The foolishness of the Cross of Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word 549:

The Foolishness of The Cross:

The CROSS MEANS Many Things:

It’s often surprising how many times the Cross comes up in our daily life. But first as I spoke yesterday in church on this subject, I asked the children to come to the front, I’d set up an¬†easel with a flip-chart pad, with pre-drawn pages. Once they were all in position I asked if they’d ever played the game of “Arm-Wrestling”?. Most people had at one time in their life. I asked how many people had won and they all put their hands in the air. Then I asked the children, picking on the smallest child, “If I were to arm-wrestle her, who would win?” They said, “You would” I said “Why?” answer, “Because you are bigger”… Then I asked, who’d win against God??? “No one would!” It’s amazing, but kids just KNOW ūüôā

Bible Reading:

The Text from the Bible for Sunday was;

1 Corinthians 1:18-25 
18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
19 ¬†For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”
20  Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
21  For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.
22  Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom,
23  but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling-block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,
24  but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
25 ¬†For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.

Let’s Look at some ways the Cross is used in daily life and what it can mean.

1) Sums: (Mathematics, Arithmetic, Problems)

I shared with the kids that at school, I was brilliant at mathematics. I had some example problems on the board: 3+5=???? I’d left the answers blank. I ask the kids if they knew the answer to keep quiet, they were all bursting to shout it out. ¬†Getting them wrong in School meant getting a red cross next to the answer. I said, “My teacher loved me in school when I was five, she used to put big red corsses next to my answers, the cross means a kiss.” The kids said, “No! It’s because you were wrong”. I pretended I didn’t know. They loved it.

I said, later on I discovered that the RED X on my schoolwork was indeed because I was WRONG.

It’s funny that, the X means we’re wrong.

We’ve ALL Sinned. All Broken God’s¬†Commandments (by lying, stealing, being disobedient to our parents).

Romans 3:23 (NIV) “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”

2) LOVE: Valentines Card:

Next: I said, “Later on in life, I knew that the X mean love, because there was a Valentines Card with my name on it, it said; Roses are red, violets are blue, this world feels much better, because Donald, I’ve fallen in love with you” I explained, there were lots of Crosses: Which really did mean Kisses.

A message of love to the one you love: The Cross on a Valentines means “I LOVE YOU”.

Kiss, Kiss, Kiss,

Do you know that the Cross of Jesus Christ is like God’s Valentines Card to you?

God’s saying, “I love you, I love you, I LOVE YOU”.

  • Even though you’ve done wrong:¬†Romans 5:8¬†But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
  • There is NO greater love than God’s LOVE:¬†John 15:13¬†13¬†¬†Greater love has no-one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
  • 1 Peter 3:18¬†“For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit,”
  • How We KNOW He LOVES US:¬†1 John 3:16¬†“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.”
  • God LOVES the whole world:¬†John 3:16¬† “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

“Can you see everyone: The Cross can mean your: Wrong, and it can mean LOVE: but God LOVES you.”

3) Treasure Map:

Here’s another meaning of the Cross: Treasure:

X marks the spot of the Treasure on a Pirate’s Map. (We spent a bit of time talking about Treasure Maps).

Jesus is the TREASURE of the CROSS.

Because of Jesus Death:

  • We get to go to Heaven.
  • We get the Holy Spirit.
  • We get Jesus living in our hearts.
  • We are given Holy Spirit Gifts to use in the world.

(BTW: The children came up with these answers on their own).

4) Voting Time. (The X Marks Decision).

At voting time, when we choose the Government, we’ve got a choice to make: Which Party Will We Support?

In the UK:¬†Con, Lab, Lib-Dem, UKIP etc… (BTW Labour won in Church yesterday).

In Greece yesterday it was “Yes” or “No”.

We’ve got to put our X in the Box of our choice.

Cross: of Jesus: Means that You’ve got ¬†A¬†DECISION¬†to make.

John 1:12 (NIV) “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God‚ÄĒ”

Revelation 3:20 (NIV) “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.”

It’s so strange: The Cross can¬†mean; we’re wrong, God loves us, there is treasure at the Cross of Jesus, but to discover all of that, we’ve got to make a decision for Jesus.

Have you put your X in the Spot for Jesus?

I finished with this QUESTION: “Do you want more of God’s POWER in your life?” and “Remember; God’s foolishness is wiser than man’s strongest wisdom”.

We stood in prayer and asked God for more of His Power, Presence and Wisdom, to enable us to live the life that He’s called us to live.

Have an awesome week with the power of God’s love in your hearts.

Don.

P.S. Read first Corinthians chapter 1 in context.

1 Corinthians 1:1-17
1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes,
2 ¬†To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ‚ÄĒtheir Lord and ours:
3  Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
4 I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus.
5 ¬†For¬†in him you have been enriched¬†in every way‚ÄĒin all your speaking and in all your knowledge‚ÄĒ
6  because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you.
7  Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed.
8  He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9  God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.
10 I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.
11 ¬†My brothers, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you.
12 ¬†What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.”
13  Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptised into the name of Paul?
14  I am thankful that I did not baptise any of you except Crispus and Gaius,
15  so no-one can say that you were baptised into my name.
16 ¬†(Yes, I also baptised the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptised anyone else.)
17 ¬†For Christ did not send me to baptise, but to preach the gospel‚ÄĒnot with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.

 

 

Dare You To Be A Disciple

Following Jesus means self-sacrifice and a cross

Daily Spirit & Word: 543: Dare You To Be A Disciple.

The Kingdom Power To Deny Self.

“Lord I need Your fullness to help me to live like Jesus. Come Holy Spirit” Amen.

Good morning my friends, I’m feeling a lot stronger today and my back is well on the way to recovery. Praise the LORD! Last night, just before we went out to share the Gospel on the streets of West Norwood in London, some brothers and sisters were praying for me and my back felt much better afterwards. Then we had the most amazing time witnessing on the streets about the Lord Jesus. It was weird last night, because we bumped into more Christians than normal, but what struck me is what they said, “We also share our faith regularly”… Praise the LORD! More and more followers of Jesus are waking up to the fact that the UK IS a Mission Field and the Gospel needs to be proclaimed afresh in every generation until the Lord comes back again.

In the reading below I’m excited about the fact that some of those who were standing in the crowd would SEE the KINGDOM of God before they died. My friends, you too can and will experience the Kingdom with Jesus.

Luke 9:23-27 (NLT)
23  Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me.
24  If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.
25  And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but are yourself lost or destroyed?
26  If anyone is ashamed of me and my message, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in his glory and in the glory of the Father and the holy angels.
27¬†¬†I tell you the truth, some standing here right now will not die before they see the Kingdom of God.‚ÄĚ

It’s like Jesus is daring us to be His disciples, “Go on, I dare you to be My follower, if you’re really serious then you must….”

When you do deny self and take up the cross, then you’ll see the Kingdom. If that was true for those that Jesus was talking with, He must have meant something other than His second return: He did ūüôā He meant they would see God’s Kingdom Power break into their lives after His crucifixion, death, resurrection and ascension. The Kingdom of God came when the Holy Spirit brought NEW LIFE and POWER to EVERY BELIEVER on the day of Pentecost. He came and filled everyone who had trusted in Jesus Christ’s death upon the Cross: God’s Kingdom definitely did come upon that generation, and it can come into your life too.

YBH? (Yes, But HOW?).

How can you see the KINGDOM today?

There are certain things that will accompany true faith in Jesus Christ.
The Passage in Luke 9:23-27 Above Make Those Things Crystal Clear:

Firstly: A Believer Will Deny SELF: (verse 23)
Jesus said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower (Disciple), you must turn from your selfish ways (Deny Self)…” NLT
or as the¬†Amplified¬†version tells us;¬†Luke 9:23¬†23¬†¬†And He said to all, “If any person wills to come after Me, let him deny himself [disown himself, forget, lose sight of himself and his own interests, refuse and give up himself]

What does it mean to deny self? Do you remember when Peter denied Jesus three times? Peter said, “I don’t even know the man”. Well what Jesus is telling us to do here is the same as that kind of denial to our selfishness, it’s like saying to your FLESH; “I don’t know you”… It happens when we’re tempted and tried to do or think or say something that wouldn’t be good for a follower of Jesus. It’s like me saying when I’m tempted to do something¬†immoral, “I don’t know you Donald” … We need to deny ourselves every single day for Jesus.

Self Sacrifice: It’s like saying “NO” to your passions and desires that are contrary to your walk with Jesus. It really is a daily battle, that is why we need to come and be with the LORD Daily (Yesterday’s Teaching).

Denying Self: Is to ignore the very existence of oneself. It is to treat the self within each of us as if it did not exist. The normal human experience is to treat ourselves, to look after self interests, to think of self as if our self was far and away the most important thing in the world. The reality check is this; “It’s NOT all about you” or we need to say to ourselves, “It’s NOT all about me”.

Adverts & The Media: That’s why advertising works so well: Every advert appeals to SELF… “You need this” or “You Deserve This Product” or “You’ll LOOK great wearing this” or “Everyone will LOVE YOU when you get this” or “If you’ve got one of these everyone else will wish they were you”…. they know that appealing to the SELF sells stuff. No wonder Christianity is so unpopular these days, because Jesus is telling us to do the complete opposite of the world: YOU need to DIE to SELF. You need to say “NO” to yourself.

Now Jesus is declaring if “ANYONE wants to follow ME” If you are desiring to follow Jesus Christ today then you must forget that self exists.

Not only must we forget and deny SELF, we must KILL SELF. (Put it to DEATH).

Secondly: TAKE UP YOUR CROSS: Luke 9:23 (NIV)

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.”

It is a DAILY dying to self (see yesterday’s teaching about DAILY).

But what does it mean; “take up his cross daily”?

Jesus knew all about¬†Crucifixion¬†long before He went to the Cross to suffer and die for the sins of the world. As a young boy growing up in Israel, when Jesus was about seven years old, there was a massive rebellion four miles away from where he lived with his mum Mary, dad Joseph and brothers and sisters. There was a man called Judas who led a rebellion against Roman rule and raided the Royal Armoury at Sepphoris. It would have left a deep impression on the young boy Jesus, because afterwards thousands of those rebels were crucified and they lined the roads with the bodies upon Crosses, everyone in Galilee would be in no doubt who was in charge, the Romans. Jesus said to people “You must deny yourself and take up your Cross and follow me” In other words, you must die to self.

St Paul carries on with this same theme of self-denial in Romans:

Romans 12:1¬†“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God‚ÄĒthis is your spiritual act of worship.”

Someone has¬†humorously¬†said, “The problem with living-sacrifices is that they crawl off the altar”… Yes my friends, we do tend to shrink or crawl away from self-sacrifice, but that’s exactly what Jesus is talking about “Take UP your Cross” It really is a daily duty to follow Jesus and die to self.

Why would anyone in their right mind deny themselves like that? Why would you want to or be prepared to DIE for Jesus? Surely people who are prepared to die for a cause are FANATICS right? Look at the Jehadi Bombers who kill themselves, everybody thinks they are MAD.

Well, Jesus is not calling you to be a fanatical killer of others, but a killer of self’s passions and desires that lead you away from God.¬†That’s why it is a daily battle, because the self is a living-sacrifice, it doesn’t die, it stays alive, so it must be killed and denied every single day.

Practical Application to LIFE:

Denying self: Means Saying “NO” to;

  • Bitching¬†about others in the workplace.
  • Coveting¬†what others have (Keeping up with the Smiths next door)
  • Greed: Having more than you need in life. Having more on your place. Having more money. Hoarding for self.
  • Rudeness: Saying not to being rude, telling rude stories, rude jokes. We all find some things funny, but it means taking no part in overt rudeness.
  • Drunkenness: We are permitted as Christians to drink, but we’re called by the LORD not to over-indulge in alcohol. You know how much is enough, so stop before you have too much. Say “No! I’ve had enough” Learn to stop.
  • Night Clubs: These are places that people flaunt themselves at one another. It’s OK to dance and sing and make merry, but we must be very careful how we conduct ourselves in the world.
  • Dress: How we dress oursleves as Christians is important too. Not to provoke anyone to sin in the way that we dress.. I’m not saying women or men should dress like Muslims, covering our whole bodies up, women even wearing a Burka to cover their faces. That’s just extreme! However, there are ways of dressing that can and will attract and arouse, making sexual overtones in the way we dress or look cannot be right for the follower of Jesus.
  • Movies, DVDs, Internet: Not watching movies that are Adult rated: They tend to have; Violence, Bad Language, Sexual Scenes. Any 18 rated movie or TV program will have these things in abundance today. Jesus doesn’t want you to use bad language and you should not be around or watch films that have it. Hollywood always has BLASPHEMY of the Lord Jesus in nearly every movie. How do you feel when you hear them saying “Jesus Christ” as a swear word? It makes me feel sick in the¬†stomach. Notice Hollywood never says “Allah or Buddha or Ghandi etc” it’s always “Jesus Christ” that they blaspheme. Don’t give them your money my friends.
  • Money: Getting out of the habit of thinking that my money is my own for “My” life. “I’ve worked hard for it so I deserve to spend it on myself” NO! Everything you have is from God. He made the whole universe and He allows you to have a little in life. So a follower of Jesus will want to give generously to others and to God’s Kingdom work. Not keeping or hoarding what you have for yourself (Luke 9:24-25). If we try to keep our money, then we’re going to see it waste away, it’s rotting when it’s not working for the Kingdom.
  • WORK: We’re going to be working hard at our job, doing our best, but we’re not going to be climbing the ladder to success at the expense of others. A Christian will work and do their best, but they’ll be a pleasure to work with. You’ll be kind towards your colleagues and you’ll think how can I make this place a real success in the world. Christians will work to be an influence for good in the workplace.

Denying SELF is a REAL Sacrifice: But there is great reward awaiting, we’ll experience the KINGDOM today.

It’s like Jesus is daring us to be His followers; dare you to be a follower of Jesus Christ today ūüôā

“DARE TO BE A DISCIPLE”

Let’s get our focus right today, Jesus said,¬†‚ÄúIf any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me.” Trying to hang onto our independence will mean loosing out on the exciting and joyfilled experiencing His Kingdom today.

Denying SELF: Is jumping off the throne of your life and letting Jesus be the KING. It’s a decision every day to allow Jesus to rule your life as your King. Living your life every day for Jesus. To be able to DENY SELF and TAKE UP OUR CROSS every day, we’re going to need HELP. Thankfully, the Lord has been gracious and desires to enable us to LIVE like Him. He’s given you the Holy Spirit, the same Spirit that raised Jesus from death, He’s IN every born-again follower of Jesus.

Respond: Cry out to the Holy Spirit now and say; “Dear Lord and Heavenly Father, I can see that if I’m going to die to self and take up my cross every single day, then I need Your fullness to help me to live like Jesus, I invite you to come Holy Spirit, I’m open to what you want to do in my life today. In the Name of Jesus Christ I pray” Amen.

Hope you all have an amazing and wonderful experience of the Lord as you LIVE for Jesus in the world today. Go on, Jesus is daring you to be a Disciple, a follower of Himself today.

Don.

Dare You To Be A Disciple.

 

The Guilty Ones Go Free

Jesus Death Good Friday

Daily Spirit & Word, 478: The Guilty Ones Can Go Free.

Jesus death on the Cross brings FREEDOM for all the Guilty ones.

That’s Why It’s Called ‘Good Friday’.

 

Good morning my friends, last night we had a wonderful celebration of the Lord’s Last Supper with all the elements of the Passover. Today we’re walking in witness through the town because it’s Good Friday.

Matthew 27:19-26
19 ¬†While Pilate was sitting on the judge’s seat, his wife sent him this message: “Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him.”
20  But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus executed.
21 ¬†“Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” asked the governor. “Barabbas,” they answered.
22 ¬†“What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called Christ?” Pilate asked. They all answered, “Crucify him!”
23 ¬†“Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!”
24 ¬†When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!”
25 ¬†All the people answered, “Let his blood be on us and on our children!”
26  Then he released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.

It’s ironic, Jesus is one day going to be The Judge of all mankind, but there He was being judged by a man. He listened to his wife who had a dream about Jesus innocence and Pilate knew that it was out of jealousy that the Chief Priest and the Elders of Israel wanted Jesus to be killed.

It was the custom at the time of the Passover for the Romans to release a prisoner of the crowds choosing, the all wanted Barabbas released instead of Jesus.

 The Guilty One Goes Free.

The Guilty Once Can Go Free.

After His trial, Jesus was severely beaten, whipped and mocked at the hands of the Romans, then made to carry his heavy wooden cross to the place of execution, nailed to the cross and lifted up to die.

I’m reminded about what Jesus said today;¬†John 12:32 (NIV) “But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.”

My friends, when we are drawn to Jesus, we are like Barabbas, the innocent one died and the guilty one goes free. It is only through Jesus death that we can be set free from those things that separated us from God and leave us guilty before Him.

In our condition of sin, without coming to Jesus or being drawn to Him, we’re going to be Judged by Him. His judgement of us will be quite unlike Pilates, because Jesus cannot be corrupted, bribed by a crowd or brow-beaten into submission with please from eloquent lawyers. He’s the¬†incorruptible¬†Judge and must punish the guilty, but He’s also loving, kind and gentle and has made a way for all people, all over the earth to escape God’s wrath and anger against sin’s rebellion.

Yes we are guilty, but the guilty ones can go free today, but trusting in Jesus Christ, His death upon the cross and His resurrection and ascension into Heaven. Jesus now sits on the throne and will one day sit on that Judgement Seat, but He will not wash His hands, for He knows that we are all guilty, but He’s made a way for you to be set free by paying the price for your freedom. Jesus gave His life so we can all go free. So lets make certain we’ve already passed through His judgement beforehand, by taking hold of the offering of forgiveness, freedom and life. Today the Guilty ones can go free.

Personally I’m always moved on Good Friday, because it’s a solemn day, but also a day of great rejoicing, because my Saviour set me free from my sin and guilt in 1984 and I’m thankful that He’s kept me until this day, following Him. Lord let your glory fall as we worship and adore you today. Thank you so much for all that you endured so that we could be set free. You are the King Lord Jesus. Your wounds are the beauty spots of Heaven, because they stand testimony that you’ve paid the price for our freedom. Amen!

God bless and keep you all this Good Friday.

Don.

Today we’re going to be walking as followers of Jesus Christ through West Norwood. Beginning at Tulse Hill railway station at 11.45am then onto St Luke’s Gardens for a time of prayer, fellowship and worship. There will be some Bible reading and singing along the way. Come and walk for Jesus Christ today as we remember He made it possible for every guilty soul to be set free by dying upon the Cross.

Jesus Death Good Friday
The Guilty Ones Go Free

The Guilty Ones Go Free

Seven Ways To Appreciate Mummy

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Daily Spirit & Word, 460: Seven Ways To Appreciate Mummy.

Mother’s Day 2015.

Mother’s Day:¬†Good morning my friends, it’s Mother’s Day or Mothering Sunday.

Someone asked me the other day; “When is Mother’s Day?” I answered, “Nine months after Father’s Day”. ūüôā LOL. The old ones are the best…

Last year I explained the history of Mothering Sunday, this year I want to focus upon the Relationship of Mothers to her children and the ways we can and should APPRECIATE our mothers. Even if your mum, like mine, has died and gone to be with the Lord: There are still ways we can honour our mums today.

Jesus Cared For Everyone: Even His own Mummy whilst dying upon the Cross.

When Jesus was with the Disciple, he cared for them so much. Even before the Cross, Jesus knew what He was about to endure, yet he cared for them and wanted to give them so much assurance. First telling them, though He’d be taken from them, he’d be going on ahead of them to get a place ready in Heaven for them. He assured them they would not be left without comfort or strength, provided by Himself, the Father and the Holy Spirit. He told them, even though He was going away physically, he’d be with them forever.

Now, when Jesus was hanging upon the Cross, imagine the sheer agony of those moments. Here was the Son of God, dying in agony, but his concern was for his mummy. He said to John though the pain;¬†¬†John 19:25-27¬†“Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.¬†26 ¬†When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing near by, he said to his mother, “Dear woman, here is your son,”¬†27 ¬†and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.”

Jesus knew his mum needed taking care of: She’d cared for the Saviour all through His life, now when He was dying, Jesus showed just how much he loved his Mother Mary.

My friends on this Mother’s Day: Wouldn’t it be GREAT if we could think of ways to APPRECIATE our own MOTHERS.

 1) Tell Your Mum You LOVE Her:

You probably all know the bloke thing, the manly man who doesn’t need to say it. He shows how much he loves his mum by what he does for her. Some husbands are like that with their wifes too, the mother’s of their children. We think we don’t need to say it out loud, because we show it by; working hard for the family, providing for their needs, putting food upon the table… But my friends, there is nothing more powerful than these words in you mummy’s ears; “I LOVE YOU MUM”….

I can tell you right now, you Mummy is longing to hear those words from your lips:

Now what if you mummy has died? Then my friends, tell someone today, “I LOVED My Mummy.” and then proceed to tell them why.

2) Be Patient With Your Mother:

We all know that Mothers can poke their noses into our business when it’s not wanted. They give advice when we’re not even asking for it.

You know why that it my friends? It’s because she still love you. She’s invested years in your life, sweated and was in pain at your birth. She wiped your face, your runny nose, your bottom, and helped you to learn to clean your teeth.

Mummy listened to you when you came home from school;

Crying: She comforted.

Excited about a Star or Prize: She was overjoyed.

Upset because you fell out with your best friends: She helped you through by showing there are other good friends.

When you got older and fell in love: She had to be there when you Father gave you away to another man. She had to learn the hardest thing in life: to let her children go.

Be patient with your Mother today.

3) Your Mummy Needs a HUG:

Physical touch is so important, especially in relationship that are important.

As mums get older they don’t get as much physical touch as they did when they were younger.

But their children: They have access to mums like no-body else.

When was the last time you gave your mum a great big hug?

Now don’t go telling me she’s not the loving kind or that She’s not the huggy type of person.

Even the the person who loves hugs the least, will deep down appreciate the effort you have made to show her how special she is to you.

Hug you mummy today.

4) Let Your Mum Tell You Stuff:

When you were young she listened intently to all your troubles.

When you came home and blurted out stuff, it was mum who listened.

Mum’s can be there for their children like nobody else. You know Children tell their mums stuff, they won’t tell anybody else on earth.

Now it’s Mum’s turn to be listened to: Let you Mum tell you her troubles, fears and the things she’s concerned about.

Be an EAR for you mum today.

5) Show Your Mum You ARE Grateful:

It’s NOT just flowers on mother’s day, or cup-cakes or chocolate etc…

Your mum did things for you for many years: Now it’s time to DEMONSTRATE to her that you are Grateful for what she did, what she does and who she is.

Being grateful is not just saying “Thank you mummy” It’s being grateful: Let her hear you telling others what she has done for you. Boast about your mum’s efforts to make you happy, successful, and peaceful in this world.

Yes give her presents, but be appreciative as a person. In the way you talk to you mum. Always showing her respect, even when you think she doesn’t deserve it. Even when you think or know you mum is wrong.

Show your gratitude by NOT arguing with your mummy.

How can you show your Mum that you are grateful.

6) Love Your Mummy Generously:

She gave you so much when you were growing up.

Now it’s TIME to be less selfish and stop asking and pay-her-back some of what she’s given over many years.

Don’t do it grudgingly.

Do it GENEROUSLY.

7) WHY? Why LOVE your mummy like that?

Why should we?:

1) Tell Her You LOVE her.

2) Be Patient With Mummy.

3) Hug Your Mummy.

4) Let Your Mum Tell You Stuff.

5) She Her You ARE Grateful.

6) Love Her Generously.

Because God commands us to HONOUR our Mother’s and Fathers.

Exodus 20:12¬†“Honour your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.”

It’s the ONLY Commandment with a promise:¬†That we’ll have a long life in the land of promise.

WOWzer! Just for doing what we should do anyway, God is going to reward us.

Can you imagine a set of rules at work like that? If you do these things then the Company will reward you???

But, that’s exactly what God has done my friends, but He didn’t do it with Himself, He chose to do it with your Parents.

He could have said, “If you love me with all your heart, mind, soul and strength, I’ll reward you” But He didn’t, instead He’s chosen to reward you if you will just HONOUR you mother and father.

Jesus did it on the Cross in the only way he could. “Mother’s your son, John, your mother” He made certain, because He knew how much John love him, that he’d take care of Jesus’ mother until his dying day.

Will you LOVE your mummy today?

The Unemployed Stay At Home Mum:

No Occupation (The Government says, “They are unemployed and should be made to seek employment or we’ll stop their benefits). Really: Unemployed! I’d like to see some of those people do what Mummy’s have to do every single day of their children’s young lives:

 She rises up at break of day and through her tasks she races.

She cooks the meals as best she may and scrubs the children’s faces.

While schoolbooks, lunches, homework too, all need consideration…

And yet the census man insists

She has‚ÄĒ ‚ÄúNo Occupation‚ÄĚ

When breakfast dishes all are done

She bakes a pudding, maybe.

She cleans the rooms up, one by one,

With one eye watching baby.

The washing pile she then attacks

by way of variation.

And yet the census man insists,

She has ‚ÄĒ ‚ÄúNo Occupation.‚ÄĚ

She irons for a little while, then presses pants for Daddy.

She welcomes with a cheery smile returning lass and laddie.

A hearty dinner next she cooks (no time for relaxation),

And yet the census man insists,

She has‚ÄĒ‚ÄúNo Occupation.‚ÄĚ

My friend’s This is MOTHER’S DAY: She’s been OCCUPIED since the day you were born into this world and most mothers will be employed in caring, loving and looking after their children till they day they leave this world.

It’s time to Show Mummys today:

  1.  Tell Her You LOVE her.
  2.  Be Patient With Mummy.
  3.  Hug Your Mummy.
  4.  Let Your Mum Tell You Stuff.
  5.  She Her You ARE Grateful.
  6.  Love Her Generously.
  7.  Do It, because Father God Has Commanded You.

God bless and I hope you can show how much you LOVE, Honour and Respect your Mummy’s today and Always.

Worship the LORD with GLADNESS in your HEART today.

Don.

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Ash Wednesday Worship

Ash Wednesday Worship

Ash Wednesday Worship
Ash Wednesday Worship

St Luke’s Church, Knights Hill, West Norwood, London.

Christians all over the world will be celebrating Ash Wednesday.

You will not find any reference to Ash Wednesday in the Bible. However, it has been celebrated and observed by Christians for hundreds of years. Preceded by Shrove Tuesday or as it has become know Pancake Day.

The Ash Wednesday Worship In St Luke’s:

2 Chronicles 7:14 “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

It’s a gathering where we burn last year’s Palm Cross to make some ash. The flames are quite spectacular. There’s no magic or superstition to our service though, it simply a time to come together to reflect upon our walk with Jesus, think about what areas of our Christian life that we require His Divine intervention, seek Him afresh with prayer, Bible reading, confession and repentance. We continue to trust in Him alone, not our good works or anything else. The Ashes for us, Evangelical and Spirit filled Christians, is simply a reminder that we’re coming in penitence to the LORD. They are a symbol of our Love and Devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ. We wear the mark of the Cross with humility, counting ourselves as His servants with Joy and LOVE in our hearts, we want to serve our Master.

We also remember that Jesus paid the price for our forgiveness by suffering and dying upon the Cross. How He won for us New Life, victory over sin and death. He rose from the Dead and is alive now to intercede for the Saints in Glory.

In the old Testament ashes were used to show repentance, like Job with his ashes. Repentance is Turning away from sin and trusting in Jesus Christ. It’s a change of mind and attitude that says to the Lord, “I want to live the life you’ve given me Your way”. It’s Jesus, through the gift of the Holy Spirit, that enables us to LIVE for Him.

If you want to join us on Wednesday Night at 7.00pm You’ll discover more. We have a time of fellowship first, with drinks and nibbles, then gather around the Cross to come before the Lord Jesus Christ in prayer.

People who came from Pentecostal, Baptist, Methodist and Anglican churches who’d never done it before all thought it such an POWERFUL gathering. Come and see ūüôā

Ash Wednesday Worship

7.00pm For Fellowship.

7.30pm for Worship, Prayer, Confession, Adoration, Ashes…

9.00pm Home!

 

Visit St Luke’s Facebook Page For MORE

2 Chronicles 7:14 “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

 

 

 

427 The Parable of the Good Samaritan.

427 Good Samaritan LOVE

 

Daily Spirit & Word, 427: Who Do You Know That Needs A Neighbour?

The Parable of the Good Samaritan.
Praise the LORD for today is the day we gather together to worship Him. In my home country Scotland, we call it “The Lord’s Day”. When I was a boy no shops opened on a Sunday, no bars, pubs or restaurants, because Sunday was a day of rest and lots of people attended church. It meant planning for you couldn’t just pop along to a shop to buy things like; mild, bread, butter or sugar. If you did run out of those things on a Sunday, that’s when you needed to know your neighbours, so you could borrow them.
As I read through the Bible text today, a question struck me; “Who do you know Donald that is in¬†desperate¬†need of a good neighbour today?”
Let’s read it now;
Luke 10:25-37¬†25¬†On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
26¬†¬†“What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
27¬†¬†He answered: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ ”
28¬†¬†“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
29¬†¬†But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbour?”
30¬†¬†In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half-dead.
31  A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side.
32  So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.
33  But a Samaritan, as he travelled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him.
34  He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him.
35¬†¬†The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
36¬†¬†“Which of these three do you think was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
37¬†¬†The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
The Expert in the Law:
This ‘expert’ was not someone who knew all about Civil Law, but someone who was an ‘expert’ in God’s Law. Jewish Law was made up of the first five books of the Old Testament, often called the¬†Torah; Genesis, Exodus,¬†Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.
Most times when they came to Jesus with a question they came with a question to try and test Jesus or trip him up to see if He’d make a foolish mistake in interpreting or applying the Law, then they’d have reason to either put Jesus to death or make him out to look like a fool in the eyes of everyone. This was such an occasion, for the ‘expert’ in the Law “Stood up to test Jesus”.
This indicated to me that he must have been sitting down with Jesus, probably in a group with others, because why would he try and test Jesus on his own? He’d want to show, in front of others that this man, who claimed to be the Son of God, the Messiah, the Son of Man, was an imposter and a fool. That’s the kind of test or trap he’d set for Jesus.
The Expert’s Question:¬†
When the Expert in the Law asked, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” He was not as we might imagine acknowledging Jesus as his teacher, but a ‘teacher of people’. For that is what Jesus did. The text says he was an expert in the law, therefore, he probably thought he knew the Law of God, better than this¬†illiterate, unlearned (Jesus never attended any highly respected school of¬†Rabbinical¬†teaching) and unenlightened man.
He¬†seemed¬†to know the¬†answer, before he ever asked Jesus the question. That’s what it means to try and trip someone up, knowing the ‘right’ answer, and trying and make him out to be a fool.
The LORD’S Response:
Jesus, as was His custom when confronted with a sneaky, tricky, twisted question asked another question in response, “What is written in the law?” “How do you read it?”
Jesus is asking a very important question here; “What is written in the law”: He saying to the expert, “What does God say is required to gain or merit eternal life?”
Jesus very often, when asked questions by people; even genuine questions, checked their understanding of God’s Law. You see Jesus knew the Old Testament was God’s Word and must be obeyed and applied to life, so he asked the ‘Expert’ a further question, “How do you read it?” He’s saying, “OK, ‘Expert in the Law’, What does the Law say and what does the Law mean?”
Jesus also knew something many Christians don’t know today; that a Jewish ‘Expert’ in the Law, would have attended one of the Rabbinical Schools of Thought (Rabbi was someone who taught the people and expounded upon God’s Law; it was his task to interpret the law and apply it to daily living). Each School of Thought had slightly different interpretations of God’s Law and this often led to very heated debates amongst rival Rabbis.
So when Jesus asked this question, He knew that when this so called expert responded, Jesus would know which school of thought he’d been trained in.
Clergymen: In the Church of England, there are different schools of thought too:
  • Anglo-Catholic (Almost Roman Catholic, but not quite).
  • Liberal: This is a group made up of partly Catholic orthodox in practice, but loose in belief or dogma.
  • Evangelical: Made up of Reformed, Evangelical and Charismatic believers.
Each group normally attends a Theological School of Thought based upon their pre-determined convictions.
It’s weird when we gather together and try to figure each other out, sometimes we’ll get asked by another, “Where did you train for the Ministry?” Upon getting the answer they’ll know what our convictions are, and sometimes it’s rather sad. I was asked once and when I responded the man simply said “Oh” (As if he’d smelt rotten eggs) and he walked away from me.
“The Golden Rule”
So when Jesus asked this question, whatever the man responded with, Jesus would know if his question was a genuine one or not.¬†His first response seemed to indicate he was¬†on the right track towards Heaven¬†and Eternal Life. He responded with what had come to be known as; “The Golden Rule”
He answered: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ “
We say this almost every week here in St Luke’s Church before we have a time of Confession.
What does it mean?
Where does it come from?
The Golden Rule: Love God: Love Neighbour.
“Do unto others, what you’d want them to do for you”…
The Way To Eternal Life:
The Expert Knew The Answer: But didn’t want to live by what he knew was right.
Luke 10:29.¬†“But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbour?””
When we speak of eternal life, and the way to obtain it, in a careless manner as this Pharisee did, then we’re standing in judgement over God’s revealed will. It as if the man thought he knew better than God’s Word did.
You see my friends, no one will ever LOVE God completely as the Commandments Demand, neither will anyone be able to LOVE his neighbour as he loves himself. We can’t do these two things with any measure of pure, spiritual love in our own human strength, because it will always be tainted with sin.
It’s not until we’ve been born of God, by the Holy Spirit of God, that we can do it. We can only love God by the power and strength and renewal of Spirit of God. In order to LOVE God as the Scriptures Demand, we must first be changed into one of God’s Children. We need His Grace which is obtained by Faith.
The Proud of Heart: Will never see it.
¬†But the proud heart of man strives hard against these convictions. They’ll always try to JUSTIFY THEMSELVES.
That’s why Jesus clarified the LAW for this Pharisee: This Expert in God’s Law. He knew it, but was self-righteously standing in judgement over it.
Why did Jesus use the LAW? Because the right understanding of the LAW of God, will reveal that we can never be justified in our own strength, because no one can wholeheartedly live according to God’s Holy LAW.
Acts 13:38-39¬†“Therefore, my brothers, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you.¬†39¬†¬†Through him everyone who believes is justified from everything¬†you could not be justified from by the law of Moses.
We can NEVER be Justified or Earn a Place in Heaven, by trying to live according to God’s Law, Moses (first five books of the Bible). Why, because the LAW doesn’t take care of SIN. Sin still clings to the human heart, until it’s washed away by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.
In this Parable of the Good Samaritan: Jesus Christ gave an instance of a poor Jewish man in distress, who was given relief by a good Samaritan. This poor man fell among thieves, who left him about to die of his wounds.
He was ignored by those who should have been his friends, the Priest and the Levite (People¬†who claimed to know God’s Law, just like this ‘Expert’ who was questioning Jesus) ¬†and was instead cared for by a stranger, a Samaritan, of the nation which the Jews most despised and detested, and would have no dealings with. They believed the Samaritans to be beyond hope of being brought into God’s Family of Believers.
 Oh my friends, it is really distressing to discover how selfishness governs the hearts of most people today.
Just like this Pharisee, the Expert in God’s Law; how many excuses will we make to avoid our DUTY to CARE, Revealed in God’s Law of LOVE?
We¬†avoid¬†caring¬†for others¬†as the Bible and God’s Word and God wants, because it will mean; commitment, time, trouble and expense in helping others.
  • However, the true Christian is one who has God’s law of love written in his heart.
  • The Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ dwells within a true Christian.
  • We’re being made into the likeness of Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit, we’ll become more and more like Jesus Christ. That’s what RENEWAL means. That’s what REVIVAL means.
This Parable of the Good Samaritan¬†is a¬†BEAUTIFUL EXAMPLE of the GOLDEN RULE:¬†How we should love others as ourselves. God’s LAW of loving Him first and loving our neighbour as ourselves.
A Christian will love someone without even thinking about;
  • which Nation they come from,
  • which Political Party they belong to,
  • which Religious Affiliations they may have; Jew, Muslim, Jehovah’s Witness, Catholic, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist,
A truly CONVERTED and BORN AGAIN Christian will GIVE ASSISTANCE to ANYONE, REGARDLESS.
THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, LIKE THE GOOD SAMARITAN:
Finally, the Parable of the Good Samaritan REVEALS the DEPTH of the kindness and love of God and of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ towards; sinful people like you and me.
How? Because, in our NATURAL STATE: Before we come to Christ, we were like this poor, distressed Jewish traveller. We were set upon and beaten up by our great enemy Satan. He had robbed us of the knowledge of the Saviour, Blinded us to the Gospel, and wounded us by tempting us to sin: That’s what SIN has done for mankind and Satan wants to keep us in that darkness too.
Then through His GRACE, MERCY, KINDNESS, LOVE AND FAITHFULNESS, Your beloved Lord Jesus Christ (Like the Good Samaritan) had compassion upon you.
How Did Jesus Show Compassion?
  • He bound up your wounds; “By His stripes you have been healed” When Jesus died upon the Cross, your sins were forgiven and washed away when you TRUSTED Him as your SAVIOUR.
  • His blood shed upon the CROSS Cleanses us from ALL SIN.
  • Jesus Christ gives us a chance of NEW LIFE, rather than ETERNAL DEATH.
  • Finally, like the Good Samaritan who paid the innkeeper for the wounded traveller, Jesus paid the price so that you can stay with God forever, being cared for and having every tear wiped away by Him in Heaven.
 The believer considers that Jesus loved him, and gave his life for him, even whilst we were still his enemy and a rebel; and Jesus having shown us His mercy, encourages us by His Holy Spirit and by the Word of God, to go and do likewise.
Romans 5:6-8¬†¬†¬†“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.¬†7¬†¬†Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die.¬†8¬†¬†But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”¬†
THE BELIEVER IN CHRIST, LIKE THE GOOD SAMARITAN.
It is the duty of every Christian,
it is the impulse of every Christian,
it is the hearts desire of every true Christian to LOVE like Jesus loves us.
We’ll do it;¬†
in our homes, being a good neighbour to our family.
in our places of work, being a good neighbour to our workmates,
in our neighbourhood, being a good neighbour to those who live around us,
in our country and nation and world, being a good neighbour to everybody, regardless of who they are.
How will we do it?¬†We’ll want to help them, if we are able, to relieve their distress, bind up their wounds, heal the sick, drive out demons, give to the poor, be generous, welcoming, hospitable, kind, and show peace to everybody.
You can’t do that without first coming to Jesus Christ, to be forgiven, cleansed and renewed by His Holy Spirit, He’ll then pour into your hearts that same love that He has for everyone.
What’s Amazing About Jesus?
He used every challenge or trap set for Him by the Pharisees and Sadducees, Experts in the LAW; as an opportunity to open up the Law of God and reveal God’s way of understanding it and applying it to life. WOWzer! You can do that too my friends, when you face challenges, traps or tricks of men. When they question you about why you would trust in Jesus today. Open up God’s Law to reveal their heart’s condition and show them the way of Salvation.
My friends, you’ve hopefully seen the Parable of the Good Samaritan in a new light.
Let’s get RENEWED first, before we become religious.
We need to make certain that we’re saved, before we try to be saved or live like a Christian.
The Good Samaritan HEART is available from Jesus Christ, do you want to love others like Jesus did?
Who do you know who needs a Good Neighbour?
“Go and do thou likewise”
Have an awesome Sunday,
Don.
Trust in and Worship the LORD with all your heart, lean not upon your own understanding (of God’s Law), in all your ways acknowledge HIM and He will direct your paths through life.
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Today’s reading can be found here: