The Good Person Test

by their fruits, hell's best kept secret, true and false conversion, faith

Daily Spirit & Word: 751: By Their Fruit.

Is this fruit Poisonous or Edible?

Good morning my friends, how do you know if a fruit is good to eat or if it’s poisonous? Years ago, we had a tree that we were not familiar with in our garden, the fruits were tiny black berries, and they looked delicious, but tasted quite bitter. This was in the days before Google so we had to rely on Microsoft Encyclopedia (Anyone remember that?). It turned out that little black berry was poisonous, so I’m just so glad that I spat it out. It left a bitter taste in my mouth for ages and my tongue dried up. Oh I can even taste it now it was horrible.

How can you tell, quickly, if someone is a Christian?

Well, when out witnessing, we’ll often come across professing believers. They’ll say quite promptly, “I’m a Christian”… I always respond positively when I hear people say that, especially these days. I say, “Praise the LORD a fellow believer”. However, I’ve learned, through years of witnessing on the streets, that not everyone is actually trusting in Jesus. So I’ll ask them about the prospect of Heaven or get them to explain to me the Gospel. Here’s what I’ll say, “What would you say to one of your friends if they want to get into Heaven?” When we do that, we quickly discover what kind of ‘Christian’ a person is, by what they are depending upon for their salvation.

What I find shocking and sad, is that many of the professing believers here in London are shallow soil believers or rocky ground believers, the seed didn’t land in the good soil of their heart. How can we discern that so quickly? Some will obviously say, “Donald, you are just too judgemental”… No my friends, I’m filled with the LOVE of Jesus and He wants all people to trust in HIM for Salvation, not their own efforts to be good enough for heaven. I’m also aware of Jesus’ words of caution:

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

He tells us to “Watch OUT” for good reason.

You see my friends, it’s by their FRUIT you’ll recognise them.

Many professing ‘Christians’ are NOT trusting in Jesus, but in their own efforts to be good. The FRUIT of their Salvation is their own goodness, it’s so sad, because they’ll be shocked on the Day of Judgement to discover they are NOT GOOD ENOUGH to get into Heaven. Just one sin will shut the door in their faces.

The FRUIT that our Lord Jesus is talking about here is what a person is trusting in for their Salvation. If they are depending upon their own goodness, then they are NOT trusting in Him or His sacrificial death upon the Cross.

The Sheep’s Clothing: It’s a disguise:

They’ll look and sound like sheep: They’ll bleat like sheep, smell like sheep… but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.

A false Prophet: (Someone who professes falsely to have trusted in Jesus) Is someone who knows the language of the sheep, but doesn’t know the Shepherd of the Sheep. They’ll know all about Jesus, they’ll know about His death on the Cross, the Hymns and songs in Church, the prayers, the terminology of the Bible; being born again, forgiveness and love, they’ll even profess to be a Christian. Somehow, they know all that and say all that, but have yet to trust in Jesus Christ for their own salvation.

Here’s how we know quite quickly:

I’ll say those who say they are Christians, “Praise the LORD! That’s amazing, it’s so refreshing to meet another believer, can you please tell me Mary, what do I have to do to get saved?” or “Do you know if you will be good enough to get into Heaven?”

Depending on how they answer they’ll reveal what they are trusting in: Jesus, their own goodness or Good Works.

You know what I find most shocking? The responses we get to those questions from most professing believers. They say, “Just believe in Jesus,” or “I hope so, I try my best, I’m trying to be a good person”… When a person tells me that, immediately my antenna goes up, I’m hoping I’m not detecting a false convert or false prophet, but most often, as we continue to chat, we’ll discover they have yet to trust in Jesus to be SAVED.

It’s so sad and shocking, but the vast majority of the people we meet on the streets of West Norwood in London, who say they are Christians, have never actually trusted in Jesus Christ for their Salvation, but are somehow relying on their own goodness or their efforts to be a ‘good person’. That’s why we say to them, “We’ve got a little test that we do with everyone who tells us they are Christians, to see if they will be good enough for Heaven, would you like to see if you’d get in?”… I’m just so thankful that most of them say, “OK, I’ll take the little test” or “I’d love to do that”….

What’s great is that once we go through that little test, you can physically see a difference in those people, their faces often light up in a new way, they now KNOW the true Gospel, sometimes for the first time in their life, they’ll often say, “WOW, this really is a wake-up-call” or “Thank you so much, you’ve made me see” or “It’s so amazing, I’ve never seen it that way before and I’ve been going to church for years”. We’ve seen a few people cry because they’ve just discovered that they need to put their faith in Jesus, they’ve been trusting in themselves for years, their religious activity, their devotion to going to church, they’ve been trusting in a false Gospel, and are ready to receive Him as Lord. Deep down, most people who’ve been going to church, heard the Bible being read and listened to sermons, know what to do, but have never been led to the point of seeing their need to do it.

So many people know and want the benefits of believers; the Holy Spirit or an EXPERIENCE of power or love in church, they are filled with joy when they go into a lively worship service and think that’s what it means to be saved. They love the friendship, fellowship and feeling of security that going to church gives them. It’s nice to hear warm and loving messages of hope and encouragement. These are all good and right, but it’s such a shame because so many are those sincere and devoted people are the “wolves in sheep’s clothing, the false prophets” that Jesus is talking about. Because they do all of those things and have yet to come to the one who paid the price for their sins.

We’ve gotten to the point of being shocked if someone tells us they are NOT GOOD, but they have trusted in Jesus Christ and His death upon the Cross to forgive their sins, and His blood Sacrifice to cleanse them of their sins, and they now know they are going to Heaven because of His goodness and because they’ve repented of their sins and received Him as their LORD. Sadly, those who say that, are few and far between. Because most are trusting in so many other things, like; church attendance, baptism, speaking in tongues, service in church, taking Holy Communion regularly, reading their Bible, doing good works for charity, casting out demons, raising the dead, etc, etc… These are all great things for believers to be doing, however Jesus will say to them on the day of Judgement “Depart from Me, I never knew you”… Why? Because they failed to repent and trust in Him for their Salvation or they didn’t receive Him as their Lord. Most don’t do that, because they’ve never heard that they need to or they don’t understand why they need to be cleansed of all sin first.

Matthew 7:22-23 (NIV).
22  Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’
23  Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

The GATEWAY to HEAVEN:

To get into Heaven, we’ve got to go through the Narrow Gate: and that NARROW GATE is Jesus. Why? Because Salvation is found in NO ONE ELSE, because there is NO OTHER name under Heaven by which a man can be saved. Acts 4:13. John 14:6. Not even your own name, which is what most people are really trusting in, because they are relying on their own goodness.

The Wide and Narrow Gate:

Matthew 7:13-14 (NIV)
13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.
14  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

Oh my friends, how TRUE that verse of Scripture is, “ONLY A FEW FIND IT”...

It’s an eye-opener listening to most church attenders trying to explain how they’d hope to be good enough to get into Heaven. Their version of the Gospel is shocking. Because listening to them telling me their version of the ‘Gospel’: “Just believe in Jesus and you’ll be saved.” they’ll say.

My response is, “Really, is that all I have to do? Just believe in Jesus and I’ll be saved?” “Even Satan believes in Jesus, will he be saved?” Simply knowing about Jesus and believing that He was a real person or that He is Lord is not enough. It’s got to drop those magical 12″, Twelve inches from your head to your heart.

What else do I have to do? That’s when you know their fruit, because they’ll say, “Try your best” or “Be a good person” or “follow the Ten Commandments”…

You know what I’m going to say to a person who tells me these things? “Have you been a good person? Are you following the Ten Commandments? Will you be good enough for Heaven?” Most of them say, “I have, I do, I will, I am”… Then we go through our little test, so see if they’ll be good enough for Heaven.

When they finally admit they’re not good, that they’ll face God’s Holy Justice and be found wanting, they are then ready for the GREATEST NEWS they could ever wish to hear: The Good News of The Gospel of Jesus Christ. It’s so awesome to see their response to the true Gospel message, because God’s been drawing them to this point for years. He’s constantly calling people, by His Holy Spirit to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.

Do YOU want to know our LITTLE TEST?

It’s called: “The Good Person Test”

Once a professing believer goes through that test, they suddenly see their need to repent of their sins and trust in Jesus Christ as their Saviour.

Why does the Good Person Test Work?

  • We all know that no one can be saved without coming to Jesus.
  • We all know that no one can come to Jesus, unless the Father, through the Holy Spirit, draws them.
  • We all know that we are SAVED by FAITH.
  • But not many professing believers really know, that FAITH comes by hearing the Good News. 
  • or That we cannot HEAR the Good News until we know what the BAD NEWS is.

The BAD NEWS is this: We cannot be saved without; repenting of our sins, turning to Jesus in faith and trusting in Jesus and receiving Him as Lord.

  • If we’re not trusting in Jesus for our Salvation, then we are STILL in our sins.
  • If we’ve not trusted in Jesus, then we are headed for God’s Justice, Judgement and Hell.
  • Sin is going our way instead of God’s way: It’s breaking His Commandments.
  • The penalty for sin is DEATH: The wages of Sin is DEATH.

So we all need to TAKE: “The Good Person Test”

(Click the Good Person Test: At the bottom of the page).

Then we’ll KNOW where we are headed on the day of Judgement.

God wants ALL PEOPLE to be saved: but Jesus tells us so clearly in Matthew’s Gospel.

Matthew 7:13-14 (NIV)
13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.
14  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

We get one life, then we face God’s judgement.

Conclusion: Jesus Said:

Matthew 7:15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves”.

Jesus said, “Watch out”… That means be alert, have your antenna ready, get your detectors up.

Jesus said, “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.”

Inwardly, they are wolves in sheep’s clothing. If they are NOT ONE OF JESUS’ SHEEP, then they are a wolf.

Jesus is telling those who are following Him to “WATCH OUT” for good reason that there will always be ‘false converts’ who love the name or title of ‘Christian’, but don’t know Him as Lord and Saviour. They’ll be mixing amongst the flock, looking, bleating, smelling and sounding like sheep, but don’t know the Shepherd of the Sheep.

My friends, have you come to see that it’s only through Jesus that you’ll be saved on the day of Judgement?

Have you gotten to the point of Repenting of your sins and Trusting in Jesus to be saved?

If you are a true follower of Jesus, then you’ll rejoice in this teaching today. Because to know the TRUTH sets us free. It enables us to serve Jesus and be alert and lead people to a true faith and trust in Him.

Here’s how you can do trust in Jesus Christ today:

“Oh Lord Jesus, I’ve been singing the songs of the church, but today I can see that I’ve failed the Good Person Test, I know that you alone are the only one that’s ever been good enough for Heaven. And that I’ve got to come to You, the Narrow Gate, to be saved. I believe that You died upon the Cross to take away my sins, it’s Your blood that will cleanse me from my sin. I want to trust in You alone for my own Salvation Lord. I receive You Jesus as my Lord, come into my life, give me the promised New Life and fill me with Your Holy Spirit. Amen”

Get READY FOR The Good Person Test. Answers the Question: “Are you good enough for Heaven?” CLICK HERE (You’ll be taken to the Good Person Test).

Also: Listen to this vitally important message for every Christian today, as soon as you can: “Hell’s Best Kept Secret”.

Here’s another very important message: “True and False Conversion”. You’ll be amazed at how so many are being deceived by the False Gospels.

Angela’s Powerful Testomony: From a False Convert to a True Believer in Jesus: Listen and watch on Youtube Angela’s Testomony.

Springboards into the Heart

Faith Sharing on the Streets of London. Learn the Way of the Master

Daily Spirit & Word: 750: Springboards into the Heart

When the Commands of the LORD are esteemed in your heart, you’ll be PROTECTED.

Proverbs 6:23 (NIV) “For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light, and the corrections of discipline are the way to life, …”

Good morning my friends, what an awesome evening of faith sharing through the streets of West Norwood last night. It was tough to get into conversation, but WOWzer! When we did, the LORD was already moving. We pray that He’ll be drawing folks to Himself before we go out and share, we’re commanded to broadcast the seed, like the Parable of the Sower. We do it by testing the waters and offering tracts to almost everyone walking past us. It’s a bit like the fishermen fly fishing with a lure, making the lure dance over the surface of the water to attract the fish. Some just take a tract and say nothing, others refuse and rush on, but some take a tract and ask, “What is this?” We respond;

“It’s a £1,000,000 note, if it was real, what would you do with it?”

When we ask people questions like that, it’s fun, they can use their imaginations, they are comfortable, they’ll reveal their heart’s desires and you’ll get to know if they are open to going further.

  • “It’s a Ticket to Heaven, do you believe in Heaven?”
  • “It’s a Ten Commandment Coin, have you heard of the Ten Commandments?”
  • “It’s a …………?

We’ve got lots of little tracts, but each one is just a springboard. You know what a Springboard is don’t you? We had them at our swimming pool and as a boy I’d spend hours jumping up and down, trying to get higher and higher, then finally plunging into the pool. In the same way we use these tracts as a spring-board, we jump up and down in the natural, before finally plunging into the spiritual pools of the cool, clear water of life: the Gospel.

From the NATURAL to the SPIRITUAL:

There are really good reasons for starting in the NATURAL: i.e. what people know and experience in life now. The weather, work, family, money, etc… People have always got something to say about these subjects. It’s what Jesus always used to do, before engaging people in the Kingdom secrets. He shared stories, parables, about ordinary things in life; cloth, wine, fishing, farming, sowing seed, weeds, salt, money, lending, borrowing, generosity, family struggles, children, sons, virgins, marriage, divorce, faithfulness, storms, sickness, death, lost and found things, sheep, goats, rocks, building houses, lights, lamps, nets, boats. These are all things that people of Jesus time were familiar with, comfortable with and are interested in. All these things Jesus talked about were the STUFF OF LIFE: The Natural.

Think about Jesus method with the Woman at the Well. John 4. He talked with her first about the basic necessity of water or thirst being quenched. Then immediately changed to talking about morals and heavenly things. Jesus used ordinary things in life before engaging people in SPIRITUAL OR KINGDOM VALUES.

That’s what we’re doing when we start in the NATURAL: What people are experiencing in life right now, but then we just use ordinary life as a springboard into SPIRITUAL conversations with folks. It doesn’t take long and you don’t have to chat about ORDINARY things all night, but it does take a step of courage to swing to the SPIRITUAL.

Think about an onion or potato: They have skins and to get into the flesh they need to be peeled. So it is with people, to get to the HEART we’ve got to remove some of the surface material of life.

Last night was amazing: One conversation sticks in my mind, with a Spanish woman and her two children. We started off in the natural: I gave her £1,000,000 note and asked her, “If this was real, what would you do with it?”… She immediately began to share the good things she could do with a million pounds. It’s didn’t take long at all before we were into Spiritual conversations. She explained why she was frustrated and disappointed with ‘church’. She had good memories of attending church back home in Spain, and how she longed to be in church and serving God. Back home in Spain she was a Sunday School Teacher. It was amazing, because through all her childhood Church experience she’d never heard the Gospel or responded to Jesus invitation to new life. Ben was brilliant and shared the Gospel using the five fingers of his left hand. It was so simple that even a child could easily grasp it. All the way through sharing the Good News the child was asking questions, “what’s the next finger for, and what about those two?” then after a few more minutes sharing the Gosple we got back onto talking about life experience. I asked Janna (a new member of the team) to share her own experience of how she came to trust in Jesus Christ for Salvation. It was awesome, because I didn’t know how Janna had come to know Jesus or her life story, so I was just as interested as the Spanish woman and her daughter. Praise the LORD! After chatting some more, that Spanish woman and her children walked along the road with us. As we walked along, we continued to share the Good News with folks, they watched and heard us sharing. Her daughter was giving me advice how we could do it better… She suggested filming people’s reactions to getting £1,000,000.  LOL.

Last night, giving out tracts (Springboards) was good, these led to wonderful spiritual conversations and Gospel sharing. You can do that too, with your family and friends that you are praying for and hoping will come to know Jesus as Lord and Saviour. Just talk about life, the normal stuff, their hopes and fears, and then be BRAVE and switch the conversation to the Spiritual. See if they’ve got a hunger. If you’ve been praying for them, then the Holy Spirit will be drawing them and giving them a Spiritual Hunger, all you’ll need to do is hook them and reel them in with the Good News.

Like the Parable of the Sower, we broadcast the seeds of the Good News with almost everyone, then when a fish pops up and takes the bait, we gently reel them in.

PRAY: That everyone we chatted with last night, who heard something of the Good News of Jesus, would, even now, be being drawn to faith in Jesus by the Holy Spirit.

Pray: That those we did get into conversations, that they’ll be reminded somehow by the LORD and moved to open their hearts to Him.

PRAY: That we’ll be BOLD as we go out again on Friday afternoon in West Norwood.

If you’d like to learn to fish like Jesus did, then come and join us. Just bring yourself, we’ll provide the fishing gear, the Lord will provide the fish. You’ll be amazed the way the LORD opens up people’s hearts to the Good News.

Oh and that Proverb: It will keep you on the strait and narrow path.

Proverbs 6:23 (NIV) “For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light, and the corrections of discipline are the way to life, …”

PRAY: For me, I’ve got a School Governor’s meeting tonight at St Luke’s School.

What a wonderful way to spend my day off. Praise the LORD!

Don.

 

Getting God’s Direction In Life

How to get the LORD'S Direction in LIFE. Knowing God's Will.

Daily Spirit & Word: 749: How to GET The LORD’S Direction in Life.

How the LORD Directs Our Paths.

There are FOUR CONDITIONS (at least) that must be followed.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (ESV)
5  Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
6  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Good morning my friends, everybody loves Proverbs 3:5-6 don’t they? Especially if you’ve been a Christian and seen how true the LORD’S promises are. However, there’s so much more that most Christians are missing out on, if only we’d read these verses in CONTEXT.

For me the key verses in the first half of chapter 3 of Proverbs are verses 5-6, because this is a promise that the LORD’S people have often claimed as they have sought His direction for their lives. It’s one that I’ve used often and found it to be TRUE. And this promise has never failed me, but only I discovered that it’s only really true if all of the LORD’S conditions for success have been followed.

He sets out these conditions in the other 10 verses.  Because when we learn obedience to His precepts and commands we’ll see Him move with POWER in our lives. Not just once but all the time. It’s because our loving obedience in response to His LOVE prepares us to receive and enjoy all that He has planned and prepared for us.

Some people say “God’s LOVE is UN-CONDITIONAL” well that’s only partially true. It’s TRUE in one sense, because God is LOVE and He’s always loving, but it’s NOT true if we want to EXPERIENCE that love down here upon the Earth. To experience God’s LOVE then we’ve got to exercise FAITH, because without FAITH it is impossible to please God or experience His LOVE for us.

Let’s look at these FOUR Conditions (Proverbs 3:1-12).

1) Get God’s Guidance From His WORD:

The first condition for receiving God’s guidance is that we learn God’s truth (vv. 1-4).

Proverbs 3:1-4 (ESV)
1  My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments,
2  for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you.
3  Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart.
4  So you will find favour and good success in the sight of God and man.

Look at what we get when we don’t forget God’s Commandments: length of days, years of life, favour and good success. BUT the conditions are keeping them, loving them, being faithful to them and yielding to them.

The will of God is revealed in the Word of God (Col. 1:9-10), and the only way to know His will is to study His Word and obey it. By receiving the Word within our hearts, we experience growth in godly character so that mercy and truth (“love and faithfulness,” niv) become beautiful ornaments in our lives (Prov. 3:3; 1:9). It isn’t enough for believers to carry the Bible in their hands; they must let the Holy Spirit write it on their hearts (Proverbs 3:3; 7:3; 2 Cor. 3:1-3). Obedience to the Word of God can add years to your life and life to your years. Notice in verse 2: It tells us it can add LENGTH OF DAYS: Do you ever feel there are not enough hours in the day? I do, but when I’m living God’s way, there just seems to be so much more time available to us. It’s amazing this TRUTH, He’ll add hours to our day, we’ll HAVE more time.

I’m not boasting, but I get up extra early to be with the LORD in His Word, and the sacrifice of pillow-time, means I can add hours to my day. I do get tired half-way through the day, but I’ve always got tired half-way through the day 🙂 It’s not because I’m getting up to be in the Word with the LORD. Suddenly, you’ll find you can get so much more done with Jesus, when you spend time with Him. But you’ll only experience all these promises when you begin to be obedient to what He’s telling you as you read and study His Word. That leads me onto the second of God’s conditions for direction in life.

2) OBEDIENCE TO GOD’S WILL:

Proverbs 3:5-8 (ESV)
5  Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
6  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
7  Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.
8  It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.

It’s so easy to miss out on God’s promises in verses 5 and 6 above, but we must remember the CONTEXT. Because a verse or two, taken out of context, become a pre-text or pretense. We’ll pretend the LORD is directing our path, we’ll fool ourselves that God is directing our path. But we must remember: Word First, TRUST second and Obedience third.

Learning NOT to DEPEND on your own understanding is so HARD. It goes against human logic, but yields much better results.

Turn AWAY from EVIL: It’s like saying NO to your flesh. We’re all tempted in many ways, but it’s when we finally say “NO” to our flesh that we’ll begin to see God’s POWER breaking through, but we can’t do it in our own strength. Turning away from EVIL is real repentance. Evil is anything that goes against God’s revealed will.

“He shall direct your paths” (v. 6, nkjv) is the promise, but the fulfillment of that promise is implied in our obedience to the Lord. We must trust Him with all our heart and obey Him in all our ways. That means total commitment to Him (Rom. 12:1-2). The word translated “trust” in verse 5 means “to lie helpless, face-down.” (i.e. to Prostrate oneself). It pictures a servant waiting for the master’s command in readiness to obey, or a defeated soldier yielding himself to the conquering general, or the way people often prostrated themselves before an visitation from an Angel from Heaven.

So we could say, “Lie face-down in the dirt before the LORD (Trust) and do not lean (depend) upon your own understanding.”

The danger, of course, is that we lean on our own understanding or experience and by doing so, we will miss God’s will and direction. I’ve done that so many times. We get PRESUMPTUOUS, because something has worked in the past we assume that it’s always going to work, but you can’t get God in a box, He’s not a genie that you rub a certain way, like Aladin’s Lamp, and He performs for you. No, God’s a real person, with feelings and desires. He’s revealed His strongest desire to us and that is that we LIVE in an ongoing relationship and dialogue with Himself.

What causes most problems in Marriage? Presumption, because we think we know what our partner wants. Instead of talking things through together we just assume that we know, but watch out, when you get it wrong, which I’ve done so many times in our 37 years of marriage and bear the scars. LOL. I’ve learned the hard way, both in marriage and with the LORD.

NOTE: We’re NOT ROBOTS: This warning doesn’t suggest the LORD’S chosen people turn off their brains or ignore their own inbuilt intelligence and common sense. It simply cautions us not to depend on our own worldly wisdom and experience or the wisdom and experience of others. God treats each one of us as individuals, what’s right for one person may not be right for everyone. God has a plan for you as an individual. Just because your friend jumped out of a plane, doesn’t mean God wants you to do it.  Abraham relied on his own wisdom and past experience when he went to Egypt (Gen. 12:10-20) and so did Joshua when he attacked the little town of Ai (Josh. 7). When we become “wise in [our] own eyes” (Prov. 3:7), then we’re heading for trouble. We become presumptuous and run ahead of the LORD.

3) GIVING TO THE LORD

The third condition to getting God’s Direction (Prov 3:5-6) is that we Share God’s blessings (Prov 3:9-10)

Proverbs 3:9-10 (ESV)
9  Honour the LORD with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce;
10  then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.

WOWzer! Look at these amazing promises: Barns filled with plenty; Vats bursting with wine… i.e. full bank accounts, more than enough to share with others.

Giving then, is the third condition we must meet if we want God to direct our paths.

You’ve heard the expression, “There’s no such thing as a FREE lunch”… Well it’s true in some ways with God. It’s going to be costly to see God’s direction, but be warned, you cannot PURCHASE God’s will or direction. It’s simply a loving and trusting response to God’s goodness towards you, but when you become like HIM: i.e. Generous! The floodgates of Heaven really are opened up to you.

In the Christian life, there’s no such thing as “spiritual” and “physical”, because we KNOW that everything comes from God and belongs to God.

When you come to Jesus EVERYTHING comes under His Kingdom reign.

In the Old Covenant Jews brought the Lord the firstlings of their flocks (Ex. 13:1-2) and the firstfruits of their fields (Lev. 23:9-14), and in this way they acknowledged His goodness, provision, grace and mercy and His Sovereignty. The New Testament parallel is seen in Matthew 6:33.

Read it in CONTEXT though;

Matthew 6:25-34 (ESV)
25  “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?
26  Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
27  And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?
28  And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin,
29  yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
30  But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
31  Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’
32  For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
33  But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
34  “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Be assured of this my friends, if we don’t faithfully give to the Lord, then we don’t really trust in the Lord. It took me years before I finally SAW THIS TRUTH in God’s Word. I was definitely one of the most sceptical givers in God’s Kingdom Family 🙂 I hated the thought of parting with my hard-earned cash and just giving it away. After all, I could easily spend it on family things or make my own life better. However, the LORD has shown me over many years of walking with Him, that it’s MUCH, MUCH better to be like He is: Generous and FREE with all that He’s given to me. The more I give, the more I receive. Not just in monetary return, but in blessings from Heaven.

If we don’t give to the LORD, then we’re NOT really TRUSTING in Him

Of course, our tithes and offerings aren’t “payment” for His blessings; rather, they’re evidence of our love, faith, obedience and trust in Him. He’s been prompting all of us to become like Himself since we started following Jesus. To be open-handed and generous, just like Jesus. To be open-hearted and kind, just like Jesus.

Christian industrialist R. G. LeTourneau used to say, “If you give because it pays, it won’t pay.”

So Christians don’t give to the LORD to get things out of Him, we give because it’s what He’s like. The closer we come to Jesus, the more like Jesus we become.

Giving is just a way of preparing our hearts for what God wants to say to us and do for us. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt. 6:21).

4) God Disciplines The ONES He LOVES.

Our fourth responsibility is to submit to God’s Discipline (Prov. 3:11-12).

Responsibility = Response and Ability: He’ll give the ability once we decide in our hearts to respond.

God’s Discipline of His Chosen People is just a part of God’s plan to help His sons and daughters grow to be mature and godly (like Himself) in character (Heb. 12:1-11). God disciplines us, not as a judge punishes a criminal, but as a parent disciplines a child. Be assured that when the LORD disciplines you, He’s doing it because He LOVES YOU! He acts in love and His purpose is that we might become “partakers of His holiness” (Heb. 12:10). Sometimes He disciplines because we have rebelled and need to repent; other times He disciplines us to keep us from sinning and to prepare us for His special blessing. No matter how much the experience hurts us, it will never harm us, because God always disciplines us in love (Deut. 8:2-5).

One of my most bitter regrets as a parent are the times I’ve shouted at my kids in anger. I’ve not disciplined them as I should have done, I left it too long before telling them, then got too angry and lashed out with my tongue. Instead, I could have directed them with loving, gentle and kind discipline, like the LORD has done with me countless times. Even though we love our children, God loves all His chosen children even more than we do; so He disciplines those He loves. (read John 15: He is the Gardener who prunes).

We learn from our mistakes don’t we, I hope we do, because I know the LORD has changed my character so much from what it used to be. Some would say, “That’s just the mellowing of age”… I don’t think so, because, it’s when we REASON together with the LORD, He gently shows us our weaknesses and give us the grace and power to overcome them. He really does discipline the ones He loves.

Conclusion:

If you want to go God’s way, take Proverbs 3:5-6 to heart, but always bear in mind the context in which the verses come from and you’ll never go wrong in life. Fulfill all of God’s conditions for His direction;

1) Get into God’s Word: Know it and do it.

2) Obey God’s Word: Trust and Obey. There’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to TRUST and OBEY.

3) GIVE LIKE JESUS: Being generous and obedient in your giving. Not just 10%, it’s ALL His.

4) LOVE God’s Discipline: He’s just loving you like a good parent would. He’s your loving Heavenly Father.

When we do all that, then we can be completely assured that God will direct our paths. He’ll show or reveal the SECRETS of the KINGDOM.

Prayer: Lord, I can see so clearly now from Your Word that there are clear and simple conditions for blessings and success in Your Kingdom Family. Today I pray that you’ll help me to listen to Your Word, Obey what I know and submit to Your direction. Give me the will to obey and the Heart to become more like You. Amen.

Be blessed in following, loving and serving Jesus today,

Don.

 

Go in PEACE to LOVE and Serve The LORD

don't give in to FEAR, LOVE the Egyptian people, travel with Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word: 748: Egypt Air Crash.

Go in PEACE to LOVE and SERVE The LORD.

Trust IN the LORD.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
5  Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
6  in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

Good morning my friends, the day after tragedy strikes is never really a good one, because we can all feel something for those who’ve lost loved ones. We try and put ourselves in their shoes, to think how we’d be feeling right now if someone precious to us was aboard that plane. When you see on the News mothers, husbands and wives waiting anxiously for any sign of hope, then all hopes are dashed. It’s a horrific tragedy. Today I’m asking the LORD to bring comfort, strength and hope into their hearts.

Asked if he could rule out terrorist involvement, the Egyptian premier told reporters: “We cannot exclude anything at this time or confirm anything. All the search operations must be concluded so we can know the cause.”

French President Francois Hollande also said the cause was unknown. “No hypothesis can be ruled out, nor can any be favoured over another.”

At this moment in time, we just don’t know what happened to the plane. Pray for miracles for those who anxiously await news.

One commentator has said, “It’s the end of Egypt’s Tourism industry”… I don’t think so. Egypt is such a special place in the hearts of millions of people all over the world, and no matter what the News says, there are countless millions of nice, ordinary, decent, loving, gentle and humble families living in Egypt. They’ll give you are warm welcome and extend the hand of friendship.

Pessimism is a general disposition to look on the dark side and to expect the worst in all things. It’s a kind of despair, disposition or temperament and our News reporters tend to dwell too much on this dark side.

Yes our heads might tell us, “It’s dangerous to go to Egypt”, but don’t listen to your head, listen to your heart. Someone said once, “A good rule for going through life is to keep the heart a little softer than the head. ” Be kind-hearted and true; LOVE covers over a multitude of sin.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
5  Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
6  in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

My son, Richard, travels to many places in the world, places most ordinary folks would never go; Jordan, Cuba, Egypt, Russia, Mekong River, Belize Jungles, etc… He loves it, he meets the ordinary folks, learns about their cuisine, brings back recipes and shares with his friends his experience of those peoples. We all know there are horrible people who want to do terrible things, but let us be the ones who’ll not be governed by FEAR.

I know from my own travels in the Royal Navy and holidays, that there are always kind-hearted folks in every culture, in fact they are the majority. In Northern Ireland at the height of the ‘troubles’, I went on an evangelistic mission. During that mission we met people from both the Catholic and Protestant communities, they were warm, welcoming, kind, generous and friendly.  So don’t be Pessimistic, don’t give into fear, trust in the LORD, let Him direct your paths and travel with His Heavenly Security.

Let’s pray for those who’ve suffered tragedy and lost loved ones, let’s pray for Egypt and for the PEACE and JUSTICE in that land, but let’s also determine in our hearts that we’ll never cut them off from our friendship and love. Egypt has been and always will be of historical interest to the world, it’s people are just like you and me, most of them, ordinary hard-working, decent folks.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
5  Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
6  in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

It’s my hope and prayer that you will all have an AWESOME weekend. Stay close to the Lord Jesus and let His peace rule in your hearts today. Amen.

Don.

 

They ALL Need Jesus

They ALL Need Jesus. He's calling all people to himself

Daily Spirit & Word: 747: They ALL Need Jesus.

Doing the IMPOSSIBLE with Jesus.

Read to the End Today, there’s a funny story to encourage you.

Good morning my friends, do you remember me telling you about Emma? She became a follower of Jesus last Tuesday, got baptised on Sunday and came out on the streets last night to share the Gospel with us. Emma admits she doesn’t know a lot, but is filled with the desire to lead others to Jesus to experience His promise of what she has received.

When you get to Heaven Jesus is not going to ask if you attended church, worshipped regularly, prayed every day or read your Bible, He’s going to hold you to account for your obedience to His teachings. Emma doesn’t know much, but she knows enough to know that Jesus wants us to bring everyone to Him and last night, fearful, trembling and unsure, she began to really walk in that obedience. You should have seen her face when she came back, she was beaming.

What was great about last night? There was a wonderful TEAM spirit, we split into twos and one group of three. Some went up-town, others went down-town. We’ve been praying slightly differently as I shared a few weeks ago. We’re not asking God to come with us, because we KNOW Jesus is with us, we just thank Him for His PROMISES that when we go in obedience to His Commands that He’ll be with us. We’re not asking for the POWER of the Holy Spirit as much as thanking Him for His PROMISE to empower us and equip us. Oh yes we cry out for the Holy Spirit to work in the lives of those He’s pulling to Jesus and to lead us to the ones He’s already been tugging at their hearts.

Beverley and I were paired together. The first man Bev and I bumped into, David, it was strange, because he said a few times, “This is deep, I don’t know why I’m pouring my heart out to you, I feel like you are my counsellors”. But we knew, because we’d been praying the LORD would be drawing them.   He said, “I never share this with anyone, but I feel I want to with you” He told us about how he was a bad man, was into trouble all the time, got into fights etc, but when his baby came, he knew his life must change, but it didn’t. Then his baby died at 18 months old. His precious baby’s death broke his heart and David began to changed his ways, it was a wake up call. I said, “David, God’s calling you to himself”. You see, David was already humble, he knew he’d sinned against God, but didn’t know about God’s offer of New Life”…

We had a few short conversations with some other folks, but then we got chatting with another young man, this time he told us; “I used to go to church, got baptised as a baby, attended Sunday School, went to a Church School and got confirmed, but it meant nothing to me”… I said, “Do you think you are good enough to get into Heaven when you die?”… He said, “I hope so”. He believed in Heaven, God and Sin and Hell. We began to go through the Commandments and the surprise on his face was evident, he said, “That means no one is good enough to get into Heaven, because we’ve all fallen short of God’s holy standard”. WOWzer! He got it, but still I pushed his understanding a bit more. “Do you know what God has done so that nobody needs to end up in Hell?” He said, “Yes, Jesus, He died upon the Cross to save us from our sins”… I said, “How do you get that forgiveness?” He said “Ask God to forgive you” I said, “Partially, but the Bible tells us we must; Believe that Jesus died for our own sins, those nails being hammered into his hands were for our lies, theft, lust and hatred of others, then we must repent of those sins and receive Jesus as our Lord and Saviour”. He said, “That makes sense”… I shared what it means to actually trust in Jesus, i.e. You wouldn’t jump out of a plane without a parachute would you? No you’d put the parachute on, it’s the same with Jesus, just believing that He can save you is not enough, you’ve got to actually trust in Him and receive Him by faith. I gave him my calling care, and we’re going to meet up for a coffee in Costa (or somewhere 🙂 ) to talk about it a bit more about Jesus.

Ben and Judy have opened my eyes to see that just sharing the Gospel of making Converts is not enough: Jesus didn’t call us to make ‘converts’ but to grow Disciples, followers of Jesus and to see that people begin to be obedient to what they know, as soon as possible after being converted.

But long before Ben and Judy came, the LORD had already been working on my own heart about this, because we’ve been preaching through the Gospel of Mark. I’d already seen that Jesus called people, demonstrated the Kingdom and then sent them out, almost immediately after calling them to follow himself, then when they came back, they were amazed that when they used Jesus’ name, even the Demons submitted to them. However, this surprised me, listen to what Jesus said to them (read it out loud my friends).

Luke 10:1-24 (NIV)
1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go.
2  He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.
3  Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.
4  Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.
5  “When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’
6  If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; if not, it will return to you.
7  Stay in that house, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.
8  “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is set before you.
9  Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God is near you.’
10  But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say,
11  ‘Even the dust of your town that sticks to our feet we wipe off against you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God is near.’
12  I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.
13  “Woe to you, Korazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.
14  But it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you.
15  And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to the skies? No, you will go down to the depths.
16  “He who listens to you listens to me; he who rejects you rejects me; but he who rejects me rejects him who sent me.”
17  The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”
18  He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.
19  I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.
20  However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
21  At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.
22  “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No-one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no-one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”
23  Then he turned to his disciples and said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see.
24  For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”

Can you see now why we encouraged Emma to come out with us last night?

Emma is not ‘wise or learned’ she was a very recent convert, much like the 72 that Jesus sent out above, but they’d seen enough, they knew enough and they went out in obedience and returned with great JOY. Why?

  • Because all the things that Jesus had told them were TRUE (Jesus only ever spoke the TRUTH, Jesus is “The way, and the Truth and the Life” John 14:6)
  • Because they’d seen how the KINGDOM of God was near when they shared the Good News about the Kingdom. We’ll see that too, but only when we’re obedient and begin to share the Kingdom, the Good News of Jesus.
  • Because “even the demons submit to us in your name”… They’d seen the battle head-on and the power of the Kingdom to subdue the demonic. You’ll see that too, but only when you go out in obedience to Jesus Kingdom Commands.

We too can rejoice, but we should rejoice much more, that because we’ve trusted in Jesus Christ for forgiveness and salvation, that our names are now written in Heaven.

My friends, Jesus is working in Emma’s life, She’s seeing the Kingdom Power and she’s only one week old as a Christian. God is revealing it to babes in Christ. It’s not about learning more or knowing more about God, the Bible etc, it’s about being obedient to what we know already. That’s what’s been challenging me lately, because I know so much, but I’ve discovered just how disobedient I’ve been to what I know. Let’s get more of a desire to do what Jesus told us to do, to learn His teachings and to do them.

Bev and I paired up last night, and she and I saw the Kingdom Power to bring conviction, encouragement and enlighten people in the darkness. It’s when we share what we know, that we’ll see the Kingdom Come. Let’s get going and see a mighty move of God in London, the UK, the world. Amen! “Thy Kingdom Come”….Amen.

Luke 10:23-24 (NIV) Jesus said “…. Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”

Whoever has ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the church, let them hear. Amen.

Have an awesome day,

Don.

P.S. I must share a funny story: On Tuesday we had a Pastor’s Meeting in West Norwood: Five of us met to discuss the vision for an event in St Luke’s Gardens on Saturday 16th July, we’ve been led to call it; “Oh Happy Day”. But after the meeting I was walking down the road with Dennis, the Pastor of World Wide Mission Fellowship. He was on the phone to a young man. When he finished his call he said to me, “I’m meeting a young man in a minute, will you ask him “How is Jesus the Lord?”” I said, “OK Dennis, I will” but just at that moment I spotted a huge man, he’s massive, built like an OX, I said, “Dennis, you say the same thing to him”… Dennis just looked at me…he said, “No, you share with that one” I did, I said, “Do you know Jesus is Lord?” … The huge man was Dave from our fellowship, Dennis and I laughed and laughed. You see, it’s wanting to be obedient, that’s what counts. Afterwards, we met the young man, his name was David too. Is the LORD calling the DAVIDS in our Community?

Are you prepared to SHARE Jesus with ANYONE? Don’t go by appearances, don’t go by what a person looks like, because the LORD doesn’t look at the outward appearances, He looks at the HEART. He’s calling ALL people to himself. If we just looked at the outward appearance we’d miss the people the Lord wants us to talk with. If someone is dressed in a smart suit, looks nice and clean, they need Jesus just as much as a man dressed in shabby clothing. All have fallen short of God’s Holy Standards. All need to come to repentance. All need a Saviour from Hell. No my friends, don’t look at how big they are or how small they are, how smart or intelligent a person appears to be, God’s calling EVERYONE into His Kingdom family, they all need Jesus.

You can do the IMPOSSIBLE with Jesus: Peter walked on water with Jesus.

Jesus said, “Apart from me you can do NOTHING”… i.e. everything we try and do, that doesn’t involve Jesus, is NOTHING.

However, Jesus also said, “You will do even greater things”…. Awesome!

P.P.S. Please pray for our West Norwood: “Oh Happy Day”, it’s coming on Saturday 16th July in St Luke’s Gardens. An event for the whole family, Christians united together to share the GREAT things God is doing in this world today. There will be Bands, Choirs, Dancing, Singing, Stalls with Photography, Face-Painting, Exercise (for every ability Kingdom Stretch), Food stalls, Books, Booklets, etc etc… Come to “Oh Happy Day” St Luke’s Gardens, West Norwood. Saturday 16th July. EVERYONE is WELCOME.

 

The KEY to Unlock AWESOME Fellowship

The REAL Lord's Prayer: Forgiveness

Daily Spirit & Word: 746: The KEY to Unlock AWESOME Fellowship.

The closer Christians get to Christ, the closer they get to one another.

Song of Songs 2:15 (NIV) “Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.”

Good morning my friends, there’s something I hear from time to time in church gatherings, people feel slighted or left-out of things, so they stop coming to church. They forget that our battle is NOT against flesh and blood, but against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. That ‘flesh and blood’ includes our own flesh and our own blood; our thinking and our feelings.

What needs to be done when we’re feeling left-out?

Get ever closer to Jesus.

I’ve asked countless people who’ve felt miffed by church members, hurt or offended, “How’s your Bible reading going?” “FINE” they’ll say, but it’s the way they answer that I’m listening to, more than what they say. “How close to you feel to Jesus today?” You know what they respond with, “Oh I’ve always loved Jesus”… My friends, let me say this as gently as I can, if you are feeling hurt or offended, then unless you deal with it by taking it to Jesus, you are opening the door of your heart for Satan to come in, when you do that, he will steal from you, kill your passion for fellowship with Jesus and those in His family, and destroy your walk with the LORD.

Song of Songs 2:15 (NIV) “Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.”

  • You’ll know your are loosing the battle for your soul, if you’re desire for close fellowship with other brothers and sisters in Christ is slipping.
  • You’ll know you are loosing the battle for your soul, if you don’t want to read God’s Word, pray, praise and witness for Jesus.
  • You will feel isolated, hurt, offended, alone.

So what can you do about it?

How can those hurts be healed?

Turn AGAIN to Jesus: Repent of the bitterness you’ve been feeling towards someone.

Satan is a great LIAR, the Bible calls him the father of lies. He’ll want you to be nursing your hurt. He’ll want you to hold onto it for a long time. He knows it will DESTROY you.

He wants you to get upset with your brothers and sisters in Christ. He loves nothing more that a wounded soul festering in their hurt.

What’s needed is FORGIVENESS:

When you get hurt, learn to forgive each other quickly or it will turn to bitter anger and hatred which is MURDER.

  • You can’t forgive someone or a group of people if you are far away from Jesus.
  • You can’t run away from that hurt either, by staying away from church gatherings.
  • You can’t fool God, He knows what’s happening on the inside.
  • Unless you forgive, then neither will your own sins be forgiven.

We’ve been praying the LORD’S PRAYER every day (as part of the lead-up to Pentecost), but as part of that prayer, Jesus taught us to pray about FORGIVENESS, he told us about FORGIVENESS TWICE.

Why did Jesus do that? Because He KNOWS we’re going to be offended and hurt by one another.

LOOK VERY CAREFULLY AT THE LORD’S PRAYER:

It doesn’t finish with “For thine is the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory, forever and forever Amen”

THAT’S NOT IN THE BIBLE

THAT’S NOT THE END OF THE LORD’S PRAYER AT ALL.

Matthew 6:9-15 (NIV)
9  “This, then, is how you should pray: ” ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
10  your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
11  Give us today our daily bread.
12  Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’
14  For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
15  But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

The Real LORD’S Prayer is all about forgiveness.

So, let’s pray the LORD’S PRAYER properly, as Jesus taught it. It’s all about forgiveness, letting God’s Kingdom rule and not allowing Satan to get a foothold into our lives by harbouring grudges and not forgiving others.

  • We all want to be forgiven by the LORD.
  • In His Kingdom there isn’t going to be any lingering thoughts of hatred or bitterness any more.
  • Your sins are washed away by Jesus Christ, His blood purifies you from all sin.
  • But that forgiveness can be BLOCKED.

Jesus knew that, that’s why He taught His disciples twice in his prayer about FORGIVENESS.

UNFORGIVENESS OPENS THE DOOR FOR EVIL TO COME INTO YOUR HEART.

“Lead us NOT into temptation” We are tempted NOT to forgive. Especially when we get hurt by someone who’s meant to be following Jesus.

Jesus said it SO CLEARLY: ”

Matthew 6:14-15 “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15  But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

When we’re walking around with UNFORGIVENESS in our hearts, we just can’t get close to Jesus.

UNFORGIVENESS is the sin that blocks our access to Him and to our own FORGIVENESS.

You may not think that you’ve got anything to worry about, you are a ‘good’ person, but don’t be deceived my friends. Every one of us SINS every single day, we all need forgiveness, all the time.

If you want to get better fellowship, if you want to feel close to other Christians again, to get closer to your brothers and sisters in Jesus, then you are going to have to face the hurt head-on, take it to Jesus, ask Him to forgive you for holding onto it for too long, then release your friends by forgiving them. You will very quickly discover a NEW JOY comes flooding into your soul. Some people have likened it to their first EXPERIENCE of coming to Jesus. He’ll wash you clean and give you instant fellowship with Himself. He’ll restore your LOVE for each other. He’ll enable you to totally forgive them to such an extent that you’ll want to bless them and see them being blessed by Jesus.

My friends, the LORD’S PRAYER is all about FORGIVENESS.

God’s forgiveness of your sins and your forgiveness of EVERYONE who hurts or offends you in some way.

It IS the LITTLE FOXES that ruin the vine.

When we let little hurts linger, we’re allowing the little foxes to pull the vine to pieces.

Song of Songs 2:15 (NIV) “Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.”

Those little thoughts that we nurse, we allow them to ruin the VINE. God wants you to be so full of fruit, but the little FOXES will tear it to pieces.

  • Get right with Jesus by FORGIVING others.
  • Get close to Jesus by RELEASING your friends from their debts, trespasses and sins against you.
  • Get close to Jesus and you will get closer in fellowship with the saints in your church fellowship.

FORGIVENESS is the KEY to UNLOCKING AWESOME FELLOWSHIP

But what if it’s YOU that has HURT or OFFENDED someone?

They don’t want you to come and say “Sorry”, because that would release you.

What they NEED is HEALING:

G.K. Chesterson said, “A stiff apology is a second insult … the injured party does not want to be compensated because he has been wronged, he wants to be healed because he has been hurt”

They NEED our LOVE: Not our apology.

LOVE: “Love covers over a multitude of sins”… LOVE heals those wounds and hurts.

“Love one another, as I have loved you.” How did Jesus love us? He died so that we could be forgiven. So my friends, we too must be prepared to DIE every day, in order that LOVE may abound within our fellowships. Die to pride, even if you think you’ve done nothing wrong, go and get right with the offended party quickly. In that way you can stop the little foxes tearing the vine to bits.

Amen!

“We take captive EVERY THOUGHT to make it OBEDIENT to Christ”

Even those thoughts of hurt, anger, bitterness, hatret, wounds, feelings. Then we’ll get close to Jesus and our fellowship will be restored.

Forgiveness really is the KEY to Unlocking AWESOME Fellowship.

Don.

 

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (NIV)
3  For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.
4  The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.
5  We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

 

A Mighty Power Faith Filled Factory

Becoming a mighty power faith filled factory producing new believers devoted to Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word: 745: Supernatural Natural Devotion

Will lead to the building up and expansion of God’s Kingdom Family.

Your little fellowship can become a mighty power faith filled factory; producing Devoted followers of Jesus.

Good morning my friends, AFTER PENTECOST what happened in the lives of those who’d committed their lives to Jesus, had been baptised and filled with Holy Spirit? Answer they GOT DEVOTION.

It’s not a word you hear much these days, ‘Devotion’, is it? But just after Pentecost we hear in the book of Acts about what happened with the 3000 who began following Jesus.

Acts 2:42-47 (NIV)
42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
43  Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles.
44  All the believers were together and had everything in common.
45  Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.
46  Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts,
47  praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

From this little passage we can observe at least five things in the lives of the first Christians who trusted in Jesus, were baptised and had received the Holy Spirit.

They Devoted Themselves:

Nobody told them to do it, it was a natural or supernatural new inclination, to do these things. When the Holy Spirit indwells a person they’ll want to do these things too.

  1. Devotion to Teaching: They became learners of all that Jesus taught.
  2. Devotion to Fellowship: They got closer to each other. Meeting in Temple and Each other’s homes.
  3. Devotion to Breaking of Bread: This is a reference to Holy Communion: Remembering Jesus’ Sacrifice and to Eating together.
  4. Devotion to Prayer: When the Holy Spirit is in you, then you’ll automatically want to pray regularly. It’s not an obligation any more it’s a complete change of desire within.

When we’re DEVOTED like this, some things are going to be happening.

e) Many Signs and Wonders: were done by the Apostles. If you are devoted as an ordinary person to Jesus and all of the above, not because you have to but because you want to, then watch out, because WONDERS are going to be normal for your fellowship.

f) Common Concern: In verse 44 we learn that they shared their possessions and even sold some of them to help the needy amongst themselves. When Holy Spirit takes up residence within a person’s heart, there’s a new love for the brothers and sisters in the Lord’s family.

g) MEETING TOGETHER REGULARLY: Since I’ve had the Spirit, I’ve never thought meeting just ONCE a week was enough. Most, the majority of Christians today only want to meet once a week, life’s just too busy the meet up more than that, right? WRONG: when the Holy Spirit takes up residence in your heart, you’ll have a LONGING to be with brothers and sisters on a very regular basis. They did it every day, but in reality that’s not practical, because we’ve all got other things that need to be done: tending sheep, planting corn, digging fields, and that’s just the farming community, what about the City Workers? However, there’s still going to be a STRONG DESIRE for more regular FELLOWSHIP than just once a week. So we learn to be very CREATIVE in how we get fellowship.

h) Worshiping God: With glad and sincere hearts they praised the LORD! Worship is an integral aspect of any gathering together. We’ll want to sing our hearts out to the LORD!

How To BE CREATIVE: in getting fellowship more regularly:

SMALL GROUP: Either join of start a small group at work: To meet a lunch times to read God’s Word (Apostles Teaching) and to Pray together. I did this on every ship, establishment and submarine I served on after becoming a Christian in the Royal Navy.

FELLOWSHIP GROUP: There will be fellowship groups in your church, either get the Minister’s permission to start one or join an existing group. The strong desire will never go away, so start as soon as you feel it. Meet up REGULARLY: Once a week is good to start with, but don’t wait to long to add extra meetings for coffee, chats and Evangelism together.

What About Young Mothers: How can they possibly get FELLOWSHIP with young kids running around? I can’t think of a better group to get together even more regularly than those who’ve got toddlers to care for. It’s natural to meet for chats and coffee or tea, but just add the extra dimensions of Bible Study, Prayer, Fellowship, Evangelism, Breaking Bread and Ministry…

No matter what you do or where you work, there are good reasons to FORM or JOIN a SMALL GROUP: It keeps you very sharp as a Christian, you’ll be filled with HOLY SPIRIT DESIRES every day: You’ll want to do what He prompts you to do together. It’s much easier to share you faith with someone else. You’ll make excuses to keep inviting your NON-CHRISTIAN friends along to be with you and your friends. Just say, “I’m off during lunch break to read some of the Bible with a few friends, do you want to come along?”… “We’re learning all about Jesus teachings, do you want to come?” Don’t make the mistakes that I did, sometimes I only asked people once, but then I learned a secret, it took a long time before I myself said YES to Jesus invitations. So just keep asking your friends, but in different ways. “I’m meeting up with some Christian brothers, you should meet these guys, they’re filled with Holy Spirit POWER”…

When you get back from lunch, those who didn’t come will be intrigued to discover what you’ve been up to. I had so many questions when news got out on the Submarine that I was having fellowship in the SINS room on-board HMS Tireless. “What do you do in there?” they’d ask or “We heard you singing hymns” they’d say. “What’s that all about?” they’d ask… People are NATURALLY NOSEY: They want to know, they’re interested. So some will ask you when they know you are attending a small group, “What’s that all about?”… Always be prepared to give them an answer and an invitation to come and experience it for themselves.

Give An Answer and An Invitation.

Devotion is not a POPULAR word with the world, but it still is with EVERY person who’s been baptised and filled with the Holy Spirit.

So a good question to ask right now is: “How is my own DEVOTION going?” and “Am I so full of the Holy Spirit that I have these burning desires to be devoted in these ways?”… If NOT, then there’s a problem. You NEED more of God’s Spirit, because it’s supernaturally natural to want or desire DEVOTION to; Jesus teachings, the Apostles teachings, breaking bread, fellowship, prayer, meeting each other’s needs, meeting together, doing miracles, winning others to Christ. The Holy Spirit replaces our own natural desires with His Supernatural Desires to Build God’s Kingdom Family. IF NOT: You’ll become like the seeds sown on rocky soil or the hard path or among the thistles; your faith will wither and die quite soon. You might keep up the semblance of Christian attendance for a while, but it will never be fire filled or full of faith and fun. Devotion is what Holy Spirit longs for in the life a new follower of Jesus. If your an old follower and you are not devoted like this, why? What’s stopping you doing what God wants you to do? START AGAIN!

The LORD added to their number DAILY those who were being SAVED. Non Christians were attracted to this kind of DEVOTED fellowship. You are going to see this too when you get even more DEVOTED to Jesus Christ, His mission and His teachings. When we follow Jesus teachings, we’re going to see Father God’s Heart is to win thousands into His family. He’ll do it through you’re own little fellowship, which will soon become an awesome mighty power filled faith factory; producing even more DEVOTED followers of Jesus.

I’m praying you’ll get this kind of DEVOTION: Pray for me too: I need to cling to Jesus every day and get fellowship just as regularly as the next Christian, it’s a supernatural natural longing within my heart, but I’ve learned we’ve got to make it happen or it won’t. Nobody else is going to make it happen for you, your inner desire will make it happen: So seek out fellowship and be the devoted follower the Holy Spirit makes you want to be.

Don.

 

After Pentecost What’s Next?

After the Pentecost Prayer Week, National Evangelisation, Power to SAVE

Daily Spirit & Word: 745: After Pentecost: The Power to SAVE Souls.

WOWzer! WOWzer! What an awesome Pentecostal Open Air Baptism Service we had.

IMG_1488 IMG_1490 IMG_1491 IMG_1494

Good morning my friends, it really was awesome. I got up early yesterday so that I could both write and get the Baptism pool ready. I wanted to encourage you before I went out. Oh my friends, I feel so blessed by the Lord. You know, we’ve got an AWESOME family of brothers and sisters in Christ. Everyone came together yesterday to make it so special for those taking steps of commitment to Jesus. Thanks so much to David, John and Ben who got up very early and came to help me sweep, clean and build the baptismal pool. It was a sacrifice of pillow time 🙂 Thanks Amanda, who’d prepared song sheets and Bible notices in advance. Thanks to Robert, Celestin, Isaac and the worship team, even Abi and Rebecca joined in…. every one of you are AMAZING. But you all know who I’m most thankful for: The LORD Jesus Christ, He was with us. It was a costly service for us all in terms of time, talents and treasures, but even more so for Him.

Because before PENTECOST, there was a cost: Someone had to die before we could experience heaven in our hearts.

Jesus died upon the Cross for us.

He didn’t stay dead though, Jesus rose again back to life from the dead. He’s alive NOW! Enthroned in Heaven, but you can receive Him into your life today.

He sends the Holy Spirit upon everyone who believes that His death was for their sins, who repents of their sinful rebellion against God and turns in faith towards Jesus Christ to receive Him as Lord, then in faith and obedience gets baptised into the Name of; Father Son and Holy Spirit, to become a Follower of Jesus, a Disciple who seeks to live from that day forward in obedience to Jesus’ Commands and Teachings.

Did you know that Peter explained all this to the Jews and converts to Judaism gathered in Jerusalem that day: He told them HOW TO BE SAVED from their own corrupt generation.

Acts 2:36-41 (NIV)
36  “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”
37  When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?
38  Peter replied, “Repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39  The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
40  With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.”
41  Those who accepted his message were baptised, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.

On that first Day of Pentecost, when  the Holy Spirit fell on all the Followers of Jesus, it was Peter who stood up and preached. What Peter said to them broke their hearts and they were convicted and pleaded with Peter and the other Apostles to tell them what they should do next, how they could be saved from God’s wrath and anger because they had killed the Messiah. Peter explained, and told them how to be saved: they had to repent of their sins and believe on Jesus Christ. They would give proof of the sincerity of their repentance and faith by being baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, publicly doing so identified them with their Messiah and Lord and Saviour; Jesus Christ. That baptism would signal that their trust in Jesus death was for their sins, their sins would we washed away.

My friends, it was on the first Day of Pentecost that a person could be saved ONLY by repenting and believing on Jesus Christ. Only then could they too receive the promised gift of the Holy Spirit for themselves (Gal. 3:2, 14), and this promise was for both the Jews and the “far off” Gentiles (Eph. 2:13-19). For ALL whom the Lord our God will call. He’s calling ALL Peoples, all over the Earth to have faith and trust in Jesus Christ. He’s pulling men to Himself through the Holy Spirit, even before you go out and witness to them. Do you believe that’s the Father’s Heart?

The Promise of the Holy Spirit is FOR ALL:

You, your children, your family, your friends, everybody who knows you: Your OIKOS.

My wife’s getting tired of me going on about OIKOS. She said, “If I hear it once more I’ll OIKOS you”… LOL.

But that’s the Father’s HEART: To save your complete family and bring in the whole company of those who know you follow Jesus, He wants to SAVE Them ALL.

Do you believe it’s the Father’s HEART: To SAVE everyone who knows you are a follower of Jesus? Everyone, you love, your Father in Heaven loves even more than you.

So What’s NEXT?

We’ve finished our Week of Prayer: But please DO NOT STOP praying for all those who’ve yet to trust in Jesus.

Keep praying for your OIKOS List; until they are ALL SAVED. God wants to SAVE your friends and family.

Who’s ON Your OIKOS List?

  • List them again by name before Jesus.
  • Think about their lives: What’s going on with them? What’s their problems? What’s their heart-desires? What’s their deepest need? And talk to the LORD for them.
  • Next: Do something LOVING for your OIKOS: give them a gift, do a good thing they are not expecting, show them Jesus’ LOVE is in your heart.
  • Next: Purposefully bring up something about Jesus, don’t ASK their permission, just share something. Even if they’ve rejected it before, do it again. Shown them that you are NOT going to give up on them, even if they’ve given up on God.
  • Finally: Remember, it’s their ETERNAL wealfare that you are most concerned about, their DESTINY is not looking good if they don’t trust Jesus. Get a handle on Hell and that will motivate you to endure rejection. Remember, anyone who’s not trusted in Jesus yet is BLIND and DEAF, they don’t know what they are rejecting, they can’t hear yet, because Satan has both blinded their eyes and deadened their ears. However, Holy Spirit POWER can break through into their darkness and let them see the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
  • Keep going back for more: You didn’t put your faith in Jesus the first time you heard the Gospel, so give them LOTS of opportunity. Even if they reject it three or four times before they come to faith. Share a little bit more of what it means to be a follower of Jesus. The Holy Spirit will be drawing them to faith and trust in Jesus.
  • PRAY: For yourself that you’ll STAY FULL of Pentecostal Power to reach out and SAVE others for Jesus. You need the Holy Spirit every day, you need Jesus presence and power in you, so ask Father God to fill you afresh every day in order that you can live in His will to save others.

Be blessed my friends, and live every day in Pentecostal Power and Presence of the Holy Spirit, knowing that Jesus is with you always. Entreat your Heavenly Father for your friends, family and followers. Be obedient to Jesus commands and tell them HOW to be SAVED in this, their own, corrupt generation.

Don.

P.S. Pray for me, I’m shattered now 🙂 But I want to keep going for Jesus.

I’m also praying for everyone on my own OIKOS.

P.P. S. SEE more of the Baptism pictures here at St Luke’s Church Facebook Page. I’ll be posting some more awesome shots that my wife Julie took as well.

 

 

Pentecost: The Day Fire Fell and Power Came

How to get the fire of the Holy Spirit, Anointing and Power

Daily Spirit & Word: 743: Pentecost

The Day The Fire Fell & Power Came

Pentecost Prayer Week: Day 7: Holy Spirit.

Good morning my friends, well the DAY we’ve all been praying about has arrived; Pentecost.

It’s the day when Christians all over the world celebrate the BIRTHDAY of the Church. It marks the moments when the Holy Spirit first came upon and indwelt followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, they receive the promise of the Father, the Holy Spirit and His POWER and AUTHORITY.

Pentecost is also a time for Believers and Followers of Jesus Christ today, to remember that SAME Holy Spirit POWER and AUTHORITY is available for every single one of us.

Before I was Born of The Holy Spirit, I hated standing up and speaking in front of people, my knees would knock together, I’d get a dry mouth and a thumping in my chest as if my heart was going to explode. However, when I received Holy Spirit and stood up to speak for Jesus, WOWzer! I literally FELT the power of the Holy Spirit flood into my being. I feel His presence with me and sometimes I feel it much stronger than others. There is a quickening that happens when He wants me to say or do something.

On the first day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came upon Peter and the other Apostles, about 120 of them, they too were TRANSFORMED. Oh my friends, we’ve been praying all week for the AWAKENING of the Church. To see the whole Church set on FIRE with Holy Spirit to go out and EVANGELISE THE NATION.

What we really need, more than anything else, is this SAME FIRE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT to ignite each and ever truly born again follower of Jesus Christ.

Pray and ASK: How much more will the Father in Heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ASK Him?

ASK AND YOU SHALL RECEIVE. 

Get the FIRE of The Holy Spirit Today.

Acts 1:8 (NIV)
8  But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

  • What will we receive? POWER.
  • How will we get that Power? When the Holy Spirit comes upon you.
  • What is the Power for? To be Jesus’ Witnesses all over the world.

Awesome!

PENTECOST: Have you been praying all week for your OIKOS (Those who know you are a Christian and a sincere follower of the Lord Jesus Christ)?

To effectively be the WITNESS God wants you to be, you are going to NEED this FIRE from HEAVEN: The POWER of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus said, “Apart from Me, you can do nothing”… You are POWERLESS without Holy Spirit. He is the manifest presence of the Lord Jesus Christ within you.

Be filled today, ask your Heavenly Father to send Holy Spirit into you afresh, anoint you with Holy Spirit power and authority. If you ask you will receive. Don’t doubt, ask in FAITH. Just receive the Holy Spirit by faith and walk in His power to witness to those you’ve been praying about. Then watch the difference!

Amen!

Don.

Pentecost Power Prayer:

Acts 1:8 (NIV)
8  But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

What will we receive? POWER.

How will we get that Power? When the Holy Spirit comes upon you.

What is the Power for? To be Jesus’ Witnesses all over the world.

Awesome!

When the Day of Pentecost Came:

Acts 2:1-4 (NIV)
1  When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.
2  Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.
3  They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.
4  All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

What Happened on The Church’s First Birthday?

They BEGAN to Witness Immediately:

Acts 2:14-21 (NIV)
14  Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say.
15  These men are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning!
16  No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
17  ” ‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.
18  Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.
19  I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke.
20  The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.
21  And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’

My friends, with Holy Spirit POWER and AUTHORITY you too can be EFFECTIVE WITNESSES for the LORD.

Ask and you shall receive. Amen!

Two Responses to Jesus

Are you reluctant to share the Good News of the Gospel?

Daily Spirit &Word: 742:

Two Responses to Jesus.

Some say, “I won’t”, but do.

Some say, “I will” but don’t…

Good morning my friends, what an awesome day and week it’s been. Curry night was great Indigo was a treat to the taste-buds. Ying Kai came to my home and so did Pastors and key leaders from other churches in West Norwood. He shared the simplicity of the Gospel and Discipleship, encouraging us to not-overcomplicate the process, but to allow so much more room for the Holy Spirit, it’s not about systems, programs or fancy marketing, but relying completely upon the empowering, guiding and equipping of the Holy Spirit in the knowledge that Jesus will always be with us. Praise the LORD for Ying Kai, his wife Grace (who exudes God’s grace and gentleness).

I was reminded during that meeting yesterday about Jesus Parables and the one about the Two Sons. It’s in a section of Matthew’s Gospel where Jesus was challenged by religious people who were not following Him or His teachings.

The Parable of the Two Sons

Matthew 21:23-32 (ESV)

23  And when he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came up to him as he was teaching, and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?”
24  Jesus answered them, “I also will ask you one question, and if you tell me the answer, then I also will tell you by what authority I do these things.
25  The baptism of John, from where did it come? From heaven or from man?” And they discussed it among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’
26  But if we say, ‘From man,’ we are afraid of the crowd, for they all hold that John was a prophet.”
27  So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.
28  “What do you think? A man had two sons. And he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’
29  And he answered, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he changed his mind and went.
30  And he went to the other son and said the same. And he answered, ‘I go, sir,’ but did not go.
31  Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you.
32  For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. And even when you saw it, you did not afterward change your minds and believe him.

Jesus was talking with the Pharisees, they are the religious elite of the time, people who should have known how to serve the Lord and be a light to everybody for His glory, but instead of working with and accepting Jesus, they had turned against him. This Parable was directed at them, but in some ways it’s directed at every single Christian. Because like those sons, we’ve all said, “Yes” to Jesus, but only a very few who’ve received Christ as Lord are actually being obedient to the things that Jesus commands. His primary command that we ignore or disobey is what we’ve been praying about all week, “Going into the world to share, spread and broadcast His powerful, life-transforming, Gospel message with everyone”…

The first said “I won’t” but later had a change of mind.

There are many people, who upon first hearing the demands in the Gospel message, initially reject it, refuse to acknowledge their sin or their need for God in their life, but later on change their minds. But there’s a much deeper teaching in this parable for those who’ve got ears to hear. What is the SPIRIT saying to you today?

One of the primary reasons Christians STOP or DON’T obey Jesus instruction / command is because of FEAR of rejection or non-acceptance of the message they are taking into the world, their friends and relatives.

So they end up being like the son who said, “I will”, but don’t continue to do it. My friends, I want to encourage you to CHANGE YOUR MIND again, go back to Jesus in prayer and say to Him: “Lord I will go for You”. “I will take Your message of Good News, I will believe what You’ve promised; Authority, Power, Persuasion and Presence when I go. I KNOW that You will be working on those to whom you send me, that by Your Holy Spirit, you’ll be drawing people to Yourself. Give me the courage to continue to be obedient to Your Commands and teachings, and to never give up or give in to fear again.” Amen!

What do you think made the reluctant son change his mind?

It could be his conscience was bothering him or perhaps it was the fact it was his own dear father asking him to do the work?

My friends, You’ve been following Jesus for so long, it’s time to be living in obedience.

A Lady Who’s MIND has been CHANGED.

One lady, who was at our meeting with Ying Kai yesterday, said to me last night, “I know so much, but I’ve been doing so little with what I know”... She’s been on course after course, training after training, but hasn’t put very much of what she’s learned into practice. Don’t get me wrong, she’s the sweetest Christian lady you could ever wish to meet, she’s got a real heart for people and loves and gives so much of her time, talents and treasures to Jesus already. But she felt convicted, because there was an area that she’s been neglecting, even though she knew it should be the highest priority in all her service of the Lord. “Sharing the faith” transitioning from service to witness. She felt she just hasn’t learned or been obedient to actually SHARE THE GOSPEL. She said, “I’m going to come out and learn HOW to do it with you”… I’m praying she will come.

It’s NOT what we know, it’s WHO we know that counts. 

The BIGGEST LESSON:

The biggest and strongest message I’ve been learning afresh this week: It’s not what you know that matters, it’s WHO you know. You know Jesus, that’s enough, take what you know about Jesus and how He’s had mercy upon you, how He’s saved you from your sins, cleansed you and forgiven you for so much. Take WHO you know to the people who don’t know Him yet. That’s what Jesus is asking for: Obedience to His Commands.

I’m praising the LORD now, because, even if only ONE person gets this message, this whole week has been a tremendous success for Christ’s Kingdom. However, I know there are MANY MORE brothers and sisters out there, who KNOW they too should be sharing Jesus offer of NEW LIFE with many of their family, friends, neighbours and work-mates and even going farther to share the Gospel with strangers. Some of you have tried and then given up because you didn’t get the response you thought you’d get. Don’t give up, because God didn’t give up on you. Keep going, and keep going back to Jesus again.

Which son will you be?

The one who said, “I will” but didn’t?

Or the one who said, “I won’t, or can’t or it’s not me” but did?

Be like the sweet lady I was talking with last night or the first son in the parable and also Moses, who all said: “I won’t, I can’t, It’s not me”, but eventually gave in and did what the LORD asked them to do.

Be assured that I’m praying for you all, that the LORD will be with you, calling you, equipping you and enabling you to serve Him with your life. Don’t wait for the equipping though, because it comes as we step out in obedience to His Commands.

Thy will be done.

Thy Kingdom Come! Amen.

Praise be to the LORD!

Don.

P.S. Hope you all have an awesome Pentecost Weekend.

We’ve got an Open Air Baptism Service on Sunday: Outside St Luke’s Church.

At 10.30am. No matter what the weather, we’re going to BAPTISE some people tomorrow.

One of the Candidates is a lady called Emma who only gave her life to the LORD on Tuesday. Praise the Lord!

COME!