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Showing posts with label Matthew. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Matthew. Show all posts

Monday, January 17, 2022

Ask, Seek, Knock - Another Encourager in the Family!

 


My wife TammyLyn is a faithful woman of God and her faith walk has made some quantum leaps as she has experienced her freedom in Christ and a manifestation of the Holy Spirit in her life.  She now is actively seeking the Lord on a continual basis and it is exciting to see what the Holy Spirit is going to do in her life next as she has already had a voracious appetite for the word of God and has taken deep dives into unpacking scripture through the artistic method of Bible verse mapping.  

But I had no idea the the Lord was moving in her to step out in faith as an encourager as she launched a Facebook group: Ask, Seek, Knock (Ask, Seek, Knock FB Group ) as a platform to offer Christian encouragement and just when I thought I was floored by that. She launched the first episode of her very own podcast, "Ask, Seek, Knock" on Podbean. Ask, Seek, and Knock Podcastst.  

She introduced her FB group with the following text:  

"This simple phrase "Ask, Seek, Knock" has become a critical part of my daily spiritual walk with Christ.
Matthew 7:7-12 (NKJV)
Keep Asking, Seeking, Knocking
7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! 12 Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
It is a simple phrase but why is it so hard for us to follow through with these simple requests. Christ wants us to be in daily communion with Him through prayer, but why is that so hard?
One reason is because we allow the "world" to get in the way of the "Word."
We need to put our focus back on Christ and His will for our lives.
It is my prayer that I will be able to encourage others through my walk and searching with the Lord. The Lord has been leading me to write and share. I have been doing so through FB posts but I am going to start a podcast and share it here on this page as well as my personal page. It might be rough at first as I get used to this "podcast thing". However I know that Christ is with me and He NEVER puts anything before me that I cannot handle.
So here goes nothing...
In addition to sharing the podcast I will be sharing daily encouragement, scriptures and whatever the Lord leads me to share; whether it be a TammyLyn original or simply a shared post.
Welcome and thank you for choosing to join me on this journey."

So I encourage you to join TammyLyn on her journey of faith where you will receive advice, encouragement, and hope!

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Walking out of the Woods – Leaving Things Behind and Seeking Him – Purity 613


 

Walking out of the Woods – Leaving Things Behind and Seeking Him – Purity 613

Purity 613 12/28/2021  Purity 613 Podcast

Good morning,

Today’s photo of the of white clouds and blue skies over weather stripped ice coated trees on the edge of Waite Road in Easton NY comes to us from yours truly and my afternoon stroll from this past Sunday.  Let’s face it the weather in upstate New York hasn’t given us too many blue skies as of late, heck they didn’t even last for the duration of that day, so I may be sharing more views from Sunday’s walk in the days ahead.   

Well it’s Tuesday, and I am sharing today’s photo because of its simple beauty and to represent that “we aren’t out of the woods yet” in so many ways.  

Spiritually, as Christians, even though we just finished celebrating Jesus’ coming as a babe in a manger on Saturday, we are still awaiting His second coming where he will come to rule and regain as King. 

In terms of the days on the calendar, we are quickly moving out of December and 2021, but we still have a few days until we get there and still have time to possibly get some business finished and resolve some things before the new year. 

In terms of the season, we may be past the winter solstice and the darkest day of the year and will experience increasing light that will peak at the spring equinox on March 20, 2022, but we still have to walk through a few months of winter to get there.    

And as the news will tell you, although many measures have been instituted to try to control “Covid-19”, and now all of its derivatives, we are apparently still not out of the woods yet of the pandemic according to the media.  Yesterday’s post spoke of my concerns of whether or not people’s fear of death would ever allow us to be “out of the woods” of Covid-19 protective measures and tried to encourage that we seek the Lord and speak of the protection and eternal life that comes through faith in Christ to a world that desperately needs it but that may claim to know better.

In truth, our lives are continuous, and we will always be in the process of leaving or entering wilderness periods in our lives as we face the changing situations that come with the passing of days.  

As we are bearers of the message of God’s light and truth that has been revealed to us in the person of Jesus Christ, sometimes it is extremely challenging to continue walking out our faith and speaking the truth of hope that only comes through Jesus. 

Christians are villainized as ignorant, unloving, intolerant, unscientific, hateful, backwards, and legalistic for the message of the exclusivity of Christ to save and for agreeing with what the word of God defines as sin.    

As much as we would like to please others and just to “get along” with everyone, Christ’s example shows us that we are to stand for the Truth of God’s word and not compromise our convictions. 

The bad news is that, even though we have been forgiven and made spiritually alive because our faith in Jesus Christ, we can still make mistakes and falter in the things we do and the words we say.  

However, the good news is that when we make mistakes we can take corrective action and seek to reestablish our harmony with God by asking for His forgiveness once again and choose to turn again to His truth and His ways for living. 

This process of seeking to know God and to make Him known in the ways we think and act, and the many adjustments that we will make as we progress into the future, is what is referred to as ‘walking in the Spirit” or “being conformed to the image of Christ”. 

It is not always clear sailing of the high seas of Christian Discipleship, and we often find ourselves in conflict with the world, the flesh, and the devil as we try to walk it out our Christian faith.     

Jesus promised persecution to His followers. So we can expect to be bruised and battered on occasion as we go, but as Christ’s disciples we really don’t have a choice but to continue on and to speak the truth in love knowing that the world will hate us because it hated Jesus too.  

So today I would just encourage us all to think about the final days of this year and if possible use the time that remains before the new year to resolve issues that we would like to leave behind in 2021 and seek to prepare ourselves for the hope of yet another “new beginning” in 2022. 

We may be able to put somethings to rest. We may be able to get rid of somethings that weigh us down that we don’t want to carry anymore.  We may be able to take some steps into a direction that leads to increasing freedom and victory.   

Although we can’t control the situations and people in our lives, we can control what we put our hearts, minds, and efforts to.  I would encourage you that the best plan for your life involves coming into agreement with what the word of God says and seeking the purpose that God has for your life.  

Christ encouraged us to look past this world and seek His heavenly Father’s ways for living. 

In Matthew 6:33 (NKJV), Christ told us to
33  … seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

“All these things” was referring to the things we need in life, and our seeking God’s kingdom and His righteousness would result in us receiving them. 

In Matthew 7:7 (NKJV), Jesus again encouraged His disciples to:
7  "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

Christ encourages us to actively seek and ask for what He has for our lives and, as this verse indicates, when we seek and ask for it, God will give it to us.   

So look at the remaining days of 2021 and contemplate what needs to be left behind to draw closer to what Lord has for your life.  As a fellow disciple of Christ, I encourage you to know that what Christ said is true and that when you seek and ask for it you will receive all the things that God has for you.  

So although we might not be out of the woods yet in many ways, keep walking and talking with God because His ways are the best ways, and He will guide you out of the wilderness and bring you to where you should be.

 

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

This morning’s meditation verse is: 

Ephesians 1:22 (NLT2)
22  God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church.  

Today’s verse makes it clear that Jesus is in control, and it reminds us that is a good thing for the church.  

Jesus proclaimed the truth of this verse in one of the concluding verses of Matthew’s gospel, when He said in:

Matthew 28:18 (NKJV)
18  … "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.

This spiritual reality will become clear and will ultimately come to bear when Christ returns to reclaim and judge the earth but the truth of this reality exists here and now and can be experienced when we come into a covenant relationship with Jesus and share in His authority as Christians. 

That’s why this verse in Ephesians speaks of the fact that Christ’s receiving authority over all things is for the benefit of the church.  It is for the benefit of the church because we can claim and utilize the authority that Christ has over all things.  

While God may bless us by using Christ’s authority to answer our prayers to give us the desires of our hearts or to give us the gifts of the Spirit, the most profound way that the church can benefit from Christ’s authority over all things is in the area of personal sanctification. 

Christ’s authority is used for God’s purposes, not our personal desires.  So while we might not be successful in claiming Christ’s authority over all situations and in influencing other people because of our lack discernment or wisdom, the word of God states that our sanctification is God’s will for our lives.  

So we can claim the victory over sin and death that Christ’s authority has given us to conquer our fear of death and to align our thoughts and behavior to be more like Christ’s.   

Exercising Christ’s authority over our lives is just a matter of knowing who we are in Christ, believing what the word of God says, and applying it to our lives in our thoughts and actions.  

We most benefit as the church when we exercise Christ’s authority to be more like Him and to encourage others to join His kingdom and us as we seek to do His will for our lives.     

So claim the authority that Christ has intended for our benefit and use it for good in our lives and for God’s purposes. 

 

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

Today we continue to share from Dr. Neil Anderson’s . “Restored: Experience Life with Jesus”. Today, we continue sharing from Chapter 1.    

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

SAVED BY THE GRACE OF GOD THROUGH FAITH

The only way we can enter into this new life is by putting our faith and trust totally in God and relying on the work of Christ alone to save us. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”21 If you have never received this free gift from God, why don’t you do so right now? God knows your heart, and you can respond to Him by praying:

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Jesus to die on the cross for my sins. I acknowledge that I have sinned and that I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus came to give me eternal and spiritual life, and by faith I now choose to receive You into my life as my Lord and my Savior. By the power of Your indwelling presence, enable me to be the person You created me to be. I pray that You would grant me repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, so that I can experience my new identity and freedom in Christ and be transformed by the renewing of my mind. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

The Apostle John wrote, “As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.”22 “See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are.”23 Jesus instructed His disciples to address our prayers to, “Our Father who is in heaven,”24 which also means that we are His children. Knowing who you are as a child of God is critical for your growth in Christ and in becoming the person God intends you to be. No person can consistently behave in a way that is inconsistent with what they believe about themselves. That is why the Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.25 Our heavenly Father wants us to know that we are His children.

Yet Jesus came not only came to die for our sins and give us new life in Him, but also to supply all our needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.26 He gave us life, and this life gives us our true identity as children of God. He meets our needs of acceptance, security, and significance as follows:

IN CHRIST

I am accepted:

John 1:12            I am God’s child.

John 15:15          I am Jesus’ chosen friend.

Rom 5:1               I have been made holy and accepted by God (justified).

1 Cor 6:17            I am united with the Lord and one with Him in spirit.

1 Cor 6:20            I have been bought with a price-- I belong to God.

1 Cor 12:27          I am a member of Christ’s body, part of His family.

Eph1:1                I am a saint, a holy one.

Eph 1:5               I have been adopted as God’s child.

Eph 2:18              I have direct access to God through the Holy Spirit.

Col1:14                I have been bought back (redeemed) and forgiven of all my sins.

Col 2:10               I am complete in Christ.

I am secure:

Rom 8:1, 2           I am free forever from punishment (condemnation).

Rom 8:28             I am assured that all things work together for my good.

Rom 8:31F           I am free from any condemning charges against me.

Rom 8:35F           I cannot be separated from the love of God.

2 Cor 1:21            I have been established, anointed, and sealed by God.

Col 3:3                 I am hidden with Christ in God.

Phil 1:6                I am sure the good work God has started in me will be finished.

Phil 3:20              I am a citizen of heaven.

2 Tim 1:7             I have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind.

Heb 4:16              I can find grace and mercy in time of need.

1 John 5:18         I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me.

I am significant:

Matt 5:13             I am salt and light for everyone around me.

John 15:1-5         I am a part of the true vine, joined to Christ and able to produce much fruit.

John 15:16          I have been handpicked by Jesus to bear fruit.

Acts 1:8               I am a personal witness of Christ’s.

1 Cor 3:16            I am God’s temple where the Holy Spirit lives.

2 Cor 5:17            I am at peace with God, and He has given me the work of making peace between Himself and other people. I am a minister of reconciliation.

2 Cor 6:1             I am God’s co-worker.

Eph 2:6               I am seated with Christ in the heavenly places.

Eph 2:10              I am God’s workmanship.

Eph 3:12              I may approach God with freedom and confidence.

Phil 4:13              I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

All these statements are true because of our union with God. This new life in Christ, which is our union with God, is most often referred to in the Bible as being “in Christ” or “in Him.” For every verse in the Bible that talks about Christ being in God’s children, there are ten verses that talk about God’s children being “in Christ.” For instance, the six chapters of the book of Ephesians contain forty references to being “in Christ.” In total, there are 27 books in the New Testament. The first four are historical and are called the gospels, which describe the birth, life, death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. The fifth book of Acts is an historical book depicting the life of the early church and the work of the Apostles, who also wrote the rest of the New Testament under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. These Epistles provide instruction for the church, which is the living body of Christ. The entire Bible was written over a period of 1400 years by forty different authors who all wrote under the inspiration of God. The Bible is therefore the authoritative Word for life and practice of all God’s people. After Jesus was resurrected, He appeared to His disciples and hundreds of others who were still alive when the New Testament was being written.27 He was with them for around fifty days, and then went home to Heaven. He now sits at the right hand of God the Father, which is the spiritual throne and the seat of authority for the universe.

After Jesus was glorified in Heaven, the Holy Spirit was sent to all those who believe in the finished work of Jesus. The pouring out of the Holy Spirit came at the Jewish feast of Pentecost, which marks the beginning of the Church. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth28 and dwells in every believer the moment they are born again spiritually. The Holy Spirit will lead you into all truth, and that truth will set you free.

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

 

Join our “Victory over the Darkness” or “The Bondage Breaker” series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

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

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

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

 

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Fading Sun, Falling Spirits - Depression and Vitamin D - Purity 571


 Fading Sun, Falling Spirits - Depression and Vitamin D -  Purity 571

Purity 571 11/09/2021  Purity 571 Podcast

Good morning

Today’s photo of the sun over, and reflected in, the waters of the Erie Canal at Lock # 3 off of Washington Avenue in Waterford NY comes to us from yours truly as I realized that there was a sight to behold behind me as I was sitting in my van at the end of the work day yesterday, teaching me once again that if we are too focused about the things in front of us we may be missing out on other opportunities that are available for us to experience.  

Last week the position of the sun wouldn’t have been where it was at this time of day but since we have reclaimed the hour we lost to daylight savings time; we may have to look for the joys of the setting sun a little earlier than we are used to. 

Just because the world changes doesn’t mean we are not responsible to move and adapt with the changes.  We can complain, resist, and not like it but peace and contentment are generally found by recognizing the circumstances around us for what they are, accepting them for what they are, and operating based on them, when necessary.  

Oh a quick heads up, the reality of seasonal affective disorder, the fact that our mental states could go down with the sun into depressive tendencies, is upon us and one of the things that the experts recommend is to increase our vitamin D intake to compensate for the losses caused by the reduction of our exposure to sunshine.  One study (https://medcraveonline.com/IPMRJ/vitamin-d-for-depression-with-a-seasonal-pattern-an-effective-treatment-strategy.html) suggests that daily intake of 100,000 IU of vitamin D may improve the depressive symptoms of season affective disorder.    

And when I asked my in house expert “Alexa”, how much vitamin D we should take daily, “she” responded that we should take 400 mcg (5,000 IU is 125mcg) of vitamin D each day.  As for my “in house expert”,  please consult other sources as Alexa sometimes don’t answer the same question the same way twice.  

As always be discerning in where you get your information from, consult a multiplicity of sources, and be aware that no matter what you are told, you alone are responsible for the decisions you make and will be subject to the consequences of your decisions and the information you base them on.  

I’m not sure how much vitamin D I get from the foods that I eat or my exposure to the sun but I would imagine that I fall way short of normal and use vitamin D supplements to compensate for my medically diagnosed “vitamin D deficiency” but based on this information and the changing seasons I will be increasing my vitamin D intake to make up for the gaps of my knowledge and whatever losses we can expect from the reduced exposure to the sun in the days ahead.  

As we approach Thanksgiving in two weeks, we will be in the holiday season before we know it and as much as some are filled with joy in later November and the month of December at the prospect of Christmas, many suffer from bouts of the holiday blues as the stress around the changing seasons of our lives as well as the preparations for the festivities can lead to depression.  Disillusionment around dashed expectations and the affect of remembering the dearly departed can also make the season of joy turn into the winter of our discontent. 

So I wanted to give everyone the heads up about vitamin D and the high levels they recommend for healthy living.  I myself was ignorant of how much we should have and wanted to make my friends aware. Of course you should examine your diet and consult with a doctor if depression is a real concern to determine how much vitamin D you should take and to consider the use of other medications that could help in combatting depression.   

While I believe that utilizing cognitive therapy (directing your thoughts) and a harmonious relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ, spiritual therapy if you will, to be the most effective remedy to all the negative states of mind, I recognize the reality that not everyone’s situations are the same in terms of biochemistry, mental capacities, and faith. 

So if you need help, get help. Your loved ones care about your wellbeing and pastoral counselors and mental health professionals are dedicated to the cause of helping those who suffer from depression.

One thing I know for sure is that the Lord loves us and doesn’t want our minds to be filled with thoughts that condemn us or fill us with despair. Christ came to give us life and life more abundantly and scripture teaches the benefits of prayer, gratitude, fellowship, and contentment to help us live victorious lives.

So keep walking and talking with God. Be on the lookout for opportunities to recognize His handiwork in the world and to be filled with the peace and joy that comes from being in His presence.  

Take responsibility for your relationship with God, and your mental health by recognizing His love for you and by being proactive in making sure you are walking into the days ahead aware of your thoughts and moods and are utilizing all the resources the Lord has made available to you to find the peace and contentment that He would want you to experience.


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

This morning’s meditation verse is :

Matthew 26:41 (NLT2)
41  Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!”

Today’s verse are the words of Jesus, and our Lord and Savior is clear in His warning to us about temptation and the reality of our vulnerable state.    

Jesus was a realist.  He acknowledges that our human spirit may have the best of intentions of being in harmony with the Holy Spirit’s leadings for our lives, but we are still susceptible to falling in temptation because of the weakness of our body, or the flesh as the NKJV puts it.   

The “flesh” is the Bible’s term for our carnal nature, that part of us that seeks to meet physical needs and then some with reckless abandon if it is given total authority.  Gluttons, drunkards, and sex addicts are the extreme examples of when the flesh’s appetite for food and euphoric experiences are unchecked. The “flesh” has no morality and doesn’t care about negative consequences. Like Audrey II, the man eating plant in the Little Shop of Horrors, the flesh only has one directive: “Feed ME!”   

However, even though Christ acknowledges the ability of the weakness of the flesh to compromise our spiritual lives, He doesn’t say that we are powerless against its appetites. He doesn’t say that we are hopeless. 

Instead, Jesus warns us to “watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation”.  So we can be victorious over the flesh.

Those who have put their faith in Jesus have been freed of sin and death. That’s a spiritual reality for all who are Christians but to realize that reality in our lives we have to believe it and we have to act on it by “watching and praying”, meaning that we have to be aware of our surroundings and our thoughts, considering all we experience in light of the wisdom of God’s word, and to be in constant communication with God through formal times of prayer and Bible study and by maintaining a continuous conversation with God as we go through our day.   

Faith in Jesus is the remedy to sin and here our Lord directs us in the practice of the remedy. As Christians we are to be vigilant in our walk by being on guard against external and internal temptations by taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ and maintaining a continuous conversation with the Lord that reminds us of who we are in Christ and directs the steps of our journey.

Christ has given us the victory. We just have to beware that our flesh is weak and remember that we can overcome temptation if we watch and pray.  

 

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

Today we continue sharing from June Hunt’s “Evil and Suffering… Why? Is God Fair?

 

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase June Hunt’s books for your own private study and to support her work.

B. What Is "Good"?

A sacrificial servant of God, a fearless firefighter, a protective parent—all reflect some aspect of love and goodness. Consider the following definitions:

  • Good is uncorrupted virtue.
        "God saw all that he had made, and it was very good." (Genesis 1:31)
  • Good is a moral choice of right over wrong, arising from righteousness of character. The Greek word kalos means "good" that comes from being intrinsically virtuous in character. This goodness, which is honorable, righteous, and morally pure, is a moral choice of good over bad.
        "Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins." (James 4:17)
  • Goodness is that which causes more goodness. Only Jesus, who is the embodiment of goodness, can produce good.

"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep." (John 10:11)

 

Question: "Some people say, 'Everyone is born good.' Is this true?"

Answer: the straightforward answer is "No." David states ...

Surely I was sinful at birth,
sinful from the time my mother conceived me."

(Psalm 51:5)

 

Question: "Doesn't the existence of evil prove that God is not a good God?"

Answer: The existence of evil does not negate the existence of a good God any more than darkness negates light or death negates life. Some things are better defined by the contrast of their opposites. Since both good and evil clearly exist, a good God must necessarily exist. What else is the source of good? God in His goodness and in His timing will deal with evil and those who promote evil. The Bible says ...

"The evil man has no future hope, and the lamp of the wicked will be snuffed out." (Proverbs 24:20)

 

Question: "If God is a good and compassionate God, why doesn't He hear my prayers and answer them?"

Answer: God is not deaf—He hears all of your prayers. In fact, because He knows everything, He knows your requests even before you ask. And He answers sometimes with yes, sometimes with no, and sometimes with wait. God the Father even said no to Jesus when He was facing crucifixion and no to the apostle Paul when he was facing a physical malady. The Father's purpose for Jesus' death was our salvation. God's purpose for Paul's physical ailment was to produce humility in Paul. Realize that He always answers your prayers according to His purposes for you. In the end, the righteous are delivered from all of their troubles.

"The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. A righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all." (Psalm 34:17-19)


Biblical Counseling Keys: Evil and Suffering... Why?: Why God? Why?.


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

 

Join our “Victory over the Darkness” or “The Bondage Breaker” series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

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

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

 

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Son Rise – Rising to the Call to Compassionate Service - Purity 566

Son Rise – Rising to the Call to Compassionate Service - Purity 566

Purity 566 11/03/2021   Purity 566 Podcast

Good morning

Today’s photo of a “a gorgeous morning” at John Boyd Thacher State Park in Voorheesville NY comes to us from a pair of friends who decided to rise early last Thursday to experience some of “God’s infinite beauty” and to enjoy the fellowship of a friendship that has similar trials of life and an appreciation for God as a foundation. Although it is the sun rise they came to see, they captioned it “SON” rise  because of the centrality of Jesus Christ in their lives. These two could testify to the beauty of this scenic location but remind their friends and families of the importance of God in their lives to overcome the challenges and adversity that life sometimes brings to our doorstep.    

Well, Its Wednesday and as we ascend the hump of midweek once again I am excited by the prospects of being used by the Lord in the days ahead by being a voice of hope and care for my local community.  Monday, I officially started training for my part time job as a Psychiatric Technician for a local mental health agency and was immediately pleased with my decision to follow this calling to practice and develop my counseling skills as I encountered a staff that was professional and compassionate in their efforts to help those who are reaching out for help in times of crisis.  I have only just begun but am excited by the prospect of helping others in whatever capacity I can and believe that this part time job will be my next “ministry” as my current series of discipleship classes will be completed in a couple of weeks.  

As Christians, I believe that we are called to be a voice of hope and a minister of compassion to our local community and that we should look for opportunities to help others.  The Lord has put a desire in my heart to help others and although I diverted from my career in human services by going corporate nearly 25 years ago it looks like we are going back to that original purpose, albeit in a part time capacity.    

Christ’s second commandment was to love our neighbors as ourselves and it is my hope that I can be used to help those in crisis. While I won’t necessarily be preaching the gospel like I would in my discipleship classes, I will be a minister of compassion that will try to assure those who are in crisis that there are reasons to hope for a better life and that help is available in times of need.    

So keep walking and talking with God. Enjoy the fellowship of your friends and family and take a minute today to look for the beauty of the Lord in the midst of your day.  If our focus is on the good things that the Lord has provided in our lives and will continue to provide, we can make it through any crisis and be able to take what we have learned in our journey through life to help others in times of need.    And if those we help along the way ask us for the reason for our hope, we can point to the “Son” that shines a light in the darkness and promises a new and abundant life to all who call upon His name.  

 

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

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Matthew 5:8 (NLT2)
8  God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God.

Today’s verse speaks of the importance of turning away from our wicked worldly ways and to seeking a simple and pure life.   

Recently, I was discussing the ability of the Christian faith and a discipled Christian lifestyle to make a significant difference in the quality of someone’s life, that through the application of our faith we can overcome all of life’s problems.  

The person I was speaking to seemed to agree of the importance of faith in Jesus Christ for one’s salvation but then started to criticize what they called the tendency of “the church” to push a lifestyle of “purity” on its parishioners. 

Little did this person know that they were preaching the gospel of “cheap grace” and that the problems that surround those in and outside of the body of Christ are largely not caused by one’s penchant to pursue purity. Our society’s problems can clearly be seen as a result of the vast majority of people to decide to abandon purity principles in areas of sex and substance abuse.  

Name an issue and purity, or the lack of it, lies at the heart of it. 

Abortion? If people were practicing purity, there would be far less unwanted pregnancies.

Addiction? If people were practicing purity, they wouldn’t abuse alcohol, drugs, or even food.  

Our society of license tells the tall tale of the evils of repression and has decided that because people have these physical urges or cravings that the only way to address them is to abandon any ideas about abstinence and to develop safety measures that will clean up the mess after the dam breaks.   So pervasive is this attitude of license disguised as liberty, that its attitudes of hopelessness and pragmatism is present in members of the body of Christ who should revere the words of Jesus as good advice.  

The rationale of “cheap grace” is that since Christ paid for all sins, sin is not only forgiven but is completely understandable and permissible.  Efforts at purity would cause too much mental anguish and only result in failure anyway, so we might as well just give in to our base natures but do so safely.   Satan completely agrees with this rationale and encourages its acceptance.

What the world would call freedom, the word of God would rightly identify as bondage.  The word says that Christians are given a new life and have been set free from the power sin and it advises that light is to have nothing to do with darkness.  

 

The word of God tells us to be holy as He is holy.  We are not to fear purity but are to pursue it.  The solution to the problem of sin is not to compromise with it but to turn from it and turn to a pure life that simple and good.

The testimonies of Christians that believed the word of God and put their trust in the Lord and were able to overcome lifelong cycles of sin show the truth of today’s verse.     

Those whose hearts are pure will see God.  They will see God in their new lives. They will experience the power of God as they live a pure and righteous life free of the shame, guilt, and defilements that come with a lifestyle of sin.  

So don’t try to be like the world that will tell you that “everybody’s doing it” when it comes to sin. The testimonies of overcomers, like myself, show that the world is lying to you and that the biggest lie the enemy tells us is that a life of purity is “impossible”.  

When we trust in the Lord and walk in His ways, we can discover that nothing is impossible with God and that choosing to purse purity is the path that leads to seeing the manifest presence and power of God in your life.

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

 

Today we continue sharing from June Hunt’s Dating: Secrets to Great Relating When Dating  

 

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase June Hunt’s books for your own private study and to support her work. If you need this title you can find it online at several sites for less than $5.00:

 

F. How to Relearn Dating the Second Time Around

Erin was married for 27 years, and now she's nervously curling her hair...laughing at herself because there's a pile of clothes on her bed as a result of changing her mind three times about what to wear. She resists the urge to call her best friend for a dose of courage, but then she gets an encouraging text message from her with a quick prayer of blessing and encouragement. She's as nervous as a teenager preparing for her first date. In a way, that's exactly how it feels because this is her first date in more than three decades!

She knows it's time for her to "get back out there." She's finally tucked the past away in a special place in her heart and memory, and she's looking at a bright future ahead. She's cried plenty of tears, she's been to counseling, she's filled all that extra time with Bible study and bridge, and the kids are grown and gone and on their own. Now it's time for her to live...to laugh, and maybe even to love again....

"Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God." (Ephesians 5:2 NLT)

Signs That Show You're Ready to Date Again

Whether you're reentering the dating scene because of death or divorce, many adults must relearn dating skills that have been dormant for decades. The amount of time between your last relationship and when you're ready to start dating will be different for every person. The prophet Isaiah declares the majesty of newness found in the Lord....

"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland." (Isaiah 43:18-19)

These signs show that you're ready for a new relationship....

  • Your past is in the past.
    • —If you're bereaved, you've done the grief work necessary to process your sorrow.
    • —If you're divorced or have experienced a breakup from another serious relationship, you also need to deal with loss, but perhaps also feelings of anger, hurt, or betrayal.
  • You're ready to date for the right reasons.
    • —If you are seeking to date for any reason other than to meet someone and move toward the future, you're headed for heartache.
    • —If you want to start dating for revenge, security, an ego boost, or out of desperation, ignoring the issues won't fix your problems.
  • You know who you are.
    • —When you've been in a relationship for a long period of time, you've been part of a couple. It's important that you separate your identity from being a part of that "union" and know your identity in Christ.
    • —Know yourself again—your likes, dislikes...your interests. Those unique attributes that make you you can get lost over time.
  • You know who you're looking to find.
    • —Give some thought as to what you want from a relationship. What characteristics and qualities are important to you? What attributes do you want to avoid?
    • —Don't expect a carbon copy of your last relationship, but do consider what was good and what didn't work.
  • You can take your time.
    • —Don't rush the process. You're not likely to fall in love at first sight with the first person you meet. (It could happen, but it's not likely.)
    • —You might not be the right person immediately, either. If you experience setbacks or even rejection, chalk it up to experience and hang on to hope. You're never alone when you have the Lord.

"The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." (Deuteronomy 31:8)

Introducing Dates to Children

Question: "I've been a single parent for over a year now and I'm ready to start dating. When should I introduce a date to my kids?"

Answer: Much depends on the ages and stages of your children and your situation. Have your children had time to process grief over the end of your marriage or the death of your spouse? Although you might be ready to date, give careful consideration about the delicate balance involving when it will be appropriate to introduce a date to your children. Some questions to consider:

  • How far has the dating relationship progressed? If you introduce your kids to a date too soon and it doesn't work out, they could be easily confused about another "loss" in their life. If you wait too long, you might become too emotionally invested only to discover your date doesn't like your kids or vice versa.
  • Depending on your relationship with your children, you will know how and when to involve them in the dating process—when you're getting serious. If you're looking at a future with this person, that future will include your children.

"Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth" (1 John 3:18).

Biblical Counseling Keys: Dating: Secrets to Great Relating When Dating.

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

 

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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship