Labels

Showing posts with label Galatians. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Galatians. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Contemplating Giving in to Sinful Desires? Don’t Go There. - Purity 1193

Contemplating Giving in to Sinful Desires? Don’t Go There. - Purity 1193

Purity 1193 11/08/2023 Purity Podcast 1193

Purity 1193 on YouTube: 



Good morning,

Today’s photo of water cascading down a rock embankment with fallen leaves of autumn resting on the ledges comes to us from yours truly as I climbed to the top of the “easy access ledges” of Lye Brook Phos and got an up close look at the falls that I had hiked 2.3 miles, up hill, to see.  

Well, it's Wednesday and I thought that this photo of Lye Brook Falls near Manchester Vermont was as good a way to welcome us to “hump day” as another so here are the Lye Brook Falls.  Are they worth the 2.3-mile hike to see them up close and in person? That’s a matter of opinion of course, but the hike wasn’t too taxing, and I would say that those who like the outdoors would enjoy it.  Of course, some people don’t like the outdoors, some don’t like to be challenged, and some don’t like authority.  So who am I to say it’s worth the trip?!?

Hey easy, now, do what you want, we have free will after all, sort of, and you can pick your own path, but I would have to caution everyone out there that you are not free of the consequences of the path you choose.

Life is all about choices and the decisions we make about our course in life and the relationships we make can have far-reaching consequences and result in effects that we never intended to cause or take us to destinations we never intended to go.

As someone who has made some pretty poor personal decisions in life, I can tell you that you want to look before you leap and try to be aware of the consequences and think before you act.  

Yesterday, I met with a brother in Christ for our final session of prayer ministry and as we concluded our session we both reflected on our perilous journeys through life and how much of our learning was by trial and error and by making the same mistakes over and over again – how we not only did what was morally wrong or foolish but how we pushed those poor decisions to the extremes in many cases resulting in wasted opportunities, broken relationships, and bondage to addictions.   We both rejoiced over God’s amazing grace to pull us out of the darkness more than once and to lead us to a place of peace and contentment in following Jesus.

While there was little from our dark pasts that we would encourage anyone to try, in hindsight we both recognized that even our poor decisions had value – we both know now what we should have never done, and what happens, when you decide to “go there”. Spoiler alert – if you have a secret sinful desire that you ever wanted to try, like having an affair, trying hard drugs, taking what doesn’t belong to you, or hurting someone physically or emotionally,  its best not to give into those temptations because even if you somehow avoid immediate negative repercussions from doing so, you never escape their consequences, and they always result in bad outcomes. 

The damage you do in this world often comes back to you in ways you never expected. Violent retaliation, legal charges, broken relationships, and loss are just some of the possibilities you can face from “going there” – but perhaps the worst outcome giving in to sin has on us – besides the initial guilt or shame – is the hardening of the heart and the warping of the mind that sin can do. 

Giving in to sin changes you. You look at the world differently. The adulterer looks at every person’s partner as the next possible conquest. The thief looks at other’s possessions as something to steal.  The liar twists facts, figures, and circumstances to tell the story they want to tell to hide their evil intentions.  Sin is rebellion against God and man, and it eventually separates us from both.  

A person whose life is defined by their sins will struggle with human relationships and will have a very hard time trying to convince anyone they have a relationship with God.  

The Bible convicts us with this truth.  

Hebrews 10:26-31 (ESV)
26  For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,
27  but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.
28  Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses.
29  How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace?
30  For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.”
31  It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Galatians 5:19-21 (ESV)
19  Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality,
20  idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions,
21  envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (ESV)
9  Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,
10  nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
11  And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

The implications of these passages of scriptures are that our only hope for life beyond this world is found in our relationship with Jesus and that we need to repent of our former sins.  

These verses should convict those of us who are still in bondage to sin to ask for the Lord to help us to repent and redefine our lives – so we can honestly say that when it comes to these sins – such WAS I before – I put my faith in Jesus and repented of them – as in I turned from them and do them no more.  

I can tell you all about the negative consequences of a lot of the sins in these Bible verses. I can warn you not to “go there” and I can honestly say that you can be set free from them by following Jesus.  

So – don’t play with the idea of giving in to some secret sinful desire, instead turn from the very idea of sin and discontinue the sinful practices and habits that still trip you up. 

There is freedom and victory from sin available to the Christian you just need to follow Jesus and ask for God’s help, and keep on walking and talking with God, to experience it,  

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

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 Children.

Matthew 21:15-16 (ESV)
15  But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant,
16  and they said to him, “Do you hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read, “‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise’?”

Today’s verses fall under the fourth point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Children.

 4. Jesus accepted the praise of children.

Today’s verses tell a great story of how even the immaturity of childhood couldn’t hide the fact of who Jesus was from the children who saw the wonderful things that He did that caused them to call Him the “Son of David” – a term that declared that Jesus is the Messiah.

I’m sharing a link to gotquestions.org that tell you all about “Jesus, the Son of David” (https://www.gotquestions.org/Jesus-son-of-David.html) to give you the ins and outs of that term.  But the kids gathered praising Jesus here might not have known all that – they saw the wonderful things Jesus did and the person He was, and they immediately made the connection. Hey, that’s the Messiah! And when they knew that truth – they didn’t care for dissenting opinions or what anyone would think about them – they praised Him! 

And we should do the same – continually! Why? Because Jesus is still the Messiah and His wonderful work is still being done today – in our lives, and in and through other Christians throughout the world, and His wonderful work will keep right on happening until that faithful day when Jesus will return to rule and reign once again.  

So show your child-like faith and praise the King of Kings and Lord of Lords because Jesus is the Messiah and His wonderful works are not done yet!  

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

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 – 3

Anxiety

“Be anxious for nothing.”

(Philippians 4:6)

Worrying is as definitely forbidden as theft. This needs to be carefully pondered and definitely realized by us, so that we do not excuse it as an innocent “infirmity.” The more we are convicted of the sinfulness of anxiety, the sooner are we likely to perceive that it is most dishonoring to God, and “strive against” it (Heb. 12:4). But how are we to “strive against” it?

First, by begging the Holy Spirit to grant us a deeper conviction of its enormity. Second, by making it a subject of special and earnest prayer, that we may be delivered from this evil. Third, by watching its beginning, and as soon as we are conscious of harassment of mind, as soon as we detect the unbelieving thought, lift up our heart to God and ask Him for deliverance from it.

The best antidote for anxiety is frequent meditation upon God’s goodness, power and sufficiency. When the saint can confidently realize “The Lord is My Shepherd,” he must draw the conclusion, “I shall not want!” Immediately following our exhortation is, “but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your request be made known unto God.” Nothing is too big and nothing is too little to spread before and cast upon the Lord. The “with thanksgiving” is most important, yet it is the point at which we most fail. It means that before we receive God’s answer, we thank Him for the same: it is the confidence of the child expecting his Father to be gracious.

“Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought (anxious concern) for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?” “But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:25, 33)[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).

Monday, October 16, 2023

The Cost of a Deeper Walk with God - Purity 1173

The Cost of a Deeper Walk with God - Purity 1173

Purity 1173 10/16/2023 Purity 1173 Podcast

Purity 1173 on YouTube:



Good morning,

Today’s photo of the silhouettes of trees on the horizon underneath a cotton candy sunrise sky comes to us from yours truly as I traversed over about 60 yards of damp grassy farmland to get just beyond the right-of-way power lines to capture this unobstructed view of the morning sky a week ago on October 9th.    I liked the view of God’s creation so much that morning that I wanted to capture it without the intrusion of man and was willing to go further than I intended and get my feet a little wet in the process.  

Ok, I have to admit I didn’t quite understand just how soaked my feet would get in that morning dew when I set out but once I had started on the mission to capture this view I decided to just keep pressing forward rather than give up and turn around because I had set my course and I thought that the extra yards and wet feet were worth the cost to capture this magnificent sight. 

Well, it’s Monday and as we enter into October’s third work week, my morning walk reminds me of the unexpected costs of pursuing the path of Christian Discipleship and how after I had set my course to follow the Lord as much as I could with the way I live my life, how I have repeatedly agreed that the journey and its various destinations were worth the price of admission, and its hidden fees.  

While the financial costs of seeking the Lord, alone, could be considered to be great if I just thought about the amount of money I have spent and continue to spend on Christian books, education, “mission trips”, and charitable donations, the path of Christian Discipleship will also cost you time and the incalculable value of the losses in your pre-Christ relationships.  You wouldn’t necessarily think that deciding to “do the right thing” in following the Lord would result in losing relationships but it usually does.  But considering the things lost versus the things I have gained in Christ Jesus I can easily echo the sentiments of the Apostle Paul in:

Philippians 3:7-11 (NLT2)
7  I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done.
8  Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ
9  and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith.
10  I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death,
11  so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!

Knowing the love, peace, and joy of the Lord and experiencing the new and eternal life that God gives to us through Christ makes whatever personal costs we have to pay worth it.  God’s amazing grace is a priceless gift that keeps on giving and even when my faith results in suffering or unexpected expenditures to my finances, time, or personal relationships I can confidently and boldly say, I wouldn’t have it any other way and would be willing to pay even more than I have had to know this peace with God.   

Pretty faithful huh? 

Well, yesterday my zeal was put to the test as I received a wake-up call on yet another aspect of what a “deeper walk” with Christ may actually entail and what it would mean biblically to make God first in my life.  

Yesterday, my pastor, Roscoe Lily laid out one of the most convicting messages on tithing that I have ever had the displeasure to hear.  Yup, I have a confession to make, while I have tithed in the past and mentally agree with the idea that we should put the Lord first with everything in our lives, including our money, my failure to budget properly resulted in compromising on tithing.  The various seasons of turmoil in my walk and my failure to practice frugality and good financial stewardship resulted in my giving less than I should.  

Don’t get me wrong. Pastor Lily is as humble servant leader and seeker-friendly a pastor as a skeptic or sinner could hope for but as I often say to others, I love his preaching because it doesn’t compromise one iota on telling the truth in love and encouraging his listeners to be Followers of Jesus – with a capital F – or D for Disciple.  So when he made a straightforward call to be obedient to the Biblical principle of tithing, the Holy Spirit used it to convict me and step my game up in terms of generosity immediately, in about less than 10 minutes into his message.   

I have sat under other messages on tithing in the past without complying with the call to  obediently honor God with my “first fruits” because of my financial status and hardness of heart in the past but yesterday, the Holy Spirit worked through Lily’s message and caused me to immediately surrender and commit myself to doing “what was right” regardless of the costs.  God has given me everything and I was ashamed that I had changed my course from faithfully tithing as I had done in the past.  So, I did it almost immediately, and I’m glad I did because Roscoe’s message was a full court press on being a “real Christian” for real.   Don’t get me wrong, he did give grace to those who were in no position to make the tithing commitment and even gave a money-back guarantee to the faint of heart – really he did – Starpoint invites people to tithe for 90 days and if they don’t feel the Lord has provided for them after 90 days the church agrees to return the paid tithe back.  I know who’s going to ask for their money back, but that’s the contract you can sign to give tithing a try at my church. Crazy.  

While I basically made the change to tithing almost immediately, I was impressed with a part of Roscoe’s message where he addressed the hypothetical scenario of someone coming to him and asking about how they could have a deeper walk with God.  Roscoe said that if someone asks them that the first thing he will recommend is tithing because it costs you something and it really puts your money where your mouth is.   Put up or shut up. 

Don’t get me wrong. Tithing is perhaps one of the easiest ways to be obedient.  Anybody can write a check. You don’t become spiritually richer or more mature instantly by paying your tithes. Believe me I have done it in the past! But it does show some basic obedience and could be a true sign of one’s devotion to the things of God.  

So yesterday, I made God first in my life in a basic way that I had in the past but had somewhere compromised along the way.   The word of indicates we should tithe and while I agreed with the principle, I wasn't practicing it but now I am and I will make adjustments in other areas of my life so my choice to give God my “first fruits” won’t be a means of suffering for my faith and I can be a “cheerful giver” who gladly pays the costs to support God’s work on earth,  

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

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.

Galatians 5:15 (NIV2011)
15  If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

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

 2.  Quit biting and devouring one another.

Today’s verse exhorts us to not bite and devour each other, showing that even the early church could be a place of contentions, bitterness, and hate.  

Not for nothing but Pastor Lily’s message on tithing yesterday undoubtedly will cause some to be offended and angry and may even cause some to never return to our church.  Critics who complain about churches being all about money have a large piece of evidence to present at the court of public opinion after yesterday’s message! 

The enemy knows how to stoke the flames of discord among the brethren and money is just one of a plethora of topics that the enemy can use to sow seeds of bitterness and resentment among the body of Christ.  Pastor Roscoe’s call to pay the costs of discipleship in terms of tithing could cause a great division among our congregation and result in people “biting and devouring one another”.  

“Heck it’s the fourth quarter of 2023, the economy is rough, and Christmas is coming – did the Pastor really ask us to give more money to the church!?!? – Ding! Ding! Come out with your dukes up!

But seriously, the Apostle Paul’s words in today’s verse admits to the reality of the dangers of infighting in the body of Christ and warns us against it.  So as much as it depends on us, let’s agree with the word of God, obey it and be peacemakers as we seek to show and share the love of Jesus.    

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

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

Fruit of the Spirit (Graces of the Spirit)

“Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit … Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them” (Matthew 7:17, 18, 20). The fruit they bear is that which distinguishes the children of God from the children of the Devil. This “fruit” is the temper or disposition wrought in the elect by the Holy Spirit, which is manifested by them, severally, “according to the measure of the gift of Christ” (Eph. 4:7). The Spirit fructifies the regenerate by conforming them to the image of Christ: first to His graces, and then to His example. The lovely virtues found in them do not issue from the depraved nature of fallen man, but are supernaturally inwrought by God.

There are three leading passages in the New Testament on this subject. John 15 names the conditions of fruitfulness: union with Christ, purging by the Father, abiding in Christ, and Christ and His Word abiding in us. Galatians 5 furnishes a description of the fruit itself. 2 Peter 1:5–8 states the order of fruit or the process of its cultivation. “In the figure of the Vine, the Holy Spirit is not mentioned, but in comparing Himself to the Vine and His disciples to the Branches, the Tree corresponds to the Body, and the Life to His Spirit. The diffusion of life is the work of the Holy Spirit, and the fruit by which the Father is glorified is the fruit of the Spirit. Apart from Christ there is neither life nor fruit, but without the Spirit of Christ there can be neither union or abiding. Our Lord does not specify the fruit. What He emphasizes is the fact that it is fruit, and that it is fruit directly from Himself” (S. Chadwick).

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance” (Gal. 5:22, 23). These are graces of the Spirit as distinguished from the gifts of the Spirit, enumerated in 1 Corinthians 12, and which will be considered in our next chapter. They are holy and heavenly dispositions with the conduct which results therefrom. The Apostle begins with the principal characteristics of the spiritual mind, and then passes on to its operation and manifestation in personal conduct, social virtues, and practical behavior. A threefold reason may be suggested why these spiritual graces are termed “fruit.” First, because all grace is derived from the Spirit as fruit issues from the life of a plant. Second, to denote the pleasantness of grace, for what is more delightful than sweet and wholesome fruit? Third, to signify the advantage redounding to those who have the Spirit; as the owners are enriched by the fruit produced from their gardens and orchards, so believers are enriched by the fruits of holiness.

In the use of the singular number, “the fruit (rather than fruits) of the Spirit,” emphasis is placed upon the unity of His operations: producing one harmonious whole—in contrast from the products of the flesh, which ever tend to discord and chaos. These virtues are not like so many separate flowers in a bouquet, as the variegated petals of one lovely flower exhibiting different shades and forms. A rainbow is one, yet in it all the primary colors are beautifully blended together. These graces which the Spirit imparts to a renewed soul are distinguishable, but they are inseparable. In some believers one grace predominates more than another—as meekness in Moses, patience in Job, love in John—yet all are present and to some extent active.

Galatians 5:22, 23 enumerates nine of the graces communicated by the Spirit. Some have suggested that the last eight are but varied expressions of the first. That “Joy is love exulting, Peace is love in repose, Longsuffering is love on trial, Gentleness is love in society, Goodness is love in action, Faith is love in endurance, Meekness is love at school, and Temperance is love in discipline” (A. T. Pierson). But while love is, admittedly, the greatest of all the graces, yet 1 Corinthians 13:13 shows that it is but one of several. Personally, we prefer the older classification which divided the nine graces into three threes: the first three—love, joy, peace—being Godwards in their exercise; the second three—longsuffering, gentleness goodness—being exercised manwards; and the last three—fidelity, meekness, temperance—being exercised self-ward.

“Love:” the Apostle begins with that which flows directly from God (Rom. 5:5), and without which there can be no fellowship with Him or pleasing of Him. “Joy” in God, in the knowledge of pardon, in communion with Christ, in the duties of piety, in the hope of Heaven. “Peace:” of conscience, rest of heart, tranquillity of mind. “Longsuffering” when provoked and injured by others, exercising a magnanimous forbearance toward the faults and failing of our fellows. “Gentleness” rendered “kindness” in 2 Corinthians 6:6, a gracious benignity, the opposite of a harsh, crabbed, and brutal temper. “Goodness” or beneficence, seeking to help and benefit others, without expecting any return or reward. “Faith” or more accurately “faithfulness:” being trustworthy, honest, keeping your promises. “Meekness” or yieldedness, the opposite of self-will and self-assertiveness. “Temperance” or self-control: being moderate in all things, ruling one’s spirit, denying self

“In newspaper English, the passage would read something like this: The Fruit of the Spirit is an affectionate, lovable disposition, a radiant spirit and a cheerful temper, a tranquil mind and a quiet manner, a forbearing patience in provoking circumstances and with trying people, a sympathetic insight and tactful helpfulness, generous judgment and a big-souled charity, loyalty and reliableness under all circumstances, humility that forgets self in the joy of others, in all things self-mastered and self-controlled, which is the final mark of perfecting. This is the kind of character that is the Fruit of the Spirit. Everything is in the word Fruit. It is not by striving, but by abiding; not by worrying, but by trusting; not of works, but of faith” (S. Chadwick). And, as our passage goes on to say, “Against such there is no law” (Gal. 5:23): that which the Law enjoins the Spirit imparts, so that there is perfect harmony between the Law and the Gospel.

But here, too, there is to be a concurrence between the Christian and the Spirit; our responsibility is to cherish and cultivate our graces, and to resist and reject everything which opposes and hinders them. Fruit is neither our invention nor our product, nevertheless it requires our “diligence” as 2 Peter 1:5 plainly indicates. A neglected garden grows weeds in plenty, and then its flowers and fruits are quickly crowded out. The gardener has to be continually alert and active. Turn to and ponder Psalm 1 and see what has to be avoided, and what has to be done, if the believer is to “bring forth his fruit in his season.” Re-read John 15 and note the conditions of fruitfulness, and then turn the same into earnest prayer. The Lord, in His grace, make both writer and reader successful horticulturists in the spiritual realm.[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.).

 

Monday, October 2, 2023

“An Astounding, Almost Miraculous Life” - Purity 1161

“An Astounding, Almost Miraculous Life” - Purity 1161

Purity 1161 10/02/2023 Purity 1161 Podcast

Purity 1161 on YouTube:



Good morning,

Today’s photo of fallen leaves floating on the surface of the pond at the East Greenbush Town Park under a blue cloudless sky comes to us from yours truly as I decided to enjoy the spectacular October weather outdoors yesterday afternoon.  Although I had planned on an early return to River house yesterday a delay in my grocery order suggested that I do something with the time between the 11:30 am service at Starpoint Church and my 3:00 pm grocery pick up and because the weather was sunshiny and bright I chose to visit East Greenbush’s Town Park for the first time where I found a picnic table near the park’s “Red Barn” to sit and enjoy the autumn view and the opening passage’s of Thomas Kelly’s “The Eternal Promise” which is the first selection of the Renovare Book Club.  

Renovare (https://renovare.org/) is a Christian non-profit organization engaged in Christian spiritual formation whose stated mission is “to resource, fuel, model, and advocate more intentional living among Christians and those wanting a deeper connection with God.”  I discovered the Renovare through Dallas Willard’s teachings there and because I am always pursuing a deeper connection with God, and because I am always looking for “what’s next” in that pursuit, and because my Deeper Walk SOM training concludes in December, I joined their Book Club to try something new on the path of Christian Discipleship and Kelly’s “The Eternal Promise” seems like a good guide for appreciation and growth.

Thomas Kelly was a Quaker and theological professor of some renown but what makes him famous in Christian spiritual formation circles are his writings about his experiential spiritual upheaval – which he described as “an astounding, an almost miraculous Life,” in the reality of God’s presence, writing: “There you will find rest for your souls, and power, and peace, and joy unspeakable and full of Glory.”   While I am cautious about those who refer to themselves as “mystics” and have never sat in on a Quaker’s Friends meeting, in reading Kelly’s work, I recognized a brother who had an experiential knowledge of God that was similar to mine which filled me with joy, awe, and wonder as I sat in the October sun enjoying the weather, my life, and my God yesterday afternoon.  

When you know, you know and when you have had a life-changing experience with God and put your faith in Jesus Christ as Lord as well as Savior, you know that there is no other Way but His and although you may stumble, fall down, and run into the occasional dead end in trying to follow His lead, you are compelled to keep going and staying in step with Him the best you can.   On God’s path there are trials and sufferings but there is also freedom, peace, and joy and just when you feel that you may have “arrived” at some knowledge of the truth or some level of sanctification, you realize that there is more to know and more to surrender to grow even more.

When you’re on this path that never ends, you don’t look to finish, you look to see what is next because there is more light to allow into your darkness and more love to experience and share.  

So as we go into a new month and a new work week, let me encourage you to always seek the Lord and to find what He has for your life. In His presence, there is power, peace, and “an astounding, almost miraculous Life” but you have to keep walking and talking with God to find it.

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

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 Anger, Hot Temper.

Galatians 5:22-25 (NASB)
22  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23  gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
24  Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
25  If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.

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

 11. Good news! Through the Spirit you can overcome the sin of a hot temper!  

Today’s verses are the first of two passages of scripture that our resource provides to encourage us with this good news. And rather than presenting them all at once, we are doing them “one at a time, one day at a time

Today’s verses present the fruit of the Sprit and while it doesn’t specifically state that they are a cure for a hot temper, the implication is that a life of “walking in the Spirit” requires a “crucifixion of the flesh and its passions” that results in peace, gentleness, patience, and self-control which are more or less the opposite attributes normally associated with a “hot temper”.  

Through His word, the Lord clearly states that He is the Creator, Healer, and Sustainer of all things and if we are willing to walk in His ways there is nothing that we can’t overcome.  Renewing our minds with His truth and adopting a lifestyle consistent with His ways leads to the cultivation of the fruit of the Spirit. 

So if your temper is hot and anger is a problem, walk in the Spirit and discover the pathway past anger and that promises patience, love, joy, and 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  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

27 - The Spirit Transforming

Summary

For the benefit of clarity we will give a brief digest of our previous exposition of 2 Corinthians 3:18, which is a verse that supplies a comprehensive summary of the Spirit’s work in the believer. The “we all” are those that are indwelt by the Holy Spirit. The “with open face” signifies with minds from which their enmity against God has been removed, with hearts that are reconciled to Him. “Beholding” is a repeated act of the soul, which is the effect of its having been supernaturally enlightened. “As in a glass” refers to the revelation which God has made of Himself in the Law and in the Gospel. The “glory of the Lord” connotes His character or moral perfections. “Are changed into the same image” tells of the transformation which is effected in the believer by the Spirit. The “from glory to glory” announces that this great change of the heart’s reformation and conformation to the image of God is produced gradually.

When the Spirit deals with an elect soul, He first brings him face to face with God’s Law, for “by the law is the knowledge of sin” (Rom. 3:20). He reveals to him the perfections of the Law: its spirituality, its immutability, its righteousness. He makes him realize that the Law is “holy, and just, and good” (Rom. 7:12) even though it condemns and curses him. He shows that the Law requires that we should love the Lord our God with all our hearts, and our neighbors as ourselves; that it demands perfect and perpetual obedience in thought, word, and deed. He convinces the soul of the righteousness of such a demand. In a word, the one with whom the Spirit is dealing beholds “the glory of the Lord”—His majesty, His holiness, His justice—in the glass of the Law. Only thus is the soul prepared and fitted to behold and appreciate the second great revelation which God has made of His moral perfections.

Next, the Spirit brings before the soul the precious Gospel. He shows him that therein a marvelous and most blessed display is made of the love, the grace, the mercy, and the wisdom of God. He gives him to see that in His eternal purpose God designed to save a people from the curse of the Law, and that, without flouting its authority or setting aside its righteous claims; yea, in such a way that the Law is “magnified and made honorable” (Isa. 42:21) through its demands being perfectly met by the believing sinner’s Surety. He unveils to his wondering gaze the infinite condescension of the Father’s Beloved, who willingly took upon Him the form of a servant and became obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross. And the Spirit so works in his heart that, though the Cross be a stumbling block to the Jew and foolishness unto the Greek, it appears to him to be the most wondrous, blessed, and glorious object in the universe—and by faith he thankfully rests the entire interests of his soul for time and eternity upon the atoning sacrifice which Christ offered thereon unto God.

Not only does the Spirit give that soul to behold “the glory of the Lord” as it shines first in the “glass” of the Law, and second in the “glass” of the Gospel, but He also causes him to be “changed into the same image,” that is, He begets within him corresponding principles and affections, to the one and to the other. In other words, He brings his heart to a conformity to the Law and to a compliance with the Gospel. He causes the believer to “set to his seal” (John 3:33) to the whole Truth of God. He brings him to a full acquiescence with the Law, consenting to its righteous claims upon him, and working in him a desire and determination to adopt the Law as his rule of life or standard of conduct. So, too, the Spirit causes him to gladly embrace the Gospel, admiring the consummate wisdom of God therein, whereby the perfect harmony of His justice and mercy are blessedly exhibited. He brings him to renounce all his own works, and rest alone on the merits of Christ for his acceptance with God.

“Beholding as in a glass” is literally “in a mirror.” Now the mirrors to the ancients, unlike ours, were not made of glass, but of highly burnished metal, which reflected images with great brilliancy and distinctness, corresponding to the metal. If the mirror was of silver, a white light would be the result; if of gold, a yellow glow would be suffused. Thus an opaque object reflected the rays of the sun, and so became in a measure luminous. Here the Apostle makes use of this as a figure of the Spirit’s transforming the believer. The Law and the Gospel display various aspects of “the glory of the Lord,” that is, of God Himself, and as anointed eyes behold the same, the soul is irradiated thereby and an answerable change is wrought in it.

As the soul by faith, with broken heart (and not otherwise), beholds the glory of the Lord, in the mirror of the two Testaments (and not in the New without the Old), he is by the continual operations of the Spirit in him (Phil. 1:6) “changed into the same image.” The views thus obtained of the Divine character excite answerable affections in the beholder. Rational argument may convince a man that God is holy, yet that is a vastly different thing from his heart being brought to love Divine holiness. But when the Spirit removes the veil of enmity and prejudice from the mind and enables the understanding to see light in God’s light, there is a genuine esteem of and delight in God’s character. The heart is won with the excellence of His moral perfections, and he perceives the rightness and beauty of a life wholly devoted to His glory. Thus there is a radical change in his judgment, disposition and conduct.

In the glass of the Law there shines the glory of God’s holiness and righteousness, and in the glass of the Gospel the glory of His grace and mercy, and as by the Spirit’s enablement the believer is beholding them, there is wrought in him a love for the same, there is given to him an answerable frame of heart. He cordially owns God as righteous in all His ways and holy in all His works. He acknowledges that God is just in condemning him, and equally just in pardoning him. He freely confesses that he is as evil as the Law pronounces him to be, and that his only hope lies in the atoning sacrifice of the Lamb. Christ is now “The Fairest of ten thousand” to his soul. He desires and endeavors to exercise righteousness and truth, grace and mercy, in all his dealings with his fellows. Thus a personal experience of the transforming power of the Law and the Gospel brings its subject into a conformity to their temper and tendency.

This being “changed into the same image” of the glory of the Lord, is but another way of saying that the Law of God is now written on the heart (Heb. 8:10), for as we have said previously, the Law is a transcript of the Divine nature, the very image of God. As the Law was written in indelible characters on the tables of stone by the very finger of God, so at regeneration and throughout the entire process of sanctification, views and dispositions in accord with the nature of the Law become habitual in the heart, through the operations of the Holy Spirit, according to the measure of grace which He supplies. The genuine language of the soul now becomes, “How reasonable it is that I should love with all my heart such an infinitely glorious being as God, that I should be utterly captivated by His supernal excellence. How fitting that I should be entirely for Him and completely at the disposal of Him who is Lord of all, whose rectitude is perfect, whose goodness and wisdom are infinite, and who gave His Son to die for me!”

This being “changed into the same image” of the glory of the Lord, is also the same as Christ being “formed” in the soul (Gal. 4:19). It is having in kind, though not in degree, the same mind that was in the Lord Jesus. It is being imbued with His Spirit, being brought into accordance with the design of His mediatorial work, which was to honor and glorify God. In a word, it is being at heart the very disciples of Christ. This being “changed into the same image” of the glory of the Lord, is to be “reconciled to God” (2 Cor. 5:20). Previously, we were at enmity against Him, hating His sovereignty, His strictness, His severity; but now we perceive the surpassing beauty of His every attribute and are in love with His whole Person and character. No greater change than this can be conceived of: “Ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord” (Eph. 5:8). This great change is to “come unto” God (Heb. 7:25), causing us to diligently seek daily supplies of grace from Him.[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.).