Like A Withered Tomato Plant.

Drought, Dryness, Thirst, Hunger,

Daily Spirit & Word 558:

Like A Withered Tomato Plant.

Good morning my friends, I’ve had a wonderful week so far and I’m looking forward to an exciting weekend. The School came to church yesterday for their end of term assembly, it was so good hearing all the children singing and watching their dance before the Lord. You can learn a LOT from children: out of the mouths of babes.

I’ve shared with folks a few time how a few days ago, I ventured into my garden and was horrified. It strange when you’ve set your mind to relax and enjoy a break from your labours then disaster strikes. Well it was only a little disaster, but well worth sharing, because the LORD has been speaking to me about it since.

I was just sitting down when I glanced over to my tomato plants, they’d all began to wither, their leaves were curled-up and the tops drooping terribly. What had happened? I’d not watered them for a day, it was a HOT day, and though I’d planed to water them, as usual, in the evening, they’d already begun to wilt in the heat of the sun. So I quickly got my garden hose and sprayed them, then soaked each plant in turn, the soil in their pots was so dry and hard that the water just floated and would not sink into the soil. I kept soaking them for over an hour. Then I returned to my labour in another part of the garden, fearing the worse that the tomatoes had been withered beyond salvation. They gotten so dried up they’d never be able to soak in the life-giving water.

However, after another hour, I glanced at my plants again, and though their leaves were still much softer than normal, they’d begun to lift and their heads were standing up again. Another hour passed, I’d watered them again and then they were standing tall, firm and ready to face the heat of the sun again.

Well, since then the LORD has been showing me from His Word in so many places that we NEED to come to HIM every single day if we’re going to prosper and live as Christians. If you truly want to be known by God as a Follower of Jesus Christ, then you need to stay connected to Christ or you too will wither and die. It will be as if you are just like a non-Christian, you will be so dried-up Spiritually that your head will droop, your desire for spiritual things will not be there, you’ll be hardened against instruction and correction. Just like the plant that had gotten so hard that it couldn’t drink-in the very thing it needed to survive.

CURSED: Cursed is the man (person).

Jeremiah 17:5-6 5  This is what the LORD says: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD.
6  He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no-one lives.

Let’s read that again in another translation:

Jeremiah 17:5-6 5  Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.
6  For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited.

  • Whenever we’re tempted to BE independent of God.
  • Whenever we’re fooled into THINKING “I can do it by myself”.
  • Whenever we’re tricked into doing things in WORLDLY ways.

Then we’re CURSED. (Be shocked my friends, because it’s introduced to us like this, “This IS what the LORD says”, i,e. it’s not a man saying it to you, it’s not a book saying it to you, it’s the LORD Himself. It’s a warning from Heaven; “Don’t trust in yourself, don’t trust in man’s cunning, man’s wisdom, man’s strength or anything else MANKIND tells you how to be, how to live and how to succeed in this world. TRUST ONLY IN GOD. (He’s revealed HIS will in HIS Word).

Let’s see it unpacked just a little more for today: On Sunday I’m going to be opening up God’s WORD on this subject a little more.

BLESSED: Blessed is the man (person).

Now just sit and soak in God’s WORD (Like my tomato plant; and BE revived, be renewed, have your thirst quenched, feel the goodness surge through your veins, let Him lift your head).

Jeremiah 17:7-8 7  Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.
8  For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.

Notice in the KJV “Her leaf shall be green” That’s awesome, I hadn’t noticed that before. AWESOME! This really does apply to both men and women my friends.

 

BLESSED by the LORD is the person who trusts in HIM.

 

But NOTICE: The reason why?????

The reason God doesn’t want you or me or anyone to TRUST in their flesh or the advice of other men or women in their ‘worldly’ wisdom, is this:

Jeremiah 17:9 9  The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

Why? Because your HEART is: DECEITFUL (it will trick, fool and lie to us).

Because our HEART is: DESPERATELY WICKED: the heart will lead you away from God into wicked and foolish things. It will be desperate for the things that God has said are NOT GOOD for you. Your Heart will lead you away from God because in our natural un-redeemed condition our HEART is deceitful and desperately wicked. (Even for Christian’s who’ve begun to walk in the flesh, the heart will lead you further away from God if you trust it’s inclinations).

It’s like my tomato plant, it desperately needed water, but was rejecting the water at first. Even though I was soaking it, it had gotten so HARD, it would not and couldn not drink in the precious life-giving fluid.

Oh my friends, is the LORD shouting out to you this Friday? Stop, stop trusting in your flesh, the arm of your strength, your heart is deceitful and desperately wicked, it’s telling you things that are lies about God, lies about how to be a great success in this life. STOP listening to your flesh and the wisdom of the men of the world. STOP trusting in your own desperately wicked heart and trust the LORD.

BE BLESSED: You will always have what you NEED from the LORD, even when disaster strikes, you will continue to flourish.

Have an awesome weekend and SOAK in God.

Jeremiah 17:7-8 7  Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.
8  For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.

It’s funny how the ordinary things in life, like my withered tomato plant can teach us God’s TRUTH so that we can remember it forever.

When we turn away from the LORD (or neglect to do or be in His presence daily), we’re beginning to trust in the flesh for our Spiritual survival, we’re going to get dry, thirsty, parched. It will be like we’re all alone in a desert place, away from all that’s good. Don’t trust in the flesh or the strength of human wisdom, but turn again and trust in the LORD.

I need YOU LORD JESUS, every single day. Fill me up Lord. Amen.

Don.

Read: John 4: John 15, Luke 15, 1 John 3:16,

Especially the Woman at the Well:

 

 

Be Strong and Courageous

Daily Spirit & Word, 473: Be Strong and Courageous.

 “Be strong and of a good courage.” Joshua 1:18

Good morning my friends, it seems strange to me that the LORD would need to keep encouraging Joshua to be “Strong and of good courage”, because of all the people in the Nation of Israel, Joshua was probably one of the most courageous and strongest. Perhaps the LORD knew Joshua better than we do and outward appearances were not the same as his heart condition. Just look at how many times the LORD encouraged Joshua to be; STRONG and COURAGEOUS.

Joshua 1:5-9 “No-one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. 6  “Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. 7  Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8  Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

“Be Strong and very courageous” Joshua 1:7.

God knows each one of us intimately and what our fears and anxieties are, He knew Joshua better than he knew himself, but note the power of Joshua’s life, it was because he chose to spend time alone with God. Even after Moses had left the tent of meeting, Joshua remained in the tent with the Lord.

  • The Lord is my light and my salvation: whom shall I fear?
  • The Lord is the strength of my life: of whom shall I be afraid?
  • He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.
  • Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:
  • but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength;
  • they shall mount up with wings as eagles;
  • they shall run, and not be weary;
  • and they shall walk, and not faint. —
  • My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.
  •  If God be for us, who can be against us? —
  • The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me? —
  • Through thee will we push down our enemies: through thy name will we tread them under that rise up against us. —
  • We are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
  •  Arise therefore, and be doing, and the Lord be with thee.

Acts 4:13. Psalm 27:1. Isaiah 40:29-31. Psalm 73:26. Romans 8:31. Psalm 118:6. Psalm 44:5. Romans 8:37. 1 Chronicles 22:16.

My friends, there’s just one more verse from the Bible to share with you today, note that the Apostles were transformed and very courageous, but take note of why: Acts 4:13 (NIV) “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realised that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.”

 Joshua was very strong and courageous.

Peter and John were courageous.

Moses, Gideon, David, Elijah, Paul, James, Stephen; were all courageous.

WHY?

Because they spent TIME with the LORD JESUS CHRIST.

And God was with them.

Now, let’s get alone with Jesus and talk with Him, be with Jesus, soak in His Word, read and meditate upon His Word, pray to Jesus about your day, be strengthened and encouraged, be strong and courageous.

Then you too will be very strong and courageous and the world will be ASTONISHED.

“For the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

He’s with you to the end my friends.

I hope your Saturday is filled with great things from the LORD today.

Don.

Be Strong and Courageous.

 

Flesh and Spirit at War

Daily Spirit & Word, 467: Flesh and Spirit at War.

or Mankind’s Inability to LIVE According to God’s Standards of Righteousness.

Good morning my friends, I was reading through Paul’s letter to the Romans again this morning, chapters 7 to 9. I was struck again by how Paul illustrated the struggle to live righteously in chapter 7 and though his whole heart’s desire was to live the way he knew he should, he just couldn’t. No matter how hard Paul tried to live according to God’s ways, there was always sin in his heart to bring him back down to earth with a great crash. In the end, he saw the utter futility of trying to obtain righteousness in his own strength or willpower alone.

This reveals the futility of the works based effort of all who try to earn Heaven by human determination or by their own goodness. Let’s look at those verses again in Romans 7.

Romans 7:7-25  “What shall we say, then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “Do not covet.” 8  But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire. For apart from law, sin is dead. 9  Once I was alive apart from law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. 10  I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. 11  For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. 12  So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good. 13  Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! But in order that sin might be recognised as sin, it produced death in me through what was good, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful. 14  We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15  I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16  And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17  As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18  I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19  For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20  Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. 21  So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22  For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23  but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24  What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25  Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.”

 The Struggle Against Sin:

This very struggle that Paul recognized within himself before he was regenerated (made new, born again, transformed) by the Holy Sprit, after he came to faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ when his eyes were well and truly opened. This is what’s leading people to the Lord today, because there a many people in the world who sincerely desire to live righteously before God, and many devout people from other faiths who struggle to live righteously. They know God’s Holy Standards, because He’s revealed His LAW of righteousness to every single human being alive today. He’s written His LAW upon every human heart so that we know the good we should do, but honest people, people who’s hearts are open to God, know that though they try their best, they are still, like Paul was before regeneration, prisoners to sin.

 The LAW of God is good: but it’s POWERLESS to enable anyone to be good.

All the LAW does is REVEAL God’s Holy Standards of Righteousness.

God’s LAW awakens in mankind a desire to live in holiness, but doesn’t give the power to enable it.

 That’s WHY Jesus Christ came, to set the captives free.

Satan blinds people to their need of a Saviour, but the LAW of God brings about a transformation of understanding, it awakens within the human soul an awareness of our need that something needs to happen within to enable us to live according to God’s LAW revealed in our hearts.

Many Muslims, Jews and other Religious People are coming to the Saviour today. They come because they’ve tried to live righteously, they’ve tried to seek God and to live according to His ways, but they’ve recognised they just can’t do it. So when they hear the Gospel or read the Bible their eyes are opened and hope springs to life. Because in the Gospel is revealed the POWER of God to enable people who seek Him with all their hearts to truly LIVE Righteously.

The Power comes, not through human effort, not through religious observance, but through FAITH in the Lord Jesus Christ. Once we trust in Him, He comes to live in our hearts by His Holy Spirit, now when people live according to the Spirit they find the freedom from sin and it’s ability to control them and keep them captive to it’s will, is broken.

2 Corinthians 4:3-7 “And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4  The god of this age (Satan) has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5  For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6  For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. 7  But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”

Paul was well aware that the power to live righteously, to know the Gospel, was from God.

Of course there is an Enemy who doens’t want that to happen. Satan longs to keep people in the darkness. He’s overjoyed when people are unconscious of their need of a Saviour. He loves it when people get religious and try to be good enough for heaven in their own strength. And He’s dancing with joy when they perform, try and struggle to live according to God’s revealed standards of Holiness. Because as long as he can blind them to their need of Jesus, their need of freedom, their need of Salvation, they belong to him. Satan knows that if religious people die in their religious state, he’ll have them with him for all eternity instead of the place that God wants them to be, in Heaven.

 

In Romans Chapter 9 Paul reveals the predicament of ‘religious’ Jews / Israelites.

Romans 9:30-33 “What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; 31  but Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it. 32  Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the “stumbling-stone”. 33  As it is written: “See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”

Can you see it my friends? They or all people who try to pursue RIGHTEOUSNESS (Being right in God’s sight, or holy, goodness, ) by following ‘religious’ practices or by sheer human resolve will never attain the very thing they seek. Because, religious practice without FAITH in Jesus Christ is just human effort or works. As the Corinthian reading above revealed, those who don’t understand the Gospel are perishing, even though they try with all their might to be good, they will never be able to be good enough, because they’ll still continue to sin.

 Pockets of Resistance:

When the Second World War was over and Japan had surrendered, their were still pockets of resistance, soldiers who would not accept defeat. Some Japanese soldiers continued to fight on for many years even though they’d lost the war.

For the Christian, there are still pockets of resistance within to the Holy Spirit’s will, within our fleshly nature. But the BATTLE is OVER the WAR is WON: Satan and Sin are DEFEATED.

 How do we get the FREEDOM from sin? How can we LIVE Righteously?

It begins the moment we trust in Jesus Christ and we’re born again by God’s Holy Spirit.

The pockets of resistance against the Holy Spirit, human fleshly nature is not completely over, but the WAR is won. Jesus defeated Satan when He died and rose again from death. He defeated sin and it’s ability to control humans. His death upon the Cross made it possible for people to become RIGHTEOUS in God’s sight the moment they trust in His death, because all their sins are washed away.

Romans 8: Reveals the way that Believers in Jesus now must choose to live. We are filled with the Holy Spirit, but we still have a responsibility to live according to the Spirit and not according to the desires of the flesh. It’s a moment by moment choice; there are two ways to live and He’ll enable us to live His way if we let Him. One day we’ll see the Lord in Glory and the remaining pockets of resistance will be completely wiped out, we’ll be totally pure and holy like Jesus, but until then, we’ve got little skirmishes to fight along the way. We will win, if we live according to the Holy Spirit and not according to the sinful nature.

The Reality:

Out of the vast ocean of humanity on the face of the Earth today, there is only a small trickle who desire to live righteously before God. The majority are happy to be in the darkness and to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season, they don’t want people to shine the light of the Lord and His ways upon them, they do not desire to be enlightened and Satan loves it too.

We know this, because every week we come across many people who’ll say, “I’m NOT religious” as if that is the end of the conversation, but when we say, “Good, you are the very person we need to talk to tonight”, they are stopped in their tracks. You see we’re not out to make people ‘religious’ but to help people see their need of Salvation and of a Saviour from sin. We’ll open up conversations with things like, “Do you know what Easter is all about?” or “What’s Christmas really about?” at these times of the year. We’re off into a Spiritual conversation, not a religious one.

Most people are unaware that they are like people on the Titanic who whilst the boat was sinking, they were enjoying the music and dancing, until it was too late to save themselves. They are also like a group of people having a party in a house that’s ablaze with roaring fire. They are going to die in their sins and if they do, then they’ll be judged according to God’s Holy Standards of Righteousness. That’s why they need to be awakened out of their slumber and ignorance. I’m sure many more could have been saved on the Titanic if they’d been made aware of the condition of the vessel. Satan hates it when we open the eyes of those he’s blinded.

Conclusion:

For those who’ve trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ; Instead of using, “I’m human” as an excuse to live according to the sinful fleshly desires of your heart. As a believer in Jesus Christ you must begin saying, “I’m SAVED so I’m going to live according to the Holy Spirit”. Then you’ll know that the mind controlled by the Spirit is LIFE and PEACE. (Romans 8:6).

Are you walking with the Spirit today? Read Romans 7, 8 and 9 again. You’ll see what condition your soul is in. If you need to come to the Lord Jesus Christ, and we all do, then I encourage you to come and be made righteous by God’s Spirit and then to walk through the rest of your life here on Earth living according to the Spirit’s desires.

Galatians 5:16 “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.”

If you’ve never heard these things before, then read about what Jesus Christ came to do in the Gospel of Mark, it’s one of the shortest Gospels and through reading it, you’ll discover God’s desire for you is good. He wants you to be saved from sin, from Satan and from self.

Galatians 5:16 (NIV) “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.”

Have an Awesome Sunday worshipping Jesus Christ as you gather with the saints in praise and adoration today.

Seek to be filled afresh with God’s Holy Spirit right now.

Every blessing,

Don.

 

The Three Crowns

Daily Spirit & Word, 466: The Three Crowns.

No it’s not the pub 🙂

Nor the united Kingdoms of England, Scotland and Wales.

But the Three Crowns of Glory for the Saints in Heaven: The Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ are going to be REWARDED.

Good morning my friends, it’s such a wonderful peaceful morning with fantastic colours in the sunrise. Peaceful, apart from a poorly grandchild crying in the background, but she’s being comforted by her mummy. It’s strange how we can have pain and beauty at the same time. Today I wanted to focus upon what we’ll be wearing in Heaven. Did you know that you are destined to be wearing a crown?

Our Youth Meeting last night was brilliant, we discussed thier values and priorities in life. After a few expected funny answers about what’s important, they eventually arrived at family, but didn’t quite see that God should be their first priority in life. Afterwards they began asking the youth leaders about what they did, if they were happy in their work and how much they earned. I tried to get across that we are all Princes and no matter how much we earn in life or what we do, as believers in Jesus we’re part of God’s ROYAL family. How do I know this? The Bible explains it in many different ways; we become heirs of the Kingdom, but there’s a beautiful description of our royal attire in the Bible that I’m sure your going to love today. Once you trust in Jesus you become Heavenly Royalty.

Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ will receive; Three Different Crowns:

A CROWN OF LIFE:

Revelation 2:10 (ANIV) “Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.”

We can definitely see an increase in EVIL on the earth today; with people being murdered on a massive scale at the hands of people who think they are serving a god. This is nothing new, but was predicted thousands of years ago, but it is also a sign that the Lord is coming soon, because mankind will become even more lawless just before the LORD returns.

The LORD is promising through the book of Revelation, that when we faithfully endure hardship, even to the point of death, we’re going to be receiving an awesome CROWN, the CROWN OF LIFE. Nothing can take your joyful hope away from you, no matter what they do to you, your CROWN is waiting for you in Heaven. Be at PEACE no matter what.

A CROWN OF REJOICING:

1 Thessalonians 2:19 (ANIV) “For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you?”

What an amazing statement, the thing that’s going to bring us honour in heaven, one that will make us rejoice for all eternity, is the souls that get saved from God’s wrath and hell, the ones that we’ve managed to bring into a relationship with the King, those we’ve introduced to Jesus Christ who get saved. WOWzer! Remember how the angels rejoice over just one sinner who repents? Well we too are going to be experiencing that same hope, joy and crown; from the people who’ve been saved because of our faithful; witness, testimony, live and love for the Lord and the saints.

A CROWN OF GLORY:

1 Peter 5:4 (ANIV) “And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.”

That reminds me of Moses, when he was with the Lord on the Holy Mountain, he shone with the glory of the Lord, but it faded away after a time. The glory we’ll get will never fade away. We’ll be shining with the LORD’S Glory of all eternity. 

The LORD’S Crown Jewels:

As a boy I visited Edinburgh Castle and was privileged to see the Crown Jewels of Scotland, I’ll never forget how awesome and so impressive they were. Royalty in the UK is something we take for granted, but people today have lost a sense of how special royalty really is. Years ago you could loose your life if you even looked upon a royal in the wrong way. In the presence of royalty, there was a sense of; power, fear, rule and sometimes benevolent justice. Can you imagine what it’s going to be like to see the King of Kings Royalty? His Crown is a crown of pain and beauty: Thorns that once pierced his head are now His glory for all the souls that have been saved by His precious blood. We may save a few people from Hell and receive some glory and a crown that will never fade away, but Imagine how glorious His CROWN will be.

It’s amazing to think how much the Lord wants us to be in His glory, how close He wants believers to be to Him, even to sit upon His throne with Him and share His glory. This GLORY and the Three Crowns: Crown of Life, Crown of Rejoicing, Crown of Glory give us the incentive we need when things get really tough down here on earth.

Just as a Crown denotes authority and royalty: Jesus Christ wore a crown of thorns, so that we might wear these Three Heavenly Crowns. If you’ve trusted in Jesus then you are a Prince or a Princess of the Heavenly Kingdom. Walk with your head up today 🙂

Have an awesome Saturday and look forward to the GLORY.

Don.

 

The Highest Bidder Wins

Daily Spirit & Word, 464: The Highest Bidder Wins.

The Highest Bidder Wins.

Or the things that screams the loudest in our lives often take priority.

Good morning my friends, we had a wonderful evening of Evangelism on the Streets of West Norwood last night. The weather is warming up in the evenings now, so we were quite surprised by the number of people who were prepared to stop and have a chat about; Jesus, faith, the real meaning of Easter etc… The little Easter tract was a real winner too, so my thanks go to a lady from Chatsworth Baptist Church who pointed them out and to Amanda our Church Administrator who printed the labels with Church details. It was really good, because so many people took one as they rushed out of the Station on their way home from work. These little tracts were a great Springboard into Gospel conversations. I think a good springboard is something that enables you to get into ‘spiritual’ conversations quickly.

Once I got back home I began to think about the conversations and it seems to me that people have lots of things in life that are priorities for them, but they are not living according to the list of things they actually value or see as important to them. Quite often the one with the loudest voice is like the highest bidder at an auction, screaming out for our attention and focus.

For instance, the following list are things that might possibly be important to you, what I would like you to do today is put a number from 1-10 in their order of priority for you. One being highest and 10 being the lowest.

  • ___ happy family ____________________
  • ___ successful career ______________________
  • ___ fame/popularity ______________________
  • ___ wealth _____________________________
  • ___ sex _________________________
  • ___ strong relationship with God __________________
  • ___ fun/pleasure/good feelings _____________________
  • ___ good looks ________________________
  • ___ athletic skill ________________________
  • ___ solid marriage _______________________

Having listed them in order of priority for you, now I want you to think of your reasons why? Do it quickly without analysing it too much.

Now, how did you feel as you were asking yourself, “Which of these is the highest priority in my life?”

and “Did what I think should be a high priority turn out to be something I spend a lot of time on during a typical week?”

Most often we find that people value their families and God as highest in their ranking or priority, followed by career or job, but very often they spend little time during the week maintaining these first two critically important aspects of their lives.

Don’t feel crushed if that’s you today, because you are not alone. You see my friends, what is important in our lives reveals our heart’s desires, but what we do about it and how we prioritise our working / living week is something only we and the Lord will be able to sort out. Remember where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

  • Matthew 6:20-21 (ANIV) 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

 Today’s Verses From God’s Word:

John 9:4-5 “As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no-one can work. 5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

As long as it is day, we must do the work of our Father in Heaven. Remember, Jesus said, “YOU are the Light of the Word”… We can’t keep hiding our light, we must shine brightly for Jesus and let others see His glory through our lives.

I love the little letter of James, he’s just so straightforward and forthright. James 4:13-17 “Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14  Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15  Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 16  As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. 17  Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.”

If you’ve got time then please also read; The Parable of The Talents; Matthew 25:14-30 (Printed at the end of today’s message)..

It seems to me that we’re all very busy doing things that aren’t even high on our list of priorities in life, we’re overwhelmed with pressures of work and finance, therefore family and God get pushed much further down the list of things to do on a daily and weekly basis. We long to be better husbands and wives, and worshippers of the Lord, but because we fail to prioritise these things in the order they should be we live with a constant feeling of guilt and often shame a well.

It’s TIME to be set-free from these traps my friends. God wants to be FIRST in your life, when we do put him first it’s amazing just how much time we’ll then find for everything else that’s really important to us. Below I’ve listed some really good books to help us find priorities in life, I’m sure you’ve probably got some more that you’ve read, please share them with everyone in the comments section below.

God bless and have an awesome Thursday with Jesus, but Don’t let the one who shouts the loudest rule your life. As a believer in the Lord Jesus we must listen out for the voice of the Holy Spirit and He’ll guide you and show you what should be highest priority for you and Him today.

Be at PEACE!

Don.

P.S. I’m sorry this is late today, I’ve had to spend time with my daughter and her children having breakfast. It was fantastic, she’d cooked sausages, bacon, eggs, tomatoes and beans, toast etc… Yummmmy. The Children were great fun to be with and eating around the table together is always great. Aminata read me a story from her school-book before she got ready for school. Family really does come a very close second to time with Jesus. God bless my friends. Don.

 Good Books and Helps:

Here is a list of good books that will help you to Prioritise your life after God’s patterns for righteous living.

  •  How Now Should We Live?: by Chuck Colson (Tyndale House Publishers). This insightful analysis of culture challenges Christians to live their faith in a hostile environment.
  • Meeting the Jesus Challenge, Real Life… Real Questions… Real Jesus: by Len Woods (Standard Publishing). This book, the third in a series of four devotionals tied to The Jesus Bible (Tyndale Publishing House), it helps people rise to the Jesus challenge. You’ll be challenged to watch Jesus in action, to listen to his teachings, and then to obey what Jesus tells you to do. The third section takes a close look at priorities and values, answering the question, “How does life change when we view it from Jesus’ perspective?” The challenge here is for people to seek first Christ and his kingdom.
  • Ordering Your Private World: by Gordon McDonald (Thomas Nelson Publishers). McDonald teaches that time and talents are gifts to be carefully invested and he provides biblical principles to help care for the inner self.
  • Seven Habits of Highly Effective People: by Stephen Covey (Simon & Schuster). This business world classic and top ten seller for over a decade takes people from dependence to independence and finally to interdependence in relationships. It provides helpful counsel on choosing priorities and sticking with them.
  • Who Switched the Price Tags?: by Tony Campolo (Word Publishing). Campolo challenges readers to risk more, reflect more, and do things of lasting value. To get the most out of life, we must put first things first.

Also I love Rob Parsons and his books on family life and getting it right from a Christian perspective: His Website: Care For The Family: http://www.careforthefamily.org.uk/

The Parable of The Talents: Matthew 25:14-30 (NIV)

  • Matthew 25:14-30 (ANIV)
    14 “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them.
    15 To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey.
    16  The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more.
    17  So also, the one with the two talents gained two more.
    18  But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
    19  “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them.
    20  The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.’
    21  “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
    22  “The man with the two talents also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.’
    23  “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
    24  “Then the man who had received the one talent came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed.
    25  So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’
    26  “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed?
    27  Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.
    28  ” ‘Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents.
    29  For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.
    30  And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

 

An Anchor For Your Soul

Daily Spirit & Word, 459: An Anchor for Your Soul.

Seven Benefits of Bible Memorisation.

Benefit #5 God’s Word in your heart is like an anchor for your soul.

You know the old Hymn: “Will Your Anchor Hold”?

We have an anchor that keeps the soul

Steadfast and sure while the billows roll,

Fastened to the Rock which cannot move,

Grounded firm and deep in the Savior’s love.

That Question: Will your anchor hold? Will you remain steadfast following the Lord through all the storms and waves and temptations of this life?

 An good, heavy anchor can hold a mighty ship when the storms come.

Fastened to the Rock: The rock that the Hymn is talking about is Jesus Christ. The Bible reveals that He was the ‘rock in the wilderness’ that Moses struck to get water for the people of Israel in the desert, He was also the rock that Moses was placed in a crevice by the LORD as He passed Moses by. Jesus is the rock that makes men stumble, He’s the Cornerstone of the building. Is Jesus YOUR Rock today. Are you holding onto Him as a ship’s anchor does to the rocks at the bottom of the sea. A ship depended upon the anchor getting a good grip upon the rocks.

John W. Crawford wrote in Discipleship Journal;

“When I was in the Navy, one of the games played aboard ship was the anchor pool. Each participating sailor would put in his money and guess what time we would drop anchor as we came into port. The exact time was always recorded in the ship’s log, and the closest guesser would win the pool.

It seemed innocent enough at the time, and my shipmates would encourage me to join in–”Ah, Crawford, be a sport.” I realized later that they couldn’t care less about me being a sport; they wanted my money. But I decided I would not get involved, and I memorized some passages to strengthen my conviction.

One was Proverbs 13:11–”Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished; but he that gathereth by labour shall increase.”

Another was Proverbs 23:5–”Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away, as an eagle toward heaven.” Not only was it wrong to win money by gambling, but I wouldn’t be able to keep it anyway.”  “An Anchor for Your Heart.” by John W. Crawford Discipleship Journal Issue #9 May/June 1982.

THE GREAT HABIT OF EMBEDDING GOD’S WORD:

My friends, when we get into the GREAT HABIT of Embedding God’s Word in our hearts the way John Crawford did, we’ll be fast-tracking our way to Christian Spiritual Maturity.

Robert Morgan said, “The practice of memorizing and meditating on the Bible is the primary way to accelerate spiritual growth in your life. It speeds up the transformation process and leads to holier habits. After all, spiritual maturity is simply thinking more as God thinks; so as we implant His thoughts into our minds, using Scripture memory, and as we use the process of meditation to convert those verses into regular thought patterns, we’re developing the mind of Christ (Phil. 2:5), yielding mature thoughts, pure habits, and holier lives. The psalmist said, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You” (Ps. 119:11 NKJV).” From; “100 Bible Verses Everyone Should Know by Heart.” by Robert J Morgan.

So we’ll become more like Jesus the more we know and think like Him. Spending precious time in His presence and in His Word will produce spiritual growth. I’ve seen this in many people over the years since I’ve been following the Lord Jesus. So many of my friends have fallen back into the world, given into sin, self and the world’s ways of living. Having talked, counselled and challenged many of them, I’ve become convinced of this; It’s because they left off personal time with Jesus, they didn’t get into God’s Word and they didn’t get God’s Word into their hearts or heads.

There have been times when I’ve stopped my daily time with Jesus, either through work of pressures in life, each time I have, I’ve felt the tendency and temptation to fall away increase. Thankfully, Jesus doesn’t leave me alone too long and by His Holy Spirit, He brings conviction and reveals what’s happened and leads me back into the narrow way.

Having served in the Royal Navy on Ships and Submarines, I love the Bible’s naval terminology, I love the old hymns that speak of anchors, storms of life, waves, billows, etc… They speak to me because I’ve experienced them and they do help to keep me on the Lord’s narrow pathway that leads to eternal life.

 Part ll of “Will Your Anchor Hold? on Monday.

Have an awesome Saturday with your family, friends, fellowship and the Lord.

Sunday is the Lord’s Day: Don’t neglect the gathering of the Saints as some are in the habit of doing and have shipwrecked their faith.

Every blessing in Jesus name,

Don.

Good Comes From the Good Stored Within

Daily Spirit & Word, 455: Goodness Comes From Storing God’s Word in Your Heart.

Seven Benefits of Memorising The Word of God.

Benefit #1: Good Comes From the Good Stored Within.

Good morning my friends. Yesterday was quite good and full of joy in the Lord, but also quite hard. It was the day the earth said goodbye to Jimmy (A man who was a resident at The British Home For Incurables {it’s full title} we call it today BHI or just The British Home, but it was founded to care for those who’s prospect of recovery was not what man could do but only God, a miracle). Jimmy had been in the home for a very long time and was increasingly incapacitated. When I first met Jimmy about seven years ago, he was bright, singing, dancing and doing so many things; then he was in a wheelchair, then over time Jimmy was bed-bound and could only just move his head a little, speech became almost impossible. But Jimmy had the brightest spirit of anyone I’ve ever known. He thought about others whilst he himself was incapacitated. He knew people’s names, their children’s names, he even knew and asked about my children whom he’d never met. He knew their problems and what they were going through in life. Jimmy also knew by heart many, hundreds of hymns and songs of praise. He knew prayers and Bible verses by heart. Though Jimmy’s body couldn’t do much, he was a witness to the Lord and a joy to be with.

If you are ever in doubt about the importance of getting to know God’s Word in your heart, then consider Jimmy’s life. He knew the Lord, the Word of God and was full of praise. Even though at the end after years of being bed-bound, he’d had enough and wanted to go home to Heaven, every week when I talked with Jimmy, he was still full of light and life. It never took much to get Jimmy singing and praising the Lord. We’d talk for ages about Jesus and knowing Him as the Good Shepherd. Jimmy loved Psalm 23 and knew it word perfect.

This brings me onto the first benefit of Memorising God’s Word:

 1) Good Comes From The Good Stored Within.

Matthew 12:35  “The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.”

Whatever is stored in your heart will come out in the course of your daily life.

Jesus said this in so many wonderful ways;

Matthew 12:34-37  “You offspring of vipers! How can you speak good things when you are evil (wicked)? For out of the fullness (the overflow, the superabundance) of the heart the mouth speaks. 35  The good man from his inner good treasure flings forth good things, and the evil man out of his inner evil storehouse flings forth evil things. 36  But I tell you, on the day of judgement men will have to give account for every idle (inoperative, nonworking) word they speak. 37  For by your words you will be justified and acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned and sentenced.” (Amplified Bible).

 

The CONDITION of your heart is revealed, by the Good or the Evil that comes from within.

Out of the overflow of the Heart the mouth speaks.

An EVIL (Wicked) Person’s Heart: Will pour forth, bitterness, blackness, horrible speech, evil things about others, nasty words that a vicious and hurtful, hateful and destructive. They’ll be people who are always knocking others, back-biting, back-stabbing, gossiping, grumbling, chuntering, complaining, cowardly, contentious, combative, argumentative, disobedient, disrespectful, dastardly, nasty.

 Out of the OVERFLOW of the HEART the MOUTH Speaks.

When we store-up within our hearts (heads) God’s Word, Scriptures, we’ll be fixing our minds on God’s Good things.

My friends, going back to Jimmy; His heart; stored full, cram-packed, jam-packed with good, full of the good things of God, spoke good things, but He also became good inside; He overflowed with goodness. So many people I know, who came to help at The British Home, made a beeline for Jimmy’s room. You see, just to be in his presence for a little while brought light and life in to your own heart. Many times it’s difficult to visit people who’re crippled up and in constant pain, because there is often a black atmosphere about them, but Jimmy was light and life, love and peace. That came from the GOOD stored up in his heart over many years. He knew the LORD and he knew the WORD of the Lord, He knew Hymns that contained God’s Word. In his crippled condition Jimmy was a powerful witness of the goodness of God.

There are many more people in similar conditions to Jimmy at the British Home, some have faith in the Lord Jesus and they too shine with God’s light. If you ever want to be humbled and reminded that though you are going through tough times, there are people who’re going through much, much more than you and they are FULL OF JOY IN THE LORD.

The first benefit of getting God’s WORD inside your being is that you’ll become good too. You’ll be as the Proverb says, “As a man thinks in his heart so is he”

Luke 6:43-45 “For there is no good (healthy) tree that bears decayed (worthless, stale) fruit, nor on the other hand does a decayed (worthless, sickly) tree bear good fruit. 44  For each tree is known and identified by its own fruit; for figs are not gathered from thorn-bushes, nor is a cluster of grapes picked from a bramble-bush. 45  The upright (honourable, intrinsically good) man out of the good treasure [stored] in his heart produces what is upright (honourable and intrinsically good), and the evil man out of the evil storehouse brings forth that which is depraved (wicked and intrinsically evil); for out of the abundance (overflow) of the heart his mouth speaks.” (Amplified Bible).

You become what you store in your heart.

In my own life, I can see the need to store up more of God’s Word. I try and do that every single day, but I’ve still got nasty bits that need to be washed in the water of the word.

I wonder if the Lord is asking you today, “What’s your heart condiditon like?” Is it Good? Have you been storing the good in your heart or the evil. For whatever we spend our time doing, saying, thinking, focusing upon, we’ll become.

You’ll become a good tree producing good fruit (Remember the fruit of the Spirit; Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control).

 

Tomorrow, we’ll be looking at another benefit of Memorising God’s Word (Hymns, Psalms and Songs of Praise).

A NOTE To Myself: Spend more time doing what’s useful for eternity. Stop doing what’s damaging your soul. I must stop chuntering under my breath negative things when I’m upset. Intake what’s Good, and Expel what’s not good.

 

Bible Memory Course:

If you’d like to know how to get God’s Word into your Memory Banks (Stored for Life), we’ll be running an Online Bible Memory Course / Alongside a Group / Class in Church. Let me know. It’s coming very soon.

God bless and start trying on your own to get God’s Word into your heart.

Don.

Quote: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

“… What about the main thing in life, all its riddles? If you want, I’ll spell it out for you right now. Do not pursue what is illusionary -property and position: all that is gained at the expense of your nerves decade after decade, and is confiscated in one fell night. Live with a steady superiority over life -don’t be afraid of misfortune, and do not yearn for happiness; it is, after all, all the same: the bitter doesn’t last forever, and the sweet never fills the cup to overflowing. It is enough if you don’t freeze in the cold and if thirst and hunger don’t claw at your insides. If your back isn’t broken, if your feet can walk, if both arms can bend, if both eyes can see, if both ears hear, then whom should you envy? And why? Our envy of others devours us most of all. Rub your eyes and purify your heart -and prize above all else in the world those who love you and who wish you well. Do not hurt them or scold them, and never part from any of them in anger; after all, you simply do not know: it may be your last act before your arrest, and that will be how you are imprinted on their memory.”
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956

Seven Benefits of Memorizing God’s Word.

Benefit #1: Good Comes From the Good Stored Within.

 

My PEACE I Leave With You

Daily Spirit & Word, 454: Jesus said, “My PEACE I leave with you”

John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

Good morning everyone, Sunday worship was amazing and I’m sure many people were touched by the presence of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit amongst us yesterday.

The Month of March is traditionally known as a Windy month, with strong winds and storms. You know my friends, peace is such a wonderful thing. I get some yesterday for five minutes 🙂 There are times when life is just so hectic, so busy, it’s like a swirling storm and a chain of events. Emotions run high and tempers get strained.

Every day we hear about new conflicts; major and minor wars or terrorists / freedom fighters committing some fearful and dreadful attack on innocent people. I think more than anything else today this world needs to learn HOW to be at PEACE, but for the Believer in the Lord Jesus we’ve been both; blessed with PEACE and commanded to be at PEACE, even with our enemies.

Peace is also one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit; it’s evidence for the believer in Jesus that we’ve been accepted into His family. This PEACE of the Lord is not troubled by the storms of life, but there are times when we’re called upon to act in peaceful and loving ways.

The World’s Way & God’s Way Are Different:

Let’s see what the WORLD says and what God’s Word says about the ways we must act; VIOLENTLY or PEACEFULLY.

1. “Don’t get mad, get even.” God’s Way is different; (Matthew 5:25)

2. “Do unto others before they do unto you.” God’s Way is different; (Luke 6:31)

3. “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.” God’s Way is different; (Matthew 5:38-39)

4. “Give him a taste of his own medicine.” God’s Way is different; (Luke 6:27-28)

5. “Love your neighbour and hate your enemy.” God’s Way is different; (Matthew 5:43-44)

6. “I’ll teach her a lesson she’ll never forget.” God’s Way is different; (Matthew 6:14-15)

7. “Are you going let him get away with that?” God’s Way is different; (Matthew 18:21-22)

8. “This means war!” God’s Way is different; (Matthew 5:9)

9. “You’ve got to stand up for your rights” God’s Way is different (Matthew 5:40-41)

10. “Being nice is weakness.” God’s Way is different; (Luke 6:35-36)

Being at and living at PEACE, as you can see if you’ve looked up the Bible verses, is not easy. Nor is it sometimes for the faint-hearted. Thankfully God’s Word also gives us great examples and illustrations for our encouragement. God has acted in the past my friends, He’s promised in so many place in His Word (His LOVE letter to Believers) that He’ll act again.

  •  Genesis 21:1-7— Your PEACE comes by trusting God’s Word.
  • Psalm 3:4-5— Your PEACE comes from God’s assurance of answered prayer.
  • Matthew 5:25-26— You are encouraged by God to make PEACE with others.
  • Matthew 19:19— God’s Word instructs you to Love your neighbour as yourself.
  • Romans 5:1— God’s Word says it’s your FAITH in Jesus Christ that brings inner peace.
  • 1 Corinthians 1:3— You can ask God for peace of heart and mind.
  • Philippians 4:4-7— God has given you some Steps to getting peace.

So we can clearly see that what Jesus said at the beginning “My peace I leave with you, my peace I give you, my peace is different from the world’s peace”…. (My own paraphrase). The results of Jesus inner peace that He’s leaving with us; Our hearts will not be troubled and we will not be afraid. No matter what the STORM or DANGER: Inner peace and contentment comes through the Lord Jesus Christ, it’s the evidence that you’ve been born of the Spirit. But just as I was saying yesterday about the Holy Spirit, though we’ve probably all got PEACE, we need more of it and we all need to practice being at peace with others and with God.

Let’s pray for the Lord’s fullness of His Spirit and more of His PEACE in our hearts today.

Be blessed for a great and peaceful week ahead.

Don.

Famous Quotes on PEACE:

“It is a matter of present possession, and present enjoyment. Whatever tribulation there may be in the world, “we have peace with God.”

“If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed. If you look within, you’ll be depressed. If you look at God you’ll be at rest.”
― Corrie ten Boom

For some more wonderful Peace Quotes Click Here

 Recommended Reading: PEACE.

There are so many wonderful books and websites about PEACE (with God and with our Enemies). PEACE

130 Questions Children Ask About War by David Stoop and Stephen Arterburn (Tyndale House Publishers). Published after the 9-11 attacks, this helpful paperback is loaded with interesting questions and insightful answers. This would be an excellent resource for any discussion of war, conflict, peace, and stress.

 Don’t Let Jerks Get the Best of You by Paul Meier, M.D. (Thomas Nelson Publishers). This book can help you begin to take control of your life and develop relationships that are peaceful and build confidence, trust and joy.

In the Eye of the Storm by Max Lucado (Word Publishing). Focusing on a day in the life of Jesus, Max challenges and motivates readers to move through the “stress of demands,” “storms of doubt,” and “sting of failure.”

 Making Peace With Your Father by David Stoop (Tyndale House Publishers). This book will help you make peace with your father, yourself and God.

 Peace with God by Billy Graham (Word Publishing). In this classic book, Dr. Graham outlines how a person can become reconciled with the Creator, peace with God, and can have the peace of God.

 Peaceful Living in a Stressful World by Ron Hutchcraft (Thomas Nelson Publishers). Ron gives practical steps for finding and practicing God’s peace, despite the pressures and demands swirling around. This book is probably out of print but still available through www.Amazon.com.

Promises from God’s Word (World). This book reprints verses that address daily crises and feelings.

My PEACE I Leave With You. My PEACE I Give You.

 

As A Man Thinketh

Daily Spirit & Word, 444: “As A Man Thinketh”

As A Man Thinketh; So IS he. Prov 23:7
As A Man Thinketh; So IS he. Prov 23:7

Daily Spirit & Word, 444: “As a Man Thinks in His Heart, So IS He”

Principles and Precepts to Live By.

Good morning my friends, I was preparing my message from Daniel this morning and fell down a rabbit hole, not literally, but I was sidetracked by my study. Praise the LORD! I was thinking about the consequences of Nebuchadnezzar’s delusion; how he thought that by his own strength and will power he’s achieved the success and admiration of the whole world at the time. His foolish thinking led him to believe that he’d become a god, then God Almighty stepped in and revealed Himself to him. Finally Nebuchadnezzar repented and acknowledged God for who He is. That’s an awesome story from Daniel 4, read it again.
But then I was led to Proverbs and a little verse popped up in a side note; Proverbs 23:7 “For as the thoughts of his heart are, so is he: Take food and drink, he says to you; but his heart is not with you.” But it was only the words, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” (KJV)
This little part of a Proverb has been used and abused for over a hundred years now, because from this verse sprang up the “Positive Thinking” movement. It was popularised in a little book by a man called James Alen, but the full effect of his writings didn’t even happen in his own lifetime, he died young. He wrote the little book “As A Man Thinketh” and it took off in the 20th Century. His main thesis was, “What you think about, so you are or become” Also that man (human beings) are the directors of their destiny. He called it a ‘Divine Law’. Was he right? Well we’ll look at that in a bit, but from his writings and the Positive Thinking Movement, it has infiltrated the church and so many are duped by the ‘spirit’ behind the movement. “You can have what you want if you just think the right way”…The POWER of Positive Thinking.
Many Pentecostal and even mainstream ministries are founded upon these principles: “Name it Claim it”, “Sow your seed, reap your harvest”, “Faith / Word Ministries” and most fully perverted in the false teaching behind the “Prosperity Gospel” in the messages of many prominent preachers today. Countless Millions of poor and foolish believers have poured their life savings into these ministries in the hope that if they just “sow their seeds”, they’ll become very rich indeed. Their conferences a full because there is such desperation, depravity and need in the world today and many want to become wealthy. You’ll also get others from this school of thinking that proclaim, through the power of positive thinking you can become “Healthy”, “Wealthy” and “Wise” of course they couch it in different terms and label it ‘Biblical’ to give it an authenticity, but the teaching has it’s roots, not in the Bible, but firmly and deeply embedded in the Positive Thinking Movement.
There IS and ARE Principles within God’s Word that we can live by, but you’ll normally see them in different places in God’s Word:
They’ll be illustrated in the Old Testament and Explained and Applied in the New.
Biblical Principles and Precepts will be Illustrated in the Old Testament and Applied and Explained more fully in the New Testament.
So is the precept / principle; “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he”, revealed in the lives of Old Testament Characters? Yes it is, obviously and many times too: Just think about Nebuchadnezzar. Did Jesus teach about this Divine Principle and Precept? Oh yes he did, He said, “The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.” Luke 6:45

Does the New Testament further teach or apply this principle?

The most explicit verse for the Principle of Positive Thinking is
Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
If we take the teaching of the Proverb “what you think about you become” and Apply it to the Philippian reading we get;
  • When you think about TRUTH: You’ll become truthful.
  • When you think about Noble Things: You’ll become noble.
  • When you think about Right (Justice): You’ll become just yourself.
  • When you think about Purity: You’ll become pure.
  • When you think about Lovely things: You’ll become lovely.
  • When you think about Admirable Qualities in Others: You’ll become admirable too.
  • When you think about Excellence: You’ll become Excellent or you’ll excell in all you do.
  • When you think about what’s Praisworthy: You’ll become praiseworthy yourself.
Is this true? To see if these things are true, I encourage you to go back again to the Old Testament to see if these Principles based upon right thinking are true. Then when you’ve done that, go and look at what Jesus has said and then to the New Testament writings for application and teaching. You see what I’m saying, the Bible is consistent and if a principle or precept is from God it will be an ETERNAL principle throughout His Word.
Now we must look behind the motives and the teachings of those who tell us or encourage us to ‘Become Wealthy, Healthy and Wise.”… Also the more recent movements; “Success and Achievement”. They are all appealing to the FLESHLY side of Human Nature that’s within each and every one of us, it’s the spirit of the world, Satanic… Perhaps God does want you to become rich, but He never, ever tells us to have our thinking upon money or wealth, in fact the Bible teaches expressly the opposite. Think about what Jesus said in the parable of the man who wanted to build bigger barns to store his abundant grain. He also told us NOT TO WORRY about our life, “who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” He told us not to run after all these things, and He gave us the reason that answers the question; why? Because your Heavenly Father knows that you need them.
What should be our motivation and thinking then? To be with God. Our focus should be upon Jesus Christ and our Eternal Destiny.  When we get our focus and being right, we’ll soon notice false teaching. Most Christians KNOW; we shouldn’t store up things here on earth, but in heaven. We’ve got so much good we can do down here on earth every single day, that doesn’t cost a single penny to do. Are we living for God or are we living for ourselves. Be careful then, who you listen to and watch out when someone offers you and uncharacteristically generous gifts, because they may not be thinking at all about you, but about their own schemes and plans. I’ve had that myself and it does indeed, as the Proverb tells us, leave and very nasty taste in the mouth.
Here is the Proverb in full, look at the principle and the precept and live it, but beware of false teachers.
Proverbs 23:5-8
5  Will you set your eyes on that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; They fly away like an eagle toward heaven.
6  Do not eat the bread of a miser (literally; one who has an evil eye or is a known covetous person), Nor desire his delicacies;
7  For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. “Eat and drink!” he says to you, But his heart is not with you.
8  The morsel you have eaten, you will vomit up, And waste your pleasant words.
Did you see it in context: He’s greedy, covetous, deceitful, miserly. When he’s offering you a gift that goes against his known character, you’ve got to ask yourself the question; “WHY?”… Don’t eat it or you’ll be sucked into his own, evil, plans for you.
Have an AWESOME Thursday my friends.
Stay close to Jesus and be filled with the Holy Spirit today.
From today’s message you’ll see why we need Jesus every day and the fullness of His Holy Spirit.
Repent and Confess ANY known sin in your own life.
If you’ve been duped by false teachers in the past, no matter how glossy and sparkly they looked, turn again to Jesus.
Trust ONLY Him and His Word.
Don.
Note: I’ve not named or shamed any false teachers here. Why? Because when your walking with Jesus every day you don’t need me to point them out to you, you’ll know in your Spirit that something is not right in what they are saying or doing. Get out of there quickly and follow the Spirit’s lead to a fellowship that follows Jesus and His Word and wants you to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

As A Man Thinketh: Was brought to you by Don Davis.