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Showing posts with label Neil Anderson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Neil Anderson. Show all posts

Monday, February 12, 2024

The Ultimate Faith Object – Wisdom From Dr. Neil Anderson - Purity 1272

 

The Ultimate Faith Object – Wisdom From Dr. Neil Anderson - Purity 1272

Purity 1272 02/10/2024 

Purity 1272 on YouTube: 



Good morning,

Today’s photo of a cloud-covered blazing sun over a snow-covered landscape comes to us from Connor MacCagg who shared this view from his skiing trip to the Killington Mountain Ski Resort on Sunday. 

Well, It’s Monday, and after a weekend’s continued indulgence of some sweet treats and party foods, due to my stepdaughter’s birthday party on Saturday and unbridled Super Bowl Sunday-inspired feasting, I am ready to repent! I ate so much junk yesterday that I had trouble sleeping and felt physical pain from eating so much more than I am used to – and I am here to declare that I am “done”.  Sometimes you have to learn again why it is you decided to change the way you live and a return visit to insanity can really motivate you to not do that again and to remind yourself that life is better when you live a healthy lifestyle.  

So I am in recovery from sugar and carbs and am calling it a mail-it-in Monday as I going to share this simple message I received in my email from Freedom in Christ Ministries UK, on:

“THE ULTIMATE FAITH-OBJECT

By Dr. Neil T. Anderson

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever (Hebrews 13:8)

The fact that you claim to believe is not the issue of faith. It's what you believe or in whom you believe that will determine whether or not your faith will be rewarded. Everybody walks by faith every day. Every time you drive on the highway, you do so by faith. Are the objects of your faith on the highway reliable? Most of the time they are because most drivers drive safely. But you may have been involved in an accident because you placed your faith in another driver who proved to be untrustworthy.

What happens when the object of your faith fails you? You give up on it - maybe not immediately, but how many failures would you tolerate before saying never again? Once faith is damaged or lost, it is very difficult to regain. Your belief isn't the problem; it's the object of your belief that either rewards or destroys your faith. If your marriage partner has been unfaithful to you, or a friend or relative has hurt you badly, your faith in that person is weak because he or she did not live up to your trust. When faith in a person is shattered, it may take months to rebuild it.

Some faith-objects, however, are solid. You set your watch, plan your calendar, and schedule your day believing that the Earth will continue to revolve on its axis and rotate around the sun at its current speed. If the earth's orbit shifted just a few degrees, our lives would be turned to chaos. But so far the laws governing the physical universe have been among the most trustworthy faith-objects we have.

The ultimate faith-object, of course, is not the sun, but the Son. It is His immutability - the fact that He never changes - that makes Him eminently trustworthy (Numbers 23:19; Malachi 3:6). He has never failed to be and do all that He said He would be and do. He is eternally faithful.

All I have needed Your hand has provided. Great is Your faithfulness, Lord, unto me.”  - Dr. Neil Anderson

Yes, we are to have faith in the Son – Jesus Christ.

During yesterday’s Super Bowl broadcast, there was a commercial that emphasized the love of Jesus through images of various people washing one another’s feet. The Ad wished to express Jesus’ teachings of love and no hate and the fact that “He gets us” -  which He does. Of course, He does – but let’s be sure we are also reading the word of God to make sure we “get Him” – all of Him – and that we understand who Jesus really was according to the Bible.  Yes was the suffering servant but He also didn’t mince words when it came to hell, “sinning no more”, and the Book of Revelation reveals that Jesus will return to rule and reign.  Jesus didn’t “teach hate” but He did teach us some hard truth: Loving Jesus warns us in:  

John 3:17-21 (ESV)
17  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
18  Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
19  And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.
20  For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.
21  But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”

So know what the Bible says about Jesus and about the things that are evil according to God. Some people are living Biblically evil lives – and don’t know it. They love darkness rather than light and they hope to claim the Son but not repent and follow Him into the light of righteous living.  But that’s not believing in the name of the Son of God – the One who was sinless and who called us to repent because the kingdom of God was at hand. So come to do what is true and come to the light, put your faith in Jesus – be saved , and follow Him.  

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

Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling” By John G. Kruis.

( While Bible verses on various topics of Counseling can be found with a quick Google search, we encourage you to purchase this resource to support the late author’s work. (https://www.amazon.com/Quick-Scripture-Reference-Counseling-Kruis-ebook/dp/B00CIUJZT2?ref_=ast_author_dp )

This morning’s meditation verses come from the section on Communication, Gossip, and Lying.

Proverbs 17:27-28 (ESV)
27  Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.
28  Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.

Today’s verses are the third of five passages of scripture that fall under the eleventh point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Communication, Gossip, and Lying.

11.     Do not hurt your neighbor by gossip or careless talk; control your tongue.

Today’s verses warn us to restrain our words and to be “cool” to show our wisdom.  A rash, angry, or “hot” spirit can lead us to say things we will regret.  Our resource is showing us the Biblical wisdom of being careful with careless talk and controlling our tongue, so think before you speak, repeat back to people what they are saying so you can demonstrate that they have been heard, and pause before you speak.  A little patience can save us from a lot of grief, so consider restraining your speech to “be cool” and at least appear to be wise.

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

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

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

EVENING READING: MARK 4

“Take heed what you hear. With the same measure you
use, it will be measured to you; and to you who hear,
more will be given.” – Mark 4:24

Here is a very important principle in relation to the effect of God's Word in the life of an individual. “Take heed,” says the Savior, for your appreciation of and obedience to the Word of God governs its effect in life and also governs any further revelation.

The same principle is seen in Hebrews 5:12-14 and 1 Corinthians 3:1-4, where the apostle shows that owing to disobedience on the part of those who heard the Word, they had not grown sufficiently to be able to bear a heavier diet. They were unskillful, only taking milk. “Take heed” is the command and secret of growth.

May I always listen and respond to the Word of God,
and thus grow, for Your glory, Lord. Amen.[1]

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

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

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

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

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

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

My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Ask Seek Knock blog (https://tammylynask.blogspot.com/ ),  her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock (https://www.facebook.com/groups/529047851449098 ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (https://feed.podbean.com/tammalyn78/feed.xml)

“The views, opinions, and commentary of this publication are those of the author, M.T. Clark, only, and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of any of the photographers, artists, ministries, or other authors of the other works that may be included in this publication, and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of any entities the author may represent.”

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship


Saturday, February 10, 2024

Failure & Fighting Prayers – Combatting Spiritual Blindness – Purity 1271


Failure & Fighting Prayers – Combatting Spiritual Blindness – Wisdom from Dr Neil Anderson - Purity 1271

Purity 1271 02/10/2024  Purity 1271 Podcast

Purity 1271 on YouTube: 



Good morning,

Today’s photo of reeds standing before the setting sun as it hovers over the Atlantic Ocean comes to us from Heidi Ann who shared this photo from her recent vacation to Myrtle Beah, SC on social media back on February 4th. 

Well, Its Saturday, and on the day before Super Bowl Sunday, I am feeling like a loser baby – so why don’t you kill me? Just kidding, although I am humbled this morning due to a condemnation-driven fleshly indulgence (let’s just relax and watch a movie) that led to a comfort-eating relapse yesterday,

I have no plans for self-harm and will seek to learn from my mistake and move forward into my freedom and victory.  What freedom?  didn’t I fail?  But the games not over, when we are in Christ – we win!

Well, yes, yes I did and upon further review of the game film, I know why I “lost” and if I learn from this episode – which really just amounted to eating some of my adult children’s sugar-laden treats, I can fight better battles and eventually win the war of being self-controlled when it comes to comforting myself with food. 

As for the damage, beyond my normal dinner of “Gunk Soup” (don’t ask) and a couple of cheeseburgers, I dove into madness by consuming:

·       The remainder of the caramel popcorn that I gave my son, Brennan, on Christmas.  (the caramel and the Baby Yoda Christmas tin kept it from being stale – I told myself),

·        4 rice crispy treats from a gigantic box in the cupboard, (my daughter, Haley’s)

·       a couple of impromptu regular peanut butter and jelly – on low carb tortillas-  sandwiches. The normal PB & J – are Brennan’s, I believe.

·        and about 4 Strawberry Lindt chocolates- that Haley had foolishly left opened and unattended on the kitchen table. 

Before I finished the low carb “Mexican PBJ’s” and Rice Crispy treats, I actually tallied it up and was in the “normal limits” of the My Fitness Pals Macros count – but the flesh wanted what it wanted, and I didn’t stop at “reasonable”.  OOF – It’s a painful admission, but this is what I do – I report as honestly as I can when I mess up – so I shame myself, become more self-aware, and try to learn not to do it again. 

Now as addicts know, a big problem with this relapse is access. Addicts shouldn’t have access to the things they are addicted to. But the food addict faces unique challenges – why it may seem reasonable to demand that your family or friends that you live with do not keep drugs, alcohol, or pornographic material in your home – demanding that they only have low-carb and zero-sugar foods in the house, their food – mind you, might be overstepping in the area of control. Rather than them not buying foods that will lead me into temptation, it is more reasonable that I don’t “steal” – I am a thief! – their food!

So I messaged my kids this morning to confess and apologize and sent them each $10 for food theft restitution to compensate them for their losses. Taking food was wrong and I have tried to make it right and to shame myself into not doing it again. 

Because ultimately the addict needs to be responsible for their own sobriety – be it drugs, sex, alcohol, or food – we have to choose to say no, learn from relapses, and endeavor to get up and walk in freedom after we fall down.  

So I am back on my feet and ready to walk in victory again.  Food relapses are not as sinister as the other substances or actions you can be addicted to but while they shouldn’t be taken lightly – they can be recovered from. If you are trying to do Keto – it only takes three days to get back in the “zone” – and quite frankly if you are doing “carb cycling” – depending on your final carb tally – a carb feast could actually be within limits.  It all depends on what you're shooting. Me? I’m looking to get my weight down to the BMI “normal level” for my height which would be 183 pounds – so at 198 yesterday I still have 15 pounds to go.  So there’s work to do and sabotaging my progress with a “ thieve & cheat” day, is no way to get there.  But as I am going on vacation to Disney in less than a week from today, I understand that 183 is a long-term goal that we can hopefully get to by summer.   Thus the battle and war go on.  

But part of this is spiritual and we can’t be blind to the fact that it is not just our flesh that we have to beat into submission. The devil is known as the tempter, and he keeps us spiritually blind to the facts of our conditions through his deception. So as much as you try to “work out” and watch what you put in your body or in front of your eyes to keep you on the straight and narrow, don’t forget to pray!

As the old MC Hammer song says: 

“I need to pray, ah, yeah, pray.

We need to pray.

Just to make it today

That’s word, we pray.”

What you thought I was going to sing: “You can’t touch this?” Well maybe I would – but the enemy can touch us – and blind us to the truth and keep those we love out of God’s kingdom – so I am sharing a message I got in my email from Freedom in Christ UK this morning, from Dr. Neil Anderson that all about:

“COMBATING SPIRITUAL BLINDNESS

If we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked from Him (1 John 5:14,15)

There are several specific needs that we should consider as targets for prayer in spiritual warfare. One need relates to the condition of blindness that Satan has inflicted on unbelievers (1 Corinthians 4:3,4). People cannot come to Christ unless their spiritual eyes are opened. Theodore Epp wrote, "If Satan has blinded and bound men and women, how can we ever see souls saved? This is where you and I enter the picture. Spoiling the goods of the strong man has to do with liberating those whom Satan has blinded and is keeping bound. This is where prayer comes in."

Prayer is a primary weapon in combating spiritual blindness. The apostle John wrote: "If we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him" (1 John 5:14,15). Then he immediately challenged believers to apply this principle by asking God to bring life to unbelievers (verse 16). Our evangelistic strategy must include authoritative prayer that God's light would penetrate satanic blindness.

We also need to pray, as Paul did in Ephesians 1:18,19, that the eyes of believers may be enlightened to understand the spiritual power, authority and protection that is our inheritance in Christ. As long as Satan can keep us in the dark about our position and authority in Christ, he can keep us stunted in our growth and ineffectual in our witness and ministry. We need to pray for each other continually that Satan's smoke screen of lies will be blown away and that our vision into the spiritual realm will be crystal clear.

Lord, remind me frequently to pray against the deception, which the enemy uses to block my vision of Your will for my life.”

Neil Anderson

So make sure you are fighting the good fight of faith – for the lost and the saved – by praying those “fighting prayer’s” to open the eyes of the blind to salvation in God’s kingdom through faith in Jesus Christ and for freedom and victory for those in the body of Christ who don’t know who they are in Christ or who don’t know how they can overcome their hurts, habits, and hang ups to have freedom and victory!

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

Today’s Bible verse come to us from “The Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling” By John G. Kruis.

( While Bible verses on various topics of Counseling can be found with a quick Google search, we encourage you to purchase this resource to support the late author’s work. (https://www.amazon.com/Quick-Scripture-Reference-Counseling-Kruis-ebook/dp/B00CIUJZT2?ref_=ast_author_dp )

This morning’s meditation verse comes from the section on Communication, Gossip, and Lying.

Proverbs 12:18 (ESV)
18  There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

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

11.     Do not hurt your neighbor by gossip or careless talk; control your tongue.

Today’s verse hits close to home as I was feeling condemned yesterday because of some criticism I received because I didn’t realize that some recent work I did in ministry caused someone quite a bit of offense.  I have often gotten in trouble with my mouth and with my failure to perceive what I say isn’t being taken in the spirit that I meant it.   I sometimes respond quickly to answer theological questions or to try to solve problems and I don’t realize that the words of my speedy response could be considered to be rash.  I also sometimes try to respond in humor but don’t realize that the other person doesn’t realize I was being lighted and joking.  So take it from me – be quick to listen and slow to speak – trying to learn this one – because rash words or quick quips can sometimes cut others like sword thrusts – and end up causing damage to your relationships or reputation as a Christian.  So be wise and slow down and bring words that heal.  MT -listen….. to yourself here.  

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

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

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

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

MORNING READING: MARK 3

“He is out of His mind.” – Mark 3:21

These words were said to my blessed Lord by members of His own kinsmen. It was their estimate of the loving and increasing labors of my Lord.

The Lord Jesus said on one occasion: “The night is coming when no one can work” (John 9:4). Earlier in His life, “I must be about My Father's business” (Luke 2:49, emphasis mine). Again, “The fields … are already white for harvest” (John 4:35, emphasis mine). In all such statements, He sought to show that time was short; opportunities must be redeemed now or never. But He not only taught this, He practiced it! Hence, He is seen in this chapter not having enough time to even eat bread. Those nearest to Him by family relationships could only find these unkind and scathing words: “He is out of His mind.”

Lord, in light of these words, help me never
to be affected by derogatory criticism.[1]

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

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

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

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

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

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

My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Ask Seek Knock blog (https://tammylynask.blogspot.com/ ),  her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock (https://www.facebook.com/groups/529047851449098 ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (https://feed.podbean.com/tammalyn78/feed.xml)

“The views, opinions, and commentary of this publication are those of the author, M.T. Clark, only, and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of any of the photographers, artists, ministries, or other authors of the other works that may be included in this publication, and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of any entities the author may represent.”

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

“What am I Missing?” Freedom and Peace Through the Lord - Purity 1255


 “What am I Missing?” Freedom and Peace Through the Lord - Purity 1255

Purity 1255 01/23/2024 Purity 1255 Podcast

Purity 1255 on YouTube:



Good morning,

Today’s photo of a photo of the golden shades of autumn and a blue and white sky reflected on the surface of what I believe to be Franklin Falls Pond comes to us from yours truly as I made a point of capturing the artwork that decorated my accommodations at “On Franklin Pond” back on January 1st.  The “bed and breakfast” located on the shores of Franklin Falls Pond near Bloomingdale NY is highly recommended and I was truly blessed by my wife with the Christmas present of a weekend there with her to celebrate the arrival of the New Year and our second anniversary.  While we can’t give the gift of peace with any degree of certainty, that’s what I received for that weekend, and I took photos of the room’s artwork to remind me of that wonderful time together.

Well, It’s Tuesday and even though I am not awakening to the peaceful confines of “On Franklin Pond” nestled in the Adirondacks I am overcome by a sense of peace just remembering it and am looking forward to the possibility of being in the presence of my beloved wife later this afternoon, weather permitting, as our niece, Grace, has a theatrical performance scheduled for later today and we plan on going to support her artistic endeavors and to spend some rare weeknight time together for dinner.   

The past week has brought quite a bit of suffering in the extended circles of my family and friends and as much as my prayers are going out to the afflicted and grieving, I won’t take my blessings for granted and am giving thanks to the Lord this morning for the life that He has led me into, a life that is defined by Him and blessed with the fruit of the Spirit of peace, love, and joy regardless of the circumstances.   

Last night I led the men’s Freedom in Christ Course that I facilitate for Freedom in Christ Ministries online and as the discipleship course starts at the basics one of the participants voiced his skepticism, wondering aloud if “this was all there is” as last nights lesson encouraged us to “choose to believe the truth”.

“I already believe the truth – I have decided to follow the Lord. I am choosing it so why do I struggle with the same things I have struggled with for years? I hope there is more to this. What am I missing?”

In a word? Freedom.  Peace. If your “walk” doesn’t lead you to the fruit of the Spirit, these are good questions to ask.  What am I missing?  Well there is more to the Freedom in Christ Course than what is presented in the first three lessons.  I pointed out that the lessons stand on their own as good lessons for Christian Discipleship – drawing from the word of God to assure us of their truth and wisdom.  Lesson 1 – or the Introduction – which is optional but which I never skip – introduces why we can believe the Bible.  It presents compelling evidence for the fact that the word of God and is true.  Lesson 2 -Session 1- then teaches what God says in His word about what happens to us – Christians – after we have put our faith in Jesus – we are forever changed.  And Lesson 3- Session 2- teaches us that even though we receive much – really everything - at salvation – it doesn’t mean that we will necessarily represent God’s kingdom with our thoughts and behaviors or do the good works He has prepared for us to do – because we have free will, after we come to faith in Christ, we still have to make the decision to surrender to His Lordship and choose to change the way we live according to God’s truth – and we have to do it in spirit and in truth.  We have to choose to follow the Lord in earnest and we have to do it from a heart level – out of our love for Him.  

That’s what’s missing – the love, the surrender, the continued effort to do His will rather than our own, the decision to stop doing things our way and to choose His way in A-L-L -all the aspects of our lives.  That’s what’s missing. If you had surrendered your mind, will, and emotions to be conformed to the image of Christ, the struggles would end. If you crucify the flesh in the power of the Holy Spirit – again surrendering to the Lord and asking for His strength and guidance to help you to be free – victory would come.   If you remove the footholds and the strongholds that the enemy operates from – again by reliance on the Holy Spirit in you – you will be set free.  

So yeah, there’s more – heck that’s a lot- and thus the Freedom in Christ course merely begins that journey. It begins by showing us the basics of our faith and so we can be reminded of what is true and teach us how to apply that truth to our lives. Ultimately the Freedom in Christ course guides us to see the truth and moves us to ask God to help us to be free by resolving all of our personal and spiritual conflicts.  The Steps to Freedom in Christ which the course leads us to is not some magical prayer that wishes things away its a prayerful repentance process where the participant renounces all their sins, rebellious or prideful attitudes, and demonic associations and makes the commitment to follow the Lord in earnest for the rest of our lives.   The Steps to Freedom in Christ may be a series of prayers but they are not necessarily something you just say as much as they are something you do. Faith in God, Surrender to the Lord, and praying through the Steps to Freedom are the beginning of a post-repentance life of freedom – its not a “one and done” – it’s “a forever more” & a “what’s see what the Lord has in store”. 

Forgive the rhyme – but that’s the truth.  A big misnomer in the body of Christ, which goes against God’s word, is a belief that we will suddenly be blessed and set free – that we will “arrive” at sanctification or freedom – and never be challenged again.  That’s a pipe dream and lie.  Our relationship with God never ends – our lives never end – and the word tells us continually to submit to God and to resist the devil, to rejoice always, to give thanks in all things, to be content, and to keep moving forward.  

The peace and freedom we find by going through the Steps is only the beginning as the Lord will continually draw us to become the people He created us to be and to do the good works He has created for us to do.  So we keep going.  As John the Baptist said – we must decrease and He, Jesus, must increase. And while we will still be uniquely our own persons in temperament, personality, and talents and purpose – God has a more Christlike version of that person waiting for you to walk into, but we have to do our part to get there.  

So make the decision to believe the truth of God’s word, what it says about you as a child of God, and what it tells us about how to live – and then show you believe it by living according to it – according to God’s ways – and in His presence all the time.   That’s what’s missing, but I know that the Lord will be faithful to give what we are missing if we look to Him to give it to us.  

So keep walking and talking with God and experience the peace that comes from knowing He will lead you and He will never let you down.

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

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

Today’s Bible verses come to us from “The Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling” By John G. Kruis.

( While Bible verses on various topics of Counseling can be found with a quick Google search, we encourage you to purchase this resource to support the late author’s work. (https://www.amazon.com/Quick-Scripture-Reference-Counseling-Kruis-ebook/dp/B00CIUJZT2?ref_=ast_author_dp )

This morning’s meditation verses come from the section on Communication, Gossip, and Lying.

Ephesians 4:29 (ESV)
29  Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

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

3.     Speak the truth in love, not harshly.

Today’s verse tells us to use our voices to build one another up and to give grace to those who hear it.   We are to not let corrupting speech come out of our mouths.  This would include cursing, suggesting worldly ways over God’s ways, voicing complaints or gripes, and using sarcasm.   

Really, M.T.? Really.  

The voice is merely a reflection of the heart and mind and if we are using foul language, complaining, or being disingenuous it reveals that our hearts are far from God.  Foul language is darkness, God’s not there.  Complaining is the opposite of giving thanks, God’s not there.  Griping is the opposite of rejoicing, God’s not there.  And sarcasm, is sly form of lying – it speaks the opposite of the truth for comic effect and is a passive-aggressive attack against the people it is poured out on – insulting them but in a cowardly way that seeks to avoid offense in the name of humor – God’s not there.  

But God is in the words that speak of life, hope, togetherness, and encouragement.  Edifying speech builds one another up in the truth of God’s word. God is there so let’s stay there and if we need to we can look to God’s word and the Holy Spirit to give us words to speak.

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

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

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

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

MORNING READING: MATTHEW 15

“Down at Jesus' feet.” – Matthew 15:30

What a blessed place is this! O, to be found continually at His feet! Being “down at Jesus' feet” is:

A Place of Healing. We read here that the lame – those who could not walk; the blind – those who could not see; the dumb – those who could not talk; the maimed – those who could not work, all were cast down with many others at Jesus' feet. “Cast … down” (Matt. 15:30, KJV) means to be thrown down in all their worthlessness and helplessness – and Jesus healed them!

A Place of Learning. “Mary … sat at Jesus' feet and heard His word” (Luke 10:39). The Lord spoke of this as more needful than much serving. Oh, to be found here.

A Place of Worship. “They came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him.” (Matt. 28:9). The disciples had met the risen Lord and He had said, “Rejoice!” (v. 9), and they worshiped.

 

At Your feet is a blessed place, Lord.
O, to be found continually there![1]

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

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

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

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

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

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

My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Ask Seek Knock blog (https://tammylynask.blogspot.com/ ),  her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock (https://www.facebook.com/groups/529047851449098 ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (https://feed.podbean.com/tammalyn78/feed.xml)

“The views, opinions, and commentary of this publication are those of the author, M.T. Clark, only, and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of any of the photographers, artists, ministries, or other authors of the other works that may be included in this publication, and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of any entities the author may represent.”

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

Friday, January 19, 2024

Worry and the Myth of Moderation - Purity 1252

Worry and the Myth of Moderation - Purity 1252- Purity 1252

Purity 1252 01/19/2024 Purity 1252 Podcast

Purity 1252 on YouTube:



Good morning,

Today’s photo of tire ruts filled with water reflecting the fading light of day from the sky above, in a field of green, comes to us from yours truly as I stopped my car on the way to my countryside home last Saturday to capture the beauty of this simple scene as the sun had already faded beyond the horizon.  

Well, It’s Friday, thank God, and what a difference a week can make as winter has firmly established itself in upstate NY changing what were somewhat squishy fields of green into frozen tundra as far as the eye can see.   But even though I guess I dreaded this change in one sense, hoping against hope that winter would somehow pass us by, the arrival is something of a relief because I no longer have to fear whether or not it’s going to come because it’s here!

Sometimes a lot of our suffering comes from the anticipation or worry over things that may or may not come to pass. Worrying over it doesn’t give you any peace and when the worst case scenario plays out in reality we discover that we can handle it, if for no other reason than we don’t have a choice. It is what it is as they say, and it will do us not good in denying it and we can reestablish peace a lot sooner from accepting circumstances for what they are and in crafting a response for what has happened rather than starting to worry about the next terrible thing that is to come.   

Bad things happen, life happens, things break and fall apart.  And sometimes the consequences of our unwise choices catch up to us causing us to realize the error of our ways.   When that happens we realize we have to change how we operate, or we will continue to reap the harvest of doing the same things over and over again.  A saying in recovery circles is that “Insanity is doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results”.  While I don’t honestly think those caught in vicious cycles expect different results, they may irrationally hope that they won’t suffer like they have in the past.  That irrational hope and failure to change keeps the vicious cycles alive.  We believe that we can learn from our mistakes and make minor changes – like switching our brand of addiction or decreasing the amount of poison or frequency of taking it – and it will solve our problem. The addict believes that “moderation is the key to happiness” despite the overwhelming evidence in their lives that clearly points out that, for them, it’s a myth because they are powerless to practice it.  They have tried and failed over and over again but still think that one day they can be a “social drinker” or just have a “few” of their substance of choice and be “fine.”   

The problem is that – for them – that’s a lie.  They can’t do it and they fail to realize that freedom isn’t found through moderation of the bondage they are in. Freedom comes from eliminating it. 

I am currently reading Dr. Neil Anderson’ Discipleship Counseling, and he states:

“In every legitimate recovery program, the first step is to stop living a lie and choose the truth. We cannot instantly change long-established flesh patterns or defense mechanisms that have become a habitual part of our daily life, but we can, with god's guidance, identify them and make a decision to confess them as wrong in order to find healthier ways of living.”

We just went over Celebrate Recovery’s Denial lesson this week at Celebrate Freedom and it was a tough message for some of the participants to hear because they were convicted in their hearts that they have been fooling themselves that they could “have it all” – that they could keep their addictions and enjoy a simple and wholesome life.  The two contradict each other and in order to be free they have to stop living the lie and start believing the truth. 

The Lie:  - My addiction is “fine”. It doesn’t hurt anyone but me. And I am in control.  

The Truth – I can’t do a little bit of this. I have to stop this all together in order to be free. It causes me and my loved one’s pain. A Chrisitan isn’t supposed to live this way. God has helped others to be free. He can help me too.  

When we reject that lie and accept that Truth, there is hope, and even though things were one way for a very long time, a new life can begin now. Freedom and victory can come – one day at a time and progressively increase with each step you take into the new life that the Lord has given you.   

It starts with a choice to stop what you are doing and deciding to ask God to help you and then deciding to walk with Him each and every day until your bondages are a thing of the past and a new life of peace, love and joy is your “new normal.”

This miracle happens every day. I am living it, and I am here to tell you that you can live it too.  

So stop dreading the change, surrender to the Lord, and walk into it. Although a new life may be scary to contemplate, it’s better than kidding yourself and suffering in the same old ways over and over again. 

So keep walking and talking with God. He will help you to become the person you were created to be and when you get there you will rejoice.

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

Today’s Bible verses come to us from “The Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling” By John G. Kruis.

( While Bible verses on various topics of Counseling can be found with a quick Google search, we encourage you to purchase this resource to support the late author’s work. (https://www.amazon.com/Quick-Scripture-Reference-Counseling-Kruis-ebook/dp/B00CIUJZT2?ref_=ast_author_dp )

This morning’s meditation verse come from the section on Communication, Gossip, and Lying.

Psalm 141:3 (NKJV)
3  Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.

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

1.     The psalmist has given us a model prayer for good speech.

Today’s verse asks the Lord to shut our mouths and, can I tell you, that would be a good thing sometimes.  If you don’t say anything, you can’t say anything you will regret.  In the moment, we can say insulting things, hurtful things, stupid things, unkind things, and thoughtless things. 

So pray this prayer for the Lord to help you set a guard over your mouth and to keep a watch over your lips because the enemy loves to shoot flaming arrows into our minds and would love for some of his evil thoughts to spill out of our mouths.  

That’s why we have to take every thought captive, some of them might not be our own – or they might not be so wise to disclose verbally. So take a pause, take a breath, and think before you speak because the things we say can cause damage – to ourselves or others – and the loving thing would be to remain silent rather than cause discord with the people in our lives.  As much as it depends on us, we are to be the peacemakers in life, so do your part to keep the peace by monitoring what you say and keeping your verbal trouble to yourself.

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

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

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

EVENING READING: MATTHEW 12

“For out of the abundance of the heart
the mouth speaks.” – Matthew 12:34

It is interesting to note how many times the Lord charged those upon whom He had performed some miracle of healing not to publish the fact abroad. But in most cases, if not in all, it seems that the persons concerned could not control themselves. One reads over and over again that they proclaimed the news freely. It was a case of “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”

Similarly, it is only when grace does a real work in the heart, only when the heart is full of the Holy Spirit (Eph. 5:18), only when Christ is all in all, that the mouth will speak.

 

Lord, I will testify of Your goodness and grace
out of the abundance of my heart.[1]

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

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

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

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

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

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

My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Ask Seek Knock blog (https://tammylynask.blogspot.com/ ),  her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock (https://www.facebook.com/groups/529047851449098 ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (https://feed.podbean.com/tammalyn78/feed.xml)

“The views, opinions, and commentary of this publication are those of the author, M.T. Clark, only, and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of any of the photographers, artists, ministries, or other authors of the other works that may be included in this publication, and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of any entities the author may represent.”

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship