When The Testing Is OVER

WHEN THE TESTING IS OVER.

When The TESTING is OVER: Be Strong & Very Courageous.
Before Joshua got to cross over the Jordan into the Promised Land, he had to go through many years of; Trials, Temptations and Tests in the wilderness. Finally, he’s arrived and ready to take up the mantle of Moses leading the people of Israel.
Joshua 1:1-6 (NIV)
1 After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, the LORD said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ assistant:
2  “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites.
3  I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses.
4  Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Great Sea on the west.
5  No-one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.
6  “Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them.
Now, my friends, you too may have had many years of similar wilderness wandering, with trials, tests and temptations along the way, but NOW is your time. God has been refining you. Moulding you into the person He wants you to be. It may have been like going through a fire of testing to get you to where you are today. However, it is NOW that God is going to use those years of experience, of character formation and of trusting in Him alone.
People will look to you as a kind of Spiritual GIANT, like Joshua, because of what you’ve been through and come out the other side a better man or woman.
  • They’ll see that instead of getting bitter, you’ve got BETTER.
  • They’ll see that instead of getting upset when trouble comes, you’ll exhibit a remarkable PEACE.
  • They’ll see that instead of moaning about stuff, you’ll be singing with a genuine JOY in your heart.
How? Because the LORD is your strength.
The LORD is the one empowering you.
You’ve learned that in every circumstance that it is possible to REJOICE.
You’ve learned that you NEED Jesus every day.
You’ve learned to FEED upon His Word.
You’ve learned He loves it when you listen to the Holy Spirit and walk in obedience and submission to His will.
Like Joshua and many other Heroes of our faith, you don’t always get it right, but you’ve discovered that when you fail, fall and stumble, you can get back up again, come to the Lord, confess your sin, weakness, fear and disobedience, and seek His forgiveness, renewal, infilling and guidance again.
When the TESTING is OVER: Be strong (in the LORD) and very courageous. Amen!
Rejoice in the LORD ALWAYS.
and again I say, REJOICE.
Peace and Presence of the LORD, be with YOU today.
Amen!
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.””

Love Always Perseveres

Love from God's perspective.

Daily Spirit & Word: 824.

Love Always Perseveres.

Sermon Series on LOVE (Understanding LOVE from God’s Perspective 1 Corinthians 13).

Good morning, we’re back with 1 Corinthians 13: The Great Love Chapter in God’s Word. Here we’ve been discovering some of the secrets of TRUE LOVE:

TRUE LOVE: Agape: Sacrificial / Devotional / Charitable Love.

1) That love is not at first an emotion to give into, but an act of the will, with principles and precepts to live by.

2) We will want to act these ways, because we’ve first of all experienced God’s; Love, Forgiveness, Kindness and Mercy. He’s given us a New Start, New Heart, New Life, New Relationship of Love through His Son Jesus Christ and the indwelling Holy Spirit.

3) When we act in God’s love, great feelings of LOVE will follow… i.e. attraction in relationships can be restored.

Some People think their marriage is over, because they don’t feel the love any-longer  It’s not over just because you don’t feel “IN LOVE” any more. Love and feelings of being in love will follow and flow afresh into your heart and your relationship once you begin LOVING God’s Ways.

LOVE ALWAYS: (Sermon Series).

We’ve been looking over the last few weeks at: Verse 7: Love Always:

1 Corinthians 13:7 (NIV) It (LOVE) always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Today It Is: Love Always Perseveres.

To see how LOVE ALWAYS Perseveres: We can look though God’s Word to see if this is a principle / precept that is TRUE.

  • Then we’ll KNOW: Know the Truth and the Truth will set you free.
  • Then we’ll KNOW: That Always Persevering in LOVE… (LOVE NEVER FAILS)…

Genesis 29:20 (NIV) “So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her.” (That’s Perseverance).

Part of Jacob’s reward for working for Laban was to have Rachel, Laban’s beautiful daughter, given to Jacob as his wife. Our verse for today sums up the details of this arrangement and shows the great effects of love how we’ll be persevering because of it…

  • Love Prompted Jacob’s Perseverance.
  • Love Prolonged Jacob’s Perseverance.
  • Love Produced Pleasure in Jacob’s Toil.

1) LOVE Prompted Jacob’s Perseverance:

Perseverance’s Prerequisite: Is LOVE:  “Jacob served seven years to get Rachel.” (Prerequisite = Essential Condition. Needed Requirement: LOVE).

It was love that caused Jacob to serve here. He was very much in love with Rachel and so agreed to serve Laban for her. Love is essential if we are going to persevere.

Remember what Paul said;

2 Corinthians 5:14-15 (NIV)
14  For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.
15  And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

Paul was motivated (compelled) to serve his Lord Jesus by his love for Christ. (First LOVE).

When Christ called Peter to feed His flock, He asked Peter, “Do you love me?” or in KJV “Lovest thou me” (John 21:15,16,17 {three times}).

If your perseverance draining, if you feel everything to do with church is a drag, maybe you are getting a bit like the church at Ephesus which was rebuked by the Lord because they had “left their first love” (Revelation 2:4).

If Jacob had just had a passing FANCY for Rachel, he would not have served or persevered to get her hand in marriage.

It wasn’t a passing fancy, but true love that enabled Jacob to persevere for those seven long years.

 

2) Prolonging of Perseverance. “Jacob served seven years to get Rachel.”

Love caused Jacob to serve for a long time.

Later when Laban deceived Jacob and gave him Leah instead of Rachel at the end of those seven years, Jacob was prepared, because of his love for Rachel, to agree to serve another seven years for her. That’s awesome! We need to understand this today 14 Years to get a wife… who today would be prepared to do that? Would you wait? That’s how much he longed for and loved Rachel.

Because of his LOVE he was prepared to persevere for Rachel’s hand.

  • Love Caused Jacob: To continually work for Rachel.
  • Love Cause Jacob: To Never Give up on Rachel.
  • Love Caused Jacob: To have longevity (No matter how long it would take, he’d get his Rachel)…
  • Love Cause Jacob: To keep Going, not quit after a few days, weeks, months or years… 14 years it took to get his Rachel as his wife.
  • LOVE MADE JACOB: Persevere until….

 

QUESTION: Why do so many Christians fall away from the faith?

Why do so many Christians grow luke-warm in their devotion to Jesus?

Why do so many not persevere and keep following Jesus?

ANSWER: NOT IN LOVE WITH JESUS.

Some have a PASSING FANCY for the CHRISTIAN FAITH. Dabble their toes in the water of Christian Experience, but when the going gets tough, the feeble, fickle, feeling based Christians = leg it. They’ve had a passing fancy for Jesus, not TRUE LOVE… If Jesus was ever their FIRST LOVE, then no matter what, they’d stick at it come what may.

The reason so many folks do not last long in persevering faith in Christ is because they do not love Christ as they need.

If you truly love Christ, you will stay at your work continually: Like Jacob (Joseph, David, Moses, Abraham). Some didn’t see their PROMISED LAND (HOPE)… However, because of their LOVE they were able to PERSEVERE.

  • Love causes us to have longevity in our persevering for Christ.
  • Love does not serve Jesus a few days then quit when it gets tough; no it KEEPS GOING (Digging In Deeper onto the foundation bedrock of Jesus).
  • Love keeps us going in serving the LORD.
  • When we LOVE Jesus, we will PERSEVERE in the FAITH…

3) PLEASURE in PERSEVERING (Perseverance’s Rewards).

Genesis 29:20 (NIV) “So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her.”

When you are truly in LOVE with Jesus, then no matter what happens; good or bad, plenty or want, you’ll LONG to SERVE HIM: Persevering won’t seem like a chore or a burden, it’s a pleasure.

  • When Jacob got Rachel: He said, “It seems like I’ve only served a few days” because of his love for her.
  • When you get to Heaven: You’ll be thinking it only seemed like a few days that I served Jesus. Because of your LOVE for Him.
  • Love for Rachel made long-days seem short.
  • Love for Rachel brought much pleasure to Jacob’s service. (The sweat of looking after sheep was a JOY)…
  • Love for Rachel sweetened the difficult times and made them delightful times.

 

Question: Why do so many followers of Jesus find serving Jesus a chore or a burden or a difficulty?

Why do so many Christians get resentful in their service?

  • They’re not looking at Jesus. Taken their eyes off HIM…
  • They’ve forgotten the Prize.
  • They’ve wandered away from their first LOVE…

 

LOVE ALWAYS PERSEVERES:

Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIV) (Don’t Loose Heart: Run With Perseverance: Fix Eyes on Jesus)…
1  Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
2  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Philippians 3:14 (NIV) PRESS ONWARDS to WIN PRIZE…
14  I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus.

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (NIV) RUN (Persevere) to GET YOUR PRIZE.
24  Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.
25  Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last for ever.
26  Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air.
27  No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

If you are not in love with Jesus, you will not persevere: Not Run, Fix Eyes, Aim, Walk or Limp towards your Prize. You will loose heart and possibly fall away from the faith…

If you are in love with Jesus, you will persevere: Run, Walk, Keep Going, PERSEVERE.

 

How to get back in LOVE? {with your first-love}

  • LOVE as the Bible tells you: be patient, be kind, be forgiving, be gentle, don’t be proud, selfish, rude… etc (1 Cor 13). PRACTISING CHRISTIAN… Practice LOVE… Try it.
  • Repent: Of your lack of love for Jesus. Ask for His forgiveness. He’ll then MOTIVATE you to PERSEVERE once you are back IN LOVE with Him.

 

NOTE: RUNNING FOR THE PRIZE: (Not Down to Self-Effort)…

Personal Testimony: I’d failed, time and time again. Self-Effort wasn’t working. I got a bit depressed, felt a failure, felt God didn’t love me, couldn’t love me, wouldn’t love me. I had almost LOST HEART… Why? Because I was trying to be GOOD in my own strength, my own determination and perseverance and my will-power was failing fast… Who would rescue me? It’s Jesus my friends, I needed to trust in Jesus alone all over again. Submit to Him and confess and let Him do the changing of my heart…. Allow HIM IN: I needed to surrender all over again.

This PERSEVERANCE: Is NOT Self-Effort: It comes from being connected and in-love with Jesus. (OR RE-CONNECTED).

He gives you the DETERMINATION YOU NEED to Keep Persevering against the odds…

People will look at you and wonder: “How on earth does He / She do it?”… It’s NOT you, It’s Jesus in YOU… It’s the Holy Spirit who’s taken up residence and become your own personal President (Lord, Master, Boss, King)… He’ll be motivating you to obedience to what you know is right.

But many do not find that joy in serving. The reason is because they lack that deep heart love for Jesus.

If your love for Christ abounds, you will find much pleasure in serving Him even though the service may be difficult, long, hard, and trying.

LOVE ALWAYS PERSEVERES: Jacob loved Rachel (A Picture of How the Saint should love His / Her Jesus).

Conclusion:

1) Perseverance’s Prerequisite: LOVE for Jesus (Jacob loved Rachel)…
2) Prolonging of Perseverance: LOVE will make you SERVE for MANY YEARS…
3) Perseverance’s Reward: Those many years of service will seem like only a few days… Because, there is PLEASURE in persevering. {LOVE ALWAYS PERSEVERES}.

You’ll delight in Serving for Jesus, if you LOVE Him… No matter how successful or not… You’re going to keep going because of your LOVE for Him.

Amen!

Hymn:

Oh, How I LOVE Jesus,
Oh, How I love Jesus,
Oh, How I love Jesus,
Because He first loved me.

A Spirit Filled Christian

What does it mean to be Spirit Filled

Daily Spirit & Word: 822: A Spirit Filled Christian

“But be filled with the Spirit” Eph. 5:18

Now you wouldn’t go out without charging your mobile phone today, would you? Yet so many Christians are going out into the world without seeking the fullness of Holy Spirit.

People who know me well will know that I’m a man who’s possessed. Possessed by God’s Holy Spirit, but one of the mistakes I’ve made in the past is to seek Holy Spirit anointing, filling and empowerment for what I can get out of it. He does bring wonderful feelings, however it makes me cringe now to think of how foolish I’ve been.

But what does it mean to be “filled with the Spirit”?

There are many today who want to be filled with the Holy Spirit just for the kick, the experience, the feelings that they get when the Holy Spirit comes upon them and in them. Some want the Holy Spirit for the POWER He gives to believers. These things are all wonderful and amazing and awesome. However, as we’ll see from the whole counsel of God’s Word, when a person is filled with Holy Spirit, their whole life is transformed and turned up-side-down to make them into Divine, Holy and powerful witnesses for God, who will in turn transform their own world and those around about them. WHY? Because,

1) A SPIRIT FILLED CHRISTIAN:

             WILL WORSHIP IN THE SPIRIT

When you get filled with Holy Spirit your worship takes on NEW and Exciting aspects.

     “Worship him in Spirit and in truth” (John 4:24).

Spirit-filled Christians are not in bondage to a form of godliness; they don’t follow religious rules and regulations, but at the same time, they are not fanatics or daydreamers. They are not bound by social pressures or by the spirit of the age. Their mind is renewed and changed to live a self-sacrificial life of loving service to Jesus Christ and His Mission.

Spirit-filled Christians worship with the anointing of God and the witness of the Holy Spirit. When you are filled afresh and anointed in Holy Spirit you’ll change inwardly and express it outwardly. HOW? because,

2) A SPIRIT FILLED CHRISTIAN:

              WILL WORK TOGETHER IN UNITY

     “Continuing daily with one accord” (Acts 2:46).

Spirit-filled Christians do not work against one another. They are working in harmony—no resentments, frictions, factions or divisions. Because they recognise that EVERY true believer in Jesus Christ has the SAME Holy Spirit within them too. They know He’ll be working for unity and there is no competition.

They are concerned about getting God’s work accomplished. Christians work together in unity when they love God and one another. (Eph. 4:3). They’ll be working to BUILD the body of Christ (His Church). They’ll be using HOLY SPIRIT GIFTS to BUILD the body of Christ to make it strong, and to enable the immature to grow towards maturity in the Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 4:11-16 (NIV) HOW HOLY SPIRIT GIFTS BUILD UNITY.
11  It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12  to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13  until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fulness of Christ.
14  Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.
15  Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. 16  From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

 

3) A SPIRIT FILLED CHRISTIAN:

             WILL BE WILLING TO FORGIVE OTHERS

“Forbearing… and forgiving one another” (Col. 3:13).

Spirit-filled Christians make mistakes, errors and blunders just like everyone else, but they possess a forgiving spirit. They do not hold resentments. As God forgave them, so they forgive others.

Forgiveness lifts burdens, brings joy and peace to mind and soul (Matt. 6:14-15).

From a human stand-point, forgiveness is hard, but when Holy Spirit comes, He’ll ENABLE you to walk in forgiveness. He’ll so fill you with love that you’ll not want to withhold forgiveness. Forgiveness releases more than just the person needing forgiveness, it releases you too. You’ll experience NEW freedom when you truly forgive others.

4) A SPIRIT FILLED CHRISTIAN:

             WILL WALK IN DIVINE LOVE

“And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us (Eph. 5:2).

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

Walking in LOVE is not like walking around with a dream-like-look on your face.

You know that you are in Christ Jesus if you LOVE others. (Read 1 John 1 and 2)

God’s love is implanted and poured out into the heart of the follower of Jesus Christ by God Himself and it works its way out to bless others. You will overflow with God’s Holy, Gentle, LOVE…

When Christians surrender themselves to God, they are cleansed of sinful attitudes, bitterness is washed away, sinful desires turned into Holy desires, malice, hatred, envy and strife are washed away, and are replaced with Holy Spirit of love.

If you are struggling in any of these areas of life today, then you KNOW you need MORE of God The Holy Spirit in your soul. Turn to Jesus Christ afresh today, ask to be filled afresh with Holy Spirit, do it right now, because you KNOW you need Him inside you… Perhaps just reading this you can feel the Holy Spirit’s LOVE filling your heart. I can feel Him right now. Praise God!

 

5) A SPIRIT FILLED CHRISTIAN:

             WILL WITNESS TO THE LOST

“And ye shall be witnesses unto me” (Acts 1:8).

Spirit-filled Christians welcome opportunities to share what Christ means to them with others. Witnessing is a natural consequence of this infilling of the Holy Spirit of God. YOU WILL BE MY WITNESSES… It’s not an option. Some people imagine that ONLY evangelists are anointed to witness. Only an evangelist can share the Good News and bring others to Christ. This is a perversion of God’s Word and a convenient excuse that is given for not doing what should come super-naturally to every believer. The Evangelists purpose is to EQUIP others to EVANGELISE, not to be “The EXPERT”… (Romans 4:11-16)

When we WITNESS: We get a GREATER REVELATION of what it means to be IN CHRIST:

Philemon 1:6 (NIV) 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.

TOO MUCH ATTENTION:

Far too much attention and focus has been given to GETTING instead of seeing God’s primary purpose in giving and gifting believers for BUILDING and GIVING AWAY.

Though there are many more things A SPIRIT FILLED CHRISTIAN will do; Prophesy, Healing, Speaking in Tongues, Getting Words of Knowledge, etc… LOVE is the overarching, the highest point and the seal, mark and engraving of what it means to be FILLED WITH GOD, THE HOLY SPIRIT.

TOO LITTLE ATTENTION:

In some fellowships, too little attention or focus is given to being filled with Holy Spirit, instead, like many good Evangelical churches, their primary attention is given to acquiring knowledge of God’s Word. There’s nothing wrong with that, but to the exclusion of Holy Spirit empowerment and anointing it’s a grave error. We all NEED Holy Spirit as much today as ever before. If we’re not seeking the filling of Holy Spirit we’ll be POWERLESS. Now you wouldn’t go out without charging your mobile phone today would you? Yet so many Christians are going out into the world without seeking the fullness of Holy Spirit.

WHAT NEXT?

So what? What am I supposed to do now?

I hear myself asking that question and you might be too.

The answer is crystal clear by now, I hope;  Ephesians 5:18 (KJV) “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;”

Cry out to the LORD: Ask your Heavenly Father and The Lord Jesus Christ to send the Holy Spirit into your being right now. When you ask, don’t doubt it, because He is PLEASED, HAPPY and WILLING to give Holy Spirit anointing to you.

Luke 11:11-13 (NIV)
11  “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?
12  Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?
13  If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

BE FILLED: And;

  • You will worship in Spirit and Truth.
  • You will work together in unity.
  • You will be willing to forgive.
  • You will Walk in Love.
  • You will Want to Witness to the LOST and LEAD them to Jesus Christ.
  • You will RECEIVE; Holy Spirit Gifts to BUILD the Body of Christ….

Now do you still want to be FILLED with Holy Spirit?

PRAYER: Heavenly Father I can see that I need to be filled with Holy Spirit today. Please LORD send the Holy Spirit afresh into my being today, I know I need You. Come Holy Spirit and fill me to overflowing. Let me worship, walk in unity and love, enable me to forgive and anoint me so that I’ll want to witness and lead others to Jesus Christ. Please give me all the Spiritual gifts that I’ll need today to be the person you want me to be. Amen.

NOTES: What Does The Holy Spirit Do?

  1. The Spirit convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8). 
  2. The Spirit guides us into all truth (John 16:13). 
  3. The Spirit regenerates us (John 3:5-8; Titus 3:5). 
  4. The Spirit glorifies and testifies of Christ (John 15:26; 16:14). 
  5. The Spirit reveals Christ to us and in us (John 16:14-15). 
  6. The Spirit leads us (Rom. 8:14; Gal. 5:18; Matt. 4:1; Luke 4:1). 
  7. The Spirit sanctifies us (2 Thess. 2:13; 1 Pet. 1:2; Rom. 5:16). 
  8. The Spirit empowers us (Luke 4:14; 24:49; Rom. 15:19; Acts 1:8). 
  9. The Spirit fills us (Eph. 5:18; Acts 2:4; 4:8, 31; 9:17). 
  10. The Spirit teaches us to pray (Rom. 8:26-27; Jude 1:20). 
  11. The Spirit bears witness in us that we are children of God (Rom. 8:16). 
  12. The Spirit produces in us the fruit or evidence of His work and presence (Gal. 5:22-23). 
  13. The Spirit distributes spiritual gifts and manifestations (the outshining) of His presence to and through the body (1 Cor. 12:4, 8-10; Heb. 2:4). 
  14. The Spirit anoints us for ministry (Luke 4:18; Acts 10:38) 
  15. The Spirit washes and renews us (Titus 3:5). 
  16. The Spirit brings unity and oneness to the body (Eph. 4:3; 2:14-18). When the Holy Spirit is operating in a group of people, He unites them in love. Therefore, a sure evidence of the Holy Spirit working in a group is Love and Unity. Not just signs and wonders (those are seasonal and can be counterfeited, I’ve known many who are supposedly filled with Holy).
  17. The Spirit is our guarantee and deposit of the future resurrection (2 Cor. 1:22; 2 Cor. 5:5). 
  18. The Spirit seals us unto the day of redemption (Eph. 1:13; 4:30). 
  19. The Spirit sets us free from the law of sin and death (Rom. 8:2). 
  20. The Spirit quickens our mortal bodies (Rom. 8:11). 
  21. The Spirit reveals the deep things of God to us (1 Cor. 2:10).  
  22. The Spirit reveals what has been given to us from God (1 Cor. 2:12). 
  23. The Spirit dwells in us (Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 3:16; 2 Tim. 1:14; John 14:17).
  24. The Spirit speaks to, in, and through us (1 Cor. 12:3; 1 Tim. 4:1; Rev. 2:11; Heb 3:7; Matt. 10:20; Acts 2:4; 8:29; 10:19; 11:12, 28; 13:2; 16:6,7; 21:4,11).
  25. The Spirit is the agent by which we are baptized into the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:13).
  26. The Spirit brings liberty (2 Cor. 3:17).
  27. The Spirit transforms us into the image of Christ (2 Cor. 3:18).
  28. The Spirit cries in our hearts, “Abba, Father” (Gal. 4:6).
  29. The Spirit enables us to wait (Gal. 5:5).
  30. The Spirit supplies us with Christ (Phil. 1:19, KJV).
  31. The Spirit grants everlasting life (Gal. 6:8).
  32. The Spirit gives us access to God the Father (Eph. 2:18).
  33. The Spirit makes us (corporately) God’s habitation (Eph. 2:22).
  34. The Spirit reveals the mystery of God to us (Eph. 3:5).
  35. The Spirit strengthens our spirits (Eph. 3:16).
  36. The Spirit enables us to obey the truth (1 Pet. 1:22).
  37. The Spirit enables us to know that Jesus abides in us (1 John 3:24; 4:13).
  38. The Spirit confesses that Jesus came in the flesh (1 John 4:2).
  39. The Spirit says “Come, Lord Jesus” along with the bride (Rev. 22:17).
  40. The Spirit dispenses God’s love into our hearts (Rom. 5:5).
  41. The Spirit bears witness to the truth in our conscience (Rom. 9:1).
  42. The Spirit teaches us (1 Cor. 2:13; John 14:26).
  43. The Spirit gives us joy (1 Thess. 1:6).
  44. The Spirit enables some to preach the gospel (1 Pet. 1:12).
  45. The Spirit moves us (2 Pet. 1:21).
  46. The Spirit knows the things of God (1 Cor. 2:11).
  47. The Spirit casts out demons (Matt. 12:28).
  48. The Spirit brings things to our remembrance (John 14:26).
  49. The Spirit comforts us (Acts 9:31). 
  50. The Spirit makes some overseers in the church and sends some out to the work of church planting [through the body] (Acts 20:28; 13:2).

The Holy Spirit is God:

Jesus, The Father and the Holy Spirit are ONE:

He’s active in EVERY Believer and Follower of Jesus Christ.

However, we NEED to keep being FILLED….

ASK! ASK! ASK!

And you will RECEIVE… It’s HIS PROMISE…. Believe it, Receive it…

Far too many followers of Jesus Christ today are walking around EMPTY.

Some are half-filled and have gifted anointing, but no LOVE: 1 Corinthians 13… We need LOVE more than anything else… The GREATEST of all Holy Spirit Gifts…

 

CREATION sings the Saviour’s Song

It's easy to believe in God by just looking at His Creation

Daily Spirit & Word: 820: Creation Sings The Saviour’s Song.

When the Shepherd’s heard the Christmas Angels praising the Lord, they trembled in fear.

When we gaze in awe and wonder at Creation, that same sense of wonder can fill our souls too, because the Universe is so vast, endless to us, but not to God. He sees in an instant all of Creation, because the Bible tells us that it is by HIS POWER it’s sustained (kept going).

The Heavens Themselves declare the Glory of the LORD.

If only we had the eyes to see and ears to hear their song.

Psalm 19:1-4 (NIV)
1 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
2  Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.
3  There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard.
4  Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun,

If you’ve ever doubted that God exists, look skywards into the Heavens at night, there you’ll see a canopy of glory that sings the Saviour’s song. If you can’t hear it, shake your head, spin around three times and fall over… LOL. It’s so obvious that if there is a CREATION there must be a CREATOR.

Thankfully there is no “IF”, because we know that the moon and stars are real, men have travelled to the moon and brought back some moon dust, we’ve landed explorers on Mars and measured some of the elements of distant planets… CREATION is not some kind of phantom illusion, it’s real, it exists. It can’t have come into existence of it’s own accord, so reason and logic bring us to the answer: It was MADE by someone, that someone is GOD who’s revealed Himself to His Creation in Jesus Christ.

Oh LORD, give us ears to hear Creation’s Song.

Amen!

Have an awesome, awe filled weekend praising the LORD as you join in Creation’s Songs.

DON’T FORGET:

Tomorrow night

@ St Luke’s Church in West Norwood, London.

We’re having our Christmas Lights;

FEAST, FAIR, FUN, Fings for Christmas…

Come along and have some fun.

From 4.00pm onwards….

SAT 10th Dec 2016. 

NOTES:

Colossians 1:15-17 (NIV)
15  He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
16  For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.
17  He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Hearing and Doing

Maintaining the LINK between Devotion to Jesus and Kingdom Service

Daily Spirit & Word: 816: Maintaining The LINKS of LOVE.

Hearing the WORD and Doing the Word.

Maintaining the LINK: between:

  • Internal Spiritual Development (Spiritual Growth) = (POWER). Intimacy with God the Father, through the Son, in the Spirit.
  • External Practical / Ministry Development = (IMPACT). Obediently Serving the Lord in the POWER of the Holy Spirit.

(True Discipleship is always BOTH: Hearing and Doing: Power and Impact. Comes from Intimacy and Service).

God wants you to be Spiritually Fruitful.

Good morning my friends, How’s your GOOD WORKS going?

I was challenged the other day by a Bible verse about not just knowing Jesus and learning all about His commands and teachings, but putting them into practice in my daily life. You see I love nothing more than getting into deep Bible study, but actually going out and serving and being humble and gentle and loving and kind in the world, that’s difficult bit. But I’ve also come to realise that if I’m not doing what I’m learning, then I’ll lack the impact in this world for Jesus.

The Wise and Foolish Builders: Hearing & Doing God’s Word.

Matthew 7:24-27 (NIV)
24  “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.
25  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.
26  But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.
27  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

The Apostle James said something similar to His Lord Jesus Christ, James 1:19-27. Perhaps after years of being a Disciple of the LORD he’d learned the hard way to put into practice the teachings of Jesus. (See James quote at bottom of page).

GETTING IT WRONG:

And one of the most common Christian discipleship problems today is related to the splitting-up of these two areas of development: Spiritual Growth and Ministry Growth.

Many churches are very good at hear-the-word discipleship, which they quite rightly consider to be very important, but they neglect the kind of do-the-word discipleship that God intends to flow from or follow on from our hearing the Word, E.G. They might consider feeding the hungry, visiting the prisoners or sheltering the homeless to be less important than one’s fellowship group, discipleship class, church attendance, or prayer life and personal daily devotions.

What happens when we do this? When all we focus on is internal spiritual development but we fail to do external ministry? The results will be that We lack impact.  Christ wants us to impact the world for Jesus and His Kingdom, because He wants His Kingdom to grow, but when we separate (BREAK THE LINK) both the hearing and the doing of the Word, we can’t make the IMPACT Jesus wants for us.

We can’t just swing the other way, either.  If all we focus on is external ministry and forget about our spiritual development, we are going to lack the power of Heaven. To get that POWER we need to maintain intimacy with Jesus first.

I’ve seen that happen to very sincere Christian organisations; they start out with a Word from the Lord to help the poor or those in need, but very soon forget all about the spiritual aspects. Prayer, Bible reading and devotion get pushed out because of busy activity, and the focus shifts almost entirely upon serving others. They soon lack the Spiritual POWER and the desire to save souls for Jesus Kingdom. In fact they begin to look down upon those who are engaged in evangelism and the sharing the Word of God, believing that ministry and service is much more important. It gets to be like sticking a plaster over a festering wound and the rot soon sets in.

So it’s always got to be both: Hearing and Doing. Learning from Jesus and putting what we’re learning it into practice.

After every sermon, Bible class or fellowship group, we should be asking the LORD: “OK I understand Your Word Lord, Now, what do you want me to do about this great teaching Lord?”

JOINED-UP WRITING: 

My granddaughter Aminata was overjoyed when she learned to join her letters together. It’s amazing when children learn to join their letters. She said, “Look Papa, I can do joined up writing”… I said, “That’s fantastic Ami”…

Hearing and Doing the WORD of God is like Joined-Up Discipleship.

We must never separate the two or we’ll fall into these two traps: Legalism (Just being religious and learning as much as we can. With the primary focus on Knowledge and Knowing stuff) or LICENCE (Just running around doing good works, and getting judgemental like Martha, about those who don’t do as much as you. You’ll begin to think that you can earn your place in Heaven by your good works)…

 

Joined-Up Discipleship is learning to keep both: Hearning & Doing inseparably linked together. (And the two shall become ONE)…

This HEARING & DOING: It’s all summed up in Jesus’ teaching of the Pharisees when they came to test Him.  LOVE God and LOVE Neighbour. (The Greatest Commandment). Matthew 7:15-23.

  • We show that we love God by HEARING His Word (POWER).
  • We show that we love our Neighbours by DOING His Word (IMPACT).

Quote: “A lot of people mean well, but their meanness is often greater than their wellness.”

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

When we’re close to Jesus, learning His teachings, and being submitted enough to actually put those teachings into practice, we’re going to get closer to our neighbours as well, because we’ll want to be doing the good that Jesus has been teaching us.

But there’s more: Praise the LORD: When we put what we know into practice, we’re going to get an even greater insight into all the good things that we have in our relationship with 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.

Can you see the LINK? In Philemon we see the link so clearly, Paul heard about Philemon’s love and faith in the Lord Jesus, and it was evident, he made an IMPACT by his love for all the saints (his brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus).

Jesus said, “It’s by your love for one another that people will know you are my disciples”… There’s the LINK: Hearing and Doing… Spiritual Development & Ministry Development.

CONCLUSION:

May you experience Jesus promises of blessings today, that no matter what STORM may come against your HOUSE, (wind and rain: Trials, Temptations, Troubles and Tribulations) you’ll be able to STAND. Because you are being obedient to what you’ve learned in Jesus presence, and you are putting it into practice in your daily life. Amen!

Maintain the LINK between: Hearing & Doing.

Don.

JAMES HEARING & DOING

James 1:19-27 (NIV)
19 My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,
20  for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.
21  Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent, and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
22  Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
23  Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror
24  and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.
25  But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.
26  If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.
27  Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

Is James also talking about bearing fruits? “By their fruits you will recognise false converts” “False professors of faith”… Matthew 7:15-23. (True and False Converts).

What’s Jesus saying to me today? Think about Mary and Martha: (Luke 10:38-42)  They are both SERVING the LORD:

Mary = Getting close to Jesus

Martha = Practical Ministry…

Which one was doing the right thing? Answer = BOTH of them, so don’t look down on the Mary or the Martha.

Jesus is saying to me, “BE a Mary and a Martha”: Hear the WORD of The LORD and SERVE The LORD by Practical Ministry of Serving Others.

The LORD said, “Mary has chosen what is best”… i.e. Getting close to Jesus and listening to his every word. That’s getting the POWER… However, Martha showed the servant’s heart, by opening up her home to Jesus and serving Him and the Disciples. That’s making an IMPACT. It’s got to be BOTH: inseparably linked, joined-up discipleship, hearing and doing. Amen!

PRAYER: Oh Lord, I can see that the Christian Life that You have called me to has got to be balanced between being with You in worship, praise and adoration, in learning and knowing Your will, Your Commands, Your Teachings, then moving out into this world in Devoted and Committed Kingdom Service. Please Lord, give me the deep desire to learn and serve You with joy and gladness. Help me to Love You and Love others and always maintain those links. I know I need the POWER of Heaven in order to be able to SERVE You in this way, so please send the Holy Spirit afresh into my heart, mind and soul to give me the strength to serve You and build your Kingdom. Amen!

 

Christian Fellowship

when brothers dwell together in unity, there the LORD commands His blessings

Daily Spirit & Word: 815: Christian Fellowship

Wonderful fellowship last night.

When Brothers DWELL together in UNITY: There the LORD commands His Blessing.

Fellowship: Being with others who share common beliefs or activities.

Christian Fellowship: Being with brothers and sisters in the LORD’S Kingdom Family: We share a common bond of blood, sacrifice and love, by which we’re brought into His Family.

We also share in the JOY of Salvation; we’re saved from sin, set free from Satan, escape the judgement to come and know that Heaven is our Home.

We also share in dedication and submission; dedicated to the Lord’s cause, to seek and save those who don’t yet know Jesus. We are submitted to the Lord and want to be obedient to His commands and teachings.

We share the bond of peace and love; we feel it when our brother or sister is hurting.

We we stand together KNOWING and EXPERIENCING this kind of UNITY, then it’s not long when we’re in one another’s company, that we begin to know the Lord is also with us in a very special way. This leads us to PRAYER, PRAISE, ADORATION OF JESUS. And the JOY explodes inside. Praise the LORD!

Are you getting into Christian Fellowship?

If you are a follower of Jesus and you are not meeting together with brothers and sisters, to; pray, praise and open up God’s Word together regularly, then you are missing out BIG TIME… God wants to show you what real FELLOWSHIP is all about.

Psalm 133:1-3 (NIV) A song of ascents. Of David.
1  How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!
2  It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down upon the collar of his robes.
3  It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the LORD bestows his blessing, even life for evermore.

Romans 15:30-32 (NIV) ONE in the Struggle.
30  I urge you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me.
31  Pray that I may be rescued from the unbelievers in Judea and that my service in Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints there,
32  so that by God’s will I may come to you with joy and together with you be refreshed.

When we get Christian Fellowship, we’re going to be REFRESHED…

Then we can face the world in joy, love and peace. Jesus is with us.

Be blessed by the LORD and make a commitment to GET some real FELLOWSHIP.

When you do, the Blessings are incredible.

Don.

 

Immanuel God With Us

Immanuel, Emmanuel, How to know that God is With Us.

Daily Spirit & Word: 814: The Meaning of Immanuel.

Good morning my friends, as I was just about to post my message today when I heard the tragic news about that terrible plane crash. It was carrying a Brazilian football team. (Link BBC NEWS)

I’m praying now for all those who’ve been affected by this disaster.

Immanuel:

It’s a word we hear every Christmas, but like a lot of religious words, we’ve lost its meaning somehow along the way. Or if we do know what it means, the impact of that meaning is not hitting home. Because of all the hustle and bustle and the haste to buy stuff, far too many Christians aren’t looking forward to Christmas, but we can re-capture the MAGICAL feelings we had as children, all the excitement, joy and wonder of Christmas. It happens as we experience IMMANUEL for ourselves.

What does Immanuel mean?

Immanuel means: “God with us”.

Let’s unpack IMMANUEL a bit…

Matthew 1:23 (NIV)  “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”—which means, “God with us.”

This is a quote from Isaiah the great Prophet of the LORD. Isaiah 7:14.

Immanuel means “God with us”…

When Jesus was born, he was a baby human being, he became one of us, but He was also still God, just wrapped in flesh.

Some people call this taking on human flesh, the INCARNATION:

Now when you dwell upon that fact, The CREATOR of the whole Universe and time itself, came to Earth. Out of all the billions of little planets, he chose EARTH to come and reveal Himself to His Creation. Awesome!

Of course He came for a reason, Jesus was coming on a rescue mission.

It’s a bit like the Government sending in the SAS to set free the prisoners held hostage by the Iranian Terrorists in the Iranian Embassy in London in the 1980’s. LINK in that BBC News coverage you’ll see them storming the burning building.

https://youtu.be/_p4DmuGyehc

Jesus, of course, didn’t come with guns blazing, smoke going off and bombs sounding, nor did He arrive with an army to win His battle, instead Jesus came and Heaven burst into song and God let the Shepherds experience Heaven for a moment. Jesus Christ, the King of the Universe gave His life upon the Cross for all mankind to be set free. However, his birth and death was even more dramatic than that SAS rescue. He was publically executed, with the crowds watching. Alongside at least two others that day Jesus public humiliation and death was a victory. Though the world at that time didn’t realise they’d just killed Immanuel: God with us.

However, we know that His death was not the end, because just three days later, Jesus, because He was always God, came back to life again. His mission was completed and His body is alive today in Heaven where He ascended over 2000 years ago. The next time anyone is going to see Jesus, apart from in visions and dreams, is when He returns in all the glory of Heaven.

YOUR IMMANUEL MOMENT

But before Jesus comes back, we’ve been given an opportunity to get to know Him. We can know Immanuel, God with us, personally right now. We can experience God and know God… Have you had your own Immanuel? Do you know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that God is with you?

Once you experience Immanuel for yourself, nothing will ever be able to take away that experience, it will transform you life forever. Because God becomes your Immanuel, Jesus promised this very thing for everyone who believes and trusts in Him.

John 14:23 (NIV) Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.”

Once Jesus comes into your life, He comes in TRINITY: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Your own body becomes the TEMPLE of God, because wherever God is, that is His Temple. When He comes as promised, that is your Immanuel moment, but it lasts forever.

HERE IS HOW TO KNOW IF YOU’VE RECEIVED YOUR IMMANUEL:

You’ll know Him, if you LOVE Him.

You’ll know if you love Jesus Christ. When you hear his name, your heart skips a beat. It’s like He’s inside you witnessing within, that He’s here. Oh yes, you’ll know if you love Jesus.

Nobody needs to tell you when you are in love with another person, your heart, mind, will and strength are for that relationship. You’ll do whatever you can to be with your lover. When you are apart, you’ll always long to be together. I knew when I was in love with my soon to be wife Julie, because I was over 200 miles away, and all I longed for was the evenings when I could get to a telephone box (no mobile phones in those days), to call her at her house. We’d spend ages chatting about nothing on that phone, until my money ran out. When you are together, its like you are in the place that you’ve always belonged. All you want to do when you are in love is hold that person as close as possible, it’s like the two have become one. That’s real LOVE! That’s how you know you love Jesus, when you are ONE with Jesus.

You’ll know if He is your LORD:

When Jesus is your LORD, then you will be prepared to do whatever He tells you. It won’t be a burden to you to be obedient to Jesus, because you’ll be in love with serving Him. He’s your beloved King and you’d willing die in His service.

You’ll know if He is your Immanuel:

You’ll know if you’ve submitted your life to Him, because your desires will be changed and you’ll want to live in obedience to Jesus commands and teachings. That’s how you know if you’ve experienced Immanuel for yourself.

So HOW do we get our own IMMANUEL?

“Come, oh come Immanuel…” (The Christmas Carol).

Invite the LORD to come into your life right now.

Believe in the LORD Jesus Christ: It’s easy to say, “Oh yes, I believe in Jesus”, but that doesn’t mean that you are BELIEVING IN Jesus; i.e. trusting that He has died upon the cross for your sins and that you’ve received Him as your Lord and Saviour. In order to do that, you’ll first need to be CONVICTED by the Holy Spirit that you are indeed a guilty sinner.

Confess any known sin in your life. Confession means to own it, to acknowledge that it was you, that you are guilty of sin. It’s like a prisoner standing before a judge and he asks the person in the dock, “How do you plead?”, when you’re ready to confess your sins you’ll respond to the Judge of the Universe, “Guilty as charged your Honour”… If you are not convinced you are a sinner, then GOOGLE the Ten Commandment; you’ll soon see your guilty heart. They are like looking into a mirror, they reflect the condition of your heart. Those commandments of God, not suggestions, are still applicable today. God has not changed, His standards of Holiness will always be the same.

In our Baptism service, the candidate is asked, “Do you turn from sin?” and “Do you repent of your sins?” and “Do you renounce sin?” These questions reflect a willingness to let go of sins hold on your life. But please note, it doesn’t mean you have the ability in your own strength not to sin again, it’s just a willingness to let go of sin. You will get the POWER to say “No” to sin once you’ve received your Immanuel, God with you, He’ll come into your life in the power of the Holy Spirit and He’ll enable you to live righteously in holiness of life. Remember what Jesus promised the Holy Spirit will do;

John 16:8 (NIV) The Promise of Holy Spirit Conviction. “When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment:…”

The Holy Spirit will show you your guilt, that you are a sinner, that you are not righteous enough and that one day the LORD is going to judge you.

How will you plead today?

If you died right now, and appeared before God, what would you say when He asks you, “How do you plead, have you ever sinned? Have you ever broken one of My Commandments?”

Like the rest of us, like every sinful soul on earth, you’d have to say, “Lord, You know all things, You know that I’ve sinned”… However, if you have received Jesus as Lord and Saviour, then all your sins will be washed away, you’ll be clean, your conscience will be clear and you’ll approach the Throne of Judgement with boldness, knowing that you are a forgiven sinner who’s been washed in the blood of God’s Holy Lamb. If you’ve believed, repented, renounced sin and received Jesus as Lord then you’ll already have been made into a Saint by Jesus Christ, the Bible calls that SANCTIFICATION (Being made into a saint, by trusting in Christ).

I’m writing all of this today, because I want every reader to know and experience their own Immanuel moment, that time when you purposefully turn from sin and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour.

So I’m Praying:

  • I’m praying that everyone I know and love will come to Jesus and experience Immanuel for themselves.
  • I’m praying that Holy Spirit will give them a soft heart to be open to God.
  • I’m praying that He will convict them of their sinful condition.
  • I’m praying that He will show them there is a judgement to come.
  • I’m praying that He will reveal to them, the way of Salvation.
  • I’m praying that He will show them the life of Holiness is a joy filled life.
  • I’m praying that He will give them a desire for freedom.
  • I’m praying that He will give them a hunger that this world cannot satisfy.

Father I’m praying all these prayers for those that You love and that I love in the Name of your Son, my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen!

And I am full of faith, expectancy and sure and certain HOPE that You will answer my prayer Father, because I’m believing Jesus’ promises.

John 16:24 (NIV) “Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.” Amen!

Have an awesome Tuesday my friends,

Join me in praying for all those who are grieving because of that plane crash in Brazil.

Stay close to Jesus and experience your own Immanuel,

Don.

18 Prayers to Pray For Unbelievers

LINK To Prayers

 

Black Friday Freedom

How Jesus can set your free on Black Friday

Daily Spirit & Word: 812: Black Friday Freedom.

BLACK FRIDAY IS COMING.

If you want it, you’ve got it.

But be careful what you are wanting.

BLACK FRIDAY: Darkness….

We live in a world that is full of desire for things. Even the church has been infected by it and has focused much of it’s teachings on meeting the needs of people’s desires. So much so, that they now declare to people, “have faith, just believe it and you will receive it”. This is the name it claim it Gospel.

Of course we’re all meant to be Servants of the Lord ready to respond to one another’s needs, but simply to appeal to our desires begs a few questions, because those things that people desire most, are things God has warned us will lead us into the darkness and farther away from Him. If you desire darkness, then God is going to give it to you, big time: Watch OUT or you will receive your BLACK FRIDAY.

What things then do we desire most that God has forbidden?

1) Riches: To enable us to get lots of STUFF… 

2) Sexual Desires:

3) Power and Control:

If we want these things, then God is going to give us over to these desires, but note this, when we’re given over to our desires, we’ll be in total DARKNESS, the end result being that we’ll be DRIVEN by those desires in an ever increasing measure. Our natural affections will be turned into inordinate affections.

Romans 1:18-32 (NIV)
18  The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19  since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20  For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
21  For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.
22  Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools
23  and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.
24  Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.
25  They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is for ever praised. Amen.
26  Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones.
27  In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.
28  Furthermore, since they did not think it worth while to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.
29  They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30  slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31  they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless.
32  Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practise them.

What a SAD indictment against humanity.

  • Without Christ we are all in this DARKNESS.
  • Without Christ we are given over in various degrees to our desires.
  • Without Christ we have depraved minds.

NOTE THE PROGRESSION IN ROMANS 1:18-32.

  • They Exchanged: The Glory of God: Worshipping Created Things.
  • They Exchanged: The Truth of God: Choosing instead to believe a lie. Verse 24.
  • DARKENED:
    • How? By NOT glorifying God, not giving thanks to Him. Verse 21.
    • How? The TRUTH is Suppressed by Wickedness: Verse 18.
    • How? The TRUTH is Exchanged for a lie: Verse 24. Worshipped and Served Created things instead of the Creator.
  • God GAVE THEM OVER: To THEIR SINFUL DESIRES. Verse 24.
  • God GAVE THEM OVER: To SHAMEFUL LUSTS. Verse 26.
  • God GAVE Them OVER: To a DEPRAVED MIND. Verse 28.

AND A CONTINUAL LUST FOR MORE:

Ephesians 4:17-19 (NIV)
17  So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18  They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19  Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.

SATAN LOVES BLACK FRIDAY

And the great enemy of human beings, who have been Created in the image of the immortal God, loves it.

2 Corinthians 4:3-4 (NIV)
3  And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing.
4  The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

Who is Jesus? He is the LIGHT who gives the sure and certain HOPE of Freedom.

Prophet, Priest and King:

  • Prophet: He revealed Heaven’s Secrets to men: The WAY, The TRUTH and The LIFE:
  • Priest: He offered his life as a sacrifice for the sins of mankind.
  • King: He rules and we must become subjects of His Kingdom, as we submit to His authority as our King.

Jesus is the LIGHT of the WORLD:

So that the people who are walking, living and bound by the darkness can see the LIGHT and are given hope of being set free from the DARKNESS.

The Good NEWS of Jesus Christ: BRIGHT FRIDAY.

He came to set all mankind free from the darkness and from bondage to sin and Satan. Though God has given us over to be controlled and ruined by our sinful desires, to shameful lusts and to depraved minds, there’s now the HOPE of freedom in Christ Jesus.

That FREEDOM comes as we BELIEVE in Jesus. TRUST in Jesus for forgiveness. REPENT of sin and FORSAKE sin, as we RECEIVE Jesus Christ as Lord. Then we are BORN AGAIN, given a renewed heart, mind, will and desires as we are FILLED with Holy Spirit. He is the one who will enable us to LIVE the abundant life he’s called us to.

When BLACK FRIDAY: Gets Hold Of A Believer:

If ever we get into BONDAGE again, then all we have to do is come back to Jesus Christ to be set free all over again. (I’ve known many Christians who get caught up in this world’s affairs, their desire for Holiness is dimmed, their hearts become dull and hard again to Jesus, to the Gospel, to saving others. All because they’ve chosen the darkness rather than the light. They’ve become bound by Satan again and need the freedom that only Jesus Christ can give them. Thankfully, we’re seeing believers being set free and given renewed hearts again.) It’s like the Gospel needs to be preached to those who already have believed and trusted in Jesus, because they need the NEW LIFE Christ promised to all who would believe and trust in Him. Of course there are many who believe in Jesus, but have never been born of the Spirit, yet there is HOPE of the freedom and the promise.

 

CONCLUSION:

Though there is a GREAT DARKNESS.

Though people are walking in this DARKNESS.

There is HOPE: The LIGHT has come to set us FREE.

Isaiah 9:2 (NIV) The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.

Jesus Christ is the LIGHT: Come, Believe that He died to set you free from your inordinate desires, those things that control your life and lead to death, to judgement and eternal Hell. He endured the Cross for your freedom. All you have to do is TRUST that He died to set you free and enable you to be forgiven of your sins. Once you REPENT by confessing your sins to God and turning from those sins, forsaking them, and receive Jesus by an act of faith. He’ll come and give you the promised NEW LIFE and FREEDOM. Amen!

NOW: Having trusted in Jesus, you can live the NEW LIFE with NEW POWER.

Ephesians 4:20-32 (NIV)
20  You, however, did not come to know Christ that way.
21  Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus.
22  You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;
23  to be made new in the attitude of your minds;
24  and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
25  Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbour, for we are all members of one body.
26  “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,
27  and do not give the devil a foothold.
28  He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.
29  Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
30  And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
31  Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.
32  Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

How Jesus can set your free on Black Friday
Black Friday Freedom

BLACK FRIDAY IS COMING:

BE The People of The Light

Black Friday reminds me of the DARKNESS, however we can know that through Jesus, we can be set free to live as the people of the light.

The New Life in Christ is a continual renewal: He will give you HIS HOLY DESIRES. Amen!

Be blessed this coming weekend,

Don.

 

Seeking The Presence of God

He is with you forever once you come to Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word: 812: Seeking The Presence Of God.

Good morning my friends, what an awesome Sunday we just had. The church was full of people, because we had three Thanksgivings for babies. It was so good because as we praised the LORD, sang songs, listened to His Word and prayed, we sensed the presence of the LORD.

Acts 23:11 (NIV) “The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, “Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.””

There’s absolutely nothing more encouraging for any Christian than to KNOW the presence of the LORD. When you know that He is with you, then you can endure anything in this life.

It was true of some of the Ancients in the Bible: St Paul and Joseph, both in PRISON sensed, knew and experienced the presence of the LORD.

  • Paul in Prison in Jerusalem and Philippi Acts 23:11, Acts 16:16-40.
  • Joseph in Prison Genesis 39… That LORD was with him.

Genesis 39:20-21 (NIV)
20  Joseph’s master took him and put him in prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined. But while Joseph was there in the prison, 21  the LORD was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favour in the eyes of the prison warder.

Of course we can’t forget many others; Jacob, Moses, Abraham, Elijah and King David who begged the LORD not to take the presence of the Holy Spirit away from him.

My friends, when you are going through stuff in this life, troubles, hardships, tests and trials, attacks from people and persecution for you faith in the LORD Jesus Christ, then know this truth, the abiding presence of the LORD will encourage you, strengthen you and sustain you through it all.

It’s good when friends stick close in troubled times, but it seems to me that friends will always let you down when you need them most. It was true of Jesus and King David, Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery, Paul’s companions abandoned him when he was thrown into prison in Rome, and it will sometimes be true for you as well. So many Christians have been let down by those they expected would be there for them in sickness or hardships. However, the LORD would never leave you, that’s His promise once you’ve come to Jesus and put your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin. There is NOTHING we need more, and nothing more we need, than the abiding presence of the LORD.

There is NOTHING we need more, that to know and experience the presence of the LORD.

  • He will never leave you.
  • He will never forsake you.
  • He is with you forever.

If there’s any verse that a Christian should take to heart and memorise it’s this one:

James 4:7-10 (NKJV)
7  Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
8  Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
9  Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.
10  Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.

God’s saying to you today, “…Draw near to God and He will draw near to you…”

YBH: Yes, but HOW? 

It’s easy to say, “Draw near to God”, but how do we actually do it?

Try this my friends and you’ll soon discover that God will reveal Himself to you in awesome ways.

  • Praise: Sing a few songs of praise. Look what happened when Paul and Silas did that in Prison (Acts 16).
  • Prayer: Honour God first by Praying The Lord’s Prayer, then Confess any known sins.
  • Repent: Repent afresh and seek His cleansing and forgiveness.
  • Trust: Trust in Jesus Christ again for your Salvation… Keep TRUSTING…
  • Seek: Seek the fullness and presence of God the Holy Spirit right now.
  • Praise: Worship the Lord in Spirit and Truth. Sing and make music in your heart to the LORD.
  • Seek to Serve: Be obedient to what the LORD is showing you to do today. God’s always got something He wants you to be doing for Him, every day. Just do it… You’ll be amazed when you listen to that prompting of the Holy Spirit.

 

There is NOTHING you need more, that to know and experience the abiding presence of the LORD.

Isaiah 41:10 (NKJV)
10  Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

If ever I’m feeling troubled and need the LORD’S presence and fullness, that is what I do.

Have an awesome week with Jesus my friends,

Don.

 

When riches look tempting, don’t look

cast but a glance at riches and they are gone

Daily Spirit & Word: 810:

Don’t Even Look At The Glittering Gold.

Proverbs 23:5 (NIV)  Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.

 

Good morning my friends, we had a wonderful PCC (Church Council) meeting last night. Among the many things we discussed was the prospect of having an Mobile Mast inside our roof structure. Some suggested it might not be a good thing because of access to the internet and all the horrible stuff that people can do with that. Others felt that it might be a good source of much needed income for the church. And that nearly everyone in the church had a mobile phone anyway. We know that in this part of London mobile phone reception is limited. It’s amazing that there are still black-spots even today. So in a small way we might be doing a service to those who live and work in our community.

What should we do?

Well, yesterday I was praying about what I should share from God’s Word before the meeting, and this verse was the first verse I turned to in the Bible: Proverbs 23:5 (NIV)  “Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.” But it was only at the end of the meeting, whilst praying, that I remembered the Word of the LORD.

It might be tempting to go with something because it carries a big pay-off. However, we should not let the REWARD influence our decision. We’ve reached the end of the year financially and we’re able to carry over a small surplus, and that’s without anything from the MOBILE MAST company.

However, it might also be an answer to prayer, because we’ve got some BIG ideas that we’ve laid before the LORD for our Mission and Buildings and we’ve asked that He provide the resources for that. It seems strange that just after we prayed, the approach was made by the Mobile Mast company. 🙂

So we’re left wondering:

  • Is it PROVISION from the LORD?
  • Or is it a TEST to see if we’ll look to riches? 

It would be so tempting to think only of the revenue we’d receive.

It must be then, that we PRAY and MEDITATE and seek the LORD’S guidance. We’ll ask for His will, for His confirmation and His leading in this matter.

I’ve known the Lord’s guidance in the past; He really does want us to know His will. So I know He’ll show us the way:

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.

But How Does the LORD Guide Us?

  • Through His Word,
  • Through Prayer,
  • Through Circumstantial Signs,
  • Through Words of Knowledge,
  • Through Dreams and Visions,
  • Through the Counsel of the Saints,

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, we’ve got a decision to make, we don’t want to just look at the reward, but it does seem like a timely approach. Please guide us as we deliberate, show us the way Father. You’ve shown us the way before, we ask that You will do it again, so that we are sure. Help us as we think about the future mission of our small part of Your body, the church. Through Your Son, The Lord Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.

I’ve know a Pastor who was offered a staggering sum of money for his church, they really needed that money, but the LORD told him not to accept it. It was being offered as a gift, but he felt a bit uneasy. All he got was, “This money comes with strings attached”, those strings could pull them away from the LORD. So after he turned down the very tempting offer, it was weird, because more money came in from other sources.

Now I’m thinking about what Jesus said, “My house shall be called a house of prayer”…

Be blessed and stay close to the LORD today,

Don.