How’s Your First Love

Revelation Letter to Ephesus forsaken first love

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

How’s Your First Love?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He KNOWS their;

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

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

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

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

Notice: Jesus’ Compassionate Way:

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

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

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

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

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

What happens when we forsake Jesus?

Our passion for close communion with Him slowly dies.

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

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

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

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

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

How’s your first love?

Have an awesome week with Jesus.

Don.

 

The Joy Of Sharing The Good News

Be active in sharing your faith

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

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

“BE ACTIVE IN SHARING YOUR FAITH”

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

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

STREET EVANGELISM:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mark’s Account of the Rich Young Ruller:

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

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

First Night Of Evangelism:

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

Here’s the TRUTH:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a fantastic Thursday.

Don.

 

Encouragement From Your Brother John

Revelation 1:9 John, your brother

Daily Spirit & Word: 683. Courageous Endurance.

Encouragement from our Brother in the Faith, John the Apostle.

Good morning my friends, when we’re suffering for the faith of Jesus Christ, if we keep in mind our constant hope, to be with the Lord in His Kingdom forever, then we’re going to endure great hardships with gratitude and thanksgiving in our hearts. Why? Because Jesus never promised us it would be easy, but that if we follow Him, we will be persecuted.

Revelation 1:9 (NIV) “I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.”

On Wednesday I had the wonderful privilege of leading a family to faith and trust in Jesus as Lord. It was amazing, definitely a God appointment. There were obstacles to overcome though. Four people, in very humble circumstances, received Jesus as Lord. We sat on the floor of their one roomed flat. A mother, two sons and a girlfriend came as they were to Jesus. I’ll tell their story (with permission) later.

Notice in the Revelation verse above, John is not preaching down to those seven churches that Jesus had told him to write, to; “Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.” No, John is identifying with them all in five ways:

  1. I am your brother.
  2. I am your companion in suffering
  3. I am your fellow in God’s Kingdom.
  4. I am with you practising patient endurance.
  5. I am, like you, suffering for preaching the Word of God and giving testimony of Jesus.

This Was Not Ivory Tower Preaching:

Nobody likes it when someone who is privileged or has a life of ease tells people who have nothing how to patiently endure their hardships. Why don’t people like it? Because a person who has everything, doens’t know what life is like with nothing.

It’s a bit like our Government Ministers who are living in luxury and with a great salary, proclaiming they are going to cut the benefits that the poorest people in society receive. Not only that, but they cut the taxes that the richest people pay. Where is the fairness in that? They tell the poor people, “Get a job” then you won’t need benefits. However, the wages that the poor receive for the jobs they take, don’t cover their living expenses. So the poor get poorer and the rich get richer.

No wonder those on benefits resent our Government’s unfair policy.

I think that’s why Jesus chose fishermen and outcasts to be His closest Disciples, because they’d been through hardships, they knew what life was like with nothing. One time Jesus followers had been fishing all night and had caught nothing. Imagine working hard for no wages? They knew what it was like to struggle and to suffer, so when they preached the Gospel, the people knew they were ordinary men once, just like them. They were not drawn from high-society, not many were of noble birth or princes or entrepreneurs, not many of Jesus Disciples were born with a silver-spoon in their mouths.

No my friends, nobody likes to hear a message about endurance, if the one delivering it is not a partner in the suffering as well. John had to endure great hardship for the sake of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He was in EXILE on Patmos because of the Word of God and His Testimony about Jesus Christ. Because he wouldn’t stop preaching, they sent him to a lonely island and imprisoned him there, but did that stop John? No! God’s ways are far higher than our ways. The Lord had planed that exile for John long before the Authorities had even thought about it. Nothing takes God by surprise my friends. Everything you go through in life, God knows about it in advance.

You might end up marooned on an Island like John. I hope not, but if you have to endure any hardship for Jesus, it’s not the end my friends, it just might be a new beginning. An opportunity to serve the Lord in a different way.

The Words Endurance: It was originally an expression in Greek for the pressure a large stone could exert: I.e. Like a mill-stone on wheat. Imagine you are a grain of wheat and you see the great mill-stone rolling your way, there’s no way to escape, you’ve just got to bear the crushing pressure. Will you survive? My friends, in Jesus, in His Kingdom, we can and will endure anything for His sake.

You may be experiencing great pressure because of your faith in Jesus Christ today. We are, because society is becoming increasingly intolerant of those who have a sincere desire to follow the teachings of Jesus and live according to the principles of God’s Word. Why? Because they’re bringing us into conflict with a world that wants to go it’s own way instead of God’s way. The world has chosen to uphold detestable lifestyles as good, and is now coming down hard on those who don’t comply or agree.

Think about how the world has chosen to play around with human eggs, thinking that a fertilised egg is just an embryo or a foetus instead of the truth, it’s a baby. It might be a very small baby, but when an human egg is fertilised by sperm, then life has begun. We are forbidden from killing babies by God’s Word and indeed for any form of murder. Now if you show people pictures of aborted babies you are the one who’s classified as an extremist or being too dogmatic.

You might find that you are in a prison one day, like John, for proclaiming God’s Word and giving Testimony about Jesus. Don’t be surprised when that happens, because my friends, God is not. He has warned that in the last days, things would take a turn for the worse.

Matthew 24:12-14 “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13  but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14  And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”

When John Said Endure Patiently: He LIVED it Himself.

Revelation 1:9 (NIV) “I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.”

He, John, was a living example of what Peter talked about: 1 Peter 3:14-17 (NIV) Suffering For Doing Good:
14  But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened.”
15  But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,
16  keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behaviour in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 17  It is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.

My friends, Don’t FEAR what the world FEARS.

  • Endure hardship.
  • Preach the Gospel.
  • Teach Jesus Word.
  • Make Disciples.
  • He’s with you, through everything, endure to the end.

One last thing; Here’s what to do if you are facing hardships for the faith:

Hebrews 12:1-4 (NIV)
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.
4  In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.

When the Going Gets Tough.

The Tough Get Going: In Jesus.

Praying that you are going to experience the closeness of Jesus throughout all your trials. Don’t grow weary or loose heart, but instead persevere and endure with patience and joy in the Lord, and don’t stop preaching or teaching what Jesus commanded my friends, keep snatching souls from the flames licking at their feet. Amen!

Don.

Link: Christian Concern For Our Nation: 

Here you’ll discover what we can do, when we face unjust opposition and persecution for the faith of Jesus Christ.

Christian Concern: 

 

The Secret of GREAT Fellowship & Revival.

The Secret of Kingdom Fellowship: Love.

Daily Spirit & Word: 681: Great Fellowship & Revival

The Root of Bitterness.

Don’t Get Bitter; Get Better.

We had a wonderful PCC (Parochial Church Council) Meeting last night. PCCs are not known for being fun, friendly or faith-filled, but you should have been there. Members arrived and were all chatting away with one another, we had coffee / tea and biscuits. People were catching-up. You know something, that’s wonderful, when you know that people are really just glad to be there and to see one another.

Hebrews 12:14-15 (NIV)
14 Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no-one will see the Lord.
15  See to it that no-one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.

Jesus said that is by our sincere love for one another that people will KNOW we are His disciples. That love was obvious last night.

Secondly, we listened by a short teaching from Adrian Rogers on; “The Root of Bitterness”: How bitterness can creep into a church fellowship. I shared last week how someone in our Evangelism team had gotten upset by another member, it was a mistake, but the hurt and offence were real. If it had been left to fester it would have spoiled the church. Bitterness, hurt or offence must be dealt with quickly. If not, as the verse above tells us “it causes trouble and many are defiled”…

God tells us, “Don’t let the sun go down on your anger”… If we’ve been hurt by someone in fellowship, be it real or imagined, it causes offence and if we don’t sort out our anger quickly it can turn to bitterness. Bitterness reveals it’s ugly head in many different ways. It’s like a deadly snake hiding in the long-grass.

How do you know if you are feeling bitter towards someone in church?

Have you ever wondered why you don’t want to be with someone?

If there is anyone in your fellowship that you don’t want to sit beside, perhaps because you’ve been upset by them in the past, then there’s a danger you are bitter. When you don’t want to talk with someone after the service or when you turn you head pretending you didn’t see them – are you not bitter? Bitter people spoil genuine fellowship. Note that it says “DEFILE MANY”. It doesn’t just affect you or the person who’s upset you, it can infect and defile a whole fellowship over time. It’s like a deadly disease to genuine fellowship.

Bitterness Can Come As A Shock:

Just like this new virus in South America; Zika virus, you sometimes don’t know you’ve been bitten.

You know, BITTERNESS is deceptive too. We don’t know our hearts sometimes. It can creep in unawares. Satan loves it when we’re hurt or offended by others in church. However, God hates it, because He wants to BLESS his people, but until we’re UNITED in love and unity, He can’t bestow His blessings. Revival can’t happen in a fellowship where there is division. No wonder Satan loves it when we’re angry, upset, feeling hurt and getting bitter about each other.

Of course there are sometimes wonderful moments when the Holy Spirit shows up in our gatherings, that just His GRACE and MERCY, but imagine what He could do with a fellowship that was totally free from any bitterness? What blessings would flow, what JOY we’d know, how we would love to be with one another as the PCC was last night.

My friends, if you’ve been hurt by someone in church, then don’t try to hide it, deny it or cover it up. It will not go away all by itself. They say that “time is a healer and you’ll feel better in time”. Well let me tell you a Kingdom Secret: Time is not a healer. Time is just something God created for us to live in. It’s NOTHING: It has no powers what-so-ever. No my friends, we’ve got to face-up, own-up, fess-up to our anger, hurts and bitterness.

  • First we do it with the Lord: Ask Him to show us. When He does, don’t try and excuse it or deny it. Instead, confess it, own it and turn from it.
  • Then as far as we can, we are to live at PEACE with everyone. “Make every effort to live in peace”…
  • Don’t let the sun go down on your anger.
  • God wants to bless your fellowship so much. Much more than you can imagine.
  • He wants you to KNOW His presence, power and REVIVAL.

“If a tree is bad, it will produce bad fruit” When the root is rotten, there won’t be much fruit at all. The fruit of course is the fruit of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. You’ll notice if you are feeling bitter that these fruits are in short supply, you’ll be found wanting. Wondering why you are being so; unloving, unkind, angry, have no patience, are rough in the way you answer people, the peace of God leaves your life and home-life. My friends, you are BITTER: Don’t let the root of bitterness linger too long in your life. It will “DEFILE” many.

Don’t GET Bitter; Get Better. 

Of course it may not be within your church you’ve been hurt or offended: It might be; home, work, school, college, out shopping, etc… Check your heart condition with God.

Let the living water (holy Spirit) flow over your soul today, check yourself out to see if there is a ROOT OF BITTERNESS within your heart today. Come afresh to Jesus and be healed. Forgive the one who offended you. Bless them with a gift of kindness. Greet one another with a kiss of friendship.

Hebrews 12:14-15 (NIV)
14 Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no-one will see the Lord.
15  See to it that no-one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.

We all want to see our churches growing, healthy and strong and that REVIVAL will break out amongst us, but it won’t until we deal with the deadly roots of bitterness in our life. Where brothers and sisters dwell together in unity, there the Lord commands His blessings.

Walk in Jesus today. Seek the fullness of the Holy Spirit.

Don.

P.S. Back to Revelation tomorrow.

P.S.S. Alpha is starting soon in St Luke’s Church. Who are you going to bring along so they can discover Jesus?

LINK: Adrian Rogers “The Root of Bitterness” Love worth finding.

You can also watch his great teaching here: Adrian Rogers.

 

Let Jesus Show You His HEART This Christmas

Christmas Delight with Jesus LOVE

Daily Spirit & Word; 652: This Christmas With Jesus.

He knows, understands and wants to meet all your most basic needs in life today.

To be loved, understood and needed.

At Christmas time there’s a feeling that we’ve just got to be happy. Well yesterday I conducted a wonderful Carol Service at West Norwood Crematorium, it was arranged by Lambeth Crematorium and Cemetery Staff, refreshments were provided by Yeateman’s & Sons and volunteers from St Christopher’s Hospice served the drinks and mince pies. Before the refreshments we gathered in the Crematorium chapel and as I led the Service it struck me deeply that this Christmas there are going to be lots of people who will not feel very happy, but in fact they’ll be deeply grief stricken, because they’ve lost someone who’s very precious and dear to them. Some will feel very lonely, other’s will perhaps be angry that the Lord has taken them away. There will be an emptiness inside someone’s heart this Christmas. There is someone who can fill that emptiness with love and renewed joy.

We all know that human beings have three basic needs in life:

  • The need to feel loved, 
  • The need to feel understood,
  • The need to feel wanted.

The NEED to feel LOVED.

Being lonely at the best of times is horrible, but at Christmas it’s heightened. The need to feel loved is a basic need within each and every human heart. Of course you’ll get hard-hearted individualistic people who’ll say, “I don’t need people, I love my own company”, but that just reveals that somewhere along the road of their life, they’ve been deeply hurt, perhaps as a child, and they’ve got tough to compensate for the lack of love they received. These types of people are not very loving towards others and find it very difficult to sympathise when people struggle with their emotions. If only they’d let their guard down for a moment, admit their hurt and be open to being hurt again, then they’d be ready to feel the LOVE of another person again. But the vast majority of people today, know that they need to feel loved and to express love towards others.

My friends, we have someone who came into this world just to let you, the lonely and those who’re on their own this Christmas, just how much He loves you: The LORD Jesus Christ. He came as a baby, but lived a life of love to the end. On the Cross Jesus was demonstrating just how much He loves us, so that we will never, ever feel lonely again. When we come to Jesus, He comes to us and will NEVER leave us alone again. That’s an awesome thought for the lonely this Christmas. Yes we do need other people as well, but we’ve always got Jesus with us.

The NEED to feel UNDERSTOOD.

Have you ever heard someone say, “You just don’t understand me, you don’t get me”… We all love to be understood by others. We want people to know what life is like for me. So often everybody is only concerned for themselves. However, at Christmas time, we’re forced to think about other people. This is where being alone is an advantage, because you only have to think about yourself. However, God’s given us a mission upon this earth, and it involves the Command to LOVE others, that means we’re going to have to know people well in order to understand them. To get into their life and know what their needs are. Do you understand the folks around you. They have a basic need to be understood.

God understands you my friends. He gets you. He knows all about your life and your needs and desires. However, in order to get those basic needs of being understood met, we’ve got to be delighting in Him. Psalm 37: tells us, “Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart”… To get the one, we’ve got to do the other.

The NEED to feel WANTED:

Imagine going through life without ever being wanted? There’s nothing worse than feeling excluded.

It begins at school when they are choosing people to be on their side in a sport and you get to the point when they choose everybody else but you. Yes there are the popular ones, the ones that are great at football, then the ones who are liked by everybody, then there’s you at the end of the line. The feelings of not being wanted, for some people, begin at a very young age. We ALL love to feel wanted or needed by others. I’ll never forget the feeling a few years ago now, when someone, who I thought of as a friend said to me, in fact it was two people, “You don’t have any friends here”… I did have lots of friends, but what they said hit home and I was shocked into silence “I’m not your friend”…. It hurt deeply, but thanks be to the Lord Jesus, He’s helped me to see that it was just them and I’m now able to love them even though they don’t or won’t love me.

Even though people say and do terrible things to you, there is someone who’ll always love you: Jesus. I know it sounds a bit soppy, but it’s true. He not only loves you and understands you, but He wants you to be on His team. He’s got so many lovely things He wants you to do just for Him. You are NEEDED by Jesus.

My friends, let go of the hurt this Christmas and take Jesus Christ as your friend; You’ll find in Him someone who really does LOVE you for who you are, He understands you and get you, He knows what you need in life and He needs you too. He’s got a great plan for you.

Will you let Jesus show you afresh this Christmas that you are loved?

Will you, in turn and through joyfilled appreciation, love others in response to Jesus love?

Hebrews 13:1-8
1 Keep on loving each other as brothers.
2  Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.
3  Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow-prisoners, and those who are ill-treated as if you yourselves were suffering.
4  Marriage should be honoured by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.
5  Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
6  So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”
7  Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.
8  Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever.

What will you do this Christmas with Jesus LOVE?

If you are heart-broken; Jesus came to mend broken hearts.

If you are lonely; Jesus came to give you Himself and be with you forever.

If you are in need of anythings, delight yourself in the LORD and He’ll give your heart’s desires. (Psalm 37).

Love others, Understand others, Show others that they are needed.

Jesus NEVER changes;

He’s the same; yesterday, today and forever.

Jesus loves YOU today.

Jesus wants everyone to know Just how much they are LOVED and WANTED and NEEDED this Christmas.

You can be His means of expressing His love: Be filled with God’s Spirit and really LOVE others this Christmas, go out of your way to make Christmas special for everyone, regardless of who they are.

Have an awesome Saturday with Jesus.

Don.

 

P.S> Come and join us tonight at St Luke’s. To sing Carols, and get some wonderful Christmas gifts in the Church. Enjoy the lantern parade, because Jesus Christ is the Light of the world.

 

St Luke’s Church, West Norwood, 4-8pm Christmas Lights.

Lights being turned on by a local West Norwood celebrity.

 

Delightful Marriage and Sex

Sex outside marriage is called fornication

Daily Spirit & Word: 637. Delightful Marriage & Sex.

Good morning, it was a delight last night to prepare Sola (pronounced Shola) and Tosin for their forthcoming Wedding Blessing; they are getting married in California, but wanted their wedding to be blessed and to receive the prayer of fellow followers of the Lord Jesus Christ first. (Although my voice cracked a few times, between we managed to get through the vows and promises).

Marriage in God’s eyes, is between a man and a woman for the duration of their life on earth.

Genesis 2:24-25 (NKJV)
24  Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
25  And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

That is a huge commitment and undertaking, but that’s how the LORD views Marriage.

Marriege in God’s eyes, is the only place to be having sex.
God calls sex outside of marriage; fornication.

To Fornicate means: to have sex without being married.
We’ve invented a lot of common, vulgar words that mean the same thing;

  • Bang (vulgar)
  • be intimate,
  • bed,
  • bonk (British, vulgar),
  • do it,
  • get it on,
  • get laid,
  • have a go at it,
  • have intercourse,
  • have it away (vulgar)
  • have it off (vulgar)
  • hump (vulgar)
  • know (archaic)
  • lay,
  • lie with (archaic)
  • love,
  • make love,
  • make out,
  • making whoopee,
  • roger (Brit, vulgar),
  • roll in the hay (vulgar)
  • screw (vulgar)
  • shag (British, vulgar)
  • sleep together,
  • sleep with,

There are probably many, many more words we’ve used in this world (I’ve omitted the obvious and most offensive ones), but they ALL mean the same thing when they are practised outside of Marriage: Fornicate.

Did you know that God warns us in the Bible, when we have sex outside of marriage then we become FORNICATORS?

Did you know that no FORNICATOR can enter into God’s Kingdom (Heaven).

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (NKJV) “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10  nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.”

How many times do we need to fornicate to become or to be known from God’s perspective as a FORNICATOR? Just once! It’s the same as murder, you only need to murder once to become a murderer for life.

Why does God forbid sexual activity outside of marriage?

Is it because God wants to ruin our fun and enjoyment in life? No my friends, it is because He knows what problems it will cause for us, for society and for the world that He made.

My heart bleeds for all the children in the world who’s mums and dads have split-up and gotten divorced, some because they just can’t get along together, others because of an unfaithful partner. Though there are sometime good reasons for getting a divorce, so many more marriages could be saved if we had a right perspective on SEX outside of marriage.

Because He LOVES us and wants what’s best for us.

God has a right to Command us not to fornicate too; why? because He made the Universe.

So the next time you hear a friend whispering they hope to “get laid this weekend”, share with them something of God’s Holy Standard and requirement: He said, “Don’t fornicate, don’t have sex outside of marriage, save yourself for your husband or wife”. Who knows, you just might save your friends from ruin. Faith comes by Hearing the WORD of God.

Fellow Christians, we need to STOP believing the World’s lies (world system under Satan’s rule), He tells us, “Do what makes you feel good and damn the consequences”. Well, if we do, it’s not the consequences that will be damned, but us.

Marriage is a gift from God, it is a delight to be with someone we love for the rest of our lives. Sex is also great when we’re married in God’s eyes: refrain from sexual activity outside of marriage. Decide in your heart today that you will be pure for God. (BPFG).

B.P.F.G.

Be Pure For God

Have an awesome day with Jesus.

Don.

ASK and You SHALL Receive

Ask, Seek, Find, Knock,

Daily Spirit & Word, 633: Ask and You Shall Receive.

Good morning my friends, be ready to be ENCOURAGED TODAY!

You know the hymn “What a friend we have in Jesus”? Well in the first verse it goes;

“Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!”

All Because:

My friends, when Jesus gave us the Lord’s prayer and told us to ask for daily bread, He didn’t just mean for us to ask ONLY for bread. Whenever you have a NEED of any kind in your life, THEN your Heavenly Father wants you to come to Him with that need.

  • If you have a need for a wife or husband, go to God first, before trying to find one for yourself. He’ll bring the right person into your life.
  • If you have a need for employment, your Heavenly Father wants you to be working, so He’ll supply you with a job.
  • If you have need for a house, your Father knows you need a roof over your head.
  • If you have a need for food, then ASK.
  • If you are sick, go to your Heavenly Father and get the fellowship to pray for you.
  • If you are lonely, come to your Heavenly Father first.

So many people have NEEDS in life, that they don’t bother God with, they try always in their own strength to meet those needs. Instead of going immediately to Father God, they’ll go to a doctor or the chemist. Instead of asking God for money, they’ll go and get a loan and get into serious debt.

Remember, “it’s NOT by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit says the LORD.”

Sometimes we’re experiencing a lack in life, simply because we didn’t ASK God.

James 4:2 “You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God.”

Ask your Heavenly Father: Think about he PEACE that you are often missing out on by not taking all your needs to Him.

What a friends we have in Jesus,
ALL our sins and griefs to bear,
what a privilege to carry,
EVERYTHING to God in prayer,
Oh what PEACE we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless PAIN we bear,
All because we do not carry,
EVERYTHING to God in prayer.

Matthew 7:7-8
7  “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
8  For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

What NEEDS do you have in your life that are not being met?

I want to encourage you today my friends, take them to your Heavenly Father.
Ask Him in the Name of Jesus.
Pray to Him in the Spirit.
Sing songs and presents your requests to God with thanksgiving in your heart, knowing that He hears you when you pray in faith and that He longs to give you what you need.

I’ve found that the times when I’m not praying very much for things is when I’m quite well off. We take things for granted and forget that everything we have in this world comes to us because of God’s grace, love and mercy. So if you are NOT in need just now, then be sure to give the Lord thanks and praise. Honour Him by giving some of it away generously to those who are experiencing lack in their lives. Who knows, you may be just the person that the LORD has gifted to answer someone else’s prayers.

Have a blessed Saturday.

We’re off to the Lord Mayor’s Parade in the City of London today with some of our grandchildren.

Don.

NOTE: Asking in the Bible:

Matthew 7:7. Luke 11:9. Ephesians 6:18-19. Philippians 4:6. James 5:13. Psalm 40:1-3.

 

Believe The Promises of Jesus Today

Daily Spirit & Word, 628:

BELIEVE THE PROMISES OF JESUS CHRIST.

Good morning my friends, there are many times when sincere followers of Jesus feel low.

What are we to do at these times?

  • When there is no joy in our religious activity?
  • When there is no sense of God’s presence?
  • When the Word of the Lord seems not to be speaking to “Me”? 
  • When we feel far away from the Lord?
  • When we want to know the Lord’s comfort, but find none?
  • When we try to pick ourselves up out of the dirt and fail

Listen afresh to what the LORD says concerning this kind of thirsting.

Trust afresh in ALL the Promises of Jesus.

“I will” it’s His PROMISE:

THE LORD PROMISES:

First to Israel: The Lord God Almighty (Jehovah) made many promises to His Chosen People Israel: These are promises: a promise is something that’s bound to happen and they cannot be revoked. Some of the Lord’s promises to Israel are not popular or positive; the promise to judge them and exile them if they turn away from Him. But His eternal promise that they will be His People and He will be their God is until Christ returns in Judgement.

Isaiah 44:1-5
1 “But now listen, O Jacob, my servant, Israel, whom I have chosen.
2  This is what the LORD says— he who made you, who formed you in the womb, and who will help you: Do not be afraid, O Jacob, my servant, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen.
3  For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.
4  They will spring up like grass in a meadow, like poplar trees by flowing streams.
5  One will say, ‘I belong to the LORD‘; another will call himself by the name of Jacob; still another will write on his hand, ‘The LORD’S’, and will take the name Israel.

What an awesome series of promises from the Lord don’t you think? But now speak the following promises out loud to your thirsty soul.

THE LORD JESUS PROMISES:

These are PROMISES to those who’ve trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ for Salvation and taken hold of Him as Saviour.

First: Jesus’ ENCOURAGEMENT TO OVERCOME:

Revelation 3:12-13 “Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name. 13  He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

WOWzer! What a wonderful promise: Jesus is going to write on you God’s Name and His Own New Name (Don’t know what that is yet do we?). We’ll be in God’s Temple and Never again will we leave it. (The Temple is the Presence of God).

Second: Jesus Christ and His Teachings and Commandments Are Your WISDOM:

Matthew 7:21-25 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22  Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23  Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ 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.

Are you certain that you are IN CHRIST and that He is IN YOU? You’ll know, because God’s Spirit will let you know that you belong to God.

READ THE GOSPEL:

Watch Hell’s Best Kept Secret:

Third: Jesus Promise of ETERNAL LIFE & ETERNAL SECURITY:

John 10:24-30
24  The Jews gathered round him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.”
25  Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father’s name speak for me,
26  but you do not believe because you are not my sheep.
27  My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
28  I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no-one can snatch them out of my hand.
29  My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no-one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.
30  I and the Father are one.”

WOWzer! Such a beautiful promise of Jesus “no one, nothing can snatch us out of The Lord Jesus’ hand or the Father’s hand.”

Finally: THE PROMISE OF FRESH PASTURE & ABUNDANT LIFE.

John 10:9-11
9  I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture.
10  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
11  “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

Jesus gave His life so that you could experience ABUNDANT (FULL LIFE).

When the Father draws you by the Holy Spirit to put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, then once you’ve responded in repentance and faith, received the New Birth and become a member of God’s family; it’s forever!

Trust in these promises, AND ALL THE PROMISES OF JESUS, for there a many more: CLICK HERE.

  • WRITE OUT THE PROMISES OF JESUS IN THE BIBLE.
  • READ THEM ALL OUT LOUD.
  • BELIEVE THEM ALL AFRESH
  • TRUST IN JESUS AGAIN.
  • RECEIVE HIM AS LORD: AGAIN.
  • GET SOME FELLOWSHIP: There’s nothing better than gathering with the Saints to praise and worship the Lord together. Ask them to pray over you in the power of the Holy Spirit. 

You will be refreshed, you will be set on fire, you will know that He is your Lord.

Do you treasure the Promises of Jesus?

I’m hoping and praying that EVERY Follower of Jesus will be Full of His FRIDAY FRUIT today.

Don.

Note: Here are many more promises of Jesus: Click Here. A Downloadable FREE PDF:

The Promises of Jesus Christ

 

He gives me ‘LIVING WATER’ and I thirst no more.

Living Water, Soul Satisfaction, Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word: 605:

He gives me living water and I thirst no more.

John 4:14 (KJV) “But whosoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”
Good morning my friends, do you know there have been so many wonderful praise and worship songs about how the Lord satisfies the needs of the follower of Jesus Christ? I’ve found myself moved so many times, in tears I’ve praised the LORD and He’s come to meet my needs.
  • He gives me living water and I thirst no more…the joy of the Lord is my strength.
  • There’s a fountain flowing deep and wide.
  • Deep and wide, deep and wide, there’s a fountain flowing deep and wide.
  • Take us to the river, take us there in unity to sing, a song of Your Salvation…
  • Here’s my cup Lord, fill it up Lord, come and quench this thirsting of my soul.
  • I heard the voice of Jesus say, “Come unto me and rest, lay down my weary one”…
  • All the way my Saviour leads me …
It’s amazing the way that the Lord does take away all the cravings for the things of this world. The follower of Jesus has enough in His Lord to satisfy every soul longing in life. All these praise and worship songs have been written because the Lord has shown Himself to be faithful to those who wrote them.

Hymn Story: “Here’s My Cup Lord”

For instance, I read somewhere about the little song “Here’s my cup Lord, fill it up Lord” that the Pastor, Richard Blanchard was waiting for a couple that he was preparing for marriage and they were late. He was sitting at the piano, impatient and his heart was getting angry that they were late. So he began to tinkle the ivories and this song came to Him:
Life was never to be a bed of roses for Richard Blanchard.
       A severe lung problem developed, and Blanchard was left with one-third of his lung capacity. But a diminished physical well-being did not stop young Blanchard.
       In 1953, he became the pastor of a church in Coral Gables, Florida, and one day, was asked by a young couple to perform their marriage ceremony. However, the couple was quite late for their counseling appointment.
       Blanchard told his secretary, “I will wait for thirty minutes and I’m leaving.” He then went to a nearby Sunday school room and sat down to play the piano for a while.
       He later said, “When I was not in the mood to be used of God, God was in a mood to use me.” In less than thirty-minutes, as he waited for the young couple, God gave him the inspiring song “Fill My Cup, Lord”
“When I was not in the mood to be used of God, God was in a mood to use me.”
(1) Like the woman at the well I was seeking
For things that could not satisfy;
And then I heard my Savior speaking:
“Draw from My well that never shall run dry.”

CHORUS: Fill my cup, Lord, I lift it up, Lord!
Come and quench this thirsting of my soul;
Bread of heaven, feed me ’til I want no more-
Fill my cup, fill it up and make me whole!

(2) There are millions in this world who are craving
The pleasure earthly things afford;
But none can match the wondrous treasure
That I find in Jesus Christ my Lord.

(3) So, my brother, if the things this world gave you
Leave hungers that won’t pass away,
My blessed Lord will come and save you,

If you kneel to Him and humbly pray:
Even when you are feeling your worst and most un-usable by the Lord, then the Lord Jesus can and will use us for His glory. Think about Jonah, Moses, Gideon and Solomon: reluctant to take the call and the role the Lord had allotted them, they were all used in such mighty ways by Him who changes situations, people and even desires.
Jesus really is the true SOURCE of our HAPPINESS, JOY, PEACE and PROVISION in life.
It’s truly awesome the way that He comes;
When you are feeling weak, He gives you strength.
When you are lonely He there in a moment of praise.
When you are broke, He sends the ravens to feed you.
When you are thirsty, He sends the rain to give you to drink.
When you are hurting, His stripes are for your healing.
When the storms in life come, He invites you to walk on water.
When you are hungry, He can turn stones into bread or send mana from Heaven.
When you are rejected, abused, neglected, you’ll find Jesus is the one who sticks closer than a brother.
John 4:14 (KJV) “But whosoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”
Jesus really does give us living water so that we will thirst, hunger and want; no more. He’s enough, He’s enough to SATISFY all our longings in life. His WELL will NEVER run dry.
Oh how I love Jesus,
Oh how I love Jesus,
Oh how I love Jesus,
because He first loved me.
Have an awesome day with your Lord and Saviour.
Don.

Why Am I Suffering?

Jesus answer to suffering

Daily Spirit & Word 601: Why Am I Suffering?

Good morning my friends, did you see the Blood Moon yesterday? For some strange reason I awoke just as the shadow of the Earth began to cover the moon, so I watched it for a while. The moon looked quite big, they called it a super moon, but I’m sure I’ve seen even bigger moons than that when I was a child 🙂 Overshadow? I’m thinking what the Lord may be saying about that today.

I can’t give a reason for EVERYONE’S suffering, but sometimes the Lord wants to teach us something.

My friends Roy Hutchinson shared this on FB today:

Psalm 73:14-17 (ANIV)
14  All day long I have been plagued; I have been punished every morning.
15  If I had said, “I will speak thus,” I would have betrayed your children.
16  When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me
17  till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny.

If you read that whole Psalm, you’ll see the Psalmist is complaining to the LORD: Why do ‘good’ people have to suffer?

Suffering:

When we suffer sometimes we ask the question “Why?” Why am I suffering. Sometimes Christians get ashamed about their suffering or the duration of their suffering, because they think it’s the judgement of God. Other brothers and sisters sometimes don’t help, because they say things like; “You should pray about that” or “Perhaps God is disciplining you”… When you are suffering you want people to show some sympathy and empathy.

But it is GOOD to ask the question: “Why am I suffering?” but we should always ask the LORD not other people, because, unless they’ve been given a word of Knowledge from Him, they will not know.

1 Peter 4:12-19
12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. 13  But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.
14  If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.
15  If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler.
16  However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.
17  For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?
18  And, “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”
19  So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.

However, there are some great reasons why we suffer, but it’s good to ask the Lord the question “WHY?” He may reveal something that, unless the suffering had come, you would continue to be unaware of in your character or walk with Him.

Two verses jumped out at me from that passage today (perhaps another speaks to you in a different way), the verses were 15 & 17.

Verse 15 “If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or a thief or any other kind of evildoer (criminal), or even as a meddler (someone who interferes in the affairs of others).”

How many ‘good’ Christians do you know, who are meddlers? The Church is rife with people who meddle, we should not do it.

  • If you are a meddler, then you are an obstacle to someone else’s pathway in life.
  • If you are a meddler, you are interfering in an obtrusive, noticeable way.

Verse 17: “For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?”

It is so easy for the follower of Jesus to skip over the first part of verse 17 and focus upon the outcome of the sinner who doesn’t respond to the Gospel when they hear it. However, the first part could quite possible be even more enlightening for us; “For it is TIME for judgement to begin with the family of God”. We don’t like to think that Father God will judge us, but it’s good for us if He does.

God disciplines, and judges those who belong to HIM NOW: “God disciplines those He loves”. He’s perfecting, training, shaping and moulding our Characters to become more and more like Jesus Christ, it is far better to KNOW that you belong to God’s family and experience His loving discipline now rather than wait for the judgement to come. We should invite the Lord to show us where we need to be transformed. “What’s next on Your agenda for me Heavenly Father?” Because our earthly nature, though it was put to death when we were baptised and united with Christ, is NOT completely dead, and will try and creep back up onto the throne of our life and kick the Lord Jesus Christ off.

It’s TIME for Judgement to begin with the Household (family) of God.

In other words, it is good for us when the Lord of Heaven disciplines us. So it’s no wonder this passage begins with “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.” and continues with “rejoice”… It’s GOOD for us to experience some suffering, so we should never be ashamed or down-hearted or beaten down: Instead Christians should Rejoice! Sing hallelujah! Praise the LORD! Why? Because we are becoming more and more like our Lord Jesus Christ.

So what should we do when we’re suffering?

First: REJOICE and PRAISE THE LORD: I know how hard that is sometimes, but it is what happens to us when we do it. JOY comes into our hearts when we praise the Lord, even when we’re in pain and suffering all kinds of trials.

Next: Continue to do Good: Verse 19 “So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.”

Continue (even when you are suffering) to do good.

When I had a bad back just recently and found it difficult even to walk, there wasn’t much good I could do, but I prayed, studied God’s Word and shared with people in fellowship and online. It is the CONTINUING: Keep going even when the going gets tough.

Jesus will help you and give you the comfort, encouragement, and strength that you need when you are suffering. There were so many wonderful encouragements I received from the Lord whilst suffering in agony. Praise the LORD!

So it’s good to ASK the Lord, “Why Am I Suffering?”

Draw near to God, and He’ll draw near to you.

Hope you all have a fantastic, wonderful, tremendous Tuesday with Jesus.

Don.

P.S. Please PRAY for us as we gather for Discipleship Fellowship Tonight @ 7.30pm in St Luke’s Church.