Why Am I Suffering?

Jesus answer to suffering

Daily Spirit & Word 601: Why Am I Suffering?

Good morning my friends, did you see the Blood Moon yesterday? For some strange reason I awoke just as the shadow of the Earth began to cover the moon, so I watched it for a while. The moon looked quite big, they called it a super moon, but I’m sure I’ve seen even bigger moons than that when I was a child ūüôā Overshadow? I’m thinking what the Lord may be saying about that today.

I can’t give a reason for EVERYONE’S suffering, but sometimes the Lord wants to teach us something.

My friends Roy Hutchinson shared this on FB today:

Psalm 73:14-17 (ANIV)
14  All day long I have been plagued; I have been punished every morning.
15 ¬†If I had said, “I will speak thus,” I would have betrayed your children.
16  When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me
17  till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny.

If you read that whole Psalm, you’ll see the Psalmist is complaining to the LORD: Why do ‘good’ people have to suffer?

Suffering:

When we suffer sometimes we ask the question “Why?” Why am I suffering. Sometimes Christians get ashamed about their suffering or the duration of their suffering, because they think it’s the judgement of God. Other brothers and sisters sometimes don’t help, because they say things like; “You should pray about that” or “Perhaps God is disciplining you”… When you are suffering you want people to show some sympathy and empathy.

But it is GOOD to ask the question: “Why am I suffering?” but we should always ask the LORD not other people, because, unless they’ve been given a word of Knowledge from Him, they will not know.

1 Peter 4:12-19
12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. 13  But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.
14  If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.
15  If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler.
16  However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.
17  For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?
18 ¬†And, “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”
19 ¬†So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.

However, there are some great reasons why we suffer, but it’s good to ask the Lord the question “WHY?” He may reveal something that, unless the suffering had come, you would continue to be unaware of in your character or walk with Him.

Two verses jumped out at me from that passage today (perhaps another speaks to you in a different way), the verses were 15 & 17.

Verse 15 “If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or a¬†thief¬†or any other kind of evildoer (criminal), or even as a meddler (someone who interferes in the affairs of others).”

How many ‘good’ Christians do you know, who are meddlers? The Church is rife with people who meddle, we should not do it.

  • If you are a meddler, then you are an obstacle to someone else’s pathway in life.
  • If you are a meddler, you are interfering in an obtrusive,¬†noticeable¬†way.

Verse 17: “For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?”

It is so easy for the follower of Jesus to¬†skip¬†over the first part of verse 17 and focus upon the outcome of the sinner who¬†doesn’t¬†respond to the Gospel when they hear it. However, the first part could quite possible be even more enlightening for us; “For it is TIME for¬†judgement to begin with the family of God”. We don’t like to think that Father God will judge us, but it’s good for us if He does.

God disciplines, and judges those who belong to HIM NOW: “God disciplines those He loves”. He’s perfecting, training, shaping and moulding our Characters to become more and more like Jesus Christ, it is far better to KNOW that you belong to God’s family and experience His loving discipline now rather than wait for the judgement to come. We should invite the Lord to show us where we need to be transformed. “What’s next on Your agenda for me Heavenly Father?” Because our earthly nature, though it was put to death when we were baptised and united with Christ, is NOT completely dead, and will try and creep back up onto the throne of our life and kick the Lord Jesus Christ off.

It’s TIME for¬†Judgement¬†to begin with the Household (family) of God.

In other words, it is good for us when the Lord of Heaven disciplines us. So it’s no wonder this passage begins with “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.” and continues with “rejoice”… It’s GOOD for us to experience some suffering, so we should never be ashamed or down-hearted or beaten down: Instead Christians should¬†Rejoice! Sing¬†hallelujah! Praise the LORD! Why? Because we are becoming more and more like our Lord Jesus Christ.

So what should we do when we’re suffering?

First: REJOICE and PRAISE THE LORD: I know how hard that is sometimes, but it is what happens to us when we do it. JOY comes into our hearts when we praise the Lord, even when we’re in pain and suffering all kinds of trials.

Next: Continue to do Good: Verse 19 “So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.”

Continue (even when you are suffering) to do good.

When I had a bad back just recently and found it difficult even to walk, there wasn’t much good I could do, but I prayed, studied God’s Word and shared with people in fellowship and online. It is the CONTINUING: Keep going even when the going gets tough.

Jesus will help you and give you the comfort, encouragement, and strength that you need when you are suffering. There were so many wonderful encouragements I received from the Lord whilst suffering in agony. Praise the LORD!

So it’s good to ASK the Lord, “Why Am I Suffering?”

Draw near to God, and He’ll draw near to you.

Hope you all have a fantastic, wonderful, tremendous Tuesday with Jesus.

Don.

P.S. Please PRAY for us as we gather for Discipleship Fellowship Tonight @ 7.30pm in St Luke’s Church.

 

The Gospel: People NEED Jesus.

The Whole Gospel of Jesus Christ

Daily Spirit and Word 600: The Gospel.

People NEED Jesus

Good morning my friends, this is the day we begin to study afresh the Gospel according to Mark. As you know there are four Gospel writers in the Bible: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Each gives us quite a unique view of the life, message and purpose of the Lord Jesus Christ.

  • Matthew’s Focus: Audience: for the Jews. Reveals the Messiah who fulfilled OT Prophesy. ¬†¬†
  • Luke’s thrust: Audience: Greeks (Gentiles: Non-Jews). Reveals Jesus as The Son of God,¬†Empowered¬†by Holy Spirit who came to Seek and SAVE Sinners.
  • John’s thrust:¬†Audience: For people with a Greek and Roman World View: Jesus is the Creator, Divine Son of God, The Sacrifice who Gives His Life so that mankind may receive Eternal Life.
  • However Mark¬†reveals¬†Jesus as the Servant King:¬†The thrust is on What Jesus did. Main focus of His Gospel (Half of it) The Last three weeks of Jesus life. (Mark wasn’t one of Jesus Apostles: He was a close associate of Peter and Paul.).

In the beginning he sets out to declare the Gospel (The Good News) of Jesus Christ.

Mark 1:1-8
1 The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
2 ¬†It is written in Isaiah the prophet: “I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way”‚ÄĒ
3 ¬†“a voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’ “
4  And so John came, baptising in the desert region and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
5  The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptised by him in the Jordan River.
6 ¬†John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt round his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey.
7 ¬†And this was his message: “After me will come one more powerful than I, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie.
8 ¬†I baptise you with water, but he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit.”

The Gospel:

“The Gospel” is a phrase that slips off our tongues easily, and we use it so frequently that we rarely stop to think about it’s meaning.

Usage of the Phrase: “The Gospel” Not used much by the other Apostles: But Paul and Mark use it regularly in their writings.

So what does “The Gospel” mean?¬†

It means the Good News:

  • First of all it is the Good News of the Coming Kingdom: Proclaimed by John the Baptist, getting people ready.
  • Then it is the Good News of the King of the Kingdom: The Lord Jesus Christ and His mission upon the earth.
  • Then it is the Good News of The Lord Jesus Christ: Died upon the Cross, Risen to Life and Ascended and Reigning in Heaven.

So NOW when we think of The Gospel: We always think of it as the Good News of the Lord Jesus Christ: He is the subject and message. He alone is the only way a person can enter into the Kingdom of God. He is God.

Whenever I hear the phrase “The Gospel”: I immediately translate it, subconsciously, as “The Good News of Jesus Christ”: But many others don’t think of it that way.

In Common Use: In the World: 

You’ll often hear people in London saying, when they want to communicate that they are telling the truth: “Gospel truth brother” or in East End “Gospel guv, God’s honest truth guv”…

For example: When I was going to buy a computer the sales assistant in PC World said, “This is the best deal you’ll get, ‘gospel truth’ and we’ll match any other offer you get”….

The world uses “The Gospel” to associate TRUTH. They know when they hear the word Gospel it means truth. So when we’re out there trying to communicate the Gospel with people and we say I’m out sharing the Gospel, we’d better be clear, because they want to know what we’re telling the truth about. It is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

The Gospel Meets Your Deepest Needs:

Although the Gospel is about Jesus Christ, it’s also something that radically meets the needs of all mankind.

When we need: Only Jesus can meet those needs;

People Need Peace:¬†People want real peace: Peace from war, Iraq, Syria, Nigeria, Middle East. But peace only ever lasts a short time. There will be wars. However, Jesus gives us a “Peace that the world cannot give”: Peace even in the storms of life.

People Need Gladness: Jesus give us gladness. We search the world for gladness and look to it for refreshment; (It does satisfy for a short while, like a McDonald’s burger, a holiday, but after a while, we’re hungry again) ¬†but we search for gladness in vain, because the world was not Created to provide it for us. Non-the-less we keep searching, trying, scratching, scraping, hoping, yearning, longing. The gladness or satisfaction we’re looking for can only be found in Jesus Christ, He Created the world, and He alone is the true (gospel) source of gladness and satisfaction in life.

People Need Understanding: The world seeks to KNOW: To know the world and the universe: The quest for knowledge is immense, people spend thousands of pounds on their education. However, if they’d but open up the Bible and turn to Mark’s Gospel, and ask God to open their heart they’d find: True (Gospel) Understanding (Enlightenment: When the Light of Christ comes into our hearts, our understanding, knowing is transformened into an experience of the Light of Christ: The Good News, the Gospel).

People Need a Clear Conscience: Most people are aware that they are NOT all they should be. God given each one of us a conscience, when we go against His Commands, the Conscience cries it’s warning, so we try to quieten our Conscience: Some do it by ignoring it: We’re pretty good at that. (It’s like ignoring the smoke alarm) Some take the batteries out of the Conscience too ūüôā They try to do some good things, thinking that’s enough to quieten the conscience. Even hardened Criminals give money or offering to the church; thinking that will remove their guilt. Only the Whole Message of the Good News of Jesus Christ, His death upon the Cross and suffering for the world, will remove the pain of a guilty Conscience. (Conscience means: Con means with and Science means knowledge, therefore when we sin we do so With-Knowledge.)

People Need A Strong Will to Live Right: Many people struggle with self-control. Many books are written on the subject. Self-help books litter the shelves of book stores and Amazon pops them up: How to eat well. How to live debt free. How to speak. How to write. How to …. ?????

A Google Search of “An Idiot’s Guide to”

Do a Google search for “an idiot’s guide to”: You’ll find a bewildering and enlightening list of the things that people are really looking for in life: from Science, Quantum Physics, Yoga, Relationships, Marriage, Politics, Debating, Dating, Friends, Management, etc… They’ve even got “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to: The Bible”… LOL.

My friends, people want to KNOW HOW to do their LIFE better: Only Jesus Christ can meet all these needs, desires, hungers and wants in life. That’s the Good NEWS of Jesus Christ.

Need for Forgiveness: (Not many books on An¬†Idiot’s¬†Guide to Forgiveness).

You won’t find any books (yet) on: “An Idiot’s Guide to God’s Forgiveness”… Perhaps it’s time to write it ūüôā

Google search that and you won’t find it. Why? Most people don’t think they NEED forgiveness. There is NO HUNGER or Desire for it. It is not high on the list of most important things in life.

  • Most people don’t think they need to be forgiven by God.
  • They think they are ‘good enough’ deep down, just a little bit wayward.
  • So they don’t think they need the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus Christ.
  • They think they can get along perfectly well without the¬†hindrance¬†of being ‘religious’.
  • Life is just to busy for ‘religion’… “Church: No thank you. I’m NOT religious”.

When we were out on Friday sharing the Gospel in Brixton: We got chatting to lots of different people about Jesus.

But four ladies that David and I were chatting with stand out for me: It ended with the ladies saying to us; “We’re just out having a good time, so please…” She didn’t say “leave us alone” but that’s what she meant and we got the message. It was a sad way to end a conversation about the LORD. However, people don’t think they NEED Jesus, they’re OK without Him, they’re having a great time without thinking about God. I ended the conversation with; “You know in your hearts you’ve broken God’s Commandments; you’ve admitted that you’ve lied and stolen and lusted, that’s only three of them, so I’m pleading with you, listen to your conscience, and think about what Jesus Christ did on the Cross so that you could be forgiven” They said they would and we left them to have a ‘good time’…. The next man we chatted to, about one minute after the ladies, thought that He was God. We sat down with him and had a very interesting time sharing the message of Jesus.

What Hit me more than anything else today: Is this my friends: People NEED the Gospel. We all NEED the Gospel: The whole Good News of Jesus Christ. We need to HEAR if: Because FAITH COMES BY HEARING THE WORD OF GOD.

We also need to RESPOND to it: Just as those who heard John the Baptist responded to his invitation to get ready for the coming Kingdom: They repented and were baptised.

After Jesus came; The Apostles (Early Church) proclaimed, preached and witnessed: The Gospel: People responded by:

  • BELIEVING (that Jesus Christ had indeed died upon the Cross for their sins)
  • REPENTING (Turning away from their sin and trusting in Jesus death)
  • RECEIVING: They responded by receiving Jesus Christ into their lives as both Saviour and Lord.
  • GETTING BAPTISED: This was to show the world that they’d been transformed by Jesus and were going to live a new life, in the power of the Holy Spirit and that they were dead to their old ways of living.
  • FOLLOWING JESUS: They then responded by living the Christian life, following the teachings of Jesus Christ, they became His disciples.

Most Christian Churches Today: The focus and thrust of good Evangelical, Baptist, Pentecostal and Charismatics is this: Believe, Repent and Receive (with a greater emphesis on the receiving end of the scale). Sadly so few, very few, focus upon the most important aspect, making Disciples (followers who’ll LIVE according to the Teachings of Jesus Christ and God’s Word). They pander to people’s hunger for experience, excitement and fun; but focus little upon the sacrificial life that Jesus has called us to: Taking up our Cross Daily and following / living with Jesus Christ. However, it’s ONLY when we begin to die to self that we can truly know that the Gospel IS the Good News we’ve been longing to hear.

Worship: I Surrender ALL to You Lord Jesus.

Conclusion:

We’re going to see over the coming weeks, as we unpack Mark’s Gospel of Good News of the Servant King: The Lord Jesus did some amazing wonderful things, he had Authority over all aspects of life and even death,¬† you’ll not want to miss any of that teaching I’m sure.

For NOW: Today:

Know this today my friends, this Gospel can transform your life today. The Good News of Jesus is for every hungry human soul in this world. They don’t even know they need Jesus, we’ve got to show them their; needs, hungers and desires can only truly be met in the Gospel Good News and Truth of the Person of Jesus Christ: The Son of God who died for them.

First: Have you truly responded? Do you Believe, repent, receive and follow Him daily?. Are you following and living according to the teachings of Jesus Christ right this moment? (If you know you are not, then come and receive prayer. Perhaps you need to repent and receive Jesus afresh in your life today).

Second: Will you be obedient to Jesus Command: Go into all the world and share the Gospel? Make Disciples?

Third: If you have not yet responded to the Gospel, the Good News that Jesus Christ died upon the Cross for you, will you turn and ask His forgiveness for your sins right now? Will you believe that He died upon the Cross for your sins? Will you receive Him as both Saviour and Lord? Will you seek His power and fullness of the Holy Spirit to enable you to live your life for Him?

Let us pray: “Dear Lord Jesus Christ, we can see today that we need a much clearer understanding of the whole Gospel message. It’s life and peace and joy and satisfaction can only truly be found in You Lord. Help us to respond as they first followers did, by giving our lives completely to You. Help us Lord and equip us Lord to spread this message that we know people are longing to hear, but don’t know it. Give us the desire to live like You Lord Jesus and LOVE people into Your Kingdom. Amen.

I hope you all read and re-read Mark’s Gospel.

Have an awesome Sunday and stay close to Jesus Christ.

Live in the Power of the Spirit today.

Don.

 

God Has Planted ETERNITY into EVERY Human Heart.

The Gospel is NOT always good news

Daily Spirit & Word: 599: How is the Gospel Good News?

God Has Planted ETERNITY Into EVERY Human Heart.

It was amazing last night going out into the streets of Brixton in London. After sharing with a few people it became abundantly clear that we were in the right place at the right time, God was leading us to people and many responded. We met up with quite a few ‘Christians’, (note the inverted commas), people who thought they were Christians, but who’s lives were not matching up to their profession of faith.

Also, there were so many ‘weird’ ideas coming from people’s mouths. One man thought that he was god, he determined his own future, his own life, his own feelings. As we talked it became clear that he wasn’t open to the good news, but we shared some things that hopefully were gems to dwell upon. He believed that this life is not all there is, that somehow he’d go on after death. I asked him, “Do you know why you believe that? It’s because God has planted Eternity into the heart of every human being?”

Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NLT) “Yet God has made everything beautiful for its (His) own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God‚Äôs work from beginning to end.”

You know what his response that statement was? “Ahhh so God plants thoughts and I’m just a robot then, I’ve got to respond to His input” he was touched and quite angry that God was the one responsible for his belief in ‘eternity’….. I said “Oh no! God does indeed reveal that this life is not all their is, but He’s definitely not made us His robots, He has given us free will, to either obey or disobey the Commandments which He’s also planted within our hearts, so that we’ll know His ways and be accountable for our life one day”.

We then went through a few of God’s Commandments: but each time, though he admitted his failure, he wasn’t touched nor was his conscience bothering him. Such a terrible condition for a human soul to be in at such a young age. I’m praying that the Lord will continue to use our conversation last night.

We got chatting about photography and things of this world for a while, but I finished with saying, “You know Grant it’s been lovely sharing with you tonight, but let me finish with this, God has planted eternity and His commands in your hearts, He’s also provided a way for man to escape His judgement for not living according to His ways, Jesus died for our sin on the Cross, for all our wrong choices, all you have to do is turn from your ways and trust in Jesus Christ.” He knew the Gospel, because his grandparents were Christians.

You see my friends, the Gospel is for those who are ready: It’s good news for those who’ve come to believe, understand or know that without a Saviour they are doomed, but for those who want to live life as if they were god, it’s definitely NOT good news, because they hear that one day, they are going to be made to account for their life of rebellion and sin. It would be a waste of time giving them the good news first, that really would be like casting your pearls before swine. So we finished off with a teasing glimpse of what the Lord has done to provide a way for Grant to be saved on judgement day.

The Gospel is NOT ‘good news’ for everyone, because some have already decided in their hearts that God’s ways are NOT for them. The Gospel becomes bad news, because it reveals there’s a consequence for choosing our own ways.

At the end of our conversation Grant thanked us for taking the time to share the things of the Lord. We thanked him for listening and sharing his views with us. Treating people with respect doesn’t cost a penny. We’re not out to win arguments but to bring people to the Saviour.

Other people were much more open to the Good News of the Gospel. There were believers, committed followers of Jesus and they were very encouraged and commended us our efforts in reaching out to the lost. There were also believers who’s lives had slipped and they too said, “This is a wake-up call” One lady said, “You know since we’ve been chatting, I feel my faith has gotten much stronger”… It’s amazing what the Lord does when we go out of our way to share the Gospel with folks. All those fears that we get vanish like the morning mist once we open our mouth for the Lord. He then replaces that fear with a holy boldness, but we become like Jesus, gentle, humble and ready to do the Father’s bidding.

I repeat yesterday’s little gem of a verse to encourage others (YOU) to go out and give it a go: Share the Good News with those who don’t yet Know Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour:

Philemon 1:6 “I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.”

How does that happen? Well the Bible tells us that “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God”, when you share the Gospel with folks, you’ll be speaking out God’s Word, your own faith will be strengthened, you’ll get an even deeper insight into what it means to be saved, you’ll get a full understanding of every good thing that you have in the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s AWESOME!

The Good News IS always great news, the best news that anybody could ever want to hear, IF their hearts are ready.

Today, we’ve got the Blessing of Yeateman’s Funeral Home Chapel. ūüôā It’s Open Day. Praise the Lord!

Don.

 

Weakness, Fear & Trembling: Brixton Street Evangelism.

Rush Hour Evangelism

Daily Spirit & Word: 598: Weakness Fear & Trembling.

Street Evangelism in Busy Brixton Tonight.

Good morning my friends, we’re going out tonight to share the Good News of Jesus Christ in Brixton, London. We’re going at ‘rush hour’, the busiest time of the week. Friday’s in London are manic, but there will be thousands of people. Some will want to stop and talk, but the vast majority will be either in a hurry to get home or on their way out for an evening of weekend fun. Brixton is busy because it’s a hub and junction for so many journeys across London.

How Did Paul Go Out?

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

  • He went with:¬†Weakness:¬†
  • He went with: Fear:¬†
  • He went with: Trembling:¬†

Weakness: Paul knew that in and of himself he could do NOTHING. When we recognise our powerlessness to convert a single soul without God’s Holy Spirit, we’re recognising our utter and complete weakness. We need the Lord with us, thankfully He’s promised not only to be with us, but to go before us to touch hearts and prepare them for the Gospel.

FEAR: Whenever we decide to do something for the Lord, Satan hates it and you’ll begin to feel FEAR rising within your heart and soul. It is especially true of Evangelism and sharing the Good News with those who don’t yet know the Lord. It’s amazing, you can be talking about all sorts of things, but the moment you begin to think about changing the subject to ‘spiritual’ things as a stepping stone to sharing the Gospel, FEAR will raise it’s ugly head.

It’s OK to be afraid, but don’t let that FEAR stop you. Pray out loud so the Devil can hear you. Get God’s Holy Spirit in you. Seek the fullness and He’ll come. Sometimes you’ll only notice that Jesus is with you when you actually open your mouth to speak. It’s amazing! He’ll give you words, wisdom and power when you are obedient to His Command to share the Gospel.

TREMBLING: It’s related to the FEAR: What if they don’t listen to me? What if I look foolish? What if they get angry? Etc etc etc…. All these thoughts will assail the mind of the person about to share Jesus Christ. You know something my friends, I get this FEAR and sometimes pannic attacks every time I’ve determined to share Jesus; and I’ve shared the Gospel thousands of times. You’d think that it would get easier as time goes on: Well it does actually, because with experience and persistence, you KNOW that Jesus Christ is with you and the Holy Spirit actually uses you to bring someone to the Lord. You’ll observe Him at work. We’re working together to bring in the Lost Sheep. However, the FEAR and Trembling still come, you just get used to it and KNOW: Ahhhh Satan’s taking note that we’re about to share Jesus. He hates it, but Jesus loves it and the Devil is no match for the Lord.

Put ON THE ARMOUR OF CHRIST:

We’ve found that taking a few moments to consider the meaning of the armour enables us to KNOW the Lord’s provision for the Battles when sharing the Gospel.

Ephesians 6:10-20
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.
19  Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel,
20  for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

Once you’ve got the Gospel Armour on and Open your mouth to proclaim the Gospel, the BOLDNESS will come.

Why? Because you are weak, but the LORD is strong: “Be strong in the Lord and in His Mighty Power”…. We NEED the FULL ARMOUR, not just a part of it:

  • Helmet of Salvation: We KNOW that we are SAVED by Jesus. Not by our own goodness or good works.
  • BELT OF TRUTH: Know the truth and the truth will set you FREE: Jesus is the TRUTH. Knowing Jesus is KEY.
  • BREASTPLATE of RIGHTEOUSNESS: We’re righteous in Christ, not self-righteous, it’s His goodness that makes us acceptable to God.
  • Gospel Shoes: A readiness to share the Good News of Jesus: We’re going out to do that tonight. We’re putting our Gospel shoes on this morning :-)… Getting READY.
  • SHIELD of FAITH: Faith is your TRUST in the Lord: The Devil will attack you in all sorts of ways, but with the Shield up, you’ll be protected from all his fiery attacks.
  • The Sword of the Spirit: The Word of God: It’s a powerful weapon, the only weapon we take with us as we share Jesus. It cuts right to the bone. The core of a person’s being. We’ve actually seen proud mouths shut by the Word of God. It’s awesome!
  • Prayer In The Spirit: We get filled with the Spirit and Pray In The Spirit.
  • BE ALERT: Even as we share, we can’t let our guard down. The Devil doesn’t stop. He’s out to discourage us every moment we’re on the Lord’s business. Watch out for His evil schemes. Sometimes He’ll try and distract us, send red-herrings along to keep us tied up and prevent us from reaching the one’s Jesus is preparing. Be alert to His schemes and be prepared to move at the impulse of the Spirit.

Proclaiming Jesus: We NEED:

His Presence, Power, Provision & Protection.

Will YOU Go OUT to Share Jesus Today?

So if you’d like to come with Jesus and in the power of the Spirit, you’re going to see how the Lord won / wins people, we’re going to go out tonight to do it the way that Jesus did: First we’ll pray, seek the fullness of the Spirit, ask Him to guide us to those whom He’s been preparing, we’ll be listening for His guidance as we’re broadcasting the Good News.

Pray for us if you can’t come. We need your prayers. Pray that people will come to faith and trust in Jesus Christ.

We give out tracts and bibles and booklets: However our main objective is not to just give out tracts, but to engage people in conversation that might lead to sharing the Gospel with them.

We Pray for People: Sometimes the Lord leads us to offer prayer, and we’ve seen Him touch many people as we pray for them. Often this leads to an openness to the Gospel when they feel the touch of the King.

We Receive From the LORD: Whenever we go out to share about Jesus, the Lord does something wonderful in our hearts too. Because as we share, our knowledge of all the good things that we’ve received from the Lord is increased. WOWzer! What a blessing it is to be filled afresh with the deeper knowledge of Christ our Saviour. It’s a supernatural knowledge that you’ll get in no other way. Philemon 1:6.

Philemon 1:6 “I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.”

(Tracts, Bibles and Booklets: These cost money; at the moment I fund this, but some brothers and sisters, who feel they can’t go out, like to be able to contribute and be a part of this mission. If God is calling you to support Evangelism, then you can give through our Church and tell the Administrator that you’d like to give towards the Evangelism Outreach Team).

Have an AWESOME Weekend my Friends,

In Jesus,

Don.

 

Lean On ME, when you’re not strong.

Jesus said, Come to ME

Daily Spirit & Word: 597: Lean On Me.

I’ve had a little more inspiration this morning from two sources in the world: From Bill Withers’ song “Lean on me” and from the traditional British red telephone boxes in Kingston Upon Thames. “Lean on me”.

You know something my friends, there are times when we don’t always feel strong, at those times Jesus is calling out to us “Lean on Me, when you’re not strong and I will help you carry on”. “Call on Me brother when you need a hand”.

Now before you say, “Well Donald, you’ve lost your mind, that’s not Biblical” lets just check out God’s Word and see if that’s true.

Isaiah 41:10¬† “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

God doesn’t like it when we are afraid, because He knows that when we’re giving into fear, we’re not trusting or relying upon Him. Psalm 18 reveals that David had a level of trust in the Lord that was awesome in times of danger or near defeat.

Psalm 18:1-3.
1  [For the director of music. Of David the servant of the LORD. He sang to the LORD the words of this song when the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of King Saul. He said:] I love you, O LORD, my strength.
2  The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
3 ¬†I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies.”

The Lord Responds When You Call Upon Him.

My friends, the next time you are feeling weak, when you are not strong, when you know trouble is coming or is already upon you, CALL UPON THE LORD.

Remember our Lord Jesus own words in this regard:

Matthew 11:28-30 
28 ¬†“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
29  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
30 ¬†For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

  • Who are we to come to? The Lord Jesus Christ.
  • When are we to come to Him? When we’re weary or burdened.
  • What happens when we come to Him? He will give us rest.
  • What does Jesus want us to do when we come to Him? Take up His yoke (follow His teaching and commands).
  • What does He want us to do? To learn from Him: from how He lived life on earth/
  • Why does Jesus want us to do that? Because He is gentle and humble in heart.
  • When we learn to live like Him, following His guiding principles in life, we will find the rest that our souls need.
  • What will we discover when we’re following Jesus in this way? That His yoke is EASY and His burden is LIGHT.

WOWzer! Call upon Jesus: He’s crying out to you today, “Lean on Me, when you’re not strong, I’ll give you hope to carry on”.

You know, there are so many times when I’ve been weak, foolish, burdened and feeling heavy, but when I’ve called upon the LORD Jesus, He’s proven to be faithful every single time, even when I’m not. He’ll give you the strength you need for every battle that you are facing today. You don’t have to be the strong one, because we’ve got ONE who’s power is¬†unsurpassed.

Listen to Bill Withers’ little song: Lean On Me


Have a fantastic Thursday with Jesus.

When you are NOT strong, Jesus is the ONE who will always be there, so you can lean upon Him, He’ll give you the strength you need to carry on.

Don’t forget to seek the fullness of the Holy Spirit this day.

Because there will never be a time when we don’t need Him.

Don.

The Photo was taken in Kingston Upon Thames in 2011 by Rev Donald Davis.

 

It’s Just Too Good to be True

Joy in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ

Daily Spirit & Word, 596: It’s Just Too Good to be True.

Mark 16:9-11¬†9¬† “When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons.¬†10 ¬†She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping.¬†11 ¬†When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it.”

When they heard that Jesus was alive, they DID NOT BELIEVE IT.

Good morning my friends. Many of us have friends and relatives that just don’t seem to want to believe in Jesus the way that we do. We often find it difficult to understand why. Why won’t they believe in Jesus?

Perhaps one of the reasons might be this one, the fact that it is just too good to be true.

Note from the verses above: The Disciples, the followers and students of Jesus teachings, were mourning and weeping. Why? Because they’d just witnessed three days beforehand their LORD and Master and Teacher being put to death by the Romans upon a cross. They’d watched Joseph of Arimathea taking charge of Jesus’ dead body, wrapping it in a cloth and taking it to a¬†tomb¬†and putting a great stone in front of the tomb. To them Jesus was definitely dead and gone, now they were doing what every one of us would be doing if someone that we loved, cared about, trusted and depended upon had died: They were weeping and mourning.

It’s just too good to be true that our beloved would come back from the dead. Many people find death so difficult to accept that they believe they can see and hear their loved ones, long after the event, until time and reality hit home and they accept the fact that they’ve really gone. I’ve known widows who, because they’ve been with someone for many years, have whole conversations and then suddenly realise “Ahhh, he’s not here”… No, it’s just too good to be true to believe that he would be.

Too Good To Be True? It’s fantastical, crazy, foolish even, to believe the good news. Some people actually think that you are MAD to believe that someone could come back to life after death. That’s why the Word of God, the Bible admits that the GOSPEL is foolishness to those who don’t believe.

So how can we possibly ever convince those that we love, who find it hard to believe, that Jesus is ALIVE and can be known today?

Evidence of Belief in Others:

I’ve known far too many people who’ve become convinced of this central truth of Christianity to doubt it. Even if I had not experienced the resurrected Jesus for myself, the evidence of the many could convince me of it. History, and even recent history in Iraq and Syria revealse the sincerity of their conviction, even going to point of being prepared to die with joy in their hearts, rather than renounce their faith and trust in the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ. However, sincerity alone will not move, convince or convict everyone to accept the truth.

The KEY: That UNLOCKS Hearts:

Thankfully, we don’t have to believe in the resurrection first, we’ll become convinced of it later on though, once we’ve got the resurrected Jesus in our life. It is after we KNOW HIM that we become like those who could never renounce their faith. To renounce Jesus after knowing Him would be like saying, “I came into this world without a mother or father”… It’s IMPOSSIBLE to say we don’t believe in Jesus, we’d be lying. Once Jesus comes into your life, then you too become a witness like Mary Magdalene, and just as she found that those who even loved Jesus found it hard to believe, we too will find it almost impossible to convince people about the resurrection of the Lord from the dead. Praise the Lord though, because He’s given us a KEY to open up those barricaded minds and locked up hearts.

The Good News: That Jesus is ALIVE only becomes good news once a person knows their need for the Lord Jesus. It becomes good news once they realised that they are sinners and that nothing they can ever do can take away their guilty conscience or wash them clean from their crimes against God. You see it’s our need of righteousness that will convict us and compel us to believe and become convinced of the truth of the Gospel Story. Just as God’s Word tells us; “FAITH comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God”…

To get us to that point of Belief: God’s Holy Spirit first convinces us of our need of a Saviour.

He first uses God’s Law to do it. God’s Law (the Ten Commandments) are like a Schoolmaster / Instructor to lead us to a knowledge of our need of a Saviour. Because without a Saviour we’re doomed to be judged by God’s Law for our sins. Because we’ve ALL broken His Commandments. We’ve lied, stolen, coveted and lusted, we’ve not put God first, every day of our lives. God’s revealed in His Word: the punishment for liars, thieves and those who lust or covet; death and Hell. Even if we’d only broken ONE of His Commandments, we’d become guilty LAW Breakers. Once we know that God would be just and right to punish us for our moral failures, we are ready for the Good News: Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.

God’s Commandments show us what we are like and the Gospel shows us what we need to do to be made right with God.

When a person is convinced of their need of a Saviour, they are ready to hear the rest of the Good News.

FAITH to believe; but believe what?

God gives us the gift of faith to Believe that Jesus Christ, God’s one and only Son, came to die upon the Cross for the sins of the whole world and three days later to rise from the dead and then ascend into heaven. He gives us faith to believe that Jesus died in our place for our own sins upon the Cross. He enables us to know that we need to repent and turn away from our life of sin to Jesus Christ and to receive Him as our Lord and Saviour.

From that point on, once we’ve repented of our sins and received Jesus as our Saviour, we’ll know HIM and become totally convinced of the fact of the resurrection, because Jesus is alive in our own life. We KNOW the Saviour personally. Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, gives us NEW LIFE: We get born again by God’s Holy Spirit once we repent and receive the Lord Jesus. Without repentance there is no remission of sins. Until we receive Jesus by faith, we’re dead in our transgressions and sins and await God’s righteous judgement.

Have an awesome Tuesday with Jesus your Saviour.

Imagine the JOY that those followers felt when they discovered that what Mary was telling them was TRUE. Then they KNEW as everyone can today, that it may seem “Just Too Good to be True”, but it is TRUE: Jesus is ALIVE TODAY and we can all know Him personally.

Don’t keep trying to tell or convince people that Jesus rose from the dead, they’ll just laugh at you and think you’re mad. It’s like casting your pearls before swine. Instead, use the God given KEY to open their locked-up hearts and set them free from unbelief: The Law of the LORD is perfect converting the soul. The Law (Ten Commandments) can open up previously locked-up hearts, hard-to-reach individuals who find that stories of the resurrection are just too good to be true. Once they know their need of the Saviour, God will use that knowledge to give them faith to believe in His Son.

Faith really does come by hearing God’s Word: It is sharper than a two edged sword. It cuts right to the heart and converts the soul.

Don.

 

CHALLENGE: “Is your FAITH Dead or Alive?”

Refugee, Asylum Seekers, Syrian Crisis, UK, Response, LOVE,

Daily Spirit & Word, 595:

TEST Question: “Is Your FAITH: Dead or Alive?”

The Migrant / Asylum Seeker Crisis:

It’s NOT going to be over for a long time to come.

Good morning my friends, heart check-up time. How do you FEEL towards those in desperate need?

I read yesterday about the Archbishop of Canterbury opening up Lambeth Palace to some Migrants / Asylum Seekers. Praise the LORD!

Our TV and Newspapers graphic scenes and pictures show so many in heart-rending need, that thinking we can do anything to help overwhelms us. However, it is possible that if we ALL did just something, then ALL their needs could be met easily.

Be assured of this, their plight and their need are NOT going to go away quickly, there’s no quick fix solution, so we are ALL going to be affected by it sometime sooner or later. So why not choose to be affected today?

Listen to what the LORD said about this current crisis:

Luke 12:22-34

22¬†Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.
23  Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.
24  Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!
25  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
26  Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
27 ¬†“Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labour or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these.
28  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith!
29  And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it.
30  For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them.
31  But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
32 ¬†“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.
33  Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.
34  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

“SELL YOUR POSSESSIONS AND GIVE TO THE POOR”

Is Jesus serious? Does He really want us to give away all our hard-earned, sweated and laboured for possessions to help these poor people?

Most of us would give out of what we have of the spare-change in our pockets, but would we really go as far as selling our prised possessions? Would you sell your big TV so that someone could have some food that would be gone if a few hours? Would you sell your digital watch? Camera? Computer? Smart Phone? Ornament?¬†Jewellery? Garden furniture? Classic car? Designer trainers? etc etc etc…. “Sell your possessions and give to the poor”: Jesus is just checking to see if people are more important to you than things.

NOTE: If you are having to sell your possessions, then you’ve already emptied your bank balance to help them out.

Notice what happens if you are prepared to TRUST the LORD to provide for your NEEDS.

You’ll be; “Providing purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will NEVER be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth¬†destroys.”

  • Do we LOVE people we don’t even know?
  • Do we LOVE strangers enough to go empty our bank balance?
  • De we LOVE migrants and asylum seekers enough to sell our prised possessions?

What are things anyway?

What are people?

Things can be replaced: People cannot.

Things can be worked for again: people can’t.

You may never have an opportunity like this again in your lifetime.

Is Jesus calling upon you to RESPOND?

Question: Am I prepared to TRUST the LORD like this?

Prayer: “Oh Lord Jesus, I can see that there are many, countless thousands of people that need help, and I know that all the meagre possessions that I own won’t feed that many or clothe only a few, but Lord I do feel challenged today, to take You at Your WORD. So I’m going to trust You Jesus and begin to sell what I possess to give something towards the relief of those who’re suffering right now. Amen!”

Will you join me? Who is ready to follow Jesus teaching today? Is this what Jesus meant us to be doing with those in desperate need? How much can I really keep hold upon when others are suffering? Is my conscience bothering me? Do I feel the pain of their plight? How would I be feeling if I had to walk 50, 100, 200, 300, 500 miles to get some help?

The LORD will bless you if you do respond gladly and generously:

Proverbs 28:27¬†“He who gives to the poor will lack nothing, but he who closes his eyes to them receives many curses.”

Deuteronomy 15:10 “Give generously to him (the needy brother) and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to.”

Proverbs 19:17 “He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward him for what he has done.”

Psalm 41:1¬†¬†“Blessed is he who has regard for the weak; the LORD delivers him in times of trouble.”

Every Human Being IS your “flesh-and-blood”: Your Brothers and Sisters.

Because we are all made in the Image of God: We all come from Adam and Eve: We’re FAMILY.

Isaiah 58:7 “Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter‚ÄĒ when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?”

Claiming to be a Follower of Jesus and not doing something to HELP means you don’t really have any FAITH in Jesus at all:

James 2:14-17¬†What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him?¬†15 ¬†Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food.¬†16 ¬†If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?¬†17 ¬†In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”

Question: Is your FAITH dead or alive?

If you really do trust in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, then KNOW that He gave up everything so that you could have life and have it abundantly (John 10:10), so then, respond to this GOLDEN opportunity: Sell your possessions and GIVE, GLADLY, WILLINGLY, GENEROUSLY, FREELY to those in NEED and expect NOTHING in return. Amen! 

You’ll be blessed by the LORD: You’ll be storing up treasures in Heaven: Jesus will be with you in ALL you do.

 

It’s Like an EXODUS of Biblical Proportions

Syrian Exodus Help

Daily Spirit & Word, 594:

“IF” You Help The Thirsty & Afflicted ???

Will you? Will You? Will YOU HELP?

Have you seen the NEWS lately? We’ve all been shocked and moved by the plight of those poor people. Thousands of people pouring over the borders of many countries, they’ve been kept bottled up in Turkey for a few years now and quite understandable, they’ve had enough. Their country Syria has become a dangerous, desolate wasteland. Many countless thousands were given tents and water and the very basics, but they’d had much more than that and they expect much more than that for their children and grandchildren. If their homeland can’t be fixed, then what else can they do, but risk everything to make a perilous journey and head for the place where dreams come true: Europe; Germany, England, France and the¬†forlorn¬†hope of ever being able to get to the Golden Land: America. Places of peace, social security and probably most importantly PROSPERITY. All that they want is the freedom to work and build a secure, safe future for their families.

Some politicians have declared;

“It’s like an EXODUS of Biblical proportions”.

It is and the plight is equally deadly.

The RESPONSE of those on the RECEIVING end of THE EXODUS:

We’re divided in our response; some want to help them closer to their homeland, in the forlorn hope that they’ll be able to return¬†to Syria or their country of origin¬†one day. (The thinking behind that is; keep them away from us and perhaps the problem will go away).

Some want to help them now, wherever they can be found, welcome them with open arms and give them assistance to become what they’re dreaming about.

However, there are countless other responses in-between; But the critical thing for Christians, followers of Jesus, is to ask this question: “What did Jesus do?” It is NOT “what would Jesus do?” because that is ambiguous and uncertain and we can be quite adept at making things up, but it is very definitely, “What DID Jesus do?”

He reached out His hand and said “I AM WILLING”…. “BE; clean, healed, delivered, set-free,”

My friends, that’s what Jesus did: Now I feel the LORD has given us ALL a GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY to be like Jesus.

Where do you sit in the current crisis?

I think we all know what Jesus would do: He’d reach out his hand and welcome them ALL with open arms. How do we KNOW that’s what Jesus would do? Because that’s what Jesus did whilst He was upon the earth. He went out of His way (Heaven) to come and help those that everybody else rejected. He lifted the dignity of the poor, the weak, the lame, the feeble, the sinful and the powerful. He gave them HOPE in a desert place. He gave them purpose when they didn’t have a reason to live. He gave them the ability to see above the dirt and the squalor of life here on this earth. My friends, that’s what Jesus has done for you too. How could we withhold that from anyone else?

Here’s what God wants YOU and ME to do today:

Isaiah 58:10 (NIV) and if you spend yourselves on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.”

What a challenge: “If you spend yourself” i.e. get tired, exhausted, broken and beaten: On behalf of the hungry, afflicted and oppressed.

  • Watch what will happen to you if you do that: “Your light will rise” It’s what Jesus was teaching us about “letting our light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven”… WOWzer!
  • Watch what else will happen in your life, if you spend yourself on the hungry and afflicted and oppressed: “Your DARKNESS will become like noonday” I.E. all that troubles you, the darkness that surrounds your life, will vanish like a morning mist on a summer’s day.

The Lord’s NOT finished yet though:

Look at His promises in the next verse:

Isaiah 58:11 (NIV) “The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.”

My friends, those of you filled with God’s Holy Spirit, Born of the Spirit, listen to His CALL to you today: “If you spend yourself on behalf of those in desperate need…” There is an “IF”, because the LORD has given us the freedom to respond. However how can we do anything else? We need to be STRONG my friends and PREPARED to COME TO THE AID of EVERYONE who needs our assistance.

I’m feeling challenged today:¬†Because the LORD is saying to me: “Donald, what are you doing for the oppressed, the hungry and the afflicted?” “Donald, what’s your heart-attitude like towards those who NEED your help?”

And I KNOW: The LORD Himself will guide, strengthen, provide and supply ALL that I need to enable ‘me’ to help. All He’s looking for is a HEART THAT WILL SAY: “With me Lord, there is no ‘IF’ or ‘BUT’, I’m going to make the most of this golden opportunity to SHINE LIKE THE NOONDAY and see your hand of guidance and support Lord. Amen!”

I’m praying the Lord will enable you all to respond to His call to shine by responding to the call of those in desperate need today. Amen.

Don.

P.S. What will happen to us if we TURN AWAY from what we KNOW the LORD is calling us to do?

Jeremiah 17:5-6 (NIV)
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.

 

Who Wants To Live Forever?

Divine Seed, Gospel Good News, Gives Life,

Daily Spirit & Word: 593: You Were Born Again To LIVE Forever.

Everybody NEEDS to be Born Again IF they are going to LIVE.

Good morning my friends, do you remember the Freddie Mercury (Queen) song “Who wants to live forever?”? Do you know or are you aware, that there are so many Christians who think that they are ‘Born Again’ only so long as they perform well, are obedient and good? However the Bible, which is the WORD of God, declares that when you are Born Again it is not just for a little while, but FOREVER.

1 Peter 1:23-25 (AMP)

23  You have been regenerated (born again), not from a mortal origin (seed, sperm), but from one that is immortal by the ever living and lasting (ETERNAL) Word of God.

24  For all flesh (mankind, humankind) is like grass, and all its glory (honor) like [the] flower of grass. The grass withers and the flower (fall) drops off,

25  But the Word of the Lord (divine instruction, the Gospel, Good News) endures forever. And this Word is the good news (Gospel) which was preached to you. 

HOW THE NEW LIFE BEGAN:

When you: REPENTED (for without repentance you cannot be saved), Believed that Jesus died upon the Cross for your sins and Received Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, then you were BORN AGAIN of God’s Holy Spirit. The seed that impregnated is the Gospel (Good News) about Jesus.

Just as a man impregnates a woman’s egg with his sperm and life begins in the egg. (Life begins at conception).

So the WORD of God is Planted in you and Impregnated with the SEED (The Gospel of Jesus Christ). New LIFE (Born Again, Regeneration) begins from that moment on. Praise the LORD.

However, as our text in 1 Peter 1:23-25 declares: This is God’s WORD: The WORD that regenerated you is not the SAME as human sperm. Human sperm is temporal, it will die and so will the egg that it impregnates.

Just like when you go shopping at Tesco, Asda, Iceland or the Co-Op: The things you buy have a sell-by-date stamped upon them, that’s because like human beings, they will deteriorate, they will eventually go-off, go rotten and will need to be thrown out. The sad fact is that EVERY (100%) of human beings will eventually fade away and die. Ten out of Ten DIE.

Just as Peter illustrates from God’s Word in Isaiah 40:6-9 “The flowers fade and fall, the grass withers and dies”

However, the Good News is this: When you come to Christ you are Born Again of an IMPERISHABLE (Eternal, Living, Abiding) seed. You are going to LIVE from that moment on forever. It is the GOSPEL (GOOD NEWS) that was proclaimed, preached, evangelised, shared with you that brought about this NEW LIFE when you received it with faith.

Can you see the NEED to be born again?

If a human being is NOT born again of God’s Word by coming to faith and trust in Jesus Christ, He or She will one day die, and that DEATH is eternal. They will be thrown into God’s ETERNAL PRISON CALLED HELL. Because they have not been born again, i.e. they’ve not Repented, Believed in Jesus death upon the Cross for their sins, and Received Jesus Christ as their Saviour and Lord. They will die with their sins upon their own heads instead of upon Christ’s Cross.

Believe me, this is not just Donald writing this, it was Jesus Christ who said, “You must be born again”.

{Please NOTE: It would be most beneficial if you read ALL of the text of John 3:1-21, because it’s all related to the SAME subject of Being Born Again and the NEED to be born again if you want to Enter into God’s Kingdom, Heaven).

John 3:1-21 (ANIV) Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council.

2 ¬†He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no-one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him.”
3 ¬†In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no-one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”
4 ¬†“How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!”
5 ¬†Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no-one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.
6  Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.
7 ¬†You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’
8 ¬†The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
9 ¬†“How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.
10 ¬†“You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things?
11  I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony.
12  I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?
13 ¬†No-one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven‚ÄĒthe Son of Man.
14  Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,
15  that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.
16 ¬†“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
17  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
18 ¬†Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
19  This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.
20  Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.
21 ¬†But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”

God Wants Everyone To Be SAVED (Born Again).

No ONE (none) need die this eternal death.

God has given us the GOOD NEWS to impregnate every soul on earth.

However, it take something on our part to receive this NEW LIFE: The Bible calls that SAVING FAITH: Do you know how to get or give faith away? FAITH comes by hearing the eternal Word of God. (Romans 10) Awesome!

Question 1: Is there ANYONE you know who’s NOT Born Again? They need to be to be saved. It¬†doesn’t¬†matter how ‘good’ a person thinks they are, unless they’ve been born again they CANNOT enter into the Kingdom of God.

Question 2: Will you do what you can to bring your loved ones into God’s Kingdom? What can you do? Proclaim, preach, declare the Good News (Gospel) of Jesus Christ: That Jesus died upon a Cross, giving His life so that they could be saved from God’s wrath and anger against their sins and His just judgement and hell. (Everyone has broken God’s Commandments).

Question 3: Is anything else more important than a person’s eternal welfare?

Jesus asked that question like this:¬† Matthew 16:26 (NIV) What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?”

Remember: God so LOVED the world (every single human soul that He created) that He gave His One and ONLY Son to die upon the Cross for their sins. (John 3:16). He did it so EVERYONE could be saved.

Prayer: Oh Heavenly Father, thank you for showing me afresh today through 1 Peter 1:23-25 that we’re born again of a seed that is imperishable and that I’m going to last forever. However, I realise that not everyone I know an love is ‘born again’ or even wants to be, please Lord, help me to be faithful, to know that a person can only be ‘born again’ and saved by hearing the Good News Gospel of Jesus Christ, Your One and Only Son and to proclaim that message with boldness, urgency and gentleness with respect and power. I know that life is in the Word proclaimed. It’s Your Divine Seed that will bring life. I’m praying to you Father in the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen!

Have a tremendous Thursday, KNOWING that when you come to Christ you are going to LIVE forever.

Amen!

Don.

 

Umami = The Secret Sense of Taste.

Umami Maturity Jesus Christian

Daily Spirit & Word: 592: MATURITY: Yes You Can Do It!

Umami = The NEW tastes sensation.

There are now FIVE identified senses of taste: Sweet, Salty, Sour, Bitter and Umami.

Last night at Discipleship Fellowship Group, we are still on No2 “Discipleship: The Importance and The Cost” previously we’d studied the Key Scriptures about it’s importance and cost, but last night we focused on ‘Maturity’. There are certain signs that we are growing in Christ or becoming ‘mature’ followers. We then read through the following verses and discussed each one along the way. All I can say is WOWzer! Praise the LORD!

C) Seven Signs Of Spiritual Maturity:

i) Fruitfulness in our service for God (Matthew 25:14-30).

ii) A humble attitude and a willingness to serve others (John 13:12-17).

iii) A standard of excellence in our lives in general (2 Corinthians 13:11).

iv) A close and growing relationship with Jesus (Galatians 2:20).

v) The fruit of the Holy Spirit manifesting in our lives (Galatians 5:22-23).

vi) A stable, consistent and holy walk before God and man (Ephesians 4:11-16).

vii) A solid knowledge of God’s Word and discernment as a result (Hebrews 5:13-6:2).

After discussing each portion I asked the question; “If I were to hold up a ladder with ten rungs, how far up the ladder of Maturity would you say you are right now? How’s your fruitful service? How’s your humility and desire to serve others? How are you focused on being an EXCELLENT (Perfect) follower of the LORD? Are you growing closer to Jesus daily? Can you see the fruit of the Holy Spirit growing in your own life?

It’s so easy to FEEL A FAILURE when we compare ourselves to Christ’s very HIGH Expectations: But God’s not in that kind of guilt trip relationship, He wants to set us all free from failure and empower us to grow towards Christ likeness. Putting the past behind us and pressing onwards daily.

Also: When we do a regular Spiritual Health Check: It’s not comfortable (Just like going to the Dentist), but we know it’s ESSENTIAL. When we KNOW the truth about ourselves; it keeps us humble, dependent upon the Lord and usable in His Service.

NO MORE EXCUSES:

We can see the foolishness of our regular excuses for SIN in our life. How we hold onto our weaknesses instead of letting go. We say things like; “I’m only Human”… As a Christian this is a LIE of Satan. You are NOT only human now that you have received Christ as Lord and the Holy Spirit as dynamite of Heaven. He empowers you and enables you and guides you. No my friends, we can’t make that old excuse any-longer. Don’t ever say it again, “I’m only human” because it’s a LIE. Stop believing lies and live in the TRUTH, AND THE TRUTH will set you FREE.

You ARE NOT “Only Human” in Christ you are a “SAINT”.¬†

Live as the saint you are.

What has all that got to do with “Umami”?

Umami is a secret taste sensation: A sense of taste that’s been around forever, but it’s only recently been identified by scientists. It that sense of mmmmmm you get when you eat something that you just love; Like a bacon-double-cheese-burger ūüôā LOL. Or Parmesan Cheese on Spaghetti.

Maturity in Christ is like umami for the Christian… It’s that secret, unidentifiable sense of deep joy in all circumstances, it’s what make the Christian feel good, smell good, taste good and be good for Jesus. ūüôā Maturity is a sense that others get a feeling of in the presence of a Saint who’s very close to Jesus. They can’t put it into words, but they know there’s something different about that follower of Jesus. Praise the Lord and press onto maturity in Christ. Umami…

KEEP TELLING YOURSELF THE TRUTH:

Philippians 4:13 (NIV)¬† “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”

Have a Wonderful Wednesday With Worship in the Spirit. Amen!

Don.

P.S. If you are FREE tonight, why not come out and share the Good News with us on the streets of West Norwood? Meeting up at the usual time of 7.00pm for training and prayer @ St Luke’s Church.