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Showing posts with label Joshua. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Joshua. Show all posts

Monday, January 24, 2022

Walking out of the “Winter of our Discontent” - In His Presence - Purity 636


Walking out of the “Winter of our Discontent” - In His Presence - Purity 636

Purity 636 01/24/2022  Purity 636 Podcast

Good morning,

Today’s photo of snowmobile tracks headed onto the frozen surface of Sacandaga Lake underneath an ethereal January sky and midday sun comes to us from a friend who hasn’t let life’s disappointments stop them from having a thriving life filled with independent adventures.  While I am not into winter sports at all, with scenes like this, I can understand why some people brave the cold temperatures to see things you can’t see at other times of the year.  I mean when else can you walk on water and shoot across the surface of a lake without being buffeted by waves?   

It's Monday again and with the cold temperatures forecasted to last through the week I decided to share today’s photo to encourage and inspire us all with the fact that we can rise above what some would consider negative circumstances and overcome them and still have joy in our lives.  

I have a few friends who are in crisis moments currently and seem to be experiencing the “winter of our discontent”. Some have been bogged down by the post-holiday emotional letdown, some are healing from disease or injury,  and others are being assailed by outside circumstances, some of which are a result of their own poor choices and others of which are seemingly no fault of the persons involved.  In all of their cases, my heart and prayers go out to them.   

In this season of life they are all being asked to go into an uncertain future like setting out on this frozen lake, where their way can seem to be a cold, barren, and lonely and in some instances can seem to be a precarious one where they will lose their footing and perish.  

But just like the way the sun in today’s photo can light their path and fill us with awe and wonder, God is over and above this cold and uncertain season of life and His wisdom and presence in our lives can guide us through this time and give us peace and hope until we make it to the other side.  

Although I can’t tell any one of my friends exactly when they will get out of this cold and forbidding season, I can advise them that their situations will not last forever and that it is better to go through them with the Lord to guide, comfort, and strengthen them.   

For the friends seeking healing, I advise them to follow their doctor’s orders and to draw close to the Lord in prayer.  God is sovereign and as Creator, He has not only established our created order in which healing can come, He directs human affairs according to His purposes and may grant healings both gradual and immediate.   

In my faith walk, I have prayed for healing over myself and seen developing sicknesses stopped in their tracks, pain decrease and go away, and recovery come, but I have also had times where healing did not come as I had prayed and where pains persisted. 

So I am sorry to say I don’t have the miraculous gift of healing but what I do have is a relationship in which I trust the Lord, and in which I ask for what I think is best and accept whatever it is I receive from Him. And regardless, if I am sick, or well, I have the peace that comes from knowing that He is with me. His ways are higher than my ways and I accept that whatever is happening has a purpose.   

For the friends who are suffering negative circumstances because of the winds of change or from a day of reckoning that has finally come, I advise them to do all they can to act wisely and to work to resolve the problems at hand and then go to the Lord in prayer to ask Him for His help, strength, and guidance.   Sometimes we have to dig ourselves out of a mess or work and seek a new opportunity in life seemingly on our own but even in those circumstances we can use the Lord’s presence and strength to help us to endure and we can request His providence to make our paths easier when we least expect it.   

And finally, for the friends who are hurting from loss or a lack of fulfillment or who are just  disillusioned and disappointed with relationships or the course of their lives, I usually recommend that they examine when these feelings started and what their relationship with the Lord is like.  In most cases, my friend’s relationship with the Lord is either nonexistent or they have become lax in fostering their relationship with God and have let the things of this world determine their self-worth or to be the means to make them happy. 

For those who know the Lord, I advise them to re-establish their relationship with Him by reminding themselves of who they are in Christ and by communing with Him in prayer, worship. and Bible study.  If you walked strong in the power of the Lord before, you just have to stand up and walk with Him again.  

For those who don’t know the Lord, I try to encourage them by telling them that there is a God over and above this world who deeply cares about them individually and who wants them to come to Him to receive a new and abundant life of peace and purpose.  

It’s Monday and its January but God is alive and well and has the strength, wisdom, and guidance that we all need to make it through the trials of this life.  No matter what you are going through, with God, you are never alone. 

So go to Him and tell Him your troubles and ask for His help. I can’t guarantee an instant miracle to fix all your problems but if you start walking with the Lord, somewhere down the road you will testify to His goodness and the miracle of how you had peace through the storm, how He made a way where there was no way, or how He helped you to overcome the trials that you thought would consume you.    

 

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

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Joshua 1:9 (NLT2)
9  This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

Today’s verse speaks the truth of the Lord’s continual presence and how we can be strong and courageous when we realize that He is with us wherever we go.   

Today’s verse’s context is that of the Lord encouraging Joshua to face incredible odds to go in and to possess the promised land, but the Lord commands Him not to fear and assures Joshua that God would be with Him wherever he went.   

This verse points to the attribute of God’s omnipresence: the presence of God everywhere at the same time.   So although this verse was specific to Joshua at that time way back when, because of God’s omnipresence, it can also be encouragement for us and our daily walk of faith.  

There are several verses in the Bible that command us not to fear and the only reason we can be obedient to this command is because of the fact of God’s presence.  It’s like God is saying “Don’t be afraid!” and we say: “Why not!?” to which His word tells us: “Don’t be afraid because I am right here with you and will be with you wherever you go!”  

In Psalm 139, David muses over God’s continual presence in His life saying:

 Psalm 139:8 (NKJV)

8  If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.

God is with us here on earth and when we have faith in Christ, we will be with Him forever more even if we die and go to heaven. With that assurance of God’s presence in our lives, we can obey His command to be strong and courageous because there is no way that He will ever let us down because He will be with us always.  

So reflect on God’s continual presence in your life, reach out to Him and enjoy His presence, and be strong and courageous in life because you know He will always be there.

 

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 to share from Dr. Neil Anderson’s . “Restored: Experience Life with Jesus”. Today, we continue sharing from Chapter 5.   

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

IDENTITY DETERMINES SIGNIFICANCE

The world says you are nothing; therefore, you better scheme, achieve, and get ahead, which leads to malice, guile, hypocrisy, envy, and slander.113 The Bible tells us that we are something; therefore, we should be submissive.114 The scriptural commands concerning roles in relationships are given in a context where the significance question has already been settled by our identities and positions in Christ.

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.115

The biblical formula: our position in Christ and our identities as children of God equals significance. If a wife’s sense of significance flows from her relationship with God, she can respond to her husband’s leadership because in fact she is equally significant in God’s plan for her personally, her marriage, and her family. Husbands don’t need to demand respect or lord it over others to have any sense of worth. They already are significant as a children of God and secure in Christ. They are free to be the true servant-leader God has called them to be. The fruit of the Spirit is not staff control, nor spouse control, nor child control; it is self-control. Both the husband and wife can respond with grace to a less-than-perfect spouse, because they don’t need the other person to meet their need for significance.116

Submission, authority, and control concern not only man/wife issues, or parent/child issues, or employer/employee issues. Submission is primarily a relational matter between the creature and the Creator. When we know who we are as children of God, we don’t have to rebel, we don’t have to dominate and control. We yield to the Lordship of Christ, secure in our position in Him, and relate to others with love and forgiveness.

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

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

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

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

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

My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her 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

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Purity 423: Encouragement on the Path of Christian Discipleship


 

Purity 423 05/20/2021 Purity 423 Podcast

Good morning.

Today’s photo comes to us from the not too distant past as I captured this snowy landscape back in Mariaville NY in November of 2019.  

It’s Thursday so I when I stumbled on this photo from my Instagram folder on my phone I decided that it would not only be appropriate as a “Throwback Thursday” photo, but it also met my preference for having a photo on Thursday that featured a pathway as a reminder that I am teaching a discipleship class that encourages people to decide to take a spiritual course in life.   

November 2019 was definitely an “in the midst” time for me and even though it wasn’t officially the season yet, you could say it was during the “winter of our discontent” as I had begun working a second job to survive financially, with the hope that my vague plans for a new home would somehow be realized in the following year. 

And even though my journey was through a cold and forbidding landscape down a winding road that led to an unseen and uncertain future, the Lord was with me every step of the way and He led me to a new place that was so much better than the last.  

The Lord has transformed my life and delivered me from the darkness of my past, so I am privileged to bear testimony of His goodness and faithfulness and feel compelled to share what I know and to attempt to teach others to live a life of faith that is powered by the Holy Spirit.  

I love my new purpose for life, and I love the people who are brave enough to admit that they have something to learn and are willing to trust the Lord to direct their lives.   The Christian path of discipleship is definitely the path less travelled these days, but brother, it is the path that will make all the difference.  

So whether you see me tonight at class, listen to the class on the podcast, or are just thinking about joining us in our journey, keep walking and talking with God because although the road ahead may seem impossible for you, all things are possible with Him.

 

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Joshua 1:8 (NKJV)
8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

Today’s verse tells us to live our lives by the book!  The Book of the Law ‘for the Christian is the Bible.  As this verse instructs us, we are to talk about it, think about it, and live according to its wisdom.  The verse even indicates that if we live “by The Book” that we will find a prosperous way and have good success in life.  

So why don’t we do this?  Well, quite simply as Hosea 4:6 says, we perish for lack of knowledge.  Many people don’t know what the Bible says because they don’t read it.  The reason I share a Bible verse in these posts is to share the word of God and to try to interpret what it is telling us from what I have learned about it through Bible college and through my personal experiences of trying to live by “the Book”.

I was so overwhelmed by my salvation experience that I was given a real desire to know what the Bible said and to live by it.  I had seen a fair share of empty religious expressions in my travels, and I wanted to be as authentic in my faith as I could be.    So I started reading the word and listening to Christian podcasts and eventually went to Bible college to know what the Bible said and to understand how to apply it to my life. 

So like this verse states, I talked about the word, I thought about the word, and I tried to live according to the word. 

One thing I learned in my studies that I would like to point out is that the phrase “The Book of the Law” is better understood as a “Book of Instruction”. The New Living Translation of the Bible translates Joshua 1:8 with that phrasing, so I’m not making it up.  

Why do I think that is important?   As a former rebel to most forms of authority, I think the idea of “The Book of the law” indicates a set of rules that should be obeyed.  Rules are made to be broken and when we think of God’s word as law we will invariably be challenged and tempted to break it.  

However, when we consider the word as instruction we can consider the word of God to be something that contains valuable wisdom that should be acclimated and applied to our lives.    

Quite frankly, I think the “Western Church” needs to take an Eastern approach to the way we practice our Christian faith.   Rather than weekly observances of worship, our Christian faith should reflect an understanding of this verse’s instruction to be continually in pursuit of God’s wisdom with an intention to apply it to our lives every day.  

We need to practice our Christian faith like practicing martial arts. We need to train and be disciplined in the ways of the Lord and to renew our minds by its wisdom in a manner that will transform our hearts and our daily lives.   

In my faith walk, that’s what I have tried to do and although I haven’t become “rich” financially since walking on the path of Christian discipleship. There is no way you can tell me that I haven’t found a prosperous way and experienced “good success”.  

The Bible is true. I have tried to follow the wisdom of Joshua 1:8 and have experienced the benefits of a transformed life.  So have faith in what the word of God tells you and try to live by it. The journey on the path of discipleship may not always be easy but when you start doing what the Bible says you never have to doubt that you are headed in the right direction.   God will lead you in the way you should go, and the Bible is His instructions on how to get there.  

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

  

 

Today, in continuing recognition of mental health awareness month, we continue to share from Dr. June Hunt’s “Suicide Prevention: Hope When Life Seems Hopeless “.

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. If you need this title you can find it online at several sites for less than $5.00:

IV. Steps to Solution

The intense battle being waged for your mind, body, soul, and spirit extends beyond a distinct line in the sand drawn between two camps. One side fights for life ... bringing hope to the hopeless and engaging every resource available toward suicide prevention. The other side fights for death ... enticing, even assisting people in taking their own lives and falsely promising both a peaceful exit and a peaceful eternity.

The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) is on one side of the camp, and Dignitas, a Swiss assisted suicide clinic, is on the other. The clinic’s founder, Ludwig Minelli, describes suicide as a “very good possibility to escape.”

When you line up your thinking with God’s thinking, however, you will “escape” a wrong mindset that

would keep you in bondage. Then you can say with the psalmist ...

“You, O Lord, have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling.” (Psalm 116:8)

A. Key Verses to Memorize

Those struggling with life-threatening thoughts do not feel connected to others. They feel all alone—even alone in the midst of a crowd.

If you are now a struggler, these feelings are indeed painful, but they don’t reflect God’s hope for your heart. Repeat the truth of His hope every day—morning, noon, and night!

“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.” (Psalm 62:5–6)

B. Key Passage to Read and Reread

When you feel that you’re drowning in the depths of despair, know that other godly people have felt the same sense of hopelessness. For example, the prophet Jeremiah emotionally “hit bottom,” yet he also had the wisdom to look up to the Lord and find hope.

This passage is a step-by-step plan. ...

The Remedy to Restore Your Hope
Lamentations 3:19–24

• Remember the facts of your affliction. ... v. 19

“I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall.”

• Remember the feelings of your pain. ... v. 20

“I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me.”

• Recall the times when you had hope. ... v. 21

“Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope.”

• Review the reward of God’s love. ... v. 22

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.”

• Recite the fact of God’s faithfulness. ... v. 23

“They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

• Rest in His fullness—He is your hope. ... v. 24

“I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.’”

When Jeremiah’s thoughts led him to the deep, dark bowels of despair, he made a conscious choice to focus his mind on the love, compassion, faithfulness, and sufficiency of God. Therefore, he waited ... he rested ... in Him. The same choice is available to you today.


Biblical Counseling Keys - Biblical Counseling Keys – Biblical Counseling Keys: Suicide Prevention: Hope When Life Seems Hopeless.

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

 

God bless you all!

 

Join our Victory over the Darkness Discipleship Class via the mt4christ247 podcast!

at https://mt4christ247.podbean.com, You can also find it on Apple podcasts (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mt4christ247s-podcast/id1551615154) and Google podcasts (https://podcasts.google.com/?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9mZWVkLnBvZGJlYW4uY29tL210NGNocmlzdDI0Ny9mZWVkLnhtbA%3D%3D

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

 

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship