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 ūüôā

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.

 

Relax, Work Less, Enjoy Life to the Full.

Working Less, Overwork makes you dull

Daily Spirit & Word: 553: The Importance of Relaxation and Enjoyment of Life.

“Relax, Work Less, Enjoy Life to the Full.”

Good Saturday morning my friends. Growing up in the 1960s and 70s Saturday’s were always good times of family fun and relaxation. Saturday was family day; time to be fixing the car, riding bikes, going to the club and having a dance; well that’s what my parents did ūüôā When we had the time, we took our kids to the beach, woods, rivers, parks, picking blackberries, picking flowers and making swings over the rivers. Saturdays were for FUN and FAMILY.

It’s wise advice to have some FUN sometimes; You know the saying we had in the Royal Navy, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” Jack was a slang term for a Sailor (Jack-Tar). People need to work less and live more.

It is for FREEDOM:

Galatians 5:1 1  It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Overwork makes a man and woman miserable: Mother’s get all flustered and upset. Dad’s get tetchy; so take time OFF and enjoy and live the life that Jesus died to give you.

Remember Solomon’s Wisdom:

Proverbs 23:4-5 4  Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint.
5  Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.

Worrying only about money will NOT make you happy.

Nobody is ever going to say when they reach retirement age (75) and say, “I wish I’d spent just a little more time at the office instead of playing with my kids and grandkids” NO! No! No!… We’ll be wishing we’d had a little more fun along the way. So often people work towards retirement, and exhaust their bodies so much that by the time ‘retirement’ comes along, they’re totally; knackered, worn-out, dog-tired, washed-out, spent, fatigued, fagged, run-down, sapped of energy, dried-up and¬†depleted.

Now you KNOW that Jesus doesn’t want His followers to be like that, so take some time OFF your hard-pressed life, strive a little less, enjoy life, you only get one shot at life, enjoy the kids, play more, work less, have a few less things and enjoy the daisies. Watch the clouds, look at the stars, enjoy a BBQ with the neighbours, whatever……………………… (You fill in the blank).

John 10:10 10  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

Don’t let OVER-WORK steal your life, your joy or your happiness: Work is NOT the be-all and end-all of life. LIFE is to be lived to the full with Jesus and family and friends.

Have an awesome Saturday.

NOW: Share your FAITH the way Jesus would:

Saturday’s ARE for FUN.

Stay Blessed and Strong In 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 ūüôā 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‚ÄĒthis 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.

 

A Darkness That Can Be Felt: Walk In The Light

A great darkness covered the land

Daily Spirit & Word, 550: Walk In The Light

Great Is The Darkness: “A Darkness That Can Be Felt”

Good morning my friends, I was half-dreaming half-awake this morning at 4.30am and the Lord was speaking to me about the DARKNESS. I got up quickly and opened my Bible and the Software and began to study the ‘darkness’ in the Bible.

The Word the Lord gave me was; “A Darkness that may be felt.”

Exodus 10:21 (NIV) “Then the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand towards the sky so that darkness will spread over Egypt‚ÄĒdarkness that can be felt.””

  • When Mankind walks away from God, they walk away from the light into a DARKNESS that can be felt.
  • A moral darkness covers the land.
  • To be in the darkness is to be without the light of Christ.
  • To be in the dark, is to be blind, blinded, can’t see.

They are blinded to their need of salvation. 2 Cor 4:4.
They are blinded to their moral condition. (Call sin good).
They are blinded to their destiny. (Don’t believe, choose not to accept, deny; Hell).
They are robbed of a sense of fear of God (They are bold, brazen about sin).
They are darkened in their understanding of anything good.

Great IS the Darkness.

Last night at the Monthly Prayer Meeting in Church, we touched upon the subject of the moral condition of those that don’t yet know Christ as Lord. A great discussion ensued about homosexuality being the NEW Schism in the church. How many who call themselves Christians are now saying that it’s OK to be homosexual, even so called Evangelicals are walking over to the dark side.

We got that from just re-reading Sunday’s lesson from 1 Corinthians 1:18-25.

Ten of the most well known Christian preachers / teachers were interviewed and asked their opinion on the subject of same-sex-marriage and homosexuality: You can watch their answers by clicking the link at the bottom.

Note: The one’s that gave the clearest answers were those who have the highest regard for the Word of the Lord. When the Bible says something, it’s as if God has said it. It’s true my friends, the Bible IS God’s WORD on any subject. Note those that gave the weakest answers were those who had a higher regard for what people feel. Joel Osteen, for instance, was determined that he didn’t want to upset anyone. Almost as soon as he acknowledged homosexuality was a sin, he immediately tried to cover-up that fact and that he believed it. So frightened is he of upsetting his ‘Positivity’ message.

DARKNESS: Is a kind of moral blindness in the Bible.

It’s an inability to see what sin is. It’s a failure to acknowledge sin as sin.

It’s an sensual-feeling darkness. A darkness that can be felt.

I’ve had one of those nights when the LORD was speaking to me about the DARKNESS and how great is that darkness. It wouldn’t go away. It came at me again and again in the night: Benighted.

We’ve also had that feeling of Darkness too; when out sharing the Gospel of Jesus. There are some individuals, that when you speak with them about Jesus, they give off a kind of darkness that can be felt. You can feel it in your soul the moment you begin speaking with them. More often than not this happens when people declare that they’ve rejected God or turned away from Him because of their lifestyle. Read Sarah’s Story (Link at bottom of page) and you’ll see that the Darkness is real.

However: BLIND people don’t need our condemnation.

They need to be brought into the light.

They need our LOVE no matter what it is they’ve done.

They need to be saved from the darkness.

Read Sarah’s Story of Deliverance from Sam-Sex-Attraction (Link at bottom).

Nor can we boast; (By ‘we’ I mean Christians).

  • We did not save ourselves.
  • We are not saved because of our own goodness. (Rom 3:20)
  • We are ALL sinners: Because we’ve ALL fallen short of God’s goodness (Rom 3:23).
  • We are SAVED by God’s GRACE not by our own good works. (Ephesians 2:8-9).

2 Corinthians 4:2-6
2 ¬†Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.
3  And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing.
4  The god of this age (Satan) has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
5 ¬†For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.
6 ¬†For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

If a blind man was walking towards the edge of a cliff???? Surely LOVE would compel you to shout a warning.

Blind are they that walk in darkness.

If a blind man had tripped over something, you would not blame the Blind Man would you? No! You’d blame the person who put the obstacle in the Blind Man’s pathway.

Satan has blinded:

Our battle is NOT against flesh and blood.

Isaiah 5:20¬† “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.”

The Darkness that can be felt: Is for those who are perishing, those on their way to death and destruction in Hell. Love, compassion and kindness compels us to share the good news of Jesus that we may save some from the darkness.

WHO IS IN THIS DARKNESS? (Don’t be Deceived).

1 Corinthians 6:9-11¬†“Do you not know that the¬†wicked¬†will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the¬†sexually immoral¬†nor¬†idolaters¬†nor¬†adulterers¬†nor male¬†prostitutes¬†nor¬†homosexual¬†offenders,
10  nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
11 ¬†And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

Those in Darkness: We don’t normally think that a ‘greedy’ person is wicked or in DARKNESS do we? Let us NOT be deceived.

The human tendency is to point the finger at something that we are not; thinking that we are ‘something’ when we are not. We didn’t save ourselves, Jesus did that. We are in Christ, because of Christ. (1 Corinthians 1:30).

1 Corinthians 1:29-31¬†“so that no-one may boast before him.¬†30 ¬†It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God‚ÄĒthat is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.¬†31 ¬†Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.””

PRAY: That the LORD will, by His Holy Spirit, lead our Nations out of this great darkness. That He’ll so fill His people with a deep compassion for those that have been blinded, who are in darkness, that we will do everything we can to bring others into the light of Jesus Christ, and that by His grace and kindness He’s given to each one of us, we’ll draw others to HIM.

FEAR OF THE DARKNESS:

Before I came to know the Lord Jesus, I was afraid of the DARKNESS. I hated being in dark places. I could feel the darkness. It was horrible. Once, when I was alone in bed in a darkened room, I could feel the presence of evil. I called out to the LORD Jesus Christ and asked Him to be with me, in the darkness. Since that night, I’ve NEVER been afraid of the DARKNESS again. I was set free from the fear of the darkness by Jesus. My friends, many who are walking in the darkness are afraid, they’re frightened of the light, they don’t want to come into the light for fear; fear that they are going to be exposed / reproved (John 3:20).

John 3:20¬†“For every one that¬†doeth evil¬†hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.” KJV.

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

Finally, Jesus declared;¬†John 8:12 “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.””

  • Everyone can be set free to walk in the light.
  • Everyone has a Conscience (they know what they are doing is wrong).
  • The Darkness can be felt.

Walk in the Light. (1 John 1:6-8)

1 John 1:6-8¬†“If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.

7 ¬†But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. 8 ¬†If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.”

I’m praying that I can be walking in the light of the Lord Jesus Christ today.

Set me free from the DARKNESS Lord.
Keep me free from the DARKNESS Lord.
Help me to be an instrument for good Lord, to lead others into the Light. Amen.

Don.

P.S. LINK to Ten World Renowned Church Leaders Thoughts on Homosexual Marriage / Same Sex-Marriage.

Sarah Mourer
Sarah’s Deliverance From Same-Sex-Attraction.

P.P.S:¬†Read Sarah’s Story of Deliverance from Sam-Sex-Attraction

 

The foolishness of the Cross of Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word 549:

The Foolishness of The Cross:

The CROSS MEANS Many Things:

It’s often surprising how many times the Cross comes up in our daily life. But first as I spoke yesterday in church on this subject, I asked the children to come to the front, I’d set up an¬†easel with a flip-chart pad, with pre-drawn pages. Once they were all in position I asked if they’d ever played the game of “Arm-Wrestling”?. Most people had at one time in their life. I asked how many people had won and they all put their hands in the air. Then I asked the children, picking on the smallest child, “If I were to arm-wrestle her, who would win?” They said, “You would” I said “Why?” answer, “Because you are bigger”… Then I asked, who’d win against God??? “No one would!” It’s amazing, but kids just KNOW ūüôā

Bible Reading:

The Text from the Bible for Sunday was;

1 Corinthians 1:18-25 
18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
19 ¬†For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”
20  Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
21  For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.
22  Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom,
23  but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling-block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,
24  but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
25 ¬†For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.

Let’s Look at some ways the Cross is used in daily life and what it can mean.

1) Sums: (Mathematics, Arithmetic, Problems)

I shared with the kids that at school, I was brilliant at mathematics. I had some example problems on the board: 3+5=???? I’d left the answers blank. I ask the kids if they knew the answer to keep quiet, they were all bursting to shout it out. ¬†Getting them wrong in School meant getting a red cross next to the answer. I said, “My teacher loved me in school when I was five, she used to put big red corsses next to my answers, the cross means a kiss.” The kids said, “No! It’s because you were wrong”. I pretended I didn’t know. They loved it.

I said, later on I discovered that the RED X on my schoolwork was indeed because I was WRONG.

It’s funny that, the X means we’re wrong.

We’ve ALL Sinned. All Broken God’s¬†Commandments (by lying, stealing, being disobedient to our parents).

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

2) LOVE: Valentines Card:

Next: I said, “Later on in life, I knew that the X mean love, because there was a Valentines Card with my name on it, it said; Roses are red, violets are blue, this world feels much better, because Donald, I’ve fallen in love with you” I explained, there were lots of Crosses: Which really did mean Kisses.

A message of love to the one you love: The Cross on a Valentines means “I LOVE YOU”.

Kiss, Kiss, Kiss,

Do you know that the Cross of Jesus Christ is like God’s Valentines Card to you?

God’s saying, “I love you, I love you, I LOVE YOU”.

  • Even though you’ve done wrong:¬†Romans 5:8¬†But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
  • There is NO greater love than God’s LOVE:¬†John 15:13¬†13¬†¬†Greater love has no-one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
  • 1 Peter 3:18¬†“For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit,”
  • How We KNOW He LOVES US:¬†1 John 3:16¬†“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.”
  • God LOVES the whole world:¬†John 3:16¬† “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

“Can you see everyone: The Cross can mean your: Wrong, and it can mean LOVE: but God LOVES you.”

3) Treasure Map:

Here’s another meaning of the Cross: Treasure:

X marks the spot of the Treasure on a Pirate’s Map. (We spent a bit of time talking about Treasure Maps).

Jesus is the TREASURE of the CROSS.

Because of Jesus Death:

  • We get to go to Heaven.
  • We get the Holy Spirit.
  • We get Jesus living in our hearts.
  • We are given Holy Spirit Gifts to use in the world.

(BTW: The children came up with these answers on their own).

4) Voting Time. (The X Marks Decision).

At voting time, when we choose the Government, we’ve got a choice to make: Which Party Will We Support?

In the UK:¬†Con, Lab, Lib-Dem, UKIP etc… (BTW Labour won in Church yesterday).

In Greece yesterday it was “Yes” or “No”.

We’ve got to put our X in the Box of our choice.

Cross: of Jesus: Means that You’ve got ¬†A¬†DECISION¬†to make.

John 1:12 (NIV) “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God‚ÄĒ”

Revelation 3:20 (NIV) “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.”

It’s so strange: The Cross can¬†mean; we’re wrong, God loves us, there is treasure at the Cross of Jesus, but to discover all of that, we’ve got to make a decision for Jesus.

Have you put your X in the Spot for Jesus?

I finished with this QUESTION: “Do you want more of God’s POWER in your life?” and “Remember; God’s foolishness is wiser than man’s strongest wisdom”.

We stood in prayer and asked God for more of His Power, Presence and Wisdom, to enable us to live the life that He’s called us to live.

Have an awesome week with the power of God’s love in your hearts.

Don.

P.S. Read first Corinthians chapter 1 in context.

1 Corinthians 1:1-17
1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes,
2 ¬†To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ‚ÄĒtheir Lord and ours:
3  Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
4 I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus.
5 ¬†For¬†in him you have been enriched¬†in every way‚ÄĒin all your speaking and in all your knowledge‚ÄĒ
6  because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you.
7  Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed.
8  He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9  God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.
10 I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.
11 ¬†My brothers, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you.
12 ¬†What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.”
13  Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptised into the name of Paul?
14  I am thankful that I did not baptise any of you except Crispus and Gaius,
15  so no-one can say that you were baptised into my name.
16 ¬†(Yes, I also baptised the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptised anyone else.)
17 ¬†For Christ did not send me to baptise, but to preach the gospel‚ÄĒnot with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.