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

Friday, April 12, 2024

Draw Near to God and He Will Draw Near to You - Purity 1324

Draw Near to God and He Will Draw Near to You - Purity 1324

Purity 1324 04/12/2024 Purity 1324 Podcast

Purity 1324 on YouTube: 



Good morning,

Today’s photo of a Canadian goose on the shores of a tranquil lake at the early hours of sunrise or the late hours of sunset comes to us from an unknown FB friend who shared this photo on social media on or around May 15th, 2021. If this magic moment was yours, give me a heads up and I will update the blog to photo-credit you after the fact. 

Well, It’s Friday, and as I enter into the last “workday” off on my week’s staycation down by the River, I am thankful for the opportunity to find rest and to be restored after a busy “Freedom in Christ” season.  Last night  I met with Sue Huber, FICM’s national course coordinator and other online course facilitators to debrief and to celebrate another round of discipleship courses that led our students to know who they are in Christ and to experience for the first time, or to increase, their freedom in Christ as our ministry is discipleship (teaching people what we believe, why we believe it, and applying it to their lives), repentance (actually turning from our behaviors and beliefs that are contrary to God’s word and will for our lives) and of reconciliation (where we confess our sins, accept God’s forgiveness, and forgive those who have sinned against us).  Sue Huber perhaps said it best last night as one of her concluding statements was “Our ministry is the gospel”.   

All we do as course facilitators is to lead people to understand it, to choose to believe it, and to let it work in their lives by going to the Lord in prayer and resolving all the areas of personal and spiritual conflicts that have been keeping them from living the gospel. Our faith in Christ should change us. It should give us peace and joy and when we get real with God and surrender to His will and ways for our lives, we can experience it. 

Even though this “Freedom Season”, has presented some real challenges to my sense of peace and joy at times and made a week’s “staycation” absolutely necessary, I am rejoicing over the work that has been done and the rest I have enjoyed over the last few days.  Peace and joy are never far from those who know who they are in Christ and who keep on walking and talking with God. 

James 4:8-10 (NKJV) tells us to
8  Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
9  Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.
10  Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.
      

I know, we love to cherry-pick the “good sentiments” from these verses and exclude the ones that chastise us – but in order to be lifted up by the Lord – we must be cleansed, purify our heats, change our double minds, lament, mourn, and weep over our sins – to be woken up from the world’s sinful hilarity and to see we have gone astray. We must repent… and then the Lord can lift us up to new heights of joy and peace that come from being reconciled to the Lord and living in harmony with Him.

In the freedom appointments I have conducted over the last month, I watched men humble themselves and lament over the sins of their pasts but at the end, they reported having a “quiet mind” and a new sense of peace that only comes from the Lord when you draw close to Him and He lifts you up in freedom. 

These men “got real” before the Lord and they walked away with a real sense of freedom – because their reconciliation with God and their healing is real and they can enjoy it for the rest of their lives if they simply agree to choose to believe it, tell others all about it, and keep on walking and talking with God. 

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For those who want more evidence for Christianity than my simple encouragements provide, I offer apologist, Frank Turek’s website, https://crossexamined.org/ .

Today’s Bible verse come to us from “The Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling” By John G. Kruis.

( While Bible verses on various topics of Counseling can be found with a quick Google search, we encourage you to purchase this resource to support the late author’s work. (https://www.amazon.com/Quick-Scripture-Reference-Counseling-Kruis-ebook/dp/B00CIUJZT2?ref_=ast_author_dp )

This morning’s meditation verses come from the section on Death and Eternal Life

Revelation 14:13 (ESV)
13  And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!”

Today’s verse fall under the sixth point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Death and Eternal Life.  

6. Those who die in the Lord are blessed.

Today’s verse tells us the those who die in the Lord really can rest in peace – we may rest from our labors for our “deeds follow them” – meaning that the good work we do for God’s kingdom will not be forgotten or lost at the hour of our deaths- they will follow us into eternity and be rewarded.  

Some Christians hesitate to read Revelation because of the apocalyptic end time scenes that tell us of the great tribulation that is to come but as today’s verse challenges us to understand, we need not fear death for we who are “in the Lord” – in Christ -  are not cursed – but are blessed at the hour of our death.  We don’t need to ask Mary to pray for “us sinners” now or at the hour of our death because we are forgiven and free in life, and blessed when we die physically because we will live spiritually and receive glorified bodies just like Jesus’s resurrected body when we are called into eternity.

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As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.

Today we continue sharing from “According to Your Word: Morning and Evening Through the New Testament” By Stephen F. Olford – A Collection of Devotional Journals: 1940-1941.

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage you all to purchase Olford’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available online for less than $10 at many sites.

EVENING READING: JOHN 16

“Whoever kills you will think that he offers God service.”
– John 16:2

Here is certainly a sad state of spiritual affairs. There is coming a time, and in fact in some places it has already come, when the departure from truth shall be such that men who will not accept the real Truth will persecute and kill the very servants of God. Of course, this primarily applies to the time when the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel and our Lord, will be set up in the temple at Jerusalem, and the great tribulation shall take place. But even now, it is possible to be so misunderstood by those who profess to bear the truth, as to provoke hatred and persecution.

Enable me to stand for You, whatever the odds.
Amen.[1]

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

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

at https://mt4christ247.podbean.com, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

(https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mt4christ247s-podcast/id1551615154). The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and Audible.com. 

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/@MT4Christ247

Email me at mt4christ247@gmail.com to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.

My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Ask Seek Knock blog (https://tammylynask.blogspot.com/ ),  her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock (https://www.facebook.com/groups/529047851449098 ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (https://feed.podbean.com/tammalyn78/feed.xml)

“The views, opinions, and commentary of this publication are those of the author, M.T. Clark, only, and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of any of the photographers, artists, ministries, or other authors of the other works that may be included in this publication, and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of any entities the author may represent.”

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

Friday, April 5, 2024

A Christian Life Should Never Be Boring - Purity 1318


 
A Christian Life Should Never Be Boring - Purity 1318

Purity 1318 04/5/2024 Purity 1318 Podcast

Purity 1318 on YouTube: Coming Soon!

Good morning,

Today’s photo of an outcropping of rock, green treetops, and blue skies comes to us from an unknown FB friend who shared this scene on social media on or around June 5th, 2021. If this emerging photo is yours, give me a heads up and I will update the blog to photo credit you after the fact. 

Well, It’s Friday – thank God – and there is nothing quite like hiking up a mountain or hilly trail and reaching the place where you can finally see that you have made it to the top – you have arrived and that’s how I feel this morning as I completed the last scheduled freedom appointment for the Online Freedom in Christ course that had its last meeting last week.  I was blessed to lead eight men through the Steps to Freedom in Christ in individual appointment this season and I am humbled by the opportunity to serve the body of Christ in this ministry of reconciliation. There is nothing quite like coming alongside others as they seek to be set free of the burdens of the past and to experience their freedom in Christ and as demanding as my schedule can be during “Freedom Season”, I can’t think of a better use of my time. But with that said, part of the joy I have this morning also comes from being able to say “It is finished” as I can take a moment to relish a job well done and go into my vacation this week to rest and to spend some quiet time with the Lord.  

However, I should be clear that I’m not “done”. This path of Christian Discipleship doesn’t end and my ministry will continue – as the Celebrate Freedom Support Group at Starpoint Church is continuous – meeting on Wednesday nights, I am attending Peter Markavage’s – Way of Escape – Freedom in Christ Course on Tuesday evenings through June (https://www.mt4christ.org/2024/03/way-of-escape-freedom-in-christ-course.html), I am attending an online Advanced Encourager’s Practicum tonight and tomorrow, and I have agreed to attend and support Scott Salvadore’s new men’s ministry at Starpoint Church that will be starting in May on Monday nights!  And somewhere in the next few weeks or months, I have plans on finishing my training with Deeper Walk’s School of Prayer Ministry.  My cup is full and running over with opportunities to serve and to be further equipped to serve God’s kingdom and I will be on the lookout for whatever other opportunities that the Holy Spirit guides me into. 

A Christian life should never be boring as we are called to live in God’s presence and to do the good works that He has prepared for us to walk into.  What good works?  That’s for us to find out and to walk into when we walk in the Spirit.  So as happy as I am to have a measure of rest this weekend, and next week “on vacation”, let me encourage you to “DO SOMETHING” that will bring you closer to God as you seek to grow into the person He created you to be and to fulfill His purpose for your life.   A life of walking in the Spirit is a thrilling adventure but you have to be intentional about picking up your cross and following Jesus – where the work is just as likely to be about changing you as it is to be about helping others as we serve the Lord.   We call that a win-win-win situation because we are victorious in Christ. So celebrate the weekend after work today, but also celebrate the relationship you have with the living God, through your faith in Jesus Christ, and rejoice in the freedom and purpose that God freely gives to those who seek Him.  

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For those who want more evidence for Christianity than my simple encouragements provide, I offer apologist, Frank Turek’s website, https://crossexamined.org/ .

Today’s Bible verse come to us from “The Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling” By John G. Kruis.

( While Bible verses on various topics of Counseling can be found with a quick Google search, we encourage you to purchase this resource to support the late author’s work. (https://www.amazon.com/Quick-Scripture-Reference-Counseling-Kruis-ebook/dp/B00CIUJZT2?ref_=ast_author_dp )

This morning’s meditation verse comes from the section on Death and Eternal Life

Psalm 23:4 (NKJV)
4  Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

Today’s verse falls under the first point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Death and Eternal Life.  

1. You can face death without fear.

Today’s verse is the call to courage and faith that has been spoken and prayed by many Christians who have faced challenges, trials, and tribulations, and who have suffered loss.  Though we walk through times of darkness and death, we are given courage and peace when we remember that the Lord is there to comfort, guide, protect, and correct us as we seek His way through the pain and fear.  When we draw close to God, He draws close to us for He is near to the brokenhearted and gives strength to the weary.  So keep on walking and talking with God, brothers and sisters, for He is with us, and He will see us through, even through the valley of the shadow of death.

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

As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.

Today we continue sharing from “According to Your Word: Morning and Evening Through the New Testament” By Stephen F. Olford – A Collection of Devotional Journals: 1940-1941.

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage you all to purchase Olford’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available online for less than $10 at many sites.

EVENING READING: JOHN 10

“John performed no sign, but all the things that John
spoke about this Man were true.” – John 10:41

What a testimony to covet! In the light of this one verse, it is clear that John the Baptist was not known:

By the Miracles. That which can be seen with the natural eye or superhuman outward manifestations.

By the Supremacy of Self. For he spoke of another, but he was known by his testimony concerning the Lord Jesus.

Notice, “All the things that John spoke about this Man were true.” He “shunned not to declare … the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27, emphasis mine). He was a true and faithful witness.

May I be known only by what I have to say
concerning You, O Lord. Amen.[1]

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

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

at https://mt4christ247.podbean.com, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

(https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mt4christ247s-podcast/id1551615154). The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and Audible.com. 

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/@MT4Christ247

Email me at mt4christ247@gmail.com to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.

My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Ask Seek Knock blog (https://tammylynask.blogspot.com/ ),  her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock (https://www.facebook.com/groups/529047851449098 ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (https://feed.podbean.com/tammalyn78/feed.xml)

“The views, opinions, and commentary of this publication are those of the author, M.T. Clark, only, and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of any of the photographers, artists, ministries, or other authors of the other works that may be included in this publication, and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of any entities the author may represent.”

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

We Don’t Need No Education - Purity 1316


We Don’t Need No Education - Purity 1316

Purity 1316 04/3/2024 Purity 1316 Podcast

Purity 1316 on YouTube: 



Good morning,

Today’s photo of a springtime view of the Hudson River and the mountainous or hilly landscape to the west comes to us from an unknown FB friend who shared this simple but pleasant scene from their visit to, what I believe to be, the Vanderbilt Mansion National Historical Site in Hyde Park, NY on social media on around May 9th 2021.  If this photo, give me a heads up and I will update the blog to give you the photo credit after the fact.  

Well, It’s Wednesday and I shared today’s photo to release it from my phone’s photo gallery because I thought there was enough of a “hump” in the landscape displayed here to visually represent our arrival at the midpoint of another work week – so Happy Hump Day.   

As I continue to seek the Lord’s purpose for my life and am always looking for ways in which I can increase my faith or be better equipped for ministry, I am always looking forward to what’s next on this path of Christian Discipleship.  A couple of months ago I looked forward to this time of the year – when the Freedom in Christ Course I was facilitating would be over and I wondered about what I was being called to do next and when I prayerfully considered the possibilities I seemed to come to a crossroads of decision. 

On one hand, I felt that I was being called to minister to others by stepping out in faith and becoming a Christian Life Coach, because while I have a Master’s Degree in Christian counseling – My Bible College (Vision Christian Bible College and Seminary) is not an “accredited” institution recognized by the state, so I realized that pursuing licensure in NY State as a “Counselor” would probably be an act of futility.    You see:

“Vision Christian Bible College & Seminary is a member of International Association of Bible Colleges and Seminaries [IABCS] for accountability and accreditation. IABCS is a Non-Governmental Accreditation Institution (NGAI) setting standards for Bible Colleges and Seminaries that do not want to come under secular government control and at the same time maintain a genuine degree program for higher education. IABCS It is the oldest NGAI in the USA, established in 1954.

But because VCBCS doesn’t bow down to secular government control – the government and its licensing agencies reserve the right to not recognize their degrees to meet their requirements of “accredited” educational institutions. 

So for people in my situation who want to serve in a “pastoral counseling capacity” – we need to either get hired through a church as “pastoral counseling staff” or work independently with the title of “Christian Life Coach” publicly declaring that we are “not a licensed counselor” regardless of our education and experience operating in that capacity.   While I knew all this, it doesn’t mean I have to like it, and taking the humbler path of “Christian Life Coach” didn’t sit well with me so I considered pursuing a doctoral degree from Liberty University – which is Christian and accredited, but I wasn’t sure if they would accept my Master’s Degree.  

After much correspondence and, perhaps some denial on my part, Liberty University finally told me that because VCBCS is not accredited they would not accept my Master’s Degree as the requirement for entrance into their doctoral program.  But get this – and this was part of my frustration and confusion – they are still welcoming me to submit “officlal transcripts from an accredited institution”.

Previously, that vague invitation made me think that I “was doing it wrong” – “Oh VCBCS must not be on the same “electronic system” to submit it “officially”. So let me send it to them as “JPEG’s and PDF’s” – oh they still asking for an “official transcript”  - they say I can send them a paper copy – Let me pay VCBCS the $5.00 for an official transcript and mail it to them…. “Okay they have received it and it takes 1-3 business days to process it….” Still nothing?  So I inquire about why I haven’t heard anything, and I get this response -  

Thank you for your email! 

That is a great question! We are waiting on your official transcripts which show a conferral of your Masters degree from an accredited institution at this time.”  

So after having them confirm receiving them, but are still “waiting”, I just wanted to know if I was wasting my time so I asked:

“Are you saying that you do not recognize them? And I would not be accepted in your program? 

This is very frustrating - I have sent electronic copies and paper copies of my transcript.  I would just like to know if a transcript from Vision Christian Bible College and Seminary would be accepted by Liberty and if I individually would be granted admission into the doctoral program for Pastoral Counseling at Liberty University.  

I would appreciate a clear and final answer because I have nothing else to send.”

After MONTHS, they FINALLY said:

We have received your official transcript from Vision Christian Bible College, however we are unable to use transcripts from an unaccredited institution to make an admissions decision. Part of our mission at Liberty University is to maintain an accreditation level that allows our graduates to be viewed in high regard.  For this reason, we have specific guidelines that we are required to maintain for admission into our programs.  Due to these guidelines, we are unable to accept an unaccredited Master's degree for admission into a Doctorate program.

So basically my VCBCS degree isn’t good enough for Liberty and as much as I do care for rejection on any level, I gladly accept it at this point. Unless changes dramatically in my heart and mind, I am DONE with pursuing any more degrees or outside validation from educational institutions because FINALLY, after earning 4 undergraduate degrees (1 Associates and 3 Bachelors degrees) and 1 post-graduate degree (and unaccredited degree – at least by the secular government – and Liberty University’ standards). I have learned my lesson – degrees don’t matter in service of God’s kingdom.   And I think this experience has taught me that I was deceiving myself and believed the lies that – (as the Steps to Freedom in Christ present): 

“I must live up to worldly standards in order to feel good about myself”

Or that “I must gain the approval of certain people (the Government and Liberty University.. I guess) in order to be happy”. 

This pursuit of higher education and “certifications” also fed my pride that told me (also from the Steps to Freedom in Christ) that I was prideful by:

“Being driven to obtain recognition by attaining degrees, titles, and positions”

And that I was guilty of

“Considering myself better than others because of my academic… abilities and accomplishments.” 

So I have been rejected and humbled once again. 

And I understand that I am a little rebellious too – I tried to get into the hallowed halls of a nationally recognized and fully accredited institution – with my unaccredited degree – but the gatekeepers have done their job and I can’t fault them for saying no.   

And I suppose I could humble myself to their standards and apply for ANOTHER Masters degree, in order to get the Doctorate that I coveted, I am deciding to take my ball and go home.  

Getting all those degrees I have has taught me a few things. They don’t satisfy. They don’t necessary mean much – other than you took a bunch of classes and received passing grades – they don’t guarantee you actually “learned anything” – not that I haven’t learned anything but I know that you can go through a program of study and not necessarily retain the information you learned to pass a test or to write a paper – I call that task-based learning.  And the most important thing I have learned from obtaining all the degrees I have is that they don’t teach you how to live and they don’t give you ambition or purpose.  

God is the one from whom wisdom comes and He is the one who approves us and amazingly He doesn’t require you to pass a test, write a paper, or work really hard to be accepted into His kingdom.   

It is by faith in Christ alone that we are given new life, the ability to understand divine wisdom, and the power to live a righteous life. We only need to study one book – The Bible – to know what know in life. It’s the one book that contains God’s word – the Truth – and its wisdom is infinite as is evident by the sea of books written by man that try to explain what God is telling us.   I have quite a few of them on my bookshelves and in my electronic library. 

SO I don’t need “no education”  and I guess I will just follow the Lord to learn from the resources I already have access to and follow the Holy Spirit to pursue my purpose for His kingdom.

   

 

 

 

 

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For those who want more evidence for Christianity than my simple encouragements provide, I offer apologist, Frank Turek’s website, https://crossexamined.org/ .

Today’s Bible verses come to us from “The Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling” By John G. Kruis.

( While Bible verses on various topics of Counseling can be found with a quick Google search, we encourage you to purchase this resource to support the late author’s work. (https://www.amazon.com/Quick-Scripture-Reference-Counseling-Kruis-ebook/dp/B00CIUJZT2?ref_=ast_author_dp )

This morning’s meditation verse comes from the section on Contentment, Coveting & and Priorities.

Colossians 3:1-3 (NLT2)
1  Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand.
2  Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.
3  For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.

Today’s verse falls under the twenty-sixth point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Contentment, Coveting, and Priorities.

26. Set your affections on the things above, not on things on the earth.

Today’s verses convicted to focus on God’s kingdom – and not man’s approval.

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

As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.

Today we continue sharing from “According to Your Word: Morning and Evening Through the New Testament” By Stephen F. Olford – A Collection of Devotional Journals: 1940-1941.

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage you all to purchase Olford’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available online for less than $10 at many sites.

EVENING READING: JOHN 8

“The truth shall make you free.” – John 8:32

It is interesting to note the working powers of the Word of God or Truth as revealed in this Gospel. Here are just a few:

Its Liberating power. “The truth shall make you free.” The Word of God is that which snaps all chains of bondage.

Its Pruning power. “You are already clean [pruned] because of the word which I have spoken to you” (John 15:3). This is pruning for greater fruitfulness.

Its Sanctifying power. “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth” (John 17:17). Herein lies the secret of a sanctified life.

Its Rejoicing power. “If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them” (John 13:17). The keeping of His commandments has a special reward of happiness for the obedient believer.

Thank You, Lord, for the liberating power of Your Word.
May Your Word have its way in my life.[1]

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

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

at https://mt4christ247.podbean.com, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

(https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mt4christ247s-podcast/id1551615154). The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and Audible.com. 

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/@MT4Christ247

Email me at mt4christ247@gmail.com to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.

My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Ask Seek Knock blog (https://tammylynask.blogspot.com/ ),  her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock (https://www.facebook.com/groups/529047851449098 ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (https://feed.podbean.com/tammalyn78/feed.xml)

“The views, opinions, and commentary of this publication are those of the author, M.T. Clark, only, and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of any of the photographers, artists, ministries, or other authors of the other works that may be included in this publication, and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of any entities the author may represent.”

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

Monday, April 1, 2024

What do you want me to do Lord? - Purity 1314

What do you want me to do Lord? - Purity 1314

Purity 1314 04/1/2024 Purity 1314 Podcast

Purity 1314 on YouTube:



Good morning,

Today’s photo of a tree branch and clear blue skies over the brown fields located beyond the clearing at the end of “Freedom Road” comes to us from yours truly as I decided to capture this moment as I enjoyed the stillness, quiet, and the view while sitting on a stone and mortar cornerstone foundation which all that remains from a building, a barn or a house, that is no more than a small pile of rubble and a distant memory of days gone by. 

With the 40-Day Journey with Martin Luther series on the blog and the online Freedom in Christ course that I was facilitating having been concluded on Saturday when I got to the end of Freedom Road with my canine pal, Harley along for the walk, I asked the Lord what He wanted me to do next. Part of walking in the Spirit, is seeking the Lord’s guidance through listening prayer. So when I say I walk and talk with God or “ask the Lord something”, I mean that quite literally. Before I was born again I used to talk to myself but now I talk to God. 

Although I still have a few responsibilities and requirements to meet (2 freedom appointments this week– one today) to finish the work I started with this season’s Freedom in Christ course and last year’s school of prayer ministry with Deeper Walk International, the future seemed to be wide open during my walk on Saturday and I wasn’t just asking the Lord what was next, as much as I was asking Him what He wanted me to do with the rest of my life. With different ideas about what I would like to do, what I could do, and what I would probably do concerning my personal, professional, and ministerial life swirling around my heart and mind, I just wanted some assurance that, even though I don’t have much that appears to be certain, I wanted to be certain that I was walking with God in the right direction.  Admitting that I didn’t really know where I was going, I asked the Lord what He wanted me to do with the rest of my life and didn’t have to wait long for a response.

What do you want me to do Lord?

Tell people about ME…

Although there were a few follow-up questions and concerns about exactly how I should do that, the “word” that the Lord put in my heart and mind – no, it wasn’t a booming voice or even a quiet audible whisper, gave me peace, assurance, and joy that even though I am perplexed or vexed quite often over “what’s next” on this path of Christian discipleship, the Lord is with me and has given me a desire to do His will – I have been trying and will dedicate the rest of my life to doing just what the Lord said – to tell people about Him. 

So even though much is still to be determined in what I will do and where I will go and live, I was able to rest on that block of mortar and stone at the end of Freedom Road knowing that I had nothing to worry about and could just enjoy my freedom and life in Christ for the wonderful adventure that it is. 

Well, Its’ 's Monday, and although it’s not “Spring Break” for me, and I have to go to work today, and lead a brother through the Steps to Freedom tonight, I will rest and rejoice in the Lord and our mission for my life – to tell others about Him- all the same. 

God is good. He loves you. He calls you to put your faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior and invites you to Come and See what a life lived in His presence feels and looks like.  I know from experience that it’s the best life you can have because it just happens to be the life you were created to live but are free to reject or accept all the same. 

So let’s not worry about where we will be next year or in the distant future, or even tomorrow – for as Jesus said.

Matthew 6:34 (NLT2)
34  “…don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

And when we keep walking and talking with God, we can know that there are no troubles that we will face today, that God and us can’t handle. Let’s go and let God lead us and tell those we meet along the way about just how good He is.

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For those who want more evidence for Christianity than my simple encouragements provide, I offer apologist, Frank Turek’s website, https://crossexamined.org/ .

Today’s Bible verses come to us from “The Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling” By John G. Kruis.

( While Bible verses on various topics of Counseling can be found with a quick Google search, we encourage you to purchase this resource to support the late author’s work. (https://www.amazon.com/Quick-Scripture-Reference-Counseling-Kruis-ebook/dp/B00CIUJZT2?ref_=ast_author_dp )

This morning’s meditation verse comes from the section on Contentment, Coveting & and Priorities.

Matthew 6:33 (ESV)
33  But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Today’s verse is the second of two passages of scripture that fall under the twenty-fourth point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Contentment, Coveting, and Priorities.

24. The primary goal in life must be to fear God and keep his commandments.

Today’s verse is really what our lives in Christ are all about – seeking God’s kingdom – His presence and His purposes- and His righteousness – The Person of Jesus and His ways for living. When I shared Matthew 6:34 above, I honestly didn’t know 6:33 was the verse of the day – but God knew – and He wants us to know the way to not worry about tomorrow is to seek His kingdom and His righteousness.  This is what we do as Christians.  So keep seeking the Lord, His kingdom, and His righteousness, and reap the fruit of the Spirit that will grow in your life when you walk with Him.

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As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.

Today we continue sharing from “According to Your Word: Morning and Evening Through the New Testament” By Stephen F. Olford – A Collection of Devotional Journals: 1940-1941.

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage you all to purchase Olford’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available online for less than $10 at many sites.

EVENING READING: JOHN 6

“It is I; do not be afraid.” – John 6:20

What grand words! How they strengthen, cheer, and comfort the heart. It is true that these words were uttered at a dark moment in the experience of the disciples, but these same words are still the words of the Lord Jesus, and therefore continue to carry with them their ancient power.

He says, “It is I, do not be afraid.” There is no need to fear when He is near. He is the perfect Love which casts out fear. Moreover, He has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Heb. 13:5), and with the Hebrew writer, I reply “The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What man can do to me?” (Heb. 13:6). “It is I” (John 6:20) – “If God is for [me], who can be against [me]?” (Rom. 8:31).

Lord, in these uncertain times,
Your Word brings comfort and peace.[1]

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

at https://mt4christ247.podbean.com, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

(https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mt4christ247s-podcast/id1551615154). The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and Audible.com. 

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/@MT4Christ247

Email me at mt4christ247@gmail.com to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.

My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Ask Seek Knock blog (https://tammylynask.blogspot.com/ ),  her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock (https://www.facebook.com/groups/529047851449098 ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (https://feed.podbean.com/tammalyn78/feed.xml)

“The views, opinions, and commentary of this publication are those of the author, M.T. Clark, only, and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of any of the photographers, artists, ministries, or other authors of the other works that may be included in this publication, and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of any entities the author may represent.”

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship