A Change of Mind

Christians preaching Christ Good News in Damascus

Daily Spirit & Word: 774: A Change of Mind.

Good morning my friends, I know many of you have children on holiday from school and find it difficult to find time to read for long periods, so here’s a very short thought for today.

We’ve probably all observed Goldfish in a tank, they swim in one direction, then suddenly all change direction and go another way. I love watching fish, but that’s what we need in this world, to be that one fish that suddenly turns and goes in another direction, perhaps the rest will follow. Decide today to follow Jesus.

Acts 9:20-30 (NIV)
20  At once he (Saul) began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God.
21  All those who heard him were astonished and asked, “Isn’t he the man who caused havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? And hasn’t he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?”
22  Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Christ.
23  After many days had gone by, the Jews conspired to kill him,
24  but Saul learned of their plan. Day and night they kept close watch on the city gates in order to kill him.
25  But his followers took him by night and lowered him in a basket through an opening in the wall.
26  When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple.
27  But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus.
28  So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord.
29  He talked and debated with the Grecian Jews, but they tried to kill him.
30  When the brothers learned of this, they took him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus.

WE NEED A NEW MIND…

A change of mind.

We see this supremely in the life of St Paul (Saul) in the passage above.

  • One day he’s spouting murderous thoughts and running around arresting and imprisoning Christians.
  • A few days later he’s preaching the Gospel (The Good News of Jesus Christ FEARLESSLY).
  • What brought about his complete change of mind?
  • An encounter with the risen Lord Jesus Christ.

WE NEED AN ENCOUNTER WITH JESUS.

When we meet with Jesus, just like St Paul, our minds are going to be RENEWED. We’re going to begin to think like Jesus, because we too will receive the mind of Christ through the indwelling Holy Spirit. We too will begin to SPEAK UP for Jesus Christ.

Romans 12:2 (NIV)  Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is; his good, pleasing and perfect will.

WE NEED A RENEWED MIND:

Then just like St Paul (Saul of Tarsus) we will be TRANSFORMED.

So God’s Making us into TRANSFORMERS 🙂

Imagine being able to; test and approve what God’s will is?

Imagine being able to know what His; good, pleasing and perfect will is?

“He’s TRANSFORMING ME”

By His Holy Spirit, He’s making me like Jesus.

Could you imagine going to Damascus today and proclaiming the Good News of the LORD Jesus Christ? They’d probably want to kill you too, just as the Jews did St Paul. However, he preached Jesus fearlessly, will we? Will we be so transformed by Jesus that in our place, where we live, we begin to speak up for Jesus? It’s a scary thought for many Christians, but that’s what the Holy Spirit in us will be prompting us to do.

Let our minds be changed, renewed, growing every day, to become more and more like Jesus.

Have an awesome day with Jesus.

Don.

P.S. Last night’s (27/7/2016) street evangelism was AWESOME!

In West Norwood London, a few of us went out onto the streets to share Jesus Christ with the crowds; we did it through giving out tracts, sharing the Gospel, praying for folks, and all along the way enjoying singing the song, “I’ve got my mind made up and I won’t turn back, because I’m going to see my Jesus some day”…

P.S. Once Paul was converted, he gained new enemies, they seemed to always want to take his life, to stop him preaching and proclaiming that Jesus is the Christ (Messiah), that Jesus is the Son of God (God), speaking boldly in the name of the Lord.

As long as Paul was belonging to the world, the world loved him as one of it’s own.

John 15:18-27 (NIV)
18  “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.
19  If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.
20  Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.
21  They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me.
22  If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. Now, however, they have no excuse for their sin.
23  He who hates me hates my Father as well.
24  If I had not done among them what no-one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. But now they have seen these miracles, and yet they have hated both me and my Father.
25  But this is to fulfil what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’
26  “When the Counsellor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me.
27  And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.

My friends, as long as you belong to the world, the world will love you as one of it’s own, however: As soon as you are converted, as Paul was converted, the world hated him and it will hate you too, because you no longer belong to the world, you are not of this world, your new citizenship is in Heaven, you are a member of God’s household, you are His ambassadore to this world, you’ve become a new creature in Christ, you are now a Saint, this world is NOT your home any more.

So you will proclaim Christ, just as Paul did, the Holy Spirit of Truth will motivate you to share Him. Then whenever Christ is proclaimed, the world is judged because of sin, it doesn’t want to hear that message, so it tries to squash the message of the Gospel:

  • By watering it down,
  • By making it into a religion,
  • By killing those who proclaim the true Gospel,

Satan: is the force behind all worldly efforts to silence the true Gospel of Jesus Christ: That men (mankind) are sinful, they’ve broken God’s commandments, without Christ there is no remedy for mankind’s sins, we cannot make ourselves clean and fit for heaven, because sin contaminates our souls, so the only way to be cleansed is by the blood of an innocent and pure sacrifice, something had to die in our place so that we could be saved. Jesus Christ, God’s one and only son is the full and sufficient sacrifice for the sins of all mankind. So that everyone who believes that He died for their sins, who repents of sin and trusts in Jesus’ death, will be SAVED.

Now it’s no wonder that Satan and the world influenced by him, doesn’t want that message spread about too much. He’ll try and squash it, water it down, pervert and bend that message, so that as many as he can, he’ll take to hell with him.

There’s nothing worse that whole hosts of people calling themselves ‘Christians’ who’ve never been born again or come to Christ, broken and guilty and confessing their sins. Satan loves it when the ‘church’ if filled with false-converts, filled and convinced they’re saved by a false or partial perverted Gospel message. The watered down Gospel is this; “Just believe in Jesus name, and ask him into your heart”; no reasons are given for why a person needs to come to Christ, no sin, no hell, no judgement, no repentance, no receiving Christ as LORD. That’s the false Gospel that many are believing today. They are NOT SAVED yet, but don’t give up, because they can be.

However, my heart breaks at the thought of the countless thousands who’ll end up in hell, having believed and lived by this false Gospel message. Jesus died in order that many would be saved, let’s spread the true Gospel message and save as many as we can whilst there is still some time left before Jesus returns in Judgement. Amen!

 

 

 

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.