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Friday, January 20, 2023

“Please keep following the Lord… and helping me on this path.” - Purity 946


“Please keep following the Lord… and helping me on this path.”  - Purity 946

Purity 946 01/20/2023 Purity 946 Podcast

Purity 946 on YouTube: 



Good morning,

Today’s photo of some skeletal flash illuminated roadside trees in the foreground of a purple and pink sunrise on the horizon comes to us from Coach Vern Cross who seized the day and captured the morning by sharing “his views” near his home in Hudson NY on social media yesterday.  

Vern shared a bunch of photos yesterday and I sharing a second one on the blog that came a little later in the morning that shows a lighter view of the sky.  The old adage is “red sky in the morning, sailor take warning” and it proved to be true yesterday as this pink sky proved to be an omen of the snow/sleet/rain that would later come in the afternoon.  


So if you knew that saying and kept your eyes on the sky you would “know” what was to come.

Coach Cross keeps his eyes on the skies and is quite active in pointing to what’s going on in his community.  Cross’ gaze may scan the heaven because he appreciates the beauty of God’s creation, but he is well grounded with life on earth too. He knows “what’s up,” and how things are, but he is constant advocate for better things.  He is positive influence in lives of many because his heart is for his community and family. His desire is to encourage others to believe that they can realize their potential and accomplish their dreams, a fact that is demonstrated by the way he lives his life every day.   He walks the walk and for that we thank him and encourage him to keep on walking and leading others by his example. Thank You Coach Cross.

Well it’s Friday, thank God, and I’m sure Vern doesn’t think much about “doing the right thing” and “being a positive influence”.  He just does it.  He takes what the good Lord gave him, and he uses it for good, the best he can.  

We don’t always realize that people are paying attention to what we do, and we don’t always know when our behavior, words, or actions can impact others. 

How many of us parents cringe when we see our kids repeating the same mistakes we have made or when they take on our less than good habits?   Yikes, sure THAT you decide to learn from me!

So how we live our lives is obviously important. Not only do our words and actions impact the consequences of our lives, because we don’t live in a vacuum, they also can impact others. And if we are living lives where we are trying “to do the right thing”, that can positively impact everyone around us.  

I was humbly reminded of this fact in my own life this morning as I opened another envelope from the “Box of Love” – a box of messages my wife compiled throughout 2022 and delivered to me on our anniversary on the first of the year. 

In the envelope for January 19th, 2022, TammyLyn had thanked me for helping her with a situation I don’t fully recall a year later but her comments went on to say: 

 “He (the Lord) amazes me in all He has done in me and you thus far.  Please keep following the Lord… and helping me on this path.”  

Please keep following the Lord.  And helping me on this path.  

After my divorce, I made the decision to follow the Lord in all things and when we decided to entertain the possibility of being engaged and eventually married. I made it clear to TammyLyn that the most important thing about her to me was her faith and that I tried to impress upon her that the way I live my life – this walk of faith – wasn’t an act or a phase that someday would pass.  I had made the decision to follow the Lord even if that meant that I would walk alone through life. So if she was serious about me, she had to be serious about the Lord.  

One of my biggest fears in contemplating becoming involved in a romantic relationship was that I would be deceived that I would find some woman who seem to be a Christian but who would later prove to be just going through the motions, leading to disappointment and unhappiness.   Fortunately, TammyLyn’s heart to follow the Lord is true.  She may be somewhat new to “walking in the Spirit” but her faith is genuine. Her faith looks better than mine sometimes!

But this is all somewhat new to her because so few of us actually live their lives by faith.  Her faith life is thriving because through the Freedom in Christ discipleship courses she learned about who she was in Christ and through the Steps to Freedom in Christ she was set free from all the personal and spiritual baggage of her past.  She learned these things through the classes I led but in getting to know me she has learned that our very lives are a continuous lesson in Christian Discipleship, we live according to who we are in Christ, we overcome, and we keep going.   

 A lot of this life of faith can seem not so glamorous. Prayer, Bible Study, Reading Christian books, and going to church regularly may not seem to amount to much.  But the thing is when these disciplines form the framework of your life and the Lord’s will guides your direction, the day by day that seems pretty normal moment to moment proves to form a pathway to an incredible journey with God as we realize, usually after the fact, that the Lord was moving us through difficult times to the good things He had prepared for us.   

Looking at the path behind is amazing but looking at the day to day stuff you can easily lose sight of the fact that God is moving you forward.  It can seem like you are going nowhere, and the enemy is always there to offer his discouragements and to tempt us to turn to the worldly things to comfort us and give us peace.   But it is only in following the Lord faithfully that we see His plan materialize, so if we step off the path, we eventually realize the error of our ways and get back on track.  

This process of focusing on your faith walk can really occupy your time and you can easily be concerned with just staying on track. But because we don’t live in a vacuum, others can see us and what we are doing and be inspired to “walk like we walk”.   

TammyLyn saw me. Honestly, I think she was the only one who really did. And she wanted what I wanted: a life of being true to our faith. So she followed and pursued me and now we walk together, hand in hand with the Lord.   Her faith encourages me and obviously, because of her note, I know that my following the Lord encourages her.   She wrote:

“Please keep following the Lord… and helping me on this path.”

That’s what we are to do as Christians.  We are to keep on walking and talking with God and helping one another as we go.   

So keep walking that walk and talking that talk.  As long as it is the Lord we are following, we can know we are headed in the right direction, and we just may leave a path behind us that others can follow into God’s kingdom.  

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Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Romans 8:28 (NLT2)
28  And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

Today’s verse is THE quintessential verse for Christian encouragement. It points to God’s sovereignty  and the conditional promises of good that come to the faithful. 

Did I say conditional?   Yes I did.  

While God positively love all of His creation and desires for all men to be saved.  Not all men will choose to be underneath the Lordship of Jesus Christ and thus will face God’s wrath for their sins.

This verse is not the “everything is going to be all right for everybody.”  I’m not sure about dogs but not all men go to heaven, not all people choose to live at peace with God in His kingdom.   

As the verse states, God “causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”    It states the good comes to those who “love God and are called to his purposes for them.”   Those love God would put their faith in Jesus. Those who are called by God would meet His purposes for them by being reconciled to God through Jesus.   

Jesus was sent to save us from God’s wrath.  Our purpose in life is to find peace with God through Jesus Christ.   When we put our faith in Christ, we have a new and eternal life with God.  That’s the ultimate good that God is working towards for all of those who love Him and are called to His purpose.  

But that’s not all, God is sovereign, remember?  That means He shapes the history of life in His universe. That means He can choose who to bless and who to curse.  His word directs us to faith in Christ and living according to His will, when we do that we are blessed by it,  But beyond the positive consequences of obedience God’s sovereignty rules over circumstances and paradoxically He can and sometimes does choose to allow bad circumstance to be used for good!

SO if you are in Christ, be encouraged! We have ultimate good of life everlasting in God’s kingdom, and we can even hope for good things to happen here on earth because God loves us , we love Him and are answering the call He has put upon us.

___________________________________________

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 A.W. Pink’s “The Sovereignty of God.”

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Bonhoeffer’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available on many websites for less than $20.00.

THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD

By  ARTHUR W. PINK

CHAPTER FOUR

THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD IN SALVATION, continues.

2. The Sovereignty of God the Son in Salvation - continues

Having reviewed some of the general principles which require us to believe that the death of Christ was limited in its design, we turn now to consider some of the explicit statements of Scripture which expressly affirm it. In that wondrous and matchless fifty-third of Isaiah God tells us concerning His Son, “He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare His generation? for He was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of My people was He stricken” (v. 8). In perfect harmony with this was the word of the angel to Joseph, “Thou shalt call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21) i.e., not merely Israel, but all whom the Father had “given” Him. Our Lord Himself declared, “The Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:28), but why have said “for many” if all without exception were included? It was “His people” whom He “redeemed” (Luke 1:68). It was for “the sheep,” and not the “goats,” that the Good Shepherd gave His life (John 10:11). It was the “Church of God” which He purchased with His own blood” (Acts 20:28).

If there is one scripture more than any other upon which we should be willing to rest our case it is John 11:49–52. Here we are told, “And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; And not for that nation only, but that also He should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.” Here we are told that Caiaphas “prophesied not of himself,” that is, like those employed by God in Old Testament times (see 2 Pet. 1:21), his prophecy originated not with himself, but he spake as he was moved by the Holy Spirit; thus is the value of his utterance carefully guarded, and the Divine source of this revelation expressly vouched for. Here, too, we are definitely informed that Christ died for “that nation,” i.e., Israel, and also for the One Body, His Church, for it is into the Church that the children of God—“scattered” among the nations—are now being “gathered together in one.” And is it not remarkable that the members of the Church are here called “children of God” even before Christ died, and therefore before He commenced to build His Church! The vast majority of them had not then been born, yet they were regarded as “children of God;” children of God because they had been chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world, and therefore “predestinated unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself” (Eph. 1:4, 5). In like manner, Christ said, “Other sheep I have (not “shall have”) which are not of this fold” (John 10:16).

If ever the real design of the Cross was uppermost in the heart and speech of our blessed Saviour it was during the last week of His earthly ministry. What then do the Scriptures which treat of this portion of His ministry record in connection with our present inquiry? They say, “When Jesus knew that His hour was come that He should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them unto the end” (John 13:1). They tell us how He said, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down His life for His friends” (John 15:13). They record His word, “For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth” (John 17:19); which means, that for the sake of His own, those “given” to Him by the Father, He separated Himself unto the death of the Cross. One may well ask, Why such discrimination of terms if Christ died for all men indiscriminately?

Ere closing this section of the chapter we shall consider briefly a few of those passages which seem to teach most strongly an unlimited design in the death of Christ. In 2 Cor. 5:14 we read, “One died for all.” But that is not all this scripture affirms. If the entire verse and passage from which these words are quoted be carefully examined, it will be found that instead of teaching an unlimited atonement, it emphatically argues a limited design in the death of Christ. The whole verse reads, “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if One died for all, then were all dead.” It should be pointed out that in the Greek there is the definite article before the last “all,” and that the verb here is in the aorist tense, and therefore should read, “We thus judge: that if One died for all, then the all died.” The apostle is here drawing a conclusion as it clear from the words “we thus judge, that if … then were.” His meaning is, that those for whom the One died are regarded, judicially, as having died too. The next verse goes on to say, “And He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them, and rose again.” The One not only died but “rose again,” and so, too, did the “all” for whom He died, for it is here said they “live.” Those for whom a substitute acts are legally regarded as having acted themselves. In the sight of the law the substitute and those whom he represents are one. So it is in the sight of God. Christ was identified with His people and His people were identified with Him, hence when He died they died (judicially) and when He rose they rose also. But further we are told in this passage (v. 17), that if any man be in Christ he is a new creation; he has received a new life in fact as well as in the sight of the law, hence the “all” for whom Christ died are here bidden to live henceforth no more unto themselves, “but unto Him which died for them, and rose again.” In other words, those who belonged to this “all” for whom Christ died, are here exhorted to manifest practically in their daily lives what is true of them judicially: they are to “live unto Christ who died for them.” Thus the “One died for all” is defined for us. The “all” for which Christ died are they which “live,” and which are here bidden to live “unto Him.” This passage then teaches three important truths, and the better to show its scope we mention them in their inverse order: certain ones are here bidden to live no more unto themselves but unto Christ; the ones thus admonished are “they which live,” that is live spiritually, hence, the children of God, for they alone of mankind possess spiritual life, all others being dead in trespasses and sins; those who do thus live are the ones, the “all,” the “them,” for whom Christ died and rose again. This passage therefore teaches that Christ died for all His people, the elect, those given to Him by the Father; that as the result of His death (and rising again “for them”) they “live—and the elect are the only ones who do thus “live;” and this life which is theirs through Christ must be lived “unto Him,” Christ’s love must now “constrain” them.[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)

“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 W. Pink, The Sovereignty of God (Swengel, PA: Bible Truth Depot, 1949), 71–75.

Thursday, January 19, 2023

A New Road – A Disciple of Prayer - Purity 945

 

A New Road – A Disciple of Prayer   - Purity 945

Purity 945 01/19/2023 Purity 945 Podcast

Purity 945 on YouTube: Coming Soon!

Good morning,

Today’s photo of a dashboard view of a blazing sunrise on the horizon comes to us from a friend who shared this photo on social media Tuesday declaring: “Coming in hot Charleston! Ready to Rock this week!”   You just have to love the enthusiasm of our friend who presumably after recharging their batteries with an extended three day weekend was ready to “seize the day” and face and triumph over all the challenges the new work week had to bring.  

Well it’s Thursday again, and as is my habit I share my friend’s photo because I absolutely love his attitude and because his Charleston highway sunrise is a more than adequate visual representation of a pathway and can be utilized to not only encourage us in the upcoming week but can be used as an encouragement to get on or to stay on the path of Christian Discipleship, to live by faith in the power of the Holy Spirit, not just this week but from here to eternity!   

I’m especially excited this morning because this evening I begin yet another journey with the Lord as I will be attending the first meeting of the Deeper Walk International’s School of Prayer Ministry program that will occupy my Thursday evenings throughout the year.  This will be a switch for me as I am used to leading discipleship courses online for Freedom in Christ Ministries. So now I have to switch gears as I take on the role of a student, a disciple of prayer – I suppose, as I will be educated and trained with the goal of becoming a certified Deeper Walk Prayer Minister.  

I am somewhat familiar with a great deal of the material that will be covered, I think, and although that could lead you to believe that would put me at ease the opposite seems to be true as I am contemplating having to show that “I know what I know” with the course work. I am also reminding myself to take the courses as they come, to slow down and to remain humble and be open to hear what is being taught, to not fall into the trap of pride and believing that I “already know all this”.   

I am also mentally preparing myself to only “answer what is asked” with the upcoming assignments. Because I blog 6 days a week, writing comes naturally for me now but I have to be mindful to submit the appropriate amount of text – to answer the questions and share my thoughts adequately but not to be too verbose or write a doctoral dissertation for an essay assignment.

Education, knowledge, and wisdom is a funny thing.  There is a big difference between learning something mentally and knowing it experientially. And sometimes you can know something “like the back of your hand” but can struggle to express your knowledge verbally.   As a teacher or online course facilitator, I haven’t had to study and do assignments.

While I answer questions and make illustrations in every course session I host, I’m drawing from the material I already know and the experiences I have already had.   While I have already read the two books for the first course in their entirety, I’m not sure if I “know” the material.  As a student, you don’t know what will be asked of you before hand and even though I’ve read all the material, I don’t know what specifically will be asked and if I retained any of what I did read!

Since reading the two books for the first course, I have gone on to read a couple of other books and am not sure that I “know what I know”, you know?

I am currently facing the fact that I will have to read them again and do the reading assignments for each week because the assignments won’t be on the overall books – they will be geared to each week’s reading, as we slowly walk through the material over several weeks.  So much for prepping!   

The expectations of being a student are a lot different than for that of an instructor! As an instructor it is assumed that you know what you are talking about for the most part, whereas being a student it is assumed that you don’t know the material and have to prove you do.  Oh yes, it’s a performance based paradigm.   Show me what you know.

I’m used to grace! But although God has graced me with intelligence and the ability to learn new things, I will have to demonstrate my knowledge and proficiency in performing as a prayer minister in order to be certified. In fact, Deeper Walk has you sign a statement upon acceptance in the program stating that you understand that just because you are accepted into it, it doesn’t guarantee that you will be certified!  With that disclaimer, Deeper Walk International is saying:

“This is the ”real deal” guys!  Sure, you can read books and write essays, but do you have what it takes to be a prayer minister. Can you meet someone in their struggles and counsel and lead them through the various prayer practices in which they can receive the resolution of their personal and spiritual conflicts or lead them beyond the traumas of their past to receive healing?  Do you have the heart for this ministry? Do you have what it takes?”  

Obviously, I am taking this training quite seriously and even though I already have some education and experience in these areas through my degrees and work with Freedom in Christ ministries, I am not taking anything for granted.   This is service to the Lord Most High for the body of Christ and I will endeavor to be equipped for this as I feel it is a part of the Lord’s calling on my life.  In

2 Timothy 2:15 (NKJV), Paul encouraged Timothy, and all of us, to
15  Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

So as much I look forward to making new friends, to learning new things, and to acquiring new skills, I am not resting on my laurels of what I have already done. I am a student, a disciple of prayer ministry, and I will be diligent to present myself approved to God, God willing, and to be used by God for His service in new ways.  I am excited to learn new things and to do new things for God and His kingdom    So I’m coming in hot, Deeper Walk International, and I’m ready to “rock” because I know The Rock and I know that finding our purpose in God’s kingdom and being used by God is best thing we could possibly hope for in life.  

SO, keep walking and talking and God and look to the horizon for what He is calling you to. When you walk with the Lord and seek to do His will with your life, you won’t be luke warm or cold.  When you follow Him your life takes on new meaning and purpose and you will be “on fire” for the Lord and the life He has for you. You will accept the challenges with enthusiasm and endeavor to do you best for Him, you’ll be “coming in hot” to show yourself approved and to walk into all the good things He has prepared for you.  

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Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.

This morning’s meditation verses are:

Psalm 18:31-32 (NLT2)
31  For who is God except the LORD? Who but our God is a solid rock?
32  God arms me with strength, and he makes my way perfect.

Today’s verses remind us that there is no one like our God and that He prepares us for His purposes. The Lord is God alone. God alone is THE solid Rock. He is omnipotent – all powerful and He arms us with His strength and makes our ways perfect.   

The PERFECT WAY is Jesus, Course, and so when we follow Him our ways, no matter how much we may stumble, is made perfect too.  

Our walk is about progress, not perfection. The only perfect One is Jesus so as much as we try we have to realize that in our own strength we will undoubtedly not be able to do everything perfectly.   

However, when we make Jesus our life, abide in Him, and allow Him to live through us we can do and accomplish things we otherwise would have thought to be impossible.  

It was only after coming to Christ and surrendering to His will that I was able to overcome my addictions.  It was only because of my desire to surrender to the Lord’s will did I volunteer to serve at my local church or to do any “ministry” work.  It was only through following Jesus and having a desire to share His love did I ever decide to evangelize, write this blog, do this podcast, or go into the mission field.  

While I didn’t do any of these things flawlessly, the Lord gave me the strength to follow His “perfect way”.  Things weren’t always easy following this “perfect way” and I have lost many things in its pursuit, but I can say it’s a perfect way because I was God’s lead to the best of my abilities and I have no regrets.  

So rest in the fact that there is no one like our God and go to Him to receive the strength you need to follow the “perfect way” that He has for you.  

___________________________________________

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 A.W. Pink’s “The Sovereignty of God.”

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Bonhoeffer’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available on many websites for less than $20.00.

THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD

By  ARTHUR W. PINK

CHAPTER FOUR

THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD IN SALVATION, continues.

2. The Sovereignty of God the Son in Salvation - continues

(2) The very nature of the Atonement evidences that, in its application to sinners, it was limited in the purpose of God. The Atonement of Christ may be considered from two chief viewpoints—Godward and manward. Godward, the Cross-work of Christ was a propitiation, an appeasing of Divine wrath, a satisfaction rendered to Divine justice and holiness; manward, it was a substitution, the Innocent taking the place of the guilty, the Just dying for the unjust. But a strict substitution of a Person for persons, and the infliction upon Him of voluntary sufferings, involve the definite recognition on the part of the Substitute and of the One He is to propitiate of the persons for whom He acts, whose sins He bears, whose legal obligations He discharges. Furthermore, if the Lawgiver accepts the satisfaction which is made by the Substitute then those for whom the Substitute acts, whose place He takes, must necessarily be acquitted. If I am in debt and unable to discharge it and another comes forward and pays my creditor in full and receives a receipt in acknowledgment, then, in the sight of the law, my creditor no longer has any claim upon me. On the Cross the Lord Jesus gave Himself a ransom, and that it was accepted by God was attested by the open grave three days later; the question we would here raise is, For whom was this ransom offered? If it was offered for all mankind then the debt incurred by every man has been cancelled. If Christ bore in His own body on the tree the sins of all men without exception, then none will perish. If Christ was “made a curse” for all of Adam’s race then none are now “under condemnation.” “Payment God cannot twice demand, first at my bleeding Surety’s hand and then again at mine.” But Christ did not discharge the debts of all men without exception, for some there are who will be “cast into prison” (cf. 1 Peter 3:19 where the same Greek word for “prison” occurs), and they shall “by no means come out thence, till they have paid the uttermost farthing” (Matt. 5:26), which, of course, will never be. Christ did not bear the sins of all mankind, for some there are who “die in their sins” (John 8:21), and whose “sin remaineth” (John 9:41). Christ was not “made a curse” for all of Adam’s race, for some there are to whom He will yet say, “Depart from Me ye cursed” (Matt. 25:41). To say that Christ died for all alike, to say that He became the Substitute and Surety of the whole human race, to say that He suffered on behalf of and in the stead of all mankind, is to say that He “bore the curse for many who are now bearing the curse for themselves; that He suffered punishment for many who are now lifting up their own eyes in Hell, being in torments; that He paid the redemption price for many who shall yet pay in their own eternal anguish the wages of sin, which is death” (George S. Bishop). But, on the other hand, to say as Scripture says, that Christ was stricken for the transgressions of God’s people, to say that He gave His life “for the sheep,” to say that He gave His life a ransom “for many,” is to say that He made an atonement which fully atones; it is to say He paid a price which actually ransoms; it is to say He was set forth a propitiation which really propitiates; it is to say He is a Saviour who truly saves.

(3) Closely connected with, and confirmatory of what we have said above, is the teaching of Scripture concerning our Lord’s priesthood. It is as the great High Priest that Christ now makes intercession. But for whom does He intercede? for the whole human race, or only for His own people? The answer furnished by the New Testament to this question is clear as a sunbeam. Our Saviour has entered into heaven itself “now to appear in the presence of God for us” (Heb. 9:24), that is, for those who are “partakers of the heavenly calling” (Heb. 3:1). And again it is written, “Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them” (Heb. 7:25). This is in strict accord with the Old Testament type. After slaying the sacrificial animal, Aaron went into the holy of holies as the representative and on behalf of the people of God: it was the names of Israel’s tribes which were engraven on his breastplate, and it was in their interests he appeared before God. Agreeable to this are our Lord’s words in John 17:9—“I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which Thou hast given Me; for they are Thine.” Another scripture which deserves careful attention in this connection is found in Romans 8. In verse 33 the question is asked, “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect?” and then follows the inspired answer—“It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea, rather that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” Note particularly that the death and intercession of Christ have one and the same objects! As it was in the type so it is with the antitype—expiation and supplication are co-extensive. If then Christ intercedes for the elect only, and “not for the world,” then He died for them only. And observe further, that the death, resurrection, exaltation and intercession of the Lord Jesus are here assigned as the reason why none can lay any “charge” against God’s elect. Let those who would still take issue with what we are advancing weigh carefully the following question—If the death of Christ extends equally to all, how does it become security against a “charge,” seeing that all who believe not are “under condemnation”? (John 3:18).

(4) The number of those who share the benefits of Christ’s death is determined not only by the nature of the Atonement and the priesthood of Christ but also by His power. Grant that the One who died upon the Cross was God manifest in the flesh and it follows inevitably that what Christ has purposed that will He perform; that what He has purchased that will He possess; that what He has set His heart upon that will He secure. If the Lord Jesus possesses all power in heaven and earth then none can successfully resist His will. But it may be said, This is true in the abstract, nevertheless, Christ refuses to exercise this power, inasmuch as He will never force anyone to receive Him as their Lord and Saviour. In one sense that is true, but in another sense it is positively untrue. The salvation of any sinner is a matter of Divine power. By nature the sinner is at enmity with God, and naught but Divine power operating within him can overcome this enmity; hence it is written, “No man can come unto Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him” (John 6:44). It is the Divine power overcoming the sinner’s innate enmity which makes him willing to come to Christ that he might have life. But this “enmity” is not overcome in all—why? Is it because the enmity is too strong to be overcome? Are there some hearts so steeled against Him that Christ is unable to gain entrance? To answer in the affirmative is to deny His omnipotence. In the final analysis it is not a question of the sinner’s willingness or unwillingness, for by nature all are unwilling. Willingness to come to Christ is the finished product of Divine power operating in the human heart and will in overcoming man’s inherent and chronic “enmity,” as it is written, “Thy people shall be willing in the day of Thy power” (Psa. 110:3). To say that Christ is unable to win to Himself those who are unwilling is to deny that all power in heaven and earth is His. To say that Christ cannot put forth His power without destroying man’s responsibility is a begging of the question here raised, for He has put forth His power and made willing those who have come to Him, and if He did this without destroying their responsibility, why “cannot” He do so with others? If He is able to win the heart of one sinner to Himself why not that of another? To say, as is usually said, the others will not let Him is to impeach His sufficiency. It is a question of His will. If the Lord Jesus has decreed, desired, purposed the salvation of all mankind, then the entire human race will be saved, or, otherwise, He lacks the power to make good His intentions; and in such a case it could never be said, “He shall see of the travail of His soul and be satisfied.” The issue raised involves the deity of the Saviour, for a defeated Saviour cannot be God.[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)

“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 W. Pink, The Sovereignty of God (Swengel, PA: Bible Truth Depot, 1949), 68–71.


Wednesday, January 18, 2023

God’s Gifts to the Faithful - Purity 944


God’s Gifts to the Faithful   - Purity 944

Purity 944 01/18/2023 Purity 944 Podcast

Purity 944 on YouTube: 



Good morning,

Today’s photo a large sunflower being bathed by a brilliantly shining sun under blue skies comes to us from TammyLyn Clark who shared this photo along with a bible verse on social media a couple of days ago before the launch of her new blog (https://tammylynask.blogspot.com/) which she created to have her own space where she could archive her previous messages and to share her photography, bible verses, and new messages.  2022 proved to be a busy year for TammyLyn as she will be using 5 W2’s for this year’s taxes as she was moved through a series of 4 different full time jobs and had a part time job.   She will be sharing that testimony soon so I’ll let you read all about it. 

TammyLyn’s story will undoubtedly demonstrate how God blesses those who are faithful to follow Him although there may be many a dark valley we may be called to walk through when we decide to “come and see” all that the Lord has for us.  

The Bible verse that she shared with today’s photo was: 

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

While there are many a snarky bible scholar that would point out that this “word” was given to the nation of Israel as they were facing dark days with the Babylonian Exile and that if we try to apply this verse to our lives as Christians we are taking it out of context, I would challenge them by asking:

So God doesn’t have plans for us? God doesn’t have plans to prosper us, to not harm us, or to give us a hope and a future?   

Sometimes it seems learned Christians like to be “right” and appear intelligent rather than being encouraging.  

As far as I’m concerned the context that we as Christians should most be concerned with when it comes to the word of God is “how can God’s word help me to love Him more and be faithful to follow Him.”

So as far as I’m concerned if Jeremiah 29:11 or any verse to the Bible encourages you to seek the Lord, to trust Him, and to follow Him with the way you live your life, I would say you got “the message” the Lord was sending you.  

As much as we want to know the proper context of scripture historically, we should also be concerned with applying God’s word to our lives to empower us.  

As Christians, I am sure that God has plans to prosper us, to not harm us, and to give us a hope and a future. Christ said as much to His apostles, which they felt encourage to share with us, in

John 14:1-2 (NKJV) where Jesus said:
1  "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.
2  In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

That sounds like a plan to not harm us and to prosper us to me! That sounds like a hope and a future to me!  

But just like a salesman with an amazing offer I would say, that’s not all that God has for us!

The word of God is filled with precious promises and I am sharing a link on the blog to open bible dot info if you want to look some up, https://www.openbible.info/topics/gods_promises) but I would point out that these promises, these gifts from God are for the faithful.  So be sure to make Jesus your Lord and Savior and be faithful to follow Him to redeem those promises, to receive God’s gifts for you.      

 

My walk as a Christian has not always been easy. I had some deep valleys to walk through after coming to Christ. I had to overcome all of my ignorance concerning the gospel and walking in the Spirit, which is probably the biggest struggle – renewing your mind.  But I also had to emerge from the struggles of broken relationships and addiction too. That was no walk in the park but I received my victory and freedom because I remained faithful to the simple directive to surrender and seek the Lord and His will in all things.   

I’m still on that path of Christian Discipleship of course and still have more to learn I am sure but this morning I wanted to point to how the Lord blesses the faithful and I really set you guys up.   

I have shared the story before of how God literally brought my wife TammyLyn into my life by directing her path to the Community Freedom Ministry I was doing at my local church back in 2021 because God put it in me to start the mt4christ247 podcast.  Through a friend, she heard about the classes I was teaching, listened to the podcast, and then faithfully answered God’s call to travel an hour to start attending the classes in person, where we met, became friends, were engaged, and married on January 1st 2022.  I thoroughly believe that my wife, TammyLyn,  was  the answer to my prayers for a faithful Christian wife. She was and continues to be God’s gift to me for my faithfulness.   

I was originally going to call today’s post – “The Box of Love” because on our first anniversary surprised me with a gift that will continue to bless me and humble me for all of 2023.   I’m sharing photos of the “Box of Love” that TammyLyn gave me.  It is decorated with sweet sentiments about the love of a married couple and inside the box TammyLyn included a message a day, or so, for each day of year of our marriage during 2022.  Unbeknownst to me, each day she was putting in a Bible verse, a message, or a photo, into an envelope sealing it with the date and putting it into the box.  So for this year I have an envelope to open each day, that will remind me of how much my wife loves me and how truly blessed I am by God who has gifted her to me.  




Today’s message from TammyLyn from January 18th 2022 , stated:  

“One day someone will walk into your life and get it right where everyone else got it wrong. One day you won't have to wait for a call or a text back. One day you won't be the only one giving your all. One day you'll finally meet someone who wants to help you grow in life. One day you will finally meet someone who isn't afraid to give love another chance. One day you will finally meet someone you can trust with everything. One day you'll have your best friend, your biggest supporter, and your teammate all wrapped up into one person.

 

Thank you for being my “one person”. I am so grateful I found my one day...”

With notes like that, you can see why I believe that TammyLyn is a gift of God to me!  

As much as I am humbled and grateful for TammyLyn’s unbelievably kind words, I would like to point out that the “ONE PERSON” who meets all of these criteria is the Lord God Almighty.  

I have and undoubtedly will continue to disappoint my wife from time to time but the Lord is the one who meets all of those criteria perfectly, all the time, and He truly blesses those who are faithful to follow Him.  

Before Christ my life was a fruitless search for meaning and satisfaction,  but then my one day came. I heard the message of God’s love that saved my soul and put me on a course to know the ONE who would be my best friend, biggest supporter, and teammate all wrapped up in one, the Lord.  He will never leave me or forsake me. He has plans to prosper me, to not harm me, and to give me a hope and a future.  

And He knew that it was not good for man to be alone, and so the Lord brought TammyLyn into my life to give me someone to love and to walk through life with.  

After a meandering path of confusion in 2022, The Lord has blessed TammyLyn with a new job as a special education teacher, that will likely be her career going forward.  She was faithful and God had a plan to prosper her.   

TammyLyn and I are reasonably intelligent and have some skills and talents but before we both made the decision to faithfully follow the Lord, I think we would both admit that our lives were somewhat of a mess.  But after we both individually decided to live by faith, the Lord’s plan to prosper us became clearer and led to our marriage. 

So let me encourage you, God has gifts for you. God has plans for you. God has the ultimate hope and future for you that should fill you with joy and peace: eternity with Him. 

But let me also encourage and assure you, that if you are faithful in making the daily decision to seek the Lord, to know and love Him more, and to follow where He leads, He will give you the peace that goes beyond all understanding here in the land of the living regardless of circumstance and you may very well see the goodness of the Lord here on earth as He works all thing together for good.   

So keep walking and talking with God and see what plans He has for you.    

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

Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.

This morning’s meditation verse is:

2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)
7  For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Today’s verse reminds us of the nature of the Spirit that God has given to all those who place their faith in Christ.      

When we walk in the Spirit, we pay attention to what we think and how we feel. If we are taking every through captive to the obedience of Christ, we should notice a big difference in terms of what we feel emotionally and what we think about.   

A Christian mindset would be one of contentment, gratitude, Biblically based reason, and love.   

If you notice fear is not on that list.  

God’s love which is shown for us through Christ’s sacrifice, death, and resurrection casts our all fear. 

In Christ we have victory over death and sin.  So there is nothing to b a afraid of.  Death is the worst case scenario for those on earth but if we have Christ, we have eternal life.  Nothing to be afraid of there.  

As for sin, if we are afraid of making mistakes – we are covered by God’s love there too. Through God’s grace and faith in Christ, we are forgiven for all of our sins, even the ones we haven’t done yet!  So we don’t have to fear punishment.  

But we also have been given true power over sin, when we abide in Christ and let Him live through us our hearts will be on living in His peace and not violating God’s Law and acting out of the character of our new life in Christ.  

God’s love will work in and through us to make all things new.  

And even though the world may say that living for God is “crazy”, His word assures us that the spirit that leads us to follow the unseen God is of sound mind.  

So do not fear and choose to stop the “insanity” of a secular life by choosing to live by faith in the power of the Holy Spirit.  

___________________________________________

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 A.W. Pink’s “The Sovereignty of God.”

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Bonhoeffer’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available on many websites for less than $20.00.

THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD

By  ARTHUR W. PINK

CHAPTER FOUR

THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD IN SALVATION, continues.

2. The Sovereignty of God the Son in Salvation

For whom did Christ die? It surely does not need arguing that the Father had an express purpose in giving Him to die, or that God the Son had a definite design before Him in laying down His life—“Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world” (Acts 15:18). What then was the purpose of the Father and the design of the Son. We answer, Christ died for “God’s elect.”

We are not unmindful of the fact that the limited design in the death of Christ has been the subject of much controversy—what great truth revealed in Scripture has not? Nor do we forget that anything which has to do with the person and work of our blessed Lord requires to be handled with the utmost reverence, and that a “Thus saith the Lord” must be given in support of every assertion we make. Our appeal shall be to the Law and to the Testimony.

For whom did Christ die? Who were the ones He intended to redeem by His blood-shedding? Surely the Lord Jesus had some absolute determination before Him when He went to the Cross. If He had, then it necessarily follows that the extent of that purpose was limited, because an absolute determination of purpose must be effected. If the absolute determination of Christ included all mankind, then all mankind would most certainly be saved. To escape this inevitable conclusion many have affirmed that there was not such absolute determination before Christ, that in His death a merely conditional provision of salvation has been made for all mankind. The refutation of this assertion is found in the promises made by the Father to His Son before He went to the Cross, yea, before He became incarnate. The Old Testament Scriptures represent the Father as promising the Son a certain reward for His sufferings on behalf of sinners. At this stage we shall confine ourselves to one or two statements recorded in the well known fifty-third of Isaiah. There we find God saying, “When Thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed,” that “He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied,” and that God’s righteous Servant “should justify many” (vv. 10 and 11). But here we would pause and ask, How could it be certain that Christ should “see His seed,” and “see of the travail of His soul and be satisfied,” unless the salvation of certain members of the human race had been Divinely decreed, and therefore was sure? How could it be certain that Christ should “justify many,” if no effectual provision was made that any should receive Him as their Lord and Saviour? On the other hand, to insist that the Lord Jesus did expressly purpose the salvation of all mankind is to charge Him with that which no intelligent being should be guilty of, namely, to design that which by virtue of His omniscience He knew would never come to pass. Hence, the only alternative left us is that, so far as the pre-determined purpose of His death is concerned Christ died for the elect only. Summing up in a sentence, which we trust will be intelligible to every reader, we would say, Christ died not merely to make possible the salvation of all mankind, but to make certain the salvation of all that the Father had given to Him. Christ died not simply to render sins pardonable, but “to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself” (Heb. 9:26). As to whose “sin” (i.e., guilt, as in 1 John 1:7, etc.) has been “put away,” Scripture leaves us in no doubt—it was that of the elect, the “world” (John 1:29) of God’s people!

(1) The limited design in the Atonement follows, necessarily, from the eternal choice of the Father of certain ones unto salvation. The Scriptures inform us that before the Lord became incarnate He said, “Lo, I come, to do Thy will O God” (Heb. 10:7), and after He had become incarnate He declared, “For I came down from heaven, not to do Mine own will, but the will of Him that sent Me” (John 6:38). If then God had from the beginning chosen certain ones to salvation, then, because the will of Christ was in perfect accord with the will of the Father, He would not seek to enlarge upon His election. What we have just said is not merely a plausible deduction of our own, but is in strict harmony with the express teaching of the Word. Again and again our Lord referred to those whom the Father had “given” Him, and concerning whom He was particularly exercised. Said He, “All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.… And this is the Father’s will which hath sent Me, that of all which He hath given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day” (John 6:37, 39). And again, “These words spake Jesus, and lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son also may glorify Thee; As Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him.… I have manifested Thy name unto the men which Thou gavest Me out of the world: Thine they were, and Thou gavest them Me; and they have kept Thy Word.… I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which Thou hast given Me; for they are Thine.… Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am; that they may behold My glory, which Thou hast given Me: for Thou lovest Me before the foundation of the world” (John 17:1, 2, 6, 9, 24). Before the foundation of the world the Father predestinated a people to be conformed to the image of His Son, and the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus was in order to the carrying out of the Divine purpose.[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)

“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 W. Pink, The Sovereignty of God (Swengel, PA: Bible Truth Depot, 1949), 65–68.