Showing posts with label Mission. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mission. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

It’s Impossible. – Lies of the Enemy #14– Purity 1026

 It’s Impossible. – Lies of the Enemy #14– Purity 1026

Purity 1026 04/25/2023 Purity 1026 Podcast

Purity 1026 on YouTube: 

Good morning,

Today’s photo of a un marked soccer field  in the shadow of green mountains, under a nearly cloudless blue sky comes to us  yours truly as I went back in the photo archives to retirieve this simply yet beautiful scene that I capturd back on July 12 2019 while I was staying at an orphanage while on a vacation mission trip to Zacapa Guatemala.  According to Warner & Coursey’s new book, the 4 Habits of Joy-Filled People, a few ways we can increase our capacity for joy and build up our emotional resilience is through  Gratitude, Anticipation, memories and the “joy stories” we can tell ourselves and others.   

Today, I am thankful for where the Lord has put me in terms of all the aspects of my life: my home, my health, my career, my ministry, my marriage, and my relationship with Him. My daily practice of gratitude puts “first things first” by reminding me that I am alive and God has blessed me and God is with me! Hard to stay in a funk when you make a regular practice of appreciating all that the Lord has done for you and you speak to Him to express your thanks!   

Today’s photo represents both the ways “Anticipation” and “Memories” can help us to experience joy. Before that mission trip back in 2019, I joyfully anticipated seeing a new country and serving the people in Guatemala in a community of believers with the common purpose to give glory to God! I anticipated the peace and joy of being with my brothers and sisters in Christ as we worshipped and worked together for God’s kingdom. Anticipating going filled me with enthusiasm as I contemplated my faithful purpose!  

Guatemala didn’t disappoint. The topography of the Guatemalan mountain was right out of Jurassic park and while the work was challenging at times the things we did there as a mission team were worthwhile because we did them together and we did them in faith. And while there were times of uncertainty and frustration in Guatemala, the memories I have of that mission trip fill me with joy.   

And as for “joy stories”, my journal from that trip – somewhere around here – could testify to our daily activities but when I remember Guatemala and its beauty, I am reminded of the beauty that came from the interactions I had with the other people on the trip and how all of us grew closer to one another and individually because of our experiences while there on vacation for God.   

And all of this could have been taken from me. The anticipation, the memories, and the joy stories would not have been known if I had listened to the enemy’s big lie that keeps so many people in chains of fear and inaction.   

Which brings us to our current series which is an examination of some of the common lies that the enemy tells us to cause us to doubt our faith, steal our peace, or to influence us to choose not to follow the Lord with the way we live our lives.  And today’s lie is the one that keeps Christians from experiencing their freedom and it is tragic because when this lie is believed, we voluntarily surrender to enemy’s bondages without a fight.

Today’s big lie is:

Lie # 14:  It’s impossible!    

The biggest lie that enemy tells Christians to keep them from our freedom in Christ and from experiencing the new life that the Lord has for us is that something is “Impossible!”  Now our minds may know intellectually that the goals that are beyond are reach are theoretically possible, but the enemy is quick to amend and personalize his lie to say “It’s impossible for you.” Or better yet to put it in the first person to make it: “It’s impossible for me.”  

While other Christians, and even Non-Christians!,  can accomplish what you want to accomplish, for you it is simply impossible!

In my morning Bible study in Job, I came across one of Job’s comments, in the midst of his sufferings, that echoed this “impossible sentiment”.  

Job 9:29 (NLT2)
29  Whatever happens, I will be found guilty. So what’s the use of trying?

Here Job was feeling sorry for himself and echoes the follow up statement to cap off Today’s big lie: “What’s the use of trying?”

Satan’s lie here is logically sound: It’s impossible. I can’t accomplish it because its impossible. So there’s no point in trying to accomplish it. It is “impossible” after all.”  

But this is why we must “take every thought captive” and resist the devil.   Because if we examine reality and God’s word, we will discover that we are believing a lie.  

Ok, some things are impossible – but not all things.  Our experience can show us the truth sometimes. We look for examples of people doing what we “feel” or “think” is impossible.  The good news is that many people have gone before us to inspire to do “the impossible” in our lives.  If they could do it, I could do it!

However, the word of God also indicates that Christians have a decided advantage in “overcoming” impossibilities. God is on our side and He encourages us  to trust in Him and to try impossible things.  Jesus said:

Matthew 19:26 (NKJV)
26  … "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

That was all things! With God all things are possible! The Apostle Paul encourages us that:

Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)
13  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Now to keep it real, some of the all things that Paul was talking about included enduring suffering.  But these scriptures should inspire us to have faith, trust in the Lord, do what we can and leave the results up to God.   

Before coming to Christ, the idea of being a “missionary”, or just the idea of going to Africa or Guatemala – would have seemed impossible to me.  Before Christ, I didn’t  have any reason to “go there” and while not technically impossible, it would have been highly unlikely that I ever would have travelled to those countries “for good”.   But God put it in my heart and the “seeming impossibility” of being a missionary, granted a short term missionary, was accomplished!

Similarly,  before Christ I had no inclination to stop drinking. Alcohol was part of my culture and identity. I not only didn’t think it was possible to stop drinking, I didn’t want to!

But God changed my heart and mind about that and He gave me conviction to try and the strength and guidance to overcome what was nearly a life long habit.  And not only did we work together to stop that behavior, the Lord helped me to change my mind and heart about drinking, to show me the truth of its darkness, and now it no longer really tempts me because I have knowledge of what a trap it is. Paradoxically, what I thought was impossible to give up, now seems impossible to resume.  The idea of drinking is almost completely foreign to me and I am to assure you that God did that impossible feat in me.

So if there is a hurt, habit, or hang up, in your life that you think is “impossible to overcome, or a goal that you “always wanted to do” but never did,  don’t believe the lie that “it’s impossible. Instead, trust in the Lord, ask Him for guidance and strength, and listen and obey to the way He directs you to see if overcoming is part of the purpose that He has for your life.   

Some of the “bucket list” items we have may not be in God’s plans, because they are silly or selfish, but if your “impossible dream” is to be set free and to be closer to God, I would encourage you to pursue it with Him because if He did for me, I have to believe He will help you too.  It’s not impossible. With God all things are possible.   


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


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

This morning’s meditation verse :

Psalm 54:7 (NLT2)
7  For you have rescued me from my troubles and helped me to triumph over my enemies.

Today’s verse is the truth for all Christians in that Jesus  rescued us from God’s wrath and has help us to overcome the spiritual forces of darkness that were hell bent on our destruction.   

The idea of “rescue” can bring me to tears when I think of my former darkness and how the Lord has delivered me. Through Christ, God delivered me from literal hell, and the hells addictions and broken relationships. He gave me a hope and future. And I will praise the Lord all the days of my life because who He is and what He has done for me.  

As for triumphing over enemies… I think living a life that is free in Christ is better than any revenge we could have over the people that have abused us.  Besides it is for God to avenge, He will repay everyone for the wicked deeds done.

It is a dreadful thing to be in the hands of an angry God, and that is why we are to love our enemies and pray for them as Christ did, because they really don’t know what they were doing and need mercy and grace just like we did. 

So rejoice over your rescue, live free in Christ, and while we have triumphed over all of our enemies, don’t forget to say a prayer for God to rescue them too.


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

Today we continue sharing from A.W. Pink’s “The Sovereignty of God.”

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase A.W. Pink’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available on many websites for less than $20.00.





It may appear to some of our readers that the exposition we have given of John 3:16 in the chapter on “Difficulties and Objections” is a forced and unnatural one, inasmuch as our definition of the term “world” seems to be out of harmony with the meaning and scope of this word in other passages, where, to supply the world of believers (God’s elect) as a definition of “world” would make no sense. Many have said to us, “Surely, ‘world’ means world, that is, you, me, and everybody.” In reply we would say: We know from experience how difficult it is to set aside the “traditions of men” and come to a passage which we have heard explained in a certain way scores of times, and study it carefully for ourselves without bias. Nevertheless, this is essential if we would learn the mind of God.

Many people suppose they already know the simple meaning of John 3:16, and therefore they conclude that no diligent study is required of them to discover the precise teaching of this verse. Needless to say, such an attitude shuts out any further light which they otherwise might obtain on the passage. Yet, if anyone will take a Concordance and read carefully the various passages in which the term “world” (as a translation of “kosmos”) occurs, he will quickly perceive that to ascertain the precise meaning of the word “world” in any given passage is not nearly so easy as is popularly supposed. The word “kosmos,” and its English equivalent “world, is not used with a uniform significance in the New Testament. Very far from it. It is used in quite a number of different ways. Below we will refer to a few passages where this term occurs, suggesting a tentative definition in each case:

1. “Kosmos” is used of the Universe as a whole: Acts 17:24: “God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that He is Lord of heaven and earth.”

2. “Kosmos” is used of the earth: John 13:1; Eph. 1:4, etc., etc.: “When Jesus knew that His hour was come that He should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved His own which were in the world He loved them unto the end.” “Depart out of this world” signifies, leave this earth. “According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world.” This expression signifies, before the earth was founded—compare Job 38:4, etc.

3. “Kosmos” is used of the world-system: John 12:31, etc.: “Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the Prince of this world be cast out”—compare Matt. 4:8 and 1 John 5:19, R. V.

4. “Kosmos” is used of the whole human race: Rom. 3:19, etc.: “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.”[1]

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

Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

at, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

( The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and 

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 You Tube Channel:

Email me at 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 ( ),  her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock ( ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (

“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 W. Pink, The Sovereignty of God (Swengel, PA: Bible Truth Depot, 1949), 265–266.

Saturday, December 31, 2022

At Year’s End – A Time of Reflection and Rejoicing. - Purity 929


At Year’s End – A Time of Reflection and Rejoicing. -   Purity 929

Purity 929 12/31/2022 Purity 929 Podcast

Purity 929 on YouTube: 

YouTube flipped the Thumbnail on its side once again,
 I think we have been flipped towards the right, to the left, and upside down at least once this year... 

Good morning,

Today’s photo of a boardwalk pathway that offers one last turn before the promise of coming into the bright light at the end of the road comes to us from yours truly as I captured this scene at what was the first of several parks that my wife, TammyLyn, and I would visit in the Tampa Bay area while on our honeymoon back of February 20th. 

Well this is IT, the last day of 2022, and we are less than 20 hours (at the time I write this) before we say good bye to the year passed and say “Hello” to 2023!  

Before I launch into a recap and reflection of what has transpired in 2022’s 525,6000 minutes and testify to another year of walking in the Spirit and enjoying another season of knowing God’s love, and so much more, I would like to share a list of questions that I saw shared online that I thought could be a good vehicle for anyone reading or hearing this message to reflect on the past 365 days to “remember the times” because as the following Bible verses indicate, we should remember and learn from our lives as we go ( .  

Deuteronomy 32:7 (NKJV)
7  "Remember the days of old, Consider the years of many generations. Ask your father, and he will show you; Your elders, and they will tell you:

Deuteronomy 6:12 (NKJV)
12  then beware, lest you forget the LORD who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.

Psalm 77:10-12 (NKJV)
10  And I said, "This is my anguish; But I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High." 11  I will remember the works of the LORD; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old.
12  I will also meditate on all Your work, And talk of Your deeds.

 And as Paul told those he was departing in

 Acts 20:35 (NKJV)

35  I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.' "

So I give you these questions to ask yourself and to consider as we mark another year of life and remember the times, mourn the losses, celebrate the victories, try to learn from our experiences, and thank the Lord our God for it all.  

The questions I saw in a meme posted on FB by Soul Shepherding ( - ) asked: 

·       What did God bring to you through in 2022?

·       What did God teach you? 

·       How did you experience God’s love?

·       What are your favorite memories?

·       What are you most proud of?

·       What energized you? What drained you? 

·       How did your relationship with God evolve?

·       What are you hoping for in 2023? 

·       What is one thing you want to do differently or one area you want to grow in? 

While I am not familiar with the Soul Shepherding ministry, their website invites you to “Thrive with Jesus in life and leadership” and I like the “loaded questions” they ask in this list because unlike the general niceties or nostalgia you could undoubtedly receive from secular or mainstream media outlets today, Soul Shepherding rightly recognizes the central importance that God should have as we reflect and consider our progress through this life.   

What did GOD bring you through?  What did HE teach you? How did you experience GOD’s love? How did your relationship with GOD evolve?

If these questions leave you grasping at straws, let me encourage and assure you that God does indeed exist, He does care about our lives, and is actively involved in His creation and in and through the lives of men and women on the earth. We can walk with Him through life. We can learn from Him. We can experience His love. And we can have a relationship with Him.  

So I ask you to consider those questions, and encourage you to continue or to begin that relationship with God and to live your life “walking in the Spirit” – in the “context of  an in the presence of God” – according to His will and ways as revealed in the Bible.

I believe we all have a relationship with God from the moment we have life, but without Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, it is a contentious relationship. Our sin and decision to live independently of Him separates us from God and while our lives are spent in His creation and in His Omnipresence, if we don’t make peace with Him through Jesus, our lives will ultimately be dissatisfying as we will eventually age, die, and face God’s judgment and wrath.

Our hearts tell us when we do wrong and the word of God tells us that no amount of our good works makes up for our sin. God’s word clearly tells us that it is through faith alone in Christ alone that we are saved. 

Ephesians 2:8-10 (NKJV) tells us
8  For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9  not of works, lest anyone should boast.
10  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.  

In these three verses we learn the method of our salvation ( by grace through faith in Christ) and our purpose: to do the good works that God has prepared beforehand for us to walk in. Sounds like a plan to me! 

After most of my life living in sin and rebellion and suffering the negative consequences and tragic losses, I sought the meaning and purpose of life, in all the wrong places, but God was gracious and revealed to me the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ back in 2010, and I have been trying to be authentic in my faith, with varying degrees of success ever since.  Through the years the Lord has bring me through a lot, He has taught me a lot,  I have experienced His love in countless ways, and my relationship with Him has continued to evolve.   And 2022 has been yet another amazing year “walking in the Spirit”!

On January 1st, 2022 – I married the love of my life, TammyLyn.  She is the Christian wife that I prayed for and that God literally delivered to me!  In February we honeymooned in Tampa Florida and have spent the year growing closer to God and one another as we continually pray together and for one another and worship together at Starpoint Church every week.

Throughout the year we have enjoyed various travels and family events. We love to go on day trips and  hikes locally throughout the year visiting various parks and nature trails nearby and in the summer we enjoyed a symphony concert performance on the lawn at Hudson Crossing Park in Schuylerville NY and travelled to Newry Maine for the 2 day, River Rock Music Festival where we enjoyed a plethora of Christian Musical Artist including : Dante Bowe, Big Daddy Weave, Micah Tyler, Blanca, and my favorite – Jon Reddick. We also spent time together volunteering for Operation Adopt a Soldier, supporting the good work they do to support our troops with our time, marching in parades and serving at various functions throughout the year.  Although work and familial circumstances from our previous lives has us living with a two household system, we have spent every moment we could in 2022 learning to live with and love one another and I am amazed at how our love for one another continues to deepen.  

As for my work, my “day job” as a telecommunications tech, in May I celebrated 25 years working for the company and have become accumulated in my relatively new job function as a maintenance tech for the Albany garage and I am content with where the Lord has put me. The work can be frustrating and challenging at times but it proves to continue to provide great opportunities to grow in knowledge and experience in terms of the job and a great place to practice my faith as I “keep walking and talking with God” throughout my work day, asking for His strength, guidance, patience, and help as needed.

As for my passion – “my ministry” in its various forms – I am happy to report that 2022 has been a banner year for stepping out in faith in many ways.

This year I was honored to assume the role as a “Online Course Leader” for Freedom in Christ Ministries, leading 3 sessions of the Freedom in Christ Course in the winter, spring, and fall – and independently lead graduates from the winter and springs sessions through  The Grace Course during the Summer.  2023 will see me continue in this role as I am scheduled to lead a Men’s Freedom in Christ Course on Tuesday evenings, beginning on January 31st – any man interested in joining the course can register at the link I am sharing on the blog ( , beginning on January 5th, as registration has been temporarily suspended for the holiday season.  

I have been honored to serve Freedom in Christ Ministries in this capacity and have been blessed to have encouraged men from all over the United States to learn who they are in Christ and to experience their freedom in Christ by leading them through the Steps to Freedom in Christ.  The experiences I have had and witnessed in the lives of the men in these course has been simply amazing and has confirmed my faith and the Lord’s presence in our lives time and time again.   I look forward to seeing what the Lord will do through this ministry this year!   

As for the blog, I am happy to report that today will be the 394th blog entry for year, as I have been committed to answer the call to journal my progress as I walk in the Spirit and encourage others to travel the path of Christian Discipleship through the “Purity” series of semi daily encouragements and by providing Arthur Cincotti’s semi-weekly Bible Study outlines, and various announcements and excerpts of Christian resources to encourage others in their faith walk.  The mt4christ blog was born from my desire to encourages others to live for Christ and was reborn and revitalized when others encouraged me to keep encouraging them. The blog is part of my daily spiritual practice 6 days a week and is a labor of love and just another expression of how I “keep walking and talking with God.” So as long as the Lord wills it,  I will continue.   

Additionally, the mt4christ247 podcast enjoyed it’s second, and first full year, of existence in 2022 and despite my hopes for the Lord to use it far and wide, I am happy to report that people continue to download it and that the “curious” or the “faithful few” who clicked on it resulted in a modest increase in the total number of downloads from 2021 to 2022, with 4767 downloads this year up from last years 4048 downloads, for an all-time total of 8815.  I’m not sure what these numbers mean but I am humbled and encouraged that there are numbers to report on! So whether you are a faithful listener or have just downloaded a single episode somewhere along the lines, I want to say: THANK YOU and MAY THE LORD RICHLY BLESS YOU!

I have always said that if my messages, blog or podcast, even encourage a single person to seek and follow the Lord, I am content.  In truth the blog and the podcast, encourages ME, so regardless of numbers, followers, or subscribers, unless the Lord indicates I should stop, I will keep putting a voice to my text for those who are curious or who would rather listen than read.  

Another interesting development began this year, as I began using Zoom for the work I did for Freedom in Christ in 2022 and I further understood and  realized that Podbean created a video version of my audio podcasts, I made the decision to “really launch” the MT4Christ247 YouTube Channel and began the project of taking all the Community Freedom Ministry Classes that I podcasted in 2021 and all of the Bible Study with the Cincotti “programs” we had done and uploaded them to YouTube.  The Cincotti’s and I also made the decision to use Zoom to record our Bible Studies beginning in 2022 and actually were bold enough to release the video of our sessions beginning in April, eventually releasing all of the previous video sessions, later as “throwback episodes”. 

So if you were not aware, go to    to check out all of the archives of our Bible Studies, audio and video, and the discipleships classes I taught at my local church in 2021.  

But that’s not all, I also eventually decided to upload the Purity Series to YouTube and now do that every day, including the links to the YouTube on the blog!

In the Fall I also felt moved to produce a 19 episode series based on Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s “Discipleship” – a video series where I present the text of that classic Christian work with the use of Power Point presentations and offer my encouragements.  

And as always I share all the mt4christ blog posts I create on social media regularly to reach who I can.  I even created a list of links to help anyone to join the reddit “subs” I have created, or to follow  the podcast, or me on social media. Go to this link to find those links: (

In November, I also travelled to Buffalo to serve as a Altar Counselor for the Evening with David Jerimiah where I ministered to people as they came forward at the end of the service. 

Locally, I joined the prayer team at Starpoint Church in Clifton Park and will continue to serve there 2023. 

Although I have written much of what has happened in the last year, there was even more I am sure that I have forgotten about. 

As for my plans for the new year, you can read all about it as I live and experience and report about it on the blog. 

My life and relationship with the Lord is a never ending adventure of joy, hope, and peace that spills over into all the areas of my life. and I encourage all who read this to join me by making the decision to seek the Lord and to follow wherever He leads you.  

And of course, I wish you all a VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR! GOD BLESS YOU ALL!  


Well, I’m short on time this morning because I think I wrote “too much” and I had to find a “new resource” to share  so I’m taking a vacation from sharing the “Bible Verse of the Day” but I do encourage you to read the Bible every day, for yourself.

I am including a link to Ligonier Ministries: “Bible Reading Plans for 2023” ( an encouragement to read the word this year - to have a plan, if you need one, to draw close to God through His word to experience the power that He wants to unleash into your life.  


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

Today we begin sharing from A.W. Pink’s “The Sovereignty of God”

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available on many websites for less than $20.00.




We readily acknowledge that life is a profound problem, and that we are surrounded by mystery on every side; but we are not like the beasts of the field—ignorant of their origin, and unconscious of what is before them. No: “We have also a more sure Word of Prophecy,” of which it is said ye do well that ye “take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts” (2 Pet. 1:19). And it is to this Word of Prophecy we indeed do well to “take heed,” to that Word which had not its origin in the mind of man but in the Mind of God, for, “the prophecy came not at any time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake moved by the Holy Spirit.” We say again, it is to this “Word” we do well to take heed. As we turn to this Word and are instructed thereout, we discover a fundamental principle which must be applied to every problem: Instead of beginning with man and his world and working back to God, we must begin with God and work down to man—“In the begining God!” Apply this principle to the present situation. Begin with the world as it is today and try and work back to God, and everything will seem to show that God has no connection with the world at all. But begin with God and work down to the world, and light, much light, is cast on the problem. Because God is holy His anger burns against sin; because God is righteous His judgments fall upon those who rebel against Him; because God is faithful the solemn threatenings of His Word are fulfilled; because God is omnipotent none can successfully resist Him, still less overthrow His counsel; and because God is omniscient no problem can master Him and no difficulty baffle His wisdom. It is just because God is who He is and what He is that we are now beholding on earth what we do—the beginning of His outpoured judgments: in view of His inflexible justice and immaculate holiness we could not expect anything other than what is now spread before our eyes.

But let it be said very emphatically that the heart can only rest upon and enjoy the blessed truth of the absolute sovereignty of God as faith is in exercise. Faith is ever occupied with God. That is the character of it; that is what differentiates it from intellectual theology. Faith endures “as seeing Him who is invisible” (Heb. 11:27): endures the disappointments, the hardships, and the heartaches of life by recognizing that all comes from the hand of Him who is too wise to err and too loving to be unkind. But so long as we are occupied with any other object than God Himself there will be neither rest for the heart nor peace for the mind. But when we receive all that enters our lives as from His hand, then, no matter what may be our circumstances or surroundings—whether in a hovel, a prison-dungeon, or a martyr’s stake—we shall be enabled to say, “The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places” (Psa. 16:6). But that is the language of faith, not of sight or of sense.

But if instead of bowing to the testimony of Holy Writ, if instead of walking by faith, we follow the evidence of our eyes, and reason therefrom, we shall fall into a quagmire of virtual atheism. Or, if we are regulated by the opinions and views of others, peace will be at an end. Granted that there is much in this world of sin and suffering which appalls and saddens us; granted that there is much in the providential dealings of God which startle and stagger us; that is no reason why we should unite with the unbelieving worldling who says, “If I were God, I would not allow this or tolerate that,” etc. Better far, in the presence of bewildering mystery, to say with one of old, “I was dumb, I opened not my mouth; because Thou didst it” (Psa. 39:9). Scripture tells us that God’s judgments are “unsearchable,” and His ways “past finding out” (Rom 11:33). It must be so if faith is to be tested, confidence in His wisdom and righteousness strengthened, and submission to His holy will fostered.

Here is the fundamental difference between the man of faith and the man of unbelief. The unbeliever is “of the world,” judges everything by worldly standards, views life from the standpoint of time and sense, and weighs everything in the balances of his own carnal making. But the man of faith brings in God, looks at everything from His standpoint, estimates values by spiritual standards, and views life in the light of eternity. Doing this, he receives whatever comes as from the hand of God. Doing this, his heart is calm in the midst of the storm. Doing this, he “rejoices in hope of the glory of God.”

In these opening paragraphs we have indicated the lines of thought followed out in this book. Our first postulate is, that because God is God He does as He pleases, only as He pleases, always as He pleases; that His great concern is the accomplishment of His own pleasure and the promotion of His own glory; that He is the Supreme Being, and therefore Sovereign of the universe. Starting with this postulate we have contemplated the exercise of God’s Sovereignty, first in Creation, second in Governmental Administration over the works of His hands, third in the Salvation of His own elect, fourth in the Reprobation of the wicked, and fifth in Operation upon and within men. Next we have viewed the Sovereignty of God as it relates to the human Will in particular and human Responsibility in general, and have sought to show what is the only becoming attitude for the creature to take in view of the majesty of the Creator. A separate chapter has been set apart for a consideration of some of the difficulties which are involved, and to answering the questions which are likely to be raised in the minds of our readers; while one chapter has been devoted to a more careful yet brief examination of God’s Sovereignty in relation to prayer. Finally, we have sought to show that the Sovereignty of God is a truth revealed to us in Scripture for the comfort of our hearts, the strengthening of our souls, and the blessing of our lives. A due apprehension of God’s Sovereignty promotes the spirit of worship, provides an incentive to practical godliness, and inspires zeal in service. It is deeply humbling to the human heart, but in proportion to the degree that it brings man into the dust before his Maker, to that extent is God glorified.

We are well aware that what we have written is in open opposition to much of the teaching that is current both in religious literature and in the representative pulpits of the land. We freely grant that the postulate of God’s Sovereignty with all its corollaries is at direct variance with the opinions and thoughts of the natural man, but the truth is, we are quite unable to think upon these matters: we are incompetent for forming a proper estimate of God’s character and ways, and it is because of this that God has given us a revelation of His mind, and in that revelation He plainly declares, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isa. 55:8, 9). In view of this scripture, it is only to be expected that much of the contents of the Bible conflicts with the sentiments of the carnal mind, which is enmity against God. Our appeal then is not to the popular beliefs of the day, nor to the creeds of the churches, but to the Law and Testimony of Jehovah. All that we ask for is an impartial and attentive examination of what we have written, and that made prayerfully in the light of the Lamp of Truth. May the reader heed the Divine admonition to “prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (1 Thess. 5:21).[1]


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

Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

at, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

( The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and 

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 You Tube Channel:

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

My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock ( ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (

“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 W. Pink, The Sovereignty of God (Swengel, PA: Bible Truth Depot, 1949), 19–23.

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

The Insanity of God - Purity 925

The Insanity of God  -   Purity 925

Purity 925 12/27/2022 Purity 925 Podcast

Purity 925 on YouTube: 

Good morning,

Today’s photo of sunset from the vantage point of Pelican Point at Crystal Cove State Park in New Port Beach, CA comes to us from a friend who enjoyed this scene on Christmas Eve with his family and shared it with his friends on social media.  

Well, it is Tuesday and for the vast majority of the working population of my friends, the sun of the Christmas holiday – actual or observed – will have set last night as they will be rising this morning and returning to work.  

As for me? I will continue to enjoy an extended holiday vacation this week in the “bliss bubble” of my countryside home which I only left briefly yesterday for a couple of walks down Waite Rd with the dog.  Although I may be prone to “cabin fever” because I am usually on the go 6 if not 7 days of the week, and enjoy getting out to stretch my legs, the cold temperatures with highs in the 20’s, has made the walks brisk ones and fewer in number if the environment was more hospitable.    

As for the accommodations inside, I have no complaints as my wife has created an atmosphere of warmth and love where I feel cared for and carefree as she provides for my every need while simultaneously giving me the space to not feel smothered as we each have individual projects and activities to occupy our time and interest independent of one another. 

I have been reading through “Living from the Heart Jesus Gave You”, a text by Jim Wilder & company that I will be required to study as part of Deeper Walk International’s School of Prayer Ministry that begins in a few weeks. To familiarize myself with the content of the book, I decided to dictate it’s contents into a word document, creating my own e-version of the book.  The book creates a “Life Model” for individuals and churches to follow that encourages recovery from trauma and maturing in one’s faith through community, essentially developing a spiritual family from the body of Christ that helps us overcome the things in our pasts that shouldn’t have happened (Type B traumas) and providing us with the good things we never received (Type A traumas). The testimonies presented in the book demonstrate how our faith and the church, when operating properly, gives us everything we need to become the people God created us to be.    I all but finished the dictation of this book yesterday, with just a few last sections to complete today or tomorrow as I have been working on “getting ‘er done for a week or two, here and there.  

Dictating can be a draining process and as I have made great progress to all but complete this project over the last few days, I have often hit a wall of exhaustion of frustration that needed to be allieviated by taking the dog for a walk, lying down and taking a nap, or taking a break and listening to an audiobook that I started just before Christmas.  

As the impending yuletide splendor of secular Christmas was upon us I decided to listen to “The Insanity of God” as a way to not only keep Christ in Christmas but to remind me of the reality of the costs of Christian discipleship.  I heard about the “Insanity of God” back when I was in my undergraduate days of Bible College and had put it on my “wish list” years ago but I didn’t actually purchase it until shortly before Christmas, admittedly as part of an out of control spending spree where I was making some final purchases to take care of my Christmas shopping and decided to “treat myself” as well.  

Anyway, perhaps out of guilt or a true desire to draw close to God in repentance, I started listening to “The Insanity of God” on Christmas Eve Eve or the day before and have been listening to it here and there ever since.  Although I had heard it was a “good book” I didn’t recall exactly what it was supposed to be about.  Having listened to all but a few hours of the totality of the book, I can report that “The Insanity of God” chronicles a Christian missionary’s life and his and his family’s experiences in Somaliland in the 1990s and the author’s search for the answers to the hard questions that come when one takes Christ’s direction to go out into all the world to make disciples seriously.  Tragic, frustrating, and almost unimaginable things happen in the mission field which causes to author to seek the answer to his questions from others who have experienced persecution for their Christian faith leading him to conduct interviews of persecuted Christians I the former USSR, the Ukraine, Eastern Europe, and China where persecution was a normal and expected part of life as the “sun rising in the east”.  I’m not through the book yet but the heart wrenching testimonies of faithful Christians who suffered emotional, mental, and physical torture and the amazing things that they experienced to maintain their faith makes me thankful to be a  Christians and relatively free of any persecution and almost unworthy to be mentioned as being a part of the same body of Christ of these Christian saints and martyrs.  If my resolve to remain faithful to the call God put on my life to encourage others to be disciples ever wavered before, the testimonies of these other brothers and sisters in Christ encourages me to continue walking and talking with God and to pursue this “crazy” course that the Lord has called me to.  

Considering all that I have received and considering all that other Christians have suffered for their faith and intention to live and share the gospel of Jesus Christ, I consider that my efforts are the very least I can do for the Lord.   

I was a little puzzled by the title of the book can understand why it is called that.  In this world broken by sin and that actively seeks to silence the gospel, it is considered “crazy” to follow the Lord, and positively insane to have to suffer for our faith.  

The author, as a young man, was a few weeks away from pursuing his dream to become a veterinarian, when he suddenly heard a “voice” from the Lord calling him to abandon his planned out course to follow the Lord. Even though his faith and knowledge about Christianity or Christian service was minimal, the author answered the call and he has been answering it ever since and despite the pain and suffering his journey has led him through, his encounters have confirmed the goodness and presence of God here on the earth.  

Similarly, I have experienced loss and suffering as I have answered the Lord’s call to follow Him and even though I sometimes wonder about this path of Christian Discipleship and how positively insane some of it has been, I too am convinced of the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ and God’s ever present goodness, presence, and love.   

So, let me encourage you to ignore those who would call you “crazy” and to instead seek the Lord and His purpose for your life.  As those who have received the new life in Christ will agree, God’s love and life make ANYTHING we have to go through worth it all.  

If you feel anything like I do after this Christmas of  over indulging and over spending, you feel ripe and ready for repentance. We might not have gone far from Him but it is so easy to take a few steps in the wrong direction when we seek to “treat ourselves” but that’s okay because the Lord is still calling us to come on home with open arms and to start walking in His wisdom and ways again.     


I’m taking a vacation from sharing the “Bible Verse of the Day from the “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”, again, well frankly because I think I left that book back at Riverhouse! But I did grab the “Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling” By John G. Krus and will share the first Bible verse listed, right in the introduction, to impress upon you the importance of reading God’s word: 

 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NLT2)
16  All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.
17  God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.

Today’s verse tells us that ALL Scripture is useful to teach us what is true and what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us and teaches us to do what is right. God uses the Bible to prepare and equip us to do every good work.  

So read the Bible, every day. Start with the New Testament to learn about Jesus and to learn how we as members of the body of Christ, the church – the saints, are supposed to live.  

It might seem “crazy” to live according to the Bible in this post Christian age, but the author of  The Insanity of God, countless numbers of Christians who have experienced the new life and Christ, and myself would tell you to “be crazy” and to answer God’s call and obey His word because His life and His love make it worth it all!  


As always, I invite all to go to 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 Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s “Discipleship”, also known as “The Cost of Discipleship”

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Bonhoeffer’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available on many websites for less than $20.00.

The Church of Jesus Christ and Discipleship


Chapter Thirteen

The Image of Christ

Those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn within a large family” (Rom. 8:29). To those who have heard the call to be disciples of Jesus Christ is given the incomprehensibly great promise that they are to become like Christ. They are to bear his image as the brothers and sisters of the firstborn Son of God. To become “like Christ”—that is what disciples are ultimately destined to become. The image of Jesus Christ, which is always before the disciples’ eyes, and before which all other images fade away, enters, permeates, and transforms them,[2] so that the disciples resemble, indeed become like, their master. The image of Jesus Christ shapes the image of the disciples in daily community. For disciples, it is not possible to look at the image of the Son of God in aloof, detached contemplation; this image exerts a transforming power. All those who submit themselves completely to Jesus Christ will, indeed must, bear his image. They become sons and daughters of God; they stand next to Christ, their invisible brother, who bears the same form as they do, the image of God.

God once created Adam in God’s own image. In Adam, God sought to observe this image with joy, as the culmination of God’s creation, “and indeed, it was very good.”[4] In Adam, God recognized the divine self. Thus, from the beginning, it is our unfathomable mystery as human beings that we are creatures and yet are called to be like the Creator. As created human beings, we are called to bear the image of the uncreated God. Adam is “like God.” In gratitude and obedience, Adam now ought to bear his secret of being creature and yet God-like. The lie of the serpent was to suggest to Adam that he would still have to become like God, and to do so by his own deed and decision. That was when Adam rejected grace and instead chose his own deed. The mystery of his nature, of being creature and yet God-like, was what Adam wanted to solve by himself. He wanted to become what, from God’s perspective, he already was. That was the fall. Adam became “like God”—sicut deus[6]—in his own way. Having made himself into a god, he now no longer had a God. He now ruled alone as creator-god in a world bereft of God and subdued.

But the puzzle of human existence remains unresolved. Human beings have lost their own, God-like essence, which they had from God. They live now without their essential purpose, that of being the image of God. Human beings live without being truly human. They must live without being able to live. That is the paradox of our existence and the source of all our woes. Since then, the proud children of Adam have sought to restore this lost image of God in themselves by means of their own efforts. But the more seriously and devotedly they strive to regain what was lost, and however convinced and proud they are of their apparent victory in achieving this, the deeper the contradiction to God grows. Their distorted form, which they modeled after the image of the god of their own imaginative projections, resembles more and more the image of Satan, even though they may be unaware of this. The image of God, as the Creator’s gracious gift, has been lost on this earth.

But God keeps on looking at God’s lost creature. For the second time, God seeks to create the divine image in us. God wants to be pleased with the creature once again. God seeks the divine image in us, in order to love it. But God cannot find it except by assuming, out of sheer mercy, the image and form of the lost human being. God must conform to the human image, since we are no longer able to conform to the image of God.

The image of God should be restored in us once again. This task encompasses our whole existence. The aim and objective is not to renew human thoughts about God so that they are correct, or that we would subject our individual deeds to the word of God again, but that we, with our whole existence and as living creatures, are the image of God. Body, soul, and spirit, that is, the form of being human in its totality, is to bear the image of God on earth. God is well pleased with nothing less than God’s own perfect image.

The image springs from real life, the living primordial form. Form is thus being shaped by form. The prototype from which the human form takes its shape is either the imaginative form of God based on human projection, or it is the true and living form of God which molds the human form into the image of God. A reshaping, a ‘metamorphosis’ (Rom. 12:2; 2 Cor. 3:18), a transformation has to take place if, as fallen human beings, we are to become again the image of God. The question is how it can become possible that human beings could be transformed into the image of God.[1]

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

Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

at, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

( The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and 

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 You Tube Channel:

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

My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock ( ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (

“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, Discipleship, ed. Martin Kuske et al., trans. Barbara Green and Reinhard Krauss, vol. 4, Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2003), 281–283.