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Showing posts with label End Times. Show all posts
Showing posts with label End Times. Show all posts

Monday, April 8, 2024

Total Solar Eclipse, End Times, and If Today Was You’re “Last” Day- Purity 1320

 

Total Solar Eclipse, End Times, and If Today Was You’re “Last” Day- Purity 1320

Purity 1320 04/8/2024 Purity 1320 Podcast

Purity 1320 on YouTube: 



Good morning,

Today’s photo of the sunrise from Preacher’s Rock in near Suches. Georgia comes to us from Fred Dimmick who shared this photo on social media Saturday. Fred hasn’t let the moss grow fat on his rolling stone of a life since retirement a few years back and is actively living his life to the fullest, recently doing back-to-back endurance hikes of the Fire Creek Rim Trail in the Nantahala National Forrest in North Carolina. I suspect that if he was suddenly called into eternity, Fred would be pleased with how he spent his last 48 hours, doing something he loved in the splendor of God’s creation.

Well, It’s Monday, April 8th the day of the big eclipse, and as the moon and sun will converge to give us a moment to pause and consider our life’s path through time and space, I am considering our “last day” and the possibility of Jesus coming back “soon” and unexpectedly as He told us in:

Matthew 24:44 (NLT2)
44  You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected.

And He told us.

Revelation 22:12-13 (NLT2)
12  “Look, I am coming soon, bringing my reward with me to repay all people according to their deeds.
13  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”

So is today the day that we will see Jesus coming on a cloud and will have his faithful followers to meet Him in the air as the Apostle Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17?  

Let’s just say, I’m ready! Come Lord Jesus Come! How cool would that be?

But honestly, my middle name is Thomas, and when it comes to end times predictions I am filled with doubt over whether Jesus Christ’s return will happen in my lifetime here on earth, let alone later this afternoon to coincide with today’s solar eclipse.  Although I believe Jesus will return to reclaim and rule the earth for 1,000 years and eventually usher in a new heaven and a new earth as the Bible tells us, I’m doubtful it will start today…. But it could.

For those curious about what Christians should actually believe about the end times – based on what the Bible says, Check out a couple of links I am sharing from gotquestions.org on the blog today if you “got questions” about the “millennium kingdom” (https://www.gotquestions.org/millennium.html) and the new heavens and new earth (https://www.gotquestions.org/new-heavens-earth.html ) . 

If you check out those links, you will probably be a lot less scared about the future, that is of course if you have made peace with God by placing your faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, of course.   Truly, the only way we can have peace about the end times, or the end of our time here on earth – our deaths, or any given day really, is to have the assurance that you are “safe” and have the guarantee of eternal life that is only found in Christ alone. 

If you don’t have Jesus, you should be afraid. Not only could you die at any moment in any number of unexpected ways, which would not be cool, if you haven’t been forgiven of your sins and welcomed into God’s kingdom as His beloved child, you would die in your trespasses and sins. Your independence from God and disbelief in the person and finished work of Jesus will be seen as rebellion and rejection of God’s gracious invitation to life with Him.  If you die without faith in Jesus, you will be rightfully judged for your sins and face God’s wrath and go to the dark place that Jesus warns us about. 

To quote a 2017 article from the Gospel Coalition’s Leslie Schumucker: (https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/the-uncomfortable-subject-jesus-addressed-more-than-anyone-else/#:~:text=He%20says%20it%20is%20a,16%3A19%E2%80%9331).)

“Jesus doesn’t only reference hell, he describes it in great detail. He says it is a place of eternal torment (Luke 16:23), of unquenchable fire (Mark 9:43), where the worm does not die (Mark 9:48), where people will gnash their teeth in anguish and regret (Matt. 13:42), and from which there is no return, even to warn loved ones (Luke 16:19–31). He calls hell a place of “outer darkness” (Matt. 25:30), comparing it to “Gehenna” (Matt. 10:28), which was a trash dump outside the walls of Jerusalem where rubbish was burned and maggots abounded. Jesus talks about hell more than he talks about heaven, and describes it more vividly. There’s no denying that Jesus knew, believed, and warned about the absolute reality of hell.”

So if today’s solar eclipse has you a little nervous about “what will happen” or has you wondering about the universe, you, and the big questions of life and death, grab a hold of the answers the Bible gives us and grab a hold of the eternal hope and new life that you can have by making the decision to trust in Jesus as your Lord and Savior.  

You don’t have to be afraid of an eclipse. You don’t need to be afraid of your mistakes in life. And You don’t have to worry about how or when you will die.   If you put your faith in Jesus, you will be safe and you will live with God forever.   Jesus said in

John 11:25-26 (NKJV)
25  … "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.
26  And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?"

For many reasons, I know the Bible is true, Jesus is who He said He is, and I do believe this and although I’m not going to attempt to fly into heaven to meet Jesus today or run head long into the jaws of death to see Jesus sooner (I have to share this good news), I know that no matter what happens, I will one day be safe and alive in God’s kingdom forever.  

And I believe, that if you believe what Jesus said and trust in Him as your Lord and Savior. You can be there too. 

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

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

( While Bible verses on various topics of Counseling can be found with a quick Google search, we encourage you to purchase this resource to support the late author’s work. (https://www.amazon.com/Quick-Scripture-Reference-Counseling-Kruis-ebook/dp/B00CIUJZT2?ref_=ast_author_dp )

This morning’s meditation verse comes from the section on Death and Eternal Life

John 14:1-4 (ESV)
1  “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.
2  In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?
3  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.
4  And you know the way to where I am going.”

Today’s verse is the second of two passages of scripture that fall under the second point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Death and Eternal Life.  

2. The believer will dwell in God’s house forever.

Today’s verse cements what I didn’t realize was “today’s topic”- eternal life and safety through faith in Jesus Christ). Jesus tells us to believe in God – to believe in Him and that He prepares a place for those who put their faith in Him. So add these words of Jesus to the other verses that assure us of the need to make a decision to believe in Jesus and to follow Him and be at ease knowing that the way Jesus goes is the way we want to go.

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

Today we continue sharing from “According to Your Word: Morning and Evening Through the New Testament” By Stephen F. Olford – A Collection of Devotional Journals: 1940-1941.

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

EVENING READING: JOHN 12

“Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard,
[and] anointed the feet of Jesus.” – John 12:3

This act of Mary expresses three things:

Her Faith. Faith had revealed to her that Jesus was none other than the Lamb of God who would take away the sin of the world. Thus, she took the pound of oil, breaking it upon Him in anticipation of His atoning death.

Her Hope. Hope had carried her beyond death and the grave. Had she thought that Christ would not rise, she would have kept the oil until the burying for embalming.

Her Love. Above her faith and hope shines forth her love in this act. For in that expensive gift was expressed her unstinted, unreserved love. Love is only measured by the sacrificial gift; and the breaking of the vessel of spikenard upon Him meant the sacrifice of her all. No wonder the room was filled!

O, that my life would be as Mary's oil –
a sacrificial, unreserved gift to my Lord.[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


Friday, October 20, 2023

Thriving Through The End Times - Purity 1177


Thriving Through End Times - Purity 1177

Purity 1177 10/20/2023 Purity 1177 Podcast

Purity 1177 on YouTube: 



Good morning,

Today’s photo of the sun blazing in its late afternoon glory in a blue sky over the place where the Hudson River becomes the Schodack Creek comes to us from yours truly as I stopped to get out of my car and capture this scene before going into River House yesterday afternoon.  I felt a sense of urgency to enjoy and capture this moment yesterday and at the time I sort of wondered what the hurry was about but a short time later as I stood in my kitchen preparing dinner a look out the window revealed that the brightness of that moment was unique because things had quickly gone from “Aww” to “Blah” outside as the sun apparently moved below the horizon or was covered by the clouds as things seem significantly less sunny and bright. So I was grateful that I stopped to enjoy the moment and to thank God again for delivering me to my little house “down by The River”.  

Well, it’s Friday and I am sending out my prayers that all my friends are blessed as we move into the weekend and take some time to give thanks for all they have in life and in Christ.  

Recently, I have altered my morning “quiet time” routine a little bit by choosing to read through Dr. Neil T. Anderson’s latest book, “Thriving through the End Times” devotionally.  As for the title, focus on the “Thriving” more than the “End Times” in terms of your expectations as it is a solid book on Transforming Discipleship more than a book on Eschatology, addressing the situations we face in our current day and times more than looking ahead to the coming day of the Lord.  I highly recommend it as it is filled with robust biblical teaching that provides a balanced view of walking in the Spirit – living a Christian life, in our world today.

Anderson’s book warns of the enemy’s outside and inside the church, pointing to the diversity of views in the world today that go against a biblical worldview and of the equally misguided and opposite extremes of legalism and liberalism that we can find in the “church in America”.  Dr. Anderson prescribes a balanced diet of Biblical Truth and the exercise of the Christian faith that would keep us in the presence of the Lord and in harmony with His will.  I am in the later chapters of the book currently and I am extremely impressed with the practical advice Anderson gives on discernment and prayer, enough so that I would say that “Thriving in the End Times” is one of Anderson’s best books to date, and is extremely relevant to our times.  

If you have never read Andrson, I would recommend Victory Over the Darkness, The Bondage Breaker, and Thriving Through the End Times to be the next additions to your library, and while each book stands on its own two feet, I would recommend they be read in that order, to establish a solid foundation of Who we are in Christ, how to overcome the enemy, and how to live a Christian life amongst the relative chaos of our day.  

A balanced life lived in the Spirit gives you peace regardless of the circumstances in the world today and I personally feel that “I’m thriving” currently because I am currently in a season where I am not only learning new skills through my training with Deeper Walk Internationals School of Prayer Ministry and leading a small group where Christians are growing in their freedom and victory because of their faith, but I am personally in the midst of a breakthrough as my decision to be accountable to fight my food addiction has resulted in me being in the best physical shape of my life, a major issue from my past is on the horizon of being resolved, and I am somehow continuing to fall deeper and deeper in love with my wife, TammyLyn. 

It’s a new dawn, It’s a new day, It’s a new life for me and I’m feeling good! (https://youtu.be/oHRNrgDIJfo?si=c-vfLuDvU-reT_uo) I won’t sing it on the podcast today but I am sharing the link to Nina Simone’s Feeling Good if you want to celebrate the good, good life that God has given us.   Michael Buble’s version isn’t too shabby either so I’m sharing a link to that too (https://youtu.be/Edwsf-8F3sI?si=-S2_2cvhSd7qW1td  ).  Hey, I’m feeling especially good so why not!

So keep walking and talking with God, brothers, and sisters, and tell everyone you know that when they decide to put their faith in Jesus and walk in the Spirit – they too can be “thriving in the End Times”.   

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

Today’s Bible 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. (https://www.amazon.com/Quick-Scripture-Reference-Counseling-Kruis-ebook/dp/B00CIUJZT2?ref_=ast_author_dp )

This morning’s meditation verses come from the section on Bitterness, Resentment, & Hate.

Genesis 4:3-8 (NIV2011)
3  In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD.
4  And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering,
5  but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.
6  Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast?
7  If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”
8  Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.

Today’s verses fall under the sixth point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Bitterness, Resentment, & Hate.

 6. Cain’s anger turned to bitterness, hatred, and murder.

Today’s verses tell the story of the first murder – and how Cain’s offense at not being accepted didn’t cause him to repent and “do what its right” but he refused the Lord’s advice to rule over sin and let bitterness grow into swift and bloody murderous violence.  

Have I ever told you how sometimes when I’m in the wilderness or in isolation somewhere and I encounter a stranger I get overcome by a sudden fear that the person is a psychopath and I better get ready to defend myself just in case they want to “raise Cain”.  Because of free will, man can do literally whatever he chooses as he feels led. Horrible acts of violence can and do happen in the world – as the latest troubles in the Middle East have revealed – and when a spirit of lust, bitterness, or hate is leading someone they are capable of anything.    

God’s remedy in this very early section of the Bible gives us the answers to life and all the negative emotions that would afflict us –

 “If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”

If we do what is right, according to God’s word- which includes faith in Jesus, we will live in the peace and harmony of being accepted by God.  And if we rule over sin, by obeying God’s word, our faces will not be downcast with the bitterness that could drive us into sin.  

So let’s learn from this fundamental lesson of the Bible and do what is right and follow the Lord out of the negative emotions of bitterness and live with Him and our fellow man in peace.  

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

Today we continue sharing from  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 (https://www.amazon.com/Holy-Spirit-Arthur-Pink-Collection-ebook/dp/B008CM5292/ref=sr_1_3?crid=AHKAQOM39CTN&keywords=a.w.+pink+the+holy+spirit&qid=1684376225&sprefix=a.w.+pink+the+holy+spirit+%2Caps%2C96&sr=8-3

A.W. Pink’s The Holy Spirit

31 - The Spirit Endowing

Signs and Wonders

“How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard Him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit” (Heb. 2:3, 4). This passage makes known to us God’s design in the miraculous gifts of the Spirit at the beginning of this dispensation. They were for the purpose of confirming the preached Word—for none of the New Testament had then been written! They were for the establishing of the Gospel; not to beget and strengthen faith, but to cause unbelievers to listen to the Truth—compare 1 Corinthians 14:22, 24, 25.[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 Christina Discipleship


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




 

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Look on Your Works and Despair but look on God’s Work and Rejoice! - Purity 902


Look on Your Works and Despair but look on God’s Work and Rejoice! -  Purity 902        

Purity 902 11/30/2022 Purity 902 Podcast

Purity 902 On YouTube: 


Good morning,

Today’s photo of the Hudson River being diverted into what becomes Champlain Canal underneath a sunset sky featuring pink clouds reflected in the surface of the waters as the Hudson pours into itself comes to us from yours truly as I captured this scene on Saturday’s walk at Hudson Crossing Park in Schuylerville.  If you’ve never been there, this is quite a scene to behold as the workings of man and the creation of God come together to give the Lord glory as this manmade dividing line creates a waterfall where naturally there wouldn’t be one.  Unpictured in this photo there are also large stone monoliths in the waters of the Hudson towards the right  that once were the supports of a trolley bridge that is no longer there. I am including a couple of photos that attest to there existence on the blog today if you want to see what I’m talking about.  Without the bridge, these stone pillars seem to be the remnant of some long lost pagan society but instead of pointing to some pagan god, they actually bear witness of the futility of the works of man’s hands as time has erased what these pillars were placed for.  




They look like something out of the Lord of the Rings, and they remind me of the Percy Byshe Shelley’s poem “Ozymandias” which says: (https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/46565/ozymandias)

“I met a traveller from an antique land,

Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone

Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand,

Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,

And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,

Tell that its sculptor well those passions read

Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,

The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;

And on the pedestal, these words appear:

My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;

Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!

Nothing beside remains. Round the decay

Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare

The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

 

As mighty as that trolley bridge must have seemed in its hay day, it now itself has faded away leaving behind the stone pillars that man travelled over.  Just like the mighty works of King Ozymandias, the trolly bridge that once crossed the Hudson River is gone and testifies to man’s inadequacy to create anything that will last forever.  

 

Well it’s hump day and I thought today’s photo was a good visual representation of us pouring over the midweek summit of the last day of November of 2022.  The month of November couldn’t last either and tomorrow we enter into Christmas month, December, and as we do should recall the actual King of Kings, Jesus Christ, and not Ozymandias – sorry whoever you were. 

 

I looked it up, and apparently Ozymandias was a Greek Name for the pharaoh Ramesses II who ruled Egypt from 1279-1213 B.C.. Although He ruled for 66 years, a long time for sure by human standards, he is just a footnote in human history and his power is gone.  Other than being remembered by Shelley’s poem, the historical record, and statue fragments and relics in museums, Ramesses and his kingdom didn’t last.

 

Remembering someone like this, a king who ruled for nearly seventy years, and who has been forgotten by most of us could cause us to despair.  I’m not a king and there are no statues of me, and it is doubtful that any of my writings will be remembered over three thousand years from now.  Time passes so quickly and where will we be in another 50 years?  While I could live to see 100 the insurance actuaries would bet against it.  If no one remembers my name or work, what will happen?  I don’t even know the names of my great grandparents! Will I just disappear forever as my bones turn to dust and all the things I touch with my hands also fades away?  

 

Pretty depressing thoughts right?

 

So, why am I filled with joy? Because I know the Truth! Capital T, Truth – Jesus Christ!

 

Yeah, the telling of history and what we can figure out through our own observations can lead us to draw some very logical and very dismal projections for the future.  The History Channel’s show, The Universe – has an episode called the “Death of the Universe”, I recall that spelled out the scientific “facts” that the stars would some day burn out and the universe will fade to black, leaving everything and everyone dead.  

 

But while this is very logical, the thing that people forget is that our existence doesn’t make any sense!  The universe exploded into being out of nothing and is still expanding. God is still creating, and He sent Jesus Christ to tell us that what seems natural and logical will be interrupted by the One who built this thing in the first place.   Revelation speaks of a new heaven and a new earth, AFTER Jesus returns and rules the earth for a thousand years!

 

So hold on to your hats, they say it ain’t over until it is over, and apparently life will never end as God is eternal and is over and above the created universe. And those who enter into His eternal kingdom, by putting their faith in Jesus Christ ALONE, will be with Him for eternity.  Not 66 years, forever! And ever!

 

I always point to Christ’s words in John 11, where He said

 

John 11:25-26 (NKJV)
25  … "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.
26  And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?"

 

Well, do you?  Because you should, Christ proved He was God after saying this by raising Lazarus from the dead!  And that wasn’t enough, shortly thereafter, Christ Himself was raised from the dead!  Hey guys, that’s God over there! Jesus is the Son and God the Son. 

 

Believe on Him and live, dig on His mighty works and tremble!  But you don’t have to be afraid! He calls us to believe in Him and live! If we are trembling it should be in response to the incredible joy that comes from knowing that we found the answer to everything.  We found eternal life, in Christ.  

 

So as we leave what is forecasted to be the “November Rain” behind today, let’s rejoice because we know the Truth, we know the real King of Kings, and when we know that we can peace and joy all the days of our lives here on earth because we know there is more to this life than meets the eye and we have been blessed to know this.  

 

So keep walking and talking with God. He doesn’t go away and when we put our faith in Christ, we don’t go away either. So you might as well get to know the One who will never leave us or forsake us and the One who gave us a hope for all time by learning about Him and telling Him the things He already knows about you.

 

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

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Matthew 16:25 (NLT2)
25  If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.

Today’s verse reminds us that we cannot hold on to our lives and it is only in surrendering our lives to God that we will not lose the life we have.  

Enough said?  No matter what we build in this life, time and history shows us that the material things we create, all our stuff, will most likely turn to dust. 

Scripture tells us that our works don’t cut it, it is through faith alone, in Christ alone, that we are to be forgiven of our sins and given new eternal lives.  

So what are you living for?  Some fat retirement? To leave some money for your kids, who will spend it?  While that is a nice thing to do, it’s impact will be finite. The money will be spent and no matter how cherished and cared for your family heirlooms are, eventually they will be given to someone who doesn’t know you and doesn’t care and will sell them or throw them in the trash. 

Don’t put your faith in your stuff! That’s hanging on to your life! These things are idols and need to see as that. 

I have a lot of things I like and would be sad to part with them but if God told me to get rid of them? See ya!  Including my life…..

Whoa… Don’t get it twisted I am not running after martyrdom anything like that but if we properly understand who we are in Christ and the implications of eternity in God’s kingdom, we will realize that we don’t really “own” anything. Everything has been given to us through God.   

So start giving up your life for the Lord’s sake, and you won’t waste your life in silly pursuits that won’t last. You will save your life in the pursuits that give God glory and, not for nothing, could result in sweet eternal rewards, just sayin’…

But God is His own reward. He is the only thing that matters, and we will spend eternity with Him, so surrender to His will and discover what life is all about and watch as the fruit of the Spirit grow in your life.  

 

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

Today we continue sharing from 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 Messengers

(An Interpretation of Matthew 10)

The Decision

“So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops. Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. And even the hairs of your head are all counted. So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.

¶ “Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven; but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven.[35] Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one’s foes will be members of one’s own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it” (Matt. 10:26–39).

The messenger stays with the word and the word stays with the messenger now and forever. Jesus encourages his messengers three times with the call “be not afraid!” Whatever happens to them now in secret will not remain in secret, but will be revealed before God and the people. The most secret suffering inflicted on them has the promise to be revealed as a judgment over the persecutors and as glory for the messengers. Likewise, the messengers’ witness will not remain hidden, but become a public witness. The gospel should not become some sectarian affair. Instead, it is meant to be preached in public. Today it may still have to live off in a corner here and there. But in the last days this preaching will fill the whole globe either for salvation or for condemnation. The Revelation of John prophesies: “Then I saw another angel flying in midheaven, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation and tribe and language and people” (14:6). Therefore, “be not afraid!”

Human beings should not be feared. They cannot do much to the disciples of Jesus. Their power stops with the disciples’ physical death. The disciples are to overcome fear of death with fear of God. Disciples are in danger, not from human judgment, but from God’s judgment, not from the decay of their bodies, but from the eternal decay of their bodies and souls. Anyone who is still afraid of people is not afraid of God. Anyone who fears God is no longer afraid of people. Daily reminders of this statement are valuable for preachers of the gospel.

The power which is given to people for a short time on this earth is not without God’s knowledge and will. If we fall into human hands, if we suffer and die by human violence, we may be sure that everything comes from God. God, who lets no sparrow fall to the ground without the divine will and knowledge, will not permit anything to happen to God’s own people except what is good and useful for them and their cause. We are in God’s hands. Therefore, “be not afraid!”

Time is short. Eternity is long. It is the time of decision. Those who remain faithful to the word and the confession here will find that Jesus Christ will stand by them in the hour of judgment. He will know them and stand with them when the accuser demands they be judged. The whole world will be witnesses when Jesus names our name before his heavenly Father. Those who have held on to Jesus in this life will find that Jesus will hold on to them in eternity. But those who are ashamed of this Lord and his name, those who deny him, will find that Jesus is ashamed of them in eternity and will deny them.

This final separation has to commence here on earth. The peace of Jesus Christ is the cross. The cross is God’s sword on this earth. It creates division. The son against the father, the daughter against the mother, the household against its head, and all that for the sake of God’s kingdom and its peace—that is the work of Christ on earth! No wonder the world accuses him, who brought the love of God to the people, of hatred toward human beings! Who dares to speak about a father’s love and a mother’s love to a son or daughter in such a way, if not either the destroyer of all life or the creator of a new life? Who can claim the people’s love and sacrifice so exclusively, if not the enemy of humanity or the savior of humanity? Who will carry the sword into their houses, if not the devil or Christ, the Prince of Peace? God’s love for the people and human love for their own kind are utterly different. God’s love for the people brings the cross and discipleship, but these, in turn, mean life and resurrection. “Anyone who loses his life for my sake will find it.” This affirmation is given by the one who has the power over death, the Son of God, who goes to the cross and to resurrection and takes those who are his with him.[1]

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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), 195–197.