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

Friday, November 17, 2023

Loving God and “Explaining the Way of God More Accurately” - Purity 1200


Loving God  and “Explaining the Way of God More Accurately” - Purity 1200

Purity 1200 11/17/2023 Purity 1200 Podcast

Purity 1200 on YouTube:



Good morning,

Today’s photo of the last light of day illuminating the sky and the surface of the waters of the Schodack Creek comes to us from yours truly as I decided to get out of my car long enough to capture one shot of this magical moment after arriving at River House after work yesterday.

Well, It’s Friday, thank God, and I don’t know if anyone has noticed it lately but there is something about the sunset skies in the late autumn and winter months of upstate NY that can be simply breathtaking.  Although today we are getting a mini heat wave with a forecast high of 60 degrees, lately the temperatures have been lower even though the skies have been relatively clear and there have been wispy cumulus clouds that have been transformed into cotton candy wonders of pink and purple as twilight time approaches.  I noticed the same phenomenon last year too. As the temperatures got colder and more unhospitable the skies seemed to display a beauty that was altogether different from what we get in summer. 

I point this out because one of the core skills we try to encourage our members to develop at the Celebrate Freedom Growth Group on Wednesday nights is “learning to find joy in the everyday pleasures in life”. You wouldn’t think that looking at the sky could help your emotional resilience, but it can.  According to Warner & Hinman’s book, Building Bounce, spending five minutes to appreciate the good things in life, like looking at a sunset sky, can help us build joy and emotional resilience.

For the Christian, appreciation can beyond just good feelings and drinking in the experience because we can recognize that what we are enjoying comes from God. Everything that was made comes from Him and when we acknowledge and thank God for the things we are experiencing and the life we have, our appreciation and joy can take on an even higher relational dimension as we can love God.  

That may sound like a strange concept, loving God, especially if you have been in circles where judgment, punishment, and the fear of the Lord were used to try to “scare you straight” or keep you in line.  And don’t get me wrong, Jesus taught a lot about those things to warn people to repent, but he also told us to love God.  

Matthew 22:37-38 (NKJV) tells us
37  Jesus said to him, "'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.'
38  This is the first and great commandment.

Appreciation is the way that we get there.. When we practice appreciation it should lead us to appreciating God. We think about God, who He is, what He has done, and how He is good, holy, righteous, and loving and we begin to form a deep relational bond with the Maker of all things who loved us enough to send His one and only Son to live and die to save us. 

My day is spent “walking and talking God”. As I go about my day, I talk to the Lord.  I thank Him for keeping me safe. I ask Him to help me. I thank Him for the good things that I experience, and I ask for strength and wisdom to work through the challenges I face.  This is having a relationship with God. 

Many of us talk to ourselves. Instead of doing that, I suggest talking to the Lord. What used to be your self-dialog, can be transformed into you “praying without ceasing” by simply addressing the Lord and engaging with Him throughout the day.

I read the Bible with my wife almost every night of the week, with those long Wednesday ministry nights being a regular exception, and last night we were reading in Exodus 17 about how the Amalekites attack Moses, Joshua, and the Israelites, and how when Moses had his hands lifted in the air, the Israelites were winning the battle, but when his hands were lowered the Amalekites were winning.  So Aaron and Hur sat Moses down on a rock and stood on either side of him, holding up his hands until the battle was won.  I made the joke that this instance in scripture was the “original wave” and although this isn’t written, I was pretty sure that Moses had a ”rally cap” on having turned his hat inside out and backward to gain the Lord’s favor.  I joked of course, and as I laughed at my own silly joke, I was just filled with joy and told my wife I loved her and that I loved the Lord because we could read His word and be inspired because He is with us and for us.   

I appreciated what He had done for the Israelites way back when and I appreciated how He brought TammyLyn and I together as man and wife and how we could enjoy His word together.  

Appreciation kills religion by causing you to relate to the Lord in a highly personal way. Appreciation leads you to understand that God is alive and active in the world and in your life specifically. It builds your joy, emotional resilience, and when it is directed to God it causes you to love the Lord.

I didn’t know this stuff. I didn’t really understand that you could love God. Unfortunately, most of us don’t know that. Most of us were taught that “religion” was a small part of our lives. Something nice to visit on the weekends or call on in times of need, but we were basically taught that it was of little value because we had to provide for ourselves, and those instances of unanswered prayers were presented as evidence of the limits of faith. Thus we separate ourselves from the Lord and do things according to our own desires and the philosophies of this world, but it was never supposed to be that way.

In His original plan, we were supposed to live with God and even though Adam’s sin changed everything, God sent Jesus to restore His original order. We can have peace with God through faith in Jesus Christ. We can live with Him, and we can love God like we were supposed to from the beginning, all we have to do is place our faith in Jesus to be made new and choose to practice appreciation to grow our love for the One who first loved us.  

I was reading Acts 18 this morning in the section that talks about Apollos – an eloquent man who was instructed in the way of the Lord, being fervent in spirit (small s), and who taught accurately about the things of Jesus.  But Apollos was only “acquainted with the baptism of John” – which was to prepare Israel for the Messiah’s arrival. And even though He acknowledged that Jesus was Israel’s Messiah, MacArthur’s Commentary states that Apollos:

…did not, however, understand such basic Christian truths as the significance of Christ’s death and resurrection, the ministry of the Holy Spirit, and the church as God’s new witness people. He was a redeemed OT believer (v. 24).[1] 

But

Acts 18:26 (NKJV) tells us
26  ….. When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.

MacArthur’s commentary confirms that:

Aquila and Priscilla completed Apollos’ training in divine truth by instructing him in the fullness of the Christian faith.[2]

And that’s what I try to do. As someone raised in a liturgical church that sort of mixed the gospel of grace with the need to do good works (a false gospel, mind you), I had some understanding about Jesus and how the Christian faith “worked” – or didn’t work for me.  But I didn’t know God’s grace. I didn’t know God’s love. I didn’t know that all I had to do was to put my faith in Jesus to be forgiven, accepted, and given eternal life. And as much as I hoped and prayed I would go to heaven someday, I didn’t know I would and,  if I’m honest, I have to admit that I didn’t love the Lord, I feared Him.  

But all that changed through one message, delivered via a radio broadcast, when David Jerimiah effectively taught me, in a moment, about God’s love and grace that pulled me out of the darkness and gave me new life.   

So having received the gift of my salvation and God’s love and presence in my life, I endeavor to be like Priscilla, Aquilla, and David Jerimiah and “explain the way of God more accurately” to those who don’t know Him or love Him.  

So, appreciate the good things in your life. Every life has been blessed in one way or another and when we count our blessings and acknowledge that they come from the Lord we can begin to love God and desire a deeper relationship with Him where we will never want to leave His presence.      

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

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. (https://www.amazon.com/Quick-Scripture-Reference-Counseling-Kruis-ebook/dp/B00CIUJZT2?ref_=ast_author_dp )

This morning’s meditation verses come from the section on Church, Communion of the Saints.

Ephesians 4:11-13 (NASB)
11  And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers,
12  for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;
13  until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.

Today’s verses are the first of two passages of scripture that fall under the fifth point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Church, Communion of the Saints.

 5. Gifts of the Spirit differ. Each member must use his or her gifts to serve others.

Today’s verses tell us that there are various gifts and talents in the body of Christ for different functions, but they all have a common purpose – to build up the

Body of Christ and to bring us together in unity.

The purpose of the “church” is further explained to be to give us a greater knowledge of the Son of God – by seeking and following the ways of Jesus -  and to mature us – that we would grow in knowledge and love of the Lord.   

So whatever your calling may be, remember that it isn’t used to puff you up, it is supposed to be used for the benefit of others. So take your talents and fulfill your purpose and help yourself and others to grow in their knowledge of Jesus and to “grow up” into the people that God created us to be.

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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 are sharing from A. W. Pink’s – The Arthur Pink Anthology  - a collection of A.W. Pink’s tracts brought together in one book and dispersed here on the blog for your encouragement.

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 free as a PDF at many sites, but printed copies of collections of A.W. Pink’s books are available for purchase wherever Christian books are sold. 

The Arthur Pink Anthology – 6

Christian Fools – Part 4 of 8

Some of you say, Well how can it be his duty to believe it, when he cannot do so? Is it his duty to do an impossibility? Well, listen! Is my duty, is my responsibility measured by my ability, by my power to perform? Here is a man who has ordered a hundred pounds’ worth of furniture; he receives it, and he is given thirty days’ credit in which to pay for it; but during the next thirty days he squanders his money, and at the end of the month he is practically bankrupt. When the firm presents their bill to him, he says, “I am sorry but I am unable to pay you.” He is speaking the truth. “I am unable, it does not lie within my power to pay you.” Would the head of that business house say, “All right, that ends the matter then: sorry to hear that you do not have the power, but evidently we cannot do anything.” No, my friend, ability does not measure our responsibility. Man is responsible to do many things that he is not able to do. You that are Christians are responsible to live a sinless life, for God says to you, “Awake to righteousness and sin not,” and in the first Epistle of John we read, “These things write I unto you, that ye sin not.” God sets before you and me a standard of holy perfection. There is not one of us that is capable of measuring up to it, but that is our responsibility, and that is what we are going to be measured by when we stand before the judgment-seat of Christ.

Now then there are many Arminian preachers who are afraid to preach sermons on certain texts of the Bible. They would be afraid to stand up and preach from John 6:44—“No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him.” They would be afraid to stand up and preach from Romans 9:18—“Therefore hath He mercy on whom He will have mercy, and whom He will He hardeneth.” Yes, and it is also true that there are many Calvinist preachers who are equally afraid to preach from certain texts of the Scriptures lest their orthodoxy be challenged and lest they be called Freewillers. They are afraid to stand up and preach, for example, on the words of the Lord Jesus:—“How often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” Or on such a verse as this:—“The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force;” or “Strive (agonize) to enter in at the Strait Gate.” And to show you that I am not imagining things, I am just going to read you three lines. Listen! “At the meeting at … [I will leave out the name] on January 15th last, the question was asked to the effect: Had not some of our ministers for the sake of orthodoxy abstained from preaching from certain texts, and the answer was in the affirmative.” I am reading now from a Strict Baptist magazine! That was a meeting of Strict Baptist preachers and they were honest enough to admit, themselves, that because they were afraid of their orthodoxy being challenged, they were silent on certain texts of Scripture. O may God remove from all of us the fear of man.

Some of you perhaps are thinking right now in your own minds, Well, Brother Pink, I do not see how you are consistent with yourself. My friends, that does not trouble me one iota, and it won’t cause one hair in my head to go gray if I am inconsistent with any Calvinistic creed: the only thing that concerns me is to be consistent with the Holy Spirit, and to teach as the Holy Spirit shall enable, the whole counsel of God; to leave out nothing, to withhold nothing, and to give a proportionate presentation of God’s truth. Do you know, I believe that most of the theological errors of the past have grown out of, not so much a denial of God’s truth, as a disproportionate emphasis of it. Let me give you a simple illustration. The most comely countenance with the most beautiful features would soon become ugly if one feature were to grow while the others remained undeveloped. You can take the most beautiful baby there is in the world tonight and if that baby’s nose were to grow while its eyes and its cheeks and its mouth and its ears remained undeveloped, it would soon become unsightly. The same is true with every other member of its face.

Beauty is mainly a matter of proportion and this is true of God’s Word. It is only as truth is presented in its proper proportions that the beauty and blessedness to it are maintained in the hearts and lives of God’s people. The sad thing is that almost everywhere today there is just one feature of truth being disproportionately emphasized.[3]

---------------------------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. 

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/@MT4Christ247

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 Ask Seek Knock blog (https://tammylynask.blogspot.com/ ),  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)  

“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] John F. MacArthur Jr., The MacArthur Study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2006), Ac 18:25.

[2] John F. MacArthur Jr., The MacArthur Study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2006), Ac 18:26.

[3] Arthur Walkington Pink, The Arthur Pink Anthology (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2005).

Friday, October 27, 2023

Seize the Day with JOY! - Purity 1183


 Seize the Day with JOY! - Purity 1183

Purity 1183 10/27/2023 Purity 1183 Podcast

Purity 1183 on YouTube: 



Good morning,

Today’s photo of a late afternoon sun blazing in the heavens, that seems to be pouring it’s light directly into the decorative well in the side yard at my place “down by The River” comes to us from yours truly as I stopped to take a second to peak around the corner of my house after work yesterday to appreciate the end of the day and the place where God has brought me to live.  

Well, it’s Friday, let’s Thank God, Amen? And as the weather is forecasted to be a balmy 78 degrees in the capital district, I am calling “Carpe Diem” for those of us that need a reminder to stop looking into the shadows of the past or who are focusing too far into the future to appreciate today.  If you are into circumstantial happiness, today may be the day to take a day off because my electronic personal assistant who will remain nameless informs me there is a chance of showers tomorrow.  October ends with Halloween on Tuesday so if you want to go out and see some fall foliage in what is forecasted to be a “good one” it’s Time to “Seize the Day!” 

Me? I work outdoors, mostly, and although I don’t know what “troubles” I will face today, I am content regardless of where the day takes me today because my sovereign Lord has shaped the last week to accommodate my needs for periods of rest in between the various ministry, work, and education responsibilities that have been filling my schedule. 

As things begin to get a little complicated in a time of merging changes in the Celebrate Freedom Growth Group and the completion of my training with Deeper Walk’s School of Prayer Ministry, there really isn’t a day where I shouldn’t be looking ahead to make sure that I will be prepared for what’s ahead of me, when I get there.  

The Celebrate Freedom Growth Group reaches a milestone next week as we will be meeting for 25th and final lesson of the Celebrate Recovery lesson material.  But that doesn’t mean that the Celebrate Freedom Group will close up shop.  Early on in the ministry, when I considered giving the ministry a rest for a few weeks for a “summer vacation” the leadership at Starpoint Church indicated that there was a great need to have a continuous recovery/discipleship growth group at the church, so when I went on my two weeks vacation, Debbie Deyoe and Scott Salvadore rose to the occasion and led the group in my absence.

After that, it was determined among the Celebrate Freedom leaders that with the exception of Thanksgiving week, we would host a meeting every Wednesday for the rest of 2024, and after meeting with Starpoint Church’s leadership about starting “afresh” with lesson one of the CR material in 2024, (on January 10th – for those who are considering recovery and a new life of freedom in the new year) – it was decided that we would be a continuous ministry for all of 2024, or at least we submitted a schedule to accomplish that if the need arises.

So, what do you do when you have reached your last planned lesson, with a 9-week gap before you begin the material again? Well, you get creative and luckily the Lord knows whom he is dealing with here and as it turns out, I just happened to compose a 7 week course of recovery-themed discipleship classes for my master’s thesis in Christian Counseling back in 2020.   So I am currently reviewing, updating, and editing my old lessons and modifying them for use for the Celebrate Freedom Growth Group.  So far, I have Lesson 1 – on the Kingdom of God and Recovery- edited and ready to go, and will try to stay ahead of the 8 ball and get all my lessons edited and ducks in a row to be prepared for the 9 weeks before we start up the Celebrate Recovery material again next year.  

Simultaneously, I am past the halfway point on the fourth and final course of Deeper Walk’s School of Prayer Ministry Training, and halfway past completing the “Prayer Ministry Project” that is required for graduation.  I am currently leading a brother through the Steps to Freedom in Christ in prayer ministry and am scheduled to meet with him two more times before we complete our last session on November 7th.   When you add the regular weekly course work for Deeper Walk into the mix, and my daily blogging, you can imagine that things are pretty busy right now. 

But you know what, I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I am in a season where I am being equipped, experiencing new levels of freedom, serving the body of Christ, and falling more and more in love with my wife, TammyLyn.  And even though things are busy, I have joy and peace in knowing that I am thriving in my purpose right now and have been given opportunities to learn and grow that I never would have dreamed were possible. 

And don’t get me wrong, I am not looking so far ahead that I am forgetting to enjoy the moment. Come Fridays, I rejoice in the presence of my wife and use the weekends to rest and enjoy the peace of our countryside home. My wife has moved my workspace  “out of the closet” and into the living room of our countryside home and I love how it feels to not be hidden away in the back corner of the house as I can sit, pray, study, write or read in the living room and my wife has open and easy access to visit me while she takes care of cooking and other household activities in the kitchen.  One of our mutual love languages is physical touch and we have both been blessed by the way this move has increased our physical availability to one another. I am more at peace at Countryside now and whether or not that’s because I have more space in the living room or its because I am receiving a lot more hugs, I’m not sure but man do I like it!

So, as we roll into another Friday, let’s do the work that the Lord puts before us to the best of our abilities and “get ‘er done” today, if we can, but regardless of how the day goes, remember the good things in your life and remember the God who made them all and who has given you new life in Christ.  When we take care of what we need to take care of, we can have a sense of accomplishment, but when we appreciate what we have been given freely we can have a peace and joy that goes beyond our understanding.  So keep walking and talking with God and Seize the Day with JOY!

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

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. (https://www.amazon.com/Quick-Scripture-Reference-Counseling-Kruis-ebook/dp/B00CIUJZT2?ref_=ast_author_dp )

This morning’s meditation verses come from the section on Bitterness, Resentment, & Hate.

1 John 4:20-21 (ESV)
20  If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.
21  And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother..

Today’s verses fall under the twelfth point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Bitterness, Resentment, & Hate.

 12. If you claim to love God but you hate your brother, you are a liar.

Today’s verses call us out of the hypocrisy of claiming to have a relationship with God but being in opposition with our fellow man.  God created us to love and while we are to Love God with all our hearts, souls, and minds, as His FIRST Commandment, Jesus also directs us to love our neighbors as ourselves.  

God is love. He revels Himself through Jesus Christ to tell us just how much He loves us. God, through God the Son – Jesus -, was willing to die for us so we can have peace and eternal life with Him.   He loves us. – individually and corporately – God loves me, He loves you. He loves everybody.   And so, He doesn’t want any of us to hate one another.  

The state of this world broken by sin is not God’s plan for us but because God wants us to freely love Him, He has given us the ability to decide if we will love and follow Him or not.  The evil that men do is not God’s perfect will.  Evil men who claim their acts of violence are done in the name of God are deceived by the ruler of this world Satan. 

While God would call us to love one another, the enemy is here to kill, steal, and destroy. While God would sow the seeds of love, the enemy would sow the seeds of hate.  

So although we stand for the truth of God’s word and “hate evil”, we need to recognize that Jesus called us to love our enemies, not hate them!  As counterintuitive as that may be, our zeal for righteousness should not surpass our capacity to pray for and love our enemies.  

Before coming to Christ, I was a hopeless sinner. But it only took a simple message about the love of God to tell me that even I could be accepted by Him, because of His love.  

So don’t fall into the trap of hating others.  When we do that, we show that we don’t know the Lord and His will for us very well. We should instead seek to do the hard thing and love those who don’t know about God and pray for them to make His acquaintance and to experience the life-giving Spirit of His love.  

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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  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 (https://www.amazon.com/Holy-Spirit-Arthur-Pink-Collection-ebook/dp/B008CM5292/ref=sr_1_3?crid=AHKAQOM39CTN&keywords=a.w.+pink+the+holy+spirit&qid=1684376225&sprefix=a.w.+pink+the+holy+spirit+%2Caps%2C96&sr=8-3) 

A.W. Pink’s The Holy Spirit

32 - Honoring the Spirit

Worshipping the Spirit as a Member of the Trinity

“Thou shalt fear (worship—Matthew 4:10) the LORD thy God, and serve Him” (Deut. 6:13). Now the Lord our God is a Unity in Trinity, that is, He subsists in three Persons who are co-essential and co-glorious. Therefore the Holy Spirit, equally with the Father and the Son, is entitled to and must receive devout homage, for we are here commanded to render the same to Him. This is confirmed by the “holy, holy, holy,” of Isaiah 6:3, where we find the seraphim owning separately and worshipping distinctively the Eternal Three. The words that follow in verse 8, “Who will go for Us?” make it quite clear that the threefold “holy” was ascribed to the Blessed Trinity. Still further confirmation is found in Acts 28:25, 26, where the Apostle prefaces his quotation of Isaiah 6:9 with “well spake the Holy Spirit by Isaiah the Prophet.” If, then, the angels ascribe glory and render worship to the Holy Spirit, shall we, who have been regenerated by Him, do less!?

“O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our Maker” (Ps. 95:6). Who is our “Maker?” Perhaps you answer, Christ, the eternal Word, of whom it is said, “All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made” (John 1:3 and cf. Col. 1:16). That is true, yet Christ is not our “Maker” (either naturally or spiritually) to the exclusion of the Holy Spirit. The Third Person of the Godhead, equally with the Father and the Son, is our “Maker.” In proof of this assertion we quote, “The Spirit of God hath made me, and the Breath of the Almighty hath given me life” (Job 33:4). Let the reader carefully compare Job 26:13 with Psalm 33:6. Let it also be duly noted that this 95th Psalm (vv. 7–11) is quoted in Hebrews 3:7–11 and prefaced with, “Wherefore as the Holy Spirit saith.” Thus not only may we worship the blessed Spirit, but here in Psalm 95:6 we are commanded to do so.

It does indeed seem strange that any professing Christian should raise any objection and question the propriety of worshipping the Spirit. Are we not to acknowledge our dependence upon and obligations unto the Holy Spirit? Surely! surely! He is as much the Object of faith as is the Father and the Son: He is so in His Being and perfections, His Deity and personality, His offices and operations. Moreover, there are particular acts of trust and confidence to be exercised on Him. As He is God, He is to be worshipped, and that cannot be done aright without faith. We are to trust Him for His help in prayer and the discharge of every duty! We are to exercise confidence that He will complete the good work which He has begun in us. Especially should ministers of the Word look to Him for His help in and blessing upon their labors.

“Then said He unto me, Prophesy unto the Wind (Breath), prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O Breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live” (Ezek. 37:9). We sincerely trust that none of our readers will suppose that the Lord bade His servant to perform an idolatrous act by invoking the literal “wind.” No, a comparison of verses 9 and 10 with verse 14 shows plainly that it was the Holy Spirit Himself who was referred to—see John 3:8. Nor does this passage stand alone. In Song of Solomon 4:16 we find the Spouse praying to the Spirit for renewal and revival: “Awake, O north Wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out.” She expressed her desires metaphorically, but this is what she breathed after. It is the Spirit of life, then, we should always apply to for quickening, for the enlivening and exciting of His graces in us.[1]

---------------------------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. 

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/@MT4Christ247

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 Ask Seek Knock blog (https://tammylynask.blogspot.com/ ),  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)

“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, May 20, 2023

You Can’t “Be with God”. – Lies of the Enemy #36 – Purity 1048


You Can’t “Be with God”.  – Lies of the Enemy #36 – Purity 1048

Purity 1048 05/20/2023 Purity 1048 Podcast

Purity 1048 on YouTube: 



Good morning,

Today’s photo of sunrise from the vantage point of the Panther Top Tower in Murphy NC comes to us from Fred Dimmick who shared this scene on social media back on May 12th with the following prose: 

“Fire in the sky

From the morning sun

As whippoorwills sing

The day’s begun”

Well It’s Saturday and while I am happy the day has begun, because I have to work today, I am looking forward to the end of my shift because I will be headed north to join my wife at our countryside home to celebrate the 18th birthday of her son Jakob with a barbeque.  Although the local forecast is calling for showers today, you can’t rain on my parade because, as long as the Lord wills it, rain or shine I will be in the company of the one I love.    

And this is how you know that you are in a love relationship, you find peace in the other person’s presence no matter what the circumstances are.  It doesn’t matter if it rains or it’s sunny and it doesn’t really matter what you are doing, when you love someone you long for and enjoy their company.  A love relationship’s “quality time” is not necessarily based on the things you do or the places you go to as much as it has to do with being with the other person.

Early on in my relationship with TammyLyn, we recognized that often couples worry about what plans they could make, what things they could do, or what places they could go and are busy trying to “make one another happy” by creating circumstances for happiness and when those activities stop they don’t know what to do with one another.  But we agreed that true intimacy, true love was found in just being at peace in one another’s presence. So early on we took some time to grow closer together by just being with one another, talking, looking in one another’s eyes, embracing, and just “hanging out”.  We tried to establish being comfortable with one another by just “doing nothing” and “hanging out” and I think we have benefitted from it because now whether we are “just hanging out”, or working on something together, or going out to explore and enjoy God’s creation or the things men have built, we are “together in it” because we know one another and focus on that aspect – we aren’t striving to accomplish “some thing to make us happy” because we already have peace being with one another.    

Likewise our relationship with God shouldn’t necessarily “doing everything right” to “make God happy” where we feel good if we are doing everything we think we should to please God and where we feel condemned when we mess up, step out of line, or make a mistake.   We are not in a relationship based on performance. God has sought our love and presence by revealing the truth of Jesus to us and He has fully accepted us the moment we put our faith in Christ.  However, most Christians forget about God’s grace the moment they receive it and quickly make their walk of faith about “doing everything right”  where they judge their relationship with God on the things they do – I’m not praying, I’m not reading my Bible, My attitude isn’t right, I should give more, I should do more. I got to clean up my act.  I have to learn more.    

Now don’t get it twisted because, I usually define the path of Christian Discipleship by some of the things listed here as they are “disciplines of our faith”.  But a love relationship isn’t about discipline, it’s about being in love and acting in love.  It’s not about getting approval or acceptance; you already have it. Its about being at peace in God’s presence.  Prayer, Bible Study, serving, giving and living for God are not things we do to earn the love of God, they are the things we do because we already have it and desire “to be with Him”  and “to be together in” whatever it is you are doing.  Whether you are just hanging out, working, or going somewhere or doing something “fun”, no matter the circumstances or outcomes, when we are “with God”, we already have what we need: peace in His presence.  

And that brings us to our current series the “Lies of the Enemy”, which is an examination of some of the common lies, sometimes sneakily whispered into our minds as “first person” statements, that the enemy tells us to cause us to doubt our faith, lose our peace, cause division, or influence us to not follow the Lord with the way we live our lives. 

So today’s big lie is:

Lie #36:  You Can’t “Be with God”.                

This lie of the enemy is the foundation of “religion” where the only relationship you have with “god” is by trying to please him through performance, where the foundation of one’s faith is little more than following rules and often degenerates on looking good on the outside but having little or no changes on the inside, perhaps other than the puffing up of one’s pride if one is able to “do everything right” or the establishment of a double life as secret sin and shame are stewing just below the surface of what would look like a “normal Christian life”.

Church sex and financial scandals and abuses testify to the fact that things were actually not “okay” when it seemed everything was good, righteous, and holy.   Although the people involved in these scandals seemed to be walking with God, it turns out that they were putting on a show as large portions of their lives were not spent “being with God.” because their attitudes and behaviors in some areas demonstrated that they chose to not follow the full counsel of God and twisted things to have their will be done rather than His.

This is an extreme example however and as much as it may be popular to go after the “mighty who have fallen” I would choose to go after those whose “simple faith” sneers at the idea of “being with God” as something extreme and our as artificial as the “seeming faith” of those who have fallen in to sin.  

These “regular Christians”  are wary of any claims of intimacy of God and treat the subject as “hocus pocus” and reduce their relationship with God to “just being good people”.   They “just believe”. They don’t pray. They never read the Bible (Why would I? I’m not the priest). They give sparingly.  They never serve. Their church attendance can vary.  These “believers” could go to church a couple of times a year or could go to “the building” once a week or even every day but that’s as far as they will go with their intimacy with God.   God apparently lives in the church building so that’s where you can “be in His presence” but the moment you step beyond the threshold of the local cathedral or sanctuary, you are no longer with God as “normal resumes.”   Regular Christians like this honestly don’t even understand what someone is talking about when someone mentions their “relationship with God”. How can you have a relationship with someone who is invisible? Impossible! I’m pretty sure those people are cuckoo!”

Now before anyone gets upset. I have to admit that I lived most of my life with similar attitudes.  My liturgical church tradition was a religion not a relationship. We went to church; we weren’t the church. That’s crazy how can we be a building! Church was for Sundays and the occasion weird non-Sunday Holiday like Ash Wednesday, Not every day. 

You can’t be with God.  You can’t have a relationship with Him. He’s in heaven.   

OF course that all changed back in 2010. I was so far from God it wasn’t even funny; I had basically stopped believing in “a God” and had adopted a spiritual philosophy that denied the Creator as a mystical unseen impersonal force that was too mysterious to know, Karma.  I was wrong of course but many “regular Christians” still believe this lie – of an impersonal God, a distant God, or a Super-Mysterious God that you can’t know, that you can’t have a relationship with, that you can’t “be with”.   

God is alive and well and is available to those who seek Him.  But if you believe the lie that “You can’t be with God”, you will never even try to have relationship with Him.  

God revealed Himself to Abraham, Moses, the nation of Israel, and to all of us through His divine interventions, His word, and the word made flesh, Jesus Christ. We can know Him and when we put our faith in Jesus we can “be with Him”.   

Jesus is also known as Our Immanuel – which means “God with Us”.  So don’t believe the lie that you can’t “be with God”.   God gave us His word and His Son and the Holy Spirit to believers so we could be with Him.  SO when we treat our Christian faith as a set rules or empty disciplines to appease an unseen entity, we deny and fail to receive the fullness of God’s love.   

We can “be with God” but it does require our interest and desire to know Him.  Contemplative prayer or listening prayer is heralded as one way that you can know God’s presence. Googling “being with God” turned up several books on the subject, in the fact. Liberating Prayer by Dr. Neil T. Anderson is good book on prayer but reading the book won’t do much good unless you decided to actually pray and to do it as a means to “be with God” rather than by trying to do something.  

My basic instruction for “being with God” is to “seek Him” and to do so in whatever ways the Lord guides you to – whether through prayer, Bible study, thinking about God, listening to sermons, reading Christian books, or by serving His will in some way – all of these “activities” as long as they are done from a heart that wants to know and connect with God can be means to be with Him.   Give it a try because I assure you that when you seek Him, you will find Him.

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For those who want more evidence for Christianity than my simple apologetic will provide, I offer apologist, Frank Turek’s website, https://crossexamined.org/ .

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

This morning’s meditation verses are:

Psalm 23:1-3 (NKJV)
1  The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2  He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.
3  He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name's sake.

 

Today’s verses were offered by our resource under the heading: when you feel burned out in your job…. And direct us to focus on the peace that we have when we stop the striving (I shall not want) and rest (lie down in green pastures) in the Lord’s peace. When we do this we will be renewed (He restores my soul) and gives us a direction for the future (He leads me in path of righteousness).  

Notice this dichotomy of rest and walking -  God leads us to lie down but also to get up and walk in righteousness.  To be restored and to “not want” we need to follow the Lord’s lead and live with and for Him.  

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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  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 (https://www.amazon.com/Holy-Spirit-Arthur-Pink-Collection-ebook/dp/B008CM5292/ref=sr_1_3?crid=AHKAQOM39CTN&keywords=a.w.+pink+the+holy+spirit&qid=1684376225&sprefix=a.w.+pink+the+holy+spirit+%2Caps%2C96&sr=8-3)  

A.W. Pink’s The Holy Spirit  

2 - The Personality of the Holy Spirit

If we were asked to state in a comprehensive form what constitutes (according to our views of Scripture) the blessedness of the Lord’s people on earth, after His work of grace is begun in their souls, we would not hesitate to say that it must be wholly made up of the personal knowledge of and communion with the glorious Trinity in their Persons in the Godhead—for as the church is chosen to be everlastingly holy and everlastingly happy, in uninterrupted communion with God in glory when this life is ended, the anticipation of it now by faith must form the purest source of all present joy. But this communion with God in the Trinity of His Persons cannot be enjoyed without a clear apprehension of Him. We must know under Divine teaching God in the Trinity of His Persons, and we must also know from the same source the special and personal acts of grace by which each glorious Person in the Godhead has condescended to make Himself known unto His people before we can be said to personally enjoy communion with each and all.

We offer no apology, then, for devoting a separate chapter to the consideration of the personality of the Holy Spirit, for unless we have a right conception of His glorious being, it is impossible that we should entertain right thoughts about Him, and therefore impossible for us to render to Him that homage, love, confidence, and submission, which are His due. To the Christian who is given to realize that he owes to the personal operations of the Spirit every Divine influence exercised upon him from the first moment of regeneration until the final consummation in glory, it cannot be a matter of little importance for him to aspire after the fullest apprehension of Him that his finite faculties are capable of—yea, he will consider no effort too great to obtain spiritual views of Him to whose Divine grace and power the effectual means of his salvation through Christ are to be ascribed. To those who are strangers to the operations of the blessed Spirit in the heart, the theme of this chapter is likely to be a matter of unconcern, and its details wearisome.[1]

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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. 

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/@MT4Christ247

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 Ask Seek Knock blog (https://tammylynask.blogspot.com/ ),  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)

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 : https://cedge216.wixsite.com/life-on-the-edge     

“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.).