Showing posts with label Sin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sin. Show all posts

Friday, May 19, 2023

I’m a Goodfella. – Lies of the Enemy #35– Purity 1047

I’m a Goodfella.  – Lies of the Enemy #35– Purity 1047

Purity 1047 05/19/2023 Purity 1047 Podcast

Purity 1046 on YouTube: 

Good morning,

Today’s photo of a tranquil morning scene at Persimmon Lake In Murphy NC comes to us from Fred Dimmick who capture this beautiful scene, with the lake’s mirror like reflection of the sky and the morning mist rising off the lake’s surface, back on May 4th as a case study in contrasts as Persimmon’s waters recede in the winter months leaving the shores looking like a barren desert but come May, the lake fills up again to reflect spring’s thriving abundance of life.    

Well, It’s Friday and I for one really appreciate Fred’s diligence of practicing and sharing his photography. In my full life, I don’t always have time to check in to Facebook or to plan the “photo of the day” and when ever I’m not sure what to share I have discovered that Fred is a reliable source to go to see the glory of God’s creation on “film”.   His penchant for sharing the views from his life consistently and reliably makes me appreciate Fred’s “friendship” and his life’s narrative. Although I have never sat down and chatted with Fred, he has told me bits of “his story” through social media and he comes across as someone who appreciates the simple joys of life in spite of some of the challenges he has faced in the recent years with finding a place to call his home, with health concerns, or with car troubles.  

You can’t always know who somebody is from looking from the outside, but I get the overall impression that Fred is a “nice guy”.  Although I can’t be certain, I think Fred is a “goodfella”.   

Now I use that particular phrase quite purposefully to highlight the duality of man – our mix of good and evil, that can sometimes define who we are and that just may seal our fates.    

The phrase “Goodfella” obviously is loaded with meaning for most of us  as Martin Scorsese’s 1990 gangster film is praised by critics and fans, resulting in several awards and nominations, and has been listed as one of the greatest films ever made, particularly in the gangster genre.  Based on the life of a real life wise guy, the film narrates the rise and fall of mob associate, Henry Hill  and his family and friends from 1955 to 1980 (  The film’s scenes are gripping, and its dialog is infectious as those who love the film are often known to echo its phrases. While I won’t share any quotes from the film on the blog I am sharing a link ( to star, Ray Liotta’s 10 Best Goodfellas’ Quotes if you want to walk back to the dark side of memory lane.  

The paradox of the film of course is that Henry Hill and His friends are not “goodfellas” by the standards of traditional biblical morality. They are thieves, liars, adulterers, drunks, swindlers, drug addicts, and murderers. Their zeal for life is to serve themselves and take what they want by any means necessary. However, these men also have families and friendships that are defined by love and a strong sense of loyalty – unless of course those things get in the way of “business”.   

Ironically, members of “organized crime” sometimes surprise us by doing good. They give “justice” to those who don’t get it from police or the government. Sometimes they give things to those in need. Sometimes their ill-gotten gains even go into the coffers of charities and churches.  They may indeed seem to be “respectable businessmen” to their local communities and churches.  With these “good works”, one may wonder if these gangsters aren’t so  bad after all,  that somehow in the final accounting they may “do more good than bad” and find themselves in a state of grace – that God will declare that these criminals are “goodfellas” after all and welcome them into heaven.  

Now as much as I have introduced the subject of gangsters who have obvious concerns about their eternal destinies because of their many crimes, I actually mean to shine a spot light on all of those of us who consider ourselves “nice guys”, “good girls”, or a “good neighbor” who know they “aren’t perfect” but who don’t display any fruit or evidence of having a relationship with God but are putting their faith in their “good outweighing their bad” as the means to getting to be a part of God’s eternal kingdom.   

 And that brings us to our current series the “Lies of the Enemy”, which is an examination of some of the common lies, sometimes sneakily whispered into our minds as “first person” statements, that the enemy tells us to cause us to doubt our faith, lose our peace, cause division, or influence us to not follow the Lord with the way we live our lives. 

So today’s big lie is:

Lie #35:  I’m a Goodfella.               

This lie is so pervasive throughout the world that it not only infects the realms of supposedly Christian institutions it forms the basis of all false religions and the measure of performance of the world system.  

The lie – “I’m a Goodfella” is unbiblical as the Bible tells us in:  

Ecclesiastes 7:20 (NKJV)
20  For there is not a just man on earth who does good And does not sin.

The Apostle Paul expounds on our moral hopelessness, inability to “do good”, and be approved by our own efforts in: 

Romans 3:10-20 (NLT2)
10  As the Scriptures say, “No one is righteous— not even one.
11  No one is truly wise; no one is seeking God.
12  All have turned away; all have become useless. No one does good, not a single one.”
13  “Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave. Their tongues are filled with lies.” “Snake venom drips from their lips.”
14  “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”
15  “They rush to commit murder.
16  Destruction and misery always follow them.
17  They don’t know where to find peace.” )
18  “They have no fear of God at all.”
19  Obviously, the law applies to those to whom it was given, for its purpose is to keep people from having excuses, and to show that the entire world is guilty before God.
20  For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are.

The lie of “I’m a Goodfella” – that proclaims that somehow God will forgive us because our evil will be less than our “good” is based in ignorance and ignores the word of God that tells us that we will be dead in our trespasses and sins without Jesus.    

I am sharing a link to Open Bible Info’s 100 verses about Jesus died for our sins on the blog today ( if you need the scriptures to convince you that our works don’t save us.  

I know that most “Christians” “know this” but the Bible also speaks of those who will claim a relationship with Christ – by works or passing association – that will discover that their “show” of Christianity, “nominal agreement”, disingenuous faith, or infrequent participation in outward signs of worshipping the Lord won’t fool the God in the end.   

So before you anoint yourself with the “cheap grace” of having a “passing relationship” with God or of “doing more good than bad” as a means of salvation – Consider Christ’s words to the nonbeliever and to those who profess or try to prove their “faith” with works.   

For those who haven’t put their faith in Christ, I offer Jesus’ words in: 

John 14:6 (NLT2)
6  Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.

There is no other way to God but through faith in Jesus.  Sorry, Goodfella without Him you don’t get “in”.   Christ also said:

John 3:18 (NLT2)
18  “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son.

For those who are “doing more good than bad” but have an inconsistent or virtually nonexistent “relationship” with God, but have “a little faith”.  I offer.

Luke 13:24-27 (NLT2)
24  “Work hard to enter the narrow door to God’s Kingdom, for many will try to enter but will fail.
25  When the master of the house has locked the door, it will be too late. You will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Lord, open the door for us!’ But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’
26  Then you will say, ‘But we ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’
27  And he will reply, ‘I tell you, I don’t know you or where you come from. Get away from me, all you who do evil.’

Just because you sat and heard Jesus’ teachings and had the Lord’s supper, doesn’t necessarily mean you are a Christian – Christ’s words indicate that we also have to repent of our sins because otherwise our “doing evil” – having regular periodic unrepentant sin in our life may indicate we are “false converts”. If we fail to “work hard” to overcome our sins, we may demonstrate we are not actually Christ’s disciples – those who obey what He teaches.

And as for those who are “working hard” and are proud of it, I offer Jesus’ words in:  

Matthew 7:21-23 (NKJV)
21  "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.
22  Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?'
23  And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'

Again, this is for the legitimate businessmen and those who stand out in public and  shine a light on all the “good deeds” you have done for God.  Christ wants you heart as well as your works, and your good works in the light don’t cover the “lawlessness” you practice in the dark.  

Christ call sus to be disciples to be “real” Christians – to seek Him, to love Him, and to practice what Jesus teaches.  Now don’t get me wrong, this is not some ultra form of performance based salvation – I don’t think Jesus was suggesting that, but I do think He was trying to convict all of us that we must believe in Him and to do our best to follow His example and to do so as an expression of our love for God – as part of our relationship with Him.   

My heart is to encourage people to walk with God humbly and simply but not so simply that we aren’t pursuing Him and seeking to do His will on earth, which includes our pursuing personal sanctification and spiritual maturity.  

The reason today’s lie of “I’m a Goodfella” has so inflamed my passion to exhort is because the WHOLE WORLD would consider themselves “goodfellas” – We are all “good” in our own eyes and we would all declare ourselves “good enough” by judging those who are worse than we are. However, the word God tells us we must be right with God through faith in Jesus and through our authentic attempts to follow Him into repentance.  

I know so many “goodfellas”, “nice guys”, “good girls. “free spirits” and “characters” that I love, find amusing, and genuinely “like” that have seemingly no relationship with the Lord. They don’t always do the right thing and often suffer for their poor choices but overall they “seem like good people.” 

 I know others who really seem to have it “all together”. They are successful and kind. They are good citizens and good to their families or friends, but they don’t demonstrate any faith in Jesus.  

So I say all this to encourage all the “goodfellas” out their whether you are an Upstanding citizen or a “wise guy”, to stand up and surrender to the Lordship or Christ and to be truly wise by declaring that you are not a “goodfella” and that you need the forgiveness and new life that only God can give you that comes through faith in Jesus and a life that is surrendered to Him.     


For those who want more evidence for Christianity than my simple apologetic will provide, I offer apologist, Frank Turek’s website, .


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

This morning’s meditation verses are:

Colossians 3:23-24 (NLT2)
23  Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.
24  Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ.

Today’s verses encourage us to work as if we were working directly for the Lord, because we do, and because the Lord will reward us with inheritance when we serve Jesus as the Master of our Lives.   

Verses like today’s passage indicate to us that our faith was never meant to be a weekly observance of worship. Our faith is supposed to be a way of life and we are to consider everything we do as something we are doing for the Lord. God made us and He will reclaim us and so we are to show Him that we know who our Master is by being His representative here on the earth.  

Everything we do we are to do for the Lord and although it may not always be easy to “do the right thing”, God’s word assures us that He sees what we are doing, and He will reward us for our faithful service.


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

Today we begin sharing from  The Holy Spirit By A.W. Pink.

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage you all to purchase June Hunt’s books for your own private study and to support her work.  This resource is available online for $0.99 (  

                                                     1 - The Holy Spirit continues

The Problem: Effort in the Flesh

In the great majority of cases, professing Christians are too puffed up by a sense of what they suppose they are doing for God, to earnestly study what God has promised to do for and in His people. They are so occupied with their fleshly efforts to “win souls for Christ” that they feel not their own deep need of the Spirit’s anointing. The leaders of “Christian” (?) enterprise are so concerned in multiplying “Christian workers” that quantity, not quality, is the main consideration. How few today recognize that if the number of “missionaries” on the foreign field were increased twenty-fold the next year, that that, of itself, would not ensure the genuine salvation of one additional heathen? Even though every new missionary were “sound in the faith” and preached only “the Truth,” that would not add one iota of spiritual power to the missionary forces, without the Holy Spirit’s unction and blessing! The same principle holds good everywhere. If the orthodox seminaries and the much-advertised Bible institutes turned out 100 times more men than they are now doing, the churches would not be one bit better off than they are, unless God vouchsafed a fresh outpouring of His Spirit. In like manner, no Sunday School is strengthened by the mere multiplication of its teachers.

O my readers, face the solemn fact that the greatest lack of all in Christendom today is the absence of the Holy Spirit’s power and blessing. Review the activities of the past 30 years. Millions of dollars have been freely devoted to the support of professed Christian enterprises. Bible institutes and schools have turned out “trained workers” by the thousands. Bible conferences have sprung up on every side like mushrooms. Countless booklets and tracts have been printed and circulated. Time and labors have been given by an almost incalculable number of “personal workers.” And with what results? Has the standard of personal piety advanced? Are the churches less worldly? Are their members more Christ-like in their daily walk? Is there more godliness in the home? Are the children more obedient and respectful? Is the Sabbath Day being increasingly sanctified and kept holy? Has the standard of honesty in business been raised?

The Need

Those blest with any spiritual discernment can return but one answer to the above questions. In spite of all the huge sums of money that have been spent, in spite of all the labors which has been put forth, in spite of all the new workers that have been added to the old ones, the spirituality of Christendom is at a far lower ebb today than it was 30 years ago. Numbers of professing Christians have increased, fleshly activities have multiplied, but spiritual power has waned. Why? Because there is a grieved and quenched Spirit in our midst. While His blessing is withheld there can be no improvement. What is needed today is for the saints to get down on their faces before God, cry unto Him in the name of Christ to so work again, that what has grieved His Spirit may be put away, and the channel of blessing once more be opened.

Until the Holy Spirit is again given His rightful place in our hearts, thoughts, and activities, there can be no improvement. Until it be recognized that we are entirely dependent upon His operations for all spiritual blessing, the root of the trouble cannot be reached. Until it be recognized that it is “ ‘Not by might, (of trained workers), nor by power (of intellectual argument or persuasive appeal), but by MY SPIRIT; saith the Lord” (Zech. 4:6), there will be no deliverance from that fleshly zeal which is not according to knowledge, and which is now paralyzing Christendom. Until the Holy Spirit is honored, sought, and counted upon, the present spiritual drought must continue. May it please our gracious God to give the writer messages and prepare the hearts of our readers to receive that which will be to His glory, the furtherance of His cause upon earth, and the good of His dear people. Brethren, pray for us.[1]

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

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

at, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

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

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

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

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

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 :     

“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.).

Saturday, November 19, 2022

To Be With Jesus – The Chosen Season 3 Purity 893


To Be With Jesus – The Chosen Season 3  Purity 893         

Purity 893 11/19/2022 Purity 893 Podcast

Purity 893 on YouTube:  

Good morning,

Today’s photo of the silhouettes of an Autumn Stripped tree line against the backdrop of ethereal sunset sky comes to us from my beloved wife, TammyLyn Clark, who captured this heavenly scene back on November 11th when she decided to take her youngest children and our canine pal, Harley, to Hudson Crossing Park in Schuylerville for an impromptu walk.  When we get to see scenes like this, I think we get a small idea of the beauty of heaven, and it makes me yearn for the days when we get to see God’s kingdom and Jesus face to face.  

Well, it is the weekend, and it is my prayer that all who hear or see this message have a wonderful weekend and will consider my recommendation to go and see The Chosen, Season Three Episodes 1 & 2 in a theatre near you. 

The only thing I was disappointed in at last night’s viewing of The Chosen, Season 3’s premier was my decision to fall in my patterned behavior of getting that large popcorn and soda. I know “say it isn’t so….” As I have said in the past, there is grace for our weaknesses and ours is a walk of progress and not perfection. 

Paradoxically,  part of my failure in the decision to indulge in the popcorn and soda (zero sugar – okay) was the result of a decision to get serious about my health goal. Say what?   

Yesterday, I was either the victim of click bait or genuinely resolved to get help by seeking the advice of experts in the field of fitness, as I purchased a fitness plan that is bold in its claims to help people transform their bodies.

After the bliss of my courtship and wedding to TammyLyn, I had let my health goal slip in 2022 but recently made steps to right the ship and have made progress. But after Halloween’s Harvest Fest candy indulgences and other slips, I have seen my progress stall.  Mercifully, I have more or less plateaued, with only gaining a pound or two back from my recent progress to reclaim the ground I had lost. So with the knowledge that I had to do something to start heading in the right direction again, I was open to suggestions. 

So I signed up for V-Shred, yup the “swipe up and take my fitness quiz”-guy, Vince Sant, that you have most likely seen on YouTube or Instagram plugging his Fat Loss Extreme Program.  So I intend to change my normal workout routine on Monday and trust this program and my personal trainer’s recommendations to “get shredded” or at least get headed in the right direction to accomplish my health goal of being in the normal BMI range for my height. 

So last night due to the excitement of going out on a Friday night, and like the alcoholic who gets drunk one last time before going to rehab, I gave into my patterned behavior of getting a large popcorn and soda, and of course had to get the refills, AND also got Cookie Dough Pieces! So, I look forward to my first V-Shred workouts Monday morning so I can atone for this latest failure.  

But, hey, speaking of atonement, I have been forgiven, right? Because of Jesus Christ, I have been forgiven of all my sins and have been delivered from condemnation, so I acknowledge my weaknesses, am seeking help and accountability, and will not beat myself up about failure 1,999.643 or whatever number this one was, and instead will repent and will press into my health goal with a new resolve on Monday.  

And that’s something I think that we should all remember,  just because we fail in achieving our goals in life doesn’t mean we should just abandon them.

This is a tough thing to discern of course because sometimes our goals can seem unrealistic, or they may indeed be impossible, and sometimes we have to give them up.

But in this area, our physical health, I believe that the Lord would encourage us to seek to be good steward of our bodies, the temples of the Holy Spirit, and would prefer that we didn’t suffer because our lack of discipline.

Gluttony is not a virtue and Obesity is its bad fruit.  Scripture doesn’t have good things to say about gluttony and there are verses to tell us to take care of our bodies. If you don’t believe me or need some verses to build a stronghold buster for you health goal, I am including links to openbible.ifo’s 100 Bible verses about gluttony (   and physical fitness ( on the blog today.  

You see my health goal is not about vanity. I’m not looking to impress other people; I’m looking to be as healthy as I can be as I move into the last years of my life because I want to live as I can to continue to encourage other people to see what the Lord can do with your life when you follow Him. And in this latest chapter of the battle of the bulge, which has admittedly been a lifelong struggle, I hope to utilize the self-control that the Holy Spirit has brought to my life to accomplish what just about everyone says is impossible: to be a healthy, or “normal”, weight; to be strong, in the body as well as in the mind and spirit.

Guys like Vince Sant know that, with proper diet, exercise, motivation, and discipline people can transform their bodies to be healthy.  So why not me?  I have already made great strides in my physical health so why not keep going until “it is finished”?  I have already renewed my mind about my eating habits and altered my diet to have success, so why not be focused to strengthen my body and further undo the excesses of the past?  That’s what I hope to do, and I know that the Lord will be with me.  

And speaking of the Lord being with me, I have to tell you that the first two episodes of The Chosen Season Three were fantastic!  I won’t give you any spoilers, but I positively loved the interactions of Christ and His Apostles and the supporting characters in these first two episodes.  Forgiveness, the determination of Discipleship and the acceptance of some hard truths were major themes in last night’s drama, and they cause me to appreciate The Chosen with new zeal.  

Previously, I watched the show with a love/hate mentality born from my love for the Bible and the Lord. The Chosen builds a drama based on scripture and sometimes I have liked what they have done and other times I have cringed over certain moments where I thought their artistic license went too far, didn’t go far enough, or took me in a direction I didn’t expect. Admittedly, I still carry a bit of theological baggage from my long road to freedom in Christ, and sometimes my objections are born more from my personal history than what the creators of The Chosen have done.  I have issues… 

But, except for a couple of minor moments of critical scrutiny in the beginning moments of last night’s premiere, I didn’t have any issues with what the creators of The Chosen did with episodes one and two of Season 3.   Quite the contrary, I was moved to tears more than once at the unfolding drama. I was particularly moved by a realization that I, like the Apostles, would one day SEE JESUS, and just that simple thought set my heart ablaze with love and a yearning to continue to be faithful to follow Him, as I had the absurd but accurate thought that “Jesus was a really cool guy.”   

Please don’t misunderstand me. I don’t mean any disrespect by that statement. I have deep love, awe and reverence for Jesus and understand that He is fully God and Man, but The Chosen gives us an opportunity to imagine what it would be like to be with Him, to be in His physical presence, to talk with Him face to face, and to hear His voice. 

I think as Christians, we don’t think about Jesus as a Man that we could hang out with and The Chosen Season Three episodes one and two made me desire the contact that the Apostles enjoyed.  

So as we keep stumbling along in life, don’t give up on your dreams and don’t forget that Jesus walked on this earth and showed His love to others personally and as strange as it may sound He knows us and one day we will see Him. 




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

This morning’s meditation verse are:

Romans 6:6-8 (NLT2)
6  We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin.
7  For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin.
8  And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him.

Today’s verses remind us that when we put our faith in Him, we died with Christ and were free from the power of sin, and now live with Him.  

When we know that Christ is for us, it doesn’t matter who comes against us. 

In terms of Spiritual warfare, when our Big Brother, Jesus, is with us, we receive all His power and Authority to cast out the spiritual forces of darkness.   We can utilize his authority to set ourselves and others free from demonic oppression.  

And in today’s verse, Paul reminds us that Christ also gives us power to say no to our personal demons of temptation and sin but the key point that Paul makes here is that we live with Christ, that we follow Him.  

If we just continue in our worldly ways, resting on the forgiveness we have received, we may be relieved and find comfort from knowing God won’t hold our sins against us.   But that doesn’t make us free.  And even worse, our continued sins will cause disharmony in our relationship with God as we will persist in living against His word and apart from His wisdom. When we willfully persist in sin, we deny our identity in Christ and reject the truth of what God has done in our lives.  

Through Christ we have been made new creations, but when we choose to sin we deny that we have been made new and our decisions reveal that we either don’t believe that God’s ways are best or that we have not een given the power that the word of God tells us we have.  

“You are always going to sin!” is a phrase that is true, but the Lord gives us power to decrease the number and to change the quality of our sins if we ask the Lord for the ability to repent and to overcome the sins that beset us.   You might need the help of others. You need to renew you mind with the word of God.   And you might need to try, try, try again but if we lean on the Lord’s strength and power, we can make a change. We may never be sin ess, but we can sin less, and the quality of our sins can change.

But first we need to believe it. Believe these verses, have faith in the word, and show your faith by demonstrating you believe with the way you live.  Victory, peace, and joy come from living with Christ, so never leave His side.



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

Today we continue sharing from Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s “Discipleship”, also known as “The Cost of Discipleship”

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

The Sermon on the Mount

Matthew 7

The Community of Disciples Is Set Apart

The Great Separation

“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it. For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it.

¶ “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? In the same way, every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will know them by their fruits.

¶ “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many deeds of power in your name?’ Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; go away from me, you evil-doers’ ” (Matt. 7:13–23).

The faith-community of Jesus cannot arbitrarily separate itself from the community of those who do not hear Jesus’ call. The faith community is called to discipleship by their Lord’s promise and commandment. That must suffice for them. They submit every judgment and separation to the one who has chosen them in predestination, not by the merits of their deeds, but by grace. It is not the faith community which separates itself from others, yet this separation necessarily takes place in the call by the Word.

The call separates a small group, those who follow, from the great mass of the people. The disciples are few and will always be only a few. This word of Jesus cuts off any false hope of their effectiveness. Disciples should never invest their trust in numbers. “There are few of them …,” but there are, and always will be, many others who go to their destruction. What can console disciples experiencing this, except the fact that life is promised to them, the eternal communion with Jesus?[1]

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

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

at, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

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

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

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

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

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

[1] Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Discipleship, ed. Martin Kuske et al., trans. Barbara Green and Reinhard Krauss, vol. 4, Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2003), 175–176.

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

The Chief Sinner says Vote JESUS – Purity 883


The Chief Sinner says Vote JESUS –  Purity 883

Purity 883 11/0/2022 Purity 883 Podcast

Purity 883 on YouTube: 

Good morning,

Today’s photo of the Easton Sunflowers of Summer comes to us from TammyLyn Clark who shared this photo back on social media back in July.  

Well, I can testify that those sunflowers really flourished in the backyard of our countryside home but are all but gone on this Tuesday in November.  

And as today is election day, I would encourage all my Christian friends to vote their Christian consciences in hopes that those who promote policies that are contrary to Christian principles of morality, and basic common sense, would no longer be aloud to flourish in the halls of our governmental institutions. It’s harvest time, so why not take advantage of our right to vote in hopes that our voices would be heard?  

Anyway, I didn’t mean to get political but if you enjoy complaining about things, and most people do, I suggest you renew your legitimate right to complain by actually voting, that way at least you can say you tried to change things.    

I have to admit that I don’t have a lot of faith in the government or institutions in general to affect change because I don’t trust people to choose what’s right over their personal preferences.  And one of our preferences as people is to be loved rather than hated,  and so we have a natural inclination to not cause offense and will hesitate to tell people that the way they are living is wrong according to God’s word. Our silence indicates that we would rather that others suffer, die, and go to hell rather than to run the risk that we might be seen as unloving.  

I know I’m guilty of people pleasing.  But in my defense I have shared those unpopular verses in the Bible that call people out for their sin.  I think my favorite is:

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (NKJV) that says:
9  Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites,
10  nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.   

So, shots fired! Duck everybody because I’m pretty sure the Apostle Paul got everybody with that one. 

Politically incorrect too! Calling or homosexuals! My goodness.  Some may think that’s messed up, but unfortunately when it comes to what is right and wrong, we only express opinions. 

God the Creator of all things determines what is right and wrong and his word is clear on homosexuality, and all other sins including all on my former pet sins.   

Fornication and adultery is ANY sex acts outside of a marriage covenant, which biblically would be between one man and one woman, – Guilty. 

Theft – Guilty

Idolatry – worshiping things other than God? – Guilty, in basic principles of selfishness and materialism and a specifically to a false religious system for years of my life!

Drunkenness?  - Oh so Guilty! “Drunken Verses” like 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 caused me to repent and to go into recovery when I decided to be a “Real Christian” – to be authentic in my faith, to surrender to the Lordship of Jesus.  

Covetous? – to want what other people have, as if it would satisfy or fulfill me (a form of idolatry) – Guilty

Reviling? – to abuse, or to attack with evil words – Guilty! (

Extortion?  -I had to look that one up – According to Bible study tools dot com,  an extortioner is guilty of snatching away from another by strife, greed and oppression that which does not lawfully belong to him. ('%2Dshun%3A,not%20lawfully%20belong%20to%20him.)   -- 

I wasn’t sure about that one – It sounds like a sophisticated form of theft and I was never too sophisticated in taking from others what didn’t belong to me, but I am ashamed to admit that I did bully a couple of kids on a few occasions in my childhood and I would say that I snatched away their peace via oppression, so – Guilty!

Now I have never been guilty of a homosexual encounter, sorry fellas, but I was guilty of all the rest, and I know that without Christ I was headed on the highway to hell.   

Although a lot of my former identity was caught up in all of my sins, when I surrendered to Christ I realized that I would have to change. The word of God indicates that our former lives were darkness, and the Lord calls us to live in the light by turning from these things.  

Was it easy? No, I thought it would be impossible to give up living the way I used to, but with God all things are possible, even giving up the sins of the flesh that we identified with for all of our lives.   

But when we understand that our way of living was wrong according to the One who gave us life, we should be ashamed and seek to follow Him and live according to the way He intended for us to live.  

While there may have been some pleasure associated with the things listed in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, none of those sins were good things and the Lord declares that if we live in them, we will be separated from Him, suffer for our rebellion, and the word of God indicates that the suffering never ends.  

How can we be so blind and rebellious to ignore God’s word and jeopardize our very existence?

Trust me I don’t offend anybody, but Ibecause I was so lost in darkness and have not only seen the light but now flourish in it, I will take the risk of offending all in the hopes that it will encourage some to repent and pursue the peace that the Lord makes available through Jesus Christ.

Hey like Paul, I was chief sinner too. And if the Lord could save me and transform my life, there is no one He can’t make brand new.  

So VOTE JESUS! -Put your Faith and Trust in Him.   In Him you f are orgiven of all of these sins, and through Him and the power of the Holy Spirit in ever born again believer, you receive the power to turn from any and all of these ways of darkness, and can experience of freedom, victory, peace, love, and joy.  

If we walk in the Spirit we will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh and instead can reap an experiential harvest of the fruit of the Spirit in our lives.  

Experienceing our new life in Christ, might take a while but if we keep walking and talking with God our lives will get a whole lot brighter as we progressively move from darkness to light.     




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

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Luke 16:10 (NLT2)
10  “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.

Today’s verses  are the words of Jesus who encourages us to be faithful in the little things as a foundation of our faith, knowing that faith in the little things will help us ot be faithful with greater responsibilities. 

I will leave the Bible commentary on the Parable of the Shrewd Manager for another time, it is one of the more perplexing parables of Christ because it seems to praise some one who made some shrewd deals with someone else’s resources to gain the favor of men. I suggest looking up John MacArthur’s exposition of the text for a sound teaching. 

Because I am out of time, I would just offer that the encouragement to be faithful in the little things is a great piece of advice for the Christian disciple.  In essence, Christ is saying to be faithful to follow His example in all the things that we do, that there is no area of our lives where we shouldn’t consider “What would Jesus Do?” And as Christ points out that if we are faithful in those little things, our capacity for faithful living will increase and assist us when we are called to be faithful with greater responsibilities.  When we practice faith in the little things, we just learn to do “what is right”?    So follow the Lord in the little things and the big things won’t seem so big because we will become increasingly more skilled in living like Christ.  



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

Today we continue sharing from Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s “Discipleship”, also known as “The Cost of Discipleship”

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

The Sermon on the Mount

Matthew 6

On the Hidden Nature of the Christian Life

The Hiddenness of Prayer continues

“Pray then in this way: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but rescue us from evil. For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. Amen. For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matt. 6:9–15).

Jesus told his disciples not only how they should pray, but what they should pray. The Lord’s Prayer is not an example for the prayer of the disciples. Rather, it is what should be prayed as Jesus taught them. God will hear them praying this. That is certain. The Lord’s Prayer is the essence of prayer. The essence and limit of all the disciples’ praying may be found in it. Here again, Jesus does not abandon his disciples to uncertainty. Instead, with the Lord’s Prayer he leads them to complete clarity in prayer.

“Our Father in heaven”—together the disciples call upon their heavenly Father, who already knows what God’s dear children need. They have been made into sisters and brothers by the call of Jesus, who binds them together. In Jesus they have come to know the kindliness of the Father. In the name of the Son of God they may call God their Father. They are on earth and their Father is in heaven. The Father looks down on them, and they lift their eyes up to the Father.

“Hallowed be your name.” God’s fatherly name, as it has been revealed to the disciples in Jesus Christ, should be kept holy among them, for the entire gospel is contained in this name. May God keep the holy gospel from being tarnished and spoiled by false teaching and an unholy life. May God reveal in Jesus Christ God’s holy name to the disciples forevermore. May God lead all preachers to pure proclamation of the gospel which makes people blessed. May God turn back the tempters and convert the enemies of God’s name.

“Your kingdom come.” In Jesus Christ the disciples have experienced the inbreaking of God’s kingdom on earth. This is where Satan is overcome, the power of the world, sin, and death broken. God’s kingdom still is found in suffering and in struggle. The small community of those called forth will participate in such suffering and struggle. They stand under the rule of God in new righteousness, but also in enduring persecution. May God grant that the kingdom of Jesus Christ on earth grow in his community. May God soon put an end to the kingdoms of this world and bring about God’s own reign with power and glory.[1]

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

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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

[1] Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Discipleship, ed. Martin Kuske et al., trans. Barbara Green and Reinhard Krauss, vol. 4, Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2003), 155–156.