Healing on The Sabbath

Healing on the Sabbath

Daily Spirit & Word: 666:

Religious People Want To Kill Jesus.

Opposition to Jesus is Growing Today.

Good morning my friends, it’s frightful that there are such striking similarities between attitudes towards Jesus and the Christian faith in His time and our own. We’re back with Mark’s Gospel again today, it’s remarkable how much the opposition to Jesus is growing, and today we’ll discover how the plot thickens to such a boiling point that they want to kill the Lord Jesus: To murder Him.  Also, there are growing hostilities towards Christians and Christianity in the world today.

Mark 3:1-6 (NIV)
1 Another time he went into the synagogue, and a man with a shrivelled hand was there.
2  Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath.
3  Jesus said to the man with the shrivelled hand, “Stand up in front of everyone.”
4  Then Jesus asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they remained silent.
5  He looked round at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored.
6  Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus.

The Place: It’s a synagogue. 

The Temple in Jerusalem was not the only place that Jewish people gathered and worshipped the LORD. Because it was impractical to get to the Temple every week from all over the Land, Synagogues (Places of worship) were established to encourage devotion to God and instruct the Jews in the understanding of the Scriptures.

Note: Mark doesn’t tell us anything about what they did in the Synagogue that day, but by saying Synagogue, we know what they will have been doing; Praying, reading from the Jewish Scriptures, Study and sometimes a Rabbi would do some teaching / instruction. It was considered a Holy Place because of the worship of the LORD. It was also a meeting place for the Jewish Community.

The Man With The Shrivelled Hand.

Mark Immediately brings our attention to the subject: The Man with the Shrivelled hand and the fact that the Pharisees were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus of being a Sabbath Breaker.

Why? Why were they looking to see if Jesus would heal the man on the Sabbath? By now the Pharisees knew that Jesus was a man of great compassion for people. He’d been healing many people of all kinds of diseases. Perhaps they even planted the man in the Congregation that day. (They were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus).

They watched Him closely… This reveals to us their attitude towards Jesus ministry, that they were very intent of finding a reason to get rid of him. However, we need to understand why there was this growing tension.

You’ve probably heard the expression; “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”, well, these Jewish religious leaders had also been scorned, they’d been upset by Jesus actions, teaching and public correction.

Some Background: (Shows us WHY they wanted to get rid of Jesus).

  • Remember that Jesus said He had come for “Sinners” not the righteous. Mark 2:17.
  • Remember that Jesus didn’t KEEP their RULES. Mark 2:18, 23.
  • Remember that Jesus had shown them they were wrong; from their own Holy Book: The Scriptures. Their understanding of their own religion was wrong. Mark 2:19-22, 25, 26.
  • Remember that Jesus even dared to say; That HE was LORD of the Sabbath. Mark 2:28.

It’s NO WONDER: It’s not a surprise to us now that they were opposed to Jesus, so the Pharisees began looking for a good reason to ACCUSE Him. A way to bring righteous judgement upon Jesus own head so that they could get rid of this upstart, this troublemaker.

MOST PEOPLE TODAY: The Attitude of People Today.

Most people today don’t hate Jesus nor are they opposed to Him the way that the religious Jews were in this account from Mark. The vast majority who know history and a little bit of the Bible think that Jesus was a very good man, Muslims believe Jesus was a Prophet, but they don’t hate Him. Most people today, know about Jesus teachings, but they just choose not to follow Him or His teachings. It’s as if Jesus is irrelevant to modern day life for most people. However that indifferent attitude changes once people really understand the implications of Jesus teaching and ministry even today.

The truth is: If we really UNDERSTAND Jesus we will either; love Him or hate Him.

  • We will LOVE Him; because He came into this world to be our Saviour: Who saves us as sinners from God’s wrath and judgement and condemnation to Hell.
  • Or we will HATE Him: because He reveals our sinful condition and that we a guilty before God.

RELIGIOUS PEOPLE: The Pharisees of Jesus Time:

We must also remember, it was in a Synagogue: This was a Holy Place, these people were very religious. However, it also shows us (perhaps as a warning today) that it’s possible to be “very religious” and yet be far away from God.

John the Baptist called these Pharisees; Hypocrites (they didn’t live like they should) and “A brood of vipers” (A viper is a poisonous snake) and “Whitewashed tombs, full of dead men’s bones” (Looking pure, clean and good on the outside, but inside they are DEAD). That’s what the Bible reveals about these ‘religious’ Pharisees: But today we’re going to see that they were also Treacherous and Deadly.

HEALING ON THE SABBATH:

They were watching to see if Jesus would HEAL on the SABBATH.

Is it WRONG to heal on the Sabbath day?

According to the Pharisees it was considered WORK.

According to Jesus: It was an opportunity to show COMPASSION. (Verse 4, )

As we discovered last week: it is WRONG to WORK on the Sabbath: However, is doing GOOD deeds for others what God would consider WORK?

Think About It: Exodus 35:2 (NIV) “For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day shall be your holy day, a Sabbath of rest to the LORD. Whoever does any work on it must be put to death.”

God has said that we can work in our regular employment for SIX DAYS a WEEK: But the seventh day is to be a day of rest from our LABOURS and a Day to Honour Him….i.e. It’s our NORMAL EMPLOYMENT, our work activity that we’re to rest from.

Remember what Jesus said about the Sabbath: “The Sabbath was made for man (for man’s benefit), not man for the Sabbath”.

Then we come to Jesus ‘Healing on the Sabbath’. Get this and you’ll get real REVELATION.

THE MAN WITH THE SHRIVELLED HAND.

Note: In those days, there was no welfare state, no disability allowances. If a man had a shrivelled hand, his employment was limited. You can’t use a powerless, useless hand to do anything. He was crippled. No wonder Jesus had compassion upon him. That’s what God is like my friends, He sees our NEED and longs to do something about it. Either through other people, you and me or through a miracle.

HERODIANS:

These were people who supported King Herod: Herod was a vassal Jesus King, a Supporter of Rome. Normally the Pharisees and Herodians hated each other, but now they were joining together in a plot to kill Jesus.

HARD HEARTED PHARISEES:

This section of the Bible is really SAD: Because it shows that we can be very religious and devoted in our religion, but become so hard-hearted that we begin to loose our compassion for people.

  • Every time we see a person in need; it’s God’s appointment to do something good.
  • Every time we see a person with trouble; God’s bringing them to our attention, to be His hands, His voice, His presence for them.

The Pharisees; they looked at this man with a shrivelled hand, only as an opportunity to do wrong.

The Lord Jesus: viewed the man with the shrivelled hand, only as an opportunity to do something good; to show compassion, care, love, concern, sympathy. He healed him on the Sabbath (God is ALWAYS willing to do us good, every day).

What does Mark 3:1-6 show us today?

  • In Jesus we observe a willingness to care;
  • That God cares, is interested in the minute of our daily lives.
  • That God Heals and does ‘good’ every single day. He doesn’t consider doing ‘good’ for others work, but a Joy and a Delight.
  • It also shows us how much we should be concerned for our fellow-man; to have fellow feelings. To show and demonstrate LOVE by doing good whenever we can, even on the Sabbath or Holy Day.
  • It also reveals that Jesus Christ considers Healing and Doing Good a joy and delight rather than WORK. 
  • Opposition towards Jesus grew the more good that He did; don’t be surprised when you are doing good and the world hates you all the more for it.

Jesus Anger and Distress:

The Verse That Gets Me Today: Jesus feelings revealed:

Mark 3:5  “He looked round at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts…”

They would not answer Jesus. He asked them a question and they refused to answer.

“Which is lawful to do on the Sabbath day, to do good or evil, to save life or to kill?” It’s OBVIOUS! The Answer was so obvious, but they remained silent.

My friends, that attitude got Jesus Christ very ANGRY indeed.

Not only angry, but deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts.

Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be on the receiving end of Jesus’ anger or wrath or to make Him distressed at my stubborn heart. I want to be able to shout out in response to Jesus question; “Oh LORD Jesus, let me be one of your followers today who’ll answer loudly; “To do good and to save life”…. Amen!

It also shows us that it’s possible to be very religious and remain Hard-Hearted and Stubborn. Religious but closed-off towards God.

They were NOT willing to learn from Jesus Christ; they remained STUBBORN HEARTED. He challenged their positions of power, but He also challenged their attitudes to other people in many different ways; the sinners, the outcasts, the sick, the poor, the lame; Jesus was always willing to; CARE, to TOUCH the Untouchables, to have compassion and to DO GOOD. Are we?

We too, like Jesus may become angry and distressed at the stubborn unbelief of people in the world. Also there is growing opposition and tension between Christians and the world under Satan’s blindness. Christians and Christianity are the least tolerated group of people in the world today. It seems to be OK to blaspheme Jesus on TV, Movies and even mainstream media, but not the faith of Islam, Hinduism etc… Have you ever asked yourself why that is? This attitude of indifference, unbelief and hostility will only get worse as time draws ever closer to the return of Jesus in glory. But don’t stay angry too long, get the big picture, the LORD is in control, He’s coming soon.

So what should our attitude be like?

Philippians 2:5-11 (NIV)
5  Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
6  Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7  but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8  And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!
9  Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10  that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11  and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Jesus healed on the Sabbath Day, but instead of rejoicing and giving thanks to God for a miracle, the opposition increased. To such a point that they eventually took the life of the most Holy man to walk the Earth; the Lord Jesus Christ was crucified.

When you focus upon the Son of God, and determine in your heart to live His way, then He seems to have a way of drying your tears and easing your fears. He makes your burdens lighter and your pathway brighter. When you decide to honour the King of Kings, He will supply all your needs. When you love Jesus, then your fear melts away as fast as the snow did in London yesterday. Amen.

Finally: One Day EVERYBODY will have to face this Jesus Christ.

Revelation 1:7-8 (NIV  “Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen
8  “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”

These Pharisees and the Herodians with the Romans and Jews eventually succeeded in their plotting and managed to KILL Jesus Christ on the Cross. However; Praise the LORD: He is ALIVE today, because the grave couldn’t keep Him.

Every EYE: will see Him. Those who pierced Him: The Pharisees, The Herodians, The Romans, The Jews, You and Me: We’ll all see Jesus one day. On that day; we’ll either be rejoicing because we’ve turned in repentance and faith or we’ll “mourn because of Him”… But on that Day: Every knee will bow before Him.

Let’s make certain we’re in that number who’ll be rejoicing and not mourning on the Day that Jesus comes. Amen!

  • Have Compassion of Jesus every day.
  • Remember He still cares for you.
  • Respond to Jesus teaching.
  • Repent from your sins and hardness of heart today.
  • Receive Him as your LORD.

Let us pray:

Hope you all have a wonderful week full of the JOY of the LORD Jesus Christ.

Don’t get too perplexed at the opposition towards Christianity, it’s pre-ordained and will grow as the time draws for Jesus return in glory. Remain steadfast and fix your eyes on Jesus. Live joyfully in His abundant life and look forward to being with Him forever. Amen.

 

Standing Firm In The Battle

Jehoshaphat's prayer

Daily Spirit & Word: 665: Standing Firm In The Battle.

Determine to follow God’s ways, not the ‘god’ of the age in which we live.

2 Chronicles 17:6  “His (Jehoshaphat’s) heart was devoted to the ways of the LORD; furthermore, he removed the high places and the Asherah poles from Judah.”

Have you ever felt the temptation to fit-in with the world?

Have you been pressurised to do so?

The Church of England is going through it right now. The Anglican Bishops from around the world are gathering in Canterbury Cathedral. They’ve got a lot to discuss and pray about, because there is strong pressure to become more like the world. It’s like living in a pressure cooker with the lid firmly in place and the steam nozzle spinning with a frenzy. Praise the LORD for Godly Bishops from around the world that are determined the Church of England and the  whole Anglican Communion remain faithful to God’s Word and it’s plain teaching. Know this my friends, when we so determine to remain faithful, God Himself will fight the battles for us. Learn from Jehoshaphat who did the same things when part of the Nation abandoned the LORD.

We must be prepared to appear to be strange, weird, simple, straightforward, singular, and in our singularity, if we are genuinely prepared to be and do good, then let us who are followers of the teachings of Jesus Christ, be settled and a peace with it in our hearts, because we will be different from those who merely say that they follow the LORD, but try to keep in with this world. Will we be like Jehoshaphat who stood out in his own time as one who was determined to follow the LORD? He did so; politically, morally and spiritually.

Are you ready to follow as God wants you too: to love the Lord your God with all your heart, will, mind, soul and strength? To love Him in your politics, in your morality, in your spiritual life? When you do so, you’ll also LOVE your neighbour as yourself.

When Jehoshaphat got ready for an attack from the North, from Israel, he was not making war, but taking a stand against those who were wandering away from the Commandments of the LORD. He knew that in doing so, his actions would incur the wrath of the nations. He fortified the cities and stationed garrisons, that’s getting ready to be attacked. When the great attack eventually came, Jehoshaphat led the Nation in prayer;

Jehoshaphat’s Prayer:

2 Chronicles 20:6 and 12 (ANIV) “O LORD, God of our fathers, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no-one can withstand you…  2 Chronicles 20:12 (NIV) “O our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.”

He determined that he would walk with God as his forefather King David had in the beginning of his reign. We’re all aware how David slipped so terribly later on in life, but when he first followed the LORD, his walk was faultless. Jehoshaphat wanted to emulate what was best in the character of his forefather King David.

When you get alone with God, in solitude and prayerfully talk with him, ask Him to show you the areas of your life that you need to fortify and garrison against attacks. For it is there, in your quiet times, you’ll find the strength and determination to walk with God and to identify the spirit and customs of your own time that are far from God’s ways. There is a ‘god’ the world follows, but it’s NOT the God of the Bible. It’s a god that says it’s OK to deliberately forsake the express commands of God, for some strange reason even people within the ‘church’ are listening to the god of the age more than the plain teaching of God’s Word, the Holy Scriptures, the Bible.

Jehoshaphat would not be surprised, for the North of Israel did the same, God’s chosen people; deliberately forsake God’s commands and begin to follow after the baalims… false gods. Be aware by following God you are going to stand out like a sore thumb, you’ll look weird to the people of the world. To them, you’ll sound strange, singular and odd, you’ll be accused of being narrow-minded and dogmatic, but my friends, when Jehoshaphat determined to follow the LORD, the LORD HIMSELF fought for Jehoshaphat in battle. When attacked by an army that he couldn’t defeat, when he didn’t know what to do, Jehoshaphat and all Judah: fasted, prayed, praised and worshipped the LORD. He asked God to give him victory: I’m asking God to do the same in this battle we’re in today. To give us victory and to enable the Church to stand firm on God’s Word.

Have and awesome weekend my friends, determine in your hearts that you’ll remain in the vine John 15.

Learn from the LIFE of Jehoshaphat: Seek the LORD in Prayer.

Do you remember a band from the 1960’s called “The New Seekers” that’s what the followers of Jesus should be today, people who’ll seek the Lord. Amen!

Remembering that ALL Scripture is God breathed, Divinely inspired to equip you to walk with Jesus. 2 Tim 3:16-17.

Praying you’ll stand firm to the end.

Don.

2 Chronicles 17:1-19 (NIV)
1 Jehoshaphat his son succeeded him as king and strengthened himself against Israel.
2  He stationed troops in all the fortified cities of Judah and put garrisons in Judah and in the towns of Ephraim that his father Asa had captured.
3  The LORD was with Jehoshaphat because in his early years he walked in the ways that his father David had followed. He did not consult the Baals
4  but sought the God of his father and followed his commands rather than the practices of Israel.
5  The LORD established the kingdom under his control; and all Judah brought gifts to Jehoshaphat, so that he had great wealth and honour.
6  His heart was devoted to the ways of the LORD; furthermore, he removed the high places and the Asherah poles from Judah.
7  In the third year of his reign he sent his officials Ben-Hail, Obadiah, Zechariah, Nethanel and Micaiah to teach in the towns of Judah.
8  With them were certain Levites—Shemaiah, Nethaniah, Zebadiah, Asahel, Shemiramoth, Jehonathan, Adonijah, Tobijah and Tob-Adonijah—and the priests Elishama and Jehoram.
9  They taught throughout Judah, taking with them the Book of the Law of the LORD; they went round to all the towns of Judah and taught the people.
10  The fear of the LORD fell on all the kingdoms of the lands surrounding Judah, so that they did not make war with Jehoshaphat.
11  Some Philistines brought Jehoshaphat gifts and silver as tribute, and the Arabs brought him flocks: seven thousand seven hundred rams and seven thousand seven hundred goats.
12  Jehoshaphat became more and more powerful; he built forts and store cities in Judah
13  and had large supplies in the towns of Judah. He also kept experienced fighting men in Jerusalem.
14  Their enrolment by families was as follows: From Judah, commanders of units of 1,000: Adnah the commander, with 300,000 fighting men;
15  next, Jehohanan the commander, with 280,000;
16  next, Amasiah son of Zicri, who volunteered himself for the service of the LORD, with 200,000.
17  From Benjamin: Eliada, a valiant soldier, with 200,000 men armed with bows and shields;
18  next, Jehozabad, with 180,000 men armed for battle.
19  These were the men who served the king, besides those he stationed in the fortified cities throughout Judah.

Below: You can read, study and learn all about the life of the good King Jehoshaphat:

Jehoshaphat King Of Judah, the son of Asa.

1 Kings 15:24

1 Kings 22:1-36

1 Kings 22:2

1 Kings 22:41

2 Kings 3:4-27

2 Kings 3:7

2 Kings 8:16

2 Chronicles 14:2

2 Chronicles 17:1

2 Chronicles 17:7-9

2 Chronicles 18:1

2 Chronicles 19:1

2 Chronicles 19:6-9

2 Chronicles 20:1-37

2 Chronicles 21:1

Matthew 1:8

Had A Godly Father

2 Chronicles 14:2

Inaugurated A System Of Religious Instruction For The People

2 Chronicles 17:7-9

Commanded The Judges To Be Just

2 Chronicles 19:6-9

When Surrounding Nations Attacked Him He Trusted In The Lord And Gained A Great Victory

2 Chronicles 20:1-37

Manifested Weakness In Forming Alliances With Wicked Kings

1 Kings 22:1-36

2 Kings 3:4-27 .

 

Let Jesus Show You His HEART This Christmas

Christmas Delight with Jesus LOVE

Daily Spirit & Word; 652: This Christmas With Jesus.

He knows, understands and wants to meet all your most basic needs in life today.

To be loved, understood and needed.

At Christmas time there’s a feeling that we’ve just got to be happy. Well yesterday I conducted a wonderful Carol Service at West Norwood Crematorium, it was arranged by Lambeth Crematorium and Cemetery Staff, refreshments were provided by Yeateman’s & Sons and volunteers from St Christopher’s Hospice served the drinks and mince pies. Before the refreshments we gathered in the Crematorium chapel and as I led the Service it struck me deeply that this Christmas there are going to be lots of people who will not feel very happy, but in fact they’ll be deeply grief stricken, because they’ve lost someone who’s very precious and dear to them. Some will feel very lonely, other’s will perhaps be angry that the Lord has taken them away. There will be an emptiness inside someone’s heart this Christmas. There is someone who can fill that emptiness with love and renewed joy.

We all know that human beings have three basic needs in life:

  • The need to feel loved, 
  • The need to feel understood,
  • The need to feel wanted.

The NEED to feel LOVED.

Being lonely at the best of times is horrible, but at Christmas it’s heightened. The need to feel loved is a basic need within each and every human heart. Of course you’ll get hard-hearted individualistic people who’ll say, “I don’t need people, I love my own company”, but that just reveals that somewhere along the road of their life, they’ve been deeply hurt, perhaps as a child, and they’ve got tough to compensate for the lack of love they received. These types of people are not very loving towards others and find it very difficult to sympathise when people struggle with their emotions. If only they’d let their guard down for a moment, admit their hurt and be open to being hurt again, then they’d be ready to feel the LOVE of another person again. But the vast majority of people today, know that they need to feel loved and to express love towards others.

My friends, we have someone who came into this world just to let you, the lonely and those who’re on their own this Christmas, just how much He loves you: The LORD Jesus Christ. He came as a baby, but lived a life of love to the end. On the Cross Jesus was demonstrating just how much He loves us, so that we will never, ever feel lonely again. When we come to Jesus, He comes to us and will NEVER leave us alone again. That’s an awesome thought for the lonely this Christmas. Yes we do need other people as well, but we’ve always got Jesus with us.

The NEED to feel UNDERSTOOD.

Have you ever heard someone say, “You just don’t understand me, you don’t get me”… We all love to be understood by others. We want people to know what life is like for me. So often everybody is only concerned for themselves. However, at Christmas time, we’re forced to think about other people. This is where being alone is an advantage, because you only have to think about yourself. However, God’s given us a mission upon this earth, and it involves the Command to LOVE others, that means we’re going to have to know people well in order to understand them. To get into their life and know what their needs are. Do you understand the folks around you. They have a basic need to be understood.

God understands you my friends. He gets you. He knows all about your life and your needs and desires. However, in order to get those basic needs of being understood met, we’ve got to be delighting in Him. Psalm 37: tells us, “Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart”… To get the one, we’ve got to do the other.

The NEED to feel WANTED:

Imagine going through life without ever being wanted? There’s nothing worse than feeling excluded.

It begins at school when they are choosing people to be on their side in a sport and you get to the point when they choose everybody else but you. Yes there are the popular ones, the ones that are great at football, then the ones who are liked by everybody, then there’s you at the end of the line. The feelings of not being wanted, for some people, begin at a very young age. We ALL love to feel wanted or needed by others. I’ll never forget the feeling a few years ago now, when someone, who I thought of as a friend said to me, in fact it was two people, “You don’t have any friends here”… I did have lots of friends, but what they said hit home and I was shocked into silence “I’m not your friend”…. It hurt deeply, but thanks be to the Lord Jesus, He’s helped me to see that it was just them and I’m now able to love them even though they don’t or won’t love me.

Even though people say and do terrible things to you, there is someone who’ll always love you: Jesus. I know it sounds a bit soppy, but it’s true. He not only loves you and understands you, but He wants you to be on His team. He’s got so many lovely things He wants you to do just for Him. You are NEEDED by Jesus.

My friends, let go of the hurt this Christmas and take Jesus Christ as your friend; You’ll find in Him someone who really does LOVE you for who you are, He understands you and get you, He knows what you need in life and He needs you too. He’s got a great plan for you.

Will you let Jesus show you afresh this Christmas that you are loved?

Will you, in turn and through joyfilled appreciation, love others in response to Jesus love?

Hebrews 13:1-8
1 Keep on loving each other as brothers.
2  Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.
3  Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow-prisoners, and those who are ill-treated as if you yourselves were suffering.
4  Marriage should be honoured by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.
5  Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
6  So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”
7  Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.
8  Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever.

What will you do this Christmas with Jesus LOVE?

If you are heart-broken; Jesus came to mend broken hearts.

If you are lonely; Jesus came to give you Himself and be with you forever.

If you are in need of anythings, delight yourself in the LORD and He’ll give your heart’s desires. (Psalm 37).

Love others, Understand others, Show others that they are needed.

Jesus NEVER changes;

He’s the same; yesterday, today and forever.

Jesus loves YOU today.

Jesus wants everyone to know Just how much they are LOVED and WANTED and NEEDED this Christmas.

You can be His means of expressing His love: Be filled with God’s Spirit and really LOVE others this Christmas, go out of your way to make Christmas special for everyone, regardless of who they are.

Have an awesome Saturday with Jesus.

Don.

 

P.S> Come and join us tonight at St Luke’s. To sing Carols, and get some wonderful Christmas gifts in the Church. Enjoy the lantern parade, because Jesus Christ is the Light of the world.

 

St Luke’s Church, West Norwood, 4-8pm Christmas Lights.

Lights being turned on by a local West Norwood celebrity.

 

Knowing Jesus: Let’s Get The Party Started

Knowing that He Knows you, You Know Him: Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word; 649:

Be Encouraged By Knowing Jesus.

Let’s GET THE PARTY STARTED

Good morning my friends. Discipleship Fellowship was G R E A T last night. We have fewer people than normal, but oh WOWzer! What a great time it was. We began by going through some of the Bible readings from the list below, chatting about each one, then reading them in context, sometimes reading the entire chapter to we could see it’s significance. Then we were joined by a new member of the group. So we stopped, had a snack and began to share our Christian Journeys to Faith and Trust in Jesus Christ.

Everyone’s story was so different: But each had arrived at ASSURANCE: Knowing Jesus as LORD, SAVIOUR, MASTER, KING, BROTHER, FRIEND and most importantly DELIVERER.

Amanda (our Church Administrator) said earlier in the week, “Sharing WHO we know is more important than WHAT we know” she’s so right. Every Christian needs a TESTIMONY, an inward witness that we ACTUALLY belong to Jesus Christ. Without that, then we’re still in the DARKNESS, we may be coming to ‘church’, we may be very ‘religious’, we may know the Bible back to front, but without that deep inward assurance that we’ve got Jesus and that He’s got us, then we’re still (at best) on our way to Him.

The wonderful Christmas text from Isaiah is shouting aloud in my Spirit today; and it’s about people on their way to faith and trust in the Saviour.

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

Of course the LIGHT is Jesus: Have you seen Jesus? Have you met Jesus? When you do, you’ll KNOW it deep within your soul.

Until we come to Jesus: We are “The People Walking in DARKNESS”. As I’ve said many times before, we can know all about Jesus and even believe in Him, but until we actually KNOW Him personally, then we’re still in the DARKNESS (i.e. the land of the shadow of death). For the Bible declares that those who’ve yet to be ‘born of God’s Spirit’ as still Spiritually DEAD. So it’s not about what we know, but WHO we know that’s important, and that we’re known by HIM.

I’d hate to think of any one of my friends, hearing these words from Jesus lips on the Day of Judgement: “Depart from Me, I never knew you”… Let’s read that afresh now, but NOTE this: when it says “false prophets” it means everyone who proclaims that they are ‘Christians’ when they are not, i.e. they are FALSE CONVERTS (they don’t know Jesus and He doesn’t know them).

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

LOOK FOR THE FRUITS of CONVERSION:

Why? Because that’s what Jesus is going to be doing. “By their fruit you will recognise them”…

The Fruits Is OBVIOUS: When you see a tree in fruit, it’s promising tasty treats. When you see a fruitful Christian, they will be DEMONSTRATING the fruit of the Holy Spirit in their lives: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Gentleness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Self-Control.

NOT EVERYONE WHO SAYS “LORD, LORD” IS A CHRISTIAN.

It always amazes me this text, because you’d probably think that “prophesying, driving out demons and performing miracles” would make a person certain that they ARE followers of the Lord Jesus; but He’s going to say “I never KNEW you, depart from ME you workers of iniquity”…

Do you KNOW Jesus? There’s nothing more important. Yes going to church is good, reading the Bible is great, knowing all about Jesus is totally awesome, but have you got the point of KNOWING HIM yet? If you haven’t got the inward testimony, the Spirit’s inward witness that you ARE a child of God, then be assured of this, you are still one of those “people walking in darkness” looking for the light.

YBH: Yes but HOW?

I can hear people asking this question again. “How do we KNOW Jesus?”, “How do I know if I’m SAVED?”, “How do I know if I KNOW Jesus and He knows me?”

Sometimes the Answer is too easy for some people and they want to add more, but it is as SIMPLE as A,B,C and R.

Accept: That you are a sinner in need of forgiveness. We’ve all fallen short of God’s Holy Standards revealed through His Law, the Ten Commandments. Even if we fail at just one point, then we’re guilty of breaking ALL of it. We stand in the place of the guilty and will be judged by God and sent to Hell. Do you accept that you are a sinner? Romans 3:23

Believe: Believe IN Jesus: That means put your faith and trust in HIM. Just like you would a parachute if you’re jumping out of a plane. Believe that He came into this world from Heaven, lived a perfect life, performed miracles and taught His disciples the secrets of the Kingdom, He then died on the Cross for your sins, in your place, then rose from the dead and is alive in Heaven now. There’s so much more to believe about Jesus, but that’s enough to get you started on the road to Salvation. Do you believe that Jesus died upon the Cross for your sins?

Convert: Turn from your sinful life, living life your own way, and turn in REPENTANCE AND FAITH to trust in Jesus Christ. Repentance is turning: It means to make change of mind, it’s a desire to go God’s way, to live His life instead of being your own boss. You put God on the throne by turning to Him in Faith. We call it conversion. But conversion is not complete until we actually receive the Lord Jesus by an act of faith and take Him as our Lord and Saviour. (I know so many people who’ve stopped short at this point; they get to the point of; accepting they are sinners, believing that Jesus died for them, repent of their sins, but stop short of receiving Him by an act of faith).

Receive: Receive Jesus as your LORD and SAVIOUR. It’s not enough to simply believe in Him.

It’s like Jesus is offering you a gift, which He is, but not just ONE GIFT: Jesus is holding out to you today; forgiveness of sins, God as your Father, Holy Spirit Power to live, Family of God, New Life in Christ, Home and Eternal Life.

You say, “I believe that you want to give me that gift Lord”, but if you don’t take the gift that’s offered, then you walk away with nothing. Believing that Jesus can give you all this is NOT the same as having it.

Have you ever been offered something, but have not taken up the offer? You may believe that it is yours for the taking, but until you take it, it’s NOT yours. Until you’ve got it in your hands, it’s still in the hands of the one offering it.

Salvation is like that: Jesus is offering it to YOU today. All you’ve got to do, after Accepting, Believing, Converting is to RECEIVE HIM. John 1:12-13. Look at all the Scriptures below to show you what happens when you DO receive Jesus as LORD.

SINNERS PRAYERS:

I’m in the position today of hating sinners prayers: Because I’ve known and met countless numbers, so many people now, who’ve “Said the Sinners Prayer” countless times, but nothing has happened. A sinners prayer won’t SAVE you, it will NOT make you into a Christian. But a heartfelt turning from sin, trusting in His death on the Cross for your sin, believing in Jesus and a true receiving Him as LORD will SAVE you and change you and you’ll begin to produce the fruit of repentance, the fruit of the Holy Spirit in your life. It will be obvious not just to other believers, but to everyone who KNOWS you. You’ll change from knowing about Jesus to actually KNOWING Him.

Yet I LOVE SINNERS Praying to RECEIVE Jesus as LORD.

It was so refreshing having Lloyd at our meeting last night, because he reminded us all how much we need to come to Jesus and simply, honestly and wholeheartedly RECEIVE Him as LORD.

God LOVES it when SINNERS Repent: (There’s a party going on in Heaven with all the Angels when SINNERS turn to Jesus in REPENTANCE from sin, and RECEIVE Him as LORD). Luke 15 The Three Parables of LOST & Found.

I could suggest a “sinners prayer” for you to pray, but it’s more important that you; A,B,C and R above. If you are ready to do that, then you don’t need me to give you the words, tell Jesus Christ you want Him as your Lord. Tell Him how sorry you are for your sins. Tell Him you want to turn away from the sin in your life. Talk to Him about it. Tell Jesus you want to receive Him as your Lord and Saviour. You invite Him and take up His offer of LIFE today. When you do ALL THINGS will Change.

2 Corinthians 5:17
17  “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! “

PRAYERS: Heavenly Father, I come to you today, in the Name of Jesus, and bring before you EVERY ONE of my friends and family. I’m praying for them today LORD, that they won’t just know all about You, but that they’ll actually come to KNOW You. I’m praying LORD that they’ll A,B,C and R above. Help those in Darkness Lord, send out those who KNOW You to the people who’re still walking in Darkness in need of the Light of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Lord I thank you for Lloyd, who’s come back to You. I know there’s a party going on in Heaven right now because Lloyd came back to You in Repentance and Faith. Amen.

Let’s Get The Party Started.

Don.

Discipleship Bible Readings:

The Good Things We Have: When We Take Christ As Lord.

Seven: Who We Are In Christ.

We receive a new life:

We have eternal life (John 3:16).
God has poured His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5).
We have received the testimony of the Spirit (Romans 8:16).
We have been given the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16). Our bodies have become temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19).
We have available to us the gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:4–11).
We have become part of the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:27).
We have the Holy Spirit as the seal of His ownership in our hearts (2 Corinthians 1:22).
We have been redeemed from the curse of the law (Galatians 3:13).
We have been sealed by the Spirit (Ephesians 1:13–14).
We have been made alive with Christ (Colossians 2:13).
We have been renewed by the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5).
We have been born again of the Word of God (1 Peter 1:23).
We have been forgiven and washed clean in the blood of Jesus (1 John 1:7–9).
We have been born of God (1 John 2:29).

We enter a new relationship with God

We have become children of God (John 1:12; Romans 8:16).
We know the only true God (John 17:3).
We have peace with God (Romans 5:1).
We are reconciled to God (Romans 5:10).
Not only are we children, but we are sons of God (Romans 8:15).
We have become co-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17).
We are Christ’s possession (1 Corinthians 3:23).
We have been transformed into His likeness with ever increasing glory which comes from the Lord (2 Corinthians 3:18).
We are a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).
We are crucified with Christ (Galatians 2:20).
We are accepted in the beloved (Ephesians 1:6).
We are alive with Christ (Ephesians 2:5).
We are members of God’s household (Ephesians 2:19).
We can approach God with freedom and confidence (Ephesians 3:12).
We can be confident that He who began a good work in us will carry it on to completion (Philippians 1:6).
We can do all things in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:13).
We are qualified to share in His inheritance (Colossians 1:12).
We belong to God (1 Peter 2:9).
We participate in the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4).

We are set apart in the world.

We are more than conquerors through Christ Jesus (Romans 8:37).
We are ambassadors of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20).
We live by faith in the Son of God (Galatians 2:20).
We have been crucified to the world (Galatians 6:14).
We have been raised up with Christ and seated in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6).
We are fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household (Ephesians 2:19).
We have been rescued from the dominion of darkness and brought into the Kingdom of God (Colossians 1:13).
We have been given the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27).
We are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness (2 Peter 3:12).
We have overcome the world (1 John 5:4–5).

Gordon, Bob (2012-02-01). The Foundations of Christian Living (The Sovereign World Foundations Series) (Kindle Locations 626-630). Sovereign World Ltd.

 

Has Jesus Promised More Than He Can Deliver?

Power for the Christian Life

Daily Spirit & Word; 648:

Has Jesus Promised More Than He Can Deliver?

Good morning my friends, I want to encourage the Saints in Christ today, those who have surrendered their lives to Him as LORD and Saviour. Why? Well it’s because sometimes, there are brothers and sisters in Christ who seem to be a bit down. They seem to want or need something more, but with shoulders down and arms drooping, they walk in and out of ‘church’ not getting what it is they need. And I’m feeling so sad, because I know there’s POWER waiting for them, if they’ll just tap into it. It’s as if they’re living with this feeling or question, “Has my Lord Jesus promised more than He can deliver for me?”

“Has my Lord Jesus promised more than He can deliver for me?”

  • Perhaps, you came to Jesus expecting life to be a bed of roses.
  • Perhaps it’s because you thought you would always feel powerful and strong in the Spirit.
  • Perhaps it’s because you expected to never have to suffer or go without the good things in life.

Whatever the let-down is, you NEED encouragement today; because Jesus can deliver all things in abundance. His promises are always TRUE and can be found to be true for every truly converted believer.

Jesus Christ CAN and WILL sustain you in everything. Believe it again, believe it afresh today.

Did you get to the verse in your Bible that promises; “I can do ALL THINGS through Christ who strengthens me”… If, like me, you make notes of powerful Bible verses at the front and rear of your Bible, then turning to these often will give encouragement. Especially when you find them to be true when you live them.

Philippians 4:11-13 (NLT) The Secret Strength For Contentment.
11  Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.
12  I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.
13  For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.

It’s NOT a Secret my friends. Jesus has revealed it in the experience of the Apostle Paul and countless thousands of other followers of Jesus; we can FACE ANYTHING when we get the strength for our weakness through Jesus Christ.

  • If you have ANY need in your life today; come afresh to Jesus Christ.
  • If you have SOMETHING you need help with today, come to Jesus Christ first.
  • If you want a SITUATION SORTED, then come to Jesus, because He wants to give you His strength.

Avail yourself of the POWER that’s available today: You won’t just be contented, but overflowing.

If you are feeling downcast, disheartened, discouraged today; then bring it to Jesus.

He’ll lift up your soul. He’ll fill you afresh with Holy Spirit. He’ll give you the NEW WINE of the Kingdom. It will be like a fountain within, you will not be able to turn it off. Joy overflowing from within. Do you want that? Come to Jesus NOW in prayer and be strengthened and encouraged.

Has Jesus promised more than He can deliver? No my friends, but there’s more, much more than you can ever imagine stored up for you, tap into the power source of the Universe, come to the Lord Jesus Christ and you’ll see.

PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, forgive me for those times that I’ve doubted You. I come to you now and trust You afresh in everything. I know Lord that I can do ALL THINGS in the power and strength that You provide through Holy Spirit living in me”. Amen.

Determine in your hearts today; “I’m going to share with Jesus all my desires and longings today.” Amen.

Every blessing in Jesus for a wonderful week,

Don.

 

Getting Ready For Christmas: Advent.

Getting Ready For Christmas Advent

Daily Spirit & Word: 646:

Getting Ready For Christmas: Advent.

Avoiding The Ways Of The Wicked

Good morning my friends, as Christmas approaches again this year, how can we get ready so that we’ll have JOY when the day arrives and we continue to celebrate on Christmas Morning without regrets?

Thankfully the LORD has provided a way, for the meek to inherit the Earth.

Continuing with Psalm 37: We saw how in Psalm 37:1-11 Believers are to; Trust (not fret), Delight in the Lord to get our heart’s desires, Commit our ways to Him, Wait Patiently for Him (not fretting), Be Still (not struggling in our own strength for things to happen),  Refrain from Anger, (because it only leads to evil).

NOW, today; we’ll see God’s reasons why?

Because when we don’t; trust, delight, commit, wait, be still and refrain from anger: we will become God’s Enemies (wicked).

Anyone who does what they want instead of what God decrees is a wicked person from God’s point of view.

Look at the next few verses of the Psalm and you’ll see; they are doing the opposite of what Believers are directed to do;

Psalm 37:12-17 (The Way of the Wicked).
12  The wicked plot against the righteous and gnash their teeth at them;
13  but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he knows their day is coming.
14  The wicked draw the sword and bend the bow to bring down the poor and needy, to slay those whose ways are upright.
15  But their swords will pierce their own hearts, and their bows will be broken.
16  Better the little that the righteous have than the wealth of many wicked;
17  for the power of the wicked will be broken, but the LORD upholds the righteous. 

What Do The Wicked Do?

They are plotting evil instead of trusting in, delighting in and committing to the Lord.

They are being violent; instead of refraining from anger.

What Will Happen To The Wicked?

  • Their POWER: Will be BROKEN.
  • The way of the wicked will perish.
  • Their POWER will be broken. 
  • They WILL BE Crushed by the LORD.

Why? Because the LORD upholds, protects and watches out for those who TRUST in HIM>

Why? Because the LORD pays back the wicked.

REALITY CHECK:

Does that mean we won’t experience horrors? NO! Because, the wicked do terrible things that really do hurt the; innocent, the weak, the poor, the vulnerable. However, the LORD is watching and will PAY BACK the wicked for their evil one day.

What Can Believer Do?

Even in the face of trials and tribulations, Christians will; continue to: TRUST in the LORD: Commit to Him: DELIGHT in Him: Wait Patiently for Him, Be Still in His presence, REFRAIN from Anger. Because, He’s got great plans for those who are gentle, humble, patient and meek. (The LORD is a rewarder of those who LOVE Him: Either in this life or the next). (THE MEEK SHALL INHERIT)…

We don’t know when we’ll experience the LORD’S Powerful Hand: Against our enemy or to reward us; it might be in this life or it may be in Eternity, but it’s better to live with His blessing, even if we’re being ill-treated in this life, than to respond in sinful ways; with anger, rage, malice etc… BE God’s Blessed People in this world: He’s got great plans and rewards waiting for you.

WHY? Because the meek shall inherit the Earth.

When do we get an inheritance? When the TIME is right.

In God’s TIMING:

So TRUST in Him, because His Timing is Perfect.

Christians will turn to the LORD, seeking the fullness of the Holy Spirit to live God’s way.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, as Christmas approaches this year, I plead with you to help me to; Not fret, to wait on You and Trust You, Help me to Delight in You Lord, Help me to be still in Your presence, Help me to refrain from anger and reacting in wrong ways, even if I am wronged. Help me to be an influence for good and for Your glory in this world today. Amen.

Every blessing for an awesome day with Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Don.

#Advent #Actsofkindness #BibleSociety #Jesus #DoGood

 

Foundations in God’s Word: A Christian Worldview.

Foundations in God's Word: Genesis

Daily Spirit & Word: 645: God Created Everything.

How’s Your Worldview?

The Importance of Having A Christian Worldview:

(NOTE: Worldview = A comprehensive view of the world and human life).

Good morning my friends, I’ve been greatly disturbed lately with so many foolish things in the Media: From Transgender indoctrination of our society, same-sex marriage, killing of innocents (Bombing Syria), ignoring the shocking mass killings in third world countries like Nigeria, whilst we go mad on the horrific news of people being killed in France. Yes it’s closer to home, but surely EVERY human life is invaluable? To sail a straight course through these stormy seas, we’ll need a strong rudder to guide us, thankfully we have that in God’s WORD. We have a worldview provided for us in Genesis and that foundation can and will sustain us for life, it helps us to understand why God Created, why God made us, why God sent His One and Only Son on a rescue mission into this world.

You know my friends, if we took Genesis out of the Bible our worldview could be anything we desired and we’d be in danger of adopting any of the following: Atheism, Pantheism, Polytheism, Secularism, Evolutionism, Deism, Hedonism, etc… The fact that God Created and has a plan for mankind and all of Creation keeps us from sin and error.

  • If we didn’t have this foundational Christian Worldview we’d still be LOST. There would be no need for Jesus to die upon the Cross. 
  • If we didn’t have this foundational Christian Worldview provided by the Old Testament and Genesis: We’d be able to do what ISIS (ISIL / IS) do without it bothering our God given Conscience. 

As it stands today, Genesis and God’s purpose in Creating the Universe and Mankind IS part of the Canon of Holy Scripture, so let’s get to KNOW all about God’s plan and purpose for His Creation. Let’s BELIEVE it, Let’s TRUST God knew what He was doing when He inspired men to write this portion of His WORD.

Sidney Greidanus said, “Genesis teaches that God is sovereign (vs. atheism) and wholly other than this universe (vs. pantheism), the only true God (vs. polytheism), the Creator of this universe (vs. secularism and naturalistic evolutionism), who has made a covenant with his creation and upholds it (vs. deism), and made human beings in his image to manage the world on his behalf (vs. hedonism). Genesis further teaches that God is not the source of evil but created everything good so that his creatures can enjoy the physical world (vs. gnosticism). The source of the evil and brokenness we see in the world today is human disobedience to God’s command, which resulted in God’s curse on creation. But God immediately promised to restore his creation to the beautiful kingdom he intended it to be. And so Genesis sketches the beginnings of redemptive history: God seeking to restore his creation and creatures, finally making a special covenant with Abram, who was to be a blessing to “all the families of the earth” (Gen 12:3).

As Genesis sketches the beginnings of redemptive history, it teaches about God’s coming kingdom, God’s love for his creation and his creatures, God’s judgment of sin, God’s grace for sinners, God’s covenant faithfulness, God’s sovereign providence, and God’s presence with his people. As Ken Mathews puts it: “If we possessed a Bible without Genesis, we would have a ‘house of cards’ without foundation or mortar.”

A Bible Without Genesis is Like:

“A HOUSE OF CARDS WITHOUT A FOUNDATION OR MORTAR”

Anything or anyone could come along and blow it away.

We’d be open to this statement from God’s Word: The Unstable Man

James 1:5-8 Getting Wisdom From God.
5  If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.
6  But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7  That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8  he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.

How’s Your Worldview Today?

Do you have deep foundations in the Word of God? Genesis provides it in bucket-loads.

Is your God the God of the Bible?

If He’s NOT, then you’ve made a ‘god’ to suit yourself: Idolatry.

If He’s NOT, then you’re going to be like a ship in a storm without a rudder, blown here and there, wherever the winds of change will blow you. Your course will be uncertain. Your destination indeterminate.

With GOD Almighty’s GENESIS Foundations in place, you’ll see Christ for who He is; The LORD Creator and Redeemer of Mankind.

Genesis 1 and 2 and John 1.

Having God’s Worldview in place will give us a much great love for His World and for everyone within it. Amen!

PRAYER:

Father God, thank You so much for giving us every part of Your Word. Thank you that by knowing Genesis we can have deep roots and strong foundations for what we believe today. Thank You that we can know Your plan and purpose in Creating us. Thank You that we can know how much You love and value every single soul in the world today. Lord today I’m praying for the PEACE and SAFETY of Syria and wisdom for those in authority in the world today. Amen!

Have an awesome day with Jesus.

Don.

#Genesis #Advent #Jesusiscoming #Christmas #Foundations #Worldview #Christian

 

Should The UK Bomb ISIS?

Revenge is mine. God's anger against evil

Daily Spirit & Word: 643: Fighting Evil With Good.

What is lawful? To do ‘Good’ on the Holy Day or to do ‘Evil’?

Sometimes it’s wrong to unite: When that coalition is plotting evil.

In Jesus day, the ‘religious’ leaders of Israel were experts in applying the Scriptures to everyday life; they had by that time devised 39 prohibitions for the Sabbath Day (The Day of Rest). But Jesus demonstrated something different which brought Him into dangerous conflict with the Pharisees, Sadducees and Herodians. These three groups were normally in conflict with one another, but as we’ll see from Mark’s Gospel, they were united against Jesus.

Mark 3:4-6 (NIV)
4  Then Jesus asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they remained silent.
5  He looked round at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored.
6  Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus.
Sometimes, just because everyone else is uniting behind a cause, it’s doesn’t mean it’s right to join in.

Many have caricatured Jeremy Corbyn for his stance of not joining; France, America, Russia etc who are bombing Syria. They have castigated him and all who side with him as traitors. It’s amazing how quickly feelings escalate when war is looming: However, even though ISIS are EVIL personified, they’ve done tremendous wrong; committing murder, rape, torture, beatings, stealing. They’ve broken every single one of God’s Commandments. Does that then give us the right to go and bomb them? Do we now have the legal and moral authority to take the life of every single ISIS member?

We must also remember the innocent Civilians who will be caught up in this conflict. Their cities, towns and villages have been invaded by ISIS, should they be bombed because they’ve been invaded? Are they just collateral damage?

Two Wrongs Don’t Make A Right: Sometimes it’s WRONG to UNITE.

Just as the Pharisees, Sadducees and Herodians wrongly plotted the murder of Jesus, so too it might be wrong to plot to join the others who are already indiscriminately bombing ISIS.

What ISIS have done IS wrong: Evil men are always doing wrong.

In the United Kingdom, we don’t have the DEATH Penalty anymore.

If it’s OK to kill the members of ISIS because they’ve killed, does that mean we’re going to take the life of those who’ve killed people back home in the good old UK? No, of course not. So why are we rushing into this Bombing campaign?

Jesus wasn’t like the ISIS members, He only did good: even though they united to plot His death.

What was it that Jesus did wrong from their perspective?

  • He Delivered a man from a Demon on the Sabbath (Mark 1:21-28).
  • He Touched a man with Leprosy (Mark 1:40-43).
  • He forgave a man his sins (only God can do that). (Mark 2:1-12).
  • He ate with Tax Collectors and Sinners (the untouchables). (Mark 2:13-17).
  • He gave his men, the Disciples, something to eat from a field on the Sabbath Day. (Mark 2:23-28).
  • He didn’t fast, as the other ‘religious’ people of the day did. (Mark 2:18-22).
  • He healed a man on the Sabbath day. (Mark 3:1-6).

What Jesus did enraged those in opposition, but it was NOT wrong; it WAS GOOD. He only ever did GOOD things.

Jesus cited some Scriptures to show that what He was doing was OK. He was not breaking God’s Commandments regarding the Sabbath or Fasting, Jesus upheld and kept the LAW of God (His Father) fully. However, their response to Jesus Ministry shows they were not practising their own ‘religion’ at all, they were not working for God, but were serving and thinking only about themselves.

However, the United Group of Pharisees, Sadducees and Herodians; much like ISIS and even the American, Russian, French and possibly the UK coalition could ignore God’s LAW: to get their own way. They plotted murder, just because Jesus was going against their man-made-traditions. It’s strange, shocking and sad that it’s often the most ‘religious’ and self-righteous people, who’ll do the most horrendous things for the sake of their so called ‘religion’ or ideology; Be that ideology; Judaism, Christianity, Islam, ISIS or Democracy.

  • Yes we should be horrified by what ISIS have done.
  • Yes we are right to feel angry.
  • Yes we are right to want justice for those who’ve been murdered.

BUT: We are not justified in simply seeking revenge.

If we do join in with the EVIL, like the Pharisees and Herodians, we’ll be fighting against God.

What the Pharisees and their group were doing was against God (Jesus). It was (is) against God’s LAW to murder.

He warns us that it’s HIS prerogative to fight against evil. He’s the ONE who’ll punish the EVIL doers.

On a personal level, it’s never us who have the right to take revenge.

Revenge, is NEVER the answer: It only ignites the flames of hatred.

REVENGE BELONGS TO GOD;

Romans 12:17-21.
17  Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.
18  If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
19  Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.
20  On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
21  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Yes, God does raise States and give the power of the sword to bring His swift Justice. However, those Governments better be certain that they are justified in using their God given powers. Is it right to take REVENGE? No! However, it is right to bring people to justice, to bring them to account for their actions, to make them face-up to what they’ve done, but just getting even or paying them back is not a right motive for killing people. God will one day give them PAY-BACK big time, but in the mean-time, we’re to fight against evil with good.

FIGHT EVIL WITH GOOD:

The Americans, French, Russians and the UK are wrong to think they’ll kill-off the Evil Ideology of ISIS with bombs.

It’s going to take time, effort and peaceful means to quell this evil force. “Fight evil with Good”. Our battle is NOT against flesh and blood, but against spiritual forces of Evil in the Heavenly realms. It is the Devil, Satan who’s behind the ISIS ideology, for only the Devil could convince men that murder and rape are right, but we’d better be careful that we’re not in league with Satan as well, by taking revenge into our own hands and away from God. Murder is always murder, no matter what our excuse for going to war.

Conclusion:

In uniting against Jesus, they were uniting against God.

Doing good will always bring opposition: But let’s NEVER give into Evil.

In uniting against ISIS, we’re doing the right thing my friends.

However, let’s fight and crush this Evil Ideology with PEACE, LOVE, RESPECT, HOPE and DIPLOMACY.

Diplomacy might take longer, but the peace it brings will last longer than any group that’s crushed with bombs. They’ll just rise again and take revenge for their dead heroes of their ideology.

There are other ways to bring them down, other than bombing them into the dust.

  • Pray for your enemies.
  • Live at peace.
  • Do good to those that hate you.
  • Leave room for God’s wrath and anger against their evil actions.
  • Overcome EVIL with GOOD.

It’s going to take real courage to stand-up against everyone who thinks it’s right to BOMB.

It’s going to be a battle against Ideologies.

Jesus is on the side of the PEACE MAKERS.

Matthew 5:9-12
9  Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
10  Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11  “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.
12  Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Have an awesome Sunday with Jesus.

Join His Salvation Army: Fighting EVIL with Good! Amen.

Don.

More About Jesus WAY OF PEACE

 

Delight Yourself In The LORD

Delight yourself in the LORD

Daily Spirit & Word: 642: The Desires Of Your Heart.

 

Psalm 37:1-11
1 [ Of David.] Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of those who do wrong;
2  for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away.
3  Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
4  Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.
5  Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this:

6  He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.
7  Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.
8  Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil.
9  For evil men will be cut off, but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land.
10  A little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will not be found.
11  But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy great peace.

Good morning my friends, I was singing the little praise song; “Delight Yourself In The LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Then looked up the Scriptures: WOWzer! How awesome is Psalm 37?

I’ve just received news that a friend who was deemed to be here in the UK illegally, and was about to be deported, has been granted a reprieve. It’s totally AWESOME! She’s a real STAR and her trust in the LORD throughout all her trials is a wonder to behold. No matter what her circumstance, and they’ve been truly terrible, she’s resorted to; prayer, praise, trust and delight in the LORD. She witnessed to me the other day, “Don, even though I’m due to be removed from the UK, I’ve got real PEACE and the FEAR has been taken away. I’m trusting in the LORD”… How brilliantly awesome is that? Though her situation looked bleak; Her JOY in the LORD was evident.

LOOK WHAT THE PSALMIST SAID:

  • There are conditions to our PEACE and SAFETY in the Land.
  • There are conditions to our Heart’s Desire.
  • There are Conditions to our INHERITANCE.

WHAT ARE THE CONDITIONS?

TRUST: Trust in what? The strength of your arm? NO! The cunning or craftiness of your ways? NO! We are to TRUST in the LORD. Remember my friends, “It’s not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit says the LORD”.

DELIGHT: Delight is the second condition: Delighting in the LORD means praising HIM no matter what you are going through. He’ll deliver you. He’ll fight for you. He’ll watch your back.

COMMIT: Commit your ways to the LORD! Lay all your own plans before the LORD. Let Him direct your paths. We don’t know the future, but He does, so it’s much better to trust the one who knows what’s best for us.

BE STILL: When we’re still, we’re not doing anything. We’re not acting or working or plotting or planning. He’s got the situation that you’ve TRUSTED Him with, DELIGHTED in Him for: So why fret, why worry, He’s got it. “He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.”

REFRAIN FROM ANGER: You know it’s easy to get all heated-up and angry if we dwell upon our situations. However, when we: Trust, Delight, Commit and Be Still: All the fretting seems totally useless.

What happens when we trust the LORD like that? What happens when we live life totally dependent upon the LORD?

” But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy great peace.” Psalm 32:11.

The next time you find yourself moaning, fretting or getting upset about something; Turn to this Psalm: Highlight those words in your Bible so you can find them again. Make a note at the front of your Bible: “When I’m feeling down and depressed I’m going to do what Psalm 37 tells me to do: Trust, Delight, Commit, Be Still and Wait on the LORD.” Turn to it often, commit it to memory.

Make a note at the front of your Bible: “When I’m feeling down and depressed I’m going to do what Psalm 37 tells me to do: Trust, Delight, Commit, Be Still and Wait on the LORD.” Turn to it often, commit it to memory. 

So today, sing that song with me and my friend, she’s totally overjoyed now. So am I.

“Delight yourself in the LORD and He will grant you the desires of your heart.”

Keep singing, Keep praising, Keep trusting and BTW “Do Good” Psalm 32:3 “Trust in the LORD and do good”.

Have an awesome weekend with Jesus the LORD my friends,

Don.

Another Song of FAITH and TRUST in the LORD

Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart.

The Wonderful Jesus

Jesus is God, He has Authority to forgive sins

Daily Spirit & Word, 634: The Wonderful Jesus

The Wonderful Friends, The Wonder-Filled Crowd & The Wonderful Words of Jesus.

Jesus Has The Power & Authority to Forgive Sin.

SHOCKING NEWS: I was filled with a deep sickening-feeling when I watched the news that so many people had been killed by those murderous terrorists in Paris. We’re with the French Nation! Grieving with you over your loss of so many young loved ones. It’s a scar that will be painful and will hurt for a long time to come. I couldn’t call them soldiers or that this is a war, because that would elevate them to an army. They are pure merchants of an evil that’s running rampant over the face of the earth. Praying for PEACE and in God’s timing that the good people of France will be enabled to FORGIVE. For when we forgive, then we are set-free. O LORD, please bring the comfort that You alone can give in the face of death. Amen!

Good morning my friends, today we’re back with Mark’s Gospel and chapter 2. The familiar story, recounted in many a Sunday School Class, the famous account of the four friends who brought their friend to Jesus to be healed, but couldn’t get in at the door so the climbed-up, made a hole in the roof and lowered their friends to the feet of Jesus Christ.

 

Mark 2:1-12. The Paralysed Man: Forgiven and Healed. Four Wonderful Friends.
1 A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home.
2  So many gathered that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them.
3  Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four of them.
4  Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralysed man was lying on.
5  When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
6  Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves,
7  “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
8  Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things?
9  Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’?
10  But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins . . . .” He said to the paralytic,
11  “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.”
12  He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”

There are so many wonderful lessons and sermons I’ve personally heard about this account. I’ve preached upon it many times myself, but today I was struck afresh by these four men and Jesus response and the crowds of people in the house that day.

The Three Things That Strike Me Today:

1) The Wonderful Friends.

What amazing friends this paralysed man had.

4  Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralysed man was lying on.

Some people imagine that when someone is paralysed that they will be that way for the rest of their days.

Imagine, if that man’s friends had thought like that? He may have wanted to be cured, but if they’d argued, “It’s no use mate, you’re paralysed, just get used to it, there’s no hope for you”. (British Home: Used to be called, “The British Home For The Incurables” I first saw that sign and I wept inside. I first visited the Home before I was the Minister here, and my heart sank “Have I got to come to this place and preach to these people who have no hope of ever being cured?”

Those Wonderful Friends didn’t think like that; they had FAITH that Jesus could heal their friend.

My friends, I do have a hope, I do believe with all my heart that Jesus can and does do miracles today. I’ve seen miracles of healing and I believe, like those four wonderful friends obviously did, that their friend is worth bringing to Jesus Christ. Jesus came into this world to SAVE everyone. Not everyone will be SAVED but that’s what Jesus wants, be certain of that my friends.

How were they Wonderful Friends?

They Cared: They didn’t give up when they couldn’t get in through the door.

Some of us give up too easily on those we’re trying to bring to Jesus Christ, but not these friends.

You may have been trying for years to get a loved on SAVED, but they refuse to come to Jesus. Be like those friends, who were not put-off by the crowds at the door.

They Were Creative: They used their heads, “what other way can we get him into see Jesus?”

Some of us, when we’re met with an obstacle, just give-up, just put-off by the obstacles, but instead they got creative.

It might take an unusual approach to save your friends and relatives. It might mean you’ll have to think of another way. A different or novel way.

The must have said amongst themselves that day, “We can’t get in through the door, but look, there’s a roof and we can easily break through the roof and get him into see Jesus”… That’s creative. Not only did they care, they were not going to be put-off and they got very creative.

They Were Commended: Not only did they care and get creative, but they were commended by Jesus for their faith.

Verse 5  “When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.””

It wasn’t the paralytic’s faith that was commended that day, it was the faith of the friends who struggled to bring him to the feet of Jesus Christ.

Will you be commended by Jesus because of your FAITH?

The faith they demonstrated was obvious; their faith had legs, they didn’t let obstacles get in the way, they tried their hardest all all costs to bring their friend to Jesus. They BELIEVED that Jesus would and could HEAL their friend.  What wonderful faith, what wonderful friends. O my friends, if only we had a church full of people who were longing to bring their friends to faith and trust in Jesus Christ. If only we’d bring our loved ones to Jesus. If our Church was not put-off by obstacles, think how full our church could be.

They may be paralysed:

  • They may not be able to come themselves to Jesus: You Bring Them.
  • They may not want to come to Jesus: You Bring Them whatever way you can. Carry Them.
  • They are paralysed by sin, powerless to save themselves. You show them they can be SAVED by Jesus.
  • They’re not looking to come to Jesus: They are BLIND and cannot see their NEED of Jesus or Church: we must open their blinded eyed and bring them to Jesus.

“When Jesus saw their faith”: The man’s sins got forgiven.

Imagine: You’ve struggled to bring your paralysed friend to Jesus. You’ve heard that He’s a healer and all He does is say, “Son, your sins are forgiven you”… What? I mean, “We’ve just dug through a roof, we’ve not been put off by the crowd, we’ve lowered our friend on ropes to your feet and all you do is forgive him his sins?” But Jesus is NOT finished yet.

THEY Cooperated TOGETHER:

One last thing about the Wonderful Friends: The worked together to bring their friend to Jesus.

That tells me afresh today; “Donald, don’t try and do it all alone. Work together to bring people to Jesus.” It’s a TEAM effort. We’ve got to be working together. There’s always something you can be doing: If you can’t be an Evangelist, you can be a prayer. You can be a meal-giver, you can be a host, you can be a helper, you can be a giver, you can be SOMETHING as part of the TEAM Here are St LUKE’S Church to bring people to Jesus. Only four of the group were carrying the man, there were more than four of them. All those people, bringing their friend to Jesus. Think: When we’re joined together in UNITY there the LORD commands His blessing.

 

2) The Wonder-Filled Crowd.

The Wonder-Filled Crowd: They were all crammed into that house to hear Jesus teaching. So many that the sick couldn’t get in. They were filled with wonder, but they’d become a stumbling-block; blocking access to Jesus that day.

The Church Today is FILLED with the WONDERERS: They love wondering at the words of Jesus, they love sermons, they love healings, they love miracles, they love the spectacle of power ministries, but just like the Wonder-Filled Crowd back then, they become a blockage to people coming to Jesus today. They don’t care: Even if they do care, the don’t show their faith, by doing something about it.

How do we know they were a blockage? It’s revealed when Jesus said those amazing words; “Son, your sins are forgiven you”.

That Wonder-Filled Crowd knew that ONLY God can forgive sins.

Mark 2:6-9
6  Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves,
7  “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
8  Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things?
9  Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? 

They were right too, these TEACHERS of God’s Law: ONLY God can forgive sins.

My friends, if ever there was a passage in the Bible that shouts-out about the Divinity of Jesus, that Jesus is God, it’s this one (there are many, many more) but they KNEW that Jesus was claiming to be God by saying, “Son, your sins are forgiven you”, because ONLY God can forgive sins.

But instead of praising Jesus Christ as God, they began to accuse Him of Blasphemy in their hearts. Many times these Jewish Teachers of the Law wanted to stone Jesus to death for His blasphemous words. They were there, crowded into the house, listening to the wonderful teaching of Jesus, but they were not all there to praise Jesus. Some of them were there only to be critical and cynical. Not everyone in that house that day was filled with a desire to be a follower of Jesus.

Now, listen afresh to the wonderful words of Jesus;

3) The Wonderful Words of Jesus.

Mark 2:8-12.
8  Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things?
9  Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’?
10  But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins . . . .” He said to the paralytic,
11  “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.”
12  He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”
Before they could utter their thoughts out loud, Jesus took the initiative, by REVEALING THEIR THINKING.

Not only is it ONLY GOD that can forgive sins; but ONLY GOD knows what a man is THINKING.

That alone should have convinced them that this man Jesus before them was God on Earth.

No ONE on Earth or in Heaven can read your thoughts, but God ALONE (Jesus is God).

No ONE on Earth today can say to a Paralysed man, get up and walk and he’s healed and walks. Only God can do that kind of miracle. This again, the third thing that day, proved that Jesus was God.

 

MARK 2:10 To PROVE THAT Jesus, “The Son of Man” (Messiah Title) Has the Authority to FORGIVE SIN: He performs this miracle.

Mark 2:10-12:
10  But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins . . . .” He said to the paralytic,
11  “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.”
12  He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”

These Wonderful Words of Jesus, to Prove He was God on the Earth, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home”… He did and they were all amazed. He did it in full view of them all. The Miracles was to prove to the doubters that day and today that Jesus is God. He has the authority to forgive sins, only God can do that.

Conclusion:

We’ve seen today;

The Wonderful Friends: Who are full of faith, undaunted by obstacles, creative in bringing their friend to Jesus and caring enough to consider that not even a paralytic is beyond the reach of Jesus power.

The Wonder-Filled Crowd: They’d become a blockage to people coming to Jesus. Not everyone was there for right reasons. Be certain that you are not coming to Church just to wowed and to wonder, but to work for Jesus too.

The Wonderful Words of Jesus: “Your Sins are forgiven, Your thinking this, Take up your mat”

Forgiven and Healed: Forgiven and Commanded; Forgiven and Commissioned.

Thoughts: Are you being a Wonderful Friend to someone today? Is there someone you can bring to Christ? Don’t be put-off, deterred, disheartened, disillusioned, by a blockage. They may not be willing to come to Jesus yet: don’t ever give-up on them, what may seem impossible now: Is POSSIBLE (All things, all people, everyone; can come to Jesus). There’s no one beyond the help and hope of Jesus POWER to reach them. Like the Paralytics Wonderful Friends: Be creative, Have faith, Keep going when everyone else gives up.

 

BE AMAZED: Like the Wonder-Filled CROWD: Let these words of Jesus fill you with wonder every day. Let Him come to you afresh. Let Him dazzle you with amazement. Only Jesus knows what they were thinking, ONLY GOD Can Do That: Jesus is God.

 

The Wonderful Words of Jesus: He’s saying to you today “Your sins are forgiven, now get up and go for Me into this world and proclaim the Good News”…. That’s the Wonderful Good News Gospel of Jesus. You’ve got it my friends, now go and give it away; Be part of the Wonder-Filled Crowd who were there to listen to every word of Jesus, Be like those Wonderful Friends and let the Wonderful Words of Jesus impact your HEART today. Amen!

I hope you all have a WONDERFUL Sunday full of JOY in the LORD Jesus Christ.

Don.