When The Testing Is OVER

WHEN THE TESTING IS OVER.

When The TESTING is OVER: Be Strong & Very Courageous.
Before Joshua got to cross over the Jordan into the Promised Land, he had to go through many years of; Trials, Temptations and Tests in the wilderness. Finally, he’s arrived and ready to take up the mantle of Moses leading the people of Israel.
Joshua 1:1-6 (NIV)
1 After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, the LORD said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ assistant:
2  “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites.
3  I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses.
4  Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Great Sea on the west.
5  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.
Now, my friends, you too may have had many years of similar wilderness wandering, with trials, tests and temptations along the way, but NOW is your time. God has been refining you. Moulding you into the person He wants you to be. It may have been like going through a fire of testing to get you to where you are today. However, it is NOW that God is going to use those years of experience, of character formation and of trusting in Him alone.
People will look to you as a kind of Spiritual GIANT, like Joshua, because of what you’ve been through and come out the other side a better man or woman.
  • They’ll see that instead of getting bitter, you’ve got BETTER.
  • They’ll see that instead of getting upset when trouble comes, you’ll exhibit a remarkable PEACE.
  • They’ll see that instead of moaning about stuff, you’ll be singing with a genuine JOY in your heart.
How? Because the LORD is your strength.
The LORD is the one empowering you.
You’ve learned that in every circumstance that it is possible to REJOICE.
You’ve learned that you NEED Jesus every day.
You’ve learned to FEED upon His Word.
You’ve learned He loves it when you listen to the Holy Spirit and walk in obedience and submission to His will.
Like Joshua and many other Heroes of our faith, you don’t always get it right, but you’ve discovered that when you fail, fall and stumble, you can get back up again, come to the Lord, confess your sin, weakness, fear and disobedience, and seek His forgiveness, renewal, infilling and guidance again.
When the TESTING is OVER: Be strong (in the LORD) and very courageous. Amen!
Rejoice in the LORD ALWAYS.
and again I say, REJOICE.
Peace and Presence of the LORD, be with YOU today.
Amen!
Zechariah 4:6 (NIV) “So he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.””

Love Always Perseveres

Love from God's perspective.

Daily Spirit & Word: 824.

Love Always Perseveres.

Sermon Series on LOVE (Understanding LOVE from God’s Perspective 1 Corinthians 13).

Good morning, we’re back with 1 Corinthians 13: The Great Love Chapter in God’s Word. Here we’ve been discovering some of the secrets of TRUE LOVE:

TRUE LOVE: Agape: Sacrificial / Devotional / Charitable Love.

1) That love is not at first an emotion to give into, but an act of the will, with principles and precepts to live by.

2) We will want to act these ways, because we’ve first of all experienced God’s; Love, Forgiveness, Kindness and Mercy. He’s given us a New Start, New Heart, New Life, New Relationship of Love through His Son Jesus Christ and the indwelling Holy Spirit.

3) When we act in God’s love, great feelings of LOVE will follow… i.e. attraction in relationships can be restored.

Some People think their marriage is over, because they don’t feel the love any-longer  It’s not over just because you don’t feel “IN LOVE” any more. Love and feelings of being in love will follow and flow afresh into your heart and your relationship once you begin LOVING God’s Ways.

LOVE ALWAYS: (Sermon Series).

We’ve been looking over the last few weeks at: Verse 7: Love Always:

1 Corinthians 13:7 (NIV) It (LOVE) always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Today It Is: Love Always Perseveres.

To see how LOVE ALWAYS Perseveres: We can look though God’s Word to see if this is a principle / precept that is TRUE.

  • Then we’ll KNOW: Know the Truth and the Truth will set you free.
  • Then we’ll KNOW: That Always Persevering in LOVE… (LOVE NEVER FAILS)…

Genesis 29:20 (NIV) “So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her.” (That’s Perseverance).

Part of Jacob’s reward for working for Laban was to have Rachel, Laban’s beautiful daughter, given to Jacob as his wife. Our verse for today sums up the details of this arrangement and shows the great effects of love how we’ll be persevering because of it…

  • Love Prompted Jacob’s Perseverance.
  • Love Prolonged Jacob’s Perseverance.
  • Love Produced Pleasure in Jacob’s Toil.

1) LOVE Prompted Jacob’s Perseverance:

Perseverance’s Prerequisite: Is LOVE:  “Jacob served seven years to get Rachel.” (Prerequisite = Essential Condition. Needed Requirement: LOVE).

It was love that caused Jacob to serve here. He was very much in love with Rachel and so agreed to serve Laban for her. Love is essential if we are going to persevere.

Remember what Paul said;

2 Corinthians 5:14-15 (NIV)
14  For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.
15  And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

Paul was motivated (compelled) to serve his Lord Jesus by his love for Christ. (First LOVE).

When Christ called Peter to feed His flock, He asked Peter, “Do you love me?” or in KJV “Lovest thou me” (John 21:15,16,17 {three times}).

If your perseverance draining, if you feel everything to do with church is a drag, maybe you are getting a bit like the church at Ephesus which was rebuked by the Lord because they had “left their first love” (Revelation 2:4).

If Jacob had just had a passing FANCY for Rachel, he would not have served or persevered to get her hand in marriage.

It wasn’t a passing fancy, but true love that enabled Jacob to persevere for those seven long years.

 

2) Prolonging of Perseverance. “Jacob served seven years to get Rachel.”

Love caused Jacob to serve for a long time.

Later when Laban deceived Jacob and gave him Leah instead of Rachel at the end of those seven years, Jacob was prepared, because of his love for Rachel, to agree to serve another seven years for her. That’s awesome! We need to understand this today 14 Years to get a wife… who today would be prepared to do that? Would you wait? That’s how much he longed for and loved Rachel.

Because of his LOVE he was prepared to persevere for Rachel’s hand.

  • Love Caused Jacob: To continually work for Rachel.
  • Love Cause Jacob: To Never Give up on Rachel.
  • Love Caused Jacob: To have longevity (No matter how long it would take, he’d get his Rachel)…
  • Love Cause Jacob: To keep Going, not quit after a few days, weeks, months or years… 14 years it took to get his Rachel as his wife.
  • LOVE MADE JACOB: Persevere until….

 

QUESTION: Why do so many Christians fall away from the faith?

Why do so many Christians grow luke-warm in their devotion to Jesus?

Why do so many not persevere and keep following Jesus?

ANSWER: NOT IN LOVE WITH JESUS.

Some have a PASSING FANCY for the CHRISTIAN FAITH. Dabble their toes in the water of Christian Experience, but when the going gets tough, the feeble, fickle, feeling based Christians = leg it. They’ve had a passing fancy for Jesus, not TRUE LOVE… If Jesus was ever their FIRST LOVE, then no matter what, they’d stick at it come what may.

The reason so many folks do not last long in persevering faith in Christ is because they do not love Christ as they need.

If you truly love Christ, you will stay at your work continually: Like Jacob (Joseph, David, Moses, Abraham). Some didn’t see their PROMISED LAND (HOPE)… However, because of their LOVE they were able to PERSEVERE.

  • Love causes us to have longevity in our persevering for Christ.
  • Love does not serve Jesus a few days then quit when it gets tough; no it KEEPS GOING (Digging In Deeper onto the foundation bedrock of Jesus).
  • Love keeps us going in serving the LORD.
  • When we LOVE Jesus, we will PERSEVERE in the FAITH…

3) PLEASURE in PERSEVERING (Perseverance’s Rewards).

Genesis 29:20 (NIV) “So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her.”

When you are truly in LOVE with Jesus, then no matter what happens; good or bad, plenty or want, you’ll LONG to SERVE HIM: Persevering won’t seem like a chore or a burden, it’s a pleasure.

  • When Jacob got Rachel: He said, “It seems like I’ve only served a few days” because of his love for her.
  • When you get to Heaven: You’ll be thinking it only seemed like a few days that I served Jesus. Because of your LOVE for Him.
  • Love for Rachel made long-days seem short.
  • Love for Rachel brought much pleasure to Jacob’s service. (The sweat of looking after sheep was a JOY)…
  • Love for Rachel sweetened the difficult times and made them delightful times.

 

Question: Why do so many followers of Jesus find serving Jesus a chore or a burden or a difficulty?

Why do so many Christians get resentful in their service?

  • They’re not looking at Jesus. Taken their eyes off HIM…
  • They’ve forgotten the Prize.
  • They’ve wandered away from their first LOVE…

 

LOVE ALWAYS PERSEVERES:

Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIV) (Don’t Loose Heart: Run With Perseverance: Fix Eyes on Jesus)…
1  Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
2  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Philippians 3:14 (NIV) PRESS ONWARDS to WIN PRIZE…
14  I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus.

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (NIV) RUN (Persevere) to GET YOUR PRIZE.
24  Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.
25  Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last for ever.
26  Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air.
27  No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

If you are not in love with Jesus, you will not persevere: Not Run, Fix Eyes, Aim, Walk or Limp towards your Prize. You will loose heart and possibly fall away from the faith…

If you are in love with Jesus, you will persevere: Run, Walk, Keep Going, PERSEVERE.

 

How to get back in LOVE? {with your first-love}

  • LOVE as the Bible tells you: be patient, be kind, be forgiving, be gentle, don’t be proud, selfish, rude… etc (1 Cor 13). PRACTISING CHRISTIAN… Practice LOVE… Try it.
  • Repent: Of your lack of love for Jesus. Ask for His forgiveness. He’ll then MOTIVATE you to PERSEVERE once you are back IN LOVE with Him.

 

NOTE: RUNNING FOR THE PRIZE: (Not Down to Self-Effort)…

Personal Testimony: I’d failed, time and time again. Self-Effort wasn’t working. I got a bit depressed, felt a failure, felt God didn’t love me, couldn’t love me, wouldn’t love me. I had almost LOST HEART… Why? Because I was trying to be GOOD in my own strength, my own determination and perseverance and my will-power was failing fast… Who would rescue me? It’s Jesus my friends, I needed to trust in Jesus alone all over again. Submit to Him and confess and let Him do the changing of my heart…. Allow HIM IN: I needed to surrender all over again.

This PERSEVERANCE: Is NOT Self-Effort: It comes from being connected and in-love with Jesus. (OR RE-CONNECTED).

He gives you the DETERMINATION YOU NEED to Keep Persevering against the odds…

People will look at you and wonder: “How on earth does He / She do it?”… It’s NOT you, It’s Jesus in YOU… It’s the Holy Spirit who’s taken up residence and become your own personal President (Lord, Master, Boss, King)… He’ll be motivating you to obedience to what you know is right.

But many do not find that joy in serving. The reason is because they lack that deep heart love for Jesus.

If your love for Christ abounds, you will find much pleasure in serving Him even though the service may be difficult, long, hard, and trying.

LOVE ALWAYS PERSEVERES: Jacob loved Rachel (A Picture of How the Saint should love His / Her Jesus).

Conclusion:

1) Perseverance’s Prerequisite: LOVE for Jesus (Jacob loved Rachel)…
2) Prolonging of Perseverance: LOVE will make you SERVE for MANY YEARS…
3) Perseverance’s Reward: Those many years of service will seem like only a few days… Because, there is PLEASURE in persevering. {LOVE ALWAYS PERSEVERES}.

You’ll delight in Serving for Jesus, if you LOVE Him… No matter how successful or not… You’re going to keep going because of your LOVE for Him.

Amen!

Hymn:

Oh, How I LOVE Jesus,
Oh, How I love Jesus,
Oh, How I love Jesus,
Because He first loved me.

A Spirit Filled Christian

What does it mean to be Spirit Filled

Daily Spirit & Word: 822: A Spirit Filled Christian

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

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

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

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

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

1) A SPIRIT FILLED CHRISTIAN:

             WILL WORSHIP IN THE SPIRIT

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

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

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

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

2) A SPIRIT FILLED CHRISTIAN:

              WILL WORK TOGETHER IN UNITY

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

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

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

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

 

3) A SPIRIT FILLED CHRISTIAN:

             WILL BE WILLING TO FORGIVE OTHERS

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

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

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

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

4) A SPIRIT FILLED CHRISTIAN:

             WILL WALK IN DIVINE LOVE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

5) A SPIRIT FILLED CHRISTIAN:

             WILL WITNESS TO THE LOST

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

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

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

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

TOO MUCH ATTENTION:

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

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

TOO LITTLE ATTENTION:

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

WHAT NEXT?

So what? What am I supposed to do now?

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

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

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

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

BE FILLED: And;

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

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

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

NOTES: What Does The Holy Spirit Do?

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

The Holy Spirit is God:

Jesus, The Father and the Holy Spirit are ONE:

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

However, we NEED to keep being FILLED….

ASK! ASK! ASK!

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

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

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

 

New Year 2017 Getting The Father’s Heart

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

Daily Spirit & Word: 821

Jesus Of Nazareth.

Getting The Father’s Heart For the New Year.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Which is most precious to us?

Which is most precious to God?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Be blessed in Jesus,

Don.

 

Christian Fellowship

when brothers dwell together in unity, there the LORD commands His blessings

Daily Spirit & Word: 815: Christian Fellowship

Wonderful fellowship last night.

When Brothers DWELL together in UNITY: There the LORD commands His Blessing.

Fellowship: Being with others who share common beliefs or activities.

Christian Fellowship: Being with brothers and sisters in the LORD’S Kingdom Family: We share a common bond of blood, sacrifice and love, by which we’re brought into His Family.

We also share in the JOY of Salvation; we’re saved from sin, set free from Satan, escape the judgement to come and know that Heaven is our Home.

We also share in dedication and submission; dedicated to the Lord’s cause, to seek and save those who don’t yet know Jesus. We are submitted to the Lord and want to be obedient to His commands and teachings.

We share the bond of peace and love; we feel it when our brother or sister is hurting.

We we stand together KNOWING and EXPERIENCING this kind of UNITY, then it’s not long when we’re in one another’s company, that we begin to know the Lord is also with us in a very special way. This leads us to PRAYER, PRAISE, ADORATION OF JESUS. And the JOY explodes inside. Praise the LORD!

Are you getting into Christian Fellowship?

If you are a follower of Jesus and you are not meeting together with brothers and sisters, to; pray, praise and open up God’s Word together regularly, then you are missing out BIG TIME… God wants to show you what real FELLOWSHIP is all about.

Psalm 133:1-3 (NIV) A song of ascents. Of David.
1  How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!
2  It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down upon the collar of his robes.
3  It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the LORD bestows his blessing, even life for evermore.

Romans 15:30-32 (NIV) ONE in the Struggle.
30  I urge you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me.
31  Pray that I may be rescued from the unbelievers in Judea and that my service in Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints there,
32  so that by God’s will I may come to you with joy and together with you be refreshed.

When we get Christian Fellowship, we’re going to be REFRESHED…

Then we can face the world in joy, love and peace. Jesus is with us.

Be blessed by the LORD and make a commitment to GET some real FELLOWSHIP.

When you do, the Blessings are incredible.

Don.

 

Black Friday Freedom

How Jesus can set your free on Black Friday

Daily Spirit & Word: 812: Black Friday Freedom.

BLACK FRIDAY IS COMING.

If you want it, you’ve got it.

But be careful what you are wanting.

BLACK FRIDAY: Darkness….

We live in a world that is full of desire for things. Even the church has been infected by it and has focused much of it’s teachings on meeting the needs of people’s desires. So much so, that they now declare to people, “have faith, just believe it and you will receive it”. This is the name it claim it Gospel.

Of course we’re all meant to be Servants of the Lord ready to respond to one another’s needs, but simply to appeal to our desires begs a few questions, because those things that people desire most, are things God has warned us will lead us into the darkness and farther away from Him. If you desire darkness, then God is going to give it to you, big time: Watch OUT or you will receive your BLACK FRIDAY.

What things then do we desire most that God has forbidden?

1) Riches: To enable us to get lots of STUFF… 

2) Sexual Desires:

3) Power and Control:

If we want these things, then God is going to give us over to these desires, but note this, when we’re given over to our desires, we’ll be in total DARKNESS, the end result being that we’ll be DRIVEN by those desires in an ever increasing measure. Our natural affections will be turned into inordinate affections.

Romans 1:18-32 (NIV)
18  The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19  since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20  For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
21  For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.
22  Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools
23  and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.
24  Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.
25  They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is for ever praised. Amen.
26  Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones.
27  In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.
28  Furthermore, since they did not think it worth while to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.
29  They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30  slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31  they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless.
32  Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practise them.

What a SAD indictment against humanity.

  • Without Christ we are all in this DARKNESS.
  • Without Christ we are given over in various degrees to our desires.
  • Without Christ we have depraved minds.

NOTE THE PROGRESSION IN ROMANS 1:18-32.

  • They Exchanged: The Glory of God: Worshipping Created Things.
  • They Exchanged: The Truth of God: Choosing instead to believe a lie. Verse 24.
  • DARKENED:
    • How? By NOT glorifying God, not giving thanks to Him. Verse 21.
    • How? The TRUTH is Suppressed by Wickedness: Verse 18.
    • How? The TRUTH is Exchanged for a lie: Verse 24. Worshipped and Served Created things instead of the Creator.
  • God GAVE THEM OVER: To THEIR SINFUL DESIRES. Verse 24.
  • God GAVE THEM OVER: To SHAMEFUL LUSTS. Verse 26.
  • God GAVE Them OVER: To a DEPRAVED MIND. Verse 28.

AND A CONTINUAL LUST FOR MORE:

Ephesians 4:17-19 (NIV)
17  So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18  They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19  Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.

SATAN LOVES BLACK FRIDAY

And the great enemy of human beings, who have been Created in the image of the immortal God, loves it.

2 Corinthians 4:3-4 (NIV)
3  And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing.
4  The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

Who is Jesus? He is the LIGHT who gives the sure and certain HOPE of Freedom.

Prophet, Priest and King:

  • Prophet: He revealed Heaven’s Secrets to men: The WAY, The TRUTH and The LIFE:
  • Priest: He offered his life as a sacrifice for the sins of mankind.
  • King: He rules and we must become subjects of His Kingdom, as we submit to His authority as our King.

Jesus is the LIGHT of the WORLD:

So that the people who are walking, living and bound by the darkness can see the LIGHT and are given hope of being set free from the DARKNESS.

The Good NEWS of Jesus Christ: BRIGHT FRIDAY.

He came to set all mankind free from the darkness and from bondage to sin and Satan. Though God has given us over to be controlled and ruined by our sinful desires, to shameful lusts and to depraved minds, there’s now the HOPE of freedom in Christ Jesus.

That FREEDOM comes as we BELIEVE in Jesus. TRUST in Jesus for forgiveness. REPENT of sin and FORSAKE sin, as we RECEIVE Jesus Christ as Lord. Then we are BORN AGAIN, given a renewed heart, mind, will and desires as we are FILLED with Holy Spirit. He is the one who will enable us to LIVE the abundant life he’s called us to.

When BLACK FRIDAY: Gets Hold Of A Believer:

If ever we get into BONDAGE again, then all we have to do is come back to Jesus Christ to be set free all over again. (I’ve known many Christians who get caught up in this world’s affairs, their desire for Holiness is dimmed, their hearts become dull and hard again to Jesus, to the Gospel, to saving others. All because they’ve chosen the darkness rather than the light. They’ve become bound by Satan again and need the freedom that only Jesus Christ can give them. Thankfully, we’re seeing believers being set free and given renewed hearts again.) It’s like the Gospel needs to be preached to those who already have believed and trusted in Jesus, because they need the NEW LIFE Christ promised to all who would believe and trust in Him. Of course there are many who believe in Jesus, but have never been born of the Spirit, yet there is HOPE of the freedom and the promise.

 

CONCLUSION:

Though there is a GREAT DARKNESS.

Though people are walking in this DARKNESS.

There is HOPE: The LIGHT has come to set us FREE.

Isaiah 9:2 (NIV) The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.

Jesus Christ is the LIGHT: Come, Believe that He died to set you free from your inordinate desires, those things that control your life and lead to death, to judgement and eternal Hell. He endured the Cross for your freedom. All you have to do is TRUST that He died to set you free and enable you to be forgiven of your sins. Once you REPENT by confessing your sins to God and turning from those sins, forsaking them, and receive Jesus by an act of faith. He’ll come and give you the promised NEW LIFE and FREEDOM. Amen!

NOW: Having trusted in Jesus, you can live the NEW LIFE with NEW POWER.

Ephesians 4:20-32 (NIV)
20  You, however, did not come to know Christ that way.
21  Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus.
22  You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;
23  to be made new in the attitude of your minds;
24  and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
25  Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbour, for we are all members of one body.
26  “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,
27  and do not give the devil a foothold.
28  He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.
29  Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
30  And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
31  Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.
32  Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

How Jesus can set your free on Black Friday
Black Friday Freedom

BLACK FRIDAY IS COMING:

BE The People of The Light

Black Friday reminds me of the DARKNESS, however we can know that through Jesus, we can be set free to live as the people of the light.

The New Life in Christ is a continual renewal: He will give you HIS HOLY DESIRES. Amen!

Be blessed this coming weekend,

Don.

 

Seeking The Presence of God

He is with you forever once you come to Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word: 812: Seeking The Presence Of God.

Good morning my friends, what an awesome Sunday we just had. The church was full of people, because we had three Thanksgivings for babies. It was so good because as we praised the LORD, sang songs, listened to His Word and prayed, we sensed the presence of the LORD.

Acts 23:11 (NIV) “The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, “Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.””

There’s absolutely nothing more encouraging for any Christian than to KNOW the presence of the LORD. When you know that He is with you, then you can endure anything in this life.

It was true of some of the Ancients in the Bible: St Paul and Joseph, both in PRISON sensed, knew and experienced the presence of the LORD.

  • Paul in Prison in Jerusalem and Philippi Acts 23:11, Acts 16:16-40.
  • Joseph in Prison Genesis 39… That LORD was with him.

Genesis 39:20-21 (NIV)
20  Joseph’s master took him and put him in prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined. But while Joseph was there in the prison, 21  the LORD was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favour in the eyes of the prison warder.

Of course we can’t forget many others; Jacob, Moses, Abraham, Elijah and King David who begged the LORD not to take the presence of the Holy Spirit away from him.

My friends, when you are going through stuff in this life, troubles, hardships, tests and trials, attacks from people and persecution for you faith in the LORD Jesus Christ, then know this truth, the abiding presence of the LORD will encourage you, strengthen you and sustain you through it all.

It’s good when friends stick close in troubled times, but it seems to me that friends will always let you down when you need them most. It was true of Jesus and King David, Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery, Paul’s companions abandoned him when he was thrown into prison in Rome, and it will sometimes be true for you as well. So many Christians have been let down by those they expected would be there for them in sickness or hardships. However, the LORD would never leave you, that’s His promise once you’ve come to Jesus and put your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin. There is NOTHING we need more, and nothing more we need, than the abiding presence of the LORD.

There is NOTHING we need more, that to know and experience the presence of the LORD.

  • He will never leave you.
  • He will never forsake you.
  • He is with you forever.

If there’s any verse that a Christian should take to heart and memorise it’s this one:

James 4:7-10 (NKJV)
7  Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
8  Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
9  Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.
10  Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.

God’s saying to you today, “…Draw near to God and He will draw near to you…”

YBH: Yes, but HOW? 

It’s easy to say, “Draw near to God”, but how do we actually do it?

Try this my friends and you’ll soon discover that God will reveal Himself to you in awesome ways.

  • Praise: Sing a few songs of praise. Look what happened when Paul and Silas did that in Prison (Acts 16).
  • Prayer: Honour God first by Praying The Lord’s Prayer, then Confess any known sins.
  • Repent: Repent afresh and seek His cleansing and forgiveness.
  • Trust: Trust in Jesus Christ again for your Salvation… Keep TRUSTING…
  • Seek: Seek the fullness and presence of God the Holy Spirit right now.
  • Praise: Worship the Lord in Spirit and Truth. Sing and make music in your heart to the LORD.
  • Seek to Serve: Be obedient to what the LORD is showing you to do today. God’s always got something He wants you to be doing for Him, every day. Just do it… You’ll be amazed when you listen to that prompting of the Holy Spirit.

 

There is NOTHING you need more, that to know and experience the abiding presence of the LORD.

Isaiah 41:10 (NKJV)
10  Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

If ever I’m feeling troubled and need the LORD’S presence and fullness, that is what I do.

Have an awesome week with Jesus my friends,

Don.

 

An Extra Hour In Bed

Service in Jesus Kingdom Family

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

Jesus is Drawing Near To Jerusalem.

“Can YOU Drink the Cup that I Drink?”

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

I’ve been thinking about that word, EXTRA:

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

But what does EXTRA mean?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Extra:

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

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

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

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

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

  • First Jesus Prediction of His Death:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“He set his face like flint”

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

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

2) Second: James and John’s Request.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

They want the POSITIONS of HONOUR & GLORY: 

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

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

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

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

Jesus is determined to go through with it.

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

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

4) TRUE KINGDOM LEADERSHIP:

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

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

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

Do you Remember that Children’s Gospel Song?

Jesus goes on to tell them why?

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

Jesus gave His LIFE: As a RANSOM:

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

Jesus death brings freedom in so many different ways;

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

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

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

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

Conclusion:

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

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

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

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

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

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

But, it’s NOT an EXTRA Hour in BED.

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

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

Like the Apostles James and John eventually did:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don.

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

The Difference Between Commitment and Surrender

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

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

The Difference Between Commitment and Surrender.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He said, “Adrian, I had rather not.”

I said, “No, I want to know.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SURRENDER not COMMITMENT.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s see if that is TRUE:

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

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

When we YIELD or SURRENDER to Temptation, we SIN.

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

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

However, there is HOPE:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A PRAYER Of Complete Surrender to Jesus Christ. 

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

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

Have an awesome weekend,

Don.

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

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

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

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

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

 

A little bit of faith goes a long way

Jesus is only a prayer away.

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

ALL THE WAY TO HEAVEN

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

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

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

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

“DID HE KNOCK THE WIRE?”

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

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

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

It’s amazing what God can do.

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

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

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

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

PANIC STATIONS, PANIC STATIONS:

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

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

A Smouldering Wick & A Storm:

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

Matthew 12:20-21 (NIV) Smouldering Wick.
20  A bruised reed he will not break, and a smouldering wick he will not snuff out, till he leads justice to victory.
21  In his name the nations will put their hope.”

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

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

The Carpenter From Wales:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a FANTASTIC Weekend with Jesus.

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