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Showing posts with label Food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Food. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Putting the Toys Away - Purity 800


Putting the Toys Away - Purity 800

Purity 800 08/03/2022 Purity 800 Podcast

Good morning,

Today’s photo of a white Horse underneath a blazing sun on a hillside somewhere in Kosovo comes to us from a friend who is currently taking a year to be a part of a traveling Christian mission trip. They shared this pic among many others back on July 7th documenting their groups recent adventure, commenting:

“We Biked Across Kosovo!!! It was an experience for sure, several sore bottoms and close to 100 miles biked! We made it to the Village of Brod, the place God pointed us towards.

During this time I learned so much about the Provision of God. Whenever we wonder if we would have a place to spend the night after all day of biking (pushing our bikes😵💫), we would stop and ask God, and He always had something for us. God showed up over and over again throughout our day in that village.

Sometimes we just need to stop and recognize all the details we missed through the mundaneness of life. He’s in every single moment. Let’s stop for a moment and ponder all of the wonderful things He has gifted us with…” 

I couldn’t agree more with my friend and part of our purpose for  doing this blog and podcast is to serve as an encouraging word for others to recognize the presence of God in their lives and to seek to know His will for our lives and to follow where He leads us.    

Well, It’s Wednesday and I thought my friend’s “Typical horse sighting” served as an adequate visual representation of “hump day” and their words were a good encouragement to lead us through the midpoint of the first work week of August.  

I for one am loving the decision I made to make a fresh new start with the eighth month of the year  by deciding to focus on my physical and spiritual health by watching what I put in my body in terms of food and what I put in my mind and soul in terms of what I put before my eyes.  

Over the last three days, I have remained “on plan” with my food choices and exercise regiment and have avoided seeking entertainment from secular sources and instead have been focusing on preparing for my weekly discipleship’s group presentation tomorrow and viewing only material that would edify my spirit, Christian material that I was interested in but had left unattended as I was under the false impression that I wasn’t “really relaxing” if I was only watching Christian material.  

The advice to be careful about what we put before our eyes is a pretty basic tenant of Christian Discipleship but I really think I might be in the midst of a break through here because even though I “knew that” it was better to only view or put my focus upon things that would build me up, particularly Christian material, than it was to watch “junk” from the secular world, I am realizing that “knowledge” was sort of hypothetical. This knowledge “that it was better to watch or focus on Christian material”  was a mental construct that didn’t penetrate to my heart but I think that it is now.  

I think It's time to get rid of the “shoulds” and just do what is best, for my body, for my mind, and for my soul and for my spirit.  

When we come into this Christian walk of faith, there is an encouragement from the world and from ourselves to draw back, to “not be so extreme”, and to go back to the things we have always liked to find comfort, solace, and relaxation. 

And believe me, I think for those new in Christ, it is wise to go slow in this walk at first because we need the time to renew our mind by word of God and to let the truth of who we are in Christ to be accepted and applied to our life. 

But in truth, here is one of those startling realizations of our faith, we are not who we used to be any more. We are new creations in Christ and as much as we enjoyed certain hobbies and forms of entertainment in the past, they may not be best for us anymore.  As we walk out our faith, we are maturing and we may discover that not only are we “growing out” of our former childish ways that we learned from world system, we may discover that they are increasing becoming “alien” to us as we realize the things we are into really have no part in our new life.  

Just as a young adult may have some grief over having to leave their toys behind as they are called to grow up and take on new responsibilities but know that their “growing up” is right and to remain in their childish ways would be dysfunctional, Christians may have to mourn the loss of seemingly harmless things that subtly deny or oppose the truth of God’s word, knowing that the Lord has “better things” for us to see and do.   

Just like that young adult may go back to their toys only to discover that “the thrill is gone” or don’t find the same enjoyment in them because “they are too old”, the Christian may increasingly discover that the Holy Spirit is making them more sensitive or discerning and the secular things they enjoyed in the past some how no longer seem worth while or may even seem “wrong” in some way.   

Who we are is not what we do.  Our character defines who we are and it drives what we will do.  

For the Christian, we have a new life given to us by God and the Holy Spirit is calling us to increasingly have the character of Christ.  So as we walk out our faith, the Christian needn’t fear that they are “losing their identity” when they begin to walk away from the things they always watched or did. 

Those shows, programs, or hobbies that we did before coming to Christ did not make us who we are. God made us. And by His grace, He has called us to life everlasting and to be the people we always wanted to be but who never dared to dream we could be.  

When we go back to those old childish ways of seeking entertainment, it’s like we are choosing to be children again, and not only that it is a subtle way of turning away from God. In essence, when we turn to the world for our comfort, relaxation, or entertainment it is subtly saying that who we were before coming to Christ was “just fine” and we don’t want to “grow up.”

The same goes for food.  I have studied and learned some hard truths about the things I used to eat and have made some considerable progress with my health because I have eliminated certain foods from my diet completely.  But Oh there are some foods that I know are not healthy for me and my health goals, that I have gone back to “feel good” and surprise most of those are sweet things I enjoyed as a child. 

So instead of doing what I “know” is good, I choose to go back to things from my childhood that seem harmless but that are actually sabotaging my progress and are opposed to my health goals.  

Secular entertainment contradicts the word of God and who I want to be in terms of my character.  And “junk foods” contradict the order that God created in that if I indulge in junk, my body will suffer. 

This might seem radical but all truth is God’s truth. So although there might not be a book on nutrition in the Bible, our scientific studies and observations of God’s created order can reveal to us “God’s truth on nutrition”. 

I won’t list anything here but health experts will tell you to avoid certain foods or avoid exceeding certain levels of nutrition.  Because these principles are based on observations from God’s created order, when we ignore and violate the principles for proper nutrition, one could say that we are denying “God’s truth on nutrition” and we suffer the negative consequences for our nutritional “sins”.  

The breakthrough that I am talking about here is a paradigm shift where we no longer turn a blind eye to how what we are doing opposes the principles of God’s truth and instead align our behaviors to stay within God’s wisdom. 

The idea of only doing what is healthy and spiritual edifying is incredibly simple but I think it is something that we find just as easy to dismiss as the world, the flesh, the devil, and our pasts have taught us and actively encourage us to compromise “what its best” for “what we have always known” of for “what we have always done”.  

The problem with those last two things is that as Christians, we are no longer the people that we have always been.  We are new creations. 

So let’s keep walking and talking with God and let’s renew our minds with God’s word but let’s also challenge the things we do and question whether we are living like a child of God, or like the unredeemed children of wrath we once were who simply didn’t know any better, or did but was powerless to change.

As Christians, we don’t so much have to change. We are new creations. We just have to be who we are now.  So the next time we feel like doing “what we always have done” decide if that lines up with who you are now in Christ and instead of mentally agreeing that your old ways aren’t the best, know in your heart that they really don’t have a place in your new life.   Say goodbye to your childish ways and put the toys away. 

Those things belong to some one who is dead and gone, and instead of living like a ghost of your former self who was always depressed, guilty, angry, anxious, or sad, leave those things behind and walk into the new life God has given you.

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

This morning’s meditation verse is:

2 Corinthians 9:10 (NLT2)
10  For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you.

Today’s verse speaks about the Lord’s provision for the Christian.  

As my missionary friend marveled over how the Lord provided for their team in Kosovo, today’s verse reminds us that God will provide but the text indicates that although the Lord may provide for our material needs that real harvest and increase in resources will be in us.  

As we walk out our faith, growth happens in our character.  When we realize that the Lord will provide for our material needs and we recognize all that He has done for us we become generous.

So show and share the love God in you, by giving what you have received to others.

 

______________________________________________________________________

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 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.

Christ Alone Is Sufficient

Paul applied his teaching on the sole supremacy of Christ to their situation. He wanted nothing more than to see them conducting their lives with Christ as the focus. He writes, “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness” (Col 2:6–7). Paul assured them that they have all the resources they need in Christ. Just as God bestowed on Christ all his divine fullness, so Christ imparts to believers the enabling power, love and divine grace for resisting the influence of evil and living according to God’s desires. Paul plainly says, “and you have been given fullness in Christ” (Col 2:10). It is no mistake that the very next statement that Paul makes is the description of Christ as the one “who is the head over every power and authority” (Col 2:10). The clear implication of this passage is that part of the divine resources that Christ bestows on believers is his authority over the evil powers.

Christ can impart his fullness to them because of their unique relationship to him, symbolized in the rite of baptism. They have been made alive with Christ by being identified with him in his death and resurrection (Col 2:12–13). Their death with Christ has effectively rendered them dead to the powerful influence of the elemental spirits (Col 2:20). He alone is sufficient to protect them from evil spirits. No phylacteries, amulets or talismans are necessary. Neither is mystery initiation essential for additional spiritual enlightenment since Christ is “the mystery of God” and in him “are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (gnōsis)” (Col 2:2–3).

The hope and strength of these believers is wrapped up in the fact that Christ actually indwells their lives (Col 1:27). This fact is not to be understood in the sense of a mystical absorption into deity. Christ personally indwells their lives and infuses them with his power, filling them with his love and giving them a blessed hope for the future. This is the essence of the Christian “mystery.”

The epitomizing trait of Christianity is relationship with Christ. Given his all-encompassing lordship and his all-sufficiency, the Colossians are left with no legitimate reason to syncretize their faith. Christ is all they need!

Appropriating the Resources in Christ

Having the right concept of Christ is not enough. Giving assent to a creed or a statement of faith does not guarantee victorious living. In practice, theology can easily become severed from ethics, and what one believes about Christ may not necessarily affect the way a person lives. Christology has life-changing implications. It demands a total response and commitment.

The Colossians needed to have their concept of Christ purified, and they needed to be admonished to draw on the resources he provides for day-to-day life. Paul chided them for “not holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with the growth which is from God” (Col 2:19 NASB). It is the “head” of the body that provides what they need, but they have to seek and be willing to receive the nourishment he offers. They also need to endeavor earnestly to live in a way that is consonant with the character of their new heavenly life. They are citizens of two kingdoms. The temptation will be for them to fix their attention on the limitations and problems of life in the present evil age. Paul contended strongly that their focus of attention must be placed on the character of their new life and all the spiritual blessings, security and divine endowments that it brings. For Paul this focus is the secret for overcoming life’s obstacles in the here and now; it is the basis for Christian ethics. New Testament scholars refer to it as Paul’s “eschatological tension” between the “already” and the “not-yet,” which is at the heart of his theology.

Appropriating the benefits of this new life requires that the Colossians set their hearts and minds “on things above” (Col 3:1–2). “Above” is where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. It is also where the lives of the Colossians are “now hidden with Christ in God” (Col 3:3) because of their identification with Christ’s death. Part of seeking the heavenly life is through deeply immersing themselves in Christ’s teachings. Paul encouraged them to “let the word of Christ dwell in you richly” (Col 3:16). It also involves prayer, an expression of faith in God but also the channel to communicate with God and convey one’s needs to him. Paul therefore enjoined them to “devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful” (Col 4:2). Aware of his own need for divine strength and enablement, Paul requested prayer for himself (Col 4:3–4).

At Colossae the syncretistic impulse facing Christians was strong, especially since a lifetime pattern of worshiping many gods had reinforced it. The pressure from outside the church must have been equally intense. People in Colossian society would not have understood Christ’s exclusivistic claims. The false teaching at Colossae was undoubtedly packaged and presented in an alluring way. But for the apostle Paul it was wrong. It was wrong because evil spirits inspired it, and because it detracted from the supreme and sufficient lordship of Jesus Christ.[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 You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTxjSNstREpuGWuL0bF3U7w/featured

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 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)

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), 145–147.

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Reflections and Breaking Resistance - Purity 799

Reflections and Breaking Resistance - Purity 799

 Purity 799 08/02/2022  Purity 799 Podcast

Good morning,

Today’s photo of what I call “A River Torrens Reflection” comes to us from Dave Baun Photography (https://www.facebook.com/DaveBaunPhotography) as Dave made the best of the requirement to commute to work earlier than necessary on Saturdays due to the local train schedule by taking walks with his camera and capturing scenes like this along the way. Dave testifies that the time he gets to spend doing something he loves before work on Saturday morning usually sets him up for a very good day.

While I often say it’s not where you start but where you finish that matters, I have to agree with Dave’s sentiments that doing something you love to start the day can certainly help set us up to have a very good day. 

For me, my mornings are spent in the spiritual practices of gratitude, prayer and meditation, and the study of God’s word. By reminding myself of who I am in Christ, who God is, and all that He has done in my life, I start the day humbled and grateful and use the time to ask the Lord to help guide me through the day.  

But I also use several days of the week to exercise my body as my mind and spirit.  Although our Christian walk of faith is a spiritual endeavor, there are plenty of verses in scripture that tell us that our bodies are important too. Our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, so we should be good stewards with what the Lord has provided us with but scripture also indicates that part of our walk of faith involves “crucifying the flesh” as we seek to walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh.   

While the world pushes comfort foods to provide self-care, Christ said that the Holy Spirit would be our comforter.  While we need food to live, we shouldn’t necessarily live for food.  When our relationship with food is out of balance, our bodies show it with digestive issues and aches and pains that result from weight gain.

So part of our spiritual walk should include a reflection of how we are treating God’s temple and possibly the decision to make changes in how and what we eat as well as taking time to exercise our bodies to make them healthy and strong enough to diligently pursue what the Lord would have us do.  

Exercise enthusiasts will tell you all about the benefits of exercise and I am here to encourage you that the care of our bodies isn’t just a self-centered practice of vanity but can be a rich part of our daily spiritual practice of walking in the Spirit. 

I have struggled with overeating and seeking emotional comfort from food for all my life and recently realized that even in the midst of my regular practice exercise I had turned a blind eye to my eating habits and the weight gain that resulted. 

But my body was telling me all along that things weren’t good as my back would periodically ache, but I resisted those messages and persisted with my cheat days and what I though were only occasional over indulgences.  

But the truth is when you give up on your discipline over what you eat, even just a little bit, it’s like you let the dam break and all kinds of food comes flooding in.  Comedian Jim Breuer once did a routine about drinking and how drinking was like a party in your stomach and how you shouldn’t mix different alcoholic beverages because it would make you sick (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nW-PqYrnruU) .  His routine documents how once you let somethings into your life, other things just pour on in.  In his routine, Breuer talks about how after beer is let into the “party in our stomachs” other types of alcoholic beverages sneak into the party with disastrous results – leading the stomach to throw everybody out, and up!  

Thankfully, even though I can relate to Breuer’s routine, the Lord helped me to be set free from those problems forever.  But the analogy of compromising our better judgement still stands and I have seen how it goes that way for food.  When you decide to indulge in sweets or other foods that go against your health goals, your tendency to compromise again and again increases and what may begin as a one time indulgence once a week turns into regular “cheats” that compound over time and result in the pains of weight gain.  

In the process , you know its happening but you just ignore it and you resist doing what you know have to do, you have to stop and go back to the habits that gave you success but you resist it and keep it a secret, and even may resort to secretly eating in front of others to hide your compromise, at least I did!

But if you persist in your compromise the pain will increase until it’s impossible to ignore anymore.  

I heard it said somewhere that we only change when we are uncomfortable, and it was only after being uncomfortable for quite sometime that I decided to go back to the drawing board and try to get my temple back to where I had it. I wish I had done it sooner, but I’m glad that I decided to confess it and to be intentional about making the month of August a month where I get closer to where was to get healthier.

I have learned that we are only as sick as our secrets and if we are hiding our behaviors from others, we need to “rat ourselves out” to break the resistance to change that seems so hard.   

With one day in, I can say I am on the right track. My eating yesterday was within the parameters of my plan and I exercised yesterday and did again today and I feel good about it.  

In my reflections of what I need to change, I have also resolved to “stay out of enemy territory”. Before August, I had a tendency to throw all my convictions to the wind when I found myself at parties or went to certain places, saying “When in Rome!!”  

But I was reminded of the importance of “places” for people in recovery. Former alcoholics should avoid the places where they used to drink. Similarly, I should avoid the places where I would eat the things I shouldn’t. So I have resolved to stay away from Stewart’s.  The only thing I get at Stewart’s, for the most part, is their ice cream and when I do, I eat the whole half gallon! So, I resolved that Stewart’s is “no man’s land”.

 And I am also recognizing my personal responsibility to be true to my health goals, regardless of the places I go and the company I keep, so I will endeavor to try to be “self-aware” and not declare that I am in the capital of Italy and let my convictions roam.  

The good news is that I am not alone. I have a wife who supports me in this walk but I also have the Holy Spirit to lead me in the Spirit and He has helped me to overcome this struggle in the past.

So as we go into the second day of this new month, let’s keep walking and talking with God.  Let’s reflect on “the way life used to be” and all “the love” that the world the flesh and the devil “took from me”, and decide that we are going to stop being uncomfortable with the compromises in our lives that cause us pain and instead decide to lean on the Lord for His strength and guidance to lead us in the way we should go. 

Hey Rome wasn’t built in a day and a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, so put best foot forward, trust in the Lord, and start walking towards the abundant life of freedom and victory that He has for you,

 

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

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Revelation 3:8 (NLT2)
8  “I know all the things you do, and I have opened a door for you that no one can close. You have little strength, yet you obeyed my word and did not deny me.

Today’s verse comes from the Lord’s message to the church in Philadelphia and speaks of how the Lord gives us opportunities that no one can take away and the importance of being true to our relationship with God with obedience.  

In that letter in the book of Revelation, the church at Philadelphia was facing challenges to their faith, but the Lord acknowledged their hear for Him and encouraged them to persevere in their faith and their obedience to His ways with the assurance that if they held on to what they had they would be protected and have a place in His kingdom forever.  

So although we aren’t necessarily from Philadelphia, we can draw the general principle that God has “opened a door” for us that no one can close and that we should use our “little strength” to faithfully obey the Lord’s will for our lives, with the assurance of His divine favor and protection and our eternal place with Him.

______________________________________________________________________

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 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.

Christ Alone Is Supreme

Paul was convinced that the teaching of his opponents at Colossae presented a direct challenge to the absolute lordship of Christ for these believers. By giving credence to the “philosophy,” they were transferring their allegiance from Christ and giving it to the principalities and powers. Quite likely fear of the evil supernatural world motivated them in part. They continued to dread the influence of terrestrial spirits who could injure them in day-to-day life, the astral spirits who controlled their destiny, and the underworld spirits who could torment them in the life hereafter. Could Christ truly protect them from those powers? They wondered and were apprehensive. Their doubt compelled them to take the “safest” route—worship Christ and the other gods.

In order to restore their confidence in the Lord Jesus, Paul began his letter by including one of the most eloquent and moving pieces of poetic praise of Christ in all of Scripture. Colossians 1:15–20 touchingly affirms the sole supremacy of Christ. The poetic arrangement, choice of words and beautiful expression have caused numerous scholars to refer to it as an early Christian hymn. Possibly Paul quoted a hymn that was known and sung during worship in the Colossian and other churches of Asia. Although Paul could have composed this passage specifically for the Colossians, the rhetorical power of his argument is enhanced all the more if he has cited an already existing hymn. In effect, the Colossians would be guilty of not internalizing what they were reading and singing!

Paul prefaced the hymn by establishing the fact that they are no longer in bondage to Satan’s dominion. Paul says, “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves” (Col 1:13). The hymn then brings out the Son’s character in a twofold way: Christ is both Lord of creation and Lord of reconciliation.

As Lord of creation, Christ is described in his unique relationship to the one, invisible God. Christ is not himself an angelic intermediary or one among many. He has a temporal priority over all of creation and is distinctively related to God by being both the “image” of God and possessing all of the rights of a firstborn. Christ is also Lord of creation because he is the Creator. Paul took special pains to point out that he was not only the creator of everything on earth and in heaven, but especially the realm most feared by the Colossians, the invisible realm “whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities” (1:16). In fact, these powers owe their continued existence to Christ since he is the sustainer of the creation (1:17).

As Lord of reconciliation, Christ is portrayed in the second part of the hymn in his role as bringing ultimate harmony to all of his creation. Marred by rebellion against the purpose of God, the creation faces constant upheaval and distress due to the degenerative impact of evil. The work of Christ provides the basis of hope for the future. At the consummation of the age, all things will be reconciled to God through Christ. Again, Paul stressed that “all things” include the heavenly entities, namely the principalities and powers.

This hymn brilliantly affirms the lordship of Christ over the principalities and powers. How comforting it must have been for the Colossians to be reassured that Christ is superior to the powers they fear and once worshiped. He not only created them, but he is their life-giving sustainer. History is in his control, and the powers will ultimately be brought to their knees before him.

Paul continued to build his case for the supremacy of Christ by declaring later in the letter that Christ is “the head over every power and authority” (Col 2:10). This is based on the fact that “in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form” (Col 2:9), which was also evinced in the hymn (Col 1:19): “For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him.” Christ is again portrayed in a unique and close unity with the God of Israel. Tom Wright explains that the incarnation of Christ “was and is the ‘solid reality’ in which were fulfilled all the earlier foreshadowings, all the ancient promises that God would dwell with his people.” God is now truly with his people, indwelling their lives and giving them direction and strength. In verse 10, the emphasis falls on the certainty of Christ’s control over the powers—not one evil angelic power stands outside the sphere of his sovereignty. Believers now share in this authority.

The high point of his case for the supremacy of Christ over the powers comes at Colossians 2:15. The principalities and powers were defeated on the cross. This sign of the end for the powers was decisive. They were stripped of their compelling influence over believers. They are now like vicious dogs on a leash. Although they are still active and continue to wreak havoc and promote evil, they are under the control and authority of one more powerful, one they are compelled to obey.

Christ is not one among a number of powers at a certain level of the angelic hierarchy. He is at the top. He is supreme. Despite the claims of other religions and counter to the assumptions of magic, the Colossians could truly worship Christ as pre-eminent. In spite of Paul’s eloquent and powerful case to this effect, we cannot minimize the difficulty it would have been for the Colossian believers to believe this truth in the deepest recesses of their consciousness. Years of believing in a multiplicity of gods and spirits and learning how each could be placated is quite different than trusting in one—who is so different.[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 You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTxjSNstREpuGWuL0bF3U7w/featured

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 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)

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), 142–144.

Friday, July 29, 2022

Summertime Fun and The Pain of Self Deception - Purity 796


Summertime Fun and The Pain of Self Deception - Purity 796

Purity 796 07/28/2022 Purity 796 Podcast

Good morning,

Today’s photo of the beach on the shores of Long Pond comes to us from yours truly as I captured this scene yesterday  when I decided to take a spontaneous trip to Grafton Lakes State Park in Grafton NY.  

While it is Friday, and we should thank God for that, thank you Lord, because I have to work Saturday it is more like a Monday for me because I had the day off yesterday and because I had my one day weekend to enjoy I felt the overwhelming compulsion to try to make the day worthwhile as July will be over come Monday so I meditated upon the idea of “if you only had one day to mark the Summer of 2022 with, what would you do?” 

For me summer has always been associated with swimming and if I was going to have a “perfect summer day” it would include that.  Also I love the cinema, in every season, but as Hollywood releases a lot of it’s “blockbusters” in summer, I also associate summer with going to the theater, and watching movies as a good time in general.   Luckily, I have already had both these experiences this summer so as I contemplated what to do yesterday, I didn’t feel I “had to” do anything really but felt because I had the day off and July will soon be a distant memory, I decided to be intentional in “doing something”.

Because we can see a movie anytime, swimming was “the something” I decided to pursue, but I wanted the experience to be some how new, and as much as we may enjoy going to our old familiar places, I wanted to do something different.   So I let Google be my guide and searched for a NY state park somewhere between my country side home and “RiverHouse” and Grafton State Park fit the bill.  

In the Freedom in Christ Course, one of the lessons teaches that fun comes from being spontaneous, and I teach it and so I live it and have discovered that the lesson is true! It is fun to be spontaneous! So even though the experience at Grafton State Park was similar to other past swimming excursions, the fact it was new and spontaneous really satisfied my desire to “do something”. 

One of the other things I have learned about having fun is to not put expectations or arbitrary limits on our “fun experiences”.   Having expectations can lead to disappoint meant if we build something up in our minds and our experience falls short of our vision.  So I set out to Grafton with only the knowledge and expectation that “there is swimming there”.  So no matter what I experienced, I would know that, whether I was successful or not, my intentions to “go swimming” were true, and even if the beach was unexpectedly closed, I had acted in “good faith” which is really all we can ever do.   

Another way we can get in the way of our fun, is by imposing arbitrary rules on our experience that take away our freedom.   These possible strongholds of tradition or “doing things right” are strategies that we were taught or have developed that can be either insure a good time or destroy it.  These strongholds are usually revealed by condtional statements or arbitrary policies that we have developed and while they can be useful, could also keep us from experiencing our freedom. 

For instance, one such statement could be:

Since I’m going to the beach, I must ______.  Fill in the blank. Must we?  One must would be to “get my money’s worth” by spending a certain amount of time there. Or doing something specific, like swimming.  While it was a goal of sorts to swim, what if the beach was closed? Would I turn and leave, or would I choose to make the best of the trip by going for a hike or by exploring other options at the park?  And guess what, there is no “right” answer there. It really depends how you feel in your spirit, the rule of thumb is to examine your emotions and to see if you maintaining your peace. If you have peace leaving to go home, or elsewhere, do that.  If you have peace in staying and doing something else do that.   The key here is to keep your peace and to freely choose your path. 

Yesterday’s trip for me was fun because I “enjoyed the journey”. I literally enjoyed the drive because I when through some back country roads I would normally not drive through, so just getting there was part of the fun, and it was fun to see the facilities that are at the State Park at Grafton Lakes because I have never been there to enjoy myself. And while I was there I was open to do what I wanted and not impose any limits on myself. When I felt I had accomplished what I wanted to accomplish and enjoyed my visit enough, I picked up and left.  Experiencing the freedom of movements is a joy in and of its self and it doesn’t hurt our experience of “fun” when we realize that and appreciate it.  

And that is the ultimate key to fun, to appreciate it.  And if we are grounded in the truth of our existence, it is right to pass our appreciation of our lives “up the ladder” to the One who created it all: God.  

As always, I never travel alone and  because I know that the Lord is with me where ever I go, I make a point of it to talk to Him and thank Him for all the things I experience: my life, the drive, my safe comings and goings, the things I see, the places I go, the weather, the sky, and the ability to do it all are all examples of what we can thank God for.  

So as we enter into, what it’s the last day of the work week for most, I encourage my friends to appreciate what you experience today and to use the last days of July to have some summer time fun, and to do so without expectations and without putting limits on your freedom. 

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

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Philippians 4:9 (NKJV)
9  The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

Today’s verse reminds us that God of peace and the peace of God will be with us when we do the things that we have learned and received in our walk with God.  

As touchy feely as my Summer time fun encouragement is, I have a confession to make: I haven’t been doing what I have learned and received from my recent walk with the Lord and it has slowly brought pain into my life.

My back hurts.  

And I wish I could say that it was due to a sudden injury rather than a slow but steady fall into compromise and neglecting the things that I have come to know are true.  

I have an addiction background and as much as I have had victory with my issues with drugs, alcohol, and sexual immorality, I have had less success with crucifying the flesh when it comes to food.  

We all have our weaknesses right? But as understandable as our weakness are, as Christians who are seeking to live in the comfort and peace that comes from walking in the Spirit, it is especially disappointing when we continually find ourselves comforting ourselves with other things and neglecting the practices that are based on the things we have learned and received in our walk of faith.  

I know all about overcoming, making small and continuous progress, and being transparent and accountable but somewhere along the line I decided to give up on the accomplishment of my health goals and have given myself “grace” for my failures and by giving myself “a break”.  And now my back, and my conscience, hurts because I have allowed myself to ignore my patterns of compromise and to blatantly turn a blind eye to what was happening.  

While I have been rather diligent in following my eating plan during the week days, I have also thrown my plan out the window on weekends and special occasions.  In my faulty logic, I decided that “cheat” days were okay! 

But I was only really cheating myself. 

My patterns of unbridled overeating on weekends and “special occasions” started slow and have progressed over the last few months to the point where I have gained back about 30 pounds from where I was, where I felt the joy and peace that comes from carrying less weight and from being a good steward to the body God gave me.  

The first conscious step on this slow down fall was the decision to stop weighing myself.  I thought I was being wise because I didn’t want to be controlled by a number and thought that my body would tell me what I needed to know, and it has been trying to tell me what I needed to know for months – you are too heavy.

Another subtle hint are the photos I see of myself that reveals, oh yes, you have gained weight. 

I have struggled to right the ship and feel I have been up and down with success but my weigh in today has told me that what may have felt like “ups and downs” has in truth been a steady decline in progress and a significant increase in my weight!

So I am outing myself and resolving to weigh myself each week, like I had been when I was making progress, to keep myself aware and accountable to myself and my Lord if no one else, because frankly that is all we really have in the end- us and God and that is a relationship that we have to honest in.  

We can’t blame others, weekends, or special occasions for diverting from the things that we have “learned and received”.  

So like today’s Bible verse encourages us, I will encourage myself to simply do what I have learned and received in the past, and use those strategies to be successful again and to be diligent to stay in the guidelines that I had established before.  

God gives us the desire and the power to overcome but we have to do our part and be honest and transparent with ourselves and do the things we have learned and received, without condemnations, but with the conviction that many times our suffering comes from our denial, self deception, and failure to do what we know is right.  

So do what you have learned and received, and as today’s verse the God of peace will be with you to help you experience the peace of God and the good results that come from living according to His wisdom and ways.      

______________________________________________________________________

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 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.

Hindering the Mission of the Church

Not surprisingly, Satan also seeks to curtail the evangelistic efforts of Christians. Evangelistic activity represents a frontal assault on Satan’s dominion. Indeed he makes every effort to frustrate Christians who seek to reveal the redemptive message of the gospel.

Satan is “the god of this age,” who “has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel” (2 Cor 4:4). The church’s mission is to bring sight to the blind. The gospel must be proclaimed in the power of the Spirit because the church faces an enemy of supernatural proportions, who commands a host of angelic powers seeking to prevent the spread of the kingdom of Christ.

Paul gives us one glimpse into the satanic opposition he himself faced in his endeavor to preach the gospel to the Thessalonians. According to Luke’s account in Acts, Paul barely had three weeks to preach the gospel to people in Thessalonica (Acts 17:1–9). He was forced to leave abrupdy because of a violent local outbreak of persecution. Fearing for the spiritual well-being of those who had become Christians, Paul earnestly wanted to return and spend more time with them. He wrote the Thessalonians and told them that he and his companions had tried to come to them again and again, “but Satan hindered us” (1 Thess 2:18 RSV).

Paul did not reveal the specific manner in which Satan had thwarted his efforts, but certainly Paul perceived the course of events preventing his return as the powerful working of Satan and not as the redirecting providence of God through the Holy Spirit (compare Acts 16:6–10). Commentators have made many suggestions as to how Satan worked—through Paul’s “thorn in the flesh,” opposition from the Jews and restraint by the civic officials of Thessalonica. Whatever the method, Paul perceived Satan’s hand as behind it.

Paul taught the church that it, too, would face powerful demonic hostility when it preached the gospel. Consequently, the church would need to depend on God’s power in order to make the gospel effectively known. This reliance is essentially the offensive aspect of “spiritual warfare” (Eph 6:10–20).

Paul taught that Satan would actually set traps to malign the church and ultimately hinder its mission in the world. One of the qualifications for an overseer is a good reputation with non-Christians so that the leader would not be slandered and thus cause the church disgrace (1 Tim 3:7). Paul described such a disgrace as falling into “the devil’s trap.” According to Gordon Fee, “It is a trap set by the devil when the behavior of the church’s leaders is such that outsiders will be disinclined to hear the gospel.”

Such a disgrace to the gospel could come not only through the church’s leaders, but also from the rank-and-file members. Paul saw an opportunity for Satan to slander the church when young widows became idle gossips and busybodies (1 Tim 5:13–16). As a result, he counseled this group to get married, raise a family and manage their households well.

There is a clear lesson to learn from these two passages in 1 Timothy. Unruly or sinful behavior among its members sharply blunts the ability of the church to reach its community with the gospel of Christ. It is important for believers to resist satanic impulses to displease God, not only for their own spiritual good, but also for the effective evangelistic outreach of the church. Our lives must adorn the good news we proclaim.[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 You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTxjSNstREpuGWuL0bF3U7w/featured

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 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)

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), 135–137.

Saturday, April 9, 2022

Gone with the Wind – Collision Course with Christ - Purity 701

Gone with the Wind – Collision Course with Christ  -  Purity 701

Purity 701  04/09/2022  Purity 701 Podcast

Good morning,

Today’s photo of an epic shot of tree under a cloud filled sky of blue and gold, atop a hill on the “Knapp Kin Farm”, with the setting sun cresting on horizon, comes to us from our brother, friend, and Bible study author, Arthur Cincotti.  This one is “hot off the presses” as I received it last night and thought to myself: “It looks like Arthur made the weekend edition!”  and had a good laugh about it because it is a running joke between us about how Arthur covets to have his photographic visions featured as the “photo of the day”.   

Well, It’s Saturday and we made it to the weekend. Even though rain is in my local forecast, it is my prayer that all who read or hear this message have a wonderful “Palm Sunday” weekend where you will use the next two days to enjoy yourselves and take time to thank the Lord for all He has provided in your life.  

A life of contentment comes from being grateful for the things we have and from giving thanks to the God who gave us life and who is directing the course of history, resulting in all the “days of our lives”.    Arthur’s sunset shot reminded me of some of the epic landscape scenes from “Gone with the Wind” and it has me considering the landscape of my life and how it truly has been a dramatic journey that could rival that of Scarlet O’Hara, or that of Forrest Gump!

Although “Gone with the Wind” and Forrest Gump featured stories of the main characters going through various times and season throughout history, the thing that stood out in those dramas perhaps more than the changing events from one era to another was the relationships that developed, ended,or endured through the years of the character’s lives.   

Over the last two days, my job has brought me to two very different locations that caused me to remember different chapters of my life that are now in the distant past but play a part in the person I am today.  

I am a field technician for a telecommunications company, aka a telephone repair guy, and my job can take me to anywhere in the greater Capital district where a phone is connected.  On Thursday I had a trouble report for the St, Anthony of Padua Shrine in downtown Troy.  Before realizing my mistake and going to the shrine’s office building where the phone trouble actually was, I foolishly just walked into the shrine which was completely empty and reverent.  

Although I almost immediately realized my mistake, I walked from the back of the shrine all the way up to the front, on the left side of the altar. Even I wasn’t foolish enough to go down the middle aisle! I think the middle aisle at Catholic Churches is reserved for the most bold and holy to walk down. The sheepish sinners who don’t attend services every week tend to use the entry points on the left or right sides of the sanctuary.  

Even though I had never been to this particular shrine/church, I was impressed by its pristine facilities and reverent atmosphere. I had grown up in the Catholic Church so I was filled with feelings of nostalgia over seeing the old familiar sights of a catholic church. The candles, the colorful stained glass window displays, the stations of the cross that ran along the aisles, the altar, and various statues of saints gave me that old familiar feeling of fear and awe that told me that I was on holy ground and I best be quiet, reverent, and respectful.   Before leaving I mentally apologized for my intruding to the empty sanctuary.  

The phone trouble turned out the be in the central office, so I just had to put in a trouble ticket for a central office technician to wire the dial tone on the frame and was done.  But before I was left I went back into the sanctuary’s alcove and grabbed one of the free “2022 Catholic heritage” calendars that I had saw on the way out.  The cover art of a pristine Jesus was calling for me to take it home and I couldn’t resist.     

I have a real heart for my catholic roots that fills me with a strange mix of longing, sadness, and horror. The catholic church was proficient in teaching me that I was a sinner but it didn’t adequately teach me that I was saved through my faith in Jesus Christ alone. 

It had taught me all about the reverent worship and traditions of the mass but my experiences there also taught me about hypocrisy and surface level faith that didn’t survive beyond the four walls of the church. 

It didn’t teach me that many of it’s traditions have no Biblical basis and were basically established by some church official who thought it was a good idea.

It hadn’t taught  me about idolatry or that we don’t need an intercessor to speak to the Lord on our behalf.

It didn’t teach me that I was loved, accepted, secure, or significant in Christ and that I could boldly walk down the center aisle, regardless of my past sins, to approach God on His throne.  

In considering all the things I have learned through the study of God’s word and what I didn’t learn in the Catholic church, I am filled with sadness because, just like the reformers must have thought back in the times of Martin Luther, “it didn’t have to be this way”.

Instead of “reforming” and repenting of its doctrinal errors, the leadership of the Catholic church stood by their traditions even though some of them confound the gospel of grace and are in conflict with Biblical principles.   

My mom, dad, and all my brothers and their families are still catholic so it is my hope that somehow their “confirmation” of faith in Christ will put them in a state of grace. I hope their simple “I do.” that they delivered in response to the Bishop’s question of

Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary, suffered death and was buried, rose again from the dead and is seated at the right hand of the Father?

Will be enough to make them to become a part of the bride of Christ, the church in His eyes. Sometimes I think the less you know about what the Catholic church teaches the more likely you are to be saved…

I have cleaned up my act now and it saddens me that I could be a “good catholic” if I wanted to be, but I know that it is better to choose to be a disciple of Jesus Christ and try to live by the truth of the word of God rather than by the arbitrary rules that were created by men.

It angers me that Christianity has been so divided at times and I almost wish for a return to the cathedrals of the ages of the past if it could mean that we would have one church, but honestly I would rather have a million different denominations of Christianity that attempted to be authentic in their faith and in their attempts to obey the word of God  rather than have a single body that was defined by hypocrisy, error and compromise.

I know that God is merciful and gracious, and I pray that all who hear or see this message, especially Catholics, would make a simple confession to make Christ their Lord and Savior and to study the Bible and let the Lord’s word direct their path.

Well, that was Thursday, and on Friday I had an almost polar opposite trip down memory lane, as I was called to a telephone trouble at a fraternity house of RPI.  

The phone facilities in the fraternity house were in the basement and to gain access I had to go through a couple of stale beer smelling bar rooms to get the communications terminal.  

For those who don’t know, I pledged a fraternity in SUNY Oswego in 1991 and enjoyed all the benefits of membership for the remainder of my college career.  Wild escapades, hazing, secret initiation rights, , women, drugs and alcohol were all part of the  rock n roll fantasy existence of my college days and coming into a fraternity house all these years later caused me to remember the good, the bad, and the ugly of my youthful exuberance.   Such joy, such loneliness, such great friendships, and so many broken things both materially and relationally.    

My fraternity house was burned to the ground by an angry neighbor who was never arrested for the arson they perpetrated. And although the fraternity carried on and got a new smaller house, there really is no going back to my “college home” again. Those days are gone. And as much as I fondly remember my brothers and other friends from those days, I don’t miss the pain of suffering from addiction, loneliness, confusion, ignorance and rejection I experienced in those days.  

When I saw that frat house, part of me lamented of the way I had lived while another part of me wished I could do it all over again.   But I realized that there is no going back and that I couldn’t take the wisdom I have now back to those days.  The times were different, the technology was different, but most importantly I was different.   I didn’t know Christ and if I did I may have not met all the people who I still consider to be friends.

All these nostalgic musings of the Catholic Church and the subsequent age of total depravity of my college days are marked by errors and regrets but I honestly would have it no other way. Everything I suffered and learned from in those eras of my life put me on a collision course with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  

If I wasn’t so lost, maybe I would have never sought the Lord and maybe I would have never found Him.  

But now I have the best of all possible worlds I guess. I sinned. I suffered. But I was saved.     

And through it all I met so many people along the way. I made so many friends and acquaintances that made my life the epic drama that it has been. We have had moments of joy, hilarity, love, and loss.  Many of the people I have met have faded into the past and left the stage, but others have endured to remain constant characters in my life.   And whether those relationships are active, over, on hold, or to be continued, I thank the Lord for giving me company through the many years of my life.  

God made us and He put us in this particular time and season.  And through a combination of our free will and His sovereign will, we have encountered all the people of our lives during all the days of our lives. He provided us with the people who challenged us, who encouraged us and who loved us.  

While we can remember our pasts with fondness, we should never dig in our heels to try to stay in a season that is “Gone with the Wind”, instead we should remember where we came from, learn from our mistakes, and walk into the remaining mystery of life with God as the source of our wisdom and strength.  

So keep walking and talking with God.  Take time to praise His name on Sunday – Hosanna in the Highest, right! but also take time to enjoy the things and people you have in your life right now because in this life that always moves forward through time and space we never know what characters will make a dramatic exit or which ones will stay and remain.    

______________________________________________________________

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

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Matthew 19:29 (NLT2)
29  And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will inherit eternal life.

Today’s verse are the words of Jesus that acknowledge the cost of our faith and the promise of a great reward for our faithfulness.  

Hey, we talked about those changing times and seasons of life and all those characters that would come and go, and today’s verse is most appropriate to that theme because when we make Jesus our Lord and Savior, we are almost guaranteed to suffer the loss of some pre-Christ relationships.  

I have suffered some major relationship losses because of my decision to follow Christ.  It wouldn’t be a stretch for me to agree with today’s verse when it speaks of giving up houses, property, and relationships for the Lord’s sake.  

My conversion to the life of a disciple of Christ has been so dramatic and transformative that I can barely recognize myself at times! Wow, this IS ME!  So I can’t necessarily blame some people who loved the wild funny sarcastic party animal for rejecting the “born again…M.T.??? What the hell does that mean?:”

I would try to defend myself and say that I haven’t changed all that much but that would be a lie. I have been given a new life in Christ and the manifestation of that new life is constantly unfolding as I surrender more and more of myself to be conformed to the image of Christ.  Believe me, I marvel at how the Lord has been sanctifying me little by little as I agreed to follow Him. 

My interests and hobbies of the past have been replaced by a zeal to know God more and to live according to His wisdom.  The good news is that this path of Christian Discipleship isn’t a chore. It isn’t a drudgery. It is the pathway of peace and joy that doesn’t require substances to alter my mental state or arranging circumstances to make me happy.

So as today’s verse is telling us the truth when it tells us that we will be rewarded a hundred times for the things we give up or loss for the Lord’s sake. Duh, these are the words of Jesus. He is the Truth the Way and the Life so obviously what He says is true.  

But if you are doubtful let me assure you, your new life in Christ will be worth whatever losses you may have to suffer to follow Him.  Not only do we get eternal life through our faith in Christ, but when we apply His love and wisdom to our lives we can experience all the fruit of the Spirit in our lives here and now.  

We all must decide how we will spend our lives and where we will spend eternity.  If you choose your dysfunctional or even really nice relationships over Jesus, there will be hell to pay.  But if you choose to honor God by placing your faith Jesus, although you may suffer earthly losses, you will be given so much more when you are given the honor of entering the kingdom of God and becoming a member of His royal family.

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 June Hunt’s Overeating: Freedom from Food Fixation.  

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase June Hunt’s  books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available on many websites for less than $5.00.

K. How to See That Success Is Just a Choice Away

Life and death … blessings and curses …

God places before His people, the nation of Israel, two distinct paths leading in entirely different directions. They are free to choose which path they will follow, but they must also be prepared to accept the consequences.

God longs for the Israelites to choose “life”—loving Him, obeying Him—and thus receiving from Him boundless blessings. But should they choose “death”—forsaking Him, failing to honor His hallowed name—then cursing and great disaster will befall them.

You, too, have two distinct paths before you … choosing to seek God’s help in overcoming your overeating habits and finding victory or choosing to stop overeating in your own strength and facing defeat after defeat. As with the Israelites, God wants you to “choose” Him, and you’ll soon discover that success is just a choice away.…

“Now choose life, so that you … may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life …”

(Deuteronomy 30:19–20)

My Daily Choices for Change

Decide each day to accept this challenge for change. Accept the challenge to make these daily choices—realizing success is just a choice away.

Life is a series of choices, therefore …

•     I choose to give control of my life to the Lord Jesus Christ.

•     I choose to change my eating through the power of Christ within me.

•     I choose to live to please God, not to please my appetite.

•     I choose to make wise choices when tempted to eat unwisely.

•     I choose to make right choices when tempted to eat excessively.

•     I choose to glorify God with how I treat my body.

•     I choose to focus not on food but on faithfulness to the Lord in my life.

•     I choose to let God be my God—not to let food be my god.

Although I’ve failed in the past, with God’s help I don’t have to fail in the future!

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

(Psalm 73:26)

There is only one God.

So if food is your god,

then God is not your God.

—June Hunt

“Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do,

do it all for the glory of God.”

(1 Corinthians 10:31)[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 You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTxjSNstREpuGWuL0bF3U7w/featured

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 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)

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship


[1] June Hunt, Biblical Counseling Keys on Overeating: Freedom from Food Fixation (Dallas, TX: Hope For The Heart, 2008), 40–42.