Showing posts with label Contentment. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Contentment. Show all posts

Saturday, May 13, 2023

Happiness is Somewhere Out There! – Lies of the Enemy #30– Purity 1042

Happiness is Somewhere Out There!  – Lies of the Enemy #30– Purity 1042

Purity 1042 05/13/2023 Purity 1042 Podcast

Purity 1042 on YouTube:

Good morning,

Today’s photo of “Morning at Cherokee Lake” comes to us from Fred Dimmick who shared this scene on social media back on April 18th.  I love the boardwalk pathway and the perfect tranquil reflection of the surrounding landscape on the surface of the lake, and all under a cloudless blue sky! Fred’s photo makes me want to get out there and see something!

Well, it’s Saturday and while I have been working outdoors, digging ditches, literally, this week the tranquility of Fred’s photo encourages me to spend some time appreciating God’s creation, albeit with some balance.   We only have so many hours on the weekends, and we have to be wise when we plan things and count the costs. We have to ask ourselves what exactly it is we are looking for, or trying to accomplish, and to consider how much time and effort accomplishing it will take, and whether there is a simpler way to meet our needs that won’t cost us everything.   

For example, last year my wife and I and some friends went on a “white water rafting trip” on the Hudson River.  If you have never gone, I would highly recommend giving it a try. It was fun!  However, before you book your trip with a rafting company, you need to count the costs.  The rafting trip required financial costs, more or less 8 hours of you day, and some physical costs to your body (from rowing, being jostled around in the rapids, from swimming (you’ve got to get out of the boat – brothers and sister – as far as I am concerned -for the full experience), and from being out in the elements for most of the day. While you will have your evening free after the trip, you may be “spent” from the experience.   

Similarly, we, like Fred, can go to nearby nature trails, state parks, lakes, or mountains to get out in God’s creation to experience the glory of the great outdoors but we are wise to figure out the “drive time”  and assess the lay of the land to accurately determine the time and physical costs for our excursions – long hikes cost more than short hikes, mountain hikes cost more than hikes on relatively flat terrain.  

And all of these considerations are being mentioned today because each of us have different likes and dislikes and different capacities and as I seek to encourage people to “do something” to fully appreciate their lives, and to find peace and joy in the process, I also want people to be wise and discerning and to seek to know themselves and their limitations because if they aren’t their attempts to find peace and joy can turn into frustration, angst, and bitterness.  

The sense of peace we will experience will be within us no matter where we go, so it’s good to remember that wherever we go, we take ourselves with us and we should seek to accurately assess what we can handle and what we can’t.   If our journey of life turns into some desperate pursuit of finding peace “somewhere out there”, invariably we will come to the conclusion that “there is nothing out there” in some sense, unless we are also connected to the Creator.  There is nothing inherently meaningful or fulfilling out in the middle of the woods, next to a lake, or on the top of a mountain unless the experience brings you to a place where you thank God for what He has made and the life He has given us.  

Many times on solo nature hikes, I have reached “my limit” -where I get to the point that my appreciation for the “stillness” and the beauty of the great outdoors dissipates, and I begin to get frustrated and become more concerned with whether or not I should press on ahead or turn around and leave than with the “awe and wonder” of the wilderness.   When I get to that point, I know I have overextended myself and usually make a determined effort to just leave – I am no longer appreciating the woods so “times up” – it's time to go back to civilization and find rest somewhere else – usually back in the comforts of home.  

I  don’t know if I’m adequately expressing this experience of discovery and dissatisfaction, but this is where you come to the realization that – there is “nothing out there” – anywhere really – at home – on the road – anywhere that will fulfill us in and of themselves. This experience is simultaneously discovering our own limitations but also the limitations of “people, places, or things” to completely satisfy us. 

The “answers” to peace and joy don’t lie “out there” by themselves. The answers to peace and joy are found by relating all of our experiences to God. He is the only One with us – all the time – and when we aren’t relating to Him moment to moment – the world becomes lonely, disappointing, or even hostile to us.  God is our ever present companion and the only One who can give us the enduring experience of peace, safety, acceptance, security, and significance. 

U2’s Bono just turned 63 (we are all getting old – our rockers will increasingly be found in rockers – as in rocking chairs) and I remember U2’s 1987 song “I still haven’t found what I am looking for” where Bono sang about “climbing the highest mountains” and “running through the fields” and having other fleshly, and even spiritual experiences, only to find himself still searching.   Although the song’s lyric confesses to believing in “the Kingdom Come” and being set “free” and “believing it” – the fact that singer is “still running” makes believe that they are looking for “something out there” when they should stop and consider the fact that we are all invariably running to an eternal existence with or without God.

Our wilderness discontentment experiences, and desperate searching “out there” testifies to the inability of nature or other worthwhile experiences to provide meaning and purpose and to the fact that we have looked to created things rather than the Creator for guidance and peace.    

And this may be the longest meandering segway ever but, this brings us to our current series the “Lies of the Enemy”, which is an examination of some of the common lies, sometimes sneakily whispered into our minds as “first person” statements, that the enemy tells us to cause us to doubt our faith, lose our peace, cause division, or influence us to not follow the Lord with the way we live our lives. 

So today’s big lie is:

Lie #30:  Happiness is Somewhere Out There!     

This Lie is trumpeted everywhere! Happiness is something out there and many will offer that they have not only found “it” they have it for sale.  The travel industry will book you trips to all the “happy places” on the earth.  Restaurants promise to take you to a “happy place” with their culinary delights.   The sex industry will give you all kinds of options for finding the “happy place” of sexual release.   Dating apps even promise to bring you to the “happy place” of finding relationships.   Spas and salons will provide you with treatments that will give you “peace”.    The entertainment and sports industries will make you happy by giving you dramas to get lost in or to give you something to cheer for.  


But as I tried to express above, all the “things out there” – while admittedly they can provide us with pleasure and happy experiences – we were never meant to invest ourselves in them to find our ultimate fulfillment.  True fulfillment – peace and joy – come from a relationship with the Creator, not with temporary experiences or created things.  


Isaiah 26:3-4 (NLT2)  speaking of God, says
3  You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
4  Trust in the LORD always, for the LORD GOD is the eternal Rock.


Our temporary experience will give us temporary peace. But the Lord offers perfect peace for eternity.  And the Way we can enter into a relationship to know God’s eternal peace is through Jesus.  He said in:  


John 14:27 (NLT2)
27  “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.


His teaching and His very life were given to and for us so we would have peace.  Jesus acknowledges the difficulties of living in this world but assures us of that through Him we can over come it.   He said:

John 16:33 (NLT2)
33  I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”


We are not to try to find our peace – or happy place – in the world. We are to find our peace in Him.  


So while I encourage you to enjoy your life and to get “out there:” this weekend to do something, make sure that you understand your limits and that the peace that endures forever is found in Christ alone.  So don’t believe the lie that “happiness is somewhere out there!” just waiting to be found because no matter how much you search in this world, unless you are looking towards the Creator and consider His Way for peace, you’ll will not only never find “what you are looking for” you will discover that you were running away from the only One that could give it to you.    





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


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

This morning’s meditation verse is :

1 Peter 3:7 (NLT2)
7  In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.


Today’s verse reminds husbands to treat their wives with honor and understanding that she is our equal partner in God’s gift of new life and that failure to do so may hinder our prayers.   


Well, just in time for Mother’s Day, the Lord provides us with a verse to honor our sisters in Christ. Women are our equal partners in our new lives in Christ and when we treat them as second class citizens of the kingdom of God, we apparently will disrupt the effectiveness of our prayer lives as a spiritual consequence.  


Men and women are different. They have different strengths and weaknesses, but the Lord loves them both and wants them to honor and respect one another as equal partners in God’s kingdom.  While men are given the spiritual authority in marriage, they are not to abuse it.   Instead the word of God instructs us to love our wives as ourselves and to give them honor.







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  “Satan, Demons & Satanism: A Sinister Reality” By June Hunt.

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage you all to purchase June Hunt’s books for your own private study and to support her work.  This resource is available online for $7.99 ( ).

Satan, Demons & Satanism

A Sinister Reality

by June Hunt

IV.    Steps To Solution

E.  Claim Your Victory in Christ

Christ’s victory over Satan is complete, final and irrevocable. Because Christ lives in you, His victory has become your victory. There is no power over Satan apart from Christ because He is the only one who has been and can be victorious over your adversary. Claim and appropriate His victory as your own, and then walk in that victory on a daily basis.

     Commit your entire life to Christ as Lord.


Fully rely on Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.

“If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, your will be saved.” (Romans 10:9)


     Confess your involvement with Satan.


Recognize and renounce each evil practice.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)


     Confront Satan as a liar.


Refuse to believe any thought that Satan puts into your mind.

“He [Satan] was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44)


     Command Satan to leave you.


Base your command on the authority given you in Christ.

“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7)


     Cleanse your home.


Destroy all satanic and occultic paraphernalia.

“Avoid every kind of evil.” (1 Thessalonians 5:22)


     Conform your thinking to God’s thinking.


Transform your mind by memorizing Scripture.

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2)


     Concede your own weakness.


You cannot resist evil in your own strength … you must rely on the indwelling power of Christ.

“I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13)


     Clothe yourself with the armor of God.


Learn God’s way of protecting yourself against the devil’s schemes.

“Put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground.” (Ephesians 6:13)


Q “For several years, I have been having perverse sexual dreams. I feel dirty when I wake up, but I can’t seem to do anything about them. Although I recently became a Christian, our family was heavily involved in witchcraft and satanism. What can I do to stop having these nightmares?”

Recurring sexual nightmares can certainly be rooted in the occult or in satanic rituals. Because your family was heavily involved in witchcraft and satanism, your first line of defense is to enter into spiritual warfare against these powers. If satanic oppression is the cause of an involuntary, immoral dream invading your life, through prayer it can be overcome. Claim your position as a child of God by thanking Him for loving you and saving you. Speak audibly, for Satan cannot read your thoughts. Then, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and through the power of His blood, renounce and reject any influence of the occult or any evil presence attacking you.

“They overcame him [Satan] by the blood of the Lamb [Jesus] and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.” (Revelation 12:11)

Pray …


Lord Jesus,

Thank You for saving me and adopting me into Your family. I acknowledge that Your blood was the payment price that purchased the full forgiveness of my sins. My testimony is that I truly am a child of God. Right now, I take the authority that is mine in Christ and renounce any satanic, demonic power that was or is coming against me. When I sleep, I ask that the helmet of salvation protect my mind. May the breastplate of righteousness deflect any flaming arrows from the evil one. Put a hedge of protection around my mind and purify my dreams, and may God get the glory. In the powerful name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.[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 You Tube 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 (

For those who require the assistance of a Deeper Walk International Prayer Minister to experience healing or your freedom in Christ, I highly recommend Christy Edge’s Life on the Edge Freedom Prayer Ministry. You can schedule a session by going to :     

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

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship


[1] June Hunt, Biblical Counseling Keys on Satan, Demons & Satanism: A Sinister Reality (Dallas, TX: Hope For The Heart, 2008), 16–18.

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Spiritual Blindness - A Thorough Understanding of Error – Purity 973

Spiritual Blindness -  A Thorough Understanding of Error – Purity 973                         

Purity 973 02/22/2023 Purity 973 Podcast

Purity 973 on YouTube: 

Good morning,

Today’s photo of the sun shining over the Atlantic Ocean from the point of view of the Springmaid Pier in Myrtle Beach SC comes to us from yours truly as this New Yorker was delighted to be experiencing 80 degrees and sunshine and had to capture the moment as my wife and I checked out the immediate surroundings of what will be our home away from home for three nights. 

Well it’s Wednesday, and even though we just got here yesterday, we will have already reached the midway point of our stay by day’s end and so I would remind each one of us to appreciate today for what it is because no matter where this last “hump day” of February finds you physically, emotionally, or spiritually, time will keep on marching forward. So we should appreciate where we are and try to find peace now, joy now with a sense of gratitude and contentment.

No, my vacation will not last forever but I get to enjoy it today. And as hard as it may believe, for those of you working, some day your job and career will come to an end, even if it means your life should expire before you retire!  So whether you are working or not, realize that the joy we have in life is greatly affected by our perspective or our world view.  

Last night after surveying the lay of the land near our resort, I lead the participants of  the Freedom in Christ course that I facilitate on Zoom to consider the “world’s view of the truth” and how it presents false equations of how we can feel accepted, significant, and secure.  The lesson demonstrated this with the following equations:

·       Performance + Accomplishments = Significance

·       Status + Recognition =  Security

·       Appearance + Admiration = Acceptance

These equations can seem to make sense and cause us to try to earn our significance, security, and acceptance in the world but the truth is revealed when those equations don’t add up.  The biographies of over achievers and the best and brightest among us often reveal that even the ultra rich and successful can be thoroughly dissatisfied with their lives even after they accomplished all their goals, were admired by the masses, or had all the financial resources to keep them in the lap of luxury for the rest of their lives. 

The reason why these equations don’t add up is because they don’t seek to answer the big questions of life and death and their ultimate purpose and meaning according to the Creator of Life, God.  

This weeks lesson also looked at the different world views in regards of science, spirituality, and relativism by examining the western, non-western, and post-modern world views and how they present a false picture of reality.  According the lesson:

The Western view generally bases their view of reality based on what can be determined by science (what’s observable) and it tends to all but deny the spiritual or supernatural possibilities of life. 

The Non-Western worldview – on the other hand while it may believe in science and what’s observable, not only believes in “spirits” or the supernatural aspects of life but believes that those forces should be respected and can be manipulated for good or bad.   

The Post modern world view tends to be relativistic because it tends to define its “own truth” based on personal experience.   

All of these views offer up an explanation of reality that would deny the truth of God’s word and the Biblical worldview.  The rules of science, the practices of animistic or pantheistic religions that seek to manipulate the “spirits”, and “doing whatever is right in our own eyes”  would not lead one to the conclusion that eternal life is secured through faith in Jesus Christ.  The truth of God’s word, in the Bible, is the only source of truth that would lead one to the ultimate acceptance, security, and significance that we all were made to experience.  God’s equation for obtaining acceptance, significance, and security is for us to receive them from Him, the creator of all things and the author of life and truth, through the way He established – through faith in Jesus Christ.    

As Christians, we understand this and we are increasingly experiencing the reality of it as we grow in our faith.  Our deepest desire is to help other people to “see the truth” too!

In our discussion, we addressed the fact that our modern society has muddied the waters of “seeing the light” because it presents the view that “all roads lead to heaven” and that one view of reality is as good as any other.  But as nice as the idea of ‘coexistence” can be, the fact that all the different religions and world philosophies about life present alternate explanations for “the way things work” indicates that they can’t all be true.  

One of the men who works with youth as a counselor was particularly concerned about how several of the youth has counseled seem to have a well grounded understanding of the various religions and philosophies out there but seemed to be completely oblivious to the possibility of the objective reality that there really is a God that they could have a relationship with or to consider that they will be accountable with what they do with their lives to Him.  

This man’s description of his counselees indicated that everything is just a theory to them., that they seem to have a such thorough understanding of all the possible explanations of reality out there but it doesn’t seem that they have considered that only one view could be true, and that they would thus be subject to that truth.  On the contrary, their lack of concern of being “right with God”, would indicate that they are incapable of believing that any of the possibilities are “real”. They can tell you what the various religions believe but they couldn’t tell you whether or not what they taught was true. Their thorough understanding seemed to stop shy of evaluating the truth claims of each possibility to determine what was true.   They essentially have a thorough understanding of error and thus are all the more spiritually blinded to the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  

Their “open minds” would in effect keep them closed off from salvation because they have made the personal decision that there is no absolute truth, that somehow the contradictions and inconsistencies of the belief that all points of view are equally valid when it comes to ultimate reality didn’t penetrate through the accumulation of understanding the different views of life.  

This all of course reveals the reality of the spiritual forces of darkness, the powers and principalities, that would raise up any other possibility except Jesus to lead the people of this world to destruction. 

2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (NKJV)
4  For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,
5  casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,

While only the Holy Spirit can reveal the truth of the gospel to anyone to bring them to salvation, our part is to lovingly stand in the gap and to point out the inconsistencies of the world’s various views of reality and lead people to consider the truth of God’s word and to apply it to their lives personally.   We are to cast down the arguments the world makes by telling the truth of Jesus Christ and imploring them to make a personal decision to apply it to their lives by making Jesus the Lord of their lives.   

There are various theories of how to do evangelism of course but the emphasis should always be to present Christ as God’s answer for life and how we individually must examine this thing called life and choose what we will believe, not in theory, but in practice because it will be what we do with what we have learned that will be what determines the quality and future of our lives.   

So keep walking and talking with God and be ready to give an explanation for the hop you have in Christ because when you can tell someone why you believe and what your faith in Christ has done in your life, you may be used by the Lord to open the eyes of the blind and to set the captives free.


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

This morning’s meditation verses are:

Philippians 4:8-9 (NLT2)
8  And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
9  Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.

Today’s Bible verses remind us how to think as Christians and calls us to be “real” in our faith to receive the fruit of the Spirit of peace.   

The Apostle Paul presents us with the means of having peace. We are to think on things that are true, honorable, right, pure, and lovely, admirable excellent, and worthy of praise, the things of God as revealed in the Bible,  and to put everything we learn from it into practice.  TO have peace, we need to believe and practice what the Lord teaches us.  

That’s what being a disciple of Jesus and finding peace is all about. So think about those things and do those things that the Lord would have you do and share the recipe of peace that comes through faith in Jesus Christ to the world that desperately needs it.


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 A.W. Pink’s “The Sovereignty of God.”

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase A.W. Pink’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available on many websites for less than $20.00.





2. The Bondage of the Human Will

In any treatise that proposes to deal with the human will, its nature and functions, respect should be had to the will in three different men, namely, unfallen Adam, the sinner, and the Lord Jesus Christ. In unfallen Adam the will was free, free in both directions, free toward good and free toward evil. Adam was created in a state of innocency but not in a state of holiness, as is so often assumed and asserted. Adam’s will was therefore in a condition of moral equipoise: that is to say, in Adam there was no constraining bias in him toward good or evil, and as such Adam differed radically from all his descendants, as well as from “the Man Christ Jesus.” But with the sinner it is far otherwise. The sinner is born with a will that is not in a condition of moral equipoise, because in him there is a heart that is “deceitful above all things and desperately wicked,” and this gives him a bias toward evil. So, too, with the Lord Jesus it was far otherwise: He also differed radically from unfallen Adam. The Lord Jesus Christ could not sin because He was “the Holy One of God.” Before He was born into this world it was said to Mary, “The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that Holy Thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35). Speaking reverently then we say, that the will of the Son of Man was not in a condition of moral equipoise, that is, capable of turning toward either good or evil. The will of the Lord Jesus was biased toward that which is good because, side by side with His sinless, holy, perfect humanity, was His eternal Deity. Now in contradistinction from the will of the Lord Jesus which was biased toward good, and Adam’s will which, before his fall, was in a condition of moral equipoise—capable of turning toward either good or evil—the sinner’s will is biased toward evil, and therefore is free in one direction only, namely, in the direction of evil. The sinner’s will is enslaved because it is in bondage to and is the servant of a depraved heart.

In what does the sinner’s freedom consist? This question is naturally suggested by what we have just said above. The sinner is ‘free’ in the sense of being unforced from without. God never forces the sinner to sin. But the sinner is not free to do either good or evil because an evil heart within is ever inclining him toward sin. Let us illustrate what we have in mind. I hold in my hand a book. I release it; what happens? It falls. In which direction? Downwards; always downwards. Why? Because, answering the law of gravity, its own weight sinks it. Suppose I desire that book to occupy a position three feet higher; then what? I must lift it; a power outside of that book must raise it. Such is the relationship which fallen man sustains toward God. Whilst Divine power upholds him he is preserved from plunging still deeper into sin; let that power be withdrawn and he falls—his own weight (of sin) drags him down. God does not push him down anymore than I did that book. Let all Divine restraint be removed and every man is capable of becoming, would become, a Cain, a Pharaoh, a Judas. How then is the sinner to move heavenward? By an act of his own will? Not so. A power outside of himself must grasp hold of him and lift him every inch of the way. The sinner is free, but free in one direction only—free to fall, free to sin. As the Word expresses it: “For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness” (Rom. 6:20). The sinner is free to do as he pleases, always as he pleases (except as he is restrained by God), but his pleasure is to sin.

In the opening paragraph of this chapter we insisted that a proper conception of the nature and function of the will is of practical importance, nay, that it constitutes a fundamental test of theological orthodoxy or doctrinal soundness. We wish to amplify this statement and attempt to demonstrate its accuracy. The freedom or bondage of the will was the dividing line between Augustinianism and Pelagianism, and in more recent times between Calvinism and Arminianism. Reduced to simple terms this means that the difference involved was the affirmation or denial of the total depravity of man. In taking the affirmative we shall now consider,[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 You Tube 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


[1] Arthur W. Pink, The Sovereignty of God (Swengel, PA: Bible Truth Depot, 1949), 143–144.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Joy and Peace in the Great-in-Between - Purity 889

Joy and Peace in the Great-in-Between -  Purity 889  

Purity 889 11/15/2022 Purity 889 Podcast

Purity 889 on YouTube: 

Good morning,

Today’s photo of a pair of trees under a blazing late afternoon sun on the shores of the Niagara River comes to us from yours truly as I made a point of stopping at Fort Schlosser, or the “Upper Niagara Intake Observation Area” while departing Niagara Falls NY back on Thursday.  

Well, there are two trees in this photo, so I guess that makes it a natural selection to represent the second day of our work week, Two for Tuesday? Anyway, I have been to Niagara Falls on a few other occasions in the past but have never stopped at “Fort Schlosser” and so I made a point to do so as the last stop, well almost, it should have been the last stop, before going to my hostel accommodations in Buffalo.  

I can understand why I never stopped at For Schlosser before. After the grandeur of Niagara Falls, the Upper Niagara Intake Observation Area can be a little underwhelming but in truth it is a beautiful site, with wide open spaces to picnic and a long trail that runs parallel to the Niagara Scenic Parkway along the Niagara River that if followed to the West would lead you to the Falls, about 3 miles away, and if followed to the east would lead you beneath the North Grand Island Bridge to Lasalle Riverfront Park, two miles away. So Fort Schlosser may not seem like much to look at when you’re driving past it after visiting the Falls, but it could be the starting point for a great day of walking along the Niagara River.  

And I guess depending on where you are in your walk with the Lord, Fort Schlosser could represent where we find ourselves today, in the “Great-in-Between”, between our pasts and the things waiting for us in the future that could be many miles or even years away.  

One destination in all of our future is Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Years beyond.   While we may be  looking ahead at those times with joyful expectation or anxiety and dread, the important thing to remember about our walk through life and specifically on the path of Christian discipleship is to enjoy the present.  Sure Fort Schlosser may not be Niagara Falls, but its pretty nice there all the same and we shouldn’t not appreciate it because we either have left the Falls behind or are looking forward to the Falls in our future.  

The enemy seeks to steal our peace by telling us two equal and opposite lies. 

1.    Things were better in the past.  

2.    Things are better in the future.  

Like any good lie, there is always a grain of truth in them if the enemy is going to be successful in deceiving us. 

Sure there were good things in our pasts, but there we shouldn’t fall in the trap of living there because our nostalgic vision that only highlights the positive or dwells on the pain, paints a picture that is distorted, one way or the other.  While we could and should appreciate our pasts, for the bad and the good, we should never let it disrupt the peace and joy that we can have today.  

Likewise, we might be in some real present struggles currently or we may have some really good things that are beyond the horizon in our futures.  But if we are focused on the future so much that we are hating the gift of our present, the enemy has won again.  

So as we enter into the second day of the week, submit to God and give Him thanks for the day He has made, today,  and resist the devil who would like to convince you that peace and joy exist only in our pasts or are far away in the distant future.  

Also, the enemy also likes to point out the things we supposedly “lack”.  He can do this with a one-two punch.   

He can stir pleasant thoughts and desire for things that are good, tempting us with circumstantial happiness, with even positive desires for family gatherings or doing acts of service to the Lord or kindness to others.   

But then after the enemy tempts you with “things that would be nice”, he slams you with the facts of your current situation that may make those things difficult to obtain.   Thus we are drawn into depression about the thing “we can’t do” and discontentment with the way things are. 

But the truth is, generally, that right now isn’t so bad, in fact things may actually be better than how they were, but in pointing out nice desires that we may not be able to do right now, our present becomes something we don’t appreciate.  

The kicker is usually these desires the enemy presents also distract us from the problems we should be focused on resolving.  So we end up fantasizing about “what if” rather than addressing the problems left on the back burner of our lives.  Instead of focusing on the “nice things” we wish we had, we would be better served to develop a plan to address the things that have been ignored that if resolved would increase our freedom and peace.   

So obviously, as we walk through this life we have to be aware our current situations and appreciate where we are and rather than fantasize and be disappointed about the things we “can’t have” now we should instead find the joy and the peace that is available to us right here, and right now, and we should not ignore the things that surround us that we could resolve.  

When we walk in the Spirit, the Holy Spirit will lead us into all truth and the truth is there are good things in your life right now that you can appreciate and have peace and joy about.  There is also work to do to resolve past problems that are still a part of your present and to prepare us for the future that is always one day closer.  

However, if we keep walking and talking with God, we will know that we are never alone as we walk from here to there and we have Him to help us and guide us in the way we should go.   




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

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Romans 10:9 (NLT2)
9  If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Today’s verse reminds us of all it is  that we must do in order to be saved. 

We must confess that Jesus is Lord and believe that God raised Him from the dead.   That’s it.  

But as simple as that may sound, to just believe that!, the whole counsel of God would cause us to understand that confessing Jesus as our Lord and Savior means a lot.  

The implication of anyone being your lord is that you answer to them, and you obey them.  You follow their instructions and call on your life.  

And so the great news is that we are saved by faith alone, however I would never seek to mislead anyone into putting their faith in Christ is just a matter of “easy-believe-ism”.

Christ warned His disciples that the world would hate them and that they would be persecuted because of their faith in Him.  

While salvation is a free gift of grace from God, there is a cost of discipleship – our very lives. God gives us eternal life through Christ and thus we are said to die with Christ and are raised to new life with Him in His resurrection. Our old self is dead, and our purpose is to discover and live our new life in Christ.  

We are saved from God’s wrath and saved to become a part of His kingdom and to represent Him by the way we live.  

So rejoice over your salvation, but never take it lightly or lead people to believe that being a Christian is as simple as the faith it takes to become one.  


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 Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s “Discipleship”, also known as “The Cost of Discipleship”

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Bonhoeffer’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available on many websites for less than $20.00.

The Sermon on the Mount

Matthew 7

The Community of Disciples Is Set Apart

The Disciple and the Unbelievers

Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbor, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye.

¶ “Do not give what is holy to dogs; and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under foot and turn and maul you.

¶ “Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone? Or if the child asks for a fish, will give a snake? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him! In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets” (Matt. 7:1–12).

There is an essential connection that leads from chapters 5 and 6 to these verses and then to the great conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount. The fifth chapter spoke of the extraordinariness of discipleship (περισσόν), while the sixth chapter spoke of the disciples’ hidden, simple righteousness (ὰπλο͂υζ). In both aspects the disciples were separated from the community to which they had previously belonged and bound solely to Jesus. The boundary became clearly visible. This raises the question of the relationship between disciples and the people around them. Did their being set apart give them special rights of their own? Did they receive special powers, measuring standards, or talents, which enabled them to assume a special authority toward others? This would have been most likely if Jesus’ disciples had now separated themselves from their environment by sharp, divisive judgments. People could even have come to think that it was Jesus’ will that such divisive and condemnatory judgments were to be made in the disciples’ daily dealings with others. Thus Jesus must make clear that such misunderstandings seriously endanger discipleship. Disciples are not to judge. If they do judge, then they themselves fall under God’s judgment. They themselves will perish by the sword with which they judge others. The gap which divides them from others, as the just from the unjust, even divides them from Jesus.

Why is that so? Disciples live completely out of the bond connecting them with Jesus Christ. Their righteousness depends only on that bond and never apart from it. Therefore, it can never become a standard which the disciples would own and might use in any way they please. What makes them disciples is not a new standard for their lives, but Jesus Christ alone, the mediator and Son of God himself. The disciples’ own righteousness is thus hidden from them in their communion with Jesus. They can no longer see, observe, and judge themselves; they only see Jesus and are seen, judged, and justified by grace by Jesus alone. No measuring standard for a righteous life stands between the disciples and other people; but once again, only Jesus Christ himself stands in their midst. The disciples view other people only as those to whom Jesus comes. They encounter other people only because they approach them together with Jesus. Jesus goes ahead of them to other people, and the disciples follow him. Thus an encounter between a disciple and another person is never just a freely chosen encounter between two people, confronting each other’s views, standards, and judgments immediately. Disciples can encounter other people only as those to whom Jesus himself comes. Jesus’ struggle for the other person, his call, his love, his grace, his judgment are all that matters. Thus the disciples do not stand in a position from which the other person is attacked. Instead, in the truthfulness of Jesus’ love they approach the other person with an unconditional offer of community.[1]

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

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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

[1] Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Discipleship, ed. Martin Kuske et al., trans. Barbara Green and Reinhard Krauss, vol. 4, Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2003), 169–170.