Jesus Kingdom Increase

Kingdom Increase, from Baskets to Hampers.

Daily Spirit & Word: 772: Jesus Kingdom Increase.

You Need to Get A Kingdom: Mind, Heart, Eyes and Ears.

“I’m On Kingdom Business: No Other Agenda”.

Kingdom Increase: Multiplication.

Kingdom Freedom: No Need to Worry.

Good morning my friends, what a FANTASTIC “Oh Happy Day” Community Festival we had. Five Churches committed to an joint event together for Jesus. There were so many Gospel singing groups, dancers, actors, artists, cooks, welcomers, photographers, face-painters, all gathering to make the day HAPPY for everyone. I don’t know how many hundreds came, I’m not a numbers-game-pastor ūüôā However, what I got from Heaven (revelation from Father) was that He was Happy. Happy that we His children were ONE in; Spirit, Purpose and Presentation of the Good News of Jesus Christ. Everything was FREE for those who came, the churches all said, “This event should be free for those who come along, so we’ll commit to paying for everything”… We did, but I’m aware that there are some who’ve not had the opportunity to contribute. If you’d like to you can still do that? We will use it again for our Next “Oh Happy Day” Festival next year, the LORD willing (Get the DATE in your Diary NOW: Saturday July 2017)

Mark 8:14-21 (NIV)
14  The disciples had forgotten to bring bread, except for one loaf they had with them in the boat.
15 ¬†“Be careful,” Jesus warned them. “Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod.”
16 ¬†They discussed this with one another and said, “It is because we have no bread.”
17 ¬†Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked them: “Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened?
18 ¬†Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember?
19 ¬†When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?” “Twelve,” they replied.
20 ¬†“And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?” They answered, “Seven.”
21 ¬†He said to them, “Do you still not understand?”

HOW The “Oh Happy Day” event came about, was because one man had ears to hear what the Father was saying.
He was new to West Norwood, but came with a passion for Jesus and reaching out with God’s love and joy; Pastor David Catarino (Portuguese Fellowship).
He shared the vision and dream with one of our group, Peter Day (from Lansdowne Evangelical fellowship) then Peter asked me, we met with David Catarino and prayed about it, but the vision grew along with the conviction that Father God wanted us to do this thing together. So we shared with Pastors Dennis and Richard from Worldwide Mission Fellowship and Chatsworth Baptist Church. We fixed a date, arranged a prayer meeting and committed to being involved ourselves.

When Jesus was in the Boat with His Disciples:

He’d just had another run-in with the Pharisees and must have been thinking about it because He said to them “Be careful, watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod”…

However, the Disciples, as usual, had their minds fixed on worldly things and didn’t get what Jesus was going on about. They’d moved on to thinking about their own need for BREAD instead of worrying about the spiritual battles that were on-going. “It is because we have no bread”… they reasoned in earthly terms.

Yeast: Yeast to Jewish people is a symbol of evil. Yeast spreads throughout the whole batch of dough, and so evil can infect an individual and a community. It’s the evil teaching and tendencies Jesus wanted His disciples to see, but it went completely over their heads.

Why? Because their minds, hearts, eyes and ears were still on earthly things.

  • It’s like they were worrying about a cup full of water when there’s a large lake full of fresh water in front of them.
  • It’s like worrying when our petrol tank is on empty, when there’s an OIL Well full of petrol right in front of them.
  • Jesus is the fountain of life: Jesus is the light of the world, Jesus is the Good Shepherd, Jesus is the Miracle Makers who turns five loaves into Twelve Baskets full left over… He turns a few loaves into Seven Hampers full left over.

Jesus quite rightly was a bit frustrated with them: “Why are you talking about having no bread?” He asked them.

So often our minds are always on EARTHLY MATTERS; so much so, that we’ll MISS what God wants us to know about.

My friends, God is Speaking: But are we listening, are we looking, are we thinking and meditation on God’s will?

I do believe that we MISS so many of His Golden Opportunities because we’ve got a different set of priorities.

Jesus asked them pointedly: “Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear?”

Jesus Helps Us Get Our Focus Right:

By Taking them Back: “Don’t You Remember?”

Of course they had; a head to think and a heart to care. They had eyes to see and ears to hear; but they were transfixed on temporal matters.

So, Jesus purposefully takes them back over the last few weeks of ministry:

The Miracle Feedings: 5000 and 4000…

He begins by asking; “And don’t you remember?”

My friends, it’s often very good for us to REMEMBER what God has done for us in the past. Why? Because it stops us ever worrying again. When we think back to God’s miracles of answered prayer, miracle provision, miracle guidance in our lives, then we’ll STOP being completely transfixed by temporal matters. We’ll never again WORRY about worldly things; paying bills, getting out of debt, sorting relationships, Why? Because we’ll REMEMBER how God worked in these areas of our lives in the past and sorted things out for us.

Here, in our reading, Jesus goes over the MIRACLES: To get their minds, hearts, eyes and ears ATTENTIVE TO GOD.

Mark 8:19-20 (NIV)
19 ¬†When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many basketfuls (small baskets) of pieces did you pick up?” “Twelve,” they replied.
20 ¬†“And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many basketfuls (Hamper sized Baskets) of pieces did you pick up?” They answered, “Seven.”
Then he asked them; “Do you still not understand”…

Mark¬†doesn’t¬†tell us if they did or not. There’s a strange silence in Scripture at the end of Jesus’ questioning His Disciples. However, I think even the MOST DIM person could understand that.

What’s the difference between a small basked and a hamper?

A small basket could fit into a hamper many times.

The Difference between the Miracles of feeding 5000 and 4000 was the Kingdom Increase in what was left over.

That’s KINGDOM INCREASE:

My friends. Do you see? Do you have eyes to see? Do you have ears to Hear? Do you have a Heart to understand?

God’s in the KINGDOM INCREASE business. (No other agenda).

When we’re in the world, when we’re doing our stuff, the ordinary stuff; working, shopping, cleaning, cooking, etc etc… How’s our Kingdom Focus?

God wants to get your minds, hearts, eyes and ears OFF of Temporal Matters and onto His KINGDOM MATTERS.

What is it that MATTERS MOST to God? Kingdom Increase.

Jesus said in the Parable of the Sower:

Mark 4:8-9 (NIV) (Go back and REMEMBER).
8 ¬†Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, multiplying thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times.”
9 ¬†Then Jesus said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

Jesus also said, “The HARVEST is Plentiful, but the Labourers are FEW”: My friends, that tells me that not many of Jesus followers are getting His Kingdom Agenda.

Multiplying: Multiplication: Baskets / Hampers.

It’s like God is saying to all of us today: Become Kingdom Mathematicians: Think about KINGDOM INCREASE (Kingdom Multiplication)…

Multiplication is very different from Addition… Addition adds ones and twos, multiplication goes from 10s to 10000000 very quickly. (Exponential Thinking).

Do you now have minds to understand, hearts to care, eyes to see and ears to hear?

What happened yesterday at “Oh Happy Day” ¬†when we gave away FREE Kingdom Burgers, Free Photography, Free Face-Painting, Free Music, dance and singing… It was ALL ABOUT KINGDOM INCREASE (Multiplication: NOT Addition)… You do the maths and God will do the increase.

Let’s get our own eyes OFF Temporal Matters (Stop Being Transfixed by the Temporal).

Let’s get our eyes ON Kingdom Business. God’s KINGDOM INCREASE.

David Wilson and I had a coffee in a cafe during the week: Oh we’d met up a few times: Tuesday for Fellowship, Wednesday for Morning Prayer Gathering, Wednesday Evening for Witnessing on the Streets and Friday in a Cafe for Coffee… We talked about KINGDOM Business.

We had a laugh and said, “I think we should have a T’Shirt made up “I’m on Kingdom Business” with a strap line “NO OTHER AGENDA”…

My friends, as Christians that really should become our Motto for Jesus.

“I’m on Kingdom Business” and “No Other Agenda”….

How’s your KINGDOM; mind, heart, eyes and ears today?

Let’s Get:

  • Kingdom Mindset: To Understand.
  • Kingdom Heart: To Care about God’s Agenda.
  • Kingdom Eyes: To See God’s Opportunities.
  • Kingdom Ears: To Hear God’s Calling Today.

 

Jesus did TWO MIRACLES feeding Thousands: 5000 and 4000…

We’re going to do TWO “Oh Happy Day Community Festivals”… Next July is going to be TOTALLY AWESOME (God willing). We’ll see Kingdom Increase: But only if we get our own eyes off our agenda and onto God’s agenda. His Kingdom Business…

Now, the next time, if your eyes are still on worldly matters (Disciples in the Boat: Eyes on Bread), I’m going to be a bit cheesed off like Jesus was… LOL.

God NEEDS all of us here at St Luke’s Church to get into HIS KINGDOM BUSINESS: Minds, Hearts, Eyes, Ears… So we can all say with JOY “I’m on Kingdom Business, no other Agenda”…

Will you be on God’s Kingdom Increase Business?

I truly hope so… Praying for Kingdom Increase in all of our lives today. Amen!

Get this today: “We’re on God’s Kingdom Business, with NO Other Agenda.”

Pray the LORD will OPEN Your Mind, Heart, Eyes and Ears to what He’s showing you in this world, how He wants you to work for Him and His Kingdom. Amen!

Be blessed in Jesus,

Don.

NOTE: Those who’ve been translating the Bibles over the years have made a mistake or at least not given us the full picture. Size Matters to God: Kingdom Increase is a theme running throughout Scripture. Go back to the GREEK TEXT and you’ll see the difference in size of the baskets used in the miracles of feeding 5000 and 4000; it’s in Matthew and Mark and… When we see that Jesus first miracle there was 12 small baskets full of broken pieces left over… In the miracle of the feeding 4000 there were 7 (Seven) Large Hampers of broken pieces left over…. That’s KINGDOM INCREASE: minds, hearts, eyes and ears to see….

GREEK WORDS:

5000 (12 Baskets: Kophinos (Kof-ee-nos). = Small Baskets.

4000 (7 Baskets: Spuris (Spoorace) = Hamper Basket… Like the one Paul was lowered down the wall in Acts 9:25.

How many small baskets would fit into just one of those Seven Hampers? Kingdom Increase.

How many people will you, who are the ‘good soil’ hearers, lead to Christ in your life? How much fruit will you produce; 30, 60 or 100 times what was sown?

YEAST: Of the Pharisees and of King Herod:

Remember to the Jewish people, yeast represented evil, and the way yeast spreads it’s influence throughout the whole batch of dough, it can spread it’s influence on the un-suspecting and un-aware, that why Jesus said, “Be on your guard”, “Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod.”

Doubt, Suspicion, Hatred, Murder, Distain, Jealousy, Questioning, Plotting, Planning: Evil¬†worldly¬†trans-fixation. Worring about worldly matters instead of God’s Kingdom Agenda: Kingdom Business with no other agenda…

Get this today: “We’re on God’s Kingdom Business, with NO Other Agenda.”

Pray the LORD will OPEN Your Mind, Heart, Eyes and Ears to what He’s showing you in this world, how He wants you to work for Him and His Kingdom. Amen!

 

God Is At Work In YOU.

You are Christ's living letter of recommendation, epistle, to the world,

Daily Spirit & Word: 767:

You Are Jesus’ Living Email: Recommending Christ to Others.

IT IS GOD WHO WORKS IN YOU TO WILL AND TO ACT 

ACCORDING TO HIS GOOD PURPOSES

Not many people send handwritten letters these days, most of our friendly communication is done through social media and emails. People read through their emails most days, some skim-read through Facebook or Whatsapp etc… You are a LIVING FB Message. What you do and say will either lead men and women to Christ or away from Him. The other day I felt a complete and utter failure, keep reading below.

It’s Saturday, so only a short share today ūüôā

That’s a sobering thought isn’t it, the WAY WE LIVE is like a letter of recommendation?

You know when you go for an interview for a job, you give them your CV and some letters of recommendation?

D.L. Moody was a great evangelist in the 19th Century. He said, “I remember reading of a blind man who was found sitting at the corner of a street in a great city with a lantern beside him. Someone went up to him and asked what he had the lantern there for, seeing that he was blind, and the light was the same to him as the darkness.

The blind man replied,¬†“I have it so that no one may stumble over me.”

Dear friends, let us think about that: Where one person will read the Bible, there are another hundred that will read you and me. Are we recommending Jesus by the way we live? People in this world, who are not Christians, are watching those who profess to be Christians, to see if we are living according to what we profess.

That’s what Paul meant when he penned 2 Corinthians 3 below.

2 Corinthians 3:1-6 (NLT)
1  Are we beginning to praise ourselves again? Are we like others, who need to bring you letters of recommendation, or who ask you to write such letters on their behalf? Surely not!
2  The only letter of recommendation we need is you yourselves. Your lives are a letter written in our hearts; everyone can read it and recognize our good work among you.
3 ¬†Clearly, you are a letter from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you. This ‚Äúletter‚ÄĚ is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts.
4  We are confident of all this because of our great trust in God through Christ.
5  It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God.
6  He has enabled us to be ministers of his new covenant. This is a covenant not of written laws, but of the Spirit. The old written covenant ends in death; but under the new covenant, the Spirit gives life.

Sometimes I’m asked to write a character reference letter for people, I’ll always think and pray and ask the Lord to show me what’s great about that person. We are all Christ’s letter of recommendation to the world. It’s as if Jesus Himself is making His appeal to those who don’t yet know Him as Lord and Saviour through us.

Most Christians who love Jesus as their Good Shepherd, Lord and Saviour, want others in their circle of friendship (OIKOS) to come to know Him too. But the people that know us best are either being won to Christ by our changed lives or driven further away from Him. They either see our holiness, goodness, kindness, gentleness, peacefulness etc or they’ll see a reflection of themselves in us, will they see someone without Christ?

How’s your witness going? Getting The Balance Right:

Are you “Christ’s letter of recommendation”?

I don’t know about you, but there are times when I think I’ve blown it.

The other day I was in the garden, I stabbed my belly with some sharp cutting shears, I cried out in pain, but I said a “SWEAR-WORD”, immediately I felt guilty and looked around to see if there was anyone who could have heard it. I know Jesus heard me, what was it in my heart that made me swear instead of praying to Him?

You know, there are times when I feel a complete and utter failure, then someone will show me something of my changed character, how Jesus has been working quietly in the background of my personality, ripening the fruit of the Holy Spirit in my flesh, they’ll say, “I don’t know how you can be so calm or so kind, etc”… Then I think to myself, “They’re right, before I knew Jesus I would not have reacted like that”. So my friends, you may not be perfect yet, but Jesus is working in you to will and to act according to His great purposes today. Amen!

I love these two verses from Paul’s letter to the Philippians:

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, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.”

IT IS GOD WHO WORKS IN YOU TO WILL AND TO ACT

ACCORDING TO HIS GOOD PURPOSES

My friends, God is working in your life, the moment you came to Christ as Lord, He began that good work in you. He’s going to keep working, changing your “Wants, Desires, Will” so that you will begin to ACT like Christ, behave like Jesus, you will be Jesus’ letter of recommendation to the world. Amen!

I’m praying you really are or want to be. To be consistent daily is difficult, it’s a battle, I KNOW. And sometimes you will feel a failure too, but Jesus wants all of us to be WINNING in this battle my friends. So He sent a wonderful gift to you and me to enable us to overcome all our weaknesses: The HOLY SPIRIT. I’m going to get filled up today, because I NEED HIM. I’m sure you’re going to see just how much you need Him too, it to be His living letter of recommendation to others.

Let’s all be like that blind man, keep the light of Christ shining brightly for all to see, so that they won’t stumble, trip and fall over you. Amen!

Don.

 

You Can’t Argue With God

Judging Others, STOP, Look at your own heart first,

Daily Spirit & Word: 764: You Can’t Argue With God.¬†

Part 4: Psalm 139: God’s Righteous Judgement.¬†

Good morning my friends, today I’m back into Psalm 139 with the final episode in our adventure. What a Psalm this is!

I’d encourage you to keep reading and re-reading the whole Psalm, you’ll soon see there’s a progression in King David’s thinking; He’s moving on from;

1) God’s Knowledge of Us: He knows me completely.

2) God’s Presence Everywhere: You can’t get away from God.

3) God’s Creative Genius: He Made Me Wonderfully.

and finally

4) God’s Just Judgement: I Can’t Argue With God.

Let’s read together the final part of Psalm 139:19-24.¬†

God’s Righteous Judgement.

Psalm 139:19-24 (NIV)
19  If only you would slay the wicked, O God! Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!
20  They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name.
21  Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD, and abhor those who rise up against you?
22  I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies.
23  Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24  See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

King David begins this section of the Psalm with the thought, “If only you would slay the wicked, O God!” It’s as if King David is judging God.

How he hates those who are wicked and sinful in his own time. Like he’s telling God something He doens’t know ūüôā How foolish.

It’s right for us to hate what the wicked and sinful people of this world do. We’re horrified when we hear as we did the other day, of how ISIS (Islamic State) have brutally treated women, men and children. Murder, rape, torture and brutal treatments. Forcing women into slavery. It’s horrific! “If only You would slay the wicked”… We might cry that out to The Lord God as well. However, when we cry for God’s JUST JUDGEMENT we’d better be very careful, because if God is going to be¬†judging¬†them, then He’s also going to be¬†judging¬†us as well. So we must remember that God HATES all forms of sin: to Him lying, stealing and lust as just as bad as murder and rape. God has NO FAVOURITES and one day He’s promised that ALL SINNERS will find their place in the lake of fire.¬†Judgement¬†Day is coming, but give thanks to the LORD that He’s waiting patiently for those who will REPENT.

I’ve heard many encouraging stories of Muslims, disturbed by the brutality of ISIS, who’re now coming to faith and trust in Jesus Christ, because they see in Christianity a PEACE LOVING people, who’re not motivated by hatred, but by forgiveness, kindness, gentleness and¬†generosity. They’re intrigued by it, and the LORD is also giving many Muslims visions and dreams about Jesus Christ. They’re coming into God’s Kingdom. Praise the LORD!

So when we’re tempted as King David was to cry out to the Lord to slay the wicked, let’s also follow his train of thought right to the end of the Psalm, “Search ME, O God, and know MY heart; test ME and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive (sinful, rebellious) way in ME, and lead me in the way (The way of Righteousness, the WAY of Holiness, the WAY of Jesus) everlasting.”

If we’re completely honest with God and with ourselves, we’ll see that we’re not all that we think we are. We’ll acknowledge our own need of His rich grace, kindness and mercy. It’s so easy to be pointing the finger at others, looking a how they are failing, watching to see them stumble and fall from God’s grace. It’s even possible to HATE their sins, because we’re not sinning like they are. We can look and say, “What they are doing is horrendous”, but excuse our own little excursions from God’s holy standards.

Jesus gave a very humorous illustrations:

“Take the PLANK out of your own eyes, before you remove the SPLINTER in your friend’s eye”. Matthew 7:1-6.

It really is true that we’re sometimes blinded by our own self-righteousness. (See also Romans 1:1-16 God’s Righteous Judgement).

Remember Jesus teaching about the Pharisee and the Tax Collector: It was the Tax Collector who went home justified in God’s sight, because he was repentant and humble. Luke 18:9-14.

THE HAND:

When you are tempted to point your finger at someone, because of their “sinfulness”. Stop and take a look at your own hand, because there are three fingers left and they’re all pointing right back at you.

  • The Father: Genesis 6:6.¬†
  • The Son:¬† Mark 3:5; Luke 19:41
  • The Holy Spirit: Ephesians 4:30.

The NEXT TIME:

The next time your feeling a bit self-righteous or someone in your fellowship or church gets up your nose, think, “O LORD, look at my own heart…” It funny how the little things that others do really bugs us, but let’s give them some more grace, forgiveness, mercy, kindness and patience. After all, the LORD has been so patient and kind to me…

God will ALWAYS Judge Righteously: We can’t point the finger at God and say, “Why are you not doing something about those wicked people?” as if it’s His fault. He’s the ONE who’s going to be doing the¬†judgement¬†of all of us, not the other way around. Neither can we point out what others are doing wrong and get off the hook ourselves. Remember how much the LORD has forgiven you for all your sins. So let’s get down from our High Castle or our High Horse or our Ivory Tower, and get onto our knees and ask Him humbly, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

I started off by saying “You can’t argue with God”, but we can and we do. Jesus said, “I AM The Way and The Truth and The Life” So my friends, let’s stop pointing fingers at God and others and get right ourselves. We, those who’re following Jesus today, need a PERSONAL REVIVAL of Holiness, Faith and Righteous Living. We need to be full of the Holy Spirit to enable us to walk just one step on Jesus way of life. Let’s get full to overflowing again today. Amen!

Thy Kingdom Come: Amen!

Don.

KNOWING GOD PERSONALLY (The Spirit Filled Life).

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

Psalm 139: Part 4: God Is A Righteous Judge: I can’t argue with God.

 

 

He’ll NEVER Let Go of Your Hand.

once you come to Jesus, He'll never let you go.

Daily Spirit & Word 762: 

He’ll NEVER Let Go of Your Hand.

God Is EVERYWHERE.
Part 2: God Is Always With You: You Can’t Get Away From Him (Psalm 139:7-12).
 
Good morning my friends, the title today begs the question, “Why would anyone want to get away from God?”
I don’t know about you, but there have been times in my life since I began following Jesus as my Lord and Saviour, that I’ve wanted to try and hide from God. I know that sounds strange, but bear with me. It has been when I know that I’ve sinned and just like Adam and Eve, I’ve wanted to try and cover it up, not face responsibility for it, deny it, blame someone or something else for doing it. But King David reveals an astonishing truth in these few verses from the 139th Psalm, there is nowhere we can ever go in all Creation to get away and hide from the LORD.

YOU CAN’T GET AWAY FROM GOD

Psalm 139:7-12 (NIV)
7  Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
8  If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9  If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10  even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
11 ¬†If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,”
12  even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.
¬†You see my friends, King David has done what we’ve all tried to do, to HIDE his sin from the LORD. He discovered the HARD WAY that nothing is hidden from the eyes of the all seeing, all knowing and ever present LORD of Creation.

However, it is a NATURAL tendency to try and HIDE from God.

God has given every human being a CONSCIENCE: The conscience is like an implant that God has put within the human soul, so that we KNOW when we’re about to do something wrong.
REVERSING SENSORS: Modern Cars have proximity sensors, they tell you with an alarm when you are getting too close to another car or a wall or some obstruction. The beep get louder and more frequent the closer you get to the car behind when you’re parking. It’s an amazing little invention, it’s saved my precious car many times. Those little sensors warn of imminent danger.
So does your CONSCIENCE: Con means with and Science means knowledge. When we sin we do it with knowledge, because our God given con-science is sounding a warning of imminent danger. It’s telling you, “You are about to cross over the line, you are going the wrong way, you are about to SIN”…. It gets louder the closer we get to actually sinning. However, the Conscience can be ignored and once we’ve sinned a few times, it gets even easier to ignore, until the time when we can¬†barely¬†detect it’s alarm. (Note: If you are feeling guilty because of some sin, then there’s no need to worry, because your CONSCIENCE is working fine, just listen to it and obey it).
So, when we SIN we know it. When we SIN we try to hide it from God. But God KNOWS… What’s amazing is that God KNOWS and still LOVES you.
He’s still longing to reach out and save and grab hold of you and guide you back into His best ways.
Every WAY we try to HIDE from God is FUTILE:
Psalm 139:11-12
11 ¬†If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,”
12  even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.
Because He’s EVERYWHERE, can SEE EVERYTHING, even in the deepest darkness, it’s like the bright light of noonday to HIM. ¬†
My friends, God wants to walk with us and talk with us and guide us, because His plans for our lives are the very best. When you begin to walk with Jesus, His promise is that He’ll never loose any of those that He’s saved. He’ll never let go of your hand. He wants to save you and be with you forever.

Why should we want to run away and hide?

  • Adam and Eve tried it and failed, God knew what they had done and came looking for them (Gen 3).
  • Moses tried to get away when he committed murder,
  • Jacob tried to run away from his angry brother and responsibility for stealing and cheating his father, and brother.
  • and so did the prophet Jonah, who only went from bad to worse.
  • King David, tried to cover up; adultery, stealing another man’s wife and murder, but God sent a Prophet to reveal to David that He knew all about it.
¬†We ALL try and hide and cover over our sins. But God only wants what’s best for us in life, that’s why He gave us His Commandments.

Let’s face the TRUTH: We can’t get away from God. There is nowhere to HIDE from Him.

Know the TRUTH and the TRUTH shall set you FREE…

We need God’s presence with us if we want to enjoy His love and fulfill His purposes.
He’ll NEVER Let Go of Your Hand.
Repent and Believe the Good News: He’ll NEVER Let You Go.
Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
 
God brought Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden and clothed them in Animal Skin, to cover their shameful nakedness. Something had to die to cover over their SIN. We’ve been covered in the robe of righteousness, but Jesus had to die on the Cross for our sins, before we could be covered in His robe of righteousness.
“He hath clothed me in garments of Salvation,
And arrayed me in a robe of righteousness”

HOW TO GET PEACE WITH GOD?

Romans 5:1-11 (NIV)
1  Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
2  through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
3  Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;
4  perseverance, character; and character, hope.
5  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.
6  You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.
7  Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die.
8  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
9 ¬†Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!
10 ¬†For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!
11  Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
We cannot HIDE from God: So TURN in Repentance: Trust in Christ’s Death upon the Cross for your sins. Receive His forgiveness, cleansing and covering. Amen!
You Father God wants to walk with you and talk with you and guide you, because His plans for your life are the very best. When you begin to walk with Jesus, His promise is that He’ll never loose any of those that He’s saved. He’ll never let go of your hand. His is with you every step of the way. He wants to save you and be with you forever. Stop running, stop trying to hide, turn and face the music and be with your LORD of LIFE today.
Hope you all have a FANTASTIC week with Jesus.
He’ll NEVER Let Go of Your Hand.
Don.
P.S. Why not come out and SHARE the Good News of Jesus with us on the Streets of London?
We go out on Wednesdays and tell folks the greatest news they can ever hear; “Whilst they are still sinners, God loves them”…
We promise that when you are training you won’t have to say anything, you just come and watch and learn HOW to Share your Faith. When you are feeling comfortable with it, then you can have a go yourself. It’s fun, it’s easy and you’ll see that Jesus really is ALIVE and wants people to know Him. He’s drawing people to Himself by the Holy Spirit, we’re just out there working with Him. Come and learn to share your faith the way that Jesus taught His own Disciples. We call it “The Way of The Master”… Learn to share you faith the same way that Jesus did.
Wednesdays: Gathering at 5.00pm in St Luke’s Church, West Norwood, London. SE27 0HS.
We do a little bit of training beforehand, then pray and go out and share Jesus, with Jesus.

Jesus said, “The workers are few” Will you be one of Jesus’ harvesters?

Matthew 9:35-38 (NIV)
35  Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.
36  When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
37 ¬†Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.
38 ¬†Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
I’m asking Jesus, the LORD of the Harvest, to bring more workers into the Harvest field.
Will you RESPOND to the call of the LORD?
He’ll NEVER Let Go of Your Hand.

The Most Shocking News

Heaven or Hell, In or Out, EU Referendum, Debate,

Daily Spirit & Word: 760: The Most Shocking News

In or Out: The EU Referendum?

Good morning my friends, I awoke at 2.00am this morning with this phrase buzzing in my head, “Headed For Hell: The Most Shocking News”… I thought, “You can’t be serious Lord, I can’t have that as a title for my daily Bible share? It would put people off forever”….

However, the most sobering news anyone can ever hear is not: “We’re now IN the EU” or “We’re now OUT of the EU”. Both of these statements are a BIG issues for folks here in the UK right now, but what would be even more shocking than either of those results is: “You Are Headed For Hell”… Imagine being told that upon waking from a good night’s slumber? Shocking isn’t it?

However, it’s TRUE: Because without some things most people are going to end up in Hell. To me that’s the most shocking revelation I’ve ever had and it’s horrible to dwell upon that truth. It’s no wonder that I was startled wide-awake this morning. I just had to get up and pray and get into God’s Word.

So two questions arise from that true statement: “You Are Headed For Hell” the questions are;

  1.  What things will make me miss Heaven and end up in Hell?
  2.  How can I avoid going to Hell?

What are those things?

  • Without Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour: You are headed for Hell.
  • Without Being Born Again of God’s Holy Spirit: You are headed for Hell.
  • If you’ve BROKEN just one of God’s Commandments: You are headed for Hell.
  • If you’ve not REPENTED of your sins: You are headed for Hell.

Now if I said that to people they’d be offended right? And quite rightly so, because they don’t believe they’ve done anything bad¬†enough¬†that would warrant being sent to Hell. They would quite rightly DEMAND PROOF, because it just doesn’t seem reasonable that most people will end up in Hell.

So let’s PROVE IT’S TRUE:

Because of His LOVE for human beings God sent His One and ONLY Son to die upon the Cross. Why did God do that? Because if Jesus hadn’t gone to the Cross, then every human being would die carrying the load of all their sins with them to the gates of Heaven hoping to be allowed in. Only to be greeted by the LORD with the Gates firmly shut in their faces. Why? Because SIN cuts you off from God. (See Isaiah 59:2 at bottom of page) ¬†He cannot bear the sight of sin, He cannot¬†tolerate¬†it in His presence. Sinning just once in your lifetime contaminates your eternal soul with sin. No amount of good deeds will wash that sin away. There is nothing you can do to remove the stain of sin. It’s like a tattoo upon your soul. You know when you get a tattoo it’s with you for the rest of your life, unless you have it removed surgically with a¬†laser¬†gun. So it is with SIN, unless you have it removed by the one thing that can take your sin away, DEATH.

“The Soul that sins, it shall die”… “The wages of sin is DEATH”…

Perhaps it’s time to come back to the OLD FASHIONED PREACHING of our forefathers, for the truth is still just as true today.

What is SIN? Sin is Transgression of God’s Holy Law.

If you Google the question “What is Sin?” It will first give you the secular dictionary definitions of sin:

Noun: Sin.

  1. Estrangement from God.
  2. An act that is regarded by theologians as a transgression of God’s will
  3. Ratio of the length of the side opposite the given angle to the length of the hypotenuse of a right-angled triangle
  4. The 21st letter of the Hebrew alphabet
  5. Violent and excited activity

Verb: Sin (Sinning, Sinned).

  1. Commit a sin; violate a law of God or a moral law.
  2. Commit a faux pas or a fault or make a serious mistake.

That’s amazing, I’d never looked up SIN in a secular dictionary before, but there it is PROOF for everyone to read. SIN means ESTRANGEMENT FROM GOD. Why, because it’s an act that is a TRANSGRESSION of the will of God. WOWzer!

But there’s an even greater authority than a secular Dictionary; the Bible, God’s Word: What does the Bible say sin is?

Looking down the list of your Google Search: The third search result will be from www.gotquestions.org and they define sin from the Bible as:

Question: “What is the definition of sin?”

Answer: Sin is described in the Bible as transgression of the law of God (1 John 3:4) and rebellion against God (Deuteronomy 9:7; Joshua 1:18). Sin had its beginning with Lucifer, probably the most beautiful and powerful of the angels. Not content with his position, he desired to be higher than God, and that was his downfall, the beginning of sin (Isaiah 14:12-15). Renamed Satan, he brought sin to the human race in the Garden of Eden, where he tempted Adam and Eve with the same enticement, ‚Äúyou shall be like God.‚ÄĚ Genesis 3 describes Adam and Eve‚Äôs rebellion against God and against His command. Since that time, sin has been passed down through all the generations of mankind and we, Adam‚Äôs descendants, have inherited sin from him. Romans 5:12 tells us that through Adam sin entered the world, and so death was passed on to all men because ‚Äúthe wages of sin is death‚ÄĚ (Romans 6:23).

BORN INTO SLAVERY TO SIN:

Through Adam, the inherent inclination to sin entered the human race, and human beings became sinners by nature. When Adam sinned, his inner nature was transformed by his sin of rebellion, bringing to him spiritual death and depravity which would be passed on to all who came after him. We are sinners not because we sin; rather, we sin because we are sinners. This passed-on depravity is known as inherited sin. Just as we inherit physical characteristics from our parents, we inherit our sinful natures from Adam. King David lamented this condition of fallen human nature in Psalm 51:5: ‚ÄúSurely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.‚ÄĚ

We’re not just born with a sin nature, we are also SLAVES to that sin nature, we cannot help but be obedient to our sinful nature.

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?”
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.

When you trust in Jesus Christ and His death upon the Cross, when you Repent of your sins and receive His forgiveness, when you Receive Him as LORD and SAVIOUR: then you too can be SET FREE FROM SIN.

CLARIFYING GOD’S LAW:

Now that we’ve defined sin, and that we are born in sin and are slaves to sin, we need to clarify what God’s LAW is: or The Will of God that we’ve transgressed and rebelled against when we SIN.

What is God’s Law? God’s LAW is revealed in the first five books of the Bible and summarised in the Ten Commandments: If we’ve broken just ONE of those commandments then we’ve become a sinner. We’re guilty of breaking God’s Law.

The Ten Commandments:

  1. You shall have no other gods before Me.
  2. You shall not make idols.
  3. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.
  4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
  5. Honour your father and your mother.
  6. You shall not murder.
  7. You shall not commit adultery.
  8. You shall not steal.
  9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
  10. You shall not covet.

Question: Have you ever told a lie? Just one? If you have then it only takes one lie to make you a liar (it’s the same as murder, just one murder makes you a murderer for life). God Word tells us “No liar can enter the Kingdom of Heaven”… Can you see how we need to be cleansed of sin? It contaminates our soul forever until it is washed away.

Is there anyone who hasn’t sinned? Has someone ever been born without a sin nature?

Through Adam (Adam and Eve), the inherent inclination to sin entered the human race, and human beings became sinners by nature. When Adam sinned, his inner nature was transformed by his sin of rebellion against God, bringing to him spiritual and physical death and depravity which would be passed on to all who came after him. We are sinners not because we sin; rather, we sin because we are sinners. This passed-on sinful condition is known as inherited sin. Just as we inherit physical characteristics from our parents, we inherit our sinful natures from Adam. King David lamented this condition of fallen human nature in Psalm 51:5: ‚ÄúSurely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.‚ÄĚ It’s true of all of us, we are sold into slavery to sin by Adam: We are in bondage to sin and Satan…

How can I avoid going to Hell?

Your Personal SIN: Personal sin is that which is committed every day by every human being. Because we have inherited a sin nature from Adam, we commit individual, personal sins, everything from seemingly innocent untruths and lies to hatred and murder. Those who have not placed their faith and trust in Jesus Christ must pay the penalty for these personal sins, as well as inherited sin of Adam and Eve. However, believers who’ve trusted in Jesus for Salvation from SIN, have been SET FREE from the eternal penalty of sin: which is Hell and spiritual death, but now we also have the power to resist sinning. Now we can choose whether or not to commit personal sins because we have the power to resist sin through the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, sanctifying and convicting us of our sins when we do commit them (Romans 8:9-11). Once we confess our personal sins to God and ask for His forgiveness for them, we are restored to perfect fellowship and communion with Him. ‚ÄúIf we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness‚ÄĚ (1 John 1:9).

We are condemned due to inherited sin from Adam and our personal sin breaking God’s Holy Commandments and Law. The only just penalty for this sin is death (Romans 6:23), not just physical death but eternal death (Revelation 20:11-15). Thankfully, inherited sin and personal sin have been crucified on the cross of Jesus, and now by an act of faith in Jesus Christ as your Saviour ‚Äúwe have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace‚ÄĚ (Ephesians 1:7).

The Most Shocking News:

Is not going to be we’re now in the EU or We’re now out of the EU: But it is “You Are Headed For Hell… Unless…”

Trust in Jesus my friends and this most shocking news will never be heard for you. Your place in Heaven is secured the moment you put your fiath and trust in Jesus Christ and His death upon the Cross for your sins.

Here’s Jesus Promise Again: FREEDOM:

John 8:34-36.
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.

“Free at last, Free at last, Thank God Almighty, I’m Free at last.”

Have an Awesome week with Jesus.

Don.

 

NOTE: God’s¬†Convicting¬†Charge Against Human Beings:

Isaiah 59:1-20 (NIV)
1  Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear.
2  But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.
3  For your hands are stained with blood, your fingers with guilt. Your lips have spoken lies, and your tongue mutters wicked things.
4  No-one calls for justice; no-one pleads his case with integrity. They rely on empty arguments and speak lies; they conceive trouble and give birth to evil.
5 ¬†They hatch the eggs of vipers and spin a spider’s web. Whoever eats their eggs will die, and when one is broken, an adder is hatched.
6  Their cobwebs are useless for clothing; they cannot cover themselves with what they make. Their deeds are evil deeds, and acts of violence are in their hands.
7  Their feet rush into sin; they are swift to shed innocent blood. Their thoughts are evil thoughts; ruin and destruction mark their ways.
8  The way of peace they do not know; there is no justice in their paths. They have turned them into crooked roads; no-one who walks in them will know peace.
9  So justice is far from us, and righteousness does not reach us. We look for light, but all is darkness; for brightness, but we walk in deep shadows.
10  Like the blind we grope along the wall, feeling our way like men without eyes. At midday we stumble as if it were twilight; among the strong, we are like the dead.
11  We all growl like bears; we moan mournfully like doves. We look for justice, but find none; for deliverance, but it is far away.
12  For our offences are many in your sight, and our sins testify against us. Our offences are ever with us, and we acknowledge our iniquities:
13  rebellion and treachery against the LORD, turning our backs on our God, fomenting oppression and revolt, uttering lies our hearts have conceived.
14  So justice is driven back, and righteousness stands at a distance; truth has stumbled in the streets, honesty cannot enter.
15  Truth is nowhere to be found, and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey. The LORD looked and was displeased that there was no justice.
16  He saw that there was no-one, he was appalled that there was no-one to intervene; so his own arm worked salvation for him, and his own righteousness sustained him.
17  He put on righteousness as his breastplate, and the helmet of salvation on his head; he put on the garments of vengeance and wrapped himself in zeal as in a cloak.
18  According to what they have done, so will he repay wrath to his enemies and retribution to his foes; he will repay the islands their due.
19  From the west, men will fear the name of the LORD, and from the rising of the sun, they will revere his glory. For he will come like a pent-up flood that the breath of the LORD drives along.
20 ¬†“The Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who repent of their sins,” declares the LORD.

My friends, the REDEEMER has come, the LORD Jesus Christ, to set you FREE from your sins today. Amen!

 

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‚ÄĒ
6 ¬†let God weigh me in honest scales and he will know that I am blameless‚ÄĒ
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.

 

Don’t Go Near The Hornet’s Nest

King Solomon's Temple Destroyed because of sin and rebellion

Daily Spirit & Word: 752: Don’t Go Near The Hornet’s Nest.

Sin Brings: Destruction and Deportation.

Ezra 5:11-12 (NIV)
11 ¬†This is the answer they gave us: “We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and we are rebuilding the temple that was built many years ago, one that a great king of Israel built and finished.¬†12 ¬†But because our fathers angered the God of heaven, he handed them over to Nebuchadnezzar the Chaldean, king of Babylon, who destroyed this temple and deported the people to Babylon.

WARNING: Don’t Anger The God of Heaven and Earth.

John 5:14 (ESV)¬†Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, ‚ÄúSee, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.‚ÄĚ

Good morning my friends, have you ever wondered if your sin would bring God’s wrath and anger against you? For hundreds of years after King Solomon had done a marvellous work for God, building the magnificent Temple, there was a long time of decline in National morals. Eventually, after warning the people time and time again, God’s anger burned and He brought upon them the promised punishment and they were deported from His promised land.

We just don’t know how much God hates SIN:

  • Sin is rebellion against God.
  • Sin is transgression of God’s law.
  • Sin is breaking one or other of God’s Commandments.
  • Sin is going our own way instead of God’s way.

The Consequences of SIN: Destruction and Deportation.

Are YOU In Trouble With God?

Read the verse from Ezra once more:

“But because our fathers angered the God of heaven, he handed them over to Nebuchadnezzar the Chaldean, king of Babylon, who destroyed this temple and deported the people to Babylon.”

Border Police: Deportation.

The other week in West Norwood, as we were out sharing the Good News of Jesus, right across the road from where we were witnessing a DRAMA unfolded before our eyes. The Border Police had arrived in great numbers, they’d come to arrest someone to be deported. The crowds gathered instantly, some shouting abuse at the police, others just standing around watching, as they forcefully bundled someone into their big police van to take them away. It really was over-the-top¬†policing, all those officers to remove one individual.

A few months ago I watched a Nature programme on TV about Killer Giant Hornets: They invade wasps nests and bees nests and killed every single one of the wasps or bees and steal all their honey. However, when people wander inadvertently too close they too come under attack. ¬†That’s what happened to Israel when they stirred up God’s wrath and anger; He sent an overwhelming power to destroy their Temple and deport them to Babylon. After watching those hornets there’s no way I’d go near one of their nests.

My friends, that’s what God’s wrath is like too: He didn’t send just another little army to deport Israel, He stirred up an whole Empire and they came if huge force, overwhelming force, to take away the rebellious Nation of Israel into captivity. There was no way they’d be able to withstand an attack from this Empire. In addition to the DEPORTATION the Babylonian Empire also came to DESTROY the great Temple that King Solomon had built for God.

When we get angry, someone can step in to the situation and bring peace. However, when God gets angry and His righteous fury is aroused, then there’s NOTHING on Earth that can stop Him.

Jonah: When God wanted Jonah to go to¬†Nineveh, initially Jonah didn’t want to go and ran away, however, God brought Jonah to his knees and he eventually took God’s message to¬†Nineveh. It took a¬†storm, being thrown overboard and a big fish to swallow Jonah, but he reluctantly and finally repented inside that huge fish, and eventually did what God wanted from the beginning, to go to Nineveh.

Questions:

  • Have you ever wondered why Jonah was so reluctant to do what God wanted him to do?
  • Have you ever wondered why the Nation of Israel found it so difficult to obey God’s Commands?
  • Have you ever wondered why you always seem to fall into sin so easily?
  • After all it seems like a no-brainer that walking with God is much better for us, but human beings always think they know what’s best don’t they?

Well, this verse tells us what can happen to us if we choose to stir up the hornet’s nest of God’s wrath. When we ignore His warnings, when we refuse to listen to our Conscience.

This verse is part of the answer the Jews gave to their enemies when they were rebuilding the Temple after coming back to the Promised Land after the long years of captivity and exile.

The verse tells why the Temple needed rebuilding: It had been DESTROYED. It speaks of the provoking of God to anger, and the resultant punishment brought upon themselves by God.

Provoking God To Anger: Ezra 5:12 “But because our fathers angered the God of heaven”

This verse tells us when the provoking occurred and what the provoking did.

First, when it occurred. “After that.” The context says this provoking occurred after the first Temple was built by Solomon. After a great work was done for God, the people provoked God by their disobedience.

My friends, we must be very careful after accomplishing some great work, some good work for God, that we don’t let down our guard. Solomon was so full of wisdom and dedicated, but afterwards, he let down his spiritual guard and fell into temptation. He’d done something so amazing and marvellous, it became a wonder of the world and many people travelled thousands of miles just to see his awesome Temple of God. However his dedication and devotion turned to PRIDE and the great wise king fell into sin. Sadly it wasn’t only Solomon, the whole Nation of Israel was rotten from the Head to the Toe: They’d turned away from God. It is often after a time of great success for God, that Satan attacks and causes us to go astray.

Second, what the REBELLION did. “Provoked the God of heaven unto wrath.”

What this provocation did was stir up the wrath of God. Like the hornet’s nest, like the OTT Border Security. Sin stirs-up the wrath of God. If there is anything you want to avoid in life, it is the wrath of God.

My friends, we all love warm and fuzzy messages about the LOVE of God don’t we? We like to hear about the GRACE of God, the MERCY of God. We’re amazed at the Miracles of God, We’re encouraged by the wisdom of God and the Power of God, but we also need to hear some of the TRUTH about the WRATH of God. Sin stirs-up the Righteous ANGER and wrath of God.¬†Our sin provokes the wrath of God, and nothing is more dangerous for your soul.

Finally, The Punishing by God.

Ezra 5:12 “… he handed them over to Nebuchadnezzar the Chaldean, king of Babylon, who destroyed this temple and deported the people to Babylon.”

Another translation puts it like this “Nebuchadnezzar carried the people away into Babylon.”

The punishment was twofold: It involved destruction and deportation.

First, The Destruction. “Destroyed this house.” The great Temple which Solomon had built was destroyed. Israel forsook worship at the Temple, and so God destroyed it. If we are not good at looking after our Spiritual Achievements or of God’s wonderful Spiritual privileges, we will lose them. They will be as if they had not been.

Second, the Deportation. “Deported the people to Babylon.” Israel was removed from the Promised Land. When they rejected God, He no longer protected them from their enemies, they came and deported the people to a place far away from the Promised Land. Most of them, never to return.

I think that when we get to Heaven we’re going to be totally shocked by just HOW the LORD has been protecting us from evil all our lives. How He’s watching over us, How He’s keeping Satan away from our house, home, family, friends, fellowship and life. However, when we choose to walk away from God, on purpose, we’re opening up the doorway to Satan. It’s like we’re giving him permission to do whatever he wants with all that we hold most dear to us. Don’t give the devil a foothold into your life today. However, there’s something worse than Satan or the Devil. My friends, you DON’T WANT to stir-up the wrath and anger of God or he just might remove that protective barrier and allow something terrible to happen, just to bring us back to our senses and to allow us to see that walking with Him is much better than walking our own way.

Heed the warning in the history of Israel: See what happens when God’s chosen people refuse to repent.

Heed the warnings given in the New Testament to Believers and Followers of Jesus: Hebrews 5:11-6:12.

Times have not changed; this is still true. Our own nation, the UK was once a great world power, we took the Word of God to the Nations of the world at one time, but now God has turned things on their heads, and the peoples of the world are coming back to the UK, they have come to EVANGELISE Great Britain, to bring the Word of God back, because we’ve rejected God as a Nation. Thankfully He’s not destroyed us yet or banished us into captivity. However, we are living like there is no God, like sin¬†doesn’t¬†matter. Everyone is doing what is right in their own eyes again.

My friends, we do need to heed God’s warnings.

As far as you are concerned, follower of Jesus Christ, don’t stir up the Hornet’s Nest of God’s wrath and anger with your sinful choices. See sin how God sees it and hate it as much as He does.¬†Repent and turn again to God. Do the things you once did when you first came to know and follow Jesus Christ.

PEACE CAN BE RESTORED:

Just last night we were standing outside KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) sharing the good news of Jesus with a couple. A man came out and immediately began to shout abuse at the couple.¬†Apparently¬†they had purposefully leaned up against his car. He was really angry, I mean, really angry. It’s strange how quickly ANGER¬†gets¬†stirred-up in a person. He began to racially abuse the man; the car¬†owner¬†was Jamaican and the man we were talking with was African. He said, “You African, you boy, you are ignorant”… with a few more unrepeatable words. Richard, who’d come out with us for the first time since doing the Alpha Course, was brilliant, he just stepped in the middle of the two of them, peace guys, peace. He offered the car owner ¬£1,000,000. He initially said, “I don’t want your money”… Then after a few moments said, “What is that?”… He jumped into his car, but before he did, I grabbed hold of his hand and said, “Jesus is LORD, we are Christians, Here’s a little Coin with the Ten Commandments, Jesus sees hatred as murder”. Richard, said, “Forgiveness is for everyone”… He smiled and said, “I know, I know”.

Jesus said, “Stop sinning or something worse might happen to you”…

John 5:14 (ESV)¬†¬†Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, ‚ÄúSee, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.‚ÄĚ

It’s amazing HOW PEACE can be RESTORED.

But don’t leave it too long: God is patient, but…

God sent His Son Jesus Christ to take away the sins of the whole world. He did so to bring PEACE between mankind and God. So that we can avoid His wrath and anger against sin. But the whole world, in order to benefit from God’s own sacrifice, needs to come to it’s knees as Jonah did. Jonah was forced to his knees before he eventually went to¬†Nineveh, Israel was forced into exile, but by then it was too late to repent, let’s do it without the need for God to force us to our knees. Choose today to come back to the LORD and let go of sin in your life. Don’t stir up the Hornet’s Nest of God’s Wrath and Anger. You don’t want His Heavenly Border Security Force to cast you into the Lake of Fire…

Jesus has delivered every Christian from sin, He set us free, so that we can now live a life that’s pleasing to God. But, we must continue to walk with Jesus every day. “Take up your Cross daily and follow me” We all need to walk with Jesus and be full of the Holy Spirit and keep our eyes on Him every day in order to know how to avoid sin in our own lives. As we do so, He will transform our minds, renew our thinking and enable us to experience His JOY in our hearts. (Romans 12).

Christian brothers and sisters, we all need to heed this frightening warning today. God hates sin it makes Him so angry. We¬†tolerate¬†sin, but it¬†stirs¬†our¬†God to Wrath and Anger. We all know people, who were once great followers of Jesus who’s lives lie in ruins now because of their sinful choices.

  • Sin Brings: Destruction.
  • Sin Brings: Banishment.
  • BUT:¬†Repentance: Brings PEACE.

To BE A FOLLOWER of Jesus Today: Believe in The Lord Jesus, Repent of your sin, Receive Him as your LORD, Be Baptised and Be filled with His Holy Spirit and Follow His ways.

I don’t want the LORD to send an mighty Empire against our Nation.

I don’t want anyone I know to experience the wrath and anger of God.

I want everyone to come back to Jesus now.

I’m also praying that when we’ve been successful, when we’ve done great things for God, we’ll not get proud and conceited and be tempted to fall away and fall into sin, pride, folly, and ignite the anger or wrath of God.¬†Amen!

It’s half-term, I hope you are all enjoying the holiday week.

Stay close to Jesus. Be filled afresh with His Spirit. Walk in PEACE.

Don.

P.S. Tonight there’s a wonderful Presentation of “Oh Happy Day”…

A vision to share the LOVE and JOY of being a follower of Jesus.

St Luke’s Church, West Norwood, London.¬†7.30pm.

 

Getting God’s Direction In Life

How to get the LORD'S Direction in LIFE. Knowing God's Will.

Daily Spirit & Word: 749: How to GET The LORD’S Direction in Life.

How the LORD Directs Our Paths.

There are FOUR CONDITIONS (at least) that must be followed.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (ESV)
5  Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
6  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Good morning my friends, everybody loves Proverbs 3:5-6 don’t they? Especially if you’ve been a Christian and seen how true the LORD’S promises are. However, there’s so much more that most Christians are missing out on, if only we’d read these verses in CONTEXT.

For me the key verses in the first half of chapter 3 of Proverbs are verses 5-6, because this is a promise that the LORD’S people have often claimed as they have sought His direction for their lives. It’s one that I’ve used often and found it to be TRUE. And this promise has never failed me, but only I discovered that it’s only really true if all of the LORD’S conditions for success have been followed.

He sets out these conditions in the other 10 verses. ¬†Because when we learn obedience to His precepts and commands we’ll see Him move with POWER in our lives. Not just once but all the time. It’s because our loving obedience in response to His LOVE prepares us to receive and enjoy all that He has planned and prepared for us.

Some people say “God’s LOVE is UN-CONDITIONAL” well that’s only partially true. It’s TRUE in one sense, because God is LOVE and He’s always loving, but it’s NOT true if we want to EXPERIENCE that love down here upon the Earth. To experience God’s LOVE then we’ve got to exercise FAITH, because without FAITH it is impossible to please God or experience His LOVE for us.

Let’s look at these FOUR Conditions (Proverbs 3:1-12).

1) Get God’s Guidance From His WORD:

The first condition for receiving God’s guidance is that we learn God’s truth (vv. 1-4).

Proverbs 3:1-4 (ESV)
1  My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments,
2  for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you.
3  Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart.
4  So you will find favour and good success in the sight of God and man.

Look at what we get when we don’t forget God’s Commandments: length of days, years of life, favour and good success. BUT the conditions are keeping them, loving them, being faithful to them and yielding to them.

The will of God is revealed in the Word of God (Col. 1:9-10), and the only way to know His will is to study His Word and obey it. By receiving the Word within our hearts, we experience growth in godly character so that mercy and truth (“love and faithfulness,” niv) become beautiful ornaments in our lives (Prov. 3:3; 1:9). It isn’t enough for believers to carry the Bible in their hands; they must let the Holy Spirit write it on their hearts (Proverbs 3:3; 7:3; 2 Cor. 3:1-3). Obedience to the Word of God can add years to your life and life to your years. Notice in verse 2: It tells us it can add LENGTH OF DAYS: Do you ever feel there are not enough hours in the day? I do, but when I’m living God’s way, there just seems to be so much more time available to us. It’s amazing this TRUTH, He’ll add hours to our day, we’ll HAVE more time.

I’m not boasting, but I get up extra early to be with the LORD in His Word, and the sacrifice of pillow-time, means I can add hours to my day. I do get tired half-way through the day, but I’ve always got tired half-way through the day ūüôā It’s not because I’m getting up to be in the Word with the LORD. Suddenly, you’ll find you can get so much more done with Jesus, when you spend time with Him. But you’ll only experience all these promises when you begin to be obedient to what He’s telling you as you read and study His Word. That leads me onto the second of God’s conditions for direction in life.

2) OBEDIENCE TO GOD’S WILL:

Proverbs 3:5-8 (ESV)
5  Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
6  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
7  Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.
8  It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.

It’s so easy to miss out on God’s promises in verses 5 and 6 above, but we must remember the CONTEXT. Because a verse or two, taken out of context, become a pre-text or¬†pretense. We’ll pretend the LORD is directing our path, we’ll fool ourselves that God is directing our path. But we must remember: Word First, TRUST second and Obedience third.

Learning NOT to DEPEND on your own understanding is so HARD. It goes against human logic, but yields much better results.

Turn AWAY from EVIL: It’s like saying NO to your flesh. We’re all tempted in many ways, but it’s when we finally say “NO” to our flesh that we’ll begin to see God’s POWER breaking through, but we can’t do it in our own strength. Turning away from EVIL is real repentance. Evil is anything that goes against God’s revealed will.

“He shall direct your paths” (v. 6, nkjv) is the promise, but the fulfillment of that promise is implied in our obedience to the Lord. We must trust Him with all our heart and obey Him in all our ways. That means total commitment to Him (Rom. 12:1-2). The word translated “trust” in verse 5 means “to lie helpless, face-down.” (i.e. to Prostrate oneself). It pictures a servant waiting for the master’s command in readiness to obey, or a defeated soldier yielding himself to the conquering general, or the way people often prostrated themselves before an visitation from an Angel from Heaven.

So we could say, “Lie face-down in the dirt before the LORD (Trust) and do not lean (depend) upon your own understanding.”

The danger, of course, is that we lean on our own understanding or experience and by doing so, we will miss God’s will and direction. I’ve done that so many times. We get¬†PRESUMPTUOUS, because something has worked in the past we assume that it’s always going to work, but you can’t get God in a box, He’s not a genie that you rub a certain way, like Aladin’s Lamp, and He performs for you. No, God’s a real person, with feelings and desires. He’s revealed His strongest desire to us and that is that we LIVE in an ongoing relationship and dialogue with Himself.

What causes most problems in Marriage? Presumption, because we think we know what our partner wants. Instead of talking things through together we just assume that we know, but watch out, when you get it wrong, which I’ve done so many times in our 37 years of marriage and bear the scars. LOL. I’ve learned the hard way, both in marriage and with the LORD.

NOTE: We’re NOT ROBOTS: This warning doesn’t suggest the LORD’S chosen people turn off their brains or ignore their own inbuilt intelligence and common sense. It simply cautions us not to depend on our own worldly wisdom and experience or the wisdom and experience of others. God treats each one of us as individuals, what’s right for one person may not be right for everyone. God has a plan for you as an individual. Just because your friend jumped out of a plane, doesn’t mean God wants you to do it. ¬†Abraham relied on his own wisdom and past experience when he went to Egypt (Gen. 12:10-20) and so did Joshua when he attacked the little town of Ai (Josh. 7). When we become “wise in [our] own eyes” (Prov. 3:7), then we’re heading for trouble. We become¬†presumptuous¬†and run ahead of the LORD.

3) GIVING TO THE LORD

The third condition to getting God’s Direction (Prov 3:5-6) is that we¬†Share God’s blessings (Prov 3:9-10)

Proverbs 3:9-10 (ESV)
9  Honour the LORD with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce;
10  then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.

WOWzer! Look at these amazing promises: Barns filled with plenty; Vats bursting with wine… i.e. full bank accounts, more than enough to share with others.

Giving then, is the third condition we must meet if we want God to direct our paths.

You’ve heard the expression, “There’s no such thing as a FREE lunch”… Well it’s true in some ways with God. It’s going to be costly to see God’s direction, but be warned, you cannot PURCHASE God’s will or direction. It’s simply a loving and trusting response to God’s goodness towards you, but when you become like HIM: i.e. Generous! The floodgates of Heaven really are opened up to you.

In the Christian life, there’s no such thing as “spiritual” and “physical”, because we KNOW that everything comes from God and belongs to God.

When you come to Jesus EVERYTHING comes under His Kingdom reign.

In the Old Covenant Jews brought the Lord the firstlings of their flocks (Ex. 13:1-2) and the firstfruits of their fields (Lev. 23:9-14), and in this way they acknowledged His goodness, provision, grace and mercy and His Sovereignty. The New Testament parallel is seen in Matthew 6:33.

Read it in CONTEXT though;

Matthew 6:25-34 (ESV)
25  “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?
26  Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
27  And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?
28  And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin,
29  yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
30  But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
31 ¬†Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‚ÄėWhat shall we eat?‚Äô or ‚ÄėWhat shall we drink?‚Äô or ‚ÄėWhat shall we wear?‚Äô
32  For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
33  But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
34  “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Be assured of this my friends, if we don’t faithfully give to the Lord, then we don’t really trust in the Lord. It took me years before I finally SAW THIS TRUTH in God’s Word. I was definitely one of the most sceptical givers in God’s Kingdom Family ūüôā I hated the thought of parting with my hard-earned cash and just giving it away. After all, I could easily spend it on family things or make my own life better. However, the LORD has shown me over many years of walking with Him, that it’s MUCH, MUCH better to be like He is: Generous and FREE with all that He’s given to me. The more I give, the more I receive. Not just in monetary return, but in blessings from Heaven.

If we don’t give to the LORD, then we’re NOT really TRUSTING in Him

Of course, our tithes and offerings aren’t “payment” for His blessings; rather, they’re evidence of our love, faith, obedience and trust in Him. He’s been prompting all of us to become like Himself since we started following Jesus. To be open-handed and generous, just like Jesus. To be open-hearted and kind, just like Jesus.

Christian industrialist R. G. LeTourneau used to say, “If you give because it pays, it won’t pay.”

So Christians don’t give to the LORD to get things out of Him, we give because it’s what He’s like. The closer we come to Jesus, the more like Jesus we become.

Giving is just a way of preparing our hearts for what God wants to say to us and do for us. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt. 6:21).

4) God Disciplines The ONES He LOVES.

Our fourth responsibility is to submit to God’s Discipline (Prov. 3:11-12).

Responsibility = Response and Ability: He’ll give the ability once we decide in our hearts to respond.

God’s Discipline of His Chosen People is just a part of God’s plan to help His sons and daughters grow to be mature and godly (like Himself) in character (Heb. 12:1-11). God disciplines us, not as a judge punishes a criminal, but as a parent disciplines a child. Be assured that when the LORD disciplines you, He’s doing it because He LOVES YOU! He acts in love and His purpose is that we might become “partakers of His holiness” (Heb. 12:10). Sometimes He disciplines because we have rebelled and need to repent; other times He disciplines us to keep us from sinning and to prepare us for His special blessing. No matter how much the experience hurts us, it will never harm us, because God always disciplines us in love (Deut. 8:2-5).

One of my most bitter regrets as a parent are the times I’ve shouted at my kids in anger. I’ve not disciplined them as I should have done, I left it too long before telling them, then got too angry and lashed out with my tongue. Instead, I could have directed them with loving, gentle and kind discipline, like the LORD has done with me countless times. Even though we love our children, God loves all His chosen children even more than we do; so He disciplines those He loves. (read John 15: He is the Gardener who prunes).

We learn from our mistakes don’t we, I hope we do, because I know the LORD has changed my character so much from what it used to be. Some would say, “That’s just the mellowing of age”… I don’t think so, because, it’s when we REASON together with the LORD, He gently shows us our weaknesses and give us the grace and power to overcome them. He really does discipline the ones He loves.

Conclusion:

If you want to go God’s way, take Proverbs 3:5-6 to heart, but always bear in mind the context in which the verses come from and you’ll never go wrong in life. Fulfill all of God’s conditions for His direction;

1) Get into God’s Word: Know it and do it.

2) Obey God’s Word: Trust and Obey. There’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to TRUST and OBEY.

3) GIVE LIKE JESUS: Being generous and obedient in your giving. Not just 10%, it’s ALL His.

4) LOVE God’s Discipline: He’s just loving you like a good parent would. He’s your loving Heavenly Father.

When we do all that, then we can be completely assured that God will direct our paths. He’ll show or reveal the SECRETS of the KINGDOM.

Prayer: Lord, I can see so clearly now from Your Word that there are clear and simple conditions for blessings and success in Your Kingdom Family. Today I pray that you’ll help me to listen to Your Word, Obey what I know and submit to Your direction. Give me the will to obey and the Heart to become more like You. Amen.

Be blessed in following, loving and serving Jesus today,

Don.

 

They ALL Need Jesus

They ALL Need Jesus. He's calling all people to himself

Daily Spirit & Word: 747: They ALL Need Jesus.

Doing the IMPOSSIBLE with Jesus.

Read to the End Today, there’s a funny story to encourage you.

Good morning my friends, do you remember me telling you about Emma? She became a follower of Jesus last Tuesday, got baptised on Sunday and came out on the streets last night to share the Gospel with us. Emma admits she doesn’t know a lot, but is filled with the desire to lead others to Jesus to experience His promise of what she has received.

When you get to Heaven Jesus is not going to ask if you attended church, worshipped regularly, prayed every day or read your Bible, He’s going to hold you to account for your obedience to His teachings. Emma doesn’t know much, but she knows enough to know that Jesus wants us to bring everyone to Him and last night, fearful, trembling and unsure, she began to really walk in that obedience. You should have seen her face when she came back, she was beaming.

What was great about last night? There was a wonderful TEAM spirit, we split into twos and one group of three. Some went up-town, others went down-town. We’ve been praying slightly differently as I shared a few weeks ago. We’re not asking God to come with us, because we KNOW Jesus is with us, we just thank Him for His PROMISES that when we go in obedience to His Commands that He’ll be with us. We’re not asking for the POWER of the Holy Spirit as much as thanking Him for His PROMISE to empower us and equip us. Oh yes we cry out for the Holy Spirit to work in the lives of those He’s pulling to Jesus and to lead us to the ones He’s already been tugging at their hearts.

Beverley and I were paired together. The first man Bev and I¬†bumped¬†into, David, it was strange, because he said a few times, “This is deep, I don’t know why I’m pouring my heart out to you, I feel like you are my counsellors”. But we knew, because we’d been praying the LORD would be drawing them. ¬† He said, “I never share this with anyone, but I feel I want to with you” He told us about how he was a bad man, was into trouble all the time, got into fights etc, but when his baby came, he knew his life must change, but it didn’t. Then his baby died at 18 months old. His precious baby’s death broke his heart and David began to changed his ways, it was a wake up call. I said, “David, God’s calling you to himself”. You see, David was already humble, he knew he’d sinned against God, but didn’t know about God’s offer of New Life”…

We had a few short conversations with some other folks, but then we got chatting with another young man, this time he told us; “I used to go to church, got baptised as a baby, attended Sunday School, went to a Church School and got confirmed, but it meant nothing to me”… I said, “Do you think you are good enough to get into Heaven when you die?”… He said, “I hope so”. He believed in Heaven, God and Sin and Hell. We began to go through the Commandments and the surprise on his face was evident, he said, “That means no one is good enough to get into Heaven, because we’ve all fallen short of God’s holy standard”. WOWzer! He got it, but still I pushed his understanding a bit more. “Do you know what God has done so that nobody needs to end up in Hell?” He said, “Yes, Jesus, He died upon the Cross to save us from our sins”… I said, “How do you get that forgiveness?” He said “Ask God to forgive you” I said, “Partially, but the Bible tells us we must; Believe that Jesus died for our own sins, those nails being hammered into his hands were for our lies, theft, lust and hatred of others, then we must repent of those sins and receive Jesus as our Lord and Saviour”. He said, “That makes sense”… I shared what it means to actually trust in Jesus, i.e. You wouldn’t jump out of a plane without a parachute would you? No you’d put the parachute on, it’s the same with Jesus, just believing that He can save you is not enough, you’ve got to actually trust in Him and receive Him by faith. I gave him my calling care, and we’re going to meet up for a coffee in Costa (or somewhere ūüôā ) to talk about it a bit more about Jesus.

Ben and Judy have opened my eyes to see that just sharing the Gospel of making Converts is not enough: Jesus didn’t call us to make ‘converts’ but to grow Disciples, followers of Jesus and to see that people begin to be obedient to what they know, as soon as possible after being converted.

But long before Ben and Judy came, the LORD had already been working on my own heart about this, because we’ve been preaching through the Gospel of Mark. I’d already seen that Jesus called people, demonstrated the Kingdom and then sent them out, almost immediately after calling them to follow himself, then when they came back, they were amazed that when they used Jesus’ name, even the Demons submitted to them. However, this¬†surprised me, listen to what Jesus said to them (read it out loud my friends).

Luke 10:1-24 (NIV)
1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go.
2 ¬†He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.
3  Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.
4  Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.
5 ¬†“When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’
6  If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; if not, it will return to you.
7  Stay in that house, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.
8 ¬†“When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is set before you.
9 ¬†Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God is near you.’
10  But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say,
11 ¬†‘Even the dust of your town that sticks to our feet we wipe off against you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God is near.’
12  I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.
13 ¬†“Woe to you, Korazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.
14  But it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you.
15  And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to the skies? No, you will go down to the depths.
16 ¬†“He who listens to you listens to me; he who rejects you rejects me; but he who rejects me rejects him who sent me.”
17 ¬†The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”
18 ¬†He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.
19  I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.
20 ¬†However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
21 ¬†At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.
22 ¬†“All things have been committed to me by my Father. No-one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no-one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”
23 ¬†Then he turned to his disciples and said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see.
24 ¬†For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”

Can you see now why we encouraged Emma to come out with us last night?

Emma is not ‘wise or learned’ she was a very recent convert, much like the 72 that Jesus sent out above, but they’d seen enough, they knew enough and they went out in obedience and returned with great JOY. Why?

  • Because all the things that Jesus had told them were TRUE (Jesus only ever spoke the TRUTH, Jesus is “The way, and the Truth and the Life” John 14:6)
  • Because they’d seen how the KINGDOM of God was near when they shared the Good News about the Kingdom. We’ll see that too, but only when we’re obedient and begin to share the Kingdom, the Good News of Jesus.
  • Because “even the demons submit to us in your name”… They’d seen the battle head-on and the power of the Kingdom to subdue the demonic. You’ll see that too, but only when you go out in obedience to Jesus Kingdom Commands.

We too can rejoice, but we should rejoice much more, that because we’ve trusted in Jesus Christ for forgiveness and salvation, that our names are now written in Heaven.

My friends, Jesus is working in Emma’s life, She’s seeing the Kingdom Power and she’s only one week old as a Christian. God is revealing it to babes in Christ. It’s not about learning more or knowing more about God, the Bible etc, it’s about being obedient to what we know already. That’s what’s been challenging me lately, because I know so much, but I’ve discovered just how disobedient I’ve been to what I know. Let’s get more of a desire to do what Jesus told us to do, to learn His teachings and to do them.

Bev and I paired up last night, and she and I saw the Kingdom Power to bring conviction, encouragement and enlighten people in the darkness. It’s when we share what we know, that we’ll see the Kingdom Come. Let’s get going and see a mighty move of God in London, the UK, the world. Amen! “Thy Kingdom Come”….Amen.

Luke 10:23-24 (NIV)¬†Jesus said “…. Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”

Whoever has ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the church, let them hear. Amen.

Have an awesome day,

Don.

P.S. I must share a funny story: On Tuesday we had a Pastor’s Meeting in West Norwood: Five of us met to discuss the vision for an event in St Luke’s Gardens on Saturday 16th July, we’ve been led to call it; “Oh Happy Day”. But after the meeting I was walking down the road with Dennis, the Pastor of World Wide Mission Fellowship. He was on the phone to a young man. When he finished his call he said to me, “I’m meeting a young man in a minute, will you ask him “How is Jesus the Lord?”” I said, “OK Dennis, I will” but just at that moment I spotted a huge man, he’s massive, built like an OX, I said, “Dennis, you say the same thing to him”… Dennis just looked at me…he said, “No, you share with that one” I did, I said, “Do you know Jesus is Lord?” … The huge man was Dave from our fellowship, Dennis and I laughed and laughed. You see, it’s wanting to be obedient, that’s what counts. Afterwards, we met the young man, his name was David too. Is the LORD calling the DAVIDS in our Community?

Are you prepared to SHARE Jesus with ANYONE? Don’t go by appearances, don’t go by what a person looks like, because the LORD doesn’t look at the outward appearances, He looks at the HEART. He’s calling ALL people to himself. If we just looked at the outward appearance we’d miss the people the Lord wants us to talk with. If someone is dressed in a smart suit, looks nice and clean, they need Jesus just as much as a man dressed in shabby clothing. All have fallen short of God’s Holy Standards. All need to come to repentance. All need a Saviour from Hell. No my friends, don’t look at how big they are or how small they are, how smart or intelligent a person appears to be, God’s calling EVERYONE into His Kingdom family, they all need Jesus.

You can do the IMPOSSIBLE with Jesus: Peter walked on water with Jesus.

Jesus said, “Apart from me you can do NOTHING”… i.e. everything we try and do, that doesn’t involve Jesus, is NOTHING.

However, Jesus also said, “You will do even greater things”…. Awesome!

P.P.S. Please pray for our West Norwood: “Oh Happy Day”, it’s coming on Saturday 16th July in St Luke’s Gardens. An event for the whole family, Christians united together to share the GREAT things God is doing in this world today. There will be Bands, Choirs, Dancing, Singing, Stalls with Photography, Face-Painting, Exercise (for every ability Kingdom Stretch), Food stalls, Books, Booklets, etc etc… Come to “Oh Happy Day” St Luke’s Gardens, West Norwood. Saturday 16th July. EVERYONE is WELCOME.