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).
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.
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.
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 12:4–11).
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 1:13–14).
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 1:7–9).
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 5:4–5).
Gordon, Bob (2012-02-01). The Foundations of Christian Living (The Sovereign World Foundations Series) (Kindle Locations 626-630). Sovereign World Ltd.