Showing posts with label Health. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Health. Show all posts

Saturday, August 12, 2023

Rationalizing Between Right and Wrong - Self-Deception Series 30 – Purity 1119

 Rationalizing Between Right and Wrong - Self-Deception Series 30 – Purity 1119

Purity 1119 08/12/2023 Purity 119 Podcast

Purity 1119 on YouTube:

Good morning,

Today’s photo of a pillar of cloud and fiery sunset on the blue sky horizon over a dusk-darkened roadway comes to us from yours truly as I captured this scene yesterday during an early evening walk on Waite Rd near my countryside home in Easton NY.

Well, It’s Saturday and as all my “weekday” summer vacation days have expired I find myself walking between the dread of watching my time off in vacation dreamland come to an end and the relief that comes from the realization that your regular routine is going to resume to bring you back to life and back to reality. 

Famous Actress, Helen Hayes, who is only one of 15 people who have won at least one Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony award is also known for having said “If you rest, you rust” (, and while I am far from being the hardest working man in show business, (James Brown – rest in peace),  I can relate to the late actress’ sentiment because while I have enjoyed the relative relaxation I have experienced recently I feel that it has caused my resolve in some areas to rust and waste away.

While I was diligent to hit the hotel gym in the wee hours of the morning last week while on the road in Erie PA, this week my physical exercise has been reduced to one short “hike” with my wife, a day of walking around the exhibits at the Adirondack Experience Museum (followed by a tour of Italy at the Olive Garden!), and daily leisurely strolls up and down Waite Road with my canine friend Harley.   This second week of “vacay” has seen no HIIT workouts, no mini circuits with V-Shred’s Vince Sant, no Tabata, and some serious slippage with the food choices I have made. Chips, candy, soda, and movie theater popcorn, oh my! Say it isn’t so, M.T,!  

I wish I could say it wasn’t so but this week I have found my resolve at maintaining my health goals has rusted away.  I wish I could say I have good reasons for slipping up but when we compromise what we know is right, there really are no good reasons for doing what is wrong.   

Sure I could say “I’m on vacation, I’m taking a break” or I could tell you how the facilities, environment, and attitudes at TammyLyn’s Countryside Estate are severely lacking and are not conducive to one’s physical health but in truth, those would just be excuses – rationalizations – reasons I use to excuse my poor decisions and behaviors. 

In the end, we are each personally responsible for and suffer the consequences for the things we think and do, and the reasons we give to excuse our deviations from right to wrong are just lies we tell ourselves!   

And that brings us to our current series on Self-Deception, where we have decided to investigate some of the ways we deceive ourselves by walking through Step 2, Deception Vs. Truth, of the Steps to Freedom in Christ to see what ways we may have been deceived by “the world” and ourselves and in what ways we have wrongly defended ourselves. 

So we present the seventh of the  “Ways to Wrongly Defend Yourself”:

7. Rationalization

The Steps to Freedom in Christ describes projection as “making excuses for my own poor behavior.”  

“I’m on vacation.” “I need a break.” “Everyone else is doing it.” “I need this.” “I’m weak.” “One time won’t hurt.” “No one needs to know.” “I can do what I want.”   “You see, I need this because…. X,Y, & Z”.   

All of these, no matter how simple or complex I want to make them, are all rationalizations – making excuses for poor behavior.  

While my excuses – that “I am on vacation”, “There’s no space to exercise here”, and “It’s just for this week” may seem like some valid reasons for my decision to “rest and not worry about it” and do things that I know are not healthy, those rationalizations aren’t “true”. They don’t actually prevent me from doing what is “right” or give me a just cause from deviating from what I know is the “right path” to accomplishing my health goal (of leaving the “obesity zone” of the body mass index forever).  Those reasons will also not free me of the consequences of my decisions either and I will have to be diligent in my efforts to “stop falling” and to pick myself up and start walking in the right direction again.   I’m not sure what these rationalizations have cost me thus far because I have avoided the scale, but my back is hurting a little this morning and that is never a good sign.

I have learned that my back tries to inform me when I have been too lazy, or I am carrying too much weight and so I know it is time to repent. Even though I have a tendency to allow myself some liberty on Saturdays and have considered them to be “cheat days” in the past,  I am progressively learning that the only one I am cheating is myself.  

So I will stop with the rationalizations and try to right the ship again by “doing something”. I won’t eat foods outside my meal plan, and I may even pick up the pace with my canine pal Harley and make our morning walk a jog because my back has reminded me that whatever excuses I make doesn’t make doing “wrong” right. 

So let’s keep walking and talking with God, because the Holy Spirit will lead us into all truth and stop us from making excuses and living a lie. 


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

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. ( )

This morning’s meditation verse comes from the section on Affliction, Discipline, Chastisement, & Trials.

Romans 5:3-4 (RSV)
3  More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,
4  and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,

Today’s verse fall under the sixteenth point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Affliction, Discipline, Chastisement, & Trials

 16. “We can rejoice in our sufferings, which produce perseverance.

***Full disclosure – point 16 also references James 1:2-4 for this point, but that passage of scripture – where we get it to count it all joy when we fall into various trials - was highlighted in the fourth point - 4. God at times sends trials to develop patience in us. – of our resource a few weeks back in Purity 1105 (***

Today’s verses, Romans 5:3-4, encourage us to rejoice in our sufferings because we know it produces endurance, which in turn produces character, which in turn can produce hope. And thus when we can hope, we can rejoice.  

Again we will point out that, no, we don’t rejoice because we are suffering.  “Oh goody, I’m suffering again. That’s good.”  

No, suffering is not good. It’s painful and in no way should we fall into the trap of thinking we need to “suffer for the Lord” as a means to an end to produce endurance, character, or hope – to attain some level of “sainthood”.  

Although I have to admit that suffering does seem to be a natural consequence to deciding to faithfully follow Lord, to openly proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ, and in practicing some of the traditional spiritual disciplines, like fasting, we shouldn’t “seek suffering” to build up our faith like some game, that’s dangerous ground and honestly it can be a call from the enemy to stoke up your self-righteousness as much as it could be a heartfelt desire to answer the Lord’s call to repentance.

There is a fine line between earnestly and perhaps ascetically seeking and following the Lord and having a performance based mentality fueled by pride and spiritual materialism.  So try to be humble and sure of your motivations and discern whether or not what you are doing that causes suffering is being done for the right reasons.  

Don’t get me wrong here. “Crucifying the flesh” and repentance may very well lead you to put your body and will in subjection, causing suffering, - like when my decision to go into recovery had me suffer and literally reduced me to tearfully crying out for the Lord on my hands and knees on my basement floor in prayer to take my addictions away.  But things like that and extremes like literally whipping your flesh with self-flagellations  are different. One is the consequence of repentance and the other is some misguided attempt to “punish our wicked body”.  Although Jesus suggests cutting off limbs and gauging out eyes to keep us from sinning, because there are no scenes in the gospel accounts of the Apostles helping sinners to remove body parts, we have to believe that Jesus was speaking metaphorically, although some individuals took His words literally. 

We don’t need to cut off body parts to stop sinning, we need renew our minds with the word of God and allow the Lord to change our hearts to have victory over sins.  So we don’t need to inflict suffering on our bodies intentionally to reap endurance, character and hope.     

No, we can rejoice in our sufferings – not because we are producing them to make us holy – but because we “know that it produces endurance, which produces character, which produces hope”.   And if we break down that progression, we can see that we don’t have to seek suffering.   

The trials we face, the pain we feel, or the persecution that comes from simply repenting and obeying the Lord will test us to give up our faith and to go back to the ways of the world, the flesh, and the devil.  Just like the enemy tested Jesus in the wilderness, those three forces (the world system, our flesh, and the literal very real  forces of darkness), tempt us to stop following the Lord and use their ways to stop or alleviate suffering, but when we resist them and persist in continuing to go forward, to keep going on, or to just endure what we are going through, it “toughens” us up. Our threshold for pain could grow in capacity, our mental resolve and discipline could increase, or our prayerful dependence on the Lord’s strength can grow.  These things demonstrate we are enduring. When we examine how our endurance has changed the way we act, we realize that we have become more patient and that our very character has become more mature.  When we see that we don’t react the way we used to and have matured in the way we respond to suffering and trials, we see what the Lord has done in our lives, that we really are becoming more like Jesus, and the realization of that victory and how it indicates that the “Lord is with us and helping us”  gives us tremendous hope. God is with us and is helping us! He loves us! Even in the darkest valley, He hasn’t left us or forsaken us, and He is changing us as we carry on!

That is why we can rejoice in our sufferings, because as we endure we realize the Lord’s love for us, presence with us, and strength in us that is changing our character and giving us the hope that the One who is changing us, will remain with us, strengthen us to endure and possibly deliver us from the things we suffer.  

So if you are suffering, press into your faith in and reliance upon God and rejoice in the hope He gives you.


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  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 (

A.W. Pink’s The Holy Spirit

19 -The Spirit Teaching

The Spirit Applies Knowledge to the Heart

“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things” (John 14:26). How urgently we need a Divine Teacher! A natural and notional knowledge of Divine things may be obtained through men, but a spiritual and experimental knowledge of them can only be communicated by God Himself. I may devote myself to the study of the Scriptures in the same ways as I would to the study of some science or the mastering of a foreign language. By diligent application, persevering effort, and consulting works of reference (commentators, etc.), I may steadily acquire a comprehensive and accurate acquaintance with the letter of God’s Word, and become an able expositor thereof. But I cannot obtain a heart-affecting, a heart-purifying, and a heart-molding knowledge thereof. None but the Spirit of truth can write God’s Law on my heart, stamp God’s image upon my soul, and sanctify me by the Truth.

Conscience informs me that I am a sinner; the preacher may convince me that without Christ I am eternally lost; but neither the one nor the other is sufficient to move me to receive Him as my Lord and Savior. One man may lead a horse to the water, but no 10 men can make him drink when he is unwilling to do so. The Lord Jesus Himself was “anointed to preach the Gospel” (Luke 4:18), and did so with a zeal for God’s glory and a compassion for souls such as none other ever had; yet He had to say to His hearers, “Ye will not come to Me, that ye might have life” (John 5:40). What a proof is that, that something more is required above and beyond the outward presentation of the Truth. There must be the inward application of it to the heart with Divine power if the will is to be moved. And that is what the teaching of the Spirit consists of: it is an effectual communication of the Word which works powerfully within the soul.

Why is it that so many professing Christians change their view so easily and quickly? What is the reason there are so many thousands of unstable souls who are “tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive” (Eph. 4:14)? Why is it that this year they sit under a man who preaches the Truth and claim to believe and enjoy his messages; while next year they attend the ministry of a man of error and heartily embrace his opinions? It must be because they were never taught of the Spirit. “I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be forever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it” (Eccl. 3:14). What the Spirit writes on the heart remains: “The anointing which ye have received of Him abideth in you” (1 John 2:27), and neither man nor devil can efface it.

Why is it that so many professing Christians are unfruitful? Month after month, year after year, they attend upon the means of grace, and yet remain unchanged. Their store of religious information is greatly increased, their intellectual knowledge of the Truth is much advanced, but their lives are not transformed. There is no denying of self, taking up their cross, and following a despised Christ along the narrow way of personal holiness. There is no humble self-abasement, no mourning over indwelling sin, no mortification of the same. There is no deepening love for Christ, evidenced by a running in the way of His commandments. Such people are “ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim. 3:7), i.e. that “knowledge” which is vital, experimental, affecting, and transforming. They are not taught of the Spirit.

Why is it in times of temptation and death that so many despair? Because their house is not built upon the Rock. Hence, as the Lord Jesus declared, “the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and itself” (Matthew 7:27). It could not endure the testing: when trouble and trial, temptation and tribulation came, its insecure foundation was exposed. And note the particular character Christ there depicted: “Everyone that heareth these sayings of Mine, (His precepts in the much-despised “Sermon on the Mount”) and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand” (v. 26). Men may go on in worldly courses, evil practices, sinful habits, trusting in a head-knowledge of Christ to save them; but when they reach “the swelling of Jordan” (Jer. 12:5) they will prove the insufficiency of it.

Ah, dear reader, a saving knowledge is not a knowledge of Divine things, but is a Divinely-imparted knowledge. It not only has God for its Object, but God for its Author. There must be not only a knowledge of spiritual things, but a spiritual knowledge of the same. The light which we have of them must be answerable to the things themselves: we must see them by their own light. As the things themselves are spiritual, they must be imparted and opened to us by the Holy Spirit. Where there is a knowledge of the Truth which has been wrought in the heart by the Spirit, there is an experimental knowledge of the same, a sensible consciousness, a persuasive and comforting perception of their reality, an assurance which nothing can shake. The Truth then possesses a sweetness, a preciousness, which no inducement can cause the soul to part with 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, 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 (

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 :     

“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, November 19, 2022

To Be With Jesus – The Chosen Season 3 Purity 893


To Be With Jesus – The Chosen Season 3  Purity 893         

Purity 893 11/19/2022 Purity 893 Podcast

Purity 893 on YouTube:  

Good morning,

Today’s photo of the silhouettes of an Autumn Stripped tree line against the backdrop of ethereal sunset sky comes to us from my beloved wife, TammyLyn Clark, who captured this heavenly scene back on November 11th when she decided to take her youngest children and our canine pal, Harley, to Hudson Crossing Park in Schuylerville for an impromptu walk.  When we get to see scenes like this, I think we get a small idea of the beauty of heaven, and it makes me yearn for the days when we get to see God’s kingdom and Jesus face to face.  

Well, it is the weekend, and it is my prayer that all who hear or see this message have a wonderful weekend and will consider my recommendation to go and see The Chosen, Season Three Episodes 1 & 2 in a theatre near you. 

The only thing I was disappointed in at last night’s viewing of The Chosen, Season 3’s premier was my decision to fall in my patterned behavior of getting that large popcorn and soda. I know “say it isn’t so….” As I have said in the past, there is grace for our weaknesses and ours is a walk of progress and not perfection. 

Paradoxically,  part of my failure in the decision to indulge in the popcorn and soda (zero sugar – okay) was the result of a decision to get serious about my health goal. Say what?   

Yesterday, I was either the victim of click bait or genuinely resolved to get help by seeking the advice of experts in the field of fitness, as I purchased a fitness plan that is bold in its claims to help people transform their bodies.

After the bliss of my courtship and wedding to TammyLyn, I had let my health goal slip in 2022 but recently made steps to right the ship and have made progress. But after Halloween’s Harvest Fest candy indulgences and other slips, I have seen my progress stall.  Mercifully, I have more or less plateaued, with only gaining a pound or two back from my recent progress to reclaim the ground I had lost. So with the knowledge that I had to do something to start heading in the right direction again, I was open to suggestions. 

So I signed up for V-Shred, yup the “swipe up and take my fitness quiz”-guy, Vince Sant, that you have most likely seen on YouTube or Instagram plugging his Fat Loss Extreme Program.  So I intend to change my normal workout routine on Monday and trust this program and my personal trainer’s recommendations to “get shredded” or at least get headed in the right direction to accomplish my health goal of being in the normal BMI range for my height. 

So last night due to the excitement of going out on a Friday night, and like the alcoholic who gets drunk one last time before going to rehab, I gave into my patterned behavior of getting a large popcorn and soda, and of course had to get the refills, AND also got Cookie Dough Pieces! So, I look forward to my first V-Shred workouts Monday morning so I can atone for this latest failure.  

But, hey, speaking of atonement, I have been forgiven, right? Because of Jesus Christ, I have been forgiven of all my sins and have been delivered from condemnation, so I acknowledge my weaknesses, am seeking help and accountability, and will not beat myself up about failure 1,999.643 or whatever number this one was, and instead will repent and will press into my health goal with a new resolve on Monday.  

And that’s something I think that we should all remember,  just because we fail in achieving our goals in life doesn’t mean we should just abandon them.

This is a tough thing to discern of course because sometimes our goals can seem unrealistic, or they may indeed be impossible, and sometimes we have to give them up.

But in this area, our physical health, I believe that the Lord would encourage us to seek to be good steward of our bodies, the temples of the Holy Spirit, and would prefer that we didn’t suffer because our lack of discipline.

Gluttony is not a virtue and Obesity is its bad fruit.  Scripture doesn’t have good things to say about gluttony and there are verses to tell us to take care of our bodies. If you don’t believe me or need some verses to build a stronghold buster for you health goal, I am including links to openbible.ifo’s 100 Bible verses about gluttony (   and physical fitness ( on the blog today.  

You see my health goal is not about vanity. I’m not looking to impress other people; I’m looking to be as healthy as I can be as I move into the last years of my life because I want to live as I can to continue to encourage other people to see what the Lord can do with your life when you follow Him. And in this latest chapter of the battle of the bulge, which has admittedly been a lifelong struggle, I hope to utilize the self-control that the Holy Spirit has brought to my life to accomplish what just about everyone says is impossible: to be a healthy, or “normal”, weight; to be strong, in the body as well as in the mind and spirit.

Guys like Vince Sant know that, with proper diet, exercise, motivation, and discipline people can transform their bodies to be healthy.  So why not me?  I have already made great strides in my physical health so why not keep going until “it is finished”?  I have already renewed my mind about my eating habits and altered my diet to have success, so why not be focused to strengthen my body and further undo the excesses of the past?  That’s what I hope to do, and I know that the Lord will be with me.  

And speaking of the Lord being with me, I have to tell you that the first two episodes of The Chosen Season Three were fantastic!  I won’t give you any spoilers, but I positively loved the interactions of Christ and His Apostles and the supporting characters in these first two episodes.  Forgiveness, the determination of Discipleship and the acceptance of some hard truths were major themes in last night’s drama, and they cause me to appreciate The Chosen with new zeal.  

Previously, I watched the show with a love/hate mentality born from my love for the Bible and the Lord. The Chosen builds a drama based on scripture and sometimes I have liked what they have done and other times I have cringed over certain moments where I thought their artistic license went too far, didn’t go far enough, or took me in a direction I didn’t expect. Admittedly, I still carry a bit of theological baggage from my long road to freedom in Christ, and sometimes my objections are born more from my personal history than what the creators of The Chosen have done.  I have issues… 

But, except for a couple of minor moments of critical scrutiny in the beginning moments of last night’s premiere, I didn’t have any issues with what the creators of The Chosen did with episodes one and two of Season 3.   Quite the contrary, I was moved to tears more than once at the unfolding drama. I was particularly moved by a realization that I, like the Apostles, would one day SEE JESUS, and just that simple thought set my heart ablaze with love and a yearning to continue to be faithful to follow Him, as I had the absurd but accurate thought that “Jesus was a really cool guy.”   

Please don’t misunderstand me. I don’t mean any disrespect by that statement. I have deep love, awe and reverence for Jesus and understand that He is fully God and Man, but The Chosen gives us an opportunity to imagine what it would be like to be with Him, to be in His physical presence, to talk with Him face to face, and to hear His voice. 

I think as Christians, we don’t think about Jesus as a Man that we could hang out with and The Chosen Season Three episodes one and two made me desire the contact that the Apostles enjoyed.  

So as we keep stumbling along in life, don’t give up on your dreams and don’t forget that Jesus walked on this earth and showed His love to others personally and as strange as it may sound He knows us and one day we will see Him. 




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

This morning’s meditation verse are:

Romans 6:6-8 (NLT2)
6  We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin.
7  For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin.
8  And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him.

Today’s verses remind us that when we put our faith in Him, we died with Christ and were free from the power of sin, and now live with Him.  

When we know that Christ is for us, it doesn’t matter who comes against us. 

In terms of Spiritual warfare, when our Big Brother, Jesus, is with us, we receive all His power and Authority to cast out the spiritual forces of darkness.   We can utilize his authority to set ourselves and others free from demonic oppression.  

And in today’s verse, Paul reminds us that Christ also gives us power to say no to our personal demons of temptation and sin but the key point that Paul makes here is that we live with Christ, that we follow Him.  

If we just continue in our worldly ways, resting on the forgiveness we have received, we may be relieved and find comfort from knowing God won’t hold our sins against us.   But that doesn’t make us free.  And even worse, our continued sins will cause disharmony in our relationship with God as we will persist in living against His word and apart from His wisdom. When we willfully persist in sin, we deny our identity in Christ and reject the truth of what God has done in our lives.  

Through Christ we have been made new creations, but when we choose to sin we deny that we have been made new and our decisions reveal that we either don’t believe that God’s ways are best or that we have not een given the power that the word of God tells us we have.  

“You are always going to sin!” is a phrase that is true, but the Lord gives us power to decrease the number and to change the quality of our sins if we ask the Lord for the ability to repent and to overcome the sins that beset us.   You might need the help of others. You need to renew you mind with the word of God.   And you might need to try, try, try again but if we lean on the Lord’s strength and power, we can make a change. We may never be sin ess, but we can sin less, and the quality of our sins can change.

But first we need to believe it. Believe these verses, have faith in the word, and show your faith by demonstrating you believe with the way you live.  Victory, peace, and joy come from living with Christ, so never leave His side.



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 Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s “Discipleship”, also known as “The Cost of Discipleship”

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

The Sermon on the Mount

Matthew 7

The Community of Disciples Is Set Apart

The Great Separation

“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it. For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it.

¶ “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? In the same way, every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will know them by their fruits.

¶ “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many deeds of power in your name?’ Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; go away from me, you evil-doers’ ” (Matt. 7:13–23).

The faith-community of Jesus cannot arbitrarily separate itself from the community of those who do not hear Jesus’ call. The faith community is called to discipleship by their Lord’s promise and commandment. That must suffice for them. They submit every judgment and separation to the one who has chosen them in predestination, not by the merits of their deeds, but by grace. It is not the faith community which separates itself from others, yet this separation necessarily takes place in the call by the Word.

The call separates a small group, those who follow, from the great mass of the people. The disciples are few and will always be only a few. This word of Jesus cuts off any false hope of their effectiveness. Disciples should never invest their trust in numbers. “There are few of them …,” but there are, and always will be, many others who go to their destruction. What can console disciples experiencing this, except the fact that life is promised to them, the eternal communion with Jesus?[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] Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Discipleship, ed. Martin Kuske et al., trans. Barbara Green and Reinhard Krauss, vol. 4, Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2003), 175–176.

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

A Rebel’s Surrender and Care of the Temple - Purity 805

A Rebel’s Surrender and Care of the Temple - Purity 805

Purity 805 08/09/2022 Purity 805 Podcast

Good morning,

Today’s photo of a “Cotton Candy Sunset” over Lake Ontario comes to us today from Celestial Blue Photography who captured this scene in Oswego NY back on August 5th.  I just love how God lights up the sky to keep our gaze upward and to lead us to ponder the origin of our existence, a search that if pursued logically will lead to the conclusion of a self-existent Creator and if coupled with God’s grace will lead us to our surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.  

So many ponder the vastness of the universe and know that there must be a God but they stop short of pursuing the truth in the Bible that would lead them the rest of the way to the answer of life and death.  Some hear the truth and lament that they “wish” they could believe but they refuse it claiming a variety of reasons that merely mask their rebellion to surrender the authority of their life to God.  

I get it! Oh brother, all my life I questioned authority and although I wasn’t a known troublemaker, I was too smart for that, I was positively anarchistic in terms of defying standards, rules, and regulations in my heart because all I needed to see was one drop of hypocrisy or one iota of self interest or a desire to control and I would see that those in authority didn’t know what they were doing or were doing it for selfish reasons. 

Ironically, these insights in my youth should have led me to the perfect government of God’s kingdom and to embrace the measures He ordained to establish and maintain the limited amount of good, justice, or stability that we have on earth, rather than inwardly screaming “Anarchy!” and seeking to defy authority in anyway I could that would give me the personal satisfaction that “I knew better” or “I was in control of me!” A nine inch nail song’s lyric, summed up my secret heart: “I’d rather die than give you control!!!”

Well, the good news is I did die! It is only through my faith in Christ, and dying and being raised to life with Him that I am not currently hung over and angry about having to face another day working for “The Man”.

I never should have been a rebel because of the imperfections of mankind to establish God’s peace on earth. Instead of trying to tear things down, I should have used my insights to make things better. I should have been a reformer rather than a rebel.  But boy am I glad I didn’t.

What? Yeah, if I had taken that path I would have really been full of myself, and my self-righteousness was bad enough as a rebel. Could you imagine how inflated my ego would have been if I had sought to be “good” in my own strength and with my atheistic /secular humanist bent would have been even more convinced that I didn’t need God.  

But oh well, if we understand reality and God’s grace, we have to understand that we shouldn’t “Monday Quaterback” our lives, even on a Tuesday. We got one life to live. We can’t go back. We made our choices and we can’t choose a different path way back when in the past, to even contemplate these ideas is in truth a tremendous waste of time, but instead we can choose to follow a new path, prayerfully God’s path, today.  

But even if we do play “Devil’s advocate” and contemplate “what if” with our pasts, we have to realize that if God wanted us in His kingdom, no choices we would have made would have made a difference in terms of coming to Christ. Thank you God!   So if you do that “what if” stuff, stop supposing and start living, starting now.   

Anyway, as I was working out today an older, not that old, worship song came on and it reminded me of the earlier days on my walk and how I need “more faith” because even though I did believe, I still struggled with sin and unbelief. 

The song was “Give me Faith” by Elevation worship. I am sharing a link to a lyric video on YouTube on the blog if you want to check it out (   Any way the lyrics say:

“I need You

To soften my heart and break me apart

I need You

To pierce through the dark and cleanse every part of me


All I am, I surrender


Give me faith to trust what You say

That You're good and Your love is great

I'm broken inside, I give You my life


I may be weak but Your Spirit's strong in me

My flesh may fail, but my God, You never will


This is an awesome song to proclaim over your faith walk.  But to live it requires that surrender and as the lyrics indicate it is a total surrender.

Do you understand the implications of a life surrendered to God’s will and ways? 

Well, let’s just say they are far reaching and the depth of which know no limits. 

If you are ever “bored” in your Christianity, it is because you haven’t answered the call to repent, to follow the Lord, and to totally surrender your life to God’s will.  

One of the things we see in any faith system is a division between clergy and laity and with the laity there are those who practice their faith devoutly and those who don’t.  

All these division are man made for the most part. God calls us all to be a royal priesthood, but I get it some are called to l’sad, or serve different functions in the body and some aren’t.  So very well, clergy, God word actually ordains it in terms of teachers, pastors, overseers, and deacons.  So I understand leaders and different functions within the body of Christ, the term I prefer over “church” because of the confusion surrounding that word because of our “church” traditions and cultures. 

I teach Freedom in Christ and encourage a lifestyle of discipleship, following Christ, and although we will all have different levels of spiritual maturity, unlike the clergy division, there really shouldn’t be a division between Christians who practice their faith and Christians who don’t. 

Christians who don’t practice their faith should truly worry about their salvation, I know I did when I was a member of a liturgical church.  I might have been in the church building but I don’t know, pretty sure I wasn’t, in the Body of Christ until 2010 when I put my faith in Christ alone and began surrendering my life to God’s wisdom and ways.  

When we surrender, not only do we discover that our life in Christ causes us to reduce or abandon our obvious sins, all at once or little by little, it can also cause us to pursue good works or to do service for God’s kingdom.

Okay, stop evil, do good right?   

But as we walk this surrendered life out we will discover that Holy Spirit will give us a heightened sense of “goodness” – a fruit of the Spirit – which will spill into the ways we view things and choose to live.  Things that aren’t “good” for us are increasingly exposed by our maturing spiritual discernment and our hearts desire will be to increasing do what’s “right” in all kinds of areas of our lives.  

I’ve shared that one of the areas that this has poured into my life is the care of my body, specifically in terms of trying to be a healthy weight and to not experience pain from my poor choices.   It also includes getting enough sleep.   I’m increasingly learning and repenting from my health “sins”. 

My job takes me all over the capital district and I am often called to do install or repair of telephone service in nursing homes.  As I have said before, it’s not how you start but how you finish, and if you want to be convicted about the importance of your health go to a nursing home or rehabilitation center and look at the consequences of poor choices played out over time.  

Not only do we have to foster our mental and spiritual health on this path or discipleship, we have to take care of the temple of the Holy Spirit. We have to care for our bodies.  

The other day I was walking through a nursing home and a woman was in a wheel chair with her feet elevated. It easy to see that her feet were in rough shape and she was crying and literally calling for “God in heaven” to help her as she was calling out to anyone who walked by to cut her toe nails, which were huge. Yup, including me. I couldn’t help her of course and it was heartbreaking.

I had foot surgery a few years ago to get rid of growths, mitosis, and after that experience I decided to take care of my feet and used lotion on the every morning for quite some time but as things got hectic with the blog and podcast, I stopped doing it. 

But not anymore, after seeing this woman’s pain, I am more convicted to take care of my body so I be healthy and be used by God to give Him glory for as long as He gives me on the earth.  

So as part of my faith walk, I am lotioning my feet again. I want to be good steward of what God has given me and be fully surrendered to Him in everything I become aware of. 

I may never be perfect in my walking and talking with God, but if I see something in my journey that indicates I should change, I will try to be diligent to surrender it to the Lord and use His strength and guidance to change it.  

So Lord, give me faith to trust what you say, because You’re good, and Your love is great, although I have been walking with you for sometime now, there are still parts of my life that are broken. I give you my life. I may be weak but Your Spirit is strong in me, my flesh may fail but my God, You never will. 

I surrender.


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

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Hebrews 8:12 (NLT2)
12  And I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins.”

Today’s verse reminds us that God forgives our wickedness and promises to never again remember them.  

Of course I have to point out that God’s knowledge is perfect and today’s verse doesn’t tell us that God has forgotten our sins. His “never again remembering our sins”, means that He has truly forgiven us and He won’t hold them against us.  

God calls you to be a saint, His adopted child.  He doesn’t call you a sinner.  

So if you call yourself a “sinner saved by grace”, I recommend you agree with God and give yourself a break and “never again remember your sins” if they will cause you to feel condemned or shy away from proclaiming the gospel. 

Yeah you sinned, you messed up. Guess what? Everyone has.  But in Christ we have forgiveness and a new life with victory over sin,  so instead of beating yourself up about your old life, before you died,  mourn it and rise to life by following Christ and living differently. 

There is no condemnation for those in Christ, so believe it and live your new life where God will lead you in the way you should go.


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 Clinton E. Arnold’s “Powers of Darkness”

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

Spiritual Warfare As Proclamation

Spiritual warfare is not only defensive; it also takes the offensive. Paul called the soldiers of Christ to advance on enemy territory by proclaiming the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ Just as Christ bound the strong man in order to plunder his house, so too the body of Christ plunders Satan’s kingdom by proclaiming the promise of divine rescue to captives in the kingdom of darkness.

There is one part of the soldier’s gear that is not a weapon, but it is a furnishing that enables the soldier to take an offensive posture in the battle—good footwear. A typical soldier would journey for miles as his army advanced to the battlefront and then pursue the enemy (This was certainly true when Xerxes led his armies all the way from Persia in an attempt to conquer Greece!). The footgear of the Christian needs to be “the readiness to announce the Good News of peace” (Eph 6:15 TEV). Believers need to be prepared to share the good news of Christ wherever God may lead them.

Many commentators have correctly observed that the only offensive weapon in the entire panoply is the sword (Eph 6:17). While it is used as a part of a believer’s resistance, it is also a weapon of aggression. The Word of God and the work of the Spirit are the means by which the people of God step out in defiance of Satan and rob his domain. They are the means by which God draws people to himself, transforming their lives and bringing them into relationship with himself.

Thus, according to Paul, the primary aggressive action the Christian is called to take in the world is to spread the gospel—the good news of salvation through the death and resurrection of Christ. The gospel represents “God’s power to rescue people from [the devil’s] tyranny.”

The whole course of Paul’s ministry is a model of this aggressive proclamation. The church should follow Paul’s lead. Luke seemed to understand this point and wrote his account of Paul’s missionary outreach in a way that would inspire zeal and courage among the believers who read it. At the same time, Luke did not minimize the amount of conflict Paul faced in his proclamational mission. Luke interpreted much of this conflict, as described in chapter one, as powerful demonic opposition. Yet the Christian who depends on God’s power, as Paul did, will overcome enemy hostilities, and the gospel will continue to advance, with more and more people being saved out of the dominion of darkness.

Even here, in the context of Ephesians, Paul personally was concerned with the mission of the church in spite of his imprisonment. He wanted God’s enabling power to be imparted to him through prayer, not necessarily for a demonstration of the gospel’s supernatural character through miraculous events. He sensed a need for God’s touch so he could proclaim it fearlessly and boldly! Even after all the years of successful preaching, Paul still felt a great need for a divine infusing of power to give him the nerve to proclaim the gospel fearlessly. He pleads, “Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should” (Eph 6:19–20). Paul’s incessant readiness to proclaim the good news was a hallmark of his life. Likewise, it should be of paramount importance to believers in subsequent generations. This is the mission of the church![1]

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

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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

[1] Clinton E. Arnold, Powers of Darkness: Principalities & Powers in Paul’s Letters (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic: An Imprint of InterVarsity Press, 1992), 156–158.