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

Thursday, April 4, 2024

Ready? Your Body is Meant for the Lord - Purity 1317


Ready? Your Body is Meant for the Lord - Purity 1317

Purity 1317 04/4/2024 Purity 1317 Podcast

Purity 1317 on YouTube:



Good morning,

Today’s photo of a dirt path dividing fields of green under blue skies with what I suspect to be the Catskill Mountains in the distance comes to us from an unknown FB friend who shared this scene on social media on or around May 24th, 2021.   If this pathway photo is yours and you would like to let us know where this is and what your name is, I will update the blog to give you the photo credit you so richly deserve. 

Well, It’s Thursday and as is my habit, I share today’s pathway photo as a visual reminder or encouragement to get on or to keep on walking on the path of Christian Discipleship by surrendering to the Lord’s will for your life and following where the word of God and the Holy Spirit lead you.  

Last night, I was unexpectedly called to co-lead the Celebrate Freedom Meeting at Starpoint Church, and even though I had little notice it felt good to be back in the saddle again as the Lord revealed to me, through the use of some helpful technological tools, that next Wednesday would mark the first 100 days of 2024 and I invited the group members to press into their faith and ask the Lord to help them to “get ready” to make a positive change or to develop a positive habit that they could add to their life beginning next week.  The “100 days” thing came to me as I reflected on last year’s ministry, which began on May 10th. As I have stated when I began leading Celebrate Freedom, I was content that, with my victories over drugs, alcohol, and sexual addiction being continuous, I didn’t really have anything to work on.  However, the truth is that we are all works in progress and the Lord has plenty of things He can clean up in your life and He will help you to overcome them, if you would just take the problem to Him and work with Him to conquer it.   And last summer I had quite a lot of “cheat days” and binges of comfort eating to convict me of my admitted “food addiction” that I still hadn’t overcome. So on August 18th, I surrendered to the Lord and asked Him to help me to overcome it and I utilized the basic tools of awareness and accountability to help me fight the good fight – to finally actually treat my food addiction as an addiction.  And that span of time from May 10th to August 18th was, guess what, that’s right 100 days…. 

So I don’t know what that means, if anything, but after 100 days of going through the motions last year, I asked God for help and made a commitment to change, and He helped me to accomplish a breakthrough in the war against the flesh.  We “got ‘em on the run now” but recently have been compromising with my adherence to my food plan and being aware of what or how much I am eating.  I have been self-correcting of course – no fall can’t be put back on track – with keto it only takes three days – but if you fall every week or two which I have been doing since my trip to Disney in February, you stop making progress and just plateau.

So last night, I decided that I would press into my faith and make some positive changes in my life to launch into a new breakthrough for 2024 and I realized that 100 days into the year was as good as any place to start.    And so I encouraged others to do so.  

One of the things I started doing recently has been reading Neil Anderson’s “Who I Am in Christ: A Devotional” to stay grounded in my identity in Christ.  Even though I recite the “Who I Am in Christ” list as a regular spiritual practice, I know that living from your identity in Christ is the game changer for our walk of faith and so even though I had some resistance to getting that book, because I “already know that”, I have been blessed in reminding myself or learning again – more about what I already know. 

One of the aspects of our faith walk that is often overlooked is the role our bodies play in our faith walk and this morning I read the following passages from Anderson’s book, that I felt moved to share. Neil Anderson writes:    

What to Do with Your Body

The Bible is very clear about what we are supposed to do with our physical bodies: “In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness” (Rom. 6:11–13). We don’t have to work at becoming dead to sin; we simply accept it as being so. In Christ Jesus we are alive to God, so we are already dead to sin.

However, we do have the responsibility to safeguard our mortal bodies from sin and keep them from being instruments of unrighteousness. Failing to do so would be to violate the unity we have with the Lord and our spiritual oneness with Him. If we use our bodies as instruments of wickedness, we will allow sin to reign, actually rule, in our mortal bodies, and we will end up obeying its evil desires even though we don’t have to.

Your Body Is Meant for the Lord

Let’s look at one of the biggest problems in the Church, which is sexual sin. According to 1 Corinthians 6:13, “The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.” Verse 18 says, “Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.” And, I would remind you, sinning against your own body involves sinning against the One with whom you are united.

Scripture seems to set sexual sins in a class all by themselves. For one reason, it is impossible to commit a sexual sin and not use your body as an instrument of unrighteousness. The moment you do, you allow sin to reign in your mortal body.[1]

I love how Anderson presents this fundamental truth about our faith. We are not to let sin reign in our mortal bodies and thus sexual purity and “holy sex” (between a man and woman in a marriage covenant) are the only options for our sex lives as Christians.  When we do anything else – with others or by ourselves – we sin, and we disrupt our harmony with God and give a foothold to the enemy to torment us.  

I would extend this to how we steward our bodies as well.  If we eat unhealthily or eat too much, are continually lazy, or don’t get enough sleep we are in essence “missing the mark” of the proper care and maintenance of our bodies and in a sense are sinning against our bodies.  And we all know this inherently – the diet and exercise industry are built on this conviction – and thus we should not exclude our bodies from “getting right with God” – and we should “use our bodies as instruments of righteousness” by getting them, as much as it depends on us,  in good physical condition.  We can’t control everything that may afflict our flesh, but we can control what we do with them and what we put in them, and if we determine to “crucify the flesh” and restore ourselves to good health and ask God for help – His wisdom and guidance – He will undoubtedly bless our efforts.  

So next Wednesday is 100 days into 2024 and let me encourage you to pray about a way that you can give glory to God by “doing what is right” and turning from bad habits and establishing a good one to replace it.  

This is our walk of faith and let’s not tire of trying to optimize our harmony with the Lord by surrendering our hearts, minds, and bodies to become instruments of righteousness to give Him glory.

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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 come to us from “The Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling” By John G. Kruis.

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

This morning’s meditation verse comes from the section on Contentment, Coveting & and Priorities.

Proverbs 21:26 (ESV)
26  All day long he (the sluggard) craves and craves, but the righteous gives and does not hold back.

Today’s verse falls under the twenty-seventh and final point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Contentment, Coveting, and Priorities.

27. The righteous will be ready to give liberally, rather than to be covetous.

Today’s verse highlights the dichotomy of covetousness and giving.  Psalm 23:1 tells us that the Lord is our shepherd and we “shall not want” (NKJV) and that means that we will not lack or be in need, but it also can be seen as an instruction to be content – and not be “wanting” in a covetous manner.  Coveting is a sin and Jesus reminds us in Matthew 10:8 – that freely we have received and thus we should freely give.  Everything we have comes from God’s blessings and when we are in a “right spirit with God” we won’t be “craving and craving” like the sluggard, we will instead give and not hold back.   So look at your heart and determine if you are “wanting” or if you are content with what you have and are ready to give from the treasure that the Lord has given you – both materially and spiritually. God has given us everything for life and godliness and when we realize that we stop the cravings for things that ultimately won’t satisfy us anyway and we can find peace.

-----------------------------------------------------------

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: JOHN 9

“I must work the works of Him who sent Me
while it is day.” – John 9:4

The true principle of all real service for God underlies this statement of the Lord Jesus. And since He was the perfect Servant when upon this earth, He made this principle the basis of His loyal service to God.

The Obligation of True Service. The Lord Jesus said, “I must work.” The obligation of loving and loyal service to His Father compelled Him to work. Yes, right from the beginning (remember the temple when He was twelve years old?) to the end.

The Occupation of True Service. There is only one great occupation in true service – it is doing God's will. I must work the “works of Him.” “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me,” said the Savior (John 4:34).

The Opportunity of True Service. “While it is day.” Now is the acceptable time … “Time is short” (1 Cor. 7:29).

I can do nothing else but serve You, Lord, all of my days,
For it is a privilege and an honor – yes, even my duty![2]

---------------------------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



[1] Neil T. Anderson, Who I Am in Christ (Ventura, CA: Regal, 2001), 47–48.

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Beyond Pleasure-Dome – Escaping Snack Culture - 40 Day Journey with Martin Luther – Day 37 - Purity 1310

 

Beyond Pleasure-Dome – Escaping Snack Culture - 40 Day Journey with Martin Luther – Day 37 - Purity 1310

Purity 1310 03/27/2024 Purity 1310 Podcast

Purity 1310 on YouTube: 



Good morning,

Today’s photo of green fields and an old grain silo, with the Hudson River in the distance, under pleasant blue skies, comes to us from yours truly as I captured this seen during a “worship hike”  at Harrier Hill Park in Stottville NY back on June 5th, 2021. 

Well, it’s Holy Wednesday, or Spy Wednesday, the day we are to remember that Judas Iscariot made a pact with the Jewish authorities to betray Jesus – a dastardly deed for sure but one that was used for His purposes to save all who would one day put their faith in the Christ, the one who suffered and died an unjust death to pay for our sins. Regardless of the outcomes though betrayal is something we don’t easily forgive and something we would be wise not to forget.  

When people betray us, it teaches us an important lesson about human nature and relationships, and it instructs us to be wise and discerning about the company we keep. If we have associates who reveal that they lie, steal, or cheat in different areas of their lives and that they are morally a little shady, we shouldn’t be surprised if they lie, steal, or cheat with us. 

But it is not just people that can betray us, we have relationships with the objects of our addictions. Alcohol and drugs and I had an exciting romance and even though I knew from the start they weren’t good for me; I ignored the truth about them and got in deep with them and wasted years of my life trapped in a toxic relationship with them. But the Lord called me out of the darkness of my life without Him and it caused me to see the bondage I was in, and eventually, led to my freedom.  

Similarly, I have had a long-standing relationship with food that has not always been healthy – my addictive tendency to overindulge was unchecked and it resulted in my being overweight, and technically obese – let’s call it what it is -for most of my life.  I believed the lie of “yummy in my tummy”, “comfort food”, “time for a snack”, “fat and happy”, and I “just can’t control what I eat” for most of my life.  Those slogans were my reality, but they didn’t have to be, and the lie was that I was powerless to live any other way. 

Since I have fighting food addiction in earnest over the past year, I have had various eye-opening paradigm shifts that reveal the dysfunctional relationship with food – the latest being that I have been a “slave to preference” – (I want the food that tastes good – I can’t control myself when I eat the food that tastes good – ouch – a painful admission when it hits the heart – it really is an addiction) and that I live in a corrupted world system that I have come to think of as “snack culture” – which supports and dispenses that false belief that we can’t be satisfied with just the three traditional meals of the day and that we NEED small mini-meals between meals to survive or thrive and that pushes for the concept of “food for pleasure” or food for comfort.  

While these ideas and concepts certainly exist, the paradigm-shifting realization that I have come to understand is that they are not necessarily true:

I don’t NEED meals between meals.

Food may not have been designed to be COMFORT.  Isn’t the Holy Spirit the COMFORTER?

It is not necessarily true that PLEASURE should come from food. – a preference for sure but not a fundamental truth – which is proven by the subjectivity of those preferences – there is no inherently “good food” – tastes vary so one man’s delight is another man’s aversion.  “Good food” is a lie…. Wow. 

But one of the concepts that was brought home to me for a short time that I have rediscovered is the idea of “Food is fuel”. The Optavia plan sells this idea along with the LIE of snack culture -  as they prescribe 5 snacks and 1 meal a day… because they run with the lie that WE MUST eat throughout the day… We must, huh? And even though they try to teach self-control by staving off hunger with a “snack” every 3 hours, they don’t teach any wisdom about what you eat and instead design calorie control versions of sweet treats or normally carb-laden snacks… They basically teach that you don’t have to change what you eat (as long as you buy our expensive especially engineered version of the foods you like) and just have to change the amounts and ways you eat. The plan actually works but it is financially taxing, and I found it not to be sustainable because of the cost and the realization that although I was losing weight I wasn’t learning anything.  

So I’m changing my mind again to remember that food is fuel and that I don’t NEED “GOOD FOOD” – those tasty treats that I lose all control over when I eat them. 

Freedom from the object of our addictions comes from eliminating them, not allowing them into our lives.  Its sucks to learn that you can’t drink alcohol like others can, but the alcoholic comes to the realize. n that they can’t drink and maintain sanity or peace for long. 

Similarly the food addict has to look at the object of their addiction and start to eliminate the things that keep them in bondage and cause them to lose control.  Joyce Meyers was wrong when she told you to “Eat the Cookie and Buy The Shoes” if you are a food addict or shop-aholic.  You can’t “give yourself permission to lighten up” if you are an addict and want to be free. 

Instead, we have to “present our bodies as living sacrifices to God” (crucify that flesh- we have control over it) and “be transformed by the renewing of our minds”. We have to see and  think differently and expose the deceptions and temptations around us and choose to walk a different way- The Way of the Spirit – that is defined by its peace, joy, patience, and (oh yes) self-control.  

If you lose control with certain things… that’s the flesh… and even though we have the freedom to do as we please and as  

1 Corinthians 6:12 (NKJV) tells
12  All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

We shouldn’t be controlled by our preferences to the point we lose control.  We have to go beyond “Pleasure-dome” and not be in bondage to the desires of the flesh. As

Galatians 5:1 (NKJV) tells us, we are to:
1  Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.

There is no better time to stand in the freedom than we have in Christ than right now, the season of Lent, and speaking of Lent:

It’s the thirty-seventh 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 walkthrough of 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 37

Amen.

What is this?

Answer: That I should be certain that such petitions are acceptable to and heard by our Father in heaven, for he himself commanded us to pray like this and has promised to hear us. “Amen, amen” means “Yes, yes, it is going to come about just like this.”

The efficacy of prayer consists in our learning also to say Amen to it- that is, not to doubt that our prayer is surely heard and will be answered. This word is nothing else than an unquestioning word of faith on the part of the one who does not pray as a matter of luck but knows that god does not lie because he has promised to grant it. Where there is not faith like this, there also can be no true prayer.

Biblical Wisdom

Are any among you suffering? They should pray. Are any cheerful? They should sing songs of praise. Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up; and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective. James 5: 13-16.

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

·       What is the difference between praying “as a matter of luck” and praying as a matter of faith?

Praying as a matter of luck is impersonal and selfish usually, whereas praying as a matter of faith is earnestly seeking the Lord and His presence to know His will for our lives – petitioning in a personal way that accepts no for an answer.

·       Why is faith necessary for true prayer?

If you don’t really have faith in a God who cares, you are just making wishes. If you don’t know God is real, you are magically thinking.

·       Is God a liar if your prayer does not appear to come true? Why or why not?

No, God is not a liar, The word tells us that in Numbers 23:19.  His “blessing” us in the way we think we should be blessed should not be a condition of our faith in God. His ways are higher than our ways and His knowledge is perfect. We can earnestly pray for things that would destroy us or things that are unwise or unhealthy or that are sinful. Trusting in God means that we trust Him to do what is right even if we can’t understand it. All things will be revealed to be a part of His grand design and we need to accept that we may not always get what we want but it doesn’t mean that God is a liar or is not in control.

Psalm Fragment

But truly God has listened; He has given heed to the words of my prayer. Blessed be God, because he has not rejected my prayer or removed his steadfast love from me. Psalm 66:19-20

Journal Reflections

·       Meditate on the word “Amen”. What do you understand by the word? What feelings does the saying of this word after prayer evoke for you?

To me, I think Amen means – “Yes, I agree.” With God or with someone who speaks something that is true- Amen? (Do you agree?” I feel that the Amen affirms our faith and trust in the Lord and His wisdom and ways. It gives me peace knowing I can trust in and surrender all things to Him and His care.  

·       Journal about how you understand the “efficacy” of your prayers. Make a list of prayers that you know have been answered and note how they were answered. Be specific. Were they always answered in the way you hoped or expected?

My prayers have been answered so many times. For Freedom, for a new home, for healing, for purpose, for a faithful Christian wife.  My prayers have been “efficacious” – as they produced a desired outcome – but not all my prayers were answered in the ways I had wanted. The answer to some has been “No.” and I feel that with others I have been told to “wait” or to keep going. And that’s okay too.  

·       Remember a time when your prayer was answered in a way other than how you had hoped. Write about the experience. What did you learn?

I wrote a book once based on the preaching of a local pastor who agreed in principle to have it published. I prayed for that outcome and was over the moon when I got that initial response. I thought I was on my way to being a published Christian author and that would elevate me into a life of full-time Christian service!  But shortly after his acceptance, the pastor demurred because of the vast copyright issues and permissions we would have to pursue because he quoted so many other sources in his preaching.  The conversation about publication just abruptly ended and shortly after this, I noticed a determined effort by this pastor to acknowledge the sources he used when he preached. I may have been used by God to bring conviction, maybe, but I still think it would have been a good book to encourage people to seek the Lord… but I have moved on, and that pastor is essentially retired. I grew in the process all the same.

Prayers for the Life of Faith

Pray that you can say Amen to your own prayers, trusting and believing that God will grant your prayer.

Lord, I pray that I can say Amen to my prayers – that I can trust and believe that you will grant the petitions that I make when they don’t go against your will for my life.  I pray for you to turn things around in a certain area. AMEN and AMEN!

Prayer For Today

Dear Jesus, you are the Amen of my prayers. Help me to believe truly in your word and in the promise of God that our prayers will be answered.

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

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

This morning’s meditation verse comes from the section on Contentment, Coveting & and Priorities.

Habakkuk 3:17-19 (NKJV)
17  Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, And the fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, And there be no herd in the stalls--
18  Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
19  The LORD God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer's feet, And He will make me walk on my high hills.

Today’s verses fall under the twenty-first point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Contentment, Coveting, and Priorities.

21. Habakkuk was content with God’s way and trusted him even when things looked very hard.

Today’s verses instruct us to REJOICE in the Lord regardless of outcomes, to never let go of the joy of our salvation, and to find our strength and guidance from God. This passage is a disciple's anthem really. I WILL FOLLOW YOU LORD – NO MATTER WHAT- and I WILL REJOICE IN YOU!.  When we have a covenant relationship with God through faith in Jesus, we really have everything we need. We have life eternal and the grid of our faith if properly understood and practiced – and our heart connection to the Lord – can help us to persevere through and or overcome all the troubles of life.  Our salvation means everything, and it should be a continual source of joy and inspiration for our lives. So press into the joy of your salvation and receive the strength and joy for living that God has given us in Christ.

-----------------------------------------------------------

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

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

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

EVENING READING: JOHN 2

“Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up.” – John 2:17

The Lord Jesus is the perfect example in all departments of life. With that fact in view, it is instructive to notice His perfect behavior in reverence for and interest in the House of God.

In light of the above verse, it would seem that His holy zeal burned at its highest when the House of God was the object of particular interest. Of course, His Holy zeal always burned at its highest. But it is the phrase “Eat me up,” that makes one use comparative language. John Nelson Darby translates it “Devours me.”9 What a zeal He had for the interests and work of God's House.

Father, give me a zeal for Your house
like Your blessed Son's. Amen.[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


Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Food Addiction - “The Sweet” & “The Eat” - 40 Day Journey with Martin Luther – Day 31 - Purity 1304


 Food Addiction - “The Sweet” & “The Eat” - 40 Day Journey with Martin Luther – Day 31 - Purity 1304

Purity 1304 03/20/2024 Purity 1304 Podcast

Purity 1304 on YouTube:



Good morning,

Today’s photo of blue skies over what we are calling “Out West Boulder” comes to us from a currently unknown FB Friend who shared this scene while out hiking in some currently unknown state or national park and shared it on social media on or around April 7th, 2021.  If this photo is yours, give me a heads up and I will update the blog to give you the photo credit you deserve after the fact.   

Well, it’s Wednesday, and I shared today’s photo to continue “cleaning house” of the unknown photos in my iPhone’s photo archive, to visually represent our arrival at another hump day, and to encourage those of us out there who seem to be “going around the mountain” of the same old problems over and over again. 

After experiencing a significant breakthrough in my battle with food addiction and my physical health, I continue to struggle with consistency with my food plan and “keeping the change” because this struggle doesn’t really allow for indulgences or “taking a break”.

The way to victory and progress over addictions of any kind is the elimination, not moderation, of the things that keep you in bondage and in not arguing for your “rights” as much as submitting to your “responsibility” of staying constant in your decision not to give into the things that can be seemingly harmless that are a stronghold of patterned or conditioned thinking and behavior that may bring a measure of pleasure but go contrary to your physical, mental, or spiritual health.  We tend to have a love-hate relationship with the objects of our addictions but just like any bad relationship the hard truth is that we won’t know joy or peace that we could have unless we end it. We have to see the object of our addiction for the “toxic” thing that it is (toxic for us specifically) and say goodbye to it. 

As I have examined my weaknesses in the battle against my food addiction, I have developed the insight that my specific triggers seem to fall into two categories which I have codified as: “The Sweets” and “The Eats”. 

The Sweets – I noticed that perhaps my biggest weakness is sweet – dessert-like foods. Cake, cookies, ice cream, candy, and soda have all been recognized as things I crave and have no real self-control over when I indulge.   If I eat these – just one is not enough and I will generally consume these foods until all of whatever is present is gone. And I also noticed that when I give into these foods one day, there is a yearning for them the next day. 

The Eats – I don’t know if it is because I love to “comfort myself” with feeling full or if this is a product of being brought up in a “clean your plate” or “eating/snacking is good” environment during my childhood but as I have done battle with food addiction I noticed that I have a tendency to “eat all I can” – meaning I don’t really gauge what I eat based on feelings of hunger – I eat up to the limit to what my food plan allows and if I discover that there is still “caloric or carb” money to spend near the end of the day, I will enthusiastically pick out things to spend all of my “food” budget.  “The Eats” is essentially that urge to pig-out with reckless abandon, to mindlessly eat without thinking about what is being consumed or without caring – demanding my “rights” to “enjoy life” or “treat” myself when in fact this behavior will be regretted later because it goes contrary to my health goals and it also has the “weight of pain” – physically sometimes and mentally – as I feel like a failure. 

Knowing is half the battle so having these insights and naming them – “The Sweet” & “The Eat” – is good but as with any insight or any new information that comes our way, they are only valuable if we learn from them, experientially, and they cause us to recognize these areas of weakness and make changes to not be subject to them any longer. 

With the stress around things that have been happening in my family, I stress ate on Monday, – a big SWEET & Eat Binge, and although I was “on plan” yesterday I am writing about this today to speak out loud what I have learned to remind myself to avoid these traps and to try to end “these relationships” with “The Sweet” and “The Eat” by not demanding “my right to do wrong” anymore.  In this struggle indulgences are costly, and I want to be free of the pain that these conditioned patterns of thinking and behavior bring to my life. So, I repent. 

It's the season of repentance, Lent and speaking of Lent..  

It’s the thirty-first 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 walkthrough of 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 31

May your will come about on earth as in heaven.

How does this come about? Answer:

Whenever God breaks and hinders every evil scheme and will- as are present in the will of the devil, the world, and our flesh- that would not allow us to hallow God's name and would prevent the coming of his kingdom, and instead whenever God strengthens us and keeps us steadfast in his word, and in faith until the end of our lives. This is his gracious and great will.

What we pray for concerns only ourselves in that... we ask that what otherwise might be done without us may also be done in us. Just as God's name must be hallowed and his kingdom must come even without our prayer, so must his will be done and prevail even though the devil and all his host bluster, storm, and rage furiously against it in their attempt to exterminate the gospel utterly. But we must pray for our own sake so that his will may be done also among us without hindrance, in spite of their fury, so that they may accomplish nothing and we may remain steadfast against all violence and persecution and submit to the will of God.

Biblical Wisdom

But he knew what they were thinking and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself becomes a desert, and house falls on house. If Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that I cast out the demons by Beelzebul. Now if I cast out the demons by Beelzebul, by whom do you and your exorcists cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out the demons, then the kingdom of God has come to you. Luke 11:17-20.

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

·       Luther understood that a Christian or church that seeks to be faithful to God's will can expect to experience “violence and persecution”. Why is this so? What evidence of this do you see in the world?

As we know the world, the flesh, and the devil oppose the will of God from being done and when we persist to do what is right according to God’s word and share the gospel of Jesus Christ specifically, we can expect persecution.  I personally have lost relationships and have suffered mild persecution because of my faith. As for evidence in the world, according to Opendoorsus.org, 13 Christians were killed per day for a total of 4,998 deaths in 2023 (https://www.opendoorsus.org/en-US/persecution/persecution-trends/)

·       In what ways might a community of faith work together to discern the will of God for them?

The best way to discern the will of God is to regularly read the Bible, obey its principles for living, and by praying to the Lord for guidance.

·       Can God’s will ever be thwarted?

Because God is sovereign, His will is never thwarted. God works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose but we are limited in our understanding of how pain and suffering can be a part of God’s will and think that those things and the evil in this world somehow negates God’s will but we must realize that those things are a rightful judgment or consequence on a world that has been broken by sin and can be used by God to bring people to Him.  His ways are higher than our ways and faith is about trusting that what happens in life is under God’s sovereign control and ultimate will.

Psalm Fragment

Your way, O God, is holy. What god is so great as our God? You are the God who works wonders; You have displayed your might among the peoples. With your strong arm you redeemed your people, the descendants of Jacob and Joseph. Psalm 77:13-15.

Journal Reflections

·       Write about how, in your own life, you try to discern the will of God.

God’s word and the Holy Spirit lead me into truth and guide me into repentance and as for the direction of my life, I pray for the Lord to show me what to do next.  I’m not always sure about where my life in Christ will take me but I try to be faithful to seek the Lord every day and follow what I believe that He wants me to do. 

·       Have you ever prayed “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” as a source of courage and strength in resisting the “enemy” and following God's will? If so, write about the experience and if it was helpful. If not, right about whether it seems a useful spiritual practice. Why not try it?

Oh yeah, the Lord’s prayer has been used to give me strength and courage all the time. Leaning on the Lord to help me out of the darkness of my addictions and negative mental mind stated has “worked” because I have tried to surrender to do His will with the way I live my life.  

·       Have you ever found yourself working against God's will? If so, how did you come to realize it? If not, can you imagine yourself working against God's will?

Sin is against God’s will. So yes, I have found myself working against God’s will in many ways.  His word revealed to me what sin is and that a righteous life is important to Him.  The conviction of the Holy Spirit has caused me to turn from the ways I have lived in the past and moves me to continually seek God and His will for my life.

Prayers for the Life of Faith

Pray that the will of God may also be done in you and ask forgiveness for times in which you may have, as a sinful creature, opposed God's will.

Lord, I ask for your forgiveness for all the times I have gone against your will, and I pray that your will be done in my life as it is in heaven. I accept your forgiveness and ask for the Holy Spirit to fill me to give me the strength and wisdom to walk in your ways. Amen.

Prayer For Today

Almighty God, may your will be done on earth as in heaven, and may it also be done in me.

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

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

This morning’s meditation verse comes from the section on Contentment, Coveting & and Priorities.

Ecclesiastes 4:6 (ESV)
6  Better is a handful of quietness than two hands full of toil and a striving after wind.

Today’s verse is the third of three passages of scripture that fall under the fifteenth point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Contentment, Coveting, and Priorities.

15. Don’t wear yourself out to get rich.

Today’s verse describes the ways of this world as two hands full of toil and striving after wind – alluding to the chasing after worldly wealth that will one day slip from our grasps when we die showing us how futile the accumulation of wealth and seeking after circumstantial happiness is.  Quietness – peace – is its opposite and the only true peace we can have in this world comes from having peace with God through faith in Jesus where we can be assured of the forgiveness of our sins and of life everlasting. So stop striving and toiling after the wind and follow the Holy Spirit into the quiet ways of peace, love, and joy that are found in the presence of the Lord and a life surrendered to His will.

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

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

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

EVENING READING: LUKE 20

“Those who are counted worthy to attain that age,
and the resurrection from the dead.” – Luke 20:35

“Counted worthy” – what a blessed expression! Especially when I consider on what grounds I shall be counted worthy to obtain that world and the resurrection.

By nature, there is “none who does good” (Rom. 3:12). “All have sinned” (Rom. 3:23). In flesh, “nothing good dwells” (Rom. 7:18). But on the grounds of the atoning work and person of the Lord Jesus, I have been “accepted in the Beloved” (Eph. 1:6), not having my own righteousness, but the righteousness which is of Christ. Therefore, I have been counted worthy to be a partaker of the inheritance in Light, “to attain that age, and the resurrection from the dead.”

I am a sinner and yet He counts me worthy.
Blessed be His Name![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