The Beautiful Rainbow and God’s Promises

Signs of the End Times, God's Promises, Judgement to come

Daily Spirit & Word: 714: The Rainbow After The Storm.

Genesis 9:13-15 (NIV) “I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14  Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 15  I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.”

Good morning my friends, hope all is well with you after Storm Katie, I know that many people were blasted by those winds. Yesterday, after all those devastating winds there was a beautiful double rainbow just outside our windows to the front and back of our house. So lovely to see all those colours even though the sky was leaden.

We see God’s repeated promise and Covenant with Noah and his sons and all human beings and animals, He will NOT destroy the earth with a flood again. Genesis 9.

Scientists have discovered incontrovertible evidence of a world-wide flood. On the Mountains there are sea shells. Many now believe the Dinosaurs were wiped out by the great flood, because most of them are trapped and encapsulated in mud. It must have been a sudden and terrific flow of mud too, because many of these dinosaurs are still standing up when they are encased in mud.

Many people don’t believe human beings were around during the dinosaurs era, but just one reading of Job will prove that these great and fearsome creatures lived with men. They say, “Why aren’t dinosaurs mentioned in the Bible?” That’s because the word ‘Dinosaur’ was not invented until the 19th Century by a man called Sir Richard Owen in 1841.

From Forbidden History: “The word dinosaur literally means “terrible, powerful, wondrous lizards.” The word became popular after biologist and paleontologist, Sir Richard Owen coined the term “Dinosauria” in 1841. The word dinosaur derives from two greek words (deinos) “terrible, powerful, wondrous” + (sauros) “lizard”

http://www.forbidden-history.com/dinosaurfacts-owen.html

What did people call these great creatures when they saw them? “Dragons”… Dragons were known by human beings all over the earth.

You might laugh at those videos and the ‘evidence’ they produce, but I wanted to get you thinking today.

End Times:

So from the beginning in Genesis we have God’s Promise “Not to Destroy the Earth with a flood”. but we also have God’s warnings about the End Times: Just before he returns to Judge the Earth and the living and the dead.

From Got Questions: End Times: “Some interpreters point to every earthquake, every political upheaval, and every attack on Israel as a sure sign that the end times are rapidly approaching. While the events may signal the approach of the last days, they are not necessarily indicators that the end times have arrived. The apostle Paul warned that the last days would bring a marked increase in false teaching. “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons” (1 Timothy 4:1). The last days are described as “perilous times” because of the increasingly evil character of man and people who actively “oppose the truth” (2 Timothy 3:1–9; see also 2 Thessalonians 2:3).” Got Questions?:

However, don’t worry about it, just turn and trust in Jesus and keep walking in the Holy Spirit, then you’ll be OK when Jesus comes back to Judge, no matter what happens to your body in the meantime, you’ll be with the Lord forever. Amen!

The Sign of God: The Rainbow:

Is a sign of comfort, but also a warning that our God is The Powerful Creator who has control over all his Creation. One day He’s told us in advance, He will destroy both the Universe and the Earth, but before that day comes, He’s being patient with mankind, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance and faith in His Son Jesus Christ.

It’s comforting to know God won’t destroy everything until He’s ready.

He also promised to give us signs, warnings, so that we can get ready for the coming Judgement Day:

But He’s also promised He’ll come at a time when we least expect it, like a thief in the night.

So when you see a rainbow, it’s a beautiful Covenant sign, it’s a comfort and a warning to get ready and get right with God who Created all things, let’s do it today. Because TODAY is the Day of Salvation.

Even if you don’t believe in Dinosaurs or Dragons, the signs are that the End is Near, but I’ve saved the best till last.

The BEST Word on The End Times: God’s Word: Jesus’ Words.

Matthew 24:29-44 (AMP)
29  Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not shed its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
30  Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn and beat their breasts and lament in anguish, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory [in brilliancy and splendour].
31  And He will send out His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect (His chosen ones) from the four winds, [even] from one end of the universe to the other.
32  From the fig tree learn this lesson: as soon as its young shoots become soft and tender and it puts out its leaves, you know of a surety that summer is near.
33  So also when you see these signs, all taken together, coming to pass, you may know of a surety that He is near, at the very doors.
34  Truly I tell you, this generation (the whole multitude of people living at the same time, in a definite, given period) will not pass away till all these things taken together take place.
35  Sky and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.
36  But of that [exact] day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
37  As were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
38  For just as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, [men] marrying and [women] being given in marriage, until the [very] day when Noah went into the ark,
39  And they did not know or understand until the flood came and swept them all away—so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
40  At that time two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one will be left.
41  Two women will be grinding at the hand mill; one will be taken and one will be left.
42  Watch therefore [give strict attention, be cautious and active], for you do not know in what kind of a day [whether a near or remote one] your Lord is coming.
43  But understand this: had the householder known in what [part of the night, whether in a night or a morning] watch the thief was coming, he would have watched and would not have allowed his house to be undermined and broken into.
44  You also must be ready therefore, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not expect Him.

 

When you see a rainbow in the sky, praise the Lord of Creation and worship Him.

Don.

Where did “The Lord’s Day” come from

The first mention of The Lord's Day in literature

Daily Spirit & Word: 686: Worship On The Lord’s Day.

Where did the term; “The Lord’s Day” come from?

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.”

Good morning my friends, although I was feeling quite poorly on Sunday (The Lord’s Day), I was determined to attend and lead worship. My voice almost gave up on me half-way through the Communion part of our time together, but praise the LORD, because it stayed with me to the end. Fellowship is so important, nothing should really keep us away, unless we’re really poorly of course. My wife said that I just had man-flue. You know man-flue is horrible my friends 🙂

In our verses in Revelation today, there is so much packed into so few words. The Apostle John reveals subjects that are bottomless in meaning:

1) The Lord’s Day.

2) In The Spirit.

3) Hearing Loud Voices.

4) Commanded to Write.

5) The Seven Churches Named.

I’ll be thinking and meditating upon these this week and sharing what I learn with you.

The LORD’S DAY

Remember, John is in Exile on the Island of Patmos. A Greek Island (See Patmos Description Below). At the time of the Apostle, the Roman Empire used it as a Prison Island.

1) The LORD’S Day.

This is the first mention of the Lord’s Day; referring to Sunday, in the Bible and in Literature.

William Barclay Notes: How did the Christian Church cease to observe the Sabbath, Saturday, and come to observe the Lord’s Day, Sunday? The Sabbath commemorated the rest of God after the creation of the world; the Lord’s Day commemorates the rising of Jesus from the dead.

The three surviving earliest references to the Lord’s Day may well be the following.

1) The Didache, The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, the first manual of Christian worship and instruction, says of the Christian Church: “On the Lord’s Day we meet and break bread” (Didache 14: 1).

2) Ignatius of Antioch, writing to the Magnesians, describes the Christians as “no longer living for the Sabbath, but for the Lord’s Day” (Ignatius, To the Magnesians, 9: 1).

3) Melito of Sardis wrote a treatise Concerning the Lord’s Day. By early in the second century the Sabbath had been abandoned and the Lord’s Day was the accepted Christian day. (Barclay’s Daily Study Bible (NT)).

We don’t really call Sunday “The Lord’s Day” very much now, but growing up in Scotland, when I was a boy, it was a common expression. Perhap’s it would change the focus of much of what we do in church today if we changed the name from Sunday to “The Lord’s Day”… Because a lot of what we do when we gather as Christians revolves around; how we feel, what we like, what church is like, how good the worship team were, what the Pastor is like etc… but if we changed the name to The Lord’s Day, we’d be focused much more upon the Lordship of Jesus Christ; what He likes, what our worship of Him is like, how must I respond to the message? How can I serve Him better?  etc… Just a thought.

What we can note from this Revelation is that even though this is it’s first mention in the Bible, observance of The Lord’s Day had become common practice for The Apostle John to be praying and worshipping Jesus on His Holy Resurrection Day: “The Lord’s Day” and because there is no explanation of what he meant by it, we can deduce that it was a common expression amongst the earliest Christians gathering in those seven churches; Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.

So my friends, Christians, by the end of the first century had begun gathering on the Lord’s Day instead of the Sabbath. Don’t ever feel that you need to go back to the legalistic Sabbath observance, for the Apostles of the Lord Jesus had abandoned that practice. They were no longer under Law, but living in Grace and in the Spirit.

Tomorrow, I’ll shed some light upon the term “In the Spirit”.

I hope your own gathering yesterday on The Lord’s Day (Sunday) was significant for your walk with Jesus. What did your learn in Church yesterday? What was the Lord saying to you? How have you been changed by your experience of worship? How was your Fellowship with your brothers and sisters in Christ?

For me, I was so encouraged by the Rep from Spinnika sharing about the Lord’s Work in Schools in South London. The privilege of being able to share Bible stories and about Jesus in establishments today. Then there was the obvious LOVE between our Church members for one another and for those who were guests and strangers amongst us. It made me realise that the Lord is doing a great work in brining us closer to Him and what He wants us to be “It’s by your Love for one another that people will know you are my Disciples”. Praise the Lord Jesus.

It’s Monday morning, 6.10am: The family (my wife, son-in-law Junior, three grandchildren; Aminata, Leila and Karamoko) are all still sleeping. My daughter Stephanie is at home on her own, for rest, getting ready to go into labour with her fourth child. Please pray for my family with me in London.

Have a wonderful week, stay very close to Jesus every day. And don’t forget how much you need to be refilled with Holy Spirit. “Come Holy Spirit, I need you today”… Praise the Lord!

Come to our Alpha Experience tomorrow night at St Luke’s Church: 7.30pm. It’s going to be AWESOME.

The Christian Basics Course Alpha
The Alpha Course
The Alpha Experience

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Come and Witness: Evangelism Wednesday night @ 5.00pm (We’ll be gathering at 4.30pm to train and get ready to witness). St Luke’s Chruch. Each week we go out into the Streets of West Norwood to share the Good News of Jesus with folks that we meet.

Be blessed,

Don.

Patmos Today:

Patmos is an Aegean island in the north of Greece’s Dodecanese island group, is a significant Christian pilgrimage site. Its Cave of the Apocalypse is where John of Patmos (St. John the Theologian) is said to have written the Book of Revelations. A fortresslike, 11th-century monastery dedicated to the saint overlooks the whitewashed houses of the hilltop capital, Hora (also known as Chora).

 

Encouragement From Your Brother John

Revelation 1:9 John, your brother

Daily Spirit & Word: 683. Courageous Endurance.

Encouragement from our Brother in the Faith, John the Apostle.

Good morning my friends, when we’re suffering for the faith of Jesus Christ, if we keep in mind our constant hope, to be with the Lord in His Kingdom forever, then we’re going to endure great hardships with gratitude and thanksgiving in our hearts. Why? Because Jesus never promised us it would be easy, but that if we follow Him, we will be persecuted.

Revelation 1:9 (NIV) “I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.”

On Wednesday I had the wonderful privilege of leading a family to faith and trust in Jesus as Lord. It was amazing, definitely a God appointment. There were obstacles to overcome though. Four people, in very humble circumstances, received Jesus as Lord. We sat on the floor of their one roomed flat. A mother, two sons and a girlfriend came as they were to Jesus. I’ll tell their story (with permission) later.

Notice in the Revelation verse above, John is not preaching down to those seven churches that Jesus had told him to write, to; “Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.” No, John is identifying with them all in five ways:

  1. I am your brother.
  2. I am your companion in suffering
  3. I am your fellow in God’s Kingdom.
  4. I am with you practising patient endurance.
  5. I am, like you, suffering for preaching the Word of God and giving testimony of Jesus.

This Was Not Ivory Tower Preaching:

Nobody likes it when someone who is privileged or has a life of ease tells people who have nothing how to patiently endure their hardships. Why don’t people like it? Because a person who has everything, doens’t know what life is like with nothing.

It’s a bit like our Government Ministers who are living in luxury and with a great salary, proclaiming they are going to cut the benefits that the poorest people in society receive. Not only that, but they cut the taxes that the richest people pay. Where is the fairness in that? They tell the poor people, “Get a job” then you won’t need benefits. However, the wages that the poor receive for the jobs they take, don’t cover their living expenses. So the poor get poorer and the rich get richer.

No wonder those on benefits resent our Government’s unfair policy.

I think that’s why Jesus chose fishermen and outcasts to be His closest Disciples, because they’d been through hardships, they knew what life was like with nothing. One time Jesus followers had been fishing all night and had caught nothing. Imagine working hard for no wages? They knew what it was like to struggle and to suffer, so when they preached the Gospel, the people knew they were ordinary men once, just like them. They were not drawn from high-society, not many were of noble birth or princes or entrepreneurs, not many of Jesus Disciples were born with a silver-spoon in their mouths.

No my friends, nobody likes to hear a message about endurance, if the one delivering it is not a partner in the suffering as well. John had to endure great hardship for the sake of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He was in EXILE on Patmos because of the Word of God and His Testimony about Jesus Christ. Because he wouldn’t stop preaching, they sent him to a lonely island and imprisoned him there, but did that stop John? No! God’s ways are far higher than our ways. The Lord had planed that exile for John long before the Authorities had even thought about it. Nothing takes God by surprise my friends. Everything you go through in life, God knows about it in advance.

You might end up marooned on an Island like John. I hope not, but if you have to endure any hardship for Jesus, it’s not the end my friends, it just might be a new beginning. An opportunity to serve the Lord in a different way.

The Words Endurance: It was originally an expression in Greek for the pressure a large stone could exert: I.e. Like a mill-stone on wheat. Imagine you are a grain of wheat and you see the great mill-stone rolling your way, there’s no way to escape, you’ve just got to bear the crushing pressure. Will you survive? My friends, in Jesus, in His Kingdom, we can and will endure anything for His sake.

You may be experiencing great pressure because of your faith in Jesus Christ today. We are, because society is becoming increasingly intolerant of those who have a sincere desire to follow the teachings of Jesus and live according to the principles of God’s Word. Why? Because they’re bringing us into conflict with a world that wants to go it’s own way instead of God’s way. The world has chosen to uphold detestable lifestyles as good, and is now coming down hard on those who don’t comply or agree.

Think about how the world has chosen to play around with human eggs, thinking that a fertilised egg is just an embryo or a foetus instead of the truth, it’s a baby. It might be a very small baby, but when an human egg is fertilised by sperm, then life has begun. We are forbidden from killing babies by God’s Word and indeed for any form of murder. Now if you show people pictures of aborted babies you are the one who’s classified as an extremist or being too dogmatic.

You might find that you are in a prison one day, like John, for proclaiming God’s Word and giving Testimony about Jesus. Don’t be surprised when that happens, because my friends, God is not. He has warned that in the last days, things would take a turn for the worse.

Matthew 24:12-14 “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13  but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14  And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”

When John Said Endure Patiently: He LIVED it Himself.

Revelation 1:9 (NIV) “I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.”

He, John, was a living example of what Peter talked about: 1 Peter 3:14-17 (NIV) Suffering For Doing Good:
14  But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened.”
15  But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,
16  keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behaviour in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 17  It is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.

My friends, Don’t FEAR what the world FEARS.

  • Endure hardship.
  • Preach the Gospel.
  • Teach Jesus Word.
  • Make Disciples.
  • He’s with you, through everything, endure to the end.

One last thing; Here’s what to do if you are facing hardships for the faith:

Hebrews 12:1-4 (NIV)
1  Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
2  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
4  In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.

When the Going Gets Tough.

The Tough Get Going: In Jesus.

Praying that you are going to experience the closeness of Jesus throughout all your trials. Don’t grow weary or loose heart, but instead persevere and endure with patience and joy in the Lord, and don’t stop preaching or teaching what Jesus commanded my friends, keep snatching souls from the flames licking at their feet. Amen!

Don.

Link: Christian Concern For Our Nation: 

Here you’ll discover what we can do, when we face unjust opposition and persecution for the faith of Jesus Christ.

Christian Concern: 

 

The True Light Is Shining In The Darkness

Jesus Christ is still the LIGHT of the World.

Daily Spirit & Word; 656:

The True Light Keeps Shining In The Darkness.

Good morning my friends, have you noticed it’s getting DARK? Not just the physical darkness of night, the longest night in our calendar is approaching, but the ‘spiritual’ darkness. This year has been so dark, with thousands of thousands being displaced, leaving their homelands and heading for the obviously wealthy countries looking for basic human dignity; what did they find? Barriers, razor wire, barbed wire and a cold and hostile reception. We’ve had far too many killings; not just in warfare, but in the most cowardly terrorist attacks; Paris and schools in America. In the UK we’ve escaped relatively unscathed, but we’ve got ours coming too, because we’ve abandoned God’s holy standards of morality and profaned His gift of marriage, we’ve let confused and deluded people live with the feeling that they are the wrong sex, living in the wrong body, instead of assuring them that God knew what He was doing when He made them male and female, as He knitted them together in their mother’s womb (Psalm 139), be assured His swift judgement will come upon our land too.

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

How are followers of Jesus meant to keep the light shining?

We are to live and declare God’s Truth with Love:

Truth mingled with LOVE: We must “Say it as it is” but we must do so in the most loving ways we can. There’s no point in upsetting people or making them angry, because they’ll already be angry with us anyway, because God’s ways are not the ways of the people of this world who have yet to see and know the light. God’s ways seem to them; harsh, abrasive, rough, unyielding, intolerant. The world asks: “Why on earth does God’s Word say Homosexuality is a perversion? Surely it’s “My Choice” that counts? Why does God’s Word say murder is wrong? When the baby in my womb, at this time in my life, is so inconvenient, it’s “My freedom of choice” that counts and I can plan my parenthood as I like.” My friends, the world wants to go it’s own way, but God so LOVED the world, He sent His SON to bring them back to Himself.

We must SPEAK UP, but we must speak up in LOVE.

Ephesians 4:14-16
14  Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.
15  Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.
16  From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

Speaking the Truth, even in the most loving ways will provoke a very strong and angry response from the world, because it’s already made up it’s mind that it’s not going God’s way any longer.

Well the world can stick it’s fingers up to God and stick them in their ears and cover their eyes all they like; but God’s Word, the True Light will keep on shining in this spiritual darkness. Our God doesn’t change like the shifting shadows, He is the same; yesterday, today and forever.

Malachi 3:5-7
5  “So I will come near to you for judgment. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud labourers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive aliens of justice, but do not fear me,” says the LORD Almighty.
6  “I the LORD do not change. So you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed.
7  Ever since the time of your forefathers you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the LORD Almighty. “But you ask, ‘How are we to return?’

Our Lord Jesus Doesn’t Change Either:

Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever.”

God’s standards do NOT CHANGE just because the world calls evil good or perverse ways pure, the Bible’s teachings, God’s Word, will always remain.

How are we to help those who are living and convinced the ‘Spiritual Darkness’ they are living in is good?

The Gospel: It’s the POWER of God for SALVATION.

  • If they are going to be saved, it’s not miracles alone that will save them, it’s the Gospel.
  • If they are going to be saved, it’s not mincing our words that will save them, but the TRUTH: “Know the TRUTH and the truth shall set you free”. (But always share the truth with LOVE and respect).
  • If they are going to be saved, it’s not going to be by STRENGTH: We cannot force people against their will (that just gets their backs up, it raises their hackles, producing a fearful and angry response).  Zechariah 4:6 So he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.
  • If we are going to KEEP God’s Light Shining we need to stay filled with God’s Holy Spirit, stay close to Jesus (John 15), do what Jesus did and in HIS POWER, might and strength, through the Holy Spirit of God, we will work miracles to draw people to Jesus.

If you, dear follower of Jesus, want to bring your loved ones, the friends and neighbours and the people of this world to Jesus, then you are going to be even more full of the Holy Spirit of God: When you are filled you are going to be even more loving like Jesus, powerful like Jesus, full of joy, like Jesus. You will KEEP SHINING THE LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS.

Romans 5:5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

This Christmas; Jesus Christ is STILL: The Light Of The World.

  • He brings light into the spiritual darkness and chaos.
  • He bring hope and healing.
  • He brings love and acceptance.
  • He brings joy and peace.
  • He brings satisfaction and delight.

People in DARKNESS: Need the light of Jesus Christ.

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

JESUS IS THAT LIGHT

Isaiah 9:6-7
6  For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7  Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and for ever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.

Isn’t that awesome, “A child is born, a son is given”: He will be called; “Mighty God”… Jesus is the LIGHT and He’s also “Mighty God”…

  • Pray: That many more people will see the LIGHT of Jesus this Christmas.
  • Pray: That God’s people on this earth will keep shining as LIGHT for Jesus.
  • Pray: That the DARKNESS will never overcome the LIGHT. Amen!

Hope all my friends and followers have a WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS with Jesus Christ,

HE is that TRUE LIGHT, THAT STILL SHINES IN THE DARKNESS.

Don.

 

Knowing Jesus: Let’s Get The Party Started

Knowing that He Knows you, You Know Him: Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word; 649:

Be Encouraged By Knowing Jesus.

Let’s GET THE PARTY STARTED

Good morning my friends. Discipleship Fellowship was G R E A T last night. We have fewer people than normal, but oh WOWzer! What a great time it was. We began by going through some of the Bible readings from the list below, chatting about each one, then reading them in context, sometimes reading the entire chapter to we could see it’s significance. Then we were joined by a new member of the group. So we stopped, had a snack and began to share our Christian Journeys to Faith and Trust in Jesus Christ.

Everyone’s story was so different: But each had arrived at ASSURANCE: Knowing Jesus as LORD, SAVIOUR, MASTER, KING, BROTHER, FRIEND and most importantly DELIVERER.

Amanda (our Church Administrator) said earlier in the week, “Sharing WHO we know is more important than WHAT we know” she’s so right. Every Christian needs a TESTIMONY, an inward witness that we ACTUALLY belong to Jesus Christ. Without that, then we’re still in the DARKNESS, we may be coming to ‘church’, we may be very ‘religious’, we may know the Bible back to front, but without that deep inward assurance that we’ve got Jesus and that He’s got us, then we’re still (at best) on our way to Him.

The wonderful Christmas text from Isaiah is shouting aloud in my Spirit today; and it’s about people on their way to faith and trust in the Saviour.

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

Of course the LIGHT is Jesus: Have you seen Jesus? Have you met Jesus? When you do, you’ll KNOW it deep within your soul.

Until we come to Jesus: We are “The People Walking in DARKNESS”. As I’ve said many times before, we can know all about Jesus and even believe in Him, but until we actually KNOW Him personally, then we’re still in the DARKNESS (i.e. the land of the shadow of death). For the Bible declares that those who’ve yet to be ‘born of God’s Spirit’ as still Spiritually DEAD. So it’s not about what we know, but WHO we know that’s important, and that we’re known by HIM.

I’d hate to think of any one of my friends, hearing these words from Jesus lips on the Day of Judgement: “Depart from Me, I never knew you”… Let’s read that afresh now, but NOTE this: when it says “false prophets” it means everyone who proclaims that they are ‘Christians’ when they are not, i.e. they are FALSE CONVERTS (they don’t know Jesus and He doesn’t know them).

Matthew 7:15-23
15  “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.
16  By their fruit you will recognise them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?
17  Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.
18  A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.
19  Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
20  Thus, by their fruit you will recognise them.
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!’

LOOK FOR THE FRUITS of CONVERSION:

Why? Because that’s what Jesus is going to be doing. “By their fruit you will recognise them”…

The Fruits Is OBVIOUS: When you see a tree in fruit, it’s promising tasty treats. When you see a fruitful Christian, they will be DEMONSTRATING the fruit of the Holy Spirit in their lives: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Gentleness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Self-Control.

NOT EVERYONE WHO SAYS “LORD, LORD” IS A CHRISTIAN.

It always amazes me this text, because you’d probably think that “prophesying, driving out demons and performing miracles” would make a person certain that they ARE followers of the Lord Jesus; but He’s going to say “I never KNEW you, depart from ME you workers of iniquity”…

Do you KNOW Jesus? There’s nothing more important. Yes going to church is good, reading the Bible is great, knowing all about Jesus is totally awesome, but have you got the point of KNOWING HIM yet? If you haven’t got the inward testimony, the Spirit’s inward witness that you ARE a child of God, then be assured of this, you are still one of those “people walking in darkness” looking for the light.

YBH: Yes but HOW?

I can hear people asking this question again. “How do we KNOW Jesus?”, “How do I know if I’m SAVED?”, “How do I know if I KNOW Jesus and He knows me?”

Sometimes the Answer is too easy for some people and they want to add more, but it is as SIMPLE as A,B,C and R.

Accept: That you are a sinner in need of forgiveness. We’ve all fallen short of God’s Holy Standards revealed through His Law, the Ten Commandments. Even if we fail at just one point, then we’re guilty of breaking ALL of it. We stand in the place of the guilty and will be judged by God and sent to Hell. Do you accept that you are a sinner? Romans 3:23

Believe: Believe IN Jesus: That means put your faith and trust in HIM. Just like you would a parachute if you’re jumping out of a plane. Believe that He came into this world from Heaven, lived a perfect life, performed miracles and taught His disciples the secrets of the Kingdom, He then died on the Cross for your sins, in your place, then rose from the dead and is alive in Heaven now. There’s so much more to believe about Jesus, but that’s enough to get you started on the road to Salvation. Do you believe that Jesus died upon the Cross for your sins?

Convert: Turn from your sinful life, living life your own way, and turn in REPENTANCE AND FAITH to trust in Jesus Christ. Repentance is turning: It means to make change of mind, it’s a desire to go God’s way, to live His life instead of being your own boss. You put God on the throne by turning to Him in Faith. We call it conversion. But conversion is not complete until we actually receive the Lord Jesus by an act of faith and take Him as our Lord and Saviour. (I know so many people who’ve stopped short at this point; they get to the point of; accepting they are sinners, believing that Jesus died for them, repent of their sins, but stop short of receiving Him by an act of faith).

Receive: Receive Jesus as your LORD and SAVIOUR. It’s not enough to simply believe in Him.

It’s like Jesus is offering you a gift, which He is, but not just ONE GIFT: Jesus is holding out to you today; forgiveness of sins, God as your Father, Holy Spirit Power to live, Family of God, New Life in Christ, Home and Eternal Life.

You say, “I believe that you want to give me that gift Lord”, but if you don’t take the gift that’s offered, then you walk away with nothing. Believing that Jesus can give you all this is NOT the same as having it.

Have you ever been offered something, but have not taken up the offer? You may believe that it is yours for the taking, but until you take it, it’s NOT yours. Until you’ve got it in your hands, it’s still in the hands of the one offering it.

Salvation is like that: Jesus is offering it to YOU today. All you’ve got to do, after Accepting, Believing, Converting is to RECEIVE HIM. John 1:12-13. Look at all the Scriptures below to show you what happens when you DO receive Jesus as LORD.

SINNERS PRAYERS:

I’m in the position today of hating sinners prayers: Because I’ve known and met countless numbers, so many people now, who’ve “Said the Sinners Prayer” countless times, but nothing has happened. A sinners prayer won’t SAVE you, it will NOT make you into a Christian. But a heartfelt turning from sin, trusting in His death on the Cross for your sin, believing in Jesus and a true receiving Him as LORD will SAVE you and change you and you’ll begin to produce the fruit of repentance, the fruit of the Holy Spirit in your life. It will be obvious not just to other believers, but to everyone who KNOWS you. You’ll change from knowing about Jesus to actually KNOWING Him.

Yet I LOVE SINNERS Praying to RECEIVE Jesus as LORD.

It was so refreshing having Lloyd at our meeting last night, because he reminded us all how much we need to come to Jesus and simply, honestly and wholeheartedly RECEIVE Him as LORD.

God LOVES it when SINNERS Repent: (There’s a party going on in Heaven with all the Angels when SINNERS turn to Jesus in REPENTANCE from sin, and RECEIVE Him as LORD). Luke 15 The Three Parables of LOST & Found.

I could suggest a “sinners prayer” for you to pray, but it’s more important that you; A,B,C and R above. If you are ready to do that, then you don’t need me to give you the words, tell Jesus Christ you want Him as your Lord. Tell Him how sorry you are for your sins. Tell Him you want to turn away from the sin in your life. Talk to Him about it. Tell Jesus you want to receive Him as your Lord and Saviour. You invite Him and take up His offer of LIFE today. When you do ALL THINGS will Change.

2 Corinthians 5:17
17  “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! “

PRAYERS: Heavenly Father, I come to you today, in the Name of Jesus, and bring before you EVERY ONE of my friends and family. I’m praying for them today LORD, that they won’t just know all about You, but that they’ll actually come to KNOW You. I’m praying LORD that they’ll A,B,C and R above. Help those in Darkness Lord, send out those who KNOW You to the people who’re still walking in Darkness in need of the Light of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Lord I thank you for Lloyd, who’s come back to You. I know there’s a party going on in Heaven right now because Lloyd came back to You in Repentance and Faith. Amen.

Let’s Get The Party Started.

Don.

Discipleship Bible Readings:

The Good Things We Have: When We Take Christ As Lord.

Seven: Who We Are In Christ.

We receive a new life:

We have eternal life (John 3:16).
God has poured His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5).
We have received the testimony of the Spirit (Romans 8:16).
We have been given the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16). Our bodies have become temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19).
We have available to us the gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:4–11).
We have become part of the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:27).
We have the Holy Spirit as the seal of His ownership in our hearts (2 Corinthians 1:22).
We have been redeemed from the curse of the law (Galatians 3:13).
We have been sealed by the Spirit (Ephesians 1:13–14).
We have been made alive with Christ (Colossians 2:13).
We have been renewed by the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5).
We have been born again of the Word of God (1 Peter 1:23).
We have been forgiven and washed clean in the blood of Jesus (1 John 1:7–9).
We have been born of God (1 John 2:29).

We enter a new relationship with God

We have become children of God (John 1:12; Romans 8:16).
We know the only true God (John 17:3).
We have peace with God (Romans 5:1).
We are reconciled to God (Romans 5:10).
Not only are we children, but we are sons of God (Romans 8:15).
We have become co-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17).
We are Christ’s possession (1 Corinthians 3:23).
We have been transformed into His likeness with ever increasing glory which comes from the Lord (2 Corinthians 3:18).
We are a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).
We are crucified with Christ (Galatians 2:20).
We are accepted in the beloved (Ephesians 1:6).
We are alive with Christ (Ephesians 2:5).
We are members of God’s household (Ephesians 2:19).
We can approach God with freedom and confidence (Ephesians 3:12).
We can be confident that He who began a good work in us will carry it on to completion (Philippians 1:6).
We can do all things in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:13).
We are qualified to share in His inheritance (Colossians 1:12).
We belong to God (1 Peter 2:9).
We participate in the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4).

We are set apart in the world.

We are more than conquerors through Christ Jesus (Romans 8:37).
We are ambassadors of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20).
We live by faith in the Son of God (Galatians 2:20).
We have been crucified to the world (Galatians 6:14).
We have been raised up with Christ and seated in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6).
We are fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household (Ephesians 2:19).
We have been rescued from the dominion of darkness and brought into the Kingdom of God (Colossians 1:13).
We have been given the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27).
We are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness (2 Peter 3:12).
We have overcome the world (1 John 5:4–5).

Gordon, Bob (2012-02-01). The Foundations of Christian Living (The Sovereign World Foundations Series) (Kindle Locations 626-630). Sovereign World Ltd.

 

Foundations in God’s Word: A Christian Worldview.

Foundations in God's Word: Genesis

Daily Spirit & Word: 645: God Created Everything.

How’s Your Worldview?

The Importance of Having A Christian Worldview:

(NOTE: Worldview = A comprehensive view of the world and human life).

Good morning my friends, I’ve been greatly disturbed lately with so many foolish things in the Media: From Transgender indoctrination of our society, same-sex marriage, killing of innocents (Bombing Syria), ignoring the shocking mass killings in third world countries like Nigeria, whilst we go mad on the horrific news of people being killed in France. Yes it’s closer to home, but surely EVERY human life is invaluable? To sail a straight course through these stormy seas, we’ll need a strong rudder to guide us, thankfully we have that in God’s WORD. We have a worldview provided for us in Genesis and that foundation can and will sustain us for life, it helps us to understand why God Created, why God made us, why God sent His One and Only Son on a rescue mission into this world.

You know my friends, if we took Genesis out of the Bible our worldview could be anything we desired and we’d be in danger of adopting any of the following: Atheism, Pantheism, Polytheism, Secularism, Evolutionism, Deism, Hedonism, etc… The fact that God Created and has a plan for mankind and all of Creation keeps us from sin and error.

  • If we didn’t have this foundational Christian Worldview we’d still be LOST. There would be no need for Jesus to die upon the Cross. 
  • If we didn’t have this foundational Christian Worldview provided by the Old Testament and Genesis: We’d be able to do what ISIS (ISIL / IS) do without it bothering our God given Conscience. 

As it stands today, Genesis and God’s purpose in Creating the Universe and Mankind IS part of the Canon of Holy Scripture, so let’s get to KNOW all about God’s plan and purpose for His Creation. Let’s BELIEVE it, Let’s TRUST God knew what He was doing when He inspired men to write this portion of His WORD.

Sidney Greidanus said, “Genesis teaches that God is sovereign (vs. atheism) and wholly other than this universe (vs. pantheism), the only true God (vs. polytheism), the Creator of this universe (vs. secularism and naturalistic evolutionism), who has made a covenant with his creation and upholds it (vs. deism), and made human beings in his image to manage the world on his behalf (vs. hedonism). Genesis further teaches that God is not the source of evil but created everything good so that his creatures can enjoy the physical world (vs. gnosticism). The source of the evil and brokenness we see in the world today is human disobedience to God’s command, which resulted in God’s curse on creation. But God immediately promised to restore his creation to the beautiful kingdom he intended it to be. And so Genesis sketches the beginnings of redemptive history: God seeking to restore his creation and creatures, finally making a special covenant with Abram, who was to be a blessing to “all the families of the earth” (Gen 12:3).

As Genesis sketches the beginnings of redemptive history, it teaches about God’s coming kingdom, God’s love for his creation and his creatures, God’s judgment of sin, God’s grace for sinners, God’s covenant faithfulness, God’s sovereign providence, and God’s presence with his people. As Ken Mathews puts it: “If we possessed a Bible without Genesis, we would have a ‘house of cards’ without foundation or mortar.”

A Bible Without Genesis is Like:

“A HOUSE OF CARDS WITHOUT A FOUNDATION OR MORTAR”

Anything or anyone could come along and blow it away.

We’d be open to this statement from God’s Word: The Unstable Man

James 1:5-8 Getting Wisdom From God.
5  If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.
6  But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7  That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8  he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.

How’s Your Worldview Today?

Do you have deep foundations in the Word of God? Genesis provides it in bucket-loads.

Is your God the God of the Bible?

If He’s NOT, then you’ve made a ‘god’ to suit yourself: Idolatry.

If He’s NOT, then you’re going to be like a ship in a storm without a rudder, blown here and there, wherever the winds of change will blow you. Your course will be uncertain. Your destination indeterminate.

With GOD Almighty’s GENESIS Foundations in place, you’ll see Christ for who He is; The LORD Creator and Redeemer of Mankind.

Genesis 1 and 2 and John 1.

Having God’s Worldview in place will give us a much great love for His World and for everyone within it. Amen!

PRAYER:

Father God, thank You so much for giving us every part of Your Word. Thank you that by knowing Genesis we can have deep roots and strong foundations for what we believe today. Thank You that we can know Your plan and purpose in Creating us. Thank You that we can know how much You love and value every single soul in the world today. Lord today I’m praying for the PEACE and SAFETY of Syria and wisdom for those in authority in the world today. Amen!

Have an awesome day with Jesus.

Don.

#Genesis #Advent #Jesusiscoming #Christmas #Foundations #Worldview #Christian

 

The Power of God’s Word

Spirit and Word: God's Word

Daily Spirit & Word: 616: The Power of God’s Word.

Good morning my friends, it’s been hitting home to me again today just how wonderful and powerful God’s WORD is. He speaks mainly through the Scriptures (Bible), but the power of God’s Word also comes to us in so many other ways, as people share God’s eternal truth. In what ways has He spoken to you?

Hebrews 4:12-13 “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13  Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”

These two verses in Hebrews 4 are AWESOME:

God’s WORD: It’s;

  • LIVING
  • ACTIVE
  • DIVIDING
  • PENETRATING
  • JUDGING

“The Word of God”: Bible Commentators are divided as to what this phrase is referring to:

  • Could it be the Whole Bible as some assume?
  • Could it be the Lord Jesus Himself?
  • Could it be the Gospel (Good News)? For we know that it’s the Word of God that gives the gift of faith.
  • Could it be the Law, as some assume? For the Law is a Schoolmaster to lead us to Christ. (An awareness of our need of God’s forgiveness, for we’ve all broken God’s Laws).
  • Could it be when the Scriptures are read or preached? 

Personally I think it is a combination of ALL of the above:

The Power of God’s Word: We’ve probably seen it ourselves in our own experience of walking and trying to live the Christian life.

When we hear a sermon and it cuts right into our daily life, the preacher being completely unaware of what we’ve been doing, but the Power of God’s Word hits home. Making us feel like getting down low and hiding or running out of the room. I’ve had that as the convicting power of God’s Word comes upon me.

We’ve probably all had an experience of chatting with someone about the Lord’s things; answered prayer, what the Bible is saying to us in our daily devotions, and then all of a sudden you become aware that He’s in the room right there with you, speaking through your words or of the conversation of others in the room. The Power of God’s Word comes to life upon the lips of a brother or sister. It’s wonderful when the Lord does that, speaks through your brothers and sisters in Christ.

We’ve probably all had the experience of reading the Bible and suddenly a phrase jumps into our hearts and encourages us and makes us feel secure, strong, bold, humbled. When God’s Word does something to take away our fears or illuminate a problem we’ve been having.

God’s Word: Is LIVING AND ACTIVE: It’s always there, it’s powerful and it can accomplish what God wants it to. Just think for a moment how the Power of God’s Word: Created the Universe and how God’s Word can make Peter walk upon the water with Jesus. WOWzer! It’s mind-blowing, the POWER of God’s Word.

I heard the story of a young boy, he’d just been converted to Jesus and was sitting in the park reading his bible and yelping with delight. An old stuffy Minister was walking past, he asked the boy, “What are you making all that fuss about?” The Boy responded, “It’s awesome how in the Bible the Israelites crossed through the Red Sea when God rescued them from Pharaoh” The Minister was a liberal and didn’t believe in the literal reading of Genesis, he said, “Oh Archaeologists have proven that the Red Sea was probably only about two feed deep at the point they crossed over”

The young boy’s face fell and the Minister walked away smirking to himself, thinking he’d put the boy to right. Then he heard the boy whooping and dancing again, he turned back and asked the boy, “What are you making a fuss about now?” The boy replied, “It fantastic, what a wonderful God we have” Impatient, the Minister said, “What do you mean?” The boy said, “Don’t you think it’s just amazing how God could drown the whole Egyptian Army in just two feet of water?”

The boy walked away praising the Lord Jesus, the Minister’s face fell. LOL.

 

  • God’s WORD has a Power to convict the hardest of hearts. (Penetrating).
  • God’s Word is living and active and will never cease to be. (Alive).
  • God’s WORD: Is a lamp to my feet and light unto my path. (Guides us in life).
  • God’s WORD is TRUE: for ALL time. (Truth for Everyone, Everywhere).
  • God’s WORD is TRUSTWORTHY: ALWAYS.(Believe ALL God’s Promises in His Word).
  • God’s Word is FAITHFUL: Reliable and Encouraging. (Feeds & Nourishes the Soul).
  • God’s WORD: Has the ability to give faith and lead a person to Jesus Christ today!

Let’s let God’s Word do it’s job in our life and the lives of those we love today.

Oh LORD Jesus Christ, I thank You that You are that living WORD, that You’ve given us Your Words to teach, encourage and strengthen us every day. You have revealed Father God to us through the Words that He gave You to speak whilst upon the earth. Thank You Lord Jesus Christ. Thanks for the ways that You speak to us and show us the truth in our lives. Your Word is amazing. Praise You Lord! Amen. 

Think about it, what ways has God’s Word spoken to you?

What ways has He spoken to you apart from Scripture and you KNEW it was Him?

What ways have you become aware that God was speaking through you?

The POWER of God’s WORD: Let it soak into your soul today, let it feed you and nourish your walk with Jesus.

Isaiah 40:8 “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands for ever.”

Have an amazing Tuesday with Jesus.

Don.

The POWER of God’s Word:

Isaiah 40:6-15
6  A voice says, “Cry out.” And I said, “What shall I cry?” “All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field.
7  The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the LORD blows on them. Surely the people are grass.
8  The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands for ever.”
9  You who bring good tidings to Zion, go up on a high mountain. You who bring good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah, “Here is your God!”
10  See, the Sovereign LORD comes with power, and his arm rules for him. See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him.
11  He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.
12  Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens? Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance?
13  Who has understood the mind of the LORD, or instructed him as his counsellor?
14  Whom did the LORD consult to enlighten him, and who taught him the right way? Who was it that taught him knowledge or showed him the path of understanding?
15  Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket; they are regarded as dust on the scales; he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust.

 

The Gospel: People NEED Jesus.

The Whole Gospel of Jesus Christ

Daily Spirit and Word 600: The Gospel.

People NEED Jesus

Good morning my friends, this is the day we begin to study afresh the Gospel according to Mark. As you know there are four Gospel writers in the Bible: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Each gives us quite a unique view of the life, message and purpose of the Lord Jesus Christ.

  • Matthew’s Focus: Audience: for the Jews. Reveals the Messiah who fulfilled OT Prophesy.   
  • Luke’s thrust: Audience: Greeks (Gentiles: Non-Jews). Reveals Jesus as The Son of God, Empowered by Holy Spirit who came to Seek and SAVE Sinners.
  • John’s thrust: Audience: For people with a Greek and Roman World View: Jesus is the Creator, Divine Son of God, The Sacrifice who Gives His Life so that mankind may receive Eternal Life.
  • However Mark reveals Jesus as the Servant King: The thrust is on What Jesus did. Main focus of His Gospel (Half of it) The Last three weeks of Jesus life. (Mark wasn’t one of Jesus Apostles: He was a close associate of Peter and Paul.).

In the beginning he sets out to declare the Gospel (The Good News) of Jesus Christ.

Mark 1:1-8
1 The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
2  It is written in Isaiah the prophet: “I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way”—
3  “a voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’ “
4  And so John came, baptising in the desert region and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
5  The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptised by him in the Jordan River.
6  John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt round his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey.
7  And this was his message: “After me will come one more powerful than I, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie.
8  I baptise you with water, but he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit.”

The Gospel:

“The Gospel” is a phrase that slips off our tongues easily, and we use it so frequently that we rarely stop to think about it’s meaning.

Usage of the Phrase: “The Gospel” Not used much by the other Apostles: But Paul and Mark use it regularly in their writings.

So what does “The Gospel” mean? 

It means the Good News:

  • First of all it is the Good News of the Coming Kingdom: Proclaimed by John the Baptist, getting people ready.
  • Then it is the Good News of the King of the Kingdom: The Lord Jesus Christ and His mission upon the earth.
  • Then it is the Good News of The Lord Jesus Christ: Died upon the Cross, Risen to Life and Ascended and Reigning in Heaven.

So NOW when we think of The Gospel: We always think of it as the Good News of the Lord Jesus Christ: He is the subject and message. He alone is the only way a person can enter into the Kingdom of God. He is God.

Whenever I hear the phrase “The Gospel”: I immediately translate it, subconsciously, as “The Good News of Jesus Christ”: But many others don’t think of it that way.

In Common Use: In the World: 

You’ll often hear people in London saying, when they want to communicate that they are telling the truth: “Gospel truth brother” or in East End “Gospel guv, God’s honest truth guv”…

For example: When I was going to buy a computer the sales assistant in PC World said, “This is the best deal you’ll get, ‘gospel truth’ and we’ll match any other offer you get”….

The world uses “The Gospel” to associate TRUTH. They know when they hear the word Gospel it means truth. So when we’re out there trying to communicate the Gospel with people and we say I’m out sharing the Gospel, we’d better be clear, because they want to know what we’re telling the truth about. It is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

The Gospel Meets Your Deepest Needs:

Although the Gospel is about Jesus Christ, it’s also something that radically meets the needs of all mankind.

When we need: Only Jesus can meet those needs;

People Need Peace: People want real peace: Peace from war, Iraq, Syria, Nigeria, Middle East. But peace only ever lasts a short time. There will be wars. However, Jesus gives us a “Peace that the world cannot give”: Peace even in the storms of life.

People Need Gladness: Jesus give us gladness. We search the world for gladness and look to it for refreshment; (It does satisfy for a short while, like a McDonald’s burger, a holiday, but after a while, we’re hungry again)  but we search for gladness in vain, because the world was not Created to provide it for us. Non-the-less we keep searching, trying, scratching, scraping, hoping, yearning, longing. The gladness or satisfaction we’re looking for can only be found in Jesus Christ, He Created the world, and He alone is the true (gospel) source of gladness and satisfaction in life.

People Need Understanding: The world seeks to KNOW: To know the world and the universe: The quest for knowledge is immense, people spend thousands of pounds on their education. However, if they’d but open up the Bible and turn to Mark’s Gospel, and ask God to open their heart they’d find: True (Gospel) Understanding (Enlightenment: When the Light of Christ comes into our hearts, our understanding, knowing is transformened into an experience of the Light of Christ: The Good News, the Gospel).

People Need a Clear Conscience: Most people are aware that they are NOT all they should be. God given each one of us a conscience, when we go against His Commands, the Conscience cries it’s warning, so we try to quieten our Conscience: Some do it by ignoring it: We’re pretty good at that. (It’s like ignoring the smoke alarm) Some take the batteries out of the Conscience too 🙂 They try to do some good things, thinking that’s enough to quieten the conscience. Even hardened Criminals give money or offering to the church; thinking that will remove their guilt. Only the Whole Message of the Good News of Jesus Christ, His death upon the Cross and suffering for the world, will remove the pain of a guilty Conscience. (Conscience means: Con means with and Science means knowledge, therefore when we sin we do so With-Knowledge.)

People Need A Strong Will to Live Right: Many people struggle with self-control. Many books are written on the subject. Self-help books litter the shelves of book stores and Amazon pops them up: How to eat well. How to live debt free. How to speak. How to write. How to …. ?????

A Google Search of “An Idiot’s Guide to”

Do a Google search for “an idiot’s guide to”: You’ll find a bewildering and enlightening list of the things that people are really looking for in life: from Science, Quantum Physics, Yoga, Relationships, Marriage, Politics, Debating, Dating, Friends, Management, etc… They’ve even got “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to: The Bible”… LOL.

My friends, people want to KNOW HOW to do their LIFE better: Only Jesus Christ can meet all these needs, desires, hungers and wants in life. That’s the Good NEWS of Jesus Christ.

Need for Forgiveness: (Not many books on An Idiot’s Guide to Forgiveness).

You won’t find any books (yet) on: “An Idiot’s Guide to God’s Forgiveness”… Perhaps it’s time to write it 🙂

Google search that and you won’t find it. Why? Most people don’t think they NEED forgiveness. There is NO HUNGER or Desire for it. It is not high on the list of most important things in life.

  • Most people don’t think they need to be forgiven by God.
  • They think they are ‘good enough’ deep down, just a little bit wayward.
  • So they don’t think they need the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus Christ.
  • They think they can get along perfectly well without the hindrance of being ‘religious’.
  • Life is just to busy for ‘religion’… “Church: No thank you. I’m NOT religious”.

When we were out on Friday sharing the Gospel in Brixton: We got chatting to lots of different people about Jesus.

But four ladies that David and I were chatting with stand out for me: It ended with the ladies saying to us; “We’re just out having a good time, so please…” She didn’t say “leave us alone” but that’s what she meant and we got the message. It was a sad way to end a conversation about the LORD. However, people don’t think they NEED Jesus, they’re OK without Him, they’re having a great time without thinking about God. I ended the conversation with; “You know in your hearts you’ve broken God’s Commandments; you’ve admitted that you’ve lied and stolen and lusted, that’s only three of them, so I’m pleading with you, listen to your conscience, and think about what Jesus Christ did on the Cross so that you could be forgiven” They said they would and we left them to have a ‘good time’…. The next man we chatted to, about one minute after the ladies, thought that He was God. We sat down with him and had a very interesting time sharing the message of Jesus.

What Hit me more than anything else today: Is this my friends: People NEED the Gospel. We all NEED the Gospel: The whole Good News of Jesus Christ. We need to HEAR if: Because FAITH COMES BY HEARING THE WORD OF GOD.

We also need to RESPOND to it: Just as those who heard John the Baptist responded to his invitation to get ready for the coming Kingdom: They repented and were baptised.

After Jesus came; The Apostles (Early Church) proclaimed, preached and witnessed: The Gospel: People responded by:

  • BELIEVING (that Jesus Christ had indeed died upon the Cross for their sins)
  • REPENTING (Turning away from their sin and trusting in Jesus death)
  • RECEIVING: They responded by receiving Jesus Christ into their lives as both Saviour and Lord.
  • GETTING BAPTISED: This was to show the world that they’d been transformed by Jesus and were going to live a new life, in the power of the Holy Spirit and that they were dead to their old ways of living.
  • FOLLOWING JESUS: They then responded by living the Christian life, following the teachings of Jesus Christ, they became His disciples.

Most Christian Churches Today: The focus and thrust of good Evangelical, Baptist, Pentecostal and Charismatics is this: Believe, Repent and Receive (with a greater emphesis on the receiving end of the scale). Sadly so few, very few, focus upon the most important aspect, making Disciples (followers who’ll LIVE according to the Teachings of Jesus Christ and God’s Word). They pander to people’s hunger for experience, excitement and fun; but focus little upon the sacrificial life that Jesus has called us to: Taking up our Cross Daily and following / living with Jesus Christ. However, it’s ONLY when we begin to die to self that we can truly know that the Gospel IS the Good News we’ve been longing to hear.

Worship: I Surrender ALL to You Lord Jesus.

Conclusion:

We’re going to see over the coming weeks, as we unpack Mark’s Gospel of Good News of the Servant King: The Lord Jesus did some amazing wonderful things, he had Authority over all aspects of life and even death,  you’ll not want to miss any of that teaching I’m sure.

For NOW: Today:

Know this today my friends, this Gospel can transform your life today. The Good News of Jesus is for every hungry human soul in this world. They don’t even know they need Jesus, we’ve got to show them their; needs, hungers and desires can only truly be met in the Gospel Good News and Truth of the Person of Jesus Christ: The Son of God who died for them.

First: Have you truly responded? Do you Believe, repent, receive and follow Him daily?. Are you following and living according to the teachings of Jesus Christ right this moment? (If you know you are not, then come and receive prayer. Perhaps you need to repent and receive Jesus afresh in your life today).

Second: Will you be obedient to Jesus Command: Go into all the world and share the Gospel? Make Disciples?

Third: If you have not yet responded to the Gospel, the Good News that Jesus Christ died upon the Cross for you, will you turn and ask His forgiveness for your sins right now? Will you believe that He died upon the Cross for your sins? Will you receive Him as both Saviour and Lord? Will you seek His power and fullness of the Holy Spirit to enable you to live your life for Him?

Let us pray: “Dear Lord Jesus Christ, we can see today that we need a much clearer understanding of the whole Gospel message. It’s life and peace and joy and satisfaction can only truly be found in You Lord. Help us to respond as they first followers did, by giving our lives completely to You. Help us Lord and equip us Lord to spread this message that we know people are longing to hear, but don’t know it. Give us the desire to live like You Lord Jesus and LOVE people into Your Kingdom. Amen.

I hope you all read and re-read Mark’s Gospel.

Have an awesome Sunday and stay close to Jesus Christ.

Live in the Power of the Spirit today.

Don.

 

Lean On ME, when you’re not strong.

Jesus said, Come to ME

Daily Spirit & Word: 597: Lean On Me.

I’ve had a little more inspiration this morning from two sources in the world: From Bill Withers’ song “Lean on me” and from the traditional British red telephone boxes in Kingston Upon Thames. “Lean on me”.

You know something my friends, there are times when we don’t always feel strong, at those times Jesus is calling out to us “Lean on Me, when you’re not strong and I will help you carry on”. “Call on Me brother when you need a hand”.

Now before you say, “Well Donald, you’ve lost your mind, that’s not Biblical” lets just check out God’s Word and see if that’s true.

Isaiah 41:10  “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

God doesn’t like it when we are afraid, because He knows that when we’re giving into fear, we’re not trusting or relying upon Him. Psalm 18 reveals that David had a level of trust in the Lord that was awesome in times of danger or near defeat.

Psalm 18:1-3.
 [For the director of music. Of David the servant of the LORD. He sang to the LORD the words of this song when the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of King Saul. He said:] I love you, O LORD, my strength.
2  The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
3  I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies.”

The Lord Responds When You Call Upon Him.

My friends, the next time you are feeling weak, when you are not strong, when you know trouble is coming or is already upon you, CALL UPON THE LORD.

Remember our Lord Jesus own words in this regard:

Matthew 11:28-30 
28  “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.”

  • Who are we to come to? The Lord Jesus Christ.
  • When are we to come to Him? When we’re weary or burdened.
  • What happens when we come to Him? He will give us rest.
  • What does Jesus want us to do when we come to Him? Take up His yoke (follow His teaching and commands).
  • What does He want us to do? To learn from Him: from how He lived life on earth/
  • Why does Jesus want us to do that? Because He is gentle and humble in heart.
  • When we learn to live like Him, following His guiding principles in life, we will find the rest that our souls need.
  • What will we discover when we’re following Jesus in this way? That His yoke is EASY and His burden is LIGHT.

WOWzer! Call upon Jesus: He’s crying out to you today, “Lean on Me, when you’re not strong, I’ll give you hope to carry on”.

You know, there are so many times when I’ve been weak, foolish, burdened and feeling heavy, but when I’ve called upon the LORD Jesus, He’s proven to be faithful every single time, even when I’m not. He’ll give you the strength you need for every battle that you are facing today. You don’t have to be the strong one, because we’ve got ONE who’s power is unsurpassed.

Listen to Bill Withers’ little song: Lean On Me


Have a fantastic Thursday with Jesus.

When you are NOT strong, Jesus is the ONE who will always be there, so you can lean upon Him, He’ll give you the strength you need to carry on.

Don’t forget to seek the fullness of the Holy Spirit this day.

Because there will never be a time when we don’t need Him.

Don.

The Photo was taken in Kingston Upon Thames in 2011 by Rev Donald Davis.

 

The Bible IS the Word of God.

Trusting that the Bible is God's Word

Daily Spirit & Word 564: God’s Word.

God Planning & Timing IS Perfect.

Last night whilst out sharing the Lord Jesus with people in West Norwood, London, we met many different folks. Our first real conversation was with a man, who made little sense. He couldn’t trust the Bible to be the Word of God. He’d obviously read quite a lot of the Bible, was intelligent, but would not listen to a word we said. He was unreceptive to anything and only wanted to spout-out what he believed. It was hard to engage that man, and when someone is as unreceptive as that, I normally move on quite quickly, but, I don’t know why, we were with him for over twenty minutes. David, my buddy disciple for the evening, said, “You know Don, I know he was a ‘red-herring’ wasting time etc, but if we’d not stayed chatting to him, we would not have had the more fruitful conversations with the others we met. He was right, because we shared the whole Gospel with a shop owner, who’d just popped out of the shop for a cigarette, if we’d been there just two or three minutes before or after, he would not have been there. Then there were three people at a bus stop, whom we both managed to share the Gospel with, then a man who’d just pulled up on a motorbike. He was taking a tour of South London with his soon to be bride, they are getting married in a little church on Balmoral Estate in Scotland. If we’d been any earlier we would not have met any of them. Moral of the story: Some ‘Red-Herrings’ are God’s way of slowing us down a bit 🙂

THE BIBLE: It is the Word of God.

As you share the Good News with folks, you may come across people who just don’t believe the Bible to be the Word of God. It’s good for every Christian to know if it really is or not. From experience and study and trusting and putting into practice, I can tell you that it is, but you will not know that for yourselves, just because I tell you that. You’ll need to DISCOVER if it is for yourself.

You can trust the Bible: But we’re living in a day when very few Christians are actually reading God’s Word Daily (see article below).

It’s inspired by God, but written by men under the influence and power of the Holy Spirit.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17  so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

How much of the Bible is God-breathed? ALL SCRIPTURE.

My friends, you CAN trust the whole Bible.

Here’s an amazingly simple way of getting into studying God’s Word.

SIMPLE BIBLE STUDY METHOD.

First, write out a copy the verse from one or more versions of the Bible.

Give it a heading: VERSE FOR STUDY: Put the Verse reference, e.g. 1 Timothy 3:16.

Second, under the heading MESSAGE, write out in your own words what the verse says – what it commands, teaches, warns of, or promises. e.g. “ALL SCRIPTURE” for 1 Tim 3:16. “Every word of the Bible comes from God”

Third, look at the verses immediately preceding and following the verse. These are known as the context of the verse. Under the heading CONTEXT, record first the thoughts added by the verses preceding your study verse. Then Record the thoughts added by the verses following your study verse. (Before and After).

Example: 1 Timothy 3: Is all about how people will abandon God in the last days before Christ comes back. He lists all the ways that men and women will abandon God’s standards. Then our verse; Paul is encouraging Timothy to remain steadfast and keep following God, remembering that ALL Scripture is God’s Word.

The verses after 2 Tim 3:16 are telling us the reason why God’s Word is useful for teaching etc… So that the follower of Jesus will be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Fourth, record the questions that the verse raises in your mind, or the problems you think it might pose for yourself or someone else. These can be recorded under the heading QUESTIONS.

Is the whole of the Bible God’s Word?

What does this mean for me?

How can I trust this verse? Are there any other verses in the Bible that support this thought?

etc etc…

Finally, APPLICATION: Describe one specific way you can change your attitudes or actions because of the teaching of this verse.

It’s awesome to get into studying the Bible for yourself. It doesn’t take very long and if you do a verse or two a week like this, on your own, you’ll soon begin to get to know God’s thoughts after Him. You’ll get to know yourself better as a disciple of Christ and you’ll know God’s will, plans and desires for your own life. But soon you’ll know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Bible is the Word of God and not just a book written by mere men. It’s Holy Spirit inspired!

GET INTO GOD’S WORD

Here are some awesome verses that you can do the same kind of Bible study with;

Suggested verses to study:
Matthew 4:19 (18-20) – Follow Christ
Matthew 5:6 (5-7) – Hunger for Righteousness
Matthew 5:11 (10-12) – Persecution
Matthew 5:44 (43-45) – Love your enemies
Matthew 6:6 (5-7) – Prayer
Matthew 9:37 (36-38) – Laborers
Matthew 23:11 (10-12) – Spiritual coldness
Matthew 28:19 (18-20) – Make disciples
Romans 1:16 (15-17) – Not ashamed of the Gospel
Romans 1:22 (21-23) – Becoming fools
Romans 6:13 (12-14) – Offer your bodies to God
Romans 8:34 (33-35) – We are not under condemnation
Romans 12:15 (14-16) – Empathy
Romans 15:2 (1-3) – Build others up
Galatians 4:2 (1-3) – Humility
Galatians 4:30 (29-31) – Do not grieve the Holy Spirit
Galatians 6:2 (1-3) – Carry each others burdens
Galatians 6:8 (7-9) – What you sow, you reap

Have an awesome day, trusting that God’s Word (ALL of it) is the WORD OF GOD.

Don’t be put off from sharing God’s Good News with folks, even the ones that will not listen, those ‘red-herrings’ can be God sent, because God’s planning and timing is PERFECT.

Don.

P.S. We go out every week to share the Gospel (Good News of Jesus) with people on the Streets and Door-to-Door in West Norwood, London. If you’d like training in personal evangelism or just to sharpen up a bit, then why not join us? We’d love to help many other Christian to learn to share the good news the way that Jesus did. Just drop us a line: dondavisuk@gmail.com or contact us through St Luke’s Church Facebook Page: or Don’s Facebook Page.

Looking forward to hearing what you think about these messages.

Don.

Premier Christian News:

Half of Christian teenagers don’t read Bible more than once a month

Wed 22 Jul 2015

By Marcus Jones

Fifty per cent of young people who identify as Christians don’t read their Bible more than once a month.

New research published by Premier Youthwork Magazine has found just one in three read it a couple of times a week or more.

What was also revealed was that teenagers pray far more regularly than they read the Bible.

Writing in this month’s edition, London youth worker Mark Walley looked at other stats which show young people overwhelming see having a regular experience of God an important part of their faith.

He wrote: “When held together with the fact that young people expressed a strong desire to experience God in their churches, something seems amiss.

“Because the thing is, there is a link between the discipline of Bible reading and the experience of God. One of the main day to day ways you experience God is through reading the Bible.”

Premier Bible Reading.