Showing posts with label Daniel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Daniel. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Refining Our Faith, Finding Our Freedom - Purity 1140

Refining Our Faith, Finding Our Freedom - Purity 1140

Purity 1140 09/06/2023 Purity 1140 Podcast

Purity 1140 on YouTube: 

Good morning,

Today’s photo of a roaring mountain of a bonfire comes to us from Tara Becker who shared this scene from her visit to the Country Roads Campground, on Peaceful Lane, in Gilboa NY on social media on Labor Day.  

Well, It’s Wednesday and I thought that the “campfire” in Tara’s photo had enough of a peak on it to visually represent our arrival at another “hump day” and that its heat was a good analogy for the “crucible of change” that can be experienced when we decide to trust the Lord to help and change us on the path of Christian Discipleship.  

In an Old Testament passage that points to the crucifixion of Christ, the prophet Zechariah speaks about how God’s people will be refined by fire.   

Zechariah 13:7-9 (ESV) says
7  … “Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered; I will turn my hand against the little ones.
8  In the whole land, declares the LORD, two thirds shall be cut off and perish, and one third shall be left alive.
9  And I will put this third into the fire, and refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested. They will call upon my name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘They are my people’; and they will say, ‘The LORD is my God.’”

Likewise, the Apostle Peter encourages us to endure the fire of trials that will prove the genuineness of our faith in.

1 Peter 1:6-7 (ESV) where He wrote how we can rejoice over being born again because of our faith and endure because of it.
6  In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials,
7  so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

So if we put our faith in The Shepherd and become God’s people, are born again through faith in Jesus, we will be called to repentance may feel the heat of the transition from our old life to the new life we have in Christ.   

People will reject us for our faith but beyond the losses of relationship and persecution we may suffer, the real heat may come from leaving the shadows of our former darkness and walking into the refining fire of God’s magnificent light.  

Tonight I host another meeting of the Celebrate Freedom Growth Group at Starpoint Church and while you may think that I am just being poetic about the refining fires of repentance, I can assure you that the pressure and heat of surrendering your hurts, habits, and hangups to God for healing and transformation is not for the faint of heart.  

We have people who were moved in to register for our group who have never shown up.  Others who previously confessed the need to be their need to be in a group of Christians to support them in their recoveries have gone AWOL. Facing the heat of trying to change our lives is not easy and it will cause some to never show up and others to leave before God’s refining work can be completed.

So while I am encouraged by the people who keep coming back to our meetings and by the new registrations that we have had in the last few days, I still pray for the Lord to protect and guide them to find their way to our meeting each week because I know too well how much pressure and heat you can be under when you turn from your worldly ways to follow the Lord into purity and healing.  

But I also know the God who protected Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in Daniel 3, when they were willing to face certain death in a fiery furnace rather than to worship their pagan king’s golden idol.  When Nebuchadnezzar threaten to throw them in the fiery furnace and questioned what god could possibly save them. They responded by saying:

Daniel 3:17-18 (ESV)
17  If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king.
18  But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”

Did you catch that? “if not” – meaning even if God doesn’t save us – and we die – we will not serve your gods!  

That’s genuine faith! The faith proven in the “heat of the moment”.  The faith that is steadfast in the face of death and free of the conditions of positive outcomes. Come what may, I will follow the Lord!

So they were willing to die because they knew the Lord and would either be saved on earth or would see Him in heaven.  And to demonstrate that their faith was true, and their God was the One TRUE GOD, the Lord went into the fire with them, and they were not consumed. There was another in the fire who gave them the courage, strength, and protection they needed in their “fiery trial” because they were faithful.  

And likewise, when we enter into recovery and repentance to actually live out our Christian faith. The Lord is with us in “the fire” and will give us the courage, strength, protection, and guidance we need to overcome the fiery trial of leaving our hurts, habits, and hang-ups behind to experience the victory and freedom that the Lord has for us on the other side of our trials.   

They say if you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen, but I say that if you are walking and talking with God there is no amount of heat or fiery trial that He can’t see you through.  So brace yourself for another hot one today as the forecast is in the 90’s in my neck of the woods again but keep your cool by reminding yourself that the Lord is with you, and He will never or forsake you and He will be right there with you as you walk through the refining fires of trials and tribulations to test the genuineness of your faith and just how good God can be.


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

Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling” By John G. Kruis.

( While Bible verses on various topics of Counseling can be found with a quick google search, we encourage you to purchase this resource to support the late author’s work. ( )

This morning’s meditation verse comes from the section on Alcohol & Drug Abuse

1 Corinthians 6:11 (ESV)
11  And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Today’s verses fall under the twelfth point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Alcohol & Drug Abuse.

 12. One can be saved from drunkenness and set free.

Today’s verse follows verses 9 & 10 which we shared yesterday that told us drunkards will not inherit the kingdom of God. However today’s verse tells us a different story. It tells us that even though we may have been a drunkard or guilty of the other sins listed in verses 9 &10, we as Christian are not expected to stay that way.  

If drunks don’t make it to heaven, how can I be saved?  You take your faith in booze and put it squarely into Jesus Christ and abandon it. You repent and you stop drinking!

“Such were some of you.”  Tells us that some of the saints in Paul’s days were guilty of all those sins, but after coming to faith in Jesus Christ, they repented and were “washed, … sanctified, … (and) justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”  They were set free from the sins of the flesh that had defined their lives and now they were no longer known for their sins, they were known for their faith and purified lifestyles that they were able to live out because of the Lord’s help that they received when they put their faith in Jesus.  

The reason I do the blog and podcast is because I never actually knew that it was really possible to be set free.  My drunkenness was part of my identity for most of my life. I was a “drinker”.  I drank and in spite of the negative consequences I suffered. I was never going to change because “that was who I was”.   But God made me a new creation through my faith in Jesus, and after that happened, I no longer felt right living in my former darkness, and rather than stay there I obeyed the Lord’s call to repentance to experience the new life He had already given me.   It was a fiery trial at first, but the Lord was with me, and He has continued to be with me as I have kept on following Him in repentance. 

Alcohol, drugs, and sex addiction have been defeated and now I am currently walking in 18 days of victory over my food addiction. Today’s official weigh-in is 227.4 pounds down from 238.9, and I’m going to keep leaning on the Lord to keep that victory streak alive and growing.  

With the Lord, we can be saved from drunkenness, drugs, sex immorality, and even food addiction, but we have to believe it and lean on the Lord’s strength and guidance to experience it.   But when we keep walking and talking with God we will see that we have been wash, sanctified, justified, and set free.


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  The Holy Spirit By A.W. Pink.

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage you all to purchase A.W. Pink’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available online for $0.99 ( 

A.W. Pink’s The Holy Spirit

23 - The Spirit Witnessing

Doubting and Professing Christians

But it is insisted that Scripture forbids all doubting: “O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” (Matthew 14:31). Yes, but Christ was not there blaming Peter for doubting his spiritual state, but for fearing he would be drowned. Yet Christ “upbraided them with their unbelief’ (Mark 16:14): true, for not believing He was risen from the dead—not for calling into question their regeneration! But Abraham is commended because” against hope (all appearances) he “believed in hope” (Rom. 4:18): yes, and that was that he should have a son!—how is that relevant to what we are now discussing? But “we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7): yes, the conduct of the Apostles was governed by a realization of that which is to come (see v. 11). But “whatsoever is not of faith is sin” (Rom. 14:23): but this is nothing to the purpose; if a man does not believe it is right to do some act, and yet ventures to do it, he sins.

Let us define more closely the point now under discussion. We may state it thus: Does God require anyone to believe he has been born again when he has no clear evidence that such is the case? Surely the question answers itself: the God of Truth never asks anyone to believe a lie. If my sins have not been pardoned, then the more firmly convinced I am that they have been, the worse for me; and very ready is Satan to second me in my self-deception! The Devil would have me assured that all is well with me, without a diligent search and thorough examination for sufficient evidence that I am a new creature in Christ. O how many he is deceiving by making them believe it is wrong to challenge their profession and put their hearts to a real trial!

True, it is a sin for a real Christian so to live that his evidences of regeneration are not clear; but it is no sin for him to be honest and impartial, or to doubt when, in fact, his evidences are not clear. It is sin to darken my evidences, but it is no sin to discover that they are darkened. It is a sin for a man, by rioting and drunkenness, to make himself ill; but it is no sin to feel he is sick, if there be grounds for it, to doubt if he will survive his sickness. Our sins bring upon us inward calamities as well as outward, but these are chastisements rather than sins. It is the Christian’s sin which lays the foundation for doubts, which occasions them; yet those doubtings are not themselves sins.

But it will be said, Believers are exhorted to “hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end” (Heb. 3:6) and that “we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end” (v. 14). Yes, but that “confidence” is that Jesus is the Christ, together with a true faith in Him, as is clear from the whole context there. Nothing is more absurd than to say that professing Christians are made partakers of Christ by holding fast the confidence that they are saved, for that is what many a deceived soul does, and does to the very end (Matthew 7:22). There can be no well-grounded confidence unless it rests upon clear evidence or reliable testimony. And for that, there must be not only “the answer of a good conscience” (1 Pet. 3:21), but the confirmatory witness of the Spirit.[1]

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

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

at, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

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

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 YouTube Channel:

Email me at to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.

My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Ask Seek Knock blog ( ),  her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock ( ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (

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] Arthur Walkington Pink, The Holy Spirit (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, n.d.).

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Uncle Cookie?! – When Needs Become Wants - Purity 632

Uncle Cookie?! – When Needs Become Wants - Purity 632

Purity 632 01/19/2022  Purity 632 Podcast

Good morning,

Today’s photo of the snowy peak of Whiteface Mountain under a crisp and clear blue sky comes to from a friend who actively was cheering for the white stuff to fall from the sky since the end of November and now we know why, he’s a skier!

While there is a lot of grumbling and anxiety that is expressed about coming snowstorms, our friend has a different perspective. The snow allows them to do something they love so they see the accumulation of snow in a different light. I am sharing a couple of other photos on this morning that feature some other beautiful views from our friend’s skiing excursion from this past weekend and they are worth checking out.   

Well it’s Wednesday and I chose this one to feature because it is a perfect representation of the midweek hump that we will ascend, summit, and overcome by day’s end. I also chose it because of our friend’s different perspective regarding snowy weather.  

A huge part of cultivating the fruit of the Spirit of peace and joy in our lives has to do with our perspective and the key to victory is to first embrace our identity in Christ and a Christian worldview that recognizes that God is sovereign over and above all things and that His word is true.  When we come into alignment with God’s perspective, we see our lives and the world in a whole new light.  

But the success of our victory goes beyond just knowing who we are in Christ and knowing who God is. To overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil, we have to examine our lives and see what idols we still have in our lives after coming to faith in Jesus Christ.  

An idol would be something we worship. I am not talking about a statue of Buddha or anything like that but if you do have something like that in your home and you are a Christian, I would encourage you to follow the examples of the people of God in the Bible who tore idols down and destroyed them, by throwing them in the trash.  There are not many pathways to God and if something is not of Christ, it is anti-Christ and represents the kingdom of darkness no matter of sweet, kind, or endearing other religions may seem that makes them all the more sinister as they attempt to lead you to road of perdition. 

No, the idols that may be in our lives that we worship instead of God can be things like money, our families, our careers, our possessions, our bodies, our accomplishments, our relationships, sex, food, drugs, or alcohol.

If you notice, a lot of these things are things we need. We need relationships, a career, a family, a purpose, our bodies, love, and food.  Some would say we as a race we would need sex too.  I would agree that sex allows us to have a family of our own, to continue the human race, and that sex is also a way a husband and wife can express their love for one another in the confines of God’s only approved sexual relationship, a marriage.  

The problems that we face in life often result from when we make these needs idols in our lives and go to them to find our sense of acceptance, significance, and security when we should receive those things in our relationship with God.  

God will never fail us but those other needs that become idols eventually will.   

A true sign of one of these things becoming an idol in our lives is when one of these needs become a “want” : when these things become more important to you than your relationship with the Lord or they result in negative consequences and negative feelings. 

Recently, my struggles with food came abundantly clear to me as I officially ended the food plan I was on back in September with the rationale that it was too expensive and that I could take the principles that I learned from it and do it on my own with inexpensive alternatives.  

But as time progressed, I began to compromise my convictions and overindulged or ate the wrong kinds of food.  My view of food changed from something I needed to something I wanted and in several instances I ended up in the addictive cycle of binging on sweets and then feeling guilt and shame.

Unfortunately, I actually hardened my heart against these convictions and in a real spirit of rebellion of “I want what I want”, I continued in my sweet binging ways to the point that my new nephews and niece game me the nickname “Uncle Cookie” after a shameless display of sampling and then devouring a large amount of that delectable treat at their home in December. Aren’t the holidays, great!   

So after the reckless abandon of my need becoming a “want” to the exclusion of self-control, to the extent that I even had instances of shamefully tried to hide my snacking like an addict, I was eventually pulled out of the darkness by a spiritual discipline and tradition of my local church. 

Although I have been “released” from Rock Solid church, it was the church that created an environment where I was able to grow in my faith and to be transformed.  So whenever I refer to it, I will not call it “my former church” and although I do attend services at Starpoint church now, I will continue to call Rock Solid, “my local church” or “my church” going forward. 

Anyway, my church, Rock Solid church, and its leadership, obviously had a big impact on my life, and one spiritual discipline that they encourage is fasting.   Each new year, the church holds a corporate fast and encourages its members to develop a personal fast where they devote the time they would be eating to seeking the Lord and His guidance.  There are no “rules” in terms of how you fast. You choose your own way. Be it a meal a day, or certain foods, each person decides what and if they will fast.  

I have experience in fasting because of this tradition and was thankful for the reminder of how I could repent of my sins of the flesh.  So on January 3rd, I began fasting.  I only drink water and other liquids when I fast and after the first week I knew I decided the right course for the new year.  

I must have gained 20 plus pounds in the three months I indulged my food addiction, and I am happy to say that because of the fasting I have nearly returned to where I was back in September in terms of my weight.   But more importantly, my eyes have been opened to the insidiousness of my food addiction and the depths of depravity that my indulgences led to.   I desire to be healthy and what I was doing was not healthy and my behavior showed the classic patterns of addiction. 

So, I thank the Lord for the clarity He has given me and the newfound conviction to continue in my intention to be healthy and crucify the flesh through the renewing of my mind and the changing of how I view food.  

Fasting has given me a renewed spirit and has assisted me in regaining some ground in the battle of the bulge but in order to continue on my path to optimal health, I will have to change my perspective and examine what works and doesn’t work in terms of eating.  

You can’t abstain from the things you “love”.  “Yeah I don’t drink anymore but man do I love it!”  That’s a recipe for disaster. We can’t play nice with the things that would destroy us.  We need to have a truly accurate view of what these things did to us and remember the pain that accompanied their pleasures.  We need to change our perspective and live with it.  

So I don’t know if have idols in your life. I don’t know if you have made some of your “needs” into “wants” that are causing you to feel bad about yourself. But if you do I can tell you that God doesn’t want you to be in bondage. God wants what’s best for you and if you examine your life and find something that is out of balance, God can help you to be free of it by giving you His love, strength, and guidance.  

So don’t beat yourself up, nobody’s perfect except for Jesus.  But don’t stay in the muck and mire of confusion when God will lift you up and put you on solid ground. So take that hand He is offering you and keep walking and talking with God because it is only through Him where we can change our minds, our hearts, and our lives.

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

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Daniel 3:17 (NLT2)
17  If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty.

Today’s verse highlights the unshakable faith of Daniel when he was faced with a punishment that would almost certainly lead to His death.   

Our resource, “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men” shares today’s verse under the heading of “Confidence” and I’m glad it does because that means they are highlighting Daniel’s faith here. 

Yesterday’s verse Psalm 121: 8 highlighted the fact that God will watch over us and I had to go back to see if this verse was being used to focus on God’s protection because if it was I was going to have to point to the harsh reality that sometimes God allows suffering and death in our lives, which could lead us to the false conclusion that God doesn’t protect us.  So don’t go around testing God by telling people to throw you into a fiery furnace, today’s verse isn’t a promise that no harm will befall us. 

Today’s verse is an illustration of the type of faith that we are supposed to have as Christian: the type of faith that will not renounce our God even in the face of death.   

So why was Daniel so “confident”?  He was confident because He knew the Lord, had a devoted practice of worshiping Him in prayer, and he had experienced the Lord’s providence before.  He loved the Lord so much because of what He had done for him that the idea of renouncing His faith was so distasteful that He would rather die than to dishonor God.  

Did Daniel know he would be saved?  Nope. The next verse in Daniel tells us he was ready to die, where Daniel said:

Daniel 3:18 (NLT2)
18  But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.”

Talking about rejecting idols and false belief systems! Daniel had the “God perspective” and knew that even if He did die, he would live in God’s kingdom for all eternity.   

So stand fast in your faith and be confident that, with God, we receive His eternal protection and the ability to overcome this world and all the things that would threaten to destroy us. 



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 to share from Dr. Neil Anderson’s . “Restored: Experience Life with Jesus”. Today, we continue sharing from Chapter 5.   

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Dr. Neil Anderson’s books for your own private study and to support his work.


Beth was raised in a legalistic church-going family. When she met and married Todd, who was a Christian, she fully expected that her life would be satisfying and that he would be able to meet all of her needs. Her fantasy faded as the marriage failed. Disillusioned and angry with her parents and husband, Beth developed a deep distrust of God. This attitude led to open rebellion and despair. She dabbled in false religions and adopted a worldly lifestyle.

She was given some of my books and tapes, but for months she was afraid to read them and listen to them. Through loving persuasion, she reached out for help, and she was taken through the Steps to Freedom.

The changes in her life are beautiful. The rebellious spirit is gone, and she said, “I feel like I’m in love.” And she is in love...with Jesus the lover of her soul. Before, she tried to “make things happen” by attempting to control people or situations in the hope that her needs would be met. But she gave up her struggle for self-fulfillment, and now the Lord is filling her with a growing sense of peace and security. She said, “I no longer want the things I used to crave for; I just want to know Jesus better.”

When we attempt to take things into our own hands, we have the feeling of being in control. But what or who are we really controlling? Did we have control of when we were born? To whom we were born? Where we were born? When we will die? Do we have the right or ability to control other people and the circumstances of life so that everything becomes beneficial to ourselves? No, the only real control we have is deciding whom we will serve. Paradoxically, only when we surrender completely to God do we have self-control.90


The Lord said, “Rebellion is as the sin of divination [witchcraft], and insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry.”91 Defiance against authority places us in the camp of the enemy and subject to his influences. The god of this world, the prince of power of the air, is roaring around like a hungry lion seeking someone to devour. God says, “Get in ranks and follow Me. You are under My protection if you are under My authority.” Satan was the originator of rebellion, so when we rebel, we are following his lead. If people truly understood the reality of the spiritual world and the choice they are making, they would immediately renounce any rebellion and submit to God.

We live in a rebellious age. Everyone sits in judgment of those who are in positions of authority over them. We go to church and critique the choir or the music instead of entering into the experience of worshiping God. We sit in judgment of the sermon instead of letting the sermon sit in judgment of us. How many times have you heard people coming out of church criticizing the music or the message? We are critical of our president, our governors, our pastors, our teachers, our spouses, and our parents.

We are commanded by God to submit to and pray for those who are in authority over us. The Apostle Paul wrote, “Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore he who resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.”92 God’s desire is that we yield ourselves to Him and demonstrate this allegiance by being submissive to those He placed in authority over us. We surrender our right to rule and trust God to work through His established lines of authority for our good. It is a great act of faith to trust God to work through less than perfect people. Actually you are submitting to their position of authority, not the person.

Scripture does teach that there are times when we must obey God rather than man. When governing authorities require us to do something that God commands us not to do, or try to prevent us from doing something that God requires us to do, then we must obey God rather than man, as did the members of the Early Church in special occasions.93 We also have no obligation to obey people who try to exercise authority outside their jurisdictions. Your employer or school teacher has no right to tell you what to do in your own home. A policeman cannot tell you what to believe or where to go to church, but he can tell you to pull your car over and give you a ticket if you are breaking the law.

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

Join our “Victory over the Darkness” or “The Bondage Breaker” 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 

Email me at to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.

My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock ( ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship