Showing posts with label Philip Hand. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Philip Hand. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Overcoming "Fearsome Storms" - Purity 955

 Overcoming "Fearsome Storms" - Purity 955

Purity 955 02/01/2023 Purity 955 Podcast

Purity 955 on YouTube:

Good morning,

Today’s original artwork of a man reaching higher while summiting a mountain top as he is bathed in the glory of overcoming and the light of heaven comes to us from our man in the UK, Philip Hand.  For those who don’t know Philip uses his artistic talents to inspire himself and others with the encouragement that the Lord has given us all we need to overcome the trials of life and the negative thoughts that can tempt us and threaten to take our joy and peace.  

Although I have never met Philip face to face, we encourage one another in our walk of faith and with this artwork Philip sent along the following poem that I am honored to share with the world.   


Fearsome Storms – By Philip Hand


Fearsome storms rage inside my mind.

Broken emotions unable to define.

I push up the mountainside just a little further.

Breaking through the storms embrace, I stand safe above the clouds.

How pure and sweet and fresh the air.

Skies crystal clear and blue.

A vision of majesty and splendour, a wonderful place of peace for you.

Perfect peace In the eye of the storm, all is still all is calm.

Perfect peace in that solitary place, seeing heaven face to face..

As my heart gains the victory, I believe I'm not alone.

Bigger than life stronger than fear, my Lord has wiped away my tears

Filled with awe and wonder I stand strong before God's throne.

Trusting in my Saviour, as He calms the raging storm.


Philip knows that the power of God in His life comes through his faith in Christ, by abiding in the Lord’s presence, and by directing his thoughts on His truth and he uses all of his artistic talents to share this message of hope.  Philip has found his freedom in Christ and seeks to point people to the Truth, the Way, and Life, Jesus,  and encourages us all to continually put our trust in Him.    

Well, it is Wednesday, and although I didn’t plan in it, Philip’s mountain top scene, is perfect to represent the midpoint of another work week and it’s triumphant message is appropriate for the celebratory mood I find myself in today.  

Last night, I led the first meeting of another Freedom in Christ Course for Freedom in Christ ministries and I am greatly encouraged by the men who showed up and boldly proclaimed their desire to learn, grow, and become more fruitful in their lives of faith.   I am positively energized and filled with hope as I consider their testimonies and the potential that the Lord has for each one of them in the weeks ahead as the material will encourage them to agree with who they are in Christ and to resolve any personal and spiritual conflicts through the Steps to Freedom in Christ.  

The Freedom in Christ course is not just a class as much as it is a process of transformation as it encourages the participants to gain an experiential knowledge of their new lives in Christ as their “head knowledge” is taken to heart.   

I am positively jubilant this morning because I know what the Lord can do with this course and with these men. I know it because the Lord did it with me, personally, and with other men the previous courses I have led.  So last night, I did my best to encourage the men to “stay the course” by assuring them of the truth and power of what would be taught and how it could impact the rest of their lives.  The Lord did it for me and He can do it for them.   

So, as always I encourage anyone reading or hearing this message to seek the Lord and to keep on walking and talking with God.  When you walk to Him, God will take you new heights of freedom, victory, peace, and love that can overcome any fearsome storms.


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

This morning’s meditation verses are:

Romans 8:26-27 (NLT2)
26  And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.
27  And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.

Today’s Bible verse encourages us with the knowledge that the Holy Spirit helps us in our weaknesses and speaks for us even when we can’t express ourselves in words.  

In this world broken by sin, there will be suffering, there will be pain, and there will be death.  

However, the Lord has not left us alone in our afflictions. When we put our faith in Jesus, God sends the Holy Spirit to live in us as we are made spiritually alive.  Through the Holy Spirit we have a constant connection to God, a form of two way communication as today’s verse indicates that God will “hear us” in our sufferings even when we are at a loss for words, that even through our groanings the Holy Spirit can communicate our needs to God the Father.   

Any one who has walked through the fire of pain, suffering, tribulations, trials, or afflictions and has leaned on the Lord can testify that He never leaves us or forsakes us and gives us the strength to overcome situations that we would have thought to be impossible to endure. 

The Apostle Paul writes this from experience as His ministry was accompanied by persecution, lack, and afflictions of the mind, body, and spirit.  

So in your trials it is important to remember the that the Lord is with you for it is through Him that we can have peace in the storm, light in the valley, and strength in weakness. Abide in Christ and keep walking and talking with God, He will see you through.


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

Today we continue sharing from A.W. Pink’s “The Sovereignty of God.”

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase A.W. Pink’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available on many websites for less than $20.00.






Finally, it is worthy of careful consideration to note how the vindication of God in His dealings with Pharaoh has been fully attested. Most remarkable it is to discover that we have Pharaoh’s own testimony in favor of God and against himself! In Exodus 9:15 and 16 we learn how God had told Pharaoh for what purpose He had raised him up, and in verse 27 of the same chapter we are told that Pharaoh said, “I have sinned this time: the Lord is righteous, and I and my people are wicked.” Mark that this was said by Pharaoh after he knew that God had raised him up in order to “cut him off,” after his severe judgments had been sent upon him, after he had hardened his own heart. By this time Pharaoh was fairly ripened for judgment, and fully prepared to decide whether God had injured him, or whether he had sought to injure God; and he fully acknowledged that he had “sinned” and that God was “righteous.” Again; we have the witness of Moses who was fully acquainted with God’s conduct toward Pharaoh. He had heard at the beginning what was God’s design in connection with Pharaoh; he had witnessed God’s dealings with him; he had observed his “long-sufferance” toward this vessel of wrath fitted to destruction; and at last he had beheld him cut off in Divine judgment at the Red Sea. How then was Moses impressed? Does he raise the cry of injustice? Does he dare to charge God with unrighteousness? Far from it. Instead, he says, “Who is like unto Thee, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like Thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders!” (Ex. 15:11).

Was Moses moved by a vindictive spirit as he saw Israel’s arch-enemy “cut off” by the waters of the Red Sea? Surely not. But to remove forever all doubt upon this score it remains to be pointed out how that saints in heaven, after they have witnessed the sore judgments of God, join in singing “the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb saying, Great and marvelous are Thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are Thy ways, Thou King of Nations” (Rev. 15:3). Here then is the climax, and the full and final vindication of God’s dealings with Pharaoh. Saints in heaven join in singing the Song of Moses, in which the servant of God celebrated Jehovah’s praise in overthrowing Pharaoh and his hosts, declaring that in so acting God was not unrighteous but just and true. We must believe, therefore, that the Judge of all the earth did right in creating and destroying this vessel of wrath, Pharaoh.

The case of Pharaoh’s establishes the principle and illustrates the doctrine of Reprobation. If God actually reprobated Pharaoh, we may justly conclude that He reprobates all others whom He did not predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son. This inference the apostle Paul manifestly draws from the fate of Pharaoh, for in Romans 9, after referring to God’s purpose in raising up Pharaoh, he continues, “therefore.” The case of Pharaoh is introduced to prove the doctrine of Reprobation as the counterpart of the doctrine of Election.

In conclusion, we would say that in forming Pharaoh God displayed neither justice nor injustice, but only His bare sovereignty. As the potter is sovereign in forming vessels, so God is sovereign in forming moral agents.

V. 18. “Therefore hath He mercy on whom He will have mercy, and whom He will He hardeneth.” The “therefore” announces the general conclusion which the apostle draws from all he had said in the three preceding verses in denying that God was unrighteous in loving Jacob and hating Esau, and specifically it applies the principle exemplified in God’s dealings with Pharaoh. It traces everything back to the sovereign will of the Creator. He loves one and hates another. He exercises mercy toward some and hardens others, without reference to anything save His own sovereign will.

That which is most repulsive to the carnal mind in the above verse is the reference to hardening—“Whom He will He hardeneth”—and it is just here that so many commentators and expositors have adulterated the truth. The most common view is that the apostle is speaking of nothing more than judicial hardening, i.e., a forsaking by God because these subjects of His displeasure had first rejected His truth and forsaken Him. Those who contend for this interpretation appeal to such scriptures as Rom. 1:19–26—“God gave them up,” that is (see context) those who “knew God” yet glorified Him not as God (v. 21). Appeal is also made to 2 Thess. 2:10–12. But it is to be noted that the word “harden” does not occur in either of these passages. But further. We submit that Rom. 9:18 has no reference whatever to judicial “hardening.” The apostle is not there speaking of those who had already turned their back on God’s truth, but instead, he is dealing with God’s sovereignty, God’s sovereignty as seen not only in showing mercy to whom He wills, but also in hardening whom He pleases. The exact words are “Whom He will”—not, “all who have rejected His truth”—“He hardeneth,” and this, coming immediately after the mention of Pharaoh, clearly fixes their meaning. The case of Pharaoh is plain enough, though man by his glosses has done his best to hide the truth.[1]

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

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

at, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

( The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and 

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 You Tube Channel:

Email me at 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 ( ),  her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock ( ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (

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

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

[1] Arthur W. Pink, The Sovereignty of God (Swengel, PA: Bible Truth Depot, 1949), 95–98.

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Held by Him – Called to Speak and Follow - Purity 914


Held by Him – Called to Speak and Follow -  Purity 914

Purity 914 12/14/2022 Purity 914 Podcast

Purity 914 on YouTube: 

Good morning,

Today’s original work of art of a shack-like tower and an old dead tree in the foreground of what appears to be the fading light of day over a lake comes to us from the artistic imaginations of our brother and friend in the UK, Philip Hand.    Philip sent me this back on November 30th via FB messenger, and I was surprised to see that He didn’t share it on his FB page. So I hope he will forgive me for sharing what he sent to me privately in such a public forum.   However, I’m sure he will and on contrary, I believe he will be pleased that I share his work on the blog today as he has expressed to me that I have the freedom to do so in the past.  

Well, It’s Wednesday again and as we approach the midpoint of another work week, I felt that Philip’s “fishing tower” situated in the middle of this landscape was “good enough” to visually represent our arrival at hump day. Also my using Philip’s work today is a way to draw close to the safety of a friend who understands the pain of loss and feeling low,.  I am in reflective mood this morning as a part of me feels burdened because I have a heavy heart over the  sudden and tragic death of a friend, which I wrote about yesterday, but I also have the pain of being rebuked by someone I respect for the manner in which I wrote about it.  

I stand by what I wrote, and always will, but I was reminded that my words could cause additional pain to others grieving the loss, because I reflected on the not so wholesome circumstances surrounding my friend’s death.  If I caused additional pain or offense by what I wrote yesterday, I humbly apologize and ask you for your forgiveness.  

Just last night in my presentation of Bonhoeffer’s Discipleship, Lesson 18, I made comments about how in our modern age, church discipline seems to be a thing of the past, only to discover that while I was making those comments, a friend in the body of Christ was privately reaching out to me via text to rebuke me for being thoughtless of the pain that my words could possibly cause to my departed friend’s family.  In truth, I didn’t consider how my musings over different aspects of my friend’s death could hurt his loved ones and my intention in discussing them was to point out the duality of man, the way we are perceived by others, and the importance of a continued walk of faith and having a good testimony.

I feel the sting of the rebuke because I respect the messenger and it challenged me with the basic principles of wise speaking. In essence the message asked me if I asked the three questions we must ask ourselves before we speak:

·       Does this need to be said?

·       Does this need to be said by me?

·       Does this need to be said by me now?

And as much as I am pained in my spirit at the thought that my writing could have caused additional pain to the grieving, I have to honestly say that the answer to all three of these questions would be: yes.  

The messages I produce on a semi daily basis to share my experience of life and to encourage others to live a life of faith are not planned out in advance, I share what’s on my heart and what I feel will encourage others to put their faith in Christ and to follow Him.  

Does any of what I say “need” to be said?   By me? Ever?  - You could easily make a case that, little old me with my track record of a broken life of 38 prior to coming to Christ, shouldn’t say ANYTHING, TO ANYONE? EVER?   

Who am I to speak on matters of faith? Who I am to speak about other people’s lives? Who am I to “judge” people?  

I am an imperfect person who found hope, freedom, love, peace, and victory over the darkness because of my faith in Jesus Christ and because of Him never letting me go.  I am held by Him.  And I am sharing on the blog, another drawing of Philip Hand’s that highlights the fact that we need to be held by Christ:

In His Hands, we are loved. Because of Christ alone, we are forgiven and free.  Because of Him, and the desperate need that the world has for Jesus Christ, I speak, and I will continue to speak.  

When you produce a semi daily message on the fly like I do, you don’t always know what you will say from one day to the next, and because I try to base my writings on the wisdom of God’s word, I often cringe over the things I write because I know that the truths that I am pointing out exposes our failures to follow God’s word.  

I don’t like to be rebuked. I don’t like to be thought of in a negative light. I want to be loved and accepted by all.  So when I get criticism, it hurts.  I don’t like confrontation and I never want to feel that I have done anything to cause someone pain or offense.  

However, everything I produce is intended to encourage others to follow the Lord and unfortunately because of the brokenness of this world corrupted by sin and shrouded in darkness, the light of God’s word is not welcomed and even Christians will encourage us not to shine a light on the dark places because they are too ugly or too painful to consider.  

But this is the message, I believe the Lord has directed me to continue to share: follow the Lord, repent of your worldly ways, and follow Him.  

So, do I “need to say all this”, nearly every day?, really?,  I believe I have been called to encourage people to “keep walking and talking with God”.  I don’t know how long this “calling” will last but until I am convinced by scripture or the Holy Spirit that I should stop, I will persist in trying to be a voice to encourage people to follow the Lord in Spirit and in truth, even if what I see and report on, isn’t something that you want to share in the polite society of the corporate gathering on Sunday morning.  

So, if I haven’t offended you thus far, let me encourage you to follow the Lord only, and to develop a daily spiritual practice of “walking and talking with Him” via prayer, Bible study, and trying to do what God’s word says.  

Also, I would encourage you to consider those three questions before you speak, but if you read the New Testament, you might be shocked at the things that Jesus said to the polite society of his day.  I can only imagine the pain and offense that He caused when he called respected members of the community “vipers”, but He said it anyway because He wanted to expose the darkness that was hidden in the systems that looked good on the outside but were sick, corrupted, and dead on the inside.  

So try to be kind and compassionate in your dealings, but if you feel lead to speak, speak, but know that you may be rebuked, you may be hated, and you may be persecuted for saying it:  all of which, Christ said would happen to you if you follow Him.  

So, while I appreciate the care and concerns of others over what I say and, am sensitive to the possibility of causing offense in my messages,  I am still going to say them because I feel that the Lord has called me to do so. And I would rather obey God than remain silent.  Because I have been set free by Jesus and am held by Him, I can do no other but to be faithful to encourage others to seek Him. 

He has led me through the fire and out of the darkness, and so I will follow Him, come what may.



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

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Isaiah 58:10-11 (NLT2)
10  Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.
11  The LORD will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring.

Today’s verses encourage us to help others and to let our light shine, knowing that the Lord will guide us and restore us when we are drained.  

So, there is our call to action! Feed the hungry and help others in trouble and to let our light shine out from the darkness.  So out of the intention to help others, to learn from my own and others mistakes from walking in darkness, I shine a light to expose our deeds and to illuminate the word of God to encourage people in the way that God’s word tells us to go.  

As we do this in a world that rejects the Lord, we will suffer and we won’t always know if we are doing everything right but as I have attempted to follow the Lord, I have discovered that when you walk in the Spirit, God will guide you and restore your strength. This path I have taken, I wouldn’t pursue if it wasn’t for the guidance and strength I receive from doing so. And trust me, I don’t just keep “plugging along” out of some sense of self-righteousness.  I humbly and continually go to the Lord in prayer to receive guidance and from the direction that my life has taken, I have to believe that I am following His path for me because my journey has progressively and increasingly led to good things and new opportunities to serve his kingdom: to help those in trouble.  

So be wise and discerning, seek His guidance and ask for His strength, because I know that when you are walking and talking with God you will be restored “like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring.”


As always, I invite all to go to 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 Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s “Discipleship”, also known as “The Cost of Discipleship”

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Bonhoeffer’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 Church of Jesus Christ and Discipleship

Chapter Eleven

The Visible Church-Community, continues


The word of the apostles’ preaching is the same Word which has borne in his body the sins of the whole world; it is Christ present in the Holy Spirit. Christ in his church-community is what sums up the “teaching of the apostles,” the apostolic preaching. This teaching never makes itself superfluous. Rather, it creates by itself a church-community which remains constantly faithful to this teaching, a community that has been accepted by the Word, and is confirmed in this faith daily. This teaching creates by itself a visible church-community. Moreover, the body of Christ takes on visible form not only in the preaching of the word but also in baptism and the Lord’s Supper, both of which emanate from the true humanity of our Lord Jesus Christ. In both, Christ encounters us bodily and makes us participants in the community of his body. Both sacraments must be accompanied by the proclamation of the Word. In baptism as well as in the Lord’s Supper the content of that proclamation is the death of Christ for us (Rom. 6:3ff.; 1 Cor. 11:26). The gift we receive in both sacraments is the body of Christ. In baptism we are made members of Christ’s body. In the Lord’s Supper we receive the gift of bodily community (κοινωνία) with the body of the Lord, and through it bodily community with the members of this body. In receiving the gifts of Christ’s body, we become, thereby, one body with him. Neither the gift of baptism nor the gift of the Lord’s Supper is fully understood if we interpret them only in terms of the forgiveness of sin. The gift of the body conferred in the sacraments presents us with the Lord in bodily form dwelling in his church-community.[14] Forgiveness of sin is indeed a part of this gift of the body of Christ as church-community. This explains why, in direct contrast to our contemporary practice, baptism and the Lord’s Supper were originally not tied to the office of apostolic preaching, but were instead administered by the church-community itself (1 Cor. 1:1 and 14ff.; 11:17ff.). Baptism and the Lord’s Supper belong solely to the community of the body of Christ. Whereas the word of proclamation is addressed to believers and unbelievers alike, the sacraments have been given solely to the church-community. The Christian community is thus essentially the community gathered to celebrate baptism and the Lord’s Supper, and only then is it the community gathered to hear the word proclaimed.

That the community of Jesus Christ claims a space in this world for its proclamation is now clear. The body of Christ becomes visible in the church-community that gathers around word and sacrament.

This community is a differentiated whole. The body of Christ as church-community includes both differentiation and a common order. These are characteristics essential to the body itself. A body lacking differentiation is in the process of decomposition. According to Paul’s teaching, the form of the living body of Christ is that of differentiated members (Rom. 12:5; 1 Cor. 12:12ff.). In this case it is impossible to make a distinction between content and form, essence and appearance. To make it would mean a denial of the body of Christ, that is, of the Christ who became flesh (1 John 4:3). Thus the body of Christ, in claiming a space for proclamation, at the same time claims a space for the order of the church-community.

The order of the church-community is of divine origin and character, though it is, of course, intended to serve and not to rule. The offices of the church-community are “ministries” (διακονίαι) (1 Cor. 12:4). They are appointed by God (1 Cor. 12:28), by Christ (Eph. 4:11), by the Holy Spirit (Acts 20:28) within but not by the church-community. Even where the church-community itself assigns offices, it does so in complete submission to the guidance of the Holy Spirit (Acts 13:2 et passim). Both office and church-community have their origin in the triune God. The offices exist to serve the church-community; they can be justified spiritually only through this service. That is why different congregations require different offices or ministries. For example, the congregation in Jerusalem demanded different offices or ministries than those required in Paul’s mission churches. To be sure, the ordering as such is given by God, but its specific form is open to change, and to be determined only by the spiritual judgment of the church-community itself as it appoints its members for service. Even the charisms which the Holy Spirit confers upon individuals are in the same sense strictly subject to the discipline of serving the church-community, for God is not a God of disorder but of peace (1 Cor. 14:32f.). The Holy Spirit becomes visibly present (φανέρωσιζ, 1 Cor. 12:7) in the fact that everything is done for the benefit of the church-community. Apostles, prophets, teachers, overseers (bishops), deacons, elders, presiding officers, and leaders (1 Cor. 12:28ff.; Eph. 2:20 and 4:11) are all servants of the church-community, the body of Christ. Appointed to serve the church-community, their office is of divine origin and character. Only the church-community can release them from their service. Therefore, although the church-community is at liberty to modify the form of its order according to its needs, any tampering with the church’s order from the outside is an infringement on the visible form of Christ’s body itself.

Of special importance among the offices of the church-community in every age is the untainted administration of word and sacrament. Here the following must be considered. Proclamation will always vary and differ according to the commission and gifts of the preachers. However, whether it be the proclamation of Paul, or of Peter, or of Apollos, or of Christ, the one indivisible Christ must be recognized in them all (1 Cor. 1:11ff.). All are to work hand in hand (1 Cor. 3:6). The emergence of different schools of thought leads to divisive bickering, in which all involved promote their own self-interest (1 Tim. 6:5 and 6:20; 2 Tim. 2:16; 3:8; Titus 1:10). Here it is all too easy for ‘godliness’ to be mistaken for earthly gain, whether it be gain in honor, power, or wealth. The tendency to pose problems for the sake of posing problems also will blossom and divert people from the clear and simple truth (2 Tim. 3:7). It will lure into self-centered intransigence and disobedience toward God’s command. In contrast to this, genuine proclamation will always aim at a teaching which is sound and salutary (2 Tim. 4:3; 1 Tim. 1:10; 4:16; 6:1; Titus 1:9 and 1:13; 2:1; 3:8), and for safeguarding proper church order and unity.

It is not always easy to recognize where a legitimate theological interpretation ends and heresy begins. One congregation may still accept a particular teaching as legitimate, while another has already rejected it as heresy (Rev. 2:6 and 2:15ff.). However, once heresy has been identified, it must be rejected without compromise. The heretical teacher is cast out of the Christian community, and is excluded from any personal community with its members (Gal. 1:8; 1 Cor. 16:22; Titus 3:10; 2 John 10ff.). The word of authentic proclamation must therefore create both unity and separation in a visible way. It thus becomes clear that space for proclamation and for the order of the church-community are divinely ordained necessities.

We must now ask whether spaces of proclamation and order are already sufficient to describe the visible form of the community of the body of Christ, or whether this community claims yet another space in the world. The answer of the New Testament is unambiguous. It holds that the church-community claims a physical space here on earth not only for its worship and its order, but also for the daily life of its members. That is why we must now speak of the living space [Lebensraum] of the visible church-community.[1]

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

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

at, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

( The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and 

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 You Tube Channel:

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

My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock ( ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

[1] Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Discipleship, ed. Martin Kuske et al., trans. Barbara Green and Reinhard Krauss, vol. 4, Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2003), 228–232.

Saturday, October 1, 2022

The Sun Still Rises - Purity 851

The Sun Still Rises - Purity 851

Purity 851 10/01/2022 Purity 851 Podcast

Good morning,

Today’s original artwork, which I am entitling “The Sun Still Rises”, is of the sun rising over the horizon shining on a solitary tree on a hill, illuminating the sky and landscape with all the colors of the rainbow, comes to us from “across the pond”  as this is the latest creation of the artist, the poet, and our friend in the UK, Philip Hand. Philip shared it with me just this morning along with a Bible verse to encourage and inspire me in my walk.  Philip shared:

Philippians 4:8 (KJV)
8  Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Think on these things, indeed.  In this world that often points to the things that are wrong, our brother Philip is reminding us of what the Apostle Paul told us, the Church, to do through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit: think on the things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and good.  

When we encounter negative interactions with others or disappointing circumstances in the world the enemy would love for us to focus on the bad things in life and to forget about just how blessed we are, even in the midst of a disastrous situation like Hurricane Ian, that has now reportedly been responsible for the deaths of 23 persons in Florida, landed in South Carolina  yesterday as a Post Tropical Cyclone, category 1 storm, and will continue to affect the weather as it will continue to move north today through North Carolina and into Virginia by mid-day today and is even may result in significant rainfalls in my neck of the woods, New York today and tomorrow.

So today we pray for the lives lost and affected by the damages of this latest storm to rage up the east coast of our country, and we will be wise to consider its course as it weakens in regards to our activities this weekend, but we also continue to praise the Lord and think on the things  that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and good.  

The spirit of loving our neighbors is being seen in the relief efforts that are rushing in to restore power and order to the devastated areas hit by Hurricane Ian and in the concern that we have for our friends and loved ones that were in it’s path, as we rejoice over every new report from friends reporting that they are “safe” on social media.   The love of God is being manifest in us when we see people love and care for one another in storms like Ian.

I’m calling Philip’s latest piece, “The Sun Also Rises” because I am reminded of Solomon’s contemplations of the hard realities of life in the book of Ecclesiastes and even though he expressed how much of life was “vanity” or chasing after the wind, He came to the conclusion that while we were to fear God and obey His commandments because everything we do will be judged by Him, he also encouraged us to enjoy our lives recognizing that all we have is a gift from the Lord and that to follow the Lord’s ways for living was to demonstrate  an understanding of the highest wisdom.  

But Philip’s piece also reminds me of  Jerimiah’s passages in Lamentation, another “heavy” book in the Bible that acknowledges the reality of sufferings and afflictions in life.  After admitting to the suffering, Jerimiah speaks of the hope that comes from contemplating the Lord in our lives. 

Lamentations 3:21-24 (NKJV)
21  This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope.
22  Through the LORD'S mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not.
23  They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.
24  "The LORD is my portion," says my soul, "Therefore I hope in Him!"


So that’s the deal, when we think of “these things” that are listed in Philippians, if we keep thinking, whatever “true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and good” things our minds can come up with we will discover that they all point to the ultimate “true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and good” One, the Lord God all mighty!  And that our peace and our hope is found in Him because His mercies are new every morning and great is His faithfulness!

In his comments to me this morning, my friend Philip said that he feels peaceful when he is drawing but when he sought to share the “product of his peace”, he also felt moved to share encouragement from the word of God by including Philippians 4:8 when he shared his artwork.  

I told Philip that his story (his artwork, his finding peace of mind from negative mind states through it and his faith in Jesus Christ) is an ongoing testimony of the goodness of God and how the gifts that we receive from Him can be used to touch the hearts of others.   

So wherever you find yourself in the world this weekend,  whether you are walking in victory or struggling to find peace in a storm, let me encourage you to think upon those things that the Lord directed us to think about and to find your hope in Him. When we walk and talk with the Lord, we will discover the peace in the storm, and we will praise Him for His goodness, mercy, grace, faithfulness, and love.


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

This morning’s meditation verse i:

Romans 7:4 (NLT2)
4  So, my dear brothers and sisters, this is the point: You died to the power of the law when you died with Christ. And now you are united with the one who was raised from the dead. As a result, we can produce a harvest of good deeds for God.

Today’s Bible verse encourages us that we can produce a harvest of good deeds for God because we have died to the power of the laws of sin and death when we died with, and was raised to life anew with Christ.   

As I have shared previously in other blog posts, when we consider Bible verses like today’s verse and

Romans 8:2 (NKJV) which says
2  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.

We should understand the word “law” as “authority”.  Instead of some lifeless legal code, we should understand the “authority” or power under which we once lived and how that has dramatically changed when we have put our faith in Jesus Christ and receive a new and eternal spiritual life.   

So by the “authority of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus”, The Lord now declares you to be free from the “authority of sin and death”!

Death’s authority would render us dead in our trespasses and sins and make us subject to God’s wrath!  

But the authority of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus gives us peace with God and new life in God’s kingdom as His adopted children.  

The authority of sin would make us incapable of saying “NO!” to sin and powerless to change our sinful habits and lead us to despair and hopelessness.  

But the authority of The Spirit of life in Christ Jesus sets us free from sin’s authority by giving us a new identity in Christ and giving us the power to say “No! to sin, not as an act of will, but as an act of faith as we align our thoughts and behaviors with our new identity in Christ and draw upon the power of the Holy Spirit to overcome of worldly ways for a new life in the Spirit of Christ Jesus.  

Well that’s great! So what happens next now that I have this freedom from the “law” since I have died, and been resurrected, with Christ?  

As today’s verse tells us, we discover our new purpose as a child of God, we produce a harvest of good deeds for God.  

In Christ we have been set free and given a new life.  We have received power over the “authority” of sin and death and we also receive our purpose: to do good deeds for the glory of God, because of who we are in Christ and because of our love for our Father. 

We receive everything in Christ: a new identity, power, freedom, victory, purpose here on earth and with God in His kingdom forever. 

It’s the first day of October 2022, so let’s go out there and reap a harvest of good deeds for the glory of God the Father, Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit who have given us freedom, power, and life everlasting.    


As always, I invite all to go to 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 Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s “Discipleship”, also known as “The Cost of Discipleship”

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Bonhoeffer’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available on many websites for less than $20.00.

Chapter Five

Discipleship and the Individual

Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26).

Jesus’ call to discipleship makes the disciple into a single individual. Whether disciples want to or not, they have to make a decision; each has to decide alone. It is not their own choice to desire to be single individuals. Instead, Christ makes everyone he calls into an individual. Each is called alone. Each must follow alone. Out of fear of such aloneness, a human being seeks safety in the people and things around them. Individuals suddenly discover all their responsibilities and cling to them. Under their cover, they want to make their decision, but they do not want to stand up alone in front of Jesus, to have to decide with only Jesus in view. But at that moment neither father nor mother, neither spouse nor child, neither nation nor history cover a person being called. Christ intends to make the human being lonely. As individuals they should see nothing except him who called them.

Jesus’ call itself already breaks the ties with the naturally given surroundings in which a person lives. It is not the disciple who breaks them; Christ himself broke them as soon as he called. Christ has untied the person’s immediate connections with the world and bound the person immediately to himself. No one can follow Christ without recognizing and affirming that that break is already complete. Not the caprice of a self-willed life, but Christ himself leads the disciple to such a break.

Why must that be so? Why can there not be an unbroken growth, a series of slow sanctifying steps out of the natural orders into the community of Christ? What sort of annoying power comes here between human persons and the God-given orders of their natural lives? Is not such a break legalistic “methodism”? Is it not the same as that unhappy contempt for God’s good gifts, which has nothing in common with the “freedom of the Christian”?[5] It is true, there is something which comes between persons called by Christ and the given circumstances of their natural lives. But it is not someone unhappily contemptuous of life; it is not some law of piety. Instead, it is life and the gospel itself; it is Christ himself. In becoming human, he put himself between me and the given circumstances of the world. I cannot go back. He is in the middle. He has deprived those whom he has called of every immediate connection to those given realities. He wants to be the medium; everything should happen only through him. He stands not only between me and God, he also stands between me and the world, between me and other people and things. He is the mediator, not only between God and human persons, but also between person and person, and between person and reality. Because the whole world was created by him and for him (John 1:3; 1 Cor. 8:6; Heb. 1:2), he is the sole mediator in the world. Since Christ there has been no more unmediated relationship for the human person, neither to God nor to the world. Christ intends to be the mediator. To be sure, there are plenty of other gods which offer immediate access and, in fact, the world tries by all means to relate to persons immediately. But herein lies precisely its hostility to Christ, the mediator. Other gods and the world want to tear away from Christ what he deprived them of, namely, the ability to relate immediately to human persons.[1]

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

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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

[1] Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Discipleship, ed. Martin Kuske et al., trans. Barbara Green and Reinhard Krauss, vol. 4, Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2003), 92–94.