The Lord’s Invitation to You – Purity 677
Purity 677 03/12/2022 Purity 677 Podcast
Today’s photo of what looks like the fading light of sunset over Indian River comes to us from a friend who recently visited Riverview Park in Sebastian Florida. While this particular friend lived in upstate NY, he heard the call to go south upon his retirement causing him to purchase a home in Liberty Kentucky. But about a year later he heard the call to “keep going” and sold his place down in the holler and exchanged it for a home on wheels as he purchased a trailer that would give him a place to rest his head as his wanderlust kept him in motion with his recent travels sending him to the Sunshine state.
Well, it’s Saturday and while today’s forecasted snow will cause me to rest in the cozy confines of my countryside home in Easton NY, my thoughts are drawn to the scriptures that are all about seeking the Lord and answering the call of God on our lives this morning.
God gives us the invitation to a new and everlasting life through Jesus Christ He also gives us various invitations on our walk of faith after we come to Christ. The question is will we accept God’s invitations or not?
I have invitations on my mind this morning because I just received the information to share for anyone who is interested in taking a Freedom in Christ course through Freedom in Christ Ministries that begin in a few weeks. Spring Registration is now open and I am providing all the information about it on the blog today for anyone interested:
If you are interested in taking an online course with Freedom in Christ Ministries below you will find the course options for our Spring Session. The classes will meet for 1.5-2 hours once a week for 12 weeks starting the first full week of April. Our prayer is that you will be able to set aside time for one of these wonderful courses. They truly are life changing!
Spring registration is now open! We are offering these times.
1. Women’s Group, Starting Wednesday, April 6 at 10:00 AM EDT.
2. Women’s Group, Starting Friday, April 8 at 10:30 AM EDT.
3. Men’s Group, Starting Tuesday, April 5 at 7:00 PM EDT.
4. Men's Group, Starting Thursday, April 7 at 6:30 PM EDT.
5. CO-ED SPANISH SPEAKING Group, Starting Tuesday, April 5 at 7:00 PM EDT.
6. CO-ED Group, Starting Thursday, April 7 at 7:00 PM EDT.
If you are interested in taking the Freedom in Christ Course, please click the Sign-up Form link below to register for your desired course time.
We encourage you to order your books now through the FICM online Bookstore at Freedominchrist.com. You will need the Freedom in Christ Course Participant’s Guide and The Steps to Freedom in Christ booklet.
All materials and shipping should cost you no more than $25.
Once registration has closed, you will receive an introduction email confirming your course time and giving you additional information about your instructor and how the course works.
Sign up and order your books today! Class registration will close on Sunday, March 27
This invitation to take a Freedom in Christ course could be the call of the Lord on your life to grow in your faith and freedom.
After I said a prayer to make Jesus my Lord and Savior in 2010, I have been answering the Lord’s call on my life in a progressive fashion ever since. The way I was drawn to read the Bible after getting saved and the way I felt the need to search for a local church where I could worship God in Spirit and in truth were just the first steps to what has been a continuous occupation of seeking to know the Lord more and to do His will for my life.
As I have said before, if I were only able to give one bit of advice it would be to “always seek the Lord”. It is through seeking the Lord that we can solve “the mystery”.
We can attempt to solve the mystery of our lives in a variety of ways.
Some people seek to “solve the mystery” of this game called life by accumulating wealth and possessions. Others try to “solve it” through their accomplishments. Others feel that the mystery is solved through relationships. If they could just find the “one”, build a family, and have friends, they feel that would solve everything.
The American Dream is a combination of all of the above and, in truth, when you achieve all of those things life can be pretty good. When we get all of those things we may think the “mystery of a happy life” has been solved.
However, the reality of death causes us to realize that there is a bigger mystery to consider: the mystery of life and death, and the purpose of life.
A created thing’s purpose is determined by it’s creator and our failure to consider our Creator’s purpose for us is to fail to understand why we are here and what we are created for.
In looking at the New Testament, when the people who would become the disciples of Jesus heard of the possibility of the Messiah in their midst, they sought the truth.
The search for the Messiah was actually a search for meaning and fulfillment as the disciples knew that the Messiah would be the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies and that He would tell us God’s plan for humanity. So when they finally saw the One John the Baptist pointed to, they were curious and when they addressed Jesus,
John 1:39 (NKJV)
39 He said to them, "Come and see." They came and saw where He was staying, and remained with Him that day …
The Lord gave them an invitation and they took it and they remained with Him not only that day but for all the days He remained on the earth. They knew that to understand who Jesus was, and their purpose according to Him, they had to accept His invitation and follow Him.
Similarly, the Lord invites us to know Him through His word and to follow Him by seeking to live by His wisdom and to represent Him on the earth. Like the disciples before me, I have discovered that when we decide to follow Jesus we should make the decision to stay with Him for the rest of our days.
The Apostles didn’t have the word of God like we do and were greatly challenged to make sense of everything Jesus taught them. They saw signs and wonders that proved the Jesus was the real deal and realized that they could take part in His work if they just believed but they also understood that they couldn’t accomplish anything unless Christ called them and allowed them to share in His work.
Peter knew and demonstrated this when in the middle of the night on the Seas of Galilee he saw Christ walking on the water.
Matthew 14:28-29 (NKJV)
28 And Peter answered Him and said, "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water."
29 So He said, "Come." And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.
This section of scripture shows us that when we accept Jesus’ invitation to follow Him we can experience amazing things and that when we keep our eyes on Him we can have peace.
In John 6:44-45 (NKJV) Christ
44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.
45 It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught by God.' Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.
The invitation to be “taught by God” and to have life everlasting has been given to all of us through the revelation of Jesus Christ. When we accept it, we are saved and we are invited to live in the mystery of faith, to seek to know God more and to know and fulfill our purpose in Him.
This world would convince us to just to take care of our immediate needs of a home, a career, and having loving relationships but the Lord invites us to know our purpose for being: which is to know Him and to have life with Him always.
The world beckons us to just take care of ourselves and to just be concerned with being happy in the here and now and to not worry about God, claiming we can’t know Him.
But the writer of Hebrews warns us:
Hebrews 3:12-19 (NLT2)
12 Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters. Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God.
13 You must warn each other every day, while it is still “today,” so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God.
14 For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ.
15 Remember what it says: “Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled.”
16 And who was it who rebelled against God, even though they heard his voice? Wasn’t it the people Moses led out of Egypt?
17 And who made God angry for forty years? Wasn’t it the people who sinned, whose corpses lay in the wilderness?
18 And to whom was God speaking when he took an oath that they would never enter his rest? Wasn’t it the people who disobeyed him?
19 So we see that because of their unbelief they were not able to enter his rest.
If we are only concerned with being the “king of our castle” and turn our attention to just the pleasures of this life we are being deceived and are turning away from God.
This passage from the word of God tells us that we are to be faithful to the end and that indicates they we are to persist in accepting the Lord’s invitations to a lifestyle of obediently following Him.
If we want to enter His rest, we have to follow Jesus until we get there. So keep walking and talking with God. His word is true and His way is sure and when we accept His invitation to life everlasting, and keep our eyes on Him, we will know that He is walking with us and that we will never stumble or fall without Him being there to pick us up and to lead us in the way we should go.
Today’s Bible verse come to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.
This morning’s meditation verse is :
James 5:8 (NLT2)
8 You, too, must be patient. Take courage, for the coming of the Lord is near.
Today’s Bible verse reminds us of the certainty of the Lord’s coming and of our need to be patient.
The Lord is coming. It is true and everyday we live; we are one day closer to being with the Lord, one way or another. Whether we will be called into eternity through our physical deaths or if we will be caught up with the other saints to the clouds to meet Jesus in the air, everyday we live is another day closer to our date with our eternal destiny and with seeing God face to face.
With the looks of things in the world, many are concerned that we are living in the last days and that Jesus could come back at any minute. And He could, so we should be ready for His coming by making the decision to continually share the hope of the gospel of Jesus Christ and to represent God’s kingdom on the earth by living according to His wisdom and love.
And that my brother and sister is going to require patience. The world hated Jesus and He promised that it would hate us too. So we must practice forgiveness and love towards those who would abuse us and to allow the fruit of the Spirit to grow in our lives through our commitment to walk in the Spirit.
All throughout the history of Christendom, there has been people claiming that the end was nigh, and this should show us that we could possibly be wrong about how near the Lord’s coming is. But the one thing that was required of those saints of the past, that is also true of us is that while they feared and possibly expected the Lord’s coming they still had to patiently endure through all turmoil of their respective “end times” and be true to the cause of Christ. And so should we.
We are called to make Jesus known and to let His love work through us no matter what circumstances surround us or no matter how close we may seem to be to “the end”.
So don’t worry about tomorrow. The Lord knows what we need and when He is coming. We are to trust in Him, live like Him, and patiently do what He has for us until we see Him face to face.
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 June Hunt’s Envy & Jealousy: Taming the Terrible Twins.
As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase June Hunt’s books for your own private study and to support his work. This resource is available on many websites for less than $5.00.
IV. STEPS TO SOLUTION
A. Key Verse to Memorize
“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.”
B. Key Passage to Read and Reread
“You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law. The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.”
C. Responding to Jealousy—Speaking the Truth in Love
• Confront in love—speak in love.
• Attempt to determine the source of the jealousy—selfish or godly jealousy.
• Decide whether the jealousy is justified or a product of the imagination.
• Encourage disclosure of the pain without placing blame.
• Ask for forgiveness for any possible offenses—do not be defensive.
• Affirm jealous people by declaring their value—give praise and encouragement.
• Work on a plan together.
• Withdraw from one who is demonstrating open hatred or destructive manipulation.
“Speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.”
D. Replacing Destructive Emotions
• Face your feelings and use them as indicators to change.
“If you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.” (James 3:14)
• Recognize the source of these emotions.
“Such ‘wisdom’ does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.” (James 3:15–16)
— Envy is an outgrowth of desire and a result of sinful patterns.
“Then he said to them, ‘Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.’ ” (Luke 12:15)
— Jealousy is an outgrowth of love and a natural emotion—but is it godly or selfish?
“I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him.” (2 Corinthians 11:2)
• Agape love says that you can transcend your natural jealousy and envy.
“You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ” (Galatians 5:13–14)
— Agape is a commitment to seek the highest good of another.
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” (John 15:12)
— Agape keeps us from expecting too much from another.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” (1 Corinthians 13:4–5)
— Agape keeps us from expecting everything in this life.
“We fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:18)
— Agape keeps us from idolizing another person.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” (Deuteronomy 6:5)
— Agape diminishes the pain of these emotions.
“A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.” (Proverbs 14:30)
— Agape is the power to admit you cannot meet all the needs of another person or even all your own needs.
“My God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)
• Pray, pray, pray.
— With contentment
“Thank you, Lord, that I can be content in every circumstance.”
“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” (Philippians 4:11)
— Without fear
“Thank you, Lord, that I do not have to be afraid.”
“The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1)
— With love
“Thank you, Lord, for Your unconditional love. May I love others the way You love them … with Your love.”
”I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44)
— Without interruption
“Thank you, Lord, for promising to meet my needs and the needs of others. I pray that they will look to You to meet the unmet needs in their lives.”
“Pray continually.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
— With a guarded tongue
“Guard what I say, Lord, so that I build up, not tear down others.”
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29)
“Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.” (Psalm 141:3)
• Change your focus to pleasing Christ rather than on pleasing people and their desires.
“Thank you, Lord, that my significance comes from You.”
“For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.” (Colossians 2:9–10)
“Thank you, Lord, that You will enable me to do what You call me to do.”
“The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.” (1 Thessalonians 5:24)
Praying for the one toward whom you feel jealousy or envy is the key that unlocks the prison door. When I have found myself locked in the jail of jealousy, my only hope for freedom has been prayer—praying for the one who is the focus of my jealousy. When I “prayed for my enemy,”
Christ set the prisoner free—and that prisoner was me!
Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!
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My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via 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)
Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship
 June Hunt, Biblical Counseling Keys on Envy & Jealousy: Taming the Terrible Twins (Dallas, TX: Hope For The Heart, 2008), 8–11.