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

Monday, August 7, 2023

Fantasy – Dangerous Imaginations - Self-Deception Series 25 – Purity 1114

Fantasy – Dangerous Imaginations - Self-Deception Series 25 – Purity 1114

Purity 1114 08/07/2023 Purity 1114 Podcast

Purity 1114 on YouTube: 

Good morning,

Today’s photo of an apocalyptic mushroom misty morning sunrise over an almost ghostly overgrown dew drenched field comes to us from yours truly as I captured this foggy scene yesterday morning just beyond my countryside home while out on a “freedom walk” with my canine pal, Harley. 

It was chilly enough yesterday morning to put on and zip up my three season hoody as I walked through a fog shrouded landscape but I was pleasantly surprised later that this scene wasn’t the beginning of another “white sky summer” day as the misty morning dream like haze was only temporary as the air cleared, the sky was revealed to be blue, and the chilly temperatures became a distant memory as the sun burned away any fears that summer was “almost gone” less than an hour later. Yesterday was so sunny and bright, if I didn’t know better and have photographic evidence to prove it, I could have thought that the morning’s fog was just a dream or a figment of my imagination.    

But even though I am still living in the suspended reality of “vacation” for another week and the continual traipsing through quasi-ethereal realm of God’s kingdom as I walk in the Spirit, I try to keep myself grounded by simultaneously agreeing with the eternal truths of who I am in Christ and humbly and contentedly accepting where I am in life.   While I have great hopes for a future life of full time ministry, somewhere, somehow, to some call – someday, I try to avoid daydreaming or imagining what that may be too much because when we fantasize about a future happiness elsewhere, we have a tendency to become discontented, ungrateful, and downright bothered with the present. When we imagine “what it could be like” too much, it isn’t long before we begin to lament “why does it have to be this way!” about what was previously a life of contentment.      

Our imaginations can dream up amazing possibilities for the future or they can help us take a break from our current struggles, but if we are not careful with keeping our thoughts and “fantasy lives: under wraps they can drive our emotions, and subsequently our actions, into all kinds of directions and unintended destinations.    

And that brings us to our current series on Self- Deception, where we have decided to investigate some of the ways we deceive ourselves by walking through Step 2, Deception Vs. Truth, of the Steps to Freedom in Christ to see what ways we may have been deceived by “the world” and ourselves and in what ways we have wrongly defended ourselves. 

So we present the second of the  “Ways to Wrongly Defend Yourself”:

2. Fantasy  

The Steps to Freedom in Christ describe fantasy as “escaping reality by daydreaming, TV, movies, music, computer or video games, drugs, or alcohol.”

As a general warning I share Meier, et al’s comments regarding fantasy, Under the topic of schizophrenia where they write:

“Fantasies and daydreams increase as such individuals withdraw more and more from the external world. [1]

So what is the harm in indulging in a little fantasy?

Besides being associated with mental illness, fantasy is defined as the “the faculty or activity of imagining things, especially things that are impossible or improbable”  and it is proven to be synonymous with “a lie” because one of fantasy’s opposites is “truth”.  

According to Dr. Neil Anderson’s book Victory Over the Darkness, one of the things that drives depression is having a goal that is “impossible”. Now while I will be the first one that tells you to question what is impossible, because with God many things are possible,  I would ask you to consider whether or not it is a good idea to continually imagine things that are “impossible or improbable” a good ide?

When we also considering the things that are associated with “fantasy” – TV, music, video games, drugs and alcohol (why is sex not listed?) – we have to wonder what the content of our fantasies will be like.  With those things in the mix, do you suppose that our fantasies will be centered on all the good we could do in the world for the kingdom of God? 

While that’s possible, it’s more likely that the content of fantasy will stem from dark desires rather than good intentions. Violent or Sexual fantasies that are played out through these various media forms are considered murder and adultery according to Christ (Matthew 5: 22,28)   Drugs and alcohol lower inhibitions and I know from experience that the vicious cycles they create  wreak havoc on your emotions and can contribute to all kinds of sin.  

Besides these obvious traps of the enemy that are laid with fantasy, we also have to remember that even fantasizing about good things can be a danger as Adam & Eve’s original sin stemmed from a desire to “be like God”.  Even our thoughts to do good or bet better can cause problems by either inflating our self-righteousness and pride or driving us to despair and discontentment over not living “our best life now”. 

In our spiritual walk, the battlefield is the mind. This is where the world, the flesh, and the devil come against us to drive us outside of God’s will for our lives and so we have to be careful to take every thought captive to the obedience to Christ (meaning our thoughts don’t go against God’s word or wisdom) and that we are not led astray by our own imaginations, thinking too highly or too lowly of ourselves.   Instead of engaging in fantasy, we should endeavor to align ourselves with the truth by knowing what God’s word says, how it applies to the real world, and what it tells us about who we are in Christ.   

Rather than supposing what we could do , could have, or could be through our own means, we should meditate on who we are in Christ and follow where the Holy Spirit leads us and see what we could do with God’s help.  God has given us a sound mind in Christ, and we should avoid imagining anything that would take us out of it.


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

Today’s Bible verse comes 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. ( )

This morning’s meditation verses come from the section on Affliction, Discipline, Chastisement, & Trials.

2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (NKJV)
7  And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.
8  Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me.
9  And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
10  Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Today’s verses fall under the eleventh point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Affliction, Discipline, Chastisement, & Trials

 11. “Paul was given a thorn in the flesh, a continual affliction to bear. God promised him that His grace would always be sufficient.” 

Today’s passage of scripture demonstrates that even a faithful servant of the Lord, like the Apostle Paul, can have their prayers requests denied and have to suffer in life. Our world is broken by sin, pain, suffering, and death but they are not with their purposes. The Lord used Paul’s thorn in the flesh to keep him from pride and to make Him realize his complete and utter dependence on God.

Although I can’t claim anywhere close to the things Paul suffered for the kingdom, I understand how suffering pain, grief, and loss can cause us to draw close to God.  In times of affliction, I have prayed for mercy, healing, comfort, and peace and sought the Lord’s presence and guidance and even though I can’t claim instant relief and miraculous healings to all my requests, I can tell you that the Lord helped me because He never left me or forsook me. While I had to suffer much, He was with me through it all and I have learned that it is only through the Lord that we can ever find healing or peace. And so we suffer what comes with patience and trust that the Lord will be with us and help us until we see Him face to face.    


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  The Holy Spirit By A.W. Pink.

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

A.W. Pink’s The Holy Spirit

18 - The Spirit Indwelling

What “Indwelling” Denotes

“But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you” (Rom. 8:9). Three things are denoted by the Spirit’s “indwelling.” First, intimacy. As the inhabitant of a house is more familiar there than elsewhere, so is the Spirit in the hearts of Christ’s redeemed. God the Spirit is omnipresent, being everywhere essentially, being excluded nowhere: “Whither shall I go from Thy Spirit? or whither shall I flee from Thy presence?” (Ps. 139:7). But as God is said more especially to be there where He manifests His power and presence, as Heaven is “His dwelling place,” so it is with His Spirit. He is in believers not simply by the effects of common Providence, but by His gracious operations and familiar presence. “Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you” (John 14:17). The world of natural men are utter strangers to the Spirit of God, not being acquainted with His sanctifying operations, but He intimately discovers His presence to those who are quickened by Him.

Second, constancy: “dwelling” expresses a permanent abode. The Spirit does not affect the regenerate by a transient action only, or come “upon” them occasionally as He did the Prophets of old, when He endowed them for some particular service above the measure of their ordinary ability—but He abides in them by working such effects as are lasting. He comes to the believer not as a Visitor, but as an Inhabitant: He is within us “a well of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:14). He lives in the renewed heart, so that by His constant and continual influence He maintains the life of grace in us. By the blessed Spirit Christians are “sealed unto the day of redemption” (Eph. 4:30).

Third, sovereignty: this is also denoted under the term “dwell.” He is owner of the house, and not an underling. From the fact that the believer’s body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, the Apostle points out the necessary implication that he is “not his own” (1 Cor. 6:19). Previously he was possessed by another owner, even Satan—the evil spirit says, “I will return into my house” (Matthew 12:44). But the Spirit has dispossessed him, and the sanctified heart has become His “house,” where He commands and governs after His own will. Take again the figure of the sanctuary: “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” (1 Cor. 3:16). A “temple” is a sacred dwelling, employed for the honor and glory of God, where He is to be revered and worshipped, and from which all idols must be excluded.[2]

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

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

at, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

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

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

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

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

For those who require the assistance of a Deeper Walk International Prayer Minister to experience healing or your freedom in Christ, I highly recommend Christy Edge’s Life on the Edge Freedom Prayer Ministry. You can schedule a session by going to :     

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

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

[1] Paul D. Meier M.D. et al., Introduction to Psychology and Counseling: Christian Perspectives and Applications, Second Edition. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1991), 281–290.

[2] Arthur Walkington Pink, The Holy Spirit (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, n.d.).


Sunday, January 30, 2022

Launch of the MT4Christ247 You Tube Channel! - Victory over the Darkness 2021 Lesson 1 is up!

I am happy to announce the Launch of the MT4Christ247 You Tube Channel! 

This Channel will be used to share the Discipleship Classes that I taught at Rock Solid Church in 2021 and to share other encouragements or messages as I see fit to encourage the body of Christ to walk out their faith on the path of Christian Discipleship on a continuous basis to help them experience and maintain their Freedom in Christ!    

To subscribe click here: MT4Christ247 You Tube Channel.

My other attempt at a you tube channel, made via is sort of hit and miss in terms of what is automatically uploaded, so I have decided to be more intentional about uploading content to this new channel.  

I hope that this new venture will encourage people to "take a class" and experience their Freedom in Christ.   If you would like the printed materials for the classes, free of charge via email, contact me at   

God bless you all, and keep walking and talking with God.   

M. T. Clark  

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 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, You can also find it on Apple podcasts ( The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and 

Email me at 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 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!


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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship