Unleash the Power of Prayer

The POWER of Prayer in not the prayer but the PERSON to whom we Pray. Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word: 823:

The Power of Praying to the LORD.

Unleash The Power of Prayer

Genesis 25:21 (NIV)  Isaac prayed to the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was barren. The LORD answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant.

Good morning my friends, I’m back again. Praise the LORD! It’s so good when we have the POWER of Heaven. God’s NOT DEAD: He’s Alive! He’s waiting to answer your prayers. However, we need to know how to unleash the POWER of HEAVEN into our lives afresh today.

Prayer played an important part in a crisis in Isaac’s life. Today we’re going to see how he solved that crisis by going to the Lord in prayer.

If you’ve got a PROBLEM today: Even if you’ve had it a long time, take it to the ONE who can break EVERY CHAIN.

 

1) The Person Isaac Prayed About:

“Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife.”

Isaac’s wife had a serious problem: She was barren.

When a woman was barren in those days, people thought they’d been cursed or were under God’s judgement. It was a shameful thing not to be able to conceive.  Isaac, unlike many husbands in those days, did not criticise Rebekah or reject her because she was barren. He loved Rebecca so instead he prayed to the LORD for her.

I think we can all learn a lesson from this verse today: If couples prayed to the LORD for each other when things are not going well, instead of criticising each other or blaming one another, then we unleash the power of Heaven into our family life. You’ll be surprised how your own attitude will change when you pray instead of moan. So my friends, let’s make prayer a big part of our home and family life. You’ll discover The Lord can improve every area of your home and the family atmosphere can change.

When was the last time you spent time with Jesus praying for your wife or husband?

The Film: The War Room: The Prayer Closet: Loved that film.

Let’s get to praying regularly for our closest family members.

2) What Prompted Isaac to Pray?

The Prompter of his Prayer was a PROBLEM:

“Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife because she was barren”

It was a problem that prompted Isaac to pray. That is not what most people do with their problems. Generally when problems come, people fuss and fume, some swear and shout, and many resort to drugs or drink when serious problems come.

Fussing, Fuming, Swearing, Shouting or Drugs and Drink: But we all know that PROBLEMS cannot be solved like that, these things only tend to make the problem seem like an insurmountable MOUNTAIN. When we act like that, we begin to even feel bad about ourselves. We had friends who’ve taken their own lives because of what seemed to us like a trivial problem. But they FOCUSED on the STORM instead of the ONE who calmed the raging waves with just a word.

The best way to confront all your problems is to pray about them. Prayer is a problem solver. No matter how big your problem, you can take it to the Lord in prayer.

When you do you’ll get REVELATION: Problems will begin to seem so small when we take them to Jesus.

3) The Power of Isaac’s Prayer:

“The Lord answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant”

NOTE: It wasn’t Isaac’s prayer but the PERSON that he prayed to. You are coming to the LIVING God who loves you. He’s your Heavenly Father and He cares for you. He even knows how many hairs you have on your head…

Prayer to the LORD will indeed change things. He can work great wonders, awesome miracles. When you come to the LORD with your issues in life, the problem doesn’t look quite so big as our Lord.

The POWER of PRAYER is the LORD to Whom WE PRAY.

20 YEARS: That’s a LONG TIME: (How LONG have you had your problems?)…

Rebekah had been barren for twenty years; but after Isaac prayed, she conceived and not only bore one child, but she had twins! That’s AWESOME: TWINS. My friends, do not underestimate the power of prayer to the LORD.

Once we had a couple who’d attended Church a few times after getting married: One Sunday I asked if they were OK on the way out of church. The wife said, “I’ve been trying for a baby, but would value prayer” I said “OK, let’s go up to the front of church, kneel at the altar rail and pray to the LORD” She and her husband came and knelt.  After a few weeks, her mother stopped me in the street and said in a loud voice, “Donald, Donald you got my daughter pregnant”… She was pregnant, not with one baby, but twins… (I did cringe a little bit when she said that though, I was wearing my dog collar at the time)… LOL…

Many people dismiss or scoff at prayer, but wise men, wise women, wise children and youngsters know that prayer to the LORD can work wonders.

You know that song, “There is POWER in the Name of Jesus” … there’s a repeated refrain, “BREAK EVERY CHAIN”… No matter how LONG you’ve had your PROBLEM… God can BREAK it’s POWERFUL CHAINS…. Take it to the LORD in prayer and unleash the POWER of Heaven.

Have an AWESOME Sunday with Jesus.

What a friend we have in Jesus

Don.

 

A Spirit Filled Christian

What does it mean to be Spirit Filled

Daily Spirit & Word: 822: A Spirit Filled Christian

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

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

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

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

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

1) A SPIRIT FILLED CHRISTIAN:

             WILL WORSHIP IN THE SPIRIT

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

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

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

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

2) A SPIRIT FILLED CHRISTIAN:

              WILL WORK TOGETHER IN UNITY

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

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

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

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

 

3) A SPIRIT FILLED CHRISTIAN:

             WILL BE WILLING TO FORGIVE OTHERS

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

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

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

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

4) A SPIRIT FILLED CHRISTIAN:

             WILL WALK IN DIVINE LOVE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

5) A SPIRIT FILLED CHRISTIAN:

             WILL WITNESS TO THE LOST

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

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

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

Philemon 1:6 (NIV) I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.

TOO MUCH ATTENTION:

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

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

TOO LITTLE ATTENTION:

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

WHAT NEXT?

So what? What am I supposed to do now?

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

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

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

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

BE FILLED: And;

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

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

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

NOTES: What Does The Holy Spirit Do?

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

The Holy Spirit is God:

Jesus, The Father and the Holy Spirit are ONE:

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

However, we NEED to keep being FILLED….

ASK! ASK! ASK!

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

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

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

 

New Year 2017 Getting The Father’s Heart

Lost sinners and Jesus commission to go and seek and save the lost

Daily Spirit & Word: 821

Jesus Of Nazareth.

Getting The Father’s Heart For the New Year.

Psalm 33:11 (NIV)  But the plans of the LORD stand firm for ever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.

Over the Christmas season the TV is quite good, because they show all the old family favourite films. It struck me that the films that seem to stand the test of time are not the ones with fancy graphics or awesome animation, nor is it fast moving scenes, car pile-ups or big explosions, etc, but it is the ones that have really great stories and characters that are convincing.

One such film, I watched again for the umpteenth time was; Jesus of Nazareth. In an early scene Peter was complaining about having to pay taxes to the Romans even after being out fishing all night and having caught nothing, when he got into port he wasn’t convinced that Jesus was the Messiah who could set them free from Roman domination. It showed a reluctant Peter, when asked by Jesus to go out fishing after they’d been fishing all night long, so the other Disciples had to coax him into accepting Jesus into his boat. I’d never noticed before that when Jesus told the story of the prodigal son, he did so in a house full of obvious sinners, Matthew the Tax Collector and Publicans and in the film the story was targeted at a reluctant Peter who was standing outside the door of the house listening. The film portrayed Peter as a belligerent and reluctant Disciple of Jesus, who was being judgemental about Matthew who collected taxes for the Romans.

I’m not convinced that part of the film is authentic, however it did get me thinking about Jesus telling of that story. Who was he targeting? Then I thought to myself, that story applies to every single one of us, so it would also have applied to both Jesus’ Disciples and His opponents, the Pharisees and the Sadducees.

The Prodigal Son: The Lost Son / The Loving Father / The Resentful Older Brother.

Luke 15:17-32 (NIV)
17  “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!
18  I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.
19  I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.’
20  So he got up and went to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
21  “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22  “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.
23  Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate.
24  For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.
25  “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing.
26  So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on.
27  ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’
28  “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him.
29  But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends.
30  But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’
31  ” ‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.
32  But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ “

The Prodigal Son: Who demanded his inheritance before his father had even passed away. Who wasted his inheritance in wild, sensual and sinful living. Who was far away from home and in a desperate state. Who decided to repent and return home again, begging for mercy and forgiveness. Who among us has not been like that Prodigal Son? We’ve all gone away from God on purpose at some point in our lives, choosing to go with our desires, or our feelings instead of God’s way.

The Father’s Response: To run out and greet his wayward son, embrace him, cloth him, bring him home and throw a big party. Every time I hear that story of the Father’s loving heart it brings home to me just how much God really does LOVE everyone, and is just waiting for us all to come back home again to Him.

The Elder Brother: Who was judgemental, outside, refusing to come in, hurt and offended at the Father’s grace, kindness and mercy towards his wayward brother. Refusing to be consoled. (That’s who Peter was in the film), but who among us has not acted like that elder brother? We’ve probably all thought at one point or another, “He doesn’t deserve God’s grace and mercy after what he’s been up to”. However, when we bring it home, back to ourselves, we don’t deserve God’s forgiveness, love and kindness either, it’s all because of His GRACE that we are saved. The fact is God really does LOVE everybody and wants everyone to come to REPENTANCE.

Which one of these characters do you see yourself as being in that story? The wayward son, the merciful, kind and loving father or the elder brother standing outside refusing to join in the celebrations?

  • I’m sure none of us want to be thought of as the Elder Brother do we? Judgemental, Reluctant to celebrated when a sinner repents.
  • I’m sure we can all see a bit of the wayward son in ourselves. We’ve all sinned and fallen short of God’s Holy Standards.
  • I’m sure we’d all like to be just like the Father: Full of grace, mercy, kindness, goodness and love.

But which one are we? Which one are you today?

God is the same, the Bible tells us, yesterday, today and forever.

  • If you’ve wandered away: He’ll welcome you back. Repent and return home to your Heavenly Father.
  • If you’re being judgemental: He’ll come out to you and encourage you to be like the Father. It’s just as much a sin to be like the elder brother as it is to be the wayward son.
  • If you are like the Father today; full of Kindness, goodness, mercy, gentleness, self-control, joy, love, faithfulness, then you’ve got the fruit of the Holy Spirit in abundance. Praise the LORD! Go out and look for both, the wayward sons and daughters of God; He’s longing for you to bring them to their senses and bring them home.

However, if in reading through this little piece, you’ve been pricked in your conscience in some way, then don’t despair of yourself, just get right with your Heavenly Father, do it right now, don’t delay, confess your sins to God and He will forgive you. He will wash you clean and give you a brand new start for the New Year 2017.

I’m praying for all my friends, to be closer to the Lord Jesus in 2017 than they’ve ever been before. Amen!

Here’s hoping you have awesome success in 2017: May you be overflowing with Holy Spirit power to be:

  • More Loving.
  • More Joy Filled.
  • More Peaceful.
  • More Kind.
  • More Holy and Good.
  • More Faithful.
  • More Gentle.
  • More Self-Controlled.

Who among us doesn’t need more of this kind of fruit in our lives in 2017?

I do!
I want it!
I’m praying to Jesus for it.
Praise the LORD!
Don.

NOTES: The story that Jesus told about the Prodigal Son was part of a bigger story in Luke 15:

  • First, a lost sheep (One of a hundred)
  • Second, a lost coin (one of ten) and
  • Lastly, a lost son (one of two)…

Which is most precious to us?

Which is most precious to God?

The people the story is TARGETED at in the Bible are: The Pharisees and the religious teachers of Israel in Jesus time. They would all celebrate a lost sheep being returned to its owner. They would all value a lost coin, even though it was one of ten, but they kept themselves away from lost SINNERS and shunned those, who in their eyes, were completely lost already.

We can all imagine how hard it would be to loose a sheep, even though it’s one in a hundred.

We can all imagine how precious those coins must have been, even though there was another nine to console.

However, imagine having just two sons and loosing one of them, how devastating for any father is that? But when he returns, OH THE JOY… That’s the Father’s Heart.

The Pharisees, much like people in our own time, are MATERIALISTIC: They valued sheep and coins, but thought very little about the value of human life. Especially people who didn’t fit into their moral code of conduct.

The two sons are both Materialistic: The lost son is evidently wayward, but he repents and is restored and celebrated.

However, the materialism in the older son and his resentful attitude only become evident when the LOST son is welcomed back with open arms. He wants a PARTY with his friends. He was thinking about what his brother had wasted (part of his own inheritance)… He refused to coming in and join the celebration.

The Bible makes it clear, the Pharisees and we should have the SAME kind of heart as the Father in the story that Jesus told.

  • Many preachers focus on the Lost Son: to give hope to the parents in the congregation who may have a wayward child, who’s far away from the family and God.
  • Others; focus upon the Loving heart of the Father and His obvious welcome of a truly repentant sinner. That’s what God is like.
  • Others direct our attention to the Resentful Older Brother: How’s our attitude towards those who’ve come back to Jesus Christ after wasting their lives in wild living?

But the thing that jumps out at me afresh today is GETTING the FATHER’S HEART: Jesus wants is all to know what’s going on in HEAVEN: Their is rejoicing and celebration going on in God’s House when just one of us, truly comes to our senses and surrenders our lives to God through His Son Jesus.

Psalm 33:11 (NIV)  But the plans of the LORD stand firm for ever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.

Let’s get the FATHER’S HEART today: Pray for yourself in 2017, that you’ll be filled with the same kind of compassion that Jesus has for those who are far away from God, lost.

Be obedient to the Father’s Heart: Go out and seek and save the LOST: That’s Why Jesus came: To SAVE SINNERS. He’s commissioned every single Christian to be involved in this, the greatest calling, to join Him in SAVING SINNERS. The Holy Spirit is drawing them to Jesus, all we have to do is PRAY and SHARE the Good News. Because FAITH comes by hearing the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Now, we’d all love our churches to be filled afresh with LOST SINNERS wouldn’t we?

Let’s get busy in 2017 saving as many as we can. Hopefully we’ll see a HARVEST of Souls this coming year. Amen!

Be blessed in Jesus,

Don.

 

Immanuel God With Us

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

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

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

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

Immanuel:

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

What does Immanuel mean?

Immanuel means: “God with us”.

Let’s unpack IMMANUEL a bit…

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

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

Immanuel means “God with us”…

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

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

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

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

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

https://youtu.be/_p4DmuGyehc

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

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

YOUR IMMANUEL MOMENT

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

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

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

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

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

You’ll know Him, if you LOVE Him.

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

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

You’ll know if He is your LORD:

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

You’ll know if He is your Immanuel:

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

So HOW do we get our own IMMANUEL?

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

Invite the LORD to come into your life right now.

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

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

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

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

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

How will you plead today?

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

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

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

So I’m Praying:

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

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

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

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

Have an awesome Tuesday my friends,

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

Stay close to Jesus and experience your own Immanuel,

Don.

18 Prayers to Pray For Unbelievers

LINK To Prayers

 

Working for Jesus? Expect Opposition.

when you work for Jesus, expect opposition from the enemy

Daily Spirit & Word: 800: Expect Opposition.

When the LORD calls you to do something for Him, expect opposition.

Good morning my friends, when you do a good work for the LORD you can expect opposition. If you are of the world, the world will accept you as one of it’s own, but if you are a Citizen of Heaven, working for another KING, then this world and it’s king (Satan) can never accept you and you are going to be opposed, persecuted and sometimes martyred. However, far from being in a position of weakness and fear, we’re going to be encouraged today to see that we can be God’s awesome power of LOVE in this world.

Opposition comes in many forms, but how can we react to opposition, no matter what form or guise it come in?

Let us take Nehemiah as one of our examples of what to do when opposition comes, and we’ll look at what God’s Word tells us about persecution and opposition for Him and for the Gospel.

First, Nehemiah:

An Example of how to proceed when your work for the LORD is opposed, ridiculed or hindered.

Nehemiah 4:1-23 (NIV)
1  When Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became angry and was greatly incensed. He ridiculed the Jews,
2  and in the presence of his associates and the army of Samaria, he said, “What are those feeble Jews doing? Will they restore their wall? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they finish in a day? Can they bring the stones back to life from those heaps of rubble—burned as they are?”
3  Tobiah the Ammonite, who was at his side, said, “What they are building—if even a fox climbed up on it, he would break down their wall of stones!”
4  Hear us, O our God, for we are despised. Turn their insults back on their own heads. Give them over as plunder in a land of captivity.
5  Do not cover up their guilt or blot out their sins from your sight, for they have thrown insults in the face of the builders.
6  So we rebuilt the wall till all of it reached half its height, for the people worked with all their heart.
7  But when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites and the men of Ashdod heard that the repairs to Jerusalem’s walls had gone ahead and that the gaps were being closed, they were very angry.
8  They all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and stir up trouble against it.
9  But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat.
10  Meanwhile, the people in Judah said, “The strength of the labourers is giving out, and there is so much rubble that we cannot rebuild the wall.”
11  Also our enemies said, “Before they know it or see us, we will be right there among them and will kill them and put an end to the work.”
12  Then the Jews who lived near them came and told us ten times over, “Wherever you turn, they will attack us.”
13  Therefore I stationed some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall at the exposed places, posting them by families, with their swords, spears and bows.
14  After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.”
15  When our enemies heard that we were aware of their plot and that God had frustrated it, we all returned to the wall, each to his own work.
16  From that day on, half of my men did the work, while the other half were equipped with spears, shields, bows and armour. The officers posted themselves behind all the people of Judah
17  who were building the wall. Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other,
18  and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked. But the man who sounded the trumpet stayed with me.
19  Then I said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “The work is extensive and spread out, and we are widely separated from each other along the wall.
20  Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, join us there. Our God will fight for us!”
21  So we continued the work with half the men holding spears, from the first light of dawn till the stars came out.
22  At that time I also said to the people, “Have every man and his helper stay inside Jerusalem at night, so that they can serve us as guards by night and workmen by day.”
23  Neither I nor my brothers nor my men nor the guards with me took off our clothes; each had his weapon, even when he went for water.

INTRODUCTION:

When you get busy for God, opposition will inevitably raise its ugly head. So no matter how GOOD the thing that you are doing is; be it a service for the poor people of this world or proclaiming the Good News of Jesus or taking a moral stand. Like Nehemiah discovered, when you do something for the LORD, the world (influenced by Satan) hates it with a vengeance, and will oppose you. However, they are not really opposing you, they are coming against your God, who’s called you to that task.

But we must bear in mind what it is that’s driving any form of opposition:

Ephesians 6:10-13 (NIV) When Opposition Comes: Be strong in the LORD and STAND.
10  Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
11  Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
12  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
13  Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. (Read the FULL ARMOUR OF GOD Eph 6:14-20).

We must not resort to worldly ways of reacting to opposition:

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (NIV)
3  For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.
4  The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.
5  We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

So how should we react to opposition?

Think and Act Like Nehemiah.

Who was Nehemiah? His name means “the comfort of Jehovah.” His purpose and calling by the LORD really was a worthy one; He was instructed by the LORD to reconstruct the walls of the city of Jerusalem and in the process to rebuild the faith of the people of Israel. Yet, as soon as he began, Nehemiah was confronted by the dreaded opposition. So don’t be surprised by opposition, instead; expect it.

1) PRAYER:

When you get busy for God and the expected opposition comes, the first ingredient that will lead to success is PRAYER. “But we prayed to our God,” the Bible says (Nehemiah 4:9). Prayer was a key ingredient in Nehemiah’s spiritual life (1:4). When OPPOSITION came, Nehemiah looked up to Heaven first taking captive those opponents of God’s word with Spiritual weapons, before he persisted in the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s wall.

2) PERSISTENCE:

When you get busy for God and opposition comes, the second ingredient that will lead to success is PERSISTENCE. Prayer is not a substitute for working at what you’ve been called to do. So often people will retreat and just pray, but you’ve been called to more than prayer. Instead, know that PRAYER preceeds PERSISTENCE. When opposition comes don’t just carry on regardless, get down to prayer first and then carry on regardless. PRAYER is a PRELUDE to PERSISTENCE. For the God’s Word says; “Nehemiah took their thoughts captive (He used Spiritual Weapons) Nehemiah 4:4.   “…the people worked with all their heart.” (Nehemiah 4:6).

I don’t know who said it first, but whoever it was, this thought encapsulates the KEY INGREDIENTS when opposition comes; “I pray as if everything depended on God. Then I work as if everything depended on me.” I love that saying, we’ve got to PRAY and WORK at what we’ve been called to do. (See James Faith and Works).

3) POWER:

When you get busy for God and opposition comes, the third ingredient that will lead to your spiritual success is THE POWER OF HEAVEN. When confronted by the fear of the people, the fear of man, the fear of looking like a fool, the fear of failure; then Nehemiah 4:14 says that Nehemiah arose and spoke to the people about the power of God, and about the purpose of their work. When we are reminded of the purpose to which God has called us, and the power with which to accomplish that purpose, then we will be encouraged to move on toward the completion of our task.

So simply remind yourself of God’s calling and purposes: To share the Gospel, to help the poor, to cure the sick, to make disciples, to follow the teachings of Jesus, to live by them and if need be to die for them. Remember also the POWER of HEAVEN, the Weapons are not worldly, we take our stand against opposition with the Armour of God in place: Ephesians 6:10-20. And bear in mind; Jesus is with you always. Holy Spirit has filled you and equipped you for this work for the LORD.

When you know and experience the POWER you will keep going at what He’s called you to do.

CONCLUSION:

Yes my friends, you will experience all kinds of opposition to what you’ve been called to do by the LORD: Demonic and Worldly OPPOSITION: Expect it, and react like Nehemiah the prophet and the LORD Jesus Christ.

  • Get down to PRAYER,
  • Get up to WORK by being PERSISTENT,
  • Get into the POWER of Heaven.

Through prayer and persistence with the power of Heaven, you will be able to overcome any of those troubling opponents.

As one great preacher has said,

“You’ll be able to turn those stumbling stones into stepping stones”

Also;

… Your troubles can be turned into triumphs.

Also;

“Satan trembles when he sees, the weakest Christian upon his knees.”

Have a blessed Saturday with Jesus.

For most people it’s a rest day, to be with family and friends, but remember Jesus is your BEST BFF (Best Friend Forever).

So make and appointment and keep it with Him first. Then no matter what happens today, you’ll be ready. Amen!

Don.

 

The Difference Between Commitment and Surrender

Surrender to Jesus, don't just make a commitment.

Daily Spirit & Word: 799: Real Surrender: End The Cold WAR.

The Difference Between Commitment and Surrender.

How to WIN when you are feeling like there’s a Cold War between you and God.

The Cold War has started again. Just like the 1960s and 70s, the Russians are back to their old Cold War tricks, sending their Navy into UK waters. That’s what it was like when I served in Submarines. We played like Hunt for Red October, but it was a deadly game. Let’s commit to praying for this situation that it might not escalate into full-scale aggression.

However, my friends, today the LORD has reminded me that Christians are in a constant HOT WAR BATTLE with the powers of darkness and the evil forces in the Heavenly realms. It’s like the Christian is in a constant state of being battle ready. We’re also in a battle against our old nature, the flesh life, it wants to jump back onto the throne of every Christian’s life a take back complete control and make you its slave.

So many wonderful and sincere people in this world today have been duped into thinking they are Christians, that they are right with God and their place in Heaven is secure, but what they don’t realise is there’s a vast difference between making a ‘Commitment’ to following Jesus Christ and Surrendering your life to Christ.

REAL SURRENDER: How to win in the battle of the flesh.

I was re-reading an old book by Adrian Rogers (The awesome Baptist preacher and pastor). The book is called “The Incredible Power Of Kingdom Authority”. In the second chapter he recounts a meeting he had with a Romanian Pastor.

God does not give Kingdom Authority and all its potential to rebels.

In fact, most of us have about all the authority with which God can trust us.

When we teach our teenagers to drive, where do we begin? The accelerator? The steering wheel? No, always with the brake! If you can’t get your teen interested in the brake, then you aren’t interested in showing him the accelerator. In the same way, you will never really know the release of the Spirit until you yield to the restraint of the Spirit. We must first master our spiritual brakes. We must learn that strength comes from surrendering.

I had the privilege to preach in Romania shortly after God brought spiritual revival to this nation that had been liberated from a cruel Communist government. One of the leaders in that revival was a man named Josef T’son. Part of what made this man a mighty servant of the Lord was his exercise of Kingdom Authority in his life. Suffering at the hands of the Communists with brutal beatings, imprisonments, and death threats, he learned the victory that comes so sweetly in surrendering to the Saviour.

As Josef and I rode along in his car, I said, “Josef, tell me about American Christianity.”

He said, “Adrian, I had rather not.”

I said, “No, I want to know.”

He then said, “Well, Adrian, since you have asked me, I’ll tell you. The key word in American Christianity is commitment.”

I said, “That is good, isn’t it, Josef?”

He replied, “No, it is not. As a matter of fact, the word commitment did not come into great usage in the English language until about the 1960s. In Romania we do not even have a word to translate the English word commitment. If you were to use commitment in your message tonight, I would not have a proper word to translate it with.”

Josef continued, “When a new word comes into usage, it generally pushes an old word out. I began to study and found the old word that commitment replaced. Adrian, the old word that is no longer in vogue in America is the word surrender.”

“Josef,” I asked, “What is the difference between commitment and surrender?”

He said, “When you make a commitment, you are still in control, no matter how noble the thing you commit to. One can commit to pray, to study the Bible, to give his money, or to commit to automobile payments, or to lose weight. Whatever he chooses to do, he commits to. But surrender is different. If someone holds a gun and asks you to lift your hands in the air as a token of surrender, you don’t tell that person what you are committed to. You simply surrender and do as you are told.”

He said, “Americans love commitment because they are still in control. But the key word is surrender. We are to be the slaves of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

I had to say “Amen” in my heart. Never were more profound words spoken. And never a greater challenge given than those words to me that day. Of course, there are many things we may be committed to in a godly and wholesome way, but nothing can take the place of absolute surrender.

I did some more reflecting on this. In Titus 1:1, Paul says that he is a doulos of Jesus Christ. This word refers to a slave. It speaks of one who is in a permanent relationship of servitude to one whose will is swallowed up in the will of another. Specifically, it signified one who was born a bond slave in contrast to an andrapodon—one who was captured or sold into slavery.

In the New Testament, the word doulos is often translated by the word servant, which sounds a little softer. The New Testament uses this word to show the sinner’s relationship to sin. Jesus said, “Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin” (John 8:34). After the bondage to sin has ended, however, doulos is then used to describe the believer’s new relationship to God. Believers are not merely servants; they are devoted slaves of Jesus Christ.

The Incredible Power of Kingdom Authority: Getting an Upper Hand on the Underworld. Adrian Rogers.

SURRENDER not COMMITMENT.

It’s amazing how just one word can get you thinking. I had to reflect on my own ministry and the times I’ve used that word, calling on people to make a “Commitment” to Jesus instead of asking them to “Surrender” to the the LORD.

When we make a commitment, we’re withholding, we’re retaining control, we’re not letting Christ have complete Authority in our lives. I had to examine my own life too, I’ve made so many commitments over the years, but I have to be honest, the only times I’ve experienced that wonderful fullness of Holy Spirit is when I’ve surrendered to His leading, guiding, equipping.

Every time an opportunity to sin comes before me, I have to make a choice. If I SURRENDER to my flesh; I’ll be a SLAVE to my flesh again. However, if I surrender to the Holy Spirit, I’m a slave to RIGHTEOUSNESS (Living in surrender to the LORDSHIP of Jesus Christ).

Adrian goes onto recount the Biblical story of Surrender and Authority: The Centurion that made Jesus marvel because of his understanding of submission and authority in Luke 7:1-10. That’s Kingdom Authority and Kingdom Submission. The Centurion knew he was under authority, so when he gave an order of issued a command, he knew his men would obey him. He knew (Believed) that Jesus was operating under the authority of the Lord God Almighty and that’s why when Jesus gave an order or issued a command, things had to happen.

But I want to go back to Romans 6 where God reveals in His Word: That what we surrender ourselves to, we become slaves of that thing.

“Yield NOT to Temptation: For Yielding is SIN.” A wonderful Gospel song by Al Green. (See bottom of page).

We don’t use the word YIELD much these days, but it means the same as SURRENDER.

  • When you give into temptation you are surrendering all your rights as a child of God.
  • When you give into and surrender and yield to temptation, you become a SLAVE of whatever SIN you are surrendering to.

Let’s see if that is TRUE:

Are we SLAVES of what we SURRENDER, YIELD or SUBMIT to?

Romans 6:5-23 (NIV)
5  If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.
6  For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7  because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.
8  Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.
9  For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him.
10  The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.
11  In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
12  Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.
13  Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness.
14  For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.
15  What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means!
16  Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?
17  But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted.
18  You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
19  I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness.
20  When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness.
21  What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death!
22  But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.
23  For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

When we YIELD or SURRENDER to Temptation, we SIN.

In surrendering we become a SLAVE of what we’ve given into.

Note in verse 19 “…ever increasing wickedness…” The more we give into sin, the more wicked the sins we commit become. i.e. if we steal a sweet from a big superstore, the next time we might steal a whole packet of sweets, the next time …. EVER INCREASING WICKEDNESS.

However, there is HOPE:

When you realise what’s been happening, how you’ve lost your JOY, PEACE and the PRESENCE of the SAVIOUR and SELF-CONTROL, then you know that you’ve taken a WRONG ROAD. Somewhere along the pathway of your life you’ve made a wrong choice. In doing so you’ve surrendered control of your life by yielding to temptation. To get back control, self-control, you need to once again come under the Authority, the absolute authority and surrender yourself to Jesus Christ again (if indeed you’ve already surrendered to Him, for many are false converts these days).

For one who is already a Christian: That means honest Confession, going through with God how you’ve been using the parts of your body in sin. Repentance (turning from those sins towards Jesus and letting them go), and re-submitting to Jesus Christ as your Lord and Master. Once you do you’ll soon see the Divine Power of Heaven comes flooding afresh into your life once again. You’ll notice an supernatural ability to be self-controlled and to rule and reign with Christ over your desires.

If you are not a Christian yet, it’s not about making a Decision or a Commitment to Jesus, to being religious or to strict rules and regulations. However it is all about SURRENDERING TO HIM AS LORD. Making Jesus the KING of your whole life.

It really does mean you are ready to have Jesus Christ come into your life, to take control, to rule and reign as your KING. That’s what a King does, He comes to reign and rule in a Kingdom.

So my friends, don’t make a commitment, be surrendered to Jesus Christ.

This is how we can know if we’ve really come into Jesus Kingdom:

John 14:21 (NIV) “Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.”

Have you experienced Christ’s self-revelation? He will come to those who have submitted themselves to Him as KING. We’ll know we’re submitted when we’re living in obedience to Christ’s commands, because we’ll know that we love Him.

Remember Paul was a willing dulos (Slave) of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in becoming a slave, living in surrender and submission to Jesus, he experienced true freedom.

A PRAYER Of Complete Surrender to Jesus Christ. 

I thank you today Lord Jesus Christ, that when you died for my sins, you died for all of them. I’m coming to you today Lord Jesus and I want to surrender my life completely to You. All the parts of my being; my head (thought life), my hands (doing life), my feet (going life), my stomach (feeding life), my desires, (inward inclinations of my heart)… O LORD, I realise that I’ve been away from You. I’ve taken back the throne of my life and I’ve let myself be fooled into thinking I was back in control, but in reality, I’ve lost control and become a SLAVE to ever increasing wickedness. I come to You Lord Jesus to surrender and I know that You will set me free, so that I can live in freedom and regain Holy Spirit self-control. Come Lord Jesus and be my King take your rightful place on the throne of my life and be my King, because today, I’m surrendering to You LORD. Amen!

You can use your own words, be specific about how you’ve sinned against the Lord, how you’ve become a slave again, let it all come out into the open before the Lord, but don’t wait around to make HIM your KING today. Amen!

Have an awesome weekend,

Don.

“Yield NOT to Temptation: For Yielding is SIN.” A wonderful Gospel song by Al Green.

Yield not to temptation, for yielding is sin;
Each vict’ry will help you some other to win;
Fight manfully onward, dark passions subdue;
Look ever to Jesus, He’ll carry you through.

– Refrain:
Ask the Savior to help you,
Comfort, strengthen, and keep you;
He is willing to aid you,
He will carry you through.

– Shun evil companions, bad language disdain,
God’s name hold in rev’rence, nor take it in vain;
Be thoughtful and earnest, kindhearted and true;
Look ever to Jesus, He’ll carry you through.

– To him that o’ercometh, God giveth a crown,
Through faith we will conquer, though often cast down;
He who is our Savior, our strength will renew;
Look ever to Jesus, He’ll carry you through.

 

Isn’t God Awesome?

bringing people to Jesus

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

God’s Kind Of Kingdom Service.

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

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

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

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

Kingdom Service:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don.

 

Hello From The Other Side

when men call evil good

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

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

“Hello From The Other Side”

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

FIRST, DEPRAVED TALKING:

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

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

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

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

What is EVIL? 

Secular Dictionary Definitions:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2) BLASPHEMY.

Now, this really get’s God annoyed.

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

“Where is the God of Justice?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God’s calling out to you today;

He must have called a thousand times,

You never seem to be home,

at least God can say, “I tried”.

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

Be blessed and trust Jesus Christ today,

Don.

 

A little bit of faith goes a long way

Jesus is only a prayer away.

Daily Spirit & Word: 793: A Little Bit Of Faith Goes A Long Way.

ALL THE WAY TO HEAVEN

Psalm 139:13-14 (NIV)
13  For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

Good morning my friends, over the last few days my family has been through a bit of a wringer. My son Joe’s little baby girl Millie, who is just four weeks old, suddenly took ill. Laura (his wife) took her to the Doctor who immediately called for an ambulance to take her to hospital. We got a call almost immediately in London, Joe was in tears asking us to pray for Millie. My son is a big tough Royal Marine, he’s served in Afghanistan and been shot at by the Taliban, but when his daughter was at death’s door he wept bitterly. Joe cried his eyes out in front of everyone in the hospital. Millie was rushed into the intensive care unit at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, but when they could not stabilise Millie, they called for the specialist unit at Bristol. Another ambulance was sent down with a trained specialist unit and cot with hundreds of wires and tubes. Millie was sedated and another rush ensued. However, just before they departed from Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, Julie and I arrived just after 4.00am. It was just in time to pray before Millie was whisked away to Bristol Children’s Hospital and the PICU (Paediatric Intensive Care Unit).

I shared with some groups on WATSAPP what was happening and got some of our Prayer Group to Pray (And many from our Church and Christian friends and family).  What a wonderful family the LORD has given to us. Thanks so much for all your wonderful words of comfort and prayers. You will never know fully this side of Heaven what that means to us and to the LORD!

Julie, my wife, stayed in Plymouth to look after their other three children, whilst I went to Bristol with Joe in his car, because only one parent could travel in the ambulance with the baby. Of course Laura couldn’t let Millie out of her sight. By the time Joe and I arrived the baby was in the PICU all wired-up and looking so vulnerable. I’ll tell you, you can’t look at a little baby in PICU (Paediatric Intensive Care Unit) and not feel how fragile life is. That room was filled with babies in all sorts of conditions and so many nurses and doctors and parents with sad and serious faces. Little Millie’s life was hanging by a thin thread. She looked so small, so vulnerable and fragile.

“DID HE KNOCK THE WIRE?”

The nurse was lovely, she explained about all the tubes and what they were doing, the wires and what they were monitoring. One little line was her oxygen levels, and it was a green trace on the screen. Every time Millie took a breath for herself, the line turned a little bit red. There were very few red bits in the trace. So I put one finger on her tiny chest and prayed, “Lord Jesus, give little Millie the breath of life, let Millie’s life return to her body. In Your Name I pray Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!”… Immediately, the trace turned from green to red. Laura asked the nurse, “Did he knock the wire?” No, there were no wires where I touched Millie. We all looked at each other and just smiled. I knew it was the LORD.

From that moment on, Millie slowly began to recover. There were moments when things took a turn for the worse. We got shocked again when we heard they were going to sedate her. She stopped breathing, had mini-strokes, but slowly Millie began to get better. She’s now been returned to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth to continue her recovery with Laura and Joe at her side. I’ve just returned to London. Julie stayed on with Joe and Laura for a few more days till things settled down and they don’t feel they need her any-more. Millie was finally diagnosed with viral meningitis.

I want to praise my wife Julie: Because she won’t do it herself. She’s a real ROCK in times of trouble. Ready at a moments notice to rush to her children’s side. Whenever they call, she’s there in a moment without hesitation. Not only that, but she’s practical too, helping to take care of the Grandchildren and slowly make the whole house ready for Millie’s return. Abigail our other daughter in Plymouth, came around to help too and both of them were looking after the kids, washing, cleaning and ironing so that Joe and Laura will return to a gleaming palace, with little to bother them so they can relax and just look after little Millie. That’s my Julie 🙂

It’s amazing what God can do.

Every life is so precious to Him. Our friends and family were all marvellous. One verse stuck in my mind the whole time; from Psalm 139:13-14, about how fearfully and wonderfully we are all formed by the LORD. Even the Doctors were stumped to know what was wrong with Millie initially. They just didn’t know what went wrong with her little body. It’s such a frightening experience. All the tests they carried out came back negative. So they took some more, a lumber-punch.  They thought it was Meningitis, Strep B or some other virus, but they couldn’t be sure.

However, we know, those who LOVE Jesus, that God KNOWS EVERYTHING. It was He who formed Millie’s body, He who put her heartbeat into her little chest, He who put breath into her nostrils. Oh my friends, those Doctors and Nurses were marvellous, they did care, they tried their best, they worked so hard to bring Millie back, we can’t fault their dedication. Some even stayed beyond their shift many hours to give their time and skill, but in the end, when all is said and done, our life hangs by a thin thread and ONLY GOD can give life, because His Word tells us; “The LORD gives and the LORD takes away”… Praise Him, because He chose this time not to take away.

We’ve had so many wonderful Christian friends, who’ve lost infants, some who’ve lost their babies in the womb and others, like Millie, who’ve experienced a wonderful miracle of recovery. We don’t know God’s plans for every life, but my friends, we’ve simply got to trust Him. It’s the hardest thing to do, when someone we love is going through it, but it’s the only thing we can do.

If it were not for the Doctors and Nurses, I’m sure Millie wouldn’t be here now or if Laura had neglected to take her to the Doctor when she did. Thank the LORD for Mother’s Instinct: she knew in her heart something was seriously wrong with her little baby girl and did the right thing. The Doctor immediately recognised something was seriously wrong and the staff at the hospital reacted immediately. Praise the LORD for the National Health Service (NHS), they were there when we needed them most. However, Joe, my son knew, he needed to call in the BIG GUNS: The LORD the Giver of Life. Joe prayed and cried to the LORD.

PANIC STATIONS, PANIC STATIONS:

In the Navy we had a term for when we needed to be ready for action at all times. A broadcast would be made; “ACTION STATIONS, ACTION STATIONS”. Everyone would then rush to their place of duty during action with an enemy. However, sometimes, some men just panicked. Some lost their heads during action stations. So we used to say instead, “Panic Stations, Panic Stations”… It’s Navy humour at it’s best. 🙂

But seriously friends  when the proverbial hits the fan, there is no need to PANIC, because the LORD knows all things. He’s in control of this ship called CREATION, because He made it all. He’s at the wheel and our Captain knows what’s coming before it ever hits us. So when trouble comes trust the Captain of your soul.

A Smouldering Wick & A Storm:

A strong wind blows out a candle, but no matter how strong the wind, a little ember keeps burning in the wick. God’s Word tells us; “A smouldering wick I will not snuff out”… In other words, a little bit of faith goes a long way. When the winds of trouble hit your life, keep trusting Jesus in the storm. Cry out to Him and He will lift you up. We all get that sinking feeling in the storm, just as Peter did, but turn your eyes again to Jesus and cry to Him. He WILL LIFE YOU UP AGAIN. You, will be able to walk through the storms holding onto the hands of Jesus Christ.

Matthew 12:20-21 (NIV) Smouldering Wick.
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.”

Matthew 14:30-31 (NIV)
30  But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31  Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

My friends, when the storms or winds of trouble come to try and sink you or snuff out your faith, don’t look at the storm, the wind or the trouble, look to Jesus Christ. He is the Author and Perfecter of your FAITH. Faith itself is a gift from Him to you and if you are lacking He can re-supply your need.

The Carpenter From Wales:

I was sitting in the parents waiting room of the Bristol PICU (Paediatric Intensive Care Unit) at Bristol Royal Children’s Hospital. Joe and Laura were in with Millie, so I was in there having a cup of tea. A young man walked into the room, he was a Carpenter from Wales. Their little girl had undergone a heart operation and was about to have her chest closed-up. We’d been chatting a few times. He knew my son Joe was a Royal Marine, and that I’d been a Submariner, but he didn’t know that I was a Minister in the Church of England. I’d asked him all about his life, so he said to me, “What is it that you do now that you’ve left the Royal Navy?” I said, “I’m a minister who serves the Lord Jesus in the Church of England”. There was no response, just silence. His face went RED. I’ve never seen a response like that before. So I asked him, “Do you have a faith background?”. He cleared his throat and said, “I used to go to the Salvation Army when I was a boy, but they tried to force it on me, they were too pushy, so I left at a young age.” He explained that Rugby Football was more appealing than attending the Salvation Army.  I asked him, “And what about now, do you believe now?” He said, “A little bit” I said to him, “You know something, a little bit of faith goes a long way. All the way to Heaven”

I reminded him of a story he knew well. “A smouldering wick, He will not snuff out”… If our faith is all but blown-out by the storms of this life, then God’s just waiting to bring it back into a blazing flame again. I assured him of our prayers. Before I left he returned with the good news, they’d closed his little girl’s chest and she was settling down into recovery.

These last few days have been a tremendous test for many people that we know and love. We’ll all go through times of testing, trials and tribulations and temptations. We jokingly call it the 3Ts. (Trials, Tribulations and Temptations). However, my friends, if you’ve put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ, He proves faithful ALWAYS  even in the storm that you are walking through. We do not always get the answers to the prayers the way that we want. But like Peter in the storm, all you can do is; Cry, cry, cry; cry out to Jesus. Weep, weep and weep for what you could loose or have lost. Life is so precious, one moment we’re here and the next is ETERNITY.

You know something, Laura (my daughter-in-law) said something to me. She said, “When we’re going through something like this, it really brings into sharp focus what’s really important in life”. It really does my friends. Children are so precious, work, money, jobs, homes, clothing, etc… even food… but nothing is more important than your LIFE. However, there is one thing much more important than your life down here on this earth; Eternity. Where will we be spending eternity when this life is over? This is much more important than the here and now. God is only a prayer away. He’s waiting for you to turn to Him. He’s longing for you to cry out to Him. He’s a Father who’s waiting to hear your heart’s cry. You might be bitterly disappointed with the way things have turned out. You’d never choose the situation you are in right now, but God’s ways are not our ways. He might just be using this storm to bring you back to Him.

Of course there’s something we need to do: Humble yourself and pray. Return to the Lord. Repent of Sin. Receive the Lord Jesus Christ as both Saviour and Lord.

Then your Eternity will be secured forever. You will have a HOPE in your heart, that no matter what storm might come your way.  You will know the Captain and where you are eventually going to be, so TRUST Him.

2 Chronicles 7:13-15 (NIV) REPENTANCE, RETURN, REVIVAL. 

13  “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, 14  if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 15  Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.

I’ve been praying for all my family and friends to come to a living and active faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. The battle for their souls is raging. Satan doesn’t want to let them go. He’s blinded some of their eyes so they can’t see the truth of the glorious Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Cor 4:4). Oh LORD, OPEN their eyes and let them see Jesus for who He is: LORD OF ALL. Amen!

Storms come our way, sometimes, it’s a TEST. Sometimes the LORD allows it to shake us to the core of our being, to get our attention, to open our eyes, to let us see and to get us to ask that question, “What is the most important thing in life?”… LIFE… DEATH … ETERNITY… HEAVEN … HELL???? We all love our lives down here. We all love our precious things; but what’s more important than life? Nothing! Jesus came down from Heaven to earth to bring LIFE to everyone who will turn to Him in faith. Not just eternal life, but the abundant life now… Oh my friends, if you’ve never received Jesus Christ by faith, receive Him now.

The Three T’s will come your way: Even after you’ve trusted Jesus; Trials, Tribulations and Temptations. Stay close to Jesus every day.

We’ve all sinned, we’ve all broken God’s Commandments; lying, stealing, lusting (adultery), coveting, hating (murder), disobedient to parents, not putting God first in all things and even creating a god (idolatry) that we are comfortable with. A god that will allow us to sin and get away with it. Everyone needs forgiveness, everyone needs to be cleansed from sin or we can’t go to God’s Holy place called Heaven. Sin needs to be removed from our souls to purify us for heaven. Only the blood of Jesus Christ can wash away our sins. He died, He gave His precious life, on the Cross, so that everyone who trusts in Him can be cleansed, made ready for Heaven and saved. Hell is real and God’s judgement is waiting on the other side of death. If we die with sin still on our souls, then we’ll be spending eternity in Hell with Satan and his demons. God doesn’t want that, that’s why He sent Jesus Christ to save sinners like you and me.

You are being called by Jesus Christ if you are reading this far into my message today: He’s calling you by name; humble yourself, repent of your sin, believe that Jesus died for you, receive Him by faith and be born again of God’s Holy Spirit, then your eternity in Heaven will be secure. Afterwards, read God’s Word, the Bible every day; it’s your daily bread from Heaven. Live the Christian life in the POWER of the Spirit (that’s what being a follower / disciple of Jesus is all about, following and living by the teachings of Jesus), then join with other believers who love the Lord Jesus Christ to worship and serve Him with the rest of your life here on earth. Lead others to trust Jesus Christ too, you’ve been called to be SALT and LIGHT. Let your light so shine before men.

Well, I’m back in London, ready to serve the LORD here. It’s been a horrific and blessed few days in my life, but I’ve seen the hand of the LORD. He’s there in times of emergency my friends, but let’s not wait until an emergency comes. Turn to the LORD in the light, before the darkness descends. If you are going through the darkness my friends, if your wick is just smouldering, turn again to the Lord and let Him kindle it into a roaring flame. He’s alive! He’s alive! My Jesus He is with me, He’s alive.

When trouble comes knocking at the door of your life, trust the Captain of your soul, He sees it before it arrives and knows how to deal with it. Amen!

Have a FANTASTIC Weekend with Jesus.

I’m so looking forward to gathering on Sunday for worship: We’ve got a Thanksgiving for a baby. We’ve got a Wedding Blessing. We’ve got the LORD Jesus Christ.

 

Bening Grateful When You Are Not Feeling Worthy

Jesus is one who can sympathise with your weaknesses

Daily Spirit & Word: 790: When You Are Grateful Because Of God’s Calling.

Good morning my friends, it’s been an awesome week of ministry, service and witness for the Lord Jesus.

There have been high moments, like getting a call-back from someone we met while out witnessing on the streets, then low moments when you hear some heart-breaking news the very next day. It all makes me think back to the time when I knew the Lord was calling me into the ministry and how unworthy I felt. I was so convinced of my own unworthiness, that I wanted just one minister who was already ordained to tell me I was just dreaming, that I’d never be able to live up to that calling. However, in my quest to find that all I got was, “I think He may be calling you Donald”. I asked a Church of England Priest with whom I’d had regular debates (some bordering on arguments), The Venerable Reg said, “I was wondering when you’d come to me and ask me that question”. He was convinced it was God. I then went to the Church of Scotland Chaplain, I was sure he’d say yes, but I wanted to hear it from his mouth. “He was so overjoyed, Malcolm lifted me off my feet, gave me a great bear-hug and said, “Oh yes! I know He’s calling you Don”. When I telephoned my own minister back home to ask, he almost burst into tears on the other end of the phone.

Yet that feeling of not being worthy, of feeling insecure, of not knowing enough, never left me, but then it hit me, if I ever felt able then I’d not be depending on the Lord for His strength but on my own; knowledge, experience and ability.

You see my friends, I didn’t realise it at the time, but when I felt how unworthy and ill equipped I was, I was in good company. How refreshing it is now to know that thousands of ministers, in fact most genuine Christians, who’ve felt God’s call to come and serve Him, feel the same thing.

  • Moses felt unworthy and ill equipped.
  • Gideon was so sure he wasn’t the man, he put out a fleece.

However, it not until you get to the great apostle Paul in the New Testament that you get a full picture of how unworthy anyone has ever felt;

Listen to Paul’s gratitude towards the LORD:

1 Timothy 1:12-16 (NIV)
12  I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service.
13  Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief.
14  The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
15  Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.
16  But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.

So my friends, if ever you feel God’s calling you to do something for Him, but don’t feel up-to the task, you are in great company.

Many of the greatest saints of old, have experienced the same feelings of unworthiness.

The TRUTH: We are unworthy, we are all sinners, we were dirty, naked, blind, foolish, blasphemous, ignorant; until the LORD opened our eyes and let us see the amazing mercy and grace of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. How we can be washed clean, made pure, made holy, gifted for service and equipped with the power of Heaven.

It’s Jesus, by His Holy Spirit, who takes us and shapes us for His service.

Just look how Moses, Gideon and Paul turned out; each in their own time shook the world with their devotion to and love for the LORD.

They all maintained their walk with the LORD through intimacy with Him. Spending time in God’s presence.

My friends, when you feel God’s call, get into the presence of Jesus, pray, praise, worship and let His WORD soak into your soul. Because when you do, He’ll transform you more and more into His own likeness. He’ll fill you with His deep love for those in the world who don’t know Him yet. He’ll give you everything you need to be able to serve Him.

Moses, Gideon and Paul all felt unworthy and ill-equipped because they were unworthy. They’d all sinned and fallen short of God’s Holy Standards, but through His mercy and grace God called and equipped them for His service. He’s calling you too.

Brothers and Sisters For The Work:

It’s also obvious, that Moses, Gideon and Paul had companions for the work the Lord called them to do. They would not have been able to accomplish much without them. Moses had Aaron and Joshua, Gideon had thousands, but the Lord whittled it down to 300. Paul had many who joined him in spreading the Good News of Jesus; Barnabas, Lydia, Timothy, Mark, etc… And I’ve also had great brothers and sisters in the Lord wherever I’ve been since I was called to follow Jesus; most recently; Robert and Valerie, David, David, David, Amanda, Pat, Ben and Judy, Sherrie, Isaac and Caroline, Judith, Pam, Gemma, Hayley, George, Prince, Anthony, Marcela, Betty and Budget, Jonathan, Celestin, Lloyd, John and Josie, Maria and Harold and many, many more. Of course I’ve got to mention my wife Julie and our children and grandchildren, what a family. It’s amazing how the LORD sustains us in our calling and keeps us going in His service with great joy and encouragements along the way.

  • Yes there are hard times, like saying goodbye to Stewart this week, who’s gone to be with the LORD. Getting a call from a distressed person. Visiting a heart-broken person.
  • Yes there are jubilant times, like hearing how someone is getting a breakthrough in their walk with Jesus.
  • And there are the slog times, like keeping going at night, when you’ve been up since before dawn, when all you want to do is put your feet up. Sometimes, it’s moments like that you’ll see awesome revelations from the LORD.

It happened to me this week: I was exhausted and ready for my pillow. Walking back home at 10.00pm I bumped into two women we’d witnessed to and prayed for about four months ago. I recognised her by her tattoos. She said, “I’m not pregnant yet, but I’ve got real HOPE in my heart since you prayed”. Even though I was tired, it put a skip into my step on the way home.

When you are feeling weak and unworthy, remember these wonderful verses from God’s Word:

Jesus knows you are not worthy, but He still calls you into His service in His Kingdom. None of us are worthy; Moses wasn’t, Gideon wasn’t worthy, Paul wasn’t worthy, I’m not worthy and neither are you, but He’s calling you into His service in His Kingdom for His Glory.

Hebrews 4:14-16 (NIV)
14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.
15  For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathise with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.
16  Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Prayer: Thank you Jesus for calling me out of the darkness into your marvellous light. Thank You for the amazing mercy and grace in times of need.

Thank you Jesus that you are calling everyone who knows You as Lord, Saviour, Master and Friend, into full-time service in Your Kingdom.

O LORD, give us all ears to hear Your calling, eyes to see where you want us to serve You, and hands willing to work in obedience. Amen.

Have a blessed weekend my friends,

For those who gather with us in St Luke’s this Sunday: A gentle reminder that it’s Harvest: Please bring something for the Foodbank (They need supplies to give to those who’re going through a time of crisis in their lives). Put any money offerings for Foodbank in an envelope and write “For the work of the Foodbank”.

Some might like to make an offering to the Church: For the ministry of Jesus Kingdom in West Norwood. You can do that this weekend, just put it in an envelope and write; “For St Luke’s Church: Building for Jesus Kingdom”.

Stay close to Jesus, get equipped for Kingdom business,

Don.