Showing posts with label Celebrate Freedom Discipleship Course. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Celebrate Freedom Discipleship Course. Show all posts

Friday, February 9, 2024

Still Crazy After All These Years – Maintaining Your Freedom - Purity 1270

 Still Crazy After All These Years – Maintaining Your Freedom  - Purity 1270

Purity 1270 02/09/2024 Purity 1270 Podcast

Purity 1270 on YouTube: 

Good morning,

Today’s photo of a hazy sunset over Schodack Creek comes to us from yours truly as I was moved to capture the view from my driveway at the end of the workday yesterday afternoon, basking in the unseasonably warm weather and being filled with peace.  

Well, It’s Friday, thank God, and it is my prayer this morning that my friends who are reading or listening to this message will find some peace at the end of the work day today to take into the weekend with them and to consider taking some time this weekend to reach out to a friend that you haven’t heard from in a while to share your appreciation for their friendship and to check in to report and hear how the Lord has been moving in both your lives.    

That suggestion is both timely and God inspired, as I reached out and met with old friend just last night after the Lord put them on my heart during prayer a few days ago.  Instead of letting the thoughts of them just dissipate into the ether, I reached out via FB messenger and we arranged to meet last night just to shoot the breeze and to encourage one another in our walk of faith.  

An old Paul Simon song is on my mind this morning as I think of our meeting last night and so now I will infect you with its lyrics to possibly inspire you to see how old “what’s their name is doing”,  the song goes:  

I met my old lover

On the street last night

She seemed so glad to see me

I just smiled

And we talked about some old times

And we drank ourselves some beers

Still crazy after all these years

Still crazy after all these years

Forgive the song choice but that’s what came to mind.  Warning: I am not trying to inspire reaching out to old lovers or encourage you to have a nostalgic time that leads to drunkenness but to simply share your appreciation for a friend that you have not seen in a while, that’s all and to satisfy your curiosity about whether or not they are still crazy after all these years, and if applicable to share the good news of Jesus Christ to ensure you will see your old friend in eternity.  

An amazing amount of my past “friends in low places” have come to have faith in Jesus as their Lord and Savior and it is within the fellowship of the body of Christ where we can really be sure that we can be “best friends forever.”  

Anyway, the friend I talked to last night isn’t really that old of a friend. They were actually one of the first “students” of the freedom in Christ course that I first facilitated back in the early months of 2022.  So the length of our relationship hasn’t been too long but the quality of it is what is dear to me because it has Jesus at the center of it. While we have different backgrounds and similar past struggles, the fact that we have Jesus and Freedom in Christ in common makes our friendship one that will endure, no matter how crazy that may seem to the rest of the world.  

My friend had a significant shift in his life through the Freedom in Christ course and through going through the Steps to Freedom in Christ. He was set free from condemnation and sex addiction and since our time together has moved on to lead other men to freedom from sex addiction through facilitating an online Conqueror Series Men’s group.  It is truly a blessing to see how my friend has received his freedom and has taken it to inspire other men to find theirs.  

But my friend's journey to lead others into freedom from sex addiction wasn’t a flawless one, last he admitted that after a time he regressed in his recovery a bit and was inspired to sign up to be a facilitator for the Conqueror Series in part because he wanted to reclaim the freedom that he had previously had.  He testified that after we had parted ways that he had enjoyed his freedom for a long time but became lax in maintaining a daily spiritual practice and began to seek comfort in the ways of the flesh instead of abiding in the ways of the Spirit.  

“And that’s what I admire about you M.T., you have your spiritual disciplines that you do every day.” is what my friend said to me, realizing that was where he had gone astray. And it’s true, I’m still “crazy after all these years”.  I can’t recall exactly when I started rising early to pray, read the Bible, and to write about my walk with God since I was born again in 2010 and went into recovery in 2015,  but I know it was and is a major factor in maintaining freedom.  Every morning I rise early and ground myself in my identity in Christ through prayer, reading scripture or Scripture heavy Christian resources, practicing gratitude, and writing about my life with God or various aspects of our faith.

You might call me crazy when you consider how early I get up to do all this but the results of living this Vida loca with Jesus is crazy amounts of peace, freedom, victory, and joy.   And it is in maintaining this walk in the Spirit that I have not only maintained my freedom but have moved it into different areas of my life.  My series of teachings, the Celebrate Freedom Discipleship Course – hits what I thought were super important keys to my victory ( but Ascension was my wording of the concept of progressive sanctification because I realized that if I wasn’t moving from my victory over one area of my life to take on another it would only be a matter of time before things would fall apart.  As Christians we are called to keep moving forward and to answer the upward call of God on our lives, so we claim our freedom and victories and then we look for the “next thing” that God wants to do in our lives – be it a new way to serve the body of Christ or a new area of our lives that we need to put under the control of God’s will for our lives. 

But I understand, we need to know how to maintain our freedom if we are going to move forward so I am going to share Neil Anderson's advice on maintaining your freedom from his book Restored – but these instructions are also in The Steps to Freedom in Christ, to encourage a lifestyle of Christian Discipleship that will keep relapses at bay, to continue to fight the good fight of faith,  and to give you peace and purpose for each new day.



Experiencing your freedom in Christ is exciting, but what you have gained must be maintained. You have won an important battle, but the war goes on. To maintain your freedom in Christ and grow in the grace of God, you must continue renewing your mind to the truth of God’s word. If you become aware of lies you have believed, renounce them and choose the truth. If more painful memories surface, then forgive those who hurt you and renounce any sinful part you played. Many people choose to go through The Steps to Freedom in Christ again to make sure they have dealt with all their issues. Sometimes new issues will surface. Some go through The Steps again as a periodic “house cleaning.”


After going through The Steps, people sometimes have thoughts like nothing has really changed. You’re the same person you always were. It didn’t work. In most cases you should just ignore those thoughts. We are not called to dispel the darkness; we are called to turn on the light. You don’t get rid of negative thoughts by rebuking every one; you get rid of them by repenting and choosing the truth.

I encourage you to read Victory Over the Darkness (Bethany House, 2000) and The Bondage Breaker (Harvest House, 2000). To continue growing in the grace of God:

1.    Get rid of or destroy any cult or occult objects in your home (See Acts 19:18-20).

2.    Get involved in a small group ministry where you can be a real person, and be part of a church where God’s truth is taught with kindness and grace.

3.    Read and meditate on the truth of God’s Word each day.

4.    Don’t let your mind be passive, especially concerning what you watch and listen to (music, TV, etc.). Take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

5.    Be open and honest with God in prayer. (See Liberating Prayer, Harvest House, 2012).”

So, if you don’t have your freedom, you can experience it through the prayerful repentance process, The Steps to Freedom in Christ.  You can get the book, Restored, for free from Freedom in Christ Ministries (  to teach you about the process and to take you through the Steps.

And then you can follow Neil’s advice to maintain your freedom. Not surprisingly, it involves abiding in Christ, practicing Christian spiritual disciplines every day and living a Christian with the way you live. 

So get free and stay free by making Jesus your Savior and the Lord of your Life. When you follow Jesus, you find a new life of freedom, peace, and joy. So get started or keep on walking and talking with God.


For those who want more evidence for Christianity than my simple encouragements provide, I offer apologist, Frank Turek’s website, .

Today’s Bible verses come 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. ( )

This morning’s meditation verses come from the section on Communication, Gossip, and Lying.

Proverbs 11:11-13 (ESV)
11  By the blessing of the upright a city is exalted, but by the mouth of the wicked it is overthrown.
12  Whoever belittles his neighbor lacks sense, but a man of understanding remains silent.
13  Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered.

Today’s verses are the first of five passages of scripture that fall under the eleventh point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Communication, Gossip, and Lying.

11.     Do not hurt your neighbor by gossip or careless talk; control your tongue.

Today’s verse give us practical advice on relationships with our fellow man and how to use our speech to love our neighbors as ourselves.  We are not to belittle or slander our neighbors through gossip. Instead, we are to stop the sin of gossip before it happens by remaining silent and keeping secrets covered.   Sharing someone’s dirty laundry isn’t helping them, keeping confidence does.  Our not sharing dirty secrets establishes trust with others and gives us a platform from which we can encourage repentance and guide others in the way of the Lord.   So be silent when it comes to sharing juicy stories but speak boldly to those we protect about the abundance of fruit that comes from walking in the Spirit.


As always, I invite all to go to 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 “According to Your Word: Morning and Evening Through the New Testament” By Stephen F. Olford – A Collection of Devotional Journals: 1940-1941.

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


“He was in the house.” – Mark 2:1

What happens when Christ is in a house? Notice the following things:

There is a Drawing Power. “Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them” (v. 2). Wherever the Lord Jesus is, there is drawing power. “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself ” (John 12:32).

There is Preaching Power. “He preached the word to them” (v. 2). Luke adds, “The power of the Lord was present to heal them” (Luke 5:17). Paul tells me that “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17). When Christ is in the house, there is perfect liberty for preaching.

There is Healing Power. To quote Luke again, he says, “The power of the Lord was present to heal them” (Luke 5:17). Notice also the healing of the palsied man, and also the forgiving of his sins.

Lord, take Your rightful place in MY house.[1]

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

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

at, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

( The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and 

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 YouTube Channel:

Email me at 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 ( ),  her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock ( ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (

“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

Thursday, December 28, 2023

Celebrate Freedom Discipleship Course - Lesson 7 - Mission

 I am happy to announce that I have completed the editing and the video teaching of the last installment of the Celebrate Freedom Discipleship Course and have decided to launch it now! 

As I stated previously:  "I developed the Celebrate Freedom Discipleship Course in 2020 as part of my master’s thesis in Christian Counseling to “fill in the gaps” of the Christian Twelve Step/Celebrate Recovery – Teaching Curriculums by introducing concepts of Christian Discipleship that I found important in my walk of faith and in my recovery over alcohol, drugs, sex addiction, and food addiction."

We hope it encourages you to follow Jesus and to overcome any hurts, habits, and hang-ups that still persist in your lives. 

God Bless You All,

M.T. Clark


Listen to the Podcast: Celebrate Freedom Discipleship Course - Lesson 7 - Mission Podcast

Or Watch it on YouTube: 

Celebrate Freedom Discipleship Course - Lesson 7: Mission

Discipleship Principle 7 – We are to seek out and continually walk in our personal kingdom mission, which will include fellowshipping and discipling with the body of Christ and impacting the world outside the church through service and evangelism.

Ephesians 2:10 tells us “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

One of the biggest concerns regarding recovery, or the Christian life in general, is maintenance. Often when people have success in recovery or have given themselves to the Lord, they tire of the new life they have because it is unfamiliar and eventually they are disappointed in the body of Christ, or themselves, and either end up leaving the fellowship of the church and go back to their previous habits and attitudes of life or remain but have little or no growth and fail to pursue their kingdom purpose.

 In Matthew 13:20-22, Jesus taught:  The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word. The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced.

Jesus warns that believers can stumble or be unfruitful when our spiritual foundation isn’t right.  When we go from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light, or from addiction to recovery, we have to adapt to a whole new way of living. To do that successfully, we must fill in the gaps in our lives that our old attitudes and habits previously occupied.  

The way we maintain the freedom that we have so desperately fought for is to remember what we have learned while we seek the new purpose that God has for us. We need to find our kingdom's mission.

Managing Expectations for Our Walk

Philippians 3:12 says “I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me.”

The idea of being a “super Christian” should be put aside as we are only trying to make steady progress according to our individual gifts and call from God. We are not pushing for perfection as much as remaining in peace and harmony with God as we follow where He leads us.  The levels of our surrender will vary depending on each of our individual gifts and call. So, we should not look to our neighbor’s walk and find fault or feel superior, as we realize we are all different and are following God the best we can.  We are to seek God and support one another with love and encouragement.

Romans 12:4-6 tells us “For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: …”

Everyone is different with unique gifts and a call on their life. We are in a process of maturation. We have made progress but are still growing and will be until we see Jesus.  Remember our lives in Christ are about progress not perfection. We are His eternally so we can go at our own pace.

So, we must develop the fruit of gentleness with ourselves by being patient and forgiving when we “miss the mark” of our desired behavior and goals.  Remaining persistent, we must pick ourselves up when we fall, try to reduce the number of falls, increase the duration of time between falls, and try to eliminate the falls altogether.  We must keep our journey balanced with conviction, compassion, and commitment where we acknowledge when we go astray, thank God for His forgiveness, and endeavor to not make the same mistakes twice and learn from them.

Ephesians 1:17-18 tells us “that the God … may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling…

In our walk, we never lose hope, even when we are not progressing or have taken a step back. because we know our journey is not about performance.  Although we try to get better as part of our maturation process and try to discover our kingdom purpose, we should remember to be patient and forgiving towards ourselves as we go. We should also look for some company as we walk. 



In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus tells us to “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you…

The simple meaning of the word “disciple” is “learner.” People in recovery are becoming “disciples” in a sense because they are learning a new way to live.

In Matthew 10:24, Jesus taught that: “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master.

For Christian recovery, we want to be disciples of Jesu and our daily lives should be used to grow deeper in the knowledge of our Lord and more intimate in terms of our heart relationship with Him. Our devotional practices, bible study, and prayer prepare our hearts and minds for our kingdom mission.  As we come together to support one another in our recovery and our walk with God, our process could be identified as discipleship, or discipleship counseling, as we give each other advice.

Discipleship is an intentional relationship in which we walk with other believers to edify and encourage each other in our faith walk, growing closer to one another as we grow closer to the Lord. We can learn to live the Christian lifestyle through studying the Bible or taking a discipleship course. By doing this together, we can learn through one another’s advice as we can draw upon our collective knowledge and experience of applying the word’s wisdom to our lives to avoid mistakes and pitfalls that others have suffered. The accountability, clarification, and feedback that we receive in discipleship are elements that we cannot fully replicate through individual study. 

Discipleship also includes equipping one another to teach others as well. The value of talking about our faith with one another is realized as we learn to not only understand what we believe and how we are to live but also learn how to verbally express it effectively to others. Together we can learn to overcome objections, questions, and doubts through examining, rehearsing, and perfecting our testimonies and gospel messages through coaching and encouragement.


Discipleship Triads

In Matthew 18:20 Jesus said “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them."

Triad discipleship groups are three or four individuals, who agree to meet periodically, to build supportive relationships to assist and to challenge one another to become more passionate, fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ.  Greg Ogden’s Transforming Discipleship demonstrates that groups of three or four Christians discipling one another change the dynamics from a student-mentor discipleship model to a group process where the parties are energized and benefit from group wisdom and a team mentality.

Ecclesiastes 4:12 12 Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Twelve-step programs stress the importance of sponsors and accountability partners for an individual’s successful recovery. Having the support and feedback of other people who are traveling on the road to recovery can be the difference between someone relapsing or continuing to stay clean and sober.   As Christians in recovery who are seeking to maintain our victory, we should seek to extend our relationships with sponsors and accountability partners into discipleship triads.

Celebrate Recovery small group discussions establish a vehicle to discuss material transparently and to grow closer as groups. They provide an opportunity to form accountability groups and a natural way to transition to small discipleship groups.  Discipleship triads would serve as a support to recovery, to the Christian lifestyle, and to apply biblical principles to life’s problems as they happen.

Transformation happens when we live in community with other Christians being encouraged and challenged to consider the wisdom of the Bible in the context of everyday life. Accountability brings the relationship to a deeper level allowing others to speak truth into our lives and hold us responsible to keep the promises we make. Disciple triads can become an effective defense for relapse or walking away from the church and even empower purpose as the team not only supports one another but can work together in joint service projects or to bring others into the kingdom through evangelistic outreach. Beyond these benefits, discipleship prepares us to grow into our individual kingdom mission as we learn where our strengths and the Lord guide us. 

Church Community – Service in the Body of Christ

The local church community is the place where we are intended to dwell and prosper. As disciples, we should seriously consider serving our local church. Several opportunities for service may be available such as:

·       A/V Ministry

·       Sunday school – Children’s ministry

·       Worship team – choir

·       Ushers – Greeters

·       Nursery

·       Cleaning, Maintenance, and Groundskeeping

·       Jail Ministry

·       Hospital-Nursing Home -Ministry

·       Bible Study

·       Discipleship

·       Small Groups

·       Youth ministry

·       Hospitality

·       Recovery Ministry

All churches are not created equal however and there is a wide spectrum of the varying levels of opportunity for service and fellowship depending on your local church.  Some churches have a plethora of programs, small groups, and social activities, while others have virtually none.   Serve your church where you can as you are led by the Spirit.

Outside the Four Walls - Go into all the world

Mark 16:15, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.

Matthew 22:39  And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'

Although we can find the means to serve and grow within the church, scripture clearly shows we are to go out into the world to preach the gospel and to love our neighbors as ourselves. 

International – National  Missions

Opportunities exist to go on short or long-term international and national mission trips through local churches and national and international missionary organizations.  Short-term mission trips are a great way to serve the Lord and to mature in your faith. For those with a call on your heart for long- or short-term missions, make goals to position yourself to go.  

Local Missions - It has often been said that our local community is our mission field.  As followers of Jesus Christ, we need to be a witness to our friends and neighbors in our local community.  As stated in the worship lesson, those at our places of work should be aware that we are Christian by our personal testimony and by our conduct.  While there may be restrictions on what we can say and do at work regarding our faith, there are virtually no limits to what we can do in our personal lives to represent the kingdom and encourage others to follow Jesus. 

Evangelism - Our best form of evangelism is our personal testimony and our Christian lifestyle.  Being an overcomer, we are supernaturally blessed with a testimony of a transformed life. As we walk and commit ourselves to good works for the glory of the Lord, our testimony becomes richer and richer as our impacted life touches those around us.   When our walk with the Lord is continuous, our testimony never ends.

We can add to our witness by doing organized evangelism by partnering with other Christians from our local church in doing street evangelism, putting on public outreach events, or distributing gospel tracts.   These means not only can be used by the Lord to bring new people into the kingdom of God but can also cause us to grow in our faith and to grow closer to those we partner with from the body of Christ. 


Social Media - Social media is a great way to make friends and share the hope of the gospel with others both near and far.  We can monitor posts to see what is going on in people’s lives and to offer prayer or encouragement to our friends and acquaintances when we see a need. Connecting via social media can be used by the Lord for discipleship and evangelism. We should utilize all the tools at our disposal to further the cause of the kingdom of God and to help others and that includes social media and the latest technological forms of communication including email, texting, podcasts, and streaming or uploading video.

Volunteering  One of the best witnesses for the church, which is underutilized, is becoming involved in local community service and national charities that serve various causes for the community.   Be it walks, 5k’s, marathons, or other fundraising events, these charitable venues allow you to meet people outside of the church who have a heart for community service but need Jesus. Some examples of organizations that have volunteering opportunities include:

·                  American Red Cross.

·       United Way.

·       Volunteer Fire Departments

·       Salvation Army.

Our entrance into volunteer service is to serve the cause we have volunteered for but should always be undertaken with the understanding that we are participating to serve the kingdom of God on a larger scale than where we would have been able to in our normal circles.  Every new contact is a chance to share our testimony and the love of Jesus Christ.  With every volunteering opportunity, we should also be prepared to lead as the Lord often positions His people for a place of authority.  

Wrap Up

As followers of Jesus, our mission in life is to share the good news of the kingdom of God.  We are all different with various talents and gifts so what our personal kingdom mission is will be determined by where God has placed us and what He has placed in our hearts. 

As our ascension lesson taught, part of our mission is to overcome our sins and to resolve conflicts or character defects that prevent us from being what God wanted us to be: free! 

As our worship lesson taught, our lives are to be living expressions of our love for and gratitude to our Lord and Savior.  Our worship draws us closer to the Lord by renewing our minds and hearts to love and serve Him as a natural expression of our faith. 

This lesson told us to build one another up in our faith through discipleship and to equip one another to disciple others.   We recommended forming discipleship triads to empower and build the overall body of Christ and to increase its numbers.  

We spoke of the importance of finding and building into a home church with service.  

Then we encouraged you to go out and evangelize friends and neighbors both locally, nationally, and internationally both through your physical presence and via social media. 

These “steps” are progressive, and simultaneous, as they add up to a transformed life that is sustained by the love for the Father to seek our purpose: to give Him glory in the way that was meant specifically for us.    

When we seek out God’s mission for our lives, we replace our past darkness with a life of love, meaning, and purpose.  Living for God is every disciple’s kingdom mission.


Review and Examine.

1.    How does a personal kingdom mission affect one’s recovery or Christian walk? 

2.    How should we manage our expectations for our Christian walk?

3.    Where should every disciple consider serving? How?

4.    According to the lesson what is the best form of evangelism? What are the benefits of evangelism?

5.    What role could national or international missions play in our purpose?

6.    How can you serve your kingdom mission in your local community? What are the advantages to local service?


Sunday, December 24, 2023

Celebrate Freedom Discipleship Course - Lesson 6 - Worship

Due to the fact that my household would be a bit too busy with Christmas Eve preparations, we made the decision to postpone our normal Bible Study with the Cincotti's until next week.  

But because I try to provide some form of encouragement for the path of Christian Discipleship "24/7", I have decided to launch the next lesson of the Celebrate Freedom Discipleship Course.  

As I stated previously:  "I developed the Celebrate Freedom Discipleship Course in 2020 as part of my master’s thesis in Christian Counseling to “fill in the gaps” of the Christian Twelve Step/Celebrate Recovery – Teaching Curriculums by introducing concepts of Christian Discipleship that I found important in my walk of faith and in my recovery over alcohol, drugs, sex addiction, and food addiction."

We hope it encourages you to follow Jesus and to overcome any hurts, habits, and hang-ups that still persist in your lives. 

God Bless You All,

M.T. Clark


Listen to the podcast: Celebrate Freedom Discipleship Course - Lesson 6 -Worship - Podcast

Or Watch it on YouTube: 

Celebrate Freedom Discipleship Course 

Lesson 6: Worship

Discipleship Principle 6 – Our lives are to be an expression of our love for the Lord, a continuous act of worship. Our hearts of stone must be turned to flesh and beat to know and love the Lord more and more.  

In John 4:23-24 Jesus says But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."

A major problem with the body of Christ is the twofold problem of ignorance and or a lack of application of the disciple’s call to worship.  The life-transforming power of worship cannot be understated as it can break down the barriers between knowing God intellectually and knowing and loving God experientially.  A life of worship is living in the context of our faith, where we rejoice over being rescued and given a new and eternal life that we get to experience here and now.

This lesson’s purpose is to encourage followers of Jesus Christ to use their lives as an act of worship and a continuous expression of our love for the Lord.

In Matthew 22:37 tells us, Jesus said to him, "'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the first and great commandment.

Community Worship – The Local Church

Hebrews 10:24-25 says “Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.  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.”

The most obvious act of worship is to attend the worship services at a local church.  Church services contain elements of prayer, praise, and scripture reading as the purpose of Christians gathering together is to give worship and glory to God and to instruct, encourage, and motivate the body of Christ to follow Christ’s example.

The church teaches Christians how to offer continuous worship to the Lord with their lives by teaching its members how to approach God, know Him, praise Him, and communicate with Him. Prayer, praise, and Bible study are disciplines that Christians can take outside of the four walls of the church building into their private lives and the community at large.  Our community gathering is to serve the purpose to worship the Lord and to encourage one another in doing so.  Regular attendance and support of the local church are necessary components in our lives of worship. While we tend to focus on our individual journey and relationship with God, in no way should membership to a local church body be forsaken. Engagement in the local church is the primary way to learn, grow, and mature in our Christian faith.

Individual Worship - Our Daily Practice – Disciplines and Demeanors.

Romans 12:1 And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.

While church services may be once or twice a week, we are to worship the Lord continuously with our very lives. A daily practice of worship and communion with God is our reasonable service and is the foundation for a deep personal relationship with the Lord. If our attention and hearts are directed to God, we are blessed by His presence, guidance, strength, and love.  Our daily practice of worship will go beyond traditional Christian disciplines as we mature in the love of the Lord.

Psalm 95:6 says:  Oh come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker.

Colossians 4:2 tells us to “Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving;

Prayer – From silent prayers to simple conversations with God, our first act of worship is to communicate with God. Our faith in God is demonstrated through our regular communication through prayer: making our needs and thoughts known, offering our observations, and petitioning the Lord on behalf of others. The more we pray to the Lord the deeper our relationship with Him becomes as we place ourselves humbly before His presence in reverence and love.


In John 6:63, Jesus tells us: “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.”

Bible Study – Whether integrated into prayer or studied separately, a time to read and reflect on the word of God is one of the most effective ways to know the heart of God and to hear His voice as He reveals Himself through His word. Our lives are transformed by integrating His wisdom into our lives. To read, to understand, and to be changed by His word is the full intention of Bible study.

Hebrews 4:12 tells us “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Walk – As we go about our day and walk through this life, we worship God and express our love for Him through our demonstration of our Identity in Christ through the way we live.

·       We Give Thanks.  Our worship of God begins and continues each day with a regular practice of gratitude where we give thanks to the Lord for the blessings in our life and the things we encounter, remembering His provision and His protection. 

·       We Meditate – We remind ourselves of our salvation and freedom in Christ and renew our mind with God’s word as we shape our thoughts, attitudes, and actions to be consistent with our new life and thus join in harmony with God’s will and ways for our lives.

·       We Repent – We worship God by speaking the truth and progressively turning from our old ways. We consider our old ways to no longer be a part of who we are. We recognize that we have been given the power to overcome and need only utilize it by living according to our new life in Christ. Our old habits are surrendered for a higher call and a higher purpose. We admit to the harmful effects our habits inflicted on our minds, bodies, and our relationship with God and others. Instead of fondly remembering our old habits, we examine them with the light of truth and expose the darkness, desperation, and futile nature of how we were seeking happiness and fulfillment without God.


·       We Love - Our successful adaptation of our identity in Christ cannot be simply the product of mental ascent or a work of cognitive therapy alone.  We must love the Lord for who He is and for What He has done for us. If our actions are motivated by love and a desire to express our love for God, we will grow because we are acting and thinking in a way that is approved by Him. While we will never be able to earn God’s love, we will accept the fact that we are worthy of His love because He said we are.  If we are worthy, the Lord has given us the power to express our worthiness through thought and action. We can change because of the love we have received.  As we grow, we share the love of God we have received with others by sharing our hope and through performing good works motivated by love. As we progress and have the revelation of our ability to love Him, we begin to proclaim our love mentally or verbally to God continuously.

·       We Forgive.  Having been forgiven of everything we have ever done; we obey the word of God and forgive others as an act of worship. We let go of our hurt and offense. Our default response becomes forgiveness. While we can protect ourselves and advocate for what is right, we will forgive because we have been forgiven. We forgive others the worst because we are not the judge, God is.  He will repay. We instead forgive and pray for the transgressor to come to know God’s love and forgiveness and to repent.  Forgiveness is a spiritual discipline that requires practice. As we learn to forgive the small things that pop up in our daily experience moment to moment, we will gain the skill of forgiveness. 

While we are not saying we must forgive everything done against us in the past immediately, we are setting ourselves on a course to realize that goal. The goal of peace can be reached through forgiveness.


1 Corinthians 10:31 tells us….  whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

Our work is another place where we can worship the Lord and give Him glory. Wherever we are in our professional lives, we are to worship the Lord by representing the kingdom of God to the best of our abilities through our work performance. While there may be limits to outright evangelism at work, everyone at your place of work should know that we are Christian. While we are there to work, moments of personal conversation should be utilized to give our testimony of God’s goodness, the truth of Jesus Christ, and to encourage others to follow Him.  When co-workers encounter loss or disease, we need to offer our prayers and hope. Our conduct should represent that of a servant: performing our duties morally, faithfully, and to the best of our abilities.

The Garment of Praise – Bridging the Mind and Heart 

Isaiah 61:3 tells is “To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified."

The remedy for the”spirit of heaviness” or lack of affection for God is to worship the Lord through praise.  Those whose faith is in their head can use the key of praise to experience the truth of God’s love in their hearts and to transform their relationship with God.

Ephesians 5:18-20  tells us “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,  speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord,  giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

This verse reveals the spiritual reality that our worship of God with praise and thanksgiving is directly related to the infilling of the Holy Spirit and the presence of God.

Earnestly seeking the Lord through praise can open up a whole new dimension to one’s faith as the Holy Spirit will bring joy and revelations of Biblical truth in the midst of genuine enthusiastic praise.  Praise takes the power of the spoken word of God and brings it up a notch as the word is lifted in exaltation to the Lord. During praise, the Holy Spirit will bring into remembrance moments from your journey in Christ and will encourage and exhort you to keep going and to take steps in new directions.   

Psalm 9:1-2  I will praise You, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will tell of all Your marvelous works.  I will be glad and rejoice in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High. Sing to the Lord

Scripture repeatedly commands us to praise the Lord with song indicating a loud and lively expression of our praises. These verses indicate that praise can and should be done as a private individual practice.  If we are timid or concerned with what others will think of us when we worship, we can eliminate those concerns by praising the Lord in the privacy of our homes where we can prepare our favorite songs and praise the Lord completely uninhibited. We can even take our individual praise on the road with us and sing to the Lord in the car as we commute throughout our day. God is always with us, so it is appropriate to sing His praises whenever the opportunity arises.  Our lives should be a continuous soundtrack of praise to the Lord.

Praise as an individual practice draws you into a deep relationship with the Lord as you are continuously bringing the presence of the Lord into your environment as you bring honor and glory to Him.  Praise also lifts our spirits by keeping our spiritual eyes on the Lord and it renews our mind as we are proclaiming our identity in Christ with a musical demonstration of our faith. With every song of Praise we are binding ourselves to the Lord and reminding ourselves that we are experiencing our new life in Christ and that our membership in the kingdom of God is an undeniable fact as our fruit of praise shows that the Lord has our heart.

Psalm 149:3 says “Let them praise His name with the dance; Let them sing praises to Him with the timbrel and harp.”  

As we praise privately, we can even incorporate the joy of dancing for the Lord into our practice.  Dancing, raising hands, clapping, and stomping feet to music engage one’s entire body as an act of worship, exercising the body as well as the spirit.  For those too timid to ever dance in public, a private practice of praise allows us to pour out devotion to the Lord without limits. 

Psalm 34:3 says  Oh, magnify the LORD with me, And let us exalt His name together.”

Our private practice of praise prepares us for corporate praise. As we praise privately, we become more confident to join and to contribute to the enthusiastic praise at corporate gatherings. As we learn to unashamedly praise the Lord publicly, we become an encouragement to our brothers and sisters in Christ to do likewise.  While our praises are directed to the Lord, they become an object lesson to others that loud enthusiastic praise is an appropriate expression of our faith and we can rejoice in it together.  Our corporate praise edifies one another and brings us together as a community joined together by the love of God.

The Heart of the Matter

All the various ways to worship the Lord that we have presented are to be done with the “heart of worship” – with genuine heartfelt devotion and love for God, as a part of our daily Christian lifestyle.

Our faith is not a political ideology or a philosophy of living with its principles and precepts. Our faith is a relationship. It’s a love relationship and so the power of worship to transform us must be fueled by a love for God.

The defining characteristic of a Christian is the love we have for God and the love that overflows from that relationship to others. 

Wrap Up

As disciples of Jesus Christ, our worship goes beyond a weekly observance. Our lives become a continuous expression of our love for the Lord as we incorporate various Christian practices to maintain and mature our relationship with Him.  More than intellectual study or following a moral code of ethics, our lives of worship are a spiritual practice that seeks the infinite wisdom of the Lord not to know facts or to show ourselves approved but to familiarize ourselves with the One who first loved us. Our obedience to biblical principles isn’t done out of a fear of punishment or out of doing one’s duty as much as it is our heartfelt response to demonstrate our love and understanding of God.

The importance of a heart connection to our faith is what makes Christ’s burden a light burden as we can endure anything for the One we love. Praise as a private spiritual practice is recommended to bridge the mind and heart of faith together and to develop a deeper experiential bond to the Lord.  Regardless of which spiritual discipline we practice, His presence is experienced the more we seek Him with our hearts and minds, worshiping Him in spirit and in truth.  


Review and Examine.

1.    How can worship help us in our recovery or our Christian walk? 

3.    In what ways do we worship the Lord in a church service?

4.    In what ways can we worship the Lord in our daily lives?

5.    Why is praise an important spiritual discipline? In what ways can we praise the Lord?

6.    How can our work be used to worship the Lord?

7.    What is the most important part of your worship practice? Why?

 ------Join us next week for the next Celebrate Freedom Discipleship Course Lesson----


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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship