New Year 2017 Getting The Father’s Heart

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

Daily Spirit & Word: 821

Jesus Of Nazareth.

Getting The Father’s Heart For the New Year.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Which is most precious to us?

Which is most precious to God?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Be blessed in Jesus,

Don.

 

When riches look tempting, don’t look

cast but a glance at riches and they are gone

Daily Spirit & Word: 810:

Don’t Even Look At The Glittering Gold.

Proverbs 23:5 (NIV)  Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.

 

Good morning my friends, we had a wonderful PCC (Church Council) meeting last night. Among the many things we discussed was the prospect of having an Mobile Mast inside our roof structure. Some suggested it might not be a good thing because of access to the internet and all the horrible stuff that people can do with that. Others felt that it might be a good source of much needed income for the church. And that nearly everyone in the church had a mobile phone anyway. We know that in this part of London mobile phone reception is limited. It’s amazing that there are still black-spots even today. So in a small way we might be doing a service to those who live and work in our community.

What should we do?

Well, yesterday I was praying about what I should share from God’s Word before the meeting, and this verse was the first verse I turned to in the Bible: Proverbs 23:5 (NIV)  “Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.” But it was only at the end of the meeting, whilst praying, that I remembered the Word of the LORD.

It might be tempting to go with something because it carries a big pay-off. However, we should not let the REWARD influence our decision. We’ve reached the end of the year financially and we’re able to carry over a small surplus, and that’s without anything from the MOBILE MAST company.

However, it might also be an answer to prayer, because we’ve got some BIG ideas that we’ve laid before the LORD for our Mission and Buildings and we’ve asked that He provide the resources for that. It seems strange that just after we prayed, the approach was made by the Mobile Mast company. 🙂

So we’re left wondering:

  • Is it PROVISION from the LORD?
  • Or is it a TEST to see if we’ll look to riches? 

It would be so tempting to think only of the revenue we’d receive.

It must be then, that we PRAY and MEDITATE and seek the LORD’S guidance. We’ll ask for His will, for His confirmation and His leading in this matter.

I’ve known the Lord’s guidance in the past; He really does want us to know His will. So I know He’ll show us the way:

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
5  Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
6  in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

But How Does the LORD Guide Us?

  • Through His Word,
  • Through Prayer,
  • Through Circumstantial Signs,
  • Through Words of Knowledge,
  • Through Dreams and Visions,
  • Through the Counsel of the Saints,

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, we’ve got a decision to make, we don’t want to just look at the reward, but it does seem like a timely approach. Please guide us as we deliberate, show us the way Father. You’ve shown us the way before, we ask that You will do it again, so that we are sure. Help us as we think about the future mission of our small part of Your body, the church. Through Your Son, The Lord Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.

I’ve know a Pastor who was offered a staggering sum of money for his church, they really needed that money, but the LORD told him not to accept it. It was being offered as a gift, but he felt a bit uneasy. All he got was, “This money comes with strings attached”, those strings could pull them away from the LORD. So after he turned down the very tempting offer, it was weird, because more money came in from other sources.

Now I’m thinking about what Jesus said, “My house shall be called a house of prayer”…

Be blessed and stay close to the LORD today,

Don.

 

God’s Secret Service Agents

through faith in Jesus you will become His secret change agents in this world

Daily Spirit & Word: 791: Our Giving & Our Connection & Our Fasting

How to Give & How to Pray & How to Fast & Why?

God’s Secret Service Agents.

Core Values in Kingdom Living: As Jesus’ Disciples we’re constantly Learning, we experience many Challenges, we get Curiosity to discover more about Jesus and His Kingdom, we know God wants Excellence, He encourages us to show Love and Respect to Himself and Others, He’s promised to watch our backs and be with us always on the journey through this life that He’s called us into by His Spirit through faith in His Son Jesus Christ.

But How are we going to KNOW He’s with us?

And How can we KNOW we can do it?

Two Ways Today: Our Giving & Our Connection. When we get these two right, we’ll be following the Master’s way of Kingdom Living in Love and Security.

Intro: Secret Service: Like MI5 or the SAS and SBS. We’re to follow and serve the LORD from the HEART SECRETLY:

  • How we give: In SECRET
  • How we pray: In SECRET
  • How we fast: In SECRET

All are to be done secretly for Jesus and His Kingdom Glory. Then when we do these things in secret our Heavenly Father has PROMISED (God’s always faithful to all His promises) will REWARD you OPENLY (In public, in front of everyone). However, in Kingdom Living, we’ll see that our motivation won’t be because of His rewards, but because we LOVE Him. That is and will become even more our Kingdom motivation.

Today I want to see if we can come close to the CORE:

Getting to the CORE VALUES of Kingdom Living is essential for every follower of Jesus, you’ll soon see that when you put these into practice, Kingdom Living will become much easier.

 

True Christian Spirituality:

It can be found in some of the traditions of the Church.

However, if you want to fine PURE Christian Spirituality,

then we need to go to the SOURCE: To The Teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.

 

You’ll find Jesus’ teachings on the Kingdom in the Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

Most notably in Jesus Greatest Sermon:

The Sermon (Teaching) On the Mount. Matthew Chapters 5 to 7.

 

In those Chapters you’ll discover most of what Jesus was teaching:

Matthew 5:3-12 – The Beatitudes: Be Happy Attitudes.

Matthew 5:13-16 – Salt and Light: You are Salt & Light.

Matthew 5:17-20 – Jesus fulfilled the Law: God’s LAW (Revealed in Moses first five books of Old Testament (Ten Commandments).

Matthew 5:21-26 – Anger and Murder: Peace and Harmony.

Matthew 5:27-30 – Lust and Adultery: Love and Faithfulness.

Matthew 5:31-32 – Divorce and Remarriage: Staying together as husband and wife.

Matthew 5:33-37 – Oaths: Promises: Telling the Truth Always.

Matthew 5:38-42 – Eye for an Eye: Not getting even with people. Not taking personal revenge, but forgiving others.

Matthew 5:43-48 – Love your enemies: The opposite of what the world teaches. PEACE if we really LOVE our enemies.

Matthew 6:1-4 – Give to the Needy: Not turning you back on anyone. Always being ready to be GENEROUS.

Matthew 6:5-15 – How to Pray: When you pray, not if you pray.

Matthew 6:16-18 – How to Fast: Why do you fast?

Matthew 6:19-24 – Treasures in Heaven: Storing up for your Eternal Future. (Not just thinking of your life here on earth).

Matthew 6:25-34 – Do not worry: Trust in the Father who knows all your needs.

Matthew 7:1-6 – Do not judge hypocritically: Use right judgement of others.

Matthew 7:7-12 – Ask, Seek, Knock: If you want something, you’ve got to ask for it.

Matthew 7:13-14 – The Narrow Gate: Finding your way to Heaven: Jesus is the ONLY WAY to Heaven.

Matthew 7:15-23 – False Prophets: False messages about God, Religion, Faith. Watch Out!

Matthew 7:24-27 – The Wise Builder: Getting the foundations of our Faith right.

 

Right in the MIDDLE of the Sermon on the Mount is the REAL MEAT (Just like a McDonald’s Burger has the meat in the middle, so does Jesus teaching on Kingdom Living in the Sermon on the Mount).

  • GIVING: The LORD’S GIVER (Matthew 6:1-4). Secret Service.
  • PRAYER: The LORD’S PRAYER (Matthew 6:1-15) Secret Prayer.
  • FASTING: Getting Even Closer (Matthew 6:16-18) Secret Devotion.

Our Giving & Our Connection & Our Devotion.

Today we’re going to FOCUS on just two, the most important two.

1) First, Our Giving

(Matthew 6:1-4)
1  “Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
2  “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honoured by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.
3  But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,
4  so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
NOTE: Can you ever give in such a way that your left hand won’t know what your right hand is doing? “No!” You’ll always know, but Jesus is telling us about our WILLINGNESS / READINESS to be GENEROUS (Kind hearted towards others in need).

 

When you see a NEED: Are you ready and willing to help?

When you see a PERSON: Who needs the LORD’S help are you ready to respond?

 

My friends, Jesus has no body on Earth today except your body.

  • He has no hands today, but your hands.
  • He has no feet today, but your feet.
  • He has no eyes today, but your eyes.
  • He has no mouth today, but your mouth.
  • He has no hands to help, but your hands.

He’s called you, lives in you, equips and provides for you and gives you EXTRA in your life so that you can use it to help others.

How’s your heart of GIVING today?

  • We’re collecting for FOODBANK: You can GIVE (Time, Food or and Money).
  • We’re collecting for ROUGH SLEEPERS : You can GIVE (Money, Meals and Time).
  • We’re collecting for St Luke’s Church.: You can GIVE (Service, Time, Money and Love).

Oh my friends, let’s all be Jesus SECRET SERVICE AGENTS in the world today; his body, his hands, his eyes, his ears, his mouth, his feet, his hands today. Spreading His light, His salt, His goodness, His kindness, His forgiveness, His generosity… Let’s do it starting afresh today. Amen!

2) Second, Our PRAYER CONNECTING WITH OUR FATHER:

HOWEVER: We’ll NEVER Get Jesus Heart for GIVING until we make and maintain our CONNECTION with God our Father through faith in His Son Jesus Christ.

Matthew 6:5-6. How We Shouldn’t and How we Should PRAY.
5  “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.
6  But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you (OPENLY).
7  And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.
8  Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

NOTE: Our prayer should not be like a performance for others. We’re not praying to impress people, but to connect with God.

HOW: How to MAKE & MAINTAIN your Connection with Father God.
9  “This, then, is how you should pray: ” ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, (Recognising / Acknowledging God’s HOLINESS and Fatherly nature: We come into His FAMILY, we’re members of His Kingdom Family when we’ve trusted Jesus for forgiveness and Salvation from Sin)…
10  Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. (Your desire to live in OBEDIENCE to God’s will: Living according to His revealed Kingdom Values).
11  Give us today our daily bread. (All your needs).
12  Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. (Forgiving us our sins as we forgive when others sin against us).
13  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’ (Keep us free from overwhelming temptations).
14  For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
15  But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

FORGIVENESS: Is Key to the Kingdom Living.

First you are forgiven when you come to Jesus.

Because you’ve been forgiven so much, you’ll be ready and willing to forgive others who’ve sinned against and hurt you. (One Christian said to me this week; “It’s amazing, because we become a bit like God when we actually get to the point of being able to really forgive others and let them off the hook or our revenge or punishment”… It really is amazing.

The LORD’s PRAYER: Song… Our Father…

(To the Jamaican Spiritual Tune)…

Get the folks into groups of four at front of Service, and point to them to say their line. (We did this yesterday, and got the congregation to join it. Old but AWESOME). <3 🙂

The Golden Nugget of Christian Kingdom Living: SECRET SERVICE for Jesus.

Giving, Prayer and Fasting (we’ve not touched on FASTING yet).

All are to be done in SECRET: Then your Heavenly Father, who sees what’s done in secret will reward you OPENLY.

Connecting with God our Father in Heaven.

Once that connection is made through Faith and Trust in your Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, we’re in His Kingdom Family Forever. God become our FATHER IN HEAVEN.

So now we maintain that CONNECTION and become his secret change agents in this world. Amen! Amen!

We’ll get His heart of love for others.

Our HEART will be changed and we’ll desire to serve HIM first in all things…

PRAYER: Oh my friends, my prayer this week is; Father God, help us to change to become more like You, like Your Son Jesus Christ; When I look at Jesus I see what You are like Father; Loving, Gentle, Kind, Patient, Forgiving, Good, Full of Joy, Full of Power, Overflowing with awesome FAITH to move any mountain. O Father, I want to be just like Your Son Jesus. So I pray in His Name and ask for the fullness of the Holy Spirit.

In Your KINGDOM LIVING:

Help me to be Giving in secret so that only You can see.
Help me in Praying in secret so that only You know.
Help me in Fasting in secret so that I can came closer to You for sustenance.
I want to be out of my depth in Your Love Lord.
I want to feel you close to me.
I want You to be in me.
I want to worship You Father in Spirit and Truth. Amen! Amen! Amen!

Through faith in Jesus, you will become God’s secret change agents in this world. You’ll be His hands, eyes, ears, head, feet and mouth. You’ll be all that the Sermon on the Mount says; Salt, Lite, Giving, Forgiving and Devoted. You’ll be connected with the POWER of Heaven and people are going to know, because your Father who sees you being His secret change agent will reward you openly. Amen!

Don.

 

Knowing God Better

The Valley of Dry Bones, Knowing God Better

Daily Spirit & Word: 784: Getting to Know God Better.

How to LIVE Forever, without being ‘RELIGIOUS’…

Ezekiel 37:13-14 (NIV)
13  Then you, my people, will know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and bring you up from them.
14  I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken, and I have done it, declares the LORD.’ “

Good morning my friends, over the years I’ve met many people who consider themselves to be Christians, but struggle to know God personally. These are lovely genuine and sincere people who’ve done everything, they think, that’s required to get to know God.

  • They’ve repented of their sins, but nothing seems to happen.
  • They’ve asked Jesus to come into their hearts, but nothing seems to have happened.
  • They’ve believed that Jesus has died upon the cross for their sins, but still nothing seems to have happened in their lives, they got no assurance that God is with them and that they are saved from their sins. So what’s missing?

It’s often a case of mistaken beliefs; or misbeliefs.

Some people think they’ve got to do something extra. So they try being even more religious: Praying more, reading their Bible more, attending lots-n-lots of worship. Then they’ll go running around trying all the latest ‘religious’ fads; fasting, all night prayers, revival meetings. They attend courses, and lectures and they’ll even try getting a degree in theology and all because they want to get to know God. They are hungering for the one thing that’s missing, they know something is missing and they know they need it.

My friends, if there was anything you could do to get to know God, then Jesus would not have had to die upon the Cross.

Assurance comes from God: He, Himself, Alone lets you know when you’ve become His child, when the Holy Spirit comes to take up residence in your life; i.e. You’ve been born again of God’s Holy Spirit. From the moment that happens, you won’t need anyone in this world to give you assurance that you are saved, that you are a child of God. You’ll not need to be religious any longer. You’ll be set free from the feeling of or need to be religious to be right with God.

In this little book of Ezekiel the Prophet of God tells us over 30 times: (in different ways) “My People Will KNOW that I AM The LORD” and How will they know it? Because as our verse tells us today: “I will PUT MY SPIRIT IN THEM” When God does that to a person, they KNOW HIM, they KNOW the LORD.

So often we settle for much less than God wants to give us, we stop short at being religious, when God wants us to be filled to overflowing with Himself in the person of the Holy Spirit. Once we understand that, then all of Jesus other teachings begin to make more sense. We’ll see that because of and with His indwelling power and help, all things become possible for those who believe and trust in and rely upon the Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus, talking about the Holy Spirit, told the woman at the well about the FOUNTAIN within, welling up… LIVING WATER…  Awesome! John 4

So my friends, a word from the LORD today: It’s God who puts His Spirit in you. When He does, you will KNOW Him.

And when you worship, it will be IN SPIRIT and TRUTH… John 4.

How do I get God’s Holy Spirit?

Ask, Jesus tells us, “Ask and it shall be given unto you”… (Matthew 7:7, Luke 11:9)

Ask, Jesus tells us, “How much more with your Heavenly Father give the HOLY SPIRIT to those who ask HIM”… (Believe and Trust). (Luke 11:13).

If you’ve;

  • believed that Jesus died upon the Cross for your sins.
  • that He rose again from the dead,
  • that He ascended into Heaven,
  • that He commands all people to repent and believe that Good News,
  • that He wants you to receive Him as LORD of your life,
  • that you’ve turned from sin in repentance and trusted in His death upon the cross,
  • oh my friends, you are READY: Now ask, receive by faith the Holy Spirit that God the Father wants to give you.

Be assured, He will come: He will make Himself KNOWN in your life, you will KNOW God.

THE FRUIT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

When He comes, He’ll begin to produce the fruit of the Holy Spirit in your life;

  • LOVE (For God and others),
  • JOY (much more and deeper than simple happiness, it’s a deep and lasting JOY in the LORD),
  • PEACE (Fear begins to dwindle when you’ve got the Holy Spirit),
  • PATIENCE (You’ll experience a degree of tolerance with other people, with situations, with your own desires and wants, they’ll change and you’ll begin to want what God wants),
  • KINDNESS (You’ll find yourself wanting to be generous with your time, your money, your self),
  • GOODNESS (You’ll want to be morally good, all the old habitual sins will become distasteful for you. You’ll hate what you used to like),
  • FAITHFULNESS (You’ll love being faithful to your promises, and feel bad when you can’t keep them. You’ll be faithful to friends, family, church leaders and brothers and sisters in Christ),
  • GENTLENESS (You’ll discover and NEW gentleness and desire to show mercy to those who don’t even like you),
  • SELF-CONTROL (You’ll experience a NEW degree of POWER to say no to; anger, bitterness, rage, temptation, etc)

 

It’s God who does these things in you, it will be a Super-Natural-Spiritual FREEDOM….

It’s God who puts His Holy Spirit in you: He also gives wonderful amazing SPIRITUAL Gifts… Receive them!

My friends, who doens’t want the FRUIT of the HOLY SPIRIT?

Get to know God Better today, by receiving God, the HOLY SPIRIT by Asking Father God…

It’s not about being more religious, but calling out in FAITH, and believing the PROMISES of God.

Happy, Happy Day,

Don.

 

(NOTE: Go back and re-read Ezekiel chapters 28-39 and you’ll see just how much God wants His chosen people to know Him and how he’s going to do it through many different means, to bring them to the point and realisation; it’s through death to self and rising to new life in Christ Jesus in the POWER of the HOLY SPIRIT.)

 

How To Avoid Being A Shrewd Steward

How to avoid shrewd stewardship

Daily Spirit & Word: 778: How to AVOID Being Shrewd Steward.

Don’t Let Money Be Your Master.

Luke 16:8 (NIV) “The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light.”

Good morning my friends. You know the feeling you get when someone says something about you, behind your back, but somehow you get to hear about it? It feels horrible to think that people are thinking negatively about you. Well I had that a few years ago, and I didn’t realise that it had stuck with me. At the time I ignored it, but it got under my skin and into the core of my being. That’s the way RESENTMENTS build within us. What was it that someone said? They said, “Donald doesn’t understand money”… I can tell you now, honestly, that hurt. However, it’s not true. I do understand money, I just don’t want to be controlled by it. The LORD has set me FREE from care or worry about MONEY. Praise HIM for that. So I’m sure the LORD is right, the people of this world are more shrewd regarding worldly wealth than I am, but I don’t care, because the LORD owns the Universe and He’ll give me what I need, when I need it, right on time, every time. Trust the LORD with your finances and He’ll take care of the rest. Render to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God. When you do, He’ll OPEN the floodgates of Heaven into your life.

In Luke 16:10 right in the middle of the parable of the Shrewd Steward (Manager of the household).

Luke 16:10 (NIV) “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.”

As many of you know by now, I’m a bit of a wordsmith, I love looking into the meanings of words. Sometimes I’m surprised by my investigations, take the word ‘shrewd’ as an example. We probably all think we know what shrewd means, right? But when we think about it in light of this Parable in the Bible, we’ll see that being a ‘shrewd’ person is far from a praiseworthy accolade, because shrewdness is being totally self-serving rather than serving God or others.

Shrewd:  1. Marked by practical hardheaded intelligence. 2. Serving one’s own interests in an unemotional, analytical manner.

Other words that can be used (synonyms); astute, calculating, calculative, conniving, savvy, scheming, sharp, smart.

Shrewdness: Intelligence manifested by being astute (as in business dealings).

Here’s one I uncovered: perspicaciousness. Perspicacious: 1. Acutely insightful and wise. 2. Mentally acute or penetratingly discerning.

Shrewd Steward:

You’ll know the Parable and what Jesus said about the Steward (Manager of the Master’s Household).

Luke 16:8 (NIV) “The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light.”

The Manager (Steward) was about to loose his job because he was not a good manager (Steward) of the Master’s household. Instead of working harder to serve the Master better, he began to serve himself (shrewdness), he made friends of the people who owed his master money by letting them off the hook and taking only a fraction of what they owed and giving it to the master. He cooked the books in order to feather a nest for himself when he eventually lost his job.

Each transaction amounted to very little, but when all calculated together, the Master would have a massive shortfall. However, the SHREWD STEWARD would be seen to be a ‘nice’ man in the eyes of those who’d been helped out of debt.

We also know that the STEWARDS Jesus was aiming this Parable at, like a bolt in a crossbow, were the Pharisees. They were the Stewards in charge of God’s Household (The Temple and the People of Israel), but they were NOT being good stewards. They valued wealth, riches, rich people were given preference, they showed favouritism to the rich, they were feathering their own nests, rather than leading all of the people back to God and to Godly ways of living. Jesus had very stern words for them at the end of this Parable.

Luke 16:13-15 (NIV)
13  “No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”
14  The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus.
15  He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight.

The Pharisees were being very SHREWD: calculating, cunning and crafty in their dealings with men. However, they didn’t give the Master (God) a second of thought. So Jesus is warning them at this point, they are the SHREWD STEWARDS (Household Managers) who are about to loose their positions of trust.

My friends, money is not evil, but your money, what you own and possess is a TEST or a GAUGE of your FAITHFULNESS to God.

When I served on a submarine, we’d have gauges for all kinds of things, some to measure pressure, some to indicate levels in tanks. The water tanks and fuel tanks needed to be monitored and kept watch over at all times.  Just one glance at a gauge and you’d know the level of the liquid inside the tanks.

In your life God uses the wealth and MONEY He’s given to you to GAUGE your level of faithfulness, commitment or spirituality.

You might declare “I’m not interested in money” (So God can’t accuse me of being an unjust Steward or a Shrewd Manager).

Well here’s a shocker for you, God IS INTERESTED in how you use your money.

You cannot SERVE BOTH: God and Money.

Why? Because your are going to LOVE the one and hate the other.

  • If you love money, then it’s like hatred towards God.
  • If you love God, then it’s like hatred towards Money.

So your Heavenly Father God will use whatever MONEY you’ve been entrusted with as a GAUGE to monitor your faithfulness to HIM (The Master).

When God looks at how you’ve used your money, will He see a FULL or EMPTY indicator?

Remember you cannot serve BOTH… i.e. there’s no in-between measurement. It’s either FULL ON for God or Empty.

If your trusting in God with your finances, then you are going to LOVE God’s ways of dealing with money and you’ll hate the worlds ways. You’ll be set free from worry about money. You’ll use money to serve God’s purposes in your life and wait for it, God Himself has promised to OPEN up the floodgates of Heaven into your life. If you bring into His storehouse what belongs to Him.

What’s God asking for?

It all belongs to HIM anyway, but He’s trusting you with it all: 100% Trust. Now He asks for you to give back to Him a portion of what He’s given you. That’s the TRUST element. He asks for a starting proportion of only 10%, then He’ll also move you to give generously to others and bring even more gifts to offer to Him. This is KINGDOM FINANCES and when you trust God with all your money, He’s going to set your completely FREE from worry, fears, temptations etc.

So, my advice would be:

  • STOP trusting in MONEY,
  • START trusting in God.

You know when you begin to really trust in God financially, you are going to be so on fire with LOVE for Him and for all His Kingdom priorities and values. God reveals His secrets to those who love HIM. You finances are God’s GAUGE to measure how much you really love and trust Him.

Jesus said so much about money, He spoke much more about money than He did; Heaven, Healing or Hell. Why? Because Jesus knew how this world ticks over every single day. He knows you think you need money to survive, but He’s got all the resources you’ll ever need, much more than you can even imagine, if you’ll just trust in HIM.

When GIVING is Tough: Kingdom Freedom Finances.

Mark 12:41-44 (NIV)
41  Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts.
42  But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny.
43  Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.
44  They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”

If you are feeling strapped for cash at this moment in your life, believe me I’ve been there. It’s really, really hard to trust the LORD when you’ve got five kids to look after and you’ve just taken a pay cut from £25,000 a year to less than £12,000 and still try to give every week to God. For the first few years of ministry, serving the LORD, I struggled financially too. Then one day, through tears and crying out to the LORD a little miracle happened in my life. I’d started resenting the LORD, but He’s just so good, so kind, so generous and faithful. It took me to my knees to really cry out to Him.

If it looks bleak for you at this moment in time, financially, know this my friends, TRUST the LORD financially, keep giving to Him and He will suddenly open the floodgates into your life in ways you can’t imagine. Think about how much the poor widow really trusted the LORD with her finances, she put into the offering all she had to live on. ALL SHE HAD! That’s 100% giving to the LORD. That’s TRUST. However, the LORD isn’t asking for 100% from you to start with, not 50%, not 20%, but He’s only asking for just 10%… That’s awesome! That’s Kingdom Freedom Finances. All I can say is try it! You’ll see! He’ll set you free.

HOW TO GIVE TO THE LORD!

Bring in your 10% to start with into your local church to which you belong and you are a committed member. It’s not the church you are giving to, it’s God. Don’t give it to charity outside the church (this kind of charitable giving (offerings) is in addition to your Christian committed giving to the LORD’S family in the local church).

Some people say, “Oh I don’t give 10% to my church because I give to charities as well”… Well my friends, you are robbing God. You don’t get your shopping at ASDA and pay TESCO do you? You don’t go to Morrisons and pay in Sainsburry’s do you? No! You pay where you get your shopping. My friends, your local church is where the LORD feeds you with God’s Word, Worship, Fellowship, Teaching, Evangelism, Kingdom Family Friendships and Ministry: Bring in the whole TITHE into the storehouse of God’s Kingdom Family. You giving to your local church is a TEST (Gauge) of your trust and commitment to the LORD. How much do you love the LORD? It will be shown by how much you give to your church.

Malachi 3:6-12 (NIV) KINGDOM GIVING (Tithes and Offerings).
6  “I the LORD do not change. So you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed.
7  Ever since the time of your forefathers you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the LORD Almighty. “But you ask, ‘How are we to return?’
8  “Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How do we rob you?’ “In tithes and offerings.
9  You are under a curse—the whole nation of you—because you are robbing me.
10  Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.
11  I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit,” says the LORD Almighty.
12  “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the LORD Almighty.

YOUR MONEY: From God, is His GAUGE of your LOVE, TRUST and FAITHFULNESS to HIM.

Don’t be a Shrewd Steward of what the LORD has trusted you with.

Are you feeling a bit dry ‘Spiritually’, then how’s your giving going? Are you holding back on God? Review your GIVING to the LORD today! Get on fire for Jesus.

Be one who LOVES and SERVES ONLY the LORD!

Jesus is the TRUTH: Know the Truth and the Truth will set you FREE.

Have an awesome week with Jesus,

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.

 

The Good Person Test

by their fruits, hell's best kept secret, true and false conversion, faith

Daily Spirit & Word: 751: By Their Fruit.

Is this fruit Poisonous or Edible?

Good morning my friends, how do you know if a fruit is good to eat or if it’s poisonous? Years ago, we had a tree that we were not familiar with in our garden, the fruits were tiny black berries, and they looked delicious, but tasted quite bitter. This was in the days before Google so we had to rely on Microsoft Encyclopedia (Anyone remember that?). It turned out that little black berry was poisonous, so I’m just so glad that I spat it out. It left a bitter taste in my mouth for ages and my tongue dried up. Oh I can even taste it now it was horrible.

How can you tell, quickly, if someone is a Christian?

Well, when out witnessing, we’ll often come across professing believers. They’ll say quite promptly, “I’m a Christian”… I always respond positively when I hear people say that, especially these days. I say, “Praise the LORD a fellow believer”. However, I’ve learned, through years of witnessing on the streets, that not everyone is actually trusting in Jesus. So I’ll ask them about the prospect of Heaven or get them to explain to me the Gospel. Here’s what I’ll say, “What would you say to one of your friends if they want to get into Heaven?” When we do that, we quickly discover what kind of ‘Christian’ a person is, by what they are depending upon for their salvation.

What I find shocking and sad, is that many of the professing believers here in London are shallow soil believers or rocky ground believers, the seed didn’t land in the good soil of their heart. How can we discern that so quickly? Some will obviously say, “Donald, you are just too judgemental”… No my friends, I’m filled with the LOVE of Jesus and He wants all people to trust in HIM for Salvation, not their own efforts to be good enough for heaven. I’m also aware of Jesus’ words of caution:

Matthew 7:15-23 (NIV)
15  “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.
16  By their fruit you will recognise them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?
17  Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.
18  A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.
19  Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
20  Thus, by their fruit you will recognise them.
21  “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
22  Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’
23  Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

He tells us to “Watch OUT” for good reason.

You see my friends, it’s by their FRUIT you’ll recognise them.

Many professing ‘Christians’ are NOT trusting in Jesus, but in their own efforts to be good. The FRUIT of their Salvation is their own goodness, it’s so sad, because they’ll be shocked on the Day of Judgement to discover they are NOT GOOD ENOUGH to get into Heaven. Just one sin will shut the door in their faces.

The FRUIT that our Lord Jesus is talking about here is what a person is trusting in for their Salvation. If they are depending upon their own goodness, then they are NOT trusting in Him or His sacrificial death upon the Cross.

The Sheep’s Clothing: It’s a disguise:

They’ll look and sound like sheep: They’ll bleat like sheep, smell like sheep… but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.

A false Prophet: (Someone who professes falsely to have trusted in Jesus) Is someone who knows the language of the sheep, but doesn’t know the Shepherd of the Sheep. They’ll know all about Jesus, they’ll know about His death on the Cross, the Hymns and songs in Church, the prayers, the terminology of the Bible; being born again, forgiveness and love, they’ll even profess to be a Christian. Somehow, they know all that and say all that, but have yet to trust in Jesus Christ for their own salvation.

Here’s how we know quite quickly:

I’ll say those who say they are Christians, “Praise the LORD! That’s amazing, it’s so refreshing to meet another believer, can you please tell me Mary, what do I have to do to get saved?” or “Do you know if you will be good enough to get into Heaven?”

Depending on how they answer they’ll reveal what they are trusting in: Jesus, their own goodness or Good Works.

You know what I find most shocking? The responses we get to those questions from most professing believers. They say, “Just believe in Jesus,” or “I hope so, I try my best, I’m trying to be a good person”… When a person tells me that, immediately my antenna goes up, I’m hoping I’m not detecting a false convert or false prophet, but most often, as we continue to chat, we’ll discover they have yet to trust in Jesus to be SAVED.

It’s so sad and shocking, but the vast majority of the people we meet on the streets of West Norwood in London, who say they are Christians, have never actually trusted in Jesus Christ for their Salvation, but are somehow relying on their own goodness or their efforts to be a ‘good person’. That’s why we say to them, “We’ve got a little test that we do with everyone who tells us they are Christians, to see if they will be good enough for Heaven, would you like to see if you’d get in?”… I’m just so thankful that most of them say, “OK, I’ll take the little test” or “I’d love to do that”….

What’s great is that once we go through that little test, you can physically see a difference in those people, their faces often light up in a new way, they now KNOW the true Gospel, sometimes for the first time in their life, they’ll often say, “WOW, this really is a wake-up-call” or “Thank you so much, you’ve made me see” or “It’s so amazing, I’ve never seen it that way before and I’ve been going to church for years”. We’ve seen a few people cry because they’ve just discovered that they need to put their faith in Jesus, they’ve been trusting in themselves for years, their religious activity, their devotion to going to church, they’ve been trusting in a false Gospel, and are ready to receive Him as Lord. Deep down, most people who’ve been going to church, heard the Bible being read and listened to sermons, know what to do, but have never been led to the point of seeing their need to do it.

So many people know and want the benefits of believers; the Holy Spirit or an EXPERIENCE of power or love in church, they are filled with joy when they go into a lively worship service and think that’s what it means to be saved. They love the friendship, fellowship and feeling of security that going to church gives them. It’s nice to hear warm and loving messages of hope and encouragement. These are all good and right, but it’s such a shame because so many are those sincere and devoted people are the “wolves in sheep’s clothing, the false prophets” that Jesus is talking about. Because they do all of those things and have yet to come to the one who paid the price for their sins.

We’ve gotten to the point of being shocked if someone tells us they are NOT GOOD, but they have trusted in Jesus Christ and His death upon the Cross to forgive their sins, and His blood Sacrifice to cleanse them of their sins, and they now know they are going to Heaven because of His goodness and because they’ve repented of their sins and received Him as their LORD. Sadly, those who say that, are few and far between. Because most are trusting in so many other things, like; church attendance, baptism, speaking in tongues, service in church, taking Holy Communion regularly, reading their Bible, doing good works for charity, casting out demons, raising the dead, etc, etc… These are all great things for believers to be doing, however Jesus will say to them on the day of Judgement “Depart from Me, I never knew you”… Why? Because they failed to repent and trust in Him for their Salvation or they didn’t receive Him as their Lord. Most don’t do that, because they’ve never heard that they need to or they don’t understand why they need to be cleansed of all sin first.

Matthew 7:22-23 (NIV).
22  Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’
23  Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

The GATEWAY to HEAVEN:

To get into Heaven, we’ve got to go through the Narrow Gate: and that NARROW GATE is Jesus. Why? Because Salvation is found in NO ONE ELSE, because there is NO OTHER name under Heaven by which a man can be saved. Acts 4:13. John 14:6. Not even your own name, which is what most people are really trusting in, because they are relying on their own goodness.

The Wide and Narrow Gate:

Matthew 7:13-14 (NIV)
13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.
14  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

Oh my friends, how TRUE that verse of Scripture is, “ONLY A FEW FIND IT”...

It’s an eye-opener listening to most church attenders trying to explain how they’d hope to be good enough to get into Heaven. Their version of the Gospel is shocking. Because listening to them telling me their version of the ‘Gospel’: “Just believe in Jesus and you’ll be saved.” they’ll say.

My response is, “Really, is that all I have to do? Just believe in Jesus and I’ll be saved?” “Even Satan believes in Jesus, will he be saved?” Simply knowing about Jesus and believing that He was a real person or that He is Lord is not enough. It’s got to drop those magical 12″, Twelve inches from your head to your heart.

What else do I have to do? That’s when you know their fruit, because they’ll say, “Try your best” or “Be a good person” or “follow the Ten Commandments”…

You know what I’m going to say to a person who tells me these things? “Have you been a good person? Are you following the Ten Commandments? Will you be good enough for Heaven?” Most of them say, “I have, I do, I will, I am”… Then we go through our little test, so see if they’ll be good enough for Heaven.

When they finally admit they’re not good, that they’ll face God’s Holy Justice and be found wanting, they are then ready for the GREATEST NEWS they could ever wish to hear: The Good News of The Gospel of Jesus Christ. It’s so awesome to see their response to the true Gospel message, because God’s been drawing them to this point for years. He’s constantly calling people, by His Holy Spirit to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.

Do YOU want to know our LITTLE TEST?

It’s called: “The Good Person Test”

Once a professing believer goes through that test, they suddenly see their need to repent of their sins and trust in Jesus Christ as their Saviour.

Why does the Good Person Test Work?

  • We all know that no one can be saved without coming to Jesus.
  • We all know that no one can come to Jesus, unless the Father, through the Holy Spirit, draws them.
  • We all know that we are SAVED by FAITH.
  • But not many professing believers really know, that FAITH comes by hearing the Good News. 
  • or That we cannot HEAR the Good News until we know what the BAD NEWS is.

The BAD NEWS is this: We cannot be saved without; repenting of our sins, turning to Jesus in faith and trusting in Jesus and receiving Him as Lord.

  • If we’re not trusting in Jesus for our Salvation, then we are STILL in our sins.
  • If we’ve not trusted in Jesus, then we are headed for God’s Justice, Judgement and Hell.
  • Sin is going our way instead of God’s way: It’s breaking His Commandments.
  • The penalty for sin is DEATH: The wages of Sin is DEATH.

So we all need to TAKE: “The Good Person Test”

(Click the Good Person Test: At the bottom of the page).

Then we’ll KNOW where we are headed on the day of Judgement.

God wants ALL PEOPLE to be saved: but Jesus tells us so clearly in Matthew’s Gospel.

Matthew 7:13-14 (NIV)
13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.
14  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

We get one life, then we face God’s judgement.

Conclusion: Jesus Said:

Matthew 7:15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves”.

Jesus said, “Watch out”… That means be alert, have your antenna ready, get your detectors up.

Jesus said, “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.”

Inwardly, they are wolves in sheep’s clothing. If they are NOT ONE OF JESUS’ SHEEP, then they are a wolf.

Jesus is telling those who are following Him to “WATCH OUT” for good reason that there will always be ‘false converts’ who love the name or title of ‘Christian’, but don’t know Him as Lord and Saviour. They’ll be mixing amongst the flock, looking, bleating, smelling and sounding like sheep, but don’t know the Shepherd of the Sheep.

My friends, have you come to see that it’s only through Jesus that you’ll be saved on the day of Judgement?

Have you gotten to the point of Repenting of your sins and Trusting in Jesus to be saved?

If you are a true follower of Jesus, then you’ll rejoice in this teaching today. Because to know the TRUTH sets us free. It enables us to serve Jesus and be alert and lead people to a true faith and trust in Him.

Here’s how you can do trust in Jesus Christ today:

“Oh Lord Jesus, I’ve been singing the songs of the church, but today I can see that I’ve failed the Good Person Test, I know that you alone are the only one that’s ever been good enough for Heaven. And that I’ve got to come to You, the Narrow Gate, to be saved. I believe that You died upon the Cross to take away my sins, it’s Your blood that will cleanse me from my sin. I want to trust in You alone for my own Salvation Lord. I receive You Jesus as my Lord, come into my life, give me the promised New Life and fill me with Your Holy Spirit. Amen”

Get READY FOR The Good Person Test. Answers the Question: “Are you good enough for Heaven?” CLICK HERE (You’ll be taken to the Good Person Test).

Also: Listen to this vitally important message for every Christian today, as soon as you can: “Hell’s Best Kept Secret”.

Here’s another very important message: “True and False Conversion”. You’ll be amazed at how so many are being deceived by the False Gospels.

Angela’s Powerful Testomony: From a False Convert to a True Believer in Jesus: Listen and watch on Youtube Angela’s Testomony.

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 🙂 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, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’
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 🙂 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.

 

A Mighty Power Faith Filled Factory

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

Daily Spirit & Word: 745: Supernatural Natural Devotion

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

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

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

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

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

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

They Devoted Themselves:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How To BE CREATIVE: in getting fellowship more regularly:

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

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

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

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

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

Give An Answer and An Invitation.

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

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

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

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

Don.

 

The Call To Prayer

Pentecost Prayer Week, Time with Jesus every day

Daily Spirit & Word: 736: The Call to PRAYER

JOURNEY in Prayer:

Ephesians 1:15-23 (NIV)
15 For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, 16  I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.
17  I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.
18  I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19  and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, 20  which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21  far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22  And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23  which is his body, the fulness of him who fills everything in every way.

I’m PRAYING for YOU: In the lead-up to PRAYER WEEK.

Good morning my friends, sorry I’ve not posted for two days. I’ve been reading, praying, writing, but haven’t had the PEACE to share what I’ve been going through. Perhaps one day I will, but not yet.

PRAYER IS HARD:

Prayer Week: It was really interesting to read David Hathaway’s account of imprisonment (see below), when he eventually ran out of the ability to pray any-more. I don’t know about you, but PRAYER every day is HARD. I love getting up early in the mornings now, reading my Bible, getting into Bible study and writing, reflecting and praying and praising the LORD. It’s taken years to be able to pray like this, but it began when I too felt as a Christian; weak, feeble, alone, abandoned and I didn’t see much answered prayer. I’ll never forget those first few battles with my head and my pillow. I felt as if my pillow was holding onto my head. I loved staying in bed even when awake. It was a battle to get my head off my pillow. Then one morning I had a breakthrough, it was as if the LORD was right there in the room with me and saying “Donald, get up, I’ve got something to share with you”. I was startled, wide-awake and jumped out of bed. I was in a very small room on a training camp with 3000 men and women of the Royal Navy, HMS Sultan. I opened my Bible as usual, but there was something different, I had to write down what I was reading. Then my prayers just flowed. I went from 5 mins of Bible reading and prayer to half-an-hour a morning. Soon, I had to get up even earlier, because I was enjoying the experience of being in the presence of the LORD so much. Now, I’ll get up at 4.45am ready with a cup of coffee to await the sunrise and be with Jesus. Then I’ll get my Bible out and go and sit with Him, asking for revelation. I can’t stay in bed awake any-longer, no matter how loud my pillow shouts at me 🙂 I have to leave it behind to go and be with my Lord Jesus.

This week I’ve been writing every day, but I’ve not been sharing. It’s been challenging and encouraging, perhaps one day I will share, but what I’ve written might upset too many people at the moment. The Lord has been showing me things about me and about our practice of Discipleship in church. It been an eye opener and a challenge to read through Ying Kai’s experience in the Church Planting Ministry.

Prayer Every Day Is Hard, BUT, oh it’s so REWARDING.

THE CHALLENGE:

In the lead-up to PENTECOST we’ve been asked by our Archbishops of Canterbury and York to pray for the EVANGELISATION of the Nation. This, to my knowledge, has never been done before. It’s shows me there’s an awareness of the NEED for people to come back to Jesus. Let’s pray for a mighty outpouring of Holy Spirit POWER on our land.

Next Week: In the lead-up to Pentecost Sunday and our Baptisms: We’re going to be praying every day as a church. I wanted to share that it’s going to be easy, a joy to pray, but I realise that so many of my brothers and sisters in Jesus are not that enthusiastic. You are struggling, like so many Christians today. Many just don’t seem to have the time, because LIFE gets in the way. So in the lead-up to prayer week, I’ve been praying for YOU. I’m spending time with Jesus for you and for me to get ready to pray. I know that if I hadn’t had that personal revelation, that Jesus wants to share with me every day, I’d probably still be listening to my pillow and snuggling up all warm and cozy. I’ve been praying that the LORD Jesus, through the Holy Spirit will give you a call to prayer. We don’t need towers like the Muslims, we don’t need bells like munks, we need God to be our alarm clock. He’ll wake you up on time every day, but we’ve got a hard choice to make, the comfort of the pillow or feet on the floor and over to your Bible.

“NO READ, NO FEED” …. “NO PRAYER, NO BREAKFAST”.

IT IS THE GOOD SHEPHERD WHO FEEDS THE SHEEP:

I’ve got this little chant: “No read, no feed” Meaning, If I don’t read the Bible, then I won’t have breakfast. I soon discovered that if I missed out a time with the LORD then I’d be spiritually malnourished. I would notice that my days didn’t go that well spirituall, I’d loose battles and fall into sin more readily. I was Malnourished or undernourished, which means: I’m not being provided with adequate spiritual food to sustain me through the day. I know that so many good Christian brothers and sisters are constantly going out into this wicked world spiritually malnourished. No wonder they’re loosing battles every day. It’s as if they are on a self-imposed fast from Spiritual Food between Sunday to Sunday. They’ll get a little snack on Sunday in Church hoping that will keep them going all through the week. They don’t realise that it’s just enough food for one day and that the LORD wants to feed them every single day. He doesn’t want them to rely on their Pastor, Minister, Mentor, etc to keep them going, He wants to feed His Sheep Himself.

John 10:7-11 (ESV)
7  So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.
8  All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them.
9  I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.
10  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
11  I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

If you don’t read your Bible regularly, pray and praise the Lord, then you are going to be spiritually malnourished, underfed, undernourished, half-starved, unfed, ill-fed. You’ll eat your physical foods, breakfast, but will still feel that something is missing. It is! You’ll experience a hunger for time with Jesus, because it’s your time with Jesus and His awesome nourishment that you need.

Prayer is a discipline. Richard Fosters book “A Celebration of Discipline” was an eye-opener for me. I read it as a four-year-old Christian at 28 years old. I learned so much from him about prayer, fasting, time with Jesus, journaling and though he’s not an evangelist, I learned during that time of study and reading about how I should go about sharing-my-faith in Jesus.

So in the lead-up to PRAYER WEEK:

I’m praying for you;

1) That the LORD will give you a wake-up-call. Every day! And you’ll want to respond.
2) That you’ll experience NOURISHMENT when you get up, read your Bible, Pray and Praise the LORD (every day).
3) That you’ll DESIRE to have times of fellowship with other brothers and sisters. Spending time together in Jesus company.
4) That you’ll GET PERSONAL REVELATION when you pray and read God’s Word.
5) That you’ll SHARE your experiences with at least FIVE other people during the week.
6) That you’ll EXPERIENCE soul satisfaction and encouragement in your life every day with Jesus.
7) That you’ll get the JOY of the LORD: He’ll put an NEW SONG in your heart. (Psalm 40:3)
8) That you’ll begin to SHINE like Moses because you’ve been in the presence of Jesus. Your GLORY GLOW.
9) That you’ll ENJOY seeking His FACE rather than His Hand. It’s so tempting to ask God just to do stuff for us, but what about seeking His FACE and His Glory, so that we can SERVE Him better instead.
10) That you’ll be able to WORSHIP in song and ENJOY extended periods of reflection throughout your days during prayer week.

  • Pray for the Baptism Candidates: Pray that the LORD will prepare their hearts to be His people, the sheep of His pasture.
  • Pray for Discipleship / Evangelism / Personal Growth of Followers of Jesus. 
  • Pray for Evangelisation of our Nation: That there would be a NATIONAL Revival. Holy Spirit come in POWER on our land.
  • Pray for the Renewal and Fire of Holy Spirit for ALL Christians. 

Be blessed and stay close to Jesus, every day. Amen.

Don.

David Hathaway shared on Facebook:

Listen Here: David’s Testimony of Imprisonment.

I want to teach you HOW to pray. I’m an evangelist, but I cannot evangelise without prayer. Without that I have no power in my ministry. When I was in a communist prison in 1972 for smuggling Bibles into the Communist Bloc (2 tonnes every time I came), I was pastor, evangelist – but I had to learn all over again HOW to pray. For the first six months, it seemed as if there was NO answer. I prayed I would be released – but I was condemned in the court to stay. I prayed for food – there was none. I prayed my wife would be able to visit me – she was refused permission. For six months I was learning HOW to pray in a cell where I was never alone – I shared my cramped cell with a murderer, drug smugglers, criminals – the lights were on 24 hours a day – the guards brutalised us every night. The only place of comfort that I had was a wooden stool with nails in it – I was forced to sit on that for more than 12 hours a day! Conditions were extreme.

HOW could I learn how to pray? I had to deprive myself physically, so that with no watch, no clock, I could force myself awake in the night in order to be alone with God. But there was NO answer. I remember the emotion that morning, after six months, in the early hours, and I was saying, “Oh God I can’t pray any more. Every prayer – You don’t answer. Every time I call – the answer is NO. Oh God, I cannot talk with You, I cannot pray, I’m better dead. Why live, if I have no communion with You? Why live, if You have forgotten me?” In desperation, that morning, in the awfulness of that cell, as I sat on those nails, I couldn’t cry out to God any more.

And then I remembered the words of the disciples to Jesus, when even they didn’t know how to pray, and I cried out like them, “Oh Lord, teach me HOW to pray!” And the Holy Spirit reminded me of the Lord’s Prayer. As a boy I attended a boys’ school, where every morning we had to repeat the Lord’s Prayer. To the other boys it was not a prayer, it was a blasphemy, so that I vowed from my childhood I would never ever recite the Lord’s Prayer, because Jesus said we must avoid vain, empty repetitions – the heathen do that.

So I began to say, “Our Father”, but I argued, “That’s plural, I’m alone in here. I’m not in church. I have to say, ‘my’ Father!” Suddenly I knew, He’s MINE! He’s my FATHER! I’m HIS child! I’m locked in this stinking prison, but He’s not only MINE, He’s my FATHER!

Real prayer is not when everything is OK, it’s when you are in the pit of hell, when the devil is surrounding you, when you don’t know how to open your mouth to pray… But something from within tells you, “He’s MINE! He’s MY Father! He sent His Son to experience hell on earth – for ME!”

Ephesians 1

Ephesians 1:1-23 (ESV)
1  Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus:
2  Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,
4  even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love
5  he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,
6  to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.


7  In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8  which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9  making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10  as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
11  In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12  so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 
13  In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14  who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

15  For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, 16  I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17  that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18  having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19  and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20  that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21  far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22  And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23  which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.