The Christian’s War Against Fatty Flesh

Sword of The Spirit

Daily Spirit & Word, 525: The Christian’s War Against Fatty Flesh.

“He Who is IN Us, IS Greater than he who is in the world.”

 

Good Lord’s Day, Sunday morning my friends.

Last week in church we celebrated Pentecost (The Church’s Birthday) and some of our members were baptised, but were you aware that long before the first person went into the water we were in a Battle? It was a fierce fight. You see my friends, the enemy didn’t want anyone to continue to trust in Jesus Christ and he definitely didn’t want anyone taking steps of commitment or giant leaps of faith. From the moment we first begin to hear the voice of God through the Holy Spirit, pulling us up out of the pit, our enemy takes note and does everything to prevent our coming to the ONE and ONLY SAVIOUR: The Lord Jesus Christ.

However, this morning I’m going to let you into a secret, so pin back your lug-holes (ears), come a little closer, make certain no one is looking and listen very carefully, because;

1 John 4:4 (NIV) “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”

That’s right, that’s the secret, “The ONE (Holy Spirit, Jesus The Son and God The Father), who is IN you is GREATER than the one (SATAN and all his Demons and our Flesh and the Rebellion of the World) who is in the world.” not only is He greater, but we HAVE OVERCOME. We are victorious.

The moment we decided to follow Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour, we entered into a battle. This battle will last for the rest of our life here on earth. We fight with an enemy, the enemy is like Israel’s neighbours that instead of defeating them completely, as they were commanded when they entered the promised land, they allowed them to live. This was against God’s express commands. Ever since then the chosen people of God, Israel, had to battle against them constantly. So too, we have been set free from our enemies by the Lord Jesus Christ. The moment we surrendered to Jesus, He came in and took charge of our lives, we submitted to His Lordship and with the Help of His Holy Spirit gained complete victory over all our enemies; the world, the flesh and the devil. Just like Israel’s enemies, ours are not completely killed, they remain, they’re looking to gain control and to dominate us all over again, but their ultimate aim is to destroy us forever.

Also, just like Israel, we go from moments of Victory to Defeat. We give in to: the world, the flesh and the devil: time and time again. Each time, when we cry out to the LORD, He sets us free all over again. This story should also serve as a warning to us today, not to give into our enemies.

EHUD:

This Battles Against Our Enemies is Dramatically Portrayed in the Old Testament Account of Ehud.

Judges 3:1-30
1 These are the nations the LORD left to test all those Israelites who had not experienced any of the wars in Canaan
2  (he did this only to teach warfare to the descendants of the Israelites who had not had previous battle experience):
3  the five rulers of the Philistines, all the Canaanites, the Sidonians, and the Hivites living in the Lebanon mountains from Mount Baal Hermon to Lebo Hamath.
4  They were left to test the Israelites to see whether they would obey the LORD’S commands, which he had given their forefathers through Moses. 
5  The Israelites lived among the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites.
6  They took their daughters in marriage and gave their own daughters to their sons, and served their gods.
 The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD; they forgot the LORD their God and served the Baals and the Asherahs.
8  The anger of the LORD burned against Israel so that he sold them into the hands of Cushan-Rishathaim king of Aram Naharaim, to whom the Israelites were subject for eight years.
9  But when they cried out to the LORD, he raised up for them a deliverer, Othniel son of KenazCaleb’s younger brother, who saved them.
10  The Spirit of the LORD came upon him, so that he became Israel’s judge and went to war. The LORD gave Cushan-Rishathaim king of Aram into the hands of Othniel, who overpowered him.
11  So the land had peace for forty years, until Othniel son of Kenaz died.

EHUD:
12  Once again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD, and because they did this evil the LORD gave Eglon king of Moab power over Israel.
13  Getting the Ammonites and Amalekites to join him, Eglon came and attacked Israel, and they took possession of the City of Palms (Jericho [God’s City of Palm Trees}).
14  The Israelites were subject to Eglon king of Moab for eighteen years.
15  Again the Israelites cried out to the LORD, and he gave them a deliverer—Ehud, a left-handed man, the son of Gera the Benjamite. The Israelites sent him with tribute to Eglon king of Moab.
16  Now Ehud had made a double-edged sword about a foot and a half long, which he strapped to his right thigh under his clothing.
17  He presented the tribute to Eglon king of Moab, who was a very fat man.
18  After Ehud had presented the tribute, he sent on their way the men who had carried it.
19  At the idols near Gilgal he himself turned back and said, “I have a secret message for you, O king.” The king said, “Quiet!” And all his attendants left him.
20  Ehud then approached him while he was sitting alone in the upper room of his summer palace and said, “I have a message from God for you.” As the king rose from his seat,
21  Ehud reached with his left hand, drew the sword from his right thigh and plunged it into the king’s belly.
22  Even the handle sank in after the blade, which came out of his back. Ehud did not pull the sword out, and the fat closed in over it.
23  Then Ehud went out to the porch; he shut the doors of the upper room behind him and locked them.
24  After he had gone, the servants came and found the doors of the upper room locked. They said, “He must be relieving himself in the inner room of the house.”
25  They waited to the point of embarrassment, but when he did not open the doors of the room, they took a key and unlocked them. There they saw their lord fallen to the floor, dead.
26  While they waited, Ehud got away. He passed by the idols and escaped to Seirah.
27  When he arrived there, he blew a trumpet in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites went down with him from the hills, with him leading them.
28  “Follow me,” he ordered, “for the LORD has given Moab, your enemy, into your hands.” So they followed him down and, taking possession of the fords of the Jordan that led to Moab, they allowed no-one to cross over.
29  At that time they struck down about ten thousand Moabites, all vigorous and strong; not a man escaped.
30  That day Moab was made subject to Israel, and the land had peace for eighty years.

Ehud Is a DRAMATIC HISTORICAL Character. (A left-handed man). I.E. He couldn’t use his right hand, was crippled in some way, we don’t know how, but we know he was.

History Lesson: Each time the Israelites gave into their ENEMY (Flesh, Sin, World, Satan), (Doing EVIL in the Eyes of the LORD) they were attacked, conquered and then were subjected to SLAVERY. Notice the progressive nature of this Bondage: first EIGHT YEARS, THEN EIGHTEEN YEARS and so on and so on until they were eventually sent into captivity in Babylon for 40 years, then 70 years. (God was making sure that all who entered into captivity died before He brought His people home again, a whole generation was wiped out).

These times of Captivity / Slavery: reveal to us the seriousness of SIN and Rebellion. Also that the LORD will punish sinners severely: Unless they Repent.

They’d been subjected to SLAVERY for 18 Years and after Ehud’s Victory: Enjoyed peace for 80 Years.

(WOWzer! I’ve just had an awesome Spiritual Insight: The Punishment and Anger of the Lord: His punishments lasted longer with each rebellion, but His GRACE abounded more afterwards. It’s also true for us, we’re subjected to slavery to sin but, unless we REPENT we’ll be subjected to EXILE in Hell forever. However, when we come to the LORD Jesus, His grace doesn’t abound for a little while, but for ALL ETERNITY.).

Israel’s Enemies: (Know Your Enemies).

You’ve heard the phrase, “Never underestimate your enemy”. Well for us as Christians (followers of Jesus Christ’s Commands) this is quite true, but we must also always know, we can be VICTORIOUS over all our enemies.

Israel’s Enemies are a kind of example of the enemies we must fight against too.

  • Moabites: Fat King Eglon: (The Flesh).
  • Ammonites: Worshipped a false god and did evil practices (Satan; The Devil).
  • Amalekites: Worshipped many false gods (The World).

 

Moab: Under King Eglon, is the perfect picture of the enemy flesh: He’s out of control. He’s self-indulgent. He’s fat, lazy and evil. He’s a bully-boy-king, wanting to dominate others. He’s full of pride. He’s also Defeated by Ehud

Amon: (Amon and Moab are grandchildren of Lot by his own daughters who got him drunk and had sex with him. The Ammonites and Amalekites had been Israel’s enemies ever since)… Ammonites worshipped false gods; and committed sexual sins and sacrificed children. (Perfect Picture of Satan).

Amalek: The Amalekites (Descendants of Esau: Jacob’s brother: who sold his birthright for a pot of stew) worshipped many false god’s and committed the same sins as the Ammonites. (Perfect Picture of The World). “what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his very soul?”

 

Your Enemies Know You: 

Let’s take the ‘flesh’ which is just one of our three main enemies that will come against the believer.

EHUD: was crippled: So are we: He was weak on one side of his body: We are weak (Spiritually in our Flesh). He posed no threat to a strong King. In our flesh, we pose no threat to Satan.

He could be easily beaten and controlled. (So can we in our own flesh).

BUT: YOUR ENEMIES HAVE FORGOTTEN.

However, your enemies have forgotten certain things about you that can and will enable you to be victorious.

By the way, the flesh knows you are crippled. (Like Ehud, the lefthanded man, who couldn’t use his right hand).

The flesh knows you lack the power to overcome it on your own.

The flesh thinks you are weak: “You’ve given in before, you’ll do it again.”

The flesh thinks it can control you and rule your life.

The flesh thinks it has nothing to fear from you.

Your Enemies Are Right!

Let’s take the enemy of our ‘flesh’ as an example again.

But, the flesh forgets some important truths:

The flesh forgets about the Spirit of God Who lives inside the born again believer. Your enemy thinks you are like everybody else it has defeated, but it forgets the POWER of the indwelling Holy Spirit. (Romans 8 and Romans 8:11).

The flesh forgets that we have this promise from our Lord, 2 Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” It’s like Paul is proud to be able to sing, “I am weak, but He is strong”.

The flesh forgets that, Philippians 4:13 “I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength.”

The flesh forgets that, 1 John 4:4 “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”

The flesh forgets that I have been saved and I do not have to sin. (Romans 8)

The flesh forgets that I have been delivered from its power and I can walk in victory for the glory of God! (Ephesians)

 

The Christian’s Battle Against The Flesh:

In Ehud’s defeat of Fat King Eglon, I see a picture of the battle Christians are supposed to be fighting every day. Every one of us has problems with our flesh;

  • Sometimes we win our battles with the flesh;
  • sometimes we lose our battles with the flesh;
  • sometimes we don’t fight against the desires of the flesh at all.

We are literally in a fight for our very spiritual lives every single day. It is a fight we must win, every time we get out of bed and start a new day, the battle begins.

YES! You can walk in VICTORY:

Thankfully, through Ehud’s Battle, we have a way of knowing how to defeat the biggest enemy that every Christian has; not the world, not the Devil, but our own Flesh: it’s greeds, weaknesses, desires for things that God says will only bring us harm. BUT: We can win this battle and LIVE in FREEDOM and VICTORY for the Glory of THE LORD.

Remember, the Bible tells us that “Faith comes by HEARING the WORD of God”: When we are in a struggle, a battle against the FLESH, when the flesh has been subjected to temptation from Satan, the world and our own sinful desires, we’ll need to shout or cry out again to the LORD. These Scriptures can help us to know our FREEDOM, so that our flesh will be defeated, and our own faith in the battle will be strengthened. FAITH: It’s God’s gift, it comes by hearing, so read the Bible aloud to your own flesh to subdue it. Stick an 18″ Dagger into your own FLESH. The Bible (Scripture), is described as the SWORD OF THE SPIRIT.

We only need two things to DEFEAT all our ENEMIES:

  • THE SPIRIT
  • THE WORD:

Spirit & Word: We’ll defeat all our enemies (When used correctly)…

He (Holy Spirit) Who is IN us, is greater than He who is in the world:

That tells me we need the Holy Spirit. Ehud was given the Holy Spirit to Defeat Israel’s Enemies. We Have the Spirit to win.

Ehud delivered God’s Message: right into the belly of the fat King. We can deliver God’s Sword right into the heart of our own flesh. Tell your flesh who’s the King: Jesus. Tell your flesh that in Jesus you are greater than your flesh: Then deliver the fatal blow: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”…

You can win my friends, but we can only win by being connected with Jesus Christ, that happens when we’re filled with His Holy Spirit and willingly obey Him and come to Him as our KING.

Let’s get out our own Bibles every day.

Let’s get filled with God’s Holy Spirit every day.

Let’s come to Jesus Christ: The Way, The Truth and The Life.

Using the Sword of the Spirit YOU CAN DEFEAT Your Flesh and WIN the Battle.

God bless and keep you all. And I’m praying for you right now, that you are walking in victory over all your enemies. If not, I’m praying for you. Let me know and I’ll pray specifically for your battle.

Don.

 

 

The Ascension of Jesus.

Ascension and the Atheist

Daily Spirit & Word: 524: The Ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 40: The Ascension.

Good morning my friends. WOWzer! We’ve made it. We’re at the end of our journey, we’ve arrived at the final day on our 40 day’s quest with the Lord. Have some of your questions been answered? I don’t know about you, but before I was a Christian I had all sorts of questions and fears; e.g. I didn’t like the thought of death and wondered what happened once I would die. I wondered, like most people, why I was here on the earth and I tried for many years to discover my life’s purpose by pursuing a career, success in life and financial security. O yes I had lots of questions and fears, but you know, once I discovered the Lord Jesus Christ, the Creator of the whole Universe, all my questions and fears vanished like smoke in the wind. Why? Because once I knew the CREATOR the Creation came into a much clearer perspective. I could SEE why I’m here and know God’s purposes for my existence and my eventual destiny would be to be with Him forever.

When Jesus Ascended:

The Ascension is like those questions for purpose and existence: it’s produces a desire to know what’s actually happening.

The Ascension of Jesus is mentioned in a few places in the Bible and explained most clearly in the book of Acts.

Acts 1:9-11 9  After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.
10  They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them.
11  “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

When folks who don’t KNOW Jesus read about the ASCENSION they are left wondering all sorts of things and they’ll come up with fantastical ideas of what happened and how it happened and where is the place that Jesus disappeared to? I’ve seen programs on the History Channel that think Jesus was abducted by Aliens or that He was actually from a superior Alien race and was just returning home to his spacecraft. He was being beamed up like we see in the hit TV Show ‘Star Trek’. (I loved that show as a kid). Theologians like Tom Wright imagine that Jesus didn’t really ascend in front of the Disciples as Luke recounts to us in the book of Acts, but it was just a first century Jewish mind trying to explain something they didn’t fully understand. The Theologian’s commentary is no different from the Atheist and the Agnostic, they just can’t accept that Luke has recorded what literally happened. i.e. that Jesus Ascended right in front of the Disciples as Luke tells us.

I never had the luxury of knowing anything about the ascension of Jesus before I knew Him as my Lord. So I can only imagine that this type of questioning and reasoning are the same as my own regarding; purpose, identity and destiny before I knew the Lord. Once you know the Saviour the questions about; How? Why? What? or Where? regarding the Ascension (and everything else) all seem meaningless, because you KNOW Jesus in your heart. He’s Alive, you know Him, you don’t question because you’ve got the EVIDENCE within your own being. The Holy Spirit REVEALS Jesus to you. The Holy Spirit brings SCRIPTURE alive to you and you just KNOW that it’s God’s Word and that these things, written by Luke are indeed historical events, they are not allegory, emblem, fable or parable; or ways of simple people explaining what they didn’t understand. After all archaeologists and scientists today are still in the dark about HOW the ancient peoples on the earth had the know-how to build the Pyramids and other structures around the world. Roman concrete is far better than our modern equivalent, but they don’t know HOW they made it so strong to last 2000 years, but we can’t make it last more than 20 years today. So trying to KNOW what was happening in the Ascension is like chasing the wind, we’ll never really know until we know the LORD himself. And once you KNOW the LORD, those questions don’t seem to matter any longer.

“It’s time to let down your guard and open your minds to the reality of the CREATOR of all things. Once you do, the Big Bang will vanish like a whisper in a tornado.”

The Atheistic Quest For Origins.

I find it amazing that many ‘atheists’ will have a very strong desire to get to the bottom of how the Universe was created. What they are ultimately desiring to discover is; “How did I get here?” and “Why am I here?” and “Where will I go when it’s over?”

It’s like having an Alien Spacecraft given to you as a present, then taking it to bits trying to discover how on earth they made it work, getting to the bottom of this new found Alien technology, when all the time the Alien who gave it to you is standing right beside the craft. Hello! Wake Up, JUST ASK THE ALIEN.

Of course they’ll discover new things from analyzing the craft and it’s construction, they possibly discover new materials and how to use existing materials in different ways, but wouldn’t it be just as easy to ask the person who made it in the first place?

The Atheist Scientific Community: (Please note, I’m not saying all scientists are atheists) However, some of them are on the same kind of quest. They have spent hundreds of billions of £ and $ on the Large Hadron Collider (THC). This is an amazing attempt to accelerate particles and crash them into one another, then analysing the resultant collision, they are trying to discover the particles that existed at the time of the so called “BIG BANG”. And guess what they called the first new thing they discovered, you’ll laugh out loud when you read it, they called it; “THE GOD PARTICLE”. HaHaHa…

What are they doing? The same thing as the recipients of my imaginary Alien Spacecraft, they’re pulling the creation to bits to try and discover HOW God made it. It seems foolish to me, but that’s because I’ve come to know the Creator. Instead of questioning how He did it, I just thank Him for His awesome, amazing gift of Creation. So I’ll enjoy it and glory in His outstanding, amazing and glorious creativity. Before I was born of God’s Spirit, I too questioned like the Atheist and the Scientist, I wanted to know, but once I knew the Creator, then all questions just seem to vanish like smoke in the wind. I didn’t need to know anymore, because I now knew the Creator. I trust Him enough to know that what He’s made for us is ‘good’.

When I read His WORDS OF PROMISE: it produces delight, reassurance, comfort and direction for my life.

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) “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.”

So when I read about the Ascension of the Lord: How He literally was taken up and disappeared before their very eyes, instead of feeling puzzled or needing some questions answered, I’m just full of JOY that the Lord’s Mission on Earth was complete, His Disciples were ready for the Holy Spirit and for His Mission throughout the Earth, they now knew that Jesus would one day return to Earth in the same way they’d seem Him depart.

What a glorious voyage of discovery we’ve been on over the last 40 Days With Jesus. We’ve looked at so many different ascpects of the LORD’S Appearances to His followers before His final departure for Heaven. Every time I do a study like this, it changes me in some way, that’s why I just LOVE gathering together, worshiping, praying and reading and sharing God’s Word like this. What have I gained personally? The Lord has impacted me with a brand-new awareness of His presence with me everywhere I go. Not just on a Sunday, not just when we gather together in worship, but actually, literally and really with me every single moment of the day. WOWzer! Praise You Lord Jesus.

The solution for the questing Atheistic / Scientific community and the reasoning / doubting Theologian: JUST ASK THE CREATOR. What should they ask the Creator for? I’d say, ask Him to be your LORD and your questions will also vanish, because you’ll have the CREATOR of everything inside you. You will not NEED to know anymore, because you will HAVE the answers within. Remember this, “God doesn’t believe in Atheists” Hahahahah. Why? Because He knows;

Psalm 14:1 (NIV) The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no-one who does good.

God’s knowledge of each and every one of us is perfect. So it’s time to let down our guard and open our minds to the reality of the CREATOR of all things. Once you do, the Big Bang will vanish like a whisper in a tornado.

Jesus IS the LORD of Creation: He came to His Earth to SAVE us from God’s wrath and anger against our sinful rebellion. He’s ready now, because He’s the Ascended Lord, to give you everything you need to live on this earth and to be with Him for all eternity. Turn to Him NOW. Walk with Him every day. You’ll see this awesome CREATION from a brand-new perspective too.

Don.

40 Days With Jesus Home Page.

Daily Spirit & Word: 524: The Ascension of the LORD Jesus Christ.

 

 

Holy Spirit is the POWER for the MISSION

Power to Witness

Daily Spirit & Word: 523: Holy Spirit is the POWER for His Mission.

Jesus Last Words

40 Days With Jesus: Day 39: Power For Purpose. Acts 1:6-8.

Hi friends, today we’re going to focus on the last recorded words of Jesus Christ in the Bible before He finally ascended into Heaven. If you’ve been following this series, then we’re in the penultimate day of 40 Days With Jesus. However, you’ll note that Jesus repeats Himself again. Why did Jesus constantly repeat and re-state things to His Disciples? Because He knows how fickle we are, how slow of heart to believe God’s promises and how easily deceived we are. We’ll accept God Word as TRUTH one day and the next, because of circumstances, we’ll be questioning. We’ll exhibit strong faith one day and the tendency to doubt the next. So it’s critical that we never tire of going over what the Bible teaches and what God’s wants to impact upon our hearts and minds.

Acts 1:6-8 (NIV) So when they met together, they asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7  He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8  But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Here is the Amplified Bible as well: by reading different translations you’ll get a much better understanding of God’s original Word.

Acts 1:6-8 (AMP) So when they were assembled, they asked Him, Lord, is this the time when You will reestablish the kingdom and restore it to Israel? 7  He said to them, It is not for you to become acquainted with and know what time brings [the things and events of time and their definite periods] or fixed years and seasons (their critical niche in time), which the Father has appointed (fixed and reserved) by His own choice and authority and personal power. 8  But you shall receive power (ability, efficiency, and might) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the ends (the very bounds) of the earth.

The above are the LAST WORDS of Jesus.

First the ‘Last Words’ of the Worlds Most Famous:

George Best (The famous footballer and alcoholic) said, “Don’t die like I did”. He died of kidney failure due to excessive intake of alcohol. 

Buddha (The Founder of Buddhism) said, “Work hard to gain your own salvation”. If only he’d heard the Gospel, he’d have known that we cannot save ourselves, because we can’t wash away our own sin, we need to be cleansed by Jesus for Salvation.

Salvadore Dali (Famous Painter) “I do not believe in my own death” No matter how much we may wish ‘never to die’ no amount of wishing will ever prevent it from happening. “It’s appointed for a man to die” Hebrews 9:27 KJV. 

Diana Princess of Wales (Died in a Car Crash in Paris) “My God, What’s happening?” It’s only what will be happening to everyone of us, one day: DEATH comes calling, we can’t stop it, because we’ve got our own appointment to keep. Hebrews 9:27 KJV and then we’ll face God’s judgement.

 Lord Henry Temple Palmerston (1784–1865) Prime Minister, said on his deathbed; “Die, my dear Doctor, that’s the last thing I shall do!” and it was 🙂

What would you like to say to everyone before you take the leap into eternity?

What Jesus said before He departed reveals what’s most important to the Creator of the Universe:

Jesus Christ, the One and Only Son of God said “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” just before He was taken up into Heaven before their very eyes.

Receive The Holy Spirit:

The Holy Spirit came on the Disciples at Pentecost. Just ten days after Jesus’ last words.

We looked at this yesterday, but let’s think about why it might be so important to Jesus to repeat this to His followers over and over again. Jesus wants them and us to understand something critically important about the Christian life: We cannot do it, we can’t live the Christian life in our own strength, we need Jesus, (John 15:1-17), we need the indwelling presence and the New Birth of the Holy Spirit (John 1:12 and John 3) and we need God as our Father (Romans 8:15) , because unless we’re Born Again and Empowered, we’ll be operating in our own strength, just like: Buddha mentioned above, and Mohammad, and Roman Catholicism and every other religious system or practice, we’ll be trying to “be ‘good” but we’ll find that we’ve failed and failed miserably too.

Why do we need Jesus? Why do we need the Holy Spirit?

We need Jesus Christ, because we need to be cleansed of all our sin to be able to enter into Heaven. If we don’t get cleaned-up by Jesus, we’ll be headed for Hell. Jesus said,

Luke 13:3 (AMP) “I tell you, No; but unless you repent (change your mind for the better and heartily amend your ways, with abhorrence of your past sins), you will all likewise perish and be lost eternally.”

John 3:14-21 14  Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,
15  that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.
16  “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
17  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
18  Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
19  This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.
20  Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.
21  But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”

I.E. We’re not saved by our good works or hard work to save ourselves, like Buddha wants you to try SO HARD, but we can only be SAVED by Repenting from our Sins and Being SAVED by Jesus Christ when we TRUST IN HIS DEATH and RECEIVE HIM AS LORD.

Being saved is not about us becoming good or better, we need to be completely cleansed from sin to be saved. God’s standard is 100% perfection, to be perfect we need to have ALL our sins removed. That’s why Jesus Christ had to die, He died to take away our sins.

But it’s not Just forgiveness for when we die, Jesus also wants us to life a RIGHTEOUS life NOW, every single day of our Born Again Lives for Him. He knows we’re going to need God on the inside to enable us to do that. So God’s sends the Holy Spirit in POWER.

Power to Live and also Power to WITNESS.

The Holy Spirit gives you the POWER to be a WITNESS for the LORD. (See yesterday’s Teaching).

These are the LAST words of Jesus, they are critically important for us today. Without the Holy Spirit we can’t live for one second the way that God desires. We can try, we can try our best to ‘be good’, but in the end we’ll fail and we’ll still have our sins on our own head. I don’t want anyone to appear before the Lord on Judgement Day without having trust Him as their Saviour.

The Holy Spirit is given for God’s purpose of SAVING others. He wants His message and offer of New Life and forgiveness of sins to be taken right around the world. Even today, God’s continuing desire is that we begin in our own Jerusalem (Our neighbourhood), then to go to our Samaria (the places around about us), and finally to our Ends of the Earth. People are being born every single day, they ALL need to know and understand the GOSPEL in order to be SAVED. Until Jesus returns there’s a new generation being born every minute, they all need to know about Him. Our Mission today us just as important or even more so, because the World’s population is increasing daily. God needs many more Christians EMPOWERED by the Holy Spirit, to take out the life-transforming message.

Jesus has given you everything you need to accomplish His Mission, now all He needs is a few Christians who’re going to be obedient and start working for Him. How’s your Kingdom work going? How’s your witnessing? Remember Romans 10:10-20 “Faith COMES by Hearing the Gospel”.  How can they HEAR unless someone goes and tells them the good news.

So many ‘believers’ settle for far less: “They’ll know about Jesus by the way I live”… They will NOT!, all they’ll see is a ‘good person’, they are dying daily and entering judgement, because someone didn’t tell them the Good News of the Gospel.

People can’t come to faith by observing how Christians are living, they need to know what to do in order to be saved. That will only happen if they are TOLD. Call it what you like, “Preaching”, “Proclamation”, “Evangelism”, “Witnessing”, but we need to just get out there and do it.

People will not come to ‘church’: Why? Because they are enjoying the pleasures of sin. It’s foolish to think that sinners are seeking for God. It’s like a burglar or thief looking for a policeman to sit down and have a cup of tea with him. NO WAY would that ever happen, because a criminal doens’t want to get caught. So sinners will stay away from ‘church’ because they know, deep down, that going to a church will expose their sins and mean change must happen in their life. They don’t want to be reminded of what they’ve not done. So don’t wait for people to come to ‘church’ to be saved, they’ll never do it willingly. SAVE them first then they’ll never want to stay away from church.

When we go out to share the Gospel, as we did last night on the Streets of London, we’re not going out to just increase the size of our congregation, we’re going to win people to the Lord. Yes we might possibly have someone join our fellowship, but the most important thing is to go and do what Jesus told us to do. When we LOVE Him we’ll want to obey His Commands, His final command was to get the POWER and Go.

So the question for all of us today is: “Are we ready, empowered and willing to be obedient to Jesus commands?” Holy Spirit is the POWER for you to complete Christ’s Mission.

What will your last words be? What will people say about you? What will Jesus say when you arrive in Heaven?

Matthew 25:23 23  “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

See ya later 🙂 I’m gone!

Don.

 

 

 

 

 

“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.” Alber Einstein.

 

Your Heavenly Father’s Promise

Jesus Promise of Holy Spirit

Daily Spirit & Word: 522: Your Heavenly Father’s Promise.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 38: The Father’s Promise. Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4-5; Acts 2:38.

Good morning my friends, I’m up very early praying today. Why? Because I’ve got such a busy day that I needed to spend time with Father God. Also because I couldn’t sleep because of pains in back and running down my arms. It’s no fun being in agony, but that doesn’t or will not stop me from praising my Lord Jesus Christ, who endured the Cross for my sake.

Aside from the New Life in Christ, what’s the best gift or present you’ve ever received?

I find that question quite difficult to answer; 1) Because I don’t want to offend anyone who’s bought me what they thought was the best present I could ever wish for. 2) Because I’ve had so many wonderful things in my life-time and it’s hard to think, what the best one is. I’d have to say though, I think the best THING I’ve ever had was my frist DSLR Digital Camera. I’ve always been artistic and loved photography, painting and drawing since I can remember. God gave me a gift of being able to see and capture things. My DSLR Camera changed my photography forever, because I could now hone my technique much quicker than with the film cameras I’d been used to; hundreds of pictures instead of 24 or 12. It set me free and enabled me to see my pictures before they were printed. However, something was also lost, before the advent of digital, you needed to slow down, take your time, frame up carefully and consider everything before you pressed the trigger. Thankfully, I know the difference and can discipline myself when I need to. Now, that I’ve gotten used to them, I only need to take a few shots rather than the hundreds I used to take. It’s funny how the gift of freedom can sometimes lead excess.

Bible Reading for Day 38: The Father’s Promise of the Holy Spirit.

Luke 24:49 “And behold, I will send forth upon you what My Father has promised; but remain in the city [Jerusalem] until you are clothed with power from on high.”

Jesus was talking about the GIFT of The Third Person in the Holy Trinity: The Holy Spirit of God and the DIVINE Power to be His WITNESSES in the world. He was going to SEND the Holy Spirit UPON them, He reminded them the Holy Spirit was the Father’s Promise, but they had to wait in Jerusalem until they were CLOTHED with the Person of The Holy Spirit and with His Power from Heaven (on high). This is repeated by Luke in his second book, the book of Acts.

  Acts 1:4-5 And while being in their company and eating with them, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem but to wait for what the Father had promised, Of which [He said] you have heard Me speak.
5  For John baptized with water, but not many days from now you shall be baptized with (placed in, introduced into) the Holy Spirit.”  

The Disciples had indeed heard Jesus speak about the Holy Spirit before; 

John 14:15-17 “If you love me, you will obey what I command.
16  And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counsellor to be with you for ever— 17  the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.”

John 14:26 “But the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”

John 15:26-27 26  “When the Counsellor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me. 27  And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.

Notice an important thing that happens when we receive the Holy Spirit, verse 27 “You also must testify” It’s not just a command but an impulse once we’ve received the Holy Spirit; when He’s in us we WILL WANT to testify about Jesus Christ. What does that mean? It means, once we’ve been filled with God’s Holy Spirit, we can’t help but want to testify about the Lord Jesus Christ, because that’s what the Holy Spirit wants to do as well.

Notice this same promise of something happening when the Holy Spirit finally comes upon them as Jesus promised.

Acts 1:7-8 “… But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

That’s exactly what happened to the first Disciples on the Day of Pentecost. It’s what happens today too: When the Holy Spirit comes upon a person, when we’re baptised with the Holy Spirit, we have two things;

  • POWER and
  • The Impulse to WITNESS.

Note: I believe this desire to WITNESS about Jesus Christ to the whole world is a sure and certain sign that you’ve been born again and baptised with the Holy Spirit. It’s an even more sure and certain sign than that of speaking in tongues (which the Pentecostals emphasise). This deep desire to share Jesus Christ comes from the Holy Spirit within, but notice this as well, He will also give us the POWER to enable us to be Christ’s witnesses.

If you don’t ‘feel’ like witnessing, don’t worry, because you are in great company: Moses, Gideon, Jonah (to name but a few from the Old Testament) and Timothy from the New. However, He’ll EMPOWER you to do so. If we LOVE Jesus, we’ll want to be obedient to His Command to Go and spread the Good News. We might not ‘feel’ equipped, but we’re not meant to depend upon our feelings, we are people of faith, and we can have faith that God will uphold His end of the PROMISE: He’ll give the Spirit and the Power and the Desire.

When you turned to Christ (if you’ve turned to Christ), you received the PROMISED gift of the Holy Spirit. A sure sign to yourself is this; Have you a desire to share the Good News about Jesus?

Acts 2:38-39 38  And Peter answered them, Repent (change your views and purpose to accept the will of God in your inner selves instead of rejecting it) and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of and release from your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
39  For the promise [of the Holy Spirit] is to and for you and your children, and to and for all that are far away, [even] to and for as many as the Lord our God invites and bids to come to Himself.

Notice: The PROMISE of the Holy Spirit is not limited to the Apostles, He’s available to EVERYONE.

Notice HOW the gift is to be received:

God Invites / Calls YOU to Repentance & Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. You turn from your sins and receive Christ by faith.

The GREEK WORD for REPENTANCE is metanoeo : A CHANGE of mind and heart about sin and righteousness, towards God’s ways and commands.

REPENT’ANCE: Websters Dictionary.

1. Sorrow for any thing done or said; the pain or grief which a person experiences in consequence of the injury or inconvenience produced by his own conduct.

2. In theology, the pain, regret or affliction which a person feels on account of his past conduct, because it exposes him to punishment. This sorrow proceeding merely from the fear of punishment, is called legal repentance, as being excited by the terrors of legal penalties, and it may exist without an amendment of life.

3. Real penitence; sorrow or deep contrition for sin, as an offense and dishonor to God, a violation of his holy law, and the basest ingratitude towards a Being of infinite benevolence. This is called evangelical repentance, and is accompanied and followed by amendment of life.

Repentance is a change of mind, or a conversion from sin to God.

Godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation. 2 Corinthians 7; Matthew 3.

Repentance is the relinquishment of any practice, from conviction that it has offended God.

WOWzer! When you do, the gift is cleansing. Or As my new Brother in the Lord Jesus has said recently “The Record-Sheet is wiped clean” and “Your Hard-Drive Record of Your Sin has been totally wiped clean by the Lord Jesus Christ”

Day 38 is a fantastic reminder of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the PROMISE He’d given to His Disciples, they would be clothed with power and a deep desire to spread the Gospel of Jesus when the Holy Spirit came upon them. Now, that same promise is for ALL who come in Repentance and Faith to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Have an awesome day today, and LIVE in the PROMISE of Your Heavenly Father.

Have you received the PROMISE yet?

Don.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 38: The Promise of the Father.

Jesus Gives Many Convincing Proofs

Resurrection Proofs

Daily Spirit & Word: 521: Jesus Gives Many Convincing Proofs.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 37: Convincing Proofs.

To be able to put your faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ today, then, just like the first Disciples, you are going to need some very convincing EVIDENCE and / or PROOFS for all the stuff Christians claim about Him. Thankfully you have that evidence in abundance; historical evidence, personal witness statements from those who were there, but even more convincing, I believe, is the changed lives we find and know today, people who’ve encountered Jesus, who know that He’s alive and have been dramatically transformed as a result of meeting Him.

What a blessing it was to be Baptising Seven Adults in an open air gathering on Pentecost Sunday, yesterday. The plot of land that our church occupies is like an oasis island between two fast flowing rivers of traffic. As we gathered, the traffic built up and slowed to a crawl, London double-decker buses full of people on their way to churches in Brixton, witnessed something you’ll not see often in a crowded city: A big pool of water with a circle of seats around about it and people beginning to gather, to them it could mean only ONE THING: BAPTISM. But to others it might have appeared a weird or strange occurrence. For me it was the evidence that so many need today, the proof that thousands are looking for, that there are still people alive today that are willing to publicly demonstrate to the world that they BELIEVE in Jesus Christ enough to become a public spectacle, to undergo total immersion in water. It was a symbolic act, to show that they had died to their old way of living and were beginning a new life when they come up out of the water, to live from that moment on as Christians, followers of the Living Lord Jesus Christ.

But what was it that had so convinced those seven Candidates; Jannick, Manuella, Shaunetta, John, Josi, Doreen and Betty, to take this step of faith? Well, just as the first Disciples needed convincing proofs and evidence that Jesus had actually risen from the dead, so too did they.

Acts 1:3 (NIV) “After his suffering, he (Jesus) showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.”

Our Candidates have completed 40 Days of Preparation, but Jesus own disciples had 40 Day With Jesus too, during that period Jesus came to them, we’re only told about a few of those visits in the Bible, but what we are told in enough to wet our appetite, to engage our imagination and to excite our investigative minds; prompting questions like; “Could these things actually be true?”, “Is Jesus alive now?”, “Can I really know Jesus and meet with Jesus today?”, “Is this person called ‘Holy Spirit’ available and ready to come into my soul?” After, listening to talks, reading further Bible passages, prayers, worship and discussion, then comes the pondering and the meditation, then the sought for personal experience and evidence that everyone needs. You see my friends, it my personal conviction that people still require PERSONAL PROOF of all the things that Christians and the Bible claim about the Resurrected Lord Jesus Christ.

How did they get it? The Bible actually explains it for us: “Faith COMES by Hearing”. It doesn’t come because we somehow work ourselves into belief. You don’t have to squeeze faith out like you do toothpaste from a tube. Here’s how it happened for them and for every single believer in the world today; you see my friends, most people believe before they are Christians, that in order to be saved by Jesus, you must be a very good person, a righteous person. They believe they become righteous by coming to Church, by reading the Bible and by praying or being baptised and performing all the other things that ‘genuine’ Christians do. However, this is just foolish nonsense, there’s NOTHING good we can do to make us into Christians, it’s not right living that makes you are Christian, but an act of FAITH.

God has taken the initiative my friends and explains to us through Paul’s letter to the Believers in Rome HOW we are NOT saved and HOW we ARE saved by Jesus:

How We Are NOT Saved:

Romans 10:1-4 1  Dear brothers and sisters, the longing of my heart and my prayer to God is for the people of Israel to be saved.
2  I know what enthusiasm they have for God, but it is misdirected zeal.
3  For they don’t understand God’s way of making people right with himself. Refusing to accept God’s way, they cling to their own way of getting right with God by trying to keep the law.
4  For Christ has already accomplished the purpose for which the law was given. As a result, all who believe in him are made right with God.

So we’re NOT saved by observing some ‘religious’ laws.

He goes on to explain that Moses showed if we are to be SAVED by God’s LAW (revealed in the 10 Commandments), then we’d better be 100% perfect.

Romans 10:5 5  For Moses writes that the law’s way of making a person right with God requires obedience to all of its commands.

Now Paul goes on to explain that we are not saved by the LAW or ‘any religious observance at all’, but we are SAVED by FAITH alone in Jesus Christ alone.

Romans 10:5-21 5  For Moses writes that the law’s way of making a person right with God requires obedience to all of its commands.
6  But faith’s way of getting right with God says, “Don’t say in your heart, ‘Who will go up to heaven’ (to bring Christ down to earth).
7  And don’t say, ‘Who will go down to the place of the dead’ (to bring Christ back to life again).”
8  In fact, it says, “The message is very close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart.” And that message is the very message about faith that we preach:
9  If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
10  For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.
11  As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.”
12  Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him.
13  For “Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved.”
14  But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?
15  And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!”
16  But not everyone welcomes the Good News, for Isaiah the prophet said, “LORD, who has believed our message?”
17  So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.
18  But I ask, have the people of Israel actually heard the message? Yes, they have: “The message has gone throughout the earth, and the words to all the world.”
19  But I ask, did the people of Israel really understand? Yes, they did, for even in the time of Moses, God said, “I will rouse your jealousy through people who are not even a nation. I will provoke your anger through the foolish Gentiles.”
20  And later Isaiah spoke boldly for God, saying, “I was found by people who were not looking for me. I showed myself to those who were not asking for me.”
21  But regarding Israel, God said, “All day long I opened my arms to them, but they were disobedient and rebellious.”

Did you see it my friends, we are not saved by being religious or by observing God’s moral laws, but by our FAITH and TRUST in the Living Lord Jesus Christ? Also, did you notice HOW we get that saving FAITH? It’s in verse 17 “Faith comes by hearing God’s Word, the good news about Jesus”. 

Faith is something you exercise once you’ve become convinced of the truth. Once you believe in your heart that Jesus is alive, that He’s risen from the dead, that He died on the cross for your sins, so that you can be saved from God’s wrath and anger against sin that leads to death and helll. However, being convinced of the truth is not enough, you’ve now got to EXERCISE that conviction and the Bible calls that SAVING FAITH. You will become so CONVINCED that you’ll want to put your trust in Jesus for forgiveness of your sins and salvation from Hell. You’ll receive Him as your Lord and Saviour. i.e. “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord, will be saved” That calling-out to Jesus comes from an awareness that without Christ as your Lord and Saviour, you are on your way to face God’s Judgement and Hell. Why? Because “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” We’ve all broken God’s Commandments, God’s Law revealed through Moses. We can’t keep it at all, and we’ve; lied, stolen, cheated, rebelled against our parents, worshiped false gods of our own creation (idolatry and false religious practices). We’ve all been guilty of trying to save ourselves, when what we really needed to do was admit that we need God in our lives in order to be able to live righteously for Him.

 9  If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
10  For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.

We all need convincing PROOF: That proof comes by actually giving up time and hearing and listening and pondering God’s WORD about Jesus Christ. How He came into the world to SAVE sinners, to save those who were headed for God’s Judgement for sin, but by His GRACE and MERCY, He sent Jesus to die in our place upon the cross, so that we could be saved once we trusted in Him.

  • Have you been convinced yet?
  • Has your faith come alive?
  • Have you then put your trust in Jesus and received Him as your LORD? 

Call out to Jesus today, exercise the faith you’ve been given and trust Him as Lord NOW.

Have and awesome week my friends.

Don.

40 Days Home Page:

40 Days With Jesus: Day 37: Convincing Proofs.

Daily Spirit & Word: 521: Jesus Gives Many Convincing Proofs.

 

Disciples Prepared by Jesus for His Mission

Training and Discipline of the Lord Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word: Disciples Prepared by Jesus for His Mission.

40 Days With Jesus. Day 36: The Importance of Preparation.

Good morning my friends, today is Baptism Day: In two senses;

Baptism in Water for our Candidates who’ve been through the 40 Days of Preparation With Jesus. We’re thinking today on our course ’40 Days With Jesus’ :Day 36: The Importance of Preparation.

Baptism in The Holy Spirit: Today is Pentecost Sunday; the day the Church and Christians throughout the whole world will be celebrating the first outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. However, before that day arrived for the Disciples they had to undergo preparation by the Lord Jesus Christ. When He was satisfied they were ready, then He departed the earth and returned to Heaven, promising the next time they’d see Him on the Earth would be when He returns in all His Glory.

Why did Jesus ‘prepare’ them? You’ll know that whatever we do in life that has any value has a time of preparation connected with it. Schooling is preparation for meeting the world as an adult. Children spend every year of their lives from age 4 to age 18 in schools in the UK. It used to be age 16, but now they are required to remain in education for another two years. That’s 14 years of getting ready. Then some will go on for a few more years in further education establishments; College and University. Then there are other times of preparation in life: When a woman is about to have a baby, she’ll attend pre-natal classes, often with her husband, so she’ll know what to do and what to expect when the delivery day comes. Before people take a Driving Test these days, they are required to have undergone pre-test training. It was so easy years ago to get a driving license. You’d get a little booklet called the Highway Code, study it in your own time, take a few lessons, normally about 15 hours of driving with an experienced driver, then take the test. It’s not like that today it’s much more stringent and costly for people wanting to drive in the UK. But we all understand that we need to be PREPARED before we can say we’re qualified to do stuff: Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen; Police, Firemen, Nurses, Doctors, etc all need to have both basic training and specialist training for their chosen sphere of service.

So if we do all that in ‘normal’ secular life, we shouldn’t be surprised that we need a time of preparation by the LORD before we’re ready to serve Him with our lives? Well that exactly what Jesus was doing with His own Disciples and what happens with Christians today; The LORD Himself takes us on a journey of preparation. It took the Disciples over three years of time with Jesus before He considered them ‘ready’. To me that’s a bit like getting a Degree. Before you finally get your Diploma at a ceremony marking the occasion, where people clap and acknowledge the hard work you’ve undergone. People say, “Oh, it’s only a piece of paper”, but if you’ve taken the time, done the reading and research and thinking and study, you know what that piece of paper signifies. So when the Disciples finally get to Pentecost and their DAY arrives with the Diploma of the HOLY SPIRIT, the SEAL of God’s Approval, they’d undergone so much in preparation before it happened. During these last few days with Jesus, the 40 days between His Resurrection from the Dead and Ascension into Heaven: it was like an intensive short-course of specialist training.

Let’s look at Scripture: Acts, Luke’s second book.

Acts 1:1-11 1  In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach
2  until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen.
3  After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.
4  On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.
5  For John baptised with water, but in a few days you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit.”
6  So when they met together, they asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
7  He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.
8  But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
9  After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.
10  They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them.
11  “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

So before He was “taken up before their very eyes”, Jesus had been getting them ready for what was about to come. It wasn’t just the Holy Spirit, Jesus knew they’d NEED more than the indwelling and Jesus always gives us what we NEED. Sometimes Jesus doesn’t give us what we want, but He’s always ready to give us what we need. Acts 1:1-3 highlights the ‘preparation’ of Jesus Disciples and reveals to us why He needed to be with them ‘many times’ during those 40 Days before the Ascension. They were about to get the SEAL, the Holy Spirit, which was God’s Power for God’s Mission to the ends of the earth: They had been selected to be Jesus’ Witnesses.

Get Ready For Your Next Breakthrough With Jesus

Have you ever thought about the word: “DISCIPLE”: Think about another word, ‘Discipline’ and you’ll understand what’s sometimes required in the making of a disciple.

Discipline Means: 

  1. A branch of knowledge.
  2. A system of rules of conduct or method of practice.
  3. The trait of being well behaved.
  4. Training to improve strength or self-control.
  5. The act of punishment or punishing.

Verb: Discipline Means:

  1. Develop (Children’s) behaviour, by instruction and practice; especially to teach self-control.
  2. Punish in order to gain control or enforce obedience.

When you look back through Jesus time here on the earth, you’ll observe, especially thinking about how He was ‘training and disciplining His disciples, you’ll see that He employed all of the ABOVE. Also, God has promised to each and every one of us, that as a FATHER disciplines his own children so the LORD disciplines those who belong to the family of God.

Remember God’s Promises:

Proverbs 3:11-12 (NIV) “My son, do not despise the LORD’S discipline and do not resent his rebuke, 12  because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.”

Proverbs 15:5 (NIV) “A fool spurns his father’s discipline, but whoever heeds correction shows prudence.”

How does He Discipline and Train and Get YOU Ready For His Mission?

Hebrews 12:1-6 1  Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
2  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
4  In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.
5  And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
6  because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.

My Friends: When we are going through the LORD’S Preparation: Discipline, Punishment, Rebuke, Correction, Training,  The Lord’s Discipline (sometimes it’s not pleasant and it hurts in so many ways), we must know and remember that He’s just getting us ready for something, for another aspect of service or specialist training for His purposes. When it gets hard like that, and it really does get hard sometimes, instead of falling away, ‘growing weary’ or ‘loosing heart’ as so many do, we should cling tighter to the Saviour of our souls, focus our attention upon the Lord Jesus Christ again, run with perseverance the race marked out for us, and submit afresh to the Holy Spirit and know that He’s only doing it because He loves us as our HEAVENLY FATHER. He knows what we need to develop our character and make us fit for service in His Kingdom.

Remember Jesus was; gentle, meek and mild, but He was also quite strong and stern when He needed to be, when He was rebuking Peter and the other Disciples when they didn’t quite grasp what He was trying to teach them. Nobody likes to think of their precious Lord Jesus in that way, but we mustn’t paint a picture in our mind of a God that we want, that’s idolatry (IDOLATRY = making a god to suit ourselves or our desires), we must accept God completely as He has revealed Himself to be throughout Scripture: He is a Father who’s loving, kind, generous, gentle, patient and forgiving, encouraging and strengthening, but He’s also the LORD of Heaven who requires certain standards of behaviour, honesty, self-discipline, professionalism, and when we fall-short, because we’re His ambassadors and we’re His specially selected children, He’ll come and make His desires and ways known to those He loves and rebukes and corrects and trains in RIGHTEOUSNESS.

It’s difficult for followers of Jesus to discern sometimes, to know where the hardships or troubles are coming from: It’s either the LORD or SATAN; It’s either Discipline or Attack.

The Scriptures speak of three major categories of “trouble” for the believer:

  1. Discipline, judgment, or rebuke from the Lord;
  2. Tests, trials, and suffering from the Lord;
  3. Temptations or afflictions and attacks from Satan.

Knowing the PURPOSE:

God wants us to grow and flourish and be fruitful. So He’ll prune like a gardener does, to make things even more fruitful.

Satan wants to destroy us, to make us stumble and fall and even to hate God.

What’s Happening In Your Life Right NOW?

It may be the Lord is getting you ready for a breakthrough in ministry as He was the Disciples.

It may be that He’s just refining your character a bit.

It might be that Satan can see you are becoming a threat to his purposes of destruction.

Whatever it might be let’s do what God’s Word encourages us; Accept the Lord’s Discipline and Resist the Devil’s attacks with God’s armour in place.

Hebrews 12:9-11 (NIV)
9  Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! 10  Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. 11  No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

The Bible has so much to say about the Lord’s Discipline and Training in Righteousness: Bear this in mind:

Romans 11:11-24 11  Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious.
12  But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their fulness bring!
13  I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I make much of my ministry
14  in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them.
15  For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?
16  If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches.
17  If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root,
18  do not boast over those branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you.
19  You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.”
20  Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid.
21  For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.
22  Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off.
23  And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.
24  After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!

The word I’m getting today about all of this is: REPENT. Turn again to the Lord, no matter what kind of trail, suffering, sickness or trouble; ask the Lord to show you if you’ve wandered away, fallen short or not been listening to what He’s been telling you to do; like Jonah who refused the Lord’s call to mission. He’s always getting you ready for the next great thing in your life and in His Divine plan. Submit therefore to the LORD. He’s delivering you from the darkness into the light, into something much better.

Job 36:15 (NIV) “But those who suffer he delivers in their suffering; he speaks to them in their affliction.”

Get Ready For Your Next Breakthrough With Jesus

Have an awesome Sunday: Pray for our Candidates who’ve been prepared by the LORD for this day.

Praise the Lord for His goodness, kindness and love. But also welcome the Lord’s discipline that you can be trained and encouraged and strengthened by it.

Don.

 

 

The Promised Presence Of The Lord Jesus Christ.

Surely I AM with you always

Daily Spirit and Word, 519: The Promise of Jesus Presence.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 35: The Promise of His Presence.

Good morning my friends. I’m feeling a lot better this morning than yesterday, so a BIG Hallelujah, I’m on the road to recovery at last. Praise the Lord. Though, I didn’t publish yesterday, I did the reading and have been pondering. It’s awesome to spend two days on just one theme: “The Promised Presence of the Lord Jesus Christ”.

After reading our booklet accompanying 40 Days With Jesus, and reviewing the content, I’ve become convinced that Dave Smith’s daily titles all need changing, they are too enigmatic (my Administrator’s phrase), too puzzling for the audience that I’m aiming at. You see my friends, I don’t really write these daily thoughts just for Christians, but so that the non-Christian knows what they are all about, even before they begin to read. I also want people who’re young in the faith to be encouraged and built up daily in their walk with the LORD. I believe Mature Christians will get some things from my writings, but I know that if they are Mature in the Faith, they’ll be at the point of wanting to feed others themselves, ready to feed and teach others the eternal truths of God’s Word. I want to change the titles because I want to make-plain and crystal-clear the teaching from the Bible, that’s why I write the way that I do. It takes much longer to filter out the language of zion, the phrases we ‘Christians’ use every day, but they have become like a secret-code and a barrier to those who don’t yet know the Lord Jesus Christ as Lord or Saviour. Our churches are full of people who know the Language of Zion, but don’t understand it or know the PERSON behind that language. It’s like the Muslim who recites the Koran in Arabic, but doesn’t know the meaning of what he’s saying. Yes, we’ve got incomprehensible language too.

For example: I’ve been asking some of our folks, who’ve been coming to church for years, what some of the things we say or preach about every week mean: “What does it mean to be born again?” “How would you explain to a non-Christian how to be born again?” and “How can I get Born-Again?” I’ve been staggered by their responses or to be more precise, their un-Biblical responses.

For example, Dave’s title today; “The Promise of His Presence”, it sounds catchy and those who are ‘born of God’s Holy Spirit’ know what it means, but to the young believer and the non-Christian it’s meaningless, but just add the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ and BOOM, YOU’VE got what today’s study is all about immediately. “The Promise of the Presence of the Lord Jesus Christ”. So I’m going to strive to make-plain (evident, simple, clear and unmistakable) as much as I can, the WORD of God (The Bible, Holy Scripture and the Gospel of Jesus Christ).

Why? Because that’s what Jesus was doing in our Bible reading today; He’s saying to the Disciples, something He’s been saying over and over and over and over and over again, but they DIDN’T UNDERSTAND, THEY DIDN’T GET IT. Even though our Lord Jesus had been saying it from the beginning, His own followers hadn’t grasped His words. John’s Gospel has been telling us right from the first few words and in almost every chapter; Jesus IS EMMANUEL (Which means, “God WITH US”

CRYSTAL-CLEAR: Jesus want’s us to know beyond and shadow of a doubt, that HE WILL BE WITH US forever.

You could give John’s Gospel a new title: “The Life of Jesus Christ, who is “GOD WITH US”” or “I’m going to tell you HOW God has been with us and has promised that when we receive Jesus Christ as LORD, He’ll always be with us”.

Here’s Jesus last words from John’s Gospel and Matthew’s Gospel and Mark’s Gospel. These PROVE beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus wants us to get it crystal-clear my friends, that once we’ve responded to His Gospel invitation; He’s going to be in us and with us forever.

Matthew 1:23 (NIV) “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”—which means, “God with us.”

In the last verse of Matthew’s Gospel we have:

Matthew 28:20 (NIV) “and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Can you see it my friends? God wants you to know from His WORD, the Bible, that He’s WITH you forever once you’ve received Jesus Christ.

Jesus said two words in this verse that give every believer great assurance and confidence in the world:

SURELY” = Definitely, Positively, Cartainly, Sure and Certain, Assuredly, For-Certain, For-sure, indeed, Sure-enough, Sure-as-shooting ducks in a barrel. So my friends, Jesus want’s us to know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that He is CERTAINLY and SURELY going to be with you forever.

and

ALWAYS” = Constantly, At-all-times, inecessantly, without-ceasing, without variation or change, at any time or in any event, without interruption, forever, perpetually, at all times, all the time and on every occasion: Jesus is with YOU once you’ve repented, received and believed in Him. AWESOME!

“IF ONLY I WAS THERE WITH JESUS: IT WOULD BE SO MUCH EASIER TO BELIEVE!”

That’s what we hear all the time when we’re out sharing the Gospel with folks on the streets, every week we’ll come across people who’ll say this. Even Christians who’ve known Jesus for ages, will sometimes wish; “I would love to have been around when Jesus was on the earth, my faith would be so much stronger”. “I wish I could touch Jesus, feel Him, see Him, be with Jesus”.

“I wish I could touch Jesus, feel Him, see Him, be with Jesus”.

Oh my friends, you want to know a secret? Then come a little closer to your computer monitor or phone screen, “Jesus is WITH you right now”. You’ve got it better than the Disciples had it when they were with Jesus for three years. You’ve got it better today than they had way back then. How? How have you got it better? Because Jesus, whilst He was on the earth, was limited. He couldn’t be everywhere at once, but NOW, now that Jesus has ascended into Heaven, He can be EVERYWHERE AT THE SAME TIME. JESUS is God. One of God’s attributes is that He’s OMNIPRESENT: = Being present everywhere at once. Another word for that is ‘ubiquitous’. Only God can be present everywhere at the same time.

Science: When you draw a vacuum there’s nothing in that space. When you suck all the air and all the mollecules out, there’s nothing there right? Well no, not really, because even in Space which is a perfect vacuum, there’s planets and moons and stars. But even if we could create a perfect vacuum, with nothing there, sucked out everything, God would still be there. You can’t get rid of God, He’s OMNI-PRESENT. Present everywhere at once. That’s why the Bible says;

Psalm 14:1 (NIV) “The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no-one who does good.

It’s a foolish thing to think we can be rid of God by simply saying “God’s not there” I saw a joke sign that read like this:

God-is-now-here: “God is nowhere” or have they left out a space “God is now here”.

“God is nowhere”

or

“God is now here”

My friends, Jesus IS with you always, to the very end of the age.

Read, John’s Gospel from Chapter 14 to the end and even chapter 1. You’ll see Jesus is EMMANUEL = GOD WITH US.

John 1:1-51 (NIV)
1  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2  He was with God in the beginning. 3  Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4  In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5  The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. 6  There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. 7  He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. 8  He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. 9  The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. 10  He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognise him. 11  He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12  Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13  children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. 14  The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15  John testifies concerning him. He cries out, saying, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ ” 16  From the fulness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. 17  For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18  No-one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known. 19  Now this was John’s testimony when the Jews of Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. 20  He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Christ.” 21  They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” He answered, “No.” 22  Finally they said, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” 23  John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’ ” 24  Now some Pharisees who had been sent 25  questioned him, “Why then do you baptise if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” 26  “I baptise with water,” John replied, “but among you stands one you do not know. 27  He is the one who comes after me, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.” 28  This all happened at Bethany on the other side of the Jordan, where John was baptising. 29  The next day John saw Jesus coming towards him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30  This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ 31  I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptising with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.” 32  Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. 33  I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptise with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptise with the Holy Spirit.’ 34  I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God.” 35  The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. 36  When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!” 37  When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. 38  Turning round, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?” They said, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher), “where are you staying?” 39  “Come,” he replied, “and you will see.” So they went and saw where he was staying, and spent that day with him. It was about the tenth hour. 40  Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. 41  The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). 42  And he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter ). 43  The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.” 44  Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. 45  Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” 46  “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked. “Come and see,” said Philip. 47  When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing false.” 48  “How do you know me?” Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig-tree before Philip called you.” 49  Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.” 50  Jesus said, “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig-tree. You shall see greater things than that.” 51  He then added, “I tell you the truth, you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

Notice Jesus words, “You believe because” Nathanael believed because of Jesus knowledge of him. The woman at the well believed because she thought “Come and meet a man who told me everything I ever did”. Thomas believed when He saw the resurrected Christ and Jesus said, “You believe because – you’ve seen me”

YOU BELIEVE BECAUSE ????

“Why do you believe in Jesus?” What would you say to a person who asks you that question? What would you say to God? Why DO you believe in Jesus? What do you believe about Him?

Personally, I believe because I’ve had a personal revelation, I’ve met the risen Lord Jesus Christ, He’s come to me every day since I came to believe and trust in Him, I meet Jesus every morning and chat with Him, He’s with me right now as I write these words to you. He’s also WITH YOU ALWAYS once you’ve received HIM. He’s promised you today, “I’ll NEVER leave you, I’ll never forsake you, I’m with you ALWAYS”

Enjoy the presence of the Lord today.

Don.

40 Days Home Page: 

NOTE: Can also be read @ St Luke’s Church Facebook Homepage

DAILY SPIRIT & WORD: 519: The Promised Presence Of The Lord Jesus Christ.

Teaching Them To Obey Everything.

Go teaching them obedience

Daily Spirit & Word, 518: Teaching Them To Obey Everything.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 34: Teaching Obedience.

We had our final meeting last night, when we shared 40 Days With Jesus. It was a powerful session with; Fellowship, Video, Bible, Prayer and Deliverance and Re-assurance. It’s amazing that the teaching was about the Holy Spirit and His; promise, presence and power in the believer’s life. However, it wasn’t long before we recognised that one of our group needed some deliverance. What JOY there is when captives are set free from Satan’s grip. I want to thank everyone who prayed for our group last night, we definitely needed it. Praise the Lord!

Day 34 of 40 Days With Jesus: TEACHING.

Part of Christ’s Great Commission in Matthew 28 was; Jesus Authority, Commanded to Go, Proclaim the Gospel, Make Disciples, Baptise those who come to faith and finally, today’s message; “TEACH”, but teach the new converts what?

Matthew 28:16-20 16  Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.
17  When they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted.
18  Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
19  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
20  and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

It’s not just teaching them anything, it’s not teaching them to become ‘religious’, it’s not teaching the newly converted followers of Jesus man-made-rules or regulations, but it’s “teaching them TO OBEY EVERYTHING I HAVE COMMANDED YOU”

NOTE: It’s critically important to point out this FACT: We are NOT SAVED by OBEDIENCE, we ARE SAVED by God’s GRACE. It’s not by how obedient we are to Jesus Commands or that would be a “Human Works Based Gospel” (Like, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Roman Catholics, Mormons, Islam or every other kind of ‘religion’). No my friends, Christians are SAVED by God’s GRACE through putting our FAITH and TRUST in the Living, Resurrected Lord Jesus Christ. We’re saved because we’ve come to see that we are SINNERS in need of being RESCUED and who need a SAVIOUR or we’ll have to face God’s RIGHTEOUSNESS on JUDGEMENT DAY. We’ve responded the the GOSPEL by BELIEVING in Jesus DEATH ON THE CROSS for the sins of all mankind and REPENTING of our own sins and trusting that Jesus died for us personally. Once a believer has done that, there’s the one final step of RECEIVING Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour by inviting and responding to the Holy Spirit’s prompting. It’s ALL BY GOD’S GRACE THROUGH FAITH IN JESUS.

However, once we are SAVED there is an inward desire to be obedient to the Lord Jesus Christ, but we do need to be TAUGHT what it is that we are to be obedient to. That’s why God has given to the Church THE GIFT MINISTRIES: APOSTLES, PROPHETS, PASTORS, EVANGELISTS and TEACHERS (Ephesians 4:11-13).

Ephesians 4:11-13 11  It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers,
12  to prepare God’s people (newly converted followers of Jesus) for works of service (obedience to the commands of Jesus Christ), so that the body of Christ may be built up 13  until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fulness of Christ.

God has called us to be fishers of men, but we must be very grateful that He doesn’t leave new believers floundering like a fish that’s been landed on the sandy beach by a fisherman. Everyone who comes to FAITH in the Lord Jesus Christ must be DISCIPLED, BAPTISED and TAUGHT.

The FIVE-FOLD GIFT MINISTRIES: Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers.

This TEACHING of the followers of Jesus is partly fulfilled by God’s Holy Spirit, but also by God’s Word and by God’s GIFT MINISTERS: Jesus never had in mind just a one-man-show style of leadership, i.e. the model we have in most gatherings of Christians today; the LEAD PASTOR acting like a mini-Pope. or Mainstream Church, with a Minister, Priest or Pastor doing all the work of the church. That’s a complete distortion of what it means to be a Biblical Gathering of the Saints, because right from the beginning we will only find in Scripture a PLURALITY of LEADERSHIP. In God’s mind we’re to have the five-fold ministries, anointed and called and gifted by the Holy Spirit, who are activated and working in every fellowship of the saints. Notice that it doesn’t say: “Apostle, Prophet” it says “Apostles and Prophets etc… I.e. more than one of each in every fellowship. They are to train others up in their particular gifting and calling. So an Apostle is to teach others how to be an Apostle, the Prophets are to teach others how to prophesy, the Evangelists are to teach others how to reach out and proclaim the Gospel so the newly converted believers will become evangelists.  The ONLY healthy churches today are the ones that have these FIVE-FOLD ministries activated by the Holy Spirit today. So, who’re the Apostles in your fellowship? Who are the Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers? Be assured, God’s Word doesn’t lie, they are there because God is giving them to us, even today: It’s the Church’s call to discern, recognise and appoint, and the Holy Spirit’s role to Anoint and to give the GIFTS.

WHAT ARE THE COMMANDS / TEACHINGS OF JESUS?

It’s simple my friends, it’s contained within the pages of the Bible: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, and all the Epsitles. It’s contained within the pages of the Old Testament too, for ALL Scripture is God Breathed. Thankfully the Apostles put down on paper the Commandments of Jesus and the Teaching of Jesus. They are all there to help us grow to maturity in our faith, so that even if we were on an island, marooned with just the Bible, we’d have enough to become completely mature as a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Timothy 3:10-17 10  You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance,
11  persecutions, sufferings—what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them.
12  In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,
13  while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.
14  But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it,
15  and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
16  All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,
17  so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

My friends, you’ve got it in your fellowship in the FIVE-FOLD Ministers, the WORD of God, the fellowship of the SAINTS (your brothers and sisters in Christ) and last, but by no means least, The INDWELLING PROMISED PRESENCE AND POWER of The Holy Spirit. All of these things will help you to know HOW to live righteously for Jesus Christ. How to OBEY His Commands. We’re not saved by being obedient, but the TEACHINGS OF JESUS will enable us to; AVOID: LEGALISM AND LICENCE, that’s why Christ set us free from the LAW and gave us the gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit, He’ll guide us into all truth, enable us to live righteously before God and help is to avoid; ‘rules, regulation and  ritualistic religion. Live by the Spirit and you’ll be able to put to death the deeds of the flesh and you’ll experience complete FREEDOM in Christ. That freedom will enable you and change your desires so that you’ll want to be OBEDIENT to the Lord Jesus teachings and commands.

Jesus said, “IF you love Me, you WILL obey my Commandments”.

FREEDOM IN CHRIST: means living in the power of the Holy Spirit who’ll set us free from: RULES, REGULATION and RITUALISTIC RELIGION. He’ll enable us to love Jesus and live in obedience to His commands.

GOD HATES RELIGION: BUT HE LOVES OBEDIENCE.

As an example of OBEDIENCE over RELIGION: Consider the life of King Saul, who lost the Kingdom because of DISOBEDIENCE. He thought he could appease an angry God with RELIGIOUS DEVOTION, but God wanted a man who’s heart was ready to be obedient, so He chose King David.

1 Samuel 15:22-23 22  But Samuel replied: “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
23  For rebellion is like the sin of divination (Witchcraft), and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has rejected you as king.”

That’s why TEACHING was so important to Jesus in the GREAT COMMISSION of the first Apostles, and why learning to be OBEDIENT to Christ’s commands and teachings is so critical for our walk in the Spirit today. Thanks be to God for giving us all that we need to keep going.

Have an awesome day with the Lord Jesus, praise Him now with singing, pray and seek His direction and fullness of the Holy Spirit. It’s my hope and prayer that you are getting it my friends; Jesus wants you to be involved in His GREAT Commission, to Go, Disciple, Baptise, Teach Obedience and be aware that He’s with you in everything you are doing for the Kingdom. Awesome!

Don.

40 Days With Jesus Home Page. Day 34: Teaching Obedience.

Daily Spirit & Word: 518: Teaching Them To Obey Everything.

Teaching Them To Obey Everything.

Be Baptized Every One Of You.

Baptize in the name of Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word: 517: Be Baptized Every One Of You.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 33: Baptism.

Good morning my friends, today we’re thinking about the next part of Jesus’ Great Commission: He told the disciples to “GO” to “Make Disciples” and to “Baptise them in the Name of The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit”.

Matthew 28:19 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit …”

Baptism:

On Sunday we’re having an Open Air Baptism Service: It’s an amazing time, not just for the candidates, but for the whole church. I’ve been encouraging everyone to come and to bring their family and friends to this service. It’s great for those being baptised because they know they’ve made a public commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s a mark of obedience to Jesus Christ. It’s a witness to the world and the community in which we live and minister, that people today still believe and trust in the Living Lord Jesus Christ. It’s an encouragement to Christians, that God is still adding to our numbers those who are being saved today. If you can come along we’d love to welcome you.

But what is Baptism?

What is baptism and why is it so important? The original Greek word of the New Testament is Baptizo (Bap-Tid-Zo). It means literally; to submerse or immerse in water. When you are having a bath and washing yourself, you don’t just sprinkle a few drops of water, you get into the bath and submerse your whole body. Like a Submarine, it’s doesn’t stay on the surface at sea, it goes under the water. That’s what baptism means, going underneath, to submerse completely. In the Church of England, that’s what Baptism really means, there was permission in the Book of Common Prayer to allow for those who are sick or unable to undergo proper baptism to be sprinkled with water, but the true baptism, full submersion, was always meant to be the NORMAL practice.

Today many more people are coming to the Church later in life and want to be baptised in the NORMAL way: Full Submersion. I’ve known some people who want to be baptised every year, but there is only ONE baptism needed.

So baptism means to submerge, but why do Christian need or want to be submerged in water?

Origins of Baptism:

From just before the time of Jesus Ministry, there was a man called John the Baptist and he called the people of Israel to come back to God, he encouraged them to REPENT (more on repentance later) and BE BAPTISED for the forgiveness of their sins. Since John the Baptist, baptism has had a prominent place in the lives of followers of Jesus Christ. It’s part of Jesus commandments to His Disciples; to go and make disciples then to baptise (submerse) them in the name of God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

BEFORE YOU CAN BE BAPTISED.

But there are certain pre-conditions before someone is baptised: Those conditions are: REPENTANCE & BELIEF IN JESUS CHRIST.

You are not made into a Christian by being baptised, but you get baptised because you’ve already become a Christian.

After preaching about Jesus on the day of Pentecost, the people felt the Holy Spirit’s conviction and asked Peter what they should do, listen carefully to what Peter said;

Acts 2:36-41 36  “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”
37  When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
38  Peter replied, Repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
39  The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
40  With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.”
41  Those who accepted his message were baptised, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.

So we can see clearly that before they were to be baptised, they needed to REPENT (More on repentance later).

In another place we read that people were encouraged to “Believe and be BAPTISED”.

Mark 16:15-16  He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.
16  Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

So we can see that both; Belief (Faith) and Repentance are pre-requisites before a person is to be baptised.

Preparation for Baptism:

In the 2nd and 3rd Centuries of the Church, people had to undergo three years of preparation before they were baptised. We don’t require people to do that, because the Bible doesn’t teach such a thing, but it shows how serious the early Christians took baptism. Some time later, again because of false notions of Baptism, people put off being baptised, because they believed if they sinned after baptism, they’d loose their Salvation.

But part of proper preparation is to ensure or try to ensure a much as we can, that people know what they are doing, that they’ve actually; REPENTED OF THEIR SINS and BELIEVED (put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ).

Having been encouraged to trust in Jesus and repent of sins, we ask people to come and be baptised.

What Does Baptism Mean?

We’ve looked at what it is, what the pre-requisites are, but what’s actually happening in Baptism? (apart from the obvious, that people are being plunged underneath the water).

Thankfully, the Bible (God’s Word) is explicit. He’s told us clearly whats happening when people are baptised in water.

In Romans chapter six, Paul helps us to understand. Even though baptism doesn’t save us, it’s was so closely connected with Christian conversion, that Paul here explained what happened to a believe when they gave their lives to Christ.

Romans 6:1-14 1  What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning, so that grace may increase?
2  By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?
3  Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into his death?
4  We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
5  If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.
6  For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—
7  because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.
8  Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.
9  For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him.
10  The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.
11  In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
12  Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.
13  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.
14  For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.

When a person gets baptised, they are dying to the OLD SELF, DEAD to SIN and begin to live a NEW LIFE in Christ Jesus. WOWzer!

BAPTISM IS NEW LIFE IN CHRIST JESUS.

Baptism then, is a moment in time when you are giving OVER your life to God: every part of it. Just as God tells us in;

Romans 6:13 (NIV) “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.”

What does this mean?

Well it includes giving over to God everything that makes up who you are: Your mind, your heart, your will and your desires. It includes;

  • Your head (mind, desires and will),
  • Your Eyes: You’ll be looking at the world differently from now on.
  • Your Hands: (how from now on your life and work will be done for Jesus. You’ll never use your hands to steal of do sinful things),
  • Your Feet: (You’ll only go to places that Christ would go; e.g. would Jesus go to be entertained in a bar with strippers? Would Jesus go to the Cinema where explicit sexual scenes are being shown? Would Jesus watch TV shows with swearing or foul mouthed actors for entertainment? NO! Jesus wouldn’t do that)
  • Your Sexual Parts: (only to be used for their bodily functions and in the bond of Marriage: Not for sensual pleasure in wrong ways).
  • Your Tongue: (Not being used to talk maliciously about people, gossiping, back-stabbing or knocking and mocking others, nor lying or cheating),
  • Your Mind: (not thinking or dwelling upon sinful things, vain imaginations, envy or greed, lust and desiring inappropriate things, not dwelling upon the things this world has to offer too much {inordinate affection}.

My friends, when we surrender to Jesus Christ, we really do need to think deeply about what “Dying To Self” really means. Your body and it’s members need to be surrendered to the Lord Jesus Christ, that is what you are saying to Jesus when you are being baptised. We must remember that Baptism signifies a DEATH to SELF and a COMMITMENT to living a completely different kind of life from that moment on: It’s what real repentance involves, a turning away from all that we know to be wrong and using our whole being to live from now on for Jesus Christ.

Here’s what you are saying to Jesus in Baptism:

“Dear Lord Jesus, I know that you were baptised into DEATH for my sin and that You rose from the DEAD, that You are now living forever in Heaven, so Lord, from now on I want to give all of myself to You and I will live completely for You and not for my own sinful desires. I want You to live in me from now on by Your Holy Spirit, and I know that, with Your help, I can live a life of freedom from slavery to sin.”

My dear friends, every Christian who’s repented and trusted the Lord Jesus Christ would want to pray such a prayer of dedication. Do you? Why not stop everything you are doing right now, go back and read this prayer again, then pray with your own words a similar prayer of COMMITMENT or RE-COMMITMENT to Jesus Christ. Do it now!

Baptism then is DYING to SELF and LIVING for Jesus Christ.

When we get baptised, we’ve already Believed in Jesus Christ, His death and resurrection. We’ve REPENTED, had a change of mind regarding sin and living for ourselves and want to live for and with Jesus Christ.

It’s an outward sign and symbol or an inward reality. Baptism cannot save you, but it shows to the world that you’ve already been saved by Jesus Christ. It’s telling everyone that you are committed to living your life from that moment on for Jesus Christ. When you go under the water you are dying to the old way of living. When you come up out of the water, you are showing you are committed to Jesus way of living from that moment on.

Baptism is a wonderful witness:

When you get baptised you are declaring to the world: “Jesus is MY LORD. I am Jesus’ servant. I’m a child of God. I’m going to be living for Him from now on”

How do we live for Jesus?

Take UP Your CROSS and FOLLOW JESUS.

Matthew 16:24-26 24  Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
25  For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.
26  What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?

A Christian is not completely without sin, it’s a daily choice to either live for Jesus or live for ourselves. Jesus pictured this when He said, “Take up your cross daily” i.e. die to your own passions and pleasures daily, and surrender your life to God every single day. You won’t be able to do that without His help. You must remain in the vine, apart from Jesus you can’t do it my friends. To stay connected you’ll need daily nourishment (Spiritual food for your soul) by reading and meditating upon God’s diet of daily bread, God’s Word. You’ll be praying and talking with Jesus every day. You’ll be asking the Holy Spirit to come and fill you afresh each day. You’ll be asking the LORD to guide you and show you how He wants you to live and work for Him each and every day. You’ll desire to speak for Jesus with others and lead others to faith and trust in your Saviour and Lord.

Baptism is just the beginning of the NEW LIFE of FREEDOM from the slavery to sin, but we must trust Jesus daily to keep us free from sin’s ability to dominate our lives again. I’ve known Christians who’ve become so powerful for Jesus and they’ll admit to areas of weakness. It’s healthy to be open and honest with a few trusted brothers and sisters in the family. Meet regularly to confess your weaknesses and the trials and temptations you are undergoing. Get support and strength from fellowship with the Lord and with each other.

I hope this makes the Lord’s Command to His followers, the Disciples and first Apostles to Go, preach the Gospel and make disciples, then to baptise those who come to faith and trust and believe in Jesus Christ.

Have an immense and powerful day with Jesus my friends.

Don.

You Are Called To Go On A Mission

Spreading the Gospel to All Nations

Daily Spirit & Word, 516: You Are Called To Go On A Mission.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 32. Matthew 28:19.

Good morning my friends. I’m back in my study with a lovely warm mug of coffee. You know or did I tell you yesterday that I love Sundays 😎  I felt so up-lifted by yesterday’s gathering. I shared with the fellowship my pains during the week and how I believe the Lord uses pain to sometimes enable us to pray for others more fervently. Well, as I encouraged people to come and share what Jesus was doing in their lives, they did; you know my friends, God is amazing! He’ll show up in our lives in the most unexpected ways. This meeting with Jesus, when He gives the Disciples the GREAT COMMISSION, was an amazing encounter too. Jesus gave them their marching orders, but they were to await the empowerment.

It’s like the General conveying to His troops the battle plan, but before they embark upon their mission, they’re going to require the BIG GUNS. Jesus didn’t send His Disciples out into the Battle without state or the art weapons or protective armour, to defeat the enemy and to protect ourselves in the fight. We’re coming to that later, but today we’re thinking about the Battle Plan.

Matthew 28:19 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

The Israelites were God’s chosen people, they were just one Nation on the Earth, called by the LORD to come and worship Him. They were called to be a light to the Nations. However, when Jesus had fulfilled His Mission from the Father, the call was changed from being a one Nation family into a Universal call to all the peoples of the world. I’m reminded of Jesus’ Command almost every day, because there’s a church just up the road from where I live called; “The Church of the Nations”, and that truly is what every Christian is a member of, we’re a world-wide family, with a world-wide Mission. There’s another church further up the road called, “The World Wide Mission Fellowship”. We’re so blessed in London, there are literally hundreds or thousands of churches, gatherings of Christians of all flavours. Our own church is quite unique amongst over 30 Churches within a half-mile radius of St Luke’s West Norwood in London. Because, though they claim or call themselves ‘Church of the Nations and World-Wide Mission Fellowship or South American Fellowship’ they all predominantly appeal to Christians from the Nation of origin of the Lead Pastor: Brazillian, Nigerian, West Indian, etc. However, St Luke’s Church, though it doesn’t state it in the name, is made up of peoples from over 30 Nations around the world. On our Preaching and Leadership Team, we’ve got people from; West Indian, Nigerian, Chech Republic, English and Scottish (me). When we go out into the streets for Evangelism, we’re the same. London is a mix of people’s from every Nation in the world, they’ve come to work and settle here, so we truly do have a heart for the Lord’s call to this World Wide Mission.

So, Jesus commissioned the Disciples and every Christian to take the Gospel to everyone in every part of the world; for the vast majority of Christians that will mean sharing the Good News where you live; with your neighbours, family, friends, work-colleagues, School and College friends and any clubs or societies that you might belong to.

But HOW? How are we to obey His call to Mission.

Thankfully the Lord has shown us; First He said, “Go”, then once we’re off we’re told to “Make Disciples” then to “Baptize”  those who become disciples, then we’re to “Teach those new Disciples Obedience to the Commands of Jesus”.

  • Going: to All Nations.
  • Discipling: Everyone. (Making Disciples = Sharing the Good News of Jesus with a Demonstration of the Spirit’s Power to enable people to put their faith and trust in Christ alone).
  • Baptizing: In God’s Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
  • Teaching Obedience: To the Commands / Teachings of Jesus (The Gospels and Epistles).
  • Presence of the Lord: God is with us for this Mission.

That tells is the Plan, what we are to do, but it doesn’t really tell us HOW to do it. Thankfully, the LORD has seen fit to inspire more than one Gospel writer and we get the HOW from others like Mark, John, the Book of Acts and the Epsitles or the New Testament.

The Other GREAT Commission: Mark 16:14-20.

Mark 16:14-20 14  Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.
15  He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.
16  Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
17  And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues;
18  they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”
19  After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God.
20  Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.

Once we’ve been obedient to Jesus Command to “Go into all the world and preach the Good News” We’re NOT left to our own devices. Jesus will CONFIRM His Word with SINGS AND WONDERS.

We pick up from Paul, the Apostle, that this is exactly what happened. It’s the NORMAL experience of Christians (or is should be) that signs will accompany the proclamation of the Good News. Here’s what Paul said;

1 Corinthians 2:1-5 1  When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God.
2  For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.
3  I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling.
4  My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power,
5  so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.

There we have it my friends, the HOW: Notice what Paul (The Holy Spirit) declared that it isn’t: NOT with WISE or PERSUASIVE word. We’re not to use the techniques of the world: Manipulation or Persuasion. We, those who’re being obedient to the LORD’S Commands to Go, are to depend upon something else: “A DEMONSTRATION OF THE SPIRIT’S POWER”.

The Bible tells us, that FAITH comes by Hearing the Word of God: Romans 10:10-17.  Faith comes alive when we proclaim God’s Word. That’s the FIRST DEMONSTRATION OF THE POWER OF THE SPIRIT: Bringing Faith Alive in those who Hear the Good News.

The FIRST DEMONSTRATION OF THE POWER OF THE SPIRIT: Bringing Faith Alive in those who Hear the Good News. 

You’ll have noticed if you’re reading Dave Smith’s little book, that I’ve deviated from what He’s teaching on Day 32 here, not because I disagree with his words, but to emphasise something different, something that I believe to be an even more important aspect. His booklet tends to dwell (IMHO) too much upon the HUMAN aspects; what we’re to do, but I want us to know and to dwell upon the facts that we’re NOT ALONE, we’re not just being obedient, it’s not just down to us my friends, Jesus is WITH US when we go, because most people are like Paul and all the GREAT MEN OF FAITH in the Bible: they’re feeling; WEAK, FEAR-FILLED and MUCH TREMBLING when they go out. I do too, but each time the LORD emboldens when we finally get out there and do it. When you go out in obedience in weakness, fear and much-trembling, you are in GREAT Company: Think about Moses, Gideon, Jeremiah, Elijah: none of them thought they could do it and that is how we should be feeling too, because in our own strength, we can’t even win a single convert. If we did, they’d be depending upon us and not the LORD (As Paul revealed above). No my friends, when we go, we’re not to depend upon ourselves, our language, our technique, our training, our skills or our anything else; we’re to be totally dependent as Paul and the other apostles were in the book of acts, upon the Holy Spirit’s POWER. If we depend too much upon anything else, we’re not going to depend upon the Holy Spirit.

Jesus Himself is the MODEL of HOW to do it: Filled with the Spirit He performed miracles. The rest of the New Testament is an illustration of HOW to do it. The NORMAL Christian experience of fulfilling God’s Great Commission.

Yes we may need a little training, that’s for sure, but it should be training to DEPEND upon the SPIRIT, not theology, not bible knowledge (but we should be studying God’s Word) we’re to depend solely upon God’s Spirit who comes with us when we go out in obedience to Jesus commands. He accompanies and works with us to bring others to faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. That’s the HOW my friends. Read your Bible from Acts to Revelations and you’ll see that this is the NORMAL Christian method of fulfilling your call to Christ’s Mission to ALL NATIONS.

What is the Message we are called to deliver? The Good News! We’ll come onto what the Gospel is later 🙂

Today, think about the HOW: You are called to go on a mission: However, you are not called to depend or rely upon yourself, otherwise only a few would ever go, but you are called to be Depending upon God’s Spirit as you go.

Read through the book of ACTS in one sitting. It might take you a couple of hours. But I can guarantee that it will be better than sitting watching a film on the TV or going to the Cinema. I know we live in a generation that hates the discipline of reading, but it’s going to take commitment to be a follower of Jesus. We need more Christians who’re totally devoted to the LORD Jesus and His Mission rather than being entertained with worldly pleasures. To be honest, I find spending TIME in God’s word far more enjoyable than a good film anyway. You will too my friends. Get to it and get your head down into God’s Good BOOK: God’s Word, The Bible, Holy Scripture and read the book of Acts and you’ll see that it’s a DEMONSTRATION of the SPIRIT’S POWER from start to finish, this is to be the NORMAL Christian experience.

As you are obedient, you’ll discover too, that it’s no ordinary Mission that you are being sent on. These things that we read in the book of Acts of the Holy Spirit are happening today; I encourage you to read what happened to Rosa, they are happening every day all over the world as Christians follow Jesus. But do try and take Jesus at His WORD and share the Gospel as best you know how. He’ll be with you and in you as you do.

God bless for another GREAT week with Jesus,

Don.

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Note: Tomorrow we’re going to dwell upon Baptism. But this ‘Making Disciple’ ‘Taking the Good News Out’ is not finished with yet: The 40 Days With Jesus Series doesn’t quite focus enough on “What is the Gospel Message” we’re to deliver for Jesus.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 32: You Are Called To A Mission.