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…

 

Four Awesome Weekend Truths About Jesus

Creator, Beginning, Universe, Jesus,

Daily Spirit & Word: 803: 

Four Awesome Truths About Jesus.

Christian, your Lord Jesus Christ is GOD Almighty.

John 1:1 (NIV) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

 Good morning my friends, it’s so good to KNOW the TRUTH, because knowing the truth will set you free. It will enable you to live following Jesus with confidence and sustain you through all kinds of attacks. Jesus of course is the TRUTH, so it’s all about knowing Jesus personally and getting to know Him better every day. Through God’s Word we can know certain truths that enable us to thwart any attacks of the world, Satan or even our own fleshly nature.

Many people love the modern myth that all ‘religions’ lead to God. My friends, there is ONLY one God and ONLY one way to God and that’s through faith and trust in His One and Only Son, Jesus Christ THE LORD.

 In the Gospel of John we have four awesome truths about the Lord Jesus Christ in the very first verse, these reveal so clearly that Jesus was before TIME began, that Jesus is the Word of God, that there is plurality of persons in God and indeed that He was God.

1) Before Time Began: In The Beginning.

Before anything was FORMED or CREATED, Jesus Christ already existed. Awesome!

Some people think that Jesus was just a man, like one of the prophets or simply a teacher or healer. However, God’s WORD, The Bible, shows us so clearly that Jesus Christ is far more than just a man. He was God in human flesh. He took upon Himself mankind’s fleshly nature to come a rescue us from Satan’s grip.

2) Jesus is The WORD of God:

John, through the Holy Spirit, goes on to reveal that Jesus CREATED EVERYTHING, because He, Jesus, was and is the WORD of God.
Oh what an awesome TRUTH: No wonder Jesus could just speak something and it had to happen:
  • Water into wine,
  • Storms being stilled,
  • Feeding thousands with just a few loaves and fish,
  • Deaf people hearing again,
  • Blind people seeing,
  • Dead people coming back to life again,
  • Crippled people being able to walk and leap and jump for joy.
With JUST a WORD Jesus did all these things, because He was and IS the WORD of God.

3) There’s Plurality In God:

Father, Son and of course Holy Spirit (One God in three persons)…

 If ever anyone doubts the TRINITY or as some other religions try and tell Christians they are worshipping more than ONE God, then all you need to do is read John Chapter 1 and Chapter 14. Here’s a portion from chapter 14 that clearly reveals (REVELATION) that God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit are but one and the same GOD.
John 14:15-26 (NIV)
15  “If you love me, you will obey what I command.
16  And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counsellor to be with you for ever—
17  the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
18  I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
19  Before long, the world will not see me any more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.
20  On that day you will realise that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.
21  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.”
22  Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?”
23  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.
24  He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.
25  “All this I have spoken while still with you.
26  But the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
 You see my friends, God is TRINITY, three persons, but ONE GOD: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. However, we don’t just have to take John’s Gospel as our source of information concerning TRINITY of Persons in God, because right from Genesis to Revelation the fingerprints of the Trinity are all over the Scriptures. Just read Genesis 1, slowly and you’ll see; Father (God), Word and Spirit: How it also says in Genesis “Let US make man in OUR image”… Each and every person has the unique features of God, because we are made just like Him, TRINITY: Body, Soul and Spirit.
KNOW THE TRUTH:
AND THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE.

4) Jesus IS God:

John gives us this awesome revelation about the Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ. “The Word was God.”

Oh my friends, you couldn’t get it any clearer than that; “The Word was God”… John 1:1.
  • Some people might possibly dare to deny the Deity of Jesus Christ, but you cannot deny that the Bible teaches it.
  • Some people might possibly dare to doubt the Trinity, but again you cannot deny that the Bible teaches it.
  • Some people might possibly dare to doubt the Creation and believe this world was formed by accident (Big Bang), but you cannot deny that God’s Word, the Holy Bible, teaches us plainly that Jesus Christ CREATED all things.

We live in a CREATED and ordered Universe sustained and maintained by; The WORD of God: Jesus Christ.

Colossians 1:15-17 (NIV)
15  He (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
16  For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17  He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
This Universe, the World and everything in it, atoms and electrons, you and me, are held together by The Lord Jesus Christ. Awesome!
So my friends,
  • Jesus was in the Beginning.
  • Jesus is the WORD of God,
  • Jesus was with God in the Beginning,
  • Jesus is God.

All things were CREATED by Jesus Christ: He made everything out of NOTHING…

So don’t believe in the Big Bang Theory any-more, believe is Jesus Christ, because He’s the ONE (God) who CREATED everything at one point in time; The Beginning.

 When I dwell upon these four great truths, when I meditate, think about and chew over these FOUR awesome truths about Jesus Christ, I’m ready to face the world with confidence as one of His Disciples (followers) today. I want to live in obedience to His teachings and have Him living in me and the POWER of the Holy Spirit renewing my mind, emotions, will and desires. Because of who Jesus is we can KNOW Him, He’s God, He’s alive, He’s knowable and everyone can EXPERIENCE God on the inside today. All it takes is to REPENET of your sins, believe that Jesus died in your place, receive Him as KING of your life and live for Him in the power of the Holy Spirit. Are you ready for the greatest adventure of your life?
I hope that this teaching of 4 Awesome Truths about Jesus Christ has the same affect upon your soul today.
  • Praise Him,
  • Worship Him,
  • Adore Him,
  • Kneel Before Him,
  • Submit to Him,
  • For Jesus is LORD of ALL.
Have a fantastic weekend my friends,
Don.

An Extra Hour In Bed

Service in Jesus Kingdom Family

Daily Spirit & Word: 801: AN EXTRA HOUR IN BED.

Jesus is Drawing Near To Jerusalem.

“Can YOU Drink the Cup that I Drink?”

It’s the most wonderful night of the year, an extra hour in bed, because the clocks go back an hour, but will you get a good night’s sleep? When that night comes don’t you just love having that EXTRA hour?

I’ve been thinking about that word, EXTRA:

“EXTRA, EXTRA, READ ALL ABOUT IT” That’s what Newspaper Sellers used to shout. As if we’d want that newspaper over and above the others because we’re getting something EXTRA.

But what does EXTRA mean?

EXTRA = More, than is needed, desired or required. More is added than should be measured. More than you’d normally get.

When we hear the word EXTRA, we think MORE often we think “More for FREE“…

In shops you’ll see on a packet of Cornflakes “An EXTRA 10% Free”.

“WOWzer! That’s awesome, an extra 10% for FREE, give me two packets”. 🙂

EXTRA LIFE: For some people, their whole life is consumed with looking for the EXTRA: As if what they’ve been getting is not enough. You know those types of people who hoard stuff, save coupons and get all the bargains with EXTRA to boot?

  • People want EXTRA: Money in the pay-packets: i.e. a surprise bonus from the boss (Extra Pay).
  • People want EXTRA: TIME… When the School closes down because of Snow and the kids get an EXTRA day off: Joy. EXTRA time off work. EXTRA time in bed 🙂
  • People want EXTRA: ??????? What EXTRA do you like to get?

Extra:

  • Savings on fuel,
  • Returns on Tax,
  • Bigger percentage OFF: Not just 30% but an extra 10% off the normal asking price.
  • More time on this earth before we need to go into the next life.

NEGATIVE: However, there are Negative Connotations too: EXTRA as in “A minor actor in a crowd scene”… “A subservient part in a play”. An extra on a football team is called a Substitute or Standby.

Today, we’re going to see this in both contexts in our reading of God’s Word from Mark’s Gospel as we continue through chapter by chapter: EXTRA as in more… and EXTRA as in a minor part to play.

Mark 10:32-45 (NIV)
32  They were on their way up to Jerusalem, with Jesus leading the way, and the disciples were astonished, while those who followed were afraid. Again he took the Twelve aside and told them what was going to happen to him.
33  “We are going up to Jerusalem,” he said, “and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles,
34  who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise.”

35  Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.”
36  “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.
37  They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.”
38  “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said. “Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptised with the baptism I am baptised with?”
39  “We can,” they answered. Jesus said to them, “You will drink the cup I drink and be baptised with the baptism I am baptised with, 40  but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared.”
41  When the ten heard about this, they became indignant with James and John.
42  Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them.
43  Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,
44  and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.
45  For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

  • First Jesus Prediction of His Death:

Jesus KNEW what was going to happen to Himself. Mark 10:33-34.

33  “We are going up to Jerusalem,” he said, “and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles, 34  who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise.”

JESUS DIDN’T SHRINK BACK FROM HIS DESTINY. Mark 10:32-34.

Jesus knew what was about to happen, but did He shrink back? Did He try to avoid it? Did He try and change the outcome?

No He did not, notice in our reading, “He’s LEADING THE WAY to Jerusalem” He’s AHEAD of the whole crowd of followers.

It’s like Jesus just can’t wait to get it over with. Jesus wants to complete His mission on the earth. He came to die.

He’s revealed so far in Mark’s Gospel: three times, why He came down from Heaven:

  • He came to PREACH the Gospel of the Kingdom: Mark 1:38.
  • He came to CALL sinners to repentance: Mark 2:17.
  • He came to DIE a cruel death; betrayal, condemnation, mocked, spat-upon, flogged, killed. Mark 10:33-34.

Jesus Christ knew all of that, and set his heart on fulfilling that mission and completing it in Jerusalem.

“He set his face like flint”

Luke 9:51 (KJV)
51  And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem,

Oh yes my friends, Jesus knew and was fully resolved to get His mission done.

2) Second: James and John’s Request.

What would you want to do if Jesus had just revealed to you he’s about to be; BETRAYED, CONDEMNED, MOCKED, SPAT-ON, BEATEN, FLOGGED AND KILLED? I hope that I’d be a bit more sympathetic than James and John, that I’d not be thinking about myself, my desires, my wishes. I hope I’d be thinking about what my Master had just told me would happen to him. Surely normal human compassion, sympathy and empathy would kick in and you’d CARE? Right? Well, that wasn’t the case with James and John.

NO, that’s not what happened: Listen to James and John’s request.

“Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.”

They are NOT thinking about Jesus, about what He’s going to suffer, but about themselves. They are ALL WRAPPED-UP IN SELF.

Imagine that, how insensitive can anyone possibly dare to be?

How would you feel if you’d just related to your best friends or family how you are suffering and they change the subject back onto themselves? I’m sure you be Hurt, right?

You know, some people are following Jesus in that exact same way as James and John today:

They’re following Jesus only because of what they can get out of Him.

  • People want to be blessed,
  • People want to be healed,
  • People want to be happy, successful, rich, powerful, anointed, have a long life and EXTRA years on this earth, and eternal life as well. (It’s like getting a Cornflake Packet that will never run out).

So they start following Jesus for what they think He’ll give them or what they can get EXTRA (Over and above the normal) out of Him. They are not that bothered about what Jesus really wants them to be doing with the rest of their lives. He had a mission Himself, but He’s also got a mission for each and every one of us as well. But sometimes we can’t hear Him because we’re all wrapped up in self, just like James and John. We’re not satisfied with our lot, so we ask Jesus for more.

Today, we’re going to see that Jesus turns ALL of these NOTIONS of EXTRA on their heads.

Jesus asks them a question: Mark 10:36. “What do you want me to do for you?”

It’s like this my friends, “I’ve just told you I’m going to die, but OK what is it that you want?”

They have the EXTREME AUDACITY: To ASK for EXTRA… (Over and above what the other Disciples are getting).

It’s a bit like Oliver, in Oliver Twist, “Please Sir, can I have some more?”

Listen to what they are after my friends, and listen carefully;

Mark 10:37.  They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.”

They want the POSITIONS of HONOUR & GLORY: 

They’re still thinking that Jesus is going up to Jerusalem to be crowned KING: When that happens, they want the right and left hand positions when Jesus is on His throne. They’re after; Honour, Glory, Power, Rule, Dominion. To be ABOVE other people: They want to be like KINGS themselves. They didn’t realise yet that before every CROWN of Glory, there’s SUFFERING, SWEAT and TEARS.

SORRY For James and John: I don’t know about you, but I feel a bit sorry for James and John (The Sons of Thunder). They were really THICK…(Thick skinned as well as Thick-headed). Thankfully they were transformed at PENTECOST and that thickness didn’t last too long, they went on to become two of the most beloved and devout Apostles of Jesus Christ. (Read James’ book and all of John’s writings, including Revelation). However, here, at this point in their journey towards glory, they’re really hurtful to Jesus and their fellow Disciples (Mark 10:41). No wonder the others got a bit annoyed with them.

3)Thridly, Jesus tells them about His BAPTISM and His CUP:

  • His Baptism: He’s talking about the CROSS and DEATH. Luke 12:50 and Psalm 69.
  • His CUP: Refers to His submission to His Father’s will: Mark 14:36 and John 18:11.

Jesus is determined to go through with it.

He’s asking if they are willing to go through with it too.

They said they would, but they didn’t fully understand what Jesus was talking about. So Jesus knowing their minds are upon earthly things, explains what Kingdom Service under God’s Authority is going to be like.

4) TRUE KINGDOM LEADERSHIP:

So Jesus goes onto explain; TRUE KINGDOM LEADERSHIP: He contrasts it with worldly leadership: Mark 10:42 (LORD it OVER)…

If you want to be great in God’s Kingdom, you are not going to LORD IT OVER people, instead you’ve got to learn to be; THE SERVANT OF ALL.

I’ll say that again, “If you want to be GREAT IN GOD’S KINGDOM, then you must learn to be; THE SERVANT OF ALL”. Mark 10:43.

Do you Remember that Children’s Gospel Song?

Jesus goes on to tell them why?

Mark 10:45  “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Jesus gave His LIFE: As a RANSOM:

  • A Ransom: Is the the PAYMENT required to set a slave FREE.
  • A Ransom: It’s like what you have to PAY a Kidnapper to set their CAPTIVES free.

Jesus death brings freedom in so many different ways;

  • Freedom from Judgement.
  • Freedom from Sin,
  • Freedom from Satan,
  • Freedom from Fear of Man,
  • Freedom from Fear of Death,

That’s why Jesus could say, “Know the Truth and the TRUTH will set you FREE”

He also said, “I am the WAY, I am the TRUTH and I am the LIFE.” John 14.

And that is why Jesus came to DIE, that’s why He set his face like flint, to complete His mission in Jerusalem. He died to set us free so that we too could complete the Mission to which He’s called each and every one of us; to be SERVANTS of God and others.

Conclusion:

We can forgive James and John, because they didn’t realise that before you can wear the Crown of Glory, you’ve got to Suffer the Cross of service of suffering of sweat and of shame and pain.

Service in God’s Kingdom: Means; Sweating, Self-Sacrifice (Time, Effort, Money,), Sympathy, Empathy (walk in people’s shoes, feel what people feel), Not like James and John who were so wrapped up in themselves they didn’t even take in what Jesus was about to suffer.

Listen to people, listen to their hurts and do whatever you can to life them out of the slippery-pit of despair they’ve fallen into.

Service in God’s Kingdom is NOT an EASY ROAD to GLORY, it’s crowned with the thorns of service along the way.

CAN YOU BEAR TO BE LIKE ‘An Extra’ IN GOD’S KINGDOM SERVICE?

My friends, when we come to Jesus, we really do get EXTRA: More and above what we can ever expect or deserve or imagine.

But, it’s NOT an EXTRA Hour in BED.

However, we don’t FOLLOW Jesus for what we can get out of Him do we? We’re not like that at all, are we? We all want to serve Jesus as SERVANTS don’t we? We’re not like James and John, are we?

No, once we truly come to Jesus, in repentance and faith, we’ll want to serve God the Father, just like He did.

Like the Apostles James and John eventually did:

  • James was the first Apostle to be a Martyr and
  • John was put into exile on a Roman Prison Colony on the Island of Patmos. (They did get their own Baptism and their own Cup).

We do want to be GREAT in God’s Kingdom. Of course we do. But to get there we must learn to be; “THE SERVANT OF ALL”…

Before we can wear the CROWN of Glory, we must Endure the Cross of Service: Then we’ll win a Crown and gladly cast it at Jesus feet in His Glory in Heaven.

How is Jesus calling you today? In what ways can you learn to be SERVANT in God’s Kingdom: At home, at work, in your neighbourhood? Is there anything the Boss at work has been asking you to do, that you’ve done begrudgingly? Get Jesus attitude at work as well as in the home and in church, be the SERVANT Jesus wants you to be in the SMALL THINGS and He’ll give you even greater things to do as well.

Is God calling you to EXTRA: Service? (Above and Beyond).

Does He want you to do MORE: in His Kingdom?

I’m sure you’ll be learning: God’s Spirit will be leading, calling, guiding and prompting and equipping you into DEEPER SERVICE in God’s Kingdom.

Have a blessed week with Jesus: Don’t MISS OUT on the EXTRA He’s got in store for you.

Stay close to Him, be filled with Holy Spirit, be blessed,

Don.

BTW (By The Way): On Sunday I thought the clocks had gone back one hour, that’s next week  🙂 What an booby I am 🙂 We all make mistakes right? I thought I’d had an extra hour in bed, and I felt fantastic… You know there are thousands of people in this world today who call themselves Atheists, well, could they too be mistaken? Watch Atheism the movie NOW

You Are Wonderfully Made By God

When God made you, He didn't make a mistake, you are beautiful to God

Daily Spirit & Word: 763:

You Are Wonderfully Made by God.

PART 3:

Psalm 139:13-18

 

You might find this hard to believe my friends, but it’s true; YOU ARE WONDERFUL. Don’t let anybody tell you any differently, don’t even think about changing the way you’ve been made, because God likes you just the way He made you. In fact He loves you just as you are. Nothing you could do could ever stop God loving you.

Psalm 139:13-18 (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.
15  My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
16  your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
17  How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!
18  Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you.

God Made YOU Wonderfully—You Can’t Ignore Him (vv. 13-18)

These are the most wonderful words ever written about the miracle of human conception, pregnancy and birth.

When a little baby is being formed, we don’t think too much about how big it is, but when you see the most modern 3D scans, you simply marvel. One of the ladies in our church came back and showed me the picture of the baby in her womb, I didn’t look at the picture too much, but I saw the look on her face “MARVEL and JOY”…

In this Psalm King David revealed something AWESOME: God’s not just watching us being formed in the womb, He’s the ONE who’s doing the knitting together. Think about that, God made Adam and Eve right? But He has never stopped at Adam and Eve, He’s continuing to MAKE (Form, Weave, Knit) every single creature on the Earth even today. It’s God who’s doing all the knitting together.

  1. YOU ARE MADE BY GOD:

“You knit me together in my mother’s womb”.

Did you know that?

You are knitted by the LORD (The Word “Knitted” in this Psalm is also translated as “Woven” in other parts of the Bible).

When something is woven, when you weave something, it takes time, care, dedication and skill. No wonder King David said “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” He must have been thinking about his own hands, his own articulation, the way he can move his fingers, hands, feet, head, eyes, tongue. How he can see, smell, taste, touch and hear. How he can think, know and understand this world. When you think about HOW humans are made (Woven and Knitted) and what we’re capable of just to survive in this hostile world, we MARVEL as King David did.

Every child ever conceived is MADE IN THE IMAGE OF GOD, even today.

Genesis 1:27 (NIV) “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”

That’s why we can’t commit murder or take another human life (except for the reasons that God gives us in His Word). It most certainly rules out abortion because that infant is inconvenient at this moment in time. Have you ever noticed that when someone wants to kill the baby in the womb, they don’t call it a baby, they call it a foetus? Nobody bats an eyelid when someone has an abortion today. They’ve taken the preciousness out of LIFE.

The focus today is upon the Mother’s human rights, because it’s her body. Because it’s her body she has the right to do with it what she wants. Well, is that TRUE? We’ve got to ask that question today? Is that woman’s body her own? NO! It’s not. It’s not true at all my friends, it’s not her body, because her body belongs to God. You belong to God because He made you and you are His.

Psalm 100:3 (NIV) “Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.”

So EVERY baby belongs to God. Every woman belongs to God. Every man, boy, girl, baby belongs to God. You are HIS, you belong to HIM, because HE made you. Therefore the TRUTH is, because you are HIS you don’t have any right to do what you want with your own body. You can only DO what HE gives you permission to do.

When you understand and know and submit to this TRUTH: there’s wonderful FREEDOM, SECURITY and JOY in this precious and awesome life He’s give you.

So if God was there in the forming of your life, He made you, you belong to Him, why did He make you?

2) WHY DID GOD MAKE YOU?

Probably the biggest question human beings ever ask: “Why on earth am I here?”

The LORD has a very special purpose for each human life that is formed and fashioned in the womb.

Think about your family and friends, every one of them is different and unique, they each have skills and abilities that are special to them. Praise God for the amazing diversity in His Creation. However, when you stand back and look at human beings as you would a Gorilla, you think they are all the same, they are NOT. Even monkeys and apes have their own personality. Dogs are all different and so are human beings.

  • Go to any Dairy Farmer and he’ll tell you the personality traits of each and every one of his cows.
  • Go to a Horse Stables: The stable hand will tell you “Every Horse has it’s own traits and personality”.
  • Go visit Battersea Dog’s home, the Staff will tell you the traits of personality of every dog they look after.

My friends, EVERY CREATURE that God makes, has it’s OWN UNIQUE PERSONALITY: LIFE is precious, so precious to God. He makes EVERY CREATURE INDIVIDUALLY.

When we accept this TRUTH, we discover we don’t need to be like someone else. We are made just the way God wants us to be.

God formed us as He wants us to be, and we’ve just got to accept His will, you might not like the way God made you, but look again, because you are BEAUTIFUL to HIM, He loves you just the way you are. You don’t need to change a thing about the way you look because to God, you are PERFECT.

So that removes the temptation to compare ourselves with others or think they are better than us, because you are the way God made you to be. When you can accept that TRUTH, guess what comes into your hearts?

  • PEACE about who you are.
  • JOY about yourself.
  • LOVE because God loves the way He’s made you.
  • CONTENTMENT: You don’t need to change the way you look.
  • PURPOSE: Because of HOW He’s made you, the skills He’s given you, you can use your LIFE for His Glory.

I was so touched the other day when I heard about a man born with short arms and legs, Brian Gault (Google it). “Look, No Hands”

He was a Thalidomide Baby: But He gives thanks and praise to the LORD.

Yes it was because of a DRUG he was malformed, but He knows God made him and put him together in a very special and wonderful way.

You too have been formed by God: So THANK HIM for the way He made you. Live joyfully knowing He loves you. Be contented because you don’t need to change a thing. If someone is putting pressure on you to CHANGE, just tell them, “God made me just the way I am, and I’m happy with that”… Say to yourself “God LOVE me, because He made me who I am”…

3) YOUR DAYS ARE NUMBERED.

God didn’t just put you together and design you the way you are; He also knows exactly how long you’ve got left on this earth, because each day of your life is written in His book of life.

Psalm 139:16  “Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”

This includes the length of life (Job 14:5)

Job 14:5 (NIV) “Man’s days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed.”

The tasks He wants us to perform (Eph. 2:10; Phil. 2:12-13).

Ephesians 2:10 (NIV) “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

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

You are NOT a Robot: You are not a computer program with a pre-determined set of instructions that you must perform as God designed. No my friends, He made you like Himself with a free will, but know this DEEPER TRUTH, God did create you because of HIS LOVE. He loves you enough to let you live in freedom. However, that doesn’t mean we can just live as we choose, He set limits on how we should live on the earth, because you are precious to Him, He cares for you and doesn’t want any harm to come to a single soul that He’s taken the time to make, to knit, to weave. However, God also takes a risk, He wants us to live and enjoy life and choose to live in that freedom within the bounds He’s set.

If we live foolishly, we might die before the time God has ordained. We might loose our right to live by choosing to abuse the privilege of the freedom in this precious life.

Because our days are NUMBERED let’s live them as God wants, because one day we’re going to meet Him and give an account for how we’ve used the gift of life He gave us.

4) IGNORANT OF GOD

Many people today choose to live in ignorance of God. Claiming they KNOW there is no God. They proudly call themselves Atheists (People without a God). or People without a belief in God. When the Bible calls men and woman who believe this “FOOLISH”, he didn’t mean without intelligence, because many Atheists are the most intelligent people on the earth today. However, God means foolish in the sense that they KNOW better. or they SHOULD KNOW BETTER.

It’s like a child being warned not to touch a hot surface because they’ll get burned. They put their hand close and feel the heat, but does that stop them? No! Why? Because they are foolish, they reach out their hand and get burned. An Atheist is ignorant of God on purpose and that’s what’s foolish. That’s why God says;

Psalm 14:1-3 (NIV)
1  [For the director of music. Of David.] The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no-one who does good.
2  The LORD looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God.
3  All have turned aside, they have together become corrupt; there is no-one who does good, not even one.

All the evidence for Gravity has been with us since Creation, but it took Sir Isaac Newton to define the Law of Gravity. He didn’t invent Gravity, He just gave it a name. My friends can you imagine anyone ever saying, “I don’t believe in Gravity because I’ve never seen it”… How foolish that would be. Just as Gravity is REAL, so is God. He made the whole universe as a PROOF that there is a Creator.

If you know someone who’s a proud Atheist, then just tell them to stop being foolish, because they KNOW there is a God. They are just being ignorant on purpose. (Denial is not Just a River).

Romans 1:18-20 (NIV)
18  The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness,
19  since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.
20  For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men (human beings) are without excuse.

Just one look at Creation tells you there must be a Creator.

Just one look at you fingerprint, your eye, your hair, and you’ll know, “this couldn’t have happened by accident”. You’ll KNOW as King David did, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made”. I can just imagine King David, looking at his fingers as he’s composing this Psalm, marveling at their articulation, bending his wrist and arm and thinking “WOWzer! You did a great job Father God. I truly am fearfully and wonderfully made”…

5) What God KNOWS.

Finally, when King David thought about ALL THAT GOD KNOWS, he considered himself a fool in comparison.

Psalm 139:17-18:
17  How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!
18  Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you.

This picture language of King David here is, “Every grain of sand is like just one of God’s precious thoughts” I know I’ll try and count them, One, two, three, four,,,, He falls asleep, He falls asleep trying to count the grains of sand… Then He wakes up and discovers something AWESOME “When I awayke, I am still with you”….

God is still there my friend. He’s with King David when he awakes from his effort to count all of God’s thoughts.

My friends, we cannot FATHOM God, we can’t MEASURE Him: But we can KNOW HIM.

You too can KNOW that God is right here with you today. He’s right beside you, but He wants to be even close than that: He wants to be IN YOU…

Have you experienced the PRESENCE of God in your life today?

YOU CAN: If you’ll just stop trying to figure God out, stop doubting, stop trying to limit God by your human endeavour to know HIM. He’s there, accept it, believe it and know it.

CONCLUSION:

No my friends, God made you, you are HIS, you are fearfully and wonderfully MADE.

When He made you in His Image: He made a perfect soul, with your own personality, your own traits and nature, you are individually and specially crafted by God and He’s given you the breath of life for His purposes. Each day of your life is written in His book of life before even one of them begins.

I’m reminded by a saying that Daniel Cozens used, “I’m not what I should be, I’m not what I could be, I’m not what I will be, but by the grace of God, I am what I am”.

My friends, you are not an accident, you were knitted by God on purpose and for His LOVE.

Praise the LORD today for the way He made you. God doesn’t make mistakes, so go and look in your mirror at home and say to the LORD, “I just thank You Father, for making me, me”… It comes from the Childrens Hymn “If I were a Butterfly”… There’s so much awesome TRUTH in some of our Schoolchildren’s Hymns.

Chorus: (If I were a Butterfly).
For you gave me a heart, And you gave me a smile,
You gave me Jesus, And You made me Your child,
Oh I Just thank you Father, for making me, me.

You are wonderfully made by God.

Praise the LORD!

Don.

HOW TO KNOW GOD: 

Kind David was a man who was filled and anointed by the Holy Spirit of God. He KNEW God personally. You too can discover the amazing power and presence of God and be filled to overflowing with Holy Spirit.

KNOWING GOD PERSONALLY

Psalm 139: Part 1: God Knows Me Intimately.

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

Psalm 139: Part 3: God Made Me Wonderfully

 

 

When the LIGHT within is DARKNESS

Lust, Pornography, Sexual Sin, Freedom in Christ,

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

But what happens when the LIGHT within is DARKNESS?

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

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

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

LUST OF THE EYES.

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

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

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

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

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

Darkness or Light?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Day That FREEDOM Comes:

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

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

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

NO TEMPTATION HAS CAUGHT YOU.

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

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

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

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

Amen!

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

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

Stay close to Jesus this week my friends.

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

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

Be blessed and stay close to Jesus today. Amen!

Don.

 

God’s Heart to Heal

Do you believe in the God of miracles?

Daily Spirit & Word: 753:

Can The God You Believe In Do Miracles?

“The smile on your face help me know you need me” (Knowing the Father’s Heart).

Good morning my friends, I want to put a huge wide smile on your face today. But not just on your face, on your heart too. The JOY of the LORD is my strength.

All this week we’ve been hearing about those who are sick and dying; friends, good friends, best friends, relatives: But do we actually believe in a God who cares, has compassion, is kind, gentle and loving? These are all attributes of God’s character, yes God is Holy, get’s angry as we heard yesterday, and can be full of wrath and anger against our sins. However, we also serve a God who fully revealed Himself in Jesus and before that in the Old Testament.

Listen with new ears, watch with renewed eyes to see what God is like today:

God Gives LIFE AGAIN to a Widow’s Son.

1 Kings 17:17-24 (NIV)
17  Some time later the son of the woman who owned the house became ill. He grew worse and worse, and finally stopped breathing.
18  She said to Elijah, “What do you have against me, man of God? Did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son?”
19  “Give me your son,” Elijah replied. He took him from her arms, carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him on his bed.
20  Then he cried out to the LORD, “O LORD my God, have you brought tragedy also upon this widow I am staying with, by causing her son to die?”
21  Then he stretched himself out on the boy three times and cried to the LORD, “O LORD my God, let this boy’s life return to him!”
22  The LORD heard Elijah’s cry, and the boy’s life returned to him, and he lived.
23  Elijah picked up the child and carried him down from the room into the house. He gave him to his mother and said, “Look, your son is alive!”
24  Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the LORD from your mouth is the truth.”

Elijah had gone to a widow’s house, initially she thought she and her son would starve to death because of a famine. But Elijah arrived and the flour and oil didn’t run out, it was a miracle of God’s provision. Now the woman’s son, her only son, died. Just listen to her, the way she’s talking to Elijah: “What do you have against me, man of God? Did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son?”

Often when tragedy strikes, because we’re hurting we strike out at others. Sometimes the ones who are closest to us, those who’ve been kindest to us, THEY are the ones who get blasted first. It’s both Elijah and God that this woman is shaking her fist at. “Man of God”…

But there’s more: The woman obviously had a past:

Like most of us, she’d not lived a completely righteous life, because somewhere in her past she knew she’d sinned. The knowledge of that sin had not left her, and because of her son’s death, she’d obviously been thinking to herself, “Who’s fault is it that my boy has died? Is it my fault? Did I bring this tragedy upon my son because of the things I did wrong in the past?”

We often do that too: I know I do. Whenever things go wrong, I think to myself, “Oh Lord, to what are you drawing my attention? Could it be something I’ve done?” It’s a good question. But to move from self-examination to attacking the man of God… as if God would be wrong somehow to exercise judgement at any time.

  • Perhaps the LORD was using her son’s death to get to the heart of her deepest issue in life.
  • Perhaps her son’s death was the only way the LORD would get this woman’s heart back to Himself.
  • Perhaps the LORD just wanted to show this woman most clearly that He is a God who FORGIVES SINS.

The Boy Comes Back To LIFE:

Just like Jesus who died and rose again from the dead; this boy’s life is restored by the LORD. Jesus was God’s ONE and ONLY Son, who died. The boy was the woman’s one and only son.

Elijah gives the boy back to the woman: Now listen to her response:

 1 Kings 17:24 Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the LORD from your mouth is the truth.”

That “NOW I KNOW”: says a lot to me. because even though she’d been experiencing an ongoing miracle of God’s provision i.e. Her flour and oil never ran out: She’s been cooking with it for ages, but deep inside her heart there is an AVENUE OF DOUBT AND UNBELIEF. Those words “NOW I KNOW” shout out to me today.

“Donald, you’ve seen My miracles in the past, so why do you doubt today?”…

Oh LORD! “I have seen your miracles in the past, I know you goodness, kindness, mercy and love, give me a NEW HEART to believe in Your POWER to HEAL today” Amen!

The Oil and Flour Miracles wasn’t enough to move her to repent and trust the LORD completely.

The Resurrection of her son, moved the widow woman to a deeper knowledge and understanding of the LORD.

My friends, the RESURRECTION of God’s ONE and ONLY Son, Jesus Christ, moves me afresh today, to say with the woman, the widow, “NOW I KNOW”….

NOW I KNOW: God can do anything.

  • He can hear our prayer.
  • He can heal our sicknesses, diseases, blindness, deafness, hard-hardheartedness, coldness, stubbornness, sinfulness and rebellion.
  • He can deliver us from DEATH…

BUT: Do YOU Believe He WANTS to do it?

NOW I KNOW: He wants to Heal, Deliver and Forgive… TODAY.

I’m going to be praying much more, much more, for people to experience God’s HEALING touch in their lives. We are going to see miracles my friends.

My friends, doesn’t that put a huge, a massive smile on your face today? Isn’t your HEART warmed and filled with JOY because the LORD is the same, yesterday, today and forever. Amen.

Last night, we had a meeting in church about “Oh Happy Day” West Norwood, London. A festival of JOY. Saturday 16th July (Put the date in your diary and come and see God move).

The Lord gave me this song, it’s a secular song, but it spoke to me of God’s TRUTH: When you say nothing at all:

The smile on your face
Lets me know
That you need me
There’s a truth
In your eyes
Saying you’ll never leave me
The touch of your hand says
You’ll catch me
Whenever I fall
You say it best
When you say
Nothing at all

My friends, God NEEDS you to be His hands, His feet, His heart to go to this hurting world and bring His HEALING: Will you go and touch, speak and heal today?

Some people argue, God can do it, but my friends, He’s chosen a way to do it; through His people. He’s going to do it through YOU! Have faith in the God who wants to Heal today.

Have a fantastic weekend, full of faith, full of trust and full of the JOY of the LORD.

Knowing the FATHER’S HEART.

Don.

 

A Mighty Power Faith Filled Factory

Becoming a mighty power faith filled factory producing new believers devoted to Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word: 745: Supernatural Natural Devotion

Will lead to the building up and expansion of God’s Kingdom Family.

Your little fellowship can become a mighty power faith filled factory; producing Devoted followers of Jesus.

Good morning my friends, AFTER PENTECOST what happened in the lives of those who’d committed their lives to Jesus, had been baptised and filled with Holy Spirit? Answer they GOT DEVOTION.

It’s not a word you hear much these days, ‘Devotion’, is it? But just after Pentecost we hear in the book of Acts about what happened with the 3000 who began following Jesus.

Acts 2:42-47 (NIV)
42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
43  Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles.
44  All the believers were together and had everything in common.
45  Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.
46  Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts,
47  praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

From this little passage we can observe at least five things in the lives of the first Christians who trusted in Jesus, were baptised and had received the Holy Spirit.

They Devoted Themselves:

Nobody told them to do it, it was a natural or supernatural new inclination, to do these things. When the Holy Spirit indwells a person they’ll want to do these things too.

  1. Devotion to Teaching: They became learners of all that Jesus taught.
  2. Devotion to Fellowship: They got closer to each other. Meeting in Temple and Each other’s homes.
  3. Devotion to Breaking of Bread: This is a reference to Holy Communion: Remembering Jesus’ Sacrifice and to Eating together.
  4. Devotion to Prayer: When the Holy Spirit is in you, then you’ll automatically want to pray regularly. It’s not an obligation any more it’s a complete change of desire within.

When we’re DEVOTED like this, some things are going to be happening.

e) Many Signs and Wonders: were done by the Apostles. If you are devoted as an ordinary person to Jesus and all of the above, not because you have to but because you want to, then watch out, because WONDERS are going to be normal for your fellowship.

f) Common Concern: In verse 44 we learn that they shared their possessions and even sold some of them to help the needy amongst themselves. When Holy Spirit takes up residence within a person’s heart, there’s a new love for the brothers and sisters in the Lord’s family.

g) MEETING TOGETHER REGULARLY: Since I’ve had the Spirit, I’ve never thought meeting just ONCE a week was enough. Most, the majority of Christians today only want to meet once a week, life’s just too busy the meet up more than that, right? WRONG: when the Holy Spirit takes up residence in your heart, you’ll have a LONGING to be with brothers and sisters on a very regular basis. They did it every day, but in reality that’s not practical, because we’ve all got other things that need to be done: tending sheep, planting corn, digging fields, and that’s just the farming community, what about the City Workers? However, there’s still going to be a STRONG DESIRE for more regular FELLOWSHIP than just once a week. So we learn to be very CREATIVE in how we get fellowship.

h) Worshiping God: With glad and sincere hearts they praised the LORD! Worship is an integral aspect of any gathering together. We’ll want to sing our hearts out to the LORD!

How To BE CREATIVE: in getting fellowship more regularly:

SMALL GROUP: Either join of start a small group at work: To meet a lunch times to read God’s Word (Apostles Teaching) and to Pray together. I did this on every ship, establishment and submarine I served on after becoming a Christian in the Royal Navy.

FELLOWSHIP GROUP: There will be fellowship groups in your church, either get the Minister’s permission to start one or join an existing group. The strong desire will never go away, so start as soon as you feel it. Meet up REGULARLY: Once a week is good to start with, but don’t wait to long to add extra meetings for coffee, chats and Evangelism together.

What About Young Mothers: How can they possibly get FELLOWSHIP with young kids running around? I can’t think of a better group to get together even more regularly than those who’ve got toddlers to care for. It’s natural to meet for chats and coffee or tea, but just add the extra dimensions of Bible Study, Prayer, Fellowship, Evangelism, Breaking Bread and Ministry…

No matter what you do or where you work, there are good reasons to FORM or JOIN a SMALL GROUP: It keeps you very sharp as a Christian, you’ll be filled with HOLY SPIRIT DESIRES every day: You’ll want to do what He prompts you to do together. It’s much easier to share you faith with someone else. You’ll make excuses to keep inviting your NON-CHRISTIAN friends along to be with you and your friends. Just say, “I’m off during lunch break to read some of the Bible with a few friends, do you want to come along?”… “We’re learning all about Jesus teachings, do you want to come?” Don’t make the mistakes that I did, sometimes I only asked people once, but then I learned a secret, it took a long time before I myself said YES to Jesus invitations. So just keep asking your friends, but in different ways. “I’m meeting up with some Christian brothers, you should meet these guys, they’re filled with Holy Spirit POWER”…

When you get back from lunch, those who didn’t come will be intrigued to discover what you’ve been up to. I had so many questions when news got out on the Submarine that I was having fellowship in the SINS room on-board HMS Tireless. “What do you do in there?” they’d ask or “We heard you singing hymns” they’d say. “What’s that all about?” they’d ask… People are NATURALLY NOSEY: They want to know, they’re interested. So some will ask you when they know you are attending a small group, “What’s that all about?”… Always be prepared to give them an answer and an invitation to come and experience it for themselves.

Give An Answer and An Invitation.

Devotion is not a POPULAR word with the world, but it still is with EVERY person who’s been baptised and filled with the Holy Spirit.

So a good question to ask right now is: “How is my own DEVOTION going?” and “Am I so full of the Holy Spirit that I have these burning desires to be devoted in these ways?”… If NOT, then there’s a problem. You NEED more of God’s Spirit, because it’s supernaturally natural to want or desire DEVOTION to; Jesus teachings, the Apostles teachings, breaking bread, fellowship, prayer, meeting each other’s needs, meeting together, doing miracles, winning others to Christ. The Holy Spirit replaces our own natural desires with His Supernatural Desires to Build God’s Kingdom Family. IF NOT: You’ll become like the seeds sown on rocky soil or the hard path or among the thistles; your faith will wither and die quite soon. You might keep up the semblance of Christian attendance for a while, but it will never be fire filled or full of faith and fun. Devotion is what Holy Spirit longs for in the life a new follower of Jesus. If your an old follower and you are not devoted like this, why? What’s stopping you doing what God wants you to do? START AGAIN!

The LORD added to their number DAILY those who were being SAVED. Non Christians were attracted to this kind of DEVOTED fellowship. You are going to see this too when you get even more DEVOTED to Jesus Christ, His mission and His teachings. When we follow Jesus teachings, we’re going to see Father God’s Heart is to win thousands into His family. He’ll do it through you’re own little fellowship, which will soon become an awesome mighty power filled faith factory; producing even more DEVOTED followers of Jesus.

I’m praying you’ll get this kind of DEVOTION: Pray for me too: I need to cling to Jesus every day and get fellowship just as regularly as the next Christian, it’s a supernatural natural longing within my heart, but I’ve learned we’ve got to make it happen or it won’t. Nobody else is going to make it happen for you, your inner desire will make it happen: So seek out fellowship and be the devoted follower the Holy Spirit makes you want to be.

Don.

 

Hot Juicy Gossip

What the Bible has to say about Gossip

Daily Spirit & Word: 707: Hot Juicy Gossip.

“When I Gossiped, I Sinned.”

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

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

What is Gossip?

Dictionary Definition:

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

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

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

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

You know the temptation don’t you?

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

But WHY is Gossip So Tempting?

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

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

Read that again:

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

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

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

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

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

Did you know?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Excerpted from his sight).

Things to Remember about Gossip

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

What to do about Gossip?

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

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

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

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

Don.

 

Demon Possession and Doorways of Danger

Mark 5 Demon Possession and The Doorways of Danger

Daily Spirit & Word: 705:

The Demon Possessed Man.

And

The Doorways of Danger.

Good morning my friends, this is part of the Sermon I preached yesterday in St Luke’s Church.

I began by asking everyone present: “Put your hand up if you believe in God”. Almost everyone did. I said, “Put your hands down, now put your hand up if you don’t believe in God” Only a couple of people did.

Then I asked, “Put your hand up if you believe in the Devil, Demons or Demonic” most people did. Then I asked “Put you hand up if you definitely don’t believe in Satan or Demons”, and quite a few hands were raised.

What do you believe about Satan? Is he a real person? The Bible assumes that you’ll believe he’s real.

Mark 5:1-20 (NIV)
1 They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes.
2  When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an evil spirit came from the tombs to meet him.
3  This man lived in the tombs, and no-one could bind him any more, not even with a chain.
4  For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No-one was strong enough to subdue him.
5  Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.
6  When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him.
7  He shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Swear to God that you won’t torture me!”
8  For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you evil spirit!”
9  Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” “My name is Legion,” he replied, “for we are many.”
10  And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area.
11  A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside.
12  The demons begged Jesus, “Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them.”
13  He gave them permission, and the evil spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned.
14  Those tending the pigs ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened.
15  When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid.
16  Those who had seen it told the people what had happened to the demon-possessed man—and told about the pigs as well.
17  Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region.
18  As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him.
19  Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.”
20  So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.

‘The Demons who Possessed a Man’

&

The Doorways of Danger.

Introduction:

Good morning everyone, we’re back with Mark Chapter 5 today. As we’ve been going through Mark’s Gospel, we’ve observed Jesus Power and Authority: over nature: Stilling a Storm. Over Sickness: Healing people of all kinds of diseases. We’ve observed that Jesus had supernatural knowledge: He even knew what people were thinking.  Today, we’ll observe that Jesus also has Power and Authority over “The Supernatural Forces of Evil in the Heavenly realms”…

Demons Are Real: Satan is a Real Person with an Army of Demons (Fallen Angels).

MISTAKE: Sometimes people make the mistake of believing they are equal in Power: A bit like ying-and-yang: They balance each other out. Not so, God is not equal with anyone or anything. Jesus was God on Earth, this is most fully demonstrated in this account in Mark’s Gospel today: Because Jesus could COMMAND the Demonic forces (there were at least 2000 pigs that were killed that day). No wonder that man’s condition was so severe.

Demon possession was a common theme in the Bible and Jesus and others were casting out the demons.

From this account we learn some valuable things about Satan, Demons and the power and authority of Jesus Christ.

 1) You discover that demon possession is possible.

We live in sceptical times, and many people try to explain away the Bible’s ‘spiritual’ and ‘Supernatural’ elements: Miracles, Holy Spirit, Gifts and Angels, Devils and Demons. (Because they are unscientific and can’t be proven by empirical evidence).

People are much more sceptical about Satan, Demons than they are about: Life after death (nobody wants to die, and we all want assurance that there is more after death). Near Death Experiences: Angels and Miracles. Why? The first step to not believing the Bible is to say in your heart, “This cannot be true”. I’ve done that myself… I found it very difficult to believe many things in the Bible, even after coming to faith in Jesus. They are just so fantastical, so amazing, so weird. But after 32 years of being a follower of Jesus, a Christian, I’m more convinced today than I was at the start, that you can TRUST God’s Word 100%…. Demons, Devils, Satan and Demon Possession are real.

Are You Sceptical About Supernatural?

We have in the Bible many clear accounts of demons being cast out of people. If it were just one incidence, then I think we could be forgiven for thinking that they may have mistaken some kinds of sickness for fanciful thinking that a demon had entered a man. But, even the writers of the Bible, 2000 years ago distinguished between epilepsy (dropsy) and demon possession. Jesus differentiated between sickness, disease and demon possession.

Men try to explain away the supernatural phenomena in the Bible in many ways:

  • Jesus walking on water (Scientifically Impossible) = Therefore, there must have been Sandbank below the surface.
  • Red sea parting = it must have been a shallow estuary (an earthquake probably caused the sea to recede, just before a tsunami hit the Egyptians).
  • Dead people being brought back to life = they were not really dead, but in those days they didn’t have the equipment to detect life.

One thing it’s hard for people to explain away in this account is that the demons who were driven out of the man, then entered into the pigs and 2000 pigs that ran down a hill and killed themselves. Why at the moment of Jesus casting out a demons did the pigs do that?

For this man: It couldn’t have been; epilepsy, frenzy or madness. Because you cannot pass these ailments onto pigs (not 2000 of them). This man was possessed by what the Bible describes as a legion of demons, because they were many. (A Roman Legion had between 4000 and 6000 men: But note that the Bible didn’t exaggerate the number of pigs, just 2000 of them).

However, though we know Satan, The Devil and Demons are real, we can’t see them, so we don’t know a lot about them.

2) Just because you don’t understand everything about demons and the devil, don’t be disbelieving.

We’ve Mistaken Many Things in History:

There were some who believed you’d fall off the edge of the world if you strayed too close to the edge. Christopher Columbus New World Discovered… Put an end to that… However, if people had been reading their Bible properly, they’d have known that the World wasn’t flat at all, but Spherical:

Isaiah 40:21-22 (NIV)  Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood since the earth was founded? 22  He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in. (The Earth’s free float in Space was only discovered last Century by Albert Einstein.)

God’s Word, The Bible states: The Universe had a beginning (Genesis 1:1; Hebrews 1:10-12). Starting with the studies of Albert Einstein in the early 1900s and continuing today, science has confirmed the Biblical view that the universe had a beginning. The Universe is expanding. When the Bible was written most people believed the universe was eternal and in a fixed state. This was Albert Einstein’s view and theory until he observed space through a new powerful telescope, he had to re-write his theory. Only in the last 100 years has Science proven they were all wrong, but that the Bible was correct all along. Science calls it the Big Bang, the Bible tells us God Spoke and Light came into the Darkness. God spoke and matter formed. Scientific discover just goes to prove the Supernatural Inspiration of God’s Word and the fact that for thousands of years man had been mistaken.

Historically:

  • – There were people who believed that the human body would disintegrate if it went into space: It didn’t.
  • – There were people who believed that steam engines were terrible, and people would die if they went on them, they reasoned that the human body wasn’t designed to travel a super-speeds of 30 miles an hour.
  • – You cannot see electricity, but you believe in it.

My friends, you can travel to the ends of the earth, go into space, ride on a train and you will get an electric shock if you stick your fingers into a socket; AND you can get possessed by demons. Let’s not make the mistakes in the Spiritual Realm that we’ve made in the Earthly and Universal.

 ♥V An African Tribal Chief didn’t believe in Ice until he was brought some by a missionary: He gave his life to Jesus afterwards. It’s just as foolish not believing in devils, just because you have had no direct experience of them.

Since we’ve made too many MISTAKES historically, and held mistaken beliefs about so many things, don’t be mistaken about Demons, the Devil and Demonic: They are REAL, perhaps one day Science will confirm it too, let’s hope they are not too late for humanity.

My friends, Long experience, 34 years, of reading the Bible almost every single day, has shown me that it can be fully trusted and believed. I have been involved in the ministry of casting out demons, and I can tell you they are just as real today as 2000 years ago. I’ve seen their destructive force on men and women, in their families and personal life. They are still out to “Steal, Kill and Destroy” your joy, peace and security. That’s their mission from the Prince of Demons: Satan.

 What are they like? Well the Bible tells us clearly.

From Mark Chapter 5. We can see their intention for everyone they Possess. 

3) Landlords: Many of you have experience of good and bad Landlords. Satan is a horrific Landlord.

You can see in this account of Demon Possession, that demons are painful, powerful, and destructive landlords (owners of the one possessed).

A) Demons Are Painful: The pain and misery they caused that poor man. His life was terrible, he was naked, homeless, friendless, wretched, bleeding, unattended, hurting, crying out in pain, rushing around in the graveyard, places of the dead, restless and cutting his own body with sharp stones. Why would anyone in their right mind behave like this? They wouldn’t, but he not just or simply mad, he’s possessed by Demons that want to destroy him and cause him pain.

Yes demons will do all of that to anyone they possess. They are painful landlords.

 Jesus said: John 10:10 ‘The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.  11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.’

♥V The devil and his demons want to destroy & steal God’s Creation, us: We also see that Jesus wants to give us life & renew your life, to give you abundant life. He died to make that life possible.

♥V Hell: When you look at the horrible, horrific condition of the demon possessed man you get a powerful picture of what hell will be like for all who end up there: naked, hurting, cutting self, homeless, torment and in fear, in darkness.

B) Demons Are Powerful: We forget at our peril and danger that Satan has millions of beings subservient to himself. He led 1/3 of heaven in rebellions when he was cast out from God’s presence. He is a Powerful Landlord.

However, he is not as powerful as Jesus, Jesus is God; but we shouldn’t underestimate his power, authority and nature: He does want to steal, kill and destroy. But he’s no match for Jesus’ Power and Authority or the Authority, Power and New Nature that Jesus gives to everyone who puts their faith and trust in Him.

Satan is the active force in the world systems that one day will produce an anti-Christ who will oppose God openly. A one world government under his power and dominion. It’s obvious that this is the way the world is blindly heading.

In The Satanic Controlled World: Godly things will become illegal the Bible warns us: And it’s happening already here in Great Britain.

OFSTED: Want to inspect every Sunday School: To ensure we’re not radicalising children. That’s good, right? Nobody wants ‘radicalised’ children. However, they also want to ensure we’ve got a balanced Sunday School Curriculum, that we’ll promote and teach British Values. (My friends, British Values are not the same today as Bible Values or Christian Values). E.G. Bombing Syria: Jesus never said, “Bomb your enemies”… He tells us to forgive our enemies, to bless your enemies, do good to those that hate you… He doesn’t tell us to take away State Benefits for the poorest in society and give Tax cuts to the richest people.  No my friends, Jesus tells us to look after widows and orphans, to take care of the weakest members in our society, to LOVE our neighbours. God wants us to welcome aliens and strangers, wanderers in the land. “Don’t be afraid to welcome strangers”… Practice good hospitality. This is God’s way of treating people.

British Values: What British Values are we to teach our children? Only the ‘nice’ ones… I’ve no doubt we’ll soon have an approved Government curriculum that we’ve got to ensure is communicated to Sunday School children. I’m not even going to mention; same-sex-marriage which God clearly teaches is contrary to His will for human beings.

Satan is at work in the Governments of this world today, they a pushing forward Satan’s agenda, to destroy society, community and human beings. How? By advocating and promoting the things that God hates. However, his time is coming, when he along with all his demons and fallen angels will be cast in to the lake of fire. Hell has not been Created yet, but when God is ready Satan’s end is certain. Satan is Powerful and influential, but he’s not as powerful or as influential as God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

C) Demons Are Destructive: Lastly, in looking at what kind of Landlords Demons are, we see from our account in Mark today that the Demonic is Destructive.

They only wanted to kill the man, why or how that poor man survived is beyond our understanding, but perhaps his will was not completely subdued or broken. (He came running to Jesus and fell at his feet). And perhaps he was resisting the evil spirits, that’s why he was screaming and in torment. It might be that’s why he screamed at night in the tombs.

We can see how destructive those Demons wanted to be with the man, because as soon as they entered into the weak willed PIGS, 2000 of them rushed over a cliff into the lake. You can be certain that is what the Demons wanted to do to the man. Jesus warns us in many places in His Word, that Satan wants to do the very same things with you and me.

Finally Don’t Give The Devil A Foothold:

We don’t know why this man got Demon Possessed. We don’t know what he was playing with before it happened.

But we do know that there are DOORS of DANGER: Places we should avoid, because Satan is a legalist, he’s legalistic, he can only gain entry, like a Landlord with proper notification. He can only come in if we allow him in.

Ephesians 4:17-32 (NIV)
17  So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking.
18  They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.
19  Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.
20  You, however, did not come to know Christ that way.
21  Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus.
22  You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;
23  to be made new in the attitude of your minds;
24  and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
25  Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbour, for we are all members of one body.
26  “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,
27  and do not give the devil a foothold.
28  He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.

29  Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
30  And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
31  Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.
32  Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

All of the above are DOORWAYS of DANGER: They can allow or give Satan permission to enter.

Even if we have innocently, naively or foolishly entered into these things. Or of our own wilful disobedience: We need to renounce these unholy and shameful things and seek God’s forgiveness and cleansing. When we’re playing with sin, we’re cracking open the doorway and giving the Devil a foothold into our lives: These are the Doorways of Danger: Unwholesome talk, anger, slander, lying, stealing, unforgiveness, hatred, jealousy, rage, greed, sexual sins, sensuality, feeding the fleshly nature, backbiting, coveting what others own, cheating in life, unfaithfulness, disobedience to authorities and parents, etc, etc, etc… We’re experts and finding new ways to rebel against God’s Commandments, but they are all Doorways of Danger. Don’t give the Devil a foothold into your life. Jesus came to set us FREE.

 To summarise: Satan and Demons are real, and they are painful, powerful and destructive. They must not be played with and we must renounce all participation either voluntarily entered into or foolishly deceived.

 The Lord Jesus Christ: Has POWER over the Demonic Forces of Evil: They are not equal in any way. He commanded the Demons and they had to submit to His authority.

He also gave you that same Power and Authority: When you Believed in Jesus Christ, Repented of your sins and Received Him as your Lord and Saviour. Have you really done all that? Believed, Repented, Renounced, Received? Then you are FREE.

John 10:10 Fullness of life, Jesus’ abundant life, are yours. Jesus gives you the same rights as the Son of God. (John 1:12-13).

Jesus’ Perfect FREEDOM:

John 8:31-36 (NIV)
31  To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.
32  Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
33  They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?” (They’d been invaded by the Romans, dominated by a foreign power, and they still thought they were free. But Jesus wasn’t talking about Political freedom, but Spiritual freedom).
34  Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.
35  Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it for ever.
36  So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (Because when Jesus sets you free from sin, you are free from Satan’s bondage to sin, you are free to live as God’s child, that freedom cost Jesus his life, so that we wouldn’t need to loose ours).

Jesus came to SET YOU FREE: Completely FREE from Satan and His Demonic forces.

How to get your FREEDOM BACK: Renounce: Repent: Confess: Receive: Live…

Renounce: Those shameful secret sins. (Pornography is rife in our Society). Anger is festering inside people. Hatred is lying in wait. Jealousy: Bitterness. Rage (Car rage, explosive anger) these are signs that not everyting is OK in our land. Satan is having a ball or a time with the people in our land. Renounce: And BE Set FREE by Jesus Christ.

Repent: Turn away from ALL that your Conscience is telling you is wrong for you. Listen to the voice of your Conscience. You’ll know: That lying, Stealing, lusting, hatred, gossip, slander, back-biting, etc these are ALL Sinful: They may give the Devil a foothold into your life.

1 Peter 5:5-11 (NIV)
5  Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility towards one another, because, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
6  Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.
7  Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
8  Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the Devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
9  Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 10  And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
11  To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

CONFESS: Confess all know sin: This is not too difficult because the Holy Spirit will make you aware of sin in your life. He doesn’t do this to make you feel ashamed, but so that you’ll know what’s separating you from the fullness of life God wants you to have. Be open with God, Confess your sins to Him out loud… Confession is admitting how you’ve sinned against God.

RECEIVE JUSUS: Humble yourselves. Receive Jesus Christ as your LORD: Live your life for Him. (He’s a much better Landlord than Satan) His yoke is easy, His burden is light… (Satan’s is; heavy, hard, unbearable, tortuous, wearisome and deathly).

SATAN: He’s a legalistic, legalist, once you open the door, He’s just waiting to come on in. He’s got YOUR permission. He can’t come in without permission. Don’t open the Door to Satan: If you have or as soon as you become aware of sin in your life: Renounce, Repent, Confess and Receive Jesus forgiveness and renewal of the Holy Spirit. Do it quickly, do it today. Get FREE with Jesus help.

JESUS: God, wants to give you a FRESH START: Humble yourself under God’s mighty hand, that He may life you up in His time.

Jesus Christ: Has POWER to Set you COMPLETELY FREE FROM EVIL TODAY:

“If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed”… John 8:36… Notice the “IF”…

There are a few people in the world today who want God to PROVE Himself to them first, but my friends, He’s God. He’s not about to take orders from high-minded human beings that He’s created. He’ll never prove himself to a proud human being. However, a person who sincerely wants to discover if God is real, a humble human being, will find out the truth; That’s God’s PROMISE and God cannot tell lies.

Deuteronomy 4:29 (NIV) “But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.”

Jeremiah 29:12-13 (NIV)
12  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.
13  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Can you imagine the JOY that Demon Possessed man experienced once he’d been set free? He wanted to follow Jesus, but he was told by Jesus to go and tell his family, friends and neighbours what God had done for him. Yesterday in St Luke’s Church we heard how Gemma had been set free by Jesus, not from Demons, but from the jaws of an alligator as she was sinking to almost certain death. Joy at knowing you’ve been set free transforms your life.

My friends, you can discover God is real and alive today, more real and more alive than you ever imagined. Satan is real too, but He’s not as powerful or influential as God. So stop doubting and believe, call out to God from a sincere heart, seek Him and you will find Him when you seek with all your heart. This is how you can prove to yourself that God is Knowable today.

PRAYER:

Our Father, Who art in Heaven,
Holy is Your Name,
Your Kingdom Come,
Your will be done,
On Earth, As it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who’ve sinned against us,
Lead us not into temptation,
Deliver us from evil,
For Yours is the Kingdom,
For Yours is the Glory,
Forever and Ever, Amen.

Your Kingdom Lord, In my life, as it is in Heaven.
Lead me not into temptation,
Deliver me from evil.
For Yours is the Kingdom.
The POWER and The Glory. Amen!

You can be FREE, but that freedom is not automatic: You must; renounce, repent, confess and receive the Lord Jesus Christ, turn and trust in Jesus Christ alone for your salvation from sin and freedom from Satan’s power. Jesus is the Good Shepherd who has laid down His life for His sheep.

That man, possessed by demons, ran and fell at Jesus feet. Something in him made him run to Jesus.

My friends, will you run to Jesus Christ this morning? Run and fall at His feet… He can and will set you FREE today.

I’m praying that anyone who reads this today, may find that perfect and complete FREEDOM that only Jesus Christ can give. Amen.

Don.

The Kind of Friend We Have In Jesus

Lazarus brought back to life so that we could believe in Jesus Christ

Daily Spirit & Word: 704:

The Kind of Friend We Have In Jesus.

Jesus The Creator God:

Colossians 1:15-17 (NLT) Jesus Christ Is Creator God.
15  Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, 16  for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see— such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. 17  He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together.

Colossians 1:15-17 (NKJV).

Good morning my friends, our START Course last night to prepare two children for Baptism with their parents was amazing. The questions children ask are often most honest and very thought provoking. They are not afraid to ask, “Why is there so much suffering, violence, war and hatred or evil in the world?” and “If God is so good, why doesn’t He stop it?”. We had a Swing-o-meter in the Video and in our booklet, this was to show where we are currently in our belief in the existence of God. It’s always an eye-opener for me when that question is asked, because quite often people will be ready to be more honest with a drawing or video than they will be in church. Far too often we respond with what we expect people want to hear, rather than what we actually believe.

Does God Exist? How can He Prove Himself to you?

Last night I explained, that God reveals Himself to us in many different ways: Through Creation, through prayer, through praise and worship, through the circumstances we go through in life, through the Bible, but ultimately God has already revealed Himself most fully in the person of His Son He sent to Earth. If you want to see what God is like, then look at the life, teachings and actions of Jesus Christ. These are recorded in the four Gospels, but also prophesied hundreds of years before Jesus was even born in Bethlehem.

You’ve heard that God is good, God is kind and God wants to be your friend, right?

But HOW can we know this is true?

You probably know that famous hymn; “What A Friend We Have In Jesus”… Well, we can clearly see the kind of friend we have in Jesus from the eleventh chapter in the Gospel of John. (Read it in full at bottom of page).

What Kind of a Friend Do We Have in Jesus?. John 11.

Jesus Is The Greatest Person Who Ever Lived.

  1. Jesus is The Listening Friend. “Jesus heard” (John 11:4).
  2. Jesus is The Loving Lord. “Jesus loved” (John 11:5).
  3. Jesus is The Gracious Teacher. “Jesus answered” (John 11:9).
  4. Jesus is The Wonderful Speaker. “Jesus said” and “spoke” (John 11:13, 23).
  5. Jesus Timing is Perfect. “Jesus came” (John 11:17).
  6. Jesus Presence Means Power. “Mary came to Jesus” (John 11:32).
  7. Jesus Sees Our Tears “Jesus saw her tears” (John 11:33).
  8. Jesus is Touched by our troubles. “He was deeply moved in Spirit” (John 11:33, 38).
  9. Jesus is The Weeping Saviour. “Jesus wept” (John 11:35).
  10. Jesus is God, The Son. “Jesus looked up and said, “Father”” (John 11:41). 
  11. Jesus WORDS mean LIFE: The Giver of Life. “He shouted Lazarus come out” (John 11:43). 
  12. Jesus Miracle Works Enable Belief, . “Jesus did… done” (John 11:45, 46). 
  13. The Undisputed Witness. “This Man does many miracles” (John 11:47). 
  14. The Delivering Substitute. “Jesus should die” (John 11:51, 53).

If you’ve ever doubted the existence of God, then take an honest look at yourself in a mirror and ask this question, “Could something as wonderful as me have happened by accident?” 😛  My friends, You are fearfully and wonderfully made, Psalm 139.

Colossians 1:15-17 (NLT) Jesus Christ Is Creator God.
15  Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, 16  for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see— such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. 17  He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together.

Jesus Is The Greatest Person Who Ever Lived Upon The EARTH.

Jesus Christ Is God: He always was, always will be.

The greatest person who ever lived wants to be your friend too: Click Here. What is the Second Death?

The Good News of Jesus Christ

Have and exciting journey of discovery about God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit,

Prayer: O Lord God Almighty, Father will You please let us see Your Glory in the face of Jesus Christ through faith? I’ve seen today that Jesus is the kind of friend I need in my life. I’m coming afresh to you today Lord. I want to love You, Know You, Experience You more today than ever before. Fill me afresh with Holy Spirit. In the Mighty Name of Jesus Christ my Lord and Saviour, Amen!

Don.

Bible Account of Lazarus: John Chapter 11.

John 11:1-16 (NIV)
1 Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha.
2  This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.
3  So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.”
4  When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”
5  Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.
6  Yet when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days.
7  Then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”
8  “But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews tried to stone you, and yet you are going back there?”
9  Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? A man who walks by day will not stumble, for he sees by this world’s light.
10  It is when he walks by night that he stumbles, for he has no light.”
11  After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.”
12  His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.”
13  Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.
14  So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead,
15  and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”
16  Then Thomas (called Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”
So much more is revealed in the above account that simply the death of Lazarus: Jesus knowledge about all things. His Divinity “The Son of God”. How God the Father used bringing someone back from the dead to enable people to have faith in Jesus Christ.

The Grief-Stricken Sisters Are Comforted by Jesus.

John 11:17-37 (NIV)
17  On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days.
18  Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem,
19  and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother.
20  When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.
21  “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died.
22  But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”
23  Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”
24  Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
25  Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies;
26  and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
27  “Yes, Lord,” she told him, “I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world.”
28  And after she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. “The Teacher is here,” she said, “and is asking for you.”
29  When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him.
30  Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him.
31  When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there.
32  When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
33  When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.
34  “Where have you laid him?” he asked. “Come and see, Lord,” they replied.
35  Jesus wept.
36  Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”
37  But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”

The Shortest Verse in the Bible reveals Jesus’ compassion: John 11:35 “Jesus wept”… He feels what we are going through deeply in His Spirit, even today. God cares deeply about what you experience in this life.

Verse 25: reveals that Jesus Christ, Himself God, is the source of LIFE on Planet Earth: All things were Created by Him and for Him.

Colossians 1:15-17 (NLT) Jesus Christ Is Creator God.
15  Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, 16  for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see— such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. 17  He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together.

Jesus Raises Lazarus From The Dead

What a powerful miracle you are about to read.

John 11:38-45 (NIV)
38  Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance.
39  “Take away the stone,” he said. “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odour, for he has been there four days.”
40  Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?”
41  So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me.
42  I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”
43  When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”
44  The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”
45  Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, put their faith in him.

My friends, Lazarus was brought back to life so that we could see this miracle and believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and to enable us to put our faith and trust in Him. Like Lazarus, we are all born Spiritually dead, but Jesus purpose in coming into this world is that we might experience New Birth and see New Life, full life and be “born of the Spirit”. It’s as if Jesus is saying to every single one of us; “Take off the grave clothes and let him go”… He wants to open our eyes and let us see His glory today. Put your faith and trust in the Living God, the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!