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Showing posts with label Evil and Suffering. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Evil and Suffering. Show all posts

Saturday, February 24, 2024

The Positive Side of Not Killing Anyone- 40 Day Journey with Martin Luther – Day 10 - Purity 1283

 

The Positive Side of Not Killing Anyone- 40 Day Journey with Martin Luther – Day 10 - Purity 1283

Purity 1283 02/24/2024 Purity 1283 Podcast

Purity 1283 on YouTube: 



Good morning,

Today’s photo of a sunrise on the horizon between two mountain peaks comes to us from Fred Dimmick who shared this scene, presumably from somewhere near his home in Murphy NC, on social media on Thursday, along with the following poetic sentiment.”

“Waiting on the new sunrise.

When changing colors fill the skies.

A mountain top.

My happy place

The rising sun

Will warm my face.

High in a tree a young bird sings.

Of opportunities

The new day brings.”

Well as the sun sets on another week and will arise a new tomorrow, it is my prayer that all my friends follow Fred’s example by keeping their eyes open to the beauty around them and by choosing to look at each new day as an opportunity to enjoy their lives and work to make them better.  Fred had to put forth some effort to find his happy place and so I encourage all of us on the path of Christian Discipleship to not forget that our relationship with God and our experiencing the fruit of the Spirit in our lives is dependent on that paradoxical balance between faith and action.   We trust the Lord to do His part in our walk of faith, but we realize that we have to do our part too. 

Repentance is more than just agreeing with the Lord’s ways of doing things. Repentance also includes our actively “turning” and walking in the way God would direct us to go. We choose each day to follow the Lord and put forth our best efforts to be more like Jesus while understanding that any hopes for our success in doing so needs to be supernaturally empowered by the Lord. 

And so we are happy to report some success this morning (food plan success!) as I have repented of my “vacation indulgence diet” and am back on my Keto food plan that has been instrumental in putting me in the best physical shape of my life.  The Lord has impressed upon me that repentance includes being a good steward to the temple of the Holy Spirit, my body, and it feels good to have the first of what will prayerfully be a long line of days being victorious and free over the bondage to comfort eating.    And what better time to look for new opportunities to make a change and simultaneously draw close to God than the season of Lent. 

It’s the tenth day of Lent and so we continue my personal walkthrough of Gracia Grindal’s 40 Day Journey with Martin Luther to observe and celebrate the Lenten season.   In this walk through Grindal’s devotional,  it is our hope that we will get to know Martin Luther a little better as we seek to draw closer to the Lord on our journey to Resurrection Sunday – Easter.  

And so we continue.

Journey Day 10

“YOU ARE NOT TO KILL.

What is this?

Answer: We are to fear and love God, so that we neither endanger nor harm the lives of our neighbors, but instead help and support them in all of life’s needs.

This commandment is violated not only when we do evil, but also when we have the opportunity to do good to our neighbors and to prevent, protect, and save them from suffering bodily harm or injury, but fail to do so.

If you send a naked person away when you could clothe him, you have let him freeze to death. If you see anyone who is suffering from hunger and do not feed her, you have let her starve. Likewise, if you see anyone who is innocently condemned or in similar peril and do not save him although you have means and ways to do so, you have killed him. It will be of no help for you to use the excuse that you did not assist their deaths by word or deed, for you have withheld your love from them and robbed them of the kindness by means of which their lives might have been saved.”

Biblical Wisdom

Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not covet; and any other commandment, are summed up in this word, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law. Romans 13: 8-11.

Silence for Meditation.

Pause the podcast, or stop reading, and sit quietly for 60 seconds, a few minutes, or 10-15 minutes, or however long you feel comfortable with and have time for. Focus on your breath and the calm stillness in the present moment that is always available to us in God’s creation. Meditate on Martin Luther’s comments for the day, and the content of today’s Biblical wisdom.

 

Questions to Ponder

·       How does it change our understanding of this commandment to think of both what we should not do and what we should do?

A big part of changing our faith from a religion to a relationship comes from understanding that obeying the commandments of the Lord is not met simply by the things we don’t do.  “I haven’t killed anybody today” isn’t something we should point to as evidence that we are following the Lord. To follow the Lord we have to understand that walking by faith not only requires us to abstain from overt sins – the things we should not do -  but also requires that we look for opportunities to love our neighbors as ourselves – to look for the things we could do to help others – to do the things we should do – and do them.  Our Christians' lives should not be defined by the evil we don’t do but should also be demonstrated by the good things we do.  This makes us more like Jesus and gives God glory.  

·       What good might it do for us and our society if you and I love our neighbors and help them to flourish?

When we love our neighbors and help them flourish we could cause them to choose to follow the Lord and in turn do good to others to help them to flourish. Our efforts to love our neighbors could bear more fruit as our good deeds inspire others to do their own random acts of kindness as part of their new lives in Christ. Our purpose in blogging and podcasting is to encourage others to do just that – to not only have their lives transformed by choosing to follow the Lord with the way they live their lives but to also impact others with our message of hope and the good works we engage in.  The Lord’s love in us can create a chain reaction of love and community when we help others.

·       In a world where so much violence is both encouraged and sanctioned by certain “religious groups”, how might you both encourage and support the positive understanding of this commandment?

We can encourage and support the positive understanding of this commandment by being advocates for peace and righteousness. Our motivation is to serve God and our mission is to show others His love through kindness, goodness, gentleness, and faithfulness. We are to protect those we can and help others to see the wisdom of following the Lord from the peace it brings to our and other people’s lives. 

Psalm Fragment

How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity! For there the Lord ordained his blessing, life forevermore. Psalm 133: 1, 3b

Journal Reflections

·       Reflect on how you keep this commandment. Do you hear only its negative side (do no harm), or does its positive side (do good) cause you to think of your neighbor and his or her needs differently?

As I indicated above, I try to keep this commandment from both its negative side, by trying not to harm anyone, and from its positive side, by doing good, and the best way I can think to do this is to encourage others to put their faith in Jesus and to follow Him.  While I can give to good causes and help people with problems they face as I encounter them in my everyday life, being used by the Lord to bring people into the kingdom of God or to help Christians discover their identity in Christ and the new life they have in Him, has the potential to do infinitely more good than right here and right now as those God blessed activities can spread and bear fruit beyond my limited understanding and reach.

·       Remember times when you withheld love from a neighbor or family member and journal about your reasons. What did it feel like? What, if any, consequences were there? Would you do it differently now?

I have often said that we regret the things we don’t do in part because I can remember times when I had the opportunity to do something good for someone else and because of fear, I decided not to do them.  Instead of being bold, courageous, and faithful, I shrunk away from the opportunity to “DO SOMETHING” – to either protect, defend, encourage, or help others that I have encountered along the path – and in hindsight knew that I could have done more to love my neighbors as myself.  It feels bad when you realize that you chose not to do good, and it convicts me to not drop the ball next time. The reasons of fearing that my efforts would cost me something, or fail to be competent, adequate, or effective that prevented me from action are never comforting when I consider that my actions could have helped.    

·        Are there any friends or family members with whom you are in conflict and you long to be reconciled with? If so, write about steps you can take to begin the process. Take those steps.

Currently, the only person I could say I am in conflict with is my son, Brennan, who is in his twenties and who lives with me with the understanding that he will pay a modest sum each month for rent and utilities. Inexplicably, Brennan made decisions that have caused him to lose his job and now I am in the unenviable position of being the only person in my son’s life that has any power to compel him to do what’s right.   At the beginning of February, I gave him 60 days' notice to get a job and to start paying rent or to move out of my home. Reconciliation is a two-way street, and I can only be reconciled with my son when Brennan chooses to work and pay his way.  In a few days, I will remind Brennan of the obligations of living in my home and encourage him to get a job to meet those requirements.  I am praying for things to change.

PRAYERS FOR THE LIFE OF FAITH

Pray that you may see the world and the people in it with more tenderness.

Lord God, help me to see the world and the people in it, including those I am in conflict with, with more tenderness and to follow You with the way that I respond to them. Help me, Lord.  Amen.

PRAY FOR TODAY

Dear Lord Jesus, help me to keep hatred and contention from my heart and mind, and help me to work on the best for my neighbor.

Amen.

(Gracia M. Grindal. 40-day Journey With Martin Luther. Kindle Edition.)

(We encourage you to purchase Grindal’s book and take the 40 Day Journey with Martin Luther for yourself by purchasing Grindal’s book wherever books are sold. You can find it online at many different sites and purchase it new, used – paper or electronic for less than $15.00).

 

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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 verse comes from the section on Conscience.

1 Timothy 4:2 (NLT2)
2  These people are hypocrites and liars, and their consciences are dead.

Today’s verse falls under the fourth point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Conscience.

4. A conscience can be seared.

Today’s verse reminds us that people’s consciences can be dead. Romans 1 tells us that our sin changes us.  When we give into sin, if we persist in it, it can harden our hearts to deny that there is anything wrong with what we are doing to the point that our minds become debased and we not only defend our right to sin but then become advocates of evil and encourage others who do the same.  

A look at our society with its sins of the flesh proves that the word of God is true.  Evil begets evil and kills the conscience. 

So don’t let your hearts be hardened toward God and what He tells us about good and evil. Let your heart be afflicted and your eyes be open to the truth of the evil of persistent sins that the world accepts. Turn to the Lord in repentance and let your conscience be restored to His good, pure, and holy ways.  

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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.

MORNING READING: MARK 15

“He answered nothing.” – Mark 15:3

Surely, this is where grace in all its divine splendor shines forth!

He who called the world into existence by the utterance of a word, He who upholds the worlds by the word of His power, He who could have asked His Father for more than twelve legions of angels to come to His aid – this One, my blessed Lord, stood in that judgment hall, “bearing shame and scoffing rude”5 and “answered nothing” (v. 3).

Oh, matchless grace, that Jesus there alone
On Calv'ry's cross for sinners should atone:
To such a Friend, a Saviour and a King
Our lives for service we will gladly bring.6[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


Monday, September 11, 2023

Healing and Peace After the War on Terror - Purity 1144

 

Healing and Peace After the War on Terror - Purity 1144

Purity 1144 09/11/2023 Purity 1144 Podcast

Purity 1144 on YouTube: 



Good morning,

Today’s photo of sunrise from a top Wayah Bald near Franklin NC comes to us from Fred Dimmick who captured this scene of “the golden rays of sunshine on the high peaks, above a sea of clouds”…with the naked treetops in the foreground of trees burned in wildfires of the unusually dry winter of 2016, on Saturday.

It’s Monday, September 11th, 2023, and as the sunrises on another work week, Fred’s photo reminds us that life goes on and that the sun of a new day can reveal the beauty that endures through this journey of life, even after the dry and disastrous seasons of life.  

While some of the people we encounter today may be mourning the loss of their favorite football team’s misadventures yesterday, our nation will remember the terror attacks on that fateful day back in 2001 and all the people who died then and since then from the short and long term effects of the attacks on the world trade center and our country’s “war on terror” that was launched as a response.  

After licking my wounds over my NFL teams, not surprising, loss, I decided to turn off the sports and watch Guy Ritchie’s “The Covenant” which reminded me of how the war against the Taliban in Afghanistan escalated in the days following 9/11 and how our involvement there left many of our allies in harm’s way as the promises we made to interpreters and their families weren’t kept and all U.S. forces withdrew for Afghanistan two years ago.  While “The Covenant” is a fictional movie, that was “extrapolated from a patchwork of actual events and experiences that happened during the Afghanistan war, and it was not a direct biography of any one person in particular” https://www.slashfilm.com/1264306/guy-ritchie-the-covenant-not-based-on-true-story-but-not-far-off/ ), it does pay homage to the real-life people who served our military forces for a chance to be free, many of whom never made it out alive. 

The attacks on 9/11 are 22 years old and the pull out of Afghanistan is 2 years old but the wounds suffered in between and since these books end events of the war on terror may not necessarily be healed.  Some bodies, hearts, and minds are still affected by the pain of loss that happened during the war on terror.  Oh just the American causalities, It has been estimated that over 10,000 (military and civilian) lives were lost and over 56,000 (military and civilian) were wounded or injured during the “war on terror” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_on_terror).  

With so much pain and death, one may wonder where we can find healing or peace.  While I’m sure there are many strategies that are offered for coping with loss or living with pain,  I have to encourage those who need healing and peace to go to the One who can heal broken hearts and minds and give an abiding sense of peace like no other: God and His Son, our Savior, the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ.  

The trauma caused by this world has a solution: faith in Jesus Christ and the application of Biblical wisdom to one’s life.  

Jesus settles our accounts and reconciles us with God, giving us forgiveness for our sins, freedom from God’s wrath, and the promise of eternal life in His kingdom forever.  

The only way we can truly have peace is to have it given to us through our faith in Jesus. A kingdom worldview that includes belief in a sovereign God and the assurance of our acceptance, security, and significance that comes from our new identity in Christ comforts us and guides us to live in a world that is plagued by man’s inhumanity to man and natural consequences of sin and death.

This world is not “all there is”. Jesus lived, died, rose from the dead, and ascended to heaven to show us that He is God and to assure us that God loves us and has a plan for His creation.  Jesus is coming back someday to reclaim the world and to make things right and in the meantime we are to live according to His ways to find healing, peace, and even joy in the midst of this broken world.  

One of the overriding principles of scripture is forgiveness.  While we are not worthy of forgiveness, Christ died on the cross so we can be forgiven and when we receive it and the new life in Christ, we are to “pay it forward” by forgiving those who trespass against us.  

The pain over the things we have suffered at the hands of others, or the circumstance of this life is healed when we forgive from the heart and surrender our concerns for justice to God.  

If we believe that God is good, and He is, we can trust that “no one gets away with anything” and that God will make things right one way or the other.   

Those who harm us will either surrender to the Lordship of Christ or face God’s wrath.  If they don’t put their faith in Jesus, they will be eternally separated from the Lord and be consigned to hell for all eternity, that’s far worse than any punishment or revenge we ever imagine.   

If they put their faith in Jesus, they will be forgiven and will repent of their ways of darkness, just like we have and we should similarly rejoice for them like we did over ourselves when God “saved a wretch like me.”

As for the grief over those we have lost to eternity,  we thank the Lord for the love we knew while our loved ones live, and trust that God will “do what’s right” with their final destinies. If they loved the Lord and put their faith in Jesus, we will see our loved ones again. If they didn’t they will not be forced to stay in God’s presence.  

Closure comes from forgiveness and saying “goodbye”, or “see you later”, I suppose, when it comes to those who know the Lord.   Our peace, healing, and joy comes from accepting God’s forgiveness and new life, offering it to others through the gospel, and accepting that God will make things right according to it.  

So, while today and the contemplation of the pain and loss that has been suffered through our lives may cause us sadness, we should give thanks for receiving forgiveness and our new lives in Christ that give us eternal hope and a future.  

Thank the Lord for He is good, and His mercy endures forever Follow Him into the pathways of peace and lead others to know Him and the healing and peace He gives through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

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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 verse comes from the section on Anger, Hot Temper.

Proverbs 14:16-17 (NLT2)
16  The wise are cautious and avoid danger; fools plunge ahead with reckless confidence.
17  Short-tempered people do foolish things, and schemers are hated.

Today’s verses fall under the second point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Anger, Hot Temper

 2. Be slow to become angry.

Today’s verses tell us that the wise are cautious and avoid danger and that short-tempered people do foolish things.   We are to be slow to anger because when we are quick to be angry we are more likely to run into danger and do foolish things. Fatalities from road rage, arguments, jealousies, and fights all point to the extreme consequences of unbridled anger. One angry decision can have life-ending or life-altering consequences.  So cool your jets and walk in the Spirit so you can develop your patience and self-control so you can live a long life in service of God’s kingdom and avoid the dangers that the enemy would tempt you to rush through pride and anger.  

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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

23 - The Spirit Witnessing

Errors in Subjective Witness

Rightly did Jonathan Edwards affirm, “Many have been the mischiefs that have arisen from that false and delusory notion of the witness of the Spirit, that it is a kind of inward voice, suggestion, or revelation from God to man, that he is beloved of Him, and that his sins are pardoned—sometimes accompanied with, sometimes without, a text of Scripture; and many have been the false and vain (though very high) affections that have arisen from hence. It is to be feared that multitudes of souls have been eternally undone by it.” Especially was this so in the past, when fanaticism made much of the Spirit witnessing to souls.

An affectionate and dutiful child has within his own bosom the proof of the peculiar and special relationship in which he stands to his father. So it is with the Christian: his filial inclinations and aspirations after God prove that he is His child. In addition to this, the Holy Spirit gives assurance of the same blessed fact by shedding abroad in his heart the love of God (Rom. 5:5). The Holy Spirit’s indwelling of the Christian is the sure mark of his adoption. Yet the Spirit cannot be discerned by us in His essence: only by means of His operations is He to be known. As we discern His work, we perceive the Worker; and how His work in the soul can be ascertained without diligent examination of our inward life and a careful comparison of it with the Scriptures, we know not. The Spirit reveals Himself to us by that spirit which He begets in us.

“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God” (Rom. 8:16). Let it be carefully noted that this verse does not say the Spirit bears witness to our spirit (as it is so often misquoted), but “with—it is a single word in the Greek (a compound verb) “beareth witness with.” It is deeply important to notice this distinction: the witness of the Spirit is not so much a revelation which is made to my spirit, considered as the recipient of the testimony, as it is a confirmation made in or with my spirit, considered as co-operating in the testimony. It is not that my spirit bears witness that I am a child of God, and that then the Spirit of God comes in by a distinguishable process with a separate testimony, to say Amen to my assurance; but it is that there is a single testimony which has a conjoint origin.

The “witness” of the Spirit, then, is not by means of any supernatural vision nor by any mysterious voice informing me I am a child of God—for the Devil tells many a hypocrite that. “This is not done by any immediate revelation or impulse or merely by any text brought to the mind (for all these things are equivocal and delusory); but by coinciding with the testimony of their own consciences, as to their uprightness in embracing the Gospel, and giving themselves up to the service of God. So that, whilst they are examining themselves concerning the reality of their conversion, and find Scriptural evidence of it, the Holy Spirit from time to time shines upon His own work, excites their holy affections into lively exercise, renders them very efficacious upon their conduct, and thus puts the matter beyond all doubt” (Thomas Scott).[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)

For those who require the assistance of a Deeper Walk International Prayer Minister to experience healing or your freedom in Christ, I highly recommend Christy Edge’s Life on the Edge Freedom Prayer Ministry. You can schedule a session by going to : https://cedge216.wixsite.com/life-on-the-edge     

“The views, opinions, and commentary of this publication are those of the author, M.T. Clark, only, and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of any of the photographers, artists, ministries, or other authors of the other works that may be included in this publication, and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of any entities the author may represent.”

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship


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

Monday, September 4, 2023

Faith in the Day of Disaster - Purity 1138


 Faith in the Day of Disaster - Purity 1138

Purity 1138 09/04/2023 Purity 1138 Podcast

Purity 1138 on YouTube: 



Good morning,

Today’s photo of my canine pal Harley standing in rolling fields of green over an ethereal sunset sky comes to us from yours truly as I captured this scene yesterday after t the beauty of the moment was something I didn’t want to leave behind and decided to extend our evening’s walk by going down the farm road that normally marks the point we turn around and go back home.   .

Well, It’s Labor Day, and because of the holiday I was able to spend the night at my Countryside home in Easton for one more day and when last night’s sunset was so breath taking I didn’t want to see it end.  But even though I extended my time in the sun by going an extra half mile or so, and walked along at a leisurely pace, there really was nothing I could do to stop the coming of the night.   As much as I may have wanted to hold on to that golden moment of joy, no matter what I wanted things were going to change. I could have sat down in those rolling fields and refused to leave but sooner or later the darkness of evening would come.   If I was putting my faith in the weather to stay the same or if I was putting my faith in myself or Harley to keep the good times rolling, I would have been sorely disappointed.  

However, I have put my faith in Jesus and have accepted the fact that God is in control. Therefore, I respect His created order, understand the consequences of a world broken by sin, and put my ultimate trust in God to uphold me.   I don’t trust the weather, other people, or even myself to give me life, meaning, or purpose. Because the world has been broken by sin, bringing in death and the depravity of man, I understand that this world is falling apart, things are in continual change, and there is no limit to the pain that mankind can inflict upon one another, knowingly and unknowingly, as we journey through life.   If we are putting our trust in the world, society, other people, or ourselves, there will come a day of disaster that will show us the error of our misconceptions and will expose just how deceived we were to think we could live in God’s created order and put our trust in anyone but Him.   

I was reading John 6 this morning and was impressed by how Jesus continually alluded to the fact that He was here to do the Father’s will.  

John 6:38-40 (NKJV)
38  For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.
39  This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day.
40  And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day."  

Here Jesus made it clear that although we are to put our faith in Him, He was here on a mission: to do the Father’s will.  Although Jesus’ is the way to have peace with God, Jesus trusted in the Father’s plan and demonstrated His trust by accepting that He would be hated and rejected by the world and would be killed by the very people He was sent to save.  

John 6 begins with the feeding of the 5 thousand, where Jesus multiplied a few fish and some loaves of bread miraculously to feed people who had gathered to see signs and wonders and who desired to have a Messiah who would rule and reign and take care of all their earthly needs, on demand.  

Despite Jesus’s healings and providing a miraculous meal, the majority of this crowd still didn’t believe in Jesus.  Later this crowd who had followed Jesus would call for the authorities to crucify Him because He didn’t continue to meet their expectations, showing us just how quickly things can go wrong. One day you’re followed by adoring masses, and the next they are calling for your death!   

But Jesus didn’t trust in the crowds. Jesus didn’t trust in His disciples.  Jesus didn’t trust in His earthly family.  Jesus didn’t even trust in His own abilities.  Jesus trusted in the Father. And even though things fell apart relatively quickly, and Jesus had some real anguish over what He had to face, He trusted in the Father and had a measure of peace even as He went to the cross to die.

If Jesus had put His faith in anything else He would have been shattered in the day of disaster.  If Jesus had put His faith in the crowd or the religious leaders, He would have been devasted by their betrayal. If Jesus had put His faith in His disciples, He would have been disappointed to watch them turn tail and abandon Him.  If He had put faith in His mother, He would have seen that although she was there to watch Him die, she was powerless to save Him.  If Jesus had put His faith in His own human strength, He would have seen how futile any efforts at escape would have been and that His body would have failed under the torture of the cross.  

But Jesus didn’t trust in those things, He trusted in the Father. Jesus never stopped “walking and talking with God” and right up to the end He obeyed His Father’s will and trusted in Him.    Jesus knew the Father and His faith in Him and His purposes allowed Him to endure the pain of death to accomplish His will.  

Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection teach us who we are to put our trust in and how to carry ourselves through life, trusting God and obeying His will.  If we fail to obey the Father’s Will and put our trust in anything else than Jesus, we will one day see how foolish we were to trust in earthly things and how they will fail us.  

In the ministry of recovery and freedom that I have been called to, I have witnessed time and time again the negative consequences of trusting in anything but Jesus.  Whether you are the biggest reprobate sinner who is actively going against God’s provisions for righteous living or if you are an “upstanding citizen” who enjoys the love and respect of your fellow man,  if you are putting your trust in anyone but the Lord, a day of disaster is coming that will break the foundations of the things you trusted in.  

For the wanton sinner, criminal or addict, it might not be surprising that your delinquent ways, lawbreaking associates, or the substances worshipped will let you down.  Even someone with a cursory understanding of right and wrong and cause and effect can understand the logic behind “if you do bad, you will experience bad”.  A lot of the counsel I provide comes down to “making good choices” because the principle of “we reap what we sow” is so easy to give evidence for.  So do what is right, and the “good seed” will grow into a “good life”.  

Now that is not the only advice I give because I know that “our good deeds” are not enough to guarantee that we will experience a good life and they certainly can’t guarantee eternal safety.   

More than once, I have counseled individuals who have suffered pain, tragedy, and loss and who are rocked by the fact that they had to suffer even though they did “everything right”.  They weren’t a “big sinner”, criminal, or addict, and yet tragedy, disease, betrayal, and loss came their way all the same.  They saw themselves as a “nice guy” or a “good girl” and tried to live a “good life” only to suffer all the same. 

In scripture, Job was an upstanding citizen like no other and He suffered tremendous loss.   If Job was trusting in His “doing everything right”, or in his abilities as a successful man, or in his family He would have been left without hope.

But even though Job didn’t understand why He suffered the loss of possessions, the death of his children, and his physical health, he trusted in the Lord and in the midst of his suffering worshiped God while his less-than-faithful wife, encouraged him to curse God and die. 

Job’s wife didn’t have faith in the Father the way that Job did and when calamity came her world was torn asunder filling her with confusion and bitterness. While she welcomed death, Job knew the Father and trusted Him, proclaiming:

Job 13:15 (NKJV)
15  Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him. Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him.

Job walked in God’s ways and was blameless and only sought to defend his “own ways” at the implication that God was causing him to suffer because of his sin.  Job declared his complete trust in God and knew God’s ultimate purposes would be done by saying later:

Job 19:25-26 (NKJV)
25  For I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth;
26  And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, That in my flesh I shall see God,

This ultimate trust in God is the only thing that will give us peace in the “day of disaster”. When we suffer loss, when people betray or disappoint us, and everything falls apart those with faith in the Lord know to continue to trust in Him and lean on His strength and ultimate salvation.  

With faith in the Lord, the universe is a cold and heartless place where you will suffer the loss of everything you have acquired and every relationship that you have made on earth. When you trust in the world, other people, or your own talents and ability to “keep you safe” or to make you happy, the day of disaster will come leaving you hopeless.  

But for the Christian, we put our faith in God and His kingdom to come, and even though the circumstances of this world may cause us to suffer greatly, when we put our hope in Jesus and walk with Him day by day, we know that we are not alone and that he will never leave us or forsake us.     

While I didn’t suffer as much as Job, I have suffered great loss at different times and seasons of my life, and I know from experience the great difference that a living relationship with God can make in how we face the day of disaster.  Without a knowledge of God and faith in Christ, the world is a chaotic place of confusion and death that is destined for destruction.  But when you know that “your Redeemer lives” and you will see Him stand at last on the earth, you realize that all is not what it appears to be and that nothing is lost that hasn’t been given to us by God and that it is only because of Him that we have anything and that it is only through the love of Him that we can have peace and life.  

So batten down the hatches and do your best to make “good choices”, but don’t forget to seek the Lord and His will for your life. Walk in His ways and stay in His presence because when the day of disaster comes your way, you’re going to need the solid rock of the God who never changes to stand on and to uphold you.  

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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 verse comes from the section on Alcohol & Drug Abuse

Genesis 9:20-23 (ESV)
20  Noah began to be a man of the soil, and he planted a vineyard.
21  He drank of the wine and became drunk and lay uncovered in his tent.
22  And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father and told his two brothers outside.
23  Then Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it on both their shoulders, and walked backward and covered the nakedness of their father. Their faces were turned backward, and they did not see their father’s nakedness.

Genesis 19:30-38 (ESV)
30  Now Lot went up out of Zoar and lived in the hills with his two daughters, for he was afraid to live in Zoar. So he lived in a cave with his two daughters.
31  And the firstborn said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is not a man on earth to come in to us after the manner of all the earth.
32  Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve offspring from our father.”
33  So they made their father drink wine that night. And the firstborn went in and lay with her father. He did not know when she lay down or when she arose.
34  The next day, the firstborn said to the younger, “Behold, I lay last night with my father. Let us make him drink wine tonight also. Then you go in and lie with him, that we may preserve offspring from our father.”
35  So they made their father drink wine that night also. And the younger arose and lay with him, and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose.
36  Thus both the daughters of Lot became pregnant by their father.
37  The firstborn bore a son and called his name Moab. He is the father of the Moabites to this day.
38  The younger also bore a son and called his name Ben-ammi. He is the father of the Ammonites to this day.

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

 10. Drunkenness breaks down morals.

Today’s passages clearly demonstrate the tendency of drunkenness to break down morals.  “Partying naked” Noah ended with shame and Lot’s drunkenness led to incest. When inhibitions and awareness are compromised by drunkenness, the sinful desires go unchecked and break down everything that we know about right and wrong.  

So as we go into this Labor Day holiday, let’s not fall into drunkenness and the sin that is waiting walk through the door when we open it with drunkenness. 

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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

23 - The Spirit Witnessing

The Holy Spirit is first a witness for Christ, and then He is a witness to His people of Christ’s infinite love and the sufficiency of His finished work. “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify (bear witness) of Me” (John 15:26). The Spirit bears His testimony for Christ in the Scriptures; He bears His testimony to us in our renewed minds. He is a Witness for the Lord Jesus by all that is revealed in the Sacred Volume concerning Him. He bears witness to the abiding efficacy of Christ’s offering: that sin is effectually put away thereby, that the Father hath accepted it, that the elect are forever perfected thereby, and that pardon of sins is the fruit of Christ’s oblation.

The sufficiency of the Spirit to be Witness for Christ unto His people appears first, from His being a Divine Person; second, from His being present when the Everlasting Covenant was drawn up; third, from His perfect knowledge of the identity of each member of the election of grace. When the ordained hour strikes for each one to be quickened by Him, He capacitates the soul to receive a spiritual knowledge of Christ. He shines upon the Scriptures of Truth and into the renewed mind. He enables the one born again to receive into his heart the Father’s record concerning His beloved Son, and to give full credit to it. He enables him to realize that the Father is everlastingly well pleased with every one who is satisfied with the Person, righteousness, and atonement of His co-equal Son, and who rests his entire hope and salvation thereon. Thereby He assures him of the Father’s acceptance of him in the Beloved.[1]

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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)

For those who require the assistance of a Deeper Walk International Prayer Minister to experience healing or your freedom in Christ, I highly recommend Christy Edge’s Life on the Edge Freedom Prayer Ministry. You can schedule a session by going to : https://cedge216.wixsite.com/life-on-the-edge     

“The views, opinions, and commentary of this publication are those of the author, M.T. Clark, only, and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of any of the photographers, artists, ministries, or other authors of the other works that may be included in this publication, and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of any entities the author may represent.”

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship



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