Showing posts with label Evangelism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Evangelism. Show all posts

Friday, August 5, 2022

Sharing our Experience, Sharing our Faith - Purity 802

Sharing our Experience, Sharing our Faith  - Purity 802

Purity 802 08/05/2022  Purity 802 Podcast

Good morning,

Today’s photo of the “Heavens over Castleton” comes to us from yours truly as I was absolutely mesmerized by the skies on my commute home yesterday as I drove out of the darkness of thunderstorms to the north of me to arrive into a land untouched by the rain and illuminated by the bright lights of heaven.   My photos really can’t do justice to what I saw yesterday but I shared the best one of to try to share my experience and how I was filled with joy to leave the darkness and turmoil of the storm behind.  

Well, it's Friday again and I'm thanking God that we can all leave behind the turmoil, and possible darkness, of our work week and we can look forward to the brightness that will lie in the weekend ahead of us at the end of the day.

Just like I tried to share my experience of leaving the darkness of a thunderstorm behind and seeing the glorious light of the sun illuminate the heavens, last night I was privileged to have the opportunity to share my experience of my Christian walk as I hosted our weekly meeting of Freedom in Christ Ministries’ “The Grace Course” on Zoom.

However, just like how my photo doesn’t adequately describe my experience yesterday, sometimes I feel like my words and my descriptions of how to walk in the Spirit pale in comparison to my actual experience of walking in it.  But then I get some feedback from some of the guys that I meet with that tell me that they have been deeply impacted by the material from the courses I've walked him through and from my personal testimony.

Last night's lesson was called “Humble!” and this morning I am greatly humbled because one of the guys reached out to me in an e-mail to let me know that I really impacted his faith and his walk as  a Christian. And that's all I want to do with the rest of my life. That's my purpose: to glorify God and Jesus Christ and show people what it means to be a disciple of Christ and how following Him leads to the abundant life that Jesus told us about.

One of the pieces of evidence that I've had an impact in other people’s lives is the fact that they try to tell other people about what they've learned. The man who gave me praise yesterday is trying to tell his friends and family about his freedom in Christ and what the gospel of grace is all about.

This gentleman is a little older in age and has grown children but their lives are not exactly faith filled but they see the change in their father and have been talking about God with him.

This man has a son who's somewhat analytical and they have discussed all the in's and outs of the claims of the Bible, the exclusivity of Jesus Christ to save, and the meaning of life. They have had real discussions about Christian faith and how it relates to “real life”.  They are in the midst of an ongoing discussion about theology and the different existential questions but the son isn’t exactly running off to church thus far.

My friend also has a daughter who reportedly had “more faith” than the son as a child but who married someone who doesn’t respect is Christian upbringing and they are now practical atheists because they don’t go to church or see any value in “religion”.  The daughter marriage and suffering through life has caused her once “childlike faith to dissipate. 

In his conversations with her, my friend has discovered that she doesn’t want to talk about theology or doctrine. She wonders about things like “why people have to die” or  “why do people have to suffer” and may see life as the time between life and death, with little faith that there is anything beyond.  

So what do you do with this you know?

Well, for the son, I recommended that my friend go to check out,  Frank Turek’s ministry on Christian apologetics. Frank Turek has written “I don't have enough faith to be an atheist” and “Stealing from God”, among other books, that intelligently address the concerns about the Christian faith, and demonstrates how  our faith lines up with science, logic, and reason.  Turek’s work shows how Christianity can intelligently answers the big questions for people who want to be assured they can have a reasonable faith and not just blind faith. So if you know someone who wants to know about the ins and outs of the Christian faith in a more analytical sense Frank Turek’s website and books are great place to start.

But with that said, I did remind my friend that people who ask questions and to want to debate issues generally don't want to believe in God and that nothing we say to them will convince them.

As Frank Turek has taught, for many people having faith in God is not an issue with the head as much as it is with the heart. If people chose to believe that Jesus Christ was Lord it would mean that they would have to change how they live, not be the boss of their own life, or to give up their sins. So I advised my friend  to press towards his son’s heart as well as answering those questions that his mind brings up. The arguments Christian apologists have are solid so at the end of the day the question remains: “With all this evidence, will you believe and put your faith in Christ?”  

Now what do you say to the daughter, the one who doesn't want to talk about science and faith? How do you talk about God to someone who's more based in her emotions or the experience of life?

Well for someone like that I suggested that we keep our talks basic.

If they have a Christian background, we want to press towards things like Christmas and Easter and remind them of what they learned as a child. We want to remind them that Christ came to save the world because of God’s love for us. Jesus died for our sins and it was all done out of God's love.

We really want to push grace with people like this. We want them to know that the gospel actually means that we are saved by faith and faith alone, not works.

Ephesians 2:8-9 (NKJV) are you proof verses for this. They say:
8  For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9  not of works, lest anyone should boast.

The Christian faith, unlike what they may have learned in their liturgical churches, is not about rules and regulations.  The Christian faith is a relationship with God that's based on faith alone, our simple acceptance of the work that Christ did on the cross to save us. You want to remind them that God doesn't ask us to be perfect. God asks us to simply turn to Him ask for His forgiveness and to be accepted by Him because of your faith in Christ. These people need to hear that they don't actually have to “do anything” to be a Christian but to have faith in Jesus. And that all the “good works” that we do as Christians, flow out of the love that we have for Jesus because he forgave us and gave us internal life.

Good works are not the means of salvation, they are the fruit of salvation.

As for suffering and death, we want to keep it real. We want to acknowledge the reality of life and death and good and evil. But we want to assure them that God has a plan for all of it: Jesus Christ.

The wicked will be punished and those who put their faith in Christ will never die.

If somebody asks “why don't we live forever?” or “why do we have to die at all?” , we can assure them that they will live forever, through Christ, And to receive eternal life only requires that we humble ourselves, make Jesus our Lord and Savior, and enter into God’s Kingdom by faith.

As for suffering, Christ came to tell us that our suffering would not carry into His Kingdom. So, we want to point out that the suffering on this planet is temporary and many of which are caused by the evil of men's hearts.

Now for people like my friend’s daughter that might even be too much “theology”

So what do you do?

I advised my friend that if that's the case he can just back off, but that he can represent his Christian faith in his interactions with his daughter by showing her love, and by talking about how God is good and about all the things he's given us in our lives like:

·       our families, our friends

·       the love we've known

·       the good things we have experienced

·       the good in the world

and how all of those things were provided by God through His creation. If people focus on the evil in the world, we want to focus on the good and simple things like that.

We want to  emphasize the love of God because the love of God is real and the love of God can be experienced if we simply turn towards Him.

So I don't know if that helps anyone who may have qestions about how to deal with our unbelieving friends and family but I hope it does.

The key is to show him that you're not  completely insane and that you care about them. The Christian faith is reasonable and the only reason we want to share our faith is because we love others and we care about them and we want them to find the peace that we have found in our relationship with the Lord, through our faith in Christ.

The fard fact of life is that this life will end no matter what we think and no matter what we do but we don’t have to be afraid of death.  God has made a way to be forgiven and to live with Him forever. 

In Christ we have life everlasting, that starts now and a good place prepared for us by him in eternity.  So we want to lovingly encourage the ones we love to find it.

As we enter the weekend let's rejoice for the time off and use our time to enjoy our lives but while we do, let's thank the Lord for what he's done and let's shine a light of God's love for everyone to see.


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

This morning’s meditation verse is: 

Matthew 25:21 (NLT2)
21  “The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’

Today’s verse comes from a parable of Jesus and encourages us to be faithful to use our talents for good and to accept the responsibilities that the Lord gives us with a spirit of celebration as our faithfulness will be rewarded.  

Jesus’ “parables of the talents” basically encourages to be faithful stewards of what God had given us with the assurance of rewards and a celebration when we see Him face to face.  As good as the news is for the “good and faithful servant”, it also shows us that the one servant who was afraid of the master and buried his talent instead of investing it was considered “wicked”!  

We are not to be fearful and hide “our talents”. We are to use them for God’s glory and if we do God will reward us and give us more to do for His kingdom. 

Often in life there is an escapist mentality where people just want to “do nothing” but this parable exposes how the Lord views that stance.  God gave us a life and he wants us to enjoy it and to use it to do good and to give Him glory. When don’t do that, we waste our lives and we encounter His wrath because we squandered our talents and hid for Him rather than acting in faith by trying to “do something” for the Lord.  

Doing nothing might be peaceful at times but our spirits will convict us about our laziness and wasting our lives and we will be filled with anxiety, guilt, and shame because we are not meeting our purpose and we have failed to have peace with God.  

So responsibility is actually a good thing, and the Christian shouldn’t cower in fear and avoid new challenges. The Christian should trust the Lord and accept the challenges begore them, do the best with the talents given to them,  and leave the results up to the Lord.    


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 Clinton E. Arnold’s “Powers of Darkness”

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

Spiritism in Ephesus

The city of Ephesus was really not that different from any other city in the Hellenistic world. It did, however, have quite a reputation for being a center for magical practices. Luke reinforces that reputation by his account of the burning of the enormous amount of magical books (Acts 19:13–20). As discussed in chapter one, magic was concerned with manipulating the spirit world. It is based on a world view that sees spirits, both good and evil, involved in virtually every part of life.

Ephesus was also a city famous for its patron deity, Artemis of Ephesus. The Ephesian Artemis was worshiped as a goddess of the underworld. She was also believed to wield effective power over the spirits in nature and wildlife. The signs of the zodiac on her cultic image reassured her worshipers that she was a cosmic deity who had influence over the astral spirits who controlled the unfolding of fate. Ephesus was not only the city of Artemis; at least forty-four other deities were worshiped in this city.

It was precisely these kind of people—magical practitioners and worshipers of Artemis and countless other gods—who were becoming Christians and joining the churches in the area. It is too easy to read the book of Ephesians through our own cultural lenses and fail to grasp the nature and magnitude of the issues facing these young first-century Christians. Although they would have longed to give their devotion to Christ, the pull to syncretize their Christianity with other practices and beliefs would have been intense. With regard to the issue of the demonic, the Ephesian readers had far more in common with non-Western cultures than they do with those of us in the West.

Quite likely Paul intended the epistle to the Ephesians to be read not only in Ephesus but also in a number of churches in the western part of Asia Minor. Ephesus is a good point of reference for us in looking at the Ephesians. It was the capital city of the province with a population of at least a quarter million people. It was a religious center and had strategic influence over all of Asia Minor. It had also been Paul’s base of operation during his nearly three-year stay in the province. The basic issues were the same throughout these western Asian churches. These new believers needed help in developing a Christian world view. They especially needed to know how to respond to the gods and goddesses they had formerly worshiped and the various astral, terrestrial and underworld spirits they had feared.

I have written a book-length treatment on Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, where I contend that this epistle is occasioned in part by Paul’s special concern to address the needs of people coming to Christ from a background of what today we would call “occultic” beliefs. This explains why the principalities and powers and the theme of spiritual warfare receives more attention in Ephesians than in any of his other letters. Ephesians then becomes the pivotal letter in comprehending Paul’s thought on the issue of principalities and powers.

Christ, the Powers and the Power of God

Paul wanted his readers to entertain no doubt that Christ is superior to the powers they feared and had once served. Knowing that his readers would be tempted to doubt the superiority and all-sufficiency of Christ, Paul prayed that God would open their eyes so they could see the incomparably great power of the God of the Lord Jesus Christ. His prayer became an elaboration on the mighty power of God: “That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms.” Paul did not stop here. He went on to draw the implications of the exaltation of Christ to the status of the powers. Christ is “far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.” The powers are especially in view when Paul says, “God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church” (Eph 1:19–22).

Anticipating his summons to spiritual warfare, Paul prayed for God’s strength to be imparted to all of his believing readers. He prayed that “out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being” (Eph 3:16). Having prayed for them, he can then admonish his readers at the end of the letter to “be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power” (Eph 6:10). God’s power is essential not only for resisting the influence of the powers of Satan, but also for manifesting love in the Christian community and living according to the ethical standards that Paul laid down.

The mighty resurrection power of God is available to believers. Paul encouraged Christians to draw on this power for daily living. In Asia Minor the believers had to develop an entirely new perspective on divine power. Their perverted understanding of the supernatural needed to be purified by growing in the knowledge of the one true God and why he would impart his power to people.

First, the source of this power is new. They have been reconciled to Yahweh, the “one God and Father of all” (Eph 4:5). He is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, but also the God of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is supreme and has no competitors. All the former deities they once served must be forsaken and regarded as the manifestations and work of the evil principalities and powers.

Second, these believers were directed to a new and unique means of access to divine power. A magical formula or recipe will not manipulate God. He is a personal God who communes with his people and seeks a relationship with his own. This fellowship with God does not come through some mystical absorption into a deity and through a mystery ritual or any other means. It comes by the access made to God through the work of Jesus Christ on the cross (Eph 2:18). Believers have been brought into a very close union with the Lord Jesus Christ, which Paul most commonly refers to as being “in Christ.” Such is the closeness and solidarity of this bond that believers can consider themselves to have been coresurrected and coexalted with Christ (Eph 2:6). This is the basis for the new identity of believers and the foundation for their sharing in Christ’s authority over the powers of evil.

Third, there is a new purpose for imparting divine power to people. No longer are believers to use supernatural power to inflict harm or for self-centered ends. God’s power is imparted to believers to enable them to lead selfless lives. Believers are called to exercise the kind of sacrificial love that was modeled on the cross (Eph 5:2). In the eyes of the world, this is impossible. And, although Satan and his powers will seek to prevent it, God’s power strengthens believers even to love selflessly.[1]

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

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

at, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

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

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 You Tube Channel:

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

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

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

[1] Clinton E. Arnold, Powers of Darkness: Principalities & Powers in Paul’s Letters (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic: An Imprint of InterVarsity Press, 1992), 149–152.

Sunday, June 5, 2022

Bible Study with the Cincotti's - Who's an Evangelist? - 06/05/2022


Today's Bible Study, Authored by Arthur Cincotti. 6/5/2022

Listen to our Bible Study Discussion at: Who's an Evangelist? Podcast

Or watch the Video Zoom Session of our Study on YouTube: Bible Study Video on YouTube

Who’s an Evangelist?

“And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, and some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, “Eph. 4:11


Some sectors of the church like to call this short list, “the five fold ministry” while others say that “pastors and teachers” is hyphenated, “pastor-teachers”.


We even disagree about hyphens. Shame on us!


Today we are focusing on the office, or title of “evangelist”


         Strong’s defines this as, “a preacher of the gospel”

         Vine’s Expository says, “lit. ‘a messenger of good’”


Notice the word, “angel” tucked in the middle.


Angels are God’s direct, supernatural messengers, who often bring good news, but also bring warnings of wrath and destruction.


Lk. 1:19 records, “And the angel answered and said to him, ‘I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and was sent to speak to you and bring you these glad tidings.’”


Let’s look at four very unlikely human evangelists (two from the     OT and two from the NT) who brought good news, divinely        inspired, and let’s see if we can find a pattern.


1. Naomi, from the book of Ruth

         Naomi is perhaps the worst evangelist ever, and I wouldn’t advise patterning our evangelical style after her. She and her husband Elimelich flee Bethlehem of Judah because of a famine and go to the country of Moab for ten years. While there her husband dies and also her two sons, who had taken Moabite wives.  Upon deciding to return to Judah, Naomi pleads with her daughter in laws to remain behind in their country of Moab. Orpah reluctantly agrees, but Ruth is determined to cling to Naomi. Naomi and Ruth return to Bethlehem with their sad story. She says, “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me”.

Not a great testimony of victory!!!

What unfolds is a beautiful portrait of redemption. Good news!

Naomi leads one person to the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob through life style evangelism.  Ruth. 1:16,17


2. II Kings 7:3 begins with “Now there were four leprous men…

Very unlikely evangelists. They were unclean, isolated to “the entrance of the gate” where they no doubt begged for food.

They risk their lives – not really a big sacrifice considering the circumstances – and make a great discovery that they shared with the besieged city of Samaria, bringing deliverance.  Good news!


3. Lk. 2:8, “Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flocks by night.”

Good news!

4. Mk. 16:1,2 “Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salmone bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him. Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen”.

Good news!

All these humble examples shared “good news”, the gospel!


Read I Cor. 1:18-31 to see the pattern.


There are two sorts of “lifestyle evangelism”. One who shares the gospel through their changed life, and one who makes sharing the gospel their lifestyle. Only requirement is a changed life. 


“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. II Cor. 4:7

-----Join us for another Bible Study Next Week -------


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

at, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

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

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 You Tube Channel:


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

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

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

Friday, July 2, 2021

Alexa: The Voice of the Enemy? - Purity 460

Alexa: The Voice of the Enemy?

Purity 460 07/02/2021   Purity 460 Podcast

Good morning  

Today’s photo of Gouverneur beach’s white sand and aqua waters under a blue sky with a cloud formation that looks like a “happy face” comes from my brother’s wife as they are vacationing in Saint Barthelemy with friends.    Maybe I am just seeing what I want to see with that happy face in the clouds, but I couldn’t think of a better photo to share to bring us into what I pray will be a happy Independence Day weekend for all.  

As I have stated before I firmly believe that, because God is sovereign over all time and space, the Lord puts signs and wonders in our everyday experience to encourages us and to give us peace and joy.  If we live our lives by faith and keep our perspective on the things above, we will have experiences that will reveal the Lord’s care, concern, and love for us.    

However, there is also a kingdom of darkness to contend with. Our lives of faith aren’t necessarily going to be all God and angels.  The spiritual forces of darkness are opposed to us as scripture reveals that the enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy.  

Last night I taught from chapter 6 of Neil Anderson’s The Bondage Breaker, and I was reminded that our evangelistic efforts to bring people in the kingdom must be supported by prayer.   I know that most Christians understand that we are to pray that the lost would come to have faith, but Anderson pointed out that our prayers for the lost may need to be “in the Spirit” in terms of aligning with the word of God.   

I know when I lose focus I tend to offer a lot of general prayers for people that come to my attention even though I understand that we should be specific in our petitions.  We do this for two reasons:

1.    So we will be asking for the exact needs of those we are praying for in hopes of a solution to their particular problems.

2.    So, we can know whether the Lord answers our prayers.

Anderson pointed out that in our evangelism we may need to pray specifically for two things:

1.    For the spiritual eyes of those outside of the faith to be opened.  

2.    To bind the demonic forces of darkness that are holding the lost in bondage.

In my prayers for those outside of the faith, I often phrase my prayers to request that the Holy Spirit come and open the eyes of the spiritually blind to see the truth of the gospel, but I really haven’t prayed for the enemy to be bound and to release those he has captive.  

So this morning, I decided to start praying with commands to bind Satan and his spiritual forces that may be holding specific people in bondage.   And when I did, I got an unexpected response.

In the midst of praying out loud about binding the enemy, I was interrupted by a voice that that “I don’t know that”

Alexa in my Amazon Echo chimed in during my prayers for deliverance.  To my knowledge, I didn’t say anything remotely like Alexa to prompt her participation, but her response was in opposition to what I said.   

I didn’t think much of it, so I continued in prayer.  Suddenly my “older” I-phone – that doesn’t have cell service and that I just use for music- sprang to life – and said, in Alexa’s voice: “The enemy by blah blah blah is whatever, and I cannot purchase it on this device”..

This took me by surprise, so I told Alexa, on my phone – which I never use to talk to Alexa, to stop it.  To which she said something like “I can’t do that.”   


Well after that I finished my prayers without further interruption.

As I write this I was trying to remember everything Alexa said and decided to check the history through the Alexa App on my phone.   It may surprise you that the dialog from Alexa during my prayer session wasn’t listed in the history.  Also now my Echo is having trouble connecting  to the Wi-Fi that is operating without interruption!  

So do I believe the enemy decided to voice their opposition through my electronic devices? 

I know it’s a possibility and the fact that the responses were timely and appropriate to the situation, added to the disruption in the service of the echo, along with no history of the responses in my phone are too much for me to dismiss. 

The enemy has caused disruptions in my sleep and dreams as of late and I have had some other suspect things happen that could be from the demonic realm, so I think this is just more of the same.   

So am I afraid? Will I stop teaching about the enemy’s tactics or stop proclaiming the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ? 

No, because I am a born-again child of God through my faith in Jesus Christ, I know that I have the Lord’s protection and authority to deal with anything demonic or otherwise that comes my way.   The benefits of my covenant relationship with the Lord far outweigh any troubles I may experience along the path of Christian Discipleship.  

So stand strong in your faith, if we are in Christ we have all power and authority over the forces of darkness and we have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us to lead us in the way we should go as we cultivate the fruit of the Spirit.      

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Romans 13:11 (NLT2)
11 This is all the more urgent, for you know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up, for our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.

Today’s verse reminds us that time is of the essence in terms of our repentance.

The “This” in the phrase “This is all the more urgent” is referring to the previous verses that are expounding the need to turn from our sins.  Scripture makes many references to the fate of those who sin as those who will face God’s wrath and as those who have no part in the kingdom of God.

The Apostle Paul doesn’t know the condition of the hearts of those who will read his letter to the Romans or who will hear this message and he is stating in no uncertain terms that people need to come to Christ and demonstrate their faith in the Lord by turning from their sinful ways.   

As Christians we are to be examples of the grace of God by the transformation that occurs when we go from death to life by placing our faith in Christ.   The “day of our ultimate salvation”, when Christ returns or when we join Him victoriously in eternity, is closer every day. 

The Apostle Paul is warning those outside of the faith to come to Christ and at the same time is encouraging those who have placed their faith in Jesus to turn from the darkness of their former ways and to start representing the kingdom of God by conforming to the image of Christ.         

So if you have areas of sin you still struggle with, wake up to your salvation and ask for the Lord to grant you the grace of repentance and begin the work of renewing your mind to live according to God’s ways.   

When we live by faith, we turn from sin and turn towards God.  The further we walk away from our former darkness the more we grow the fruit of the Spirit and experience the peace, love, and joy that comes from our harmonious relationship with the Lord that only comes through faith in Jesus Christ. 


 As always, I invite all to go to 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, beginning Chapter 6.


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:

Chapter 6

The Power of Believing the Truth

Nearly 60 years ago outside Nashville, Tennessee, a little girl was born with major health problems that left her crippled. She had a large, wonderful Christian family. While her brothers and sisters enjoyed running and playing outside, she was confined to braces.

Her parents took her into Nashville periodically for physical therapy, but the little girl's hope was dim. "Will I ever be able to run and play like the other children?" she asked her parents.

"Honey, you only have to believe," they responded. "You have to trust in God because with God all things are possible."

She took her parents' counsel to heart and began to believe that God could make her walk without braces. Unbeknownst to her parents and doctors, she practiced walking without her braces with the aid of her brothers and sisters. On her 12th birthday, she surprised her elders by removing her braces and walking around the doctor's office unassisted. Her doctors couldn't believe her progress. She never wore the braces again.

Her next goal was to play basketball. She continued to exercise her faith and courage—as well as her underdeveloped legs—and tried out for the school basketball team. The coach selected her older sister for the team, but the courageous girl was told she wasn't good enough to play. Her father, a wise, loving man, told the coach, "My daughters come in pairs. If you want one, you have to take the other also." Reluctantly, the coach added the girl to the team. She was given an outdated uniform and allowed to work out with the other players.

One day she approached the coach. "If you will give me an extra 10 minutes of coaching each day, I'll give you a world-class athlete." He laughed, then realized she was serious. He halfheartedly agreed to give her some additional time playing two on two with her best friend and a couple of boys. Before long her determination started to pay off. She showed tremendous athletic skill and courage, and soon she was one of the team's best players.

Her team went to the state basketball championships. One of the referees at the tournament noticed her exceptional ability and asked if she had ever run track. Of course she hadn't! The referee, who also happened to be the coach of the internationally famous Tiger Belles track club, encouraged her to try running. So after the basketball season she tried out for track. She began running and winning races. She also earned a berth in the state track championships.

At the age of 16, she was one of the best young runners in the country. She went to the Olympics in Australia and won a bronze medal for anchoring the 400-meter relay team. Not satisfied with her accomplishment, she worked diligently for four more years and returned to the Olympics in Rome in 1960. There, Wilma Rudolph won the 100-meter dash, the 200-meter dash and anchored the winning 400-meter relay team—all in world-record times. She capped the year by receiving the prestigious Sullivan Award as the most outstanding amateur athlete in the United States. Wilma Rudolph's faith and hard work had paid off.

When you hear inspiring stories of faith such as Wilma Rudolph's, do you sometimes wonder, Is faith really the critical element that allows some people to rise above seemingly incredible odds and achieve things others cannot? Can faith also do great things for me?

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, You can also find it on Apple podcasts ( The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, and 

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


Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship



Monday, June 7, 2021

Purity 438: Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

 Purity 438 06/07/2021 Purity 438 Podcast

Good morning.

Today’s photo comes from a friend whose eyes are on the heavens near Dunedin, Florida and who captioned this pic as “Bird and Sky”.  I love how God used the cloud formations in this scene to give our fine feathered friend some celestial companions.  The scene may be just a bird in the sky but the wonder of God’s handiwork causes me to think of it as “Soaring in Florida” as our spirits can be lifted up knowing the Grand Designer that coordinates all the elements in time and space for us to marvel over. 

So as we soar into a new work week, I encourage you to thank the Lord for what He has provided and keep your eyes open for what He puts in your path because just like the bird in this photo seems to have some heavenly company, I can assure you that God is with you in your travels.  We just have to open our hearts and minds and reach out with our spirits to find His presence. 

This morning’s meditation verse is:

John 3:16 (NKJV)
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Today’s verse is the go to verse for Christian evangelism.   If you needed to break down God’s redemptive plan for man in a single verse, John 3:16 wouldn’t be a bad choice.  Many Christians feel this way because John 3:16 is often put on signs and displayed at sporting events to get the message out.    

The verse is so popular by its self that it may not be clear to those who hear it that these are the words of Jesus, Himself. 

Jesus is telling us that:

1.    God loves us

2.    That He is the Son of God and He was sent for a purpose

3.    The purpose was to save those who believe in Him from perishing and by giving them eternal life. 

     These things may seem obvious to us as Christians, but they were counter cultural statements that weren’t obvious to the people Jesus told them to and isn’t obvious to those who don’t know God today. 

God is loving? This idea may be considered debatable by both those who claim to believe in “a god” and to those who don’t. Other religions may see their version of god as powerful, mysterious, and vengeful but not necessarily loving.   Atheists, Deists, and Agnostics would look at the suffering in the world and declare God doesn’t exist, doesn’t get involved in our affairs, or doesn’t seem to be very nice. So the idea of God loving the world wasn’t and still isn’t a concept that all people can accept.  

God having a Son is also a point that is refuted. Entire religions and cults take exception to the idea that God would or could  have a Son. 

 And of course, the idea of being saved from God’s judgement by “just believing” is much too simple for many to believe.  First you would have to get over the doubts regarding the Sonship of Jesus and then you would really have to trust what he said.  

We live in a world of cause and effect and in a worldly economy in which we generally have to earn everything we get. Even when we receive gifts from others there is a perceived obligation to reciprocate by giving in return or at another occasion.   There is no such thing as a free lunch after all so how can God accept me on just the merits of my believing and trusting His Son? Surely we have to do something else, probably a whole lot of things, continuously, in order to gain and keep God’s favor.   

 So you can see that those outside of the kingdom of God can have a problem with the simplicity of John 3:16 if not several.  

So as much as we might want to quote John 3:16 and “drop the mic”, while the multitudes bow down to give their faith to Jesus, we should be prepared to express what we know about the Lord by sharing more of His word and more of ourselves as we seek to gain brothers and sisters in Christ that we will spend eternity with.   

We know what we have in Christ so we should seek to not just “win souls” as much as we should seek to give hope and if possible to form relationships that will build up ourselves as much as edify others.   

 We need to seek and save those who are lost but we should also make room in our lives for those we find.    

 As always, I invite all to go to 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, beginning Chapter 2.  


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:


Chapter 2

The Whole Gospel

Imagine for a moment a typical college man. Let's call him Bill. Bill is into the college social scene. He sees himself as a skin-wrapped package of salivary glands, taste buds and sex drives. So how does Bill occupy his time with this self-perception? By eating and by chasing girls. He eats anything and everything in sight regardless of its nutritional value. He chases just about anything in a skirt, but he has a special gleam in his eye for luscious-looking Susie, the cheerleader.

Bill was chasing sweet little Susie around the campus one day when the track coach noticed him. "Hey, this kid can really run!" When the coach finally caught up with Bill he said, "Why don't you come out for the track team?"

"Naw," Bill answered, watching for Susie out of the corner of his eye. "I'm too busy."

But the coach wasn't about to take "naw" for an answer. He finally convinced Bill at least to give track a try.

So Bill started working out with the track team and discovered that he really could run. He changed his eating and sleeping habits and his skills improved further. He started winning some races and posting some excellent times for his event.

Finally Bill was invited to the big race at the state tournament. He arrived at the track early to stretch and warm up. Then, only a few minutes before his event, guess who showed up: sweet little Susie, looking more beautiful and desirable than ever. She pranced up to Bill in a scanty outfit that accentuated her finer physical features. In her hands was a sumptuous slice of apple pie with several scoops of ice cream piled on the top of it.

"I've missed you, Bill," she sang sweetly. "If you come with me now, you can have all this and me too."

"No way, Susie," Bill responded.

"Why not?" Susie pouted.

"Because I'm a runner."

What is different about Bill? What happened to his drives and glands? He is still the same guy who could pack away three burgers, two bags of fries and a quart of Pepsi without batting an eye. He is still the same guy who was just itching to get close to beautiful Susie. His understanding of himself has changed, though. He no longer sees himself primarily as a bundle of physical urges, but as a disciplined runner. He came to the tournament to run a race. That was his purpose, and Susie's suggestion was at cross-purposes with why he was there and how he perceived himself.

Let's take the illustration one step further. Let's say the runner is Eric Liddle, who was the subject of the movie Chariots of Fire. He was committed to Christ, but he was also very fast and he represented his native Scotland in the Olympics.

When the race schedule was posted for his event, Liddle discovered his race was to be held on Sunday. Eric Liddle was committed to God and he couldn't compromise what he believed. So he withdrew from a race he might have won. Why didn't Eric Liddle run? Because he was first and foremost a child of God and he believed that competing on Sunday would compromise who he was. His belief about himself and his purpose in life determined what he did.

Many Christians are not living free and productive lives because they don't understand who they are and why they are here. Who they are is rooted in their identity and position in Christ. If they don't see themselves the way God sees them, to that degree they suffer from a false identity and poor sense of worth. They don't fully understand the gospel and the dramatic change that occurred in them the moment they trusted in Christ.

The Example of Christ

The redemptive plan of God began to unfold when Christ, the last Adam, appeared. The first thing we notice about the life of Christ was His complete dependence on God the Father. He said, "I can do nothing on My own initiative" (John 5:30); "I live because of the Father" (John 6:57); "I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me" (John 8:42); "The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work" (John 14:10, NIV).

The ultimate test came after a 40-day fast. The Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness and Satan tempted Him. "If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread" (Matthew 4:3). Satan wanted Jesus to use His divine attributes independently of the Father to save Himself. Jesus replied: "Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God" (Matthew 4:4).

Near the end of His earthly ministry, Jesus prayed, "Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you" (John 17:7, NIV). What Jesus modeled was a life totally dependent on God the Father.

Jesus Came to Give Us Life

Like the first Adam, Jesus was born both physically and spiritually alive. This was made evident by the fact that Jesus was conceived by the Spirit of God, and born of a virgin. Unlike the first Adam, Jesus was tempted in every way, but He never sinned. He never lost His spiritual life because of any sin He committed. He kept His spiritual life all the way to the cross. There He bled and died, taking the sins of the world upon Himself. He committed His spirit into the Father's hands as His physical life ended (see Luke 23:46). What Adam and Eve lost in the Fall was spiritual life, and Jesus came to give us life. Jesus said, "I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly" (John 10:10).

John declared, "In Him was life, and the life was the light of men" (John 1:4). Notice that light does not produce life. Life produces light. Jesus said, "I am the bread of life" (John 6:48) and "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies" (John 11:25). In other words, those who believe in Jesus will continue to live spiritually even when they die physically. Jesus said, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life" (John 14:6). The ultimate value is not our physical life, which is temporal, but our spiritual life, which is eternal.

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, You can also find it on Apple podcasts ( The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, and 

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


Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship