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Showing posts with label Patience. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Patience. Show all posts

Monday, October 23, 2023

The Bright Side – Responding to God’s Precious Promises - Purity 1179


 The Bright Side – Responding to God’s Precious Promises - Purity 1179

Purity 1179 10/21/2023 Purity 1179 Podcast

Purity 1179 on YouTube:




Good morning,

Today’s photo of a double rainbow bubble that seems to have a brighter side captured within its dome comes to us from TammyLyn Clark, who walked out on the wet lawn of her countryside home’s backyard, barefoot, to capture this magical sight Saturday afternoon after a day that was otherwise rainy and grey.  

Well, it’s the beginning of another work week and while the weather forecast in my neck of the woods calls doesn’t call for any rain, I suppose the fact that it is Monday may be reason enough to get you down but if you are entering into the day with a lackluster attitude I would remind you that your thoughts drive your emotions and there are many ways you can turn that frown upside down, intentionally.  

One of the fruits of the Spirit is joy and as I encourage everyone I know to put their faith in Jesus and to do “what is right” by following the Lord with the way you live your life, I will be the first to tell you that how you choose to live and what you choose to focus on and think about can make a big difference in your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual lives, especially on “rainy days and Mondays”.  

This morning you could face your workday with gripes or complaints about the “forced labor” you have to endure today, or you can give thanks to the Lord for your ability to work, and the fact that you have a job that gives you and your family the means to support your needs.   That small shift in perspective can make a big difference.

Many of us also have friendships with people that we only know because of where we work. If we didn’t work, we wouldn’t know them and wouldn’t be able to share our lives with them. 

And I know, we might be happy about that prospect with some of the people we work with, but even the difficult people we encounter in the workplace can serve a purpose in our lives. 

They can help us to practice kindness, gentleness, compassion, and patience. Hurt people hurt people, so the prickly pear at work may have faced some serious trauma and rejection in their lives and their surly disposition may result in them not having any meaningful relationships outside of work.  Jesus told us to love our enemies and the Lord may have placed the difficult people in our lives to give us an opportunity to grow in patience as we endure their rudeness and persecution or to grow in compassion as we are challenged to show them kindness and to encourage them to have a relationship with God.  

The word of God encourages us to give thanks in all things and to go into the world to make disciples and when we focus on those two directives our whole attitude can change as we not only see the “bright side” of our lives by focusing on the good we have received in life through the Lord but we can be inspired to be “light bearers” as we try to share the “Light of the world” with those around us who are hurting, blind, or hopeless – and that would describe everyone who doesn’t know Jesus. 

So as we head into the last full week of October, let’s try to think of our lives as a “treat” by focusing on how good God is and the good things we know in life, in general, and specifically because we have eternal life through our faith in Jesus. And let’s not be “tricked” by the world, the flesh, or the enemy, into believing that we lack something.  

2 Peter 1:3-11 (NLT2)
3  By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence.
4  And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.
5  In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge,
6  and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness,
7  and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.
8  The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9  But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins.
10  So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall away.
11  Then God will give you a grand entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Those are Peter’s words of encouragement that tell us that we have been blessed by God, forgiven of our sins, have received precious promises, and can escape the corruption of this world.   But we are to respond to God’s promises by living a moral life, seeking knowledge of His ways, and showing love towards others.  

When we walk in that “mission” that Peter describes, we will be “walking in the Spirit” and the result will be growth. We will mature in our faith, and we will experience the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. We can have joy even on rainy days or Mondays when we focus on the Lord and on being intentional about thinking about and living out the life He wants for us to live where we are becoming more and more the people He created us to be.  

So keep walking and talking with God. He has given everything you need in His precious promises. We just have to respond to them to experience them today.  

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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 Bitterness, Resentment, & Hate.

1 John 2:9-11 (ESV)
9  Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness.
10  Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling.
11  But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

Today’s verses fall under the eighth point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Bitterness, Resentment, & Hate.

 8. One who hates lives in darkness.

Today’s verses encourage us to not be a “hater”. If we walk around with bitterness toward others we are living in a dark place and not representing the Light of the world. Hate blinds us to the reality of how God would see things. God commands us to forgive and to love our enemies.  So if all we can see is someone’s sin or faults and are consumed with hate for them, we are in the dark.  

The Light of the world would reveal that even our worst enemy has the opportunity to be forgiven, saved, and transformed through faith in Jesus Christ.  IF we hate others, we won’t give them the opportunity to live because our bitterness will prevent us from sharing the message of God’s love.   

So check yourself before you wreck yourself. If you hate someone, think about why, and think about how the Lord would encourage you to forgive them and love them. Think about how they could change if knew Jesus. And think about how your relationship could change if you were the one who looked past the darkness of hate to offer them the “Light of the world” that can save and change their lives.  

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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  The Holy Spirit By A.W. Pink.

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage you all to purchase A.W. Pink’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available online for $0.99 (https://www.amazon.com/Holy-Spirit-Arthur-Pink-Collection-ebook/dp/B008CM5292/ref=sr_1_3?crid=AHKAQOM39CTN&keywords=a.w.+pink+the+holy+spirit&qid=1684376225&sprefix=a.w.+pink+the+holy+spirit+%2Caps%2C96&sr=8-3

A.W. Pink’s The Holy Spirit

31 - The Spirit Endowing

Non-continuance of Extraordinary Gifts

Now that all of these special impulses and extraordinary gifts of the Spirit were not intended to be perpetuated throughout this Christian dispensation, and that they have long since ceased, is clear from several conclusive considerations. Their non-continuance is hinted at in Mark 16:20 by the omission of Christ’s, “and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). So, too, by the fact that God did not give faith to His servants to count upon the same throughout the centuries: it is unthinkable that the intrepid Reformers and the godly Puritans failed to appropriate God’s promise if any had been given to that effect. “Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away” (1 Cor. 13:8).

The Apostle cannot there be contrasting Heaven with earth, for those on High possess more “knowledge” than we have; so the reference must be to the cessation of the miraculous gifts of 1 Corinthians 12. The qualifying language “which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us … with signs and wonders” (Heb. 2:3, 4) points in the same direction, and clearly implies that those supernatural manifestations had even then ceased Finally, 2 Timothy 3:16, 17 proves conclusively that there is now no need for such gifts as prophecy and tongues: we are “thoroughly furnished” by the now complete Canon of Scripture.[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


[1] Arthur Walkington Pink, The Holy Spirit (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, n.d.).

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Being a Patient Patient - Purity 1150


Being a Patient Patient  Purity 1150

Purity 1150 09/19/2023 Purity 1150 Podcast

Purity 1150 on YouTube: 



Good morning,

Today’s photo of a cumulus cloud-filled blue sky over green trees and green athletic fields comes to us from Travis Sweet who shared this pristine scene of simple beauty, from an evening’s practice session somewhere near his home in Lake Placid NY, on social media back on August 23rd.

Well, It’s Tuesday, September 19th and I share Travis’ photo because it points to the simply beautiful moments that are available to appreciate in our day-to-day lives and because it reflects the fact that the  ‘back to school” season is a foregone reality as we are already at the second day of the full second week of school. And though I can’t say that it’s Autumn yet, that’s officially two days away, I can say it certainly feels like Autumn as the recent 90 degree summer heat wave we had briefly feels like a distant memory as the relative chillness of “hoody weather” is upon us.  

I also share Travis's photo because it represents the restful confines of a regular routine.  As much as we may long for excitement in our lives, when you are involuntarily pulled from your routine t to respond to emergency situations, to deal with normal things just falling apart, as they are known to do, or to travail with the latest episode of your continuing trials, it can be a comfort just to return to the normalcy of a regular routine.  

Over the weekend, my wife TammyLyn had gone away for a Christian Women’s retreat, but I handled the deviation from our normal regular weekend routine well by organizing a social activity, Bowling at Spare Time in Clifton Park, for some of the members of the Celebrate Freedom Growth Groupon.  It was a small group of us that met on Saturday, but we had fun even though the bowling proved to be somewhat of a physical challenge on some of our backs, knees, shoulders, and elbows!  Afterward, I went to see a movie, where I successfully avoided the temptation to buy the large popcorn and devour it and its free refill. I expertly ended my Saturday by picking up a grocery order after the movie and was all set to spend Sunday with my normal Bible Study, church service, and an afternoon of relaxing at home.  Although I missed my wife, I managed to keep myself busy and engaged so I wasn’t bored, and I didn’t feel lonely.   All was well,

However, during this TammyLyn was sending reports of increasing pain and swelling in her right ear and sinuses, leading me to direct her to get medical attention when she returned home from her conference when she got back home on Sunday.  However due to issues with her minivan, she didn’t go to urgent care as I directed her to do, and by the time I found out she didn’t make it, urgent care had closed its doors for the day and at the time TammyLyn had decided that she would see her regular doctor in the morning, refusing my suggestion to go to the emergency room in the early afternoon. TammyLyn is somewhat weary of doctors, can be as stubborn as a mule, and has the fortitude of a Mama Bear so I respected her wishes to tough it out until Monday morning, 

So Sunday afternoon, I laid down and fell asleep watching videos of Dr. Marcus Warner’s Deeper Walk Institute, Course 4, to get an early start of preparing myself for the last leg of my training as a Prayer Minister of Deeper Walk’s School of Prayer Ministry, only to wake up to a text message from TammyLyn reporting that her pain, swelling, and discomfort had increased and that she would like to go to the emergency room after all.  

I was initially angry and bothered by the fact we didn’t go sooner but jumped in my car and headed north and got TammyLyn to Saratoga Hospital’s ER around 8 pm. TammyLyn was eventually checked in, given a Cat scan, and diagnosed with an infection caused by dental issues, prescribed antibiotics and pain meds, and released around 3:00 in the morning.  It was a long slow night and it caused me to call out of work yesterday because of physical exhaustion. I also uncharacteristically failed to do the regular routine of my daily spiritual practices –exercise, prayer, Bible Study, meditation, blogging and podcasting. 

But some things are more important than our normal routine or “ministry work for that matter. As much as we try to give glory to the Lord by worshipping Him and doing good works to give Him glory, our first responsibility as Christians – or really as humans – is to be good stewards of what God has provided us with – our bodies, our possessions, and our families.   So although I was mightily triggered – mad at TammyLyn for “not doing what I said” and at myself for not meeting TammyLyn and taking her to get medical attention as soon as she got back from her trip, I got over my anger to get my wife the help she needed to get.  And rather than complaining about it, I just took TammyLyn where she needed to be and didn’t acerbate her condition by voicing anything negative. She needed help not “I told you so’s” or a husband that was an obnoxious jerk to the staff that was providing her with the help she needed.  Instead, since TammyLyn was a patient, I practiced being patient myself and even though the pace on a Sunday night in Saratoga’s ER is snail-like in providing care, I waited it out like a champ and continued caring for TammyLyn yesterday by getting her prescriptions and some groceries for the house. 

When a crisis hits, we can panic and become impatient and push for preferential or expedited treatment, but sometimes even our most demanding efforts won’t change anything other than causing more stress and discord to an already difficult situation.  So I recommend that we represent God’s kingdom by being Patient patients when we need help rather than being the “squeaky-annoying wheel” that needs to be greased.  

Remaining calm and being at peace in the midst of difficult situations is a sign of our maturity, and for that I have to give all the glory to God because the progress I have made in these areas is a direct result of my decision to be, more like Jesus.   Jesus didn’t demand his rights. He suffered patiently and trusted the Lord to do His will in His life. Even if it meant he would suffer, Jesus knew that God was in control and that He would move things along at His sovereign pace to accomplish what needed to be done for everyone’s good. 

And so I remained calm and patient for TammyLyn’s good, the hospital staff’s good, and in turn, it was for my good as well.   I didn’t lose my cool. I didn’t get upset and eventually TammyLyn got the help that she needed. 

So appreciate your regular routine, the alternative could be a medical emergency or other calamities that could make your life exciting, but if those deviations from your normal life come – and they will – try to remember Jesus’ example and be patient in your sufferings and by considering others to be more important than yourself.  

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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 Anger, Hot Temper.

Proverbs 19:11 (NLT2)
11  Sensible people control their temper; they earn respect by overlooking wrongs.

Today’s verses fall under the third point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Anger, Hot Temper

 3. Love covers a multitude of sins and overlooks many offenses.

Today’s verse is the fourth of five passages of scripture that our resource provides to demonstrate love's power over anger. And rather than presenting them all at once, we are doing them “one at a time, one day at a time.  

Today’s verse highlights the second clause of our resources’ third point by “overlooking wrongs” as a possible way to earn the respect of others for our “sensible” self-control. 

On Sunday evening, I chose to overlook the “offense” of having to wait in Saratoga’s emergency room for approximately 7 hours and decided to do the sensible thing and control my temper.  Getting upset would not have changed things in a positive direction. It was extremely sensible to control my temper in that situation and I would like to point out how I did it to possibly help those who struggle with anger.   

When I was in that ER room, I didn’t look at the clock. I didn’t ask myself “WHEN will THEY DO SOMETHING!” I didn’t wonder WHEN WILL WE LEAVE! I didn’t ask myself “WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS PLACE!?” or “WHERE IS THE DOCTOR. WHERE ARE THE TEST RESULTS?! Or WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON!! - 

Nope, you don’t even want to think those things because that is not controlling your temper – that is lighting a fuse to a bomb will eventually explode into an angry outburst!

Instead I made the best of the situation. I remained quiet verbally and mentally.  I wanted my wife to have peace and did nothing to disturb her.   

SO as for my thoughts and attention, I decided to put them someplace other than the crisis at hand.  I released control and trusted that the hospital staff would provide TammyLyn with the care as soon as they could.

It was Sunday night, and there was a TV in the room so – since TammyLyn didn’t care what was on and was trying to rest, I silently watched the Sunday Night football game between the Patriots and the Dolphins and read through some emails on my phone.  I put my attention on the game and the Christian articles that I read.  And as the hours moved past midnight, I just shut my eyes and tried to rest too.  

Instead of occupying my mind with upsetting thoughts or demanding immediate treatment and release, I relaxed.   And because I chose this “sensible path”, my temper was baseline, and the evening was peaceful.

So be sensible and redirect your thoughts and behaviors when you are tempted to give into your “righteous anger”,  although our needs being met may be an emergency to us, we should consider others as more important than ourselves, do what we can to maintain peace, and redirect our thoughts, attention, and actions into productive things rather than be a nuisance. It is sensible to control our tempers and to overlook our personal offenses.

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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  The Holy Spirit By A.W. Pink.

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage you all to purchase A.W. Pink’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available online for $0.99 (https://www.amazon.com/Holy-Spirit-Arthur-Pink-Collection-ebook/dp/B008CM5292/ref=sr_1_3?crid=AHKAQOM39CTN&keywords=a.w.+pink+the+holy+spirit&qid=1684376225&sprefix=a.w.+pink+the+holy+spirit+%2Caps%2C96&sr=8-3) 

A.W. Pink’s The Holy Spirit

25 -The Spirit Assisting

Help amidst Suffering

“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities” (Rom. 8:26). Not only does “hope” (a sure expectation of God’s making good His promises) support and cheer the suffering saint, leading him to patiently wait for deliverance from his afflictions, but the blessed Comforter has also been given to him in order to supply help to this very end. By His gracious aid the believer is preserved from being totally submerged by his doubts and fears. By His renewing operations the spark of faith is maintained, despite all the fierce winds of Satan which assail. By His mighty enabling the sorely harassed and groaning Christian is kept from sinking into complete skepticism, abject despair, and infidelity. By His quickening power hope is still kept alive, and the voice of prayer is still faintly heard.

And how is the gracious help of the Spirit manifested? Thus: seeing the Christian bowed down by oppression and depression, His compassion is called forth, and He strengthens with His might in the inner man. Every Christian is a living witness to the truth of this, though he may not be conscious of the Divine process. Why is it, my afflicted brother, my distressed sister, that you have not made shipwreck of your profession long ere this? What has kept you from heeding that repeated temptation of Satan’s to totally abandon the good fight of faith? Why has not your manifold “infirmities” annihilated your faith, extinguished your hope, and cast a pall of unrelieved gloom upon the future? The answer is because the blessed Spirit silently, invisibly, yet sympathetically and effectually helped you. Some precious promise was sealed to your heart, some comforting view of Christ was presented to your soul, some whisper of love was breathed into your ear, and the pressure upon your spirit was reduced, your grief was assuaged, and fresh courage possessed you.

Here, then, is real light cast upon the problem of a suffering Christian—the most perplexing feature of that problem being how to harmonize sore sufferings with the love of God. But if God had ceased to care for His child, then He had deserted him, left him to himself Very far from this, though, is the actual case: the Divine Comforter is given to help his infirmities. Here, too, is the sufficient answer to an objection which the carnal mind is ready to make against the inspired reasoning of the Apostle in the context: How can we who are so weak in ourselves, so inferior in power to the enemies confronting us, bear up under our trials which are so numerous, so protracted, so crushing? We could not, and therefore Divine grace has provided for us an all-sufficient Helper. Without His aid we had long since succumbed, mastered by our trials. Hope looks forward to the Glory to come; in the weary interval of waiting, the Spirit supports our poor hearts and keeps grace alive within us.

“Our infirmities:” note the plural number, for the Christian is full of them, physically, mentally, and spiritually. Frail and feeble are we in ourselves, for “all flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field” (Isa. 40:6). We are “compassed with infirmity” (Heb. 5:2) both within and without. When trials and troubles come we are often bewildered by them and faint beneath them. When opposition and persecution break out against us, because of our cleaving to the Truth and walking with Christ, we are staggered. When the chastening rod of our Father falls upon us, how we fret and fume. What a little thing it takes to disturb our peace, stifle the voice of praise, and cause us to complain and murmur. How easily is the soul cast down, the promises of God forgotten, the glorious future awaiting us lost sight of. How ready are we to say with Jacob, “All these things are against me,” or with David, “I shall now perish one day at the hand of Saul.”

The “infirmities” of Christians are as numerous as they are varied. Some are weak in faith, and constantly questioning their interest in Christ. Some are imperfectly instructed in the Truth, and therefore ill-prepared to meet the lies of Satan. Some are slow travelers along the path of obedience, frequently lagging in the rear. Others groan under the burden of physical afflictions. Some are harassed with a nervous temperament which produces a state of perpetual pessimism, causing them to look only upon the dark side of the cloud. Others are weighed down with the cares of this life, so that they are constantly depressed. Others are maligned and slandered, persecuted and boycotted, which to those of a sensitive disposition is well-nigh unbearable. “Our infirmities” include all that cause us to groan and render us the objects of the Divine compassion.

But “the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities.” Here is a Divine revelation, for we had known nothing about it apart from the Scriptures. We are not left alone to endure our infirmities: we have a helper, a Divine Helper; One not far off, but with us; nay, in us. The Greek word here for “helpeth” is a striking one; it signifies to “take part with” or to “take hold with one.” It occurs in only one other passage, namely, “bid Mary therefore that she help me” (Luke 10:40), where the obvious thought is that Martha was asking for her sister’s assistance, to share the burden of the kitchen, that she might be eased. The Spirit “helpeth” the Christian’s infirmities not only by a sympathetic regard, but by personal participation, supporting him beneath them, like a mother “helps” her child when leaning to walk, or a friend gives his arm to an aged person to lean upon.

In his comments on this clause Calvin says, “The Spirit takes on Himself a part of the burden by which our weakness is oppressed, so that He not only succours us, but lifts us up, as though He went under the burden with us.” Oh how this should endear the blessed Spirit of God to us. We worship the Father, whence every mercy has its rise; we adore the Son, through whom every blessing flows; but how often we overlook the Holy Spirit, by whom every blessing is actually communicated and applied. Think of His deep compassion, His manifold succourings, His tender love, His mighty power, His efficacious grace, His infinite forbearance; all these challenge our hearts and should awaken praises from us. They would if we meditated more upon them.

The Spirit does not remove our “infirmities,” any more than the Lord took away Paul’s thorn in the flesh; but He enables us to bear them. Constrained by a love which no thought can conceive, moved by a tenderness no tongue can describe, He places His mighty arm beneath the pressure and sustains us. Though He has been slighted and grieved by us a thousand times, receiving at our hands the basest requital for His tenderness and grace, yet when a sword enters our soul or some fresh trouble bows us down to the ground, He again places beneath us the arms of His everlasting love and prevents our sinking into hopeless despair.[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)

For those who require the assistance of a Deeper Walk International Prayer Minister to experience healing or your freedom in Christ, I highly recommend Christy Edge’s Life on the Edge Freedom Prayer Ministry. You can schedule a session by going to : https://cedge216.wixsite.com/life-on-the-edge     

“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 Walkington Pink, The Holy Spirit (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, n.d.).

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

The Theory, the Practice, and the Fruit of Patience - Purity 817


The Theory, the Practice, and the Fruit of Patience - Purity 817

Purity 817 08/23/2022  Purity 817 Podcast

Good morning,

Today’s photo of the sun dipping into the Pacific Ocean over a gathering of adoring palm trees comes to us from a friend who captured this scene while vacationing in Hawaii back on May 30th.

Well, it’s the second workday of the week and even though I am on vacation this week, I am being reminded that we never get to take a day off from life and no matter what our work status may be on any given day, we will invariably find that there are “things to do” that will challenge our peace and test our patience.   

As much as I could probably devote a lot of time to this topic, I have to cut to the chase because I have an early morning appointment to get my car serviced and so I have to hurry up to get there on time, where I have already decided to sit and wait until whatever is making my car’s check engine light is diagnosed and resolved. Seriously? Yes, seriously. 

And in those previous statements, I have already set the stage for an exposition of the theory and the practice of patience.  

Patience reveals problems. Or is it Problems require patience?   Correct, I think those are both right.  

The need for patience is born out of two things: reality and our expectations.  

In this life we will be called to wait for things.  That is a truth. I don’t know if enough scientific study has been done on that but if there was the “law of waiting” would probably be put right along side the law of gravity as one of the t operating principles of life in this universe.    

However, even though the inevitability of waiting is more or less certain in life, many of our expectations are based on beliefs that either deny or seek to control the waiting aspect of our lives.  

Here are some beliefs that we may assume in life that will hinder our ability to practice patience: 

·       Everything will be okay. 

·       I shouldn’t have to wait.  

·       People are lying to me.

·       People are trying to take advantage of me. 

·       Bad things always happen to me. 

·       My rights are being violated. 

·       This is wrong.  

·       If I plan adequately or do everything right, I shouldn’t have to wait.  

·       I am an important person.

·       This is an unreasonable amount of time to wait!

Everyone of these statements are either a false expectation based on a lie to the extreme (which are revealed by words like everything, always, or should) or are based on personal value judgements (that are based on or perceptions of our selves or others, and may have been formed by past experiences that (may or may not be operating in the current situation) that we are imposing on reality.  

In my car appointment this morning, I have already possibly set myself up for a challenge to my patience.   Do you know what it is? 

While it may not be clear, I stated that I will sit and wait until the problem with my car’s check engine light is resolved.  

That indicates that I expect it to be:

·       Resolved

·       Resolved today,

·       Resolved today, within normal business hours

And because I got an early appointment, it is my hope and my expectation that it will be resolved in a “timely” manner.  

What “timely” is  will be determined.  My value judgement of timely and the reality of the time it will take to perform the repair may not be the same thing and if I am holding some of those other beliefs such as Waiting is wrong, certain times of waiting are unreasonable, or I am an important person who is being lied to, take advantage of, or having my rights violated, my ability to be patient will be less and my ability to maintain my peace and joy will be hindered.  

So what do we do here? 

Well, this is where being a Christian who is walking in the Spirit, should really come in handy because if we walk in the Spirit the fruit of patience can be cultivated but as Romans 12:1-2 tells us our transformation will be based on our surrendering our bodies for the Lord’s service and renewing our mind according to God’s will, that is based on His truth, His word.   

As Christians, we are to surrender ourselves to best represent God’s kingdom and we are encouraged to be patient people and it is through challenging all those false expectations and personal value judgements that we can be victorious in being patient and experiencing peace and joy while we wait.  

Psalm 1, the first psalm guys – as in maybe the first thing we should practice, in speaking of the “blessed man” says that  

Psalm 1:2 (NKJV)
2  … his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night.

So our waiting period could actually be used for Bible study, if you so choose, but it could also be used to meditate on the various truths that God’s word various truths that will help us in our current situation.  

For instance:

Proverbs 16:9 (NKJV) says
9  A man's heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.

This verse is one of several in the Bible that points to God’s sovereignty, that means God is in control, we aren’t and those people behind the counter aren’t either.  Although we may plan and hope and expect things in life, God’s sovereign will be done. If God wants us to wait, we will wait.  If God wants us to literally die in the waiting room, we are dead.  He directs our steps. So if we thinking waiting is wrong, we are thinking that this part of God’s plan for our lives is wrong and instead of using the time to meditate on His word and Him, we are actually opposing His will and denying His presence in our lives.

We put the focus on ourselves and totally forget about our relationship with Him.  We make ourselves an idol of sorts and demand to be served and worshiped by everyone to do our will rather than anyone else.  Instead of taking joy that other patrons have been successfully serviced and are released to go, we can become envious and angry when our focus is on the unholy trinity of “Me, Myself, & I”.

 

So because I am pressed for time, I have to move it to the end here.  Patience…..

 

But I hope this little bit I have written and spoken about today helps those who hear or read this that “patience” is “not just grinning and bearing it”. There is no peace if we just impatiently endure or keep busy until our waiting time is over.  

Our whole lives as Christians are intended to be lived in the presence of God to represent the kingdom of God and are based on our identity in Christ and the trust that God is with us and the course of our lives are meaningful and purposeful because they are being directed by Him.  He calls the shots and knows about everything we are going through,   

So meditate on the truths of God’s word as you live your life and keep walking and talking with God no matter where your life will take you.   The peace in His presence, wisdom in applying His word to our life, and when we walk in the Spirit we can have joy regardless of the things we have to face or the times we have to wait.  

“Practice what you preach” is not just following rules. Our daily spiritual practice is to live in God’s presence, according to His wisdom and ways.  Practice may not make us perfect but if we practice our faith, we will progress to be more and more like Christ in our character and we will see the fruit of patience grow in our lives.    

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

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Psalm 60:12 (NLT2)
12  With God’s help we will do mighty things, for he will trample down our foes.

Today’s verse tells us that with God’s help we will do mighty things and defeat the enemies in our lives.  

Today’s verse was given under the heading “When we feel powerless..” and it can be a great encouragement when we are facing hardship or opposition.   This verse is the concluding verse of a psalm where David plead to the Lord for victory over His literal enemies, the Moabites, who had recently defeated Him. He was crying out after a loss for victory.  

They say David had a heart for God and it is proven in this Psalm because David goes to the Lord when it would seem that the Lord had let him down in a major way.   Bit David knows who God is and that He is more than able to turn things around, so even in his defeat David doesn’t give up his faith. He still trusts that God can do mighty things in and through his life.  So David disavows any ideas that he can be successful in his own strength, and says that only with God’s help will he be able to do mighty things. 

John MacArthur’s commentary on this verse says that “The nation relearned the truth that only God gives victory.[1] 

So for us, we may need to relearn that our victories come through the Lord and that if we wish to do mighty things, we need to be in a close personal relationship with God that is defined by love and obedience to His ways in order to see the Lord do mighty things in our lives that will make our enemies flee.

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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 Clinton E. Arnold’s “Powers of Darkness”

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Clinton Arnold’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 Powers Exploit Our Inclination to Do Evil

Paul believed a penchant toward violating God’s standards of holiness characterizes all of humanity. This inclination, which he often called “the flesh” or “the old self,” is adequate in and of itself to prevent people from pleasing God. Yet Satan and his powers strike where we are most vulnerable. Our powerful supernatural opponent takes advantage of our bent toward doing precisely what God would not want us to do. He exploits our flesh in his ongoing effort to interrupt God’s redemptive purposes.

In some fashion, not explained by Paul, evil spirits entice individuals to carry out the depraved notions and desires that surface from this inner impulse. Paul described unredeemed humanity as incapable of resisting these base desires because of their demonically enhanced appeal. We need to have God’s own Spirit and to appropriate his power in order to resist the enticement to do evil. This is why Paul can describe unredeemed humanity as being in slavery to sin or the devil. People do not have the inherent ability to overcome such powerful enticement.

We must be careful not to misinterpret Paul by creating a caricature of what he meant when he referred to non-Christians as being in slavery to sin. He clearly did not intend to convey that all unbelievers are engaged in thievery, murder, sodomy and all the other gross forms of ethical degradation. For Paul any pattern of action motivated by and centered on anything other than God’s express will qualifies as sin. Thus he indicted his unbelieving kinspeople as living apart from God, although they claimed to follow God’s law. They followed the law neither in the way God had intended nor by the means he provided. A person who appears outwardly moral—and who is kind, philanthropic and generous—may therefore be just as much a part of Satan’s kingdom as a person sold out to the occult. That person may have a motivation for performing good deeds that indeed runs counter to the pure and selfless motive that Christ would expect.

According to Paul, unless a person is a member of Christ’s kingdom, that person is a member of Satan’s kingdom. Becoming a member of Christ’s kingdom does not involve making an effort to obey God’s revealed law. Rather, it involves a rescue act performed by Christ himself and an initiation into his kingdom through receiving the gift of his Spirit.

Becoming a Christian neither removes the internal impulse to do evil nor deters the powers from trying to exploit it. Indeed, Paul envisioned the believer as coming under rather intense pressure from the hostile spirits to displease God, especially during vulnerable times (as in periods of depression or crisis). For Christians the main difference now is that they can draw on the enabling power that God offers as the means to resist these influences. Ultimately, Satan seeks not only to prevent the development of the virtues within the lives of Christians but also to undermine faith in God.

The Powers and Sickness

In the New Testament world it was common for people to believe the agency of an evil spirit causes sickness (a belief that is also characteristic of many contemporary non-Western cultures). Such a belief is reflected in the Gospels. Like the issue of exorcism, Paul did not address this topic in any detail except for a brief description of his “thorn in the flesh,” which he said in actuality was an evil angelic power (2 Cor 12:7–10). For Paul this spirit exerted its hostile power in a way that produced some unknown physical malady. Paul resigned himself to live with the physical discomfort and hindrance because he interpreted it as a situation that God designed to insure humility and divine dependence in his life. It may seem odd to us that God would permit an evil spirit to hurt his devoted apostle. Paul, however, was familiar with the Old Testament and therefore aware of God’s past use of the realm of evil to accomplish his purposes. It is instructive for us to note three things about this situation:

1. Paul had an infirmity, and he was able to identify its origin, assigning the cause to the work of a spirit entity. Sickness and infirmity can have a direct demonic cause. Although Paul did not divulge his diagnostic procedures, his example should challenge us, not only to leave open the possibility of an infirmity being inflicted by a demon, but also to develop a keen sense of discernment.

2. Paul sought God’s release from this manifestation of the evil one. This is natural since believers, through union with Christ, share in his authority over the powers of darkness. Paul demonstrated that Christians do have the right to pray for healing from illness, whether the infirmity is produced by the direct work of a demon or occurs simply because people are still earthbound creatures. Sickness and suffering are characteristic of the present evil age; they are not a part of God’s kingdom. As citizens of the heavenly kingdom, therefore, we should ask for this special appropriation of the power of the new age, and then God might grant healing. It is important to stress that if we ask God for healing, we should believe he is perfectly capable of performing it.

3. Paul was not healed. Surely it would have been tempting for him to conclude that he did not pray with an adequate amount of faith. Rather, Paul apparently assessed the complex circumstances and determined that his continued affliction was a part of God’s sovereign purpose. In fact, Paul was certain that he knew precisely why God was allowing his condition to continue; it was to keep him from exalting himself. We do not have a guarantee from God that we will always be healed if we ask him. We cannot assume that God desires his kingdom to so invade the present evil age that sickness will be progressively eliminated. Our bodies are in the process of decay, and we will all die. The causes of our deaths will be evil—whether through an automobile accident, pneumonia, heart disease or by cancer. Part of our existence is still rooted in the present age. God, however, may use our sickness or handicap to accomplish some specific purpose in our lives or the lives of those with whom we have contact—even if we do not have the ability to discern what that purpose might be.

4. Paul’s failure to be healed did not devastate him as a person or cripple his ministry; on the contrary, it enhanced his ministry. God revealed to him that weakness (which includes illness or handicap) is all right since it forces the child of God to depend on God’s own enabling power and grace. Paul did not continue to seek God’s healing touch. He learned to be content in enduring the illness or handicap he suffered.

Because we have been immersed in an antisupernatural world view, Western Christians tend to have an easier time accepting illness and not expecting healing. On the one hand, we should remember that God is capable of healing and does work healing today. On the other hand, if God does not choose to heal, we need to realize that our faithfulness to God in suffering (or in persecution) is also a moving demonstration of God’s power that could lead people to respond to Christ.[2]

 

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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship




[1] John F. MacArthur Jr., The MacArthur Study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2006), Ps 60:12.

[2] Clinton E. Arnold, Powers of Darkness: Principalities & Powers in Paul’s Letters (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic: An Imprint of InterVarsity Press, 1992), 184–187.