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.

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.

 

Remember The Coming King

Remembrance Sunday PEACE

Daily Spirit & Word: 809: Remember The Coming King.

Remembrance Sunday: Sacrifice & Peace.

Zechariah 9:9 (NIV) Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

Good morning my friends, today we REMEMBER: It’s Remembrance Sunday, we’re gathering around the Memorial Cross outside the church today, which co-memorates those who died in times of war. However, we’re also thinking about our LORD Jesus, and Remembering that before His ultimate sacrifice, giving His life for all mankind, first He rode into Jerusalem just one week before He was arrested, faced a mock trial and was brutalised then put to death upon the Cross.

In riding into Jerusalem in such a way, in fulfilment of God’s purpose and design, foretold in the prophets such as Zechariah 9:9 above. In doing so, Jesus was allowing people now, because the time had come for him to die, to praise and worship Him as King, because He knew that this would enraged the Jewish authorities and seal his own fate.

 1) Hear the Prophesy:

Zechariah 9:9 (NIV) Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

2) Hear the Fulfilment of the Prophesy:

Mark 11:1-11 (NIV)
1  As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples,
2  saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no-one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here.
3  If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ tell him, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.’ “
4  They went and found a colt outside in the street, tied at a doorway. As they untied it,
5  some people standing there asked, “What are you doing, untying that colt?”
6  They answered as Jesus had told them to, and the people let them go.
7  When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it.
8  Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields.
9  Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted, “Hosanna!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
10  “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!” “Hosanna in the highest!”
11  Jesus entered Jerusalem and went to the temple. He looked around at everything, but since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve.

REMEMBER: Who Jesus is.

Jesus was always the KING: He is the KING of Kings: i.e. Remember the little book, our Queen gave her testimony and said, “Jesus is the KING that I serve”…

  • One day every King will bow and kneel before Jesus.
  • One day every soul that’s ever existed will kneel and bow bore King Jesus.

Men will go to war and give their lives in service of King and Country. Most go to war hoping to return, but in doing so, there’s always the great danger that by taking up arms, they will never return.

Jesus is heading into a WAR knowing in advance that He really is going to loose His life in the most cruel way.

REMEMBER: How Jesus Came:

Gentle and riding on a Donkey’s Colt.

Most Kings coming in Triumph would ride on a chariot or a white horse. However, just like King Solomon, Jesus comes as a King on a Donkey.

What’s So Important About A Donkey?

A King coming on a Donkey symbolised PEACE.

The mention of a donkey in Zechariah 9:9-10 fits the description of a king who would be “righteous and having salvation, gentle.” Rather than riding to war to conquer, this king would enter in peace.

Zechariah 9:9 Highlights the Gentleness of Jesus (The Coming King)

Zechariah 9:10 Highlights His Peace: (The Universal Reach of King Jesus Peace).

Zechariah 9:10 (NIV) “I will take away the chariots from Ephraim and the war-horses from Jerusalem, and the battle-bow will be broken. He will proclaim peace to the nations. His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth.”

Note the many details symbolic of King Jesus’ PEACE:

  •  “Take away the chariots”: an end to the main vehicles of war: Today we have Tanks, Planes, Rockets etc…
  •  “Take away . . . the war-horses”: no need for horses used in war: Today we have Fast moving armoured cars…
  •  “The battle bow will be broken”: no need for bows or arrows for fighting: Guns, Pistols, Mortars… BROKEN.
  •  “He will proclaim peace to the nations”: His message will be one of reconciliation. WORLDWIDE PEACE (Peace between men and God & Each other).
  •  “His rule shall be from sea to sea”: the King will control extended territory with no enemies of concern.

Oh how we pray for a day when all wars will cease and true and lasting peace prevails. However, we know, that until Jesus Christ returns, there will, sadly, be many more wars, because the hearts of men have not yet been changed to hearts of peace. However:

NOTE: In contrast to the weapons of war above, the Christian’s weapons and the way we war is to be different now: 2 Corinthians 10:3-5.

Jesus rules His Kingdom of PEACE today: 

When we pray the prayer, “Thy Kingdom Come”

We are declaring that God (Jesus) is our KING: And that we want to be His subjects in His Kingdom of PEACE and LOVE.

NOTE: Jesus is King and rules in a Kingdom of PEACE which is Universal (no borders).

Jesus Kingship recognises no borders, no other rulers, He is the KING of Kings and LORD of Lords. Jesus KINGDOM is not land-locked or land-based, but HEAVENLY and it is in the HEARTS of Men and Women over the Earth.

LASTING PEACE IS POSSIBLE:

Today, we enjoy PEACE in the UK because of the sacrifice of so many in two World Wars.

  • They gave their lives and died so that we could live in peace and security.
  • However, wars have not stopped, Britain has been involved in many hundreds of mini-wars since the World wars.
  • Though they gave their lives hoping for peace, it didn’t happen, because it didn’t (couldn’t) change men’s hearts.

In contrast to the forlorn hope of WAR-Won PEACE: We can receive a PEACE in our hearts today because Jesus won His battle. His is a lasting PEACE.

Today, we can enjoy LASTING PEACE: Because of Jesus sacrifice.

  • He gave His life, so that we can enjoy eternal PEACE with God.
  • His peace is different, when we get the PEACE of God in our hearts, we’ll never again want to go to war with any man.
  • God so fills our hearts that He enables us to LOVE our enemies, and to do good to those who hate us.

————————————————

  • Jesus PEACE really does extend across the whole Earth,
  • Jesus REIGN as KING: is in the hearts of people all over the world, in every country.
  • There are Citizens of Heaven’s Kingdom all over the world today.

JESUS KING OF PEACE

When Jesus entered Jerusalem, He allowed them, for the first time, to declare His Kingship.

Mark 11:9-10  “Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted, “Hosanna!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” 10  “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!” “Hosanna in the highest!”

So I’m asking you today:

  • Is Jesus your King?
  • Has Jesus brought His PEACE into your Heart?
  • Has Jesus broken your war instruments and vehicles?
  • Has Jesus taken away all conflict from your heart, so that you want to live at PEACE with everyone?
  • Has Jesus taken up the reign of your soul?
  • Is Jesus your King of PEACE?

If not, them make Jesus your KING right now: Enjoy PEACE in your soul. Be forgiven, be cleansed and freed from sin, receive the Kingdom of Peace.

If you have received the King of Peace, the Lord Jesus Christ, then know this;

  • He wants His PEACE to be in the Heart of EVERY human being alive today.
  • His Kingship from shore to shore, extending over all Creation.

PRAYER: On this Remembrance Sunday:

We PRAY for Jesus Christ’s PEACE to take up position in men’s hearts.

Let’s enroll in Jesus PEACE Army and take the message of PEACE and Good News to all men. Amen!

That war may cease, conflicts die, weapons used no more in anger. Amen!

REMEMBRANCE:

We also remember the seven people who were killed this week in the tragic tram-car accident in Croydon just a few miles away from here. We stop to remember them outside and those, over fifty, who sustained serious injuries. Let’s pray for their families and ask the Lord to bring the comfort and peace that only He can bring in times of grief. Amen!

Be blessed in Jesus,

Don.

 

Further Reading: Christian Weapons of War:

2 Corinthians 10:2-5 (NIV)
2  I beg you that when I come I may not have to be as bold as I expect to be towards some people who think that we live by the standards of this world.
3  For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.
4  The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.
5  We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

 

The LORD is my PORTION

a constant friend is He

Daily Spirit & Word: 807: The Lord is my portion.

The Soul’s Satisfaction.

 Good morning, I was awakened early with the rain beating upon my window. So I got up to read the Word of the LORD. I was reading Lamentations this morning, but I’ve not read that book of Bible very much before. I’ve read it through a few times, but never really studied or meditated upon it. As I read this morning, this little verse jumped up into my HEART…
Lamentations 3:24 “The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.”

What word do you think jumped out a me? The word portion… What is he talking about?

 Then I remembered Aaron’s inheritance in the Promised Land. All the other tribes had been given portions of land to settle into, but not Aaron.

 Numbers 18:20 And the LORD spake unto Aaron, Thou shalt have no inheritance in their land, neither shalt thou have any part among them: I am thy part and thine inheritance among the children of Israel.
 The LORD Himself was to be Aaron’s portion. “I AM your inheritance”.
So what does that mean?
Thankfully Aaron is not alone: Many of the ancient saints knew that the LORD was their Portion, their Inheritance.

Asaph wrote Psalm 73: 

He was meditating upon the prosperity of the wicked people, how they seem to prosper and grow richer and even more wicked. He didn’t think it was very fair, because, he was a devoted man and had so little that this earth seems to offer. In the end though he came to realise a much deeper truth..
Psalm 73:25-26 (NIV)
25  Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
26  My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever.
 NOTE: Who was Asaph? He was a Levite who served the LORD in the Temple and wrote Psalm 50, and Psalms 73-83. He was also a skilled musician, singer and poet. The Bible also refers to him as a seer or prophet of the Lord. (As you know the Levites had no land themselves: Because the LORD was their inheritance {portion}  Deuteronomy 18:1-2 (NIV) The priests, who are Levites, indeed the whole tribe of Levi, are to have no allotment or inheritance with Israel. They shall live on the offerings made to the LORD by fire, for that is their inheritance. 2  They shall have no inheritance among their brothers; the LORD is their inheritance, as he promised them.).

That the LORD Himself was his PORTION:

With the LORD as our portion we’ll have more than we need.
What the LORD seems to be saying to me today is this, that if we are setting our hopes on anything, they should be completely upon the LORD first, because as Jesus promised, when we do that, we’re going to be so blessed.
Matthew 6:32-33 (NKJV)
32  For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33  But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
 Those who don’t yet know Jesus Christ as LORD are running after all the glittering things this world has to offer: Money, Fortune, Fame, Fine Clothing, Cars, Gadgets, Houses, Lands, Property, Power, Prestige and Control.
However, those who KNOW Jesus have been set free from worldly desires: Because we know and a satisfied with the Lord Jesus as our portion. Their hearts are consumed with serving the Lord and being satisfied with Heavenly Kingdom Goodies, which are must better by far.
I.E. Go first to the LORD, seek His Kingdom (Thy Kingdom Come), then ALL THESE THINGS SHALL BE ADDED UNTO YOU.
The things of this world don’t really matter, God knows what we need and He’s promised to SUPPLY all our needs. Note, the heart is deceitful above all things. We think we need stuff, we get jealous when the world has lots of stiff and we don’t, but the LORD knows what we need and what we desire and He, like any good parent, gives us just what we need.
The things this world has to offer are tempting. they glitter and shine, and promises joy and happiness, but it’s NOT satisfying and doesn’t last very long. This world doesn’t deliver on its promises. However, in contrast to the world, the LORD always delivers: the JOY of the LORD is your STRENGTH: Like exercising the muscles of your soul, when we go to the LORD first, it will sustain and satisfy you more than anything the world has to offer.
  • Don’t get jealous of what the world has like Asaph.
  • Don’t despise your service and devotion to the LORD as he did.
  • Don’t hanker after the glittering gems of this world.
  • Your PORTION is much more satisfying.
  • Your PORTION is much more secure.
  • Your PORTION is limitless, without end, promised.
  • Your PORTION is the LORD. Amen!

YOUR PORTION IS THE LORD HIMSELF

So my friends, I’m going to keep seeking the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness (not mine), then I know He’ll supply all my needs in this life. He is my portion. Amen!.
I love the song, “His eye is on the sparrow”… See below,

Be blessed and satisfied in Jesus today, Amen!
Don.
“His Eye Is On The Sparrow”
(feat. Tanya Blount)

[Tanya Blount:]
Why should I feel discouraged
Why should the shadows come
Why should my heart feel lonely
And long for heaven and homeWhen Jesus is my portion
A constant friend is he
His eye is on the sparrow
And I know he watches over me
His eye is on the sparrow
And I know he watches me[Lauryn Hill:]
I sing because I’m happy
I sing because I’m free
His eye is on the sparrowAnd I know he watches
[Tanya:] He watches me
[Lauryn:] His eye is on the sparrow
And I know he watches
[Tanya:] I know he watches
[Lauryn:] I know he watches me

For those who are interested: Portion In The Bible:

PORTION: In the Bible:

Genesis 14:24 Save only that which the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men which went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their portion.

Genesis 31:14 And Rachel and Leah answered and said unto him, Is there yet any portion or inheritance for us in our father’s house?

Genesis 47:22 Only the land of the priests bought he not; for the priests had a portion assigned them of Pharaoh, and did eat their portion which Pharaoh gave them: wherefore they sold not their lands.

Genesis 48:22 Moreover I have given to thee one portion above thy brethren, which I took out of the hand of the Amorite with my sword and with my bow.

Leviticus 6:17 It shall not be baken with leaven. I have given it unto them for their portion of my offerings made by fire; it is most holy, as is the sin offering, and as the trespass offering.

Leviticus 7:35 This is the portion of the anointing of Aaron, and of the anointing of his sons, out of the offerings of the LORD made by fire, in the day when he presented them to minister unto the LORD in the priest’s office;

Numbers 31:30 And of the children of Israel’s half, thou shalt take one portion of fifty, of the persons, of the beeves, of the asses, and of the flocks, of all manner of beasts, and give them unto the Levites, which keep the charge of the tabernacle of the LORD.

Numbers 31:36 And the half, which was the portion of them that went out to war, was in number three hundred thousand and seven and thirty thousand and five hundred sheep:

Numbers 31:47 Even of the children of Israel’s half, Moses took one portion of fifty, both of man and of beast, and gave them unto the Levites, which kept the charge of the tabernacle of the LORD; as the LORD commanded Moses.

Deuteronomy 21:17 But he shall acknowledge the son of the hated for the firstborn, by giving him a double portion of all that he hath: for he is the beginning of his strength; the right of the firstborn is his.

Deuteronomy 32:9 For the LORD’S portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.

Deuteronomy 33:21 And he provided the first part for himself, because there, in a portion of the lawgiver, was he seated; and he came with the heads of the people, he executed the justice of the LORD, and his judgments with Israel.

Joshua 17:14 And the children of Joseph spake unto Joshua, saying, Why hast thou given me but one lot and one portion to inherit, seeing I am a great people, forasmuch as the LORD hath blessed me hitherto?

Joshua 19:9 Out of the portion of the children of Judah was the inheritance of the children of Simeon: for the part of the children of Judah was too much for them: therefore the children of Simeon had their inheritance within the inheritance of them.

1 Samuel 1:5 But unto Hannah he gave a worthy portion; for he loved Hannah: but the LORD had shut up her womb.

1 Samuel 9:23 And Samuel said unto the cook, Bring the portion which I gave thee, of which I said unto thee, Set it by thee.

1 Kings 12:16 So when all Israel saw that the king hearkened not unto them, the people answered the king, saying, What portion have we in David? neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: to your tents, O Israel: now see to thine own house, David. So Israel departed unto their tents.

2 Kings 2:9 And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me.

2 Kings 9:10 And the dogs shall eat Jezebel in the portion of Jezreel, and there shall be none to bury her. And he opened the door, and fled.

2 Kings 9:21 And Joram said, Make ready. And his chariot was made ready. And Joram king of Israel and Ahaziah king of Judah went out, each in his chariot, and they went out against Jehu, and met him in the portion of Naboth the Jezreelite.

2 Kings 9:25 Then said Jehu to Bidkar his captain, Take up, and cast him in the portion of the field of Naboth the Jezreelite: for remember how that, when I and thou rode together after Ahab his father, the LORD laid this burden upon him;

2 Kings 9:36 Wherefore they came again, and told him. And he said, This is the word of the LORD, which he spake by his servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, In the portion of Jezreel shall dogs eat the flesh of Jezebel:

2 Kings 9:37 And the carcase of Jezebel shall be as dung upon the face of the field in the portion of Jezreel; so that they shall not say, This is Jezebel.

2 Chronicles 10:16 And when all Israel saw that the king would not hearken unto them, the people answered the king, saying, What portion have we in David? and we have none inheritance in the son of Jesse: every man to your tents, O Israel: and now, David, see to thine own house. So all Israel went to their tents.

2 Chronicles 28:21 For Ahaz took away a portion out of the house of the LORD, and out of the house of the king, and of the princes, and gave it unto the king of Assyria: but he helped him not.

2 Chronicles 31:3 He appointed also the king’s portion of his substance for the burnt offerings, to wit, for the morning and evening burnt offerings, and the burnt offerings for the sabbaths, and for the new moons, and for the set feasts, as it is written in the law of the LORD.

2 Chronicles 31:4 Moreover he commanded the people that dwelt in Jerusalem to give the portion of the priests and the Levites, that they might be encouraged in the law of the LORD.

2 Chronicles 31:16 Beside their genealogy of males, from three years old and upward, even unto every one that entereth into the house of the LORD, his daily portion for their service in their charges according to their courses;

Ezra 4:16 We certify the king that, if this city be builded again, and the walls thereof set up, by this means thou shalt have no portion on this side the river.

Nehemiah 2:20 Then answered I them, and said unto them, The God of heaven, he will prosper us; therefore we his servants will arise and build: but ye have no portion, nor right, nor memorial, in Jerusalem.

Nehemiah 11:23 For it was the king’s commandment concerning them, that a certain portion should be for the singers, due for every day.

Nehemiah 12:47 And all Israel in the days of Zerubbabel, and in the days of Nehemiah, gave the portions of the singers and the porters, every day his portion: and they sanctified holy things unto the Levites; and the Levites sanctified them unto the children of Aaron.

Job 20:29 This is the portion of a wicked man from God, and the heritage appointed unto him by God.

Job 24:18 He is swift as the waters; their portion is cursed in the earth: he beholdeth not the way of the vineyards.

Job 26:14 Lo, these are parts of his ways: but how little a portion is heard of him? but the thunder of his power who can understand?

Job 27:13 This is the portion of a wicked man with God, and the heritage of oppressors, which they shall receive of the Almighty.

Job 31:2 For what portion of God is there from above? and what inheritance of the Almighty from on high?

Psalm 11:6 Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup.

Psalm 16:5 The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot.

Psalm 17:14 From men which are thy hand, O LORD, from men of the world, which have their portion in this life, and whose belly thou fillest with thy hid treasure: they are full of children, and leave the rest of their substance to their babes.

Psalm 63:10 They shall fall by the sword: they shall be a portion for foxes.

Psalm 73:26 My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.

Psalm 119:57 CHETH. Thou art my portion, O LORD: I have said that I would keep thy words.

Psalm 142:5 I cried unto thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living.

Proverbs 31:15 She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.

Ecclesiastes 2:10 And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour: and this was my portion of all my labour.

Ecclesiastes 2:21 For there is a man whose labour is in wisdom, and in knowledge, and in equity; yet to a man that hath not laboured therein shall he leave it for his portion. This also is vanity and a great evil.

Ecclesiastes 3:22 Wherefore I perceive that there is nothing better, than that a man should rejoice in his own works; for that is his portion: for who shall bring him to see what shall be after him?

Ecclesiastes 5:18 Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion.

Ecclesiastes 5:19 Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God.

Ecclesiastes 9:6 Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.

Ecclesiastes 9:9 Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity, which he hath given thee under the sun, all the days of thy vanity: for that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labour which thou takest under the sun.

Ecclesiastes 11:2 Give a portion to seven, and also to eight; for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth.

Isaiah 17:14 And behold at eveningtide trouble; and before the morning he is not. This is the portion of them that spoil us, and the lot of them that rob us.

Isaiah 53:12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

Isaiah 57:6 Among the smooth stones of the stream is thy portion; they, they are thy lot: even to them hast thou poured a drink offering, thou hast offered a meat offering. Should I receive comfort in these?

Isaiah 61:7 For your shame ye shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them.

Jeremiah 10:16 The portion of Jacob is not like them: for he is the former of all things; and Israel is the rod of his inheritance: The LORD of hosts is his name.

Jeremiah 12:10 Many pastors have destroyed my vineyard, they have trodden my portion under foot, they have made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness.

Jeremiah 13:25 This is thy lot, the portion of thy measures from me, saith the LORD; because thou hast forgotten me, and trusted in falsehood.

Jeremiah 51:19 The portion of Jacob is not like them; for he is the former of all things: and Israel is the rod of his inheritance: the LORD of hosts is his name.

Jeremiah 52:34 And for his diet, there was a continual diet given him of the king of Babylon, every day a portion until the day of his death, all the days of his life.

Lamentations 3:24 The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.

Ezekiel 45:1 Moreover, when ye shall divide by lot the land for inheritance, ye shall offer an oblation unto the LORD, an holy portion of the land: the length shall be the length of five and twenty thousand reeds, and the breadth shall be ten thousand. This shall be holy in all the borders thereof round about.

Ezekiel 45:4 The holy portion of the land shall be for the priests the ministers of the sanctuary, which shall come near to minister unto the LORD: and it shall be a place for their houses, and an holy place for the sanctuary.

Ezekiel 45:6 And ye shall appoint the possession of the city five thousand broad, and five and twenty thousand long, over against the oblation of the holy portion: it shall be for the whole house of Israel.

Ezekiel 45:7 And a portion shall be for the prince on the one side and on the other side of the oblation of the holy portion, and of the possession of the city, before the oblation of the holy portion, and before the possession of the city, from the west side westward, and from the east side eastward: and the length shall be over against one of the portions, from the west border unto the east border.

Ezekiel 48:1 Now these are the names of the tribes. From the north end to the coast of the way of Hethlon, as one goeth to Hamath, Hazar-enan, the border of Damascus northward, to the coast of Hamath; for these are his sides east and west; a portion for Dan.

Ezekiel 48:2 And by the border of Dan, from the east side unto the west side, a portion for Asher.

Ezekiel 48:3 And by the border of Asher, from the east side even unto the west side, a portion for Naphtali.

Ezekiel 48:4 And by the border of Naphtali, from the east side unto the west side, a portion for Manasseh.

Ezekiel 48:5 And by the border of Manasseh, from the east side unto the west side, a portion for Ephraim.

Ezekiel 48:6 And by the border of Ephraim, from the east side even unto the west side, a portion for Reuben.

Ezekiel 48:7 And by the border of Reuben, from the east side unto the west side, a portion for Judah.

Ezekiel 48:18 And the residue in length over against the oblation of the holy portion shall be ten thousand eastward, and ten thousand westward: and it shall be over against the oblation of the holy portion; and the increase thereof shall be for food unto them that serve the city.

Ezekiel 48:23 As for the rest of the tribes, from the east side unto the west side, Benjamin shall have a portion.

Ezekiel 48:24 And by the border of Benjamin, from the east side unto the west side, Simeon shall have a portion.

Ezekiel 48:25 And by the border of Simeon, from the east side unto the west side, Issachar a portion.

Ezekiel 48:26 And by the border of Issachar, from the east side unto the west side, Zebulun a portion.

Ezekiel 48:27 And by the border of Zebulun, from the east side unto the west side, Gad a portion.

Daniel 1:8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.

Daniel 1:13 Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king’s meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants.

Daniel 1:15 And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king’s meat.

Daniel 1:16 Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat, and the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse.

Daniel 4:15 Nevertheless leave the stump of his roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth:

Daniel 4:23 And whereas the king saw a watcher and an holy one coming down from heaven, and saying, Hew the tree down, and destroy it; yet leave the stump of the roots thereof in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts of the field, till seven times pass over him;

Daniel 11:26 Yea, they that feed of the portion of his meat shall destroy him, and his army shall overflow: and many shall fall down slain.

Micah 2:4 In that day shall one take up a parable against you, and lament with a doleful lamentation, and say, We be utterly spoiled: he hath changed the portion of my people: how hath he removed it from me! turning away he hath divided our fields.

Habakkuk 1:16 Therefore they sacrifice unto their net, and burn incense unto their drag; because by them their portion is fat, and their meat plenteous.

Zechariah 2:12 And the LORD shall inherit Judah his portion in the holy land, and shall choose Jerusalem again.

Matthew 24:51 And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Luke 12:42 And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season?

Luke 12:46 The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.

Luke 15:12 And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.

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

Working for Jesus? Expect Opposition.

when you work for Jesus, expect opposition from the enemy

Daily Spirit & Word: 800: Expect Opposition.

When the LORD calls you to do something for Him, expect opposition.

Good morning my friends, when you do a good work for the LORD you can expect opposition. If you are of the world, the world will accept you as one of it’s own, but if you are a Citizen of Heaven, working for another KING, then this world and it’s king (Satan) can never accept you and you are going to be opposed, persecuted and sometimes martyred. However, far from being in a position of weakness and fear, we’re going to be encouraged today to see that we can be God’s awesome power of LOVE in this world.

Opposition comes in many forms, but how can we react to opposition, no matter what form or guise it come in?

Let us take Nehemiah as one of our examples of what to do when opposition comes, and we’ll look at what God’s Word tells us about persecution and opposition for Him and for the Gospel.

First, Nehemiah:

An Example of how to proceed when your work for the LORD is opposed, ridiculed or hindered.

Nehemiah 4:1-23 (NIV)
1  When Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became angry and was greatly incensed. He ridiculed the Jews,
2  and in the presence of his associates and the army of Samaria, he said, “What are those feeble Jews doing? Will they restore their wall? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they finish in a day? Can they bring the stones back to life from those heaps of rubble—burned as they are?”
3  Tobiah the Ammonite, who was at his side, said, “What they are building—if even a fox climbed up on it, he would break down their wall of stones!”
4  Hear us, O our God, for we are despised. Turn their insults back on their own heads. Give them over as plunder in a land of captivity.
5  Do not cover up their guilt or blot out their sins from your sight, for they have thrown insults in the face of the builders.
6  So we rebuilt the wall till all of it reached half its height, for the people worked with all their heart.
7  But when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites and the men of Ashdod heard that the repairs to Jerusalem’s walls had gone ahead and that the gaps were being closed, they were very angry.
8  They all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and stir up trouble against it.
9  But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat.
10  Meanwhile, the people in Judah said, “The strength of the labourers is giving out, and there is so much rubble that we cannot rebuild the wall.”
11  Also our enemies said, “Before they know it or see us, we will be right there among them and will kill them and put an end to the work.”
12  Then the Jews who lived near them came and told us ten times over, “Wherever you turn, they will attack us.”
13  Therefore I stationed some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall at the exposed places, posting them by families, with their swords, spears and bows.
14  After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.”
15  When our enemies heard that we were aware of their plot and that God had frustrated it, we all returned to the wall, each to his own work.
16  From that day on, half of my men did the work, while the other half were equipped with spears, shields, bows and armour. The officers posted themselves behind all the people of Judah
17  who were building the wall. Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other,
18  and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked. But the man who sounded the trumpet stayed with me.
19  Then I said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “The work is extensive and spread out, and we are widely separated from each other along the wall.
20  Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, join us there. Our God will fight for us!”
21  So we continued the work with half the men holding spears, from the first light of dawn till the stars came out.
22  At that time I also said to the people, “Have every man and his helper stay inside Jerusalem at night, so that they can serve us as guards by night and workmen by day.”
23  Neither I nor my brothers nor my men nor the guards with me took off our clothes; each had his weapon, even when he went for water.

INTRODUCTION:

When you get busy for God, opposition will inevitably raise its ugly head. So no matter how GOOD the thing that you are doing is; be it a service for the poor people of this world or proclaiming the Good News of Jesus or taking a moral stand. Like Nehemiah discovered, when you do something for the LORD, the world (influenced by Satan) hates it with a vengeance, and will oppose you. However, they are not really opposing you, they are coming against your God, who’s called you to that task.

But we must bear in mind what it is that’s driving any form of opposition:

Ephesians 6:10-13 (NIV) When Opposition Comes: Be strong in the LORD and STAND.
10  Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
11  Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
12  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
13  Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. (Read the FULL ARMOUR OF GOD Eph 6:14-20).

We must not resort to worldly ways of reacting to opposition:

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (NIV)
3  For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.
4  The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.
5  We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

So how should we react to opposition?

Think and Act Like Nehemiah.

Who was Nehemiah? His name means “the comfort of Jehovah.” His purpose and calling by the LORD really was a worthy one; He was instructed by the LORD to reconstruct the walls of the city of Jerusalem and in the process to rebuild the faith of the people of Israel. Yet, as soon as he began, Nehemiah was confronted by the dreaded opposition. So don’t be surprised by opposition, instead; expect it.

1) PRAYER:

When you get busy for God and the expected opposition comes, the first ingredient that will lead to success is PRAYER. “But we prayed to our God,” the Bible says (Nehemiah 4:9). Prayer was a key ingredient in Nehemiah’s spiritual life (1:4). When OPPOSITION came, Nehemiah looked up to Heaven first taking captive those opponents of God’s word with Spiritual weapons, before he persisted in the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s wall.

2) PERSISTENCE:

When you get busy for God and opposition comes, the second ingredient that will lead to success is PERSISTENCE. Prayer is not a substitute for working at what you’ve been called to do. So often people will retreat and just pray, but you’ve been called to more than prayer. Instead, know that PRAYER preceeds PERSISTENCE. When opposition comes don’t just carry on regardless, get down to prayer first and then carry on regardless. PRAYER is a PRELUDE to PERSISTENCE. For the God’s Word says; “Nehemiah took their thoughts captive (He used Spiritual Weapons) Nehemiah 4:4.   “…the people worked with all their heart.” (Nehemiah 4:6).

I don’t know who said it first, but whoever it was, this thought encapsulates the KEY INGREDIENTS when opposition comes; “I pray as if everything depended on God. Then I work as if everything depended on me.” I love that saying, we’ve got to PRAY and WORK at what we’ve been called to do. (See James Faith and Works).

3) POWER:

When you get busy for God and opposition comes, the third ingredient that will lead to your spiritual success is THE POWER OF HEAVEN. When confronted by the fear of the people, the fear of man, the fear of looking like a fool, the fear of failure; then Nehemiah 4:14 says that Nehemiah arose and spoke to the people about the power of God, and about the purpose of their work. When we are reminded of the purpose to which God has called us, and the power with which to accomplish that purpose, then we will be encouraged to move on toward the completion of our task.

So simply remind yourself of God’s calling and purposes: To share the Gospel, to help the poor, to cure the sick, to make disciples, to follow the teachings of Jesus, to live by them and if need be to die for them. Remember also the POWER of HEAVEN, the Weapons are not worldly, we take our stand against opposition with the Armour of God in place: Ephesians 6:10-20. And bear in mind; Jesus is with you always. Holy Spirit has filled you and equipped you for this work for the LORD.

When you know and experience the POWER you will keep going at what He’s called you to do.

CONCLUSION:

Yes my friends, you will experience all kinds of opposition to what you’ve been called to do by the LORD: Demonic and Worldly OPPOSITION: Expect it, and react like Nehemiah the prophet and the LORD Jesus Christ.

  • Get down to PRAYER,
  • Get up to WORK by being PERSISTENT,
  • Get into the POWER of Heaven.

Through prayer and persistence with the power of Heaven, you will be able to overcome any of those troubling opponents.

As one great preacher has said,

“You’ll be able to turn those stumbling stones into stepping stones”

Also;

… Your troubles can be turned into triumphs.

Also;

“Satan trembles when he sees, the weakest Christian upon his knees.”

Have a blessed Saturday with Jesus.

For most people it’s a rest day, to be with family and friends, but remember Jesus is your BEST BFF (Best Friend Forever).

So make and appointment and keep it with Him first. Then no matter what happens today, you’ll be ready. Amen!

Don.

 

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.

 

Knowing God Better

The Valley of Dry Bones, Knowing God Better

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

How to LIVE Forever, without being ‘RELIGIOUS’…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How do I get God’s Holy Spirit?

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

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

If you’ve;

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

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

THE FRUIT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Happy, Happy Day,

Don.

 

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

 

Staying On Track With Jesus

How powerful you are as a Christian is determined by how close you are to Jesus Christ

Daily Spirit & Word: 781: Don’t Get Sidetracked.

Staying On Track With Jesus

Over the summer we visited lot’s of historical sites, one was the Bluebell Railway. We took a trip on an old steam-train and it was awesome. So many childhood memories flooded back into my mind, things I thought I’d forgotten. Just the smell of the smoke evoked memories of the old railways in Edinburgh and day-trips to Kinghorn and Burnt Island in the 1960s and of course the Forth Railway Bridge.

On the Bluebell line, trains would sit and wait on a sidetrack whilst another train passed, we observed the old fashioned way they changed the tracks by hand, pulling a lever. It got me to thinking about our relationship with Jesus, and how when something happens it is so easy to get sidetracked in our walk with Him.

Getting sidetracked is so easy. As you begin a lifetime of following Jesus, it is important to understand that whatever you do for Him will only be a reflection of the relationship you have with Him. If you want to do great things just like Jesus’ Disciples and the Apostles, and I’m sure you do, then you need to have a great relationship with Jesus like they did. If you want to have a ministry for Jesus that is strong, your relationship with Jesus must be strong.

Getting back on track is just as easy: Jesus is only a prayer away.

Acts 3:1 (NIV) “One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon…”

After Pentecost, full of the Holy Spirit, the Apostles maintained a daily routine of prayer. They were keeping close to Jesus by gathering for worship and prayer.

Oswald Chambers was a man others recognized as being abandoned to God. He was a Scottish itinerant preacher and Bible college founder. In his early forties he died far away from home in Egypt of a ruptured appendix while ministering to the troops during WWI. His meditations on the Christian life collected in the daily devotional classic “My Utmost for His Highest” have enriched generations of Christians. He deeply understood the essential nature of maintaining a close relationship with Jesus.

J.C.Ryle an Anglican Evangelical Bishop. Knew about Daily Prayer and wrote some of the most powerful books to keep you close to Jesus. I read through a portion of his works every single day whilst at Theological College. It was a tough time, because I had to read so much garbage from liberal theologians and ordained men who didn’t know Jesus personally, but this sound man of God kept me on track with my own walk with Jesus.

Selwyn Hughes: Wrote “Everyday With Jesus”. I got into reading those little daily devotionals when I was a very young Christian in the 1980s, and I can testify they kept me going on track with Jesus. Every day I’d pick up my Bible and the little booklet and read, pray, praise the Lord. Soon I realised it’s much more than reading, but listening and talking with Jesus.

How you serve Jesus is simply an overflow of your time with Jesus.

So my friends, the main thing about Christianity is not the work we do, but the relationship we maintain with Jesus, and the character, power and zeal you’ll have is a by-product of that relationship. That is all God asks us to look after, and it is the one thing that is being continually besieged by all the things that will try and get us sidetracked.

You’ll see, because it’s easy to justify not spending quality time with Jesus, but you’ll also see that not spending time with Him will be equally evident.

STAYING ON TRACK:

The most important thing you will ever do as a Christian is: SPEND TIME WITH JESUS DAILY.

It’s a KINGDOM PRINCIPLE, PRECEPT and PRACTICE.

Your own responsibility in the Kingdom of Jesus Christ to maintain your own personal relationship with the KING. Why? Because nobody else can do it for you. The best question you can ask your brother or sister in Christ is this, “How’s your walk with Jesus?” or “Are you meeting with Jesus every day?” Nothing else really matters, because what we do for Jesus will be shown by how close we are to Him.

I’ve met many Christians who’re struggling with basic things, I’ve counselled so many, but when we take a closer look at how they are spending time with Jesus daily, we’ve found that’s the one thing they’re not maintaining, so problems come. We’ll avoid so much heartache and troubles if we just keep closer to Jesus. He’ll warn us when things are coming our way. He knows the future. He knows the past. He knows everything. You have the privilege of coming to the sourse of the best NEWS you’ll ever hear every day.

But more than that; Jesus wants to talk with you too. He’s waiting for you every day. When you get up and go to Jesus, He’s waiting for you.

How’s your walk and time with Jesus going?

Living for Jesus flows out of your relationship with Jesus.

WARNING: We often get it the other way around.

Notice that the “with Jesus” is the basis of the “for Jesus.”

So often we Christians get so caught up in what we are trying to do for Jesus that we totally overlook the source of power for anything we can do for Jesus, which comes out of who we have become by spending time with Jesus.

I’ve made the mistake so many times of forgetting Jesus. It’s as if we’re serving the LORD but forgetting to involve Him in what we’re doing. Never forget it is Jesus you are living for and serving.

YBH: Yes but HOW?

How do you spend time with Jesus?

It’s not about “Saying Prayers”… “Reading a BOOK” … etc…

If you’ve ever been in a significant relationship, then you’ll know that the strength of your feelings of love, devotion, care and concern are dependent upon how close you feel towards that other person. So many times I’ve heard from couples, “We’ve just drifted apart emotionally”… It’s so true. We stop caring. We stop being concerned about them. We begin to live for ourselves. If that’s true in our earthly relationships, then it’s also true in our Spiritual relationship with Jesus Christ. You’ll notice over time that you just don’t care if you don’t spend time. A wake-up call is coming your way if you’re living your Christian life like that.

So you’ll stake everything on maintaining the most important relationship you’ll ever have in life; the one with Jesus Christ.

Make and Keep A TIME with Jesus:

Acts 3:1 (NIV) “One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon.”

Here’s how many Christians do it:

Fix A TIME that’s right for you: I do it first thing every morning. And so did many of the powerful men of God in the past, but I’m aware that might not be the best time for everyone. But FIX a TIME to be with Jesus every day. Don’t let anything push that time with Jesus out of the way. Treat it like an appointment with the Queen or President or Prime Minister. It’s your appointment with the KING of Kings.

Pray, Read God’s Word, Pray, Praise, Sing, Pray, Listen, Meditate upon what you’ve just read; Pray in the Scriptures, Ask Jesus questions about what you’ve just read. Worship and sings songs based upon what you’ve just been reading in God’s Word. Use YouTube and Google to search out songs related to your Bible theme. (The JOY of the LORD is my strength). Read about the Saints who’ve gone before you and how they got on FIRE for Jesus, but more importantly, how they maintained that fire and stayed on-track with Jesus.

Keep a prayer / devotional journal: Write things down. It’s amazing how Jesus brings you back to a prayer you’ve written and shows you how He’s answered it.

As you spend time with Jesus you will be able to do so much for Jesus.

It’s amazing what you can learn from a trip on an old fashioned steam train, I’ll never forget my trip on the Bluebell Railway and what it taught me about staying on track with Jesus.

Have an awesome week my friends.

BTW: by-the-way, we’ve got our Monthly Prayer Meeting tonight at 7.30pm in St Luke’s Church: I’ll be sharing more about the MOST IMPORTANT THING in Christianity. Be blessed in Jesus.

Don.