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Showing posts with label Philemon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Philemon. Show all posts

Monday, November 27, 2023

Declaring War on Yourself - Purity 1208


 Declaring War on Yourself  - Purity 1208

Purity 1208 11/27/2023 Purity 1208 Podcast

Purity 1208 on YouTube: Coming Soon!

Good morning,

Today’s photo of the sun at mid-day in a cumulous cloud-filled blue sky over the unnamed dirt and gravel road, which from this point forward I have decided to call “Freedom Road”,  comes to us from your truly as I captured this scene just after noon on Thanksgiving Day last Thursday.  

Well, It’s Monday – and I for one am very thankful for the extended staycation I enjoyed at my countryside home with my wife TammyLyn since Tuesday of last week, but now it’s back to life and back to reality and I have to warn you all that today’s “return to normal” will be laden with blessings and curses from the business world as we not only return to work but will be assaulted today by ads for “Cyber Monday” as the whole idea behind “Black Friday” is the fourth quarter push for revenue to get businesses out of the “red” and into the land of holiday profits.   

I warn you because I have already treated myself to a very Merry Christmas already as I have recently bought myself plenty to make sure I wouldn’t be able to say, “I didn’t get anything for Christmas this year!” – which is never really a concern.  On the contrary – my “clickbait clicker: has been more or less freely clicking away for weeks now and I have come into the holiday season with a real concern over my lack of self-control over my spending.  I will not incriminate myself any further by disclosing the long list of purchases that I have made over the last few months but I will say that some of the purchases I made were needed – I need clothes that fit the smaller body I have now as I cut 5 inches or more from my waist and my printer did die at my fumbling hands – but most of them were not needed nor appreciated, as the act of buying them didn’t prevent me from buying more. 

As I have utilized my self-control in the area of my food addiction and have made great strides in accomplishing my health goals, my neglected stronghold buster – regarding the purchase of media, specifically books, has resulted in a veritable avalanche of new items in my physical or digital libraries.   While I was utilizing self-control in what I consumed physically in terms of food, my finances have been consumed by regular impulse shopping. 

Ironically, one of my latest purchases is Levi Lusko’s book “I Declare War” which I became familiar with over the last week as James Dobson’s Focus on The Family Ministry was offering it as a resource to help people change their bad habits.  They sent out an email campaign of 8 mini lessons based on Lusko’s book and I consumed the “free material” enthusiastically as Lusko was speaking my language, in encouraging people to overcome and change the habits and attitudes that they didn’t like about themselves.  I was so enthused by Lusko’s encouraging message that I broke down last night and purchased a copy of the book, the study guide, and the audiobook, with the excuse that I needed it in all three forms because of my busy “on the road” schedule and because I might utilize the materials for ministry, as I resume leading the Celebrate Freedom Growth Group at Starpoint Church on Wednesday and will be leading an online Freedom in Christ Course for Men come January of 2024 and you can never have enough knowledge or encouraging words to share when you are helping people to find their Freedom in Christ and to overcome those persistent hurts, habits, and hangups.

Of course, I also have learned that there is more freedom and victories to be won on this journey of faith where we are becoming more and more like Jesus and hope to declare war on my penchant for impulse buying.  When you get free in one area you become more and more aware of the issues you have in other areas, so as I continue to fight the good fight over my food addiction and am on the cusp of possibly being set free from my sleep apnea machine, I am aware that the next war to be one is in the area of finances.   So I am starting today, other than what I need to purchase for OTHERS for Christmas, I hereby solemnly vow NOT to purchase anything other than groceries for the 3 head monster, and my own worst enemy, known as ME, MYSELF, and I, so help me GOD!

And seriously God, I need your help. 

One of the things Lusko writes about in his book, I Declare War, is the need to declare war on what we think, say, and do and so I have thought about this and know I need to stop the insanity with the impulse buying, and now I have said that I will stop it, but I know in order for it to carry over into the things I “do” or don’t do, I need to call in my most powerful ally, the Lord, to help me in prayer.  

So Lord God, help me to resist the world’s call on my heart and mind to purchase items for myself. I declare the truth that I have more than enough personal property to satisfy me for the foreseeable future and I renounce the lie that I “need more”.  Help me to be wise and discerning with my finances and to say no to impulse buying things for myself.   I announce the truth that you have given me self-control through your Holy Spirit, and I ask for your help in exercising it throughout the next month and into the new year.  In Jesus’ name, Amen, 

So what about you? Even though it is the season of peace on earth and good will toward men, it is also a season of wild impulses and the temptation to satisfy ourselves with things from the world rather than resting in God’s presence.  So let me encourage you to keep walking and talking with God in peace, but also to be brave enough to declare war on the attitudes and behaviors in yourself that are out of control and need to stop.  

 

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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.

“The book of Philemon (Paul writes the letter to his “dear friend and fellow worker” on behalf of Onesimus, urging Philemon to receive him back as a “dear brother.”)

Philemon 1:1-25 (NIV2011)
1  Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, To Philemon our dear friend and fellow worker—
2  also to Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier—and to the church that meets in your home:
3  Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
4  I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers,
5  because I hear about your love for all his holy people and your faith in the Lord Jesus.
6  I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ.
7  Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people.
8  Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do,
9  yet I prefer to appeal to you on the basis of love. It is as none other than Paul—an old man and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus—
10  that I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, who became my son while I was in chains.
11  Formerly he was useless to you, but now he has become useful both to you and to me.
12  I am sending him—who is my very heart—back to you.
13  I would have liked to keep him with me so that he could take your place in helping me while I am in chains for the gospel.
14  But I did not want to do anything without your consent, so that any favor you do would not seem forced but would be voluntary.
15  Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a little while was that you might have him back forever—
16  no longer as a slave, but better than a slave, as a dear brother. He is very dear to me but even dearer to you, both as a fellow man and as a brother in the Lord.
17  So if you consider me a partner, welcome him as you would welcome me.
18  If he has done you any wrong or owes you anything, charge it to me.
19  I, Paul, am writing this with my own hand. I will pay it back—not to mention that you owe me your very self.
20  I do wish, brother, that I may have some benefit from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in Christ.
21  Confident of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I ask.
22  And one thing more: Prepare a guest room for me, because I hope to be restored to you in answer to your prayers.
23  Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends you greetings.
24  And so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas and Luke, my fellow workers.
25  The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

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

 11. The meaning of the communion of the saints is beautifully taught in Paul’s letter to Philemon.

Today’s verses tell the story of Philemon and Onesimus and how the apostle Paul encourages Philemon to give Onesimus mercy and grace because although they are master and slave, they are also brothers in Christ.  

It is a wonderful example of living together as Christians and I hope it inspires you to be humble and act in love toward one another.

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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 “God is in the Manger- Reflections on Advent and Christmas” – By Dietrich Bonhoeffer.   

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

God is in the Manger – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

ADVENT WEEK ONE -  WAITING

DAY FOUR

An Un-Christmas-Like Idea

When the old Christendom spoke of the coming again of the Lord Jesus, it always thought first of all of a great day of judgment. And as un-Christmas-like as this idea may appear to us, it comes from early Christianity and must be taken with utter seriousness.… The coming of God is truly not only a joyous message, but is, first, frightful news for anyone who has a conscience. And only when we have felt the frightfulness of the matter can we know the incomparable favor. God comes in the midst of evil, in the midst of death, and judges the evil in us and in the world. And in judging it, he loves us, he purifies us, he sanctifies us, he comes to us with his grace and love. He makes us happy as only children can be happy.

We have become so accustomed to the idea of divine love and of God’s coming at Christmas that we no longer feel the shiver of fear that God’s coming should arouse in us. We are indifferent to the message, taking only the pleasant and agreeable out of it and forgetting the serious aspect, that the God of the world draws near to the people of our little earth and lays claim to us.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “The Coming of Jesus in Our Midst”

In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven,

and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”

Luke 2:8–14[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

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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] Dietrich Bonhoeffer, God Is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas, ed. Jana Riess, trans. O. C. Dean Jr., First edition. (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2010), 8–9.