The Good, The Bad and The Brilliant

Following Examples

Daily Spirit & Word: 515: The Good, The Bad and The Brilliant.

Good morning on the Lord’s Day. Sundays are always such an encouragement for me, because I love gathering with my fellow saints to worship the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s great to hear them share what He’s been showing them from His Word and how they’ve had answered prayers during the week. Fellowship with each other is critical to our consistent walk with Jesus Christ. When we have good gatherings, it’ll be hard to wear a mask and make a pretense of walking in the light, when in reality we’re walking in the darkness.

Today we’re considering 3 John. One of the shortest books of the Bible, but again, like 2 John, it’s packed with significance for the Christian today. In this little letter (Epistle) from the Apostle John, we’ll see three different kinds of characters mentioned. You’ve probably all seen or heard about the Clint Eastwood film; “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly”, well today in John’s letter we see three individuals: One is good, One is bad and the other is Brilliant (A shining example to every Christian). Hence today’s title; “The Good, The Bad and The Brilliant”.

Our Bible Reading Today:

3 John 1:1-14 1  The elder, To my dear friend Gaius, whom I love in the truth.
2  Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.
3  It gave me great joy to have some brothers come and tell about your faithfulness to the truth and how you continue to walk in the truth.
4  I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.
5  Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers, even though they are strangers to you.
6  They have told the church about your love. You will do well to send them on their way in a manner worthy of God.
7  It was for the sake of the Name that they went out, receiving no help from the pagans.
8  We ought therefore to show hospitality to such men so that we may work together for the truth.
9  I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will have nothing to do with us.
10  So if I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, gossiping maliciously about us. Not satisfied with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers. He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church.
11  Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God.
12  Demetrius is well spoken of by everyone—and even by the truth itself. We also speak well of him, and you know that our testimony is true.
13  I have much to write to you, but I do not want to do so with pen and ink.
14  I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face. Peace to you. The friends here send their greetings. Greet the friends there by name.

What a wonderful letter to receive from the Ancient Apostle of Jesus Christ.

Imagine how you’d feel if John (the beloved Apostle) were writing this letter to you? What an encouragement it is. Well my friends, it is written to you too. It’s part of God’s Word and therefore it’s the Holy Spirit who’ll use it today to speak to each and every one of us.

Giaus The Good:

John’s letter is to this man Giaus, who is a great Christian.

  • He’s got a good witness. (3 John 1:1-6).
  • He’s Loved by the Apostle. (3 John 1:1)
  • He’s faithful to the TRUTH. (3 John 1:3)
  • He walks in the TRUTH. (3 John 1:3-4)
  • His walk with Jesus makes the Apostle John so full of joy. (3 John 1:4)
  • And He lives by the TRUTH with the actions of his life. (3 John 1:5-6)
  • He’s got lots of Christian Friends (verse 14)
  • He’s blessed by the Apostle: “Health, Success and Peace” (Verses 2, 14)
  • He’s entrusted to by John to greet everyone by name. (Verse 14).

Wouldn’t you like to have a Christian Witness like this man Giaus? His life in the Lord is being spoken of in other gatherings of the saints. He’s made a deep impression upon other brothers and sisters in the Lord.

Giaus was probably one of the people that the Apostle John led to faith and trust in the Lord. He’d taught him how to walk in the TRUTH (1 John). And is REJOICING because the one he’d lead to the Lord (His Children in the Truth) is continuing to walk with Jesus.

I can’t tell you how much of a JOY that is my friends. When we lead someone to faith in Jesus and they continue to walk with Jesus after many years. So much so that the fame of their walk reaches you by other brothers and sisters who tell what a great Christian they are.

But it’s Giaus’ Faithfulness and Continuing: In the Truth.

Of course the TRUTH here is a loaded word: John used the term to speak of people either walking in the light interchangeably with walking in the Truth or Walking in the Darkness (falsehood). If we’re walking in the light then the truth is in us:

1 John 1:5-10 5  This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.
6  If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. (i.e. we’re being FALSE).
7  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
8  If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.
9  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
10  If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.

THREE STAGES OF FALSEHOOD: What we ‘claim’…

Lying To Others: 1 John 1:6. Being FALSE to our Brothers and Sisters in the Lord: Claiming to be walking in the light, but actually walking in the darkness: It’s living a lie. It’s claiming that we’ve got fellowship with God, when we’re actually sinning and walking in the darkness. (Lying to Others).

Lying To Ourselves: 1 John 1:8. Self-Deceived: When we continue to lie about our spiritual condition, we’ll actually begin to believe the lie, that we’re OK, that we’re walking in the light, when we’re actually walking in the darkness. It’s continuing to live sinfully and convince ourselves of the lie = self-deceived. So being false to our brothers and sisters is bad, but it will inevitable lead to self-deception. Thinking we’re OK with God. Walking in the Light.

Lying To God: 1 John 1:10. Being FALSE towards God. How foolish is that. Thinking that we can actually fool God into thinking that we’re walking in the light, that we’re in fellowship with Him, when we’re actually claiming we’ve not sinned. We’re making God out to be a liar, because God has said, “All have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God”. Romans 3:23-24.

So Giaus was walking in the TRUTH: i.e. He was walking in the light. He wasn’t living a lie, deceiving his brothers and sisters, himself or God. He wasn’t ‘CLAIMING’ to walk in the TRUTH, Giaus was doing it.  His life was beaming bright and he was a living testimony that he was truly converted to Jesus. No wonder the aged Apostle was so full of joy and so full of love and blessings for him. He could trust Giaus to deliver his message to the other brothers and sisters, knowing that he’d communicate it faithfully.

Giaus Practices Hospitality:

He looked after the Brothers who’d come to Minister: They were STRANGERS, but Giaus welcomed them and looked after them.

In 2 John we read of the Elect Lady in the faith, who’d been warned not to invite False Teachers into her home. But here John is highlighting the need for all Christians to practice hospitality, especially towards Ministers who’d come to work for Jesus. (Truth 3 John 1:7). They didn’t get support from NON-BELIEVERS, but like all good workmen for the Lord, they depended upon the hospitality of the saints to sustain their Ministry.

In verse 8 John reveals that it’s not simply good practice, but an obligation to support the ministry. 3 John 1:8 “We ought therefore to show hospitality to such men so that we may work together for the truth.” We’re working together for the TRUTH.

Giaus did this and was commended for it by the Apostle, but we turn now to someone who didn’t: Diotrephes.

Diotrephes The Bad:

Now we come to the BAD: Diotrephes was a man who wanted to be FIRST:

John revealed what Diotrephes was doing; “So if I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, gossiping maliciously about us. Not satisfied with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers. He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church.”

  • Malicious Gossip: Saying things that are not true, to make others look small, because he loved to be PREEMINENT / FIRST.
  • Refusing to Welcome: He’s not welcoming the ‘BROTHERS’: Good Christian men who’re going out to serve the Lord Jesus. 
  • Expelling those who do: Puts them out of the Church if they support the BROTHERS. 

Diotrephes is the worst kind of CONTROL FREAK. I want my way and I want to be first, if I’m not, then you are out of the Church.

He’s definitely a BAD Witness. His fame for being bad had reached the Apostle too.

Demetrius The Brilliant:

Then we come to Demetrius: He’s the Bright and Shining Example to us all.

3 John 1:12 “Demetrius is well spoken of by everyone—and even by the truth itself. We also speak well of him, and you know that our testimony is true.”

WOWzer! I’d love to be spoken of like Demetrius, wouldn’t you? Even by the TRUTH itself: It’s a strange phrase.

I love it when I hear brothers and sisters ‘Speaking Well’ of each other, but even more so when it’s for great reasons; because of their ‘Walk in the TRUTH’ or How they, “Walk in the Light”.

I’ve been privileged to witness so many BRILLIANT examples. And I’m always thanking God for the massive impact they’ve had upon my life and my walk with Him. They are such an encouragement.

Following Others:

Demetrius is a great example for us to follow, so is Giaus, but should we follow men?

God Encourages Us To Follow / Imitate the EXAMPLE and LIFE of those who are faithful followers of Jesus Christ.

Philippians 3:17 17  Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you.

1 Corinthians 11:1 1  Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.

It’s great to have some Brothers and Sisters we admire, but lets be sure we admire them for the right reasons. Not for their Money, Position or Fame, but for the way they Follow the Example of Jesus Christ. I’m always encouraged by many great men of the faith. Some of whom have gone to be with the Lord Jesus now.

But we also, like John the Apostle Here, Encourage one another. We need to be encouraged and spurred on in our walk with Jesus.

Hebrews 10:24 24  And let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds.

Conclusion:

God wants to meet our every need in life, but we’ll only be completely satisfied if we’re walking in the Truth like Giaus and Demetrius: The LORD encourages us today;

Matthew 6:33 33  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

When we do seek His Kingdom as a first order priority: Then we’ll have a great TESTIMONY in the Church and before God and we’ll not be a FALSE witness, even to ourselves. We’ll be walking in the light, walking in the TRUTH and our lives will shine BRILLIANTLY FOR JESUS, FOR TRUTH AND FOR LOVE.

Have an awesome week with Jesus. Continue to walk in the Light as He is in the Light and we’ll have fellowship with one another.

Don.

Jesus Is Your Authority For His Mission

Jesus Gives Authoity

Daily Spirit & Word, 514: Jesus Is Your Authority For His Mission.

 40 Days With Jesus: Day 31: Matthew 28:18.

Good morning my friends. Firstly let me thank you all for your prayers. I missed posting yesterday because I was in terrible pain, it didn’t get any better throughout the day. Yes! I’ve been taking my tablets and they eased the pain, but as soon as they were wearing off, the pain returned. I’m still praising the LORD and what’s helped more than tablets is the knowledge, that brothers and sisters are praying for me. That the Lord is faithful and when we turn to Him in praise and thanksgiving He hears us. He’s truly the GREAT SHEPHERD of the sheep and walks through the valley of the shadow of death with us.

Divine Authority To EVANGELISE.

Today, we’re continuing with this week’s focus on the GREAT COMMISSION. How we’re sent out into the world to bring others into God’s Kingdom and how we’re to disciple those who respond to the Gospel. Today, we’re going to discover the ultimate AUTHORITY for our Mission: it’s the LORD Jesus Christ Himself. Knowing this will set us free, because we’ll KNOW we’re not just taking the initiative to go and evangelise others, but we’re just being obedient and we’ve also got Divine authority to share the Gospel with EVERYONE.

Authority: The Bible has so much to tell us about Authority, but let’s just make certain we understand the word and what Jesus meant when He said,

Matthew 28:18 18  Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.

Authority Means:

  • The power or right to give orders or make decisions.
  • A person or persons who exercise administrative control over others; e.g. the local Government Authority.
  • An expert whose views are taken as definitive.
  • Freedom from doubt; belief in yourself and your abilities.
  • An authoritative written work

So we can see that Jesus has been given Authority: The Power and Right to GIVE ORDERS and to MAKE DECISIONS. He had ADMINISTRATIVE CONTROL He is an EXPERT who’s views are to be taken as DEFINITIVE. There is no DOUBT and every Disciple can have an ASSURED BELIEF in His ABILITIES to perform or do all that He’s promised. He’s also given us His AUTHORITATIVE WRITTEN WORD: The Bible.

Now when we read Jesus words again; “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” We can see that it’s not a little bit of authority or partial authority, but ALL authority has been given to Jesus Christ. Not just on earth or over our lives but over the whole Universe and the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus really is the Boss of the Cosmos and the Heavenly places.

What does that mean?

Well when I was in the Royal Navy, I was given authority sometimes to enter certain restricted areas. Even though Military personnel had their Identification Card that enabled them to enter Military Establishments, I had a much higher clearance, I could enter Top Secret areas. How? Because I’d been given a photographic and electronic pass that I wore around my neck. When I placed the pass on a machine, the gates opened and I was allowed to enter. If someone tried to enter who didn’t have one of those passes or even some other way; all Hell would break-out and armed security guards would come running to the scene. The pass was my authority to enter and gain access.

Those who belong to Jesus have been given similar authority to access areas and powers that normal human beings cannot. We are members of an elite group, because we’ve been specially selected by the Lord of Creation and given His permission to go anywhere in the world with the specific mandate of fulfilling His commands.

How can we do this?

Because Jesus is the ONE who has the AUTHORITY to send us. 

Where does Jesus Authority come from? The answer is given to us in the passage we just read above. “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” Matthew 28:18.

Jesus told us many times throughout His ministry that the Father and the Son are ONE: but the Son willingly and wholeheartedly submits to the Father’s will. Why? Because, unlike sinful human beings, God is LOVE and Jesus knew His Father intimately. He knew that submission is complete FREEDOM. To submit in this way takes total trust. Just as a child trusts his own father, i.e. he’ll launch himself into his father’s arms from a great height. So Jesus fully trusts His Father, even to the point of giving up His own life upon the cross. Even though Jesus submits to the Father’s will, He is non-the-less DIVINE. Many times we’ll read in the Bible of the Jews understanding of this, because time and again they tried to stone Jesus because He claimed to be the Son of God. To them such a statement was blasphemy, because they said, “You are mere man, claim to be equal with God”. He did, because He was. Jesus Christ the Carpenter’s son, was also the Divine Son of God on earth. He has been given ALL authority.

But notice that Jesus didn’t just leave us with the Father and Son relationship. In this passage He also reveals our Mission and Commission is from; The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit: The Trinity. What a divine MANDATE we have for sharing the Gospel. It’s not our message, but His. It’s not our idea or our own initiative to GO. The Disciples din’t just dream it up my friends, it’s not another good idea, it’s a God idea. It’s His WILL, it’s HIS Mission and He has the Authority to COMMISSION.

Notice also the word COMMISSION:  It should remind you that not only have you got the Authority to go, but it’s a JOINT Mission. We’re simply working in a team: It’s a DIVINE team: We’ve get to accompany Jesus, because He’s with us Always. We also get the Holy Spirit, who’s in us and empowering us for the Mission. We also get the presence of our Heavenly Father, because when we come to Jesus we become ONE with Him too. WOWzer! We’re on a Mission together to go out into the world an reach out to mankind, to seek and to save the lost together.

That tells me this today:

  1. We’ve been sent out to do it: Evangelise.
  2. We’ve got Divine Authority to do it: Evangelise.
  3. We’ve got Divine Company in it: Evangelise.
  4. We’ve got Divine Power to accomplish it: Evangelise.

Now all we’ve got to do is TRUST AND OBEY. We’ve got everything we need to accomplish God’s Mission we’re doing it together, so let’s trust Jesus’ words today and in simple, childlike obedience, do it. As you do it, knowing you’ve been sent and are accompanied by Jesus will give you great confidence. I’m sure those Disciples who doubted when they saw Jesus would have had their doubts displaced either at His words or later when the Holy Spirit filled them, but it would only have been confirmed as they were being obedient. It was, when Peter stood up to address the crowds on the Day of Pentecost: The Divine POWER was made manifest and 3000 people came to Jesus Christ that day. It will happen to you too my friends, but you’ll only see it if you are obedient. You’ll never experience it in any other way: all you’ve got to do is TRUST AND OBEY. 

So whenever you don’t feel like going and sharing and spreading the GOOD NEWS, know this and take it to heart: Jesus has given you the authority to proclaim the Gospel to everyone, He’s given you the Power through His Holy Spirit, so that you don’t have to depend upon your own strength, and to top it all off, He’s going to go out with you. Oh WOWzer! Why wouldn’t you go and have a go today? Try it in His strength. Share the Gospel with someone today: YOU’LL BE AMAZED at the results.

Have an awesome day my friends, fulfilling the LORD’S Mission with Him and In Him. Do it today.

Don.

P.S. Just in case you don’t know WHAT the Good News is, that you’ve been Commissioned and Commanded to share;

  1. Everybody on Earth Today: Needs Jesus Christ. Why? Because without Jesus as their Lord and Saviour, they’ll perish in Hell.
  2. Compassion Compels Us: You wouldn’t sit idly by and watch your neighbour’s house burn with them inside it would you? No, of course not. So normal human compassion for others will compel even the most timid Christian to reach out and save those who’re headed for the fires of hell. You’ll overcome your fears of rejection, when you get a decent amount of compassion.
  3. Why are they headed for Hell? Because everyone has SINNED. Every single human being has broken God’s Commandments. It’s the breaking of His commandments that makes us sinners. No sinner can enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Even one lie will make us unfit for Heaven. So we need to be cleansed from all sin. Our sins need to be washed away.
  4. Nobody wants Righteousness: Many people try lots of things like religion or good works to be saved. They don’t naturally want to come to Jesus Christ to be made righteous in God’s sight. They think they can do it themselves. That’s why God has told us He hates ‘religion’. Everyone who’s trusting in their own goodness to get into heaven will be sadly and cruelly dissappointed. Because, nothing good that we do can remove the stain of sin. We need life-blood and death to take away the punishment for sin in our life. Jesus died so that we could be forgiven. The Bible tells us that the “WAGES of SIN is DEATH” and we must know, that unlike some bosses who’ll try and scam their employees, God always pays His wages. You’ll get your wages for sin, death and judgement and Hell, unless you’ve had your sins removed.
  5. What gives people a hunger for righteousness? Faith comes by hearing God’s Word. When you go out in the power of the Holy Spirit, He goes with you. As you share the Gospel of man’s need for righteousness with God, He’ll bring conviction that leads to repentance, which is a Turning away from sin and He’ll also convince people that Jesus Christ is the ONLY WAY of Salvation. Jesus is everyone’s only hope of Heaven.
  6. When folks are sufficiently convicted, then you can share the Good News: There’s a way to avoid Hell. It’s by TRUSTING IN THE LORD JESUS CHRIST. It’s not simply saying, “I believe in Jesus” or “I give my heart to Jesus”, but being convinced that without Him and His sacrifice upon the Cross for your sins, you are headed for Hell. So the only way that you can be saved is by receiving His forgiveness and receiving Him as your Lord. Once a person trusts in Jesus, they will be saved from God’s wrath and anger against sin.
  7. God did it because He loves: For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish (in Hell) but will receive the gift of everlasting life” John 3:16. I repeat, to believe is not simply to say “I believe in Jesus”, the Devil does that and trembles. But to TRUST IN Jesus death.
  8. Ask them when they are going to TRUST in Jesus? We don’t know if this day will be our last day on earth. When we die we’ll either face God’s Judgement and be cast into Hell because we’ve still got sin on us or we’ll be welcomed into Heaven, because we’ve had our sins removed.
  9. Encourage them to TRUST IN JESUS TODAY. Today is the day of salvation.
  10. You’ve been given everything you need and Jesus is with you, the Holy Spirit is your Helper, He’ll empower you. Now: When will you next share the Gospel of Jesus Christ? People NEED Jesus. They don’t need Him to improve their life here on earth, they need Him so that they can enjoy eternity. God loves everyone and doesn’t want anyone to perish in Hell, that’s why He’s commissioned you my dear brothers and sisters in Christ.

40 Days Home Page: 

40 Days With Jesus: Day 31: Divine Authority Comes From Jesus: So Jesus IS Your Authority For His Mission.

 

Transformed by Jesus to Transform Others

Transformation by Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word; 514: Transformed by Jesus to Transform Others.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 30: Transformed to Transform Others.

Good morning my friends. A little confession is good for the soul. Come closer, I’ve got something I need to confess to you today, but don’t tell anyone else.  😳 Since last Sunday I’ve been feeling quite unwell. It began with sciatica, which I’ve suffered with for a while, on and off, but I’ve also had another ache in my back, which won’t go away. So I went to the doctors, Dr Patel gave me anti-inflammation tablets and pain killers. To be honest, they’re not doing much good. So last night after training and prayer, I decided I couldn’t go out with the team. My mind wouldn’t have been on what I was meant to be doing, but on the pain. So they prayed for me and went out quite joyfully to share Jesus with others. You know something, I was hard to watch them go out on their own, but it was also a joy, because my brothers and sisters went out happy to talk with others about Jesus. We were encouraged by our Bible reading: Matthew 28:16-20. “I am with you”. Do you know how long I’ve been waiting to see some people in my church who are ready, confident, equipped, expectant and willing to share the Good News with everyone? We’ve been praying for ages, “Lord, the fields are white unto harvest, but the labourers are few, Oh Lord, send us more labourers who’re willing to go out into Your harvest field”. I’m praising Him this morning, because He’s answered that prayer. Oh Yes, my friends, the Labourers are still few in number, but they’re being prepared and sent out by Him.

Today’s focus is upon our NEED to be TRANSFORMED.

We’ll see today, that before we can even begin to contemplate being used to help transform other (from sinners into saints), we need to undergo a transformation ourselves first. That may seem obvious, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been on Evangelistic Missions when some of our TEAM members came to full faith in Jesus and were transformed by Him, whilst actually on the mission. They knew about Jesus, had gotten to the point of giving their lives to Jesus, but whilst they knew about Him, they didn’t actually KNOW Him. They believed that Jesus could save, but hadn’t actually been saved themselves. As we began to go about witnessing and preaching the Gospel, it then became blindingly evident to them, that they needed something to happen in order to enable them to share. Once they’d RECEIVE Jesus, many times through tears of repentance, and been transformed by Him (born-again) or changed from a sinner into a saint (regenerated), they were then ON FIRE and ready and equipped to enable them to TRANSFORM the lives of others.

Matthew 28:16-17 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.

It’s getting close to the end of Jesus’ 40 Days, and we don’t really know how many times He appeared to these disciples, but some of them are still having trouble believing completely that Jesus was actually alive. Some of them worshipped, but some doubted. That tells me something my friends. In every church I’ve served the Lord Jesus, there have been those who’re there, they’ve got the faith, they’ve trusted Jesus and been transformed, they’re on fire, they’re ready to do anything for Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit and worship Him at the drop of a hat. But there are various levels of others, who’re not quite there yet. They may have been attending that church for many years, sometimes all their lives, they’ve gotten involved in every kind of church activity and they’ve done everything that needs to be done externally; baptism, confirmation, prayer group, Bible study, Home Group, ministry team, building committee, coffee rota, Sunday School helper, Church Warden and Church Council Member, but they’ve somehow done all of that without being TRANSFORMED by Jesus. It’s such a sad shame, but our fellowships are full of people who don’t actually know the Lord Jesus Christ. They know ALL about Him, but they don’t know Him.

Just like Jesus’ own disciples, who right up until He was about to ascend into Heaven, we can see that some of them were still doubting. Some worshipped Him, but some doubted: These were Jesus closest Disciples. So when we find amongst our numbers people who’ve been to church for years and still they’re not there yet, we shouldn’t be surprised or even (if you’re a minister or born again yourself) shocked, because Jesus Christ and all His Resurrection Appearances couldn’t convince even some of His closest followers, who’d seen and been there when He performed countless others miracles. If they still doubted after all that and with Jesus standing right in front of them and they’re still doubting, don’t be shocked or surprised when people who’ve done everything that needs to be done, and served in every possible way in your church, still don’t fully believe in Jesus. You’ve not failed, Jesus didn’t fail, it’s just human nature. It also highlights how difficult it is to set people free, to open people’s blind eyes and to bring people into God’s Kingdom. The Gospel is so EASY to believe, it’s simple to understand, but the sad things is, and Jesus warned us about it, many are called, but few are chosen.

“Some Worshipped, but some Doubted” 

How can we get people TRANSFORMED? Just like Jesus own Disciples, we NEED to be TRANSFORMED OURSELVES. We need the Holy Spirit birth, that’s what it took to change the others my friends, and that didn’t happen until a few days after Jesus had ascended into Heaven. However, once they’d been BAPTISED with Holy Spirit, they were then ON FIRE and nothing could stop them running out of that Upper Room and Witnessing and Proclaiming the Good News (Gospel) of the Lord Jesus Christ. Once they knew Him on the inside, after they’d been TRANSFORMED then they set about transforming others. It’s a supernatural work of God the Holy Spirit.

If you are still finding that there are some doubts in your heart, then ASK Jesus Christ to send His Holy Spirit into your life today.

If you are already full of the Holy Spirit and your not ready to share Jesus yet, then you need more of Him and a desire to be obedient to Jesus’ Great Commission to “Go”, because He’s not changed. His Mission for the Church has not altered. He wants every Christian to be on this Mission to Transform the Lives of Others, but to be able to do it, we need a transformation ourselves first.

If your heart’s desire is not to SAVE others, then you’ve not been born again. It’s as simple as that. Charles Spurgeon said it clearly: “”If you have no wish to bring others to heaven, you are not going there yourself.””

“If you have no wish to bring others to heaven, you are not going there yourself.”

In another sermon he said; “”Have you no wish for others to be saved, then you’re not saved yourself be sure of that””

“Have you no wish for others to be saved, then you’re not saved yourself be sure of that” Charles Spurgeon.

The Condition of Many: Charles Spurgeon said, “I heard about repentance but I never knew repentance until I repented. I heard of faith, but I never knew faith until I believed. I heard of pardon but I never knew pardon until I was washed in the blood of the Lamb. I read about justification by faith but I was never justified till, by faith, I received the Lord Jesus to be my Righteousness. Appropriation by faith gives an apprehension by the understanding—experimental enjoyment creates true acquaintance. Beloved, go to the Holy Spirit and ask Him to enable you to take the things which God freely gives and when you possess them, you will “know” them.”

In other words, my words 🙂 “We don’t know Jesus, until we KNOW Jesus” we can’t Know Jesus until we’re born of His Holy Spirit. We can know about Jesus, but experiential knowledge of Jesus comes when the Holy Spirit comes into our lives. He comes when we; Believe on Jesus Christ, REPENT of our Sins, seek His forgiveness, trust in His death and receive Him as LORD. If you’ve done all that then you’ll KNOW Jesus.

When you get married, you don’t need someone else to introduce you to your wife again do you? When you take a driving test, you don’t need someome to tell you about it, you’ve done it and you’ve got the certificate to prove it. When you are born of God’s Spirit, the Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are Children of God. We KNOW because He doesn’t keep quiet, the Holy Spirit reveals it to us and enables us to KNOW: Jesus the Son and God the Father. We KNOW that we KNOW…

Romans 8:13-16 13  For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body (Repentance), you will live,
14  because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
15  For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”
16  The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.

You KNOW because the SPIRIT makes us know. If you don’t know like that then guess what? You need the HOLY SPIRIT.

That’s Good NEWS: Because Jesus said, “Ask and you shall receive”. Does it say, “Ask and you might receive”? No! Of course not, Jesus wants every single one of us to be CERTAIN. He gives a sure and certain hope. Once you are born of God’s Spirit, REGENERATED, TRANSFORMED, you’ll know it. A sure sign that it has happened is your desires change and you’ll earnestly, wholeheartedly desire what God wants, to see others being TRANSFORMED and REGENERATED and SAVED as well.

Jesus Transformed us so that we can TRANSFORM others.

We’re TRANSFORMED by Jesus in order that we are to be involved in His Great Commission, to TRANSFORM the lives of others. We’re SAVED to SAVE.

It’s like we’ve been plucked from the sea by the life-boat, but once we’re aboard, we’ll be pulling others aboard as well, so that they can be saved.

Conclusion: Amongst our ranks we’ll have those who’re on fire and ready to fulfill the GREAT COMMISSION. We’ll have others who are on thier way to Jesus. We’ll have some, like the Disciples, who’ll be doubting. We’ll have some who are ready to fall down and worship the Lord Jesus Christ.

Don’t be tempted to give up or give in. Don’t get disheartened, disappointed or downcast. Keep going because men and women don’t always receive the Gospel the first time they hear it. It’s like a wood-splitter’s wedge, thin on one edge and thick on the other, but each swing of his hammer drives the wedge deeper into the wood, until eventually it breaks apart and forms a lovely plank. Keep preaching snippets of the gospel many times with many people and eventually some of their hard-hearts will be broken by God’s Holy Spirit. Sometimes, you are just planting seeds, but some seeds take time in the soil to germinate. But the seed never dies! Praise the Lord.

Be certain that you’ve been TRANSFORMED first, then go out with Jesus and transform the lives of others.

Have an awesome day fulfilling the Great Commission with the Lord Jesus in you and with you always.

Don.

40 Days With Jesus Home Page.

Notes: Charles Spurgeon’s Sermons:

Grace for Grace. Charles Spurgeon. Number 2087.

“She Was Not Hid” Sermon Charles Spurgeon Charles Spurgeon Sermon: Number 2019.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 30: Transformed by Jesus to Transform Others.

 

Jesus Presence, Purpose and Power

Say Yes to Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word, 513: Jesus Presence, Purpose and Power For Your Life.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 29. Matthew 28:16-20.

What a fantastic session we had last night with our 40 Day With Jesus Group. We watched the Video for the week, then discussed our understanding of Christ’s call for our life. We shared about our own life purpose, what we thought our life meant before we started following Jesus and what it means now, since we received Him as Lord. You know my friends, I don’t think you’ll get as much out of doing 40 Days on your own as you will when you share the journey with others. Just a couple of hours sharing and discussing, will nourish, feed and sustain you more than a whole week of personal study. Why? Because Jesus shows or reveals Himself more when we’re together than He does when we’re on our own. And last night was awesome; it was a WOWzer!  😎  😎  😎  😎  😎

Knowing Jesus’ Purpose For Your Life: When you get it, you’ll be; ON-FIRE with His GLORY, ABLAZE with His MESSAGE and BURNING to SHARE Him with OTHERS.

Before I knew Jesus as LORD of my life, I would have said, “My life’s purpose is to be a success in my chosen career, enjoy life to the max and to be happy and contented”. Ever since I met Him that changed, because when Jesus entered my life He filled me and empowered me to love others and lead them to Him. Now I’d say, “My life’s purpose is to obey Jesus will and love others enough to bring them to Him”. So many people are frightened of sharing Jesus or telling the good news, but since the day I received Jesus, that’s all I’ve wanted to do.

One of the questions on my mind when I was getting close to repenting and trusting in Jesus was this; “If Jesus wants me, what does He want me for?”

Say “YES!” to Jesus: Then you’ll EXPERIENCE: His PRESENCE, PURPOSE and POWER in and for your life.

As you open up your life to Jesus; by Repenting from Sin, Believing that He died for your sins, Having faith that He died for you on the Cross and Receiving Him as your Saviour and Lord, then He’ll begin to give you your own life’s purpose too. However, in Matthew’s Gospel, in what’s been called THE GREAT COMMISSION, Jesus is revealing His will for everyone in the Kingdom. His general purpose, His primary purpose, His over-arching purpose: And that is to BRING others to Him, so that their life can be TRANSFORMED and that they too will be empowered to live for His purposes as well.

Let’s look at that now: THE GREAT COMMISSION.

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.”

God IS with You:

The most important thing for you to realise, before you study your MISSION and PURPOSE, is to know that God is always going to be with you and in you. That’s what will give you the power and the drive and the incentive to carry out His purposes with your life.

When Jesus calls you to do something for Him, He also equips you to do it and is with you throughout the whole process. This is part of God’s side of the Covenant: In the first Covenant with Israel: God called them to be His People, set them free from Bondage in Egypt, then Gave them His mission statement in the 10 Commandments and the Law, then He was with them as they began to fulfill His purposes for the Nation. He manifested His presence with them; in a pillar of smoke by day and a pillar of fire by night. Now Jesus, in the Great Commission: Called you to Himself, gave you His Commands, and today we can see His purpose in commissioning the Church, then He promised He’ll be with us forever to the end of the age. WOWzer! God’s doesn’t change, as the Scriptures tell us: God is the same, yesterday, today and forever. Jesus is with you and in you if you’ve been born of His Spirit. He going to go with you whenever you’re busy obeying His purpose, so don’t ever feel or think that you can’t do it, because the truth is you can’t (not in your own strength) no-body-can, but with God in you, you most definitely can.

All It Takes Is A Heart That Says; “YES!” to God’s Will.

Once you get Jesus in you, you’ve still got a choice every day to do His will or live for yourself. Even after He’s become your LORD, MASTER and FRIEND, He’ll never force you. He wants your willing co-operation: All it takes is a heart that says, “Yes” to Jesus. Then He’ll begin to use you in His Kingdom building business.

What a wonderful privillege He’s give you and me and everyone who comes to Him; to be working with Jesus. It’s good to think about Matthew 28:16-20 The GREAT Commission as a working together with Jesus. We’re not called to work on our own, but we’re working together with Him: Co-Mission.

Notice what happened when people encountered the Resurrected Lord Jesus:

It’s been fascinating to see what’s been happening to people who’ve met the risen, resurrected Jesus Christ from week 1 of 40 Days with Jesus. Everyone who met Him during those 40 Days after He came back to life, was motivated to SHARE that great news with others and commissioned by Jesus to do so:

  1. Mary Magdalene: She is commissioned to tell the Disciples (John 20:17-18).
  2. The Women at the Tomb: Commissioned to “Go and tell…” (Matthew 28:10).
  3. The Two on the Road to Emmaus: They rush back to tell the others… (Luke 24:33).
  4. The Disciples in the Locked Room: (John 20:21).
  5. Peter’s Three-Fold Commission: (John 21:15-19).
  6. On the Mountain In Galilee: (Matthew 28:16-20).
  7. Mark’s Gospel Commission: (Mark 16:15-20).
  8. Disciples During Jesus Final Days: (Luke 24:45-49, Acts 1:3-8).

This repeated pattern of; Meeting with Jesus, Calling and Sending; is repeated again and again and again, throughout the whole of Scripture. When people encountered God in the Old Testament, He called them and commissioned them. Whenever you see people meeting Jesus in the New Testament He’s also calling and sending them too. All through the history of the Church, since the time of Jesus, people who’ve responded to Jesus call have also been given a mission in life. He’s commissioned you too my friends, if you’ve encountered Jesus Christ today, He’s calling you and sending you on His Mission to GO and Make Disciples. He’s equipping you to do it and He’s with you as you obey.

Now, all it takes is a HEART that’s willing to say, “YES” to Jesus and then you’ll begin to experience His presence and His power and His purpose in your own life.

Say “YES!” to Jesus: Then you’ll EXPERIENCE: His PRESENCE, PURPOSE and POWER in and for your life.

Don.

40 Days With Jesus: Home Page.

Day 29: Knowing Jesus Purpose for Your Life.

Jesus Presence, Purpose and Power.

 

 

 

 

 

Beware The Comparison Trap

Beware of the Comparison Trap

Daily Spirit & Word, 512: Beware The Comparison Trap.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 28. John 21:18-23.

Thank you for your prayers; last night’s meeting of the PCC was wonderful. There were some new members so I got everyone to introduce themselves; tell who they are, where they come from and how long they’ve worshiped in St Luke’s Church. We had a lady who’s new to the Church who wanted to ask questions about everything. It’s amazing, I’d forgotten what it’s like to be NEW in an organisation; there’s just so much we don’t know and it’s a very steep learning curve.

Beware The Comparison Trap:

We’ve got some wonderful blue / purple cornflowers and forget-me-nots in the garden in Springtime, they are stunning, but as they fade, the aquilegia (ladies bonnets) takes over and begins to put a different kind of delicate dance in the wind, they are beautiful, but in a very different way. Each has it’s own glory and unique beauty. So have each and every one of you. You are ALL different and God’s got very different plans for your walk with Him than for anyone else; so beware of the comparison trap.

Do you remember what it was like when you first began reading God’s Word? My first thought was, “What a BIG book, it will take me years to learn to get to grips with this.” Indeed it has and to be honest, though I read the Bible every single day and have done for over 30 years now, I’m constantly surprised by what the LORD shows me. When I read a familiar old passage, one I’ve read hundreds of times, I’ll see something new, some new light is shed upon the glorious holy phrases. God’s Word is always fresh. Today, the Lord has done it again with Peter.

John 21:18-23 18  I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.”
19  Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”
20  Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”)
21  When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?”
22  Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.”
23  Because of this, the rumour spread among the brothers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?”

“WHAT ABOUT HIM?”: Beware The Comparison TRAP?

I’ve read this particular passage many times, preached upon it a few times, read countless commentaries about it, but it’s only when the Lord seems to highlight something within it the TRUTHS PENETRATE MY HEART, it sinks in and seeps through into every fiber of my being. When God does this through His Word, the result is a transformed life. It’ll be the same for you my friends. A man or woman can write about God’s Word or share about their experience of walking with Jesus, but until we begin to read and walk ourselves, it’s all going to be second-hand. We must not fall into the trap of merely taking what others have said and staying with that, we must seek the LORD for ourselves and for the unique calling and gifts that He’s expecting us to use in our own walk with Him. When we do, we’re going to be used by the Lord to encourage others on their own journey with Jesus.

Peter had just been recommissioned by Jesus, but then almost immediately, after having had his interview with Jesus, wants Jesus to deal with the other disciples; “WHAT ABOUT HIM?” It’s like turning around and pointing the finger at someone else. Jesus rebuke is quite wonderful. “Peter, YOU must follow Me” You’ve got your own calling and destiny. I’ve got plans for you Peter. And Jesus has got plans for you too my friends. So don’t fall into the trap of just hearing Jesus and not doing what He’s calling you to do. Stop looking around at other people and expecting them to do and be the ones.

God has said in so many different ways in His Word: “Don’t merely listen to the word, but do what it says”.

James 1:19-25 19  My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20  for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.
21  Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent, and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
22  Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
23  Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror
24  and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.
25  But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.

What do I get from this?

God wants to BLESS you in ALL that you do. However, look again and you’ll see that to be blessed, we must do both, we must LISTEN and ACT upon what we’re learning. Peter almost slipped; he’d just listened to Jesus and learned a valuable lesson about being recommissioned and forgiven, then almost immediately he points the finger at someone else. To be someone who’s constantly drinking in information, and not doing anything with what you are learning; is like a barrel of fine wine with a crack, the wine inside can be of the finest vintage, but if it’s leaking out all over the place, who’s ever going to taste it? God’s Word is the finest wine in His Kingdom that you can ever get into your heart, however, If we don’t do what God has revealed, we’re going to dry up or get clogged up with information overload. It’s only when you act upon what you’ve been learning, hearing and being taught by the Lord, that you’ll get a true understanding of all that He wants you to be and to do.

Thankfully, Peter learned his lesson from Jesus that day. He stopped looking at others and began to live the life Jesus had called him to in the power of the Holy Spirit. He did indeed die a wonderful martyrs death being crucified. However, tradition had it that Peter was crucified upside down, because he didn’t feel worthy to be crucified in exactly the same way as Jesus. I don’t know if that part is true, but we do know that Peter was led with outstretched hands to death for Jesus and His Kingdom. That was after a lifetime of serving Jesus so powerfully.

Don’t BE a Sponge Type of Christian: Only soaking-up Information.

I’ve know people in some great teaching churches, they love to hear the Gospel’s and the Word of God being expounded. Then they’ll go home and listen to some more great teaching on the internet. They’ll buy the CDs or Tapes and even Download hours of sermons. Some will even makes some notes. Then they’ll move onto the next sermon series, the next great teaching, the next fantastic, wonderfully gifted preacher, expounding God’s Word, but they’ll never get around to actually APPLYING what they’re hearing and learning. There’s a danger that we’ll become like the people of Athens in Paul’s time, who just wanted to hear the latest teachings. It’s like people who’ve got to be listening to the latest news 24/7… My friends, at some point in our walk with Jesus, we’ve got to get out and begin to DO what He’s gifted us for. Christ didn’t call you to be a knowledge sponge, soaking up great teaching, He called you to serve HIM with all your heart, mind, will and strength. Serving the Lord means doing, it means, acting, it means getting out into the world and using your unique gifts and talents to lead others to faith and trust in the Saviour as your first order of priority. Then, you’re calling also means serving Him in your gatherings, but let’s not pretend that’s all He’s called us to. So many Christians and whole gatherings of the saints settle for just serving Jesus once a week for an hour. I’ve known some Christians who get exhausted doing just that very little bit of service, as if they’ve been working at it all week. It makes me laugh sometimes when I hear people moaning how exhausted with the service they’ve become. For goodness sake, it’s ONLY AN HOUR or TWO once a week. We gather only once or twice a week, what about the other five days? We’re called to be active in His kingdom not for an hour on a Sunday, but for every waking hour. We’re God’s Ambassadors and an Ambassador is never off duty; He’s being constantly monitored by his host country. Even in the embassy, they’ll be watching, and waiting and looking for him to slip-up or to see if he’s really serving his government with all his heart.

Like Peter, You are an Ambassador for Jesus Christ in this world, so you need to act like one and let others see the light and experience the goodness of you’re LORD’S Kingdom. To do that, you’ve got to be ready to serve. Yes, you do need the gatherings of the saints to be equipped, you do need to hear great teaching, you do need to get equipped to serve, but at some point, and I would say the sooner the better, you’ve got to begin to use what He’s given you. Get out and get on with what the Lord has graciously poured into your life. You’ve got the goodness of the wine of the Kingdom within you, now it’s time to let the world taste the best vintage of all. Let them savour the wine of the Kingdom through your life. Stop looking at others and saying; “LORD, WHAT ABOUT HIM?” or “LORD, WHAT ABOUT HER?” Jesus has got His own plans for you my friends, and with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, you’ll be of great use in His Kingdom. Be His Ambassador today.

You’ve got the goodness of the wine of the Kingdom within you, now it’s time to let the world taste the best vintage of all; serve Jesus today.

I don’t want any of you to fall into the traps of comparing yourself with anyone else or of hearing Jesus Word and not doing it. You’ve got the goodness of the wine of the Kingdom within you, now it’s time to let the world taste the best vintage of all; serve Jesus today.

Don.

40 Days Home Page

40 Days With Jesus; Day 28: Beware The Comparison Trap.

 

Peter is Recommissioned by Jesus.

Jesus gives so much GRACE

Daily Spirit & Word, 511: Peter is recommissioned by Jesus.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 27:

Peter is Recommissioned by Jesus. John 21:15-17.

Good morning my friends, I’m always amazed by the utter grace that Jesus lavishes upon His chosen people. No wonder St Paul wrote, “My grace is sufficient for you.” It surely is. When we re-read the account of Peter’s restoration and recommissioning by Jesus, you’ll see His abundant GRACE in bucket-loads or as the famous hymn puts it: “Here is grace, vast as the ocean, loving kindness like a flood, when the Prince of Life, our ransom, shed for us His precious blood”, you see it here today.

Peter’s Recommissioning:

John 21:15-17 15  When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
16  Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
17  The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.

Thomas Edison’s Assistant:

Thomas Edison was working on a prototype light bulb and it took a whole team of men 24 straight hours to put just one bulb together. The story goes that when Edison was finished with one light bulb, he gave it to a young boy helper, who nervously carried it up the stairs. step by step he carefully watched his hands, obviously frightened of dropping such a priceless piece of work. You’ve probably guessed what happened next; the poor young fellow dropped the bulb at the top of the stairs. It took the entire team of men another 24 hours to make another bulb. Finally, tired and ready for a break, Edison was ready to have the bulb carried up the stairs. He gave it to the same young boy who’d dropped the first bulb. That’s true forgiveness and grace, because he gave the boy a second chance.

My friends, that’s what the Lord is doing with Peter in our passage today, and it’s what the Lord will do with you too. Once you come to Jesus and trust Him as Lord, He’s your LORD forever. He’ll never let you go and He’s constantly calling out to you to come to Him to be given another chance. He wants to give you another go at being His disciple again.

Notice, he also commissioned Peter to feed the lambs, look after the sheep and feed the sheep. There are those who are babies in the Kingdom of God, they need special care furst. The Mature sheep need looking after, watching out for wolves etc and they also need to be taken out into green pasture and shown how to feed on good green grass. He takes the fisherman and makes him into a shepherd of His flock.

We see a transformed Peter after Pentecost: Standing up in front of thousands and 3000 people coming to faith in Jesus. Acts 2. Then he’s thrown into prison and let out by an Angel. He’s also got people running after him, so that even if his shadow should fall upon them, they’d be healed. Peter does some really amazing things, but it all comes down to the fact that he was re-instated by Jesus. He was given a second chance and Peter is Recommissioned by Jesus.

You’ll experience times of failure:

Babies learn to get up and walk after trying many times, sometimes hurting their bums and falling over and bumping their heads. But as we can see from Peter’s experience of meeting the resurrected Lord Jesus on the beach that day, Jesus is full of grace, mercy and forgiveness. We serve a God of second chances: He’s longing to give you anther go my friends. So when you fail and fall, don’t give up on yourself, because Jesus never will. He wants to reach out to you, to lift you up and to give your feet a firm place to stand. He’ll then put a new song in your heart, a hymn of praise to our God. Psalm 40.

Psalm 40:1-3 1  [For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.] I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry.
2  He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.
3  He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD.

There’s a Prayer we pray sometimes in our Fellowship:

May the GRACE of our Lord Jesus Christ,
And the Love of God,
And the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit,
Be with us now, and forever more. Amen.

Sometimes, like Edison’s assistant, we need a ‘light-bulb moment. I hope you’ve had one today.

We need His grace and forgiveness every day.

Have an awesome day with Jesus.

Don.

Day 27 of 40 Days With Jesus. Homepage:

Peter is Recommissioned by Jesus.

 

Jesus Restores Peter

After denial Peter is restored

Daily Spirit & Word, 510: Jesus Restores Peter.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 26.

Good morning my friends, I’ve just come back into the study after being with the Lord in my garden. It’s beginning to look a lot like summer, the wonderful blue Spring border is starting to be replaced by the warmer red, orange and yellow tones of my new flowers. The Seasons in the garden are awesome, but what’s even more amazing is the way that Jesus gives us new Seasons in life; today we’re going to discover more about Peter’s new life after being restored by the Lord Jesus and indwelt with the Holy Spirit a few days later.

Review; all last week we were thinking about Jesus Resurrection Appearance to His disciples at the Sea of Galilee: He’s watching them from the shore when they decided to go fishing, they’d been fishing all night and had caught nothing for all their efforts. Jesus shouts to them from the shore and asks if they’ve caught any fish, they say, “No!”, then He tells them to let the nets down on the right side of the boat and they’ll catch some. As they do so, John realises that it was Jesus who was speaking. Peter puts on his clothes and jumps into the water and swims ashore. He meets with Jesus and the Lord cooks them breakfast. Now today, we’re going to see Jesus taking Peter aside and interviewing him.

John 21:15-19 15  When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
16  Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
17  The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.
18  I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.”
19  Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”

As Jesus was cooking the breakfast of fish on the charcoal fire, it would have brought back to Peter’s mind, like a flash-back, the time that he was warming himself by a fire after Jesus had been arrested, and he first denied Jesus:

John 18:15-18 15  Simon Peter and another disciple were following Jesus. Because this disciple was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the high priest’s courtyard,
16  but Peter had to wait outside at the door. The other disciple, who was known to the high priest, came back, spoke to the girl on duty there and brought Peter in.
17  “You are not one of his disciples, are you?” the girl at the door asked Peter. He replied, “I am not.”
18  It was cold, and the servants and officials stood round a fire they had made to keep warm. Peter also was standing with them, warming himself.

Yes my friends, it’s often strange how the Lord chooses to bring back memories of our slips and failures in our walk with Him. What truly amazes me is how gentle the Lord’s rebuke to Peter is: He asks him three times; “Do you love me?” Each time Peter responds with, “Yes Lord!” until the last time, when he finally blurts out, feeling hurt because of Jesus probing questioning, “The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.”

Our English translation of the Greek here doesn’t do the questioning very much justice, because the words for ‘LOVE’ in Jesus questions are different in the Greek language. The Greeks had four words for love; each indicating a different kind of love. If we were to use them properly, we would not simply put the word ‘love’ in their place.

Here Are the Greek Words For LOVE and their Meaning:

GREEK WORD FOR LOVE MEANING
AGAPE This word was used in Greek literature to refer to someone who was generously favoured by a god. It has the idea of a person giving all his or her love or favour to another. It was used to speak of parents giving all of their love to their only child. So in the New Testament it is used to make the same point. God gives each of us all of His love.
PHILEO This Greek word has the idea of emotional love. While AGAPE emphasizes the complete giving of love to another person, PHILEO emphasizes the affection, emotion, a fondness one person has for another.
EROS EROS refers to love between a husband and wife. It is more than sexual ecstasy because it also includes embraces, longing, and caring.
STERGO STERGO primarily refers to love between parents and children. It sometimes refers to love between people and their ruler and to love between a dog and his owner / master.

The first time Jesus asked him “Do you love me?” The Greek word was: Agapao: From which we get Agape: meaning in table above. It’s a sacrificial kind of love. The KJV translates this word not as simple ‘love’, but Charity: Charity is a sacrificial kind of love. It means putting something else before your own affections or desires. It’s like when Jesus said, “Not my will, but Your will be done”… Jesus is asking Peter, “in the order of your affections for other people, do you love ME more than everybody else?” Peter answers, “Yes Lord! You know that I love You.” The word is not the same, Peter said, “You know that I Phileo you” Here Peter is expressing his deep friendship affection for Jesus more than the others. Can you see, simply using love doesn’t do the Greek or the Text of the Bible adequate justice. There’s far more to Greek LOVE than our English language allows.

The next time Jesus asks Peter, “Do you love me?” He’s saying do you Agapao me: Is your love for me sacrificial. Are you dying to yourself to give Me this affection?

Peter responds in the same way: “Yes Lord, You know that I Phileo You”… (Fellowship / Friendship affectionate love).

Then Jesus asks Peter a third time: but this time Jesus uses a different word in the question: Jesus replaces AGAPE with PHILEO… He’s not asking Peter for his sacrificial love, but his affectionate, friendship and fellowship. Peter’s is HURT that Jesus would ask him a third time. But his answer this time, must have brought with it a much deeper conviction and true knowledge that he really did love Jesus more than anything else in the whole world, because Jesus had finished his probing of Peter.

The Lord has restored Peter: “Feed my lambs, look after my sheep, feed my sheep” Each time after the question Jesus is giving Peter a mission and a purpose for those deep and probing questions.

My friends, if Jesus was to ask you that question today how would you respond? If He were to ask you three times: “Am I your Lord? Am I your Lord? Am I your best friend?” How would you respond?

Notice what Jesus doesn’t say:

He didn’t take Peter aside and say, “Peter, do you remember when you denied me?” No! Jesus goes right to the HEART of the matter. He’s telling us all today that it’s a Matter of our HEART AFFECTIONS.

  • Do we love Jesus more than our fellows?
  • Do we love Jesus more than our world?
  • Do we love Jesus as our Best Friend?

When we get our HEART affection for Jesus right, then everything else in our Discipleship makes sense. We’ll automatically want to live in obedience to the Father’s will as well. We’ll LOVE Jesus commands and we’ll walk with Him every single day. Yes my friends, the heart of the matter really is a matter of the heart’s affections.

The HEART of the MATTER really is a matter of your HEART’S affections for the LORD.

The emphasis of Jesus questions about our LOVE for Him, is not that it’s an EXCLUSIVE love, like a husband must love ONLY his wife, but a measure of our love: Quantitative rather than exclusive. He wants us to love Him with our ALL. Heart, Mind, Soul and Strength. All that we can muster must be focused upon serving and loving the Lord. If it was an exclusive love then we’d not be able to LOVE others as we love ourselves. No Jesus point is about our total love, the quality and quantity of how much we LOVE Him and others. We’re called to a sacrificial love for others and a fellowship / friendship and sacrificial love for Him.

Matthew 6:21 21  For where your treasure (Heart’s Affections) is, there your heart will be also.

Where are your HEART’S affections set today?

Remember, Jesus was gentle with Peter, but He’s so good that He can’t just leave Peter to wallow or worry about his past failures and denials. Jesus will also sort us out too, but be assured He’ll do it in a way that He intends to restore us and lift us up and set us upon the right pathway again. Trust Jesus with your whole HEART today. Jesus will restore you my friends.

Points to Ponder:

  • Has the Lord shown you today any areas of your life where you’re affection has been more on the world, other people or other things rather than the Lord Jesus Christ? 
  • It’s so easy to be self-deceived and think we are serving the Lord, when in actuality we’re just self-serving. Let’s be certain today, that in everything we’re doing for Jesus, we’re really doing it for Him and for His GLORY, not our own. 

Prayer:

Dear Lord Jesus, I want to thank you today. You’ve shown me that I need to get my heart priorities right in order to serve you. I know that You are calling me into a deeper and more committed friendship and fellowship with Yourself today. Help me to lay aside all other affections of my heart and enable me to truly love You. Amen.

Have an exciting day loving and serving the Lord Jesus Christ, remember to seek His fullness of the Holy Spirit for your walk.

Don.

Every Day With Jesus: 26: Jesus Restores Peter.

40 Days Home Page

Jesus Restores Peter.

 

From The Miracles to The Miracle Maker

Jesus cares and provides fish and bread at the resurrection appearances on the beach

Daily Spirit & Word: 509: From The Miracles to the Miracle Maker.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 25: John 21:7-14.

Good morning my friends, Saturday’s are always so special for me, because it’s the day of; rest and relaxation, a time to be with family and friends, a time to rebuild what the working week has drained out or us. Some of my friends relax so much on Saturdays that they spend the whole day in bed or in their night-clothes relaxing on the couch. Why? Because their working week is so stress-filled or exhausting and demanding, by the time Saturday comes around all they are ready to do is FLOP.

Today we’ll discover the tired, exhausted and hungry Disciples and the Lord Jesus coming to their assistance with a cooked breakfast for them to eat, also that Jesus is your friend and as a friend He comes to you for fellowship: He’s promised to do this many times in His Word, the Holy Scriptures, and today we’ll see the very first time that it actually happened after His Crucifixion and Resurrection from the dead.

John 21:7-14 7  Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water.
8  The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards.
9  When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.
10  Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.”
11  Simon Peter climbed aboard and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn.
12  Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord.
13  Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish.
14  This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.

Jesus Close Friends Get The Revelations:

The first thing that happens after the Miracle of the catch of fish that didn’t sink the boat or break the nets, was one of the Disciples, the one whom Jesus loved, recognised who it was that told them to drop the net on the right side of the boat. That revelation comes to the one who was closest to Jesus, “the disciple whom Jesus loved”. We know that disciple was John, the Gospel Writer and the very same John who wrote 1, 2 and 3 John and the book of Revelations. How close are you to Jesus today? If you are close like John, then you are going to get a some amazing revelations of the Miracle Maker.

As I pointed out yesterday: Jesus PROMISE is that He will come (John 14) He’ll come and REVEAL Himself to us and in us. He’ll come and have fellowship. He’ll come and we’ll EAT together (Rev 3:20)… It’s Awesome to know this as a TRUTH, but it’s even more awesome when we experience the risen and resurrected Lord’s presence and we get our own REVELATION. Not just once, but regularly. No wonder John wanted to communicate it so clearly throughout his Gospel and all his letter and the book of Revelation. Jesus wants a closer walk with you today and He’s waiting and watching and calling out to you today to come to Him.

It’s been my own experience that the Lord has made known to me that He is present, many times. I’ve had that feeling and knowledge that Jesus is HERE: Whilst washing dishes (I hate washing dishes, but I began to sing praise songs, then suddenly Jesus came, and the task that I was doing seemed so much easier and even joy filled, I was in the presence of Jesus and I began to cry with joy). He’s with us always, of course, from the moment we decided to follow Him as Lord and receive Him as Saviour, but there are times when He manifests Himself and makes Himself more KNOWN. Just like He did with the Disciples in all His resurrection appearances, somehow they didn’t recognise Him immediately, until the right moment when they eventually get the revelation: “It’s Jesus”. As we’ve just read above, that’s what happened to the beloved Disciple John whilst in the boat. Everyone else had their eyes on the Miracle, but John was focused upon the Miracle Maker.

It’s always going to be the friends of Jesus who’ll get the REVELATIONS. This is something that’s true throughout the whole Bible, it’s the friends of God, that He chooses to reveal His secret plans: Moses, David, Abraham, Elijah, etc… So I’m going to ask you that question unashamedly today: “How much of a close friend of Jesus are you?” One of the ways to know is this; how obedient are you being to Jesus commands? (see yesterday’s reading). You see my friends, we’ll also get a revelation of who we are when we come to Jesus. We’ll know that He loves us and we love Him. We’ll know that He loves us, WHEN we love Him with all our heart, mind, soul and strength. We can only love Him like that with the HELP of the HELPER, the Holy Spirit who indwells every true follower and believer.

It’s the friends of the LORD who’ll get His Revelations.

The Fallen Believer Runs To Jesus:

Notice secondly the impulsive Peter: Every time I read this portion of John’s Gospel, a great big smile comes over my face. I always think “I want to be like Peter” I want to run to the Lord, to be rushing up to Jesus. Upon hearing the news from John, that the person who’d told them to cast the net, the one standing on the shore, was Jesus, you’ll note that Peter does two things:

First: Peter Puts on His Outer Garment:

It’s an amazing few words; “he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off)”. Why did Peter feel the need to put on his outer garments? He’d have been naked from the waist-up: Reminds me of Builders working on site on a hot summer’s day when I was a boy, they’d all be lying around with their shirts off at lunch-time. Peter, had obviously taken it off because working the net was much easier without the clothing getting in the way. However, what was it that made him put it on? Well, many have speculated different reasons, but I believe it was like Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, who hearing the Lord’s footsteps in the Garden after eating the forbidden fruit run away and hide. Then the Lord makes clothing for them, for they were naked. It’s SHAME that Peter feels my friends, for he knew he’d sinned when he betrayed the Lord Jesus. When Peter denied the Lord three times and the cock crowed, it was then that he remembered the Lord’s words, warning that he’d deny him. Now Peter is ashamed when he hears John’s words, “It’s the Lord” and tries to cover up his shameful nakedness. He’s aware of his sinful condition before the Holy and Righteous Lord Jesus Christ.

From the Miracles to the Miracle Maker

That shame is what we experience sometimes when we’ve been living in sin. We too want to run and hide ourselves away from the Lord. That’s why so many fallen Christians won’t come back to church, they know that in the company of other believers, the Lord is likely to show up and make Himself known to them. They’d rather stay at home safe from the presence of the Lord.

That shame is also why non-believers refuse to come to the Saviour. It’s because they love sin and they are ashamed and frightened that their evil deeds will be exposed. Of course no sinner would articulate it that way, we only know this by God’s revelation on so many places in the Bible.

John 3:19-20 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.

Peter had to put on his outer clothing to cover up, it was in instinctive thing, something that the Police know when they are interviewing suspects. When someone is guilty, they’ll try and put something in front of them; their hand over their mouth, something between the interviewer and the suspect. So sinners need to try and hide behind something in God’s presence. That’s what Peter was doing when He heard it was Jesus, trying to cover up his sinful, shameful nakedness. Have you ever felt exposed when you heard a Sermon that hits home to where you’ve been sinning in life? I have and I just wanted to hide in the pew. God knows how to get to our hearts doesn’t he, but His purpose in doing so is always to restore us and clean us up so we can be of further useful service in His Kingdom.

However, even though Peter’s natural instinct is to hide his sinful, shameful nakedness, he does something extraordinary next;

Next: Peter Dives Into The Water:

Yes my friends, that’s the sinner diving into the water to get to Jesus faster than the boat is able to carry him. Peter can’t wait for the boat to get to the shore, so he jumps into the water because he’s desperate to get to Jesus. No thought is given to the others who need to tow the net full of fish ashore, now Peter knows that it’s Jesus, all he can do is get to Him as fast as he can.

This is one of my favourite passages in the whole Bible my friends, I just LOVE Peter. Because it reveals part of what happened to me and many other brothers and sisters I’ve known since I started following Jesus. When I realised just how much a sinner I was, how I’d fallen short of God’s Holy Standards, How I’d broken His commandments, there is nothing else that I could possibly do to remove the stain of sin in my soul. None of my good works would balance the scales of God’s Justice, sin must be punished or purged and I knew it. Unless I responded to the call of the Gospel, I knew I was headed for hell. But then I responded the Good News, “I don’t need to suffer God’s wrath and anger against my sins, I could trust in Jesus.” I knew I didn’t deserve Jesus’ forgiveness, but I knew that I could be forgiven, because of Jesus love for me. So many of my friends had turned to Jesus as well, they know they don’t deserve God’s amazing grace, but He gives it freely to all who will come to Him in Repentance and Faith in Jesus Christ. Once I knew what to do, and why I needed to do it, nothing on earth would have stopped me trusting in Jesus Christ for Salvation.

That’s what Peter was doing, He was coming to Jesus as fast as his body could carry him. He know Jesus was the ONLY way to be saved. My friends, I’ve actually seen people RUNNING down to the front of church to give their lives to Jesus, when they Holy Spirit convicted them of their need of The Saviour. I’m going to encourage you to listen to His voice today; to be like Peter, to be like my friends and so many that I’ve seen. I’m going to encourage you to come running to Jesus Christ right now. Don’t listen to your brain, be impulsive and just do it. Come!

From the Miracles of the Catch of Fish and the Un-burstable Nets: Peter comes running to the Resurrected Miracle Maker: The Lord Jesus Christ.

When they get to the Miracle Maker, they find the fish cooking and He’s giving them bread and fish.

Jesus wants to eat with you too my friends, to have fellowship with you. To be in your company and to provide for your nourishment in life. Oh what a glory it is today, to get this awesome awareness that Jesus is right inside you… Word’s can’t explain. But you need to try hard and take your eyes off the miracles and mover from the miracles to the miracle maker.

Imagine though, if your church was to have a fellowship breakfast on the beach with fish cooking on the fire: how many would show up? I’d be in that number as quick as a flash 🙂

Points to Ponder:

  • When was the last time you KNEW Jesus was with you?
  • How quick are you to recognise the voice of the Lord in your life?
  • Tomorrow, we’ll see that after the breakfast Jesus takes Peter aside and has a conversation about His love and devotion. Today let’s ponder on what we’ve been thinking about:

Jesus performs a Miracle in order to reveal Himself to His closest friends, and then because He knows they a tired from fishing all night, Jesus provides a meal of fish and bread for them to eat with Him. He’s right there today with you my friends. He loves you so much and wants you to experience His presence. That means not just knowing about Jesus, but actually getting your own revelation that He’s actually with you by His Spirit.

Prayer:

Dear Lord Jesus Christ; Thank you so much for who You are, how You reveal Yourself to us and how it happened with the first followers. Please help me to recognise Your interventions in my life quickly, help me not to focus so much on the Miracles that I miss the Miracle Maker, it’s Your face that I long for more than the Miracles You can perform. Help me to realise that being in Your presence is far more precious than anything else that I can have or that will happen in my life. Amen.

Have an awesome Saturday, relax as much as you can, because the LORD needs you tomorrow to Worship, to Fellowship, to Encourage you and build you up and to strengthen one another in the faith. I’ll see you on Sunday 🙂 I hope and pray you’ll get closer to Jesus today. Don.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 25: From the Miracles to the Miracle Maker.

Responding to the Helper Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word, 508: Responding to the Helper.

40 Days With Jesus, Day 24: Responding to the Helper. John 21:5-6.

John 21:5-6 5  He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” “No,” they answered.
6  He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.

Good morning my friends, I wonder how many of you were waiting to hear the results of the Election and if the Party you voted for won? Well, today we’ll see that after all the political engagement and wooing of the Electorate has resulted in an amazing and surprising turn around in favour of the Conservatives. Ah well, we can’t always get what we hoped for. However, there is a way to ensure that you are on the winning side, that you put your cross in the right box, it’s when you respond to the wooing and engagement of the Lord Jesus.

Yesterday we observed that the Disciples had returned to fishing for fish rather than fishing for men, only to discover that they had failed at that too. Now Jesus, who’s been watching them from the shore initiates conversation.

Notice First; that Jesus doesn’t just watch.

So many people’s view of God is skewed, Just as the Conservatives tried to skew the view of Labour during their campaign. They were intent of creating an atmosphere of fear and it paid off for them. Satan has so skewed mankind’s view of God that we see Him as powerless, weak, distant and comical. He’s painted a picture of a God and most people have swollowed it hook-line-and-sinker: The Skewed View of God: He’s a Father figure with a great white fluffy beard, sitting upon a fluffy cloud, playing a little harp.

However, God’s not like that my friends; we have a God who’s intimately connected, concerned and creates moments when we can know that He right there when we need Him most in life. Jesus wasn’t just watching from the shore, and He’s not watching from a cloud now, but Jesus was waiting for the right moment to get the conversation going.

When Jesus asked that question, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” He wasn’t asking because He didn’t know the answer (God knows everything, even our very thoughts), but all He was doing was initiating conversation. Notice also He doesn’t call them Apostles or Disciples or Worshippers, but ‘friends’. Do you know that Jesus is your friend too? He wants to be and if you’ve trusted Jesus as Lord, then He really is your friend, but not just any friend. He’s also watching your life, your hopes, your dreams, your aspirations in life and your failures too.

Jesus Cares About Your Problems:

When they answer Jesus with a simple, “NO!” The briefness in the response may indicate just how frustrated they were. When you’ve failed at something you’ve been trying hard at how do you respond to people’s questions? When my wife returned from taking her driving test, I could tell immediately from her face that she’d failed, but I asked that dreaded question, “How did it go?” She said very simply and curtly, “I’ve failed”. She didn’t need to say any more than that at that time, and I didn’t need to do anything else, but put my arms around her and assure her next time she’d pass. But her response was short and to the point. It was only later that she bagan to open up and tell me how the test actually went and how she almost passed.

Jesus  was their friend, He cares and He’s interested and wants to know. He’s your friend too and if you will hear Jesus’ voice today, you’ll hear him asking you, “Friend, how’s your life?” He’s not asking because He doesn’t know, He’s asking because He cares about you too.

Jesus Has The Solution to Your Failures:

When they said, “NO!” Jesus knew what to do about it. He told them to drop their net on the right side of the boat. Can you imagine that there would be fish on one side of the boat and not the other? How did Jesus know? The amazing thing in this Resurrection Appearance is that the disciples who’d been fishing all night, didn’t argue with Jesus. They listened to what He said and responded with obedience to His instruction.

When they responded to the Helper’s instruction they succeeded

Jesus said before He died, John 14:15 15  “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” When we respond to Jesus commands, we’re going to succeed too my friends. Jesus is your friend, but He’s also your LORD. He’s got things for you to do every single day, but He’s given us these commands so that we’ll know His power and presence in our lives. It’s when we’re obedient that Jesus knows that we love Him and in response Jesus has promised that the Holy Trinity will be right inside your life.

John 14:23-24 23  Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24  He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.”

So if we LOVE Jesus, we’ll be obedient to His commands. The disciples obviously didn’t know it was Jesus on the shore at this stage, but there was something about Jesus, something in His voice or manner that made then obey Him without question. It was only after they caught all those fish that the disciples realised that it was Jesus on the shore. They knew, because they’d been fishing all night and caught nothing, that this net full of fish was a miracle. Only Jesus could know where all the fish are, only Jesus could know that they’d catch so many. My friends, when you listen to Jesus voice today, you are going to do truly awesome things.

John 14:15-21 15  “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.
18  I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
19  Before long, the world will not see me any more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.
20  On that day you will realise that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.
21  Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.

John 14:15 15  “If you love me, you will obey what I command.

What an awesome teaching today, Jesus is waiting for you to respond to His instructions my friends, He’s watching and waiting for the right moment to intervene in your life too and ensure that whatever you do in life will be a great success. So the question is, “Do YOU LOVE Jesus?” You’ll know the answer, one way to tell is to ask yourself this question right now; “Am I being OBEDIENT to everything that Jesus has commanded?”

The People have responded to the Election and made the Conservatives the largest party in the United Kingdom, but have you listened and responded to Jesus? Have you put your tick in the right box? Is Jesus your Friend? Do you know Him? Responding to the Helper is the most important thing you can do with your life today. Go on my friends, put your CROSS in Jesus Box and Vote for Jesus. Unlike the Conservatives who’ll probably fail and fall on their promises, Jesus will never, never let you down. He’ll never let you go and He’ll be there always, watching and waiting to Help and calling out to you with suggestions to how you can overcome and succeed in your life today. Are you responding to the helper’s instruction?

Have an amazing weekend my friends,

Don.

40 Days With Jesus Home Page

Day 24: Responding to the Helper.

Jesus Helps With Your Present Struggles.

Help for the Christian Who Struggles

Daily Spirit & Word, 507: Jesus helps with your present struggles.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 23: Jesus helps with your present struggles.

Oh WOWzer! I know I keep using this exclamation; WOWzer, but it’s what I write or say when something brilliant or amazing happens. (Click here for: the meaning of WOWzer.) Last night’s Street Evangelism was just fantastic. We didn’t get out at our usual time, because training lasted a bit longer than expected. We’re going through; “The School of Biblical Evangelism”, then we go out to share Jesus on the streets. It’s amazing the way the Lord used what we’d been discussing as we went out last night. He, the Lord, put to good use the time we’d spent in preparation, because almost every conversation we had was with a lapsed Roman Catholic person. You know my friends, even though we can’t see the Lord, when we work for Him and do things in His Name, He’s right there alongside us by the POWER of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus WAS with His Disciples too:

As we read the Bible today, we’ll see that Peter has gone back to fishing for FISH: You might ask the question, “Well, what else would you FISH for?”. Do you remember when Jesus called Peter? He said, “From now on you will fish for men”… But today, we’ll see that Peter has gone back to his former employment: Fishing for Fish.

John 21:1-6 1  Afterwards Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Tiberias. It happened this way:
2  Simon Peter, Thomas (called Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together.
3  “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
4  Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realise that it was Jesus.
5  He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” “No,” they answered.
6  He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.

Jesus appeared to seven of the disciples at a time when they were struggling with something they were experts in. You know my friends, some of the biggest miracles and breakthroughs will be found in the ‘ordinary’ or ‘normal’ things we do every day in life. When we invite Jesus in, He comes with His POWER to fill our nets to bursting.

“You’ll see your MIRACLE in the ordinary things in life.”

My friends, we can do many things in life: But today’s message shows me that Jesus wants to HELP us in the ordinary things that we do in life as well as the extraordinary things for His Kingdom.

We’ve got two choices today: We can either do it ourselves, or We can do it with the Risen Lord Jesus Christ. Whatever we do, if we want to be successful as followers of Jesus, we’ll need to take to heart Jesus teachings: He’s already explained to the Disciples that APART (Separated) from Jesus, we can do NOTHING. Here were experienced fishermen, and they’d been out fishing ALL NIGHT (that’s when they go fishing on the Sea of Galilee), then a man on the shore shouts to them and tells them to throw the net on the right side of the boat. Some people have suggested that from the shore you can see the shoals of fish better than from the boat, but I don’t think that’s true in this case. Jesus is GOD, He knows everything about everything, He knows where the fish He created are located. Here’s Jesus teaching about not being able to do anything apart from Him:

John 15:1-8 1  “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.
2  He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.
3  You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.
4  Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
5  “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
6  If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.
7  If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.
8  This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

 

So the teaching is: We must remain in Christ or continue to walk with Christ. It’s a daily taking up of your cross, dying to yourself and following the Lord, that’s what’s required to be a true follower of Jesus. He will prune us when we are fruitful, that’s the Lord’s discipline to keep us from becoming too proud about the great things we’re doing in His Kingdom. Otherwise we’ll begin to think it’s our power, but it’s only because we’re remaining connected with Jesus that the POWER of the Kingdom comes.

Now we all know that PETER had DENIED Jesus. He denied three times that he even knew Jesus. So when Peter tried to go out fishing, using his worldly skill, he couldn’t do it. My friends, I know some of you are probably thinking right now, but there a thousands of people who don’t follow Jesus, who’re really successful in life, right? But wait a minute, success is not measured in worldly terms in God’s Kingdom. He often turns the worlds idea of success upon it’s head. Of course we can do things without Jesus, but what Jesus is saying is that there is NO POWER in what we do, no SPIRITUAL goodness flowing. However, when we’re walking with Him and remaining in Him and He in us, then we can do anything. Just look at how many fish they caught when they listened and obeyed what Jesus commanded, “The LARGE NUMBER OF FISH”.

Jesus Helps You In Your Struggles in Life

They had been fishing all night long, without even consulting Jesus. But my friends, once Jesus has selected you from amongst all the people in the world to be His follower, He’s not going to leave you alone, even if you’ve failed and denied Him, as Peter had. Jesus wants to HELP you too my friends, in the ordinary things that you are doing in life; it might be fishing or working or a craft or a skill that you are naturally good at; what Jesus is showing us today, that with His HELP even the things that we’re good it will be much better with His aid and assistance. Jesus really does want to help you in every struggle that you’re going through my friends.

So my friends, instead of waiting for Jesus or God to intervene, why don’t you CALL upon His Name? That’s what Jesus told us to do when we’re walking and remaining in Him: We can do or ask for anything and He’ll answer our prayer.

My prayer for you today is that you’ll see and experience, as we did last night, that Jesus really is with you and He’s longing to help you to do whatever it is that you are doing. Remain in Christ and He will REMAIN in you.

Points to Ponder on Day 23.

  • Are there any things that you have been good at in the past, but currently you are experiencing the “EMPTY NETS”? You try your best but all your getting is EMPTY results? Think about these important areas of your life: family and relationships, work and career, church service and fellowship: How FRUITFUL are they at this moment in time?
  • In what areas of your life would you like to see MORE FISH or a BIGGER CATCH? Jesus is waiting to help you too.
  • How about your FELLOWSHIP? Is it growing, are more people coming to know the Lord Jesus? What can you do to help your fellowship grow and flourish? It takes your personal commitment to making this happen, and remembering to do it WITH and IN the power of Jesus Christ, who’s longing for your fellowship to grow too.
  • You can’t do it alone: Fishing is Bible times was not a LONE-RANGER activity, you had to work at it with a team of fellow-fishermen. They’d worked together ALL NIGHT and caught nothing. Sometimes, when we’re doing things alone and don’t succeed, we’ll tend to give up even trying, but when you’re doing things with others, you’ll keep going longer and you’ll be encouraged along the way. We had that too my friends, some nights we’ve gone out and nobody wanted to talk with us about the Lord. Then we got back, prayed for each other, the next week, everybody wanted to talk. I’ve met so many Christians who’ve said, “I tried evangelism, it didn’t work, so I just pray for people now”. My friends, Jesus didn’t tell us to pray for people to be saved, He told us to go out and seek and save the Lost. When you do it with others it’s less-likely that you’ll give up so quickly. Keep going, Keep connected with each other and with Jesus and you’ll soon be amazed at the size of the catch like the disciples in John 21.

Prayer:

Dear Lord Jesus Christ, I thank You today for Your awesome goodness and faithfulness that surprises us every time we experience it. We shouldn’t be surprised, but it’s just so amazing when we know that You are walking with us, that You are actually inside us and You are so faithful that You’ll always be in us from the moment we trusted you as Lord and Saviour. But You’ve reminded me today Lord, that apart from You, though I can do stuff, it’s going to be as if I can’t do anything of Kingdom worth, please Lord Jesus, I want to remain in You and I want You to remain in me too. Lord please help me to keep calling upon You for every ordinary or normal thing that I need to do. I want to see my nets bursting Lord. Come Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

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40 Days With Jesus: Day 23: Jesus Helps With Your Present Struggles.