The Victorious Cycle of Life in the Spirit - Purity 1191
Purity 1191 11/06/2023
Purity 1191 on YouTube:
Today’s photo of the setting sun lighting up the sky over the Hudson River comes to us from yours truly as I captured this photo on the go while I was passing through Castleton on the Hudson on my way back to River House yesterday afternoon after a fabulous weekend with my wife, TammyLyn in the “real upstate NY” and points considerably further east and north in the Greem Mountains National Forest of Vermont.
Well, It’s Monday, and if you guys somehow missed it – It’s November with a capital BURR – as any remnant of “Indian Summer”, or whatever it is okay to call the warmer days of Autumn, are gone. I don’t mean to cause any anguish or dread but “Winter is coming” and even though it won’t be here officially until December 21st, the cold temperatures and snow, yes snow, that fell in various places of both the “real” and “not real” upstate NY attest to the fact that we are on borrowed time in terms of assuming we can enjoy carefree outdoor excursions in pleasant or bearable temperatures or that our commutes to and fro will be similarly snow free.
The wife and I do enjoy going out on short hikes to enjoy the beauty, silence, and stillness of God’s creation from time to time so because the weather was agreeable, we set out to the Lye Brook Falls Trailhead near Manchester Vermont to boldly go where we have never gone before to stretch our legs and to enjoy what the Lord has given us in His earth and in our marriage.
I’m currently, without a doubt, in the best physical shape of my life and while I was “down for whatever” or at least I said I was in terms of going on a hike this weekend, I have to admit that when the Lye Brook Falls Trail was rocky and wet and seemed to be going up, and up, and up, I wondered just how long our hike was going to be! Two point three miles is not that long of a hike, but when you are going up its hard to gauge how far you have gone, and while the hike didn’t defeat me I have to admit that the physical stress of the hike made me determined to push on and “get there already!”
That’s the thing about a journey, until you get there you really have no “experiential idea” of how close you are to the finish line. And on Saturday, the trail was pretty well populated, and we encountered many people hiking out while we were hiking in. There were so many people coming out that I was simultaneously encouraged because “If they could make it, I could make it” and discouraged “How far away is this place!”. After a while it was like, being at a circus with the clowns crammed in a car gag- how many people does this mountain have on it exactly? And as the going got tough, I was almost tempted to ask one of them “How much further is it?” but I was worried that A. They would think less of me- “Struggling to get up the mountain, are we!?” or B. Tell me what I didn’t want to know – “Oh man, there is a LONG WAY to go and if you are asking now, you might want to turn around and go back!”
But I resisted the temptation to make inquiries and just pressed on until we finally reached the Falls at the end of the trail! After arriving I was able to relax and the way out was a whole lot easier than the way in, in part undoubtedly, because I had “been there and done that” or at least had gone that way once before.
TammyLyn on the other hand, enjoyed the journey on the way in and well as on the way out, by taking her time and going at her own pace. She wasn’t very far behind me but was a long way ahead of me in appreciating the experience. But that’s me and that’s her, the same but different. We both love the outdoors but – as a “man” maybe – I have to get to where I am going before I can relax – I’m destination-driven and after a while of walking in the wilderness, “I’m like – okay – I get it – trees, forest, middle of now where – let’s go!” – Whereas my wifey, is taking pictures of mushrooms and rocks…. But we know each other and love one another and let each other go at their own pace. We walk together but respect each other’s right to go their own way with the understanding that we never get too far away from one another. While I might push on ahead, I would always stop and wait to make sure TammyLyn was still with me. Although I may have stretched it a bit during this hike, I know that we are together no matter the distance. God brought us together and I won’t do anything to mess that up.
Walking together does take some getting used to – with couples and with the Lord. As I have reflected on the relationship I have with God of walking in the Spirit – I have been challenged to not rush ahead and to stay in step with the Holy Spirit because I have learned I can “get there” sooner than God plans, and often get lost when I go my own way. But I have learned just how good it is in His company and am determined to never walk away from Him for too long.
In reflecting on my walk in the Spirit, I felt moved to update my “virtuous cycle” model for walking in the Spirit – to visually represent the Holy Spirit and God’s love – and the love of self and others – to better define the walk that brings us to love God, know and love who we are in Christ, and causes us to change the way we live and love others.
Here’s the original Virtuous Cycle:
The Holy Spirit comes to live in our hearts when we put our faith in Jesus. The Holy Spirit gives us God’s love and Truth, which should “illuminate us” – giving us spiritual life – and cause us to love God (1st thing) – and then the truth of who we are in Christ should cause us to know and love who we are in Christ (2nd thing) and that love should cause us to live according to God’s truth, changing how we live and causing us to seek to show and share God’s love with others. The hearts represent God’s love and how it expands outward. The arrows show that this is a continuous cycle of living, that never ends. It’s a good place to be and stay – as God is at the center of it and the fruit of the Spirit would grow all around it!
So, if you don’t know which way to go anymore and want a guide for your life that will fill your life with truth, love, and joy – make Jesus Christ the LORD and Savior of your life and follow where the Holy Spirit guides you. And no matter how difficult your path through life may get, just keep walking and talking with God and He will give you an amazing journey that never ends.
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. (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 Children.
Acts 2:39 (NIV2011)
39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
Today’s verse is the second of two scriptures that fall under the second point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Children.
2. Children of believers belong to God and are in his covenant.
Today’s verse tells us that God’s promise is for everyone that the Lord calls to life through faith in Jesus. The call is not for everyone – some won’t be moved to answer it- and so if we hear the Lord’s still quiet voice in our minds or our hearts to follow Him, we need to answer!
And we need to encourage our children to do the same. We need to live a Christian life to show them the power of God in the world of the living and to demonstrate that He is real and His good and His ways are wisdom, truth, and love.
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 are sharing from A. W. Pink’s – The Arthur Pink Anthology - a collection of A.W. Pink’s tracts brought together in one book and dispersed here on the blog for your encouragement.
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 free as a PDF at many sites, but printed copies of collections of A.W. Pink’s books are available for purchase wherever Christian books are sold.
The Arthur Pink Anthology – 2
Another Gospel – Part 4 of 5
One night to our joy, the one who had been preaching the Gospel (?) for several years, confessed that he had found Christ only the previous night. He acknowledged (to use his own words) that he had been presenting “the Christ ideal” but not the Christ of the Cross. The writer believes there are thousands like this preacher who, perhaps, have been brought up in Sunday School, taught about the birth, life, and teachings of Jesus Christ, who believe in the historicity of His person, who spasmodically endeavor to practice His precepts, and who think that that is all that is necessary for their salvation. Frequently, this class when they reach manhood go out into the world, encounter the attacks of atheists and infidels and are told that such a person as Jesus of Nazareth never lived. But the impressions of early days cannot be easily erased, and they remain steadfast in their declaration that they “believe in Jesus Christ.” Yet, when their faith is examined, only too often it is found that though they believe many things about Jesus Christ they do not really believe in him. They believe with the head that such a person lived (and, because they believe this imagine that therefore they are saved), but they have never thrown down the weapons of their warfare against Him, yielded themselves to Him, nor truly believed with their heart in Him.
The bare acceptance of an orthodox doctrine about the person of Christ without the heart being won by Him and the life devoted to Him, is another phase of that way “which seemeth right unto a man” but the end thereof are “the ways of death.” A mere intellectual assent to the reality of Christ’s person, and which goes no further, is another phase of the way which “seemeth right unto a man” but of which the end thereof “are the ways of death,” or, in other words, is another aspect of the gospel of Satan.
And now, where do you stand? Are you in the way which “seemeth right,” but which ends in death; or, are you in the Narrow Way which leadeth unto life? Have you truly forsaken the Broad Road which leadeth to death? Has the love of Christ created in your heart a hatred and horror of all that is displeasing to Him? Are you desirous that he should “reign over” you? (Luke 19:14). Are you relying wholly on His righteousness and blood for your acceptance with God?
Those who are trusting to an outward form of godliness, such as baptism or “confirmation!” those who are religious because it is considered a mark of respectability; those who attend some Church or Chapel because it is the fashion to do so; and, those who unite with some Denomination because they suppose that such a step will enable them to become Christians, are in the way which “ends in death”—death spiritual and eternal. However pure our motives, however noble our intentions, however well-meaning our purposes, however sincere our endeavors, God will not acknowledge us as His sons, until we accept His Son.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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