Relax, Work Less, Enjoy Life to the Full.

Working Less, Overwork makes you dull

Daily Spirit & Word: 553: The Importance of Relaxation and Enjoyment of Life.

“Relax, Work Less, Enjoy Life to the Full.”

Good Saturday morning my friends. Growing up in the 1960s and 70s Saturday’s were always good times of family fun and relaxation. Saturday was family day; time to be fixing the car, riding bikes, going to the club and having a dance; well that’s what my parents did ūüôā When we had the time, we took our kids to the beach, woods, rivers, parks, picking blackberries, picking flowers and making swings over the rivers. Saturdays were for FUN and FAMILY.

It’s wise advice to have some FUN sometimes; You know the saying we had in the Royal Navy, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” Jack was a slang term for a Sailor (Jack-Tar). People need to work less and live more.

It is for FREEDOM:

Galatians 5:1 1  It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Overwork makes a man and woman miserable: Mother’s get all flustered and upset. Dad’s get tetchy; so take time OFF and enjoy and live the life that Jesus died to give you.

Remember Solomon’s Wisdom:

Proverbs 23:4-5 4  Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint.
5  Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.

Worrying only about money will NOT make you happy.

Nobody is ever going to say when they reach retirement age (75) and say, “I wish I’d spent just a little more time at the office instead of playing with my kids and grandkids” NO! No! No!… We’ll be wishing we’d had a little more fun along the way. So often people work towards retirement, and exhaust their bodies so much that by the time ‘retirement’ comes along, they’re totally; knackered, worn-out, dog-tired, washed-out, spent, fatigued, fagged, run-down, sapped of energy, dried-up and¬†depleted.

Now you KNOW that Jesus doesn’t want His followers to be like that, so take some time OFF your hard-pressed life, strive a little less, enjoy life, you only get one shot at life, enjoy the kids, play more, work less, have a few less things and enjoy the daisies. Watch the clouds, look at the stars, enjoy a BBQ with the neighbours, whatever……………………… (You fill in the blank).

John 10:10 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.

Don’t let OVER-WORK steal your life, your joy or your happiness: Work is NOT the be-all and end-all of life. LIFE is to be lived to the full with Jesus and family and friends.

Have an awesome Saturday.

NOW: Share your FAITH the way Jesus would:

Saturday’s ARE for FUN.

Stay Blessed and Strong In Jesus.

Don.

 

PEACE and FREEDOM Weekend.

how to have lasting peace and true freedom

Daily Spirit & Word: 552: PEACE & FREEDOM Weekend.

How to have LASTING PEACE and TURE FREEDOM at the WEEKEND.

Good morning my friends, I’ll bet after a hard week you’ll be looking forward to a weekend of freedom and peace.

Thankfully it’s EASY to achieve with Jesus:

Following some of His TEACHINGS¬†will bring real FREEDOM and lasting PEACE, so that you’ll enjoy the abundant life at the Weekend.

First: Try and put others first, before your own preferences.

Mark 10:42-45¬†42¬†¬†Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them.¬†43¬†¬†Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,¬†44¬†¬†and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.¬†45¬†¬†For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Jesus gave us all an example of being free and at peace, by learning to serve others rather than having people do stuff for us. Instead of LORDING it over people, becoming their servants.

Some weekends can be fraught with families squabbling over who does what and when; give in and do something different, who knows you just might enjoy it.

2) Having Less Is Good For You:

1 Timothy 6:6-10 6  But godliness with contentment is great gain.
7  For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.
8  But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.
9  People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.
10  For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. 

Instead of using the weekend to pursue things, enjoy what you’ve already got. Don’t go out to get some useless gadget that you’ll only use for a short while and be fed up with it after a few weeks. Think about how others might be able to benefit from you and your time and talents. Be content with what you already have in life: Give thanks right now for the gifts God has given to you.

 

3) BLESS THE NEIGHBOURS FROM HELL.

Romans 12:14-16 14  Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
15  Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.
16  Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. 

This is a real secret to lasting PEACE and FREEDOM: Learn to bless those who cut-you-up in life; nasty neighbours, people who push in front of you in the shopping line, drivers who overtake and jump in front of you, neighbours who’re just too noisy or inconsiderate. Instead of seething about it; BLESS them. Do something good; let them go first and don’t complain about it. Give the neighbours a gift to make their party go with a swing. Do good and live a peace with EVERYBODY. You’ll have lasting PEACE and FREEDOM.

4) PUT GOD’S WILL FIRST:

Matthew 26:39¬†39¬†¬†Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”¬†

Sometimes life is just really, really tough, but instead of trying to escape the pain and discomfort; embrace it, and say out loud: “God I don’t like this, I don’t really want to have to go through it, if it’s possible LORD take it away, but NOT MY WILL, BUT YOUR WILL BE DONE” Amen!

There have been times when, after reaching the end of my tether, getting to the point where I’m about to blow-up, give-up or give-in, that I’ve finally said to God; “I’ve just had enough of this LORD, but not my will, Your will be done LORD”… When I’ve gotten to that point, the Lord often moves in POWER to do something. Often His JOY floods my soul and I’ve been given a new insight into something wonderful in His plan for my life: But what I’ve experienced more than answered prayers is LASTING PEACE AND TRUE FREEDOM. So give these four things a try and see what happens this weekend.

I’m praying for ALL my friends to have LASTING PEACE and TRUE FREEDOM this weekend.

Will YOU pray for your friends: to have LASTING PEACE & TRUE FREEDOM?

Be free in the LOVE of God, let His Spirit flow within you.

HELP someone else have an awesome weekend too:

 

Don.

 

Unmistakable End Time Signs

End Times, Last Days, Unmistakable Signs,

Daily Spirit & Word: 541: Unmistakable End Time Signs

It really made me laugh the other day, we were driving through South London and long before I spotted it my granddaughter shouted out, “can we have a McDonald’s?” I replied, “No darling, we’re no where near a McDonald’s.” To which she replied, “Oh yes we are Papa, look” Well, I was looking but I couldn’t see, she just kept pointing with insistent fingers, “Look Papa, there it is, McDonald’s, can you see it?” Far away, and I mean faaaar away, there it was, the tiny little golden arches of McDonald’s. She’s so clever, imagine being able to spot McDonald’s that far away? Needless to say, Papa had to drive to the McDonald’s, we had a lovely chicken sandwich.

Those guys at McDonald’s got it soooo right when they developed those unmistakable arches that look just like the outline of the tablets of the Ten Commandments. People know that sign and immediately trust it; we’re going to get a good feed under those arches.

You know my friends, Jesus revealed that before He comes back again in glory there will be unmistakable sings.

Matthew 24:32-35¬†“Now learn this lesson from the fig-tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near.¬†33¬†¬†Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door.
34¬†¬†I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.¬†35¬†¬†Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”

What did Jesus mean when He said, “When you see all these things”?

The things Jesus is talking about are revealed before¬†and after that statement in Matthew 24. You really do need to read the whole chapter a few times and you’ll begin to get a greater understanding. Read through Matthew 24 now (see here).

Unmistakable Signs: The fig tree buds and summer is near.

The Earth’s Unmistakable Sings of the End Times and the Return of Jesus Christ:

  • There’s going to be Civil Instability.
  • There’s going to be Political Instability.
  • There’s going to be Religious Instability.
  • There’s going to be Physical¬†Instability.¬†

Are there any signs like this in the world today?

We’ve got ALL OF THEM:

Looking For Signs: “Can you see it Papa?” Out of the mouths of babies…

2 Timothy 3:1-5 1 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.
2  People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3  without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good,
4¬†¬†treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God‚ÄĒ
5  having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.

The signs are indeed all around us: (As it was in the days of Noah: Matthew 24:37)

  • The Austerity Measures: In Europe and the UK are producing Civil Instability for millions.¬†
  • The Political Tensions between Russia, Europe and the USA and NATO: Are producing Political Instability.¬†
  • The Endless Pressure from Minority Groups: Causing Religious and Moral Instability for Millions.¬†
  • The Environmental Issues: Food shortages, water shortages and disease and drought are causing Physical Instability for Millions of the world’s poorest people, they are dying needlessly every day.

I’m feeling for all those Greek people, with so much instability and the impossible debt burden placed upon them by the powerful and wealthy European states. It would be so easy to help them and to make Greece prosper again, however, Instability is all around us, and it’s not far from our own door here in the UK. On Saturday, we bumped into an Anti-Austerity Demonstration in London, thousands of people marching to protest against Government austerity programmes. It was a good-natured and a very well organised and¬†controlled¬†march, but the fact that thousands of people gave up a Saturday and walked in demonstration should not be taken lightly. In Carolina in the USA, again there was a peaceful march, but thousands of people made a march for PEACE… More and more people are becoming aware that things in this world are not the way they should be. We’re commanded by Jesus to pray; “Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be DONE, on Earth as it is in Heaven”… Let’s keep praying for our world and God’s Kingdom to break through into the hearts of many. Pray for PEACE, let’s do what we can to help struggling nations and people.

Jesus doesn’t reveal WHEN He’s coming back, but He wants us all to be constantly READY. Just like those famous batteries (Every Ready), we’re to be charged up and ready to go. We’ll meet Him in the air, with everyone else who’s died in Christ. But He wants us to be prepared and ready for the day of His return. In the meantime, we’ve got such an urgent task to fulfill.

Let’s keep watch, look for the signs, pray and seek the Lord’s will in these last few days before He comes back again. There’s an urgency to our task of taking the Gospel to every soul who’s yet to submit to the Lordship of Jesus.

Don.

 

God’s Expansive Reasoning

God's LOVE extends to all people, everywhere, always,

Daily Spirit & Word, 533: God’s EXPANSIVE REASONING.

God is LOVE: The LORD / LOVE Cannot Be Contained.

Good morning my friends, it’s great to be back home again. We had a wonderful short time away in Cornwall for my niece’s wedding blessing, which I conducted on the edge of a cliff in Cornwall at Hayle beach. Such an awesome place, three miles of golden sands and a beautiful bay. When you take a look you can’t help but praise the Lord for His awesome Creative boundless and expansive LOVE.

God’s revelation to me today:

“Expansive Reasoning: God’s Expansive Love”

Have you ever woken-up with a word or a phrase upon your head? This is what was upon mine this morning at 3.00am; “Expansive Reasoning”… Then came God’s revelation: about God Himself and His EXPANSIVE LOVE.

“Expansive Reasoning” It seemed to me that God was saying to me this morning,

“You try and contain God’s love, but God is LOVE and that love cannot be contained, because it is boundless and free.”

Further, as I was slowly coming awake the voice said; “The human tendency is to limit, control, dominate and determine, but God’s nature is expansive, because He wants to set-free instead of¬†controlling, He wants to broadcast His GRACE so that it’s available for everyone, He wants to shower His love upon everyone regardless of who they are, what they are like or where they come from.”

“Oh WOWzer!” I thought to myself, I’ve just got to get-up, get out of bed and Google this ūüôā

Then I thought to myself, “Donald, you must have read that somewhere” and “I know, I’ll Google it when I get up”. When I get up? I just had to get up whilst the thought was upon my mind, it’s 3.00am… Ahhhhhh!

So I got up and Googled “EXPANSIVE REASONING”, hoping and praying the LORD had given me something original. It’s amazing, because we all want to be the first at things don’t we, that’s another human tendency, we’re competitive with one another, God’s NOT like that, His nature is to co-operate instead of to compete. For instance, just look at the way that Jesus¬†subjugated¬†His own will to the Father’s throughout His time on earth.¬†WOWzer! It’s NOT ON Google yet! Praise the LORD for He’s always ORIGINAL. He gave it to me whilst I was sleeping, a phrase that even Google has not heard about, until this morning; “EXPANSIVE REASONING.”

You know the place in the bible where it reveals God’s expansive love? Every single page ūüôā He wants all people, in every place at every juncture in time to KNOW and EXPERIENCE His wonderful LOVE. Because God is LOVE He desires ALL people to KNOW and EXPERIENCE Himself. That’s awesome, that’s Expansive love and it’s even revealed in CREATION: God made the universe and it’s constantly expanding. God’s LOVE goes out like that, it’s continually going out and extending to everyone and everything. The Bible tells us that through Creation we can know that there is a God and that we should respond to Him by loving Him back. (Romans 1,2)

Perhaps I did get it, in a round about way; from these amazing hymn lyrics;

“Here is love vast as the ocean,
loving kindness, as a flood,”

Do you know it? It’s one of my favourites, because it’s reveals God’s EXPANSIVE REASONING and extends His LOVE to all people in every age. “God IS Love”…

My friends, have you ever had a word from the LORD? Well I’m sure He’s speaking, not just to me today, but to each and every one of you who are reading this. He wants you to know just how much He loves you, but to experience and know that love and the person of God, you’ll need to respond, to yield yourself to Him, to give in and let Him love you.

A Boy’s First LOVE: It’s like the boy trying to win the girl’s heart for the first time in his life. He’s adored her for ages and wants her to be his girlfriend, so he trys wooing her with flowers, gifts and kindnesses that he’s never extended to anyone in his life before. Questions assail his mind, “Will she love me back? Will she open up her heart to me? Will she love me as much as I love her?” His love is an ‘Expansive’ love. He’ll shower his love upon his new sweetheart. He’ll do anything to win her love.

My friends, God wants to love you like that, in fact He is loving you like that right now, let Him love you my friends, let Him love you.

I’m getting the feeling today that’s exactly what God’s looking for from us as well. We are His, His Created human beings and He wants us to love Him back just as much as He has loved us.

Here’s my NEW TITLE for this passage: “God’s EXPANSIVE REASONING: GOD’S EXPANSIVE LOVE”

1 John 4:7-12 7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.
8  Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
9  This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.
10  This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
11  Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
12  No-one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

I know that, like me, some of you have been experiencing pain, hardships, trials of many kinds. The last few weeks I’ve been in constant pain and sometime¬†excruciating¬†agony, at the wedding on Saturday I was also in agony, standing of the cliff-top, but just had to be there for my niece Sammy to shower God’s blessings upon her and new life with Tim. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. Love moves beyond pain and leaps into the heart my friends. And I believe they were touched by God’s love too.

God IS love my friends, He wants you to know Himself, to experience Himself, to know that you are loved with an expansive love that is boundless and free. Jesus died so that we could experience God’s love personally, receive it my friends. His love brings healing in it’s wings.

Have an awesome week walking in the love of the Lord.

“Love ONE ANOTHER”

Be filled afresh with God’s Holy Spirit right now, when you are you’ll be full of¬†His LOVE, because God IS love, and you’ll be a power-source for God’s hand of love extended to a world that needs to know Him and His love for everyone. There are so many people walking around in pain; broken relationships, hurts and hatred, they need to feel and know God’s love today. Share that LOVE with everyone, regardless of who they are or where they come from or what they are like. God wants to use you to touch someone elses’s life with His love.

“Share that LOVE with everyone, regardless of who they are or where they come from or what they are like.”

Three times in the passage above¬†it says; “LOVE ONE ANOTHER” = if you do then “God’s LOVE is in you”. My friends, are you getting God’s message today? His EXPANSIVE REASONING; “If you love one another as I have loved you, then you know me, I’m in you, and you are free to love everyone”…

Every blessing in Jesus.

Don.

Do a Goggle¬†search for “Expansive¬†Reasoning” and you’ll see that it comes to just one page, this one, this page, for now ūüôā Praise the LORD for His amazing originality. Now go and practice His EXPANSIVE REASONING AND HIS EXPANSIVE LOVE.

“God’s Expansive Reasoning: God’s Expansive Love” Rev Don Davis. London. 15th June 2015.

 

The Dangers of Desiring Wealth

The Deceitfulness of Wealth

Daily Spirit & Word: 529: The Dangers of Desiring Wealth.

And The Biblical Secret of Contentment.

Good morning my friends. It’s FRIDAY: Praise the LORD Sunday’s Coming. Hope you all have a fantastic weekend.¬†I’m going to share a teaching (Doctrine) from God’s Word today, that you will not hear or read about very often in society, in the world, in schools or colleges or even, sadly, in churches. Because it seems the whole world is given over to the pursuit of WEALTH. However, today we’ll see that far from giving us the freedom and peace and joy that it promises, God shows us today that it’s a deadly trap that will ultimately destroy us; IF we fall into it.

Instead of God’s¬†teaching you’ll encounter endless messages encouraging people and followers of the Lord Jesus Christ alike to sow a seed and reap a harvest of wealth. Messages that foster a hunger for wealth and financial security and prosperity. My friends, we must first recognise a truth about the Lord Jesus Christ,¬†Matthew 8:20 (NIV)¬†Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”

I.E. Christ, whilst He was on the Earth possessed nothing. When He departed this life on earth to enter into Heaven, He left no great fortune behind, apart from a wealth of teaching entrusted to His Disciples that would transform the world.

But this teaching from God’s Word today will highlight or put a spotlight upon the very obvious dangers and terrors that await those who fall into the deadly, harmful and hurtful traps and snares set from them regarding the desire to get rich, be rich and stay rich.

Bible Focus:

1 Timothy 6:6-10¬†“But¬†godliness¬†with¬†contentment¬†is great gain.
7  For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.
8  But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.
9  People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.
10¬†¬†For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. “

LACK OF CONTENTMENT:

First of all, If we start desiring to get rich, we’re showing or exhibiting a deep lack of contentment with our life. Also there will be an accompanying and steady decline in¬†godliness¬†(righteousnes, god-likenes, Christ-likeness).

As soon as we begin to desire wealth, to acquire more than we need, we’re on the slippery-slope into the traps set for the foolish people who’re unaware of what’s happening to them. The desire for wealth is¬†a deadly deception. The ultimate end of those who continue on it’s pathway is a wandering from the faith and an even deeper discontentment in life. Don’t let SATAN or your own FLESH and the examples in the WORLD deveive you my friends.

Focus Verse: Verse 9:

I want to focus upon this verse today because the LORD has put it on my heart to show me what life is like for those who want to BE RICH and that I must STOP wanting more than I need:

“People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge (Baptize) men into ruin and destruction.” 1 Tim 6:9

 

What does the verse mean by “RICH”?

It is that position in life where we’ve got much more than we actually need to survive and thrive in this world.¬†

We’re DECEIVED into believing that RICH people are happy people:

  • They’ve got everything they need and more besides.
  • They’ve got freedom to do what they want, when they want.
  • They can have the best food money can buy.
  • They can have luxury furniture in their homes.
  • They can build a house to suit their particular desires or wants in life.
  • They can travel all over the world for pure enjoyment.
  • They don’t have to struggle in life.
  • They can stay in bed all day, every day if they want to.
  • They can afford the best doctors and medical treatments.
  • They’ve got it all COVERED.
  • They don’t have to worry about paying for the mortgage or rent.

“Oh” we think to ourselves, “They must be sooooo happy” and “How I’d like to be RICH like that”. Do you remember the pop-song in the 80s “I want your money, that’s what I want, I WANT YOUR MONEY” Well we don’t really want their money, we want the LIFE that we think money can buy, am I right?

Being rich is living is a state where we’ve got more than our¬†necessary¬†needs: If we’ve got food, clothes and a roof over our heads, then we’ve got what we NEED to enjoy life and be completely content. What more do we really need besides that? God is indicating that those who’re walking with Jesus will be completely content with having; food and clothing. I would add, because of our climate here in the UK, shelter, but the Bible tells us to add nothing to scripture or to take away from scripture; so let’s let it stand as it is: “Food & Clothing”… We’ve got ALL we need to survive and the freedom to be content.

WANTING TO GET RICH?: What does God say?

When we’re wanting / desiring to get rich we’re showing that God’s plan for us is not enough, we want more than our necessary needs. That’s the sin of greed my friends.

When people get more than they need what do they tend to do with it?¬†They’ll waste it on more things they don’t really need.¬†When people have got much more than they need, they’ll waste it on even bigger things than they could ever really need.

When people have got more than they need, they’ll also STORE IT UP, because they can’t use it all, the’ll find places to store it: Property, Investments, Insurances Schemes.

They’ll have private swimming pools: What’s that all about? They don’t want to share their water with the crowds, so they’ll build one just for them and¬†their¬†family. Instead, that money could be given to people who don’t have enough food or clothing.

They’ll have LuXury transport: More than they actually need, bigger, better looking cars. They’ve moved beyond practicality to beauty and style and elegance. It’s a way of showing off to the world that they’ve got LOTS of MONEY. Having flashy cars is a way of displaying opulence (Having more than you need and rubbing it in the faces of those who don’t).

What does our verse call that?

A FALL into Temptation.

It’s not like normal temptation; temptation is where you’re tempted to do or think something, but you have an ability to resist it. But when we’re desiring to get rich, we’re FALLING INTO TEMPTATION. What the passage is telling us is this my friends; when we’re tempted to get rich, we’re falling out of control, like a sky-diver who’s left the safety of the plan and¬†plunged¬†into the air with nothing at all to grab hold of. Or like a man out walking in the woods who’s fallen into a bear-pit once you’ve stumbled by “Desiring to get rich” your falling, falling, falling my friends.

But where do you fall into?

“Fall into temptation and a TRAP”

A trap is something you cannot escape from. You can’t get out of a trap. Picture a little rabbit caught with a snare around it’s little feet, there’s nothing the rabbit can do to escape. It tries with all it’s might and strength to get free, but it’s doomed for the dinner plate. Desiring to get rich is a a DEADLY TRAP my friends. Wanting more than you need will imprison you. Jesus said that when we LOVE money we’re serving a different MASTER: A Master is someone who’s got control of us. We’re definitely trapped when we desire to be rich.

“Fall into temptation and a trap and MANY FOOLISH AND HARMFUL DESIRES”

When you want to get rich you’re not just falling into the trap your also falling into many foolish and harmful desires. What are the desires of the rich? The foolish and harmful desires? Once you let go of God and fall into the traps of the rich, your desires will change. You’ll no longer want what God wants.

One of the foolish things about the RICH is an even bigger lack of contentment. When they get rich they’ll be looking for places to store their wealth. Because they’ve got much more than they need they will require¬†somewhere¬†safe to keep it from people who have nothing. So they’ll invest it in a Bank or in Shares or in Property: What does that produce? More MONEY, more to be worried about. So their treasure chest will get bigger and bigger and bigger, they’ll be more¬†worried¬†about their money than anything else in life. Why? Because they ‘rely’ on that money to keep them in luxury. Money becomes their god in whom they trust. But it’s also a Master and the Master’s Desires must be obeyed: So desiring to get rich is a form of idolatry. A desire to be trapped and tempted and kept in it’s grip. You’ll never be content when you get rich, because it will never be enough:

Harmful Desires: They’ll be so discontented that they’ll begin to desire the NEW THINGS. Having the novelties in life, the new things, the newest things. The sad thing about that is that once you’ve got the new thing, it’s no longer new and so the foolish thing, the trap is that you’ll be on a continuous cycle of buying novelty, but after a few days it’s novelty wears off and we want more. This is a total DISSATISFACTION with the tinngs in life. I watched a TV show the other day, about an Auction House in London, and the clients let the TV cameras into their homes and lives. Some of those people had so much, but they just wanted more, better, bigger glittering things. One lady said, “I saw it, so I just had to have it”….

PLUNGE INTO RUIN AND DESTRUCTION:

“Fall into temptation and a trap and many foolish and harmful desires THAT PLUNGE MEN INTO RUIN AND DESTRUCTION.”

What a powerful sentence of the bible this is: PLUNGE: The word for plunge is, BAPTISED. Look at the King James rendering of this same verse for a moment:

1 Timothy 6:9 (KJV) “But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and¬†into¬†many foolish and hurtful lusts, which¬†drown¬†men in¬†destruction¬†and¬†perdition.”

It’s literally like drowning in the foolish and hurtful lusts of the flesh. You can’t breath when you’re drowning.

We always think the opposite of this verse don’t we? When people loose a great fortune, they often say, “I’m ruined”, but the reality is that they’ve just got their complete FREEDOM back again. Because the desire for wealth or to be rich is to be DROWNED and DESTROYED and RUINED.

We think that being RICH is such a noble thing to desire, but the reality is that God wants us to be free from the foolishness and the deceitfulness of wealth and the destructive things that come with being rich.

“THE DESIRE FOR WEALTH IS¬†A DEADLY DECEPTION”

When you came into this world, you were naked, needed help, nourishment, warmth and care. Without this you wouldn’t have survived through infancy. As a toddler, your parents or guardians cared for you, provided for your need because you couldn’t; and you survived your toddler stage. As a youngster and teenager you were beginning to learn that you needed to work in order to benefit in this world, but still your loved ones provided for your needs. As an adult, you began to work and hopefully you’ve become convinced that God cares for your EVERY need in life: He provides for you in this world, so that you’ll always have just enough.

MONEY IS NOT EVIL:

Jesus didn’t say “money is evil”. It’s the LOVE of Money. When we’re desiring to ‘be rich’, we’re desiring to be independent of God or self-reliant or money-reliant. It’s then that money becomes our master, that’s when Jesus declared the following;

Matthew 6:19 (KJV) “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:”
Matthew 6:24 (KJV) “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”

If we’re in love with being rich and having more, we’re revealing a deep discontentment with our walk with Jesus. Our life is NOT full and abundant the way that Jesus wants. We need to get a reality check, a Biblical reality check on the condition of our hearts today. If you secretly or openly desire to be rich then you have already begun to fall my friends. Cry out and Jesus will SAVE you, Cry out before it’s too late.

God is not foolish with His wealth, He will never lavish wastefully upon you what you cannot possibly use for your needs and for His glory. Just like you, being a good parent, you wouldn’t give your child ¬£/$10.000 pounds or dollars to visit a theme park or zoo. My friends, your Heavenly Father has promised to supply you with ALL that you need. But He’s encouraged each of us to seek as a much higher priority in our lives, His Kingdom, higher even than our own needs, because He’s showing us, He’s already taken care of them.

God isn’t saying it’s wrong to have things, but let’s just make certain that things haven’t gotten hold of us, that we’re not trapped by them. Could you give your stuff away? Could you give everything that you posses away to the poor who have nothing? Would you give it all away? That’s what Jesus encouraged a RICH young man to do in the Bible. Why? To show the man that he wasn’t as right with God as he thought he was. He was trusting in MONEY, but Jesus showed him that he needed to trust in God.

Your Heavenly Father LOVES YOU

He knows your needs and wants you to trust Him to meet them.

Matthew 7:7-11 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.
9 ¬†“Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?
10  Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?
11  If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

Desiring to be rich is to fall into a trap that will snare you in such a way that it will be almost impossible to get out of. But it’s possible for the LORD to save you. Be contented with what you have and give thanks for everything. Be grateful and generous and give away more that you think you can. You need very little to live the ABUNDANT life that Jesus promised. You will have: food, clothing and shelter, but more than that and YOU ARE RICH, so use your riches in service of the Kingdom.

“When you DESIRE to BE RICH, you are FALLING into a DEADLY TRAP

Repent of your foolish desires, you’ve been deceived if you are desiring to be rich. It’s a DEADLY trap my friends. I wouldn’t walk past anyone who’d fallen into a bear-trap, I’d reach in a pull them out, that’s what God is doing today: He’s pulling people out of the TRAP OR SNARE of the DESIRE to be RICH.

Call upon Jesus now and let go of that foolish desire.

After you’ve called you’ll find the freedom to be content with your life, your world and your future will be secure. TRUST HIM with your everything again today.

Seek to serve Him with the riches that He’s already lavished upon you and then you will be trusted with much more.

Don.

 

 

 

The Good, The Bad and The Brilliant

Following Examples

Daily Spirit & Word: 515: The Good, The Bad and The Brilliant.

Good morning on the Lord’s Day. Sundays are always such an encouragement for me, because I love gathering with my fellow saints to worship the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s great to hear them share what He’s been showing them from His Word and how they’ve had answered prayers during the week. Fellowship with each other is critical to our consistent walk with Jesus Christ. When we have good gatherings, it’ll be hard to wear a mask and make a pretense of walking in the light, when in reality we’re walking in the darkness.

Today we’re considering 3 John. One of the shortest books of the Bible, but again, like 2 John, it’s packed with significance for the Christian today. In this little letter (Epistle) from the Apostle John, we’ll see three different kinds of characters mentioned. You’ve probably all seen or heard about the Clint Eastwood film; “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly”, well today in John’s letter we see three individuals: One is good, One is bad and the other is Brilliant (A shining example to every Christian). Hence today’s title; “The Good, The Bad and The Brilliant”.

Our Bible Reading Today:

3 John 1:1-14 1  The elder, To my dear friend Gaius, whom I love in the truth.
2  Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.
3  It gave me great joy to have some brothers come and tell about your faithfulness to the truth and how you continue to walk in the truth.
4  I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.
5  Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers, even though they are strangers to you.
6  They have told the church about your love. You will do well to send them on their way in a manner worthy of God.
7  It was for the sake of the Name that they went out, receiving no help from the pagans.
8  We ought therefore to show hospitality to such men so that we may work together for the truth.
9  I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will have nothing to do with us.
10  So if I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, gossiping maliciously about us. Not satisfied with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers. He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church.
11  Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God.
12 ¬†Demetrius is well spoken of by everyone‚ÄĒand even by the truth itself. We also speak well of him, and you know that our testimony is true.
13  I have much to write to you, but I do not want to do so with pen and ink.
14  I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face. Peace to you. The friends here send their greetings. Greet the friends there by name.

What a wonderful letter to receive from the Ancient Apostle of Jesus Christ.

Imagine how you’d feel if John (the beloved Apostle) were writing this letter to you? What an encouragement it is. Well my friends, it is written to you too. It’s part of God’s Word and therefore it’s the Holy Spirit who’ll use it today to speak to each and every one of us.

Giaus The Good:

John’s letter is to this man Giaus, who is a great Christian.

  • He’s got a good witness. (3 John 1:1-6).
  • He’s Loved by the Apostle. (3 John 1:1)
  • He’s faithful to the TRUTH. (3 John 1:3)
  • He walks in the TRUTH. (3 John 1:3-4)
  • His walk with Jesus makes the Apostle John so full of joy. (3 John 1:4)
  • And He lives by the TRUTH with the actions of his life. (3 John 1:5-6)
  • He’s got lots of Christian Friends (verse 14)
  • He’s blessed by the Apostle: “Health, Success and Peace” (Verses 2, 14)
  • He’s entrusted to by John to greet everyone by name. (Verse 14).

Wouldn’t you like to have a Christian Witness like this man Giaus? His life in the Lord is being spoken of in other gatherings of the saints. He’s made a deep impression upon other brothers and sisters in the Lord.

Giaus was probably one of the people that the Apostle John led to faith and trust in the Lord. He’d taught him how to walk in the TRUTH (1 John). And is REJOICING because the one he’d lead to the Lord (His Children in the Truth) is continuing to walk with Jesus.

I can’t tell you how much of a JOY that is my friends. When we lead someone to faith in Jesus and they continue to walk with Jesus after many years. So much so that the fame of their walk reaches you by other brothers and sisters who tell what a great Christian they are.

But it’s Giaus’ Faithfulness and Continuing: In the Truth.

Of course the TRUTH here is a loaded word: John used the term to speak of people either walking in the light interchangeably with walking in the Truth or Walking in the Darkness (falsehood). If we’re walking in the light then the truth is in us:

1 John 1:5-10 5  This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.
6 ¬†If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. (i.e. we’re being FALSE).
7  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
8  If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.
9  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
10  If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.

THREE STAGES OF FALSEHOOD: What we ‘claim’…

Lying To Others: 1 John 1:6.¬†Being FALSE to our Brothers and Sisters in the Lord: Claiming to be walking in the light, but actually walking in the darkness: It’s living a lie. It’s claiming that we’ve got fellowship with God, when we’re actually sinning and walking in the darkness. (Lying to Others).

Lying To Ourselves: 1 John 1:8. Self-Deceived: When we continue to lie about our spiritual condition, we’ll actually begin to believe the lie, that we’re OK, that we’re walking in the light, when we’re actually walking in the darkness. It’s continuing to live sinfully and convince ourselves of the lie = self-deceived. So being false to our brothers and sisters is bad, but it will inevitable lead to self-deception. Thinking we’re OK with God. Walking in the Light.

Lying To God: 1 John 1:10. Being FALSE towards God. How foolish is that. Thinking that we can actually fool God into thinking that we’re walking in the light, that we’re in fellowship with Him, when we’re actually claiming we’ve not sinned. We’re making God out to be a liar, because God has said, “All have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God”. Romans 3:23-24.

So Giaus was walking in the TRUTH: i.e. He was walking in the light. He wasn’t living a lie, deceiving his brothers and sisters, himself or God. He wasn’t ‘CLAIMING’ to walk in the TRUTH, Giaus was doing it. ¬†His life was beaming bright and he was a living testimony that he was truly converted to Jesus. No wonder the aged Apostle was so full of joy and so full of love and blessings for him. He could trust Giaus to deliver his message to the other brothers and sisters, knowing that he’d communicate it faithfully.

Giaus Practices Hospitality:

He looked after the Brothers who’d come to Minister: They were STRANGERS, but Giaus welcomed them and looked after them.

In 2 John we read of the Elect Lady in the faith, who’d been warned not to invite False Teachers into her home. But here John is highlighting the need for all Christians to practice hospitality, especially towards Ministers who’d come to work for Jesus. (Truth 3 John 1:7). They didn’t get support from NON-BELIEVERS, but like all good workmen for the Lord, they depended upon the hospitality of the saints to sustain their Ministry.

In verse 8 John reveals that it’s not simply good practice, but an obligation to support the ministry. 3 John 1:8 “We ought therefore to show hospitality to such men so that we may work together for the truth.” We’re working together for the TRUTH.

Giaus did this and was commended for it by the Apostle, but we turn now to someone who didn’t: Diotrephes.

Diotrephes The Bad:

Now we come to the BAD: Diotrephes was a man who wanted to be FIRST:

John revealed what Diotrephes was doing; “So if I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, gossiping maliciously about us. Not satisfied with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers. He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church.”

  • Malicious Gossip: Saying things that are not true, to make others look small, because he loved to be PREEMINENT / FIRST.
  • Refusing to Welcome: He’s not welcoming the ‘BROTHERS’: Good Christian men who’re going out to serve the Lord Jesus.¬†
  • Expelling those who do: Puts them out of the Church if they support the BROTHERS.¬†

Diotrephes is the worst kind of CONTROL FREAK. I want my way and I want to be first, if I’m not, then you are out of the Church.

He’s definitely a BAD Witness. His fame for being bad had reached the Apostle too.

Demetrius The Brilliant:

Then we come to Demetrius: He’s the Bright and Shining Example to us all.

3 John 1:12 “Demetrius is well spoken of by everyone‚ÄĒand even by the truth itself. We also speak well of him, and you know that our testimony is true.”

WOWzer! I’d love to be spoken of like Demetrius, wouldn’t you? Even by the TRUTH itself: It’s a strange phrase.

I love it when I hear brothers and sisters ‘Speaking Well’ of each other, but even more so when it’s for great reasons; because of their ‘Walk in the TRUTH’ or How they, “Walk in the Light”.

I’ve been privileged to witness so many BRILLIANT examples. And I’m always thanking God for the massive impact they’ve had upon my life and my walk with Him. They are such an encouragement.

Following Others:

Demetrius is a great example for us to follow, so is Giaus, but should we follow men?

God Encourages Us To Follow / Imitate the EXAMPLE and LIFE of those who are faithful followers of Jesus Christ.

Philippians 3:17 17  Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you.

1 Corinthians 11:1 1  Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.

It’s great to have some Brothers and Sisters we admire, but lets be sure we admire them for the right reasons. Not for their Money, Position or Fame, but for the way they Follow the Example of Jesus Christ. I’m always encouraged by many great men of the faith. Some of whom have gone to be with the Lord Jesus now.

But we also, like John the Apostle Here, Encourage one another. We need to be encouraged and spurred on in our walk with Jesus.

Hebrews 10:24 24  And let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds.

Conclusion:

God wants to meet our every need in life, but we’ll only be completely satisfied if we’re walking in the Truth like Giaus and Demetrius: The LORD encourages us today;

Matthew 6:33 33  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

When we do seek His Kingdom as a first order priority: Then we’ll have a great TESTIMONY in the Church and before God and we’ll not be a FALSE witness, even to ourselves. We’ll be walking in the light, walking in the TRUTH and our lives will shine BRILLIANTLY FOR JESUS, FOR TRUTH AND FOR LOVE.

Have an awesome week with Jesus. Continue to walk in the Light as He is in the Light and we’ll have fellowship with one another.

Don.

Peter is Recommissioned by Jesus.

Jesus gives so much GRACE

Daily Spirit & Word, 511: Peter is recommissioned by Jesus.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 27:

Peter is Recommissioned by Jesus. John 21:15-17.

Good morning my friends, I’m always amazed by the utter grace that Jesus lavishes upon His chosen people. No wonder St Paul wrote, “My grace is sufficient for you.” It surely is. When we re-read the account of Peter’s restoration and recommissioning by Jesus, you’ll see His abundant GRACE in bucket-loads or as the famous hymn puts it: “Here is grace, vast as the ocean, loving kindness like a flood, when the Prince of Life, our ransom, shed for us His precious blood”, you see it here today.

Peter’s Recommissioning:

John 21:15-17 15 ¬†When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
16 ¬†Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
17 ¬†The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.

Thomas Edison’s Assistant:

Thomas Edison was working on a prototype light bulb and it took a whole team of men 24 straight hours to put just one bulb together. The story goes that when Edison was finished with one light bulb, he gave it to a young boy helper, who nervously carried it up the stairs. step by step he carefully watched his hands, obviously frightened of dropping such a priceless piece of work. You’ve probably guessed what happened next; the poor young fellow dropped the bulb at the top of the stairs. It took the entire team of men another 24 hours to make another bulb. Finally, tired and ready for a break, Edison was ready to have the bulb carried up the stairs. He gave it to the same young boy who’d dropped the first bulb. That’s true forgiveness and grace, because he gave the boy a second chance.

My friends, that’s what the Lord is doing with Peter in our passage today, and it’s what the Lord will do with you too. Once you come to Jesus and trust Him as Lord, He’s your LORD forever. He’ll never let you go and He’s constantly calling out to you to come to Him to be given another chance. He wants to give you another go at being His disciple again.

Notice, he also commissioned Peter to feed the lambs, look after the sheep and feed the sheep. There are those who are babies in the Kingdom of God, they need special care furst. The Mature sheep need looking after, watching out for wolves etc and they also need to be taken out into green pasture and shown how to feed on good green grass. He takes the fisherman and makes him into a shepherd of His flock.

We see a transformed Peter after Pentecost: Standing up in front of thousands and 3000 people coming to faith in Jesus. Acts 2. Then he’s thrown into prison and let out by an Angel. He’s also got people running after him, so that even if his shadow should fall upon them, they’d be healed. Peter does some really amazing things, but it all comes down to the fact that he was re-instated by Jesus. He was given a second chance and Peter is Recommissioned by Jesus.

You’ll experience times of failure:

Babies learn to get up and walk after trying many times, sometimes hurting their bums and falling over and bumping their heads. But as we can see from Peter’s experience of meeting the resurrected Lord Jesus on the beach that day, Jesus is full of grace, mercy and forgiveness. We serve a God of second chances: He’s longing to give you anther go my friends. So when you fail and fall, don’t give up on yourself, because Jesus never will. He wants to reach out to you, to lift you up and to give your feet a firm place to stand. He’ll then put a new song in your heart, a hymn of praise to our God. Psalm 40.

Psalm 40:1-3 1  [For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.] I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry.
2  He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.
3  He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD.

There’s a Prayer we pray sometimes in our Fellowship:

May the GRACE of our Lord Jesus Christ,
And the Love of God,
And the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit,
Be with us now, and forever more. Amen.

Sometimes, like Edison’s assistant, we need a ‘light-bulb moment. I hope you’ve had one today.

We need His grace and forgiveness every day.

Have an awesome day with Jesus.

Don.

Day 27 of 40 Days With Jesus. Homepage:

Peter is Recommissioned by Jesus.

 

From The Miracles to The Miracle Maker

Jesus cares and provides fish and bread at the resurrection appearances on the beach

Daily Spirit & Word: 509: From The Miracles to the Miracle Maker.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 25: John 21:7-14.

Good morning my friends, Saturday’s are always so special for me, because it’s the day of; rest and relaxation, a time to be with family and friends, a time to rebuild what the working week has drained out or us. Some of my friends relax so much on Saturdays that they spend the whole day in bed or in their night-clothes relaxing on the couch. Why? Because their working week is so stress-filled or exhausting and demanding, by the time Saturday comes around all they are ready to do is FLOP.

Today we’ll discover the tired, exhausted and hungry Disciples and the Lord Jesus coming to their assistance with a cooked breakfast for them to eat, also that Jesus is your friend and as a friend He comes to you for fellowship: He’s promised to do this many times in His Word, the Holy Scriptures, and today we’ll see the very first time that it actually happened after His Crucifixion and Resurrection from the dead.

John 21:7-14 7 ¬†Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water.
8  The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards.
9  When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.
10 ¬†Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.”
11  Simon Peter climbed aboard and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn.
12 ¬†Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord.
13  Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish.
14  This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.

Jesus Close Friends Get The Revelations:

The first thing that happens after the Miracle of the catch of fish that didn’t sink the boat or break the nets, was one of the Disciples, the one whom Jesus loved, recognised who it was that told them to drop the net on the right side of the boat. That revelation comes to the one who was closest to Jesus, “the disciple¬†whom Jesus loved”. We know that disciple was John, the Gospel Writer and the very same John who wrote 1, 2 and 3 John and the book of Revelations. How close are you to Jesus today? If you are close like John, then you are going to get a some amazing revelations of the Miracle Maker.

As I pointed out yesterday: Jesus PROMISE is that He will come (John 14) He’ll come and REVEAL Himself to us and in us. He’ll come and have fellowship. He’ll come and we’ll EAT together (Rev 3:20)… It’s Awesome to know this as a TRUTH, but it’s even more awesome when we experience the risen and resurrected Lord’s presence and we get our own REVELATION. Not just once, but regularly. No wonder John wanted to communicate it so clearly throughout his Gospel and all his letter and the book of Revelation. Jesus wants a closer walk with you today and He’s waiting and watching and calling out to you today to come to Him.

It’s been my own experience that the Lord has made known to me that He is present, many times. I’ve had that feeling and knowledge that Jesus is HERE: Whilst washing dishes (I hate washing dishes, but I began to sing praise songs, then suddenly Jesus came, and the task that I was doing seemed so much easier and even joy filled, I was in the presence of Jesus and I began to cry with joy). He’s with us always, of course, from the moment we decided to follow Him as Lord and receive Him as Saviour, but there are times when He manifests Himself and makes Himself more KNOWN. Just like He did with the Disciples in all His resurrection appearances, somehow they didn’t recognise Him immediately, until the right moment when they eventually get the revelation: “It’s Jesus”. As we’ve just read above, that’s what happened to the beloved Disciple John whilst in the boat. Everyone else had their eyes on the Miracle, but John was focused upon the Miracle Maker.

It’s always going to be the friends of Jesus who’ll get the REVELATIONS. This is something that’s true throughout the whole Bible, it’s the friends of God, that He chooses to reveal His secret plans: Moses, David, Abraham, Elijah, etc… So I’m going to ask you that question unashamedly today: “How much of a close friend of Jesus are you?” One of the ways to know is this; how obedient are you being to Jesus commands? (see yesterday’s reading). You see my friends, we’ll also get a revelation of who we are when we come to Jesus. We’ll know that He loves us and we love Him. We’ll know that He loves us, WHEN we love Him with all our heart, mind, soul and strength. We can only love Him like that with the HELP of the HELPER, the Holy Spirit who indwells every true follower and believer.

It’s the friends of the LORD who’ll get His Revelations.

The Fallen Believer Runs To Jesus:

Notice secondly the impulsive Peter:¬†Every time I read this portion of John’s Gospel, a great big smile comes over my face. I always think “I want to be like Peter” I want to run to the Lord, to be rushing up to Jesus.¬†Upon hearing the news from John, that the person who’d told them to cast the net, the one standing on the shore, was Jesus, you’ll note¬†that¬†Peter does two¬†things:

First: Peter Puts on His Outer Garment:

It’s an amazing few words; “he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off)”. Why did Peter feel the need to put on his outer garments? He’d have been naked from the waist-up: Reminds me of Builders working on site on a hot summer’s day when I was a boy, they’d all be lying around with their shirts off at lunch-time. Peter, had obviously taken it off because working the net was much easier without the clothing getting in the way. However, what was it that made him put it on? Well, many have speculated different reasons, but I believe it was like Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, who hearing the Lord’s footsteps in the Garden after eating the forbidden fruit run away and hide. Then the Lord makes clothing for them, for they were naked. It’s SHAME that Peter feels my friends, for he knew he’d sinned when he betrayed the Lord Jesus. When Peter denied the Lord three times and the cock crowed, it was then that he remembered the Lord’s words, warning that he’d deny him. Now Peter is ashamed when he hears John’s words, “It’s the Lord” and tries to cover up his shameful nakedness. He’s aware of his sinful condition before the Holy and Righteous Lord Jesus Christ.

From the Miracles to the Miracle Maker

That shame is what we experience sometimes when we’ve been living in sin. We too want to run and hide ourselves away from the Lord. That’s why so many fallen Christians won’t come back to church, they know that in the company of other believers, the Lord is likely to show up and make Himself known to them. They’d rather stay at home safe from the presence of the Lord.

That shame is also why non-believers refuse to come to the Saviour. It’s because they love sin and they are ashamed and frightened that their evil deeds will be exposed. Of course no sinner would articulate it that way, we only know this by God’s revelation on so many places in the Bible.

John 3:19-20 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.

Peter had to put on his outer clothing to cover up, it was in instinctive thing, something that the Police know when they are interviewing suspects. When someone is guilty, they’ll try and put something in front of them; their hand over their mouth, something between the interviewer and the suspect. So sinners need to try and hide behind something in God’s presence. That’s what Peter was doing when He heard it was Jesus, trying to cover up his sinful, shameful nakedness. Have you ever felt exposed when you heard a Sermon that hits home to where you’ve been sinning in life? I have and I just wanted to hide in the pew. God knows how to get to our hearts doesn’t he, but His purpose in doing so is always to restore us and clean us up so we can be of further useful service in His Kingdom.

However, even though Peter’s natural instinct is to hide his sinful, shameful nakedness, he does something extraordinary next;

Next: Peter Dives Into The Water:

Yes my friends, that’s the sinner diving into the water to get to Jesus faster than the boat is able to carry him. Peter can’t wait for the boat to get to the shore, so he jumps into the water because he’s desperate to get to Jesus. No thought is given to the others who need to tow the net full of fish ashore, now Peter knows that it’s Jesus, all he can do is get to Him as fast as he can.

This is one of my favourite passages in the whole Bible my friends, I just LOVE Peter. Because it reveals part of what happened to me and many other brothers and sisters I’ve known since I started following Jesus. When I realised just how much a sinner I was, how I’d fallen short of God’s Holy Standards, How I’d broken His commandments, there is nothing else that I could possibly do to remove the stain of sin in my soul. None of my good works would¬†balance the scales of God’s Justice, sin must be punished or purged and I knew it. Unless I responded to the call of the Gospel, I knew I was headed for hell. But then I responded the Good News, “I don’t need to suffer God’s wrath and anger against my sins, I could trust in Jesus.” I knew I didn’t deserve Jesus’ forgiveness, but I knew that I could be forgiven, because of Jesus love for me. So many of my friends had turned to Jesus as well, they know they don’t deserve God’s amazing grace, but He gives it freely to all who will come to Him in Repentance and Faith in Jesus Christ. Once I knew what to do, and why I needed to do it, nothing on earth would have stopped me trusting in Jesus Christ for Salvation.

That’s what Peter was doing, He was coming to Jesus as fast as his body could carry him. He know Jesus was the ONLY way to be saved. My friends, I’ve actually seen people RUNNING down to the front of church to give their lives to Jesus, when they Holy Spirit convicted them of their need of The Saviour. I’m going to encourage you to listen to His voice today; to be like Peter, to be like my friends and so many that I’ve seen. I’m going to encourage you to come running to Jesus Christ right now. Don’t listen to your brain, be impulsive and just do it. Come!

From the Miracles of the Catch of Fish and the Un-burstable Nets: Peter comes running to the Resurrected Miracle Maker: The Lord Jesus Christ.

When they get to the Miracle Maker, they find the fish cooking and He’s giving them bread and fish.

Jesus wants to eat with you too my friends, to have fellowship with you. To be in your company and to provide for your nourishment in life. Oh what a glory it is today, to get this awesome awareness that Jesus is right inside you… Word’s can’t explain. But you need to try hard and take your eyes off the miracles and mover from the miracles to the miracle maker.

Imagine though, if your church was to have a fellowship breakfast on the beach with fish cooking on the fire: how many would show up? I’d be in that number as quick as a flash ūüôā

Points to Ponder:

  • When was the last time you KNEW Jesus was with you?
  • How quick are you to recognise the voice of the Lord in your life?
  • Tomorrow,¬†we’ll see that¬†after the breakfast Jesus takes Peter aside and has a conversation about His love and devotion. Today let’s ponder on what we’ve been thinking about:

Jesus performs a Miracle in order to reveal Himself to His closest friends, and then because He knows they a tired from fishing all night, Jesus provides a meal of fish and bread for them to eat with Him. He’s right there today with you my friends. He loves you so much and wants you to experience His presence. That means not just knowing about Jesus, but actually getting your own revelation that He’s actually with you by His Spirit.

Prayer:

Dear Lord Jesus Christ; Thank you so much for who You are, how You reveal Yourself to us and how it happened with the first followers. Please help me to recognise Your interventions in my life quickly, help me not to focus so much on the Miracles that I miss the Miracle Maker, it’s Your face that I long for more than the Miracles You can perform. Help me to realise that being in Your presence is far more precious than anything else that I can have or¬†that¬†will happen in my life. Amen.

Have an awesome Saturday, relax as much as you can, because the LORD needs you tomorrow to Worship, to Fellowship, to Encourage you and build you up and to strengthen one another in the faith. I’ll see you on Sunday ūüôā I hope and pray you’ll get closer to Jesus today. Don.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 25: From the Miracles to the Miracle Maker.

New Penny Black Stamp

Daily Spirit & Word, 501: New Penny Black Stamp.

Good morning my friends, I’ve not gone mad, I know we’re in a series looking at the disciples reactions to the resurrection appearances of the Lord, and that today the focus is upon JOY and the Title should read: “Jesus Gives A New Joy” Day 17. However, imagine how everybody in the UK would feel today, if the Post Office issued a commemorative Penny Black Stamp. Because it’s 175 Years since the First Penny Black Stamp was issued. You know the old fashioned stamp? You buy it and if you stick it to a letter then the STAMP itself guaranteed delivery of your item. So my friends, the Holy Spirit guarantees delivery of God’s Word to produce great JOY in your heart today.

Penny Black Stamp

It was a magnificent idea, People all over the county could send letters, notes, parcels etc to each other for the first time and the government guaranteed that it would be delivered, all because it carried the official Post Office Stamp: The Penny Black. Can you imagine the sheer joy and delight it must have been to receive the first letter in your life? If you had a relative who’d traveled to find work, they could now keep in contact by letter. Of course letters could take a few days to arrive 175 years ago, everything was very slow back then. Horses were the main means of transportation, it was before the advent of Steam Railways, Cars and Buses. No my friends, it was either horseback or coach and letters and mail were still in their infancy. You had to trust that someone would deliver you letter and you had no way of guaranteeing that it would be delivered. Also it would take a long time to discover if your letter had been delivered or not. The Penny Black Stamp changed all of that.

Now, when we read our lesson today from John’s Gospel, you’ll note that I’ve not gone completely bonkers: We’re thinking about the disciples JOY, now let’s look at the passage together;

John 20:19-21 19 ¬†On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”
20  After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
21 ¬†Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”

Notice what it says in verse 20; “… The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.”

You know my friends, I want you to try and picture the scene and use your imagination, try and think what it must have been like to be one of Jesus disciples at that moment. You are perhaps; Peter, John or Mary and you’ve all gotten together three days after Jesus was tortured and killed upon the cross. You are all frightened to be there together, you imagine all sorts of horrible things happening to you if you are caught by the authorities. You can see them in your minds eyes, torturing you like the shamefully tortured Jesus’ body. You can imagine the sting of thw whip or the pain as they thrust the crown of thorns on your head. You can almost feel it, because you witnessed it just a few days ago, the memory of what they’d done to Jesus and what they could possible do to you, was still very fresh indeed. You’ve all got this dread of being captured and caught, then suddenly out of nowhere, because you’ve made certain the doors are locked anyway, Jesus stands in the midst. First you’d probably be shocked, but then Jesus utters these words; “Peace be with you” You know it’s Jesus’ voice. You recognise the voice of the Master. But your mind is doing summersaults, “it can’t be, He’s dead, but He’s here, how can He be here? He’s alive, no Jesus died, but yet I can hear his voice. Am I dreaming? Is this a ghost or a dream?”¬†I know that my mind would be racing like this: but then slowly it begins to sink in; “This IS Jesus, that was His voice I just heard, He really IS here with us now” Then your surprise and shock give way to a Tsunami of Joy. Wave, after wave or Tsunami like Joy floods you soul.

Now can you see what I meant about the Penny Black? The Joy of having been contacted by a loved one hundreds of milse away, they actually touched this paper and put a pen to it and wrote upon it for you. Oh the Joy of the personal letter from a loved one, addressed to you personally. You’d look at your name, see the marvellous new innovative Queen or King’s Head on the Penny Black Stamp. WOWzer! You’d be over the moon, cock a hoop.

What does Over-the-moon mean? It was a phrase popularised by Private Eye who took-the-micky (made fun of) English football managers and their use of the English language. They would string phrases and words together that don’t make any sense at all. “Cock-a-hoop”, (filled with Joy), “over-the-moon” etc, would be used to express the sheer delight that their team had won a victory. i.e. “We were over-the-moon about the fact that we trounced Manchester 2-0”.

So my friends, the disciples would have been OVER THE MOON about Jesus resurrection. OVERJOYED.

Other Football Manager Quotes:

(You’ll not the funny side in a little while).

Football Manager Quotes:

  • “The Spaniards have been reduced to aiming aimless balls into the box.” (Ron Atkinson)
  • “If you can’t stand the heat in the dressing room, get out of the kitchen.” (Terry Venables)
  • “If Glenn Hoddle said one word to his team at half time, it was concentration and focus.” (Ron Atkinson)
  • “I felt a lump in my throat as the ball went in.” (Terry Venables)

These quotes are nonsensical, very funny and humorous, but they’re not intended to be. They’re what we’d call bleepers, bloops or silly mistakes of English grammar.¬†You can just imagine Terry Venables swallowing a huge football down his throat can’t you. LOL.

Over the Moon: Was a phrase like that, it means, really, really happy, full of joy or as the Bible has said today about the Disciples upon seeing the Lord and hearing His voice, “They were OVERJOYED”

Cock a hoop is another phrase to express happiness, I’ll let you look that one up on Google yourself though. Have fun my friends.

OVERJOYED

Dave Smith, In his little book to accompany this series, talks about dogs wagging their tails when they see the master coming with breakfast. Even dogs can be overjoyed my friends.

You can be OVERJOYED too my friends.¬†When you see a letter with your name, personally hand-written, it produces and air of expectation. You wonder who it was from, you turn it over to see if they’ve put a return address upon it. Nope, you open it up and you note immediately where it’s addressed from, and who signed it.

Notice that word: OVERJOYED. The disciples were not just joyed by seeing Jesus. It was no ordinary joy or happiness, as if we’re seeing a long lost friend, but imagine the delight you’d experience if you were to meet a dearly loved relative or friend if they came back from the dead? That’s what it means for the Disciples to be OVER-Joyed.

The PENNY BLACK: Guaranteed Delivery.

That’s what it’s like with the Bible: It’s God’s Book, It’s His LOVE LETTER addressed to YOU personally. It can produce the same JOY the disciples felt my friends, It’s like it’s got your own personal PENNY BLACK STAMP of guaranteed delivery, right into your heart today. You see my friends, the Bible’s Penny Black is God The Holy Spirit: who inspired the Bible to be written and who also enables us to understand the words contained within. (Spiritually discerned truth)

1 Corinthians 2:10-14 10  but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.
11 ¬†For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no-one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
12  We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us.
13  This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.
14  The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.

In other words, only the PERSON with the SPIRIT can understand God’s WORD. He’s like the Penny Black Stamp of authority and delivers God’s Word right into your heart today. Have you been filled with and OVERJOYED by the Holy Spirit.

Just as the Disciples were OVERJOYED by the LORD Jesus Presence my friends. So will you be when the Holy Spirit ushers in the presence of the Lord into your life today. Seek Him, seek the fullness and then you too will be OVERJOYED.

For over 2000 years the Bible has been delivering God’s message, with much more certainty than the New Penny Black Stamp ever could, because His message goes right into your heart and produces so much Joy, you’ll be over the moon, cock a hoop, filled with sheer delight. OVERJOYED. Not just happy, but OVER-JOYED. WOWzer! Who ever said that following Jesus would make life boring? It’s full of surprises and sheer delight and joy. Be OVERJOYED today, get the New Penny Black Stamp on your Heart, let it stick there forever by the Holy Spirit and the Lord Jesus will be your seal on your heart, you’ll know Him as Lord and Saviour forever.

Overjoyed when the New Penny Black Stamp was issued! Imagine what it must have been like for the disciples seeing, hearing and touching the RESURRECTED Lord Jesus Christ. WOWzer! OVERJOYED.

My friends, when you call upon Jesus today, you too can experience that same level of JOY. You’ll not have to work it up within yourself though, because you automatic response to the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ is going to be awesome; but eventually it will burst forth in to great JOY.

Have and exciting and JOY-Filled day my friends: The New Penny Black Stamp.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 17: Jesus Gives A New Joy. (As did the Penny Black Stamp), but much, much greater.

God bless and keep you all,

Don.

p.s. Did you notice that the Penny Black Stamp is on Google today?¬† ūüė鬆 ūüė鬆 ūüėé

 

Jesus Presence For Your Despair.

When Feeling Desperate Jesus is Near

Daily Spirit & Word, 489: Jesus Presence For Your Despair.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 4. Jesus Presence For Your Despair.

John 20:10-14 (NIV)
10 ¬†Then the disciples went back to their homes, 11 ¬†but Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 ¬†and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. 13 ¬†They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?” “They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” 14 ¬†At this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realise that it was Jesus.

Good morning my friends, we live in a world of deep despair. People are going through stuff every day and many are so troubled they give up any hope of ever being free from these desperate feelings. The reasons for our despair are many; for some it’s the daily struggle to make ends meet and provide for the family. For others it’s unhappiness at work or the fear of loosing one’s livelihood. For others it’s the break-up of significant relationships with loved ones and close friends. ¬†Like Mary Magdalene mentioned above you may have also lost a love one. It might be that there’s nothing in your life right now to cause you to despair, but you are feeling as if something is missing, there’s an inner emptiness and restlessness.

The impression we get from reading John 20:10-14 above is that Mary is in deep despair, standing outside the tomb of Jesus weeping, she is so upset, heartbroken and grieving, that in her despair she fails to see or notice that God is showing her something to encourage her. Even the presence of Angelic Beings from Heaven should have indicated to Mary that God had something to do with the disappearance of Jesus’ body. It’s like that for many people in desperate times; no matter how hard you try to encourage them, because they are hurting, their soul focus is upon the hurt.

Try telling a man with toothache that the daffodils or forget-me-nots look lovely and the sunrise was awesome; he’ll not even want to entertain the idea of beauty until he gets relief from the pain in his teeth.

It’s the exact same for those who are suffering emotional pain and torment, sometimes even though there’s lots to be encouraged by, they cannot see it because something else has their complete attention, they are absorbed in their grief. This is hard for those trying to help them, because we cannot see their pain.

My friends, if Angels couldn’t help Mary, then don’t think you are going to be able to lift someone out of deep depression either. It takes a supernatural effort to life them for the deepest pits of despair. Jesus was standing right behind Mary, but she didn’t realise. Many people who’re going through tough times don’t realise that Jesus is right there with them. He’s loving them, because that’s part of His DIVINE NATURE. God is LOVE. Even when she turned around and saw Jesus, her grief was so intense that she didn’t recognise Him. She was still looking for Jesus dead body and even asked Jesus where the his body was. Oh my friends, when we’re desperate, sometimes even though it’s right in front of our face, we don’t perceive that Jesus is with us, that He’s trying to show us something to encourage us and build us up again.

Mary Magdalene really loved Jesus and that’s why she was grieving, her grief had blinded her to the reality of Jesus being right in front of her nose. For everyone who’s in despair today, Jesus is with you by His Holy Spirit. No matter what the cause of your despair is, know that he’s consistent and faithful to His Holy Promises. “He’ll NEVER leave you or forsake you”, “He’s with you and in you”, Jesus said, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age”.

Listen afresh to the Divine promises of God in Isaiah 43:1-3.

Isaiah 43:1-3 (NIV)
1 ¬†But now, this is what the LORD says‚ÄĒ he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. 2 ¬†When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. 3 ¬†For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour; I give Egypt for your ransom, Cush and Seba in your stead.

For all of us, no matter what our emotional state at this moment in time, the above passage is medicine for our soul. God want you to know my friends just how much He loves you. His is an everlasting love. We all experience love from people and have been let down when they didn’t love us like we expected, right? Well my friends, God’s NOT like that, He’ll never let you down and when you pass through the troubled waters of grief His Holy Promise is “I WILL BE WITH YOU”.

Mary Magdalene didn’t see it until the Lord Jesus called her name, look at the Isaiah passage above, “I have summoned you by name”. When God called you into a relationship with Jesus, He called you by name, you are His, He chose you, He’s calling your name again this morning and He wants to be with you and heal you and help you.

Points to Ponder

  • Are you in deep despair? Do you believe that God’s love can overcome any pain or hopelessness you are facing? Is there someone you could ask to come and pray with you?
  • Have you noticed any patterns in your life where similar circumstances consistently cause you to feel down or depressed? How can you increase your awareness of the presence of Jesus? I’d suggest some of these things, they work for me every time: Prayer, Praise, Worship, Bible Reading and Study, Fellowship with fellow saints regularly, Fasting, Getting alone with the Lord and talking through my problems with Him.
  • Finally, do you know anyone who is currently in despair? Take some time to pray for them and ask the Lord if He wants you to be His hands and feet to be with them and to show them that Jesus really cares.

Prayers For Day 4 of 40 Days With Jesus.

Dear Lord Jesus, I want to reaffirm my commitment to You. I choose to put my trust in You today despite what I am facing or how I am feeling. You know every broken place in my life. You are immediately aware of my hurts and you keep track of all my sorrows. (Psalm 56:8). Lord Jesus, because you became a human being just like me, fully human in every way (Hebrews 2:17), I know that You identify with what I’m going through. Open my eyes Lord to recognise You in the midst of my brokenness, I’m trusting and believing today that if I seek You with all my heart, I will find You (Jeremiah 29:13). Now, I thank You that You are looking for me too. With Your tender love, so come and lead me from despair into hope, from anxiety into peace and from brokenness into wholeness. Amen.¬†

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40 Days With Jesus: Day 4: Jesus Presence for Your Despair.