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Showing posts with label Victory Over the Darkness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Victory Over the Darkness. Show all posts

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Silencing the Voice of Hope - Blocked again Naturally - Purity 513


 Silencing the Voice of Hope - Blocked again Naturally                                                                                 

Purity 513 09/02/2021   Purity 513 Podcast

Good morning

Today’s photo of a severe thunderstorm rolling in at Montezuma Wildlife Refuge near Seneca Falls NY comes to us from our friend at Celestial Blue Photography.  I just love how our friend captured the beauty of nature in a moment of turbulent transition with the contrast of light and darkness in the midst of this oncoming storm. 

It’s Thursday, and as is my habit, I share this photo also because it features a road and I use the theme of roads or pathways to encourage my friends to keep walking or to step on for the first time the path of Christian Discipleship which is  that pathway that says I have decided to follow Jesus and there is no turning back.  

Not surprisingly when you make that decision to surrender your worldly ways for the ways of the Lord all hell breaks loose in a sense as the world, the devil, and your flesh all come in opposition against you. The cost of discipleship is undetermined, but it often will cost you some relationships as your worldly friends and family will think you have gone over the deep end or just plain lost you mind. 

So if we can lose friends and family because of our faith, it should be no surprise that people who don’t know us will also reject us.  I have shared in the past that I have been blocked by various FB groups because my messages of encouragement somehow didn’t fit their “spam policy” and I have even had my blog’s link ( MT4Christ dot org can’t put the link it’s blocked) restricted from FB.  

So in my attempts to reach more people with the message to pursue your freedom in Christ and live it out every day, I discovered Reddit and started sharing my daily posts on various “Christian” subs.  I was immediately “banned for life” from the “r/Christian” sub. Not sure what they share because, you know, I only shared one link and was “banned for life”.  So I sort of lost interest in what they might be all about because they didn’t seem receptive to my inspirational photos and simple encouragements.   

So then I found “r/Christianity”  and they actually let me share the links to my blog for a time.   But I got warned a few times that I had to have “meaningful interactions” with other people on “their sub” to remain there.  So, I tried by commenting on a few posts but honestly, I’m a busy guy and don’t have a lot of time to engage in “chat rooms” which is basically what they were trying to facilitate, I guess. 

I was warned by an “atheist” moderator a few times and he actually was very understanding, and I explained that I wasn’t really trying to “debate” anything and was only trying to encourage people to follow their Christian faith, but I would try to “increase my interactions” to stay on “the sub”.   

But then shortly after that came a “Christian” moderator on r/Christianity, who apparently grew tired of my sunsets and messages of encouragement and decided to list MT 4 Christ dot org as “spam”. So I can’t share my links on /r Christianity anymore, I guess.

I get it. It’s your playground and you make the rules. “My kind” isn’t welcomed at r/Christianity. But who is welcomed on the Reddit sub that titles itself “r/Christianity”?

Well if you go there you will see that the typical fare is in depth discussions of theological brainteasers that ask inane questions such as “is it ok to eat meat?” or “What is something you really want to do, but can’t because you are a Christian?” or “Is going to church in person worth it anymore?” At least these are questions, but the overall tone seems to be to doubt the Christian faith and to “work around” and indulge in things that the Bible clearly states are sin. The discussions seem to encourage becoming an atheist more than they encourage living a Christian lifestyle.   

If look some more on r/Christianity, you will also find posts labeled “Atheist/Satanic Temple” or that feature stories that make accusations against the Christian faith from sources such as Al Jazeera, the Islamic biased news source.  Considering this diverse variety of material that is highlighted on this sub, I find it interesting that my blog would be labeled as “spam” by a “Christian” no less.  

But I really don’t find it surprising. While I don’t think of my blog as “spam” and I am not “selling” anything and don’t earn any money from my blog or my podcast, I am advocating for an empowered Christian life of discipleship that focuses on the truth of God’s word. 

I apologize but as far as I’m concerned there is no debate.  Jesus is Christ is Lord. The Bible is the Word of God, and we are to live our lives based on its principles.  It you have a question of whether something is right or wrong,  consult the Bible and accept what it says and live by it. 

It's a stormy process to conform ourselves to the image of Christ and to consider “what would Jesus Do” and then do it.  But Jesus is the Truth, the Way, and the Life, no one goes to the Father except through Him, so it’s His way or the Highway to Hell.  

I was on that Highway to Hell and believe me when I tell you I had big problems with changing my ways to His ways after living most of my life in darkness.  But when I saw the truth of the gospel and how it calls us to repent, I had a choice between life and death. 

My old worldly ways were clearly leading to death, and I used to joked about how they would ultimately lead me to hell.

But thankfully, because of God’s grace and mercy” I saw the truth and chose to live by making Jesus my Lord and Savior. And thus it has become my purpose to endeavor to live the way God directs us to live and to share the hope that is found in Christ alone.  

So groups and other people can try to silence my message of hope, truth, and life but as far as I am concerned I have no choice to continue to share it. 

So block me if you need to. Ban me for life if you feel that’s appropriate.  I’ve been rejected by many on this walk of life but the rejections I receive for sharing the good news of Jesus Christ and the benefits of a life surrendered to Him don’t fill me with remorse or regret.   Being rejected for cause of the Christ is badge of honor, that I will proudly wear. 

So if you want to put me in “Facebook jail”, “Reddit Penitentiary” or  actually lock me up like the Apostle Paul, go ahead because I know the One who sets the captives free.

I know that Jesus Christ has rescued me from sin and death and whatever rejections, persecutions, or sufferings this world may bring to my doorstep, I know that they pale in comparison to the glory that is waiting for all Christians when God call us home or when Christ returns.  

So keep walking and talking with God. He will see you through the storms of this life and every rebuke you receive for speaking His truth will be crown of glory when you come into His kingdom.


This morning’s meditation verse is:

Revelation 21:1 (NKJV)
1  Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.

 

Today’s verse points the coming kingdom and the culmination of “ultimate reality” when God ushers in a new heaven and a new earth. 

If your conception of eternity is some ethereal state of existence amongst the clouds, its time to wake up and grow up by reading the Bible and believing what it says.  I often say that “common knowledge is common ignorance” as our society and media share common misconceptions about spirituality and the afterlife that are often based on cartoons, old wife’s tales, and sentimentality rather than the word of God.  

Religion as superstition is not just for the witch doctors. Yesterday, I was listening to an audiobook about some of the English Protestant martyrs that died under “Bloody Mary’s” rule in the 16th century and how these reformers saved the Christian faith by insisting on a faith based on the Bible rather than the traditions of men.  The book documented some of the Roman Catholic church’s abuses that included indulgences (which is accepting money for the forgiveness of sins), sexual scandals, the worshiping of relics and idols, and the corruption and abuses of power by clergy from the local parish and all the way to Vatican in Rome.  

When man “makes things up” that seem good, we go astray.  So its very important to know what the word of God says and to have a biblical view of where all of this heading.  

While we don’t know when Christ will return, the Bible assures us He will. The Bible also informs us that Christ’s disciples will be known by their obedience.  So we have to accept not only “the end times” view for the future from scripture but we also have to apply the wisdom of the Word of God to our lives.  

Ignorance is not an excuse. So if you don’t know, endeavor to learn what the Bible says and share it with those around you.  God gave us His word and has protected it through the centuries so that we would know the truth about Jesus Christ, His coming Kingdom, and how we should live our lives.  

The truth will set you free. So embrace it, meditate on it, and live your faith based on the truth of God’s word.  When we walk in the light of God’s revelation for us, we enter the abundant life that He has given us, and we experience the harmony that comes from being at peace with Him.   

 

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

 

Today we continue with Dr. Neil Anderson’s Victory Over the Darkness, continuing  Chapter 13.

 

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Dr. Anderson’s books for your own private study and to support his work. If you need this title you can find it online at several sites for less than $15.00:

Concepts for Counseling

2. Encourage Emotional Honesty

Counselees are generally willing to share what has happened to them but are less willing to share their failure or complicity in the problem and are very reticent to share how they feel about it. Unless you model and encourage emotional honesty, the chances of your counselees' resolving their inner conflicts and being set free in Christ are slim.

The story was told of a missionary doctor who worked in the jungles of Africa. He labored among the natives, taking care of their physical needs. His real desire was to meet their spiritual needs, but after two years not one native had received Christ. He had modeled the Christian life as well as he could. Then one day his only child was accidentally killed. The loss was overwhelming, and he was overcome by grief.

Not wanting the natives to see his weaknesses, he ran into the woods and cried out to God. "Lord, why have you abandoned me here? I sacrificed my career for evangelism, and I haven't had even one convert. And now You have taken my son. The pain is overwhelming, and I can't go on." He wasn't aware that one of the natives had followed him into the woods and observed his emotional catharsis. The native ran back into the village and shouted, "White man is just like us. The white man is just like us!" Within six months the whole village was Christian.

3. Share the Truth

When Christians seek help, it is usually because life has dealt them a hard blow. They usually think something is wrong with them, and their perception of God is distorted. What a privilege to share with them the truth of who they are in Christ and help them repair their faulty belief system! I keep several copies of the "Who Am I?" (chapter 2) and "Since I Am in Christ" (chapter 3) lists handy in my office. When we lovingly share with people who they are in Christ, we are applying the truth of God's Word to the ailing root system of faulty beliefs. Too often counseling starts by finding out what is wrong with the client. We have the privilege to tell them what is right about them in Christ. This gives them the assurance of victory.

4. Call for a Response

Your role is to share the truth in love and to pray that the counselees will choose to believe it, but you cannot choose it for them. Christian counseling is dependent on the faith responses of the counselees. Our Lord said to those seeking His healing touch, "Your faith has made you well" (Mark 5:34); "Let it be done to you as you have believed" (Matthew 8:13). If those you share with will not repent and choose to believe the truth, you can't do much for them.

5. Help Them Be a Part of the Christian Community

Finally, we need to help people move from conflict to growth by encouraging them to develop healthy, supportive relationships. Progressive sanctification is a process that cannot be accomplished apart from the Christian community. The Christian life was never intended to be lived alone. We absolutely need God, and we necessarily need each other.

It will take us the rest of our lives to renew our minds and to conform to the image of God. We are what we are by the grace of God. All we have and can hope for—as disciplers and disciples, as counselors and counselees—is based on who we are in Christ. May your life and your ministry to others be shaped by your devotion to Him and the conviction that He is the way, the truth, and the life (see John 14:6).

 
Victory Over the Darkness: Realizing the Power of Your Identity in Christ.

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

 

God bless you all!

 

Join our “Victory over the Darkness” or “The Bondage Breaker” series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

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

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

 

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Are You for Real? – By Their Fruit You Will Know Them - Purity 512


 Are You for Real? – By Their Fruit You Will Know Them                                                                             

Purity 512 09/01/2021  Purity 512 Podcast

Good morning

Today’s photo of the last sunset of August ’21 over the Hudson River on the shores of Castleton-on-the-Hudson, NY comes to us from yours truly as I pulled over on the ride home last night to capture it.  While I got the setting sun sandwiched between these clouds, what isn’t in this scene was the amazing monolithic cloudscapes that were further to the left that looked like castles in the sky. 

My vantage point for those sights wasn’t ideal and I didn’t even bother with trying to capture it knowing that my phone’s camera wouldn’t have really done it justice.  Some things you just have to see for yourself.

Last evening I was welcomed into a Christian friend’s home for dinner and after the meal I enjoyed their family’s company, joking and chatting with their children. Their eldest son at one point was disobedient to his mother who decided not to force the issue and create a confrontation “in front of company”.  Parents have to be wise about when and where to “fight their battles” and know how kids can melt down at a moment’s notice.

It was a minor issue, to pick something up and put it in its proper place, but I took note of it, and while talking with their son I asked him if He was “for real” in terms of being a Christian.  I explained to him that I had made a lot of mistakes in my life and often chose to do things that I knew that were wrong and I suffered greatly for my poor decisions.  I told him that the value of being a Christian was in knowing what the right thing to do was,  and in actually doing it, and that if we knew what was right and didn’t do it, we would be “fake” Christians.  I explained that “fake” Christians are people who say they are Christians but who don’t live like it and suffer because of it.  I confessed that I didn’t know it at the time, but I was “fake Christian” in the past.    

My friend’s son then showed my his “Action Bible” – a graphic novel - comic book version of the Bible that some of the people that have worked on Marvel Comics produced and told me that he reads it all the time. I assured him that I thought that was great, but we also had to show that we are Christians in how we live. He agreed and assured me he was a “real Christian.” I told him that was great and suggested that he “honor his mother” by picking up and putting away the item that his mother asked him to pick up.  He agreed and did so.  His mother thanked him and then confirmed and testified that her son did choose to read his “Action Bible” on his own and she was amazed by and proud of how often she found him reading it. 

And that was it, no harsh rebuke, just a conversation from older Christian, who learned from trial and error, trying to show a young boy the better way to go by putting his faith into “Action”.  

Unfortunately, I have known and still know many “Christians” older than this boy that have not matured in their faith by putting it in action.  Recently, I have had people tell me about how a certain “brother” who has somewhat racy or angry material on their Facebook account and has many female “friends” that share provocative photos of themselves and have hundreds of “followers”.   

Christ said that we would know His disciples by their fruits, by their doing His commandments, and by their love for one another.  The epistles, the letters in the Bible addressed to the church, repeatedly encourage those in Christ to repent of their sins and flee sexual immorality.  

When we encounter people like our fleshly “brother”, we have to wonder are they a “real Christian”.   There are two possibilities in situations like this. 

1.    They don’t believe. They may say they do but God knows their hearts and they have never truly placed their faith in Christ. They are a wolf in sheep’s clothing. They profess to be a Christian and enter a church community and look to see “what’s in it for them”.  Invariably, they “take what they can get”, grow dissatisfied, and move on to the next church or abandon any semblance of being a Christian all together, usually with tales of the ill treatment they received at the last church they were part of or how they had “tried Christianity”.   

2.    They do believe. They did make Christ their Savior, but they are in bondage and don’t know their freedom in Christ. Their attendance may vary but they remain in the church. They aren’t going anywhere and that’s just the problem.  They stay mired in their problems and never seem to mature in their faith by putting it into action by living it in any consistent manner. They seem to decide that their faith is good, but it can only take them so far in life and they will have to do the rest on their own.      

As someone who was on the outside of the church for my most of my life, believe me that people could have described me as either one of the above examples.  I left Christian churches twice and went into a false religion for years.  After I got saved in 2010, I still had worldly ideas and fleshly ways, I never wanted to repent and frankly didn’t think I could. 

But with God all things are possible.  But the thing is, we have to be “real” honest with Him and ourselves and decide to be “real” Christians by choosing to surrender our ways for His. When we trust the Lord, we walk out of the darkness of our former sinful lives, and we discover that His ways are best.  

I have compassion for anyone who struggles with believing in God or who is living in bondage to fleshly ways but just like when I tried to impart some wisdom to my friend’s son, I can listen to their story but eventually I would have to ask them: “Are you for real?” and then I would explain how God was real and how He really made a way for us to find peace with Him and that through faith in Christ we could “really” live an abundant life.   

So, answer the Lord’s call on your life to follow Him. He calls everybody to repentance but only a few will trust Him and experience the peace, love, and joy that He freely gives.  So keep walking and talking with God. Examine your life and see what needs to be given to Him to heal. God is the creator, and He gives us a new life and a purpose in Christ.  He invites you to find it. He invites you to be “Real” and to be His forever.     


This morning’s meditation verse is:

2 Timothy 1:8 (NKJV)
8  Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God,

Today’s verse points to the fact that Christians will invariably suffer because of their faith. 

Yeah, the Christian life is not all sunsets and rainbows.  The Apostle Paul wrote this letter to Timothy from jail. He wasn’t being poetic when he referred to himself as “His prisoner”.  The suffering Paul experienced was because he wasn’t “ashamed of the testimony of our Lord” and boldly shared the good news of Jesus Christ.  

He didn’t do anything wrong. He was trying to tell people the truth that He had learned from the resurrected Christ, Himself.  So Paul did good but suffered for it.  But he knew what really mattered and instead of deciding to remain silent, or to ask for mercy and release by offering to recant, he encourages Timothy and all of us to “share in the sufferings of the gospel.”

What is he nuts?  Well no, he’s not.  Making peace with God and overcoming sin and death are worth the “sufferings” of this world.  While we don’t know how we may suffer by sharing the gospel of Christ, when we realize and experience its truth we are compelled to share it out of our love for God and out of our concern for others.   

When we become Christians and tell people the truth, we will be rejected but people without Christ are in grave and need to be saved. Being used by God to bring someone from death to life is worth our suffering. 

So don’t be ashamed of your faith. Live your life according to God’s ways and be an example of the “power of God” to transform someone’s life.  Be an ambassador of peace and hope by explaining that God has a plan for this chaotic world and that He offers the gift of eternal life and peace with Him freely through faith in Jesus Christ. 

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

 

Today we continue with Dr. Neil Anderson’s Victory Over the Darkness, continuing  Chapter 13.

 

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Dr. Anderson’s books for your own private study and to support his work. If you need this title you can find it online at several sites for less than $15.00:

Concepts for Counseling

When I taught pastoral counseling, I asked the students to describe on a sheet of paper the personal problem they would have the greatest difficulty sharing with another individual. When I sensed the anxiety level in the students had peaked, I told them to stop. They were relieved to learn I didn't really want them to share with someone else what they wrote. I seriously doubt if they would have written down their worst offense. I only wanted them to experience what it would feel like to disclose potentially damaging or embarrassing information about themselves. I am sure you understand how hard that would be.

Then I asked the students to describe the kind of person with whom they could share that intimate information. What kind of person would he or she have to be or not be, do or not do. Then I had every student share the number one criteria for sharing with another individual, while I wrote their responses on the board. The list usually included compassion, confidentiality, love, maturity, trust, lack of criticism, competence, ability to help, as well as others. Then I asked whom that list described and they always answered, "God."

Finally I completed the exercise by asking, "If you haven't before, would you now commit yourself to become that kind of person?" If you are not that kind of person, nobody will be willing to share anything with you. If others won't share their real problem, you can't help them.

Allow me to ask you the same question: Would you be willing to commit yourself to becoming the kind of person in whom someone could confide? In other words, would you commit yourself to being like Christ? Whether you sit on the platform or in the pew, whether you sit at a desk in a counseling office or at a dining-room table, God can use you to minister to people if you are willing to be a compassionate, caring confidant.

Christian counseling seeks to help people resolve personal and spiritual conflicts through genuine repentance and faith in God. The goal of Christian counseling—whether done by a pastor, a professional counselor, or a friend—is to help people experience their freedom in Christ so they can move on to maturity and fruitfulness in their walk with Him. Allow me to give you five practical tips for the formal or informal counseling you may do within your Christian relationships.

1. Help People Identify and Resolve Root Issues

Psalm 1:1-3 compares the mature Christian to a fruitful tree (see Figure 13-C). The fruitfulness of the branches above the ground is the result of the fertility of the soil and the health of the root system. The growing Christian is firmly rooted in Christ.

People usually seek counseling because something is wrong with their daily walk. Instead of being fruitful, their lives are barren. As with a tree, the presenting problem is seldom the root cause for their barren lives. They are not bearing any fruit because something is wrong with the root system.

I have developed "Steps to Freedom in Christ" designed to help Christians resolve their personal and spiritual conflicts. They are available in most Christian bookstores and can be obtained from the office of Freedom in Christ Ministries. The theological basis and practical use of these steps is explained in my book Helping Others Find Freedom in Christ (Regal Books).

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

 

God bless you all!

 

Join our “Victory over the Darkness” or “The Bondage Breaker” series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

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

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

 

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship


Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Who Are All These People? – Godsend Friends - Purity 511

 

Who Are All These People? – Godsend Friends                      

Purity 511 08/31/2021    Purity 511 Podcast

Good morning

Today’s photo of man’s best friend under ethereal skies, somewhere on the shores of Lake Michigan comes to us from a friend who packed up their trailer and took to the highways and byways for a summer road trip.  

Today is the last day of August, and while Green Day sings a song that tells us to wake them up when September ends, I thought I’d give everyone a heads up that the eighth month of the year has less then 24 hours left in it.   I stated yesterday that it wasn’t too late to make some plans to make some milestone moments for the summer of ’21 but sometimes being spontaneous and making quick decisions to seize the moment will work too.  

As I was out west in Esperance NY yesterday and was tired after burying a wire that was longer than a football field by hand, the sun came out. Although it was near the end of the workday and I didn’t particularly have any ideas in mind other than going home to rest, I suddenly was reminded that it was the end of August, my free time in the months ahead will be limited, and I have a friend who graciously has given me an open invitation to use their swimming pool.   My tired body protested by my soul and spirit said that time was of the essence and if I didn’t take these opportunities to enjoy my life, I just might regret it later.  

So I contacted my friend and they assured me I could use the pool and suddenly it was go time. I rushed back to the garage and grabbed my bag. Oh yeah, I have a bag in my vehicle now that is packed and ready to go for such spontaneous swim sessions and other activites.  In less than half an hour I was dressed and swimming. 

The weather wasn’t as sunny as it was in Esperance when I decided to go but the water was perfect, and I enjoyed watching the clouds above me move in and dissipate as I stretched out swimming in lazy back stroke laps.  The significant change in the weather from the last time I went swimming at my friend’s place and some fallen leaves in the pool testified that summer is indeed on the way out.  So friends, don’t be too distracted this week or this weekend because the times they are a changing and if you don’t take time to enjoy these days you might miss out on something that could be good.

After going home and resting for a while, I joined a zoom prayer call that Freedom in Christ Ministries does once a week and near the end the session, the call came for prayers of gratitude.  At that point I realized what an amazing year it has been so far since joining Freedom in Christ ministries.  

After finishing my master’s degree last year, I really felt led to become a Community Freedom Ministry Associate and that decision has led me to so many new things. It caused me to meet new people in the ministry, sent me to Texas for the CFMA Practicum, and caused me to change my ministry work at my local church.  It caused me to start the mt4christ247 podcast. It led me to meet new people from different churches that I now call friends. It has led me to make friends and impact people in other countries, on other continents.   

That’s decision to follow the call to Freedom in Christ ministries and all the decisions that followed has introduced me to so many new things and to form relationships with so many people that I didn’t even know before this year began. I mean we are talking like over 30 new friends, ministry contacts, and acquaintances and an undetermined amount of people who have been reached by my testimony and encouragements. The podcast that didn’t even exist last year has over 2,100 downloads in just over 6 months. And while I can’t know what impact I have had in anyone’s life; I can tell you that I have been blessed by all the new people I have met this year and am happy to call them friends.      

A common lament of life is that we “just keep doing the same old same old” and that “nothing changes”. While there will always be some truth in these statements for most of our lives, let me assure you that if you make the intentional decision to draw close to God and let Him guide you in the way you should go, there will be changes and you will do new things and meet new people. 

And no matter how daunting the challenges may be that you will face on your journey of a life of faith, the destination will be a good one and when you open your heart to show other people the love of Christ that you have received, you will be blessing to the people you encounter along the way, and you will be blessed through them.

So seize the day and keep walking and talking with God. When you follow where He leads you, you may end up  wondering “Who are all these people?”,  But then you will thank the Lord as you realize that they are your “Godsend Friends”, who you never would have met if you didn’t surrender to Him and follow His call.


This morning’s meditation verse is:

2 Timothy 2:21 (NKJV)
21  Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.

Today’s verse points to the Christian’s disciple’s need to sanctify themselves in order to find and fulfill their purpose in Christ.   

The “latter” that is mentioned in today’s verse that we need to be cleansed from is “dishonor” in the context of this section of scripture.  The Apostle Paul warns Timothy , and all Christians, in the previous verses to not only be cleansed of iniquity, in verse 19, but to also “shun profane and idle babblings” in verse 16.  I like to point that out because it gives us a true sense of how all the aspects of our lives matter.  

Unfortunately, most Christians have a somewhat immature or ignorant view of our faith where they think of sin as a violation of certain rules of conduct and that the requirements of a Christian life lie in just “not doing bad things.”  

This section of scripture points to a higher standard. Yes, we are to cleanse ourselves of iniquity, overt outward volitional sins, but we are to also keep our minds free of idle and profane things of this world that would lead to iniquity.

So it’s not necessarily okay to look and listen, but not touch, where we try to indulge our desires of temptations to a certain point but not step over the line.  Nor are we to indulge in negative or profane thoughts that are contrary to the ways of God.  

Christians need to do more than change their outward conduct.  Christians can only experience the new abundant life that Christ has given us by renewing our minds to accept God’s ways for living and to reject the worldly ways that we grew up with.   

When we embrace Christ as our Savior and Lord, we don’t want to hold Him in our arms but have our minds set on things that are contrary to Him.  

So endeavor to let go of your sins and renew your mind with the word of God.  When you do that, you will increasingly know how good it is to be a “vessel of honor” that is useful to the Lord, and you will be prepared for the amazing things that He has planned for you to experience.  

Our purpose as Christians is twofold. We are to be transformed by the renewing of the mind as we conform to the image of Christ, but we are also to be an agent of transformation as we engage with the world and impact other people through the things we say and do.  

Walk towards to the honorable life of service and sanctification that the Lord has for you. For the word says in 1 Thessalonians 4:3, “… this is the will of God, your sanctification…”.      

 

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

 

Today we continue with Dr. Neil Anderson’s Victory Over the Darkness, continuing  Chapter 13.

 

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Dr. Anderson’s books for your own private study and to support his work. If you need this title you can find it online at several sites for less than $15.00:

Designs for Discipleship

Level III: Walking in Christ (Colossians 2:6)

Spiritually mature people are identified as those whose senses are "trained to discern good and evil" (Hebrews 5:14). Discernment is not just a function of the mind; it is also a function of the Spirit. Through His Spirit, God will identify to the spiritually mature believer a compatible spirit and warn against an incompatible spirit. Spiritual discernment is the first line of defense in spiritual warfare.

Rationally, people are perishing "for lack of knowledge" (Hosea 4:6). Mature people can live productive lives if they know what to do or how to do it. Counseling at this level is just good, biblical common sense.

Emotionally, the mature believer learns to be content in all circumstances (see Phil. 4:11). This life is full of discouragements, and many of the believer's desires will go unmet. None of the believer's goals will go unfulfilled as long as it is a godly goal. In the midst of life's trials, Christians need encouragement. To encourage means to give people the courage to carry on. Every discipler should be an encourager.

Someone has said the successful Christian life hinges on the exercise of the will. The undisciplined person is incapable of living a productive life, but the disciplined Christian is a Spirit-filled person who has no unresolved conflicts of which he or she is aware.

Relationally, mature believers no longer live for themselves but for others. Perhaps the greatest test of the believer's maturity is found in the call, "Be devoted to one another in brotherly love" (Romans 12:10). "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another" (John 13:35).

Simply stated, the third goal of discipleship is to help others function as believers in their homes, on their jobs and in society. The effective Christian walk involves the proper exercise of intellect, talents, and spiritual gifts in serving others and being a positive witness in the world.

Too many Christians are stuck on Level I, locked into the past, immobilized by fear, and isolated by rejection. They have no idea who they are in Christ, so they are making very little progress in becoming like Him. Rather than telling immature believers what they should do, let's help them celebrate what Christ has already done and help them become who they already are in Him.


Victory Over the Darkness: Realizing the Power of Your Identity in Christ.

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

 

God bless you all!

 

Join our “Victory over the Darkness” or “The Bondage Breaker” series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

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

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

 

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship