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 Hearts Are Ready For Jesus

Jesus is waiting for you

Daily Spirit & Word: 808: When Hearts Are Ready For Jesus.

He’s READY for You.

Jeremiah 33:3 (NIV) “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”

Last night was brilliant, it was cold, windy and I’d had a dozy of a day and didn’t feel much like going out to share the Good News of Jesus in the cold again. Because I’d been out in the cold all day and gotten frozen to the core. Sitting in the car for hours waiting for the AA man to come and fix our flat tyre. Then standing around chatting while he changed my wheels around. In the old days you’d have a spare in the boot or under the car, but now Vauxhall Motors just give you a mastic sealing compound to inject into the burst tyre, only it didn’t work. We eventually got the car to QuickFix and they sorted it out in about half an hour. Whilst waiting though, the sun was shining on the fast moving storm clouds and the sky looked so awesome, so I just had to praise the LORD.

So although I didn’t feel like it, I arrived in church to find two of our men, David and Les, waiting to go out. Then Isaac arrived and we knew we’d have to go. We prayed and sang a song, asking Jesus to open hearts on this cold and windy night and give us some people who were ready to hear the Gospel Good News of Jesus. Oh my friends, when you’ve had a day like we’d had and pray to Jesus like that, He doesn’t disappoint.

Before going we folded some new little tracts: They’re brilliant for springboards into conversations with folks. You can get yours from this link: The 4 Points.

t4ptract2

We chatted with one man for ages, but he wasn’t really that open to the good news (yet). He was so wrapped up in what he’d experienced in life and was understandably bitter about being thrown out of his home whilst he was in hospital. All his belongings had been thrown onto the streets and most of his life-time’s treasures, mementoes and keepsakes had disappeared, lost forever. He’d been left with absolutely nothing. So after chatting we asked if he’d let us pray for him. All three of us knelt down on the cold ground and began to pray to the Lord for him. He was so warm and thankful afterwards. We left him with some tracts and shared the way to Jesus with him before leaving. It’s sometimes so right that we need to listen and hear their story first, before they are ready to hear what we’ve got to give. David made sure that he understood clearly about real repentance and trusting in Jesus.

Next we met a man who seemed quite open. He’d had a Roman Catholic upbringing and was a bit sceptical of ‘religion’, because the Nuns who taught him were quite severe  and strict with their discipline. He’d been serving in the church in various ways over the years. He’d even been paid as a pallbearer at funerals. After listening for a short while this time I asked him how a Roman Catholic gets into Heaven. He said, “We just have to try our best and be good”… I asked him, “Do you think you’ve been good enough?” He said, “No, I’ve been pretty bad”… Honest or what! So I said, “Where will you be spending eternity?” He said, “Oh I don’t know if I believe in a Heaven and Hell like that”…

Well after reasoning with him and opening up his conscience in the usual way, using God’s Commandments, he was then very open to hear about the Good News of Jesus and the prospect of being forgiven and receiving new life. He was so convicted, so after praying with him by the traffic lights we turned back to David’s car to get him a Bible.

Derek shared some amazing things about his life with us last night, it seemed to me that God had been preparing his heart to meet with us. He said, “I prayed for the first time in years yesterday”. He’d been praying to the Lord for other people and for the world. So when we prayed for Him, it was God’s way of showing him he’d heard his prayers.

Why is it always when we are praying that noisy motorbikes seem to stream past revving their engines? 🙂 Undeterred, we pressed the Gospel home and checked that Derek understood what he was going to do to be saved. I asked him when he was going to get right with Jesus? He said, “NOW”.

Walking back through the churchyard we joked and laughed, then Derek was very thankful and overjoyed to receive his new Bible. He was so open and honest, I hope we’ll see him again soon.

Although we gave out a few more little Gospel tracts and chatted briefly with a few folks, these two conversations were on my heart last night. So will you please pray for Everton and Derek?

When you have a horrible day, and things seem to be going all wrong, be ready, because Jesus just might be getting you into the right frame of mind to be His servant and witness of the JOY of the LORD. Thankfully we’d asked Him for the Holy Spirit’s anointing before going out. One man thought I was psychic, but I said, “No, it’s the LORD who gives us words to say”…

Sharing The Good News with folks on cold nights can be fun. However, we do pray for more of these kind of openhearted encounters, where hearts, minds, souls and wills are prepared, ready and open for the Good News of Jesus Christ.

We’re praying for more Labourers in God’s Harvest Field:

So that many more will be sharing Jesus, because those strangers and the ones you know and love who don’t know Jesus yet, need Him much more than they realise. It because we’ve all got a Divine Appointment we can’t escape: Hebrews 9:27 (KJV) “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:”  My friends, everyone is going to give an account of their lives before Him on Judgement day, and from what the Bible tells us, we’re all going to fall short of Heaven’s entry requirements.  Romans 3:23 (NIV) “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” We don’t want anyone to end up in the place that’s been reserved for Satan and his demonic army. (Revelation 20:10-15). Let’s get a heart that’s been warmed by the love of Jesus and share the Good News, because FAITH comes by hearing and they’ll only hear if someone goes and shares Jesus with them.

Many people don’t think they know enough about the Bible or their faith, however, the truth is, we’ll only really get a complete and full understanding of our faith when we’re ready to share it with others. God spoke through Paul to us all when he wrote Philemon.

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.”

The fullness of understanding comes when we are active in sharing the Gospel… God’s going to give you personal revelation of all the good things you have in Christ. The Scriptures will open up and reveal treasures… My friends, God shares His secrets with His obedient friends.  Jeremiah 33:3 (NIV) “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”

So don’t ever think you don’t know enough, because if you’ve got Jesus, been born of Holy Spirit, have a basic understanding of the good news, then you’ve got everything you need. It’s when you begin sharing that God will give you even more insight and understanding.

My tough day was nothing when compared to those who suffered and died yesterday in the Croydon Tram Accident. It’s so shocking. I can’t tell you how much this has affected so many people where we live. However, when you’ve had a tough day please remember that the LORD Jesus Christ is only a prayer away.

It hits hope to me the importance of being ready to share Jesus with folks. True JOY will come. Some people’s hearts have been prepared by Him ready for you to share the Good News. Jesus is working with us, He’s with us as we share. Oh the JOY of seeing someone come to Him.

Be blessed and filled afresh with Holy Spirit. He’ll give you a fire that cold nights can’t put out.

Praise the LORD!

Don.

PLEASE PRAY:

Yesterday in Tram Accident in Croydon: Mail Online Tram Accident.

Many of us have been shocked and saddened by the tragic accident yesterday in Croydon. Our prayers and thoughts are with the families of those who lost their lives. Five people killed and over fifty people seriously injured.

Because this is so local to us, we will be remembering all those affected and who died at our Remembrance Service on Sunday.

 

 

Isn’t God Awesome?

bringing people to Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word: 797: Isn’t God Awesome?

God’s Kind Of Kingdom Service.

Yesterday was a dozy of a day. I got ready for the school visit to church, set-up the OHP ready for a powerpoint presentation on the miracles of Jesus. Only to find out after setting it all up that they were not going to show. Ahh Well, that was a good test-run 🙂 LOL.

So I visited a lady in the parish who wanted a thanksgiving for her granddaughter. Then following a long conversation, in which she said, “I’ve been coming to that church longer than you”.  Which made me smile inside  because I’ve only met her once before. I’ve been at St Luke’s for just over eight years now. However, our conversation ended with one of the best Gospel encounters I’ve ever had. She was ripe and ready for the Good News. God’s timing or what? Please pray, because she wants me to share the Gospel with her daughter this morning.

Then when I was just putting my feet up for the evening I got a call from a distressed lady who was upset because a man, crippled down one side of his body, had been locked out of his apartment by the Landlord. He was sitting outside in the cold. I telephoned a few of the Emergency services, who all said they couldn’t help him. I even phoned the police, but they couldn’t legally do anything either. So in the end, we rang our resident lock-smith who came to the rescue. God sends his angels in all sorts of disguises. We got the man into his flat and he was happy, because now he could get his much needed medications. Then I got a lift back home from the locksmith and we had a little prayer…

Yesterday reminds me that serving Lord Jesus is not always going to be easy or convenient, but it always turns out to be AWESOME.

Kingdom Service:

Mark 7:32 (NIV) “There some people brought to him (Jesus) a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged him to place his hand on the man.

That verse today gives us some really helpful instruction about God’s Kind of Kingdom Service: Because you’ll notice in our text five things; Sweat, Sacrifice, Sympathy, Skill and Scout.

SWEAT: “They brought.” The bringing of that deaf man couldn’t have been easy, it required some effort. “They” That indicates to me we are not always to work alone in God’s Kingdom. We need our brothers and sisters to help too. But bringing him to Jesus was not easy to do, but they did it. Service for God is not always an easy task, it might require some sweat at times. However, when you sweat in Kingdom Service there’s always, always God’s rewards; in this life and in the life to come. Praise the Lord for the privilege of sweating for Him.

SACRIFICE: “They brought.” Kingdom Service often requires a price is paid by the servant. “They” had to give up their own time for this man. Time today is such a hard thing for busy people to find. It might not even be convenient, but it’s always time well spent if you are bringing someone to Jesus. The time and effort to get this deaf and dumb man to Jesus Christ, yielded a miracle for that man. You won’t really be serving very well if you are not willing to pay some kind of price and make a few sacrifices of time and effort and anything else that might be necessary in order to serve in Jesus Kingdom.

SYMPATHY: “They brought that man to Jesus.” Those who brought the deaf and dumb man to Jesus that day had to have compassion for him. They must have known what life was like for that poor man, felt his agony, not being able to communicate. Any kind of Kingdom Service means we’ll soon begin to feel God’s Compassion for the needs of others. We all know that it was God’s compassion for us, his love and mercy that moved him to send Jesus to die. No one has ever had more sympathy or compassion for anyone than God, “for God so loved the world that He sent His One and Only Son” (John 3:16). So it shouldn’t  surprise us that we’ve got to share in that same kind of sympathy and compassion for others to serve Him.

SKILL: “They brought and begged.” Not everyone has the same skills, talents or abilities. We’ve all got different natural and spiritual gifts, so because we’re not the same, we’ll be able to use the skills that He’s given to us. Your Skill might not be that of an Evangelist, but in your service for Jesus you might simply be able to bring people to church to hear about Christ, letting someone else use their gifts and skills to bring them to faith. My friends, just because you’ve got different skills don’t despise them or get jealous of others. Just use the gifts and skills, passion and compassion He’s given to you. Each and every skill is required in building God’s Kingdom Family.

SCOUT: However, even though you might have different skills, it’s important that you know where Jesus is and how to bring people to Him. Can you be a good Scout to lead people to Jesus? The deaf and dumb man was brought to Jesus Christ. Those people BEGGED Jesus to just touch the man. We can come to Jesus and beg Him to touch those we want to be saved by Jesus. Those Scouts did a good job that day, because only Jesus Christ could help the deaf and dumb man.

Last night, whilst we were waiting for the Locksmith to come, we got chatting with a Cafe owner across the road. Although he was just closing up for the night, he allowed us to sit a wait, he also gave the crippled man some food. It was meant for him, but he had a tooth-ache. I asked if he believed in miracles to which he said he did. I asked, if I could pray. I placed my hand on the side of his face and asked Jesus to take away his toothache. I don’t know if he was cured instantly, but he shook my hand warmly a few times afterwards and helped me across the road with the man.

There’s no one better for you to bring your friends and family. Even complete strangers need you to show Jesus kind of compassion. The Lord Jesus knows the best ways how to meet all their needs. Be a good Scout for Jesus and beg Him to come and touch your friends.

You know my friends, this world will take people everywhere and to every kind of expert, sometimes they can help, but like last night, it’s ONLY Jesus who really knows what is best for them. Be like those people in Mark’s Gospel, who made a decision that day to take a deaf and dumb man to Jesus and begged Him to touch the man. He did, and he got his miracle.

Do all you can to bring your friends to Jesus Christ: it might involve some; Sweat, Sacrifice, Sympathy, Skill and the ability to Scout out Jesus for them. However, the rewards of Kingdom Service are totally awesome. I’m sure we’re going to see so many fantastic miracles in that kind of Kingdom Service. Amen!

Be blessed today, stay close to Jesus and be filled afresh with Holy Spirit for His Kingdom Service.

Don.

 

Hello From The Other Side

when men call evil good

Daily Spirit & Word: 794: Hello From The Other Side.

How to Weary God: He’s getting ready to meet you on the other side of life.

“Hello From The Other Side”

Good morning my friends, it’s so easy to get the LORD upset. Just use these two methods and you’ll see.

Have you heard Adele’s song, “Hello from the other side”? Well today’s message is like God saying, “Hello from the other side, I’m waiting for you”.

Malachi 2:17 (NIV) You have wearied the LORD with your words. “How have we wearied him?” you ask. By saying, “All who do evil are good in the eyes of the LORD, and he is pleased with them” or “Where is the God of justice?”

 

I don’t know if you get weary of some things?

Once there was a man in the crew on my submarine that would talk the hind legs of a donkey. He’d done everything, seen everything and been everywhere. There wasn’t a single subject he didn’t know everything about. If you’d done something, he done it better, faster, longer etc… When you saw him approaching, you had to quickly think of something to say, before he began to tell you one of his stories. Yes my friends, Boris could bore you senseless. But the LORD loved him 🙂

 

Is it possible to get God weary and worn out with our words?

We’ve all met people like Boris, but imagine what it must be like for God?

We get tired of the way some people incessantly talk. You know the type, when you can’t get a word in edge-ways, because they don’t even breath between sentences and never finish. or when they do they move onto another subject without giving you a chance to interject in the first ten subjects. Sometimes I don’t know if I should laugh or cry.

 

Well our verse from God’s Word reveals two kinds of talking which wearies the LORD God Almighty: They are depraved talk and blasphemous talk.

FIRST, DEPRAVED TALKING:

(Deviating from what is considered to be; moral, right, good, proper and true).

God answers through Malachi when people ask, “How have we wearied the LORD?”

God is answering that question for us today: first we WEARY THE LORD with our constantly saying that “EVIL IS GOOD”.

Not only do people say evil is good, but they say that God takes pleasure in those who do evil things.

What is EVIL? 

Secular Dictionary Definitions:

1) Morally objectionable behaviour.
2) That which causes harm, destruction or misfortune. (Violence in action or words, bullying, defrauding, scheming, crafty, murder, hatred,
3) The quality of being morally wrong in principle or practice. (Stealing, lying, cheating, being unfaithful, lustful).
4) Having the nature of vice. (Drug dealers, pushers, prostitution, human-trafficking).
5) Having or exerting a malignant and malevolent influence. (e.g. “a gossipy malevolent old woman” or “failure or rejection made him malevolent toward those who were successful”)

It’s not hard to find out what EVIL really means from God’s point of view either:

EVIL is not an outward thing, but it’s inward; harming and hurting others or self and ultimately rejecting God by our actions or words. No wonder God gets weary.

So, when men say that something is good, which God has clearly declared is morally wrong, then that is EVIL.

What things do we say are good, when our Conscience (God’s Holy Standards of moral goodness, which is written upon every human heart) is telling us it is morally wrong. i.e. we know we’re going against our own conscience.

1) Abortion: Killing a baby in the womb. It’s murder. Taking a viable human life.

2) Sex: Outside of marriage. The Bible calls this fornication. To have sexual intercourse with another person outside the bonds of marriage (either actual sex or imagined, lusted after). All forms of sex outside of God’s ordained bounds: Marriage between a man and a woman, is perverse  perverted and morally wrong. When out evangelising people give the excuse, “We’re all human” i.e. “We’re human so we can’t help ourselves, we’ve got an inward drive that makes us do it”… That’s just shifting the blame for our moral weakness and propensity to sin.

3) Stealing: Taking things that belong to someone else. Many people today don’t think twice of stealing music, films or other content from the internet. Cheating the Tax Man, Stealing time from the Boss of a big company.  We excuse ourselves by saying, “Everybody does it” or “Surely it can’t be wrong”… We know it’s stealing, taking something that doesn’t belong to us.

That’s just three, but we’re masters of inventing new ways of being evil, doing things we know that God has said is an abomination for Him. No wonder God gets weary with people. With our talk, saying evil things are good and God will like it.

Well that is the first half of the verse, what about the second thing that God gets weary about?

2) BLASPHEMY.

Now, this really get’s God annoyed.

Malachi 2:17 (NIV) You have wearied the LORD with your words. “How have we wearied him?” you ask. By saying, “All who do evil are good in the eyes of the LORD, and he is pleased with them” or “Where is the God of justice?”

“Where is the God of Justice?”

  • God can’t see.
  • God doesn’t care about justice.
  • God won’t hold us to account.
  • God doesn’t exist.
  • God’s not real.
  • God won’t judge.

What is all this? The Bible clearly reveals this is BLASPHEMY… Saying something about God that is not true.

Blasphemy is not just using God’s Name in a wrong way, like saying “OMG” or “Jesus H Christ”…

Evil doers will pay a heavy price one day. Everyone who does EVIL in the sight of almighty God will one day be held to account for it. God shows us very clearly in the Bible that He is concerned about Justice and will one day PAY BACK for the evil everyone does.

John 3:19-20 (NIV)
19  This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.
20  Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.

“But, who does evil?” Answer: “EVERYONE”, we’ve all sinned and fallen short of God’s Holy Standards of Morality.

Romans 3:23 (NIV) “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”

In some ways people are right in saying, “We can’t help it, we’re just human” because we are all born in slavery to sin, we will sin and fall short, but God sent Jesus Christ to set us all free from that bondage: even though we’re born with a tendency to sin, God will hold each person, personally accountable.

Romans 6:20-23 (NIV)
20  When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness.
21  What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death!
22  But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.
23  For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

All liars will find their place in the lake of fire. (my friends, that’s serious, even telling a LIE can land you in Hell forever). How many lies do we need to tell before we’ll be judged? It’s like murder, just one lie make you a liar. No amount of good deeds we do afterwards will wash away that lie. It will stain our souls all the way to judgement day, unless it is washed away. There’s only ONE WAY to remove the stain of EVIL from our souls.

That ONE WAY: is through REPENTANCE (Turning away from all evil and sin in your life towards Jesus Christ). FAITH (Putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ: He died in your place on the cross, taking the punishment for all your sins. When you believe that Jesus did this for you and trust that He did indeed die for your sins, then you are ready to be set-free, saved and cleansed). RECEIVE (Receive Jesus Christ as your LORD and SAVIOUR: Tell Him you are trusting that He died for you, that you want to live a holy, good and pure life from now on. You are ready to TRUST Him as both LORD and SAVIOUR.

When you repent and put you faith in Jesus Christ like that, the Bible tells us we’ll receive some awesome gifts from Heaven: New LIFE, Holy Spirit, New desires to live like Jesus, New family of brothers and sisters who’ve also trusted Jesus, New Father in Heaven and Eternal life. Heaven is now your home and the things that once held special appeal to you will become nothing. Everything this world has to offer in comparison to knowing Jesus Christ as Lord pales into insignificance. He puts a JOY into your heart that nothing can take away.

So let’s stop trying to shift the blame onto circumstance, influence, tendency, nature or even Satan. Let’s call what we do, what it really is; SIN, EVIL, PERVERSE and MORALLY WRONG. (When we go against God, we’re wearing Him out with our excuses, we’re boring Him with our shifting the blame, He’s getting ready to meet you on the other side. Let’s stop calling evil good. Let’s stop calling sin good. Let’s get right in line with God’s thinking. The world will go it’s own way, but what about you? Will you decide today to go God’s way?

God’s calling out to you today;

He must have called a thousand times,

You never seem to be home,

at least God can say, “I tried”.

“Hello from the Other Side, I’m waiting for you.”

Be blessed and trust Jesus Christ today,

Don.

 

God Is At Work In YOU.

You are Christ's living letter of recommendation, epistle, to the world,

Daily Spirit & Word: 767:

You Are Jesus’ Living Email: Recommending Christ to Others.

IT IS GOD WHO WORKS IN YOU TO WILL AND TO ACT 

ACCORDING TO HIS GOOD PURPOSES

Not many people send handwritten letters these days, most of our friendly communication is done through social media and emails. People read through their emails most days, some skim-read through Facebook or Whatsapp etc… You are a LIVING FB Message. What you do and say will either lead men and women to Christ or away from Him. The other day I felt a complete and utter failure, keep reading below.

It’s Saturday, so only a short share today 🙂

That’s a sobering thought isn’t it, the WAY WE LIVE is like a letter of recommendation?

You know when you go for an interview for a job, you give them your CV and some letters of recommendation?

D.L. Moody was a great evangelist in the 19th Century. He said, “I remember reading of a blind man who was found sitting at the corner of a street in a great city with a lantern beside him. Someone went up to him and asked what he had the lantern there for, seeing that he was blind, and the light was the same to him as the darkness.

The blind man replied, “I have it so that no one may stumble over me.”

Dear friends, let us think about that: Where one person will read the Bible, there are another hundred that will read you and me. Are we recommending Jesus by the way we live? People in this world, who are not Christians, are watching those who profess to be Christians, to see if we are living according to what we profess.

That’s what Paul meant when he penned 2 Corinthians 3 below.

2 Corinthians 3:1-6 (NLT)
1  Are we beginning to praise ourselves again? Are we like others, who need to bring you letters of recommendation, or who ask you to write such letters on their behalf? Surely not!
2  The only letter of recommendation we need is you yourselves. Your lives are a letter written in our hearts; everyone can read it and recognize our good work among you.
3  Clearly, you are a letter from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you. This “letter” is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts.
4  We are confident of all this because of our great trust in God through Christ.
5  It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God.
6  He has enabled us to be ministers of his new covenant. This is a covenant not of written laws, but of the Spirit. The old written covenant ends in death; but under the new covenant, the Spirit gives life.

Sometimes I’m asked to write a character reference letter for people, I’ll always think and pray and ask the Lord to show me what’s great about that person. We are all Christ’s letter of recommendation to the world. It’s as if Jesus Himself is making His appeal to those who don’t yet know Him as Lord and Saviour through us.

Most Christians who love Jesus as their Good Shepherd, Lord and Saviour, want others in their circle of friendship (OIKOS) to come to know Him too. But the people that know us best are either being won to Christ by our changed lives or driven further away from Him. They either see our holiness, goodness, kindness, gentleness, peacefulness etc or they’ll see a reflection of themselves in us, will they see someone without Christ?

How’s your witness going? Getting The Balance Right:

Are you “Christ’s letter of recommendation”?

I don’t know about you, but there are times when I think I’ve blown it.

The other day I was in the garden, I stabbed my belly with some sharp cutting shears, I cried out in pain, but I said a “SWEAR-WORD”, immediately I felt guilty and looked around to see if there was anyone who could have heard it. I know Jesus heard me, what was it in my heart that made me swear instead of praying to Him?

You know, there are times when I feel a complete and utter failure, then someone will show me something of my changed character, how Jesus has been working quietly in the background of my personality, ripening the fruit of the Holy Spirit in my flesh, they’ll say, “I don’t know how you can be so calm or so kind, etc”… Then I think to myself, “They’re right, before I knew Jesus I would not have reacted like that”. So my friends, you may not be perfect yet, but Jesus is working in you to will and to act according to His great purposes today. Amen!

I love these two verses from Paul’s letter to the Philippians:

Philippians 2:12-13 (NIV) “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed; not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence; continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.”

IT IS GOD WHO WORKS IN YOU TO WILL AND TO ACT

ACCORDING TO HIS GOOD PURPOSES

My friends, God is working in your life, the moment you came to Christ as Lord, He began that good work in you. He’s going to keep working, changing your “Wants, Desires, Will” so that you will begin to ACT like Christ, behave like Jesus, you will be Jesus’ letter of recommendation to the world. Amen!

I’m praying you really are or want to be. To be consistent daily is difficult, it’s a battle, I KNOW. And sometimes you will feel a failure too, but Jesus wants all of us to be WINNING in this battle my friends. So He sent a wonderful gift to you and me to enable us to overcome all our weaknesses: The HOLY SPIRIT. I’m going to get filled up today, because I NEED HIM. I’m sure you’re going to see just how much you need Him too, it to be His living letter of recommendation to others.

Let’s all be like that blind man, keep the light of Christ shining brightly for all to see, so that they won’t stumble, trip and fall over you. Amen!

Don.

 

God Knows Me Intimately

God's Knowledge of Us

Daily Spirit & Word: 761: God Knows Me

How Does God Know Us?

Psalm 139: Study 1. He Knows You Intimately.

WOWzer! Did anyone hear that THUNDER last night? I’ve not seen rain like this in years.

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE the thunder and lightning. It’s like God speaking to us in a very loud voice, but what is He saying?

Yesterday morning we had an awesome prayer gathering, during which we sang “What a mighty God we serve” I’m not kidding, HEAVEN came into our gathering. There was only a few of us, but WOWzer!

Today, I’m going to begin a short series looking at Psalm 139. It’s such a wonderful, amazing and enlightening Psalm, full of insight about how God knows us, the plans He has for us and His control of our situations, leading us to KNOW we can fully trust HIM.

Why Psalm 139?

We all make decisions every day, (Not just EU Referendum Day), but how we make them, that’s what counts. Because what we think about God and our relationship with Him determines what we think about everything else that makes up our busy little world. When we get God’s perspective right, then other people, the universe, God’s Word, God’s will, sin, faith, and obedience and our choices will lead us in the right direction. On the other hand, wrong ideas about God will ultimately lead to wrong ideas about who we are, where we should go and what we should do, and this leads us down a crooked path toward the wrong destiny. In other words, the right knowledge of God is essential to the abundant and fulfilled life the LORD wants you to have in this world, and getting you ready for life forever with Him.

King David gave us Psalm 139, his life was full of a deep knowledge and understanding of HOW the LORD directed his steps.

Psalm 139:1-6 (NIV) [For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.]
1  O LORD, you have searched me and you know me.
2  You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3  You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
4  Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD.
5  You hem me in—behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me.
6  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.

God Knows Us Intimately (vv. 1-6)

The verb “searched” means “to examine with great pain and care.” The Jewish people used this word to describe digging deep into a mine, exploring a land, and investigating a legal case.

Your friends only see the outside, but the LORD God sees your heart, and you can’t deceive Him.

Some folks in the Bible tried to deceive God:

  • Adam and Eve tried it (Gen. 3:7-24),
  • Cain tried it (Gen. 4:1-15),
  • and even David tried it (2 Sam. 11-12),
  • Ananias and Sappheria tried it too (Acts 5:1-11).

What do we discover from them? What they all discovered, that God knew all about them. He knew what they’d done and even how they’d tried to cover it up. We cannot HIDE from God. He searches and sees the HEART. King David knew this from bitter experience and Divine Grace and forgiveness.

Understand” in verse 2 means “to distinguish and discern with insight”. My friends, God’s not just making notes about your life, He’s not keeping a dossier if you confess your sins and get cleaned up, but be assured of this, if you don’t get right with God, then He is going to bring out all the records of your life.

Verse 3: “You are familiar with all my ways” He knows our ways, where we go, when we go, how we go and why we go. The habits, the little things that can either help or hinder our walk with Him.  The fact that God knows us so intimately and completely is revealed in verses 1, 2, 4, 14, and 23.

These verses reveal God’s DEEP KNOWLEDGE about EVERYTHING in our lives:

  • He knows our actions,
  • He knows our locations,
  • He knows our thoughts and words,
  • He knows our ways, and our motives.

He knows more about you than your Mobile Phone does. You know they are able to keep track of where you’ve been down to  the inch, but God’s knowledge is even more, He not only knows where you’ve been, but what you’ve been thinking when you are there.

The Eyes of the LORD (2 Chronicles 16:9).

“All things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account” (Heb. 4:13, nkjv).

But even more, He knows what is best for us and does all He can to guide us to go His way.

Psalm 139:5  “You hem me in: behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me.”

He hems us in behind and before and puts His hand on us to give us peace, to show us His way and to direct our steps.

That’s an awesome thought, God wants us to allow Him to show us the way.

The word translated “beset” (kjv) or “enclosed” (nasb) means “to guard a valuable object,”

God’s Guarding YOU!

So my friends, God’s all knowing, all encompassing knowledge and guidance are for your protection.

How should we respond to that?

Like King David, we should TRUST Him completely with every aspect of our lives.

In the UK: We’re all going to VOTE today on the EU Referendum, no matter how you feel or how you VOTE, God is in ultimate control.

Don’t WORRY… PRAY (first) … TRUST… VOTE: Let the LORD guide you to the right decision today.

Be blessed today,

Don.

P.S. The other day Karamoko my grandson came back into the lounge from the garden to get a spade. He was hiding his hand behind his back. Karamoko is only 2 1/2 years old, but is already showing signs of being deceitful. I said, “What have you been doing in the garden?” He said, “Nothing” hiding his hand even more… It was so funny and a dead give-away. His hands were black from playing in the mud, he knew that he shouldn’t be playing in the mud because he’s been told not to touch it a few times. But Karamoko just loves digging in the dirt…

We cannot HIDE from God.

KNOWING GOD PERSONALLY

Psalm 139: Part 1: God Knows Me Intimately.

Psalm 139: Part 2: God Will NEVER Let Go of My Hand.

Psalm 139: Part 3: God Made Me Wonderfully

 

 

When the LIGHT within is DARKNESS

Lust, Pornography, Sexual Sin, Freedom in Christ,

Daily Spirit & Word: 758: The Eye is the Lamp of the Body.

But what happens when the LIGHT within is DARKNESS?

Jesus said, “The eye is the lamp of the body”

i.e. what we look at will bring it’s light into our souls. It’s either dark-light (darkness) or goodness (Light).

Good morning my friends, for the last couple of weeks the LORD has placed those words on my heart, I’ve been reading His WORD and praying about what I should share. It may be that now is the time to share it.

LUST OF THE EYES.

One of the greatest chapters in the Bible to deal with LUST of the EYES is Job 31…

Job 31:1-12 (NIV)
1  “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl.
2  For what is man’s lot from God above, his heritage from the Almighty on high?
3  Is it not ruin for the wicked, disaster for those who do wrong?
4  Does he not see my ways and count my every step?
5  “If I have walked in falsehood or my foot has hurried after deceit—
6  let God weigh me in honest scales and he will know that I am blameless—
7  if my steps have turned from the path, if my heart has been led by my eyes, or if my hands have been defiled,
8  then may others eat what I have sown, and may my crops be uprooted.
9  “If my heart has been enticed by a woman, or if I have lurked at my neighbour’s door,
10  then may my wife grind another man’s grain, and may other men sleep with her.
11  For that would have been shameful, a sin to be judged.
12  It is a fire that burns to Destruction; it would have uprooted my harvest.
Whatever harvest you’ve been working for in your life will be BURNED TO DESTRUCTION if you allow your eyes to contaminate your soul with darkness.

The EYE is the LAMP: It can either allow in darkness or light.

Matthew 6:22-23 (NIV)
22  “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light.
23  But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

Question: What have you been allowing your eyes to dwell upon?

Darkness or Light?

Confession Time: Newspaper Shop: W. H. Smiths. For a long time I had been witnessing to my friends whilst serving in the Royal Navy on Submarines. I had shared the Gospel with them. One day whilst in a Newspaper shop in the 1980s, I was standing in front of the row of Magazines. It was a large Newspaper shop with lots of customers. On the TOP SHELF in those days you’d have Pornographic Magazines with everything on display (I’ll not go into too much detail). In the Navy, officially pornography was banned, but unofficially, everybody used to have some PORN. We’d see it on a daily basis; on watch, off watch, on duty and off duty. In the mess they’d have pornographic videos playing, before videos came along it was reel-to-reel films. After becoming a Christian, nobody told me, but I knew in my heart I should no-longer indulge in pornographic material. Back to the Newspaper shop: I was standing there looking for a computer magazine, but my eyes drifted upward, until they were glued on the pornographic scene, hundreds of them, all lined up on the Top Shelf for me to enjoy. Just then a man walked in and stood beside me, he was looking upwards as well, he said, “And you a good Christian too”… I turned and it was one of the men I’d been witnessing to for ages. I’d been praying that he would come to know Jesus and here was I, looking at pornography. Immediately my face turned beetroot red, I stammered an excuse, denied it initially, but I’d been caught out big-time. My witness was ruined. At the moment I wanted the ground to swallow me whole.

Consumed with guilt and shame, as soon as I could I got home and fell to my knees in prayer, asking the LORD to forgive me. Why? Because I’d done the opposite of what Job had done, I hadn’t followed God’s Word or God’s Spirit and I’d ignored my own God given Conscience: I’ll never forget it, deliberately ignoring it. You know when smoke alarms get so annoying you take out the battery, from that moment on the smoke-alarm is useless. When we ignore our conscience or go against it, then it’s as if we’ve taken out the battery to silence the alarm.

When we allow our eyes to be tempted, to dwell upon things the Lord, the Holy Spirit and our Conscience are telling us we shouldn’t, then we are inviting the darkness into our lives. We are igniting a fire that cannot be quenched “It is a fire that burns to Destruction; it would have uprooted my harvest.” I don’t know if that man I’d been witnessing to about Jesus ever became a follower of Jesus, but perhaps my hypocrisy, my weakness and my sin kept him from seeing the light of the Lord. I can’t tell you how much I regretted that day, it even makes me feel ashamed right now. It took such a long time for me to feel NEW again, to feel close to Jesus, to feel the warmth and love and light of the Holy Spirit in my heart again. Praise the LORD I was not exposed at that time to public shame. There were no newspapers with the caption “Royal Navy Christian Gazes Upon Porn”…. However, now that I’ve been SET FREE from shame and guilt, I can share with you my experience of deliberately allowing my eyes to dwell upon an unclean thing, and the consequent shame, guilt and horror that it brought into my life.

Matthew 6:22-23 (NIV)
22  “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light.
23  But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

It was a dark time for me, oh my friends, be very careful what you allow your eyes to feast upon. I encourage you to be like Job (make a Covenant with your eyes) and like Joseph who declared when he was tempted by Potiphar’s wife to commit adultery, this is how he reasoned in his heart;

Genesis 39:9 (NIV) “No-one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?”

Every SIN we commit is against God: Yes, even when we think lustful thoughts, we’re guilty, as Jesus said, of adultery, it’s against our spouse or partner, but if we’re not married is it wrong to lust? Yes it is my friends, it’s a SIN against God, because we’re being unfaithful to HIM. But what if you are married or committed to someone? Imagine how they’d feel if they knew you’d been unfaithful in your thoughts? It would crush their spirits and tear-trust to shreds.

God has given us, followers of Jesus Christ, the whole world to richly enjoy. He’s not a spoil-sport, that’s why His Creation is so beautiful, but when we allow dark-light into our souls, when the light becomes darkness within, then we’re in danger my friends, “HOW GREAT IS THAT DARKNESS”…

I can tell you this, because I’ve been in the darkness or the darkness has been in me, even after following Jesus, it’s a terrible darkness to be sure. It brings with it FEAR, DREAD, (Dread is a fearful expectation or anticipation that something terrible is about to happen)… It brings GUILT… However, when we’re walking with the LORD Jesus, being guided by His Holy Spirit and listening to our God given conscience then know this my friends, “There is NO CONDEMNATION for those who are in Christ Jesus”… We’ll experience FREEDOM not to look with lust. We’ll have POWER to walk in the LIGHT and stay in the LIGHT… How does that happen? If we see a lovely figure, that before we were tempted by, we’ll be able to thank God for the beauty and not begin to think lustful thoughts. HOW? Because the Holy Spirit gives us His power and freedom and self-control. It’s a fruit and gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit, but we’ve got a choice to make every day and moment by moment throughout the day. Temptation will never go away, but how we deal with those temptations, that’s what will preserve our hearts and enable us to be full of light, full of goodness.

The Day That FREEDOM Comes:

As many of you know, I used to live in Plymouth, on the way back from a tour on my Submarine, I was driving into Plymouth and noticed this sign on the A38 just outside the City. It had a picture of a Tower with the words in Latin. “Turris Fortissima Est Nomen Jehova”, “The name of the Lord is a strong tower” It wasn’t long afterwards that I regained my freedom in Christ. Through tears of joy and peace, I was back with my Lord Jesus. Oh my friends, I can testify “How GREAT is that DARKNESS” but what’s even more blessed “HOW WONDERFUL IS THE LIGHT”…

Proverbs 18:10 (NIV) “The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.”

Jesus Christ will keep you safe from temptation, He’s like a strong tower, a fortress that cannot be broken into, but we need to run to Him. We need to flee temptation and run to Jesus in prayer at that moment. We’ll be SAFE as long as we run to the Saviour.

NO TEMPTATION HAS CAUGHT YOU.

1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV) “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”

“Common to man”, means we’re ALL TEMPTED, but how we deal with it, that’s the answer… Run to Jesus, the Strong Fortress that cannot be conquered.

Where your treasure is, there you heart will be also. What are you treasuring in your heart today?

“No one can serve two masters”. If you are trying to serve Jesus and also serving your lusts, then you are only fooling yourself. The Darkness within is GREAT. Walk in the Light.

Amen!

That’s how we can know we need the LORD Jesus every single day.

There will never be a time when you don’t need Jesus.

Stay close to Jesus this week my friends.

If you are tempted or if you’ve allowed the DARKNESS to reign in your heart too long, you may need prayers of deliverance. Go to a trusted brother or sister who’s walking closely with Lord Jesus and get them to pray with you. Confess your sins to one another… Be set free today by the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!

PRAYER: Oh Lord Jesus Christ, help me to love you today, more than I love this world or the beautiful things in this world. There’s so much You’ve given me to be thankful for, please keep my heart close to Your Heart Lord. Let me appreciate and love the things that You love. Let me walk in the Light as You are in the Light. Let me live in Freedom. Give me self-control, the fruit and gift of the Holy Spirit. Fill me with your Spirit right now Jesus, I need you LORD…Amen!

Be blessed and stay close to Jesus 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 Atheist’s Nightmare

Atheist's Nightmare, Muslim Nightmare,

Daily Spirit & Word: 723: The Atheists’ Nightmare.

Is a Believer and Follower of Jesus, who knows the Truth and believes it enough to begin to share it.

Ephesians 4:18 (NIV) “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.”

Last Wednesday evening we met an Atheist, he was one of the most intelligent and polite men I’ve met in a very long time. We have a little intelligence test, David went through all our trick questions and the Atheist got them ALL correct. There was no way we were going to fool this man. But it brought a smile to his face and warmed his heart. He loved debating.

On Sunday evening we attended a little session on putting on the Gospel Armour: You know the song, “Each Piece Put ON With Prayer”… i.e. we’re not to mechanically or ritualistically put the armour on. Ephesians 6:10-20.

We were reminded that our greatest BATTLE is not against flesh and blood: look what our battle is against: Whenever you open your mouth for Jesus there the battle rages. Once you decide in you heart “I’m going to share Jesus with this person, in this situation, right now” Then the missiles of the enemy begin to fly… but why? It’s because,  Ephesians 6:12 (NIV) “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

This DARK WORLD: the rulers, authorities and powers of this dark world: These are the people empowered by SATAN: The battle is not against those people, but the SPIRIT and EVIL that’s empowering them. They don’t even know it, they are unaware of it, they are DARKENED in their understanding. Ephesians 4:18 and BLIND to their condition, 2 Corinthians 4:4.

AND: The Spiritual Forces of EVIL in the HEAVENLY REALMS:  i.e. Satan and all his demonic army.

We can have ‘nice’ debates with people, we could get into logical arguments, but in the end it’s the LIGHT of Jesus Christ they need, not to be won over by argument. I keep repeating this little phrase to myself when engaged in debate, “Win an argument and you loose a friend”… We’ve just taken time to build friendship with that man or woman (be it only for a few minutes), so why ruin that hard won friendship by winning an argument? Let him win, let her win, then move onto the Gospel. I’d much rather loose a debate and win a soul for Jesus Christ. WHY? Because they’ve been blinded by Satan. They’re darkened in their understanding (they just don’t KNOW they are in the darkness, they a also Blindly Unaware) so just give them some awesome, bright, shining light. Let them see again, we can SOFTEN any heart with Jesus POWER. And we can bring LIGHT of understanding to any soul.

Take them by the hand and lead them out of their dreadful darkness, guide them into the light, usher them into the presence of Jesus Christ. 

YBH: “Yes, but HOW?” There is POWER in Gospel Words.

How does an Ardent Atheist get faith? The same way anybody else gets faith: Faith comes by hearing God’s Word…

Romans 10:17 (NIV) “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.”

The message is heard through the WORD OF CHRIST. (THE WORD OF GOD).

AND: FAITH comes by hearing that message.

Sometimes it is almost physically observable when I see a person getting the LIGHT: When sharing the good news every week, we’ll observe the moment when the LIGHT goes on in a person’s soul. Suddenly they get it! I’ve been watching the physical reactions when we go through God’s LAW: A man suddenly puts his hand over his mouth. It’s like he’s got to stop trying to justify himself. A woman’s eyes well up with tears and she just goes silent for a few moments, then declares, “So we’re all sinners, we’re all doomed”… It’s such a wonderful moment when someone is brought into the light of understanding and knowing.

SEPARATED FROM THE LIFE OF GOD.

They are not just DARKENED and BLINDED, they are SEPARATED from the life of God.

Ephesians 4:18 (NIV) “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.”

They are also SEPARATED because of the ignorance in them, due to the hardening of their hearts.

So what does a HARDENED HEART need? It needs to be SOFTENED…

  • We got some dried mushrooms the other day, to be able to use them, we had to soak them for hours in water. It’s amazing watching those mushrooms go from dried up crisps and return to the fattened shape and form again.

A hardened heart must be marinated in the WATER of The Word of God: It takes time to allow the WORD to penetrate a hard heart. Sometimes as long as five minutes 🙂

I’ve heard some people say “My husband’s heart must be like granite (Granite has unyielding firmness, it’s impervious to water)” Granite can’t be penetrated by water that’s why so many people choose granite for worktops in their kitchens. However, no human heart is so hard that it cannot be penetrated with the WORD of God. It goes past the outer surface and penetrates right to the core of the soul.

My friends, it’s not that they have hearts that are too tough or hard, but it’s US (Believers and Followers of Jesus) who don’t have enough faith in the POWER of God’s Word to do it’s WORK. Just believe in the power of God’s Word. Accept that when you are sharing Jesus, He’s already beginning to draw that soul from darkness into His marvellous light. We are never working alone, the POWER of Jesus is working right with you the moment you open your mouth to share the Good News with someone, Jesus is beginning to work on their hearts.

KNOW THE TRUTH (Jesus) AND THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE.

It’s not just the Darkened, Blinded and Separated sinner who needs to know the TRUTH, but we Christians also need to BELIEVE and TRUST the TRUTH (Jesus). He’s with you! Do you believe and trust in that? I mean really believe it and trust it. If you begin to accept this truth, then I’m certain you are going to see many more of your friends, family, neighbours and workmates come to faith in Jesus Christ. It’s an Atheist’s nightmare when an Believer not only KNOWS the TRUTH, but BELIEVES him enough to share it.

Why is it a NIGHTMARE for them?

Because an Ardent Honest Atheist believes he knows there is NO GOD… He’s looked at all the available evidence and can’t find God. It’s not surprising to someone who knows God though, because we know they can’t see or know God for the simple reason they a BLIND and a blinded person cannot see. They are DARKENED in their understanding, because of their HARD HEARTS, so they cannot understand either. They are separated from the LIFE of God, so they are DEAD in their transgressions and sins.

Hebrews 4:12 (NIV) “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

Oh my friends, if Christians can grasp this TRUTH, they’re going to see so many souls SAVED by Jesus. Those Dehydrated Souls Need The Living Water of God’s Word.

So don’t get alarmed when you encounter an Atheist, get the compassion of Jesus and lead them into the light, let Jesus open their blinded eyes and soften their hardened hearts with the gentle word of the Saviour of the World. Like my dried mushrooms, plunge them into the WORD of God. Soak them in it and watch their understanding be expanded, watch the LIFE of God beginning to take shape and form in their WORD enlightened and softened souls. Amen!

NOTE: I was given this message by the LORD today. I believe there are many Christians who need to know the power that is in them.
So many of our brothers and sisters in Christ need the assurance and confidence to share Jesus. This world’s powers, infected by the Evil forces in the Heavenly realms, don’t want you to be sharing Jesus today. They hate it of course, that’s why a man, training to be a Social Worker, was thrown out of University because of his Christian beliefs, it seems you can’t be a Christian in Public office today in the UK. You can’t share your faith with a Muslim colleague either, a Nurse lost her job because she gave a booklet to a Muslim colleague and invited her to church. Oh my friends, the BATTLE is most definitely on, but don’t be SILENCED or feel threatened. Jesus will give you the words you need when you are dragged before the Magistrates. He will be with you encouraging you and strengthening you in the BATTLE. The souls of those in the darkness are too precious to worry about the personal consequences of leading them into the light. That’s why Jesus said, “Take up your Cross Daily and follow me”… We are to die to self and live for Him.

The Worship Song: “Just One Touch From the King”

In verse 2: I believe that worship song is prophetic of our Nation today.

“There’s a great darkness over this land
A deep darkness on the people
But a light is shining
That the dark can’t understand
The Light of the world King Jesus
Do you know do you know
Do you know do you know”

All they need is JUST ONE, just one touch from the KING, then they’ll KNOW too.
They’ll be set free from the deep darkness, blindness, separation from the life of God.
Just ONE TOUCH FROM THE KING: The Lord Jesus Christ.
His POWER is in YOU!

Be fully blessed today,
Don.
Worship Song: “Just One Touch From the KING”.

 

Hot Juicy Gossip

What the Bible has to say about Gossip

Daily Spirit & Word: 707: Hot Juicy Gossip.

“When I Gossiped, I Sinned.”

“Oh LORD, help me to stop loving all that juicy hot gossip. Amen.”

Good morning my friends, do you know who the most generous people are? Gossips! Why? Because a gossip’s idea of generosity is to keep nothing to himself. HaHa… but seriously, gossip is not funny.

What is Gossip?

Dictionary Definition:

noun: casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details which are not confirmed as true: “he became the subject of much local gossip.”

  • a conversation about other people; an instance of gossiping: “she just comes round here for a gossip”.
  • chiefly derogatory a person who likes talking about other people’s private lives.

verb (gossips, gossiping, gossiped) engage in gossip: “they would start gossiping about her as soon as she left.”

What does the Bible say about Gossip?
Gossiping Hot Juicy Gossip

You know the temptation don’t you?

When you know something about someone and you are just BURNING to share it. That’s OK if it builds another person up and makes them look good in the eyes of others, but what about when it’s harmful, when it’s going to make them look like a fool in the eyes of others?

“When a woman lowers her voice, and her friends eyebrows raise”… You know it’s GOSSIP…

Have you ever been engaged in a conversation about someone and had to stop talking because they walked into the room or close enough to hear?

Proverbs 17:4 (NLT)
Wrongdoers eagerly listen to gossip;
liars pay close attention to slander.

 

 

Our interest in GOSSIP reveals something dark within our own personality. Something is missing, we’re feeling insecure, we’re angry, we’re holding a grudge… There’s nothing as good as bad news about someone who’s done you a wrong: But there is, because the very fact that you are enjoying it, means you’ve not really forgiven them.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, All the times I’ve been eagerly listening as someone tells me some juicy news about someone else. Oh LORD! Help me to keep my head and be listening out to Your Holy Spirit always. Convicting? I’ll say… Lord You know my heart, and how so many times I’ve been offended by someone or something, then just waited and longed to hear the GOSS about them?…. Oh LORD, forgive my interest in slanderous news. Cleanse my heart from these kind of dark affections. Amen!

  • Gossip: “Usually when the woman who is talking lowers her voice, the woman who is listening raises her eyebrows.”
  • Gossip: “Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip.” Will Rogers.
  • Gossip: “I have Social Disease. I have to go out every night. If I stay home one night I start spreading rumours to my dogs.”
    Andy Warhol Andy was addicted to Gossip…

But WHY is Gossip So Tempting?

Why do sincere, Jesus loving, Bible believing, Gospel sharing, Christians, love to gossip about others?

The Bible gives us the answer: “The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man’s inmost parts” (Proverbs. 26:22)

Read that again:

“The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man’s inmost parts” (Proverbs. 26:22)

i.e. Gossip is a bit like the promise of the old Heineken Beer advert, it can reach down into places no other beer can reach… LOL

Gossip, according to God’s Word “goes down into a man’s inmost parts“… It tickles our fancy… It appeals to our flesh… It excites our desires.

1 Peter 4:15 (NIV) “If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler.”

A Meddler: is a back-seat driver, a busybody, nosey-parker, it’s a person who meddles in the affairs of others.

Did you know?

Did you know that a Gossip / Gossipper cannot enter into the kingdom of Heaven?

In God’s Eyes: A Gossip is a MURDERER… (Because you are killing someone else with your words).

“Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarrelling, deception, malicious behaviour, and gossip. They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents. They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy. They know God’s justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway. Worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too.” (Romans 1:28-32 NLT)

Those who do those things; i.e. like GOSSIP, deserve to die… Ouch! Now that’s so serious.

Isn’t it strange? We always think that things like; murder, adultery, fornication etc.. are so serious that someone needs to be punished for doing them, but NOT Gossip… Yet God’s warning us all today about the seriousness of Gossip, Meddling and Slander.

  • Have you ever Gossiped about someone?
  • Have you ever Listened to Gossip? 
  • Have you ever Delighted in Gossip?

When we’re honest with ourselves, we’ll readily admit that we have. Let’s admit it to the Lord too:

Prayer:
Oh LORD! I have to admit that I have listened to gossip, many times, fool that I am, forgive me Lord.
Oh LORD! I also have to admit that there are times that I’ve started gossip, wicked person that I am, forgive me Lord.
Oh LORD! Please fill me to overflowing with your Holy Spirit, help me in the area of Gossip and Slander and Malicious talk. Amen!

Dr Dale A Robbins has a wonderful Biblical insight into the Dangers of Gossip.

(Excerpted from his sight).

Things to Remember about Gossip

  • Gossip is as sinful as murder and will suffer the same consequences unless there is repentance (Rom. 1:32).
  • God holds you accountable to your words (Matt. 12:36-37).
  • The person who gossips to you about others, also gossips to others about you.
  • Gossip & slander disqualifies persons for spiritual leadership (1 Tim. 3:11, Jas. 3:2).
  • Gossip often masks as pretentious concerns for others.
  • Gossip often thrives upon secrecy. Where secrecy is removed, gossip is hampered.
  • Gossip always contributes to a problem and never to a solution.
  • Gossip always distorts and exaggerates, and is never a reliable source of truth.
  • Those who gossip & slander are not in right fellowship with God (Rom. 1:28-32).
  • Those who gossip rarely get answers to prayer, and often face persistent, unexplainable problems (Psalms 66:18, Prov. 21:23, Prov. 6:12-15).

What to do about Gossip?

  • If you have been a gossiper, confess this as sin and ask Christ to forgive you. “Repent” by turning in a new direction and surrendering your tongue to Christ, not to gossip or bad-mouth again (1 John 1:9, 1 Cor. 7:10).
  • Keep your nose out of other people’s business.
  • If you can’t say something good or encouraging about others, then keep your mouth shut (Eph. 4:29).
  • Never criticize another person, except to their own face with an intent to help. Criticism can never be “constructive” if expressed to anyone else.
  • If your “friends” start bad-mouthing others to you, stop them in their tracks — refuse to be a partaker of their sins (1 Tim 5:22).
  • Avoid association with persons who gossip (Prov. 20:19).
  • Expose works of darkness by reporting gossip to the pastor / minister that he may confront and offer correction. Gossip should be treated as any other vile sin (Eph. 5:11).

“I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth as long as the wicked are in my presence” (Psalms 39:1).

It’s my hope and prayer that you’re going to have an awesome weekend full of the joy of the Lord Jesus.

Stay close to Him every day and remember to ask for the filling of Holy Spirit. We all need it every day. Amen!

Don.