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

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 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!


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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship