The Name of The LORD

In The Name of Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word, 483: In The NAME of Jesus.

“The Name of the LORD is; A Strong Tower.”

 

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

Good morning my friends, I do hope you’ve all managed to enjoy the Easter Week in some way, I’ve taken a couple of days off to spend time with my wife and some of the grandchildren. We’ve visited two of England’s most famous Castles: The Tower of London and Leeds Castle in Kent. Personally I found Leeds Castle to be a far more enjoyable experience, but they are both well worth a visit. What struck me was on each occasion a song was in my heart as I walked around, “The Name of the LORD is a Strong Tower” we normally sing that with all our children and have actions and hand gestures and movement.

Those castles have mostly been taken over and defeated not by someone breaching their defences or knocking holes in the massive thick walls, but from traitors within who let the opponents, enemies and foes come in and overrun the garrison. It’s amazing, they are very strongly fortified against attack, they’ve got trained troops ready to respond when the alarm is given, but nothing, no armaments, no amount of guards, no portcullis, nor arrows or strong-bows can fend off an attack from within.

 Portcullis:

Portcullis is from the French porte coulissante or gliding door, it is a kind of very heavy vertically-opening gate typically found in medieval fortifications, consisting of a latticed grille made of wood or metal, or a combination of the two, with sharpened spiked ends. They are normally held open but ready to be dropped at a moments notice upon the enemy as they try to storm the castle. You’ll notice these at the Tower of London and Leeds Castle.

A Strong Christian Tower: My friends, though we may put up defences that look impressive to the world as Christians we can’t fool our greatest enemy. Most Christian are brought down, not with diseases or lack of wealth or lack of health, but when we’re at our strongest and most impressive. We can sometimes put on a marvellous display for the world and fellow believers: We can come to Church regularly, carry a heavy Bible wherever we go, wear a cross to show we are following Jesus. Take holy communion regularly, attend Bible study and Fellowship groups, be known as a man or woman of prayer and have a powerful ministry for the Lord. To the world we’d look like very strong and impressive Christians who follow the Lord Jesus Christ. However, we have a much more cunning enemy, because he sees all of these outward signs and laughs at them, for he knows us, he observes our lives, our private lives, and he’s waiting and watching for an opportunity to attack and bypass those obvious defences. You see our enemy knows us so well, too well, that he knows the secret ways to get into the heart if the strong castles of the Christian life, and let loose his troops on the inside. How does the enemy do it? He is one who knows not only our strengths, but weaknesses as well.

You’ve probably all heard or read about those amazing Brothers and Sisters in the LORD, who for many years were following the Lord Jesus, but somehow we led astray and have fallen into sin. We spoke to a woman on Wednesday night last, that couldn’t fully commit to the Lord Jesus, because she’d observed so many, who were once impressive MEN OF GOD who’d fallen away from the faith. Satan can bring anyone down with a great big crash, then all of our impressive outer-structure, clean clothes, flashy suits or power-based ministry will count for absolutely nothing in the attack that ensues. Remember the Bible calls Satan a prowling, roaring Lion. Oh yes, we can all sing about how he was defeated when Christ died and rose again from the dead. He is a defeated foe, He’s lost the whole war, but He’s in the process of fighting a rear-guard retreat. Do you know that when Germany was on the defensive, they killed more Allied troops in the last year on the retreat than at any other time during the Second World War? Satan knows he’s defeated, but he’s not done yet, that’s why the Bible calls him a roaring lion, he’s been wounded, a lion that’s wounded is far more dangerous than a lion that’s perfectly well. He roars in agony and fight for his life more viscously than a normal lion. Any attack against a wounded lion will result in the most powerful swiping of his claws. He’s dangerous and he knows all your weaknesses.

 The NAME of the LORD IS a Strong Tower.

When under attack a Righteous Follower of the Lord Jesus Christ will run to HIM. Running to the LORD Jesus what does that involve and what does it mean?

Jesus NAME: The Name of the LORD in the Old Testament (Old Covenant) was Jehovah. The Lord’s name had so many variants to describe His Divine Characteristics. Names for God in the Old Testament: https://www.blueletterbible.org/study/misc/name_god.cfm God is so good and powerful and His Name signifies His entire glory.

 Jesus and the Father are ONE: Jesus said we should use His Name.

You know when we pray and say at the end of our prayers, “In the Name of Jesus. Amen” It’s not just any old name we tag on at the end. It’s like the signiture on a Cheque that guarantees we’ll get the money transfered into our account. It’s like the name on the back of your Credit Card or like the unique finger-print that unlocks the latest iPhone 6. Jesus Christ’s NAME means everything else must bow before Him. Take a very careful look through the list of verses that describe Jesus NAME and all about Jesus below. I’ve been meditating on all these verses today and oh WOWzer! What POWER and GLORY are revealed in Jesus Name and who He is.

  •  Sickness must submit to Jesus NAME. (Blindness, Lameness, Deafness, Death).
  • Nature must submit to Jesus NAME. (Water, Storms, Wine,)
  • Diseases must submit to Jesus NAME.
  • Demons must submit and tremble at Jesus NAME. (Satan and EVERY Demon).
  • Satan himself must submit and tremble at the NAME of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
  • Death cannot battle against the NAME of Jesus. (Lazarus, The Funeral of a child, Jesus own Resurrection).

Oh my friends, we’ve got to get a NEW grip on the reality of the NAME of Jesus Christ and His AWESOME Power. No other Name under Heaven given to men… WOWzer!

 The Follower of Jesus has Enemies:

We have got some POWERFUL enemies against us my friends;

  • Your enemy the Devil: Prowling Lion.
  • Your enemy the Flesh: The internal battle of your sinful nature against the Holy Spirit’s rule in your life.
  • Your enemy the World:
  • Your enemy the …………

We’ve got a whole host of armies ranged against our strongest towers my friends, how can we ever hope to win in this endless, life-long battle. One of my friends passed a message during the weak, he’d lost a battle in an area of life, he knew his weaknesses and gave into temptation, but he also knew and knows today that we’ve won the WAR, we may loose the occasional battle, but it’s good sometimes, even in defeat to remind the enemy, “I may have lost this little battle, but I know that my Saviour has won the war”. Christ has overcome the enemy and so can you my friends, but we must shore up our defences by being clever and knowing our weakest areas in our personality and taking appropriate measures to ensure the enemy never gains a foothold into our hearts again. We might possible loose a few battles, until we can see that the enemy is not really all that clever and he keeps getting into our Towers the same old ways.

It’s not just knowing the NAME of Jesus though, because as you’ll read below, even the demons know and believe in Jesus and they tremble, but it’s not about just knowing His name or tagging his glorious name onto everything, it is about actually Knowing Jesus. We know HIM when we receive Him as both LORD and Saviour. There’s no other way than to come to Jesus confessing our sins to Him, Repenting from those sin and turning in Faith and Trust to Receiven Him as LORD. Once we do that, and we put our faith in His death for our sins on the Cross only then can we say that we know Jesus, because He’ll respond my friends, He’ll give you the eternal gift of the Holy Spirit who’ll come into your life and give you the NEW BIRTH, you’ll be born again by God’s Holy Spirit and you’ll be a member of God’s family forever. Only THEN can you rightly use the Name of Jesus for He will be in you. You will be His ambassador in the world and you’ll be able to defeat any evil forces that come against you, even your own flesh. Get a handle on who Jesus is by reading, meditating and believing the verses below.

Leeds Castle and The Tower of London have stood for over 1000 years, but various kings have been defeated, because they lost the battle within rather than from an outside attack. You will be VICTORIOUS over ALL your enemies IN Jesus Christ. He IS your Strong Tower.

Jesus Christ is the NAME above ALL names. He IS your strong tower and every time you feel attacked either from without or within you can RUN to Jesus and use His POWERFUL NAME to defeat ALL your enemies. Amen! You MUST RUN to Jesus Christ quickly when you are under attack.

My friends, we need to know Jesus as LORD and Christ before we can ever use His NAME effectively in prayer. His Name will be as empty and powerless as a dead mobile phone, until it’s charged up with the POWER of Heaven. Amen!

God bless and have an awesome Saturday with Jesus.

Don.

BTW: Leeds Castle is an amazing place to visit with family. There’s something to do for everyone. It’s not cheap, but well worth a visit if you can afford it. Take a packed lunch, we didn’t and had to pay the price for terrible food at extortionate prices. Next time 🙂 The grounds are awesome and the Castle one of the most impressive in England.

 Jesus NAME: It’s POWER and Who He is:

Acts 4:12 ESV “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
Philippians 2:9-11 ESV     “Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
John 14:13 ESV “Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”
John 14:6 ESV “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
1 Corinthians 6:11 ESV “And such were some of you. 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.”
Acts 4:30 ESV “While you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”
Matthew 1:21 ESV “She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
Luke 10:17 ESV “The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!”
Jeremiah 10:6 ESV “There is none like you, O Lord; you are great, and your name is great in might.”
Acts 2:38 ESV “And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
Acts 3:12-16 ESV “And when Peter saw it he addressed the people: “Men of Israel, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we have made him walk? The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified his servant Jesus, whom you delivered over and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release him. But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. And his name—by faith in his name—has made this man strong whom you see and know, and the faith that is through Jesus has given the man this perfect health in the presence of you all.”
Romans 10:13 ESV “For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Revelation 22:13 ESV “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”
John 8:58 ESV “Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”
Mark 16:17 ESV “And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues;”
Acts 8:12 ESV “But when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.”
Isaiah 9:6 ESV “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Exodus 3:14 ESV “God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I am has sent me to you.’”
John 16:26 ESV “In that day you will ask in my name, and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf;”
Matthew 28:18 ESV “And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”
Malachi 1:11 ESV “For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense will be offered to my name, and a pure offering. For my name will be great among the nations, says the Lord of hosts.”
Isaiah 26:4 ESV “Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.”
Proverbs 18:10 ESV “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe.”
John 1:3 ESV “All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.”
John 14:26 ESV “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”
Acts 3:6 ESV “But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!”
1 John 5:13 ESV “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.”
John 5:43 ESV “I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him.”
John 1:1 ESV “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
Mark 3:11 ESV “And whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.”
Psalm 68:4 ESV “Sing to God, sing praises to his name; lift up a song to him who rides through the deserts; his name is the Lord; exult before him!”
Revelation 19:16 ESV “On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.”
1 John 3:16 ESV “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.”
John 1:31 ESV “I myself did not know him, but for this purpose I came baptizing with water, that he might be revealed to Israel.”
John 1:14 ESV “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
Matthew 28:19 ESV “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,”
Matthew 6:9 ESV “Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.”
Isaiah 40:3-5 ESV “A voice cries: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
Isaiah 7:14 ESV “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (Which means ‘God with us’)”
Exodus 3:13-14 ESV “Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I am has sent me to you.’”
1 John 1:9 ESV “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
James 5:14 ESV “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.”
James 2:19 ESV “You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!”
Hebrews 13:15 ESV “Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.”
Acts 2:1-47 ESV “When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. …”
John 3:18 ESV “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.”
Luke 4:41 ESV “And demons also came out of many, crying, “You are the Son of God!” But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew that he was the Christ.”
Proverbs 22:1 ESV “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favour is better than silver or gold.”
Ephesians 1:20-22 ESV “That he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church,”
Acts 9:28 ESV “So he went in and out among them at Jerusalem, preaching boldly in the name of the Lord.”
Luke 23:33 ESV “And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left.”
Luke 11:1 ESV “Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.”
Luke 2:1-52 ESV “In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. …
Mark 16:16 ESV “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”

Matthew 28:19-20 ESV “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Proverbs 30:4 ESV “Who has ascended to heaven and come down? Who has gathered the wind in his fists? Who has wrapped up the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son’s name? Surely you know!”

Genesis 3:15 ESV “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”

Revelation 1:8 ESV ““I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Revelation 1:5 ESV “And from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood.”

Hebrews 6:10-12 ESV “For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do. And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”

Colossians 1:16 ESV “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.”

1 Corinthians 8:6 ESV “Yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.”

Acts 22:16 ESV “And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name.’”

Acts 2:32 ESV “This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses.”

John 5:42-43 ESV “But I know that you do not have the love of God within you. I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him.”

John 5:18 ESV “This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.”

John 3:33 ESV “Whoever receives his testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true.”

Luke 12:9 ESV “But the one who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God.”

Mark 9:38 ESV “John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.”

Mark 1:1 ESV “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.”

Isaiah 53:9 ESV “And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.”

Psalm 90:2 ESV “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.”

Psalm 45:7 ESV “You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions;”

Exodus 3:14-15 ESV “God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I am has sent me to you.’” God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.”

Genesis 17:5 ESV “No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations.”

2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”

Romans 8:7 ESV “For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.”
Acts 10:43 ESV “To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”
Acts 2:22 ESV “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know—”
John 17:26 ESV “I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”
John 14:14 ESV “If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.”
John 12:37 ESV “Though he had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in him,”
John 10:30 ESV “I and the Father are one.”
John 8:24 ESV “I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.”
John 1:1-51 ESV “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. …”
Mark 15:34 ESV “And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Matthew 3:11 ESV ““I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”
Micah 3:7 ESV “The seers shall be disgraced, and the diviners put to shame; they shall all cover their lips, for there is no answer from God.”
Daniel 7:13 ESV ““I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him.”
Isaiah 44:6 ESV “Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: “I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god.”
Song of Solomon 1:1-17 ESV “The Song of Songs, which is Solomon’s. Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is better than wine; your anointing oils are fragrant; your name is oil poured out; therefore virgins love you. Draw me after you; let us run. The king has brought me into his chambers. We will exult and rejoice in you; we will extol your love more than wine; rightly do they love you. I am very dark, but lovely, O daughters of Jerusalem, like the tents of Kedar, like the curtains of Solomon. …”
Psalm 68:18 ESV “You ascended on high, leading a host of captives in your train and receiving gifts among men, even among the rebellious, that the Lord God may dwell there.”
Exodus 20:3 ESV ““You shall have no other gods before me.”
Exodus 6:3 ESV “I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by my name the Lord I did not make myself known to them.”
Genesis 1:1 ESV “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”
Revelation 12:10 ESV “And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.”
Ephesians 3:9 ESV “And to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things,”
Galatians 3:27 ESV “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” Have you put on the Lord Jesus Christ?
Acts 13:8 ESV “But Elymas the magician (for that is the meaning of his name) opposed them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith.”
John 5:17-18 ESV “But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.” This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.”

The Kingdom of Power

God's Kingdom Power

Daily Spirit & Word, 477, The Kingdom of POWER.

 1 Corinthians 4:20 “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.”

Good morning my friends. What can I say about last night’s Gospel outreach? Just one word; “WOWzer”. Well perhaps a few more 🙂 We’ve been talking for ages about seeing the Harvest and leading people to faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, well last night was truly awesome. (If you don’t read anything else, please you must read Rosa’s story at the bottom of this page). But it began in the afternoon, when I felt the Lord wanted me to go and see a man who was feeling down, depressed by a situation he was going through and confessed that he’d also contemplated taking his own life. I telephoned David, a member of our Evangelism Team, and we got together to pray for him first, before going to see him.

I shared with David, that the Kingdom of God is not just about words, not just about sharing Jesus and using God’s law to bring conviction of sin and help people to come to an awareness of their need for the Saviour, but about demonstrating God’s power. So we began to pray for Bill, when we left David’s house we were buzzing. On the way to Bill’s house we met a lady called Dorothy, she was walking down Bill’s road. It was strange because we just said “good afternoon” as if about to walk past, but God had different plans, we were into a conversation about God and His Spirit almost immediately. She was talking about being a Pentecostal and how she’d died and been to Heaven. However, we sensed that she needed prayer. So we offered and tears were streaming down her face. I don’t know why God wanted us to meet up with Dorothy, but after praying and praising Jesus she exchanged telephone numbers with me, she departed with great joy. WOW! it was a power encounter.

When we got to Bill’s house, there was no one in, so after leaving a Kingdom Coin 🙂 (a little coin with the Ten Commandments, we walked back down Bill’s road. When we got to the end, he turned the corner and we almost bumped into him. He smiled and we all went back to Bill’s house. After making us tea and giving us biscuits, David shared with Bill about not being overwhelmed with fears, and about how we can have real peace inside, even though there’s a storm raging. He shared how King David had that peace, but it’s a peace that’s available for everyone.

I then shared from Psalm 40 and how we can be lifted out of any pit that we can’t get out of ourselves. I said, “Depression and suicidal thoughts are from Satan. When a person is feeling like that, they can’t just pull themselves together, they can’t pull themselves out of the pit, that’s when we need the Lord’s almighty hand to reach in a grab us. He reaches in, in His POWER and pulls us out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and the mire and then He does something wonderful. This is amazing Bill, Jesus will set your feet upon a ROCK: Jesus Christ Himself is that ROCK. He’ll give you a firm place to stand. Bill was looking amazed, then I said, but it’s not just a matter of words Bill, Jesus is going to do something for you today. I know Jesus is going to life you up and pull you out of that slimy pit. Then, you’ll be used by Jesus then to help others who’ve slipped into pits that they can’t get out of themselves.”

When we got to praying, we sang a song first and then, initially sitting, we all stood up and prayed the Lord’s prayer. Then the power began to come, Bill was shaking and saying, “WOW” He prayed and worshiped the Lord Jesus with us. He then said, “I’m coming tonight”. David thought he was talking about Tonight’s Meal, the Lord’s Last Supper, but no, Bill was talking about coming out on the streets with us to share Jesus and the power of the Kingdom. We left Bill to get something to eat and he promised to come to church at 7.00pm.

We left and then regathered at 7.00pm in the Church office last night. Soon after we arrived a man from South India came into the church, we didn’t want to stop our prayer and preparation for Evangelism, so we asked Cuthbert (think that’s his name) to join us. He came in, he was a Roman Catholic, so we got to sharing about Jesus and the Kingdom again. He didn’t want to come out on the streets so, we just prayed and it was strange, because we all hugged him and he left happy, even though we’d had some heated discussions about the doctrines of the Catholic church and Biblical Christianity. We prayed, praised and parted friends and encouraged him to check out what we had said by reading the Bible. He assured us that he would.

God's Kingdom Power
The Kingdom of Power

Rosa’s Encounter:

Last Night The Kingdom Came With Power.

Finally we got onto the streets, after chatting to a few people, David and Cherrie got chatting with a man for ages, and Bill teamed up with me and we shared and prayed for a few people. Then a young lady approached us, we shared the Gospel of Jesus with her and she admitted that she needed Jesus as her saviour, but had been thinking lately that Jesus can’t be real because so many bad things had happened in her life. Rosa had experienced the death of her father when she was a young girl, then last year a friend had be shot to death in Italy, and this year a friend had died in a car crash. She said, “How can there be a good God, a God of love when He allows such horrible things to happen to good people?” I said, “Rosa, I don’t know the answers to those questions, but what I do know is this, God sent Jesus His Son to die on the Cross for you, to take away all your sins, He did that because He loves you Rosa”

I continued, “Rosa, we’re not here tonight, just talking about Jesus and His Kingdom, we’ve come out and God’s going to touch your life.” I don’t know what prompted me to say that so boldly, but something inside me said, “Donald my power is coming tonight”. I said, “Rosa, I’m going to put my hand on your shoulder, if you don’t mind” She nodded. Then I said, “Rosa, God’s power of love is going to touch your heart tonight, you are going to know that God is real”. She laughed, I said, “I know it sounds weird, but it’s going to happen, God wants to show you how much he loves you.”. I asked Bill to put his hand on her other shoulder and I just touched her for a few seconds. I prayed, “Lord, thank you for Rosa, we know that you love her, please come and reveal your love in Rosa’s heart right now Lord”.

We took our hands off Rosa’s shoulders and I asked, “Rosa, what do you feel?”. She looked stunned for a few moments and couldn’t speak. Then she began to say, “WOW”, “WOW, what was that, my heart is literally thumping, my head’s all fuzzy, my legs have gone all shaky, I can feel some-thing’s happening in me, I feel so happy”. She began to cry and thanked us and was overjoyed. She shook my hand then let go immediately. She said, “Don’t touch me anymore, it’s too strong, oh WOW, what is that?” I said, “Rosa, it’s not me, it’s God’s love coming into your life” She said, “It’s real, I never thought this would happen, I’ll never forget this as long as I live”. After we chatted some more about what it means to be a follower of Jesus, Rosa gave us all a big hug and went away happy, she promised to read her Bible and turn to Jesus.

The Power of The Kingdom.

My friends as the LORD has said through Paul  1 Corinthians 4:20 “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.” It’s literally true. When Christians go out, even if they’re are a very young Christian like Bill was, just a few hours old as a Believer in Jesus, He’ll use us in His Kingdom power, to bring His power of love, of healing and of deliverance into the lives of others. He does this in faithfulness and in fulfilment of His promises. Signs and wonders will accompany the proclamation of the Gospel.  We saw it last night, I’m looking forward to going out today to take the Kingdom of God with me.

 If you are a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, then you too can experience the Power of the Kingdom at work in and through you today.

You too can share Jesus in His power. We go out every week and we’d love to take some more with us, to learn how to share God’s Word in His Power. 1 Corinthians 4:20 “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.” You’ll see God at work in people’s lives. It’s not simply about getting people to come to your church or join your fellowship, but to get them into God’s Kingdom. Helping them to see that Jesus is real, alive and cares for them right now in their lives, no matter what they’re going through, God’s love can reach right in and touch them at their point of need. However, the LORD wants Disciples, Followers who obey His commands to GO. He didn’t say, “Come to faith in me and sit in a church or gathering of the saints in praise and worship and Bible study” No Jesus said, “Follow Me, and I will MAKE you fishers of men.”

He also said, “You shall do greater things” You can also be assured He’s with you for He promised that too. He also said in the Bible through Paul, 1 Corinthians 2:4-5 “My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5  so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.” My friends, Rosa was touched, we did persuade her with the Gospel, but she also needed a demonstration of the Spirit’s Power in her life. When she got that, my friends, she was overjoyed, her faith came alive, she was touched by God and moved to praise the Living Lord Jesus Christ.

Yes, you may get some people who’ll come along and join your fellowship afterwards, but it’s better by far that they are saved by Jesus Christ and know Him and that they are in His Family forever. I know that once a person is soundly saved, they’ll want to come and worship the Lord. Nothing will keep them away. Amen!

You can have this same Kingdom Power at work in your life today my friends. Jesus wants to build His Kingdom. He told us to pray for that in the Lord’s Prayer: “Thy Kingdom Come, Thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven” It’s happening today, well last night it did, and I’m certain that when we go out today, Jesus will be with us wherever we go, for we carry the Kingdom with us.

You have the SAME Holy Spirit in you as Paul, Peter, James and all the Apostles of the Lord Jesus. Followers of Jesus are the Temple, we’re all different and God will use our various gifts, but we’re ALL called to be followers of Jesus commands to go and take the Kingdom with us. You can do it at work, as you travel to work, at home, in the office, at school, college. Take God’s Kingdom and the POWER and demonstrate the power of the Kingdom.

Have an awesome Maundy thursday.

Come and join us tonight as we celebrate The Lord’s Last Supper. I’m sure we’re going to see God’s Kingdom Power at work in and through our lives and we go out on purpose to do what Jesus commanded.

Be filled with God’s Holy Spirit right now.

My prayer for everyone today is that God will use you, if you’ve trusted in Jesus as Lord and Saviour. Don’t be a pew warmer who only worships on a Sunday and just soaks up God’s teaching week by week, but be active in His Kingdom, because He wants followers, disciples and new people to come into His Kingdom.

 

Don.

The Kingdom of Power.

 

At The Cross, At The Cross

At The Cross, At The Cross of Jesus Christ.

Daily Spirit & Word, 475: At The Cross, At The CROSS.

Now, I AM Happy, All The Day. Every Day.

Jesus knew the Cross was getting nearer, and as it weighed upon His precious soul, so His message of the Kingdom grew more intense. The heart’s desire of the Lord of life is that, not just the Nation of Israel be turned in repentance back to their God, but the whole world come to know the offer of Salvation. The Nations will put their hope in Jesus.

 Matthew 11:28-30  “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Matthew 12:18-21  “Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations. 19  He will not quarrel or cry out; no-one will hear his voice in the streets. 20  A bruised reed he will not break, and a smouldering wick he will not snuff out, till he leads justice to victory. 21  In his name the nations will put their hope.”

These two passages above show us a definite full-stop, a switch in the message Jesus is giving. Up to this point the Lord Jesus and all God’s messengers had been teaching; “Repent, the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Having presented His CV as the Messiah and been rejected by the majority of religious leadership of the Nation. These cities which have been mentioned in chapter 11 of Matthew, turned their backs on Him, and so had Jerusalem. Now the Lord turns His back upon the nation of Israel, no longer presenting to them the Kingdom. He is on His way to the cross, and His invitation is to the individual and to the whole world. Listen to Jesus crying out:

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30.

This language is in stark contrast to what Jesus had been proclaiming in the rest of this chapter. And from that point on Jesus is headed for the Cross and instead of focusing upon the Nation, he’s revealing the Kingdom of God to the individual and to the world.

My friends, it’s really windy out this morning, I love it, but I had to hang onto my hat it’s just so strong. When we come into the warm from such a blustery storm, it’s amazing how warm the house seems, how calm when you can’t hear the raging of the wind.

The change in Jesus message is just like that; It is like coming out of a winter blizzard into the warmth of a spring day. Just like passing from a raging storm into a sea of calm. It’s like going from the darkness of night, into brightness of daylight. This is the same message from Jesus, but presented in a radical new way; He’d switched from a National perspective to a new message for the Individual. He changes from speaking to everyone in the Nation of Israel to EVERYONE in the WORLD. It is no longer the national announcement about a Messianic Kingdom but a personal invitation for everybody to find the much needed “rest” of Salvation.

When Jesus speaks of being “heavy laden,” He is referring to the individual being burdened with sin. “I will give you rest” Jesus is the one who will enable you to find rest from your struggle to be good.

This same idea and focus is used by Isaiah and the Psalmist:

Isaiah 1:4 (NLT) “Oh, what a sinful nation they are— loaded down with a burden of guilt. They are evil people, corrupt children who have rejected the LORD. They have despised the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on him.”

Look back at chapter 11 of Matthew and you’ll see Jesus crying out to those Cities where He’d performed Miracles and they’d not REPENTED,  they’d not received the Message of the Kingdom.

Psalm 38:4 (NLT) “My guilt overwhelms me— it is a burden too heavy to bear.”

So when Jesus is crying out to everyone, come to ME ALL you who are weary of carrying your load of sin and I will give you rest from your struggle to try and be good, I will lift your heavy burden of sin.

My friends, sin is way too heavy a burden for you to keep carrying all your life. When you try and lift things that are too heavy for you, you can give yourself a hernia, and trying to live righteously without coming first to Jesus Christ to have the burden lifted is the exact same, you’ll really get a spiritual hernia if you try to carry your load of sin yourself.

The only place in this world to put that heavy unbearable burden of sin is at the Cross of Jesus Christ. When He died there, He bore your sin and took it away from you onto Himself. Now He invites you individually and the whole world to come individually  bringing your burdens of sin to Him. Jesus can forgive you because on the cross He bore the burden of sin for you and for everyone else in the world.

 But we must respond to Jesus Invitation:

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” This is referring to the Salvation of the sinner through Jesus Christ. But the next phrase of Jesus, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls” is referring to the practical sanctification of the believer.

Oh WOWzer! I’ve just come back into the study after a short break from writing this, and I’ve seen the LIGHT. What a glorious sunrise, great colours in the sky and clouds. The storm is still raging, but the sky is full of light. The LORD spoke to me, “That’s what it’s like for those who follow me, there is a storm still raging, but there’s more light than they can imagine for their souls”.

Jesus REST

There is a REST that Jesus gives, and it is the rest of Redemption and Salvation from the heavy burden of sin.

There is also a REST which the Believer Experiences, and it comes through; conversion, commitment and consecration of our lives to Jesus Christ. You don’t have to struggle to be Holy any more, because Jesus, with the help of God’s Holy Spirit, will enable you, but your part is to stay close to the vine, remain in Christ, to remain committed to living for Jesus, to be willing to submit to His burden of obedience to His commands. Remember what Jesus said, “My yoke is easy and My burden is light”.  Yes you will probably fall from time to time, but Jesus transforms your heart’s desires. Once He’s lifted your heavy load of sin from your shoulders and carried them to the Cross for you, you will not have to struggle ever again when you are in Him and He is in you.

 The VAST Majority Are NOT burdened with sin:

We go out every week and share the Gospel with people on the streets, the vast majority are NOT burdened by their sins, they don’t care, they love sin and don’t want to hear about it. They’re happy to be without church, Jesus or religion. They’ll happily declare and some quite loudly, “I’m NOT religious”, what they’re saying is, “I don’t need someone telling me how to live.” and “I don’t want a God in the sky, who’s trying to control my life”… That’s why they need to hear the LAW of God before we share the GRACE of the Cross of Christ.

 It’s Un-regenerate believers in Jesus who are burdened with sin:

It’s my experience that those who are burdened with sin are those who believe in Jesus, but have not yet been converted, regenerated or born again of God’s Holy Spirit.

Yes they believe all the tenets of the Christian faith, they’ll willingly ascent to the creeds, but it’s all head knowledge, because they’ve not got to the point of letting go of their burden of sin and receiving Jesus as their Lord. It’s a simple transaction, but so many have not taken that step of faith.

How have they come so far and a yet so far away?

Because they may have responded to a ‘false’ gospel. One that says “Simply Believe in Jesus and you are a Christian.” Without REPENTANCE and without RECEIVING Jesus Christ as LORD, we’re still in our sins no matter how much we believe in Him.

They’ll come in with their burden of sin, they’ll say confession in church, recite the creed and even receive Holy Communion, then they’ll walk out with their burden of sin still on their back. They are still trying with all their own strength to be good enough. It’s those un-regenerate believers in Jesus who’ve not been converted my friends, they are the ones who feel the burden of sin. They are like the Nation of Israel who had ‘religion’, but who didn’t know the Saviour and rejected the Messiah.

We must preach, preach and preach again CONVERSION: IT’S the GOSPEL that leads sinners to repent of their sins and trust the Saviour. It’s the Holy Spirit who works on their hearts to enable them to feel the heavy load of sin, and it’s the law that leads people to an awareness of their need of a Saviour. However, until they come to Jesus and finally put their trust in Him for their Salvation, turning away from sin in repentance and from their own efforts to be good enough, realising that they can’t do a thing to shift the heavy load, they’ll finally dump their burden of sin at the cross. At the Cross, At THE CROSS.

I love that old hymn: At the Cross, at the Cross… but we often miss out the most powerful first verse these days and just begin with the chorus, we’re happy to think of the cross, but not the conversion from sin that’s needed. Isaac Watts who wrote the hymn, knew what he needed to do to have the burden of sin lifted by the Lord Jesus Christ.

 Alas! and did my Savior bleed

And did my Sov’reign die?
Would He devote that sacred head
For such a worm as I?

Refrain:
At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away,
It was there by faith I received my sight,
And now I am happy all the day!

Thy body slain, sweet Jesus, Thine—
And bathed in its own blood—
While the firm mark of wrath divine,
His soul in anguish stood.

Was it for crimes that I had done
He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! grace unknown!
And love beyond degree!

Well might the sun in darkness hide
And shut his glories in,
When Christ, the mighty Maker died,
For man the creature’s sin.

Thus might I hide my blushing face
While His dear cross appears,
Dissolve my heart in thankfulness,
And melt my eyes to tears.

But drops of grief can ne’er repay
The debt of love I owe:
Here, Lord, I give myself away,
’Tis all that I can do.

Refrain;

At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away,
It was there by faith I received my sight,
And now I am happy all the day!

Author: Isaac Watts (The Scientist and Inventor of the Steam Engine).

My heart’s plea and the LORD’S today, is that you, you who are reading this, you who may believe in Jesus, but are still burdened with sin, will come and be converted, changed, transformed and translated from darkness into the glorious light. Your burden will be lifted once you trust the Saviour and take Him as your Lord.

Matthew 11:28-30  “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

I shared on Saturday at the Wedding in St Luke’s how people believe that Jesus died for them, but the vast majority of those who believe this, have NEVER been born of God’s Spirit, because they’ve NOT Repented, Trusted and Recieved The Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour. All the right belief in the world will count for nothing when we stand before the judgement seat of Christ and He says, “Depart from me, I never knew you”…

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

My friends, do you know Christ? Does Christ know you? Do you know Him as your LORD? Is Jesus Christ your Saviour? Come to the Cross of Christ and let Jesus remove your burden of sin, of guilt and of shame, then you’ll be able to enjoy the Son’s Light and “BE HAPPY ALL THE DAY”.

AT THE CROSS, AT THE CROSS.

You believe that Jesus died for you, good and so you should, but Satan also knows this, but he’s not turned in repentance, he’s still a rebel against the cause of Christ. You must believe and repent and trust and take Jesus as your Saviour. Believe, Repent, Receive.

Stay blessed and keep close to Jesus today.

Don.

 

A Simple Prayer:

  • Lord Jesus Christ, I believe that you died upon the Cross for my sins.
  • I know that I’ve broken your Holy Law revealed in the Commandments, that you died there so that my heavy burden of sin could be lifted from me and transferred onto You.
  • I turn now from all sin in my life and trust in Your amazing grace and ask for Your forgiveness.
  • I receive You, Lord Jesus as my Lord and Saviour.
  • I believe that You will send the Holy Spirit and give me new birth, new life and everlasting life.
  • Please help me now Lord Jesus to live from now on for You and I want to serve in Your Kingdom.
  • Help me to find fellowship with other Christians.
  • I’m going to read and feed upon Your Word every day. Please open up the pages of the Bible by Your Spirit Lord, so that I can understand and apply them to my own life.
  • In your most blessed and Holy Name I pray, Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!

If you prayed that prayer, let us know by leaving a message here or on our Facebook Page, we’d love to be praying for you. It’s good that Christians or those who think they are Christians, re-visit this kind of prayer regularly, to remind ourselves of our commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ and His commitment to us. Read John’s Gospel today.

At The Cross, At The Cross.

 

Proclaim The Year of the Lord’s Favour

Daily Spirit & Word, 470: PROCLAIM THE YEAR OF THE LORD’S FAVOUR.

The Jubilee Year: Proclaim The Year Of The Lord’s Favour.

Leviticus 25:10 “Consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you; each one of you is to return to his family property and each to his own clan.”

I’m not certain if you are aware that 2015 is, according to the Jewish calendar, a JUBILEE year? What happened was a year of LIBERTY was to be proclaimed throughout the land of Israel. All debts were to be cancelled and any of the Jewish people held in bondage were to be set free and allowed to return to their own families.

Imagine that, what must it have been like? Can you imagine if our Governments today did this every 50th year?

You see in God’s thinking, he never wanted his chosen people to live under bondage to anything or anyone, and he doesn’t want it for anyone today either. Listen to the way God’s Word speaks about His desire to set people free from bondages of all kinds.

 The Day of Vengeance:

Isaiah 63:4 (NIV) “For the day of vengeance was in my heart, and the year of my redemption has come.” The LORD wants to pay back all the injustices of His chosen people. In His Holy Justice; He’s longing for the time when the day of vengeance will come and every evil person will get their just deserts, but in His mercy God doesn’t want to have to punish anyone. But it’s coming soon.

 The Resurrection Promise:

Isaiah 26:19 (NIV) “But your dead will live; their bodies will rise. You who dwell in the dust, wake up and shout for joy. Your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to her dead.”

Many Christians are not even aware of this, but the Old Testament prophesied about the Resurrection as in the verse above, a time when the dead will live again. The Bible tells us in the New Testament that when the Lord returns, the dead will arise and meet Him in the air. WOWzer! This give us even more confidence and a deep convinced conviction that the whole Bible is the WORD of God. We can believe ALL His promises. He’s even going to set people free from the prison of DEATH.

 Believers Will Meet The LORD First:

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 (NIV) “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17  After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord for ever.”

 How will Jesus come?

  • With a LOUD Command.
  • With the Voice of the Archangel.
  • With the Trumpet Call of God.

In days gone by, Christians who were hard pressed, for whom life was not easy, used to sing and praise the Lord with hymns that focused upon His return and their coming freedom. They looked forward with a great sence of JOY for the Lord’s return. Today, Christians are so in love with the world that they’d hate it if the Lord came back right now, it would be far to inconvenient for them, because they are enjoying the life they have here on earth soo much. They can’t see that life with Jesus is going to be even better than it is here on earth and that we should speed the day of His return. We can only do that by getting more people saved, because when the full number has come in, and we don’t know how many that is, the Lord will return. Let’s get busy filling up heaven with God’s precious, chosen souls.

 A Word of Caution on Freedom (Liberty).

Galatians 5:13 (NIV) “You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.”

So many Christians today are getting into things that they know deep down the LORD hates and detests. We’re so lax in our moral attitudes today, we’re all so into “GRACE” that we forget “HOLINESS of LIFE”. We’re meant to be a living witness that the LORD has transformed our lives… Many are aware of this, but are at a loss to know what to do about it. Seek His wisdom and He’ll gladly and freely give it to you. God wants you not only to know how to live, but He also wants to give you the POWER to be able to live. It’s available in abundance too, so turn quickly and stop using God’s GRACE as a lie to live by and indulge your sinful natures.

 Released from the POWER of the Grave:

Hosea 13:14 (NIV) “I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death. Where, O death, are your plagues? Where, O grave, is your destruction? “I will have no compassion…”

WOWzer! God’s going to set people free from the POWER of the Grave. What’s that? Well DEATH is so powerful that millions are convinced that there is nothing after death. If God had not planted eternity into every human being’s heart, then I’m convinced there would be many more people who don’t believe in life after death. Praise be to the LORD for His great wisdom, planting eternity into everyone’s heart means; we know that his life is not the end. Once day God is going to break that POWER of the grave, oh yes, He’s done it already, “Jesus rose from the grave” He’s the first-fruits of those who will also be raised.

 The YEAR of the LORD’S FAVOUR:

God’s really, really into this business of setting you free my friends;

Jesus proclaimed and fulfilled Isaiah’s prophesy:

Isaiah 61:1-3  “The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, 2  to proclaim the year of the LORD’S favour and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 3  and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendour.”

Jesus Fulfilled the Prophesy Above:

Luke 4:14-21 ” Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. 15  He taught in their synagogues, and everyone praised him. 16  He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. 17  The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: 18  “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, 19  to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.” 20  Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, 21  and he began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

Again this creates in my heart an awesome WOWzer 🙂 Jesus was the YEAR of the LORD’S FAVOUR.

 Jesus is the YEAR OF THE LORD’S FAVOUR:

Today there are Believers who are filled with the Lord’s compassion for those who are in bondage, they too want to see people being set free;

Good News to the POOR: i.e. those who are in POVERTY of the Spirit. The man without the spirit is DEAD and Jesus wants to give them LIFE.

Freedom for the Prisoners: Those locked up in the PRISON of SIN, kept locked in by SATAN. Jesus died so that we might be released from SIN and set free from SATAN’S grip.

Those who are blind to their spiritual condition without Jesus, to have their eyes opened.

They are out Proclaiming THE YEAR OF THE LORD’S FAVOUR.

Are you filled with Jesus compassion? Are you alive with the hope of the Gospel, the Good News for the poor, the prisoner, the blind and those needing His favour?

Let’s get on our knees this morning and pray for the Lord’s forgiveness if we’re not filled with His love, compassion and grace for those who don’t know Him yet.

Let’s get out into the world and begin proclaiming loudly and freely with grace, humility and gentleness, that this is THE YEAR OF THE LORD’S FAVOUR. Amen!

Have a great Wednesday, in Jesus and in the POWER of the Spirit.

Live for THE YEAR OF THE LORD’S FAVOUR.

Don.

Today: We’ve got St Luke’s School coming to church for their end of term Easter Service. Pray for us please that the message will leap into young hearts.

Tonight: We’re going out into the streets of West Norwood and we’ll be PROCLAIMING THE YEAR OF THE LORD’S FAVOUR. Hopefully, like last week, leading people to faith and trust in Jesus Christ. (Please pray as we enter the Harvest Field).

Proclaim The Year Of The Lord’s Favour.

 

Flesh and Spirit at War

Daily Spirit & Word, 467: Flesh and Spirit at War.

or Mankind’s Inability to LIVE According to God’s Standards of Righteousness.

Good morning my friends, I was reading through Paul’s letter to the Romans again this morning, chapters 7 to 9. I was struck again by how Paul illustrated the struggle to live righteously in chapter 7 and though his whole heart’s desire was to live the way he knew he should, he just couldn’t. No matter how hard Paul tried to live according to God’s ways, there was always sin in his heart to bring him back down to earth with a great crash. In the end, he saw the utter futility of trying to obtain righteousness in his own strength or willpower alone.

This reveals the futility of the works based effort of all who try to earn Heaven by human determination or by their own goodness. Let’s look at those verses again in Romans 7.

Romans 7:7-25  “What shall we say, then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “Do not covet.” 8  But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire. For apart from law, sin is dead. 9  Once I was alive apart from law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. 10  I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. 11  For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. 12  So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good. 13  Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! But in order that sin might be recognised as sin, it produced death in me through what was good, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful. 14  We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15  I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16  And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17  As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18  I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19  For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20  Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. 21  So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22  For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23  but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24  What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25  Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.”

 The Struggle Against Sin:

This very struggle that Paul recognized within himself before he was regenerated (made new, born again, transformed) by the Holy Sprit, after he came to faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ when his eyes were well and truly opened. This is what’s leading people to the Lord today, because there a many people in the world who sincerely desire to live righteously before God, and many devout people from other faiths who struggle to live righteously. They know God’s Holy Standards, because He’s revealed His LAW of righteousness to every single human being alive today. He’s written His LAW upon every human heart so that we know the good we should do, but honest people, people who’s hearts are open to God, know that though they try their best, they are still, like Paul was before regeneration, prisoners to sin.

 The LAW of God is good: but it’s POWERLESS to enable anyone to be good.

All the LAW does is REVEAL God’s Holy Standards of Righteousness.

God’s LAW awakens in mankind a desire to live in holiness, but doesn’t give the power to enable it.

 That’s WHY Jesus Christ came, to set the captives free.

Satan blinds people to their need of a Saviour, but the LAW of God brings about a transformation of understanding, it awakens within the human soul an awareness of our need that something needs to happen within to enable us to live according to God’s LAW revealed in our hearts.

Many Muslims, Jews and other Religious People are coming to the Saviour today. They come because they’ve tried to live righteously, they’ve tried to seek God and to live according to His ways, but they’ve recognised they just can’t do it. So when they hear the Gospel or read the Bible their eyes are opened and hope springs to life. Because in the Gospel is revealed the POWER of God to enable people who seek Him with all their hearts to truly LIVE Righteously.

The Power comes, not through human effort, not through religious observance, but through FAITH in the Lord Jesus Christ. Once we trust in Him, He comes to live in our hearts by His Holy Spirit, now when people live according to the Spirit they find the freedom from sin and it’s ability to control them and keep them captive to it’s will, is broken.

2 Corinthians 4:3-7 “And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4  The god of this age (Satan) has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5  For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6  For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. 7  But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”

Paul was well aware that the power to live righteously, to know the Gospel, was from God.

Of course there is an Enemy who doens’t want that to happen. Satan longs to keep people in the darkness. He’s overjoyed when people are unconscious of their need of a Saviour. He loves it when people get religious and try to be good enough for heaven in their own strength. And He’s dancing with joy when they perform, try and struggle to live according to God’s revealed standards of Holiness. Because as long as he can blind them to their need of Jesus, their need of freedom, their need of Salvation, they belong to him. Satan knows that if religious people die in their religious state, he’ll have them with him for all eternity instead of the place that God wants them to be, in Heaven.

 

In Romans Chapter 9 Paul reveals the predicament of ‘religious’ Jews / Israelites.

Romans 9:30-33 “What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; 31  but Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it. 32  Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the “stumbling-stone”. 33  As it is written: “See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”

Can you see it my friends? They or all people who try to pursue RIGHTEOUSNESS (Being right in God’s sight, or holy, goodness, ) by following ‘religious’ practices or by sheer human resolve will never attain the very thing they seek. Because, religious practice without FAITH in Jesus Christ is just human effort or works. As the Corinthian reading above revealed, those who don’t understand the Gospel are perishing, even though they try with all their might to be good, they will never be able to be good enough, because they’ll still continue to sin.

 Pockets of Resistance:

When the Second World War was over and Japan had surrendered, their were still pockets of resistance, soldiers who would not accept defeat. Some Japanese soldiers continued to fight on for many years even though they’d lost the war.

For the Christian, there are still pockets of resistance within to the Holy Spirit’s will, within our fleshly nature. But the BATTLE is OVER the WAR is WON: Satan and Sin are DEFEATED.

 How do we get the FREEDOM from sin? How can we LIVE Righteously?

It begins the moment we trust in Jesus Christ and we’re born again by God’s Holy Spirit.

The pockets of resistance against the Holy Spirit, human fleshly nature is not completely over, but the WAR is won. Jesus defeated Satan when He died and rose again from death. He defeated sin and it’s ability to control humans. His death upon the Cross made it possible for people to become RIGHTEOUS in God’s sight the moment they trust in His death, because all their sins are washed away.

Romans 8: Reveals the way that Believers in Jesus now must choose to live. We are filled with the Holy Spirit, but we still have a responsibility to live according to the Spirit and not according to the desires of the flesh. It’s a moment by moment choice; there are two ways to live and He’ll enable us to live His way if we let Him. One day we’ll see the Lord in Glory and the remaining pockets of resistance will be completely wiped out, we’ll be totally pure and holy like Jesus, but until then, we’ve got little skirmishes to fight along the way. We will win, if we live according to the Holy Spirit and not according to the sinful nature.

The Reality:

Out of the vast ocean of humanity on the face of the Earth today, there is only a small trickle who desire to live righteously before God. The majority are happy to be in the darkness and to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season, they don’t want people to shine the light of the Lord and His ways upon them, they do not desire to be enlightened and Satan loves it too.

We know this, because every week we come across many people who’ll say, “I’m NOT religious” as if that is the end of the conversation, but when we say, “Good, you are the very person we need to talk to tonight”, they are stopped in their tracks. You see we’re not out to make people ‘religious’ but to help people see their need of Salvation and of a Saviour from sin. We’ll open up conversations with things like, “Do you know what Easter is all about?” or “What’s Christmas really about?” at these times of the year. We’re off into a Spiritual conversation, not a religious one.

Most people are unaware that they are like people on the Titanic who whilst the boat was sinking, they were enjoying the music and dancing, until it was too late to save themselves. They are also like a group of people having a party in a house that’s ablaze with roaring fire. They are going to die in their sins and if they do, then they’ll be judged according to God’s Holy Standards of Righteousness. That’s why they need to be awakened out of their slumber and ignorance. I’m sure many more could have been saved on the Titanic if they’d been made aware of the condition of the vessel. Satan hates it when we open the eyes of those he’s blinded.

Conclusion:

For those who’ve trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ; Instead of using, “I’m human” as an excuse to live according to the sinful fleshly desires of your heart. As a believer in Jesus Christ you must begin saying, “I’m SAVED so I’m going to live according to the Holy Spirit”. Then you’ll know that the mind controlled by the Spirit is LIFE and PEACE. (Romans 8:6).

Are you walking with the Spirit today? Read Romans 7, 8 and 9 again. You’ll see what condition your soul is in. If you need to come to the Lord Jesus Christ, and we all do, then I encourage you to come and be made righteous by God’s Spirit and then to walk through the rest of your life here on Earth living according to the Spirit’s desires.

Galatians 5:16 “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.”

If you’ve never heard these things before, then read about what Jesus Christ came to do in the Gospel of Mark, it’s one of the shortest Gospels and through reading it, you’ll discover God’s desire for you is good. He wants you to be saved from sin, from Satan and from self.

Galatians 5:16 (NIV) “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.”

Have an Awesome Sunday worshipping Jesus Christ as you gather with the saints in praise and adoration today.

Seek to be filled afresh with God’s Holy Spirit right now.

Every blessing,

Don.

 

The Highest Bidder Wins

Daily Spirit & Word, 464: The Highest Bidder Wins.

The Highest Bidder Wins.

Or the things that screams the loudest in our lives often take priority.

Good morning my friends, we had a wonderful evening of Evangelism on the Streets of West Norwood last night. The weather is warming up in the evenings now, so we were quite surprised by the number of people who were prepared to stop and have a chat about; Jesus, faith, the real meaning of Easter etc… The little Easter tract was a real winner too, so my thanks go to a lady from Chatsworth Baptist Church who pointed them out and to Amanda our Church Administrator who printed the labels with Church details. It was really good, because so many people took one as they rushed out of the Station on their way home from work. These little tracts were a great Springboard into Gospel conversations. I think a good springboard is something that enables you to get into ‘spiritual’ conversations quickly.

Once I got back home I began to think about the conversations and it seems to me that people have lots of things in life that are priorities for them, but they are not living according to the list of things they actually value or see as important to them. Quite often the one with the loudest voice is like the highest bidder at an auction, screaming out for our attention and focus.

For instance, the following list are things that might possibly be important to you, what I would like you to do today is put a number from 1-10 in their order of priority for you. One being highest and 10 being the lowest.

  • ___ happy family ____________________
  • ___ successful career ______________________
  • ___ fame/popularity ______________________
  • ___ wealth _____________________________
  • ___ sex _________________________
  • ___ strong relationship with God __________________
  • ___ fun/pleasure/good feelings _____________________
  • ___ good looks ________________________
  • ___ athletic skill ________________________
  • ___ solid marriage _______________________

Having listed them in order of priority for you, now I want you to think of your reasons why? Do it quickly without analysing it too much.

Now, how did you feel as you were asking yourself, “Which of these is the highest priority in my life?”

and “Did what I think should be a high priority turn out to be something I spend a lot of time on during a typical week?”

Most often we find that people value their families and God as highest in their ranking or priority, followed by career or job, but very often they spend little time during the week maintaining these first two critically important aspects of their lives.

Don’t feel crushed if that’s you today, because you are not alone. You see my friends, what is important in our lives reveals our heart’s desires, but what we do about it and how we prioritise our working / living week is something only we and the Lord will be able to sort out. Remember where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

  • Matthew 6:20-21 (ANIV) 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

 Today’s Verses From God’s Word:

John 9:4-5 “As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no-one can work. 5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

As long as it is day, we must do the work of our Father in Heaven. Remember, Jesus said, “YOU are the Light of the Word”… We can’t keep hiding our light, we must shine brightly for Jesus and let others see His glory through our lives.

I love the little letter of James, he’s just so straightforward and forthright. James 4:13-17 “Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14  Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15  Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 16  As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. 17  Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.”

If you’ve got time then please also read; The Parable of The Talents; Matthew 25:14-30 (Printed at the end of today’s message)..

It seems to me that we’re all very busy doing things that aren’t even high on our list of priorities in life, we’re overwhelmed with pressures of work and finance, therefore family and God get pushed much further down the list of things to do on a daily and weekly basis. We long to be better husbands and wives, and worshippers of the Lord, but because we fail to prioritise these things in the order they should be we live with a constant feeling of guilt and often shame a well.

It’s TIME to be set-free from these traps my friends. God wants to be FIRST in your life, when we do put him first it’s amazing just how much time we’ll then find for everything else that’s really important to us. Below I’ve listed some really good books to help us find priorities in life, I’m sure you’ve probably got some more that you’ve read, please share them with everyone in the comments section below.

God bless and have an awesome Thursday with Jesus, but Don’t let the one who shouts the loudest rule your life. As a believer in the Lord Jesus we must listen out for the voice of the Holy Spirit and He’ll guide you and show you what should be highest priority for you and Him today.

Be at PEACE!

Don.

P.S. I’m sorry this is late today, I’ve had to spend time with my daughter and her children having breakfast. It was fantastic, she’d cooked sausages, bacon, eggs, tomatoes and beans, toast etc… Yummmmy. The Children were great fun to be with and eating around the table together is always great. Aminata read me a story from her school-book before she got ready for school. Family really does come a very close second to time with Jesus. God bless my friends. Don.

 Good Books and Helps:

Here is a list of good books that will help you to Prioritise your life after God’s patterns for righteous living.

  •  How Now Should We Live?: by Chuck Colson (Tyndale House Publishers). This insightful analysis of culture challenges Christians to live their faith in a hostile environment.
  • Meeting the Jesus Challenge, Real Life… Real Questions… Real Jesus: by Len Woods (Standard Publishing). This book, the third in a series of four devotionals tied to The Jesus Bible (Tyndale Publishing House), it helps people rise to the Jesus challenge. You’ll be challenged to watch Jesus in action, to listen to his teachings, and then to obey what Jesus tells you to do. The third section takes a close look at priorities and values, answering the question, “How does life change when we view it from Jesus’ perspective?” The challenge here is for people to seek first Christ and his kingdom.
  • Ordering Your Private World: by Gordon McDonald (Thomas Nelson Publishers). McDonald teaches that time and talents are gifts to be carefully invested and he provides biblical principles to help care for the inner self.
  • Seven Habits of Highly Effective People: by Stephen Covey (Simon & Schuster). This business world classic and top ten seller for over a decade takes people from dependence to independence and finally to interdependence in relationships. It provides helpful counsel on choosing priorities and sticking with them.
  • Who Switched the Price Tags?: by Tony Campolo (Word Publishing). Campolo challenges readers to risk more, reflect more, and do things of lasting value. To get the most out of life, we must put first things first.

Also I love Rob Parsons and his books on family life and getting it right from a Christian perspective: His Website: Care For The Family: http://www.careforthefamily.org.uk/

The Parable of The Talents: Matthew 25:14-30 (NIV)

  • Matthew 25:14-30 (ANIV)
    14 “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them.
    15 To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey.
    16  The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more.
    17  So also, the one with the two talents gained two more.
    18  But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
    19  “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them.
    20  The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.’
    21  “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
    22  “The man with the two talents also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.’
    23  “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
    24  “Then the man who had received the one talent came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed.
    25  So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’
    26  “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed?
    27  Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.
    28  ” ‘Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents.
    29  For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.
    30  And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

 

Hope and Peace in Times of Despair

Daily Spirit & Word, 457: Hope and Peace in Times of Despair.

Seven Benefits of Bible Memorisation.

 

Benefit #3: Bible Memory Training: God Gives Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ: True Hope and Peace in Times of Despair.

 

The Blackest Night of My Life:

As I write this morning, I’m reminded of the blackest night of my life, the day whilst at Theological College we were about to attend the Leavers Ball. Someone came running to me and said, “There’s an urgent telephone call for you”. It was the day’s before the advent of Mobile Phones. We, Julie and I, took the call in the little phone booth that students used. My wife had left our children (five of them) in the care of friends in Plymouth, two of them with our Minister and his wife. The call was from his wife, she relayed the devastating news as only a Christian could, “You daughter is OK, but she’s been assaulted” When someone says that about your most precious daughter your mind goes into a whirl. I had to ask her again and again for the details, even then not fully comprehending. She was reluctant to tell us too much, fearing that we’d have an accident as we drove back from London to Plymouth. All I remember asking was; “What happened?”.

The next thing I can recall as clear as light was hugging my sobbing wife, she was inconsolable, but I just hugged her. Then just before we were about to dash off home an brother in the Lord who’d become a great friend over the years of college said, “Let’s kneel down and pray to the Lord”. It was the last thing that I wanted to do at that moment, I wanted to get into the car and head-off as fast as we could. But I knew Charity was right, so we got on our knees before the Lord Jesus and through tears we both prayed. Charity was a strong-tower and declared Jesus peace over Julie and I.

It was on the way home, in the darkness and driving rain that it happened. We were passing a little hillock in Dorset and on the top of the hill I saw a bright light giving of strange beams, like a searchlight, it was hard to make out, but it was there, then it pointed up into the sky; Julie was driving at almost 100 miles per hour. No amount of my telling her, “slow-down” made the slightest bit of a difference. As I looked out of the rain’s tears on my car’s window, I saw that light pointing up into Heaven; then all of a sudden the Lord’s PEACE flooded my soul. In that DARKEST NIGHT of my life, PEACE and CALM like I’d never know before. The light pointing to heaven reminded me of my prayer and Charity’s prayer for peace. It was a miracle.

I knew we were heading home to the tragic news that my precious ten-year-old daughter had been raped at knife-point with many terrible things done to her in that attack. Her childhood stolen and destroyed by a viscous, evil and callous act. That one horrible night led to years of deep heartache and slowly getting back to ‘normal’, but when that PEACE came in the driving rain it stayed with me throughout those years and I was the only one in the family to turn to the Lord and receive His peace, hope, joy and comfort. The Lord was preparing me to be a source of strength for everybody else in my family. My wife blamed hereself and for years couldn’t make decisions, my daughter had night terrors for years, screaming in the night. But the PEACE, it came from above and would not go away.

I remember a few months afterwards reading Psalm 23 with my daugher who’d been attacked, and she said, “That was me wasn’t it? I walked through the valley of the shadow of death” I said, “You most certainly did”. Then she asked me, “Why didn’t Jesus rescue me?” I said, “He did, you are here today to tell the horrible story and one day you’ll be able to give strength to many more people who are going through hard times”.

There was a verse that I’d learned on the day we got that horrible telephone call; when we received the tragic news, you know how a verse sticks out sometimes when your reading God’s Word. Well I committed it to memory quickly, not knowing why the Spirit had illuminated it, it came flooding back into my mind after seeing the beam of light on the hill: Isaiah 26:3 “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.” You know my friends, I can testify to the truth of that verse from God’s Word. He DID keep me in His PEACE. Though there were times when I could easily have turned the other way, Jesus was always there for me and keeping me in His perfect peace.

 Isaiah 26:3 “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.”

Hope and Peace in Times of Despair.

The full meaning of that verse became apparent about a year later when I shared my testimony in Northern Ireland. At the end of a week of Evangelistic mission activity in the small town of Warren Point. In the Town Hall on the last night I shared my story and what had happened to my daughter, but I kept the focus upon how the LORD had given His peace and hope in my heart. In Northern Ireland during the mission, it was the height of ‘The Troubles’, but whilst the mission was going, we only saw one riot in Downpatrick. The Town Hall was full, and so many people were crying that night and when we gave an invitation for people to receive the Lord Jesus, I think everybody in the hall came forward to be prayed with. It was awesome. Even a Minister, who’d been ordained for years, who I’d become friends with during the mission, but through the conversations we’d had, I knew that He’d never trusted in Jesus for Salvation, because Ministry was a job for him a vocation of choice to serve the community. He came forward and through tears made his confession and gave his life to the Lord Jesus Christ. The PEACE has been with me in many troubled times since, but I’ve also been reminded, I need to turn and trust in the Lord always.

My friends, tragedy may come into your life, but whenever the Lord gives you a text from His Word, you’ll be wise to commit it to your memory banks. He’ll use it again and again and again and again, to bring strength and comfort and deep knowledge that He’s faithful to all his promises in his word. He KEEP you in Perfect Peace when you fix you mind upon Him.

Isaiah 26:3 “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.”

Psalm 77:17  “The clouds poured down water, the skies resounded with thunder; your arrows flashed back and forth.”

Psalm 77:17 (Amp).

Since that Blackest Night of My Life: I’ve had countless scriptures the Lord has given me to remember forever, they come either just before or during the times of despair and need. Psalm 77 (Easy to remember) 7/7 you know the shops that are open 24/7 seven days a week? Well, I remember that Heaven is OPEN 7/7. 24 Hours a Day Every Day. Though we may not be able to sleep sometimes for fretting, when we turn to the LORD, He’ll give us His PEACE and HOPE even in Despair. In the Darkest Nights of your life, He’s with you and is available. Call to Him for He is near.

Also Psalm 40 The whole psalm, but especially Psalm 40:9-10 was given just before the Mission to Northern Ireland, it really did come true in the Town Hall in Warren Point.

Psalm 40:9-10 “I proclaim righteousness in the great assembly; I do not seal my lips, as you know, O LORD. 10. I do not hide your righteousness in my heart; I speak of your faithfulness and salvation. I do not conceal your love and your truth from the great assembly.”

Also Romans 12:28-39 (NIV)

Today, I proclaim AND declare to everybody who’s reading this message; “God’s PEACE be upon you today. May you KNOW and Experience His PERFECT PEACE. AMEN!”

Jesus is ALWAYS faithful.

Have an awesome day with Jesus, be filled afresh with the Holy Spirit.

Don.

 

Psalm 77:1-20 (NIV)

  1.  [For the director of music. For Jeduthun. Of Asaph. A psalm.] I cried out to God for help; I cried out to God to hear me.
  2.  When I was in distress, I sought the Lord; at night I stretched out untiring hands and my soul refused to be comforted.
  3.  I remembered you, O God, and I groaned; I mused, and my spirit grew faint. Selah
  4.  You kept my eyes from closing; I was too troubled to speak.
  5.  I thought about the former days, the years of long ago;
  6.  I remembered my songs in the night. My heart mused and my spirit enquired:
  7.  “Will the Lord reject for ever? Will he never show his favour again?
  8.  Has his unfailing love vanished for ever? Has his promise failed for all time?
  9. Has God forgotten to be merciful? Has he in anger withheld his compassion?” Selah
  10.  Then I thought, “To this I will appeal: the years of the right hand of the Most High.”
  11.  I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
  12.  I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds.
  13.  Your ways, O God, are holy. What god is so great as our God?
  14.  You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples.
  15.  With your mighty arm you redeemed your people, the descendants of Jacob and Joseph. Selah
  16.  The waters saw you, O God, the waters saw you and writhed; the very depths were convulsed.
  17.  The clouds poured down water, the skies resounded with thunder; your arrows flashed back and forth.
  18.  Your thunder was heard in the whirlwind, your lightning lit up the world; the earth trembled and quaked.
  19.  Your path led through the sea, your way through the mighty waters, though your footprints were not seen.
  20. You led your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

Psalm 40 (NIV).

Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Romans 8:35 “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?”

Romans 8:37-39 “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

 

Bible Memory Training: Benefit #3 Hope and Peace in Times of Despair.

 

My PEACE I Leave With You

Daily Spirit & Word, 454: Jesus said, “My PEACE I leave with you”

John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

Good morning everyone, Sunday worship was amazing and I’m sure many people were touched by the presence of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit amongst us yesterday.

The Month of March is traditionally known as a Windy month, with strong winds and storms. You know my friends, peace is such a wonderful thing. I get some yesterday for five minutes 🙂 There are times when life is just so hectic, so busy, it’s like a swirling storm and a chain of events. Emotions run high and tempers get strained.

Every day we hear about new conflicts; major and minor wars or terrorists / freedom fighters committing some fearful and dreadful attack on innocent people. I think more than anything else today this world needs to learn HOW to be at PEACE, but for the Believer in the Lord Jesus we’ve been both; blessed with PEACE and commanded to be at PEACE, even with our enemies.

Peace is also one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit; it’s evidence for the believer in Jesus that we’ve been accepted into His family. This PEACE of the Lord is not troubled by the storms of life, but there are times when we’re called upon to act in peaceful and loving ways.

The World’s Way & God’s Way Are Different:

Let’s see what the WORLD says and what God’s Word says about the ways we must act; VIOLENTLY or PEACEFULLY.

1. “Don’t get mad, get even.” God’s Way is different; (Matthew 5:25)

2. “Do unto others before they do unto you.” God’s Way is different; (Luke 6:31)

3. “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.” God’s Way is different; (Matthew 5:38-39)

4. “Give him a taste of his own medicine.” God’s Way is different; (Luke 6:27-28)

5. “Love your neighbour and hate your enemy.” God’s Way is different; (Matthew 5:43-44)

6. “I’ll teach her a lesson she’ll never forget.” God’s Way is different; (Matthew 6:14-15)

7. “Are you going let him get away with that?” God’s Way is different; (Matthew 18:21-22)

8. “This means war!” God’s Way is different; (Matthew 5:9)

9. “You’ve got to stand up for your rights” God’s Way is different (Matthew 5:40-41)

10. “Being nice is weakness.” God’s Way is different; (Luke 6:35-36)

Being at and living at PEACE, as you can see if you’ve looked up the Bible verses, is not easy. Nor is it sometimes for the faint-hearted. Thankfully God’s Word also gives us great examples and illustrations for our encouragement. God has acted in the past my friends, He’s promised in so many place in His Word (His LOVE letter to Believers) that He’ll act again.

  •  Genesis 21:1-7— Your PEACE comes by trusting God’s Word.
  • Psalm 3:4-5— Your PEACE comes from God’s assurance of answered prayer.
  • Matthew 5:25-26— You are encouraged by God to make PEACE with others.
  • Matthew 19:19— God’s Word instructs you to Love your neighbour as yourself.
  • Romans 5:1— God’s Word says it’s your FAITH in Jesus Christ that brings inner peace.
  • 1 Corinthians 1:3— You can ask God for peace of heart and mind.
  • Philippians 4:4-7— God has given you some Steps to getting peace.

So we can clearly see that what Jesus said at the beginning “My peace I leave with you, my peace I give you, my peace is different from the world’s peace”…. (My own paraphrase). The results of Jesus inner peace that He’s leaving with us; Our hearts will not be troubled and we will not be afraid. No matter what the STORM or DANGER: Inner peace and contentment comes through the Lord Jesus Christ, it’s the evidence that you’ve been born of the Spirit. But just as I was saying yesterday about the Holy Spirit, though we’ve probably all got PEACE, we need more of it and we all need to practice being at peace with others and with God.

Let’s pray for the Lord’s fullness of His Spirit and more of His PEACE in our hearts today.

Be blessed for a great and peaceful week ahead.

Don.

Famous Quotes on PEACE:

“It is a matter of present possession, and present enjoyment. Whatever tribulation there may be in the world, “we have peace with God.”

“If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed. If you look within, you’ll be depressed. If you look at God you’ll be at rest.”
― Corrie ten Boom

For some more wonderful Peace Quotes Click Here

 Recommended Reading: PEACE.

There are so many wonderful books and websites about PEACE (with God and with our Enemies). PEACE

130 Questions Children Ask About War by David Stoop and Stephen Arterburn (Tyndale House Publishers). Published after the 9-11 attacks, this helpful paperback is loaded with interesting questions and insightful answers. This would be an excellent resource for any discussion of war, conflict, peace, and stress.

 Don’t Let Jerks Get the Best of You by Paul Meier, M.D. (Thomas Nelson Publishers). This book can help you begin to take control of your life and develop relationships that are peaceful and build confidence, trust and joy.

In the Eye of the Storm by Max Lucado (Word Publishing). Focusing on a day in the life of Jesus, Max challenges and motivates readers to move through the “stress of demands,” “storms of doubt,” and “sting of failure.”

 Making Peace With Your Father by David Stoop (Tyndale House Publishers). This book will help you make peace with your father, yourself and God.

 Peace with God by Billy Graham (Word Publishing). In this classic book, Dr. Graham outlines how a person can become reconciled with the Creator, peace with God, and can have the peace of God.

 Peaceful Living in a Stressful World by Ron Hutchcraft (Thomas Nelson Publishers). Ron gives practical steps for finding and practicing God’s peace, despite the pressures and demands swirling around. This book is probably out of print but still available through www.Amazon.com.

Promises from God’s Word (World). This book reprints verses that address daily crises and feelings.

My PEACE I Leave With You. My PEACE I Give You.

 

Behold The Lamb of God

Behold The Lamb of God.

John The Baptist's Powerful Testimony: The Water, the Lamb, the Dove and the Son of God.
John The Baptist’s Powerful Testimony: The Water, the Lamb, the Dove and the Son of God.

Daily Spirit & Word, 447: John’s Powerful Testimony.

Four Symbols

The Water, Lamb, Dove and the Son of God.

Good morning my friends, today we’re gathering on the first Sunday of March to worship the Lord with an truly amazing focus on Jesus, looking at Him through the Magnifying Glass of John the Baptist. Let’s jump right in and read God’s Word;
  • John 1:29-34
  • 29  The next day John saw Jesus coming towards him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
  • 30  This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’
  • 31  I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptising with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.”
  • 32  Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him.
  • 33  I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptise with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptise with the Holy Spirit.’
  • 34  I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God.”
As a Magnifying Glass makes things BIGGER: So John’s Witness about Jesus makes Him much BIGGER for each and every one of us today. Here’s HOW!
You know my friends, there is nothing more powerful to lead others to Jesus Christ than by our own witness or testimony of who Jesus Christ is: both to us and to the world. That’s what John the Baptist revealed in his own life and it’s what Christians can reveal to the world today.
We’ve observed the POWER of this fact in the face of debate and doubt: Whilst out on the streets witnessing, we’ll come accross many people who’ve got strong arguments and reasons for not believing in God or Jesus, but after trying to debate them on an intellectual level for a while, we’ve seen how just one or two words brings those strong defences, (These are the Castles they built to hide from God) intellectual and moral doubts come crashing down. When we say, “I know God because I’ve met God personally through Jesus” there’s absolutely nothing they can say. Apart from thinking, either we’re mad or deluded or we’re telling the truth. There is POWER in personal testimony, that’s what John the Baptist brings us today.
John gives us FOUR vary powerful symbols;

1) The Water:

John’s message was: “Repent and Be Baptised for the forgiveness of Sins.” (Baptism means to submerse, to sink to go under, to go down underneath and into the water).
Baptism was something people always did to themselves, but this was very strange, now a man came calling people to come to him to be washed in running water, to be cleansed of their sins. But first John said that people must REPENT.
The people at the time knew what John meant, but we’ve don’t have the same understanding of God’s Word, the Old Testament. He was calling the people to come back to God’s ways, God’s will revealed in the Law and the Commandments. Repenting is simply acknowledging we’ve failed and fallen short of them, turning away from sin and desiring God’s cleansing from Sin. (Sin is the Transgression of the Law of God).
Washing in Water was always a symbol of RITUAL CLEANSING. Baptism = Repentance and Forgiveness / Cleansing from Sin.

2) The Lamb of God: “Behold the Lamb of God”

John was saying, “Behold” which means LOOK PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT I’M POINTING OUT.
Who takes away the sin of the world.
In Israel: The Jews sacrificed pure, innocent and spotless lambs, this was God’s given symbol of purification. The blood of the lamb was to show that their sins had been washed away, but that sin has a price, “The wages of sin is death”… The Lamb died in the place of the people, because sin must be paid for.
Imagine that, an innocent, pure little lamb: The people would most surely have the same feelings for little lambs that we have today. They are cute, lovely, innocent, spotless and cuddly: But they needed to die to pay the price for their sins. seems cruel and barbaric to us today, but God was showing the people something about SIN. How much it hurt him and how serious sin was to him.
Now John was saying something awesome: Just like people would wash themselves to purify themselves, so Israelite People would bring their own lambs to be slaughtered. It was their identifying with their own sin. It’s like saying to God, “It was me, I did it, now I bring this little lamb to suffer in my place”… Now John is telling the people, God is Himself providing the Lamb for Sacrifice: Jesus would be God’s Lamb who would be sacrificed to take away the sins of the whole world. His precious blood would pay the price for the sins of everyone. He was God’s pure, spotless and sinless Lamb.

Why? The Bible tells us why: John 3:14-18
14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,
15 that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.
16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 

3) The Dove:

For many thousands of years, since the time of Noah, the Dove has been well known as the international symbol of PEACE. Often depicted carrying a leaf in it’s mouth.
After the flood, that destroyed every sinful human being apart from Noah and his family, when the waters receeded Noah sent out some birds to find land, the dove finally returned to Noah carrying an Olive branch in it’s mouth. This meant the end of God’s wrath, the flood abated and PEACE with God was restored. He’d finished his work of cleansing / PURIFYING the earth from Sin. Water: Now the earth was appearing again and the Dove brought the symbol of God’s Peace.
My friends, when the Holy Spirit came down from Heaven and entered Jesus, He came in the form of a Dove. Notice what John said though, The Dove came down and rested on him and remained upon Him. The Holy Spirit NEVER left Jesus again.
John said about Jesus; “The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptise with the Holy Spirit.”
Jesus was and is the one who sends the Holy Spirit into the hearts of everyone who comes to Him in Repentance seeking the forgiveness of their sins. He died upon the Cross as God’s Lamb to take away those sins. He now gives the Holy Spirit to each and every person who TRUSTS in His death upon the cross, that it was for their sins. His precious, spotless, innocent and holy life-blood poured out on the cross for your sins.
Jest like the Holy Spirit remained upon Jesus, so the Holy Spirit will be with the New Believer forever. He’ll fill you and give you what John said here, “FIRE”… Fire = Zeal for God. Love for God, Devotion to God, Dedication to God’s ways. That’s the FIRE it means the ability to live in such a way, that your life will be pleasing to God.
The Holy Spirit really is a symbol of PEACE between mankind and God. That God was finished with the punishment Jesus had taken all the punishment necessary for SIN and now God was sending the Holy Spirit to reveal the True PEACE between the believer and God. The PEACE in your heart is a fruit of the Holy Spirit.

4) Testimony (Witness).

John the Baptist said, “I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God.”
WOWzer! What a powerful witness. “I’ve seen” and “I testify”…
My friends, John saw the DOVE (He’d been given a message and a method of getting people ready for Jesus coming: Repent = turn back to God away from sin. AND be baptised to be PURIFIED from those sins) NOW after years of getting people ready, he finally saw what God had told him from Heaven. “When you see the Spirit come down and remain upon him, he is the one who will baptise with the Holy Spirit and fire”…. I’ve seen Him, this is the one, this is the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ is the SON of God.
And as I said at the beginning, there is nothing more powerful than personal testimony, personal witness, personal knowledge: “I’ve seen Jesus, I know Jesus, I’ve been with Jesus” What has Jesus done for you?

A Christian’s Personal Testimony:

Witness about Jesus: What He’s done for you:
He’s forgiven my sins (How did that make you feel).
He died for me (How does it make you feel how Jesus died for your sins).
He came into my life: Now tell people what your life is now like with Jesus, in comparison to what life what like without Jesus.
He filled me with His Holy Spirit: Now tell people what it’s like being full of the Holy Spirit. How you know the PEACE of God.
Tell people: “Behold Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God who takes away the SIN of the World.”
With this POWERFUL testimony, what Jesus came to do, what Jesus has done for you, you can go out and be confident that God will use it to bring others to the same faith and confidence that you have in Jesus Christ. Knowing Jesus Christ personally is all the training you need to become a powerful EVANGELIST to lead others to Him.

Today we’ve seen FOUR Powerful Symbols:

These Make for a VERY POWERFUL TESTIMONY.
  • The Water:
  • The Lamb:
  • The Dove:
  • The Son of God:
What’s the Water For? Repentance and Forgiveness (Cleansing & Pruification).
What’s the Lamb for? Paying the Price in Blood for Sins.
What’s the Dove for? Assurance of PEACE within each and every Repentant Sinner who receives Jesus as Lord.
What’s the Son of God for? He’s the Lamb, He’s the giver of the Holy Spirit, He’s the one who paid the price for sin.
Remember:

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

 Why do we need a Personal Testimony like John’s? Because God has revealed just how precious each soul is, that He doesn’t want anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. So He’s given you a task of spreading this Good News of Jesus to everyone and He’s given you a personal encounter and filled you with His Spirit to accomplish the task. If you’ve not got this FIRE (Zeal) to share Jesus with others, then there’s something wrong with your faith. God’s LOVE compels us to share with others what He’s given to us: So share Jesus today.
Have an awesome Sunday my friends.
If you’ve never done so before, can I encourage you today to come to Jesus Christ; Repent and seek His forgiveness, know that He’s paid the price for all your sins upon the cross and turn to Him now. He’ll give you the gift of the Holy Spirit as a way that you can know that you’ve been forgiven, your place in Heaven is secure and you are living a PEACE with God forever. Come NOW is the Day to be SAVED from Sin. Come today is the day of Salvation from sin.
Don.

Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.