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Showing posts with label Walter Martin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Walter Martin. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Food Addiction - “The Sweet” & “The Eat” - 40 Day Journey with Martin Luther – Day 31 - Purity 1304


 Food Addiction - “The Sweet” & “The Eat” - 40 Day Journey with Martin Luther – Day 31 - Purity 1304

Purity 1304 03/20/2024 Purity 1304 Podcast

Purity 1304 on YouTube:



Good morning,

Today’s photo of blue skies over what we are calling “Out West Boulder” comes to us from a currently unknown FB Friend who shared this scene while out hiking in some currently unknown state or national park and shared it on social media on or around April 7th, 2021.  If this photo is yours, give me a heads up and I will update the blog to give you the photo credit you deserve after the fact.   

Well, it’s Wednesday, and I shared today’s photo to continue “cleaning house” of the unknown photos in my iPhone’s photo archive, to visually represent our arrival at another hump day, and to encourage those of us out there who seem to be “going around the mountain” of the same old problems over and over again. 

After experiencing a significant breakthrough in my battle with food addiction and my physical health, I continue to struggle with consistency with my food plan and “keeping the change” because this struggle doesn’t really allow for indulgences or “taking a break”.

The way to victory and progress over addictions of any kind is the elimination, not moderation, of the things that keep you in bondage and in not arguing for your “rights” as much as submitting to your “responsibility” of staying constant in your decision not to give into the things that can be seemingly harmless that are a stronghold of patterned or conditioned thinking and behavior that may bring a measure of pleasure but go contrary to your physical, mental, or spiritual health.  We tend to have a love-hate relationship with the objects of our addictions but just like any bad relationship the hard truth is that we won’t know joy or peace that we could have unless we end it. We have to see the object of our addiction for the “toxic” thing that it is (toxic for us specifically) and say goodbye to it. 

As I have examined my weaknesses in the battle against my food addiction, I have developed the insight that my specific triggers seem to fall into two categories which I have codified as: “The Sweets” and “The Eats”. 

The Sweets – I noticed that perhaps my biggest weakness is sweet – dessert-like foods. Cake, cookies, ice cream, candy, and soda have all been recognized as things I crave and have no real self-control over when I indulge.   If I eat these – just one is not enough and I will generally consume these foods until all of whatever is present is gone. And I also noticed that when I give into these foods one day, there is a yearning for them the next day. 

The Eats – I don’t know if it is because I love to “comfort myself” with feeling full or if this is a product of being brought up in a “clean your plate” or “eating/snacking is good” environment during my childhood but as I have done battle with food addiction I noticed that I have a tendency to “eat all I can” – meaning I don’t really gauge what I eat based on feelings of hunger – I eat up to the limit to what my food plan allows and if I discover that there is still “caloric or carb” money to spend near the end of the day, I will enthusiastically pick out things to spend all of my “food” budget.  “The Eats” is essentially that urge to pig-out with reckless abandon, to mindlessly eat without thinking about what is being consumed or without caring – demanding my “rights” to “enjoy life” or “treat” myself when in fact this behavior will be regretted later because it goes contrary to my health goals and it also has the “weight of pain” – physically sometimes and mentally – as I feel like a failure. 

Knowing is half the battle so having these insights and naming them – “The Sweet” & “The Eat” – is good but as with any insight or any new information that comes our way, they are only valuable if we learn from them, experientially, and they cause us to recognize these areas of weakness and make changes to not be subject to them any longer. 

With the stress around things that have been happening in my family, I stress ate on Monday, – a big SWEET & Eat Binge, and although I was “on plan” yesterday I am writing about this today to speak out loud what I have learned to remind myself to avoid these traps and to try to end “these relationships” with “The Sweet” and “The Eat” by not demanding “my right to do wrong” anymore.  In this struggle indulgences are costly, and I want to be free of the pain that these conditioned patterns of thinking and behavior bring to my life. So, I repent. 

It's the season of repentance, Lent and speaking of Lent..  

It’s the thirty-first day of Lent and so we continue my personal walkthrough of Gracia Grindal’s 40 Day Journey with Martin Luther to observe and celebrate the Lenten season.   In this walkthrough of Grindal’s devotional,  it is our hope that we will get to know Martin Luther a little better as we seek to draw closer to the Lord on our journey to Resurrection Sunday – Easter.  

And so we continue.

Journey Day 31

May your will come about on earth as in heaven.

How does this come about? Answer:

Whenever God breaks and hinders every evil scheme and will- as are present in the will of the devil, the world, and our flesh- that would not allow us to hallow God's name and would prevent the coming of his kingdom, and instead whenever God strengthens us and keeps us steadfast in his word, and in faith until the end of our lives. This is his gracious and great will.

What we pray for concerns only ourselves in that... we ask that what otherwise might be done without us may also be done in us. Just as God's name must be hallowed and his kingdom must come even without our prayer, so must his will be done and prevail even though the devil and all his host bluster, storm, and rage furiously against it in their attempt to exterminate the gospel utterly. But we must pray for our own sake so that his will may be done also among us without hindrance, in spite of their fury, so that they may accomplish nothing and we may remain steadfast against all violence and persecution and submit to the will of God.

Biblical Wisdom

But he knew what they were thinking and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself becomes a desert, and house falls on house. If Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that I cast out the demons by Beelzebul. Now if I cast out the demons by Beelzebul, by whom do you and your exorcists cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out the demons, then the kingdom of God has come to you. Luke 11:17-20.

Silence for Meditation.

Pause the podcast, or stop reading, and sit quietly for 60 seconds, a few minutes, or 10-15 minutes, or however long you feel comfortable with and have time for. Focus on your breath and the calm stillness in the present moment that is always available to us in God’s creation. Meditate on Martin Luther’s comments for the day, and the content of today’s Biblical wisdom.

Questions to Ponder

·       Luther understood that a Christian or church that seeks to be faithful to God's will can expect to experience “violence and persecution”. Why is this so? What evidence of this do you see in the world?

As we know the world, the flesh, and the devil oppose the will of God from being done and when we persist to do what is right according to God’s word and share the gospel of Jesus Christ specifically, we can expect persecution.  I personally have lost relationships and have suffered mild persecution because of my faith. As for evidence in the world, according to Opendoorsus.org, 13 Christians were killed per day for a total of 4,998 deaths in 2023 (https://www.opendoorsus.org/en-US/persecution/persecution-trends/)

·       In what ways might a community of faith work together to discern the will of God for them?

The best way to discern the will of God is to regularly read the Bible, obey its principles for living, and by praying to the Lord for guidance.

·       Can God’s will ever be thwarted?

Because God is sovereign, His will is never thwarted. God works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose but we are limited in our understanding of how pain and suffering can be a part of God’s will and think that those things and the evil in this world somehow negates God’s will but we must realize that those things are a rightful judgment or consequence on a world that has been broken by sin and can be used by God to bring people to Him.  His ways are higher than our ways and faith is about trusting that what happens in life is under God’s sovereign control and ultimate will.

Psalm Fragment

Your way, O God, is holy. What god is so great as our God? You are the God who works wonders; You have displayed your might among the peoples. With your strong arm you redeemed your people, the descendants of Jacob and Joseph. Psalm 77:13-15.

Journal Reflections

·       Write about how, in your own life, you try to discern the will of God.

God’s word and the Holy Spirit lead me into truth and guide me into repentance and as for the direction of my life, I pray for the Lord to show me what to do next.  I’m not always sure about where my life in Christ will take me but I try to be faithful to seek the Lord every day and follow what I believe that He wants me to do. 

·       Have you ever prayed “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” as a source of courage and strength in resisting the “enemy” and following God's will? If so, write about the experience and if it was helpful. If not, right about whether it seems a useful spiritual practice. Why not try it?

Oh yeah, the Lord’s prayer has been used to give me strength and courage all the time. Leaning on the Lord to help me out of the darkness of my addictions and negative mental mind stated has “worked” because I have tried to surrender to do His will with the way I live my life.  

·       Have you ever found yourself working against God's will? If so, how did you come to realize it? If not, can you imagine yourself working against God's will?

Sin is against God’s will. So yes, I have found myself working against God’s will in many ways.  His word revealed to me what sin is and that a righteous life is important to Him.  The conviction of the Holy Spirit has caused me to turn from the ways I have lived in the past and moves me to continually seek God and His will for my life.

Prayers for the Life of Faith

Pray that the will of God may also be done in you and ask forgiveness for times in which you may have, as a sinful creature, opposed God's will.

Lord, I ask for your forgiveness for all the times I have gone against your will, and I pray that your will be done in my life as it is in heaven. I accept your forgiveness and ask for the Holy Spirit to fill me to give me the strength and wisdom to walk in your ways. Amen.

Prayer For Today

Almighty God, may your will be done on earth as in heaven, and may it also be done in me.

Amen.

(Gracia M. Grindal. 40-day Journey With Martin Luther. Kindle Edition.

(We encourage you to purchase Grindal’s book and take the 40 Day Journey with Martin Luther for yourself by purchasing Grindal’s book wherever books are sold. You can find it online at many different sites and purchase it new, used – paper or electronic for less than $15.00).

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

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

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

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

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

Ecclesiastes 4:6 (ESV)
6  Better is a handful of quietness than two hands full of toil and a striving after wind.

Today’s verse is the third of three passages of scripture that fall under the fifteenth point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Contentment, Coveting, and Priorities.

15. Don’t wear yourself out to get rich.

Today’s verse describes the ways of this world as two hands full of toil and striving after wind – alluding to the chasing after worldly wealth that will one day slip from our grasps when we die showing us how futile the accumulation of wealth and seeking after circumstantial happiness is.  Quietness – peace – is its opposite and the only true peace we can have in this world comes from having peace with God through faith in Jesus where we can be assured of the forgiveness of our sins and of life everlasting. So stop striving and toiling after the wind and follow the Holy Spirit into the quiet ways of peace, love, and joy that are found in the presence of the Lord and a life surrendered to His will.

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

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

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

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

EVENING READING: LUKE 20

“Those who are counted worthy to attain that age,
and the resurrection from the dead.” – Luke 20:35

“Counted worthy” – what a blessed expression! Especially when I consider on what grounds I shall be counted worthy to obtain that world and the resurrection.

By nature, there is “none who does good” (Rom. 3:12). “All have sinned” (Rom. 3:23). In flesh, “nothing good dwells” (Rom. 7:18). But on the grounds of the atoning work and person of the Lord Jesus, I have been “accepted in the Beloved” (Eph. 1:6), not having my own righteousness, but the righteousness which is of Christ. Therefore, I have been counted worthy to be a partaker of the inheritance in Light, “to attain that age, and the resurrection from the dead.”

I am a sinner and yet He counts me worthy.
Blessed be His Name![1]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Tunnel Vision – Problems Stealing Your Peace - 40 Day Journey with Martin Luther – Day 19 - Purity 1292

Tunnel Vision – Problems Stealing Your Peace - 40 Day Journey with Martin Luther – Day 19 - Purity 1292

Purity 1292 03/06/2024 Purity 1292 Podcast

Purity 1292 on YouTube: 



Good morning,

Today’s photo of a “mountain” of a palm tree in the foreground of the setting sun comes to us from Pat Harris who shared this scene on social media back on February 27th.   Well, It’s Wednesday and while this tree isn’t a mountain I thought that it was a fine way to welcome us all to the midpoint of the work week. So happy hump day, may God’s light shine upon you regardless of the weather.  

Anyway, over the last couple of days, I was sharing some photos from unknown FB friends from back in 2021 because I was struggling with a situation at home and a day hasn’t changed that but this morning I have decided to redirect my thoughts to the things I do know and the things I can control – My God and my thoughts and actions.  Getting upset about the condition of the other people in our lives is understandable. However, the excessive worry and anxiety that is caused by our concern is something the enemy loves to see and will seek to increase to steal our joy and peace and to lead us into sin.  

When we are upset, our moods can cause us to do and say things that reflect the world, the flesh, and the devil more than who we are in Christ.  When we are faced with a problem that we can’t control with unknown or uncertain outcomes that we are “a hoping and a praying” to go a certain way, we can become blinded to the good things we currently have and see the world around us as hostile.  Our worry and anxiety can take that one problem and make it into a “mountain” and that mountain can collapse and become an avalanche that spills into the other areas of our lives.  When we are upset with a personal relationship, we can become dissatisfied with our professional lives, our current place in life, the uncertainty regarding other areas of our lives. Our inability to “fix” this one problem, can cause us to doubt our ability to do anything right!  When one problem gets blown up and takes centerstage of our lives, it can make everything look like a problem.  

But that’s a lie. That’s tunnel vision, and the enemy will use it to sow seeds of discontent, despair, depression, and anger into our lives to make us sin.  In frustration over the situation I have been focusing on, my language has been foul – as if swearing will relieve my stress or make things better.  My tunnel vision has caused me to echo the sentiments of the one I am trying to help – “Yeah, I hate my job too…”  - That’s a lie. “Yeah, I hate my life too… Deal with it.”  Another lie, with some hard advice but still a lie… and I am saying these things to myself – nobody else gets that hard advice but me, and it causes me to look at the negative aspects of my life, when in fact I am blessed, happy, and content. 

So in this season of Lent, I am repenting of the dialog that I have been locked in and am going to focus on who I am in Christ and release the problem to the Lord. I said what I needed to say and pointed people to the way they needed to go. And for today, I have to let things go and let God and the other people involved in this situation do what they are going to do. In the meantime, I will draw close to God and enjoy the peace that I have in Him alone.  So let’s draw in with the next day of our 40 Day Journey with Martin Luther. 

It’s the nineteenth day of Lent and so we continue my personal walkthrough of Gracia Grindal’s 40 Day Journey with Martin Luther to observe and celebrate the Lenten season.   In this walkthrough of Grindal’s devotional,  it is our hope that we will get to know Martin Luther a little better as we seek to draw closer to the Lord on our journey to Resurrection Sunday – Easter.  

And so we continue.

Journey Day 19

I believe that God has created me together with all that exists. God has given me and still preserves my body and soul; eyes, ears, and all limbs and senses; reason and all mental faculties. In addition, God daily and abundantly provides shoes and clothing, food and drink, house and farm, spouse and children, fields, livestock, and all property - along with all the necessities and nourishment for this body and life. God protects me against all danger and shields and preserves me from all evil. And all this is done out of pure, fatherly, and divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness of mine at all! For all of this I owe it to God to thank and praise, serve and obey him. This is most certainly true.

If we believe it, this article should humble and terrify all of us. For we sin daily with eyes, ears, hands, body and soul, money and property, and with all that we have, especially those who even fight against the Word of God. Yet Christians have this advantage, that they acknowledge that they owe it to God to serve and obey him for all these things.

Biblical Wisdom

Thus says God, the Lord, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people upon it and spirit to those who walk in it: “I am the Lord, I have called you in righteousness, I have taken you by the hand and kept you; I have given you as a covenant to the people, a light to the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness. Isaiah 42: 5-7.

Silence for Meditation.

Pause the podcast, or stop reading, and sit quietly for 60 seconds, a few minutes, or 10-15 minutes, or however long you feel comfortable with and have time for. Focus on your breath and the calm stillness in the present moment that is always available to us in God’s creation. Meditate on Martin Luther’s comments for the day, and the content of today’s Biblical wisdom.

Questions to Ponder

·       If “God daily and abundantly provides... all the necessities and nourishment for this body and life,” why is it that so many are poor, hungry, and lacking the abundant life?

The world has been broken by sin. Our sinfulness, selfishness, and ignorance keep us from being the people God created us to be. The world, the flesh, and the devil war against us to love ourselves more than others and selfish self-interest makes the world a hostile place. Also often the poor and hungry are locked in hopelessness and generational sins that keep them living in a victim mentality.

·       In what way does confessing faith in the “Creator of heaven and earth” make us a “light to the nations”?

Confessing faith in God, the Creator, and speaking the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ make us a light to the nations because our witness could be used by the Lord to bring people into His kingdom, to take them from death to life, from darkness to the kingdom of light.

·       What kind of advantage do Christians have in knowing what they owe to God?

Christians who understand what they owe to God have the advantage of knowledge and wisdom.  To know the truth is the beginning of hope. To know what we owe to God could cause us to love Him and to obey Him. Our advantage – of knowing God and the truth – could cause us to reap the benefits of a righteous Christian life, free of sin and confusion.

Psalm Fragment

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established; what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them? Psalm 8:3-4.

Journal Reflections

·       Make a list of what God has given you and for which you owe God praise, service, and obedience. In what ways are you giving to God what you owe God? What more might you (should you) be doing?

God has given me: life, a loving family, good health, talents, abilities, intelligence, peace, joy, love, and freedom  I do this blog and podcast to encourage others to realize what they have been given and to inspire them to trust in Jesus as Lord and Savior and to follow Him with the way they love.  I try to give to God what He gave to me – love and devotion – and try to represent Him as much as I can. I can’t do enough to thank God for what He has done or to give Him glory, but I will continue to do so as a labor of love and to fulfill my life’s purpose.

·       Meditate on today's Psalm fragment. Write about any feelings or thoughts the reading evokes in you.

The immensity of the universe and the beauty of God’s creation cause me to have similar thoughts. How could a Creator God who made so much care for me?  I don’t know how or why, but I know He does, and I rejoice!

·       Reflect on times when you have seen some great evidence of God's creative power. Write a short poem to express your feelings.

Roses are Red, Violets aren’t Blue, 

The evidence for God is all around us ,

And there is no end to the things that God can do!

Prayers for the Life of Faith

Pray that your eyes will be open to see the greatness of God and the grandeur of creation and also in the little gifts you receive from family and friends.

Lord, open my eyes to see Your Greatness and the grandeur of your Creation and all the little gifts I receive from you through my family and friends. 

In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Prayer For Today

Dear Creator, Redeemer, and Comforter, open my eyes to your grandeur in all the gifts you have given me abundantly. Help me to love, serve, and praise you forever.

Amen.

(Gracia M. Grindal. 40-day Journey With Martin Luther. Kindle Edition.

(We encourage you to purchase Grindal’s book and take the 40 Day Journey with Martin Luther for yourself by purchasing Grindal’s book wherever books are sold. You can find it online at many different sites and purchase it new, used – paper or electronic for less than $15.00).

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

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

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

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

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

Luke 12:15 (NASB)
15  Then He said to them, "Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions."

Today’s verses fall under the fifth point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Contentment, Coveting, and Priorities.

6. Life does not consist of what one possesses.

Today’s verse points to a fundamental fact of life that is difficult to grasp.  Our lives are not defined by what we own.  Although we will cling to things to our dying breath, the end of accumulation is dispersal. What you gather will be scattered. We don’t build anything that will last… except our relationship with the Lord.  That’s why greed is a sin- it causes us to worship something else more than God and ironically all our accumulating won’t ultimately satisfy us, or it will lead us to believe a lie that send us to hell.  “I’m happy with all my things in my fortress of solitude.” But as Jesus told the rich man who was going to build new barns to hold all his accumulated wealth,  that sentiment is foolish.  God will call us to account for our lives and the things we have will be shown to be things that God provided for us and will prove to be our undoing.  

So beware of greed and know that your life consists of knowing who you are in God’s kingdom and the things you do to give God glory.

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

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

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

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

EVENING READING: LUKE 8

“Then they went out to see what had happened,
and came to Jesus, and found the man.”
– Luke 8:35

A wonderful miracle had been performed. A man, who was more of a beast than a human being, had been completely changed. Though no man could bind him (not even with chains) or tame him, Christ had delivered him. The people in the surrounding district heard of it, and they came out to see what was done. What did they see? They saw Jesus. To whom did they come? They came to Jesus. In doing so, they found the man sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind.

If I am to see what You can do and will do,
I must come to You.[1]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

A Mix of Darkness and Light – False Teachings of Unitarianism - Purity 1231


 

A Mix of Darkness and Light – False Teachings of Unitarianism - Purity 1231

Purity 1231 12/26/2023  Purity 1231 Podcast

Purity 1231 on YouTube: 



Good morning,

Today’s photo of the Louis Comfort Tiffany and Edward Emerson Simmon’s “The Lightbearer” comes to us from yours truly as I captured this stained glass work of art during my visit to the Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts Museum, in Springfield Massachusetts back on December 9th.   The window was originally part of “The Church of the Unity”, a Unitarian Church in Springfield, and was saved when its church was demolished in 1961.

For those who don’t know, Unitarianism is a Christian Cult because as Walter Martin’s Kingdom of Cults gives us the,

Quick Facts on Unitarianism,

   There may or may not be one single God or “good”—individuals choose the existence and definition of God.

   If Jesus existed, he was not God incarnate or the Second Person of the Trinity; he was a moral teacher and nothing else.

   The Trinity does not exist.

   The Bible is one of many sources of revelation; all revelations are fallible.

   There is no “Original Sin” but there is evil in the world and man is responsible for it.

   Salvation is progressive based on character development, intellectual growth, and the practice of good works; humans save themselves.

   Truth is relative to every age and tradition.

   Life goes on but a tyrannical God does not determine how—only individual actions dictate individual eternity.

   There is no heaven and no hell; evil defeats itself and virtue is a reward for those who obey the laws of God and man.[1]

So the demolition of the church wasn’t a bad thing as it provided one less place of false teaching and gave “The Lightbearer” freedom to represent the true gospel of grace and give us hope separated from the errors of Unitarianism.  Spiritually I would say that history reveals that whatever errors were spread at the former church have been “put to ground” as nothing has been built on the grounds of the former apostate church, and it remains a parking lot to this day.  

As a Christian, I try to point out the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and this list of Unitarian beliefs demonstrates how far away from the truth a “church” can go when it doesn’t adhere to the truth of the Bible. As followers of Jesus, we have to respect and follow God’s word. We can’t just decide what “works for us” or “seems right to us” and dismiss the word of God because ultimately we will be judged by what we believe, who we put our faith in, and how we live.  

Jesus warned us of the dangers of being a false convert, someone He “never knew” and so we should know what the word of God says and do our best to be a diligent student who applies its wisdom to our lives.  

So be inspired by the Light of the World, Jesus Christ and follow His example and His word – The Bible to navigate through the darkness of this world where even “nice people” and seemingly Christian congregations of believers could be deceiving themselves and on the highway to hell.  

For more information on False Teachings and Cults of all kinds, we recommend Walter Martin’s “The Kingdom of Cults: The Definitive Work on the Subject.”

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

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

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

This morning’s meditation verses come from the section on Comfort.

Psalm 103:8-18 (ESV)
8  The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
9  He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever.
10  He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.
11  For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12  as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
13  As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.
14  For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.
15  As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field;
16  for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more.
17  But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children,
18  to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments.

Today’s verses fall under the third point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Comfort.

3. As a father cares for his children, so God cares for his own; his love is everlasting.

Today’s verses comfort us by telling us the truth of God’s everlasting love that it is experienced by those who fear Him, keep His covenant, and remember to do His commandments.  

While God loves all of us, salvation is for those in a covenant with Him, through faith in Jesus Christ, and whose authenticity is validated by obedience. 

The danger of Christian cults, besides the heresies they teach that distort the truth of God’s word, usually lies in how one receives salvation.  While obedience to God’s commandments is a fruit of salvation, they are not the root of salvation.  While Scripture teaches that we are saved by faith alone through grace alone, Christian cults and apostate churches teach that you have to earn your salvation in some way.  

On the flip side of that lie, other churches push the extremes of God’s love and say that you don’t have to do anything to be saved – that God’s love will cause Him to accept absolutely everyone regardless of their beliefs or their behaviors, denying any need to fear God, make a covenant with Him, or attempt to obey His commandments. 

Both of these stances go against what is taught in the Bible and so we must know what God’s word says and what it means. We have to live in the paradox of God’s everlasting love and having to fear Him and to pursue His righteousness even though we won’t obey His will perfectly.  Our salvation comes through faith, but we must also demonstrate our faith in God by trying to follow His commands.  We acknowledge our need of a Savior and do our best to follow Him and live by God’s wisdom.

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

Today we are sharing from “God is in the Manger- Reflections on Advent and Christmas” – By Dietrich Bonhoeffer.   

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

God is in the Manger – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS AND EPIPHANY

DECEMBER 26

The Great Kingdom of Peace Has Begun

The authority of this poor child will grow (Isa. 9:7). It will encompass all the earth, and knowingly or unknowingly, all human generations until the end of the ages will have to serve it. It will be an authority over the hearts of people, but thrones and great kingdoms will also grow strong or fall apart with this power. The mysterious, invisible authority of the divine child over human hearts is more solidly grounded than the visible and resplendent power of earthly rulers. Ultimately all authority on earth must serve only the authority of Jesus Christ over humankind.

With the birth of Jesus, the great kingdom of peace has begun. Is it not a miracle that where Jesus has really become Lord over people, peace reigns? That there is one Christendom on the whole earth, in which there is peace in the midst of the world? Only where Jesus is not allowed to reign—where human stubbornness, defiance, hate, and avarice are allowed to live on unbroken—can there be no peace. Jesus does not want to set up his kingdom of peace by force, but where people willingly submit themselves to him and let him rule over them, he will give them his wonderful peace.

I’m in the dark depths of night, and my thoughts are roaming far afield. Now that all the merry-making and rejoicing and candlelight are over and the noise and commotion of the day have been replaced by silence, inside and out, other voices can be heard.… The chill night wind and the mysterious darkness can open hearts and release forces that are unfathomable, but good and consoling.… Can you think of a better time than night-time? That’s why Christ, too, chose to come to us—with his angels—at night.

Maria von Wedemeyer to Bonhoeffer,

December 25, 1943

Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet:

“Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,

and they shall name him Emmanuel,”

which means, “God is with us.” When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus.

Matthew 1:18–25[2]

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

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

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

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

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

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

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship



[1] Walter Martin, The Kingdom of the Cults: The Definitive Work on the Subject (Grand Rapids, MI: Bethany House, 2019), 700.

[2] Dietrich Bonhoeffer, God Is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas, ed. Jana Riess, trans. O. C. Dean Jr., First edition. (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2010), 68–69.