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Showing posts with label MIndful of Christ. Show all posts
Showing posts with label MIndful of Christ. Show all posts

Thursday, February 8, 2024

Triggered by Doublemindedness & God’s Gift of Peace – A Mindful of Christ Encouragement - Purity 1269

Triggered by Doublemindedness & God’s Gift of Peace – a Mindful of Christ Encouragement - Purity 1269

Purity 1269 02/08/2024 Purity 1269 Podcast

Purity 1269 on YouTube:



Good morning,

Today’s photo of a boardwalk pathway to Treasure Island’s Sunset Beach comes to us from yours truly as I reached back into my phone's photo archive this morning to share this scene from my honeymoon trip to Tampa back on February 21st, 2022.   

Well, it’s Thursday and I share this as a visual reminder to my friends to get on or to stay on the path of Christian Discipleship, as is my fairly regular habit on Thursdays, but I also share it because I have Florida on the mind this morning because I am a week and a wake-up away from getting on a plane to Orlando and Disney World. As excited as I am for the trip I have to admit that I have some anxiety about the trip because some of the details of my reservations have me wondering what exactly is included in my vacation package and just how much I will have to pay in addition to what I have paid already to meet my family’s needs while in the Magic Kingdom. I am a simple guy and I just prefer to pay one cost for everything. The “all-inclusive” option is preferred but upon examining the details of my reservation and Disney dining plan, I am thoroughly confused about whether or not how things will work and that causes me to lament “Why do things have to be so complicated – or why do things have to be this way? 

But I back off on asking that question because it leads to discontentment and complaining – the antithesis to a life in the Spirit – So I plan on being the “annoying guest” and calling later today to unapologetically ask all my questions so I can know what I have signed myself up for in Orlando for 6 nights and 7days.   We perish for a lack of knowledge and at this point, I need to know what the deal is.   I want to know what the deal is and to arrange my plans in a way that will meet my family’s needs or to prepare me for those “extras” that are not included.  Once I know what I am in for, I can deal with it and be content. 

Speaking of knowing what we signed up for and what the deal is and being content, I will try not to come across as too angry in my inquiries because I don’t want to complain. Last night, I got a stark example of what being angry and discontented looks like and I realize that those emotions are grounded in irrationality or selfishness as one of the participants of Celebrate Freedom seemed to be having a bad day and seemed to be back to square one of their recovery journey because they were being double-minded. 

After hearing about how they were angry about the fact that they had to work and support their family and how life got to bedifficult after having children and how they loved booze and how they couldn’t live in alcoholic bliss was troubling and revealed that this person might be coming to a recovery meeting but their heart and mind is torn in two as they are holding onto a life they can’t have anymore.  This person was angry about life in general. 

For those who hate work or don’t like their jobs, let me console you by saying “suck it up buttercup”.  God’s plan for us was always to work.  

Genesis 1:28 (NASB) tells us
28  God blessed them; and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth."

Adam was given a job, before The Fall, okay.  Responsible people work, and benefit from it – so focus on the positive, plan to get a different job if you must, but know this : work no matter what you do will always be a challenge and our peace comes not from what we do but how we perceive it – how we think about it.  IF we focus on the negative aspects of work we will be unhappy, if we are thankful for the pay, benefits, opportunities, and people we encounter at work – we can be content.  So change your mind, because you are going to have to work anyway and we can do it bitter, or we can do it better, by having peace about our lot in life, knowing God approves of us working and it provides for ourselves and our families.

And as for drunkenness, I like the way the NLT puts it.

Ephesians 5:18 (NLT2) where it says
18  Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit,

Drunkenness will ruin your life and in this person’s life that Biblical truth has come to pass because their drunkenness has caused disharmony in their marriage to the point where they have a choice to sober up or to find themselves divorced and separated from their children. 

This person is still holding on to the lie that drunkenness is okay or a good thing that they are being denied when in fact it is poison that causes pain to themselves and their family.

Our group shows people the pathway to peace, but we can’t make you believe it and we can’t make you walk it out.  Our friend is living a double-minded life and hasn’t committed to changing his relationship to booze. They love it when they should hate it. They want to keep it when they should let it go.  They say they believe what God’s word says but deny it with what they say and do. They believe but don’t follow.

In trying to encourage this person, we were all thoroughly frustrated, not only at what was said, what they were saying was irrational and selfish, but it wasn’t the first time we heard it. We covered this ground before and they cycled back to it – because they obviously dismissed what we have said, and still believe they can have life both ways when they can’t.

In their parting words, they spoke disdainfully regarding whether or not they could have peace in following the Lord which is sad because it betrays their lack of faith and their failure to see that their current actions and attitudes are what are stealing their peace and that staying the same isn’t an option anymore. Things will get better, or things will get worse, but they won’t to stay the same. I know that following the Lord might be tough at first, but I know that God is the one who gives us the gift of peace.  Which brings me to sharing Mindful of Christ’s Lauren Roskilly’s “Word for Wednesday” from this week – which is based on:

John 14:27 (NLT2) which says:
27  “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.

Lauren’s short message is “God’s gift of peace is for you” and she writes:

“Do you experience an almighty sense of peace whatever trouble you go through?

Do you know that it is possible?

 

Jesus himself, in this verse, says that we can.

It is through Jesus and the gift of the Holy Spirit that you can.

 

Whatever trouble, stressful situations, anxiety, worry or fear you go through, if you turn your attention, focus and thoughts over to Jesus and Gods presence, ask the Holy Spirit to fill you, you can know and be filled with this awesome gift of peace.

 

Regularly turn to Jesus and meditate on him and his word and discover for yourself your stress levels drop and this awesome peace increases.”

 

It’s a simple instruction, meditate on Jesus and God’s word and you will discover peace.  So if you are angry and discontented, stop being double-minded and agree with and live by the truth of God’s word and the peace that goes beyond all understanding will be yours.

 

 

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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 verses come 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 verse comes from the section on Communication, Gossip, and Lying.

Proverbs 19:9 (NIV2011)
9  A false witness will not go unpunished, and whoever pours out lies will perish.

Today’s verse falls under the tenth point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Communication, Gossip, and Lying.

10.     Lying will be punished.

Today’s verse tells us that the liar will perish.   And because I am short on time I will cut to the chase by sharing:

Revelation 21:8 (NLT2) that tells us
8  “But cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the immoral, those who practice witchcraft, idol worshipers, and all liars—their fate is in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

All liars, whose sins have not been covered by the blood of Jesus are fated to go into the lake of fire with Satan.  

So repent, tell the truth, and make sure you put your faith Jesus, so your lies will be forgiven, and you won’t perish because of 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 “According to Your Word: Morning and Evening Through the New Testament” By Stephen F. Olford – A Collection of Devotional Journals: 1940-1941.

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage you all to purchase Olford’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available online for less than $10 at many sites.

MORNING READING: MARK 1

“There comes One after me who is mightier than I,
whose sandal strap I am not worthy to stoop down
and loose.” – Mark 1:7

The stooping to unloose the strap of a sandal was the meanest job for the lowest servant. Yet John the Baptist says, “I am not worthy even to do that.” He says that he was not worthy even to stoop down. Stooping down was humility itself, but John says that he was not worthy to take such a high place (though humanly speaking it was the lowest place).

Here, surely, was real humility. And because of it, the Lord exalted John the Baptist to the highest place of honor. For He said concerning him that John was the greatest born of women (Matt. 11:11).

Notice also, “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Matt. 23:12).

“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord,
and He will lift you up.”
–James 4:10[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

Friday, February 2, 2024

Goals with God – A Mindful of Christ Encouragement - Purity 1264


Goals with God – A Mindful of Christ Encouragement - Purity 1264

Purity 1264 02/02/2024 Purity 1264 Podcast

Purity 1264 on YouTube: 



Good morning,

Today’s photo of a blazing sun obscured by palms and other trees over a Florida forest pathway comes to us from yours truly as I reached back into the I phone’s photo archives to retrieve this scene from February 20, 2022, from my honeymoon trip to Tampa.  

Well, It’s Friday and I am thinking about Florida this morning because two weeks (2 WEEKS!!?!) out from, prayerfully, getting on an airplane to return to the sunshine state for a mini-blended family vacation to the Magic Kingdom! That’s right, in 2 weeks, I’m going to Disney World! So not only am I thanking God that it is Friday, today, I am also thankful for the ability to make plans and accomplish goals.  I can’t claim that Disney was a long-term goal because it wasn’t, and it is only by the grace of God and His sovereignly moving earthly events that a Disney World vacation is possible. It costs a lot of money to go to Disney but when the Lord blessed me with the sale of my old house, I got the inspiration to celebrate with a February Florida trip and to take my wife and two youngest step kids to the Magic Kingdom. No sooner did I have the inkling of an idea that “we could do this” than I was booking the trip and making the dream come true.   If you want something you have to plan for it, and if you want to travel, you have to book it!  

But I want to encourage you today to be responsible with the plans you make.  I walk in the Spirit and frankly, a lot of the things I do come suddenly – but as my journey from my former life of addiction and brokenness to the light of freedom and victory can attest some times our goals have an undetermined end date and will require walking and talking with God through deep dark valleys for tribulation before we make it to the promised land – but even when you are walking on a trail of tears you can have peace and joy with the Lord when you pray and follow what you believe to be God’s plan for your life.  

So to encourage you in establishing godly goals, I am sharing Mindful of Christ’s Lauren Roskilly’s “Word for Wednesday” from this week which is based on.

Proverbs 19:21 (NKJV) which says
21  There are many plans in a man's heart, Nevertheless the LORD'S counsel--that will stand.

Lauren’s message is called: Gods Will Not Yours. Lauren writes:

 

“How are you getting on with the goals or New Year's resolutions that you set at the beginning of the month?  Did they align with God's plan for you?

 

If they did then you may be experiencing each day with God in His purpose and one that is becoming more and more exciting. If that’s where you are we would love to hear what you’re up to. Do comment or reply here and let us know.

 

On the other hand, if they aren’t aligned with God's will and purpose then you may  experience one of two things:

1.    You strive each and every day to hit those goals/ resolutions, perhaps you’re even feeling overwhelmed.

2.    You are ploughing through full steam ahead in your determination and enjoying the feelings of being independent and self-sufficient.

 

Either way, if you’re not planning your life, year, month, or day according to God's purpose, then his purpose will catch up with you in the end. Whether he uses you or someone else.

 

Surely it’s better to align with Him and His purpose? Then you will experience His love, peace and abundance. More importantly, you will be walking in the purpose of the creator of the world! Wow!” 

 

Lauren invites you to learn how to set Godly Goals by clicking on the link on the blog today (https://mindfulofchrist.net/how-to-set-godly-goals/) where you can see her teaching on how to be a piece of PAPAS ART .PAPAS ART is Lauren’s an acronym for a process of setting goals with God that involves Prayer, Aligning with God’s Will, having Peace, and setting goals with God that are Assessable, Specific, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.

 

As Lauren states: It’s better to align with God and His purposes for our lives and Mindful in Christ offers you a free download of Lauren’s teaching that includes charts where you can be specific in writing out what you hope to accomplish, and it even includes a calendar to track your progress.  So go to   (https://mindfulofchrist.net/how-to-set-godly-goals/ to get yours.  

 

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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 verses come 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 verse come from the section on Communication, Gossip, and Lying.

Exodus 20:16 (NASB)
16  "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

Today’s verse is the first of two passages of scripture that fall under the seventh point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Communication, Gossip, and Lying.

7.     God forbids us to lie; he wants us to speak the truth.

Today’s verse is one of the Ten Commandments, and it is what I paraphrase when giving the first “rule of Christian Discipleship” which is “Stop Lying”.  As Christians, we are to be obedient to God’s law and because we are trying to become more and more like Jesus and represent The Truth, the Way, and the Life, we should be honest and forthcoming in speaking the truth even if it is hard or isn’t pretty. 

Not only is telling the truth the right thing to do, but it also just happens to give you an enormous sense of peace. When you stop lying you don’t have to cover your tracks anymore. You don’t have to look over your shoulder and be burdened with remembering which lies you told to who. When you just tell it like it is – the truth will set you free.

That’s why it’s what I call the first rule of Christian Discipleship – walking in the Spirit is supposed to set you free and when you speak the truth you walk out of darkness and begin to experience the righteous, good, faithful, and holy life of peace and joy that the Lord wants you to know.  So keep it real, tell the truth, and keep walking and talking with God.

-----------------------------------------------------------

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 “According to Your Word: Morning and Evening Through the New Testament” By Stephen F. Olford – A Collection of Devotional Journals: 1940-1941.

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage you all to purchase Olford’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available online for less than $10 at many sites.

EVENING READING: MATTHEW 24

“My master is delaying his coming.”
– Matthew 24:48

It is one of the Devil's greatest achievements to perpetrate this falsehood. For falsehood it is. The Scriptures declare “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise [of His coming], as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish” (2 Peter 3:9). The apostle says, “The time is short” (1 Cor. 7:29). The Lord Jesus says, “Behold, I am coming quickly” (Rev. 3:11).

Nevertheless, there are those who are controlled by their own lusts and by the Devil, who say, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as … from the beginning” (2 Peter 3:4). The apostle replies that these people are willingly ignorant of the Word of God.

O Lord, make Your coming a living reality
in my life; that the Hope may purify my heart
even as You are pure.[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

Friday, January 12, 2024

Responding to Trials – A Mindful of Christ Encouragement - Purity 1246

Responding to Trials – A Mindful of Christ Encouragement - Purity 1246

Purity 1246 01/12/2024  Purity 1246 Podcast

Purity 1246 on YouTube: Coming Soon!

Good morning,

Today’s photo of a freshly harvested field and hale bales underneath a pleasant blue but cloud-filled sky comes to us from your truly as I captured this scene while out working somewhere in Delanson NY back on July 20th, 2020, and decided to set it free from my phone’s photo archive by sharing it here.  Looking at this photo gives me joy and hope for the summer days yet to come in 2024, but they say that the best joy is one you can share so I hope you like it as I understand just how much we need one another on the path of Christian Discipleship.  

Well, it’s Friday, thank God, and in my journey of faith I have come to understand that without Christ we can do nothing and that we were never meant to go this walk of faith alone over time I have come to recognize when I need to take a rest or when I need to get a little help from my friends.   

The week has been a busy one and while I don’t feel like I am necessarily going through a trial currently, I have decided to take a break this morning and am going to share a message from Mindful of Christ’s Lauren Roskilly, who sent this message about responding to trials out to here subscribers as this week’s “Word for Wednesday”.  If you would like to receive Lauren’s messages in your inbox or would like to benefit from her teachings and encouragements go to https://mindfulofchrist.net/ .  

Lauren references:  

James 1:2 (NLT2) that says:
2  Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.

Lauren writes:

Responding to trials.

What problems, difficulties, worries or illnesses are you currently experiencing?

The fact is, we will always experience trials and suffering, we will. In fact, we’re destined for them, all the time we’re on this Earth we are, anyway!

There are many different reasons for suffering too. For instance; our own choices whether good or bad will lead to consequences, the destruction that Satan brings; spiritual warfare, the fall and many others!

It’s how we respond to them that matters.

We are to persevere and hold onto the hope and promises of the Lord. The main one is; that Jesus died and overcame death to save you from it and with that comes the promise of eternity in Heaven with Him.

Though, your focus of attention might sometimes get held up on those negative issues. Perhaps they consume you? Perhaps they bring you down? But, you must catch/recognise these thoughts before they do.

Ask yourself: “Does this thought bring me closer to the Lord or further away?”

We can ask ourselves, others or God “Why?” or “Why me?” but those questions bring our focus inwards, onto ourselves. Try asking the Lord “What's the meaning of this?”, “What’s your plan?” and “What can I learn from this?”

You can literally change your thoughts and mindset; Romans 12:2 tells us that you can be transformed by the renewing of your mind! The Message says, “fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out…God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”

Therefore, focusing on the Father, Jesus & Holy Spirit, can literally transform your mindset and how you respond to trials.

So, next time you face difficulties of any kind, remember His promise and ask the Lord “What?” and not “Why?”

Blessings

Lauren x

Thank You Lauren! I love Lauren’s practical advice to examine how we are responding to the things we face in life and to look at what we are thinking and how they are affecting us.  Her advice to focus on the Lord and to renew our minds by relying on Him, is the game changer. When we start taking every thought captive and reflect on what God’s word says about us and choose to live by it, the Lord will transform our lives and fill our hearts with an abiding sense of peace and joy regardless of the circumstances.   

So keep on walking and talking with God and try to respond to trials in the way that Lauren suggests. She is pointing at the wisdom of God’s word and a deep relationship with God and that is good advice.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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 verses come 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 verse come from the section on Comfort.

Psalm 55:22 (NASB)
22  Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.

Today’s verses fall under the 16h point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Comfort.

16. Cast your concerns on the Lord, for he will support you.

Today’s verse encourages us to cast our burdens on the Lord and assures us that He will sustain us.  It also states that God will never allow the righteous to never be shaken, but in my experience those who are a work in progress, like me, might get a little tussled about – mostly by our own emotions.

But you know what, when you follow this advice from the psalmist, you will discover that the word of God is true and that God is faithful to help us in times of need and although I can’t guarantee that we will always experience positive outcomes in the ways we expect, I know that God will sustain us and when we faithfully follow the example of righteous Jesus, we will marvel at the strength, perseverance, and ability to not be shaken that we receive from the Lord.  

I have to be honest. As I made the decision to surrender to the Lord and to increasingly follow Him in the way that I live, I suffered some major league trials and significant losses where I had no idea what I was going to do in the future, but because I casts my burdens on the Lord in prayer during those dark days of transitioning to a whole new life, He sustained me and I was able to walk through those days relatively unshaken because I was walking in righteousness – I was trying to do what was right for myself and my family and was trying to do it the Lord’s way – with me doing what I could and leaving the rest up to God.  And sure enough, little by little, bit by bit progress was made and then almost suddenly all at once, I was delivered – I was victorious and I was free like I never thought I could be, and I have continued to experience increasing levels of freedom and victory ever since.  

So cast your burdens on the Lord. He will sustain you. And when you walk according to His ways – in righteousness – you will rejoice over how you can remain unshaken.  

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------

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 “According to Your Word: Morning and Evening Through the New Testament” By Stephen F. Olford – A Collection of Devotional Journals: 1940-1941.

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage you all to purchase Olford’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available online for less than $10 at many sites.

MORNING READING: MATTHEW 5

“Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they shall see God.” – Matthew 5:8

The word “pure” can mean “clean,” “pure” or “clear.”

Happy are the clean in heart for they shall see God.

“How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word” (Ps. 119:9).

The Lord Jesus said on one occasion to His disciples, “You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you” (John 15:3).

In that wonderful prayer of His, He says, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth” (John 17:17).

God demands holiness – “Be holy, for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16).

O Lord, allow the cleansing Blood, the cleansing Word,
and the cleansing Hope by the operation of the Holy
Spirit to make me pure “just as He is pure” (1 John 3:3).[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

Thursday, December 21, 2023

Take a Big Pause and Appreciate Christmas - Purity 1227

Take a Big Pause and Appreciate Christmas - Purity 1227

Purity 1227 12/21/2023 Purity 1227 Podcasr

Purity 1227 on YouTube: 



Good morning,

Today’s photo of three beautifully decorated Christmas trees comes to us from yours truly as I stopped for a moment to take in the silence and beauty of the moment as I was completely alone in the lobby of Starpoint Church as I prepared for the Celebrate Freedom Growth Group meeting last night.  

Well, It’s Thursday and after a long day of work yesterday, it was an amazing comfort to go to the church last night and appreciate my church and the journey of faith that God has taken me on. I joke that “Wednesdays are a long day for me” but honestly, I am honored to serve in the house of God in whatever capacity I can and really enjoyed the access I had to be in the church after hours. After taking in the beauty of this church and its Christmas decoration, I prepared for the meeting and walked the halls praying and worshipping the Lord in song. There is nothing quite like the joy and peace that we can have when we are in solitude and approach the Lord with prayer and praise. Last night’s silent and not so silent preparations for the meeting was one big pause to appreciate the fact that its Christmas time and that God is good. 

I know that things are going to ramp up in terms of getting ready or completing our preparations for the big days of Christmas Eve and Christmas, but I would recommend that you take a big pause to sit and reflect on the gift of Christmas and appreciate the blessings you have in life.

Brain science says that when we sit in appreciation or gratitude for five minute increments it builds our emotional resilience and capacity for joy. The Bible tells us to rejoice always and to always give thanks, so it looks like some scientists figured out, although they would never admit it, that God gave us good advice on how to live. He made us after all, and His word is true so if we reflect on its wisdom and put it into practice we will experience joy.  If you don’t believe me, listen to Jesus who said in:

John 15:10-11 (NLT2)
10  When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.
11  I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!  

It’s the season of joy, but if you don’t stop and appreciate it, you might miss it. So take a big pause, or several big pauses, over the next few days and nights and appreciate this most wonderful time of the year. 

 I am here to encourage your faith, but I also wanted to share our friend in the UK, Mindful of Christ.net’s Lauren Roskilly’s word from Wednesday from this week who reminds us that “Jesus is With You.”  Lauren shares:

John 3:16 (ESV)
16  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

And Lauren writes:

 

Jesus is With You.

God made Himself vulnerable by coming into the world as a baby. God experienced the world as we know it so we can relate to Him.

God came through a miracle birth through the Virgin Mary and was named Jesus, Immanuel, which means God with us.

God was literally with us, died, and overcame death to be with us today. He did that for you.

If you believe this in your heart you will be saved. You have Jesus in you today and your destination is eternity in Heaven.

The seal of that promise is the Holy Spirit.

Pray this prayer today:

"Thank you, God, for coming into the world for me. I am sorry for I have sinned. Thank you for saving me from that old life. Save me, renew me, transform me. Help me to keep my mind full and focused on you. Amen"

If that was the first time you prayed this prayer with sincerity, let us know & reply to this email. I have some free resources and guidance for your new journey with Christ.

Have a wonderful CHRISTmas!

Blessings

Lauren x”

Thank You, Lauren. Yes if you prayed that prayer for the first time, welcome to the kingdom, You could contact Lauren and receive here free resources by going to https://mindfulofchrist.net/ .   Or you can contact me at mt4christ247@gmail.com and I will send you some Word documents that you can meditate upon which tell you who you are in Christ and the Statements of Truth of our faith.  

Its great to take a big pause and appreciate the good things in our lives and the best thing is our new life in Christ, so keep walking and talking with God and don’t be surprised if your holidays are filled 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 verse comes from the section on Church Discipline.

Revelation 2:2 (NLT2)
2  “I know all the things you do. I have seen your hard work and your patient endurance. I know you don’t tolerate evil people. You have examined the claims of those who say they are apostles but are not. You have discovered they are liars.

Today’s verse falls under the tenth point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Church Discipline

10. Jesus commends the church for faithful discipline.

Today’s verse tell us that God is watching us and he knows what we have been doing.  God is better than Santa Claus with his magic snowball. God knows all things and beyond determining whether or not we have been naughty or nice, He gives us the opportunity to be forgiven because we are all “naughty” – desperately wicked actually, and we need someone to rescue us from sin and the death we so richly deserve. God provides us with a Savior in Jesus Christ and offers us eternal life in His kingdom.  

But God also expects us to trust Him and to follow Him in today’s verse Jesus commends the church in Ephesus for being hardworking, righteous, and not tolerating evil people. He also commends them for knowing the truth and exposing those who would seek to deceive us. 

Verses like Revelation 2:2 demonstrate to us that we have an obligation as Christians to be holy, to stand up for the truth of God’s word, and to make people accountable for the things that say and do.   We don’t tolerate evil people – we call sin for what it is: sin, and we reject anything that is said that its true or contradicts God’s word. 

God is watching and we should show Him that we understand His truth and love and demonstrate it with the way we live.

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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 “God is in the Manger- Reflections on Advent and Christmas” – By Dietrich Bonhoeffer.   

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage you all to purchase Bonhoeffer’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available online for less than $10 at many sites.

God is in the Manger – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

ADVENT WEEK FOUR – INCARNATION

DAY TWO

Human Beings Become Human Because God Became Human

The figure of Jesus Christ takes shape in human beings. Human beings do not take on an independent form of their own. Rather, what gives them form and maintains them in their new form is always and only the figure of Jesus Christ himself. It is therefore not an imitation, not a repetition of his form, but their own form that takes shape in human beings. Human beings are not transformed into a form that is foreign to them, not into the form of God, but into their own form, a form that belongs to them and is essential to them. Human beings become human because God became human, but human beings do not become God. They could not and cannot bring about that change in their form, but God himself changes his form into human form, so that human beings—though not becoming God—can become human.

In Christ the form of human beings before God was created anew. It was not a matter of place, of time, of climate, of race, of the individual, of society, of religion, or of taste, but rather a question of the life of humanity itself that it recognized in Christ its image and its hope. What happened to Christ happened to humanity.

The whole Christian story is strange. Frederick Buechner describes the Incarnation as “a kind of vast joke whereby the creator of the ends of the earth comes among us in diapers.” He concludes, “Until we too have taken the idea of the God-man seriously enough to be scandalized by it, we have not taken it as seriously as it demands to be taken.”

But we have taken the idea as seriously as a child can. America is far from spiritually monolithic, but the vast backdrop of our culture is Christian, and for most of us it is the earliest faith we know. The “idea of the God-man” is not strange or scandalous, because it first swam in milk and butter on the top of our oatmeal decades ago. At that age, many things were strange, though most were more immediately palpable. A God-filled baby in a pile of straw was a pleasant image, but somewhat theoretical compared with the heart-stopping exhilaration of a visit from Santa Claus. The way a thunderstorm ripped the night sky, the hurtling power of the automobile Daddy drove so bravely, the rapture of ice cream—how could the distant Incarnation compete with those?

We grew up with the Jesus story, until we outgrew it. The last day we walked out of Sunday School may be the last day we seriously engaged this faith.

Frederica Mathewes-Green,

At the Corner of East and Now

When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known.

1 Corinthians 13:11–12[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

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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] Dietrich Bonhoeffer, God Is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas, ed. Jana Riess, trans. O. C. Dean Jr., First edition. (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2010), 52–53.