Because of You - Purity 781
Purity 781 7/12/2022 Purity 781 Podcast
Today’s photo of the setting sun peering over the top of a tree, the Schodack Creek, and State Route 9J comes to us from yours truly as I captured this scene from the driveway of my “River House” back on April 5th.
I split my time between my place “down by The River” and my countryside home where my wife and step kids reside. When you split your time between homes, you have to be absolutely intentional about being a good steward to what the Lord has given you. Instead of doing the things to maintain your home and property “whenever you feel like it”, you really have to keep the tasks of keeping your home in order at the forefront of your mind otherwise what can be a simple task can become a grueling chore because you failed to take advantage of your opportunities when you had them because not only is your time and having the right supplies a factor in “getting things done” but weather can also come into play. You can’t mow the lawn if its raining and if it does rain you know that the grass and unwanted weeds on your property will respond enthusiastically to being given the “water of life”. So I have learned to keep an eye on the skies and the grass beneath my feet because I want my chores to be less of a struggle.
So yesterday even though it was a hot Monday, I immediately took to the task of mowing the grass around my house “down by The River”. When I mow, I listen to music and even though I initially chose a playlist that was a mix of contemporary music from 2021, I quickly decided against it and decided to make my chore a labor of love by changing my music selection to my “worship 5 playlist” which is a collection of Christian worship music that contains some of the “heart songs” from my walk with the Lord, those songs that were anthems during my journey of faith when I was walking through the darkness of my past and needed the Lord’s presence and strength to lean on and to motivate me to keep fighting the good fight of faith when my circumstances were bleak.
But we made it!!!! Brothers and Sisters!! We made it! And We are still going where ever the Lord leads us.
So while I sweated under yesterday’s afternoon sun and reduced the grass and weeds on my property to a reasonable height, I was again reminded of the journey that the Lord had led me through and the victory that is still implicit in the mere fact of the ground that I stand on at my hard fought for home that just so happens to have an inspiring view of the Schodack Creek and the Hudson River that it springs from directly across from my front door. This house is the gift that keeps on giving because all I have to do to be transported back to the joy of the Lord is to remember my exodus from my former life of bondage to this promised land.
If you didn’t know it – the first commandment from Christ was to love God with all your heart, all your soul, and all you mind. And you might wonder how it is you do that.
For me, I get a small idea of what that is like when I contemplate all that I have walked through and the fact that through it all the Lord was with me in some very real and significant ways. While the cast of characters of my faith walk has gone through a lot of changes through the years, the One Constant that has been with me through all the various phases of my journey has been God, in the persons of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
And as I marveled over all that the Lord has done in my life, I was in an emotional state of joy and sadness and love that was caused by the grief of the things lost, the sense of exhilaration over the victories won, and the deep sense of love and gratitude I have for God.
Phrases like: “You don’t know Who I know!” and “Because of You, LORD!” in my mind punctuated the praise in my heart and my mind, resulting in a fierce love of the Lord that continues to make me resolute in my abject loyalty to follow wherever the Lord leads me, regardless of the circumstances.
My faith isn’t a set of ideological beliefs or principles of living that seemed like a nice thing to do or seemed right. My faith is a relationship with the Lord in the most real sense of the word. The Lord has been my Father, my Brother, and my Friend. We have walked through the fire together. When there was no one else He was there. He took me through the struggles and brought me to not only a “good place” but to a new life. Through my relationship with God I have been transformed, set free, and have prospered.
I follow the Lord because He has been faithful when I didn’t know what I was doing. He showed me the truth about life in general and the circumstances in my life in particular time and time again. He leads me in the way of peace and love. He leads me to want to do good and to be more like Jesus.
I’m am not just following orders… I desire to follow the One who gave me life originally and the one who opened my eyes to His goodness and holiness. So everyday I try to remember just how good God is and try to be faithful in encouraging others to get to know Him by reaching out to Him and by seeking Him.
The Lord is omnipresent, He is everywhere at once, but if we are consumed with this world or our selfish desires we are blind to the fact that He is there.
Just like maintaining our houses, we have to maintain our relationship with the Lord by being intentional in seeking His presence, wisdom, strength, and love. God gives good gifts to those who ask but the best gift we can receive from the Lord is the continual presence we can enjoy when we seek Him.
Before you start asking for special spiritual gifts of signs and wonders, make sure you are enjoying the wonderful present of His presence and make sure you take the Lord with you wherever you go by checking in with Him in prayer and conversation and by living according to what He would have us do.
Throughout my day, I will catch myself thinking about cutting corners to do things quicker but in each instance I will stop myself and be convicted that “we do things by the book – we do what is right, even if takes more time or if it isn’t easy”. By considering the Lord’s ways, and agreeing with them, my path is one that has no regrets and usually leads to my safety and good things. Who knew?! God did, of course!
Because of You, Lord… my life is good.
Because of You, Lord… I am safe.
Because of You, Lord… I have peace.
Because of You Lord, I have victory.
Because of You Lord, I have freedom.
Because of You Lord, I can love.
This is all Because of You, Lord!
So keep walking and talking with God my friends. The further you go with God, the more you will know that there really is no other way to go but His. The life He has for you may have its challenges, but it is THE BEST LIFE we can hope for because He directs us to be the person we always wanted to be and He leads us into a life with a good purpose of knowing and sharing His love and wisdom.
Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.
This morning’s meditation verse is:
Deuteronomy 8:18 (NLT2)
18 Remember the LORD your God. He is the one who gives you power to be successful, in order to fulfill the covenant he confirmed to your ancestors with an oath.
Today’s Bible verse speaks of the power that the Lord gives His people to fulfill their purpose.
In our own strength and reasoning, we are limited but God is all powerful and all knowing. When we “Remember the Lord”, we receive the power to be successful in life because He has made a covenant with those He calls that includes unconditional promises of blessings and life everlasting.
We don’t earn our place in God’s kingdom because we are mighty or smart, it is because of His grace that we inherit a place in His kingdom and as adopted children of God we receive a portion of His power and authority that is based on our identity in Him. We are ambassadors of God’s kingdom, and we can accomplish much for God’s kingdom when we “Remember the Lord”.
In Christ, we are given a new and eternal life. That’s instant success! And no matter what circumstances we may face in this world, that success can not be taken away from us.
But the Lord also gives us power, when we Remember the Lord and walk in His ways, to accomplish personal sanctification and other good works to impact others for His glory.
So Remember the Lord and live though His power.
As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.
Today we continue sharing from Clinton E. Arnold’s “Powers of Darkness”
As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Clinton Arnold’s books for your own private study and to support his work. This resource is available on many websites for less than $20.00.
7 The Defeat of the Powers at the Cross
The cross of Christ is the pivotal point of salvation history. this is true, not only in the sense that Christ made satisfaction for sin through his blood, but also in the fact that Christ won a decisive victory over the evil powers.
The Ultimate Sovereignty of the Creator
While Christ and the church are represented throughout the New Testament as being in conflict with the powers, never were these opposing forces free and independent of God’s absolute sovereignty. God is sovereign because he is the Creator. When Paul prayed, he addressed God as the Father “from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name” (Eph 3:15). Every member of each division in the angelic hierarchy “derives a name” from God in the sense that its identity and authority comes from him. Every grouping in the hierarchy of angelic beings, both good and evil, receives its life and being from God the Father. He is truly the Father in that he is the source of all life.
Nowhere in Paul’s writings is the sovereignty of the Creator with respect to the powers brought out more clearly and forcefully than in Colossians 1:15–20. In this passage all of the Creator’s functions are attributed to Christ upon whom “God was pleased to have all of his fullness dwell.” Christ is praised for creating the universe and sustaining it as well as moving it toward a time of consummation that will be characterized by universal reconciliation. Paul can legitimately extol Christ’s sovereignty over the powers because Christ created them all.
Paul never envisioned a time when the Creator would lose control over his creation. Nor did he reflect upon a time when the forces of darkness would threaten to overwhelm God’s providence and authority. God has always retained control, and he remains in control while continuing to unfold his purpose in history. For Paul he is the God “who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will” (Eph 1:11). Neither the stars nor the astral spirits—commonly believed to control human destiny—can countermand God’s plans. Only the electing and redeeming God, who chose a people to be his own before the creation of the world, has control over history and human destiny.
Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!
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My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via 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)
Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship
 Clinton E. Arnold, Powers of Darkness: Principalities & Powers in Paul’s Letters (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic: An Imprint of InterVarsity Press, 1992), 100–101.