Labels

Showing posts with label Restored. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Restored. Show all posts

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Live it! - The Appropriate Response of Faith – - Purity 639


Live it! - The Appropriate Response of Faith – - Purity 639

Purity 639 01/27/2022   Purity 639 Podcast

Good morning,

Today’s photo of a dirt road running through a forest of tall pines comes to us from August of 2021 as a friend shared this view while out in God’s magnificent creation.   I suspected that this photo comes to us from a friend in California but the more I look at it I suspect that this scene was captured by a friend visiting somewhere in the Adirondacks or some other area of upstate NY.  I offer my apologies for not recalling the particular place or person who captured this scene and offer that anonymous friend the opportunity to enlighten us or to remain silent.    The choice is yours.

Well. It’s Thursday and I shared this particular photo of a pathway through a forest as my thematic encouragement to start or to continue following the pathway of Christian Discipleship, to walk in the Spirit, or to live out your Christian faith every day.

Life is all about the choices we make, and I recommend that anyone hearing or reading this message make the choice to not only place their faith in Jesus Christ for the benefits of the forgiveness of sins and the eternal life that is promised to those who put their faith in Him but to also take your faith to the next logical conclusion: to live your life according to God’s wisdom and ways.  

The word of God says that Christians will be known by their fruit and by the love they have for one another that implies that we will not be just known for “what we believe”.  Faith in Jesus Christ is not just the holding of certain doctrinal beliefs that we will mentally assent to.  Our faith in Christ and who He has made us to be will be reflected in the way we behave and live our lives. 

If there is no “fruit”, no evidence of our “firmly held beliefs” in our lives, others, and we ourselves may question whether or not we really are a Christian.  

Christianity isn’t a political party.  It’s a kingdom and we are members of its royal family through adoption.  The question is: have we in turned adopted the ways of the King?  Are we serving and representing the kingdom as we should?    

When Christ called the Apostles, they immediately stopped what they were doing and chose to follow Him without conditions or pondering the truth of His ministry or call on their lives.  They knew Jesus was the Messiah and they did the only appropriate thing to do when God calls you: they chose to follow.  

So how does one follow the Lord?

I know when I came to faith in Christ I was extremely weary of where I chose to go to church and whose leadership I would decide to trust. 

The unseen God is certainly working in and through some people on the earth but because of the fallibility of men and the existence of Christian counterfeits, false converts, and the agents of darkness I had to decide to be discerning in who or what I listened to.  

The good news is that the Lord gave us a source for His truth that we could judge the true vs the counterfeit: the Holy Bible.  The obligation however is that we know what it says and what it means in order to know if someone is corrupting its wisdom for their own purposes.

Also if someone is putting up another source of truth in addition to the Bible, we have to realize that their additional sources of truth are attempting to say that the word of God isn’t sufficient and whatever they are trying to teach is a deception, whether they are aware of it or not.   

So we really have to be diligent in terms of knowing what Christ would have us do and then seek to do His will to represent Him.  

One of the best ways of learning what we are to do is by learning what the word of God says about who we are in Christ and then living according to that biblical truth.  So instead of putting our allegiance in some church organization or some charismatic “anointed” pastor, we should seek the truth of God’s word about us and seek to live our lives according to that truth.  

While we should connect to a local church, to learn, serve, and worship in a community of Bible believing Christians, we must not rely on others to walk out our faith for us. We can’t be spiritually lazy.  We are the seek the Lord for ourselves and find the purpose that He has for our lives.    

The call of God is as compelling on our lives today as it was for the Apostles in the early church and just like it was then we are to answer God’s call on our lives and follow Him where He will lead us.   

Generally, God will lead us to repent of our sin and call us to conform to the image of Christ by renewing our minds with the wisdom of the word of God and then apply what we learn to our lives as we seek to do the good works that the Lord would have us do.  

That means transformation and purpose. That means seeking God continually and learning more about Him and His purpose for us on the earth.  That means that there is a relationship between you and the Lord who created all things and that means you have a part to play in His grand design.  

So instead of debating whether or not you “really believe”, demonstrate your faith by choosing to believe the Lord’s call on your life is “for real” by  living according to your faith.  

If you know you are a part of God’s kingdom because of your faith in Jesus Christ, shouldn’t you seek to live according to the purpose for your life?  If you think about it, our obedience to God’s call on our life is the only appropriate response of our faith.  

So do the appropriate thing and seek to follow the Lord’s direction for your life. His ways are higher than our ways, but He invites us to know them and to walk with Him. So answer the call today and everyday to draw a little closer to God than you were yesterday.  If you do that God will reveal Himself to you in amazing ways and you will discover that He will bless you with a life that leaves the darkness of this world behind as He increasingly welcomes into the light of a new and everlasting life where the fruit of the Spirit will grow and and your love for God and others will define the rest of your life.  

 

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

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Acts 1:8 (NLT2)
8  But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Today’s verse are the words of the Resurrected Christ, who speaks of the power that the Holy Spirit will bring to the lives of those who follow Him to go and share the gospel throughout the earth.  

The Holy Spirit had not yet come into the world and Christ was pointing to the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit would enter into all those who put their faith in Christ to empower them for ministry and righteous living for evermore.   

How can a Christian change from who they used to be? How can they leave sin behind?  How can they have the boldness to tell others about Jesus? 

All of these things can be done through faith in Christ and through the power of the Holy Spirit!  When we believe and put our faith and trust in Christ, the Holy Spirit comes to indwell us and to give us the power to overcome.  

When we receive Christ, we receive the Helper, and the Holy Spirit is given to us to empower us to live the Christian life.  

This power isn’t for selfish gain. No matter how we individually may benefit from the transformation that the Holy Spirit gives us, it is done for God, His glory and His purposes and today’s verse points to the purpose of receiving the Holy Spirit and His power: to make Jesus Christ known throughout the earth.  

The power to change us is for a purpose to give glory to God. Our testimony of victory is a testimony for God. We become the evidence and the witnesses for the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.   

So choose to follow where the Holy Spirit seeks to change your life and where He calls you to go.  The indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit has the power to do mighty things in our lives but the most powerful thing we can do for the kingdom of God is to take the power we receive and use it to share the love of God and the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  

So feel the power and use the power of the Holy Spirit to help you but also utilize it to boldly proclaim the goodness of God and the truth of Jesus Christ to the world that desperately needs the power and love of God too.


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 to share from Dr. Neil Anderson’s . “Restored: Experience Life with Jesus”. Today, we  continue sharing from Chapter 6.   

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Dr. Neil Anderson’s books for your own private study and to support his work.

SELF-SUFFICIENCY HAS A PRICE

After Jesus fed the 5,000, He sent the disciples across the Sea of Galilee while He went up to the mountain to pray. In the middle of the sea, the disciples encountered a storm: “And seeing them straining at the oars...He came to them, walking on the sea; and He intended to pass by them.”119 The Lord intends to pass by the self-sufficient. Go ahead and row against the storms of life. He will let you until your arms fall off, but those who call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.

The only answer the world has for those who are caught in the storms of life is “Row harder, or give in to the pressure and learn to live at sea!” The devil says, “You can do it by yourself, but if you need a little extra power, I can arrange that for a small price.” Pride says, “I think I can get out of this by myself. All it requires is a lot of hard work, human ingenuity, and maybe a little luck.” God says, “I won’t interfere with your plans. If you want to try to save yourself, solve your own problems or meet your own needs, you have My permission. But you won’t be able to, because in the final analysis, you absolutely need Me, and you necessarily need each other.” Fallen humanity is on a sinking ship that is going nowhere without God.

Pride can sneak up on the best of us. King Uzziah was a godly man who reigned for 52 years,120 and “he did right in the sight of the Lord.” His accomplishments were exceptional. He built a strong army and fortified the city. “Hence his fame spread afar, for he was marvelously helped until he was strong. But when he became strong, his heart was so proud that he acted corruptly, and he was unfaithful to the Lord his God.”

The more we are able to accomplish, the more susceptible we are to pride. More than one Christian leader has fallen when he started receiving glowing accolades for his work. “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.”121

FALSE AND TRUE HUMILITY

What is humility? Is it groveling around in poverty, proclaiming our worthless state? No, that is counterfeit humility that leads only to defeat. Paul says, “Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in selfabasement.”122

Humility is not saying God is everything and we are nothing. That is a form of false humility. Christ didn’t die on the cross for nothing. He was crucified to redeem a fallen humanity. Throughout the New Testament, we are admonished to build up one another, and we are strongly warned against any attempt to tear down one another, including ourselves.

Paul tells us, “For through the grace given to me I say to every man among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.”123 That is not a call for self-abasement; it is a call for sound judgment. Paul says of himself, “By the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.”124

We are what we are by the grace of God! To deny that would be to discredit the work that Christ accomplished on the cross. To believe that we are more than we are, or to believe that we are products of our own doing, is to join the ranks of the deceived millions who have fallen victim to pride.

Humility is confidence properly placed. So Paul says, “Put no confidence in the flesh.”125 But we ought to have all the confidence that our faith can muster in God and in what He can do through us. We should all want ourselves and all the children of God to reach their highest potential in Christ. “By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be my disciples.”126 Pride says, “I did it.” True humility says, “I did it by the grace of God.”

Cowering in some corner in unbelief or groveling around in mock humility in utter defeat brings no glory to God. “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”127

The glory of God is a manifestation of His presence. When we glorify God in our bodies, we manifest His presence in the world. The only way we can glorify God in our bodies is to live victorious lives and bear much fruit. And the only way we can live victorious lives and bear much fruit is to abide in Christ.128 That is why we must come to terms with our pride—so we can be established in Christ, “in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him.”129

 ---------------------------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. 

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 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

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Walking in Truth – The Walk of Freedom - Purity 638


 
Walking in Truth – The Walk of Freedom - Purity 638

Purity 638 01/26/2022  Purity 638 Podcast

Good morning,

Today’s photo a midday sun next to an electrical tower just off of Waite Rd in Easton NY comes to us from yours truly as I captured this shot while taking a canine friend out for a walk on the day after Christmas in 2021.  

Well it’s Wednesday and normally I would share a photo of a Mountain or a Hill to symbolize the fact that we had made it to the “hump” of mid-week and the truth is that I had a particular photo in mind to share but decided that I couldn’t share it because to do so would be dishonest or would simply not be too cool.   

Through my community service volunteer work for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention I made many FB “friends” for the purpose of promoting the Columbia-Greene Out of the Darkness Walk which I was the walk chair in 2018 and 2019.  So I made friends with people and organizations I didn’t even know for the purpose of getting the word out. I also joined a bunch of local community groups for the purpose of promoting the AFSP’s work.  

But since 2020, I feel I have been called to focus my efforts at helping my fellow man by sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ and by encouraging Christians to experience and maintain their freedom in Christ.  I still fully support the efforts of the AFSP but after a couple of years of no longer serving as an active volunteer for the organization I decided recently to reduce the number of FB friends I had because many of those “friendships” that I had made in the recent past had no interactions to speak of.  

So this morning, I realized that photo I was thinking of using this morning from June of 2021 was from someone that I had unfriended.  Awkward.  So do I use the photo and say it was from a former friend or former acquaintance?   Do I re-friend them so I can claim “friendship” again?  What if they find out that I unfriended them, will they be mad? Will the loss of our social media acquaintanceship cause them to be depressed?   Will my mass friending of people in 2018 & 2019 be seen as the Machiavellian scheme of event promotion that it was? Was it?  

Who knew that social media friendships with people you don’t really know could be so complicated?

Anyway, rather than use a former acquaintance’s photo, it wasn’t that great anyway, really it wasn’t, shots fired.  I decided to use my own and not regret the means that I used for good in the past no more than I may employ those means for good in the future.  As for the lost friends, I must have unfriended close to 200 people or things in the past year and as much as I think I may be so important I think maybe one or two of those people have re-friended me, without comment. 

Anyway, all of this commentary surrounds my intention to share the message that the principle of truth in our faith walk is the guiding principle that is what should direct our path and determine our actions that will lead to our ultimate liberation from negative mind states that will keep us in the bondage of oppression or confusion.

Could I share a photo from a “friend” who was no longer a “friend? No. 

Should I re-friend them for the sole purpose of using their photo?  No that doesn’t feel honest, so no.  

As varied and complicated as this simple situation could be, the truth and the intention to live honestly, directs me out of the confusion.  

And it is this principle that is at the core of the life of a Christian Disciple. We seek to speak the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ in love and to represent Him by living honestly.  

Yesterday, I confessed how I had fallen short of living according to my intentions to avoid sugar and foods high in carbohydrates and how that failure had started to lead to secretive and self-deceptive patterns of behavior. 

Instead of being honest about my failure, a part of me wanted to cover it up or to “just move on” and “give myself a break” but luckily I saw the inherent danger of beginning what would have been a double life of acting one way and presenting myself as acting in another way by trying to represent someone who says they care about being honest but then living with secrets.   

Well today, I am happy to report that I had a single day of success in staying within the parameters of my eating plan and it was possible because I decided to be honest and to be committed to my intentions.   I decided that if I failed I would tell my wife.  She loves and accepts me for who I am and I confessed to her that in the past I would keep a part of myself away from previous partners to the point where I could claim that they didn’t really know the real me. 

I would hide my feelings and actions from others in the past because I wanted to avoid their anger or disappointment, but I wasn’t honest.  I didn’t care about their anger or disappointment, I just cared about doing what I wanted all the time and would rather hide the thoughts and behaviors that may upset them rather than stopping or changing those behaviors.  

That way of living kept me isolated from everyone else.  I was living a double life where only me, myself, and I had any idea about what I was doing or what I was all about.    

But in my new life in Christ, I am called to live in truth, knowing that God loves me, forgives me, and wants me to enjoy a life free from secrets and lies.   

So I have exposed my tendency to sneak food or keep my thoughts and feelings hidden in order that I can live in the joy of the freedom that comes from knowing you have nothing left to hide. 

A weight has been lifted off of my soul knowing that my new marriage will be a place where everything is revealed openly and that we will support each other in being the people that we always wanted to be and who God empowers us to be when we decide to live in the truth of who we are in Christ rather than the darkness of secrets and lies.  

So to be blunt, stop lying.  A Christian has no business in living a life of deception.  If you have secrets reveal them and decide to live in truth to have peace and to experience the joy of freedom that comes when all the cards are on the table and you have nothing left to hide.   

 

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

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Psalm 28:7 (NLT2)
7  The LORD is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.

Today’s verse speaks of the feelings of protection and strength that comes from trusting the Lord and how we are filled with joy and thanksgiving when we realize that we have His help.  

God calls us to salvation by calling us to place our faith in Jesus Christ which is without a doubt the “ultimate” help he can give us. Forgiveness of sin and a new eternal life in His kingdom is some big time help. 

But as amazing as it may sound, God wants to help us with more than just these eternal matters. He wants us to trust Him on a daily basis to receive His protection and strength.  

The Bible is filled with encouragement to live a righteous life.  There are verses telling us what to do and what we shouldn’t do.  The question is: will we trust God and apply His wisdom to our lives?    

Today’s verse indicates that we are to trust God with our whole hearts and when we do that we will be filled with joy and thanksgiving.  God is encouraging us to live according to His ways and today’s verse indicates that we will experience a sense of His protection and strength that will have experiential results to the point we will burst out in singing His praises.        

Our Christian lives are not to be drudgery, they are to be infused with joy when we realize that God is trustworthy and good.  So trust Him and follow Him to know the life that God wants you to experience, a life filled with joy and thanksgiving.  

 

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 to share from Dr. Neil Anderson’s . “Restored: Experience Life with Jesus”. Today, we start sharing from Chapter 6.   

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Dr. Neil Anderson’s books for your own private study and to support his work.

CHAPTER SIX - OVERCOMING PRIDE

In the northern reaches of Canada, the story is told of two geese and a turtle that developed a deep friendship. As the nights became shorter and cooler, the geese started talking about flying south for the winter. One evening as the three animals huddled together, the geese wondered openly about their friend the turtle.

“We’re sure going to miss you,” said one goose. “Since you can’t walk south for the winter, what are you going to do?”

“I have an idea,” said the turtle. “Why don’t we find a sturdy stick that the two of you can hold in your mouths. I will hold on to the stick in the middle with my powerful teeth. Then when you fly south for the winter, I will fly with you.”

“Do you think you are strong enough to hold on for that long?” asked the other goose.

“Sure, I’m very strong,” said the turtle.

Several weeks later, somewhere over Montana, a farmer looked up and saw the most incredible thing he had ever seen. He rushed into the house to tell his wife. When she ran outside and saw two geese flying overhead with a stick in their mouths and a turtle hanging between them, she cried out, “What an incredible idea! Who thought of that?”

Knowing it was his idea, the turtle couldn’t resist saying, “I did!” And down went the turtle.

THE UGLY FIVE-LETTER WORD

Pride is a killer. It comes before a fall. Pride is a five-letter word with I in the middle. Pride says, “It was my idea, and I can do it by my strength and resources.” Pride is the origin of evil. Scripture says of Satan, “But you said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, and I will sit on the mount of assembly in the recesses of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’ Nevertheless you will be thrust down to Sheol, to the recesses of the pit.”118 Hell is where we say, “My will be done.” Heaven is where we say, “Thy will be done.”

Notice the connection between pride and spiritual warfare in the following two passages: 

But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you (James 4:6, 7).

All of you clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you. Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him (1 Peter 5:5-9).

 ---------------------------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. 

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 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

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Wherever You Go – Exposing the Enemy Along for the Ride - Purity 637


Wherever You Go  – Exposing the Enemy Along for the Ride - Purity 637

Purity 637 01/25/2022   Purity 637 Podcast

Good morning,

Today’s photo of the escaping wake of a boat speeding away from an illuminated bridge and the fading light of daylight comes to us from a friend’s 12 day Florida holiday get away where they left 2021 behind as they visited Dunedin, Clearwater, St. Pete Beach, Treasure Island, St. Petersburg, and Tampa all for the first time. 

As I prepare myself for a short Florida vacation less than a month away I look forward to seeing sights like this one but am reminded of the old adage of “wherever you go, there you are.” 

Ironically, as “Zen” or “New Age” spiritual as that saying may seem to be, my limited research this morning indicates that one source of this saying has a Christian origin. “A non-humorous precursor appeared in the devotional book “The Imitation of Christ” by Thomas à Kempis published in Latin in the 1400s. An 1881 translation into English by Reverend W. H. Hutchings contained the following passage about human suffering:[2]

“No one is so touched with a heartfelt sense of the Passion of Christ, as the man whose lot it has been to suffer like things. The cross, then, is always at hand, and everywhere awaits you.

You cannot escape it, run where you will; for wherever you go, you take yourself with you, and you will always find yourself.”   (https://quoteinvestigator.com/2020/11/22/where-you-go/#:~:text=Wherever%20you%20go%2C%20there%20you,you%20will%20always%20find%20yourself.)

This reminds me of the verse I shared from Psalm 139 yesterday where David mused about God’s omnipresence which said:

Psalm 139:8 (NKJV) 8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.

The Lord is everywhere and as far as our perspective is concerning ourselves, so are we.  We cannot escape from the Lord’s presence or knowledge and even though we can “take it on the road” and see new sites, wherever we go we will find ourselves there with the question of “who we are?” left to answer.    

I have just finished a 21 day fast and was thrilled with the results of weight loss and the exercise of self-control that I was able to exhibit for those few weeks but since I began eating again I realize that I didn’t escape from “my dark passenger”, to borrow a euphemism from the Showtime Series “Dexter”.  

The “food addict” with his compulsive eating habits, secretive ways, and rebellious, self-deceiving, and sabotaging modus operandi is still there waiting to bust loose.  On the first day after fasting I overindulged in some holiday peanuts that had survived untouched and yesterday I ate a sleeve of girl scout cookies “that just needed” to be gotten rid of.   

These treats are not the end of the world, but they are antithetical to my intention to avoid high sugar and high carbohydrate foods but what I really didn’t like was the semi-mindless way I consumed them and the fact that I knowingly ate them in secret which echoes behavior patterns that go back as far as early childhood when I first started to sneak food.

I don’t want to be that scared child sneaking food for comfort and pleasure and I don’t want to be a person that has secrets that I feel I must hide to be acceptable to others.  I also don’t want to be someone who sabotages my own intentions for healthy living.     

In the 90’s remake of Cape Fear, the villain played by Robert DeNiro, chains himself to the underside of  Nick Nolte’s family’s automobile and although they believe they are traveling to safety to the family houseboat, they are unwittingly taking their own worst enemy along for the ride.  This analogy shows us that we have to be diligent in making sure we are not dragging our old tendencies and patterns of behavior into new situations.  

So, before writing this, I ratted myself out to my wife, confessing my snacking indiscretions and my intentions to live honestly with her with the hopes that my confessions and the trust we build in our relationship will help me to expose this “dark passenger” and leave him with no where left to hide.  

If I shine the light of truth on his presence and use it to expose the lies that he likes to perpetuate, I believe that God will help me to leave “him” and his dysfunctional patterns of behavior in the past.   

Through our faith in Christ, we become members of the kingdom of light and truth and when we walk into the new person of who we are in Christ, we can have freedom and victory over even the most persistent patterns of dysfunctional behaviors. Luckily our walk isn’t about perfection, its about progress and every time we confess our failures we give the enemy less room to operate.    

So, keep walking and talking with God. When you see yourself starting to act in ways that go against what you want to do, rat yourself out and restate your intention to follow the Lord into the person you want to be.  

While it is true that wherever we go, there we are, if we keep walking with God we will be amazed to discover that the “you” we will find at our next destination is not the one that we left behind and that “dark passenger” is no longer along for the ride.    


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

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Psalm 138:3 (NLT2)
3  As soon as I pray, you answer me; you encourage me by giving me strength.

Today’s verse speaks of the immediate strength we can receive from the Lord when we reach out to Him in prayer.  

The best illustration of the truth of this Bible verse for me was the testimony of a man that I heard at the one and only meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous that I ever attended.  

If you are unfamiliar, I attended and eventually led a Christian Recovery Program that used John Baker’s Celebrate Recovery lessons for most of the teaching material. Baker’s program is unapologetically Christian and names God the Father, Christ the Son, and The Holy Spirit – the Triune God, as the One and only Higher Power.  

AA on the other hand is far less specific and demanding on making that claim and allows its participants to choose whatever “higher power” they wish, which can range from the traditional triune God of Christianity to the absurdness of anything from the pop star, Tina Turner,  to the flying Spaghetti Monster.  

As open as AA tries to be, the Christian roots of the movement are somewhat inescapable and the AA meeting’s forms and traditions are akin to a liturgical church service.     If Celebrate Recovery meetings are akin to a Bible believing – Spirit Filled encounter, the AA meeting is analogous to a Catholic mass or other liturgical service.     

But regardless to the “liturgical” forms that are apparent at the AA meeting, the one I attended had some hostile elements who openly wished to silence any talk of faith and instead stood on the merits of community and “the program”.    

However, at that one meeting I attended in spite the opposition, one man gave a testimony for what he believed to be the reason for his years of successful sobriety: prayer.  

He openly confessed that He didn’t know much about the Bible or church history but stated that in the early days of his struggles to be sober his sponsor advised him to go to the Lord in prayer every time he felt the need to drink to ask for God’s help and strength to overcome.  

This man testified that every time He prayed to God for strength, he received it and he had repeated that simple formula and was enjoying over 20 years of sobriety because of the strength he received from the Lord.  

Although, this man didn’t claim to know God, his continual testimony at AA speaks of the truth of God’s love and power to help those who ask.    

So if you need strength, go to the Lord in prayer and ask Him for it.  The Lord loves us, and He wants to help us.

God the Father sent Jesus to save us and to lead us into a new life. So make Jesus your Lord and Savior to make sure you will be in His kingdom when He returns or when you are called into eternity, and in the meantime receive the strength that only God can give by going to Him in prayer.   

 

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 to share from Dr. Neil Anderson’s . “Restored: Experience Life with Jesus”. Today, we conclude sharing from Chapter 5.   

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Dr. Neil Anderson’s books for your own private study and to support his work.

STEP FOUR: DEALING WITH REBELLION

The Apostle James wrote, “Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”117 Submitting to God enables us to resist the devil. The prayer that begins this Step is a commitment to forsake rebellion and choose a submissive spirit, as follows:

Dear Heavenly Father,

You have said in the Bible that rebellion is the same thing as witchcraft and as bad as idolatry (see 1 Samuel 15:23). I know I have not always been submissive, but instead I have rebelled in my heart against You and against those You have placed in authority over me. I pray that You would show me all the ways I have been rebellious. I choose to adopt a submissive spirit and a servant’s heart. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

AREAS OF REBELLION

As the Lord leads you, prayerfully consider the ways you have been rebellious toward the following lines of authority:

·       Civil government including traffic laws, tax laws, attitude toward government officials (See Romans 13:1-7; 1 Timothy 2:1-4; 1 Peter 2:13-17.)

·       Parents, stepparents, or legal guardians (See Ephesians 6:1-3.)

·       Teachers, coaches, school officials (See Romans 13:1-4.)

·       Employers (past and present) (See 1 Peter 2:18-23.)

·       Husband (See 1 Peter 3:1-4.) or Wife (See Ephesians 5:21; 1 Peter 3:7.) {Note to husbands: Take a moment and ask the Lord if your lack of love for your wife could be fostering a rebellious spirit within her. If so, confess that now as a violation of Ephesians 5:22, 23.}

·       Church leaders (See Hebrews 13:17.)

·       God (See Daniel 9:5, 9.)

 

The following prayer is an opportunity for you to confess your rebellion:

Lord Jesus, I confess that I have been rebellious toward _____________ (name or position), by (specially confess what you did or did not do). Thank You for Your forgiveness. I choose to be submissive and obedient to Your Word. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

 

 

CHAPTER FIVE:

OVERCOMING REBELLION


88. Matthew 6:24

89. Genesis 3:5

90. Galatians 5:23

91. 1 Samuel 15:23

92. Romans 13:1, 2

93. Acts 5:29

94. Daniel 1:9

95. Matthew 6:9-13

96. Hebrews 13:17

97. Numbers 14:11-19

98. 1 Timothy 2:1, 2  

99. 1 Peter 2:18-20

100. Matthew 6:11

101. Matthew 6:12

102. Acts 8:23

103. Matthew 6:13

104. 1 Peter 2:14

105. Daniel 6:7

106. James 1:27

107. Ephesians 5:21

108. Ephesians 5:21-24; 1 Peter 3:1-6


 

 ---------------------------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. 

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 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