Showing posts with label Good Friday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Good Friday. Show all posts

Friday, April 7, 2023

The Way of the Cross - Interceding for Our Enemies - Lent with Bonhoeffer Day 39– Purity 1011

The Way of the Cross - Interceding for Our Enemies - Lent with Bonhoeffer Day 39– Purity 1011

Purity 1011 04/06/2023 Purity 1011 Podcast

Purity 1011 on YouTube: 

Good morning,

Today’s photo of the sun blazing over palm trees reflected in the waters of a swimming pool somewhere in Cancun comes to us from an old college friend who shared this scene from their Spring Break vacation with their graduating offspring and their friends on social media yesterday demonstrating how the seasons of life can seem to change so quickly as our fond remembrances of our exuberant youthful adulthood are shown to be the “ancient of days” as our children grow into young adults themselves!

Well, It’s Friday, thank God, and while I won’t be heading anywhere for “Spring Break”, because I won’t have one, this week, I have no regrets, probably because I travelled south in February, and no longings to return to the wild times of my late teens and early 20’s because I am not only older, but also much wiser. And while I have amassed quite a number of degrees through the years, I’m not wise because of the things I learned in college, I’m wiser only because I know Jesus and I understand that the word of God is true.    

Thankfully, God has forgiven me for all the sins of my past because even though I could try to claim ignorance, if I am honest, I would have to admit that I knew at the time I wasn’t “living right” when I was looking for fun in whatever barrooms or bedrooms, I could find them in.   But that’s the appeal of sin, its part pleasure and part rebellion and it can be difficult to discern whether we do the wrong things we do because they feel good doing them in and of themselves or because it merely feels good to do something we are told not to.   

Anyway, those days of rebelliousness are over and because of Christ’s work on the cross and because I put my faith in Him as my Lord and Savior, the penalty of my sin has been paid for, I have been forgiven, and given a new life where the Holy Spirit indwells me and empowers me to turn from and forsake the sins that held me in bondage.  

As the bridge in North Point Worship’s “Death was Arrested” joyously proclaims:  

“Oh we're free, free

Forever we're free!

Come join the song

Of all the redeemed!


Yes we're free, free

Forever amen!

When death was arrested and my life began!”

That’s a “Bridge” that we in Christ have crossed over and we can repeat every day of our lives now.  If you like sing a long to it I am sharing a link to a lyric video of it on the blog today (  

But that’s not all I’m sharing for those who are curious I am also sharing a link to’s biblical answer to the question of “What is Good Friday / Holy Friday?” ( because sometimes we don’t “know” what we think we know and sometimes it’s a good idea to remind ourselves of what we know even when we know it.   And we should know what Good Friday is and just how great was the cost that was paid for our freedom in Christ.  

Also if you can believe it, we are on day 39 of the 40 days of Lent as Resurrection Sunday, Easter, is less than 48 hours away.  

So let’s keep walking and talking with God through our current series, the 40 Day Journey with Dietrich Bonhoeffer, with Day 39.

As a reminder, and as we will say each day of this journey, we take this path to mark the season of Lent and to draw closer to God in anticipation of the celebration of Easter, knowing that if we take this journey of repentance seriously, we will not only see the days and seasons change, the Lord will use it to change us too. 

You can sign up to get this devotional yourself by going to the Biblegateway link on the blog (( . 

Day 39

Bonhoeffer writes:

“In prayer we go to our enemies, to stand at their side.

We are with them, near them, for them before God.

Jesus does not promise us that the enemy we love, we bless, to whom we do good, will not abuse and persecute us. They will do so.

But even in doing so, they cannot harm and conquer us if we take this last step to them in intercessory prayer.

Now we are taking up their neediness and poverty, their being guilty and lost, and interceding for them before God.

We are doing for them in vicarious representative action what they cannot do for themselves.

Every insult from our enemy will only bind us closer to God and to our enemy. Every persecution can only serve to bring the enemy closer to reconciliation with God, to make love more unconquerable.

How does love become unconquerable?

By never asking what the enemy is doing to it, and only asking what Jesus has done.

Loving one’s enemies leads disciples to the way of the cross and into communion with the crucified one.”

Biblical Wisdom

“Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Matthew 5:44

Questions to Ponder

  • Why should we, in intercessory prayer, do for our enemies what they cannot do for themselves? What can’t they do for themselves?

M.T. Clark: As the Jesus said, apart from Him we can do nothing. So our enemies can’t do anything of lasting value for themselves, and neither can we. We are equals at the foot of the cross. We both need Jesus and because we know Him and love Him we obey His command to love our enemies and to do good for them.  The greatest good we can do for our enemies is to pray for them that God would reveal Himself to them and save them through Jesus. Because we know of the tremendous gift of our salvation, we should intercede for the ones who need it the most, our enemies.

  • Where does one get the strength to love, bless, and do good to their enemies knowing that they will most likely be abused and persecuted in response?

M.T. Clark:  The only way we can receive the strength to love, bless, and do good for our enemies, knowing we are most likely going to be abused or persecuted in response, is from God.  The Apostle Paul, who was facing tribulations, reveals this in His prayer in:

Ephesians 3:14-21 (NKJV)
14  For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
15  from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
16  that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17  that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18  may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height-- 19  to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
20  Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21  to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

The power to do good for our enemies, that works in us, comes from God and we must ask Him to renew it within us continually to walk by faith and to obey the command to love our enemies.

  • Why would Bonhoeffer say that: “Loving one’s enemies leads disciples to the way of the cross and into communion with the crucified one”?

M.T. Clark:  Bonhoeffer says that: “Loving one’s enemies leads disciples to the way of the cross and into communion with the crucified one”?” because when we do that we are walking in the footsteps of Jesus who loved His enemies all the way to His death, as He prayed to God the Father for the ones who crucified him: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” (Luke 23:34, NKJV).  That is the way of the cross and when we follow Christ’s example we not only follow it, we share communion with Jesus in our sufferings.

Psalm Fragment

In God, whose word I praise,
   in the Lord, whose word I praise,
   in God I trust; I am not afraid.
What can a mere mortal do to me?
My vows to you I must perform, O God;
   I will render thank offerings to you.
For you have delivered my soul from death,
   and my feet from falling,
   so that I may walk before God
   in the light of life. 
Psalm 56:10-13

Journal Reflections

  • What emotions surface within you when you think of interceding on behalf of your enemies?

M.T. Clark: If I am to be honest, the feelings of resistance rise up in me when I think of interceding on behalf of my enemies.They hate me and they think ill of me and don’t care if I live or die. They are selfish and unloving.  They seem to enjoy the idea of me suffering and some are active in campaigns to frustrate me and limit my peace and joy in life.  This is why we must view them through God’s eyes because then we will see just how lost and hurting they really are and the Lord will move our hearts to pray for them.

  • Does your community of faith actively seek to love, bless, and do good for enemies? If so, how? If not, how could you encourage the practice?

M.T. Clark:  OOF, okay guys, let’s face it there aren’t many, if any, communities of faith that actively seek to love, bless, or do good for enemies? Campaigns to bless atheists or members are false religions specifically is something I have never heard of. However, with that said, the community service ministries, jail ministries, recovery ministries, and missionary works done by Christians in faith communities do seek to love, bless, and do good for others regardless of their faith.  So, sure while we may not be mowing the lawns at the local mosque of sending them care packages on the regular, when we put the idea of “enemy” and apply it to those who don’t know the Lord, I would say that Christians actively encourage and do the work of loving, blessing, and doing good for the enemy. We just don’t usually emphasize the enemy status of the non-believers that we minister to.  


Name your enemies, picture them in your mind, “stand at their side” before God, pray for them.

M.T. Clark:


You know who I am thinking of as I am picturing them in my mind and as we draw into the weekend that we remember and celebrate Jesus’s death and resurrection, I pray that you would make yourself known to my enemies and that you would bless them and help them.  

In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Prayer for Today

Lord of peace and justice, let me not so much want victory over my enemies as true and mutual reconciliation with them.

In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen. 


(40-Day Journey with Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Copyright © 2007 Augsburg Books, imprint of Augsburg Fortress.)

***As we are being provided with Bible verses from the 40 Day Journey with Dietrich Bonhoeffer, we will are taking a break from sharing a verse of the day from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”. We plan on resuming that normal installment of the blog following Easter.*** 


As always, I invite all to go to 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 A.W. Pink’s “The Sovereignty of God.”

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase A.W. Pink’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available on many websites for less than $20.00.






We shall now consider the Value of the doctrine in detail.

7. It begets a spirit of sweet resignation

To bow before the sovereign will of God is one of the great secrets of peace and happiness. There can be no real submission with contentment until we are broken in spirit, that is, until we are willing and glad for the Lord to have His way with us. Not that we are insisting upon a spirit of fatalistic acquiescence; far from it. The saints are exhorted to “prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God” (Rom. 12:2).

We touched upon this subject of resignation to God’s will in the chapter upon our Attitude toward God’s Sovereignty, and there, in addition to the supreme Pattern, we cited the examples of Eli and Job: we would now supplement their cases with further examples. What a word is that in Lev. 10:3 “And Aaron held his peace.” Look at the circumstances: “And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense theron, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which He commanded them not. And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord.… And Aaron held his peace.” Two of the high priests’ sons were slain, slain by a visitation of Divine judgment, and they were probably intoxicated at the time; moreover, this trial came upon Aaron suddenly, without anything to prepare him for it; yet he “held his peace.” Precious exemplification of the power of God’s all-sufficient grace!

Consider now an utterance which fell from the lips of David: “And the king said unto Zadok, Carry back the ark of God into the city: if I shall find favor in the eyes of the Lord, He will bring me again, and shew me both it, and His habitation. But if He thus say, I have no delight in thee; behold, here am I, let Him do to me as seemeth good unto Him” (2 Sam. 15:25, 26). Here, to, the circumstances which confronted the speaker were exceedingly trying to the human heart. David was sore pressed with sorrow. His own son was driving him from the throne and seeking his very life. Whether he would ever see Jerusalem and the Tabernacle again he knew not. But he was so yielded up to God, he was so fully assured that His will was best, that even though it meant the loss of the throne and the loss of his life he was content for Him to have His way—“let Him do to me as seemeth Him good.”

There is no need to multiply examples, but a reflection upon the last case will be in place. If amid the shadows of the Old Testament dispensation David was content for the Lord to have His way, now that the heart of God has been fully revealed at the Cross how much more ought we to delight in the execution of His will! Surely we shall have no hesitation in saying—

Ill that He blesses is our good,

And unblest good is ill,

And all is right that seems most wrong,

If it be His sweet will.”[1]

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

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

at, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

( The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and 

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 You Tube Channel:

Email me at 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 ( ),  her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock ( ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (

“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 W. Pink, The Sovereignty of God (Swengel, PA: Bible Truth Depot, 1949), 232–233.

Friday, April 15, 2022

What’s So Good About it? Good Friday Testimony - Purity 706

What’s So Good About it?  Good Friday Testimony - Purity 706                                        

Purity 706  04/15/2022    Purity 706 Podcast - updated!

Good morning,

Today’s photo of  the setting sun peering over the top of a tree across the street from my house comes to us from yours truly as I was moved to capture several photos of this dazzling spectacle of a sun set back on April 5th. 

Well, as the sun sets on another work week, we should all be thankful that it is Friday and remember what the Lord has done for us.  Today is not just any Friday, of course,  it is “Good Friday”, which can seem to be a contradiction in terms because this is the day that we remember that Christ was crucified and died.  That doesn’t sound good to me! But it is “Good Friday” because Christ didn’t stay dead.   

Christ proved that He was the Son of God and God the Son because He rose from the dead! His resurrection validates everything that He said. He was who He said He was. His words were true. His words were the message that God had for mankind. His death was an atoning sacrifice for the sins of the world and the payment for the sins of all who put their faith in Him.  

This day is normally a solemn observance because we remember that Christ suffered and died for us. The humiliation and pain that Christ went through was done to reconcile us to God and to bring us into the kingdom of God.  Christ did it because He loves us. Christ wanted us to be free.    

In 2020, before and during the pandemic, I was going through a dark season of transition.  My divorce had been signed in the autumn of 2019 and in my divorce agreement I made many concessions with the understanding that I would keep the house and have my kids. But things didn't work out that way. An error was discovered in our calculations and at the last moment, the mortgage wasn’t going to be refinanced, the house would have to be sold and the implications of the conditions of the terms of the sale meant that I would walk away from the sale with almost no compensation.

Suddenly, I realized I had to find a place to live and I had agreed to pay several of my ex’s expenses including a payment to her attorney.  I immediately started working a second job to meet the obligations of the divorce agreement and to try to maneuver things so I could get enough money for a deposit and closing on a new place for my children and I.  

In the months that followed, I constantly reminded myself of all the things I needed to do to move on to a new life for me and my kids.  Invariably, after running through the list of things I needed to do and I thought I had it all figured out, a nagging reminder came up that said: “And don’t forget, you have to pay the lawyer!”   

Not surprisingly, that reminder was a constant source of pain.  I was trying to move heaven and earth here to carry the crushing debt of my own attorney, spousal support, and personal debt and even though I wasn’t obligated to pay my ex’s attorney until after the house was sold, the debt always reared its ugly head whenever I felt I was making progress.  “And don’t forget the lawyer…”  was a nagging voice from the pit of hell that tried to steal my peace, crush my hope, and kill my joy whenever I thought that I would succeed.  

Well on April 10th 2020, Good Friday, the Holy Spirit had heard enough of that voice in my head.   

I had made some progress in my situation and managed to have a substantial amount – just enough! – to have money for closing and a deposit. The money was in my savings.  All I had to do was find a house! We were on our way! 

But then Good Friday came.  I was praising the Lord in song on the way to work and just rejoicing over all that the Lord had done for me to bring me to the cusp of a new home when suddenly the Holy Spirit put a call on my spirit to “PAY THE LAWYER.” 

I was like “What?” I only have enough money for the closing on a new house. What are you talking about?”   But that intuition to pay the lawyer wouldn’t lay off.  So at 9am as soon as their offices opened, I call my ex’s attorney and paid the substantial legal fee obligation that I had agreed to in my divorce agreement.  It was full blown pandemic days at the time and nobody was working so the attorney’s staff was very pleased to receive the payment that they weren’t expecting and that I didn’t technically have to pay until my old house, that wasn’t even listed yet, sold.    

I was not thrilled with giving up the cash to pay the debt and didn’t understand how I was going to recoup this loss to the money I needed for a new house.  But I was obedient to the call and I felt good about it.  I obeyed the Holy Spirit and I paid what I owed.   I thought it was crazy but I let go and let God.  

I went about my day as normal after that and had sort of put the whole thing out of my mind in the busyness of the work day.   As I was driving from one job to another, a message came on the radio and told of a “Good Friday” service that the speaker had been to years ago.  In this service, when the people entered the sanctuary they were given a length of chain. I think they chains you used to lock up bicycles.  Also at the front of the sanctuary there were large metal garbage cans.   The person described how they thought it was very strange.  But then the pastor said something about how today was Good Friday, and today was the day that Jesus suffered and died on the cross to set us free.  

The pastor explained that before Christ we are bound to sin and death. But when we put our faith in Him, He breaks the chains of our chains. So he invited the people to come to the front and to thank the Lord and to lay down their chains at the foot of the cross by putting them in the cans at the front of the sanctuary.  

The person relaying this story described how people were overcome with emotion as they went forward and threw their chains in the cans and they described how the chains rang out as metal hit against metal and echoed through the space.   And how each loud reverberation was the sound of another person who was set free by Christ.   

That’s when it hit me,  God didn’t want me to go on any longer in bondage to the debt to the lawyer.  God wanted me to be free of it.   So He was over me to pay it so I could be free of it.   I didn’t know what would happen but He wanted freedom and somehow assured me that things would work out.   

I didn't know what would happen but I had peace about paying that debt and I know that God arranged for me to hear this message so I would know that the prompting to pay the debt wasn’t just some wild reckless impulse. The call to “Pay the Lawyer” was from Him because He wanted me to be free.   

I trusted the Lord when I really didn’t have any reason to. I didn’t know what was going to happen but I rejoiced over my freedom and I rejoiced over my relationship with the Lord and the debt that Jesus paid for all those who put their faith in Him.  

God is so good. I didn’t what I was going to do after that and I didn’t know how I could get that money back but God knew.  And sure enough because of Covid “danger” pay and bonuses and other unexpected wind falls by the end of April all the money I paid to my ex’s attorney was back in my account.  

Sometimes we have to step out and trust the Lord when we don’t have any reason to.  Sometimes we have to let go of something to receive something else. Sometimes we have to surrender and hope for the best.  

But when we walk with God we are secure.

He knows the end from the beginning and has always provided for us. He provided us with Jesus to save us and set us free.   

So thank God it is Friday and thank God for Christ’s sacrifice and the joy He had to go to the cross to set us free.  Keep walking and talking with God and declare the goodness of the Lord today, and every day.          



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

This morning’s meditation verses are:

Psalm 23:6 (NKJV)
6  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever.

Today’s Bible verse speaks of the goodness and mercy that follows us all the days of the Lord when we answer His call on our lives to come home.  

I don’t set these things up.   Goodness and mercy? Yeah, I think I know something about that.  This is life everlasting.   

Because of Jesus Christ, we can know the goodness and mercy of the Lord. God works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called to His purposes.   Christ suffered and died to save us and give us a place in the house of the Lord forever. He told His disciples that He was going to prepare a place for us and when we put our faith in Him we have a place in His eternal kingdom reserved for us.  

But He also calls us to follow Him to experience the goodness and mercy that will follow us all the days of our lives here on earth.  So follow Him, go into all your world and make disciples.  Tell everyone of His goodness and mercy and the amazing things that He has done for you and the multitude of others that have put their trust in Him.   


As always, I invite all to go to 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 John Piper’s “Don’t Waste Your Life” .  

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

The Death of God and the Death of Meaning

Things were coming together. On a cold October afternoon back in 1965 at Wheaton College I had taken the new Time Magazine to a second-floor corner of the library and read the cover story: “Is God Dead?” (October 22, 1965). “Christian atheists” like Thomas J. J. Altizer answered, yes. It was not new news. Friedrich Nietzsche had given the obituary a hundred years earlier: “Whither is God? … I will tell you. We have killed him—you and I. All of us are his murderers.… God is dead. God remains dead and we have killed him.” It was a costly confession: Nietzsche spent the last eleven years of his life in a semi-catatonic state and died in 1900.

But the courageous “Christian atheists” of the sixties did not compute the costs of being God’s replacement as supermen (which Nietzsche called them). The strong drink of Existentialism loosened the tongues of those creative theologians, like the men five rows back in the airplane after too many beers. So the suicidal assertion that God is dead was spoken again. And when God died, the meaning of texts died. If the basis of objective reality dies, then writing and speaking about objective reality die. It all hangs together.

So my deliverance in the late sixties from the madness of killing God led naturally in the early seventies to my deliverance from the hypocritical emptiness of hermeneutical subjectivism—the two-faced notion that there is no objective meaning in any sentence (but this one). Now I was ready for the real work of seminary: finding what the Bible said about how not to waste my life.

Learning the “Severe Discipline” of Reading the Bible

My debt at this point to Daniel Fuller is incalculable. He taught hermeneutics—the science of how to interpret the Bible. Not only did he introduce me to E. D. Hirsch and force me to read him with rigor, but he also taught me how to read the Bible with what Matthew Arnold called “severe discipline.” He showed me the obvious: that the verses of the Bible are not strung pearls but links in a chain. The writers developed unified patterns of thought. They reasoned. “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord” (Isaiah 1:18). This meant that, in each paragraph of Scripture, one should ask how each part related to the other parts in order to say one coherent thing. Then the paragraphs should be related to each other in the same way. And then the chapters, then the books, and so on until the unity of the Bible is found on its own terms.

I felt like my little brown path of life had entered an orchard, a vineyard, a garden with mind-blowing, heart-thrilling, life-changing fruit to be picked everywhere. Never had I seen so much truth and so much beauty condensed in so small a sphere. The Bible seemed to me then, and it seems today, inexhaustible. This is what I had dreamed about in the health center with mono, when God called me to the ministry of the Word. Now the question became: What is the Point, the Purpose, the Focus, the Essence of this beautiful glimpse of divine Truth?

A Glimpse of Why I and Everything Exist

In course after course the pieces were put in place. What a gift those three years of seminary were! In the final class with Dr. Fuller, called “The Unity of the Bible” (which is also a book by that title) the unifying flag was hoisted over the whole Bible.

God ordained a redemptive history whose sequence fully displays his glory so that, at the end, the greatest possible number of people would have had the historical antecedents necessary to engender [the most] fervent love for God.… The one thing God is doing in all of redemptive history is to show forth his mercy in such a way that the greatest number of people will throughout eternity delight in him with all their heart, strength, and mind.… When the earth of the new creation is filled with such people, then God’s purpose in showing forth his mercy will have been achieved.… All the events of redemptive history and their meaning as recorded in the Bible compose a unity in that they conjoin to bring about this goal.

Contained in these sentences were the seeds of my future. The driving passion of my life was rooted here. One of the seeds was in the word “glory”—God’s aim in history was to “fully display his glory.” Another seed was in the word “delight”—God’s aim was that his people “delight in him with all their heart.” The passion of my life has been to understand and live and teach and preach how these two aims of God relate to each other—indeed, how they are not two but one.

It was becoming clearer and clearer that if I wanted to come to the end of my life and not say, “I’ve wasted it!” then I would need to press all the way in, and all the way up, to the ultimate purpose of God and join him in it. If my life was to have a single, all-satisfying, unifying passion, it would have to be God’s passion. And, if Daniel Fuller was right, God’s passion was the display of his own glory and the delight of my heart.

All of my life since that discovery has been spent experiencing and examining and explaining that truth. It has become clearer and more certain and more demanding with every year. It has become clearer that God being glorified and God being enjoyed are not separate categories. They relate to each other not like fruit and animals, but like fruit and apples. Apples are one kind of fruit. Enjoying God supremely is one way to glorify him. Enjoying God makes him look supremely valuable.[1]

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

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

at, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

( The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and 

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 You Tube Channel:

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

My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock ( ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

[1] John Piper, Don’t Waste Your Life (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2003), 26–28.

Friday, April 2, 2021

Purity 382: Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

Purity 382 04/02/2021 Purity 382 Podcast

Good morning.

Today’s photo of this heavenly sunrise comes from a friend in Easton, New York who has been participating in our discipleship class via the mt4christ247 podcast.  Since taking the class they find themselves waking up early and beginning their day investing in their faith.  This amazing photo is a result of them looking for the peace that can only come from seeking the Lord because before they decided to walk in the Spirit they would have slept in and missed this sight that they called a “Son-rise” as in the Son of God, Jesus Christ.  

Today is Good Friday, and although our friend took this photo on 3/16 (YES, as in John 3:16) I purposefully held off sharing it until today because, I felt it was only fitting to share this “Son-rise” on the day when we remember that Christ died on the cross to pay for the sins of the world, reconciling to God all those who place their faith in Him.

For those not familiar with John 3:16, I just have to share it:

John 3:16 (NKJV)
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

So, now you know. God loves you. He sent Jesus Christ to earth to save us, to give us spiritual life, and to dwell with Him forever.  

While today we remember Christ’s death on the cross, it is even more important to remember that He didn’t stay dead.  Jesus showed He was the Son of God and God the Son by rising from the dead.

His example shows us that we who place our faith in Him will never truly die as we are given spiritual life the moment we believe in Him and we will rise with Him when He returns to reclaim and to renew the earth.  

So although we may be saddened by Christ’s suffering for us, keep your head up because He died so that we could truly live.

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Acts 1:8 (NKJV)
8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."

 Today’s verse are the last words that the resurrected Jesus spoke to the Apostles before ascending to heaven.  Prior to this He instructed the Apostles to wait for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit to be empowered to be witnesses of Jesus and to share His good news to the ends of the earth.  

 All believers receive the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit when they place their faith in Jesus.   So we all have the Holy Spirit in us to guide us through our conscience and intuition. We also can have a deep sense of His presence when we commune with God in prayer, worship, or Bible study. 

 The Holy Spirit will convict us of our sins and lead us to repentance. He can also lead us into all truth through revelations from God’s word that give us deeper understanding of our faith and can help us to discern the spiritual aspects in life.  Sometimes He can also reveal to us things that are to come as we receive words of knowledge or intuitions of assurances of outcomes that are later proven to be founded in truth that we can’t fully understand. 

 The Holy Spirit will guide those who seek His presence, wisdom, strength by asking for His Infilling.  But when we are attempting to follow the Holy Spirit we do have to be careful that we are not being deceived by ourselves or the enemy. 

 The Holy Spirit can and will do amazing things in your relationship with Him but there are things He will not do:

 He will never contradict the Word of God or the principles in the Word of God.

 So, if you are getting “a word from the spirit”, that leads you into sin or into confusion you can only conclude that you have been deceived or have deceived yourself. 

 The Holy Spirit’s ministry is to glorify the work of Jesus Christ. That’s why the Apostles had to wait to receive His baptism: to be empowered for ministry.  The evidence of the Holy Spirit’s power in the Apostle’s lives was the incredible growth of the church that followed their receiving the Holy Spirit’s baptism.   

 So as we seek to walk in the Spirit, the Holy Spirit should lead us into a life that glorifies God and the work and wisdom of Jesus Christ specifically.   The Holy Spirit’s power in our lives will be evidenced by our personal progressive sanctification and the good works that we do to build up the body of Christ and to welcome others into God’s kingdom through faith in Jesus Christ.   

 So follow the Holy Spirit’s leadings, ask Him for an infilling of His power when you need it, but be sure to be discerning so that you aren’t led astray by your own ideas or counterfeit thoughts that come from the world or the enemy.   

 We are not perfect, and we may make mistakes along the way but as long as we make sure that the guidance we take lines us with the word of God and its wisdom we can know that we are walking with the Spirit in the direction of God’s plan for our lives.

 I invite all to where I always share insights from prominent Christian counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk. 


Today we will share from Dr. June Hunt’s Biblical Counseling Keys on “Alcohol & Drug Abuse: Breaking Free & Staying Free.

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Dr. Hunt’s books for your own private study and to support her work:

E. How to Recover, Using 10 Spiritual Steps

True freedom must first be gained in the spiritual realm before it can be experienced in the physical, emotional, and relational realms. Take to heart the following steps as you walk down the road to recovery, which is the same road Josh Hamilton traveled.

Without a spiritual relationship with Jesus Christ, Josh believes he never could have become sober and drug free. In Josh's own words: "I went through eight different drug treatment and rehabilitation clinics, but my personal resurrection did not come from a group session or a therapist's couch. I know the twelve steps by heart, but my healing did not come from a strict adherence to those principles. Instead, my life changed from hopeless to hope-filled when I turned to God and asked for His help. I recognized my failings and, most important, my inability to heal myself"

Josh is fully aware of the truth of the following Scripture. ...

"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."
(Psalm 73:26)

  1. Decide, the time to begin your recovery is today.

"Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts ..." (Hebrews 3:15).

  1. Realize, recovery is a lifelong process, not a onetime event.

"Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me" (Philippians 3:12).

  1. Pray daily for victory! It is through prayer that God protects you.

"Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak" (Matthew 26:41).

  1. Read your Bible every day in order to get strength from God.

"My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word" (Psalm 119:28).

  1. Meditate on Scripture to fight against falling into sin.

"I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you" (Psalm 119:11).

  1. Attend church every week to worship God and to grow with others.

"Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together... but encouraging one another ..." (Hebrews 10:24-25).

  1. Share your struggles with caring loved ones.

"Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed" (James 5:16).

  1. Have confidence in God! Prioritize growing in your relationship with Him.

"Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well" (Matthew 6:33).

  1. Depend on Christ's strength to stay drug free.

"I can do all this through him who gives me strength" (Philippians 4:13).

  1. Know that permanent change is possible.

"Jesus looked at them and said, '... with God all things are possible'" (Matthew 19:26).

His Supernatural Power

Question: "I am a recovering addict but I've continued to relapse. Recently, I've become a Christian, and now I feel that God has delivered me. Is that possible?"

Answer: Some Christians do receive a supernatural deliverance from drugs, while others do not. No matter which is true in your case, by accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, there is good news for you. When you received authentic salvation, you not only were saved from the penalty of sin, but were also saved from the power of sin. Drugs are no longer your master — Jesus is now your Master. Although this struggle may be a target for spiritual attack or a weakness of past sinful patterns, through the power of Christ living in you, you can rely on His power to overcome temptation by making right decisions after right decisions after right decisions. ...

"We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin. ... For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace."
(Romans 6:6, 14)

Biblical Counseling Keys - Biblical Counseling Keys – Biblical Counseling Keys: Alcohol & Drug Abuse: Breaking Free & Staying Free.

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


God bless you all!


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