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Showing posts with label Advent. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Advent. Show all posts

Friday, November 24, 2023

Giving and Receiving Thanks and Moving Forward - Purity 1206

Giving and Receiving Thanks and Moving Forward - Purity 1206

Purity 1206 11/24/2023 Purity 1206 Podcast

Purity 1206 on YouTube:



Good morning,

Today’s photo of the sun setting on the horizon, obscured by a stand of trees alongside the asphalt pathway of Waite Rd comes to us from your truly as I captured this scene during an extended stroll near my countryside home in Easton NY.    I love how the trees obstruct the sun but also seem to create a pathway of their own, inviting us to take a different but more direct path to the sun in the distance.

I can imagine this picture challenging us. “You can take the roadway which has been well-traveled and clear, but it may not lead to where you want to go. Or you can go between the trees where the direction is sure, and the path is clear for a time, but  seems to be blocked the closer you get to your goal, assuming you are pursuing the brilliance of the sun. Or you can just stand here to enjoy it from a distance, but be warned, it will only be here a short time before it fades away and its light and its heat is gone, possibly leaving you cold, lost, and in the dark.”  

It reminds me of the dilemma posed by the Clash…”Should I stay or should I go now… If I go there will be trouble,  And if I stay it will be double.” 

Anyway, It’s Friday – Black Friday – and thanks to my union, I am in the midst of an extended holiday weekend and whether or not your Thanksgiving celebration yesterday was joyous or not, I pray that you were able to accomplish what really mattered about yesterday’s holiday – that you were able to give (and possibly receive) thanks.  

I for one was very thankful for my family. I was thankful for their presence in my life in general and was especially thankful for:

My brother and sister-in-law, Donald and Megan Seguin, for hosting Thanksgiving dinner.

My wife, TammyLyn, for her love and her service in preparing a bunch of food for everyone to enjoy.

And my mother, Kathy, and brother Mike, who provided and delivered a Thanksgiving meal to my twenty-something children, Haley and Brennan, who were quarantined at my place down by the River, having tested positive for Covid the evening before Thanksgiving. 

Although I like to consider myself a pretty independent person, I have to acknowledge that having the love and support of your family sure makes life a lot better and I have been blessed by my family’s love all my life. 

One of the lies that Satan loves to tell us is that “Nobody cares” or “You are all alone” but if we rejected that lie and decided to be vulnerable and asked our family, friends, or even strangers in support organizations for help, we would discover that what the enemy says, that would keep us depressed and cause us to isolate from others, is a complete and utter lie.  We are not alone. People do care. But there is a condition to meet to know this, we have to let go of our pride and seek the company and help of others, knowing that we may be rejected. 

And we may be, let’s be real. We may have burned bridges we can go back over. We may have exhausted the goodwill of everyone we know. And so we may find out that “I am all alone” or “No one will help me” not only feels true but we can back it up with evidence!

But God….

Hopefully we haven’t burned all our bridges in life, but even if you have, even if you have destroyed or have been destroyed in every relationship of your life, there is One person who will never leave you or forsake you – and that’s God.

Of course the Lord has one condition to be fully receive His unconditional love – faith in Jesus Christ.  While God unconditionally loves all his created beings, entrance into His kingdom family comes through faith in Jesus Christ alone. He didn’t send Jesus to live a sinless life and die on a cross for nothing. He sent Christ to save us.  And being in a covenant relationship with God is only a matter of putting our faith in Jesus.   When we make Jesus our Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell within us. Experiencing the joy and power of our relationship with God comes from living in harmony with Him by living according to God’s word and by abiding in His presence.

But that love and power that we receive from the Lord isn’t supposed to be just experienced by us. Although the Lord’s love and strength can empower us to take a lonely road out of the darkness, it isn’t necessarily supposed to be used for individual use.  We are supposed to experience and share the love, power, joy, and peace of God with others.  

I can encourage you that you are not alone when you have the Lord in your life because I have had some lonely times in some dark periods of my life where, even though I had family and friends who loved and supported me, I was basically “on my own”.

Personal problems of addiction and broken relationships are highly personal problems because they intimately involve you! You either caused or played your part in the mess you are in and while you can receive help from others to work out some of the kinks, a lot of the work of transformation and change has to be done by Y-O-U.  

I can’t believe for you. I can’t stop believing lies that drive patterned behaviors for you. I can’t repent for you. I can’t diet for you. I can’t exercise for you.  I can’t read the Bible for you. I can’t pray for you. I can’t commit to living a surrendered life for God for you.  But if you choose to do those things for yourself, with God, consistently, continually, you will see the power of God change your life.

And if you experience the freedom that Christ has for you, even though you did a whole lot of this work and walking and talking with God, solo, you won’t stay that way.  The joy of experiencing your salvation and freedom in Christ compels you to share it. It compels you to worship the Lord in community – you join a church. It compels you to tell others about the hope you have in Jesus. It compels you to fellowship and serve alongside other Christians.   So as you walk on this path of Christian Discipleship, you will be joined by a whole cast of characters from Gods’ kingdom to join you as you seek to share the love of God with the world. You will encourage and counsel others in the ways of God and will rejoice when you see the Lord move in their lives.

And if all this wasn’t enough – triumph, victory, freedom, righteousness, peace, and joy – if that wasn’t enough you get blessed when people thank you for being the person God created you to be. People thank you for the encouragement you give. They thank you for giving what the Lord gave you.

Yesterday, on the day to give thanks, I received several Thanksgiving greetings and specific thanks for my help that only happened because of what the Lord did in my life and continues to do in my life.  I received thanks from old comrades of the faith that I’ve known for years, and I received thanks from people I didn’t even know a year ago and was humbled because it wasn’t anything I necessarily did that caused them to thank them, more than it was who God made me to be, that lead to our relationship and their gratitude.  And of course, thanked them for being faithful to follow the Lord and for them letting me be a part of their journey through life.  

But today’s a new day, we made our thanks and if we were lucky we received some but now we start again.  Just like today’s picture seems to invite us to take a different path, I encourage you to consider Thanksgiving Day to be a crossroads to a new beginning or as a way to make the most of the holiday season and the rest of 2023.

Let’s endeavor to love the people that we were thankful for yesterday and move forward to resolve issues that need to be taken care of and to purposely align ourselves with God’s will for our lives.  We’ve had our feast yesterday so let’s remember it fondly and move forward with the confidence that comes from knowing that we are loved and that we have decided to follow the One who is love and that if we just keep walking and talking with Him, and share His love along the way, there will be much more to be thankful for further down the road.  

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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 Church, Communion of the Saints.

Hebrews 10:25 (NLT2)
25  And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.

Today’s verse falls under the ninth point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Church, Communion of the Saints.

 9. Attend worship services faithfully.

Today’s verse is the quintessential “go to church” verse that tells us to join together with others in the body of Christ for worship to encourage one another.  

We are not supposed to walk out our Christian faith alone. So if you are not in a church, find a church that believes in the Bible and where you can fellowship and serve with other Christians to encourage one another as you seek to share and show the love of God with others.  

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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 are sharing from “God is in the Manger- Reflections on Advent and Christmas” – By Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

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

God is in the Manger – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

ADVENT WEEK ONE -  WAITING

DAY TWO

Waiting Is an Art

Celebrating Advent means being able to wait. Waiting is an art that our impatient age has forgotten. It wants to break open the ripe fruit when it has hardly finished planting the shoot. But all too often the greedy eyes are only deceived; the fruit that seemed so precious is still green on the inside, and disrespectful hands ungratefully toss aside what has so disappointed them. Whoever does not know the austere blessedness of waiting—that is, of hopefully doing without—will never experience the full blessing of fulfillment.

Those who do not know how it feels to struggle anxiously with the deepest questions of life, of their life, and to patiently look forward with anticipation until the truth is revealed, cannot even dream of the splendor of the moment in which clarity is illuminated for them. And for those who do not want to win the friendship and love of another person—who do not expectantly open up their soul to the soul of the other person, until friendship and love come, until they make their entrance—for such people the deepest blessing of the one life of two intertwined souls will remain forever hidden.

For the greatest, most profound, tenderest things in the world, we must wait. It happens not here in a storm but according to the divine laws of sprouting, growing, and becoming.

Be brave for my sake, dearest Maria, even if this letter is your only token of my love this Christmas-tide. We shall both experience a few dark hours—why should we disguise that from each other? We shall ponder the incomprehensibility of our lot and be assailed by the question of why, over and above the darkness already enshrouding humanity, we should be subjected to the bitter anguish of a separation whose purpose we fail to understand.… And then, just when everything is bearing down on us to such an extent that we can scarcely withstand it, the Christmas message comes to tell us that all our ideas are wrong, and that what we take to be evil and dark is really good and light because it comes from God. Our eyes are at fault, that is all. God is in the manger, wealth in poverty, light in darkness, succor in abandonment. No evil can befall us; whatever men may do to us, they cannot but serve the God who is secretly revealed as love and rules the world and our lives.

Letter to fiancée Maria von Wedemeyer

from prison, December 13, 1943

A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse,

and a branch shall grow out of his roots.

The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him,

the spirit of wisdom and understanding,

the spirit of counsel and might,

the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.

His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.

He shall not judge by what his eyes see,

or decide by what his ears hear;

but with righteousness he shall judge the poor.

Isaiah 11:1–4a[1]

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

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

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

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

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

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

My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Ask Seek Knock blog (https://tammylynask.blogspot.com/ ),  her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock (https://www.facebook.com/groups/529047851449098 ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (https://feed.podbean.com/tammalyn78/feed.xml)   

“The views, opinions, and commentary of this publication are those of the author, M.T. Clark, only, and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of any of the photographers, artists, ministries, or other authors of the other works that may be included in this publication, and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of any entities the author may represent.”

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship



[1] Dietrich Bonhoeffer, God Is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas, ed. Jana Riess, trans. O. C. Dean Jr., First edition. (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2010), 4–5.

 

Friday, December 24, 2021

Send Me an Angel –We Wish You a Cr***y Christmas! - Purity 610


 Send Me an Angel –We Wish You a Cr***y Christmas! - Purity 610

Purity 610 12/24/2021  Purity 610 Podcast

Good morning,

Today’s photo of a most mystical twilight over the Port Wilunga Old Jetty in South Adelaide Australia comes to us from Dave Baun Photography. Little did Dave know that when he decided to brave the cold and wind, in shorts no less, on December 9th in his first time ever shooting at Port Wilunga, that he would capture what I think is the perfect picture to reflect the wonder of Christmas Eve, the wonder that goes far beyond twinkling lights on a Christmas tree and the festive decorations at a holiday gift exchange.   The beauty of the light in the darkness that Dave captured here points to God’s beauty, wonder, and grace.

The wonder of Christmas Eve is the incarnation, God coming to earth in the humble setting of a manger in Bethlehem to begin the ministry work that would result in all those who put their faith in Jesus Christ finding peace with God and a new and everlasting life of hope in His kingdom as adopted sons and daughters.  

But unfortunately so much of the wonder and true meaning of Christmas, which is finding peace with God through Christ, is lost because of the hardness of our hearts and the deception that enemy perpetuates.

For those who are spiritually blind, the Christmas story is quaint but boring. Those whose hearts are cold to the Christian aspects of Christmas but who delight in the pageantry of holiday celebrations are in grave danger. It is not always the Ebeneezer Scrooges that we should worry about. Without faith in Christ, the most kind, dear, merry, bright, alive, and joyous in our midst will find that they worshiped the wrong god: themselves and their own “goodness”.  

As someone who “just didn’t get it” for years and years of my life, I have the utmost sympathy for those who don’t like church, hate religion, and think that being “good” is “good enough”.    

I was raised in a denominational liturgical tradition and struggled mightily with the Christian message and what I viewed as a disingenuous, superstitious, sentimental, and unrealistic faith that I saw people pay lip service to but not actually live out.  On the opposite side of the coin, the devout of our congregation seemed to be positively insane and odd as they either seemed to believe just for believing’s sake and or didn’t know why they believed what they believed or couldn’t adequately express what the Christian faith was to a young man who frankly didn’t want to hear it.

So although my family religiously went to church every Christmas Eve, our hearts were filled with joy when we were released from the service and walked briskly towards the exit and literally went running into the night towards the Christmas party and the opening of presents that awaited us at my grandparent’s house.  

Santa, the decorations, and the gift giving and receiving was what played the big part of Christmas for my family, and it still does as my parents have become the grand parents and now host the Clark Family Christmas Eve extravaganza.

However, amongst all the years of holiday hoopla and looking forward to receiving items on our Christmas wish lists, we will all eventually experience  that first “crappy” Christmas where our innocence is lost, our disappointments are depressing, or our losses are devastating. 

For me, my first disillusionment over Christmas was in my 12th or 13th year of life.  Although as a child I was positively insane in my belief over Santa Claus and would dance around the house with the Album Cover of a Gene Autry’s Christmas Album that displayed a picture of Santa Claus Riding in a single reindeer sleigh with Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer sort of just standing out front, my heart wasn’t too broken at the discovery that Santa wasn’t real.  My older brothers simultaneously debunked the Santa myth and filled my childhood heart with delight at the same time one year as they revealed our parent’s hidden stash of “Santa presents” that were locked away in my dad’s room in the attic.

So I wasn’t heart broken at 12 or 13 because I discovered Santa wasn’t real.  And before you start guessing about some death in the family or other trauma, let me assure that wasn’t the cause of my pain on the Christmas Eve of my preteens.  

No the cause of my “worst Christmas” as a youth was for far less sympathetic reasons.  As I said Christmas Eve at Grandma and Grandpa Clark’s house was a joyous affair because of the gifts I received but on that 12th or 13th year I was very disappointed because my regular stash of presents was less than what I was used to! I had fallen victim to the biggest menace of any secular Christmas – the pain that comes from having high expectations and basing your happiness on positive circumstances.

In hindsight, I think my grandparent’s resources were split or less than previous years, so I understand but honestly that year, although I believe I was successful in hiding my disappointment, I was thinking “is this it?” “Is this all I get?”  And unfortunately, that year the disappointment was the perfect storm of dashed expectations, as not only the quanity of the presents was significantly diminished but the quality of the presents was so low that it made me question if my grandparents were mad at me, even knew who I was, or even cared. I recall thinking that I didn’t receive one gift that was worthwhile or showed any fore thought or care.  The lesson learned that year was that you should temper your expectations and that you should know that those even nearest and dearest to you can let you down.       

After that year, I learned to not get my hopes up in terms of presents but they still played the biggest part of my enjoyment of Christmas for the rest of my childhood and for most of my adult life.  So I carried on tempering my expectations and each year and sought to create a Merry Christmas by spending abundant amounts of money to ensure that I and my family would be blessed with happiness that didn’t depend on Santa or anybody else.  I was Santa.  

Only after I placed my faith in Jesus Christ, did Christmas become more about Him than about me creating the circumstances of a joyous holiday.  As my children aged, the Santa myth was debunked once again, and my faith in Christ grew, I saw less and less need to buy a happy holiday. After 2010, I surrendered more and more of myself to God each year  and was filled with joy at Christmas not because of the presents I received but because of who I was in Christ and because of God’s presence in my life.   

Of course, when you come to faith in Christ and decide to actually live as a Christian, things change significantly and sometimes what you gain in Christ is matched by the losses of your former life.   

In 2018 my marriage dissolved in part because of my decision to live as a Christian and that year I was faced with the prospect of facing the worst Christmas ever as my ex took the kids to celebrate Christmas Day at her sister’s house, leaving me home alone.  

I was in deep pain over the negative circumstances of my life and no amount of circumstantial manipulation on my part was going to give me a Merry Christmas on that day in 2018.  Although I was appreciative of the gifts I received that year they were cold comfort compared to the pain of being forced to live in a house with someone who summarily rejected me and seemed to take delight in my misery.

However, what could have been the worst Christmas of my life didn’t turn out to be that. Instead it became another part of my ongoing testimony of the reality of God’s presence in our lives and of His goodness.

The thing I encourage people to do is to develop a daily spiritual practice of connecting with the Lord through prayer, scripture reading, or just talking with God.  Before 2018, the Lord had given me victory over addiction and the negative mind states that accompany a life of condemnation, so I knew that when the going got tough it was best for the tough to get going to God.  

So after my ex and kids left me alone on Christmas Day of 2018, I pressed into my faith and started praying and reading a book on Angels that described people’s encounters with God’s heavenly messengers.  

I had been baptized by the Holy Spirit in 2015 and had and continue to have moments of experiencing His manifest presence in my life and not surprisingly it has been both a cause and confirmation of my faith and the reason why I encourage people to seek the Lord and to live a life of Christian discipleship and walking in the Spirit.  So I knew that God is alive and well and can be experienced on the terra firma as well as someday in heaven.  

As I read the book on angels, I reached out in prayer to the Lord and pleaded for His comfort and presence and made a request to send me an angel like the people in the   book had experienced.

While I can’t testify to a visible manifestation of one of God’s heavenly hosts, shortly after I prayed for a messenger of God I was overcome by a feeling to get out of my chair and to get on my hands and knees.  As I prostrated myself on the floor, I was overcome by the feeling that I wasn’t alone anymore and that there some one there with me.  It similar to my experiences of the manifest presence with the Holy Spirit but slightly different.  I closed my eyes but saw a brightness through my closed eyes and I was overcome by feeling of joy, peace, and love as I received the nonverbal message that I was not alone and that I was loved by God.  I open my eyes and there was no one there but I cried and praised the Lord all the same and felt that even though I couldn’t see anything I wasn’t alone. The unseen entity, the angel, was still there and I bowed again and just stayed in the peace that I had found thanking the Lord for His goodness.  I was overcome and after a time I received assurance that I had “received the message” and the presence departed.  

My spirits were transformed. What was a very dark and depressive morning was changed in the wake of what I consider as my angelic visitation.

When I reflect on it, I struggle to articulate how this visitation was similar to but different from my experiences of the manifest presence of Holy Spirit. All I can say is that they were both powerful expressions of God’s love for me and evidence of His presence, but they were a little different from one another.  If pressed for details I can’t really give you anything to convince you that this experience on Christmas of 2018 was indeed an angel, but I will stand on the fact that a message of God’s presence and love was the best gift that I received that year or any other Christmas before or since.

So yeah, I know – cuckoo! But I have to be honest and tell you that this really happened to me, and I am sure that if you put your faith in Christ, surrender to the Lord’s will for your life and seek the Lord’s presence continually, similar manifestations of the Lord’s presence will happen in your life.  The word tells us that if you seek the Lord and you find Him, and I can assure you that the word of God is true.

So for those in Christ, I encourage you to press into your faith and share the love of God with those in your life who don’t know Him. 

And for those outside of the faith, or who find more joy in presents at Christmas than in going to church, worshipping the Lord, or being in God’s presence, I wish you a very very crappy Christmas.  

Whether it’s the loss of a loved one, a broken relationship, or just the fact that you won’t receive the gifts you wanted this year, if you don’t know the Lord, I hope that your Christmas sucks so bad that you lose hope in all the things that aren’t meant to satisfy you and you hit “rock bottom” in seeking your happiness in creating the circumstances for a happy holiday.   

Its through great disillusionment of the world system and our own efforts that we can be humbled enough to seek the Lord, and as I have already stated when you seek the Lord you will find Him.  

I would rather you suffer a crappy holiday than to go on to be enslaved to a circumstantial secular xmas and find that you never knew God and are subject to His wrath one day.  

The promise of Christmas Eve is the coming of the King. Jesus came as a baby in a manger, but He is coming back to judge the world and to reclaim it.  

So to all the “Me’s” down in “Me-ville”,  whether they be sad, bad or glad” 

It its my prayer that this Christmas, you make Jesus your Lord and Savior

Because when he comes back to earth, He’s coming back to reign and rule, and

because of all the evil in this world, He’s coming back mad.”  

 

Now don’t get me wrong, as someone who has suffered some major losses and traumas in my life, I know how hard it can be to be suffering when everyone else is having holiday fun. So I would encourage those who are hurting to seek the company of family and friends to share your burden but to also seek the comfort of the Lord for He will never leave you or forsake you.  

Forgive my zealous silliness and know that all I say comes from a heart of care and compassion that knows that the only peace that lasts comes from knowing the Lord through faith in Jesus.  

God bless you all and have a Merry Christmas Eve.  Or a crappy one,,, you know what I mean.

      

Today’s Bible verse is drawn from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.  

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Hebrews 10:25 (NLT2)
25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.

Today’s verse is the go to verse to encourage people to come to the corporate gathering of believers commonly referred to as “going to church.”    

I find it just another evidence of God’s presence in our lives that this verse would come up on Christmas Eve.  Not only is Christmas Eve one of the highest, if not the highest, attended church services but it is also an occasion where the Lord’s coming is proclaimed.  

Today’s verse encourages Christians to gather together and to encourage one another and it reminds us of the promise that Jesus will return someday.     

Although I encourage an individual daily spiritual practice for every follower of Christ, I also encourage those who would call themselves to be Christian disciples to join and serve at a local church.

I credit my local church, Rock Solid Church in Hudson NY, and its leadership in providing me with teaching, guidance, and a church home where I could grow in my faith.  

Practicing what you preach will not be tested adequately if you are living in solitude. Our abilities to encourage, serve, and ministers to others are developed in community.  The corporate gathering can also teach us a great deal about forgiveness and patience as well.  The church is the ideal place to practice Christ’s second commandment to love our neighbors as ourselves as we are all part of the same body and have the common goal of being more like Christ.  

So get yourself to a church tonight and if you are not a member of a church already, find one where the Bible is held as the inspired word of God  and where you can worship, serve, and grow.   

 

As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk. 

 

Today we continue sharing from A.W. Tozer’s Advent Devotional – From Heaven,  for Day 28 as this current resource series has brought us to Christmas Eve.

 

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

DAY 28

PREPARING FOR THE BRIDEGROOM

All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.

1 JOHN 3:3

Why is it that such a small proportion of Christian ministers ever feel the necessity to preach a sermon on the truth of His second coming? Why should pastors depend in this matter upon those who travel around the country with their colored charts and their object lessons and their curious interpretations of Bible prophecy?

Should we not dare to believe what the apostle John wrote, that “we shall be like him because we shall see him as he is”?

Beloved, we are the sons of God now, for our faith is in the Son of God, Jesus Christ! We believe in Him and we rest upon Him, and yet it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that when He shall appear, when He shall be disclosed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is!

Then, John says bluntly and clearly: “Every man that hath this hope in Him purifies himself, even as he is pure.” Everybody! Everyone, he says! He singularizes it. Everyone that hath this hope in him purifies himself as He is pure!

Those who are expecting the Lord Jesus Christ to come and who look for that coming moment by moment and who long for that coming will be busy purifying themselves. They will not be indulging in curious speculations—they will be in preparation, purifying themselves!

It may be helpful to use an illustration here.

A wedding is about to take place and the bride is getting dressed. Her mother is nervous, and there are other relatives and helpers who are trying to make sure that the bride is dressed just right!

Why all this helpful interest and concern?

Well, the bride and those around her know that she is about to go out to meet the groom, and everything must be perfectly in order. She even walks cautiously so that nothing gets out of place in dress and veil. She is preparing, for she awaits in loving anticipation and expectation the meeting with this man at the altar.

Now John says, through the Holy Ghost, that he that hath this hope in Him purifies and prepares himself. How? Even as He is pure!

The bride wants to be dressed worthy of the bridegroom, and so it is with the groom, as well!

Should not the church of Jesus Christ be dressed worthy of her bridegroom, even as He is dressed? Pure—even as He is pure?

We are assured that the appearing of Jesus Christ will take place. It will take place in His time. There are many who believe that it can take place soon—that there is not anything that must yet be done in this earth to make possible His coming.

It will be the greatest event in the history of the world, barring His first coming and the events of His death and resurrection.

We may well say that the next greatest event in the history of the world will be “the appearing of Jesus Christ: whom having not seen, we love; in whom, though now we see him not, yet believing, we rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory!”

The world will not know it, but he that hath this hope in him will know it for he has purified himself even as Christ is pure!

 

 

Tozer, A. W. (2016). From heaven: a 28-day advent devotional. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

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

 

Join our “Victory over the Darkness” or “The Bondage Breaker” 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. 

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

 

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship