The Free Gift

Cost Jesus Everything to give us the FREE gift of LIFE

Daily Spirit & Word: 770: Jesus Invitation Is Free.

See The Kingdom Of God… The FREE GIFT…

Luke 9:20-27 (NIV)
20  “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “The Christ of God.”
21  Jesus strictly warned them not to tell this to anyone.
22  And he said, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.”
23  Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.
24  For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.
25  What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?
26  If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.
27  I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God.”

A banker or investor will take risks, but they’ll only take a calculated risk. God will invest in you in accordance with the faith you are ready to use.

The Kindness Of God: The Free Gift Of Salvation.

A Sunday School Teacher wanted to show his class how free the gift of Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is.

So he felt prompted to give someone his solid silver watch; given to him in his retirement. He took it from his pocket and offered it to the eldest boy in the class.

He said, “It is yours, if you will take it.”

The little boy sat and grinned at the teacher. He thought he was just joking.

So the teacher offered it to the next boy, and said, “Take my watch: it is yours.”

The little boy thought everyone in the class would laugh at him, if he held out his hand, so he shook his head.

In the same way the teacher went around almost the whole class; but not one of them would accept the free gift of the silver watch.

However, when he came to one boy and held out the watch, he grabbed it immediately and shoved it into his pocket with a smile on his face.

Suddenly the class erupted in laughter, but the teach stopped them and said to the boy who took it, “You can keep my watch” He returned to his teaching seat, the whole class were amazed.

He said to the class: “I am so thankful that just one boy in my Sunday School Class has believed me and now owns my watch. Boys to you believe me when I tell you that Jesus will save you, He will come into your life and give you new life when you believe in Him, turn from sin and receive Him as Lord?”

When you trust in Jesus, just like the watch, which must be wound up every day, so you must take care of your own Salvation by coming back to Jesus every day to be refilled with Holy Spirit.

Son he said, “Take good care of your new silver watch. Wind it up every day, but not too much or you’ll break the spring.”

The rest of the class looked on in amazement; and one of them said, “Teacher, you don’t mean that the watch is his? You don’t mean that he doesn’t have to give it back to you?”

The Teacher said, “It is his watch now, he doesn’t need to give it back to me.”

The boy said, “WOW, it really is free”… “Oh, if I had only known that, I would have taken it too!”

The Sunday School Teacher said, “There was only one silver watch, but Jesus offer of Salvation is free for everyone, will you take that offer of new life with Him?”

 

 

I had a picture of deep, rich soil and God investing in that soil, He’s expecting a return on His investment. (The Parable of the Sower).

The seed that falls on the other three soil types; they are a bit like Venture Capital. Risky, but sometimes those risky investments pay BIG dividends for those willing to take a risk.

God takes a RISK when He offers Salvation Freely to ALL.

When seed falls on rocky ground, it grows up and looks good for a short while, but watch out, when the sun comes up and scorches the plant, it’s going to wither and die, because it has no root, it’s roots don’t go down into deep rich soil and it can’t get the moisture that it needs to survive. (Too often Ministers are trying to prop-up shallow soil hearers, rocky ground hearers and hard-soil (path) hearers, they get exhausted and worn out doing this, but they should instead be tending, supporting and investing their time and energy in those who’ve been receptive to the Word of God, and are producing a good crop.

My friends, keep winding-up your faith, it’s FREE: You didn’t earn it, God gave it to you for free, it’s yours to keep forever, but look after it.

  • Jesus said, “If any man follows me, He must obey my commandments”
  • Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”

It is a DAILY walk with Jesus. We’re not to be Sunday Christians, but DAILY followers of the LORD Jesus Christ. It’s a costly walk, it begins and ends with the offer of Salvation, Free to us, but costly to Jesus. Then we prove we are His followers when we begin to walk in His teachings daily.

Prayer:

I’ve been praying far more for people lately. The LORD was guiding me and I’m now taking RISKS in Prayer. When someone says something NEGATIVE, I’ll listen, then chat around the complaint, then say; “Let’s pray about that right now”… I’m going to be taking everything to Jesus. When someone tells me they are hurting or feeling ill or tired or weary or upset; then I’ll say, “Let’s pray about that right now and get God on your case” …

Evangelism:

I’ve learned from Ying Kai: He said, “I’m not going to ask permission to share the Good News, because I’ve already been given all the permission I need, God has told me to go out and share the Good News, for too long we’ve been suckered by the politically correct world, asking people permission to share Jesus, we don’t need that permission, because God has given it to us.”

Also, people don’t want to know, they’re happy with their life of sin, so if you ask permission you are going to get a lot of rejections. If you don’t ask for permission, then you can preach the Gospel to many more people. You’ll be able to get the seed of hope into their hearts.

Last night, outside Knowles of Norwood:

A new pub in West Norwood with tables outside, there were three ladies sitting enjoying a drink in the Summer warmth. I gave them an invitation to our “Oh Happy Day Festival”. They seemed interested, so I gave them a Ticket to Heaven… I said, “Here’s a FREE Ticket, it will get you into Heaven”… They all laughed, I asked them, “Are you going to Heaven?” Someone said, “I don’t believe in Heaven, but another said, “I believe God will let everyone in because Jesus died on the Cross so we could all get in”… “WOWzer” I said, “That’s amazing, do you really believe that?” She said, “No, but If it’s true then we’ve got nothing to worry about”…

I said, “There’s a little test we’ve got that will show you if you’ll get in”   I gave them a Ten Commandment Coin, they all took it and were looking at the commandments. I said, “Those Commandments are like a mirror, they show us what we are like on the inside, and they are the measure God will use to detect our goodness to qualify for Heaven.”

“Do you think you’ll be good enough to enter into Heaven?” Well, to cut a long story short, we went through the Commandments and they all admitted they were liars and thieves… They said, “It’s getting a bit serious, but thanks for telling us.” I said, “Wait, before I go, let me tell you the GOOD NEWS, do you know what God has done so that you won’t go to Hell?” “He sent his Son Jesus Christ to die, as you have said, but it’s not automatic, we’re not all just saved, we’ve got to believe in Him and turn from our sins, seeking His forgiveness, then receive Him as our Lord in this life, before we die.”

I asked them, “Does that make sense to you ladies?”, they said, “Yes it does, thanks so much” I gave them all a card with a dog with big ears (they giggled and thought the dog was cute) and thanked them for listening. They laughed when another member of our team came along and offered them another card…

My friends, Evangelism is FUN if you will just take the risk and share Jesus with folks. They’ll thank you when they see you in Heaven.

From now on I’m going to be sharing Jesus without asking permission. However, there is a balance to this: We should always be gentle and humble in our approach. We should show respect and let people go if they want to end the conversation. It’s just we’ve been a bit too polite for too long, Jesus gave us permission to share, let’s get bolder and share a bit more.

With respect:

Evangelism FEARS:

  • FEAR: Not knowing what to say,
  • FEAR: Not knowing enough,
  • FEAR: Not getting a good reception or being rejected,
  • FEAR: Not getting the response you’d hoped for,

 

It’s not what you know but who you know that you are sharing. You are not sharing KNOWLEDGE but JESUS… Knowledge puffs up,

It’s not the amount that you know, but the greatness of the one whom you have trusted that you must share; Jesus is LORD.

Last night we had a few people on our team who’ve only been Christians a very short while. It was good, because we met a man who’d just come out of prison, who was a new convert to Jesus, but was struggling with smoking and pornography in his life. We were able to share with him, encourage him and pray with him. He was so open and honest and ready to turn to Jesus Christ. As we prayed for him, he began to cry. It’s good to share Jesus!

It’s not about how the message is received, that’s not up to you, your task is to share with EVERYONE. It is NOT dependent upon how it is received. In fact we should share it with those who don’t want to know, because you never know, that SEED that you sow into the soil of their heart may lie dormant for a few years, but after a while, they will be brought back to the that point and remember what you said to them…

Sinners will not come into the LIGHT on their own, they HATE the light, because they know their DEEDS are EVIL… John 3:17-24…

My friends, those sinners are; trapped, bound, blind, deaf and frightened… Have pity on them, and bring the LIGHT of Jesus Christ into their lives by going with Jesus to share the Good News that they can be set free from sin and darkness.

Thought: “Well done, good and faithful servant, but you are only doing what’s right, you don’t deserve praise for doing what you should be doing anyway, but you will be allowed to continue to serve the master even more, because you have proven to be worthy, He will continue to invest in you”

Chicken Feed:

I know today’s teaching is a bit like Chicken Feed: Too many disjointed thoughts, stories and sayings of Jesus. I did it on purpose my friends. Read it again and you’ll see, there’s method in my madness. LOL.

If you’ve ever watched chickens eating, some will eat one kind of grain and leave the others, then another chicken will come and eat the grains left by the others. You take the bit of today’s teaching that applies to your life and let God give you nourishment from it. Amen!

Finally:

Jesus loves you, has a plan for your life, go and share Jesus. He gave you the gift of eternal life freely, so you must give it away freely too. It’s like a precious silver retirement watch, but there is NO retirement in the Kingdom of God, we don’t let the watch wind-down, we keep it wound-up every day and let it tell the time: “Now is the day of Salvation, Now is the day of Repentance, we get one life then we face the judgement. Turn and Believe in Jesus Christ, He’ll give you the gift of life freely”.

  • Jesus offer of LIFE is FREE: But it cost Him His LIFE to give it to us.
  • Jesus offer of LIFE is FREE: But He tells us to take up our Cross Daily and Follow Him…
  • Jesus offer of LIFE is FREE: But He Commands us to Go and share it with others… Share the Good News of Jesus.

Use the FREE GIFT of LIFE Jesus has given to you.

Have an AWESOME Thursday.

Don.

 

How to LIVE in Kingdom Power

recognising our Spiritual Poverty is Key to the Kingdom of Heaven.

Daily Spirit & Word: 754: How To LIVE in Kingdom Power.

“Blessed Are The Poor In Spirit, For Theirs IS the Kingdom of Heaven”.

Recognising our ‘spiritual’ poverty is Key to unlocking the Kingdom of Heaven.

Good morning my friends, I can honestly say, “Yesterday was AWESOME”. It really was, because we had an amazing time of worship, followed by the Community Feast and time at the British Home. God’s power and presence were evident, but this morning the LORD has taken me back, back to KNOWING that without Him I can’t do anything of value for the Kingdom of Heaven. I can’t even walk an inch without the Spirit of God and feel it’s of any value.

Matthew 5:3 (NIV)  “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

This verse has been wrongly interpreted to mean those who are POOR: i.e. the poor people in this world. That is not what this verse is talking about, it’s all about Spiritual Poverty.

That “Blessed are” is not something that might be, it’s not something that could be, that blessedness is something which every truly born again Believer and follower of Jesus has… YOURS IS THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. i.e. You are BLESSED when you recognise your Spiritual POVERTY without Christ or the Holy Spirit’s indwelling.

We cannot be “Blessed are the poor in Spirit” unless we can see that without Holy Spirit we are really poor.

Picture the poor beggars hands, holding palms upwards towards Heaven: That’s how we need to be in our hearts with God, desiring the fullness of Holy Spirit. However, He’s longing to give us what we need.

Why Do We NEED Holy SPIRIT?

Because to become “Blessed are the poor in Spirit”, we must first recognise our POVERTY without the Spirit of God. Also we must come to realise that we NEED the Holy Spirit all the time or we will be weak, without guidance, powerless to do anything of value in the Kingdom and foolish.

  • We are POOR naturally: The man without the Spirit cannot see OR accept the things of God.
  • We are POOR in our natural state as a human being: Because without the SPIRIT we can’t understand the things of God.

1 Corinthians 2:14 (NIV) “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

We really do have a choice as Disciples of Jesus Christ; we can walk in the Spirit or we can walk in the Flesh.

However, when we choose to walk in the flesh, there are dire consequences; DEATH. It’s an experience as though we are dead to the Spiritual realm.

I like what William Barclay said about this verse;

So in verse 14 Paul speaks of the man who is psuchikos. He is the man who lives as if there was nothing beyond physical life and there were no needs other than material needs, whose values are all physical and material. A man like that cannot understand spiritual things. A man who thinks that nothing is more important than the satisfaction of the sex urge cannot understand the meaning of chastity; a man who ranks the amassing of material things as the supreme end of life cannot understand generosity; and a man who has never a thought beyond this world cannot understand the things of God. To him they look mere foolishness (Barclay, Letters to Corinthians, 1975, 28).

We must remember that Paul’s letter is written to Believers, Christians and Followers of Jesus Christ; they had already been ‘born of the Spirit’, but they were living like people who didn’t. They were walking in the power of the Flesh rather than the power of the Spirit and for me the warning comes home, “Donald, you can do that too”… At any moment in time, a true follower of Jesus can walk either in the flesh (human reasoning, desires, feelings, fears, thoughts and imaginations) or we can walk in the power and presence of the Holy Spirit.

  • Let’s look at what a walk in the flesh feels like: Romans 7. Condemned (Feeling Condemned / Death).
  • Let’s look at what a walk inthe Spirit feels like: Romans 8. No Condemnation (Feeling Alive / Life).

Which WALK will you choose today?

Almost as soon as we begin walking in the flesh the things of God become foolishness all over again. We won’t want; fellowship, Bible study, prayer, evangelism, teaching of the Apostles (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts or Romans) or serving Jesus. When we walk in the flesh we will be fleshly.

So my friends, can you see why Jesus, as part of His repeated and often told teachings, which are summarised for us in the Sermon on the Mount, would emphasise this in His major teaching that we call; “The Sermon on the Mount”? For without the Holy Spirit nobody can; know, understand, experience, feel, yield, surrender or love God… Our “Blessedness” comes from the fact that we’ve been drawn to faith and trust in Jesus by the Holy Spirit. It comes from that fact that once we begin to come to Him, we realise that we NEED His forgiveness, we understand that without Him (Holy Spirit) we are just like everyone else in this world.

So we truly are blessed when we recognise our need of God and our POVERTY of Spirit.

Matthew 5:3 (NIV)  “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Why? Because when we KNOW how poor in Spirit we are without God the Holy Spirit’s indwelling, then we will have entered The Kingdom of Heaven.

This promise of the Kingdom of Heaven:

Is not something that happens when we die, it’s our PRESENT CONDITION once we’ve realised our NEED of Holy Spirit.

Matthew 5:3 (NIV)  “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

I hope you can see this, for this teaching in KEY to walking with Jesus, without the Holy Spirit, we’re just walking or trying to live the Christian life in the power of our flesh or human strength and capacity. With the Holy Spirit we very soon realise that we just can’t do it, we are powerless to do anything.

Jesus didn’t just say this once or in one way: It’s the ESSENCE of all of Jesus teaching to His Disciples.

When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness in Luke’s Gospel we read, “He was led by the Spirit into the wilderness” after the temptation of Jesus, “He came out of the wilderness ‘full of the Holy Spirit’… Jesus was showing that to even win just one battle every follower needs to be FULL OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.

To show us how much we need HOLY SPIRIT, before He departed John gives us a few chapters fully explaining HOW the Holy Spirit will EMPOWER everyone who comes to the point of receiving Jesus as Lord. From John 14 to the end of 17… Read and re-read those chapters my friends, you’ll soon discover what Matthew and the Holy Spirit are saying to you today. Matthew 5:3 (NIV)  “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

The Kingdom of Heaven is yours today, if you’ve come to recognise your poverty without the Holy Spirit.

You are in the Kingdom of Heaven NOW if you’ve got Holy Spirit indwelling.

Awesome!

How Jesus Walked and Lived by and in the POWER of the HOLY SPIRIT.

  • The Holy Spirit came upon Jesus at His own baptism. Matthew 3:13-17.
  • The Holy Spirit came upon Jesus at His temptation. Matthew 4:1 and Luke 4:1.

The Holy Spirit departed Jesus, when the sins of the whole world came upon Him on the Cross… That’s why his cry from the cross is one of abandonment,

Matthew 27:45-46 (NIV)
45  From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land.
46  About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”—which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Jesus in those hours upon the Cross, the hours of Darkness between the sixth hour and the ninth hour, He knew the presence of God the Father had gone, the Holy Spirit had at that moment in time had departed Jesus: The Bible tells us “He became SIN for us”… God hates SIN and cannot bear it in His presence… SIN must die, that’s why Jesus died upon the Cross. He took our sins upon Himself and was “FORSAKEN” by God the Father and the Spirit. Sin brings DEATH to our relationship with God. When we walk in the flesh, there is a kind of DEATH feeling that we experience and even as Christians, we can be overcome with a feeling of DREAD. But that’s NOT what the LORD wants my friends, He wants you to experience the full and abundant life, feeling the JOY of the LORD, we’ll get that feeling when we’re walking in the Spirit.

So my friends, the moment we become aware of our NEED (Poverty) of Spirit, then YOURS IS THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. i.e. You are in the Kingdom of Heaven: you’ve become a Citizen of Heaven. From the time I began following Jesus, there have been times when I’ve been POVERTY STRICKEN (Spiritually and Materially). The times I’ve been poverty stricken spiritually, is when I’ve purposefully walked in my flesh instead of in the Spirit.

I’ll never forget the day some of our friends got their UK Passports, they proudly proclaimed, “We are now UK Citizens”…

Oh this is wonderful, for the moment you are in Holy Spirit, your Citizenship has been transferred into the Kingdom of Heaven.

The Holy Spirit is your PASSPORT into the Kingdom.

Matthew 5:3 (NIV)  “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

There are so many times that I’ve found myself walking in the FLESH (Human power and reasoning) rather than the SPIRIT (Holy Spirit empowered walking).

However, when I’ve later realised that I’ve been doing it in my own strength, I’m so thankful, because the Spirit has led me to repentance and to seek His fullness once again. I can walk either as a Citizen of Heaven, The Kingdom of Heaven or as an ordinary Human being, a Citizen of Earth.

There will be times that you too will recognise you’ve been doing it in your own strength and in your own understanding.

We’ve got a choice to make every single day: I can live my life in the Spirit or in the Flesh.

Just because you’ve been born of the Spirit, doesn’t mean you are as full of the Holy Spirit as you can be. There’s always MORE: We need more, we need to be re-filled, refuelled, just like a car that needs to be constantly filled up with petrol, we need to keep going back to the Lord and seeking His fullness again.

Ephesians 5:15-20 (NIV)
15  Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise,
16  making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
17  Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
18  Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.
19  Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord,
20  always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

“Instead, be filled with the Spirit”: This ‘filling’ of the Spirit is not a ONE OFF event, but an ongoing reality.

We are to go on being filled with the Spirit, i.e. all of the time.

Once I held up a sponge that I’d soaked in water, the moment you lift it out of the water, the water pours out of the sponge. So it is with the Spirit, we are to be continually immersed in the Spirit, because the moment we stop being in the Spirit, we’re drained of Holy Spirit power, presence, we’re walking in the flesh.

So can you now see the prime focus of Jesus’ teaching throughout the four Gospels: We NEED the Holy Spirit to do anything of value in the Kingdom, without the Holy Spirit we are POOR (in poverty)… But as soon as we become aware of just how much we need Him; oh how blessed we are.

Matthew 5:3 (NIV)  “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Prayer: Oh LORD Jesus Christ, I realise that without the Holy Spirit, I’m in POVERTY, because I’m walking in the power of my flesh. Please LORD Jesus, send the Holy Spirit afresh into my being today, fill me to overflowing with Your Holy Spirit, I need You Lord. I realise that without You I can’t do anthing of value in the Kingdom, but with you I am in the Kingdom. Help me this day, to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit and to stay full of Holy Spirit. When I am weak help me to recognise that it’s because I am not  as full as I should be or could be. Amen.

Amen.

Have an awesome week in Jesus and full of Holy Spirit. Amen.

Don.

 

How to follow Jesus Daily

living sacrifices crawl off the altar, but with Jesus all things are possible

Daily Spirit & Word: 732: How To Follow Jesus Daily.

Christian, when you think you can’t, remember, in Jesus you can.

Say out loud today a few times: “In Christ I Can”…

Good morning my friends, It’s my day off today, so I thought I’d reflect upon my week so far.

What a weeks it’s been: hard, good, brilliant, tough, sad, moving, challenging, encouraging; and it’s only Thursday  😎

First, it’s a privilege and a joy to serve the Lord, but do we really get a day off?

As a Christian, we don’t want to spend any time away from Jesus, but we all need time off from our labours. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again, it’s better to loose a little bit of money and have a decent amount of time with friends and family, than it is to be rich and exhausted. If we don’t take time to be WITH folks, then our relationship with them will drift apart. We’ve got to MAKE the effort.

Second, it’s a privilege and joy to serve the Lord’s people.

We are more family with them than than our blood family. Out eternal family are closer kin than blood relatives. Why? Because we’ve got the blood of Christ sacrificed for us flowing through our veins. We’re members of God’s holy household and heirs together of His Kingdom. So when we give to our Kingdom Family; time, talents, treasures and loving service, we’re building God’s Kingdom and making those bonds even stronger.

I was reminded about this by our Administrator Amanda, who said, “I’m closer to my Christian family than my earthly family”… Our Christian family will last longer than our earthly family too, because we’ll be together in Heaven.

Don’t get me wrong: I love my earthly family much more now that I’m a Christian than I ever have: How do I love them more? Because I try to demonstrate 1 Corinthian 13 love with them. It’s not always EASY: we need to be patient with ourselves as much as with them.

Third, I’m learning afresh that Sanctification is instant, but transformation takes a lifetime.

We are daily being transformed into the likeness of Christ, but that’s a whole lifetime’s work and we’ll never get there, but should always strive for it, by allowing the Holy Spirit access and inviting His presence to bring it about. We’re made Saints the instant we’re born of the Spirit. Regeneration, like Creation was instant: God spoke and the universe came into being. It was instantaneous. We said “Yes” to Jesus, “I repent of my sins and receive You as my Lord” and instantly we’re born anew of God’s Holy Spirit. However, the old nature dies hard and needs to be put to death every single day.

There is a continual discovery of how we need renewal in our mind: I need my own mind renewed daily, because I can see how my old ways of thinking are not quite put to death.  Romans 12:2 (NIV) “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

There’s STRONG PRESSURE from the world to conform to it’s ways of thinking, to it’s ways of doing, to it’s ways of being. So I need to STAY CLOSE to the LORD Jesus Christ every single day. Only then will I see HOW the world is pulling, tugging, teasing and tempting.

How to stay close to Jesus: Prayer, Word, Praise, Worship, Service, Fellowship, Ministry.

When we get ALL of these in balance in our life, DAILY, then we’ll be able to maintain a close and consistent walk with the LORD. It does take personal effort and daily sacrifice, but it also takes a willingness to allow Holy Spirit access to do the TRANSFORMATION for us, in us and through us.

A wonderful insightful phrase is doing the rounds again. “Living sacrifices crawl off the altar”… i.e. the natural man doesn’t want to die.

Romans 12:1 (NIV) “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.”

Oh yes Lord, “but living sacrifices tend to crawl off the altar”… We make the excuse don’t we? We tell ourselves, “But I’m just human”, well we’re not just human, as Christians we’re both; human and divine, because we’ve been born again into God’s family, that means we’ve got the Holy Spirit living in us, so we are HOLY. We’re not the same as the rest of the people in this world any-longer, we’re transformed into members of God’s own family now and are daily being made new into the likeness of Jesus Christ.

Jesus said it like this; “Take Up your Cross Daily and follow Me”.

Luke 9:23 (ESV) “And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”

We have a daily choice, even on our day off, to follow Jesus or live for self. It’s a daily denial if selfishness or of living life just for Donald.

A thought, which arose at Alpha this week. “If I die to myself, won’t I be lost, won’t I just be some kind of robot?” No my friends, when we die to self and allow the Holy Spirit to rule and reign in our life today, we’ll become more of the person God created us to be.

When you think you can’t do it, when you can’t make it, then remember Jesus’ cross. He did it for YOU! Because He loves you. He’s got ALL you need and more to be a wonderful, successful and vibrant light for Him in this world today.

So dear brothers and sisters in Jesus’ Kingdom family, when you think you can’t do it, remember Jesus Cross and what He’s provided so that you’ll be able to declare boldly; “I CAN DO ALL THINGS (not in my own strength, but) THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS ME”…

Come afresh to Jesus every single day and you’ll KNOW this truth my friends, “In Christ, I CAN”…

I’m going to worship Him NOW! Enjoy your day my friends.

Don.

Some Verses From God’s Word:

These may be helpful for you today:

Philippians 4:13 (ESV)
13  I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)
9  But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Ephesians 3:16 (ANIV)
16  I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,

1 Timothy 1:12 (ESV)
12  I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service,

Falling In LOVE with Jesus:

Some Verses From God’s Word:

These may be helpful for you today:

Philippians 4:13 (ESV)
13  I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)
9  But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Ephesians 3:16 (ANIV)
16  I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,

1 Timothy 1:12 (ESV)
12  I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service,

 

Encouragement: Seeking The LORD: Falling in Love with Jesus.

God’s All Consuming Fire

Elijah and the Prophets of Baal, the fire fell

Daily Spirit & Word: 730: The Fire of The Lord.

Our God is an ALL CONSUMING FIRE.

 

Good morning my friends, today we’ve got the funeral of a little baby boy called Alexander. He’s the son of Anja and Ledeaux. It’s such a horrific, shocking and sad thing, but I’m so glad that the LORD has revealed Himself to me and that I serve the Living God. Because without Him I’d be totally useless and powerless. Our God is rich in mercy, grace, kindness and love. God is GOOD all the time: Even when tragedy strikes.

1 Kings 18:38-39 (NIV)
38  Then the fire of the LORD fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.
39  When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, “The LORD—he is God! The LORD—he is God!”
God’s Prophet Elijah had a contest with the prophets of Baal, it resulted in a great victory for The One True God over the false god Baal. Today God’s Word speaks to us about the fire that ended the contest between Elijah and Baal’s prophets.

But we must remember some things about Elijah, God and False gods:

A) What Prompted The Fire?

Notice first the “Then.” at the beginning of our first verse today. You don’t want to miss this my friends. The fire came after some real devout, heartfelt, sincere and solemn praying by Elijah. Sometimes we lack the fire of God in our own walk with Jesus and in our congregations because we neglect this kind of prayer before the LORD. It seems that many of us are more interested in position, place and promoting our church and our ministry that we are in the consuming earnest and sincere close relationship with the One who gave us it all. As a result of this neglect (Puting God first in all things) we’ve lost the FIRE of God in our lives. Elijah knew how to respond to those jeering jibes of the pesky prophets of Baal. Prompted by the Holy Spirit, he called for a contest to see which God is the true God. Can you imagine a Christian follower of Jesus asking some devotees of other faiths to a prayer meeting to see who’s God is real? What prompted God’s fire to fall was His relationship with Elijah.

B) What Power There Is In The Fire:

Notice secondly how the POWER of God in the fire CONSUMED. “Then the fire of the LORD fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.” Oh my friends, the fire that burned like this is not an ordinary or normal fire that you get when you burn wood.

 

It’s akin to the fireball you get in a nuclear explosion, but it fell on Elijah’s little bundle of wet wood and animal sacrifice.  It was the FIRE of God and it burned-up EVERYTHING: the sacrifice, the wood under the sacrifice, the stones of the altar, the soil around the altar and even the water which Elijah had put in trenches around the altar. It reminds me today that God’s POWER is the SAME POWER that Created the whole UNIVERSE. It’s the power of God that can do amazing, awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping wonders.

 

I think that we all need this power within us today if we are going to do anything worthwhile for God. That same POWER that Jesus and Elijah had within them is AVAILABLE to us, if we just get closer to the Creator. Jesus spent all night in prayer at times, Elijah prayed and the fire fell. The Disciples were in an upper room praying when the tongues of fire fell upon them (Acts 2). I don’t know about you, but I want that FIRE to fall upon me, we don’t need a Sacrifice like Elijah did, because Jesus is our Sacrificial Lamb of God, but we do need the prayer, when we pray as Elijah did, as Jesus did and as the Disciples did, the FIRE will fall upon us too.

C) What More Proof Do We Need?

There was evidence in the fire of God “Then the fire of the Lord fell, and burned up…”

Remember this was a CONTEST: between Elijah’s God and the Prophets of Baal. Elijah said “The God that answered by fire would be the true God.” However, because Baal is not a god at all, he could not answer with fire, but  Elijah’s God could because there is NO OTHER God.

Imagine having such a contest today? So many people are looking for this kind of evidence to believe in God today. “Let me win the Lottery, then I’ll believe in you”… “Show me yourself first, then I’ll believe in you” … Why doesn’t God just show Himself? If He did, then everyone will respond in the way they did in our second verse today: “When all the people saw this (the all consuming fire), they fell prostrate and cried, “The LORD—he is God! The LORD—he is God!”

We don’t get this PHYSICAL kind of evidence because God gives us something else: FAITH to BELIEVE. However, our FAITH is just as strong an evidence as the FIRE:

Many times God has given us such proof that Elijah’s fire and the Resurrected LORD gave:

Acts 1:3 (NIV) “After his suffering, he (Jesus) showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.”

Jesus gave convincing proofs: There’s PROOF or EVIDENCE enough for me and you today: We don’t NEED to see God to KNOW, the fire still comes when we exercise the gift of FAITH, then we’ll KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt. What more PROOF do we need? Answer: NONE, because Jesus in me is ENOUGH evidence. But when we know Jesus and stay close to Jesus (John 15), then the FIRE can fall.

D) God’s Pity Is In That FIRE:

Notice that “The fire of the Lord fell, and burned up; the sacrifice . . . wood . . . stones . . . dust . . . water.”

Did you notice that THE FIRE of the LORD did not burn up the people? It was EVERYTHING but the PEOPLE.

This reminds me today of God’s AMAZING GRACE and MERCY: How He has had pity on mankind, not to BURN US, because He, God, could justifiably burn up those people back in Elijah’s day and all of us today. However, instead of the fire burning them it BURNED up everything but the people. Equally, God could easily BURN all of us, but in His richest grace and mercy He has spared us and let the fire of His wrath and anger against sin fall upon His One and Only Son.

Jesus took our punishment for us: He died so that we don’t need to face the final fiery furnace of God’s wrath and anger. Our God is an ALL CONSUMING FIRE, but He’s waiting patiently for the right number of people to REPENT, then His final FIRE will fall. (2 Peter 3).

2 Peter 3:3-9 (NIV) God’s Patience.
3  First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.
4  They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.”
5  But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water.
6  By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed.
7  By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.
8  But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.
9  The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

Why wait, let’s fall on our faces and declare today as they did

“The LORD, He is God… The LORD, He is God”… Amen!

Don’t let his consuming fire fall on you, but the wonderful FIRE of the Holy Spirit.

Don.

 

Why Did Jesus Die On The Cross?

Sharing the Good News with Graham on Good Friday

Daily Spirit & Word: 711: Why Did Jesus Need To Die?

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free”

He came to set us free from sin, self, Satan, God’s wrath and the Judgement to come.
Without Jesus Christ’s death upon the Cross, we’d still be; in our sins, rulled by self, slaves to Satan and sin, objects of God’s wrath and anger against sin and ripe for His Holy Judgement to come.

If we submit to Christ as Lord and turn from sin and experience His Salvation: Then we’ll escape and be set completely free.

Galatians 5:1 (NIV) “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”

Enslaved: Yesterday, before we set out on the Good Friday Walk of Witness, I arrived early at church to pick up the crosses we carry and was waiting for David and John who’d agreed to carry them. As I waited there was a man who’d arrived to get some food at the Foodbank. He was a regular visitor, but I’d never shared the Gospel with him before. We’d been chatting about lots of normal stuff, the weather, the sunshine, winter and Springtime being his favourite time of the year. I asked him if he knew what day it was. He looked puzzled and said, “It’s Friday?” I said, “Yes but what Friday?” He said, “Foodbank Friday”… We both laughed our loud. I asked, “Graham, were you aware that today is one of the most holy days in the Christian year? It’s called Good Friday, do you know why?” He answered, “Oh yes, that’s when Jesus died on the Cross”…
“Do you know why Jesus died Graham?” I asked. He said, “I don’t know, it was a cruel thing to do, because I know that Jesus was a good man”…
I said, “Jesus died for you and me Graham, He took our place on the Cross, but do you know why?” He said, “I don’t know why Jesus would die for me”…
Then I took Graham through God’s Commandments one by one, it was at that point in our conversation that David arrived. Then we both continued to witness to Graham. I think I was on the 3rd Commandment by that stage. “Blasphemy: Taking the Lord’s Holy Name and using it as a swear word: Saying OMG or Jesus in a conversation when you are not praying to Him, but using it instead of a swear word”

Do you know what Graham said?, “I’d never do that, I’d never Blaspheme Jesus or God”… He was blissfully unaware that he’d been doing it from the moment that I met him and began talking with him. So I gently pointed it out to him and he was genuinely shocked. He said, “So I’ve been blaspheming when I say Jesus Christ or Jesus H Christ or Jesus?” I said, “Yes Graham, it’s using God’s Name in an unholy way”…

You know some people, trying to be nice, think that saying “Jesus Christ” or “Jesus” is better than saying F—k or Sh-t… it’s less offensive and you can get away with it, but it’s taking the Holy Name of God and using it as a swear word. It’s taking the God who gave you life and bringing Him down to an disgusting level of a dirty swear word. That’s why it’s Blasphemy. You know that Commandment? Exodus 20:7 (NIV) “You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name. “

David and I led Graham to an awareness of his need for Jesus Christ on Good Friday. We encouraged him to turn from his sin in repentance, letting go of sin and trusting in Jesus, and be saved from God’s wrath to come. To trust in Jesus and His love, when He gave His life upon the Cross, taking our place and dying for us. Graham thanks us for showing him why Jesus needed to die upon the Cross. Yesterday was a Good Friday for Graham.

We then picked up the Crosses and walked to Tulse Hill to meet everyone for the walk of witness. It brought fresh meaning to Jesus statement and command, “Take up your Cross daily and follow Me”…

Have an AWESOME Easter Weekend.
Note: Graham was enslaved by sin and he didn’t even realise it. There are so many, countless thousands, who are unaware of their need of Jesus Christ. They are trapped in all kinds of sin and wickedness that offends a Holy and Righteous God, they are storing up His wrath for the Day of Judgement. They don’t know why Jesus needed to die upon the Cross, but it was for our FREEDOM that Christ has set us free. Jesus wants to set people free today. So let’s be prepared at all times to share the Greatest News they are ever likely to hear, they’ll thank you when they meet you in Heaven.

Praise the LORD for Gospel conversations.

Praise the LORD for Good Friday

What a walk of witness too, so many came from all over West Norwood, Dulwhich and Tulse Hill. I’m praying now that next year we’ll have to close off the road because of the multitude of souls walking for Jesus. Amen!
Don.

Foolishness of D.I.Y. Faith

Boast ONLY in the Cross of Jesus Christ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have an awesome weekend with Jesus my friends.

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

Don.

 

Jesus Birth Brings God to Men

The Blessings of Christmas Jesus is God

Daily Spirit & Word: 658: The Birth of Jesus Christ.

“The Birth Of Christ Brings God To Man.

The Cross Of Christ Brings Man to God.”

Good morning my friends, it’s quiet, dark and cold at last, perhaps we’ll have a white Christmas? Who knows? However, it’s been a wonderful lead-up to Christmas again this year; Sunday was mega-Brilliant; With a Thanksgiving Service for two young boys, Louis and Lamar. One of whom shares a Birthday with Jesus, because Louis was born on Christmas Day. After church my wife Julie had cooked a Turkey Dinner for my sons Richard and Joe, his wife Laura and my daughter Stephanie with six of our grandchildren; only six of them 🙂 Then after dinner it was another Carol Service at the British Home for the residents. Then we had our Annual Christmas Carol Service, with Nativity Scene, Bible Readings and finally a procession of the Christingles. Lifting our lights we sang the wonders and joy of Jesus birth.
Luke 2:11 “Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.”

Jesus Birth Brings GOD to MEN:

You know my friends, I just LOVE Christmas: Lights, Trees, Presents, Family, Friends, Food: but most importantly, what it’s all about FAITH.
My friend Glyn Cotterell from Cornwall has summed it all up very well, and I couldn’t put it better; “The birth of Christ brought God to man; the cross of Christ brings man to God.” The Lord God, through His One and ONLY Son, Jesus Christ, has done everything He can to make everything all-right again between Himself and mankind.
  • Christmas: The Saviour Comes.
  • Easter: The Saviour Dies.
  • Easter: The Saviour Rises from the DEAD.
  • Ascension: The Saviour Returns into Heaven.
  • Pentecost: The Power Comes: The Comforter Comes: The Holy Spirit for those who put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ. He is the one who leads us through the proclamation of the Gospel, to faith in Jesus. Then He enables us to exercise that faith and trust in Jesus for Salvation. He’s not finished yet though, because the Holy Spirit then comes again into the life, heart and soul of every follower of Jesus and gives us the New Birth. When we’re born again of God the Holy Spirit, we can then live in His POWER to bring glory back to Jesus Christ and God the Father. 
My friends, God has done everything to lead men, women and children to be able to have faith and to trust in Jesus Christ for Salvation, New Life and Eternal Life. Christmas really IS Awesome.
It my hope and prayer that you will have a great time with family, friends, and fellow believers, but most of all with Jesus Christ this Christmas.

After all is said and done; it’s HIS Birthday.

What present could you give the Saviour? What’s the best present you can give Him?
  • Not your money, though He needs you to be using that to build His Kingdom.
  • Not your time, though He needs you to be serving Him every day.
  • Not your talents, though He needs you to be using them for His glory.
  • No my friends, the BEST Christmas Gift that you can give to Jesus is YOU.
Why? Because that’s why Jesus came: For you.
Why? Because that’s why Jesus died: For you.
Let’s be sure, we’ve responded to the GOSPEL of Jesus Christ this Christmas.
If you’ve wandered away from the faith, then come right back to Jesus today, because He came for you.
If you’re still wondering what all the fuss is about, then take a few moments to read carefully some of the traditional Christmas Carols; you will see clearly the reasons the Saviour had to come: He came for you.
I’ll go back to the great Gospel Christmas Carol: “In the Bleak Mid-Winter”.
The last verse;
“What can I give Him, Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a wise man, I would do my part;
Yet what can I give Him – Give my heart.”
Praise be to the LORD God our Heavenly Father, Who sent His Son Jesus to bring God to men, then by allowing His Son to die upon the Cross, He made a way that is open to bring folks back to Himself.
What a glorious Christmas we can have with Jesus.
Happy, Glorious and Blessed Christmas and New Year to Everyone.
Don.
P.S. I’d like to take this opportunity to say THANKS to everyone who’s helped in the ministry and life of St Luke’s Church. Too many wonderful brothers and sisters in the Lord to name everyone here: You KNOW who you are! Jesus has been lifted up and the Gospel proclaimed. Many have been touched by Heaven and have come to faith and trust in the Saviour throughout the year. I’m looking forward to another year of serving my King Jesus and some wonderful fellowship with you all. Be blessed, stay blessed and keep close to Jesus in the power of the Spirit. Blessings and JOY in the LORD for 2016.
The VERSE from God’s WORD that is speaking to me: 2 Corinthians 8:9 “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.”
May you KNOW the riches of God’s mercy more and more in 2016.
May you KNOW the fullness of the Spirit in 2016.
May you BE filled with His compassion and LOVE.
May you Experience the JOY of leading many to Jesus in 2016.
May you be so full of Him that you SHINE for His glory.
2016 is Going to BE a Blessed Year: You are RICH in Christ Jesus.
Don.

Christian Harvest Celebrations

Harvest, Feasts, Jewish Israelite Feasts,

Daily Spirit & Word 602:

The Real Reasons For The Harvest Celebrations.

The Seven Jewish Feasts

Thousands of years ago God told the Jews to celebrate the harvest, today we discover the real reasons why He did so.

The Israelite / Jewish year was punctuated by different festivals – these were called “Feasts of the Lord”.

Some festivals were timed to coincide with the changing seasons of the year. They were for reminding God’s chosen people about His amazing provision for them, but they were also a way of enabling the Jews to offer something back to God as a way of thanking Him for the great generosity and grace. There were other festivals in the Jewish year that celebrated some of the great events of Israel’s history: Passover, Tabernacles, Pentecost: these festivals helped the Jews to continually remember all the ways that God Almighty had miraculously intervened to help the chosen people in times of great distress and need.

The Jewish Feasts Are:

Beginning in the spring, the seven Jewish feasts are;

Passover: Reminding the Jews about the night the Angel of Death passed over Egypt and because they had the blood of the lamb painted on the door-posts and lintel of their homes they were saved. Whilst during this last of the Ten Plagues of Egypt the firstborn of the Egyptian children died.

Passover reminds followers of Jesus (God’s One and Only Son) and about how He brought our Salvation from sin.

It was the time when Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, was offered as an atoning sacrifice for our sins to save us and give us life everlasting. It is on that basis alone that God can justify the ungodly sinner.

Just as the blood of a lamb sprinkled on the doorpost of the Jewish homes caused the Spirit of the Lord to pass over those homes during the last plague on Egypt (Exodus 12), so those who have been covered by the blood of the Lamb will escape the spiritual death and judgement of God. He will judge everyone that rejects Him by sinning: and all have sinned and fallen short of God’s Holy Standards (Rom 3:23). All will receive their due payment for sin (Rom 6:23).

So my friends, of all the Jewish festivals, Passover is the greatest and most important, and so it is with Christians, because at Passover we also remember what happened to Him: What He also taught during His last Passover meal on the earth (Matthew 26:17–27). In passing the bread and the wine Jesus was telling the disciples to eat of His body and drink His blood (not literally, but symbolically), Jesus was presenting Himself as the ultimate Passover Lamb. His blood shed upon the cross is like the blood sprinkled on the doorpost and lintel and only His shed blood can save us from sin.

Unleavened Bread: The day after Passover, the Jews got rid of all yeast from their homes. It was to remind them of their escape from Egypt and the fact that they couldn’t allow the time for the yeast to infect the whole lump of dough. Now for Christians it’s a reminder of how sin can spread in our life. Jesus gave warning about the “Yeast of the Pharisees” (Matthew 16:6). And the Apostle Paul also wrote about how sin can spread in our lives like yeast (1 Corinthians 5:6-8 and Galatians 5:9).

Feast of Firstfruits: After the feast of unleavened bread, Firstfruits was celebrated to remind God’s Chosen People of His provision of the Promised Land: A fertile land flowing with milk and honey. For us as followers of Jesus it’s a reminder of Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead: How He is the firstfruits of those who’ve died and one day the promise of our resurrection from the dead to eternal life with Him forever (1 Corinthians 15).

Feast of Weeks: (Pentecost).

The Feast of Weeks was 50 days after the Firstfruits and was to be celebrated the end of the grain harvest (the Greek word Pentecost means “fiftieth”). The main focus of the festival was gratitude to God for His provision.

For followers of Jesus this feast reminds us of the fulfilment of Jesus’ promise to send “another helper” (John 14:16) who would indwell believers and empower them for ministry. Pentecost: Was the Day when this coming of the Holy Spirit 50 days after Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, it was also guaranteed (Ephesians 1:13–14) that the promise of salvation and future resurrection will come to pass. The indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit in every born-again believer is what seals us in Jesus Christ and enables / empowers us to witness to others, He also reveals Jesus and confirms us in our walk with Him. He witnesses with our spirit that we are indeed “joint heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:16–17). It is by the Holy Spirit that we know that God is indeed our Father and we are members of His Holy Family forever. (Romans 8:15).

Feast of Trumpets: This is an amazing Feast for the Jews and for all who follow Christ today.

The Feast of Trumpets was commanded to be held on the first day of the seventh month and was to be a “day of trumpet blast” (Numbers 29:1)

Also in Leviticus 23:23-25. 

23 The LORD said to Moses, 24  “Say to the Israelites: ‘On the first day of the seventh month you are to have a day of rest, a sacred assembly commemorated with trumpet blasts. 25  Do no regular work, but present an offering made to the LORD by fire.’ ” 

God loved using Trumpets at Important times: Remember how Joshua won the battle of Jericho? The walls came tumbling down; judgement had come and God’s enemies were to be defeated.

God loving heart is always to warn people before He executes His judgment. God warned the people before the Flood, and He warned Niniveh before it was ruined. He warned the Israelites long before they were sent into Exile in Babylon and Syria. The Feast of Trumpets reflects God’s desire to call out to us, to summon His chosen people to come in repentance so that He can save them all from His wrath and anger against sin on the day of His judgement. He warns people today through the proclamation / preaching of the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. God’s love is made clear, that He doesn’t want anyone to perish but all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). See also Matthew 24:31

Feast of Trumpets, in September each year, was to commemorate the end of the Israelite agricultural year..

For the followers of Jesus: The Feast of Trumpets signifies the second coming of the LORD. We see trumpets associated with His second coming in verses like 1 Thessalonians 4:16, “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.” Of course, the sounding of the trumpet also indicates the pouring out of God’s wrath on the earth in the book of Revelation. So this feast of Trumpets points toward the coming Day of the Lord.

When God blows His Trumpet next: Those who’ve trusted in Jesus Christ will be taken away to be with their LORD. But those who’ve yet to trust in Jesus will await His coming judgement.

Matthew 24:30-31 30  “At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory.

31  And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

Day of Atonement: (Yom Kippur) The Day of Atonement occurs just ten days after the Feast of Trumpets. The Day of Atonement was the day the high priest went into the Holy of Holies each year to make an offering for the sins of Israel.

Leviticus 23:26-32
26 The LORD said to Moses,
27  “The tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. Hold a sacred assembly and deny yourselves, and present an offering made to the LORD by fire.
28  Do no work on that day, because it is the Day of Atonement, when atonement is made for you before the LORD your God.
29  Anyone who does not deny himself on that day must be cut off from his people.
30  I will destroy from among his people anyone who does any work on that day.
31  You shall do no work at all. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live.
32  It is a sabbath of rest for you, and you must deny yourselves. From the evening of the ninth day of the month until the following evening you are to observe your sabbath.”

Once a year on the Day of Atonement: The Only Day the High Priest could enter the Holy of Holies (Just once a year). This shows the importance of coming into God’s presence and the seriousness of sin. Two Goats were taken: one to be killed and it’s blood sprinkled on the Ark of the Covenant. The other to be released into the wilderness with the sins of the people upon it’s head. (Leviticus 16:1-34)

The significance of the Atonement Sacrifice for the followers of Jesus Christ today:
The sufficiency and completeness of the sacrifice of Christ is also seen in the two goats.
The blood of the first goat was sprinkled on the ark, ritually appeasing the wrath of God for another year.
The second goat removed the sins of the people into the wilderness where they were forgotten and no longer clung to the people.

Sin is both propitiated (made peace with) and expiated (made amends for) God’s way—only by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross.

Propitiation is the act of appeasing the wrath of God, while expiation is the act of atoning for sin and removing it from the sinner. Both together are achieved eternally by Christ.

When He sacrificed Himself on the cross, He appeased God’s wrath against sin, taking that wrath upon Himself: “Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!” (Romans 5:9).

The removal of sin by the second goat was a living parable of the promise that God would remove our transgressions from us as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12) and that He would remember them no more (Hebrews 8:12; 10:17).

Jews today still celebrate the annual Day of Atonement, which falls on different days each year in September-October, traditionally observing this holy day with a 25-hour period of fasting and intensive prayer, often spending most of the day in synagogue services.

Christians don’t need to celebrate this feast, because Jesus has forever made Atonement for our Sins. Think of Atonement like this: At One With God: At-one-ment… Jesus death means we can be AT ONE with God. We are made clean by His blood and set free from sin forever.

Feast of Tabernacles: The Feast of Tabernacles takes place on the 15th of the Hebrew month Tishri. This was the seventh month on the Hebrew calendar and usually occurs in late September to mid-October. The feast begins five days after the Day of Atonement and at the time the Autumn harvest had just been completed. It was a time of joy filled celebration as the Israelites remembered God’s continued provision for them in the harvests and also His provision and protection during the 40 years wandering in the wilderness.

Leviticus 23:33-44 Tabernacles & Harvest Celebrations.

33 The LORD said to Moses,

34  “Say to the Israelites: ‘On the fifteenth day of the seventh month the LORD’S Feast of Tabernacles begins, and it lasts for seven days.
35  The first day is a sacred assembly; do no regular work.
36  For seven days present offerings made to the LORD by fire, and on the eighth day hold a sacred assembly and present an offering made to the LORD by fire. It is the closing assembly; do no regular work.
37  (” ‘These are the LORD’S appointed feasts, which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies for bringing offerings made to the LORD by fire—the burnt offerings and grain offerings, sacrifices and drink offerings required for each day.
38  These offerings are in addition to those for the LORD’S Sabbaths and in addition to your gifts and whatever you have vowed and all the freewill offerings you give to the LORD.)
39  ” ‘So beginning with the fifteenth day of the seventh month, after you have gathered the crops of the land, celebrate the festival to the LORD for seven days; the first day is a day of rest, and the eighth day also is a day of rest.
40  On the first day you are to take choice fruit from the trees, and palm fronds, leafy branches and poplars, and rejoice before the LORD your God for seven days.
41  Celebrate this as a festival to the LORD for seven days each year. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come; celebrate it in the seventh month.
42  Live in booths for seven days: All native-born Israelites are to live in booths
43  so that your descendants will know that I made the Israelites live in booths when I brought them out of Egypt. I am the LORD your God.’ “

44  So Moses announced to the Israelites the appointed feasts of the LORD.

ALL The Jewish / Israelite FEASTS:

God’s Chosen People: Glorify God.

The Jewish feasts are closely related to Israel’s Spring and Autumn harvests and agricultural seasons. They were to remind the Israelites each year of God’s ongoing: powerful presence, protection and provision. How God will provide a way for His chosen people to be cleansed from their sins and eventually to be Saved and spend all Eternity in His presence.

Some were occasions of joy and celebration reflecting on all the good things that God had given to and done for his people. Some were times of self examination and repentance, where the people could come close to their Creator God and ask for forgiveness and cleansing.

We know that they were never intended to be observed out of mere formality and empty ritual. The prophets warned the people against reducing all these festivals to that level. In fact there came a time when God declared that He hated their ‘religious’ observance of ritual and sacrifice and offering: Because their hearts were not in it. The real purpose was spiritual – a great and glorious meeting together with God and His people. That is all that God has ever wanted and commanded: a close relationship with those that He’s created.

It’s amazing how Jesus Christ not only fulfilled God’s will revealed through the Old Testament Prophets, but also how it was fulfilled in time: during the most important and significant FEASTS of the Jews, God’s Chosen People. It was a witness to them that Jesus Christ was indeed their Messiah. And for all followers of Jesus Christ today it signifies God’s omnipotent and complete control of times and seasons and history, how He is always working in the Seasons of our Life.

God is calling all people today to trust in His awesome provision of a way to enable us all to draw near to Him for all eternity. It can only happen through His One and Only Son: Jesus Christ, who shed His precious life-blood upon the cross, the symbolic doorpost and lintel of our hearts. All God requires of us, is that we turn from going our own sinful ways and to His Son for forgiveness, cleansing and empowerment through His Holy Spirit to live a regenerated NEW LIFE in Jesus.

 

Weakness, Fear & Trembling: Brixton Street Evangelism.

Rush Hour Evangelism

Daily Spirit & Word: 598: Weakness Fear & Trembling.

Street Evangelism in Busy Brixton Tonight.

Good morning my friends, we’re going out tonight to share the Good News of Jesus Christ in Brixton, London. We’re going at ‘rush hour’, the busiest time of the week. Friday’s in London are manic, but there will be thousands of people. Some will want to stop and talk, but the vast majority will be either in a hurry to get home or on their way out for an evening of weekend fun. Brixton is busy because it’s a hub and junction for so many journeys across London.

How Did Paul Go Out?

1 Corinthians 2:1-5 “When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. 2  For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3  I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. 4  My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5  so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.”

  • He went with: Weakness: 
  • He went with: Fear: 
  • He went with: Trembling: 

Weakness: Paul knew that in and of himself he could do NOTHING. When we recognise our powerlessness to convert a single soul without God’s Holy Spirit, we’re recognising our utter and complete weakness. We need the Lord with us, thankfully He’s promised not only to be with us, but to go before us to touch hearts and prepare them for the Gospel.

FEAR: Whenever we decide to do something for the Lord, Satan hates it and you’ll begin to feel FEAR rising within your heart and soul. It is especially true of Evangelism and sharing the Good News with those who don’t yet know the Lord. It’s amazing, you can be talking about all sorts of things, but the moment you begin to think about changing the subject to ‘spiritual’ things as a stepping stone to sharing the Gospel, FEAR will raise it’s ugly head.

It’s OK to be afraid, but don’t let that FEAR stop you. Pray out loud so the Devil can hear you. Get God’s Holy Spirit in you. Seek the fullness and He’ll come. Sometimes you’ll only notice that Jesus is with you when you actually open your mouth to speak. It’s amazing! He’ll give you words, wisdom and power when you are obedient to His Command to share the Gospel.

TREMBLING: It’s related to the FEAR: What if they don’t listen to me? What if I look foolish? What if they get angry? Etc etc etc…. All these thoughts will assail the mind of the person about to share Jesus Christ. You know something my friends, I get this FEAR and sometimes pannic attacks every time I’ve determined to share Jesus; and I’ve shared the Gospel thousands of times. You’d think that it would get easier as time goes on: Well it does actually, because with experience and persistence, you KNOW that Jesus Christ is with you and the Holy Spirit actually uses you to bring someone to the Lord. You’ll observe Him at work. We’re working together to bring in the Lost Sheep. However, the FEAR and Trembling still come, you just get used to it and KNOW: Ahhhh Satan’s taking note that we’re about to share Jesus. He hates it, but Jesus loves it and the Devil is no match for the Lord.

Put ON THE ARMOUR OF CHRIST:

We’ve found that taking a few moments to consider the meaning of the armour enables us to KNOW the Lord’s provision for the Battles when sharing the Gospel.

Ephesians 6:10-20
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.
14  Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled round your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,
15  and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
16  In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
17  Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18  And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
19  Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel,
20  for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

Once you’ve got the Gospel Armour on and Open your mouth to proclaim the Gospel, the BOLDNESS will come.

Why? Because you are weak, but the LORD is strong: “Be strong in the Lord and in His Mighty Power”…. We NEED the FULL ARMOUR, not just a part of it:

  • Helmet of Salvation: We KNOW that we are SAVED by Jesus. Not by our own goodness or good works.
  • BELT OF TRUTH: Know the truth and the truth will set you FREE: Jesus is the TRUTH. Knowing Jesus is KEY.
  • BREASTPLATE of RIGHTEOUSNESS: We’re righteous in Christ, not self-righteous, it’s His goodness that makes us acceptable to God.
  • Gospel Shoes: A readiness to share the Good News of Jesus: We’re going out to do that tonight. We’re putting our Gospel shoes on this morning :-)… Getting READY.
  • SHIELD of FAITH: Faith is your TRUST in the Lord: The Devil will attack you in all sorts of ways, but with the Shield up, you’ll be protected from all his fiery attacks.
  • The Sword of the Spirit: The Word of God: It’s a powerful weapon, the only weapon we take with us as we share Jesus. It cuts right to the bone. The core of a person’s being. We’ve actually seen proud mouths shut by the Word of God. It’s awesome!
  • Prayer In The Spirit: We get filled with the Spirit and Pray In The Spirit.
  • BE ALERT: Even as we share, we can’t let our guard down. The Devil doesn’t stop. He’s out to discourage us every moment we’re on the Lord’s business. Watch out for His evil schemes. Sometimes He’ll try and distract us, send red-herrings along to keep us tied up and prevent us from reaching the one’s Jesus is preparing. Be alert to His schemes and be prepared to move at the impulse of the Spirit.

Proclaiming Jesus: We NEED:

His Presence, Power, Provision & Protection.

Will YOU Go OUT to Share Jesus Today?

So if you’d like to come with Jesus and in the power of the Spirit, you’re going to see how the Lord won / wins people, we’re going to go out tonight to do it the way that Jesus did: First we’ll pray, seek the fullness of the Spirit, ask Him to guide us to those whom He’s been preparing, we’ll be listening for His guidance as we’re broadcasting the Good News.

Pray for us if you can’t come. We need your prayers. Pray that people will come to faith and trust in Jesus Christ.

We give out tracts and bibles and booklets: However our main objective is not to just give out tracts, but to engage people in conversation that might lead to sharing the Gospel with them.

We Pray for People: Sometimes the Lord leads us to offer prayer, and we’ve seen Him touch many people as we pray for them. Often this leads to an openness to the Gospel when they feel the touch of the King.

We Receive From the LORD: Whenever we go out to share about Jesus, the Lord does something wonderful in our hearts too. Because as we share, our knowledge of all the good things that we’ve received from the Lord is increased. WOWzer! What a blessing it is to be filled afresh with the deeper knowledge of Christ our Saviour. It’s a supernatural knowledge that you’ll get in no other way. Philemon 1:6.

Philemon 1:6 “I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.”

(Tracts, Bibles and Booklets: These cost money; at the moment I fund this, but some brothers and sisters, who feel they can’t go out, like to be able to contribute and be a part of this mission. If God is calling you to support Evangelism, then you can give through our Church and tell the Administrator that you’d like to give towards the Evangelism Outreach Team).

Have an AWESOME Weekend my Friends,

In Jesus,

Don.

 

It’s Just Too Good to be True

Joy in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Evidence of Belief in Others:

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

The KEY: That UNLOCKS Hearts:

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

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

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

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

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

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

FAITH to believe; but believe what?

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

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

Have an awesome Tuesday with Jesus your Saviour.

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

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

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

Don.