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Showing posts with label Condemnation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Condemnation. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

From “Freeze Mode” to “Freedom Mode”- Purity 1328

From “Freeze Mode” to “Freedom Mode”- Purity 1328

Purity 1328 04/17/2024 Purity 1328 Podcast

Purity 1328 on YouTube: 



Good morning,

Today’s photo of a snow-covered field and a blazing sun-peaked tree line horizon comes to us from an unknown FB friend who shared this peaceful scene on social media on or around January 25th, 2021.  

Well. It’s hump day again and while I usually try to share a mountain scene on Wednesdays there was something about the way the fencing framed that snowfield, and the sun capped that tree line that I decided that it fit the bill for visually representing our arrival at another workweek midpoint and gave me a sense of peace. Plus, using it allowed me to share what I had “borrowed” and never used three years ago when I was in the habit of scouring social media daily looking for photos my friends shared that gave glory to God by highlighting the beauty of His creation.  

Obviously, I am still in the habit of pointing my friends toward the Lord by sharing a photo 6 days a week but I don’t scour Facebook as much as I used to, in part because back in January 2021, I was still on the lookout for the possibility of finding a Christian wife and used social media to assess possible candidates to fill that role.  Thankfully, the Lord knew that it wasn’t good for this man to be alone and was moving all things together for good as He had put it in my heart to begin a new community freedom ministry at my local church, and to podcast it, and those steps of faith would be used by Him in the months ahead to introduce me to the Christian woman that I had been looking for to be my wife, although admittedly God had to open my eyes to see it but when He showed me that TammyLyn was “the one” (and There CAN BE NO OTHER) I didn’t hesitate in making her my “girlfriend”, and then fiancee two weeks later, and finally my beloved wife on January 1st of 2022.  

Amazingly, TammyLyn and my whirlwind romance is only one story that I could tell of the good things that happened in my life after I decided to put my faith in Jesus and to earnestly follow Him as His disciple but its one that will never cease to give me joy and I will share it continually as evidence and an encouragement for others who are looking for love to “get right with God” and to trust Him to lead you to where you should go.  

I trusted the Lord and He has led me to freedom over the darkness of my past and into a new abundant life of hope, joy, and peace, despite not everything being perfect in my life I blog and podcast continually to tell others that all these things – freedom, peace, growth, love, and joy - are possible with God and all you have to do to experience them in your life is to “pick up your cross and follow Jesus”.  

That phrase – pick up your cross can mean different things to different people, and that’s okay – we are all individuals with unique situations,  – but the “following Jesus thing” is the thing that matters as He will call us to repent and to be sanctified through Him. And I truly believe that ANYBODY can experience the life they always wanted but never thought they could have by surrendering to God and following Him.  

One man that desperately wanted to  experience peace but didn’t think it was possible is good friend Rafael Guajardo.  Life and circumstances did a number on Rafe to the point that he paid thousands of dollars of his own money just to have his brain scanned. His depressive, manic, anxious, and condemning thoughts and the mental “freezing up” they would cause had him convinced that there was something physically wrong with him. And when the results were in, while there were no tumors or lessions present, they indicated that his moods and mental processes were very much like that – of a “deer caught in the headlights” in that he seemed to be unnaturally locked in fear – or freeze response.

Now, Don’t get me going on brain scans – though because in my research I have discovered that the results of such scans are not only subjective in terms of how they can be interpreted – they can also be “manipulated”. For instance brain scans of a supposed “addicted” brain look awfully similar to a brain scan of someone holding their breath – meaning that we can change our results with just a little effort and with the insight of biofeedback,. You similarly can lower your blood pressure by calming yourself down with deep breathing exercises.  

But anyway, even though Rafe had medical results that told him “Oh yeah, something isn’t right in your brain”, the Lord put it on his heart to hope for the possibility of healing or change and he decided to put His trust in God by enrolling in the Freedom in Christ course this winter.  And through the process of simply learning the truth about who he is in Christ, having the insights of the mental battle of the mind revealed to him, and going through the prayerful repentance process of the Steps to Freedom in Christ, Rafe was able to resolve personal and spiritual conflicts of the past and to find a new measure of peace, hope, and joy by experiencing His freedom in Christ.

Now Rafe will tell you that he is still a work in progress, but he now has a firm foundation from where he can walk through life without “freezing up”. He sees the thought streams of the past for what they were – lies that were the result of demonic oppression or just false beliefs that the stress of past traumas caused him to believe about himself – but now sees himself as God sees him and he knows that experiencing peace in life lies in choosing to believe the truth of what God says about him rather than the negative self talk that caused him to “freeze” and plagued him continually through out his life.  Rafe knows that “walking and talking with God” through regular spiritual disciplines of Bible study and prayer is part of his pathway to peace and He has been earnest in trying to be faithful to follow it. 

Yesterday, I shared Rafe’s prayers and Bible verses for his children, but he also shared with me a daily prayer that he composed from the things he learned in the Freedom in Christ course that I want to share today:  

Rafe’s Prayer (Freedom in Christ Daily Prayer – by Rafael Guajardo)

 

Dear Gracious Heavenly Father,

 

I worship You and praise You for there is none like You. 

You are the only all-powerful and wise God. You are kind, compassionate, full of mercy, and loving in all Your ways. 

 

I love You and thank You that I am united with Christ and spiritually alive in Him.

 

Thank You for the gift of Your Son and His everlasting sacrificial love. To You,



” I am worth the death of Jesus Christ, that’s how much You love me.”



 Nothing, absolutely nothing can ever separate me from Your love.

 

Thank You for drawing me and calling me to follow You. Thank you for choosing me before the foundations of the earth.

 

I choose not to love the world, and I crucify the flesh and all its passions. I believe and embrace the truth of who You say I am.

 

I am a new creation in Christ. I was spiritually dead but now I am alive in Jesus. 

 

I was a sinner saved by grace but now because of my position in Christ, I am a saint, a holy one, empowered by grace and truth.

 

I thank You for the life I have in Christ, and I ask You to fill me to overflowing with Your Holy Spirit, so that I may live my life free from the power of sin. 

 

I choose to believe the truth and I refuse to be discouraged. You are the God of all hope, and I am confident that You will meet my every need according to Your riches and glory. I will seek to live by Your Word and believe the truth.

 

I express with confidence that I can live a responsible life through Christ who strengthens me. The same power, which rose Jesus from the dead dwells in me. I trust You to complete the work that You started in me.

 

I now take my stand against Satan and command him and all his evil spirits to depart from me now. I renounce all the lies of the enemy and false beliefs about myself. 

 

When temptation comes, I will submit to You, resist the Devil, and he will flee from me. I am a child of God, and the evil one cannot touch me. 

 

I will ignore his condemnation and accusations against me because there is no condemnation in Christ.

 

I declare my dependence upon God Almighty. With Him all things are possible. 

 

I put on the whole armor of God. the shoes of the gospel, the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the helmet of salvation, the shield of faith, and the sword of the Spirit. 

 

I submit my body as a living sacrifice and renew my mind by Your living Word of God in order that I may prove that the will of God is good, acceptable, and perfect. 

 

I remind myself that You are in control and reign above all things, therefore I put my confidence and complete trust in You. Thank you Father God that I have a future, and a hope both now, and for all eternity.

 

Thank You that “in Christ” I am accepted, significant, safe, and secure in You. 

 

I honor You as my sovereign Lord. I acknowledge that You are always present with me. 

You promised never to leave me or forsake me because You live in me. I am one with Christ and Christ is one with me.

 

Use me Lord to bring Your light and love to someone today.

Lead and guide me by Your Holy Spirit. May I be Your hands and feet today to touch this hurting world.

 

Praise You God for this brand new day. Your mercies are new and fresh. 

 

Thank You for Your love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Thank You for the gift of the fruit of the Spirit. May it reign in my heart and mind and flow through my life to others.

 

I praise You and pray all these things in the mighty and precious name of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

 

Amen.

As I said yesterday, when we teach we often learn from our students as much if not more than we impart to them. Rafe has reminded me that this “following Jesus thing”  is the thing that matters. It’s the thing that can take us from “Freeze Mode” to Freedom Mode and no matter what hurts, habits, or hang-ups we bring with us when we put our faith in Jesus, we can experience a new and eternal life of peace, hope, and joy and be free of all the bondages of the past that kept us stuck, when we choose to believe God’s truth about us and walk in His ways.  

So pray Rafe’s prayer and believe what it says about who you are in Christ because the power of God works by your faith in Him and choosing to follow where He leads.

 

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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 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. (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 Death and Eternal Life

John 11:17-26 (NLT2)
17  When Jesus arrived at Bethany, he was told that Lazarus had already been in his grave for four days.
18  Bethany was only a few miles down the road from Jerusalem,
19  and many of the people had come to console Martha and Mary in their loss.
20  When Martha got word that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him. But Mary stayed in the house.
21  Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died.
22  But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask.”
23  Jesus told her, “Your brother will rise again.”
24  “Yes,” Martha said, “he will rise when everyone else rises, at the last day.”
25  Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying.
26  Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?”

Today’s verses fall under the tenth point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Death and Eternal Life.  

10. Jesus comforted Mary and Martha after Lazarus died. He is the resurrection and the life.

Today’s verses are a continuing theme in my faith walk – as I was a dead man walking before Jesus called me out of the grave – and I often point to this very passage to beg the question “Do You BELIEVE THIS? – about who Jesus is and about His power to raise others to a new life of freedom, peace, and joy when they simply believe and agree to walk with Him.  

The good news is we have eternal life – although we may die we will live with God forever, but we should also understand that we have the life of Christ – the Holy Spirit – living in us now and we can experience the joy of our resurrected lives – like Lazarus did – here in the world of the living. 

-----------------------------------------------------------

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 “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.

EVENING READING: JOHN 20

“Jesus said to her, ‘Mary!’” – John 20:16

Earlier in this Gospel, the Lord Jesus had given expression to these words, “He who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name” (John 10:2, 3).

The Lord Jesus had just opened the door or way to the Father by His death and resurrection. He now stood before one of His puzzled and confused sheep. “Jesus said to her, ‘Mary!’” He called His own sheep by name and the sheep knew His voice and followed Him.

It is grand to know that He has my name carved on the very palms of His hands.

May I ever be ready to hear my name called,
and reply, “Master!”[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

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Silencing Condemnation - 40 Day Journey with Martin Luther - Day 2 - Purity 1275


 Silencing Condemnation - 40 Day Journey With Martin Luther – Day 2 - Purity 1275

Purity 1275 02/15/2024 Purity 1275 Podcast

Purity 1275 on YouTube: 



Good morning,

Today’s photo of a snow dusted winding forest pathway lined with trees covered in holiday lights comes from yours truly as I captured this dark and bright scene back on the evening of December 30th, 2023, during my visit to the Wild Center in Tupper Lake and “Forest Music” exhibit. 

Well, Its Thursday, and as I am one “wake up” away from a flight to Florida, I need a vacation!  I’ve actually on vacation since Tuesday, because I cashed in a few more vacations days to get there sooner and you think I would be just kicking back and relaxing, and I am, but I had a real “SERENIDITY NOW!” moment this morning as I just about lost it sitting in my countryside living room trying to “enjoy the silence”  and shake off the condemnation of some poor food choices I have made over the last few days, but was disturbed over my food failure and triggered because of the “white noise” of my wife’s rock tumbler that has been grinding away the hard edges of unseen rocks since last weekend. And so I pulled the pull and shut that machine up to stop all the “noise, noise, noise!” only to have to endure the rumbling of the furnace that decided to fire up to fill the vacuum of silence.   Really?!? – Still waiting… I mean I get up early enough you would think I could find some silence to rest in but that silence I find this morning will have to be a relative thing.  Anyway, this path of walking in the Spirit is all about finding peace that goes beyond all understanding and that is not contingent of conditions and so we will practice.  I know my unease this morning is more about my need to return to the new normal of my food plan and shake off the sugar-induced toxicity that I have subjected my body to over the last few days.  But the condemnation – Superbowl – Vacation – inspired feast is over and even though I may give myself permission to have desert while in the Magic Kingdom, today I am going to purge my system with copious amounts of water and account for every morsel that goes into my mouth. My body isn’t used to eating junk anymore and while I feel better this morning I felt absolutely sick to my stomach last night, as I had a persistent belly ache that stayed with me when I laid down to sleep.   But today is  a new day and I know that I can find healing and peace in the presence of the Lord so let’s get there.

It’s the second day of Lent and so we will try to recover physically by drawing close to God spiritually as I continue my personal walkthrough of Gracia Grindal’s 40 Day Journey with Martin Luther to observe and celebrate the Lenten season.   In this walk through Grindal’s devotional,  it is our hope that we will get to know Martin Luther a little better as we seek to draw closer to the Lord on our journey to Resurrection Sunday – Easter.  

And so we continue.

Journey Day 2

It is a good thing to let prayer be the first business of the morning and the last at night. Guard yourself carefully against those false, deluding ideas which tell you, “Wait a little while. I will pray in an hour; first I must attend to this or that.” Such thoughts get you away from prayer into other affairs which so hold your attention and involve you that nothing comes of prayer for that day… When your heart has been warmed by such recitation to yourself (of the Ten Commandments, the words of Christ, etc.) and is intent upon the matter, kneel or stand with your hands folded and your eyes toward heaven and speak or think as briefly as you can:

O Heavenly Father, dear God, I am a poor unworthy sinner. I do not deserve to raise my eyes or hands toward thee or to pray. But because Thou has commanded us all to pray and hast promised to hear us and through Thy dear son Jesus Christ hast taught us both how and what to pray, I come to Thee in obedience to Thy word, trusting in Thy gracious promise. I pray in the name of my Lord Jesus Christ together with all Thy saints and Christians on earth as he has taught us: “Our Father who art” … through the whole prayer, word for word.

Biblical Wisdom

And we urge you, beloved, to admonish the idlers, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with all of them. See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:14-18

 

Silence for Meditation.

Pause the podcast, or stop reading, and sit quietly for 60 seconds or 1, 5, 10, 15 minutes or however long you feel comfortable with and have time for. Focus on your breath and the calm stillness in the present moment that is always available to us in God’s creation. Meditate on how Martin Luther’s comments for the day, and the content of today’s Biblical wisdom.

Oh, Praise the Lord, the Furnace or whatever rumbling thing was going, has stopped, I have found silence….. Thank You Lord!  

Questions to Ponder

·       Why (and how) is the heart warmed by the recitation of the Ten Commandments and the words of Christ? Does your faith community encourage such recitation? If so, in what ways? If not, why not?

I just took a few moments to compile the Bible verses for The Ten Commandments, (Exodus 20:1-17), The Lord Prayer (Matthew 6: 9-13) and the text for the Apostle’s Creed and put them into a separate Word document and reflected on them briefly and recited them aloud. That simple practice of reading God’s word aloud that confirms His law, prays to the Father, and declares what I believe as a disciple of Jesus Christ has given me peace- you could say it has warmed my heart because I feel connected to the Lord and assured of who I am as a child of God as I recite those words. No wonder Martin Luther recommends this!  While the body of Christ and my local church encourage a lifestyle of prayer, I would say that the recitation of creeds, scripture, or prayers is a practice that is not specifically encouraged.  Doing the Nicene Creed and the Lord’s Prayer was a part of the liturgy in my childhood church tradition but I currently am a member of a non-denominational seeker-friendly church and the recitation of creeds or prayers together as a corporate body just doesn’t happen and while the Lord Jesus himself warned about “vain repetitions” or prayer – I can see why churches recite creeds, scripture, or prayers together – they give honor to God, confirm our corporate and individual faith and bring us together in unity.  Why my current church doesn’t do creeds or recitations of scripture together as a body would be a question to pose to my church leadership but one could make a point of standing on Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:7 or want to avoid “dead religious” practices where a well intention recitation can become meaningless, as people just parrot words that are far from their hearts and minds.   

·       Why do you think Luther recommends a certain position of the body as important for the beginning of prayer?

I think that Luther suggests a certain position of the body because the religious tradition of his day was pretty strict in teaching how one is to present themselves to the Lord in prayer. His instruction doesn’t demand bowing down before the Lord, as you can kneel or stand, but it does demand reverently folding one’s hands and looking upward to heaven.  We are to present ourselves humbly to the Lord if we understand His holiness and fear Him. We look up because He is from above – Jesus did ascend after all- and look to the clouds for His return.

·       How is it possible to “pray without ceasing”?

I think it is possible to pray without ceasing by “walking and talking with God” all day long – through walking in the Spirit -being God-conscious, living in the context of the kingdom of God, and continually bringing God into our experience by talking to Him, seeking His presence, and being surrendered to His will.

Psalm Fragment

Give ear to my words, O Lord; give heed to my sighing. Listen to the sound of my cry, my King and my God, for to You I pray. O Lord, in the morning You hear my voice; In the morning I plead my case to You, and watch. Psalm 5: 1-3.

Journal Reflections

·       Reflect on any difficulties you may have had in the past in keeping a regular schedule of prayer. See whether or not you can detect “false, deluding ideas” that have kept you from keeping a schedule.

I have been doing a daily spiritual practice for so long that I don’t recall specific false or deluding ideas that kept me from keeping a schedule but in the early days of my walk there was a battle to establish my practice as a simple rebelliousness and pride that said – “I don’t want to” or “I’m tired” would try to speak up or , in my drinking days – I would be hung over and be just plain sick and unable to focus on anything other than not hurting.  But Luther’s passage points out the common trap the enemy uses to discourage prayer – the idea that you can do it later or have other things to do but really there is nothing more important to your faith walk and peace of mind then spending some time each day with God in prayer or Bible Study and meditation.

·       Meditate on the expression “pray without ceasing”. To what degree does it define your experience? Think back to yesterday and write down the several times and ways in which you may have called upon God.

I would say it “praying without ceasing”  describes my experience pretty well, except when it doesn’t. I am only human after all and make mistakes.  Yesterday, my praying without ceasing started off great because I rose, did some spiritual reading and journaling through my blog and podcast and then rushed off to my old Roman Catholic church for an early Ash Wednesday service. But then I ran into my mother, and we ended up going to breakfast where I ignored my food plan. With my plan compromised, I gave into the flesh and bought a bunch of sweet snacks and over ate on and off throughout the day.  When my belly started aching, I prayed for healing and forgiveness and went to my recovery ministry meeting, openly confessed my failures, and prayed for God to help me and the others with their struggles. So even in my wandering, I went back to the Lord and that is where we should all try to stay – in His presence, trying to follow what He says is best for our lives. 

·       Reflect on how it makes you feel to know that the saints in heaven and on earth are praying with you (and you are praying with them).

It is a great comfort to know that we are not alone in the body of Christ and that while we may seem alone at times all of us are together when we connect to the Lord in prayer.

Prayers for the Life of Faith

 Pray that you (and anyone journeying with you) can establish and keep a schedule of prayer faithfully through the next forty days.

 I pray that I can be more faithful in praying without ceasing and pray for anyone reading or hearing this message to be successful in establishing or maintaining a regular schedule of prayer. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Pray For  Today

Dear Lord Jesus, I thank You that You have given me the words with which to pray. Thank You that I can come to You any time in prayer with any concern at all.

Amen

(We encourage you to purchase Grindal’s book and take the 40 Day Journey with Martin Luther for yourself by purchasing Grindal’s book wherever books are sold. You can find it online at many different sites and purchase it new, used – paper or electronic for less than $15.00).

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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 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. (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 Communication, Gossip, and Lying.

James 3:1-12 (ESV)
1  Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.
2  For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body.
3  If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well.
4  Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs.
5  So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire!
6  And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell.
7  For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind,
8  but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
9  With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.
10  From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.
11  Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water?
12  Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.

Today’s verses fall under the twelfth point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Communication, Gossip, and Lying.

12.     Tame the tongue; it can be very destructive

Today’s verse encourages us to try to bridle the tongue because of the immense damage our words can do. James calls for the image of setting fires with our careless words to impress upon us how seriously we should take our speech. He also shows how inappropriate it is for us to use the same instrument to bless others with that we curse people with, reminding us that this should not be so.  So let’s try to bridle that unruly beast and only use our words to bring encouragement, healing, and love.

 

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

Today we continue sharing from “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.

MORNING READING: MARK 7

“He could not be hidden.” – Mark 7:24

Wherever Christ is given His rightful place, He cannot be hidden, for He is the Light of the world and therefore, a Light which cannot be hidden. Christ is the “the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world” (John 1:9).

“He could not be hidden.” This was also said of Peter and John, for it is recorded that when people saw them, they took knowledge of them that they had been with Jesus. Paul's great ambition was that Christ should live in him. He could say, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me” (Gal. 2:20).

The Lord said in that wonderful sermon of His, “Let your light so shine … that they … glorify your Father” (Matt. 5:16).

O, that this might be said of my life![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

Monday, March 28, 2022

New Grace for Old Relational Patterns of Condemnation – Purity 690


New Grace for Old Relational Patterns of Condemnation – Purity 690

Purity 90 03/28/2022 

Good morning,

Today’s photo of a snowy sunset on the shores of Lake Ontario in Oswego NY comes to us from Celestial Blue Photography who shared this “dawn-like” sunset back on February 5th of this year.     

Well, whether it’s the sun setting on the weekend or a dawn of a new week, it’s Monday again and even though we had the potential for Spring to be sprung, the temperatures have regressed again, and it is a brisk 19 degrees outside of my house “down by the River” this morning.  

It is technically spring. It is a new season but as is evidenced by the cold temperatures outside sometimes things go back to a familiar pattern of the past even when we would like that to not be the case.   

Similarly, Christians who now have a new life in Christ sometimes revert back to the emotional and behavioral patterns that reflect the season of their “old man.”  We can be walking in victory and be filled with the joy and peace that comes from being right with God and living according to His ways and then, just like an unexpected cold spell can intrude on the early days of spring,  suddenly something can happen in our experience that can trigger a response from our past that tears our peace asunder and sends us into reactive patterns of negative emotions and behaviors.    

I recently experienced such a shift from the peace and joy of the Lord to the desperate cries of condemnation and bitterness when I overextended myself and stretched myself too thin.  

I recently took an “ego trip” of a vacation by taking a break from my full time job as a telecommunications field technician to be trained as a psychiatric technician for my county’s mobile crisis assessment team and had been excited by the opportunity to put my education in psychology back to work and to earn a little extra cash as I helped people in my local community to find peace.  The week of training was challenging but rewarding and I was quite proud of how I was incorporating the new part time job to work within my busy schedule of life and ministry.  

I was looking ahead, and scheduling part time shifts at MCAT and was excited that I had a pretty clear view of how I could skillfully juggle all the aspects of my life with just a little bit of planning. I was a little tired from the shift from my “ego-trip” back to my regular day job last week, but I had it all figured out and shot a text to my wife to give her a heads up about some of the part time shifts I was going to pick up in the weeks ahead.

Then the perfect storm of condemnation and bitterness came rolling in like an unexpected cold front when I suddenly realized my view wasn’t as clear as I thought, I was stretched a little further than I thought, and I was still carrying a little behavioral baggage from my past relationships.

In my expert planning, I had missed something. My wife pointed out that I was “double booking myself” on a particular day in the weeks ahead and she asked if I had my dates right or if I understood that I was signing myself up for a 16 hour day of work on a Saturday.  Before this mistake was pointed out she also jokingly asked if I was trying to avoid her by scheduling theses shifts. Ha Ha.

The two unrelated texts – her joke and her good intention to look out for me – instantly filled me with a mix of condemnation and self-righteous indignation.

Her joke was taken out of context and cut like a knife. I wasn’t trying to avoid her at all. I love her madly and was only working this job to try to take care of my debt because a. it is the right thing to do and b. I wanted to do so to give us a better future. So the ‘accusation” I heard filled me with pain that she would ever think that I was trying to avoid her and then also filled me with anger because I was “doing the best I can” to deal with the problem of my debt and then it filled me with condemnation that I had only been remarried for a couple of months and was already “messing it up”.

I thought I had it all figured out and I had made a mistake by double booking. Apparently, I didn’t have my jobs all figured out and I was messing up my marriage too.  

That was an overstatement of course and I would normally have thanked my wife for saving me from my mistake, but my lack of rest made me a little less patient and discerning and what normally would have been a minor mistake that was quickly corrected went global and brought me to the old familiar responses of anger and condemnation from my past before being in Christ.     

Luckily, my wife was quick to point out that I had taken her joke badly and my mistake was corrected but inside a part of me was condemning myself for making the mistake and causing me to wonder if I should ever have gotten married again in the first place. Maybe, I was the same mess I always was and was best to be left alone.  

No sooner did we get past this little misunderstanding when a couple of days later, I reacted rudely to my wife Thursday morning, as I felt pressed for time before work and unceremoniously said goodbye to her in a curt and dismissive manner, that I almost immediately regretted and later apologized for.

She admitted the way I had treated her did hurt her feelings, but she accepted my apology, but inside I was in full blown condemnation mode and was fully convinced that I was incapable of maintaining a loving relationship and should have never gotten married again.  Again, I had suffered a total global melt down.

This is a big hint for all of us. If things get blown out of proportion to the point that we see nothing as good and ourselves as absolute failures we have to realize that we are believing lies. We are probably over-tired because our normal capacities for patiently dealing with stress have been compromised and we feel we are in opposition to the world at large and the very people in our lives that we love the most.   The mole hills of our problems have become mountains and the spring of hope has suddenly gone to the winter of our discontent.

The feelings of condemnation had me ready to withdraw and pull away from my wife and isolate from her in some misguided attempt to stop the damage to our relationship.  

That’s the wrong way to go, as an encourager of other’s attempts to deal with their personal and spiritual conflicts I know the remedy to imbalances between people is forgiveness and cooperation not withdrawing and isolating from one another.  

So over the weekend, I fought those old patterns that would send me “ to the basement” of my emotions and keep me in the self-imposed proverbial “doghouse” of condemnation and instead drew close to my wife and was open and honest in the confessions of all that was going in in my head and heart.   Together we assured each other of our love and forgiveness for one another and resolved the issue that my misunderstandings and lack of rest had created.  

The most important part of “fixing this problem” was for me to truly accept my wife’s forgiveness and to forgive myself for my mistakes and to realize that those old patterns of reactivity were part of my old relationships and from the person who didn’t have the hope of Christ in his life.  

Through Christ, I have been forgiven of all my sins and have been given a new life. If God has forgiven me of everything I have ever done or will do, I should forgive others and I should give myself a break when I make a mistake and forgive myself too.  

When I realized that I had slipped back into condemnation, I realized that I was under stress but also was most likely under a spiritual attack.  The enemy loves to accuse us and condemn us, and I think my bad responses may have been a combination of stress, old patterns of fear and condemnation arising from the dead, and the enemy whispering in my ear.  

The good news is that whatever caused my going astray doesn’t matter, the remedy was and always will be to stand on who I am in Christ and to follow the word of God for my life as a disciple of Christ.  

So if you made a mistake over the weekend, don’t run from it. Stop turn around, admit your wrong, seek forgiveness, and remind yourself of who you are in Christ. In Him we are forgiven, and we are complete.  We just have to keep walking and talking with God because if we do that continually, He will never let us go astray for long and His voice will guide us back in the way we should go and into the love, peace, and joy that is available in His presence.  

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

This morning’s meditation verse is :

Romans 3:25 (NLT2)
25  For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past,

Today’s Bible verse speaks of Christ’s sacrifice for our sins and how we are made right with God when we believe in Him.

This is the game changer, guys. The world makes us earn everything we get. There is no such as a free lunch, right?

Well, the kingdom of God isn’t like that. We can’t pay God back for our sins.  Our sins demand the death penalty, and we only have one life to live for the multitude of sins that we do in our lives. Our good deeds are like filthy rags and are insufficient for our atonement.   There is just no way we can pay for our sins and be made right with God through our own efforts.

But God made a way when there was no way, through faith in Jesus Christ alone we can be forgiven of our sins.

God is kind and gracious and will hold back the penalty of our sins if we just do one thing. If we just let go of our attempts to be made right with God through our own efforts and instead believe and put our faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior we will be forgiven. We will made right with God. We will receive and  be sealed by the Holy Spirit. We will be given a new and eternal life. We will become children of God. And we will be forever in God’s kingdom.  

To let go and let God means to accept Jesus Christ for our salvation and to live according to His ways.  We surrender our life for His and our ways for His ways.

God so loved the world that He gave us Jesus.  And now it’s our turn, to so love Him that we accept His grace and live our life for Him. 

 

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 June Hunt’s Overeating: Freedom from Food Fixation.  

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase June Hunt’s  books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available on many websites for less than $5.00.

F. What Will Let You Experience Lasting Freedom in Your Life?

The truth is … you can be set free from your fixation on food, but even more importantly, you can be set free to become all that God created you to be. Jesus is your divine Deliverer, who paid the price for your sins, cutting off the chains of harmful habits like compulsive overeating so that you can experience lasting freedom.

God’s Word tells us that freedom … leads to praise.…

“Set me free from my prison, that I may praise your name.”

(Psalm 142:7)

4 Points of God’s Plan

#1  God’s Purpose for You … is Salvation.

   What was God’s motivation in sending Christ to earth?

To express His love for you by saving you! The Bible says …

“God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him” (John 3:16–17).

   What was Jesus’ purpose in coming to earth?

To forgive your sins, to empower you to have victory over sin, and to enable you to live a fulfilled life! Jesus said …

“I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10 NKJV).

#2  Your Problem … is Sin.

   What exactly is sin?

Sin is living independently of God’s standard—knowing what is right, but choosing what is wrong. The Bible says …

“If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them” (James 4:17).

   What is the major consequence of sin?

Spiritual death, eternal separation from God. Scripture states …

“Your iniquities [sins] have separated you from your God.… The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Isaiah 59:2; Romans 6:23).

#3  God’s Provision for You … is the Savior.

   Can anything remove the penalty for sin?

Yes! Jesus died on the cross to personally pay the penalty for your sins. The Bible says …

“God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

   What is the solution to being separated from God?

Belief in (entrusting your life to) Jesus Christ as the only way to God the Father. Jesus says …

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.… Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved …” (John 14:6; Acts 16:31).

#4  Your Part … is Surrender.

   Give Christ control of your life—entrusting yourself to Him.…

“Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross [die to your own self-rule] and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?’ ” (Matthew 16:24–26).

   Place your faith in (rely on) Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior and reject your “good works” as a means of earning God’s approval.…

“It is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8–9).

The moment you choose to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior—entrusting your life to Him—His Spirit lives inside you. Then He gives you His power to live the fulfilled life God has planned for you. If you want to be fully forgiven by God and become the person God created you to be, you can tell Him in a simple, heartfelt prayer like this:

Prayer of Salvation

“God, I want a real relationship with You.

I admit that many times I’ve chosen to go my own way instead of Your way.

Please forgive me for my sins.

Jesus, thank You for dying on the cross to pay the penalty for my sins.

Come into my life to be my Lord and my Savior.

Change me from the inside out and make me the person

You created me to be.

In Your holy name I pray. Amen.”

 

What Can You Now Expect?

With the Lord in your life, you can trust that even when you feel weak, you will have His supernatural power working in you to make you strong.

If you sincerely prayed this prayer, look at how God says He will work in your life!

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

(2 Corinthians 12:9)[1]

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

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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship



[1] June Hunt, Biblical Counseling Keys on Overeating: Freedom from Food Fixation (Dallas, TX: Hope For The Heart, 2008), 24–26.