The Kind of Friend We Have In Jesus

Lazarus brought back to life so that we could believe in Jesus Christ

Daily Spirit & Word: 704:

The Kind of Friend We Have In Jesus.

Jesus The Creator God:

Colossians 1:15-17 (NLT) Jesus Christ Is Creator God.
15  Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, 16  for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see— such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. 17  He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together.

Colossians 1:15-17 (NKJV).

Good morning my friends, our START Course last night to prepare two children for Baptism with their parents was amazing. The questions children ask are often most honest and very thought provoking. They are not afraid to ask, “Why is there so much suffering, violence, war and hatred or evil in the world?” and “If God is so good, why doesn’t He stop it?”. We had a Swing-o-meter in the Video and in our booklet, this was to show where we are currently in our belief in the existence of God. It’s always an eye-opener for me when that question is asked, because quite often people will be ready to be more honest with a drawing or video than they will be in church. Far too often we respond with what we expect people want to hear, rather than what we actually believe.

Does God Exist? How can He Prove Himself to you?

Last night I explained, that God reveals Himself to us in many different ways: Through Creation, through prayer, through praise and worship, through the circumstances we go through in life, through the Bible, but ultimately God has already revealed Himself most fully in the person of His Son He sent to Earth. If you want to see what God is like, then look at the life, teachings and actions of Jesus Christ. These are recorded in the four Gospels, but also prophesied hundreds of years before Jesus was even born in Bethlehem.

You’ve heard that God is good, God is kind and God wants to be your friend, right?

But HOW can we know this is true?

You probably know that famous hymn; “What A Friend We Have In Jesus”… Well, we can clearly see the kind of friend we have in Jesus from the eleventh chapter in the Gospel of John. (Read it in full at bottom of page).

What Kind of a Friend Do We Have in Jesus?. John 11.

Jesus Is The Greatest Person Who Ever Lived.

  1. Jesus is The Listening Friend. “Jesus heard” (John 11:4).
  2. Jesus is The Loving Lord. “Jesus loved” (John 11:5).
  3. Jesus is The Gracious Teacher. “Jesus answered” (John 11:9).
  4. Jesus is The Wonderful Speaker. “Jesus said” and “spoke” (John 11:13, 23).
  5. Jesus Timing is Perfect. “Jesus came” (John 11:17).
  6. Jesus Presence Means Power. “Mary came to Jesus” (John 11:32).
  7. Jesus Sees Our Tears “Jesus saw her tears” (John 11:33).
  8. Jesus is Touched by our troubles. “He was deeply moved in Spirit” (John 11:33, 38).
  9. Jesus is The Weeping Saviour. “Jesus wept” (John 11:35).
  10. Jesus is God, The Son. “Jesus looked up and said, “Father”” (John 11:41). 
  11. Jesus WORDS mean LIFE: The Giver of Life. “He shouted Lazarus come out” (John 11:43). 
  12. Jesus Miracle Works Enable Belief, . “Jesus did… done” (John 11:45, 46). 
  13. The Undisputed Witness. “This Man does many miracles” (John 11:47). 
  14. The Delivering Substitute. “Jesus should die” (John 11:51, 53).

If you’ve ever doubted the existence of God, then take an honest look at yourself in a mirror and ask this question, “Could something as wonderful as me have happened by accident?” 😛  My friends, You are fearfully and wonderfully made, Psalm 139.

Colossians 1:15-17 (NLT) Jesus Christ Is Creator God.
15  Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, 16  for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see— such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. 17  He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together.

Jesus Is The Greatest Person Who Ever Lived Upon The EARTH.

Jesus Christ Is God: He always was, always will be.

The greatest person who ever lived wants to be your friend too: Click Here. What is the Second Death?

The Good News of Jesus Christ

Have and exciting journey of discovery about God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit,

Prayer: O Lord God Almighty, Father will You please let us see Your Glory in the face of Jesus Christ through faith? I’ve seen today that Jesus is the kind of friend I need in my life. I’m coming afresh to you today Lord. I want to love You, Know You, Experience You more today than ever before. Fill me afresh with Holy Spirit. In the Mighty Name of Jesus Christ my Lord and Saviour, Amen!

Don.

Bible Account of Lazarus: John Chapter 11.

John 11:1-16 (NIV)
1 Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha.
2  This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.
3  So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.”
4  When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”
5  Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.
6  Yet when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days.
7  Then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”
8  “But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews tried to stone you, and yet you are going back there?”
9  Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? A man who walks by day will not stumble, for he sees by this world’s light.
10  It is when he walks by night that he stumbles, for he has no light.”
11  After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.”
12  His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.”
13  Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.
14  So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead,
15  and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”
16  Then Thomas (called Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”
So much more is revealed in the above account that simply the death of Lazarus: Jesus knowledge about all things. His Divinity “The Son of God”. How God the Father used bringing someone back from the dead to enable people to have faith in Jesus Christ.

The Grief-Stricken Sisters Are Comforted by Jesus.

John 11:17-37 (NIV)
17  On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days.
18  Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem,
19  and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother.
20  When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.
21  “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died.
22  But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”
23  Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”
24  Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
25  Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies;
26  and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
27  “Yes, Lord,” she told him, “I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world.”
28  And after she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. “The Teacher is here,” she said, “and is asking for you.”
29  When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him.
30  Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him.
31  When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there.
32  When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
33  When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.
34  “Where have you laid him?” he asked. “Come and see, Lord,” they replied.
35  Jesus wept.
36  Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”
37  But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”

The Shortest Verse in the Bible reveals Jesus’ compassion: John 11:35 “Jesus wept”… He feels what we are going through deeply in His Spirit, even today. God cares deeply about what you experience in this life.

Verse 25: reveals that Jesus Christ, Himself God, is the source of LIFE on Planet Earth: All things were Created by Him and for Him.

Colossians 1:15-17 (NLT) Jesus Christ Is Creator God.
15  Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, 16  for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see— such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. 17  He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together.

Jesus Raises Lazarus From The Dead

What a powerful miracle you are about to read.

John 11:38-45 (NIV)
38  Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance.
39  “Take away the stone,” he said. “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odour, for he has been there four days.”
40  Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?”
41  So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me.
42  I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”
43  When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”
44  The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”
45  Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, put their faith in him.

My friends, Lazarus was brought back to life so that we could see this miracle and believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and to enable us to put our faith and trust in Him. Like Lazarus, we are all born Spiritually dead, but Jesus purpose in coming into this world is that we might experience New Birth and see New Life, full life and be “born of the Spirit”. It’s as if Jesus is saying to every single one of us; “Take off the grave clothes and let him go”… He wants to open our eyes and let us see His glory today. Put your faith and trust in the Living God, the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!

 

The Best Pick Me Up EVER

Rivers of Living Waters Holy Spirit

Daily Spirit & Word: 687: The BEST Pick-Me-Up EVER.

“In The Spirit”.

Good morning my friends, yesterday was awesome. We’re looking after three of our grandchildren and it took its toll on Granny last night, she fell asleep as Aminata was chatting away. Sometimes we forget that we’re getting older and things that we took for granted years ago, take more out of us today.

In life we’re constantly looking for that life TONIC that will pick-me-up. Some look for it in natural substances, that’s why Health Stores are doing so well; Vitamins, Herbs, Seeds, Nuts, Berries, Leaves etc… Some are turning to toxic substances; drugs and drink. Drugs give an addict a high (initially) but then they’re constantly in search of that first high again, but when drugs gets hold of you, it never delivers the expected results. Basically, drugs are a LIE from Hell. Because Satan is a liar and the father of lies, God has revealed that “He is a thief who only comes to steal, kill and destroy” (John 10) In the end these substances will poison our bodies and leave us even more shattered than ever.

However, today you are about to discover the UNLIMATE pick-me-up, the best discovery of all time: It’s the Holy Spirit. God Himself living in an individual. With the POWER of the CREATOR inside us, what else can happen but pick us up from the dust, the dirt and the mire. His pick-me-up takes us way beyond Earth into the Heavenly realms and often we just don’t want to come back down again.

Revelation 1:10-11 (NIV)
10  On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet,
11  which said: “Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.”

John tells us that on Sunday (The Lord’s Day) He was “IN THE SPIRIT”…

If ever there was a loaded phrase in the Bible this is it. Of course there are many countless others as well, but “In the Spirit” what does that mean? My friends, just like my daughter Stephanie, who’s expecting a baby any moment, this phrase is PREGNANT with meaning. Once we understand it, we’ll also want to be “In The Spirit” as much as we can. However, unlike drugs that don’t deliver that expected HIGH ever again, the Holy Spirit constantly takes us to brand NEW Heights.

By that stage in his life, John was a very old man, he seen so many wonderful things. John had been with Jesus and had witnessed the most incredible miracles, he’d met Jesus and touched Him after the Crucifixion, but it seems that the LORD has saved the best until the last few moments in John’s life.

His Circumstances were DIRE: He was a Prisoner on a Prison Island. He’d suffered a great deal at the hands of the Romans, but NO MATTER WHAT your circumstances are or will be, God can come in and give you a REVELATION of Himself that will TRANSPORT you above anything. No pain or suffering can keep you from being “IN THE SPIRIT”.

If you’ve ever watched “Shawshank Redemption” (The Great Prison Escape Movie): There’s one phrase that sticks out above all the others in the movie, “They can’t take away your mind, they can’t stop you using your imagination”… The great thing about being “In The Spirit” is that it’s NOT imagination, it’s NOT self-will, it’s NOT tapping into that secret power within or the hidden potential within human beings, but it’s making a connection with the Creator Himself. The Holy Spirit floods your inner-man / woman. He fills you with the LOVE of God. I don’t know why Christians don’t seek this filling every single day.

Once you get “In The Spirit” you are going to experience a Pick-me-Up like never before.

BUT what does John the Apostle mean by “In The Spirit”?

To discover that, we’re going to take a trip back to some of His other writings and parts of the Old Testament. We’re going to see that John explained it before and that others experienced what he did, hundreds of years before he was born.

Right at the Beginning of His Gospel, John was inspired by the Holy Spirit to write about Jesus and how when we “RECEIVE” Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, we are BORN OF THE SPIRIT or BORN AGAIN: John 1:10-14, John 3. When that happens we become part of God’s Heavenly Family forever. Of course to get ‘Born Again’ it’s not simply believing in Jesus; i.e. that Jesus is real or about Jesus mission or even who Jesus is: The Messiah, The Saviour of Mankind… Even the Devil believes these things, but he’s not born of God’s Spirit. So it must mean more than simple ‘belief in Jesus’… Before we can receive Jesus, we must believe in Him as the Scriptures have said: i.e. We must acknowledge our need for God and for His forgiveness. We must turn in Repentance and Faith to be forgiven. Once we do that, then we’re ready to RECEIVE Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.

John 7:37-39
37  On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.
38  Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.”
39  By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.

When we put our trust and faith in Jesus as the Scriptures have said, then the streams of living water will flow from within him. Awesome! The streams come from within: I.E. The Holy Spirit living inside us will flood our being.

That’s what John meant by “Being In The Spirit” Revelation 1:10-11. Belief in Jesus as He is REVEALED in SCRIPTURE: He is God’s chosen lamb, the sacrifice for our sins, to set us free from sin and death and to give us Eternal life.

Where does it say that in the ‘Scriptures’? Hundreds of years before Jesus or John the Apostle in the book of Isaiah the Prophet. In many ways, Jesus is revealed; His Virgin birth, His life, what He came to do, why He came to do it and How His life would end, but also how His death would not be the end. Isaiah Prophesied all these things.

Isaiah’s Prophesies About Jesus:

  • Born of a Virgin (Isaiah 7:14).
  • Galilean Ministry (Isaiah 9:1-2).
  • Heir to David’s Throne (Isaiah 9:7, Isaiah 11:1, 10).
  • His way prepared by John the Baptist (Isaiah 40:3-5).
  • He will be spat on and struck (Isaiah 50:6)
  • Will be lifted up (Isaiah 52:13).
  • Will be disfigured by suffering (Isaiah 52:14, 53:2).
  • Will make a blood atonement for sin (Isaiah 53:5).
  • Will be rejected by men (Isaiah 53:1,3).
  • Will bear our sins and sorrows (Isaiah 53:4-5).
  • Will be our substitute (Isaiah 53:6, 8).
  • He will voluntarily accept our guilt and punishment for our sins (Isaiah 53:7-8).
  • The Gentiles (non-Jews) will trust in Him (Isaiah 11:10).
  • Will be silent before His accusers (Isaiah 53:7).
  • Will save those who trust in Him (Isaiah 53:12).
  • Will die with transgressors (Isaiah 53:12).
  • Jesus will heal the broken-hearted (Isaiah 61:1,2).
  • God’s Spirit will rest upon Him (Isaiah 11:2).
  • Will be buried in a rich man’s tomb (Isaiah 53:9).
  • Will judge the Earth in Righteousness (Isaiah 11:4,5).

All of these Prophesies and many, many more about Him, were fulfilled in Jesus birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension.

Once we believe in Jesus, as the Scriptures have said, when we put our Faith and Trust in Him, turning from sin to be cleansed and forgiven, then and only then can the new birth take place and we’re away “In The Spirit” streams of living water flow from within us…. “Oh LORD, fill me afresh with Your Holy Spirit right now, I need Him”….

Do you want to be “In the Spirit” NOW?

Don’t simply say, “I believe in Jesus”, my friends, so does the Devil. Instead, turn from your sin, receive Jesus as Lord, be born of His Holy Spirit and believe in Him as the Scriptures have said, then you will be filled, it will be like a “river of living water”… That’s what it means to be “In The Spirit” … What a Pick-Me-Up that will be today. Amen!

Don.

 

Following A Guiding Star: More Than A Fairy Tale.

The guiding Star will lead you to the Saviour today

Daily Spirit & Word; 654; More than a fairy tale.

Good morning my friends, I just happened to be watching East Enders last night, well not really, I caught a few lines before grasping for the remote to turn channels 🙂 But before I could turn it over, I heard Stacy utter these words, “It’s all just a silly fairy-tale, a made-up story, all that following a bright star in the sky”… I’m sure that Stacy echoes the sentiments of many people in our land today, but there are some, myself included, who firmly believe every written word: The Virgin birth (impossible), the guiding star (impossible), the opening up of heaven to see thousands and thousands of angels praising God, the birth in a stable, the wise men’s visit, etc etc etc… I believe the whole account in the Bible and it fills me with true amazement, wonder and joy every Christmas.

Matthew 2:1-12
1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem
2  and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”
3  When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him.
4  When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born.
5  “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:
6  ” ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.’ “
7  Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared.
8  He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”
9  After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was.
10  When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.
11  On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.
12  And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

MORE THAN A FAIRY TAIL.

Jesus birth is much more than a fairy tale or folk lore, it’s a scientific fact. 😎  Jesus was born, and I watched a documentary a few years ago by secular scientists who proved that the alignment of the stars around about the time of Jesus birth actually happened (yes it was in colour :-). However, even if they could find no evidence for it, or if a new documentary comes along and declares, “It never happened”, that would not shake my faith in the veracity of the Biblical account. Why? Because those who recorded for us the pages of the Bible were not motivated by money, notoriety or fame, they were moved by God the Holy Spirit: The Gospels ARE Scripture; the Holy Scriptures are inspired by God; men motivated and guided by Him to give an accurate, honest and truthful account of the Saviour’s birth, life, teachings, death and resurrection.

I know it’s true, because there is only one thing that’s impossible for God, God cannot lie. He’s got to tell the truth, because God is TRUTH. The Bible tells us that God cannot lie: Jesus is God and He said about Himself, “I AM the way, the truth and the life”… He often said, “truly, truly I tell you”… He emphasised the fact that He was always telling the truth. My friends, you can TRUST that Jesus birth and all the events surrounding it; from the Angels, the Wise Men, the Shepherds and the Virgin Birth are all TRUE.

WHICH STAR ARE YOU FOLLOWING?

My friends, you can either follow a SOAP STAR or you can follow the GUIDING STAR.

  • One will lead you away from Jesus;
  • The other will direct you to the SAVIOUR OF THE WORLD.

You may be one of the doubters like Stacy in Eastenders, or you might be looking forward to Christmas this year. Perhaps the story doesn’t fill you with joy, wonder and praise, but it can and it will if you will just come in repentance and faith and trust in Jesus Christ. Be like one of the Magi (those wise men from the East), who followed the start and found the promised Messiah, Emmanuel (God with us) in Jesus Christ.

JESUS CAN BE: YOUR EMMANUEL.

Emmanuel: Means = God With Us.

Jesus promised all those who took Him as their Saviour:

“I will never leave you, I am with you, even to the end of the age”…

He’ll be your Emmanuel the moment you trust Him as Lord and forever.

I’m really looking forward to Christmas, it’s a fantastical good time to read annually the events and ancient prophetic Scriptures that foretold all the events surrounding our Saviour’s birth so accurately for us.

Our faith, the Christian faith, doesn’t rest upon EVIDENCE alone, but the inward witness of the Holy Spirit who confirms and illuminates these events even more. When I read the Bible I’m filled with a JOY that only God can give. It’s impossible to experience that JOY fully, without being born of God’s Holy Spirit. No wonder, like Stacy in Eastenders, the world thinks it’s foolishness. Get God and you’ll get ILLUMINATION of His Word. Be like the Wise men, get your own Emmanuel: Jesus is with you forever. Amen.

The Soap Star: Stacy in Eastenders, will lead you away from Jesus.
The Guiding Star: Will lead you to put your faith and trust in Him.
Who will you follow?

Praise You; Father, Son and Holy Spirit; Almighty God. Amen.

Don.

FAITH is simply taking the first step

Knowing Jesus we need to take the first steps of faith

Daily Spirit & Word: 639:

The Friends V The Professionals.

It’s Possible Through Simple Trusting: To KNOW Jesus Christ Personally.

Good morning my friends, On Sunday at our Thanksgiving Service for the Blessing, Naming and Dedication of four lovely children (asked for instead of baptism), I was preaching on Mark 2 About The Calling of Levi the Tax Collector.

The previous week I’d been preaching about that wonderful account of the Miracle and the Authority of Jesus. In Mark Chapter 2 we find different groups of people; The crowds blocking the way to Jesus, the Teachers of the Law and the Pharisees and the group of faithful friends who carried the crippled man and lowered him through the roof to Jesus.

In the Calling of Matthew we find; Sinners, Tax Collectors and the same group of Teachers of the Law and Pharisees.

I’ve been thinking a bit more about that and praying about how people can be so close to God’s REVELATION and yet be so far away from it.

Those TEACHERS OF THE LAW: THE SCRIBES – You know my friends, those scribes were highly educated men.

History: After the Israelites returned to the Promised Land from their exile and Babylonian captivity, it was the Scribes who were the leaders of the Jewish Nation. The Prophet Ezra was also a Scribe. Their task was to teach, preserve and copy the Scriptures. They were also professional interpreters of the Mosaic Law and administered both its religious and its civil codes. The scribes determined how the details of the law of Moses should be applied to everyday life.

In time, they became the custodians of the so-called “oral law,” which, by Jesus’ time, was already replacing the written law as the rule of life. The Scribes and Pharisees had added many man-made traditions to God’s Law. The scribes were regarded as the authorities on historical and doctrinal matters. They were the nation’s teachers, each scribe having a number of disciples around him. Their power increased after Malachi closed the Old Testament canon and prophecy ceased. The Sanhedrin had a number of them among its membership. They were bitter enemies of Jesus Christ, often you’ll see them portrayed in the Bible as sitting in judgment of Him and finding fault with almost everything He did and said. They were often trying to trick Jesus and trip Him up in His own words. However, they didn’t realise with all their knowledge that they were dealing with God on Earth.

How could people who were as educated as those Scribes, Teachers of God’s Holy Law, be so close to God’s revelations and yet be so far away from understanding who Jesus was, what He’d come to do and why He came to do it? Because almost everything Jesus did and said was prophesied about in God’s Word that they were so ‘expert’ in. Jesus birth and life were all written about by the Prophets of old, they should have known that He was their expected Messiah, Emmanuel (God with us).

Not only should they have known who Jesus was, but they should have welcomed Him, especially after the miracles proved that Jesus had the authority to forgive sins, because only God could do both; forgive sins and heal with just a word. It was so obvious, so how could they miss it?

Perhaps it’s easy for us, because we’ve been giving so much more in the revelation of who Jesus is in the New Testament, but my friends, I’ve known modern EXPERTS who know the Bible much better than I do, who don’t KNOW Jesus personally. They know all about Him, they teach all about Him, they write books all about Him, but they don’t know Him. It becomes obvious when you read what they write and listen to what they say about Him.

It was not the Religious Teachers of the Law, the educated elite, who were commended by Jesus, but it was the common folk, friends of the crippled man, who’d carried him to Jesus and lowered Him to Jesus feet who were commended for their great faith. It wasn’t the Pharisees and Teachers commended by Jesus, but the Tax Collectors and Sinners with whom He sat down to eat dinner with.

It’s strange that knowing lots of things can keep a person away from the Lord. Please don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with study or gaining great knowledge. I love it myself: I love reading about the latest inventions, the innovations in electronics (my first career was an Engineer). There’s nothing more exciting than discovering, examining, looking into, researching, fact-finding, questing for knowledge and understanding; but as far as KNOWING GOD, we may study, but it will come to a point when we must realise that KNOWING HIM is very different from KNOWING all about Him.

To get that kind of knowledge about the LORD, to KNOW Jesus personally, will take DIVINE revelation. He will reveal Himself to you my friends, not because of your in-depth study, but because of your FAITH and TRUST in Him. He’ll show Himself to you. WOWzer!

John 5:39-40 “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, 40  yet you refuse to come to me to have life.”

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.

1 Corinthians 3:18-20
18  Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a “fool” so that he may become wise.
19  For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”;
20  and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.”

So my friends, study all you like, but it’s going to take DIVINE REVELATION to actually KNOW Jesus Christ.

It’s foolishness to the ‘world’ (Worldly Wisdom). It always will be 🙂

But it’s NOT intellectual suicide, it takes something else: Faith and Trust.

How do we get that DIVINE REVELATION? 

It’s obvious, we all need to come to Jesus. Oh I wish I could be like one of those four friends and carry you to the Saviour.

For people today, to get Divine Revelation of Jesus it is simply by doing what Jesus told the Pharisees and Teachers of the Law to do in Mark Chapter 2: but they didn’t have ears to hear or eyes to see. To get DIVINE, INWARD REVELATION and KNOW Jesus, we must; REPENT OF OUR SINS.

Mark 2:16-17 (NKJV)
16  And when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eating with the tax collectors and sinners, they said to His disciples, “How is it that He eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?”
17  When Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”

If they’d been open and honest with themselves, they’d have seen that they too were actually sinners as well.

Faith is simply taking the first step, even though you can’t see the whole staircase.

WE MUST ALSO BELIEVE IN JESUS.

  • Who Jesus was: The Son of God.
  • What Jesus came to do: Die upon the Cross for our sins and the sins of the whole world.
  • What Jesus did: Died and rose again from the dead to life. He also ascended into Heaven and is alive now, reigning in Heaven with His Father.
  • What Jesus does now: He sends the Holy Spirit into everyone who trusts in His Death upon the Cross for forgiveness and turns in repentance and faith to receive Him as Lord.

Once we do that, the Holy Spirit will come and give us New Birth (we’ll be born again).

Those TEACHERS of God’s Law and the Pharisees who knew the Scriptures so well, didn’t get it. So my friends, I’ve got a question for you today, think very seriously before answering. To KNOW Jesus is too important to miss, because your ETERNAL destiny depends upon HOW you answer these questions now:

  • Have you repented? (Matthew 21:32; Luke 24:46-48; Isaiah 30:15; Luke 13:3,5; Acts 17:39)
  • Have you believed in Jesus? (John 3:15-20)
  • Have you received Him as Lord? (John 1:12-13).
  • Have you trusted that He died upon the Cross for your sins? (1 Peter 2:24)
  • Have you been born of the Holy Spirit? (John 3)
  • Have you believe in your heart that Jesus is Lord? (Acts 2:38-39; Romans 10:8-17)
  • Have you confessed with your mouth that Jesus is your Lord? (witnessed to others about Jesus).

Check yourself to see if you are IN Christ Jesus and He is IN you (John 14, 15, 17, Chapters).

Check yourself to see if you are IN the FAITH of Jesus Christ: (2 Corinthians 13:5).

My friends, don’t be like those Teachers of the Law and the Pharisees, who knew all about God’s Word, but remained far away from trusting in Jesus Christ, He was their own Messiah, Emmanuel (God with us). You can know Jesus personally today.

Believe, Repent, Receive, Trust, Be Born of God’s Spirit. Amen!

Faith is simply, taking the first step, even though you can’t see the whole staircase.

Don.

 

Prayer That Moves Mountains

Strong in prayer, faith, belief and not doubting,

Daily Spirit & Word, 624: Stop Your Wimpy Praying.

Prayer That Moves Mountains

Good morning my friends, at our worship team meeting on Friday, one of the group, during prayer, said, “Lord, forgive our wimpy praying”… Prayer that lacks power. Prayer that has no legs in it. Prayer that doesn’t expect answers. “Oh Lord, forgive our wimpy prayers”.

Thankfully, the Word of God has a lot to say about prayer and how to ensure our prayers are answered.

Matthew 21:22 “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”

What does that verse above tell us?

  • That we can get anything we want? No!
  • That God is like a genie in the lamp, that we can rub and get all our wishes to come true? No!

Just like all the great memory verses in God’s Word, we must look at this verse in it’s context to understand what our Lord Jesus was saying.

Why is context important? Because, someone who prays, believing that he or she will get an answer to that prayer, and doesn’t get what he or she wants is going to be bitterly disappointed and may give up on prayer or the Lord very quickly.

Matthew 21:18-22
18 Early in the morning, as he (Jesus) was on his way back to the city, he was hungry.
19  Seeing a fig-tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered.
20  When the disciples saw this, they were amazed. “How did the fig-tree wither so quickly?” they asked.
21  Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig-tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done.
22  If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”

Jesus was hungry: He expected to be fed by a fig tree. He said to it (as if it had ears or a mind and will to understand) “May you never bear fruit again!” That fig tree withered instantly.

Then Jesus explained about faith and answered prayer: “If you have faith and don’t doubt and if you believe; then you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer”… The keys to answered prayer: faith, belief and not doubting.

Remember what Jesus said to Thomas? “Stop doubting and believe” (John 20:27)… After Jesus rose from the dead he appeared first to all the disciples apart from Thomas. Church historians record that Thomas went on to become the Apostle who travelled to India and established one of the oldest and longest surviving groups of Christians in the world. He obviously did stop doubting and believed.

The Cursing of the Fig Tree:

Why did Jesus curse the fig tree?

Most Bible commentators believe that this cursing of the fig tree is symbolic. I do believe that too, because the evidence from Scripture is compelling; the Fig Tree is Symbolic of the Nation of Israel.

When did Jesus curse the fig tree?

It happened a week before Passover, and was during the last few days of Jesus’ life. It was very early in the season for figs, but because figs grow before the leaves come, Jesus would have expected to find some figs on the tree. In the UK we normally only get one crop of figs, but in the right climate and growing conditions, people who grow figs can get three crops in a whole year from fig trees. When Jesus saw the leaves on the tree He expected to find fruit too.

What was happening around the time Jesus cursed the fig tree?

When Jesus arrived in Jerusalem, the people wanted to make Him King, but Jesus went to the Temple: What did He find there? Instead of pure religion it was a joke. People were buying and selling in the Temple. He got angry and turned over the tables and made a whip to drive people out of God’s House.

When he arrived he expected to find: PURE RELIGION: (to eat fruit from the fig tree).

  • The Fig Tree: Looked Good: (Had green leaves).
  • The Temple: Looked Good, had all the trappings of religion; Sacrifices, Robes, Magnificent Building.

However, just like the fig tree, the Temple was BARREN: Dead religion, faithless religiosity. Faithless religion is just as bad as pagan witchcraft. People performed their religious chants, followed religiously their duties, said the right prayers, thinking that because of the words and the way they are performed God is obliged to do their bidding. It’s just EMPTY and FAITHLESS religiosity. It was never meant to be what was said or how it was performed, pure religion was always meant to come for a heart that really wants to please God and from a people who wanted to live with God and in accordance with His will.

The Cursed Fig Tree: is a WARNING:

Not just to Israel, but to every follower of Jesus today: He’s looking for you to bear fruit in your daily walk with Him.

If you are not being fruitful, then your faith is as good a dead.

Repent or Perish:  Luke 13:1-9 (Repent or Perish).
1 Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices.
2  Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way?
3  I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.
4  Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem?
5  I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”
6  Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig-tree, planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any. 7  So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig-tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’
8  ” ‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig round it and fertilise it. 9  If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’ “

Matthew 3:7-12 Produce The Fruit Of True Repentance. 
7  But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptising, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?
8  Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.
9  And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham.
10  The axe is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
11  “I baptise you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
12  His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing-floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

Without FAITH it is impossible to please God.

How to get this ‘mountain moving’ faith.

Hebrews 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

Hebrews 11 is the great chapter on FAITH: It tells us about the faith of; Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Rahab (the Prostitute).

The writer of Hebrews then goes onto explain: How he didn’t have the time to write about all the others who demonstrated great faith (but we have their stories in the Bible too).  Hebrews 11:32-34 “And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, 33  who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34  quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies.”

Answered Prayer: We Must BELIEVE and KNOW that God REWARDS those who earnestly seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6).

Without FAITH it is impossible to please God.

What was Jesus doing when He cursed the fig tree?

He was showing God’s displeasure when there is a lack of real FAITH in Israel. That Israel would one day be crushed (It was a few years later when Jerusalem was sacked by the Romans).

However, True faith will result in a fruitful life.

For the follower of Jesus we will be bearing much fruit in our daily walk with the Lord.

  • He’s looking for you to be fruitful.
  • He’s expecting you to be fruitful.
  • He wants you to be fruitful.

The fruit of the Holy Spirit is; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

How’s your fruit doing?

If you are like me, like an ordinary human being, you’ll readily admit that there are areas in your life that you need to be more fruitful; more loving, kind, generous, faithful etc… Except if you are a Christian, then you are NOT like an ordinary human being, because you’ve got the Holy Spirit living within you. You’ve got the POWER of God in your soul. Your body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit (the dwelling place of God). Jesus is in you. Father God is in you. Heaven is in your heart. You are a member of God’s Kingdom Family. You are a Royal child of God. Heir to the Kingdom. Now, how’s your faith?

If Jesus was to walk up to you today, as He did that good looking fig tree, full of the promise of fruit, would He find FAITH alive and well within your soul?

If you don’t doubt, or stop doubting and believe; you can do anything as a follower of Jesus.

If you have faith, no mountain will be able to stand in your way.

How do we get more faith?

It comes by exercising the faith we’ve already got.

It’s the same as the muscles in your body, if you don’t do any exercise your muscles will deteriorate, you’ll get weaker and your bones will not stay together very well. Strong muscles are good for your whole body. Faith in every area of the Christian life needs to be exercised:

  • To be stronger: We need to practice the walk: Give generously; to people and especially to God. This shows we’re not trusting in money, but in God. We showing God and the world that we LOVE God more than money by giving it away generously. Once you start to give generously, your faith in the Lord will grow much stronger.
  • To be stronger: We need to practice the walk: BE MORE LOVING: Love the people God brings into your daily life. Be kind in the way that you talk to everybody. Being loving and kind is costly, but when you do it with determination and seeking God’s help and power to be more loving, then you’ll get much stronger in your faith and walk with Jesus.
  • To be stronger: We need to practice the walk: Stop gossiping and back-stabbing, work hard for your boss, share the Gospel as much as you can, give generously, go out of your way to help other people, speak up for the weak, those in need, the poor.

When you PRACTICE the FAITH you’ve already received, then your faith will grow much stronger day by day. You’ll learn to TRUST God more and you’ll expect much more to be done as your prayer life gets more sincere and expectant. As your intimacy with Father God grows ever closer, you’ll experience what divine dependency is like. You’ll bear MUCH fruit. God LOVES to give even more than you do. He’s longing to answer ALL your prayers, but you’ll never get a single prayer answered without FAITH and BELIEF. To stop your doubting, start living the way He’s revealed, empowered and called you to live. Be filled afresh today with God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (John 17:26).

If you are praying for something and not seeing any answers yet, start living the way He’s revealed in the Bible. Be the person that Jesus saved you to be: Full of faith and faithful to Him.

PRAYER: “Oh LORD, forgive our wimpy prayers, strengthen our faith, help us to bear fruit in our lives and our walk with You. Enable us by Your Holy Spirit to walk with You today Lord. Help us to see with Your eyes the potential for good all around us. Lord give us the ability to make the most of all the opportunities You are giving us today. Amen!”

Most probably, the first MOUNTAIN that you’ll see thrown into the sea is your wimpy prayers. Be strong in the LORD.

I’m hoping and praying that you’ll be closer to Jesus this week than last.

Don.

 

It’s Just Too Good to be True

Joy in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ

Daily Spirit & Word, 596: It’s Just Too Good to be True.

Mark 16:9-11 9  “When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. 10  She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping. 11  When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it.”

When they heard that Jesus was alive, they DID NOT BELIEVE IT.

Good morning my friends. Many of us have friends and relatives that just don’t seem to want to believe in Jesus the way that we do. We often find it difficult to understand why. Why won’t they believe in Jesus?

Perhaps one of the reasons might be this one, the fact that it is just too good to be true.

Note from the verses above: The Disciples, the followers and students of Jesus teachings, were mourning and weeping. Why? Because they’d just witnessed three days beforehand their LORD and Master and Teacher being put to death by the Romans upon a cross. They’d watched Joseph of Arimathea taking charge of Jesus’ dead body, wrapping it in a cloth and taking it to a tomb and putting a great stone in front of the tomb. To them Jesus was definitely dead and gone, now they were doing what every one of us would be doing if someone that we loved, cared about, trusted and depended upon had died: They were weeping and mourning.

It’s just too good to be true that our beloved would come back from the dead. Many people find death so difficult to accept that they believe they can see and hear their loved ones, long after the event, until time and reality hit home and they accept the fact that they’ve really gone. I’ve known widows who, because they’ve been with someone for many years, have whole conversations and then suddenly realise “Ahhh, he’s not here”… No, it’s just too good to be true to believe that he would be.

Too Good To Be True? It’s fantastical, crazy, foolish even, to believe the good news. Some people actually think that you are MAD to believe that someone could come back to life after death. That’s why the Word of God, the Bible admits that the GOSPEL is foolishness to those who don’t believe.

So how can we possibly ever convince those that we love, who find it hard to believe, that Jesus is ALIVE and can be known today?

Evidence of Belief in Others:

I’ve known far too many people who’ve become convinced of this central truth of Christianity to doubt it. Even if I had not experienced the resurrected Jesus for myself, the evidence of the many could convince me of it. History, and even recent history in Iraq and Syria revealse the sincerity of their conviction, even going to point of being prepared to die with joy in their hearts, rather than renounce their faith and trust in the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ. However, sincerity alone will not move, convince or convict everyone to accept the truth.

The KEY: That UNLOCKS Hearts:

Thankfully, we don’t have to believe in the resurrection first, we’ll become convinced of it later on though, once we’ve got the resurrected Jesus in our life. It is after we KNOW HIM that we become like those who could never renounce their faith. To renounce Jesus after knowing Him would be like saying, “I came into this world without a mother or father”… It’s IMPOSSIBLE to say we don’t believe in Jesus, we’d be lying. Once Jesus comes into your life, then you too become a witness like Mary Magdalene, and just as she found that those who even loved Jesus found it hard to believe, we too will find it almost impossible to convince people about the resurrection of the Lord from the dead. Praise the Lord though, because He’s given us a KEY to open up those barricaded minds and locked up hearts.

The Good News: That Jesus is ALIVE only becomes good news once a person knows their need for the Lord Jesus. It becomes good news once they realised that they are sinners and that nothing they can ever do can take away their guilty conscience or wash them clean from their crimes against God. You see it’s our need of righteousness that will convict us and compel us to believe and become convinced of the truth of the Gospel Story. Just as God’s Word tells us; “FAITH comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God”…

To get us to that point of Belief: God’s Holy Spirit first convinces us of our need of a Saviour.

He first uses God’s Law to do it. God’s Law (the Ten Commandments) are like a Schoolmaster / Instructor to lead us to a knowledge of our need of a Saviour. Because without a Saviour we’re doomed to be judged by God’s Law for our sins. Because we’ve ALL broken His Commandments. We’ve lied, stolen, coveted and lusted, we’ve not put God first, every day of our lives. God’s revealed in His Word: the punishment for liars, thieves and those who lust or covet; death and Hell. Even if we’d only broken ONE of His Commandments, we’d become guilty LAW Breakers. Once we know that God would be just and right to punish us for our moral failures, we are ready for the Good News: Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.

God’s Commandments show us what we are like and the Gospel shows us what we need to do to be made right with God.

When a person is convinced of their need of a Saviour, they are ready to hear the rest of the Good News.

FAITH to believe; but believe what?

God gives us the gift of faith to Believe that Jesus Christ, God’s one and only Son, came to die upon the Cross for the sins of the whole world and three days later to rise from the dead and then ascend into heaven. He gives us faith to believe that Jesus died in our place for our own sins upon the Cross. He enables us to know that we need to repent and turn away from our life of sin to Jesus Christ and to receive Him as our Lord and Saviour.

From that point on, once we’ve repented of our sins and received Jesus as our Saviour, we’ll know HIM and become totally convinced of the fact of the resurrection, because Jesus is alive in our own life. We KNOW the Saviour personally. Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, gives us NEW LIFE: We get born again by God’s Holy Spirit once we repent and receive the Lord Jesus. Without repentance there is no remission of sins. Until we receive Jesus by faith, we’re dead in our transgressions and sins and await God’s righteous judgement.

Have an awesome Tuesday with Jesus your Saviour.

Imagine the JOY that those followers felt when they discovered that what Mary was telling them was TRUE. Then they KNEW as everyone can today, that it may seem “Just Too Good to be True”, but it is TRUE: Jesus is ALIVE TODAY and we can all know Him personally.

Don’t keep trying to tell or convince people that Jesus rose from the dead, they’ll just laugh at you and think you’re mad. It’s like casting your pearls before swine. Instead, use the God given KEY to open their locked-up hearts and set them free from unbelief: The Law of the LORD is perfect converting the soul. The Law (Ten Commandments) can open up previously locked-up hearts, hard-to-reach individuals who find that stories of the resurrection are just too good to be true. Once they know their need of the Saviour, God will use that knowledge to give them faith to believe in His Son.

Faith really does come by hearing God’s Word: It is sharper than a two edged sword. It cuts right to the heart and converts the soul.

Don.

 

God is Good

The Goodness of God

God is Good.

Good morning my friends, I’m on holiday 🙂

AND I just wanted to share with you something really wonderful;

God is GOOD!

Where in the Bible does it tell us that God is GOOD?

Psalm 145:9  “The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.”

This tells us much more than simply about the goodness of God: He is the CREATOR OF ALL.

HE: is good to EVERYONE (that means the good, the bad and everyone inbetween).

God is GOOD!

Psalm 107:1 1  Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures for ever.

The natural response to God’s goodness is to give thanks; why? Because His LOVE endures forever and He is GOOD.

God because He is good cannot ever be unloving; He’s always full of LOVE towards EVERYONE.

God is GOOD!

Matthew 19:16-17 16  And, behold, one came and said unto him, “Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?” 17  And he said unto him, “Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.”

Jesus answer: “There is NONE GOOD but God alone.”

If we want to be GOOD enough to enter into Heaven, then all we need to do is obey God’s Commandments: His standards of GOODNESS.

Question:

Are you GOOD enough to get into Heaven?

Why don’t you click here (The Gospel Good News) and see if you qualify?

GOD IS GOOD!

Remember; His love endures forever. He is good to everyone. He is the Creator. He has compassion on all He has made.

John 3:14-18 14  Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,
15  that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.
16  “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
17  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
18  Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

 

Simply by believing in God’s ONE and ONLY Son; The LORD Jesus Christ, it’s possible to receive the gift of ETERNAL LIFE.

GOD IS GOOD

I’m praying that you’ll have an AWESOME day.

IN Jesus.

Trust in God’s goodness.

Amen!

I am enjoying a great few days off my usual work, but I can’t STOP thinking about the Goodness of God. He’s always been good to me. Even in my darkest hour, God is GOOD. I’ve experienced the great goodness of God many times. I’ve known His presence and power in the deepest darkest of times. He’s Always Good! No matter what you are going through, TRUST in the goodness of God. He is only a prayer away, turn to Him and trust in His goodness. He IS good!

Don.

Vision Blurred By Doubt

How Knowing Jesus is blocked by doubt

Daily Spirit & Word, 494: Vision Blurred By Doubt.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 10: Vision Blurred By Doubt. Luke 24:22-26.

Thank goodness it’s Friday, we’ve got a wonderful weekend ahead of us, but today and tonight are going to be really special. First, this morning we’re going to see how when we doubt God’s Word, God’s Promises and ALL that He has said about the Messiah, we’re going to have a very dim and clouded or blurred view of the Lord Jesus Christ. Then later on, here at my home, we’ve got a very special visitor coming. He’s just arrived back from Pakistan and you know all about the recent troubles there between Muslims and Christians? Well my friend has been there and after meeting up with brothers and sisters in Pakistan, he’s going to share what’s been happening. Persecution is widespread, there are arrests, torture, death threats and actual murders taking place of innocent men, women and children who believe in Jesus Christ. If you are free, then please contact me and I’ll let you know the details.

Back to the Vision of the Resurrected Lord being blurred by doubt.

Bible Reading for Day 10: Vision Blurred By Doubt.

Luke 24:22-26 22  In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning
23  but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive.
24  Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.”
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?”

We’re continuing on our ‘Eye Opening’ Journey with Jesus and the Disciples on the Road to Emmaus today. Yesterday we saw what feelings of being disappointed can do to our vision or ability to trust in the Lord. How we need to re-focus upon the resurrected Christ. Today, we’re going to see that DOUBT doesn’t just blur our vision, but almost makes it impossible to see: I.E. Spiritual Blindness… Next week we’re looking at Thomas and his stubborn Unbelief, but today the focus is upon FOOLISHNESS of DOUBT and slowness of belief, but BELIEF in what?

Notice: And this is very important, Jesus didn’t stop them on the road and pull his hoodie down and show them the thorn marks on his head,  and he didn’t roll up his sleeve and say, “Here, guys, take at look at these NAIL marks.” He didn’t lift up his jumper and say, “Look, guys, look at the hole here, it was caused by the Roman Soldier’s Spear.” Notice also he didn’t take off his clothes and say, “Look at the whip marks on my back” It would have been so easy for the miserable, dejected, disheartened, belief-drained followers to trust in Him if he’d just done that. However, Jesus doesn’t always do what we’d expect. He’s always turning the world’s ways on it’s head. Surely PHYSICAL PROOF is what’s required for and needed to believe???? That’s what the WORLD wants: Professor Richard Dawkins, the world famous Atheist is looking for such PHYSICAL PROOF / EVIDENCE of the existence of God and without it, like doubting Thomas, he along with countless thousands of others are refusing to believe.  NO my friends, Jesus didn’t for one minute consider the physical proof to be more powerful or more convincing, because there’s something even more weighty and trustworthy than that of any mere Physical Proofs, more than actually seeing the Lord Jesus Christ alive. It’s how the VAST Majority of followers trust in the Resurrected Lord Jesus Christ today.

What did Jesus point to, if it was not his wounds and scars? It was the even more convincing and attestible TRUTH of God’s Word. Yes, it’s because those ancient scriptures bear witness and make manifest the TRUTHS concerning the Messiah. The Jews would have understood this, because they believed and know that the Bible IS not just a book written by men, but the very WORDS of God, that were inspired by the Holy Spirit.  In fact Jesus didn’t just tell them, He rebuked them for their FOOLISHNESS / STUPIDITY… Luke 24:25 “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken”

Tomorrow we’re going to see the POWER of the SCRIPTURES to enable us to BELIEVE. Our focus today in on the FOOLISHNESS of unbelief or doubt concerning the validity of the weight of testimony from all that the Prophets had said concerning the MESSIAH or Christ.

For a Jew back then in Jesus day, it was FOOLISH and STUPID not to know and believe God’s Word. However, even today, it’s those same Old Testament Scriptures that can and will convince people of the validity of the claims of Christians, that Jesus had to suffer and die upon the cross, because it was predicted and prophesied hundreds of years before it actually happened. Not only that, but His place of birth, how he’d be born, how he teach and how he’d come into town on a donkey and suffer and die and be resurrected three days later. It was all there in black and white in the Bible before any of it transpired.

But the followers of Jesus were being given proofs, by the women and the other disciples, but they still DOUBTED. My friends, that’s how DOUBT can blur your ability to SEE, it makes you blind to the glaring EVIDENCE.

We actually saw this the other day, when we were chatting with a man about Jesus and His claim to Divinity. No matter what EVIDENCE we pointed to, the man was more prepared to believe and listen to the claims or counter-claims of others, that it was all made up. Nothing we could do would shift his doubt. He was totally blinded by lies and couldn’t see the truth. Doubt can do that, but there’s something so POWERFUL that can shatter doubt into a thousand pieces. It’s the TESTIMONY OF GOD’S WORD and the fact that so much of what is written has come to pass.

It was obvious that these men DOUBTED and didn’t trust the testimony of the women or the disciples who reported the body was gone, that the women had seen Angels and that they’d met the risen Lord Jesus Christ. They doubted and were STUPID not to believe the weight of testimony contained within the pages of the Bible.

My friends, wherever you are on your Spiritual quest, it is critically important to realise that DOUBT and unbelief concerning what the Bible says about the Lord Jesus, the Messiah, is the main hindrance to seeing Him for who He really is. The GREAT NEWS is that no matter how blurred your spiritual vision of Jesus is, or how spiritually blinded you’ve become, there is a cure for your condition. God’s got an amazing gift waiting for you; the gift of FAITH. You know how to get this gift? It’s by hearing the WORD of God. “Faith comes by hearing the Word of God”. Also Jesus Himself came and walked along with those first disciples, and He’ll come to you too, but by His Holy Spirit, remember they are one, just like Jesus and the Father are one. He’s going to be with you on this journey to faith and full trust.

Have an AWESOME weekend my friend, if your free tonight come and join with me and my friend from Pakistan and you’ll hear how Jesus is alive and active in one of the most dangerous places on earth today to be a follower of Jesus.

Don.

Points to Ponder: Day 10 of 40 Days With Jesus.

  • How would you define doubt?
  • In what ways can unbelieve and doubt in the resurrection hinder faith in the risen Lord Jesus Christ today?
  • Are there any particular areas of your life where you find it more difficult to believe the promises of God? Such as for healing, deliverance, provision or answers to prayer? How might you grow in your faith in these areas?

Prayer:

Dear Lord Jesus Christ, I ask You to forgive my doubts and unbelief and my slowness to believe today. I now know that my doubts and unbelief are foolish considering the weight of evidence in the Holy Scriptures. Thank you Lord for the Word of God, both Old and New Testaments, that reveal who You are and what You are like. Please Lord Jesus, send the Holy Spirit afresh and help my doubt and unbelief and I know that He’ll open up my understanding of Your Word. Amen.

 

At The Cross, At The Cross

At The Cross, At The Cross of Jesus Christ.

Daily Spirit & Word, 475: At The Cross, At The CROSS.

Now, I AM Happy, All The Day. Every Day.

Jesus knew the Cross was getting nearer, and as it weighed upon His precious soul, so His message of the Kingdom grew more intense. The heart’s desire of the Lord of life is that, not just the Nation of Israel be turned in repentance back to their God, but the whole world come to know the offer of Salvation. The Nations will put their hope in Jesus.

 Matthew 11:28-30  “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Matthew 12:18-21  “Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations. 19  He will not quarrel or cry out; no-one will hear his voice in the streets. 20  A bruised reed he will not break, and a smouldering wick he will not snuff out, till he leads justice to victory. 21  In his name the nations will put their hope.”

These two passages above show us a definite full-stop, a switch in the message Jesus is giving. Up to this point the Lord Jesus and all God’s messengers had been teaching; “Repent, the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Having presented His CV as the Messiah and been rejected by the majority of religious leadership of the Nation. These cities which have been mentioned in chapter 11 of Matthew, turned their backs on Him, and so had Jerusalem. Now the Lord turns His back upon the nation of Israel, no longer presenting to them the Kingdom. He is on His way to the cross, and His invitation is to the individual and to the whole world. Listen to Jesus crying out:

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30.

This language is in stark contrast to what Jesus had been proclaiming in the rest of this chapter. And from that point on Jesus is headed for the Cross and instead of focusing upon the Nation, he’s revealing the Kingdom of God to the individual and to the world.

My friends, it’s really windy out this morning, I love it, but I had to hang onto my hat it’s just so strong. When we come into the warm from such a blustery storm, it’s amazing how warm the house seems, how calm when you can’t hear the raging of the wind.

The change in Jesus message is just like that; It is like coming out of a winter blizzard into the warmth of a spring day. Just like passing from a raging storm into a sea of calm. It’s like going from the darkness of night, into brightness of daylight. This is the same message from Jesus, but presented in a radical new way; He’d switched from a National perspective to a new message for the Individual. He changes from speaking to everyone in the Nation of Israel to EVERYONE in the WORLD. It is no longer the national announcement about a Messianic Kingdom but a personal invitation for everybody to find the much needed “rest” of Salvation.

When Jesus speaks of being “heavy laden,” He is referring to the individual being burdened with sin. “I will give you rest” Jesus is the one who will enable you to find rest from your struggle to be good.

This same idea and focus is used by Isaiah and the Psalmist:

Isaiah 1:4 (NLT) “Oh, what a sinful nation they are— loaded down with a burden of guilt. They are evil people, corrupt children who have rejected the LORD. They have despised the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on him.”

Look back at chapter 11 of Matthew and you’ll see Jesus crying out to those Cities where He’d performed Miracles and they’d not REPENTED,  they’d not received the Message of the Kingdom.

Psalm 38:4 (NLT) “My guilt overwhelms me— it is a burden too heavy to bear.”

So when Jesus is crying out to everyone, come to ME ALL you who are weary of carrying your load of sin and I will give you rest from your struggle to try and be good, I will lift your heavy burden of sin.

My friends, sin is way too heavy a burden for you to keep carrying all your life. When you try and lift things that are too heavy for you, you can give yourself a hernia, and trying to live righteously without coming first to Jesus Christ to have the burden lifted is the exact same, you’ll really get a spiritual hernia if you try to carry your load of sin yourself.

The only place in this world to put that heavy unbearable burden of sin is at the Cross of Jesus Christ. When He died there, He bore your sin and took it away from you onto Himself. Now He invites you individually and the whole world to come individually  bringing your burdens of sin to Him. Jesus can forgive you because on the cross He bore the burden of sin for you and for everyone else in the world.

 But we must respond to Jesus Invitation:

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” This is referring to the Salvation of the sinner through Jesus Christ. But the next phrase of Jesus, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls” is referring to the practical sanctification of the believer.

Oh WOWzer! I’ve just come back into the study after a short break from writing this, and I’ve seen the LIGHT. What a glorious sunrise, great colours in the sky and clouds. The storm is still raging, but the sky is full of light. The LORD spoke to me, “That’s what it’s like for those who follow me, there is a storm still raging, but there’s more light than they can imagine for their souls”.

Jesus REST

There is a REST that Jesus gives, and it is the rest of Redemption and Salvation from the heavy burden of sin.

There is also a REST which the Believer Experiences, and it comes through; conversion, commitment and consecration of our lives to Jesus Christ. You don’t have to struggle to be Holy any more, because Jesus, with the help of God’s Holy Spirit, will enable you, but your part is to stay close to the vine, remain in Christ, to remain committed to living for Jesus, to be willing to submit to His burden of obedience to His commands. Remember what Jesus said, “My yoke is easy and My burden is light”.  Yes you will probably fall from time to time, but Jesus transforms your heart’s desires. Once He’s lifted your heavy load of sin from your shoulders and carried them to the Cross for you, you will not have to struggle ever again when you are in Him and He is in you.

 The VAST Majority Are NOT burdened with sin:

We go out every week and share the Gospel with people on the streets, the vast majority are NOT burdened by their sins, they don’t care, they love sin and don’t want to hear about it. They’re happy to be without church, Jesus or religion. They’ll happily declare and some quite loudly, “I’m NOT religious”, what they’re saying is, “I don’t need someone telling me how to live.” and “I don’t want a God in the sky, who’s trying to control my life”… That’s why they need to hear the LAW of God before we share the GRACE of the Cross of Christ.

 It’s Un-regenerate believers in Jesus who are burdened with sin:

It’s my experience that those who are burdened with sin are those who believe in Jesus, but have not yet been converted, regenerated or born again of God’s Holy Spirit.

Yes they believe all the tenets of the Christian faith, they’ll willingly ascent to the creeds, but it’s all head knowledge, because they’ve not got to the point of letting go of their burden of sin and receiving Jesus as their Lord. It’s a simple transaction, but so many have not taken that step of faith.

How have they come so far and a yet so far away?

Because they may have responded to a ‘false’ gospel. One that says “Simply Believe in Jesus and you are a Christian.” Without REPENTANCE and without RECEIVING Jesus Christ as LORD, we’re still in our sins no matter how much we believe in Him.

They’ll come in with their burden of sin, they’ll say confession in church, recite the creed and even receive Holy Communion, then they’ll walk out with their burden of sin still on their back. They are still trying with all their own strength to be good enough. It’s those un-regenerate believers in Jesus who’ve not been converted my friends, they are the ones who feel the burden of sin. They are like the Nation of Israel who had ‘religion’, but who didn’t know the Saviour and rejected the Messiah.

We must preach, preach and preach again CONVERSION: IT’S the GOSPEL that leads sinners to repent of their sins and trust the Saviour. It’s the Holy Spirit who works on their hearts to enable them to feel the heavy load of sin, and it’s the law that leads people to an awareness of their need of a Saviour. However, until they come to Jesus and finally put their trust in Him for their Salvation, turning away from sin in repentance and from their own efforts to be good enough, realising that they can’t do a thing to shift the heavy load, they’ll finally dump their burden of sin at the cross. At the Cross, At THE CROSS.

I love that old hymn: At the Cross, at the Cross… but we often miss out the most powerful first verse these days and just begin with the chorus, we’re happy to think of the cross, but not the conversion from sin that’s needed. Isaac Watts who wrote the hymn, knew what he needed to do to have the burden of sin lifted by the Lord Jesus Christ.

 Alas! and did my Savior bleed

And did my Sov’reign die?
Would He devote that sacred head
For such a worm as I?

Refrain:
At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away,
It was there by faith I received my sight,
And now I am happy all the day!

Thy body slain, sweet Jesus, Thine—
And bathed in its own blood—
While the firm mark of wrath divine,
His soul in anguish stood.

Was it for crimes that I had done
He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! grace unknown!
And love beyond degree!

Well might the sun in darkness hide
And shut his glories in,
When Christ, the mighty Maker died,
For man the creature’s sin.

Thus might I hide my blushing face
While His dear cross appears,
Dissolve my heart in thankfulness,
And melt my eyes to tears.

But drops of grief can ne’er repay
The debt of love I owe:
Here, Lord, I give myself away,
’Tis all that I can do.

Refrain;

At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away,
It was there by faith I received my sight,
And now I am happy all the day!

Author: Isaac Watts (The Scientist and Inventor of the Steam Engine).

My heart’s plea and the LORD’S today, is that you, you who are reading this, you who may believe in Jesus, but are still burdened with sin, will come and be converted, changed, transformed and translated from darkness into the glorious light. Your burden will be lifted once you trust the Saviour and take Him as your Lord.

Matthew 11:28-30  “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

I shared on Saturday at the Wedding in St Luke’s how people believe that Jesus died for them, but the vast majority of those who believe this, have NEVER been born of God’s Spirit, because they’ve NOT Repented, Trusted and Recieved The Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour. All the right belief in the world will count for nothing when we stand before the judgement seat of Christ and He says, “Depart from me, I never knew you”…

Matthew 7:21-23 21  “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
22  Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’
23  Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

My friends, do you know Christ? Does Christ know you? Do you know Him as your LORD? Is Jesus Christ your Saviour? Come to the Cross of Christ and let Jesus remove your burden of sin, of guilt and of shame, then you’ll be able to enjoy the Son’s Light and “BE HAPPY ALL THE DAY”.

AT THE CROSS, AT THE CROSS.

You believe that Jesus died for you, good and so you should, but Satan also knows this, but he’s not turned in repentance, he’s still a rebel against the cause of Christ. You must believe and repent and trust and take Jesus as your Saviour. Believe, Repent, Receive.

Stay blessed and keep close to Jesus today.

Don.

 

A Simple Prayer:

  • Lord Jesus Christ, I believe that you died upon the Cross for my sins.
  • I know that I’ve broken your Holy Law revealed in the Commandments, that you died there so that my heavy burden of sin could be lifted from me and transferred onto You.
  • I turn now from all sin in my life and trust in Your amazing grace and ask for Your forgiveness.
  • I receive You, Lord Jesus as my Lord and Saviour.
  • I believe that You will send the Holy Spirit and give me new birth, new life and everlasting life.
  • Please help me now Lord Jesus to live from now on for You and I want to serve in Your Kingdom.
  • Help me to find fellowship with other Christians.
  • I’m going to read and feed upon Your Word every day. Please open up the pages of the Bible by Your Spirit Lord, so that I can understand and apply them to my own life.
  • In your most blessed and Holy Name I pray, Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!

If you prayed that prayer, let us know by leaving a message here or on our Facebook Page, we’d love to be praying for you. It’s good that Christians or those who think they are Christians, re-visit this kind of prayer regularly, to remind ourselves of our commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ and His commitment to us. Read John’s Gospel today.

At The Cross, At The Cross.