A Day’s Rest From Labour

Matthew 10:16 cunning as snakes and innocent as doves

Daily Spirit & Word: 672: A Day’s Rest From Labour.

Matthew 10:16 (NIV) “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.”

Luke 10:3 (NIV) “Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.”

Good morning my friends, it’s my day off today, so only a short share ūüôā

We had another brilliant evening of evangelism last night out on the streets of West Norwood. Sharing Jesus with folks is just so exciting and fascinating. Because God brings people to us who really need to know Him. Most people are totally unaware of this need for God. We can testify to the truth in God’s Word that “the god of this age” (Satan) is doing a brilliant job of keeping people blind and completely at ease with the lack of Spiritual life. He doesn’t want them to know or understand the Gospel.

When approaching people with a Gospel Tract: The vast majority will say, “No thank I’m OK”… or “No thanks, I’m not religious”. They believe that their life without God is; normal, OK, cool, good, free, etc… So can you see what a fantastic job Satan has done?

Now when we approach folks we’ve got to be, as Jesus directed, “shrewd as snakes and gentle as doves”… So we engage them in ways that they’ll be familiar with, with things that they are already interested in: Money, Silver, etc… How? We carry notes that look like ¬£1,000,000. That’s right folks One Million Pounds. They are funny, they bring a smile to people’s faces and they open up the way to have a ‘Spiritual’ conversation. So before they know it, we’ve managed to tear down all their defences and barricades against being got at by Jesus.

We also use brilliant, bright, shiny, large silver coins; with the Ten Commandments on one side and the Gospel of Jesus on the other. We say, “Did you get one of these limited edition Commandment Coins”… Because they are still in the natural, human beings are in competition with one another, they love to get one-up on their neighbours, so they’ll want something that nobody else has got. It’s another brilliant way to engage folks with what they’re naturally inclined to want.

Are we tricking people? You’re right, we’re using earthly things for the purpose of getting a springboard into their heads with spiritual things. However, we’re only doing what our Lord Jesus did, because that’s what the LORD did all the time; the Samaritan woman at the well, Jesus used water and her need to drink so she could discover her need for Salvation. John 4. At the Wedding Banquet, Jesus turned water into wine to introduce the abundance of God’s Kingdom. ¬†He used stories / parables to¬†instil¬†intrigue and excite deeper thinking about God’s Kingdom. Jesus use the NATURAL to engage people in Spiritual conversations. He used what people know and are familiar with, to bring them to an awareness of their need for God in their daily lives. He actually commanded His followers to do the same;

Matthew 10:16 (NIV) “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.”

Praise the LORD! With the help of the Holy Spirit, we were doing that last night out on the Streets of London.

I said to many people last night; “Did you get your ¬£1,000,000?” As they took the note from my¬†outstretched¬†hand, I asked this question, “If this was a ‘real’ million pounds, what would you do with it?” We were then into conversations about life with loads of money. Most said they’d spend it on the family first. Then I asked, “Would you do¬†anything¬†‘good’ with the money?” They immediately said they would, some said they’d give something to the poor, etc… I then said, “What is ‘good’?” or “Do you think you are a ‘good’ person?” As usual nearly everyone said they are good. We were off into a presentation of the Gospel: to show them their need of a Saviour.

Please Pray:

Keep praying for the people we met and chatted with last night:

We engaged many, but a few stand out in my heart today; A man called Dennis who works seven days a week. A¬†Muslim¬†man from Algeria called Ali, who was open to talking about Jesus. A Russian Jewish man with a big beard, who was also open to the Gospel. A Pentecostal AOG Pastor who was in London for a Conference. A lady with her little girl, about to get into her car, she was really open. A Scottish lady, who was very interested in chatting about Jesus (probably because I’m Scottish too)… Praise the LORD for all the ways He used us last night, making the most of the golden opportunity to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ.

I’m looking forward to a day off with my grandson Karamoko. We’re looking after him because our daughter Stephanie is getting ready to go into labour.

Have another fantastic day with Jesus my friends.

Don.

 

Called out of darkness into the LIGHT

The Darkness of Men

Daily Spirit & Word: 671: Called Out Of Darkness.

Into His Marvellous Light.

Good morning my friends, what an awesome Discipleship Fellowship last night. We were discussing the Fatherhood of God, got into all kinds of parenting, and discovered that throughout His Word Father God has been revealing aspects of His good, perfect parenthood from the beginning of time.

Do you know that God is calling you out of DARKNESS into His marvellous light?

Here’s is just a part of Pastor Rod Mattoon’s intro to John’s Gospel. What an EYE opener it is too.

I read the whole thing this morning as devotional study, here’s just part three.

III. THE POOR UNDERSTANDING OF MANKIND‚ÄĒ1:5

The Greek text reads, “The light keeps on shining in the darkness and the darkness has not comprehended it.” What does this mean? The words “comprehended not” are from the Greek word katalambano {kat-al-am-ban’-o} which has several interesting meanings.

First, it means “never understood.” The Gospel is foolish to men. Men cannot fully or totally understand the truth of Christ until they first submit to Him and His truth. Why? Men without the Lord are in spiritual darkness.

2 Corinthians 4:4‚ÄĒIn whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

Proverbs 4:19‚ÄĒThe way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.

Psalm 82:5‚ÄĒThey know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course.

Secondly, the word katalambano means “to pursue until one overtakes, lays hold of, or overcomes as a lion pursues and catches its prey. Those in darkness have NOT grasped the light of God’s truth. The darkness of this world has done all it can to eliminate Jesus Christ, but they cannot destroy Him.

John 3:19‚ÄĒAnd this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

There are several kinds of darkness today.

There is the darkness of carnal minds that love sin and hate God.

John 3:20‚ÄĒFor every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

There is the darkness of religious minds that harbor superstition and nonsense.

This would include the darkness of Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witness, Muslims, and Roman Catholicism.

  1. Darkness of Mormonism

To the Mormon, Jesus was like an elder brother who pointed the way, but He was not the way to Heaven.

Jesus is considered God of the Old Testament. Once He took the physical form of a man, He had to earn His own spiritual salvation through good works like everyone else. He is considered the brother of Satan. The cross and the shed blood of Christ are foolish. From what I am told and have read, you will not see a cross in a Mormon church because they cannot deal with God’s gift of grace.

His death on the cross provided a general salvation where all will be resurrected and judged for our works.

In the Mormon church, safe passage through the doorway to personal godhood comes from using secret keys, secret handgrips and passwords learned in the Mormon temple.

  1. Darkness of the Jehovah’s Witness

They believe Jesus is a created being, not the Creator.

Jesus is Michael the archangel.

He was only a man, not the God-man.

Satan is the author of the doctrine of the Trinity. There is no Trinity.

Jesus is not to be worshiped, but honored as Jehovah’s first creation.

The Holy Spirit is an active force, but not the person of the Godhead.

Salvation is in being a Jehovah’s witness.

  1. Darkness of the Muslims.

Jesus is not God, just a messenger of God.

He did not die on the cross for our sins. Judas died in His place.

  1. The Darkness of Roman Catholicism

The Church was built upon Peter, not Christ.

After death, purgatory purges a person of his sins.

Prayers are offered to Mary and dead saints to mediate on our behalf. Mary is worshiped and considered on the same level or greater than Jesus.

Prayers are offered to idols, violating the second commandment.

Mass and sacraments are necessary for salvation. These come through the Roman Catholic Church.

Cleansing from sin comes by confessing sin to a Catholic priest.

Darkness comes from carnal minds, religious minds, and also scientific minds that try to explain away the existence of God. One reason for the darkness of mankind today is the war that is being raged on the battleground of religion and also science. Particularly damaging on the science front is the confrontation between evolution and the Biblical account of Creation. The debate is not to be ignored because the stakes are too high. The subject of our origin tells us who we really are and where we are heading.

Evolution is believed to be a valid, scientific solution to our existence. It is not ultimately scientific because evolution has few, if any, demonstrated truths or observed facts. It is more philosophy than science. It takes faith to believe it. The world has embraced evolution because it wanted to and did not want to come to grips with the truth about Almighty God and the Bible.

Romans 1:20-22‚ÄĒFor the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: [21] Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. [22] Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

Men embrace evolution because the only other alternative is creation by God.

Many do not accept this truth. Guesses and speculations are framed to sustain evolutionary beliefs. It is ironic that the beliefs of evolutionists today were doubted by Charles Darwin. In Darwin’s, Original Origin of the Species, 1859, Darwin openly acknowledged the necessity of God. Few people realize the extent of Darwin’s own doubts over his own theory, a theory which he confessed was grievously hypothetical (This was recorded in a letter to Asa Gray, November 29, 1859). As Darwin wrestled over his doubts, he suffered physically, mentally, and spiritually. Darwin admitted he could find NO real evidence for his theory (Origins…page 205, 230, 123, 227, 292, 453).

Most of the scientists in Darwin’s day could not accept his theory on scientific grounds.

Scientists today proclaim the same message of the wastefulness and destructiveness of evolution.

  1. Dr. A.E. Wilder Smith‚ÄĒ”The dead hand of Darwinism has weighed heavily on scientific progress for over 100 years.”
  2. Dr. Dmitri Kouzetson…Russian Biochemist‚ÄĒDmitri has earned three doctorates in science. He observed that in Russia, scientist become believers in creation on scientific grounds, noting that evolutionist are very subjective in which data they decide to use as evidence for their theories. They will not look at all the facts or evidence.
  3. Dr. Nilsson, after 40 years of scientific research that attempted to prove evolution, he concluded his time had been thoroughly wasted. He stated that this theory should be entirely abandoned as a serious obstruction to biological research.
  4. Dr. Louis Bounoure‚ÄĒHe is the Director of Research at France’s National Center of Scientific Research. He stated, “Evolution is a fairytale for grown-ups. The theory has helped nothing in the progress of science. It is useless.” Why? It ignores the truth and is without God.

Modern scientists are re-thinking and re-considering God as their Creator. For example, in the book Cosmos, Bios, Theos produced by sixty world-class scientist of which 24 are Nobel prize winners, the scientist Henry Margenaw, a Yale University physicist reasons, “There is only one convincing answer to explain the intricate complexity and laws of the universe….. creation by an omniscient, omnipotent God.”

Evolution has damaged not only science, but society, as life has been cheapened by this theory. God is the one who gives value to life. Sir Arthur Keith, an evolutionist, and author of Evolution and Ethics, concludes that evolution weakens the ethics of people. The ways of natural evolution are cruel, brutal, ruthless, and without mercy.

The evolution of Germany as a master race is what prompted Adolf Hitler to drench Europe in blood by slaughtering Jews, the sick, the weak, and those who were handicapped and to begin breeding babies with “perfect” Arian couples. Hitler had little value for life. He had a “survival of the fittest mentality.”

Some folks may ask, “What about all the evidence of the bones of different men that have been found?” All right, let’s take a look at those bones!

  • The Neanderthal Man‚ÄĒHe was not a man. Recent DNA tests show that the chromosomes do not match humans, but apes.
  • The Piltdown Man‚ÄĒThis was a deliberate hoax. A jaw of an ape was attached to a human skull and was stained to look old.
  • The Peking Man‚ÄĒTools and human bones were found near the apes whose brains they were eating. (Monkey brains are still eaten in China.)
  • Nebraska Man‚ÄĒAn entire person and family was envisioned from a single tooth, a tooth that proved to come from a pig.
  • Lucy‚ÄĒThis was re-classified as an extinct ape.

Evolutionists not only deny the truth of Scripture, they deny the truth of science. The First Law of Thermodynamics states that energy or matter cannot be created or destroyed. It can be converted from one form to another. The Big Bang Theory runs into a snag with this law. Where did the original matter and energy come from? Evolution has no answer. Some say, “It just was.” Our answer is “God put the universe into motion.”

Evolution states that man and the world are getting better and that order came from chaos by chance. Beloved, order does not come from chaos. Explosions produce chaos. The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that life deteriorates. Every system left to itself goes from order to disorder or decay. Everything runs down eventually. The world is not getting better. It is running down.

Fools reject truth. They reject God who holds the universe together.

Colossians 1:16-17‚ÄĒFor by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: [17] And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

The earth is a delicate balance protected and maintained by God. Life could not exist if any one of the following situations were true.

  • A slower or faster rotation of the earth.
  • If the earth was 2-5% closer or further from the sun.
  • If there was a 1% change in sunlight.
  • If the earth or moon was smaller or larger.
  • If there was more than one moon.
  • If the earth’s crust was thicker or thinner.
  • If the oxygen/nitrogen ratio was greater or less.

Men can persist in rejecting God’s truth. The truth, however, still remains and is not altered by men’s objections and pessimism.

Mattoon’s Treasures – Mattoon’s Treasures ‚Äď Treasures from John, Volume 1.

When you consider that God CREATED the Universe: Then you are on your way out of DARKNESS into the LIGHT.

What an awesome Father we have in the God who created this universe and us too.

Awesome!

Have an awesome Wednesday my friends.

Don.

 

Will YOU Follow Jesus?

Rejected by the Religious, the Elite and Demons. Jesus called 12 Apostles

Daily Spirit & Word: 670:

Large Crowds Follow Jesus.

Jesus is calling YOU to be ONE of His Followers Today.

Good morning my friends, what an¬†roller-coaster¬†of a week I’ve had: Ups and Downs, but praise the LORD, it’s been going higher and higher, closer to Jesus after each little lull. My walk with Jesus is as if it’s a roller-coaster in reverse, but I know I’ll only reach the TOP when I get to Heaven and be with my Lord Jesus forever.

A funeral on Monday morning, an awesome meeting in the afternoon. A visit to the Dentist Tuesday and a meeting with the Mission’s Committee in the morning, Prep then Discipleship Fellowship in the Evening. Funeral visit in the morning, then Training and Street¬†Evangelism¬†on Wednesday, School Governors Meeting on Thursday and an amazing meeting on Friday with Bill and Judy in Costa. Fitted some family things in and also some shopping with Julie for our Burn’s Night Supper tomorrow. Yesterday we picked up the Grandchildren and it was to the park and hungry hippo cafe for a little drink afterwards. Last night Julie and I watched the film: War Horse (filmed on Dartmoor Devon at a location I know very well: Ditsworthy Warren farm). As well as meeting with Jesus every day and writing and studying God’s Word, my weeks been quite full and exciting. But it’s NOTHING in comparison with what Jesus experienced, that’s what we’re going to see today.

BTW: How’s your week been? Think it through for a few moments, note the highs and lows, those special times and how you’ve been in your walk with Jesus.

Today, Sunday, we’re back with the Gospel of Mark: This week you’ll notice some surprising contrasts. At the end of last week’s reading, Mark 3:1-6 we see the Jewish leaders and Religious elite plotting to kill Jesus, but this week we’ll note that the ordinary folks loved Jesus. So much so, that they thronged him: i.e. thousands of them came from many different towns to get close and possibly even touch Jesus.

Mark 3:7-19 (NIV)
7 Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the lake, and a large crowd from Galilee followed.
8  When they heard all he was doing, many people came to him from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, and the regions across the Jordan and around Tyre and Sidon.
9  Because of the crowd he told his disciples to have a small boat ready for him, to keep the people from crowding him.
10  For he had healed many, so that those with diseases were pushing forward to touch him.
11 ¬†Whenever the evil spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.”
12  But he gave them strict orders not to tell who he was.
13 Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him.
14 ¬†He appointed twelve‚ÄĒdesignating them apostles ‚ÄĒthat they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach¬†15 ¬†and to have authority to drive out demons.
16  These are the twelve he appointed: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter);
17  James son of Zebedee and his brother John (to them he gave the name Boanerges, which means Sons of Thunder);
18  Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot
19  and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.

What an amazing difference in attitudes. 

  1. The Religious and Social Leaders: Rejected Him. Mark 3:6.
  2. The Crowds of Ordinary folks: thronged Him. Mark 3:7-10.
  3. The Demons: cried out in fear and recognised Him. Mark 3:11-12.
  4. The Disciples: Came to Him when He called them. Mark 3:13-19.

The CROWD:

I watched a Documentary a few weeks ago about Amy Winehouse: Her life was a Roller-Coaster too. So many highs; awesome voice, amazing records and songs, shows and awards. Adored by countless millions all over the world. Yet tragic; she couldn’t cope with life and it¬†spiralled¬†out of control: Drugs and Drink.

However, everywhere she went crowds thronged her; photographers every inch of the way, chronicling her slow decline and ultimate demise. Crowds of adoring fans thronged her every waking moment in life. Even when on holiday on the beach, people wanted to be snapped with their favourite STAR.

Have you ever been part of an huge crowd?

Why was this Crowd following Jesus? Verse 10 gives us the answer “For he had healed many”... The Crowds were coming to Jesus because they were desperate for a healing, for a touch, some to see a miracles performed for others, a few interested in what He had to say. They’d heard about the¬†HEALINGS: News spread quickly and thousands came from all the towns, hamlets and cities around Lake Galilee.

The BOAT:

Jesus, knew he’d likely be thronged so he had a boat prepared.

Music stars and Famous people have great big body-guards to keep the crowds from getting too close and crushing their Celebrity Star. They have a Limousine ready to jump into to get away.

Jesus had a boat made ready to make his escape (The ancient¬†equivalent¬†of a¬†Limousine). We know from other Gospels that it was Peter’s boat Jesus got into, and had to teach the crowds with a water barrier to stop them from pushing in too much and crushing Him to death in their desperation for a touch from the King.

Those crowds would have crushed Jesus if he hadn’t gotten into that boat.

The DEMON POSSESSED:

Read with me Mark 3:11-12 The Demons.
11 ¬†Whenever the evil spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.”
12  But he gave them strict orders not to tell who he was.

I’m not going to say too much on the subject of DEMONS here, I’ll cover it in much grater detail in another section of Mark’s Gospel. Mark¬†talks more about the DEMONIC than any other Gospel writer.

However, note this: The Demonic Underworld KNEW who Jesus was. “You are the Son of God”. But Jesus wasn’t interested in them spreading the Great News TOO SOON. So He commanded them to shut-up, keep quiet.

Jesus knew something about PEOPLE: They came in great crowds for healings, think how they’d flock to Him if He declared openly, before He’d had a chance to correct their misunderstanding of the Messiah’s reasons for coming? He would have had a full-scale WAR with the Romans and possibly thousands of people killed in a great war.

The Jews wanted the Messiah to come, they were waiting for deliverance from Roman oppression and conquest. If the Demon’s had their way, Jesus whole Mission could be in jeapordy. He didn’t want a war; He didn’t want people to die, He came to bring God’s Message of Good News and Die for EVERYONE; Jews first, then for everyone in the world who’d believe in Him. That was His mission: Declare Him Messiah too soon and it would be scuppered.

But: The Underworld, the Evil forces of Satan KNEW who Jesus was; “The Divine Son of God”… God on earth.

The DISCIPLES: Mark 3:13-19.

Jesus calls people out of all the people in Israel: He only appoints 12 to be His Apostles.

Think about that: Thousands were following Him. He only chose 12.

Surely He could have chosen many hundreds more, but He only chose 12… Why?

The Crowds were following Jesus for the wrong reasons.¬†They were only following Jesus to get something for themselves: Healings, Miracles, Deliverance…¬†They were not primarily interested in what Jesus had to say or teach them.

Jesus wanted people to KNOW God’s way to live life.

Jesus wanted people to KNOW God’s Mission and Call.

He chose the twelve: Simon (Peter), James, John, Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James, Thaddeus, Simon (Zealot) and Judas.

Only Twelve: Not from the Nobility. Not from the Social Elite in Society. Not from the Religious Leaders; but ordinary folks, fishermen, tax collectors… What an outstanding and surprising choice Jesus made for the twelve Apostles.

They were not particularly good or religious or noteworthy in society, but these were the ones that Jesus called to be His Apostles.

What is an APOSTLE?

Apostle means:¬†An apostle, from Classical Greek ŠľÄŌÄŌĆŌÉŌĄőŅőĽőŅŌā (ap√≥stolos), meaning “one who is sent away”, is a messenger and ambassador. The purpose of such “sending away” is to convey messages, and thus “messenger” is a common alternative translation.

Explained in Mark 3:14-15 ¬†“He appointed twelve‚ÄĒdesignating them apostles ‚ÄĒthat they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach¬†15 ¬†and to have authority to drive out demons.”

Apostles: Sent ones: 

  • Be with HIM: Learn from Jesus. Learn His Teachings / Commands / Instructions…
  • Go for HIM: Go out and tell the Good News of the Gospel: Heal and Deliver.
  • This Mission: The Apostolic Mission began after Jesus resurrection from the dead;

Mark 16:15-20 (NIV) The Great Commission.
15 ¬†He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.
16  Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
17 ¬†And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues;¬†18 ¬†they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”
19  After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God.
20  Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.

The Apostles: Called by Jesus by Name: Taught by Jesus and sent out by Jesus. Given His Authority and sent out on a Mission.

My friends, why are you following Jesus?

  • Are you part of the Crowd?
  • Are you like the Religious Leaders: Rejecting Jesus?
  • Are you like the Deomons, who knew who Jesus was, but enemies of Jesus?
  • Are you being called to be a Disciple: A follower of Jesus?

If you are being called, then He’s also given you a Mission too.

He’s got something He wants you to do for Him in this world today.

The REAL Follower of Jesus: (in contrast to the CROWD).

Won’t be in it for what He / She can get out of Jesus.

If all you want Jesus to do for you is save you from Hell, Judgement and to give you eternal life: You are NOT a true follower of Jesus today. You might be on the way to becoming one, but you are still just part of that CROWD who only wanted Jesus for what He could do for them.

You are a follower of Jesus, when there’s been a dynamic transformation in your attitude towards HIM:

“What can I do for you Jesus?” “I want to serve you Lord Jesus with my life”…

When you get to that point, then you’ll KNOW that you ARE a follower of Jesus Christ today.

The Disciples: The Apostles all died horrific deaths, John died a very old man in exile on the Isle of Patmos in Greece.

St Paul Said, “I no longer live, but Christ lives in me”… He was beaten, stoned, and finally killed for Jesus and the Gospel.

We “Die to the world and live for Jesus”

Jesus said, “Unless you take up your cross and follow me”

Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey my commands”…

How and Why are you following Jesus today?

My friends, He’s calling you, He’s calling you by name, He wants you to be His Disciple, He’s got a mission for you to complete.

Will you come to Him? Will you come and give your life to the Saviour, the Lord Jesus today? Will you follow Him, learn from Him and then begin / continue serve Him with your life?

Respond: Recognise that you too are just like the Disciples He first called: Unworthy, yet called to repent and trust in Him.

Turn: Turn in Repentance: turn away from living your life for yourself. Your sin, your attitudes that are wrong. He died so that you can be forgiven and given a new start in life.

Receive: Receive Jesus Christ as your LORD: Your Saviour.

Be filled: With God’s Holy Spirit. Spiritual equipping for His service: Gifts of Holy Spirit

Be ready to serve Jesus with your life: Live the full life and go on the mission He’s given you.

Conclusion:

The Religious Elite Plotted, The Political Elite colluded, The Crowds wanted, The Demonic shouted, The Apostles were called by name and followed and were transformed, then sent on a Mission for Jesus: Who are you and why are you following Jesus today? Are you following Jesus?

I would say, “Don’t just follow Jesus to be one of the crowd, to see what He can do for you, or to observe a miracle or just to get your miracle or life sorted out for you, don’t just follow Jesus because He can give you forgiveness or a new life and eternal life and peace with God, but go deeper, be the Disciple He’s calling you to be. Only then will you begin to KNOW the fullness of life that Jesus promises when He called you.”

Up to now, you may have had a touch of His Holy Spirit, you might have been healed or seen healings, you might have received wonderful teaching, but NOW Jesus wants you to experience fullness of His life on Mission with Him. You just tell Jesus, “I’m ready to be one of Your Disciples Jesus, I want to go on Mission in this world for You” Be assured, He’ll take you and He’ll equip you for whatever He’s got planned.

Who know what Jesus has planned for you? Only Jesus knows His plans for each and every individual, but just say, like so many countless thousands have done before you, and been used to transform the world: Cadbury, John Newton, John Wesley, John Calvin, Charles finney, D. L. Mooday, Billy Graham, Charles Spurgeon, Nicky Gumbel, J John, John Wimber, Fanny Crosby, Gladdys Ayelward (missions to China), Aimee McPherson (evangelist), J I Packer, John Stott, Rhinhard Bonnke, Ravi Zacharias, Daniel Cozens, David Watson,

From Our Church: Robert Rowe, Val Rowe, Prince, Chief George, David Bulbeck, David Wilson, Isaac, Elizabeth, Cherrie, Mary, John, Celestine, Sarah, Julie, Kofee, Wole, Stuart, Anthony, Theo, Candice, Sara, Maxine, Heron, ….

All I know is when Jesus Calls:¬†It’s going to be so AWESOME and mind blowing.

Go DEEPER with Jesus today!

[Jesus said,] ‚ÄúIf you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit”. John 15:5

God’s children do His will for His glory.

Jesus is the ONE: Who helps us accomplish everything for His glory.

  • The Religious Leaders and Social Elite: Rejected Him.

  • The Ordinary Folks: Thought they had Him.

  • The Demons: Feared Him.

  • The Disciples: Were called by HIM: Then they were with Him, Commissioned by Him, Sent out on Mission and Accompanied by HIM. What an awesome privilege to be one of those called by Jesus: He’s calling you too.

    • You?

You might be one who’s thinking: I would love to follow Jesus; but I don’t know enough yet. (Come on St Luke’s Alpha Course).

You might be one who’s thinking: I’ve been coming for a while, but now I’d really like to go on Mission for Jesus. (Then come and talk and discover how you can serve Jesus with your gifting).

You might be one who’s NOT willing or ready to respond to Jesus call today. (Keep coming, read God’s Word, ask Him to show you and speak to you through it, learn all you can about Jesus: He’s the ONE who’s calling you and can transform your life).

He’s calling YOU to be ONE of HIS right now!

Amen!

 

When ALL Seems LOST: Praise the LORD!

Love lifted me, rock, feet, firm place, stand, set free, freedom, rescue,

Daily Spirit & Word: 669:

When all seems lost, Praise the LORD!

LOVE LIFTED ME

Good morning my friends, last night we had our Governor’s meeting at St Luke’s School. I asked if I could begin with a short Bible reading and a prayer. The reading I choose was from Psalm 40. The psalmist¬†reveals¬†that he was in a muddy pit that was too slippery to escape from, so he cried out to the LORD.

 

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

When in an impossible position this psalm reveals some amazing principles that we can follow.

Firstly: Wait patiently for the LORD.

Now when we’re going through turmoil that really difficult, but it’s NOT impossible, even in life-threatening situations. However, when we’re in difficulty, hardship or just struggling with something, determine in your heart NOW before it happens, that when it does, you are going to WAIT upon the LORD.

Secondly: God WILL Respond.

“He turned to me and heard my cry”.

As soon as you acknowledge God in: Prayer, Praise, Worship: He inclines his head, his ear and his attention is focused upon you.

He hears your heart’s cry.

Paul & Silas:

We can see this played-out in the book of Acts when Paul and Silas are beaten and thrown into prison. They’d delivered a girl from a Demon that was possessing her, it enabled her to predict things for people, it became a famous business and once she was delivered, she could no longer make them any money. So before they could do any more damage, the whole town made a fuss about Paul and Silas and they were beaten severely and thrown into prison, guarded carefully and their feet in stocks to stop them escaping. What did Paul and Silas do? They praised the LORD!

Acts 16:16-19 (NIV)
16 Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling.
17 ¬†This girl followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.”
18 ¬†She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so troubled that he turned round and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her.
19  When the owners of the slave girl realised that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the market-place to face the authorities.

Now look what happens to Paul and Silas in Prison:

Acts 16:22-33 (NIV)
22  The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten.
23  After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully.
24  Upon receiving such orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.
25  About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.
26 ¬†Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody’s chains came loose.
27  The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped.
28 ¬†But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!”
29  The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas.
30 ¬†He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
31 ¬†They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved‚ÄĒyou and your household.”
32  Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house.
33  At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptised.

When was the last time you praised God when things got really, really tough?
At midnight, with their feet in stocks, locked in prison; they prayed and praised the LORD!.

If you are in a slippery pit or stinking prison: Impossible places to get out of on your own.
What are you going to do? Pray, Praise, Wait Upon the LORD!…

  • The LORD will hear, the LORD will do something for you.
    If you’ve got a debt mountain that’s impossible to climb.
    If you’ve got a disease that can’t be beaten.
    If you’ve got family trouble, relationships that have broken down,
    If you’ve got a problem with a friends or colleagues at work,

Wait upon the LORD
Pray:
Praise the LORD.

No matter what your situation is, even now: Praise the LORD. Try it today.
Take a few moments to spend time with Jesus.
Wait upon Him. READ God’s WORD.
Fill your heart with good things.
Praise Him in song. Even if you are on your own.
Sing your little heart out to Jesus, even if it’s through tears.
He’ll hear your heart’s cry.

He’ll HEAR YOUR HEART’S CRY

You’ll see those chains fall off.
He’ll break those chains.
He’ll lift you up, out of the slimy pit you’ve fallen into.

In St Luke’s School we’ve seen a mighty turn around. We’re being brought out of the pit. A School that was not very good is becoming great. Thank you LORD for your deliverance. Amen!

He’s AWESOME!
Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD.
The jailer who locked Paul and Silas up, knew something weird had happened.
He began to fear and tremble: He asked Paul and Silas
“What must I do to be saved?”
People will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD when He delivers you from trouble.

So don’t forget to praise the LORD for the Deliverance that you are about to experience today.
Keep going for Jesus sake this weekend.
Praise HIM today.
Don.

 

Rejoice and Jump for JOY.

Joyful, Jumping for Joy, when persecuted for Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word: Rejoice and Jump For JOY.

“We walk by FAITH, not by sight”.

Have you ever been put-off because of what someone said? Have you stopped sharing Jesus with people? Many followers of Jesus today don’t believe in Evangelism. However, it was Jesus who commanded His followers to go into all the world. “Walk by Faith, not by sight”.

Matthew 5:11-12 (NIV)
11 ¬†“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me12 ¬†Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Good morning my friends, another awesome evening of¬†Evangelism¬†last night on the streets of West Norwood London. We were joined by a new member of the team, a lady who’s just joined our fellowship called Gwyneth, she teamed-up with me as it was her first time. We go out in twos and share the Gospel with anyone who’ll stop and have a chat.

Last night I was so up for it, but the week before, I was dreading going out, because it’s getting quite cold now in London. However, even though it was freezing last night, people did stop and chat; but most just received a little Gospel tract or a Ten Commandment Coin.

Though we had many conversations; ranging in duration from just a few words or seconds, to ten or fifteen minutes. One that stands out from last night was our last encounter, which was just in front of the Church when we were on our way back to meet up with the rest of the team. The man was standing, looking cold, waiting for his bus. Gwyneth offered him a Ticket to Heaven tract; he refused saying he didn’t believe in forcing ‘religion’ on anyone. He said, “I don’t think it’s right to go around trying to force people into any religion”.

In the past, if someone had said that to me, I’d probably have thanked them and moved on. However, the LORD has encouraged me over the years to be cheeky and ask questions about how people have arrived at their convictions. Thankfully, Gwyneth had obviously learned that lesson too.

I listened and Gwyneth explained, “We’re not out forcing the faith of Jesus, we’re sharing the Good News”… He remained steadfast in his conviction that it was wrong, stated that he was a Christian, and “A ‘real’ Christian keeps his faith private, and goes into his closet and prays secretly to his God.”

I’ve heard that many times before in my lifetime, but mainly from the older generation. I was surprised to be hearing it from a man so young. I said to him, “What do you think about the Disciples and followers of Jesus? They went out into all the world and proclaimed Jesus Gospel of Good News wherever they went?” He said, “I don’t agree with that, they mainly went to private places and shared with people who wanted to listen”. I said, “What about St Paul, who went into Market places and debated in public?” I explained, “Market places are pretty busy with lots of people just out doing business”…

Well, we went to and fro in our conversation like that for a while, until I sensed that it was the time to switch from the natural (argument, reasoning and discussion about ordinary things) to the Spiritual (discussing the Gospel of Jesus). I asked the man, “Do you believe in Heaven?” He said, “I don’t think about that too much, I’m a medical scientist”. Another red-herring was approaching ūüôā I kept him on track, “Eternity has been planted by God in your heart”. He looked at me in the strangest way, “It’s real, Heaven is real and God put it in you to know it’s real, that’s why there are so many religions in the world, everybody knows that this life is not all that there is”.

The man wouldn’t engage, so I switched back to the Natural again: “Do you pray for your patients?” He said, “No, I use science to cure them”. He didn’t think that his god would intervene, his god had given him the capacity to cure and know how to fix things for people.

He said, “I don’t pray, I use science to cure people”

Do you know what he had done? He had made a ‘god’ to suit himself. His god was not the God of the Bible. It was idolatry that He was suffereing from. Whenever you hear someone saying, “My god wouldn’t do this or my ‘god’ wouldn’t do that”, they’ve exchanged the God of the Bible for a convenient god of their own imaginations. It’s the most common form of idolatry that we come across today.

In our conversation, it became so evident that he was worshipping a false god of his own creation, there were so many aspects of Biblical Christianity that were obviously missing from his version of ‘faith’. He’d arrived at convictions and practices that are convenient, easy, un-challenging and unreal. His version of faith meant he could be a secret¬†Christian, who didn’t need to call upon his god, and that Heaven and Hell wasn’t real.

Before we could share the TRUE Gospel with the man, his bus that he was waiting for had arrived. I quickly thanked him for speaking with us and gave him one of our tracts that¬†says,¬†“Thank you for listening”. It’s got a picture of a dog with big ears. It always makes people smile. But on the back it has the Good News of Jesus. I said, “Will you read this when you get home?” He took the tract. I hope and pray that he’ll think deeply about our conversation and that he will read the tract. I believe¬†he will, because he was obviously a deep-thinking¬†man.

The one phrase that I know God planted in his heart last night, that made a deep impact crater upon his soul was, “God has planted eternity in your heart”… His¬†countenance¬†changed when I said that, his mouth stopped for a moment.

The TRUTH has a way of stopping the mouths of unbelievers, but you’ll only see it if you are out doing what Jesus commanded, sharing the Good News.

Ecclesiastes 3:10-11 (NIV) 
10  I have seen the burden God has laid on men. 11  He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

God has PLANTED ETERNITY: men, mankind, human beings; we all KNOW that this life is not the end.

God Shuts The MOUTH: Of the Self-Righteous.

Romans 3:17-20 (NIV)
17 ¬†and the way of peace they do not know.”
18 ¬†“There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
19  Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God.
20  Therefore no-one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.

It’s amazing when you actually see God doing this to someone, when the TRUTH hits home or lands in their soul in such a powerful way that their mouth goes silent. There’s a physical change that takes place in a person. You can see it hitting home. Praise the LORD!

So, my friends, don’t be put-off when someone says something FALSE about what you are doing for Jesus.

Matthew 5:11-12 (NIV “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.¬†12 ¬†Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

That “rejoice and be glad” in the verse above: in the Greek of the New Testament it literally means “Leap and jump for joy”… The KJV says “be exceedingly¬†glad”.. It’s amazing, but the LORD puts His deep joy in your heart when you know an attack is coming because you’re walking in obedience with Jesus.

We’re learning, slowly, not to get angry when someone says something false about what we are doing for Jesus. The man last night said, “You shouldn’t force people into religion”. With every lie of Satan, there’s also an element of truth. Of course we shouldn’t force anyone, we can’t make a convert by force. Only the Holy Spirit brings conviction and converts a person. However, by going out and sharing the Good News of Jesus on the streets with people, we’re NOT ‘forcing’ anyone, we’re just being obedient to Jesus command to go. The man made that statement before we’d¬†barely¬†spoken a word to him about Jesus. Of course it was a ‘false’ statement, a lie from Satan, designed to cause us to doubt what we were doing. Thankfully, Gweneth and I were not put-off or dismayed by it for a moment.

Gwyneth and I, and the rest of the team REJOICED last night.

We’d been out sharing the Good News of Jesus. We know that the LORD’S promises hold true;

Isaiah 55:10-12 (NIV)
10  As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11  so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
12  You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.

“It shall not return to me void.” God will use the WORD planted in people’s hearts. He will accomplish what He desires. All He requires of us is that we be willing to be obedient to His Command to GO and to SPEAK the Gospel for Him! Amen.

My friends, keep GOING for Jesus.

  • Don’t give up.
  • Don’t be put off.
  • Don’t feel that you’ve failed.
  • Success is not obvious results, but being and living in the obedience that comes from faith.
  • Success in Evangelism is not measured by the number of converts, but by the fact that you’ve gone out and shared the Good News of Jesus Christ with people.
  • Keep LOVING People: They need Jesus, even if they don’t think they do. Their eternal destiny is what matters most to God, not that they are offended by you sharing the Good News with them.

It’s not by sight but by faith that we walk with Jesus.

2 Corinthians 5:7 (NIV) “We live by faith, not by sight.”

You might not see results or expected results when you do things for Jesus, but have faith; when you go out in His power, in His Spirit and on His mission; He’s with you, He will accomplish and achieve His purpose. Jesus IS building His Church, so keep sowing the WORD in people’s hearts.

Have an awesome day with Jesus full of His Spirit.

Amen!

Don.

 

Winning In Your Walk With Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word: 667: Winning In Your Walk With Jesus.

Philippians 2:12-15 (NIV)
12¬†Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed‚ÄĒnot only in my presence, but now much more in my absence‚ÄĒcontinue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,
13  for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.
14  Do everything without complaining or arguing,
15  so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe
Good morning my friends,¬†are there times when you struggle to be good? Times when it’s hard to be the person God has called you to be? We all know times of weakness and failure, however it is possible to win in your battle against; the world, the flesh and the devil: We must realise that it’s “NOT ALL ABOUT YOU” But it’s God who works in you to will and to act.
Will & Act: How According to His good pleasure.
When you avail yourself of God the Holy Spirit, submit to His divine authority in your life, then the way that you think, your desires, your will will be His will, then you will act righteously. Praise the LORD!
What an awesome verse from God’s Word today.
Philippians 2:13 “For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose”..
That’s a massive relief: God WORKS IN ME to will and to act…
Rest assured that when God gets you into His family, He intends to keep you and transform you.
Be bless with the fullness today.
Don.

Healing on The Sabbath

Healing on the Sabbath

Daily Spirit & Word: 666:

Religious People Want To Kill Jesus.

Opposition to Jesus is Growing Today.

Good morning my friends, it’s frightful that there are such striking similarities between attitudes towards Jesus and the Christian faith in His time and our own. We’re back with Mark’s Gospel again today, it’s¬†remarkable how much the opposition to Jesus is growing, and today we’ll discover how the plot thickens to such a boiling point that they want to kill the Lord Jesus: To murder Him. ¬†Also, there are growing hostilities towards Christians and Christianity in the world today.

Mark 3:1-6 (NIV)
1 Another time he went into the synagogue, and a man with a shrivelled hand was there.
2  Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath.
3 ¬†Jesus said to the man with the shrivelled hand, “Stand up in front of everyone.”
4 ¬†Then Jesus asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they remained silent.
5 ¬†He looked round at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored.
6  Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus.

The Place: It’s a synagogue.¬†

The Temple in Jerusalem was not the only place that Jewish people gathered and worshipped the LORD. Because it was impractical to get to the Temple every week from all over the Land, Synagogues (Places of worship) were established to encourage devotion to God and instruct the Jews in the understanding of the Scriptures.

Note: Mark doesn’t tell us anything about what they did in the Synagogue that day, but by saying Synagogue, we know what they will have been doing; Praying, reading from the Jewish Scriptures, Study and sometimes a Rabbi would do some teaching / instruction. It was considered a Holy Place because of the worship of the LORD. It was also a meeting place for the Jewish Community.

The Man With The Shrivelled Hand.

Mark Immediately brings our attention to the subject: The Man with the Shrivelled hand and the fact that the Pharisees were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus of being a Sabbath Breaker.

Why? Why were they looking to see if Jesus would heal the man on the Sabbath? By now the Pharisees knew that Jesus was a man of great compassion for people. He’d been healing many people of all kinds of diseases. Perhaps they even planted the man in the Congregation that day. (They were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus).

They watched Him closely… This reveals to us their attitude towards Jesus ministry, that they were very intent of finding a reason to get rid of him. However, we need to understand why there was this growing tension.

You’ve probably heard the expression; “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”, well, these Jewish religious leaders had also been scorned, they’d been upset by Jesus actions, teaching and public correction.

Some Background: (Shows us WHY they wanted to get rid of Jesus).

  • Remember that Jesus said He had come for “Sinners” not the righteous. Mark 2:17.
  • Remember that Jesus didn’t KEEP their RULES. Mark 2:18, 23.
  • Remember that Jesus had shown them they were wrong; from their own Holy Book: The Scriptures. Their understanding of their own religion was wrong. Mark 2:19-22, 25, 26.
  • Remember that Jesus even dared to say; That HE was LORD of the Sabbath. Mark 2:28.

It’s NO WONDER:¬†It’s not a surprise to us now that they were opposed to Jesus, so the Pharisees began looking for a good reason to ACCUSE Him. A way to bring righteous judgement upon Jesus own head so that they could get rid of this upstart, this troublemaker.

MOST PEOPLE TODAY: The Attitude of People Today.

Most people today don’t hate Jesus nor are they opposed to Him the way that the religious Jews were¬†in this account from Mark. The vast majority who know history and a little bit of the Bible think that Jesus was a very good man,¬†Muslims¬†believe Jesus was a Prophet, but they don’t hate Him. Most people today, know about Jesus teachings, but they just choose not to follow Him or His teachings. It’s as if Jesus is irrelevant to modern day life for most people.¬†However that indifferent attitude changes once people really understand the implications of Jesus teaching and ministry even today.

The truth is: If we really UNDERSTAND Jesus we will either; love Him or hate Him.

  • We will LOVE Him; because He came into this world to be our Saviour: Who saves us as sinners from God’s wrath and judgement and condemnation to Hell.
  • Or we will HATE Him: because He reveals our sinful condition and that we a¬†guilty¬†before God.

RELIGIOUS PEOPLE: The Pharisees of Jesus Time:

We must also remember, it was in a Synagogue: This was a Holy Place, these people were very religious. However, it also shows us (perhaps as a warning today) that it’s possible to be “very religious” and yet be far away from God.

John the Baptist called these¬†Pharisees; Hypocrites (they didn’t live like they should) and “A brood of vipers” (A viper is a poisonous snake) and “Whitewashed tombs, full of dead men’s bones” (Looking pure, clean and good on the outside, but inside they are DEAD). That’s what the Bible reveals about these ‘religious’ Pharisees: But today we’re going to see that they were also Treacherous and Deadly.

HEALING ON THE SABBATH:

They were watching to see if Jesus would HEAL on the SABBATH.

Is it WRONG to heal on the Sabbath day?

According to the Pharisees it was considered WORK.

According to Jesus: It was an opportunity to show COMPASSION. (Verse 4, )

As we discovered last week: it is WRONG to WORK on the Sabbath: However, is doing GOOD deeds for others what God would consider WORK?

Think About It:¬†Exodus 35:2 (NIV)¬†“For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day shall be your holy day, a Sabbath of rest to the LORD. Whoever does any work on it must be put to death.”

God has said that we can work in our regular employment for SIX DAYS a WEEK: But the seventh day is to be a day of rest from our LABOURS and a Day to Honour Him….i.e. It’s our NORMAL EMPLOYMENT, our work activity that we’re to rest from.

Remember what Jesus said about the Sabbath: “The Sabbath was made for man (for man’s benefit), not man for the Sabbath”.

Then we come to Jesus ‘Healing on the Sabbath’. Get this and you’ll get real REVELATION.

THE MAN WITH THE SHRIVELLED HAND.

Note: In those days, there was no welfare state, no disability allowances. If a man had a shrivelled hand, his employment was limited. You can’t use a powerless, useless hand to do anything. He was crippled. No wonder Jesus had compassion upon him. That’s what God is like my friends, He sees our NEED and longs to do something about it. Either through other people, you and me or through a miracle.

HERODIANS:

These were people who supported King Herod: Herod was a vassal Jesus King, a Supporter of Rome. Normally the Pharisees and Herodians hated each other, but now they were joining together in a plot to kill Jesus.

HARD HEARTED PHARISEES:

This section of the Bible is really SAD: Because it shows that we can be very religious and devoted in our religion, but become so hard-hearted that we begin to loose our compassion for people.

  • Every time we see a person in need; it’s God’s appointment to do something good.
  • Every time we see a person with trouble; God’s bringing them to our attention, to be His hands, His voice, His presence for them.

The Pharisees; they looked at this man with a shrivelled hand, only as an opportunity to do wrong.

The Lord Jesus: viewed the man with the shrivelled hand, only as an opportunity to do something good; to show compassion, care, love, concern, sympathy. He healed him on the Sabbath (God is ALWAYS willing to do us good, every day).

What does Mark 3:1-6 show us today?

  • In Jesus we observe a willingness to care;
  • That God cares, is interested in the minute of our daily lives.
  • That God Heals and does ‘good’ every single day. He doesn’t consider doing ‘good’ for others work, but a Joy and a Delight.
  • It also shows us how much we should be concerned for our fellow-man; to have fellow feelings. To show and demonstrate LOVE by doing good whenever we can, even on the Sabbath or Holy Day.
  • It also reveals that Jesus Christ¬†considers Healing and Doing Good a joy and delight rather than WORK.¬†
  • Opposition towards Jesus grew the more good that He did; don’t be surprised when you are doing good and the world hates you all the more for it.

Jesus Anger and Distress:

The Verse That Gets Me Today: Jesus feelings revealed:

Mark 3:5 ¬†“He looked round at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts…”

They would not answer Jesus. He asked them a question and they refused to answer.

“Which is lawful to do on the Sabbath day, to do good or evil, to save life or to kill?” It’s OBVIOUS! The Answer was so obvious, but they remained silent.

My friends, that attitude got Jesus Christ very ANGRY indeed.

Not only angry, but deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts.

Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be on the receiving end of Jesus’ anger or wrath or to make Him distressed at my stubborn heart. I want to be able to shout out in response to Jesus question;¬†“Oh LORD Jesus, let me be one of your followers today who’ll answer loudly; “To do good and to save life”…. Amen!

It also shows us that it’s possible to be very religious and remain Hard-Hearted and Stubborn. Religious but closed-off towards God.

They were NOT willing to learn from Jesus Christ; they remained STUBBORN HEARTED. He challenged their positions of power, but He also challenged their attitudes to other people in many different ways; the sinners, the outcasts, the sick, the poor, the lame; Jesus was always willing to; CARE, to TOUCH the Untouchables, to have compassion and to DO GOOD. Are we?

We too, like Jesus may become angry and distressed at the stubborn unbelief of people in the world. Also there is growing opposition and tension between Christians and the world under Satan’s blindness. Christians and Christianity are the least tolerated group of people in the world today. It seems to be OK to blaspheme Jesus on TV, Movies and even mainstream media, but not the faith of Islam, Hinduism etc… Have you ever asked yourself why that is? This attitude of indifference, unbelief and hostility will only get worse as time draws ever closer to the return of Jesus in glory. But don’t stay angry too long, get the big picture, the LORD is in control, He’s coming soon.

So what should our attitude be like?

Philippians 2:5-11 (NIV)
5  Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
6 ¬†Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 ¬†but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 ¬†And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death‚ÄĒeven death on a cross!
9  Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10  that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11  and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Jesus healed on the Sabbath Day, but instead of rejoicing and giving thanks to God for a miracle, the opposition increased. To such a point that they eventually took the life of the most Holy man to walk the Earth; the Lord Jesus Christ was crucified.

When you focus upon the Son of God, and determine in your heart to live His way, then He seems to have a way of drying your tears and easing your fears. He makes your burdens lighter and your pathway brighter. When you decide to honour the King of Kings, He will supply all your needs. When you love Jesus, then your fear melts away as fast as the snow did in London yesterday. Amen.

Finally: One Day EVERYBODY will have to face this Jesus Christ.

Revelation 1:7-8 (NIV¬† “Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen
8 ¬†“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”

These Pharisees and the Herodians with the Romans and Jews eventually succeeded in their plotting and managed to KILL Jesus Christ on the Cross. However; Praise the LORD: He is ALIVE today, because the grave couldn’t keep Him.

Every EYE: will see Him. Those who pierced Him: The Pharisees, The Herodians, The Romans, The Jews, You and Me: We’ll all see Jesus one day. On that day; we’ll either be rejoicing because we’ve turned in repentance and faith or we’ll “mourn because of Him”… But on that Day: Every knee will bow before Him.

Let’s make certain we’re in that number who’ll be rejoicing and not mourning on the Day that Jesus comes. Amen!

  • Have Compassion of Jesus every day.
  • Remember He still cares for you.
  • Respond to Jesus teaching.
  • Repent from your sins and hardness of heart today.
  • Receive¬†Him as your LORD.

Let us pray:

Hope you all have a wonderful week full of the JOY of the LORD Jesus Christ.

Don’t get too perplexed at the opposition towards Christianity, it’s pre-ordained and will grow as the time draws for Jesus return in glory. Remain steadfast and fix your eyes on Jesus. Live joyfully in His abundant life and look forward to being with Him forever. Amen.

 

Standing Firm In The Battle

Jehoshaphat's prayer

Daily Spirit & Word: 665: Standing Firm In The Battle.

Determine to follow God’s ways, not the ‘god’ of the age in which we live.

2 Chronicles 17:6 ¬†“His (Jehoshaphat’s) heart was devoted to the ways of the LORD; furthermore, he removed the high places and the Asherah poles from Judah.”

Have you ever felt the temptation to fit-in with the world?

Have you been pressurised to do so?

The Church of England is going through it right now. The Anglican Bishops from around the world are gathering in Canterbury Cathedral. They’ve got a lot to discuss and pray about, because there is strong pressure to become more like the world. It’s like living in a pressure cooker with the lid firmly in place and the steam nozzle spinning with a frenzy. Praise the LORD for Godly Bishops from around the world that are determined the Church of England and the ¬†whole Anglican Communion remain faithful to God’s Word and it’s plain teaching. Know this my friends, when we so¬†determine¬†to remain faithful, God Himself will fight the battles for us. Learn from Jehoshaphat who did the same things when part of the Nation abandoned the LORD.

We must be prepared to appear to be strange, weird, simple, straightforward, singular, and in our singularity, if we are genuinely prepared to be and do good, then let us who are followers of the teachings of Jesus Christ, be settled and a peace with it in our hearts, because we will be different from those who merely say that they follow the LORD, but try to keep in with this world. Will we be like Jehoshaphat who stood out in his own time as one who was determined to follow the LORD? He did so; politically, morally and spiritually.

Are you ready to follow as God wants you too: to love the Lord your God with all your heart, will, mind, soul and strength? To love Him in your politics, in your morality, in your spiritual life? When you do so, you’ll also LOVE your neighbour as yourself.

When Jehoshaphat got ready for an attack from the North, from Israel, he was not making war, but taking a stand against those who were wandering away from the Commandments of the LORD. He knew that in doing so, his actions would incur the wrath of the nations. He fortified the cities and stationed¬†garrisons, that’s getting ready to be attacked. When the great attack eventually came, Jehoshaphat led the Nation in prayer;

Jehoshaphat’s Prayer:

2 Chronicles 20:6 and 12 (ANIV)¬†“O LORD, God of our fathers, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no-one can withstand you…¬† 2 Chronicles 20:12 (NIV)¬†“O our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.”

He determined that he would walk with God as his forefather King David had in the beginning of his reign. We’re all aware how David slipped so terribly later on in life, but when he first followed the LORD, his walk was faultless. Jehoshaphat wanted to emulate what was best in the character of his forefather King David.

When you get alone with God, in solitude and prayerfully talk with him, ask Him to show you the areas of your life that you need to fortify and garrison against attacks. For it is there, in your quiet times, you’ll find the strength and determination to walk with God and to identify the spirit and customs of your own time that are far from God’s ways. There is a ‘god’ the world follows, but it’s NOT the God of the Bible. It’s a god that says it’s OK to deliberately forsake the express commands of God, for some strange reason even people within the ‘church’ are listening to the god of the age more than the plain teaching of God’s Word, the Holy Scriptures, the Bible.

Jehoshaphat would not be surprised, for the North of Israel did the same, God’s chosen people; deliberately forsake God’s commands and begin to follow after the baalims… false gods. Be aware by following God you are going to stand out like a sore thumb, you’ll look weird to the people of the world. To them, you’ll sound strange, singular and odd, you’ll be accused of being narrow-minded and dogmatic, but my friends, when Jehoshaphat determined to follow the LORD, the LORD HIMSELF fought for Jehoshaphat in battle. When attacked by an army that he couldn’t defeat, when he didn’t know what to do, Jehoshaphat¬†and all Judah: fasted, prayed, praised and¬†worshipped¬†the LORD. He asked God to give him victory: I’m asking God to do the same in this battle we’re in today. To give us victory and to enable the Church to stand firm on God’s Word.

Have and awesome weekend my friends, determine in your hearts that you’ll remain in the vine John 15.

Learn from the LIFE of Jehoshaphat: Seek the LORD in Prayer.

Do you remember a band from the 1960’s called “The New Seekers” that’s what the followers of Jesus should be today, people who’ll seek the Lord. Amen!

Remembering that ALL Scripture is God breathed, Divinely inspired to equip you to walk with Jesus. 2 Tim 3:16-17.

Praying you’ll stand firm to the end.

Don.

2 Chronicles 17:1-19 (NIV)
1 Jehoshaphat his son succeeded him as king and strengthened himself against Israel.
2  He stationed troops in all the fortified cities of Judah and put garrisons in Judah and in the towns of Ephraim that his father Asa had captured.
3  The LORD was with Jehoshaphat because in his early years he walked in the ways that his father David had followed. He did not consult the Baals
4  but sought the God of his father and followed his commands rather than the practices of Israel.
5  The LORD established the kingdom under his control; and all Judah brought gifts to Jehoshaphat, so that he had great wealth and honour.
6  His heart was devoted to the ways of the LORD; furthermore, he removed the high places and the Asherah poles from Judah.
7  In the third year of his reign he sent his officials Ben-Hail, Obadiah, Zechariah, Nethanel and Micaiah to teach in the towns of Judah.
8 ¬†With them were certain Levites‚ÄĒShemaiah, Nethaniah, Zebadiah, Asahel, Shemiramoth, Jehonathan, Adonijah, Tobijah and Tob-Adonijah‚ÄĒand the priests Elishama and Jehoram.
9  They taught throughout Judah, taking with them the Book of the Law of the LORD; they went round to all the towns of Judah and taught the people.
10  The fear of the LORD fell on all the kingdoms of the lands surrounding Judah, so that they did not make war with Jehoshaphat.
11  Some Philistines brought Jehoshaphat gifts and silver as tribute, and the Arabs brought him flocks: seven thousand seven hundred rams and seven thousand seven hundred goats.
12  Jehoshaphat became more and more powerful; he built forts and store cities in Judah
13  and had large supplies in the towns of Judah. He also kept experienced fighting men in Jerusalem.
14  Their enrolment by families was as follows: From Judah, commanders of units of 1,000: Adnah the commander, with 300,000 fighting men;
15  next, Jehohanan the commander, with 280,000;
16  next, Amasiah son of Zicri, who volunteered himself for the service of the LORD, with 200,000.
17  From Benjamin: Eliada, a valiant soldier, with 200,000 men armed with bows and shields;
18  next, Jehozabad, with 180,000 men armed for battle.
19  These were the men who served the king, besides those he stationed in the fortified cities throughout Judah.

Below: You can read, study and learn all about the life of the good King Jehoshaphat:

Jehoshaphat King Of Judah, the son of Asa.

1 Kings 15:24

1 Kings 22:1-36

1 Kings 22:2

1 Kings 22:41

2 Kings 3:4-27

2 Kings 3:7

2 Kings 8:16

2 Chronicles 14:2

2 Chronicles 17:1

2 Chronicles 17:7-9

2 Chronicles 18:1

2 Chronicles 19:1

2 Chronicles 19:6-9

2 Chronicles 20:1-37

2 Chronicles 21:1

Matthew 1:8

Had A Godly Father

2 Chronicles 14:2

Inaugurated A System Of Religious Instruction For The People

2 Chronicles 17:7-9

Commanded The Judges To Be Just

2 Chronicles 19:6-9

When Surrounding Nations Attacked Him He Trusted In The Lord And Gained A Great Victory

2 Chronicles 20:1-37

Manifested Weakness In Forming Alliances With Wicked Kings

1 Kings 22:1-36

2 Kings 3:4-27 .

 

Jusus IS; The LORD of the Sabbath

Cornfield Jesus woman

Daily Spirit & Word: 664: Jesus Is The LORD of the Sabbath.

“The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath”

Good morning my friends, we’ve had a wonderful few days. My wife Julie and I are looking after our little two year old grandson Karamoko. We’d normally have all three, but the older children have school. Still our daughter needs a little rest from Karamoko, she’s 39 and a bit weeks pregnant, gets tired and needed a break. He’s FULL of LIFE. When you observe a two year old, you wonder how just a few¬†mouthfuls¬†of¬†porridge¬†can produce so much energy.

On Sunday, I was preaching on the following verses from Mark’s Gospel, Jesus own disciples needed some energy, but I’m sure they didn’t know the resultant storm of opposition from evil forces that was brewing behind the scenes, that picking a few ears of corn would cause.

Mark 2:23-28 (NIV)
23 One Sabbath Jesus was going through the cornfields, and as his disciples walked along, they began to pick some ears of corn.
24 ¬†The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?”
25 ¬†He answered, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need?
26 ¬†In the days of Abiathar the high priest, he entered the house of God and ate the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.”
27 ¬†Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.¬†28 ¬†So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”
Walking Through Cornfields:

Have you ever been in the countryside and walked through a field¬†with ripe corn? It’s an amazing feeling; it feels like you are in a sea of very long grass, with the wind blowing the corn seems to move like waves.

As Jesus, His disciples and some Pharisees walked through, some of Jesus’ disciple begin picking some ears of corn.

The Pharisees Notice: 

As stated last week, the Pharisees were the religious people of Jesus day. They tried to live according to very strict religious code of conduct, and they expected every ‘good’ Jew to do the same. Whenever someone didn’t live according to their rules and regulations, they pointed the finger, and tried to impose their code upon everyone.

The Pharisees noticed that Jesus’ disciples were picking corn, and pointed out that it was against the LAW.

Was it against the law? Were Jesus disciple being unrighteous and unholy?

Let’s looks and see what the LAW actually said about the Sabbath:

Exodus 35:2 (NIV)¬†“For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day shall be your holy day, a Sabbath of rest to the LORD. Whoever does any work on it must be put to death.”

Exodus 20:8-11 (NIV)
8 ¬†“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
9  Six days you shall labour and do all your work,
10  but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates.
11  For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

On the surface, it would seem the Disciples were indeed being disobedient; after all picking corn is harvesting, right?

The Pharisees had expanded God’s Law:

They interpreted what God had given to mean; 39 Sabbath Prohibitions. Remember, these are just some of the Pharisee’s rules and regulations for a holy life.

For a Pharisee and a “good Jew” it was prohibited to do;

  • Sowing
  • Plowing
  • Reaping
  • Binding sheaves
  • Threshing
  • Winnowing
  • Selecting
  • Grinding
  • Sifting
  • Kneading
  • Baking
  • Shearing wool
  • Washing wool
  • Beating wool
  • Dyeing wool
  • Spinning
  • Weaving
  • Making two loops
  • Weaving two threads
  • Separating two threads
  • Tying
  • Untying
  • Sewing stitches
  • Tearing
  • Trapping
  • Slaughtering
  • Flaying
  • Tanning
  • Scraping hide
  • Marking hides
  • Cutting hide to shape
  • Writing two or more letters
  • Erasing two or more letters
  • Building
  • Demolishing
  • Extinguishing a fire
  • Kindling a fire
  • Putting the finishing touch on an object
  • Transporting an object between a private domain and the public domain, or for a distance of 4 cubits within the public domain.

What the Pharisees had done was identify what they deemed to be WORK: Made a list and said, “We can’t do these things”. Modern Jews follow similar guidelines, because they are living according to the LAW: Not the Spirit which gives life.

The Letter of the Law Kills.

The Spirit gives it life.

NOTE: Remember what Jesus said, “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light” Matthew 11:30. He was referring to how the Christian life can be lived in the power of the Spirit rather than on rules and regulations.

Then Jesus Disciples: Come along and pick some corn on the Sabbath.

Jesus directed the Objecting Pharisees to the Scriptures:

The Beginning of the Year 2016: Is a good time to remember what Jesus was doing here.

Whenever a question arises as to the practice of our faith, we must go along what what God has revealed in His Word. The Bible warns us “Not to add or take away” from what has been given by God in the Bible.

Jesus reminds them about King David and his companions who were hungry, and ate the consecrated bread. Jesus reminds them, It was lawful only for priests to eat this bread, but David and his companions were hungry, and because there was no other food, the Consecrated bread was the only food at hand, their hunger overrides.

However, this leaves us with a Question: 

Was Kind David breaking God’s Law?

Answer, Jesus was asking the Pharisees to do a Bible Study: to Check-out King David.

David had assured the Priest that he and his companions were¬†ritually¬†clean; They had abstained from being with women for over three days. (Why that makes a man unclean? You’ll have to do a deeper Bible study to find out, but that was the requirement that David and his companions was asked to fulfil by the Priest, before he would give him the consecrated bread of God’s presence, the shawbread.)

1 Samuel 21:3-6 (NIV) Kind David Takes The Shawbread. 
3 ¬†Now then, what have you to hand? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever you can find.”
4 ¬†But the priest answered David, “I don’t have any ordinary bread to hand; however, there is some consecrated bread here‚ÄĒprovided the men have kept themselves from women.”
5 ¬†David replied, “Indeed women have been kept from us, as usual whenever I set out. The men’s things are holy even on missions that are not holy. How much more so today!”
6  So the priest gave him the consecrated bread, since there was no bread there except the bread of the Presence that had been removed from before the LORD and replaced by hot bread on the day it was taken away.

To discover more about the Shawbread: Read:  Leviticus 24:5-9 (NIV)
5 ¬†“Take fine flour and bake twelve loaves of bread, using two-tenths of an ephah for each loaf.
6  Set them in two rows, six in each row, on the table of pure gold before the LORD.
7  Along each row put some pure incense as a memorial portion to represent the bread and to be an offering made to the LORD by fire.
8 ¬†This bread is to be set out before the LORD regularly, Sabbath after Sabbath, on behalf of the Israelites, as a lasting covenant.¬†9 ¬†It belongs to Aaron and his sons, who are to eat it in a holy place, because it is a most holy part of their regular share of the offerings made to the LORD by fire.”

This shows us that ONLY Aaron and his sons (The Levite Priests after him) were allowed to eat this bread.

The Pharisees revered King David: Jesus asking them a question about the great king’s righteousness was not to throw them into doubt, but to show them, there are times when God’s Law is not as simple as ‘keeping rules and regulations’, it’s a matter of the heart. How pure a person is. How much a person is devoted to the LORD.

Jesus was most likely arguing; “If Kind David could eat the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for the Priests to eat, then men who are hungry on the Sabbath, whilst they have the LORD of the Sabbath with them, can also pic and eat a few grains of corn.”

Jesus was teaching them and us, the Sabbath was never meant to be a SET of RULES: But a way of life.

He said, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath”.

It was meant to be a day, devoted to the LORD. A Holy Day and a Day of REST from their labours.

Yes God had said, “Do NO WORK on the Sabbath, it is a Holy Day, a Day to devote yourselves to Him”.

It was also to remind them about CREATION: How the LORD had made it in SIX DAYS and rested on the SEVENTH.

When you consider the Creator of all things, that the LORD made the heavens and the earth, you’ll get a much greater¬†perspective¬†on who actually provides for you, not the labour of your hands, but the Lord God almighty: The LORD of the Sabbath.

But the Pharisees had become legalistic; they were looking at everyone else, instead of focusing upon worship of the LORD.

They were looking to ensure that people kept their rules and regulations, rather than worrying about their own personal devotion and worship. They thought of themselves as a kind of holy police force.

Jesus taught: The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.

What did Jesus mean?

It seems to me that Jesus is teaching us; there are certain times when RULES can be broken. (I.e. Work on the Sabbath: Harvesting. Work on the Sabbath; Healing). When there is NEED for things in life, like food. Or MERCY needs to be shown or exercised for someone.

We’ll see this again next week in: A Work of Mercy on the Sabbath: Jesus healing a man. Mark 3.

Here, picking some corn on the Sabbath?: is a Work of Necessity it’s NOT Harvesting: Jesus Disciples were mainly fishermen, not farmers. Because they were travelling around with the Messiah, they were going about the LORD’S HOLY WORK. (King David said, “His work was Holy”). They were hungry, NECESSITY overrides ritual and regulation. Just as much as mercy does, next week. Mark 3.

 

An Injured Pigeon:

After being a Christian for about two years, I’d become quite legalistic about getting to church on time. I never wanted to be late to Church on a Sunday. So we always set out early to walk the mile up hill to church. Five kids in tow.

One day just along the road from our house, we spotted a¬†pigeon¬†tat had been hit by a car and it’s wing was broken. My wife, Julie said, “Oh look at that poor darling creature, go and get it and we’ll take it to the vet” I protested, “Julie, we haven’t got time, we’ll be late for church”… Well, you can guess what she said, “What’s more important, getting to church or doing good?” I chased that bird for about ten minutes and finally caught it. Once in my hands I thought to myself, “What am I going to do with you now, on a Sunday?”… I took it to Brian and Sheilah’s house, our neighbours who were always very kind to animals. It turned out, we were not late for church. But I learned a valuable lesson from my wife that day.

Do GOOD on the Sabbath when God gives you the opportunity.

Don’t worry about your rules, even your own precious rules.

“The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.”

Yes it’s important to set aside one day a week as HOLY to the LORD.

Every day for the Christian is a SABBATH DAY: Because we’ve got the LORD with us.

Every day is HOLY for the Christian: However, it’s good to follow the Bible practice of setting aside one day a week to worship the Lord. God set us an example; if it’s good enough for God, surely it’s good for us to rest one day a week from our labour.

Jesus Is LORD of the Sabbath:

The Pharisees thought they KNEW the LAW of God: But it’s like Jesus is telling them, “NO, you don’t really understand God’s Law, you don’t get it. I do, because I AM the LORD of the SABBATH.” i.e. “I’m LORD who gave the law, so I know what I was talking about when I gave that Law to Moses”…. Jesus is the LORD of the Sabbath and all the other Commands of God. He alone understands the full meaning of God’s LAW. That’s why Jesus also corrected their understanding of; Murder and Adultery. (i.e. hatred in the heart and lust in the heart). Jesus is the LORD of the Sabbath too.

NOTES: Remember that this section of Mark’s Gospel followed questions about FASTING, and is followed by them looking to see if Jesus would again ‘break’ the Sabbath laws in Mark 3. Opposition to Jesus was building in the hearts of men, but we must also remember that our battle is not against flesh and blood.

NOTES: The Sabbath was not meant to be a day of privation: God provided double the Manna for the Holy Day whilst the Israelites were wandering through the desert. Normally the Manna would only last just one day, they were to gather just enough, if they gathered too much it rotted with maggots. However, a miracle took place on the sixth day, that manna lasted long enough for two whole days and didn’t rot. That shouts out to me about God’s amazing hand of provision for a holy life, and that He wants us to remember, who it is the provides us with everything.

Our God IS and AWESOME God.

He reigns in Heaven and Earth.

He’s the CREATOR of ALL.

He gives us LIFE and Breath.

Praise HIM every DAY.

Amen!

Jesus said, “I have come that you may have life in abundance” John 10:10.

Bible References To The Sabbath Day:

Genesis 2:2-3; Exodus 16:23-29; Exodus 20:8-11; Exodus 31:12-17; Exodus 35:2-3; Leviticus 16:31; Leviticus 19:3; Leviticus 19:29-30; Leviticus 23; Leviticus 24:8; Leviticus 25:2-6; Leviticus 26:2; Leviticus 26:34-35; Leviticus 26:43; Numbers 15:32-36; Numbers 28-29; Deuteronomy 5:12-14; 2 Kings 4:23; 2 Kings 11:5-9; 1 Chronicles 9:32; 1 Chronicles 23:31; 2 Chronicles 2:4; 2 Chronicles 8:13; 2 Chronicles  23:4-8; 2 Chronicles 31:3; 2 Chronicles 36:21; Nehemiah ; Nehemiah 10:31-33; Nehemiah 13:15-22; Psalms ; Isaiah 1:13; Isaiah 56:2-7; Isaiah 58:13-14; Isaiah 66:22-23; Jeremiah 17:21-27; Lamentations 2:6; Ezekiel 20:12-24; Ezekiel 22:8; Ezekiel 22:26-31; Ezekiel 23:38; Ezekiel 44:24; Ezekiel 45:17; Ezekiel 46:1-12; Hosea 2:11; Amos 8:5; Matthew 12:1-12; Matthew 24:20-21; Matthew 28:1; Mark 1:21; Mark 2:23- 28; Mark 3:2-4; Mark 6:2; Mark 15:42; Mark 16:1; Luke 4:16; Luke 4:31; Luke 6:1-9; Luke 13:10-16; Luke 14:1-5; Luke 23:50-24:1; John 5:9-18; John 7:22-23; John ; John 19:31; Acts 1:12; Acts 13:14; Acts 13:27; Acts 13:42-43; Acts 15:21; Acts 16:13; Acts 17:2; Acts 18:4; Romans 14:5-6; Galatians 4:10-11; Colossians 2:14-17; Hebrews 4:1-11

 

The Jewel In Aaron’s Turban

The Jewel in Aaron's Crown

Daily Spirit & Word: 663: Holy Things.

The Jewel in Aaron’s Turban.

Good morning my friends, it’s cold and dark outside. Thanks be to the LORD, I’ve been convicted by His Holy Spirit again. As I was reading in daily devotional, I heard His voice saying, “That’s you Donald”. Now ordinarly I’d think “that’s Satan’s voice trying to make me feel guilty, when I’m not”, but today it was the voice of the LORD. You see even in the holiest of things that we do for the LORD there is SIN lurking at the door.
Exodus 28:38 (NLT) “Aaron must wear it on his forehead so he may take on himself any guilt of the people of Israel when they consecrate their sacred offerings. He must always wear it on his forehead so the LORD will accept the people.”
When I first¬†studied¬†Exodus, I must have missed this; I concentrated then upon the Dress of Aaron the High Priest, but today the LORD showed me something more. It’s talking about the¬†jewel¬†in Aaron’s turban and the fact that even when the People of Israel were bringing offerings to the LORD, there was some sin in the offering. It was a reminder that even when the people are going about doing their most holy and devoted acts, there is a tinge of sinfulness in it; and the¬†jewel¬†in the turban is to take away the sins from the people, that Aaron (the High Priest) might bear their sin, even in their offerings and sacrifices so that they would become acceptable to God.
Imagine that, you’re going to; prayer, praise, Bible study, fellowship meetings etc; yet there is something, some aspect of sin in the offering?

How can that possibly be?

How is it possible to be doing HOLY activity with sinful motives?

Well think of a Garden that needs to be tended:
A gardener may look at his garden and say, “Oh I need to go and do some weeding”… He goes out and spends ages removing the weeds. That’s good right? Well it could be, but let’s look at some of the reasons why a gardener may undertake the task of weeding his garden.
Indolence: (I learned a new word today) Indolence is; inactivity resulting from a dislike of hard work.
So the garden may be covered in weeds because of the gardener’s indolence, laziness, lack of concern, not caring about the growth of weeds in the garden. This reminded me of Jesus teaching about the yeast of the Pharisees and how it can spread throughout the whole batch of dough or the church or fellowship. Jesus wants his people to be pure, so He instructs us to be aware of the yeast of the Pharisees, unbelief.
There are HOLY things we should be doing, but because of our lazy attitude or our indolence, it doesn’t get done.
PRIDE & VANITY: The gardener may work on his garden for reasons of pride or vanity.
He works hard removing every single weed he can find, so that when he looks back over his garden he pats himself on the back and says, “What a good job I’ve done, that will impress people”. That’s pride in operation. He’s thinking of the neighbours looking over the fence and saying, “That’s a fantastic garden”; that’s pride too, but it’s also vanity; looking good in the eyes of others.
Why are we going about our devotions to the LORD? Is it to impress other people, to feel good about ourselves, to impress the LORD or because we’ve been too lazy and we’ve let the garden of our faith get covered in weeds?
Thankfully, like Aaron’s jewel in the turban, which was in place because of the iniquity of the offerings, the sins of the people who were bringing holy sacrifices to the LORD, we too have a High Priest: Jesus Christ. When we’re doing our devotions; prayer, praise, worship, fellowship, Bible study, etc; the Lord God Almighty doesn’t see us or the sin in the offering: He sees only your High Priest standing in front of your offerings. Jesus Christ is your great high priest my friends; that’s GRACE.
So even if it is; indolence, pride or vanity, we’re covered by the righteousness of Jesus Christ. However, let’s check our motives; why are we tending our garden of praise?
  • If it’s to impress other’s that’s vanity.
  • If it’s to impress the LORD, that vanity too.
  • If it’s to impress ourselves, that’s Pride.
  • If it’s to cover our laziness, that’s indolence.
Oh LORD, SAVE me from my pride, vanity and indolence today. Amen.
Lord, I ask that you’ll help me, even when I’m doing the right things, to be doing them from pure motives. Amen.
Help me O LORD, even in my most HOLY activity. Amen.
Thank you Lord Jesus, that You are the Jewel in the Crown of righteousness.
Don.

Praise the LORD