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Showing posts with label Obedience. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Obedience. Show all posts

Friday, February 23, 2024

Red Eye Repentance - 40 Day Journey with Martin Luther – Day 9 - Purity 1282


 

Red Eye Repentance - 40 Day Journey with Martin Luther – Day 9 - Purity 1282

Purity 1282 02/23/2024 Purity 1282 Podcast

Purity 1282 on YouTube: 



Good morning,

Today’s photo of the sun nestled in the branches of a huge and gnarly popular tree comes to us from yours truly as I captured this scene yesterday during my short visit to Lake Eola Park in Orland. 

Well, I’m back home but that was a journey in itself as some renovations at the Philadelphia airport and “no heads up” from the folks at American Airlines caused me to miss my connecting flight to Albany last night, and when they shared the good news that while I couldn’t get a flight to Albany the next day because of the size of our party, they could put us on a flight to Hartford or Worchester.  That unbelievably obtuse suggestion caused me to scramble and arrange for a rental from the good folks at Avis  and a midnight run back to my countryside home.  We made it and it was so late that I decided to wish everyone a good day before I went to bed.  So this message might be a little shorter than normal, but I am happy to be back home and ready to forsake the sweet tweets I ate at Disney World and am ready to repent! You could finally say that I’m giving up sugar-laced snacks for Lent!  Better late than never I guess.  But that’s okay our walk on the path of Christian Discipleship is about progress not perfection and I hope that encourages you that it’s never too late to change – it’s never too late to repent. So this red eye repentance edition of the mt4christ247 podcast is brought to you by American Airlines who I will choose to avoid in the future and Avis rental cars who I am truly thankful for!

Anyway speaking of repentance, making progress, and dealing with things you need to give up, it’s the ninth day of Lent and so we continue my personal walkthrough of Gracia Grindal’s 40 Day Journey with Martin Luther to observe and celebrate the Lenten season.   In this walkthrough Grindal’s devotional,  it is our hope that we will get to know Martin Luther a little better as we seek to draw closer to the Lord on our journey to Resurrection Sunday – Easter.  

And so we continue.

Journey Day 9

YOU ARE TO HONOR YOUR father and your mother.

What is this?

Answer: We are to fear and love God, so that we neither despise nor anger our parents and others in authority, but instead honor, serve, obey, love, and respect them.

First, then, learn what this commandment requires concerning honor to parents. You are to esteem them above all things and to value them as the most precious treasure on earth. Second, in your words you are also to behave respectfully toward them and are not to speak discourteously to them, to criticize them, or to take them to task, but rather to submit to them and hold your tongue, even if they go too far. Third, you are also to honor them by your actions, that is, with your body and possessions, serving them, helping them, and caring for them when they are old, sick, feeble, or poor; all this you should do not only cheerfully, but also with humility and reverence, doing it as if for God.

BIBLICAL WISDOM

Honor your father and mother"-this is the first commandment with a promise:: so that it may be well with you, and you may live long on the earth. "And, fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Ephesians 6:2-4

SILENCE FOR MEDITATION

Pause the podcast, or stop reading, and sit quietly for 60 seconds or 1, 5, 10, 15 minutes or however long you feel comfortable with and have time for. Focus on your breath and the calm stillness in the present moment that is always available to us in God’s creation. Meditate on Martin Luther’s comments for the day, and the content of today’s Biblical wisdom.

 

QUESTIONS TO PONDER

     To whom is this commandment addressed-very young children or older children with feeble parents who need their help?

Yes – this commandment is addressed to young and older children alike.  Your parents will always be your parents and the Lord commands us to honor them because He used them to give us life.   And just like with any form of repentance – it’s never too early or too late to honor your mother and father. 

     Luther extends the commandment to honor your father and mother to "others in authority." Who are those others? Does it make sense to bring them under this commandment?

Others in authority who are worthy of honor would be mentors, grandparents, or other friends or family who fulfilled the role of father or mother in some aspect of our lives. If we consider them as a kind of mother or father to us, I feel it is appropriate to bring them under this commandment.  Unfortunately, estranged relationships are a problem in our post-divorce culture and while I would never excuse someone from giving honor to their natural mother or father, I certainly wouldn’t prohibit someone from giving honor to someone they feel is a “mother” or father to them in some way.  Admittedly, this is my opinion and I can understand if someone, particularly estranged fathers or mothers would disagree. 

     In what ways does your faith community encourage and support people in keeping this commandment? What more might be done?

Bible-believing faith communities usually encourage obedience to God’s word and that would include the commandment to honor your father and mother.  However, more typically this sentiment is displayed in the church on Mother’s Day & Father’s Day, and not specifically mentioned all that much from recollections in various church congregations.

PSALM FRAGMENT

The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; I have a goodly heritage.          Psalm 16:5-6

JOURNAL REFLECTIONS

     Meditate on how the commandment to honor your parents might become a spiritual practice for you.

This commandment could come into practice in a variety of ways depending on the circumstances surrounding one’s relationships with their parents.  For myself, I could make honoring my parents a practice by scheduling more time for visits with them and thanking them for all they have done for me and my brothers throughout the years as our parents. 

 

     Reflect on what you have done or are doing for your parents to honor and help them. Were (or are) these duties burdensome to you or a pleasure for you? Explain.

I just recently went to my mother’s church on Ash Wednesday and ended up having breakfast with Mom and Dad and have made tentative plans to get together with them again when all my brothers can be in attendance.  These things are not burdensome, and I feel it is right to give honor to the ones who gave us so much.

     What "others in authority" in your life would you bring under the umbrella of this commandment? Why?

I guess I would bring this umbrella to my mentor, Pastor Bob Costello.  Bob is somewhat of a spiritual father to me and although I don’t really plan visits with Bob whenever I do see him I try to express my appreciation for the time He spent teaching and encouraging me to live as a Christian. 

 

PRAYERS FOR THE LIFE OF FAITH

If your parents are still living, pray for strength to continue to honor them. Whether living or dead, give thanks for whatever good they provided you, and pray for the power to forgive them for whatever wrongs they may have done you.

Lord God, I pray for the strength to continue to honor my parents.   I thank you for providing them to me as good examples of faith, hard work, and love. As you know Lord I forgave them for any bitterness I may have held against them due to the turmoil in my life before Christ and pray you bless them continually.  In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

PRAYER FOR TODAY

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for being faithful to me, even if I have not honored either you or my parents as I should. Help me to give honor to you and them and show me how to care for the young who need my help.

Amen

 

 

(Gracia M. Grindal. 40-day Journey With Martin Luther. Kindle Edition.)

(We encourage you to purchase Grindal’s book and take the 40 Day Journey with Martin Luther for yourself by purchasing Grindal’s book wherever books are sold. You can find it online at many different sites and purchase it new, used – paper or electronic for less than $15.00).

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

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

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

This morning’s meditation verse comes from the section on Conscience.

1 Timothy 3:9 (NLT2)
9  They must be committed to the mystery of the faith now revealed and must live with a clear conscience.

Today’s verse falls under the third point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Conscience.

3. Hold to the truths of the faith.

Today’s verse tells us that we as Christians must be committed to our faith and live with a clear conscience, presumably because we obey what the word says and try to live a shame-free existence as we become more and more like Jesus.   

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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 14

“She has done a good work for Me.” – Mark 14:6

What a blessed commendation! Such was given in response to the outpouring of the sweet and precious spikenard – a token of true heart love.

The Lord called it a “good work.” Good because it was seen by the Lord from the spiritual side. Man, like those who murmured saying, “Why this waste?” (v. 4), looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart. And as He looked, He saw that it was the true expression of unadulterated love. God looked at creation and said it was “very good.” The Lord looked at this woman's heart and saw that His work in her heart was good.

When You look at my heart, Lord,
I pray You find this same quality of love.[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, March 17, 2023

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! –The Disobedient Cannot Believe – Lent with Bonhoeffer Day 21– Purity 993

 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! –The Disobedient Cannot Believe – Lent with Bonhoeffer Day 21– Purity 993         

Purity 993 03/16/2023 Purity 993 Podcast

Purity 993 on YouTube: 


This isn't the first St. Patrick's Day where things went sideways.... 


Good morning,

Today’s photo of green grass and autumn denuded trees on the shores of Lake Ontario comes to us from yours truly as I captured this green scene at B. Forman Park in Williamson NY back on November 10 of 2022 while I was headed west on my pilgrimage to serve as a volunteer at the “An Evening with David Jerimiah” event in Buffalo. 

Well, It’s Friday – thank God – and it’s St. Patrick’s Day – So “Erin Go Bragh” which means Ireland Forever- or Top of the Morning to You – which means the “best of the morning to you” or “Good Morning” although some sources state that it has nothing to do with the time of the day and is simply a greeting that one would use to wish them a good day.

So I specifically chose today’s “green photo” because it’s St. Patrick’s Day, and because I’m half Irish, and because I am praying to see more green as the temperature rose to 50 degrees yesterday causing people in upstate NY to do some spring time activities, like jogging in shorts and standing in line for ice cream cones – one guy in line was wearing heavy winter bib overalls -  I kid you not, in spite of the piles of melting snow that the storm of only a few days ago poured upon us that wanted to declare that “it is still winter”.  And it is, until Monday, that’s right Jack Frost your days are numbered and even though you threw us for a loop the other day, we know that spring is coming. 

And likewise, even though Satan would rejoice because of the evil in the world, we know that His days are numbered too. Jesus is coming back to rule and reign.  And even though we can’t be certain that the Ireland we know will last forever, there is going to be a new earth after all, we can be certain that the Irish, like St. Patrick,  who put their faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior will last forever in God’s kingdom no matter what the shape of the new creation that is promised in Revelation 21. 

While our various national heritages may give us a sense of pride and identity, the only thing about us that will matter in the end is whether we are citizens of heaven, whether or not we have become children of God through faith in Christ the Lord.    

So if you are Irish enjoy the day by remembering your Irish ancestors and by partaking in some corned beef and cabbage, but remember it is “St. Patrick’s Day” – not Irish day – and we should remember the man who was faithful to teach the Irish about the trinity with a clover. St. Patrick wouldn’t want us to celebrate his day with drunken revelry but would undoubtedly prefer us to celebrate it in humble reverence of the God who is faithful to forgive and save us when we put our faith in His Son, Jesus.    

So let’s celebrate the faithful saints, like St. Patrick,  that inspire us to be faithful by drawing close to God as we continue our journey of repentance with the 21st day of Lent and our current series as we continue on the 40 Day Journey with Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

As a reminder, and as we will say each day of this journey, we take this path to mark the season of Lent and to draw closer to God in anticipation of the celebration of Easter, knowing that if we take this journey of repentance seriously, we will not only see the days and seasons change, the Lord will use it to change us too. 

You can sign up to get this devotional yourself by going to the Biblegateway link on the blog ((https://www.biblegateway.com/devotionals/40-Day-Journey-Dietrich-Bonhoeffer/today)) . 

Day 21

Bonhoeffer writes:

“You complain that you cannot believe?

No one should be surprised that they cannot come to believe so long as, in deliberate disobedience, they flee or reject some aspect of Jesus’ commandment.

You do not want to subject some sinful passion, an enmity, a hope, your life plan, or your reason to Jesus’ commandment?

Do not be surprised that you do not receive the Holy Spirit, that you cannot pray, that your prayer for faith remains empty!

Instead, go and be reconciled with your sister or brother; let go of the sin which keeps you captive; and you will be able to believe again!

If you reject God’s commanding word, you will not receive God’s gracious word. How would you expect to find community while you intentionally withdraw from it at some point?

The disobedient cannot believe; only the obedient believe.”

Biblical Wisdom

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say that you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,” and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead. James 2:14-17

Questions to Ponder

  • Jesus’ commandment is that we love God who made us and that we love our neighbors as ourselves. How does obedience to this commandment nurture and nourish true faith?

M.T. Clark: If we obey these commandments of Jesus, our faith is nurtured and nourish as we would love the Lord with all of our hearts, minds, and strength which would cause us to abide in His word and in His presence which would empower us to repent and to seek to share God’s love with others.  It would cause us to abandon our personal sins and seek to serve the Lord as witnesses to God’s love and power by sharing the gospel not only with words but how we live our lives.

  • Why does rejecting “God’s commanding word” keep us from receiving “God’s gracious word”?

M.T. Clark: Rejecting “God’s commanding word” keeps us from receiving God’s gracious word, in that if we refuse to obey what God’s word says it shows that we don’t believe it. If we don’t believe it is God’s “commanding” word that exhorts us to repent and serve God’s kingdom, we can’t really say that we have faith in Jesus because we are refusing to do what the He is telling us to do.  When come to Christ in faith, we make Him Lord as well as Savior, and that means we become His slaves. He’s the master, we are to do what He says. So if we don’t come under His Lordship, we can’t receive His grace.

  • What is it about rejecting God’s commanding word that takes us out of community?

M.T. Clark: Rejecting God’s commanding word also takes us out of community with the body of Christ because our actions and behaviors will be significantly different from those who are faithfully trying to align their lives with what God’s word would have us do.  “I don’t believe that.” “I’m not going to do that.” – will separate us from the ones who do and most importantly will eventually reveal that we are separated from God who will declare to the disbelieving and disobedient: “I never knew you.”

Psalm Fragment

Then they despised the pleasant land,
   having no faith in his promise.
They grumbled in their tents,
   and did not obey the voice of the Lord. 
Psalm 106:24-25

Journal Reflections

  • Write in your journal about a practical experience of how your obedience to Jesus’ commandment has nurtured and nourished your faith.

M.T. Clark: The best example from my life about the way obedience nourished my faith would have to be when I decided to trust the Lord with my addictions by going into a Christian Recovery group.  The word of God convicted me that “drunkenness” was not something that described people in a state of grace. It described people who didn’t know God, or who didn’t obey Him.  And because I had a real sense of God’s love and forgiveness, I realized I couldn’t continue in the drunkenness that was a persistent part of my life for 20 years.  So I obeyed, I repented and crucified the flesh. I agreed with what the word of God said about those who are “in Christ” and the Lord was faithful to lead me out of the darkness to the point that my drunken ways were a part of somebody else’s life, and it was. I died with Christ and was raised to new life with Him but I never would have known it if I didn’t answer His call to obedience.  

  • Write about your experiences of Christian community. Reflect on both good and bad experiences. What is the difference between them?

M.T. Clark:  I have had so many good experiences in the body of Christ of fellowship and camaraderie as I have walked and served with so many faithful Christians through the years. I have grown because I have seen what the Lord has done in others lives and because faithful men and women came along beside me to teach and encourage me to follow the Lord. Mission trips, serving in the local church, taking the gospel to the streets, and just getting together to read His word has given me joy on so many occasions. 

As for the bad, I won’t go into specifics, but the bad experiences would all involve people walking away from God or the church community, or showing that their faith was more of a fa├žade or that they held alterior motives or manipulative ways – basically the bad experiences were when people either walked away from the faith or when they were shown not to be in accord with it.  

The difference between the two is authenticity. Are you for real? Then let’s follow the Lord and be as real as we can be as Christians by walking according to His ways and obeying what He would have us do.

Intercessions

Pray for your family and spiritual friends (and for all Christians) that they would continuously experience community grounded in love.

M.T. Clark: Lord, 

We pray for our family, spiritual friends and for all Christians that thye would continuously experience community grounded in love by obeying your commandments to love one another, treat one another as they would want to be treated, and by forgiving one another. If we do all of those things Lord we will truly know what a community ground in love is. So help us Father. 

In Jesus’s Name, I pray. Amen.

Prayer for Today

Lord, help me to see where I am rejecting some aspect of your will for me. Help me to obey and believe, believe and obey.

M.T. Clark: In Jesus Name, I pray, Amen.

 

(40-Day Journey with Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Copyright © 2007 Augsburg Books, imprint of Augsburg Fortress.)

***As we are being provided with Bible verses from the 40 Day Journey with Dietrich Bonhoeffer, we will are taking a break from sharing a verse of the day from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”. We plan on resuming that normal installment of the blog following Easter.*** 

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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 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.

THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD

By  ARTHUR W. PINK

CHAPTER TEN

OUR ATTITUDE TOWARD HIS SOVEREIGNTY

 

What then ought to be our attitude toward the Supreme Sovereign? We reply,

1. One of godly fear

Why is it that, today, the masses are so utterly unconcerned about spiritual and eternal things, and that they are lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God? Why is it that even on the battlefields multitudes were so indifferent to their soul’s welfare? Why is it that defiance of heaven is becoming more open, more blatant, more daring? The answer is, Because “There is no fear of God before their eyes” (Rom. 3:18). Again; why is it that the authority of the Scriptures has been lowered so sadly of late? Why is it that even among those who profess to be the Lord’s people there is so little real subjection to His Word, and that its precepts are so lightly esteemed and so readily set aside? Ah! what needs to be stressed today is that God is a God to be feared.

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Prov. 1:7). Happy the soul that has been awed by a view of God’s majesty, that has had a vision of God’s awful greatness, His ineffable holiness, His perfect righteousness, His irresistible power, His sovereign grace. Does someone say, “But it is only the unsaved, those outside of Christ, who need to fear God”? Then the sufficient answer is that the saved, those who are in Christ, are admonished to work out their own salvation with “fear and trembling.” Time was when it was the general custom to speak of a believer as a “God-fearing man”—that such an appellation has become nearly extinct only serves to show whither we have drifted. Nevertheless, it still stands written “Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him” (Psa. 103:13)!

When we speak of godly fear, of course, we do not mean a servile fear, such as prevails among the heathen in connection with their gods. No; we mean that spirit which Jehovah is pledged to bless, that spirit to which the prophet referred when he said “To this man will I (the Lord) look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at My Word” (Isa. 66:2). It was this the apostle had in view when he wrote, “Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king” (1 Pet. 2:17). And nothing will foster this godly fear like a recognition of the sovereign Majesty of God.

What ought to be our attitude toward the Sovereignty of God? We answer again,[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 You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/@MT4Christ247

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

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

“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), 191–192.