Being at the feet of Jesus

Worried and burdened about many things, upset, weary, come to Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word: 817: Longing to be at the FEET of Jesus.

Mary and Martha.

“Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things,”

Good morning my friends, last night’s Christmas Feast Carols Rehearsal was wonderful. Although I was tired, with puffy eyes, those voices and the songs lifted my spirit and encouraged me to worship the LORD again.

Look at my Puffy Eyes ūüôā

I was reminded this morning of something I shared yesterday about Mary and Martha, so decided to look at these sisters in the Bible. Do you know that every time Mary is mentioned, she’s at the feet of Jesus. It’s so important that we keep our daily time with Him. Just being in the LORD’s presence for a while each day, will transform your life. Martha is the practical one.

Luke 10:38-42 (NIV)
38  As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him.
39 ¬†She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.
40 ¬†But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
41 ¬†“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things,
42 ¬†but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

That little family at Bethany was very dear to our Lord Jesus, he loved Mary, Martha and their brother Lazarus  (John 11:1-5).

We are given three wonderful insights into Mary, Martha, and Lazarus (Luke 10:38-42; John 11; John 12:1-11). Each time you’ll find Mary in the same place: AT JESUS FEET.

Martha, however, is the practical one, always ready to serve the Lord. But, when she complained to the Lord about her sister, she was told in no uncertain terms, that Mary had chosen what was best, to be at Jesus’ feet listening and learning. It wasn’t wrong for Martha to prepare a meal, everybody has to eat sometimes; but it was wrong for her to be so preoccupied with it, that she began to criticise someone else for not working with her, she should have just got on with the work she felt she had to do.

However, we’re given an insight into Martha too, her labour had become a “burden”, but the LORD had even more insight than that, he revealed she was “Burdened by many things”: Perhaps that Mary was not helping Martha was just the straw-that-broke-the-camel’s-back, she snapped at Mary. It is annoying when we’re doing stuff and everybody else is just sitting around chatting and not bothering to help. However, we always need to be asking ourselves, “Why am I doing this?” If it’s to serve the LORD from right motives, what anyone else is doing won’t even bother us.

EXPLOSIONS DO HAPPEN:

The Straw That Broke The Camel’s Back

I’ve noticed that too, sometimes people will explode at something that seems insignificant, but that little things is just the tip of the iceberg of burdens, and they can’t take any-more. Sometimes, when someone we know and love explodes like that, we need to button-it, give them a hug and some encouragement. They are often BURDENED by many more things than the thing they’ve¬†erupted¬†over.

Jesus knew that Martha was “anxious and troubled by MANY things” as she tried to serve the Lord. When we’re serving Jesus, it seems that SATAN loves it when TROUBLES come and tries to cause even more division and troubles.

Had it not been for the LORD’S intervention that day, perhaps Mary and Martha could have had a big fall-out and not talked to each other for a long time. I’ve seen families like that, falling out over something so small, but PRIDE gets hurt and families get divided.

Whilst Martha was pre-occupied, Mary was focused: She was focused and fascinated by and with Jesus. I’ve no doubt that Mary longed to serve the LORD too, and she did. However, Martha was preoccupied and that clouded her vision.

What we do with Christ is far more important than what we do for Christ, because when we are in submission, at the feet of Jesus, listening and learning from the Master, this will lead us towards even greater obedience and service.

  • We can check our heart today: Am I ready to be with Jesus, to sit at His feet and worship, learn and obey Him?
  • We can check our heart today: Am I serving the LORD? really serving Him? or has my service turned into something else?
  • We can check our heart today: Am I pre-occupied and burdened by many things? Let’s before we explode at someone else, get those burdens lifted from off our shoulders by Jesus.

COME LIKE MARY: To the FEET of Jesus.

I love Jesus invitation to come into His presence:

Matthew 11:27-30 (NIV)
27 ¬†“All things have been committed to me by my Father. No-one knows the Son except the Father, and no-one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
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.”

If you are weary and burdened or upset about many things like Martha, then come like Mary and sit at the feet of Jesus for a while. You’ll discover those burdens have been lifted from off your shoulders. Praise the LORD!

  • Let’s come to Jesus afresh before the Weekend is upon us.
  • Let’s come to Jesus and unload our burdens.
  • Let’s come to Jesus and REST,
  • Let’s come to Jesus and learn from Him,
  • Let’s come to Jesus and receive His easy yoke and light burden. Amen!

Be blessed and have an awesome Weekend with Jesus,

Don.

 

Working for Jesus? Expect Opposition.

when you work for Jesus, expect opposition from the enemy

Daily Spirit & Word: 800: Expect Opposition.

When the LORD calls you to do something for Him, expect opposition.

Good morning my friends, when you do a good work for the LORD you can expect opposition. If you are of the world, the world will accept you as one of it’s own, but if you are a Citizen of Heaven, working for another KING, then this world and it’s king (Satan) can never accept you and you are going to be opposed, persecuted and sometimes martyred. However, far from being in a position of weakness and fear, we’re going to be encouraged today to see that we can be God’s awesome power of LOVE in this world.

Opposition comes in many forms, but how can we react to opposition, no matter what form or guise it come in?

Let us take Nehemiah as one of our examples of what to do when opposition comes, and we’ll look at what God’s Word tells us about persecution and opposition for Him and for the Gospel.

First, Nehemiah:

An Example of how to proceed when your work for the LORD is opposed, ridiculed or hindered.

Nehemiah 4:1-23 (NIV)
1  When Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became angry and was greatly incensed. He ridiculed the Jews,
2 ¬†and in the presence of his associates and the army of Samaria, he said, “What are those feeble Jews doing? Will they restore their wall? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they finish in a day? Can they bring the stones back to life from those heaps of rubble‚ÄĒburned as they are?”
3 ¬†Tobiah the Ammonite, who was at his side, said, “What they are building‚ÄĒif even a fox climbed up on it, he would break down their wall of stones!”
4  Hear us, O our God, for we are despised. Turn their insults back on their own heads. Give them over as plunder in a land of captivity.
5  Do not cover up their guilt or blot out their sins from your sight, for they have thrown insults in the face of the builders.
6  So we rebuilt the wall till all of it reached half its height, for the people worked with all their heart.
7 ¬†But when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites and the men of Ashdod heard that the repairs to Jerusalem’s walls had gone ahead and that the gaps were being closed, they were very angry.
8  They all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and stir up trouble against it.
9  But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat.
10 ¬†Meanwhile, the people in Judah said, “The strength of the labourers is giving out, and there is so much rubble that we cannot rebuild the wall.”
11 ¬†Also our enemies said, “Before they know it or see us, we will be right there among them and will kill them and put an end to the work.”
12 ¬†Then the Jews who lived near them came and told us ten times over, “Wherever you turn, they will attack us.”
13  Therefore I stationed some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall at the exposed places, posting them by families, with their swords, spears and bows.
14 ¬†After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.”
15  When our enemies heard that we were aware of their plot and that God had frustrated it, we all returned to the wall, each to his own work.
16  From that day on, half of my men did the work, while the other half were equipped with spears, shields, bows and armour. The officers posted themselves behind all the people of Judah
17  who were building the wall. Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other,
18  and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked. But the man who sounded the trumpet stayed with me.
19 ¬†Then I said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “The work is extensive and spread out, and we are widely separated from each other along the wall.
20 ¬†Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, join us there. Our God will fight for us!”
21  So we continued the work with half the men holding spears, from the first light of dawn till the stars came out.
22 ¬†At that time I also said to the people, “Have every man and his helper stay inside Jerusalem at night, so that they can serve us as guards by night and workmen by day.”
23  Neither I nor my brothers nor my men nor the guards with me took off our clothes; each had his weapon, even when he went for water.

INTRODUCTION:

When you get busy for God, opposition will inevitably raise its ugly head. So no matter how GOOD the thing that you are doing is; be it a service for the poor people of this world or proclaiming the Good News of Jesus or taking a moral stand. Like Nehemiah discovered, when you do something for the LORD, the world (influenced by Satan) hates it with a vengeance, and will oppose you. However, they are not really opposing you, they are coming against your God, who’s called you to that task.

But we must bear in mind what it is that’s driving any form of opposition:

Ephesians 6:10-13 (NIV) When Opposition Comes: Be strong in the LORD and STAND.
10  Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
11 ¬†Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
12  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
13  Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. (Read the FULL ARMOUR OF GOD Eph 6:14-20).

We must not resort to worldly ways of reacting to opposition:

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (NIV)
3  For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.
4  The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.
5  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.

So how should we react to opposition?

Think and Act Like Nehemiah.

Who was Nehemiah? His name means “the comfort of Jehovah.” His purpose and calling by the LORD really was a worthy one; He was instructed by the LORD to reconstruct the walls of the city of Jerusalem and in the process to rebuild the faith of the people of Israel. Yet, as soon as he began, Nehemiah was confronted by the dreaded opposition. So don’t be surprised by opposition, instead; expect it.

1) PRAYER:

When you get busy for God and the expected opposition comes, the first ingredient that will lead to success is PRAYER. “But we prayed to our God,” the Bible says (Nehemiah 4:9). Prayer was a key ingredient in Nehemiah’s spiritual life (1:4). When OPPOSITION came, Nehemiah looked up to Heaven first taking captive those opponents of God’s word with Spiritual weapons, before he persisted in the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s wall.

2) PERSISTENCE:

When you get busy for God and opposition comes, the second ingredient that will lead to success is PERSISTENCE. Prayer is not a substitute for working at what you’ve been called to do. So often people will retreat and just pray, but you’ve been called to more than prayer. Instead, know that PRAYER preceeds PERSISTENCE. When opposition comes don’t just carry on regardless, get down to prayer first and then carry on regardless. PRAYER is a PRELUDE to PERSISTENCE. For the God’s Word says; “Nehemiah took their thoughts captive (He used Spiritual Weapons) Nehemiah 4:4. ¬† “…the people worked with all their heart.” (Nehemiah 4:6).

I don’t know who said it first, but whoever it was, this thought encapsulates the KEY INGREDIENTS when opposition comes; “I pray as if everything depended on God. Then I work as if everything depended on me.” I love that saying, we’ve got to PRAY and WORK at what we’ve been called to do. (See James Faith and Works).

3) POWER:

When you get busy for God and opposition comes, the third ingredient that will lead to your spiritual success is THE POWER OF HEAVEN. When confronted by the fear of the people, the fear of man, the fear of looking like a fool, the fear of failure; then Nehemiah 4:14 says that Nehemiah arose and spoke to the people about the power of God, and about the purpose of their work. When we are reminded of the purpose to which God has called us, and the power with which to accomplish that purpose, then we will be encouraged to move on toward the completion of our task.

So simply remind yourself of God’s calling and purposes: To share the Gospel, to help the poor, to cure the sick, to make disciples, to follow the teachings of Jesus, to live by them and if need be to die for them. Remember also the POWER of HEAVEN, the Weapons are not worldly, we take our stand against opposition with the Armour of God in place: Ephesians 6:10-20. And bear in mind; Jesus is with you always. Holy Spirit has filled you and equipped you for this work for the LORD.

When you know and experience the POWER you will keep going at what He’s called you to do.

CONCLUSION:

Yes my friends, you will experience all kinds of opposition to what you’ve been called to do by the LORD: Demonic and Worldly OPPOSITION: Expect it, and react like Nehemiah the prophet and the LORD Jesus Christ.

  • Get down to PRAYER,
  • Get up to WORK by being PERSISTENT,
  • Get into the POWER of Heaven.

Through prayer and persistence with the power of Heaven, you will be able to overcome any of those troubling opponents.

As one great preacher has said,

“You’ll be able to turn those stumbling stones into stepping stones”

Also;

… Your troubles can be turned into triumphs.

Also;

“Satan trembles when he sees, the weakest Christian upon his knees.”

Have a blessed Saturday with Jesus.

For most people it’s a rest day, to be with family and friends, but remember Jesus is your BEST BFF (Best Friend Forever).

So make and appointment and keep it with Him first. Then no matter what happens today, you’ll be ready. Amen!

Don.

 

God’s Secret Service Agents

through faith in Jesus you will become His secret change agents in this world

Daily Spirit & Word: 791: Our Giving & Our Connection & Our Fasting

How to Give & How to Pray & How to Fast & Why?

God’s Secret Service Agents.

Core Values in Kingdom Living:¬†As Jesus’ Disciples we’re constantly Learning, we experience many Challenges, we get Curiosity to discover more about Jesus and His Kingdom, we know God wants Excellence, He encourages us to show Love and Respect to Himself and Others, He’s promised to watch our backs and be with us always on the journey through this life that He’s called us into by His Spirit through faith in His Son Jesus Christ.

But How are we going to KNOW He’s with us?

And How can we KNOW we can do it?

Two Ways Today: Our Giving & Our Connection. When we get these two right, we’ll be following the Master’s way of Kingdom Living in Love and Security.

Intro: Secret Service: Like MI5 or the SAS and SBS. We’re to follow and serve the LORD from the HEART SECRETLY:

  • How we give: In SECRET
  • How we pray: In SECRET
  • How we fast: In SECRET

All are to be done secretly for Jesus and His Kingdom Glory. Then when we do these things in secret our Heavenly Father has PROMISED (God’s always faithful to all His promises) will REWARD you OPENLY (In public, in front of everyone). However, in Kingdom Living, we’ll see that our motivation won’t be because of His rewards, but because we LOVE Him. That is and will become even more our Kingdom motivation.

Today I want to see if we can come close to the CORE:

Getting to the CORE VALUES of Kingdom Living is essential for every follower of Jesus, you’ll soon see that when you put these into practice, Kingdom Living will become much easier.

 

True Christian Spirituality:

It can be found in some of the traditions of the Church.

However, if you want to fine PURE Christian Spirituality,

then we need to go to the SOURCE: To The Teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.

 

You’ll find Jesus’ teachings on the Kingdom in the Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

Most notably in Jesus Greatest Sermon:

The Sermon (Teaching) On the Mount. Matthew Chapters 5 to 7.

 

In those Chapters you’ll discover most of what Jesus was teaching:

Matthew 5:3-12 РThe Beatitudes: Be Happy Attitudes.

Matthew 5:13-16 РSalt and Light: You are Salt & Light.

Matthew 5:17-20¬†– Jesus fulfilled the Law: God’s LAW (Revealed in Moses first five books of Old Testament (Ten Commandments).

Matthew 5:21-26 РAnger and Murder: Peace and Harmony.

Matthew 5:27-30 РLust and Adultery: Love and Faithfulness.

Matthew 5:31-32 РDivorce and Remarriage: Staying together as husband and wife.

Matthew 5:33-37 РOaths: Promises: Telling the Truth Always.

Matthew 5:38-42 РEye for an Eye: Not getting even with people. Not taking personal revenge, but forgiving others.

Matthew 5:43-48 РLove your enemies: The opposite of what the world teaches. PEACE if we really LOVE our enemies.

Matthew 6:1-4 РGive to the Needy: Not turning you back on anyone. Always being ready to be GENEROUS.

Matthew 6:5-15 РHow to Pray: When you pray, not if you pray.

Matthew 6:16-18 РHow to Fast: Why do you fast?

Matthew 6:19-24 РTreasures in Heaven: Storing up for your Eternal Future. (Not just thinking of your life here on earth).

Matthew 6:25-34 РDo not worry: Trust in the Father who knows all your needs.

Matthew 7:1-6 РDo not judge hypocritically: Use right judgement of others.

Matthew 7:7-12¬†– Ask, Seek, Knock: If you want something, you’ve got to ask for it.

Matthew 7:13-14 РThe Narrow Gate: Finding your way to Heaven: Jesus is the ONLY WAY to Heaven.

Matthew 7:15-23 РFalse Prophets: False messages about God, Religion, Faith. Watch Out!

Matthew 7:24-27 РThe Wise Builder: Getting the foundations of our Faith right.

 

Right in the MIDDLE of the Sermon on the Mount is the REAL MEAT (Just like a McDonald’s Burger has the meat in the middle, so does Jesus teaching on Kingdom Living in the Sermon on the Mount).

  • GIVING: The LORD’S GIVER (Matthew 6:1-4). Secret Service.
  • PRAYER:¬†The LORD’S PRAYER (Matthew 6:1-15) Secret Prayer.
  • FASTING: Getting Even Closer (Matthew 6:16-18) Secret Devotion.

Our Giving & Our Connection & Our Devotion.

Today we’re going to FOCUS on just two, the most important two.

1) First, Our Giving

(Matthew 6:1-4)
1 ¬†“Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
2 ¬†“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honoured by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.
3  But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,
4  so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
NOTE: Can you ever give in such a way that your left hand won’t know what your right hand is doing? “No!” You’ll always know, but Jesus is telling us about our WILLINGNESS / READINESS to be GENEROUS (Kind hearted towards others in need).

 

When you see a NEED: Are you ready and willing to help?

When you see a PERSON: Who needs the LORD’S help are you ready to respond?

 

My friends, Jesus has no body on Earth today except your body.

  • He has no hands today, but your hands.
  • He has no feet today, but your feet.
  • He has no eyes today, but your eyes.
  • He has no mouth today, but your mouth.
  • He has no hands to help, but your hands.

He’s called you, lives in you, equips and provides for you and gives you EXTRA in your life so that you can use it to help others.

How’s your heart of GIVING today?

  • We’re collecting for FOODBANK: You can GIVE (Time, Food or and Money).
  • We’re collecting for ROUGH SLEEPERS : You can GIVE (Money, Meals and Time).
  • We’re collecting for St Luke’s Church.: You can GIVE (Service, Time, Money and Love).

Oh my friends, let’s all be Jesus SECRET SERVICE AGENTS in the world today; his body, his hands, his eyes, his ears, his mouth, his feet, his hands today. Spreading His light, His salt, His goodness, His kindness, His forgiveness, His generosity… Let’s do it starting afresh today. Amen!

2) Second, Our PRAYER CONNECTING WITH OUR FATHER:

HOWEVER: We’ll NEVER Get Jesus Heart for GIVING until we make and maintain our CONNECTION with God our Father through faith in His Son Jesus Christ.

Matthew 6:5-6. How We Shouldn’t and How we Should PRAY.
5 ¬†“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.
6  But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you (OPENLY).
7  And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.
8  Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

NOTE: Our prayer should not be like a performance for others. We’re not praying to impress people, but to connect with God.

HOW: How to MAKE & MAINTAIN your Connection with Father God.
9 ¬†“This, then, is how you should pray: ” ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, (Recognising / Acknowledging God’s HOLINESS and Fatherly nature: We come into His FAMILY, we’re members of His Kingdom Family when we’ve trusted Jesus for forgiveness and Salvation from Sin)…
10 ¬†Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. (Your desire to live in OBEDIENCE to God’s will: Living according to His revealed Kingdom Values).
11  Give us today our daily bread. (All your needs).
12  Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. (Forgiving us our sins as we forgive when others sin against us).
13 ¬†And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’ (Keep us free from overwhelming temptations).
14  For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
15  But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

FORGIVENESS: Is Key to the Kingdom Living.

First you are forgiven when you come to Jesus.

Because you’ve been forgiven so much, you’ll be ready and willing to forgive others who’ve sinned against and hurt you. (One Christian said to me this week; “It’s amazing, because we become a bit like God when we actually get to the point of being able to really forgive others and let them off the hook or our revenge or punishment”… It really is amazing.

The LORD’s PRAYER: Song… Our Father…

(To the¬†Jamaican Spiritual Tune)…

Get the folks¬†into groups of four at front of Service, and point to them to say their line. (We did this yesterday, and got the congregation to join it. Old but AWESOME). <3 ūüôā

The Golden Nugget of Christian Kingdom Living: SECRET SERVICE for Jesus.

Giving,¬†Prayer and Fasting (we’ve not touched on FASTING yet).

All are to be done in SECRET: Then your Heavenly Father, who sees what’s done in secret will reward you OPENLY.

Connecting with God our Father in Heaven.

Once that connection is made through Faith and Trust in your Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, we’re in His Kingdom Family Forever. God become our FATHER IN HEAVEN.

So now we maintain that CONNECTION and become his secret change agents in this world. Amen! Amen!

We’ll get His heart of love for others.

Our HEART will be changed and we’ll desire to serve HIM first in all things…

PRAYER: Oh my friends, my prayer this week is; Father God, help us to change to become more like You, like Your Son Jesus Christ; When I look at Jesus I see what You are like Father; Loving, Gentle, Kind, Patient, Forgiving, Good, Full of Joy, Full of Power, Overflowing with awesome FAITH to move any mountain. O Father, I want to be just like Your Son Jesus. So I pray in His Name and ask for the fullness of the Holy Spirit.

In Your KINGDOM LIVING:

Help me to be Giving in secret so that only You can see.
Help me in Praying in secret so that only You know.
Help me in Fasting in secret so that I can came closer to You for sustenance.
I want to be out of my depth in Your Love Lord.
I want to feel you close to me.
I want You to be in me.
I want to worship You Father in Spirit and Truth. Amen! Amen! Amen!

Through faith in Jesus, you will become God’s secret change agents in this world. You’ll be His hands, eyes, ears, head, feet and mouth. You’ll be all that the Sermon on the Mount says; Salt, Lite, Giving, Forgiving and Devoted. You’ll be connected with the POWER of Heaven and people are going to know, because your Father who sees you being His secret change agent will reward you openly. Amen!

Don.

 

Enter Like A Little Child

The Kingdom of Heaven is God's place, to get in, you must become like a little child.

Daily Spirit & Word: 788:

Enter Like A Little Child.

The Way Into God’s Kingdom.

“No BIG People Allowed”

 

Good morning my friends, yesterday we had an awesome day. In the morning on the way to worship I bumped into two men. They initiated the conversation after I said, “Good morning”. They had so many questions about faith, God, Jesus, Christians and life. It was inconvenient, so I knew it was a God MOMENT… Instead of rushing ahead to get things ready for our gathering, I stood and took some time with them, answering as many as I could, but listening to the Holy Spirit. I ended up by saying, “If God is real, and heaven is real, will you be spending eternity with Him or with the Devil?” They both said, “Well, we’re good people, so if God is good, then He’ll let us in”… That’s what the MAJORITY of people in the world believe. It’s like this is the de-facto-faith of the whole world today. They only live next door to me, so I’ll be fixing a time when we can meet for a coffee and a chat. They enjoyed our conversation so much, they readily agreed to meed. Please pray!

Also, below is the message I proclaimed in church yesterday morning. Be blessed and please let me know how it impacts you today?

ENTER LIKE A LITTLE CHILD.

We noticed at some theme parks like Lego-Land there are little height bars; a lower one and sometimes a higher one.

  • The Lowest Bar: Determines the smallest person. (For safety reasons, people smaller than the bar can’t go on the ride).
  • The Highest Bar: Determines the tallest person. (For who knows what reasons, big people can’t go on these rides) ūüôā

What they are really saying is “No BIG People Allowed”… Some of those rides looked really cool too. I was wishing I was a little kid again. Those rides that I couldn’t go on always looked the most exciting.¬† ūüôā

Today we’re going to see that’s exactly what Jesus was saying about the entry requirements for the Kingdom of Heaven.

i.e. “To get into the Kingdom of Heaven you must become like a little child”…

Remember, two weeks ago, we talked about the Disciples and how they were ARGUING about who was the greatest in their group. They were jostling for position, but Jesus turned that notion on it’s head and said, “If you want to be great in God’s Kingdom, you must become the SERVANT of all”…

So, did the Disciples LEARN their lesson from Jesus? “NO!” They didn’t get it, because they’re at it again.

Let’s read God’s Word together now:

Mark 10:13-16 (NIV)
13 People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them.
14 ¬†When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
15 ¬†I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
16  And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.

Let’s take a quick look at our reading from God’s Word:

1) The Disciples: Rebuking the People: What for? “They wanted Jesus to “TOUCH” their children”…

Why is it so important to get a TOUCH for these Parents (from Jesus upon their children)?

It was typical for Jewish mother’s and fathers to have their child blessed regularly by a famous Rabbi.¬†If a Rabbi visited, they’d flock to him and ask him to bless their kids.

My friends, if we’re going to see and hear anything about this passage today, then let it be THIS: Jesus was the kind of person who LOVED to have time for the little children: It casts one of the Brightest LIGHTS upon our Lord Jesus Christ, and the kind of person He was:

  • He wasn’t gloomy (though He knew he was facing the Cross and Death).
  • He wansn’t too serious all the time; because children wanted to come to Jesus.
  • He was the kind of man who had time for children (everyone) was welcome into Jesus arms.

No wonder those mums and dads couldn’t wait for Jesus to TOUCH their kids.

In similar ways, we can draw close to Jesus and have Him touch our lives today. Not physically, but none-the-less, just as real a touch from Heaven.

BUT: THE DISCIPLES (instead of welcoming the children) REBUKED THE PARENTS.

Our passage tells us: “When Jesus saw it, He became INDIGNANT”…

See this my friends;

  • The Disciples told the Parents off:
  • The LORD told His Disciples off:

When we’re getting things wrong in this Christian life: Jesus will also tell us off. (The LORD Disciplines EVERYONE He accepts as a child).

What was it the Disciples were doing that was so wrong? So wrong that they got told off publicly by Jesus?

FUNDAMENTALS: When we get something fundamental, foundational, critical to our FAITH and Belief wrong: God’s going to bring in His rod of correction.

Samson: Got his hair cut off, His eyes poked out, His ankles chained and He had to grind the wheat for God’s enemies. (Samson didn’t LISTEN to God’s warnings). He was being led astray by his flesh (Read Proverbs 7, it could have been written for Samson). When we’re being driven by our fleshly desires, we’re headed for trouble like a fool who can’t see the danger ahead.

When we get the fundamentals wrong; we’re ready for Discipline from the LORD:

CHILDREN:

So often in Church we get it so WRONG: i.e. We wait for little George, Jenny or Mark to become an adult to accept Jesus and come into God’s Kingdom.

Jesus is turning that notion on it’s head today my friends, he’s saying to you and me; “Unless you become like a child Donald, you can’t get into My Kingdom of Heaven: You must RECEIVE the Kingdom like a child receives something awesome”

GIVE IT A TRY: I’ve been leading people to Jesus for years. I’ll never forget the time a man came to Jesus. He was so proud. He said, “I’ll give Jesus a go for a couple of hours, if it doesn’t work, I’ll go back to my old life”… Thankfully, it did work, Jesus came into that man’s life and BROKE his proud heart. He wept all night long, he was crying, asking for forgiveness, repenting. Jesus came into his proud heart and showed him what he was like. In the morning, he was like a new man; a babe in Christ. He ran up to us, to me and Ronnie Chew and said, “He’s real, it works, He came”… You know, when I walked away from that man, I didn’t think he’d ever come into Jesus Kingdom Family… I thought to myself, but didn’t say it out loud; “Give Jesus a try for a couple of hours, you’ll never follow Jesus”… How wrong I was. But Jesus came and broke his proud heart…

So often, many people approach Christianity like that today: “Oh I’ll give it a go” or “I try it and see”… “I’m exploring my options”…¬†

What they’re really doing is putting God to the test:

  • To see if God works for them.
  • To see if God improves their life down here on the Earth.
  • To see if God is real, before they’re ready to fully commit.

They’re not really coming to Jesus because they see their NEED to be; forgiven, cleansed or renewed: They’re coming to give the Christian RELIGION a shot, as they would any other religion.

However, Christianity is NOT a Religion: It’s FUNDAMENTALLY A RELATIONSHIP:

“Christianity is NOT a Religion: It’s FUNDAMENTALLY A RELATIONSHIP With God”

To enter that relationship, Jesus said, “We must become like children and RECEIVE the Kingdom like a child does”… i.e. You can’t try on the Kingdom of Heaven: If you do, then you’ll soon shake it off again… (Because when you come to Jesus you are then going to experience the 3Ts; Trials, Tribulations and Temptations. Yes! Jesus tests our faith / commitment / decision, to see if we’re genuine Disciples). So we must come like a child to Jesus. You’ll note that a child, when things get tough in the family, won’t cling to those hurts, they move on quickly, because they know their place in the family. So a genuine Christian, who’s trusted Jesus like a child, won’t leave God’s family when things get tough.

What is a CHILD LIKE:

We’ll see now what we must become like to enter into God’s Kingdom.

When you give a child a present: Their eyes light up, “A present? for me? Oh WOWzer”

When you observe children:

  • You’ll Notice A Child is TRUSTING: Children, normally, are too young and innocent to be suspicious of people: That’s why they’ll walk up to a complete stranger and start chatting away. ¬†There’s no thought in a child yet, to think they’ll be rejected by anyone. They’re not cynical; they’re trusting.
  • You’ll Notice A Child is OPEN: They don’t doubt anything. I’ve told hundreds of made-up stories to my children and grand-children over the years. They believe every single one. Only one child, Leila, says, “Granny, Papa tells stories doesn’t he”… LOL. Most children are OPEN to new ideas, they don’t doubt your word, they accept, because you are an adult, that you KNOW… A Child is OPEN (A Child Believes)… Are you open, do you believe in Jesus? Are you OPEN to the idea of New Life, Abundant Life, Full Life, Eternal Life, Holy Life, Cleansed Life, Forgiveness, Gifts of Holy Spirit?.. or have you begun to DOUBT? (If there is any aspect of Jesus teaching that you don’t or will not accept, then you are not open, you are CLOSED… then my friend, become OPEN like a child.)
  • You’ll Notice A Child Feels SHAME: When a child gets caught doing something, they’re readily admit it (sometimes after coaxing), when they admit it, they feel ashamed. It’s humbling when a child gets a RED FACE (It reminds me, Don you should be RED FACED about that; Ashamed). I know some people who are into SIN in their lives so much, that they FEEL NO SHAME about it. They are Brazen (Like the immoral woman in¬†Proverbs¬†7). My friends, we need to get a conviction again about SIN in our lives. And FEEL the SHAME just like a child does. I don’t think you can ever really come to a true faith in Jesus until you’ve felt the shame of all your sins. Until you know your need of His forgiveness and cleansing from sin.
  • You’ll Notice A Child Receives Presents with JOY: They don’t think they deserve it, they know they don’t need to earn it, they know it’s theirs, they just accept it as it is FREELY GIVEN. My friends, you’ll never be able to earn or deserve God’s Kingdom: you must¬†RECEIVE¬†it like a child does a present.
  • You’ll Notice A Child is WILLING to RISK EVERYTHING: My son Joe, when he was a toddler, jumped into my arms (he nearly gave me a heart-attack at times). My grandchildren do the same: They’ll launch¬†themselves¬†off things and shout “Catch me Papa”…

Catch Me Papa: My friends, are you ready to RISK your EVERYTHING to Jesus Christ today? Will you Jump as a child would into the arms of the Saviour?

My friends, you can’t get into Jesus’ Kingdom of Heaven: Until: You TRUST HIM, You are OPEN with Him, You are ashamed of your life without Him and You are READY and WILLING to RISK EVERYTHING to Jesus. (That’s what it means to be child-like).

Some people mis-interpret this teaching of Jesus: They’ll say, “A child is innocent, so we must become innocent like little children”… No my friends, we can’t EVER become innocent like children, because we’ve all sinned, we can’t make ourselves good, that’s why Jesus came, to make us good and fit for Heaven. So it must mean what I’ve just been saying;

¬†I’m going to tell you today; HOW to become like little Children to Enter into Heaven:

To do that my friends, you NEED to become like a little child to RECEIVE the Kingdom of Heaven.

Are you ready to come to Jesus Christ today?

  • Will you TRUST Him: He’ll welcome you. Be Trusting Jesus.
  • Will you be OPEN to Jesus: Believe Jesus’ teachings, Believe in Jesus life and death? BE OPEN to Jesus.
  • Will you come REPENTING? Be sorry and ashamed of your sinful choices in life.
  • Will you RECEIVE? Receive the KINGDOM without trying to earn it by your good works, religious devotion or something else. Salvation cannot be purchased or won by merit, because we’ll never achieve perfection. So we must receive it as it is offered to a child; FREELY.
  • Will you RISK EVERYTHING: TO the Lord Jesus Christ. Throw yourself into the arms of Jesus today.

My friends, thousands will testify, that

  • Jesus has CAUGHT them in His loving arms.
  • Jesus forgives all their SINS (They’ve experienced the cleansing of His blood).
  • He’s revealed the TRUTH: His Word is Truth: You’ll soon see that Jesus’ promises are ALL TRUE:
  • They’ve EXPERIENCED: The JOY of the Kingdom.
  • He’s TRUSTWORTHY: They’ve discovered that Jesus can be trusted with everything in their lives.

I visited Eleanor (An old church member), I took Holy Communion to her, we prayed, chatted; She’s been ill for a few weeks now; She said to me “God is so good and faithful to me, I don’t deserve it, but He’s looked after me so well”…

We sang the song; “Great is Thy Faithfulness, O God my Father, there is no shadow of turning with Thee, ALL I have needed Thy hand hath provided, Great is Thy Faithfulness, LORD unto me”…

When Eleanor and I sang that song, HEAVEN came into her house. It was such an AWESOME moment. The presence of the LORD was with us.

My friends, until you’ve become like a Child, you are NOT in the Kingdom of Heaven:

I’ll repeat the LORD Jesus’ words again;

“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.

¬†I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

Childlike FAITH:

Childlike Faith: They trust, they believe, they accept, the feel shame, they are willing to risk everything to jump into the everlasting arms of Jesus.

Will you RECEIVE the Kingdom of God like a little child?

  • Repent, of ALL SIN.
  • Believe, ALL of Jesus’ teachings and what He did on the Cross for your SINS.
  • Receive, The Lord Jesus Christ as your LORD, SAVIOUR, MASTER, FRIEND, KING…

(NOTE: No BIG People Allowed: We must get low, humble, on our knees to get into God’s Kingdom).¬†Receive¬†it as a child would a gift freely offered.

PRAYER: O LORD, My Heavenly Father! I can see that to be able to enter into Your Kingdom, I must receive it like a little child. Please Lord Jesus, give me the faith of a little child, who trusts without questioning, who simply and gladly believes in You and runs into your arms to be blessed. Help me to come to You today Lord Jesus Christ. There are so many things in my life that I know have been wrong, I’m embarrassed about them Lord, I turn from all those things I know to be sinful. I’m filled with awe and amazement that You would choose to die in my place upon the Cross. I’m turning to You today Lord Jesus. Come into my life and be my Lord, my Saviour, my King. I want to be with You forever in Your Kingdom Family. Amen!

My friends, I want to see every single one of you in God’s Kingdom: So, become like¬†children¬†today.

Amen!

Don.

 

 

A Mighty Power Faith Filled Factory

Becoming a mighty power faith filled factory producing new believers devoted to Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word: 745: Supernatural Natural Devotion

Will lead to the building up and expansion of God’s Kingdom Family.

Your little fellowship can become a mighty power faith filled factory; producing Devoted followers of Jesus.

Good morning my friends, AFTER PENTECOST what happened in the lives of those who’d committed their lives to Jesus, had been baptised and filled with Holy Spirit? Answer they GOT DEVOTION.

It’s not a word you hear much these days, ‘Devotion’, is it? But just after Pentecost we hear in the book of Acts about what happened with the 3000 who began following Jesus.

Acts 2:42-47 (NIV)
42¬†They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
43  Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles.
44  All the believers were together and had everything in common.
45  Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.
46  Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts,
47  praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

From this little passage we can observe at least five things in the lives of the first Christians who trusted in Jesus, were baptised and had received the Holy Spirit.

They Devoted Themselves:

Nobody told them to do it, it was a natural or supernatural new inclination, to do these things. When the Holy Spirit indwells a person they’ll want to do these things too.

  1. Devotion to Teaching: They became learners of all that Jesus taught.
  2. Devotion to Fellowship: They got closer to each other. Meeting in Temple and Each other’s homes.
  3. Devotion to Breaking of Bread: This is a reference to Holy Communion: Remembering Jesus’ Sacrifice and to Eating together.
  4. Devotion to Prayer: When the Holy Spirit is in you, then you’ll automatically want to pray regularly. It’s not an obligation any more it’s a complete change of desire within.

When we’re DEVOTED like this, some things are going to be happening.

e) Many Signs and Wonders: were done by the Apostles. If you are devoted as an ordinary person to Jesus and all of the above, not because you have to but because you want to, then watch out, because WONDERS are going to be normal for your fellowship.

f) Common Concern: In verse 44 we learn that they shared their possessions and even sold some of them to help the needy amongst themselves. When Holy Spirit takes up residence within a person’s heart, there’s a new love for the brothers and sisters in the Lord’s family.

g) MEETING TOGETHER REGULARLY: Since I’ve had the Spirit, I’ve never thought meeting just ONCE a week was enough. Most, the majority of Christians today only want to meet once a week, life’s just too busy the meet up more than that, right? WRONG: when the Holy Spirit takes up residence in your heart, you’ll have a LONGING to be with brothers and sisters on a very regular basis. They did it every day, but in reality that’s not practical, because we’ve all got other things that need to be done: tending sheep, planting corn, digging fields, and that’s just the farming community, what about the City Workers? However, there’s still going to be a STRONG DESIRE for more regular FELLOWSHIP than just once a week. So we learn to be very CREATIVE in how we get fellowship.

h)¬†Worshiping¬†God:¬†With glad and sincere hearts they praised the LORD! Worship is an integral aspect of any gathering together. We’ll want to sing our hearts out to the LORD!

How To BE CREATIVE: in getting fellowship more regularly:

SMALL GROUP: Either join of start a small group at work: To meet a lunch times to read God’s Word (Apostles Teaching) and to Pray together. I did this on every ship, establishment and submarine I served on after becoming a Christian in the Royal Navy.

FELLOWSHIP GROUP: There will be fellowship groups in your church, either get the Minister’s¬†permission¬†to start one or join an existing group. The strong desire will never go away, so start as soon as you feel it. Meet up REGULARLY: Once a week is good to start with, but don’t wait to long to add extra meetings for coffee, chats and Evangelism together.

What About Young Mothers: How can they possibly get FELLOWSHIP with young kids running around? I can’t think of a better group to get together even more regularly than those who’ve got toddlers to care for. It’s¬†natural¬†to meet for chats and coffee or tea, but just add the extra dimensions of Bible Study, Prayer, Fellowship, Evangelism, Breaking Bread and Ministry…

No matter what you do or where you work, there are good reasons to FORM or JOIN a SMALL GROUP: It keeps you very sharp as a Christian, you’ll be filled with HOLY SPIRIT DESIRES every day: You’ll want to do what He prompts you to do¬†together. It’s much easier to share you faith with someone else. You’ll make excuses to keep inviting your NON-CHRISTIAN friends along to be with you and your friends. Just say, “I’m off during lunch break to read some of the Bible with a few friends, do you want to come along?”… “We’re learning all about Jesus teachings, do you want to come?” Don’t make the mistakes that I did, sometimes I only asked people once, but then I learned a secret, it took a long time before I myself said YES to Jesus invitations. So just keep asking your friends, but in different ways. “I’m meeting up with some Christian brothers, you should meet these guys, they’re filled with Holy Spirit POWER”…

When you get back from lunch, those who didn’t come will be intrigued to discover what you’ve been up to. I had so many questions when news got out on the Submarine that I was having fellowship in the SINS room¬†on-board HMS Tireless. “What do you do in there?” they’d ask or “We heard you singing hymns” they’d say. “What’s that all about?” they’d ask… People are NATURALLY NOSEY: They want to know, they’re interested. So some will ask you when they know you are attending a small group, “What’s that all about?”… Always be prepared to give them an answer and an invitation to come and experience it for themselves.

Give An Answer and An Invitation.

Devotion is not a POPULAR word with the world, but it still is with EVERY person who’s been baptised and filled with the Holy Spirit.

So a good question to ask right now is: “How is my own DEVOTION going?” and “Am I so full of the Holy Spirit that I have these burning desires to be devoted in these ways?”… If NOT, then there’s a problem. You NEED more of God’s Spirit, because it’s supernaturally natural to want or desire DEVOTION to; Jesus teachings, the Apostles teachings, breaking bread, fellowship, prayer, meeting each other’s needs, meeting together, doing miracles, winning others to Christ. The Holy Spirit replaces our own natural desires with His Supernatural Desires to Build God’s Kingdom Family. IF NOT: You’ll become like the seeds sown on rocky soil or the hard path or among the thistles; your faith will wither and die quite soon. You might keep up the semblance of Christian attendance for a while, but it will never be fire filled or full of faith and fun. Devotion is what Holy Spirit longs for in the life a new follower of Jesus. If your an old follower and you are not devoted like this, why? What’s stopping you doing what God wants you to do? START AGAIN!

The LORD added to their number DAILY those who were being SAVED. Non Christians were attracted to this kind of DEVOTED fellowship. You are going to see this too when you get even more DEVOTED to Jesus Christ, His mission and His teachings. When we follow Jesus teachings, we’re going to see Father God’s Heart is to win thousands into His family. He’ll do it through you’re own little fellowship, which will soon become an awesome mighty power filled faith factory; producing even more DEVOTED followers of Jesus.

I’m praying you’ll get this kind of DEVOTION: Pray for me too: I need to cling to Jesus every day and get fellowship just as regularly as the next Christian, it’s a supernatural natural longing within my heart, but I’ve learned we’ve got to make it happen or it won’t. Nobody else is going to make it happen for you, your inner desire will make it happen: So seek out fellowship and be the devoted follower the Holy Spirit makes you want to be.

Don.

 

When Jesus Forgives

how much we love Jesus will be shown by our appreciation of how much we've been forgiven

Daily Spirit & Word: 733: When Jesus Forgives.

The Woman With The Alabaster Jar

Good morning my friends, you know I said yesterday that it was my day off, well in the evening I had to attend a School Governor’s Meeting at St Luke’s School. The Head of School shared about a certain class that were being challenged to make progress and try harder. On the wall in huge letters it reads, “With Jesus Help We Can”… she pointed out the words and encouraged the class to ask for the Lord to help them understand. She reported, “That class is making progress, the children’s faces light up and they actually ask Jesus for help”… ¬†My friends, when we see Jesus at work like that in our schools and in the lives of children in London today it is an amazing encouragment. It also makes me want to turn afresh to the Lord Jesus in faith today.

Today’s passage comes from Luke’s Gospel and he shares the account of how a sinful woman finds forgiveness in Jesus, but what is it about Jesus in this story that encourages you?

Luke 7:36-50 (NIV)
36¬†Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table.
37 ¬†When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume,¬†38 ¬†and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.
39 ¬†When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is‚ÄĒthat she is a sinner.”
40 ¬†Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.” “Tell me, teacher,” he said.
41 ¬†“Two men owed money to a certain money-lender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty.
42 ¬†Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he cancelled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”
43 ¬†Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt cancelled.” “You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.
44 ¬†Then he turned towards the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair.
45  You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet.
46  You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet.
47 ¬†Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven‚ÄĒfor she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.”
48 ¬†Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
49 ¬†The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”
50 ¬†Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
First The Pharisee’s Hospitality:

At first you think this Pharisee is being kind to Jesus, inviting him to dinner, but we soon discover that he didn’t even perform the customary greeting or extend the normal welcome. He didn’t greet Jesus with a kiss, he didn’t wash Jesus’ feet, he didn’t anoint Jesus with oil. All of these were normal practice for an honoured guest. It was just customary good manners. It’s a bit like offering someone a cup of tea and a little snack when they come to visit you in London. ¬†What does that tell you about the Pharisee? It reveals that his motives for inviting Jesus to dinner were NOT to honour Him. So we’re left wondering why on earth the Pharisee invited Jesus in the first place.

A Rabbi would be welcomed with a customary kiss.

A Rabbi would have his feet washed, because in those days the roads were dusty and feet would get dirty. The cool water on the feet would also bring comfort.

A Rabbi would also be anointed with some kind of perfume; normally rose water.

That Pharisee didn’t honour the Lord Jesus.

 

My friends, when you follow Jesus Christ today, He comes with you wherever you go. That’s why Jesus said, “Whoever welcomes one of my Disciples, welcomes me”… He is with us, but how do we honour Jesus’ presence? Does his presence make us weep over our sinfulness? Does his presence make us want to honour him and serve him, like the sinful woman did?

 

Let’s see what she did for Jesus that day.

 

The Sinful Woman’s Actions:

  • A SINNER: She knew she was a sinner, she had “lived a sinful life”
  • COMES TO JESUS: She came where she knew Jesus was: Whenever a Rabbi entered a home of a wealthy man, many people would gather around the honoured guest, homes were much more open in those days and that explains how the woman could enter the house so easily.
  • READY TO ANOINT: The very fact that she carried an Alabaster Jar full of perfume indicates that she intended to use it to anoint Jesus. So we don’t know if she’d already met Jesus and had been forgiven by him. Perhaps she was the woman who’d been caught in the act of adultery, we just don’t know.
  • WASHES FEET WITH TEARS: What we do know is this:¬†She wet Jesus feet with her tears: She was either full of remorse about her sinful life or so overcome with joy at being forgiven by Jesus. All we know is that In the presence of Jesus she wept. She was crying so much that her tears soaked Jesus feet.
  • DRIED FEET WITH HAIR: Next she wiped Jesus’ feet with her hair. This too shows us the extent of her remorse and sadness about her sins. Who would wipe a person’s feet with their hair? That’s not normal. A woman’s hair is her glory, but she’s just used it to do the most base act. I don’t know anyone who’d wipe a person’s feet with their hair today and our feet a cleaner than those of someone in Jesus day.
  • KISSES JESUS FEET: Then she began to kiss Jesus’ feet: Who kisses another person’s feet? It’s normal for a defeated foe to bow down and kiss the conqueror’s feet. But it’s not normal to kiss someone’s feet. She must have been so overcome with relief and joy to have been forgiven by Jesus.
  • ANOINTS WITH OIL: Next, she anointed Jesus feet with the perfumed oil from the Alabaster Jar. The smell in the Pharisees’ house would be sweet and pungent.

Though she was a sinner she did everything the host of the house should have done to honour him. It’s strange that a supposed ‘righteous’ man, the Pharisee, didn’t see the need to honour Jesus with the normal good manners, but the SINNER didn’t stop honouring him from the moment she arrived.

The Pharisee’s Attitude Towards The Sinful Woman and Jesus.

Luke 7:39 ¬†When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is‚ÄĒthat she is a sinner.”

In those days if a Pharisee was touched by a sinner or a sin contaminated person, then he’d be ritually unclean, so they avoided being touched. Remember the story of the Good Samaritan how the Priest and Levite avoided helping the wounded man, for fear of being made unclean. That’s not what God meant when He said we should avoid sin, whenever we can help someone, we should. Even the most sinful person can be given hope of a changed life. But according to the Pharisees, once a sinner, always a sinner. They looked down on sinful people and avoided all contact with them. Even today some strict sects of Jews will not touch anyone who is not a Jew. They view them as sinners or unclean. So the Pharisee is condemning of Jesus as well as having a stand-off attitude towards the sinful woman. He’s questioning Jesus prophetic anointing simply because Jesus is allowing himself to be touched by a supposed sinner. Simon didn’t know if Jesus had already forgiven this woman.

You can almost hear the condemnation: “She is a SINNER”… i.e. in the mind of the Pharisee, there was no hope for the woman, she was a sinner once and she’ll always be that sinful woman.

Jesus Didn’t Condemn or Criticise The Sinful Woman.

He’s a wonderful example of how we should be towards those we KNOW are sinners. We cannot be like that Pharisee, because we know how much the Lord has also forgiven us. We too are sinners and we too need to be cleansed and forgiven.

That little story of Jesus about the debts being forgiven.

I love the way that Luke has recounted this meeting in the Pharisee’s house.

He sets the scene and right in the middle includes one of the most amazing and insightful teachings of Jesus.

In just two verses we discover pure GOLD:

Luke 7:41-42.
41 ¬†“Two men owed money to a certain money-lender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty.
42 ¬†Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he cancelled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”

Five Hundred or¬†Fifty: That’s an amazing difference. Of course the one who’s been let off the most debt is the one who’d be most appreciative. But you’d think that the one who’d been forgiven a little would also be a little bit grateful.

The Pharisee got it right, but then Jesus points out the sinful woman: She’s been doing for me Simon what you should have done. Imagine how Simon the Pharisee must have felt at that moment in time? Confronted and shown how wrong his own attitude was towards both the sinful woman and Jesus. I’ll bet he wanted to hide under his dinner table that day.

I don’t know if you’ve ever had that feeling coming upon you? I’ve had it a few times, when the Lord brings conviction, all you want to do is hide. I had it in church once, I was looking at other people and in my heart judging them. Then the Lord spoke to me, “Who are you to condemn anyone else, I’ve forgiven them, I’ve also forgiven you”…. I’ll never forget how¬†embarrassed¬†I was, my face went red, I bowed my head and closed my eyes and asked Jesus to forgive me. I was reminded of just how much I’d been forgiven and that it was my own sins that put the nails in Jesus’ hands and feet, and the spear into his side. It was my sins that thrust the crown of thorns upon His head.

The the most amazing pronouncement from Jesus lips:

“Your sins are forgiven.” and¬†“Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

The woman’s actions towards Jesus demonstrated her faith. She believed that Jesus was the one good, righteous, religious, Rabbi who wouldn’t condemn her, she came to Jesus and cried at his feet and ends up being forgiven and more “go in peace”. There’s a deep peace we experience when we’ve been cleansed and forgiven by the Lord Jesus.

I’ve been a Christian since 1984, but I feel Jesus is asking me afresh this morning, “Donald,¬†How’s your LOVE for Me?”

I think about that poor woman who was so aware of her sinful condition and probably reminded about it constantly by those who knew all about her life. No wonder she was so filled with faith when she encountered Jesus and wanted to do anything she could for him.

The story doesn’t tell us when Jesus forgave the woman. It might have been before he went to the Pharisees house to have dinner that day and she later discovered where Jesus was and wanted to do something special for Him. We don’t know if it was at the house she was forgiven, but we know she was a sinner, she acted in faith and was rewarded by being forgiven and sent away in peace.

I think how much I love Jesus will be determined by how much I know I’ve been forgiven and the cost of my forgiveness. Jesus gave His life so that I could be clean. When I experience the cleansing and washing away of my sins it produces within me an inward¬†gratitude¬†and inexpressible joy, it means that I want to serve the Lord Jesus and give so much, that like the woman with the expensive¬†alabaster¬†jar, I’ll pour out my life and what I’ve been given in His service. Oh LORD Jesus, I love You.

FAITH that expresses itself in LOVE towards Jesus.

  • When we’ve been forgiven by Him all SHAME is removed.
  • When we’ve been forgiven by Him all CONDEMNATION is washed away.
  • When we’ve been forgiven by Him new LOVE grows within us.
  • When we’ve been forgiven by Him new LIFE begins.

When we’ve been forgiven so much by Jesus, we’ll LOVE Him lots too.

Notice Jesus words again;¬†“Your sins are forgiven.” and¬†“Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

Jesus gives us FAITH to believe, then rewards us when we use the FAITH we’ve been given and gives us PEACE. That’s such Amazing Grace.

Finally, we’re left with the people questioning: “Who is this who even forgives sins?” The Jews knew that God alone can forgive sins. Jesus was God on earth, because we know too that ONLY God can forgive sin. But I’ve written enough for today ūüôā

How much we love Jesus will be shown by how much we appreciate¬†we’ve been forgiven by Him.

Hope you all have a fantastic Friday and a wonderful faith filled weekend with Jesus.

Don.

 

Don’t Give Up In Prayer

the parable of the persistent widow and the unjust judge

Daily Spirit & Word: 726:¬†Don’t Give-Up On Seeking The Lord.

The Unjust Judge Gives IN to Persistence.

Good morning my friends, do you know how our Nation is the way it is today? It’s because minorities complain the most. It gets to the point that the one’s they are complaining to just cave-in and give them what they want. I’m sure they do it for good reasons, but one can’t help thinking they’re doing it just so the once complaining will go away and stop grumbling, nagging and hen-pecking . However, once they’ve gotten their way once, they’ll be encouraged and emboldened to come back and push for more.

“I hate to be a kicker,
I always long for peace,
But the wheel that does the squeaking,
Is the one that gets the grease.”

By Josh Billings: An American Humourist.

A ‘kicker’ in Josh’s day was someone who complained a lot.

The ‘wheel’ that does the ‘squeaking’ (i.e. the ones complaining the most) get what they’re asking for.

“The Wheel That Does The Squeaking Gets The Grease”

In the Bible there’s a story about a woman who wants justice, but the unjust judge ignores her please for help, however;

Luke 18:1-8 (NIV)
1 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.
2 ¬†He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men.
3 ¬†And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’
4 ¬†“For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care about men,
5 ¬†yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually wear me out with her coming!’ “
6 ¬†And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says.
7  And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?
8 ¬†I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

Jesus wanted to show us Father God’s attitude towards justice, i.e. How God wants to see that those He loves will get justice, and quickly.¬†But, do you remember how long it took for Nelson Mandela? 25 YEARS in Prison on Robin Island. In the end, his patience, persistence and fortitude won-out and South Africa is now FREE from¬†Apartheid.

Do you remember Jacob, how he wrestled with God all night? He wouldn’t let go of the LORD until he received his blessing.

Genesis 32:22-32 (NIV)
22  That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two maidservants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok.
23  After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions.
24  So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak.
25 ¬†When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man.
26 ¬†Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.” But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”
27 ¬†The man asked him, “What is your name?” “Jacob,” he answered.
28 ¬†Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome.”
29 ¬†Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.” But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there.
30 ¬†So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.”
31  The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip.
32 ¬†Therefore to this day the Israelites do not eat the tendon attached to the socket of the hip, because the socket of Jacob’s hip was touched near the tendon.

We must bear in mind what was happening with Jacob when he wrestled with God: Jacob’s name means “Deciever”, but a more literal translation of his name is “Grabber” or “Grasper”… He came out of the womb grasping his twin brother Esau’s heel. Later on he deceived his father and grabbed, grasped his brother’s birthright blessing. He was fleeing his father-in-law Leban because he’d sneaked away in the night with all his possessions. Now he was headed home to meet-up with his brother who was hell-bent on revenge and had threatened Jacob’s life. So what did Jacob do? He’d sent everything he owned, including his wife and children and all his precious possessions ahead of him to pacify his brother’s furious anger. He was left with nothing but himself. God came to him and he wrestled with the Angelic presence of the Lord. Jacob grasped, grabbed hold all night until he got his blessing. He also got a name change “One who wrestles with God”.

Has there been a time in your life when you’ve prevailed in prayer, kept going, believing, having faith, not giving up; until the Lord blessed you? There was a lady I knew who couldn’t conceive for over eight years, she’d tried everything, but one day she came forward for prayer in church. A few weeks later her mother (who I didn’t know) came running up to me in the street and shouted, “You got my daughter pregnant”… First I thought about arguing, thinking in my head she was accusing me. How foolish, she was just overjoyed, because the LORD had answered her daughter’s prayer. She didn’t just have one baby, she had twins. The Lord gave her more than she bargained for. Sometimes we don’t get our answers for a long time, because we come to God last. We try everything else, but God. My friends, when you’ve got something going on in your life that you need help with, something your striving or struggling over, come to the Lord with it first.

My friends,¬†Jacob didn’t deserve God’s blessing.

The woman deserved the un-just judge’s justice,

We don’t deserve anything from God,

BUT: In His mercy and grace, He’ll give us what we need.

If it’s justice, as in the case of Nelson Mandela, God gives it quickly (though not our version of quickly).

If it’s seeking; God’s guidance, power, provision, protection, forgiveness, mercy or Justice, then know this my friends, God hears the prayers of those who pray in faith.

Jesus told that story of the Persistent Widow to show us how to KEEP coming to the LORD, so we wouldn’t give up on seeking God.

“The wheel that does the squeaking gets the grease.”

God’s not encouraging us to be ‘grumblers’, in fact the Bible tells us not to grumble, but He’s encouraging us to keep going, to keep coming to Him for everything we need in life.

Have and awesome weekend, keep close to the Lord Jesus, be filled afresh with His Holy Spirit and don’t give up on prayer, because your answer might just be around the corner.

God HEARS you, so keep praying in faith, believing and trusting in Him who loves you.

Don.

P.S. Remember the great old hymn: “What a Friend we have in Jesus”?

What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear,
What a privilege to carry,
Everything to Him in prayer.

When the TV gets in the way of LIFE

seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness

Daily Word & Spirit: 724: Does God Get What He Wants?

Good morning my friends, it was such a privilege to conduct two funerals this week, one on Monday and the other yesterday. The first was for a wonderful Christian lady, the church was packed with friends and relatives from all over the world. I proclaimed the Gospel freely and called for a decision for Jesus Christ. Yesterday, an equally lovely lady, but who’s faith I knew very little about, the family said, “She was not a religious lady”… her family, as far as I knew, never attended church. What could I say to those grieving folks?

Matthew 6:25-34 (NIV)
25¬†“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?
26  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
27  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
28 ¬†“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labour or spin.
29  Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these.
30  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
31 ¬†So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’
32  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.
33  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
34  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

The second group of mourners were all giving wonderful stories about the woman’s life; she was full of fun, knew how to laugh at herself and loved people, she was generous to a fault, giving so much sometimes that she was in need herself, but just thinking of others. As I read the above passage,I believe the Lord guided me to say, “Just like …. we can all learn from this, she obviously didn’t WORRY about her life”.

The world we live in encourages us to WORRY: i.e. adverts about your weight, style, looks, have you got the right tools, is your home looking like a palace, have you got the right garden furniture, are you eating the right foods, etc, etc,,, You’d be excused if you walked to your bed so worried after watching TV for just one evening. I’m sure you’d dream and they’d be full of worries about life. But thankfully Jesus tells us DO NOT WORRY. Why? Because who of us by¬†worrying¬†can add a single hour to his life?

The Gospel of Luke covers the same teaching of Jesus, but gives us a little more details: Luke 12:25-26 (NIV)¬†“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?”

I love the Bible (God’s) logic here, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”

We may or may not have a long life, but worrying about it’s duration won’t¬†guarantee¬†it. I’m sure we can shorten it though, through folly, but we can’t extend it longer than God intends it to be. “The LORD gives and the LORD takes away”… Sometimes, like when you mum or dad confiscated a precious toy when you were a child, that confiscation really hurts. When the LORD takes someone we love, no matter how old they are, it HURTS us, but we can’t¬†lengthen¬†the duration of our lives by worrying about them.

So what are we to do?

Thankfully the Bible gives us the answers:

Matthew 6:33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

1) Seek First The KINGDOM of God.

(Remember that’s same priority in the Lord’s Prayer?)…

When we seek first the Kingdom of God, we’re putting God’s priorities at the TOP of the agenda of our lives.

The woman being buried yesterday loved to play CARDS: Have you ever played Patience? Patience is a game in which you are looking to line-up all your cards on the King, once you get the whole suit; i.e. hearts, spades, clubs or diamonds, onto your King, then that row is won.

My friends, God wants us to line-up our life along the lines of His KINGDOM. i.e. He wants to be our KING. Every aspect of our lives in-line with His Kingdom priorities. How’s your KINGDOM living going?

2) Seek His Righteousness:

Many (most) people already think they are “Good Enough For Heaven” i.e. ‘Righteous’). But the Bible clearly teaches there are “NONE righteous, no not one.” Romans 3:10.

Psalm 53:2-3 (KJV)
2  God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God.
3  Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

We do good things, but the GOOD the Bible is talking about here is “Seeking AFTER God” i.e. Putting His Kingdom agenda first. He looks down from Heaven and sees that there is “NONE” who do that. There are none who seek Him the way He wants to be sought.

So we NEED God’s Righteousness more than anything else in our lives, because we don’t have a righteousness of our own. It’s HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS we need. Yes we do good things for other people, sometimes we do magnificent acts of¬†great¬†kindness and self-sacrifice, but God’s idea of goodness and righteousness is to seek after Him. Apart from God every act of kindness is tinged with the flesh, i.e. there are fleshly reasons for acting in the ways that we do: To look good in the eyes of others, to be well thought about in society, but what really matters in Eternity is not what others think about us, but what God thinks. If we’re seeking a kind of self-righteousness, thinking that our good deeds will outweigh our bad ones, then we need to think again. The GREATEST SIN is living life without putting God first… i.e. Commandments 1 and 2. If we live without God or seeking after Him, we’re guilty of making¬†ourselves¬†into our own god, which is idolatry.

Imagine how God must feel when those He created and gave the gift of life worship everything else apart from Him?

The Gift Of A TV Set:

To live the life that He has given to us without ever thinking about the ONE who gave us life, that’s the greatest sin imaginable.

It’s like the loving father who bought a TV for his kids. Before he got the TV, they’d come running up to him for kisses and cuddles when he got home from work. Overjoyed just to see their daddy home. After he got the TV, he was hurt when they sat in front of it and paid him no attention at all when he got home. Even if he shouted out to them, they’d just sit there glued to the TV set. He missed the cuddles and kisses of his children. So he walked right in front of the TV and turned it off. The kids moaned and groaned, but he said, “I’m so upset that you love that TV I gave you more than me now”… My friends, have you ever thought how God feels when we love life more than the one who gave us life? When we love this beautiful Creation more than the Creator? When we’re so enamoured with the things in this world, rather than the one who gave us them all to richly enjoy?

To live the life that He has given to us without ever thinking about the ONE who gave us life, that’s the greatest sin imaginable.

A Man After God’s Own Heart:

Remember the Bible called King David, “A man after God’s own heart”… i.e. King David¬†sought¬†the Lord. He looked for God. He wanted God’s priorities to be first in his life. King David did many horrible things in his lifetime, but the Bible accords him “Righteous”, not because of what he did or didn’t do in life, but because he¬†sought¬†the LORD with all his heart, mind, will and strength.

So, do you seek His Righteousness? We become righteous in God’s sight, when we respond to the Gospel invitation to receive Jesus Christ as Lord by faith. When we see that Jesus died in our place upon the Cross for all our sins and wickedness, he died for us. When we see that Jesus rose from the dead three days later and ascended into Heaven. Jesus is calling all people in the world to REPENT and turn away from life without God. To turn in repentance, letting go of our old way of ignoring God and turning to Him in faith to be forgiven, cleansed and renewed.

God wants to GIVE US THE KINGDOM: However, for Him to do so, it was very costly indeed. Jesus gave his life.

All we need to do to receive God’s Kingdom and life is turn in repentance and faith and receive Him as our KING: Then we’ll want to live our lives seeking first the Kingdom of God and we’ll want to live a holy and righteous life with Him.

When we seek first His Kingdom and when we seek first His Righteousness, then He, our Heavenly Father, will give us His Kingdom, He will give us what we NEED in life and we needn’t worry about how long we’re going to live, because ETERNITY is in our hearts, we’re going to LIVE FOREVER WITH HIM. Your needs will be met by God once you seek His Kingdom and His righteousness in all things.

Being ‘good’ in our own eyes, is good and right, but when it comes down to it, God will be looking to see if we’ve been good from His perspective. It’s a matter of righteousness not religiousness. He won’t look to see if you’ve been attending church, reading your Bible, doing good to others and praying. His priority is righteousness, are you good enough for Him? The honest answer He’ll be looking for is “NO!” I’m not fit for the Kingdom of Heaven, because I’ve sinned and broken Your Commandments. However, Father in Heaven, I’ve put my faith and trust in Jesus, Your Son, and I know that His death upon the Cross was for my sins. I’ve asked for His forgiveness and turned in repentance and faith, I’ve received Him as my King. I know that I’m a member of His Kingdom Family.”

He’ll say, “Welcome, I’m PLEASED to give you the Kingdom”…

Praise the Lord!

Don.

 

You were made to last forever, eternity.

God doesn't believe in Athiests, Eternity in your heart, life after death,

Daily Spirit & Word. 715: Immortality. Eternity.

God Made YOU to Last Forever.

Why did God send a flood to destroy all human beings on the Earth?

“If you were to destroy the belief in immortality in mankind, not only love but every living force on which the continuation of all life in the world depended, would dry up at once.” Fyodor Dostoevsky.

Good morning my friends, I’ve been thinking. Tonight we’re going out to share the Gospel with folks on the streets and one of the most common beliefs today is; “This life is all there is”… You know something, I think good old Fyodor has a point. Many people today will proudly proclaim, “I don’t believe in life after death or Heaven or Hell”… They think this life is all there is, there’s nothing after death, you just cease to exist.

However, we can quite clearly see that those who do believe such things, get depressed, commit¬†suicide, have no hope and give up on life. Why? Because if there is no afterlife, then there’s no real point to continuing your existence upon this earth. Love and life itself is just some kind of illusion.

Thankfully it is quite easy to correct this false and foolish thinking.

Ecclesiastes 3:9-13 (NIV)
9  What does the worker gain from his toil?
10  I have seen the burden God has laid on men.
11  He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
12  I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live.
13 ¬†That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil‚ÄĒthis is the gift of God.

God “has set eternity in the hearts of men”: That means everyone knows deep-down in the core of their being that this life is not all there is. We may deny this eternal truth, we may pretend, we may protest, we can argue, but the fact remains that God has Created mankind with a deep knowledge that ETERNITY, life after death, the soul goes on forever.

However, there are good reasons for denying the immortality of the soul. Because if we don’t believe in afterlife then we can just live as we please now, there’s no one or nothing to whom we must give an account of the way we live, and that’s what we’re seeing in the world today. If there is no afterlife, then this life is all that counts and you’ve got to enjoy it as much as possible. People call this kind of thinking “Enlightened” or “The enlightenment”, but in reality is a darkening, a drawing deeper and deeper into the deepest darkness. Without God there is only darkness and oblivion. When people do what they want, they’ll throw off all moral restraints. Not only that, but they want and expect everybody else to do the same as well.

Ephesians 4:17-19 (NIV)
17  So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18  They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19  Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.

My friends, this kind of thinking is not new or enlightened: People have been doing this since the time of Creation, but when they did, they brought swift judgement from Heaven upon their heads. This kind of thinking and way of living is what brought the first flood upon the Earth.

Genesis 6:5-6 (NIV)
5 ¬†The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.¬†6 ¬†The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain.

Genesis 6:5-8 (NJB)
5  Yahweh saw that human wickedness was great on earth and that human hearts contrived nothing but wicked schemes all day long.
6  Yahweh regretted having made human beings on earth and was grieved at heart.
7 ¬†And Yahweh said, ‚ÄėI shall rid the surface of the earth of the human beings whom I created‚ÄĒhuman and animal, the creeping things and the birds of heaven‚ÄĒfor I regret having made them.’
8 ¬†But Noah won Yahweh’s favour.

God’s heart was “filled with pain”, He was¬†“grieved at heart”. It hurts God’s feelings when those He created deny Him or their high calling. When we live like we want and pretend there’s no one to whom we must give an account. That’s why the Lord brought the flood upon the Earth and it’s why He’s going to eventually destroy His Creation and start all over again (one day).

You see my friends, God does not believe in Atheists, He knows they are simply living in denial.

Dictionary Meaning of “Immortality”:

  • 1) The quality or state of being immortal.
  • 2) Perpetual life after death.

Synonyms: Afterlife, Hereafter, Permanence, Permanency,

Antonyms: Mortality (Mortal).

You were made to last forever.
But like those batteries that eventually loose their power, so we too will one day, run out of life. But that’s not the END, your eternal soul will live on and on for all eternity. If you were to die tonight, where would you be spending that Eternity?

Though mankind is not now immortal, because of Adam and Eve’s decision to disobey God’s Command, we’re all infected with the same sin disease and cannot live forever, which was God’s original intent for human beings. However, there is part of our human nature that will live forever and that is our Soul, it goes on beyond the grave. Though our flesh and bones will die and decay, the soul is the part of us that lives forever.

We need to make everyone aware of the fact that they are going to have to face God after they die.

Hebrews 9:27 (NIV)¬†“Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face¬†judgement, …”

“After That” i.e. After death, we come face-to-face with the Living God.¬†He’s going to bring out our records: What we’ve done and what we’ve thought and Judge us.

God sees our inmost thoughts: (Psalm 139)

Psalm 139:1-16 (NIV) For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.
1  O LORD, you have searched me and you know me.
2  You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3  You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
4  Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD.
5 ¬†You hem me in‚ÄĒbehind and before; you have laid your hand upon me.
6  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.
7  Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
8  If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9  If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10  even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
11 ¬†If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,”
12  even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.
13 ¬†For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
15  My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
16  your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

During the 2012 Olympic Games in London, there were areas in Cities all over the UK you could go and watch them as they happened on BIG Screens. In shopping areas and town squares town Councils had erected huge screens. Imagine having your life showing on a screen like that for everyone to see. But what could be worse than that?¬†Can you imagine what it would be like to have your thought-life on display for everyone to see, right now? Embarrassing or what? Your thoughts about people on display for everyone to know what you’ve been thinking about them. Well one day it will be, unless you repent and have your records washed / erased away.

When you repent and trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour: All your sins are washed away. You are given a brand new start in life. This is why it’s so good to come to Jesus. You can actually feel clean on the inside when Jesus washes your sins away. It’s as if you’ve never sinned. But from the moment you are washed clean, Jesus wants you to live a New Life in His Spirit. A holy life is possible when you come to Jesus every day and received the fullness of the Holy Spirit. We need Jesus every day.

Praise the Lord for the Eternity He’s planted within your heart.

When we compare our life to eternity we can see why the Lord has given us His Word: The Word “BIBLE” = Basic, Instruction, Before, Leaving, Earth… There is life after death, but what kind of life can we expect? With Jesus as our Lord NOW, we’re promised wonders we couldn’t even dream about.

I’ll finish off¬†today with one of the most wonderful promises in God’s Word:

¬†“However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” 1 Corinthians 2:9 (NIV)

Have a wonderful day with the Lord Jesus,

Don.

P.S. If you are free tonight and around West Norwood in London, you are welcome to come and join us as we go out to share the Gospel with those who don’t yet know Jesus Christ as Lord. We’re meeting at 5.00pm at St Luke’s Church, West Norwood, London. If you can’t come, please commit to praying for us and for those whom we meet, that they’ll come to know Jesus as Lord. Amen!

Ecclesiastes 3:11  He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

ETERNITY

Jesus’ Trial Gives Hope When Terrorists Murder

Jesus words of truth sustain when terrorists strike

Daily Spirit & Word: 713:

Jesus Trial Gives Hope When Terrorists Murder.

Who Are You Going To Turn To When Tragedy Strikes?

Good morning my friends, what an amazing stormy night we’re experiencing, couldn’t sleep, so got up to read the Bible, God’s Word! ūüėõ
It’s Easter Monday, the day after Resurrection Sunday. What aweful and terrible tragedies await us on the BBC News today? I was deeply saddened by the events last week, and yesterdays attack on Christians in Pakistan. The Archbishop spoke well in his Easter message about “Hope overcoming Fear”… These terrorist murders of innocent people are horrific and our hearts must go out to all the poor people¬†affected. There is only one way that I know to cope when tragedy strikes, for me it’s turning to the Lord Jesus Christ, to prayer and to God’s Word and to worship. When I do that, I’m transported from the temporal to the eternal, to what’s more important / most important: People NEED Jesus, so let us do all we can to introduce as many as we can, whilst we can, to Him. Amen!

But just who is this Jesus?

When Jesus was on trial for his life before Pontius Pilate he didn’t say very much at all in response to the questioning, but I believe that’s because Jesus was innocent, the Scripture’s had already declared “The Sheep before the shearer is silent”, so Jesus didn’t open His mouth in his own defence, if He had, He would not have been Crucified. ¬†However, others should have spoken up for Him, but they didn’t either. Pilate should not have Crucified Jesus, because he knew that Jesus was innocent. Pilate gave into peer pressure big time, but that’s another topic altogether. I want to focus today on what Jesus did say, because what we gain from that will keep us strong in our faith in times of tragedy and terror.

Jesus’ Trial Testimony :

John 18:36-40 (NIV)
36 ¬†Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place.”
37 ¬†“You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”
38 ¬†“What is truth?” Pilate asked. With this he went out again to the Jews and said, “I find no basis for a charge against him.
39 ¬†But it is your custom for me to release to you one prisoner at the time of the Passover. Do you want me to release ‘the king of the Jews’?”
40 ¬†They shouted back, “No, not him! Give us Barabbas!” Now Barabbas had taken part in a rebellion.

Our verses today comes from the first crucifixion trial of Jesus Christ in Pilate’s court. Pilate is questioning Jesus about the charge that He is a king. The answer Jesus gave is eye opening for Jesus’ followers today: Because, it speaks about the person of Jesus Christ, the purpose of Jesus Christ, and the people of Jesus Christ.

1) The Person of Jesus Christ.

“My Kingdom is not of this world” i.e. Jesus is indeed a King, but He rules a Kingdom that is not earth based or even universe based, it’s not part of Creation, it’s the Eternal Kingdom of Heaven.

Jesus also said, “for this reason I was born” This speaks to us of His Human Nature.

Jesus also said, “for this I came into the world” This speaks of His Divine Godly Nature.

It’s one of the most strange things for many people to get their heads around. We had it with some young Muslim men whilst out sharing the Gospel last week, they couldn’t understand how Jesus could be God and Man at the same time. “How could God die?” They puzzled. It’s a genuine and perplexing question. However, we cannot get away from the facts of the matter, Jesus was, is and always will be God. Even if he takes human form. Jesus ascended into heaven with his body that could be touched, He’s told us He’ll return in a similar way. We’ll be able to see and touch Jesus, He’ll not be like a ghost.

  • Jesus got hungry whilst on earth, but Jesus also changed water into wine.
  • Jesus got tired whilst on earth, but He also walked on water.
  • Jesus got angry when He saw what they were doing in the Temple, but He also forgave the adulteress caught in the act.
  • Jesus is both God and Man at the same time: It’s a TRUTH about Jesus we need to believe by faith, but it’s not blind faith, but on the evidence of God’s Word.

2) The Purpose Of Jesus Christ: He came as a Witness to Truth.

“and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth.”

Jesus Christ came as a Divine Witness to God’s TRUTH.

Truth today is in short supply. Truth today is being eroded. People want what they believe to be true to be accepted by everyone, even if it’s a lie.

For instance, a person born a man or a woman, can have their Birth Certificate changed if they have a sex-change operation. Gender re-assortment. A Birth Certificate is meant to be a statement of fact or truth, but now it can be changed to lie and cover-up a fact, that a man can now change his sex if he wishes. What a mess we’re living in, so it’s no wonder people have real difficulty with Divine Truth today. However, God’s WORD never changes, and the facts of TRUTH in Scripture are something we can depend upon, not just for this life, but for all Eternity. Praise the Lord!

Many people today say, “How do you know a politician is lying?” and answer, “Because his lips a moving”…

Is there such a thing as a TRUTH we can TRUST?

So what TRUTH did Jesus Testify about?

He taught us about many things; His main purpose was to give witness of the truth about the most important matters in life, such as: God’s Word, Heaven, Hell, Salvation, God The Father, Holiness, Satan, Temptation, Trust, Healing, Eternal Life, Life after Death, Judgement to come, Faith, Suffering, etc etc…

There is no more important witness for human beings in this world today.

Everyone need to know about these eternal truths revealed to us by Jesus Christ alone. They are unique and outstanding truths that can and will affect every soul ever born into this world.

3) The People of Jesus Christ:

“Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”

Jesus third Purpose was for the People who will listen to His TRUTH and receive Him as Lord.

Jesus calls people to Himself today by the Holy Spirit, everyone who “Hears the Gospel can receive the GIFT of Faith” Romans 10:17, when we respond to Christ’s Gospel call, we become the people who are “on the side of truth“, then Jesus TRUTH means so much¬†more; it touches our hearts, warms our spirits, keeps our faith alive and encourages us when danger or trouble comes. Jesus Words of Truth have a lasting and life-changing impression upon everyone on the side of truth. The People of Jesus Christ are transformed by His TRUTH, they know Jesus words are meat and bread for life.

Conclusion:

So on this Bank-Holiday Easter Monday, after the beautiful worship of Resurrection Sunday, and the wonderful¬†Good Friday Walk of Witness, and the Easter Eggs are all done and gone, when we see terror and tragedy unfolding on our TV Screens, cling ever more¬†tightly to the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who Is; God forever, Testifies to God’s Eternal Truth and Enlists People into His Heavenly Army of Truth. With Jesus by your side throughout your earthly existence we’ll be able to face any storms that come upon us.

Let’s keep praying for PEACE that we know only Jesus Christ can bring into people’s lives.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, today I come before You for my brothers and sisters in Pakistan and Belgium. Many of them have been murdered by terrorists, please send the Holy Spirit Comfort to everyone who has lost a loved one. Give them strength and in time the willingness and ability to forgive those who have torn their lives apart. Move Your people to respond with love, kindness and generosity towards our Kingdom Family members. Today I pray for their continued protection and provision for life. Let those in authority bring those responsible to justice. Let the cries and tears be wiped away with Your love and care. Amen!

Keep sharing the Word of Truth.

Keep trusting in the Words of Truth from Jesus.

Bear witness by Trusting Him afresh today.

Be filled with God’s Holy Spirit and Worship Him in Songs of Praise.

Don.