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Showing posts with label Adultery. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Adultery. Show all posts

Friday, July 21, 2023

Media that Corrupts - Self-Deception Series 11 – Purity 1100

 

A sunset over the ocean

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Media that Corrupts - Self-Deception Series 11 – Purity 1100

Purity 1100 07/20/2023  Purity 1100 Podcast

Purity 1100 on YouTube: Coming Soon!

Good morning,

Today’s photo of sunset at Rhino Rock, Cape Northumberland, in Port Mac Donnell, South Australia comes to us from Dave Baun Photography (https://www.facebook.com/DaveBaunPhotographyz) as Dave shared this scene on social media back on May 15th, commenting that it “Could be time for another trek down south! 

Well, it’s Friday, Thank God, and it is my prayer that all who see or hear this message are able to take some time this weekend to enjoy themselves and find peace, and perhaps to take Dave’s suggestion to return to a familiar place where you have found joy in the past.  

While there is some truth to Thomas Wolfe’s adage that “You Can’t Go Home Again”,  meaning you can’t return to a place at another time and find everything the same, it doesn’t mean that we “will never be happy again like we were in the past” or that we can’t find joy in revisiting haunts from the past.  The trap we run into that can cause us to lament over the loss of things that have passed or way or that have changed lies in have an irrational expectation that things will be unchanged or will provide the same experience that we had in the past, which both are impossibilities.  

Things, and ourselves, and in constant flux, if nothing else we age and time cause things to deteriorate. Also if we are fortunate, we mature and the same things that delighted our childish or worldly sensibilities lose their luster as we see them for what they are and how they were never supposed to be the “idols” that we made them out to be. 

I remember when I returned home from my first semester away at college and was surprised at how small the kitchen of my home had seemed to have gotten.  I guess my “child-like” expectations and perceptions of that room were challenged as had some distance from it and now reentered that space as a man. Although I had a lot of things to learn and to grow out of still, I wasn’t a kid anymore and even my perceptions of my home was changed as my childhood was over.

But this shift didn’t mean that all was lost, and joy was no more. It didn’t mean that I should regress into playing with childhood toys or to try to kneel down to regain a childlike perspective, it just meant that I was to find joy where I was now and to rejoice over the fact that I was blessed with growth and the ability to develop into maturity and new tastes.    

It matters how we perceive the world and the way we see it is directly impacted by the things we put our attention to.  As Christians who are trying to be sanctified and to be more and more like Jesus, we have to realize that some of the things that we enjoyed in our pre-Christ existence are not good for us and no longer are appropriate for who we are now in Christ.   Some of the things we enjoyed before go against the word of God and the spirit of our new lives in Christ, and rather than persisting in our “childish” – worldly ways, we should set our minds, eyes, and ears on things that are good. As

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

So we shouldn’t believe the lie that turning our attention to worldly things won’t corrupt us.

And that brings us to our current series on Self- Deception, where we have decided to investigate some of the ways we deceive ourselves by walking through Step 2, Deception Vs. Truth, of the Steps to Freedom in Christ to see what ways we may have been deceived by “the world” and ourselves and in what ways we have wrongly defended ourselves. 

So we present the ninth “Way You Can Be Deceived By the World”:

10. Believing that I can read, see, or listen to anything and not be corrupted.

The scripture reference for this point is:

Proverbs 4:23-27 (NLT2)
23  Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.
24  Avoid all perverse talk; stay away from corrupt speech.
25  Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you.
26  Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path.
27  Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil.

And

Matthew 5:28 (NLT2)
28  But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Hey, I’ll keep it real as someone who didn’t come to Christ until later in life, I enjoyed rock n’ roll, alternative rock, rap, hip-hop, the books of Stephen King, rated R movies, Horror and science fiction movies and tv shows that weren’t shy in their use of profanity or nudity.   But I would like to point out that I was living in the flesh – I was an addict for entertainment, substance, and sex. I was in a vicious cycle of trying to satisfy my desires virtually all the time.  And if I am honest the things I watched, read, and listened to did nothing to dissuade my fleshly habits. In truth, the media that I consumed went hand in hand with my fleshly lifestyle and fueled my desires and encouraged me to express my anger, my lust, my fear, and even my depression.  The media I consumed also gave me no hope of any meaning and purpose to life, other than to “live it up” and to “do whatever I wanted to do”.  The media I consumed encouraged me to satisfy myself and myself alone.    

So, after becoming a born again disciple of Jesus Christ, my eyes were opened to not only the truth of the gospel. After I was “saved”, it has become increasingly revealed to me how all the things that I used to put my attention on were harmful and antithetical to who I am in Christ.   The music, tv shows, and movies I watched fed my lust and led me into sin and the negative consequences and emotions that stem from sin.   I am still learning about how the things of my pre-Christ existence have the tendency to corrupt me and I am continually learning this lesson again and again.  

I will still watch the occasional horror film and occasionally listen to secular music but for the most part I have pulled the plug on secular entertainments because I have grown increasingly sensitive to the fact that these things aren’t good for my soul. After indulging in these periodic returns to my interests, I am often dissatisfied either with the quality or the content and feel like I have to be cleansed and repent leading me to invariably ask for the Lord’s forgiveness.  I have noticed the subtle way that secular media undermines the word of God, causes disquieting emotions, and can lead into temptation.   

So be aware that while we are free to watch, read, or listen to anything, we are not free from the negative consequences of indulging in things that can corrupt us.   

As

1 Corinthians 10:23 (NKJV) tells us
23  All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify.

So focus on these good, noble, and pure things and seek to be edified (morally or intellectually improved) with the things that you listen to, watch, or read.   

God may have found you in the midst of consuming secular media, but it doesn’t mean that He wants you to stay there.  Instead to walk in the Spirit with what you put before your mind, eyes, and ears and seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness to know the peace and true freedom that comes from being more and more like Jesus.

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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 come from the section on Adultery:

Genesis 39:6-21 (NLT2)
6  So Potiphar gave Joseph complete administrative responsibility over everything he owned. With Joseph there, he didn’t worry about a thing—except what kind of food to eat! Joseph was a very handsome and well-built young man,
7  and Potiphar’s wife soon began to look at him lustfully. “Come and sleep with me,” she demanded. 8  But Joseph refused. “Look,” he told her, “my master trusts me with everything in his entire household. 9  No one here has more authority than I do. He has held back nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How could I do such a wicked thing? It would be a great sin against God.” 10  She kept putting pressure on Joseph day after day, but he refused to sleep with her, and he kept out of her way as much as possible.
11  One day, however, no one else was around when he went in to do his work.
12  She came and grabbed him by his cloak, demanding, “Come on, sleep with me!” Joseph tore himself away, but he left his cloak in her hand as he ran from the house.
13  When she saw that she was holding his cloak and he had fled, 14  she called out to her servants. Soon all the men came running. “Look!” she said. “My husband has brought this Hebrew slave here to make fools of us! He came into my room to rape me, but I screamed. 15  When he heard me scream, he ran outside and got away, but he left his cloak behind with me.” 16  She kept the cloak with her until her husband came home.
17  Then she told him her story. “That Hebrew slave you’ve brought into our house tried to come in and fool around with me,” she said. 18  “But when I screamed, he ran outside, leaving his cloak with me!”
19  Potiphar was furious when he heard his wife’s story about how Joseph had treated her. 20  So he took Joseph and threw him into the prison where the king’s prisoners were held, and there he remained.
21  But the LORD was with Joseph in the prison and showed him his faithful love. And the LORD made Joseph a favorite with the prison warden.

Today’s verse falls under the 19th point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on adultery, 19. “When he was tempted by Potiphar’s wife to commit adultery, Joesph refused to sin against God.”

Today is the last day on our series of Adultery, the 19th and final point, and it tells the story of faithful Joesph who knew how wicked and evil adultery was (before the 10 Commandments) and that it was not only a sin against Potiphar, but against God Himself. 

Joseph knew the Lord and knew that adultery was something that he should literally run from, and he did. And even though he was wrongfully accused of attempted rape and was imprisoned the Lord was with Him and eventually delivered and exalted Joseph to the 2nd highest position in all of Egypt which allowed him to save his family from famine and forgive his brothers who had sold him into slavery in the first place! 

God is holy and calls His people into a holy life and even though we may suffer for choosing to be pure and separated from the world at times, the Lord is faithful to His people and will take what the enemy meant for evil and turn it for good.  So flee sexual immorality and trust your life to God who works all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purposes.

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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

14 - The Spirit Comforting

How the Spirit Comforts

And how does the Spirit work faith in the convicted sinner’s heart? By effectually testifying to him of the sufficiency of Christ for his every need; by assuring him of the Savior’s readiness to receive the vilest who come to Him. He effectually teaches him that no good qualifications need to be sought, no righteous acts performed, no penance endured in order to fit us for Christ. He reveals to the soul that conviction of sin, deep repenting, a sense of our utter helplessness, are not grounds of acceptance with Christ, but simply a consciousness of our spiritual wretchedness, rendering relief in a way of grace truly welcome. Repentance is needful not as inducing Christ to give, but as disposing us to receive. The Spirit moves us to come to Christ in the very character in which alone He receives sinners—as vile, ruined, lost. Thus, from start to finish “Salvation is of the Lord” (Jonah 2:9)—of the Father in ordaining it, of the Son in purchasing it, of the Spirit in applying it.[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.).


Thursday, July 20, 2023

Bad Company - Forsaking Friends in Low Places- Self-Deception Series 10 – Purity 1099

Bad Company - Forsaking Friends in Low Places- Self-Deception Series 10 – Purity 1099

Purity 1099 07/20/2023 Purity 1099 Podcast

Purity 1099 on YouTube:



Good morning,

Today’s photo of the majestic blue heavens with angelic like cloud formations over Waite Rd comes to us from yours truly as I captured this scene while taking a weary afternoon walk last Saturday after a forced six day work week.  

Well, It’s Thursday and as is my habit I share this photo of an asphalt pathway as a visual encouragement to get on or to keep walking on the path of Christian Discipleship. I also share it because of that magnificent blue sky which has been a rarity this “white sky summer” as we have been inundated with nearly record setting rainfall and periodic poor air quality due to the perpetual wildfires of “O’ Canada”.  You wouldn’t think you could take something as simple as blue skies in summertime for granted but apparently we have as Summer 2023 makes me appreciate it each time I look up and see blue.    

And that’s one thing about our human experience, that is lamented about in that power ballad from 1988, the hard rock -hair band - Cinderella’s “Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone), that the love we have, that the positive circumstances we have, may not last forever and that what we take for granted today may be gone tomorrow.  

One of the things that Christians can take for granted and shockingly stop appreciating is the fact that they know the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ and that they have been translated from the kingdom of darkness into God’s kingdom.  If we are not careful, we can take our salvation and freedom for granted to the point that it will feel like it is gone.  Instead of celebrating and rejoicing in what the Lord has done in our lives continually, we can become jaded and depressed over the negative circumstances in our lives, become weary, and seek comfort and meaning from the world again!  If we fail to practice gratitude and appreciation and choose to stop seeking the Lord’s presence, strength, and guidance in regular Bible study, prayer, and through “walking in the Spirit”,  we can start believing lies that will lead us into sin or take us to the depths of depression.   

So as disciples of Jesus Christ, we have to remind ourselves of what our Teacher has taught us, what He has done in our lives, and rejoice over our salvation and that we have been chosen to know and share the Truth.   We have to walk the fine line of contentment and seeking to be further sanctified on this path and we must be diligent in the battle for our minds when the world, the flesh, or the devil seek to deceive us.   

And that brings us to our current series on Self- Deception, where we have decided to investigate some of the ways we deceive ourselves by walking through Step 2, Deception Vs. Truth, of the Steps to Freedom in Christ to see what ways we may have been deceived by “the world” and ourselves and in what ways we have wrongly defended ourselves. 

So we present the ninth “Way You Can Be Deceived By the World”:

9. Believing that I can associate with bad company and not become corrupted.

The scripture reference for this point is:

1 Corinthians 15:33-34 (NLT2)
33  Don’t be fooled by those who say such things, for “bad company corrupts good character.”
34  Think carefully about what is right, and stop sinning. For to your shame I say that some of you don’t know God at all.

Okay, this one hit close to home because I have many friends that I have left behind on the path of Christian Discipleship who are going the way of the world and unless the Lord is gracious are headed for destruction.  But the thing is that they are kind, amusing, and seemingly “good people”, although that “good” label may slip off if one were to consider some of their life choices or how they have treated others during various times and seasons of their life.  

When we choose to surrender to Jesus and follow Him, we make the choice to separate ourselves from our worldly ways and many of our old friends, some in “low places”, will not appreciate our newfound faith and no longer be our friends.  While some will flat out reject us as a “Bible thumper” of “born again weirdo”, others will tolerate our faith as long as it doesn’t interfere with their lives but will also secretly hope for us to come back to our “old selves” again.  Some will seek to challenge our faith and others will seek to lead us into temptation periodically to see if our “faith” is for real.   

While I love my old worldly friends and have seen quite a few of them come to faith in Jesus, praise the Lord, if they are not “walking and talking with God”, we don’t really hang out anymore.  I have accepted our limited friendships, which are usually limited to a disengaged status on social media or have accepted that we are no longer friends anymore.  Some people can’t even tolerate being connected to me on Facebook because of my vocal faith.  While I wish them well, I don’t regret the disillusionment of these friendships and acquaintanceships because I know the truth and don’t want anything or anyone to lead me into temptation or to disrupt my relationship with the Lord. 

God comes first and everyone else comes next.   

However, this lie, that it is okay to hang out with bad company with no fear of corruption, really hits close to home because I have friends who have suffered greatly because they couldn’t cut ties to toxic people and in one case, bad company contributed to their death.    

“Jake” was a Christian man with the demons of addiction and although He was known for his knowledge of scripture, sense of humor, and kind heart, he had a continual need to be accepted by his “friends in the street”.  And because of Jake’s associations, Jake would continually return to addictive life of crime, and it was in one of these episodes with bad company that he overdosed and died, leaving behind a devastated wife and several children and grandchildren.  

So don’t believe the lie that bad company won’t corrupt you. They may cause you to compromise your faith or lead you to be less than you are meant to be in Christ, but they could also be used by the enemy to steal, kill, and destroy.    

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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 come from the section on Adultery:

Romans 7:2-3 (ESV)
2  For a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage.
3  Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress.

Today’s verse falls under the 18th point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on adultery, 18. “Anyone who divorces his or her spouse for any reason other than adultery and marries another commits adultery.”

Today is actually the second verse under point 18, as I discovered when I turned the page in our resource this morning, and it reiterates the fact that marriage is supposed to be “until death” and acknowledges the insolvability of the marriage covenant and the subsequent sin that results when marriage vows are broken for less than biblical reasons.    But if the spouse dies, the covenant is broken by God and allows you to marry again without the sin of adultery.  

I was reading Mark 10 this morning and John Macarthur’s commentary on Mark 10:1-12 which addresses divorce.  

Macarthur’s commentary regarding remarriage states: 

Remarriage after a divorce—except for legitimate biblical grounds—proliferates adultery. The innocent party—one whose spouse has committed prolonged, hard-hearted, unrepentant adultery—may remarry without being guilty of adultery, as may a believer whose unbelieving spouse has chosen to leave the marriage (see note on 1Co 7:15).[1]

So unless there was sexual immorality or the “unbelieving spouse” chooses to leave, your new relationships would be adulterous.   But God forgives us when we repent and blesses new marriages when we follow Him.  So know the hard truth and try to obey and follow the Lord from this point forward.

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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

14 - The Spirit Comforting

No Place for a “Decision” to Be Saved

One would naturally suppose that the good news of a free Savior and a full salvation would readily be embraced by a convicted sinner. One would think that, as soon as he heard the glad tidings, he could not forbear exclaiming, in a transport of joy, “This is the Savior I want! His salvation is every way suited to my wretchedness. What can I desire more? Here will I rest.” But as a matter of fact this is not always the case, yea, it is rarely so. Instead, the stricken sinner, like the Hebrews in Egypt after Moses had been made manifest before them, is left to groan under the lash of his merciless taskmasters. Yet this arises from no defect in God’s gracious provision, nor because of any inadequacy in the salvation which the Gospel presents, nor because of any distress in the sinner which the Gospel is incapable of relieving; but because the workings of self-righteousness hinder the sinner from seeing the fullness and glory of Divine grace.

Strange as it may sound to those who have but a superficial and non-experimental acquaintance with God’s Truth, awakened souls are exceedingly backward from receiving comfort in the glorious Gospel of Christ. They think they are utterly unworthy and unfit to come to Christ just as they are, in all their vileness and filthiness. They imagine some meetness must be wrought in them before they are qualified to believe the Gospel, that there must be certain holy dispositions in their hearts before they are entitled to conclude that Christ will receive them. They fear that they are not sufficiently humbled under a sense of sin, that they have not a suitable abhorrence of it, that their repentance is not deep enough; that they must have fervent breathings after Christ and pantings after holiness before they can be warranted to seek salvation with a well-grounded hope of success. All of which is the same thing as hugging the miseries of unbelief in order to obtain permission to believe.

Burdened with guilt and filled with terrifying apprehensions of eternal destruction, the convicted sinner yet experimentally ignorant of the perfect righteousness which the Gospel reveals for the justification of the ungodly, strives to obtain acceptance with God by his own labors, tears, and prayers. But as he becomes better acquainted with the high demands of the Law, the holiness of God, and the corruptions of his own heart, he reaches the point where he utterly despairs of being justified by his own strivings. “What must I do to be saved?” is now his agonized cry. Diligently searching God’s Word for light and help, he discovers that “faith” is the all-important thing needed, but exactly what faith is, and how it is to be obtained, he is completely at a loss to ascertain. Well-meaning people, with more zeal than knowledge, urge him to “believe,” which is the one thing above all others he desires to do, but finds himself utterly unable to perform.

If saving faith were nothing more than a mere mental assent to the contents of John 3:16, then any man could make himself a true believer whenever he pleased—the supernatural enablement of the Holy Spirit would be quite unnecessary. But saving faith is very much more than a mental assenting to the contents of any verse of Scripture; and when a soul has been Divinely quickened and awakened to its awful state by nature, it is made to realize that no creature-act of faith, no resting on the bare letter of a text by a “decision” of his own will, can bring pardon and peace. He is now made to realize that “faith” is a Divine gift (Eph. 2:8, 9), and not a creature work; that it is wrought by “the operation of God” (Col. 2:12), and not by the sinner himself. He is now made conscious of the fact that if ever he is to be saved, the same God who invites him to believe (Isa. 45:22), yea, who commands him to believe (1 John 3:23), must also impart faith to him (Eph. 6:23).

Cannot you see, dear reader, that if a saving belief in Christ were the easy matter which the vast majority of preachers and evangelists of today say it is, that the work of the Spirit would be quite unnecessary? Ah, is there any wonder that the mighty power of the Spirit of God is now so rarely witnessed in Christendom?—He has been grieved, insulted, quenched, not only by the skepticism and worldliness of “Modernists,” but equally so by the creature-exalting free-willism and self-ability of man to “receive Christ as his personal Savior” of the “Fundamentalists!”! Oh, how very few today really believe those clear and emphatic words of Christ, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me (by His Spirit) draw him” (John 6:44).

Ah, my reader, when GOD truly takes a soul in hand, He brings him to the end of himself He not only convicts him of the worthlessness of his own works, but He convinces him of the impotence of his will. He not Only strips him of the filthy rags of his own self-righteousness, but He empties him of all self-sufficiency. He not only enables him to perceive that there is “no good thing” in him (Rom. 7:18), but he also makes him feel he is “without strength” (Rom. 5:6). Instead of concluding that he is the man whom God will save, he now fears that he is the man who must be lost forever. He is now brought down into the very dust and made to feel that he is no more able to savingly believe in Christ than he can climb up to Heaven.

We are well aware that what has been said above differs radically from the current preaching of this decadent age; but we will appeal to the experience of the Christian reader. Suppose you had just suffered a heavy financial reverse and were at your wits’ end to know how to make ends meet: bills are owing, your bank has closed, you look in vain for employment, and are filled with fears over future prospects. A preacher calls and rebukes your unbelief, bidding you lay hold of the promises of God. That is the very thing which you desire to do, but can you by an act of your own will? Or, a loved one is suddenly snatched from you: your heart is crushed, grief overwhelms you. A friend kindly bids you to, “sorrow not even as others who have no hope.” Are you able by a “personal decision” to throw off your anguish and rejoice in the Lord? Ah, my reader, if a mature Christian can only “cast all his care” upon the Lord by the Holy Spirit‘s gracious enablement, do you suppose that a poor sinner who is yet “in the gall of bitterness and the bond of iniquity” can lay hold of Christ by a mere act of his own will?

Just as to trust in the Lord with all his heart, to be anxious for nothing, to let the morrow take care of its own concerns, is the desire of every Christian, but “how to perform that which is good” he “finds not” (Rom. 7:18), until the Holy Spirit is pleased to graciously grant the needed enablement. The one supreme yearning of the awakened and convicted sinner is to lay hold of Christ, but until the Spirit draws him to Christ, he finds he has no power to go out of himself, no ability to embrace what is proffered him in the Gospel. The fact is, my reader, that the heart of a sinner is as naturally indisposed for loving and appropriating the things of God, as the wood which Elijah laid on the altar was to ignite, when he had poured so much water upon it, as not only to saturate the wood, but also to fill the trench round about it (1 Kings 18:33)—a miracle is required for the one as much as it was for the other.

The fact is that if souls were left to themselves—to their own “free will”—after they had been truly convicted of sin, none would ever savingly come to Christ! A further and distinct operation of the Spirit is still needed to actually “draw” the heart to close with Christ Himself. Were the sinner left to himself, he would sink in abject despair; he would fall victim to the malice of Satan. The Devil is far more powerful than we are, and never is his rage more stirred than when he fears he is about to lose one of his captives: see Mark 9:20. But blessed be His name, the Spirit does not desert the soul when His work is only half done: He who is “the Spirit of life” (Rom. 8:2) to quicken the dead, He who is “the Spirit of truth” (John 16:13) to instruct the ignorant, is also “the Spirit of faith” (2 Cor. 4:13) to enable us to savingly believe.[2]

---------------------------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] John F. MacArthur Jr., The MacArthur Study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2006), Mk 10:11.

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

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Relapse is Not a part of Freedom - Self-Deception Series 9 – Purity 1098

Relapse is Not a part of Freedom - Self-Deception Series 9 – Purity 1098

Purity 1098 07/19/2023  Purity 1098 Podcas (Sorry for the "jump Cut"

Purity 1098 on YouTube: Coming Soon!

Good morning,

Today’s photo of a grey peak of volcanic sand and rock, dotted with green trees, under a clear blue sky comes to us from Nik Harrang as he shared this scene from his recent “Knight’s Crossing Lassen Camping Adventure” somewhere near the Lassen Volcanic National Park (or the Lassen National Forrest) in northeastern California.  

Well, It’s Wednesday, and sharing Nik’s photo was a “No brainer” as it’s clear beauty and ashy peak seemed to be a perfect way to visually represent our arrival to another “hump day” and to express a feeling of peaceful clarity.  

Because my local church is hosting a children’s vacation Bible School this week, the Celebrate Freedom (discipleship/recovery) Growth Group is “on vacation” this week too and I am please to say that I have already prepared the lessons for the next few weeks and enter into today with a “peaceful” easy feeling because, not only do I have the “night off”, and have done what’s needed to be done for the weeks ahead, as I will be going on vacation for the first two Wednesday’s in August, our “program” isn’t about regular “meetings”.  Celebrate Freedom is about forming a relationship with God and the personal transformation that comes from “abiding in God’s presence and following Jesus in spirit and in truth.   

So, I am not “white knuckling” my sobriety or sanity because our group isn’t meeting tonight.  The path of Christian Discipleship isn’t about a strict regimen of rules, requirements, or meetings. The path of Christian Discipleship isn’t “behavior modification” as much as it is “spiritual formation”. It isn’t about recovery as much as it is about receiving healing – by allowing God to change your heart, mind, and behavior from the inside out.  

While many recovery programs seem to stress the absolute importance of “touching home base” with a strict adherence to attending meetings, the path of Christian recommends “regular meetings” with God through Bible Study, prayer, and just “walking and talking with God.”   As much as regular recovery meetings and accountability groups can help in recovery, forming a relationship with God and seeking to surrender to His will for your life can result in freedom.  

While “relapse is a part of recovery” is a saying that is intended to help people who slip up to not feel so condemned, but it is actually a contradiction in terms, a lie, and can lead to acceptance of periodic failures and a belief that “you will never be completely free” when Jesus tells us that:

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

And Apostle Paul explains that:

Romans 8:2 (NKJV)
2  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.

Jesus has set us free, indeed, and we are free from the “law of sin” – the authority of sin in our lives – we can say no to sin, because we are free now in a way that we never were before coming to Christ.  Through our faith in Christ, we are free over sin and death.  

But we have to believe it and live according to that truth to experience it.  And we have to reject the lies that contradict that truth and keep us from experiencing our freedom in Christ, like “relapse is part of recovery”.

And that brings us to our current series on Self- Deception, where we have decided to investigate some of the ways we deceive ourselves by walking through Step 2, Deception Vs. Truth, of the Steps to Freedom in Christ to see what ways we may have been deceived by “the world” and ourselves and in what ways we have wrongly defended ourselves. 

So we present the eighth “Way You Can Be Deceived By the World”:

8. Believing that people who refuse to receive Jesus will go to heaven anyway.

The scripture reference for this point is:

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (NLT2)
9  Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality,
10  or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God.
11  Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

As much as the verses point out the “bad news” for sinners, the emphasis is on the good news that we are “made right with God” and were “cleansed” and “made holy the minute we called on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.   

This of course is the good news of the gospel but the most pervasive lie of the enemy that persists in our world today is that there are “other ways to God” – that it’s not all about Jesus.  

As much as we would like to think that everyone will be accepted by God, it is logically inconsistent to think that God would have His beloved Son to come and live a holy life, suffer and die, and be resurrected to only save some - that Jesus only suffered for the Christians and the rest of the world can come into God’s kingdom by other means, like good works.  Jesus Himself declared that He is:

John 14:6 (NKJV)
the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

 

Jesus is the only way to be reconciled with God and if we deny the exclusivity of Christ to save we are deceived.  So stand in the truth and safety of the gospel of Jesus Christ and don’t entertain any ideas to the contrary, because they are not true and lead to death and eternals separation from God and suffering in hell.   

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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 come from the section on Adultery:

Matthew 19:9 (ESV)
9  And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.”

Today’s verse falls under the 18th point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on adultery, 18. “Anyone who divorces his or her spouse for any reason other than adultery and marries another commits adultery.”

Today’s verse continues the truth about legitimate divorce and the sin of adultery that is committed when one remarries if their divorce is not for legitimate reasons that was presented yesterday with Matthew 5:31-32.  

As disturbing as the idea that we could unintentionally commit the sin of adultery after a bad marriage, divorce, and being remarried is, we have to remember that Christ paid for all of our sins – even adultery – whether flat out and intentional or through one’s own ignorance of the spiritual realities that encompass marriage covenants.  

While we are guilty of breaking the law regardless of whether we are ignorant or not, we are forgiven all things through our faith in Christ.    So even our sin of “unintentional or ignorant adultery” would be forgiven, if we realize we unwittingly committed it we should still confess it and come before God to make sure that we are living in harmony with Him going forward.  

Whether or not that means breaking off relationships or reconciling old ones would be a matter to take before the Lord in prayer, to seek His will for your life going forward.  

As discussed yesterday, the word of God also indicates divorcing or separating from “the unbeliever” is also permitted and the fact that unforgiveness or abuse may have led to divorce could indicate that our ex-“Christian spouse” wasn’t believing God in the way they should have, indicating their profession of faith may be false. They certainly didn’t live out their faith…

Anyway the point is marriage, divorce, and adultery are very serious matters and we should live according to God’s word regarding them.  While we may not be able to change the mistakes of the past, we can be forgiven for them and seek to live according to God’s word going forward.  

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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

14 - The Spirit Comforting

The Nature of the Spirit’s Comforting in Suffering

Though God acts as a sovereign, and does not always shine in the same conspicuous way into the hearts of all His children, nevertheless, He brings them all to see light in His light: to know and feel that there can be no salvation for them but in the Lord alone. By the Spirit’s powerful illuminating and convicting operations the sinner is made to realize the awful disparity there is between God and himself, so that he feebly cries, “How can a poor wretch like me ever stand before such a holy God, whose righteous Law I have broken in so many ways, and whose ineffable majesty I have so often insulted?” By that light the convicted soul, eventually, is made to feel its utter inability to help itself, or take one step toward the obtainment of holiness and happiness. By that light the quickened soul both sees and feels there can be no access to God, no acceptance with Him, save through the Person and blood of Christ; but how to get at Christ the stricken soul knows not.

“And I will give her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope” (Hosea 2:15): such is the comforting promise of God to the one whom He proposes to “allure” or win unto Himself. First, He hedges up the sinner’s way with “thorns” (Hosea 2:6), piercing his conscience with the sharp arrows of conviction. Second, He effectually battles all his attempts to drown his sorrows and find satisfaction again in his former lovers (v. 7). Third, He discovers his spiritual nakedness, and makes all his mirth to cease (vv. 10, 11). Fourth, He brings him into “the wilderness” (v. 14), making him feel his case is desperate indeed. And then, when all hope is gone, when the poor sinner feels there is no salvation for him, “a door of hope” is opened for him even in “the valley of Achor” or “trouble,” and what is that “door of hope” but the mercy of God!

It is by putting into his mind thoughts of God’s mercy that the Spirit supports the fainting heart of the convicted sinner from sinking beneath abject despair. Now it is that the blessed Spirit helps his infirmities with “groanings that cannot be uttered,” and in the midst of a thousand fears he is moved to cry, “God be merciful to me a sinner.” But “we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22)—true alike of the initial entrance into the kingdom of grace and the ultimate entrance into the kingdom of glory. The Lord heard the “groaning” of the poor Hebrews in Egypt, and “had respect unto them” (Ex. 2:23–25), nevertheless, He saw it was good for them to pass through yet sorer trials before He delivered them. The deliverer was presented to them and hope was kindled in their hearts (Ex. 4:29–31), yet the time appointed for their exodus from the house of bondage had not yet arrived.

And why was the deliverance of the Hebrews delayed after Moses had been made manifest before them? Why were they caused to experience yet more sorely the enmity of Pharaoh? Ah, the Lord would make them to feel their impotence as well as their wretchedness, and would exhibit more fully His power over the enemy. So it is very often (if not always) in the experience of the quickened soul. Satan is now permitted to rage against him with increased violence and fury (Zech. 3:1). The Devil accuses him of his innumerable iniquities, intensifies his remorse, seeks to persuade him that he has committed the unpardonable sin, assures him he has transgressed beyond all possibility of Divine mercy, and tells him his case is hopeless. And, my reader, were the poor sinner left to himself, the Devil would surely succeed in making him do as Judas did!

But, blessed be His name, the Holy Spirit does not desert the convicted soul, even in its darkest hour: He secretly upholds it and grants at least temporary respites, as the Lord did the Hebrews in Egypt. The poor Satan-harassed soul is enabled “against hope to believe in hope” (Rom. 4:18) and to cry, “Let the sighing of the prisoner come before Thee: according to the greatness of Thy power, preserve Thou those that are appointed to destruction” (Ps. 79:11). Yet before deliverance is actually experienced, before that peace which passeth all understanding is communicated to his heart, before the redemption “which is in Christ Jesus” becomes his conscious portion, the soul is made to feel its complete impotence to advance one step toward the same, that it is entirely dependent upon the Spirit for that faith which will enable him to “lay hold of Christ.”[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.).