The Essentials of Christianity

Discipleship, Faith, Hope and Love.

Daily Spirit & Word 570: The Essentials Of Christianity.

Over the last few weeks, since our Open Air Baptism, we’ve been running a Small Group Discipleship Course in church, but I’ve been thinking about it, the course that we’re studying emphasises many aspects of what life is going to be like for the follower / Disciple of Jesus, but it doesn’t really boil it down quite enough for me. What are the most important things every follower of Jesus must grasp? What are the Essentials of Christianity? Once we grasp that we can continue in our discovery of everything else that the LORD has prepared for those who love Him.

So what are the Essentials? Is it developing a strong prayer life? Is it a disciplined pattern of Bible memory? Is it to be a faithful witness to those who don’t yet know Jesus Christ as Lord? Is it to be a worker of wonders?

Well there’s no doubt that those things are critical to every followers walk, but there are a few more basic elements.

I used to go down old Tin Mines with a group of friends in Cornwall at the weekends, we’d meet up in the London Bar in Redruth and then proceed on our adventure. Mike Merry, who was a Mine Assayer, had ancient abandoned Tin-mine maps and would lead us on trips into the wilds of Cornwall ūüôā to find the long-lost mine entrance. Once we hacked away at a hedge in a lady’s garden, she was amazed to discover that there was a great big hole she never knew was there, it was only covered by a little hedge, but that hole opened up a voyage of discover and a trip into Cornwall’s history. It was a hand-carved tunnel, shaped like a Key-Hole and it went straight into the solid granite; we found tools, miner’s lamps and bits a pieces down that mine. No one had been in there¬†for hundreds of years. It was a real WOWzer! But going into old mines is dangerous, there could be a build up of toxic gases so we had to be¬†vigilant.

Getting into the Essentials will enable us to know what’s MOST¬†CRITICAL for every follower of Jesus, yes there are some really exciting aspects, but sometimes they are like those bits and pieces of treasure we discovered, they can become so alluring we forget what’s most needed in our walk with the Lord and it’s dangerous to ignore the Essentials.

1) HOW’S YOUR FAITH? ‚ÄĒ In our following Jesus are we believing in God?

If I were to ask you to spell FAITH you’d probably say, “F, A, I, T, H” right? Well is partially right ūüôā I would like to venture that we should think about FAITH as “R, I, S, K” because if you are not daring to trust God by believing ALL that He’s said, we’re beginning to get a bit stuffy in our form of Christianity. As you know, like ponds and old mines, things that lies still for a long time get stale and stagnant, so it is with your FAITH.

Are you demonstrating a willingness to take a RISK when the chips are down? Like David when he was a young man who wanted to face up to Goliath for God’s Name Sake. (David didn’t want Israel, God’s chosen people, to be shamed because of a mere man). Remember how Daniel was thrown into the Lion’s Den? and how Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego? (Daniel 3) faced the fiery furnace. Is your own faith really prepared to take those kinds of RISKS?

It was a sad day for everyone on Monday, we had the funeral of an Infant, Mina Esther Nystrom, who’d died in the womb. Though obviously devastated, John and Josi had been¬†and were still going¬†through the fire and had proven to have a faith that could be tested. They were both still praising the LORD. Yes they grieved the loss of their precious baby. Like every new parent, they had dreams for their child, but it was not to be. The LORD gives and the LORD takes away. However, they knew they could not deny their love for Jesus or for God’s gift of faith. In May, knowing there was something wrong with the baby, Josi and John got baptised in St Luke’s Church; In July (on Monday) they buried that baby. They had lost the most precious thing anyone could ever wish to loose and still they¬†continue¬†to walk with and praise Jesus. That kind of fiery faith is REAL.

Hebrews 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

So what is it that God wants us to do?
John 6:29¬†¬† “Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.””

If the first ESSENTIAL is FAITH, then the second must be ….

2) HOW’S YOUR HOPE? ‚ÄĒ Are you living as a Member of God’s Kingdom? Is your thinking Kingdom focused?

I used to live in Plymouth, an ancient part of the City marks the spot where the Pilgrim Father set sail from England, to escape persecution and begin a new life in America. It’s still a very special place at sunrise, so peaceful and quiet. But they demonstrated that they would NOT LIVE in a world where their faith in Jesus would not be tolerated. What they showed the world was, that this place, Earth, was NOT THEIR HOME, but they had a hope of a better place and were prepared to give up everything to continue to worship Jesus. So quite rightly they’ve been called; “The Pilgrim Fathers”.

A Pilgrim is focused upon God’s Kingdom priorities in life and looks forward to their Eternal home in Heaven with deep¬†assurance¬†that it’s their real home.

Are YOU a Pilgrim Christian my friends? Are you living with this deep HOPE in your heart? It’s a fruit of the Holy Spirit, it’s evidence of His presence in your life. You’ll demonstrate that HOPE by the way that you invest in your Eternal future, in your giving, generosity, kindness, because you’ll be INVESTING in your Heavenly rewards instead of Earthly things that you cannot take with you.

You’ll LOVE Heavenly Focused Hymns and Songs: Like, “Blessed Assurance, Jesus is mine, oh what a foretaste of glory Divine”… that’s Pilgrim focus, that’s Kingdom mentality.

Hebrews 11:13-14 13  All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. 14  People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. (A HEAVENLY ONE).

So the Essentials are Faith and Hope, but you’ve probably guessed the last one by now;

3) HOW’S YOUR LOVE? ‚ÄĒ The way that we really show God’s love is by how SELFLESS we are as followers of Jesus.

A true follower of Jesus will be so touched and transformed by Christ’s LOVE, that he or she will want to (NOTICE that, “want to”) show love towards others and serve the LORD with complete willingness. It’s a want to my friends, it’s not as if God has to poke and promt a true believer into action. Your heart’s desire will be to serve the LORD in any way He directs.

That will be very costly at times; in time, in money, in energy. It will mean sacrificing what you’d like of love to be doing and going the extra mile for Jesus.

You’ll be desiring to serve rather than indulge yourself.

2 Corinthians 5:14-17¬†“For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.
15¬†¬†And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.¬†16¬†¬†So from now on we regard no-one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.¬†17¬†¬†Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”

God’s WORD reveals these three; FAITH, HOPE & LOVE as the ESSENTIALS for the follower of Jesus. It does so in countless different ways, over and over and over again. Read about Joseph, Abraham, Isaac, Noah, Moses, Elijah, Samson, Daniel, Ruth, Esther, Solomon, etc etc etc… they ALL demonstrated these ESSENTIAL elements in their walk with God. An essential is something, that without it, it will not stand: i.e. a three legged stool will not stand with just two legs or one. Now it’s your turn, the batton has been passed, you’ve got the KEYS to the KINGDOM, now lets go and open the doors for others to see and seek God’s glory. Amen!

1 Corinthians 13:13¬† “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

Have a fantastic day my friends, I’m praying that you’ll be full of FAITH, HOPE and LOVE today. Amen!

Don.

P.S. Please, continue to pray for Josi and John as they grieve the loss of thier baby Mina Esther. Her death has touched so many people who know and love them, but we’re also encouraged by their testimony of the Lord’s faithfulness and presence in their heart-wrenching trials. It’s such a joy to have led them to Jesus and know that they’ve found Jesus to be the LORD of ALL. Amen.

 

The Christian’s Enemies: The Devil (Satan).

fighting against your enemies, the Devil, Satan, Christian

Daily Spirit & Word 569:

The Christian’s Enemies: The Devil (Satan).

Good morning my friends, we’ve been looking at our three main enemies in the Spiritual life; remember an enemy wants to see you defeated, downhearted and destroyed; most certainly that is true of our arch-enemy Satan. Jesus tells us this about him;

John 10:10¬† “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. ”

Satan even had the audacity to try and tempt the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, so don’t be surprised when you are feeling the pressure of ‘spiritual’ oppression. After trying to tempt Jesus in the wilderness and failing, listen to what God’s Word tells us that he did next:

Luke 4:13¬† “When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.”

As we all know Satan plays dirty and he’s waiting for just the right moment in your own life too, that opportune moment to come and make his move. He’s the ultimate opportunist. Just as we are commanded by the LORD to make the most of every opportunity, so Satan will be waiting for the right opportunity in your life to come. However, with the Lord’s help, armour and power and presence, we can stay one step ahead of him: To be fore-warned is to be fore-armed.

1) He’ll Strike When You Are Feeling Weak & Fatigued:

When you are drained of energy and very tired from your life’s labours or even illness. That’s when Satan comes along and make the most of his opportunities.

You see sometimes when we’re weak, we begin to question if God really loves us as His child. When we’ve not got enough money, when we’ve run out of food and need to feed the kids, when we’ve got more month at the end of the money, when we’re realy tired and have no energy even to think straight. Satan strikes and will tempt you in all sorts of ways, but ultimately he’s out to destroy you.

It was after 40 days in the wilderness when Jesus was at His weakest moments in life that Satan made the most of that opportunity and tempted Jesus in EVERY way.

When things aren’t going right in your marriage; He’ll provide an opportunity: A way to get out of the relationship, A new prospective mate; a good looking man or woman, who’s ultra nice to you, who’s going to meet your every need and ‘really’ love and appreciate you. NO my friends it’s a TRAP and a FALSE trail. The grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence.

Elijah felt the attack even after a great victory over the Prophets of Baal.

2) He’ll Strike When You Are Feeling STRONG and SUCCESSFUL:

Whenever we’re feeling strong there comes a time when we’re also fooled into thinking we’re ‘Spiritually’ impregnable too. God has warned us that we are NOT immune from Satan’s attacks;

1 Peter 5:8¬†“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

Even the most morally strong and spiritual person will be a target for Satan’s devices, remember what happened to King David with Bathsheba and King Solomon with the Queen of Sheba. (must be something about that name Sheba)… They were both at the height of their success as Kings in Israel, yet something happens when we’re successful, we begin to think we’re immune from¬†attack¬†or impregnable, but in reality we’re only one step away from a tumble. 1 Peter 5:8 warns us to BE Self-Controlled and BE Alert… Watch out my strong friends.

Someone said to me the other day, the Bible is full of mistakes, it most certainly is my friends, but as our text tells us, they were written down as a WARNING and an EXAMPLE of how we must be wary;

1 Corinthians 10:11-12¬† “These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfilment of the ages has come.¬†12¬†¬†So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!”

“Satan hates it when he sees, the weakest Christian upon his knees”

When you are on your knees to the LORD, you’ll be able to STAND against any attacks of the Evil one.

3) He’ll Strike When You Go Against God’s Commands:

There’s a wonderful account in 1 Chronicles 18 when the Kings of Israel and Judah are allied and want to go to war. They ask the Prophets of the Lord and they all tell them to “Go to war and they’ll win the battle”, but just one Prophet tells the Kings something they just don’t want to hear, “Don’t Go To War: If you do you’ll die”… Guess what, they chose to go against this one man and sided with the crowd who were telling them what they wanted to hear.

“THE FEAR OF THE LORD IS THE BEGINNING OF WISDOM”

When you’re fleshly desires get hold of you my friends, you’ll be tempted to go against God’s commandments, you’ll be listening to flattering words or words and advice that will tell you what you are doing is OK, but don’t be fooled, listen to your Conscience.

In that account in 1 Chronicles 18 a lying spirit (Satanic Demon) had entered into all the Prophets who were telling the kings what they wanted to hear, but one Godly Prophet stood out and was prepared to die for God to tell them the truth. (Read 1 Chronicles 18 you’ll be amazed).

KNEEL to the LORD and You Can STAND Against Anything

4) Satan will strike when you least expect it:

So be “EVER-READY” like the battery ūüôā Always charged and prepared.

Twice in Ephesians we’re encouraged to “PUT ON THE FULL ARMOUR OF THE LORD”…

Ephesians 6:11¬† “Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”

Ephesians 6:13¬† “Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”

NOTE: When God tells us TWICE to do something, He probably thinks it’s a BRILLIANT idea or an ESSENTIAL thing for us to be doing;

So with that in mind my friends, I’m thinking we’ll try and get¬†prepared, but there are so many avenues of opportunity that Satan will take, it’s best that we’re completely covered in all the ARMOUR that the LORD has provided; then we’ll be standing in His might power.

Ephesians 6:10-18 (The Gospel Armour).

10  Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
11¬†¬†Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
12  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
13  Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
14  Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled round your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,
15  and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
16  In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
17  Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18  And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

Pray for each other, pray for me too ūüôā

  • The Belt Of Truth:¬†
  • The Breastplate of Righteousness:
  • The Gospel Shoes:
  • The Shield of Faith:
  • The Helmet of Salvation:
  • The Sword of the Spirit:

All of these elements will help you to “BE STRONG IN THE LORD & IN HIS MIGHTY POWER”

Your battle is NOT against flesh and blood:

“BE STRONG IN THE LORD & IN HIS MIGHTY POWER

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

The Christian’s Enemies: The World (Worldly system and authorities in rebellion against God’s commands), the Flesh (inner-self against the Spirit) and the Devil and all his demonic forces in the heavenly realms.

You can do it, when you are walking in the Spirit and wearing the FULL ARMOUR OF GOD in the Battle.

Keep fighting my friends, don’t give up, because God really does LOVE you with an everlasting LOVE.

Don.

 

The Christian’s Enemies: THE FLESH.

Conflict Spirit and Flesh

Daily Spirit & Word 568:

Know Your Enemies: The Flesh.

Good morning my friends, I’m back with the mini-series on the Christian’s enemies; Catch the first one here : The World:

The Second Enemy: THE FLESH:

Whilst we face all kinds of enemies as followers of Jesus, they all come under three main headings; the world, the flesh and the devil. Today we’re going to face the most personal enemy the flesh life within each one of us.

A Christian is SAVED the moment they trust the Saviour for Salvation, the Battle is WON by the LORD, but the mopping up operations are not finished. Jesus defeated our greatest enemy on the Cross: DEATH, that is why it’s not on the Christian’s list of enemies. We are given the awesome gift of LIFE from the moment we’re born again.

THE FLESH

We’re not against our bodies, we live and long for our Eternal body, but we’re not against this temporary tent we’re living in, we’ve got to take care of our body, because it is the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit, our body here on earth is HOLY because God lives in every follower of Jesus.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20¬† “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;¬†20¬†¬†you were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your body.”¬†

You BODY is HOLY: But there is still a part of you, even though you’re saved that desires to fulfill the lusts of the flesh and there’s a daily battle going on for your soul.

The BATTLE is in the MIND:

If we loose the battle here then we’re in danger of corrupting our flesh, it can lead to death.

What is LIFE like for those who are loosing the battle, for those who are being CONTROLLED by the SINFUL NATURE (The Flesh)?

God answers that question in His Word:

Romans 8:5-9¬† “Those who live according to the sinful nature (the flesh) have their minds set on what that nature (flesh) desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.
6  The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace;
7¬†¬†the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.
8  Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. 
9  You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.

Question: Do you have the HOLY SPIRIT living in and¬†controlling¬†you? Is He directing your life, giving you; self-control, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and love. These are the fruits that are produced in the life of a person who’s full of God’s Holy Spirit, they are the evidence that you’ve been born of the Spirit, they are the signs of the Kingdom within your life. We’re NOT perfectly patient, kind and loving etc, but we’re beginning to show that fruit. If your answer is “NO” or “I’m not sure”, then you need to check to see if you’ve really come to a genuine faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s no good knowing about Jesus, we need to know Jesus as LORD of our life, because as the verse above states, “if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ”. If we don’t belong to Christ: i.e. He’s NOT our LORD and SAVIOUR then we don’t have the Spirit and we don’t have LIFE.

However, even if you do HAVE the Holy Spirit, there is still a BATTLE going on: The FLESH is at war with the Spirit within.

Galatians 5: 17 “For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.”

LIVE BY THE SPIRIT:

We can WIN this battle, but in order to do so we NEED the Holy Spirit.

Galatians 5:16-26

16  So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.
17  For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.
18  But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law. 
19  The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;
20  idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions
21  and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. 
22  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23  gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
24  Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.
25  Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
26  Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

LOOK AT THE FRUIT:

Sinful NATURE FRUIT:

The list is not exhaustive, there’s much more, but these are given by the LORD as examples of those who are loosing control, loosing the battle:

The Sinful NATURE (Flesh): Desires what is contrary to the Spirit:

‘Contrary’ means =¬†Very opposed in nature, character or purpose. In an opposite direction.

It’s like the wind blowing against the¬†sail-boat¬†keeping it out of harbour when you want to get into the harbour for the night.

So the FLESH (Sinful Nature) is very opposed to the control and desires of the Holy Spirit.

They are in CONFLICT with each other: Conflict means =¬†An open clash between two opposing groups, forces or individuals. It’s a state of opposition between persons, ideas or interests.

The HOLY SPIRIT’S DESIRES: He wants what’s best for you and a good, full, abundant, holy life; but the SINFUL NATURE is bent on self-destructive desires; greed, anger, rage, war, factions, drunkenness, drug addiction, human-trafficking, slave-trade, extortion, extortionate interest rates, keeping the poor – poor, competition, beating everybody else, capitalism (building your own empire at the expense of others), illicit sex,¬†pornography, abuse, and the list can go on and on and on. We’re brilliant at inventing new ways to be AT WAR with the HOLY SPIRIT.

But notice what the passage said of Christians: Those who’re filled with, led by, and live by the Holy Spirit: “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.” When you came to Christ your SINFUL NATURE was CRUCIFIED (It was Killed, put to death, terminated). However, it’s NOT completely DEAD: It’s like the horrible thing when a chicken has it’s head cut off or it’s neck broken, it can still run around and it takes ages to die. So it is with the SIN NATURE in the follower of Jesus, though it has been killed it’s twitching and running around waiting to be¬†buried¬†and finally put to death. That’s not going to happen until we see the LORD. So we’ve got a constant daily battle to win against the FLESH NATURE.

The PASSIONS & DESIRES:

The passions and desires of the flesh (Sinful Nature) are obvious; so when they do become ATTRACTIVE to us again, guess what? We need MORE of God’s Holy Spirit: We’re probably running on empty.

I know that for ages I was driving around in my car with the fuel warning light on orange, then when I stopped looking at the warning signs it slipped into the RED. My friends, many Christians are not living in the GREEN, they are constantly living in the ORANGE danger zone of holiness. They love to live in a kind of borderland; half way between HOLY and SINFUL. We’ve got to STOP IT: Stay constantly re-fuelled¬†by the HOLY SPIRIT.

In London, you’d be amazed, but there are not that many petrol stations (gas stations for our American friends), so we’ve kind of got an excuse for running around in the ORANGE (Warning) Zone on the fuel gauge. However, if you are doing that Spiritually, you are ignoring your God given Conscience (The Spiritual Fuel Gauge), it’s blaring out a warning message the moment you enter the ORANGE Zone of Danger: You are in DANGER of going into the RED (SIN and DEATH).

So God says, “LIVE BY the Spirit and you WILL NOT gratify the desires of the sinful nature”.

THE CHOICE: “Shall I live by the flesh or by the Spirit today?”

Listen my friends, to your God given Conscience today, is it shouting out a warning that you need to be re-fuelled¬†by the Holy Spirit. God wants you to live a FULL, ABUNDANT, JOYFUL and PEACEFUL life in your Holy Spirit filled temple of a body today. However, He’ll not force you, every day you’ve got to make a choice¬†which¬†way you are going to live, but one day we will face the Judgement throne of the Lord Jesus Christ and will have to give an account of how we’ve lived, then we’ll face either rewards of losses in the Kingdom of Heaven.

I want all my friends who’re reading this to experience fullness, abundance and joy, peace and LOVE this week. I’m praying that you’ll see HIS hand at work in your life and He wants much more POWER than we can ever imagine. LIVE in the GREEN: In the FULLNESS of the Holy Spirit this week.

Ephesians 5:15-20¬† “Be very careful, then, how you live‚ÄĒnot as unwise but as wise,
16  making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
17¬†¬†Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
18  Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.
19  Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, 20  always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Make the most of every opportunity, be filled with the Holy Spirit and sing praises to the Lord, giving thanks in everything, in the Name of the LORD Jesus Christ. Amen!

Have an awesome week.

Don.

 

God’s Way Of LOVE: Practical, Practicable and Possible.

Practical Love, Possible Love

GOD’S WAY OF LOVE:

Daily Spirit & Word: 567:

LOVE IS NOT A GETTING: IT’S A GIVING

LOVE IS NOT A FEELING: IT’S AN ACT OF THE WILL.

 

Good morning my friends, I love that old song by “Wet, Wet, Wet” the Pop Group. “Love Is All Around Us”.

“I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes”

The phrase that stands out for me today is; “And So the “Feeling” Grows.”

How many of us today want to FEEL more in LOVE? Answer: “ALL OF US” Am I right?

I want to say right now: Real LOVE Is: Practical, Practicable & Possible: LOVE.

Questions: What DOES the Bible Say About LOVE? What Does God want us to understand about LOVE?

TYPES OF LOVE IN THE BIBLE:

Bible Question: How many words are there in the Greek language for love?

Bible Answer: There are four major GREEK words for love:

AGAPE, PHILEO, EROS, and STERGO.

There are also a number of variations of these words such as AGAPETOS, ASTORGOS, KATAPHILEO, PHILADELPHIA, PHILANTHROPIA, PHILEMA, PHILIA, PHILOS, PHILOSTORGOS.

Four Main Words. (In Ancient / Classical Greek)

AGAPE is the most common word for love in the New Testament. It occurs 259 times as a verb or as a noun.

PHILOS and PHILEO occur only 54 times.

EROS and STERGO do not occur at all in the New Testament.

English Form Meaning
AGAPE This word was used in Greek literature to refer to someone who was generously favored by a god. It has the idea of a person giving all his or her love or favor 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.

The Other Words. The other words for love combine different words to make a special point. The meanings of these words are briefly given below.

English Form Meaning
AGAPETOS Beloved or loved one.
ASTORGOS Without love.
PHILADELPHIA Brotherly love.
PHILANTHROPIA Love for mankind
PHILEMA A kiss.
PHILIA Friendship love.
PHILOS A love for a friend or relative.
PHILOSTORGOS Tender love or affectionate love.

Conclusion:AGAPE is the most common word used in the GREEK New Testament. The greatest example of love is Jesus Christ who died for our sins. God shows His love by rescuing us from our sins.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. (NASB) John 3:16

It is the word God uses to call us to love Him and others.

He is calling us to give Him all of our love and give others all of our love.

The emphasis is not an exclusive love but a total love.

Otherwise, we would only be able to love one person.

And He said to him, ‚Äú‚ÄėYOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.‚Äô This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‚ÄėYOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.‚Äô (NASB)¬†Matt. 22:37-39

God calls us to give ourselves completely to Him in every way – heart, soul, and mind.

HOW ARE WE TO LOVE?

In our Bible reading today, we discovered that God wants us to LOVE: But in a very special way.

1 Corinthians 13: Emphasises HOW we are to LOVE EACH OTHER. (AGAPE = Sacrificial / Giving LOVE).

Can you see that¬†LOVE IS NOT A FEELING: IT’S AN ACT OF THE WILL.

Real LOVE: is not what you get out of a person, but what you give to them.

To be “Really In LOVE” is to want to give your all to another.

“But what about emotional love?” (Fondness, Feeling and Affection).

WHAT ABOUT EMOTIONAL LOVE? AFFECTIONATE LOVE?

Yes! The Bible does speak about that kind of love too.

God wants our EMOTIONAL AND AFFECTIONATE LOVE and expects it to be EXCLUSIVE (Complete).

He also asks us to have an emotional love for Him in 1 Corinthians 16:22.

1 Corinthians 16:22 (NIV) “If anyone does not love (Phileo) the Lord‚ÄĒa curse be on him. Come, O Lord! (Maranatha)”

God wants our Emotional LOVE too: So when He’s calling us to Agape (Sacrificial) LOVE for Him & Others, He’s also calling us to have an Emotional LOVE as well. (It’s our whole being, total and complete affections that God wants and expects to see).

THE BELIEVER’S LOVE AFFAIR.

UNFAITHFUL: To the Lord and Each Other.

“If anyone loves the world, the Love of the Father is not in Him”¬†(1 John 2:15)

i.e. You cannot be loving God and having a LOVE AFFAIR with the World at the same time.

  • But you cannot DEMAND Love:
  • It’s got to come from the heart.
  • It’s got to come from your¬†relationship¬†with the LORD.

You will NOT be in LOVE with the LORD if you are in love with the world.

Let’s admit it!¬†Many of us have been carrying on a secret love affair for years!

And doing a pretty good job of MASKING it from our BROTHERS AND SISTERS, FELLOW Believers in Christ.

And why do we continue the “affair WITH THE WORLD”?

Simply because we love how it:

  • Panders¬†our appetite for sensual gratification
  • Entices¬†our eyes and caters to the greedy longings of our mind, and
  • Fosters¬†our desire to live a life of pretension.

The “love affair” to which I am referring is our surrender (giving in) to the evil values of this world system that governs the goings on of mankind; a system which is headed by none other than Satan himself ‚Äď “The Prince of this world.” (John 12:31; 14:30)

If we have GIVEN IN (SURRENDERED) to this Prince by fostering and feeding a “love affair” with his domain (THE WORLD), we have a serious problem. You see, as professed followers of Jesus Christ, God will not allow us the luxury of two loves:

“If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (1 John 2:15)

We simply cannot have it both ways: Loving the “world” and loving God.
HOW CAN WE GET OUT? 

How can we escape the trap of our love affair with the world?

Jesus’ prayer to the Father for His follower on the night before the cross, gives us insight into the answer to that question:
“I have¬†given them your word¬†and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. Sanctify them by the truth;¬†your word is truth.” (John 17:14, 17)

As the Disciples and Followers of Jesus were given the WORD’S of Jesus (Word of God) they were TRANSFORMED.

It was that inner transformation by the¬†receiving¬†of the Word of God that showed the whole world that they were no longer one of them, they were DIFFERENT (SANCTIFIED = SET APART / DIFFERENT). So the world “hated” them.

PAUL WAS DEAD TO THE WORLD:

(Paul had escaped the “love affair”).

Galatians 6:11,12-14,15 11 See what large letters I use as I write to you with my own hand!
12  Those who want to make a good impression outwardly are trying to compel you to be circumcised. The only reason they do this is to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ.
14  May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15  Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation.

PAUL had grown to hate the “world system” THAT WAS GOVERNED BY SATAN.

WHAT COUNTS? Dead to the world: NEW LIFE in Christ: (In Baptism: death to old life, rises to live a new life).
SO‚Ķ THE BIG QUESTION IS:¬†Just as the Disciples were transformed by Soaking in God’s Word (And later on by the Holy Spirit) Are you resisting the world’s seductive charm by the inner change that results from consistent, and disciplined meditation upon God’s Word? Are you seeking the in-filling of the Holy Spirit?

If you are a Phileo, Lover of the LORD, then you’ll want to become more of what He’s called you to be.

It’s NOT like a Demand, but an INNER-TRANSFORMATION: Your affections will change, the more you give yourself to ACTING in LOVE. (1 Cor 13).

REAL LOVE IS:

1 Corinthians 13.
Practical, Practicable & Possible: LOVE.

IF YOU DON’T:¬†

If not, you are choosing by default to foster your “love affair” with the “Prince of this world’s” dominion (This WORLD and ALL it has to offer). And in so doing you have become God’s adversary, because

“Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.” (James 4:4)

IF YOU DO: 

We’ve seen today:

  • The Types of LOVE: Agape and Phileo in the Bible. God wants your Sacrificial LOVE &¬†your Emotional LOVE.
  • He wants us to BREAK FREE from our LOVE AFFAIR with the World.
  • He wants us to Experience His LOVE for us (Complete and Emotional) Fatherly, Tender and True.
  • What counts is a NEW CREATION: You will LOVE like Jesus (AGAPE: Self-Sacrificial).

When we Decide to LOVE: Then the feelings of LOVE will follow. (Emotions / Tenderness)

Couples struggling to LOVE (feel in LOVE) with each other; Solution: AGAPE (Give LOVE, then feelings will follow).

LOVE IS NOT A GETTING: IT’S A GIVING.

LOVE IS NOT A FEELING: IT’S AN ACT OF THE WILL.

Have an AWESOME Sunday full of the LOVE of God: For Him and for each other. And I KNOW that when you love like that, you’re going to have a FOUNTAIN of LOVING FEELINGS on the inside as well. You are going to FEEL it all around you, in your fingers and in your toes, and so the FEELING GROWS.

Don.

P.S. When I discovered AGAPE (God’s Way Of LOVE) I was really SET-FREE from all kinds of feelings. I no longer needed others to express their love towards me, I still like it though :-), but my FEELINGS of love for others just keeps grown, the more I LOVE like Jesus, the more free I become. It enables me to forgive, forget and let-go, in so doing, I’m becoming even more in LOVE with God and others. Real LOVE is Practical, Practicable and Possible with the LORD’S Help. Praise the LORD for His REVELATIONS IN THE WORD. Amen!

Knowing Your Enemies: The World.

A Christian faces three enemies on the battlefield

Daily Spirit & Word 566: Know Your Enemies: The World.

Good morning my friends, it’s amazing but true that when you begin following the Prince of Peace, the Lord Jesus Christ, you come under attack from His ememies. Who would want to be an ‘enemy’ of the Lord Jesus? And why would anyone or anything want to take a stand against someone soooo loving, soooo kind, soooo gentle?

Well the truth is as a follower of Jesus Christ you have entered a Battlefield.

On a Battlefield, the missiles are exploding, guns are blazing, bombs are falling and booming, and casualties are mounting. Our first and natural inclination is to get off the Battlefield and save ourselves, but as a Christian you can’t.

As the wisest of Generals know, we should never underestimate our Enemies, but we need to know something from the off: Jesus is the WINNER of this Battle, but the Enemies will just not accept it yet. Satan has been defeated, when Jesus died upon the Cross, rose again from the Dead and Ascended into Heaven: So Satan now runs around like a wounded lion, but as you know a wounded lion is sometimes more dangerous and desperate than an uninjured lion.

Followers of Jesus need to know their Enemies: It’s been said that we have THREE major enemies: The World, The Flesh and The Devil.

Lets take them in turn over three studies:

Your First Enemy: “The WORLD”.

You might object about that, as I did, because isn’t the World that God made a beautiful and stunning place? I do love this amazing and awesome world and all that God has provided for our enjoyment. However, there is something that not quite ‘right’ with God’s Created World: Part of the Created World is Polluted: I’m not talking about Carbon¬†emissions¬†or global warming or nuclear waste though, but the pollution is; rebellion, rejection of God as King.

It’s that polluted part of God’s Good Creation that is in Rebellion against Him: That World System that loves the¬†Darkness¬†and Hates the Light:

John 3:18-21¬†¬†“Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
19¬†¬†This is the verdict: Light has come into the world,¬†but men loved darkness¬†instead of light¬†because¬†their deeds were¬†evil.¬†20¬†¬†Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.¬†21¬†¬†But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”¬†

Everyone: Who does EVIL hates the Light (Jesus).

The World System that hates Jesus is “EVERYONE” who does EVIL.

What is EVIL?

You might say, well I’m not ‘EVIL’: Simply put, ‘evil’ is rejection of God and all that’s good. We do ‘evil’ when we; lie, steal, cheat, lust, disobey our parents, covet (inordinate desire of things of this world) and blaspheme God (by using God’s name or Jesus Christ as a swear word). Now we know what the Evil World is: But there’s more….

However, we don’t really know the full effects of the sinful decisions that Adam and Eve made in the Garden of Eden and how that decision has infected every human soul since. We’re born into that same kind rebellion, we’re born on the opposite side, we’re born opposing Jesus, we’re born an enemy of the LIGHT.

Whenever anyone comes into the Light it’s as if they are like those who escaped from¬†Communism during the Cold War: They had to sneak out of Russia or those Eastern Block countries that were part of the Russian Federation. The were called “Defectors“: When you come over to Jesus camp, when you come across over to the side of light, you are defecting against the rule and reign of Satan and the world system under his authority.

Evil is what we are when we are born: Because we’re born into sinful rebellion against the Creator and His wishes. We’re in the camp of the enemy until we defect (Repent and Trust in Jesus side).

We’re Born LOVING Rebellion:

Just as the Russians viewed Defectors as Enemies of the State: So Satan and his world system views everyone who comes over to the side of Jesus as Enemies: So your first enemy is the World (Governed by it’s Ruller: Satan). It’s the Evil World System, but not the world that God Created Good. (Hope you can now see how the world is polluted?).

What is this Rebellious World Like:

We know what living in rebellion against God is like, if we’ve traveled from the Darkness into the Light: We must have come through the darkness ourselves, we must have passed over into the light or we would not be Christians, we would not be followers of Jesus yet.

From DARKNESS to LIGHT: From Satan’s Evil World Order to the Rule and Reign of King Jesus.

Isaiah 9:2¬† “The people walking in darkness¬†have seen a great light;¬†on those living in the land of the shadow of death¬†a light has dawned.¬†“

Remedy: The Soul that Seeks The Light:

“The People Walking In Darkness Have Seen A Great Light”

It’s like there’s light, hope, joy, love, peace at the end of a long-dark-tunnel.

Those Defecting from Russia were escaping a cruel and hard Dictatorial Communist regime and crossing over to freedom in the free Western world governed by Human rights ruled by Democracy.

A Christian is Defecting: A world system ruled by Satan, who wants to enslave people and keep them in bondage. He wants to blind people so that they cannot see the light. He wants to keep people in Darkness and ignorance of their true condition.

Isaiah and John wrote the same thing;

In John’s Gospel we get a clear indication of How we can know the difference between the Kingdoms of Light and Darkness:

John 1:1-13
1  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (Jesus is God).
2  He was with God in the beginning. (Jesus is the Eternal God).
3  Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. (Jesus is the Creator).
4  In him was life, and that life was the light of men. (Jesus GIVES life to everyone).
5  The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. (Jesus came into the world).
6  There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. (John the Baptist).
7  He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe.
8  He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.
9  The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. 
10  He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognise him.
11  He came to that which was his own (the Jewish People), but his own did not receive him.
12¬†¬†Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God‚ÄĒ (Every Christian who comes over into Jesus side in this battle becomes a child of God).
13¬†¬†children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. (The Holy Spirit of God brings about the new birth, you are born-again into God’s Eternal Family when you trust in Jesus Christ for Salvation or when you defect out of Satan’s World System).¬†

The DARK Night Of The Soul: In this amazing and difficult book, John of the Cross reveals the¬†dilemma¬†for mankind; crossing over from Darkness into the Light: He calls it’

“Dark Night Of The Soul:” ¬†goes on to say; “We may say that there are three reasons for which this journey made by the soul to union with God is called night. The first has to do with the point from which the soul goes forth, for it has gradually to deprive itself of desire for all the worldly things which it possessed, by denying them to itself; the which denial and deprivation are, as it were, night to all the senses of man. The second reason has to do with the mean, or the road along which the soul must travel to this union ‚ÄĒ that is, faith, which is likewise as dark as night to the understanding. The third has to do with the point to which it travels ‚ÄĒ namely, God, Who, equally, is dark night to the soul in this life. These three nights must pass through the soul ‚ÄĒ or, rather, the soul must pass through them ‚ÄĒ in order that it may come to Divine union with God.

Ascent of Mount Carmel.”

The Three:

Worldly Things: Love for the world and it’s pleasures, the sensual world, the rebellious world.

FAITH: Darkness, we don’t naturally possess faith. We don’t naturally understand faith.

God: We’re not born knowing God, we know that He exists, but we don’t know Him personally, we’re born estranged from God, we’re born in Darkness needing the light of faith and Jesus before we can ever see the light and cross over from the Darkness of this world into His Kingdom of light.

There’s nothing wrong with the things of this world, but it’s our inordinate affection for them: We want the world too much. We want to possess the world and have it all for ourselves, but this inordinate affection is nothing short of Idolatry: Making the World our God: Loving the World more than the Creator who made it.

Escape: The Bible tells us the Christian has escaped the ‘corruption of the world’.

2 Peter 1:3-4 His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4  Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

So we need to say, “Goodbye” to the World System and it’s Ruler.

The first enemy is the World for the Christian, the next Enemy is our own flesh and our arch-enemy is Satan.

PRAYER: Oh Lord Jesus Christ, we’ve seen today just how important it is to know about our enemies. Today we’ve thought about the fact that when we are born, we’re born into a world system that is in rebellion against You. Lord Jesus, since I’ve come over to Your side by believing and trusting in You as my Lord (KING) and Master, please help me to live in this world, knowing that I’m part of a different Kingdom, that I am Your Ambassador Lord, please help me to represent You with love, gentleness, faithfulness and honour today. Please keep me from loving this world so much that I’m falling away from You. I don’t want to have an inordinate affection for this world Lord, so help me to LOVE YOU with all my heart, mind, soul and strength. Thank You Lord for setting me free from the World and letting me see the awesome light of Your Kingdom. Amen.

Have an Awesome Saturday in the Kingdom of the KING of Kings my friends.

Don.

NOTE: The Gospel Good NEWS of Jesus.

Discover: The Spirit Filled Christian Life.

 

Antiques Appreciate With Age

Heirlooms depreciate in value, because they are viewed differently

Daily Spirit & Word 565: Antiques Appreciate With Age.

It was one of those nights again, I had another dream that I believe was from the LORD. I don’t know who it’s for though, so I’m just sharing it generally for all to enjoy.

In the dream, I was upstairs in an old dusty attic loft, with wooden¬†balustrades¬†and open slatted bannisters. There was a very good looking woman (I know who she is), who was acting like a Princess (in her own eyes), but everybody else thought she was a grown-up-spoilt-brat of a woman. Over the years she’d used her good looks to get what she wanted in life; the best boy in school, the best and biggest circle of friends were attracted to her, because she was bright, intelligent and politically lethal. Of course she had money and she was daddy’s little girl, even though she was a grown-woman and married.

As I gazed upon the scene she was in the full-throws¬†of an argument with her handsome husband, she wasn’t going to get her own way for the first time in her life, she ran down the stairs and tripped on the bottom step landing in a heap on the straw-strewn floor beneath. She began kicking her legs in anger and a massive tantrum¬†erupted, she was sobbing and crying out, and banging her fists upon the floor. I heard myself saying in a loud voice, loud enough for her to hear, “I’ll bet she was a spoilt-brat as a child”. She stopped crying immediately and looked around at me with a red tear-soaked face and glowered at me. But as I looked around the room, it was full of people, hundreds of them, all familiar to me, and they were all nodding their heads in agreement some even saying openly out-loud, “She was, she was and she is”…

Then the LORD said something that startled me awake; “Antiques appreciate in value with age, but heirlooms tend to loose their value” I said, “What does that mean LORD?” He answered me, “Antiques are valued by collectors and looked after by dealers, they are maintained and treasured. However, Heirlooms are handed down from one generation to the next, and more often than not they are not valued by those who receive them, they are viewed as an¬†encumbrance¬†and an embarrassment and often hidden in the attic or loft.”

“Antiques appreciate in value with age, but heirlooms tend to loose their value”

“Heirlooms are handed down from one generation to the next, and more often than not they are not valued by those who receive them, they are viewed as an¬†encumbrance¬†and an embarrassment and often hidden in the attic or loft.”¬†

After a while, I was fully awake by now, but then the LORD said again, “So it is with the Christian faith, as a man or woman who’s become a convert to My Son Jesus Christ grows older, the rest of the Saints value him or her and treasure their God given wisdom and gifts. They are looked after and honoured in their meetings and I LOVE them too. However, when that same Christian faith is second or third generation, then those born into a family of faith, with real saints in their family line, they more often than not view their hand-me-down faith as an¬†encumbrance, they have a form of Christianity, but it’s devoid of My power. They know all about My Son, but they don’t know My Son Jesus and so they do not treasure their faith as their relatives once did.”

The woman in my dream was born into a family with a strong Evangelical tradition, she’d been brought up to go to church, was the sparkling gem of a child, who because of her family heritage was even spoilt in Sunday School. (Spoilt means = Having the character or disposition harmed by pampering or oversolicitous attention) and you know how she turned out, but there is real HOPE: Because that woman became a born-again believer in the LORD JESUS CHRIST. She is just as on-fire with the Holy Spirit today as her ancestors were. What happened? She met Jesus for herself: Repented, Received Him as Lord and got baptised.

My friends, you cannot be born a Christian, you must be born-again. You cannot be a Christian because Granny was a strong believer or Grandaddy was an Elder or Deacon in the Church; you must be born-again yourself.

“Nobody can enter the Kingdom of Heaven, unless they are born again of God’s Holy Spirit.”

You cannot get born-again, by just attending church, being baptised, going to Sunday School or taking Holy Communion. No my friends, you too must come to believe that Jesus died upon the Cross for your own sins, all those Commandments of the LORD that you’ve broken will one day land you in Hell, unless you too repent and trust the Saviour for your Salvation. Why? Because God must punish sin and until you come to the Saviour in repentance and faith, you are carrying your own load of sin. You’ll carry it all the way to the judgement unless you hand it over to Jesus at the Cross.

Time is short, time is running out, each day that passes is one more step towards Eternity. So take the leap into Jesus arms right now, and let Him catch you before you fall into the pit of Hell.

Be certain today that you’ve turned from your sins, stop trusting in your own goodness and begin trusting in Christ’s goodness to save you from God’s wrath to come.

Ardian Rogers explains it so clearly;¬†“All sin will either be pardoned in Christ or punished in hell.¬†No sin and no person who sins will slip by,¬†adjudged.” Adrian Rogers. Love Worth Finding.

“All sin will either be pardoned in Christ or punished in hell.¬†

No sin and no person who sins will slip by,¬†adjudged.”

A ‘faith’ that’s handed down from one generation to the next, without becoming personal and real, is no faith at all. No wonder so many people who think they are Christians because their family were strong believers, are treating their faith as if it’s an encumbrance or an embarrassment.

My friends, when you KNOW Jesus, your faith in Him is valued above everything else in life.

  • You’ll treasure your Bible because you’ll know it’s God’s love letter to you. That He speaks to you through it’s pages and guides you in life and corrects your thought and desires.
  • You’ll long to gather with the brothers and sisters to worship with all your heart and sing your praises to the Lord until it¬†hurts, because you love HIM.
  • You long for and look for opportunities to share you faith with others and spread the good news, because you can’t bear the thought of anyone, even your worst enemy, spending one moment in Hell with the Devil.
  • You’ll also look for ways to be used by the LORD for good in the world. Instead of avoiding the poor, the weak, the lame and the outcast, you’ll search them out an help them. Why? Because you’ll be filled with the LOVE of the LORD.
  • You’ll look for and desire to be filled with God’s Holy Spirit every day and moment by moment throughout each day of your life; Why? Because you know that trying to get by in your own strength and ability leads to¬†spiritual¬†failures.

As you grow into an old Saint in Christ my friends, growing up in that kind of faith, then you too will become a treasured antique; treasured by your fellow saints and by the LORD Jesus Christ.

God bless and I hope you all have an AWESOME weekend.

(Now I can go back to bed, it’s only 2.45am ūüėé ūüėÜ ūüėõ ¬†).

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus Christ, I thank you that I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139), that you’re calling everyone out of darkness into your marvellous, magnificent, amazing¬†light. Please help me today to be the person You want me to be. Fill me with the Holy Spirit Lord, because I need Your power to live each moment for You. Amen!

Don.

For Further Study / Scripture Notes: 

If You Sin: You’ll Die:¬†Why? Because each person will pay for their own sin:¬†Ezekiel 18:20¬†¬†“The soul who sins is the one who will die. The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous man will be credited to him, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against him.”

(Don’s Side – NOTE: Therefore, no one can be saved because their mum, dad or granny or granddaddy were Christians. You must become ‘righteous’ in Christ yourself, but trusting in the Lord’s death for your own sins.)

All Have Sinned:¬†Romans 3:23¬† “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”

(Don’s Side-Note: Each one of us has broken at least one of God’s Commandments; lying, stealing, lusting, cheating, coveting, dishonouring our parents).

DEATH because of Sin:¬†Romans 5:12¬† “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:”

God’s Wages For Sin: Romans 6:23¬†“For the wages of sin¬†is¬†death; but the gift of God¬†is¬†eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

What IS Sin? (KJV & NIV)¬†1 John 3:4¬†“Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.”

1 John 3:4¬†“Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.”

So SIN is: Breaking God’s Moral Law: Revealed in His Ten Commandments. (NOTE: The Ten Commandments are NOT ten suggestions, but Commands by God to be obeyed, we break them and become guilty law-breakers)

HOW do we get to be ‘righteous’?¬†2 Corinthians 5:21¬†“For He [God the Father] hath made Him [Jesus Christ] to be sin for us, Who [Jesus] knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him [Jesus].

(Don’s Side-Notes: We become righteous in Christ the moment we receive Him as our Saviour after believing that He died on the cross for our sin and rose from the dead to show that God the Father was satisfied with His Sacrifice for sin, then we repent (turn from all sin in our life) and receive Him as our Lord).

There are NO second-hand Christians, only first-hand Believers. You can be purchased (redeemed) by Jesus today.

The Gospel Good News of Jesus Christ.

The Spirit Filled Life: Discover it today: 

Adrian Rogers Study on The Judgement Seat of Christ.

 

The Bible IS the Word of God.

Trusting that the Bible is God's Word

Daily Spirit & Word 564: God’s Word.

God Planning & Timing IS Perfect.

Last night whilst out sharing the Lord Jesus with people in West Norwood, London, we met many different folks. Our first real conversation was with a man, who made little sense. He couldn’t trust the Bible to be the Word of God. He’d obviously read quite a lot of the Bible, was¬†intelligent, but would not listen to a word we said. He was unreceptive to anything and only wanted to spout-out what he believed. It was hard to engage that man, and when someone is as unreceptive as that, I normally move on quite quickly, but, I don’t know why, we were with him for over twenty minutes. David, my buddy disciple for the evening, said, “You know Don, I know he was a ‘red-herring’ wasting time etc, but if we’d not stayed chatting to him, we would not have had the more fruitful conversations with the others we met. He was right, because we shared the whole Gospel with a shop owner, who’d just popped out of the shop for a cigarette, if we’d been there just two or three minutes before or after, he would not have been there. Then there were three people at a bus stop, whom we both managed to share the Gospel with, then a man who’d just pulled up on a motorbike. He was taking a tour of South London with his soon to be bride, they are getting married in a little church on Balmoral Estate in Scotland. If we’d been any earlier we would not have met any of them. Moral of the story: Some ‘Red-Herrings’ are God’s way of slowing us down a bit ūüôā

THE BIBLE: It is the Word of God.

As you share the Good News with folks, you may come across people who just don’t believe the Bible to be the Word of God. It’s good for every Christian to know if it really is or not. From experience and study and trusting and putting into practice, I can tell you that it is, but you will not know that for yourselves, just because I tell you that. You’ll need to DISCOVER if it is for yourself.

You can trust the Bible: But we’re living in a day when very few Christians are actually reading God’s Word Daily (see article below).

It’s inspired by God, but written by men under the influence and power of the Holy Spirit.

2 Timothy 3:16-17¬†“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,¬†17¬†¬†so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

How much of the Bible is God-breathed? ALL SCRIPTURE.

My friends, you CAN trust the whole Bible.

Here’s an amazingly simple way of getting into studying God’s Word.

SIMPLE BIBLE STUDY METHOD.

First, write out a copy the verse from one or more versions of the Bible.

Give it a heading: VERSE FOR STUDY: Put the Verse reference, e.g. 1 Timothy 3:16.

Second, under the heading MESSAGE, write out in your own words what the verse says ‚Äď what it commands, teaches, warns of, or promises. e.g. “ALL SCRIPTURE” for 1 Tim 3:16. “Every word of the Bible comes from God”

Third, look at the verses immediately preceding and following the verse. These are known as the context of the verse. Under the heading CONTEXT, record first the thoughts added by the verses preceding your study verse. Then Record the thoughts added by the verses following your study verse. (Before and After).

Example: 1 Timothy 3: Is all about how people will abandon God in the last days before Christ comes back. He lists all the ways that men and women will abandon God’s standards. Then our verse; Paul is encouraging Timothy to remain steadfast and keep following God, remembering that ALL Scripture is God’s Word.

The verses after 2 Tim 3:16 are telling us the reason why God’s Word is useful for teaching etc… So that the follower of Jesus will be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Fourth, record the questions that the verse raises in your mind, or the problems you think it might pose for yourself or someone else. These can be recorded under the heading QUESTIONS.

Is the whole of the Bible God’s Word?

What does this mean for me?

How can I trust this verse? Are there any other verses in the Bible that support this thought?

etc etc…

Finally, APPLICATION: Describe one specific way you can change your attitudes or actions because of the teaching of this verse.

It’s awesome to get into studying the Bible for yourself. It doesn’t take very long and if you do a verse or two a week like this, on your own, you’ll soon begin to get to know God’s thoughts after Him. You’ll get to know yourself better as a disciple of Christ and you’ll know God’s will, plans and desires for your own life. But soon you’ll know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Bible is the Word of God and not just a book written by mere men. It’s Holy Spirit inspired!

GET INTO GOD’S WORD

Here are some awesome verses that you can do the same kind of Bible study with;

Suggested verses to study:
Matthew 4:19 (18-20) ‚Äď Follow Christ
Matthew 5:6 (5-7) ‚Äď Hunger for Righteousness
Matthew 5:11 (10-12) ‚Äď Persecution
Matthew 5:44 (43-45) ‚Äď Love your enemies
Matthew 6:6 (5-7) ‚Äď Prayer
Matthew 9:37 (36-38) ‚Äď Laborers
Matthew 23:11 (10-12) ‚Äď Spiritual coldness
Matthew 28:19 (18-20) ‚Äď Make disciples
Romans 1:16 (15-17) ‚Äď Not ashamed of the Gospel
Romans 1:22 (21-23) ‚Äď Becoming fools
Romans 6:13 (12-14) ‚Äď Offer your bodies to God
Romans 8:34 (33-35) ‚Äď We are not under condemnation
Romans 12:15 (14-16) ‚Äď Empathy
Romans 15:2 (1-3) ‚Äď Build others up
Galatians 4:2 (1-3) ‚Äď Humility
Galatians 4:30 (29-31) ‚Äď Do not grieve the Holy Spirit
Galatians 6:2 (1-3) ‚Äď Carry each others burdens
Galatians 6:8 (7-9) ‚Äď What you sow, you reap

Have an awesome day, trusting that God’s Word (ALL of it) is the WORD OF GOD.

Don’t be put off from sharing God’s Good News with folks, even the ones that will not listen, those ‘red-herrings’ can be God sent, because God’s planning and timing is PERFECT.

Don.

P.S. We go out every week to share the Gospel (Good News of Jesus) with people on the Streets and Door-to-Door in West Norwood, London. If you’d like training in personal evangelism or just to sharpen up a bit, then why not join us? We’d love to help many other Christian to learn to share the good news the way that Jesus did. Just drop us a line: dondavisuk@gmail.com or contact us through St Luke’s Church Facebook Page: or Don’s Facebook Page.

Looking forward to hearing what you think about these messages.

Don.

Premier Christian News:

Half of Christian teenagers don’t read Bible more than once a month

Wed 22 Jul 2015

By Marcus Jones

Fifty per cent of young people who identify as Christians don’t read their Bible more than once a month.

New research published by Premier Youthwork Magazine has found just one in three read it a couple of times a week or more.

What was also revealed was that teenagers pray far more regularly than they read the Bible.

Writing in this month’s edition, London youth worker Mark Walley looked at other stats which show young people overwhelming see having a regular experience of God an important part of their faith.

He wrote: “When held together with the fact that young people expressed a strong desire to experience God in their churches, something seems amiss.

“Because the thing is, there is a link between the discipline of Bible reading and the experience of God. One of the main day to day ways you experience God is through reading the Bible.”

Premier Bible Reading.

 

Like the first gleam of dawn

Let your light so shine

Daily Spirit & Word 563: Shine Bright Like the First Gleam of Dawn.

Proverbs 4:18¬† “The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn,¬†shining ever brighter till the full light of day.”¬†¬†

My grandchildren love the song ‘Let it go’ from the movie ‘Frozen’, even Karamoko, who’s only one, sings along and shouts louder with the line “Let It Go”. Now when the kids argue or fight, as all little kids under five seem to do, you’ll hear me singing to them, “Let It Go, Let It Go” with a big smile it sometimes works to¬†diffuse¬†the situation.

We had a wonderful Discipleship Meeting last night, with a few more people; God is growing our group! Praise the Lord! We got talking about what it means to be a Follower of Jesus; “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men”… Taking that seriously, with a definite decision to be Christ’s Disciples.

We got onto the subject of “Letting your light shine”.

But my Grandchildren also love Rihannah’s song, “Shine Bright Like A Diamond” with their hands extended into the air they sing, “Shining bright like a diamond”….

Now my friends, Jesus wants you to “Let your light so shine before men”…

BUT: What did Jesus mean?

  • Was it; “Show off and let everybody see how good you are?” NO!
  • Was it; “Shine for all the world to see that you are great?” NO!
  • Was it; “Shine and let them see you are awesome and powerful and ‘spiritual’?” NO!

What was it then?

Matthew 5:16¬†“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

It’s so that your Heavenly Father is glorified. However, it is by your ‘good works’, i.e. the good things that you do.

This is a concept that’s in many other places in God’s Word.

SHINE YOUR LIGHT.

Psalm 112:4¬†4¬† “Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness:¬†he is¬†gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.”

When we are upright, gracious and full of compassion and righteous, then even when it gets dark in our lives, there is going to be a light that ariseth (A new day dawning, A Sunrise)… I don’t know about you, but I just love getting up before sunrise, just to watch the sun getting out of bed ūüôā It’s glorious.

My friends, when you do good things, show compassion, are gracious towards others and righteous in the ways that you live your life, people are going to see those good things, they’ll recognise “There’s something different about her / him” Your light is going to shine as bright as the sunshine, you are going to be like a ‘Diamond in the Sky’, because Jesus said it would “You ARE the light of the world” and when your light shines, because of your goodness, your good deeds, then people are going to GLORIFY God.

We want everybody to know that God is real, that being a Christian makes a difference in our lives and the lives of those around about us, don’t we? Let’s let our light shine today. Amen! When we do, then we’re going to be the ‘Fishermen’ that Jesus called us to be when we began following Him, we’re going to catch ‘fish’ when we get closer to Jesus.

Oh, and let’s “Let it go” too ūüôā Let’s not hang onto hurts and the way people have offended us, forgive people quickly, get over it and you’ll see that this too will be like shining your light in the world.

NOW: Christians can sing with new words;

“Let it GLOW, Let it GLOW”¬† ūüė鬆 ūüė鬆 ūüė鬆 ūüė鬆

Proverbs 4:18¬† “The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn,¬†shining ever brighter till the full light of day.”

I’m looking forward to seeing all my Christians friends shining like the first gleam of dawn today.

Even in the coldest places and the darkest nights of your life, your LIGHT is going to shine.

Don.

 

Being Open-Handed and Open-Hearted.

Daily Spirit & Word 562:

Being Open-Handed and Open-Hearted.

Sunnybeach Bulgaria.

A few years ago (Sept 2011) Julie (my wife) and I enjoyed a lovely late Summer holiday at Sunnybeach in Bulgaria. Barcelo Royal Beach Hotel. It was a wonderful 5 Star Hotel. The security was obvious and the staff so welcoming and ready and willing to serve. We were greeted with warmth every time we needed service. The Hotel was truly awesome, the best I’ve ever been in and our room was so clean with an amazing view over the swimming pools and out to the beach and sea.

Don Davis Photography
Barcelo Royal Beach Hotel Bulgaria

 

On a few days we took some trips, one was to the Blue Mountains to visit real historical Bulgaria. On the way we stopped at a few places of interest, but what struck me was the level of deprivation, it was noticable almost immediately we left the Sunnybeach resort. However, the roads in Bulgaria were much better than the roads in London. Bulgarian roads didn’t have any pot-holes, speed-bumps or other hazards to avoid.

 

In our air-conditioned coach zooming through the countryside, we noticed people with donkey and cart, it was like being transported back in time, but that was life in Bulgaria today. I began to feel sorry for the people of Bulgaria and wondered how they could be so charming, welcoming and friendly towards outsiders like us.

Blue Mountains Bulgaria
Historical Bulgarian Village

The ancient villages we visited were amazing, but the lingering thought was, how¬†privileged¬†we are in the UK and how we moan about our¬†conditions¬†so much, we just don’t realise how rich we’ve become.

 

In the¬†mornings¬†I’d arise early to meet with the Lord on the Balcony, sitting at our table with a warm mug of coffee, watching the sun rise with Bible in hand, as I read God’s Word: I looked up “The Poor” and “The Needy” on my iPad software.

 

Proverbs 19:17 17  He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.
Proverbs 19:17 17  He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward him for what he has done.

Although I’m always; friendly, generous, welcoming and keen to chat with people of all walks of life, I determined that whilst on holiday, I’d make a special effort to talk with as many of the staff and locals as we could. It wasn’t easy, because we didn’t speak Bulgarian, but most of them had learned English. I left tips every time I was served and greeted the waiters by name. Julie and I made friends with a young woman who came to do morning exercises in the pool and run a little competition. Julie won a huge drink one day and we all laughed together. We had a photo taken, before selfies became the norm, we’d done it ūüôā LOL.

The POOR & The NEEDY:

Deuteronomy 15:11 11  There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be open-handed towards your brothers and towards the poor and needy in your land.

It’s not just open-handed, but open-hearted and open-life with everyone. Not just with the poor, but being generous with everyone, with our time as well. Some of the people who needed our help most on that holiday were people who had everything in life, like us, and they were struggling with simple relational things. We prayed with a few people on that holiday who opened their hearts to us.

Revelation 3:17¬†17¬†¬†You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realise that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.

INSULTING:

We observed some people in the swimming pool area, who’d obviously had far too much to drink, shouting and being rude to the bar-staff. They responded with polite and assured grace. I¬†approached¬†the bar soon afterwards for a refreshing drink and they served me with the usual¬†friendliness. I spoke with the man and thanked him and assured that the LORD would reward him for his amazing patience and kindness in the face of such rudeness. He smiled!

Proverbs 14:31 31  He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honours God.

It doesn’t cost anything to be friendly, to show respect towards all people, but it’s rewards are beyond measure. When Julie and I left, we gathered all our Bulgarian money we had left-over and gave it to the Staff members who’d made our stay so enjoyable and relaxing, they’d become quite good friends. One of them cried when we left, that was so moving. You can make friends with people very quickly in life.

Remember the Lord’s kindnesses towards you and you’ll be so full of gratitude that you’ll want to be kind and generous and open-handed and open-hearted towards everyone.

Hope you have an awesome holiday, but don’t take a holiday from the Lord: He’s with you even in foreign lands. We’re not going away this year, but we’re looking forward to having some time with family and friends.

Be blessed and enjoy your Summer Walk with Jesus.

Don.

I took the pictures for today’s post whilst on our travels on holiday in Bulgaria, the Hotel and the ancient village in the Blue Mountains in Bulgaria.

 

Jesus is the Master of my fate, Jesus is the Captain of my soul.

Invictus Unconquorerable

Daily Spirit & Word 560: Awards to Avoid in Achievement.

“Jesus is the Master of my fate, Jesus is the Captain of my soul”

 

Good morning my friends, we live in an culture that is driven by success and achievement.

Your youngsters are monitored for and the school is graded by their ACHIEVEMENTS.

People are attracted to schools that consistently ‘perform’ the best, parents look at the records of a school’s achievements before even considering walking through the doors to view the school.

Whilst we all applaud an individual’s successes and achievements; and quite rightly too, because a lot of effort, toil, sweat, dedication and study is exerted to gain those: merits, awards and diplomas.¬†However, there are certain pitfalls, traps and dangers that we need to be aware of in a culture steeped in mindset of success and achievement.

For if we only live for the awards and applauds of men and women in our life, then we’ll be living far below God’s Kingdom Standards of success and achievement.

Just as a proud parents cheers their child on in the School or¬†College¬†Sport’s Day, so we, followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, have a Heavenly Father, who’s watching, cheering, waving, longing and waiting for each and every one of us to win our race that’s been marked our for us.

1) Avoid being totally Self-Sufficient:

In the films; The Dead Poet’s Society and ‘Invictus’.

There is a repeated motto: “I AM THE CAPTAIN OF MY SOUL”

INVICTUS (Unconquerable). (See notes below).

By William Ernest Henley (I885).

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul

Nelson Mandela meditated regularly upon this poem during his incarceration in South Africa and read it to fellow prisoners. Barak Obama read the last two stansas at Nelson Mandela memorial service.

Whilst we all long to see a degree of the ability of individuals to be able to LEARN for themselves, and to INVESTIGATE and to DISCOVER. Because we know that the BIGGEST milestones in life are the ones we’ve made our own BREAKTHROUGHS in learning and discovery.

However, in becoming totally SELF-SUFFICIENT (to be the CAPTAIN of your own soul) there is also a danger: Because there comes a point when an individual becomes reluctant to seek help or ask for advice or able to receive instruction.

Just like solid polished granite is impervious to water, so is the individual to the LORD’S instruction, who’s become totally SELF-Sufficient.

 Why should we avoid being totally self-sufficient?

Jeremiah 17:5-6¬†5¬†¬†This is what the¬†LORD¬†says: “Cursed¬†is the¬†one who trusts in man, who¬†depends on flesh¬†for his strength and¬†whose heart turns away from the¬†LORD.
6  He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no-one lives.

Most Important: One thing that people long for more than anything else in our Success and Achievement driven culture is: POPULARITY. How do we know we’re ‘popular’? Because we have lots of ‘friends’. Friends are marked by ‘LIKES’ or ‘SNAPS’ or ‘STARS’ or “G+s” in SOCIAL MEDIA or HITS on Websites.

However, we must note, that when we’re only driven by being popular in the eyes of the world, we’re in danger of allowing our HEARTS to TURN AWAY FROM THE LORD.

When we’re TRUSTING IN: MAN (FLESHLY STRENGTH) for our STRENGTH (i.e. we measure our strength by fleshly prowess, fleshly skill, fleshly ability, fleshly might) then we’re NOT trusting in or relying upon the LORD.

It’s OK to have a degree of Self-Sufficiency: It’s healthy, but to be TOTALLY Self-Sufficient can lead our hearts away from the LORD.

Jesus is calling you and me today: Instead of being totally self-sufficient to be DEPENDENT: To trust in and rely upon the LORD. Not the strength of the flesh.

READ THIS OUT ALOUD¬†(Remember ‘faith’ comes by hearing God’s Word).

Proverbs 3:1-15

1  My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, 
2  for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity. 
3  Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. 
4  Then you will win favour and a good name in the sight of God and man. 
5  Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 
6  in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. 
7  Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. 
8  This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. 
9  Honour the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; 
10  then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine. 
11¬†¬†My son,¬†do not despise the¬†LORD’S¬†discipline¬†and¬†do not resent his rebuke,¬†
12  because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in. 
13  Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, 
14  for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. 
15  She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her.

It’s HEAVENLY WISDOM followers of Jesus need to strive for, not fleshly success and achievement.

How we look in God’s EYES is much more important than the eyes of others.

Question: Who is the CAPTAIN of your soul?¬†Is it you, yourself (your flesh, will, strength and achievements) or is it Jesus the Lord who created the Universe, who knows time’s beginning and end?

Let Jesus be your Captain today.

2) Avoid Being Outstanding: (Measuring Yourself Against Others).

  • To WOWzer them with your brilliance!
    To DAZZLE them with your results!
  • To BUCKLE them with your beating all records!
  • To BLIND them with your DAZZLING personality!

Listen to what Jesus is calling His followers to be like:

Jesus however, calls you to be “nothing:”

Jeremiah 45:5¬† “Should you then seek great things for yourself? Seek them not…”

Philippians 2:3¬† “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.”

This is Jesus calling you to be like HIMSELF: Humble, Gentle, Kind, Generous, Gracious and Loving.

He’s doesn’t care about nor is He impressed by your; Dazzling results, beating records, brilliant brain.

He’s going to give you an Eternal WOWzer if you are; humble and kind, Loving and Patient, warm and welcoming, faithful and true.

Avoid¬†measuring¬†yourself or comparing yourself to others, what’s more important is how do I compare to Jesus?

Avoid Being Outstanding (at the expense of others).

3) Avoid The Pull Of POWER:

We all want our children, grandchildren, friends and family to be a force for good in the world, to be men and women of renown, to be the People the world will look up to one day.

However; we should be very wary of POWER for power’s sake.

There is a danger in:

  • Desiring to be Powerful
  • Desiring to WIN at all costs
  • Desiring to Manipulate the Circumstances.
  • Desiring¬†to CONTROL the Outcomes.
  • Desiring To Let Everyone KNOW who’s the BOSS.¬†

Galatians 1:10¬†“Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

My friends, Jesus is calling you to a wonderful life of abundance.

However, in order to do that and to be His SUCCESSFUL, BRILLIANT AND DAZZLING follower.

He wants to set you free from the dangers of fleshly success and achievement.

LIKE ANY GOOD PARENT;

  • He wants you to be¬†more popular¬†than you do.
  • He wants you to be¬†more successful¬†than you do.
  • He wants you to be¬†more powerful¬†than you can imagine.

However, He knows the HEAVENLY PATHWAY is;

Hebrews 12:1-4

1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
2  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. 
4  In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.

Jesus is Calling YOU:

  • to shoot your PRIDE:¬†Stop being self-sufficient: Depend upon Him.
  • to kill your ATTITUDE:¬†Stop feeling the need to be OUTSTANDING (from other) but to Shine for His Glory.
  • to die to SELF:¬†Power and Control (Horrible). Powerful and¬†Controlling¬†(Nasty, Evil, Manipulative). Instead; BE FILLED WITH Holy Spirit Power, THIS WILL lead you to desire building up OTHERS UP in Christ’s body.

Can you hear your Heavenly Father, the Lord Jesus Christ and Holy Spirit? God (in Trinity) is cheering for you to win the race that’s been marked out for you.

WHEN YOU ARE READY TO FOLLOW JESUS’ PATHWAYS; Then you can REALLY BEGIN TO LIVE and LEAVE A LEGACY THAT WILL LAST FOREVER.

I’m going to ask followers of Jesus to declare;

“Jesus is the Master of my fate

Jesus is the Captain of my soul”

 

God bless you, the Lord fill you with His Spirit. NOW: go and get RESULTS for His GLORY THAT WILL STAND THE TEST OF TIME AND ETERNITY.

Don.

NOTES:

In the Poem “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley. Written in 1885, You’ll note that it is a rejection of God.

He recognises that the world is DARK (Needs illumination).

The Darkness is world-wide (from Pole to Pole).

Rejects the ONE God. (whatever gods).

Recognises he’s created with a soul.

He accepts circumstance (chance, destiny).

Doesn’t recognise / rejecting that God is in control.

He thinks this life is all there is,

just darkness (shade) on the other side of life.

Yet, that feeling finds him “unafraid”.

“It matter not how straight the gate”

He knows about the narrow path and the narrow gate,

but he doesn’t care (It matters not).

He knows that God’s Keeping a Record of His life.

“How charged with punishments the scroll”

And that God promises His wrath, anger and punishments

for breaking His commandments.

He’s rejecting the LORD as his final destiny

“I am the master of my fate”

He’s rejecting the LORDSHIP of Christ.

“I am the Captain of my soul”.

Existential Poets.