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Showing posts with label Wisdom. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wisdom. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Suddenly Called to Seek Wisdom - Purity 1244

 

Suddenly Called to Seek Wisdom - Purity 1244

Purity 1244 01/10/2024 Purity 1244 Podcast

Purity 1244 on YouTube: Coming Soon!

Good morning,

Today’s photo of farmland and a red barn with forests and mountains in the background comes to us from Fred Dimmick who shared this pastural scene on social media along with the following poem: 

“Life on the farm, Sure is good.

Milking cows And stacking wood.

Early to bed, Up before sunrise

Crawfish dinner, Fried apple pies.

A moonshine jug, With spoons in hand

Add Uncle Ernie ‘n,  you’ve got a band.

Swimming in the creek, And baling hay

Just wouldn’t have it, Any other way.”

While my moonshine days are over, I can appreciate Fred’s appreciation for the simple and peaceful life in farm country. While I have no desire to work on a farm, I am currently at my countryside home in Easton and love the surrounding fields and watching the cycles of sowing and harvesting play out throughout the year.  Life on the farm has seasons and although it is unknown what the yield will be when they sow their seeds, farmers are confident in God’s provision to produce new growth.  

Well, It’s Wednesday and I figured the mountains in the background of Fred’s pastural scene were more than adequate to visually represent our arrival at “hump day” and as it turns out the farmland motif is also oddly appropriate this morning as the Lord has a supernaturally “sown a seed” in my spirit that caused me to something I didn’t anticipate doing and if I allow it to develop will undoubtedly cause me to grow.  

When you walk in the Spirit, you really don’t know “what’s next” in terms of where the Lord is going to send you. Sometimes you get a stirring in your spirit that naggingly directs your thoughts in a certain direction and after a while you encounter things that cause you to understand what those thoughts were about, and you pursue the path that the Lord was guiding you to. At other times, things happen suddenly, where you get a thought and a sharp quick conviction to “go there” and you are compelled to follow the call immediately – do this, do that, pray for the guy, run.

And this morning, I had that happen.  I received an email from Ligonier Ministries about a conference that’s happening in a couple of weeks, in Florida, which I can’t go to and quickly dismissed, but within the same email there was a link to Reformation Bible College which caught my interest.  I clicked on it to discover that their program offers undergraduate degrees in Biblical studies, and again, I dismissed it as not being applicable to my situation – I have a Bachelor's in  Bible Studies already – thank you very much.  I have a Master’s in Christian Counseling… the next step for me would be to get my doctorate… And suddenly, call it clickbait or the leading of the Holy Spirit, I found myself googling doctoral programs in Christian Counseling and applied to Liberty University to get a doctorate in pastoral counseling. 

Currently, my plate is full to the brim for the next few months with ministry and training in discipleship counseling, but as I looked at the information about Liberty University’s program, I was convicted that “this was it” – this is my “What’s Next” and while I will try to be wise in when I decided to officially begin this next phase of my journey of faith, I feel that this is what the Lord has for me to do.  Where it will lead, I have no idea, but I’m going, and honestly, while I had some mild resistance to “having to get another degree”, it’s the natural next step for the path I have been following.   And I knew that –  getting your doctorate follows getting your master's - but I didn’t want to push my own agenda or to satisfy my tendency to seek validation with credentials, but this morning I got a stirring in my spirit that is telling me that this is the time – this is what’s next and it will define a big part of my future.  So, Mama Mia, here we go again – Holy Spirit – how can I resist you? I can’t.

Ironically, my own words are coming back to haunt me as I just encouraged someone to pursue theological education on Monday evening.  One of the men in the Freedom In Christ Course that I lead online, asked me whether or not he should go to Bible college and while I understand that we don’t need a degree to serve God’s kingdom, I had to encourage this young man to really consider going to Bible college and getting a degree because – it would not only give him the educational credentials that some ministry jobs could require and legitimize the seriousness of his decision to follow and seek the Lord, but it would also challenge him to learn things to be equipped in areas that he would never pursue independently. 

We don’t know what we don’t know. On our own, we don’t even know where to look and as Christians, we have been blessed with the body of Christ and the men and women who have gone before us – the saints – who can show us the way and teach us the things that impacted their walk of faith.   That’s why I blog – because I was lost and got found – I was ignorant, and I learned – I was a slave and I got free – I didn’t know a life of Christian Discipleship was valuable or even possible and I discovered it is.  So, I tell people to seek the Lord – to seek His wisdom and ways – and a lot of that can be shown to you as you pursue and obtain a Christian education – so I guess I will be taking my own advice and challenging myself with pursuing the highest level of an educational degree I can get – a doctorate.  Mama Mia, here we go again. 

So let me encourage you, It is never too late to learn something new and if it involves seeking to know and serve the Lord more, it’s a pursuit that is righteous and holy – so go for it. And in the meantime, keep on walking and talking with God, because I know that the more you do that, the more you will hear His voice and eventually you’ll receive His guidance to show you “what’s next.”

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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.

Romans 11:33-36 (NLT2)
33  Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways!
34  For who can know the LORD’s thoughts? Who knows enough to give him advice?
35  And who has given him so much that he needs to pay it back?
36  For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory. All glory to him forever! Amen.

Today’s verses fall under the 14th point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Comfort.

14. God directs all things by his infinite wisdom and his ways are beyond tracing out.

 

Today’s verses tell us of how great God’s riches, wisdom, and knowledge are and marvels over how He has created all things and they are intended for His glory.   So we should pursue the riches of His wisdom and knowledge and even though this passage indicates that we can not know the Lord’s thoughts and ways perfectly. But God has revealed Himself through His word and His Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, so we can study the Bible and learn from Jesus’s teachings and example to impart some of the Lord’s wisdom to us and let it use us to give God glory.  

 

Two of the disciplines of a disciple of Jesus Christ is regular Bible study and meditation and they are valuable for helping us to become the people God created us to be because they allow the Holy Spirit to renew our minds and fill our hearts with God’s wisdom and ways.  So let’s seek God’s riches every day. 

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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 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: MATTHEW 3

“It is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.”
– Matthew 3:15

The word “righteousness” here means “rightness” or “justice.” The standard of the Lord Jesus Christ (right through His life) was to fulfill right. At twelve years of age, He is heard to say, “Did you not know that I must be about My Father's business?” (Luke 2:49). When He uttered the words here in Matthew, the Lord Jesus was just about to step out on His three and half years of public ministry and His standard was still the fulfilling of righteousness (the will of God).

A little later on, He says, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work” (John 4:34). Then, towards the end, “I have finished the work which You have given Me to do” (John 17:4). Then finally, “It is finished” (John 19:30). He fulfilled “all righteousness.” But notice also, He says, “It is fitting for us.” Surely, this is what the apostle directs when he writes, “Walk worthy [becomingly] of the calling with which you were called” (Eph. 4:1).

 Lord, help me to walk worthily, that I might fulfill all righteousness.[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, August 1, 2023

Are You Wise in This Worldly Age? - Self-Deception Series 20 – Purity 1109

Are You Wise in This Worldly Age? - Self-Deception Series 20 – Purity 1109

Purity 1109 08/01/2023 Purity 1109 Podcast

Purity 1109 on YouTube: 



Good morning,

Today’s mildly enhanced photo a blue, cloud filled skies, green rows of vineyard grapes, and a roadside sign proclaiming the State of Pennsylvania’s wish of welcome and it’s encouragement to “pursue your happiness” comes to us from yours truly as I hurriedly captured this scene while crossing the border into the Keystone State yesterday as my wife TammyLyn drove a large portion of our blended family towards our final destination in Erie Pennsylvania on the first day of our 5 night vacation exploring Lake Erie. 

Well, It’s Tuesday and I apologize for doctoring today’s photo, but the weather was a little “blah” yesterday, I was a little lax in photo documenting our trip out west, and I wanted to share something positive that would highlight the beauty of God’s creation from our journey.  The truth is that the rows and rows and grapes that we encountered upon entering Pennsylvania was somewhat impressive, but the lighting didn’t do it justice, so I used my phone to brighten it up a bit. 

And this is something that we do when we are walking in the Spirit, we try to brighten things up a bit by encouraging a focus on the truth of who we are in Christ and by focusing on the beauty of God’s creation and what He has done and is doing in our lives.   Things won’t always be shiny and bright as we walk through this world, but when we focus on the Lord, His Truth, and our relationship with Him we can find something better than “your happiness” (how’s that for subjective?) that is based on our meeting all the right circumstantial conditions and preferences that “our happiness” requires. Better than the fleeting good vibes of “your happiness”, when we walk in the Spirit we can experience abiding peace, love, and joy that even overcast “blah” days can’t take away. 

But we must also endeavor to have a balanced walk of faith that doesn’t deny reality.  Telling others, or yourself, everything is “fine and dandy” when you are struggling or hurting is an extreme that we don’t want to go to. While we will stand on the truths of God’s word to encourage us, we don’t want to gloss over the painful facts of life that need more than  “putting on a happy face” to process and resolve.  Life can be problematic and sometimes those problems need more than a smile and a positive attitude to overcome. Sometimes they require repentance, endurance, perseverance, and waiting on God.  So let’s be honest when we assess our situations and our abilities  to be able to really “walk in Truth”. 

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

So we present the fourth of the  “Ways to Deceive Yourself”:

4. Thinking I am wise in this worldly age.

The scripture reference for this point is:

1 Corinthians 3:18-19 (NKJV)
18  Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise.
19  For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, "He catches the wise in their own craftiness”.

While we should never walk in false humility or refuse to acknowledge our positive attributes and talents, when we think we are wise in this worldly age we may want to ask ourselves to look at ourselves honestly and to perhaps challenge ourselves with evidence for our wisdom or to consider the sources of our vast reserves of knowledge.

The supporting verse for this item on self-deception warns us that if we think we are wise we should think again because even though we may have learned much, we may have too high of an opinion of “our wisdom”.  

There are lots of pitfalls on the “path of wisdom” to fall into here.  

The first is that because we have learned things about our world, science, or the ways of men we may think that we have it all figured out.  The “best and the brightest” among us prove they “know something” because they have used their powers of observations and knowledge to forge a path to progress and prosperity. They have seen patterns and manipulated circumstances to their benefit and because they have gained much many would consider them to be “wise”. 

However, as much as these movers and shakers may seem to have it all figured out, the word of God indicates that the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.  Although these “self-made” men seem to have accomplished complete self-sufficiency through their shrewd discernments of the ways of the world, in reality they are completely at the mercy of One who is much wiser and far more powerful than they.  Although man’s wisdom can teach us much about our world and how to thrive in it, it was graciously provided by God, and it won’t answer the big questions about life.

As for man’s wisdom, it’s borrowed.  God created everything after all, and he gave us our minds and senses.  God established the laws of the universe and guides its destiny. Whatever we have been able to figure has been granted to us. Without God there is nothing to learn about and we are not blessed with the brains that can retain information and develop knowledge.  So our “wisdom” comes from the Lord.  

And as for the content of that wisdom that we can discern from the world, it is limited in scope to the physical and mental processes.  Its wisdom doesn’t look beyond this world into eternity with any degree of accuracy.  While we can speculate about spiritual matters and develop our own theories, God had to reveal Himself and His way to salvation to lead us to the truth.   The spiritual forces of darkness and our own ideas would lead us to reject the One true God and cause our “wisdom” to be proven to be futile as we would eventually be consigned to hell.   So man’s wisdom is shown to be foolishness.   

As Christians, we have been given the wisdom of God – the knowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior, and it is only through Him that we can be saved.  

However, we too should not necessarily consider ourselves to be “wise in this worldly age”. Because our prior, and continued, ignorance of “all things” and the fact that “God’s wisdom” was imparted to us should cause to humble ourselves if we ever consider ourselves wise. We don’t know everything and even though we may know much, we are still subject to making mistakes and the possibility of being deceived, perhaps by ourselves.   

So humbly thank the Lord for the things you know about the world and about His kingdom and instead of considering yourself wise in this worldly age, think again and seek to share the wisdom that you do have that really matters, the wisdom of the gospel of Jesus Christ and God’s kingdom, with as many people as you can.

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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 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 verses come from the section on Affliction, Discipline, Chastisement, & Trials.

Hebrews 12:5-6 (ESV)
5  And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him.
6  For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.”

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

 6. “We must neither make light of God’s discipline nor lose heart because of it”. 

Today’s verses remind us of the hard truth that part of our education in the kingdom of God will come through chastisement. You won’t repent unless you are convicted by the Holy Spirit. They say that the “truth hurts” sometimes and when the Spirit of Truth shows you the depths of your depravity, ignorance, sin, guilt, and shame it pains you to the core and causes you to begin the sometimes painful process of changing the way you think, act, and live in this world to align with God’s ways of doing things.  

However, when the Lord leads you through that crucible to emerge experiencing the freedom and victory of your new life in Christ, you will know just how loving our heavenly Father who not only was good enough to forgive us in our trespasses and sins, He loved us enough to convince us to not stay in darkness He found us in.  God chooses to seek us out and rescue us from death and from our sins and when I contemplate just how lost and depraved I was I am often overcome with emotion thinking about how the Lord saved and remade me.    

So don’t make light of God’s discipline (dismissing it because you are “saved”) and don’t lose heart because it calls you to suffer for a time. The “growing pains” have a purpose and when we understand the God corrects us to make us into the people He created us to be and to experience the abundant life He has for us, we will understand that we truly are children of God, His sons and daughters, and that Our heavenly Father wants the best for His kids.

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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 continue sharing from  The Holy Spirit By A.W. Pink.

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage you all to purchase A.W. Pink’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available online for $0.99 (https://www.amazon.com/Holy-Spirit-Arthur-Pink-Collection-ebook/dp/B008CM5292/ref=sr_1_3?crid=AHKAQOM39CTN&keywords=a.w.+pink+the+holy+spirit&qid=1684376225&sprefix=a.w.+pink+the+holy+spirit+%2Caps%2C96&sr=8-3

A.W. Pink’s The Holy Spirit

17 - The Spirit Uniting in Christ

One of the principal ends or designs of the Gospel is the communication to God’s elect of those benefits or blessings which are in the Redeemer; but the communication of benefits necessarily implies communion, and all communion as necessarily presupposes union with His Person. Can I be rich with another man’s money, or advanced by another man’s honors? Yes, if that other be my surety (one who pledges himself as liable for my debt), or my husband. Peter could not be justified by the righteousness of Paul, but both could be justified by the righteousness of Christ imputed to them, seeing they are both knit to one common Head. Principal and surety are one in obligation and construction of law. Head and members are one body; branch and stock are one tree, and a slip will live by the sap of an-other stock when once engrafted into it. We must, then, be united to Christ before we can receive any benefits from Him.

Now there are two kinds of union between Christ and His people: a judicial and a vital, or a legal and a spiritual. The first is that union which was made by God between the Redeemer and the redeemed when He was appointed their federal Head. It was a union in law, in consequence of which He represented them and was responsible for them, the benefits of His transactions redounding to them. It may be illustrated by the case of suretyship among men: a relation is formed between the surety and that person for whom he engages, by which the two are thus far considered as one—the surety being liable for the debt which the other has contracted, and his payment is held as the payment of the debtor, who is thereby absolved from all obligation to the creditor. A similar connection is established between Christ and those who had been given to Him by the Father.

But something farther was necessary in order to the actual enjoyment of the benefits procured by Christ’s representation. God, on whose sovereign will the whole economy of grace is founded, had determined not only that His Son should sustain the character of their Surety, but that there should be also a vital as well as legal relation between them, as the foundation of communion with Him in all the blessings of His purchase. It was His good pleasure that as they were one in law, they should be also one spiritually, that Christ’s merit and grace might not only be imputed, but also imparted to them, as the holy oil poured on the head of Aaron descended to the skirt of his garments. It is this latter, this vital and spiritual union, which the Christian has with Christ, that we now purpose to treat of.[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 You Tube 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)

For those who require the assistance of a Deeper Walk International Prayer Minister to experience healing or your freedom in Christ, I highly recommend Christy Edge’s Life on the Edge Freedom Prayer Ministry. You can schedule a session by going to : https://cedge216.wixsite.com/life-on-the-edge     

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