Jesus Birth Brings God to Men

The Blessings of Christmas Jesus is God

Daily Spirit & Word: 658: The Birth of Jesus Christ.

“The Birth Of Christ Brings God To Man.

The Cross Of Christ Brings Man to God.”

Good morning my friends, it’s quiet, dark and cold at last, perhaps we’ll have a white Christmas? Who knows? However, it’s been a wonderful lead-up to Christmas again this year; Sunday was mega-Brilliant; With a Thanksgiving Service for two young boys, Louis and Lamar. One of whom shares a Birthday with Jesus, because Louis was born on Christmas Day. After church my wife Julie had cooked a Turkey Dinner for my sons Richard and Joe, his wife Laura and my daughter Stephanie with six of our grandchildren; only six of them ūüôā Then after dinner it was another Carol Service at the British Home for the residents.¬†Then we had our Annual Christmas Carol Service, with Nativity Scene, Bible Readings and finally a procession of the Christingles. Lifting our lights we sang the wonders and joy of Jesus birth.
Luke 2:11 “Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.”

Jesus Birth Brings GOD to MEN:

You know my friends, I just LOVE Christmas: Lights, Trees, Presents, Family, Friends, Food: but most importantly, what it’s all about FAITH.
My friend Glyn Cotterell from Cornwall has summed it all up very well, and I couldn’t put it better; “The birth of Christ brought God to man; the cross of Christ brings man to God.” The Lord God, through His One and ONLY Son, Jesus Christ, has done everything He can to make everything all-right¬†again¬†between Himself and mankind.
  • Christmas: The Saviour Comes.
  • Easter: The Saviour Dies.
  • Easter: The Saviour Rises from the DEAD.
  • Ascension: The Saviour Returns into Heaven.
  • Pentecost: The Power Comes: The Comforter Comes: The Holy Spirit for those who put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ. He is the one who leads us through the proclamation of the Gospel, to faith in Jesus. Then He enables us to exercise that faith and trust in Jesus for Salvation. He’s not finished yet though, because the Holy Spirit then comes again into the life, heart and soul of every follower of Jesus and gives us the New Birth. When we’re born again of God the Holy Spirit, we can then live in His POWER to bring glory back to Jesus Christ and God the Father.¬†
My friends, God has done everything to lead men, women and children to be able to have faith and to trust in Jesus Christ for Salvation, New Life and Eternal Life. Christmas really IS Awesome.
It my hope and prayer that you will have a great time with family, friends, and fellow believers, but most of all with Jesus Christ this Christmas.

After all is said and done; it’s HIS Birthday.

What present could you give the Saviour? What’s the best present you can give Him?
  • Not your money, though He needs you to be using that to build His Kingdom.
  • Not your time, though He needs you to be serving Him every day.
  • Not your¬†talents, though He needs you to be using them for His glory.
  • No my friends, the BEST Christmas Gift that you can give to Jesus is YOU.
Why? Because that’s why Jesus came: For you.
Why? Because that’s why Jesus died: For you.
Let’s be sure, we’ve responded to the GOSPEL of Jesus Christ this Christmas.
If you’ve wandered away from the faith, then come right back to Jesus today, because He came for you.
If you’re still wondering what all the fuss is about, then take a few moments to read carefully some of the traditional Christmas Carols; you will see clearly the reasons the Saviour had to come: He came for you.
I’ll go back to the great Gospel Christmas Carol: “In the Bleak Mid-Winter”.
The last verse;
“What can I give Him, Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a wise man, I would do my part;
Yet what can I give Him – Give my heart.”
Praise be to the LORD God our Heavenly Father, Who sent His Son Jesus to bring God to men, then by allowing His Son to die upon the Cross, He made a way that is open to bring folks back to Himself.
What a glorious Christmas we can have with Jesus.
Happy, Glorious and Blessed Christmas and New Year to Everyone.
Don.
P.S. I’d like to take this opportunity to say THANKS to everyone who’s helped in the ministry and life of St Luke’s Church. Too many wonderful brothers and sisters in the Lord to name everyone here: You KNOW who you are! Jesus has been lifted up and the Gospel proclaimed. Many have been touched by Heaven and have come to faith and trust in the Saviour throughout the year. I’m looking forward to another year of serving my King Jesus and some wonderful fellowship with you all. Be blessed, stay blessed and keep close to Jesus in the power of the Spirit. Blessings and JOY in the LORD for 2016.
The VERSE from God’s WORD that is speaking to me:¬†2 Corinthians 8:9 “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.”
May you KNOW the riches of God’s mercy more and more in 2016.
May you KNOW the fullness of the Spirit in 2016.
May you BE filled with His compassion and LOVE.
May you Experience the JOY of leading many to Jesus in 2016.
May you be so full of Him that you SHINE for His glory.
2016 is Going to BE a Blessed Year: You are RICH in Christ Jesus.
Don.

Be Still And Know At Christmas

The Baby Jesus is God

Daily Spirit & Word: 657: Be Still AND Know At Christmas

Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I AM God”

Good morning my friends, what a fantastic visit we’ve just had. It was a whirlwind of a joy to see six of our young grandchildren being natural, playing, getting along and enjoying one another’s company. So much so, that when it came time to depart they wanted to STAY longer. When we get to really KNOW God, we’ll long to STAY in His company, to be with Him not just for a visit, but forever. We’ll never want to leave His presence ever again. How would you like to meet someone that you just love being with them? We imagine that’s what it’s going to be like when we meet Mr or Mrs RIGHT. We think that another person will satisfy our every desire and fulfil our every wish in life, but we were designed with that deep hunger inside us, and it will never be fully satisfied until we come and KNOW God.

When God tells you to “BE STILL AND KNOW”

What’s HE telling you to do?

1) He’s NOT telling you to be ‘religious’.

So often we imagine that to know God we’ve got to somehow become a ‘religious’ person. i.e. Be a goody two shoes and go to church or to kneel down and pray. To pray certain prayers in such and such a way. No my friends, I want to dispel that myth immediately, God is NOT telling you to become religious.

2) God wants you to KNOW something.

He wants you to be STILL long enough to KNOW HIMSELF.

When God tells us to do something, you must simply, like a child, TRUST that He’s telling you as a good father would, that this is going to be really GOOD for you. He wants you to know GOD. He wants you to experience Himself. But WHY?

3) When you are STILL in His presence, then you’ll KNOW:

When you are still in God’s presence then you’re going to know:

  • Comfort,
  • Peace,
  • Joy,
  • Satisfaction in life,
  • Happiness,
  • Deep joy,
  • Overjoyed,
  • Did I mention Happy Feelings ūüôā

Oh yes my friends, no matter what’s happening in your life, when you are still for a few moments in the presence of God, the CREATOR of the UNIVERSE: You’ll KNOW all these things, you’ll know what He’s like, His Character, His will, His direction, His plans, His purposes for your existence upon His Earth. Oh WOWzer! All that just from being STILL in the presence of God.

NOT RELIGION: BUT KNOWLEDGE OF HIMSELF

It’s not ‘religion’ that God wants for you, but it is that deep knowledge of Himself. When you get that revelation, you’ll get HOPE, JOY and Assurance that EVERYTHING is going to be OK. Why? Because God can walk on water. God can change water into wine. God can change bad characters into Good Characters. God can do the impossible. God can make crippled people walk, blind people see, deaf people hear. God can make storms completely calm. God can make fish leap into nets. God can make vines grow in a day. God can make the Sun and Moon and Stars of Heaven with just a Word. How do we know God can do that? Because He’s already done all of these things, He can do it again. He will do it again. That’s who God is and what God is like: He’s the CREATOR. The maker of all things, including you.

Who is this God? Be still and KNOW:

God is Jesus, Jesus is God. (John 1)

How to be still and KNOW God?:

Recognise who you are first: A sinner: You’ve broken God’s commandments: AND you Know it. Your conscience bears witness with your mind. You’ve lied, knowing deep down that telling lies is wrong. You’ve coveted (an inordinate desire for the things of this world), that’s just two of God’s Commandments that He’s written upon your heart, but because of His immense LOVE for you, He sent Jesus His SON, the Son of God, God the Son into the world. Recognising that you need God the Son is the first part of Knowing Him. YOU need the forgiveness for your sins that Jesus won for you when He gave His life in your place upon the cross. Jesus died in order that you might truly KNOW God. When you know God, your life is going to be different.

Be still and KNOW Him.

Confess: Confess your sins to God. Confess that you need His forgiveness. Confess the way’s you’ve broken His Commandments. Confess the fact that You’ve NOT put God first in your life (None of us have). When you confess, it’s like you are surrendering to a powerful force, like when a soldier in a battle gets surrounded and all he can do is either die or throw down his weapons and surrender. That’s what you are doing to God. You’re saying “OK God, I give in, I give up, I surrender and admit that I’m defeated in Your presence, I KNOW I’m a sinner, I confess it, I admit it, I want you to know that I KNOW you are God.” That’s true confession of God. One day the Bible tells us, everyone will surrender to God. Every knee will one day bow before Him and¬†acknowledge¬†that Jesus Christ is God, to the glory of God the Father.

Be STILL and KNOW God NOW! Do it today and find total freedom and peace with God.

Accept: Accept the offer of forgiveness and peace.

Most soldiers realise that once they are surrounded and completely defeated, that it makes sense to surrender and save their lives. It’s just futile to give your life once you’ve been beaten. It serves no purpose, the battle has already been lost, why would anyone throw their life away. You’ve been surrounded by God since the time you were born, but you’ve been battling, trying with all your might to live your own way. Now it’s time to surrender and admit that you’ve been defeated. God’s PEACE offer is on the table: Be at PEACE: Be STILL and KNOW HIM: He’s Good, He’s Loving, He’s Kind.

God wants you to know that once you recognise who you are and once you’ve confessed your sinful condition and are ready to turn away from it, that He’s going to forgive and cleanse you from ALL your sins. He’ll wash you clean. You cannot do it yourself, you can’t make sin go away, it needs to be washed out of your soul, it can only be washed out with something totally pure and holy. The holy thing that God has chosen to wash you clean is the life-blood of His Son Jesus. Only the blood of Jesus can wash you clean from your sins. Accept His total forgiveness and be clean in Jesus Christ. Then your soul will be completely at PEACE with God. Nothing, no storm in life can ever disturb that PEACE that forgiveness brings.

The war is over, the battle is won, Jesus is the victor, so surrender to Jesus.

Receive: Receive the Lord Jesus as your LORD.

It’s like taking down your own FLAG and Hoisting HIS FLAG of VICTORY.

Believe in Jesus, that He’s won the Victory: It’s OVER, the Battle is Won.

He wants you to KNOW Himself, but you can only really know God when you are prepared to allow Him to rule in your life. When you are ready to do that, you’ll know, because you are ready to TRUST Him with your everything in life. He’s got such great plans for you and your future, but you can only ever know them when you’re ready to TRUST Him with them. Let go and let God BE your God. He wants you to KNOW total love, freedom, power for life, joy and peace. That’s ALL God wants to give you, but that’s more than enough. It’s better than Gold, Silver or anything this world has to offer. It’s even better than the most expensive things in life. God is able to SATISFY you completely.

Can you see now why God wants you to be still and KNOW.

For me it makes sense to KNOW God.

Be still for a few minutes today and really get to KNOW God.

It’s great to be in the company of family and friends at Christmas, but it’s even more exciting and joyful in God’s presence. We’ve just got to be still and know Him. Don’t be religious, be real, be with God today. He’ll be with you forever. Amen!

So, I’m encouraging you, in the madness and rush of life, to take a few moments and BE STILL and KNOW HIM.

You’ll be GLAD that you did. Have a JOY FILLED Christmas.

Don.

Psalm 46:1-11 The KNOWING God Psalm.
1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
2  Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3  though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.
4  There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5  God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.
6  Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
7  The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
8  Come and see the works of the LORD, the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9  He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear, he burns the shields with fire.
10 ¬†“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
11  The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

The True Light Is Shining In The Darkness

Jesus Christ is still the LIGHT of the World.

Daily Spirit & Word; 656:

The True Light Keeps Shining In The Darkness.

Good morning my friends, have you noticed it’s getting DARK? Not just the physical darkness of night, the longest night in our calendar is approaching, but the ‘spiritual’ darkness. This year has been so dark, with thousands of thousands being displaced, leaving their homelands and heading for the obviously wealthy countries looking for basic human dignity; what did they find? Barriers, razor wire, barbed wire and a cold and hostile reception. We’ve had far too many killings; not just in warfare, but in the most cowardly terrorist attacks; Paris and schools in America. In the UK we’ve escaped relatively unscathed, but we’ve got ours coming too, because we’ve abandoned God’s holy standards of morality and profaned His gift of marriage, we’ve let confused and deluded people live with the feeling that they are the wrong sex, living in the wrong body, instead of assuring them that God knew what He was doing when He made them male and female, as He knitted them together in their mother’s womb (Psalm 139), be assured His swift judgement will come upon our land too.

Isaiah 5:20 “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.”

How are followers of Jesus meant to keep the light shining?

We are to live and declare God’s Truth with Love:

Truth mingled¬†with LOVE: We must “Say it as it is” but we must do so in the most loving ways we can. There’s no point in upsetting people or making them angry, because they’ll already be angry with us anyway, because God’s ways are not the ways of the people of this world who have yet to see and know the light. God’s ways seem to them; harsh, abrasive, rough, unyielding,¬†intolerant. The world asks: “Why on earth does God’s Word say Homosexuality is a perversion? Surely it’s “My Choice” that counts? Why does God’s Word say murder is wrong? When the baby in my womb, at this time in my life, is so inconvenient, it’s “My freedom of choice” that counts and I can plan my parenthood as I like.” My friends, the world wants to go it’s own way, but God so LOVED the world, He sent His SON to bring them back to Himself.

We must SPEAK UP, but we must speak up in LOVE.

Ephesians 4:14-16
14  Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.
15  Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.
16  From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

Speaking the Truth, even in the most loving ways will provoke a very strong and angry response from the world, because it’s already made up it’s mind that it’s not going God’s way any longer.

Well the world can stick it’s fingers up to God and stick them in their ears and cover their eyes all they like; but God’s Word, the True Light will keep on shining in this spiritual darkness. Our God doesn’t change like the shifting shadows, He is the same; yesterday, today and forever.

Malachi 3:5-7
5 ¬†“So I will come near to you for judgment. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud labourers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive aliens of justice, but do not fear me,” says the LORD Almighty.
6¬†¬†“I the LORD do not change. So you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed.
7 ¬†Ever since the time of your forefathers you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the LORD Almighty. “But you ask, ‘How are we to return?’

Our Lord Jesus Doesn’t Change Either:

Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever.”

God’s standards do NOT CHANGE just because the world calls evil good or perverse ways pure, the Bible’s teachings, God’s Word, will always remain.

How are we to help those who are living and convinced the ‘Spiritual Darkness’ they are living in is good?

The Gospel: It’s the POWER of God for SALVATION.

  • If they are going to be saved, it’s not miracles alone that will save them, it’s the Gospel.
  • If they are going to be saved, it’s not mincing our words that will save them, but the TRUTH: “Know the TRUTH and the truth shall set you free”. (But always share the truth with LOVE and respect).
  • If they are going to be saved, it’s not going to be by STRENGTH: We cannot force people against their will (that just gets their backs up, it raises their hackles, producing a fearful and angry response).¬† Zechariah 4:6 So he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.
  • If we are going to KEEP God’s Light Shining we need to stay filled with God’s Holy Spirit, stay close to Jesus (John 15), do what Jesus did and in HIS POWER, might and strength, through the Holy Spirit of God, we will work miracles to draw people to Jesus.

If you, dear follower of Jesus, want to bring your loved ones, the friends and neighbours and the people of this world to Jesus, then you are going to be even more full of the Holy Spirit of God: When you are filled you are going to be even more loving like Jesus, powerful like Jesus, full of joy, like Jesus. You will KEEP SHINING THE LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS.

Romans 5:5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

This Christmas; Jesus Christ is STILL: The Light Of The World.

  • He brings light into the spiritual darkness and chaos.
  • He bring hope and healing.
  • He brings love and acceptance.
  • He brings joy and peace.
  • He brings satisfaction and delight.

People in DARKNESS: Need the light of Jesus Christ.

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.”

JESUS IS THAT LIGHT

Isaiah 9:6-7
6  For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 ¬†Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and for ever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.

Isn’t that awesome, “A child is born, a son is given”: He will be called; “Mighty God”… Jesus is the LIGHT and He’s also “Mighty God”…

  • Pray: That many more people will see the LIGHT of Jesus this Christmas.
  • Pray: That God’s people on this earth will keep shining as LIGHT for Jesus.
  • Pray: That the DARKNESS will never overcome the LIGHT. Amen!

Hope all my friends and followers have a WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS with Jesus Christ,

HE is that TRUE LIGHT, THAT STILL SHINES IN THE DARKNESS.

Don.

 

Christmas Freedom From Knowing the KING

Knowing King Jesus instead of Knowing About Him

Daily Spirit & Word;655;

How to Have A Happy Christmas: When Jesus Sets You Free.

Jesus is the KING of The Heavenly Kingdom.

The Incredible Peace & Freedom When Jesus Is Your King.

Good morning my friends, we’ve had an amazing week of Carol Services, with more to come; Christingle Making on Saturday at 2.00pm, then a party at Jonathan and Louise’s house. On Sunday our BIG Carol Service with Cristingles and Crib… BUT do you KNOW the KING of Christmas. Jesus is the KING and knowing him is very different from knowing all about Him. To get the Angelic promise of PEACE AND GOODWILL TOWARDS MANKIND, you’ll need to get to know the King personally.

The late, great Dr. Vance Havner had this to say:

“One does not ordinarily associate law books with songbooks, mandates with music. But here’s a man to whom the law of the Lord is no burdensome thing, a pattern of hard lines. Here’s a radiant believer to whom law is liberty and service like unto a happy song.

One may be good in such a bad way.

Some of us have punctiliously kept the statutes but have failed to sing the songs. We have whiteness but no light. The Christian life does have its stern, unyielding requirements; but every law has a song written on the back and between the requirements runs the refrain. Duty turns to delight and mandates become melodies.

There must be a law if there is to be liberty.

Try to play a piano and you will run into laws as fixed as the decrees of the Medes and Persians. But through those statutes you reach the songs, drudgery leads to delight. The law of Christ brings the liberty of Christ. Keep His statutes, and they become songs.

The other side of commandment is conquest. What seems restraint to the outsider means release to you.

  • “Ye shall know the truth”‚ÄĒthere are the statutes.
  • “The truth shall make you free”‚ÄĒthere is the song.

But to know the truth is to know Him, otherwise it is legalism. “If the Son shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” His law book becomes a song book!”

From “The Incredible Power of Kingdom Authority”: Getting an Upper Hand on the Underworld. ( by Adrian Rogers).

There is also Jesus promise about His requirements:

“My yoke is easy and my burden is light”.

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.”

That promise of being able to follow Christ’s Commands, Laws and Decrees and His doctrines, is given in sharp contrast to the almost impossible and heavy,¬†burdensome demands of the¬†legalists¬†of Jesus day, the Pharisees and the Sadducees. When we just have duty without release, service without reward, obedience without experience, it becomes legalism. We must try and be obedient, but our obedience and the desire to be obedient stem from our nearness to the Lord Jesus Christ. We must come to HIM in order to be set free and filled with joy. Or we’ll just become religious or legalists or worse; we’ll become both at the same time; religious legalists. Only through knowing Jesus as your KING will you be set free from the impossible demands of God’s Law or any man made religious laws.

  • There is an invitation at Christmas: “Come to me” said Jesus.
  • There is a way to respond to Jesus at Christmas: “Repent, Believe,¬†Receive, Return, and be Renewed”.
  • There is a promise when we respond to Jesus invitation at Christmas: “Freedom and New Life”.
  • There is a NEW SONG in your heart, you will KNOW the TRUTH and the truth will make you FREE. That will lead to singing songs of freedom, joy, release, i.e. “My chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose, went forth and followed Thee”. From the song “And can it be”…
  • There is a New Desire in your life once you KNOW Jesus as KING: You’ll love God’s Law, You’ll long to be obedient, You’ll be transformed in such a way that His Law is your delight. Being Holy is not something that’s a secret anymore, you’re every molecule and fragment of being will be crying out to be completely free from the desires of the flesh. You’ll discover that freedom with Jesus as KING this Christmas.

YBH: Yes But How? How do we know if we know Him?

Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will obey my commands”… We’ll know if we know Jesus if there is a strong desire to live in obedience to His teachings, commands, decrees. They will not seem burdensom. The Law of God changes from something that seems harsh, restrictive and designed to ruin our enjoyment of this world, into something that becomes a joy and delight to the believer who is close to Jesus Christ. However, once you KNOW Jesus, then you’ll also KNOW that God gave us the Commandments because He loves us, has a plan to prosper us and enable us to live in His freedom. The Law of the LORD is light. You’ll delight in God and He’ll give you the desires of your heart. Your desires will change though, because once, when you were in darkness, you longed for the things of this world, the same things the people of the world long for, but once you’re set free, they are no longer so attractive, you’ll long instead to be filled with God’s goodness; the New Wine of the Kingdom.

Jesus invites you to come to Him today, when you respond in repentance, faith and trust, you will receive; Him, New Life, Freedom from Sin’s power to control you, freedom from Satan’s rule in your life and freedom to live in God’s power and authority.

When you know Jesus, the KING that the wise men worshipped and presented with gifts, you’re going to have an AWESOME Christmas.

Your Kingdom Come Lord Jesus.

Amen!

Be blessed in Jesus my friends,

Don.

 

SING THIS AWESOME HYMN:

AND CAN IT BE:

1 And can it be that I should gain
An int’rest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain?
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! how can it be
That Thou, my God, should die for me?

(NOTE: Verse One speaks about the almost ubelievable fact that someone so good, so holy and so pure, would die for a sinner who’s broken God’s commandments, someone like me. It really is ‘amazing love’ we wonder ‘how can it be’?)

Refrain:
Amazing love! how can it be
That Thou, my God, should die for me!

2 ‘Tis mystery all! Th’Immortal dies!
Who can explore His strange design?
In vain the firstborn seraph tries
To sound the depths of love divine!
‘Tis mercy all! let earth adore,
Let angel minds inquire no more. [Refrain]

(NOTE: Verse two speaks about the mystery of the Gospel, that even Angels couldn’t understand and wanted to know about from the beginning of time, but was only revealed after Jesus dies and rose again).

3 He left His Father’s throne above,
So free, so infinite His grace;
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam’s helpless race;
‘Tis mercy all, immense and free;
For, O my God, it found out me. [Refrain]

(NOTE: Verse 3; speaks about the joy of being set free when you come to Jesus. The truth of Jesus pre-existence before coming from Heaven to Earth, how He emptied Himself of some of His Godly attributes to take on human flesh, but couldn’t empty Himself of love).

4 Long my imprisoned spirit lay
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quick’ning ray,
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free;
I rose, went forth and followed Thee. [Refrain]

(NOTE: Verse 4 is jam-packed with truth. It tells of the imprisoned sinner, bound in sin it’s like darkness, but when we come to Jesus, we get the awesome light and we see the dungeon for what it is; sin is a horrible dungeon, an prison, it keeps it’s prisoners in chains that are impossible for mankind to break on their own, “fast bound”. 2 Corinthians 4:4. The Gospel the knowledge of Christ’s death for law-breaking sinners, will make those chains fall off. Fantastic! Freedom!).

5 No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in Him is mine!
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach th’eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own. [Refrain]

NOTE: Verse 5: Once we KNOW Jesus and Jesus knows us; there is unspeakable joy and freedom, “No condemnation” the dread of facing God’s judgement is taken away. We’re ‘Alive in Him’; i.e. Jesus gives us life in Himself when we receive Him as Lord. We can approach the throne of GRACE boldly.)…

There’s the Modern Worship Song: Break Every Chain.
Jesus will set you completely free: “I Am the Vine” John 15.

 

Following A Guiding Star: More Than A Fairy Tale.

The guiding Star will lead you to the Saviour today

Daily Spirit & Word; 654; More than a fairy tale.

Good morning my friends, I just happened to be watching East Enders last night, well not really, I caught a few lines before grasping for the remote to turn channels ūüôā But before I could turn it over, I heard Stacy utter these words, “It’s all just a silly fairy-tale, a made-up story, all that following a bright star in the sky”… I’m sure that Stacy echoes the sentiments of many people in our land today, but there are some, myself included, who firmly believe every written word: The Virgin birth (impossible), the guiding star (impossible), the opening up of heaven to see thousands and thousands of angels praising God, the birth in a stable, the wise men’s visit, etc etc etc… I believe the whole account in the Bible and it fills me with true amazement, wonder and joy every Christmas.

Matthew 2:1-12
1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem
2 ¬†and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”
3  When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him.
4 ¬†When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born.
5 ¬†“In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:
6 ¬†” ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.’ “
7  Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared.
8 ¬†He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”
9  After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was.
10  When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.
11  On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.
12  And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

MORE THAN A FAIRY TAIL.

Jesus birth is much more than a fairy tale or folk lore, it’s a scientific fact. ūüėé ¬†Jesus was born, and I watched a documentary a few years ago by secular scientists who proved that the alignment of the stars around about the time of Jesus birth actually happened (yes it was in colour :-). However, even if they could find no evidence for it, or if a new documentary comes along and declares, “It never happened”, that would not shake my faith in the¬†veracity¬†of the Biblical account. Why? Because those who recorded for us the pages of the Bible were not motivated by money,¬†notoriety¬†or fame, they were moved by God the Holy Spirit: The Gospels ARE Scripture; the Holy Scriptures are inspired by God; men motivated and guided by Him to give an accurate, honest and truthful account of the Saviour’s birth, life, teachings, death and resurrection.

I know it’s true, because there is only one thing that’s impossible for God, God cannot lie. He’s got to tell the truth, because God is TRUTH. The Bible tells us that God cannot lie: Jesus is God and He said about Himself, “I AM the way, the truth and the life”… He often said, “truly, truly I tell you”… He emphasised the fact that He was always telling the truth. My friends, you can TRUST that Jesus birth and all the events surrounding it; from the Angels, the Wise Men, the Shepherds and the Virgin Birth are all TRUE.

WHICH STAR ARE YOU FOLLOWING?

My friends, you can either follow a SOAP STAR or you can follow the GUIDING STAR.

  • One will lead you away from Jesus;
  • The other will direct you to the SAVIOUR OF THE WORLD.

You may be one of the doubters like Stacy in Eastenders, or you might be looking forward to Christmas this year. Perhaps the story doesn’t fill you with joy, wonder and praise, but it can and it will if you will just come in repentance and¬†faith¬†and trust in Jesus Christ. Be like one of the Magi (those wise men from the East), who followed the start and found the promised Messiah, Emmanuel (God with us) in Jesus Christ.

JESUS CAN BE: YOUR EMMANUEL.

Emmanuel: Means = God With Us.

Jesus promised all those who took Him as their Saviour:

“I will never leave you, I am with you, even to the end of the age”…

He’ll be your Emmanuel the moment you trust Him as Lord and forever.

I’m really looking forward to Christmas, it’s a fantastical good time to read annually the events and ancient prophetic Scriptures that foretold all the events surrounding our Saviour’s birth so accurately for us.

Our faith, the Christian faith, doesn’t rest upon¬†EVIDENCE¬†alone, but the inward witness of the Holy Spirit who confirms and illuminates these events even more. When I read the Bible I’m filled with a JOY that only God can give. It’s impossible to experience that JOY fully, without being born of God’s Holy Spirit. No wonder, like Stacy in Eastenders, the world thinks it’s foolishness. Get God and you’ll get ILLUMINATION of His Word. Be like the Wise men, get your own Emmanuel: Jesus is with you forever. Amen.

The Soap Star: Stacy in Eastenders, will lead you away from Jesus.
The Guiding Star: Will lead you to put your faith and trust in Him.
Who will you follow?

Praise You; Father, Son and Holy Spirit; Almighty God. Amen.

Don.

Where will you find Jesus today?

Where will you find Jesus today?

Daily Spirit & Word; 653:

If You Want To Find Jesus This Christmas.

You’ll need to endure the stink and the stench outside.

Where can we find Jesus today?

Well my friends, you will not find Him in the Holiday Inn, no you’ll still only find Jesus outside in the Stables.

Jesus was always an OUTSIDER:

He wasn’t born in luxury.

Babies today, mostly, are born in the luxury of dedicated and professional care, either at home with trained¬†midwives¬†or in hospital with doctors and nurses, but Jesus was born in a Stable, with the dirt, grime and the filth of the animals in that stable. Have you ever stopped to think of how smelly that stable must have been? He came from the holy odours of Heaven into the stench of a stinky stable. I’ve worked as a¬†stable-boy; cleaning out horses and ponies in Edinburgh for Mr McBride. Those horses really stank, sweeping up the straw was a messy smelly chore. I’ve worked on a pig farm as a young trainee in the Navy, those pigs, though they looked clean and pink, were really smelly. Jesus was born in a whiffy, pongy, minging, stinky stable.

He didn’t live in luxury.

Most people today have warm homes with light, but the Bible tells us that Jesus had nowhere to lay his head. He didn’t have a home that He could call His own (Matthew 8:20, Luke 9:58).

He didn’t die in luxury.

Most people today, when they die, they die with care and dignity, again with professionals looking after their every need. When painkillers are required, they’re available to make the passing bearable. But the Lord Jesus, when He died, He was taken outside of the city, to the rubbish dump (Golgotha was a place outside the city walls of Jerusalem, it was the place criminals were taken to be executed, but it was also the city rubbish dump. As a boy I used to play on one of the biggest rubbish dumps in Edinburgh, it was STINKY there. But where there’s muck there’s often treasure. We found many items that had been thrown upon the rubbish heap, that was very valuable indeed. My sister Doris once found a whole box full of silver, solid silver, watches. ¬†Jesus compared the fires of hell with the fires that continually burned at the rubbish heaps of Golgotha, burning the rubbish of the city.)

My friends, there is still treasure to be found on the OUTSIDE with Jesus.

Jesus was an outsider my friends, His life ended in the disgrace of a criminals death (the Jews knew that anyone who died upon a cross or tree was cursed by God). So even in His death, Jesus was an outsider.

He didn’t get¬†buried¬†in luxury.

Jesus was an outsider in the burial place too: He didn’t have a¬†tomb¬†of His own. He had to be laid to rest in a borrowed tomb, the tomb of a rich man.

If you want to find Jesus Christ this Christmas, then we must go outside too: Just like a SATNAV tells you where to go, so Hebrews 13 gives us the directions to Jesus.

Hebrews 13:11-14
11  The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp. 12  And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood.
13  Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore. 14  For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.

Just as Jesus HOME was not of this Earth, so this stinky, stench filled Earth is NOT your home, if you are a Christian. You final dwelling place will be the New Jerusalem in the New Heavens and New Earth: Jesus is getting your eternal dwelling place ready for you (John 14:1-6).

Just as Jesus SUFFERED outside the city walls of Jerusalem and from the beginning to end of His life, His was the life of an OUTSIDER, so we must take up our Cross daily and follow the Lord’s example, daring to be an OUTSIDER with Him. He’ll never leave you, but you are called to be different from the people of the Earth who don’t know Jesus as Lord.

How are you called to be different? How are you called to be an outsider?

  • You are to LOVE your enemies. Matthew 5:44, Luke 6:27-36.
  • Do GOOD to those that hate you. Matthew 5:44, Luke 6:27.
  • Be GENTLE and as we were reminded on Sunday in worship: “Let your gentleness be evident to all”. Philippians 4:5-7. Matt 10:16.
  • Be FORGIVING: Jesus as Jesus has forgiven you, so you must also forgive those who’ve hurt you. Matthew 6:14-15, Luke 17:3-4, Ephesians 4:32.
  • Be JOYFUL Always: Psalm 35:9, Habakkuk 3:18, Philippians 4:4.

My friends, Jesus sent His Disciples to be OUTSIDERS in this world, so He’s sending you and me out to be outsiders too. We’re called to be different from everyone else in this world. He wants you to be full of love, gentleness, generosity, goodness, self-controlled, demonstrate kindness, be peaceful and peacekeeping, and be full of joy always.

Do you know why people flocked to Jesus? Because He was ALL of these things, the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit were evident to everyone around Jesus Christ and it was attractive. They were drawn to Him like iron filings to a magnet, like a moth to a flame, like a chocolate-treat to the mouth on Christmas Day. ¬†Oh my friends, He’s calling all of us to Be like Jesus, the world may not love you or welcome your King’s message. Just as they eventually rejected Jesus in favour of Barabbas, but don’t let that make you hard towards sinners,¬†don’t let it take your love or kindness away from you towards them. You determine in your heart right now to be like Jesus was, always ready and willing to¬†stretch-out his healing hands, always on the outside with those on the outside. He’s called you to be an outsider too.

Matthew 10:16 (AMP)
16  Behold, I am sending you out like sheep in the midst of wolves; be wary and wise as serpents, and be innocent (harmless, guileless, and without falsity) as doves.

If you want to find Jesus this Christmas, you’ll have to join Him on the outside. “Let us therefore, go to Him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace that He bore” Hebrews 13:13. He was born with stinky animals, had no place to lay His holy head, borrowed a tomb and died at the rubbish dump. Will you join Jesus on the outside today?

Be blessed and be full of JOY in Jesus,

Don.

 

Let Jesus Show You His HEART This Christmas

Christmas Delight with Jesus LOVE

Daily Spirit & Word; 652: This Christmas With Jesus.

He knows, understands and wants to meet all your most basic needs in life today.

To be loved, understood and needed.

At Christmas time there’s a feeling that we’ve just got to be happy. Well yesterday I conducted a wonderful Carol Service at West Norwood Crematorium, it was arranged by Lambeth Crematorium and¬†Cemetery¬†Staff, refreshments were provided by Yeateman’s & Sons and volunteers from St Christopher’s Hospice served the drinks and mince pies. Before the¬†refreshments¬†we gathered in the Crematorium chapel and as I led the Service it struck me deeply that this Christmas there are going to be lots of people who will not feel very happy, but in fact they’ll be deeply grief stricken, because they’ve lost someone who’s very precious and dear to them. Some will feel very lonely, other’s will perhaps be¬†angry¬†that the Lord has taken them away. There will be an emptiness inside someone’s heart this Christmas. There is someone who can fill that emptiness with love and renewed joy.

We all know that human beings have three basic needs in life:

  • The need to feel loved,¬†
  • The need to feel understood,
  • The need to feel wanted.

The NEED to feel LOVED.

Being lonely at the best of times is horrible, but at Christmas it’s heightened. The need to feel loved is a basic need within each and every human heart. Of course you’ll get hard-hearted individualistic people who’ll say, “I don’t need people, I love my own company”, but that just reveals that somewhere along the road of their life, they’ve been deeply hurt, perhaps as a child, and they’ve got tough to compensate for the lack of love they received. These types of people are not very loving towards others and find it very difficult to sympathise when people struggle with their emotions. If only they’d let their guard down for a moment, admit their hurt and be open to being hurt again, then they’d be ready to feel the LOVE of another person again. But the vast majority of people today, know that they need to feel loved and to express love towards others.

My friends, we have someone who came into this world just to let you, the lonely and those who’re on their own this Christmas, just how much He loves you: The LORD Jesus Christ. He came as a baby, but lived a life of love to the end. On the Cross Jesus was demonstrating just how much He loves us, so that we will never, ever feel lonely again. When we come to Jesus, He comes to us and will NEVER leave us alone again. That’s an awesome thought for the lonely this Christmas. Yes we do need other people as well, but we’ve always got Jesus with us.

The NEED to feel UNDERSTOOD.

Have you ever heard someone say, “You just don’t understand me, you don’t get me”… We all love to be understood by others. We want people to know what life is like for me. So often everybody is only concerned for themselves. However, at Christmas time, we’re forced to think about other people. This is where being alone is an advantage, because you only have to think about yourself. However, God’s given us a mission upon this earth, and it involves the Command to LOVE others, that means we’re going to have to know people well in order to understand them. To get into their life and know what their needs are. Do you understand the folks around you. They have a basic need to be understood.

God understands you my friends. He gets you. He knows all about your life and your needs and desires. However, in order to get those basic needs of being understood met, we’ve got to be delighting in Him. Psalm 37: tells us, “Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart”… To get the one, we’ve got to do the other.

The NEED to feel WANTED:

Imagine going through life without ever being wanted? There’s nothing worse than feeling excluded.

It begins at school when they are choosing people to be on their side in a sport and you get to the point when they choose everybody else but you. Yes there are the popular ones, the ones that are great at football, then the ones who are liked by everybody, then there’s you at the end of the line. The feelings of not being wanted, for some people, begin at a very young age. We ALL love to feel wanted or needed by others. I’ll never forget the feeling a few years ago now, when someone, who I thought of as a friend said to me, in fact it was two people, “You don’t have any friends here”… I did have lots of friends, but what they said hit home and I was shocked into silence “I’m not your friend”…. It hurt deeply, but thanks be to the Lord Jesus, He’s helped me to see that it was just them and I’m now able to love them even though they don’t or won’t love me.

Even though people say and do terrible things to you, there is someone who’ll always love you: Jesus. I know it sounds a bit soppy, but it’s true. He not only loves you and understands you, but He wants you to be on His team. He’s got so many lovely things He wants you to do just for Him. You are NEEDED by Jesus.

My friends, let go of the hurt this Christmas and take Jesus Christ as your friend; You’ll find in Him someone who really does LOVE you for who you are, He understands you and get you, He knows what you need in life and He needs you too. He’s got a great plan for you.

Will you let Jesus show you afresh this Christmas that you are loved?

Will you, in turn and through joyfilled appreciation, love others in response to Jesus love?

Hebrews 13:1-8
1 Keep on loving each other as brothers.
2  Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.
3  Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow-prisoners, and those who are ill-treated as if you yourselves were suffering.
4  Marriage should be honoured by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.
5 ¬†Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
6 ¬†So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”
7  Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.
8  Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever.

What will you do this Christmas with Jesus LOVE?

If you are heart-broken; Jesus came to mend broken hearts.

If you are lonely; Jesus came to give you Himself and be with you forever.

If you are in need of anythings, delight yourself in the LORD and He’ll give your heart’s desires. (Psalm 37).

Love others, Understand others, Show others that they are needed.

Jesus NEVER changes;

He’s the same; yesterday, today and forever.

Jesus loves YOU today.

Jesus wants everyone to know Just how much they are LOVED and WANTED and NEEDED this Christmas.

You can be His means of expressing His love: Be filled with God’s Spirit and really LOVE others this Christmas, go out of your way to make Christmas special for everyone, regardless of who they are.

Have an awesome Saturday with Jesus.

Don.

 

P.S> Come and join us tonight at St Luke’s. To sing Carols, and get some wonderful Christmas gifts in the Church. Enjoy the lantern parade, because Jesus Christ is the Light of the world.

 

St Luke’s Church, West Norwood, 4-8pm Christmas Lights.

Lights being turned on by a local West Norwood celebrity.

 

Make Room In Your Heart For Jesus This Christmas

no room at the inn in Bethlehem,

Daily Spirit & Word; 651:

No Room For Jesus At Christmas.

Good morning my friends, it’s often astounding to me that the Lord Jesus was born in a stable and put into an animal feeding trough, because there was no room for his poor mummy and daddy at the Inn. Don’t you think this is strange? Surely common decency would dictate that the Proprietor¬†of the Inn would ask one of the other guests to vacate a room so that a pregnant woman could have a place to give birth to a child, but NO! There was no room for Jesus at the Inn in Bethlehem. I wonder what business was like for that Innkeeper after Jesus was Crucified?

Luke 2:1-7 (ANIV)
1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.
2  (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.)
3  And everyone went to his own town to register.
4  So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.
5  He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.
6  While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born,
7  and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

No ROOM For Jesus:

Mary and Joseph were in Bethlehem because that was their ancestral home town. They had travelled a great distance, and perhaps it was that tiresome journey that brought on the birth of Jesus, we don’t know. However, we are told that whilst they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, but they were in a stable. It was not uncommon for people in those days to live with their animals. It was also expected that people would offer hospitality to strangers. Imagine though, Jesus came down from Heaven into the body of a human baby and the first things that He experiences are the sights, sounds and smells of a stable. He’d just been in HEAVEN; the next moment, in a stinky stable. There was no room for Him in the nice place.

I don’t think it’s an accident that the Gospel writer Luke records that it was in a Stable that Jesus was born and also that there was NO ROOM for Jesus at the inn. There was never any room for Jesus in this world and there is still no room for Jesus Christ in this world today.

HOW IS THERE NO ROOM FOR JESUS.

We’ve just heard through two Christian Campaign Groups: The Christian Institute and Christian Concern: That there is a movement within the UK to de-Christianise or separate even further the Christian influence upon public life in the UK. (Click here to hear Andrea’s response on the BBC to this recent Commission on the impact or religion and belief on public life in the UK) Their argument in favour of this is that Christians make up only a small fraction of the populace and in recent surveys over 53% of people in the UK say they have NO FAITH.

Of course this is NOT NEWS, it’s no surprise, and is even predicted in God’s Word that this world will have even less room for Jesus just before He comes back to judge the world.

It’s no surprise, because every Christian is aware that our Nation and the world is getting farther and farther away from God. We’re far away from God’s standards of morality revealed in the Bible.

There are also things that put people off or harden people’s hearts against RELIGION: The religious wars and religious¬†extremism, the rise of violent terrorist organisations that use the Islamic faith as a basis for their actions. Because of that, people are perhaps justified in their thinking that ‘religion’ only leads to conflict. So it’s not surprising that there is a backlash against other main-stream religions, once ‘religion’ is used to justify murder, they’ll automatically lump every religion into the same basket.

Some people are not comfortable with the word “Christmas” so it’s being replaced with other terms: Xmas, Winter Holiday, Season of Goodwill, etc… The Whitehouse in America has called it “Winter Holiday” for the first time this year.

There is NO ROOM in this world for Jesus.

Is there room in your heart for Jesus this year?

THERE NEVER WAS ROOM FOR JESUS

John 3:19-20 Jesus is The Light: Men LOVED the Darkness.
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.

The real reason there is NO ROOM for Jesus is because people love the darkness (the darkness of sin).

The Bible tells us that Jesus had nowhere to lay his head. Even whilst Jesus was alive as a man, he had nowhere to call home here on Earth. This place, of course, was not His home, His home has always been HEAVEN: It always was, always has been and always will be Jesus home. When Jesus came to Earth, He was only visiting; but there was no room on the Earth for Jesus, even whilst He was alive down here with mankind. Jesus only ever did GOOD, but there was still no room for Him.

Is there room in your heart for Jesus Christ?

Why Should We Have Made Room For Jesus?

Jesus is the CREATOR of the Universe: John 1:1-14. Because He Created it, it all belongs to HIM, so when He came to visit, don’t you think mankind should have made a very special room for Him? But no, Jesus was laid in a feeding trough, a manger. A stable and the smell of animals was the place of the Creator’s birth. When in actual fact the best PALACE on Earth wouldn’t have been a fitting place for the Creator. Even Buckingham Palace would seem like a shed to the KING of Kings.

Why Should WE Make Room For Jesus Today?

  • Jesus Christ is coming back to Judge mankind.
  • One day, everyone will have to face Jesus Christ.
  • The Bible tells us that on that day, every knee will bow before Him. Romans 14:11.
  • He’ll judge us on the basis of His revealed standards of morality.
  • He’ll judge us on the basis of His Ten Commandments.

He’ll judge us on that basis because He’s revealed it to everyone: It’s our Conscience that screams “Don’t Do IT” when we’re tempted to; tell lies, steal, covet (have an inordinate desire for things), disobey, dishonour and disrespect our parents, misuse God’s Holy Names (Blasphemy), put other things first instead of God, and worship our own man-made gods (idolatry), false religion, false beliefs, man-made ideas about God. Your Conscience it telling you “Don’t Do It”, but we ignore our God given conscience. When we sin, we do so with knowledge and it’s upon that basis that Jesus will judge mankind. He’ll judge me and He’ll judge you.

We should make room for Jesus Christ today, because He’s coming back soon as Judge

Have you got room in your heart for Jesus today?

ONE MORE REASON TO MAKE ROOM FOR JESUS: LOVE.

We should make room in our heart for Jesus, because He’s demonstrated His LOVE for us.

The Bible says, “Whilst we were still sinners, Christ died for us”…

Romans 5:7-9 God LOVES You!
7  Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die.
8  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
9 ¬†Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!

Everybody has sinned and fallen short of God’s Holy Standard (Romans 3:23), but God so loved the world (You and me) John 3:16, that He sent Jesus, even though the world had no room for Him, to SAVE mankind on that Day of Judgement.

If you make ROOM in your life for Jesus today, if you will turn from sin, if you will repent and trust in Him alone, then you pass through on that Day of Judgement. ¬†He’ll forgive you today if you make room in your heart for Him.

Today is the DAY OF SALVATION.

Today is the DAY TO MAKE ROOM FOR JESUS.

My friends, this Christmas, make certain that there IS room in your heart for Jesus.

Don.

 

Are You Living Like A Christian?

moral filthiness, getting rid

Daily Spirit & Word; 650:

Does Your Conversion Affect Your Conduct?

Are You Living Like A Christian?

Good morning my friends, we’re all getting ready for Christmas. I’ve got many different things to do, it’s busy, but I love this time of the year. Thinking about the birth of my Lord Jesus. However, you are, like me, going to be inundated with invitations from the world and the flesh, how are you going to respond?

What a brilliant evening we had with a brother who was struggling to make certain his calling in Christ. Last night as we were doing some training for Street Evangelism, we were joined by a brother who was struggling with fears of all kinds. So we stopped what we were doing and spent some time going over the GOSPEL and the call of the Gospel. He had difficulty knowing how to respond.

However, what became clear was, that though he had previously made “A Profession of Faith”, from his own lips he declared, “Nothing has happened”, “I’m just the same”. What he went onto clarify was that he was still struggling with the same old things, and he didn’t know if he’d really come and trusted Christ. He tried attending worship (sporadically) and praying and reading his Bible, but there was no inward inclination to change his attitude or habits.

Was he saved? Was he a Christian who’d been filled with God’s Spirit? It soon became clear he wasn’t, but last night he finally trusted in Jesus death upon the Cross for his sins and received Him as Lord. Having grasped the full meaning of the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Does Your Conversion Affect Your Conduct?

2 Corinthians 7:1 “Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”

What promises is the verse referring to?

We must remember that when Paul originally wrote 2nd Corinthians it didn’t have chapter or verse divisions, it was a letter. So looking back in the letter we’ll see “these promises” he’s referring to.

He is of course referring to;  2 Corinthians 6:16-18

16 ¬†What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.”
17 ¬†“Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.”
18 ¬†“I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”

When we receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour: We are born of the Spirit, he takes up residence within our bodies and we become the Temple of the Living God. He’s in us, we are Holy. Verse 18 reveals God’s promise to “be a Father to you”. We are God’s children, His sons and daughters, when we receive Jesus Christ. That’s God’s awesome promise. Also declared in John 1:12-13.

So with these great promises in place in your heart, God is encouraging you to live a moral life: “let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”

How can you¬†cleanse¬†yourself? How can we ‘perfect’ holiness?

Christians are often attacked in the media and everyday-life as hypocrites: i.e. “their conduct doesn’t match their profession” and “They say they are ‘Christians’, but they don’t live like Christians should.” No doubt we ALL fail to fully live up to the high calling of purity and holiness of life, but the failure is not CHRISTIANITY or our LORD Jesus Christ, but the fault is with us. It’s because we’re not making use of everything the Lord has provided for our moral conduct in the world: His power and His presence that will enable us to overcome the flesh, the world and the devil.

To cleanse ourselves and to perfect holiness, we need a healthy fear God’s holiness. We don’t fear His person, because He is our Father and we are joint heirs with the Lord Jesus Christ, as God’s children we too are dearly loved, but God is still completely holy and cannot tolerate sin. Our fellowship with Him is broken when we are contaminated and still living in sin (1 John 1:5-10).

I really love the old KJV of the Bible, because it doesn’t mince it’s word choice here, it calls our¬†deliberate dabbling and playing with the disgusting things of this world; “filthiness“.

2 Corinthians 7:1 (KJV) “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”

The things the people of the world accept as OK are filthy in God’s eyes:

Think about movies, videos, games, adverts on TV, game-shows, TV soaps, magazines and newspapers etc, they are all filled with filthy rubbish that will contaminate the pure mind of the follower of Jesus. Their pages and programs are choc-a-block with sexual scenes, filthy language and blasphemy. Every night on TV you’ll hear people taking the Lord Jesus holy name and using it as a swear word or an expletive. They use Jesus glorious Name as a profane or obscene expression, usually of surprise or anger. We watched a police enforcement program the other day. People caught by the Police were rude, very rude, disgusting use of language to a person in authority. On the News last night, the Police were trying to control the crowds of shoppers in Oxford Street, their language and conduct was appalling towards each other and to the Police. Pushing, shoving, shouting, swearing and queue jumping. Some poor old lady was in tears because she just couldn’t get on a bus, because young people kept jumping in front of her. They’d all been Christmas Shopping.

God wants His children to be pure and holy like He is, because He’s living in us.

That is why God doesn’t want you to defile the Temple of the Living God: your body.

Flesh & Spirit:

How can we ‘purify’ ourselves.

The truth is we can’t, we can’t because only the blood of Jesus can wash away sin. However, we can enlist His Holy help. Jesus Christ is in you, the Holy Spirit is in you, God the Father is in you. Your body is God’s dwelling place, so LIVE as Jesus would. Live as Jesus did, a pure and holy life.

When you fail, you’ll know it.

Your Spirit within you will not be at ease with SIN or moral filthiness.

If you ever get to the point in your ‘Christian’ walk, where you can sin and it doesn’t bother you, you are either UNSAVED in the first place or you’ve been given over to your heart’s desires. You’ll need to REPENT and trust Jesus Christ and receive His Holy Spirit. Confess your weaknesses: to Jesus, to each other. Tell the Lord about how you’ve grown to love sin, how you’ve become enamoured and¬†longing¬†for the dog’s vomit again. How you’ve become like a pig, wallowing in the filthy mud and muck of the world. Ask Him to take away the LOVE of sinning. Pray that He’ll really become for you, the Alpha and the Omega of your daily walk, the first and last of your affections.

Question: Does your conversion match your conduct? Are you a professing Christian who’s living a double life? Publicly attending worship, but secretly thoroughly embedded in the world?

In truth, we’ve all got a tendency towards the flesh and gratifying it’s desires. It’s a daily battle and with the LORD’S help,¬†presence¬†and power you are going to win. You will need to remain connected: with Jesus, with fellowship with brothers and sisters in the faith. You’ll need to keep being filled afresh with God the Holy Spirit. You’ll need to constantly confess and repent and return; sometimes many times a day. However, be assured that it will become a JOY to be Holy as Jesus is Holy. He’ll give you new desires in your heart. You’ll be loving, joyful, kind, gentle, patient, goodness will be evident to all, you’ll be faithful and self-controlled. Get filled-up with God’s Spirit right now.

2 Corinthians 7:1 “Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”

  • Your body is a Temple of God’s presence.
  • You are a child of God, He is your Father.
  • He’s with you forever.

BE STILL: Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:1-11).

Have an AWESOME DAY of Holiness with Jesus.

Don.

Knowing Jesus: Let’s Get The Party Started

Knowing that He Knows you, You Know Him: Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word; 649:

Be Encouraged By Knowing Jesus.

Let’s GET THE PARTY STARTED

Good morning my friends. Discipleship Fellowship was G R E A T last night. We have fewer people than normal, but oh WOWzer! What a great time it was. We began by going through some of the Bible readings from the list below, chatting about each one, then reading them in context, sometimes reading the entire chapter to we could see it’s significance. Then we were joined by a new member of the group. So we stopped, had a snack and began to share our Christian Journeys to Faith and Trust in Jesus Christ.

Everyone’s story was so different: But each had arrived at ASSURANCE: Knowing Jesus as LORD, SAVIOUR, MASTER, KING, BROTHER, FRIEND and most importantly DELIVERER.

Amanda (our Church Administrator) said¬†earlier¬†in the week, “Sharing WHO we know is more important than WHAT we know” she’s so right. Every Christian needs a TESTIMONY, an inward witness that we ACTUALLY belong to Jesus Christ. Without that, then we’re still in the DARKNESS, we may be coming to ‘church’, we may be very ‘religious’, we may know the Bible back to front, but without that deep inward assurance that we’ve got Jesus and that He’s got us, then we’re still (at best) on our way to Him.

The wonderful Christmas text from Isaiah is shouting aloud in my Spirit today; and it’s about people on their way to faith and trust in the Saviour.

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.”

Of course the LIGHT is Jesus: Have you seen Jesus? Have you met Jesus? When you do, you’ll KNOW it deep within your soul.

Until we come to Jesus: We are “The People Walking in DARKNESS”. As I’ve said many times before, we can know all about Jesus and even believe in Him, but until we actually KNOW Him personally, then we’re still in the DARKNESS (i.e. the land of the shadow of death). For the Bible declares that those who’ve yet to be ‘born of God’s Spirit’ as still Spiritually DEAD. So it’s not about what we know, but WHO we know that’s important, and that we’re known by HIM.

I’d hate to think of any one of my friends, hearing these words from Jesus lips on the Day of Judgement: “Depart from Me, I never knew you”… Let’s read that afresh now, but NOTE this: when it says “false prophets” it means everyone who proclaims that they are ‘Christians’ when they are not, i.e. they are FALSE CONVERTS (they don’t know Jesus and He doesn’t know them).

Matthew 7:15-23
15¬†¬†“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.
16  By their fruit you will recognise them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?
17  Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.
18  A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.
19  Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
20  Thus, by their fruit you will recognise them.
21 ¬†“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
22 ¬†Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’
23 ¬†Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

LOOK FOR THE FRUITS of CONVERSION:

Why? Because that’s what Jesus is going to be doing. “By their fruit you will recognise them”…

The Fruits Is OBVIOUS: When you see a tree in fruit, it’s promising tasty treats. When you see a fruitful Christian, they will be DEMONSTRATING the fruit of the Holy Spirit in their lives: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Gentleness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Self-Control.

NOT EVERYONE WHO SAYS “LORD, LORD” IS A CHRISTIAN.

It always amazes me this text, because you’d probably think that “prophesying, driving out demons and performing miracles” would make a person certain that they ARE followers of¬†the Lord¬†Jesus; but He’s going to say “I never KNEW you, depart from ME you workers of iniquity”…

Do you KNOW Jesus? There’s nothing more important. Yes going to church is good, reading the Bible is great, knowing all about Jesus is totally awesome, but have you got the point of KNOWING HIM yet? If you¬†haven’t¬†got the inward testimony, the Spirit’s inward witness that you ARE a child of God, then be assured of this, you are¬†still¬†one of those “people walking in darkness” looking for the light.

YBH: Yes but HOW?

I can hear people asking this question again. “How do we KNOW Jesus?”, “How do I know if I’m SAVED?”, “How do I know if I KNOW Jesus and He knows me?”

Sometimes the Answer is too easy for some people and they want to add more, but it is as SIMPLE as A,B,C and R.

Accept: That you are a sinner in need of forgiveness. We’ve all fallen short of God’s Holy Standards revealed through His Law, the Ten Commandments. Even if we fail at just one point, then we’re guilty of breaking ALL of it. We stand in the place of the guilty and will be judged by God and sent to Hell. Do you accept that you are a sinner? Romans 3:23

Believe: Believe IN Jesus: That means put your faith and trust in HIM. Just like you would a parachute if you’re jumping out of a plane. Believe that He came into this world from Heaven, lived a perfect life, performed miracles and taught His disciples the secrets of the Kingdom, He then died on the Cross for your sins, in your place, then rose from the dead and is alive in Heaven now. There’s so much more to believe about Jesus, but that’s enough to get you started on the road to Salvation. Do you believe that Jesus died upon the Cross for your sins?

Convert: Turn from your sinful life, living life your own way, and turn in REPENTANCE AND FAITH to trust in Jesus Christ. Repentance is turning: It means to make change of mind, it’s a desire to go God’s way, to live His life instead of being your own boss. You put God on the throne by turning to Him in Faith. We call it conversion. But conversion is not complete until we actually receive the Lord Jesus by an act of faith and take Him as our Lord and Saviour. (I know so many people who’ve stopped short at this point; they get to the point of; accepting they are sinners, believing that Jesus died for them, repent of their sins, but stop short of receiving Him by an act of faith).

Receive: Receive Jesus as your LORD and SAVIOUR. It’s not enough to simply believe in Him.

It’s like Jesus is offering you a gift, which He is, but not just ONE GIFT: Jesus is holding out to you today; forgiveness of sins, God as your Father, Holy Spirit Power to live, Family of God, New Life in Christ, Home and Eternal Life.

You say, “I believe that you want to give me that gift Lord”, but if you don’t take the gift that’s offered, then you walk away with nothing. Believing that Jesus can give you all this is NOT the same as having it.

Have you ever been offered something, but have not taken up the offer? You may believe that it is yours for the taking, but until you take it, it’s NOT yours. Until you’ve got it in your hands, it’s still in the hands of the one offering it.

Salvation is like that: Jesus is offering it to YOU today. All you’ve got to do, after Accepting, Believing, Converting is to RECEIVE HIM. John 1:12-13. Look at all the Scriptures below to show you what happens when you DO receive Jesus as LORD.

SINNERS PRAYERS:

I’m in the position today of hating sinners prayers: Because I’ve known and met countless numbers, so many people now, who’ve “Said the Sinners Prayer” countless times, but nothing has happened. A sinners prayer won’t SAVE you, it will NOT make you into a Christian. But a heartfelt turning from sin, trusting in His death on the Cross for your sin, believing in Jesus and a true receiving Him as LORD will SAVE you and change you and you’ll begin to produce the fruit of repentance, the fruit of the Holy Spirit in your life. It will be obvious not just to other believers, but to everyone who KNOWS you. You’ll change from knowing about Jesus to actually KNOWING Him.

Yet I LOVE SINNERS Praying to RECEIVE Jesus as LORD.

It was so refreshing having Lloyd at our meeting last night, because he reminded us all how much we need to come to Jesus and simply, honestly and wholeheartedly RECEIVE Him as LORD.

God LOVES it when SINNERS Repent: (There’s a party going on in Heaven with all the Angels when SINNERS turn to Jesus in REPENTANCE from sin, and RECEIVE Him as LORD). Luke 15 The Three Parables of LOST & Found.

I could suggest a “sinners prayer” for you to pray, but it’s more important that you; A,B,C and R above. If you are ready to do that, then you don’t need me to give you the words, tell Jesus Christ you want Him as your Lord. Tell Him how sorry you are for your sins. Tell Him you want to turn away from the sin in your life. Talk to Him about it. Tell Jesus you want to receive Him as your Lord and Saviour. You invite Him and take up His offer of LIFE today. When you do ALL THINGS will Change.

2 Corinthians 5:17
17 ¬†“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! “

PRAYERS: Heavenly Father, I come to you today, in the Name of Jesus, and bring before you EVERY ONE of my friends and family. I’m praying for them today LORD, that they won’t just know all about You, but that they’ll actually come to KNOW You. I’m praying LORD that they’ll A,B,C and R above. Help those in Darkness Lord, send out those who KNOW You to the people who’re still walking in Darkness in need of the Light of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Lord I thank you for Lloyd, who’s come back to You. I know there’s a party going on in Heaven right now because Lloyd came back to You in Repentance and Faith. Amen.

Let’s Get The Party Started.

Don.

Discipleship Bible Readings:

The Good Things We Have: When We Take Christ As Lord.

Seven: Who We Are In Christ.

We receive a new life:

We have eternal life (John 3:16).
God has poured His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5).
We have received the testimony of the Spirit (Romans 8:16).
We have been given the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16). Our bodies have become temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19).
We have available to us the gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:4‚Äď11).
We have become part of the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:27).
We have the Holy Spirit as the seal of His ownership in our hearts (2 Corinthians 1:22).
We have been redeemed from the curse of the law (Galatians 3:13).
We have been sealed by the Spirit (Ephesians 1:13‚Äď14).
We have been made alive with Christ (Colossians 2:13).
We have been renewed by the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5).
We have been born again of the Word of God (1 Peter 1:23).
We have been forgiven and washed clean in the blood of Jesus (1 John 1:7‚Äď9).
We have been born of God (1 John 2:29).

We enter a new relationship with God

We have become children of God (John 1:12; Romans 8:16).
We know the only true God (John 17:3).
We have peace with God (Romans 5:1).
We are reconciled to God (Romans 5:10).
Not only are we children, but we are sons of God (Romans 8:15).
We have become co-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17).
We are Christ’s possession (1 Corinthians 3:23).
We have been transformed into His likeness with ever increasing glory which comes from the Lord (2 Corinthians 3:18).
We are a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).
We are crucified with Christ (Galatians 2:20).
We are accepted in the beloved (Ephesians 1:6).
We are alive with Christ (Ephesians 2:5).
We are members of God’s household (Ephesians 2:19).
We can approach God with freedom and confidence (Ephesians 3:12).
We can be confident that He who began a good work in us will carry it on to completion (Philippians 1:6).
We can do all things in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:13).
We are qualified to share in His inheritance (Colossians 1:12).
We belong to God (1 Peter 2:9).
We participate in the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4).

We are set apart in the world.

We are more than conquerors through Christ Jesus (Romans 8:37).
We are ambassadors of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20).
We live by faith in the Son of God (Galatians 2:20).
We have been crucified to the world (Galatians 6:14).
We have been raised up with Christ and seated in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6).
We are fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household (Ephesians 2:19).
We have been rescued from the dominion of darkness and brought into the Kingdom of God (Colossians 1:13).
We have been given the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27).
We are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness (2 Peter 3:12).
We have overcome the world (1 John 5:4‚Äď5).

Gordon, Bob (2012-02-01). The Foundations of Christian Living (The Sovereign World Foundations Series) (Kindle Locations 626-630). Sovereign World Ltd.