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Showing posts with label Sovereignty of God. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sovereignty of God. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Beyond Broken Resolutions - Return to Freedom - Purity 954


Beyond Broken Resolutions  - Return to Freedom - Purity 954

Purity 954 01/31/2023  Purity 954 Podcast

Purity 954 on YouTube: 



Good morning,

Today’s photo of the fading light of day reflected on the Hudson River comes to us from yours truly as I felt moved to capture this “down River” view as I pulled into the driveway of River House on the last Friday of January in 2023.  

Well, it’s Tuesday and the last day of January and although it is the end of the first month of the new year I am looking forward to new beginnings.  Yesterday, I was offline for a sick day and although I took a day off from blogging and podcasting as well, I do feel better today because of the rest for my body and the restoration of my soul I experienced because although I skipped my physical exercise regimen, I took the time in the early morning hours to do The Steps to Freedom in Christ.  So now I am rested and restored and ready to begin again!

Not only am I ready to resume my regular work responsibilities, I am also ready to do what I can to help and encourage other Christians to discover who they are in Christ and to either establish or deepen their freedom in Christ.  Tonight, I begin leading a new Freedom in Christ course on Zoom and am looking forward to teach, and to remember, what I have come to know about our new lives in Christ and how the acceptance of our new identities as children of God is the key to our freedom and victory.

Quite frankly, I look forward to the new course for myself as much as for the men that have signed up for the course! The last few months of 2022 and the first month of the new year has been a mixed bag of inconsistencies as I have compromised my health goals with holiday fleshly indulgences and I fell victim to an episode of wishful thinking that led to discontent and a momentary loss of reason.  So tonight, it’s back to basics and a return to sanity as I am choosing to take the momentum of the new course as a launching pad to get back on the path of Christian Discipleship with the enthusiasm of one who knows what works.  When I deny myself, pick up my cross, and just abide in the Lord’s presence and follow His lead, my life is filled with the simple peace and joy that comes from just doing what is “right”.  

To get as basic as we can see that this was one of God’s first instructions to man as He said to Cain in: 

Genesis 4:6-7 (NLT2) where He said:
6  “Why are you so angry?” the LORD asked Cain. “Why do you look so dejected?
7  You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.”

Now, don’t get me wrong I wasn’t living in a licentious life of sin like my old man over the last few months but I did seek comfort from the things of the world here and there and I “wished-prayed” for God to be genie with the hope that He would deliver me from my secular day job and bless my socks off with a new home and comparable salary, just like that! 

I had forgotten to be disciplined in my approach to life by seeking comfort from the world in food and entertainment and was hoping to be “transported” to a better place rather than focusing on my walk day to day and trusting the Lord to lead me in the things that I have already planned for this year.  

So I am declaring today to be the start of a new chapter of this ongoing journey of pursuing the Lord and His plan for my life by keeping it simple.  

Yesterday, I did my periodic housecleaning by going through the Steps to Freedom in Christ so I am feeling light as a bird as I have dropped any and all baggage I may have been carrying since the last time I did the steps.  Through the Steps and coming before the Lord in prayer, I have dealt with some rather recent disappointments, losses, and bitterness from the slights and unjust treatments I felt I had received as I walked from the Fall of 2022 to now.       

As if to confirm the new beginning, as I returned to my regular exercise routine Amazon Music offered up Sia’s Bird Set Free which ends with the victorious declrartion: 

“And I don't care if I sing off key
I find myself in my melodies
I sing for love, I sing for me
I shout it out like a bird set free
No, I don't care if I sing off key
I find myself in my melodies
I sing for love, I sing for me
I'll shout it out like a bird set free

I'll shout it out like a bird set free
I'll shout it out like a bird set free”

That song always lifts my spirits, as I remember walking through the fire with the Lord to my new life in Christ, to my new place down to by the River, and to the love I have with my wife, TammyLyn. 

Our freedom and our victory is found in Christ alone and it is never lost. If we forget who we are and wander off the Lord is always there to restore us and to encourage us to follow Him in the way that leads to peace.  

As those lyrics faded away, my spirit was raised ever higher as The Holy Spirit caused me to remember

John 8:36 (NKJV) where Jesus told us:
36  Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.

 

Because of Jesus, I am free and it’s a fine time to remember that and to walk in it.  

So if your new year’s resolution has been blown, like many have been, celebrate the last day of the month of broken resolutions, by choosing to begin again based on who you are in Christ. Jesus has set us free and sometimes we just need to remember that to walk into the new life we already have. So keep walking and talking with God by keeping things simple and just taking care of what is a head of you and trusting Him to guide you the rest of the way into the thing unseen.

 

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

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Isaiah 49:13 (NKJV)
13  Sing, O heavens! Be joyful, O earth! And break out in singing, O mountains! For the LORD has comforted His people, And will have mercy on His afflicted.

Today’s Bible verse reminds us how the Lord comforts His people and has mercy on His afflicted. 

“His afflicted?” – Say What?  I thought that walking with the Lord would be a continual journey into Eden like gardens of happiness and peace!

While we can enjoy mountain top heights of joy as we experience moments of accomplishments and victory,  today’s verse reminds us that we will also experience the reality of the “joy of the Lord being our strength” when we receive His mercy while being afflicted.   When we seek happiness or comfort from  the world and forget about who we are in Christ, it doesn’t take long for us to long for the comfort to our souls that only the Lord can bring.  

If we are not careful, we can easily be tempted to take a rest from seeking the Lord and go back to old patterns of seeking happiness from the things of this world. But it doesn’t take long for us to remember that the things of the world never satisfied us in the first place and we soon see the errors of our ways and may even condemn ourselves of not being worthy of restoration from the Lord and may even persist in going the wrong way for a while which only make our condition worse. When you experience the goodness of God in your life, nothing else will work and we can feel the affliction that comes from forsaking His path.  

Like the prodigal son, our brokenness – our affliction- will show us that we are far from home and the goodness that we once knew.  But when we turn back to our Heavenkly Father, we learn that He has been waiting for us to return to Him and He graciously showers us with the comfort and the mercy we desperately need and our joy and our peace is restored.  

So return to the Lord and know He is good! And when you rejoice you too can shout it out for the world to hear:

“Sing, O heavens! Be joyful, O earth! And break out in singing, O mountains! For the LORD has comforted His people, And will have mercy on His afflicted.” ___________________________________________

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 A.W. Pink’s “The Sovereignty of God.”

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase A.W. Pink’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 SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD

By  ARTHUR W. PINK

CHAPTER FIVE

THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD IN REPROBATION continues

 

In Romans 9 the doctrine of God’s sovereignty in its application to both the elect and the reprobate is treated of it length. A detailed exposition of this important chapter would be beyond our present scope; all that we can essay is to dwell upon the part of it which most clearly bears upon the aspect of the subject which we are now considering.

V. 17: “For the Scripture saith unto Pharoah, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might show My power in thee, and that My name might be declared throughout all the earth.” These words refer us back to vv. 13 and 14. In v. 13 God’s love to Jacob and His hatred to Esau are declared. In v. 14 it is asked “Is there unrighteousness with God?” and here in v. 17 the apostle continues his reply to the objection. We cannot do better now than quote from Calvin’s comments upon this verse. “There are here two things to be considered—the predestination of Pharaoh to ruin, which is to be referred to the past and yet the hidden counsel of God—and then, the design of this, which was to make known the name of God. As many interpreters, striving to modify this passage, pervert it, we must observe, that for the word ‘I have raised thee up,’ or stirred up, in the Hebrew is, ‘I have appointed,’ by which it appears, that God, designing to show that the contumacy of Pharaoh would not prevent Him to deliver His people, not only affirms that his fury had been foreseen by Him, and that He had prepared means for restraining it, but that He had also thus designedly ordained it and indeed for this end,—that He might exhibit a more illustrious evidence of His own power.” It will be observed that Calvin gives as the force of the Hebrew word which Paul renders “For this purpose have I raised thee up,”—“I have appointed.” As this is the word on which the doctrine and argument of the verse turns we would further point out that in making this quotation from Exodus 9:16 the apostle significantly departs from the Septuagint—the version then in common use, and from which he most frequently quotes—and substitutes a clause for the first that is given by the Septuagint: instead of “On this account thou hast been preserved,” he gives “For this very end have I raised thee up!”

But we must now consider in more detail the case of Pharaoh which sums up in concrete example the great controversy between man and his Maker. “For now I will stretch out My hand, that I may smite thee and thy people with pestilence; and thou shalt be cut off from the earth. And in every deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to show in thee My power; and that My name may be declared throughout all the earth” (Ex. 9:15, 16). Upon these words we offer the following comments:

First, we know from Exodus 14 and 15 that Pharaoh was “cut off,” that he was cut off by God, that he was cut off in the very midst of his wickedness, that he was cut off not by sickness nor by the infirmities which are incident to old age, nor by what men term an accident, but cut off by the immediate hand of God in judgment.

Second, it is clear that God raised up Pharaoh for this very end—to “cut him off,” which in the language of the New Testament means “destroyed.” God never does anything without a previous design. In giving him being, in preserving him through infancy and childhood, in raising him to the throne of Egypt, God had one end in view. That such was God’s purpose is clear from His words to Moses before he went down to Egypt to demand of Pharaoh that Jehovah’s people should be allowed to go a three days’ journey into the wilderness to worship Him—“And the Lord said unto Moses, When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all these wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go” (Ex. 4:21). But not only so, God’s design and purpose was declared long before this. Four hundred years previously God had said to Abraham, “Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them: and they shall afflict them four hundred years; and also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge” (Gen. 15:13, 14). From these words it is evident (a nation and its king being looked at as one in the O. T.) that God’s purpose was formed long before He gave Pharaoh being.

Third, an examination of God’s dealings with Pharaoh makes it clear that Egypt’s king was indeed a “vessel of wrath fitted to destruction.” Placed on Egypt’s throne, with the reins of government in his hands, he sat as head of the nation which occupied the first rank among the peoples of the world. There was no other monarch on earth able to control or dictate to Pharaoh. To such a dizzy height did God raise this reprobate, and such a course was a natural and necessary step to prepare him for his final fate, for it is a Divine axiom that “pride goeth before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.” Further—and this is deeply important to note and highly significant—God removed from Pharaoh the one outward restraint which was calculated to act as a check upon him. The bestowing upon Pharoah of the unlimited powers of a king was setting him above all legal influence and control. But besides this, God removed Moses from his presence and kingdom. Had Moses, who not only was skilled in all the wisdom of the Egyptians but also had been reared in Pharaoh’s household, been suffered to remain in close proximity to the throne, there can be no doubt but that his example and influence had been a powerful check upon the king’s wickedness and tyranny. This, though not the only cause, was plainly one reason why God sent Moses into Midian, for it was during his absence that Egypt’s inhuman king framed his most cruel edicts. God designed, by removing this restraint, to give Pharaoh full opportunity to fill up the full measure of his sins, and ripen himself for his fully-deserved but predestined ruin.

Fourth, God “hardened” his heart as He declared He would (Ex. 4:21). This is in full accord with the declarations of Holy Scripture—“The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the Lord” (Prov. 16:1); “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water, He turneth it whithersoever He will” (Prov. 21:1). Like all other kings, Pharaoh’s heart was in the hand of the Lord; and God had both the right and the power to turn it whithersoever He pleased. And it pleased Him to turn it against all good. God determined to hinder Pharaoh from granting his request through Moses to let Israel go until He had fully prepared him for his final overthrow, and because nothing short of this would fully fit him, God hardened his heart.[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)

“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 W. Pink, The Sovereignty of God (Swengel, PA: Bible Truth Depot, 1949), 92–95.

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Do It Yourself Baptisms and Bringing it All Together - Purity 953


Do It Yourself Baptisms and Bringing it All Together - Purity 953

Purity 953 01/28/2023 Purity 953 Podcast

Purity 953 on YouTube:



Good morning,

Today’s photo of a red nosed kayak gliding along the surface of what I suspect to be Lake George comes to us from a FB friend who shared this scene from a paddling session on social media on August 20th 2020.    I have a few FB friends that paddle so the suspects are limited but as of this morning the photographer’s identity remains a mystery. So if this is your “memory” and want to be identified speak up and I will update the blog after the fact to give you the credit for sharing this tranquil scene that fills me with joy and keeps me looking ahead to the spring and summer.   

Well, it’s the last Saturday in January, rejoice, and I guess I have to admit it – I prefer the months of the year where winter is a distant memory. Whether it’s the first green of spring, the thriving life of summer, or even the fading colors of autumn, I prefer them all to the cold harsh barren landscapes of winter.  Now don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the beauty that can be seen after freshly fallen snow or the silent stillness that is unique to winter but during a morning meditation exercise where I was directed to think of “My Eden” visions of a winter landscape did not come to mind.  

The meditation exercise which is part of the “30 Days to Resilient” program on the One Minute App calls you to think of the places you like to go on vacation, the places in nature that you appreciate, indicating that the joy found from contemplating your favorite places resonates with us all as the desire for paradise lost. Our joy we experience whe n we contemplate the different places we enjoy on earth supposedly is deep in our souls because we are longing to be restored to Eden.  

During my meditation, I thought of various beaches in upstate NY, hiking trails, the beaches I knew as a child on Cape Cod, Pike’s Peak in Colorado, beaches and parks in Florida, and views from a trip to Big Island of Kona in Hawaii. But when the meditation directed me to ask Jesus to reveal – “the Eden He was making for me”  I was a little shocked to realize I was brought back to a memory from my past of my backyard when I lived on Oak Hill Road in Claverack, just a couple of miles outside of the village of Philmont, where my spiritual journey with the Lord had begun.  

My backyard on Oak Hill Road was a clear open space that featured an above ground swimming pool with a big clear view of the sky above with all the trees typical of upstate New York on the boarders of the property.  I spent many summers in that pool looking up to the sky with my children through the years there and when directed to be brought to “Eden” I was taken there.  

It was at Oak Hill Road that the biggest tragedy of my life happened. My son, Holden died there.  But because of that tragedy, my search for the meaning of life began there too.  In the wake of that loss in 2002, I was lost in a few years of depression and going through the motions of living when I eventually started asking the “big questions” or at least started looking to answer them.    I was too damaged from the trauma of the loss to turn back to Christianity and so started examining life on a base level of scientific speculation accompanied with the theories posited by Buddhism and so I really started looking at life with an inquiring mind.   Easernt mysticism just keeps you looking at what is and invites you to see the realities of impermanence and interconnectedness, to investigate the mysteries of creation – all the while never pondering the Creator.  I spent years rejoicing over of the mysteries of how things come into being and fall apart and how with focus attention you could find peace in the present moment.  Although I am sure I probably thought my contemplations of the universe and ‘how things really are” were deep the truth is when you only focus your attention of the universe and life on earth without including God, its like you are examining the bark on a tree and become very familiar with all the contours and grooves of the bark on the tree but you are failing to notice that you are standing in a forest of trees and there is a great big sky over head and the reaches of outer space and all the expanses of the galaxies and universe beyond.   Without including God, and the person of Jesus Christ in your contemplations, you can’t see the forest for the trees, your view of life is incomplete and you are lost in the woods.  

But hey man, I was digging the bark on the tree, I was just loving it and probably would have stayed lost in the forest of the contemplation of the universe, the passing of my breath, and my own “wisdom” forever because due to my pain, I didn’t want to think about God. I decided that there wasn’t a God, life was just a mystery and I was destined to die and become “One with the Universe” and possibly be “born again” through some magical reincarnation.   I decided that Christianity was just a myth created by men to control others. I decided it wasn’t real. I never counted on a personal God who would call me on it!  

But that is what happened, through a radio message in 2010 the Lord revealed the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ and  having been shown the forest, the sky, and the Creator God above it all who loved us enough to come to earth and to die for us to save us, I put my faith in Jesus immediately.   And the journey of my life has been a wild one of progressive “goodness” ever since.  

So why did Jesus bring me back to Oak Hill Road during this morning’s meditation? Why would He bring me back to the place where I spent ends hours rejoicing over the universe and mystery of life irrespective of Him?   Why would He bring me back to the place of my largest loss?  

I think He brought me back there because it was while I was living Oak Hill Road that I surrendered my life to Him.  I was saved in a parking lot on Aviation Road Albany on a Friday in March but I eventually went home to Oak Hill Road with my “born again” faith in Jesus.  

Those were obviously confusing days back in 2010, having been a full fledged practicing Buddhist of the Kaygu Mahamudra Tibetan tradition for 5 years or so I had to figure out how to be a “born again” Christian! 

My last Christian experience was in an Episcopal Church but my congregation was ultra-liberal and I knew that rejoining my previous church that had homosexual reverends was not the way to go if I wanted to follow the Bible which I been reading in earnest.  Sorry, while we are all forgiven of our sins when we come to Christ – no matter what they are – we are also called to repent of them. I didn’t go to the church that featured reverends that were into adultery, murder, or theft either, no matter how nice that professed to be…

I eventually found a Bible believing church where I learned to be authentic in my Christian faith, to live according to the word of God, but in those early days of my “born again” Christianity I was just trying to figure it out.   

Having read the Bible, I knew that baptism was an important part of being a Christian and it was some time in the summer of 2010 that I decided to “baptize” myself! Taking the Book of Common Prayer, that I had from my Episcopal “classes” before my confirmation, one summer day I read the prayers for the rite of baptism and immersed myself in my swimming pool, baptizing myself before the Lord to demonstrate to God that I was serious about my new found faith.   

I sort of forgot about this little episode in my life.  I was actually later baptized by members of Hillsong Church while on a work assignment in in NYC during the spring of 2013 ,on the day of the Boston bombings, and point to that day as the day of “my baptism”.   I had more or less forgotten all about the “dunking” and baptizing myself back in 2010.   I guess I wasn’t sure that it counted.  

But God didn’t forget.  I think I was brought back to Oak Hill Road in this mornings meditation session because that impromptu self-baptism counted with God.  God took me back to a place where I enjoyed many summers in the splendor of His creation and it just happen to be the place where I did an outward expression of my inward faith even though there was no one there to see it.  Jesus brought me back to “My Eden” – the place where I did a simple act of faith, without witnesses, that told God I was His.   

So have you been baptized?  Have you chosen to die with Christ and to be raised to life again?   A lot of people who have been baptized as babies will tell that it doesn’t matter, but I believe it does. I believe that we can’t choose the new life that Christ has for us by proxy. I believe we all have to make a choice to die and live for Him.  

So I invite you to seek the Lord and to make sense of the mystery of life by contemplating it all and bringing all together – the wonders of the universe, the Creator God who made it, and the person of Jesus Christ who came into it to tell us all of God’s love and to make a way to have peace with Him.   Only when you knock down the four walls of the church and your limited understanding of life and the way things are and contemplate God and Jesus Christ, can you make sense of it all.  

SO keep walking and talking with God and invite Him to show you your “Eden” and to be restored to the life that He has for you.

 

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

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Psalm 40:2 (NLT2)
2  He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.

Today’s Bible verse reminds us how the Lord will save us and pull us out of the dirt of our darkness and depths of despair to give us a new life to walk into.

Today’s verse should speak to all of us who have come to faith in Jesus, when we realize just how lost we really were and how our faith caused us to repent and walk away from the dark ways of our past.  

This is a rejoicing verse if there ever was one. So rejoice! God lifted us out of our muck and mire. He took us out of the pit of despair. And He has put us on the solid Rock of faith in Jesus and invites us to walk it out. So keep on walking and rejoicing over what God has done for you! 

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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 A.W. Pink’s “The Sovereignty of God.”

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase A.W. Pink’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 SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD

By  ARTHUR W. PINK

CHAPTER FIVE

THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD IN REPROBATION continues

 

Coming down to our own day, and to those in our own country—leaving out the almost unnumberable crowds of unevangelized heathen—is it not evident that there are many living in lands where the Gospel is preached, lands which are full of churches, who die strangers to God and His holiness? True, the means of grace were close to their hand, but many of them knew it not. Thousands are born into homes where they are taught from infancy to regard all Christians as hypocrites and preachers as arch-humbugs. Others, are instructed from the cradle in Roman Catholicism, and are trained to regard Evangelical Christianity as deadly heresy, and the Bible as a book highly dangerous for them to read. Others, reared in “Christian Science” families, know no more of the true Gospel of Christ than do the unevangelized heathen. The great majority of these die in utter ignorance of the Way of Peace. Now are we not obliged to conclude that it was not God’s will to communicate grace to them? Had His will been otherwise, would He not have actually communicated His grace to them? If, then, it was the will of God, in time, to refuse to them his grace, it must have been His will from all eternity, since His will is, as Himself, the same yesterday, and today and forever. Let it not be forgotten that God’s providences are but the manifestations of His decrees: what God does in time is only what He purposed in eternity—His own will being the alone cause of all His acts and works. Therefore from His actually leaving some men in final impenitency and unbelief we assuredly gather it was His everlasting determination so to do; and consequently that He reprobated some from before the foundation of the world.

In the Westminster Confession it is said, “God from all eternity did by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely and unchangeably foreordain whatsoever comes to pass.” The late Mr. F. W. Grant—a most careful and cautious student and writer—commenting on these words said: “It is perfectly, divinely true, that God hath ordained for His own glory whatsoever comes to pass.” Now if these statements are true, is not the doctrine of Reprobation established by them? What, in human history, is the one thing which does come to pass every day? What, but that men and women die, pass out of this world into a hopeless eternity, an eternity of suffering and woe. If then God has foreordained whatsoever comes to pass then He must have decreed that vast numbers of human beings should pass out of this world unsaved to suffer eternally in the Lake of Fire. Admitting the general premise, is not the specific conclusion inevitable?

In reply to the preceding paragraphs the reader may say, All this is simply reasoning, logical no doubt, but yet mere inferences. Very well, we will now point out that in addition to the above conclusions there are many passages in Holy Writ which are most clear and definite in their teaching on this solemn subject; passages which are too plain to be misunderstood and too strong to be evaded. The marvel is that so many good men have denied their undeniable affirmations.

“Joshua made war a long time with all those kings. There was not a city that made peace with the children of Israel, save the Hivites the inhabitants of Gibeon: all other they took in battle. For it was of the Lord to harden their hearts, that they should come against Israel in battle, that He might destroy them utterly, and that they might have no favour, but that He might destroy them, as the Lord commanded Moses” (Josh. 11:18–20). What could be plainer than this? Here was a large number of Canaanites whose hearts the Lord hardened, whom He had purposed to utterly destroy, to whom He showed “no favour.” Granted that they were wicked, immoral, idolatrous; were they any worse than the immoral, idolatrous cannibals of the South Sea Islands (and many other places), to whom God gave the Gospel through John G. Paton! Assuredly not. Then why did not Jehovah command Israel to teach the Canaanites His laws and instruct them concerning sacrifices to the true God? Plainly, because He had marked them out for destruction, and if so, that from all eternity.

“The Lord hath made all things for Himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil” (Prov. 16:4). That the Lord made all, perhaps every reader of this book will allow: that He made all for Himself is not so widely believed. That God made us, not for our own sakes, but for Himself; not for our own happines, but for His glory, is, nevertheless, repeatedly affirmed in Scripture—Rev. 4:11. But Prov. 16:4 goes even farther: it expressly declares that the Lord made the wicked for the Day of Evil: that was His design in giving them being. But why? Does not Rom. 9:17 tell us, “For the Scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew My power in thee, and that My name might be declared throughout all the earth!” God has made the wicked that, at the end, He may demonstrate “His power”—demonstrate it by showing what an easy matter it is for Him to subdue the stoutest rebel and to overthrow His mightiest enemy.

“And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: Depart from Me, ye that work iniquity” (Matt. 7:23). In the previous chapter it has been shown that the words “know” and “foreknowledge” when applied to God in the Scriptures, have reference not simply to His prescience (i.e. His bare knowledge beforehand), but to His knowledge of approbation. When God said to Israel, “You only have I known of all the families of the earth” (Amos 3:2), it is evident that He meant, “You only had I any favorable regard to.” When we read in Rom. 11:2 “God hath not cast away His people (Israel) whom He foreknew,” it is obvious that what was signified is, “God has not finally rejected that people whom He has chosen as the objects of His love—cf. Deut. 7:8. In the same way (and it is the only possible way) are we to understand Matt. 7:23. In the Day of Judgment the Lord will say unto many, “I never knew you.” Note, it is more than simply “I know you not.” His solemn declaration will be, “I never knew you”—you were never the objects of My approbation. Contrast this with “I know (love) My sheep, and am known (loved) of Mine” (John 10:14). The “sheep,” His elect, the “few” He does “know”; but the reprobate, the non-elect, the “many” He knows not—no, not even before the foundation of the world did He know them—He “NEVER” knew them![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)

“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 W. Pink, The Sovereignty of God (Swengel, PA: Bible Truth Depot, 1949), 89–92.

Friday, January 27, 2023

A 5 Minute Quieting Break & Praying for My Quantum Leap Blessing! - Purity 952

A 5 Minute Quieting Break & Praying for My Quantum Leap Blessing! - Purity 952

Purity 952 01/27/2023 Purity 952 Podcast

Purity 952 on YouTube: 



Good morning,

Today’s photo of an August sunset falling into the horizon from the shore of an undisclosed location comes to us from a friend who shared this scene on social media back on August 23, 2020.  I’m cleaning out my phone’s photo archive “closet” so I don’t know the location or the friend who shared this back in the year of Covid-19, so if it you, let me know and I will update the blog to give credit where cred)it is due.  

Well, it’s Friday again, so let’s all give credit where credit is due by thanking God for delivering us to what is, for most of us, the end of another work week.  I of course had Wednesday off and have to work tomorrow but I am thankful all the same as it will only be one more day until I am reunited with my wife at our countryside home and I am looking forward to attending  Deeper Walk International’s Free Resilience Conference later this evening (https://deeperwalkinternational.org/product/free-resilience-online-conference/ )  , The event will be featuring Christian Counselor and Author, John Eldredge who will be discussing practices to strengthen our emotional, mental, and spiritual resilience. It is also free! So if you’d like to attend just follow the link that I am sharing on the blog today.   

The global pandemic has had far reaching effects and many people are still dealing with the effects of the trauma that happened when the world changed in 2020. Eldredge and the people at Deeper Walk International  have recognized that we can benefit greatly from “taking a break” from time to time to recharge our batteries with practices that are proven to assist in building emotional resilience.   

One such practice, highlighted in Marcus Warner &  Stephanie Hinman’s book “Building Bounce” is the “five minute quieting break” which utilizes “box breathing” (https://www.webmd.com/balance/what-is-box-breathing) – or breathing in a square, and other practices designed to help us to “return to joy” – to relax.   

I am currently enrolled in deeper walk International School of prayer ministry and the cohort that I am in meets on Thursday evenings. last night as part of our meeting we did the five minute quieting break. I found to be quite relaxing and so I'm including the instructions on the blog today. The instructions read:

Take a 5 minute quieting break.

1.    Breathe in a square. Inhale deeply as you count to four in your head. Hold your breath for a count of four. Slowly exhale as you count to four again. Hold your breath for a four count before going around “the square” two more times.   

2.    Bounce. Do jumping jacks, deep knee bends, or a little jig, whatever gets your body moving. Count to 10 while you do this, then pause and do it again.

3.    Sing. “Joy to the world” or “happy birthday”. singing helps activate both sides of your brain, and happy or silly songs can make you smile.

4.    Rub your arms while breathing deeply. Place your hands on your shoulders and run them down to your elbows 10 times while inhaling and exhaling deeply.

5.    Breathe in a square. Repeat step one.

6.    Sit quietly and think about something you enjoy. Think of a memory that makes you happy. Here are some questions that may help you in engage with the memory. Where were you? What was the weather like? What do you remember about the way you felt? What sensations did you feel in your body? Who else was there? What happened? How does it feel to go back and relive the experience?”

(Warner & Hinman, 2020 - Building Bounce Pages 41, 27)

In our modern lives, we don’t often take a moment to take a break as our lives are filled with activity of work and family life and even in our quiet moments we tend to busy ourselves with social media, email, or texting.  So I invite you to give the “five minute quieting break a try” and to consider doing it regularly to help build your emotional resilience.

As much as I love to ask God, “What’s next?” as I try to abide in His presence and walk in the Spirit,  that question can be a source of stress if we are asking the world to answer it. So seek to find some quiet in this noisy world and to take the Lord with you as you go through the day to day and into the weekend beyond.  

Jesus said in

John 14:27 (NKJV)
27  Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

So it is my prayer that you will continue to seek the Lord and His peace and that you find it.   

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Jeremiah 17:7 (NLT2)
7  “But blessed are those who trust in the LORD and have made the LORD their hope and confidence.

Today’s Bible verse reminds us that we are blessed when we put our hope and confidence in the Lord.  

I have a confession to make. Recently, I was inundated with some “quantum leap” wishful thinking that something good was coming my way that while possible was rather irrational and improbable.  As I anticipated this “good thing” that “just might happen”, I prayed for it to magically come to pass with the hopes that the Lord would be working behind the scenes in the spirit realm to influence and change the hearts and minds of people who could bless me.   Theoretically it was possible. God can “call us to do stuff” so why not call some people who are able to “bless me”?  

I have to shamefully admit that I have been a “hoping and a praying” for “God to move” in the hearts of minds of other people in the past too! When I was single, I set my eyes and heart at a woman at my local church and thought, hoped, and prayed that we would come together and become a “Christian power” couple in our local church. I imagined getting married to her and doing ministry with her and obsessively hoped and prayed that it would happen.   But my “aim” was off… I was to receive all I hoped for in my wife TammyLyn, but I had to wait for God to bring her into my life.  

So I was hoping and a Praying, for the wrong woman! It’ wasn’tGod’s – or this woman’s – will that we would be a couple.  So all those thoughts and prayers and dreams, while in the realm of possibility – turned out to be misplaced, and admittedly a little irrational and obsessive.  

So you would think, I would understand about not putting my hopes in some other thing, person, or situation  that while possible – was also irrational and improbable.  You would think that I wouldn’t try to use my prayers to push God’s hand to “bless me”, but I did.    

Because I could imagine a blessing – I took any and all signs that my “blessing” “could happen” as a sign that my blessing “would happen”.    Needless to say, the very good possible unlikely thing, didn’t happen.  In essence, the very good thing was the spiritual equivalent of “winning the lottery”.

 For example, my YouTube Channel and podcast could go viral and I get rich as an international ministry just blossoms overnight! Or someone in ministry invites me to become a part of their lucrative and successful ministry providing me with a purpose and the funding to not only to do the Lord’s work but to consolidate my wife and I into one household almost overnight!      

While we can pray for things like these to happen, we can run into trouble when we trust in these dreams rather than trusting in the Lord, when we put our hope and confidence in these “quantum leap super blessing miracles” rather than having a living hope and confidence in God alone through our relationship with Him.

So when the “impossible dream” didn’t materialize earlier this week, I was humbled. I would say I was a little disappointed but the because “the dream” so irrational it’s hard to stay upset when it doesn’t come to pass.  It’s like finding out you didn’t win the lottery. The odds were stacked against us. It wasn’t likely we would win and I shouldn’t have put my hope in “winning”.  I should put my hope in God.  

So just like today’s verse tells us, we are “blessed” when we trust in God and put our hope and confidence in Him alone.  

In Christ, we have the hope and confidence of eternal life with God and we shouldn’t put our focus on material or situational blessings to the point we will become discontented with what the Lord has provided us with and to the point we forget about the abundant life we have with God. 

So, pray for good things, but try to keep grounded in reality by remembering that you are already “blessed” because of who you are in Christ and that although God is moving all things together for the good of those that love Him, we don’t know what those things are.  So keep walking and talking with God and put your hope and confidence in Him.       

___________________________________________

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 A.W. Pink’s “The Sovereignty of God.”

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase A.W. Pink’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 SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD

By  ARTHUR W. PINK

CHAPTER FIVE

THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD IN REPROBATION

“Behold therefore the goodness and the severity of God” (Rom. 11:22).

In the last chapter when treating of the Sovereignty of God the Father in Salvation, we examined seven passages which represent Him as making a choice from among the children of men, and predestinating certain ones to be conformed to the image of His Son. The thoughtful reader will naturally ask, And what of those who were not “ordained to eternal life?” The answer which is usually returned to this question, even by those who profess to believe what the Scriptures teach concerning God’s sovereignty, is, that God passes by the non-elect, leaves them alone to go their own way, and in the end casts them into the Lake of Fire because they refused His way, and rejected the Saviour of His providing. But this is only a part of the truth; the other part—that which is most offensive to the carnal mind—is either ignored or denied.

In view of the awful solemnity of the subject here before us, in view of the fact that today almost all—even those who profess to be Calvinists—reject and repudiate this doctrine, and in view of the fact that this is one of the points in our book which is likely to raise the most controversy, we feel that an extended inquiry into this aspect of God’s Truth is demanded. That this branch of the subject of God’s sovereignty is profoundly mysterious we freely allow, yet, that is no reason why we should reject it. The trouble is that, nowadays, there are so many who receive the testimony of God only so far as they can satisfactorily account for all the reasons and grounds of His conduct, which means they will accept nothing but that which can be measured in the petty scales of their own limited capacities.

Stating it in its baldest form the point now to be considered is, Has God foreordained certain ones to damnation? That many will be eternally damned is clear from Scripture, that each one will be judged according to his works and reap as he has sown, and that in consequence his “damnation is just” (Rom. 3:8), is equally sure, and that God decreed that the non-elect should choose the course they follow we now undertake to prove.

From what has been before us in the previous chapter concerning the election of some to salvation, it would unavoidably follow, even if Scripture had been silent upon it, that there must be a rejection of others. Every choice evidently and necessarily implies a refusal, for where there is no leaving out there can be no choice. If there be some whom God has elected unto salvation (2 Thess. 2:13), there must be others who are not elected unto salvation. If there are some that the Father gave to Christ (John 6:37), there must be others whom He did not give unto Christ. If there be some whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life (Rev. 21:27), there must be others whose names are not written there. That this is the case we shall fully prove below.

Now all will acknowledge that from the foundation of the world God certainly foreknew and foresaw who would and who would not receive Christ as their Saviour, therefore in giving being and birth to those He knew would reject Christ, He necessarily created them unto damnation. All that can be said in reply to this is, No, while God did foreknow these would reject Christ, yet He did not decree that they should. But this is a begging of the real question at issue. God had a definite reason why He created men, a specific purpose why He created this and that individual, and in view of the eternal destination of His creatures, He purposed either that this one should spend eternity in Heaven or that this one should spend eternity in the Lake of Fire. If then He foresaw that in creating a certain person that that person would despise and reject the Saviour, yet knowing this beforehand He, nevertheless, brought that person into existence, then it is clear He designed and ordained that that person should be eternally lost. Again; faith is God’s gift, and the purpose to give it only to some, involves the purpose not to give it to others. Without faith there is no salvation—“He that believeth not shall be damned”—hence if there were some of Adam’s descendants to whom He purposed not to give faith, it must be because He ordained that they should be damned.

Not only is there no escape from these conclusions, but history confirms them. Before the Divine Incarnation, for almost two thousand years, the vast majority of mankind were left destitute of even the external means of grace, being favored with no preaching of God’s Word and with no written revelation of His will. For many long centuries Israel was the only nation to whom the Deity vouchsafed any special discovery of Himself—“Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways” (Acts 14:16)—“You only (Israel) have I known of all the families of the earth” (Amos 3:2). Consequently, as all other nations were deprived of the preaching of God’s Word, they were strangers to the faith that cometh thereby (Rom. 10:17). These nations were not only ignorant of God Himself, but of the way to please Him, of the true manner of acceptance with Him, and the means of arriving at the everlasting enjoyment of Himself.

Now if God had willed their salvation, would He not have vouchsafed them the means of salvation? Would He not have given them all things necessary to that end? But it is an undeniable matter of fact that He did not. If, then, Deity can, consistently, with His justice, mercy, and benevolence, deny to some the means of grace, and shut them up in gross darkness and unbelief (because of the sins of their forefathers, generations before), why should it be deemed incompatible with His perfections to exclude some persons, many, from grace itself, and from that eternal life which is connected with it? seeing that He is Lord and sovereign Disposer both of the end to which the means lead, and the means which lead to that end?[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)

“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 W. Pink, The Sovereignty of God (Swengel, PA: Bible Truth Depot, 1949), 87–89.