Showing posts with label Steps to Freedom in Christ. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Steps to Freedom in Christ. Show all posts

Saturday, June 4, 2022

“Painting by God” and the Work He Does in Us– Purity 749

“Painting by God” and the Work He Does in Us– Purity 749

Purity 749 06/04/2022 Purity 749 Podcast

Good morning,

Today’s photo of a morning sunrise scene of dazzling colors comes to us from a friend who captured it yesterday morning near their home in Clermont Florida, describing on social media as a “painting by God”. 

Well. It’s Saturday, we made it to the weekend! Praise the Lord! There is nothing quite like enjoying the beauty of creation that the Artist that made the universe continually presents for our enjoyment.  Just last night, My wife, stepdaughter, and I went to Hudson Crossing Park in Schuylerville NY after dinner for a short walk and we were blessed by another “painting by God” as the sunset and the setting had me standing in awe and wonder over the sheer beauty what God has given us causing me to comment that the scene from the bridge at Hudson Crossing Park at sunset last night was just as beautiful as anything I have seen in all my travels, including my trips to Africa and Guatemala.  

Often in life, we feel that we have to journey to some exotic location to see something worthwhile but the truth is that God is present throughout the earth and the beauty of His creation isn’t based so much on specific locations as much as it is found in seeking it, appreciating the beauty close at hand, and giving credit where credit is due.  The knowledge of the Creator and His story relayed to us in the word of God ups the ante of our enjoyment of life as our experiences are rightly seen as a product of His handiwork.

Experiencing a moment on this earth as a “painting by God” is a little more meaningful than saying something like ‘pretty sky”, because the first comment gives credit to where credit is due and it emphasizes our relationship to the Artist and our love for the Artist and for His work.  

So it is my prayer that all of my friends take time this weekend to appreciate the beauty of the Artist’s work, to thank the Lord for the day that He has made.  

And while we are at it, we should also thank the Lord for the “piece of work” that He has created in us and for the work He continues to do in our lives.  

This morning, I will have the pleasure of watching the Artist work as I will be leading one of the participant’s of the Freedom in Christ Discipleship course that I facilitate on zoom through the Steps to Freedom in Christ, which is a process of prayer and a tool for repentance that Dr. Neal Anderson developed from His experience as a Christian Counselor and from the wisdom on the word of God.  

The Lord has already been working on me this morning as I decided to prepare for this morning’s “freedom appointment” by going through the Steps myself.  

Even though I have already resolved the big personal and spiritual conflicts of my past and am living out my freedom in Christ, I use the Steps to Freedom in Christ as a periodic “tune up” to repent of any sinful attitudes or actions that I had or done since the last time I went through the Steps to Freedom in Christ.  

The good news is that by continually walking in the Spirit, there is less to repent of these days as I endeavor to take every thought captive and reject the temptations to sin that come my way. 

The bad news is that until we are glorified by God, we will not be perfect.  As my pastor shared at a recent class on Christian doctrine: “as Christians we are not sinless, but we do sin less” and when we continually walk with the Lord on the path of Christian Discipleship, we can have victory over sin far more than before we made Christ our Lord and Savior. 

As I testified to before, the Steps to Freedom in Christ also address any unforgiveness we have in our lives.  I am happy to report that I have already forgiven much and my list of people to forgive was less than last time but I remain faithful to the process and take any attitudes of unforgiveness to the Lord because as we walk through this life, our relationships with others won’t always be perfect and we may find that we are holding some bitterness towards people in our lives that frustrate us or who are not acting as we would hope they would act.  That hard edge we can develop toward people we have difficulty with might be the bitterness of unforgiveness so it is best to take our hurts and offenses to God, tell Him what these people have done, how it made us feel, and then decide to forgive them from the heart and to choose to never hold those offense against them again.  

Acknowledging the offenses, pain it caused us, and then releasing it to God by choosing to forgive is a liberating process that results in peace and joy and brings us closer to God as place our trust in Him to heal us and to deal with people that we forgive.   

The Steps also help us to forgive ourselves. In obedience to God, we recognize His authority and His forgiveness of us, and thus can release feelings of condemnation over the pain we have caused others.   God forgives us, we are forgiven.   Accept it.  

However, some of us may feel bad about particular situations in the past that causes them to lose their peace of mind.  They regret what they have done and rightfully so.  If this is you, scripture indicates we are attempt to “make amends” and seek forgiveness.  

Matthew 5:23-24 (NKJV) says:
23  Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you,
24  leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

Here Jesus teaches that, as far as it is in our power, we are to try to be reconciled with our fellow man.  So if you hurt someone, ask for their forgiveness and offer to make things right and accept what happens. 

No matter if they accept or reject your apologies and offers to make things right, you have done your due diligence as far as God is concerned. 

So may never forgive us, but God has and because He has we can have peace. We don’t put someone else, or our personal pain, above God. 

Once we are obedient to God, we can have peace. So seek forgiveness, make amends, and give forgiveness when necessary. This is an essential key to experiencing our freedom in Christ and maintaining it.   

After going through the Steps again this morning, although I didn’t think I was carrying anything, I feel tremendously relieved knowing that I have released the burden of the weight of my sins and my sinful attitudes by seeking God’s forgiveness, by forgiving others for the offenses that they had done to me, and by affirming my commitment to my relationship with God and my intention to walk in His ways.  

So enjoy the weekend, it’s a new day, it’s a new life and the Lord will give you the peace you seek when you live a lifestyle of repentance and keep walking and talking with God.   


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

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Matthew 20:28 (NLT2)
28  For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Today’s Bible verses encourages us as disciples of Jesus Christ to serve others because “even the Son of Man came not to be served” but came to serve others and gave His life to set the captives free.  

Christ paid the cost of His life to set us free and encouraged us to follow Him, to live like Him by loving our neighbors as ourselves with acts of service.  

Telling someone you love them is wonderful but when we also show our love for others by caring for them and serving them we reveal the love of God in us. 

The refusal to serve others reveals our pride, which just so happens to be the sin of Satan himself, the idea that we “really are somebody” that we are like God in a way, and that we are worthy of praise, and can do things “my way!”  

But this attitude of being the “captain of our own soul” and just worrying about ourselves, is the antithesis of the life God wants you to live.  

First, pride is based in ignorance. Stupid.  There is a God over and above all things and as much as you may think that we “control” anything of significance in and of ourselves, we have failed to look up,  The things that are significant are the things that last forever and that is God’s business.  

Work of our hands, like generations that have gone before us will one day be dust. All our friends and loved ones will also eternity where we will all answer to God.  

So pride is really dumb, that’s why scripture directs us to be humble, it’s the appropriate response to the magnificence of God and the acknowledgement of our complete dependence on Him for our significance and eternal destiny.  

Second, pride puts ourselves above, and separate, from others.  Prideful feelings will prevent us from loving and serving others.  Prideful people love and worship themselves and will find themselves separated from God and all this good when their lives expire.  

So listen to our Lord and Savior, and choose to humble yourself and choose to serve others like He did.  Jesus us showed us the love of God in the flesh. He came to earth to heal us and save us.  So pick up your cross, and surrender your life to serve God’s kingdom and share the love of God by serving others here on earth.

Today we continue sharing from John Piper’s “Don’t Waste Your Life”.  

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase John Pipers’ books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available on many websites for less than $5.00.

The Gift of Passionate Leaders

Just as God had prepared extraordinary leadership for the SVM in Robert Wilder, Robert Speer, and John R. Mott, so he raised up leaders for the Layman’s Missionary Movement who spoke with such prophetic power that thousands of laymen caught the vision for God’s global purposes. The leader of the movement was not a missionary and not a pastor. He was a businessman. The partnership that emerged between students, who were going, and businessmen, who were sending, was profound, because there were God-centered visionary leaders in both groups. Both were moved by the same passion not to waste their lives. You can hear it in almost every sentence that J. Campbell White wrote:

Most men are not satisfied with the permanent output of their lives. Nothing can wholly satisfy the life of Christ within his followers except the adoption of Christ’s purpose toward the world he came to redeem. Fame, pleasure and riches are but husks and ashes in contrast with the boundless and abiding joy of working with God for the fulfillment of his eternal plans. The men who are putting everything into Christ’s undertaking are getting out of life its sweetest and most priceless rewards.

Senders Are Unashamed to Embrace the Cause of Going

Again, this is not a contradiction of what I wrote about the value of secular work in Chapter 8. The point is that, in a war, no matter how valuable the civilian work is in itself, everyone longs for his life to count also for the distant war effort, where enemy lines are being breached. Laypeople, pastors, churches—all of us who stay behind—will find the “sweetest and most priceless rewards” as we enlarge our hearts to embrace not only the needs close to home, but also the hard and unreached places of the world.

These businessmen from a hundred years ago saw their secular calling and their missionary vision as an integrated whole. The way J. Campbell White articulated the vision of the movement gave the businessmen categories for understanding the unity of life under the lordship of Christ. He said:

This movement makes the largest possible demands upon men. It strives simply to voice to them God’s call for a life whose dominant purpose is to establish the reign of Christ in human relationships.… It reminds them … that selfishness is suicidal while service of others brings to the soul the supremest possible satisfaction.

The Startling Effect on the Church Then, but What About Today?

White showed his generation that a passion for missions was not only the way to save the world, but also to save the church:

The effort to evangelize the world presents the speediest and surest methods of saving the Church. Our material resources are so stupendous that we are in danger of coming to trust in riches rather than in God. “If a man is growing large in wealth, nothing but constant giving can keep him from growing small in soul.” The evangelization of the world is the only enterprise large enough and important enough to provide an adequate outlet for the Church’s wealth.

This is still true. Missions is not only crucial for the life of the world. It is crucial for the life of the church. We will perish with our wealth if we do not pour ourselves out in ministries of mercy at home and missions among the unreached peoples. We are very wealthy in America. All the money needed to send and support an army of self-sacrificing, joy-spreading ambassadors is already in the church. But we are not giving it.

In 1916, Protestants were giving 2.9% of their incomes to their churches. In 1933, the depth of the Great Depression, it was 3.2%. In 1955, just after affluence began spreading through our culture, it was still 3.2%. By 2000, when Americans were over 450% richer, after taxes and inflation, than in the Great Depression, Protestants were giving 2.6% of their incomes to their churches.

Moreover, “If members of historically Christian churches in the United States were giving an average of 10% in 2000, there would have been an additional $139 billion a year going through church channels.” Now add to that the really shocking fact that of the money given to the church, less than 6% goes to foreign missions, and of that amount, about 1% goes to fund breakthroughs to unreached peoples.22 This is not to say we should pull back on any front. The point is, there is plenty for all the breakthroughs if we live to show that Christ is our Treasure.

We Will Not Know Him Fully Outside His Mission

For its own soul the church needs to be involved in missions. We will not know God in his full majesty until we know him moving triumphantly among the nations. We will not admire and praise him as we ought until we see him gathering a company of worshipers for himself from every people group on earth—including all the Muslim and Hindu and Buddhist peoples. Nothing enlarges our vision of God’s triumphant grace like the scope of his saving work in history. What a story it is! “I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old. I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds” (Psalm 77:11–12). “Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness!” (Psalm 150:2). “Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and let all the peoples extol him” (Romans 15:11, quoting Psalm 117:1).[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] John Piper, Don’t Waste Your Life (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2003), 170–173.

Thursday, March 31, 2022

A New Day , Into the Light of Freedom – Purity 693

A New Day, Into the Light of Freedom – Purity 693

Purity 693 03/31/2022   Purity 693 Podcast

Good morning,

Today’s photo of sunrise on the horizon of a new day over the headlight illuminated expanse of highway I-95 “somewhere in Florida” comes to us from a friend who had closed on their house in another state the previous day and had everything they owned packed in their truck as they drove into a new chapter of their lives that would be defined by a spirit of exploration and wonder.  It’s been a couple of months since our friend took this “first day of the rest of your life” photo back in January and I have been excited to share in their journey as they have shared scenes from their travels on social media ever since.    

But this photo was day 1, and I share it because a new friend, someone I now consider my brother in Christ, has arranged to meet with me to be led through the Steps to Freedom in Christ at a local church and it is my prayer that the Holy spirit will guide us through this process of prayer and repentance to help my friend resolve their personal and spiritual conflicts and to experience the peace that comes when the Lord sets you free.  

Yup, it’s Thursday and I thought today’s photo of a stretch of highway that leads from darkness to the dawn of a new day was the perfect shot t represent my friend’s upcoming walk through the Steps to Freedom in Christ ( ) and to represent the path of Christian Discipleship in general because the journey that starts with faith in Christ and continues with a sincere intention to walk in His ways truly is the road that will take you from the realm of darkness into the kingdom of God’s goodness and light.   

As happy as I am to serve as an encourager in my friend’s freedom appointment today, I know that it will be the Lord who will the One to help my friend to overcome the things that have prevented him from experiencing the peace and freedom that Christians are supposed to know in their daily lives.

Just like how the headlights and streetlight’s illumination in today’s photo pale in comparison to the blazing break of day on the horizon, the efforts and work of mankind can’t compare to the power that God has to help us to overcome our struggles and to change our lives.  

If the current times seem troubling it’s because you have forgotten about the One who created the universe and the One who sent Christ to tell us how to have peace with Him. In the midst of these “dark days” there is still hope. When we decide to follow the Lord, we can know that He is with us and be assured that no matter what happens, God is in control and is moving all things together for His good purposes.  .             

God is the source of all that is good and His creative power is infinite. When we acknowledge who God is, and make Christ our Lord and Savior, we get to experience the goodness of God and we get to watch God’s power manifest in our lives in ways we would never have even thought was possible.  

My short walk with the Lord has shown me that God is real, that He loves us, and that He wants us to know Him more. He calls us out of the darkness to experience the joy of living in His light. So seek the Lord and His righteousness. His ways are higher than our ways and the life He has for us never ends, so keep walking and talking with God because He has new and exciting things waiting for you to experience in that glorious light that is just beyond the horizon. We just have to surrender to His will and keep walking toward the light to get there.


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

This morning’s meditation verse is :

Isaiah 1:18 (NLT2)
18  “Come now, let’s settle this,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.

Today’s Bible verse speaks of the Lord’s desire for us to come to Him and to have the scarlet stain of our sins to be washed away.  

This verse from the Old Testament prophet Isaiah shows us that God has always desired for man to be reconciled to Him and that He offers peace to those who choose to repent and put their faith in Him. In the Old Testament times, people had to put their faith in God and the promise of the coming of the Messiah. People tried to show their faith by trying to live according to the law and had to trust that the Lord would one day send a Savior to be “saved”.  

 But since Christ has come, now we know specifically who we are to put our trust in: Jesus! His life, death, and resurrection shows us that Jesus was the Son of God and God the Son. Christ is the fulfillment of the promised Messiah and it is only through putting our faith in Him that or sins, though they be like scarlet, and red like crimson, are forgiven.  

Our lives that were stained by the guilt of our sin have been made clean and the crimson stain of guilt and shame has been washed away because of our faith in Jesus. Through Christ we are made clean, we are new creations, and we are made as white as snow.    

This fact of our lives in Christ, as Christians, should be a source of unending joy and peace.  

I often quote Romans 8:1 or a portion of it to remind me of my accepted status in Christ. It says:

Romans 8:1 (NKJV)
1  There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

The reason we are not condemned is because we have been forgiven, we have been washed as white as snow! Forever!

There is no condemnation for those in Christ because we are approved and accepted by God as His adopted children. We have been made right with God through our faith in Jesus Christ alone.  We are white as snow and there is no sin that can stain us anymore.

1 John 1:9 (NKJV)
9  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Our new relationship with God affords us continuous forgiveness and the power to overcome and say no to sin. 

So rejoice, we are no longer scarlet or crimson from the stain of our sin, we are as white as snow and if we should slip up, we can confess it to be forgiven and to continue to walk into righteousness again and again.  

Our walk is about progress, but God’s love and forgiveness for us is perfect and He will stay with us and continue to perfectly encourage us to keep walking in His ways even if we stumble.

We didn’t earn our salvation. It was a gift that came through faith in Christ. So believe it, receive it, and live in the continuous peace that comes from knowing that you are forgiven, you are as white as wool! 

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 June Hunt’s Overeating: Freedom from Food Fixation.  

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase June Hunt’s  books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available on many websites for less than $5.00.

C. How to Have a Transformed Life

Reaching the Target: Transformation!

Target #1—A New Purpose: God’s purpose for me is to be conformed to the character of Christ.

“Those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son …” (Romans 8:29).

—   “I’ll do whatever it takes to be conformed to the character of Christ.”

Target #2—A New Priority: God’s priority for me is to change my thinking.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2).

—   “I’ll do whatever it takes to line up my thinking with God’s thinking.

Target #3—A New Plan: God’s plan for me is to rely on Christ’s strength, not my strength, to be all He created me to be.

“I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13 ESV).

—   “I’ll do whatever it takes to fulfill His plan in His strength.”[1]

[1] June Hunt, Biblical Counseling Keys on Overeating: Freedom from Food Fixation (Dallas, TX: Hope For The Heart, 2008), 29.


My Personalized Plan: How to Think “Healthy”

Jesus was preoccupied with food … but not the kind that lines cabinets and fills refrigerators.

What consumed Him … what filled and satisfied Him far more than the choicest meats and grains … pertained to matters of the kingdom, namely, pleasing His Father above. “ ‘My food,’ said Jesus, ‘is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work’ ” (John 4:34).

Let’s follow Jesus’ example and focus on pleasing our heavenly Father rather than our own desire for overeating. Let’s discover God’s will for our lives and carry out the work He has called us to do. When these are operating in sync—pleasing our heavenly Father and carrying out the work we’re called to do—there is no greater satisfaction on earth! Scripture reminds us of our very special calling.…

“We are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

(Ephesians 2:10)

Think of yourself as the person God created you to be.

     God has given me a new nature in Jesus Christ.

     God has given me all I need to live a self-controlled life.

     God has given me an escape from the corruption caused by ungodly eating desires.

“Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires” (2 Peter 1:4).

Have the correct motive for losing weight.

     I want to take good care of my physical body, the “… temple of the Holy Spirit …” (1 Corinthians 6:19 ESV).

     I want to be free from the bondage of self-indulgence.

     I want to be healthy and live the life God has planned for me.

“We make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it” (2 Corinthians 5:9).

Identify the real reasons you overeat.

     Am I responding to a lack of love because of ___________________?

     Am I responding to feelings of insignificance because of ___________________?

     Am I fearful and insecure because of ___________________?

“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts” (Psalm 139:23).

Make a personal commitment to obey God.

     Acknowledge your need for change.

     Acknowledge that you are powerless to change.

     Acknowledge God’s power in you to change.

     Acknowledge His constant presence within you.

“The one who keeps God’s commands lives in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us” (1 John 3:24).

Know how to listen to the Lord.

     Listen to God by reading His written Word.

     Listen for His leading through the Holy Spirit.

     Learn to identify Satan’s lies.

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you” (Psalm 32:8).

Develop an exercise plan that will increase your metabolism. Vary the plan.

     Walk or ride a bicycle for 30 minutes a day 4 or 5 times a week.

     Do aerobics for 30 minutes, 3 days a week.

     Walk up the stairs instead of using an elevator.

     Make a commitment to join athletic activities with friends.

“Those who disregard discipline despise themselves, but the one who heeds correction gains understanding” (Proverbs 15:32).

Eat only when you are hungry and only foods you should eat.

     Develop a knowledge of good nutrition.

     Choose to eat healthy foods.

     Don’t give up if you blow it.

“Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a person to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble” (Romans 14:20).

Allow for flexibility and include some pleasure foods in your diet.

     Recognize the value of variety and of occasionally having a special treat.

     Realize the legitimate God-given enjoyment of tasty foods.

     Resist the urge to binge.

“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4).

Let the Holy Spirit direct your plans and provide needed self-control.

     Pray throughout the day that your choices will reflect the self-control of Christ.

     Meditate on specific Scriptures (especially those about self-control).

     Ask God to remind you of His protection and power over temptation.

“The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you” (John 14:26).

Turn your focus to the healthy foods you need to eat.

     Keep a small notebook with you.

     Write down when and what you eat with its caloric or fat value.

     Choose a Scripture to think about and memorize daily or weekly.

     Record your thoughts and feelings.

“The wicked put up a bold front, but the upright give thought to their ways” (Proverbs 21:29).

Have a thankful heart.

     Thank God for His faithfulness to you.

     Thank God for the unique person you are, including your body shape and size.

     Know that God never gives up on you. (If you blow it, start again!) God is faithful!

“Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6).[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] June Hunt, Biblical Counseling Keys on Overeating: Freedom from Food Fixation (Dallas, TX: Hope For The Heart, 2008), 29–32.