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Showing posts with label Perspective. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Perspective. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Tunnel Vision – Problems Stealing Your Peace - 40 Day Journey with Martin Luther – Day 19 - Purity 1292

Tunnel Vision – Problems Stealing Your Peace - 40 Day Journey with Martin Luther – Day 19 - Purity 1292

Purity 1292 03/06/2024 Purity 1292 Podcast

Purity 1292 on YouTube: 



Good morning,

Today’s photo of a “mountain” of a palm tree in the foreground of the setting sun comes to us from Pat Harris who shared this scene on social media back on February 27th.   Well, It’s Wednesday and while this tree isn’t a mountain I thought that it was a fine way to welcome us all to the midpoint of the work week. So happy hump day, may God’s light shine upon you regardless of the weather.  

Anyway, over the last couple of days, I was sharing some photos from unknown FB friends from back in 2021 because I was struggling with a situation at home and a day hasn’t changed that but this morning I have decided to redirect my thoughts to the things I do know and the things I can control – My God and my thoughts and actions.  Getting upset about the condition of the other people in our lives is understandable. However, the excessive worry and anxiety that is caused by our concern is something the enemy loves to see and will seek to increase to steal our joy and peace and to lead us into sin.  

When we are upset, our moods can cause us to do and say things that reflect the world, the flesh, and the devil more than who we are in Christ.  When we are faced with a problem that we can’t control with unknown or uncertain outcomes that we are “a hoping and a praying” to go a certain way, we can become blinded to the good things we currently have and see the world around us as hostile.  Our worry and anxiety can take that one problem and make it into a “mountain” and that mountain can collapse and become an avalanche that spills into the other areas of our lives.  When we are upset with a personal relationship, we can become dissatisfied with our professional lives, our current place in life, the uncertainty regarding other areas of our lives. Our inability to “fix” this one problem, can cause us to doubt our ability to do anything right!  When one problem gets blown up and takes centerstage of our lives, it can make everything look like a problem.  

But that’s a lie. That’s tunnel vision, and the enemy will use it to sow seeds of discontent, despair, depression, and anger into our lives to make us sin.  In frustration over the situation I have been focusing on, my language has been foul – as if swearing will relieve my stress or make things better.  My tunnel vision has caused me to echo the sentiments of the one I am trying to help – “Yeah, I hate my job too…”  - That’s a lie. “Yeah, I hate my life too… Deal with it.”  Another lie, with some hard advice but still a lie… and I am saying these things to myself – nobody else gets that hard advice but me, and it causes me to look at the negative aspects of my life, when in fact I am blessed, happy, and content. 

So in this season of Lent, I am repenting of the dialog that I have been locked in and am going to focus on who I am in Christ and release the problem to the Lord. I said what I needed to say and pointed people to the way they needed to go. And for today, I have to let things go and let God and the other people involved in this situation do what they are going to do. In the meantime, I will draw close to God and enjoy the peace that I have in Him alone.  So let’s draw in with the next day of our 40 Day Journey with Martin Luther. 

It’s the nineteenth 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 of 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 19

I believe that God has created me together with all that exists. God has given me and still preserves my body and soul; eyes, ears, and all limbs and senses; reason and all mental faculties. In addition, God daily and abundantly provides shoes and clothing, food and drink, house and farm, spouse and children, fields, livestock, and all property - along with all the necessities and nourishment for this body and life. God protects me against all danger and shields and preserves me from all evil. And all this is done out of pure, fatherly, and divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness of mine at all! For all of this I owe it to God to thank and praise, serve and obey him. This is most certainly true.

If we believe it, this article should humble and terrify all of us. For we sin daily with eyes, ears, hands, body and soul, money and property, and with all that we have, especially those who even fight against the Word of God. Yet Christians have this advantage, that they acknowledge that they owe it to God to serve and obey him for all these things.

Biblical Wisdom

Thus says God, the Lord, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people upon it and spirit to those who walk in it: “I am the Lord, I have called you in righteousness, I have taken you by the hand and kept you; I have given you as a covenant to the people, a light to the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness. Isaiah 42: 5-7.

Silence for Meditation.

Pause the podcast, or stop reading, and sit quietly for 60 seconds, a few minutes, or 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

·       If “God daily and abundantly provides... all the necessities and nourishment for this body and life,” why is it that so many are poor, hungry, and lacking the abundant life?

The world has been broken by sin. Our sinfulness, selfishness, and ignorance keep us from being the people God created us to be. The world, the flesh, and the devil war against us to love ourselves more than others and selfish self-interest makes the world a hostile place. Also often the poor and hungry are locked in hopelessness and generational sins that keep them living in a victim mentality.

·       In what way does confessing faith in the “Creator of heaven and earth” make us a “light to the nations”?

Confessing faith in God, the Creator, and speaking the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ make us a light to the nations because our witness could be used by the Lord to bring people into His kingdom, to take them from death to life, from darkness to the kingdom of light.

·       What kind of advantage do Christians have in knowing what they owe to God?

Christians who understand what they owe to God have the advantage of knowledge and wisdom.  To know the truth is the beginning of hope. To know what we owe to God could cause us to love Him and to obey Him. Our advantage – of knowing God and the truth – could cause us to reap the benefits of a righteous Christian life, free of sin and confusion.

Psalm Fragment

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established; what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them? Psalm 8:3-4.

Journal Reflections

·       Make a list of what God has given you and for which you owe God praise, service, and obedience. In what ways are you giving to God what you owe God? What more might you (should you) be doing?

God has given me: life, a loving family, good health, talents, abilities, intelligence, peace, joy, love, and freedom  I do this blog and podcast to encourage others to realize what they have been given and to inspire them to trust in Jesus as Lord and Savior and to follow Him with the way they love.  I try to give to God what He gave to me – love and devotion – and try to represent Him as much as I can. I can’t do enough to thank God for what He has done or to give Him glory, but I will continue to do so as a labor of love and to fulfill my life’s purpose.

·       Meditate on today's Psalm fragment. Write about any feelings or thoughts the reading evokes in you.

The immensity of the universe and the beauty of God’s creation cause me to have similar thoughts. How could a Creator God who made so much care for me?  I don’t know how or why, but I know He does, and I rejoice!

·       Reflect on times when you have seen some great evidence of God's creative power. Write a short poem to express your feelings.

Roses are Red, Violets aren’t Blue, 

The evidence for God is all around us ,

And there is no end to the things that God can do!

Prayers for the Life of Faith

Pray that your eyes will be open to see the greatness of God and the grandeur of creation and also in the little gifts you receive from family and friends.

Lord, open my eyes to see Your Greatness and the grandeur of your Creation and all the little gifts I receive from you through my family and friends. 

In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Prayer For Today

Dear Creator, Redeemer, and Comforter, open my eyes to your grandeur in all the gifts you have given me abundantly. Help me to love, serve, and praise you forever.

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 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 Contentment, Coveting & and Priorities.

Luke 12:15 (NASB)
15  Then He said to them, "Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions."

Today’s verses fall under the fifth point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Contentment, Coveting, and Priorities.

6. Life does not consist of what one possesses.

Today’s verse points to a fundamental fact of life that is difficult to grasp.  Our lives are not defined by what we own.  Although we will cling to things to our dying breath, the end of accumulation is dispersal. What you gather will be scattered. We don’t build anything that will last… except our relationship with the Lord.  That’s why greed is a sin- it causes us to worship something else more than God and ironically all our accumulating won’t ultimately satisfy us, or it will lead us to believe a lie that send us to hell.  “I’m happy with all my things in my fortress of solitude.” But as Jesus told the rich man who was going to build new barns to hold all his accumulated wealth,  that sentiment is foolish.  God will call us to account for our lives and the things we have will be shown to be things that God provided for us and will prove to be our undoing.  

So beware of greed and know that your life consists of knowing who you are in God’s kingdom and the things you do to give God glory.

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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: LUKE 8

“Then they went out to see what had happened,
and came to Jesus, and found the man.”
– Luke 8:35

A wonderful miracle had been performed. A man, who was more of a beast than a human being, had been completely changed. Though no man could bind him (not even with chains) or tame him, Christ had delivered him. The people in the surrounding district heard of it, and they came out to see what was done. What did they see? They saw Jesus. To whom did they come? They came to Jesus. In doing so, they found the man sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind.

If I am to see what You can do and will do,
I must come to You.[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

Monday, November 13, 2023

What are You Trying to Prove? - More than Our Accomplishments- Purity 1197

What are You Trying to Prove? - More than Our Accomplishments - Purity 1197

Purity 1197 11/13/2023 

Purity 1197 on YouTube: 



Good morning,

Today’s photo of a pink sunrise sky on the horizon nestled between two trees over red barns comes to us from yours truly as I captured those early morning rays of sunrise during a walk down Waite Road yesterday. 

Well, It’s Monday and all I can say is “what a difference a day makes” and if one day can make a difference two can really change things.  On Saturday I reported receiving the disappointing news that my certification as a Deeper Walk Prayer Minister was not going to be happening in the time frame I expected. Our cohort classes end in early December, but I was told that I needed additional skills and training to make the grade apparently which was totally unexpected news and was quite a traumatic blow to my ego. On Saturday, I stated I would do whatever I had to do to get that certification but due to my busy schedule in 2024, I don’t really have the time to pursue it with the white hot passion and determination I felt when I first heard I was being denied.  I have other obligations and responsibilities and will wait and see what plan I have to follow to be certified and will see how it goes.  

As you may know, I am not in full-time ministry. I have a full-time job with a telecommunications company and do ministry as a recovery/discipleship growth group leader on Wednesday nights at my local church. I am also a Community Freedom Ministry Associate and Online Discipleship Course Facilitator for Freedom in Christ Ministries. In 2024, I will be leading another Freedom in Christ Course for Men on Monday nights. On top of that, I also enrolled in Freedom In Christ Ministries’ “Advanced Encourager Training” for CFMA’s which will start in January of 2024 on Thursday nights.  

I also am married with two households and spend my weekends in the “real Upstate NY” at my wife’s place in Easton and Sundays are spent with an early morning Bible Study podcast and Sunday services at Starpoint Church. 

So 2024 will be pretty jam-packed as I will be doing ministry or ministry training 3 of 5 nights of the work week, and the weekends are spent with my wife.  There is not a lot of extra time to pursue the additional training and “relational skill building” that I was told that I will need to be certified.  

When I first pondered all devastating news and my busy schedule in 2024, I really felt at a complete loss at what to do. But then my wife and I took a hike on Saturday after participating in a food drive from Operation Adopt a Soldier.  TammyLyn and I took a short hike on the Spring Overlook Trailhead at Moreau Lake State Park on Saturday and somewhere between going up to the Overlook and coming back to our car, I had a revelation that gave me great peace.

In the quiet stillness and in the loving company of my wife, I felt that I didn’t lack anything.  I was complete in Christ, and I have a loving Christian wife to walk through life with. I know who I am in Christ and walk in the Spirit, so I have peace, joy, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, patience, and self-control and I realized that I didn’t “need” the Deeper Walk Certification. I don’t need man’s approval. Whether I decide to seek to become certified as an “official Deeper Walk Prayer Minister” or not, I am still accepted, secure, and significant in Christ.  

And when I considered why I couldn’t doggedly pursue meeting the certification requirements – the fact that I will be fully involved with Ministry, Ministry training, and living a Christian life with God at the center of my marriage – I asked myself – “What am I trying to prove? That I’m a Christian? That I can pray? That I can minister to someone?”  I’ve been doing that for years…. What is this “credential” going to prove? Other than being listed on a PDF as one of many on a growing list of  “Prayer Ministers Certified by Deeper Walk* on Deeper Walk International’s website, what exactly was I trying to accomplish?  

Yes, I wanted to receive training and education from Deeper Walk’s material, and I have received it.  What may be hard to believe, considering that I won’t be certified when I “graduate”, or when my “cohort” ends, is that I have not only completed all the assignments and practicums that we have been required to do but I passed them all with high marks. Quite frankly, a great deal of the work I have done has received full credit as in “100%” or A’s.  So my grades prove I learned something. I did earn those A’s. I read the books, reviewed the video teachings, completed the projects, and received passing grades on all the assignments. Through this latest project, I also learned the skill to lead someone through prayer ministry and feel very confident that I would be able to adequately document client cases if I should one day become a Christian life coach.

So I feel like I really did learn, grow, and gain new skills. So whether or not I receive the “certification”, I did accomplish something and I am proud of the work I did.  And as much as it is my deep desire to be recognized and “certified” somewhere along that Saturday hike, I realized I didn’t “need it” and would survive without it.  Although I am not abandoning the possibility of pursuing certification, somewhere along that hike, I let it go and we will see how that plays out, or doesn’t play out, somewhere else “down the trail”.  

I got places to go, people to see, and the Lord to follow. I’m never really sure where we are going to end up but when I keep walking and talking with God I find that I can overcome or walk through anything and that I can do it with the peace and joy that comes from knowing, as Paul wrote in

Romans 8:31 (NKJV)
31  What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Hmm… What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 

Well, it turns out the whole world can be against you, It can reject you and deny you the things that you think you deserve. The things you work hard for can be taken away in an instant. 

But ultimately, regardless of what you “accomplish” in life, everything goes. But God stays. And those who stand with Him live regardless of what befalls them.

Just like in the Farmer in the Dell, where the cheese stands alone, after all the ring around the Rosie of this mayhem called life – the only one who stands will be those who stand with Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Farmer_in_the_Dell) .  

So, I say: “HI HO – the derry-o” – no matter what setbacks, disappointments, rejections, heartbreaking losses, twists and turns, I will go through in life, I will stand, and I will follow Jesus Christ and go wherever the Holy Spirit leads me. And come what may, if I have to, I will stand alone.  

But with Christ as Your Lord and Savior, God as your Father, and the Holy Spirit as your Comforter, Companion, and Guide – we don’t have to stand alone and we can find peace and joy, oh yes joy when we keep on walking and talking with Him, the One True God in who exists eternally in Three Wonderful Persons.

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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 Church, Communion of the Saints.

Romans 12:4-8 (NLT2)
4  Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function,
5  so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.
6  In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you.
7  If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well.
8  If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.

Today’s verses fall under the second point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Church, Communion of the Saints.

 2. The church is one body with many functions; each member has a purpose.

Today’s verses remind us that we all have a part to play in the body of Christ and that we are each given specific gifts and purposes in the kingdom of God.

I think Paul’s text says it all here guys – we belong to each other in the body of Christ, and we all have special gifts to use to give God glory. So seek the Lord and use the gifts you have received to give Him glory.

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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 are sharing from A. W. Pink’s – The Arthur Pink Anthology  - a collection of A.W. Pink’s tracts brought together in one book and dispersed here on the blog for your encouragement.

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 free as a PDF at many sites, but printed copies of collections of A.W. Pink’s books are available for purchase wherever Christian books are sold. 

The Arthur Pink Anthology – 6

Christian Fools – Part 1 of 8

“Then He said unto them, O fools and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken.”

(Luke 24:25)

Those of you who read the religious announcements in the newspapers of yesterday would see the subject for my sermon this evening is “Christian Fools.” Possibly some of you thought there was a printer’s error and that what I really meant to announce was “Professing Christian fools.” The paper gave it quite correctly. My subject tonight is “Christian Fools.” Probably some of you think that this is a most unsuitable title for a servant of God to give to his sermon, and yet I make no apology whatever for it. It fits exactly my subject for tonight: it expresses accurately what I am going to speak about: and—what is far more to the point—it epitomizes our text: “Then He said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken.”

Those words were spoken by Christ on the day of His resurrection: spoken not to worldlings but to Christians. That which occasioned them was this. The disciples to whom He was speaking were lopsided in their theology: they believed a certain part of God’s truth and they refused to believe another part of the truth that did not suit them; they believed some Scriptures but they did not believe all that the prophets had spoken, and the reason they did not was because they were unable to harmonize the two different parts of God’s truth. They were like some people today: when it comes to their theology; they walk by reason and by logic rather than by faith.

In the Old Testament there were many prophecies concerning the coming Messiah that spoke of His glory. If there was one thing the Old Testament prediction made plain, it was that the Messiah of Israel should be glorious. It spoke of His power, His honor, His majesty, His dominion, His triumphs. But on the other hand, there were many prophecies in the Old Testament that spoke of a suffering Messiah, that portrayed His humiliation, His degradation, His rejection, His death at the hands of wicked men. And these disciples of Christ believed the former set of prophecies, but they would not believe in the second: they could not see how it was possible to harmonize the two. If the coming Messiah was to be a glorious Messiah, possessing power and majesty and dominion: if He would be triumphant, then how could He, at the same time, be a suffering Messiah, despised, humiliated, rejected of men? And because the disciples could not fit the two together, because they were unable to harmonize them, they refused to believe both, and Christ told them to their faces that they were fools. He says, “O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken.”

I suppose some of us have wondered how it was possible for these disciples, these followers of Christ, who had been privileged to be with Him during His public ministry and those who had been so intimate with Him, had been instructed by Him, had witnessed His wonderful miracles; how it was possible for such men to err so grievously and to act so foolishly. And yet we need not be surprised; the same thing is happening all around us today. Christendom tonight is full of men and women who believe portions of God’s truth, but who do not believe all that the prophets have spoken. In other words, my friends, Christendom tonight is full of men and women that the Son of God says are “fools” because of their slowness of heart to believe.[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 Arthur Pink Anthology (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2005).


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]

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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.).