The Wonderful Names of Jesus

Advent week, Jesus, Christ, Messiah, Judge, Lord,

Daily Spirit & Word: 813: The Wonderful Names of Jesus.

Good morning my friends,

It’s amazing when we celebrate significant birthdays. We know of folks who prepare a long time in advance. Some in our church will travel thousands of miles to attend a significant birthday of a relative. They come back with wonderful stories and share their amazing pictures on Facebook.

Every year the whole Christian community celebrates the most significant birthday in history, the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Advent is the season of getting ready to do that.

Our Four Advent Readings (From the Lectionary) think about the PARTY that was going on before God would act in Judgement:

  • Isaiah 2.1-5: The World’s Peoples Gathering in Jerusalem for God’s Judgement.
  • Psalm 122: The Thrones of Judgement in Jerusalem.
  • Romans 13.11-14: Put aside the deeds of darkness; drunkenness and wild parties… Put on armour of light.
  • Matthew 24.36-44: Partying and Marriage celebrations in the time of Noah.

I could have chosen any one of these Judgement passages to warn of the Judgement to come, but instead I want today to FOCUS like a laser on JESUS. And WHY ADVENT.

The one verse we used as we lit the Advent Candle:

Isaiah 9:6 (NIV) “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.”

The word Advent means arrival, (Parousia).

Advent refers to the arrival of Jesus Christ into the world.

The “Advent season” usually starts four weeks before Christmas and concludes with the celebration of Christ’s birth. Some churches emphasise the Advent season more than others, but all Christians look forward to celebrating Christ’s birth during this season of the year. We know it’s the season of Good-Will towards mankind. So this is the FIRST SUNDAY of ADVENT.

Why was Jesus’ birth so important? (Incarnation) God became Flesh.

We have a word for that, INCARNATION:

What Incarnation is not: It’s not about Jesus being steeped in Carnation Milk 🙂 But Jesus taking on human flesh.

The reason for Advent is because slightly over 2,000 years ago, God came down to Earth from Heaven and became a living human being: The Baby Jesus Christ. As God tells us in John, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14, NIV).

We have a word for that, INCARNATION:

Think about it for a moment: Incarnation, God became a man! He did it because He loves us, and that’s what we should celebrate as Christmas approaches.

This is the First Sunday of Advent: 

Read Isaiah 9:6. In this portion of the Bible we find the whole message and meaning of Christmas.

Isaiah 9:6 (NIV) “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.”

FIVE NAMES FOR OUR LORD JESUS:

You will notice that Isaiah the great Prophet gives us five awesome Names for our Lord that can encourage us, excite and enthuse us and fill us with the sure and certain hope of the Christmas reasons for Jesus coming into this world.

  1. Jesus is Wonderful.When He did so many wonderful miracles, the Scripture says, “The people wondered.” (Luke 11:14, KJV). The people were astonished by Jesus miracles, time and time again. Your Lord Jesus is Wonderful (Full of wonder; even today we can marvel at Jesus’ miracles; water into wine, walking on water, calming storms, spitting to make the blind see, these are just some of the WATER miracles. Show people Jesus today and they’ll be filled with WONDER, because Jesus is wonderful.
  1. Jesus is Counsellor. Jesus with the woman at the well, “Come and meet a man who told me everything I ever did”.

John 4:29 (NIV)  “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?”

My friends, Jesus is your counsellor, He is your Advocate with the Father, He is your High Priest and King. He knows all about your life too and can meet all your needs today. That’s something to celebrate Christmas for isn’t it?

  1. Jesus is The Mighty God. He is the God-Man (God in Flesh). He said “I and the Father are ONE”. (John 10:30)

John 14:9 (NIV) Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?

Jesus is the Mighty God.

  1. Jesus is The Everlasting Father. It was by Him, the living Word, that all things were created. He is the designer of the whole universe. (Meditate upon John 1:1-5; Hebrews 11:3)

John 1:1-5 (NIV)
1  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2  He was with God in the beginning.
3  Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
4  In him was life, and that life was the light of men.
5  The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.

Colossians 1:16-17 (NIV)
16  For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.
17  He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Jesus is the Everlasting Father: Eternal, always was, always will be. He and the Father are ONE.

  1. Jesus is The Prince of Peace.

Jesus can bring you God’s PEACE:

We all want world peace, but there will never be lasting peace on Earth until He comes again to reign in all His righteousness. That’s the Second Advent: But He is also the Prince of Peace in other ways. None can have peace with God apart from Him and the peace that He made through the blood of His cross. (Colossians 1:20)

Here’s is HOW Christ Brings us PEACE:

Colossians 1:19-22 (NIV) Alienated (Separated) Reconciled (Brought back together again).
19  For God was pleased to have all his fulness dwell in him,
20  and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
21  Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behaviour.
22  But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—

It’s by knowing and believing, trusting and receiving Jesus Christ, as we turn from our sin, that we can KNOW God’s PEACE in this world today.

Do you have PEACE with God this Christmas? When we KNOW Jesus as; Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace… We can have PEACE with God.

Conclusion:

This, the first Sunday of Advent: and all through this coming week, think about and meditate upon these awesome names for the LORD Jesus Christ:

Isaiah 9:6 (NIV) “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.”

  • Monday: Wonderful. Wonder at Jesus and His miracles again.
  • Tuesday: Counsellor. Know Jesus knows all about your life and how best to show you the way.
  • Wednesday: Mighty God: Jesus is God in Flesh. He is mighty and can do anything. Sustains the Universe.
  • Thursday: Everlasting Father: Jesus and the Father are ONE…
  • Friday: Prince of Peace: Reflect upon the real PEACE that Jesus gives you in all situations.

The full meaning of these words from Isaiah should give us enough; strength, hope and joy to face any crisis, endure any sorrow and meet any temptation.

Question: How has Jesus shown you recently that He is “Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father or The Prince of Peace”?

It’s my hope and prayer as you get ready to celebrate Christmas again this year, the birth of our LORD Jesus Christ, you’ll experience Him in the fullness of His Wonderful Names. Amen!

Don.

 

The LORD is my Shepherd

no fear in death when Jesus is the Good Shepherd

Daily Spirit & Word: 765: The LORD is My Shepherd.

The Lord is MY Shepherd:

Good morning my friends, it was such a wonderful privilege to conduct the funeral of one of the oldest saints in St Luke’s Church, June Bailleau. She died in full assurance that Jesus Christ was her Good Shepherd. So we could celebrate her life and be comforted with the assurance she’s gone home to be with her LORD forever. There were awesome testimonies about June, the kind of woman she was, her dedication to the Lord, her love and service in church and community, but most importantly how she longed for everyone she knew to come to the point of knowing Jesus for themselves. She wanted me to proclaim the Good News of Jesus at her funeral. So I did, here’s the message that I gave.

A few days before she died, June couldn’t speak clearly, but she mouthed the words of this Psalm perfectly from memory as I read it out to her.

SCRIPTURE READING: Psalm 23

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters, He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; Thou anointest my head with oil; My cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

I just love the way that King David has used the imagery of a Shepherd and his flock to describe the CARE and COMFORT which every one of God’s sheep can experience. However, it’s not just a group of sheep, but an individual sheep, my friends, Jesus wants to take the greatest care of your life too.

He begins by describing the comfort and care of His Lord for him in life.

He sums up all of God’s care in one phrase, “I shall not want.”

“I shall not want”

King David LACKS NOTHING, because his Shepherd cares for all of his earthly needs.

Let’s Look at the ways the Shepherd Looks After His Sheep in this LIFE:

  • He Leads me besides still waters: Jesus said, “NEVER THIRST AGAIN” & “Calmed the Storms” & “Walked on Water”…
  • He makes me lie down in green pastures: “NEVER HUNGER”

John 6:35 (NLT) “Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”

These two phrases tell me Jesus is concerned about my earthly existence as well as what follows next, my SPIRITUAL life.

  • He leads me in paths of righteousness: “I AM The Way, The Truth and The LIFE: No man comes to the Father except through Me” John 14:6.

How does the Good Shepherd lead us? With His ROD (Rod of correction: A small rod that shepherds would use to prod the sheep and keep them on the right path) With HIS STAFF (The STAFF is a bigger stick that shepherds would use to rescue the sheep when they got into difficulty).

My friends, Jesus is caring so much for those who become His sheep today. He disciplines, prunes (Luke 15, John 15) He guides (John 16-17 by His Holy Spirit).

LOOK AT THE WAY THE GOOD SHEPHERD LOOKS AFTER HIS SHEEP IN DEATH:

Jesus, the Good Shepherd, is not just concerned with our life down here on the earth: When we’re going through the doorway of death, He’s right there with His sheep too.

DEATH: King David’s Shepherd doesn’t ABANDON Him through death, so he goes on to describe the Lord’s presence in death.

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me.”

Passing through death, David says, is like walking through dark shadows. That would normally be very frightening indeed. I’ve been called out to people who are just about to die and they are petrified, scared to death of dying. They call on a minister out of FEAR: I always come to them and proclaim the Gospel: When faced with DEATH people always REPENT of their sins.

Going through DEATH for everyone of us  is not pleasant experience, that’s why nobody wants to die.

However, if we are one of God’s Sheep, when we do pass through the dark shadow of death, there is NO FEAR…

Here we are COMFORTED with this TRUTH: That our LORD JESUS Christ, The Good Shepherd, who provided for all our earthly needs in life, is also with us as we pass through the dark doorway into ETERNITY.

For those who are passing through DEATH with Christ, there is NOTHING to FEAR: Why? Because Jesus is right there with us.

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me.”

 

HOW DO WE GET JESUS TO BE OUR GOOD SHEPHERD?

WHILE THIS PSALM ASSURES US THAT GOD IS WITH US AS WE PASS THROUGH THE SHADOW OF DEATH, IT DOES NOT TELL US HOW THIS HAPPENS.

King David was specially chosen by God, he was unique and had amazing experiences of God in life and knew and trusted God. But it wasn’t until Jesus came to this world, that ordinary people could also have that same kind of assurance.

One thing I am assured about June Bailleau is this, She KNEW JESUS as her Good Shepherd. She’d repented of her sins and trusted Jesus as her Lord. She loved the LORD, and would be singing His praises until her last breath, which I can testify that she did.

Well, Jesus described Himself as the Good Shepherd:

He said,

John 10:10-11 (NIV)
10  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
11  “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

Notice The LINK: The Good Shepherd: The LORD is MY Shepherd.

Jesus died on the CROSS for the Sheep. “The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep”…

John 10:14-15 (NIV)
14  “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me, (June KNEW Jesus)
15  just as the Father knows me and I know the Father, and I lay down my life for the sheep. (June was assured Jesus had given His life for her).

Jesus is the Good Shepherd: He lays down His LIFE for the Sheep.

But why? Why did Jesus need to give His life for the Sheep? 

It’s because without Jesus DEATH on the CROSS: We would all still be in our sins, we would be frightened on our way through the DARK SHADOWS of DEATH. We most certainly would be frightened.

ALL HAVE SINNED: God’s WORD, The Bible, tells us clearly, “ALL HAVE SINNED”… 

YBH: Yes! But how?

We’ve all broken God’s Commandments: Lied, Stolen, Cheated, Disobeyed Parents, Murdered (Hated), Not kept the Sabbath, Not put God first in our lives.

God’s Commandments reveal just how much we’ve all sinned. NO SINNER can enter into the Kingdom of Heaven: If we were able to creep into Heaven with our sins still on us, we’d contaminate Heaven.

We THINK We’re Good Enough: Most people think they are ‘good enough’.

I’m reminded of a time when as a young Electrical Mechanic recruit waiting to be drafted to my first ship, having finished my courses, I was put to work on the Royal Navy Pig Farm: About 40000 pigs to look after: It’s a very smelly affair. You’d only need to be with those pigs for a few minutes and you’d begin to smell like them. After working with the pigs I’d take a shower, spray myself with deodorant and put on clean clothes. Then going to the Dining Hall with all the other Sailors, we’d line up to get in. There was a Petty Officer at the Door: He was controlling the entrance, letting in a few at a time, there were hundreds of us. I noticed there was something strange happening in the queue, there was a gap in front of me and a gap behind, I didn’t take any notice, but when I eventually got to the front of the queue, the Petty Officer said, “Go and get a shower, you stink, you can’t come into the Dining Hall smelling like that”… I was so embarrassed, I’d had a shower, sprayed myself with deodorant and thought I smelled clean, but the stench of the PIGS was still on my body.

My friends, I thought I was clean enough, I thought I could get in, I’d cleaned myself up: Oh My friends, there are so many people who’re hoping that they’ll be GOOD ENOUGH to get into Heaven when they pass through the dark shadow of death. They’ll be sadly shocked, because, JUST ONE SIN in your life: Will contaminate your SOUL and you’ll be unfit for Heaven for all eternity.

It’s my experience from going out to share the Gospel with folks on the streets every week, people who don’t go to church, people who are not religious, that they do believe in Heaven and they think they are going to be good enough to get in. My friends, we’re encouraged by God’s Word not to fool ourselves: No SINNER can get into HEAVEN.

Listen to what God’s Word tells us: DON’T FOOL YOURSELVES…

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (NLT)
9  Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, 10  or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God.
11  Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God (HOW?) by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Don’t FOOL YOURSELVES: We may think we’re ‘good enough’ but the Bible, God’s Word, reveals that JUST ONE SIN will keep us out of Heaven.

Like Adam and Eve, who were banished from God’s presence for ONE SIN, so we too will be sadly shocked and embarrassed to discover, we can’t get in.

Thankfully that same passage that tells us not to FOOL OURSELVES, and lists those who can’t get in, it also reveals who can.

It’s those who’ve made Jesus their Good Shepherd.

1 Corinthians 6:11 ” Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God (HOW?) by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

 

  • When you TURN: In Repentance (Turn away from Sin) Confess your sins to Jesus.
  • When you TRUST: In Christ’s DEATH Upon the Cross, paying the price for your sins. (The Good Shepherd can become your Shepherd today).
  • When you RECEIVE Jesus Christ: By and act of Faith you say “Jesus, I believe you died upon the Cross for my sins, I repent of those sins (Name them, renounce them, and leave my life of sin) I turn to You Lord and I receive You as my LORD, My Shepherd, Come into my Life and be my Lord today. Amen!”

When you Turn, Trust and Receive Jesus Christ: You will be saved, your sins will be washed away, you’ll be made holy by Jesus Christ’s death and precious blood, you’ll be made right with God and you’ll be free to enter into Heaven. When you die you will not FEAR. When you pass through the Dark Shadows of Death, because Jesus become your Good Shepherd, He will be your Shepherd and He will be with you too.

ALL FEAR IS GONE:

When Jesus Christ is YOUR Good Shepherd.

 

JUNE KNEW Psalm 23 by HEART: June KNEW Jesus as her Good Shepherd: The LORD of her life.

You can cry out with confidence as June Bailleau has done countless times in her life, she knew it by heart, just a few days before she died, she mouthed the words;

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.”

You’ll have such a confidence that Jesus is your Good Shepherd, that you’ll KNOW you are just going to go through THE DARK SHADOW of DEATH, you won’t be afraid, because Jesus will be with you, and then once you’ve passed through, you’ll be with Him FOREVER.

You will receive the Gift of Eternal Life:

Death has lost it’s sting, when Jesus is your Good Shepherd.

John 3:13-18 (NIV)
13  No-one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven, the Son of Man.
14  Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up (Jesus died on the Cross),
15  that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. (Those who TRUST that His Death was for their sins).
16  “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
17  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
18  Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

It’s NOT ENOUGH to KNOW that Jesus died for your sins: We can all believe that easily enough, but we must TRUST IN Jesus Christ. i.e. Trust that He will forgive you, cleanse you and give you new life, by an act of faith.

It’s like a man called Charles Blondin: A World Famous Tight Rope Walker.

He would walk across the Niagara Falls with a wheelbarrow. Back and forth (17 Times: Even Blindfolded). Then He asked the Crowd, “Do you believe that I could push a person in a wheelbarrow across the falls?” The Crowd responded “Yes”.

Charles Blondin asked, “Who’s going to get into the wheelbarrow?”

The Crowd was silent… He famously pushed his own mother across the falls in that wheelbarrow. She trusted in her own Son, enough to get into that wheelbarrow.

My friends, we’ve got to GET Jesus into Us if we are going to be SAVED: Will you TRUST the Son of God? Will you Receive Jesus Christ as your LORD today? He’ll take you across the Dark Shadow of Death all the way to Eternity with Him in Heaven Forever.. Trust Him.

Have you made Jesus your Good Shepherd yet?

Believe, Repent, Receive, LIVE….

Turn, Trust, Receive Him Today: And you will have HIM with you through life and through that doorway of death too. Amen!

I hope you all have a fantastic Friday and wonderful weekend.

Looking forward to gathering on Sunday with the Saints in St Luke’s Church,

Don.

 

The Good Person Test

by their fruits, hell's best kept secret, true and false conversion, faith

Daily Spirit & Word: 751: By Their Fruit.

Is this fruit Poisonous or Edible?

Good morning my friends, how do you know if a fruit is good to eat or if it’s poisonous? Years ago, we had a tree that we were not familiar with in our garden, the fruits were tiny black berries, and they looked delicious, but tasted quite bitter. This was in the days before Google so we had to rely on Microsoft Encyclopedia (Anyone remember that?). It turned out that little black berry was poisonous, so I’m just so glad that I spat it out. It left a bitter taste in my mouth for ages and my tongue dried up. Oh I can even taste it now it was horrible.

How can you tell, quickly, if someone is a Christian?

Well, when out witnessing, we’ll often come across professing believers. They’ll say quite promptly, “I’m a Christian”… I always respond positively when I hear people say that, especially these days. I say, “Praise the LORD a fellow believer”. However, I’ve learned, through years of witnessing on the streets, that not everyone is actually trusting in Jesus. So I’ll ask them about the prospect of Heaven or get them to explain to me the Gospel. Here’s what I’ll say, “What would you say to one of your friends if they want to get into Heaven?” When we do that, we quickly discover what kind of ‘Christian’ a person is, by what they are depending upon for their salvation.

What I find shocking and sad, is that many of the professing believers here in London are shallow soil believers or rocky ground believers, the seed didn’t land in the good soil of their heart. How can we discern that so quickly? Some will obviously say, “Donald, you are just too judgemental”… No my friends, I’m filled with the LOVE of Jesus and He wants all people to trust in HIM for Salvation, not their own efforts to be good enough for heaven. I’m also aware of Jesus’ words of caution:

Matthew 7:15-23 (NIV)
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!’

He tells us to “Watch OUT” for good reason.

You see my friends, it’s by their FRUIT you’ll recognise them.

Many professing ‘Christians’ are NOT trusting in Jesus, but in their own efforts to be good. The FRUIT of their Salvation is their own goodness, it’s so sad, because they’ll be shocked on the Day of Judgement to discover they are NOT GOOD ENOUGH to get into Heaven. Just one sin will shut the door in their faces.

The FRUIT that our Lord Jesus is talking about here is what a person is trusting in for their Salvation. If they are depending upon their own goodness, then they are NOT trusting in Him or His sacrificial death upon the Cross.

The Sheep’s Clothing: It’s a disguise:

They’ll look and sound like sheep: They’ll bleat like sheep, smell like sheep… but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.

A false Prophet: (Someone who professes falsely to have trusted in Jesus) Is someone who knows the language of the sheep, but doesn’t know the Shepherd of the Sheep. They’ll know all about Jesus, they’ll know about His death on the Cross, the Hymns and songs in Church, the prayers, the terminology of the Bible; being born again, forgiveness and love, they’ll even profess to be a Christian. Somehow, they know all that and say all that, but have yet to trust in Jesus Christ for their own salvation.

Here’s how we know quite quickly:

I’ll say those who say they are Christians, “Praise the LORD! That’s amazing, it’s so refreshing to meet another believer, can you please tell me Mary, what do I have to do to get saved?” or “Do you know if you will be good enough to get into Heaven?”

Depending on how they answer they’ll reveal what they are trusting in: Jesus, their own goodness or Good Works.

You know what I find most shocking? The responses we get to those questions from most professing believers. They say, “Just believe in Jesus,” or “I hope so, I try my best, I’m trying to be a good person”… When a person tells me that, immediately my antenna goes up, I’m hoping I’m not detecting a false convert or false prophet, but most often, as we continue to chat, we’ll discover they have yet to trust in Jesus to be SAVED.

It’s so sad and shocking, but the vast majority of the people we meet on the streets of West Norwood in London, who say they are Christians, have never actually trusted in Jesus Christ for their Salvation, but are somehow relying on their own goodness or their efforts to be a ‘good person’. That’s why we say to them, “We’ve got a little test that we do with everyone who tells us they are Christians, to see if they will be good enough for Heaven, would you like to see if you’d get in?”… I’m just so thankful that most of them say, “OK, I’ll take the little test” or “I’d love to do that”….

What’s great is that once we go through that little test, you can physically see a difference in those people, their faces often light up in a new way, they now KNOW the true Gospel, sometimes for the first time in their life, they’ll often say, “WOW, this really is a wake-up-call” or “Thank you so much, you’ve made me see” or “It’s so amazing, I’ve never seen it that way before and I’ve been going to church for years”. We’ve seen a few people cry because they’ve just discovered that they need to put their faith in Jesus, they’ve been trusting in themselves for years, their religious activity, their devotion to going to church, they’ve been trusting in a false Gospel, and are ready to receive Him as Lord. Deep down, most people who’ve been going to church, heard the Bible being read and listened to sermons, know what to do, but have never been led to the point of seeing their need to do it.

So many people know and want the benefits of believers; the Holy Spirit or an EXPERIENCE of power or love in church, they are filled with joy when they go into a lively worship service and think that’s what it means to be saved. They love the friendship, fellowship and feeling of security that going to church gives them. It’s nice to hear warm and loving messages of hope and encouragement. These are all good and right, but it’s such a shame because so many are those sincere and devoted people are the “wolves in sheep’s clothing, the false prophets” that Jesus is talking about. Because they do all of those things and have yet to come to the one who paid the price for their sins.

We’ve gotten to the point of being shocked if someone tells us they are NOT GOOD, but they have trusted in Jesus Christ and His death upon the Cross to forgive their sins, and His blood Sacrifice to cleanse them of their sins, and they now know they are going to Heaven because of His goodness and because they’ve repented of their sins and received Him as their LORD. Sadly, those who say that, are few and far between. Because most are trusting in so many other things, like; church attendance, baptism, speaking in tongues, service in church, taking Holy Communion regularly, reading their Bible, doing good works for charity, casting out demons, raising the dead, etc, etc… These are all great things for believers to be doing, however Jesus will say to them on the day of Judgement “Depart from Me, I never knew you”… Why? Because they failed to repent and trust in Him for their Salvation or they didn’t receive Him as their Lord. Most don’t do that, because they’ve never heard that they need to or they don’t understand why they need to be cleansed of all sin first.

Matthew 7:22-23 (NIV).
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!’

The GATEWAY to HEAVEN:

To get into Heaven, we’ve got to go through the Narrow Gate: and that NARROW GATE is Jesus. Why? Because Salvation is found in NO ONE ELSE, because there is NO OTHER name under Heaven by which a man can be saved. Acts 4:13. John 14:6. Not even your own name, which is what most people are really trusting in, because they are relying on their own goodness.

The Wide and Narrow Gate:

Matthew 7:13-14 (NIV)
13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.
14  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

Oh my friends, how TRUE that verse of Scripture is, “ONLY A FEW FIND IT”...

It’s an eye-opener listening to most church attenders trying to explain how they’d hope to be good enough to get into Heaven. Their version of the Gospel is shocking. Because listening to them telling me their version of the ‘Gospel’: “Just believe in Jesus and you’ll be saved.” they’ll say.

My response is, “Really, is that all I have to do? Just believe in Jesus and I’ll be saved?” “Even Satan believes in Jesus, will he be saved?” Simply knowing about Jesus and believing that He was a real person or that He is Lord is not enough. It’s got to drop those magical 12″, Twelve inches from your head to your heart.

What else do I have to do? That’s when you know their fruit, because they’ll say, “Try your best” or “Be a good person” or “follow the Ten Commandments”…

You know what I’m going to say to a person who tells me these things? “Have you been a good person? Are you following the Ten Commandments? Will you be good enough for Heaven?” Most of them say, “I have, I do, I will, I am”… Then we go through our little test, so see if they’ll be good enough for Heaven.

When they finally admit they’re not good, that they’ll face God’s Holy Justice and be found wanting, they are then ready for the GREATEST NEWS they could ever wish to hear: The Good News of The Gospel of Jesus Christ. It’s so awesome to see their response to the true Gospel message, because God’s been drawing them to this point for years. He’s constantly calling people, by His Holy Spirit to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.

Do YOU want to know our LITTLE TEST?

It’s called: “The Good Person Test”

Once a professing believer goes through that test, they suddenly see their need to repent of their sins and trust in Jesus Christ as their Saviour.

Why does the Good Person Test Work?

  • We all know that no one can be saved without coming to Jesus.
  • We all know that no one can come to Jesus, unless the Father, through the Holy Spirit, draws them.
  • We all know that we are SAVED by FAITH.
  • But not many professing believers really know, that FAITH comes by hearing the Good News. 
  • or That we cannot HEAR the Good News until we know what the BAD NEWS is.

The BAD NEWS is this: We cannot be saved without; repenting of our sins, turning to Jesus in faith and trusting in Jesus and receiving Him as Lord.

  • If we’re not trusting in Jesus for our Salvation, then we are STILL in our sins.
  • If we’ve not trusted in Jesus, then we are headed for God’s Justice, Judgement and Hell.
  • Sin is going our way instead of God’s way: It’s breaking His Commandments.
  • The penalty for sin is DEATH: The wages of Sin is DEATH.

So we all need to TAKE: “The Good Person Test”

(Click the Good Person Test: At the bottom of the page).

Then we’ll KNOW where we are headed on the day of Judgement.

God wants ALL PEOPLE to be saved: but Jesus tells us so clearly in Matthew’s Gospel.

Matthew 7:13-14 (NIV)
13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.
14  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

We get one life, then we face God’s judgement.

Conclusion: Jesus Said:

Matthew 7:15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves”.

Jesus said, “Watch out”… That means be alert, have your antenna ready, get your detectors up.

Jesus said, “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.”

Inwardly, they are wolves in sheep’s clothing. If they are NOT ONE OF JESUS’ SHEEP, then they are a wolf.

Jesus is telling those who are following Him to “WATCH OUT” for good reason that there will always be ‘false converts’ who love the name or title of ‘Christian’, but don’t know Him as Lord and Saviour. They’ll be mixing amongst the flock, looking, bleating, smelling and sounding like sheep, but don’t know the Shepherd of the Sheep.

My friends, have you come to see that it’s only through Jesus that you’ll be saved on the day of Judgement?

Have you gotten to the point of Repenting of your sins and Trusting in Jesus to be saved?

If you are a true follower of Jesus, then you’ll rejoice in this teaching today. Because to know the TRUTH sets us free. It enables us to serve Jesus and be alert and lead people to a true faith and trust in Him.

Here’s how you can do trust in Jesus Christ today:

“Oh Lord Jesus, I’ve been singing the songs of the church, but today I can see that I’ve failed the Good Person Test, I know that you alone are the only one that’s ever been good enough for Heaven. And that I’ve got to come to You, the Narrow Gate, to be saved. I believe that You died upon the Cross to take away my sins, it’s Your blood that will cleanse me from my sin. I want to trust in You alone for my own Salvation Lord. I receive You Jesus as my Lord, come into my life, give me the promised New Life and fill me with Your Holy Spirit. Amen”

Get READY FOR The Good Person Test. Answers the Question: “Are you good enough for Heaven?” CLICK HERE (You’ll be taken to the Good Person Test).

Also: Listen to this vitally important message for every Christian today, as soon as you can: “Hell’s Best Kept Secret”.

Here’s another very important message: “True and False Conversion”. You’ll be amazed at how so many are being deceived by the False Gospels.

Angela’s Powerful Testomony: From a False Convert to a True Believer in Jesus: Listen and watch on Youtube Angela’s Testomony.

Foolishness of D.I.Y. Faith

Boast ONLY in the Cross of Jesus Christ

Daily Spirit & Word: 698: Boast Only About Jesus.

What a DAY of D.I.Y. Taught me.

Good morning my friends, I had a wonderful day-off yesterday. Over at my daughter’s house, I was put to work on DIY. I don’t know how you feel about DIY, but I don’t relish the thought. However once I get started it’s quite good fun. Of course I was shadowed by my two year old grandson, Karamoko. He had his tools all ready too, but once he saw my new electric screwdriver, he wanted to play with that. I’ve never seen a kid so enthusiastic about helping with DIY, he loves toolboxes, tools, carrying, lifting heavy things and putting screws in. He also loves to watch “Bob the Builder”… He’s going to be absolutely brilliant at DIY one day soon. He helped me; put up a curtain rail, take apart a huge table, put together a new table, take apart his old cot and put together his brand new big-boy’s bed. He learned about taking care of the small packages of screws, following instructions, being careful with sharp things and how two are better than one.

DIY: Means “Do It Yourself”… As is my weakness or strength, I followed a rabbit trail yesterday and again this morning. The rabbit trail I’m talking about is Bible Study. Yesterday I wrote about us not being able to pull-the-wool over God’s eyes and how “God cannot be mocked” from Galatians 6. Well, I kept on reading and this little verse jumped out at me. It’s a bit like Karamoko going through the toolbox and finding an interesting item that he’s never seen before. You know what question he always asks don’t you? “What’s this Papa?” next “What’s it for Papa?”… Then I’ll have to say, “Here Moko, let me show you”…

Here’s what the LORD gave me to share from His Toolbox with you today.

Galatians 6:14 (NIV) “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”

“May I never boast”: Truth is we all LOVE boasting. We long for others to know how brilliant we are, don’t we? Paul is not talking about the normal things in life here, he’s talking about boasting about how morally good he is or isn’t. The young Church in Galatia had been infested with Judaizers, Christians who wanted to keep the Jewish ceremonial laws and to belong to Christ at the same time. They were known for their boasting about it too and there was a real danger that some of the believers, who were young Christians, might be influenced to emulate their folly. That why Paul exclaimed, “Oh foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you?” Galatians 3:1.

NOTE: Judaizers is a term for Christians who insist that their co-religionists should follow the Law of Moses as well as being committed to Jesus Christ.

Their thinking was that because they kept the Jewish laws, they were like a kind of elevated Christian, a super Christian, better than ordinary Christians who merely trusted in the Grace, Mercy and Love of Jesus Christ. They boasted about the fact of how ‘religious’ they were and how observant of Jewish customs, traditions and laws.

You know my friends, religiosity counts for NOTHING in practical Christianity. It’s foolish to try and be ‘more’ religious. If you want to be a better Christian, and to be honest we all need to be better at following Jesus, don’t get more religious, get closer to Christ Himself.

That verse from; Galatians 6:14 (NIV) “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” reminded me of another similar teaching the LORD has already given to us.

Jeremiah 9:23-25 (NIV)
23  This is what the LORD says: “Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, 24  but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the LORD.
25  “The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will punish all who are circumcised only in the flesh—

WOWzer! Did you know that verse from the Lord’s toolbox? Now we can see what Paul was talking about can’t we? No wonder he declared: Galatians 6:14 (NIV) “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”

You see my friends, Paul had been very ‘religious’ and he now counts all his religious knowledge, experience and understanding as rubbish, dross, empty and foolishness in comparison with knowing Christ Jesus as His Lord. That’s why he only wanted to boast about the Cross of Jesus. Not only that but, he couldn’t boast about Himself or his religious observance, because it didn’t bring him closer to God, it pulled him further and further away from God. Why? Because religion is DIY faith in Jesus and His Cross means “He did it for me”… It’s not our goodness that we’re trusting in, but the goodness of Jesus Christ.

Here’s is Paul’s argument about this in full, this is what he said to the young Christians in Philippi who were being troubled by Judaizers too.

Philippians 3:1-11 (NIV)
1 Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you.
2  Watch out for those dogs, those men who do evil, those mutilators of the flesh.
3  For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh— 4  though I myself have reasons for such confidence. If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5  circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6  as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless.
7  But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.
8  What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9  and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. 10  I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11  and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.

Question: Why would anyone who’s been saved by God’s Grace, Mercy and Kindness go back to being religious? Answer: They wouldn’t, couldn’t, but only FALSE Converts would think there is anything in being ‘religious’. Once you KNOW Jesus personally, it’s like being an unfaithful husband or wife to try ‘religion’ again to make you righteous in God’s sight. It’s DIY religion.

Going back to Judaism or the Law of Moses is a DIFFERENT faith entirely from that of following the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s a DIY religion, you will be depending upon your own goodness not Christ’s. The reason it’s foolishness is because NO ONE, nobody will be declared righteous by observing the LAW. Romans 3:20. Because we all fall short, we all break God’s law and when we do, we’re contaminated with SIN.

So it’s no wonder Paul and the LORD got so upset when the Galatians, Philippians and many others began to practice ‘religiosity’ all over again.

Empty ritualistic religion will never save anyone, it’s a DIY faith.

  • Let’s be very careful that we boast ONLY in the Cross of Christ.
  • Let’s be JOY filled as we remind others that we’re NOT GOOD, because we’ve broken God’s Laws.
  • Let’s be EXCITED by the fact that Jesus alone is GOOD and He is the only way for mankind to be SAVED.

Galatians 6:14 (NIV) “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I can see that there are times when I think I’m better than others at keeping the faith, help me always only to boast in the Cross of Jesus, His goodness, His love, His strength and the fact that I’m only saved by Your Grace, kindness and goodness and that You’ve drawn me to Yourself so that I can know You, the true and living God. Forgive me Lord for the times when I’ve been tempted to DIY my faith instead of relying upon the Holy Spirit to keep me from falling. Amen! Thank you so much for practical D.I.Y for when we’re doing the ordinary things in life, we can learn so much about the Spiritual aspects of life with You. Amen!

Have an awesome weekend with Jesus my friends.

You can learn a lot from grand-kids and DIY can’t you 🙂

Don.

 

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.

 

Walking in the Light: Means being DEAD to SIN.

Born Again believers will walk in the light

Daily Spirit & Word: 607: Dead to Sin: Alive in Christ.

Good morning my friends, we had a wonderful time last night sharing the Good News of Jesus on the streets just up the road from St Luke’s outside Norwood Train Station. It was rush-hour so lots of people. Rush Hour really is well named in London, because most people do seem to be in a real rush to get somewhere. It’s amazing how many people took tracts last night, I’m so thankful for that, but few had the time to stay and chat. Those that did stop were awesome conversations: A man who lives with his mother and is her carer, who believes in Jesus, but doesn’t see the need to come to church. Another man, a Scotsman, who said, “I used to be born again, but now I’m a Hare Krishna”. I asked him, “When did you get un-born-again?” We all laughed: You see my friends, when you die to sin and are born of God’s Spirit it’s forever. You cannot be un-born-again, you may experience a FALSE CONVERSION or you may fall into sin like King David, but you cannot be un-born-again once you’ve come to the Saviour by faith and true repentance. There are many false converts though, such is the case with everyone who declares “I used to be born again”. There are certain Scriptures every Christian should know well: because they contain so much truth that they will keep you from the error of sinful ways and false teaching about being born again. So many people think they are ‘born-again’ simply because they attend church or pray or praise the Lord enthusiastically. You’ll never experience the New Birth until you Repent and Turn from Sin and Seek Salvation from Sin by trusting in Jesus.

The Scriptures you should know well:

  • The Parable of the Sower (because this parable unlocks all the other parables of Jesus). This parable teaches us about true and false conversion and spurious faith. Mark 4:1-20. 
  • The Death and Resurrection of Jesus in all the Gospels. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
  • The Knowledge of Sin: The Commandments (God’s Law) (these lead everyone to a knowledge of what sin is and they are like a schoolmaster, they teach us, that we are sinful and need a Saviour). Exodus 20:1-17. Galatians 3:24 KJV. 
  • How to Get and Give Faith: Romans 10 (The Gift of Faith comes by hearing the Word of God).
  • The Need for Repentance: It’s not simply saying “I believe in Jesus” because even the Devil believes in Jesus, but it’s turning from sin and trusting in the finished work of Christ Jesus on the Cross. Without repentance no one can be saved. Psalm 51, 
  • The Way to Live the Christian Life in the Power of the Spirit free from slavery to sin: Romans 6, 7 and 8.
  • The Fruit of the Sinful Nature and the Fruits of the Holy Spirit: Galatians 5:16-26. (Life by and in the Holy Spirit).
  • Putting on the Gospel Armour: Ready to take your stand against evil.

 

These are just a few portions of God’s Word: (Real Meat) I’m sure you’ve got your own favourite bits of God’s Word: but these above and below today will keep you strong if you know them well and try to live by the light of the understanding of God’s Word, not in your own strength, for we are all weak in our sinful nature, but by the power of God’s Holy Spirit living in you, you will be strengthened. So read all those passages above, and re-read them often. Everyone who loves Jesus will need constant reminding of all the good things we have in Christ. Write out a list of all these passages and copy it to your Bible. Write them out by hand, it’s a good exercise and helps you to know God’s Word even better. Sing Hymns and Songs with these Scriptures in them. Make new hymns and songs. Meditate upon God’s Word: Read a few verses and then sit back or go for a walk thinking about them.

Romans 6:1-14 Dead to Sin.
1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning, so that grace may increase?
2  By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?
3  Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into his death?
4  We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
5  If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.
6  For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—
7  because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.
8  Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.
9  For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him.
10  The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.
11  In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
12  Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.
13  Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness.
14  For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.
Galatians 5:16-26. Life in the Spirit.
16  So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.
17  For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.
18  But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.
19  The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;
20  idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions
21  and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23  gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
24  Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.
25  Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
26  Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

The NEED for Repentance:

Before you can ever live by the Spirit though: You must REPENT from Sin and Trust in Jesus Christ as your Saviour and Lord.

The Scriptures below show that God commands EVERYONE to REPENT.

Jeremiah 25:4,5 – A typical summary of the message of the Old Testament prophets: “Repent now everyone of his evil way and his evil doing…” [35:15; Ezekiel 18:30; 2 Kings 17:13]
Matthew 3:2 – John the Baptist taught, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”
Mark 1:15 – Mark’s summary of Jesus’ message includes: “Repent, and believe in the gospel.”
Luke 13:3 – Unless you repent you will all likewise perish.
Mark 6:12 – Jesus sent the apostles to preach that people should repent.
Acts 2:38 – In the first gospel sermon, Peter preached, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you for the remission of sins…”
Acts 17:30 – God commands all men everywhere to repent.
Revelation 3:19 – “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.”

Examples of Repentance:

King David: When he committed adultery and murdered the husband of the woman he’d committed adultery with. Psalm 51. How King David was made aware of his sin by Nathan the Prophet 2 Samuel 12.

Jonah 3:4-10 – When Jonah preached, the people of Nineveh gave heed, were sorry, and turned from their evil ways (vv 8,10). “Turn” and “return” are common Old Testament words meaning “repent.” Jesus said these people “repented” at the preaching of Jonah (Matthew 12:41).

Matthew 21:28-32 – A son refused to work for his father, but later repented (regretted it – NKJV) and went. He “changed his mind.” Jesus applied this to sinners who repented at John’s preaching in contrast to priests would not repent (relent – NKJV).

God is Patient: Waiting for EVERYONE to REPENT:

2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

Can a Believer SIN? Yes my friends, you just have to look at King David to know that, he was a man full of God’s Holy Spirit, a man after God’s own heart, but SIN grabbed hold of King David and made him a slave and in the end it led to adultery and murder. But God was gracious to King David and He will also be gracious to you too, but if you are a believer and you are in sin or have sinned, then you will NEVER experience the peace or the presence of the Lord until you truly repent: it will feel like you are dying on the inside, turn from sin and seek His forgiveness. Turning from sin is a desire not to live in sin anymore: That’s true repentance. If we do not truly repent then we are living in the darkness, it’s like the Spiritual Life that God has given to us has died. 1 John 1:5-10.

Walk in the Light:

1 John 1:5-10
5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.
6  If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.
7  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
8  If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.
9  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
10  If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.

Today, I’ve given a message about getting into God’s Word: The importance of KNOWING it and UNDERSTANDING it and by the Holy Spirit LIVING by it. It will keep you from error and help you to lead people to the Saviour. Let’s do it regularly, faithfully and wholeheartedly; when you do, you’ll be feeding and nourishing your Spiritual nature, walk in the light of the understanding of God’s Word in the power of the Holy Spirit. He’ll use you in His service of the Kingdom.

Being a truly ‘Born Again’ follower of Jesus means: You’ll have seen your need to repent and trust Jesus Christ as your Saviour and Lord; you’ll hate sin, walk in the light of God’s Word and seek the fullness of God’s Spirit.

Have an awesome Thursday.

Don.

Further Study: If you want to go deeper into the study of TRUE REPENTANCE: Then this PAGE is Simply AWESOME!

 

Do Your Best

Do your best; stay connected to Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word: 604: Do Your Best.

Good morning my friends, how many times have we said or heard said, “I try my best” or “I’m trying my best to be good”. The feeling and thinking behind the statement: We all want THE BEST in our lives. As Christians who follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, who try and live by the Word of God, we want to be the best we possibly can be and we want others to think or know that we are God’s holy people.

However, the reality is, we’re only as good as our BEST. You see the Lord doesn’t want us to be as good as WE can be, but He wants us to be LIKE Jesus. Why? Because He knows that Jesus standard of goodness far exceeds our own, because Jesus was and is perfect. Hence the reason Jesus said, “I AM the Vine, you are the branches, apart from me you can do nothing”… We are only as GOOD as our closeness to Jesus.

John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

If we are ‘trying our best’ without getting close to Jesus Christ first: then our best means or is worth NOTHING. Even if you’ve got the whole Ten Commandment and are trying to live according to them, and you only fall down at just one point in God’s Commands, perhaps you covet a little. Then we’ve become God’s Law Breakers and we’ll be guilty before God on Judgement Day.

2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV) “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

Jesus wants us instead of trying our best to draw near to Him then we’ll be doing what’s best, to come close, to live our life with Him: When we respond, then we WILL BE FRUITFUL.

You see my friends, it’s not OUR BEST that God is going to be looking for, but how much of Christ is in us, how much we’ve become like Jesus Christ, there’s only ONE WAY to do that: BE WITH Jesus. The more time, the more energy, the more focus you put upon actually being with Jesus as you go about your daily life in this world, the BETTER you will be at being what you know your heart’s desire is.

Sadly, too many Christians get into other things, these good things get in the way of our relationship with Christ, we become like a detached branch, we become like a branch that’s actually been cut off from the Vine. What happens when a good Christian looses his first love, looses his connection with the vine? We begin to wither and die: Our Joy goes: Even our desire for worship and being with other brothers and sisters dries up.

It happens very Slowly of course:

Did you know a vine branch can live for a little while apart from the main branch? You can plant a vine branch in the soil a couple of weeks after it’s been cut off from the vine and it will still begin to put down it’s own roots and grow. I know this, because I’ve done it. We had an uncultivated vine for a while, but it only ever produced tiny little bitter grapes.

However, when a branch begins to grow on it own; apart from the Lord, it’s a wild vine you’ll have, not a cultivated one. It will not have the root-stalk of the old vine and will have it’s own nature. A cultivated root is selected for it’s characteristics of the wine it produces, and the actual vines that are grafted into it will be protected by the cultivated root vine.

Jesus said, “I AM the Vine, you are the Branches: We’ve been grafted into this Heavenly Cultivated Vine. It’s Holy life giving sap flows through our veins. Jesus gives us the NEW WINE of the KINGDOM.

YBH: Yes But How? How do we “Do our Best”?

It’s easy to say something and much harder to actually do it. How do we stay close to the Vine and connected to the Lord Jesus Christ? Jesus said it and the Apostles applied it in the rest of the New Testament.

Jesus said: “If you obey my Commands, you ARE my Disciples”: so it’s obedience to Christ’s Commands.

Paul said to Timothy:  2 Timothy 2:15 (NIV) “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved (tested and tried), a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”

Do Your Best: Stop saying “I’m trying my best” start thinking “I’m DOING my best”: The BEST thing you can do is get close to Jesus every single day. You are to strive with all your might to get ready to stand before God: You will already have been; tried and tested by Him. You do your best: to handle correctly the word of truth. This means: To understand and apply God’s Word to your life. To live according to what you know and understand. It’s going to take your own personal effort to draw and remain connected with Jesus Christ and to read, understand and apply God’s Word to your own life.

There are many ways to do it today: Thank God for the internet, the WWW (World, Wide, Web), here you can find so much “Good Teaching” and “Application” of God’s Word: This will help you to understand it. However, don’t just stop at getting an understanding of God’s Word: Stay close to Jesus Christ yourself: pray, be with Him in prayer, and He’ll guide you. Get filled up with God’s Holy Spirit every day. Pray: “Dear Heavenly Father, fill me with the Holy Spirit, I need Him, I’m asking in the Name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and my Saviour. Amen”….

Draw near to God, and He’ll draw near to you.

John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

Monday is magnificent, be with Jesus today, start your week right and keep at it every day.

So;

STOP saying, “I’m trying my best” START saying, “I’m DOING my BEST to stay connected with Jesus Christ” Amen!

Don.

One of the best and most practical ways to Keep Close to Jesus: Is to take captive every thought and bring it into subjection to Jesus Christ’s teachings:

2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV) “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

It’s our Thought Life: where battles are won and lost. Let’s take captive EVERY thought that’s going against what we KNOW is God’s Word.

Amen.

 

Umami = The Secret Sense of Taste.

Umami Maturity Jesus Christian

Daily Spirit & Word: 592: MATURITY: Yes You Can Do It!

Umami = The NEW tastes sensation.

There are now FIVE identified senses of taste: Sweet, Salty, Sour, Bitter and Umami.

Last night at Discipleship Fellowship Group, we are still on No2 “Discipleship: The Importance and The Cost” previously we’d studied the Key Scriptures about it’s importance and cost, but last night we focused on ‘Maturity’. There are certain signs that we are growing in Christ or becoming ‘mature’ followers. We then read through the following verses and discussed each one along the way. All I can say is WOWzer! Praise the LORD!

C) Seven Signs Of Spiritual Maturity:

i) Fruitfulness in our service for God (Matthew 25:14-30).

ii) A humble attitude and a willingness to serve others (John 13:12-17).

iii) A standard of excellence in our lives in general (2 Corinthians 13:11).

iv) A close and growing relationship with Jesus (Galatians 2:20).

v) The fruit of the Holy Spirit manifesting in our lives (Galatians 5:22-23).

vi) A stable, consistent and holy walk before God and man (Ephesians 4:11-16).

vii) A solid knowledge of God’s Word and discernment as a result (Hebrews 5:13-6:2).

After discussing each portion I asked the question; “If I were to hold up a ladder with ten rungs, how far up the ladder of Maturity would you say you are right now? How’s your fruitful service? How’s your humility and desire to serve others? How are you focused on being an EXCELLENT (Perfect) follower of the LORD? Are you growing closer to Jesus daily? Can you see the fruit of the Holy Spirit growing in your own life?

It’s so easy to FEEL A FAILURE when we compare ourselves to Christ’s very HIGH Expectations: But God’s not in that kind of guilt trip relationship, He wants to set us all free from failure and empower us to grow towards Christ likeness. Putting the past behind us and pressing onwards daily.

Also: When we do a regular Spiritual Health Check: It’s not comfortable (Just like going to the Dentist), but we know it’s ESSENTIAL. When we KNOW the truth about ourselves; it keeps us humble, dependent upon the Lord and usable in His Service.

NO MORE EXCUSES:

We can see the foolishness of our regular excuses for SIN in our life. How we hold onto our weaknesses instead of letting go. We say things like; “I’m only Human”… As a Christian this is a LIE of Satan. You are NOT only human now that you have received Christ as Lord and the Holy Spirit as dynamite of Heaven. He empowers you and enables you and guides you. No my friends, we can’t make that old excuse any-longer. Don’t ever say it again, “I’m only human” because it’s a LIE. Stop believing lies and live in the TRUTH, AND THE TRUTH will set you FREE.

You ARE NOT “Only Human” in Christ you are a “SAINT”. 

Live as the saint you are.

What has all that got to do with “Umami”?

Umami is a secret taste sensation: A sense of taste that’s been around forever, but it’s only recently been identified by scientists. It that sense of mmmmmm you get when you eat something that you just love; Like a bacon-double-cheese-burger 🙂 LOL. Or Parmesan Cheese on Spaghetti.

Maturity in Christ is like umami for the Christian… It’s that secret, unidentifiable sense of deep joy in all circumstances, it’s what make the Christian feel good, smell good, taste good and be good for Jesus. 🙂 Maturity is a sense that others get a feeling of in the presence of a Saint who’s very close to Jesus. They can’t put it into words, but they know there’s something different about that follower of Jesus. Praise the Lord and press onto maturity in Christ. Umami…

KEEP TELLING YOURSELF THE TRUTH:

Philippians 4:13 (NIV)  “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”

Have a Wonderful Wednesday With Worship in the Spirit. Amen!

Don.

P.S. If you are FREE tonight, why not come out and share the Good News with us on the streets of West Norwood? Meeting up at the usual time of 7.00pm for training and prayer @ St Luke’s Church.