Labels

Showing posts with label Forgiveness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Forgiveness. Show all posts

Thursday, November 16, 2023

Anger, Bitterness, and Cults of Personality - Purity 1199

Anger, Bitterness, and Cults of Personality - Purity 1199

Purity 1199 11/16/2023 Purity 1199 Podcast

Purity 1199 on YouTube:



Good morning,

Today’s photo of a winding asphalt pathway cutting through a sunbathed late autumn forest comes to us from Fred Dimmick who shared this scene that he captured while visiting Caney Creek, near Murphy NC on Monday. 

Well, It’s Thursday and I share Fred’s photo of a highway pathway because of its scenic beauty and as a visual reminder to myself and you to get on or to stay on the path of Christian Discipleship because I know how difficult that can be, especially when we forget who we are in Christ and when we let anger and temptation consume us.  

Recently, I have encountered a few fellow travelers on the road to recovery who unfortunately have taken a detour into relapse and the underlying causes seemed to be very similar if not the same: anger! Or the bitterness of unforgiveness.  In one case, the person involved had made the decision to go into recovery because of difficulties in their marriage. Their secret drinking was increasingly a problem and eventually, it led to an ultimatum – stop drinking or get divorced.  This person chose their marriage and family and started on the shaky road to recovery.  They struggled initially but soon they had days, and weeks of success and recently had reached the milestone of a full month of sobriety. But apparently last week, due to a busy schedule they missed checking into their normal meetings, but all seemed well, and they would resume their normal meetings next week.  The good news is that they did go back to their meetings but the bad news is that even though they made it through last weekend and reported that it was a “good weekend” when Monday came calling the stress of the world and the spiritual forces of darkness rushed in to drive them into despair and into relapse and they are currently struggling with the question of do they want their marriage and family or do they want to be “free to drink”.  After a month of success, they are right back to square one – asking the questions that should have been resolved, from day one.

But let’s give them some grace. Recovery is not easy. Changing the way you have lived for so long is not easy.  Having the “rules” changed later in life doesn’t seem fair.  And let’s be honest, this “compelled” or “coerced” entrance into recovery is not the best way to find success.  From day one, I have encouraged this person to choose recovery for themselves, and ideally as an expression of their faith – a natural outflowing of your decision to live for God and follow Jesus, because if we only choose to sober up because of someone else, because of the negative relational consequences our drinking has caused, we will end up resenting the very person we made the decision to go into recovery for.  “I can’t drink anymore because of “THEM”!”  or “Can’t I just have a few drinks?!!? Can’t I be free to do what I want!?”  

No, you can’t. We can choose what we want but we are subject to those choices.  Choose to sin, choose to suffer, as the old adage goes. 

Also, the fact that the past clearly demonstrates that, no, you can’t just have a few drinks, more often than not you get drunk, and you do things that cause problems. 

Also the fact that you continually go back to the bottle shows that you are a slave to it. That’s not “freedom”, That’s bondage.  Real freedom is being able to choose to become the person God created you to be. A person who solves problems and loves others, not a person who causes problems and drives people away.

So standing up for your selfish right to get drunk and making the people you love suffer through it is not the life God wants you to have. He wants you to be free.  

Another relapse that happened recently was driven by unforgiveness and bitterness.   This person was in recovery and had a betrayal befall them – leading them to relapse and to be placed in rehab for a month.  While in rehab, they listened to good counsel and made the decision to forgive the person who had betrayed them and resolved to stay in the relationship.  They went home and everything was good again… for a time.  But then, I saw this person share a social media post whose content highlighted the desire to seek revenge. It was a movie clip from a Ben Affleck movie where he enlists a friend’s help to not ask questions and just to agree to go with him to “go hurt some people”.   I knew that was a bad sign and sure less than a week later they relapsed and have broken relationships with the person they had “forgiven” in an angry outburst that has caused collateral damage to their children.   

With forgiveness, we need to forgive from the heart and take people off of our hook and put them on God’s hook, and not seek revenge. Forgiving from the heart means never bringing up the person’s past offenses and using them against them again. Also forgiving from the heart is a conscious decision that will need to be made and recommitted to as some of sin’s consequences are delayed and we will have to deal with some fall out from the past as we go into the future. So we have to choose to forgive and keep on forgiving in some cases.   This person didn’t continue in forgiveness. Instead, they entertained thoughts about revenge, and it led to relapse.  

In both cases, the magic elixir of alcohol that was supposed to soothe their hurt and calm their souls drove them into hurting themselves and others. Instead of putting out the fires of anger, it was like they threw gasoline on the smoldering anger and bitterness that was just below the surface, despite their outward fa├žade that told the world “everything is just fine”.   

So what do you do? 

Well you go back to God, always.  You ask for forgiveness and resolve to follow Jesus in the pathways of peace. Instead of isolating yourself in your anger, you study His word to renew your mind and you talk to Him in prayer to receive wisdom, strength, and healing. You start walking and talking with God and follow Jesus’ example.   You forgive from the heart, and you embrace the truth that addiction to anything is NOT Freedom and that you believed a whole pack of lies to think that drunkenness, gluttony, or sexual immorality were “good things”.  

God will lead you out of the darkness, but you have to choose to follow Him freely and to adapt his righteous, forgiving, and loving ways more and more each day.  

When you repent and start living as the Christian you claim to be, the Lord blesses your path and even though it may be difficult and frustrating at times the consequences of walking in his ways will lead to good.  

Romans 8:28 (NKJV) says
28  And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

God has called you to His purpose: to live a simple good righteous life that represents His kingdom – to be more and more like Jesus.  And when we walk toward that purpose, God works all things together for good to who? To those who love God! – So love Him and follow Him out of the darkness of anger and the bitterness of unforgiveness and find peace that comes from living with and for God.

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

For those who want more evidence for Christianity than my simple encouragements provide, I offer apologist, Frank Turek’s website, https://crossexamined.org/ .

Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling” By John G. Kruis.

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

This morning’s meditation verses come from the section on Church, Communion of the Saints.

1 Corinthians 1:10-17 (ESV)
10  I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.
11  For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers.
12  What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.”
13  Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?
14  I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius,
15  so that no one may say that you were baptized in my name.
16  (I did baptize also the household of Stephanas. Beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized anyone else.)
17  For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.

Today’s verses fall under the fourth point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Church, Communion of the Saints.

 4. Keep the unity of believers; don’t follow men, but Christ.

Today’s verses highlight the fact that division can even happen in the “church of Acts” and that we are not to follow men, but we are to follow God.

Christians are supposed to display the fruit of the spirit – peace – but when we put our allegiances into a person or a system that causes division rather than in God and the truth of His word that should result in peace and love, we know we have gone astray.  

As the Lord would have it, Crossexamined.org’s, John Ferrer shares a blog post this week that talks about “Personality Cults” – where even Biblically based Christian gatherings can be subverted to the following of “the head man” – a narcissistic charismatic leader that rules their flock with a “lone wolf” approach to decision making, inflicting vindictive punishments on those who don’t follow their edicts” showing us the dangers of putting a Pastor or Minister as the Lord of your life rather than following Jesus.  I am sharing the link to Ferrer’s article on the blog today if you want to check it out and to examine whether or not you may be in a “Cult of Personality.  

So as today’s passage says – ”there be no divisions among you”  and “seek to be united in the same mind and the same judgment” that makes Jesus the One and Only Lord of your life.

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

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 are sharing from A. W. Pink’s – The Arthur Pink Anthology  - a collection of A.W. Pink’s tracts brought together in one book and dispersed here on the blog for your encouragement.

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage you all to purchase A.W. Pink’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available online for free as a PDF at many sites, but printed copies of collections of A.W. Pink’s books are available for purchase wherever Christian books are sold. 

The Arthur Pink Anthology – 6

Christian Fools – Part 3 of 8

Yes, but there are many Calvinists who equally come under the rebuke of our text. They believe in the sovereignty of God, but they refuse to believe in the responsibility of man. I read a book by a hyper-Calvinist only a few weeks ago, by a man whose shoe-latchet the present speaker in many things is not fit to stoop down and unloose—a man of God, a faithful servant of His, one from whom I have learned not a little—and yet he had the effrontery to say, that responsibility is the most awful word in the English language, and then went on to tirade against human responsibility. They cannot understand how that it is possible for God to fix the smallest and the greatest events, and yet not to infringe upon man’s accountability—men themselves choosing the evil and rejecting the good—and therefore because they cannot see both they will only believe in one.

Listen! If man were nothing more than clay in the hands of the Potter there would be no difficulty. Scripture affirms in Romans 9 that man is clay in the hands of the Potter, but that only gives you one aspect of the truth. That emphasizes the absoluteness of God’s control over all the works and creatures of His hands; but from other Scriptures we learn that man is something more than lifeless clay. Man has been endowed with understanding; man has been given a will. Yes, I freely admit that his understanding is darkened; I fully allow that his will is in bondage; but they are still there; they have not been destroyed. If man was nothing more than a block of wood or a block of stone, it would be easy to understand how that God could fix the place that he was to occupy and the purpose that he was to fulfil; but, my friends, it is very far from easy to understand how that God can shape and direct all history and yet leave man fully responsible and not infringe upon his accountability.

Now there are some who have devised a very simple but a most unsatisfactory method of getting rid of the difficulty, and that is to deny its existence. There are Arminians who have presented the “free-will” of man in such a way as to virtually dethrone God, and I have no sympathy whatever with their system. On the other hand, there have been some Calvinists who have presented a kind of fatalism (I know not what else to term it) reducing man to nothing more than a block of wood, exonerating him of all blame and excusing him for his unbelief. But they are both equally wrong, and I scarcely know which is the more mischievous of the two. When the Calvinist says, All things happen according to the predestination of God. I heartily say Amen, and I am willing to be called a Calvinist; but if the Arminian says that when a man sins the sin is his own, and that if he continues sinning he will surely perish, and that if he perishes his blood is on his own head, then I believe the Arminian speaks according to God’s truth; though I am not willing to be called an Arminian. The trouble is when we tie ourselves down to a theological system.

Now listen a little more closely still. When the Calvinist says that faith is the gift of God and that no sinner ever does or can believe until God gives him that faith, I heartily say Amen; but when the Arminian says that the gospel commands all who hear it to believe, and that it is the duty of every sinner to believe, I also say Amen. What? you say, You are going to stand up and preach faith-duty-duty-faith? I know that is jolting to some of you. Now bear with me patiently for a moment and I will try and not shock you too badly. Whose is the gospel? It is God’s. Whose voice is it that is heard speaking in the gospel? It is God’s. To whom has God commanded the gospel to be preached? To every creature. What does the gospel say to every creature? It says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.” It says, “Whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” It says, “The gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth.” God commands, not invites. God commands every man, woman and child that hears that gospel to believe it, for the gospel is true; therefore it is the duty of every man to believe what God has said. Let me give you the alternative. If it is not the duty of every sinner to believe the gospel, then it is his duty not to believe it—one or the other. Do you mean to tell me it is the duty of an unconverted sinner to reject the gospel? I am not talking now about his ability to believe it.[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



[1] Arthur Walkington Pink, The Arthur Pink Anthology (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2005).

Saturday, October 14, 2023

Ready to Wave the White Flag? - Purity 1172


Ready to Wave the White Flag?  - Purity 1172

Purity 1172 10/14/2023 Purity 1172 Podcast

Purity 1172 on YouTube:



Good morning,

Today’s photo of a beautiful fall sunset over the shores of Lake Ontario in Oswego NY comes to us from Celestial Blue Photography as Rocco Saya shared this masterpiece on social media back on October 6th.  

Well, it’s Saturday, and as we move into the last lap of the second week of October, I want to encourage all my friends to enjoy the weekend and to get some rest so you can be restored and ready to face the challenges of another week come Monday. The Lord thought getting rest was so important that He instituted the observance of the Sabbath as a holy day of rest in the Ten Commandments.  The Lord knew that we would face challenges in a world broken by sin and tried to encourage our worship and rest to give us the motivation and energy to keep going in life.

The idea of rest is especially precious to me this morning as I was up a little later than usual last night and my shifted work schedule is making a traditional – Saturday - Sabbath rest  - not an option.  I have to work today but look forward to the day’s end as I will be reunited with my beloved wife and observe a holy day of rest on Sunday, the New Testament – or Christian Sabbath – as we follow the Apostle’s lead who worshipped on Sunday – the day Jesus was resurrected – the first day of the week (Acts 20:7) but have the freedom, really to make any day our “Sabbath” as the Apostle Paul laid out in

Romans 14:4-5 (NLT2) where He wrote to the church…
4  Who are you to condemn someone else’s servants? They are responsible to the Lord, so let him judge whether they are right or wrong. And with the Lord’s help, they will do what is right and will receive his approval.
5  In the same way, some think one day is more holy than another day, while others think every day is alike. You should each be fully convinced that whichever day you choose is acceptable.

So whether you choose to rest and worship on Sunday, Saturday or any other day of the week – as long as you are fully convinced and resting and keeping the day holy it is acceptable.  So whatever day you want to worship the Lord and rest in honor of His commandment of a Sabbath is fine, I guess. How about that freedom in Christ! 

However, most Christians gather as a corporate body to worship on Sunday and as we are called not to forsake the assembly of ourselves as Christians in Hebrews 10:25, it would probably best to make Sunday your “Sabbath” and the day you can meet with the body of Christ to meet both of these provisions at once. 

It is good to come together as the body of Christ and the reason I am tired this morning is because I attended a gathering of Christian men at Starpoint Church’s Man Up event last night where we were entertained by some NASCAR themed activities and encouraged by NorthStar Church Pastor Mike Linch who came all the way from the Atlanta Georgia to deliver a message on never giving up. 

Utilizing the faithful example of Nehemiah, Pastor Linch’s message encouraged the men last night to keep building “their wall” – to continue to work on their personal calling and purpose in life – and to not wave the “white flag” – to quit or give up.  Linch shared how troubles in his congregation back in 2012 had brought him to the brink of waving the white flag on his work as a pastor.  But through the Lord’s help. who used faithful men and women to encourage Linch through the “desert season from 2012-2014, he endured and experienced a wealth of personal and spiritual blessings since then that he would have never known had he “waved the white flag” and walked away from ministry.  

After Linch’s message, the men were directed to share “the white flag” moments they had walked through during their lives in small groups, to encourage one another that they too had endured, or if they were currently going a “white flag” season, they could receive the encouragement and strength from one another and from the Lord as we were directed to pray for one another.

We don’t forsake the assembling of the saints because we are stronger together than we are by ourselves.  The only “white flag of surrender” we should wave is to mark our decision to surrender to the Lord’s will and ways for our lives because only God can provide us with the strength, guidance, and wisdom that will help us to navigate through life and to persevere in the work of “building our walls”, whatever projects the Lord is calling us to work on.  

So if you are blessed with a full weekend off – I encourage you to make Saturday or Sunday – or both days – your “Sabbath” rest or “if you have work to do on your “wall” – just pick one and use the other to “get ‘er done”.  

I know too well what “white flag seasons” and work mean and let me encourage you that when you go through them with the Lord, you can somehow make it and accomplish far more than you ever thought you could when you keep walking and talking with God!

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

For those who want more evidence for Christianity than my simple encouragements provide, I offer apologist, Frank Turek’s website, https://crossexamined.org/ .

Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling” By John G. Kruis.

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

This morning’s meditation verses come from the section on Bitterness, Resentment, & Hate.

Ephesians 4:31-32 (NIV2011)
31  Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.
32  Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Today’s verses fall under the first point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Bitterness, Resentment, & Hate.

 1.  In the power of the Holy Spirit every Christian can and must get rid of bitterness and hatred and become a kind, compassionate, forgiving person.

Today’s verse commands us to give what we have received – forgiveness – as a remedy to overcome “all bitterness, rage, anger, brawling, slander and every form of malice”.  As Christians, we are called to follow Jesus and to be kind, compassionate, and forgiving people to be more like Him. 

But as today’s verses indicate, the key to becoming kind and compassionate is to forgive from the heart.  Recognizing all that we have been forgiven of, we should be humbled to forgive other their offenses against us and thus diffuse and remove any bitterness or anger from us.  

So practice forgiveness, and do away with the anger, bitterness, and hate that represents the world, and follow the example of our kind and compassionate Lord and Savior instead.

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

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

Today we continue sharing from  The Holy Spirit By A.W. Pink.

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage you all to purchase A.W. Pink’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available online for $0.99 (https://www.amazon.com/Holy-Spirit-Arthur-Pink-Collection-ebook/dp/B008CM5292/ref=sr_1_3?crid=AHKAQOM39CTN&keywords=a.w.+pink+the+holy+spirit&qid=1684376225&sprefix=a.w.+pink+the+holy+spirit+%2Caps%2C96&sr=8-3) 

A.W. Pink’s The Holy Spirit

30 - The Spirit Fructifying

Cultivating Christlikeness

The Holy Spirit not only imparts life and holiness, but He sustains the same in the soul; He not only communicates heavenly graces, but He cultivates and develops them. “That they might be called Trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He might be glorified … For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations” (Isa. 61:3, 11). Yes, the same One who “planted” those “trees of righteousness” must also “cause them” to “spring forth” to grow and bear fruit. While the tendency of the new nature is ever Godwards, yet it has no power of its own, being entirely dependent upon its Creator and Giver. Hence, that fruit which is borne by the believer is expressly called “the fruit of the Spirit” so that the honor and glory may be ascribed alone unto Him. “From Me is thy fruit found” (Hosea 14:8).

“For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour My Spirit upon thy seed, and My blessing upon thine offspring: and they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water courses” (Isa. 44:3, 4). Just as surely as a drought brings famine, so the absence of the Spirit’s working leaves all in a state of spiritual death; but just as heavy rains renew a parched vegetation, so an outpouring of the Spirit brings new life. Then shall it indeed be said, “The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose” (Isa. 35:1), which is expressly interpreted for us by the Spirit in, “For the LORD shall comfort Zion: He will comfort all her waste places; and He will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody” (Isa. 51:3). We have purposely added Scripture to Scripture because the spiritual meaning of these passages is commonly unperceived today, when carnal dispensationalists insist on the ignoring of all figures, and the interpreting of everything “literally.”

“My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you” (Gal. 4:19)—that which the Apostle did ministerially, the Spirit does efficiently. This is how the Spirit makes the Christian fruitful, or rather, it is how He first fits him to be fruitful: by forming Christ in him! The metaphor is taken from the shaping of the child in its mother’s womb, so that as its natural parents communicated the matter of its body, it is then framed and shaped into their likeness, limb for limb, answering to themselves. In like manner, the Spirit communicates to the heart an incorruptible “seed” (1 John 3:9) or spiritual nature, and then conforms the soul unto Christ’s image: first to His graces, and then to His example: “That ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you” (1 Pet. 2:9)—which we could not do unless we had first received them. Ah, my reader, this is a solemn thing: we pass among men for genuine Christians, but the only coins which will pass the eye of God are those which bear stamped upon them the image of His Son.

In other words, then, the Spirit’s fructifying of the believer is the conforming of him unto Christ, first in his heart, and then in his life. By nature we are totally unlike Christ, being born in the image of Adam and dominated by Satan; or, to revert to the figure in the opening paragraph, so far from resembling a beautiful and well-kept garden, we are like a barren desert, where nothing but useless shrubs and poisonous weeds are found. “I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; and, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down” (Prov. 24:30, 31). That is how we appeared unto the holy eye of God in our unregenerate state! It is only when a miracle of grace has been wrought in our hearts that Christ begins to be formed in us, and that we (in our measure) reproduce His graces; and this is due solely to the sovereign and effectual operations of the Holy Spirit.[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



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

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

“You Follow Me.” - Purity 1168

 

You Follow Me.”  - Purity 1168

Purity 1168 10/10/2023 Purity 1168 Podcast

Purity 1168 on YouTube:



Good morning,

Today’s photo of my canine pal, Harley looking toward the fields just off of Waite Rd near the tree at the fork in the road where we take extended walks into private farmlands when the weather is right comes to us from yours truly as the conditions were perfect yesterday afternoon to take my time on my final walk before hitting the road to River House, to enjoy the weather, and to thank God for His provision, protection, favor and love.  

Even though I have to admit that I had some failures with my food plan this past weekend – my walking tour of Chicago included the local cuisine and I had to get my money’s worth and I ate way too many apples while apple-picking at Hicks Orchard in Granville yesterday to celebrate the Autumn harvest,  I was reminded just how good it is to be loved by God.  

While deviations from my recovery from food addiction are no small matter, and I will be taking measures to get back on track by tracking my food intake and planning my meals for success,  it really is a comfort to know that God accepts not because of my performance, but because of His grace that caused me to put my faith in Jesus who not only paid the cost for all of my sins –(past, present, and future) but because I died with Christ and was raised with Him – I also received His righteousness. Jesus’ righteousness is imputed to anyone who puts their faith in Him. Regardless of our past or present performance, Jesus pays for our sins and makes us righteous in God’s eyes.  We are not saved because of our good deeds or through acts of penance.

Ephesians 2:8-10 (NKJV) tells us
8  For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9  not of works, lest anyone should boast.
10  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.   

We are saved and accepted by God because of His grace – which is a huge comfort to us when we don’t do everything right.  

While we want to walk in righteousness and represent God’s kingdom, its good to know that God isn’t going to reject us if we fall into sin.  In scripture the Apostle Peter denied Christ three times before he was crucified, but after His resurrection, Jesus restored Peter to His purpose of leading the church in John 21, where he directed Him to not worry about what would happen to the other disciples but to stay focused on following Him,  

John 21:22 (NKJV) tells us
22  Jesus said to him, "If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me."

You Follow Me.

That’s the command that Jesus has for all of us and in our personal walk we shouldn’t compare ourselves, positively or negatively, to others but should walk out the path that God puts before us.  

My path has led me to take on my food addiction. While my recent failures could cause me to condemn myself as “not doing it right” or “relapsing”, that narrative is not productive.  God doesn’t call us to beat ourselves up, He calls us to repent and to do what is right.   

Romans 8:1-2 (NKJV) tells us
1  There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
2  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.

So since I am in Christ Jesus, because I put my faith in Him as Lord and Savior,  I am not to condemn myself – but I am also not to continue in walking according to the flesh! We don’t just pat ourselves on the back when we sin and say “That’s okay. You are forgiven. No condemnation. Carry on.”  

No, Christ was merciful but He always tempered His mercy with the call to repentance, telling the woman caught in the act of adultery, in:

John 8:11 (NKJV)
11  …, "Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more."

Verse 2 in Romans 8 confirms that we have been set free from the law of sin and death (which means that those things, sin and death, no longer have authority over us. Because of Christ- death has lost its sting because we live forever. Similarly, sin has lost its power over those in Christ.  Our ability to say no to sin proves our freedom over sin because of Christ. We just have to abide in Christ by living in the Spirit to increase and maintain our freedom and victory over sin. 

But as Jesus warned the disciples in

Matthew 26:41 (NKJV) , we should
41  Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."

So we may fail in our walk from time to time, but we don’t lose our salvation and we shouldn’t condemn ourselves. Instead, we should follow the Apostle John’s instructions in

1 John 1:9 (NKJV) where we are told that:
9  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

If we fall off we are to confess it and repent and go to God to receive the comfort, strength, and guidance to repent and “sin no more.” – we are to go to God to ask Him to help us to be cleansed from all unrighteousness.   

So after my “walking in the flesh” and not being a good steward to my body, I am comforted by the fact that I can be restored to a harmonious relationship with the Lord by confessing my “sin” and by committing myself to “following Him” to ask for His help in cleansing me from all unrighteousness.    

And because we encourage honesty, personal responsibility, and accountability in discipleship and recovery, we also echo the advice in 

James 5:16 (NKJV) that tells us to
16  Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed...

We have our forgiveness through Jesus but we can be healed and set free from bondages through help from our brothers and sisters in Christ to support and encourage us to walk in the Spirit.  When we fall down, we don’t stay down, instead, we call out to Jesus for help and reach out to take the hands of our fellow Christians that will help us to walk in the way we should go.

So let’s God for His mercy, grace, love and the new life of freedom that He has given us and let’s remember to not condemn ourselves as we try to answer the Lord’s call when he says “ “You follow me.”

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

For those who want more evidence for Christianity than my simple encouragements provide, I offer apologist, Frank Turek’s website, https://crossexamined.org/ .

Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling” By John G. Kruis.

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

This morning’s meditation verses come from the section on Assurance of Salvation.

1 John 5:13 (NKJV)
13  These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.

Today’s verse fall under the fourth point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Assurance of Salvation.

 4.  You may know that you have eternal life.

Today’s verse seeks to encourage us to know that we have eternal life so we will continue to believe in the name and person of Jesus.   

As I stated above, we are saved by grace and because we won’t be perfect in our walk of faith, we need to remember that our salvation is a “done deal” the moment we place our faith in Jesus Christ.   We need to remind ourselves that we are saved. We have a new and eternal life in Christ.  Why? Because we have believed in Jesus as our Lord.  

Our salvation isn’t because of us. It is because of Jesus and because it is due to Him we can have peace. So remember that and know that you have eternal life.

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

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

Today we continue sharing from  The Holy Spirit By A.W. Pink.

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage you all to purchase A.W. Pink’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available online for $0.99 (https://www.amazon.com/Holy-Spirit-Arthur-Pink-Collection-ebook/dp/B008CM5292/ref=sr_1_3?crid=AHKAQOM39CTN&keywords=a.w.+pink+the+holy+spirit&qid=1684376225&sprefix=a.w.+pink+the+holy+spirit+%2Caps%2C96&sr=8-3

A.W. Pink’s The Holy Spirit

29 -The Spirit Confirming

In view of the preceding chapter on the Spirit preserving, there is really no need for us to take up another aspect of the subject which so closely approximates thereto—yet a little reflection has persuaded us that it may be wise to do so. Some of our readers are fearful that the editor wavers on the blessed truth of the eternal security of the Christian. Some Arminians, because of our strong emphasis upon the absolute supremacy and sovereignty of God and the total impotency of fallen men unto holiness, have charged us with denying human responsibility, when the fact is that we go much farther than they do in the holding and proclaiming of man’s accountability. On the other hand, some Calvinists, because we insist so emphatically and frequently on the imperative necessity of treading the Highway of Holiness in order to escape the everlasting burnings, have questioned our soundness on the final perseverance of the saints; when probably, as our writing on suicide shows, we believe this truth more fully than they do. Very few today hold the balance of the Truth.[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



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


Saturday, September 16, 2023

Right to Remain Silent and Pray - Purity 1149


Right to Remain Silent and Pray - Purity 1149

Purity 1149 09/16/2023  Purity 1149 Podcast

Purity 1149 on YouTube: 



Good morning,

Today’s photo of the silhouettes of trees in the foreground of a blazing multicolored sunset sky comes to us from yours truly as I captured this scene on the drive back to River House from Chatham last evening.  

Well, It’s Saturday and although I am celebrating my freedom from my regular weekday work schedule today, last night I went to Columbia County Pathways to Recovery’s “Let’s Walk for One More Chance” Memorial/Recovery Walk to celebrate my 8 years of freedom from alcohol and drugs and to remember those who have died because of overdose.  The dead were remembered with signs bearing their names, photos, and ages at the time of their deaths. Speeches were made to encourage support of recovery efforts in Columbia County and the evening ended with a candlelight vigil memorial walk as the people gathered paraded the memorial signs down and around Main Street.  

I wore my old custom Celebrate Freedom Hat from my days of leading the recovery ministry at Rock Solid Church and had the intention of promoting Pastor Bob Costello’s renewal of Celebrate Freedom at Rock Solid Church – the meetings are on Thursdays at 6:30pm in the church basement in Hudson- but my ideas of marketing Christian Recovery or making an evangelistic outreach were silenced in light of the solemn occasion and secular humanist atmosphere.  

I was saddened by the loss of life and grieving friends and family, and obvious lack of community support, it was a small event, but I was also reminded of spiritually deadness of secular recovery efforts that unwittingly give ground to spiritual forces of darkness and promote destructive ideas.  

I intended to hand out some pamphlets promoting the Christian Celebrate Freedom Recovery Meeting at Rock Solid Church or offering “The God of Hope” with some tracts from Derek Prince Ministries but when I realized that this group was comprised of people who believed in general spirituality, themselves, questionable recovery methods, pagan practices, and/or – and I kid you not –“the Universe”, I decided to leave my pamphlets and tracts in my pockets and to just silently pray for “the lost” – both living and dead.  You have to “know the room” sometimes and as it was I felt like I stood out like a sore thumb as I was one of the few people there not wearing purple or who did not belong to the organization that hosted this event, I decided to not rain on their parade.  The Holy Spirit didn’t move me to speak so I remained silent and did my best to support the group's efforts to promote recovery in the Columbia County community.  

Regardless of their secular humanistic, general or pagan spirituality, they were encouraging recovery and the stopping of deaths to substance use disorder and that was a good thing – so just like when Jesus didn’t tell his disciples to stop those who were casting out demons, but who didn’t follow Him, from doing so – I figured that I should respectfully support this Recovery Community Organization because of the good they do, even though they don’t necessarily follow Jesus.  

Recovery efforts generally point to a Higher Power and have been used by God to bring people to saving faith in Christ. Recovery Efforts also promote sobriety and the continuation of life that could be used by the Lord to bring people into His kingdom – so as much as I would some serious correction to what these people are preaching, I decide to trust the Lord to do His will through and to this group and the people gathered if it is in His plans.  

Back in the day, I went to every Columbia County Pathways to Recovery community meeting to promote Christian Recovery and I can tell you that all my efforts to promote Jesus and Christian Recovery had no visible fruit whatsoever except from what it did in me to confirm and solidify my faith.  As far as I can recall, not one person ever came to our Celebrate Freedom Recovery Meetings due to my efforts to promote our ministry at those meetings, so it taught me about the “anti-Christian spiritual atmosphere” out there and it taught me to be humble.   And so I had a refresher course with those lessons last night.

As disturbing as it can be to see how spiritually cold, dark, and dead it is in the secular world and how sad and devasting the state of our culture is in terms of record numbers of suicide and drug overdose deaths that plague us, it made me thankful for my life saving – soul preserving – faith in Jesus Christ. You see I don’t just celebrate my “recovery”; I celebrate my freedom from sin and death and the Holy Spirit’s seal on my life that confirms that I have a place in God’s kingdom no matter what subtle or not-so-subtle hostility or rejection I might face on earth.  I have been given a hope and a future. I haven’t recovered – I have been cured. I have a hope and a future because I have been given a new life in Christ!

SO grieve with those who are grieving, support those who do good works – no matter who they follow, and whether the Spirit directs you to speak or remain silent, be sure to stand for the lifegiving – soul-saving truth of Jesus Christ.

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

For those who want more evidence for Christianity than my simple encouragements provide, I offer apologist, Frank Turek’s website, https://crossexamined.org/ .

Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling” By John G. Kruis.

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

This morning’s meditation verse comes from the section on Anger, Hot Temper.

Proverbs 17:9 (NLT2)
9  Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends.

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

 3. Love covers a multitude of sins and overlooks many offenses.

Today’s verse is the third of five passages of scripture that our resource provides to demonstrate love's power over anger. And rather than presenting them all at once, we are doing them “one at a time, one day at a time.  

This verse highlights the “love” that is able to prosper when we forgive one another from the heart and warns of how dwelling on other people’s faults could break the closest of relationships.  

As Christians, we are to love our enemies and our neighbors as ourselves, and the only way to do that requires being well-versed in the practice of forgiveness. If we can forgive from the heart, by not holding people’s past offenses to us against them, we can reconcile relationships and live at peace.  

Of course, we must be wise and discerning in who we reconcile with.  Some people are not trustworthy and should be given limited access to our lives, but we can forgive them.   Forgiveness sets us free from bitterness and gives us freedom from pain in the future. And when others appreciate the forgiveness we give and repent of their harmful ways, real friendships can result.

So forgive faults and don’t dwell on them. Our forgiveness could save relationships but dwelling on the sins of others in the past will only cause continued pain, bitterness, and possibly end our relationships.  

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

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

Today we continue sharing from  The Holy Spirit By A.W. Pink.

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage you all to purchase A.W. Pink’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available online for $0.99 (https://www.amazon.com/Holy-Spirit-Arthur-Pink-Collection-ebook/dp/B008CM5292/ref=sr_1_3?crid=AHKAQOM39CTN&keywords=a.w.+pink+the+holy+spirit&qid=1684376225&sprefix=a.w.+pink+the+holy+spirit+%2Caps%2C96&sr=8-3) 

A.W. Pink’s The Holy Spirit

25 -The Spirit Assisting

Role of Suffering

A child of God oppressed, suffering sorely, often driven to his wit’s end—what a strange thing! A joint-heir with Christ financially embarrassed, poor in this world’s goods, wondering where his next meal is coming from—what an anomaly! An object of the Father’s everlasting love and distinguishing favor tossed up and down upon a sea of trouble, with every apparent prospect of his frail boat capsizing—what a perplexity! One who has been regenerated and is now indwelt by the Holy Spirit daily harassed by Satan, and frequently overcome by indwelling sin—what an enigma! Loved by the Father, redeemed by the Son, his body made the temple of the Holy Spirit, yet left in this world year after year to suffer affliction and persecution, to mourn and groan over innumerable failures, to encounter one trial after another, often to be placed in far less favorable circumstances than the wicked; to sigh and cry for relief, yet for sorrow and suffering to increase—what a mystery! What Christian has not felt the force of it, and been baffled by its inscrutability.

Now it was to cast light upon this pressing problem of the sorely tried believer that the eighth chapter of Romans was written. There the Apostle was moved to show that “the sufferings of the present time” (v. 18) are not inconsistent with the special favor and infinite love which God bears unto His people. First, because by those sufferings the Christian is brought into personal and experimental fellowship with the sufferings of Christ (v. 17 and cf. Phil. 3:10). Second, severe and protracted as our afflictions may be, yet there is an immeasurable disproportion between our present sufferings and the future Glory (vv. 18–23). Third, our very sufferings provide occasion for the exercise of hope and the development of patience (vv. 24, 25). Fourth, Divine aids and supports are furnished us under our afflictions (vv. 26, 27) and it is these we would now consider.[1]

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

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

at https://mt4christ247.podbean.com, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

(https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mt4christ247s-podcast/id1551615154). The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and Audible.com. 

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/@MT4Christ247

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

My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Ask Seek Knock blog (https://tammylynask.blogspot.com/ ),  her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock (https://www.facebook.com/groups/529047851449098 ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (https://feed.podbean.com/tammalyn78/feed.xml)

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

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

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship



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