Do Not Worry – Lent with Bonhoeffer Day 7 – Purity 979
Purity 979 03/01/2023 Purity 979 Podcast
Purity 979 on YouTube:
Today’s photo of a peaceful scene on the shores of Lake Chatuge in Hiawassee, Georgia comes to us from Fred Dimmick who shared this pic back on February 21st on social media reporting he was experiencing yet another “awesome day” there with sunny skies anda temperature of 70 degrees.
Well, it’s Wednesday and I thought that there was enough of the mountains in the distance in this photo to visually represent our arrival at “hump day” and the beginning of the month of March that, prayerfully, will usher in the “lamb like” days of spring.
Although we are at the midpoint of the work week, it’s Monday for me as I was able to use an “extra” vacation day and a scheduled day off to deliver me from working the last two days of February. February may be a short month but because of its penchant for snow storms and low temperatures I am always glad to wish it farewell as there is real reason to look forward to greener days as March 20th is the first day of spring. Whether the weather will cooperate with the calendar, God only knows, but I am officially praying and hoping that spring will come sooner rather than later and that yesterday’s snow storm will be the beginning of the end, it not the end it’s self, of the snow for this winter.
After clearing my driveway of the white stuff yesterday, I felt moved in my spirit that we had reason to hope that winter is coming to an end. Even though the ground was covered in the evidence of winter’s presence, I felt somehow that this storm may have been, perhaps, a last hurrah of winter because it just seemed to lack the sense of permanence. I got the sense that all though it was here, it wouldn’t stay. I felt so much that I decided to take some photos of the snow around Riverhouse to document it and prayerfully to say goodbye to it. While they aren’t stunning or anything, I’m sharing those photos here on the blog today, to share the experience and to hopefully document one of if not the last snow storms of the winter of 2023.
But hey if it snows again it snows again, It’s March, baby, and as each day passes we will be marching ever closer to the glorious renewal of life that comes to our earth with the budding and blossoming with spring. Things will change in the next 31 days so let’s go forward with purpose, endurance, and hope!
Speaking of marching ahead, we once again resume our current series of going on the 40 Day Journey with Dietrich Bonhoeffer to mark the season of Lent and to draw closer to God in anticipation for the celebration of Easter, knowing that if we take this journey of repentance seriously, the Lord will use it to change us too. You can sign up to get this devotional yourself by going to the Biblegateway link on the blog ((https://www.biblegateway.com/devotionals/40-Day-Journey-Dietrich-Bonhoeffer/today)) .
“Do not worry!
Earthly goods deceive the human heart into believing that they give it security and freedom from worry.
But in truth, they are what cause anxiety.
The heart which clings to goods receives with them the choking burden of worry. Worry collects treasures, and treasures produce more worries. We desire to secure our lives with earthly goods; we want our worrying to make us worry-free, but the truth is the opposite.
The chains which bind us to earthly goods, the clutches which hold the goods tight, are themselves worries.
Abuse of earthly goods consists of using them as a security for the next day.
Worry is always directed toward tomorrow.
But the goods are intended only for today in the strictest sense.
It is our securing things for tomorrow which makes us so insecure today. It is enough that each day should have its own troubles.
Only those who put tomorrow completely into God’s hand and receive fully today what they need for their lives are really secure.
Receiving daily liberates me from tomorrow.”
“But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” Matthew 6:33-34
Questions to Ponder
- If “worry collects treasures, and treasures produce more worries,” how might one stop worrying?
M.T. Clark: Well, by this rationale, to stop worrying, we would do the counterintuitive thing of not collecting treasures. To build on yesterday’s devotional, we would recognize that “enough is enough” and stop worrying about accumulating more “treasures” to make us feel secure. I have often taught that “security is an illusion and a joke.” And point to the fact that tomorrow is never promised to us and that determined men can breach whatever security measures we may seek to put in place and that the best laid plans of men will not overcome the will of God, who gives blessing but who also allows for trials in our journey of faith. We are to find and rest in the security that the Lord gives us and trust Him to provide for us and to protect us. Scripture repeatedly tells us not to fear or worry.
- How can we tell the difference between what we really “need” for our lives and what we think we need but really only want? Can we be content with what we really need?
M.T. Clark: One way we can determine the difference between what we really need and what we only think we need but really want is to consider the early church or people or places in the world that are not blessed with the technological advances that we have. Our basic survival needs of food, water, and shelter must be met and quite frankly anything beyond this could be relegated into the category of “wants”. Although life is more than just surviving, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs states humans also seem to need a sense of safety, belonging, esteem, and self-actualization (to live to our full potential), all of which are found when we make peace with God through faith in Christ, know who we are in Christ, join the community of saints, and seek out our purpose for God’s kingdom. So what we really need is our basic physical needs and a robust relationship with the Lord, and yes we can be content with that.
- Practically speaking, what would it mean to stop our “abuse of earthly goods” and “put tomorrow completely into God’s hand”?
M.T. Clark: To stop the abuse of earthly good, and to put tomorrow completely in God’s hands, practically speaking would indicate a reprioritizing and a reordering of our lives – to examine what we are consumed with, what our relationship with things, other people, and God are like, and to renounce the things and the behaviors that we do that put more trust in the material things of this world than the Lord. What that would look like for each individual would look differently but the end results would be less stuff, more God, less worry, and more peace. We would downsize our stuff and upsize our relationship with the Lord.
precious is your steadfast love, O God!
All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house,
and you give them drink from the river of your delights.
For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light we see light. Psalm 36:7-9
- Write down your worries of today.
M.T. Clark: The worries of today are: being able to meet the challenges that the work day brings and getting home safely.
- Reflect on why you have these worries.
M.T. Clark: Even though I know I am accepted by God because of His grace, I believe we all want to “do a good job”, to be a good steward of what He has given us and to be a good representative of His kingdom in the things we do. As for the safety of getting back home, I have seen many people my age and younger die suddenly from physical ailments or accidents. With both of these “worries”, I rest knowing that the Lord is with me come what may.
- How many of them have to do with things you have or want to have?
M.T. Clark: Both of my worries have to do with things I have or want to have in a certain sense. I have a job that provides for myself and my family. I would like to keep that in order to provide for our needs and wants. I also have a life that I am very happy with and I would like to keep that and see what the Lord would like to do with it for me and for His kingdom. But if He should shape the events of my life to take me away from my job or that would terminate my life on earth, I would do my best to trust Him and fully accept whatever cup He has for me to drink.
- Explore ways in which trusting God for today and tomorrow might relieve your worry and fear.
M.T. Clark: I would like to point out my “worries” of the day are manageable because I trust the Lord to lead me and all things for my good. In terms of work, I will do my best, doing what I can to help the people I serve, and referring it to others or asking for help when I can’t resolve the problems by myself.
In terms of my life, during the initial days of Covid-19, I made a choice to trust the Lord with my very life knowing that to be absent from my body would mean being present with the Lord and that I am only living the life that God has given me and it is His to give or to take away. So if God wants to bring me into His eternal kingdom today, I rest knowing that it will be good. And if He wants me to continue here on the earth, I will do my best to remember that and encourage others to make peace with God through Christ to discover it too.
Pray for the people you know who are worried or afraid. Ask God to deliver them from their worries by increasing their trust in God’s providential care.
M.T. Clark: And so we pray:
Lord God Heavenly Father,
I pray for the people I know who worry and who live in almost constant fear. I ask you to deliver them from their worries by revealing to them that they can trust in You and Your providential care.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Prayer for Today
Lord, I place my worries in your gracious hand and live this day trusting that you are with me and that what I have is more than I need.
M.T. Clark: In Jesus Name, I pray, Amen.
(40-Day Journey with Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Copyright © 2007 Augsburg Books, imprint of Augsburg Fortress.)
***As we are being provided with Bible verses from the 40 Day Journey with Dietrich Bonhoeffer, we will are taking a break from sharing a verse of the day from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”. We plan on resuming that normal installment of the blog following Easter.***
As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.
Today we continue sharing from A.W. Pink’s “The Sovereignty of God.”
As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase A.W. Pink’s books for your own private study and to support his work. This resource is available on many websites for less than $20.00.
THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD
By ARTHUR W. PINK
SOVEREIGNTY AND HUMAN RESPONSIBILITY
We now turn to consider the question.
II. How can the sinner be held responsible FOR the doing of what he is UNABLE to do? And how can he be justly condemned for NOT DOING what he COULD NOT do?
As a creature the natural man is responsible to love, obey, and serve God; as a sinner he is responsible to repent and believe the Gospel. But at the outset we are confronted with the fact that natural man is unable to love and serve God, and that the sinner, of himself, cannot repent and believe. First, let us prove what we have just said. We begin by quoting and considering John 6:44, “No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him.” The heart of the natural man (every man) is so “desperately wicked” that if he is left to himself he will never ‘come to Christ.’ This statement would not be questioned if the full force of the words “coming to Christ” were properly apprehended. We shall therefore digress a little at this point to define and consider what is implied and involved in the words “No man can come to Me”—cf. John 5:40, “Ye will not come to Me that ye might have life.”
For the sinner to come to Christ that he might have life is for him to realize the awful danger of his situation; is for him to see that the sword of Divine justice is suspended over his head; is to awaken to the fact that there is but a step betwixt him and death, and that after death is the “judgment;” and in consequence of this discovery, is for him to be in real earnest to escape, and in such earnestness that he shall flee from the wrath to come, cry unto God for mercy, and agonize to enter in at the “strait gate.”
To come to Christ for life, is for the sinner to feel and acknowledge that he is utterly destitute of any claim upon God’s favor; is to see himself as “without strength,” lost and undone; is to admit that he is deserving of nothing but eternal death, thus taking side with God against himself; it is for him to cast himself into the dust before God, and humbly sue for Divine mercy.
To come to Christ for life is for the sinner to abandon his own righteousness and be ready to be made the righteousness of God in Christ; it is to disown his own wisdom and be guided by His; it is to repudiate his own will and be ruled by His; it is to unreservedly receive the Lord Jesus as his Lord and Saviour, as his All in all.
Such, in part and in brief, is what is implied and involved in “coming to Christ.” But is the sinner willing to take such an attitude before God? No; for in the first place he does not realize the danger of his situation, and in consequence is not in real earnest after his escape; instead, men are for the most part at ease, and apart from the operations of the Holy Spirit whenever they are disturbed by the alarms of conscience or the dispensations of providence they flee to any other refuge but Christ. In the second place, they will not acknowledge that all their righteousnesses are as filthy rags but, like the Pharisee, will thank God they are not as the Publican. And in the third place, they are not ready to receive Christ as their Lord and Saviour for they are unwilling to part with their idols; they had rather hazard their soul’s eternal welfare than give them up. Hence we say that, left to himself, the natural man is so depraved at heart that he cannot come to Christ.
The words of our Lord quoted above by no means stand alone. Quite a number of Scriptures set forth the moral and spiritual inability of the natural man. In Joshua 24:19 we read, “And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the Lord: for He is a holy God.” To the Pharisees Christ said, “Why do ye not understand My speech? Even because ye cannot hear My word” (John 8:43). And again: “The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God” (Rom. 8:7, 8).
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
 Arthur W. Pink, The Sovereignty of God (Swengel, PA: Bible Truth Depot, 1949), 159–161.