Jesus Gives A New Hope

Daily Spirit & Word, 500: Jesus Gives A New Hope.

40 Days With Jesus, Day 16: Jesus Gives A New Hope.

 

Today, we can see how that same Christian HOPE that we shared so confidently on the streets last night, was first sparked into ignition on the evening of Easter Sunday, when Jesus appeared in the upper room to the Disciples who were locked in in fear. We saw yesterday, that Jesus gave his followers New PEACE, today we’re going to discover the NEW HOPE.

First when Jesus appeared He said PEACE, then He began to give them physical EVIDENCE of who He was. You see my friends, His followers thought that they were seeing a GHOST  or a Phantom or a Spirit, because of the miraculous way that Jesus appeared. What would you have thought my friends, if you were them, locked into your house and suddenly in the same room a person appears from nowhere. You too would think it’s a ghost or a dream or a vision, wouldn’t you. Jesus knew that, He knew what they were thinking and then decided to give them as much evidence as they needed to be reassured that He really was alive, that He’d come back from the dead.

Look again at the passage from our reading this week and watch out for the Physical Evidences that Jesus gives.

John 20:19-23 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.”
22  And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
23  If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

WOWzer! So it’s not only PEACE, but physical, real and tangible proof that He’s with them in the room. Luke’s has gone much further than John in his Gospel account of this incident.

Luke 24:36-49 36  While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
37  They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost.
38  He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds?
39  Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”
40  When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet.
41  And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?”
42  They gave him a piece of broiled fish,
43  and he took it and ate it in their presence.
44  He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”
45  Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.
46  He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day,
47  and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
48  You are witnesses of these things.
49  I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

Notice in Luke’s account: The disciples didn’t believe it (the resurrection or that it was Jesus). Why? Because of JOY and AMAZEMENT and THINKING it was GHOST.

  • Our Joy can deceive us.
  • Our Amazement can deceive us.
  • Our Thinking can deceive us.

So Jesus goes much further and shows them: His hands, His side, His feet (I’m certain if some of the others had written they’d have said, his head, His back as well.). But these just go to prove beyond doubt that Jesus was a real person. But He didn’t stop a mere physical evidences. He said to them, because He knew that they still thought he was a ghost, “Give me something to eat”… Then He explained, “A ghost doesnt’ have flesh and bones as I have and a ghost can’t eat can it?”

“He showed them; His; HANDS, FEET and SIDE.”

“A GHOST doesn’t have FLESH and BONE”

“Give ME something to EAT”

This is such convincing proof AND evidence my friends, that so many agnostics and doubters having read this account in the Bible have become believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. This evidence transformed the disciples and once they received the promised Holy Spirit on Pentecost Sunday 40 days later, they took that same message, “We’ve seen the resurrected LORD” around the world. It’s still going around the world, Jesus is still alive today and it’s possible for people to meet Him. Of course our encounters today aren’t physical, but non-the-less, they are REAL encounters, that will convince you and you’ll KNOW that you’ve met the risen Jesus.

hope.screenshop
Jesus Gives a NEW HOPE

 HOPE: Gives Gospel Encounters:

We had another wonderful night of sharing the Good News of Jesus on the Streets of London my friends. There were great conversations, Gospel moments and prayers with people. Even a young man, who it seemed just wanted to race through his arguments and objections to believing the Bible, though he proclaimed belief in God. When he’d reached the end of his flow of words, we knew it was a smoke-screen, and a diversion, because, we looked beyond argument and reasoning for the power of the Kingdom of Heaven, and it came into his life as we shared the risen Lord Jesus. It’s always amazing, though we should expect the same Kingdom things to happen today as they did in the times of the Apostles and first believers and we really should not be surprised. We continued discussing and by-passed his mind and called upon the internal ally with him, his conscience, and it came to life, did it’s job and brought conviction. He knew now how he’d offended a holy and righteous God. We prayed and parted company and he left us uplifted and enlightened. He promised to come and worship and to keep reading His Bible. Hopefully he’ll find the place to worship the Lord and the desire to keep reading God’s Word. Just one conversation from last night please pray for the many that were touched and challenged and encouraged to consider the Lord Jesus.

So we can see today, that it wasn’t just Thomas, doubting Thomas, who needed physical proof that Jesus had risen from the dead, but every single one of His followers. You too need convincing my friends, you too need a divine encounter with Jesus and thankfully Jesus will not disappoint. He’ll provide everyone who responds to the Gospel with the same kinds of proofs, that He’s real and alive today. He’ll come to you in so many wonderful ways and you’ll KNOW.

Electrical POWER

For me the best way to explain how I know Jesus is real is like this:

I was an electrician for many years before I became a Pastor and Evangelist. I’d been shocked by Electricity many times. I knew from experience and pain, that if I touch an open electrical wire or contact, with the power still on, that it will hurt and the electrical energy and power will surge through my body. It’s the same when we finally decide to BELIEVE, REPENT, TRUST AND RECEIVE the Lord Jesus. He comes into a believer’s life. He comes in such a way that you KNOW that He’s inside. He’ll give you a NEW HOPE: Hope that will never leave you. Hope that will stay, even if circumstances don’t go well. Hope that is with you through every single storm. Jesus is in YOU. You’ll also see evidence in your Character as the Holy Spirit begins to change you to become more like Jesus on the inside and in the way that you interact with people in the world. You’ll see the fruit and the evidence of increasing; LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS GENTLENESS AND SELF-CONTROL. You’ll love God more, you’ll love His Word, you’ll love gathering with the brothers and sisters in God’s family. This is empirical evidence and cumulative evidence that will enable you to go out into the world and serve the risen Saviour. He’s in the World today and He wants to give that SAME HOPE to every single person alive as well.

Have an exciting, empowered and enthusiastic day of NEW HOPE with Jesus today.

Stay blessed in Him my friends,

Don.

Points to Ponder on Day 16 of 40 Days With Jesus.

  • In a world that believes that death has the last word, can anything be a truly lasting success?

  • How does the idea of Jesus resurrection transform our disappointments over what we might have failed to achieve?

  • Hoe hopeful do you feel about your future today? Do you need to ask God to heal any sense you have had of feeling ‘hopeless’? Take some times to reflect on the great FUTURE that is awaiting and available to you today, because of what Jesus Christ has done for you. His resurrection gives you hope today of an eternity with Him, beginning NOW and LASTING FOREVER.

PRAYER:

Dear Lord Jesus Christ, I’m thanking you right now for the glorious new hope that you give me every day. Not just hope for now, but for my eternity with You. I’m looking forward to Heaven and I have that deep assurance within my heart that You are able to keep me going with You through all the storms that will come in my life. I’m praying for everyone I know today, who needs that same Hope Lord, that You’ll come to them and draw them to Yourself by the Holy Spirit. Let Your love touch every heart and bring them the same New Hope in their hearts. Amen.

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Jesus Gives a New Hope. Day 16 of 40 Days With Jesus.

Go and Share The Good News

Spread the Gospel Supernaturally

Daily Spirit & Word, 498: Go and Share The Good News.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 14. Go and Share The Good News.

Good morning my friends, it’s been a strange start to the week. I’ve been feeling quite tired and in a bit of pain with back ache, however this morning as I was in the garden with the Lord, I believe He wants me to persevere in telling others about Him and about the best news they could ever want to hear. We’ve been following Jesus appearance to the two disciples on the Road to Emmaus over the last week, yesterday we saw how they knew it was Jesus when He broke the bread, today, after that revelation, we see those disciples running to spread the greatest news ever delivered, Jesus is Alive.

Luke 24:30-36 30  When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them.
31  Then their eyes were opened and they recognised him, and he disappeared from their sight.
32  They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
33  They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together
34  and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.”
35  Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognised by them when he broke the bread.
36  While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”

 

I don’t know when the last time it was that you walked seven miles, but they’d just traveled that distance and as soon as they get their revelation, as soon as their eyes are opened and they recognise Jesus, they’re off, on their way back to Jerusalem again. It’s amazing!

We all know that good news spreads fast. When a baby is born or an engagement or wedding is announced, then the news spreads very fast these days, especially with the advent of social media; Facebook, G+, WhatsApp, etc… I’m constantly amazed what articles or posts that I put up get the most likes. If it’s a picture of my grandchildren, then everybody like it, if it’s a castle I’ve visited, then of Facebook it’ll get a few less likes, but when I spread the GREATEST NEWS that anyone could ever wish to hear, it get only a few likes and spreads very slowly at first. It seems that even devout and devoted Christians are reluctant these days to come out of the closet and let their friends know Just how much they LOVE Jesus. There are of course good reasons for that, but we’ll come onto that later.

However, no such thoughts occupied the minds of those who followed Jesus and their first encounters with the risen Lord. As soon as they got it, they wanted to share it. Like Mary Magdalene who ran to tell the disciples about the empty tomb, then later on about her meeting with the risen Lord. It was natural to want to tell others, those they knew would want to hear this great news, but before they could begin to be obedient to Jesus Great Commandment to Go and tell they whole world, they’d need something besides the resurrection appearances. You see Jesus knew and the disciples eventually knew, they’d need the anointing of the Holy Spirit if they were ever going to sustain their enthusiasm for sharing this Good News, because it’s NOT good news for everyone, but only for those who respond.

The day after I became a Christian, I was sharing this great news with everybody I knew; “I’ve become a Christian” I said with enthusiasm. Some people were happy for me, those that I knew to be Christians were overjoyed, my family and friends were happy for me, but I noted something almost immediately, there was a hint of hatred, a nasty feeling in some of their responses, “Don’t try and convert me though”… One of my best friends, whom I’d known for years, a good old drinking buddy, ridiculed me if front of the whole Submarine Crew. He shouted at the top of his voice as I was walking down the gang-plank towards the Submarine; “Here he comes, the Bible Basher. So you’ve become a Christian Ginge (That’s what they called me in the Navy). I know where you’re going mate and it’s not to Heaven, you’re going to Hell just like the rest of us.” I was totally shocked that my best friend would react in that way, I’d not even told him personally, he must have heard through the grapevine that I’d become a Christian, but here Jack was telling everybody that I’d become a Christian, and already he’d nicknamed me ‘Bible Basher’. I shouted back to Jack, “Yes Jack, I’ve become a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ, I do believe I’m going to Heaven, but I’m so glad that you believe in Hell, I believe in that too, so your already half-way towards faith and becoming a Christian yourself”… That response got a chuckle and I was immediately thrown into the lions den of personal evangelism.

I’d began to tell everybody about Jesus, at first I was a bit too bombastic, telling everyone indiscriminately, but now the Lord guides me. I get it wrong sometimes and at times there are bad reactions to what I feel is still the best news anybody can ever want to hear, but that’s because most people are still in love with the pleasures of sin and a life of rebellion against the Holy and Righteous Lord, they will not come into the light. The Bible tells us why of course, but at first I couldn’t understand why everyone didn’t rush to trust in Jesus upon hearing the Good News.

It was in 1984 that I became a follower of Jesus, since then my passion for sharing the Good News has not died down. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than to share the Gospel one-to-one with even complete strangers, preaching about Jesus is now second nature to me, I’ve been given an amazing gift from the Lord to be able to talk with almost anyone about Him. I’ve learned ways to make it less offensive, but I’ve not watered down the message, I still proclaim the two alternative destinations; Heaven or Hell. However, I’ve learned the Secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven from Jesus and as I share them with people today, they are not as offended as my first attempts, that’s because I let them preach to themselves, I let their own conscience convict them and the Holy Spirit draw them to faith and trust in Jesus. Oh yes me friends, I go out every day looking and praying for opportunities to go and share the Good News with people. It’s not just the commandment, it’s because I love the Lord and I’m filled with compassion for those who’re headed for Hell.

Luke 24:44-49 44  He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”
45  Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.
46  He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day,
47  and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
48  You are witnesses of these things.
49  I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

There are many people who’ll say, “I’ve not got the personality for that kind of evangelism”, but did you notice anything in Jesus commandments about personality? Did you see something in Jesus commission that will enable the shy, the awkward, the stumbly-speakers, the nervous and frightened to say to Him, “Lord, send someone else, because You don’t mean me, do You? After all Lord, You know that I’ve not got the personality for that kind of thing.” My friends, once we KNOW Jesus it will not be because He’s commanded us to share, but we’ll automatically do it. We’ll not do it because of our personality though, we’ll do it because we’ve been ‘”clothed with power from on high”. It’s the Supernatural Personality of Jesus that will be in us, the Holy Spirit POWER that will propel and enable us to share. So don’t worry about your shyness, your awkwardness, your lack of knowledge, your lack of ability, because He’s got everything you need and more, just waiting, all you need to do is be filled and empowered and obedient. So many Christians want the experience and fullness of the Spirit, but don’t realise that His fullness is only given for the purposes of building others up in the faith and leading others to faith and trust in Jesus, it’s not just for our own enjoyment of the experience.

Points to Ponder on Day 14 of 40 Days With Jesus.

  • Who in your life need to HEAR about Jesus Great News? Pray consistently for them and ask the Lord to give you opportunities to share with them.
  • Are there events you could bring your friends to in the near future? Ask God to give you boldness and confidence to invite them.
  • One of the best ways to share your faith in Jesus with others is by using a simple picture, such as the bridge illustration. With God on one side and mankind on the other, separated by a great chasm that no one can cross, cause by sin that separates us from God. Then show the Cross of Jesus and how Jesus death upon the cross bridges the gap and makes it possible for people to cross over to God’s side and the gift of eternal life. That bridge illustration has helped me personally lead many people to Jesus. 
  • Another is using God’s Commandments, they’re like Ten Great Cannons in our war against the enemy. When we fire them off he goes into hiding and retreats to his bunker. These are powerful weapons my friends, because God’s given everyone a conscience and they know deep down that ‘they’ve sinned against God’s Holiness on purpose. It’s because of our wilful breaking of His commandments that we’ll be judged by God and sent to Hell, not for any other reason. So we all need to be cleansed of sin. Once we use the Commandments the Cross suddenly makes sense to people, the Good News really is Great News today. So go and share the good news, the GREAT NEWS and ask the Lord to fill you with His compassion for those who don’t yet know Him as Lord or Saviour. Amen.

Prayer:

Dear Lord Jesus Christ, thank You so much for the reality and wonder and joy of the greatest news the world can ever want to hear. I know that there are many people who don’t want to hear the good news, because they are in love with being in charge of their own lives, I’m praying today for everyone I know, who doesn’t know You Lord. Help me to bring the great news to them in the power of the Holy Spirit. Please Lord, I’m praying that you’ll open up their hearts and minds and lives to be responsive to the news and set free from Satan’s grip. In Your mighty name I pray Lord Jesus. Amen.

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Tonight

We’re gathering again in St Luke’s Church to open up Week Three of 40 Days With Jesus. Please pray for our gathering and if there is anyone who’d like to come along, you are always welcome. Jesus wants everyone to meet with Him today. 7.00pm in St Luke’s Church. Study begins at 7.30pm. 

40 Days with Jesus: Day 14: Go and Share The Good News.

 

 

 

 

 

The Breaking of Bread

Daily Spirit & Word, Vision Corrected by The Braking of Bread.

40 Days With Jesus; Day 13: Vision corrected by the breaking of bread.

Good morning my friends, I want to thank all of you who prayed for us yesterday, because our AGM (Annual General Meeting) went very well indeed. We’re looking forward to working closely with those who’ve been elected for the first time and those re-elected onto the PCC (Parochial Church Council) who, together with the Church Wardens and the Vicar oversee the running and maintenance of our Church. Please continue to pray that we’ll know the Lord’s will for the year ahead.

As we begin a new week today, we’re continuing in our 40 Days With Jesus, looking today at how our own vision of Jesus Christ can be corrected by the breaking of bread.

Luke 24:30-35 30  When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them.
31  Then their eyes were opened and they recognised him, and he disappeared from their sight.
32  They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
33  They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together
34  and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.”
35  Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognised by them when he broke the bread.

In the account of Jesus appearing to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, we’ve now reached the climax of the incident, when their eyes were opened to who the stranger on their journey was. The realisation that their hearts burned withing them as their understanding of God’s Word was increased by the risen Christ explaining all that the Scriptures said concerning Himself. I hope your own hearts are burning now from having just read how they got their revelation.

Note once again the Order of Events:

  • First: They are downcast and defeated, feeling dejected and demoralised because the one they expected to be the Messiah who would reestablish the Kingdom of Israel had been killed and put in a tomb. 
  • Next as they discussed the events a stranger who didn’t seem to know what had happened in Jerusalem was walking with them and asking why they were so dejected?
  • As they explained their grievances, the stranger then explained all that must happen to the Messiah from God’s Word.
  • Then they arrived at Emmaus and Jesus acted like He was going further, but they did what every single person needs to do, they invited Jesus into their home (we need to receive Him as Lord), 
  • Once Jesus was with them in the house, He takes the bread, He gives thanks (Prayer of thanksgiving), He breaks the bread and then He gives it to them.
  • It’s when Jesus had done all of this, that eventually and finally their eyes were opened and they could see that it was Jesus who’d been with them all the time. Once they recognised Him, He immediately vanished from their midst.

WOWzer! What a story and it’s not a fairy tale or folk-lore, Jesus really did appear and disappear. Jesus really was alive and whilst He was present He could be touched and could touch things, like bread. He was not a ghost but a real person, yet different from ordinary people. He could appear and disappear.

It’s in the breaking of bread that they know Jesus.

This is where we are reminded by some commentators of Jesus words at His last Passover supper with the Disciples before He was crucified, when He once again took the break, gave thanks and broke it and gave it to them. However at that meal just said, “This is my body, broken for you, do this in remembrance of me”.

Now my friends, comes the BIG question: What was it about that moment that enabled the disciples to recognise Jesus? It could have been as they watched him breaking the bread, and then they saw His nail pierced hands. For we know He carried those scars in His resurrected body. It could have been that they just finally got it, they knew Jesus and once they’d gotten over their grief and doubt, they finally saw it was Jesus. It could have been that Jesus changed His voice and they recognised His voice, reminding us that those who are His sheep, know His voice and listen to the good shepherd of our souls.

The fact is we just don’t know: But at that moment, in the breaking of bread, they did suddenly know it was Jesus. Instead of bedding down for the night, they rushed out of the house and headed back to Jerusalem to tell everybody else.

My friends, when you get your own REVELATION of Jesus, you’ll want to do the same. I can tell who’s had their revelation, it’s those who’re bursting to tell others about Jesus, is that you? Perhaps you’re still waiting?

Charles Spurgeon said, “If you don’t want to share the Gospel with those who don’t yet know the Lord Jesus Christ, then you have not been born again”.

The Bible tells us of another eye-opening moment of revelation: In the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, their eyes were opened and they realised they were naked. That eye-opening event brought, guilt, shame, condemnation, fear and dread of coming into God’s presence, they hid themselves away from God. But the eye opening of the disciples came after spending time with the risen Lord, hearing God’s Word, inviting Him in and eating bread together. It brought them closer to God and their hearts burned withing them and they knew the risen Lord Jesus Christ. For the normal Christian birth, we’ll come in the same way: We’ll hear about Jesus through Scripture and Gospel proclamation, the Bible tells us that faith comes by hearing the Word of God (our hearts burning within), then when we get to the point of receiving Jesus (inviting Him in), we’ll also get our own revelation of who He really is.

Oh my friends, as you break bread in the name of Jesus, remember His promises, that He’ll be with you. Jesus is wonderfully present in the breaking of bread and the gathering together of the saints. When you receive Jesus, He’s going to be in you for all eternity. Now, we’ve just got to live out that faith, live the resurrected life and spread the good news, like those first disciples, telling everyone you know, “I’ve met the risen Saviour”.

You know that old hymn: “He Lives, He Lives”?

I did a search on Google for this song and it’s playing in the background as I’m writing to you my friends. You can do the same and listen, worship and pray as you read.

I serve a risen Savior
He’s in the world today.
I know that He is living,
Whatever men may say.
I see His hand of mercy;
I hear His voice of cheer;
And just the time I need Him
He’s always near.

Chorus: He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way.
He lives, He lives, salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives?
He lives within my heart.

In all the world around me
I see His loving care,
And though my heart grows weary,
I never will despair;
I know that He is leading,
Through all the stormy blast;
The day of His appearing
Will come at last.

Rejoice, rejoice, O Christian,
Lift up your voice and sing
Eternal hallelujahs
To Jesus Christ the King!
The Hope of all who seek Him,
The Help of all who find,
None other is so loving,
So good and kind.

As you continue to spend 40 Days With Jesus, I’m praying that in your ‘The Breaking of Bread’ you’ll also know and recognise Jesus presence. May He come to you afresh today. Trust Him and His promises to be with you, to be in you, to reveal Himself to you. Walk with Jesus and know that He is ALIVE, as the song above tells us, He’s the SAME today as when He walked the earth. How do we know Christ is risen? Because “He lives, He lives, He lives withing my heart”

Have a fantastic new week with Jesus my friends,

Don.

Points to Ponder:

  • It is good to be reminded that Jesus revealed Himself at a fellowship meal. Is eating together with other Christians something that is part of your lifestyle? Do you thank God for your food, and expect Christ to be present amongst you?
  • If you are in a church that has small fellowship groups, and you are not part of such a group, can I encourage you to join one. Raise your expectations of meeting Jesus as you gather and break bread together.
  • Is there anyone with whom you know you are out of fellowship in any ways? Do all you can, as it rests with you, to be at peace with them.

Prayer:

Dear Lord Jesus Christ, I thank You for the tenderness and gentleness towards me today and that You revealed Yourself to the disciples over a meal. Forgive me for the times I’ve neglected to give thanks and remember You when we’ve gathered with other believers of a meal. Help me always to remember Your promise to be with us when we gather and when we eat in remembrance of You. Lord, I ask today that You’ll continue to reveal Yourself to me and all my friends, so that we can know You better every day and be so on fire and filled with JOY in Your company that we’ll long to tell others about You. Amen.

 

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40 Days With Jesus: Day 13: Vision Corrected By The Breaking of The Bread.

The Breaking of Bread.

 

Welcoming Jesus Presence

Vision Corrected by Welcoming Jesus

Daily Spirit and Word, 496: Welcoming Jesus Presence.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 12: Vision Corrected by Welcoming Jesus Presence.

Good morning my friends, there’s a shocking truth revealed in our message today. It’s that though Jesus was with the disciples on the Road To Emmaus, (imagine the privilege of having the risen Christ walk beside you?) they were still ignorant of who Jesus was. Jesus gave them all the evidence they needed from the Scriptures that the Christ had to suffer and die and rise again three days later, but as they drew near the village, Jesus acted as if He were going to keep going. My friends, those followers were so close to missing Jesus Christ’s full revelation and actually seeing Him.

Luke 24:28-29 28  As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus acted as if he were going further.
29  But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.

Note this, Jesus acted as if He was going further.

It’s like Jesus is indicating I’m going away, unless you invite me in to be with you. He didn’t say it in words, but with His presence. Thankfully those disciples were hospitable and invited Jesus to stay with them. It was the custom in those days to offer lodging to strangers at night, and it’s so good that they’d learned enough from the Lord to practice hospitality. They were not about to let this stranger, who’d opened up the Scriptures to them as they walked along, go any further. It was dangerous to travel alone at night and they would have been mortified if anything had happened to this stranger.

There’s another Scripture that brings light to this passage today:

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

It’s that invitation from the Lord. He’s Standing, knocking, Speaking. If ANYONE responds like this; “Hears my voice” and secondly “Opens the door”. It’s that hospitality to the Living Lord Jesus: Listening to His voice: The disciple on the road to Emmaus had obviously listened to Jesus’ voice as He explained the Scriptures. Many people hear the voice of Jesus many times: Through sermons, through reading the Bible, through attending Church, Alpha Courses, Christianity Explained and 40 Days With Jesus, they hear His Voice today. But here’s the important and critical point: Jesus acted as if He were going further. / There’s a Door that Jesus is knocking on.

It’s a Moment in our life when we know we must respond to Jesus Christ: Either invite Him in or let him go on His journey. Either open the door to our lives or ignore the knocking upon our hearts.

Jesus Knocks on the Door of a Famous Person:

I didn’t know until today that one of the Dragons from the famous TV series here in the UK “Dragon’s Den” had been given this opportunity to welcome Jesus presence into his life. His name is quite famous, he’s the renowned entrepreneur Duncan Bannatyne.

Duncan Bannatyne said, “For me the tears came at about ten o’clock that night, my face was wet, my nose began to run and I was a mess. After many minutes I began to get the feeling that I wasn’t alone. It was there that God said hello. I felt that I had been consumed by this presence, that something had completely shrouded and taken hold of me. It was unmistakable. I knew who had come and I also knew why. It wasn’t a spiritual thing, it was a Christian thing, I felt I was being told: “You’ve arrived, join the faith, be a Christian, this is it.”

 “You’ve arrived, join the faith, be a Christian, this is it.” 

Duncan continues, “It was profound, and I stood there, stunned, considering the offer and thinking about what it would mean. I knew I wanted to keep on making money, and I also knew I wanted to keep on doing all the things I was proud of – I knew I was never going to be this totally Christian guy, going to church on Sundays. I said, “No, I’m not ready” and God said, “Okay and disappeared”.

When I read this about Duncan Bannatyne, I almost cried, because I feel I’ve gotten to know the man after watching him on TV, my heart and my prayers went out for him and for his eternal destiny. For he’s just turned down the offer of LIFE with Jesus, because of the love of money and fame.

Those disciples had a golden opportunity that day on the road to Emmaus and they responded by inviting Jesus in, and everyone who hears Jesus voice today, Jesus invitation, Jesus knocking, Jesus presence, has that very same opportunity, but will you take it? That’s the £1,000,000 Question.

If you have heard Jesus Voice today or a listening to the knock of Jesus then, like Duncan Bannatyne: “You’ve arrived, the invitation is to join the faith, to be Christian man or woman for God, this is it”.

“You’ve arrived, join the faith, be a Christian, this is it.” 

  • The thing about Jesus standing, acting as if He’s about to go away: He’s waiting for you to invite Him in.
  • The thing about Jesus knocking: He will not turn the handle for you. You must respond yourself.
  • The thing about Jesus acting as if He was going further, it was up to the Disciple to invite Jesus to stay.
  • The thing about your moment is the same: Jesus speaks, Jesus waits, Jesus knocks, Jesus invites you to respond: But it’s up to you. Will you respond, will you open up the door of your heart to Jesus today? Will you invite Jesus in? Will you welcome Jesus?

Proverbs 29:18  “Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; but blessed is he who keeps the law.”

My friends, tomorrow, we’ll see how those disciples on the Road to Emmaus got their revelation after they invited Jesus in, that same Revelation can be your too, but it will only come to you today, once you respond and open the door of your heart and invite Jesus Christ to be your Lord and Saviour.

Once we know the Gospel: We’ve all sinned and fall short of the Glory of God: (The revelations of God’s goodness, His standards, His commandments) we’ve all fallen short and are called upon by God to REPENT. To turn away from worthless works and idols of money and turn to the Lord Jesus Christ to be His, His disciple, His follower, His man or woman today. That’s what Duncan Bannatyne missed, the Disciples almost missed it. They could have just waved Jesus goodbye, but they didn’t, they opened the door of hospitality and welcomed the Saviour of the World, the Risen Lord Jesus Christ into their home. They Welcomed Jesus IN.

I’ve known many who’ve been at that point of decision and floundered, thinking, “I’ll do it later”. I don’t know how many times Jesus will be standing there; speaking and knocking and the impulse or invitation to respond will be presented in such a convincing way, as it was to Duncan Bannatyne or to you today. My friends, with all my heart I’m pleading for you to save yourself and turn to receive Jesus whilst the offer is still on the table. Whilst the sound of His Voice is in your ears, whilst you can still see Him through the eyes of faith. Open up, Invite Him in, turn and repent and receive.

Points to Ponder:

  • When will you respond to Jesus’ life transforming opportunity?
  • Your vision can only be corrected by welcoming Jesus presence into your life.
  • Come to Jesus Christ today. Open up, turn away from sin and trust the Saviour.
  • He’s only a prayer away, then, then my friends, you’ll get your revelation.

Prayer:

Dear Lord Jesus Christ, I don’t want to miss this opportunity that You are giving me today, so please Lord, come into my life, be my Lord. I know that I’ve fallen short and broken Your Commandments, please forgive me Lord. I turn away from all sin. I believe that You gave Your Life on the Cross so that I could be forgiven for sin and given the gift of eternal life and abundant life from the moment I respond and receive You as my Lord and Saviour. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit, Lord Jesus and give me the New Life that You promised. I believe in YOU Lord Jesus Christ. I’m responding to Your knocking on the door of my life. I welcome Your Presence. Amen.

God bless and keep you all today my friends. I’m really enjoying 40 Days With Jesus and I hope you are too. Will you please pray for me and for the Fellowship at St Luke’s Church as we have our Annual General Meeting. I’m praying for you too. Thank you Lord Jesus for Your Awesome Revelations. Amen.

Proverbs 29:18  “Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; but blessed is he who keeps the law.”

“You’ve arrived, join the faith, be a Christian, this is it.” 

 

Welcoming Jesus Presence: Corrects Your Vision.

40 Days with Jesus: Day 12: Vision Corrected by Welcoming Jesus Presence.

 

 

 

 

Vision Corrected By Revelation

Daily Spirit & Word, 495: Vision Corrected by Revelation.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 11: Vision Corrected by Revelation of the Scriptures.

Luke 24:25-27, 32.

Good morning my friends, well Friday turned out to be a great day. Our Brother from Pakistan shared what’s been happening to the Christian brothers ans sisters, but also what the Lord is doing too. It’s really encouraging to know, that even in the face of severe persecution and brutality often ending in the murder of innocents, people are still prepared to risk everything for the Lord Jesus Christ and they are able to reach out in LOVE and react to this evil violence against them, the way that Jesus did. They are able, in His strength, to forgive and share Jesus in loving ways. Most recently, Christians were being stopped by marauding groups of Muslims and being asked, “Are you Muslim or Christian?” If they responded by saying, “I am Christian” they were either beaten or killed.

Why would anyone want to react like that? Would you be prepared, as some of our brothers and sisters are in Pakistan, to give your life for the Lord Jesus?

Some of the reasons are to do with what we’re going though on 40 Days With Jesus. Today, Day 11: The focus today is upon how Christ is revealed in the Bible (Scriptures). You know my friends, many Muslims are being converted today because even their own Koran mentions that if they have any doubts they should ask the people of the book: Christians and Jews. So what is it that’s happening today? Well, we get an indication from Jesus encounter with the followers on the Road to Emmaus. Jesus, didn’t reveal himself to them, his identiy was kept hidden, the were kept from knowing who Jesus was until He’d taken them through the Scriptures. Jesus was doing that so they’d understand from an already accepted and reliable source that the Messiah must suffer and die and rise to life again after three days in the grave. Jesus did it by taking them carefully through the Scriptures.

Luke 24:25-27 (NIV)
25  He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26  Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 27  And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
Luke 24:32 (NIV)
32  They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”

How awesome, the Scriptures have power to bring REVELATION of who Jesus is, what He came to do and to enable us to believe the testimony of those who witnessed the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ.

I encourage you today, to come afresh to God’s Word and believe it as Jesus did, as the Apostles and early Christians did, then your own faith will grow much stronger. The Holy Spirit will give you revelation and enable you to understand what you are reading.

Keep going with 40 Days With Jesus. Take time today to dwell in His presence and sit in silence and listen to Him. What’s Jesus saying to you today my friends? As you read the Word, meditate upon it, don’t rush off and be too busy to be in the world. Sit with Jesus a little longer and praise Him, worship Him, glorify Him. Jesus LOVE will grow stronger in your heart and your own love for Jesus will enable you to walk and serve Him with your life.

Every blessing for a glorious Saturday with Jesus. I’m praying that your own hearts will burn inside you as you spend time with Jesus and in His Word.

Don.

Points to Ponder:

  • Do you read the Scriptures daily? If you do, then how well are you connecting with Jesus during your reading? If you aren’t reading the Bible every day, then what changes can you make to your routine to include a time to be with the Lord Jesus and to feast upon His Word?
  • Perhaps you are reading the Bible regularly, but it has become a bit dry and routine? Why don’t you ask the Holy Spirit to give you fresh revelations, to speak to you before you read and to show you how what you are reading from God’s Word applies to your own life?
  • How are you making sure that you are applying the Bible to your life? What changes to your life have happened recently because God has shown you something from His Word?

Prayer:

Dear Lord Jesus Christ, thank you so much for taking the time to open up the Scriptures to those first followers and for the way that You do the same for me today by the Holy Spirit. Oh Lord please correct my own vision by Your revelation from the Scriptures. I’m coming to you this morning Lord and asking that You’ll be with me and open up Your Word to my heart, show me today Lord Jesus how to be Your ambassador and live my life for You. Amen.

40 Days With Jesus Home Page

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40 Days With Jesus: Day 11: Vision Corrected by Revelation.

 

 

Vision Blurred By Disappointment

40 Days With Jesus: Day 9

Daily Spirit & Word, 493: Vision Blurred by Disappointment.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 9: Vision Blurred by Disappointment.

Good morning my friends, in our reading this morning from Luke’s Gospel we’re going to see how a misplaced hope can lead to us loosing vision and ability to see all that God wants for us, which in turn can leave us feeling disappointed, disheartened, discouraged and demoralised.

Luke 24:17-21 17  He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?” They stood still, their faces downcast.
18  One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you only a visitor to Jerusalem and do not know the things that have happened there in these days?”
19  “What things?” he asked. “About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. 20  The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 21  but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place…”

Can you see it my friends? The give-away, tell-tale and revealing words: “We HAD Hoped” i.e. they’d now given up their hope of Jesus being the prophet. They’d been let-down or at least felt they’d been let-down. As Jesus approached them and came up along-side them and asked “What are you discussing?” they were just too disheartened and disappointed that they just couldn’t see that it was Jesus who was right there beside them talking to them.

Their Misplaced Hope:

They thought about Jesus, who had performed so many powerful things; “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people”, and their thinking had led them to have a misplaced hope, a hope that was never going to be realised anyway, because that’s NOT what Jesus mission on earth was about. He did not come to be an Earthly King. He didn’t come to kick out the Romans and deliver Israel from bondage to the Empire. That’s what they’d put their hope in and now that Jesus had been killed, all their hopes vanished like smoke on a windy ridge. Their hope had been snuffed out like a candle. Their light had been dimmed and now they were in darkness and couldn’t see that it was Jesus who was with them. Oh my friends, if only they’d put their hope in Jesus and His real mission. If only they’d listened to His words and teaching whilst he was on the earth. But sometime, because we’re so wrapped up in what we want, we’re not interested in what anyone else desires. They didn’t really care to understand Jesus, for if they had they’d have understood that the Messiah was appointed by God to suffer upon the cross and to die for the sins of the whole of humanity, not just Israel.

That’s what we’ll discover as we continue in our reading tomorrow, as Jesus opens up the Scriptures once again to them. He did it before he died on the cross and now, in His amazing grace, He’s going to take the time to reveal to them from all the Scriptures about the Christ, the Messiah and the Bible’s amazing prophesies about Himself.

I wonder today my friends, how many revelations from Jesus have we missed, because we’ve been hoping in and for wrong things? How our vision has been clouded or shrouded in a mist of discouragement because we’ve been hoping for something that God didn’t even want us to have in the first place? You see my friends, God’s plans for us are always better, even than our own most cherished dreams.

“God’s plans for us are always better, even than our own most cherished dreams.”

How My Disappointments Have Brought Breakthroughs:

We’ve had our share of disappointments in life: When I was selected to go on an enhancement course in the Royal Navy, the normal thing was that you’d be elevated to a higher rank at the start of the course. I was looking forward to life in the Senior Rate’s Mess, with all the privileges associated with being a Senior Rate in the Navy and the respect that goes with the rank. However, just before I started the two and a half year course, they changed the rules and said, “At the end of Artificer Training you’ll receive your new rank…” Oh my friends, I can’t tell you what a disappointment that was, because I’d put so much hope and so many dreams into it, but now it was going to take a further two and a half years before it would happen. We had a saying in the Navy that helped us cope with these kinds of let-downs: “That’s Life in a Blue Suit” or “Sometimes you dip-in, but you never dip-out”.

God’s Plans are ALWAYS BETTER:

You see my friends, I was a Christian and over those 3 1\2 years I was able to do things for the LORD that I’d never have been able to do if I’d been a Senior Rating. Shortly after I began, an Admiral joined our Christian fellowship. It was amazing, we were all sitting chatting before the Bible Study began and in walks this Admiral in uniform. When someone of such high rank walks in, you all stop what your doing and stand to attention. He said, “Relax everyone, I’m Mike, I not here as an Admiral, I’m your brother a fellow Christian, please call me Mike”. He asked everyone what their names where and it came to me, I said, “My name is Donald Sir”. He said, “No, Donald, don’t call me Sir, call me Mike”. Well after a few hours of fellowship with the Admiral we were all calling him Mike. He invited me and another rating to his Admiral’s Mansion one night, we didn’t know, but it was a very special dinner. Stewards and servants served us the most sumptuous foods. He’s invited about 25 Royal Navy Chaplains and the Admiral said, “I’m going to ask you gentlemen to sit and listen to Donald, He’s going to tell you how best to serve the RATINGS as God’s Chaplains at sea”. If I’d been a Senior Rate, I’d never have addressed those Chaplains. I related my own experience of Chaplains and how they’d try and be like the boys, drinking down the mess-decks, with coarse joking and even getting drunk with them. How they had never shared about the Lord Jesus with me or my friends. The Admiral knew this too and had observed that very few chaplains ever talk about the Lord Jesus, that’s why he wanted me to address them. I said, “I became a Christian in the local church where I lived, but if a Chaplain had talked with me about Jesus, then perhaps I could have become a Christian much sooner”. The Admiral, with the aid of the Chaplains, started to formulate a plan for a Navy-Wide Evangelism initiative. God’s plans are always better than our most dearly held wishes.

“God’s plans for us are always better, even than our own most cherished dreams.”

My friends, I know that you’ve had disappointments in life too; perhaps you didn’t get;

  • that dream job,
  • that promotion,
  • that pay-rise you were expecting,
  • that house or home you’d planed for,
  • that your husband or wife didn’t turn out to be your dream boy or girl after all,
  • that your children have let you down,
  • that your Christian brothers and sisters didn’t live up to expectations,
  • that ……………. (fill in the blanks)

When you’ve been disappointed my friends, your vision of what God is doing has been clouded as a result, that’s normal, “that’s life” as they say, but it’s how you deal with disappointments. You can either focus upon your dashed-dreams, expectations that have been un-delivered or you can get right back up on your feet and train your attention, fix your gaze towards Heaven and seek the Lord Jesus Christ.

From experience of having had many disappointments I can tell you that there have been times when I’ve done both. The times that I’ve dwelt upon my let-downs, dashed-dreams and forlorn hopes are the times that I’ve been lowest in my walk with Jesus. During those times I’ve not wanted to worship, pray or read the Bible. I didn’t long to hear sermons or serve the Lord or gather with the saints. Dwelling upon disappointments leads to blurred vision and lost hope and your faith will sink even lower.

But I’ve discovered a secret, it’s that giving thanks to God, even when you don’t really feel like it, when you’ve been most let-down are the times you’re going to see some of the biggest spiritual breakthroughs in your Spiritual life and walk with Jesus Christ. Purposefully turn towards the Lord Jesus Christ in faith. Even though you’ve been disappointed, He’s never lost control, He’s never been without a plan for good in your life, He’s always been there for you. Jesus will help you even if your feeling disappointed right now with something in your life. Turn agian to Jesus, do it right now, don’t put it off until you are feeling better, because dwelling upon disappointments leads to further misery and heartache. Jesus has got JOY waiting to burst like a fountain into your heart right now.

I’m just so thankful that Jesus took the time to get alongside those disheartened and disappointed disciples on the Road to Emmaus. For what I see is this, even though we get it wrong, when we’re wrong focused and put our hopes in the wrong things, the Lord will never leave us in error for very long. He’s got amazing plans for your life and even through disappointments we’ll see Him at work withing our situations. When you started following Jesus, He made a commitment towards you that lasts for all eternity. He’s NOT going to lose a single one of those who trusted in Him. Your hope can be reignited and your dreams will become His dreams for you.

“God’s plans for you are always better, even than your own most cherished dreams.”

Turn again to Jesus my friends and all your dashed-dreams and disheartened disappointments will vanish and you’re going to feel the POWER of Heaven in your heart again. Your vision can and will be restored by the Living Lord Jesus Christ.

Choose Today: Don’t Let Your Vision Be Blurred By Disappointments.

Praise the Lord.

Don.

Points to Ponder on Day 9:

  • What are your “I had hoped for ………” prayers or dreams? Don’t give up on these my friends. Commit your plans to the Lord and He has promised that your plans will succeed. He’ll direct your ways. Ask for His plans to unfold in your life today.
  • Don’t allow your sense of disappointment to prevent you from expecting God to work in your life. Is it possible that your desire to see God acting in a particular way has blinded you to the possibility that God might be acting in some other way?
  • Are you disappointed with anyone? anything? Are you even disappointed with yourself? Acknowledge this and then release it to the Lord Jesus today. Ask for His forgiveness for holding onto these things and ask that His Holy Spirit will fill you with grace to move forward and enable you to be filled with His hope and dreams for your life.

Prayers on Day 9 of 40 Days with Jesus.

Dear Lord Jesus Christ, I thank You that hopelessness and disappointment are not my inheritance. I will not allow my hope to be stolen because I know that You cause all things to work together for my good (Romans 8:28). I release all sense of disappointment that is clouding my vision of You and come to You Lord Jesus. Come into my life and be my Lord again today. Amen.

40 Days With Jesus Home Page:

“God’s plans for you are always better, even than your own most cherished dreams.”

 

 

 

Vision Corrected by Jesus

40 Days With Jesus: Day 8.

Daily Spirit & Word, 492: Vision Corrected by Jesus.

Good morning my friends. Last night was amazing at the 40 Days With Jesus meeting. We were joined by a new member and the group shared the experience of getting so far with Jesus, then hitting what seemed like a BRICK WALL. It’s like they tried to live like Christians but kept on failing, time and time again. My friends, there IS a wall, a huge wall, but we’ll need our Vision Corrected by Jesus to see it and then the POWER of the Holy Spirit to take it down. Thankfully, He’s provided everything we need for the operation to take place. He’s given a skilled surgeon (The Holy Spirit) who knows how to open the eyes of men and women born blind (Spiritually Blind), then He’s provided the means of support for after surgery care and the apparatus that will help keep our vision corrected (The Bible, the fellowship of followers and gifted people who’ll help us to reach maturity in the faith; Apsotles, Prophets, Pastors, Evangelists and Teachers). These gifts from the LORD will enable us to not only breakthrough the biggest walls, they’ll usher in the New Way of Abundant Life Jesus intends for all who trust in Him.

40 Days With Jesus: Week Two:

An Eye Opening Journey. Luke 23:13-35 (The Road To Emmaus).

Week two is all about how Jesus revealed Himself to two of His followers after the resurrection, but they were kept from recognising who Jesus was for a while. Day 8: Focuses upon how we all need Vision Correction Surgery, i.e. we need to see things from God’s perspective rather than our own. It’s like looking at things with Heavenly Eyes instead of Earthly Eyes. Until we’ve come to a true and living faith and trust in Jesus, these Spiritual things are impossible for us to truly grasp or understand fully. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit can work on our hearts and minds in bringing His Divine illumination and we’ll begin to see God’s perspective.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 8: Vision Correction Surgery:

In the little book accompanying 40 Days With Jesus (and on the Video), Dave recounts his own ‘Spiritual Blindness’: “For the first 19 years of my life, I was spiritually blind. I grew up in a Vicarage (The Home of a Clergyman in the Church of England), spent six years living in a Christian community, attended Sunday School, went to Christian youth groups and sat through countless church services.” (Imagine doing all that and still not coming to faith and trust in Jesus.). Dave continues; “But it was all a bit of a blur! While not intellectually disagreeing with what I was hearing, it was as if I had a spiritual veil over my eyes, so that the reality and the significance of who Jesus was and why He came didn’t really impact me”.

My friends, we can do ALL the things Christians do and yet still not be SAVED ourselves or even see our NEED for Salvation. Thankfully Dave’s eyes were opened. He continues, “After a brief period of searching at the age of 11-12, I gave up, stopped going to church and embarked on a full-scale teenage rebellion. That was until my first year of university, when I had what I would describe as ‘Vision Correction Surgery’: my eyes were opened, and for the first time I could actually ‘see’ my true need of Christ and appreciate what He had really done for me.” Dave experienced his Vision Corrected by Jesus.

Throughout History God has specialised in opening the eyes of people who are born spiritually blind. On the Road to Emmaus that’s what Jesus was doing with the Disciples. He was walking alongside them as they discussed the recent events in Jerusalem; i.e. what had happened to Jesus and how they’d heard reports that He was raised from the dead and is alive. Luke 24:13-14. We know that one was called Cleopas (v18), and the others us not known. This account helps to authenticate the Gospel of John, becuase these obscure followers, were not Apostles. If they were trying to make up the story, surely they’d have had one of Lord’s chosen ones. The fact that Jesus chose ordinary followers also gives great hope for everyone who comes to faith in Him today, because Jesus cares about those who are considered nothing in the eyes of the world.

The disciples were talking and discussing and Jesus appeared alongside them, but they didn’t recognise Him. In fact the Bible tells us  Luke 24:16 “but they were kept from recognising him.”

There’s a POWER at work here: We’re not told who, what or how they were ‘Kept from recognising‘ Jesus, but there’s definitely something stopping them from seeing Jesus for who He really is. It might be because Jesus resurrected appearance was different, we don’t know, but some have suggested that it’s Satan who’s blinded the minds of unbelievers. (2 Corinthians 4:4). Others suggest that it may have been the Lord Himself, keeping them from knowing who was walking with them for His own purposes. But there are also the personal reasons why the disciples couldn’t see, we’ll be looking into that more during this week.

Jesus Takes The Initiative:

But what’s important for us to focus upon today is that it’s Jesus Christ who took the initiative to walk alongside them on the Road to Emmaus. Even though they didn’t recognise Him at first, He joined them on their journey. His purpose was to lead them to faith. My friends, many Christians, myself included, will recall times when they felt the presence or influence of Jesus or the Holy Spirit long before they finally had their eyes opened.

One of the most famous conversion experiences in history is that of John Newton, the former slave trader. It took a storm and an impending disaster before he called out to God, then afterwards he began to search for Jesus by reading Evangelical tracts and books and the Bible. He went onto serve the Lord and was a leading light in the march towards the abolition of slavery with William Wilberforce. Newton wrote the famous hymn; “Amazing Grace”, you may have seen the recent Hollywood Movie?

“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
that saved a wretch like me,
I once was blind by now I’m found,
Was BLIND but now I SEE.”

The wonderful news is that there are thousands, if not millions of people, who’ve also had Eye Opening Experiences with Jesus. He’s come alongside people by His Spirit and moves them to see their need for His Salvation. He’ll also do that with you too my friends, if He’s not done that already. He’s drawing everyone to Himself.

You and I can have either a first time encounter with Jesus or a refresher. That encounter could happen today.

Points to Ponder:

  • Have you began an eye-opening journey with Jesus?
  • How clear is your vision of the risen Jesus?
  • Is your vision blurred in any way? Sometimes we fail to see something because of our own “eye defects’, sometimes we fail to see because we have put something in front of our eyes. Is there something that you have let obscure your own vision of Jesus?

Prayer:

Dear Lord Jesus, I thank You that You want to reveal Yourself to me, so that I can ‘see’ who You really are and what You have done for me. Please remove anything that’s preventing me from seeing who You really are. I’m asking You Lord for the spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that I can know You better today. Amen.

I hope you all have an exciting day and realise that Jesus is walking with you every step of the way.

Don.

40 Days With Jesus: Home Page.

40 Days With Jesus: Resources.

40 Days With Jesus: Home Page.

Day 8: Vision Corrected by Jesus.

Seeking and Finding

Seeking and Finding

Daily Spirit & Word, 492: Seeking and Finding.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 7

Good morning my friends, as we look back over the first week of 40 Days With Jesus, we can learn an important lesson for life from Mary Magdalene and her encounter with the risen Lord Jesus.

First, we are inspired by Mary’s seeking the Lord Jesus. She was the first to go to the tomb and the last to leave. It reminds me of Joshua and Moses who met with the Lord in the tent and after Moses left Joshua lingered in the Lord’s presence. Joshua took over from Moses and went on to lead the Nation of Israel for many years. Mary after arriving first was not satisfied with the empty tomb, she wanted to find the body of the Lord, eventually she was the first to see Him alive and was given the message of His resurrection to take to the others.

Seek The Lord:

Throughout the Bible we are encouraged to diligently seek the Lord, with the promise that when we do, we’ll find Him.

Isaiah 55:6-7 6  Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near. 7  Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.

Jeremiah 29:13 “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

1 Chronicles 16:10-11 10  Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice. 11  Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.

The Chronicles reading above encourages us to seek the face of the Lord. Many people only turn to the Lord when they need something, i.e. His mighty hand, but few are seeking the Lord for Himself. We think it’s few but the Bible tells us that it’s NONE:

Romans 3:10-12 10  As it is written: “There is no-one righteous, not even one;
11  there is no-one who understands, no-one who seeks God.
12  All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no-one who does good, not even one.”

God alone knows our hearts, but it’s possible after being filled with God’s Spirit to diligently seek the Lord for He is worthy to be praised. Not for what He can do for us or will do, but for who He is. Once we begin to do that, Oh the glory that’s revealed.

Jesus as the Risen Lord revealed Himself to Mary Magdalene because of her diligent searching, He’d given her signs along the way; first the open tomb with the stone rolled away, then the folded grave clothes and then the Angels in the tomb, then finally the Lord Himself speaking with Mary. My friends, Jesus took the initiative and was already showing Mary He was alive and had risen before that final revelation. He’ll do the same with you too, the moment you set your heart to seek the Lord, He’s already begun the process of revelation. You see my friends, whenever our hearts desire is to seek the Lord, guess who planted that desire in the first place? He’s always calling you into an even deeper revelation than you’ve already had, He wants to show you more, but He wants you to seek Himself. When you do, He’s promised to answer that prayer and heart’s desire.

Luke 11:9-13 9  “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
10  For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
11  “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?
12  Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?
13  If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

In the Luke reading above we can clearly see Jesus promise that when we diligently seek the Lord, we’re going to find even more than we imagined. Not just answered prayers, but the powerful presence and infilling of the Holy Spirit. Have you ever asked to be filled with the Holy Spirit? Look at verse 13 above, it’s God’s desire to fill you my friends.

All of the above highlights the need for followers of the Lord Jesus Christ to seek the Lord diligently, hanging-in, holding-on, pressing-in, pursuing with great earnestness, are you seeking the Lord? Persist in this and don’t give up, you will find the Lord.

As we continue through the 40 Days With Jesus, be encouraged to seek the Lord in the following ways:

Find The Time: Yes we can meet with God anytime, even on a bus or on the toilet, but I would encourage every sincere follower of Jesus, a disciple, to make the effort to have a daily quiet time to be alone with the Risen Lord Jesus Christ, to meet with Him, to make an appointment in your diary and be with Jesus, on time, every day. You wouldn’t be late for a dentist or doctor’s appointment would you? Make an appointment with Jesus and do your utmost to Keep it.

Find the Place: Yes we can meet with God anywhere, but you need to find your own place to meet with the Lord. John Wesley’s mother used to meet with the Lord under a sheet. It’s a place where you can be undisturbed for a while to be with Jesus. On a Submarine at sea it was difficult, because every part of the boat is continually manned, but we used to meet up in a place called the SINNS ROOM (Compass Room). You’ll find your own place to be with Jesus and it will become a special place, because when you seek the Lord, you’re going to meet Him there.

Find the Way: There are many wonderful ways to meet with he Lord.  But here are the Bible’s ways: Begin with Praise, “I will enter his gates with thanksgiving in my heart” Thanksgiving is so important. Then prayer, then reading His Word and thinking, meditating and going over in your mind what you’ve ready. I meet so many Christians who say they can’t get anything out of the Bible, but after talking with them, and finding out how they read, I’m not at all surprised. We need to know that the Bible is God’s Word to our lives; it’s useful for teaching, correcting, rebuking and training in righteousness, so that the man and woman of God can be thoroughly equipped for every good work of service. 2 Tim 3:16-17.

When you find the TIME and the PLACE and the WAY: You’ll discover afresh that Jesus Christ really is the WAY, THE TRUTH and the LIFE. John 14. He’s only ever a prayer away. You will find Jesus in your quiet place, and you’ll long to be with Him every day. You’ll experience LIFE the way that Jesus wants, fullness or abundance of spiritual life. You’ll overflow with God’s Spirit and touch the lives of many people because you’ve been meeting with the King of kings and LORD of Lords. All because, Like Mary Magdalene you were Seeking and Finding.

Keep going my friends, I’m with you on this journey through 40 Days With Jesus.

Don.

Points to Ponder:

  • How can you more diligently seek after Jesus on a daily basis?
  • Encourage yourself with the fact that He is already taking the initiative to seek after you.

Prayer:

Dear Lord Jesus, I thank you so much from my heart today that you’ve taken the first steps before I even began to look for you. I’m encouraged today Lord by Mary and how You revealed yourself to her, and the promises from Your Word that encourage me to seek you with all my heart and I will find you. Oh Lord Jesus, I want to see more of You, to know You better every single day. Help me today to continue and walk closely with me Lord Jesus, I want to do Your will in my life today. Amen!

40 Days With Jesus Home Page

P.S. I’m really looking forward to meeting up with our group again tonight. If you are free and live close by, you are welcome to come along and join with us. It’s great fun to discover the Lord with others. You’ll also be encouraged by what other people have experienced in their walk with Jesus.

These Thoughts Are Inspired by the book 40 Days With Jesus by Dave Smith. Don’s thoughts for the day.

The Second Video can be found on this PAGE.

The Movie can be found at the resources website above.

Seeking and Finding: 40 Days With Jesus: Day 7: Seeking and Finding.

 

 

Relating to God as Father.

God The Father

Daily Spirit & Word, 491: Relationship Redefined.

Relating to God as Father and Jesus as your Brother.

Good morning my friends, what an awesome weekend, you know that even when things go bad, God is ALWAYS GOOD. He’s not lost control as some imagine, He’s always in control, God’s always got a plan and every event or situation is known to Him even before it happens, nothing can take the LORD by surprise. It’s just one of His Divine attributes, KNOWING EVERYTHING. That revelation gives the follower of Jesus great confidence as you go about your daily routines and even when something unexpected happens in your life. Nothing, absolutely nothing, is beyond God’s sphere of influence or knowledge. Today, we discover something about God Almighty that’s crucial for every true believer in the Lord Jesus to grasp hold of and keep holding onto.

Mary Magdalene Touches The Risen Lord Jesus.

John 20:17-18 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ ” 18  Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.

 

Mary had obviously grabbed hold of her Lord when she recognised that the person she thought was a gardener was actually Jesus. I can’t really imagine how much she would have been relieved and overjoyed to see Jesus alive again can you? But we can try and put ourselves right there in the garden, by Jesus tomb, with Angels in the background and the risen Lord in front of us. Jesus is Alive after dying in front of her eyes, He’s back, He’s risen from the dead. Oh WOWzer or WOWzers. 🙂 Jumping for JOY. She grabs hold of Jesus and is obviously clinging to Him in such a way that says, “I’m never letting go of you, ever again”… Jesus didn’t rebuke her harshly, as some Bible commentators would have you imagine. He’s gently telling her to let go, because He must ascend into Heaven to be with His Father. So if it’s not a rebuke what is Jesus doing? He’s informing Mary that what He promised before He died is about to happen; those who’ve believed and trusted in Him would now relate with Him in a very different way; not physically as they had done before, but ‘Spiritually’. From now on, as soon as Jesus ascends into Heaven, we’ll be relating to God as our FATHER and Jesus as our Brother. God becomes our Father the moment we trust in Jesus Christ. We cannot hold onto Him in a physical way, no matter how much we’d long to touch Jesus, but the new reality, the new way of Knowing God, even though it’s spiritual, is even more tangible than a mere touch or hold or any other physical sensory experience. For the spiritual experience of knowing God enables us to connect in an even more powerful way that our five senses; sight, touch, taste, smell or sound.

Because we are still physical beings, we long for these senses to be satisfied, but once we’ve been born of God’s Spirit, as was about to happen to Mary Magdalene and all the other followers, we’d know God differently: As our Father and Jesus would then become our Heavenly Brother. Of course Jesus is still our Lord, God, Saviour, Master, Friend, but He’s become our brother too. We’re going to be relating to God on a completely different level than any other human being has ever done before. That’s the message that Jesus gave Mary Magdalene to give to the Disciples. It’s also the message that we’ve been tasked to deliver to every Human Being on earth today; it’s part of the Good News, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, that in Believing His message, that He came into the world to deliver sinners from God’s wrath and anger against their sins, to the glorious freedom of becoming a saint with a promise of everlasting life, we also come into a NEW relationship with God: He becomes our Father when we repent of our sins and trust in Jesus death upon the cross. Oh WOWzer of WOWzers… It’s totally awesome!

Once you KNOW this most awesome truth, you’re going to want to tell others about it. This truth and inner knowing is much, much better than anything else that can ever happen in your life.

Think about it for a moment, we all go through things in life that produce a massive YIPPIEEE inside. Things that flood our hearts with immense joy and gladness: A baby being born, falling in love for the first time, meeting that dream person, winning something we’ve longed for in life, getting promoted to a dream position in work, but THIS: KNOWING GOD AS FATHER far, far exceeds ANYTHING else in life. Even if we were to win the whole world, it’s NOTHING in comparison to a fraction of a second with the GLORY of God. Being in God’s presence for even one second is much better than a MOUNTAIN of Gold, Silver, Diamonds and Rubies. Why? Because they can’t RELATE, they’re incapable of knowing, they’re dead things, but being with Father God, the Ultimate REALITY EXPERIENCE: What a total WOWzer! I can’t really find the words to communicate what it’s like: it’s beyond the human capacity to describe what it’s like knowing God as Father: but JOY beyond our happiest wish for JOY is something like it.

Now, through simply coming in faith and trust to Jesus: God IS your Heavenly Father.

Explaining WOWzer!

What does WOWzer mean? You know that Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media sights has a button you can press when you really like something: In Instagram it’s a heart, in Twitter it’s a star and on Facebook it’s the famous LIKE button. Well imagine if they had a way of ranking your likes, hearts and stars? It might go like this;

  • For Facebook: Like, Like a lot, Like a whole lot, really really really like and then comes WOWzer! 🙂
  • For Twitter: one Star, two, three, four, five and then WOWzer!
  • For Instagram: One Heart, two, three, four, five and then WOWzer!

Well that’s what it’s like now knowing God as FATHER… But I would give that experience: WOWzer of WOWzers. You see?

Points to Ponder:

What is your own response to the idea that God is your Father?

When you pray or worship God, how do you see yourself approaching Him? Do you see yourself as an undeserving sinner coming to a reluctant God or, as God see you, as a much loved child, coming to a wonderful Father who loves you very much?

Prayer:

Dear Lord Jesus, I thank you so much for welcoming me into Your Heavenly Family. It’s wonderful that you’ve bridged the chasm that separated me from Father God by giving Your life upon the Cross and dealing with my sin in such a way that’s it’s power has been defeated forever. You’ve brought me freedom and joy and peace because You died in my place. Now I’m in Your family and I know that it’s going to last forever. Because of what You did Lord Jesus, I now Know God as my Father. (John 1:12). I know that I’ve now inherited Heaven with You Lord as my Brother (Romans 8:17). Father Your Word tells me You are perfect (Matthew 5:48). You are therefore, better than my beloved earthly father, You will never disappoint or let me down or let me go. I know and believe your promises that you’ll never leave me alone (Deuteronomy 31:6) You long to lavish Your love upon me as Your beloved child (1 John 3:1). So Father, as Your child I receive Your love afresh today. Thanks You so much for Your faithfulness towards me. Help me Father to be faithful in telling others the Greatest News of the Awesome Joy of Knowing You today and that everyone can come to know you as Father once they’ve trusted in Jesus. Amen!

Have an awesome day with Jesus.

Don.

40 Days With Jesus Home Page:

40 Days with Jesus: Day 6: Relationships Redefined: Knowing God as Father.

Relating To God As Father: Relationships Redefined.

 

 

 

 

Hearing The Voice Of Jesus

His Sheep Hear His Voice

Daily Spirit & Word, 490: Hearing The Voice Of Jesus.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 5: Hearing The Voice Of Jesus.

Good morning my friends, we had another brilliant Kingdom day on Friday. In the afternoon we went out onto the Streets sharing the Gospel with folks and handing out tracts. We got into quite a few great conversations, but the one that stands out the most was an elderly lady, who was so cold towards Jesus that it literally made the hairs on my neck stand up straight, but my colleague David was very gentle, calm and persistent with her. Though initially she was completely indifferent, she eventually warmed up a little and began to share why she didn’t believe or wouldn’t believe. Finally we left with a smile and a prayer for her. Not everyone welcomes the Good News and to some, as the Bible says, “We’re the smell of death” for them. It touched both of us, because this lady was quite elderly and ready to take the leap from Earth into Eternity unprepared. It was like having someone on a plane that was about to crash and the pilot had already issued the passengers with a parachute, but she was like one of the passengers who’s refusing to put her parachute on, declaring, “I don’t believe this plane is going to crash, so why do I need to put this thing on?”. We know that anyone who’s not trusted in the Lord Jesus before the dreadful day of departure arrives will spend Eternity in Hell and yesterday we felt for this woman. She’d heard the Gospel, but rejected it many times in her life. We don’t know the reasons why, but she was as closed as closed could be. Please pray for her today. We had many great conversations and some that led people to point of wanting to trust the Saviour for Salvation, but I share about the old lady, because not everyone will be hearing the voice of Jesus as we speak, they’ll be forever hearing by not perceiving.

Hearing the Voice of Jesus.

John 20:15-16 (NIV)
15  “Woman,” he said, “why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.” 16  Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned towards him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher).

Today on the fifth day of 40 Days With Jesus, we’ve reached an important occasion. In John 20:15-16, we see something really significant. Dave Smith calls it, “The Most Significant Moment In Human History”, because it’s the day that Jesus spoke in His resurrected body to another human being. The Lord of Heaven spoke to Mary Magdalene, she was the first to hear His voice. It’s important for another reason, because she heard Jesus in the same way that each one of us who come to faith in Him also hear the revelation of His voice, because my friends Jesus is speaking to us today.

The Scene At The Tomb Of Jesus.

Mary Magdalene was looking for Jesus body, she’d told the Disciples the body was gone, they’d come and inspected the tomb and returned home, but Mary lingered, crying and weeping, desperate to find the Lord’s body. She’d failed to recognise the Angelic visitors in the tomb as being something Heavenly happening with Jesus resurrected body. Now she turns to Jesus, thinking He’s the gardener, and Jesus asks her a question. He engages her in conversation: He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it that you are looking for?”. Even though it was Jesus speaking, she didn’t recognise His voice.

My friends, there are people being called in the God’s Kingdom today, He’s speaking to them, but they are NOT recognising who’s voice it is. Whenever, the Gospel is proclaimed, it’s God calling and reaching out through the preacher’s voice into the hearts and lives of those who listen. Jesus said that would happen,  Mark 4:11-12 11  He told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables 12  so that, ” ‘they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!’

2 Timothy 3:6-7  “They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7  always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth.”

Mary didn’t recognise it was Jesus speaking to her.

Jesus Shows Himself:

It’s one thing to rise from the dead and dissappear into Eternity, but quite another to rise and then show yourself ALIVE to people, that’s what Jesus was doing and He did it first with Mary Magdalene.

Not A Vision or A Ghost:

Secondly, it’s important to note that Mary is not just seeing a vision or a ghost or something she’s imagined, Jesus is REAL, He’s ALIVE and He could be touched by people. Yes, Jesus could appear and disappear, but when He was with people; He spoke, ate and could be touched by them. Remember the incident with doubting Thomas, we come to that later in the course. Jesus is real and alive today my friends, and He’s promised to be right there with us when we gather together in His name and He’s also promised that He’ll be IN those who trust in Him for Salvation. You can actually KNOW Jesus today.

Jesus Call His Sheep By Name:

Thirdly and of immense importance for everyone today, is that Jesus calls Mary by name. He knew Mary and He knows each and everyone of us too. John records that Jesus is the Good Shepherd.

John 10:1-5 1  “I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2  The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. 3  The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4  When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5  But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognise a stranger’s voice.”

It was only when Jesus said, “Mary” that she knew who He was. She wasn’t expecting to find Jesus alive, that’s probably why she didn’t recognise Him at first, but when He spoke her name, WOWzer! Suddenly her revelation came. “He’s ALIVE”… You can hear it in her head, she grabs hold of Jesus. She touches the risen Lord. He tells her not to hold onto him.

My friends, Jesus is calling each and every one in the world today. He’s calling out and some listen, some hear, some respond and some begin to worship. Mary called Him “Rabboni” which means; ‘Teacher’.

Mary was called by Jesus, she heard His voice and recognised who He was. She was led that day our of her darkness into the light of understanding and revelation, for distress and grief into everlasting joy, because she met the risen Saviour. We can get that same kind of revelation for ourselves today. When we meet the risen Saviour by faith, when we read God’s Words in the Bible, He’ll speak to us to, Jesus speaks to us today by His Spirit and He’s calling you too my friends.

Jesus is calling everyone into a NEW and DEEPER understanding of who He is and what He wants for your life. Will you come and spend a day with Jesus. We’re spending 40 Days With Jesus and each day our understanding is growing.

Have an awesome Saturday my friends, come tomorrow for Worship, come on Tuesday for the gathering together to watch the video for the week and share in discussion what you’ve been learning every day.

God bless and keep you in Jesus today,

Don.

Points to Ponder:

  •  What an incredible thought, that God Almighty, the King of the Heavens, knows you and me by name! Do you need to hear Jesus calling your name?
  • How aware are you that Jesus is a real person, with thoughts, feelings, a personality and a voice? What difference does this make to the way you can relate to Him today?
  • How will you live differently today knowing that Jesus is present with you right now by the Holy Spirit? Just as Jesus spoke to Mary in her despair, so He can and will speak to you, too. The great news is that your ‘lows’ can be made ‘highs’ by just one word from the Saviour of your soul. 

Prayer:

Dear Lord Jesus Christ, I thank You Lord for caring enough about me to call my name and I thank You for making it possible for me to hear your voice and respond to Your call. Holy Spirit, I welcome You into my life and ask that You would make real to me the presence of Jesus in a wonderful fresh way today. I know that I’m honoured that You would choose to make Your home in my heart. Show me how I can be a great host to You today. Help me to know Your Presence wherever I am in the world and to be listening out for Your voice. Amen. 

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