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

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Homeward Bound – Christ’s Incredible Journey is Far Away but One Day Closer- Purity 597

Homeward Bound – Christ’s Incredible Journey is Far Away but One Day Closer- Purity 597

Purity 597 12/09/2021  Purity 597 Podcast

Good morning,

Today’s photo of a man’s best friend leading the way up Waite Rd in Easton NY  under an overcast December sky comes to us from yours truly as I decided to capture a picture of my canine friend, Harley as “I took him” for a walk on Sunday.  

When I look at this photo I think of those old Homeward Bound movies, about a group of animal friends that take an incredible journey to make it back to their family, and can imagine that Harley is setting out on a mission of his own to find his owner, Rachael Pinter, who is far away completing the process of becoming a Marine on Paris Island in South Carolina. 

Little does our friend Harley know that his incredible journey isn’t necessary as his owner is one day closer to home as she graduates tomorrow and will begin her own incredible journey to be reunited with him.  They are each one day closer to being “home” in each other’s company. 

Likewise, I am currently separated from my fiancé who has travelled to the Palmetto State to share in the joy of Rachael’s accomplishment.  Although we are graphically separated by 788 miles, the physical distance between us doesn’t diminish the love we have for one another.   One of the songs on the “TammyLyn playlist” that I have compiled long before she went away is The Cure’s “Lovesong”: which proclaims: 

“Whenever I'm alone with you

You make me feel like I am free again

Whenever I'm alone with you

You make me feel like I am clean again

However far away

I will always love you

However long I stay

I will always love you

Whatever words I say

I will always love you

I will always love you”

This latest road trip that has increased the physical distance between my fiancé and me has verified the truth of these words for our relationship. No matter how far away we are from one another, I will always love you, TammyLyn.  

As much as I can love my fiancé and as much as a young women can love her dog, God’s love for us is so much greater and in this season of Advent we shouldn’t forget two things about our relationship with Him:  

1.     For the Christian, no distance, and no circumstances, can separate us from God’s love.

Yeah those words in Romans 8:38-39 that declare this truth are written to Christians, so although God loves all of His creation, some will refuse to come to faith in Christ and will separate themselves from God.  We don’t celebrate the coming of the newborn King because it doesn’t matter who we put our faith in.  

The Christian has been sealed by Christ’s atonement and can fully enjoy God’s love right now and for all of eternity. That’s one. 

2.    Christ is coming back.

Although we don’t know the time of His return and it may be far away, Christ’s “incredible journey on earth” that began with His birth and will culminate in His return to rule and reign can be fulfilled any day, without warning, and is one day closer. 

As much as we might be counting down the days to Christmas, we mustn’t forget that Christ isn’t being “born again” in a manger in Bethlehem each December 25th.  “Baby Jesus” doesn’t really exist anymore guys.  Just like “Baby MT” has moved on from infancy, Jesus did become a man, preached the gospel of the kingdom of God, was persecuted, crucified, died, and rose again with a glorified body. 

We shouldn’t think of Christ as a baby anymore. Neither should we think of Him as perpetually nailed to a cross.  Christ is risen! Remember? The glorified Christ, whose body was approximately 33 years old at the time of His resurrection, is seated at the right hand of the Father and will come again to judge the living and the dead, right?

When you speak about “Baby Jesus” in anything more than as a historical fact of the Incarnation of the Word made flesh, you reveal your ignorance, or immaturity, and are perhaps displaying more than you should of your “childlike” faith and understanding of the spiritual realities that God has proclaimed.

When we think about the “coming of Jesus” this Christmas season, although we should remember and rejoice over the original incarnation, we really should think of the “present day Christ” who is fully grown/glorified, alive, and waiting for the day of His return.

The Christian’s hope is a living hope with a future fulfillment. We are not looking back at “baby book” for our hope.  The NLT version of Hebrews 11:1 puts it clearly:

Hebrews 11:1 (NLT2)
1  Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.

 It’s Thursday, December 9th and we are all one day closer to Christmas, but for the Christian although we are physically separated from our Lord and Savior, the love that God has is for us is not diminished and we are to have faith that Christ’s return will actually happen and our faith should be edified by the of the truth of God’s word that  assures us that even though we can’t see it, Christ’s incredible journey to reclaim the earth is a certainty that will come to pass.

So keep walking and talking with God, share the good news that Christ came to save that which was lost and that He is coming back for those that were found to bring them home for good.

 

Today’s Bible verse is drawn from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.  

This morning’s meditation verses are:

2 Peter 1:10-11 (NLT2)
10  So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall away.
11  Then God will give you a grand entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Today’s verses encourage us to walk the walk and talk the talk of being an authentic Christian and that if we walk out our faith on the path of Christian Discipleship we need not worry about our “spiritual relationship status” and are assured of our grand entrance.  

Now don’t get this twisted, we don’t “walk out our faith” by living according to the Biblical principles of morality to gain the grand entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  

Peter’s letter is to his brothers and sisters in Christ.  In Christ.  They made it already.  When you put your faith in Christ, you are “in”.  Nothing can separate you from the love of God, remember? 

So Peter is encouraging a victorious experiential life of purpose for his brothers and sisters in Christ. 

Yeah, you are in the kingdom. I know it’s hard to believe. It might seem too good to be true. But it is true.   

One way we can settle the uncertainty about whether we are in the kingdom, is to answer the Lord’s call to be sanctified, to be more like Jesus, by living like He would.   

Why? So we can be saved? NO!

So we can experience the fruit of the Spirit and the full assurance that we are children of God.  

We walk out our faith so we can not only be assured that we are not a false convert, because in reality you really can’t fall away – but some men and women who proclaim their “relationship status” as a Christian will one day be discovered as false because their lives and their hearts have not been given to Christ; we walk out our faith to also encourage others to place their faith in Christ to join us in our grand entrance into God’s kingdom.  

So work hard to prove who you already are in Christ.  Our “work” is to remind ourselves – “Yes, I really am a Christian”  and to show others that “That’s a good thing to be!”.  When we “work hard” to live out our faith, we reap the benefits of the fruit of the Spirit and may just also play a part in God’s claiming more souls for His harvest. 

Our “hard work” to prove we are “among those God has called and chosen”, results in peace, love, and joy as we walk ever closer to being reunited with Jesus.  We can have the assurance of our status as God’s called and chosen by living our faith every day.

So walk that walk of a Christian, not only will it give you peace and empower you to meet your purpose in Christ, it just may be used by God to give you company of more saints that God allows you to usher into His kingdom.

     

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 A.W. Tozer’s Advent Devotional – From Heaven,  for Day 13, as this current resource series will lead us to Christmas Eve.

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

DAY 13

CHRIST—THE CHANNEL OF GRACE

For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

JOHN 1:17

The idea that the Old Testament is a book of law and the New Testament a book of grace is based on a completely false theory.

There is certainly as much about grace and mercy and love in the Old Testament as there is in the New. There is more about hell, more about judgment and the fury of God burning with fire upon sinful men in the New Testament than in the Old.

If you want excoriating, flagellating language that skins and blisters and burns, do not go back to Jeremiah and the old prophets—hear the words of Jesus Christ!

Oh, how often do we need to say it: the God of the Old Testament is the God of the New Testament. The Father in the Old Testament is the Father in the New Testament.

Furthermore, the Christ who was made flesh to dwell among us is the Christ who walked through all of the pages of the Old Testament.

Was it the law that forgave David when he had committed his great sins? No, it was grace displayed in the Old Testament.

Was it grace that said, “Babylon is fallen, the great harlot is fallen, Babylon is fallen” (paraphrase of Revelation 18:2)? No, it was law expressed in the New Testament.

Surely there is not this great difference and contrast between Old and New Testaments that many seem to assume. God never pits the Father against the Son. He never pits the Old Testament against the New.

The only contrast here is between all that Moses could do and all that Jesus Christ can do. The Law was given by Moses—that was all that Moses could do. Moses was not the channel through which God dispensed His grace.

God chose His only begotten Son as the channel for His grace and truth, for John witnesses that grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

All that Moses could do was to command righteousness. In contrast, only Jesus Christ produces righteousness.

All that Moses could do was to forbid us to sin. In contrast, Jesus Christ came to save us from sin.

Moses could not save, but Jesus Christ is both Lord and Savior.

Grace came through Jesus Christ before Mary wept in the manger stall in Bethlehem.

It was the grace of God in Christ that saved the human race from extinction when our first parents sinned in the garden.

It was the grace of God in Jesus Christ yet to be born that saved the eight persons when the flood covered the earth.

It was the grace of God in Jesus Christ yet to be born but existing in preincarnation glory that forgave David when he sinned, that forgave Abraham when he lied. It was the grace of God that enabled Abraham to pray God down to ten when He was threatening to destroy Sodom.

God forgave Israel time and time again. It was the grace of God in Christ prior to the incarnation that made God say, “I have risen early in the morning and stretched out my hands unto you!”

The apostle John speaks for all of us also when he writes of the eternal Son and reminds us that we beheld His glory.

Tozer, A. W. (2016). From heaven: a 28-day advent devotional. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

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

 

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

Email me at mt4christ247@gmail.com to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.

 

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

 

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Is it getting hot in here? – Everyone's Dystopian Present for Christmas – Purity 583


 Is it getting hot in here? – Everyone's Dystopian Present for Christmas –  Purity 583

Purity 583 11/23/2021  Purity 583 Podcast

Good morning

Today’s photo of dried up forest with two evergreen trees was taken by yours truly near the Martin Dunham Reservoir in Grafton NY is shared today to display the undeniable fact that fall has indeed fallen. Yesterday’s photo displaying the bright colors of Autumn in the Adirondacks was taken about a month ago. This was yesterday and you can see that the forest here resembles the proverbial dry bones that we hope will spring to life again, God willing.   The grass has faded, and the leaves have fallen and if it weren’t for those two evergreen trees there wouldn’t be any signs of life at all.  But those evergreens are there, and they will stay that way through the cold and forbidding months that lie ahead, come what may.   

It's Tuesday, and as we draw ever closer to Thanksgiving, I am increasingly thankful for my Christian faith because although the circumstances in this world may change, God stays the same and His word promises:

·       eternal life to those who place faith in Jesus Christ in John 3:16

·       that He will actively work all things for good to those called according to His purpose, in Romans 8:28

·       and that He will never leave us nor forsake us, Hebrews 13:5. 

These promises strengthen our walk and encourage us to be content and be thankful for what we have.  They also comfort us in times of loss. 

The Bible also warns us of perilous times for the Christian in

2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NKJV)
1  But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2  For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3  unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4  traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5  having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!

 

And in

 

Revelation 13:16-18 (NKJV)
16  He causes all, both small and great, rich, and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, 17  and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. 18  Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.

 

Now while I am far from a prophet of doom, I would say that we are in the midst of the perilous times, and probably have been for decades, that is mentioned in 2 Timothy 3, and that we are increasing moving  towards Revelations 13. 

 

Some have said that the Covid-19 is the mark of the beast and if that is the case I am in big trouble.

 

I believe in body autonomy, and I believe in free will.

 

When faced with the choice to get the shot or not, I was concerned about the possibilities of this indeed being a delivery system of what scripture warns us about.  

 

My relationship with God is the most important thing to me and I didn’t want to do anything that would separate me from Him or to disrupt the harmony of our relationship.  

 

In my walk and in my testimony, look it up, there have been instances that I have “led by the Spirit” to do all kinds of things: including praying for people, doing ministry work, going into the mission field, and making decisions that didn’t always make sense to me but resulted in “blessings” and good consequences.   So when I say that I “prayed about” my decision to get the vaccine, you should understand that it wasn’t anything I did lightly.  

 

Admittedly, I did not do an overabundance of research regarding the shot. If I had I imagine I would have had even more misgivings about being vaccinated but regardless of how much information I would have gleaned from the world, the final result would have been the same: I would have gone to my heavenly Father in prayer and would have acted out of my conscience.  

 

The issue at the forefront of my mind when I considered getting the shot, besides possibly receiving a measure of protection from a potentially deadly disease, was my freedom to move and bring the gospel wherever I go.   

 

I prayed extensively about being vaccinated with the end result being that, for me, vaccination was permissible, apparently.  Whatever actions we take in life are our decision and we will live with the consequences.  Unless the Lord has some sinister plans for me, which I don’t believe at all, the vaccine was “okay” for me to take.

 

As I believe that God has individual callings for each of us, I also believe that it is quite possible for it is “not okay” for someone else to get the shot.  

 

God puts varying levels of conviction on our hearts regarding sin based on our experience, wisdom, and His purposes.  The discourses on having freedom but having to deal with the “weaker brother” indicate this.  In terms of the Covid-19 vaccine, I might be the “weaker brother” that gave in to receive it or be the “stronger brother” to exercise his freedom in an area that wasn’t prohibited, or let’s face it – worst case scenario - I could be one of those who at the judgement seat of Christ are told that He never knew me and be cast into hell because I received the mark of the beast.      

 

Now I included that last possibility for arguments sake, but I have as much certainty about my living relationship with God because of my faith in Christ that I can possibly have. I have been increasingly led by the Lord to follow Him continuously since being saved in 2010 and it has resulted in personal sanctification, good works for His kingdom, and experiences of the manifest presence of the Holy Spirit. 

 

I can only trust the Lord and when I asked in prayer about the Covid-19 vaccine, I perceive that I got a green light.  I trust my relationship with Him that He would have convicted me in my spirit, as He has on other occasions, if it wasn’t permitted.  

 

So if things in our society continue to become more dystopian, as they are becoming more and more each day, I won’t be restricted from access if the only criteria is the shot. 

 

With all that said, I also believe in everyone’s right to say no to the shot and to control what they have done to their bodies.  

 

Forced medical treatments is something that should be associated with the nightmare of Nazi death camps and not something that should determine if someone can work in their chosen profession.  

 

I know several people who are convicted not to receive the Covid-19 vaccine and are making a stand on their principles and are choosing to find work elsewhere or changing their careers rather than to doing something against their conscience.   I don’t need to know their personal reasons for why they don’t want to put something into their bodies to support their decision not to.   

 

I am very proud of those who have convictions and who are willing to suffer the consequences for them and choose an alternative path when faced with a moral dilemma where they remain true to their choice of character.    

 

Now while I believe the Covid-19 vaccine is not the mark of the beast, I have to admit that these mask and vaccine mandates and the fearful insistence of trying to establish safety and security at the cost of personal freedoms could be the preliminary measures that the enemy will take advantage of to institute the one world order that is prophesied to come to past under the rule of the coming Antichrist.    

 

Like the proverbial frog in a pot who is boiled to death as the temperature is slowly risen, these government and corporate mandates that are forcibly telling people where they can and can not work are the first measures of what will eventually be the fulfillment of Revelation 13, where people will not be able to buy or sell without the mark of the beast.    

 

The fact that time is increasingly bringing us closer to the end times described in Revelation makes it easy to see that things are getting worse, and that these measures that are supposed to “make us safe” will be the measure used by the demonic forces of darkness to force people to choose between the Anti-Christ and eternal life.

 

I don’t think we are there yet but the dystopian society we live in today, yes today, will become more dystopian in the future. 

 

Yesterday, I was banned for life from r/Christianity for the messages that I post. I encourage people to have an authentic walk with God that preaches the exclusive need for Jesus as Lord and Savior. I also warn people about the spiritual reality of demonic forces. 

 

Yesterday’s, message that resulted in my being banned for life warned of the enemy’s use of offense to cause negative mind states and to cause division. I recommended a course of Bible study, prayer, and continuous gratitude to combat the enemy.  That was all. 

 

Meanwhile r/Christianity allows posts that celebrate sin and encourage doubt and disbelief.  I can’t see how my encouraging messages were a threat to their community, but I can understand that biblical Christianity is a big offense to the enemy and to the hearts of men that are compromised by him.  

 

Not long ago I started saving all of my messages because I realized that there will come a day that my encouraging Christian messages will be banned everywhere.  And with the latest moves of our governments and corporations to deny people their livelihood over receiving a medical treatment that has objectionable ingredients and questionable usefulness, I understand that those dark days are getting closer and closer. 

 

But even though the landscape is dark doesn’t mean that we should stop shining the light of truth that is the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Just like in today’s photo where all the rest of the landscape is dried and dead, those two ever green trees refuse to follow suit.  So be “green” and share the life that only comes through faith in Jesus Christ. 

 

Stand on your convictions as the Lord leads you, because I believe He has different purposes for all of us, that will all contribute to the fulfillment of His plans and be for the ultimate good for those who love Him. 

 

Keep walking and talking with God. Because you were called for such a time as this to be a light in the darkness, and an example vibrant spiritual life among the dry bones of humanity.

 

 

(There is more content to help you walk out your journey of faith at MT4Christ dot org. You can also subscribe to the mt4christ247 podcast to hear this message, our discipleship classes, and our weekly Bible Study, on Apple, Google, Spotify, and Amazon Podcasts, as well as Audible and Podbean).

#Christian #christianity #encouragement #freedominchrist #christiancounseling #jesuschrist #mt4christ #discipleship #victoryoverthedarkness #Evil #Suffering #mt4christ247podcast 

Today’s Bible verse is drawn from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.  

This morning’s meditation verse is:

1 Corinthians 12:7 (NLT2)
7  A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.

Today’s verse speaks of the purpose of God’s gifts to men.  

 

It is clear that God gives gifts to be used to help others.  A list of spiritual gifts drawn from scripture and from an article on BibleStudytools.com, (https://www.biblestudytools.com/bible-study/topical-studies/a-comprehensive-spiritual-gifts-list-to-discover-your-gifts-and-calling.html) includes:

·       Leadership: encouraging and helping others to build the kingdom of God (Romans 12:8 NIV)

·       Administration: helping with long term goals and remaining on task ( 1 Cor. 12:28 NIV)

·       Teaching: instructing in truths and doctrines of God’s Word

·       Knowledge: teaching and discipleship. The ability to learn, know and explain God’s Word

·       Wisdom: the ability to discern works of the Holy Spirit and apply teaching and actions

·       Prophecy: proclaiming the Word of God with boldness (Romans 12:6 NIV)

·       Discernment: being able to recognize the truth about a situation

·       Exhortation: people with this gift are enthusiastic about the Lord and they can motivate others

·       Shepherding: looking out for the spiritual welfare of others

·       Faith: trusting God to fulfill His plan. People with this gift are encouragers

·       Evangelism: the building up of the church so others will be led to Christ

·       Apostleship: motivators, church planters, missionaries: people who look beyond the walls

·       Service/Helps: helping those in need of practical assistance (Romans 12:7 NIV)

·       Mercy: The person with this gift shows acts of compassion

·       Giving: People with this gift will give freely and with joy to further His kingdom

·       Hospitality: Making people feel welcome, appreciated, and wanted (1 Peter 4:9 NIV)

While I could go on a long discourse on the various spiritual gifts and possibly cause a controversy with what my view is regarding what gifts are currently being distributed by God, I think today that we will just focus on the purpose of God’s gifts to men.  

As today’s verse says: “A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.” 

Spiritual gifts are not given to impress one another. 

Spiritual gifts are not to be used for financial gain. 

Spiritual gifts are not to be used to create division of the have’s and have nots. 

Spiritual gifts are not to create confusion. 

Spiritual gifts are not to lead to sin.  

Spiritual gifts are given by God for His glory, His purposes, and to help His people.  

So seek out and pray to discover your  spiritual gift. Ask the Lord to assist you to understand and use the special gift He has given you to help those around you.   

 

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

 

Today we continue sharing from June Hunt’s “Evil and Suffering… Why? Is God Fair?

 

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase June Hunt’s books for your own private study and to support her work.

 

IV. Steps to Solution

After Job passed through his severe trial, he came to the realization that God was still there, still loved him, and was still providing for all of his needs. He saw beyond his circumstances and grasped a new vision and insight into the fairness of God. In Job 42:5-6 he states, "My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes." Sometime later, Job comes to the point of fully accepting God's sovereignty. (Read Job 42:7-17.) Instead of questioning the goodness of God by asking, "Why do good people suffer?" Job spent the rest of his life humbly trusting God ...

"Then Job repled to the Lord, 'I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted ... Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.'" (Job 42:1-3)

A. Key Verse to Memorize

"Those who suffer according to God's will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good." (1 Peter 4:19)

B. Key Passage to Read and Reread

Romans 8:18-25

We can never attain a thorough understanding of the reasons for all the evil and suffering in this world. Yet as Christians, we do have God's own Word (the Bible), which speaks of some of the reasons for His purposes in allowing human pain and suffering. Our first clue is revealed in Genesis, where Adam and Eve live in a state of bliss, yet by their own choice defy God's only command. Does their disobedience not demonstrate that when left to its own devices, the human spirit will not surrender self-will to its Creator as long as "all is well"? This being the case, does suffering not then become a "gift" from God that allows us to experience the depth of His love that a life of ease could never conceive? Pain and suffering may take a hardened heart and point it to the inevitable truth that "all is not well," thus opening the door to the profound reality that nothing that happens in this life will ever compare to the happiness and joy awaiting those who become children of God.

In spite of your present suffering...

  • Realize: Nothing will compare to the glorious future God has planned for you.... v. 18
  • Realize: All that God has created eagerly awaits the glory that will be revealed in you as a child of God.... v. 19
  • Realize: You see a world contaminated by sin, but God's plan is for you to be liberated from your present bondage and brought into a marvelous freedom that is yours as a child of God.... vv. 20-21
  • Realize: It is plain even now, when you have eyes to see, that all living things are waiting for that day of deliverance.... v. 22
  • Realize: Even when you have just begun to know Christ, you can now eagerly await the day when you will be free of all suffering and living in the fullness of Him.... v. 23
  • Realize: You are saved by your hope in Christ, yet the meaning of hope is to wait and count on that which you cannot yet see.... v. 24
  • Realize: If you hope for that which you cannot see, you
    must then wait eagerly, but with patience and endurance.... v. 25


Biblical Counseling Keys: Evil and Suffering... Why?: Why God? Why?.

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

 

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

Email me at mt4christ247@gmail.com to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.

 

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship


Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Where are you? God knows. - Purity 481


Where are You? – God Knows                   

Purity 481 07/27/2021   Purity 481 Podcast

Good morning

Today’s photo comes to us from our friends at Dave Baun Photography as my cycling friends took to the roads of South Australia for a bike ride that turned into a 50-mile journey back on July 1st.  Because Dave shared his Strava bicycling route and because Google Maps is a thing, my best guess is that this photo was taken on the McLaren Flat Rd, possibly on or near the grounds of the Yangarra Estate Vineyard. 

I share it because I just love the grass, the trees, the lake, and the cloud filled skies, but I also share it today as a subtle heads up to alert you that July is fading fast as our friends’ bike ride was almost four weeks ago. I had to go back into the “archives” to find today’s photo.    

Today is “Saturday” for me, in that I have the day off one this Tuesday, yay, because I have to work on Saturday the 31st. That’s right, believe it or not, we are almost done with the seventh month of 2021.  So I encourage my friends to recognize the changing times and to get out and to make some summer memories, and considering the state of my photo archives, to share the photos of your adventures when you do!  I love seeing where my friends go and sometimes having to research and guess the locations of where they were.    

You have to love the technology that we have developed that can bring people together who are half a world away and that allows you to explore and research whatever comes to your mind.  However, what man has developed that allows us to know things pales in comparison of the knowledge that God has of us. 

While I could make my best guess of where our friends took today’s photo.  God knows it perfectly and He knows each one of us perfectly.  God knows everything about each and every one of us. He knows the entire history of life on earth and knows our individual life stories.  He knows what we like, what we don’t like, what we have been through and where we are going.  He cares about our lives and wants each one of us to be in a deep personal relationship with Him through faith in Jesus Christ. He wants us to know His love and to have a life that abides in His peace.   

So as you go through just another Tuesday, look ahead to the remaining days of July, and decide if there is something you want to do before August comes.  No pressure. Its your life.

I just wanted to remind you, and myself, that the days move forward very quickly at times, but the good news is that no matter what our relationship status is or what plans we make, God will be with us.  He knows us intimately and he has given us the gift of our lives with the hopes that we will enjoy them and that we will appreciate them enough to accept His invitation to get to know Him more and follow Him into the good things He has prepared for us.  


This morning’s meditation verses are:

1 Thessalonians 5:9-10 (NKJV)
9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,
10 who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.

Today’s verses speak of God’s hope for all men and is an encouragement for those who are His to not fear but to draw close and live with Him.

While Paul’s letter is to the church at Thessalonica, and is an encouragement to Christians, it also speaks of the hope of the gospel of Jesus Christ for all mankind. 

Verse 9 clearly presents the plan to avoid the wrath of God and obtaining salvation as being through Jesus Christ.  God offers us mercy and grace through Jesus Christ alone, as there are no other options listed to obtain salvation.  The exclusivity of Christ to save is a principle of our faith that world abhors but is the clear teaching of the Bible.    

As good as the promise of eternal salvation is, the context of these verses also gives believers the hope of not being subject to the suffering of the end time’s “Day of the Lord” when Christ will return to judge the world and the wrath of God will be poured out on the earth.  In the previous verses, Paul speaks of the reality of the suddenness with which the Day of the Lord will arrive, but verses 9 & 10 are an extension of God’s assurance that Christians will not suffer with the unbelievers when that day comes. 

There are varying opinions regarding whether Christians will suffer in the tribulation, which is a time that is described in the Bible as being subject to supernatural disasters and the rise and fall of the Antichrist.   While I believe today’s verses indicate that the believers are not appointed to the wrath of the tribulation, I also believe the words of Christ that said that His believers would suffer persecution.  

So while I believe in a pretribulation rapture, I know that I have been wrong about many things in my life and will trust the Lord to guide me to the future He has for me.  I also will not be surprised if I will face persecution and be faithful to will pray for God’s wisdom, guidance, and strength all the days of my life.     

As verse 10, tells us “whether we wake or sleep,” meaning whether we live or die before the Day of the Lord, “we should live together with Him”.

Living together with God points to a future fulfillment of living in God’s eternal kingdom, but it also gives us an instruction for the here and now.  As Christians, we are not to live in fear, but we are to trust the Lord and stand in our identity in Christ that teaches us that we are accepted by God, we are significant because of God, and that we are forever secure with God as well.    

So rejoice in your salvation, do not fear the coming of the Lord, but instead choose to live together with Him right now, and every day, by faith in the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

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

 

Today we continue with Dr. Neil Anderson’s Victory Over the Darkness, continuing Chapter 9.

 

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Dr. Anderson’s books for your own private study and to support his work. If you need this title you can find it online at several sites for less than $15.00:

Strongholds of the Mind

The nature of the battle is presented in 2 Cor. 10:3-5:

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

The weapons in this passage are different from the defensive armor described in Ephes. 6. The image presented here is similar to an offensive, battering ram that is designed to tear down strongholds. What are these strongholds or fortresses of the mind, and how have they been raised against the knowledge of God?

Environmental Stimulation

Recall that we were all born physically alive but spiritually dead in a fallen world (see Ephes. 2:1-3). We had neither the presence of God in our lives nor the knowledge of His ways, so we learned to live our lives independently of God. Infants have no vocabulary and no attitudes or beliefs about anything. Everything we learned in the early formative years of our lives was assimilated from the environment in which we were raised, in two ways.

First, we learned primarily from prevailing experiences. Attitudes and beliefs were formed from long-term exposure to the homes in which we were raised, the neighborhoods where we played, the schools we attended, the friends we had and the churches we attended or didn't attend. All these childhood experiences shaped our worldviews.

It is important to realize that two children raised in the same environment will interpret their experiences differently. Two children can also have radically different childhood experiences. One could be raised in a friendly environment where the parents protected the children from harmful influences. Another child could be raised in a hostile environment and exposed to the filth of this world. However, both need Christ equally as much.

Second, beliefs and attitudes are also formed in our minds from traumatic experiences such as the death of a parent, a divorce in the home, or mental, physical, or sexual abuse. Unlike prevailing experiences that are assimilated into our minds over time, these traumatic experiences are burned into our minds because of their intensity; and they will leave lasting impressions.

Paul said, "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind" (Romans 12:2, NIV). The point is we all were conformed to this world, albeit differently, and we still can be. Even as Christians we can still listen to the wrong music, watch the wrong programs, have the wrong friends, and think the wrong thoughts. We will still be tempted to live our lives independently of God because we are living in a fallen world.


Victory Over the Darkness: Realizing the Power of Your Identity in Christ.

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

 

God bless you all!

 

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

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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship