The Untouchables

Jesus touches the untouchables and makes them clean

Daily Spirit & Word: 591: The Untouchables.

Would You Touch A Leper?

Good morning my friends, in our Church we’re about to begin a new preaching / teaching series on the Gospel of Mark. I’m getting ready and have been reading it through again. I was touched by my King Jesus today, because He’s willing and ready to touch everybody.

Leprosy is a disease: It has many forms, but in it’s worst form it is contagious, it spreads and isolates people.

In the time of Jesus they didn’t differentiate between forms of leprosy they treated everyone who contracted the disease the same; they isolated them and made certain they kept their distance from uncontaminated people.

Bells were placed around their necks and they were to shout a warning when approached by someone “Unclean, Unclean” “Leprosy” or “Leper coming through”… Leviticus 13:45-46  “The person with such an infectious disease must wear torn clothes, let his hair be unkempt, cover the lower part of his face and cry out, ‘Unclean! Unclean!’ 46  As long as he has the infection he remains unclean. He must live alone; he must live outside the camp.”

Would you touch a Leper? Jesus did!

Mark 1:40-45 A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.”
41  Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!”
42  Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured.
43  Jesus sent him away at once with a strong warning:
44  “See that you don’t tell this to anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.”
45  Instead he went out and began to talk freely, spreading the news. As a result, Jesus could no longer enter a town openly but stayed outside in lonely places. Yet the people still came to him from everywhere.

 

“I AM Willing”

“If You Are Willing?” the Leper pleaded with Jesus and our Lord Jesus said, “I AM willing”

My friends, this touch of the untouchable is astonishing, because everybody who touches a leper becomes ritually unclean in Jesus day. They were considered to be contaminated. However, the man gets cured and runs around telling everybody about his healing. It becomes impossible for Jesus to move around freely. So instead of the Leper being isolated, as required by the Law of Moses, in lonely places, it’s our LORD who’s forced to go, He had to stay outside the towns and cities as a result of touching that Leper, but it wasn’t because Jesus was infected, but because everyone wanted to touch or be touched by the Saviour.

Knowing that Jesus was willing to touch an untouchable man gave EVERYBODY confidence that this man Jesus would also be likely to be willing to touch them and heal them too.

My friends, Jesus is still willing to touch the untouchable, the unclean, the sinner. He’s also waiting to touch your heart too. He’s longong for you to shout out to Him, “Lord if you are willing, you can make me clean”. He IS WILLING.

No wonder Jesus wanted to move on, because He didn’t care about being popular or famous, Jesus came with a Mission and a Message, not just to heal. He understood the shallowness of people who’d come just for what they wanted. They were not coming to hear Jesus words or his message, but to feel His touch. They knew that just one touch from this man changes everything.

I love that worship song; “Just ONE touch of the King changes everything”

 

How different we are to that Leper:

  • He was commanded by Jesus to “Keep quiet about his healing”. Instead he told EVERYBODY.
  • We are commanded to tell everyone the Good News of Jesus: Instead we keep quiet and don’t tell ANYBODY.

 

WHEN THE LEPER SPREADS THE GOOD NEWS:

People came from everywhere to be touched by Jesus.

Although Sin is just like Leprosy; it contaminates deeper than the surface of the skin, it spreads, it affects your life by isolating you from God, from fellowship and ultimately from Heaven. Sin cuts us off from God.

Isaiah 59:2 (NLT) “It’s your sins that have cut you off from God. Because of your sins, he has turned away and will not listen anymore.”

But Jesus died so that we could all be healed from the disease of sin, and from the effects of sin. Jesus shed His blood upon the Cross so that we could to be set free from God’s wrath and anger and ultimately from His punishment for our sins, when we repent and trust Jesus as Lord and Saviour, then we’re set-free from sin to follow Jesus commands and teachings. He is willing to touch the untouchables today.

Have an awesome day, don’t be afraid to touch someone for Jesus today and be willing (as Jesus was) to be used by the Lord to reach out in love and touch some precious souls for Jesus. No matter who you may think is untouchable, they are all precious to the Lord Jesus, because Jesus gave His life for EVERYONE.

I’m praying that you’ll have a lovely day, learning to love like Jesus and touch your lepers’ hearts.

Don.

 

Not Hungry For Jesus?

Jesus can and will satisfy your deepest needs and desires

Daily Spirit & Word: 587:

NOT HUNGRY FOR JESUS?

The Root Causes of No Appetite For The Word of God or TIME with Jesus.

 

When God has promised: SATISFACTION GUARANTEED.

Isaiah 58:11 “The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.”

 

Good morning my friends, Have you ever tried to have a quiet time with Jesus and left feeling that you just hadn’t met with Him?

Or have you gotten out of bed early and determined to spend time with God in His Word only to finish that time feeling like you’ve not been fed?

What’s The Problem?

So many Christians know that they SHOULD be spending quality time with the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, every single day, but so few do it regularly, they’re just NOT hungry for those times or for feasting upon God’s Word. Why? What’s the Problem?

Well my friends, steady your hearts, because the “REAL REASON” why MOST Christians DO NOT have consistent nourishing times with the LORD are; Lack of APPETITE. We’re just NOT hungering for it. And there are eye-opening reasons why.

Be Assured Of This: It’s NOT lack of Discipline: Because I know many good brothers ans sisters in Jesus who routinely get out of bed early, but who don’t get anything from it. So it’s NOT lack of Discipline.

However, there is a LACK OF APPETITE. There is NO HUNGER FOR GOD. My friends, we discipline ourselves to get up and read the Bible and Pray, but if we don’t have that necessary hunger for God, then it is because our affections have been drawn away to other loves. If we’re not getting fed by our time with the Saviour, then SOMETHING else has crept into our heart to become Number ONE, #1.

Here’s A Short List Of #1’s to Consider:

(there are many more possible candidates).

1) Coveting Craziness: The allure of THINGS: The things of this world are seductive and so easily pull our affection away from the LORD towards something that this world has to offer. We KNOW deep down in our hearts that we should not crave the things of this world, but somehow we’ve convinced ourselves, we talked ourselves into believing some adverts or something gets our attention.   (1 Timothy 6:10)

2) Sensual SEX: There I’ve said it 🙂 So many committed believers are bombarded with SEXUAL fantasies, so much so that they INDULGE in behaviour that they KNOW is simply WRONG for a follower of Jesus. They may not lead to actual sexual acts with another person, but they go places to indulge their fantasies: movies, the internet, magazines, books, the streets, parks etc…

It’s NOT easy to shake off that hunger for sexual gratification, but it’s POSSIBLE with Jesus and the POWER of the HOLY SPIRIT. (Genesis 6:1, 2, 5, 6; 2 Samuel 11:1-4; Job 31:7, 9; 2 Peter 2:14)

3) Sweating To Succeed: There’s a magnetic allure of winning the applauds of others, to look awesome in someone else’s eyes if we are just ‘SUCCESSFUL’ then we’ll be happy. We reason, “If I can just make a name for myself doing this …………. then I’ll be more than happy.”  (Ecclesiastes 2:4-11) There’s even a kind of ‘Christian’ success endeavour, being the ‘best’ Christian, but we’re NOT in competition with other believers, we’re all EQUAL in the eyes of the Lord, but being a ‘success’ in His eyes is often NOT the highest aim or focus on our agenda, but to look great in the eyes of others.

4) Aspiring For Approval: You know my friends, when we’re living for the approval of others, we’re NOT living to please the LORD. When we are seeking the approval of others we’re already wandering away from Jesus. (Matthew 22:16; Luke 16:15; Acts 5:29; Galatians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 2:4). JESUS DID NOT LIVE FOR THE APPROVAL OF MEN, but only ever did what His Father told Him to do or say what His Father told Him to say. WHY? Because fulfilling God’s Mission on Earth was more important than His personal feelings or human desires. However, I’m certain that Jesus never had any human desires that were contrary to the will of the Father like we have.

Recently a young woman shared with me her personal struggle to get anything from her quiet times with Jesus. She was disciplined alright and got up early to read God’s Word and Pray and Praise the Lord, but was still feeling as if she hadn’t met with Him. I asked her what was happening in her life. What she loved or liked? If there was anything she longed for that she knew Father God would not approve of?

You see my friends, if we stop to consider what we’re doing, thinking or felling or fantasising about from day to day, we’ll be able to pinpoint what our HEART AFFECTIONS really are. If something else has crept in, in the place of our PASSION for Jesus.

SATISFACTION GUARANTEED.

Isaiah 58:11 “The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.”

That young woman shared with me; “I’ve been dreaming about being so rich that I wouldn’t have to go to work, can buy a big house and sit down and enjoy the rest of my life in luxury: so I’ve been buying the Lottery tickets every week”. Just one ticked can’t hurt anybody can it? I said, “It’s NOT the Lottery Ticket” “But what we’re DREAMING ABOUT DOING if we become rich”… or “Dreaming about what we don’t need to do”….

She’d also begun to ‘RESENT’ her employment. (Which had led to a deep-seated loathing for her boss) She hated the fact that she needed to go to work to earn money. My friends, there is NOTHING wrong with hard labour, in fact the Bible, God’s Word, tells us it’s GOOD for everyone to be busy and employed at something. Doing something useful with our hands, skills or gifts that your blessed LORD and Saviour has taken time to give you. We’re encouraged to WORK HARD for our Boss, even when his eye or her eyes are not looking over our shoulder.

You should have seen the look on that woman’s face when her eyes were opened. She told me the next week, “I’m meeting with Jesus every day and it’s AWESOME”…

My friends, if you would just prayerfully take time to check out your HEART AFFECTIONS, what’s most important in your life? Then you would easily detect the problem of a LACK OF APPETITE for time with Jesus. When your affections are right, you will be ON FIRE with LOVE for the Saviour. You’ll long to get your head off the pillow to meet with Him every single day.

QUESTION: How’s your appetite, hunger and longing for spending time with your Lord Jesus Christ?

Do you want to? Are you looking forward to it? Or has it become a drudgery? It it like an obligation? Has it become a duty rather than a JOY?

My friends, if your own times with Jesus have become; yuky, ugh, or blah, then do a SPOT CHECK, ROUTINE MAINTENANCE, ON YOUR HEART. Discover with Jesus where your HEART AFFECTIONS are heading. Repent and return to the Saviour of your soul.

SATISFACTION GUARANTEED.

Isaiah 58:11 “The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.

PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus Christ, I realise that I’ve let other things creep into our relationship. I know that You desire my full attention and complete commitment. I don’t want anything to come between us. Please help me to identify what’s getting in the way and help me with the POWER and Presence of the Holy Spirit to break every chain that’s holding me back and sapping my desire and appetite and hunger to be with you every single day. Amen.

Answered Prayer: Like the woman mentioned above, you too can have your eyes opened by Jesus and you are going to see how awesome He is every day in your life. Do you KNOW the Saviour? Click this LINK to be sure that you are SAVED.

 

SATISFACTION GUARANTEED.

Isaiah 58:11 “The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.”

WHY? Why have I repeated the SATISFACTION GUARANTEED statement over and over again? Well, if you are born again of God’s Holy Spirit, then you will find satisfaction for ALL your needs and desires in Jesus. You will NEVER fail. You will always be FULL of the Holy Spirit. Even in this desert-like world, you will be over-filled with JOY: Guaranteed by God.

NOTES:

HARD WORK in the Bible:

SATISFACTION in the Bible:

 

I’m believing in God for my miracle

True Faith Hebrews 11:6

Daily Spirit & Word 583:

I’m Believing In God For My Miracle.

Good morning my friends, have you ever watched the so called ‘christian’ TV? I’ve put Christian with a small ‘c’ because it’s a strange version of Christianity on most of these shows. They ask people to send in money and believe God for their miracle, they ask people to show their faith by sowing a seed. Normally the seed (money) they are asking for is sown into their ministry: i.e. their luxury; house, car, jet, jewellery, suits, shoes and mansions etc… Am I being too cynical?

They equate faith with the size of the offering.

I feel so sorry for many sincere believers who are duped into thinking this is God’s way of faith.

So what is FAITH? or more importantly God’s WAY of faith?

It’s not so much how BIG your faith is in what you are believing God for, but in how BIG your God is.

Is your God able to do anything? The God of the Bible is.

Is your God able to heal or provide for all your needs? The God of the Bible is.

You see my friends, God is Jesus: We saw that yesterday and He could; walk on water, turn water into wine, raise the dead and come back to life Himself. Jesus is God and He’s AWESOME! He can do anything you could ever imagine, but:

When you’ve GOT FAITH in God: Then NOTHING is impossible.

Matthew 19:26  But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. 

ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE FOR GOD.

Look through Hebrews and you’ll see what REAL faith is: The whole chapter (printed below) is all about the great heroes of our FAITH who were commended, not by men (though they are), but by God. God recognised that they were not simply trusting in blind faith, but had exercised active faith in HIM.

Remember Hebrews tells us: “Without faith it is impossible to please God” and it tells us why. The reason is not that we lack the ability to ‘believe’ strongly enough for what we want or desire, but we’re NOT trusting completely in HIM. Our vision of God is too small.

Hebrews 11:6  “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

He is a REWARDER of those who diligently seek HIM.

It’s NOT seeking what you want in life: It’s seeking HIM for who He is FIRST.

Remember Jesus ORDER OF PRIORITY: “Seek you first the Kingdom of God”

Seek first God and His Kingdom Priorities: Then you’ll see that God IS are REWARDER of those who diligently seek HIM.

When I hear about poor struggling brothers and sisters holding onto their wishes and not letting go of their own desires, it’s like they are putting their faith in their ability to persuade God to do something He’s reluctant to do. That’s not FAITH, it’s manipulation or as the Bible describes it, witchcraft. To manipulate God is the ultimate sin. To try and manipulate God is foolishness. For the Bible reveals that the God of the Word: is the God of His Word: He is faithful to all His promises and there are so many promises that God has made in His Word: However, each and every one of God’s promises comes with a principle or precept that we need to live by or seek first His Kingdom. When you say the Lord’s Prayer “Thy Kingdom Come” You are asking for God’s priorities, His Kingly desires to be done on earth, in your life. Is that what you are asking and believing God for?

What if it was God’s will that you don’t get what you so earnestly desire? What if He, in His Divine wisdom, knew that it would not be good for you to have what you want? God can and does say NO to our requests: He’s not our servant but our King. We serve Him, not He us. He is not like the gene in the lamp that we rub to get him to appear and do our bidding. He is God Almighty and we make contact with Him by faith in order to seek His will for our lives.

Yes we all want certain things in life: However, is it not better to simply TRUST that God knows what we need, to believe in His Fatherly goodness towards us and that He is a REWARDER of those who diligently seek Him and His Kingdom priorities.

If you find yourself in a position of wanting something; no matter what it is; job, house, baby, husband, girl or success. Then just let go of those things, even if it’s healing, and settle your heart with PEACE by deciding that no matter what, you are going to do all that you can to live according to God’s will. You are going to do everything in your power to live according to His Kingdom priorities and principles and precepts, then see if He’ll not open the floodgates of Heaven. God’s already revealed the way that we should live by faith, but doing what He’s commanded and revealed is His will for every follower of Jesus.

Yes may ask God for things, but then leave Him alone, trust, believe and hope in HIM alone, that He has heard your request and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him and His Kingdom. Amen!

So many Christians get STUCK, waiting for God to answer their prayers. Instead of being active about His Kingdom business. He’s heard your request, now say to God your loving heavenly Father; “OK Father, I’ve asked for ………….., now what is it that You want me to be busy doing today for Your Kingdom?” Live every day according to God’s Kingdom priorities, seek first His Kingdom (His Kingly Desires and Will) and you will be REWARDED. We don’t know what His rewards will be, it may be that He’ll grant you your heart’s desires or as I’ve found, more often than not, He’ll enable you to see how He’s already answered those prayers, but in His own ways. He has so much that He wants to give you and reveal to you.

It’s a transformation that we need: A Change of MIND-SET:

We need to change from; “I’m believing God for ‘my’ miracle” to “I’m believing God for ‘His’ miracles”.

Prayer: Yes my friends, I too am believing God for HIS miracles: I want to see sick people being healed, atheists come to faith, the poor being relieved, those who don’t have anyone to love them, being loved, children being taught God’s Kingdom, Christians being fed upon the solid meat of God’s Word; these are the miracles that I’m believing God for. And most importantly I’m believing God for this wonderful Miracle: “The harvest is ripe and plentiful, but the labourers are few” I’m believing God for the Miracle of more Labourers in His Harvest Field. Who’s going to come and do some reaping with me? Father please, send some Labourers, we need them Lord, the Harvest really is plentiful here in London and all over the world. People need to hear about Jesus; Father I know that You want more harvesters. Move them by Your Holy Spirit Lord. Amen!

Let go and let God: He’s in control. He’s never going to leave you. He’s got the whole universe under His power.

Have and Awesome Week: Believing God for His Miracles. Amen!

Don.

 

Bible Reading: Hebrews 11. FAITH.

 

Hebrews 11:1-40 (NIV)
1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. 2  This is what the ancients were commended for. 3  By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. 4  By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead. 5  By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. 6  And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. 7  By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith. 8  By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. 9  By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10  For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. 11  By faith Abraham, even though he was past age—and Sarah herself was barren—was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise. 12  And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore. 13  All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. 14  People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15  If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16  Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. 17  By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, 18  even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” 19  Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death. 20  By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their future. 21  By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons, and worshipped as he leaned on the top of his staff. 22  By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions about his bones. 23  By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict. 24  By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. 25  He chose to be ill-treated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. 26  He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. 27  By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible. 28  By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel. 29  By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned. 30  By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the people had marched around them for seven days. 31  By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient. 32  And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, 33  who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34  quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. 35  Women received back their dead, raised to life again. Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. 36  Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. 37  They were stoned; they were sawn in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and ill-treated— 38  the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground. 39  These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. 40  God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.

 

The Supremacy of Jesus

Jesus is the Supreme Being in the Universe today

Daily Spirit & Word, 582:

The Supremacy of Jesus Christ.

Good morning my friends, it’s so good to be back with you again. It was a wonderful holiday with Julie; we’ve seen family, visited friends and places around London and taken time to make-and-mend in the house and garden. However, I’ve seen that following Jesus requires that we’re constant with Him. We need Him every day, but why do we need Jesus so much in life today? Are you convinced that you need Jesus? Let’s see what God’s Word tells us about Him: Let’s refresh ourselves with the written testimony about our Lord and Saviour.

Our Bible Reading Today:

Colossians 1:15-23 
15  He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. (Born on Earth as a man: The True Image of God)
16  For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. (Jesus is the Creator).
17  He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (He sustains the Universe).
18  And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.
19  For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, (Jesus was always; fully God).
20  and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. (His sacrificial death brings PEACE through His blood).
21  Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behaviour.
22  But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 23  if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.

Jesus IS The Supreme Being: He IS God.

He said to Philip, “If you’ve seen me you’ve seen the Father” John 14:9

In context: to Doubting Thomas’ questions about where Jesus is going.

What more can we say about Jesus?

James Allan Francis (1864-1928). DD (One Solitary Life)

Here is a man who was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman.

He grew up in another obscure village, where He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty, and then for three years He was an itinerant preacher. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never owned a home. He never had a family. He never went to college. He never put his foot inside a big city. He never traveled two hundred miles from the place where He was born. He never did one of the things that usually accompany greatness. He had no credentials but Himself. He had nothing to do with this world except the naked power of His divine manhood. While still a young man, the tide of public opinion turned against Him. His friends ran away, one of them betrayed Him, one of them denied Him. He was turned over to His enemies. He went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed to a cross between two thieves. His executioners gambled for the only piece of property He had on earth while He was dying—and that was his coat. When he was dead He was taken down and laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend. Nineteen wide centuries have come and gone and today He is the centerpiece of the human race and the leader of the column of progress. I am far within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, and all the navies that ever sailed, and all the parliaments that ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned, put together have not affected the life of mankind upon this earth as powerfully as has that One Solitary Life: Jesus Christ.

  • So Jesus never wrote a book: But today there are more books about Jesus than any other figure in the history of mankind.
  • He only had a handful of followers when He died, but now countless millions name Jesus as LORD and it’s still the fastest growing religion in the world.
  • Jesus splits the History of Mankind: BC & AD…

What more can we say about Jesus?

He is Supreme: But what does that mean to you and me?

1) Jesus Reveals God To Mankind:

Before Jesus came God was just an idea, but upon His arrival upon the earth, He became an ICON (The exact representation of God the Father on the Earth).

We all know what ICONS are:

Take out your mobile phone, if you have one, look at the screen, you’ll see little Icons that represent different things; Calendar, Contacts, Facebook, Twitter, Photos,  etc. You know that these Icons represent all your information; you can just click on one of those Icons and they’ll take you to your desired information, right?

  • If I click Calendar, I can see all my upcoming appointments.
  • If I click Contacts and know where all my friends live.
  • If I click Facebook I can see what all my friends have been sharing with the world.
  • If you come to Jesus, If you connect with Jesus, the ICON of God, you connect immediatly with the Father.

Jesus said:

Matthew 11:27  “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No-one knows the Son except the Father, and no-one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”

Look at those words carefully, “No-one knows the Son, No-one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him”… i.e. You can’t KNOW GOD by any other way than by coming to Jesus Christ.

That’s why Jesus said, “I AM the Way, and the Truth and the Life” John 14:6.

It not by reason, but by revelation. You can’t discover God the Father by human reason alone, you’ll never argue a person into the Kingdom of Heaven, they, you and I and everyone needs a REVELATION of God by Jesus Christ, even today.

That’s why Jesus is your ICON: Click / Connect with Jesus and you’ll discover God the Father.

Colossians 1:15 and 19:  “He is the image (ICON) of the invisible God,” and “God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him”.

Children Ask: “What does God look like?”

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had schoolchildren come into St Luke’s and ask me that question: “What does God look like?” My answer is always the same, “He’s exactly like Jesus” When Jesus wan on the earth, He said, “If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen my Father”. “The Only way to see the Father is by coming to me”. Do you want to see what God looks like? Then come to Jesus by faith.

2) Jesus IS the Creator:

Look with me at verse 16 of our Bible reading today:

Colossians 1:16 “For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.” (Jesus is the Creator).

a) Jesus Is The POWER of His Creation:

John tells us the same thing about Jesus: John 1:3

John 1:3 3  “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.”

NOTHING was there before Jesus made it. NOTHING. He made the whole UNIVERSE out of NOTHING.

Now, we can’t do that can we, we can’t make an Egg out of nothing. We can’t even make a mud-pie out of nothing, we need dirt and water to make mud-pies. Jesus made it ALL out of NOTHING.

That’s why Jesus could: Walk on water, make wine out of water, heal the sick and raise the dead back to life again, because in Him is LIFE, He is the Creative POWER behind everything.

Jesus is the Power of Creation, but Jesus is also the Preserver of His Creation.

b) Jesus Preserves His Creation:

Look with me at verse 17 of our reading today;

Colossians 1:17 “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”

DARK MATTER: Scientists for years have been trying to discover “DARK MATTER” the missing force in the universe. They call it ‘Dark Matter’ because they can’t see it or even find it, but they know it’s there. My friends, it’s the most massive missing force, but the Bible reveals what that force that keeps the whole universe together is. “It’s Jesus”. He’s the super-glue that keeps it all together. He’s not dark-matter though, He’s the Light of the Universe. He’s the Light of the world. In Him there is NO Darkness at all. “In HIM all things hold together”…

When you are getting married, you cleave to your husband. A husband cleaves to his wife. The CLING (HOLD) together. That which God has joined together, let not man separate. Stuck together forever by God. Jesus holds ALL THINGS together.

c) Jesus is the Purpose of His Creation:

He did it all for Himself.

“It’s NOT about you” We’d like to think the universe revolves around and about us, but let’s get a reality check this morning my friends, Jesus made the whole of CREATION for Himself.

Verse 16:  “For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.”

“All THINGS were Created by HIM and for HIM”… WOWzer! That’s an awesome REVELATION isn’t it? Jesus is the PURPOSE of the UNIVERSE. He’s not just the Power of the Creation, He’s not just the Glue of Creation, He’s the Purpose of His Creation too.

3) Finally, Jesus is the RECONCILER OF HIS CREATION.

Let’s remind ourselves of the last few verses of our Bible reading today;

Colossians 1:20-23  “and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. (His sacrificial death brings PEACE through His blood).

21  Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behaviour.
22  But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 23  if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.

Jesus RECONCILED All Things: In heaven and on the Earth.

Do you know what ‘reconciled’ means? It means to bring-back-together again. Be made one with another. To bring into alignment again. Like Iran and the UK opening up the British Embassy in Tehran again. After many years of being without an Ambassador in Iran, Britain and Iran have been RECONCILED. Brought back together again.

A husband and wife: who’d been having difficulties in their marriage, finally got back together, they were RECONCILED after years of struggle and their LOVE is stronger now that it’s ever been.

You and me: If you’ve come to TRUST Jesus as your Saviour and Lord: He has reconciled you to God the Father.

We were separated from God, why? The reading tells us; “because of your evil behaviour”.

Now you’ll get offended; “I’m NOT evil” I can hear the gears in your mind whirring and twirling right now. “I’m NOT evil”… However, the Bible tells us that we ARE until we’ve been RECONCILED by the Lord Jesus Christ.

How are we ‘evil’? What is ‘evil’? Evil is the force behind rebellion and disobedience. We’ve all rebelled against God, we’ve all be disobedient to His Commands.

That’s why we need Jesus: It’s not that He’s just made the whole Creation, the He’s the Power, the Preserver and the Purpose of His Creation, but He’s also the ONLY ONE who could bring His Creation back to Himself once again. He is the only way back to God the Father: That’s why Jesus came to His Creation.

He came and He died: He shed His innocent blood: In order that He might SAVE those that He’d Created.

Conclusion:

My friends, we’ve seen the Majesty of Jesus, but now I want to show the Mystery of Jesus: He came to His Creation to SAVE Mankind.

Isaiah reveals a little secret that we’ve been looking at today;

Isaiah 33:22  “For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; it is he who will save us.”

  • Jesus is your Judge: He’s coming back again to Judge the Living and Dead.
  • Jesus is your LAW giver: He gave us the 10 Commandments. So that we could see our need of a Saviour. We’ve failed that Law and will be judged Justly by the LORD according to it.
  • Jesus is the KING: The Lord is your King. One day every knee will bow before Him. Let’s do it NOW before it’s too late and we leave this earth without bowing before the LORD our King whilst we’ve still got a chance.
  • Jesus is the SAVIOUR: “is is HE who will save us”. He died so that you might be saved from God’s wrath.

So my friends, I plead with every single on of you today, be RECONCILED to God. Jesus is the Creator, He is the Power of Creation, The Preserver of Creation, The Purpose of Creation but He’s also the Reconciler of His Creation. Will you be reconciled to God: Come, come to Jesus Christ right now. Don’t wait. Trust Him. Receive Him. Repent and trust the Only Saviour of Mankind today. He’s not Dark Matter, but the Light of Life the Creator who knitted you together in your mother’s womb.

We sang this song today:

“This Kingdom” It’s all about our King Jesus.

Jesus
The expression of God’s love
The grace of God, the Word of God
Revealed to us
Jesus, God’s holiness displayed
Now glorified, now justified
His kingdom comes.

What an Awesome Hymn of Praise to Jesus.

Can we sing it and mean it today?

I’m praying that all my brothers and sisters in Jesus will have an awesome time of worship today.

I’m praying for everyone that I know who has yet to come to Jesus in faith and trust, turning from sin to be saved by Him, the LORD of all Creation.

I’m praying for our Nation today, we need to KNOW Jesus afresh in the UK. We need to know our need of Jesus.

I’m praying for the World today, the world that Jesus made, because the world needs to know the Creator and why He came to the Earth.

I’m praying for Christians today, that they’ll be fired up with the Gospel (Good News: that Jesus wants all people to be saved). That every Christian will be so full of Jesus love that they’ll leak that love everywhere they go.

I’m praying the LORD’S Prayer today: Thy Kingdom Come on Earth as it is in Heaven. Amen!

Have an awesome day with Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Don.

Faith Comes From God

Faith is a gift from God

Daily Spirit & Word 578: Faith Comes From God.

Good morning my friends, I’m still enjoying holiday time. Recently we’ve been having family staying and it’s been really great catching up on our daughter’s life. Hearing her joys and hardships and experiences; stories that without meeting up would remain untold or forgotten. It’s amazing how many things don’t get said often enough.

Faith doesn’t come from inside the individual: It is first generated by God.

We often imagine that faith comes from our own efforts:

I recently bought some silicone sealant: It comes in great long tubes and it’s really difficult to get them flowing at first, requiring great effort to squeeze out even a tiny dribble of the thick-creamy-goo from the nozzle. However, once it’s flowing it’s quite easy to keep it going, getting it to go where you want it to go is another thing though. I’ve watched trained craftsmen and they’re just dazzling they way they make straight lines with silicone; mines are more often than not; wobbly, lumpy and with peaks resembling a lemon meringue pie 🙂

Some people think that faith needs to be squeezed out like that, but it’s not by effort or force that faith comes.

Listen to how the Bible tells us that faith comes, and from whom it comes, because once you know this you’ll be less likely to be frustrated by your own and other people’s lack of faith. Also, If you want other people to come to a living faith in Jesus, then you’ll know how to achieve it, because you’ll be freed from many false expectations and you’ll also be able to set other people free too.

1) Faith is a Gift:

 Ephesians 2:8 (NLT) “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.”

It’s not by our own effort of good works or anything else we do, it’s a GIFT from God.

2)  Faith comes by hearing:

And it comes into a person’s life by hearing God’s Word.

Romans 10:17 “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message (the good news about Jesus Christ), and the message is heard through the word of Christ.”

The ‘message’: (Read Romans 10:8-17 in Context below) It’s the whole Gospel of Jesus Christ: How all have sinned against God, what it means that we’ve sinned, how we have sinned, the consequences of sin, what happens to sinners if they were to die in their sin, God’s heart for sinners and how He demonstrated His love by sending His Son Jesus to save sinners from the wrath to come, then what it means to trust in Jesus by repenting and receiving Him as Lord: That’s the MESSAGE: People receive the gift of faith when they hear that message, it’s a gift that comes from God.

Sometimes as you share the ‘message’ of Christ, you’ll actually see faith coming upon a person, it changes them physically. Once a person has faith enough to believe, then all that’s needed is for them to exercise that saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ Rom 10:8-17.

3) Faith grows:

The more you exercise your God given faith, the more it will grow and the easier those mountains will be removed.

1 John 5:4-5  “for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5  Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.”

That’s Mountain Moving Faith:

Matthew 17:20-21  “And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief (lack of faith and trust in God): for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. 21  Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.”

4) Faith is BELIEVING:

Remember that faith is BELIEVING in God, or believing what God has said. Jesus reminded His disciples on many occasions that they could move mountains if they had just a tiny amount of faith, even faith as small as a mustard seed. When you’re ready to believe God, what God has said in His Word; you’re ready to do ANYTHING.

Hebrews 11:1-13 Faith is Believing (Trusting / Risking Everything in and on God).

1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
2  This is what the ancients were commended for. 
3  By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. 
4  By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead. 
5  By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God.
6  And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. 
7  By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith. 
8  By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.
9  By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise.
10  For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. 
11  By faith Abraham, even though he was past age—and Sarah herself was barren—was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise.
12  And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore. 
13  All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth.

Conclusion:

“Faith comes from God; it’s His gift to those who hear the Gospel, but it needs to be exercised for it to grow stronger, exercise your faith and you’ll see mountains being moved.”

So my friends, if you have found that your own faith has begun to smoulder, then you know how to get it glowing again; get into God’s Word and let Him speak to you afresh. Avail yourself of all that He’s provided to enable that GIFT of faith to grow.

Secondly, if you’ve got friends who don’t yet believe or know God personally, then don’t simply say “Believe in Jesus” because that’s like trying to force silicone-sealant out of the tube with your fingers instead of using the device that’s been provided to make it easy. Faith is a gift from God, it comes by HEARING God’s Word, then it needs to be exercised to make it grow.

Another way to think of faith: It’s like a muscle. We’re all born with the gift of muscles, but some people get really huge muscles because they exercise them, the same is true with faith, God will give the gift of faith to anyone, but to make it grow it needs to be exercised. The way to spell faith is RISK 🙂

Have an awesome day, growing in the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ. Share your faith by letting those who don’t know Jesus know His Word and see how faith explodes into life in those professing atheists 🙂 Watch them backslide away from atheism.

Don.

NOTES:

Read Romans 10 in Context Below:

Romans 10:6-17 6  But the righteousness based on faith [imputed by God and bringing right relationship with Him] says, Do not say in your heart, Who will ascend into Heaven? that is, to bring Christ down;
7  Or who will descend into the abyss? that is, to bring Christ up from the dead [as if we could be saved by our own efforts].
8  But what does it say? The Word (God’s message in Christ) is near you, on your lips and in your heart; that is, the Word (the message, the basis and object) of faith which we preach,
9  Because if you acknowledge and confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and in your heart believe (adhere to, trust in, and rely on the truth) that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
10  For with the heart a person believes (adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Christ) and so is justified (declared righteous, acceptable to God), and with the mouth he confesses (declares openly and speaks out freely his faith) and confirms [his] salvation.
11  The Scripture says, No man who believes in Him [who adheres to, relies on, and trusts in Him] will [ever] be put to shame or be disappointed.
12  [No one] for there is no distinction between Jew and Greek. The same Lord is Lord over all [of us] and He generously bestows His riches upon all who call upon Him [in faith].
13  For everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord [invoking Him as Lord] will be saved.
14  But how are people to call upon Him Whom they have not believed [in Whom they have no faith, on Whom they have no reliance]? And how are they to believe in Him [adhere to, trust in, and rely upon Him] of Whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without a preacher?
15  And how can men [be expected to] preach unless they are sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of those who bring glad tidings! [How welcome is the coming of those who preach the good news of His good things!]
16  But they have not all heeded the Gospel; for Isaiah says, Lord, who has believed (had faith in) what he has heard from us?
17  So faith comes by hearing [what is told], and what is heard comes by the preaching [of the message that came from the lips] of Christ (the Messiah Himself).

 

 

God’s Way Of LOVE: Practical, Practicable and Possible.

Practical Love, Possible Love

GOD’S WAY OF LOVE:

Daily Spirit & Word: 567:

LOVE IS NOT A GETTING: IT’S A GIVING

LOVE IS NOT A FEELING: IT’S AN ACT OF THE WILL.

 

Good morning my friends, I love that old song by “Wet, Wet, Wet” the Pop Group. “Love Is All Around Us”.

“I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes”

The phrase that stands out for me today is; “And So the “Feeling” Grows.”

How many of us today want to FEEL more in LOVE? Answer: “ALL OF US” Am I right?

I want to say right now: Real LOVE Is: Practical, Practicable & Possible: LOVE.

Questions: What DOES the Bible Say About LOVE? What Does God want us to understand about LOVE?

TYPES OF LOVE IN THE BIBLE:

Bible Question: How many words are there in the Greek language for love?

Bible Answer: There are four major GREEK words for love:

AGAPE, PHILEO, EROS, and STERGO.

There are also a number of variations of these words such as AGAPETOS, ASTORGOS, KATAPHILEO, PHILADELPHIA, PHILANTHROPIA, PHILEMA, PHILIA, PHILOS, PHILOSTORGOS.

Four Main Words. (In Ancient / Classical Greek)

AGAPE is the most common word for love in the New Testament. It occurs 259 times as a verb or as a noun.

PHILOS and PHILEO occur only 54 times.

EROS and STERGO do not occur at all in the New Testament.

English Form Meaning
AGAPE This word was used in Greek literature to refer to someone who was generously favored by a god. It has the idea of a person giving all his or her love or favor to another. It was used to speak of parents giving all of their love to their only child. So in the New Testament it is used to make the same point. God gives each of us all of His love.
PHILEO This Greek word has the idea of emotional love. While AGAPE emphasizes the complete giving of love to another person, PHILEO emphasizes the affection, emotion, a fondness one person has for another.
EROS EROS refers to love between a husband and wife. It is more than sexual ecstasy because it also includes embraces, longing, and caring.
STERGO STERGO primarily refers to love between parents and children. It sometimes refers to love between people and their ruler and to love between a dog and his owner.

The Other Words. The other words for love combine different words to make a special point. The meanings of these words are briefly given below.

English Form Meaning
AGAPETOS Beloved or loved one.
ASTORGOS Without love.
PHILADELPHIA Brotherly love.
PHILANTHROPIA Love for mankind
PHILEMA A kiss.
PHILIA Friendship love.
PHILOS A love for a friend or relative.
PHILOSTORGOS Tender love or affectionate love.

Conclusion:AGAPE is the most common word used in the GREEK New Testament. The greatest example of love is Jesus Christ who died for our sins. God shows His love by rescuing us from our sins.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. (NASB) John 3:16

It is the word God uses to call us to love Him and others.

He is calling us to give Him all of our love and give others all of our love.

The emphasis is not an exclusive love but a total love.

Otherwise, we would only be able to love one person.

And He said to him, “‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ (NASB) Matt. 22:37-39

God calls us to give ourselves completely to Him in every way – heart, soul, and mind.

HOW ARE WE TO LOVE?

In our Bible reading today, we discovered that God wants us to LOVE: But in a very special way.

1 Corinthians 13: Emphasises HOW we are to LOVE EACH OTHER. (AGAPE = Sacrificial / Giving LOVE).

Can you see that LOVE IS NOT A FEELING: IT’S AN ACT OF THE WILL.

Real LOVE: is not what you get out of a person, but what you give to them.

To be “Really In LOVE” is to want to give your all to another.

“But what about emotional love?” (Fondness, Feeling and Affection).

WHAT ABOUT EMOTIONAL LOVE? AFFECTIONATE LOVE?

Yes! The Bible does speak about that kind of love too.

God wants our EMOTIONAL AND AFFECTIONATE LOVE and expects it to be EXCLUSIVE (Complete).

He also asks us to have an emotional love for Him in 1 Corinthians 16:22.

1 Corinthians 16:22 (NIV) “If anyone does not love (Phileo) the Lord—a curse be on him. Come, O Lord! (Maranatha)”

God wants our Emotional LOVE too: So when He’s calling us to Agape (Sacrificial) LOVE for Him & Others, He’s also calling us to have an Emotional LOVE as well. (It’s our whole being, total and complete affections that God wants and expects to see).

THE BELIEVER’S LOVE AFFAIR.

UNFAITHFUL: To the Lord and Each Other.

“If anyone loves the world, the Love of the Father is not in Him” (1 John 2:15)

i.e. You cannot be loving God and having a LOVE AFFAIR with the World at the same time.

  • But you cannot DEMAND Love:
  • It’s got to come from the heart.
  • It’s got to come from your relationship with the LORD.

You will NOT be in LOVE with the LORD if you are in love with the world.

Let’s admit it! Many of us have been carrying on a secret love affair for years!

And doing a pretty good job of MASKING it from our BROTHERS AND SISTERS, FELLOW Believers in Christ.

And why do we continue the “affair WITH THE WORLD”?

Simply because we love how it:

  • Panders our appetite for sensual gratification
  • Entices our eyes and caters to the greedy longings of our mind, and
  • Fosters our desire to live a life of pretension.

The “love affair” to which I am referring is our surrender (giving in) to the evil values of this world system that governs the goings on of mankind; a system which is headed by none other than Satan himself – “The Prince of this world.” (John 12:31; 14:30)

If we have GIVEN IN (SURRENDERED) to this Prince by fostering and feeding a “love affair” with his domain (THE WORLD), we have a serious problem. You see, as professed followers of Jesus Christ, God will not allow us the luxury of two loves:

“If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (1 John 2:15)

We simply cannot have it both ways: Loving the “world” and loving God.
HOW CAN WE GET OUT? 

How can we escape the trap of our love affair with the world?

Jesus’ prayer to the Father for His follower on the night before the cross, gives us insight into the answer to that question:
“I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” (John 17:14, 17)

As the Disciples and Followers of Jesus were given the WORD’S of Jesus (Word of God) they were TRANSFORMED.

It was that inner transformation by the receiving of the Word of God that showed the whole world that they were no longer one of them, they were DIFFERENT (SANCTIFIED = SET APART / DIFFERENT). So the world “hated” them.

PAUL WAS DEAD TO THE WORLD:

(Paul had escaped the “love affair”).

Galatians 6:11,12-14,15 11 See what large letters I use as I write to you with my own hand!
12  Those who want to make a good impression outwardly are trying to compel you to be circumcised. The only reason they do this is to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ.
14  May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christthrough which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15  Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation.

PAUL had grown to hate the “world system” THAT WAS GOVERNED BY SATAN.

WHAT COUNTS? Dead to the world: NEW LIFE in Christ: (In Baptism: death to old life, rises to live a new life).
SO… THE BIG QUESTION IS: Just as the Disciples were transformed by Soaking in God’s Word (And later on by the Holy Spirit) Are you resisting the world’s seductive charm by the inner change that results from consistent, and disciplined meditation upon God’s Word? Are you seeking the in-filling of the Holy Spirit?

If you are a Phileo, Lover of the LORD, then you’ll want to become more of what He’s called you to be.

It’s NOT like a Demand, but an INNER-TRANSFORMATION: Your affections will change, the more you give yourself to ACTING in LOVE. (1 Cor 13).

REAL LOVE IS:

1 Corinthians 13.
Practical, Practicable & Possible: LOVE.

IF YOU DON’T: 

If not, you are choosing by default to foster your “love affair” with the “Prince of this world’s” dominion (This WORLD and ALL it has to offer). And in so doing you have become God’s adversary, because

“Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.” (James 4:4)

IF YOU DO: 

We’ve seen today:

  • The Types of LOVE: Agape and Phileo in the Bible. God wants your Sacrificial LOVE & your Emotional LOVE.
  • He wants us to BREAK FREE from our LOVE AFFAIR with the World.
  • He wants us to Experience His LOVE for us (Complete and Emotional) Fatherly, Tender and True.
  • What counts is a NEW CREATION: You will LOVE like Jesus (AGAPE: Self-Sacrificial).

When we Decide to LOVE: Then the feelings of LOVE will follow. (Emotions / Tenderness)

Couples struggling to LOVE (feel in LOVE) with each other; Solution: AGAPE (Give LOVE, then feelings will follow).

LOVE IS NOT A GETTING: IT’S A GIVING.

LOVE IS NOT A FEELING: IT’S AN ACT OF THE WILL.

Have an AWESOME Sunday full of the LOVE of God: For Him and for each other. And I KNOW that when you love like that, you’re going to have a FOUNTAIN of LOVING FEELINGS on the inside as well. You are going to FEEL it all around you, in your fingers and in your toes, and so the FEELING GROWS.

Don.

P.S. When I discovered AGAPE (God’s Way Of LOVE) I was really SET-FREE from all kinds of feelings. I no longer needed others to express their love towards me, I still like it though :-), but my FEELINGS of love for others just keeps grown, the more I LOVE like Jesus, the more free I become. It enables me to forgive, forget and let-go, in so doing, I’m becoming even more in LOVE with God and others. Real LOVE is Practical, Practicable and Possible with the LORD’S Help. Praise the LORD for His REVELATIONS IN THE WORD. Amen!

Knowing Your Enemies: The World.

A Christian faces three enemies on the battlefield

Daily Spirit & Word 566: Know Your Enemies: The World.

Good morning my friends, it’s amazing but true that when you begin following the Prince of Peace, the Lord Jesus Christ, you come under attack from His ememies. Who would want to be an ‘enemy’ of the Lord Jesus? And why would anyone or anything want to take a stand against someone soooo loving, soooo kind, soooo gentle?

Well the truth is as a follower of Jesus Christ you have entered a Battlefield.

On a Battlefield, the missiles are exploding, guns are blazing, bombs are falling and booming, and casualties are mounting. Our first and natural inclination is to get off the Battlefield and save ourselves, but as a Christian you can’t.

As the wisest of Generals know, we should never underestimate our Enemies, but we need to know something from the off: Jesus is the WINNER of this Battle, but the Enemies will just not accept it yet. Satan has been defeated, when Jesus died upon the Cross, rose again from the Dead and Ascended into Heaven: So Satan now runs around like a wounded lion, but as you know a wounded lion is sometimes more dangerous and desperate than an uninjured lion.

Followers of Jesus need to know their Enemies: It’s been said that we have THREE major enemies: The World, The Flesh and The Devil.

Lets take them in turn over three studies:

Your First Enemy: “The WORLD”.

You might object about that, as I did, because isn’t the World that God made a beautiful and stunning place? I do love this amazing and awesome world and all that God has provided for our enjoyment. However, there is something that not quite ‘right’ with God’s Created World: Part of the Created World is Polluted: I’m not talking about Carbon emissions or global warming or nuclear waste though, but the pollution is; rebellion, rejection of God as King.

It’s that polluted part of God’s Good Creation that is in Rebellion against Him: That World System that loves the Darkness and Hates the Light:

John 3:18-21  “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
19  This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil20  Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21  But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.” 

Everyone: Who does EVIL hates the Light (Jesus).

The World System that hates Jesus is “EVERYONE” who does EVIL.

What is EVIL?

You might say, well I’m not ‘EVIL’: Simply put, ‘evil’ is rejection of God and all that’s good. We do ‘evil’ when we; lie, steal, cheat, lust, disobey our parents, covet (inordinate desire of things of this world) and blaspheme God (by using God’s name or Jesus Christ as a swear word). Now we know what the Evil World is: But there’s more….

However, we don’t really know the full effects of the sinful decisions that Adam and Eve made in the Garden of Eden and how that decision has infected every human soul since. We’re born into that same kind rebellion, we’re born on the opposite side, we’re born opposing Jesus, we’re born an enemy of the LIGHT.

Whenever anyone comes into the Light it’s as if they are like those who escaped from Communism during the Cold War: They had to sneak out of Russia or those Eastern Block countries that were part of the Russian Federation. The were called “Defectors“: When you come over to Jesus camp, when you come across over to the side of light, you are defecting against the rule and reign of Satan and the world system under his authority.

Evil is what we are when we are born: Because we’re born into sinful rebellion against the Creator and His wishes. We’re in the camp of the enemy until we defect (Repent and Trust in Jesus side).

We’re Born LOVING Rebellion:

Just as the Russians viewed Defectors as Enemies of the State: So Satan and his world system views everyone who comes over to the side of Jesus as Enemies: So your first enemy is the World (Governed by it’s Ruller: Satan). It’s the Evil World System, but not the world that God Created Good. (Hope you can now see how the world is polluted?).

What is this Rebellious World Like:

We know what living in rebellion against God is like, if we’ve traveled from the Darkness into the Light: We must have come through the darkness ourselves, we must have passed over into the light or we would not be Christians, we would not be followers of Jesus yet.

From DARKNESS to LIGHT: From Satan’s Evil World Order to the Rule and Reign of King Jesus.

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

Remedy: The Soul that Seeks The Light:

“The People Walking In Darkness Have Seen A Great Light”

It’s like there’s light, hope, joy, love, peace at the end of a long-dark-tunnel.

Those Defecting from Russia were escaping a cruel and hard Dictatorial Communist regime and crossing over to freedom in the free Western world governed by Human rights ruled by Democracy.

A Christian is Defecting: A world system ruled by Satan, who wants to enslave people and keep them in bondage. He wants to blind people so that they cannot see the light. He wants to keep people in Darkness and ignorance of their true condition.

Isaiah and John wrote the same thing;

In John’s Gospel we get a clear indication of How we can know the difference between the Kingdoms of Light and Darkness:

John 1:1-13
1  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (Jesus is God).
2  He was with God in the beginning. (Jesus is the Eternal God).
3  Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. (Jesus is the Creator).
4  In him was life, and that life was the light of men. (Jesus GIVES life to everyone).
5  The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. (Jesus came into the world).
6  There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. (John the Baptist).
7  He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe.
8  He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.
9  The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. 
10  He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognise him.
11  He came to that which was his own (the Jewish People), but his own did not receive him.
12  Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— (Every Christian who comes over into Jesus side in this battle becomes a child of God).
13  children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. (The Holy Spirit of God brings about the new birth, you are born-again into God’s Eternal Family when you trust in Jesus Christ for Salvation or when you defect out of Satan’s World System)

The DARK Night Of The Soul: In this amazing and difficult book, John of the Cross reveals the dilemma for mankind; crossing over from Darkness into the Light: He calls it’

“Dark Night Of The Soul:”  goes on to say; “We may say that there are three reasons for which this journey made by the soul to union with God is called night. The first has to do with the point from which the soul goes forth, for it has gradually to deprive itself of desire for all the worldly things which it possessed, by denying them to itself; the which denial and deprivation are, as it were, night to all the senses of man. The second reason has to do with the mean, or the road along which the soul must travel to this union — that is, faith, which is likewise as dark as night to the understanding. The third has to do with the point to which it travels — namely, God, Who, equally, is dark night to the soul in this life. These three nights must pass through the soul — or, rather, the soul must pass through them — in order that it may come to Divine union with God.

Ascent of Mount Carmel.”

The Three:

Worldly Things: Love for the world and it’s pleasures, the sensual world, the rebellious world.

FAITH: Darkness, we don’t naturally possess faith. We don’t naturally understand faith.

God: We’re not born knowing God, we know that He exists, but we don’t know Him personally, we’re born estranged from God, we’re born in Darkness needing the light of faith and Jesus before we can ever see the light and cross over from the Darkness of this world into His Kingdom of light.

There’s nothing wrong with the things of this world, but it’s our inordinate affection for them: We want the world too much. We want to possess the world and have it all for ourselves, but this inordinate affection is nothing short of Idolatry: Making the World our God: Loving the World more than the Creator who made it.

Escape: The Bible tells us the Christian has escaped the ‘corruption of the world’.

2 Peter 1:3-4 His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4  Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

So we need to say, “Goodbye” to the World System and it’s Ruler.

The first enemy is the World for the Christian, the next Enemy is our own flesh and our arch-enemy is Satan.

PRAYER: Oh Lord Jesus Christ, we’ve seen today just how important it is to know about our enemies. Today we’ve thought about the fact that when we are born, we’re born into a world system that is in rebellion against You. Lord Jesus, since I’ve come over to Your side by believing and trusting in You as my Lord (KING) and Master, please help me to live in this world, knowing that I’m part of a different Kingdom, that I am Your Ambassador Lord, please help me to represent You with love, gentleness, faithfulness and honour today. Please keep me from loving this world so much that I’m falling away from You. I don’t want to have an inordinate affection for this world Lord, so help me to LOVE YOU with all my heart, mind, soul and strength. Thank You Lord for setting me free from the World and letting me see the awesome light of Your Kingdom. Amen.

Have an Awesome Saturday in the Kingdom of the KING of Kings my friends.

Don.

NOTE: The Gospel Good NEWS of Jesus.

Discover: The Spirit Filled Christian Life.

 

Antiques Appreciate With Age

Heirlooms depreciate in value, because they are viewed differently

Daily Spirit & Word 565: Antiques Appreciate With Age.

It was one of those nights again, I had another dream that I believe was from the LORD. I don’t know who it’s for though, so I’m just sharing it generally for all to enjoy.

In the dream, I was upstairs in an old dusty attic loft, with wooden balustrades and open slatted bannisters. There was a very good looking woman (I know who she is), who was acting like a Princess (in her own eyes), but everybody else thought she was a grown-up-spoilt-brat of a woman. Over the years she’d used her good looks to get what she wanted in life; the best boy in school, the best and biggest circle of friends were attracted to her, because she was bright, intelligent and politically lethal. Of course she had money and she was daddy’s little girl, even though she was a grown-woman and married.

As I gazed upon the scene she was in the full-throws of an argument with her handsome husband, she wasn’t going to get her own way for the first time in her life, she ran down the stairs and tripped on the bottom step landing in a heap on the straw-strewn floor beneath. She began kicking her legs in anger and a massive tantrum erupted, she was sobbing and crying out, and banging her fists upon the floor. I heard myself saying in a loud voice, loud enough for her to hear, “I’ll bet she was a spoilt-brat as a child”. She stopped crying immediately and looked around at me with a red tear-soaked face and glowered at me. But as I looked around the room, it was full of people, hundreds of them, all familiar to me, and they were all nodding their heads in agreement some even saying openly out-loud, “She was, she was and she is”…

Then the LORD said something that startled me awake; “Antiques appreciate in value with age, but heirlooms tend to loose their value” I said, “What does that mean LORD?” He answered me, “Antiques are valued by collectors and looked after by dealers, they are maintained and treasured. However, Heirlooms are handed down from one generation to the next, and more often than not they are not valued by those who receive them, they are viewed as an encumbrance and an embarrassment and often hidden in the attic or loft.”

“Antiques appreciate in value with age, but heirlooms tend to loose their value”

“Heirlooms are handed down from one generation to the next, and more often than not they are not valued by those who receive them, they are viewed as an encumbrance and an embarrassment and often hidden in the attic or loft.” 

After a while, I was fully awake by now, but then the LORD said again, “So it is with the Christian faith, as a man or woman who’s become a convert to My Son Jesus Christ grows older, the rest of the Saints value him or her and treasure their God given wisdom and gifts. They are looked after and honoured in their meetings and I LOVE them too. However, when that same Christian faith is second or third generation, then those born into a family of faith, with real saints in their family line, they more often than not view their hand-me-down faith as an encumbrance, they have a form of Christianity, but it’s devoid of My power. They know all about My Son, but they don’t know My Son Jesus and so they do not treasure their faith as their relatives once did.”

The woman in my dream was born into a family with a strong Evangelical tradition, she’d been brought up to go to church, was the sparkling gem of a child, who because of her family heritage was even spoilt in Sunday School. (Spoilt means = Having the character or disposition harmed by pampering or oversolicitous attention) and you know how she turned out, but there is real HOPE: Because that woman became a born-again believer in the LORD JESUS CHRIST. She is just as on-fire with the Holy Spirit today as her ancestors were. What happened? She met Jesus for herself: Repented, Received Him as Lord and got baptised.

My friends, you cannot be born a Christian, you must be born-again. You cannot be a Christian because Granny was a strong believer or Grandaddy was an Elder or Deacon in the Church; you must be born-again yourself.

“Nobody can enter the Kingdom of Heaven, unless they are born again of God’s Holy Spirit.”

You cannot get born-again, by just attending church, being baptised, going to Sunday School or taking Holy Communion. No my friends, you too must come to believe that Jesus died upon the Cross for your own sins, all those Commandments of the LORD that you’ve broken will one day land you in Hell, unless you too repent and trust the Saviour for your Salvation. Why? Because God must punish sin and until you come to the Saviour in repentance and faith, you are carrying your own load of sin. You’ll carry it all the way to the judgement unless you hand it over to Jesus at the Cross.

Time is short, time is running out, each day that passes is one more step towards Eternity. So take the leap into Jesus arms right now, and let Him catch you before you fall into the pit of Hell.

Be certain today that you’ve turned from your sins, stop trusting in your own goodness and begin trusting in Christ’s goodness to save you from God’s wrath to come.

Ardian Rogers explains it so clearly; “All sin will either be pardoned in Christ or punished in hell. No sin and no person who sins will slip by, adjudged.” Adrian Rogers. Love Worth Finding.

“All sin will either be pardoned in Christ or punished in hell. 

No sin and no person who sins will slip by, adjudged.”

A ‘faith’ that’s handed down from one generation to the next, without becoming personal and real, is no faith at all. No wonder so many people who think they are Christians because their family were strong believers, are treating their faith as if it’s an encumbrance or an embarrassment.

My friends, when you KNOW Jesus, your faith in Him is valued above everything else in life.

  • You’ll treasure your Bible because you’ll know it’s God’s love letter to you. That He speaks to you through it’s pages and guides you in life and corrects your thought and desires.
  • You’ll long to gather with the brothers and sisters to worship with all your heart and sing your praises to the Lord until it hurts, because you love HIM.
  • You long for and look for opportunities to share you faith with others and spread the good news, because you can’t bear the thought of anyone, even your worst enemy, spending one moment in Hell with the Devil.
  • You’ll also look for ways to be used by the LORD for good in the world. Instead of avoiding the poor, the weak, the lame and the outcast, you’ll search them out an help them. Why? Because you’ll be filled with the LOVE of the LORD.
  • You’ll look for and desire to be filled with God’s Holy Spirit every day and moment by moment throughout each day of your life; Why? Because you know that trying to get by in your own strength and ability leads to spiritual failures.

As you grow into an old Saint in Christ my friends, growing up in that kind of faith, then you too will become a treasured antique; treasured by your fellow saints and by the LORD Jesus Christ.

God bless and I hope you all have an AWESOME weekend.

(Now I can go back to bed, it’s only 2.45am 😎 😆 😛  ).

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus Christ, I thank you that I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139), that you’re calling everyone out of darkness into your marvellous, magnificent, amazing light. Please help me today to be the person You want me to be. Fill me with the Holy Spirit Lord, because I need Your power to live each moment for You. Amen!

Don.

For Further Study / Scripture Notes: 

If You Sin: You’ll Die: Why? Because each person will pay for their own sin: Ezekiel 18:20  “The soul who sins is the one who will die. The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous man will be credited to him, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against him.”

(Don’s Side – NOTE: Therefore, no one can be saved because their mum, dad or granny or granddaddy were Christians. You must become ‘righteous’ in Christ yourself, but trusting in the Lord’s death for your own sins.)

All Have Sinned: Romans 3:23  “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”

(Don’s Side-Note: Each one of us has broken at least one of God’s Commandments; lying, stealing, lusting, cheating, coveting, dishonouring our parents).

DEATH because of SinRomans 5:12  “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:”

God’s Wages For Sin: Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

What IS Sin? (KJV & NIV) 1 John 3:4 “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.”

1 John 3:4 “Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.”

So SIN is: Breaking God’s Moral Law: Revealed in His Ten Commandments. (NOTE: The Ten Commandments are NOT ten suggestions, but Commands by God to be obeyed, we break them and become guilty law-breakers)

HOW do we get to be ‘righteous’? 2 Corinthians 5:21 “For He [God the Father] hath made Him [Jesus Christ] to be sin for us, Who [Jesus] knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him [Jesus].

(Don’s Side-Notes: We become righteous in Christ the moment we receive Him as our Saviour after believing that He died on the cross for our sin and rose from the dead to show that God the Father was satisfied with His Sacrifice for sin, then we repent (turn from all sin in our life) and receive Him as our Lord).

There are NO second-hand Christians, only first-hand Believers. You can be purchased (redeemed) by Jesus today.

The Gospel Good News of Jesus Christ.

The Spirit Filled Life: Discover it today: 

Adrian Rogers Study on The Judgement Seat of Christ.

 

The Single Grain Must Die

Life and Harvest from the death of the Wheat Grain

Daily Spirit & Word 555: The Single Grain Of Wheat Must Die To Produce A Harvest.

“Sir” they said, “We would like to see Jesus”.

Good morning my friends, I must admit I was worried yesterday. As we gathered for worship yesterday, there were so few people in the Congregation at the start of the service, I felt like saying, “The Service is Cancelled, I’m going home”. However, I knew instantly that was not the voice of the Lord in my head. So we began slowly and by the end of the third praise song, there were a few more people, by the time it came to begin preaching there was a decent crowd of people. At the end of the service, by the time of the Lord’s Supper, there were many more. The Crowd had gathered and we were all encouraged by the Lord in one way or another.

That feeling of wanting to go home when it seem bleak or the prospect seems small: When you look at a grain of wheat it’s small, seems insignificant, yet when you put it into the ground, it dies, then slowly a new plant emerges, and it grows-up and produces a seed-head, with hundreds of little seeds inside it. WOWzer! New Life comes when the grain of wheat dies.

If we’re ever going to learn to serve the Lord Jesus, we too must learn to continually die to self. It’s so hard being a living-sacrifice, but sometimes when you do it, all-be-it ever so reluctantly, you’re going to get a glimpse of heaven. Perhaps I should have titled today’s thought; How to Get A Glimpse Of Heaven 🙂

Here’s Jesus teaching on the subject;

John 12:20-36 20 Now there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the Feast.
21  They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. “Sir,” they said, “we would like to see Jesus.”
22  Philip went to tell Andrew; Andrew and Philip in turn told Jesus.
23  Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.
24  I tell you the truth, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.
25  The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
26  Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honour the one who serves me.
27  “Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour.
28  Father, glorify your name!” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.”
29  The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him.
30  Jesus said, “This voice was for your benefit, not mine.
31  Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out.
32  But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.”
33  He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die.
34  The crowd spoke up, “We have heard from the Law that the Christ will remain for ever, so how can you say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’? Who is this ‘Son of Man’?”
35  Then Jesus told them, “You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. The man who walks in the dark does not know where he is going.
36  Put your trust in the light while you have it, so that you may become sons of light.” When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them.

Whoever serves me must follow me:

It’s amazing how we only really get to know what Jesus means after we’ve been following Him for a while. It means applying this “dying-to-self” principle many times before it finally hits home and becomes a reality. The voice from Heaven said, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again”. Jesus was glorified by God the Father many times in His ministry, He must have been thinking that the only time He’d be glorified was when He died, but the Father gives that reassuring voice from Heaven, “I have glorified it already”. Jesus was glorified just by being Jesus. He was glorified the moment He came into the world, He was glorified at His baptism, in His temptation in the wilderness, in His teaching and preaching, in His healings and miracles, in His eating and sleeping, Jesus was full of the glory of the Lord. Yet there’s the wonderful promise from the Father in verse 28 “… and I will glorify it again”. God the Father wants to continually GLORIFY Jesus His Son.

You too will be glorified again, you are being glorified now, by just being a Christian in Jesus. You’ve got the GLORY. How did you get the glory? By doing what Jesus did; “Whoever serves me must follow me” Verse 26. What did Jesus do and where did Jesus go that we must follow?

THE SINGLE GRAIN OF WHEAT.

Jesus was that single grain of wheat that was prepared to die in order that it might produce many seeds. V24.

We don’t traditionally think of John 12:24 as a Parable of Jesus. Normally Jesus parables are longer, but Jesus was a walking-talking-living-parable. Thinking of wheat like this; ‘dying and producing a crop’ is parabolic. Jesus knew that He’d come into this world to die so that others might live forever. He knew that death would not be able to hold him, that he’d rise again from the dead after three days in the grave, but he also knew that he MUST die. He must endure death, torture, punishment and pain, so that others would be able to live.

“NOW MY HEART IS TROUBLED” Verse 27:

This dying-to-self and ‘taking up our cross daily’ is NOT EASY.

Jesus was troubled by the thoughts of what He must do. How he knew about the torture he was about to endure and it quite rightly troubled him. Nobody in their right mind would welcome torture, pain, agony. However if it’s got a purpose and a good reason, then of course we’re prepared to endure it.

We know that people endure pain of operations by doctors and dentists, because after the pain wears off we’re going to feel much better afterwards.

We know that many thousands were prepared to endure pain, discomfort and possible death to serve our Nation in times of war, but nobody in their right mind wants there to be a war.

Jesus knew that His DEATH would bring LIFE and eternity to all who would put their faith and trust in Him. It was the prospect of what would happen afterwards, because He knew the single grain of wheat must die in order that a crop of many thousands would result. It was the ONLY WAY to produce the crop.

PUT YOUR TRUST IN THE LIGHT (Verse 36)

Jesus was indicating to those who were with Him, there’s ONLY ONE WAY to be SAVED, by trusting in the LIGHT.

Today, Jesus has gone through the Cross, He died and rose again from the dead, He’s now ascended into Heaven: He’s ALIVE in His resurrected and glorified body.

However, this “Put your trust in the LIGHT whilst you can” is an opportunity for everyone to receive the gift of life. However, we must not put-it-off, for we don’t know when the end will come. We don’t know when we’re going to depart this life.

On Tuesday I’m conducting a funeral for a man who tripped and fell at home, he crashed into a glass-mirror and died instantly. His poor wife heard the noise of his fall, rushed up the stairs and found his crumpled body. She tried frantically to revive him, but he’d gone.

My friends, God forbid, but we could fall over and die like that, but if we’re not walking in the light of the Lord Jesus Christ, If we have not come to the light, if we have not received the light, then we are going to be tripping into eternity without Jesus as our Lord. We’ll face the Judgement. He’ll judge us on the basis of His Goodness (NOT OURS), His standard of goodness is much higher than ours is. We think we only have to be more good than bad and we’ll be OK at the Judgement. We think, “If I do some good things, I’ll be saved, because a good God will look at all the good things I’ve done in life and I’ll be saved.”

However, it’s the very thing we’re counting on to save us that will condemn us. We are right in thinking that God IS Good, but His goodness is so great that He can’t allow any badness into Heaven. You wouldn’t put a piece of rotten chicken into your fridge beside the good chicken would you? You wouldn’t put a rotten peach into your fruit bowl. You wouldn’t give sour milk to your tea or coffee.

I opened up a packet of bread the other day and was just about to pop it into the toaster when I noticed a green mouldy patch. I looked at the rest of the bread in the packet it was all contaminated and green. The packaging was intact, the label said that t was a few days before the “EAT BY DATE” but it was rotten on the inside.

We might look good to ourselves (the packaging) and think I’m looking good, but it’s God that’s going to judge us. Unless we’ve died to self; Unless our grain of wheat has died, then we’re still rotting on the inside because we’re contaminated with sin. Unless we die to self and come to the light of the Lord Jesus Christ, then we’re going to die in our sin and face His Judgement.

God cannot and will not allow anything contaminated with sin into His Holy Heaven. No amount of good deeds will remove your sin from your record. Once committed, sin stains your soul until it is washed away, but doing good doesn’t wash sin away.

In order to get into Heaven, the grain of wheat must die.

Jesus died so that we could live forever. He died in our place; now if we want to go to Heaven, we too must die in order that we can live forever. However our death is different; we simply need to die to self. We need to come and trust in Jesus death so that we can live forever, but to do that, we must die to self. We’ve got to let go of our life in order to gain eternal life.

YBH: Yes, but how?

To die to self: We must STOP trusting in our own goodness: Recognise that we’re rotten and contaminated with sin on the inside. For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. We’ve all broken God’s commandments, when we do we become contaminated with sin. We may still be in-date, alive for a while, but we’re walking and living contaminated.

First: Believe:

That Jesus is the GRAIN of Wheat that Died For YOU.

He died upon the cross for the sins of all. Jesus knew that’s why He had come;

John 12:27  “Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour.” Simply believe that Jesus came to that hour on the Cross for your sin.

1 Timothy 1:15 “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners …”

Full Acceptance: Means we can fully accept and trust that Jesus came to die for our sins.

Secondly: Repent:

Turn away from your sin and trust Jesus: Stop trusting in your own goodness to save you (check the bread above). You’re going to be sadly disappointed on Judgement day if you continue to trust yourself. Repent and Trust the Saviour.

Thirdly: Receive:

Walk in the Light. Receive Jesus Christ as your LORD and you’ll begin walking in the light. Walking in Jesus. Remember Jesus is the “The Light Of The World” John 1.

Fourthly: SERVE: (DIE-to-Self):

Die to self. “Take up your cross daily”

Living a life of service means we must be prepared every day to follow Jesus example, He died in order that many would live. The single grain of wheat must die to bring life to countless thousands of others. We too must be prepared to die to self in order that we can live forever.

John 12:36  “Put your trust in the light while you have it, so that you may become sons of light.”

A son of light: A daughter of light: Is a person who’s trusted in the LIGHT.

NOW: After trusting we can do our good deeds, not to be saved, but because we’re ALIVE: We’ve died to self and we’re LIVING for God.

John 12:26  “Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honour the one who serves me.”

Believe, Repent, Receive, Serve and be HONOURED by the Father.

Have an AWESOME week walking in the Light of the Lord, taking up your own cross every day for Jesus.

Don.

 

The Christian’s Call To Holiness Today

The Christians's Call To Holiness

Daily Spirit & Word: 551: The Christian’s Holiness Today.

“There will come a time when the love of most will grow cold.”

Good morning my friends, I’m so sad that I couldn’t post yesterday. However, I’m re-assured by some of you who’ve been telling me that’s it’s given you a chance to catch-up on some of my writings. I know it’s HARD to follow, when someone writes as I do, sooooooo much 🙂 You’ll find countless, hundreds of other daily devotionals that are much shorter, more pithy and pointed. You’ll get a truth from them that will sustain you for a day or a whole week. Praise the LORD for them! I also read some of them too. However, I’m not called by the LORD to be short or concise. Sometimes, I’ll be short, but mostly, I just share what the LORD has put upon my heart to share.

 Matthew 24:9-14
9   “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.
10  At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other,
11  and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.
12  Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold,
13  but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.
14  And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

THE LOVE OF MOST WILL GROW COLD

Today, the Lord Jesus is speaking to me (personally) about Holiness. How He called me and every Christian to be Holy. Now holiness is NOT easy, especially as we live in a fallen world, where the love of most for the things of God has gone completely cold, even amongst the churches. It seems to me that the world and the church have fallen away from the high calling of Jesus Christ in the new testament to be a holy people. However, there are a few faithful left, but the world and the worldly church hate them, because we stand out like a sore thumb. It’s evident to the world today who the true followers of Jesus Christ are; because they will not go along with the ways of the world, they love the Lord and His Word too much for that. But in doing so, in being committed to living according to Jesus teachings, they’ve become targets. Nobody likes to be singled out or viewed as different or odd, yet that’s exactly what Jesus warned His own disciples they would become or be to the world and the worldly church.

FOR INSTANCE: Reverend Melvin Tinker:

He is a Minister in the province of York who protested about the blessing and prayers offered by the staff of York Minster for the ‘Gay Pride Parade’. His public protest hit the headlines and even reached Parliament. He was ridiculed on the BBC and by the Prime Minister, because he dared to stand up for God’s standards revealed in the Bible about morality. The world really does hate the saints when we declare boldly God’s standards of holiness and life.

The LOVE (Holiness, Devotion, Dedication and Faithfulness) of MOST will grow cold.

If Jesus was physically upon the earth today, I’m convinced that He would shout loudly and say, “The End IS Near: Repent and turn to God and walk in Holiness: Judgement is imminent”.

His call has always included a sacrifice from those who respond; the sacrifice for sins is finished with in His own blood upon the Cross, but the sacrifice He expects in return is death to self (selfishness, self-determination, self-will). Jesus’ call is for ALL His followers (Disciples) is to BE Holy. Romans 12:1 “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.”

Holiness of LIFE:

It’s living a separated life. That’s what HOLY means:

The word translated ‘Holy’ in the Greek of the New Testament is ‘Hagios’ (Scottish Christians love that, because it reminds them of their favourite food ‘Haggis’).

Hagios: Is translated in three main ways:

  • Holy: 161 times.
    Saints: 61 times.
    Holy One: 4 times.
    Miscellaneous translations 3
  • [Total Count: 229] Strong’s Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary.

The Temple Was Holy: (Because of God’s presence in God’s Holy Place).
The Jewish People Were Holy: (Because He made them Holy by selecting them out from among all the people on Earth).
The Christian Is Called To Be Holy: (Because God the Holy Spirit lives in the Believer: 1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
The Christian Is NOW Part of God’s Holy Called-Out People:

1 Peter 2:9-12 “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
10  Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
11  Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.
12  Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.”

God’s calling His Church and Jesus calling His Followers (Disciples) to BE HOLY.

William Barclay said; “In the first days of Christianity there was a glory and a splendour, but now Christianity had become a thing of habit, “traditional, half-hearted, nominal.” Barclay’s Daily Study Bible (NT).

William Barclay was not writing about the state of the church today, but the state of the church by the end of the first century. He was commenting upon the state of affairs that the Apostle John was writing to address at the end of his life in his first Epistle ‘1 John’. A ‘nominal’ Christian is one who loves being religious, but his ‘religion’ doesn’t affect his behaviour in the world. He lives like everyone else in society. He’s become a false-convert that Jesus warned about in the Parables; someone who has a form of holiness, but doesn’t live according to his professed belief. John said that a person like that, who “Claims to walk in the light, but continues to sin, cannot have fellowship with God” i.e. He cannot really be converted, the Holy Spirit has never done His work of conversion upon that person’s heart.

What is it that makes many half-hearted, false-believers fall away from their half-hearted ‘nominal’ form of Christianity? Jesus tells us clearly; “Because of the increase of wickedness…” Matthew 24:12. Be sure of this, no true believer will ever fall away from Jesus Christ, only those who were false-converts to begin with.

Romans 8:35-39
35  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?
36  As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37  No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
38  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39  neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

NOTHING can or will be able to separate the true follower of the Lord Jesus Christ for their Master: NOTHING.

However, there will be a pull, a tugging of the heart-strings and a war of the Saints: Because nobody likes to live at odds with those around them. Compromise and half-hearted responses to worldly ways (just like York Minster’s response to the Gay Pride Parade) will be the condition of MOST, but not all. There will always be few who’ll remain faithful to the Lord, His Word and His Teachings until He returns.

His call to you and me is “BE HOLY”.

But the Christians’ response, because our nature has been transformed by the Holy Spirit, is to welcome holiness as a way of life, it’s not a burden, it’s a strong inward desire to live in accordance to the will of God. Our Spirit, will and desires are in line with His, we want to be walking as Jesus walked. We are daily being transformed into the likeness and character of the Lord Jesus Christ. We’re going to become; more loving, good, pure, holy, happy, joy-filled, peaceful, righteous, forgiving, patient, kind, generous, giving, gentle and self-controlled. What a wonderful full and abundant life we’ve been called to and set-apart for, but it’s not going to be EASY as the world moves further and further away from God’s revealed standards of holiness.

Holiness is NOT a lifestyle choice for Christians, it’s a loving response to His Call upon our lives.

Don’t be surprised that the world hates you because of what you believe and the way that you want to live for Jesus, because Jesus warned us all in advance that this is what it’s going to be like just before He comes back again. There will be an increase of wickedness (sinfulness) in the last days. That’s obvious is we watch the News for just a few moments. However, you, dear brothers and sisters, be strong and of good courage as you live in the last-days.

Praise the LORD because, despite it all, we can be FULL OF THE JOY OF THE LORD.

Be Holy, be ready, be full of the JOY of the Lord.

Don.