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Showing posts with label Rest. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rest. Show all posts

Saturday, April 6, 2024

Rest in Peace - Purity 1319


Rest in Peace - Purity 1319

Purity 1319 04/6/2024 Purity 1319 Podcast

Purity 1319 on YouTube: 


Good morning,

Today’s photo of the confluence of turquoise colored waters, white sand beaches, and black rocks of some tropical beach scene comes to us from an unknown FB friend wo shared this scene on social media on or around June 29th, 2021. If this is your photo and you want, let us know and we can share the location and give you your proper photo credit by updating the blog after the fact.  

Well, It’s Saturday and even though I always have plenty of things to keep me busy when I’m not working, I am officially on vacation this week and share this serene aqua sea scene this morning with the prayer that my friends all find some rest and relaxation this weekend. 

To reassure us that it’s okay, and to inspire us all, to rest, I am sharing a link  OpenBible.Info’s 100 Bible Verses about Rest (https://www.openbible.info/topics/rest) and to impress upon how our relationship with God, founded on the peace we have with God though our faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, gives us rest. 

Jesus encouraged us in

Matthew 11:28-30 (NKJV) to
28  Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
30  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."  

Our faith life is a light burden and when we are in harmony with God we have peace and rest.  

David encourages us to find the rest and peace that comes from a relationship with God and the safety only he can provide in:  

Psalm 4:5-8 (NKJV) where He instructs us to
5  Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, And put your trust in the LORD.
6  There are many who say, "Who will show us any good?" LORD, lift up the light of Your countenance upon us.
7  You have put gladness in my heart, More than in the season that their grain and wine increased.
8  I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; For You alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.

We are only ever truly safe and able to rest when we are “good with God” for He is good. As David proclaims in:

Psalm 34:8 (RSV)
8  O taste and see that the LORD is good! Happy is the man who takes refuge in him!

 

So my simple encouragement for this weekend is to take refuge – find your safety, peace, and rest by reminding yourself of how much God loves you and has welcomed you to be with Him forever as His beloved adopted child and how you will simultaneously live for ever and still be able to “Rest in Peace”.

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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 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 verse comes from the section on Death and Eternal Life

Psalm 23:6 (NKJV)
6  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever.

Today’s verse is the first of two passages of scripture that fall under the second point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Death and Eternal Life.  

2. The believer will dwell in God’s house forever.

Today’s verse reminds us of the eternal state of goodness and mercy that we get to enjoy forever when we have peace with God and decide to “dwell in the house of the Lord forever.  The house of the Lord is synonymous to the “church” or the body of Christ – the kingdom of God – His royal priesthood of adopted sons and daughters – and it is within that fellowship and that close personal relationship with God that we can experience the goodness and mercy that only comes through the Lord.  So let’s rejoice and rest in the peace the comes from receiving the goodness and mercy that the Lord has for us.

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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.

MORNING READING: JOHN 11

“Lazarus sleeps.” – John 11:11

Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, was and is the only One to make such a statement. In His presence, death is as sleep. Hence, He could say, “Lazarus sleeps.”

A little farther down this chapter, the Lord Jesus says these words: “I am the resurrection and the life” (v. 25). What is death in the light of this pregnant statement? No wonder the apostle could challenge the king of terror, saying, “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” (1 Cor. 15:55).

In the light of this whole chapter, death appears to be the means through which God manifests His glory. It was so on this particular occasion. Christ's death was the means through which God was glorified (13:23-28). Death to self is the only basis on which Christ will be glorified in me.

Daily let me die to self so that You may be glorified.
Amen.[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

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Silencing Condemnation - 40 Day Journey with Martin Luther - Day 2 - Purity 1275


 Silencing Condemnation - 40 Day Journey With Martin Luther – Day 2 - Purity 1275

Purity 1275 02/15/2024 Purity 1275 Podcast

Purity 1275 on YouTube: 



Good morning,

Today’s photo of a snow dusted winding forest pathway lined with trees covered in holiday lights comes from yours truly as I captured this dark and bright scene back on the evening of December 30th, 2023, during my visit to the Wild Center in Tupper Lake and “Forest Music” exhibit. 

Well, Its Thursday, and as I am one “wake up” away from a flight to Florida, I need a vacation!  I’ve actually on vacation since Tuesday, because I cashed in a few more vacations days to get there sooner and you think I would be just kicking back and relaxing, and I am, but I had a real “SERENIDITY NOW!” moment this morning as I just about lost it sitting in my countryside living room trying to “enjoy the silence”  and shake off the condemnation of some poor food choices I have made over the last few days, but was disturbed over my food failure and triggered because of the “white noise” of my wife’s rock tumbler that has been grinding away the hard edges of unseen rocks since last weekend. And so I pulled the pull and shut that machine up to stop all the “noise, noise, noise!” only to have to endure the rumbling of the furnace that decided to fire up to fill the vacuum of silence.   Really?!? – Still waiting… I mean I get up early enough you would think I could find some silence to rest in but that silence I find this morning will have to be a relative thing.  Anyway, this path of walking in the Spirit is all about finding peace that goes beyond all understanding and that is not contingent of conditions and so we will practice.  I know my unease this morning is more about my need to return to the new normal of my food plan and shake off the sugar-induced toxicity that I have subjected my body to over the last few days.  But the condemnation – Superbowl – Vacation – inspired feast is over and even though I may give myself permission to have desert while in the Magic Kingdom, today I am going to purge my system with copious amounts of water and account for every morsel that goes into my mouth. My body isn’t used to eating junk anymore and while I feel better this morning I felt absolutely sick to my stomach last night, as I had a persistent belly ache that stayed with me when I laid down to sleep.   But today is  a new day and I know that I can find healing and peace in the presence of the Lord so let’s get there.

It’s the second day of Lent and so we will try to recover physically by drawing close to God spiritually as I continue my personal walkthrough of Gracia Grindal’s 40 Day Journey with Martin Luther to observe and celebrate the Lenten season.   In this walk through 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 2

It is a good thing to let prayer be the first business of the morning and the last at night. Guard yourself carefully against those false, deluding ideas which tell you, “Wait a little while. I will pray in an hour; first I must attend to this or that.” Such thoughts get you away from prayer into other affairs which so hold your attention and involve you that nothing comes of prayer for that day… When your heart has been warmed by such recitation to yourself (of the Ten Commandments, the words of Christ, etc.) and is intent upon the matter, kneel or stand with your hands folded and your eyes toward heaven and speak or think as briefly as you can:

O Heavenly Father, dear God, I am a poor unworthy sinner. I do not deserve to raise my eyes or hands toward thee or to pray. But because Thou has commanded us all to pray and hast promised to hear us and through Thy dear son Jesus Christ hast taught us both how and what to pray, I come to Thee in obedience to Thy word, trusting in Thy gracious promise. I pray in the name of my Lord Jesus Christ together with all Thy saints and Christians on earth as he has taught us: “Our Father who art” … through the whole prayer, word for word.

Biblical Wisdom

And we urge you, beloved, to admonish the idlers, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with all of them. See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:14-18

 

Silence for Meditation.

Pause the podcast, or stop reading, and sit quietly for 60 seconds or 1, 5, 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 how Martin Luther’s comments for the day, and the content of today’s Biblical wisdom.

Oh, Praise the Lord, the Furnace or whatever rumbling thing was going, has stopped, I have found silence….. Thank You Lord!  

Questions to Ponder

·       Why (and how) is the heart warmed by the recitation of the Ten Commandments and the words of Christ? Does your faith community encourage such recitation? If so, in what ways? If not, why not?

I just took a few moments to compile the Bible verses for The Ten Commandments, (Exodus 20:1-17), The Lord Prayer (Matthew 6: 9-13) and the text for the Apostle’s Creed and put them into a separate Word document and reflected on them briefly and recited them aloud. That simple practice of reading God’s word aloud that confirms His law, prays to the Father, and declares what I believe as a disciple of Jesus Christ has given me peace- you could say it has warmed my heart because I feel connected to the Lord and assured of who I am as a child of God as I recite those words. No wonder Martin Luther recommends this!  While the body of Christ and my local church encourage a lifestyle of prayer, I would say that the recitation of creeds, scripture, or prayers is a practice that is not specifically encouraged.  Doing the Nicene Creed and the Lord’s Prayer was a part of the liturgy in my childhood church tradition but I currently am a member of a non-denominational seeker-friendly church and the recitation of creeds or prayers together as a corporate body just doesn’t happen and while the Lord Jesus himself warned about “vain repetitions” or prayer – I can see why churches recite creeds, scripture, or prayers together – they give honor to God, confirm our corporate and individual faith and bring us together in unity.  Why my current church doesn’t do creeds or recitations of scripture together as a body would be a question to pose to my church leadership but one could make a point of standing on Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:7 or want to avoid “dead religious” practices where a well intention recitation can become meaningless, as people just parrot words that are far from their hearts and minds.   

·       Why do you think Luther recommends a certain position of the body as important for the beginning of prayer?

I think that Luther suggests a certain position of the body because the religious tradition of his day was pretty strict in teaching how one is to present themselves to the Lord in prayer. His instruction doesn’t demand bowing down before the Lord, as you can kneel or stand, but it does demand reverently folding one’s hands and looking upward to heaven.  We are to present ourselves humbly to the Lord if we understand His holiness and fear Him. We look up because He is from above – Jesus did ascend after all- and look to the clouds for His return.

·       How is it possible to “pray without ceasing”?

I think it is possible to pray without ceasing by “walking and talking with God” all day long – through walking in the Spirit -being God-conscious, living in the context of the kingdom of God, and continually bringing God into our experience by talking to Him, seeking His presence, and being surrendered to His will.

Psalm Fragment

Give ear to my words, O Lord; give heed to my sighing. Listen to the sound of my cry, my King and my God, for to You I pray. O Lord, in the morning You hear my voice; In the morning I plead my case to You, and watch. Psalm 5: 1-3.

Journal Reflections

·       Reflect on any difficulties you may have had in the past in keeping a regular schedule of prayer. See whether or not you can detect “false, deluding ideas” that have kept you from keeping a schedule.

I have been doing a daily spiritual practice for so long that I don’t recall specific false or deluding ideas that kept me from keeping a schedule but in the early days of my walk there was a battle to establish my practice as a simple rebelliousness and pride that said – “I don’t want to” or “I’m tired” would try to speak up or , in my drinking days – I would be hung over and be just plain sick and unable to focus on anything other than not hurting.  But Luther’s passage points out the common trap the enemy uses to discourage prayer – the idea that you can do it later or have other things to do but really there is nothing more important to your faith walk and peace of mind then spending some time each day with God in prayer or Bible Study and meditation.

·       Meditate on the expression “pray without ceasing”. To what degree does it define your experience? Think back to yesterday and write down the several times and ways in which you may have called upon God.

I would say it “praying without ceasing”  describes my experience pretty well, except when it doesn’t. I am only human after all and make mistakes.  Yesterday, my praying without ceasing started off great because I rose, did some spiritual reading and journaling through my blog and podcast and then rushed off to my old Roman Catholic church for an early Ash Wednesday service. But then I ran into my mother, and we ended up going to breakfast where I ignored my food plan. With my plan compromised, I gave into the flesh and bought a bunch of sweet snacks and over ate on and off throughout the day.  When my belly started aching, I prayed for healing and forgiveness and went to my recovery ministry meeting, openly confessed my failures, and prayed for God to help me and the others with their struggles. So even in my wandering, I went back to the Lord and that is where we should all try to stay – in His presence, trying to follow what He says is best for our lives. 

·       Reflect on how it makes you feel to know that the saints in heaven and on earth are praying with you (and you are praying with them).

It is a great comfort to know that we are not alone in the body of Christ and that while we may seem alone at times all of us are together when we connect to the Lord in prayer.

Prayers for the Life of Faith

 Pray that you (and anyone journeying with you) can establish and keep a schedule of prayer faithfully through the next forty days.

 I pray that I can be more faithful in praying without ceasing and pray for anyone reading or hearing this message to be successful in establishing or maintaining a regular schedule of prayer. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Pray For  Today

Dear Lord Jesus, I thank You that You have given me the words with which to pray. Thank You that I can come to You any time in prayer with any concern at all.

Amen

(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 Communication, Gossip, and Lying.

James 3:1-12 (ESV)
1  Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.
2  For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body.
3  If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well.
4  Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs.
5  So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire!
6  And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell.
7  For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind,
8  but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
9  With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.
10  From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.
11  Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water?
12  Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.

Today’s verses fall under the twelfth point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Communication, Gossip, and Lying.

12.     Tame the tongue; it can be very destructive

Today’s verse encourages us to try to bridle the tongue because of the immense damage our words can do. James calls for the image of setting fires with our careless words to impress upon us how seriously we should take our speech. He also shows how inappropriate it is for us to use the same instrument to bless others with that we curse people with, reminding us that this should not be so.  So let’s try to bridle that unruly beast and only use our words to bring encouragement, healing, and love.

 

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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.

MORNING READING: MARK 7

“He could not be hidden.” – Mark 7:24

Wherever Christ is given His rightful place, He cannot be hidden, for He is the Light of the world and therefore, a Light which cannot be hidden. Christ is the “the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world” (John 1:9).

“He could not be hidden.” This was also said of Peter and John, for it is recorded that when people saw them, they took knowledge of them that they had been with Jesus. Paul's great ambition was that Christ should live in him. He could say, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me” (Gal. 2:20).

The Lord said in that wonderful sermon of His, “Let your light so shine … that they … glorify your Father” (Matt. 5:16).

O, that this might be said of my life![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

Friday, November 10, 2023

He Will Restore Your Soul – A Mindful of Christ Encouragement and Reminder - Purity 1195

 

He Will Restore Your Soul – A Mindful of Christ Encouragement and Reminder - Purity 1195

Purity 1195 11/10/2023 Purity 1195 Podcast

Purity 1195 on YouTube: 



Good morning,

Today’s photo of a “Bridge over Tranquil Waters” comes to us from Fred Dimmick who shared this peaceful scene on social media this week captioning it as “Tranquility at the river”, 

Well, It’s Friday – and as we are observing Veteran’s Day tomorrow, with the day off today, I am at my wife, TammyLyn’s countryside estate for a three-day weekend where I fully expect to discover a measure of tranquility as we are scheduled to see a show tonight, Seussical the Musical, at the Charles R. Wood Theater in Glens Falls this evening for a little fun and I’m not sure what else for tomorrow. But I do know that a long weekend with my wife will give me a peaceful easy feeling just being in her presence.  

Last night after dinner, and before my online Zoom Cohort Meeting with Deeper Walk International’s School of Prayer Ministry, I had a half-hour window of “free time” to spend and instead of trying to get ahead on school or ministry work or do anything “productive”, I just asked TammyLyn if she would “lay with me”.  Now don’t get any funny ideas, while I am a virile sexy beast of a man when I want to be, I just wanted to rejoice in her presence by lying down and holding her in my arms, fully clothed.  I miss my wife during the week and while I only had half an hour to spend, I wanted to invest all of it in my love for her.  So we just held one another and rested in one another’s arms until my meeting began.  Simple times like that can build your relationship and give you rest, and I was reminded how blessed I was to have a wife who loved me and who could relax long enough to do that.

Of course, I didn’t always have TammyLyn. After my previous marriage was destroyed by divorce, I decided to follow the provisions for gentile Christians highlighted in Acts 15, and remained sexually pure and was fully prepared to remain that way for the rest of my life, with the hope that I wouldn’t have to of course, and thankfully the Lord brought TammyLyn into my life in 2021, and she became be my faithful Christian wife  on New Year’s Day 2022. So how did I cope between 2018 and 2021? Where did I find my rest? Where did I restore my soul?

Although I wasn’t dating, I wasn’t alone. I had friends in the body of Christ and family  in my life of course but the relationship that has persisted and carried me through some of the worst days of my life, was my relationship with the Lord. In his presence, I find strength, peace, love, and joy. He can restore our soul.  

So in the spirit of restoring our souls, I share Lauren Roskilly’s short encouragement based on Psalm 23:2-3, that sent out as this week’s Word for Wednesday from her ministry Mindful of Christ.net  You can subscribe to receive emails of Lauren’s Word for Wednesday for yourself to be encouraged weekly and be equipped by other Christian Resources by Lauren Roskilly by going to https://mindfulofchrist.net/. 

Psalm 23:2-3 (ESV)
2  He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.
3  He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Lauren writes:

 

He will restore your soul

 

We all have the ability and privilege of being able to spend time with Him in his presence. When you do, He will lead you by still waters and restore your soul!

 

By simply sitting in His presence you will also:

- Experience His peace, love & joy (fruits of the Spirit)

- Find calmness

- Hear His voice

 

So, stop, take time out and rest with the Lord. Whether you are 'busy', stressed' or simply trundling through life, we all need the Lord.

 

But, perhaps you need to be intentional about it. For instance; Make a post-it note, add it to the calendar, set reminders.

This week, challenge yourself to make time to sit still with Him.

 

So if you want to experience those green pastures, be led beside those still waters & be restored then make your time with Him your priority.”

Thanks for that simple advice and encouragement, Lauren! So as many of us have a three day weekend, let me encourage you to take my friend’s advice and make time with the Lord a priority because while we may be able to find a measure of rest and relaxation in the world, only a close personal relationship with God, through faith in Jesus Christ, and time spent in His presence can restore your soul.  

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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 Children.

2 Samuel 12:18-23 (ESV)
18  On the seventh day the child died. And the servants of David were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they said, “Behold, while the child was yet alive, we spoke to him, and he did not listen to us. How then can we say to him the child is dead? He may do himself some harm.”
19  But when David saw that his servants were whispering together, David understood that the child was dead. And David said to his servants, “Is the child dead?” They said, “He is dead.”
20  Then David arose from the earth and washed and anointed himself and changed his clothes. And he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped. He then went to his own house. And when he asked, they set food before him, and he ate.
21  Then his servants said to him, “What is this thing that you have done? You fasted and wept for the child while he was alive; but when the child died, you arose and ate food.”
22  He said, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept, for I said, ‘Who knows whether the LORD will be gracious to me, that the child may live?’
23  But now he is dead. Why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me.”.

Today’s verses fall under the sixth point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Children.

 6. David was comforted by the knowledge that his infant son went to heaven when he died and that he would see him there.

Today’s verses remind us that even in the deepest tragedy of death we can have hope because there is life after death and the faithful know that they will see their faithful loved ones again.  

Some may have thought David was a little cold in “getting over” his son’s death so soon but we all grieve differently and when you have a deep faith and knowledge that God has our loved ones in His hands, we can have a peace over our loved one’s departure.  

For the Christian, we don’t need to wonder where our departed loved ones go, or if their leaving us was “right”.  We know that God gives us life and He decides when to take it. We also know that He is good and that His ways are higher than our ways. So while we may not understand why our loved ones had to die when and how they did, we can trust that God either has them safe with in His kingdom or they have rightly been judged and sent where they chose to go.  If you choose to reject God’s presence in life, you can be assured you won’t be forced into after death.  We are all responsible for the consequences of our decisions and no one ends up where they didn’t choose in the end.  

David knew this and He knew God would lovingly welcome his son, an innocent baby, into His kingdom and because, David had a heart for God and a covenant relationship with Him, he knew he would see his son again.   

Our faith in and relationship with God is the most important thing about us. It holds the answer to life and death and determines where we go beyond this mortal coil.  Until Jesus returns death will come, but those in Christ will live and the only work we will have to do in grief is to adjust from the absence of our lost loved ones from our lives here on earth, because if they knew Jesus, we will see them again.   

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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 – 4

Bearing the Rod – Part 2 of 2

If the “trouble” through which we are passing at any period of our lives be a reproof from God because of our sins or unfaithfulness, and instead of suspecting that He is displeased with us and taking our place in the dust before Him, begging Him to put His finger on the festering sore in our hearts: if instead, we proudly imagine that there is nothing wrong in our lives, that we have given God no cause to smite us, and complacently assume that we are suffering only for “righteousness’ sake,” and draw comfort from such promises as Matthew 5:11, 12, we are deceived by Satan, and are but “forsaking our own mercy” (Jonah 2:8). It is written, He that covereth his sins shall not prosper” (Prov. 28:13). Thus, whenever “trouble” comes upon a Christian it is always the safest policy to come to the Lord and say, “Teach me, and I will hold my tongue: and cause me to understand wherein I have erred” (Job 5:24).

From what has been said above, it will be seen that it often falls to the lot of God’s servants to perform a duty which is most unpleasant to the flesh. When they come into contact with a Brother or Sister who is passing through deep waters, their natural desire is to administer comfort, but in some instances (at least) to do so would be guilty of “healing also the hurt of the daughter of My people slightly:” and how is this done? The same verse tells us, by “saying, Peace, peace, when there is no peace” (Jer. 6:14). That was what the ‘false prophets” had done to Israel, and that was the very thing which carnal Israel desired: their demand was, “Prophesy not unto us right things, speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits” (Isa. 30:10); and human nature has not changed any since then!

It is a thankless task for any true servant of Christ today to be faithful to his Master, and faithful to the souls of those with whom he deals. Not that God requires him to think the worst of every case that comes to his notice, but that it is his burden duty to exhort each one to act on Job 10:2. But if he does do so, he may be assured at the beginning, that in the majority of cases he will be looked upon as harsh, hypercritical, unkind, like one of Job’s censorious comforters; for there are few indeed who have an honest heart, are ready to know the worst about themselves, and are willing to be cut by the knife of God’s Word. The great majority want only comfort, the “promises” of Scripture, the message of “Peace, peace.

But do not the Promises of God belong unto His children? Certainly they do: but here too “there is a season, and a time to every purpose” (Eccl. 3:1): there is a time when we may rightfully draw consolation and strength from the promises, and there is a time when we may not legitimately do so. When all is right between our souls and God, when every known sin has been confessed, and forsaken in sincere purpose of heart, then may we righteously draw milk from the breasts of Divine consolation. But just as there are times when it would be injurious for us to eat some of the things we do when we are well, so to take unto ourselves comfort from the Divine promises while sin is cherished in our hearts, is baneful and sinful.

The above (now slightly revised) recently sent by us in a letter to one passing through deep waters. It occurred to us that it might be a timely word for others. Many are now in the fiery furnace, and few indeed are there capable of speaking to them a word in season. It is not sufficient to bid them “Trust in God,” and assure them that brighter days are ahead. The conscience needs to be searched; the wound must be probed and cleansed, before it is ready for “the balm of Gilead;” we must humble ourselves “beneath the mighty hand of God” (1 Pet. 5:6), if we are to be exalted again by Him in “due time.” May the Lord be pleased to bless the above unto some of “His own.”[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).


Tuesday, June 27, 2023

The Joy of Rejuvenation - 28 Day Joy Challenge – Day 23 – Purity 1079


The Joy of Rejuvenation - 28 Day Joy Challenge – Day 23 –  Purity 1079

Purity 1079 06/27/2023 Purity 1079 Podcast

Purity 1079 on YouTube: 



Good morning,

Today’s photo of a heavenly sunrise scene over Queechy Lake in Canaan NY comes to us from Lori Weaver who shared this photo of “serenity” from her kayak on Saturday, June 24th.   

Well, it’s Tuesday and even though it is only the second day of the work week, I am feeling the “serenity” that comes from realizing that “I’m not sick anymore” as my sore throat seems to be a thing of the past – Thank You Lord for the healing! - and I am already looking forward to the “day trip” that my wife TammyLyn has planned for us this coming weekend.  Ever since our honeymoon, TammyLyn and I discovered that we both share a love of nature, travel, and adventure, to some extent, and while we can be completely content just “being together”, we both enjoy going out in the world from time to time to “do something!” or “see something”.  June is over come Saturday and while I don’t know where we will be going for our day trip, I have indicated my desire for the opportunity to swim to be included in our plans.     

One of the best ways I know of to be rejuvenated is with the rest and relaxation of a “beach day” or a “swimming excursion”.  As much as it may sound like TammyLyn and I like to scamper about, we also know the benefits of going somewhere to “do nothing” as some of our adventures involve traveling to a new destination where we can enjoy new sights from which to rest from.  Whether it’s most of the day or just a few hours, I love to be able to take in a water scene, relax, and take a dip every once in a while to beat the heat.   Relaxing and “going swimming” has been giving me joy since my childhood and I look forward to doing that at various locations this summer.  

And that brings us to our current series where I am walking through the 28 Day Joy Challenge, (https://4habits.org/) because we are encouraging ourselves and others, you, to “find peace” in our lives by increasing our capacity for joy and by building our emotional resilience through simple practices of quieting and appreciation.

The 28 Day Joy challenge is based on Dr. Marcus Warner & Chris Coursey’s latest book, The Four Habits of Joy-Filled People, and you can sign up to take it for free, and purchase a variety of books from Warner and Coursey on topic of Joy, by going to https://4habits.org/.  

So let’s jump into Day 23, which will direct us to reflect on times where we felt rejuvenated or recharged that gave us joy.    

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Day 23 - Rest and Rejuvenation

 

Welcome to Day 23 of the 28 Days to Joy Challenge!

Today’s Encouragement:

After yesterday’s high-energy exercise of joy memories, we are taking a day to stop and rest. As you continue to practice the art of slowing down, you will probably find these quieting moments to be some of your favorite times of the day. Enjoy!

Today’s Practice: Exercise 23

Today we are practicing quieting and noticing its effect on our bodies.

- How This Exercise Will Benefit You:

Researchers say that our ability to down-regulate and quiet ourselves is the top predictor for long-term mental health. Resting takes time and practice to feel restored. The more you practice, the better it feels, and the greater the effect on your health!

- Exercise Steps:

For this exercise, find a comfortable spot and rest for five minutes while you focus on favorite memories around times you felt rejuvenated and recharged. Notice how you feel after this exercise.

Have fun with this exercise. We pick up tomorrow with more joy practice!

As I sat down this morning and read the instruction to focus on a favorite memory around times that I felt rejuvenated and recharged, I laughed and thought that those memories were few and far between!  I had been under the weather for almost a week and have just felt wiped our physically lately and because of my unorthodox schedule I continually find that I need to play “catch up” on rest and relaxation but as I thought about the things that made me feel rejuvenated and recharged, I realized that I am a man who knows his limitations and plan for regular periods of rest and activities that rejuvenate my soul.  

Recharging your batteries is one thing, rejuvenating your soul is another so for today’s practice I thought about each.  

When it comes to resting – or recharging my batteries, nothing quite compares to time alone in my room. If I really want to rest, that usually means lying down, resting, and sleeping quite frankly.   Every Sunday, even though it’s the weekend and some people plan activities or events that go well into the evening, I don’t. I know myself and I know I need the afternoon and evening hours to rest.  It may be a waste of my time off, I suppose, but after a long week of work and a weekend traveling to my countryside home in Easton, I know that I need to get back to River house in Stuyvesant to unwind before doing it all over again.   I don’t focus on work, or ministry, or really anything and just lie down or kick back and relax.  

On occasion, my shifted work tour will cause me to work a Saturday and keep me at River house on an odd day – and I will just spend the day relaxing in my room, occasionally doing a “mini-retreat” where I rest, pray, reflect, and study some Christian resource.  Not too long ago, I took one of these “end days” ( I don’t know if it’s N-days – or what it’s supposed to mean other than I work Saturday and get some odd weekday off “N”stead?) and listened to John Eldredge’s Resilient – and it was great way to recharge and be rejuvenated.  

However, not all of my rest and rejuvenation is found in solitary pursuits. 

As I stated above, my travels, adventures, and times with TammyLyn also restore my soul.  There is no place like home and even though I can get hours of sleep at River House by myself, the sense of peace and rest that I get when I am reunited with my wife cannot compare. No rest session at River house solo compares with just embracing my wife for recharging and rejuvenating my soul.  Just “being” with TammyLyn gives me unparalleled amounts of peace. All is well when I am with her and we both long for the day when we will be living under one roof.

But since it’s summer, I have to admit that I also long for a “beach day” – which could even be just an hour long on occasion – it’s not necessarily quantity of time as it is quality.  I just need to be able to sit, see the water, rest, go in the water and repeat a couple of times to get all I need.  The freedom of movement in water is liberating and I love how swimming rejuvenates and paradoxically tires me out like no other activity.   So I look forward to finding that experience soon.  

Anyway, what about you? What rejuvenates you? What recharges your batteries?  What memories do you have that highlight the joy of rejuvenation?   Well, I hope you find some joy in recalling whatever it is, but I hope it also reminds you to make a plan to experience something like that again, soon.   

There may be a lot to do in our lives, but those things can wear you down and so we must be wise and make being “rejuvenated” and experiencing joy a regular habit.

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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 verse comes from the section on Adultery:

Matthew 15:19 (ESV)
19  For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.

Today’s verse is used to support the premise that “Adultery is out of the heart”, along with all these other expressions of sin.  Showing us that out of our hearts, our selfish desires – or “want” – we can be driven to do all kinds of evil.  

So as disciples of Jesus Christ, we seek to examine the desires of our hearts, seek to align them with what God’s word says about righteous living, and renounce selfish or sinful desires that would cause us to “covet” and sin.

As new creations in Christ, we have been given a new life, but we must renew our minds with the word of God, take every thought captive to the obedient of Christ and thus change the desires of our hearts from what was selfish, fleshly, or evil to what is pure, good, and holy.  

As Christians, our hearts are not desperately wicked anymore, but we need to repent of our old ways and be trained to overcome the old desires that captivated our hearts in the past to see our new hearts of flesh come to life.

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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

10 - The Holy Spirit Regenerating

Summary

“For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him” (1 Thess. 5:9, 10). Yet, the Father’s appointment and the Son’s redemption, with all the unspeakable blessings thereof, remained for a season quite unknown to us. In their fallen, sinful, and guilty state, Christians lay “dead in trespasses and sins,” without hope. To bring them out of this state, and raise them from a death of sin into a life of righteousness is the great and grand work reserved for the Holy Spirit, in order to display and make manifest thereby His love for them.

The Holy Spirit is fully acquainted with the present and everlasting virtue and efficacy of the Person and work of Immanuel, and what His heart was set upon when He made His soul an offering for sin, and how infinitely and eternally well pleased was Jehovah the Father with it, who has it in perpetual remembrance. The Father and the Son having committed the revelation and application of this great salvation unto the persons of all the elect to the Holy Spirit, He is pleased therefore, out of the riches of His own free and sovereign grace, to work in due season in all the heirs of glory. And as Christ died but once—His death being all-sufficient to answer every design to be effected by it—so the Holy Spirit by one act works effectually in the soul, producing a spiritual birth and changing the state of its partaker once and for all, so that the regenerated are brought out of and delivered from the power of death and translated into the kingdom of God’s dear Son. Without this spiritual birth we cannot see spiritual objects and heavenly blessings in their true worth and excellence.

The effect of the new birth is that the man born again loves spiritual things as spiritual and values spiritual blessings on account of their being purely spiritual. The spring of life from Christ enters into him, and is the spring of all his spiritual life, the root of all his graces, the perpetual source of every Divine principle within him. So says Christ: “But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:14). This regeneration introduces the elect into a capacity for the enjoyments which are peculiar to the spiritual world, and makes the one alteration in their state before God which lasts forever. All our meetness for the heavenly state is wrought at our regeneration (Col. 1:12, 13). Regeneration is one and the same in all saints. It admits of no increase or diminution. All grace and holiness are then imparted by the Spirit: His subsequent work is but to draw it forth into exercise and act.[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 You Tube 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)

For those who require the assistance of a Deeper Walk International Prayer Minister to experience healing or your freedom in Christ, I highly recommend Christy Edge’s Life on the Edge Freedom Prayer Ministry. You can schedule a session by going to : https://cedge216.wixsite.com/life-on-the-edge     

“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.).