Teaching Them To Obey Everything.

Go teaching them obedience

Daily Spirit & Word, 518: Teaching Them To Obey Everything.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 34: Teaching Obedience.

We had our final meeting last night, when we shared 40 Days With Jesus. It was a powerful session with; Fellowship, Video, Bible, Prayer and Deliverance and Re-assurance. It’s amazing that the teaching was about the Holy Spirit and His; promise, presence and power in the believer’s life. However, it wasn’t long before we recognised that one of our group needed some deliverance. What JOY there is when captives are set free from Satan’s grip. I want to thank everyone who prayed for our group last night, we definitely needed it. Praise the Lord!

Day 34 of 40 Days With Jesus: TEACHING.

Part of Christ’s Great Commission in Matthew 28 was; Jesus Authority, Commanded to Go, Proclaim the Gospel, Make Disciples, Baptise those who come to faith and finally, today’s message; “TEACH”, but teach the new converts what?

Matthew 28:16-20 16  Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.
17  When they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted.
18  Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
19  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
20  and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

It’s not just teaching them anything, it’s not teaching them to become ‘religious’, it’s not teaching the newly converted followers of Jesus man-made-rules or regulations, but it’s “teaching them TO OBEY EVERYTHING I HAVE COMMANDED YOU”

NOTE: It’s critically important to point out this FACT: We are NOT SAVED by OBEDIENCE, we ARE SAVED by God’s GRACE. It’s not by how obedient we are to Jesus Commands or that would be a “Human Works Based Gospel” (Like, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Roman Catholics, Mormons, Islam or every other kind of ‘religion’). No my friends, Christians are SAVED by God’s GRACE through putting our FAITH and TRUST in the Living, Resurrected Lord Jesus Christ. We’re saved because we’ve come to see that we are SINNERS in need of being RESCUED and who need a SAVIOUR or we’ll have to face God’s RIGHTEOUSNESS on JUDGEMENT DAY. We’ve responded the the GOSPEL by BELIEVING in Jesus DEATH ON THE CROSS for the sins of all mankind and REPENTING of our own sins and trusting that Jesus died for us personally. Once a believer has done that, there’s the one final step of RECEIVING Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour by inviting and responding to the Holy Spirit’s prompting. It’s ALL BY GOD’S GRACE THROUGH FAITH IN JESUS.

However, once we are SAVED there is an inward desire to be obedient to the Lord Jesus Christ, but we do need to be TAUGHT what it is that we are to be obedient to. That’s why God has given to the Church THE GIFT MINISTRIES: APOSTLES, PROPHETS, PASTORS, EVANGELISTS and TEACHERS (Ephesians 4:11-13).

Ephesians 4:11-13 11  It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers,
12  to prepare God’s people (newly converted followers of Jesus) for works of service (obedience to the commands of Jesus Christ), so that the body of Christ may be built up 13  until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fulness of Christ.

God has called us to be fishers of men, but we must be very grateful that He doesn’t leave new believers floundering like a fish that’s been landed on the sandy beach by a fisherman. Everyone who comes to FAITH in the Lord Jesus Christ must be DISCIPLED, BAPTISED and TAUGHT.

The FIVE-FOLD GIFT MINISTRIES: Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers.

This TEACHING of the followers of Jesus is partly fulfilled by God’s Holy Spirit, but also by God’s Word and by God’s GIFT MINISTERS: Jesus never had in mind just a one-man-show style of leadership, i.e. the model we have in most gatherings of Christians today; the LEAD PASTOR acting like a mini-Pope. or Mainstream Church, with a Minister, Priest or Pastor doing all the work of the church. That’s a complete distortion of what it means to be a Biblical Gathering of the Saints, because right from the beginning we will only find in Scripture a PLURALITY of LEADERSHIP. In God’s mind we’re to have the five-fold ministries, anointed and called and gifted by the Holy Spirit, who are activated and working in every fellowship of the saints. Notice that it doesn’t say: “Apostle, Prophet” it says “Apostles and Prophets etc… I.e. more than one of each in every fellowship. They are to train others up in their particular gifting and calling. So an Apostle is to teach others how to be an Apostle, the Prophets are to teach others how to prophesy, the Evangelists are to teach others how to reach out and proclaim the Gospel so the newly converted believers will become evangelists.  The ONLY healthy churches today are the ones that have these FIVE-FOLD ministries activated by the Holy Spirit today. So, who’re the Apostles in your fellowship? Who are the Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers? Be assured, God’s Word doesn’t lie, they are there because God is giving them to us, even today: It’s the Church’s call to discern, recognise and appoint, and the Holy Spirit’s role to Anoint and to give the GIFTS.

WHAT ARE THE COMMANDS / TEACHINGS OF JESUS?

It’s simple my friends, it’s contained within the pages of the Bible: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, and all the Epsitles. It’s contained within the pages of the Old Testament too, for ALL Scripture is God Breathed. Thankfully the Apostles put down on paper the Commandments of Jesus and the Teaching of Jesus. They are all there to help us grow to maturity in our faith, so that even if we were on an island, marooned with just the Bible, we’d have enough to become completely mature as a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Timothy 3:10-17 10  You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance,
11  persecutions, sufferings—what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them.
12  In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,
13  while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.
14  But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it,
15  and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
16  All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,
17  so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

My friends, you’ve got it in your fellowship in the FIVE-FOLD Ministers, the WORD of God, the fellowship of the SAINTS (your brothers and sisters in Christ) and last, but by no means least, The INDWELLING PROMISED PRESENCE AND POWER of The Holy Spirit. All of these things will help you to know HOW to live righteously for Jesus Christ. How to OBEY His Commands. We’re not saved by being obedient, but the TEACHINGS OF JESUS will enable us to; AVOID: LEGALISM AND LICENCE, that’s why Christ set us free from the LAW and gave us the gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit, He’ll guide us into all truth, enable us to live righteously before God and help is to avoid; ‘rules, regulation and  ritualistic religion. Live by the Spirit and you’ll be able to put to death the deeds of the flesh and you’ll experience complete FREEDOM in Christ. That freedom will enable you and change your desires so that you’ll want to be OBEDIENT to the Lord Jesus teachings and commands.

Jesus said, “IF you love Me, you WILL obey my Commandments”.

FREEDOM IN CHRIST: means living in the power of the Holy Spirit who’ll set us free from: RULES, REGULATION and RITUALISTIC RELIGION. He’ll enable us to love Jesus and live in obedience to His commands.

GOD HATES RELIGION: BUT HE LOVES OBEDIENCE.

As an example of OBEDIENCE over RELIGION: Consider the life of King Saul, who lost the Kingdom because of DISOBEDIENCE. He thought he could appease an angry God with RELIGIOUS DEVOTION, but God wanted a man who’s heart was ready to be obedient, so He chose King David.

1 Samuel 15:22-23 22  But Samuel replied: “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
23  For rebellion is like the sin of divination (Witchcraft), and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has rejected you as king.”

That’s why TEACHING was so important to Jesus in the GREAT COMMISSION of the first Apostles, and why learning to be OBEDIENT to Christ’s commands and teachings is so critical for our walk in the Spirit today. Thanks be to God for giving us all that we need to keep going.

Have an awesome day with the Lord Jesus, praise Him now with singing, pray and seek His direction and fullness of the Holy Spirit. It’s my hope and prayer that you are getting it my friends; Jesus wants you to be involved in His GREAT Commission, to Go, Disciple, Baptise, Teach Obedience and be aware that He’s with you in everything you are doing for the Kingdom. Awesome!

Don.

40 Days With Jesus Home Page. Day 34: Teaching Obedience.

Daily Spirit & Word: 518: Teaching Them To Obey Everything.

Teaching Them To Obey Everything.

You Are Called To Go On A Mission

Spreading the Gospel to All Nations

Daily Spirit & Word, 516: You Are Called To Go On A Mission.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 32. Matthew 28:19.

Good morning my friends. I’m back in my study with a lovely warm mug of coffee. You know or did I tell you yesterday that I love Sundays 😎  I felt so up-lifted by yesterday’s gathering. I shared with the fellowship my pains during the week and how I believe the Lord uses pain to sometimes enable us to pray for others more fervently. Well, as I encouraged people to come and share what Jesus was doing in their lives, they did; you know my friends, God is amazing! He’ll show up in our lives in the most unexpected ways. This meeting with Jesus, when He gives the Disciples the GREAT COMMISSION, was an amazing encounter too. Jesus gave them their marching orders, but they were to await the empowerment.

It’s like the General conveying to His troops the battle plan, but before they embark upon their mission, they’re going to require the BIG GUNS. Jesus didn’t send His Disciples out into the Battle without state or the art weapons or protective armour, to defeat the enemy and to protect ourselves in the fight. We’re coming to that later, but today we’re thinking about the Battle Plan.

Matthew 28:19 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

The Israelites were God’s chosen people, they were just one Nation on the Earth, called by the LORD to come and worship Him. They were called to be a light to the Nations. However, when Jesus had fulfilled His Mission from the Father, the call was changed from being a one Nation family into a Universal call to all the peoples of the world. I’m reminded of Jesus’ Command almost every day, because there’s a church just up the road from where I live called; “The Church of the Nations”, and that truly is what every Christian is a member of, we’re a world-wide family, with a world-wide Mission. There’s another church further up the road called, “The World Wide Mission Fellowship”. We’re so blessed in London, there are literally hundreds or thousands of churches, gatherings of Christians of all flavours. Our own church is quite unique amongst over 30 Churches within a half-mile radius of St Luke’s West Norwood in London. Because, though they claim or call themselves ‘Church of the Nations and World-Wide Mission Fellowship or South American Fellowship’ they all predominantly appeal to Christians from the Nation of origin of the Lead Pastor: Brazillian, Nigerian, West Indian, etc. However, St Luke’s Church, though it doesn’t state it in the name, is made up of peoples from over 30 Nations around the world. On our Preaching and Leadership Team, we’ve got people from; West Indian, Nigerian, Chech Republic, English and Scottish (me). When we go out into the streets for Evangelism, we’re the same. London is a mix of people’s from every Nation in the world, they’ve come to work and settle here, so we truly do have a heart for the Lord’s call to this World Wide Mission.

So, Jesus commissioned the Disciples and every Christian to take the Gospel to everyone in every part of the world; for the vast majority of Christians that will mean sharing the Good News where you live; with your neighbours, family, friends, work-colleagues, School and College friends and any clubs or societies that you might belong to.

But HOW? How are we to obey His call to Mission.

Thankfully the Lord has shown us; First He said, “Go”, then once we’re off we’re told to “Make Disciples” then to “Baptize”  those who become disciples, then we’re to “Teach those new Disciples Obedience to the Commands of Jesus”.

  • Going: to All Nations.
  • Discipling: Everyone. (Making Disciples = Sharing the Good News of Jesus with a Demonstration of the Spirit’s Power to enable people to put their faith and trust in Christ alone).
  • Baptizing: In God’s Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
  • Teaching Obedience: To the Commands / Teachings of Jesus (The Gospels and Epistles).
  • Presence of the Lord: God is with us for this Mission.

That tells is the Plan, what we are to do, but it doesn’t really tell us HOW to do it. Thankfully, the LORD has seen fit to inspire more than one Gospel writer and we get the HOW from others like Mark, John, the Book of Acts and the Epsitles or the New Testament.

The Other GREAT Commission: Mark 16:14-20.

Mark 16:14-20 14  Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.
15  He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.
16  Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
17  And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues;
18  they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”
19  After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God.
20  Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.

Once we’ve been obedient to Jesus Command to “Go into all the world and preach the Good News” We’re NOT left to our own devices. Jesus will CONFIRM His Word with SINGS AND WONDERS.

We pick up from Paul, the Apostle, that this is exactly what happened. It’s the NORMAL experience of Christians (or is should be) that signs will accompany the proclamation of the Good News. Here’s what Paul said;

1 Corinthians 2:1-5 1  When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God.
2  For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.
3  I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling.
4  My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power,
5  so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.

There we have it my friends, the HOW: Notice what Paul (The Holy Spirit) declared that it isn’t: NOT with WISE or PERSUASIVE word. We’re not to use the techniques of the world: Manipulation or Persuasion. We, those who’re being obedient to the LORD’S Commands to Go, are to depend upon something else: “A DEMONSTRATION OF THE SPIRIT’S POWER”.

The Bible tells us, that FAITH comes by Hearing the Word of God: Romans 10:10-17.  Faith comes alive when we proclaim God’s Word. That’s the FIRST DEMONSTRATION OF THE POWER OF THE SPIRIT: Bringing Faith Alive in those who Hear the Good News.

The FIRST DEMONSTRATION OF THE POWER OF THE SPIRIT: Bringing Faith Alive in those who Hear the Good News. 

You’ll have noticed if you’re reading Dave Smith’s little book, that I’ve deviated from what He’s teaching on Day 32 here, not because I disagree with his words, but to emphasise something different, something that I believe to be an even more important aspect. His booklet tends to dwell (IMHO) too much upon the HUMAN aspects; what we’re to do, but I want us to know and to dwell upon the facts that we’re NOT ALONE, we’re not just being obedient, it’s not just down to us my friends, Jesus is WITH US when we go, because most people are like Paul and all the GREAT MEN OF FAITH in the Bible: they’re feeling; WEAK, FEAR-FILLED and MUCH TREMBLING when they go out. I do too, but each time the LORD emboldens when we finally get out there and do it. When you go out in obedience in weakness, fear and much-trembling, you are in GREAT Company: Think about Moses, Gideon, Jeremiah, Elijah: none of them thought they could do it and that is how we should be feeling too, because in our own strength, we can’t even win a single convert. If we did, they’d be depending upon us and not the LORD (As Paul revealed above). No my friends, when we go, we’re not to depend upon ourselves, our language, our technique, our training, our skills or our anything else; we’re to be totally dependent as Paul and the other apostles were in the book of acts, upon the Holy Spirit’s POWER. If we depend too much upon anything else, we’re not going to depend upon the Holy Spirit.

Jesus Himself is the MODEL of HOW to do it: Filled with the Spirit He performed miracles. The rest of the New Testament is an illustration of HOW to do it. The NORMAL Christian experience of fulfilling God’s Great Commission.

Yes we may need a little training, that’s for sure, but it should be training to DEPEND upon the SPIRIT, not theology, not bible knowledge (but we should be studying God’s Word) we’re to depend solely upon God’s Spirit who comes with us when we go out in obedience to Jesus commands. He accompanies and works with us to bring others to faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. That’s the HOW my friends. Read your Bible from Acts to Revelations and you’ll see that this is the NORMAL Christian method of fulfilling your call to Christ’s Mission to ALL NATIONS.

What is the Message we are called to deliver? The Good News! We’ll come onto what the Gospel is later 🙂

Today, think about the HOW: You are called to go on a mission: However, you are not called to depend or rely upon yourself, otherwise only a few would ever go, but you are called to be Depending upon God’s Spirit as you go.

Read through the book of ACTS in one sitting. It might take you a couple of hours. But I can guarantee that it will be better than sitting watching a film on the TV or going to the Cinema. I know we live in a generation that hates the discipline of reading, but it’s going to take commitment to be a follower of Jesus. We need more Christians who’re totally devoted to the LORD Jesus and His Mission rather than being entertained with worldly pleasures. To be honest, I find spending TIME in God’s word far more enjoyable than a good film anyway. You will too my friends. Get to it and get your head down into God’s Good BOOK: God’s Word, The Bible, Holy Scripture and read the book of Acts and you’ll see that it’s a DEMONSTRATION of the SPIRIT’S POWER from start to finish, this is to be the NORMAL Christian experience.

As you are obedient, you’ll discover too, that it’s no ordinary Mission that you are being sent on. These things that we read in the book of Acts of the Holy Spirit are happening today; I encourage you to read what happened to Rosa, they are happening every day all over the world as Christians follow Jesus. But do try and take Jesus at His WORD and share the Gospel as best you know how. He’ll be with you and in you as you do.

God bless for another GREAT week with Jesus,

Don.

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Note: Tomorrow we’re going to dwell upon Baptism. But this ‘Making Disciple’ ‘Taking the Good News Out’ is not finished with yet: The 40 Days With Jesus Series doesn’t quite focus enough on “What is the Gospel Message” we’re to deliver for Jesus.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 32: You Are Called To A Mission.

 

 

 

 

Jesus Is Your Authority For His Mission

Jesus Gives Authoity

Daily Spirit & Word, 514: Jesus Is Your Authority For His Mission.

 40 Days With Jesus: Day 31: Matthew 28:18.

Good morning my friends. Firstly let me thank you all for your prayers. I missed posting yesterday because I was in terrible pain, it didn’t get any better throughout the day. Yes! I’ve been taking my tablets and they eased the pain, but as soon as they were wearing off, the pain returned. I’m still praising the LORD and what’s helped more than tablets is the knowledge, that brothers and sisters are praying for me. That the Lord is faithful and when we turn to Him in praise and thanksgiving He hears us. He’s truly the GREAT SHEPHERD of the sheep and walks through the valley of the shadow of death with us.

Divine Authority To EVANGELISE.

Today, we’re continuing with this week’s focus on the GREAT COMMISSION. How we’re sent out into the world to bring others into God’s Kingdom and how we’re to disciple those who respond to the Gospel. Today, we’re going to discover the ultimate AUTHORITY for our Mission: it’s the LORD Jesus Christ Himself. Knowing this will set us free, because we’ll KNOW we’re not just taking the initiative to go and evangelise others, but we’re just being obedient and we’ve also got Divine authority to share the Gospel with EVERYONE.

Authority: The Bible has so much to tell us about Authority, but let’s just make certain we understand the word and what Jesus meant when He said,

Matthew 28:18 18  Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.

Authority Means:

  • The power or right to give orders or make decisions.
  • A person or persons who exercise administrative control over others; e.g. the local Government Authority.
  • An expert whose views are taken as definitive.
  • Freedom from doubt; belief in yourself and your abilities.
  • An authoritative written work

So we can see that Jesus has been given Authority: The Power and Right to GIVE ORDERS and to MAKE DECISIONS. He had ADMINISTRATIVE CONTROL He is an EXPERT who’s views are to be taken as DEFINITIVE. There is no DOUBT and every Disciple can have an ASSURED BELIEF in His ABILITIES to perform or do all that He’s promised. He’s also given us His AUTHORITATIVE WRITTEN WORD: The Bible.

Now when we read Jesus words again; “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” We can see that it’s not a little bit of authority or partial authority, but ALL authority has been given to Jesus Christ. Not just on earth or over our lives but over the whole Universe and the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus really is the Boss of the Cosmos and the Heavenly places.

What does that mean?

Well when I was in the Royal Navy, I was given authority sometimes to enter certain restricted areas. Even though Military personnel had their Identification Card that enabled them to enter Military Establishments, I had a much higher clearance, I could enter Top Secret areas. How? Because I’d been given a photographic and electronic pass that I wore around my neck. When I placed the pass on a machine, the gates opened and I was allowed to enter. If someone tried to enter who didn’t have one of those passes or even some other way; all Hell would break-out and armed security guards would come running to the scene. The pass was my authority to enter and gain access.

Those who belong to Jesus have been given similar authority to access areas and powers that normal human beings cannot. We are members of an elite group, because we’ve been specially selected by the Lord of Creation and given His permission to go anywhere in the world with the specific mandate of fulfilling His commands.

How can we do this?

Because Jesus is the ONE who has the AUTHORITY to send us. 

Where does Jesus Authority come from? The answer is given to us in the passage we just read above. “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” Matthew 28:18.

Jesus told us many times throughout His ministry that the Father and the Son are ONE: but the Son willingly and wholeheartedly submits to the Father’s will. Why? Because, unlike sinful human beings, God is LOVE and Jesus knew His Father intimately. He knew that submission is complete FREEDOM. To submit in this way takes total trust. Just as a child trusts his own father, i.e. he’ll launch himself into his father’s arms from a great height. So Jesus fully trusts His Father, even to the point of giving up His own life upon the cross. Even though Jesus submits to the Father’s will, He is non-the-less DIVINE. Many times we’ll read in the Bible of the Jews understanding of this, because time and again they tried to stone Jesus because He claimed to be the Son of God. To them such a statement was blasphemy, because they said, “You are mere man, claim to be equal with God”. He did, because He was. Jesus Christ the Carpenter’s son, was also the Divine Son of God on earth. He has been given ALL authority.

But notice that Jesus didn’t just leave us with the Father and Son relationship. In this passage He also reveals our Mission and Commission is from; The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit: The Trinity. What a divine MANDATE we have for sharing the Gospel. It’s not our message, but His. It’s not our idea or our own initiative to GO. The Disciples din’t just dream it up my friends, it’s not another good idea, it’s a God idea. It’s His WILL, it’s HIS Mission and He has the Authority to COMMISSION.

Notice also the word COMMISSION:  It should remind you that not only have you got the Authority to go, but it’s a JOINT Mission. We’re simply working in a team: It’s a DIVINE team: We’ve get to accompany Jesus, because He’s with us Always. We also get the Holy Spirit, who’s in us and empowering us for the Mission. We also get the presence of our Heavenly Father, because when we come to Jesus we become ONE with Him too. WOWzer! We’re on a Mission together to go out into the world an reach out to mankind, to seek and to save the lost together.

That tells me this today:

  1. We’ve been sent out to do it: Evangelise.
  2. We’ve got Divine Authority to do it: Evangelise.
  3. We’ve got Divine Company in it: Evangelise.
  4. We’ve got Divine Power to accomplish it: Evangelise.

Now all we’ve got to do is TRUST AND OBEY. We’ve got everything we need to accomplish God’s Mission we’re doing it together, so let’s trust Jesus’ words today and in simple, childlike obedience, do it. As you do it, knowing you’ve been sent and are accompanied by Jesus will give you great confidence. I’m sure those Disciples who doubted when they saw Jesus would have had their doubts displaced either at His words or later when the Holy Spirit filled them, but it would only have been confirmed as they were being obedient. It was, when Peter stood up to address the crowds on the Day of Pentecost: The Divine POWER was made manifest and 3000 people came to Jesus Christ that day. It will happen to you too my friends, but you’ll only see it if you are obedient. You’ll never experience it in any other way: all you’ve got to do is TRUST AND OBEY. 

So whenever you don’t feel like going and sharing and spreading the GOOD NEWS, know this and take it to heart: Jesus has given you the authority to proclaim the Gospel to everyone, He’s given you the Power through His Holy Spirit, so that you don’t have to depend upon your own strength, and to top it all off, He’s going to go out with you. Oh WOWzer! Why wouldn’t you go and have a go today? Try it in His strength. Share the Gospel with someone today: YOU’LL BE AMAZED at the results.

Have an awesome day my friends, fulfilling the LORD’S Mission with Him and In Him. Do it today.

Don.

P.S. Just in case you don’t know WHAT the Good News is, that you’ve been Commissioned and Commanded to share;

  1. Everybody on Earth Today: Needs Jesus Christ. Why? Because without Jesus as their Lord and Saviour, they’ll perish in Hell.
  2. Compassion Compels Us: You wouldn’t sit idly by and watch your neighbour’s house burn with them inside it would you? No, of course not. So normal human compassion for others will compel even the most timid Christian to reach out and save those who’re headed for the fires of hell. You’ll overcome your fears of rejection, when you get a decent amount of compassion.
  3. Why are they headed for Hell? Because everyone has SINNED. Every single human being has broken God’s Commandments. It’s the breaking of His commandments that makes us sinners. No sinner can enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Even one lie will make us unfit for Heaven. So we need to be cleansed from all sin. Our sins need to be washed away.
  4. Nobody wants Righteousness: Many people try lots of things like religion or good works to be saved. They don’t naturally want to come to Jesus Christ to be made righteous in God’s sight. They think they can do it themselves. That’s why God has told us He hates ‘religion’. Everyone who’s trusting in their own goodness to get into heaven will be sadly and cruelly dissappointed. Because, nothing good that we do can remove the stain of sin. We need life-blood and death to take away the punishment for sin in our life. Jesus died so that we could be forgiven. The Bible tells us that the “WAGES of SIN is DEATH” and we must know, that unlike some bosses who’ll try and scam their employees, God always pays His wages. You’ll get your wages for sin, death and judgement and Hell, unless you’ve had your sins removed.
  5. What gives people a hunger for righteousness? Faith comes by hearing God’s Word. When you go out in the power of the Holy Spirit, He goes with you. As you share the Gospel of man’s need for righteousness with God, He’ll bring conviction that leads to repentance, which is a Turning away from sin and He’ll also convince people that Jesus Christ is the ONLY WAY of Salvation. Jesus is everyone’s only hope of Heaven.
  6. When folks are sufficiently convicted, then you can share the Good News: There’s a way to avoid Hell. It’s by TRUSTING IN THE LORD JESUS CHRIST. It’s not simply saying, “I believe in Jesus” or “I give my heart to Jesus”, but being convinced that without Him and His sacrifice upon the Cross for your sins, you are headed for Hell. So the only way that you can be saved is by receiving His forgiveness and receiving Him as your Lord. Once a person trusts in Jesus, they will be saved from God’s wrath and anger against sin.
  7. God did it because He loves: For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish (in Hell) but will receive the gift of everlasting life” John 3:16. I repeat, to believe is not simply to say “I believe in Jesus”, the Devil does that and trembles. But to TRUST IN Jesus death.
  8. Ask them when they are going to TRUST in Jesus? We don’t know if this day will be our last day on earth. When we die we’ll either face God’s Judgement and be cast into Hell because we’ve still got sin on us or we’ll be welcomed into Heaven, because we’ve had our sins removed.
  9. Encourage them to TRUST IN JESUS TODAY. Today is the day of salvation.
  10. You’ve been given everything you need and Jesus is with you, the Holy Spirit is your Helper, He’ll empower you. Now: When will you next share the Gospel of Jesus Christ? People NEED Jesus. They don’t need Him to improve their life here on earth, they need Him so that they can enjoy eternity. God loves everyone and doesn’t want anyone to perish in Hell, that’s why He’s commissioned you my dear brothers and sisters in Christ.

40 Days Home Page: 

40 Days With Jesus: Day 31: Divine Authority Comes From Jesus: So Jesus IS Your Authority For His Mission.

 

Transformed by Jesus to Transform Others

Transformation by Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word; 514: Transformed by Jesus to Transform Others.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 30: Transformed to Transform Others.

Good morning my friends. A little confession is good for the soul. Come closer, I’ve got something I need to confess to you today, but don’t tell anyone else.  😳 Since last Sunday I’ve been feeling quite unwell. It began with sciatica, which I’ve suffered with for a while, on and off, but I’ve also had another ache in my back, which won’t go away. So I went to the doctors, Dr Patel gave me anti-inflammation tablets and pain killers. To be honest, they’re not doing much good. So last night after training and prayer, I decided I couldn’t go out with the team. My mind wouldn’t have been on what I was meant to be doing, but on the pain. So they prayed for me and went out quite joyfully to share Jesus with others. You know something, I was hard to watch them go out on their own, but it was also a joy, because my brothers and sisters went out happy to talk with others about Jesus. We were encouraged by our Bible reading: Matthew 28:16-20. “I am with you”. Do you know how long I’ve been waiting to see some people in my church who are ready, confident, equipped, expectant and willing to share the Good News with everyone? We’ve been praying for ages, “Lord, the fields are white unto harvest, but the labourers are few, Oh Lord, send us more labourers who’re willing to go out into Your harvest field”. I’m praising Him this morning, because He’s answered that prayer. Oh Yes, my friends, the Labourers are still few in number, but they’re being prepared and sent out by Him.

Today’s focus is upon our NEED to be TRANSFORMED.

We’ll see today, that before we can even begin to contemplate being used to help transform other (from sinners into saints), we need to undergo a transformation ourselves first. That may seem obvious, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been on Evangelistic Missions when some of our TEAM members came to full faith in Jesus and were transformed by Him, whilst actually on the mission. They knew about Jesus, had gotten to the point of giving their lives to Jesus, but whilst they knew about Him, they didn’t actually KNOW Him. They believed that Jesus could save, but hadn’t actually been saved themselves. As we began to go about witnessing and preaching the Gospel, it then became blindingly evident to them, that they needed something to happen in order to enable them to share. Once they’d RECEIVE Jesus, many times through tears of repentance, and been transformed by Him (born-again) or changed from a sinner into a saint (regenerated), they were then ON FIRE and ready and equipped to enable them to TRANSFORM the lives of others.

Matthew 28:16-17 16  Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17  When they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted.

It’s getting close to the end of Jesus’ 40 Days, and we don’t really know how many times He appeared to these disciples, but some of them are still having trouble believing completely that Jesus was actually alive. Some of them worshipped, but some doubted. That tells me something my friends. In every church I’ve served the Lord Jesus, there have been those who’re there, they’ve got the faith, they’ve trusted Jesus and been transformed, they’re on fire, they’re ready to do anything for Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit and worship Him at the drop of a hat. But there are various levels of others, who’re not quite there yet. They may have been attending that church for many years, sometimes all their lives, they’ve gotten involved in every kind of church activity and they’ve done everything that needs to be done externally; baptism, confirmation, prayer group, Bible study, Home Group, ministry team, building committee, coffee rota, Sunday School helper, Church Warden and Church Council Member, but they’ve somehow done all of that without being TRANSFORMED by Jesus. It’s such a sad shame, but our fellowships are full of people who don’t actually know the Lord Jesus Christ. They know ALL about Him, but they don’t know Him.

Just like Jesus’ own disciples, who right up until He was about to ascend into Heaven, we can see that some of them were still doubting. Some worshipped Him, but some doubted: These were Jesus closest Disciples. So when we find amongst our numbers people who’ve been to church for years and still they’re not there yet, we shouldn’t be surprised or even (if you’re a minister or born again yourself) shocked, because Jesus Christ and all His Resurrection Appearances couldn’t convince even some of His closest followers, who’d seen and been there when He performed countless others miracles. If they still doubted after all that and with Jesus standing right in front of them and they’re still doubting, don’t be shocked or surprised when people who’ve done everything that needs to be done, and served in every possible way in your church, still don’t fully believe in Jesus. You’ve not failed, Jesus didn’t fail, it’s just human nature. It also highlights how difficult it is to set people free, to open people’s blind eyes and to bring people into God’s Kingdom. The Gospel is so EASY to believe, it’s simple to understand, but the sad things is, and Jesus warned us about it, many are called, but few are chosen.

“Some Worshipped, but some Doubted” 

How can we get people TRANSFORMED? Just like Jesus own Disciples, we NEED to be TRANSFORMED OURSELVES. We need the Holy Spirit birth, that’s what it took to change the others my friends, and that didn’t happen until a few days after Jesus had ascended into Heaven. However, once they’d been BAPTISED with Holy Spirit, they were then ON FIRE and nothing could stop them running out of that Upper Room and Witnessing and Proclaiming the Good News (Gospel) of the Lord Jesus Christ. Once they knew Him on the inside, after they’d been TRANSFORMED then they set about transforming others. It’s a supernatural work of God the Holy Spirit.

If you are still finding that there are some doubts in your heart, then ASK Jesus Christ to send His Holy Spirit into your life today.

If you are already full of the Holy Spirit and your not ready to share Jesus yet, then you need more of Him and a desire to be obedient to Jesus’ Great Commission to “Go”, because He’s not changed. His Mission for the Church has not altered. He wants every Christian to be on this Mission to Transform the Lives of Others, but to be able to do it, we need a transformation ourselves first.

If your heart’s desire is not to SAVE others, then you’ve not been born again. It’s as simple as that. Charles Spurgeon said it clearly: “”If you have no wish to bring others to heaven, you are not going there yourself.””

“If you have no wish to bring others to heaven, you are not going there yourself.”

In another sermon he said; “”Have you no wish for others to be saved, then you’re not saved yourself be sure of that””

“Have you no wish for others to be saved, then you’re not saved yourself be sure of that” Charles Spurgeon.

The Condition of Many: Charles Spurgeon said, “I heard about repentance but I never knew repentance until I repented. I heard of faith, but I never knew faith until I believed. I heard of pardon but I never knew pardon until I was washed in the blood of the Lamb. I read about justification by faith but I was never justified till, by faith, I received the Lord Jesus to be my Righteousness. Appropriation by faith gives an apprehension by the understanding—experimental enjoyment creates true acquaintance. Beloved, go to the Holy Spirit and ask Him to enable you to take the things which God freely gives and when you possess them, you will “know” them.”

In other words, my words 🙂 “We don’t know Jesus, until we KNOW Jesus” we can’t Know Jesus until we’re born of His Holy Spirit. We can know about Jesus, but experiential knowledge of Jesus comes when the Holy Spirit comes into our lives. He comes when we; Believe on Jesus Christ, REPENT of our Sins, seek His forgiveness, trust in His death and receive Him as LORD. If you’ve done all that then you’ll KNOW Jesus.

When you get married, you don’t need someone else to introduce you to your wife again do you? When you take a driving test, you don’t need someome to tell you about it, you’ve done it and you’ve got the certificate to prove it. When you are born of God’s Spirit, the Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are Children of God. We KNOW because He doesn’t keep quiet, the Holy Spirit reveals it to us and enables us to KNOW: Jesus the Son and God the Father. We KNOW that we KNOW…

Romans 8:13-16 13  For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body (Repentance), you will live,
14  because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
15  For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”
16  The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.

You KNOW because the SPIRIT makes us know. If you don’t know like that then guess what? You need the HOLY SPIRIT.

That’s Good NEWS: Because Jesus said, “Ask and you shall receive”. Does it say, “Ask and you might receive”? No! Of course not, Jesus wants every single one of us to be CERTAIN. He gives a sure and certain hope. Once you are born of God’s Spirit, REGENERATED, TRANSFORMED, you’ll know it. A sure sign that it has happened is your desires change and you’ll earnestly, wholeheartedly desire what God wants, to see others being TRANSFORMED and REGENERATED and SAVED as well.

Jesus Transformed us so that we can TRANSFORM others.

We’re TRANSFORMED by Jesus in order that we are to be involved in His Great Commission, to TRANSFORM the lives of others. We’re SAVED to SAVE.

It’s like we’ve been plucked from the sea by the life-boat, but once we’re aboard, we’ll be pulling others aboard as well, so that they can be saved.

Conclusion: Amongst our ranks we’ll have those who’re on fire and ready to fulfill the GREAT COMMISSION. We’ll have others who are on thier way to Jesus. We’ll have some, like the Disciples, who’ll be doubting. We’ll have some who are ready to fall down and worship the Lord Jesus Christ.

Don’t be tempted to give up or give in. Don’t get disheartened, disappointed or downcast. Keep going because men and women don’t always receive the Gospel the first time they hear it. It’s like a wood-splitter’s wedge, thin on one edge and thick on the other, but each swing of his hammer drives the wedge deeper into the wood, until eventually it breaks apart and forms a lovely plank. Keep preaching snippets of the gospel many times with many people and eventually some of their hard-hearts will be broken by God’s Holy Spirit. Sometimes, you are just planting seeds, but some seeds take time in the soil to germinate. But the seed never dies! Praise the Lord.

Be certain that you’ve been TRANSFORMED first, then go out with Jesus and transform the lives of others.

Have an awesome day fulfilling the Great Commission with the Lord Jesus in you and with you always.

Don.

40 Days With Jesus Home Page.

Notes: Charles Spurgeon’s Sermons:

Grace for Grace. Charles Spurgeon. Number 2087.

“She Was Not Hid” Sermon Charles Spurgeon Charles Spurgeon Sermon: Number 2019.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 30: Transformed by Jesus to Transform Others.

 

Jesus Presence, Purpose and Power

Say Yes to Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word, 513: Jesus Presence, Purpose and Power For Your Life.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 29. Matthew 28:16-20.

What a fantastic session we had last night with our 40 Day With Jesus Group. We watched the Video for the week, then discussed our understanding of Christ’s call for our life. We shared about our own life purpose, what we thought our life meant before we started following Jesus and what it means now, since we received Him as Lord. You know my friends, I don’t think you’ll get as much out of doing 40 Days on your own as you will when you share the journey with others. Just a couple of hours sharing and discussing, will nourish, feed and sustain you more than a whole week of personal study. Why? Because Jesus shows or reveals Himself more when we’re together than He does when we’re on our own. And last night was awesome; it was a WOWzer!  😎  😎  😎  😎  😎

Knowing Jesus’ Purpose For Your Life: When you get it, you’ll be; ON-FIRE with His GLORY, ABLAZE with His MESSAGE and BURNING to SHARE Him with OTHERS.

Before I knew Jesus as LORD of my life, I would have said, “My life’s purpose is to be a success in my chosen career, enjoy life to the max and to be happy and contented”. Ever since I met Him that changed, because when Jesus entered my life He filled me and empowered me to love others and lead them to Him. Now I’d say, “My life’s purpose is to obey Jesus will and love others enough to bring them to Him”. So many people are frightened of sharing Jesus or telling the good news, but since the day I received Jesus, that’s all I’ve wanted to do.

One of the questions on my mind when I was getting close to repenting and trusting in Jesus was this; “If Jesus wants me, what does He want me for?”

Say “YES!” to Jesus: Then you’ll EXPERIENCE: His PRESENCE, PURPOSE and POWER in and for your life.

As you open up your life to Jesus; by Repenting from Sin, Believing that He died for your sins, Having faith that He died for you on the Cross and Receiving Him as your Saviour and Lord, then He’ll begin to give you your own life’s purpose too. However, in Matthew’s Gospel, in what’s been called THE GREAT COMMISSION, Jesus is revealing His will for everyone in the Kingdom. His general purpose, His primary purpose, His over-arching purpose: And that is to BRING others to Him, so that their life can be TRANSFORMED and that they too will be empowered to live for His purposes as well.

Let’s look at that now: THE GREAT COMMISSION.

Matthew 28:16-20 16  Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.
17  When they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted.
18  Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
19  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
20  and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

God IS with You:

The most important thing for you to realise, before you study your MISSION and PURPOSE, is to know that God is always going to be with you and in you. That’s what will give you the power and the drive and the incentive to carry out His purposes with your life.

When Jesus calls you to do something for Him, He also equips you to do it and is with you throughout the whole process. This is part of God’s side of the Covenant: In the first Covenant with Israel: God called them to be His People, set them free from Bondage in Egypt, then Gave them His mission statement in the 10 Commandments and the Law, then He was with them as they began to fulfill His purposes for the Nation. He manifested His presence with them; in a pillar of smoke by day and a pillar of fire by night. Now Jesus, in the Great Commission: Called you to Himself, gave you His Commands, and today we can see His purpose in commissioning the Church, then He promised He’ll be with us forever to the end of the age. WOWzer! God’s doesn’t change, as the Scriptures tell us: God is the same, yesterday, today and forever. Jesus is with you and in you if you’ve been born of His Spirit. He going to go with you whenever you’re busy obeying His purpose, so don’t ever feel or think that you can’t do it, because the truth is you can’t (not in your own strength) no-body-can, but with God in you, you most definitely can.

All It Takes Is A Heart That Says; “YES!” to God’s Will.

Once you get Jesus in you, you’ve still got a choice every day to do His will or live for yourself. Even after He’s become your LORD, MASTER and FRIEND, He’ll never force you. He wants your willing co-operation: All it takes is a heart that says, “Yes” to Jesus. Then He’ll begin to use you in His Kingdom building business.

What a wonderful privillege He’s give you and me and everyone who comes to Him; to be working with Jesus. It’s good to think about Matthew 28:16-20 The GREAT Commission as a working together with Jesus. We’re not called to work on our own, but we’re working together with Him: Co-Mission.

Notice what happened when people encountered the Resurrected Lord Jesus:

It’s been fascinating to see what’s been happening to people who’ve met the risen, resurrected Jesus Christ from week 1 of 40 Days with Jesus. Everyone who met Him during those 40 Days after He came back to life, was motivated to SHARE that great news with others and commissioned by Jesus to do so:

  1. Mary Magdalene: She is commissioned to tell the Disciples (John 20:17-18).
  2. The Women at the Tomb: Commissioned to “Go and tell…” (Matthew 28:10).
  3. The Two on the Road to Emmaus: They rush back to tell the others… (Luke 24:33).
  4. The Disciples in the Locked Room: (John 20:21).
  5. Peter’s Three-Fold Commission: (John 21:15-19).
  6. On the Mountain In Galilee: (Matthew 28:16-20).
  7. Mark’s Gospel Commission: (Mark 16:15-20).
  8. Disciples During Jesus Final Days: (Luke 24:45-49, Acts 1:3-8).

This repeated pattern of; Meeting with Jesus, Calling and Sending; is repeated again and again and again, throughout the whole of Scripture. When people encountered God in the Old Testament, He called them and commissioned them. Whenever you see people meeting Jesus in the New Testament He’s also calling and sending them too. All through the history of the Church, since the time of Jesus, people who’ve responded to Jesus call have also been given a mission in life. He’s commissioned you too my friends, if you’ve encountered Jesus Christ today, He’s calling you and sending you on His Mission to GO and Make Disciples. He’s equipping you to do it and He’s with you as you obey.

Now, all it takes is a HEART that’s willing to say, “YES” to Jesus and then you’ll begin to experience His presence and His power and His purpose in your own life.

Say “YES!” to Jesus: Then you’ll EXPERIENCE: His PRESENCE, PURPOSE and POWER in and for your life.

Don.

40 Days With Jesus: Home Page.

Day 29: Knowing Jesus Purpose for Your Life.

Jesus Presence, Purpose and Power.

 

 

 

 

 

Peter is Recommissioned by Jesus.

Jesus gives so much GRACE

Daily Spirit & Word, 511: Peter is recommissioned by Jesus.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 27:

Peter is Recommissioned by Jesus. John 21:15-17.

Good morning my friends, I’m always amazed by the utter grace that Jesus lavishes upon His chosen people. No wonder St Paul wrote, “My grace is sufficient for you.” It surely is. When we re-read the account of Peter’s restoration and recommissioning by Jesus, you’ll see His abundant GRACE in bucket-loads or as the famous hymn puts it: “Here is grace, vast as the ocean, loving kindness like a flood, when the Prince of Life, our ransom, shed for us His precious blood”, you see it here today.

Peter’s Recommissioning:

John 21:15-17 15  When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
16  Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
17  The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.

Thomas Edison’s Assistant:

Thomas Edison was working on a prototype light bulb and it took a whole team of men 24 straight hours to put just one bulb together. The story goes that when Edison was finished with one light bulb, he gave it to a young boy helper, who nervously carried it up the stairs. step by step he carefully watched his hands, obviously frightened of dropping such a priceless piece of work. You’ve probably guessed what happened next; the poor young fellow dropped the bulb at the top of the stairs. It took the entire team of men another 24 hours to make another bulb. Finally, tired and ready for a break, Edison was ready to have the bulb carried up the stairs. He gave it to the same young boy who’d dropped the first bulb. That’s true forgiveness and grace, because he gave the boy a second chance.

My friends, that’s what the Lord is doing with Peter in our passage today, and it’s what the Lord will do with you too. Once you come to Jesus and trust Him as Lord, He’s your LORD forever. He’ll never let you go and He’s constantly calling out to you to come to Him to be given another chance. He wants to give you another go at being His disciple again.

Notice, he also commissioned Peter to feed the lambs, look after the sheep and feed the sheep. There are those who are babies in the Kingdom of God, they need special care furst. The Mature sheep need looking after, watching out for wolves etc and they also need to be taken out into green pasture and shown how to feed on good green grass. He takes the fisherman and makes him into a shepherd of His flock.

We see a transformed Peter after Pentecost: Standing up in front of thousands and 3000 people coming to faith in Jesus. Acts 2. Then he’s thrown into prison and let out by an Angel. He’s also got people running after him, so that even if his shadow should fall upon them, they’d be healed. Peter does some really amazing things, but it all comes down to the fact that he was re-instated by Jesus. He was given a second chance and Peter is Recommissioned by Jesus.

You’ll experience times of failure:

Babies learn to get up and walk after trying many times, sometimes hurting their bums and falling over and bumping their heads. But as we can see from Peter’s experience of meeting the resurrected Lord Jesus on the beach that day, Jesus is full of grace, mercy and forgiveness. We serve a God of second chances: He’s longing to give you anther go my friends. So when you fail and fall, don’t give up on yourself, because Jesus never will. He wants to reach out to you, to lift you up and to give your feet a firm place to stand. He’ll then put a new song in your heart, a hymn of praise to our God. Psalm 40.

Psalm 40:1-3 1  [For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.] I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry.
2  He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.
3  He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD.

There’s a Prayer we pray sometimes in our Fellowship:

May the GRACE of our Lord Jesus Christ,
And the Love of God,
And the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit,
Be with us now, and forever more. Amen.

Sometimes, like Edison’s assistant, we need a ‘light-bulb moment. I hope you’ve had one today.

We need His grace and forgiveness every day.

Have an awesome day with Jesus.

Don.

Day 27 of 40 Days With Jesus. Homepage:

Peter is Recommissioned by Jesus.

 

Two Types of Faith

Daily Spirit & Word, 505: Two Types of Faith.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 21: Two Types of Faith. John 20:26-29.

Good morning my friends, we saw yesterday how Thomas had sincere doubts about Jesus being resurrected from the dead and how he made the declaration, “Unless I see the nail-marks, I refuse to believe” However, Thomas was granted his desire just a week later. You’ll notice that there are generally two types of faith: one that needs to see or know before it will believe. This is almost like Scientific Proof Type of Faith. Even today people will say to us as we share Jesus on the streets, “Show me God and then I’ll believe”… Another way this type of faith is expressed is, “When God grants me all my wishes, then I’ll believe in Him”… I can’t tell you how many people have said that to me.

What they’re really saying is, “If I can’t see it, I won’t believe it” or “I won’t believe until I see”. 

Then there is the Biblical Type of Faith: That believes God without being able to see any evidence. However, even Biblical Faith is not merely Blind Faith. We believe because of something. There is a reason we choose to take the step of faith and put our trust in God and His faithfulness.

When we look at faith it’s almost as if it’s something we have to muster up within ourselves, but it’s not, because faith is a gift that needs to be received. God gives faith and once we’ve receive the gift of faith, it’s then that it needs to be put to use or exercised. Let’s read and see how Thomas used the gift of faith that the LORD gave to Him.

John 20:26-29 26  A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”
27  Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
28  Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
29  Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

We simply don’t know if Thomas reached out and touched Jesus crucifixion wounds, personally I don’t think that he did, because of what Jesus said to Thomas after his declaration “My Lord and my God”. One of the best and clearest claims that Christians have for the Divinity of Jesus Christ, Jesus is God. What did Jesus say to Thomas? “Because you have seen me, you have believed” Notice Jesus didn’t say, “Because you touched My wounds, you have believed.” That’s why I think Thomas didn’t actually need to touch those wounds.

We’ve probably all made a Thomas kind of declaration, only to eat humble pie later. However, as I said, Thomas made one of the strongest declarations of faith in the whole Bible; Upon seeing Jesus, Thomas knew Jesus was both LORD and God. WOWzer! That’s the revelation that every single person needs to get as well. Jesus said it like this, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Yes my friends, that you and me. We can’t see Jesus but we believe (if you believe). We don’t believe becuase we’ve seen Jesus, we believe because we’ve become convinced and convicted of our sins.

Personally, I knew Jesus was alive, I believed in Jesus for a few weeks before I eventually put my trust in Him as my Lord and my Saviour. But my knowledge that Jesus was real, was alive and was God came because I was attending church. I’d heard sermons and it was the evidence of the people of God, how their lives were different from mine. It was quite a long, slow process of my journey to eventual trust in Jesus, almost three months, but by the end of that time I KNEW who it was and why it was that I was turning to Him in faith and repentance.

That’s why one of my favourite verses in the Bible is  Romans 10:17 “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.”

Romans 10:17 “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.” 

Faith come by HEARING: So many times Jesus used the phrase, “Let him who has ears to hear”  i.e. “Let him who’s been given the gift of faith, exercise that gift and put their trust in God”. Why? Because FAITH comes by HEARING.

He also said, that there would be many who’d be constantly HEARING, but never perceiving… We’ve got Churches full of people who hear God’s Word, who hear the Gospel many, many times, but for some reason don’t come to the point where they put their FAITH AND TRUST in the Lord. I don’t know why that is. It’s one of the greatest frustrations of those who’ve actually seen the light, heard the good news and responded. We’re dumbfounded sometimes why other can’t see it. Just the other day a lady said to me, “Why can’t they see? Why are they coming to church and settling for a mere form of Christianity without the power”. I said there are many reasons for it; first we must remember that faith is a gift that God gives. It comes in response to His call. He calls us by His Word. That’s what happened to Abraham when he exercised Biblical Faith. He trusted God’s Word and it was credited to him as righteousness.

So my friends, when we hear God’s Word, Faith comes to us, but it’s when we exercise that faith or use it to trust in God that it becomes effectual.

There are people who’ve been given this gift and don’t use it. It’s like believing that a chair can hold your weight, but instead of sitting on the chair you choose to sit on the floor instead. That like having Faith in Jesus, but not putting your trust in Him for your Salvation” So saying “Oh yes I’ve got faith” is not enough, we must use the gift of faith the Lord has given to us, we must turn in repentance and actually use it to TRUST IN JESUS. “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ and ye shall be saved”

Romans 13:11-14 11  And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.
12  The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armour of light.
13  Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy.
14  Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.

How do we put our faith to work? How do we use the gift of faith to trust in Jesus? We do it by RECEIVING Jesus as Lord and Saviour. John 1:12.

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 …”

Once you’ve exercised that Kind of faith, the Biblical type of faith, then you will be SAVED.

Once Thomas had seen Jesus, at that moment his doubts vanished and he expressed the strongest faith, “My LORD, My God” Have you gotten to the point in your life where you don’t just believe it, but you KNOW it, that Jesus is YOUR LORD and YOUR GOD?

Conclusion: There are two types of faith: One is the physical proof type of faith, i.e. I need to see it first before I’ll believe. And there’s Biblical faith; Which is believing faith exercised by trusting in Jesus and His promises. Christian life is a walk of that kind of faith, constantly putting our trust in God’s promises, but once we do, we’re given amazing revelations and great joy.

Points to Ponder:

  • Think about it and ask yourself, “Were Thomas’ doubts justified?” and “Are any doubts justified?”
  • If someone asked you today, “How can you believe in a God you cannot see?” What would your response be? How do you know that you know Jesus?
  • Are you filled with the “Inexpressible and glorious joy” because you’ve trusted in Jesus? If not can I encourage you, don’t stop at saying “I believe in Jesus, I have faith”, but go the whole hog, go the whole distance and put that fiath to work and TRUST in Jesus by receiving Him as Lord. It’s an act of faith that will save you my friends, not a simple belief. Remember, the Demons believe, but they tremble. Everyone who’s not trusted in Jesus will also tremble before Him, if they’ve not trust in Him before the Judgement day comes.
  • Is there any was today that you need to hear Jesus words that He spoke to Thomas, “Stop doubting and believe”?

Prayer:

Dear Lord Jesus Christ, I thank you so much for the gift of faith that You have given to me, and the fact that You helped me to use it to receive You as my Lord and Saviour; by turning from my sin in repentance, putting my faith in your death upon the cross for me and receiving You as my Lord and Saviour. Help me today to reach out to those who may know about You, but have yet to take that step of faith, those who’ve not yet received you as Lord. Fill me with Your LOVE and Compassion for them. Amen.

What a wonderful evening of prayer we had last night in church. We were dancing and proclaiming the Lord as KING of Kings and LORD of Lord’s as we prayed for the upcoming election. We prayed that the Lord would bless every future Member of Parliament with the gift of FAITH. Now I’m praying today, they won’t just have the gift of faith, but that they’ll use the gift of faith that God gives to them and put their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as their King. Amen!

Have an amazing day with Jesus my friends. 

Don.

40 Days With Jesus Home Page.

Two Types of Faith: Seeing Faith and Believing Faith.
Two Types of Faith: Seeing Faith and Believing Faith.

Day 21: Two Types of Faith.

Doubting Thomas

The day that Doubting Thomas met Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word, 504: Doubting Thomas.

The Difference Between Honest Doubts and Stubborn Unbelief.

40 Days With Jesus. Day 20: Doubting Thomas.

As our church fellowship goes through 40 Days With Jesus. We’re all considering the Resurrection Appearances of Jesus afresh. Some have been followers of Jesus for many years, but it’s amazing the way that fresh light is being thrown upon the pathway of righteousness. I’m really happy that the Lord is working in so many of our lives today and we’re discovering more about Jesus and ourselves every single day. You know my friends, it’s OK to have honest doubts, as long as we don’t remain stuck in those doubts and that we’re really looking for the answers to our questions. A person stuck in doubt is a person who’s refusing to move. That might be because of fear or even further doubts, what if it’s true, what will that mean for me? We can move through the tunnel of honest doubt today. But there are others who’re like CAVE explorers, the further they go into the cave, the further away they are from the light. Stubborn Unbelief is like that dark cave of doubt that refuses to even consider the evidence or the truth.

John 20:24-31 24  Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came.
25  So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.”
26  A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”
27  Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
28  Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
29  Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
30  Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book.
31  But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

I know a man who refused to come to the Lord Jesus, because He thought he wasn’t ready for a HOLY life, you know the life that means you get all boring and can’t do this or can’t do that… It’s really funny, but Christians have been better known for what they don’t do, rather than what they actually do. Thankfully the tide is turning and because of the recent Government Austerity measures and the way that Conservative and Lib-Dem policy has made if much more difficult for the poorest people in the whole of the United Kingdom and those who’ve suffered most during this depression are those who are the most vulnerable. It’s been Christians who’ve come out with a great BIG LIGHT shining all around them and giving GLORY  to God; because they’ve responded to the NEED, they’ve manned FOODBANKS to give people food for free who are experiencing real hardships in life. We must thank God for the Governments Austerity Measures, because it’s enabled us to DEMONSTRATE REAL LOVE IN ACTION. However, we don’t rejoice that it was because of these measures that the poorest have suffered the most. Now we’re beginning to turn the tide of Public impressions of Christians change, from that bad impression of Christians, now we’re becoming famous again for what we do because we LOVE Jesus. i.e. It’s by our LOVE for others that Christians are once again being seen as expressing true faith, others are seeing that we are Christ’s disciples because of what we do in loving response to people’s needs.

Honest Doubt is like a long road tunnel, but your driving through and headed for the light.

Thomas, was not there in the Upper-Room when Jesus appeared the first time. However, a week later and Thomas was there with the others. But that leaves me with a question that I’m looking for answers to today:  “Was Thomas’ statement, “I refuse to believe, unless I see the nail-marks in His hands” was this STUBBORN UNBELIEF? Or was Thomas’ statement simply expressing openly his HONEST DOUBT?

STUBBORN UNBELIEF: is like a deep dark cave, the deeper you do, the further away from the light you get. Great is that darkness of stubborn unbelief.

On the surface it’s hard to answer that question, it would seem a clear case of stubborn unbelief or refusal to believe, but as we look deeper and follow Thomas’ life in the Bible, and get to know the man a little bit more, we’ll begin to see an honest, openhearted and questioning kind of a character. For example just about a week before Jesus died, we see Thomas and Jesus again, recorded by John in his Gospel, John 14.

John 14:1-7 1  “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.
2  In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.
3  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
4  You know the way to the place where I am going.”
5  Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
6  Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No-one comes to the Father except through me.
7  If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

This is another of those famous passages that have been read out at countless hundreds of thousands of funerals; funerals of both Christians and Non-Christians, because it’s in the Church of England Funeral Book and as Ministers of a Parish, we’re required by law to conduct funerals for everyone, regardless of their faith, if they desire a Minister, we’re duty bound to attend to them. So I’ve taken many hundreds of funerals myself for people who’ve said they didn’t believe. But I’ve read out this, one of the most exclusive statements our Lord Jesus ever made at those funerals of unbelievers. We’ve just got to hold out the lantern of faith in the darkest of caves.

Thomas was HONEST and OPEN and quickly asked Jesus for clarification when He didn’t know something. You know my friends, because of Thomas, we’ve been given one of the Brightest Statements contained within the Bible. It’s that statement where Jesus is telling us all in no uncertain terms, that there is NO OTHER WAY for human beings to enter in to Heaven, other than through faith and trust in HIM alone. We can’t get there because of our own goodness or our own good deeds or good works, because that still leaves us stained with sin. Jesus quite rightly expresses to Thomas’ honest question; “We don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” and he gets the most beautiful and brilliantly dazzling light filled answers in the whole Bible; “I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE”. In other words;

  • If we want to know the way to Heaven, we must come to Jesus.
  • If we want to know the TRUTH about God and Heaven, we must come to Jesus.
  • If we want to know how to get ETERNAL LIFE, then we must come to Jesus.

Why? Because He reveals: “I AM THE ONLY WAY TO THE FATHER”, “YOU MUST COME THROUGH ME”.

Now we can just dismiss this claim as the rantings of a mad-man or Jesus was just a simple deluded man or Jesus was telling us the TRUTH. An Honest Doubter, is like someone going through a long road tunnel, they know that the further they are going, they are getting closer to the light, but a person who is in STUBBORN UNBELIEF, wants to remain in that condition of darkness, they’re like someone who’s going into a deep dark CAVE, they are getting further and further into the darkness and going away from the source of light with each step they take.

My friends, are you headed for the light? At the end of your honest doubts and sincere questions are you desiring to know the way, the truth and the life? That’s the most important question you’ll ever ask yourself in life.

If you are in STUBBORN UNBELIEF, I want to encourage you today, there is still HOPE, because I’ve known sinful, stubborn unbelievers who’ve hated the light and hates me coming to them to talk about Jesus, because each time I did, I brought the light into their dark lives. They were happy, trying to hide in the cave of unbelief, but each time I appeared, it was as if I was carrying that brightest of lights in the deepest darkness, it’s a blinding light to those who are in stubborn unbelief. But we must, must, must, must continue to keep it shining. For when we do we’re bringing the light of the Resurrected Lord Jesus Christ into the darkness of someone’s life.

You don’t know why they are in or want to remain in STUBBORN UNBELIEF, why they won’t or refuse to even consider the evidence, openly and honestly. You don’t know why, but the LORD does and He is the one who is best equipped to bring them out of the dankness where they are hiding, into His marvellous, glorious and beautiful light. Where they will find, life and joy and peace and happiness. Why are they hiding? Perhaps the last half of John 3 will give us a clue. The Bible always has the answer somewhere 🙂 People are hiding in their dark caves of stubborn unbelief because of sin in their lives, they are refusing to come out into the light. They LOVE the darkness the Bible tells us. God has shown us the answer my friends, but it’s not always so simple as that, because each person is different.

What a brilliant passage in the Bible, I’m so glad the the Apostle John, at the direction of the Holy Spirit, kept DOUBTING THOMAS in the story of Jesus resurrection encounters. Because if they hadn’t then we’d probably be a lot more harsh and critical of people who have Honest Doubts and sincere questions regarding the faith once delivered to the saints. Don’t be afraid of people who are expressing their sincere doubts, because Jesus can very easily deal with them, they are in a tunnel that is headed for the light. However, don’t even be afraid of people who are in STUBBORN UNBELIEF, because, if Jesus doesn’t come back in the mean-time, you’ll have ample opportunity to share the LIGHT with them again. You’ll be SALT in their wounds of Unbelief. We know that salt stings open wounds and so it does those who are in stubborn unbelief, but it also know that salt has a curative effect; SALT is good. So keep being Salt and Light for those in any kind of darkness my friends.

Conclusion: It’s wonderful that Thomas’ Doubt is in the Bible. Because of Doubting Thomas, we’ve got some wonderful proofs of Jesus RESURRECTION and Divinity. Thomas said, “My LORD and My God”… He saw, touch and believed. Jesus said, that those who believe in Him afterwards would be blessed. My friends, we ARE blessed too, because Jesus will come into your life in just a real a way as He did with Thomas, so that you will not linger in doubt, but you’ll see the light at the end of the tunnel of sincere and honest doubt that is looking for the answers. Jesus is still “THE WAY, THE TRUTH and THE LIFE”… He always will be, so come into the light, stop doubting and believe.

We can also see that what a person says, doesn’t necessarily mean that’s what they are like deep down inside. We’d probably assume, if we didn’t have more about Thomas in the Bible that he was a Stubborn Unbeliever, but we know that he wasn’t like that, because of what the Bible tells us about him. However, we don’t know other people’s live or why they say what they do. Something terrible may have happened, that makes them NOT WANT to believe that there is a God or a Jesus that came back from death to life. They may have lost a precious loved one as my friends, ROSA, Read how she Encounters Jesus Kingdom did (you must read her story of her encounter with the risen Jesus and His Kingdom Power). But STUBBORN UNBELIEF is a sin, because it’s a refusal to come into the light or to even consider the truth.

Doubting Thomas
Doubting Thomas

My friends, those of you who have trust Jesus, YOU ARE THE SALT OF THE EARTH AND THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD. When you trusted Jesus, you came into the light and now you ARE light for those in the darkness of unbelief, your the torchlight for those who have honest doubts, you are the light that shines up the pathway towards faith and trust in Jesus Christ. Keep going my friends. Don’t be afraid to break into the dark caves where you’ll find those who are hiding from the Light, who are refusing to even consider the questions and the doubt, they are in Stubborn Unbelief, but there is always HOPE for them my friends, carry the light of Jesus into their lives today. Let your light shine up and perhaps they’ll see that the darkness of the cave is not a nice as the brightness and beauty we’ll see when we come out into the light of Jesus Christ.

I hope you’ve been able to see today the difference between honest doubt and stubborn unbelief. One is looking for evidence and answers to their questions, the other is refusing to come into the light. Only God really knows, but we must just continue to be obedient and be SALT and LIGHT to both.

Have an AWESOME Bank Holiday MONDAY.

Don.

P.S. Even though it’s BANK HOLIDAY Monday, I’m still going to be at the Prayer Meeting in Church tonight at 7.00pm for Fellowship, we’ll begin praying at 7.30pm. If you are free you are welcome to come along and join with me. Don.

 

 

 

 

 

Jesus Gives A New Purpose

Daily Spirit & Word, 502: Jesus Gives A New Purpose.

Saturday 2nd of May 2015.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 18: New Purpose.

Good morning my friends, I’m going off in a few minutes to pick up the grandchildren for another adventure with Granny and Papa. My daughter is going over to help one of her friends, who has more than three kids and is finding life a bit tough at the moment. She and a few others have arranged to go and help clean her house and give her a special tread. I don’t know about you, but in my short lifetime I’ve come to understand this, I feel much better about myself afterwards if I help people rather than send them away or walk past without even inclining my head in the direction of need.

Jesus calls us to live this kind of selfless life. I know that there are many, who are not Christians, who live utterly selfless lives and can even put many Christians to shame, but our Lord Jesus Christ, whilst He was here on earth and after the resurrection called everyone who puts their faith and trust in Him into a life of service; God first then everybody else, but why? Why does He call us to serve others?

Imagine for a moment if Jesus had made it the other way around. He was the KING of Kings and LORD of Lords right? Well, Imagine if Jesus had come as a KING, made people into His servants instead of serving. If He came like that, on a great big white Charging Chariot instead of a Donkey. Imagine if He viewed everyone as His slaves, and used His power to make people serve Him. Do you think there would be any followers in the world today? Most people like strong men for a season, for a purpose, to sort out a problem, but they don’t really want a strong many around for very much longer than the duration of the problem. e.g. Winston Churchil, was the right man at the right time to lead the country in time of war, but in time of peace, the populace had little time for his fanciful ideas of Empire etc… He didn’t last long after the war. Yes people were extremely grateful for His wartime efforts,, but barely tolerated that strength in peacetime. Jesus, could have been tolerated as a Big and Mighty KING as long as He was taking care of Israel’s enemies, but as soon as they didn’t need Him, would the people still LOVE their strong leader? History shows that people’s affections are fickle, if they’re not getting what they want, they’ll move off to follow someone else.

Christians are called to model SERVICE and HUMILITY to a world that believes in SUCCESS and PERSONAL HAPPINESS and SATISFACTION. Jesus called us to serve God first and then others with our lives. How are we doing?

In the Resurrection Appearances: Jesus gave the Disciples a foretaste of what was to come: He breathed on them and said, receive the Holy Spirit. He told them that in a few days they would be clothed with POWER from on High, but it was NOT, I repeat, NOT power to Lord it over people or power to be in charge or power to dominate and fascinate, but POWER to SERVE and to BE. He’s giving us the POWER of HEAVEN for His Purposes.

  • 1) Simply to be a Christian.
  • 2) To Worship and Love God.
  • 3) To Serve God.
  • 4) To Love others
  • 5) To serve God by Serving Others.
  • 6) To Help others to come to Know the life of a Christian is to be saved by God and to serve God, then to reach out to others to introduce them to God and server them too.

Jesus Purposes are ALL Selfless. Instead of the world putting Christians to shame, we should be so in love with God, with Jesus the Son of God, with the Holy Spirit who fills and equips us for service, that we’ll be living such good and selfless lives that we’ll put the whole world to shame.

Jesus did say, “It’s by your love for one another, that people will know you are my disciples”.

My friends, Jesus didn’t call us to a life of service to make us feel stupid, to make us feel small and insignificant, but when we’re totally given over to serving God and serving others, then we’ll not only be at total PEACE within, but there’ll be a JOY that the world cannot ever give you and you’ll know your Purpose on earth.

Doing Drugs:

Over the years I’ve lived on earth, I’ve known people who’ve got a high from hard-drugs, but it never lasts and they’ll keep coming back to try and get the same buzz, that same great feeling of ecstasy that it gave them the first time they took it, but they’ll never get it. So they try harder and take stronger more harmful drugs in the endless pursuit of the great big beautiful high. It’s not long before they’re hooked. These dreadful drugs tell people lies my friends. Their lives are ruined and their bodies begin to show it.  One of the people I’ve gotten to know here in London, through years of ministry and service, a great friend, whom I’ve been sharing the Gospel of Jesus, I saw her the other day, and she was stumbling along the road looking like a living skeleton. Her life given over completely to drugs.

It’s so sad watching and being with people who’s lives have been totally wreaked by these most destructive habits, but there’s no drug in the world can make you feel as happy as serving God by helping others. When you get home and put your head on the pillow, you’ll be going off to the land of nod, sleepy time, dreaming about how you can next serve God rather than the empty selfish dreams of personal wealth, health and living your life in endless and soul-draining pursuit of the elusive, smoke-like dream of eternal bliss and happiness. You’ll never be satisfied until you find your satisfaction in God and know what His purpose is for your life. When you get that you’ll desires will be entierly different, it’s like each time you do something good, the feelings get better and better and stronger. The JOY is exponential my friends and doesn’t diminish like the high that drugs can give you. You’ll be going from strength to strength in the POWER of the Holy Spirit.

Points To Ponder:

  • To what extent can you say that you live beyond yourself on a daily basis? i.e. Living For God and Others.
  • Where do you believe the Lord has sent or is going to send you? Maybe He cas called you to a certain city or country. Perhaps it’s a people group the Lord has put upon your heart; e.g. India, Pakistan, Scotland, China, etc… He puts His burdens upon His people. Take some time to bring this question to the Lord and ask afresh where He just may be calling or sending you in life.
  • Remember, whatever the Lord calls you to do for Him in this world, He’s also equipping you to accomplish that task.
  • Most of us are sent initially to our immediate workplace and neighbourhood, to be the Lord’s SALT & LIGHT. This is part of fulfilling our basic mission when we’re called to faith and trust in Jesus and we respond with a loud yes. He’s give you immediate tasks; sharing your faith, as those first witnesses to the Lord immediately did. Your first call is to tell others about Jesus, have you done that?
  • How passionate are you about His call to service? Does it fill you with Joy to be able to serve the Lord? Or are you a reluctant servant? Remember Jesus parable of the two sons. One said he would go and work for his father, but didn’t. The other said he wouldn’t, but thought about it and later changed his mind. However, you find yourself serving the Lord today, try and do it willingly, but do it no matter how you feel, because sometimes when we obediently serve the Lord, great feelings begin to follow.

Prayer:

Dear Lord Jesus, I’m praying that You’ll use me today for Your Glory. May I increasingly be a generous giver of my time and my resources, and all my gifts and talents so that I’ll become an even better servant in Your Kingdom. I’m taking seriously today the part of the prayer you taught us; “Your Kingdom Come: Your Will Be Done” (Matthew 6:10). By Your Holy Spirit, Lord, fill and equip me and lead and guide me into daily service for You. Amen.

 

Now can you imagine a life better and more satisfying than that? No wonder Jesus looked forward to the Cross and endured it’s pain and agony, He had his mind set on how He’d feel once He’d given His life in service of the Father and YOU. Now He’s calling you to that same high calling. It’s when we give our lives that we find them and our purpose of existence, then the joy of the Lord will flood our soul. When you put your head on the pillow at the end of the day, you’ll sleep like the King’s baby. Amen.

God bless and keep you all close to Him today my friends,

Don.

Daily Spirit & Word, 502: Jesus Gives New Purpose.

40 Days With Jesus: Home Page.

Day 18: Jesus Gives New Purpose.

 

 

New Penny Black Stamp

Daily Spirit & Word, 501: New Penny Black Stamp.

Good morning my friends, I’ve not gone mad, I know we’re in a series looking at the disciples reactions to the resurrection appearances of the Lord, and that today the focus is upon JOY and the Title should read: “Jesus Gives A New Joy” Day 17. However, imagine how everybody in the UK would feel today, if the Post Office issued a commemorative Penny Black Stamp. Because it’s 175 Years since the First Penny Black Stamp was issued. You know the old fashioned stamp? You buy it and if you stick it to a letter then the STAMP itself guaranteed delivery of your item. So my friends, the Holy Spirit guarantees delivery of God’s Word to produce great JOY in your heart today.

Penny Black Stamp

It was a magnificent idea, People all over the county could send letters, notes, parcels etc to each other for the first time and the government guaranteed that it would be delivered, all because it carried the official Post Office Stamp: The Penny Black. Can you imagine the sheer joy and delight it must have been to receive the first letter in your life? If you had a relative who’d traveled to find work, they could now keep in contact by letter. Of course letters could take a few days to arrive 175 years ago, everything was very slow back then. Horses were the main means of transportation, it was before the advent of Steam Railways, Cars and Buses. No my friends, it was either horseback or coach and letters and mail were still in their infancy. You had to trust that someone would deliver you letter and you had no way of guaranteeing that it would be delivered. Also it would take a long time to discover if your letter had been delivered or not. The Penny Black Stamp changed all of that.

Now, when we read our lesson today from John’s Gospel, you’ll note that I’ve not gone completely bonkers: We’re thinking about the disciples JOY, now let’s look at the passage together;

John 20:19-21 19  On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”
20  After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
21  Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”

Notice what it says in verse 20; “… The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.”

You know my friends, I want you to try and picture the scene and use your imagination, try and think what it must have been like to be one of Jesus disciples at that moment. You are perhaps; Peter, John or Mary and you’ve all gotten together three days after Jesus was tortured and killed upon the cross. You are all frightened to be there together, you imagine all sorts of horrible things happening to you if you are caught by the authorities. You can see them in your minds eyes, torturing you like the shamefully tortured Jesus’ body. You can imagine the sting of thw whip or the pain as they thrust the crown of thorns on your head. You can almost feel it, because you witnessed it just a few days ago, the memory of what they’d done to Jesus and what they could possible do to you, was still very fresh indeed. You’ve all got this dread of being captured and caught, then suddenly out of nowhere, because you’ve made certain the doors are locked anyway, Jesus stands in the midst. First you’d probably be shocked, but then Jesus utters these words; “Peace be with you” You know it’s Jesus’ voice. You recognise the voice of the Master. But your mind is doing summersaults, “it can’t be, He’s dead, but He’s here, how can He be here? He’s alive, no Jesus died, but yet I can hear his voice. Am I dreaming? Is this a ghost or a dream?” I know that my mind would be racing like this: but then slowly it begins to sink in; “This IS Jesus, that was His voice I just heard, He really IS here with us now” Then your surprise and shock give way to a Tsunami of Joy. Wave, after wave or Tsunami like Joy floods you soul.

Now can you see what I meant about the Penny Black? The Joy of having been contacted by a loved one hundreds of milse away, they actually touched this paper and put a pen to it and wrote upon it for you. Oh the Joy of the personal letter from a loved one, addressed to you personally. You’d look at your name, see the marvellous new innovative Queen or King’s Head on the Penny Black Stamp. WOWzer! You’d be over the moon, cock a hoop.

What does Over-the-moon mean? It was a phrase popularised by Private Eye who took-the-micky (made fun of) English football managers and their use of the English language. They would string phrases and words together that don’t make any sense at all. “Cock-a-hoop”, (filled with Joy), “over-the-moon” etc, would be used to express the sheer delight that their team had won a victory. i.e. “We were over-the-moon about the fact that we trounced Manchester 2-0”.

So my friends, the disciples would have been OVER THE MOON about Jesus resurrection. OVERJOYED.

Other Football Manager Quotes:

(You’ll not the funny side in a little while).

Football Manager Quotes:

  • “The Spaniards have been reduced to aiming aimless balls into the box.” (Ron Atkinson)
  • “If you can’t stand the heat in the dressing room, get out of the kitchen.” (Terry Venables)
  • “If Glenn Hoddle said one word to his team at half time, it was concentration and focus.” (Ron Atkinson)
  • “I felt a lump in my throat as the ball went in.” (Terry Venables)

These quotes are nonsensical, very funny and humorous, but they’re not intended to be. They’re what we’d call bleepers, bloops or silly mistakes of English grammar. You can just imagine Terry Venables swallowing a huge football down his throat can’t you. LOL.

Over the Moon: Was a phrase like that, it means, really, really happy, full of joy or as the Bible has said today about the Disciples upon seeing the Lord and hearing His voice, “They were OVERJOYED”

Cock a hoop is another phrase to express happiness, I’ll let you look that one up on Google yourself though. Have fun my friends.

OVERJOYED

Dave Smith, In his little book to accompany this series, talks about dogs wagging their tails when they see the master coming with breakfast. Even dogs can be overjoyed my friends.

You can be OVERJOYED too my friends. When you see a letter with your name, personally hand-written, it produces and air of expectation. You wonder who it was from, you turn it over to see if they’ve put a return address upon it. Nope, you open it up and you note immediately where it’s addressed from, and who signed it.

Notice that word: OVERJOYED. The disciples were not just joyed by seeing Jesus. It was no ordinary joy or happiness, as if we’re seeing a long lost friend, but imagine the delight you’d experience if you were to meet a dearly loved relative or friend if they came back from the dead? That’s what it means for the Disciples to be OVER-Joyed.

The PENNY BLACK: Guaranteed Delivery.

That’s what it’s like with the Bible: It’s God’s Book, It’s His LOVE LETTER addressed to YOU personally. It can produce the same JOY the disciples felt my friends, It’s like it’s got your own personal PENNY BLACK STAMP of guaranteed delivery, right into your heart today. You see my friends, the Bible’s Penny Black is God The Holy Spirit: who inspired the Bible to be written and who also enables us to understand the words contained within. (Spiritually discerned truth)

1 Corinthians 2:10-14 10  but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.
11  For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no-one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
12  We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us.
13  This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.
14  The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.

In other words, only the PERSON with the SPIRIT can understand God’s WORD. He’s like the Penny Black Stamp of authority and delivers God’s Word right into your heart today. Have you been filled with and OVERJOYED by the Holy Spirit.

Just as the Disciples were OVERJOYED by the LORD Jesus Presence my friends. So will you be when the Holy Spirit ushers in the presence of the Lord into your life today. Seek Him, seek the fullness and then you too will be OVERJOYED.

For over 2000 years the Bible has been delivering God’s message, with much more certainty than the New Penny Black Stamp ever could, because His message goes right into your heart and produces so much Joy, you’ll be over the moon, cock a hoop, filled with sheer delight. OVERJOYED. Not just happy, but OVER-JOYED. WOWzer! Who ever said that following Jesus would make life boring? It’s full of surprises and sheer delight and joy. Be OVERJOYED today, get the New Penny Black Stamp on your Heart, let it stick there forever by the Holy Spirit and the Lord Jesus will be your seal on your heart, you’ll know Him as Lord and Saviour forever.

Overjoyed when the New Penny Black Stamp was issued! Imagine what it must have been like for the disciples seeing, hearing and touching the RESURRECTED Lord Jesus Christ. WOWzer! OVERJOYED.

My friends, when you call upon Jesus today, you too can experience that same level of JOY. You’ll not have to work it up within yourself though, because you automatic response to the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ is going to be awesome; but eventually it will burst forth in to great JOY.

Have and exciting and JOY-Filled day my friends: The New Penny Black Stamp.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 17: Jesus Gives A New Joy. (As did the Penny Black Stamp), but much, much greater.

God bless and keep you all,

Don.

p.s. Did you notice that the Penny Black Stamp is on Google today?  😎  😎  😎