offer of transporting persons across state lines, if necessary, to ensure their right to abortion.

For those lamenting of or who are up in arms over the decision, see the  above. Due to the policies of certain states and the championing of this cause of abortion on demand by some, it appears to that the only loss of the “right of abortion” is possibly the loss of convenience.  

The simple truth is that is that “where there is a will there is a way” and if you are not happy with the way things are now, just wait and things will change and if the current trends continue ,the media will one day point to 2022 as the “good old days” as things are always getting worse.   

The thing that shocks me the most is the wide variety of stances that I have seen my friends take in voicing in their opinion over this issue and how in many instances there seems to be an inconsistency in their logic or morality. I have repeatedly been surprised over the testimonies of some of my friends that would lead me to think they would argue for one side of this issue only to discover they are on “the other side”.   Of course, I guess I am only shocked because I have a different view from theirs.  

As someone who has dear friends on both sides of this issue, I wish we could all “just get along”, and we can, as in operating civilly in society, we can, right guys?, but I realize that we will all be divided ultimately and it won’t be the opinions of the supreme court, the president, or your “frien-emies” on Facebook by which you will be deemed as righteous. I want us all to have peace but we will only know peace if we have peace with God.      

As the Creator of the Universe, God will determine the “rights” and “wrongs” of His creation. And even though He has given man the free will to choose what they will think and do, they are not free from the consequences of those thoughts and actions.  And when He calls each one of us into eternity, we will have to judged by His standards and principles reveal in the word of God.  

Hey, brother I was just a sinner saved by grace, through faith in Jesus Christ, I’m not here to judge you because that’s not my job but I would have to echo the concerns of the thief who was crucified on the cross next to Jesus who said: 

Luke 23:40-41 (NKJV)
40  …., "Do you not even fear God…”

While I know that with free will, and regardless of federal, state, or local laws,  “I can do that” but shouldn’t we think about whether or not “I should do that”.   While many will argue that this is only an issue of choice, should we encourage people to make a choice that not only takes away one’s right to live but usually encumbers the chooser with the heart guilt that comes from violating God’s standards?

No choice is morally neutral in God’s eyes and when we go against His will, we suffer. The good news is that God offers forgiveness through Christ but He also calls us to repent of the world’s way and to live according to His word.  

Often with this issue extreme situations are always brought forth to complicate it but in the end we will need to have peace with God and no extenuating circumstances ever excuses the violation of His law.  While man argues for their rights, they usually forsake their responsibilities to obey the Lord.

I can see both sides of this issue and it pains my heart to consider  the sick world broken by sin that we live in that would cause this to be something that is argued over.  

The preponderance of evidence drawn from scripture would indicate that abortion is murder and thus sin. It is something we shouldn’t do. Also the fornication, incest, and rape that would result in the “need for an abortion” is also a sin.   So let’s push for obeying the Lord and our personal responsibility, and maybe it won’t be an issue.  

But alas, that’s not what the word of God indicates will happen, we are not going to fix the world’s problems because it is broken by sin. But one day Jesus will return and set all things right and He undoubtedly won’t be looking to make sure we have the right to do something that is against His Father’s word.   

It’s is through Christ alone that we are saved and made righteous. It is through Him that we are forgiven, given new life, and have peace with God.

As Christians, we are adopted into God’s family and I can tell you that adoption has worked wonders for my life.  

In the days ahead, let’s seek to make peace but also agree to consider the law of the Lord rather than the opinions of men. And let’s seek to love our enemies and forgive them for they know not what they do because they are spiritually blinded. They can’t see that the right they wish to uphold is wrong, but God gave them the free will to choose it. 

Instead of being offended, offer your friendship and seek to share God’s love and wisdom.   Hey no one said walking and talking with God would be easy, but it’s path that leads to life everlasting and eternal glory in God’s presence, so let’s be patient, faithful, and kind in the hopes that we can lead others into the light and have the peace that goes beyond all understanding.

 

______________________________________________________________

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

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Proverbs 4:18 (NKJV)
18  But the path of the just is like the shining sun, That shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.

Today’s Bible verse speaks the progressive nature of our faith. 

Our future is so bright that we have to wear shades was a sentiment share in an old song from my youth, and today’s verse speaks of the fact that our walk with the Lord should be one of increasing illumination to His truth and to our personal sanctification.  

The more we walk with the Lord, the more we should know and live out His truth. We aren’t what we want to be yet but we sure aren’t who we were, right?  

This verse also points to the “perfect day” when we will be glorified in the presence of the Lord.  That’s good news! No matter how daunting our progress here on earth may be at times, we are assured that one day we will “make it”.  The perfect day is coming so keep walking and talking with God because, man, our future is so bright we should probably wear shades but we can also enjoy the progress where things get brighter along the way.

______________________________________________________________________

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 Clinton E. Arnold’s “Powers of Darkness”

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Clinton Arnold’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 Influence of the Powers on Individuals

Inimical to the purposes of God, the evil powers were believed to exert their supernatural influence to lead people astray from the revealed will of God. They lead people into all kinds of moral impurity. This is one of the reasons that the Qumran community could refer to this evil dominion as “the company of Darkness.” Note how the Qumran War Scroll describes this activity of Satan and his powers:

Satan, the Angel of Malevolence, Thou hast created for the Pit; his [rule] is in Darkness and his purpose is to bring about wickedness and iniquity. All the spirits of his company, the Angels of Destruction, walk according to the precepts of Darkness; towards them is their [inclination]. (1QM 13.11–12)

The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs elaborate extensively on this activity of the powers of darkness and are important for giving us an understanding of Jewish belief. The Testaments, dating roughly back to the first or second century B.C., purportedly record the final utterances of each of Jacob’s twelve sons. The Testaments are largely concerned with ethical issues and attempt to promote virtuous conduct among the Jewish readership. The Testaments paint a picture of common Jewish thinking about the way evil spirits influence people in their daily lives. For this reason, they are especially valuable for understanding Paul’s discussion of evil spirits.

According to the Testaments, every individual must personally struggle against evil spirits of deceit, who are ruled by the devil, or Beliar. They exploit human drives and frailties to promote their evil ends.

Sexual promiscuity, in particular, is pinpointed as one of the areas of sinful activity instigated by evil spirits. In the Testament of Reuben, sexual sin is called “the plague of Beliar” and is inspired by a “spirit of promiscuity (porneia) that resides in the nature and the senses” (Testament of Reuben 6:3; 3:3). The Testament does not give the devil and his powers full responsibility for human lapses into sexual trysts; the involvement of the human mind and senses is given an equal role. In reflecting on Reuben’s incestuous sin with his father’s mistress, Bilhah (cf. Gen 35:22), the Testament places more emphasis on Reuben’s own lust and mental titillation: “For if I had not seen Bilhah bathing in a sheltered place, I would not have fallen into this great lawless act. For so absorbed were my senses by her naked femininity that I was not able to sleep until I had performed this revolting act” (3:11–12). Based on his regrettable experience, Reuben’s advice to his offspring focuses on disciplining their minds: “Do not devote your attention to the beauty of women, my children, nor occupy your minds with their activities. But live in integrity of heart in the fear of the Lord … until the Lord gives you the mate whom he wills, so that you do not suffer as I did” (4:1). Nevertheless, in continuing to reflect on what he had learned from the event, he points to the devil’s involvement: “For promiscuity has destroyed many. Whether a man is old, well born, rich, or poor, he brings on himself disgrace among mankind and provides Beliar with an opportunity to cause him to stumble” (4:7).

The evil spirits of error also take advantage of the debase human tendency toward jealousy. The Testament of Simeon reflects on Simeon’s role in the betrayal of Joseph by his brothers (Gen 37:12–36). Simeon relates how a powerful evil spirit exploited his jealousy toward Joseph:

In the time of my youth I was jealous of Joseph, because my father loved him more than all the rest of us. I determined inwardly to destroy him, because the Prince (arch┼Źn) of Error blinded my mind so that I did not consider him as a brother nor did I spare Jacob, my father. (Testament of Simeon 2:6–7)

Simeon thus advises his children to “beware of the spirit of deceit and envy” (3:1). If the influence of such a spirit is detected, one must turn to the Lord. Simeon counsels, “If anyone flees to the Lord for refuge, the evil spirit will quickly depart from him, and his mind will be eased” (3:5). Simeon holds Joseph up as a positive example. Joseph was able to love his brothers, in spite of their treachery toward him, because he possessed the Spirit of God” (4:4).

These two examples help us gain insight into what Jews in the first century believed to be true regarding the role of evil spirits in the affairs of daily life, especially with respect to personal morality. Some of the thoughts on evil spirits contained in these Testaments are also reflected in the apostle Paul’s writings.[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/channel/UCTxjSNstREpuGWuL0bF3U7w/featured

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 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)

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

 



[1] Clinton E. Arnold, Powers of Darkness: Principalities & Powers in Paul’s Letters (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic: An Imprint of InterVarsity Press, 1992), 67–69.

Saturday, February 5, 2022

Our Strength - The Spirit of God with Us – Purity 647


Our Strength - The Spirit of God with Us   Purity 647

Purity 647 02/05/2022  Purity 647 Podcast

Good morning,

Today’s photo of an ice covered evergreen tree at dusk comes to us from a friend who saw some beauty in the circumstances of the “sandy” snowstorm that rolled through upstate New York yesterday.  The snow was sandy in my neck of the woods anyway.  I am nestled in the upper northwest corner of the Hudson Valley in Columbia County and when I awoke yesterday my estimate of what I saw in terms of snow accumulation was “no big deal” and I almost regretted making arrangements to have the day off from work.  But upon further review I discovered that my car and the base of my driveway were covered in ice. The shoveling of snow proved to be more like chiseling and the nearly imperceptible falling ice sandy snow kept adding to our snow fall total as I struggled to clear my driveway.  

But when the going gets tough the tough get going, so I fought the good fight to clear my driveway anyway. And after the tough got tired, I made my shoveling a practice of prayer and thanksgiving as I accept my role as the steward of my property and recalled the tumultuous times and much longer driveway of the past and so I began thanking the Lord for my relatively new home “down by the River” and even thanked Him for the snow storm to give me the opportunity to appreciate my new location in life and my job as caretaker for the grounds of my house.   So I silently said the “Lord’s prayer” a few times and that practice of gratitude and adoration got me through ½ of the grueling job of chiseling up the 1-3 inches of ice and snow sand that covered my driveway.  

After that, the realization that I was “almost done” fueled my efforts as I reached the front of my house and had developed a measure of skill in defeating this latest incarnation of winter. So I pressed on.  

But as I got within 2 feet of the end of my driveway I realized that the county snowplows had made my “finish line” the hardest task of the lot. The additional snow and ice were deeper, harder, and heavier and I will not lie to you when I tell you that my exhaustion at the task almost caused me to quit.   

Almost. One lesson I have learned in life, and especially through the portion of my life that has been dedicated to Christ and a lifestyle of Christian Discipleship, is that “we don’t quit.” When I say “We”, I mean God and me as since I put my faith in Christ we  are a team that doesn’t throw in the towel.  Now in retrospect, I probably should have taken a break and had some water at that last stage of shoveling, but my responsibility,  my desire to finish, and my calls on the Lord for strength (both mental and physical) wouldn’t let me stop until “it was finished”.      

God never gave up on me through the years of my lostness and now He has taught me that one of the things a disciple of Christ does is that they never give up and the only thing they surrender to is God’s will for their life.  My responsibility to the stewardship of my home trumped any desire to rest and relax.  The calls on the Lord for strength negated any ideas of stopping. 

Many times in our lives in Christ we will run into trials where our limits are tested and our human body and emotions may determine that things are hopeless or impossible but our spirit, when it is in communion with the Holy Spirit that dwells within us,  will bear down, and try harder and find that the limits we thought we were subject to were only limits that we put on ourselves. 

Time and time again in my walk with Christ I have discovered the truth of God’s word that says, “nothing is impossible with God.”   And yesterday when I thought I might actually collapse or “die” from my exhaustion (not really, I wish I guess, take me Jesus– but then I thought how my wife would miss me and how I would miss my wife), I just again prayed for the strength to clear that last few mounds of snow and succeeded.        

After finishing, I was tired and thanked the Lord for “hot showers” and the warm comfort of the inside of my house. My exhaustion seemed heavy, and I doubted that there was any chance of me doing much of anything else with the rest of my day even though I was surprised that it was only 1pm after my long recuperating shower.   

But after I received word that a weekend appointment near my home was cancelled, I found my heart set on seeing my wife at our countryside home in the “great white north” of Easton NY and despite my tiredness and the physical aches and pains in my back, legs, and arms from my fight with old man winter, I found myself hastily throwing my bags into my ice covered Honda CRV and joyously singing praises to the Lord as I took the snowy roads to my northern destination by 3:30 yesterday afternoon.  

Yeah the prospect of seeing my beloved wife, who God had dramatically brought into my life, trumped the pain and exhaustion and even the concern that some more sandy snow had covered up what had a completely clear driveway at 1pm.      

So I don’t know what I will have to deal with when I return to my “River House” on Sunday but whatever it is I will accept it as a steward to my home. But my desire to spend the weekend with my wife, and to honor my responsibility to love and serve her, erased any negative circumstances from my struggles with the snow. I was filled with joy of the Lord that surpasses life’s difficulties and confirms my identity as a disciple of Jesus Christ.

 It’s easy to rejoice when you know the benefits of stretching the limits of what you think you can do and experience the amazing things you can accomplish when you trust the Lord to help you.

So whatever you are facing this weekend or in this latest season of life: keeping going. God doesn’t want you to quit and when you walk and talk with Him on a continually basis you will receive His love, strength, and wisdom to help you to persevere and to do the “impossible”.  You may need to press into your faith longer than the few hours it took me to clear my driveway, but the good thing is that God is infinite and the reserves of His love, power, and strength never run out. 

So on your journey to the “next good thing” you may need to rest and be committed to a long course of physical and mental work to see results but when you trust the Lord and rely on Him to help you as you “fight the good fight”, you will discover that somehow your victory will be more than the result of just “your hard work”.

If you walk and talk with God on the way out of the valley of darkness that you are in, you will discover that He will help you in unexpected and amazing ways in addition to helping you to do your part.  So keep going and keep trusting God to help you get to the good place that lies beyond your current struggles and challenges.  Or if you are in that good place already, remember to thank Him and praise His name!


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

This morning’s meditation verses are:

Romans 8:10-11 (NLT2)
10  And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God.
11  The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.

Today’s verses speak of the truth of how Christ and the Spirit of God lives within us.  

Yes! The Spirit of God and Christ live within us!  Yes the Trinity can be a little tricky, which just might be the understatement of understatements of our Christian faith, but it is true!

Christ lives with in us! The Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit, lives within us!  And these verses also indicate that God the Father will give life to our mortal bodies “by this same Spirit living within you.   

So our God is One – in three persons – God the Father, sent Jesus to save us, and He gives us the Holy Spirit when we put our faith in Jesus.  The mystery of our faith is that God is One but is also Three. He is a singular plurality.  

To make an analogy that probably walks the thin line of blasphemy or heresy, it’s like how we are “me, myself, and I” or how we have a physical body, a mental capacity (a soul) and spiritual aspect (a spirit). It is also expressed in how we have different relationships or roles that we can play and still be one person.   Now, I make those analogies about ourselves to show how identity or “personhood” can be “complicated” on a human level and so it is exponentially even more difficult to adequately understand when we contemplate our triune God who is the transcendent, self-existent, Creator of all things.  

But the good news is that we don’t have to fully understand someone to love and know someone and to be in beneficial relationship with them.  And with God, the benefits are amazing and everlasting!

While the intention of today’s verses seem to be pointing to the comfort of an eternal and everlasting life with God because of the acceptance of the fact that we will “die”, today’s verses also speak of our relationship of being “made right with God” and how we are in the midst of the fellowship of God’s triune community with the assurance of the divine mystery of having Christ and the Spirit of God within us and how God the Father will use “the Spirit” to give life to our mortal bodies.  

Our relationship with God through our faith in Jesus Christ puts us right with God and in the midst of God -He is with us, and we are with Him – right now and forever more.  

My example of drawing on the strength and presence of God in my life to empower me to shovel my driveway is just a small example of how we can experience the reality of God’s Spirit being within us to give us joy, to give us peace, and to help us persevere in our walk of faith.   

Christ, the Holy Spirit, and God the Father love us and are with us.  So rejoice over the fact that those of us in Christ will never really die but remember it is through our interactive relationship with God that we can really live too!  

So keep walking and talking with God and “really live” the life of peace, love, and joy that God gives us when we make Christ our Lord and Savior, and we receive the ability to “walk in the Spirit”!

 

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 to share from Dr. Neil Anderson’s . “Restored: Experience Life with Jesus”. Today, we continue sharing from Chapter 7.   

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

PRAYERS FOR SPECIFIC PROBLEMS

Pornography

Lord Jesus, I confess that I have looked at sexually suggestive and pornographic material for the purpose of stimulating myself sexually. I have attempted to satisfy my lustful desires and polluted my body, soul, and spirit. Thank You for cleansing me and for Your forgiveness. I renounce any satanic bonds I have allowed in my life through the unrighteous use of my body and mind. Lord, I commit myself to destroy any objects in my possession that I have used for sexual stimulation and to turn away from all media that are associated with my sexual sin. I commit myself to the renewing of my mind and to think pure thoughts. Fill me with your Holy Spirit that I may not carry out the desires of the flesh. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Homosexuality

Lord Jesus, I renounce the lie that You have created me or anyone else to be homosexual and I agree that in Your Word You clearly forbid homosexual behavior. I choose to accept myself as a child of God and I thank You that You created me as a man (woman). I renounce all homosexual thoughts, urges, drives, and acts and renounce all ways that Satan has used these things to pervert my relationships. I announce that I am free in Christ to relate to the opposite sex and my own sex in the way that You intended. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Abortion

Lord Jesus, I confess that I was not a proper guardian and keeper of the life You entrusted to me, and I confess that I have sinned. Thank You that because of Your forgiveness, I can forgive myself. I commit the child to You for all eternity and believe that he or she is in Your caring hands. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Suicidal Tendencies

Lord Jesus, I renounce all suicidal thoughts and any attempts I’ve made to take my own life or in any way injure myself. I renounce the lie that life is hopeless and that I can find peace and freedom by taking my own life. Satan is a thief and comes to steal, kill, and destroy. I choose life in Christ who said He came to give me life and give it abundantly. Thank You for Your forgiveness that allows me to forgive myself. I choose to believe that there is always hope in Christ and that my heavenly Father loves me. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

 ---------------------------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/channel/UCTxjSNstREpuGWuL0bF3U7w/featured

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 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)

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship