How’s Your First Love

Revelation Letter to Ephesus forsaken first love

Daily Spirit & Word: 695: Letters to the Churches.

How’s Your First Love?

Good morning my friends, after Sunday comes Monday. Do you sometimes get those Monday Morning Blues? You know the feeling, the weekend has been great, but it is over and it’s back to work as usual. Sometimes life can become repetitive and mundane. We’ve got the endless rounds of politics, elections, and horrible slandering of politicians in the News. European exit or stay campaigning. Who to believe?  Perhaps we’re hungering for something new, something bright, something cheery, some really great NEWS to burst forth into our lives, news that will make the whole world so happy that they’ll just stop in their tracks and get along with one another and seek the common good of everyone. Imagine a world like that, a world without war and rumours of war. A world without disasters or disease or even death. Imagine a world where people really did love and care for each other. Wouldn’t that be outstanding? What would it take for the world to become more like the way the LORD Created it to be?

Of course we do see glimmers of it, real kindness and care from people who don’t hog the limelight. Generous people who give so much of their time and talents to a world that doesn’t even care or notice. Even in the face of blatant ingratitude, there are people who don’t even seem to count the cost to themselves and just keep on giving and giving. My wife’s a bit like that, I’m just so blessed to have a wonderful woman who really knows how to LOVE and not count the cost. Perhaps one day, like the man who was recognised many years after the war for his efforts to get hundreds of Jewish children over to the UK from Europe, away from the threats of Nazi death camps. That story made so many people cry with his selfless dedication and the risks that he took to SAVE those children. I think what moved us all was the children and grandchildren of the ones he’d saved, because without him none of them would be around today. Yes my friends there are glimmers of real HOPE in the world today.

As we reflect upon Jesus’ Letters to the Churches in early first century of Christianity, can you imagine what it must have been like for them receiving a letter from Jesus Christ?

I’m also wondering what Jesus would say to me. What would he say to you? What would He say to your Church or your leadership? Let’s take a little sneaky-peak into what Jesus wanted to say to those first Christians living in Asia all those years ago.

Revelation 2:1-7 (NIV) Jesus Message to the Christians in Ephesus. 
1 “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands:
2  I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false.
3  You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.
4  Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love.
5  Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.
6  But you have this in your favour: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
7  He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.

Do you remember what the Seven Stars and Seven Lampstands represented? (See the end of Chapter 1 of Revelation).

My friends, Jesus is walking amongst those churches, their leaders and every Christian. He’s not stopped walking amongst us also. Nothing is hidden from His sight. Nothing in all Creation. He knows everything.

Jesus reveals to John that He KNOWS all about those brothers and sisters in Ephesus.

He KNOWS their;

  • Deeds,
  • Hard work,
  • Perseverance,
  • Intolerance of wickedness,
  • Testing the Apostles, to see who’s true or false (We hate it if someone calls someone a ‘false prophet or false convert’ today don’t we, but right judgement of people is obviously a very high priority for our Heavenly Enthroned Risen and Alive Lord Jesus Christ.).
  • Perseverance is mentioned again (Verse 3)
  • Enduring hardships because of Jesus Name (The Christians in Ephesus were persecuted terribly in the first century). But they didn’t grow weary because of it.

Jesus really does KNOW these brothers and sisters in Ephesus. They have a great deal to commend and encourage. However, Jesus goes onto remind them of something critical to their walk with Him: They had forsaken their first LOVE! i.e. their DEVOTION to HIM as LORD. How had they done that? Jesus doesn’t go into the details, isn’t that so like Jesus, He knows but he’s not telling anybody how they’ve fallen, but the fact that He knows they have would have hit them so powerfully, because it’s obvious from everything else that Jesus says that once the really did love Him with all their hearts.

Imagine getting a letter from Jesus today and He said that about you?

You are very religious, you do great works, you even persevere under great trials, but you have FORSAKEN Me… oH WOWzer! How convicting, how terrible… Could it really be true that we can be all those things and yet not be walking with Jesus?

Notice: Jesus’ Compassionate Way:

Have you stopped to consider the gentle and compassionate way that Jesus reveals their spiritual condition and the danger they are in unless they turn once again to Him in true repentance?

He first Commends them with a deep knowledge of their TRIUMPHS, then rebukes them for their FAILINGS, then Encourages them once again for their practical righteousness. Now all they need to do is TURN back to Him and He’s promising them amazing rewards; access to the Tree of Life.

“I have this against you, you have forsaken your first love”.

It’s like Jesus is counselling a young married couple who’ve gone through a real testing time in their relationship. I’ve known many a marriage be tested to the point of breaking because of financial difficulties, unfaithfulness or communication breakdown. It makes one or both of the parties believe that they’d be much better apart, their once burning love for each other has dimmed to a smouldering-wick. Or like a B&Q long-life light bulb, that’s meant to last a life-time, but only last a few months, before it begins to turn on very slowly and then you’ll notice just a little orange glow instead of bright white-hot light. So many marriages are like that because of the way we live our lives at break-neck speed. But so is our walk with Jesus, it suffers because we’re trapped in a lifestyle that demands so much of our time and attention, devotion to Jesus suffers as a result: “I have this against you, you have forsaken your first love”

Just as a married couple can be shown how to re-kindle their passionate love for one another, by getting them in touch with the feeling they once felt for on another at the beginning of their relationship. So Lord Jesus is calling the Ephesian Christians to come back to their FIRST LOVE. He’s encouraging them to REMEMBER. “Remember the height from which you have fallen.” The Christians is Ephesus were once so on fire with Love for Jesus they were ready to give their lives in His service.

What happens when we forsake Jesus?

Our passion for close communion with Him slowly dies.

  • I feel Jesus is asking me today “Donald, do you really love me like you did when you first came to trust me?”
  • It’s like Jesus is saying, “My love for you has not diminished, but where’s your passionate love for Me?”
  • It’s like Jesus is saying to me; “I know ALL that you are doing for Me and I think that’s just great, but where am I in all of it?”

You see my friends, we serve a RISEN Saviour, He’s in the world today, I know that He is LIVING whatever men may say, He’s right beside me, He’s inside me, He’s closer than a brother, He’s kinder than the Auntie who loved you no matter what you did. Jesus wants you back. He wants you to LOVE Him more than anything else in this world.

Prayer: “I want to thank you Lord Jesus for the gentle way you remind me to stay close to You as a first order priority in all that I do. Everything else is dross compared to knowing You Jesus. Amen!” “O Lord Jesus, I’m also praying for all my brothers ans sisters in Your Kingdom Family, that they too will have their FIRST LOVE rekindled, so they’ll want to be close to You always. Amen!”

Sometimes, we Forsake Jesus, because other loves creep into our lives, then slowly but surely we find that we’re not as passionate or on fire about Jesus or His desires or His likes or His wishes.

He’s calling YOU back to Himself. Keep going with the great things you are doing for Jesus, but LOVE Him first, the REWARDS will far exceed any sacrifice you have to make when you forsake this world and the pleasures it offers.

How’s your first love?

Have an awesome week with Jesus.

Don.

 

Believe In The Kingdom POWER of God’s Word.

The Force Is Within You

Daily Spirit & Word: 694:

Believe In The Kingdom POWER of God’s Word.

Good morning my friends. Don’t you just LOVE Sundays? The LORD’S DAY. We’re so blessed at the moment here in the UK, because, up until quite recently, we’ve enjoyed relative freedom to proclaim God’s Word. Some day soon that freedom may be taken from us, because there are powerful forces gathering to put a muzzle on the mouths of Christians and Ministers. Let’s enjoy the freedom whilst we can, for today’s WORD from the LORD tells us about a SECRET POWER: When you proclaim God’s WORD it has a POWER all of it’s own.

I don’t know if you like Star Wars: I’ve not seen the new movie yet, but I’ve heard it’s quite good. The FORCE is strong in you. (Luke Skywalker). My friends, the Kingdom Power of God’s Word is STRONG within you.

However, I need to ask you are question right at the start of my sermon today: “Do you believe in the POWER of God’s Word?”

“Do You Believe in the POWER of God’s Word?”

Today, Jesus tells us two parables in Mark’s Gospel. Keep in mind the parable of the Sower and the Soils: Also, bear in mind that Jesus is instructing His Disciples, because He wants them to go on to become teachers of God’s Word when He’s gone. He leaves them with some amazing powerful examples that will sustain them through the troubled times to come.

There are sometimes when we sow God’s Word, that it doesn’t appear to have any effect, thankfully Jesus shows today that every Word of God has a life of it’s own, it is POWERFUL my friends. It is not called the SWORD of the SPIRIT lightly. It has power to cut right through flesh and hit to the heart.

Mark 4:26-34 (NIV) LIFE IN THE SEED. Kingdom Life.
26  He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground.
27  Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how.
28  All by itself the soil produces corn—first the stalk, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.
29  As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.”
Mark 4:30-34. Kingdom Growth.
30  Again he said, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it?
31  It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest seed you plant in the ground.
32  Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds of the air can perch in its shade.”
33  With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand.
34  He did not say anything to them without using a parable. But when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything.

LEARN the Secrets of the Kingdom and the POWER of God’s WORD

Yes my friends, Jesus wanted His Disciples to LEARN the Secrets of the Kingdom and the POWER of God’s WORD. He wanted them to know, believe, trust and not doubt that God’s Word when; sown, spoken, planted and shared in the hearts of people, it will accomplish what God wants it to. It grows when the farmer, the one who’s sown it is not even around. When he’s awake or asleep, It has a LIFE all of it’s own.

Also that it may begin small, but it keeps growing into a mighty tree. Powerful: is the Word of God.

The Word of the Lord is Powerful and Active:

Listen now to what God tells us in Hebrews:

Hebrews 4:12-13 (NIV)
12  For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
13  Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

What does it say about God’s Word: 

LIVING: Those little seed might look dead, but they have LIFE inside them: They are little Miracles.

ACTIVE: i.e. not passive. It puts down roots deep into the heart and keeps digging.

SHARPER than any double-edged sword: A double sharpened sword was a lethal weapon in the hands of a skilled Roman soldier, but God’s WORD is even more POWERFUL: When you walk around with God’s Word inside your head, did you know that you are carrying a concealed weapon? Not just any concealed weapon, but a weapon that’s sharper and more powerful than any earthly weapons. Even those weapons of mass destruction are not as powerful as the Word of God. That’s why the Chineese and Russian Governments are afraid of Christianity. It’s why they lock up and torture Spirit Filled Believers, because they know the POWER of a Converted Christian who doesn’t just believe in Jesus, but knows the POWER of God’s Word and how to use it. They’re happy to have bland, state-sanctioned churches that are simply being ‘religious’, but they hate it when real Christians who’re on fire with the living, active and powerful Word of God begin to use it in their daily lives.

It’s not just living, active and powerful, it PENETRATES:

I watched a programme about the Second World War: How the Germans had built massive, strong underground bases, where they; stored fuel, made weapons and housed thousands of workers. They’d re-inforced those structures with six-feet thick REINFORCED concrete, thinking they’d be impenetrable, but how wrong they were. The Allies had a secret weapon of their own, The Tall-Boy Bomb (Boom): Designed to break through the toughest reinforced concrete bunkers.

My friends, the WORD of God is even more POWERFUL than the biggest Tall-Boy Bomb: It penetrates. Listen again to God’s Word: In fact, let’s read it aloud together: Because, do you know that “Faith Comes By Hearing”?

Hebrews 4:12-13 (NIV) Let’s read aloud together now:
12  For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
13  Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

Finally, it’s not just; living, active, powerful, penetrating, but it JUDGES.

What does it judge? “The thoughts and attitudes of the heart”…

EXAMPLE: My friends, we meet people all the time as we go out to share the Gospel. They’ll say, “I don’t believe that God would send anyone to hell forever”… However, the Bible, God’s Word, tells us He will. When we show them from God’s Word, what God has said, then be assured of this my friends, God’s WORD is much more powerful than their own arguments, thoughts or disagreement with God’s Word: It will JUDGE their very thoughts, their thought-life will come under the scrutiny of God’s Word. What they’ve done is Idolatry: Because they have created a god to suit their own imaginations and desires, a little god that doesn’t demand holiness of life, righteous and moral living, a god that they will not ultimately have to be accountable to: That’s Idolatry. Can you see that KNOWING there is POWER in the Word, when it is sown in faith, brings LIFE? Not only their thoughts, but the ATTITUDES of their Heart are judged by God’s Word.

These Two Kingdom Parables:

Teach us:

  • There is a life all of it’s own in God’s Word.
  • The smallest seed sown can grow into a mighty tree.
  • The Kingdom of God will keep on growing.

Now when we go back and see what Jesus was teaching in these Parables, we can see just how powerful God’s Word really is.

We may look at the outside, but God see the inside. “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight.” He knows what that person needs to hear, and as you take steps of faith to go out of your way to sow / share the Good News: then God’s WORD will become active, living, sharper, penetrating, judging and convicting.

Question:

My friends, “Do you believe in the POWER of God’s WORD?” Not just to say, “I Believe it”… No my friends, that’s not real belief, but when we ACT upon what you hear and say that we believe, that is real faith, because real faith has legs to go with it.

Now what are you going to do with this secret TRUTH today?

Keep it to yourself and treasure it in your heart?

No my friends, that’s not real faith, real faith is when you know the truth and the truth sets you free.

How many of you are afraid to even speak just one word of God’s Word to your friends?

How many of you are terrified to lift up your voice and say, “God tells us in His Word”….

God’s WORD: Addresses almost every situation we face in the World today and people NEED to Hear it, because they NEED to have it’s POWER working in their hearts and attitudes and thought life.

Listen to what God has said about His WORD:

Luke 11:28 (NIV) He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”

James 1:22 (NIV) “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

Act upon what your know and understand, put God’s WORD into action by SPEAKING it out in faith, in any and every situation. Be guided by the Holy Spirit; then you just sit back and watch, wait and see the POWER of God’s living, active, powerful, penetrating and judging WORD of God.

Conclusion:

My friends, I’ve seen God’s Word at work in people’s lives. I’ve seen it’s power work quickly; bringing conviction and conversion. I’ve also seen how sometimes it just works quietly beneath the surface. There were times when I thought to myself, “Well that didn’t make an impression” but my friends, I can testify today, how wrong I was. God’s Word was secretly working with a power all by itself to bring conviction leading to conversion. What a JOY it is to KNOW God’s WORD is ALIVE. What more JOY when we see it grow big and strong.

  • Know that there’s KINGDOM LIFE in the Word of God.
  • Know that there’s KINGDOM POTENTIAL for KINGDOM growth.
  • Show that you BELIEVE by Sowing God’s Words in the world; with friends, family, co-workers, neighbours, at the bus-stop, on the tube / train to work. Keep sowing God’s Word, it has a life all of it’s own.

Believe in the POWER of God’s WORD:

Kingdom Power is available to you.

  • The Word of God is the SWORD of the Spirit. (Ephesians 6:17)
  • The Word of God is a LAMP unto your feet and a LIGHT unto your path. (Psalm 119:105).
  • The Word of God is Eternal (Isaiah 40:8). God’s Holy Standards NEVER change. 
  • The Word of God is MANNA to the Soul (Deuteronomy 8:3)

Don’t just believe it: Do what it says, Use it… (Luke 11:28, James 1:22)

Prayer:

“Oh Lord Jesus Christ, I come to you today. I’m so convicted about the times I’ve sown Your Word and lacked the faith, and trust in it’s POWER to work in people’s lives. I’ve not been trusting in You Lord or Your faithfulness to do what You’ve promised in Your Word. I repent now Lord Jesus Christ, I KNOW that there is Kingdom Power in Your Word. I know Your Word is ALIVE and will penetrate deep into the hearts of those who hear it. Oh Lord Jesus, I want to thank you for waking me up to the powerful potential within Your Word. I know that it’s going to keep growing, but please Lord Jesus, help me to keep on sowing and trusting. Help me not only to believe in Your Word, but to act upon what I know and believe. Amen!”

May the LORD Jesus Christ bless His Word to our hearts today. Amen!

Don.

MORE Verses About God’s WORD Here:

Click Here. 30 Bible Verses about “The Word”.

 

The Joy Of Sharing The Good News

Be active in sharing your faith

Daily Spirit & Word: 693: The JOY of Sharing Good News.

What happens when a young woman comes out to learn how to share the Gospel?

“BE ACTIVE IN SHARING YOUR FAITH”

Good morning my friends, it’s been such an amazing experience over the last few days, being a Grandfather to NINE and there’s still another one on the way as Laura (Joe’s wife) is pregnant with her No 4 as well. What’s also been wonderful is how many people “like” baby pictures and especially new babies.  My Facebook pages has been going loopy 🙂 Praise the Lord for that obvious joy.

However, when someone becomes a Brand Newborn Babe in Christ, do we LIKE it just as much? We should be even more OVERJOYED, because that baby won’t just last for a few years here on Earth, but for all eternity in God’s Kingdom Family. A Christian is destined to LIVE forever, now that should make all of us stand up and shout for JOY to the Lord. Also, do you get EXCITED at the prospect of sharing your faith in Jesus with other folks? You should, because when you do God’s promises are mindblowingly awesome!  😛

STREET EVANGELISM:

Last night a small group of us, five in all, went out on a freezing cold February night to share the Good News of Jesus with folks on the streets of West Norwood in London.

I was teamed up with Gemma, a West African woman who’s just finished University. She’d come to me on Sunday at the end of worship and said, “When you were preaching about going and sharing the Good News, and you said “Sharing is Caring” I was on fire, I have so wanted to learn how to share the Gospel with my friends and colleagues”… I said, “Gemma, why don’t you come out with us on Wednesday and learn how to do it like Jesus did?”… She said she’d been frustrated in her attempts at winning folks for Jesus in the past, but wanted to learn. Well, last night Gemma turned up and came out with me. It was not long before Gemma was giving out tracts (£1,000,000 pound notes), sharing how own faith in Jesus and even praying for people on the streets.

But Gemma didn’t come to learn to give out tracts, but to engage people with the Good News of Jesus, it was not long before she experienced that, because two minutes out on our walk we met a man called Aaron. Aaron’s father was a Preacher and Leader in his church, his father had run Alpha Courses and Aaron had attended St Luke’s Primary School, a “Christian” school. However, it was soon obvious that Aaron had not come to fully understand the Gospel. I checked to see what Aaron actually believed, but it was the way that we got chatting that Gemma later said she loved. I said to Aaron, “You look like a good man, did you get your £1,000,000?” He responded with, “Why do you call me good?”   Immediately, I remembered Jesus asking a man that very question, “Why do you call me good, there’s none good but God alone”… (That account is recorded in two of our Gospels: Mark 10:17-27 and Matthew 19 16-22. See below)

Aaron had a wonderful privileged upbringing, but he’d rejected the Christian faith and it’s claims, because he had not EXPERIENCED anything and didn’t know if God was real. He had also reached the conclusion that he never could discover God. I don’t know about you, but when I hear a young man, an honest young man, express his doubts so openly like that, it makes me very sad and a bit angry too. Why don’t we preach the Gospel more clearly in our churches? Why are we so busy in church being religious, having fun, being culturally relevant when there are sincere young men like Aaron headed for hell?

What also became obvious to me was, that the LORD was not finished with Aaron yet. Just a few days before he bumped into Gemma and I, he’d had a similar meeting with another Evangelist from our Church. How many times have you had someone come up to you and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with you? I can count them on one hand, but Aaron had two people come and share about Jesus with him.

After reasoning with Aaron for a while about life after death, God’s reality, etc… I asked Gemma to share her own experience of how she knew that God was real, alive and knowable. As she was telling Aaron, I was watching him, and I knew what his response would be even before he opened up his mouth, “That’s nice for you, but I’ve not had that experience yet”… “I’m happy for you both, because you seem to have found God, but He’s not real to me”… It really is so sad when someone so young believes so strongly that God cannot be known.

Matthew 19:16-25 (NIV) The Rich Young Ruler.
16 Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”
17  “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments.”
18  “Which ones?” the man enquired. Jesus replied, ” ‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony,
19  honour your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbour as yourself.’ ”
20  “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?”
21  Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
22  When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.
23  Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.
24  Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
25  When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?”

Notes: The Disciples had come to realise that EVERYONE NEEDS TO BE SAVED verse 25. How did they arrive at that conclusion? They’d witnessed Jesus, time and time again brining up the LAW of God, the Ten Commandments, with folks as He chatted with them. They NEW that nobody had kept the whole LAW and were ready to be judged by God, that is why they said to Jesus, “Who then can be saved?”… Jesus answer was, “with man it is IMPOSSIBLE” i.e. no one, none, can SAVE themselves, because we’ve all become guilty of breaking God’s Commandments, (Romans 3:23) but with God all things are possible, i.e. God alone can SAVE mankind, as explained in that section of God’s letter to the young Roman Church:

Romans 3:21-28 (NIV) We’re Justified by FAITH through God’s GRACE: Not by living according to God’s LAW revealed in His Commandments. 
21  But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.
22  This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference,
23  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
24  and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
25  God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished
26  —he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.
27  Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. On what principle? On that of observing the law? No, but on that of faith.
28  For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law.
However, those Commandments reveal our NEED of Salvation, as Jesus’ Disciples discovered above.

Mark’s Account of the Rich Young Ruller:

Mark 10:17-27 (NIV)
17  As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
18  “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No-one is good—except God alone.
19  You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honour your father and mother.’ “
20  “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.”
21  Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
22  At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.
23  Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!”
24  The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!
25  It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
26  The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, “Who then can be saved?”
27  Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”

NOTES: Notice first, Jesus corrected the man’s understanding of ‘GOOD’, there’s none good, but God alone.
Notice second, Jesus revealed God’s Standard of Goodness and the entry requirement for the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Heaven: Perfection. Unless a man or woman is perfect, i.e. they’ve kept God’s LAW revealed in His Commandments perfectly all their life, they cannot enter into His Kingdom. The Rich Young Ruler thought he’d kept the Commandments, but it was obvious he was not listening to Jesus, “There’s NONE GOOD but God alone”… i.e. If we take an honest look at God’s Commandments, we’ll conclude that we’ve broken most of them in our lifetime and are guilty Law Breakers in God’s sight.
Well, I’d love to share with you that Aaron was won over by our discussions, but at least he thanked us for stopping to chat with him. I asked if he had a Bible at home. He said, “My dad’s got at least four Bibles open on his desk every day”. I said, why don’t you go home, ask your dad for one of them and read it. Say to God, “I don’t know if you are real, but I’m ready to discover if You are, please speak to me through Your Word”… I do hope we bump into Aaron again. Please pray for this honest young man Aaron, who wanted to discover “Why do you call me good?”.

First Night Of Evangelism:

Gemma’s first night was a brilliant lesson in sharing the Good News of Jesus with folks the way that Jesus did. It was also an eye-opening experience of listening to the Lord as you go, because we also prayed for folks and chatted about God’s Kingdom, Heaven, Hell, Faith, Hope, Healing… We received “Words of Knowledge” you should see people’s faces when you speak God’s Word and their own situation in life lines up with what God is saying to them.  The rest of the team came back and shared their experiences too. My friends, can I encourage you, if you don’t do it already, to keep sharing your faith in Jesus and lead others to the Saviour, because as Jesus own disciples discovered, everybody NEEDS to be SAVED, without Jesus they will die in their sins and end up in Hell, because God has declared He will give them His justice on the day of Judgement.

Here’s the TRUTH:

Here is WHO will NOT Enter God’s Kingdom: Anyone who’s broken God’s Commandments. We ALL NEED SALVATION.

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (NIV)
9  Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders
10  nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
11  And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Every single person needs to be: Washed, Sanctified and Justified through faith in Jesus Christ.

Also, like Gemma, Sherrie, Ben, Matthew and me last night, you’ll discover Kingdom Knowledge and you’ll experience more of what God’s got in store for you. Note below, the importance of not only loving the Saints as Philemon obviously did, but what will happen to him if he listens to Paul’s instruction when he shares his faith in Jesus.

Philemon 1:4-7 (NIV)
4  I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers,
5  because I hear about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints.
6  I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.
7  Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.

It’s obvious we should love the saints, our brothers and sisters in Christ, but it’s not so obvious the NEED for Christians to be actively sharing our faith in Jesus or the reasons why. When you share Jesus, your own understanding of all the good things you have in Jesus will grow, the more you share, the more you’re going to understand. How awesome is that? Philemon also highlights one of the major problems in our modern churches today, we’re really good at LOVING THE SAINTS but forgetting the importance of being active in sharing our faith. There’s so much good going on we’re missing the point of Jesus Commission and Call. It’s not to have a great time being ‘church’, but to win others for His Kingdom before He comes back again. We’re also great a doing ‘good’ in the community, hoping that people will be so impressed with our ‘goodness’ that they’ll want to discover more about Jesus. It doens’t work my friends, the church is getting exhausted serving the world, but the world is heading straight for hell, because we’re too busy doing ‘good’ to share the Good News of Jesus with them.

It is much harder to be ACTIVELY SHARING YOUR FAITH in Jesus with folks, than it is to be LOVING, gentle and kind. Yes we should be doing good and being loving, kind, generous, helpful and faithful, but it’s going to have far greater dividends in Eternity when you take steps of courage and determine in your heart that you are going to make the most of every opportunity to go out of your way to share the Good News of Jesus Christ, that’s what really counts for Jesus’ Kingdom and Eternity.

I could also write about the many other conversations we had last night; the second person we chatted with was also called Aaron, then a young woman who attended church all her life, but hadn’t received Jesus as Lord. A woman who used to come to church, who needed prayer. It’s just too much to write them all or share them all now… Praise the LORD! Pray for the people and don’t forget to BE ACTIVE IN SHARING YOUR FAITH.

Have a fantastic Thursday.

Don.

 

A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever

Revelation Beauty Joy Increases

Daily Spirit & Word: 692: Meeting Increases Joy.

A Thing Of Beauty Is A Joy Forever.

Good morning my friends, when we all heard the joyous news that my grandchild was born, everyone gave a great thumbs-up on Facebook, they liked it. However, even my own heart leaped for joy at hearing she’d been born, but I’ll tell you now, nothing prepares you for that moment when you meet the baby and can hold it in your arms. She’s just soooo cute and cuddly and tiny.

I believe it’s the same with Jesus Christ, it’s so amazing when we finally get it; the Good News of the Gospel, but can you imagine the JOY you are going to experience when you finally get to meet with your Lord Jesus?

John Keats said, “A thing of beauty is a joy forever, it’s beauty increases; it will never pass into nothingness”.

So it is with God’s Word and the Book of Revelations: It’s gets more glorious and beautiful the more you read, understand and feed upon, because it’s God’s Living Word.

We’ve been going through Revelation (slowly), but we’ve just read in chapter 1 about the Vision of Jesus that John saw and how after seeing it he fell down in fear and trembling and worshipped Jesus, but Jesus reached out his hand, put it upon John’s shoulder and gave him this command. “WRITE”… John must have been so overjoyed to meet the RESURRECTED LORD, but Jesus had something He wanted John to do: WRITE about this experience and revelations.

Revelation 1:19-20 (NIV)
19  “Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later.
20  The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and of the seven golden lampstands is this: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.

  • Write: What you have seen.
  • Write: What is happening now.
  • Write: What will take place later.
  • Write: About the Seven Stars and their meaning.
  • Write: About the Lampstands and the Churches they represent.

WRITING: Why is ‘writing’ it down so important to Jesus?

There’s something about writing that’s different from speaking. When you are speaking it’s immediate, but when you write something, it takes a lot more consideration and concentration of the thought processes. Also, writing enables you to plan what you are going to say, how you are going to say it and you can choose your words very carefully.

It seems that Jesus wanted John to get this COMMUNICATION OF HIS REVELATION EXACTLY RIGHT.

But we must bear in mind that John, didn’t only use his natural ability, but was at the same time, filled with and inspired by God the Holy Spirit: Remember, he’s already told us “On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit”…

So the Revelation that the Seven Churches and every Christian down through the ages that have had access to God’s Word have received is, very carefully constructed, assembled and communicated Just the way that God wants it. NOW are you ready to receive it?

  • It’s from Jesus whom we can trust.
  • It’s from John, Jesus’ beloved Disciple and ancient, faithful Apostle, whom we can also trust.
  • It’s from the Holy Spirit of God, who had so filled John the Apostle, who’d already written his Gospel, 1, 2 and 3 John. We love those writings because they are filled with encouragement and light. 

So now are you ready to receive, believe and trust-in and respond to Jesus Revelations: in this Book of Revelation?

Once we’ve met Jesus, the beauty touches our soul and the JOY increases every single day. Praise the Lord!

Meet with Jesus, every DAY and your Joy will increase, your light with shine brightly for Him.

Have an awesome day with Jesus.

Don.

 

Blessed Are The Peacemakers

blessed are the peacemakers

Daily Spirit & Word: 691: A Baby Girl Is Given.

GREAT NEWS

Praise the LORD! Praise The LORD! We’re grandparents again, little Jasmine was born at 4.00am, I was at home and woken at 4.10am by my wife, Julie, who attended my daughter. They must both be completely exhausted, because Stephanie went into hospital (May Day) on Saturday morning. She’s called the baby Jasmine (Jazmin)… I don’t know how she’s spelling it yet 🙂 When my wife phoned they still hadn’t weighed the baby. I’ll let you know later. GREAT NEWS!

It’s always GREAT NEWS when a child is born, it was the same with our Lord Jesus, but did you know my friends, that His Birth was announced hundreds of years before it took place. God had been so excited that He told His Prophets the Good News many years in advance: He told them where and how He’d be born; In Bethlehem, by a Virgin, but God the Father didn’t stop there, He also told us what His SON (The Son of God) would be like.

Isaiah 9:6 (ANIV) For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Christians Will BE Peacemakers.

Do you know my friends, yesterday in our Gathering at St Luke’s was fantastic. Heaven broke out amongst us. A word was given and people began to respond. The message about BEING LIGHT to those who live in DARKNESS touched so many.

Now, I believe the LORD has given me a message in the night, He wants there to be a BREAKTHROUGH for someone in the area of BEING PEACEMAKERS.

Do you know our Lord Jesus Christ is the great PEACEMAKER: Through His life, death, resurrection and ascension He’s bringing PEACE between men, women and children and Father God.

Isaiah 9:6 (NIV) “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Jesus is; wonderful counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and PRINCE OF PEACE. (KING OF PEACE).

Now Jesus wants YOU to be, with His Holy Spirit within you: PEACEMAKERS.

  • Imagine your HOME: Full of PEACE.
  • Imagine your WORKPLACE: Full of PEACE.
  • Imagine your NEIGHBOURHOOD: Full of PEACE.
  • Imagine your Church of Fellowship: Full of the PEACE of the LORD.

Matthew 5:9 (NIV) “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.”

YOU will be BLESSED if you walk in this my friends: BE A PEACEMAKER.

Someone asked me the other day, “Why doesn’t God just make war cease and people stop killing each other?”… I responded, “Why doesn’t God stop you, lying, stealing, cheating, etc?” He hasn’t made us robots to obey His Commands mindlessly, nor is He going to use force to make us GOOD. He wants us to respond FREELY to live according to His will. However, He’s also promised us great BLESSINGS when we do. Also, why would God do a job He’s called us to do? He also gave us a promise if we do it, we’ll be BLESSED ourselves if we are actively pursuing PEACE in every area of our lives.

If there is any area in your life that you need peace today, broken-down relationships. Is there someone in your life who’s been offended by you? Then as far as possible BE a PEACEMAKER.

I know it’s very difficult, especially if people don’t want to be at PEACE.

Yesterday, we had a man in church who thought he’d been locked-out last Tuesday night. He wasn’t, but the main door of the church was sticking so much that he couldn’t pull it open. He thought that we’d locked him out on purpose. He came into church on Sunday full of anger about it and shouted and raged at the top of his voice, “Why did you lock me out?” After a while he calmed down and I said, “Carl, the door is sticking and it’s difficult to pull open, we did not lock you out”… His whole demeanour changed when I assured him that we’d never lock him out.

He’d been seething in anger since Tuesday night and it was Sunday. I think I might be a little bit upset if I felt someone had locked me out on purpose don’t you? Anyway, as PEACE was restored, he was back to his normal self again. However, can you see why the Word of God tells us “Don’t let the sun go down on your anger”? If we do, all we’ll get it bitter.

My friends, I knew I hadn’t locked Carl out of Church, but if I’d not gone to him and explained, he may still be angry today.

Go out of your way to BE A PEACEMAKER. Even if you are being wrongly accused of something.

Jesus is the KING of PEACE:

I know the Bible says PRINCE OF PEACE, but did you know that when the Bible used PRINCE here, it did not mean the next in line to the Throne. Jesus is a Prince like King Henry VIII was Prince of England. Like King Louis the Thirteenth of France: They are often referred to as Princes, but Jesus is the PRINCE: The KING of Kings and PRINCE of Princes.

With Jesus are your PRINCE of PEACE: He’s living in you, then your Spiritual nature will be crying out for you to be like Him. He wants you to do what He did: Bring PEACE everywhere you go. There will be an atmosphere of PEACE in your life.

Isaiah 9:6 (ANIV) For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Jesus is the SON of God, but you too are sons and daughters of God: I think what the LORD is saying today is: “If you want to see PEACE in this world, you can be peacemakers, let it start with you, your home, you own life and soon you’ll see PEACE in many different places around this world, because PEACE spreads PEACE”….

Matthew 5:9 (NIV) “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.”

Have an AWESOME Peace-filled week my friends.

Praise the LORD!

Don.

 

Thank you all my friends, who’ve been praying for Stephanie and her long wait for the delivery of baby Jasmine. Please continue to pray for her recovery. We’re praising the Lord. Aminata just came into my study and her face was a picture when I told her that baby Jasmine was born… There’s nothing like being the BIG sister… She’s full of it now… JOY!

 

Sharing IS Caring

You can't let your little light hide for long

Daily Spirit & Word: 690: Sharing IS Caring.

Let Your Radiant Face Shine.

At pre-school they try to get the two, three and four year old kids to share things: bikes, toys, prams, dolls, etc… It doesn’t come naturally to most infants, they want things for themselves. However, if we can get the message through at a very young age, then perhaps we’ll influence a whole generation into Kind-Heartedness right?

Well, I’ve observed it in our own grandchildren and their friends. They do understand the principle, “Sharing Is Caring”. They’ll say up until they are about four or five, “Sharing’s Caring”, but as soon as they begin to experience ownership of something valuable for themselves, things that THEY actually care about, love, like etc… Then you try getting them to SHARE… They don’t like it, but even when they do share, they’ll watch their precious treasure like a hawk. Like a Lioness her cubs. No my friends, SHARING doesn’t come naturally to human beings, we’re selfish by nature. We want to keep our precious stuff for ourselves and our family to enjoy, am I right?

It takes MATURITY and AGE to see that we really should care about the plight of others. Yes there are some who care from a very young age, we’re all different. However, the vast majority only care about NO 1… In our late teens or early 20s something happens within us, we begin to FEEL for others. When we’ve been through some tough stuff, we can sympathise and empathise with others.

This PARABLE of Jesus in Mark’s Gospel today follows on from Jesus’ teaching in the Parable of the Sower. You do need to keep BOTH Parables / Jesus’ Teaching in mind. What did Jesus want us to discover in the Parable of the Sower?

That the CROP we produce reveals if we are Good Soil Hearers. He wants us to be FRUITFUL (Vine and Branches John 15.)

Here in this Parable, we can also see if we are good soil hearers… crop producers / fruitful.

Mark 4:21-25 (NIV)
21 He said to them, “Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead, don’t you put it on its stand?
22  For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open.
23  If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.”
24  “Consider carefully what you hear,” he continued. “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you—and even more.
25  Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.”

VERSE 21: Hiding Your Light. 

Imagine for a moment, you are living in a place that has NO LIGHT. Like Alaska for a few months of the year, it’s in TOTAL DARKNESS. One Day: You are given a light, no one else has a light, but instead of letting everybody else see the light, you decide to hide it. What is the condition of the other people? Answer: They are still in complete darkness.

YOU ARE THE LIGHT: 

That’s what Jesus told EVERYONE who puts their faith and trust in Him. You are the Light of the world.

Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV)
14  “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.
15  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.
16  In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

How Do We Hide The Light?

Have you ever been in company and had the thought come to your mind, “I can tell them about Jesus now”, but thought to yourself, “No, I can’t, it’s not the right time, they won’t like it, it will spoil the evening”… It might just have been the LORD prompting you to share.

VERSE 22: Hidden / Concealed: Disclosed / Brought out into the open.

You can’t HIDE the Light: God will make sure of that (If your are a TRULY BORN AGAIN Christian).

I had an experience of that when I joined a brand new Submarine as a Petty Officer. I was given charge of a small electrical maintenance section. I didn’t want to start Evangelising immediately or let others know of my Christian faith. I thought, I’ll let them see I’m good at my job, a great Artificer, then once I’ve got their respect, I’ll let them know I follow Jesus.

After just two days a young man said, “There’s something weird about you” I said, “What do you mean?” “He said I don’t know, but there is” Then the next day he said, “I know what it is”. “What do you know?” I asked. “You don’t swear” He said, “Why don’t you swear, it’s weird” Well I had to tell him the reason, “It’s because I’m a Christian Sean, I can’t swear or steal or tell lies because I’m following Jesus as my Lord”…… My friends, you cannot HIDE your light for long as a Christian, there are certain ways, if you are living in the world, that they will sus-you-out. If you are really following Jesus, the LIGHT will shine out from you and give light to the world. Like me, you can TRY to hide it, but It will NOT remain hidden for long. (that’s because it’s meant to be DISCLOSED, IT’S MEANT TO BE BROUGHT INTO THE OPEN).

I fully intended to let everyone know that I was a follower of Jesus, but in my own good time. However, God had different plans. He wanted people to know from the first moment that I set foot on that Submarine that I was His man, that I was a Christian and that Christians are different. It was only after about 18 Months that I discovered why. That young man, Sean Frow from Hull in Yorkshire, later gave his life to Jesus Christ whilst at sea, submerged 200 meters under the waves. He’d been watching my life, listening to my words, hearing me tell others about Jesus and I’d shared the Gospel with him too. He came to Jesus Christ.

ALWAYS A CHRISTIAN: (Light Always On).

You may be in your place of work or neighbourhood: Do the people you work with KNOW about your faith in Jesus?

I’ve known some people who try and compartmentalise their FAITH in Jesus. “At work I’m a nurse, doctor, administrator, telephonist, secretary, builder, plumber, etc… At home I’m a Christian.”

My friends, let’s be real and true to Jesus Christ. At Work or At Home: You are ALWAYS A CHRISTIAN. Your light is NEVER to be switched off.

Think of the Christian life like this: As soon as you open your eyes in the morning, Jesus light is shining out of them.

Your FACE should shine with Holy Light.

How Can We Make Our Light Shine Brighter?

Moses Face: (Read Exodus 34:29-35)

Exodus 34:29-35 (ANIV)
29  When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the LORD.
30  When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, his face was radiant, and they were afraid to come near him.
31  But Moses called to them; so Aaron and all the leaders of the community came back to him, and he spoke to them.
32  Afterwards all the Israelites came near him, and he gave them all the commands the LORD had given him on Mount Sinai.
33  When Moses finished speaking to them, he put a veil over his face.
34  But whenever he entered the LORD’S presence to speak with him, he removed the veil until he came out. And when he came out and told the Israelites what he had been commanded,
35  they saw that his face was radiant. Then Moses would put the veil back over his face until he went in to speak with the LORD.
Whenever Moses was in the presence of the Lord, whenever he’d spent time with God, his face was radiant.

The people were terrified by it, they asked Moses to put a veil over his face, because it shone so much.

Ok, we know all about Moses: (Google: Radiant Faces In The Bible) But did you know there are 14 more examples of RADIANT FACES in God’s Word. Each one happens because a person is spending time seeking the Lord, being in God’s presence.

Here’s one example from Psalm 34:5 Radiant FACES. (There are at least 14 others).

Psalm 34:3-14 (NIV)
3  Glorify the LORD with me: let us exalt his name together.
4  I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.
5  Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.
6  This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles.
7  The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.
8  Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.
9  Fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing.
10  The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.
11  Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
12  Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days,
13  keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies.
14  Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.

My friends, here’s how you to can get the Glory Glow (Radiant FACE): By spending TIME with Jesus every day. In the morning, when you get up, go and get your Bible, Pray to Jesus, Ask Him to speak to you through His Word, let the Word soak into your being. Ask Jesus to fill you with Holy Spirit… My friends, when you spend time with Jesus, your light is going to shine. Your FACE WILL BE RADIANT.

a) It takes a DECISION:

Although God will make your light shine, sometimes against your will, like me. Most times He wants you to LET IT SHINE.

You know the little song? “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine, this little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine”… It’s a choice and a decision every day.

Jesus said, “Take up your cross daily and follow me”… We’re to follow Jesus when? On a Sunday? No! On a Wednesday or Thursday? NO! We are to follow Jesus EVERY DAY….

b) Paul said to Philemon. 

Philemon 1:4-7 (NIV) “I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, 5  because I hear about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints. 6  I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. 7  Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.”

First Paul commends Philemon for his sincere love for the Saints (His fellow brothers and sisters in Christ). Then he encourages him to “SHARE HIS FAITH” Why does Paul encourage Philemon to share his faith? Because “FAITH SHARING” is much harder than being loving to the saints.

However, there’s more, listen carefully my friends, “I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, SO THAT (That “So That” in this section is there for a very good reason). SO THAT “You will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ”… WOWzer!

So by just sharing our faith, by letting our light shine, we don’t only bring others out of darkness, we too have an increase in our awareness, knowledge and experience of “EVERY GOOD THING WE HAVE IN CHRIST”… That’s totally AWESOME.

Use it or Lose It:

My friends, we can see this truth in the light of Jesus teaching in Mark’s Gospel today.

23  If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.”
24  “Consider carefully what you hear,” he continued. “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you—and even more.
25  Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.”

Sharing is Caring: Use it or loose it. 

It’s a very sad state to be in, to be a Christian, but to have such a dim-light-for-Jesus. “Even what he has will be taken from him”… My friends, if we don’t SHARE Jesus with folks, then our light is going to get dimmer and dimmer and dimmer until we’re as good as in the Darkness again.

Share it and it grows brighter. Let your light shine and you’re light will grow even brighter.

Your light in Christ is not like a TORCH. When you shine a torch-light after a while the battery runs down.

What Jesus is telling us here is this: It’s a KINGDOM secret: The more you let your light shine, the BRIGHTER it will become.

You will have a full GLORY GLOW, like Moses, the more you do the will of Jesus and let your light shine. (It’s like living with FULL-BEAM HEADLIGHT ON)…

How do we do it?:

How can we let our light shine for Jesus?

By being good, by doing good, by sharing our faith in Jesus. We’re going to GLOW BRIGHTER.

Of course there’s only one way we can be good or do good: And that’s by staying CONNECTED with Jesus Christ. We can try to do all sorts of ‘good things’ but if we’re not connected with Jesus, the VINE (John 15), then we’re as good a dead.

  • You are going to get a RADIANT FACE when you spend time in Jesus company.
  • You are going to get a DEEPER KNOWLEDGE AND EXPEREINCE of all the good things you have in Christ, when you don’t just do good, but share your faith as well.

My friends, “Sharing IS Caring”: Sharing the light of Jesus Christ shows that you do care about those who are living in the DARKNESS, let your light shine. You’ve been given a wonderful TREASURE in the Gospel Seed that’s been planted in your heart by Jesus. Now, you have a choice, will you let your light shine?

Here’s how to measure: Tea Cup or Barrel: Which one holds the most water? How many cups are in a barrel? With the measure you use, it will be measured unto you. Kingdom Secret: Share your faith as much as you can, your understanding will grow of all the good things you have in Christ, Share your faith as much as your can, your light will GLOW EVEN BRIGHTER.

Have and awesome week with Jesus.

Don.

P.S. I just wanted to say a quick thank you for all your prayers and thoughts for my daughter Stephanie. She is in hospital now, ready to give birth, but they are keeping her in until the baby comes.

 

Get Your Personal Revelation Of Jesus

Revelation Jesus Christ

Daily Spirit & Word: 688: “Don’t Be Afraid, It’s Me, Jesus”

You Need: “A Personal Revelation Of Jesus.”

Good morning my friends, well, it was a FALSE ALARM, Stephanie is still waiting and so are we, the baby didn’t come last night. Ahhh… It won’t be long though! You know that WAITING on something helps us to learn to be PATIENT.

Today we’re back with Revelation and John is describing the Vision that he had of Jesus. The words that John used to describe his vision of Jesus reveal that Lord in Heaven looks like: A King in Splendour, A High Priest and A Judge.

Revelation 1:12-18 (NIV)
12  I turned round to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands,
13  and among the lampstands was someone “like a son of man”, dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash round his chest.
14  His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire.
15  His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters.
16  In his right hand he held seven stars, and out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.
17  When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last.
18  I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.

When John, who was “In The Spirit” heard the thunderous / trumpet like sound, he’s telling us what we’d all instinctively do; He turned to see who it was that was speaking so loudly. This is reminiscent of the rumbling thunderous sound that Moses and the People of Israel heard when the Lord was on the Mountain and Moses ascended to receive the Ten Commandments. Of course we know it was the SAME voice speaking. In contrast it’s different from the “Small Quiet Voice” King David heard.

The Seven Golden Lampstands: Remind us of the Tabernacle with it’s golden lampstand and Seven lamps that were meant to be lit every day by the Priest. Here in Revelation we’ll see that they represent Seven Churches, but even those churches are representative of every Church / Christian down through the ages. (See Also: Exodus 25:31-32, 37). You’ll note that the Lampstand in the Tabernacle on Earth was just one with seven lamps on top, this lampstand represented the Unity of the Tribes of Israel. However, in Heaven they are individual Lampstands and they represent Churches in Heaven. We are to keep shining our light for Jesus Christ in this world, our light is shining in Heaven too.

The Son of Man: “Someone “Like A SON of Man””… We know from both the Old Testament and Jesus own revelation in the Gospels that this is Jesus. He was God whilst he was on the Earth, but He looked just like everybody else, like the son of an ordinary man. i.e. John is telling us, though He looked like a human being, there was something very different about Him. We’ll see that too, because how many ordinary men do you see carrying Stars in their hands or having a sword coming out of their mouth and feet like molten hot metal or a face as bright as the sun in all it’s brilliance? Ezekiel 1:26 and Daniel 7:31. However, Jesus is in Heaven just like a human being. He’s like us but very different. He’s the same Jesus who walked and talked and touched unclean people to make them whole again. He’s the same Jesus who’s hands were pierced by nails. However, we’re going to see He’s also very different in Heaven.

The Dress of the Son of Man: “dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash round his chest.” Who else do we know who dresses like that? Of course it’s the High Priest and Kings. The Golden Sash is like the Priest’s Girdle which was worn high and under his breast. The Gold represents Royalty.

Jesus is not just sitting on a Throne in Heaven: He’s our Great Hight Priest and Our Advocate (Lawyer) with the Father (1 John 2:1) I read somewhere that, “In Heaven Jesus is doing more for us every day, than He did for us upon the Cross” I know that sounds strange, but Jesus is continually coming before the Father on your behalf. He’s the High Priest and His Sacrifice upon the Cross is a constant reminder in Heaven that He paid the price of all your sins. Now He pleads your cause with the Father. That’s how we can approach the Throne with boldness, we’re completely covered in the Righteousness of Christ.

White Hair and Blazing Eyes: Those eyes sound so scary don’t they. I’ve seen movies with creatures with blazing eyes, but the LORD’S blazing eyes are eyes that can SEE everything. He knows everything. His Holy Eyes are on FIRE.

NOTE: John is describing the whole person: His clothes, His movement (Amongst the Golden Lampstands) What Jesus is holding: Stars (He’s the Creator of the Universe and holds all things and keeps all things. Jesus continually keeps Creation in check. His maintenance of His Creation is continual). He describes his face, his hair, his eyes, his mouth… WOWzer! John wants you and me to know EXACTLY what he saw, and was instructed by the Lord Jesus Christ to write it down.

NOTE: Even though John falls down on his face, Jesus reaches out and touches him

Revelation 1:17-18.
17  When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. 18  I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.

Imagine how John must have felt, the same Jesus that he’d been with, ate with, listened to and watched upon the Earth is now Glorified and say those words to John “Do not be afraid”. It reminds me of Jesus words to the Disciples who were afraid when they saw Jesus walking upon the water, “Don’t be afraid, it’s me”… He’s saying the same thing to John here, “John, don’t be scared, it’s me, yes I’m different looking, but it’s me”…

He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way.
He lives, He lives, salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives?
He lives within my heart.

Jesus tells John “I AM the first and the last, I AM the Living One; I was dead, and behold I AM alive for ever and ever”…

WOWzer again! Jesus is ALIVE in Heaven: He’s not some ghost or spectre, He really is LIVING, ALIVE and today people on the Earth can truly know and experience the Living Christ.

It was awesome the first time I knew that Jesus was alive. It was before I was a Christian, before I ever submitted to Him as my Lord. It was 1984, I’d been attending church in order to get my child baptised. I didn’t want anything for myself, but if this God was real, I wanted the best for my child. I was shocked, frightened and startled to discover that Jesus Christ really is ALIVE and Knows all about me. I knew Jesus was alive, but it took me a long while to come to Him in Faith and Repentance and to receive Him as Lord of my life. It took about a month after my first revelation, but I knew Jesus was alive. When I received Him as my Lord, I was in no doubt whatsoever what I was doing. Peace and Joy flooded my being, when Jesus was in me, it was as if the whole earth had been renewed. I saw things in a very different way and appreciated the smell of wet mud, it was beautiful to me.

My friends, just like John, Paul, Peter and countless thousands of others, you too can MEET the Living One: The one who was dead and is ALIVE for ever and ever. When you get your own personal revelation, that you KNOW Jesus as Lord, Saviour, Master, Friend, you will NEVER doubt. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. My own faith sprang to life when I heard Jesus being preached, I KNEW He was alive and real long before I submitted to Him as Lord. Don’t leave it too long before you say to Jesus, “I know you died upon the Cross for my sins, I repent and ask forgiveness and receive You Jesus as my Lord”…

My friends, do you know that becoming a Christian today, as it has always been, is not about coming to church, getting baptised etc, it’s all about coming to Jesus Christ. Knowing that He’s alive and submitting to Him as Lord of your life. Then going to church will be your delight. Missing church is a heartache for someone who really KNOWS Jesus. Because, we KNOW that when we gather together with other brothers and sisters in God’s Family, Christ Jesus Himself comes into our midst in wonderful ways. When you KNOW HIM, you are in Him and He’s in you. So don’t get religious get Jesus. Turn now in repentance and faith and trust Jesus as your Saviour today.

Have a great day; The words that jump out to me today are “Don’t be afraid, it’s me, Jesus”…

Don.

P.S. I’m singing this great old Hymn now. It’s one that’s touched my life so many times. It’s OLD but brilliant.

He LIVES: “I Serve A Risen Saviour”.

I serve a risen Saviour
He’s in the world today.
I know that He is living,
Whatever men may say.
I see His hand of mercy;
I hear His voice of cheer;
And just the time I need Him
He’s always near.

Chorus:
He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way.
He lives, He lives, salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives?
He lives within my heart.

2

In all the world around me
I see His loving care,
And though my heart grows weary,
I never will despair;
I know that He is leading,
Through all the stormy blast;
The day of His appearing
Will come at last.

3

Rejoice, rejoice, O Christian,
Lift up your voice and sing
Eternal hallelujahs
To Jesus Christ the King!
The Hope of all who seek Him,
The Help of all who find,
None other is so loving,
So good and kind.

The Best Pick Me Up EVER

Rivers of Living Waters Holy Spirit

Daily Spirit & Word: 687: The BEST Pick-Me-Up EVER.

“In The Spirit”.

Good morning my friends, yesterday was awesome. We’re looking after three of our grandchildren and it took its toll on Granny last night, she fell asleep as Aminata was chatting away. Sometimes we forget that we’re getting older and things that we took for granted years ago, take more out of us today.

In life we’re constantly looking for that life TONIC that will pick-me-up. Some look for it in natural substances, that’s why Health Stores are doing so well; Vitamins, Herbs, Seeds, Nuts, Berries, Leaves etc… Some are turning to toxic substances; drugs and drink. Drugs give an addict a high (initially) but then they’re constantly in search of that first high again, but when drugs gets hold of you, it never delivers the expected results. Basically, drugs are a LIE from Hell. Because Satan is a liar and the father of lies, God has revealed that “He is a thief who only comes to steal, kill and destroy” (John 10) In the end these substances will poison our bodies and leave us even more shattered than ever.

However, today you are about to discover the UNLIMATE pick-me-up, the best discovery of all time: It’s the Holy Spirit. God Himself living in an individual. With the POWER of the CREATOR inside us, what else can happen but pick us up from the dust, the dirt and the mire. His pick-me-up takes us way beyond Earth into the Heavenly realms and often we just don’t want to come back down again.

Revelation 1:10-11 (NIV)
10  On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet,
11  which said: “Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.”

John tells us that on Sunday (The Lord’s Day) He was “IN THE SPIRIT”…

If ever there was a loaded phrase in the Bible this is it. Of course there are many countless others as well, but “In the Spirit” what does that mean? My friends, just like my daughter Stephanie, who’s expecting a baby any moment, this phrase is PREGNANT with meaning. Once we understand it, we’ll also want to be “In The Spirit” as much as we can. However, unlike drugs that don’t deliver that expected HIGH ever again, the Holy Spirit constantly takes us to brand NEW Heights.

By that stage in his life, John was a very old man, he seen so many wonderful things. John had been with Jesus and had witnessed the most incredible miracles, he’d met Jesus and touched Him after the Crucifixion, but it seems that the LORD has saved the best until the last few moments in John’s life.

His Circumstances were DIRE: He was a Prisoner on a Prison Island. He’d suffered a great deal at the hands of the Romans, but NO MATTER WHAT your circumstances are or will be, God can come in and give you a REVELATION of Himself that will TRANSPORT you above anything. No pain or suffering can keep you from being “IN THE SPIRIT”.

If you’ve ever watched “Shawshank Redemption” (The Great Prison Escape Movie): There’s one phrase that sticks out above all the others in the movie, “They can’t take away your mind, they can’t stop you using your imagination”… The great thing about being “In The Spirit” is that it’s NOT imagination, it’s NOT self-will, it’s NOT tapping into that secret power within or the hidden potential within human beings, but it’s making a connection with the Creator Himself. The Holy Spirit floods your inner-man / woman. He fills you with the LOVE of God. I don’t know why Christians don’t seek this filling every single day.

Once you get “In The Spirit” you are going to experience a Pick-me-Up like never before.

BUT what does John the Apostle mean by “In The Spirit”?

To discover that, we’re going to take a trip back to some of His other writings and parts of the Old Testament. We’re going to see that John explained it before and that others experienced what he did, hundreds of years before he was born.

Right at the Beginning of His Gospel, John was inspired by the Holy Spirit to write about Jesus and how when we “RECEIVE” Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, we are BORN OF THE SPIRIT or BORN AGAIN: John 1:10-14, John 3. When that happens we become part of God’s Heavenly Family forever. Of course to get ‘Born Again’ it’s not simply believing in Jesus; i.e. that Jesus is real or about Jesus mission or even who Jesus is: The Messiah, The Saviour of Mankind… Even the Devil believes these things, but he’s not born of God’s Spirit. So it must mean more than simple ‘belief in Jesus’… Before we can receive Jesus, we must believe in Him as the Scriptures have said: i.e. We must acknowledge our need for God and for His forgiveness. We must turn in Repentance and Faith to be forgiven. Once we do that, then we’re ready to RECEIVE Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.

John 7:37-39
37  On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.
38  Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.”
39  By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.

When we put our trust and faith in Jesus as the Scriptures have said, then the streams of living water will flow from within him. Awesome! The streams come from within: I.E. The Holy Spirit living inside us will flood our being.

That’s what John meant by “Being In The Spirit” Revelation 1:10-11. Belief in Jesus as He is REVEALED in SCRIPTURE: He is God’s chosen lamb, the sacrifice for our sins, to set us free from sin and death and to give us Eternal life.

Where does it say that in the ‘Scriptures’? Hundreds of years before Jesus or John the Apostle in the book of Isaiah the Prophet. In many ways, Jesus is revealed; His Virgin birth, His life, what He came to do, why He came to do it and How His life would end, but also how His death would not be the end. Isaiah Prophesied all these things.

Isaiah’s Prophesies About Jesus:

  • Born of a Virgin (Isaiah 7:14).
  • Galilean Ministry (Isaiah 9:1-2).
  • Heir to David’s Throne (Isaiah 9:7, Isaiah 11:1, 10).
  • His way prepared by John the Baptist (Isaiah 40:3-5).
  • He will be spat on and struck (Isaiah 50:6)
  • Will be lifted up (Isaiah 52:13).
  • Will be disfigured by suffering (Isaiah 52:14, 53:2).
  • Will make a blood atonement for sin (Isaiah 53:5).
  • Will be rejected by men (Isaiah 53:1,3).
  • Will bear our sins and sorrows (Isaiah 53:4-5).
  • Will be our substitute (Isaiah 53:6, 8).
  • He will voluntarily accept our guilt and punishment for our sins (Isaiah 53:7-8).
  • The Gentiles (non-Jews) will trust in Him (Isaiah 11:10).
  • Will be silent before His accusers (Isaiah 53:7).
  • Will save those who trust in Him (Isaiah 53:12).
  • Will die with transgressors (Isaiah 53:12).
  • Jesus will heal the broken-hearted (Isaiah 61:1,2).
  • God’s Spirit will rest upon Him (Isaiah 11:2).
  • Will be buried in a rich man’s tomb (Isaiah 53:9).
  • Will judge the Earth in Righteousness (Isaiah 11:4,5).

All of these Prophesies and many, many more about Him, were fulfilled in Jesus birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension.

Once we believe in Jesus, as the Scriptures have said, when we put our Faith and Trust in Him, turning from sin to be cleansed and forgiven, then and only then can the new birth take place and we’re away “In The Spirit” streams of living water flow from within us…. “Oh LORD, fill me afresh with Your Holy Spirit right now, I need Him”….

Do you want to be “In the Spirit” NOW?

Don’t simply say, “I believe in Jesus”, my friends, so does the Devil. Instead, turn from your sin, receive Jesus as Lord, be born of His Holy Spirit and believe in Him as the Scriptures have said, then you will be filled, it will be like a “river of living water”… That’s what it means to be “In The Spirit” … What a Pick-Me-Up that will be today. Amen!

Don.

 

Where did “The Lord’s Day” come from

The first mention of The Lord's Day in literature

Daily Spirit & Word: 686: Worship On The Lord’s Day.

Where did the term; “The Lord’s Day” come from?

Revelation 1:10-11 (NIV)
10  On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet,
11  which said: “Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.”

Good morning my friends, although I was feeling quite poorly on Sunday (The Lord’s Day), I was determined to attend and lead worship. My voice almost gave up on me half-way through the Communion part of our time together, but praise the LORD, because it stayed with me to the end. Fellowship is so important, nothing should really keep us away, unless we’re really poorly of course. My wife said that I just had man-flue. You know man-flue is horrible my friends 🙂

In our verses in Revelation today, there is so much packed into so few words. The Apostle John reveals subjects that are bottomless in meaning:

1) The Lord’s Day.

2) In The Spirit.

3) Hearing Loud Voices.

4) Commanded to Write.

5) The Seven Churches Named.

I’ll be thinking and meditating upon these this week and sharing what I learn with you.

The LORD’S DAY

Remember, John is in Exile on the Island of Patmos. A Greek Island (See Patmos Description Below). At the time of the Apostle, the Roman Empire used it as a Prison Island.

1) The LORD’S Day.

This is the first mention of the Lord’s Day; referring to Sunday, in the Bible and in Literature.

William Barclay Notes: How did the Christian Church cease to observe the Sabbath, Saturday, and come to observe the Lord’s Day, Sunday? The Sabbath commemorated the rest of God after the creation of the world; the Lord’s Day commemorates the rising of Jesus from the dead.

The three surviving earliest references to the Lord’s Day may well be the following.

1) The Didache, The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, the first manual of Christian worship and instruction, says of the Christian Church: “On the Lord’s Day we meet and break bread” (Didache 14: 1).

2) Ignatius of Antioch, writing to the Magnesians, describes the Christians as “no longer living for the Sabbath, but for the Lord’s Day” (Ignatius, To the Magnesians, 9: 1).

3) Melito of Sardis wrote a treatise Concerning the Lord’s Day. By early in the second century the Sabbath had been abandoned and the Lord’s Day was the accepted Christian day. (Barclay’s Daily Study Bible (NT)).

We don’t really call Sunday “The Lord’s Day” very much now, but growing up in Scotland, when I was a boy, it was a common expression. Perhap’s it would change the focus of much of what we do in church today if we changed the name from Sunday to “The Lord’s Day”… Because a lot of what we do when we gather as Christians revolves around; how we feel, what we like, what church is like, how good the worship team were, what the Pastor is like etc… but if we changed the name to The Lord’s Day, we’d be focused much more upon the Lordship of Jesus Christ; what He likes, what our worship of Him is like, how must I respond to the message? How can I serve Him better?  etc… Just a thought.

What we can note from this Revelation is that even though this is it’s first mention in the Bible, observance of The Lord’s Day had become common practice for The Apostle John to be praying and worshipping Jesus on His Holy Resurrection Day: “The Lord’s Day” and because there is no explanation of what he meant by it, we can deduce that it was a common expression amongst the earliest Christians gathering in those seven churches; Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.

So my friends, Christians, by the end of the first century had begun gathering on the Lord’s Day instead of the Sabbath. Don’t ever feel that you need to go back to the legalistic Sabbath observance, for the Apostles of the Lord Jesus had abandoned that practice. They were no longer under Law, but living in Grace and in the Spirit.

Tomorrow, I’ll shed some light upon the term “In the Spirit”.

I hope your own gathering yesterday on The Lord’s Day (Sunday) was significant for your walk with Jesus. What did your learn in Church yesterday? What was the Lord saying to you? How have you been changed by your experience of worship? How was your Fellowship with your brothers and sisters in Christ?

For me, I was so encouraged by the Rep from Spinnika sharing about the Lord’s Work in Schools in South London. The privilege of being able to share Bible stories and about Jesus in establishments today. Then there was the obvious LOVE between our Church members for one another and for those who were guests and strangers amongst us. It made me realise that the Lord is doing a great work in brining us closer to Him and what He wants us to be “It’s by your Love for one another that people will know you are my Disciples”. Praise the Lord Jesus.

It’s Monday morning, 6.10am: The family (my wife, son-in-law Junior, three grandchildren; Aminata, Leila and Karamoko) are all still sleeping. My daughter Stephanie is at home on her own, for rest, getting ready to go into labour with her fourth child. Please pray for my family with me in London.

Have a wonderful week, stay very close to Jesus every day. And don’t forget how much you need to be refilled with Holy Spirit. “Come Holy Spirit, I need you today”… Praise the Lord!

Come to our Alpha Experience tomorrow night at St Luke’s Church: 7.30pm. It’s going to be AWESOME.

The Christian Basics Course Alpha
The Alpha Course
The Alpha Experience

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Come and Witness: Evangelism Wednesday night @ 5.00pm (We’ll be gathering at 4.30pm to train and get ready to witness). St Luke’s Chruch. Each week we go out into the Streets of West Norwood to share the Good News of Jesus with folks that we meet.

Be blessed,

Don.

Patmos Today:

Patmos is an Aegean island in the north of Greece’s Dodecanese island group, is a significant Christian pilgrimage site. Its Cave of the Apocalypse is where John of Patmos (St. John the Theologian) is said to have written the Book of Revelations. A fortresslike, 11th-century monastery dedicated to the saint overlooks the whitewashed houses of the hilltop capital, Hora (also known as Chora).

 

Bean Bag Faith

Spanner, Mulgrips, Faith, Holding Fast

Daily Spirit & Word 684: Bean-Bag Faith & Trust.

Faith that grips the Saviour: It’s Love That Lifted Me.

WOWzer! “I had a dream” I was dreaming last night / this morning about how to live the Christian life in the power of the Spirit trusting in the Love of the Lord Jesus. How we can exercise our faith in such a way that it gets stronger and we cling to Jesus more tightly?

You’ll never guess, in my dream I was back in the Royal Navy. (Perhaps it was because I’d been watching the New Series on RN Basic Training on Monday nights, how things have changed 🙂 ).  For many years I was an Electrical Engineer on HM Submarines. Often working in a hot engine room, with steam and oil. Things get very slippery indeed underneath the Oceans.

Once I had to work on an electrical pump, it was bigger than me, the nuts on this thing were huge and due to it’s location in the damp atmosphere of a Steam Turbine, they were rusted on tight. The spanner kept slipping off. The more pressure I applied the more the spanner slipped. Until I finally gave-up on the spanner and delved in my tool-bag for a pair of Mulgrips. These suckers don’t slip, when you hit them with a hammer, their grip gets tighter around the nut.

Mulgrips or Spanner:

Spanner: A spanner is of a fixed width, fits the nut perfectly and turns the nut, but in some situations, when a lot of force is required, the spanner can slip off the nut. 

Mulgrips: Mulgrips on the other hand, are tightened around the nut, they work in such a way that when force is applied to unscrew the nut, they hold onto the nut tighter and tighter the more force is applied. 

My friends, faith in Jesus is like mulgrips, the more you hang-onto Jesus, the tighter your grip gets. The more pressure that’s applied to your Christian life, the more you’ll just hang onto Jesus Christ.

But some people are exercise faith like a spanner, in an experimental fashion they give Jesus a try, when things are going well they hang onto the Saviour, however, when things get tough or life gets hard, they soon loose their grip and slip-away, they fall-away from faith and trust in Jesus Christ. (Mark 4 Parable of the Sower). True and False Converts.

What kind of faith and trust have you got in Jesus? Spanner that can slip? Or Mulgrips that get tighter when things get tougher? A phrase from a hymn comes to mind now, “We have a hope that is Steadfast and certain”. It’s not a vain hope or a slippery hope we have in Jesus. We hold tighter to the Saviour when things get tougher.

LOVE: Love lifts:

Have you heard that before? “Love lifted me”. One of my favourite hymns.

When a newly-wed couple enter their home for the first time, the husband carries his wife over the threshold of the door. “Love lifted me”… I’ve seen some funny cartoons about that one. However, Jesus LOVE will carry you all the way over the threshold of death into the everlasting arms of the Saviour in Heaven.

Love lifts:

Faith falls / Grips.

BEAN BAG FAITH.

When you flop into a bean-bag it envelopes you. In my dream there was a big red heart-shaped bean bag, and I saw myself falling into it and it lifted me. It held my weight and surrounded me with LOVE. It’s an awesome feeling to be enveloped in a a heart-shaped bean-bag. It was at that point that I woke up this morning, I was somehow wrapped completely in my soft and warm duvet cover. Had to struggle to get out 🙂 But the dream stayed with me: I love it when you can remember dreams after waking up.  Oh WOWzer! “Love lifted me. Love lifted me.” I was singing and praising the Lord.

In faith when you fall into the arms of Jesus, He’s able to lift you up my friends. He’s about to envelope and hold you and surround you with His amazing LOVE. Faith falls in trust, love lifts and surrounds and sustains.

Faith falls in trust, love lifts and surrounds and sustains. 

“It’s not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit says the Lord.” Zechariah 4:6.

Zechariah 4:6 (NIV) So he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.

WOWzer! We don’t need to worry, He’ll never let go of us.

We don’t need to keep a hold tightly to the Saviour, because once we’ve trusted in Him, He’ll never let go of us. Some people imagine that it’s all up to their own strength and ability. However, He’ll hold onto you tighter than you ever could hold onto Him. Faith will grip hold of him, but if we fall into His loving arms, He’ll lift us up and sustain us all the way through life and carry us over death’s threshold into Heaven.

We take a step of faith, we risk everything on Jesus, but my friends, it’s not long before you’ll soon realise that it’s His LOVE that will sustain you. Faith is exercised and must be to get stronger, Jesus tells us He’ll also test our faith, just to make sure it’s genuine, but it’s His LOVE that will keep you, be sure of that dear brother and sister in Jesus.

I was walking with my granddaughter along the busy West Norwood Road in London. Cars fly along that road. I din’t realise, but every time we got to a road-junction, my grip on her little hand got tighter. She complained, “Papa, I know not to run into the road, don’t hold my hand so tight”.  It was my love for my granddaughter that did that. I wasn’t about to let her little hand slip from mine and her walk into the dangerous road.

No my friends, once Jesus has gotten a hold of you, He’ll NEVER let you go. He’s got a Divine pair of Mulgrips in His hands and He’s holding onto yours. Trust that once you TRUST HIM, He’ll NEVER LET YOU GO!

Jesus tells us that NOTHING can snatch us out of His or His Father’s Hands.

John 10:27-30 (NIV)
27  My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
28  I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no-one can snatch them out of my hand.
29  My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no-one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.
30  I and the Father are one.”

My friends, exercise a kind of faith that is strong, like mulgrips instead of a spanner, so that you’ll not slip, but realise that once you grip hold of Jesus, Jesus will envelope you in His love and keep you all the way through this wonderful life and take you over the threshold of death into Heaven. It’s His LOVE that will keep you and He’ll NEVER let you go.

Are you trusting in Jesus today?

Try the Bean-Bag Test: Jump into His everlasting arms and His LOVE will envelope you.

Have an awesome Saturday with Jesus,

Don.