Immanuel God With Us

Immanuel, Emmanuel, How to know that God is With Us.

Daily Spirit & Word: 814: The Meaning of Immanuel.

Good morning my friends, as I was just about to post my message today when I heard the tragic news about that terrible plane crash. It was carrying a Brazilian football team. (Link BBC NEWS)

I’m praying now for all those who’ve been affected by this disaster.

Immanuel:

It’s a word we hear every Christmas, but like a lot of religious words, we’ve lost its meaning somehow along the way. Or if we do know what it means, the impact of that meaning is not hitting home. Because of all the hustle and bustle and the haste to buy stuff, far too many Christians aren’t looking forward to Christmas, but we can re-capture the MAGICAL feelings we had as children, all the excitement, joy and wonder of Christmas. It happens as we experience IMMANUEL for ourselves.

What does Immanuel mean?

Immanuel means: “God with us”.

Let’s unpack IMMANUEL a bit…

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

This is a quote from Isaiah the great Prophet of the LORD. Isaiah 7:14.

Immanuel means “God with us”…

When Jesus was born, he was a baby human being, he became one of us, but He was also still God, just wrapped in flesh.

Some people call this taking on human flesh, the INCARNATION:

Now when you dwell upon that fact, The CREATOR of the whole Universe and time itself, came to Earth. Out of all the billions of little planets, he chose EARTH to come and reveal Himself to His Creation. Awesome!

Of course He came for a reason, Jesus was coming on a rescue mission.

It’s a bit like the Government sending in the SAS to set free the prisoners held hostage by the Iranian Terrorists in the Iranian Embassy in London in the 1980’s. LINK in that BBC News coverage you’ll see them storming the burning building.

https://youtu.be/_p4DmuGyehc

Jesus, of course, didn’t come with guns blazing, smoke going off and bombs sounding, nor did He arrive with an army to win His battle, instead Jesus came and Heaven burst into song and God let the Shepherds experience Heaven for a moment. Jesus Christ, the King of the Universe gave His life upon the Cross for all mankind to be set free. However, his birth and death was even more dramatic than that SAS rescue. He was publically executed, with the crowds watching. Alongside at least two others that day Jesus public humiliation and death was a victory. Though the world at that time didn’t realise they’d just killed Immanuel: God with us.

However, we know that His death was not the end, because just three days later, Jesus, because He was always God, came back to life again. His mission was completed and His body is alive today in Heaven where He ascended over 2000 years ago. The next time anyone is going to see Jesus, apart from in visions and dreams, is when He returns in all the glory of Heaven.

YOUR IMMANUEL MOMENT

But before Jesus comes back, we’ve been given an opportunity to get to know Him. We can know Immanuel, God with us, personally right now. We can experience God and know God… Have you had your own Immanuel? Do you know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that God is with you?

Once you experience Immanuel for yourself, nothing will ever be able to take away that experience, it will transform you life forever. Because God becomes your Immanuel, Jesus promised this very thing for everyone who believes and trusts in Him.

John 14:23 (NIV) Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.”

Once Jesus comes into your life, He comes in TRINITY: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Your own body becomes the TEMPLE of God, because wherever God is, that is His Temple. When He comes as promised, that is your Immanuel moment, but it lasts forever.

HERE IS HOW TO KNOW IF YOU’VE RECEIVED YOUR IMMANUEL:

You’ll know Him, if you LOVE Him.

You’ll know if you love Jesus Christ. When you hear his name, your heart skips a beat. It’s like He’s inside you witnessing within, that He’s here. Oh yes, you’ll know if you love Jesus.

Nobody needs to tell you when you are in love with another person, your heart, mind, will and strength are for that relationship. You’ll do whatever you can to be with your lover. When you are apart, you’ll always long to be together. I knew when I was in love with my soon to be wife Julie, because I was over 200 miles away, and all I longed for was the evenings when I could get to a telephone box (no mobile phones in those days), to call her at her house. We’d spend ages chatting about nothing on that phone, until my money ran out. When you are together, its like you are in the place that you’ve always belonged. All you want to do when you are in love is hold that person as close as possible, it’s like the two have become one. That’s real LOVE! That’s how you know you love Jesus, when you are ONE with Jesus.

You’ll know if He is your LORD:

When Jesus is your LORD, then you will be prepared to do whatever He tells you. It won’t be a burden to you to be obedient to Jesus, because you’ll be in love with serving Him. He’s your beloved King and you’d willing die in His service.

You’ll know if He is your Immanuel:

You’ll know if you’ve submitted your life to Him, because your desires will be changed and you’ll want to live in obedience to Jesus commands and teachings. That’s how you know if you’ve experienced Immanuel for yourself.

So HOW do we get our own IMMANUEL?

“Come, oh come Immanuel…” (The Christmas Carol).

Invite the LORD to come into your life right now.

Believe in the LORD Jesus Christ: It’s easy to say, “Oh yes, I believe in Jesus”, but that doesn’t mean that you are BELIEVING IN Jesus; i.e. trusting that He has died upon the cross for your sins and that you’ve received Him as your Lord and Saviour. In order to do that, you’ll first need to be CONVICTED by the Holy Spirit that you are indeed a guilty sinner.

Confess any known sin in your life. Confession means to own it, to acknowledge that it was you, that you are guilty of sin. It’s like a prisoner standing before a judge and he asks the person in the dock, “How do you plead?”, when you’re ready to confess your sins you’ll respond to the Judge of the Universe, “Guilty as charged your Honour”… If you are not convinced you are a sinner, then GOOGLE the Ten Commandment; you’ll soon see your guilty heart. They are like looking into a mirror, they reflect the condition of your heart. Those commandments of God, not suggestions, are still applicable today. God has not changed, His standards of Holiness will always be the same.

In our Baptism service, the candidate is asked, “Do you turn from sin?” and “Do you repent of your sins?” and “Do you renounce sin?” These questions reflect a willingness to let go of sins hold on your life. But please note, it doesn’t mean you have the ability in your own strength not to sin again, it’s just a willingness to let go of sin. You will get the POWER to say “No” to sin once you’ve received your Immanuel, God with you, He’ll come into your life in the power of the Holy Spirit and He’ll enable you to live righteously in holiness of life. Remember what Jesus promised the Holy Spirit will do;

John 16:8 (NIV) The Promise of Holy Spirit Conviction. “When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment:…”

The Holy Spirit will show you your guilt, that you are a sinner, that you are not righteous enough and that one day the LORD is going to judge you.

How will you plead today?

If you died right now, and appeared before God, what would you say when He asks you, “How do you plead, have you ever sinned? Have you ever broken one of My Commandments?”

Like the rest of us, like every sinful soul on earth, you’d have to say, “Lord, You know all things, You know that I’ve sinned”… However, if you have received Jesus as Lord and Saviour, then all your sins will be washed away, you’ll be clean, your conscience will be clear and you’ll approach the Throne of Judgement with boldness, knowing that you are a forgiven sinner who’s been washed in the blood of God’s Holy Lamb. If you’ve believed, repented, renounced sin and received Jesus as Lord then you’ll already have been made into a Saint by Jesus Christ, the Bible calls that SANCTIFICATION (Being made into a saint, by trusting in Christ).

I’m writing all of this today, because I want every reader to know and experience their own Immanuel moment, that time when you purposefully turn from sin and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour.

So I’m Praying:

  • I’m praying that everyone I know and love will come to Jesus and experience Immanuel for themselves.
  • I’m praying that Holy Spirit will give them a soft heart to be open to God.
  • I’m praying that He will convict them of their sinful condition.
  • I’m praying that He will show them there is a judgement to come.
  • I’m praying that He will reveal to them, the way of Salvation.
  • I’m praying that He will show them the life of Holiness is a joy filled life.
  • I’m praying that He will give them a desire for freedom.
  • I’m praying that He will give them a hunger that this world cannot satisfy.

Father I’m praying all these prayers for those that You love and that I love in the Name of your Son, my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen!

And I am full of faith, expectancy and sure and certain HOPE that You will answer my prayer Father, because I’m believing Jesus’ promises.

John 16:24 (NIV) “Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.” Amen!

Have an awesome Tuesday my friends,

Join me in praying for all those who are grieving because of that plane crash in Brazil.

Stay close to Jesus and experience your own Immanuel,

Don.

18 Prayers to Pray For Unbelievers

LINK To Prayers

 

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.

 

When Hearts Are Ready For Jesus

Jesus is waiting for you

Daily Spirit & Word: 808: When Hearts Are Ready For Jesus.

He’s READY for You.

Jeremiah 33:3 (NIV) “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”

Last night was brilliant, it was cold, windy and I’d had a dozy of a day and didn’t feel much like going out to share the Good News of Jesus in the cold again. Because I’d been out in the cold all day and gotten frozen to the core. Sitting in the car for hours waiting for the AA man to come and fix our flat tyre. Then standing around chatting while he changed my wheels around. In the old days you’d have a spare in the boot or under the car, but now Vauxhall Motors just give you a mastic sealing compound to inject into the burst tyre, only it didn’t work. We eventually got the car to QuickFix and they sorted it out in about half an hour. Whilst waiting though, the sun was shining on the fast moving storm clouds and the sky looked so awesome, so I just had to praise the LORD.

So although I didn’t feel like it, I arrived in church to find two of our men, David and Les, waiting to go out. Then Isaac arrived and we knew we’d have to go. We prayed and sang a song, asking Jesus to open hearts on this cold and windy night and give us some people who were ready to hear the Gospel Good News of Jesus. Oh my friends, when you’ve had a day like we’d had and pray to Jesus like that, He doesn’t disappoint.

Before going we folded some new little tracts: They’re brilliant for springboards into conversations with folks. You can get yours from this link: The 4 Points.

t4ptract2

We chatted with one man for ages, but he wasn’t really that open to the good news (yet). He was so wrapped up in what he’d experienced in life and was understandably bitter about being thrown out of his home whilst he was in hospital. All his belongings had been thrown onto the streets and most of his life-time’s treasures, mementoes and keepsakes had disappeared, lost forever. He’d been left with absolutely nothing. So after chatting we asked if he’d let us pray for him. All three of us knelt down on the cold ground and began to pray to the Lord for him. He was so warm and thankful afterwards. We left him with some tracts and shared the way to Jesus with him before leaving. It’s sometimes so right that we need to listen and hear their story first, before they are ready to hear what we’ve got to give. David made sure that he understood clearly about real repentance and trusting in Jesus.

Next we met a man who seemed quite open. He’d had a Roman Catholic upbringing and was a bit sceptical of ‘religion’, because the Nuns who taught him were quite severe  and strict with their discipline. He’d been serving in the church in various ways over the years. He’d even been paid as a pallbearer at funerals. After listening for a short while this time I asked him how a Roman Catholic gets into Heaven. He said, “We just have to try our best and be good”… I asked him, “Do you think you’ve been good enough?” He said, “No, I’ve been pretty bad”… Honest or what! So I said, “Where will you be spending eternity?” He said, “Oh I don’t know if I believe in a Heaven and Hell like that”…

Well after reasoning with him and opening up his conscience in the usual way, using God’s Commandments, he was then very open to hear about the Good News of Jesus and the prospect of being forgiven and receiving new life. He was so convicted, so after praying with him by the traffic lights we turned back to David’s car to get him a Bible.

Derek shared some amazing things about his life with us last night, it seemed to me that God had been preparing his heart to meet with us. He said, “I prayed for the first time in years yesterday”. He’d been praying to the Lord for other people and for the world. So when we prayed for Him, it was God’s way of showing him he’d heard his prayers.

Why is it always when we are praying that noisy motorbikes seem to stream past revving their engines? 🙂 Undeterred, we pressed the Gospel home and checked that Derek understood what he was going to do to be saved. I asked him when he was going to get right with Jesus? He said, “NOW”.

Walking back through the churchyard we joked and laughed, then Derek was very thankful and overjoyed to receive his new Bible. He was so open and honest, I hope we’ll see him again soon.

Although we gave out a few more little Gospel tracts and chatted briefly with a few folks, these two conversations were on my heart last night. So will you please pray for Everton and Derek?

When you have a horrible day, and things seem to be going all wrong, be ready, because Jesus just might be getting you into the right frame of mind to be His servant and witness of the JOY of the LORD. Thankfully we’d asked Him for the Holy Spirit’s anointing before going out. One man thought I was psychic, but I said, “No, it’s the LORD who gives us words to say”…

Sharing The Good News with folks on cold nights can be fun. However, we do pray for more of these kind of openhearted encounters, where hearts, minds, souls and wills are prepared, ready and open for the Good News of Jesus Christ.

We’re praying for more Labourers in God’s Harvest Field:

So that many more will be sharing Jesus, because those strangers and the ones you know and love who don’t know Jesus yet, need Him much more than they realise. It because we’ve all got a Divine Appointment we can’t escape: Hebrews 9:27 (KJV) “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:”  My friends, everyone is going to give an account of their lives before Him on Judgement day, and from what the Bible tells us, we’re all going to fall short of Heaven’s entry requirements.  Romans 3:23 (NIV) “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” We don’t want anyone to end up in the place that’s been reserved for Satan and his demonic army. (Revelation 20:10-15). Let’s get a heart that’s been warmed by the love of Jesus and share the Good News, because FAITH comes by hearing and they’ll only hear if someone goes and shares Jesus with them.

Many people don’t think they know enough about the Bible or their faith, however, the truth is, we’ll only really get a complete and full understanding of our faith when we’re ready to share it with others. God spoke through Paul to us all when he wrote Philemon.

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

The fullness of understanding comes when we are active in sharing the Gospel… God’s going to give you personal revelation of all the good things you have in Christ. The Scriptures will open up and reveal treasures… My friends, God shares His secrets with His obedient friends.  Jeremiah 33:3 (NIV) “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”

So don’t ever think you don’t know enough, because if you’ve got Jesus, been born of Holy Spirit, have a basic understanding of the good news, then you’ve got everything you need. It’s when you begin sharing that God will give you even more insight and understanding.

My tough day was nothing when compared to those who suffered and died yesterday in the Croydon Tram Accident. It’s so shocking. I can’t tell you how much this has affected so many people where we live. However, when you’ve had a tough day please remember that the LORD Jesus Christ is only a prayer away.

It hits hope to me the importance of being ready to share Jesus with folks. True JOY will come. Some people’s hearts have been prepared by Him ready for you to share the Good News. Jesus is working with us, He’s with us as we share. Oh the JOY of seeing someone come to Him.

Be blessed and filled afresh with Holy Spirit. He’ll give you a fire that cold nights can’t put out.

Praise the LORD!

Don.

PLEASE PRAY:

Yesterday in Tram Accident in Croydon: Mail Online Tram Accident.

Many of us have been shocked and saddened by the tragic accident yesterday in Croydon. Our prayers and thoughts are with the families of those who lost their lives. Five people killed and over fifty people seriously injured.

Because this is so local to us, we will be remembering all those affected and who died at our Remembrance Service on Sunday.

 

 

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

Only God Can SAVE You From The Judgement to come.

Good works or following religious rules and regulations can't save us from our sins. We can only be saved by God alone.

Daily Spirit & Word: 796: Being Saved Is Possible, but ONLY by God’s Grace and Mercy.

Only God Can SAVE You.

From the Judgement to Come.

Being SAVED Is Possible, But Only By God.

Can A Camel Go Through The Eye of a Needle?

Good morning my friends, today we’re back with the Gospel of Mark. In our gatherings in church, we’ve been going through Mark for almost a year now. The Journey has been amazing. We’re discovering what an amazing LORD Jesus really is, and how inspired Mark (the author) must have been by Holy Spirit. I don’t think it’s possible that a man could put this work together, without the help of God. For we’ve been experiencing progressive revelation and this portion of God’s Word has built for us a wonderful picture of Jesus nature and character, but in doing so He’s also opened up what true Discipleship is like, from each and every story, parable and incident He recorded.

What we’ve observed:

  • Jesus is more Godlike that we at first would imagine.
  • The Disciples are more human and unable to save themselves from the consequences of sin.
  • Jesus (God) needs less human and earthly resources to sustain His life.
  • The Disciples, followers of Jesus, need more and more Divine intervention and revelation.

What I’ve discovered afresh, as if I didn’t know, is that we all need to stay very close to Jesus, every day, just to keep going as His followers. Yes we have advantages over His own disciples; we have the Holy Spirit’s indwelling, the Word of God in full; so we know how to serve and we have Jesus’ promises to be with us always for the journey. However, we must be willing to maintain that connection with God.

Today we’re back with Mark 10:23-31. Being SAVED Is Possible, But Only By An Act Of God.

  • Can a Camel Go Through The Eye of a Needle?
  • Can a Man Be SAVED by Good Works?

 

Mark 10:23-31 (NIV)
23  Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!”
24  The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!
25  It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
26  The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, “Who then can be saved?”
27  Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”
28  Peter said to him, “We have left everything to follow you!”
29  “I tell you the truth,” Jesus replied, “no-one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel
30  will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life.
31  But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”
Last week Robert preached, whilst I was away in Plymouth, about the Rich Young Ruler and how he thought he’d fulfilled and lived according to the requirements of the Old Testament Law (Summarised in the Ten Commandments)… When he said to Jesus, “All these I have kept since I was a boy” Jesus didn’t react by saying what He knew, “No, my friend you have not lived according to God’s Commandments”… Instead, Jesus looked at him and, as the Bible tells us, “He loved him”…

 

I wonder if Jesus look of love was one of pity; because the Rich Young Man was BLIND (He couldn’t see his Spiritual need and didn’t understand how much he was in need of God’s forgiveness). I do not think that WEALTH was his only problem. In fact I’ll go as far a declaring I KNOW it wasn’t. Because, when we look at the Ten Commandments properly and honestly we’ll soon see we’ve all FALLEN SHORT of every single one of them: None of us can say in front of God: “I’ve kept all of these since I was a child”…

 

However, Jesus did focus upon his WEALTH.

Jesus knows what a TRAP WEALTH IS for most people in this world.

It was back then and it is today.

That’s why He said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God”.

 

The Disciples Knew It Too: “If A Camel CAN’T, Then We CAN’T either”

They knew that EVERYONE wanted to be RICH: Like the Rich Young Ruler…

 

Today, many people, all over the world, are clamouring for WEALTH, Health and Happiness:

People are risking life and limb in the Mediterranean Sea to get to Europe, the Land of PROMISE.

They know, people in the West are Prosperous, Wealthy and Healthy: So, willing to risking everything in flimsy boats, that’s what they want for themselves. They launch themselves into the Mediterranean Ocean from all over Africa in their thousands ever month. Many of those boats are without even an engine, cram-packed with people; men, women and babies. How foolish to go to sea like that, without an engine in a flimsy rubber boat. That’s how desperate people in this world are for Wealth, Health and Happiness.

 

When they arrive, they head for the most prosperous, populous areas; Germany and the UK.

 

Oh my friends, if only they could see; Health, Wealth and Happiness can’t SAVE you; Only Jesus Christ can give you lasting peace and happiness upon this earth and the life to come.

 

THE IMPOSSIBILITY:

The Disciples KNEW it’s IMPOSSIBLE then, for ANYONE to enter the Kingdom of God.

So they asked that pertinent question; “Who Then Can Be SAVED?”

 

JESUS ANSWER: It’s Impossible for man to save himself: Therefore ONLY God can save.

The Disciples asked in Mark 10:26 and Jesus answered in Mark 10:27.
26  The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, “Who then can be saved?”
27  Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”
It’s IMPOSSIBLE: For anyone to SAVE themselves by human effort, by your own goodness or by your own righteousness.

The Rich Young Man: Good in his own eyes; couldn’t.

The Rest of Humanity: Good in their own eyes; can’t either.

However, Jesus revealed the IMPOSSIBILITY:

A Camel can’t ever FIT through the eye of a needle.

A Human being can’t ever FIT in the Kingdom of God.

 

NOTICE: The DISCIPLES: Were EVEN MORE AMAZED… i.e. They were amazed the Rich Young Man couldn’t be SAVED. Now they were EVEN MORE AMAZED, because they knew “NO ONE” could be saved. Unless God did something.

 

That “MORE AMAZED”: Reveals to me something about the Disciples.

Perhaps they we secretly thinking they were good enough themselves. After all they’d been with Jesus (they’d left EVERYTHING to follow Him).

Perhaps they’re just beginning to get Jesus message, that EVERYONE needs God’s intervention; if they ever hope to enter the Kingdom of God.

“Not with God, ALL THINGS are POSSIBLE with God”.

 

It’s POSSIBLE: But ONLY with God.

A Camel Can’t go through the eye of a needle (Impossible).

A Man Can’t enter the Kingdom of God (Impossible).

 

Unless, God does something. (Mark has been revealing that Jesus is God, because only God can do the things Jesus did).

  • Only God could make a Camel fit through the eye of a needle.
  • Only God could turn water into wine.
  • Only God could walk on water.
  • Only God could calm a storm with a word.
  • Only God could command Demons.
  • Only God could open the eyes of a man born blind.
  • Only God could bring a dead girl back to life.
  • Only God could make you FIT Enough to enter into Heaven.

ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE WITH GOD.

ONLY GOD CAN SAVE YOU; YOU CAN’T SAVE YOURSELF.

Peter Reveals: (Why he was even more amazed) “We’ve left everything to follow You”… i.e. surely we’ll be saved by our human effort… “Look at the sacrifice we’ve made Jesus”… “Surely you can see how serious we are in following you”… My friends, no matter how hard you try, you’ll NEVER be good enough for Heaven. No matter what EFFORT you put into it yourself. You’ve got to STOP trying to SAVE yourself and let Jesus SAVE you. Why? Because no amount of effort to be good will wash away your sins that contaminate your soul.

Jesus answer, “No, Peter, because by leaving everything, you’ve gained much more”..

Mark 10:28-30.
28  Peter said to him, “We have left everything to follow you!”
29  “I tell you the truth,” Jesus replied, “no-one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel 30  will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life.

If we let go of EVERYTHING: Then it’s possible to be SAVED: But only by God.

The great temptation is that most people think they can do enough good works to earn a place in Heaven. That’s why the Disciples asked Jesus that question, “Who then can be saved?”. Deep down inside all of us, is this desire to work for or earn Salvation for ourselves. It’s hard to let go and let God do the saving, but that’s exactly what we’ve got to do or we CAN’T be SAVED.

  • Let go of Human Effort to be GOOD enough for Heaven.
  • Let Jesus come into your life and take away all your SINS.
  • Then His blood will cleanse you and make you FIT for Heaven.
  • It’s impossible with MEN: But it’s POSSIBLE with God.

How is it POSSIBLE?

Next Week: We’re going to be looking at “Why Jesus Came To Die?” Mark 10.

He came into this world to SAVE SINNERS.

Everyone has sinned, The Disciples knew, so they asked “Who then can be saved?”

My friends, you don’t want to wait until next week:

God’s Word tells us, “Today is the DAY of SALVATION”.

i.e. Get right with God today.

A) Confess your sins to God: How, like the Rich Young Ruler, you’ve not kept the Ten Commandments. You’ve lied, you’ve stolen, you’ve not put God first in all things, all the time. You’ve dishonoured you mum and dad. You’ve lusted and been unfaithful sometimes. You’ve coveted what your neighbour has. We’ve all done it. Everyone has broken God’s Commandments: Confess how you’ve done it to God.

B) Believe Jesus died on the Cross for all your sins:

His death was in your place. He died so that you can receive Heaven, once you Repent, Believe and Receive Him as Lord and Saviour.

C) Repent: Turn away from living a life of sin a rebellion and turn around and come to Jesus Christ to be cleansed and forgiven and renewed by Holy Spirit.

D) Receive: Receive Jesus Christ by an act of faith.

Just like you would board a plane to go on holiday. You trust the Captain knows how to get you to your destination. You RECEIVE Jesus as your Captain, He’ll take you all the way to Heaven.

More than that; you’ll receive the Holy Spirit Birth. New Life and Abundant LIFE right now.

E) Live: Become a Disciple of Jesus and live according to His teaching in fellowship with other followers. (Your Christian brothers and sisters in God’s family).

In order to do that, to live this Christian life, you’ll need: To gather regularly in worship, fellowship and receive Discipleship training from God’s Word. You’ll need to sort out your TIME and make time for daily prayer to connect with Jesus every day. You’ll need TIME: to Study and begin to practice God’s Word; daily.

You’ll get God’s HEART for others, that they might know Him too. You’ll be overflowing with a burning desire to lead others to Jesus Christ.

All of these things are indicators that you’ve really and truly been SAVED by Jesus.

You’ll also notice the Fruit of the Holy Spirit begining to ripen in your life: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control.

NOTE: Passages by Way of Illustrating of these points in today’s message.

Titus 3:4-7 (NIV)
4  But when the kindness and love of God our Saviour appeared, 5  he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6  whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Saviour, 7  so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.

Titus 3 shows us;

  • We can’t be saved by ‘the good things we have done’… i.e. no amount of human effort will suffice.
  • That God in His mercy saves us by REGENERATION (RENEWAL) NEW LIFE, NEW BIRTH by The Holy Spirit.
  • We are JUSTIFIED (Made right with God: Justified = Just as if I’d never sinned). How? By God’s Grace and Kindness.
  • What happens? We become heirs (inheritors) of Eternal Life (Through this faith and trust in Jesus, we can enter into the Kingdom of Heaven).

Romans 5:6-8 (NIV) We’re POWERLESS: i.e. we don’t possess the strength or ability to SAVE ourselves.
6  You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.
7  Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die.
8  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Jesus died on the Cross for us, so that we can be forgiven, cleansed, set free from sin’s power, so that we can be made fit for God’s Kingdom of Heaven.

Ephesians 2:1-5 (NIV) Before We Put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ, we are DEAD in our Transgressions and Sins.
1  As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins,
2  in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air (Satan), the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient (Those who break God’s Commandments; all people).
3  All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.
4  But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5  made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.

Conclusion:

We’ve seen today that the Disciples discovered the impossibility of anyone being able to SAVE themselves by human effort to get into God’s Kingdom of Heaven.

We can’t SAVE ourselves, it’s impossible for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle. It’s impossible for a human being to be cleansed from sin by doing good or being religious or following the Ten Commandments.

So, it is only through God’s kindness, mercy and Grace that anyone can ever be SAVED from God’s wrath and anger against sin.

If we were to die without coming to Jesus Christ, then we would carry our sins to the Judgement. If we come to Jesus, we’ll be set free from sin, forgiven and cleansed. We’ll be born of the Spirit and receive NEW LIFE in Christ Jesus. When God sees us coming, He’ll throw open the gates of Heaven and welcome us in. Why? Not because of the good we’ve done, but because of His Son; Lord Jesus, who washed our sins away.

My friends, God has demonstrated just how much He loves everyone by sending Jesus to die for us. He doesn’t want anyone to end up in Hell or be judged because of their sins. He’s giving us all this moment in time to reflect, to repent, to return to Him. Do it right now! Don’t waste another moment of time. Get right with God today: Confess, Repent, Believe, Receive and Live. Amen!

Let us PRAY:

Have and awesome week with the LORD.

Trust Him every day and come close to Him in praise, worship, adoration. Then go out and share the Good News so that many more can come to Know HIM.

He’s alive! He wants to give your family, friends, workmates, school friends, college comrades and neighbours that NEW LIFE too.

Be blessed,

Don.

 

Hello From The Other Side

when men call evil good

Daily Spirit & Word: 794: Hello From The Other Side.

How to Weary God: He’s getting ready to meet you on the other side of life.

“Hello From The Other Side”

Good morning my friends, it’s so easy to get the LORD upset. Just use these two methods and you’ll see.

Have you heard Adele’s song, “Hello from the other side”? Well today’s message is like God saying, “Hello from the other side, I’m waiting for you”.

Malachi 2:17 (NIV) You have wearied the LORD with your words. “How have we wearied him?” you ask. By saying, “All who do evil are good in the eyes of the LORD, and he is pleased with them” or “Where is the God of justice?”

 

I don’t know if you get weary of some things?

Once there was a man in the crew on my submarine that would talk the hind legs of a donkey. He’d done everything, seen everything and been everywhere. There wasn’t a single subject he didn’t know everything about. If you’d done something, he done it better, faster, longer etc… When you saw him approaching, you had to quickly think of something to say, before he began to tell you one of his stories. Yes my friends, Boris could bore you senseless. But the LORD loved him 🙂

 

Is it possible to get God weary and worn out with our words?

We’ve all met people like Boris, but imagine what it must be like for God?

We get tired of the way some people incessantly talk. You know the type, when you can’t get a word in edge-ways, because they don’t even breath between sentences and never finish. or when they do they move onto another subject without giving you a chance to interject in the first ten subjects. Sometimes I don’t know if I should laugh or cry.

 

Well our verse from God’s Word reveals two kinds of talking which wearies the LORD God Almighty: They are depraved talk and blasphemous talk.

FIRST, DEPRAVED TALKING:

(Deviating from what is considered to be; moral, right, good, proper and true).

God answers through Malachi when people ask, “How have we wearied the LORD?”

God is answering that question for us today: first we WEARY THE LORD with our constantly saying that “EVIL IS GOOD”.

Not only do people say evil is good, but they say that God takes pleasure in those who do evil things.

What is EVIL? 

Secular Dictionary Definitions:

1) Morally objectionable behaviour.
2) That which causes harm, destruction or misfortune. (Violence in action or words, bullying, defrauding, scheming, crafty, murder, hatred,
3) The quality of being morally wrong in principle or practice. (Stealing, lying, cheating, being unfaithful, lustful).
4) Having the nature of vice. (Drug dealers, pushers, prostitution, human-trafficking).
5) Having or exerting a malignant and malevolent influence. (e.g. “a gossipy malevolent old woman” or “failure or rejection made him malevolent toward those who were successful”)

It’s not hard to find out what EVIL really means from God’s point of view either:

EVIL is not an outward thing, but it’s inward; harming and hurting others or self and ultimately rejecting God by our actions or words. No wonder God gets weary.

So, when men say that something is good, which God has clearly declared is morally wrong, then that is EVIL.

What things do we say are good, when our Conscience (God’s Holy Standards of moral goodness, which is written upon every human heart) is telling us it is morally wrong. i.e. we know we’re going against our own conscience.

1) Abortion: Killing a baby in the womb. It’s murder. Taking a viable human life.

2) Sex: Outside of marriage. The Bible calls this fornication. To have sexual intercourse with another person outside the bonds of marriage (either actual sex or imagined, lusted after). All forms of sex outside of God’s ordained bounds: Marriage between a man and a woman, is perverse  perverted and morally wrong. When out evangelising people give the excuse, “We’re all human” i.e. “We’re human so we can’t help ourselves, we’ve got an inward drive that makes us do it”… That’s just shifting the blame for our moral weakness and propensity to sin.

3) Stealing: Taking things that belong to someone else. Many people today don’t think twice of stealing music, films or other content from the internet. Cheating the Tax Man, Stealing time from the Boss of a big company.  We excuse ourselves by saying, “Everybody does it” or “Surely it can’t be wrong”… We know it’s stealing, taking something that doesn’t belong to us.

That’s just three, but we’re masters of inventing new ways of being evil, doing things we know that God has said is an abomination for Him. No wonder God gets weary with people. With our talk, saying evil things are good and God will like it.

Well that is the first half of the verse, what about the second thing that God gets weary about?

2) BLASPHEMY.

Now, this really get’s God annoyed.

Malachi 2:17 (NIV) You have wearied the LORD with your words. “How have we wearied him?” you ask. By saying, “All who do evil are good in the eyes of the LORD, and he is pleased with them” or “Where is the God of justice?”

“Where is the God of Justice?”

  • God can’t see.
  • God doesn’t care about justice.
  • God won’t hold us to account.
  • God doesn’t exist.
  • God’s not real.
  • God won’t judge.

What is all this? The Bible clearly reveals this is BLASPHEMY… Saying something about God that is not true.

Blasphemy is not just using God’s Name in a wrong way, like saying “OMG” or “Jesus H Christ”…

Evil doers will pay a heavy price one day. Everyone who does EVIL in the sight of almighty God will one day be held to account for it. God shows us very clearly in the Bible that He is concerned about Justice and will one day PAY BACK for the evil everyone does.

John 3:19-20 (NIV)
19  This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.
20  Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.

“But, who does evil?” Answer: “EVERYONE”, we’ve all sinned and fallen short of God’s Holy Standards of Morality.

Romans 3:23 (NIV) “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”

In some ways people are right in saying, “We can’t help it, we’re just human” because we are all born in slavery to sin, we will sin and fall short, but God sent Jesus Christ to set us all free from that bondage: even though we’re born with a tendency to sin, God will hold each person, personally accountable.

Romans 6:20-23 (NIV)
20  When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness.
21  What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death!
22  But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.
23  For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

All liars will find their place in the lake of fire. (my friends, that’s serious, even telling a LIE can land you in Hell forever). How many lies do we need to tell before we’ll be judged? It’s like murder, just one lie make you a liar. No amount of good deeds we do afterwards will wash away that lie. It will stain our souls all the way to judgement day, unless it is washed away. There’s only ONE WAY to remove the stain of EVIL from our souls.

That ONE WAY: is through REPENTANCE (Turning away from all evil and sin in your life towards Jesus Christ). FAITH (Putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ: He died in your place on the cross, taking the punishment for all your sins. When you believe that Jesus did this for you and trust that He did indeed die for your sins, then you are ready to be set-free, saved and cleansed). RECEIVE (Receive Jesus Christ as your LORD and SAVIOUR: Tell Him you are trusting that He died for you, that you want to live a holy, good and pure life from now on. You are ready to TRUST Him as both LORD and SAVIOUR.

When you repent and put you faith in Jesus Christ like that, the Bible tells us we’ll receive some awesome gifts from Heaven: New LIFE, Holy Spirit, New desires to live like Jesus, New family of brothers and sisters who’ve also trusted Jesus, New Father in Heaven and Eternal life. Heaven is now your home and the things that once held special appeal to you will become nothing. Everything this world has to offer in comparison to knowing Jesus Christ as Lord pales into insignificance. He puts a JOY into your heart that nothing can take away.

So let’s stop trying to shift the blame onto circumstance, influence, tendency, nature or even Satan. Let’s call what we do, what it really is; SIN, EVIL, PERVERSE and MORALLY WRONG. (When we go against God, we’re wearing Him out with our excuses, we’re boring Him with our shifting the blame, He’s getting ready to meet you on the other side. Let’s stop calling evil good. Let’s stop calling sin good. Let’s get right in line with God’s thinking. The world will go it’s own way, but what about you? Will you decide today to go God’s way?

God’s calling out to you today;

He must have called a thousand times,

You never seem to be home,

at least God can say, “I tried”.

“Hello from the Other Side, I’m waiting for you.”

Be blessed and trust Jesus Christ today,

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.

 

Enter Like A Little Child

The Kingdom of Heaven is God's place, to get in, you must become like a little child.

Daily Spirit & Word: 788:

Enter Like A Little Child.

The Way Into God’s Kingdom.

“No BIG People Allowed”

 

Good morning my friends, yesterday we had an awesome day. In the morning on the way to worship I bumped into two men. They initiated the conversation after I said, “Good morning”. They had so many questions about faith, God, Jesus, Christians and life. It was inconvenient, so I knew it was a God MOMENT… Instead of rushing ahead to get things ready for our gathering, I stood and took some time with them, answering as many as I could, but listening to the Holy Spirit. I ended up by saying, “If God is real, and heaven is real, will you be spending eternity with Him or with the Devil?” They both said, “Well, we’re good people, so if God is good, then He’ll let us in”… That’s what the MAJORITY of people in the world believe. It’s like this is the de-facto-faith of the whole world today. They only live next door to me, so I’ll be fixing a time when we can meet for a coffee and a chat. They enjoyed our conversation so much, they readily agreed to meed. Please pray!

Also, below is the message I proclaimed in church yesterday morning. Be blessed and please let me know how it impacts you today?

ENTER LIKE A LITTLE CHILD.

We noticed at some theme parks like Lego-Land there are little height bars; a lower one and sometimes a higher one.

  • The Lowest Bar: Determines the smallest person. (For safety reasons, people smaller than the bar can’t go on the ride).
  • The Highest Bar: Determines the tallest person. (For who knows what reasons, big people can’t go on these rides) 🙂

What they are really saying is “No BIG People Allowed”… Some of those rides looked really cool too. I was wishing I was a little kid again. Those rides that I couldn’t go on always looked the most exciting.  🙂

Today we’re going to see that’s exactly what Jesus was saying about the entry requirements for the Kingdom of Heaven.

i.e. “To get into the Kingdom of Heaven you must become like a little child”…

Remember, two weeks ago, we talked about the Disciples and how they were ARGUING about who was the greatest in their group. They were jostling for position, but Jesus turned that notion on it’s head and said, “If you want to be great in God’s Kingdom, you must become the SERVANT of all”…

So, did the Disciples LEARN their lesson from Jesus? “NO!” They didn’t get it, because they’re at it again.

Let’s read God’s Word together now:

Mark 10:13-16 (NIV)
13 People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them.
14  When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
15  I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
16  And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.

Let’s take a quick look at our reading from God’s Word:

1) The Disciples: Rebuking the People: What for? “They wanted Jesus to “TOUCH” their children”…

Why is it so important to get a TOUCH for these Parents (from Jesus upon their children)?

It was typical for Jewish mother’s and fathers to have their child blessed regularly by a famous Rabbi. If a Rabbi visited, they’d flock to him and ask him to bless their kids.

My friends, if we’re going to see and hear anything about this passage today, then let it be THIS: Jesus was the kind of person who LOVED to have time for the little children: It casts one of the Brightest LIGHTS upon our Lord Jesus Christ, and the kind of person He was:

  • He wasn’t gloomy (though He knew he was facing the Cross and Death).
  • He wansn’t too serious all the time; because children wanted to come to Jesus.
  • He was the kind of man who had time for children (everyone) was welcome into Jesus arms.

No wonder those mums and dads couldn’t wait for Jesus to TOUCH their kids.

In similar ways, we can draw close to Jesus and have Him touch our lives today. Not physically, but none-the-less, just as real a touch from Heaven.

BUT: THE DISCIPLES (instead of welcoming the children) REBUKED THE PARENTS.

Our passage tells us: “When Jesus saw it, He became INDIGNANT”…

See this my friends;

  • The Disciples told the Parents off:
  • The LORD told His Disciples off:

When we’re getting things wrong in this Christian life: Jesus will also tell us off. (The LORD Disciplines EVERYONE He accepts as a child).

What was it the Disciples were doing that was so wrong? So wrong that they got told off publicly by Jesus?

FUNDAMENTALS: When we get something fundamental, foundational, critical to our FAITH and Belief wrong: God’s going to bring in His rod of correction.

Samson: Got his hair cut off, His eyes poked out, His ankles chained and He had to grind the wheat for God’s enemies. (Samson didn’t LISTEN to God’s warnings). He was being led astray by his flesh (Read Proverbs 7, it could have been written for Samson). When we’re being driven by our fleshly desires, we’re headed for trouble like a fool who can’t see the danger ahead.

When we get the fundamentals wrong; we’re ready for Discipline from the LORD:

CHILDREN:

So often in Church we get it so WRONG: i.e. We wait for little George, Jenny or Mark to become an adult to accept Jesus and come into God’s Kingdom.

Jesus is turning that notion on it’s head today my friends, he’s saying to you and me; “Unless you become like a child Donald, you can’t get into My Kingdom of Heaven: You must RECEIVE the Kingdom like a child receives something awesome”

GIVE IT A TRY: I’ve been leading people to Jesus for years. I’ll never forget the time a man came to Jesus. He was so proud. He said, “I’ll give Jesus a go for a couple of hours, if it doesn’t work, I’ll go back to my old life”… Thankfully, it did work, Jesus came into that man’s life and BROKE his proud heart. He wept all night long, he was crying, asking for forgiveness, repenting. Jesus came into his proud heart and showed him what he was like. In the morning, he was like a new man; a babe in Christ. He ran up to us, to me and Ronnie Chew and said, “He’s real, it works, He came”… You know, when I walked away from that man, I didn’t think he’d ever come into Jesus Kingdom Family… I thought to myself, but didn’t say it out loud; “Give Jesus a try for a couple of hours, you’ll never follow Jesus”… How wrong I was. But Jesus came and broke his proud heart…

So often, many people approach Christianity like that today: “Oh I’ll give it a go” or “I try it and see”… “I’m exploring my options”… 

What they’re really doing is putting God to the test:

  • To see if God works for them.
  • To see if God improves their life down here on the Earth.
  • To see if God is real, before they’re ready to fully commit.

They’re not really coming to Jesus because they see their NEED to be; forgiven, cleansed or renewed: They’re coming to give the Christian RELIGION a shot, as they would any other religion.

However, Christianity is NOT a Religion: It’s FUNDAMENTALLY A RELATIONSHIP:

“Christianity is NOT a Religion: It’s FUNDAMENTALLY A RELATIONSHIP With God”

To enter that relationship, Jesus said, “We must become like children and RECEIVE the Kingdom like a child does”… i.e. You can’t try on the Kingdom of Heaven: If you do, then you’ll soon shake it off again… (Because when you come to Jesus you are then going to experience the 3Ts; Trials, Tribulations and Temptations. Yes! Jesus tests our faith / commitment / decision, to see if we’re genuine Disciples). So we must come like a child to Jesus. You’ll note that a child, when things get tough in the family, won’t cling to those hurts, they move on quickly, because they know their place in the family. So a genuine Christian, who’s trusted Jesus like a child, won’t leave God’s family when things get tough.

What is a CHILD LIKE:

We’ll see now what we must become like to enter into God’s Kingdom.

When you give a child a present: Their eyes light up, “A present? for me? Oh WOWzer”

When you observe children:

  • You’ll Notice A Child is TRUSTING: Children, normally, are too young and innocent to be suspicious of people: That’s why they’ll walk up to a complete stranger and start chatting away.  There’s no thought in a child yet, to think they’ll be rejected by anyone. They’re not cynical; they’re trusting.
  • You’ll Notice A Child is OPEN: They don’t doubt anything. I’ve told hundreds of made-up stories to my children and grand-children over the years. They believe every single one. Only one child, Leila, says, “Granny, Papa tells stories doesn’t he”… LOL. Most children are OPEN to new ideas, they don’t doubt your word, they accept, because you are an adult, that you KNOW… A Child is OPEN (A Child Believes)… Are you open, do you believe in Jesus? Are you OPEN to the idea of New Life, Abundant Life, Full Life, Eternal Life, Holy Life, Cleansed Life, Forgiveness, Gifts of Holy Spirit?.. or have you begun to DOUBT? (If there is any aspect of Jesus teaching that you don’t or will not accept, then you are not open, you are CLOSED… then my friend, become OPEN like a child.)
  • You’ll Notice A Child Feels SHAME: When a child gets caught doing something, they’re readily admit it (sometimes after coaxing), when they admit it, they feel ashamed. It’s humbling when a child gets a RED FACE (It reminds me, Don you should be RED FACED about that; Ashamed). I know some people who are into SIN in their lives so much, that they FEEL NO SHAME about it. They are Brazen (Like the immoral woman in Proverbs 7). My friends, we need to get a conviction again about SIN in our lives. And FEEL the SHAME just like a child does. I don’t think you can ever really come to a true faith in Jesus until you’ve felt the shame of all your sins. Until you know your need of His forgiveness and cleansing from sin.
  • You’ll Notice A Child Receives Presents with JOY: They don’t think they deserve it, they know they don’t need to earn it, they know it’s theirs, they just accept it as it is FREELY GIVEN. My friends, you’ll never be able to earn or deserve God’s Kingdom: you must RECEIVE it like a child does a present.
  • You’ll Notice A Child is WILLING to RISK EVERYTHING: My son Joe, when he was a toddler, jumped into my arms (he nearly gave me a heart-attack at times). My grandchildren do the same: They’ll launch themselves off things and shout “Catch me Papa”…

Catch Me Papa: My friends, are you ready to RISK your EVERYTHING to Jesus Christ today? Will you Jump as a child would into the arms of the Saviour?

My friends, you can’t get into Jesus’ Kingdom of Heaven: Until: You TRUST HIM, You are OPEN with Him, You are ashamed of your life without Him and You are READY and WILLING to RISK EVERYTHING to Jesus. (That’s what it means to be child-like).

Some people mis-interpret this teaching of Jesus: They’ll say, “A child is innocent, so we must become innocent like little children”… No my friends, we can’t EVER become innocent like children, because we’ve all sinned, we can’t make ourselves good, that’s why Jesus came, to make us good and fit for Heaven. So it must mean what I’ve just been saying;

 I’m going to tell you today; HOW to become like little Children to Enter into Heaven:

To do that my friends, you NEED to become like a little child to RECEIVE the Kingdom of Heaven.

Are you ready to come to Jesus Christ today?

  • Will you TRUST Him: He’ll welcome you. Be Trusting Jesus.
  • Will you be OPEN to Jesus: Believe Jesus’ teachings, Believe in Jesus life and death? BE OPEN to Jesus.
  • Will you come REPENTING? Be sorry and ashamed of your sinful choices in life.
  • Will you RECEIVE? Receive the KINGDOM without trying to earn it by your good works, religious devotion or something else. Salvation cannot be purchased or won by merit, because we’ll never achieve perfection. So we must receive it as it is offered to a child; FREELY.
  • Will you RISK EVERYTHING: TO the Lord Jesus Christ. Throw yourself into the arms of Jesus today.

My friends, thousands will testify, that

  • Jesus has CAUGHT them in His loving arms.
  • Jesus forgives all their SINS (They’ve experienced the cleansing of His blood).
  • He’s revealed the TRUTH: His Word is Truth: You’ll soon see that Jesus’ promises are ALL TRUE:
  • They’ve EXPERIENCED: The JOY of the Kingdom.
  • He’s TRUSTWORTHY: They’ve discovered that Jesus can be trusted with everything in their lives.

I visited Eleanor (An old church member), I took Holy Communion to her, we prayed, chatted; She’s been ill for a few weeks now; She said to me “God is so good and faithful to me, I don’t deserve it, but He’s looked after me so well”…

We sang the song; “Great is Thy Faithfulness, O God my Father, there is no shadow of turning with Thee, ALL I have needed Thy hand hath provided, Great is Thy Faithfulness, LORD unto me”…

When Eleanor and I sang that song, HEAVEN came into her house. It was such an AWESOME moment. The presence of the LORD was with us.

My friends, until you’ve become like a Child, you are NOT in the Kingdom of Heaven:

I’ll repeat the LORD Jesus’ words again;

“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.

 I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

Childlike FAITH:

Childlike Faith: They trust, they believe, they accept, the feel shame, they are willing to risk everything to jump into the everlasting arms of Jesus.

Will you RECEIVE the Kingdom of God like a little child?

  • Repent, of ALL SIN.
  • Believe, ALL of Jesus’ teachings and what He did on the Cross for your SINS.
  • Receive, The Lord Jesus Christ as your LORD, SAVIOUR, MASTER, FRIEND, KING…

(NOTE: No BIG People Allowed: We must get low, humble, on our knees to get into God’s Kingdom). Receive it as a child would a gift freely offered.

PRAYER: O LORD, My Heavenly Father! I can see that to be able to enter into Your Kingdom, I must receive it like a little child. Please Lord Jesus, give me the faith of a little child, who trusts without questioning, who simply and gladly believes in You and runs into your arms to be blessed. Help me to come to You today Lord Jesus Christ. There are so many things in my life that I know have been wrong, I’m embarrassed about them Lord, I turn from all those things I know to be sinful. I’m filled with awe and amazement that You would choose to die in my place upon the Cross. I’m turning to You today Lord Jesus. Come into my life and be my Lord, my Saviour, my King. I want to be with You forever in Your Kingdom Family. Amen!

My friends, I want to see every single one of you in God’s Kingdom: So, become like children today.

Amen!

Don.

 

 

When the Gospel Becomes Good News

when the Gospel become Good News

Daily Spirit & Word: 787: When The Gospel Becomes Good News.

The Grinding Power of Sin.

Slaves Set Free:

Romans 6:19-22 (NIV)
19  I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness.
20  When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness.
21  What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death!
22  But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.

Good morning my friends, it was a good night of witnessing on the Streets of West Norwood last night. We gave out a few tracts, but after just a couple of minutes were were into a wonderful Gospel conversation with a lovely young couple from Madeira (Portugal). Last night I teamed up with Judy (Ben’s wife) and we just got chatting by given the couple a Million Pound Note (One of our little Gospel Tracts). I asked the young man, “If it was real, what would you do with it?” He answered, “I’d return to Portugal”. And the woman said, “I’d return to Madeira”. I said, “WOW, that’s really interesting, why Madeira?” They said, “Life in Madeira compared to London is like heaven”. I said, “Here’s what we’re about tonight, do you believe in Heaven?” They both said, “Not really, we don’t think about Heaven as a place”… I said, “Do you believe in God?” They answered “No, not really”… I was intrigued and asked a few more questions about their beliefs. It turns out, they both had to attend religious education in Madeira until they were twelve, that was the tradition in Madeira. They attended church, but as soon as they were twelve years old they were free from the burdens of religious observance.

So I opened up the ‘Spiritual’ conversation again with, “Madeira is reputed to have some of the oldest people on the planet, some people live to well into their hundreds.” The woman, Tatiana, knew a woman who’d died at 119 years old. I continued, “If you live to 120 years, then you die, if Heaven is real, where will you go? Heaven or Hell?” They both stated, “Well I’m a good person, so if heaven is real, I’ll definitely go there”. It’s amazing, because we know from experience that most people believe what Tatiana and Pedro do, that ‘good people’ go to heaven and bad people go to hell. Also, that most people believe they are the good ones, and if Heaven is real they will be good enough.

I asked, “We’ve got a little test that shows you immediately if you’d be good enough for Heaven” I gave them both one of our Ten Commandment Coins. They took it and said, “WOW this is nice”… I said, “You can keep it, it’s yours. Now the Ten Commandments are like a mirror, they show a person the condition of their soul on the inside.” They both remembered the Ten Commandments from their childhood teachings. I asked both of them, “The Commandments say, ‘Don’t tell lies’, Have you ever told a lie?” They both admitted readily that they’d told lies. We got into a conversation about lying, and agreed that almost everybody has told at least one lie, even me and Judy 🙂 But they didn’t see the seriousness of lying. I asked, “How many lies do I have to tell to become a Liar?” They said, “Just one”. “That’s right” I said, “It only takes one lie to make a person a liar, but did you know that just one lie will keep you out of heaven for all eternity?” They said, “Then nobody is going to be in Heaven”… (Isn’t that sobering? The fact that nobody will go to heaven if they died in their sins?”)

Here’s the next one; “Have you ever stolen anything?” They both said, “When we were kids”, but then went onto admit they’d also taken things that didn’t belong to them as adults. Pedro had nicked from his mother’s purse. Tatiana had stolen music on the internet. However, neither of them saw the seriousness of their crime before God, yet 🙂  I said, “Are you aware the Bible teaches that no thief can enter into the Kingdom of God?”

Here’s the next one; “Pedro and Tatiana, you’ve both been really honest so far, but have you always honoured your mum and dad?” Family honour is very important in Portugal, they both said, “We’d never dishonour our mum and dad, but I took them back over the commands they’d already admitted and said, “Stealing and lying to your mum and dad, that’s dishonourable don’t you think?” They both nodded in shame. But the Bible teaches that when we dishonour our mum and dad, we’re cut off from the Kingdom forever.

So I asked, “That’s just three of the commandments, if God were to Judge you by that standard, would you go to Heaven or Hell?” They said, “Hell”… Then we got into a conversation about the after-life again and what they really believed. I brought it back after a few minutes, “but suppose it is real, Heaven and Hell, wouldn’t you want to make sure you’d be on your way to Heaven? You see Pedro and Tatiana, God doesn’t want to send a single soul to Hell forever, He did something 2000 years ago to give people the chance of going to Heaven, do you know what that was?”. They didn’t know, so I asked, “Have you heard about Jesus?” They both clicked, “Jesus was God come down to Earth to show us how to live a good life”… Then I asked, “How did Jesus die?” It was like turning a light on in a dark room. Pedro and Tatiana said, “He died for our sins”… “It’s not enough to know that Jesus died for sins” I explained, “To get forgiven and cleansed from our sins so that we’ll be fit for heaven, we’ll need to do something, do you know what that is?” They both said, “Repent and ask for forgiveness”… I said, “Yes that’s right, but there’s more. Everyone need to believe and trust in Jesus Christ, receive Him as Lord (Boss of their life), and ask for forgiveness, trusting that Jesus died for their own sins. Does that make sense to you?”

I asked them, (they both work in the Catering industry), if you took a delivery of chicken and one piece of chicken was rotten, would you put it in the fridge beside the good chicken?” They both said, “No, we’d throw it out,” I asked, “Why? Why would you throw out that rotten piece of chicken?” They said, “Because it would contaminate the rest of the chicken”. I explained, “That’s exactly why God will not let anyone who dies in their sins; lying, stealing etc into His Holy Heaven, because our sins would contaminate His Holy Heaven”… They both said, “Then nobody is going to Heaven”… I said, “That’s right, unless they repent and turn in faith to the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for their sins on the Cross and receive Him as their Lord and Saviour”…

PRAYER:

You know my friends, Pedro and Tatiana both thanked us last night. We encouraged them to read the Bible and see if what we were telling them was the truth. We asked them to come to church. We said we’d be prepared to meet-up with them again and pray and read the Bible over a coffee. But I encouraged them, “Don’t leave it too long before you turn to Jesus”… They walked away chatting together.

It’s not enough to just proclaim the Gospel, we’ve got to try and help people to understand it, that takes time, love, care, gentleness, humour, but above all boldness to bring the conversation back to the most important topic, their eternal destiny. I thank the Lord for Pedro and Tatiana, will you pray for them, that they’ll both come to the point of receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour? We had a good laugh, but always got back to the seriousness of their spiritual condition. It’s amazing, but once people understand the Gospel, they are either thankful or disturbed. Pedro and Tatiana had never heard the Gospel explained or why Jesus died on the Cross like that before. Can you see the desperate need there is, to take time with folks and love them enough to share Jesus’ message of Good News?

Now, their God given Conscience will go to work, it will do it’s job of showing them their sins again (How? Because the Law of God brings light to the soul, it awakens the Conscience ), the Holy Spirit will use the Gospel to draw them to faith and trust in Jesus Christ.

WHY USE THE TEN COMMANDMENTS?

Some people ask us, “Why don’t you just talk about the love of God and Grace? Why do you keep going on about the Commandments?” Well, if I was to just tell someone they are a sinner without explaining why, they’d be offended. It’s offensive to just say, “We’ve all sinned and fall short of the glory of God” because most people don’t think they have, most people don’t know the seriousness of their sins. We’ve found that about 90% of people think they a good enough for Heaven. So we need to show a person just how serious sin is, before they’ll even consider listening to the Good News. The good news only makes sense when we see the seriousness of our condition without a Saviour.

Here’s the reason why we use the LAW (Ten Commandments) when sharing the Gospel with folks: It awakens the Conscience: “we become conscious of sin”… In other words, we see the seriousness of our sinful condition by opening up God’s law.

Romans 3:19-20 (NIV)
19  Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20  Therefore no-one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.

Charles Spurgeon said: Concerning The Law (Ten Commandments).

  1. The first use of the law is to manifest to man his guilt.

When God intends to save a man, the first thing he does with him is to send the law to him, to show him how guilty, how vile, how ruined he is, and in how dangerous a position. You see that man lying there on the edge of the precipice; he is sound asleep, and just on the perilous verge of the cliff. One single movement, and he will roll over and be broken in pieces on the jagged rocks beneath, and nothing more shall be heard of him. How is he to be saved? What shall be done for him—what shall be done! It is our position; we, too, are lying on the brink of ruin, but we are insensible of it. God, when he begins to save us from such an imminent danger, sendeth his law, which, with a stout kick, rouses us up, makes us open our eyes, we look down on our terrible danger, discover our miseries, and then it is we are in a right position to cry out for salvation, and our salvation comes to us. The law acts with man as the physician does when he takes the film from the eye of the blind. Self-righteous men are blind men, though they think themselves good and excellent. The law takes that film away, and lets them discover how vile they are, and how utterly ruined and condemned if they are to abide under the sentence of the law.

Instead, however, of treating this doctrinally, I shall treat it practically, and come home to each of your consciences. My, hearer, does not the law of God convince you of sin this morning? Under the hand of God’s Spirit does it not make you feel that you have been guilty, that you deserve to be lost, that you have incurred the fierce anger of God? Look ye here, have ye not broken these ten commandments; even in the letter have ye not broken them? Who is there among you who hath always honored his father and mother? Who is there among us who hath always spoken the truth? Have we not sometimes borne false witness against our neighbor? Is there one person here who has not made unto himself another God, and loved himself, or his business, or his friends, more than he has Jehovah, the God of the whole earth? Which of you hath not coveted your neighbour’s house, or his man-servant, or his ox, or his ass? We are all guilty with regard to every letter of the law; we have all of us transgressed the commandments. And if we really understood these commandments, and felt that they condemned us, they would have this useful influence on us of showing us our danger, and so of leading us to fly to Christ. But, my hearers, does not this law condemn you, because even if you should say you have not broken the letter of it, yet you have violated the spirit of it. What, though you have never killed, yet we are told, he that is angry with his brother is a murderer. As a negro said once, “Sir, I thought me no kill—me innocent there; but when I heard that he that hateth his brother is a murderer, then me cry guilty, for me have killed twenty men before breakfast very often, for I have been angry with many of them very often.” This law does not only mean what it says in words, but it has deep things hidden in its bowels. It says, “Thou shalt not commit adultery,” but it means, as Jesus has it, “He that looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” It says, “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain,” it meaneth that we should reverence God in every place, and have his fear before our eyes, and should always pay respect unto his ordinances and evermore walk in his fear and love. Ay, my brethren, surely there is not one here so fool-hardy in self-righteousness as to say, “I am innocent.” The spirit of the law condemns us. And this is its useful property; it humbles us, makes us know we are guilty, and so are we led to receive the Saviour.

http://www.romans45.org/spurgeon/sermons/0128.htm

We saw that this is exactly right, it happened last night, when we opened up the law with Pedro and Tatiana, they soon stopped trying to justify themselves and wanted to know what they could do to be saved from the consequences of the law.

The Grinding Power Of Sin: Samson was in PRISON:

Judges 16:20-22 (NIV)
20  Then she called, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” He awoke from his sleep and thought, “I’ll go out as before and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the LORD had left him.
21  Then the Philistines seized him, gouged out his eyes and took him down to Gaza. Binding him with bronze shackles, they set him to grinding in the prison.
22  But the hair on his head began to grow again after it had been shaved.

He was blinded, bound and made to grind the corn for God’s enemies.

That’s the condition of everyone who lives with sin in their life, until they are set free by the LORD Jesus Christ. Sin blinds, it binds and it makes us grind. Life is worth living to the full, but life like Samson’s is; darkness, slavery and drudgery. Until we’re set free by the LORD Jesus Christ.

The prison is a place of blinding, binding and grinding!

Grinding was considered to be woman’s work, this added to Samson’s humiliation.

Here is the point; Samson was born to be a liberator. He was raised up by God to lead the people of God out of bondage. He was given power so that he might use his energy for the glory of the Lord. But, here is the mighty judge of Israel, blinded, bound and grinding corn for the enemies of God. (Note: That is the power of sin! It will rob you of your power and leave you with nothing with which to serve God. There will be no time, no energy and no interest in the things of God. Your life will be dominated by the grinding power of sin.)

My friends, share the Gospel with the folks you love.

Get full of God’s love and you’ll want to set others free.

Their condition, as Charles Spurgeon has so eloquently put it, is perilous. They are on the cliff-edge, in danger of God’s judgement and hell. If anyone dies in their sins, they’ll receive God’s wrath against sin. Let’s set as many free by going, by showing, by loving them into God’s Kingdom family. Amen!

Be blessed today and stay close to Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Don.

 

You can read or listen to Hell’s Best Kept Secret by Ray Comfort.

or even watch it below:

 

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.)