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Showing posts with label Love. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Love. Show all posts

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Who Will Love Me for Me? – The Path That Will Lead You There- Purity 603

Who Will Love Me for Me? – The Path That Will Lead You There-  Purity 603

Purity 603 12/16/2021   Purity 603 Podcast

Good morning,

Today’s photo of the nose of a kayak heading towards the light underneath a canopy of trees comes to us from a friend’s October vacation to the Florida Keys.  

It’s Thursday, and as is my habit, I share photos of pathways, roads, or waterways to encourage my friends to take a step into the spiritual realm by pursuing the truth, meaning, and purpose that is to be found on the path of Christian Discipleship.  The difficulties of this life can surround us but when we start to seek the Lord and His ways for living we discover that just like in todays photo, we might not be out of the woods yet but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the beauty of the journey, even in the midst of our struggles, and that we can know that we are progressively moving towards the light of the good things that God is preparing for us as we steadily walk away from the darkness of the world’s ways.   

I may not be teaching until January 6th, but my lifestyle of Christian Discipleship doesn’t end just because class is not in session.  This evening I will be visiting with a brother in Christ who “just appeared” at the recovery ministry I was teaching at a few years ago.  They didn’t have a problem with drugs or alcohol but were struggling with the sins of the flesh which according to statistics for both Christians and non-Christians is common among men. 

I had talked about how the Holy Spirit had progressively led me into sexual purity after I had victory over drugs and alcohol and this man approached me about being an accountability partner. Through the years, we have encouraged one another and have become good friends and we meet periodically to check in on each other’s lives.  Just as our journey of faith doesn’t end, good discipleship relationships endure through the years.   Discipleship/accountability relationships, when they are done right, allow the parties to be real with one another and foster spiritual growth.  

So seek the Lord and you will find company on the path of Christian Discipleship as people will “just appear” as the Lord sends people into your life with which you can grow.  

Another person the Lord sent into my life is my beloved fiancé, TammyLyn.  She sought the Lord and found my discipleship classes on my podcast, felt compelled to come to my classes in person and the rest is Christian love story history: a story so awesome I can barely believe it but to doubt it would be to deny knowing about just how good our God is.   

Even though I am seeing my friend this evening, TammyLyn will be travelling down to River House to spend time with me afterward.  I told her that because of my appointment she didn’t have to bother as our quality time would be limited but she assures me that she doesn’t care about a few lost hours spent in the Lord’s service, she wants to spend time with me because she loves me, a concept that I admittedly struggle with accepting that someone could love me, for me.

My past, my former broken relationships, and my low self-esteem from before Christ still can affect the way I think about myself.  Sometimes I feel I have to earn love, or that people are just tolerating me and if I’m not careful they will leave, or that the love and happiness I experience in life will be good for a time but will be fleeting.  But TammyLyn assures me that she loves me for who I am and that we are getting married on January 1st because we are going to love one another for ever.  She’s the real deal and really loves me for me.  

As awesome as she is at assuring me of her love for me, I have to do the same thing for her. Only yesterday she thanked me for loving her at her best and worst, and even in the crazy situations that surround her. She thanked me for loving her even though she wasn’t “normal”.  

I assured her that I didn’t think any “normal” people existed and if they did they would not be interested in me and more than likely wouldn’t be a disciple of Jesus Christ, and I wouldn’t be interested in them.  

In our relationship, TammyLyn and I have agreed to love each other regardless of the physical distance between us or any of the madness that surrounds us because of our pasts.   We have agreed to love and accept each other for who we are, warts and all.  I have decided to lover her for her, and she has decided to love me for me.  

And that reminds me of the simply heart wrenching song by JJ Heller that documents various scenes of people struggling through life where they wonder if there is anyone out there who will help them, if there is anyone out there who will love them for who they are, if there is anyone out there that who will love me for me. 

The song climaxes with a man on death repenting and asking the same question.  The song says:  

“He utters a cry from the depths of his soul

"Oh Lord, forgive me, I want to go home"

 

Then he heard a voice somewhere deep inside

And it said

"I know you've murdered and I know you've lied

I have watched you suffer all of your life

And now that you'll listen, I'll tell you that I..."

 

I will love you for you

Not for what you have done or what you will become

I will love you for you

I will give you the love

The love that you never knew” 

 

If you would like to be emotionally moved and possibly break down in tears as I did this morning, I am including the link to a video for JJ Hellers’ song on the blog. (https://youtu.be/VE3vxMqXMCo ). 

In this life, we may never find someone who will truly love us for us. But when you seek the Lord on the path of Christian Discipleship, you will find the One who knows all about you, and amazingly He will love you for you. 

So keep walking and talking with God, He loves you and He will lead you out of the darkness of this world and show you what love really means. He will give you the love you never knew.


Today’s Bible verse is drawn from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.  

This morning’s meditation verse is:

 Mark 10:14-15 (NLT2)

14  When Jesus saw what was happening, he was angry with his disciples. He said to them, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children.
15  I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.”

 Today’s verses remind us that our understanding is limited and that it is through childlike faith that we enter the kingdom of God.  

 Hey, it had to be tough being an Apostle. You struggled to understand the teachings that Jesus gave, you were amazed by His miracles, and just when you thought you had an idea of what Christ was all about He would rebuke you.   

 Here, the Apostles, knowing how Jesus was the Messiah, thought that Jesus shouldn’t be bothered by some adoring children who wished to be in His presence, so they tried to bar access to Him.  Christ was a busy man and they had to keep the riff raff away as they were doing the Lord’s business, right? 

 Wrong. As well intentioned, or selfish?, the Apostles were, they were taught here that only Jesus would decide where he would go and to whom He would minister.  Jesus didn’t heal everyone at the pool of Siloam, and He didn’t come the first time to force His rule on the earth.  He came to show mankind that the ideas of “earning” our place in God’s kingdom by “doing everything” right was incorrect. 

Today’s verses indicate that it is only through faith alone, in Christ alone, that one can enter into the kingdom of God.  A child can’t perform like an adult. Their small frames are too weak to do the things adults can do. A child’s knowledge and experience are limited too.  Without the care of parents or other adults, children would suffer and possibly die.  

 So children trust their parents in everything.  The cares of shelter, food, or water are all assumed by children to be something that will be provided through their parents.  They don’t even think about what they need. They just trust that their parents will provide and care for them.  There trust is absolute. 

 It is this attribute of the children, that of trust, that of faith, that Christ points to, to teach his disciple’s what really matters. Their best efforts at doing what is “proper” or “doing everything right” won’t get them into the kingdom of God.  Only having faith in Christ, like a child’s absolute faith in their caregivers, will bring us into the kingdom of God.  

 So instead of trying to do things proper, or to do “everything right”, as your primary focus, make sure that you have a relationship with Jesus first.  It is only through faith in Him that we are saved from God’s wrath and instead of trying hard we should just put our trust in Him.    


 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 A.W. Tozer’s Advent Devotional – From Heaven,  for Day 20 as this current resource series will lead us to Christmas Eve.

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

DAY 20

CHRISTMAS REFORMATION LONG OVERDUE

… the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve …

MATTHEW 20:28

Christmas as it is celebrated today is badly in need of a radical reformation. What was at first a spontaneous expression of an innocent pleasure has been carried to inordinate excess. In one section of Chicago, for instance, the excited citizenry vie with each other each year for the biggest, gaudiest, and most vulgar Christmas tree, on the porch, on the lawn, along the street; and one gigantic, flashily dressed and cold but determinedly smiling Santa Claus drives a fully lighted herd of reindeer across the yard and over the house!

How far have we come in the corruption of our tastes from the reverence of the simple shepherds, the chant of the angels, and the beauty of the heavenly host! The star of Bethlehem could not lead a wise man to Christ today; it could not be distinguished amid the millions of artificial lights hung aloft on Main Street by the Merchants Association. No angels could sing loudly enough to make themselves heard above the raucous, ear-splitting rendition of “Silent Night” meant to draw customers to the neighborhood stores.

In our mad materialism we have turned beauty into ashes, prostituted every normal emotion, and made merchandise of the holiest gift the world ever knew. Christ came to bring peace and we celebrate His coming by making peace impossible for six weeks of each year. Not peace but tension, fatigue, and irritation rule the Christmas season. He came to free us of debt and many respond by going deep into debt each year to buy enervating luxuries for people who do not appreciate them. He came to help the poor and we heap gifts upon those who do not need them. The simple token given out of love has been displaced by expensive presents given because we have been caught in a squeeze and don’t know how to back out of it. Not the beauty of the Lord our God is found in such a situation, but the ugliness and deformity of human sin.

Among the harmful abuses of the Christmas season in America is the substitution of Santa Claus for Christ as the chief object of popular interest, especially among the children.

The morality of Mother Goose stories and fairy tales has been questioned by serious-minded Christian parents, but my opinion is that these are relatively harmless because they are told as fiction and the child is fully aware that they are imaginary. With Santa Claus it is not so. The child is taught falsehood as sober truth and is thus grossly deceived during the most sensitive and formative period of his life.

What shall we do? Cultivate humility and frugality. Put the emphasis where the Bible puts it, on the Christ at the right hand of God, not on the babe in the manger. Return to the simplicity that is in Christ. Cleanse our churches of the unscriptural pageantry borrowed from Rome. Take the Scriptures as our guide and refuse to be pressured into conformity to paganism practiced in the name of Christ.

Tozer, A. W. (2016). From heaven: a 28-day advent devotional. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

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

 

Join our “Victory over the Darkness” or “The Bondage Breaker” 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.

 

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

 

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Gifts without Wrappings - Christmas Songs and Christmas Presence - Purity 602


Gifts without Wrappings - Christmas Songs and Christmas Presence -  Purity 602

Purity 602 12/15/2021 Purity 602 Podcast

Good morning,

Today’s photo of a pink “summery” sunset sky looking east over O’Halloran Hill from Cove Road in Hallet Cove in South Australia comes to us from Dave Baun Photography as Dave continues to capture God’s creation in all its glory with his Olympus EM1 MKII.  Dave is a transplant from Pennsylvania so it may seem odd to experience the three hottest months of the year in December, January, and February in his Australian home but with views like this Dave is clear when he proclaims: “Man, do I love where I live!”  

It may be “summertime” in Dave’s neck of the woods, but that terrain, pink sky, and that “manger like” structure in this photo could easily remind us of the Christmas story and how Mary and Joseph traveled to Bethlehem to find there was no room at the inn and had to make the best of a bad situation when Christ was born.

Christmas is 10 days away and rather than resisting the holiday and trying in vain to stop Christmas from coming like the Grinch, I am actively finishing up my preparations for the day we celebrate the coming of our Savior.  

Last night, I actually decided not to wrap up the few gifts I will be giving out this year and instead decided to build a playlist of Christmas music to enjoy on the first Christmas that I will enjoy in the company of my fiancé. 

TammyLyn and I have discovered the peace, joy, and intimacy that comes from just being in each other’s presence early on in our relationship and I often joke how we are perfectly at peace just staring at one another. 

As two divorcees who have found new love that is centered in Christ and will be under a marriage covenant a week after Christmas, we have lots of experience in making the best of a bad situations from our past and now are basking in the love that we have found that resulted from deciding to live our lives according to God’s way.    

So last night I compiled a Christmas play list that will consist of some old classics, some newer Christmas songs from Christian’s artists, and others that focus on Jesus Christ’s Christmas story rather than that of Jolly Old St. Nick, Frosty the Snowman, or traipsing through a winter wonderland or sliding along in a one horse open sleigh.  Neither TammyLyn and I are children anymore and we know that Christ is the reason for the season and we will give glory to God this Christmas for all He has blessed us with and for bringing us together.  

After coming to faith in Christ in 2010, Christmas for me has been less and less about Santa, Jingle Bells, and Holly and more and more about the loving Creator of all things who loved us enough to send His Son to save us.   

So as we are gliding along in our regular work schedules, getting ready for Christmas, and trying to deal with life’s problems and tragedies that know no season, let’s make sure that we prepare our hearts for the silent night that comes, oh my, next Friday and somewhere in the midst of all the holiday hoopla make plans to find a few moments of peace with the people who are near and dear to us that God has put in our lives, next Saturday!     

Toys and presents are said to satisfy for a few days but the moments where we can love one another and be in each other’s presence become another chapter in the love story of our lives.  So keep walking and talking with God, He will take your heart of stone and make it a heart of flesh and the love that He pours into you can make you feel as if you will burst with joy and can flow into the dear ones in your life in this holiday season and all the days of our lives.


Today’s Bible verse is drawn from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.  

This morning’s meditation verse is:

 

Isaiah 59:21 (NLT2)
21  “And this is my covenant with them,” says the LORD. “My Spirit will not leave them, and neither will these words I have given you. They will be on your lips and on the lips of your children and your children’s children forever. I, the LORD, have spoken!

 Today’s verse reminds us of the new covenant that God promised would come and how His Spirit would never depart from us.

 Context is very important in the study of God’s word and I feel we can benefit greatly from just looking at the previous verse in this passage of scripture.  

 Isaiah 59:20 (NLT2)

20  “The Redeemer will come to Jerusalem to buy back those in Israel who have turned from their sins,” says the LORD.

 You can see from this previous verse that the “covenant” that the Lord is speaking about in today’s verse is that of the Redeemer who will come to Jerusalem and buy back those in Israel who have turned from their sins.   

 

You don’t have to be an advanced bible scholar to see that verse 20 seems to predict the coming of Jesus Christ to Jerusalem and how His death on the cross pays for the sins of all those who turn from their sins and make Him their Lord and Savior.  

 Christ is said to have fulfilled at least 48 Old Testament prophecies regarding the Messiah.

 “Scientist Peter Stoner estimated that the probability of fulfilling 48 prophecies was one chance in a trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion! Our minds can’t comprehend a number that big.” (https://www.crosswalk.com/devotionals/the-case-for-christ/the-case-for-christ-week-of-dec-6.html )

 Jesus is the Messiah that was prophesied about in the Old Testament and He brings the New Covenant that is spoken about in today’s verse.  And as today’s verse indicates, people who place their faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior receive the Holy Spirit, who will never leave them. 

 

The new life in Christ makes us spiritually alive. It gives us a meaning and purpose to our lives.  When we experience our “second birth” by placing our faith in Jesus, we are transformed and  if we properly understand the magnificence of the gift we have received we will be motivated to share the words of the gospel of Jesus Christ as today’s verse predicts. 

The words of the gospel of the Kingdom of God, grace, and salvation through faith in Jesus Christ will never leave us and will be on our lips and our children’s lips forever and ever.  

 We can believe the Bible is true because of the fulfilled prophecies it contains, and we can share the good news of Jesus Christ because it has made us alive and set us free.  

 So rejoice in your salvation and pass along the good news that delivers the dead to life and gives them the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit that will never leave them. 

 

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 A.W. Tozer’s Advent Devotional – From Heaven,  for Day 19 as this current resource series will lead us to Christmas Eve.

 

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

DAY 19

THE REASONS HE CAME

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

JOHN 3:17

Let us think and imagine ourselves back to the condition of paganism. Let us imagine that we have no Bible and no hymn book and that these 2,000 years of Christian teaching and tradition had never taken place. We are on our own, humanly speaking.

Suddenly, someone arrives with a proclamation: “God is sending His Son into the human race. He is coming!”

What would be the first thing that we would think of? What would our hearts and consciences tell us immediately? We would run for the trees and rocks and hide like Adam among the trees of the garden.

What would be the logical mission upon which God would send His Son into the world? We know what our nature is and we know that God knows all about us and He is sending His Son to face us.

Why would the Son of God come to our race?

Our own hearts—sin and darkness and deception and moral disease—tell us what His mission should be. The sin we cannot deny tells us that He might have come to judge the world!

Why did the Holy Ghost bring this proclamation and word from God that “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world” (John 3:17)?

Men and women are condemned in their own hearts because they know that if the Righteous One is coming, then we ought to be sentenced.

But God had a greater and far more gracious purpose—He came that sinful men might be saved. The loving mission of our Lord Jesus Christ was not to condemn but to forgive and reclaim.

Why did He come to men and not to fallen angels? Well, I have said this before in this pulpit, and I could be right, although many seem to think that because others are not saying it I must be wrong: I believe He came to men and not to angels because man at the first was created in the image of God and angels were not. I believe He came to fallen Adam’s brood and not to fallen devils because the fallen brood of Adam had once borne the very image of God.

Thus, I believe it was a morally logical decision that when Jesus Christ became incarnate it was in the flesh and body of a man because God had made man in His image.

I believe that although man was fallen and lost and on his way to hell, he still had a capacity and potential that made the incarnation possible, so that God Almighty could pull up the blankets of human flesh around His ears and become a Man to walk among men.

There was nothing of like kind among angels and fallen creatures—so He came not to condemn but to reclaim and to restore and to regenerate

Tozer, A. W. (2016). From heaven: a 28-day advent devotional. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

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

 

Join our “Victory over the Darkness” or “The Bondage Breaker” 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.

 

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship


Thursday, December 9, 2021

Homeward Bound – Christ’s Incredible Journey is Far Away but One Day Closer- Purity 597

Homeward Bound – Christ’s Incredible Journey is Far Away but One Day Closer- Purity 597

Purity 597 12/09/2021  Purity 597 Podcast

Good morning,

Today’s photo of a man’s best friend leading the way up Waite Rd in Easton NY  under an overcast December sky comes to us from yours truly as I decided to capture a picture of my canine friend, Harley as “I took him” for a walk on Sunday.  

When I look at this photo I think of those old Homeward Bound movies, about a group of animal friends that take an incredible journey to make it back to their family, and can imagine that Harley is setting out on a mission of his own to find his owner, Rachael Pinter, who is far away completing the process of becoming a Marine on Paris Island in South Carolina. 

Little does our friend Harley know that his incredible journey isn’t necessary as his owner is one day closer to home as she graduates tomorrow and will begin her own incredible journey to be reunited with him.  They are each one day closer to being “home” in each other’s company. 

Likewise, I am currently separated from my fiancé who has travelled to the Palmetto State to share in the joy of Rachael’s accomplishment.  Although we are graphically separated by 788 miles, the physical distance between us doesn’t diminish the love we have for one another.   One of the songs on the “TammyLyn playlist” that I have compiled long before she went away is The Cure’s “Lovesong”: which proclaims: 

“Whenever I'm alone with you

You make me feel like I am free again

Whenever I'm alone with you

You make me feel like I am clean again

However far away

I will always love you

However long I stay

I will always love you

Whatever words I say

I will always love you

I will always love you”

This latest road trip that has increased the physical distance between my fiancé and me has verified the truth of these words for our relationship. No matter how far away we are from one another, I will always love you, TammyLyn.  

As much as I can love my fiancé and as much as a young women can love her dog, God’s love for us is so much greater and in this season of Advent we shouldn’t forget two things about our relationship with Him:  

1.     For the Christian, no distance, and no circumstances, can separate us from God’s love.

Yeah those words in Romans 8:38-39 that declare this truth are written to Christians, so although God loves all of His creation, some will refuse to come to faith in Christ and will separate themselves from God.  We don’t celebrate the coming of the newborn King because it doesn’t matter who we put our faith in.  

The Christian has been sealed by Christ’s atonement and can fully enjoy God’s love right now and for all of eternity. That’s one. 

2.    Christ is coming back.

Although we don’t know the time of His return and it may be far away, Christ’s “incredible journey on earth” that began with His birth and will culminate in His return to rule and reign can be fulfilled any day, without warning, and is one day closer. 

As much as we might be counting down the days to Christmas, we mustn’t forget that Christ isn’t being “born again” in a manger in Bethlehem each December 25th.  “Baby Jesus” doesn’t really exist anymore guys.  Just like “Baby MT” has moved on from infancy, Jesus did become a man, preached the gospel of the kingdom of God, was persecuted, crucified, died, and rose again with a glorified body. 

We shouldn’t think of Christ as a baby anymore. Neither should we think of Him as perpetually nailed to a cross.  Christ is risen! Remember? The glorified Christ, whose body was approximately 33 years old at the time of His resurrection, is seated at the right hand of the Father and will come again to judge the living and the dead, right?

When you speak about “Baby Jesus” in anything more than as a historical fact of the Incarnation of the Word made flesh, you reveal your ignorance, or immaturity, and are perhaps displaying more than you should of your “childlike” faith and understanding of the spiritual realities that God has proclaimed.

When we think about the “coming of Jesus” this Christmas season, although we should remember and rejoice over the original incarnation, we really should think of the “present day Christ” who is fully grown/glorified, alive, and waiting for the day of His return.

The Christian’s hope is a living hope with a future fulfillment. We are not looking back at “baby book” for our hope.  The NLT version of Hebrews 11:1 puts it clearly:

Hebrews 11:1 (NLT2)
1  Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.

 It’s Thursday, December 9th and we are all one day closer to Christmas, but for the Christian although we are physically separated from our Lord and Savior, the love that God has is for us is not diminished and we are to have faith that Christ’s return will actually happen and our faith should be edified by the of the truth of God’s word that  assures us that even though we can’t see it, Christ’s incredible journey to reclaim the earth is a certainty that will come to pass.

So keep walking and talking with God, share the good news that Christ came to save that which was lost and that He is coming back for those that were found to bring them home for good.

 

Today’s Bible verse is drawn from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.  

This morning’s meditation verses are:

2 Peter 1:10-11 (NLT2)
10  So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall away.
11  Then God will give you a grand entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Today’s verses encourage us to walk the walk and talk the talk of being an authentic Christian and that if we walk out our faith on the path of Christian Discipleship we need not worry about our “spiritual relationship status” and are assured of our grand entrance.  

Now don’t get this twisted, we don’t “walk out our faith” by living according to the Biblical principles of morality to gain the grand entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  

Peter’s letter is to his brothers and sisters in Christ.  In Christ.  They made it already.  When you put your faith in Christ, you are “in”.  Nothing can separate you from the love of God, remember? 

So Peter is encouraging a victorious experiential life of purpose for his brothers and sisters in Christ. 

Yeah, you are in the kingdom. I know it’s hard to believe. It might seem too good to be true. But it is true.   

One way we can settle the uncertainty about whether we are in the kingdom, is to answer the Lord’s call to be sanctified, to be more like Jesus, by living like He would.   

Why? So we can be saved? NO!

So we can experience the fruit of the Spirit and the full assurance that we are children of God.  

We walk out our faith so we can not only be assured that we are not a false convert, because in reality you really can’t fall away – but some men and women who proclaim their “relationship status” as a Christian will one day be discovered as false because their lives and their hearts have not been given to Christ; we walk out our faith to also encourage others to place their faith in Christ to join us in our grand entrance into God’s kingdom.  

So work hard to prove who you already are in Christ.  Our “work” is to remind ourselves – “Yes, I really am a Christian”  and to show others that “That’s a good thing to be!”.  When we “work hard” to live out our faith, we reap the benefits of the fruit of the Spirit and may just also play a part in God’s claiming more souls for His harvest. 

Our “hard work” to prove we are “among those God has called and chosen”, results in peace, love, and joy as we walk ever closer to being reunited with Jesus.  We can have the assurance of our status as God’s called and chosen by living our faith every day.

So walk that walk of a Christian, not only will it give you peace and empower you to meet your purpose in Christ, it just may be used by God to give you company of more saints that God allows you to usher into His kingdom.

     

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 A.W. Tozer’s Advent Devotional – From Heaven,  for Day 13, as this current resource series will lead us to Christmas Eve.

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

DAY 13

CHRIST—THE CHANNEL OF GRACE

For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

JOHN 1:17

The idea that the Old Testament is a book of law and the New Testament a book of grace is based on a completely false theory.

There is certainly as much about grace and mercy and love in the Old Testament as there is in the New. There is more about hell, more about judgment and the fury of God burning with fire upon sinful men in the New Testament than in the Old.

If you want excoriating, flagellating language that skins and blisters and burns, do not go back to Jeremiah and the old prophets—hear the words of Jesus Christ!

Oh, how often do we need to say it: the God of the Old Testament is the God of the New Testament. The Father in the Old Testament is the Father in the New Testament.

Furthermore, the Christ who was made flesh to dwell among us is the Christ who walked through all of the pages of the Old Testament.

Was it the law that forgave David when he had committed his great sins? No, it was grace displayed in the Old Testament.

Was it grace that said, “Babylon is fallen, the great harlot is fallen, Babylon is fallen” (paraphrase of Revelation 18:2)? No, it was law expressed in the New Testament.

Surely there is not this great difference and contrast between Old and New Testaments that many seem to assume. God never pits the Father against the Son. He never pits the Old Testament against the New.

The only contrast here is between all that Moses could do and all that Jesus Christ can do. The Law was given by Moses—that was all that Moses could do. Moses was not the channel through which God dispensed His grace.

God chose His only begotten Son as the channel for His grace and truth, for John witnesses that grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

All that Moses could do was to command righteousness. In contrast, only Jesus Christ produces righteousness.

All that Moses could do was to forbid us to sin. In contrast, Jesus Christ came to save us from sin.

Moses could not save, but Jesus Christ is both Lord and Savior.

Grace came through Jesus Christ before Mary wept in the manger stall in Bethlehem.

It was the grace of God in Christ that saved the human race from extinction when our first parents sinned in the garden.

It was the grace of God in Jesus Christ yet to be born that saved the eight persons when the flood covered the earth.

It was the grace of God in Jesus Christ yet to be born but existing in preincarnation glory that forgave David when he sinned, that forgave Abraham when he lied. It was the grace of God that enabled Abraham to pray God down to ten when He was threatening to destroy Sodom.

God forgave Israel time and time again. It was the grace of God in Christ prior to the incarnation that made God say, “I have risen early in the morning and stretched out my hands unto you!”

The apostle John speaks for all of us also when he writes of the eternal Son and reminds us that we beheld His glory.

Tozer, A. W. (2016). From heaven: a 28-day advent devotional. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship