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Showing posts with label Who I Am in Christ. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Who I Am in Christ. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

It’s Who I am in Christ, Not Who I am at Work - Purity 1321


It’s Who I am in Christ, Not Who I am at Work  - Purity 1321

Purity 1321 04/9/2024 Purity 1321 Podcast

Purity 1321 on YouTube:



Good morning,

Today’s photo of the sun setting over the Oswego Harbor West Pierhead Lighthouse comes to us from Celestial Blue Photography’s Rocco Saya who shared this scene on social media commenting that the sun did make an appearance on the day of the big eclipse, but it apparently was obstructed by clouds at the “magic moment” when the moon eclipsed its light.

Well, It’s Tuesday, and although I enjoyed unobstructed sunshine for most of the morning and early afternoon while doing a spring clean-up of my backyard, my view of the eclipse was similarly obstructed by overcast clouds causing me to agree with Saya’s other comment to his FB friends that we – “…can’t have everything in life”. I would add that if you are counting on the circumstances of your life to fulfill you or to give you “everything in life”, you will be severely disappointed. 

We don’t look to blue skies and sunsets to give us joy. We don’t look to eclipses to give us a sense of meaning and purpose. We don’t look to thing things on earth or the things in the skies to give us those things.  No, we should look to the Creator, God, not the creation, to give us  a sense of purpose, joy, and worth.  And luckily Our God revealed Himself throughout history and used men to tell us all about it in the Bible. We don’t have to look for a sign in the skies or listen for a voice from heaven, God shows us who we are and tells us what we need to know in Scripture.   And He doesn’t only tell us about Himself and the history of His interactions with man, He also tells us about who we are when we put our faith in Christ. 

This world would tell you that your identity and your worth is based on your accomplishments, talents, preferences, and performance but who we really are and what we are really worth should be determined by the One who has perfect knowledge and who made us.

I’m on vacation this week but as I was enjoying myself outside yesterday I received a negative report from a colleague at work who was assigned to use my truck and reported  “there was no way he could work out of it” because of its disorganized – overstocked state and that he was concerned about negative comments about my “less than exemplary work”. Now this man is a brother and a friend, so I appreciate his “warnings” and readily admit to disorganized state of my truck when I left for vacation and humbly accept that people may criticize my skill sets (although I do perform the jobs I get to the best of my abilities) but then he wished to “encourage” me by reminding me that “we work for the Lord” and convict me that how I “choose to work is not a good testimony”. He then admitted that he may have his own issues in some regards but stood on the fact that he gets “his work done.”  - whereas I guess the perception is that I don’t (because I don’t work overtime and will pass my unfinished work on to those who do and will readily ask for and accept help if I need it). He then reminded me that we have a “great job” – Its great… sorry for the sarcasm – it is a well-compensated job and I appreciate how it provides for my needs. But my colleague did admit that the job isn’t perfect, and neither are we, but “we need to be a reflection of Christ”.

While I understand what my brother is saying and appreciate that I could keep a more organized truck and strive to “do better”, I have to admit that I take issue with the performance based – works based – bill of goods that he is trying to impart me with.  While I agree with the Colossians 3:23 sentiment to do everything “heartily” as to the Lord, I think there is a fine line here in thinking that we are approved, significant, or secure because of our performance and that the opinions of our fellow men are similar to what God thinks about us.   The truth is our worth in Christ (who we are supposedly trying to “reflect”) doesn’t work that way.    

As I stated I am doing everything to the best of my abilities – and somehow got a satisfactory evaluation from my supervisor during my last review, I believe, and even get customer accommodations on occasion. Oh by the way, I couldn’t stop myself and had to check my “numbers” and I discovered that I have exceeded my performance goals more than I have “missed the mark” so far this, although I can’t claim perfection.  I know I am not the best tech but do my work to best my abilities and am satisfied with my work.  The standards of performance and the opinions of others are subjective and honestly I don’t put my sense of personal worth in “doing a good job” because there will always be room to criticize me, and my performance will vary from time to time. If I were to put my sense of worth in my performance, I would be fearful of not measuring up to others (how good do I have to be?) or depressed because I am not “the best” (Is top 10 good enough, what about top 20?) Or do I have to be approved by all of my cp-workers to feel a sense of worth?  Or do I have to be number one to “reflect Christ. – He is perfect after all. 

The reason I am so zealous about my faith is because I am accepted by the Lord because of who I am in Christ, not because of “Who I am at Work” and honestly it bothers me when Christians fuel this worldly performance driven evaluation of our reflecting Jesus.  That’s not how it works, although you may have been taught in the church!  Legalistic standards created “Sunday best” and the Pharisaical attitudes of being “above the law” and often drive people away from faith or cause us to live in despair over our shortcomings.  

I have been going through Neil Anderson’s “Who I am in Christ: A Devotional” and just yesterday read about how our worth is NOT determined by our “talents”.  And so I am sharing what I read yesterday to stop the condemnation I was under and to remind myself that negative reports should be evaluated not by our “feelings” but should be check out according to the actual truth – the facts are my performance is satisfactory-ish, lol – like I said not perfect in all the areas, all the time,  and more importantly – the truth of God’s word. 

So from Neil Anderson, I present that:

I Am a Member of Christ’s Body

“Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.”

1 CORINTHIANS 12:27

Anybody who regularly relates to people on a deep level knows that they don’t inherently feel good about themselves. We are not born with an innate sense of worth or value. The natural man has no identity in Christ, so from the time we are born into this world, we are constantly pursuing some sense of identity, purpose or meaning in life.

The self-esteem movement has been profoundly affecting every aspect of life. More and more, people are searching for some sense of significance, and the philosophy of attempting to find it within yourself has even found its way into the Church.

I have heard Christians say a man finds his identity in a job and a woman finds her identity in her children or family. Some say this teaching comes out of Genesis 3, where it states that a man shall work by the sweat of his brow and a woman shall bear her child in pain. But that is the curse of the Fall, the result of man’s choosing to live independent of God. If a man finds his identity in his job, what happens when he loses his job? If a woman finds her identity in her family or children, what happens if she never gets married?

Who we essentially are is not determined by what we do or the roles we live out in society. It is who we are that determines what we do, and then what we do brings a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment.

The Search for Self-Worth

So the question is, “Where does a person find a legitimate sense of identity or worth?” Is it in talents? No, it can’t possibly be. God has given some one talent, some two talents, and others five talents (see Matt. 25:14–28). You may say, “Well, God, how could You do that? Don’t You know that the only person who can have any legitimate sense of worth or identity is the five-talented person?” But that is not true. I know a lot of five-talented people who are struggling for a sense of worth, just like the one-talented person.

Well, then, does our worth lie in intelligence? No, according to 1 Corinthians 1:27, “God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise.” Okay, how about appearance? If we only appeared good, certainly we would have the acceptance and affirmation of others. But according to Isaiah 53:2, Jesus had “no beauty or majesty to attract us to him.”

One time I asked my son, “Karl, suppose there is a young girl at your school who has a potato body, stringy hair, bad complexion, stutters when she talks and stumbles when she walks—is there any hope for happiness for her?”

He paused for a moment and said, “Hmmm. Probably not.” In the world’s system, probably not, but could she have a legitimate sense of worth in God’s system? Absolutely.

Is our worth found in spiritual gifts? No, I am sure it is not. God has not equally distributed gifts, talents or intelligence, but He has equally distributed Himself. Our identity comes from knowing who we are as children of God, and our sense of worth grows out of our commitment to become like Him.

Legitimate Sense of Worth in Christ

Show me people today who know who they are as children of God and have committed themselves to Him, and I will show you those who have a profound sense of self and of worth. Show me somebody who is continually growing in the fruit of the Spirit, whose life is characterized by love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Will that person have a good sense of identity and value? Yes, I am sure of it. And the beautiful part of that truth is that everyone has exactly the same opportunity.[1]

Not to “toot my own horn”, but I do know who I am as a child of God and have committed myself to Him, and as Anderson indicates, I have a profound sense of self and of worth.  I marvel over how much I have grown in the areas of the fruit of the Spirit and have a great sense of peace and joy as long as I don’t let the world’s performance based system, or the opinions of men speak to me more than truth of what my Heavenly Father says about me. 

There is NO condemnation for those in Christ Jesus, right? So if someone comes at you with a negative report and tells you to “do better” to “reflect Christ” take it under advisement, look at where they are coming from and see if they have a point,  but at the end of the day remember we are not accepted because of our performance and we will never be “free in Christ” if we are busy in our attempts to measure up to some subjective standard of performance or to be “well considered” in the eyes of men – most of whom are desperately wicked and head for perdition.   In only in Christ that I would I ever be accepted, secure, or significant and I won’t let the opinions of others, or the changing circumstance of the world erase the truth of my new identity in Christ.  \

It’s who I am in Christ, not “who I am at work”, that’s sets me free. So please excuse me, as I reject your performance based evaluation of my sense of worth and choose to keep on walking and talking with God in the way He leads me. 

 

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

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

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

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

Philippians 1:21 (NIV2011)
21  For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

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

3. To live is Christ; to die is gain.

Today’s verse determines our mission in life.  To live is Christ – so we live to proclaim the good news of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ alone, until our dying breath. And if we die? We go to see Him. We can’t lose because we are victorious through Jesus. The only loss we suffer is when we fail to remember who we are in Christ or fail to tell others of how they can be saved, forgiven, and set free through Him.

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

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.

MORNING READING: JOHN 13

“[Jesus] rose from supper and laid aside His garments,
took a towel and girded Himself.” – John 13:4

In this picture is presented supreme humility. O to grasp the same spirit, that my life may be characterized with the humility of my blessed Lord.

He rose from Supper. Here was the deliberate and intentional advance for the expression of humility. It is true that He was incarnate humility, but it is also true that He deliberately came to express it.

He laid aside His garments. He emptied Himself of all His glory. He who was rich became poor.

He took a towel and girded Himself. He took upon Him the form of a servant. Girding is essentially the sign of service. He could say, “I am among you as the One who serves” (Luke 22:27).

Teach me humility, O Lord.[2]

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



[1] Neil T. Anderson, Who I Am in Christ (Ventura, CA: Regal, 2001), 61–63.

Thursday, April 4, 2024

Ready? Your Body is Meant for the Lord - Purity 1317


Ready? Your Body is Meant for the Lord - Purity 1317

Purity 1317 04/4/2024 Purity 1317 Podcast

Purity 1317 on YouTube:



Good morning,

Today’s photo of a dirt path dividing fields of green under blue skies with what I suspect to be the Catskill Mountains in the distance comes to us from an unknown FB friend who shared this scene on social media on or around May 24th, 2021.   If this pathway photo is yours and you would like to let us know where this is and what your name is, I will update the blog to give you the photo credit you so richly deserve. 

Well, It’s Thursday and as is my habit, I share today’s pathway photo as a visual reminder or encouragement to get on or to keep on walking on the path of Christian Discipleship by surrendering to the Lord’s will for your life and following where the word of God and the Holy Spirit lead you.  

Last night, I was unexpectedly called to co-lead the Celebrate Freedom Meeting at Starpoint Church, and even though I had little notice it felt good to be back in the saddle again as the Lord revealed to me, through the use of some helpful technological tools, that next Wednesday would mark the first 100 days of 2024 and I invited the group members to press into their faith and ask the Lord to help them to “get ready” to make a positive change or to develop a positive habit that they could add to their life beginning next week.  The “100 days” thing came to me as I reflected on last year’s ministry, which began on May 10th. As I have stated when I began leading Celebrate Freedom, I was content that, with my victories over drugs, alcohol, and sexual addiction being continuous, I didn’t really have anything to work on.  However, the truth is that we are all works in progress and the Lord has plenty of things He can clean up in your life and He will help you to overcome them, if you would just take the problem to Him and work with Him to conquer it.   And last summer I had quite a lot of “cheat days” and binges of comfort eating to convict me of my admitted “food addiction” that I still hadn’t overcome. So on August 18th, I surrendered to the Lord and asked Him to help me to overcome it and I utilized the basic tools of awareness and accountability to help me fight the good fight – to finally actually treat my food addiction as an addiction.  And that span of time from May 10th to August 18th was, guess what, that’s right 100 days…. 

So I don’t know what that means, if anything, but after 100 days of going through the motions last year, I asked God for help and made a commitment to change, and He helped me to accomplish a breakthrough in the war against the flesh.  We “got ‘em on the run now” but recently have been compromising with my adherence to my food plan and being aware of what or how much I am eating.  I have been self-correcting of course – no fall can’t be put back on track – with keto it only takes three days – but if you fall every week or two which I have been doing since my trip to Disney in February, you stop making progress and just plateau.

So last night, I decided that I would press into my faith and make some positive changes in my life to launch into a new breakthrough for 2024 and I realized that 100 days into the year was as good as any place to start.    And so I encouraged others to do so.  

One of the things I started doing recently has been reading Neil Anderson’s “Who I Am in Christ: A Devotional” to stay grounded in my identity in Christ.  Even though I recite the “Who I Am in Christ” list as a regular spiritual practice, I know that living from your identity in Christ is the game changer for our walk of faith and so even though I had some resistance to getting that book, because I “already know that”, I have been blessed in reminding myself or learning again – more about what I already know. 

One of the aspects of our faith walk that is often overlooked is the role our bodies play in our faith walk and this morning I read the following passages from Anderson’s book, that I felt moved to share. Neil Anderson writes:    

What to Do with Your Body

The Bible is very clear about what we are supposed to do with our physical bodies: “In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness” (Rom. 6:11–13). We don’t have to work at becoming dead to sin; we simply accept it as being so. In Christ Jesus we are alive to God, so we are already dead to sin.

However, we do have the responsibility to safeguard our mortal bodies from sin and keep them from being instruments of unrighteousness. Failing to do so would be to violate the unity we have with the Lord and our spiritual oneness with Him. If we use our bodies as instruments of wickedness, we will allow sin to reign, actually rule, in our mortal bodies, and we will end up obeying its evil desires even though we don’t have to.

Your Body Is Meant for the Lord

Let’s look at one of the biggest problems in the Church, which is sexual sin. According to 1 Corinthians 6:13, “The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.” Verse 18 says, “Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.” And, I would remind you, sinning against your own body involves sinning against the One with whom you are united.

Scripture seems to set sexual sins in a class all by themselves. For one reason, it is impossible to commit a sexual sin and not use your body as an instrument of unrighteousness. The moment you do, you allow sin to reign in your mortal body.[1]

I love how Anderson presents this fundamental truth about our faith. We are not to let sin reign in our mortal bodies and thus sexual purity and “holy sex” (between a man and woman in a marriage covenant) are the only options for our sex lives as Christians.  When we do anything else – with others or by ourselves – we sin, and we disrupt our harmony with God and give a foothold to the enemy to torment us.  

I would extend this to how we steward our bodies as well.  If we eat unhealthily or eat too much, are continually lazy, or don’t get enough sleep we are in essence “missing the mark” of the proper care and maintenance of our bodies and in a sense are sinning against our bodies.  And we all know this inherently – the diet and exercise industry are built on this conviction – and thus we should not exclude our bodies from “getting right with God” – and we should “use our bodies as instruments of righteousness” by getting them, as much as it depends on us,  in good physical condition.  We can’t control everything that may afflict our flesh, but we can control what we do with them and what we put in them, and if we determine to “crucify the flesh” and restore ourselves to good health and ask God for help – His wisdom and guidance – He will undoubtedly bless our efforts.  

So next Wednesday is 100 days into 2024 and let me encourage you to pray about a way that you can give glory to God by “doing what is right” and turning from bad habits and establishing a good one to replace it.  

This is our walk of faith and let’s not tire of trying to optimize our harmony with the Lord by surrendering our hearts, minds, and bodies to become instruments of righteousness to give Him glory.

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

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

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

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

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

Proverbs 21:26 (ESV)
26  All day long he (the sluggard) craves and craves, but the righteous gives and does not hold back.

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

27. The righteous will be ready to give liberally, rather than to be covetous.

Today’s verse highlights the dichotomy of covetousness and giving.  Psalm 23:1 tells us that the Lord is our shepherd and we “shall not want” (NKJV) and that means that we will not lack or be in need, but it also can be seen as an instruction to be content – and not be “wanting” in a covetous manner.  Coveting is a sin and Jesus reminds us in Matthew 10:8 – that freely we have received and thus we should freely give.  Everything we have comes from God’s blessings and when we are in a “right spirit with God” we won’t be “craving and craving” like the sluggard, we will instead give and not hold back.   So look at your heart and determine if you are “wanting” or if you are content with what you have and are ready to give from the treasure that the Lord has given you – both materially and spiritually. God has given us everything for life and godliness and when we realize that we stop the cravings for things that ultimately won’t satisfy us anyway and we can find peace.

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

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.

MORNING READING: JOHN 9

“I must work the works of Him who sent Me
while it is day.” – John 9:4

The true principle of all real service for God underlies this statement of the Lord Jesus. And since He was the perfect Servant when upon this earth, He made this principle the basis of His loyal service to God.

The Obligation of True Service. The Lord Jesus said, “I must work.” The obligation of loving and loyal service to His Father compelled Him to work. Yes, right from the beginning (remember the temple when He was twelve years old?) to the end.

The Occupation of True Service. There is only one great occupation in true service – it is doing God's will. I must work the “works of Him.” “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me,” said the Savior (John 4:34).

The Opportunity of True Service. “While it is day.” Now is the acceptable time … “Time is short” (1 Cor. 7:29).

I can do nothing else but serve You, Lord, all of my days,
For it is a privilege and an honor – yes, even my duty![2]

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



[1] Neil T. Anderson, Who I Am in Christ (Ventura, CA: Regal, 2001), 47–48.

Sunday, December 31, 2023

Happy New Year! - Apart From Christ I Can Do Nothing - Wisdom From Dr. Neil Anderson

Happy New Year! - Apart From Christ I Can Do Nothing - Wisdom From Dr. Neil Anderson    -    New Year's Message - Podcast

New Year's Message on YouTube: 




Good morning, 

Today’s photo of evergreen trees and a partially frozen pond in the distance comes to us from yours truly as I decided to capture the view from my front door hear at Franklin Falls Flow Pond in the Adirondacks after checking in to our New Year’s Eve accommodations yesterday afternoon. 

Well. It’s Sunday and I don’t normally do a message because we usually share our Bible Study with the Cincotti’s but our Bible Study Author, Arthur Cincotti has come down with the flu and so our Bible Study has been postponed, again, until we are on the other side of 2024. 

But, we don’t call the podcast mt4christ247 for nothing, and even though I toyed with the idea of just taking a break, I felt compelled in my spirit to share something and the devotional email I get from Freedom in Christ Ministries seemed to provide a perfect message to say goodbye to 2023 and to put us in the right frame of mind for 2024.   

So I am sharing this message from Dr. Neil Anderson to remind us all who we need to depend on in the new year ahead.  Dr. Anderson writes: 

APART FROM CHRIST I CAN DO NOTHING

I am the vine, you are the branches apart from Me you can do nothing (John 15:5)

Add the following statements of doctrinal affirmation to those you began reading yesterday. Allow the truth of God's Word to saturate your heart and guide your steps in the coming year.

I believe that Jesus has all authority in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18), and that He is the head over all rule and authority (Colossians 2:10).

I believe that Satan and his demons are subject to me in Christ because I am a member of Christ's body (Ephesians 1:19-23). I therefore obey the command to resist the devil (James 4:7), and I command him in the name of Christ to leave my presence.

I believe that apart from Christ I can do nothing (John 15:5), so I declare my dependence on Him.

I choose to abide in Christ in order to bear much fruit and glorify the Lord (John 15:8).

I announce to Satan that Jesus is my Lord (1 Corinthians 12:3), and I reject any counterfeit gifts or works of Satan in my life.

I believe that the truth will set me free (John 8:32), and that walking in the light is the only path of fellowship (1 John 1:7). Therefore, I stand against Satan's deception by taking every thought captive in obedience to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).

I declare that the Bible is the only authoritative standard (2 Timothy 3:15-17).

I choose to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15).

I choose to present my body as an instrument of righteousness, a living and holy sacrifice, and I renew my mind by the living Word of God in order that I may prove that the will of God is good, acceptable and perfect (Romans 6:13; 12:1,2).

Father God, I affirm that my life and sustenance come from You, and apart from You I can do nothing.

Neil Anderson

 

So, let’s do what the good Dr. prescribes and trust in the Lord to help us accomplish what he has for us to do in 2024 and let’s keep walking and talking with God.  

Happy New Year and God Bless You All!

 

M.T. Clark    

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

Friday, December 29, 2023

Truth Liberates – The Basis For Our Freedom – Wisdom From Dr. Neil Anderson - Purity 1234


Truth Liberates – The Basis For Our Freedom – Wisdom From Dr. Neil Anderson - Purity 1234

Purity 1234 12/29/2023 Purity 1234 Podcast

Purity 1234 on YouTube:



Good morning,

Today’s photo of a roadside view of a couple of bales of hay and farmlands shrouded in gray clouds of fog comes from Dave Baun Photography who shared this on FB yesterday commenting that it is the “third image in this Tasmanian ‘pull-over’ series” which “comes from the road to Cradle Mountain, near a little place called Sheffield. If you would like to see the first two photos in Dave’s “Tasmanian pullover series” and Dave’s other work go to the Dave Baun Photography page on FB (https://www.facebook.com/DaveBaunPhotography) .

Well, It’s Friday, and even though the weather in my neck of the wood has been rainy and as grey as Dave’s photo, and I was sidelined on the couch most of the day yesterday with the sniffles, I’m still going to Thank God – for it being Friday, for another day off on this Christmas staycation, for the fact that our recent rain wasn’t snow, for the health I do have, for the love of family and friends, and for who I am in Christ.  No matter what circumstances you face in life if you have made Jesus your Lord and Savior you always have at least one thing to be thankful for and if we remember how God saved us and if we focus on Him, we should be able to come up with a whole lot more to be thankful for.  

I am still not feeling a hundred percent health wise this morning and have already downed two mason jars of orange juice to infuse my body with vitamin C, but, I still wanted to encourage those of us on the path of Christian Discipleship to keep on walking and talking with God and to share this passage from Neil Anderson’s Discipleship Counseling that I read this morning that is positively infused with truth and the keys to freedom:

Anderson writes:

TRUTH LIBERATES

Our Lord had just partaken of His Last Supper with His disciples. He knew the path toward the Cross was set before Him, and He knew that He would soon be leaving Earth. Left behind would be 11 of the chosen 12 apostles, who would face the god of this world and continue the work that Christ had begun. Satan had already deceived one of the disciples into betraying Christ.

Jesus turned to the Father and prayed, “I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one” (John 17:15). Then His prayer revealed how this can be accomplished. “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth” (v. 17).

Believing the truth about who Christ is, why He came and who we are in Him is the basis for our freedom. Knowing the truth set forth in God’s Word is the mark of a true disciple.

If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free (John 8:31-32).

Girding our loins with truth is our first line of defense against the father of lies (see Eph. 6:14).

We acknowledge this truth in the inner self (see Ps. 51:6) because a genuine faith is more than just intellectual assent or the accumulation of knowledge. God’s truth must penetrate the heart, the very core of our being. Only then will His truth bring freedom and lasting change in the inner self.

(Anderson, Dr. Neil T.. Discipleship Counseling (p. 240). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.)

At the Celebrate Freedom (recovery/discipleship) Growth Group that I lead at Starpoint Church, I continually try to impress upon the participants the truth of who they are in Christ. Beyond the Celebrate Recovery Lessons that attempt to Christianize the Twelve Steps, I hand out The Who I Am in Christ and lead quieting and appreciation exercises reciting it to affirm that participant’s identity in Christ because, as Anderson states, I know that it is “the basis of our freedom” and if I can encourage someone to the point where this truth penetrates their hearts, I know that God’s truth can bring freedom and lasting change to their lives.  

And when you know who you are in Christ, know it in your heart, and experience your freedom in Christ, you can be thankful and have peace and joy, even on gray days when your health isn’t the best.  

So thank God it’s Friday, remember and focus on who you are in Christ and continue to let God’s truth set you free.   

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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 73:1-28 (NIV2011)
1  Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart.
2  But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold.
3  For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
4  They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong.
5  They are free from common human burdens; they are not plagued by human ills.
6  Therefore pride is their necklace; they clothe themselves with violence.
7  From their callous hearts comes iniquity; their evil imaginations have no limits.
8  They scoff, and speak with malice; with arrogance they threaten oppression.
9  Their mouths lay claim to heaven, and their tongues take possession of the earth.
10  Therefore their people turn to them and drink up waters in abundance.
11  They say, “How would God know? Does the Most High know anything?”
12  This is what the wicked are like— always free of care, they go on amassing wealth.
13  Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure and have washed my hands in innocence.
14  All day long I have been afflicted, and every morning brings new punishments.
15  If I had spoken out like that, I would have betrayed your children.
16  When I tried to understand all this, it troubled me deeply
17  till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny.
18  Surely you place them on slippery ground; you cast them down to ruin.
19  How suddenly are they destroyed, completely swept away by terrors!
20  They are like a dream when one awakes; when you arise, Lord, you will despise them as fantasies.
21  When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered,
22  I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you.
23  Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.
24  You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory.

25  Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
26  My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
27  Those who are far from you will perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.
28  But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.

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

6. The wicked appear to prosper for a time, while the righteous suffer; but actually God is always leading us in the best way; he comforts us with his presence.

 

Today’s verses remind us to not envy the godless who prosper but to rest in the assurance of our salvation and to be comforted by God’s presence and led by His guidance.   

This world has many fleshly and material pleasures and when we focus on the luxuries of this world it is easy to become bitter when we see people who have no regard for God or Jesus prosper and enjoy them.

But scripture tells us that material riches are not necessarily a blessing from God as money and success can easily become the idols we choose to worship rather than the One True God and even though someone without can be materially rich and thrive on earth, without Jesus they are spiritually bankrupt and will perish in eternity.  

So keep your eyes on the prize, the eternal life with God and the riches and wonders of His love and the safety we have in Jesus forever.

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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 29

Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace

Everlasting Father” (Isa. 9:6)—how can this be the name of the child? Only because in this child the everlasting fatherly love of God is revealed, and the child wants nothing other than to bring to earth the love of the Father. So the Son is one with the Father, and whoever sees the Son sees the Father. This child wants nothing for himself. He is no prodigy in the human sense, but an obedient child of his heavenly Father. Born in time, he brings eternity with him to earth; as Son of God he brings to us all the love of the Father in heaven. Go, seek, and find in the manger the heavenly Father who here has also become your dear Father.

“Prince of Peace”—where God comes in love to human beings and unites with them, there peace is made between God and humankind and among people. Are you afraid of God’s wrath? Then go to the child in the manger and receive there the peace of God. Have you fallen into strife and hatred with your sister or brother? Come and see how God, out of pure love, has become our brother and wants to reconcile us with each other. In the world, power reigns. This child is the Prince of Peace. Where he is, peace reigns.

In our lives we don’t speak readily of victory. It is too big a word for us. We have suffered too many defeats in our lives; victory has been thwarted again and again by too many weak hours, too many gross sins. But isn’t it true that the spirit within us yearns for this word, for the final victory over the sin and anxious fear of death in our lives? And now God’s word also says nothing to us about our victory; it doesn’t promise us that we will be victorious over sin and death from now own; rather, it says with all its might that someone has won this victory, and that this person, if we have him as Lord, will also win the victory over us. It is not we who are victorious, but Jesus.

“Christus Victor” address, November 26, 1939

On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”

Mark 4:35–41[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



[1] 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), 74–75.