Labels

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

Thursday, February 8, 2024

Triggered by Doublemindedness & God’s Gift of Peace – A Mindful of Christ Encouragement - Purity 1269

Triggered by Doublemindedness & God’s Gift of Peace – a Mindful of Christ Encouragement - Purity 1269

Purity 1269 02/08/2024 Purity 1269 Podcast

Purity 1269 on YouTube:



Good morning,

Today’s photo of a boardwalk pathway to Treasure Island’s Sunset Beach comes to us from yours truly as I reached back into my phone's photo archive this morning to share this scene from my honeymoon trip to Tampa back on February 21st, 2022.   

Well, it’s Thursday and I share this as a visual reminder to my friends to get on or to stay on the path of Christian Discipleship, as is my fairly regular habit on Thursdays, but I also share it because I have Florida on the mind this morning because I am a week and a wake-up away from getting on a plane to Orlando and Disney World. As excited as I am for the trip I have to admit that I have some anxiety about the trip because some of the details of my reservations have me wondering what exactly is included in my vacation package and just how much I will have to pay in addition to what I have paid already to meet my family’s needs while in the Magic Kingdom. I am a simple guy and I just prefer to pay one cost for everything. The “all-inclusive” option is preferred but upon examining the details of my reservation and Disney dining plan, I am thoroughly confused about whether or not how things will work and that causes me to lament “Why do things have to be so complicated – or why do things have to be this way? 

But I back off on asking that question because it leads to discontentment and complaining – the antithesis to a life in the Spirit – So I plan on being the “annoying guest” and calling later today to unapologetically ask all my questions so I can know what I have signed myself up for in Orlando for 6 nights and 7days.   We perish for a lack of knowledge and at this point, I need to know what the deal is.   I want to know what the deal is and to arrange my plans in a way that will meet my family’s needs or to prepare me for those “extras” that are not included.  Once I know what I am in for, I can deal with it and be content. 

Speaking of knowing what we signed up for and what the deal is and being content, I will try not to come across as too angry in my inquiries because I don’t want to complain. Last night, I got a stark example of what being angry and discontented looks like and I realize that those emotions are grounded in irrationality or selfishness as one of the participants of Celebrate Freedom seemed to be having a bad day and seemed to be back to square one of their recovery journey because they were being double-minded. 

After hearing about how they were angry about the fact that they had to work and support their family and how life got to bedifficult after having children and how they loved booze and how they couldn’t live in alcoholic bliss was troubling and revealed that this person might be coming to a recovery meeting but their heart and mind is torn in two as they are holding onto a life they can’t have anymore.  This person was angry about life in general. 

For those who hate work or don’t like their jobs, let me console you by saying “suck it up buttercup”.  God’s plan for us was always to work.  

Genesis 1:28 (NASB) tells us
28  God blessed them; and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth."

Adam was given a job, before The Fall, okay.  Responsible people work, and benefit from it – so focus on the positive, plan to get a different job if you must, but know this : work no matter what you do will always be a challenge and our peace comes not from what we do but how we perceive it – how we think about it.  IF we focus on the negative aspects of work we will be unhappy, if we are thankful for the pay, benefits, opportunities, and people we encounter at work – we can be content.  So change your mind, because you are going to have to work anyway and we can do it bitter, or we can do it better, by having peace about our lot in life, knowing God approves of us working and it provides for ourselves and our families.

And as for drunkenness, I like the way the NLT puts it.

Ephesians 5:18 (NLT2) where it says
18  Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit,

Drunkenness will ruin your life and in this person’s life that Biblical truth has come to pass because their drunkenness has caused disharmony in their marriage to the point where they have a choice to sober up or to find themselves divorced and separated from their children. 

This person is still holding on to the lie that drunkenness is okay or a good thing that they are being denied when in fact it is poison that causes pain to themselves and their family.

Our group shows people the pathway to peace, but we can’t make you believe it and we can’t make you walk it out.  Our friend is living a double-minded life and hasn’t committed to changing his relationship to booze. They love it when they should hate it. They want to keep it when they should let it go.  They say they believe what God’s word says but deny it with what they say and do. They believe but don’t follow.

In trying to encourage this person, we were all thoroughly frustrated, not only at what was said, what they were saying was irrational and selfish, but it wasn’t the first time we heard it. We covered this ground before and they cycled back to it – because they obviously dismissed what we have said, and still believe they can have life both ways when they can’t.

In their parting words, they spoke disdainfully regarding whether or not they could have peace in following the Lord which is sad because it betrays their lack of faith and their failure to see that their current actions and attitudes are what are stealing their peace and that staying the same isn’t an option anymore. Things will get better, or things will get worse, but they won’t to stay the same. I know that following the Lord might be tough at first, but I know that God is the one who gives us the gift of peace.  Which brings me to sharing Mindful of Christ’s Lauren Roskilly’s “Word for Wednesday” from this week – which is based on:

John 14:27 (NLT2) which says:
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.

Lauren’s short message is “God’s gift of peace is for you” and she writes:

“Do you experience an almighty sense of peace whatever trouble you go through?

Do you know that it is possible?

 

Jesus himself, in this verse, says that we can.

It is through Jesus and the gift of the Holy Spirit that you can.

 

Whatever trouble, stressful situations, anxiety, worry or fear you go through, if you turn your attention, focus and thoughts over to Jesus and Gods presence, ask the Holy Spirit to fill you, you can know and be filled with this awesome gift of peace.

 

Regularly turn to Jesus and meditate on him and his word and discover for yourself your stress levels drop and this awesome peace increases.”

 

It’s a simple instruction, meditate on Jesus and God’s word and you will discover peace.  So if you are angry and discontented, stop being double-minded and agree with and live by the truth of God’s word and the peace that goes beyond all understanding will be yours.

 

 

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

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 verse comes from the section on Communication, Gossip, and Lying.

Proverbs 19:9 (NIV2011)
9  A false witness will not go unpunished, and whoever pours out lies will perish.

Today’s verse falls under the tenth point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Communication, Gossip, and Lying.

10.     Lying will be punished.

Today’s verse tells us that the liar will perish.   And because I am short on time I will cut to the chase by sharing:

Revelation 21:8 (NLT2) that tells us
8  “But cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the immoral, those who practice witchcraft, idol worshipers, and all liars—their fate is in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

All liars, whose sins have not been covered by the blood of Jesus are fated to go into the lake of fire with Satan.  

So repent, tell the truth, and make sure you put your faith Jesus, so your lies will be forgiven, and you won’t perish because of them.

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

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 1

“There comes One after me who is mightier than I,
whose sandal strap I am not worthy to stoop down
and loose.” – Mark 1:7

The stooping to unloose the strap of a sandal was the meanest job for the lowest servant. Yet John the Baptist says, “I am not worthy even to do that.” He says that he was not worthy even to stoop down. Stooping down was humility itself, but John says that he was not worthy to take such a high place (though humanly speaking it was the lowest place).

Here, surely, was real humility. And because of it, the Lord exalted John the Baptist to the highest place of honor. For He said concerning him that John was the greatest born of women (Matt. 11:11).

Notice also, “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Matt. 23:12).

“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord,
and He will lift you up.”
–James 4:10[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, January 18, 2024

The Pain of Comparison - Peace and Freedom is a Choice - Purity 1251

 

The Pain of Comparison - Peace and Freedom is a Choice - Purity 1251

Purity 1251 01/18/2024 Purity 1251 Podcast

Purity 1251 on YouTube:



Good morning,

Today’s photo of a large pile of logs covered in snow in the foreground of a quaint winter forest scene comes to us from yours truly as I chose to look to the right and capture what I saw while out walking down Waite Rd during my visit to my countryside home in Easton yesterday afternoon. 

Well, it’s Thursday, and while I traditionally share pathway photos on Thursdays to visually represent the path of Christian discipleship and to encourage my friends to walk with me as I walk with God, I shared this scene as a reminder of the peace that we should be stopping to enjoy while we make our way through this life.   The cold, the silence, and the stillness were there to enjoy, and even though my unleashed canine pal, Harley, was scampering down the road in front of me, I paused to appreciate the beauty of what I normally would walk on by. 

I have to admit that my attitude toward the freezing temperatures and snow in winter isn’t a positive one for the most part but in moments like this one I can find peace when I stop resisting its presence and just accept what the Lord has done and recognize that even in the cold, I can find peace and joy over the life that He has given me.  

Yes, dealing with the snow and cold can be a struggle but it’s a struggle we can live with. It’s a struggle that we can get past and thrive in and even if you are not into winter sports it's something you can appreciate and enjoy.  But you have to choose to let go of your bitterness and resistance toward the conditions, look for the good, and thank God that He is there even in the bitter cold.  Just because it's bitter cold doesn’t we need to be bitter.  The warmth of our breath testifies that we are still alive, and God has given us the wisdom to endure even the harshest of conditions to live.  

Yesterday, I was sad to hear the testimony of a friend in recovery who let the bitterness of comparison drive him to drink. He testified that he recently was visited by an old friend who had relocated to the south and whose living situation was almost the polar opposite of his.  His friend was more or less a stay-at-home dad who also worked part-time in a cash industry. His friend’s wife was a full-time nurse and provided for her family financially.   Although he was happy for his friend and his family and enjoyed their time visiting together, after his friend left, he became bitter and discontented with his life because of the sharp contrast between them.  By comparison, his friend’s life seemed relatively carefree, and he didn’t have to deal with the winter in upstate NY and this made my friend angry. My friend is the sole provider for his family and has previously griped over the situation that he voluntarily entered into. My friend lives in upstate NY and winter happens here, another voluntary choice. And ironically before his relocated southern friend’s visit, he was happy. 

But my friends in recovery, has a tendency to complain and to dwell on the negative, and all the enemy needed was something to point out to convince my friend that what he had previously enjoyed wasn’t so good after all. 

I’ll blame some of this on the enemy because I know how He loves to condemn us and to tempt us into sin but my friend’s ultimately responsible for his relapse and his ungrateful and bitter attitude toward the life that God has blessed him with.  My friend is 0 days sober and is hurting and whether he has victory over his addiction today will be his choice.  If he looks at the world with bitterness, he will stay locked in the vicious cycle that promises pleasure but only results in pain.  But if he chooses to take the encouragement we gave him last night and reminds himself that he actually has a good life and a family that he is happy with – if he practices gratitude – and thanks the Lord for what he has, he could understand that the booze doesn’t help him or make him happy and he could choose to say no if temptation calls.

Unfortunately, his tale of woe wasn’t the only one I have heard recently and other friends have had similar setbacks in their recoveries – myself included – Sunday sweet binge is only 4 days behind me, but in order to get past our failures we have to choose to learn our mistakes and see that relapses are never worth it and that freedom is only one decision and one day away.

If we choose today to be free, we can be free.  God has given Christians power over sin, but we must choose it, and we can. Moment to moment we can resist the devil, but if we choose to submit to God and be the person He created us to be – pure, holy, and righteous – we won’t have to contemplate whether or not to sin. If we choose our identity in Christ, saying no to sin becomes a “no-brainer”. 

“What? Me drink, give into sexual immorality, or binge on food to comfort myself?”

“That’s not who I am anymore. I am Christian and God set me free and has given me the power to say no to those things and to live a simple, good, pure, and righteous life – and I choose to do that today and every day until the Lord calls me home because I don’t want anything to come between me and my relationship with God. He loved me enough to die for my sins so I will love Him enough to believe and follow what He says about me. 

If you put your faith in Jesus, you have a new life but in order to enjoy the fruit of the Spirit – of love, joy, peace, etc.- you have to choose to not look to the world to please you, you have to choose to accept what your life is and see the good in it, and if something isn’t right you have to choose to work to change it, and to do it all with an attitude of gratitude because you know that this world is not all there is and the things that are here today will be gone tomorrow but the Lord will be with you always and the God who sends the snow also sends the sunshine and give you the power, strength. And love to live in peace regardless of the circumstances or this life.  

So choose to keep on walking and talking with God. His path leads to peace, so thank Him for inviting you into a new life and choose to follow Him to enjoy it.

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

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

Today’s Bible verse 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 verse come from the section on Communication, Gossip, and Lying.

Psalm 19:14 (NKJV)
14  Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer.

Today’s verse is the first of two passages of scripture that fall under the first point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Communication, Gossip, and Lying.

1.     The psalmist has given us a model prayer for good speech.

Today’s verse is an excellent prayer to pray to keep us from speaking negatively over our lives. Words matter and if we are complaining about what we have been given in life  and have chosen to gripe rather than to give thanks for it, we show the Lord that we are not only ungrateful but are disobedient to His word that tells us to “always rejoice” and to give thanks in everything.  

Similarly, if we lie we show the Lord that we don’t respect His command to not bear false witness and that we have chosen to follow the “father of lies”, Satan, rather than the Truth, the way, and the Life – Jesus Christ. 

This verse points out that it is God who redeems us, and we should seek to please Him and God’s word demonstrates over and over again that what we say matters and we should represent Him by speaking truth rather than lies and giving thanks and blessings rather than complaints and curses.  

So exercise your freedom of speech but watch what you say and let’s reflect God’s truth and love with our words rather than bitterness and hate.

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

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: MATTHEW 11

“I am gentle and lowly in heart.” – Matthew 11:29

Notice that it expressly says: “Lowly in heart.” God had to say of His people Israel that they honored Him with their lips, but their hearts were far from Him. God only recognizes what comes directly from the heart. Hence, we hear Him, who was the Perfect Man before God saying, “I am … lowly in heart.”

He Was Lowly in What He Became. For though the Son of God, “He humbled Himself ” (Phil. 2:8). “He became poor” (2 Cor. 8:9). He became man.

He Was Lowly in What He Said. “I do nothing of Myself ” (John 8:28). “I am gentle and lowly” (Matt. 11:29). “The Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head” (Matt. 8:20).

He Was Lowly in What He Did. He sat and ate with sinners, identified Himself with all who were poor or diseased, and finally died a shameful death.

 

Do that which is necessary, Lord,
to keep me lowly in heart.[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


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, https://crossexamined.org/ .

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

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 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  “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 (https://june-hunt.myshopify.com/collections/keys-for-living/products/keys-for-living-on-satan-demons-satanism_ ).

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

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

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

Email me at 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)

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 : https://cedge216.wixsite.com/life-on-the-edge     

“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.