The Promised Presence Of The Lord Jesus Christ.

Surely I AM with you always

Daily Spirit and Word, 519: The Promise of Jesus Presence.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 35: The Promise of His Presence.

Good morning my friends. I’m feeling a lot better this morning than yesterday, so a BIG Hallelujah, I’m on the road to recovery at last. Praise the Lord. Though, I didn’t publish yesterday, I did the reading and have been pondering. It’s awesome to spend two days on just one theme: “The Promised Presence of the Lord Jesus Christ”.

After reading our booklet accompanying 40 Days With Jesus, and reviewing the content, I’ve become convinced that Dave Smith’s daily titles all need changing, they are too enigmatic (my Administrator’s phrase), too puzzling for the audience that I’m aiming at. You see my friends, I don’t really write these daily thoughts just for Christians, but so that the non-Christian knows what they are all about, even before they begin to read. I also want people who’re young in the faith to be encouraged and built up daily in their walk with the LORD. I believe Mature Christians will get some things from my writings, but I know that if they are Mature in the Faith, they’ll be at the point of wanting to feed others themselves, ready to feed and teach others the eternal truths of God’s Word. I want to change the titles because I want to make-plain and crystal-clear the teaching from the Bible, that’s why I write the way that I do. It takes much longer to filter out the language of zion, the phrases we ‘Christians’ use every day, but they have become like a secret-code and a barrier to those who don’t yet know the Lord Jesus Christ as Lord or Saviour. Our churches are full of people who know the Language of Zion, but don’t understand it or know the PERSON behind that language. It’s like the Muslim who recites the Koran in Arabic, but doesn’t know the meaning of what he’s saying. Yes, we’ve got incomprehensible language too.

For example: I’ve been asking some of our folks, who’ve been coming to church for years, what some of the things we say or preach about every week mean: “What does it mean to be born again?” “How would you explain to a non-Christian how to be born again?” and “How can I get Born-Again?” I’ve been staggered by their responses or to be more precise, their un-Biblical responses.

For example, Dave’s title today; “The Promise of His Presence”, it sounds catchy and those who are ‘born of God’s Holy Spirit’ know what it means, but to the young believer and the non-Christian it’s meaningless, but just add the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ and BOOM, YOU’VE got what today’s study is all about immediately. “The Promise of the Presence of the Lord Jesus Christ”. So I’m going to strive to make-plain (evident, simple, clear and unmistakable) as much as I can, the WORD of God (The Bible, Holy Scripture and the Gospel of Jesus Christ).

Why? Because that’s what Jesus was doing in our Bible reading today; He’s saying to the Disciples, something He’s been saying over and over and over and over and over again, but they DIDN’T UNDERSTAND, THEY DIDN’T GET IT. Even though our Lord Jesus had been saying it from the beginning, His own followers hadn’t grasped His words. John’s Gospel has been telling us right from the first few words and in almost every chapter; Jesus IS EMMANUEL (Which means, “God WITH US”

CRYSTAL-CLEAR: Jesus want’s us to know beyond and shadow of a doubt, that HE WILL BE WITH US forever.

You could give John’s Gospel a new title: “The Life of Jesus Christ, who is “GOD WITH US”” or “I’m going to tell you HOW God has been with us and has promised that when we receive Jesus Christ as LORD, He’ll always be with us”.

Here’s Jesus last words from John’s Gospel and Matthew’s Gospel and Mark’s Gospel. These PROVE beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus wants us to get it crystal-clear my friends, that once we’ve responded to His Gospel invitation; He’s going to be in us and with us forever.

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

In the last verse of Matthew’s Gospel we have:

Matthew 28:20 (NIV) “and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Can you see it my friends? God wants you to know from His WORD, the Bible, that He’s WITH you forever once you’ve received Jesus Christ.

Jesus said two words in this verse that give every believer great assurance and confidence in the world:

SURELY” = Definitely, Positively, Cartainly, Sure and Certain, Assuredly, For-Certain, For-sure, indeed, Sure-enough, Sure-as-shooting ducks in a barrel. So my friends, Jesus want’s us to know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that He is CERTAINLY and SURELY going to be with you forever.

and

ALWAYS” = Constantly, At-all-times, inecessantly, without-ceasing, without variation or change, at any time or in any event, without interruption, forever, perpetually, at all times, all the time and on every occasion: Jesus is with YOU once you’ve repented, received and believed in Him. AWESOME!

“IF ONLY I WAS THERE WITH JESUS: IT WOULD BE SO MUCH EASIER TO BELIEVE!”

That’s what we hear all the time when we’re out sharing the Gospel with folks on the streets, every week we’ll come across people who’ll say this. Even Christians who’ve known Jesus for ages, will sometimes wish; “I would love to have been around when Jesus was on the earth, my faith would be so much stronger”. “I wish I could touch Jesus, feel Him, see Him, be with Jesus”.

“I wish I could touch Jesus, feel Him, see Him, be with Jesus”.

Oh my friends, you want to know a secret? Then come a little closer to your computer monitor or phone screen, “Jesus is WITH you right now”. You’ve got it better than the Disciples had it when they were with Jesus for three years. You’ve got it better today than they had way back then. How? How have you got it better? Because Jesus, whilst He was on the earth, was limited. He couldn’t be everywhere at once, but NOW, now that Jesus has ascended into Heaven, He can be EVERYWHERE AT THE SAME TIME. JESUS is God. One of God’s attributes is that He’s OMNIPRESENT: = Being present everywhere at once. Another word for that is ‘ubiquitous’. Only God can be present everywhere at the same time.

Science: When you draw a vacuum there’s nothing in that space. When you suck all the air and all the mollecules out, there’s nothing there right? Well no, not really, because even in Space which is a perfect vacuum, there’s planets and moons and stars. But even if we could create a perfect vacuum, with nothing there, sucked out everything, God would still be there. You can’t get rid of God, He’s OMNI-PRESENT. Present everywhere at once. That’s why the Bible says;

Psalm 14:1 (NIV) “The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no-one who does good.

It’s a foolish thing to think we can be rid of God by simply saying “God’s not there” I saw a joke sign that read like this:

God-is-now-here: “God is nowhere” or have they left out a space “God is now here”.

“God is nowhere”

or

“God is now here”

My friends, Jesus IS with you always, to the very end of the age.

Read, John’s Gospel from Chapter 14 to the end and even chapter 1. You’ll see Jesus is EMMANUEL = GOD WITH US.

John 1:1-51 (NIV)
1  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2  He was with God in the beginning. 3  Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4  In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5  The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. 6  There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. 7  He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. 8  He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. 9  The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. 10  He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognise him. 11  He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12  Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13  children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. 14  The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15  John testifies concerning him. He cries out, saying, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ ” 16  From the fulness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. 17  For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18  No-one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known. 19  Now this was John’s testimony when the Jews of Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. 20  He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Christ.” 21  They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” He answered, “No.” 22  Finally they said, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” 23  John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’ ” 24  Now some Pharisees who had been sent 25  questioned him, “Why then do you baptise if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” 26  “I baptise with water,” John replied, “but among you stands one you do not know. 27  He is the one who comes after me, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.” 28  This all happened at Bethany on the other side of the Jordan, where John was baptising. 29  The next day John saw Jesus coming towards him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30  This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ 31  I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptising with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.” 32  Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. 33  I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptise with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptise with the Holy Spirit.’ 34  I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God.” 35  The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. 36  When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!” 37  When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. 38  Turning round, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?” They said, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher), “where are you staying?” 39  “Come,” he replied, “and you will see.” So they went and saw where he was staying, and spent that day with him. It was about the tenth hour. 40  Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. 41  The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). 42  And he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter ). 43  The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.” 44  Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. 45  Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” 46  “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked. “Come and see,” said Philip. 47  When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing false.” 48  “How do you know me?” Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig-tree before Philip called you.” 49  Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.” 50  Jesus said, “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig-tree. You shall see greater things than that.” 51  He then added, “I tell you the truth, you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

Notice Jesus words, “You believe because” Nathanael believed because of Jesus knowledge of him. The woman at the well believed because she thought “Come and meet a man who told me everything I ever did”. Thomas believed when He saw the resurrected Christ and Jesus said, “You believe because – you’ve seen me”

YOU BELIEVE BECAUSE ????

“Why do you believe in Jesus?” What would you say to a person who asks you that question? What would you say to God? Why DO you believe in Jesus? What do you believe about Him?

Personally, I believe because I’ve had a personal revelation, I’ve met the risen Lord Jesus Christ, He’s come to me every day since I came to believe and trust in Him, I meet Jesus every morning and chat with Him, He’s with me right now as I write these words to you. He’s also WITH YOU ALWAYS once you’ve received HIM. He’s promised you today, “I’ll NEVER leave you, I’ll never forsake you, I’m with you ALWAYS”

Enjoy the presence of the Lord today.

Don.

40 Days Home Page: 

NOTE: Can also be read @ St Luke’s Church Facebook Homepage

DAILY SPIRIT & WORD: 519: The Promised Presence Of The Lord Jesus Christ.

Transformed by Jesus to Transform Others

Transformation by Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word; 514: Transformed by Jesus to Transform Others.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 30: Transformed to Transform Others.

Good morning my friends. A little confession is good for the soul. Come closer, I’ve got something I need to confess to you today, but don’t tell anyone else.  😳 Since last Sunday I’ve been feeling quite unwell. It began with sciatica, which I’ve suffered with for a while, on and off, but I’ve also had another ache in my back, which won’t go away. So I went to the doctors, Dr Patel gave me anti-inflammation tablets and pain killers. To be honest, they’re not doing much good. So last night after training and prayer, I decided I couldn’t go out with the team. My mind wouldn’t have been on what I was meant to be doing, but on the pain. So they prayed for me and went out quite joyfully to share Jesus with others. You know something, I was hard to watch them go out on their own, but it was also a joy, because my brothers and sisters went out happy to talk with others about Jesus. We were encouraged by our Bible reading: Matthew 28:16-20. “I am with you”. Do you know how long I’ve been waiting to see some people in my church who are ready, confident, equipped, expectant and willing to share the Good News with everyone? We’ve been praying for ages, “Lord, the fields are white unto harvest, but the labourers are few, Oh Lord, send us more labourers who’re willing to go out into Your harvest field”. I’m praising Him this morning, because He’s answered that prayer. Oh Yes, my friends, the Labourers are still few in number, but they’re being prepared and sent out by Him.

Today’s focus is upon our NEED to be TRANSFORMED.

We’ll see today, that before we can even begin to contemplate being used to help transform other (from sinners into saints), we need to undergo a transformation ourselves first. That may seem obvious, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been on Evangelistic Missions when some of our TEAM members came to full faith in Jesus and were transformed by Him, whilst actually on the mission. They knew about Jesus, had gotten to the point of giving their lives to Jesus, but whilst they knew about Him, they didn’t actually KNOW Him. They believed that Jesus could save, but hadn’t actually been saved themselves. As we began to go about witnessing and preaching the Gospel, it then became blindingly evident to them, that they needed something to happen in order to enable them to share. Once they’d RECEIVE Jesus, many times through tears of repentance, and been transformed by Him (born-again) or changed from a sinner into a saint (regenerated), they were then ON FIRE and ready and equipped to enable them to TRANSFORM the lives of others.

Matthew 28:16-17 16  Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17  When they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted.

It’s getting close to the end of Jesus’ 40 Days, and we don’t really know how many times He appeared to these disciples, but some of them are still having trouble believing completely that Jesus was actually alive. Some of them worshipped, but some doubted. That tells me something my friends. In every church I’ve served the Lord Jesus, there have been those who’re there, they’ve got the faith, they’ve trusted Jesus and been transformed, they’re on fire, they’re ready to do anything for Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit and worship Him at the drop of a hat. But there are various levels of others, who’re not quite there yet. They may have been attending that church for many years, sometimes all their lives, they’ve gotten involved in every kind of church activity and they’ve done everything that needs to be done externally; baptism, confirmation, prayer group, Bible study, Home Group, ministry team, building committee, coffee rota, Sunday School helper, Church Warden and Church Council Member, but they’ve somehow done all of that without being TRANSFORMED by Jesus. It’s such a sad shame, but our fellowships are full of people who don’t actually know the Lord Jesus Christ. They know ALL about Him, but they don’t know Him.

Just like Jesus’ own disciples, who right up until He was about to ascend into Heaven, we can see that some of them were still doubting. Some worshipped Him, but some doubted: These were Jesus closest Disciples. So when we find amongst our numbers people who’ve been to church for years and still they’re not there yet, we shouldn’t be surprised or even (if you’re a minister or born again yourself) shocked, because Jesus Christ and all His Resurrection Appearances couldn’t convince even some of His closest followers, who’d seen and been there when He performed countless others miracles. If they still doubted after all that and with Jesus standing right in front of them and they’re still doubting, don’t be shocked or surprised when people who’ve done everything that needs to be done, and served in every possible way in your church, still don’t fully believe in Jesus. You’ve not failed, Jesus didn’t fail, it’s just human nature. It also highlights how difficult it is to set people free, to open people’s blind eyes and to bring people into God’s Kingdom. The Gospel is so EASY to believe, it’s simple to understand, but the sad things is, and Jesus warned us about it, many are called, but few are chosen.

“Some Worshipped, but some Doubted” 

How can we get people TRANSFORMED? Just like Jesus own Disciples, we NEED to be TRANSFORMED OURSELVES. We need the Holy Spirit birth, that’s what it took to change the others my friends, and that didn’t happen until a few days after Jesus had ascended into Heaven. However, once they’d been BAPTISED with Holy Spirit, they were then ON FIRE and nothing could stop them running out of that Upper Room and Witnessing and Proclaiming the Good News (Gospel) of the Lord Jesus Christ. Once they knew Him on the inside, after they’d been TRANSFORMED then they set about transforming others. It’s a supernatural work of God the Holy Spirit.

If you are still finding that there are some doubts in your heart, then ASK Jesus Christ to send His Holy Spirit into your life today.

If you are already full of the Holy Spirit and your not ready to share Jesus yet, then you need more of Him and a desire to be obedient to Jesus’ Great Commission to “Go”, because He’s not changed. His Mission for the Church has not altered. He wants every Christian to be on this Mission to Transform the Lives of Others, but to be able to do it, we need a transformation ourselves first.

If your heart’s desire is not to SAVE others, then you’ve not been born again. It’s as simple as that. Charles Spurgeon said it clearly: “”If you have no wish to bring others to heaven, you are not going there yourself.””

“If you have no wish to bring others to heaven, you are not going there yourself.”

In another sermon he said; “”Have you no wish for others to be saved, then you’re not saved yourself be sure of that””

“Have you no wish for others to be saved, then you’re not saved yourself be sure of that” Charles Spurgeon.

The Condition of Many: Charles Spurgeon said, “I heard about repentance but I never knew repentance until I repented. I heard of faith, but I never knew faith until I believed. I heard of pardon but I never knew pardon until I was washed in the blood of the Lamb. I read about justification by faith but I was never justified till, by faith, I received the Lord Jesus to be my Righteousness. Appropriation by faith gives an apprehension by the understanding—experimental enjoyment creates true acquaintance. Beloved, go to the Holy Spirit and ask Him to enable you to take the things which God freely gives and when you possess them, you will “know” them.”

In other words, my words 🙂 “We don’t know Jesus, until we KNOW Jesus” we can’t Know Jesus until we’re born of His Holy Spirit. We can know about Jesus, but experiential knowledge of Jesus comes when the Holy Spirit comes into our lives. He comes when we; Believe on Jesus Christ, REPENT of our Sins, seek His forgiveness, trust in His death and receive Him as LORD. If you’ve done all that then you’ll KNOW Jesus.

When you get married, you don’t need someone else to introduce you to your wife again do you? When you take a driving test, you don’t need someome to tell you about it, you’ve done it and you’ve got the certificate to prove it. When you are born of God’s Spirit, the Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are Children of God. We KNOW because He doesn’t keep quiet, the Holy Spirit reveals it to us and enables us to KNOW: Jesus the Son and God the Father. We KNOW that we KNOW…

Romans 8:13-16 13  For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body (Repentance), you will live,
14  because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
15  For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”
16  The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.

You KNOW because the SPIRIT makes us know. If you don’t know like that then guess what? You need the HOLY SPIRIT.

That’s Good NEWS: Because Jesus said, “Ask and you shall receive”. Does it say, “Ask and you might receive”? No! Of course not, Jesus wants every single one of us to be CERTAIN. He gives a sure and certain hope. Once you are born of God’s Spirit, REGENERATED, TRANSFORMED, you’ll know it. A sure sign that it has happened is your desires change and you’ll earnestly, wholeheartedly desire what God wants, to see others being TRANSFORMED and REGENERATED and SAVED as well.

Jesus Transformed us so that we can TRANSFORM others.

We’re TRANSFORMED by Jesus in order that we are to be involved in His Great Commission, to TRANSFORM the lives of others. We’re SAVED to SAVE.

It’s like we’ve been plucked from the sea by the life-boat, but once we’re aboard, we’ll be pulling others aboard as well, so that they can be saved.

Conclusion: Amongst our ranks we’ll have those who’re on fire and ready to fulfill the GREAT COMMISSION. We’ll have others who are on thier way to Jesus. We’ll have some, like the Disciples, who’ll be doubting. We’ll have some who are ready to fall down and worship the Lord Jesus Christ.

Don’t be tempted to give up or give in. Don’t get disheartened, disappointed or downcast. Keep going because men and women don’t always receive the Gospel the first time they hear it. It’s like a wood-splitter’s wedge, thin on one edge and thick on the other, but each swing of his hammer drives the wedge deeper into the wood, until eventually it breaks apart and forms a lovely plank. Keep preaching snippets of the gospel many times with many people and eventually some of their hard-hearts will be broken by God’s Holy Spirit. Sometimes, you are just planting seeds, but some seeds take time in the soil to germinate. But the seed never dies! Praise the Lord.

Be certain that you’ve been TRANSFORMED first, then go out with Jesus and transform the lives of others.

Have an awesome day fulfilling the Great Commission with the Lord Jesus in you and with you always.

Don.

40 Days With Jesus Home Page.

Notes: Charles Spurgeon’s Sermons:

Grace for Grace. Charles Spurgeon. Number 2087.

“She Was Not Hid” Sermon Charles Spurgeon Charles Spurgeon Sermon: Number 2019.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 30: Transformed by Jesus to Transform Others.

 

Seeking and Finding

Seeking and Finding

Daily Spirit & Word, 492: Seeking and Finding.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 7

Good morning my friends, as we look back over the first week of 40 Days With Jesus, we can learn an important lesson for life from Mary Magdalene and her encounter with the risen Lord Jesus.

First, we are inspired by Mary’s seeking the Lord Jesus. She was the first to go to the tomb and the last to leave. It reminds me of Joshua and Moses who met with the Lord in the tent and after Moses left Joshua lingered in the Lord’s presence. Joshua took over from Moses and went on to lead the Nation of Israel for many years. Mary after arriving first was not satisfied with the empty tomb, she wanted to find the body of the Lord, eventually she was the first to see Him alive and was given the message of His resurrection to take to the others.

Seek The Lord:

Throughout the Bible we are encouraged to diligently seek the Lord, with the promise that when we do, we’ll find Him.

Isaiah 55:6-7 6  Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near. 7  Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.

Jeremiah 29:13 “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

1 Chronicles 16:10-11 10  Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice. 11  Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.

The Chronicles reading above encourages us to seek the face of the Lord. Many people only turn to the Lord when they need something, i.e. His mighty hand, but few are seeking the Lord for Himself. We think it’s few but the Bible tells us that it’s NONE:

Romans 3:10-12 10  As it is written: “There is no-one righteous, not even one;
11  there is no-one who understands, no-one who seeks God.
12  All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no-one who does good, not even one.”

God alone knows our hearts, but it’s possible after being filled with God’s Spirit to diligently seek the Lord for He is worthy to be praised. Not for what He can do for us or will do, but for who He is. Once we begin to do that, Oh the glory that’s revealed.

Jesus as the Risen Lord revealed Himself to Mary Magdalene because of her diligent searching, He’d given her signs along the way; first the open tomb with the stone rolled away, then the folded grave clothes and then the Angels in the tomb, then finally the Lord Himself speaking with Mary. My friends, Jesus took the initiative and was already showing Mary He was alive and had risen before that final revelation. He’ll do the same with you too, the moment you set your heart to seek the Lord, He’s already begun the process of revelation. You see my friends, whenever our hearts desire is to seek the Lord, guess who planted that desire in the first place? He’s always calling you into an even deeper revelation than you’ve already had, He wants to show you more, but He wants you to seek Himself. When you do, He’s promised to answer that prayer and heart’s desire.

Luke 11:9-13 9  “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
10  For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
11  “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?
12  Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?
13  If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

In the Luke reading above we can clearly see Jesus promise that when we diligently seek the Lord, we’re going to find even more than we imagined. Not just answered prayers, but the powerful presence and infilling of the Holy Spirit. Have you ever asked to be filled with the Holy Spirit? Look at verse 13 above, it’s God’s desire to fill you my friends.

All of the above highlights the need for followers of the Lord Jesus Christ to seek the Lord diligently, hanging-in, holding-on, pressing-in, pursuing with great earnestness, are you seeking the Lord? Persist in this and don’t give up, you will find the Lord.

As we continue through the 40 Days With Jesus, be encouraged to seek the Lord in the following ways:

Find The Time: Yes we can meet with God anytime, even on a bus or on the toilet, but I would encourage every sincere follower of Jesus, a disciple, to make the effort to have a daily quiet time to be alone with the Risen Lord Jesus Christ, to meet with Him, to make an appointment in your diary and be with Jesus, on time, every day. You wouldn’t be late for a dentist or doctor’s appointment would you? Make an appointment with Jesus and do your utmost to Keep it.

Find the Place: Yes we can meet with God anywhere, but you need to find your own place to meet with the Lord. John Wesley’s mother used to meet with the Lord under a sheet. It’s a place where you can be undisturbed for a while to be with Jesus. On a Submarine at sea it was difficult, because every part of the boat is continually manned, but we used to meet up in a place called the SINNS ROOM (Compass Room). You’ll find your own place to be with Jesus and it will become a special place, because when you seek the Lord, you’re going to meet Him there.

Find the Way: There are many wonderful ways to meet with he Lord.  But here are the Bible’s ways: Begin with Praise, “I will enter his gates with thanksgiving in my heart” Thanksgiving is so important. Then prayer, then reading His Word and thinking, meditating and going over in your mind what you’ve ready. I meet so many Christians who say they can’t get anything out of the Bible, but after talking with them, and finding out how they read, I’m not at all surprised. We need to know that the Bible is God’s Word to our lives; it’s useful for teaching, correcting, rebuking and training in righteousness, so that the man and woman of God can be thoroughly equipped for every good work of service. 2 Tim 3:16-17.

When you find the TIME and the PLACE and the WAY: You’ll discover afresh that Jesus Christ really is the WAY, THE TRUTH and the LIFE. John 14. He’s only ever a prayer away. You will find Jesus in your quiet place, and you’ll long to be with Him every day. You’ll experience LIFE the way that Jesus wants, fullness or abundance of spiritual life. You’ll overflow with God’s Spirit and touch the lives of many people because you’ve been meeting with the King of kings and LORD of Lords. All because, Like Mary Magdalene you were Seeking and Finding.

Keep going my friends, I’m with you on this journey through 40 Days With Jesus.

Don.

Points to Ponder:

  • How can you more diligently seek after Jesus on a daily basis?
  • Encourage yourself with the fact that He is already taking the initiative to seek after you.

Prayer:

Dear Lord Jesus, I thank you so much from my heart today that you’ve taken the first steps before I even began to look for you. I’m encouraged today Lord by Mary and how You revealed yourself to her, and the promises from Your Word that encourage me to seek you with all my heart and I will find you. Oh Lord Jesus, I want to see more of You, to know You better every single day. Help me today to continue and walk closely with me Lord Jesus, I want to do Your will in my life today. Amen!

40 Days With Jesus Home Page

P.S. I’m really looking forward to meeting up with our group again tonight. If you are free and live close by, you are welcome to come along and join with us. It’s great fun to discover the Lord with others. You’ll also be encouraged by what other people have experienced in their walk with Jesus.

These Thoughts Are Inspired by the book 40 Days With Jesus by Dave Smith. Don’s thoughts for the day.

The Second Video can be found on this PAGE.

The Movie can be found at the resources website above.

Seeking and Finding: 40 Days With Jesus: Day 7: Seeking and Finding.

 

 

The Name of The LORD

In The Name of Jesus

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

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

 

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

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

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

 Portcullis:

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

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

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

 The NAME of the LORD IS a Strong Tower.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 The Follower of Jesus has Enemies:

We have got some POWERFUL enemies against us my friends;

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

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

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

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

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

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

God bless and have an awesome Saturday with Jesus.

Don.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No Prayer – No Power.

Plug into the power of prayer

Daily Spirit & Word, 480: No Prayer – No Power.

 Plug into the POWER of PRAYER.

Good morning my friends, we’ve just had a wonderful few days over the Easter Bank Holiday Weekend, with family, friends and awesome fellowship. Easter Sunday was an exciting celebration of the Power of the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus. There are times in the life of every believer when we feel low, when we don’t feel close to the Lord and when things seem to get hard both spiritually and emotionally. Quite often that will happen after a wonderful time of close connection with Jesus and an encounter with the Holy Spirit. When that happens to me I get back to spending longer times in prayer with the Lord, and more often than not I begin to wonder, “Lord, what are you saying to me through this?” The Lord is so gentle and kind, because He’ll lead me back into His ways and He’ll gently show me or remind me what I should have been doing or ought not to have done.

You all know one of my mottoes in life is: No Read – No Feed… If I don’t read God’s Word then I’m not going to be fed Spiritually.

 It’s the same with Prayer: No Prayer – No Power. When we are prayerless, then we’re going to powerless as followers of Jesus. Think of prayer as a way to charge you up spiritually as one would your mobile phone. We’re always charging our phones to ensure they have enough power to see us through the day, but do we spend quality time charging in prayer with the Lord Jesus?

No Prayer – No Power

Little Prayer = Little Power.

Quality Prayer = Explosive POWER.

 My Spiritually Drained Life:

 First; No Read – No Feed: Sometimes it’s a lack of real engagement with the Word of God; I’ll be reading it, but then at the end of a passage or even a whole chapter, I’m left wondering what I’ve just read. Then I realise, I’ve been reading without thinking, reading without paying attention to what I’m reading, so the Lord guides me to go back and read it again. I’ve done that so many times, when I’ve woken up tired from a late night or been up during the night and just begin reading God’s Word automatically or out of routine. Then BAM! It hits me, I’ve been reading God’s Word as if it’s a Newspaper or an Advert: skim reading and not dwelling upon it or reading it prayerfully. That’s quickly followed by a confession and repentance and return to devotional reading, seeking the Lord for His light from His Word. You know my friends, I can confess to you right now, that these are some of the most powerful and profitable times in God’s Word. You see God didn’t call us to be like robots or to do things out of duty or routine, but always seeking to engage and talk with one another. That’s what should be happening when I’m reading His Word, because it’s His living Word and He wants to speak to me through His revelations and give me fresh revelations every single day.

Secondly: No Prayer – No Power. Then I’ll sometimes get convicted about my prayer life or more specifically my lack of engagement or communication with my Lord. You see Jesus wants us to know that when we pray, he’s right there with us, He’s not some distant deity that we have to emplore to be touched by our works our devotions or our dedications. No my friends, Jesus is right there and wants us to know it, the moment we turn to Him in prayer, His desire is to communicate and be with us. How awesome is that? Jesus is not impressed by how we posture ourselves or about how holy a place we’ve found to pray, what He’s impressed with is a heart that desires to know Him and be with Him and spend time in His company, a heart that desires to do His will, to live in accordance with His commands, for Jesus knows that when He gets a heart of a human being in the morning like that, that we are truly loving Him for who He is and not just what He can do for us.

When we come to Jesus in prayer and come to His Word with our focus and attention and heart right, then we’re going to get the power encounters that all the ancient saints of old and down through history have experienced with the Lord. Like Moses, Joshua, David, Elijah, Elisha, Daniel, we’ll get revelation and power. They all plugged in and got the power. When we Read God’s Word and Spend Quality Time in Prayer, then we’re going to be fed and powered up for following Jesus today.

God’s Word, for reading and meditation today:
Luke 18:1-8
1  Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.
2  He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men.
3  And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’
4  “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care about men,
5  yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually wear me out with her coming!’ ”
6  And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says.
7  And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?
8  I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

It’s amazing what people down through the ages have called this parable; “The Parable of the Persistent Widow” “The Widow that never gives us”. But it could also be called “The Parable of God’s Desire for Justice”. It just depends upon our focus; are we thinking about earthly things or heavenly things. Where your treasure is there your heart will be also. If our heart’s desire is to be God’s person, then we’ll be concerned with Heavenly things. God’s desire is that people always get justice and Christians should always be on the side of fairness, equality, justice, mercy. Giving aid and assistance to the poor and those who can’t care for themselves. Once we know the Lord and His deeper desires then we’ll also act in accordance with God’s character as well. However, just as the widow was persistent until she got the unjust judge to listen, we’ll also continue in prayer and never give up until we see that justice is being done. We’ll pray and act and then we’ll see the POWER of Heaven released.

We’re not to just to pray, God’s much more concerned about How we live in this world and about how we’re being obedient to what He’s already revealed. When we come to God in the morning and we’re ready to do His will in the world that day, don’t you believe that He’s ready to listen to your petitions? Oh yes my friends, David and Abraham were called the friends of God, because their hearts were filled with a desire to trust Him alone. Abraham believed the Lord and it was credited to him as righteousness. David was a man after the Lord’s own heart. They both desired to do His will.

No Read – No Feed.

No Prayer – No Power.

Go on my friends, get close to Jesus right now: Pray and Feed upon His Word. You’ll get Power to sustain you throughout your day. You’ll be fed and nurtured by God’s Word to equip you for the fight of the faith. It’s your only weapon against the enemy.

No Prayer – No Power.

Little Prayer = Little Power.

Quality Prayer = Explosive POWER.

Prayer: Oh Lord, let me come to You and to Your Word ready to listen, to pay attention to what you’ve got to say to me every single day. Let me have a heart that’s ready and willing to obey what You are telling me. Show me Lord the areas of my life, that I’m slipping up in: is my prayer life right Lord? is my Bible reading right Lord? is my heart attitude towards others right Lord? I’m desiring to live my life Your way Lord. I want your power in me, I want to know your Word. Help me to be like David and Abraham, I want to be called a friend of God and friend of Jesus. I know that you are my friend Lord, but help me to live every moment knowing my best friend is with me wherever I go. Amen.

You know my friends, when you pray like that God’s going to show you things in His Word and He’ll answer your prayers quickly. So don’t ever think of quitting or giving up, but be like that widow, be persistent in prayer and the Lord who loves Justice, Mercy, Patience, Kindness, Goodness and Gentleness will answer your prayers quickly. Amen!

Don.

No Read – No Feed.

No Prayer – No Power.

 

The Kingdom of Power

God's Kingdom Power

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God's Kingdom Power
The Kingdom of Power

Rosa’s Encounter:

Last Night The Kingdom Came With Power.

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

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

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

The Power of The Kingdom.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have an awesome Maundy thursday.

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

Be filled with God’s Holy Spirit right now.

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

 

Don.

The Kingdom of Power.

 

Be Strong and Courageous

Daily Spirit & Word, 473: Be Strong and Courageous.

 “Be strong and of a good courage.” Joshua 1:18

Good morning my friends, it seems strange to me that the LORD would need to keep encouraging Joshua to be “Strong and of good courage”, because of all the people in the Nation of Israel, Joshua was probably one of the most courageous and strongest. Perhaps the LORD knew Joshua better than we do and outward appearances were not the same as his heart condition. Just look at how many times the LORD encouraged Joshua to be; STRONG and COURAGEOUS.

Joshua 1:5-9 “No-one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. 6  “Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. 7  Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8  Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

“Be Strong and very courageous” Joshua 1:7.

God knows each one of us intimately and what our fears and anxieties are, He knew Joshua better than he knew himself, but note the power of Joshua’s life, it was because he chose to spend time alone with God. Even after Moses had left the tent of meeting, Joshua remained in the tent with the Lord.

  • The Lord is my light and my salvation: whom shall I fear?
  • The Lord is the strength of my life: of whom shall I be afraid?
  • He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.
  • Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:
  • but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength;
  • they shall mount up with wings as eagles;
  • they shall run, and not be weary;
  • and they shall walk, and not faint. —
  • My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.
  •  If God be for us, who can be against us? —
  • The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me? —
  • Through thee will we push down our enemies: through thy name will we tread them under that rise up against us. —
  • We are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
  •  Arise therefore, and be doing, and the Lord be with thee.

Acts 4:13. Psalm 27:1. Isaiah 40:29-31. Psalm 73:26. Romans 8:31. Psalm 118:6. Psalm 44:5. Romans 8:37. 1 Chronicles 22:16.

My friends, there’s just one more verse from the Bible to share with you today, note that the Apostles were transformed and very courageous, but take note of why: Acts 4:13 (NIV) “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realised that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.”

 Joshua was very strong and courageous.

Peter and John were courageous.

Moses, Gideon, David, Elijah, Paul, James, Stephen; were all courageous.

WHY?

Because they spent TIME with the LORD JESUS CHRIST.

And God was with them.

Now, let’s get alone with Jesus and talk with Him, be with Jesus, soak in His Word, read and meditate upon His Word, pray to Jesus about your day, be strengthened and encouraged, be strong and courageous.

Then you too will be very strong and courageous and the world will be ASTONISHED.

“For the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

He’s with you to the end my friends.

I hope your Saturday is filled with great things from the LORD today.

Don.

Be Strong and Courageous.

 

Sermon. A Call to Prayer, by J.C.Ryle

A Call to Prayer, by J.C.Ryle

I found this on The Christian Mind Website (Copied here because so many sites seem to disappear after a while). Ryle’s writings are all in the Public Domain now.

This is an extract from a sermon by J.C.Ryle (1816 – 1900), a nineteenth-century preacher and Anglican bishop of the city of Liverpool.

I ask again whether you pray, because a habit of prayer is one of the surest marks of a true Christian.

All the children of God on earth are alike in this respect. From the moment there is any life and reality about their religion, they pray. Just as the first sign of the life of an infant when born into the world is the act of breathing, so the first act of men and women when they are born again is praying.

This is one of the common marks of all the elect of God, “They cry unto him day and night.” Luke 18:1. The Holy Spirit who makes them new creatures, works in them a feeling of adoption, and makes them cry, “Abba, Father.” Romans 8:15. The Lord Jesus, when he quickens them, gives them a voice and a tongue, and says to them, “Be dumb no more.” God has no dumb children. It is as much a part of their new nature to pray, as it is of a child to cry. They see their need of mercy and grace. They feel their emptiness and weakness. They cannot do otherwise than they do. They must pray.

I have looked carefully over the lives of God’s saints in the Bible. I cannot find one whose history much is told us, from Genesis to Revelation, who was not a person of prayer. I find it mentioned as a characteristic of the godly, that “they call on the Father,” that “they call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.” I find it recorded as a characteristic of the wicked, that “they call not upon the Lord.” 1 Peter 1:17; 1 Corinthians 1:2; Psalm 14:4.

I have read the lives of many eminent Christians who have been on earth since the Bible days. Some of them, I see, were rich, and some poor. Some were learned, and some were unlearned. Some of them were Episcopalians, and some were Christians of other names. Some were Calvinists, and some were Arminians. Some have loved to use liturgy, and some to use none. But one thing I see they all had in common. They have all been people of prayer.

I have studied reports of missionary societies in our own times. I see with joy that lost men and women are receiving the gospel in various parts of the globe. There are conversions in Africa, in New Zealand, in India, in China. The people converted are naturally unlike one another in every respect. But one striking thing I observe at all the missionary stations: the converted people always pray.

I do not deny that a person may pray without heart and without sincerity. I do not for a moment pretend to say that the mere fact of a person’s praying proves everything about their soul. As in every other part of religion, so also in this, there may be deception and hypocrisy.

But this I do say, that not praying is a clear proof that a person is not yet a true Christian. They cannot really feel their sins. They cannot love God. They cannot feel themselves a debtor to Christ. They cannot long after holiness. They cannot desire heaven. They have yet to be born again. They have yet to be made a new creature. They may boast confidently of election, grace, faith, hope and knowledge, and deceive ignorant people. But you may rest assured it is all vain talk if they do not pray.

And I say furthermore, that of all the evidences of the real work of the Spirit, a habit of hearty private prayer is one of the most satisfactory that can be named. A person may preach from false motives. A person may write books and make fine speeches and seem diligent in good works, and yet be a Judas Iscariot. But a person seldom goes into their closet and pours out their soul before God in secret, unless they are in earnest. The Lord himself has set his stamp on prayer as the best proof of conversion. When he sent Ananias to Saul in Damascus, he gave him no other evidence of his change of heart than this, “Behold he prayeth.” Acts 9:11.

I know that much may go on in a person’s mind before they are brought to pray. They may have many convictions, desires, wishes, feelings, intentions, resolutions, hopes, and fears. But all these things are very uncertain evidences. They are to be found in ungodly people, and often come to nothing. In many a case they are not more lasting than the morning cloud and dew that passes away. A real hearty prayer, moving from a broken and contrite spirit, is worth all these things put together.

I know that the Holy Spirit, who calls sinners from their evil ways, does in many instances lead them by very slow degrees to acquaintance with Christ. But the eye of man can only judge by what it sees. I can not call anyone justified until they believe. I dare not say that anyone believes until they pray. I cannot understand a dumb faith. The first act of faith will be to speak to God. Faith is to the soul what life is to the body. Prayer is to faith what breath is to the body. How a person can live and not breathe is past my comprehension, and how a person can believe and not pray is past my comprehension too.

Never be surprised if you hear ministers of the gospel dwelling much on the importance of prayer. This is the point they want to bring to you. They want to know that you pray. Your views of doctrine may be correct. Your love of Protestantism may be warm and unmistakable. But still this may be nothing more than head knowledge and party spirit. They want to know whether you are actually acquainted with the throne of grace, and whether you can speak to God as well as speak about God.

A Call To Prayer: Expanded upon by J.C. Ryle in a Pamphlet he wrote after preaching to encourage Christians into a deeper prayer life and a closer walk with Jesus.

via A Call to Prayer, by J.C.Ryle | The Christian Mind.