Destruction or Abundance – A Mindful of Christ Encouragement - Purity 1201
Purity 1201 11/17/2023 Purity 1201 Podcast
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Today’s photo of the silhouettes or trees and a rustic barn in the foreground of a sky painted by the fading light of sunset comes to us from yours truly as I captured this scene at the “end of the Road” last weekend in the farmlands just off of Waite Rd in Easton NY.
Well, It’s Saturday and I am back at my countryside home with my wife TammyLyn for the weekend and yes – we are reunited and it does feel so good – as we will spend the day today on another hike somewhere in the Saratoga or Adirondack areas of the “real upstate NY”– or as I call it “ The Great White North” and possibly go to see the new Nativity inspired – Christmas Story Musical, “Journey to Bethlehem later today. I’m not sure exactly where the day will take us, but I hope to we hope to continue to experience the fullness of joy that we continually find in our God-centered marriage.
However, as happy as I am in my marriage to TammyLyn and look forward to celebrating Thanksgiving this week, I recognize that for many November of 2023 has brought some real challenges in the form of disappointments, failures, broken relationships, and death. I also recognize that this transitioning time from autumn to winter, and the movement into the holiday season can bring with it memories of previous losses or the ways things used to be but will be no more. Quite a few of my friends are suffering this year, and some are experiencing the anniversaries of losses and painful changes, that are over or not quite a year old.
For those of us who are content or happy right now, we should be grateful but also be aware and sensitive to those who are suffering by offering our presence, prayers, help, or understanding to those whose problems, pain, or losses make it difficult to be thankful.
We have to walk the fine line listening and be present with those whose pain is great and knowing when to offer an encouraging word that could help them to rise out of the depths of despair. We have to try to be aware of the “time of the season” and respond appropriately.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (NKJV) tells us
1 To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:
2 A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted;
3 A time to kill, And a time to heal; A time to break down, And a time to build up;
4 A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance;
5 A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing;
6 A time to gain, And a time to lose; A time to keep, And a time to throw away;
7 A time to tear, And a time to sew; A time to keep silence, And a time to speak;
8 A time to love, And a time to hate; A time of war, And a time of peace.
So, we have to try to be wise and discerning in terms of the help we give because any one of these situations could be playing out in the lives of the people we encounter this week.
While silence may be the appropriate response to much of what you run into this week, I both exercise that option and not practice it by sharing an encouraging word from Lauren Roskilly of Mindful of Christ.net who shared this “Word for Wednesday” that teaches us that the spiritual forces of darkness may play a part in your suffering and that we are not helpless against our negative thoughts or emotions and that we can choose by faith to respond rather than react to the enemy’s attacks or the negative circumstances of our lives to experience the life of peace that God wants us to live, regardless of the “times of the season.” Lauren shares:
“John 10:10 (NLT2)
10 The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.
Destruction or abundance?
Whenever you come across any thought, situation, person, or experience that takes away, ruins, or eliminates your faith, peace and joy and takes you away from Christ and His plans for your life then know that that thought, situation, person, or experience is from the devil & his minions. He is the one that wants to ruin you and your relationship with the Triune God.
God intends and promises you abundance, in mind, spirit and soul. You CAN know His peace.
Note that God doesn’t promise we won’t have to deal with the devil’s schemes, we will, but He does promise us His comfort and strength to deal with them. And that abundance includes the fruit of the Spirit; peace, love, joy, patience, kindness gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control.
Notice how you respond and react to each thought, situation, person, or experience. You can choose destruction and lack, or you can choose to stand against the devil and choose the peaceful and abundant life that God has for you.
When a thought, situation, person, or experience occurs, ask yourself, “Is this from God or will it steal, kill, or destroy my faith or growth with Christ?”
What will you choose?
-Lauren Roskilly, Mindful of Christ (https://mindfulofchrist.net/) – Word for Wednesday 11/15/23 ”
Thank You, Lauren. Her words expose the enemy’s strategies to drive us into despair and destruction and unfortunately, he doesn’t take it easy on those who are already suffering loss, pain, or heartbreak. So whether you are just feeling low in general or have some very real and present problems and heartaches, remember to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ – just because you feel down doesn’t mean we stop doing what is right – and choose to remember that the Lord is with you and choose to spend time in His presence to receive the comfort, wisdom, or strength you need to help you to endure or to change your perspective by focusing on the good that is present in your life right now and the God who will never leave you or forsake you in any time or season.
When we keep walking and talking with God, we can overcome anything and we remember to submit to God, and resist the devil, we can experience the peace that goes beyond all understanding and beyond our current circumstances.
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.
1 Corinthians 12:1-11 (ESV)
1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed.
2 You know that when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols, however you were led.
3 Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit.
4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit;
5 and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord;
6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.
7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
8 For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit,
9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit,
10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.
11 All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.
Today’s verses are the second of two passages of scripture that fall under the fifth point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Church, Communion of the Saints.
5. Gifts of the Spirit differ. Each member must use his or her gifts to serve others.
Today’s verses encourage us that we don’t all have to be the same. There are different gifts that the Lord has for us that can be used for God’s glory and for good of the body of Christ. So you be you and I’ll be me and let’s both consider the gifts that the Lord has given us and rejoice in the fact that He knows us and loves us for who we are and allows us to ‘be ourselves” in the way that we follow and serve His kingdom.
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 5 of 8
And listen again! If God’s truth is to be presented proportionately and effectively then each truth of God’s Word must be presented separately. If I am speaking upon the humanity of Christ, if I am seeking to emphasize the reality of His manhood, how that He was made like unto His brethren in all things, how that He was tempted in all points as they were—sin excepted—I would not bring into my sermon a reference to His Godhood; and if you were to hear me preach the next twelve Sunday nights on the manhood of Christ and never refer to His Deity in those sermons, I hope none of you brethren would be so foolish as to draw the conclusion, Oh dear me, Brother Pink no longer believes in the Godhood of our Savior.
Again, if I am preaching on the wrath of God, the holy hatred of God for sin and His vengeance upon it, I would be weakening my sermon to bring in at the close a reference to His tenderness, mercy and love, for in my judgment that would be to blunt the point of the special truth I was seeking to press on the unconverted. And, in the same way, if I am pressing on the unconverted their need, their duty and importance of seeking the Lord, calling upon, coming to and believing on Him for themselves, I would not bring in or explain the work of the Holy Spirit in conversion.
Each truth needs to be presented separately that it may have its clear outline presented to the heart and to the mind. And after all, my friends, we are not saved by believing in the Spirit, we are saved by believing in Christ. We are not saved by believing in the work of the Spirit within us (no man was ever saved by believing that); we are saved by trusting in the work of Christ outside of us. O may God help us to maintain the balance of truth. There is something more in this Book, brethren and sisters, beside election, particular redemption and the new birth. They are there, and I would not say one word to weaken or to repudiate them, but that is not all that is in this Book. There is a human side. There is man’s responsibility. There is the sinner’s repentance. There is the sinner’s believing in Christ. There is the pressing of the gospel upon the unsaved; and I want to tell you frankly that is a church does not evangelize it will fossilize: and, if I am not much mistaken, that is what happened to some of the Strict Baptist Churches in Australia. Numbers of them that once had a healthy existence are now no more; and some others are already dead but they are not yet buried; and I believe one of the main reasons for that is this—they failed at the vital point of evangelism. If a church does not evangelize it will fossilize. That is God’s method of perpetuating His work and of maintaining His churches. God uses means, and the means that the Holy Spirit uses in His work is the preaching of the gospel to the unconverted, to every creature. True, the preaching will avail nothing without the Spirit’s blessing and application. True, no sinner will or can believe until God has quickened him. Yet he ought to, and is commanded to.
Now I meant, if time had allowed me, to come back again to the text and give you a few striking examples of where many have failed in holding the balance of God’s truth. Take for example the Unitarians. I have met numbers of Unitarians who believe this Book is God’s word, and believe that they can prove their creed from this Book. They appeal to such Scriptures as Deuteronomy 6:4—“The Lord our God is one Lord.” Their creed is the unity of God and they argue that if there be three divine persons there must be three Gods; they cannot harmonize them, they cannot reconcile three persons with one God; so what do they do? Well, they hold fast to the one and they let go the other. They say the two won’t mix—either God is one or else He is three; He cannot be both. When they come to the Person of Christ they emphasize such passages as—“He grew in wisdom.” Well, they say, if He was a divine person, how could He grow in wisdom? They emphasize such passages as “He prayed,” and they say it is an absurdity to think of God praying to God. They say, He died—how could God die? No, He cannot be divine: He is a good man; He is a holy man; He is a perfect man; and because they cannot reconcile the two classes of Scriptures they believe the one and reject the other. And Christ says to them, Ye are fools because ye are slow of heart to believe all.
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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)
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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship